Ray Bradbury Challenge – Week #3

This post is part of my Ray Bradbury Challenge. Click here to learn more! And PLEASE help me spread the word about my writing:

Genre: Paranormal
Word Count: 883

Mystery Shoppers

car_in_the_desertSam's job was to collect souls. Many of them didn't know they’d passed on. It was his responsibility to usher them into the afterlife smoothly enough so they’d go willingly. Otherwise, they would insist on lingering in the plains between the living and the dead.

Sam eased his tow truck to the side of the road in front of the broken-down Ford Focus. Hopping out of the diesel, he grabbed his clipboard and ambled over to the dusty sedan. The couple inside were passed out, shoulders leaning against each other, mouths hanging open, the woman bellowing a hearty snore.

He ran his fingers through his greasy hair, then tapped his ignition key on the window. “Hello?”

They jerked awake. The woman fumbled for her glasses and squinted at her watch. Pressing her mouth into a grim line, she pulled a small notebook from her purse and scribbled. The driver rolled down the window.

“Need a tow?” Sam asked and grinned.

“Well it’s about time you got here!” the blond, clean-cut man man snapped, and pushed his door open so fast, Sam jumped back.

The woman scowled and scribbled some more.

Sam shook his salt-and-pepper head and smirked. Yep, these two are going to need a little convincing. “Sorry 'bout that. If you can take the car out of gear before you step out, that would be great.”

Huffing and sitting back down, the man yanked at the stick shift between the two front seats, jiggling it back and forth to be sure it was in neutral.

And the emergency brake, please,” Sam reminded him.

The cranky man released the brake. Stepping out of the car, he slammed the door and tugged at his grey suit, now wrinkled from sleeping in the vehicle.

Sam handed him the clipboard. “If you wouldn't mind filling this out for me, I’ll get the car hitched up and we’ll be on our way.”

“He wasn't in the mood…to persuade these numbskulls to move on to the sweet by-and-by.” Continue reading

I’m Falling in Love…with Google+

Facebook SucksYes, I'm going to publicly confess…I've never really been a fan of Facebook. But as a writer, it's a necessity to use the darn social media networking tool. My biggest beef is all the changes they keep doing. The YouTube video “A Facebook Update In Real Life” says it all. That's EXACTLY how it feels when Facebook changes something. However, if it wasn't for Facebook, I probably never be in contact with my relatives back in Chicago. It's really the only interaction I have with them. And I have indeed met a lot of WONDERFUL people in the publishing world. So many awesome readers and fans and authors and *sigh*. Love all the people I've connected with.But it's not the people that make Facebook suck. It's the interface and all the bloody ads.

I love Google+Now Google+ (aka Google Plus, G+ or GPlus) will be celebrating a 2-year anniversary come June 28th, so admittedly I've been a little slow in getting on board. Yes, I've heard it went through an embarrassing launch and there were a lot of bugs to work out…so did Facebook. And I know it's changed it's interface, even very recently…so has Facebook…many, many, many times (see previously referenced YouTube video). But I just really started using G+ in the last month or so…and OMG I'm really liking it.

There is indeed a learning curve, especially since I've been using FB for a few years. You don't go to someone else's wall and post something. You actually post it all on YOUR G+ profile page, but address it to either individuals or groups or even a community. That was a little scary at first because I wasn't sure if I just shared my latest endeavor of shopping for panties with one of my girlfriends…or if it was out there dangling in the breeze for everyone to see. Lucky for everyone, it was a private post.

What do I love about Google+?

Well, that's the kind of embarrassing part. I don't know! I just do! I like the way the individual posted messages flip around like, well…a card. I think that's what they're called. It's just freakin' neat! And they have these communities you can join where people share like-minded ideas. Yeah, FB has Groups you can create, but the interaction just seems cleaner and more organized…without all the ads…in G+. It's bizarre. I go to Facebook and I can almost hear the din of activity and noise traveling through cyberspace. I get to Google+…ahhhhhh! Blessed silence.

The one thing I think I can nail down about what I like about Google+ are the Circles. It's soooooo much easier to share information with a whole group of people or a community when you have your connections sorted into these Circles. They're so easy to sort, too. Just drag and drop. And you can have the same person in many Circles.

In FB, they do indeed have lists you can add people to when you become friends…but then what? I can't use them when I want to send a message to all my reader friends or to my writer friends. It's crazy! Create a list for what purpose? Of course, I could be using it wrong. But here's the point…I've been using G+ for a month and I already know how to do that. I've been on FB for over 4 years…no clue.

So that's my rant for the day. Anyone else getting into G+ and have some fun tips to share? I'm new, so I'm eager to learn new ways of using the fun social media interface.

That's my two pence… Arial 😉

Fantasy Fiction Author Finds a New Home

Welcome to My New Fantasy Home!

Ahhh! A warm fire crackles beside me. The cushy chair craddles me as I sit before the hearth and absorb the warmth from the flames. I put my book down upon the table to my right and smile at the faeries flitting around the room, decorating my new home with sparkling dust. My spirit guide and friend, MaeDawn the unicorn, curls before the fire. Raja the dragon swoops by my window and I enjoy the overcast sky. A perfect day for writing. Broderick MacDougal saunters into the room and sits in the adjacent chair, his roguish smile setting my insides to fluttering. Would you like to join us?

I welcome you to my new home. I haven't moved physically…just in cyberspace and in genres. In realizing my clarified role as a fantasy fiction author instead of a romance novelist, I thought it fitting to surround myself with the images and atmosphere of the genre…the things I love. Unicorns. Mystical places. Dragons. Vampires. Werewolves. *sigh* I believe I've finally found my home. Yes. It feels right now.

I struggled with being a romance novelist, as I was told my romance stories were more about the layers and the details I'd woven into the plot versus the romance. The final resolution of my stories was NOT the relationship, but the journey the chacters traveled with each other. No matter what story I penned or planned, romance was not the center of the story even though there were strong romantic elements and I tried to hard to fit into that mold. I felt lost. Homeless, if you will.

As such, I could not live up to the expectations of my audience, which influences my sales and by which I gain more readers. Though the romance community never shunned me, I did feel out of place, like walking into a Regency ball, unsure of how to behave under the social scrutiny. I don't blame them at all. It wasn't their fault I went to the wrong party. In directing my attention to the fantasy fiction community, however, I was welcomed with open arms. It was as if I'd walked into the Prancing Pony. A mug of ale was shoved into my hand, I pulled a chair up to a table surrounded by hobbits, dwarves, wizards and elves. We laughed and spun tales and I felt the freedom to be myself. How refreshing! Pass the brew!

Now that I've accepted the idea and settled into my new home, I look back on my old place, surprised I thought I belonged there. I write fantasy fiction with strong romantic elements. It's as simple as that. I welcome you to my new home and invite you to sit awhile and explore. You'll find, as I did, it's not that much different. Just a little more magical.

Pseudo Moving

I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to make the move permanently to Blogger. Some friends in the industry have told me I should stick with WordPress because of it's flexibility and it's ease in integrating with your web site. I haven't moved my blog to my web site yet, so that doesn't really matter to me now. However, I may do that in the future. Hence why I am reluctant to make a complete move.

I will keep this blog, but put my full posts on Blogger for now, linking from this blog to that blog. Confused yet? 😉 I will keep you posted.

If you're interested in seeing the new blog, click here.

If you'd like to argue why I should stay with WordPress or complete my move to Blogger, I'd love to hear your comments.

That's my two pence…

Update on MIDNIGHT CAPTIVE – Book 2 of BBB Vampire Chronicles

I've had a few of my readers begging me for Book 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles, so I thought I would post an update on where I am with it.

I'm so sorry! I should have listened toAmanda Hocking and NOT put a release date on future projects until the book was near completion. I stated at the end of Book 1 that Book 2 would be done in October 2011. My day job (editing) picked up and I just have not had the time to write.

I did put a lot of effort into the novel in December and was about three-quarters of the way done with the first draft…and then the holidays hit and then Star Wars: The Old Republic came out and I also got sick (see previous spew about that). Read more…

Catching Up – Sick of Being Sick and Tired!

I really hate to be one to bitch or complain, because honestly, I'm the happiest I've ever been in my entire life. I have my romance-novel-hero husband (pictured right), a roof over my head, a career that I thoroughly enjoy (editing / writing / cover design / recording audio books / creating book trailers) and pets that are adorable and love us. Read more…

Scorcher Blog Tour – Week 5 – The Exception to the Rule

In case you’ve been skipping around during the Man Candy Post (tsk, tsk…naughty, naughty) go back now. You won’t regret it. Trust me.

Post #1 is here:  http://ajbooks.blogspot.com

Post #2 is here:  http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Post #3 is here:  http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com


In my experience, rules were made to be broken – I am a writer, after all. My exception to the “he needs to smile” rule is David Gandy. David doesn’t need to smile. In fact, he can just show up. Free passes all around for David.

I’m wondering about the texture of his lips in this photo. Look soft, don’t you think? Hmmm…makes a girl wonder…

And David can go ahead and scowl all he wants. I’m not sayin a damn word.

For those of you that read Jezebel’s Wish, this is Matty. For those of you that haven’t, this is Matty. Here’s the buy link: http://tinyurl.com/3b89ogb  Just a little sumpthin-sumpthin for ya. You can thank me later. Continue reading

Summer Scorcher Blog Tour Week 2 – Beauty

Welcome to Part 6 of Sarah Grimm’s guest blog on the Summer Scorcher Blog Tour – Week 2. If this is your first stop, you’ll want to start at Part 1 (Sarah’s blog) and continue to Amie, Lisa, AJ, then Darlene before returning here:

Part 1 – Sarah’s blog: http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com
Part 2 – Amie’s blog: http://amielouellen.wordpress.com/
Part 3 – Lisa’s blog: http://www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.com/
Part 4 – AJ Nuest’s blog: http://ajbooks.blogspot.com/
Part 5 – Darlene Fredette’s blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com/

Let’s pick up where we left off: Continue reading

Scorcher Blog Tour: Why Vampires Are Sexy – Part 1

This is Week 1 and I’m honored to be the kick-off to our HOT and SEXY Scorcher Blog Tour! We have a great line-up for the next six weeks of HOT romance topics. And to make it a little more interesting…instead of reading the same blog post on six different blogs, we’re splitting the post up, so you’ll start at one blog and stop off at the other locations on the tour to read each part.

My novel MIDNIGHT CONQUEST is a vampire romance set in the early 1500s of Scotland, and is the first in a six-book series called BONDED BY BLOOD. As such, I thought it would be appropriate to explore the topic: Why Vampires Are Sexy.

Personally, there’s nothing hotter than a hungry alpha male wanting to devour me! Imagine that raw sexuality, mixed with danger, a pair of muscular arms wrapped around you, and sexual hunger that goes deeper than just a physical attraction. *drool* My vampire tales are not for teens! I’m fond of saying, “My vampires don’t sparkle…they EAT people…in more ways than one!” *eyebrow wiggle* Continue reading

May-Give Away – Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Lee-Ellen Borg of the Paranormal Romance Guild! She entered the May Give Away contest I announced on May 1st in celebration of National Pet Month. As a recap, here's what she won:

CAT IN A TOPAZ TANGO by Carole Nelson Douglas

Temple Barr and Matt Devine make a cozy engaged couple, and the feisty redhead is all for her handsome radio host fiance staring in a week-long televised Las Vegas charity event, “Dancing with the Celebs.” But while ex-priest Matt struggles to master the sexy moves of the tango, a killer stalks the dance floor. Not only is Matt in danger, but so is the lovely tween Mariah, daughter of homicide cop C. R. Molina, who is dancing in the Junior Divison of the show.

And so Temple gets dragooned into resurrecting her kicky teen persona, Zoe Chloe Ozone, now an Internet hottie, to ensure Matt and Mariah don’t foxtrot into a fatal mistep.

Where is Louie in all this? Well, he’s out and about, proving that he’s still the cat’s meow. But he’s got his paws full as he tries to keep all the various players in his little troupe from dancing right into death’s arms….

HEART OF THE WOLF by Terry Spear

Their forbidden love may get them both killed. Bella is a red werewolf, sole survivor of the fire that killed her entire pack. Devlyn is a beta male werewolf in a pack of grays.

Forced to flee her adopted gray pack when the alpha male becomes a vicious threat, she struggles to live as a lone wolf, until Devlyn, the gray male who rescued her as a pup, comes to bring her home.

When a local red werewolf goes on a killing spree, Bella and Devlyn must flee the murderer, the police and their vengeful pack leader. With the full moon rising, and her heat upon her, Bella can’t resist the pull to her destined mate, even if means Devlyn will have to face the wicked alpha male in a fight to the death…

(blurbs taken from Amazon.com) Continue reading