Thursday, October 31, 2013

This is Halloween, This is Halloween. Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. HALLOWEEN!

I used to love Halloween.  But I refuse to wear a tasteless or slutty costume.  I think it should be scary.  Last year I was a zombie, a damn good zombie that freaked people out everywhere I went.  I entered a costume contest, and lost to a man dressed in drag black-face as Aunt Jemima, and a sexy maid.  So this year, I give up.  I'll be home, working on my daughter's dark angel costume, and finishing up My Mistake revisions, round 2.  So there.  Halloween can suck it.

I'm gonna try not to think too hard about giving up on Halloween for me, I'm just going to sink into my book, and hope it comes out well.  I'm also re-thinking my publishing schedule (again) and possibly getting Falling for Grace edits done so I can go ahead and put it up there.  The more books I have out, the more people will buy.  That's the thinking anyway.  I'm almost to my goal of bringing in an income that can contribute to the household finances.  Well, not almost, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  I just need to make it a little more consistent.

I'm also going to jump on this box set bandwagon, but I need something new to put in it.  Maybe My Mistake?  Maybe a new novella with Kathy and Luke's story?  I did a vote on Facebook, and K and L won out over Derrick and Brenda.  (YAY!)

But I'll be trying to remedy the snarky comments about the filfth in the house today, as well as playing Mommy, while working on revisions.  Tonight, we'll go Trick or Treating, and then come home and I'll steal all the Snicker's bars.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Inspiration everywhere...

For me, inspiration comes in my car.  Something about the silence of everything, or the music in the background, or looking at the world from behind glass, or something...I have come up with most of my story ideas in my car.  For that very reason, I keep a notebook in there, and have learned to write without looking, so I don't kill myself.  Reading the words later is another story altogether, but I can write without looking.

Last year, while waiting in line to pick up my son, there was a guy who walked up to pick up his son.  He was hot, and I'm a people watcher, so I watched him.  He only picked up his son on certain days, and held a couple of different jobs throughout the year (based on his clothing: first, navy cargo pants and jacket, then dressy office attire).  I determined he was single based on the fact that a couple of Fridays, he met a different car to pick up a bag of stuff, during baseball season, he grabbed a gym bag as well.  The day that he wore a fire department shirt with his cargo pants was the day I came up with Sam.  A single firefighter dad, who picked up his kid every day from school?  How sexy is that?

I've missed him this year.  His son was older than mine, and moved up in the school district to a different school, so I haven't had the eye-candy to watch anymore.  I've missed him.  This week at McDonald's, he walked in the door, and I almost choked on my ice-cream cone.  I was trying to subtly take a picture of him for my facebook page, but he and his sons ended up sitting right next to me, so that would have made me a total stalker.  I did sort of talk to him though.  I totally fangirled, and he's not famous.  And I'm married.

The truth of the matter is, I live in a relatively small town.  I will see him again.  One of these days, I may actually tell him I got the idea for Sam from watching him in silence for nine months.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Now, when inspiration hits me, I try to hit it back.  I don't have time for it.  I've GOT to finish up what I'm currently working on/out in my head/on my laptop before I can start anything else.  And I have to finish painting the new house.  I'm finishing the bathroom today (if I say it enough, it will be so) and one more bedroom, and I'll be done.  Then it's packing...and cleaning...and moving...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

When I'm not writing, or otherwise occupied, I'm reading.  I'm reading romance novels of all kinds.  I consider it research.  I'm looking at what works in other peoples' books, what doesn't work, how they arc their story, what they do to create dramatic tension, etc.  If a book is horrible, I read it anyway, trying to figure out what could be done to fix it.  I believe this all improves my writing.  On average, I probably read a book a day (Romances typically aren't that long).  Even at .99, that can get to be a pretty expensive habit, so I only read free books.  So, I read a lot of awful ones.  But, I have found some gems, books that I never would have picked up if I was paying for them, because I'd never heard of the author, the plot looks like something that doesn't appeal, or whatever.  Recently, I've run across two websites who compile data from authors (I signed up for both) and after aggregating the data, send emails to readers based on their likes and dislikes.  I kind of like the personalized service, so I'm sharing them with you guys, in case you want to sign up and have book titles delivered to your in-box...


http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/
www.readcheaply.com

Monday, October 28, 2013




It's Monday again...Time for another installment in my D/FW Author Meet 'n' Greet Series of Authors.  On December 7th, a bunch of us are meeting at a The Coffee House Caffee in Dallas to say hello!  Every Monday on my blog between now and then, you can meet one of us!


Today, we're going to meet CA Szarek. author of Collision Force and Chance Collision.


I honestly can't wait to meet the ladies at this shindig.  It's going to be so much freakin' fun!


1. What motivates you to sit down and write?

Consistency is best for me. So, if I write every day, I write EVERY DAY. Once I start I tend to keep it up. The need to write kinda drives me, so I am thinking about it all day, then when it’s time to write, I’m raring to go.

2.  Where does your inspiration come from?

I don’t think I consciously get inspiration from anything in particular, but I think maybe I get it from anything, anywhere. Life experience, hearing about something, seeing something on TV. Sometimes things come out when I sit down to write. I don’t think of them as “pre-planned.”



3.  What do you think your greatest strength is in your writing?

I think I’m really good at writing emotion, sexual tension and deep POV, meaning you really see through the characters eyes. I think I write real people. :D


4.  Tell a little about your most recent work.  Title, genre, and tag line.

Collision Force is the first book in my Crossing Forces series, and it’s a steamy romantic suspense. It’s about a badboy FBI agent, Cole Lucas, and a feisty single mom police detective, Andi MacLaren that are forced to work together to go after a human trafficker. They don’t like each other very much, so their relationship is full of tension and smart ass until they put their differences aside to work together and fall in love along the way.

5.  Tell us about your favorite character from the book.  

Cole, the hero/male lead. He’s kinda my dream guy. He’s a smartass, but he’s dedicated to his job. He’s never really been in love before and he’s very alpha male, so I love seeing him grow and change in the book.


6.  Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for other writers who are looking to publish?

Know if you want this, you’ll have to fight for it. But. If you want it, go for it. Never. Ever. Give up.

7  What makes a good story?

Well, I feel like it’s got to be interesting and different. I realize these are really subjective, but it also has to be a mix of emotions. You have to have laughter and tears and the author has to know the characters well enough to give them flaws as well as strengths so they’re real. The characters make the story, in essence. They have to grow and change and the reader has to be able to see this, as well as see something in the characters they can recognize in themselves. If it’s good enough, the reader really connects with the characters. 

8.  How do you market your work?

I’m really big on social media. I always say I’m obnoxious on Facebook. I am on Twitter, Goodreads, I have a website and blog, but I kinda live on FB.

9.  Do you have a current work in progress?  Can you tell a little bit about it?

Yes! Several actually. I’m working on book 3 of my Crossing Forces Series, as well as book 4 because I’m a glutton for punishment. Book 3 is about Lee and Nate and it’s called Calculated Collision. He’s lawyer, she’s FBI and he witnesses his best friend get gunned down. He has to go into protective custody and things go from there. I’m almost done. Like I will have it wrapped up within about a week. I’m excited about that.

10..  Tell us about yourself, outside of writing.

I’m married, have two dogs and a cat. I love kids, and I have two jobs, both involving them. During the week I’m the Juvenile Case Manager for two city municipal courts and work at a Shelter for teens on the weekends. I like to scrapbook, and I’m an avid reader! I love books. Reading and writing them!



Collision Force by C.A. Szarek




Book One in the Crossing Forces series.


If you loved The Heist: A Novel by Janet Evanovich and Fatal Error by Colleen Thompson, then you will not be able to put down this absolute treat!


Bad boy FBI agent and feisty widowed police detective collide pursuing a human trafficker in small town Texas on their way to true love.


Bad boy, married to his job FBI agent Cole Lucas always gets his man. So when the unthinkable happens and one gets away, Cole grits his teeth and hunts human trafficker Carlo Maldonado all the way to Antioch, Texas, where he collides with Detective Andi MacLaren.

Cole doesn’t do small towns and doesn’t get involved with women he works with, but Andi tempts him in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Two murders, her partner shot and leading the investigation on her own, the last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent who sees her as no more than a tagalong.

Widow and single mother Andi is used to being on her own. When Cole gets stuck without a place to stay, crashing on her couch puts them in dangerous territory.

Attraction and passion bring Andi to a place she’d left behind when her husband died. Her three-year-old son quickly wiggles his way into Cole’s heart, and he starts contemplating things—family, love—that he’d never planned for himself.

Can being forced to work together make them stronger or will their differences jeopardise their case and their hearts?


Due to technical difficulties, I'm having to "borrow" stuff from Amazon, because my internet is STUPID.


Sorry about that...

Here's an exerpt:

“Goodnight, Cole.” Obviously, she didn’t want to talk to him about anything, let alone his overdue apology.

“So, that’s it? You’re not going to accept my apology?”

“Not tonight. I’m tired, and we have a long day tomorrow.” She turned to go.

“Andi, wait.” Why was he calling her back? He could respect that she was still upset with him—she had every right to be. He’d gone a bit overboard with some of the things he’d said. 

Keeping Cass’ phone call from her had been unnecessary from the start. He hadn’t needed to carry it on in the car after they’d left the warehouse. It’d only served  to get her so pissed off at him she’d barely uttered a word all day. So much for getting somewhere on the case.  

Andi glanced over her shoulder and Cole grabbed her wrist. He yanked her into his arms and covered her mouth with his. 

He hadn’t intended to kiss her but as her soft, warm lips caressed his, Cole couldn’t have changed his mind even if he’d wanted to. Her curves hit his chest with  enough impact that should have jarred him back into his head, but he was lost and overheated immediately. He wrapped her in a tight embrace and kissed her harder.  

She fought him, but his mouth was demanding over hers, and Andi opened for him, melting against him, surrendering to him. She slipped her arms around his neck and Cole bit back a groan. Her taste, sweeter than he’d imagined, was like ripe berries.  He needed more.  

Andi whimpered against his mouth, her tongue dancing with his. His cock stood at attention, straining against his zipper. He moaned as her body melded to his, breasts to  chest, hips to hips. Cole had to have her.  

As he walked them back towards the couch, she pushed hard against his chest, breaking the kiss and shoving him away from her. They both panted hard.  

“Don’t…don’t ever do that…again,” she stammered, the gorgeous swell of her breasts lifting and pulling her shirt taut as her chest heaved. He could see peaked nipples. His erection throbbed and he struggled for coherent thought.  

Cole dragged his gaze to her face. Blue eyes wide, cheeks rosy, freckles noticeable, her lips swollen from his. Though she’d been appealing before, how she stood before him now blew that out of the water. She was gorgeous.  

He needed to say something. Anything. Apologise? He wasn’t sorry in the least.  Speechless just about covered it. 

She trembled and rubbed her arm. It took all he was made of not to pull her back to him and kiss her again.

There was no chance to answer. Andi turned on her heel and fled down the hall, slipping into the room farthest away from the living room. She didn’t even pause to look at him as she slammed the door.  

He winced. What the hell should he make of what had happened? He stared down the hallway for a moment, his heart pounding. Never in his life, not even when he was a  teenager, had one kiss stirred him to the point that Andi’s had. Then she’d run from him.  His body shook with unfulfilled need. 

Cole couldn’t blame her, really. No way should he have given in to the urge to kiss her. But he had the sinking suspicion he would have to do it again—and more. He wouldn’t be able not to. And hell, she’d kissed him back.

The voice of reason chided that he didn’t get involved with women he worked with, but his cock certainly disagreed. He ignored them both and dragged his hand over his face. The morning would bring complications.  

Cole sighed and glanced at the couch. It looked comfortable, but would he be able to sleep?


Oh...that looks good...  Here's what she's working on now, coming out in January...Chance Collision...


Vowing to protect her had nothing to do with feelings. 

Detective Pete Crane catches a new shooting case and considers it business-as-usual. But when 

the lead witness is the Chief of Police’s fiery assistant, he never anticipated she’d challenge 

him—personally and professionally. Especially while under his protection. 

Little do they know, the shooting she and her grandmother witnessed was anything but random.

Thrown together, their attraction sizzles, even though she’s squarely in the no-fly zone. She 

makes him break every rule in his little black book.

Nikki Harper has been attracted to Pete since they met two years ago. Witnessing a brutal 

shooting throws her into a stigma that’s always been her greatest fear: a victim. She has 

no choice but to accept his protective custody and let him help save her and her beloved 

grandmother. 

Can Pete protect his witness and solve the case, while fighting the intense heat with Nikki?


Contact her at:


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My favorite things

This is a list of my favorite things, besides the obvious.  I love my family more than life itself.

1.  A feeling of accomplishment, especially after finishing a necessary evil.

2.  Other people's babies/pets.

3.  Chocolate cake

4.  Changing seasons.  Here in Texas, we just  get the two...But I like when they change nonetheless.

5.  Bubble baths by candle light with soft music playing and a book.

6.  Feeling passion for things.

7.  Books.

8. Driving around on backroads, especially when I'm not going anywhere.

9. Cooking for people/events.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meet 'n' Greet Author: Bethany Daniels


Yes, this will be my very first event.  Well, it can be argued that I have events all the time...For me, laundry is an event.  But this is my very first author event, and I'm totally stoked!  Anybody in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area is more than welcome to stop in and say hi to all of us, and there's going to be some really great ladies on hand to chat with.

I'm hoping to make this a series of Monday posts, featuring the different authors from the event, to introduce everyone to us and compel you guys to come out and meet this fine group of ladies.  So tune in each Monday for news about the event, and meet a new author who's attending.  First up:  Bethany Daniel


She's written Reconnected and Disconnected, two sides to a love story, from Katy's POV and Liam's, respectively.  Today, I'm going to review Disconnected, and then I'm going to pester Bethany to get busy with Interconnected Hearts...

First, I want to say that I've "known" Bethany for several months now.  We've been planning this Meet 'n' Greet forever, it seems, and I did an author interview with her way back when this blog was a baby.  She was one of my first posts.    

I honestly like Disconnected better than I liked Reconnected.  There's just something about the male's point of view.  I think it goes back to an intrinsic female desire to understand the male's psyche.  And I love men.  All kinds.  So reading books from their pov is awesome!

Anyway, the writing style is easy to follow, and the characters are definitely likeable (the ones that are supposed to be, anyway).  It's Young Adult, which I had gotten off of reading for a while, but it seems to be coming back to me, as the last few I've read haven't made me want to gouge  out my inner eye.  Disconnected is making me want to give the genre another chance.  

Disconnected doesn't have the angsty drama that is typical of the genre.  There are no pregnancy scares, no cheating (not really), and the characters aren't spoiled.  It's a sweet love story about two people who got married too young, and find each other again.

In this book, Katy didn't come across as whiny.  She was a put-together woman who was focusing on herself and her own dreams.  And Liam was totally cuddle-worthy.  I just wanted to put him in my imaginary machine that turns book-boyfriends real, and bring him home with me.  Especially after seeing this teaser graphic:


Yeah, I know he's a little young for me, but as soon as I get my machine working, he'll be a little older and then I'll be a cougar, so there.


You can purchase Disconnected from Amazon HERE and read the blurb below...



It CAN be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading Reconnected too to fully understand all characters/story. 

A Fast Paced Love Story! 

Four years ago Liam Warren was on top of the world. He was a newlywed, he was discovered by Excite Entertainment and finally got to leave that small Nevada town with his new wife and high school sweet heart Katy. But when they moved to L.A, Liam got too caught up in the life. Parties, drinks, girls. All of that at the tip of his fingers and it clouded his mind, his marriage no longer was his priority and he slowly pushed Katy away. 

One night, Katy comes home to their home filled with half clothed women and Hollywood's elite and she tells Liam she is leaving if things don't get better. He's so wrapped up in it that he doesn't believe her, at least not until the next morning when he comes home from filming and finds a note that tears him apart and begins his journey of finding her, and growing up. 

Katy and Liam never officially divorce, and 4 years later a movie brings him to Georgia, where a tour on a college campus brings him face to face with Katy again, along with her boyfriend. 

Four years apart has changed a lot of things for the both of them, but when it comes down to it, that connection is still there and Liam sets out to show Katy that their love is worth fighting for. 

COMING SOON: Interconnected Hearts, Krista and Scott's spin-off book 


Disconnected's Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/GG99Miecs

Links to buy Reconnected:






You can also connect with Bethany on FacebookPinterest, and Goodreads


Friday, October 18, 2013

Yesterday, while out shopping with my mom, I realized that my birthday coming up will be the one-year anniversary of a day that completely changed my life:  the day I decided to indie publish.  One year.  Since I made the decision.  In a month.  Yeah, I've gone back and re-done the timeline in my head to double-check.  It has only been a year since I decided to take this writing gig seriously and turn it into a job, quit querying agents, and do it myself.

I can't believe it.

When I get discouraged that I spend so many hours a week on the computer, not writing but marketing, and the sales aren't where I need them to be, I have to go back and look at how long I've been doing this.

Last year, on my birthday, I was frustrated with everything.  I wanted a day away from the family.  So I got my husband to drop me off in Tyler at the East Texas Romance Writer's Association meeting.  I'd been a time or two and learned a lot about the craft that my husband barely indulged as a hobby.  He wanted me home querrying more.  He wanted me to get a book deal.  He wanted me to see some monetary gain from my efforts.

November 17th, Liliana Hart was a speaker at the meeting, and she spoke about being an Indie Author, what was involved, and how it differed from Self-publishing and Traditional Publishing.  And how to make money at it.  That was something I could get my husband on board for.

When he picked me up from the meeting, I was high as a kite, talking about this author and how much stinking money she made.  How all I had to do was go to these stock photo sites to make my cover.  How I just needed to finish the other two books I'd started.  How I had a business plan in my grubby little hands, I needed to act on it NOW.  We talked the rest of the weekend about it, until I could tell he was irritated by the whole thing, because all he could see was how much time it would take away from the family.  He imagined me up at all hours on the computer writing and facebooking.

It took a couple of months to get the schedule right.  I gave myself a deadline for finishing the other two books.  I looked for an editor I could afford.  I jumped on the bandwagon.

I didn't do everything right.  I initially published without the services of an editor, because I couldn't find an affordable one.  I made my own covers (blech).  But I did it.  And I started marketing.  And I made friends in the Indie author world.

I still haven't gotten everyone in my life totally on board, and honestly, I'm not expecting my in-laws to ever get it.  Not unless I somehow start making enough for the Hubbmeister to quit working or something.  The last time I spent time with my Step  Mother in Law, she actually used the words, "fluke" and "flight of fancy". They're humoring me.  You see, everybody knows somebody who self-published, and didn't sell any books.  They're wondering how long I'll stick with it before I give up.

But I have a plan, and it hasn't even been put in place a year.  I'm not giving up.  And at this point, if I can make it through Christmas with the in-laws, I can do anything.

On my birthday, I'm planning something huge.  I'm not sure what, yet.  But it's gonna be big.  So big, I'll probably regret it.  But oh well.  I love regretting things.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

So yesterday, I completely freaked out, thinking I had let down an author (not that they really have time to notice crap like this) by not finishing my review of Beauty Secrets in time.  In reality, my spotlight post was early, and the review wasn't due until today, because I spent all day yesterday in some sort of parallel universe where my date was wrong.  All.  Day.

Here is my review of Beauty Secrets, by Jill Elaine Hughes.  My spotlight post was early.  See how on top of things I am?

It wasn't hard to devour this book.  The writing was good.  Really good.  Characters were well-developed, mulit-dimensional, and to some point, relatable.  As it's being marketed as a comedy, I think I was expecting it to be funnier, but since I've been saving my last two pennies to rub together for far too long, I think some of the things that were supposed to be funny about the recession just struck me as all too real, and quite sad.  But that's just my own point of view.

Amanda, the main female character reminded me a little too much of my sister-in-law in regards to keeping up appearances to be funny.  I didn't want to relate to her at all, because my mind kept saying, "OMG, That's Noel.  Ugh..." which, if you think about it, is actually a good thing.  The author managed to invoke strong feelings about her characters, they were that well drawn out.

George, the main male character, was a dichotomy of ideals.  He's a ruthless merger/acquisitions man, who should be all alpha male dominant.  That's what I was expecting, anyway.  Instead, he's polite, painfully shy, and prone to panic attacks.  It was a refreshing change.

There were a couple of instances where I felt the sex was gratuitous, not that I minded, per se, I just couldn't see the motivation behind it, until afterward in all the self-talk with the characters.  The sex was great, don't get me wrong, just a little, tiny bit of WTF just happened?

The bad guys were most excellent.  Realistic motivations, over the top actions, definitely unhinged.  The author created wonderful tension and a feeling of "Oh hell, what's going to happen next?"

And the ending was really well done.  So often, romances end on a cheesy note, but this one minimized the cheeziness and managed to wrap up the loose ends nicely in a way that held true to the tone of the rest of the book.

This is definitely a book I would recommend to my friends who enjoy romance.  It was really really really good.

Keep scrolling for deets about the book, Beauty Secrets, by Jille Elaine Hughes, including the links to purchase it.  My copy was an Advanced Review Copy, given in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Beauty Secrets - I'm a flake. Totally

I was supposed to review this, but I'm a flake, and just realized it.  Going to download the ARC now, and will post a review as soon as I can.  It looks really good, so hopefully, I can devour it and post a review tomorrow.  Keeping fingers crossed.











The Great Recession. Reality TV. Luxury cosmetics. And a basset hound named Botox. What do all these things have in common?

They’re all essential story components in BEAUTY SECRETS, a sexy romantic comedy novel, written in a style best described as “Jennifer Weiner meets E. L. James.” 

Amanda Brown is a high-flying cosmetics executive for Revina Corporation, the oldest and most venerable cosmetics company in America. She comes from a good "old money" family, she went to Swarthmore, and she lives in a beautiful penthouse apartment in NYC’s Meatpacking District. But she's only successful on the surface----like many New Yorkers, she's also financially overextended. Her parents are dead, her trust fund is gone, and when the Great Recession hammers her company, like millions of people across America she suddenly finds her job hanging by a thread.

Enter George Watson, a hedge-fund manager and self-made man from the Midwest who swoops in from Indiana to rebuild Revina Corporation from the ground up. Even if he fired everyone else at the company, he decides to keep Amanda on for her expertise. The two of them are from different worlds, and they can't stand each other. But that doesn’t stop them from having wild no-holds-barred sex on their first meeting----for reasons neither of them fully understand.

But this is no ordinary corporate takeover, and the unlikely romance between George and Amanda is no ordinary love story. It involves corporate greed, undercover investigative reporters, a sleazy reality TV producer who puts George and Amanda's sexual relationship on national television, dark family secrets----and a dog named Botox.











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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My take on things

So, with all of the hullabaloo the last day or so about KOBO taking down all indie authors, and Amazon threatening to remove erotica from their shelves, I feel the need to look at it with a "glass half-full" mentality, because to do otherwise would make me crazy.  And I'm all about self-preservation...

First of all, it's not an attack on erotica, it's an attack on illegal pornography: situations involving rape, incest, and other unmentionable acts.  It all started with this and this.  I wouldn't want my kids seeing that stuff while they're looking for books, either.  I can understand the issue.  However, it isn't the author's issue, unless they didn't do what they were supposed to do (check the box for +18 content when they published).  And Amazon actually states in it's rules for publishing that material isn't acceptable anyway, so those authors are in breach of contract for publishing it in the first place.

KOBO, to my understanding, has taken off all Indie authors, and will put back up the ones they deem worthy.  Now, I'm not going to address that right now, because I can't.  It will make me crazy.  So, back to the self-preservation thing.  I believe that my books in no way fall into the "Taking my Drunk Daughter" category, so I'm not going to worry about it, yet.

Amazon, to my understanding, has utilized some sort of computer-generated filter to go through all of its titles, to weed out the ones who fall into a certain category (i.e. Taking my Drunk Daughter).

I believe what they are trying to do, while a bit overzealous (i.e. Salem Witch Trials), is noble.  I myself have been shocked (not too easy) by some of what I've seen for sale on some of the book sites.  Stuff that I've seen on some porn sites (yeah, I said it).  Stuff that I could write if I wanted some sleaze ball masturbating all over their kindle/computer/whatever.  Some of that stuff should probably go.  What I mean by that is incest, rape, and certain beastiality.  However, when we leave it up to a computer to decide, we lose shape-shifter books, don't we?  And those have a ginormous following.

What do I see coming from this?  I see something HUGE in the indie world.  I see something along the lines of Uncovered Books, independent publishing platforms that actually cater to the authors and readers, and not corporate pocket books.  I see Smashwords taking the lead in the book market, and instead of making money distributing books, it actually makes money selling them.  I see a revolution from the Indie Authors, and the readers who support them.  I know I'm not alone in reading solely indie authors.  There are thousands, if not millions of people out there who read ONLY indie stuff.

Since it's inception, this has been an unregulated market.  And as much as I love the concept of free-speech, people have taken advantage of it.  And that sucks.  I see some regulation in the future, but I can only hope that I will not be affected.  I hope that the regulation will protect my children from being exposed to harmful things before their time.  I hope that it will see porn go to xnxx.com, where it belongs, and not Amazon, next to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I hope that after this initial flogging of everyone with certain word combinations, or certain book covers that show flashes of skin, or even BDSM is over that we can all enjoy what we love most about indie authors.

So hold onto your hats.  It's not the end.  It's the beginning.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tag! You're it! Blog Hop

Thanks Samantha Holt for tagging me in this blog hop, since I never received the info for the author spotlight I was supposed to do.  If I got it, I can't find it.  If I find it later, I will put it up, promise...

I get to share a little about my work, then tag three bloggers/authors and they tag three people, until it's a huge tag-fest!  I'm so in...

1.  What are you working on right now?

Right now, I have a few works in progress that I'm trying not to work on, because I've got a bunch of housekeeping/remodeling things going on that I have to finish soon.  One WIP is a contemporary cowboy romance about lost loves reconnecting.  It's set in my fictional town of Serendipity, TX.

2.  How does it differ from other works in the genre?

Like all of my Stories of Serendipity, the characters are in their thirties, with real jobs and real issues.  In My Mistake (the cowboy romance), Brent is dealing with an addiction to pain pills.  I'd like to think that I'm treating the addiction in a realistic manner, that many people can relate to.  I've been told my characters are very relatable, which was one of my goals when I started writing.


3.  Why do you write what you do?

I got tired of reading about billionaires and virgins, and twenty something women wearing Jimmy Choos...I don't even know what Jimmy Choos look like.  I love the idea of Happily ever after, and wanted to write stories that people could relate with.  My own life has been unspectacular, even though I've had my share of achievements.  I wanted to write about other unspectacular people.  They deserve to have their story told too.

4.  How does your writing process work?

My writing process is a lot like my life:  All over the place.  I get an idea, and I mull it over for months before I write a word.  Then I outline and make notes for another month or two.  Then I sit down and write the rough draft in a couple of weeks.  Then another couple of months revising.  The all over the place part, is that I usually have three or four works in progress at any one time.  For example, right now, I have two rough drafts, three outlines, and two mulling in my brain right now.
 

I'm tagging Jill Sanders, www.jillmsanders.com, Vanessa Booke, www.boekiesreviews.com, and Nicole Edwards, www.nicoleedwardsauthor.blogspot.com

Friday, October 11, 2013

To Steal A Highlander's Heart by Samantha Holt




Who doesn't love a guid Scottish romance?  To Steal a Highlander's Heart was a lovely diversion from my normal fare of Contemporary Romance.  I knew as soon as I started it, it would be a wonderful roller coaster ride, as the prologue was packed with intrigue.

The book was filled with great chemistry between the main characters, as well as a mischievous fairy who can't keep its magic to itself.  Actually, the fairy ended up being a little voice of reason in the story, although nobody could really hear it, except the animals.

I'll admit, I got my hopes up with all the tying up that happened, but the book didn't actually have any sexy bondage scenes in it.  (Dangit!) And then I cussed out loud at the characters for falling for the dumbest tricks, but that just means that I was emotionally invested in them, right?  I always take that as a good sign.

I even cast Morgan inside my head.  You want to see?  Okay, imagine him in a kilt, yes?



YES!!

Okay, enough of that.  You guys want the link?  I figured you would...  You can purchase To Steal a Highlander's Heart HERE

And the best part?  It's only .99 (at the time of posting this), so run out and get a copy.  Now.  I'm recommending this book as a definitely worth your time read.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

What I've been up to...

I've been on a mad dash to complete my Holiday Novella this month, and I got it live on Amazon, B and N, and Smashwords yesterday.  YAY!!!  You want to see the cover?  Here it is...




I put Falling for Grace on a back burner, even though it's ready, because I've got some stuff that I have to do with my family over the next few months.  Getting the novella published now, and waiting  or Falling for Grace will give me several months to get the fam situated.  See, we're moving.  We've had this other house for several months, but it needs a lot of work done before we can move into it.  Somehow, the lion's share of  that has fallen on my shoulders, since I don't "have a job."  We've just had a cold snap, reminding me that I don't want to spend another winter in this dump.  So I'll be painting the rest of October in the new house.  I'm hoping to still have time  to  write and promote, but I won't be doing it 60+ hours a week like I have been.

So, I got the novella published, and if this moving/house fixing up business takes longer than I'm anticipating (like things always have a tendency to do), I have a book to put up in 90 days, give or take.  In the meantime, I'm hoping to still have time to work on some of the other projects I've gotten started.  I have three rough drafts to work on revisions for, as well as another one or two swimming around in my head.  I figure they'll be perfect to think about while I paint my new house.

And I'm thinking about actually paying somebody to work up a blog tour for me for the Holiday novella.  If I can get that done for a reasonable price, I should be able to rest a little easier.  Especially since spending so many hours on promotion for a book that I'm making .30 can be disheartening at times.  But it's all part of the game, and I've got to take a break from the game to do some family stuff.

I'll still keep up with my blog, just won't be able to do it every day.  I'll still be on facebook more than necessary (Like my page:  www.facebook.com/anneconleyauthor).  And I'll still have my laptop under my arm everywhere I go.  Only now, my laptop will more than likely have paint splatters on it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Review of Cage, by Harper Sloan



Reading this book was a wild ride.  Period.  Wild and fast and furious.  I usually read my read for reviews slower, but this one grabbed my short and curlies and all I could do was hang on.

I did have a couple of issues with it.  #1:  The security company seemed completely inept.  Cage should have been able to do more to protect his woman from the crazy stalker lady.  And the company shouldn't have let her waltz in and out of his building.  With Cage in the security field, he shouldn't have been so in the dark about her circumstances, he could have used his contacts/knowledge to gain insight.  That shouldn't have been such a big conflict.  #2:  This is a personal thing.  I don't like the use of the word Baby as a term of endearment, and it was everywhere.  It grated on my nerves.  And the Beauty thing was a little cheesy.  #3  Transitions were a little rough in a few places.  I had to go back and re-read to figure out what was going on.

With that said, this book had some beautiful build-up to the main conflict.  As much as I hate 1st person, present tense narrative because it makes me feel like I'm reading a NA, I honestly didn't notice it much with Cage.  It certainly wasn't a NA book, and the pacing was EXCELLENT.

I loved the characters.  Cage was HAWT, and the sex was HAWTER.  OMG.  I cannot tell you how into this book I got, despite my issues with it.  It was a really compelling read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast-paced book to read in an afternoon.  Thanks, Ms. Sloan.

Here's a giveaway, to enter and win lot's of prizes...

a Rafflecopter giveaway


And Buy links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Cage-Corps-Security-ebook/dp/B00F28ICBE/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379533329&sr=1-2
Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00F28ICBE/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1379087923&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165
Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cage-harper-sloan/1116861112?ean=2940148809333

Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/355593

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cage Blog Tour: Day Two

Since today is Anne Conley's Teaser Tuesday, I'm sharing a bunch of Cage's teasers with you today.  Stay tuned tomorrow for my review.  To purchase Cage, go here 






Monday, October 7, 2013

Cage Blog Tour - Day one



Yup.  Today marks day one of a three day blitz for Harper Sloan's Cage.  I don't usually sign up for so many days in a tour, but this book's that hot.  Yes.  It is.



Synopsis:
     "Alpha heroes you'll want to kidnap and keep, heroines to root for, and sizzling love scenes with emotional punch." Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author
      Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister’s shield against the world… until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance around… until it was stripped from him. Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control?
      Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else’s help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength?
The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another member of the Corps family.
     All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.
CAGE is a complete story with a HEA.




About The Author:
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her ereader attached. As an ex-reviewer and blogger, Harper's passion for reading runs deep. It wasn't until 'Axel' decided to take up residence that she realized her true calling.
She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.

Social Links:
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/Harper_sloan 
Amazon:   (will send out once it is live)
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/harpersloanbooks
Twitter:  harpersloan
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/HarperSloan/
Instagram @harper_sloan
Email authorharpersloan@gmail.com


Come back tomorrow for more teasers and stuff.  On Wednesday, I'm posting my review of Cage.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Expired Regrets by Megan Smith




I read this yesterday, and I have to say it is the best written New Adult romance I have read in a long time.  While it has all of the aspects of NA that are typical: angst, wishy-washy characters, and over-reactions, it is all soooo realistic.  The reactions, the wishy washiness and the angst are all totally in line with the characters, and not overly-dramatic at all (as far as teenagers and young adults go, that is).  The tension is drawn out nicely over the course of the story, and inserted humor is also realistic, and not forced.

Rose is a high school senior, who meets the love of her life in the horse barn.  Yeah, I'm a sucker for cowboys, but Bryant isn't the typical cowboy.  He's a typical twenty-two year old college kid.  That's the basic premise, but there's so much more to the story: love triangles, loss, struggle for independence...

Overall, I really liked this story.  There were a couple of places where the story's pace lagged a bit, and a time or two I got so mad at Rose I could have just slapped her.  Then I told myself that she was reacting like a typical 18-year-old, probably, and I read on.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to read a steamy YA novel with lots of tension.  Well done, Ms. Smith.

Today, at 10:00 (honestly not sure if that's my time or her time), the author will be stopping by to chat, so come back and check in to see what she's got to say!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review - One Piece Missing by Darren Worrow



http://www.amazon.com/One-Piece-Missing-ebook/dp/B00D7LYW3A/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380715556&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=One+Piece+Missing+darren+worro

This book was a surprise to me.  Written in the first person point of view, it is delightfully British.  Not in a snobby way, but this Texas girl couldn't help but hear the narrator's lovely accent throughout the story, which was awesome, and doesn't always happen.  Lot's of author's lose their 'voice' or it fades in and out, but Mr. Worrow did a wonderful job of sustaining his narrator's voice throughout the story, which was nice.

He also did a breathtaking job of handling the addiction the MC struggled with in a realistic manner.  Not only did Mr. Morrow handle it realistically, but it is beautifully done.  The scenes where the MC is painting, he goes into a sort of fugue state, and these are masterfully written scenes as well.  As a whole, Mr. Worrow paints pictures with his words that are stunning.

The story was well done, the plot was character driven by the main character, an alcoholic artist with an unknown benefactor, who falls in love with one of his models.  It's really a lovely story.

The book itself was a little rough around the edges, but part of that was the narrator's voice, I think.  The other part could have been fixed with a little editing/tightening up, but it didn't detract from the great story, for once.

Marie, the female MC was also a little flat in places, and I had a hard time connecting with her.  On the whole though, this was a great story, and I would totally recommend it to others, especially if they like their romances with a little supernatural mystery.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In the Heart of Yesterday - by Joanna Walker

Part 1 – A Heart Story – Serial Novel




Synopsis:

     Jesse Dawson is a typical seventeen year old girl. She goes to school, gets good grades, and like any other kid, just wants to fit in, blend in and survive high school.  She doesn’t talk about all the crap she has to deal with. Her mom in the hospital and a step-dad from hell.
     Rave Black sweeps into her life in the middle of the school year. He’s a dark loner. The quiet kid, and fascinates Jesse. She should stay away from him, but a budding friendship slips into a bond neither of them can deny.  Rumors spread even as they share their secrets with each other.
    Can Rave help Jesse learn to open up and trust, or will his personal demons consume them both?


Favorite Quotes:

A small smile splayed on his lips. He reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear,
sending shivers down my back. ~ In the Heart of Yesterday (A Heart Story #1)

About The Author:

I'm a new self-published author who just got introduced to the writing world early 2013. My aunt suggested that I write a story because I'm an avid reader but I waved it off and left it alone. Well this year, a story came to me and I went with it. It took me a little bit but I finally got a story idea that worked and now I can't stop or control the characters/stories that keep popping up in my head.  I'm born and raised in Canada and I live with my very wonderful and supportive husband, Michael. We don't have any children (yet) unless you count our two cats. He's been my rock through this whole new experience for me. I couldn't have done
it without him and my friends and family.  One of the many things I love about this new chapter in my life is that I'm learning constantly. It's never a dull moment and as long as one person likes my story, I am
happy.

Social Links:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/joanna.wlkr.author
Twitter:
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18110698-in-the-heart-of-yes
terday?from_search=true
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/joannawlkr