Talking Romance and Animal Rescues with @lisaricardclaro #romance #animalrescue #newrelease

Welcome one and all, today our guest is the marvelous Lisa Ricard Claro.

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She is an award-winning author and Pushcart prize nominee, with articles and stories spanning multiple media. She resides in Georgia, but dreams of living at the beach. Lisa’s novel, Love Built to Last, is the first book in the Fireflies series. Watch for book 2, Love to Believe, in the fall of 2015, and book 3, Love to Win, in early 2016, all from Black Opal Books.

Without further ado, I turn the campfire over to Lisa!

Romance & Rescues

First, a big thanks to Jami for inviting me to guest post here on her blog. I’m excited to be here!

As a guest, I like to keep my post within the scope of interest of my blog host, and at first blush, I thought that might be tough to do here since I write contemporary romance, not fantasy/paranormal. But, then I realized that Jami and I have something major in common besides our love of the written word: our dogs!

As a reader of Jami’s blog, you’re aware of the recent additions to her abode. But take a look at a pic of Jami’s fur monsters (top) compared to mine (bottom). Mine are like the older version of hers:

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(Holy moly, Lisa, they are twinsFUR DOPPLEGANGERS unite!)

Yep, my furry kids are going gray, rather like their mistress, though, thanks to L’Oreal 6G you’ll never know it until you catch me in my skunk stripe phase prior to coloring the roots. I try to ensure this doesn’t happen, but some things are just a fact of life—like our true colors revealing themselves in spite of our effort to cover them up.

My true colors, gray roots aside, include a heart for animal rescue. But after being told by an editor that no publisher would allow me to include a rescued pet in every story, I dumped virtual hair dye over the notion and set my passion for rescues aside. You can guess how that turned out, right? Those rescue-roots grew out and I’d cover them up again. Except you know what? Embracing them turned out to be a better bet. Here’s why:

Unlike gray hair, our passions originate in our heart, not our head. And in our heart is where our true colors reside.

I tasked myself with allowing my passion for animal rescue to take its natural course within my novels despite what I had been told. The result was a three book publishing contract, with rescued pets in every book. No, my novels aren’t about animal rescue. They are contemporary romance novels where a rescued pet might play a major role in the plot, as does the three-legged mutt, Pirate, in the first book in the Fireflies series, Love Built to Last, (just released June 20th), or a minor role, like the 90-pound Lab, Belle, in book 2, Love to Believe, (to be released fall 2015), or even a bit part, as with the noisy cat, Pavarotti, in book three, Love to Win (watch for it in early 2016).

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I can’t speak for other authors, but for myself, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that through my work I’m letting my true colors shine through. I love sharing my passion for both Romance and Rescues. And honestly, as a reader, isn’t that what you want from a book? To feel the passion in the pages? Even when it is subtly rendered. (I’m subtle with the Rescue component, not so subtle with the Romance.)

True passion for Romance and Rescues. You’ll find both in my books.

And a skunk stripe on my head every 4-5 weeks. But let’s not talk about that.

(With my white streak in red, we could almost pull off of a punk band!)

Please leave a comment and tell me about your passion. What fires burn in your heart? What true colors do you have that will always shine through?

Thanks for hanging with me –

Lisa

Want to contact Lisa? You’ll find her hanging at any of the following:

Website: www.LisaRicardClaro.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lisaricardclaroauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisaricardclaro

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/lisaricardclaro

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Ricard-Claro/e/B00MUYB8IW

E-mail: lisa@lisaricardclaro.com

Check out MY BEST FRIEND’S EX coming from @AuthorTinaGayle #romance #controm #newrelease

Today we welcome Tina Gayle and her upcoming release, MY BEST FRIEND’S EX. Check out the excerpt, then go get your pre-order on!

Blurb for My Best Friend’s Ex-husband
She loved him first, but her best friend married him. Now, divorced Brooke must choose between her best friend and the man of her dreams.
Brooke Janson has loved Garrett Sawyer since she met him on her first day of high school. Now, he’s free to love her too.  Except, his ex-wife happens to be her best friend.
How can Brooke choose between a friend she’s known since kindergarten and the man her heart wants?
Excerpt:
“Hello, Brooke.”
Ignoring the sudden butterflies in her stomach, she waved a casual hand. “Hi, Garrett. It’s been awhile.”
 “I believe it was just before Janet moved out, almost a year.”
“Janet told me about the divorce. I debated whether to call, but, well…I didn’t know what to say.” To cover her awkwardness, Brooke allowed the words to flow from her mouth as if she had vocal diarrhea. “I always considered you, my friend, too. We had such fun together.  I wanted to see if I could do anything for you, but I…”
Embarrassed by her rambling, she stared at the stuff in her cart; lettuce, fruit, protein bars, each one good for her.
Man, I need to pick up a box of cookies.
Forcing back the urge to binge on any tasty treat available, she recalled how his face lit up when he was excited, his deep belly laughter, and his willingness to listen when she had a problem.
Damn it, she didn’t blame him for the breakup. Well, maybe for not listening to her warning. She had told him that her friend had a natural tendency to throw responsibility to the wind. Still, Brook hadn’t wanted to take sides. Because it was incredibly hard to choose between two people she cared about, one a friend since kindergarten and the other the man of her dreams. Guilt sparked inside her.
Why? Did she still want more than just to be his friend? Was this her chance? 
“Don’t worry, I’m over it now. I bought a house, which requires most of my time. I spent last weekend putting in a new hot-water heater. The old one leaked.” Garrett brushed a hand through his dark, curly hair. The silky strands fell back into place without distracting from the perfect picture he represented.
Sexy, hot, and totally off limits.
Available for pre-order at amazon – Release Date June 16 #Free on KU
Bio:
Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loved to escape into the world of books.After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing and hope to incorporate the joy of being a mother into her books.
Currently working on a series about four executive wives, she is excited about combining elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. The  first  three books, “Marketing Exec’s Widow”, “IT Exec’s Baby” and now “CFO’s Affair” have all been released. The last one will be out next year.Married twenty-five years, she and her husband love to travel and play golf.  She can’t wait for Mike to retire so they can do more of both.
Read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website.

Find Tina Gayle everywhere

Home – www.tinagayle.net

Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Goodread – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle

Google + – https://plus.google.com

Linkin – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/AuthorTinaGayle/

 

Time for a Mind Trip w/@ronnieAnovelist and GEMINI #newrelease #thriller #suspense

Gather round, all. Today we have a visitor, so everyone be on you best behavior. I don’t want to have to call in the Werewolf monks to do security. They’re a bit testy as they’re latest batch of wine didn’t go as planned. 

Want to play mind games? Then you’re going to love Ronnie Allen’s recent release, GEMINI.

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His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…

Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.

She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…

Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.

As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?

Check out Ronnie’s Video: https://vimeo.com/130146552

EXCERPT:

Okay, girlfriend. Let’s get serious here. Tonight’s gotta be the night. Time’s runnin’ away from me.

She jammed her eyes shut, swallowed hard, and blew out a prolonged breath. Tonight could be rough. Or impossible. Her heart thumped in expectation of finding the right person to accompany her in the train wreck of her life.

She had no choice, but to make it work.

Her life depended upon it.

Before she could overthink it, she grabbed the pink paisley duffle bag, which held her outfit for the job, off the Queen Victoria chair that graced the corner of the hallway. The entire getup could fit in her jeans pocket but she had to go fancy. She zipped up the black patent leather stiletto heeled boots, hesitating for a moment, contemplating if she was getting too old to wear them. After a last minute once-over in the full length mirror on the adjacent wall, she reconsidered. Nah, not with her knockout bod. Women half her age didn’t look so good. Not even any laugh lines around her eyes to give it away. She winked in the mirror and her emerald contact lenses twinkled back.

She eased the door closed to her ritzy Manhattan apartment at one a.m. with her right hand on the knob and her left palm on the door, guiding it to the latch so that her ears alone heard the soft clicks of the bolt.

Can’t wake those old geezers next door. Otherwise, I’ll just have to do what I do best.

Chills of anticipation snaked through her as she traversed the darkened hallway to the elevator all the while listening for footsteps in her neighbor’s apartment. The elevator door opened. She slipped in.

All was good.

They got to live another night.

Leave a comment with your birth day and month (no year), and Ronnie will giveaway one free, two-line tarot reading to our first ten visitors.

Welcome to my corner of the swamp, Ronnie, shall we begin our interrogation interview?

Thank you so much, Jami, for hosting me. My debut novel, Gemini, a psychological thriller, was recently released, last Saturday, by Black Opal Books. I love your questions, so here we go.

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I love animals but only wound up having a dog for five days. I was about ten. The doctors told my parents I couldn’t have any pets because I had severely debilitating asthma growing up and it’s still an issue, but well controlled. Since I was an only child, my parents thought it would be a good idea to try it, anyway. We got a lab shepherd mix from Bideaway home for dogs on Long Island and named him Friday. He was precious. We lived in a three story walk up and my dad with a heart condition couldn’t do the walking up and down three times or more a day to walk him. We brought him back with me hysterical after five days, my parents blaming the asthma for his return. In reality it was not the asthma. I wasn’t allergic to him at all. It was that walking him was too much strain for my dad. Asthma did initiate many of the traumas in my childhood, which I deal with in Aries, the second in the Sign Behind The Crime series that will be out in the fall. The antagonist, the killer, is an asthmatic. She goes through many of the experiences I had. So to answer your question: what did I want to be? A Veterinarian. I even applied to a university in the state of Washington that had a fabulous pre-vet program. My parents forbade it. My doctors forbade it. Me, being the good little girl at the time, listened and went to a university on Long Island instead. I majored in psychology and education, got my MS degree in School Psychology. At first I wanted to psychoanalyze myself, get rid of the asthma and then go to Vet school. Didn’t exactly happen that way. But today I have two cats, our two dogs passed over the Rainbow Bridge with another cat, and I’m not allergic to any of them.

If your characters came with a warning label what would it say?

“Hot to the touch.” and “Beware of the killer within.” Um, that last one would be a great title. I’ll keep it on the back burner.

Growing up, what was your favorite character, and did you create a character that might resemble you?

This is a fun question. Tarzan was my favorite TV show. It started when I was three-year old. Even then, I loved the muscular men with strong physicality. Mainly because I was so overprotective from the asthma. I never roller-skated or rode a bike. I wasn’t allowed to be in a pool, either. As I’m writing this, I’m poolside and will go in for my workout soon. I still love the body-builder type jock men. They made up for the physical strength I didn’t have. As an aside, I never dated a man who wasn’t Mr. Muscles. My husband’s a jock and we raised one. Does any of my characters resemble me? Hell yes! In Gemini, stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Barbara Montgomery has the job I had in the NYC Dept. of Education for a time when I was a crisis intervention specialist. There’s a chapter with her in a situation I was in, many times. But no person in the novel is anyone I personally know. Forensic psychiatrist, Dr. John Trenton is both psychic and clairvoyant and practices the alternative therapies and metaphysics as I do, as a board certified holistic health practitioner. I work with people making the mind/body connection. He uses a therapy that I was in for two years that helped me resolve the childhood traumas. It was so many years ago that they pop back up now and then but I use my strategies now for controlling them. In Aries, as I mentioned above, my character, AriellaRose Larcon goes through the traumas I did as a child and young adult. My male characters are martial arts fighters because I like men who are protective. Dr. John Trenton is a third degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Khaos in Aries is a third degree Black Belt in BJJ and has his own training gym in Harlem, NY where he rehabs NYC gang members.

Share one uniquely strange experience you’ve had that remains crystal clear to this day.

More traumatic than strange. I’ve had a few. Think I’ll talk about two. One was when I was three and vacationing with my parents in a motel in New Hampshire. I was playing with the hot, yes, muscular, life guard who was teaching me how to swim. He went underwater and I went under, after him. My mom panicked, jumped into the pool grabbed me out yelling that I could drown. She never let me go into a pool again. The second was when I was in a coma for twelve days in 2000. The docs told my husband and son I had less than a 2 % chance of survival. Well surprise, surprise. Here I am. I won’t go into the story here, but if readers would like to read “My Journey Back,” the full story is on my alternative healing web site. http://www.thecrystaltarot.com.

What is the one genre you won’t try and why?

Writing historicals. Maybe because I had a painful and traumatic childhood so I only want to live in the present and not dwell on the past. How’s that for a mind/body connection? Just thought of that now, BTW. Also, history was my least favorite subject in school. I liked American history better, but never could get into world history.

What is the best advice you can share with others?

From Anthony Robbins, “The future does not have to equal your past.” He’s one of the coaches that had helped me get over ‘my past.’ And, “Never give up.”

Time for our fast and furious answers…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?   Blades, in Aries. Guns in Gemini.

Favorite Fairy Tale? Cinderella

Titles waiting to be read? Catherine Coulter, The Lost Key; J.A. Jance, Remains of Innocence; Lisa Gardner, Crash and Burn; Karin Slaughter, Cop Town; Julie Garwood, Fast Track

Greatest one liner? Never give up.

Strangest items in my writing cave? Not really strange, they’re necessities. Statues of my Goddesses and Lord Ganesh.

Favorite supernatural creature? dragon

Ronnie is nice enough to give gifts, so take advantage!

GIVEAWAY

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And for the first ten of your readers who leave a comment along with their birth date, day and month (no year), I’ll do a two sentence Tarot year reading for them, and write the reading in reply to their comment. The Tarot year is from Jan. 1-Dec. 31. I’m a certified Tarot Master Instructor and have been teaching Tarot and doing readings since the mid-90’s. I’m no longer taking clients, since writing has taken my time 24/7. So this is a fun opportunity.

Want to track down, Ronnie? You can find her and GEMINI at any of the following:

WEBSITE        AMAZON      FACEBOOKTWITTER     

Navigating the Marketing Maze as a Writer #marketing #writers

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One of the biggest challenges facing authors today is getting word out about our books, enough so our little babies get shoved to the front of the bookseller line. An author’s skill lies in word crafting, not marketing, at least not for the majority of us.

I entered the published works world in 2011, with SHADOW’S EDGE, the first in my Kyn Kronicles series. I didn’t have a clue as to how to “market” myself or my work. Instead, my publisher put it out there, I visited various author blogs, started a Facebook and Twitter account. After that, I went head down and stayed down until SHADOW’S SOUL was done and in. I came up, took a look around, and learned my presence had been swept under a rising tide of new works. I became another shipwrecked survivor floating on a sliver of wood in an ocean of books.

What is a newbie author to do?

I turned to writer communities for help. And, boy howdy, was everyone willing to give me suggestions.

–Do a review tour

–Use this promotion company

–Go to conference

–Advertise (insert place here)

–Get a social presence (and be sucked into the big, black hole of never-ending procrastination)

–Visit other author blogs (or the flip-side, have authors visit yours)

I tried it all, got some boosts here and there, but in the end, my wallet was thinner, and I was discouraged even as I completed my third book, SHADOW’S CURSE, and started on a second series (PSY-IV Teams) with HUNTED BY THE PAST.

Now, if I wanted to portray myself as a wise, worldly writer, I’d stop here and tell you I did this because a the best way a writer can market themselves is to write another book…then another…and so on.

While that is true, (because I am a writer and writing is what I do) in actuality I was burying my head in the sand, too freaked out by the overwhelming massive storm of marketing it seemed I needed to do. Instead I’ve spent four years writing and learning (and burning out) about marketing.

Then I got laid-off (still hoping it was a good thing, but we’re still waiting to see) and the idea of being a “full-time writer” was staring me in the face. I have two publishers, two series, six books and am planning a third series, which makes it sound like being a full-time writer should be good to go, right? Nope, because there’s this other side of being a writer that needs tending to, the dreaded circus of marketing. With time on my hands, I decided to hitch up my big girl panties, use the analytical skills honed in eighteen years in the corporate world, and apply it my business as a writer.

As I delved deeper and deeper into marketing strategies for writers, I ran into an unexpected hitch. I belonged to a publisher, I had friends who were treading the indie route, and they seem to have a bit of flexibility I didn’t, or so I thought.  To be able to help boost sales, I need to regain reader attention, to do that I needed to utilize strategies that worked for my indie friends.

I began to plan.

Ultimate goal: READERS.

Lure: Offer SHADOW’S EDGE for free for a limited time. This was a difficult decision as I worked hard to make that book, and handing it out free makes me nervous. Still, if I can grow my readership in three months, I’ll put it up there and let it fly. It’s a damn good first book…

Thought process: If readers like the first book, then much like me upon discovering a new author, they’ll go pick up the other three, and if they’re still with me, they’ll go pick up the second series.

Sounds simple, but really isn’t.

First hurdle, my contracts. When you enter a contract with a house, you need to read them very carefully. Thankfully, I had a lawyer friend who was able to help with mine, and I knew I was coming up for renewal. But I have a great relationship with my house, and I’m having a hard enough time writing and marketing, much less formatting, editing, etc. (Yes, I know I do freelance editing for other writers, but I’d rather have different eyes on my own works.) Plus, each of my books renews at a different time, which means, I’d have some back and some not. Since my house and I are both in this adventure to get my books out, I decided to craft a marketing plan spanning three months that would help us both. I presented it, and was thrilled when they stepped right up, willing to help however they could.

We did a proofread edit of SHADOW’S EDGE (shivers, don’t get me started, it was hard not to rewrite with the knowledge I’ve garnered over the last five books, and NEVER go back and rewrite your first book, it made it to print, let it go), they helped with graphics for the tour, helped with vendors so we could get it out FREE everywhere (except B&N who balked,so fine, they don’t get my e-book version for the summer), and had some great suggestions.

It took me a month, but instead of shelling out for a promotions company, I managed (with a HUGE assist from the writer community) to get 90 blog stops during the three-month tour (Jun-Aug), plus Goodreads giveaways, and book listings. On the flip side, I also have a great bunch of authors coming here to visit and keep you all company.

The tour doesn’t “officially” start until June 1st, but in the first two days that SHADOW’S EDGE went free, my second and third books jumped up the rankings. While I won’t have actually numbers until September or so, this made me smile (cautiously). It was a shock to see how fast the ranking changed once it went free, but I reminded myself I went from all e-books, to all Free e-books (and yes, there is a difference and the Free e-books is a smaller pool), but still, my nefarious plan to create new addicts readers seems to be working.

Make a note to come back in September and we’ll compare some notes. Until then, if you haven’t, go get SHADOW’S EDGE for FREE while you can. Do me a favor? Spread the word!

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#Freeread for Summer and upcoming visitors! #UF #PNR #newauthors

Summer’s here, it’s that fire breathing dragon making you sweat. Want to escape? Then pick up your free copy of SHADOW’S EDGE, the first in Jami Gray’s award-winning Kyn Kronicles and go hunt in the shadows.

BannerYep, for a limited time, SHADOW’S EDGE will be free wherever ebooks are sold, so nab your copy while you can.  And to celebrate I have an awesome list of guest authors swinging by for the next couple of months while I’m out touring the cybersphere. You don’t want to miss out!

Our visitors include: MS Spencer, Ronnie Allen, Tina Gayle, Eric Price, Lisa Claro, Margay Leah Justice, Alan Behr, Barbara Ehrentreu and SB Redstone. Check out our Where Am I? Who’s Here? tab for dates and mark your calendars!

For our print book aficionados, don’t fret! We’re giving away three autographed, print copies of SHADOW’S EDGE in June with Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Shadow's Edge by Jami Gray

Shadow’s Edge

by Jami Gray

Giveaway ends June 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Let’s get ready to rock the summer, peeps! Spread the word and let’s get SHADOW’S EDGE into hands everywhere!

Nab Jami Gray’s SHADOW’S EDGE Free for a Limited Time! #freeread #uf #pnr

This fantastic paranormal action novel is quite possibly the best book I’ve read this year. I could not put it down, and had to exercise serious self-control to keep from staying up all night to finish it. – The Romance Reviews, 5/5 stars

“This book has everything in it, you have your Fey, Demons, Witches/Wizards, and Shifters. What more could you ask for?! Plus you have a great story to follow. The story and characters flowed so well together, it was like watching a movie in my head! Book 2 here I come!!” – Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock, 5/5 Fangs

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SHADOW’S EDGE: BOOK 1 OF THE KYN KRONICLES

Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…

When the supernatural lurks in the shadows of the mundane, hunting monsters requires unique skills, like those of Raine McCord. A series of deaths threatens to reveal the Kyn community and forces her to partner with the sexy Gavin Durand.

As the trail leads to the foundation haunting Raine’s childhood, she and Gavin must unravel lies and betrayals to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

Now available Free in eBook format at: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS / KOBO / SCRIBD

READ AN EXCERPT

Walking into the dim house, Raine braced for the usual smell accompanying a violent death. She knew that smell. It was distinctive. It reminded a person of raw meat and coppery blood. A scent warning you whatever you found, it wouldn’t be recognizable.

Coming down the short entryway, a few steps behind the two men, she realized there was no odor. No blood, no raw meat. She let out the breath she was holding. Only then picking up on the spine tingling traces of magic. It raised bumps along her skin as she drew closer to the front room.

Two agents passed her, heading out of the house, small evidence bags in their gloved hands. Osborn stopped just to the left of the front room’s entryway. Gavin came to a halt in the middle of the opening, blocking her view. Stepping around to his right she came to an abrupt stop, puzzled.

Bane Mayson was sprawled on the faded green couch under the picture window. At first glance the scene didn’t make sense. There were no visible wounds, no horrific mutilations, nothing to show how he died. Just the skitter of magic down her spine, making the deceptively calm scene in front of her much more ominous.

“Can you give a positive ID?” Osborn’s rough voice pulled her gaze back to him. He looked at Gavin who wasn’t answering. She tilted her head to find out why, and then realized Gavin was looking at her.

“What?” she asked.

“I’ve never met him,” he said blandly. “Just spoke to him on the phone.”

“Oh.” A little disconcerted, she turned back to the waiting agent. “Yes, that’s Bane Mayson.”

Now available Free in eBook format at: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS / KOBO / SCRIBD

If you want to play in the shadows, continue the adventure with Jami Gray’s Kyn Kronicles:

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Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.

Come stalk Jami at any of these fine locations:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Google+ / Amazon

 

Fur Ninjas of Destruction Strike Out #writerpets

Last week you met our newest additions, the Fur Minxes, Angel and Lola. They have acquired a new moniker: Fur Ninjas of Destruction. To date, the girls have decided their home and clan have been threatened by:

  1. Two stuffed ducks bent on world domination
  2. One outdoor lounger cushion contemplating overthrowing the government
  3. A nightstand lamp cord infiltrating the secured based
  4. Two dastardly, dangerous remote controls bent on taking over OUR MINDS….

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The girls are great protectors…in their own minds. We’ve also discovered that Lola (remember the sexy little black number?) is a massive love bug, to the point she doesn’t understand why, when you sit down, you don’t want her to join you. At fifty pounds at six months, this is not something I want to encourage considering where we’ll be in another six months. I’m not sure my lap can handle the pressure. Lola’s preferred sleeping position is on her back, legs in the air, much to the dismay of her sister, Angel.

Ahhh, Angel, another misnomer (again, stunning in white fur). This little bombshell can outrun a hummingbird on crack, plus we think she’s our instigator…maybe. She also watches TV. No, seriously, she WATCHES TV. There was this commercial with a cat walking along the screen, when it disappeared off the screen, Angel was off to hunt it down. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a while.

The Knight and I forgot what having a six-month old puppy was like, nevermind doubling it. However, we wouldn’t trade these two for anything. Now if I can survive the next six months, I might survive the girls’ idea of protection.

 

Welcome the Fur Minxes… #writerpets #DLRR

Those who’ve following along for a while now, know we lost our beloved Hellhound back in October when our lives jumped the track, then the shark, and the Grand Canyon (the month that shall forever remain nameless). The hole our fur rug left behind was HUGE, and for a long time I truely believed it wouldn’t ever be filled, nor did I want to try. (Stitchy’s first year-top, last ride 11 yrs. later-bottom)Stitchy 1

Stitch

 

Then, as life is wont to do, we got hit with some more changes, and I found myself home during the day again working on writing and editing, but something was missing. The silence, even with my music blaring, grated. Since I’m a glutton for punishment had some time on my hands was lonely, something had to change. After hours of discussion we (Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor, the Prankster Duo, and moi) decided since our Hellhound had such a big heart, we’d see if we couldn’t find two labs who might want to join us at the Shack. Decision made we started visiting Desert Labrador Retruever Rescue (DLRR), just to “see”. We attended a Sniff-n-Greet (it’s actually called Meet-n-Greet, but…) and started to get a bit excited about bringing in some new fur to the family.

We ended up with a three hour home visit, and the next day we were off doing some visiting of our own. We met a beautiful set of girls, but the fit just wasn’t there. Then, we were contacted about another sister set. Pictures were sent, hearts were captured, and three days later we brought the Fur Minxes home.

Since I have now evened the gender odds in my humble abode, I find that maybe I can handle girls, if they have paws and a tail. With that being said, may I introduce the Fur Minxes, Lola in a sexy little black number, and Angel in a stunning white fur…

Lola and Angel IMG_2473

 

As you can see, I now have writing partners and so long as I don’t run over them with my chair, it’s all good!

Want To Make a Writer Snort Coffee? #humorouswritingquotes #humor #writing

I needed a lighter blog fare today, so I decided to share some funny (to me) writer tips, because we all need to laugh a bit!

Here we go:

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing. – Quentin Crisp

Revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done. – Stephen King

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing. – Kingsley Amis

Writers don’t have lifestyles. They sit in little rooms and write. – Norman Mailer

If Moses were alive today he’d come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.
– Anonymous

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor. – Anonymous

Writing is a lonely job, unless you’re a drinker, in which case you always have a friend within reach. – Anonymous

The road to hell is paved with works-in-progess. – Philip Roth

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. – E.L. Doctorow

A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. – Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanish

Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. – Terri Guillemets

A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

Unlocking the Mystery of Your Readers #readers #writers #stories #MythicCafe

Reader

In case you’re wondering, I do actually read other blog posts, often. As a matter of fact, for the second week I’m going to send you off to see the full article here (Mythic Scribes, Understanding How Readers Read by Nils Ödlund) before we begin.

I love Mythic Scribes, they have a great collection of posts, and this one by Nils discussed why he only lends half an ear to writing rules as a newbie writer, and then an ear and a half to his readers.

He makes a clear distinction on writing rules:

“The rules of writing tell me how I should write, but they don’t really tell me why. That’s something I have to figure out on my own.”

And what he can learn from readers:

“I think – and this is just a hunch – that understanding how readers read can take my writing a lot further than any rules for how I ought to write. When I understand how words and sentences turns into images and emotions and stories I can take that into account and I believe my writing will be better for it.”

I like my writing rules as much as the next writer, but it’s impressive that Nils nailed this particular point early on in his writing.

Writers are generally avid readers, which may explain our instinctive ability to grasp what makes a story, well, a story. Since this is my blog and I haven’t conducted any scientific polls on this, I can only offer my personal opinion here. It may not fit all, but I’m willing to bet most writers will get it.

Because I devour books faster than chocolate (quite a feat!), I know what keeps my attention riveted on turning the next page until the wee hours of the morning. When I write, I try to recreate that same level of sorcery fascination in my stories. I have been (lovingly) accused by my writering partners of not giving my readers or my characters a chance to catch their breath. My characters tend to run from one big “oh shit!” moment to the next, barely taking the time to bend over, hands on hips and choked a few lungfuls of air down, before dashing over to the next catastrophe.

While this hits the writing rule of making sure every chapter, every scene moves your story forward, it also keeps my readers, reading.  Because my readers love fast paced, action packed, tension mounting stories, where there’s no time to second guess your the characters’ actions before you they are faced with the next situation.

Knowing what our readers enjoy, it helps us craft our stories. When I read, I want to be able to put my face on the main character, feel my pulse race with the MC’s, my heart break with the MC’s, and I want to triumph with the MC.

As a writer, to share this magic with my readers brings me joy and helps me sit down for another round with the keyboard.