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31.3.13

A Day in the Life...

Occasionally we writers get asked what our typical day is like. While it's a safe bet that the days are always different, here's a pretty typical one:

6:30 Wake up, pack lunch, get dressed into work appropriate clothing, and head to day job.
8:10 - 10:00 Entertain and inform twenty 18-23 year-olds with YouTube clips, articles on celebrity train wrecks, local politicians, and “End of Men” theory. Sneak in critical thinking skills and composition writing information.
10:10 - 12:00 Repeat previous 2 hours, including own jokes.
12:00 - 1:20  Change out of work appropriate clothing into sweats and t-shirt. Put on headphones, jog to weight room. Lift for an hour. Get clean, change back into work appropriate clothing and head back to office.
1:20 - 2:00 Eat lunch, text with sons and husband, while responding to email while watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix.
2:00 - 3:00 Attend essential department meeting but instead of paying complete attention to key discussion points, start thinking about scene of current work-in-progress. Make some notes. Hide them.
3:00-3:15 Have lofty academic conversation in the hallway. Decide something important.
3:15 Return to office. Collect student work awaiting comment. Head home.
4:00 - 5:30 Buy any food that needs buying, pick up any dry cleaning that needs picking up, change out of work appropriate clothing, eat dinner husband cooked, fret about the mess in the kitchen, unfinished chores, and piles of laundry.
5:30-10:00 Ignore most all the dishes, chores, and laundry. Alternate between talking with sons and husband, reading student work, and writing.
10:00 - 11:30 Watch House of Cards with husband.
11:30 > Dream about next story I plan to write.

30.3.13

Pack Community: WC book 5 March release



      Pack Community: Were Chronicles Book Five Released this month!!!!


Its release month for me and I just couldn’t be happier!  It was a very long space between my releases due to some health problems in my family. But I have gotten back on track and couldn’t be more thrilled with how my writing has progressed.

This month we see the general release of the 5th book of The Were Chronicles Series, Pack Community.

We see the return of Gray Mason from Pack Rogue and finally get to meet the feline Prince. We meet a bob cat shifter that turns the head of our wolf detective and watch as they get pulled into a battle between species.

I really hope that everyone enjoys this book and here is some awesome news… Book Six Pack Mates is only a few short months away from its own release!  Here is more on Pack Community and information on a contest I am currently running to celebrate its release!

Pack Community: Were Chronicles Book Five

A wolf and bobcat come together and change one community, forever.

Grayson Mason is worn out and run down from the long months on the road in search of the feline Prince. All he wants is to finish his mission and go back to his Pack. That is, until he meets the one woman who will turn his world upside down.

Beth Williams is happy in Coyote Bluff. The community of shifters support one another and she has her brother and nephew. Sure, sometimes she might get lonely, but she’s never connected with anyone enough to consider mating. That is, until a new wolf hits town. With the arrival of Gray, she has to rethink her entire life.

But there is more going on than just the attraction between the wolf and the bobcat. Gray’s search is bringing him closer to finding the Prince but at the same time leading him right into the middle of a feline conspiracy and a battle.

Gray finds himself fighting not only for the Prince’s survival, but also to protect his future mate.

Pack Community Excerpt-

Early evening heat surrounded Gray Mason as he stepped out of his Ford truck where he had pulled over to the side of the road.

The sign in front of him welcomed him to Coyote Bluff, Texas. Located in the panhandle of the large state, it was a place he had never visited before. But recent signs had narrowed down to a couple of possibilities for where to find the Prince of felines—one of them being the canyons surrounding the town. After speaking to the Alpha Council and the Pack Alpha for the west Texas area, arrangements had been made for Gray to investigate there.

He’d been hearing rumours about the town that accepted any and all shifters since he’d begun to investigate the kidnapping. Excitement rippled through his body at the thought of the search finally going somewhere after three very long months. While the idea of an entire town full of shifters was a little unsettling to him, he would do everything in his power to finally end his journey and make his way home.

He surveyed the area directly around him, seeking any close being that might be a threat. Sensing he was alone, he pulled out his cell phone and called his Alpha.

"Hey, Gray, I was starting to wonder," Tyler greeted him.

Gray had to smile.

Tyler would worry whether Gray called in or not, but Gray liked knowing that someone would at least notice if he was missing.

"Yeah, sorry about that, boss," Gray answered and he leaned against his tailgate. "Crappy reception down here."

"Just be careful. I contacted the sheriff there to let him know you would be stopping by in a day or so. He seems like an okay guy, but remember we don’t have any ties there," Tyler warned.

"So he’s not family?" Gray enquired, asking his Alpha if the man was a wolf shifter.

"I don’t think so. The town is supposed to be full of other shifters but I just can’t tell over the phone." Gray grunted.

 It wasn’t that he didn’t like the others—he just hadn’t met many. Most of his dealings were with the felines, and those experiences had not been good.

"I’ll check into the hotel tonight, get a run in, and see what I can nose out before I meet with him tomorrow," Gray informed the other man.

"Just be careful. There is no wolf Pack there, but that doesn’t mean that there are no wolves. You don’t want to trespass against them before you know who you are dealing with. Especially without back-up."

"No problem. I’ll stay away from any marked spots," he promised.

"Then call me tomorrow and get some rest," Tyler ordered.

"Will do." Gray hung up the phone, still grinning.

Hope you enjoyed that sneak peak!

Right now I am running a contest during the month of March to celebrate the release of Pack Community: There is still a few days to enter!

TO CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF THE FIFTH BOOK IN THE WERE CHRONCILES: PACK COMMUNITY- I AM GIVING AWAY A SHOT GLASS AND NOTEBOOK WITH THE WERE CHRONICLES PACK COMMUNITY BOOK COVER.

AND IT'S SUPER EASY TO WIN!!!

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SEND AN EMAIL TO
CMSMITH0328@YAHOO.COM WITH THE SUBJECT 'COMMUNITY CONTEST' AND LEAVE ME YOUR NAME AND STATE OR COUNTRY (OUTSIDE THE USA) IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL . I WILL EMAIL THE WINNER TO GET THEIR ADDRESS FOR THEIR PRIZES AT THE END OF THE CONTEST.

CONTEST WILL RUN FROM 3/1/13 -3/31/13 12:00 P.M. CST.

BY ENTERING THE CONTEST THE WINNER AGREES TO HAVE THEIR FIRST NAME AND LAST INITIAL AND STATE/ COUNTRY MENTIONED IN CRISSY SMITH'S SOCIAL NETWORKS, WEBSITE, AND BLOGS. NO PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL EVER BE GIVEN TO ANYONE ELSE AND ALL EMAIL ADDRESS WILL BE SECURE.

GOOD LUCK ALL!

 

Crissy Smith

Romance on the ‘WILD’ side…

http://www.crissysmith.net


28.3.13

Eroticon 2013


The first weekend of March in the UK has been a very special weekend for the last couple of years. Why? Because it's Eroticon time!



Eroticon is Britain's only conference dedicated to sex writers - fiction and non fiction authors and bloggers - and has quickly proven itself to be an event not to be missed.

Last year Bristol played host to this moisture of erotica writers (yes, I know that isn't the correct collective noun but it was the best we could come up with - thanks Lucy) but this year we had the treat of heading to London, not only that, rather than a one day event, Eroticon had reproduced into a two day spectacular!



I suppose the girls and I - Victoria BlisseLucy FelthouseKay JaybeeKd GraceLexie Bay and Tabitha Rayne - could have travelled to Southwark on Saturday morning, but it would have meant early starts all round... Oh... who am I kidding? We wanted to party! So we all arrived on Friday afternoon, knowing if we didn't get the excitement of seeing each other out of our systems we'd end up sitting at the back chattering during the conference and getting black marks against our names - we'd be the naughty ones and we're already naughty enough!

Kay Jaybee, Lucy Felthouse, Kd Grace and Victoria Blisse

The Northern Lasses were last to arrive, and having slipped into gladrags and heels we headed for the bright lights of the city. We were of course buzzing with conversation and on The Tube no doubt raised a few eyebrows - a theme of the weekend as it turned out! After only a brief bemused stagger in our stilettos  we arrived at Volupte, our destination for the evening. Volupte is a burlesque lounge and cabaret club Kd Grace had enjoyed on previous occasions and recommended.



If you can call a place delicious, then that describes Volupte, think bergundy velvet curtains, shy, shadowed corners and sparkling chandeliers all wrapped up a warm chocolate ambience and a taste of days gone by.



We were soon sat comfortably with a selection of Porn Stars, Screaming Orgasms and Mojitos  and introduced to our host Dave the Bear - who not only made us laugh till we cried with his version of burlesque, but boy the man can sing with the best of them! Huge fun :-)





The female talent on the stage was soon flowing as bountiful as the cocktails we were sipping.  Divine dancing, sumptuous singing and magnificent magic all sprinkled with glitter - yes, literally - and delivered with the most wonderful aplomb from the Kittens.




They might not have whiskers but these pretty ladies have style in bucketsful, completely stealing the stage and all so gorgeous I hardly knew which one of them to look at while they were twirling and pirouetting, shimmying and teasing. If you ever find yourself in  the Chancery Lane area of London I highly reccomend an evening of feline fun!



The next morning we were up and ready for action like good little bad authors, but were again on chatter overdrive when we reached Eroticon in Coin Street and met up with other authors, Janine Ashbless, Jacquline BrockerJosephine Myles and Jennifer Denyse  to name a few, over tea and biscuits.

Workshops and lectures were varied and after learning about XES one of the event sponsors, I made a beeline for Kristina Lloyd's creative writing workshop. Kristina writes with vivid eloquence and I was keen to see what tricks she kept up her sleeve. Turned out a sex machine is part of her cunning plan to be so brilliant! Sex Machine! A way of thinking out of the box by writing in boxes - great stuff!





Brains full of new information, the girls and I headed to Sh! A women's sex emporium. The Sh! ladies always welcome us with open arms and are very supportive of authors, so how could we not pop in and say hello? We caught The Tube to Hoxton, burst into the shop in a whirlwind of hellos and hugs, signed our books that were on the shelves, chatted to some customers - even persuaded one couple to attend Smut by the Sea in June - and treated ourselves to some sexy London souvenirs!

With aching feet - high heels had been the wrong choice - it was decided a glass of wine was in order before we negotiated our way to a restaurant. Again, forgetting where we were our conversation turned to erotic anthologies, and why wouldn't it? Last year at Eroticon 2012 this scrap of paper...


Turned into this book...


So what would we do this year? There were several ideas being bantered around as we sat in a Hoxton pub, to be honest they got sillier as the glasses emptied, someone, I think it may have been Lucy, suggested an anthology of Sex Noises. Sudden inspiration hit me and I leaped up, hand in the air shouting 'I'm having fanny farts' (fanny means pussy to us UK girls). Well, the whole pub turned and stared at me! What could I do but grin as the girls fell about laughing!



London called, as did our stomachs, so we wandered along the South Bank of the Thames, admiring the view and feeling sure we'd find a good place to eat. Which we did, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Yum!

St Paul's Cathedral

The hotel bar was the venue for late chatter and Kd Grace's lovely husband joined us as we continued to talk all things smut, which he is pretty used to :-) You'd think we'd be running out of things to talk about, but oh no, it wasn't until the clock showed the wee small hours that common sense sent us to bed.

Sunday dawned, mercifully hangover free, goodness knows how! And Eroticon kicked off a second day of sexiness. First up was the anthology panel, run by Maxim JakubowskiRachel Kramer Bussel and our very own Lucy and Victoria. All these guys have published my work in their anthologies in the past but I was keen to hear about new calls for submissions. I love writing for anthologies, they were my stepping stone into the world of being an author and now they are a brilliant way to get work out to new readers. If you want to check out the current calls for submissions, the best place to go is ERWA.

SEO Love was my next lecture, considering I'm not very technical this was really interesting and gave me some new ways of boosting traffic to my website and blog. The speaker was Michael Knight who also took my next workshop with his gorgeous wife Molly of Molly's Daily Kiss. Lexie and I grabbed front row seats and were thrilled to get out hands on various BDSM tools of the trade including vampire gloves. Ouch!


The lovely due talked about safe BDSM practice, what they'd like to see more of in fiction to promote safety and Molly even offered her delectable rear to be used in a flogging demonstration. Brilliant fodder for our over active imaginations!

I just managed to squeeze in MK Elliot's talk on promoting books and was thrilled that she'd beamed Guy New York from New York with the power of Skype to join in the discussion.

And then it was time to head back to Paddington Station. There were sad goodbyes wrapped up in a wealth of 'this has been so much fun' and 'I can't believe it's over,' and then we were all shooting across the country in different directions. As I write this on the train, dashing across Southern England in the dark, I'm already itching for Eroticon 2014! A million thanks and this big bunch of flowers to the wonderful Ruby Kiddell for all her hard work in organising this great event - whatever did we do with ourselves before Eroticon?


26.3.13

C’mon, Get Mastered


I invite you to join me and six, sexy, larger-than-life Doms at the Den… At Master Damien Lowell’s secluded mountain retreat, nothing is off limits… Doms and subs alike are invited to explore the nuances of dominance and submission, of exquisite bondage, and strict discipline. The wildest fantasies become reality, lives are transformed, and limits are shattered.

In the first book of the series, With This Collar, Julia Lyle attends a friend’s wedding at the Den.

But the vows are anything but traditional. Strong hands landing on her shoulder warn her to be quiet and say nothing to interrupt the ceremony. And later that evening, Master Marcus introduces Julia to some of the delights of BDSM.

The Den was inspired by an actual wedding I was invited to. The ceremony was considerably more traditional than the one in the book! But the images stayed with me. We were all asked to bring a candle as our only gift. The candles were lit before the dusk ceremony, and magical-looking snowflakes began to lazily fall as the bride descended the staircase. That memory served as the “what if” that drove the story line for With This Collar.


The next book, On His Terms, began with a different idea… What if a woman was so smitten by a Dom that she’d do anything to claim his attention, including hiring a trainer to school her on the finer points of submission… And then… What if she began to fall for her trainer? And what if her trainer didn’t want to turn her over to another man?

That’s what happens to Chelsea Barton, a woman who knows what she wants and will do anything to get it. So she pursues Master Alexander, even though he hasn’t trained a sub in a very long time. With relentless determination, she convinces Master Alexander, but what she learns about discipline and submission isn’t what she expects.

You’re welcome to visit the Den on Tumblr where you’ll find pictures of the characters, of the Devil’s Den, the surrounding area, excerpts, book covers, and special announcements. http://devilsden-mastered.tumblr.com/

Check out the trailer for the series here, and do remember, I’d love to hear from you, so drop me a line: sierracartwright@hotmail.com

Take a Walk on the Wild Side
xxoo Sierra

22.3.13

Yanked from my Comfort Zone

I've never been a proponent of "toss 'em in and make 'em swim" type of logic. Tossing someone to the wolves, so to speak, always makes me shudder. This is true even if I'm seeing someone else experience sink or swim. I mean, if I want to learn something, enjoy something, try something new, you have to give me the opportunity to wrap myself around these new...whatever's.

I'm the dip-my-toes-into-the-water-first kind of girl. This doesn't mean I won't go in all the way, it just means I have to get used to the idea. If I dip my toes in, I've already committed to submerging myself completely, but I have to take in my surroundings.

I don't care if this refers to eating a new food, going to a new place, reading a new genre or even writing a new story.

Especially when writing a new story. I like to take my time and immerse myself into the whole process. Unfortunately, my desires aren't always the way a story occurs. As much as I'd prefer to nibble into the tale, there have been times when the tale takes me for a spin. Then, I'm playing tug-of-war between my characters, my muse and my sanity. Eventually, all these entities in my head become exasperated with my tip-toeing and beat me down until I dive right in. Rip me a new one, why don't they?

But it works.

I've had a story, let's take for example, that is now two plus years in the making. I'm determined to finish the sucker this year, come hell or high water. The story line and the relationship are unlike any I've ever written. The topics are nothing that I would normally place personal interest in, but the characters and the story are there, in my head (and half on paper), nagging at me. Yes, I admit to dipping the toes. Here's how I did it...

When the story began in my head, I questioned everything. Why did I think of X and not Y? Why were the characters wanting this and not that? Why couldn't I make the tale turn another direction instead? My questions weren't the norm of what their conflicts were or how to progress the plot, but I was questioning the very motives and behaviors in the first place.

Every single day I would continue to question and second-guess the way the story wanted to flow. I stalled. Completely. It was as if the characters shut up and refused to cooperate with me. How dare them! I was writing their story, after all.

But that was the problem. I wasn't writing their story, I was trying to force my ideas into their lives.

Major fail on my end. This is why the beautiful tale gathered dust.

One day, about two months ago, the characters started niggling at me again. Loudly. With a heavy sigh, I pulled their story out and agreed to try it their way for once. If it worked, great. Still, I was doubtful. I opened myself to the characters, shut down my own thoughts and wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. And I fell in love with the characters again and with THEIR story. The way it's meant to be.

Yes, I ended up diving into this one, as much as I hated doing so, but I'm thankful right now as well. The story is nearly finished, I'm thrilled to report, and turning out better than I'd ever imagined. Once I let go, sinking into new territory has become uplifting and fulfilling.

To a degree, we as writers always dive in, eventually. We have to let ourselves go and give ourselves over to the story. Even if it's a tale we may doubt or be uncomfortable with on the outset. It's in our heads for a reason. To keep it bottled up, or to try to manipulate it into something we think we'd want, hurts not only us as writers, but it also hurts the words that were meant to be.

So here's a toast to letting our muses yank us around. Enjoy whatever comes your way,
Ayla

Ayla Ruse
~Ensnare yourself in love
http://www.aylaruse.com

15.3.13

Do you Prefer Tops or Bottoms?

We could be talking about a few different things here, but I'm referring specifically to a male/male relationship. My gay friends talk about this a lot - sometimes insisting that so-and-so thinks they're a top, but they're really a bottom, and they know just the right person to show them why. And how.

When I'm creating my characters for MM romances, these little gossip-fests have a tendency to stick in my brain. I never want to turn my heroes into stereotypes, but I know that there are certain buttons that people like pushed. Personally, one of my buttons happens to be the stereotypical hunky guy - especially if he's in a profession where those muscles make perfect sense. I mean, come on - we're all in this for a bit of fantasy, right? However, that doesn't necessarily mean that every character has to be like that - or else the story will just dissolve into a one-note cardboard person.

You need the top, but you also need the bottom. I'm not just talking about stories - this is life! It's all about balance, contrast - all of that. I was in a relationship once with someone and we were both really into our submissive sides at that time. Trust me - it did not work. Two bottoms is worse than two tops - you really turn into the laziest, most useless lovers ever.

So the other character that provides the contrast still needs something to make him stand out. In my new MM release, "Set Ablaze", my bottom is a sweet, caring younger guy - contrasted against the older hunky fire chief. The slight twist in the whole top/bottom thing, is that the fire chief is recently out of the closet - so he's still in the beginnings of figuring it all out. Luckily - they both get to figure it out together. Here's a short excerpt from when Tom first sets eyes on the chief:




Almost an hour had gone by since he’d arrived, Keri had given him several forms to fill out, and he felt a little restless. He’d obviously picked the worst possible time to show up—the chief was meeting with some pretty intense-looking guys. He wanted to make sure he made a good initial impression, so he planned to be brief, polite, and get out of the man’s way as quickly as possible. If he was professional and respectful of the chief’s time, he had a better chance of being considered should a long-term position come up.

The chief’s door flew open, and the two guys who had been meeting with him were standing and shaking his hand, still talking about something. Tom couldn’t care less what they were saying—he couldn’t take his eyes off Chief Anderson.

Holy shit…

The chief was a big slice of hunk heaven. Tom didn’t typically go for overly muscled men, but this was a man who wore it well. Tall, probably six-foot-four, he was bronzed with a golden halo of short, wavy hair and beautiful, pale blue eyes. He looked late thirties, early forties with a natural air of confidence about him, and he was all man. It was like seeing a Norse god standing before him.

Not good. Not good at all…

He could not be attracted to his new boss. This was not part of the accepted plan. Tom shook his head as if he could clear the picture of the glorious vision before him.

“You must be Tom Sherwood?”

Tom looked up and into the eyes of his new dream man. He was suddenly like some goofy little schoolboy, all jelly legs and awkwardness. He couldn’t even think what to say. What had he asked?

Oh right…

“Yes, yes, I’m Tom.” He went to stand up and dropped the forms he’d finished filling out thirty minutes before all over the floor.

Idiot!

“Here, let me help you.”

Tom stood almost transfixed as the chief leaned over and started gathering up the scattered papers. He wore a short-sleeved T-shirt that clung to every perfectly shaped muscle on the man’s torso, and Tom thought he might become hypnotised by biceps flexing as the chief picked up the forms. There was one paper that had flown almost to the other side of the room. The chief noticed it, walked to where it was, and bent over…

Oh my God…

“I hope you handle a hose better than you do papers.”

So what pushes your buttons in romance? Do you to cheer for the more masculine and aggressive top, or do you support the sweeter, more sensitive bottom? Or maybe it just depends on what mood you're in. *wink*

11.3.13

Deadlines and Redlines!


Ever wonder what happens when an author gets edits? Be it from a critique partner or from an editor, there's a universal reaction. Dread. What did I do wrong? What did I goof up? Oh and what do I have to add to?

Now it's not all that bad. Sometimes it's not much. Sometimes it's more. For me, the mortal fear is I sent in a story that's totally wonky. It's a real fear. I don't mind adding or fixing, but man, seeing all that red can be daunting. 

Then there's the next issue...deadlines. I'm one of those people who like deadlines. I tend to set them for myself, then freak myself out when they get close. Why? Because apparently I'm anal retentive and structured. Something like that. But I need them. I need to know when to do things by and when to goof off. 

I like to goof off. Who doesn't?

So what do I do when edits and deadlines come up? Besides panic?

I write down when everything is due. If it's an edit, I try to have it back to the editor within two days or so. If it's something major, then a week. No longer than that. If it's a form, then that goes back the day I got it. But I love my editor, so it's not a huge deal. She asks  me to work, I work. I'm sure she loves it too because I get stuff in. 

Deadlines for story subs, I write down when they are then try to get the story in at least a day or two before...just in case something gets lots. You never know. Plus, cyberspace likes to eat my things sometimes. 

What about you? What do you do when you've got deadlines and red lines looming? I'd love to know!


*******


 Here's a little bit from my latest release, and yep, there's a warning label on it. Grin 

Say you’ll haunt me, since I’ll never stop loving you.


Felicity Black never quite understood love. She worked her assets to get what she wanted and didn’t care who got in the way. Until she met John. He saw past her superficial self to the woman inside. Death separated her from John before she could tell him how she truly felt. Now she’s got her chance...just not in the way she expected.

John wanted Felicity to haunt him. She had been the only woman to stir not only his heart but his soul as well. But the woman claiming to be his lost love can’t be her... Felicity was dead. He has to decide whether to trust his gut or walk away from a new start.

Can a second chance at a first impression lead to love or a lifetime of heartbreak?

Reader Advisory: This story contains an out-of-body experience, voyeurism, spanking, rough sex, masturbation, and a chance for love to strike twice.
Available here! 

~~
Want to know more about Wendi Zwaduk? Here you go: 

I always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I earned a BA in education at Kent State University and currently hold a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University. 

I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. 

Site: http://wendizwaduk.com/
Blog: http://wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendiZwaduk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wendi.zwaduk
Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendi-Zwaduk/195277927167481?ref=tn_tnmn
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/wendizwaduk
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3495446.Wendi_Zwaduk
On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/wendizwaduk/
On Google+ : https://plus.google.com/115637543946745656739/posts
On Romance Novel Center: http://www.romancenovelcenter.com/wendizwaduk
Newsletter sign up: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj 

9.3.13

A story without a home

It's been an eventful week. I've just received the edits for my latest acceptance - always a pleasure. I've been to the hairdresser and my hair is now black with sections of green. And I've just finished the first story in two years that wasn't for a specific submissions call, and so officially has no home.

It did initially. Many months back, when I was blogging for Red Lipstick Diaries, a submissions call went out which inspired me to start a quick story plan for this one. However, RLD are long since defunct, and I've made too many changes to the setting for it to apply to that particular call now, although I could always alter it again if it came to it.

But it feels a little strange to be sending out a completely unrequested story again after such a long pause. At least when I've written for anthology calls I know my story will be considered on that basis. I have an image of this one limping around, miserable and unwanted, peeping round doors until it finds a suitable home.

It's worrying when you start viewing your stories in the same way as abandoned animals. Although that might be because I have my two rescue cats sitting next to me giving me the big eyes. They don't like it when I write - it means I'm busy not petting them.

So I'm crossing my fingers that this new story will find a loving editor. In the meantime I'll get back to the more important task of convincing my cats that green hair is not for eating.


6.3.13

Robbed of $3 billion in US, 300 million Euros in Spain alone in pirated books!


Three hundred million Euros. Approximately $270 million.
Yes.
That is how much money piracy in Spain amounts to, according to a recent analysis there.
In the United States, currently the total reaches an astonishing $3 billion.  (See: http://venturebeat.com/2010/03/02/book-piracy-costs-u-s-publishers-3b-says-study/ )
Yes, B for billion.
But in my own pocket, or I should say out of it, I see an OUCH factor that amounts to THOUSANDS of dollars.
THOUSANDS.
I am not alone.
So many of my friends/colleagues have the same problem.  Whenever one person downloads one novel, they steal approximately $1.50+ from me. If they then email that book to someone else, the amount multiplies.
Now, I can say that I write for a living. My colleagues do too.
Recently, I saw that one book of my novels on one pirate site had been downloaded 496 times. (And I have sent take down notices to this site before, so they have robbed me multiple times!) So for that one book, I have been robbed of $744.00.
That is not chicken feed.
What could I do with that money?
Pay my grocery bill. Help pay my mortgage. Save it in my bank account for my old age.
What did the thief do with the $3.99 he/she deprived me of?
Buy a bag of chips?
Buy a new mascara in the dime store?
Reading a novel is one of the most inexpensive and long-lasting entertainments. For a very small sum, a reader gets to enjoy many hours of pleasure in a quiet, serene way. Is that not worth something more than being ripped off?????
This craziness has got to stop and the only way to do it is to write about it CONSTANTLY. To download an author's book for free is a crime. It is larceny. Theft.
I am out to catch thieves. EVERY DAY.

5.3.13

A Torrid Affair With Adverbs

It’s been a busy few weeks. And, as I type, I’m both preparing for Washington, DC’s fiercest winter storm so far this year and reviewing line edits for my next book, Sorry Bro, due out this summer from Total E-Bound.

By my own admission, I have a tendency to personify body parts. References to “searching hands,” “peeking shoulders,” and “sad eyes” pepper my works. I know, I know, this is bad form, and, often, I include these phrases unconsciously. I’m also trying to break off a rather torrid love affair with adverbs. They’ve become pesky of late, and I need some space.

What no-no’s persist in your own writing, and which have Total E-Bound's fantastically thorough line editors helped you to eliminate?

Now to grab the last tub of ice cream before the snow begins to fall! Stay warm!

4.3.13

Choice – a love hate relationship



 How I hate shopping for clothes. Let me count the ways.....and yes I know in this respect I am the dream woman for a guy - sadly not in few others since I don't like cooking or cleaning either. So -where was I? Oh yes, counting the ways....

Too many people
Nowhere to park
Lines to pay
Never got my size
Too much choice

Actually I think the last is the biggest issue for me. There is nothing more guaranteed to make me turn and walk out than mile after mile of clothes. Because the moment that happens, I'm too overwhelmed to look. 

I have an similar issue in book stores. Shelf after shelf of books I'd probably like, page after page online - so how do I choose a new author to try? I tire of reading blurbs. I know better than to rely on covers though those with hot guys wearing next to nothing do get me reaching for my purse. Especially, two hot guys. Call me greedy.  Call me shallow. Yep, that's me.
 I like word of mouth suggestions, though not all have been successful and then sometimes I just find a gem where I wouldn't have expected it. I found a book in a mainly clothes store. Yippee!!! Yep, I feel in the need for more clothes.
Darn it, says husband.

2.3.13

Love for Sale - Romance in Erotic Fiction

      
When the musical The New Yorkers opened on Broadway in 1930, Cole Porter’s song Love for Sale, caused an uproar. Sung from the perspective of a prostitute, Love for Sale was considered so scandalous by ‘30s standards that it was banned from radio play. In spite of – or perhaps because of – the song’s  disrepute, it became a hit for a number of recording artists.
My favorite (very different) versions are by Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Fitzgerald’s take on the song was sassy and upbeat – as if she were saying, “Yeah, I know what the song is about. What of it?” Holiday took Love for Sale to a very different place. Her version was angst-ridden and more soulful. Billie seemed to say, “Yeah, I know what the song is about - I lived it.” Same lyrics – different interpretations.
What singers are to songs, readers are to fiction. How do you interpret erotic romance? Do you see it as a love story that pulls no punches when it comes to sexuality, or is erotic romance thinly-veiled softcore porn? That’s a rhetorical question, Darlings. There is a correct answer. Erotic romance is, first and foremost, romantic fiction. It is character- and plot-driven. The author wants you to get lost in the story and care about the people who populate it. The physical intimacy is there to support the work, not drive it.
As a writer, for me the litmus test is in how I feel about the story and characters. When all is said and done, do I care what happens to my heroes and heroines? I recently completed Book 3 in my paranormal erotic romance series Ghost Encounters and, oh boy, do I care! The main characters have been with me through three different adventures and telling their stories has been a truly emotional experience. I laughed, I cried, I got pissed off, I got turned on.
No matter how you interpret the complicated and quirky people in the Ghost Encounters series, my hope is that you will care about them too. Please stop by the website to learn more about each book and read Adults-Only excerpts of the first two.
To introduce you to sassy psychic medium Toni Bianchi, hot television ghost hunter Thomas Becker, and the rest of the gang, Book 1 in the series “Soldier of Love,” is being offered for a limited time at just 99¢ on Amazon!


Book 3 “Stage Fright,” will be out in May.

Happy Reading, Darlings… You Make My Heart Sing! Now for your listening pleasure, the musical stylings of Miss Ella Fitzgerald and Miss Billie Holiday:


With Love & Gratitude,
xoxo ~Gabrielle