Sunday, November 15, 2009

Part Of The Job?

Headaches...migraines, tired eyes. Oh my.

I write on average 2k a day give or take. I know I could do better if I pushed harder but lately even the 2k has been hard for me to do. I was supposed to have my Young Adult novel done by the end of October and here it is middle of November and it still isn't finished. I'm unhappy about that but I was constantly running into problems.

My head wasn't cooperating. I became despondant thinking that my Fibro condition was worsening and what constant migraines would mean for my career if I could only write 4k a week!...when I found myself squinting.

Yup, squinting...a lot. When I watched TV, when I played games and when I drove at night.

I had even reported to my doctor "these aren't my usual migraines" but he just told me it was stress or tension headaches. Yeah, stress on the eyeballs pal!

I finally decided it was time to go to the eye doctor. What could it hurt?

Other than my pocket book? Nothing.

Turns out I need glasses. The amount of money I paid for the cheapest lens (plastic) is mind-boggling. Oh and clearly I need to be a frame designer so I can make millions off the visual disabilities of others. Sheesh! So much for that Christmas present I was going to buy myself. ::sigh:: I guess the Craig Horner drool fest will have to happen at a later date or when the first season of Legend of the Seeker goes on sale.

Now I have to ask, because like all women to varying degrees who wear glasses I wonder... do I look like Lisa Loeb?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How To Sell More Copies Of Your Book

When a customer asks a librarian or bookseller for a recommendation, whose book do you want them to suggest? How about yours?

The Greater Detroit RWA Booksellers’ Best Award is your ticket to more sales!

For the very low price of $27*, every entrant will get their book read by multiple booksellers and librarians. A poster of the winners’ covers will be sent to booksellers and librarians nationwide.

If that isn’t enough to send you scrambling to the Post Office…

Finalists will be invited to an exclusive party at the RWA National Conference in Nashville. Winners will also get a coveted Booksellers’ Best Award pin. Must be an RWA member to enter.

Now that you know you’re going to enter (why wouldn’t you?) go to for rules and entry form. Deadline is January 15, 2010

*$6 additional cost to enter the Best First Book category

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Top Ten Loop Annoyances

While talking about Loop Pet Peeves with a few friends, I decided to compile a list and post it for everyone else to get a laugh out of...or, if you're anything like me, see things I do that made the list.

I swear I think four of these were added specifically for me by my..."friends". ::Eyes them.:: I'm onto you.

We all do something some people hate, that's why most people go digest. LOL

Instead of go straight down from 10-1 I put letters next to them so you can pick your own top 10.

Personally I would like to add Looooong paragraphs, and bright pink fonts to the list, but they didn't make the cut. (I think F,D,&C are references to me! Bitches. LOL)

My List Goes from Bottom to top: C, D, F, E, G, J, B, H, A, and OMG I hate the Doomsayers, so my #1 is I! Though it is pretty close with people who can't spell at all, especially if I'm referring to someone on a WRITERS LOOP.

Okay, onto the list! Would love to hear the order you hate them in and anything in addition that drives you nuts.


Top Ten Most Annoying Loop Offenses: (Put them in your own order.)

A- People who can't spell. I'm not talking typos here, because we all get them. But if you're spelling "genuine article" ginnuwen arctical" you better be a five year old.

B- People who respond to a question with: "I don't know" or any variation. If the answer to the question is not in your post, don't post it!

C- Congratulations, Thank Yous, You're Welcomes and other one-liner fluff. We always want to encourage people who are on the right track or doing something that's fabulous. But take it from someone who has been away for a day and come back to 1000 emails. 75% of them are usually one-liners.

D- People who know everything (just ask them) but say nothing. No matter what the topic is, they have something to say on it and know someone who has been through it but they don't remember how they overcame it.

E- Attachments/.gifs/.jpgs that have nothing to do with the topic, just something you keep on there that gums up my loading time or freaks out my spam filter.

F- The personal health updater. No matter what the topic is, they always manage to slip in their illness, the illness of their children and their children's children. Unless you are talking to a loop of intimate friends or a loops specifically designed for the illness you refer to, don't bring it up. 1000 people who barely know you might not care that you passed a kidney stone early morning.

G- The TMI group. They talk sex when they shouldn't, crack jokes whenever they feel like it, sometimes with a small disclaimer so they can feel justified. They talk about their panties bunching or their diarrhea episode at work. Who wants to know that?

H- Blatant self-promotion. Some of us join loops to promote a product and that's fine but when you answer an off topic question or respond with support for a tragedy or bad news, promoting shouldn't be at the top of your list. "I'm so sorry to hear your dog, Skippy, died last night. I wrote about pets dying in my blog at:

I- The Doomsayer. You ask a question and their response resembles something like: "This happen to my cousin and she lost everything! I hope this doesn't happen to you."

J- The Spammer. Whether it is someone peddling a product or worse yet, someone who answers every loop topic in order of succession. When I sign on and have 15-20 emails from the same person right in a row, I delete them all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Don't Have Enough Family!

Am I the only one who doesn't have a mammoth family? I have my mom and my sister and a cousin who apparently didn't buy my book because she didn't want her kids to see the cover. (What?!...flimsy.)

I've talked about the frustration of Blog Snobbery. Where someone constantly touts themselves but never visits other websites or blogs.

But what about the more painful kind of "snobbery"? The, "I'm too good to buy your book", snobbery.

I recently received my monthly statement (though it is being redone I believe) for From The Ruins and had to fight disappointment when I learned that I still hadn't run out my advance. Considering the advance money only covered a minimum payment on a credit card, I assumed it would be paid back the first week of my release. After all, there were tons of people that swore they couldn't wait to buy my book when it came out.

I was wrong.

When I received the May statement, I called a few "friends" and acquaintances questioning their lack of purchasing power. The majority swore again that they would "make it up" to me.

I stared at the June spreadsheet for a while like I had done in May and counted how many acquaintances I have...that are lying their asses off.


With the amount of promises I received...the advance would have been paid out THAT DAY. Release day! But it wasn't. I ranted, I raved, I had a bunch of people saying they bought it and my company is stealing from me.

Nice try.

The real problem is...I don't have "best friends" up the wazoo and I don't have family members outside of my mom and sis really. So everyone I depended on were friends of Dan's or Internet friends. Acquaintances that really could careless if they have broken a promise to me.

I used to be annoyed. But now that my focus is broadening, I'm okay with the knowledge that I don't have a 50 person group of friends and relatives that will push the sales of my book along. I'm okay with the knowledge that I'm going to have to depend strictly on talent, a publishing house's marketing as well as my own, and strangers who love my writing, to make it to the top.

I guess at least I'll know how I got there. Right?....right?

Unfortunately, it makes more work for me. ::Sighs:: There are times when I wish I had more family. ::grins::


Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's In A Name?

In a word?


Today I remembered something my mother said to me, or maybe it was my sister, or my distant cousin from my father's side. I babble. Back to the point...someone asked me "How do you come up with these names?"

The question is easy to blow off with a "they just come to me" but in truth, there is method to my madness.

When I think of naming a character, the first thing I do is think of what I want to name the character for short or if I want a short name at all.

Let me take a new WIP I'm working on. It's a mer-folk book and I wanted the heroine's name to flow as if through water. Not hard consonant to gum up the works but soft, watery sounds. I came up with Aeraeeania (Pronounced Air-uh-ee-on-ya) and I call her Aera (Air-uh like Era).

But what about non fish-folk? What is my criteria for them?

First, I don't want a name that is common. No Jennys, no Brittanys, no Emilys, no Julies. Why?

Well this might sound ridiculous to some but... I don't want someone to put my book down because the name of my heroine, is the name of their exes new girlfriend, or the name of the 20-year-old their husband just cheated on them with.

On the flip side of sister, Rachel, will pick up a book if the heroine's name is Rachel so maybe I'll lose out on that dollar.

Nah. I've come up with a hybrid!

When I pick a name that is popular I spell it different or mix two names together.

For my erotics, written under this pen name, I have two WIPS in the works. The heroine for my space opera, Maiden Voyage, is named Lilene. (A mixture of Lillian and Marlene.) In my M/M/F shifter story, my heroine's name is Jayna. (A mixture of Kayla and Jane.)

What about men? I give less thought about male names than I do women names. Oddly enough, given what I know about relationships and women (and being a good listener over the years)...we'll torture ourselves by buying a book with our exes name in it. Very rarely do we hate enough to put a book down but even then, we eventually "forgive" the name. (Okay, maybe not ALWAYS.)

Now if a fellow woman does us wrong... FORGET IT. That name is doomed for all eternity...or until we find a woman with that name that becomes a good enough friend of ours to negate the negativity surrounding that blasphemous name.

You may or may not agree, but this is my theory and therefore, why I "come up with" the names that I do.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Contest Woes

If you belong to any RWA loops, you'll often hear about contests. Off loop, you don't hear about them as much but every once in a while someone will gripe about one.

I'm not talking about free e-book contests or free print books when you twitter a jingle twisted to sound like a romance novel.

No, the contests I speak of are the ones where those of us who have written a book, submit some pages for other non-published and published authors to critique in hopes of winning recognition or a read from an agent or editor.

I'm not here to slam these contests. I want to make that clear up front. I've joined a few of them with a horrible book I wrote, and then joined a few more with my agented book.

Contests should be handled like critique. The comments are mostly the opinion of the reader and not necessarily always true. HOWEVER, if you receive mirrored feedback from the different judges, chances are they are seeing what you cannot and you should take the advice to heart and work to improve your writing.

Having said this, I would like to state that joining a scene specific contest isn't for the faint of heart or anyone with high blood-pressure.


I've had a few friends complain about the comments they have received and I am jumping on the bandwagon. Not because I'm angry. I'm not. The work I'm referencing as an example has been revised and has an agent and some of the points made in the contest I'm referencing helped get me to where I am. I am very PRO-CONTESTS. However, we all need to realize the subjective comments are to be brushed off and laughed at. We all get them! Moreso with contests that have scenes in the middle of the novel. Below are some of my more annoying contest comments from the most recent entrance.

My Example:

The contest I entered wanted my best make-up or break-up scene with a set-up synopsis unjudged. Sweet! How fun is that? After submitting my story, I had my edits on From The Ruins and realized I had a passive voice problem. Because of those edits, I knew I wouldn't win any of the contests I had just entered but I still couldn't wait for the feedback.

The synopsis "unjudged", required for the contest, covered from the beginning of the story to the scene to be judged with vague descriptions that let them know why my heroine was attacking the hero. Nothing overly specific considering I only had two double-spaced pages to walk them to the near end of the book where the to-be-judged scene took place.

I didn't describe the actual room my characters were in or the clothes they were wearing or why my heroine had a gun. I thought the point of the synopsis was to build up to the scene for story purposes. I'm still not sure how I should have done it differently, so if you're looking for a how-to on synopsis for contests you won't find it here. LOL

Comment Example (real comments in quotes): In the entered scene there is reference to a paper shirt the heroine's wearing and baggy pants. The judge (Who is marked unpublished and non-PRO but "trained".)asked a lot of questions. "We don't know what she's wearing. I'm assuming you cover it before this scene but with this scene, I'm lost as to why she's wearing a paper shirt. Did she escape from a hospital? Where did she get the gun? These kinds of contests are hard for this reason." ....and she marked me down.

FACT: In the scene prior to the one she judged...guess what it explains? The heroine's escape from a type of hospital and why she is wearing the baggy pants as well. It also explains where she picked up the gun. **It is important to note, this was a 10 page contest. The beginning of the scene where she walks into the warehouse and the description is heavier, is missing. I start straight in with the action and I don't let go until page 10 where they cut me off with their restrictions. (Which are necessary, granted.)

Comment Example: This judge seemed horrified by my sensual couple. "I do not read a lot of erotica and I am very picky about what works for me."
& "If this is an erotic (and I can't imagine it's not)..."

FACT: I entered the contest with a level 5 heat rating and it is a contest where they wanted your best make-up or break-up. I figured sexual tension or hot lovin' would be expected. But my book is NOT an erotic. It is a paranormal romance that would have a Scorcher or Hot rating in Romantic Times should I ever be so lucky.

She scored me quite low. Out of 120 points I received 91. Ouch.

Second Judge:

Unpublished but trained PRO judge didn't score me much better. 95.

Comments: "It's always tough picking up in the middle. I may have missed some things." I got a medium to low score for good sense of time and place with the comment "Again, coming in mid story alot of this may have been in place."

Fact: Since I'm unsure what "alot of this" is, I can't really say if my story covers what she has a problem with prior to the scene.

At this point I became annoyed not because I thought my marks should be higher (though maybe they should have been) but for why I was getting marked down. It seemed like the judeges scored me based on assumptions instead of content.

They assumed I didn't describe the room prior to the action portion of the scene. They assumed my heroine didn't have an explanation as to why she wore a paper shirt and baggy pants. Even the third judge (who was published, trained, contest finalist/winner, and PRO) had a moment where she made an assumption and I LOVED almost all of her opinions. She gave me a solid critique and a bunch of suggestions I implemented during my passive voice revisions.

Still, she marked me down in believability with this sentence: "How did she find him without his knowing?" The opening scene is the heroine walking into the hero's loft office.

Fact: Earlier in the story they set up a rendezvous point where she failed to show at their agreed time. (The loft office.) This is where she goes to meet him once she is able in the judged scene. No need for detective work, she simply shows where she is supposed to. The gun she's packing is the surprise.

Sooooo...why am I typing all of this out? Am I bitter? I know it might come off that way but I'm really not. I liked a lot of the feedback I gained and because of it, maybe I'll clarify some things in the chapter and see if my agent likes it better.

I also received a few little tidbits here and there that I wouldn't have noticed if not for the contest like typos. A dangling modifier. A repetitive word.

I think entering a contest is a great thing...even a middle-of-the-book one though you'll have to put up with assumptions. ::grins::

BUT, for those of you who have asked me about why I put up money to get crappy comments, I have to say it is all for the critiquing, NOT a win and not all of the comments are crappy. LOL These judges are very much like our audience with a dash of delusional grandeur. Weed out the good tidbits and your writing WILL be stronger.

That's my 2% or a dollar anyway.

I would love to hear contest stories, good and bad.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Handling Gwen Sold!

No longer the one ebook wonder, I sold Handling Gwen to Noble Romance. The contract goes out tomorrow, so I have no real details to hand out yet, but I will sneak in the blurb.

From The Ruins contest is over and done and the final two winners were Patti S. And Stephanie with an E.

I'd like to thank everyone who participated and hope those who didn't win will still give my book a try!

As promised, here is the new erotic blurb for Handling Gwen :

New to the teaching staff, young Mr. Pierce has a problem. One of his senior students is trying to seduce him, and to make matters worse, he wants her to. Gwen is the type of woman who takes what she wants and he admires that. Unfortunately she decides to take…pictures. In a moment of weakness, he falls prey to her wicked ways and is horrified when he hears the telling “click” of her cell phone. Now, it is up to him to save his career and take control of the situation by Handling Gwen.

All my best!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Squeee for Eeee's!

*This post is subject to the last week of the free ebook contest.

Recently, I've begun to bring my laptop everywhere I go. From planes to RWA chapter meetings to doctor's appointments and trips to the park. Nowhere is safe from me and my laptop.

I also have Fibromyalgia, so lugging heavy things can make it virtually impossible to type.

So how can I heft my laptop around AND keep my arms from falling out of their shoulder sockets?

I was gifted with an Eee PC.

I would have to say that this lightweight alternative to the big laptops is a must have for all writers on the go, like me.

But it might not be fore everyone. Here is a list of Pros and Cons so that if you are thinking about getting a mini, or an Eee or whatever else they call these pocket notebooks, you can decide if it is worth the money. I know I find it a valuable asset, but I don't speak for everyone.


-Lightweight (around 3-6 lbs depending on which size you get. I have the 10 inch.)
-Portable Even with the 10 in, I can fit it in my bag and take it anywhere. Of course I now have a special bag for it so I carry all my personal items in my laptop bag.
-Battery Life - Mine is supposed to last for 7 hours. It lasts for about 5-6. (They say it depends on what you do with it as well. I notice if I play a movie on it, the battery time goes down.) Still 5-6 hours is nice when you're on a plane. Just don't go overseas and expect it to last the whole flight. lol

-Smaller keyboard - Do you have big fingers? You'll probably hate the smallest ones but in my opinion, if you can learn to text, you can learn the keyboard. It just might take you a few days and a few mistakes.
-Typos - I seem to make more of them. Most mistakes correct themselves but I notice I do two spaces often and it doesn't auto correct those. Annoying!
-Mouse - I'm constantly hitting the pad and typing about three to four sentences north of where I want to be. Hopefully, I'm not looking away while typing. (Something I do when I'm trying to keep a description fresh.) When I look back at my work, it can look like a jumbled mess. Annoying x 3! I learned to shut the darned thing off.
-No CD/DVD drive. USB ports only. I don't find this detrimental but some writers do.

Despite the typos and the mouse fiasco, the smaller keyboard was manageable after a few weeks practice so for me, there are no cons.

Hope this helps in your decision to by the newest trend or pass on it.

All my best,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blog Snobbery

I've titled this piece Blog Snobbery because the main example I'm going to use is about blog comment requests, but there are many types of promotional snobbery that has me irked this morning, so I'm going to be a little Rantasaurus Rex.

On Facebook, I receive requests asking me to visit blogs and come check out the subject du jour every day. I don't mind this, because we're all trying to get our readership up or new friends and networks. The only way to do that is to invite like crazy. I receive blognetworking requests and I accept every one of them.

Or should I say...I used to accept every one of them. I'm tired of the non-reciprocating snobbery of blog comments, follows, etc.

"I have a blog, you should all come visit me and comment." Well that's just great, except I've been sending out emails and asking for people to come by and comment and I haven't seen this person come by and say hi to me. Not once! I've been bribing with free copies of my ebook and sending out requests to everyone and making a point to visit the blogs of those who have come to mine.

When I get requests to comment or read on a loop where someone is asking for visitors (if I'm home or when I get home) I comment.

Now, with my local RWA chapter, the return comments of those I have supported and commented on are pretty decent. On all my other loops...the support is practically nil. I can think of one woman who constantly goes out of her way to support people she knows only in passing and Rie, I thank you for your generosity.

I belong to 20 loops to date and the reciprocation for when you visit and comment is horrendous. Even on Facebook when someone says something to me, I try to respond each time. Some fall through the cracks, but mostly because I don't check my Facebook often, but blogs and the like? Emails? I always do my best to respond but it seems I'm more of the exception than the rule.

So ask yourself this one question... Do I give as much as I take promotionally? And I'm not talking about visiting the blogs of your dearest friends or blogs that promote your work. Those become a responsibility not something you participate in out of a show of support or respect for fellow authors.

If all you do is visit places that promote you and your closest friends' blogs where you guest etc...then you're not a reciprocator, your a promotional whore.

We're all guilty of it, but sometimes you need to step outside the "you factor" and do something that isn't about self promotion. Ironically, putting your name out there and showing support to others IS a form of promotion. So do yourself a favor and step out of the "mememe" haze and take a look around once and a while.

There are great people out there, going out of their way to stop by and say hi to you. If you can't even afford them the same courtesy then let's face it, you're a self-centered jerk.

I should clarify that I don't think every author has the time to respond to everyone who comes to their blog when they hit the big time or have a large fan base. It would be ridiculous to assume a busy author (as if we're all not busy) has time to stop by each of their commenter's blogs. But lets face it, not all of us are at that point and if we can fit in our own self-promotional blogs than we should take a few extra hours to blog visit those outside our circle who have made an effort to support us.

Make the time! Don't just spam everyone on your social network to get visitors and then don't acknowledge or reciprocate. It disgusts me, it is rude, and it will no longer go unpunished by me. I will make a special point to unfollow, to return books, to not purchase books, of those who are openly all about self.

As I mentioned, we are all guilty of it, myself included. I get bogged down by life and I can't always respond to everyone, which I hate. I constantly notice something WAAAAAYYY after the fact. But I do accept network invitations, I do try to comment on those who have commented for me and I do try to respond to every email I receive despite the fact that I am busy, and I think because of that, people see that I HAVE tried, whereas most...don't bother.

Being an Author means being a bit self-centered, granted. But we should all do our best to even out the karma.

All my best to everyone!

This post is subject to the contest. Those responding will be entered.

**disclaimer on all typos due to circumstances well within my control but outside of my ambition.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week 2! Week 1 Winner and Amended Rules.

The first week's winner was Jen. An entry gained from facebook!

Originally I was going to throw away all the entries and start new every week. I have decided to just add more each week and those who visit and make a comment will get one entry per week in addition to their former non-winning entry.

You are not entered per comment, just one comment per week. Hope that makes sense, I'm still in lack of sleep mode from the puppy. (Like having a newborn without the emotional perks. lol)

I will be sending out Jen's copy today and making a post for new comments tonight or tomorrow, though you can comment on this post as well to enter if you wish.

Congrats again to Jen!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Free Copy Of From The Ruins!

Everyone has their contests for free books and I've decided I don't want to be left out of the loop or seen as a stingy writer.

With that in mind, I'm starting a contest, which is really more along the lines of a raffle. Why? Because I'm pretty much drawing a name out of a hat. I'm going to put the names of those who leave a comment on my blog each week in June in a hat and draw a name.

This will reset each week and the winners will be announced on Sunday or Monday. UNLESS I get very few entries. Then I will be bunching all of the weeks together and announcing two winners for the month of June.

Your comments do not have to be anything specific or singing my praises (although, if you really wanna...) all you need to do is make sure I have your name and your email address to be included in the drawing.

One entry does not carry you through the entire month, just that week. (Again, unless the entries are few) I will try to think of awesome topics so when you come here, you have something to actually comment on! lol

As I am busy writing 4 novellas and editing my full length novel, my blog can feel a little empty. I'm sure it feels quite abandoned.

Hopefully this contest will inspire me to appear more.

All my best and good luck,
Allure Van Sanz

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Future of Vanity and Mainstream Publications.

I read a blog recently about self publishing that drove me a little nuts. There was an argument about whether or not calling yourself "independently published", in regards to your publishing status, is an accurate description of being self-published or yet another "vanity" term for the self-published to "try to" legitimize themselves. There was even an accusation that those calling themselves "Independents" were trying to sneak out from under the stigma of the title "Self Published".

It was a good argument but a bit pointless in my opinion.

The book industry is changing dramatically. There is no arguing that. Regardless of your "side" in the Independent Publication debate, we're all playing a little guessing game as to what will be acceptable in the future. One thing I'm sure of is this debate will be taken to a different level when selling copies of your book on your blog in lieu of selling through an epublisher will be considered the new "vanity" publication.

When the ease of becoming epublished was brought up, I bristled a bit. "Epubbing isn't considered legitimate publication."

I would have agreed with that even two years ago. Because I didn't look towards the future. I love print books! I want to see my name on paper. But maybe that won't ever happen...

I would say whatever stigma once surrounding epublishing is dripping off the toe of the literary world as we come out of the delusion pool. With the introduction of Kindle and other similar readers, we're seeing a shift in acceptance.

We live in an A.D.D world now and patience is a virtue of yesterday. "I want a book and I want it now! I'm going to download it."

This mentality could also lead to self-E-published success in the future. "I'm going to read what I want, not just what is published by the big companies, but what is suggested on pages like and others like it because I want to decide what I like! Me! Me! Me!"

Downloading whatever we want to see or hear to our phones and ipods, watching TV and movies on Internet streams over laptops...these are the growing trends in all things medial. Ebooks are no different.

So who cares about self-published authors putting out their books in print?

The revolution from print to ereaders cometh. Pick up the debate afterwards and attack Blogging sellers. ::grins::

I've heard a lot of claims that there is no truth to how close this revolution is, but already you see B&N making some changes and epubs standing firmly through the economic BS going on these days.

Print may stand for a few more years, sure. But as I ready my epub book release with flash drives I can give out at "signings" with my work on it, I'm just hoping I can get one of my books in print before they stop making them in the future. And I do see that happening. Because in truth, my friends, I don't see my little cousins (who are glued to all things electronic) putting down their devices to pick up a book that doesn't let them receive txt messages while they read or have an interactive game included.

Just my .02 as to why it is pointless to argue the pronunciation of potato over vanity print publishing.

::Grins:: Sorry! I was all over the place with this one.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Release Day!

From The Ruins is out this afternoon! And because of that, I'm going to give out a new excerpt. (PG for once!) With a suspenseful ending that I hope will send you over to NobleRomance (dot) com with your credit card! Lol Thank you to those who choose to celebrate with me! All my best, Allure.


Deeper and deeper they ventured into the humid terrain and after they'd passed the sixth snake without Davit so much as glancing at it, she had enough. Weird didn't describe his mood—first at the lab and now, dragging her out here without explanation. Jerking her hand from his, she stopped dead in her tracks and prepared to give him a severe scolding.

He had gone another ten steps before he turned to face her. Jenova gasped at the intense look in his eyes. He looked wild . . . predatory. But she wouldn't be put off any longer.

"Answer me, damn you! You drag me out here again for what?! Are you looking for another snake or are you just trying to impress me by pretending to be Indiana?"

His mouth tucked in at the corners. Apparently he wasn't amused by the comparison.

"It's beautiful and I appreciate your eagerness to take me on a grand adventure, but you can't act distant and expect me to follow you like a bitch in heat." She blushed when he raised a brow and sized her up with his eyes. Okay, maybe he could. "Davit! Tell me what we're doing."

The corner of his mouth twitched—humor or annoyance she couldn't tell—and when he closed the distance between them, she felt more than frightened.

He looked deep into her eyes and grabbed her chin. He turned her head to the side and buried his nose in her neck. On a deep inhale, he moved his mouth toward her ear. "Shh."

Irritated by the delicious shiver creeping up her spine, she stepped back and shook her head. He wasn't going to seduce her this time. "No! I'm not going any farther until you tell me what is going on, Davit!"

A hard breeze whipped around them, tousling their hair. She watched his thick, wavy locks frame his handsome face, and for a moment, she floundered in lusty thoughts. She couldn't resist him. The energy between them electrified the very air they breathed.

She felt a strange sensation burgeoning deep within, a knowledge belonging to her soul from another lifetime. Before she could take a moment to analyze what she thought she knew, Davit flashed a devious smile.

"Bring her!" he snapped, and continued on his path.

Her brows furrowed. "Bring her? What the hell does that mean?"

Instinctively, she looked over her shoulder. Her mouth went dry and she stumbled backward, ready to run after Davit. Maybe she'd jump on his back and bullwhip him until he carried her to the next civilized city. Before she could snap off a switch to use as a weapon, ten small men threw weighted nets over her and dragged her to the ground.

She screamed.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Pains of Promoting.

I've heard a lot about promoting and how many hours a day you should do it. If writing is your career, and you're not Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling, you should be out there promoting for hours every day.

I treat writing as my career of course, even though I haven't made a dime yet. (My first book release is May 15th and hopefully I'll have a few more soon as well.)

In between play time and learning time with my daughter, I spend time checking email, reading, writing, editing, and promoting. What takes the most time?

Promoting! Hands down.

I can't keep up with it. There are blogs everywhere! Everyone has one, and everyone wants you to join and actively participate in theirs. It is survival of the fittest. I join those who ask me to but usual only visit a few a day to see what is going on. Then I check the emails only to delete nearly everything because I just don't have the TIME to read every promo or excerpt.

(This is a good time to mention catchy title lines!) I don't even open an email unless the title grabs me in some way. Out of the average 300-400 emails per day I receive from various Yahoo groups, I open about 10.

I feel like a busy agent who still has their submissions open but no real time for a new client. LOL

I know I'm missing out on some awesome books but there's nothing I can do.

We are certainly selling to ourselves though, aren't we? Authors marketing to other authors, which is awesome, but very time consuming.

I join groups only to get 10 emails from the same person who is also in all of the groups and promoting to each one simultaneously. GAhhh! That totally gums up my inbox!

Most of the time, I'm too terrified to post in any group. There are just too many groups that will ban you if you flub it. It has to say promo or excerpt and the rating. (Okay, that is easy enough.) "you can only post on this group on fridays, this group on wednesdays, and this group on thursday afternoons when it isn't raining!)

Pretty much my promo time is spent sifting through my emails to figure out if it is a specific author or pub house day or a free for all. It is quite time consuming.

Of course I can pay someone anywhere between 100.00 dollars and 700.00 dollars to do my promoting for me!! If I were making money enough to do that, I think I'd be able to do my own promoting on word of mouth alone!

If I had money to blow, sure, I'd do it. But I can't. Like JK Rowling pre-sell, I haven't a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out and I have a daughter counting on me not to spend money I don't have. lol

So it is back to doing what I've been doing. Sticking my nose in where I can get it and hoping I don't get banned from a group for messing up or yahoo swallowing my email for a few days and spitting it out on an inappropriate posting day.

People who write and have jobs and have kids...I have no idea how they do it. Playing with my daughter and writing and editing and promoting sucks up a full day for me and when I wake up, I start all over again.


Haha.. best of luck promoting yourself. May we all find the day when promoting is easier and fun.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Long Paragraphs Are Quite A Commitment!

I've been rather boring on my blog, no new excerpts or anything interesting to say. So it seems anyway, so I'm making it my mission to blog about something other than my nearing release date at least once a week.

But what am I going to say that hasn't been said?

Frankly, I don't know. So I'm just going to pick out something that happens in my day to day struggle to be the next big author.

Today, I'm going to talk about critiquing and more specifically, a huge trend I can't stand.

I'm on often. It gives me good insight into my own writing. Seeing the mistakes other people make has actually made me a better writer.

I highly recommend that site, btw.

The best thing to do is to swap reads with someone. You post your book, the whole thing or just chapters (as long as it is over 10k), and then you read other books and "shelve" the ones you like. This isn't as easy as it sounds, as reciprocation is often expected. If a reader shelves your book, they don't get on your shelf, they can get a little nasty. Likewise, if you comment on their book and don't place it on your shelf because you didn't like it, chances are they won't give your book a shot at all.

This is the rare case, luckily, or I wouldn't bother with it.

It's fun, though, to read and help others perfect their craft. But only if they listen.

I critiqued two books recently that had the same problem. Looooong paragraphs. One even had run-on sentences in their looooong paragraphs.

I was trying to explain why this was a bad thing and it wasn't penetrating. ("well I think your paragraphs are too short")

I can't speak for everyone, I made that crystal clear, but in my experience...when you tend to go on and on with description in HUGE paragraphs, you lose the readers interest...they start skimming and once that happens, they miss chunks of your book.

A long paragraph always makes me sigh. In my head I literally think about how much bullshit I could probably skip past to get to the "good stuff". It is too much of a commitment to me. A big pet peeve, but I was told I was the minority so I politely backed away with an "I'm sure you're right" response.

I'm curious if I'm alone on my little island of short paragraphs. I don't mind a long one once in a while (still talking about paragraphs here) but too many and pages and pages of them usually have me tossing the book aside and reaching for a more succinct novel. I like description, I just don't like to be visually overfed.

Some readers are devoted to the written word, reading each one in the order it was printed and analyzing every sentence.

Me? I like fun, excitement, awesome dialog, hot sex, and god-damn short paragraphs!

All my best, Lovelies!
Talk at you again soon,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thanks for all the support and interest in my upcoming release From The Ruins May 15th! It is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

May 15th, 2009. The release date for From The Ruins is only one month away!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Release Date: From The Ruins 5-15-09. Mark it on your calendars!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Grand Opening of my new website: . Let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Erotic Authors: What reference to genitals do you hate? Vote at

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Checking out Authonomy with my alter ego, VGClearwater. Murder Creek chapters uploaded. Vote if you like it! Spread the word.
I'm in a bad mood. What do you think my chances are of writing a hot sex scene? Someone's going to get hurt!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Setting up and testing my If it doesn't work, I'm going to lie and say I was drunk.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update, Announcement, And Excerpt

I sent in a request for the cover art on From The Ruins, so I'm excited to see it. Afterwards the editing process will begin. I still don't have a release date but hope to soon.

I have a few WIPs I'm working on but have decided to focus on the M/M/F erotic titled Lion's Share. I'll be posting an excerpt and hope that it peaks some interest.

It's a shifter fantasy set in Africa where Jayna's safari tour goes horribly wrong. All that stands between her and a bloody end is a pair of woman-starved lion shifters who believe she is the last woman on Earth that either of them is allowed to have.

Zar and Sahm each feel Jayna belonged to them, but neither is willing to risk the love they have for each other over a woman. What else is to be done, then, except to share the catch of the day?

The real question? Can they keep her alive long enough to enjoy the delicacies of her flesh, or will they lose their one last chance at having a mate to call their own?

Excerpt: Lion's Share (Unedited and X-rated.)

Sahm and his lover were a part of her. Their need as loud to her as if they announced it. She could fill the void that radiated from them. She could be the receptacle of their burning lust, and emotional need.

Had they been calling to her all along? From a great distance? It certainly felt that way. Why else had she suffered long, lifelike dreams of the lions? Why else this obsession to go on a safari just to see one?

And why else would she cave to the obsession to watch now what logically she should be running away from?

Try as he might, Sahm could not fit the entire phallus into his mouth. His head tilted from side to side yet still, he gagged before all nine inches of throbbing man reached its full into his throat.

You will take it all tonight, Sahm.

Zar…you are too swollen,
Sahm whimpered and Jayna suspected it was all a game. Zar, the elder, wasn’t too swollen for Sahm, but Sahm wanted to tease, looking for some retaliation perhaps?

I don’t wish to hear excuses. On your back.

Sahm scrambled to comply, flipping to his back and inadvertently giving Jayna a full view of his magnificence. He still had a boyish pudge to his muscles. Not quite as defined as Zar but still prominent, with only the slightest lining of fat left still to burn. In time his body would be bulkier than Zar’s and even more sculpted, but for now he was the essence of youth, and Jayna could see why Zar had picked him as a mate.

Or gone gay for him. If that’s what had happened.

Now in the submissive position Zar obviously preferred, Sahm opened his mouth, sticking his tongue passed his lips in invitation. Jayna watched in fascination as Zar grabbed hold of his erection and dipped it inside Sahm’s willing mouth.

Holy Mary. She practically jumped in surprise, not realizing her hand had slid over her sex, pushing into the apex of her jeans until the knot of fabric rubbed over her taut clit. It was hard not to masturbate watching the men thoroughly enjoy their sex play. What woman in her right mind could be unaffected by these two?

Zar’s muscle-hardened ass pumped his cock into Sahm’s face while the younger reached down to his tense shaft and jerked it. He rubbed at the angry tip as it oozed liquid heat, smearing the sticky precome over his veiny girth. Not as long as Zar, but a little thicker with the promise of a good stretch. Oh and she needed one of those!
Her hand increased its speed, watching as Sahm too worked himself over more fiercely. The sounds of his pumping ministrations matched only by the slapping of Zar’s heavy sack against his smooth chin.

Without warning Zar popped his cock out of Sahm’s mouth, masturbating it as he hovered his balls over Sahm’s puffy lips. Lick my balls, Sahm. Taste the essence of what you are about to receive.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Picked Up!

From The Ruins has been picked up by Noble Romance Publishing. ( Release date TBA.