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Grand Opening

It is with GREAT pleasure and much excitement that I announce my new business endeavor with my dear friend/fellow editor pal AJ Nuest. Today is the first day of our Grand Opening celebration and this is the announcement we’re lucky enough to post as guests on several upcoming blogs:

September 1-15th marks the official
Grand Opening of Mystical Press Services!!!

This means 50% Off all our classes
and services through September 15th!

http://mysticalpress.com 

In case you haven’t yet heard about our website, allow me to introduce you to a place where you just might find the fulfillment of your dreams. That’s right! The talented folks at Mystical Press want to help you reach your publishing goals!

How do we do that? I’m glad you asked!

Mystical Press is the culmination of an idea that came from two authors and professionally trained editors—AJ Nuest and Arial Burnz—where we help authors bridge the gap between the form-letter rejection and publication. In fact, we believe in this venture so passionately, our tagline is “Helping authors achieve their dreams.

At Mystical Press our primary goal is to help writers. As authors, we understand the frustration of not receiving constructive and useful feedback, the aggravation of navigating the murky depths of the publishing industry and that, sometimes, authors just need a place to vent. Well, we’re here to tell you, the insanity can end! Continue reading

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.

Anne Rice Made Me Do It!

Anne Rice - Inspiring me for 30+ years

I just started using Pinterest and was pinning pictures of women who inspire me…one of which is Anne Rice…and it just made me want to post about how she inspired me to start writing.

I was an avid reader as a kid, but nothing moved me as much as her Vampire Chronicles and tales of Lestat De Lioncourt. Whew! The poetry of her prose. The vivid descriptions of the dark settings her stories took place. The emotional torture her characters experienced. The twist she gave an old legend. I felt her stories were so real, she MUST have interviewed a vampire. She MUST have the inside scoop. What a delightful journey she led me through! I enjoyed The Vampire Lestat so much, I’d read it four times.

Now, I’m dating myself here because I read Interview with the Vampire in the 80s a few years after it came out and I was in high school. As such, I was NOT enthralled with her books because of the Twilight craze. My love affair with these creatures of the night started over 30 years ago, so this is not a bandwagon I’ve jumped on. The world is just now catching up to me. 😉

I devoured vampire novels like vampires devoured their victims. I’d read every book of vampire fiction I could get my hands on and, at the time, I didn’t think anything could compare to the genius of Bram Stoker, who was the father (or known as such, at least) of these gothic and tragic beings with his novel Dracula. (Incidentally, if you haven’t read it and you’re a vampire fan…you should or you’re not officially an avid reader of vampire fiction. It is truly and surprisingly enthralling and unique…even compared to modern fiction.) Though I was writing, my stories were about dragons and unicorns and knights in shining armor.

Sting wrote a song called Moon Over Bourbon Street and my sisters and I were intrigued. Being huge Sting and Police fans, we read all the fine print on all their albums, scouring the inserts for bits of information about their personal insight into their music–and so we learned this song was inspired by Anne Rice’s novel Interview with the Vampire. We HAD to get the book just because Sting read it! All three of us–my two younger sisters and myself–became obsessed with Mrs. Rice’s stories and began penning poetry. One day I will compile these poems and publish them. They’re haunting, beautiful and tragic…just like vampires.

I carried this obsession into my twenties–still reading anything related to vampires, both fiction and non-fiction–and eventually wrote my first novel, then known as Bonded By Blood. Through the years, more stories evolved and now I’ve developed a six-book series from the first story and use the original title as the name of the series.

And thus is the reason for my dedication page in my debut novel MIDNIGHT CONQUEST:

A Thank You to Sting
For “Moon Over Bourbon Street”
He fed me the intro
To Anne Rice’s treat
She’s planted the seed
To all that I’ve written
If it wasn’t for her
I’d have never been bitten

I had the wonderful privilege of corresponding with Mrs. Rice, letting her know I dedicated my first book to her and how she has been my inspiration. I could have sworn that I blogged about it, but I can’t seem to find that entry. Oh well. I guess that’s for another post. Thanks for reading!

That’s my two pence…

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…

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 – Intimacy and Other Things Part V

Miss a stop on the tour? That’s okay, just hop on one of the links below and it’ll take you back to the blog you
missed.

Part I – Amie Louellen

Part II – Lisa Sanchez

Part III – AJ Nuest

Part IV – Darlene Fredette

Comment, comment, comment—don’t forget to leave your comment!

Let’s go over what we’re learned—names are important, conversation, eyeing each other, and the building of trust. You’ve got all that, right? Then let’s talk about the good stuff. That’s right—7 through 12.

7. Mouth to mouth

8. Hand to Head

9. Hand to Body

10. Mouth to Bosom

11. Hand to Erogenous Zones.

12. Consummation.

7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are all expected—it’s Sex Ed 101. What surprises me is 8—head to hand. 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

How to Protect Yourself from Vampires

I Met A Real Vampire

Because I’ve become an amateur expert on the subject of vampires, people have asked over the years one profound question: Do you believe vampires really exist? The short answer is…YES!

Anne Rice‘s books inspired me to delve deeper into vampire fiction. I’ve written vampire poetry, studied the subject rather extensively, read countless books on the subject–fiction and non-fiction–and have finally released my debut novel…a vampire romance set in the early 1500s of Scotland: MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. So, I definitely wanted to believe in vampires, but never knew one…until this incident.

I was in the military at the time and in my twenties, going to technical school to learn a new skill, so I was in a strange and unfamiliar environment. While sitting in the day room reading, an attractive man came in. Even now, I cannot recall his face. I just remember thinking he was a handsome man and was flattered he sat at the table with me, starting up a conversation.

Forced to put my book down and interact, I became engaged in an interesting chat…but I noticed it was all about me. Normally, I don’t mind talking about myself, but he kept asking questions about who I was, where I came from, where I’d been, etc., so I became suspicious and limited my answers, not wishing to divulge overly-personal tidbits.

I noticed my energy waning. I crossed my legs.

Continue reading

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST Romance Trading Cards are Available!!

Front

Back - Broderick

Back - Davina

OMG I’m so jazzed at how my Romance Trading Cards turned out! WOOT!!! To see a close-up, just click on the images.

For those of you who are not familiar with Romance Trading Cards…they are the latest craze in the Romance Novel industry. Readers are going nuts for them!! They’re trading cards just like any other – people collect them, trade them, get them autographed and everything. For more information, I encourage you to visit the Romance Trading Card web site. Continue reading

Qualities of a Good Critique Partner

I’ve heard a lot of comments by many in the publishing industry that the occupation of a writer is a lonely one. You sit at the computer (typewriter or yellow legal pad, for you nostalgic types), alone with your thoughts and the voices you hear, crafting your tales. Though that part of the process may be a solitary experience, there’s a bigger picture. I’ve been writing for many years and along the journey, there are many people a writer needs to further their career along: beta readers, critique partners, editors, publishers, cheering section, readers and more. The journey to getting published is rarely done without others and they all have their place and importance. Since I recently found my critique partner, that’s the one I’ll focus on today. (Click on the links above if you’re interested in learning more about the other people that contribute to a writer’s journey.) Continue reading