Book Tag: My Life In Books

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I found this on Felicia’s page, who found it on Didi’s, but it appears to be an ongoing blog tag, and too fun to pass up. Make sure to visit the other sites to see their answers!

Find a book for each of your initials. I’ve chosen these books from my ‘Read’ list on Goodreads.

CoverMOTO M – Moto by M. Never
coverenslavemesweetly E – Enslave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter
coverlasher L – Lasher (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #2) by Anne Rice
covermicemen O – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
coverdyingforaliving D – Dying For a Living by Kory M. Shrum

 

Y – I am now challenged to add a book beginning with Y to my ‘Read’ list!

Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?

The 39th book on my shelf is The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles #6). It’s funny one of her books would come up in a post about my life in books, since I first discovered Anne Rice in a stack of old books when I was about 17. It was a dark green paperback with a small window showing a rundown Colonial mansion in NOLA. That was about 2 years before Interview With the Vampire hit the silver screen and by then, I was already fully invested in anything Anne Rice penned.

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Pick a book set in your city/country.

The closest major city to me is Seattle. Home to Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft and 2 absurdly popular book series I will not be naming. Therefore, I choose Possession by Ann Rule. Referred to by many as the ‘foremost true crime writer in America’, Ann Rule is a former Seattle policewoman and based this fiction novel on a real event/crime that she later wrote about in her True Crime (non-fiction) series. I was quite young and naïve when I stole this off my mom’s bookshelf and was completely unprepared for the explicit, graphic details. If you like crime-thrillers that leave you questioning the human psyche, though, you might like this.

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Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

Since Middle Earth, Narnia and Hogwarts probably don’t count, I chose The Right Path by Nora Roberts. Although, I would love to travel to many places, Greece and the Greek Isles are at the very top of my list, especially Santorini. Nora goes into beautiful scene setting with this novel, plus it’s full of suspense, action and one dangerously sexy Greek Tycoon, Nicholas Gregoras. Yum.

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Pick a book that’s your favorite color.

No matter how girly my mom tried to make me growing up, blue has always been my favorite color. To keep with the theme of ‘Shameless Self Promotion’ my predecessors have established, I chose my own book The Zen Lounge for this one. TZL is the first full-length, standalone (no cliffhangers) novel in the Matron City Trilogy. It’s a Futuristic Erotic Romance with heavy Crime/Detective influence. You can read the first chapter for free right here: Chapter One of The Zen Lounge

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Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Dawn by V.C. Andrews. I read it when I was about 12 or 13 and it was my first real taste of a ‘grownup’ book, not to be confused with ‘adult novel’. It was my first non-YA fiction and I can still remember almost every detail – actually, of all the V.C. Andrews books I’ve ever read. She was another remarkable author that inspired me from a young age, especially in regards to character depth and development.

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Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle, because it had little to no punctuation marks – anywhere. It was like one long, run-on sentence. Maybe it happened when it was translated from French? It took me forever to read because of this, but I don’t often stop reading a book once I’ve started. Curiosity vs. Cat= I don’t have many lives left.

coverdayofthedolphin

Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, because I know it’s going to put me through the ringer on every level. Literary classics tend to do that to me, which is why there are so many still on my TBR list. I actually started studying the Russian language, because I was hoping to read the original, rather than a translation, but I’m not that ambitious anymore. Yet, 407 pages of emotional upheavals, dark satire and mind-altering perspectives will undoubtedly feel like a major accomplishment once I’m through… I just hope I survive the aftermath.

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If you enjoyed reading this consider yourself tagged 🙂

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Series Updates & Introductions

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What are you writing?

So, after a great comment on my last Dear Indie post (you know who you are, lady), I got a bit of a guilty conscience on whether or not I’ve shared current updates on my series with everyone. If this is redundant for my newsletter subscribers, I apologize – just want to make sure everyone’s getting the same info.

Indie Series Updates

Dark Day Isle Series:

Scavenger (Book 2) has returned from beta readers and is in the revision process. I’m hoping to get it to my editor by the end of January. If all goes according to plan it should be published by March at the latest.

Hell on Earth Series:

Avarice Unleashed (Book 3) is still with my last beta reader, expecting a return by the end of this week. I wanted to get this one published by February, but just learned that my cover artist is booked all the way to April 😦 So, unfortunately, this won’t get released until sometime in the Spring – if that changes, I will let you know! *fingers crossed it’s sooner!*

Publisher Series Introductions

Summer 2017 will see the release of a brand new Paranormal Romance series from my publisher, Red Sage. This will undoubtedly be labeled as a Wolf Shifter series and delves into ancient Norse and Greek Mythology without leaving present/modern day times. In total it will span 10+ full length novels.

June 2017: Hearthstone Alpha (The Úlfrinn series, #1) – A Contemporary Paranormal Romance with a touch of naughtiness thrown in. This is completely done and with my publisher.

July 2017: Little Queen (The Úlfrinn series, #2) – An Erotic Paranormal Romance starring the same MC’s as Hearthstone Alpha. This is completely done and with my publisher.

August 2017: Violet Night (The Úlfrinn series, #3) – A Erotic Paranormal Romance starring different MC’s than the first two books. This is about 1/3 of the way done and I’m working on it!

Sometime in Fall or Winter of 2017, two more new series will be introduced by my publisher.

Dark Descendants Series: An Erotic Paranormal Romance that delves into legendary historical and fabled figures – some villains, some heroes. It will span approximately 6+ full length novels.

Unknown: Dark Duplicity (Dark Descendants series, #1) – An Erotic Paranormal Romance set in present day/modern times and an alternate plain of existence. This is completely done and with my publisher.

Pleasures of Paradise Trilogy: A strictly BDSM Fantasy-Meets Modern World mash up with a full cast of characters that switch POV’s much like Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones).

Unknown: Euphoria (Pleasures of Paradise, #1) A BDSM Fantasy/Modern World tale that follows a cast of characters through various places in New Paradise. This is completely done and with my publisher.

Continued Trilogy

Fall of 2017 will finally see the 2nd novel following my first publication: The Zen Lounge (Matron City Trilogy, #1). This is a Futuristic Erotic Romance trilogy with prominent Crime/Detective elements and spans 3 full length novels, each with a different set of MC’s and though they can be read as stand alone novels (no cliffhangers) the character backstories and over all experience will be better if read in order.

September 2017: Shades Soirée (Matron City Trilogy, #2) – 20k words to go, then it’s done – I’m currently wrapping it up!

Of course, I’m also trying to make sure I stay ahead on the next installments for ALL of these series, so stay tuned for more updates as they come along & thanks for reading!

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Five Years From Now

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I recently came across an active thread on Goodreads from an Indie author who’s freaking out about their earlier works. Perhaps you’ve already seen it? Something about hating their books. That phrase really jars me, but don’t worry, this isn’t a (total) rant.

Actually, I’m very grateful for the thread, because when you come across someone having the same problems as you, it gives you the opportunity to take a step back and look at it more objectively. Everything the author stated in the post, I’d already been feeling toward my own earlier works. Books that I wrote and submitted to my publisher years ago. I signed my first contract in May of 2013 on a book I finished in 2009. I know for a fact that my writing has improved over the past 3 months, let alone 3+ years. Thanks in LARGE to beta readers and honest reviews!

The best part about being an Indie author, is that we can publish new editions of our earlier releases, or update the editions already available, if we want to. From what I’m understanding, many self-published authors have already done this and there’s a way to make Amazon send free copies to readers who already purchased the original version. (You’d have to look into that further). It may be a time consuming process, but at least the option is available.

For those of us with a publisher, we’re S.O.L. The published version is it. There are no 2nd editions, second chances or do-overs. I can read my novel The Zen Lounge today and notice things I would change given the chance. However, I’m still in love with the story and characters. I still proudly stand by the book, despite the lack of reviews and sales. I’m glad it was my first published book, that it’s out there on the market. It’s a damn good story, plain and simple.

To me, saying that you “hate” your books is like saying you hate your kids. I know that seems extreme, but the way I look at it is this: You are the sole spokesperson/representative of your work. To state publicly that you hate your own books isn’t exactly instilling confidence in potential buyers that they should even bother reading what you write. What if five years from now, you “hate” your books again? See the potential pattern/problem here?

The thing is that five years from now, you should be able to look back on your works and think, “I can totally write that better now.” If you can’t, then you’re doing something wrong.

We all evolve as writers. It’s supposed to be one of our main goals. To better our craft. The only way to do that is through experiencing all the ups and downs of the journey. Looking back on your prior works should enable you to see how much you’ve grown.

All of the manuscripts my publisher have of mine are old. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to assert my own changes during the copy-editing process, so the best versions of those stories are hitting the shelves at publishing. There’s a really good chance that I won’t be able to, though, so I have to take it in stride as part of my writing journey. To use it as the invaluable lesson it is, to slow down and give each manuscript the time it deserves to become amazing prior to submitting it to my publisher in the first place.

It’s very, very difficult not to get caught up in the frenzy – to feel like you’re taking too long to put books out when other authors are getting them out once a month. But in all honesty, there’s no one timing you. Write at your own pace, don’t hobble yourself or your books by rushing the process in order to compete. There will always be readers. Take the time to make sure that five years from now you can look back at your works and say with pride and confidence: “I love my books, but man, could I totally write them better now!”

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

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Coming Up For Coffee

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Yes, more coffee… I don’t need more air, I’m long-winded as it is – or maybe it’s opinionated? Either way, I’m still here, just been heck’a busy in all of the best ways. I started a new job, getting kids ready for school and most importantly have been hibernating in the writing cave in between.

I’m soooooo close to finishing Scavenger, I can taste it! The finish line is just at my fingertips.

Also, giving Avarice Unforgiving a good scrubbing (aka cutting about 10k words wherever I can), because that’s going off to the editor in just under 2 weeks! The book cover’s already ordered and I’m pushing for a December 1st release date. 😀

And because there’s never any rest for the wicked, I am also on a deadline with my publisher to get the final manuscript for Shades Soirée (bk. 2 of my Matron City Trilogy / The Zen Lounge) turned into them by September 25th! blah, contracts.

So, I hope everyone is doing great and getting time in their own writing caves. I’ll hopefully be getting another Dear Indie post up soon or at least participating in some book tours.

How’s your week going? Ms. Felicia, isn’t it almost time for the release of In the Best Interest of the Child? I can’t wait to read that… drumming fingers. 😀

Looking Forward

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I think that says it all, but don’t panic, I got this.

So it’s 2016 and rather than recapping all that didn’t happen last year, I’ve decided to focus solely on what is scheduled, or is at least a possibility of happening over the next 12 months… For starters: BOOKS!!!

I know, it’s been over a year since The Zen Lounge was published, but even though it doesn’t seem like I’ve been doing anything constructive, I really and truly have been writing like crazy.  Promise.

First up on the 2016 roster from my publisher is:

EUPHORIA  

Cannot wait for the cover reveal!!!  My very first strictly BDSM novel that features a full range of characters, covering POV’s from experienced Doms and subs, switches (called Neutrals), newbie subs and just a whole lot of wickedly sexy MF/MM/FF/FMF/Menage fun.  Oh and of course, there’s a plot in there somewhere…

Our possible 2016 appearances from my publisher are:

HEARTHSTONE ALPHA

As you can probably guess from the title, it’s a Paranormal Erotic Romance that has to do with – No, they are not werewolves, you watch your mouth.  They’re Ulfrinn, Odin’s wolves.  This is the first book in the series and also introduces plenty of other supernatural beings from Greek and Norse mythology – but don’t worry, it all takes place in modern times.  No time-travel whiplash here.

LITTLE QUEEN

Second book to the Ulfrinn series, but the last with the same two main protagonists.  Hey, the rest of the pack gets their chance in the cross-hairs spotlight, too, you know.

DARK DUPLICITY

Yes, the beginning of another Paranormal/Supernatural Erotic Romance series with some mild BDSM elements.  Unlike the Ulfrinn series, this one deals with notorious historical villains, literary legends and of course, my favorite: Fallen Angels, Demons and a parallel universe.  Just go with it, it’s fun.

In the meantime, I’m not only working on the next installments for those series, but I’m trying my hand at some Indie projects.  I’m hoping to get at least one of them out before 2017!  I’ll keep you posted.  Oh, and I’m completely bored with my blog design again, so that will most likely be changing again this year.

Also, look for many more book reviews from yours truly, I’ve been strictly posting them to Goodreads & Amazon, (don’t ask me why) so I’ll be bringing the old ones over and sharing new ones here, as well – and that leads me to my final message of the night…

A toast to all the awesomesauce readers for 2016: Here’s hoping your TBR list totally gets its ass spanked.  😉

2016 Ringing in the New Year Giveaway!

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My Family’s Heart has brought together a group of us authors who are ready to celebrate the New 2016 Year by giving away a ton of FREE stuff!  Books, Gift Cards, Swag… make sure you click on the Rafflecopter link bellow for your chance to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OR

Go to My Family’s Heart Facebook page!

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon, $10 B&N GC and a FREE e-book copy of The Zen Lounge, and that’s just me… there are 35+ other prizes to be won!

The Zen Lounge Playlist

I’ve never made a playlist for my books before, but I’ve seen a few authors make them and thought it would be fun to try.  Strangely, The Zen Lounge was really hard to pick music for that I feel best represents both the characters and/or plot points.  I wrote the first draft around 8-10 years ago so I was trying to remember what I might have been listening to around then.  This is probably a work in progress! 😉

First time I ever heard Blue October’s “Not Broken Anymore” I not only cried like a baby teared up a little, but knew it was the theme song for The Zen Lounge!