Sunday, November 28, 2010

Party! Party! Party!

Nights of Passion Blog is having their Holiday Blog Party starting at 10 pm on Sunday, Nov. 28 and through to Sunday, Dec. 5 to 9 pm.

Every day there are new guests and contests. a.c. Mason kicks it off with a special edition of Mason's Paranormal Scope. Leanna Renee Hieber will be on Thursday. More authors are joining us.

So join the fun. Enter the contests! Go to
Susan Hanniford Crowley

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Getting Naughty in the Backseat!

Today I'm chatting about the music that inspired Howl at Naughty in the Backseat!
Stop by and find out why sometimes love bites.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Blog Party Nov. 29 - Dec. 5

Nights of Passion Blog is having it's weeklong Holiday Blog Party from Nov. 29th to Dec. 5th with romance authors a.c. Mason, Lindsay Downs, Mary Martinez, Toni Kelly, Rebecca Royce, Annie Nicholas, Sandra Sookoo, Leanna Renee Hieber, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Marie Roy, Kit Marlowe, C. Margery Kempe, and Inara LaVey. Join the fun and enter the contests.

--Susan Hanniford Crowley

Monday, November 15, 2010

Writing outside a reader's comfort zone

In the last few months, I've been asked a few times to write about my experiences as a Canadian author (who writes Canadian-themed fiction) who sells primarily an American audience. The following post has been, in different forms, on several sites including Maria Zannini's blog.

Since there is a good mixture of different countries of origin represented here on Paranormalists, I thought that I'd share the original version of "The Six Month Winter".


It doesn’t take long before folks figure out that I’m Canadian. I try to inject as much Canadiana into my work as possible, even when it is fantasy and science fiction. Canadians have difficult cultural ticks, different unspoken rules, and different laws than the US. I want my work to reflect that differentness. Easier said than done.

When I first ran “Harvest Moon” by my American beta readers, many pointed out my “typo.” See if you can catch it:

Six moons would pass before the spring thaw, relieving her of seeing her masculine features.

Spot it yet? It was the “six moons” (six months) phrase. I had a lot of feedback saying that winters are never six months in the US Midwest. I asked why did they think it was even set in the US. The response? They didn’t realize it could be set anywhere else. I laughed it off and developed a scene where Dancing Cat actually mentions the geography of the area. The beta readers put the story in the Northwest Territories. A little too far north, but at least closer. A few more twinks and most people figured out that I was writing about Northern Alberta, Canada.

(Americans, don’t feel picked on. My content editor is British and was quite shocked by the length of winter!)

Injecting other cultures and changing up the setting in fiction really helps challenge both the reader and, I believe, the author. It would have been easy for me to have placed Harvest Moon in Idaho or Montana. However, it would have changed the small, subtle differences: what people ate, what people wore. It was those differences, those tiny layers of texture, that I felt changed the tone of the story.

As an author, I feel that it’s important to include different peoples, different cultures, and even different sexual orientations. It’s even more fun when you take those differences and toss them into the mix of a stereotype or cliché. It makes for a rather interesting salad.


Krista D. Ball is a Canadian author who, through no fault of her own, has 1.5 dogs, 2.3 kids, and 7 cats. Her novella, Harvest Moon, is available for Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and in many other formats. Check out the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore to purchase.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

YES!!!! BLOWN AWAY is out TODAY!!!!!

Two stories that are certain to blow you away, Dawn comes through with amazing characters and an explosive plot. Available in e-book and print!

Sincere congrats to you, Dawn.


Alice MacKay can't keep up with all the bomb threats in Trios Port. When Boomer, a former Terran Marine with more than a healthy dose of arrogance, strolls into her office for an interview, she can't get rid of him fast enough. But disarming bombs is easier than disarming amorous Marines. When Boomer decides to stick around, MacKay wonders if she's met her match.

Happy Trails

Jenna's been infatuated with Tyson Rivers since she boarded the mining ship, but the scoop's explosive ordnance officer doesn't seem to know she's there. Too shy to introduce herself, she decides to snoop in his personnel file instead. When Tyson catches her digging, he realizes he's not the only one feeling the attraction, but could his tactics to get her alone end with a bigger bang than he expected?

  This cover is too awesome not to post again!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Need your vote! And the dreaded query

What a great surprise my email held this morning! At Dark Diva Reviews, Wilderness Girl is up for August Book of the Month! It's the first time one of my books has had such an honor. I'm so excited!

I would also love your vote! You have to scroll down through July, to the bottom of August, but it's there. Here's the link to the poll. Thanks!

Wilderness Girl, my contemporary humorous erotic romance, is also a 2011 EPIC finalist! Woot! Go Wilderness Girl. She's having a great run. Must be why she has such great legs!

Last week, another author gave me a heads-up on Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write week. If you haven't already checked it out, it's worth a look.

One of the daily "challenges" was to submit a query letter for editors to critique. The description was one of the best I've seen on how to craft a query. You can read it here, but here's a quick summary:

1. No more than three paragraphs.
The opening should contain about three sentences: describe your submission and the line you're targeting; a brief overview of the story; whether it's completed.

The second paragraph should contain no more than five sentences. Describe the most important aspects of your novel in a little more detail; here is where your wording can be more descriptive - you want to make the editor read more.

In the third paragraph, list your writing credentials. Don't forget to thank the editor for his/her time.

2. Include only facts - no gimmicks.

Easy peasy? Yeah right!

But it can be done. Following this formula (and I encourage you to read the full post on Harlequin), I put together what I thought was a ho-hum query, but submitted it.

To my surprise, it was one of the five the editors picked! You can read all five selected queries here.

Here is what I sent in:
The Magic of Lavender, my 87,000 word paranormal romance, is the first of The Goddess Connection series. Each will portray a strong heroine who learns to embrace her quirks when she learns they’re actually skills and strengths to help her survive in the paranormal world. Every woman should embrace her inner goddess, and The Goddess Connection series asks: what’s your connection?
Jocelyn Gibson’s ready to kick start her life following her husband’s death. When she buys an old B&B to restore, she has no idea it sits atop powerful ley lines, or that dark forces want to harness the energy. Also widowed, local veterinarian Eric Hendricks falls for Joss, but demons trap him in Tartarus in The Underworld. Joss learns about her family’s secret connection to the goddess Iris in time to rally her own forces, but can she save Eric and the town of Boiling Springs? The first draft of this novel is in revisions.
With fourteen e-published titles in the past two years, I’m excited that four are 2011 finalists in the EPIC competition, of which I’m a member. The Pearl S. Buck Foundation awarded my short story first place in its inaugural competition this year. My short stories have been published in such literary zines as Cezanne’s Carrot, A Long Story Short, The Battered Suitcase, Quality Women’s Fiction and Dark Sky Magazine. You can find reviews, book trailers, story excerpts and more information on my web site…
Thanks very much for your consideration.

And here are the editor's lovely comments:

This is a query letter that will make a connection with editors. It’s short, sweet and straightforward, conveying just the right level of detail about your story and your publishing experience. First and foremost, I like how you’ve summarized your book and series. In general, keeping the synopsis to a maximum of one or two paragraphs in the cover letter shows that an author knows what her story is about enough to boil it down—a good sign. And the credentials add to the professional impression you’re making. Two cautions, Cate. First, don’t forget to mention the imprint or series you’re targeting in your opening paragraph-- Harlequin has more than one place for publishing paranormals. Second, lose the sentence about how this is a first draft in revisions. Editors don’t want to know that a book isn’t finished or polished. The thinking is, once the revisions are done, then you should be querying—so mentioning that you’re still working on it in the letter makes it seem as if you’re not fully prepared to submit. But otherwise you’ve nailed this query letter challenge, Cate. You go, Goddess!

Talk about giving me a shot of adrenalin! I was psyched. This novel's seen several revisions, and I am still tweaking it, so wouldn't have submitted a real query yet. I mentioned the revisions knowing this was an exercise.

I wish I'd completed the synopsis in time to submit to the first chapter/synopsis challenge, but now I'm encouraged enough to submit later.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stacey Kennedy is blogging today at Para-Fanatics

Stacey is over at Para-Fanatics today, blogging about her newest release, An Everlasting Bite. Please hop on over if you have a chance and say hello.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: HALO by Alexandra Adornetto.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity to meet Alexandra Adornetto, the seventeen year old author of the intriguing novel, HALO.  Just look at that cover. It's awesome isn't it? This book puts a fresh spin on the angel trend in YA by making the girl an angel. She falls in love and it literally brings the hell out of some people! HALO was one of my favorite books of the summer. I couldn't put it down and when I simply had to, I couldn't wait to dig into again. The author was gracious enough to do an interview and you can check that out here and learn how she was inspired to write her delicious story.  I'm also giving away the hard copy edition of the novel that the publisher was gracious enough to send me. It's the first book of a trilogy and I can't wait for the next installment. Hades is due to be released in the fall of 2011. Hope you'll drop by!


Monday, November 1, 2010


I am being interviewed and giving away a copy of Soul Catcher at PJ Schnyder's blog. Please come out and say hello.