Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The release of "10 Nights".



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Just a note to welcome a pal and a wonderful author, Michelle Hughes, and her co-author, Karl Jones, to my blog. I'd like to congratulate them on the release of their new book.


 

 

Tears of Crimson Books is excited to announce the debut of 10 Nights, by Michelle Hughes and Karl Jones.  This full length book (103,000 words) will be available for all e-readers and in paperback on September 1, 2012.   Readers who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey or Bared to you will truly enjoy 10 Nights. 

The story revolves around a college student, Leah, who has just finished her studies after dedicating the last four years of her life to pursuing her academic goals.  Leah had no time for a relationship, or the inclination, until she meets Rhett Hammond.  Introduced to him at a 'coming out' party for her best friend Janie, her world is turned upside down when she is introduced into the world of BDSM.

Rhett is a complete alpha male and gives Leah an outrageous challenge:  "Give me ten nights, and I'll show you pleasure beyond your wildest dreams."  The ten nights he offers her encompass the most popular fantasies women have (according to several polls).

From virgin to courtesan in ten nights, it was a challenge that would explore the sexuality that she had hidden from her entire life.  Could a woman with no sexual experience survive the world of Dominant male who demanded nothing less than complete surrender? 

Michelle Hughes is the bestselling author of the Tears of Crimson vampire series.  Karl Jones is the bestselling author of the thriller, Shattered.  The authors wanted to give a realistic background from both the female and male perspective concerning passion, and this is their first project together.  Hughes is from Alabama and Jones from the UK.
 
To discover more about the authors you can visit their pages:

 
Michelle Hughes - www.michellehughes.info

 
 
 
 

Karl Jones - www.karljoneswriter.blogspot.com

 

 

 
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spirit- Travel - A new Genre!

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A friend, Shaunda Kennedy Wenger, had me visit as a guest on her blog today http://www.shaundawenger.blogspot.ca/ and her topic was about two new genres that are now available to the public— Spirit Travel and the New Adult.

 

Today, for the first time ever, because of the beauty of Indie Publishing, we can write what we want…the stories from our hearts, the ones rejected in the past.

 

For years the editors from big publishing houses fiercely controlled the books that were acceptable to receive contracts. This restraint squelched some of the adventure from traditional authors who were very much forced to stay within certain guidelines.

 

If a writer came up with an intriguing idea about a completely new genre, because of financial reasons, they were usually rejected. Only so many dollars were available to be spent on so many books, and the safe choices were usually taken. Let's face it…this was purely a good business practise.

 

But things are different now…the public gets to decide.

 

A few years ago I started a series called The Vicarage Bench series. I based every story on the idea of a person spirit travelling out of his/her own body and invading another's. To make the premise even more interesting, the host had to put up with sharing. It was a different concept, one I'd never seen or read about before, but I had a lot of fun with the idea. It's amazing how complicated life can get when two people have to get along sharing the same senses and a physical self also.

 

My heroes and heroines tend to complicate their lives a great deal before they find their way to Dr. Tobias Andrews who helps solve their dilemma's by showing them how the magic works. I've found that the dialogue flows beautifully. And let's face it, there's always conflict. Plus these characters have to be more intense and layered, both singularly and as a pair.

 
If you've never read one of these books, give yourself a treat. It might be something that attracts you enough in order for you to try your own spirit-travel tale.  


 
 
 She's Me is the first novella I wrote . It's a fun story about a snarky, but gorgeous model from 2006 whose spirit ends up in the body of a shy, lovable, and chubby librarian from 1963.



Excerpt:
Chapter One
  

The large, oval mirror reflected what the top magazine photographers captured in every front-page sensation featuring Jenna. Beauty might be skin deep as told to plain, hopeful little girls, but Jenna had never heard those words. All her life there had been comments about her “natural chestnut glory” or her “intense blue eyes with diamond-like highlights.” Even her figure, slender and tall, was unproblematic, as her system tended to wear off whatever she chose to eat, although since she chose the healthiest of foods she glowed with fitness.

As Jenna sauntered past the mirror she slowed to check herself out, as she was apt to do when passing any reflecting surface, and she spied her secretary’s grinning image behind her.

“Marnie, wipe it.”

The grin disappeared, but Marnie’s eyes remained full of merriment.

“Has Harvey called?” Harvey was the favoured man of the month, taller than Jenna, with eyes of a similar cobalt tone, hair silvered with distinguishing highlights and more money than many banks.

Marnie’s answer was tinged with disdain, which was not lost on Jenna. “Yes, he’ll be there to pick you up at the airport tomorrow evening. His exact words were, ‘Tell her to doll up, because I want to show her off to some college buddies who’ll be joining us for a late dinner. They don’t believe me when I tell them she’s a female version of myself—eye candy.’”

Jenna’s laugh was fake and forced as she stepped outside the famous vicarage where her last shoot had taken place three days ago. She was burnt out from the many assignments she’d crammed in over the past few months. It seemed as though every manufacturer in the world wanted to have her face represent their products. Enough was enough. She needed to veg and catch her breath.

The quaint vicarage was over a hundred years old, filled with relics from the past and a peaceful ambience in which a person could unwind. The verdant colours of the vines, clinging in masses to the exterior, framed the stained-glass windows, while pink roses twining in and out, here and there, added delight for the viewer. The foliage explosion nearby covered a crumbling stone wall that enclosed a large garden filled with hybrid roses, all blooming and permeating the air with their fragrance. On the other side of the wall was a surprisingly busy lane where the folks of the small town frequently walked or drove by, following their daily routines.

Her normal choice of a holiday hotel it wasn’t, but for some unknown reason Jenna had fallen in love with the atmosphere of tranquility on sight and, reluctant to leave it, had rented the nest for a few extra days for herself and her secretary to relax after the shoot. It was essential for Marnie to stay there with her, not just for reasons of answering the telephone and other business matters, but because Marnie had worked almost as hard as Jenna these last few months and deserved a break. Keeping up with the daily correspondence, being at Jenna’s beck and call and catering to her every whim would leave Marnie a bit of time left over to spend as she pleased.

Jenna was heading to her special place, a wooden bench near the roadway where she could people-watch, one of her favourite pastimes. She liked to breathe in the scents from the pink roses that trailed over the trellis behind the bench and gave a fresh contrast to the natural greyness of the oak. Today the scene was framed by a sky bluer than normal. She meandered along toward the empty bench, Marnie close behind her. As she stopped to smell a particularly gorgeous rose, a thorn bit into the fleshy part of her finger and she suddenly squealed with pain.

Strangeness settled over her as she sat to pull out the spine. As soon as her body touched the bench, a trancelike state began to take hold. Her mind felt numb, and later she would swear that her body floated away from her and disappeared in small drifts, like a cloud shifting.

Finally, she broke loose from these imaginings and turned to talk to Marnie, who was nowhere to be seen. She shook her head and reached up to rub her forehead, but when she touched herself she knew something was dreadfully wrong. It was as though she were having an out-of-body experience. Everything around her had altered. She closed her eyes and slumped further down on the bench. She twisted herself agitatedly, opened her eyes again and looked in every direction. It was then she realized that the road looked oddly different from the one she remembered.

She swivelled every which way, still seated because she felt weakened somehow, too weak to stand. And then she spied her dress and screamed. When she’d walked outside she’d been wearing white jean capris and a navy-and-white designer top, with a rhinestone-decorated white jean jacket to set off the ensemble.

Now, clutched in her shaking hands, her garb seemed to be a full-skirted, polka-dotted garment that hung down well past her knees and—what scared her silly—were the white gloves covering her decidedly plump hands

***

 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The day of WRATH, is almost here!

The day of WRATH, is almost here!
To celebrate his upcoming release on the 28th, Kirkus Macgowan is giving away 20 FREE copies of Wrath (A John Reeves Novel), follow up to his debut and Amazon Mystery bestseller, The Fall of Billy Hitchings. I’m helping him out today by giving YOU a chance to win a free eBook copy, or a $25 (£15.92 in the UK) Amazon gift card!
Wrath Contest Details
The best part? It’s so easy! Just leave a comment on this blog post. Multiple comments will not gain you extra entries. However, you may gain extra entries by commenting on other blogs participating in the Wrath giveaway.
Kirkus is giving away twenty FREE eBook copies of Wrath (A John Reeves Novel) in a format of your choice, and a $25 gift card to a random commenter. If we have a huge outpouring of support, he will increase the number of free copies accordingly.
The contest ends at midnight, August 26th, EST. This allows Kirkus time to post the winners on his blog on the 27th along with the blog they commented on. On that post, he’ll tell the winners how to contact him for their winnings.
Not sure if you want a copy of Wrath?

Cover Design by www.ethinkgraphics.com, Copyright 2012
Tom Stronach, an avid reader and book reviewer, agreed to check out an advanced reading copy of Wrath. Head on over to his blog Is It Me? to check out the review. Click here.
If you prefer to read a sample of Wrath, click here to read the first chapter on Kirkus’ blog, Diapers, Bookmarks and Pipe Dreams.
What readers are saying about Wrath
A few other readers checked out Wrath as well. Here’s what they’re saying:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! The only problem I have with your books is that I can’t put them down!”
Wrath will stick with you for days after you finish reading.”
In my opinion it was even better than the first one!!”
Like Criminal Minds on paper!”
Giveaway Summary
1. Leave a comment on this post! That’s all it takes to enter. If you’re not sure what to write, how about telling us what book you’re reading right now or maybe your favorite book this year.
2. Head over to Kirkus’ blog on August 27th and see if your name is on the list of winners. Diapers, Bookmarks, and Pipe Dreams. http://bit.ly/QLkqoe
If you’re not one of the lucky winners, you’ll still be able to grab an eBook copy for less than $5! Kirkus sends you his thanks for the support.
XXXXX

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Part 6 - Facts from the RWA Convention

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One of the most special workshops I attended at the convention "Plotting by Motivation" was presented by Laurie Schnebly Campbell http://booklaurie.com/ (Laurie offers wonderful workshops, many of which I've been fortunate enough to have taken.)

In her classes, she lifts you up and never lets you down - until you totally get her point. I could see a lot of others in the room reacting the same way I did. OHHH!!! being the most used expression. So many light bulbs lit up that the room glowed.
 
Her favorite saying is "WHY?" And by the end of the class, we all knew the importance of asking ourselves that particular question. 


Fact: Motivation is what drives your story and makes your characters credible.

Fact: Goal is something a person wants in the here and now. It drives a person with a time limit in the end, and it's something concrete - like having a baby!

Think of it this way…motivation is behind the goal – a way of being – a long term reason for why they want what they want.
For my example - I've used the characters from "Roll the Dice" my new release - September 2012 

My heroine, Aurora – is motivated to overcome her horrible childhood. She needs to feel that she's worthy of a good man's love, and until she finds him, she protects her soft core by coming across as a hard-ass. Why? Because she's never felt lovable.

Aurora's goal – To capture the man who raped her partner. Why? Because her partner loves her and she'll go to any lengths for someone who cares about her.

My hero, Kai – his motivation stems from the adoration his sister and parents showered on him, which means he needs to find this deep kind of affection, this same admiration from a woman he cares about. Why? Because he needs to be admired to be happy.

Kai's goal – he wants to kill the man who raped his sister, which led to her hanging herself. Why? Because the maniac took her out of his life. 

***Once I decided to delve into my characters to the extent of fully understanding their goals and motivations, I knew how to round them out even more. Bring them to life, shall we say. And by doing this exercise, I'm hoping the reader will benefit by a well-plotted story.

 





Romantic Suspense - Roll the Dice
To be released September 2012



 


For this Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop I will be happy to present one lucky winner with a $10 Amazon Gift certificate and five others with a free e-copy of My Cheeky Angel. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address.

And...I'll be adding your names to my newsletter list, so I hope you won't mind getting a periodic letter from me telling of new releases and special news!

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Broken Destiny - Debut!


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~Her Destiny is to rise above the fall ~

The Broken Destiny



To celebrate the release the debut Novel
The Broken Destiny
One winner will win:
The Broken Destiny

Is the first book in The Broken Series. A cross over between, Science fiction, dystopian and an Urban Fantasy adventure.
Her Destiny is to rise above the fall that threatens her soul. Her soul is the key to unlocking a secret weapon that has been hidden since the time of the ancients. Ava and her kind have been exiled to planet Poseidon after earth’s destruction. Ava carries a secret journal hidden from The Council and The Keepers witch have lead her to believe everything they were told about their origins is a lie. Weeks after  one of her friends go missing, she is saved from and attempted kidnapping by a Minoan boy, the truth of her kind and her prophesied destiny is brought to light. Her destiny is to rise above the fall, to reveal the truth, to save her kind, and expose the lies. Her Destiny starts off with betrayal. Through a series of horrific events she will become what she hates to save the ones she loves.



They aren’t gods and goddesses. They aren’t angels. They’re the beings upon which human myths and biblical stories are all based.
They are Estilorians.
Humans and Estilorians once shared the earth. Over time, humans realized they could never have the powers and abilities of the long-lived Estilorians, and began warring against them as well as each other. To save humanity from themselves, the nine Estilorian elders joined together to create their own plane of existence, removing all Estilorians from the human plane and becoming beings of legend.
In so doing, they doomed themselves to an emotionless existence. No happiness or joy. No optimism or hope.
And no love.
Millennia later, their possible salvation comes in the form of three teenage, half-human girls…the daughters of one of their own.
The Daughters of Saraqael.

Dead Radiance and Dead Embers stunning bookmarks






Dead Radiance
That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe.

I finally knew what the glow meant.

I was a freak and Joshua was going to die.


Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.
Enter to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can now vote for The Broken Destiny on Goodreads




Giveaway runs until the 20th of August



Follow Carlyle on her



The Broken Destiny Revealed tour for more awesome prizes http://www.carlylelabuschagne.com/blog-tour.html



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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Part 5 – Facts from the RWA Convention


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Fact to remember: Did you know that you should use an adverb as a placeholder in your first draft? Then when you edit, it will remind you that you need to rewrite this line to show the action rather than telling us by adding a word to describe your verb.



As an example…



Embarrassed and tired, Mimi yawned repeatedly.



Another yawn broke free from her control. Stunned, Mimi checked to see if anyone else had noticed. Before she could raise her hand to cover her face, her dry lips parted once again. This time accompanied by a groan. She turned her back to the room and swallowed a few times, hoping this manoeuvre would stem her rude behaviour.



p.s. Forgive me if my example isn't so great…it's after 1:00am and I'm pushing my limits…. probably why I chose this as my example. I'm living it J



Another question o f mine was answered during this workshop called "It's Showtime" by Janice Hardy.



How often should an author "show" actions rather than simply describing them with a tidy adverb as above? I know I've read books that draw me right out of the story because we have to slow down and read a long description of the hero or heroine's emotions or activities. It can get wearing…even if the writer has a great gift for descriptive phrases.



Her answer: Don't bog the story down and don't show a scene twice, once is quite enough. Add narrative distance for dramatic effect (wondered, hoped, prayed). And if you have to tell – keep it in the character's voice.



*****


Can you believe it??
 A bunch of FREE books are waiting for you to come and find them.
Many different genres and many great indie authors.
Click the button below...

If you like romance, "We're One" is part of the bunch...




Crystal was a celebrated Vegas star with a strong affinity to the animal world—except for the human male animal, that is. When she uses her trusty baseball bat to change the odds for easygoing Ashley Parks, who was getting beaten in an alley below her apartment window, the two end up having to run for their lives from a killer who wants revenge.
Ashley’s first kiss arouses her and all she wants is for him to do it again, and more - but no strings. All he wants is strings. So he hides her body and kidnaps her spirit to keep her safe. Her reaction to his chivalry..."You bungling idiot!!!? Everything's changed. It's you he’s after now.”

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Part 4 – Facts from the RWA Convention


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Another workshop I so enjoyed was called "It's Showtime!" by Janice Hardy. Just by the title alone, I have no doubt you know what we covered. Yep - Show don't Tell - a simple concept to some, but not so simple to everyone.



After many workshops, how-to books and discussion with other authors, I feel I have beaten this stubborn horse to death. And still someone tells me a simple fact and makes the well-known light bulb dazzle me with its brilliance.



Fact to remember – If you can physically act out what your character is doing, then describe it – that's show.



Example"

Tell: (no action) I reached over to pick up the cup.

Show: (action) I reached over and picked up the cup.



Or better yet …I picked up the cup. The old rule of KISS works well. Unless the reaching over is important to the plot for some reason, leave it out.



This information resonated with me. I often find myself using to-verbs (infinitives) as shown in the example above. As soon as the speaker mentioned this as a flag for telling, my stomach tightened. I glanced around at the others in the room…who were all glancing around at the others in the room. Seems like there were more than a few guilty culprits. (Being a bit of a bitch, that did make me feel better….my bad!)



A few red flag words – before, when, wondered, with, in, felt, sound of, tried to, could see, as, considered, thought, realize….

 

Heck, that's half my vocabulary. My dry tongue glued itself to the top of my mouth. Panic creeped into my brain, squeezing the tiny cells. Thoughts exploded. Suffering succotash! My full-length book will end up as a novella!!!     



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Friday, August 3, 2012

Part 3 – Facts from the RWA Convention

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For those of you who write suspense, whether they have romance or not, I did find out a few good facts at a workshop called Criminal Mistakes by Allison Leotta and Abbie Zidle.

I'm just finishing the final chapters of my first romantic suspense book called "Roll the Dice" due to be released in September. Since this genre is completely a new path for me, I knew I needed all the help I could get. I wanted to ensure that the plots I came up with would be as authentic as possible. So when I read about this class in the itinerary, I circled it with a big yellow highlighter and showed up early to get a good seat.

What a great way to start off the conference! Both women shed light on a lot of misconceptions that the average joe just would have no way of knowing.

My favorite fact – You won't get fingerprints off a gun…not today's weapons anyway. The metal is textured, and the oil in your skin won't leave prints. 

Another interesting point – very seldom - okay - almost never are there vaginal injuries such as bruising in a sexual assault.

And it was brought out that police stations don't normally have huge plasma screen TV's like you see in Hawaii Five-o or some of the other television serials. (Guess I've got to make a few changes after hearing this little bit of surprising news….sigh!)

The one that made us crack up was that prosecutors don't wear stilettos in the courtroom or bosom revealing blouses either. They don't want to be seen as sexual objects, but as serious dedicated career women. Darn those TV producers sure take license. But then again, I guess us authors do also.

 Who moi??


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Part 2 – Facts from the RWA Convention



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For today's fact, I started to peruse my notebook, which is almost full from what I'd jotted down during the workshops. I had a hard time picking out just one piece of information from so many that needed to be shared.



But then I remembered the fun I had at the workshop called "Secrets of a Best Selling Sisterhood" with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jane Ann Krentz, and I knew that Susan had shared a very wise suggestion. One I've unknowingly followed to my benefit.



Find your own path!



This sounds so simple, doesn't it? I thought so until I spent time examining the words and her explanation. Then they hit me. Simple genius!



The reason I am now an Indie author is because traditional publishers weren't interested in my angel stories. Probably felt the paranormal market would fade and the books wouldn't be popular or sell.



They were wrong. Both light-hearted stories, My Cheeky Angel and His Devious Angel, have done very well on Amazon…(must be the angels drawing good vibes – (Uh huh – yep – I know it!!)



So, I did go ahead and follow my own path. And it led me to success. If I had given up on those books and tried another genre, it would have taken months to finish writing something suitable to submit, then months (if ever) to hear whether this time I'd hit the right note, come up with the fresh new voice and wrote a story they would accept.


To tell you the truth – I'm so relieved that I did find and follow my own path – the one that worked for me. Of course, she did mention one other small item - that once you choose your way, it's up to you to make the magic happen. :)


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It's that time again!!!

Free books - lots of 'em!
Stop by and check them out...


Available is....



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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Part 1 - Facts from the RWA Convention!

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It's been wayyy too long since I put a blog out, and for that, I will apologize. Truth is - I went to the RWA Convention in Anaheim and totally got lost in the world of workshops, networking and having fun. Let go of all my obligations for a few days. How sweet it is!!



Then at the airport on the way home, I wrote a really lovely blog about my delight with the world (I was still tripping over the sensations I felt while hobnobbing amongst my peers), and darned if my %#@#!#@ computer didn't run out of battery. I hadn't saved the work but wasn't too worried as I thought it would be saved automatically…uummm no!



So I pouted and ignored the guilty voice blabbering in my ear that I needed to write it again. I held off for a few days (mainly because I was visiting my folks, and we were so busy)…but it's really starting to get to me, so time to get my ahh sh-tuff together.



I had planned to tell you how wonderful the four days of convention were. The incredible workshops available detailed such things as craft, writer's life, research, publishing and career. Speakers such as Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jayne Ann Krentz amused and taught us from their personal experiences getting on the Best Sellers Lists. Goodread's, Patrick Brown, and Smashword's, Mark Coker, kept my marketing brain completely enthralled. It was heaven for an author like me whose capacity to learn new things seems never-ending. I loved it all.



But I do admit to feeling that specific information would be more helpful to me in my career, and hopefully to you…so I will share what I learned over the next little while.


Fact  #1. (From Jayne Ann Krentz) – never sign away your birth name. I took that to mean that if you use your real name, never sign a contract that gives a publisher the rights to everything you write. Cause if you do, one day you'll have to write under a pseudonym.  Good advice!!


It's that time again!!!

Free books - lots of 'em!
Stop by and check them out...






Available is....


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