Moving On!

Ok, folks! I've had it!

I love my story MIDNIGHT CONQUEST, but since I've been working on this story for 17 years, I think I'm ready to puke on it! I understand the editing process and what one needs to do to get a book to publication. I've had several technical manuals, marketing materials and web sites published to know that true enough AND I've seen friends go through the process. However, in my recent experience with returning my revisions to The Wild Rose Press, I've discovered that I have a blind eye to the mistakes I am making. I wrote “passion” or some form of that word at least 10 times in two pages! I did this even though I re-read the pages AT LEAST five times. I'm usually pretty good about something repetative like that, but it's clear I'm not seeing things like that on this project. I think there are two reasons why… Continue reading

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST Merchandise!!

vampire02smCan you believe it!?! You can now buy Midnight Conquest merchandise at our CafePress.com store…among a few other things! I'll have more items up in the store and with the way things are growing, we'll end up opening a separate CafePress.com store instead of just being a section in the Enchanted Woodz store. Check them out and express your vampy self!!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST – Book Cover & Trailer!

OMG I'm so excited!!! I've create my own book cover AND a trailer for my new book (under review by The Wild Rose Press). Check it out!!!

This is just a mock-up of the book cover. Visit my web site for a more detailed view of the picture: www.ArialBurnz.com.

THEN after I finished doing my book cover, I create my very own book trailer!! To view the trailer, you van visit my web site at www.ArialBurnz.com and click on the Bonded By Blood link in the left-hand nav OR you can click here to access the page directly. However, when you're done, it will advance to the BBB main page, but out of context of the web site. Just close the window when it's finished.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

Submitted!!

Whew! Done with my run-through of the rewrites for my vampire romance. Yay!

When I mention I'm writing a vampire romance, almost EVERYONE these days says, “Oh, like Twilight (by Stephanie Meyer)!” They get so excited, and yet for some reason the reference kinda erks me. Not that Ms. Meyer doesn't deserve the kudos…I like the books just as much as anyone else. However, I started writing MIDNIGHT CONQUEST a LOOOOOONG time before Twilight came out, so I feel like people are lumping me into the “You're writing it because of Twilight” category. I'm sure Ms. Sherrilyn Kenyon might feel worse than I do if someone makes the same reference to her as she has more than a DOZEN vampire romances on the shelves as we speak (and I've read almost every one of them).

Just for the record, I've bulleted points in the history of “Bonded By Blood – Book 1 – Midnight Conquest” to see what one journey looks like (I hear I'm not the only one who's been through this). 😉

  • 1991 – Started working on the book idea – back when it was Bonded By Blood and a single title
  • 1992 – Sat down and wrote the book in 3 months – 365 manuscript pages
  • 1992 – Had a New York agent interested in it and she made suggestions for revisions
  • 1994 – Went through 1st divorce and put book in the drawer
  • 1996 – I took 2 weeks off of work and finished the rewrites
  • 1996 – Resubmitted manuscript to agent, she didn't like what I did with it, but gave me 4 pages of feedback. GREAT (good sign as she was interested in my writing, but not the story and asked for other stuff), but I got discouraged.
  • 1998 – Married husband #2, who frowned upon my writing (I didn't know it at the time we married, but there you have it)
  • Didn't write romance for almost 10 years >.< BUT did work on the ideas in my head and started developing other book ideas
  • 2005 – Went through divorce #2 and pulled Bonded By Blood back out of the drawer, re-read the critique. WOW! Was that a crappy book! No wonder she didn't like it! LOL
  • 2006 – Started reworking the story and renamed it MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. I also blended the other book ideas into one series…with a possibility of continuing, depending upon the interest. Series now called BONDED BY BLOOD.
  • 2007 – Put writing aside while I worked on Enchanted Woodz
  • 2008 – Finished writing Midnight Conquest and got the interest of The Wild Rose Press. They made suggestions for revisions (deja vous – 1992)
  • 2009 – Finished revisions and resubmitted manuscript…17 years later! Ouch!

Well, everything happens for a reason, they say. Even though I didn't write hardly any fiction after 1998, I did write a lot of technical manuals, web site and print marketing materials, corporate communications, diaries, letters, articles, some copyright, etc. With that being said, I've never stopped being a writer, in spite of what my ex-husband tried to squash in me. I am now with my romance novel hero who is the most encouraging and supportive person I have in my life, next to my mother. Because of my continuing efforts in writing, I was able to hone my craft, continue reading what I love to write and I feel it's made Midnight Conquest a better book.

I'll keep you posted on what happens when the publisher gets back to me. Will I get a contract?  DUH DUH DUH!!!!!

TO BE CONTINUED!!

How about you? Can you give a timeline of your first big contract and what you went through? Tell me what you've been pouring your blood, sweat and tears into! Post a quick sentece here, but provide a link to your blog where I'd like you to post your full time-line. Looking forward to reading them!!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

So Busy!!!!

Wow! Been a little too busy for words…but aren't we all these days? We either overload our days with too much stuff to do OR we're TERRIBLE at time management! I think it's a little of both. PLUS with the upcoming holiday season, we have presents to make, buy or order; parties to plan for; parties to go to; and gifts to wrap! Oh my! I hope you're all having a wonderful season and your shopping horrors are kept to a minimum.

Aside from working full-time contract work at Sony Pictures Entertainment (conducting training and cleaning up training materials), here's what I have going on that's keeping me from my blog…

  1. Working on revising MIDNIGHT CONQUEST– My first book in a series of 6 books that I've come up with. I've had to rework the plot a bit at the encouragement of the editor at The Wild Rose Press. Check out my author site to see the updates on the story summary.
  2. Drafted up MIDNIGHT AFFAIR – This is the 2nd book in the BONDED BY BLOOD vampire romance series. I took the challenge for NaNoWriMo. Though I was only able to come up with about 30,000 words and did not “win” the competition/challege, the goal for me in taking the challenge was to come up with the storyline for MIDNIGHT AFFAIR. Mission accomplished! And I'm really happy with it. Check out my web site for updates on the story summary.
  3. Drafted Storyline for CAPTIVE HEART – OMG!!! This is a great distraction, but this storyline is quickly turning into my favorite! I have to fight everything to keep from working on it. Must finish MIDNIGHT CONQUEST! Anyway, I ended up in a situation with my laptop – but WITHOUT my thumbdrive holding my current writing projects. Since I wanted to be productive, I thought, “I”ll just draw up the storyline for that dream I had the other night about wizards and dragons.” Holy bat doo doo, Batman! CAPTIVE HEART is a fantasy adventure romance that takes place at a time when nature is segregating magickal beings and they are dying away, struggling to preserve themselves. Check out my site for the story summary!
  4. Updated EnchantedWoodz.com – I finally had the energy to put up some new pictures on the site. I need to take more pictures of the wands that we've done, so I only have two of them up there right now. Once I find the wands we've finished (had to put them away to make room for the family gathering we had on Thanksgiving), I'll photograph them and get them up. Check out the Tooth Faery boxes, the Dragon's Lair Brooms and the wands we have. Also, I've included a couple of pieces of our featured artist – Molly Harrison. We have a license agreement with her to use her artwork on our wooden items. You'll love her stuff! Check out the web site to see the new pictures!
  5. I Saw TWILIGHT – Well, I read the book and I saw the movie. I was impressed with the screenplay – it did a very good job at capsulizing  the essence of the book without leaving much out at all. Great job! Don't know how many of you fans know about it…but Stephanie Meyer did a cameo in the movie. Comment in my blog if you recall seeing her. My boyfriend did not read the book and he is now looking forward to reading them. As a fan of vampire romance, I find the books well-written and I enjoy the saga of them…the continuing story. I've been a little to tied up with my own books to be reading hers. I've started on book 2, so I can't effectively comment on them as a whole, but I'm enjoying them so far. 😀

I have other things I've been working on, but this is quite enough in this blog. What about you? What has you busy this holiday season? Working on that book? Taking the time to relax? Expressing yourself creatively? Do tell!!! Comment on my blog and let me know what's having you run around this holiday.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season and my love goes out to you all!!!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

Book Signing – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Last night I attended a book signing for Sherrilyn Kenyon at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA. She was there for the release of her newest and most awaited Dark Hunter Novel – “Acheron“. I'll be reading this once I finish with “Twilight”.

Sherrilyn was a JOY to meet! It was a long wait – about 120 of us stood outside with a number, patiently waiting to get some time with her and have her sign our books – but it was SOOO worth the wait! Not only was she sweet and open, she was even loving and affectionate. I was able to give her a big hug for a picture or two.

I told her about being an aspiring writing and having read all her books. She seemed genuinely excited for me and wished me luck, telling me to keep her posted on the progress of my newly finished novel – “Midnight Conquest“.

I loved it that Sherrilyn was so warm and loving to all her fans. She listened to each of them attentively and celebrated with them when they told her good news. Living here in Los Angeles, you see all kinds of celebrities and famous faces. I'll have to say that authors – by far – are the most approachable and maintain a semblance of humanity when they become famous. It is the rare actor you meet in this town that is down-to-earth and approachable. Of the authors I've met, I'll have to say Sherrilyn was the most friendly and sweetest to meet.

Sherrilyn (left) & Me

Sherrilyn (left) & Me

Dark Delicacies did a great job in organizing the event. 20 people at a time went into the store while the rest waited outside. It was a smart idea to arrange the number system to avoid any kind of animosity between fans about who was first, etc. Nice job!

If you get a chance to see her on her Acheron Tour, I highly recommend the visit. Check the venue at which you're going to see her. Dark Delicacies required that you purchase something from their store in order to be able to have Sherrilyn sign anything you brought with you. Also, I found out from a friend that she was able to purchase her copy of the book AND get her number several days BEFORE the event! That will save you time standing around if you get an early line number. Don't forget to bring one of those small canvas, fold-up stools to sit on during the wait. It will help the time pass with less pain for the feet and the back! But it really is worth the wait!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

What I’m Currently Reading

Here's a list of books I've recently read along with a book I'm about to embark on. I try not to provide spoilers, but if you want a detailed description of the book, move your mouse over the book image.

I just purchased “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer. Since I am a vampire romance novelist, I've had all my friends and family tell me, “Oh my god! You HAVE to read this book! It's right up your alley!!” So, I'm looking forward to delving into it!

I JUST finished reading a book from one of my favorite authors…Johanna Lindsey – “Say You Love Me“. This is another Malory Novel and it did NOT disappoint. Her books about the Malory family take place during Regency England, so for those of you who are into the Regency romances, I think you'll enjoy her books.

This was a great story that had some rather sinister elements for the villain in the tale, but I don't want to give anything away. Suffice it to say the heroine, Kelsey, gets herself into a scary predicament and I really wasn't sure how she was going to get out of it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Right before “Say You Love Me”, I read “Captive of My Desires” – another Malory Novel. This book was actually published about 10 years after “Say You Love Me”, but each of her tales stand on their own, so there's no need to read them in any kind of order.

This was lighter subject matter than the other book, but does have adventure at the end and it was a joy to see so many of the members of the Malory family involved. A subtle theme of how prejudices cloud our judgement is woven into the tale rather tastefully. Lovely read! But I love all her books and I think I only have a couple on her list that I haven't read yet! Hope you enjoy it!

Finally, prior to “Captive of My Desires”, I read Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s book “Dark Side of the Moon.” This is one of her Dark Hunter books and the hero of the story is a shapeshifter. I like how vulnerable and real her heroine Susan Michaels is and how she uses humor to guard her heart against hard times. As a result, Kenyon had me laughing a lot in this book. As I find with all of her books, her heros are delicious, her heroines are the kind of women I aspire to be or befriend, and the Dark Hunter world is engrossing! Great read for those of you into the Paranormal Romance genre.

Do you have a favorite author? Do you have any recommendations for romance or vampire romance? Have you read any of the above books? If so, what did you think of them? (Please indicate at the beginning of your comment if it is a “SPOILER”)

Midnight Conquest – Excerpt

Greetings!

Midnight Conquest is finally finished! Thank you to all my fans, family and friends for your support during this milestone in my writing career! Woot!

As requested, here is an excerpt of “Midnight Conquest” – When Broderick and Davina have their first steamy encounter! Have fun!

The spicy aroma of incense drifted through her senses and her body tingled from the memories of the last time she stepped into this exotic world.

She turned and faced him.

Her breath caught in her throat. Her memories seemed watered down and faded compared to the vivid reality before her. His burning-red hair and emerald eyes captivated her, entranced her like the blazing dance of a fire. She stood rooted at the entrance of the tent, taking in every angle, muscle, and rippled surface of his body. When her eyes met his, her face grew hot. His dark eyes brazenly assessed her as boldly as she did him.

“Do ye wish to have yer fortune told, lass, or shall we continue to eat each other with our eyes?” His deep voice, smooth like cream, made her legs tremble. She continued to stare at him, unable to speak, and he crossed his massive arms over his chest, a roguish smile turning up one corner of his full mouth. Her heart pattered wildly at the sight of that dimple.

Davina managed a swallow and found her voice again. “You don't remember me, do you?” she asked in Gaelic.

The Gypsy's eyebrows crossed and he looked at her with new interest. “I think I would have remembered . . .” His eyes traveled down her body before he continued. “A face . . . such as yours.” The roguish smile returned.

Though her face burned with irritation and embarrassment from his words, she still felt drawn to that creamy voice and those hooded eyes. Davina uprooted herself and sat before him, trying to keep her disappointment from showing. He didn’t remember her.

Her giant leaned forward, coming very close to her. “Lend me your hand, lass,” his voice whispered seductively.

Davina obeyed, trying to keep it steady. His hands burned her skin and she gasped and reflexively pulled away.

He held tight, his emerald eyes meeting her sapphire ones intensely. “Relax, lass.”

Davina drew in her bottom lip, holding it between her teeth. The exotic incense mingled with her rose oil, causing an intoxicating effect upon her senses. The Gypsy's features softened and his roguish smile returned. “I see blossom oil in a glass vial.” His smile broadened. “Intimate places are touched by this fragrance,” he whispered and breathed in deeply through his nose. “A fragrance I smell emanating from you, lass.” Fire flew to her cheeks. His eyes opened and settled upon her square neckline to linger before they moved slowly up to her eyes. Without releasing her gaze, he dipped the thumb of his free hand into a bowl of oil being heated by a candle.

She tried to pull away, but he refused to let her go. “What is that for?” It was an effort to keep her voice steady.

“The oil makes it easier to read the lines on your hand,” he said, his creaminess moving over her, and he smoothed the warmth over her palm, each stroke of his thumb slow and deliberate. Davina's heartbeat quickened. The ministrations of his hands were maddening!

His fingers resumed their ministrations, a hunger blossoming inside her and her eyes went to his strong neck and broad shoulders. His touch aroused feelings she'd never thought existed. She found herself wondering what it would be like to feel his body pressed to hers, feeling his weight upon her and hearing him call her name, his voice thick with passion. His roguish smile returned and so did the heat in her cheeks, which flowed to her throat. “You haven't once looked at my palm,” she said trying to banish the erotic visions in her mind, hoping he hadn't read them.

A rumble of laughter sounded from him and he dashed around the table and stood at her side before Davina knew what happened. The Gypsy pulled her to her feet and snaked his arms around her body, crushing her arms uselessly between them. Her hands, having nowhere else to go, lay spread upon his chest. She could feel the wild thumping of his heart beneath her palm, matching that of her own heart's cadence. Davina stared up into his fierce green eyes and, before she could protest his bold behavior, his mouth descended upon hers, slanting deliciously across her lips. Davina marveled at the tenderness and when her legs gave from under her, his arms tightened to support her. The tent seemed to whirl around her, the exotic scent of the incense and the Gypsy's own masculine essence mingling to create a drugging effect upon her body. Then she opened her mouth to him and a deep groan rumbled from his chest. Davina returned with her own groaning response, her stomach fluttering, and gained some strength in her legs. Their bodies parted enough for her hand to wrap around his neck and entangle in the silkiness of his fiery hair. At the touch of his hand on her breast, Davina moaned.

The Gypsy's tongue teased her lips before he pulled his head back slightly and smiled, passion burning in his eyes. “You're ripe and ready, lass. What say we indulge in each other in a more private atmosphere?”

His words excited her for only a moment before she realized where she was and how far they'd gone. Davina stepped out of his embrace and cracked her hand against his smiling face.

“What in—” The Gypsy's expression went from confusion to amazement. Hearty laughter poured out of his mouth as he tipped his head back, his fists planted firmly on his hips.

She was speechless. And burning from embarrassment, all the way to her toes. What in blazes did he find so amusing? Before she could finish the thought, he had his arms around her again in a tight embrace. Davina struggled against him, her fists pushing against his broad chest that still rumbled with his laughter, and finally found her tongue. “Let me be, you— you—!”

“Brute?” he supplied, humor lighting his eyes. “Or am I more appropriately a—”

“An animal! That's what you are!” She pushed against him with all her might. “Let me—!” She stopped mid-sentence when his arms released her and the force of her pushing against him landed her right on her bottom.

Davina sat on the ground, dumbfounded, staring up at the handsome giant. His arms folded across his chest, he smiled down at her for a while before stretching out a helping hand. Davina refused to take the offered help and rose to her feet unaided, furiously dusting the dirt from her skirts and hands. His continuing flutter of laughter grated her patience.

When she faced him, they stood staring at each other in silence—his face sparkling with amusement; hers twisted in agitation. He nodded his head toward the basket on the table and she saw coins sitting at the bottom of it. She gaped at it for a moment, then gasping in realization, picked the basket up and threw it at him. “How dare you ask for contributions when you've done nothing but manhandle me!”

“Maybe if you'd gone with me to more private quarters, you'd have been more charitable.”
Davina trembled with fury at the double entendre then stormed out of the tent.

END OF EXCERPT – Hope you enjoyed it! There's more to come. Visit my author web site at www.EnchantedWoodz.com/arialburnz to read about other stories in the Bonded By Blood series of which Midnight Conquest is Book #1.

That's my two pence…
Arial 😀