Category Archives: fun

No Tricks – All Treats

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Boo!

It’s that time again – Halloween is approaching. Here is a special treat for you this spooky season…

Diverse Reader Blog has a great author spotlight and giveaway going on with Halloween themed messages and over 40 prizes.  Our own Lynn Michaels was fortunate enough to be able to play along and we’ve worked with her to put together a special Halloween Swag pack for our giveaway…

Now, head over to Diverse Reader and have some fun!!

Diverse Reader – No Tricks – Day 1

Diverse Reader – No Tricks – Day 2

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The Party is Coming…

The release party for Wanton by Lynn Michaels is coming April 16! For more details – go to the FaceBook Community Library page (link below) – LIKE the page and click on the pinned invite!  Love to see you there – for games/prizes, excerpts and fun!

Community Library Group

Wanton-Banner-JayAheer2016

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Filed under adventure, authors, bdsm, characters, dark fantasy, e-book, fetish, fiction, fun, games, MM Romance, romance, Uncategorized

What do you do at 3 am when you can’t sleep…

ImageWrite a new blog post!  So, here’s what I’m thinking about at 3 am while the house is quiet and I’m contemplating life because I can’t sleep.

I’m finding different stages of writing novels, now that I have a few under my belt, that I like. I can sort of break it up by word count to describe what I mean.

When I first start a novel and I only have a couple thousand words in, the story is fresh and full of potential. I like that there’s still that blank page there. I need to get more down, more clay on the potter’s wheel. It is very much a new beginning.

I like it when I have 25,000 to 30,000 words in and the story is really starting to develop. I have a certain number of characters and the plot is pretty thick. The definition is starting to show. There’s movement. I know where the story is going because it’s come so far. Generally speaking it is about at the half way point. It’s like riding along the cliff. If I need to change something, this is the time to do it. I like that there’s still so much  adrenaline in the project.

Then, when I’m approaching the 50,000 mark, it’s a different type of excitement, much like finishing a race. Not just any race either, this is a marathon. So, when I see the finish line, my heart is pumping! I know I have to wrap this bad boy up. I generally finish books between 45,000 and 60,000, ideally. They can be longer, but not much. I don’t like them too much shorter either. I think if a book is less than 45,000 words, it isn’t a full novel. So, when I’m approaching that big 5-0 I know it has to come to an end, or at least an end for now.

When I do actually finish the first draft, I feel relief, a huge sense of accomplishment, and fear. Yep, fear. Because what if I didn’t get everything I wanted in there? What if it isn’t good enough? What if I messed it up? I go through a lot of that type of thing. I have to just ignore the damn thing for a while. I need to work on something else, get my mind off of it. Then, when I do get back to it for my first edit, I have fresh eyes. I can see it better, from a distance. When I’m too close, I panic and wonder. The distance between first draft and first edit is a huge help.

Going through these stages is why I think writing novels is the biggest thrill I’ve ever had. To create worlds and people and manipulate them into interesting situations is fabulous. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this.

 

 

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What I’m Learning… Part 2

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that it took me a long time to get to this Part 2!!  But, I did it! I wrote part 1 while I was still in school. Now that I’ve graduated, here is part 2…

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you also know I’ve been going to school at SNHU for my Masters in English and Creative Writing.  I’ve finally finished the degree!! WOOT!! April 1!

So, that means I’m finished learning right?!? HA! I don’t think so. I’m still writing and learning every day. I’m very thankful for the prescribed degree plan that led me through the education I needed and wanted. But, every day, I want to learn something more. Maybe that’s the best lesson that I could get?

In any event. My overall education at SNHU taught me a lot about details, editing, patience, persistence. I’ve learned that it takes a lot to get things just write. The balance of descriptions and dialogue are crucial. Finishing projects is paramount. Most important, I’ve learned that I better not give up on my dreams and believing in myself.

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There’s No Sex In Your Violence.

ImageI feel blessed to be living in one of the freest flowing times in history. What do I mean by that? Well, honestly, I mean that writers can pretty much write about anything they want. There was a time when sex and violence were taboo, but today it’s almost expected. Not that everything I write is sex and violence, but I have the freedom to write it, publish it, and expect that I’ll have some readers that want to read it. Hell, I want to read it! As long as it’s couched within the plot and is true to the characters – my caveat.

It is a fabulous thing, but it once wasn’t, and I hope that it isn’t taken for granted, especially by those of us who chose to write it. In the Victorian era, sexuality was, if not taboo, than at least a questionable topic.  The 1960’s started to change people’s ideas about sex, but really it hasn’t been until the 80’s and 90’s that we’ve seen a rise in sexuality in print, and only in the past decade have people started reading stories that border on pornographic. Perhaps what is considered acceptable pornography in print has changed? We all know that 50 Shades of Gray would not have been printed, let alone a best seller in earlier years. That success was all about timing and what the public was willing to accept.

But, I submit that 50 Shades was not a breakthrough novel in our sexual genre, but that society was finally willing to let this degree of sexuality hit the mainstream. Surely, BDSM erotic had been building in the world of print (Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Siren, and Hot Ink Press) for years. Beyond mainstream romance, we all know sex sells.

The point of all this is that in today’s market where eBooks, Amazon, and the Internet thrive and allow people anonymity of purchase, authors can expect their sex books to sell. Oh, and violence isn’t any different. In fact, violence is less taboo than sex (unless it’s violent sex). As a society, we want to see violence in our movies, and we want to read about it in our books. The only thing more tantalizing than good sex, is good violence.  Don’t deny it. I’m sure you’ve watched Rocky or an MMA fight or just a scene where someone gets the shit beat out of them or someone is killed violently (CSI much?).

That brings me back around to the freedom of writing and authors taking it or granted. I don’t know if they do and I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that 100 years ago, 50 Shades of Gray would not have been published. Hell, 9 1/2 weeks wouldn’t have been a movie and neither would Scent of a Woman. What is available today in print and in movies is phenomenal compared to that. Of course, we would expect evolution. Yet, we often don’t stop and appreciate it.

So, whether you buy a sexy book, watch a violent movie, or write about sex and/or violence, just take a moment and appreciate how far we’ve come and just how free we are.Image

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Livin’ on the Edge!

Okay folks – So, here’s the latest update on my writing journey!  I’ve been unemployed since January and I’ve been a bit off kilter trying to figure all of this out. I wanted to write full time SOOO BAD and now that I have the opportunity, I’m still not spending enough time writing.  I’m writing a lot more than before, but still not enough. I think it’s just that things haven’t been going as planned and I’m having difficulty keeping a schedule.

I was sick for about 3 weeks in February/March. It really through me off. I spent the entire time doing nothing and feeling like crap. Even when I started feeling better, I was a little depressed and didn’t want to get back to doing anything. So, it took a while to get moving again. I felt a little bit worthless, like I’d let myself down. Every day that went by was a little worse. Eventually, I had too much crap in my head and my characters started demanding that I get busy! I also thought a lot about the fact that while I was still working, all I wanted to do was write, and then when I found myself in the middle of the opportunity, I choked. I wasn’t writing.

So, now the last couple of weeks, I’ve been back to writing. I haven’t been forcing myself to do anything particular, but I’m getting some stuff done. I’m making sure that I put in a few hours every day, no matter what.  Usually, I write from 1 pm to 3 pm without fail. Then, sometimes I start earlier or I write later.  Sometimes, I write until dinner time and then I might come back in and write a little more after dinner.  I’m feeling a lot better about what I’m doing.

AND I’ve graduated!!! I now have a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing! Woot!! That means no more homework – more time for writing!

I may have to go back to the real world of work soon – have to pay the bills – but until then, I’m taking advantage of the time. I’m writing almost every day! Hopefully, there will be a lot more of my work out there. I think that’s the next step in my journey. I’m just focusing on getting things done and out there!

Thanks to everyone still watching my journey!

 

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The Touch Reviewed

Recently, I read The Touch by Louisa Albrect, and published by Hot Ink Press. I fell in love with the concept immediately and just had to read it.  Admittedly, it advertised a few characteristics that I love to use in my own writing, such as music, musicians and magic. So, I was excited to get my hands on it! Oh, not to mention that it is an erotic novel, so yeah… that was exciting too! *snickers inappropriately*

http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Louisa-Albrect-ebook/dp/B00AZOS7GK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394562934&sr=1-1

On the whole, I did enjoy the story. The plot was well done and the characters likable. However, I was somewhat disappointed. I really wanted to love this story, and I didn’t. It’s been several days since I read it, and I’ve been stewing it over in the back of my mind ever since.

I did read it in one sitting, but that had more to do with how short it was rather than my love of it. In fact, it really was too short. There was barely enough time to develop such a complex plot and depth of character. It was sort of like this:  Here are these cool people and their intricate problems. Now, let’s put them together and let sex fix everything. I wanted more in the middle. It gave me a beginning and an end and slushed right over the middle.

The main character is a singer named Benjamine. I loved this guy. But, I didn’t get enough of what made him tick. I expected more music. The descriptions that were there were fabulous, but they left me wanting more.  The lead female similarly left me wanting more. After the coven finds her, she loses her memories, but the plot doesn’t really do anything with this, and leaves her feeling a little hollow. I wanted more about her discovering herself before she could help Benjamine.

The Touch had interesting side characters that were like the icing flowers on a cake; pretty and edible, but generally not necessary and completely interchangeable. Yet, there was the bud of something truly delicious sitting right there. A longer story line would allow the author to weave these extra characters into the story in a way that only that unique person could be there to make things happen. Plus, with more time, you could get to know what drives these others; how they view the main characters (for extra complexity); and what motivates them.

The final thing that had me squirming in my chair as I read was the huge amounts of grammatical errors and typos that imbued the novella. I swear this manuscript was never edited. In most self-published books and even in books published by small to medium presses, I generally do not have a problem overlooking a few errors. It is virtually impossible to get out every single one… you can find typos in books from major authors and publishing houses too. With that said, I could not keep continually overlooking the abundance of issues in this. It was too distracting.

I’m not trying to by hyper-critical. In fact, if I didn’t like the story, I wouldn’t have bothered putting these words on the page. I would have chalked it up to another disappointing failure. But, I did genuinely like this story. For only .99 it isn’t bad. However, Albrect has such a potentially beautiful story here. I wish she would take the time to develop it into a full-fledged (edited) novel.

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