Vampire Charity Blog Hop – In Vein

Vampires for Charity!

My guest today is Jodie Pierce, the Vampire Queen, and she's heading a very special cause. I'll let her tell us about it. But first…

Giveaway!

Jodie is giving away one set of e-bookmarks and I'm throwing in a $5 Amazon gift card. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter Entry below to participate and please spread the word for this great cause! Comments are encouraged!!

Here's Jodie!

In Vein - Vampire Anthology for CharityThanks for having me here today! “In Vein” is a vampire charity anthology book where 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital!

With over 18 Authors, you’re bound to find a few vampire stories you’ll love. From devious vampires, to vampire moms, a child vampire, teenage vampires, King and Queen vampires, a vampires’ slave girl, a vampire mob, a Red-necked vampire, driving vampires, an Eastern European angel of pain, a vampire poem, a dug up coffin, a Dental Hygienist, a sad vampire tale and a vampire that helps a young cancer boy. Like I said, something for everyone! Did I mention it’s all for charity? The kids, people…the kids!

Book Links:

More may be coming.

The participating Authors are (in alphabetical order):

Thanks!
Jodie Pierce

In Vein Banner

And there you have it! Thank you, Jodie, for coming here today! The drawing ends October 31st and winners for this blog will be announced by e-mail within 48-hours after the closing. Be sure to leave your e-mail address in the Rafflecopter (for privacy) and there are a few other options to increase your chances of winning, so I encourage you to take advantage of those. Don't forget to comment below to answer this question:

What are you doing for Halloween this year?

Expound, explore and explain! We'd love to hear if you and/or your kids are dressing up? Are you going to a party? What costume will you be wearing? How do you feel about Halloween as a holiday?

Thanks for supporting this wonderful cause! Be sure to share and spread the news!

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August Alfresco #BlogHop – #Win a #Kindle and #Erotica

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Welcome to Smut Alfresco!

A special thank you to Victoria Blisse for organizing this wonderful event! If you haven't read any of her super excellent erotica, you are missing out! Be sure to visit her site and be prepared to get hot under the collar…or a few other places.

Comment on this post to be in to win one of these FABULOUS prizes:

And be sure to check out all the August Alfresco posts at http://smutalfresco.co.uk and comment on each one to have more chances to win.

All terms and conditions are available at smutalfresco.co.uk and the winners will be announced on the 1st September at the website. Good luck!!

Alfresco

sex-outdoors01What does ‘alfresco' mean? As defined by www.Dictionary.com: out-of-doors; in the open air: to dine alfresco.

I'm happy to take a virtual trip over to the UK and join all these wonderfully sexy British ladies on a romp through some sexual encounters in the great outdoors!! That's right! We're all having sex in the open air! (Well…our characters are having sex outside…we're just watching!)

This post will give you a sneak peak into my latest short story titled Hot Rod Haunting (F/F/M), the second installment of my Les Petites Morts Series. This is a slightly steam encounter between two best-friend females. My main character, Kami Jacobs has just shared with her best friend Mona Rand that she's bi-sexual…and they're in a graveyard…very outdoors…and they might have a spectral visitor who wants to join in.

WARNING: Female/Female/Male Action Incumming!

Hot Rod Haunting - Book 2 in the Les Petites Morts (erotica menage)The following excerpt contains graphic language and sexually explicit actions. ONLY INTENDED FOR READERS 18 YEARS AND OLDER.

With a thunk, the back hatch popped open. I yanked out the case of beer and hauled it to the front of the car. Mona stood before Kenny, who let his sexy, hooded eyes roam over her body. “Pleasure to meet you.”

“I sure hope so,” Mona said, matching his throaty voice. I knew she’d like him. We always went for the same guys.

I handed each of them a beer.

Kenny’s dark gaze observed us twist off the caps before following suit, then he tipped his head back and downed nearly half the bottle, like a true Chicagoan. “Nice and cold.”

“Only proper way to have a beer,” Mona confirmed before she chugged hers down completely.

“You weren’t lyin’.” He grinned. “She’s cute.”

I cocked an eyebrow.

“Who, moi?” Mona glanced from Kenny to me and back again, before she bit her bottom lip. “Is this what I think it is?”

I shrugged. “Kenny knows I’m bi and I know you’ve always fantasized about a threesome.” I handed her another beer from the box. “I hope you don’t mind it’s with me instead of another guy.”

“Fuckin’ ay,” she breathed. Mona twisted off the cap and raised the mouth of the bottle to her grinning lips.

Kenny finished his beer in a single gulp and set the bottle on his trunk. “That’s what I wanted to hear.” He tugged Mona by the hand as he sauntered toward me. Reaching over his head, he grabbed his t-shirt and yanked it off, revealing his god-like body of sculpted muscles. Mona cooed and smoothed her hand over his washboard stomach and bulging pecs.

Kenny was cocky and confident and it made me wet. With hooded eyes and a mouth like a Greek statue, he oozed sexuality. I’d scored with this one.

Mona still xanax no prescription 2mg held her beer in one hand while her tongue flicked Kenny’s nipple. She bit and kissed a wet path across his chest and he moaned, cradling the back of her head in his large hand.

Grabbing her hand holding the beer, he brought the opening of the bottle to her mouth, dragging it around like a teasing cock. “Swallow it, darlin’.” He raised an enticing eyebrow and licked his full lips.

HRH_girls

Mona sighed and wrapped her mouth around the bottle as if she was giving head. Kenny groaned. Tipping the bottle ass-end up, she finished the beer and he relieved it from her grasp, strolling over and setting it aside on the hood of his car. Reaching for the buttons on my blouse, she tugged me closer and breathed against my mouth, “You have me so horny after what you did to me in the graveyard.”

“That makes two of us.” Kenny grabbed the bulge in his pants and rubbed his erection through his jeans as he watched from a distance.

Mona stripped off my shirt and freed my breasts. My nipples puckered under her touch and she swiveled her head so Kenny had a good view of her licking me. “You like to watch, Hot Rod?” she asked between lapping. “Mmmm, I like the sound of that.” Mona lifted her tank top and bra over her head, then rubbed her tits against mine.

Kenny and I moaned in unison and I grinned. “Why don’t you bring that hot rod over here?”

He hissed and unbuckled his jeans, dropped his fly and reached into his pants. The head of his cock bobbed in his fist as he stroked his shaft and strutted toward us.

———————-

I do hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Be sure to catch Hot Rod Haunting at the following online retailers:

AllRomanceEbooks.com Amazon Buy Button buy-now-from-smashwords-logo-button-small

If you're new to my website and haven't tried my paranormal erotic romance series, you're in for a treat!! Be prepared for a romp through history with HOT Scottish Vampires. Click the titles below to explore the excerpts of each story:

 

BBB1-3_SeriesAd

So leave a comment and get entered for a chance to win the prizes mentioned above. I'm available if anyone has any questions. But I most certain have one for you!

Have you ever had sex alfresco?

Don't worry…I won't ask you to bare all and leave you hanging in the breeze. During my younger years, I admittedly was a bit of a ho. I was in the United States Air Force and partying like an animal with a bunch of Combat Control Team members – they're the elite force of the USAF, kinda like the US Navy Seals – and one of the guys and I went to the beach for our little alfresco liaison. I was drunk and horny and we banged away on the sand. I won't get into to details, but I woke up the next morning on the beach, sand stuck to my face and squinting from the bright light thinking, “How the hell did I get out here?” Yep! Those were the good ol' days, huh? *groan*

And you??? Do tell!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure to LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT for your chance to win! I look forward to your comments!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

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Author Guest: Lisa Kessler – Moonlight

Welcome Lisa Kessler!

Lisa Kessler

Author – Lisa Kessler

I'm so very proud to have Lisa Kessler as a guest today, featuring her new release Moonlight. Who can resist shapeshifters? I know I can't! And this one features not only wolves, but jaguars! RAWR! Be sure to scroll down and view her awesome cover, blurb and buy link information. AND enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! So, Lisa…

Arial Burnz: Where did you get your idea for Moonlight?

Lisa Kessler: The first chapter of Moonlight was actually a short story I wrote while I was taking up Ray Bradbury’s challenge to write a new short story each week for a year. That particular week was a full moon and I thought it would be too easy to write about a werewolf. From there my little writer brain kicked in and Lana came into my head—a woman with no clue that every time the moon vanishes from the sky during the New Moon, she shifts into a huge black jaguar. There’s much more to the book, but that was the beginning! LOL After I posted the short story, I couldn't stop wondering what would happen next, so six months later, the first draft of the novel was finished… 🙂

AB: I love the way that works and I can already see some of that happening with my own short stories. I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to the Ray Bradbury Challenge. So exciting! Incidentally, folks, Lisa compiled a bunch of her short stories from that challenge and it’s available on Amazon—Forgotten Treasures: 25 Short Fiction Tales.

So, what prompted you to write the novel in first-person alternating point of view? (For those not familiar with this POV, the story is told in first person, as if the characters are talking to the reader – “I looked up and saw him enter the room.” However, the POV changes each chapter. In Moonlight, it's Lana one chapter and then Adam the next.) Moonlight Blog Tour Button LK:  This book is very action-packed and gritty like urban fantasy, so the first person POV really enhanced the story telling. At one point, I did rewrite the first 4 chapters into third person and it really sucked the life out of the book, so even though it made it a little more out-of-the-box for paranormal romance, I ended up keeping it in alternating first person. I’m so glad I did. Readers have really connected with the Pack so far!

AB: I so glad to hear that! And I love it that you’re so in touch with your readers. As I understand it, this novel was an RT Book Reviews Magazine Writing with the Stars Finalist. First off, congratulations!! Second, would you mind sharing a little of that experience and how you think it affected the current success of your book?

LK:  It was nerve-wracking and very exciting! It was also a super opportunity to get my name and my work in front of a large audience of readers. Also, by having readers vote, they were buy nolvadex 20mg invested in the book, so I think it has helped sales now that it’s out.

AB: Between Adam and Lana, who would you say was the most difficult character to write and why?

LK: Hmmm… This book was a blast to write, so neither character was really “difficult”. I guess since Lana came to me first, maybe that made Adam a little tougher?

AB: Understood! And no worries. So, your heroine and hero are both shapeshifters, but Lana is a jaguar and Adam is a wolf. PLEASE forgive me, but I can't help thinking of that line from Ghostbusters: “Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!!” LOL! What was your motivation for choosing such different animal forms for your main characters?

LK: Ha! Yeah, the thought crossed my mind… 🙂  I also have them shift on opposite schedules, so the jaguars shift with no moon, and it made sense to me because cats can see well in darkness. It also worked to my favor with the cats being independent and better suited to be lone assassins, whereas the wolves work together as a Pack. I did play a little bit with the concept of dogs and cats not getting along, too.

AB: Thanks for being a good sport about that. I love the way you played with the moon cycle and the strengths of the species!! Well done! Lisa, thank you soooo much for taking the time to come by and visit my website today.

LK: Thanks for having me on your blog Arial!!!

AB: Do you have any parting comments for our visitors?

LK:  I’d like to thank everyone who entered the blog tour contest and helped to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook about Moonlight!  Also, Hunter’s Moon (Book 2) will be out October 21st, so it’s not long to wait to find out what happens next…  Woot! Be sure to pick up a copy of Moonlight (see other links below).

Moonlight by Lisa KesslerMoonlight Blurb:

Rancher Adam Sloan is more than meets the eye. As the heir to his Pack, the sexy werewolf's biggest challenge is keeping his kin's true nature under wraps. But a group of jaguar shifters threatens to reveal the pack, blasting into town killing humans in plain sight. And when he smells one at the local diner, his standing orders are to take her out. Lana Turpin doesn't realize she's a moving target. Raised in the foster system, she only knows that she blacks out during the new moon and wakes up without remembering a thing. But now she's being tracked by some strange organization that wants her back–even though she's never stepped foot inside their compound. And the stranger across the diner is watching her like an enemy. It should be a simple mission for Adam, but when he touches the frustratingly beautiful Lana, his inner wolf howls…mate. Now, the two must find and stop the people who hunt her…and Adam must keep his own family from killing the only woman he will ever love. Website: http://www.authorlisakessler.com/ Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | ARe | iTunes

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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

Ray Bradbury Challenge – Week 2

This post is part of my Ray Bradbury Challenge. Click here to learn more!

Genre: Paranormal
Word Count: 691
Update: Edited as of 7/16/2015

Seeing is BelievingThe Path of Dawn by Consuelo Parra

“You won’t believe. You must see.”

Megan Blake lurched upright on the couch, a cold sheen of sweat covering her face and body.

“Meg.” Her name was a whisper, an echo in her mind.

Mouth agape, Meg swerved her head side to side, searching for the source of the voice. “Meredith?” She stood and gawked through the high, floor-to-ceiling windows of their family vacation cabin. At the edge of the forest, the ethereal figure of her twin sister beckoned.

“Come. You won’t believe. You must see.” Meredith turned and glided into the woods.

Merry!” Megan kicked the empty Dewar’s bottle with her bare foot and cursed. Shoving her feet into her sneakers, she grabbed her jacket off the back of the couch and dashed through the glass doors, jumping from the porch and bolting across the meadow.

Trees whipped by. Branches slashed her face as she pursued the ghostly visage, always just ahead, always obscured by lanky trunks or offending bushes. When Meg reached the next clearing, she skidded to a stop, windmilling her arms to keep from falling on her face.

“Come. You must see.” Meredith stood at the entrance to the caves.

“Everyone thinks you're dead!” Continue reading

Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles – The Tour Continues

Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles – Name Before the Masses Book Tour!

Virtual Book Tour with Goddess Fish PromotionsI just finished my first official Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles Virtual Book Tour with the lovely ladies at Goddess Fish Promotions!! Now we're doing another tour that doesn't require quite as much attention from me, as I'll be busy next month with a slew of other things – like the RomanceNovel Convention and working on my audio books for my series. This tour will go from July 19 – September 16. Just like the last tour, I'm giving away prizes and swag, so be sure to leave comments at every stop to increase your chances of winning! Here are the stops for the Name Before the Masses Book Tour:

Character Appearances

Broderick MacDougal - Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles - catch him on the virtual book tour!

Broderick “Rick” MacDougal

Broderick MacDougal and Angus Campbell are really enjoying the Internet and connecting with all you ladies out there!! And there's a little bit of a rivalry going on. Leave a comment for these immortal Scottish rogues and you just might hear from them.

Angus Campbell - catch him on the virtual book tour!

Angus Campbell

Remember, though, they're at the whim of the sunset and rumor has it they're in the UK and Europe during the virtual book tour, so at least the time zones will work pretty well for connecting with these HOT Scottish Vampires. (Okay, I don't know about you, but Rick just gets my heart pumpin' and my kitty purrin'!!!)

James Knightly (Model: David Gandy)

James Knightly

James Knightly finally came out to play! And he's mortal, so he can come out to play anytime. 😉 The ladies – Davina and Cailin – are available, too, so don't be afraid to leave them a comment. Looking forward to interacting with all of you on the Virtual Book Tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.NBtM-Bonded-By-Blood-Banner That's my two pence… Arial 😉

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Ray Bradbury Challenge – Week 1

This post is part of my Ray Bradbury Challenge. Click here to learn more!

Genre: Science-Fiction
Word Count: 464

The Claw

“Ten-time Galactic Champion. THE CLAW!” the referee shouted.

Branford Stanley–The Claw–stomped forward, his arms held high as the crowd roared their worship.

The cheers and applause pierced Henry’s ears and he strained not to cower. You have nothing to lose, he reminded himself, and trembled, sweat gushing from his brow. He flung the salty drips stinging his eyes, careful not to use his right hand.

The referee raised his palm and the volume dropped. “Our challenger…HENRY!”

The wrestling cage filled with riotous guffaws. Patrons clutched and yanked at the chain-link fence, rattling the thin barrier.

Henry glared at The Claw, who laughed.

The ref said, “Winner takes all—one million dukkits!” The crowd cheered. “Come forward, gentlemen.”

Branford stomped his giant frame to the hovering platform at the center of the cage. Henry took three strides on his lanky legs.

“You know the rules,” the referee explained. “Get your grip, nod when you’re ready.”

Arm WrestlingBranford slammed his elbow onto the levitating tabletop, fingers spread wide, a grimace of challenge transmogrifying his face. “You’re mine!”

Henry placed his elbow on the floating surface and a sickening thud rammed into his stomach. Do it for her.

The Claw grabbed Henry’s hand.

Henry winced. “Be sure you give it a good squeeze,” he goaded with a quivering voice.

The Claw laughed. “You can count on it, kid.”

When the referee’s hands covered their clutched fists, they both nodded. “Go!”

Henry squeezed, praying to be able to hold on long enough for his plan to work, and grunted when Branford crunched his hand. Pain sliced through his palm. Yes! Just hang on a little more.

“Not bad, kid,” Branford growled. “But it’s not enough to prove to your mom you’re the man of house.” The Claw leaned closer. “That’ll be me from now on, whether you like it or not.”

Henry ground his palm into Branford’s. Please let the venom micro-bots be worth what I paid.

Branford’s scowl wavered through Henry’s watery gaze. Henry blinked. His face tingled. No! Not yet! Just a little longer! His breathing quickened as razor-like shards slashed through his shoulder. He searched the crowd…and order fluconazole canada found her face. “I’m sorry, Mom,” he mouthed as she clenched the chain-link fence, tears glistening on her blackened eye.

Branford heaved. His eyes grew wide. He released Henry and lurched, blood streaming from his lacerated palm. Smiling, Henry collapsed. The glass capsule he’d taped to his palm did the trick, just like the smuggler at the spaceport promised.

The referee failed to catch the toppling champion. “Medic!”

“It’s okay,” he mouthed to his mother. He hoped her tears didn't sting her swollen and bruised eye. “Pain is temporary,” she used to say. Now it would only be a memory, since Branford would never touch her again.

—————————

Author Notes

Okay, first week is up!! Feedback is encouraged!!

I wrote this short story in about 10 minutes during Lisa Kessler's Writing Short & Powerful class in San Diego. I spent the first 20 minutes of our allotted time trying to figure out what the hell I was going to write. After brainstorming an old idea and trying to explore a few new ones from Writer's Digest writing prompts, I trashed all my notes and started over. The first thing that came to my mind was, “An arm wrestling match gone wrong.”

This was the first story I “pantsed” – wrote by the seat of my pants. I am NOT a Pantster. I'm a huge advocate of plotting. Plotting just didn't work for this story, though. I had no idea what Henry was up to until Branford crushed his hand. Nor did I know why he was doing it until he saw his mom's face in the crowd. *shudder* Scary experience, this pantsting. I don't know how my friends do it.

Next week, I'll be starting with a fresh idea instead of using the one from my class. Looking forward to seeing how that turns out! Until then…I'd love to know your thoughts on this story. Good. Bad. Caught you by surprise? Predictable? It will all make me a better writer, so please be nice but honest.

If you liked this story, please hit the LIKE button below and use the social media buttons to share! Thank you!

That's my two pence,

Arial 😉

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Ray Bradbury Challenge – Defined

What is the Ray Bradbury Challenge?

A writer pal of mine, Lisa Kessler, shared her experience when she met Ray Bradbury. Working at a writers event, she and several of her colleagues had the chance to speak with Mr. Bradbury about their own works in progress (WIPs). When she asked him if he could give her any insight on how to improve her writing, he answered:

“Write a new short story every week for a year. You'll have ideas to last a lifetime and you'll be a different writer by the end.”

For the purposes of this post and my blog, I'm defining these guidelines (but if you want to do the challenge, you can do whatever you'd like):

  • Word count: 300-1000 words
    • Minimum 300 because for SEO purposes, it is recommended you have a blog post of at least 300 words to increase your rankings.
    • Maximum of 1000 because it fits into the definition of Flash Fiction (see below)
  • Posting Day: Pick a day
    • Pick one day each week when your post is due and try to stick to it!

UPDATE: I failed miserably at this challenge. Got too busy with other things and I didn't make this a priority. BUT I did get a couple of great short stories from it. Join my VIP Club and you'll get them right in your inbox! It's FREE!

What is Flash Fiction?

As I've come to understand, the term “short fiction” or “short stories” is passe. “Flash Fiction” is the trendy term and it's generally 1000 words or less. Anyone can write approximately 2.5 pages of prose. I quote Lisa from her Writing Short & Powerful class, “The challenge is to write a complete story with a beginning, a strong middle, and a satisfying ending in spite of using so few words.” She taught us that a short story should contain…

  1. Hook – You gotta grab your audience from the title or the first sentence. She said statistics show that people will give novels about 20 pages before they'll put one down. Short stories…about 20 words! (I hope I got that right Lisa!)
  2. Character Arc – Choice words to describe the key elements of your character as it pertains to the story. In the short story I'll post (The Claw), I really only share that Henry has lanky legs…indications he's thin and non-threatening. That's also part of my hook…and my…
  3. Twist Ending – That unexpected conclusion that has your readers say, “Doh! That came outta nowhere!” Go for the surprise or the exact opposite of the direction your story might go.

What You Gain

Lisa shared that she didn't take up the challenge immediately. She confessed she thought it was about the money – pumping out product. After a couple of months, though, she caved in and decided to take up the gauntlet. She had so much fun and learned so much buy clomiphene in uk through the experience, she did it for 75 weeks! Some of the lessons she garnered:

  1. Quality of Words – She learned to choose her words carefully since short means short. So when on a word budget, pick words that have more impact (e.g., swaggered vs. walked). The more you do it, the better you get at it. (Okay…the erotic author in me just went somewhere else with that…mwuahahahaha!.)
  2. Write Faster – When she first started the challenge, it would take her a few days to generate an idea, write it, edit it and get it posted by her Sunday deadline. By the end of the challenge, she would start the short story on Sunday afternoon and have it polished and posted by Sunday evening.
  3. Working Under a Deadline – As Lisa wrote more, she started gaining a following and she didn't want to let her readers down, so she really learned how to stay focused and committed to meet her weekly deadline. What writer wouldn't benefit from that?

Who's Taking Up the Gauntlet??

So that's the Ray Bradbury Challenge! And I'm doing it!! And I'm starting today! I'm using the short story I wrote while I was in Lisa's short story class called The Claw. So who's with me? Are you going to take up the gauntlet?? UPDATE: Uh…yeah…as I said above, I failed miserably at this. But don't let that stop YOU from challenging yourself!

If you're still wondering how this would benefit you as a writer, consider this…

The side-effect of Lisa posting her weekly short stories was she gained an audience. By the end of the challenge, she'd had over 65,000 collective views on her site and over 500 followers…doing what she LOVES to do…WRITE. She had quality readers already interested in her writing, waiting to buy her books when she published her first novel. Imagine that! And building an audience is important for authors!

Share Your Challenge!

If you're going to take up the challenge, I would LOVE to know about it!! Please go to my Facebook Page and post the permalink of your blog post for your weekly challenge. Please list the following:

  • RAY BRADBURY CHALLENGE (Week #??) – Please put this at the beginning of your post so we know what the link is for and include the week of your challenge.
  • Genre: This can either be the genre of the story you wrote (preferred) or the genre you write as an author (which might be the same…or not)
  • Title: Give the title of your short story.
  • Permalink: Provide the direct link to your short story, not your blog. We don't want people hunting for your story if they want to catch up on your posts.

Here's an example for my own short story:

RAY BRADBURY CHALLENGE (Week #1)
Genre: Sci-Fi
Title: The Claw
Permalink: http://www.arialburnz.com/2013/07/25/ray-bradbury-challenge-week-1/

Woo hoo! Can't wait to see your stories!

That's my two pence,

Arial 😉

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Virtual Book Tour: Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles by Arial Burnz

Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles – Virtual Book Tour!

Virtual Book Tour with Goddess Fish PromotionsWoo hoo!!! Today is the start of my first official Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles Virtual Book Tour with the lovely ladies at Goddess Fish Promotions!! The tour will go from July 15-26 and visit a slew of wonderful blogs. AND I'm giving away prizes and swag, so be sure to leave comments at every stop to increase your chances of winning!

Here are the stops for the virtual book tour:

Pre-Order MIDNIGHT HUNT (Book 3)

I'm so excited to announce you can pre-order Midnight Hunt – Book 3 of the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles! The new release date is July 31st. You can order your copy at All Romance eBooks (ARe) now! And I can't tell you how wonderful ARe is for self-published authors. It's the only place I know of where we can post our books for pre-order. The other where can i buy clomiphene online websites just haven't caught on (*cough-cough* Amazon *cough* B&N) or I just don't get out that much. If anyone else knows of a site that allows self-pubbed authors to post their books for pre-order, PLEASE let me know!! Leave a comment below. 😉

Character Appearances

Broderick MacDougal - Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles - catch him on the virtual book tour!

Broderick “Rick” MacDougal

Broderick MacDougal and Angus Campbell are really enjoying the Internet and connecting with all you ladies out there!! And there's a little bit of a rivalry going on. Leave a comment for these immortal Scottish rogues and you just might hear from them.

Angus Campbell - catch him on the virtual book tour!

Angus Campbell

Remember, though, they're at the whim of the sunset and rumor has it they're in the UK and Europe during the virtual book tour, so at least the time zones will work pretty well for connecting with these HOT Scottish Vampires.

(Okay, I don't know about you, but Rick just gets my heart pumpin' and my kitty purrin'!!!)

James Knightly (Model: David Gandy)

James Knightly

And don't forget, we haven't heard from our shy Beta Hero, James Knightly…be sure to leave him a comment, too! And he's mortal, so he can come out to play anytime. 😉

The ladies – Davina and Cailin – are available, too, so don't be afraid to leave them a comment.

Looking forward to interacting with all of you on the Virtual Book Tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.

Virtual Book Tour - Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

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Immortality of Vampire Fiction vs. The Industry

frustratedWARNING: I'm venting a little here today.

The Nelson Literary Agency posted some advice/information in their newsletter about the difference between a “good” manuscript and a “salable” manuscript. You can write a great story, good grammar, character development is tight and storyline is solid. But if the editors don't want it, they won't buy it. I quote the following, but I'm going to put my own adaptation in brackets because I've been told the same thing about my manuscripts (both vampire and steampunk/dystopian):

“For example, dystopian [vampire] stories are hot right now in the young-adult [adult/erotic] genre. As a result, for the past twelve months, editors have been inundated by dystopian [vampire] projects. They are tired of them, even though these titles are still releasing and some are doing quite well. Readers are still enjoying dystopian [vampire] novels, but editors don't want to buy them anymore. So right now, no matter how well written your dystopian YA [vampire novel] might be or how cool the premise, if an agent is taking a look at it, she is probably thinking she can't sell it and will pass on offering representation. That's the bald truth. The timing just plain sucks, and as an agent, selling projects is all about perfect timing: landing the right project, on the right editor's desk, at exactly the right moment.” (my emphasis on the underline)

More than anything else, I think this is a prime example and reason as to why self-publishing is so successful. Yes, you get the crap out there…I totally understand that. But the Big Six (as the big publishers are known as) publish crap, too.

What frustrates me the most is the editors KNOW there is an audience for these books – such as in the aforementioned Dystopian YA and my genre of topic, vampires – and yet because they're tired of reading them, they don't want to see them anymore. This is a business, people! Not your time to have a leisurely read! Print what the readers want!

OMGOne agent told me the reason why editors won't even look at such manuscripts (e.g., vampire, dystopian, steampunk, etc.) is because they're tired of getting a bunch of crap manuscript with the same stories. My response – and I can say this because I'm an editor – OMG get over it! That's your job as an editor. READING MANUSCRIPTS. If you don't like reading crap manuscripts, get another freakin' job. The sad truth is there is a TON of crap out there; it comes with the territory.

I belong to a group called I Love Vampire Novels and they have been my biggest supporters of my self-published novels – my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles. Their FB page boasts over 100,000 LIKES. And I'm sure there are a lot more vampire lovers out there than just 100,000. This group and others like them, J.R. Ward, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon are all proof people love vampire stories and they sell well.

But the editors are tired of them. :\

No problem! We'll just self-publish and make 70% off our book sales and the Big Six can continue whining about how their industry is failing. Enjoy the trip down!

Thanks for letting me vent! If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with me! Do you feel just as passionate about this topic? Does it really matter to you? Do you have your own experience about the industry you'd like to share? How about from a reader's perspective? Am I completely whacked in my reasoning?

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉