Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

This is my last post of the year, so wishing everyone a Happy New Year.  May 2104 bring you all you dream of.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

As this Christmas week starts, I'm wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Enjoy the holiday's and being with family and/or friends.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest Post: Tricia Schneider

I'm please to have Tricia Schneider on my blog today talking about herself and her newest release The Witche's Thief.



Tell us a little about yourself.

I worked as an Assistant Manager at my local Waldenbooks before the store closed in 2010. It was the best job in the world for a book lover! I was so sad when we had to say good-bye. Now, I write full-time while raising my 3 young children. They keep me incredibly busy! But, I get in some time to write in the mornings and at night when they’re in bed. If I manage any more free time, I like to read, cross-stitch or other craft projects and watch some TV. My husband got me hooked on The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones



  
What do you like the most and the least about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is when I get so pulled into the story it seems to take possession of my fingers as I type. It’s like the story is writing itself. I’ve heard this called the ‘zone’ by other writers. Whatever it is, it’s a wonderful feeling of becoming one with the story in my head and seeing it come to life on paper (screen).

My least favorite thing about writing is the length of time it takes to complete a project. I like to see a finished product! Sometimes I get very impatient. Before I had kids, I could write for hours and hours with no distractions and write a book in a week or two. Now, I can only squeeze in small amounts of time for writing and I realize that I’ve become a very slow writer.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

To save her sister’s life, Julia Grey seeks a spell hidden somewhere within Merriweather Manor. Her position as a lady's companion affords her the freedom to search the house. But time is running out. The necromancer she's bargained with is growing impatient. And an unexpected appearance of a man from her past makes matters worse in an already complicated situation.

Basil Merriweather returns to England after ten years abroad to discover his childhood sweetheart living in his home. But, he's no longer the carefree man of his youth and she's hiding something--deadly secrets Basil vows to uncover even as he hides a dark secret of his own.

While neither Basil nor Julia will trust in the other, their hearts speak a truer language.  In a grand attempt to save Julia's sister and Basil's life, the two must finally confess sinister truths. Will their admissions help or hinder any future they may have together? Or will the necromancer destroy all in a vile attempt at revenge.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m currently working on books 4 and 5 in The Merriweather Witches series. These books are about Basil Merriweather’s siblings. The first two siblings, Lillian and Melora, were featured in The Witch and the Wolf and The Witch and the Vampire, my previous releases. I plan to have 7 books in the series when it’s complete.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?
The Witch’s Thief is currently available in digital format exclusively at Amazon Kindle and will be FREE from December 17-21. I hope you get a chance to grab a copy!

http://www.amazon.com/Witchs-Thief-Tricia-Schneider-ebook/dp/B00G8HXMJK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386035934&sr=1-1&keywords=the+witch%27s+thief

You can also find out more about my books at my website, http://www.triciaschneider.com or my blog, http://www.shadowsofromance.blogspot.com

Excerpt of The Witch's Thief:

"What are you doing?" 

He ignored her frantic questioning. Instead, he blocked out the sound of her voice and raised his arms into the air at his sides, his fingers splayed out as he extended his senses to scan the area. His power eased out, like extensions of his fingertips, stretching into the corners of the room, seeking, searching for the source of the magic he sensed. 

It was here...somewhere. 

He had sensed it earlier on his arrival, but being that his aunt and siblings practiced magic on a regular basis he'd never given it a second thought. 

This room, however, stank with it. He smelled the odor, something strangely like sulfur... 

"A spell has been cast in this room," he muttered. A strange spell. Odd. A spell he'd never sensed before, something new. It felt off is some way he couldn't explain. Who would be working new magic of this kind in his home? And, in this room in particular. Aunt Petunia worked her spells in the privacy of her rooms upstairs, or sometimes in the gardens, but never in this room. And his siblings each, practiced in their own private settings, places where they could concentrate without the threat of being disturbed. A fairly difficult task with the number of people normally in residence at Merriweather Manor. 


He took a step closer to the center of the room where he sensed a surge of power. He shivered as coldness seeped into his skin. It wrapped around his arm, sinking into his flesh, right down to the bone. This was not right. 

Thanks for being  here today, Tricia.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Writer's Options

Writers have so many options now-a-days.

There is traditional publishing with a New York publisher where you come out in print, e-book and maybe even a book club.

There is small press publishing where you come out in e-book and print, sometimes e-book only.

Then there is self-publishing where you do everything yourself.  Usually come out in e-book and POD (Print-On-Demand)

And then there is the hybrid author who does both traditional and self-publishing or small press and self-publishing.

There is no right or wrong here.  Each writer must explore what is best for them.

But you need to research your choices.  I hear disparaging comments on all sides of the coin where one side doesn't think the other is very smart.

Talk with other writers, find out why they choose the path they did.  Learn about the business and educate yourself.

No one is going to educate you.  You have to seek out the answers.

Professional writers organizations like Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, etc.  are a good place to start.  Many of them have some basic education, but again it is up to you as the writer to make the right decision for you after you have done your research.

Also understand there are things a New York Publishing house might do that a small press may not.  Or a small press may do something better than a New York Publisher.  All have their ups and downs.

The only warning I give, is if you decide to go the self-publishing route, remember you have to do it all.  Writing, editing, proofing, copy editing, cover art, formatting, putting it up on every platform, etc.  If you're unsure of anything, hire someone.  I would particularly say hire for editing, copy editing and cover art.

You want to stand out in a sea of thousands, in a good way, make your book the best possible book it can be before you or your publisher puts it out there.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Know What Your Publisher Does for You

Pet peeve here.  If you accept an offer from a publisher, I don't care what kind of publisher, you better know what your publisher does for you.

Does your publisher just put your book out there?
Do they do edits at no charge to you?
Do they do the cover art at no charge?
Do you have input on the cover art?

Many of these are spelled out in your contract. So please, read your contract.  You are signing a legal binding agreement with the contract, make sure you know what you're getting into. 

There are also things like:

Does your publisher do any marketing for you?
Does your publisher arrange blog tours for you?
Do they give you copies to give away or must you purchase them?

Some of these may or may not be in your contract and these are things you need to know and understand. 

If  you don't know something, ask your editor and/or agent.  Or research the answer by talking to other authors published by that publisher.

Don't assume your publisher is doing something unless they've told you.  If you're not sure ask.  You won't appear stupid to the publisher, they know there are so many options out in the world. 

An example of this, I was explaining to some writing friends about my publisher putting my books into Amazon's KDP Select and how it worked out for me with the 5 free days KDP Select has.

Another published author wanted to know when she was going to get her 5 free days with Amazon and how did she set it up. 

Both myself and another writer explained, that was up to her publisher, she needed to talk to her publisher.  This author continued to go on about how if I did it why couldn't she.  I patiently explained my publisher did this, not me.  And since they published her book she needed to discuss with her publisher, she can't take the book the publisher published and make it free without them agreeing and her publisher making it free.

This is just one example.  There are so many options now-a-days.  Writers/Authors need to be informed. Writers/Authors need to do their homework.  

And just because someone else is doing it doesn't mean its the right fit for you.  You have options, explore them all.


Next week: Writer's Options

Monday, November 25, 2013

Track Expenses

It amazes me how many people have no clue about tracking their expenses. 

I'm asked all the time if I keep receipts, how do I do my taxes, etc.

From my experience with the IRS (US), the more you keep track the better off you are especially if you're doing a tax filing showing yourself as a writer. 

I track all my writing expenses: conferences, hotels, meals, etc., that includes car mileage.

There are various ways to track, and you can find various ways on the Internet or by asking people what they use.  

But it is important to track your expenses before and after you've published.  

I started claiming my writing expenses many, many years before I was published.  Now, I will say, there were many things I could have tried to write off my taxes but chose not to.  This was my choice.  I wrote off dues to organizations, conferences, hotel expenses while at conference, meals, etc.  

Now, you don't have to claim your writing expenses before your published with the IRS.  But it is important to tack them, because it will give you an idea of how much money you are spending.  And when you do become published, you'll already have a good tracking system in place.
  
There are expenses I never thought about and year after year I keep track and see what I'm spending my writing income on.  


I track both incoming and outgoing income, I do this by spreadsheets.  It's not hard and as long as you keep it up, so it's not time consuming.

You are going to have expenses as a writer so it's important to track them.

Next week: Know what your publisher does for you

Monday, November 18, 2013

Time to Write

One of the things that make us professional writers is we write.

You wouldn't believe how many people forget that.  As a writer, I have to write my books and short novella's and get them to my editors in order for readers to read them.

If I don't write, I don't get paid because I've sold nothing to my editors and there's nothing for the reader to buy.

Some of the most successful writers do just that write.  Some write 365 days a year, others take time off for the holiday's, others write Monday through Friday and take weekends off.

It doesn't matter how you do it, but you must write and submit your work.  Otherwise, how will readers find you and buy your work.

Writing, at least for me, is a part of me.  When I'm not writing, I'm not happy.  Right now I don't write every day, but I'm working on it.  And I've found so far, for two weeks now, I've been writing or editing every day and I feel so much better about myself and my writing.

This leads in to last weeks topic, keeping track of time.  If I hadn't been keep track I wouldn't have noticed how much I'd progressed in the last two weeks.  I finished editing a novel, which I'd been ignoring, and sent it to my editor.  I'm now working on a novella that has a deadline of the end of this month (November).

I've had things come up in the past two weeks to throw me off my game, but I've made a commitment to myself so I write or edit every day.  Sometimes its very late a night, and I really don't want to do it, but I do and I feel better that I'm keeping my commitment.  Even if its only to myself.

Next week: tracking expenses


Monday, November 11, 2013

Keeping Track of Time

Some wonder why this is important.  It's important to me because I need to know where my time goes, plus by keeping a log of time, I can prove to anyone this isn't a hobby but a job.  

It also helps you as a writer to see are you spending too much time researching than writing?  Or at least where your time goes.

What do I keep track of?

I keep track of:

Research time
Writing time
Reading time
Blogging
Conference time (attending or giving)
Workshop time (attending or giving)
Professional meetings

Anything related to my writing.

I also keep track on a daily basis what I do, so sometimes my typical day looks like this:

online - 1 hour
My blog - 30 minutes
Doctor appt.
Laundry
WIP - 2 hours

This way when I look back at a week when I have missed my weekly goal (it happens) I can see that I had a doctor appointment and laundry which wasn't expected.  I'll even put down when there's a family emergency so I know what happened.

Overkill?  Maybe, but six months to a year from now I may not remember why there are four blank days on my calendar, just have the words family emergency, reminds me.  

Also this helps me when planning out my schedule for writing the next month or even year, because I can see a pattern to where things happen and plan for them.

Next week: Write


Monday, November 4, 2013

Writing Goals

Goals are important to any professional, but especially to writers.  I know when I had the dreaded day job, I hated it when my boss asked what my goals were.  When I was fresh into the company I could tell the boss, but when I was within a few years of retiring, my goal was to retire.

With writing, there is so much more to it.  One has to be realistic about their goals, but that doesn't mean we can't reach for the stars.  We sometimes want to reach higher than we think we can.

The main thing about goals to remember is they need to be SMART goals.

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time-bound

Specific goal - write 5 pages a day, 6 days a week

Measurable - the number of pages per day or week

Attainable - can I write 5 pages a day, 6 days a week?  If yes, then it's attainable, if not, then need to change the goal

Realistic - look at what a typical week looks like, is it realistic for me to write 5 pages a day, 6 days a week

Time-bound - 1 week

This is pretty simplistic but this is what I do.  I have daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and yearly goals.  I also have 5 year and 10 year plans/goals.  The reason for this is to track where I am, plus the IRS (in the US) can ask for your 5 year and 10 year plans if they think you're not doing this as a business.

It's amazing on how things change which is why you do re-evaluate your goals. I always look at my monthly goals to see how I progressed and change the next month if needed.  On the yearly goals, I look at them once a year at the end of the year to see how I did and make the next years plan accordingly.

The 5 and 10 year goals, I do look at maybe once a year or every other year.  

If you're not making a weekly goal, take a look at your daily goals and see what happened that week and then adjust.

This isn't written in stone, but it gives you a benchmark.

Just remember goals don't make you a professional, but they make do make you look better when asked what your goals are.


Next week: Keeping Track of Time

Monday, October 28, 2013

Writing is a Business

The next eight weeks, I'm going to discuss writing as a business.

I think it still amazes me on how many people don't think writing is a business.  I just want to shout "get with it people."

Of the past few months I've run into writers who are totally professional who think of writing as a business, then there is those who are at a mid-point, they think of writing as a business, but one they can do when they want, and lastly there are those who don't even think about it as a business.

If you want your writing to be taken seriously, then you have to take your writing seriously.

That means, being professional, listening and constantly learning about the business.

Writing is hard, many people think its easy, but it's not.  Writing romance is not easy, but the genre is the most put down poplar genre fiction.  I think it is because mainly women write romance (there are a few men), and other don't view writing romance as "legitimate" as writing other genre fiction.

It comes down to, writing is a business, you need to know how to run your business.

Next blog: Professional Writing Goals

Have a great week.

Marie

Monday, October 21, 2013

Conference Weekend

This last weekend I attended the Emerald City Writers Conferece.  It was fun and great to see old friends and make new ones.

I always forget how exhausing conferences can be mainly because you want to squeeze everything you can into the hours you have at the conference.  Sometimes it means giving up sleep and other times it means giving up a workshop or two.

I enjoyed workshops by Sabrina York, Bob Mayer and Jen Talty along with key note speeches by Maya Banks and Robyn Carr.

Writing conferences usually give me the boost I need to get my butt in chair and write again, and this one is no different. I've learned new techniques from Sabrina York, Bob Mayer and Jen Talty.  I've been inspired by Maya Banks and Robyn Carr.

It was a great weekend, but now it's back to my desk, to my writing, because I have books to write.  And next year it will be fun to catch up with everyone again and see what we've all accomplished.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Guest: MacKenzie Crowne

Today I have a guest, MacKenzie Crowne

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m a wife, mother and really young grandmother. Together with my high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian and a blind cat, I call Arizona home because the southwest feeds my soul. My love of books, specifically the romance genre, has been a lifelong affair, both as a reader and a writer. A bout with breast cancer sharpened my resolve to see my stories shared with others. Today, I’m a five-year survivor, living the dream. Raised on the concept that a stranger is just one conversation away from being a friend, I love meeting new people.


My friends call me Mac. I hope you will too.

Okay, Mac.  What do like the most and the least about writing?

As a pantser, when I sit down to write a story, I have a general concept in mind, beginning – middle – end. The details, however, are a little murky. I love how both major elements and minor details unfold before my eyes. Like some kind of romance stenographer, I’m thrilled and excited when my characters slip me new insights into their psyches or deliver a bombshell I wasn’t expecting. On the flip side of being a pantser, however, is the danger of writer’s block. Since I’m not the one driving the story, I’m occasionally left sitting at my computer with nothing but crickets to keep me company. Hate that!

Oh how I understand the character silence.  Give us a peek into your latest published work?

A SONG FOR SOPHIE is a lighthearted contemporary romance and part of The Honky Tonk Hearts series from The Wild Rose Press. It’s currently available exclusively at Amazon and will be FREE to download 10/15 through 10/19.

Blurb: Jobless, practically homeless, and tired of being manless, Sophie Taylor jumps at the chance to be Beaumont Walker's personal assistant. Six weeks on the road with country music's bad boy--and, more importantly, his all-male crew--is the perfect opportunity to change her life.

Beau Walker doesn't need any more distractions. Sophie, with her butt-ugly suits and balls-to-the-wall attitude, shouldn't be one, but she proves to be distracting and more--even, surprisingly, a friend. So when he discovers her plan to snag a man from his worldly wise crew, he's determined to protect her from herself.

When Sophie realizes Beau is behind her failure to attract even one member of his crew, the last place she expects to find herself is in his bed. But will one night of passion convince her she's woman enough for him? Or will it destroy their friendship and his budding belief in true love?

That sounds like a good, fun book.  What's next on the writing horizon for you?

Though it’s not my usual genre, I’m hoping to announce some very exciting news about my new romantic suspense, IRRESISTIBLE DECEPTIONS, sometime later this week. Details to come… In the meantime, several of my lighthearted contemporaries are hitting the digital shelves. THAT DATING THING is available now and CARA O’SHEA’S RETURN, a prequel to THE BILLIONAIRE’S CON will be released on 10/28.

Here's an excerpt of A Song for Sophie:



Here’s a little taste of “Sophie”. Enjoy!
“Don’t you have something you’re supposed to be doing? I assume we’re paying you. Go earn your paycheck.”
“Oh, you’re paying me.” She allowed the secret smile to curl her lips in an actual one. “And I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“What’s that? Boring me to death?”
She dropped her oversized purse to the floor and took the chair next to him. It was a very comfortable recliner, and large enough that her arm didn’t reach the handle to lift the footrest. Feeling around blindly, she sat forward, and hanging half way over the arm, grasped the control. A quick tug and the footrest snapped up, and the back of the chair fell into the recline position, making her squeak.
Beau shook his head.
She tugged at the hem of her skirt to make sure it didn’t ride up, squirming until she’d settled herself. With her ankles crossed, she plopped her hands and forearms on the cushioned arms of the chair and looked at him.
“I’m keeping you busy.”
“Huh?”
“I’m keeping you busy. You asked what I was supposed to be doing. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“Well, quit it. You’re pissing me off.”
“Oh, yeah,” she drawled, “like that’s hard to do.”
“Have I fired you yet today?”
“No.”
“You’re fired.”
He really was funny when he was trying to look menacing. She laughed and held his glare. “Geez, you’re cranky.”


Thanks for being here today, Mac






Monday, September 9, 2013

Guest: Barbara Edwards

Today, my guest is fellow Wild Rose Press Author Barbara Edwards.

Welcome Barbara.

What can I tell you to snag your interest? 

I’m Barbara Edwards and I’m an author. Not a world shattering surprise since I have a new release, Journey of the Magi, available on kindle http://amzn.com/B00ES5DZEQ

The big difference is that it’s a sweet holiday romance and very different from my edgy, paranormal romances or historical romances.

Marie was nice and sent me some interesting questions.  Thanks, Marie,  for being my hostess today.

The thing I like least about writing is the amount of patience it takes to get a book published. Writing the basic book, editing, rewriting and then submitting can take up to a year. Then you wait for acceptance or rejection, or suggestions for changes to make it acceptable. The more edits from the editor. Sometimes this process takes another year. Then comes the big day! Boom! It’s over, someone likes it. Where’s the next book?

What do I like most about writing? When someone likes my work.

Here’s a bit about my Christmas story.




Blurb for Journey of the Magi:

Widow Noel Martin never breaks promises, and she promised her kids they’d have Christmas at her childhood home in Connecticut. But driving across country takes money. Noel is broke when a snowstorm blows them into a tiny Minnesota café owned by a man who can change her mind. She accepts his offer of a job. Despite her attraction to him, she makes it clear she is only temporary help.

Dan Longstreet isn’t adopting any more strays, but he needs a waitress. Dan works so hard to make his café a success, he doesn't have time for love. Though Noel’s slender blonde beauty stuns him and her two adorable children tug at his heart, he denies how they threaten to change his life.

When tragedy strikes, their new-found love is the first victim. Noel can't stay and Dan can't leave. Will their journey be the gift that reunites them? 

What’s next? I’d like to write another holiday romance, but already have the next book in my paranormal series, Ancient Dark, well underway. It’s about a man who’s bloodlines are werewolf but he never changed.

I set my series in New England since that’s where I was raised. The atmosphere can be spooky or full of eerie history, a nice bucket to dip ideas from. 

Here’s an excerpt from Journey of the Magi

“Is that job still open?”

“I need a waitress.” His rich voice woke tingles of awareness that she’d forgotten, or maybe never knew.

“Is that a yes or a no?” she asked impatiently. These unfamiliar feelings were scary and unwelcome. She was
too tired to be diplomatic and this job was too important.

“What are you going to do with them?” He jutted his chin toward her children.

“I, I d-d-don’t know,” Noel stammered before sheslumped onto the nearest stool. Leaning forward onto
her elbows, she looked at her clasped hands. “I didn’t plan that far.”

“Humph!”

Noel watched his long, strong fingers dexterously polish another glass. His wide palms held the heavy
restaurant-ware like fine china. He had nice hands, a gentle touch. Instinct murmured he’d be as careful with
a woman.

“I guess I should move on. I…”

“Could keep the kids next to the kitchen, there’s a place there. Then if they needed you, you’d be right
close.” His deep voice was like an angel’s song.

Journey of the Magi is available here: http://amzn.com/B00ES5DZEQ
Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.
Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A
Facebook like page

It was great having you here today, Barbara.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Guest: Rachel Leigh

Today I welcome Rachel Leigh to my blog.  Rachel is published with The Wild Rose Press and bring her own unique voice to her books.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I've been writing for about eight years now under Rachel Leigh and a pseudonym, as well as being wife to my wonderful husband and mum to our two daughters. I live in England but write for the US market which is kind of strange seeing as I've never even been to the US! I endeavored to get published here, but it seems I'm more American than British, lol :D

What do like the most and the least about writing?


Most: Each time I write chapter 1 - I just love starting a new story! I plan a short outline and character sketches and then dive in. I love letting my characters take me where they want to go, with lots of surprises of who they are as individuals as well as the naughtiness they get up to along the way…

Least: The middle! I suffer from terrible 'sagging middle' syndrome and when I reach the 15,000 mark (my novellas range from 25,000 to 40,000 words), I hit a brick wall. The only way to get through it is to keep writing. I write, and then worry about cleaning it up in the following drafts.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

Caroline James wants to be the best investigative journalist London has ever seen. But until she has the money to leave the small town of Fayre Mead, she's stuck and her resentment is building. So when she’s assigned to cover the Lakeland Horse Trials and meets sexy, dark-haired, and astoundingly fit horse trainer, Michael Canton, she is happy to vent some sexual and emotional frustration…and write the story of her career. But after getting personal with Michael, can she remain impersonal with the article?

Michael Canton will do anything in his power to silence his tyrannical father once and for all. Under extreme pressure to compete in the countries show jumper trials and prove his worth, Michael’s fiery emotions are running high. Caroline’s beauty and sexual confidence stokes an inner strength and determination he never knew he had. But can he trust her to know the difference between fact and fiction? Together, they are a formidable team…but will their burning ambitions ultimately blow them apart?

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I'm extremely busy with other writing commitments right now, but as soon as I'm done, I'm planning my first venture into erotic historical romance. I want to write a trilogy based around three orphaned sisters running their own clothes store in the early 1900s. I'm so excited to get started!

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Yes! Please join me on my blog where I have regular guest authors who more often than not offer so great giveaways. 

and Twitter (https://twitter.com/rachelwriter) for all my latest news. I love to chat!


Here's an excerpt from Rachel's Current release:

Still sitting in his lap, she reached behind her and lowered the zipper of her dress. It fell down over her shoulders, revealing naked breasts. His erection ached at the sight of her creamy white, perfect tits with nipples big and dark. He licked his lips and moved forward to suck one hard tip into his mouth. Her gasp sounded above him.
Her skin smelled of something sweet and sexy, innocence mixed with danger. He inhaled deeply as he grazed her pebbled nipple with his teeth before reclaiming her mouth. Her tongue was rigid and demanding against his as they fought for supremacy.
Rolling her over, he shimmied the dress down her body and tossed it to the floor. Naked, but for tiny satin panties, darkened by juices at her clit, Michael didn’t think he had ever seen a woman look more beautiful. He drank in every inch of her, knowing deep inside that this might be the only moment he’d ever see her like this. The only chance to take her, to watch her enjoy unadulterated pleasure. God, he wanted to give her pleasure.
“Michael…”
He snapped his gaze to hers. She watched him. Her eyes were heavy lidded, screaming for him, wanting him. Male pride surged like a fireball behind his ribcage. He crawled up beside her and kissed her, his fingers trailing over her breasts, lower over her torso before diving into her panties.
She was wet. Soaking wet.
His hand glided over her narrow strip of pubic hair to her rigid clit. He circled, stretched, and teased, then moved lower until his fingers found her slit, his blood roaring in his ears. He felt alive, masculine and powerful. Her legs opened and he thrust two fingers deep inside. 

Wow, hot excerpt.


And for an extra, here's the cover of Rachel's previous release.




I think Rachel has heated up our Labor Day (here in the US) quite well.

Thanks for being here today Rachel.




Monday, August 26, 2013

Long and Short Reviews Anniversary Bash

Come visit me and other authors at the Long and Short Reviews Bash





Win an Amazon gift card and more.

Click here to be taken to the site


KDP Select through my publisher

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has started putting their authors books in the KDP Select program (Amazon).  This means for 90 days the book is only available through Amazon only and as an author, I get 5 free days.

When I first heard about this, I will admit to be a bit unsure about it when I received the notification about my release, it showed when it was going into KDP Select and when it would go on World-Wide sale.

Thanks to, Lisa, our wonderful marketing director, a few days before my free days, she gave us all at The Wild Rose Press a crash course in KDP Select and how to use the free days to our advantage.

Since I only had 3 days until my free days started, I reached out to other authors I know asking for quick blog spots, notified a few websites that will list your free book, and started making a list of what I needed to do during those 5 free days.

A few things I want to point out:

1. I write Erotic Romance and it is a hot sub-genre right now
2. This is my 5th book with The Wild Rose Press so it did make a difference
3. I did very little promotion for the free days because I didn't realize I need to
4. What promo I did do was a couple of blog spots, I did Facebook and Twitter for the first 3 days.

These are how my numbers looked I don't expect anyone else's to look like mine we all write different books.

Monday before my book went free I was ranked in the 495K area

Tuesday, first day free: I was out most of the day, but checked first thing in the morning and I was ranked at 5,000.  Thanks to my wonderful critique partner, she watched my rankings through the day for me, by the end of Tuesday night, my overall ranking was #74 with being #2 in Erotica.

Wednesday, second day free: Ranking started at #37 with #1 in Erotica, by the end of the day my ranking was #24 and still #1 in Erotica

Thursday, third day free: Ranking started at #34 and #2 in Erotica.  By the end of the day my ranking was #52 and still #2 in Erotica

Friday, fourth day free: Ranking started at #61 and #2 in Erotica.  By the end of the day my ranking was #91 and still #2 in Erotica

Saturday, my fifth and last day free: Ranking started at #90 and #2 in Erotica.  By the end of the day my ranking was #92 and still #2 in Erotica.

During that same time period, the rankings on my other books began to get better.  Which meant those books were now selling.

After my book went off free, my ranking of course jumped back up into the 500K range, but then went back down under 100K range and then stayed below that range even now more than a week since I went free.

I also think what really helped is when I went free I had 2 reviews, a week after I went free I had 15 reviews.  Not all of them good, but the majority were very nice.

So that is my free experience with KDP Select through my publisher.  I'm glad The Wild Rose Press gave me the opportunity to be part of this new program.

So tell me what you think about free books on Amazon?  Do you download them and never read them?  Will it get you to try a new author?

Have a great week.

Marie


Monday, August 19, 2013

When the Words Won't Flow

It's been that kind of week for me.  I sent my editor off the short story and now the words just won't flow.

I've gone back to the story I'd started before this, I had to do a bit of reading to get back into it, but the words dried up.

It's taken me days to get back into the story and I really hate that, because I have other character's wanting their stories told, but this one needs to get done first.

Always when I'm fighting a story, more ideas pop into my head and characters just want to have their time on the page.

If you're a writer how do you handle this?

If not, when you have to do something and you don't feel like it what do you do?

Have a great week.

Marie

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Story Done

Wow, time is passing fast right now.  I just finished up another short story for Sybarite Seductions titled: Silver Screen Dom.

I've been writing this short for a while now, while life interfered with me finishing it.  Last week I finally got it off to my critique group, then turned it around in a few days, got it back to me and I finished editing it over the weekend and sent it off to my editor.

I'm happy to with the story and the characters are happy they got to tell their story.

Writing isn't easy.  I struggle everyday to get words onto paper (or into the computer) sometimes I just can't face it and others, I'm eager to dive in and write.  Many writers are like this.

I'm getting back into the "I'm eager to write" phase which is good, I have three more novella's and another short story to get done this year and there isn't much left to this year.

So tell me, what do you do when you don't want to do something?  How do you convince yourself to do the task?

Have a great week.

Marie

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Release - More Than One Night

My newest release from The Wild Rose Press - More Than One Night is now free on Amazon, it will be free from Tues. 8/6  until Sat. 8/10.



This is 5th book with The Wild Rose Press and I'm really happy about this book because it is one I wrote a couple of years ago, it's sexy and fun.  So if you have time, download it for free.  And enjoy it.

Blurb:

Bartender Beth Grant has sworn off men after yet another failed relationship, but when a friend dares her to dance with a handsome stranger, she's tempted by the fantasy. Jake turns out to be dashing, charming and very rich, everything Beth avoids. But she can't resist, and one dance turns into an evening of exquisite passion. Beth vows not to repeat a night like this, despite liking the mysterious Jake--a lot.

Successful business owner Jake Masters knows he's met his dream girl the minute he lays eyes on Beth across the crowded dance floor. But the next morning she disappears and all he has is her first name. Jake vows to go to any length to get more than one night with Beth, and when he discovers she has a jaded past, he puts his heart and soul at risk to prove he's the one.

Excerpt:

            The song wound down, but when it ended she didn’t move out of his arms. The music started once  again, and as they turned, he spied her friends  watching them with rapt attention.  
            “You’re a very beautiful woman.” Where was  this corny stuff coming from?  
            “Thank you. You’re beautiful yourself.”  
            “Men aren’t beautiful. We’re rugged,  handsome, charming, powerful—”  
            She started laughing. “Are you flirting with me,  Jake?”  
            “Yes, is that okay?” Now he was into the dorky  stage, asking permission, but that’s how he was taught to treat a lady.  
            “Absolutely, flirt away.” She laid her head on  his shoulder once again. He was aware of her body  against his, with each sway of their hips their groins  brushed. His erection was apparent, but she wasn’t  pulling away. He took it as a sign she wanted to be  with him.  
            Her breath was warm and moist against his  neck. He moved his hand up her back and tunneled  beneath her hair, holding her head in place as his  lips nudged her hair away from her ear.  
            “I know what I want from you, but do you  know what you want from me?” she asked.  
            “I want to kiss you,” he said, because he  couldn’t have stopped the words from emerging if  God himself had clamped his lips shut. “All over. All night long.”



Click here to download the book from Amazon

To check out my other books click here for my website

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Fun Day

I thought I'd share an experience I had this weekend.

Living in a small town in Washington state is different for me. I've always lived n the big city of San Francisco and as far as I know there was nothing like this. Yesterday my sister and I went to the moveable feast.

The moveable feast is all different food trucks. We're not talking just any food truck but gourmet.  There was trucks with: 

Grilled cheese but not just plain grilled cheese, you had choices of cheese, could add bacon, avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, and other things.

Then we had the Tokyo hot dog truck, hot dogs with all things Japan.

Cajun food including beigns and crawfish Mac & cheese.

Fried meat pies, Taco's, burrito's, sushi, Asian fusion, Filipino, Mediterranean, Greek, and oh the dessert trucks.

Ben &Jerry's, brownies, ice cream social, ice pops, but the two we tried were celebration cakes and the donuts.

The donuts were amazing, slightly bigger than donuts holes, they were small donuts and very light, they're put into a basket and the you can add your toppings we got vanilla and chocolate mixed plus another of caramel and chocolate. They were delicious. 

At celebration cake, the had glutton free brownies, and cake. The cake were flavors like cappuccino, chic mouse, snow ball, and eclairs to die for.

It was a good thing we did some walking because of all the food we ate and took home.

It was fun and something I'll do again next year.  Any maybe next year I'll remember to take pictures.


So what did you do this weekend?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blog Guest: Sandra Sookoo




Today I have a special guest blogger, Sandra Sookoo, who is doing her virtual book tour for her new release Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream.

Welcome Sandra.

Thanks for hosting me today, and thanks to the readers who’ve joined up as part of the Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream virtual blog tour. This is stop #1. Be sure to visit all stops to better your chance of winning swag!

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Sandra Sookoo. I write romantic fiction, but over the course of the last year, I’ve primarily focused on contemporary and Regency romance. My latest book is a sweet contemporary.

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for old Hollywood movies. I’d say anything from the 1950s is my absolute favorite. When I set out to write this book, I had no idea I would include Hollywood trivia from that time period. One day, I had an urge to watch The African Queen, so I called it up on Netflix and became absorbed in the film. I’d seen it before, of course, and it always stuck with me (especially since bits of Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride are inspired by it) Anyway, I’m sure it comes as no surprise Gwynn and Cole watch this movie as part of the Movies in the Park in this book. It worked out surprisingly well and I’m very pleased with how it played out. I hope you will be too. (But you have to buy the book to find out what I’m talking about!)

Here’s the blurb for Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream:

Sometimes the sweetest things in life don’t have anything to do with dessert.

Gwynn Flannigan wants respect from her father and freedom from her big, loud family. The icing on her cake would be to win a decorating competition hosted by her favorite food magazine writer. Cole Marshall's one outlet from the stress of business life is writing his Cooking in the Buff feature. Who cares if he never has time for fun?

The answer for them both lies in the deep freeze at Sweet Endings, the struggling ice cream shop Gwynn manages and the one property Cole needs to secure a big promotion. He’s stuck in Madrigal, Indiana to unravel a knot of family drama that drives him crazy.

Things heat between Gwynn and Cole on the competition floor when Cole’s alter ego is revealed.  Cake and accusations fly while dreams and goals are left crumbling. In order to balance family, business, and love, Gwynn and Cole will need to work together and become partners—in more ways than one.

And here’s an excerpt:

The ring of the smartphone sounded once more, this time with a series of high-pitched electronic beeps.

"That's it!" Before she could rationally think her plan and its repercussions through, Gwynn grabbed the offending piece of technology and shot to her feet. "Get out now." She glanced at the phone, found the appropriate button, and shut the thing off.

"Not without my phone." Cole stood. He held out his hand, fingers wiggling. "It's my property and taking it without asking is stealing."

"So is selling this place without giving me a chance. You, my father, and my brother are all the same. You never want to hear what I want. You all think a woman couldn't possibly do anything as well as a man." Her chest heaved from the force of her passion. "Well guess what, it's a brave new world, buster, and women are leading us all into the future."

His eyes were as cold as the dead of winter. His hand never wavered. "My phone, please."

The thrill from intercepting his phone died an early death as a dark expression crossed his face. The man who stood before her was every bit the arrogant attorney. No trace of compassion leaked into his bearing. He'd take what he wanted regardless of anything else. Gwynn swallowed past the lump of sudden fear in her throat. "You can have it back when you start negotiations for the store."

"There won't be any negotiations."

"We'll see." When Cole lunged for her hand, Gwynn shrieked and ran behind the counter. Hearing the clatter of his dress shoes against the tiles behind her, she ducked into the supply room then yanked open the door to the walk-in freezer.

The frosty interior instantly cooled her heated skin. Gwynn quickly moved to the far shelf, and then she turned around and held the phone behind her back. Cole's presence filled the freezer space. His broad shoulders blocked her view of the door and the florescent light beyond. Her heart raced as he approached. He didn't stop advancing until his body almost touched hers.

"Give me the phone, Gwynn. It's a vital part of my business." He inched close enough to slide an arm around her waist in an attempt to retrieve the smartphone.

"And this shop is my business, so I guess we're at a deadlock." Her backside pressed against the shelves stocked with frozen cardboard tubs of ice cream conflicted with her front that was wedged against the very warm, very hard body of a very angry Cole. In a different world, Gwynn acknowledged that having such a sexy man trying to feel her up in the freezer, albeit accidentally, would have been a highlight of her day, but this man was dangerous. He wanted her job, her livelihood, and he didn't care that she wanted to fight for it. "You need to leave."

"You need to return my phone." As Cole renewed the fight to retrieve his phone, his body rubbed against hers for one brief moment -- chest to chest, hip to hip, thigh to thigh and everywhere in between. Tingles erupted down her spine, intense and breath-catching. Gwynn caught a whiff of his cologne, a mix of cedar and citrus. She tamped the urge to put her face in the crook of his shoulder in order to smell him again.

Oh man, he'd be the perfect vehicle to lick ice cream from. She shook her head hoping to shove the thought away.

"No." Was it in answer to his question or her inappropriate thought?

"You're an adult, Gwynn. Such behavior is asinine and childish."

He sounds like Lyle. Another reason to avoid him. Her desire to annoy refreshed her anger. She pushed him away. He stumbled back, which gave her enough time to turn and chuck the phone into an open box of fudge pops on the top shelf. It landed with a satisfying thud. "Too bad. It's stuck there now, and technically, you're trespassing on private property." She crossed her arms over her breasts, hiding the evidence of the cold or her budding arousal. She didn't want to give him any ideas if her reaction was due to his closeness.

Or give me any ideas.

"Get out."

"Fine." Cole shoved the fingers of one hand through his hair. The look he shot her made Gwynn feel like pond scum. "I'll be back tomorrow morning. Your father had better be here, pen in hand, because whether you like it or not, I'm leaving town with a signed deed for this property. Your opinions hold no sway on the transaction."



You can purchase this book at the following locations:


Have we connected on social media yet? If not, here’s my info. I’d love to talk to you!

Believing is Seeing blog:  http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/sandrasookoo
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/sandra.sookoo
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2931453.Sandra_Sookoo


Giveaway information on this post: One lucky random commenter will receive a Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream swag pak. Be sure to leave your contact information.

Thanks, Sandra for that hot excerpt.  I can see Gwynn and Cole are going to have a great story.