Friday, June 28, 2013

Dark Dawn Blog Tour - Day 2

Yeah, I like Melissa Brodsky so much I signed up for three days touring with Dark Dawn.  Get over it.  How can you not love her with a cover like this?

AND it's about angels.  I love angels.  Especially falling angels.

In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth, and everything in between. The In-between was unplanned, unexpected, and unwelcome. Every action causes a reaction and when mankind was born, so were the Fae. Suddenly it was up to Heaven to save Earth. God created Angels to right his wrong, to save human kind. A deal was made, an agreement of sorts. The Angels would protect humanity from Fae domination and destruction, and in return they would have inhuman strength and immortality. Thus a time of angels swooping in to save humans from free will, bad decisions, and big mistakes began. They protected humans from the Fae who intentionally enslaved them, leaving shells of humans, or worse, leaving nothing at all. 

Even God doesn’t always learn from mistakes. Angels were given freedom of choice. Some Angels chose wrong. When some of them spread their wings, they went too far, and just as Icharus was punished for getting too close to the sun, they were punished for getting too close to mankind. 

So they fell. Falling was the easy part.

The really cool thing about this book is that the authors wrote two versions, an adult and a YA version.  That's something that Indie Authors are breaking the mold on.  Since we market and promote our own stuff, we don't have to pigeon-hole anything into a cute little cubby where someone tells us it will sell.  We can do whatever the heck we want to to sell books.  And some of us are just desperate enough to try whatever it takes.  I'm going to publish two versions of my Christmas novella: a naughty and a nice(r) version

To purchase Dark Dawn, you can get the adult version HERE and the YA version HERE

Watch Book Trailer HERE

Nicole Andrews Moore:

Melissa Brodsky:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Amazingly Broken

This is my happy video

I am just enough of a control freak to not seriously pursue traditional publishing markets.  I know I bitch and moan about the graphic design, and the marketing bs, and all that, but what I do I DO.  It's all mine.  Me.  Anne's.  Nobody else's.

And I'm proud of it.

I am truly saddened when something happens like the blatant plagiarism of Jordin Williams in her novel, Amazingly Broken.  You can read a few articles about it, on Dear Author and mediabistro.  Not only do I work my ass off for what I do, but hundreds of other authors do as well.  Personally, I have several friends who go about the Indie Author thing full time, as well as taking care of families.  We do it the right way:  OURSELVES.  Sure, our families and friends support us, but our words are ours.

I'm sure that Ms. Williams just thought that this would be a "victimless crime."  Nobody gets hurt, right?  "I'll just "borrow" page after page of other peoples' work and nobody will get hurt.  Heck, I might even make some money!"

Well, it hurts me.  It hurts other Indie Authors who have been working so hard to earn credibility the hard way, from people who aren't really willing to give it to us.  My Mother-in-law still keeps asking me if I've gotten my big movie deal yet.  Responding to that is hard enough, Ms. Williams, without people like you mucking up the freaking market!  If my MIL ever heard about this, she will undoubtedly suggest I just copy EL James and make a million, so I can start spending more time cleaning my house.  Now, instead of just deprecating pats on the head from my family, you've given the general public more ammo against the "Indie Hacks."

You've also hurt me and others by making us that much more paranoid.  We're already paranoid about the normal paranoia stuff:  Will anybody like our books?  What do we do about bad reviews?  No mom, I didn't use the F-bomb in this one...And then there's the, I've given out a bunch of ARCs, now we have to make sure they're not being sold online somewhere.  Well, now in addition to that, we've got to scour other works for plagiarism?  Thanks!  Appreciate it, Babe!

I am proud to be an Indie Author.  Up until now, I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the people that I've met and the things I've accomplished.  While Ms. Williams didn't plagiarize from me, she attacked my livelihood.  She's stained what I love with her thoughtless greed.

And I'm pissed about it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My review of Returning Pride by Jill Sanders

Aside from the fact that this is one of the most beautiful book covers I've seen in a long time, this is also one of the best romances I've read in a while.  I'll admit it, I may be jaded, but I really, really, really like this one. I really like Jill's writing style. I got a chance to beta read this book, and I gotta say, when the final is completed, it will be a stellar contemporary romance. Ms. Sanders has a clean writing style, with vivid imagery that isn't too wordy (no paragraph after paragraph of descriptions). Great secondary characters that we know from her other books, even though each book is a stand-alone. 

The series of books flow together well, each character in each book is beautifully depicted with individual, dynamic personalities.  The setting is amazing, and the actions are believable.  I cannot say enough good things about these books, you'll just have to read them yourself.

Yesterday, I put out the links to her stuff, but I will repeat them here, because everybody needs to be exposed to it.  Period.  There's really no excuses here, because the first book in the series, Finding Pride is free HERE

Friend/Fan her on GOODREADS

Follow her on FACEBOOK

Visit her WEBSITE  and be sure to check out her Heroes page.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Jill Sanders Blog Tour - Returning Pride 6/24

Jill Sanders has become a dear friend of mine, but that's not why I love this series.  I actually fell in love with Discovering Pride, and hunted her down.  Because that's just how I roll.  When we found out we sort of live close to each other, we met for lunch and really hit it off.  Now, not a day goes by that I don't get my Jill Fix, usually in an email.  She's really a great person, and she has created a wonderful place to visit - Pride, Oregon.

Now the third book in the series is up, Returning Pride, and I have to say, it's my favorite.  The series follows a family in Pride, and this is Iian's story.  Iian is a deaf man who's been in love with Allison forever.  When she returns to Pride, he makes a go at her, finally.

I'm fixing to beta read Lasting Pride, and I've got to say, I wish my kids were gone for awhile, because I just want to read and enjoy it...But alas, that's not likely to happen.  So, I'll just do what I normally do.  Stay up into the wee hours of the morning and read.

Everything seems to be going Iian’s way, he has a successful restaurant, a beautiful home, family, and friends. He’s even overcome the loss of his hearing, but why does he still feels like something is missing.
Allison has worked hard to make a name for herself in the art world, now all she wants is peace and quiet to work on her passion. But, with her mother overtaken by illness, she has less time than ever. When everything is stripped away in one tragic blow, and she’s being stalked by a mad-man, she’ll need the help of her hometown and an old flame, to turn everything around and find what she’s been looking for.

Jill's books can be purchased from AMAZONKOBOB&N, AND SMASHWORDS  or you can buy the paperback HERE
Jill Sanders survived 80's pop music, and life as an identical twin in a chaotic family of nine.  A feat by any standard!  She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, relocating to Colorado for college and a successful IT career at IBM in Boulder.

Narrowly escaping before all creativity was squashed, she jumped at the chance to trade the mundane world of computers for the sexy, exciting world of her own imagination.  She now lives in charming rural Texas writing wonderful novels such as the Pride series.

Her debut novel, Finding Pride, was shortlisted in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards 2013, and has received glowing industry and reader reviews from around the world.  Her latest release is Discovering Pride. Yet another novel, Returning Pride, is slated for July 2013.

To learn more about Jill, visit her website, where she blogs daily, or follow her on Twitter: @jillmsanders.

And if you guys get a chance to check this out, go to Goodreads and add Tempest Torn to your TBR shelf.

Today's the cover reveal, and I promised to stick it up on my blog.  So, here it is...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hot Mess Promotional goodies

I've done all of this promotional stuff for Hot Mess, and I don't think I'm a part of my own blog tour.  So I thought I'd go ahead and put it up.  I may come and put it up again during the actual tour time, but because.  I did some cool stuff for this.  I recorded excerpts of me reading stuff from the book.  I made a play list.  I have created a cool graphic (That took half a day.  I really need a graphic designer on retainer).

I like it. It's got a sort of film noire look to it (completely unintentional, I assure you).

The audio excerpts are on sound cloud, and as hard as I tried to find a quiet place to record them (no a.c. units or fans blaring in the background) I still managed to have birds chirping in the background, since I made the recordings in front of an open window.  Apparently, that lends a charm to the recording.  I'll take it.

And then there's the trailer...Holy Cow...This took me weeks.  I painstakingly went around town and shot footage, used my kids when inspiration struck.  I had some really pretty images, but my camera-man skills are definitely shoddy at best.  I'm not going into the whole, "my friend was going to do it, but I thought he didn't really want to, so I took the job back, and hurt his feelings because he DID really want to" business.  In the end, I had to use all stock footage I found on the internet, and I think I forgot to credit the website I got it from.  Oops.

I did decide to do a trailer for the whole series, instead of just Hot Mess, so hopefully it will generate sales in other areas, too...

I also made a playlist of songs that go along with the book.  They're sort of songs to listen to while you're reading, although I'm not sure how that would work.  It's roughly a song for every two chapters...  I didn't really know what people did with playlists.  Some authors seem to do playlists of songs that inspire their story.  Others seem to do songs that are mentioned in the story.  Still others write a playlist of songs they themselves listened to while writing the story.  Since I don't listen to much music while I write, I made the list of songs that reminded me of different aspects.

So that's some of the promotional goodies that I'm sending out to my blog tour hosts when it starts on the 17th. In case you need a visual reminder...

If you are a blogger, and want to participate in the tour, email Danielle at, and tell her you want in on the action.  I have way more promotional goodies, I was just sharing a tidbit here...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Newest Release by Anne Conley - That's Right Folks, my own this time...

I know.  I know.  I already did a cover reveal, and it wasn't this cover.  A friend took pity on me and whipped this up on her lunch break.  After spending weeks on the other cover, and countless emails back and forth to another friend for advice, I'll say I threw up a little in the back of my mouth when Vanessa threw this together for me.  Isn't it totally freakin' gorgeous?

And she did a full wrap for me too.  Here it is...

I'll admit it.  I'm in girl-love with Vanessa Booke.  I have met so many awesome authors on my journey, with incredible skills.  I'm in awe.  I have to tell myself, they probably can't milk goats just to make myself feel more adequate in comparison.

The blurb for Hot Mess is written intentionally vague.  I intend to draw readers in with the hot firefighter, not the fact that the leading lady has HIV.  Honestly, who gives their main character a disease like HIV?

A shitstack of research went into this book, as well as a few readers from the online HIV/AIDS communities to make sure my research was correct.  Why did I write this story?

Like too many of my verbal odes, this one starts with a drunken night.  Only instead of a party, or something super fun, I was drunkenly surfing the internet. (I know, barrel of laughs in my house on a Friday night).  I ran across a positively heartbreaking blog post by Anonymous on a website called  She told a riveting story of being diagnosed with HIV, starting her treatments, and then beginning her new life with a stygma.  She bravely told of rejections from her friends, potential lovers, and school mates.  She told of how her whole paradigm had shifted from living a "normal" life to one of "living with HIV."  The story broke my heart. I started reading more, and realized that my own views of AIDS were outdated and wrong, based on stereo-types and misinformation.

I had to tell this story.

So I did.  Hot Mess is about a woman living a healthy life with HIV, blogging and answering questions online, keeping that part of her life secret from her community (the small-minded, not entirely lovable folks of Serendipity), raising her daughter the best way she knows how.  The hot firefighter moves in across the street with his daughter, and sparks fly.  When he finds out about her status, he turns into a flake, allowing old prejudices to flare up.  They manage to get through it, because I'm a firm believer in HEA with my books.  And yes, there is sex.  Because people with HIV/AIDS deserve a loving intimate relationship, too.

Most of the beta readers that I enlisted to give it a go loved the book, including the advocates, even though I'm sure they don't normally read a lot of Contemporary Romance, not because they don't like it, but because they probably don't have the time.  You should see these women's schedules!

I had a couple of beta readers who didn't like that Sam acted so ignorant about the disease, but I've talked to people here in my own town (which Serendipity is based on) who should know better, and ignorance is alive and well.

I'm under no illusions that my book will educate the world.  But it's already changed the view points of a few people who have read it.  I'm really proud of the book.  I'm proud of myself for tackling a topic that is difficult.  I'm proud of myself for using this platform to actually SAY something.  I may not have said it well, but I did the best I could.


Hot Mess is back from my editor Catherine, and is slated for publication on July 19th.  I'm super stoked about it, and hoping that it goes over well.  It's certainly the most intense writing experience I've ever had.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Getting to know some Indie Authors - Round table with Jill Sanders, and Melissa Brodsky

Today, I'm interviewing some Indie Authors.  I say some, because I inadvertently double-booked myself.  So this is participation in Jill Sanders' blog tour for Returning Pride, as well as Melissa Brodsky's tour for Dark Dawn.  Read all of it, there's some pretty good stuff in here.

Jill Sanders

1.  Describe your writing process.
I don’t really have one. I think about the story & characters, and when I sit down to write it all flows from me. 

2.  What motivates you to sit down and write? 
An incredible urge to get the people out of my head.

3.  Where does your inspiration come from?  
I’d like to think that my inspiration comes from me.. That I’m a smart, witty, funny, sexy goddess. But, I think it’s all just my over-developed imagination. Maybe...

4.  Do you have any writers that you consider mentors?  
All of them. Any and all writers I’ve met. Lately though it’s been the string of Indie Authors I’ve been chatting & working with online that have really shaped & encouraged me.

5.  What do you think your greatest strength is in your writing? 
 This is a hard one.  I know it’s not editing (I hate that part). I would have to say, being able to pull characters & places together. 
6.  What is your biggest challenge? 

7.  Do you ever experience writer's block?  How do you get through it?  
No, if I do have a day I don’t feel motivated to write, I have plenty of other items on my long list to handle. 

8.  Name some authors who have influenced or inspired you? Nora Roberts

9.  Tell a little about your most recent work.  Title, genre, and tag line.  
Returning Pride is just being released, so I’ll talk about Lasting Pride. It’s got more suspense, thrills, and excitement & as always romance.

At almost eighteen years old, Roberta Stanton had grown up a thief, taught by her father, the best in the trade. Breaking into the old brick building was easy, the rewards had been high and she'd got away with it. Or so she'd thought, it had only cost her the lives of seven of her best friends. Ten years later, now Rob found herself on the other side of the law. Tracking down the thieves of millions of dollars worth of art and getting attacked, was the least of her problems. Ric Derby has spent his last ten years inventing himself and the Blue Spot, his art galleries. Now with five different "Spots" opened around the United States, he is finally in control of his life. What he didn't expected to find, was his new assistant dead and several millions of dollars of art stolen. But, what really shocked him, is seeing the detective assigned to the case. Then, they find out the theft is a personal vendetta. Meant to steal everything he's worked hard for and trying to kill him in the process. Even trying to take away something that Ric had just found for the first time in his life, love. 

10.  Tell us about your favorite character from the book.  
Iian is my favorite so far. He is soooo damn sexy.

11. Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for other writers who are looking to publish?  
Edit, Edit, & Edit.

Today marks the first day of my Dark Dawn Blog Tour, so here is Ms. Brodsky interview.  I must admit, I meant to ask her what it's like to co-author a book, but I forgot...

Melissa Brodsky

Describe your writing process.
I have to marinate in my ideas for a bit, just to internally flesh them out and decide if they are worthy of actually continuing with.  Then, I write.  I just write.  Sometimes I plot, other times I don’t.  I let the characters lead me.

What do you think your greatest strength is in your writing?
My greatest writing strength is in my detailing.  I visualize the scene and I try to translate it into the story so the reader can vividly picture what is going on around them.

What is your biggest challenge?
I have a hard time believing in myself.  That has held me back for so long.  I’ve made it my mission to ignore that negative voice in my head.

Do you ever experience writer's block? How do you get through it?
I get writer’s block all the time.  Sometimes,  I drown in it.  Other times, I look for a prompt to spark a story.  That is something that helps me a lot.

Do you have a current work in progress? Can you tell a little bit about it? On top of The Dark Redemption Series, I’m also working on a YA trilogy called Hallows Haven.  It’s about a girl named Gwen who found out that nothing is as it ever seemed.  It’s coming out in July and I’m really excited about it.

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from a runaway imagination.  I read way too much paranormal books in my life and I also have a very vivid, crazy imagination that is constantly on the move.  Or maybe I’m just a little insane?

Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for other writers who are looking to publish?
Stop wishing and start doing!

What makes a good story?
Compelling, interesting, believable characters and a strong plot. It doesn’t matter what genre you write, the characters and plot need to be cohesive.

Tell us about yourself, outside of writing.
I am the mom of 5…3 biological kids and 2 full –time step kids.  I have a tendency to bring home stray cats but my husband has recently capped our cat collection out at 5 cats.  Also, two dogs, 7 goldfish, 1 turtle and I’m sure we aren’t done adding to our menagerie yet.  And…I’m addicted to the Internet.  Oh…and Candy Crush.

What motivates you to sit down and write?
Sometimes I have no choice. It’s either write or be driven crazy by the voices in my head begging to be let out.  I try to write a little bit every single day, even when there is no WIP.  Actually, I just lied…there always seems to be a WIP. Ha.

This is about as political as I'm going to get...

I learned something appalling last night.  I went to a banquet with my mom, we go every year to this particular event, and it seems that each year it gets more boring.  

I'm not the girl that gets in everybody's face and tells them what I think about politics.  I feel like everybody is entitled to their opinion, whether they're going to base that opinion in facts or not is up to them.  It is every American woman's right (and in my mind, duty) to vote in every election they can.  I do.  I know that women fought long and hard for the right to vote (I saw Mary Poppins) and we should utilize that right, as the elected officials are making decisions that regard us everyday, whether it be our health, how much we get paid, or how we educate our children.

Last night, the revelation that Texas is ranked LAST in turn-out for women voters saddened me to no end.  I know that Texas is not famous for it's progressive-minded females, but I had no idea things were so bad.  And suddenly, things I've been hearing about our esteemed Mr. Govenor (ahem, *shitstack* cough) made so much more sense.  He (and others) think they can get away with stuff, because the women of this great state don't care.

I don't think it's that the women don't care, that's not what I meant.  Women are trying desperately to develop their own personalities outside of their husband or families.  They are working, or trying to get a jump-start on dreams, or pursuing hobbies that might bring in extra income for their families.  OR they are so sucked into their families that they have no individuality whatsoever.  I'm not judging, by any means.  I have been in both of those places.  I have missed elections, because I got so busy that I forgot.  I'm not gonna lie about that.

But I think that we need to re-define our priorities.  Sure we want good educations for our children.  Sure, we want them to be healthy.  Sure, we want to be paid as much as a man for doing the same exact job.  Sure, we want to drive across a bridge and know that it won't crumble under us and toss us into a raging river.  But we have to let others know that's what we want.  By voting.

Voting is free, and it takes five minutes out of our day.  Registering to vote is easy, you go to the post office, fill out a card, and drop it in the mail box.  No postage required.

I think I've probably made it obvious what my political leanings are here, and it's not my intention to spark any great political debates here.  If you don't agree with me, go vote and cancel mine out.  I don't mind.  That's what America's electoral system is all about.  Just go vote.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What got all this started...

Stephen King says a writer who doesn't read isn't a writer, or something like that.  I'm paraphrasing, here, but you get the idea...

I have never NOT been a reader.  Never.  I was reading when I was three and have a rather eclectic taste in books.  I cannot express my joy at discovering the Kindle app for my iPhone four years ago.  I thought, "Cool, I can catch up on the classics!"  Because, I had $0 and that's what I found that was free.  I read every single Mary Roberts Rinehart book, because my mom and my aunt said she used to be their favorite.  Then... THEN...Then I discovered Indie Authors.

And life has not been the same for me since.

At first, I was just searching for free books.  Any free books would do.  I realized that anybody was publishing here, and some were good, some were bad, and some were great.  My husband would laugh at my snorts of derision, when I found a particularly awful book (one zombie book in particular comes to mind, a thinly veiled attempt at propaganda against the Bush regime, which would have been effective, had it been edited or something).

Eventually, he said to me, "You really should write a book.  Heavens knows you'd be good at it, and you certainly read enough."  Well, that's not exactly what he said, but it was something like that.  I thought about it, and realized that I had a story or two inside my head that had been rambling around in there for awhile.  I'd journaled my whole life, and taught writing to high school students, so I knew the basics.

So I went for it.

I locked myself in my room with my laptop for weeks, and pounded out my first masterpiece, an eighty thousand word tome, entitled Hunkalicious, complete with a bad boyfriend, hunky next door neighbor, six ancestral ghosts, and a hidden treasure.  I promptly posted the first five chapters on authonomy, and let the ridicule begin.

Wow.  It sucked big ones.  I even sent it out to almost ten of my best friends and family members for feedback.  The only person to respond to me was my mother, because I see her every day, and badgered her incessantly.

Hunkalicious taught me a lot about the revision process.  If you're curious, it's free on AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLE, and SMASHWORDS.  And now it's called Neighborly Complications.  The ghosts are gone, and the asshole boyfriend is history.  I killed those darlings.

But the process taught me a lot.  I learned about finding good beta readers, not friends and family.  I learned about not being afraid to try something new, outside of your comfort zone.  I learned about the joys of cutting crap out of your story.

Each story I've written since then has taught me more about the writing process and myself.  I took writing workshops as a teacher, I went to them as a child, I wrote every day for most of my life.  It just never occurred to me that it would ever become my living.

I had to step outside my comfort zone.  I'm still not totally comfortable answering questions about what I do. I tell people I'm a writer, and the first question is always, "What do you write?"  When I say Romance, that's usually the end of the conversation.  Unless of course it's my husband's Aunt Karen, who insisted that I listen to her theories about why Romance is degrading to women.  That was a conversation I had with her two years ago.  She still asks me if I'm "...finished writing your little book?"  But my acceptance of my profession and the shit I deal with when I talk about it sounds like a post for another day.

Until then...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Watch Me Walk Away Blog Tour 6/17

Today, we're celebrating the release of Jill Prand's book, Watch Me Walk Away.

Here's the cover, ain't it pretty?

Okay, the guy is totally hot...

At the age of seventeen, Lisa was broken when Bobby left. He was supposed to be her first. First Love. First Time. First Everything. No word for six long years. She moved away from the painful reminders sacrificing her relationship with her best friend Brad. She struggled to rebuild her life. Now six years later she returns as a strong, successful woman grabbing a job at one of New York’s hottest marketing agencies. She is dating a gorgeous guy with his eyes on a corner office. But it all changes when she sees Bobby again. Can she risk another heartbreak from Bobby? Will she be able to repair her friendship with Brad? Lisa will have to decide between the man she's with, and the two men that want her. Who will she be with, and who will she tell to "Watch Me Walk Away?"

To buy this book, you can go to AMAZON OR SMASHWORDS

Contact Jill:




And, because Jill's awesome like that, she's having a giveaway...Click HERE

About Jill:

I live in Northern New Jersey. I am a wife and mother of two girls. I have been an avid reader my whole life, I cannot remember a Sunday afternoon that did not include my parents reading. We had a huge bookshelf in our den with a diverse set of authors like Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Mario Puzo & Danielle Steele. 
I have always had ideas and characters running around my head but it took a few good friends to push me to start putting them down on paper. 
I hope you enjoy my musings. Please feel free to contact me I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

6/15 Let Love Stay Cover Reveal

Today is a cover reveal of Melissa Collins' Let Love Stay.  I gotta say, it's gorgeous!

Here's an excerpt to give you a little taste.

I get out of the truck and walk over towards the two of them.  Maddy’s back is to me as I approach her and her date, so she doesn’t see me right away.  But once the guy sees me, she spins around to look at what has caught his eye.  

Her face is shocked and when our eyes lock, my heart skips a beat.  There’s a pull between us.  As much as I hate to admit it, she owns me.  Her eyes are magical.  They dance with light and passion and when she looks at me, they are filled with love.  

The love and passion that are sparkling in her emerald green eyes evaporate when she realizes the scene that I’ve just stumbled upon.  I can only imagine what’s going through her mind, but I’m sure the images of me kicking Logan’s ass are flashing vividly through her mind.  

I’m no more than a few feet from them when the guy pushes Maddy behind him to protect her from what he perceives as a threat.  He’s not very far from the truth, but she’s not the one who needs protecting.  

Menacingly close now, he pipes up.  “Who the fuck are you?  What do you want?”  Okay, I’ll give the prick a little bit of credit for trying to stand up to me, but he has no clue what he’s competing against here.  
The caveman in me wants to deck this guy and drag Maddy into a bed – any bed – and claim her, repeatedly, until she understands that she’s mine and no one else’s.  I’m going to do that anyway, but hopefully I can refrain from knocking this guy on his ass.  I’d like to have the use of my hands tonight.  

My eyes never leave Maddy’s, but my words are directed at him.  “Me?  I’m the boyfriend, asshole.”  
Maddy’s eyes widen slightly as I say “boyfriend.”  Did she really think we ever broke up?  
I avert my gaze from Maddy for a minute to stare this douchebag down.  “And who the fuck do you think you are?”  He falters, not enough that most people would notice, but I’m in predator mode.  I see his throat work hard to swallow past the newly formed fear.  His pupils dilate slightly and the pulse beating in his neck picks up as adrenaline surges through him.  If he thinks he’s going to win this battle, he is wrong – so fucking wrong.  

He puffs out his chest as he says, “I’m Maddy’s date for tonight.”  He snickers lightly as he says, “You know?  She never mentioned a boyfriend when I asked her out.  Must not be much of a boyfriend if she doesn’t even mention you.”  He swells with pride at his snarky little quip.  In the split second he looks away from me to gauge Maddy’s approval, I lay him flat on the ground as I drop my shoulder into his gut and take his legs out from underneath him with one of my own.  I freaking love my takedown skills.  I didn’t even have to bust up my hands.  I’m definitely going to need them in a little bit.  

I straddle over him and pull him up by the collar.  “Whether she mentioned me or not, she’s mine, so lay the fuck off.  Got it?”

Maddy still hasn’t said a word and I haven’t actually spoken directly to her.  I’m pretty sure she understands my actions though.  Wordlessly, I reach my hand out to her.  This is her chance.  If she still wants me, then she’ll come with me.  This is who I am, who I’ve always been.  If she can’t understand that I love her, that I want her more than anything, then it’s not because I haven’t tried as hard as I possibly could to prove it to her.

Hand still outstretched, I look her directly in the eyes, as I try to convey everything that I’m thinking, that I’m feeling.  In what feels like an act of God, she understands me and laces her hand in mine.  

I'm looking forward to reading this one.  It's going to be released July 31.  Cover design © Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs

So pretty...

Author Bio:

I’ve always been an avid reader.  Majoring in English Literature was a no brainer.  Becoming a teacher and instilling my love for reading into my students was also a no brainer.  I’ve spent the last ten years teaching and I’ve loved (mostly) every minute of it.  When I was home on maternity leave for my third son, I discovered a new genre that sparked my creativity.  My passion for writing sprang from my love of reading and once I knew I had a story to tell, I couldn’t wait to get it out there.  I only hope that my readers enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.  


If you’re lucky, you’ll fall in love – truly, madly and deeply in love.  But what happens when that honest and pure love isn’t enough to erase your fears?  What happens when your past rears its ugly head and threatens your future?  
Maddy and Reid had that kind of love – the all-encompassing, Earth shattering, once in a lifetime kind of love.  Then life happened.  Old wounds that were thought to be long healed and scabbed over are ripped opened and they are forced to face the possibility that, maybe, they are not strong enough to fight their demons and embrace the light.  
Together, they found out what love is, but now they will each need to heal on their own before they can ever be together again.  They must face their fears and beat down their pasts in order to find their way through this crazy uphill battle called love.  
They’ve let love in, but now, they need to find out how to Let Love Stay.  

Links for Melissa Collins:

TWITTER: @mcollinsauthor

Friday, June 14, 2013

Choices of Fate Released today

On her own since the day she turned eighteen and left the group home where she grew up, twenty-five year old Alexa Ryan has made a comfortable life for herself. She has a great job, the perfect apartment, every material possession a girl her age could desire. Unfortunately, she also has an unusual condition that has forced her to keep everyone at a distance.

Ethan Kellar has spent his entire life running from destiny. When he was just a boy, a powerful seer prophesied his role in events that would determine the outcome of the secret war his people had been fighting for centuries. A role he was determined not to accept, leading him to avoid letting anyone get too close, until the night Alexa fell into his arms.

Drawn to her in a way that he has never experienced, Ethan decides to take the ultimate risk by trusting Alexa and revealing to her all that he truly is. Thinking she is an ordinary woman, he believes that she could be his key to preventing the prophecy from being fulfilled and allowing him to live the life he has always wanted, one that he chooses. Having been so consumed with the desire to determine the course of his own life he wants no less for Alexa and knows he must tell her everything, give her a choice. Before that happens they surrender to the intense physical attraction between them and he realizes too late that in trying so hard to change his fate, he may have set the events of the prophecy in motion.

In that moment, Ethan makes the most difficult decision of his life and does the only thing he can to save Alexa. He walks away.

Consumed by grief, Alexa falls into a deep depression until she learns that her brief encounter with love resulted in a child and somehow finds the strength to put herself back together for the sake of her baby Chloe.

Nearly two years after Ethan walked out Chloe develops an unexplained illness that sends Alexa in search of anything that can help. Her pursuit leads her back to Ethan and thrusts her into his dark and mysterious world, unlocking the secrets of her past and revealing threats to their future. Together, Alexa and Ethan fight to protect Chloe and their love, but there is one battle Ethan fights alone as he struggles to choose his own path and avoid the choices of fate.

S. Simone Chavous spent seven years as a tax accountant before deciding to pursue her true passion as an author.

Choices of Fate, the first book in the Fate Trilogy, is her debut novel.

She lives in northern Indiana with her boyfriend, two beautiful daughters and their rambunctious vizsla, Lily.

Chat with Ms Chavous on FACEBOOK, GOODREADS or her WEBSITE

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What do I get for my efforts? Anything measurable?

It seems like all I do everyday is Market: donating copies of books for giveaways, making contact with potential readers and other authors, and networking through my blog.  It's paid off though, I'm Author of the Month on Love, Lust, and Lipstick Stain's blog, I've been nominated for the Sunshine Award, I've made friends I don't want to lose.

How does this translate into selling books, though?  I honestly have no idea.  It's like shooting at a target three hundred yards away, open-sighted.  According to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I'm not selling much.  But Smashwords only sends me quarterly reports and they distribute to Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well.  I have absolutely NO clue how that works.  But last quarter, my Smashwords sales were ten times what my Amazon sales were, and thirty times what my Barnes and Nobles numbers were

I can only assume this quarter's numbers will be better, for a multitude of reasons--

  • I've released an additional book.
  • I think I've got a handle on the marketing thing.  If nothing else, I at least have a routine...
  • My name (brand) is in more places that it was during the last quarter, and if I keep doing what I'm doing, it should be in more places.

My big plan as far as marketing goes is to just get my name in as many forums as possible.  The more people are exposed to my name, the more sales can be expected, right?

But at the moment, sales are measurable to me.  And I have no idea how to predict what my quarterly sales will be...

I can't help but obsess about sales and money.  I'm back at the dentist's office.  *sigh*

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sunshine Award!

I've been nominated for the Honorary Sunshine Award, which is given to people whose blogs brighten people's lives.  Wow.  That's an honor just by itself.  That means that one person thought about me in the context of brightening their life.  Wow.

Thanks, Jill.  Her blog is here...

Okay, to complete the nomination process, I have to do answer some questions, and make some nominations of my own, I'm pretty sure this is a chain thing, but whatever, so here goes...

My Answers To The Questions:
My Favorite Color: Blue
My Favorite Animal: Goats.  I heart goats.
My Favorite Number: 17
My Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beverage: Water (I try not to do caffeine or sugar, unless it's coffee)
My Favorite Alcoholic Beverage: Good Beer.  I'm a beer snob
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
My Passions: Writing & My family
Giving or Receiving Gifts: Giving
Favorite City: New York, but that's probably because I've only visited once, twenty years ago.  I also love Austin.
Favorite TV Shows: I don't watch TV, sorry.

Ten Blogs I nominate:
If I nominated your blog, and you came here to see what's up, you have to write a blog post, using the sunshine award logo, link back to my blog, answer the questions, and nominate ten blogs.  If you do, a giant flying purple elephant will swoop down with Craig Daniels sitting astride, ready and willing to make wild, passionate love to you.  If not, then you'll suffer an indeterminate period of bad luck.  I'm just kidding...Neither of those things will happen, but maybe you'll drive some new people to your blog.  Here's hoping!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why I'm depressed...

So, I'm depressed and I'm going to blame the Christmas novella.  It's about a couple who is unhappy with their marriage, but by the end they manage to re-kindle their spark.  It's going to be sweet and touching, and sexy and all that.

But I haven't gotten that far yet.

Right now, it's just about a depressing marriage.

Every couple who has been married has gone through the rough patches.  I've been married fourteen years, so I'm drawing on personal experiences for most of this one, and dwelling on that shit is just depressing.  I can't wait to get to the scene where they have cyber-sex.  I can't wait for the story to get to the happy ending, because it will.  I believe in happy endings, it's just getting through the beginning and the middle to get there that's killing me.

When I write a story, some part of me becomes my characters.  When I wrote Hot Mess, and it took a turn I wasn't expecting, I cried while I wrote parts of it.  And I don't cry.  Ever.  Okay, I don't cry much.

The sad thing is, I'm not having to dig too deep to write this novella, and that's bothering me.  It shouldn't, because Lord knows I want to run away to Dallas every time I get the least bit hormonal (note, every three weeks), but still.  I'm hoping that I'll be to happier places in the book by the end of the week.  Otherwise, I'll have to go road-tripping, just to find my balance again.

Don't get me wrong...I'm happily married, not looking for someone else who can make me happier than my wonderful husband.  But we have gone over our fair share of speedbumps in our marriage.  Maybe writing this book will make our relationship even stronger, because maybe when I've finished, I'll be able to identify what makes me unhappy sometimes and change it.

"They" say that writing can be cathartic.  That's why I have a box dedicated entirely to journals in my laundry room.  When something made me sad, I wrote about it, and somehow, capturing the words on paper made me feel better.  That's what's going on now.  Surely...

It actually occurred to me yesterday to scrap the whole thing and write a BDSM romance.  But I know in my heart that this is a story that should be told.  It's a story about redemption, looking beyond the superficial at what you really have, a story about love and how it conquers all.

It's going to be wonderful, if I can make it through...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summertime fun...

First weekend into summer, and I'm completely exhausted.  I've taken the kids to the pool, cleaned the house a little bit, and managed to appease the dance instructor some.  I completely forgot about the tee-ball awards ceremony, but hey, nobody's perfect, right?

I had to make a deal with the kids.  They do chores and watch movies in their room or play outside and LEAVE ME ALONE all morning, and we get to go to the pool in the afternoon.  The only foreseeable problem with that, is that the pool freaking wears me out.  After two hours in the sun and swimming laps, I want to take a nap, not make dinner.

As I see it though, that's the only way I'm going to get time to write.  I think better in the morning, and they're less fractious at that time, and if all else fails, I'll pull out the "get-along" shirt.  Don't know what that is?  I'm sure I'll post pictures of it later.

This week, I'll be taking my day planner to Mom's house for her to fill my schedule with activities she's arranged for me and my children.  I will fight and argue to retain any freedoms a thirty-seven year-old has a right to with their seventy-six year-old power chair bound parent.  But in the end, I will cave to the guilt she lays on me, because I'm a marshmallow.  Just like old Mr. Stay-Puffed.

There's a dance convention, which I'm dreading.  Last year, while all of the other parents were enjoying the amenities the five-star accommodations were providing, I was fighting with management about the lack of handicapped facilities for Mom.  At the same time, I was trying not to expose my son to the complete estrogen vibes that thousands of dancing girls were giving off.  Fun times...  I'm actually having nightmares about this.

And then there's my novella.  It's actually going pretty well, when I have a chance to sit down and write.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I try to write about real people that others can relate to.  This particular story is about a married couple who have let life get in the way of their love.  That never happens to people, does it?

Anyway, I've had to put some things on the back burner for the summer, because there was no way I could keep up with the schedule I would like to with the kids at home.  Like the cook book.  That's probably not going to happen...Sorry. I will probably work on it, but I've taken it off my timeline...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Spotlight on JB McGee's Forgiven

Today, I'm featuring JB McGee on her spotlight blog tour of her new book, Forgiven.  I'm participating in more blog tours because Summer's coming, and I can't imagine that my kids are going to give me the peace necessary to come up with my own blog posts.  But I'm going to try to get a few in here and there...

J.B. McGee was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. After graduating from South Aiken High School, she toured Europe as a member of the 1999 International Bands of America Tour, playing the clarinet. While attending Converse College, an all-girls school in Spartanburg, South Carolina, she visited Charleston often. It quickly became one of her favorite vacation spots. She met her husband, Chad, during Christmas break her freshman year, and they married in 2001 and she moved back to her home town. 

In 2005, the couple welcomed their first son, Noah. J.B. finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006. During her time studying children's literature, a professor had encouraged her to become a writer.

In 2007, she welcomed their second child, Jonah, and she became a stay at home mom/entrepreneur. In 2009, the found out their two children and J.B. have Mitochondrial Disease. In 2011, a diagnosis also was given to Chad. Please take a moment and learn more about Mitochondrial Disease. Awareness is key to this disease that has no cure or treatments.

J.B. McGee and her family now reside in Buford, Georgia, to be closer to their children's medical team. After a passion for reading had been re-ignited, J.B. decided to finally give writing a shot. Broken (This Series), is her first book and first series.

Here are links to contact the author:

I'm currently reading this book, and haven't gotten to this part yet, but I have a feeling I'll be reading it later this morning, during my daughter's awards ceremony at school (those things are so long).

I walk to our closet and strip out of my clothes to where I’m down to just my light pink lace bra and matching boy short panties.  When I go into the bathroom to take my contacts out and wash my face, he follows me and acts like he’s busy.  He’s pissed me off even more than I already was.  I turn on my heel to leave the bathroom, and he grabs my elbow right as I think I am out of his reach.  He pulls me back and crushes my body against the wall, pinning my arms above my head.  He has his other hand on the wall beside my face.  His body is so close to mine that I can feel his heat radiating onto my exposed skin.  He glares at me, still silent.  I lift my chin and narrow my eyes at him.  My desire has pooled between my legs, and I am literally bound and determined to not say the first word.
He shakes his head to the side and rolls his eyes.  “You’re so damned set on ignoring me tonight.”
“Hmph.” is all I give him the satisfaction of hearing.
“Why couldn’t you just drink the damn water?”
“It wasn’t about the water,” I spat as I break our eye contact for the first time.  He’s so sexy like this that I can’t even think straight.
He uses the hand that was on the wall to move my chin back up to where I have to look at him.  “Oh really?”  He licks his lips.  “If not the water, then what?”
“You were being rude and bossy,” I pout.
He chuckles.  “I noticed you pouted there, too.  I must say, you’re sexy as hell when you pout fully dressed, but you just took sexy to a whole new level.”
I inhale and exhale sharply, trying to get a grip on the raging heat that is consuming my body.  “It was hard enough without you being a dick.”  I look away again.
“Gabby,” he whispers as he moves a piece of hair behind my ear.  “Do you know how hard it was for me to watch you do that to yourself?  To subject yourself to that?”
I shake my head and gulp.  “No,” I mutter.
“You know I crave control, and I don’t know that I have ever felt so out of control in my life.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to sit there and watch that unfold.  To watch your heart being sliced open and served on a damn platter right in front of me.” He looks up to the ceiling and I can tell he’s trying to contain his anger, or maybe it’s frustration.  I don’t know what I’m seeing in front of me right now.  “I had to try to do something to help you.  And you shut me out, Gabby Girl.”  When he turns his head to look back at me his blue eyes are intense.  They sear me.  “You shut me out, and you shut me down.”
“I’m sorry,” I whisper as I bite my lip to keep from crying.

To purchase Forgiven:

And here's some fun stuff the Ms McGee has put together for you guys.