Friday, April 30, 2010
An interview with Barbara Elsborg and a chance to win The Power of Love
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Fangs: Can't Live Without Them
It's going to be fun. Have you ever been attracted to that mysterious guy? So what if he has a few bad habits--staying out all night, doesn't seem to have a day job, actually doesn't seem to have a job at all. Are you bothered by quirks? Pizza doesn't agree with him. Neither does Mexican food (also has garlic in it). Has this thing about wearing black. Okay, with your help I'm sure you could improve his fashion sense. But then again black is slimming.
So want to talk about vamps. Leave your comment at Wicked Readings by Tawania and enter my contest.
--Susan Hanniford Crowley
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Cover Contest for Strangers, Barbara Elsborg
Please vote. Strangers is a wonderful novel, worth every word and every bit of publicity it gets. To stop vote rigging - you have to vote in 3 categories - there is one for the worst cover too which is worth looking at just to see how...different some covers are.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"Little Death" published in the anthology I KISSED A BOY
The anthology "I kissed a boy" of Ravenous Romance is about first time encounters of the erotic nature between hot men.
Very hot. *forces images of hot men back into the box and wandering mind back to writing*
There are great stories in there, about men realizing for the first time, to their surprise, that they desire one another.
My story (contemporary m/m erotica) is set in Costa Rica, where I lived for three years. I actually wrote it while staying in the national park in which I placed the story (Cahuita national park, Caribbean Coast). It is a lovely place, part of the coastal jungle, full of colors, exotic flowers and birds and monkeys. I have walked the trails I made Luke, my protagonist, walk.
Luke knows he can’t be gay – he just appreciates the beauty of the male body. Or so he keeps telling himself until he meets Troy.
Luke travels to Costa Rica in the hopes of coming to grips with his brother’s death. After he gets mugged in a national park, he wanders, lost in the coastal jungle, until he is rescued by Troy, who is mourning his mother’s death. The two men bond over their recent loss, and Luke's attraction to Troy grows, but he still holds back. Will Luke take a leap of faith and kiss the other man, and so give them both a chance at happiness?
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! :-)
Get To Know Author Kiki Howell Contest
- Follower of this blog http://paranormalists.blogspot.com/
- FaceBook Friend (requests will count) http://www.facebook.com/kikihowell
- Like My FaceBook Fan Page
- Twitter Follower http://twitter.com/KikiHowell
- Follower of my personal blog http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com
- Go to my Amazon Author Page and tell me which cover is your favorite.
- Go to my website www.kikihowell.com and tell me the title of my first sensual paranormal romance. Hint: Look at Coming Soon.
While we're on the subject, if anyone rather we did away with assigned days altogether, don’t hesitate to comment.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
April 30th is Blogmania!
If you want to have the most fun and scoop up as much loot as possible, here are a few Early Bird Reminders to help you do just that.
1. Be at any of the blogs participating in the Blogmania Event as early as possible on April 30th. The easiest way to find a Blogmania Blog is to look for the Blogmania Badge.
2. This is an international event, so understand that there will be some differences in time zones. My advice is to start early and stay late to catch all the blogs.
3. Each blog will have their own giveaway requirements. Read them carefully, follow through, and then move on as quickly as possible. If you run across a blog that you really like and want to spend some time exploring, copy their URL and then visit them after Blogmania is over.
4. Blogmania will have a 100+ blogs for you to visit. Each one will post their number like this. ( This is blog 47 of 100) This is to help you keep track of which blogs you’ve visited, and which ones you still need to reach. You may want to prepare a blog sheet numbered from 1 – 120, then mark off each numbered blog as you visit.
5. All blog links provided will also have a number like (Blog 89 of 100). Look for the blogs that you haven’t yet visited and follow those links until you’ve checked off all the blogs on your sheet.
6. We have all types of blogs participating in Blogmania, which means that the range of items in their giveaways are diverse. I have previewed many and they are awesome.
Here are the goodies I'll be offering to a random commenter on April 30 for Blogmania - one print copy each of One Soul for Sale and Picture This!
Also, I'll include a bracelet handmade by me, and a beaded book thong! Click on either photo for a closeup view.
Don't forget to blog hop the Blogmania sites on April 30. More than 100 authors and artisans are participating with some very cool offerings, so it's well worth visiting their blogs! You can check out other offerings on the Blogmania Facebook fan page.
Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at www.catemasters.com, www.catemasters.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Drawn to the Dark Side
BTW, Fang-tastic Books is definitely a blog to follow; webmistress Roxanne Rhoads holds contests on a weekly basis, with really great prizes.
I'm Guest Posting at Fangtastic Books today
Here's the blurb:
Some love affairs last a lifetime…others never end.
Fifty years into the future, if you’re one of the damned, you don’t run for your life, you run to save your soul. Jocelyn Miller is wanted for crimes she committed before she was born. Homeless, blind and out in the elements on one of the coldest nights of the year, her desperation results in a bad decision. When Jocelyn and her brother Nate rob a convenience store, Jocelyn comes face to face with her worst nightmare and greatest love, a reaper named Gabriel.
Gabriel Solaris is an Enforcer, a genetically enhanced psychic often referred to as a reaper for his ability to take souls, and he’s charged with collecting Jocelyn’s. When he finds Jocelyn outside the store, he’s sure she’s up to something illegal. Proving it isn’t necessary. He holds a warrant and it’s all he needs. But the closer Gabriel gets to Jocelyn, the more he begins to question his duty and why he believes her claims of innocence. When Jocelyn tells him she loved him once, Gabriel loses control and kisses her. Instead of taking her soul, he gives her a week to prove innocence in her past-life crimes, something he has no authority to grant.
I hope you'll stop by and visit.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Dawn (DL Jackson) offered to link members in. If you know someone who asked but isn't with us, please ask them to try again. There's been some annoying paranormal activity that's hopefully been vaporized.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
My Vampire Slayer
For my first post, I'd like to introduce you all to my vampire slayer, Orion Masters. Orion is the heroine in my debut novel set to be released by Noble Romance Publishing on May 24, 2010.
This picture is one artist's rendition of Orion. The artist is my 10 year old daughter. And, yes, she's facinated with anime at the moment. When my daughter asked me what my book was about, I gave her a one sentence G-rated version. As background, my daughter's entire knowledge of vampires is pretty much the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Once More With Feeling") -- she closes her eyes during the parts related to the guy that spontaneously combusts. So, to my daughter, Spike is Buffy's soul mate! I told her Orion's basic features, and asked her if she would draw me a picture of her (because I love her artwork). She agreed, and voila!
This is not an official rendition of Orion, obviously. If you read my novel when it is released, I hope that you will agree she is much sexier! And I hope my cover art will concur.
If you'd like to get to know Orion better, she'll be blogging about her life as a slayer on her blog "One Slayer's Journey" at http://orionmasters.blogspot.com/
My novel is called Have Stake, Will Travel. Here is the blurb:
Orion Masters is no ordinary slayer, she's a dhampir--half vampire-- and uses her superhuman abilities to her advantage. After all, a girl's gotta make a living.
But her life takes a dramatic u-turn on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The balmy nights of paradise hold a forbidden temptation. Hot, steamy sex with Julian Hunter.
Like Orion, Julian is a slayer. Unlike Orion, Julian is a pure blood. Their paths cross on the hunt and Orion finds herself unable to control the allure of Julian’s seductive powers. Yielding to her body’s instinctive, and passionate, reaction to Julian, she discovers the erotic lure of heritage, shared blood, and destiny.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I play with an iPad
I have held, touched and even played with an iPad. All without buying one. It’s the newest toy the CEO bought for the office, and I’ll even get a day to take it home and play with it. I’m looking forward to it, but I can tell you the end result is — as cool as it is, right now I’m not going to buy one.
I’m a writer. It’s what I do. Hand me a new tech toy and my first thought is “how do I write a novel on this.” We’re talking technology here. I can even make notes for my novel on my phone (and it isn’t even an iphone) using Google apps. The problem is, the iPad doesn’t seem much more useful than my phone for noveling, despite the somewhat larger screen.
The big problem isn’t the apps. Although it doesn’t come with Word Processing software, the “Pages” application on runs $10 and seems to be designed for writing and or noveling (Charles says he'll buy it for me so I can try Pages on my iPad discovery day). But still, compared to MS Office, that’s a killer price. Though you’ll need to get the novel out of it and into MS Office if you plan to submit to a publisher. But that isn’t the problem — yet.
No, the problem is the keyboard. Or what works as a keyboard which is the touch screen. The screen is sensitive to, well, touch. Any touch. Move a finger from C to E and you’re likely to hit D on the way. Let any finger rest on the keys for the briefest second and you’ve hit another letter. I keep hitting the “A” key because my left pinky dips down if I don’t focus on holding it off the screen.
So, typing is a painful effort of holding every finger up and moving to exactly the right spot before touching anything. And still doing a lot of backspacing. I did become better with practice, but for a day of typing I’d need to buy the separate keyboard. And a stand. And then I’d essentially have a netbook. I already have a netbook. It even multitasks and runs Flash applications. Or and I can read ebooks on it.
The iPad is cool. But it seems everyone in the office who picked it up had the same reaction — Cool. But what would I really need it for?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Inspiration and Introduction
I’m a pre-pubbed author—actually that’s not exactly true. I have published a paranormal erotic romance under a joint pen name but that partnership fizzled. *sigh* Now I’m flying solo, but I’m still writing paranormal romances hot enough to set my computer on fire! I live in central Arkansas with my hubby, our two beautiful little girls, and our two very annoying dogs. When I’m not writing or keeping my husband, er, kids in line I’m…well, actually, that’s pretty much all I do, so scratch that last sentence.
I’m going to veer away from the paranormal for this post and talk about the 2nd greatest software program a writer could ever have. It's called Inspiration. OMG, I LOOOOOVE IT! (Now if only I could afford a Mac so I can get Scrivener too; talk about a drool-worth program! But I digress…)
A friend of mine from my local RWA chapter, Candace Irvine, turned me onto Inspiration. A brief description of program: software that allows you to create "information bubbles" and then link the "bubbles" to other bubbles. (Sound confusing? I’ll show you an example so don’t worry.) These "information bubbles" can be characters, chapters, murder victims...whatever! It's soooo perfect for the visual writer.
Here's a whittled-down example using the main villain from my paranormal romance Surrendering to Darkness:
Awesome, right? :)
In my full Inspiration file for Surrendering to Darkness, I show how my villain here is linked to my hero/heroine. I also show how my villain's "accidental informant" relates to my hero/heroine, how the villain's dead wife relates to the hero, etc. It’s this huge web of character relations that's super visual.
Now, if you like the freedom of the bubbles for brainstorming but think you'd rather have it in outline form when you actually sit down to write...no problem. Inspiration lets you switch back and forth.
Here's what the above-pasted section looks like in outline:
I. Rachel Dimarco (vamp)
II. Veronica Moons (vamp)
"captain of the guards"
III. Ryker (demon)
A. Army of Minions (various)
B. delivery driver (human)
C. Dean (vamp)
IV. Garnet (human)
Like I said before, I love this program. I can't rave about it enough, but since I’m sure you don’t want me to rave on and on and on and on and on...I'll shut up. :)
Until next time...
(Oh and I promise I’ll talk paranormal stuff—maybe even share my experiences from the cemetery walk my local chapter took with a group of "real" ghost hunters!)
Follow me on Twitter!
On the Merits of Plant Porn
Love Grows Wild in the Dark was released in October 2009 from Shadowfire Press and contains a sci-fi romance my publisher placed in the ‘indefinable’ genre.
Explore facts and reason, add in the fiction and you can bring the most interesting points of view to life, which is why I love the sci-fi romance genre. The science of stomata (pores found in the leaf and stem epidermis used for gas exchanges) along with prongs of various inches, and romance did more than just ‘grow wild in the dark’.
I had a record number of comments on Rebel. Most stated that after they stopped laughing they realized they’d never look at plants the same way again, and only one…er…thought it’d be something an adolescent male might write.
One well-known publisher of erotic romance said it was just too controversial but they loved the writing and did I have anything that involved humans. Yes, but that didn’t get the science/fiction/romance between plantae out of the greenhouse-closets.
Then, yippee, a publisher cared about a lusty vine who showed an ornamental that there’s more to life than revenge, and Shadowfire Press wondered if I had anything more contemporary involving humans they could release with it. And so Rebel joined two love stories in my first publication, a single author anthology.
The Point (snicker), to this post is that a poinsettia plant and a creeper didn’t travel on a starship, evolve from a skillfully crafted alternate universe, but the love found everywhere, between every species whether they eat photons or leafy salads, is something worth writing about. Whatever gets a reader imagining could be the groundbreaker an author needs to bring their fictional romances from empty cognitive space and onto the pages of reality.
Just be prepared to take abuse.
‘That is so whacked.’ Friend who won’t be named.
‘I don’t know where she gets it from.’ Mom who won’t be named.
‘Thanks. Maybe next year just forget my birthday.’ Tom Konerth, friend I wrote the story for.
Can an untamed lover distract from the desire to bring down the human race?
When the unforgivable happens, a mother's determination that her little ones blossom becomes an obsession. With a plan and the will, all she needs now is the means. A lowly hero agrees to help. His price? A moment of fun in the dark. When tendrils tighten and he's smitten, he's ready to sacrifice his all to prolong that moment. Many sentient creatures lose their heads when falling in love, yet no one ever expects the glorious aftermath to be quite so painful.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Rules of Magic: Grounding and Centering
Hi. My name is a Marie and I am a witch. Yes, a real one. Though the term most people are familiar with is Wiccan. (All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan.) But as a witch, what surprises me sometimes is how unfamiliar some writers are with magic and how this unfamiliarity affects their story. So, I'm going to chat about magic. Sometimes real magic and sometimes fictional. Of course fictional magic won't follow the rules of Wicca, but being familiar with theories around magic can help keep it under control in a novel.
Today I'm starting with the very basics -- grounding and centering. Two lessons any witch learns before she or he starts working with magic. (Yes, male witches are called witches. The term "warlock" is more common in fiction or in old episodes of Bewitched.)
Grounding is a process of connecting with the earth and drawing energy from it. Though it can also be a process of returning excess energy to the earth either to release stress or to release built up energy from a ritual. The most common exercise for grounding is to visualize oneself extending tree-like roots into the earth and pulling energy up and into the body. This energy can then be used in ritual, to perform spells or just to get through a boring meeting.
Centering may be done as a prelude to grounding or as an exercise on its own. Centering is the process of pulling one's focus inward and finding one's energy center. This creates a greater balance that can be used before drawing in energy or even to shield oneself from negative energy.
Grounding after using magic. There is a second type of grounding that you may hear Wiccans refer to. This is grounding that is done after a ritual or spell casting. It's also known as "cakes and ale" because the process is simply to eat something to physically ground one's being and energy and replenish any energy used or lost during ritual. Keep in mind that "cakes and ale" in real life can be cookies and juice or any food and drink that fits the occasion.
Now, how do you apply this to fiction? Keep in mind the first law of thermodynamics - Energy is neither created or destroyed. Your magic user, shaper shifter, even ghost, must draw energy from somewhere. Using that energy depletes it, which should place some limits on how much energy can be expended in one go. So think about where you character draws energy from and how they use it. Even if it's as simple as your werewolf needing to eat in order to have the energy to shift.
Have questions you'd like to ask a witch? Let me know and I'll try to answer them.
Where have all the bad girls gone?
I recently posted about the bad boys of fiction over at Paranormal Romantics, http://paranormalromantics.blogspot.com, and as I say bad boy, I’m sure a few came right to you. Anakin Skywalker, Hannibal Lector, Dracula and the list probably goes on and on. You’re thinking yeah, he was yummy but boy was he bad, or that guy was a sociopath and scary. There are a ton of them.
*****WARNING. RANT FOLLOWS*****
Now, name some bad girls. Main characters. Villains. Go ahead, name them. Give me ten off the top of your head.
Not easy, is it?
Now, think Disney. That’s right, Disney. Now how many can you name? How about the wicked stepmothers in Cinderella and Snow White, or maybe the sea witch in The Little Mermaid. How about a villain that wants a dog coat and who was it that cursed the beauty in Sleeping Beauty? Why are bad boys who bend the rules and break the laws, abundant in adult fiction, in movies and on television? But when you’re looking for strong women who march to the beat of a different drummer, who don’t think twice about adding another notch to their bedposts or live outside of society’s expectations of what proper women should be, you can’t find them unless they’re in children’s stories targeted toward little girls?
I want more bad girls in fiction. More Faiths, like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or more of Sampson's Delilah. They break the rules, their morals are questionable and they just don't care. That’s right. I want to read about them and the men who think they can tame them. I want to see an honest to goodness bad girl that can draw on our sympathies and still do inapproriate things. When they do, they’re not labeled as whores, bimbos, or be-atches for doing the same things men do and I don’t want them in a Disney movie.
In my recently released erotic e-novel, Last Flight of the Ark, published with Liquid Silver Books, my villain is the last female of a dying species and is willing to do anything to save her people. She’s anti-social, tricky and she feeds the command crew of the Ark’s sister ship, the Genesis II, to her babies.
My bad girl doesn’t have the spotlight here, but she does have her reasons to do what she does. Can you name some main female characters in romance novels that are bad girls or be-atches? Women who stretch boundries and do questionable things. Give me some heroines. Where have all the bad girls gone?
I’m going to give away an e-copy of my erotic romance, Last Flight of the Ark. All you have to do is comment on my post before Monday at midnight. I’ll draw one lucky winner from the hat on Tuesday and announce.
D L Jackson
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Send me your links.
Got links for the sidebar?
Send them to me and I'll get them posted.
dlareejackson1 @ gmail dot com (delete spaces and replace dot with the real thing) Gotta watch out for the spam bots. :)
Friday, April 16, 2010
Vampires in Manhattan
I'm Susan Hanniford Crowley, paranormal romance author of the new series Vampires in Manhattan. My novels revolve around the Arnhem Society, a secret society of vampires in New York City.
CLICK ON THE BOOKS TO BUY.
It all begins with WHEN LOVE SURVIVES. Two supernatural rescue workers find love while saving lives. Regina O'Malley is half leprechaun and half elf. She doesn't know until circumstances awakens her amazing powers. Gregor Vasiliev is a financial advisor who's a shapeshifer. David Hilliard is a vampire who helps the lovers.
In THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS is about David Hilliard finding his lifemate. The fact that she's despondent and tries to kill herself might be a problem though. The fact that she is a rare and powerful supernatural called a Telkhine means a whole lot of trouble from people who want her for her powers. David just loves her. But is that enough?
A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS brings together Trevor Stenwood, an Arnhem Knight vowed to protect humans from death at vampire hands and supernaturals in danger. Georgia Blake leaves him tongue-tied, which is bad considering she's marked for death by demons. Georgia is a human with a unique gift that touches every human she comes in contact with. If the demons have their way, her gift would be extinguished from the Earth. Trevor can't let that happen. But he's got to get past staring at her and generally creeping her out. When he needs reinforcements, who does he call?
Come and enjoy a new world that is expanding. Unravel the secrets of the Arnhem Society. Visit me at http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com/ or http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com/
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Meet Arlene Webb and receive a chance to win a copy of Eostre's Hare
Now, for a little shameless promo...
Meet Arlene Webb and receive a chance to win a copy of Eostre's Hare
Visit these blogs: Backward Momentum http://backwardmomentum.blogspot.com/ and http://para-fanatics.blogspot.com/ starting Wednesday, April 14th for a chance to win Arlene Webb's latest release, Eostre's Hare.
D L Jackson