Daniel Dombrowski: Setting up a Sci-Fi anthology and more (WIP Interview)

Dan (1)Daniel J. Dombrowski is an author, editor, and indie publisher. He recently founded 33rd Street Digital Press, an independent publishing company, and he has been working for the last several months on Nonlocal Science Fiction, a quarterly anthology that features short stories and serials from new and established authors from around the world.

Dan, thank you so much for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself? 

Hi, Maria! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I never know where to start when people ask me about myself.  I’ve been on a bit of a crooked path for several years. I went to school for anthropology – archaeology, really. I graduated with a Master’s from Penn State in 2009. I think I thought I could be Indiana Jones or something overly romanticized like that. The reality is that archaeology is a lot of digging holes in the hot sun and finding nothing. It’s pretty miserable a lot of the time.

I moved to Pittsburgh shortly after I graduated and married my high school sweetheart. I worked anywhere that would take me for the next four years as my wife finished her doctorate and two years of residency.

We recently moved back to our hometown, Erie, Pa., and I’ve been able to work primarily on my own projects while my wonderful wife keeps things a bit more legitimate on the faculty at a school of pharmacy. I edit on a freelance basis for a self-publisher (about 500 pages per month), and for the last six months or so, I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy towards starting up my publishing company and launching Nonlocal.

WebsiteMasthead condensed

What are you working on right now?

The first issue of Nonlocal is mostly in the bag. I’ve received dozens of submissions since first putting out the call back in October, and I have what I think is a pretty stellar lineup of nine stories from authors spread around the globe + one of my own.

My main focus at the moment is a Kickstarter to help launch the first issue in style. I have some big plans for the publishing company and Nonlocal, but it’s a one-man enterprise aside from the authors. I’ve boot-strapped everything to this point, and I’m ecstatic about the results.  I want to see it come to life in a big way, and a successful Kickstarter will make that possible.

Let’s all pitch in then! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I’m thrilled at how quickly the first issue of Nonlocal has come together. I first put out a call for submissions in October, and I got 50+ submissions before the end of the year. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to wait for submissions. Will there be enough? Will any of them be any good? I think I’ve been more than a little lucky.

As far as a word or page count, it depends on the project. When I’m editing for the self-publisher, I try to do a minimum of 50 pages per day, which depending on the project is either a few hours or a sun-up to sun-down proposition.

I try to read and get a response out for submissions to Nonlocal inside a week, though I have been falling short on that a lot lately.

Editing accepted stories is very individualized. Sometimes they only require a light polishing. Other times I’ve taken stories from rookie authors that I really believed in and have given advice for some pretty substantial rewrites. That part is fun for me. I love helping out new writers and transforming a rough piece into a real gem..

As far as writing, copy for the website/blog is usually 2000-3000 words per week. On the odd day when I find time to work on my own fiction projects, I shoot for 3000 words if I can go the whole day on it, though that rarely happens.

Plotter, pantser or both?

I definitely aspire to be a plotter. I have all sorts of fancy calendars and spreadsheets and to-do lists, but I have so many plates spinning at once that I’m frequently forced to be a pantser, unfortunately. Maybe that will change someday soon, but I doubt it.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

Second-guessing myself and trying to start editing and revising before I’m finished. I used to write with an outline, but I always found that the end product suffered and sounded very formulaic. I tend to write without a net anymore, but I often change my mind about some particular plot element or character and can’t resist going back and making the change immediately. This invariably leads to rewrites and revises of entire sections and chapters before the full story is even written.

Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

When I first started, I was pretty naïve. I expected quick success, and when my first attempts were rejected by magazines like Asimov’s and Analog, I walked away from writing for a bit. From beginning to end, that first period of writing, submitting, and getting a dozen or so rejections probably lasted about 18 months.

I got back into writing by exploring some other paths. As I’ve already said, I started editing for a self-publisher, which has been a huge blessing. You learn a lot by reading and recognizing mistakes by others. It’s hard to get better if all you ever do is read polished novels by professionals and your own stuff all the time.

I also worked on a couple magazine projects. One was a great regional human interest mag called Rustbelt Almanac. We profiled hip small business owners who were helping to breathe economic life back into cities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh which have all had to transform and move away from their manufacturing roots. Rustbelt, even though it never quite caught on, was a really high-quality publication, and it got me back into writing in a big way. I didn’t have stories of my own that I wanted to tell at that point, but I was able to help tell the stories of others. It was a lot of fun.

Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

Here’s my current workspace:

WorkSpace

My desk is actually a shelf from under an old IKEA coffee table with four modular legs attached. I love having a big work surface, and the lack of drawers and shelves and all of that eliminates a lot of distractions.

I have a dual-monitor setup for my desktop, which I find indispensible with all of the different projects I have going. You can probably see a microphone and a small mixing board. I’ve been dabbling with home recording, and I hope to have the first episode of a podcast out soon with general talk about indie publishing and interviews with authors from the magazine.

On the walls, I have a bunch of different things, some useful and some more inspirational. Hanging on the wall to the left is a replica of the Declaration of Independence – a relic from my archaeologist/historian days, though still appropriate décor for an indie author/publisher. Over the desk, I have a picture of a young Isaac Asimov, my personal sci-fi author hero, a list of the 20 traits of a successful Guerrilla marketer, the masthead for Nonloccal, and a little sign that I made with the Latin phrase “Creatio ex nihilo” which means “Create something from nothing.”

I love your detailed description. Now this image is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest.Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

My websites are all built on WordPress, and I do layouts on a publishing platform called Serif PagePlus. I keep track of blogs with Feedly, and I use the free version of Hootsuite for my social media post scheduling. As far as writing/editing references, I stick mainly to hard copies. I pull out The Elements of Style and The Chicago Manual pretty frequently, as everyone should.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. Probably with a nap. Maybe with a shot of bourbon. Perhaps both.

Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I connected with an awesome cover design company called Bioblossom Creative recently. They designed the cover for the first issue of Nonlocal on spec so that I could do a cover reveal during the Kickstarter.

CoverReveal

Other than that, though, it’s just me and the authors. I’m handling all of the publishing and the bulk of the marketing, including coordinating some collaborative marketing efforts with the authors.
Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Be genuine and never stop trying new things. If you’re an indie author and you feel like you aren’t making much progress, it can be easy to just start phoning it in with nothing but scheduled “Buy my book!” posts on social media. But the second you stop actively engaging with your audience, no matter how big or small it is, you’ll lose all momentum and probably lose a lot of that audience that you’ve worked so hard to build.

When I have a day when I feel like everything I’m doing is pointless and isn’t getting results, I try something new. I find a new social sharing tool. I seek out a new group on Facebook that shares a common interest. I come up with some new way to connect with people on Twitter or somewhere else.

There’s no big magical secret that I’m aware of (other than maybe having a million-dollar marketing budget). It all comes down to who has the motivation to keep at it and keep trying new things until something works.

Is science fiction the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

As far as my personal writings, I don’t have much of a desire to expand out of science fiction. That could always change, but I doubt it.

As for publishing, I’m starting in sci-fi because it’s a home base for me. I know good science fiction when I read it, and I don’t have to second-guess myself when I read submissions. That said, if the Nonlocal model is successful (and I haven’t even talked about the profit-sharing side of things, check the website for info on that), I’d like to expand into other genres. Whether I’ll be able to do that on my own or if I’ll need to find other editors remains to be seen.

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

33rd Street Digital Press website: http://thirtythirdstreet.com

Nonlocal Science Fiction website: http://nonlocalscifi.com

Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1KORMlN

Twitter: https://twitter.com/33rdStreetPress

is Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/33rdStreetPress

Dear readers, I’m sure you appreciate Dan’s effort with Nonlocal. Please consider helping his Kickstarter project. Thank you, Dan, and best of luck.

Thanks so much for having me!

Advertise with Amazon: a Step-by-step Tutorial

Advertise on Amazon for Dummies. Everything you want to know in one post.

Nicholas C. Rossis

I was reading Chris McMullen’s excellent (as usual) post on Amazon’s new advertising service, and thought I’d give it a go. My monthly advertising budget is $100, but I hadn’t spent anything in January. So, I had this month’s and the previous one’s budget at my disposal – which allowed me to place two ads. For my first one, I chose the Pearseus bundle. This was done for two reasons: one, it offers great value for money. Second, its higher cost of $3.49 will hopefully allow me to cover the ad’s cost.

The second ad was for Runaway Smile. This allowed me to test two very different ways of targeting my audience, as you will see below.

Oh, and I took lots of screenshots, so as to share with you the process. That way, should any of you decide to advertise with Amazon, you’ll know how to do it. And…

View original post 799 more words

Meet your characters over a glass of wine: Savannah Morgan – WIP Interview

Savannah Morgan, an author of ACR stories, immersed in danger and suspense is today’s guest. If you don’t know what an ACR is, Savannah has a neat explanation for you.

Hello, I’m Savannah Morgan, author of the Sapphire Springs series. The series is labeled as erotic romance, and it is definitely for the 18 and over crowd as nothing is left out, but I dislike that genre label for my books. Don’t get me wrong, I read erotica and erotic romances but they tend to fall short on story adaption and character development and getting the couple to have sex as often and sometimes in as many places as possible seems to be the driving force. A friend of mine told me about a little known genre called Adult Contemporary Romance, or ACR. ACR books are more driven by the characters development and growth and the plot drives the story not the sex, even though there are some very steamy love scenes with no holds barred action and language.

As for Sapphire Springs, it’s a fictional town set in Montana, USA where nothing is as it seems. Lies, secrets and betrayals can be found at every turn, but among those you will find passion, lust, and deep abiding love. The books of Sapphire Springs revolve around the lives and friends of the founding family, the Blackthorns. It is a complicated bloodline but I do my best to unravel those complications and provide a family tree at the beginning of every book to help you keep everyone straight. My goal as a writer is to bring you entertainment. My goal in writing Sapphire Springs is to bring you lifelong friends.

Sapphire Springs Secrets_Master Cover_Long Hair_No  Background

Savannah, thanks for the distinction. In an ever-evolving market, it’s good to be familiar with the terminology. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself?

Thank you for having me, Maria. This is quite an honor.  This is probably my most dreaded question of any interview, simply because I lead a relatively quiet and boring life. Lol

I’m a wife of 26 years, this month, to a wonderfully supportive man. We don’t have children, but we do have our two adopted/rescued dogs; Madison – full blood Black Labrador Retriever, who will be 15 this July and Caleb – 1/2 Black Lab, 1/2 Australian Dingo, who will be ten this year. Madison came to us after having been severely abused and has turned out to be the best protector I could ever have. She has literally saved my life 3 times. Caleb came to us as a Katrina puppy. He was a product of his parents being left behind when their owners evacuated the coast of Mississippi before Hurricane Katrina hit.

The stories of my dogs, is important in that two causes most dear to my heart is rescuing abused and abandoned pets and responsible pet ownership. An animal doesn’t ask a thing from humans other than to be loved and taken care of, in return they give us so much; companionship, humor, unconditional love, non-judgment of our choices good or bad, and in many cases, me especially, our lives.  I would like to see more stringent laws that would protect animals and punish those abusing them more accordingly. I’ll stop there, before I get up on the soapbox.

I do not have a college degree but I have college courses behind me. I have been in the process of getting my degree for the last 20 years, but due to family needs I’ve had to stop at times to find employment. Something I’m sure many of your followers and my readers can understand. My motto is: It’s only too late when you’re dead. So never, ever give up on your dreams, big or small.

As for hobbies, I like to read and write, but I guess those aren’t much of a surprise. I also love music and movies, but mostly I like creating. I design and make dreamcatchers, I crochet, I love being creative in the kitchen, and I’m also an amateur graphic designer. I even do my own cover art, promotional banners and photo teasers. Having, listed all of those indoor activities it might interest people to know that I’m also an amateur photographer and love landscape photography. I even love going out for a few days and camping out with just the husband and the dogs.

As for quirks I imagine I have many but I suppose, if I’m going to be honest, I’m a bit of a control freak when I have something specific in my head. Since it’s sometimes a little difficult for me to explain a design or an idea that’s in my head I tend to take on too much and control the situation until I have it exactly how I want it. Another quirk I have is I don’t like a lot of noise, chatter or banging noises, but when I listen to music, usually head-banging rock and roll, I turn the volume up to dangerous levels. That’s a bit quirky isn’t it? LOL

And you call that a boring life?! Exercise in lean writing: give us a synopsis of your current WIP in under 200 words.

Irresistible

Sapphire Springs Book 3

Amara Davis is running for her life, powerless to prove her innocence or her sanity. For nearly two years she has led a quiet life in a small Oregon town. The signs are telling her there is change coming, but which path will take her to freedom?

Duncan McKinnon has just been promoted to US Marshal, but he buried a brother and arrested his own mother for that gold star. Now he is on mandatory administrative leave while he awaits the trials he is the star witness in. Warned to stay away from active cases, Duncan heads home to Oregon wanting nothing more than a cold beer and to sleep in his own bed, but thoughts of the fugitive Amara Davis plague him. There is just something about the woman Duncan can’t shake.

Will Duncan find Amara first and make the arrest, or will he destroy his promising career with the US Marshal Service by protecting a fugitive?

Can Amara trust the signs she’s been seeing at nearly every turn and are those signs really pointing at the handsome US Marshal? Can she make Duncan see the truth, or will he betray her for his badge?

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

Actually, I don’t really have a writing method down. Since I’m a stay at home wife I tend to write when the characters talk to me. That could be at 6:00 AM, Noon, in the evening or waking me up at 3 in the morning. I write when it’s there, so I don’t really have a word count that I strive to hit every day.

Plotter, pantser or both?

I would have to say I’m both. Since I have a huge cast of Characters in both series I am writing, Sapphire Springs and the upcoming first release of Deadly Flowers, I have to be a plotter. I utilize a massive multiply worksheet spreadsheet in Excel to keep everyone straight. Now let me explain the character development process first. My characters come to me fully formed with a story to tell. There is like this room in my head that has two chairs, a small table and a fireplace, and depending on my mood the character and I visit over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine as they tell me all about them. From that point the beginning and the ending come to me….usually days, sometimes weeks apart. Once I start writing though I become a pantser. I sit down and my keyboard and type out the plotted beginning and then once that is down I write as the story unfolds in my mind. The amazing thing is only minor details change in the ending from the time it comes to me and the time it is actually written, months later.

That’s a really interesting process! What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

Starting it. Once I make up my mind and actually sit down and write it, so far, seems to flow seamlessly. But the actual sitting down and doing it is my greatest issue. When I have a story bubbling in my head, dying to get out, it seems as if everything hits me at once and I don’t have time to sit down and get it down. That’s why I carry a digital recorder with me everywhere I go, and make certain those batteries are fully charged. I don’t want to miss a thing while I’m dealing with real life demands.

Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

I think every author deals with this. Truthfully, the answer to the question above is the answer to this one too. Real life demands tend to pull my focus and inspiration from writing. The only way I can motivate myself is to work through the real life issue and get it done with. At that point my mind opens up like a floodgate and the story is, thankfully, still there. I pray it is always that way.

Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

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My husband and I have transformed one of the bedrooms of our home into a joint office. Our computers are nearly side by side. LOL I don’t have anything really captivating in front of me, just a blank wall as you can see in the attached picture. It’s not good to distract me with too many things, say like sunshine, because I’ll be grabbing the camera and the dogs and going out for a walk instead of writing. LOL

I’d do the exact same thing. Now your workspace pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board in Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

Yes. I have an extensive home library filled with books on subjects such Celtic Deities, Catholic Saints, weaponry, explosives, Native American culture and beliefs, Myths and legends along with reference material such as a dictionary that has nearly every word in the English Language and its origins and when it became popular. LOL I also utilize experts, such as military members, police, and even my own husband who is a network security engineer. If it or they have knowledge I need I will seek it out as quickly as possible.

Oh my, you’re fully equipped! How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

The funny thing is, is I don’t celebrate writing “The End”. I actually have never typed those words at the end of a book. I think I might be a little superstitious. A small part of my mind tells me if I type those words I may never write another book. LOL Silly I know, but there it is. As for celebrating the completion of a book, I never really thought of that as a celebrating point. I mean, yeah, it’s done, but really it’s just beginning. You have edits, and rewrites and then formatting (which is my least favorite thing to do) cover photos to look through, a cover to create, photo blurbs to make, you know the list is almost endless. LOL I celebrate on release day. I share with my friends and have a nice glass of wine, or a cup of coffee.

Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I’ve sort of already answered this, but in a nutshell, I do it all except editing. I let someone else edit for me.

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

I’m still so new to all of this I’m still learning the marketing ropes, along with everything else. But I’ve fallen in with some wonderful bloggers who have been such a blessing at helping me get the word out, like you and you doing this interview on me.

Promoting Authors, Book and Reviews – Patches Brazillion

Naughty Librarians Playground – Jennifer Zamora

Not Another Damn Blog Blog – Krystal Fahl, and sometimes Jordan Marie the founder turned author comes back and helps out, as she did for my release party this past Tuesday.

Booklover – Chastity Leaphart Gregory

Booklove 4LifeBlog – Amber Smith

Paranormal Romance Trance – Tina Bell

Naughty Books and Bits – Samatha Jones

Tempting Sexy Thoughts – Julianne and Leeann

And the list goes on….LOL

Is adult contemporary romance the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

I’m so glad you asked this, because my next release is a straight contemporary suspense/thriller romance, titled ‘Dakota’s Autumn. It is actually the first book in the Deadly Flowers series. I will have another book from Sapphire Springs releasing late this summer, and then I will be releasing my very first PNR title around October, and then I hope to have the 4th title in the Sapphire Springs series out by December. As you can see I have a full year of writing ahead of me.

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Chocolate Ice Cream, but it has to be dark chocolate. lol
  • Pizza or sushi? Haha, Pizza.
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? Books? The Hunger Games Movies? Twilight, Oops I think I might have cheated on this one.
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? I’m embarrassed to say I had to look them both up, LOL. Since I don’t know  either of them I can only go on looks, so it would have to be Ryan Gosling, and I think I’ve seen him a couple of movies.
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Ugh, do I have to choose? Both. One after the other. I’d take next day if I could get it. lol
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? Ugg boots, because I have this thing, hubby calls it a compulsion but I disagree, for boots, but the stilettos would be equally nice.

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

I’m moving everything over to Amazon.com, but you can still find Dreams on BandN.com and Smashwords.

Here is where you can find me.

Website: http://www.author-savannahmorgan.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GU0J4WE
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7853656.Savannah_Morgan
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/praot6y
FB Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/nsxeq9m
Google+: http://tinyurl.com/onagba8
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSavvyM
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/smorganauthor/
TSU: https://www.tsu.co/SavannahMorganAuthor
Are: http://tinyurl.com/pc22uxj
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdEO886VR1Sf_CdhP9QFTEg
Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/AuthorSavvyM
Ello: https://ello.co/savannahmorgan

Thank you, Savannah, and best of luck with your future projects!

Thank you for having me. And good luck with all of your projects too.

Bye everybody.

Between Canada and the Caribbean: Susan Toy – WIP Interview

author picSusan Toy has been a bookseller, an award-winning publishing sales representative, a literacy teacher, and is now a published author, publisher, and promoter of fellow authors and their books. Born and raised in Toronto, after completing a degree in English Literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, she moved to Calgary in the late 70s and immediately found a job in a bookstore, beginning what has become a life’s career working with books and their authors.  She’s the author of Island in the Clouds, a Baquia Perspectives mystery novel.

Susan , thank you so much for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, what else can we know about you?  

I’m retired from paid work and now move back-and-forth between Canada and the Caribbean. I have always read voraciously and was fortunate to have enjoyed a career working with others who also love books and writing. I met so, so many great authors along the way – too many to count – and have become friends with most of them. I have always been their champion or cheerleader, in a sense, so carrying on with author promotions on my blog, Reading Recommendations, is a way of staying connected and paying them back, in a sense, for writing so well. Aside from reading, I love to cook and am constantly experimenting with food and recipes.   I share a house in the Caribbean with four cats and one partner/property manager who has never found a dead body floating in a pool.

That’s good to know! What are you working on right now?

cover susan full colour jan2012 - largeI’m rewriting and editing a second novel in the Bequia Perspectives series. This, and the next two, were written about a decade ago, before I knew what I was doing. Since publishing Island in the Clouds, I now have a better idea of the direction I’m moving in with these books.

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

Are we ever happy with the pace of our work? I tend to be the Queen of the Procrastinators so am easily distracted from what I should be doing, and … Oh, look! Another author to promote or a blog post idea to write up!

If you’re the Queen, then I’m definitely applying for a position as the lady-in-waiting. I do belong in the procrastinators’ court! Plotter, pantser or both?

Definitely a plotter. I know exactly what’s going to happen, who does what to whom, and the timeline the story covers before I begin writing. I don’t write any of that down. It’s all in my head, but it’s definitely plotted before I begin writing. That’s not to say I don’t make changes after the fact. For instance, this new novel was written more than ten years ago directly after Island in the Clouds, including following the time in which it’s set, a few months after Island ends. Some of the same secondary characters recur in the second novel, but I recently decided to make a number of drastic changes to those characters and am introducing new ones into this next story. I’m essentially keeping the original scenes and action I’d already written, but new characters will be involved and I’ve added another plot thread to what I already had written.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

Myself. My time-wasting habits. (I actually haven’t written a new first draft in a very long time, because my files are full to over-flowing with first drafts and manuscripts in various states that I have never gotten around to finishing. Many of those were written for contests. Entering contests proved to be the best means for me to complete a first draft quickly. Deadlines also seem to work – although not self-imposed deadlines. See, Maria, how I managed to get these interview answers back to you in a timely fashion?)

I totally empathize. Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?  Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

Always. All the time. I have never imposed a strict work schedule on myself, mainly because I know I’d never adhere to it. (See above.) I don’t even have a particular work place where I write. When I’m in Canada, I find I can work quite well in coffee shops or at the library. I’m also not on an agenda to write and publish X number of books in Y length of time. I think by doing that to themselves, many (not all, but many) authors run the risk of producing less-than-perfect work. I’ve assisted authors who were extremely agenda-driven and, rather than taking the time to really hone their craft and enjoy the process, creating something of which we could all be proud, they were self-centred, miserable, and blamed everyone else for their lack of progress and success by insisting on following this rigid agenda of theirs. Remember, haste makes waste! I would hate for a drive like that to ruin my own life, so I try not to worry about the whole “motivated to write” thing. I did, however, manage to write for the 3-Day Novel contest sitting in this chair while looking at this view.

Susan view

A slice of heaven! Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I wrote the first drafts of three novels using yellow legal pads and a pen. I transcribed that into Word and have been editing using Word ever since. (I took a few editing courses and learned how to use that system.) Now I may make a few notes by writing them into a notebook with a pen, but I always begin any new manuscript on my computer, in Word. I actually didn’t know of any other tools or apps.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

That’s never been a celebration for me, because I know the fun part is over and the really hard work has only just begun.

Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

Even though I have a great deal of experience in publishing books and I have published the work of other authors, I always bring in the professionals, at every stage of the process (editing, cover design, formatting, ePublishing and print publishing). The more eyes there are on any manuscript production the better to uncover potential problems and create a perfect book. I work with a Canadian eBook formatter who not only produces the various eFiles I require, but also looks after listing with online sales sites, including Overdrive which sells to libraries, and collects revenue from them all for the authors she represents. Every month I receive an email funds transfer of royalty payments. No fuss, no muss. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Actually, the one area I do always look after myself is promotion, but that’s because I know of no one else who can promote books as well as I do. 😉

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

I am constantly posting marketing tips and ideas of my own, and reblogging those of others, to my blog.  One thing I will say here though is that authors should know who it is they’re writing for, who their target market is, and really aim for that group specifically in whatever promotion they do. Build up a fan base from that target market and let those fans do the promotion to their friends for you.

Is mystery the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

I kind of fell into mystery with my first novel because, at the time, it was the best way I could imagine to tell the story of Bequia. I prefer reading literary fiction and that’s the genre I’ve written in for all my non-Bequia stories. The mystery part of these Bequia novels was kind of meant to be a hook to get readers interested in what I’m really writing about in this quartet, which is Bequia. I do believe though that the story we have to tell decides the type of genre in which it best needs to be told. I don’t ever want to be slotted as a writer of one particular genre. That’s so limiting – for me and for my readers. I hope readers enjoy my writing enough to want to read anything I publish, no matter what the genre, or even the form.

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Chocolate. Always chocolate.
  • Pizza or sushi? Sushi, as long as someone else is making it. (We make our own very fine pizza, but sushi, while we can also prepare it, is another matter because of availability of ingredients and finickiness of preparation.)
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? Ummm, neither? (Won’t read them or watch the movies. They’re just not my thing.)
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Ummm, neither? (Much too young and inexperienced. Give me Sean Connery any day!)
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Sitting on the verandah of my house on Bequia.
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? Neither again. Running shoes or barefoot.

 Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

My main blog, Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing (https://islandeditions.wordpress.com/), includes links to my bio, published novel, Island in the Clouds, publishing imprint, IslandShorts (where I have published one novella, That Last Summer), and the author promotion blog, Reading Recommendations (http://readingrecommendations.wordpress.com/).

Thank you, Susan, and best of luck with the sequel to Island in the Clouds!

 

New Year’s Teaser – Don’t Kiss, But Do Tell!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALL!

depositphotos.com - Vektor by ayeleskeshnet
depositphotos.com – Vektor by ayeleskeshnet

I hope that the first day of January was a teaser of what this year has in store for you. And I hope you’re really really excited! But before we experience the events, surprises and life lessons of 2015, let’s revel in that tingling sensation of anticipation.

Isn’t the anticipation of what’s to come—that adrenaline-inducing, right-before moment— sometimes more thrilling than the actual event? That’s what romance and urban fantasy author, Amanda Byrne, thought when she came up with No Kiss Blogfest: a meme for posting the scene from a published book or WIP where the couple almost kiss; where the tension burns hot, but something or someone gets in the way of it getting out of hand.

I’m taking part with a scene from Fate Captured, a prequel to Fate Accompli, which I’m currently penning. I won’t introduce the scene. Let’s see how it works:

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The coast guard disappeared inside the health center.

Trish couldn’t make out Markos’ face in the darkness, but she felt him draw back and exit the vehicle. He then opened her door and stepped aside.

She got out, stooping slightly as she knew that any effort to stand tall would make her fold in pain, but she managed to look up and smile. “Are you in any shape to play the part of the gentleman?”

Markos gave a half smile. “I’m always in shape to play the part of the gentleman.” He offered her the elbow of his strong arm. “Shall we?” he said in a too formal tone.

You’d think they were about to enter a ballroom instead of the local health center. As patients.

Trish burst out laughing but instantly regretted it, folding in two. “Oh, you’re mean!” she cried, her face a mask between pain and mirth.

He chuckled and helped her up. “Trust me, if I had my way, I’d lift you in my arms and carry you inside.” He pointed to his bad arm. “But I can’t do it single-handedly, no matter how much I’d like to impress you.”

Trish’s heart swelled. That man was drop-dead gorgeous, incredibly brave and kept saying the right things at the right time. Even when his intention was to rile her up. She could so see herself falling for him.

“You’ve already impressed me for good.”

In the darkness, his gaze was so intense, she felt a tingle run down her spine. He tucked a stray strand behind her ear and then stroked the contour of her chin with his knuckle.

“That’s my line.” His voice could melt butter.

If a simple caress stunned her to the point of numbing her mind, how would a kiss feel?

She closed her eyes, trying to focus on what he’d said.

“How so?”

His hand left her chin and came to rest on her lower back, pulling her in. Reflexively, she placed both her hands on his hard chest. “You saved my life.” He cocked his head as if seizing her up. “You didn’t stop to think the implications. You jumped right in! Her eyes snapped open just as his large hands—the one attached to the bad arm included—gripped her shoulders hard. “You could have been gravely injured.” His face and eyes were now hard; almost scary. He tightened his grip and shook her once. “In fact, what is a foreign girl doing alone on an island halfway around the world, working the night shift at a remote bar and then jumping thugs? Are you that imprudent? You could have been killed!”

Trish didn’t know about killed, but buzzkilled she was.

With a snap, outward move of her hands, she extricated herself from his hold.

Imprudent? Who did you learn your English from? Your great-grandmother?” she spat out. “And how would you call getting plastered—oh, sorry,  foxed I meant—effectively bringing your defenses down when you clearly have unfinished business with the mob? Prudent?”

Markos closed the space between them.

“What I do on my island is my own business.”

She drew up, bringing her nose an inch from his. “Whereas a foreigner, much less a foreign girl has no such right, right?

Markos’ jaw was so clenched she thought it would shatter, but his eyes told a different story.

Now. He would kiss her now.

“Are you two stepping in to be treated or not?”

They both turned at the same time. The coast guard’s dark form cast a long shadow over the health center’s threshold.

Markos jerked his chin. “Go ahead.”

She crossed her arms over her chest, ignoring the fire burning her wound. “Age before beauty,” she said, smiling sweetly.

Markos eyed her for a moment and then strode toward his friend. But not before she saw the corners of his mouth lift in a barely-there smile.

______________________

Seriously, I don’t know how I will make a Clean (apart from the Spicy) version out of these two. They’re getting naughtier by the, well, page.

Feel free to make any comment you wish as this is an unedited WIP. If that whetted your appetite for more almost-kisses, visit Amanda’s blog where you’ll find all participating authors’ scenes.

______________________

Fate Accompli is now out on Amazon in two heat versions. The links below will take you directly to your Amazon store.

Fait Accompli - Spicy version

Fate Accompli Spicy: getBook.at/FateSpicy

Fate Accompli Clean: getBook.at/FateClean

If you’d like to read the first chapters of Fate Accompli, they’re available on Wattpad. (4,000 views and counting…)

Happy Holidays with an inspiring children’s book!

What better way to wish

happy holidays

to all of you wonderful and supportive readers than a recommendation of an inspiring, heartwarming tale for your young ones—or the young at heart!

I’ve just read and reviewed Runaway Smile, wrtten by my author friend Nicholas Rossis whose best-selling epic fantasy series, Pearseus, I’ve enjoyed immensely, and I truly loved it! Nicholas has uploaded the story here where you can read it for free! The fantastic illustrations are the work of Dimitris Fousekis.

Cover_Runaway_Smile_700

 

My Review

I picked this title up as I’m a fan of Nicholas Rossis’ epic fantasy series (Pearseus) and I was curious to see how a fantasy writer tackles the challenge of writing for kids. Smoothly, apparently. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky fairytale. The boy of this story is on a quest. Unlike Alice, this little guy is used to the bizarre world he lives in, and takes milk-surfing ants and complacent monsters in the closet at a stride. What he can’t deal with, though, is the loss of his smile. On his way to school, he comes across colorful characters with huge smiles plastered on their faces, but although they vy for the little one’s attention, they can’t seem to listen to him. They’re grown ups after all; self-serving and self-centered. Each and every one, although full of promises, fails to bring happiness to our little hero. But in the end, he finds what he’s after in the sweetest possible way, and he knows how to keep it forever.

This story is layered with thought-provoking semiotics that will attract parents as well. Fantastic illustrations make our boy’s trek to school come to life, and the summary in verse at the end is a touch of genius and extra proof of the author’s diverse talent. This is one book you won’t regret reading to little ones, but even if there aren’t any around, just go for it. You’ll love it.

Purchase Link: Amazon / Createspace

About the Author

Rossis_1000px

Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Now, author.

Nicholas Rossis loves to write. Runaway Smile is his first children’s book, out of a total of six. The next one is currently being illustrated.

Except for his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, he has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories, and the Greek translation of the Tao Te Ching.

He lives in Athens, Greece, in the middle of a forest, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all his books are professionally edited!

Connect with Nicholas Rossis:

Bloghttp://nicholasrossis.me
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis
Site: http://www.nicholasrossis.com
Pearseus Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pearseus
LinkedIn: http://gr.linkedin.com/pub/nicholas-rossis/0/b7b/122/
Google+ http://google.com/+NicholasRossis

About the Illustrator
Fousekis_500pxBorn in 1966 in Tripoli, Libya to Greek parents, Dimitris grew up in Rome, Italy and Athens, Greece. He studied Geology at the University of Athens. During his studies, he illustrated various Paleontology-related theses and projects. Between 1992 and 1997 he worked for the Ministry of Culture, illustrating the objects unearthed during the Athens Metro construction.

Since 1997, he has freelanced with various design agencies, advertising companies and publishing houses. He has also illustrated for two musems – one in Papigo, Pilio (WW F) and one in Tinos (Marble Museum).

He is a member of the design group Parachute Font and collaborates regularly with Yalos Branding. His latest projects include the co-creation of Fuzzylon. Since 2003, he has increasingly focused on children’s books illustrations. He has already published a number of children’s books (nine so far, with a number of further titles currently under work).

Since 2010 he has lived permanently on the island of Hydra, where he teaches painting and has had his first exhibition.

You can find more about Dimitris and his work on http://www.dimitrisfousekis.com

_________________

Fate Accompli is now out on Amazon in two heat versions. The links below will take you directly to your Amazon store.

Fait Accompli - Spicy version

Fate Accompli Spicy: getBook.at/FateSpicy

Fate Accompli Clean: getBook.at/FateClean

If you’d like to read the first chapters of Fate Accompli, they’re available on Wattpad. (3,000 views and counting…)

Jessica Cale: Music beats writer’s block (WIP interview)

Jessica Cale

I’m quite busy promoting Fate Accompli, and writing Fate Captured, so I have stopped actively seeking out authors for the WIP column. But when I saw the cover of Jessica’s debut novel, I just wanted it on my blog!

Jessica Cale is a journalist and author currently based in North Carolina.  She is the author of Tyburn, her first novel for Liquid Silver Books. Tyburn is a dark historical romance set in Restoration London and is the first book in her new series, The Southwark Saga.

Jessica , welcome to MM Jaye writes. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself? 

I’m originally from Minnesota, but I lived in Wales for seven years and earned a BA in Medieval History and an MFA in Creative Writing at Swansea University. My husband and I both studied history in Swansea and we met when I crashed a beach party there back in 2005. Now we live in North Carolina with our Welsh rescue cats and life is good. I have a full-time day job as well as writing, but it’s for a great non-profit organization and I work with a lot of lovely, supportive people, so I’m very lucky in that respect. I collect tea cups, history books, and I bake macarons on the weekends. I’m always trying to come up with new flavors!

*Ignoring the saliva influx in my mouth*Exercise in lean writing: give us a synopsis of your current WIP in under 200 words.

Lady Jane Ramsey is ruined.

Valiantly rescued from her kidnapping by a gorgeous highwayman, she thanked him as enthusiastically as her imagination allowed, only to find her marriage prospects greatly reduced when she returned home. She doesn’t mind. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

As the daughter of an earl and one of the wealthiest heiresses in England, she is expected to make the best match possible before her reputation is damaged beyond repair. Her father accepts an offer from the repulsive Lord Lewes and expects Jane to comply.

Jane has other plans.

tyburn (2)

Intriguing! And isn’t that cover a study in perfection? Compelling! What are you working on right now?

I am working on the second book in The Southwark Saga, which picks up immediately where Tyburn leaves off. This book follows Lady Jane Ramsey, a supporting character in Tyburn. It’s nice to work on something so close to Tyburn because I’m still so immersed in that world, and I can spend more time with the characters. It’s great to be able to check in on Nick and Sally, too.

I know exactly what you mean. The best part about writing a series is that you can interact with all the characters you’ve nurtured in every book. Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I’d like more time to write. I work full-time, but I start unbelievably early in the morning (you don’t want to know) so I have more time to write when I get home. I usually work on writing, editing, research, or promotional things until I have to go to sleep for the next day. I don’t get time off, and I don’t get a lot of sleep. It’s still worth it, and my husband and friends are very supportive. On a good writing day, I’m happy with anything over 1,000 words. On my best writing day, I made it to 9,000. That was a long day. I ended after midnight and went downstairs to find my husband and friends having a party. I hadn’t even noticed it was going on. I was still pretty energized, so I made everyone crepes!

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And we have the picture to prove it! Plotter, pantser or both?

I plot the absolute heck out of everything. I have a notebook for ideas, and about a thousand post-its stuffed into it from when I thought of something away from the house! It’s difficult to plot on demand, though, so the books evolve slowly over time in pieces. They usually start with a scene or two, and I try to fill in everything else from there.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

Time and work. I get so into it that I don’t want to stop, but of course I have to. The ideas keep coming, though, and that’s where the Post-Its come in…

Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself? 

Definitely. When I was doing more journalism in the UK, I went for a few years without writing any fiction, just because I didn’t have time between the journalism and working in the day. I was doing mostly music journalism then, so I’d work all day and then have shows to review at night. It was crazy. I didn’t want to give it up, but it was either that or fiction, and fiction is what I’ve always wanted to do. It was a little tricky getting back into fiction after the break, but music helped. Music continues to be a great way to beat writer’s block for me. When I’m thinking of ideas for a book, I imagine the whole thing in vivid scenes like watching a movie, I cast the characters, and the songs are the soundtrack. it’s not the lyrics themselves, but the mood. There’s something about music that taps into that creative part of my brain and makes everything work a little bit better. If I’m really having trouble or a project just isn’t working, I’ll write something completely different, like horror or satire, just to switch things up a bit. That usually works, too.

That usually does the trick, yes. Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

IMG_20140601_084125

One of your Welsh rescues I presume? Now your workspace pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace Pinterest Board. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I actually really like using Pinterest as a sort of idea board. I have secret boards of photos and pieces of research for future stories, plus fun public boards for possible characters, locations, and costumes to help readers to picture the Restoration world. This is a work in progress, but it’s a lot of fun. I also use Google Sheets to organize my characters, chronology, research, and outside commitments and obligations. I color code everything, because things are less intimidating when they’re in pastel.

Google Sheets as an organizing tool is definitely something I’ll have to look into. How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I probably won’t. By the time I finished Tyburn, I was already halfway through Jane’s book (the result of a lot creative exercises to beat writer’s block — they are worth doing!), and then I was worried about editing and pitching it right away. I edit everything I write several times before I’ll show it to anyone, so I never really feel like I’m done. I did celebrate signing the contract by going out to dinner with my husband, his parents, and our friends, and that was great. There’s just so much to do and it’s such a continuous cycle of work that it’s hard to pick one time to stop and celebrate anything. I’m usually too busy! The first draft of Jane’s book is done, but now I’m working on rewrites. Maybe I’ll celebrate when that one gets published!

Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I’m very lucky to have a fantastic publisher and they help so much with the editing, layout, cover, and marketing. Apart from that, I undertake a huge proportion of the promotional duties myself. I’m doing the line edits and layout for the print version myself, and if I could physically print and assemble the books myself, I probably would. I would be a lot happier if I outsourced more, but I come from a very DIY background (I published an independent zine for ten years), so I tend to just do things myself if I know how, and if I don’t, I figure it out. I would get a lot more sleep if I could learn to outsource!

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

I’m very new to the whole marketing side of things, so I’m still learning. From my very limited experience, I would recommend befriending other authors (of any genre/subgenre) and learning from them as much as you can. Be nice to each other — you’re all in the same boat! — and thank people for their time and help. Be grateful, and be mindful of others: when someone helps you, return the favor. Also, be on the lookout for new opportunities. The Marketing For Romance Writers Yahoo group is a fantastic source of continuous opportunities for networking and promotion. I would definitely recommend checking it out.

I’ll second that. MFRW has taught me so much in such a little time. That’s how we got in touch! Is dark fantasy the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

Tyburn is very dark, but Jane’s story has a completely different tone — it’s almost a comedy! The third one will have more of a mystery element to it, but the whole series will still be historical romance. Someday I’d like to branch out to try some other things, but for now, I’m very much rooted in the seventeenth century.

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Chocolate ice cream! My favorite is So Delicious chocolate ice cream made with soy milk.
  • Pizza or sushi? Pizza with anchovies, olives, and capers. Yum!
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? The Hunger Games.
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Trek in the Andes. I love a great view.
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? I have a pair of black Converse ballet flats I wear everywhere. They go with anything! (I’ll have to Google these!)
  • Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? Wuthering Heights
  • London or Paris? London
  • Beatles or the Rolling Stones? The Rolling Stones!

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

My website is http://www.authorjessicacale.com

You can find Tyburn as http://www.lsbooks.com and http://www.amazon.com/Tyburn-Southwark-Saga-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00PQV6H9Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416519139&sr=1-1&keywords=tyburn+jessica+cale

You can also find me here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites

Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/

Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Thank you, Jessica, and best of luck with your future projects!

_________________

Fate Accompli is now out on Amazon in two heat versions. The links below will take you directly to your Amazon store.

Fait Accompli - Spicy version

Fate Accompli Spicy: getBook.at/FateSpicy

Fate Accompli Clean: getBook.at/FateClean

If you’d like to read the first chapters of Fate Accompli, they’re available on Wattpad. (3,000 views and counting…)

Seven steps to the Darcy Act – Guest post by Ines Johnson

I interacted with Ines Johnson through Marketing For Romance Writers, a very active and giving group. When she pitched her article about The Darcy Arc I was seriously intrigued and asked to host it. So, here’s Ines’ 7 steps to The Darcy Arc. Make sure you scroll down for more on Ines and her current release, The Pleasure Hound, Part 1. And don’t skip on reading Ines’ author bio. One of the best, I’ve recently read.

ThePleasureHoundPart1

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON LINK

http://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-Hound-Part-One-ebook/dp/B00OYU2CYO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415638043&sr=8-1&keywords=pleasure+hound

THE DARCY ACT by Ines Johnson

In Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice, we all detest the dashingly handsome, but stuck up, Mr. Darcy in the beginning. After a poorly-contrived declaration of love at Rosings Park and a secret act of kindness, we all realize we’ve misjudged Mr. Darcy and fall madly in love with the sensitive, lovestruck gentleman. This is what I affectionately call The Darcy Arc. It has worked in The Twilight Saga with Edward and Bella, The Hunger Games with Peeta and Katniss, and even Sex in the City with Mr. Big and Carrie.

A successful Darcy Arc can be accomplished in seven steps.

  1. First, have your Darcy-hero enter the scene with a bad attitude.

When we meet Fitzwilliam Darcy its clear he doesn’t like Austen’s heroine, Lizzie, Lizzie’s family, or the whole town, for that matter.

In Twilight, the whole Cullen clan keeps to themselves, including Edward. Edward literally puts his nose in the air when he meets Bella.

In The Hunger Games, Peeta’s family owns a bakery and is considered well-to-do. Katniss’s memories of Peeta show him tossing burnt bread at her as though she’s a beggar.

After trying to get along to no avail, both our heroines decide that these guys are jerks and they move along. But not so quick!

2  Next, our hero and heroine are thrown together for some reason.

Darcy and Lizzie dance at a ball. Edward and Bella are lab partners in school. Peeta and Katniss are selected as tributes in the games.

While spending time with one another our Darcy-hero begins making statements or moves that suggest he may be interested in our lovely lady. She begins to question her original opinion of him, but not for long. After a moment, his walls go back up and his bad attitude returns.

3   Then some danger befalls her that only he is aware of.

In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy’s old nemesis, Wickham, takes an interest in Lizzie. In Twilight, Edward saves Bella from street thugs. And in The Hunger Games, Peeta tries to help Katniss win allies in the training arena.

4.   After this danger, he confesses his love, in an unromantic or suspicious way, but she rejects him.

At Rosings, Darcy delivers that gawd-awful proposal. Edward can’t decide if he wants to kill or kiss our girl Bella. Katniss isn’t sure that Peeta’s overtures or genuine or gameplay.

5.  Its not until they all have time to process a bit more that they come to see that they were indeed wrong about these prickly men.

While visiting Pemberley, Lizzie sees a different side of Darcy. Edward keeps his fangs to himself and watches her sleep. After he saves her life in the games, Katniss is now certain of Peeta’s affections.

6.   As our heroine’s hearts are softening, the hero comes to her aide again, expecting nothing in return.

Lizzie finds out that Darcy saved his sister in secret. Edwards sucks the poisonous blood out of Bella’s wrist without killing her. Peeta proves his love when he’s ready to swallow those poisonous berries for Katniss.

Each of our heroines realizes she definitely was wrong about her hero. She misunderstood this prince among men.

7.  Finally, our Darcy-hero sees a glimmer of a chance in her eyes. When he confesses his love again, she accepts him.

This time when Darcy proposes, Lizzie accepts. Edward pledges his love forever, which is a long time in vampire speak. And Katniss accepts Peeta’s love…eventually.

I followed this seven part plan when I crafted my hero, Khial, in my Pleasure Hound serial. Khial doesn’t hide his distaste for my heroine, Chanyn, when he first meets her. After many ups and downs in the plot, will Khial follow the Darcy Arc and admit his true feelings? And if he does, will Chanyn come to see Khial for the prince he is?

BOOK BLURB

A young monk is given the chance to redeem himself from scandal when he is called upon to train a young woman and her two bonded mates in the orgasmic arts. But what starts as a simple ritual soon turns carnal when the monk’s heart begins to yearn for the woman, and hers for his.

AUTHOR BIO

Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.

Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

GOOD READS LINK

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23480179-the-pleasure-hound?from_search=true

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/ineswrites

TWITTER

https://twitter.com/ineswrites

BOOK TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbU9r0ArEkY

WEBSITE

https://inesjohnson.wordpress.com/

Repossession by Rachael Wade (Review)

RepossessionRestitutionTourBanner3

One of the most exciting books I’ve read this year, Repossession by Rachael Wade, the first book in The Keepers trilogy, will keep you on your toes and create as many questions as the answers that gradually emerge. Before you read my full review, make sure to enter the international giveaway to win a signed swag and an eBook copy of this amazing title. This review tour is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

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Buy on Amazon

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My Review

Skylla’s dad made sure she could handle a gun. When the Invaders crash into her home, that skill saves her life but not her parents’. She manages to slip away from the aliens that have taken over earth only to be captured by a human who appears to have sided with them. But Jet Phoenix has his own agenda. Soon, they flee together fighting every step of the way, not least their attraction to each other. But finding answers is more important. What is the aliens’ ultimate goal? Why are they drawn to earth’s water resources? And more specifically, why when they touch Skylla, they instantly release her in awe?

Kale, a young man they stumble upon, leads them to the rebels who have answers but also a plan he wants no part of. Forcing Skylla and Jet to follow him, he reaches the core of the Invaders’ headquarters where they finally come face to face with the truth.

But is that the truth or, apart from their emotional memory, the Invaders can also tamper with their mind?

I was blown away. Sci-fi is not my genre of choice and can rarely keep me deeply involved, but I was drawn by the blurb and the beautiful cover, so I decided to give this book a try. Not only did I not regret it, but I found myself skimming instead of reading to get on with the story. And that wasn’t fair to the author as her writing is stellar! This book is a page-turner in every sense of the word. Action-packed, fast-paced but also thought-provoking, it can equally appeal to women who enjoy sci-fi romances and men who opt for a thrilling read. The plot is thick, complex but not confusing. The main character, Skylla, puts Katniss to shame, and Jet is everything you’d expect of a true hero with a noble quest. Of course, there is the indispensable love triangle as Kyle would like nothing more than keep Skylla for himself.

There was nothing amiss in this book. It does end with a cliffhanger though. But in such a glorious way, my jaw dropped!

I seriously recommend Repossession. Even if you don’t enjoy reading about little green men, which in this case are lithe incandescent creatures with jet black pools instead of eye sockets, this ride will be one you won’t forget any time soon.

Official Synopsis

Skylla only knows that she has been kidnapped and held prisoner by the foreign invaders and their human allies. And that the world is ending. Or so the humans think. The invaders have made it clear that their arrival is one of hostile intent, and as their takeover spreads, so does the panic across the globe. No one knows how to defeat them, or if it’s even sane to try.

Jet, Skylla’s human captor, is up for the challenge, though. A traitor in Skylla’s eyes, he is working with them. But Jet has his own agenda; one that doesn’t include babysitting Skylla or helping the enemies. And as the human race struggles to keep the invaders from achieving their goal, Jet and Skylla’s paths collide to reveal the truth behind Skylla’s abduction.

The invaders are headed for the water. Jet is headed for the water. But that’s the last place Skylla wants to be. That’s where the future of humanity lies, and where the bridge to their yesterdays was burned. On a mission to take back what is rightfully theirs, Earth’s population is determined to make sure this isn’t the end. But some endings were never theirs to begin with.

Author Bio

RachaelRachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.
Author links:
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Free Children’s Book: Runaway Smile

Nicholas Rossis is a friend. As a person he is both highly perceptive and sensitive, and as an author he is very talented; the perfect combo to undertake the knee-wobbling task of writing for children. His first children’s book, Runaway Smile, you can read for free. Read the post to find how. Congrats, Nicholas!

Nicholas C. Rossis

I woke up this morning and I had lost my smile and it wasn’t my fault and I looked everywhere and it was gone. Then I met a workman and a king and the best salesman in the world and a clown and no-one wanted to give me theirs. At school, I asked Miss to give me hers, but she gave us a pop quiz instead, and then no-one was smiling and…

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

A little boy wakes up in the morning and realizes he has lost his smile. After spending the entire day trying to find it, he learns the truth behind smiles: the only real smiles are the shared ones.

Runaway Smile is my first children’s book and it is finally here, after two long years of preparation! Just for the wonderful people following me on my blog, I have posted it online, where you can read it for free! If you enjoy it, feel…

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