Friday, May 31, 2013

The Last Month before my First Release Together in Cyn

June 12th, 2013
            The release day of Together in Cyn. Book One in the Members Only series from Ellora’s Cave.
            My first release day.
            The first day readers will be able to read something that I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into.
Together in Cyn Available at Ellora's Cave on June 12th

            It’s scary, and exciting…it’s life changing.
            Have you ever heard the phrase – the easy part is writing the book?
            That is SO true!
            I thought I was prepared for this thing called publishing. I wanted it no doubt. Am pretty obsessed with making this dream come true, but there is so much to wrap your head around that I didn’t have a clue about.
            My brain has been besieged with promo, blogging, interviews, blog tours, reviews. Not to mention all of the social media that goes into it as well. This makes a full time job, on top of a full time job, on top of yet another full time job because I still work full time as well as write.
            Then there’s the timing on…everything. Which I totally messed up my blog tour and Goddess Fish was amazingly wonderful about helping me move it. Life gets in the way sometimes right?
            I swear I have spreadsheets for my spreadsheets. (This does it for me actually. I LOVE spreadsheets. :) )
            I’ve been writing since 2008. Actively pursuing this thing called publishing since 2011 or so. In Oct of 2012 I got “the call” which came in the form of an email. :)
            I was offered a contract on Together in Cyn, which at that point was titled Dear Cyn. Six months have passed.
            Feels like a lifetime.
            I now have a Literary Agent out of New York, and contracts on nine more books in this series. I’ve fully written three books in this series, have the first one in another series to my agent to get finagled prior to submitting. I’ve edited one and a half books, have changed from a pantser to a plotter, and still manage to get a few hours of precious sleep each night.
            I love this business.
            And my hat is off to all of the erotic authors that have come before me.
            Forging their way ahead in a critical society that looks down there nose at books with…god forbid…sex in them!!
            Boy I hope they don’t get a hold of mine.
            They’ll be catatonic by the end of it, or maybe they’ll learn a few things. I can only hope. :)
            So raise a glass with me to my last few days as an unpublished author.
            I’m a glass half full kind of girl, and my cup runneth over!!


Members Only, Book One

She knows it’s wrong. Cyn shouldn’t have feelings for fraternal twins Jared and Chris, her best friends. She shouldn’t want them to tie her up or strap her down, to take her one at a time—or together. The only way to control her taboo desires is to write them down and lock them away in her diary. Guys like Jared and Chris could never be interested in someone like her, or in the kind of sex she craves.

But Jared and Chris have read her diary, and sweet little Cyn is in for the shock of her life. The brothers not only own a members-only BDSM club, they want her. Need her. And now, with their unlimited funds and an entire establishment devoted to fulfilling her darkest pleasures, they’re going to claim Cyn for their own.

Inside Scoop: If you have a kink, this book probably has it too. If you like your ménage romances extra hot with a side of male-male romance, spanking, voyeurism and girl-on-girl action, come and get it.

A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Unedited Excerpt
            “So, Cyn, why aren’t you fucking anybody?”
            I sucked a mouthful of beer down the wrong pipe, sputtered and coughed my way through it, and nearly knocked over the glass bottle as I got it under control. The beer anyways. After wheezing through another breath I moved my drink farther away. “Where in the hell did that come from?”
            Jared Kennedy, one of my best friends, glanced at my fingers as I worried a heart charm at the bottom of a silver chain. A knowing smirk tilted his lips when he looked back up. “Oh, come on. Nobody creaming your Twinkie at the moment or do you not like sex in general? We want to know. So don’t be shy, just spit it out.”
            The other half of the we he referred to was his fraternal twin Chris, who stood watching us across an empty dance floor and behind their bar thirty feet away. Still anxiously working the pendant back and forth, I turned once more to Jared.
            He leaned back in his chair, arms crossed over his broad chest and an expectant smile pulling at his full lips. The brothers had always done that. Known just the right face to make so I would answer anything. They acted broody or impatient, and I ’d give anything to make them happy. Pathetic—my middle name when it comes to these two.
            “I like it, J. As much as anybody does, I guess. Whether I like it as much as you and Chris, I don’t know. Your appetites have always run on the high side according to the gossipmongers around town.” I squirmed in my seat. I admit it. One of my best friends was asking me if I liked sex and all I could think was…meh. My sex life…well, visualize the Titanic sinking and you get the gist. Most guys don’t appreciate being called another guy’s name—or two guys’ names—when you’re getting off. It’s a real deal breaker apparently.
            “Uh huh. It’s Saturday night, and you’re here, just like last night. Guys hit on you but you turn them down flat. You work at the gym all day and help out here anytime we ask. Love our time together on the weekends, just you and me, and I know you’ve been helping Chris during the week too. CJ’s has gotten damn busy, and we dig the help, but you’ve been restless lately and we’ve both noticed. What gives?”

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Go Big or Go Home
by Angela Rose

                When the last of eight kids headed off to kindergarten in August of 2012, I literally panicked. No, it wasn’t that my baby was becoming a big boy that worried me.  It was my biggest boy, my husband that had me concerned!  The man makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a drunken “frat boy” in Miami during spring break! He hates to spend money, and can never have enough financial security.  My dilemma?  Oh my gosh! He’s going to send me back into the workforce, after being a stay-at-home mom after all these years.  Well, there was no way I was going to let that happen! 

                In high school I fell in love SE Hinton’s book, The Outsiders and the writing bug bit! I started writing stories, using the captain of the football team and friends, as the inspiration for my characters. When I began brainstorming how I could bring a small, modest income into the household and work from home, I had to ask myself this question.  What do I love and spend the majority of my time doing? Besides parenting, carpooling and laundry, of course. The answer? I spend all my time reading romance and journaling.  So when the Wake County Library in Knightdale offered a six week writer’s course starting the very same week, I knew it was Divine Intervention…or just good timing!  Either way, I was on the road to becoming an aspiring writer!

                It has been over a year since I have begun plotting story after, after story….never to finish! I realized taking Honors English in high school, and being an English Major didn’t necessarily make me a writer, and I openly admit my hate of grammar.  I’m guilty of tossing commas around like they’re candy!  Once I had re-read my first attempt I was discouraged, but wasn’t about to give up on this dream. I checked out classes at the local community college and signed-up for a couple of classes on writing fiction and character building.  So I was on my way to being published author, right? Wrong!  I had the plots, but still no structure to my writing. 

                I was just about to give up when historical romance author, Michelle Willingham said to me. “Never tell yourself that you’re an aspiring author/writer. You write every day…even if it’s only fifteen minutes.  Writers write!  The only difference between you and a published author is….the published one never gave up.”  Words I’ll never forget. Though I’m still learning, I am a writer, as I have no intentions of giving up my dream to be a published author. Besides, the voices in my head are begging to be heard!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How Loving List-Making Helps Me Write

I read much more than I write and feel that is necessary to be a good writer.  Steven King says, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  When I read, nothing makes me more upset than when it is obvious that the author didn't take the time to plan out the book. They just started writing. Now, when a writer has as much talent and experience as Mr. King, perhaps it is possible to write like this (by the seat of the pants), but for the rest of us, there needs to be a massive amount of planning for the story to be as rich as it needs to be. Foreshadowing, red herrings, clues and hints must be sprinkled throughout the book but that can't be done if the author only has a vague idea of where the story is going. Without planning a writer is more likely to paint themselves into a corner and, because there is no other way out, resort to deus ex machina. This is a plot device where an unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved, with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. 

I have always been a list maker. Groceries, chores, goals, errands, books, movies, events, ect. When I found Randy Ingermanson's snowflake writing method, it gave me the confidence to write my first book. I followed his method exactly for the first draft of (though it went through so many rewrites that the original book is unrecognizable). Then I adapted it for and found what works for me.

* Step 1 – Write a one sentence summary of your story.
This sounds hard and it is. Take your time. Write a LIST of a dozen or more. Revamp them, combine them, change them. Here is mine for Ishtar Bound:
Surrounded by magical enemies with an intimate knowledge of her abilities, a matchmaking witch of the highest rank must fulfill both her duty to her coven and her desire for a love of her own, even if the two goals collide.

*Step 2 – Expand that sentence into a paragraph. Include a little set-up background, major plot points ('disasters'), what the main character wants and what keeps them from attaining it, and the resolution. This is NOT your blurb. Don't try to keep it mysterious, don't hold anything back. It needs to summarize the whole story but it doesn't need all the hows. SPOILER ALERT, Here is mind from Transit of Ishtar:
After killing herself, Nathalia wakes up as an immortal locked underground with a supernatural man responsible for her conversion and salvation. She finds herself falling in love with this man as he teaches her about her new life and their shared past. He is the Keeper of the Mothers and Watcher of the Betrayers. She inadvertently releases one of the betrayers while he is distracted. After she heals, they both go to the Daughters of Women to warn Maeve about the danger to her and her unborn daughter, the promised One, but it backfires, making Maeve mistrust the guardians. The evil one comes for Maeve, but Nathalia finds a way to destroy him.

*Step 3 – For each main character, write a one page summary sheet, LISTing details. Here is mine for Nathalia in Transit of Ishtar. It went through many changes after this so not all of it is up to date but this post is to show my technique.
Name: Nathalia Lovejoy
Motivation or Ambition: Nathalia wants to prevent all women from being duped and hurt by men, herself included.
Story goal: Nathalia wants to protect Maeve and her other sisters from the evil one.
Conflict: She has to find a way to kill the escaped betrayer, but she cannot do it with violence or hatred, because that nourishes him, not kills him.
Early Epiphany: She has directed her anger at the wrong ones: men are just being influenced by the betrayers. They deserve her hatred, but she cannot give it to them because it feeds them.
Final Epiphany: That she does love Eiran and she can use that and the love of others to destroy the evil immortal.
One sentence: Nathalia must find how to live with new love, and protect her old life.
One paragraph: After killing herself, Nathalia must find a new reason to live. She wakes to find herself changed, seemingly in a tomb underground with Eiran. She must come to terms with the change and that she has been wrong about men all along. She has to accept the fact that she likes Eiran and wants him, not just owes him. She brought the last danger to the Daughters and Maeve in the form of Michael and now she releases the betrayer this time. She thinks it would be better for them if she had died. She has to reconcile the fact that yes she is the only one who could have released him, but she is the only one who can stop him. She is the only one who can show them all how to fight the beast. She is the mother of the new era.

*Step 4 – Expand each sentence of step 2 into a paragraph. The end result is a one page summary of the whole book. Again, no one will see this so leave out the mystery. Hold nothing back. This post is getting long so I won't give you the full example of one of mine but here is a small sample.

From step 2: After killing herself, Nathalia wakes up as an immortal locked underground with a supernatural man responsible for her conversion and salvation.
After killing herself, Nathalia wakes up laying on a stone bed underground, but still in the sunlight. There is a stone statue there of a man and she finds it comforting. She explores her underground home, looking for a way out, and finds the tomb of the mothers. She thinks her solitude has driven her mad, because she hears a mans voice in her head. She finds herself falling in love with this man as he teaches her about her new life and their shared past. He reveals himself to be the statue. They start to make love and when he discovers she is virgin, will not go on. She feels rejected.

*Step 5 - Jot down any cool ideas for the book, or neat dialogue. I make a LIST and refer to it as I write, adding them in where appropriate. This is one note I made for Transit of Ishtar and those of you who've read it will recognize it. I think these few sentences, this idea, made a very nice scene.

She tries to ask who he is but he cannot answer, at least not in a language she can understand. He draws pictures in the ground that look like cuneiforms, but she cannot read them. Finally she recognizes the look on his face when he broadcasts to someone. He is like her. Then he opens his mouth and English words come out.

*Step 6 – Make a LIST of all the scenes you need to make this story into a book. I love a spreadsheet for this step. One line for each scene. I do columns for chapter, intended number of words, point of view, and, in an impossibly wide column, what happens. A spreadsheet is perfect for this step, because the whole storyline can be viewed at a glance, and it’s easy to move scenes around to reorder things.

*Step 7 – Write your book.

Don't be afraid to change any of these things you've written down. They aren't written in stone. They are to help write the best first draft possible in the shortest amount of time. If you realize that you had your character's goal wrong in step 3, don't try to smash the story into your incorrect outline. Just go back and change the goal. I love this method. The book practically writes itself. Yes, sometimes I deviate. Sometimes I have a dream or imagine a scene that I just have to write. Sometimes that is my step 0.

What do you use to build a story? Leave a comment and tell me what you think. 

Check out The Snowflake Method guy's site. There are a lot of other good ideas and writing hints.

Thanks for visiting The Romance Troupe's Blog and reading my post.
Author Natalie Gibson

Connect with me through:

I review romance on Satin Sheets Romance Review Blog and all genres that catch my fancy on and Goodreads.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Name, Name, What's Your Name?

How do you name your characters? Do you pull one out of a hat? Research until you find one that means exactly the right thing? Do you use astrology? Do you just breeze through baby names until one strikes you just right?

I wanted to do this post because I know people who do have trouble choosing that perfect name for their character….and I just adore naming characters. It’s one of my favorite parts of starting a new story. Not that it’s always easy, I just really like the process.

Not sure how it works for others, but I have to have a name before I can write. In fact, sometimes I have a name before anything else at all. That’s just the way I roll. I can’t call anyone (Character A) and write. My brain just won’t accept it. I have been known to change a name on a very rare occasion, but it is very rare. 

I usually start my naming process by looking through some of my favorite websites!

This one is good if you want a current, contemporary name.

This one has a cool little tab called POPULAR NAMES BY BIRTH YEAR

This one has some good Origin Lists

This one has some really good ancient and origin names

This one generates some very interesting names from all over and different time periods

Most of my names come from a country of origin and then a few of them come from me wanting them to mean a certain thing. So I’ll actually google search keywords for names that mean something. I came across this really cool site one day after looking for a name that meant ‘breeze’. It has all kinds of names from different origins for elements of nature.

Even though I do a lot of name hunting, about 50% of my character name just ‘hit’ me. Like I said earlier, I have to have name to write anything down, so my brain always works on that first, LOL.

I hope you have as much fun on the websites as I do, if not, you could always email me. I would love to name your character for you!

On a side note! It’s my 10th Wedding Anniversary today! I married the most fabulous man 10 years ago and I can’t imagine my life without him. He is so supportive and loves that I write. He calls me his ‘Castle’. (We love that show!) He truly is my soul mate and I'm so lucky to have found him.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Inspiration and Support

By Kathryn Loch

Today is my mom’s birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!), because of that and because Mother’s Day was this month, I’d thought I’d make a quick mention of family and support. I’ve been very fortunate in that my family has always supported my writing. My mom is a retired nurse, so you know who I went to for medical information. In fact, one of my novels, A Time to Live would not have been completed without her help as the heroine battles with cancer. My dad too has been a great help. He’s retired law enforcement and one of the reasons why the heroine in Sworn to Protect can outdrive just about anyone in a car chase.

Not every writer is as fortunate to have their family in their corner. Sometimes others don’t understand the drive to write. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and my parents did caution me to work toward a career that would “pay the bills”. I did that but now that I’ve been (and I say this cautiously) successful as an indie author, they have been ecstatic.

Years ago, I received some great advice from an editor at a conference I attended, and it’s been quite helpful, so I’d thought I’d pass it along.

  • Let your friends and family know, you depend on them to be your cheerleading section. 

In an industry where you submit work, get it torn apart by editors, agents, and critique groups, as well as suffer rejection, having your family in your corner always helps. Talk to them, tell them you understand full well that writing may not pay the bills, but you’re not walking into this blind. Also understand that they probably know very little about the industry, so having them encourage you is going to be their job, even when you get a rejection that lays you low.

  • Let friends and family know when you do publish, you’ll need them to help get the ball rolling by buying your book. 
So many tell me that friends and family want free copies. They are the first ones who should be purchasing your work. So if you let them know before that work gets published, the ground rules have been laid and you won’t be shelling out freebies.

  • Tap their knowledge. Like my mom being a nurse and my dad being a cop, friends and family may have professions or hobbies they’re experts at – don’t be afraid to go to them for help. 
Involving them in your work also helps with their understanding of your talent and desire to write. 

So hopefully you can start working on getting friends and family to back you up, especially since times are changing and the independent author is making such an impact on the industry.

Happy writing!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dariel's Lists: Ten Things I've Learned About Writing

Ask any writer, published or not quite yet, and you’ll get the same response – “If only I’d known then what I know now.” Of course, I suppose that could be said about life in general, but that’s another post or two, or maybe ten! For today, I’ll talk about ten things I’ve learned since I started writing “professionally.” Yes, I know what you’re thinking – “Is it called a profession when you barely make enough each month to pay the power bill? Ahem! Hold your horses - that’s one of the items on my list.

I started writing at a very young age, seven or eight, always writing stories and drawing paper dolls to go with them, but didn’t consider publishing anything until much later. I’ve learned a whole lot more than ten things, but that’s mostly because by the time I decided to actually try to sell some of my stories, I knew almost nothing about the industry. I was working as a school counselor (I know – original, a school counselor writing romance. Put a stop to the sarcastic comments and thoughts for a moment and read on).

As I was saying, I was working as a school counselor nine months a year, and worked as a college counselor and tutor two months every summer when a friend presented me with entry information for a short story competition. I took that summer off and started writing. I didn’t win or even place in that contest, but by the time I finished my story, the writing bug had me under its spell, and eventually, I won. So, here are ten things I’ve learned about writing, the pros and cons, in no particular order…

1. There are millions of writers in the world of every caliber, and thousands of them write romance. Now that could be a con, but considering that there are even more readers than writers (plus, most writers are avid readers as well), many readers devour two or more books a week, and there are 52 weeks in a year, there are still enough readers to get around to your books.

2. Along those lines, readers have to know about your books in order to read them, and marketing is harder and much more time consuming than writing the book in the first place. The positive side of this is that the many avenues available to authors today can make marketing fun (well, maybe not exactly fun all the time, but definitely doable) and engaging.

3. Once you’ve conquered the jitters and silenced the “nay-sayers” in your life and in your head, map out time and a place to write. Yes, this is the part about respecting your writing as if it’s already paying the bills. Treat it like your profession – your passion, even. One day soon, it just might replace that day job, but you must be disciplined to accomplish anything lasting.

4. Learn to say “NO.” When it’s time to write, write. Don’t allow others to distract you with phone calls or tedious chores simply because you “work from home.” Most of us have a regular daily eight to twelve hour gig before we even get the opportunity to write, so don’t allow anyone else to gobble up that hard earned time to pursue your dream. We’ll talk more about this one in number five.

5. Until writing becomes your bread and butter, schedule around it like a second job. For many of us, second jobs are like second nature, but life goes on. Plan time with friends and family, and teach family members to support you by helping as much as possible at home. Prepare two or three entrees at once on weekends. Things might not get done just the way you would prefer, but they’ll get done. You’ve got writing to do, and those fantastic stories will never get written if you’re climbing out of the dishwasher, washing machine, or pray tell, the oven!

6. Find a quick, accessible de-stressor to focus your mind before you sit down to write. One of the best for me is a hot shower. Gives mind and body time to relax, and I like to imagine the problems of the day getting washed away, leaving me fresh, clean, and ready to move forward (I waxed poetic there for a minute, didn’t I?). A favorite song can also be a perfect de-stressor. A few years ago, I used to sit in my car after work and listen to “Broken, But Healed” (I know. Sounds a bit maudlin, but very inspirational) before walking into my house. The song lasted exactly seven minutes thirty seconds, and in that time I could breathe, allow my thoughts to wander, and get ready to cope sensibly with whatever greeted me once I walked through the door. As you know, when other people live with you, you never know what you’ll have to deal with when you get home, and it can be a battle to keep your goals and dreams from being gobbled up by unexpected drama. 

7. Now, you’ve de-stressed and you’re sitting down to write. You’ve also told your friends and family that unless they’re calling you to dinner or someone is bleeding out, you are not to be disturbed. Focus on getting the first draft completed. Tell your story freely, keeping in mind that you have the freedom to write as many drafts as necessary, picking and choosing just the right word here and there (later, after the first draft is done) until you’re ready to call in an objective expert – that is, an editor.

8. Let’s talk editors for a moment. You need one. They can be costly, and certainly not every editor is suitable for every writer, but the light the right editor shines on your story and your writing as a whole is priceless. Consider it paying for education. No matter how wonderful an editor you are, you are too close to your own writing to do all of your own editing. That’s not to say self-editing should be overlooked, but don’t stop there. Get a good editor with glowing recommendations from at least three authors whose work meets your standards. You can find a list of over forty editors here along with a short post on finding the right one for you.

9. One more note about editing, I’ll count this as number nine because it’s just that important, and number eight was pretty long. Learn to use track changes. The feature will save you immeasurable hours once you reach the editing phase.

10. Organize your life, the space around you, and your computer files. These days, I keep calendars on my phone, desk, and online so I can check my schedule wherever I happen to be. I’m an avid user of the file feature in email to help keep track, and another handy tool I came across just a couple years ago is Scrivener, a writing program that allows me to keep everything about my stories in one place. It’s been particularly helpful since I started writing series – stores all my details, and I’m a big fan of keeping everything in one place.

These ten things barely scratch the surface, but take a look at my site for more right now, and stay tuned here for future editions. I literally learn something new everyday. There’s always more to learn, and someone willing to share – that’s one of my favorite things about the writing community. Tell me about some of the things you’ve learned since you started on this journey?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Coming of a Writer... by Susan B. Anna

For as long as I can remember I have loved books, writing poetry and always knew I would be drawn to writing a novel or two at some point.  In the interim I continued to write poetry, and then layer articles and short stories which I have published online with Triond and Helium and later HubPages.  Through these online publishers I have developed, learned and then became certain that I wanted to be a published author and it was finally time.

I received wonderful comments on my stories and then soon after began writing reviews for Satin Sheet Romance where I met a wonderful group of new writers willing to combine their talents and built each other up in the process.  Through these amazing new friends I was able to read and review books that not only dragged me in, swept me away but also made me realize why I wanted so much to be a writer.

The following link is to one of my high commented articles.  It was written because of a friend who inspired me to do so as he was the victim or tormented boyfriend the story was based on, Addicted to Sex.  The feedback provided when I wrote this as well as meeting the SSR team helped me step out of the shadow and finally follow through with becoming an author.

Below is a description to the first and recent series I am working on, "Modern Day Love." This will be my first erotic romance and so far I am very surprised with how well it is coming along.

~Susan B. Anna

"Modern Day Love" 

After being divorced and single for four years Kristen Vasquez decides to move on and begin dating again.  As a single mother she now has to start all over again and accept the dating scene for what its become, a sex pool of casual one night stands, something she is just not used to nor wants but once she meets Matthew Lewis she quickly reconsiders her thoughts and follows her needs.

However, there is something she wasn't expecting.  Something that will completely take her out of her comfort zone and turn her love life into a spiral of desire she never knew about.  Matthew comes with strings and a set of rules that should make her run but somehow opens a door she is in doubt will ever close.  His lifestyle although scary, thrills and excites her and she can't seem to get enough of him.  Can his rules and needs bring them closer together or forever tare them apart?  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Critique Partners and Critique Groups...The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Harlie Williams


To be in a critique group or not...that is the question.  I joined two critique groups when I first started out and I have since left one of them for good and I'm only sporadic at best on the other one.  I do have an AWESOME crit partner that I found in one of the groups.  Here is my top things to look for in a crit group...

1.  Read the rules of the group.  I know that sounds simplistic in nature but please do.  In the group that I'm still sporadic in, if you don't follow the rules then you won't get crit'd.  Our leader is preparing us for publication in the sense, read the submission rules and your MS won't fall in the slush pile.

2.  Make sure you check your ego at the door.  Everyone critique's differently.  Some times, I got a lot of red pen and some I didn't at all.

3.  Be on time with your critiques.  Everyone knows that life sometimes gets in the way so if you are going to be late, just shot an email to that person and let them know.  Manners go a long way.

4.  When you feel that you aren't getting any good feedback or the people in your group just hate your stuff (yep, I left a group because no one liked anything I wrote), leave the group with class.  Don't go on FB or Twitter and bad mouth the group.  That is called bad author behavior and people remember that. 

5.  Ask around in author groups for suggestions on crit groups.  The best one that I've used and found my CP is RosesColoredGlasses.  It is run by Delilah Devlin and her sister, Myla Jackson/Elle James.  Here's the link:  They run a tight ship but the people are highly supportive.

Okay, now that I've given some basic information about joining a crit group, I'll share some of my experiences...


I found Krystal and April in critique groups.  I also found my CP in RosesColoredGlasses.  I love her and no, I don't share well with others.  She kicks my ass when I need it and picks me up when I'm feeling down.  She wields the red pen with gusto but you know what? It only makes me better in my writing.


In the group that I met Krystal in, I have left.  I got no support at all.  In fact, most of the people in that group didn't like my writing at all.  They didn't like The Couple and weren't afraid to tell me.  I get that some people are not going to like your stuff but when I realized that no one was going to critique my other stuff based on that one book...I left.  True story...


I get that I'm not a popular person.  My review blog isn't the biggest, best, coolest blog at there but I'm proud of it.  I'm also not a crowd follower, minion, or conference person so I'm not "out" there all the time.  I have a life besides blogging/reviewing/writing.  So when it came time for me to start promo'ing my book, it fell on deaf ears to my critique groups.  Oh yes, they certainly used and abused my good nature to promo their work on the review blog but all I got was crickets chripping when I asked for help.  I learned that some people are just users and that its okay to say no.  You can't please everyone all the time.  You come first...

So in closing, crit groups can be useful and hopefully like me, you can find that CP that you've dreamed off.  Due your homework and research when trying to find a group or a partner.  You may have to go through a few to find that perfect one but when you do...they are gold.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why I wanted to write a series.

I have been reading for decades, and formed a book club four years ago. We love to read suspense, mostly romantic suspense, but became hooked on reading series books about three years ago. From the first book where the characters are introduced up to the last book I become wrapped up in their lives, and I loved it. I got involved mentally in their activities and their drama.
 Most of the girls in our group work together so it’s easy to talk about the chapters we’re reading. I remember talking about one of Cindy Gerard’s books during a break at the clinic. We were grouped around my desk, discussing how we felt about the kidnapping and who we thought was behind it. Then we discussed how the agent was really wrapped up in drugs and screwed up the evidence.  We knew our conversation was about a character, but if you were just walking by I’m sure it sounded like we were talking about some of our friends or family. 

Well, I was pulled into the office at the end of the day because our office manager thought I had some problems and needed someone to talk to. He said that one of the nurses heard me talking and he wanted to know if I needed someone to go with me to the police station. He was actually concerned that there was a real kidnap victim and crooked cop. I was touched by his kindness, but also got a good laugh about it. Note to self, never discuss any erotic stories at work unless I close my door. We might get more attention then we bargained for.
I decided I wanted to write a series. A big leap for my first venture into the writing scene, but my mind was running with these characters and the stories started to write themselves. The Guardian’s of Hope series has a total of eight books. It’s a formation of FBI Agents, Navy Seals and Special Ops that form a rescue group for missions the government label impossible. The first one, Rescued from the Dark, was released February 16 and the second, Last Chance to Run, should be out at the end of this year. Then there’s the third one running rampant in my head, screaming for its time. But it will have to wait a little longer, but not too long.   

What if you woke from a nightmare, trapped in a world of darkness, with no memory of how you got there? Rescued from the Dark is a passionate, gripping story about FBI agent, Jason Michaels, confronting his duty to his country, and struggling with his feelings for a woman with no memory of their love.

Undercover Agent,Jason Michael s, infiltrates the terrorist cell and risks everything, even his life, to save the FBI intern who stole his heart and then walked away. Once Mercy wakes from her coma Jason struggles with the fact that she does not remember what happened, but anguishes with the idea that she believes their unborn child belongs to her ex. Jason soon realizes the terrorists vow to claim their secrets locked in her memory, no matter what the cost. In a race against time, Jason and Mercy struggle to fight their attraction, and put their differences aside, as they launch a manhunt to save their country and each other.


Now you know what I like, tell me what your favorite genre is to read and do you like a series or prefer a standalone story?

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