Showing posts with label #WriteTip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #WriteTip. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2017

#MFRWAuthor-to-Author: Research... Necessary but Time Consuming @DMBurton72

Have you ever started researching a topic only to discover you’ve spent the better part of an hour going from one site to another to another? Those pesky side links.

In a HubSpot (a marketing site) article about bad habits, the author wrote about Black Hole Browsing. Although I’d never heard of that term, I knew exactly what it meant. I’ve fallen victim to that bad habit more than once. For example, while researching the topic of cryo-sleep for my novella MISION TO NEW EARTH, I visited way too many sites.

I knew about the body being put into hibernation for long-distance space travel from movies like Avatar, Interstellar, 2001: A Space Odyssey. But I wanted to know more, and before I knew it—Wham!—I’d fallen into that Black Hole.

As a sci-fi writer, I’m not concerned with the mechanics of cryosleep or hibernation. I compare it to an automobile. I don’t know (don’t need to know) how my car works. I just need to know that when I put the key in the ignition, that car will take me where I want to go.

From what I’d read, seen in movies, and researched, I gathered enough info to make the scene of my astronauts going into cryosleep believable. At least, I hope so. Or that the reader can suspend disbelief. I was more concerned with the emotions experienced by the astronauts. Their excitement on being pioneers to a new planet warred with fear of dying in flight. Or, as in the movie Passengers, they could wake up too soon then use too much fuel (for life support, artificial gravity, food, etc.) and not be able to get to the new planet.

For me as a reader, emotions carry more weight than scientific facts. Not to be sexist, but generally men like more facts and science in their stories, while women tend to enjoy the emotional journey the characters go on. My target audience are women who like adventure along with romance. Whether my stories take them to small towns in west Michigan or on a starship into deep space, I need to make sure my facts are straight. Nothing tears me away from a story than one that has inaccurate facts. Hence, my need to research. I just wish I could avoid those pesky side links that take me from one interesting article to another and then to another.

It takes discipline to avoid falling into the Black Hole of browsing. Why? Because when we’re researching we’re not writing.

How about you? Have you ever fallen into the Black Hole of research?

Diane combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren. 

Diane's newest book is Mission to New Earth, a Science Fiction novel.

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.
As I waited for confirmation from the director, seconds ticked by slower than a melting glacier. The question kept running through my mind. Are we prepared? They shortened our training. Four years instead of eight. My God, what did they leave out?
“Commander Grenard.” Director Ashcroft rose stiffly. “Your team passed the landing simulation.”
I slowly released a breath, when I really wanted to jump up, hug everyone in the booth, and do a happy dance. Instead, I nodded. “Thank you, sir. I’ll share your words with the team.”
As I got up, the technician winked. “Nice job, Sara.”
I smiled. Of all the techs, Roland was the most supportive. He’d been with our team all four years, starting in New Mexico. Back then, we thought we had eight years to prepare. Four years at White Sands before moving to Ares Station on Mars. But a catastrophe prompted the move to Ares two years sooner. We spent a year there instead of two before moving to Titan. Despite Director Ashcroft’s reassurance, I worried. I feared for my team.
We were about to leave on an adventure of a lifetime. Just thinking about how fortunate we were to explore possible new homes for Earth’s inhabitants, I was still awestruck. Giddiness raced through me and with it the ever-present trepidation. What could go wrong? Were we prepared for all eventualities? What if—
I had to stop speculating on the dangers of our mission. My fear could easily infect my team and spread worse than the bout of influenza that devastated three teams before we left Ares. I was certain the other commanders didn’t have my fears. I bet they didn’t have a swarm of bees roiling around in their stomachs.
CONNECT With Diane

Sunday, November 20, 2016

#MFRWauthor-to-author: Benefits of Self Publishing @gemwriter Claire Gem

Why Claire Gem Chose Self Publishing
I began my published author career with not one, not two, but three small publishers. My experience with them taught me many things, the least of which was patience. Which I don't have a lot of.

The first publisher did an awesome job editing, gave me the cover I asked for, and then nothing else.

The second did a crappy editing job but gave me a wonderful cover.

The third did outstanding edits, but forced me to change the title and sprung a cover on me I still have nightmares about.

Which is why I created Erato Publishing, published HEARTS UNLOCHED in eBook, Paperback, and Audiobook, and will never, ever look back. I am a control freak who also happens to be lucky enough to have a sister who is a graphic designer (and loves designing book covers) and a husband who is patient (and smart) enough to stay out of my way when I'm struggling with formatting issues.

My new release, HEARTS UNLOCHED, is a story that came to me, quite literally, already written. My husband grew up in the area of the Catskills in New York where the book is set: Sullivan County. We were visiting the area last fall when he began reiterating the urban legend about Loch Sheldrake—a lake so deep nobody has ever found the bottom.

So deep, it was the perfect place for the mob to dump bodies back in the day.

Sullivan County is littered with abandoned hotels, resorts, and convention centers. Back in the 50s and up until about 1970, the area enjoyed a prolific tourist trade from folks who lived in nearby NYC, only about two hours away. But after plane travel became more affordable, the tourist trade dried up and died. Many of the hotels were taken over by Jewish religious organizations, burned to the ground, or still stand forgotten and rotting.

As we drove around the lake, I began a ""what if"" conversation with myself. What if there was an abandoned hotel on the shores of the ill-rumored lake? What if there was a Jewish interior designer from Manhattan who owned a weekend house on the lake? Who was also psychic?

What if a sexy Italian investor bought a crumbling hotel on the shores of Loch Sheldrake? What if, after bumping into each other and producing some rather impressive sexual sparks, the investor hires the designer to renovate his hotel? But what if there's a ghost—a poltergeist—connected with the property who has a very personal interest in the psychic designer? Kate's aunt disappeared from the place fifty years ago.

Hearts Unloched

Interior designer Kate Bardach loves her single girl’s lifestyle—living in Manhattan and spending weekends at her lake house. She’s passionate about her career, reinventing old buildings. But there are some projects she can’t take on because of the spirits trapped there. Kate is psychic—she sees dead people.

Marco Lareci is one of Wall Street’s most successful investment brokers who’s achieved all of his life’s goals—except for finding his soulmate.  His latest project, an abandoned resort on Loch Sheldrake, needs a savvy designer to transform the crumbling complex into a boutique hotel. When Marco meets Kate, he can’t believe his luck. She’s the perfect match for his business and his heart.
Marco’s body excites Kate even more than does his renovation project. But the haunting there, a bonafide poltergeist, affects her on an intensely personal level. Kate’s aunt disappeared from the place fifty years ago.

Will the spirit doom Kate and Marco’s love, or drive them closer together?

ABOUT Claire Gem
Claire turns the paranormal romance genre on its ear by combining the elements of gothic horror, mystery/thriller, and romantic suspense—in present-day settings. It’s a genre she calls New Gothic.

She also writes intensely emotional contemporary romance with a touch of humor under the Claire Gem Contemporary line.

website  |  blog  |  facebook  |  pinterest  |  amazon  |  goodreads

Monday, October 31, 2016

CONNECT with Other #MFRWauthors for #NaNoWriMo!

Are You NaNo-ing?
November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as #NaNoWriMo. It happens each November and many authors, both old and new, find it motivational.

It pushes authors to increase their word count higher for the month - and typically spurs on higher word counts for a few months afterwards too.

You can SIGN UP here. You should set up a profile and bookmark it because this is where you will go each day or so to update your writing stats.

You'll also earn badges and be able to see your writing progress, along with connecting with other authors.

Let's CONNECT with other MFRW Authors!
1. After you register, come back HERE and put your NaNo Link in a comment.
2. Scroll through comments and follow others.
3. You can also find NaNoWriMo on these social media sites:

Friday, October 28, 2016

#WWoW Author-to-Author Tips from #MFRWauthor @RowlandKathleen

MFRW author Kathleen Rowland shares what she knows about the publishing industry.
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts.  Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels.   She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji.  Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
website  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  goodreads

Author-to-Author Tips... Sharing what I know about the publishing industry
Action sells! Books that have an action sequence within the first 25 pages sell better. Readers of romantic suspense look for fast paced.  Plotting is critical to build a cohesive, multilayered storyline.

Should an author publish traditionally or self-publish? It’s okay to ride two horses at the same time. It does take longer for a novel to go from proofing to publication, but often self-pubbed books rush through edits. I submit longer books, over 40,000 words, to my publisher but self-publish novelettas (10,000 and under).

Is paperback coming back as opposed to paperless eBooks?  My publisher focuses first on eBook sales.  If the eBook doesn’t sell, neither will a print book. That is true, but the readership of romantic suspense is 60% eBook and 40% paperback. In other genres print books took an upswing.  Some readers like both print and e-readers.

What’s good about being a writer? In our own lives, even a bit of negativity is usable.  Were you ever involved with an alcoholic? That experience can help shape a character. How about being a single parent and providing for children while making ends meet? In my current work-in-progress, Vivienne Rourke takes tentative steps toward a new life after losing her husband.  Her cousin is missing, and she works as a detective, always hoping to locate her.  Another wonderful part of being a writer is hearing from fans. I learned on the reservation that the ancient, sacred charge of the storyteller is to beguile the time. I’m thrilled when I hear that someone has used my books to get through some particularly difficult illness either as a patient or as they sit on the sidelines while someone they love is terribly ill. It gratifies me to know that by immersing themselves in my stories, people are able to set their own lives aside and live and walk in someone else’s shoes. It tells me I’m doing a good job at the best job in the world.

Is bringing something new to the table with research or breaking news better than following trends relevant to your genre?  I write romantic suspense, and the most popular contemporary romance subgenre is action/adventure. I feel a smart-selling author needs to have awareness of requirements within a sub-genre.  Romantic suspense requires DANGER.  Allow me to expand.  Suspense incorporates a sense of tension throughout the book with heart-pounding action, adrenaline-inducing chase, edge of your seat thrills, life-threatening situations, and dangerous criminals. These are common elements.  ROMANCE. There’s a central love story.  Our lovers have to traverse nail-biting adventures before they become acquainted with each other and fall in love. As an author I weave both romance and mystery.
No Backstory Not none, but weave backstory in with mercifully short dialogue. The biggest error is over-writing and manufacturing emotions.  Characters must react in the present, be honest and real. They react to their situation and to each other.  Their issues are background.  Life is messy. The thrill ride is dangerous, authentic, eye-widening, and passionate.

Kathleen's newest book is Deadly Alliance, an Erotic Romantic Suspense.
Finn doesn't trust Amy.  Dog that he is, they're after the same shiny bone-- his missing cash.  Some alliances have dangerous consequences. Chilling adrenalin rush when Amy witnesses a fight between an Irish gang and domestic terrorists, is caught in the crosshairs, and needs Finn's protection. Finn doesn't trust Amy.  Dog that he is, they're after the same bone.  Some alliances have dangerous consequences. BUY LINK

Monday, October 17, 2016

#WWoW A Day In The Life of A #MFRWauthor Ann Raina

A Day In The Life of MFRW Author Ann Raina
Ann Raina lives and works in Germany with cats and a horse. Riding and writing are her favorite hobbies. So far she has written thirteen novels for eXtasy Books with more to come. Her latest series, starting with The Secretary’s Bodyguard, turns around a couple getting into dangerous, life-threatening adventures.

In all of her books she combines romance, suspense, and humorous elements, for no thrilling story can stand without a comic relief.

Connect with Ann on facebook or on her website.

I work in an office. I have a horse to take care of every day. These demands limit my writing time, including on weekends. Therefore I'm used to write wherever I go and have time to ponder ideas, scenes, and character development. I don't leave the house without a notebook and pen.

My latest, now published book was written in four months because the story came up nicely and many characters offered themselves for developing from the series' first three books. I loved adding new characters, and my muse did a lot in creating their backgrounds. With the storyline set and the main characters defined, I used every minute of the day to write the scenes.

It was so much fun, especially the afternoons with my muse -- lots of coffee, cookies, and enough paper to write down essential notes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beyond Aesthetic Attraction: The Romantic Relationship Is More Than Skin-Deep #MFRWauthor #WriteTip #Writers #Authors

We all appreciate beauty. How can we not, when it's all around us? From babyhood, we are attracted to pretty things, and as adults this partiality continues. As romance authors, we try to bring beauty to our readers. Who doesn't admire the stunning heroine? Or fall in love with the smoking-hot hero?

But is this what romance really is about? A simple equation with few variables easily solved? Stunning Heroine + Smoking-hot Hero + Major Hots For Each Other = Happy-Ever-After? If you're thinking: sure, why not? Keep reading.

Lust is not romance   

Let me ask you this...are you in a relationship? What made you fall in love with the person you're with? Was it his amazing eyes and fabulous hair? Her tinkling laugh, and impressive waist-to-hip ratio? I'm willing to guess that you fell in love with your beloved's core qualities. Don't get me wrong, attraction is a huge part of the falling-for-you stage of any relationship, but it isn't what makes us commit to a lifetime with this one person above all others. The same should be true for our hero and heroine. Have you ever read a story/book and wondered what on earth the H/h saw in the other person? I have! We might fall instantly in lust with the way someone looks, but getting to know that person dictates how we will feel about them long-term. The same ought to be said for our H/h. 

We might fall in lust with looks, but we fall in love with personalities 

If your hero is horrible to your heroine on almost every page the reader will wonder what on earth the heroine sees in him, and what sort of glutton for punishment she is.

I remember years ago when I was trying to crack a particular category romance line, I would read almost every book in that line each month and more often than not hate the heroes. They tended to be coldhearted toward the heroines--except when they wanted to cart them off the bed!--and I so desperately wanted to read about wonderful, caring heroes who showed the heroine love and affection while still having big enough internal conflicts to keep them apart. So I wrote these type of heroes, hoping to change the romance world with my wonderful, fun heroes. Needless to say, these guys never managed to get me picked up by the publisher. I still write this type of hero because this is the type of man I love. If I can't fall in love with my male lead, how can I expect my readers to love him?

So what makes people fall in love?           

We've already establish that it's beyond aesthetics. It's more than skin deep. It's the many layers that make up a person's character--their very essence. It's their hopes and dreams, virtues, interests and skills, ambition. It's the connection between the two central characters--yes, most definitely physical attraction should play a fundamental part, but also a meeting of their minds--mutual admiration (even while they butt heads), compassion, affection. Not only do you want your reader to see why these two people would fall in love, you want the reader to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that your H/h's HEA will last forever, and not until the first hiccup that comes along after the reader has closed the book.  

A few years ago, my husband and I were on our way out for the day when we came to a set of traffic lights that were on red. We were six cars behind the first car. The lights changed to green and the first car didn't move. Being British, we waited politely until the light turned back to red and no one had moved. With some neck-stretching, and head bobbing and ducking, we managed to see that the driver of the first car was a woman and she had her friend with her. I know some men who would have started griping about women drivers, but not my hubby. He said he was going to check to make sure the women were okay and, as he got out of the car, I hopped into the driver's seat. 

I can't tell you how big my heart swelled in my chest as I watched my beloved walk past four other male drivers in front of us on his way to the first car in the queue containing the two women. My hero-hubby spoke to the woman driver, then as the light changed back to green he moved to the back of the woman's car and pushed her around the corner, and off the road. Would you believe me if I told you that none of the other men in that queue even attempted to help those women, or even helped my hubby to push the car??? 

At that moment, as I watched my beloved rescue the female driver, I fell deeper in love with him. Until that instant, I didn't think it was possible for me to love him any more than I already did.

Once back in our car, hubby told me the woman had flooded the engine and was so upset it brought her to tears. She kept thanking him for his kindness and help, and I suspect she probably fell a little in love with him, too.

It's these sort of actions that make our central characters fall for each other and creates the magnetic pull of deep attraction. And it's what makes our readers believe the love story we tell them.      

Give your characters scenes which show them in action doing the things that compel them to fall in love with each other. At the heart of your romance story is the relationship, and this relationship is a collection of layers that run far beneath the surface appreciation of beauty.

Until next time, write with clarity and style!

Monique x 

Author/Screenwriter Monique DeVere currently resides in the UK with her amazing hero husband, four beautiful grown-up children, and three incredible granddaughters. 

Monique writes Romantic Comedy stories some call Smexy—Smart & Sexy—and others call fluff. Monique makes no apologies for writing fun, emotional feel-good romance! She also writes Christian Suspense with a more serious edge. 

Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her by visiting her HERE to learn more about her and check out her other books.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Writing Through Adversity @barbbradley #MFRWauthor #amwriting

We all have rough days - I know I have had my share this year and I hope I'll give a little inspiration as I vent over what I have been through. We all handle adversity differently. I like to escape, by sleeping, writing, and working. Whatever helps me forget what is going on for a little while.

So lets look at what's been happening in my life. Back in March I was told that my mother-in-law probably won't make it a year, She's 88 and has COPD, congestive heart failure, AFIB, and pulmonary hypertension. I've been her caregiver for the last few years and have learned more about these diseases than I want to know. The doctors recommended that we get her in the Bridge to Hospice program so as she deteriorates we have something in place.

Dealing with this put a weight on my shoulders I didn't need, but I took it in stride and continued to write every night.

When I called the company in my area to set this up they told me that home hospice would keep her care at home. No more trips to the emergency, no more doctor calls. I said great because I know she doesn't want to go in a hospital.

So the nurse came to the house to start the enrollment, The rules for home hospice are quite strict. She must be home bound although she could go out every once in a while. Well she wanted to go to the YMCA one time because they were having a luncheon, but she didn't say it to the nurse that way. My MIL said she was going to the Y. She also has restless leg syndrome and it chose the moment when we were enrolling her into the program to get up and walk around the room. The nurse felt if she was going to the Y and that mobile she wasn't ready for home hospice.

Not what I needed, but I squared my shoulders and kept writing.

Now along with all the other things my MIL has Macular (sp) degeneration so her vision is failing. There were several more trips to the ER but I think when her eye doctor declared her legally blind she finally realized we needed the help home hospice can give us.

A little less stress and more writing.

In the middle of August my dad had back surgery and had a disk replaced. Well at the beginning of October I got a text from my step-mom that the disk collapsed and he was back in the hospital. The disk was contaminated when it went in him and he got this weird infection from it so they put him on antibiotics and said he'd be there for six weeks before they could replace the disk. He lives about eight hours from me so I was worried and stressed but still wrote.

My mom, who lives near me, had knee surgery on Oct 8th. I learned she was getting a little confused and it worried me. More stress. She went into a rehab center for her rehabilitation and I try to visit her every day. Trying to balance the two mom's can take some juggling, but still found the time to write every day.

Now that's a lot isn't it? But I've kept writing. It gives me relief from all of this. But I'm not done.

My MIL's hearing is gone. I had to have her tested and they show a strong hearing loss, A hearing aid does help her, but with her oxygen tube, and her glasses, there is no place for the hearing aid. When we borrowed it from the office to see how she would do with it, within the day she it had popped out of her ear too many times or I would find it dangling next to her ear like a weird hairpiece. We're going to try something else.

The day after this I went down to see my dad in the hospital. We had a great visit, but the poor thing is allergic to the antibiotics. Broke out in hives just before I arrived. Oh and he lost his cell  phone and his upper teeth, but that's a story for one of my books. On my way home my car broke down. At the time I write this it is about four hours away being worked on. I still have to go back after it.

It started losing power halfway between where my father lives in SC and my where my sister lives in NC. I was able to find a place and found out my battery was bad so I replaced it and was on my way, except that wasn't the problem. I passed the exit I normally take to see my sister and my car died again. I was able to get it to her mechanic and he said it was my alternator. I had to stay with my sister for the night (and I did some writing) then the next day after I got my car I got on the road once again. About an hour and a half down the road my car started loosing power again. I had no clue where to go or how to get the car to a repair shop but I put on my big girl panties and got it done.The hubby and I are planning a trip to go after it once it's fixed...again.

Now, I didn't write this to make you feel sorry for me. I wrote this to show you can't let the crapstorm that life serves you from time to time stop you from doing something you love. I love writing and I'm not going to stop, no matter what.


Timeless Desire - Book 9 of the Vespian Way Due out at the beginning of Nov.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Day in the Writing Life of #MFRWauthor @Jill_Blake_

I'm a type-A personality. I make lists and plan things out to the very last detail. When all else is chaos, my systematic approach to writing is often the only thing that keeps me sane. (Not to mention it’s cheaper than therapy.)

I start with a character or premise that strikes my fancy. Around this, I build a world, populating it with composite portraits of friends and neighbors, family and coworkers. I fill in my characters’ histories, make family trees, create life plans. Often I do a lot of background reading on whatever topic or environment is relevant to my story.

Then comes plotting. True to form, I keep timelines of important events in my characters’ lives, and use an actual calendar to keep track of their activities in the ongoing present.

Then I go back and write. Each session begins by re-reading the last scene or chapter, making a few edits if needed, and then mapping out a bare-bones outline of the next chapter, fleshing it out, and finally jotting some notes for the following writing session. This continues—two to three sessions a week, each several hours long—for four to six months. That’s how long the process takes me from start to finish for each book. The editing, beta-reading, cover design, formatting, and marketing all come later, often overlapping with the planning stages for my next book.

Sometimes I look around at fellow writers who are incredibly fast and prolific, and wonder how they do it. Some are pantsers. Some are able to multi-task, or write despite distractions. 

Alas, that is not me. I need complete quiet and freedom from interruptions in order to write. That’s hard to come by in a house with husband and three small kids. Not to mention the time constraints imposed by my day job. Did I mention I’m a physician? I average fifty hours a week seeing patients, and also take (thankfully infrequent) call.

So, slow and steady it is. At least for now.

Contributed by Jill Blake
Jill Blake loves chocolate, leisurely walks where she doesn’t break a sweat, and books with a guaranteed happy ending. A native of Philadelphia, Jill now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. During the day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. At night, she pens steamy romances.


Beyond the Ivory Tower... coming in November 2015

If there’s one thing math professor Anna Larazev believes in, it’s the value of higher education. So when her younger sister announces she’s dropping out of college, Anna places the blame squarely on the man who inspired her sister’s rebellion.

Venture capitalist Ethan Talbot claims the US academic system is broken. His solution? Pay top students to “opt out” and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams without wasting time and money on a university degree.

In a passionate battle for the hearts and minds of a new generation, Anna will do whatever it takes to prove Ethan wrong. But when his demands take a more personal turn, will she sacrifice her principles to come out on top?

Ethan ignored the first few emails. Likewise the faxed letter, the phone message slips, and the envelope delivered by registered mail.
Ever since his usual assistant, Margaret, went on medical leave, he’d been saddled with a series of temps who had neither the wits nor the will to guard his inner sanctum. What he really needed was someone who not only knew how to organize his schedule and take dictation, but could also screen out and deflect all the noise of the outside world. There were simply too many people asking for money, or looking for a job, or hoping for an interview or sound bite, or just eager for the opportunity to rub elbows with the man of the moment.
Frankly, he was tired of it. But until Margaret returned from getting her hip replaced, he was unlikely to catch a break.
Maybe, after this weekend’s summit, he’d take some time off. Fly down to Belize and do some diving. Or visit his parents in upstate New York. He hadn’t seen them since Christmas. And even then he’d spent most of his time taking meetings by Skype and reviewing business plan executive summaries, financial projections, and capitalization tables.
Sighing, he turned away from his contemplation of San Francisco’s skyline. He needed to make one more pass through his PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s keynote address.
He was nearly halfway through the slides when the door burst open and he found himself facing an interruption he couldn’t ignore.
She was five foot five--but that was the only average thing about her. She swept into the room with rapid, angry strides, dark brows drawn together over almond shaped eyes, nostrils flaring. Her hair was caught in a casual twist from which glossy black strands escaped to tumble past high cheekbones and bare neck. A V-cut T-shirt that stopped just short of displaying any cleavage was tucked into a pair of close-fitting jeans.
Ethan’s latest assistant—Tina? Trisha? something with a T—scurried in after her. “Dr. Larazev—”
The woman shook off the restraining hand and continued to advance.
“Ma’am, please.” The assistant cast Ethan a nervous glance. “I’m sure we can schedule you in for an appointment. If you’ll just come with me…”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why #MFRWauthors Write Romance... @ColleenSMyers #amwriting

Have you ever read a Romance novel and then been disappointed in the ending?
That is why I decided to write. I remember reading a book that I shall not name. I loved the characters, the plot, everything and then end just totally sucked. At least to me it did. And i decided then and there that I wanted to write my own.  I had written for years for pleasure but at that moment, it became my calling.

I think that no matter what you write, there is a little bit of the writer in every aspect. Knowingly or not, we tend to include real life quirks of ourselves and those around us in our writing.  I try to hide this from my family with varying degrees of success.

I write Fantasy and Romance in contemporary settings. I think everything needs a bit more love and whimsy in their lives.

I write what I like.

My first book comes out November 2nd and I can't wait.  I honestly don't know where the idea came from but before I started writing the first book, I had all three plotted out and the 'ending' ready. I created the lore of my world first and went from there...

Coming Soon...
Must Remember
Erotic New Adult Romance
Champagne Book Group

Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth ‘Beta’ Camden is a survivor.

When the E'mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.

Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E'mani’s ancient enemy.  Their war with the E'mani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the E'mani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.

But the E'mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.

ABOUT Colleen S. Myers
Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antartica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently she is getting ready to publish her first novel, MUST REMEMBER in November of this year (cover reveal soon.)  Until then look for her at Three Rivers Romance Writers, at FacebookPinterest, and on twitter at @ColleenSMyers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#AmWriting SEX In ROMANCE Novels @AnnaWriter #MFRWauthor

To Write SEX or Not To Write SEX...

I have been quoted on saying we are most vulnerable when we are naked, and never is it more true than in a romance novel. As a writer, I can do deeper into a characters psyche, motivations, and potential conflicts when I've put them skin to skin with another person. Will they reveal truths to their partner they never have before, or will they hide their true nature? Was their world changed forever? I want to know.

Now the explicitness of how that part of the character's journey is told will vary by taste, but for me, the love scenes are vitally important, no matter how hot they are portrayed. The characters will either grow closer together or be driven apart. How can that not be exciting?

When an author has done their job well, the reader will see beyond the titillation to what is going on beneath the surface. The connection the two characters are making, and that is a beautiful thing.
Contributed by Anna Alexander
Award winning author Anna Alexander is the author of the Heroes of Saturn and the Sprawling A Ranch series. With Hugh Jackman’s abs and Christopher Reeve’s blue eyes as inspiration, she loves spinning tales of superheroes finding love. Anna also loves to give back and has served on the board for the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America as chapter president and on the committee for the Emerald City Writers Conference.

Sign up to receive news about Anna's latest releases at
The Decadent Divas -
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To Have Faith
Ben Castillo was every woman’s fantasy. More precisely, Faith O’Leary’s fantasy. Tall, broad, oh-so handsome, and the best part of all – he was just as kinky as the rumors suggested. Even kinkier. When he agreed to help Faith explore her submissive nature, she mistakenly thought her biggest obstacle would be in getting Ben to believe her when she said she wasn’t going to walk away after his tutelage was over. Instead she finds herself facing the scorn of their conservative community when it’s discovered that their relationship also included time spent with his cute roommate Colby.

Ben was convinced his time with Faith was limited, and the vicious gossip going around town is a sign for him to walk away from the woman he’s come to love, but Colby thinks Ben’s a fool, and will do whatever he can to ensure a happy ending. For all of them.

When an arrangement becomes more, the ranch takes the heat when the town finds out about their illicit affair...      Amazon BUY LINK

“Little girl, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
“What do you think I’m doing? And I’m not a little girl. I’m thirty. I’ve been around the block a few times.”
“Have you?” He rose to his feet, all six-foot-four of him, and towered over her. The little shop shrunk even more around them as he filled every corner with his sex appeal. “I think you’re trying to entice an older, stronger man to have his way with you.”
So he had been picking up on her vibe.
If he had appeared angry or disinterested in any way, she’d lie and tell him he was imagining things. But if that light in his eyes was what she hoped it was, now was not the time to back down. “As I said before, I find you very intriguing.”
His brow furrowed. “What do you want, Faith?”
Ooo. Her gut tightened. That’s it. Just cut right to the chase.
She drew in a breath, hoping to hell she didn’t pass out from the nerves, and voiced her secret wish. “I want you to teach me what you know.”
He stilled and then cocked his head to the side. “Know about what?” he asked slowly.
“About being a submissive.”
He sucked a breath in through his teeth and rocked back on his heels. “What makes you say that? What have you heard?”
She licked at her lips. “That cattle aren’t the only thing you rope. That you’re a Dom.”

Monday, September 7, 2015

Where Do Story Ideas Come From? ASK #MFRWauthor Donna Figueroa @FallAgainSeries

Fall Again: Beginnings is the first book in the Fall Again Series. My original plan had been to write a short story entitled Time for Coffee. In this story, two actors who have not seen each other in years meet as they're both leaving an audition.(These characters would eventually become Marc & Lauren in the Fall Again Series). Both are short on time, but decide that they do have time for coffee. Over the next hour they discuss their lives, careers and eventually why things could never work romantically between them.

The problem was that I am the queen of procrastination. By the time I finally started to write, I had too many ideas to write this story as a short story. That's when I decided to write a stand alone novel.  The novel eventually grew into a series.

My story is set in the world of working actors. I naturally drew from my own experiences in the industry (I began working professionally as an actor while still in college) and from the experiences of other working actors. We work in a profession that is often misunderstood. I wanted to present a realistic glimpse into the lives of hard working artists as opposed to glamorous celebrities.

But this is also a Romantic novel. Shortly before I began writing I went to a girls night where the conversation turned to the subjects of first loves and the"" one who got away"". Several women on this night wondered what would have happened if they had met someone from their past at a different time in their lives.

Not long after this girls night, I began writing to the theme: what if you met the perfect person- your best friend, your soul-mate and the great love of your life…but at the wrong time?

As a hopeless romantic, I love the idea of a good love story and can see myself writing more romance projects in the future. However I am open to writing in other fictional genres. Last year I completed a first draft of a novel about a family funeral. The novel explores the humorous aspects of an event that most of us will go through at least a few times in our lives.

I love writing because their are no limits and you can go as far as your imagination will take you. At this point my own imagination is an endless sea of possibilities.

Contributed by Donna Figueroa
Donna Figueroa is an actor living and working in Los Angeles CA where she has worked on stage and on the big and small screens. Her credits include several television commercials and voiceovers for animation, commercials and industrial projects. She is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston MA where she majored in Dramatic Arts and Speech.

Donna is a producer and performer at Story Salon, Los Angeles's longest running storytelling venue where she has developed and performed three one person shows.

website  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  goodreads
Fall Again: Beginnings
Contemporary Romance

What if you met the perfect person- your best friend, soul mate and the great love of your life. But
what if you met this person at the wrong time?

This is the question is at the heart of the Fall Again, a romantic series about two working actors The story takes place in New York, LA and places in between over two decades.
In Beginnings, Marc and Lauren meet in New York City when they are young and starting to build careers. While there’s an obvious attraction, decorum dictates that their relationship remain within the boundaries of a platonic friendship.

Over time, Marc and Lauren will struggle to maintain the fa├žade of friendship to their closest friends and to each other which will become increasingly difficult.  Despite their best efforts to remain friends, they fall in love…and the consequences will change the course of their lives for years.

""This is not a modern romance novel, it is something more - a love story. A love story that weaves us into the lives of the characters until we don't want to leave their world, a love story that engages us to cry at their fictional pain and laugh at their triumphs."" - Amazon Review

   He heard her quick footsteps coming up the three flights of stairs before she finally came into view on the landing at the bottom of last flight of stairs.
   As Lauren Phillips turned the corner she looked up at Marc and stopped, seeming surprised. “Marc?”
  Marc responded as he took notice of the striking woman at the bottom of the stairs. “Yeah.”
   An expression of pleasant recognition crossed her face. “Oh my God… Marc Guiro! I didn’t realize that Mel’s friend Marc… was you!” She confidently bounded up the last flight of stairs seeming   very happy to see him.
   But Marc was confused. This girl appeared to know him, but as far as he knew he had never laid eyes on her.
  Lauren quickly realized this. “I’m Lauren Phillips. I went to NYU and we lived in Weisman Hall at the same time the last two years you were in school. We were in different towers but I saw you in the cafeteria and in the laundry room from time to time. You were two years ahead of me… but we were in a dance class together one semester.”
   Marc looked at her closely. “I only took two dance classes while I was at NYU.” He continued to look at her blankly.
  Lauren tried not to take this personally and attempted to play off the situation with humor. “Well whichever class you’re thinking of now… I was probably in the other one.”
Lauren flashed a cool controlled smile at Marc as Mel came into the hallway.
 “Lauren…you made it!”
  Lauren ran to her roommate giving her a big hug. “Thank you for today! It was wonderful!”
   Mel didn’t want to take credit for booking Lauren on her show. Casting liked her look and personality. All she had done was to deliver Lauren’s photograph and resume to the Clayton’s Crossing’s casting department. “No, Lauren that was all you. I just gave casting your photograph. Once they called you in for your interview I was out of it.”
   Lauren was suddenly aware that she was ignoring Marc and looked back towards him.
  “Mel got me a day of background work on Clayton’s Crossing today!” Her excitement was getting the best of her.
   “So I’ve heard. That’s great! Why don’t you both come inside?”
  Marc ushered them both into the apartment while still questioning  himself. Had he ever met this girl? He would have remembered.
 Lauren was attractive. She had deep set dark brown eyes and dark hair which she was wearing pulled back into a perfect lose ponytail. He could see that she was wearing a lot of makeup, but she would be after a day on set. The makeup only enhanced her high cheekbones and smooth skin. She was dressed nicely in a gauzy long Indian skirt and blouse that she wore belted which showed off a tiny waist. She was slender. Over her shoulder she carried a large tobacco colored leather satchel.
   But Marc found himself looking beyond her physical appearance. She had what some might call a sparkling personality, not to mention a bright and wonderful smile. Lauren’s energy was contagious. When she came up the last flight of steps toward him, it was as if someone had turned on an incredibly bright light.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Making Your Reader Like Your Characters #MFRWauthor #MFRWorg #WriteTip #Authors

Have you ever read a story and absolutely hated one or both of the main characters? 

This month I’m looking at how we can make our readers like our character.

The first thing the reader will want to know is who the character is and why should s/he root for them. Why should the reader care what happens to the character?

Recently I saw the film Interstellar with Matthew Mcconaughey, one of my favorite actors. If you haven’t seen this movie—a: I highly recommend it! It was amazing, so emotional and touching. And b: I’ll try not to ruin it for you so in the interest of giving you a heads-up…Spoiler Alert…

I was thoroughly enjoying the movie when it got to the part where one of the characters died. Sadly I didn’t care because I didn’t really know him, which is always a warning that that character will more than likely be the first to get bumped off. But what made it worse is that the character became too stupid to live (TSTL) just before he died. I positively disliked him for his sheer stupidity. After his untimely exit, I didn’t give him a second thought.

In contrast, when the main character almost died I was on the edge of my seat. The difference between these two characters? I never really got to know the first guy, so I wasn’t invested in him or really cared about him, and it was easy to dislike him for his stupidity because there was no reason for his actions. 

Meanwhile, I’d gotten to know the main character, empathized with him, cared about him, so I was invested and wanted him to survive. Plus he fought for his life. The other guy stood around like an idiot and did nothing! 

Don’t get me wrong, we want our characters to be flawed. Without flaws, our characters have no way of changing or growing. 

The flaw is the external representation of the internal fear. What I mean is the flaw is the result of the internal conflict, and internal conflict usually results from a past emotional scar.

For example, what if your hero is overprotective because somewhere in his past a loved one got injured or killed because of something he did or didn’t do. Say, maybe, as a teen he had a girlfriend and they got in a fight while driving home. She demands he pull over and let her out. He’s so mad he does exactly that and leaves her. She is attacked and possibly murdered. The hero has to live with this for the rest of his life. So now he won’t let the heroine out of his sight because he wants to protect her and make sure nothing bad ever happens to her. 

Now, if we make the flaw too dominant we will make the hero unlikable. In order to make your reader like him, you need to let the reader see the reason for his fear and you need to make your hero begin to fight the impulse to be overprotective along the way.  

Don’t make your characters’ issues so deep and dark that you create jerks. On the other hand, if you do have deep dark issues, you need to work extra hard to show the reader why the character is like this and give glimpses of a softer side—hint that this character can change. 

So How Do You Make Your Character Likable?

Start with the core competencies of your character, made up of three aspects: strengths, skills, and desires. As well as having bad experiences from the past that gives us our internal conflicts, we also have happy moments that might inspire us to do, or be something. I like to think that for every bad moment of the past there is a good. As authors we often focus on the bad in order to get a hold of the internal conflicts, but when we let the reader see the good moments that influenced our characters we allow the reader to bond with, and therefore, care about and like, our characters on a deeper level. 

Our overprotective hero from above may be a rescuer at his core. You can give him a job to reflect this and maybe he beats himself up so much because he feels guilty that he couldn’t save the past girlfriend. His black moment can come when we place him in a redemptive situation and give him an opportunity to redeem himself from the past by now saving the heroine. This guy can have a lot of layers, and if we show them to the reader, she will not only understand him, she will fall in love with him. 

The trick is to show the character’s niceness before you show the flaw. That way the reader is already invested and will stay to find out if this character finds her/his happy ever after. 

Do leave a comment in the comment section below. Even if you just want to say "Hi!", I'd be thrilled to know you stopped by.

Until next time, write with clarity and style!

Monique x 

Author/Screenwriter Monique DeVere currently resides in the UK with her amazing hero husband, four beautiful grown-up children, and three incredible granddaughters. 

Monique writes Romantic Comedy stories some call Smexy—Smart & Sexy—and others call fluff. Monique makes no apologies for writing fun, emotional feel-good romance! She also writes Christian Suspense with a more serious edge. 

Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her by visiting her HERE to learn more about her and check out her other books.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Where Do Story Ideas Come From? ASK #MFRWauthor @SaschaIllyvich

The idea for SLOW BURN came from me playing "what if" while watching Burn Notice. About that time, I discovered the metal band Devildriver.  Loving their groove metal sound, I wondered about a female version of the same sort of band, and what that'd look like if she had magical powers and had to be protected. Sonja and Derrick were born of Dez from Devildriver and Michael Westen from Burn Notice!

I am the author of over 52 published titles throughout sixteen years of my career.  While I possess talent, I've been lucky since day one and I remember that lesson every day.

Sascha Illyvichok'sest book is Slow Burn, a Sexy Spy Thriller with Ardent Books.

Tempting secrets of an angel
Seductive mysteries of the beast

Derrick, a former spy, has been asked to protect the sultry Sonja, a death metal singer whose magical voice grabs him by the balls and won’t let go. He’ll protect her, all right…with every part of his body tight against hers.

Sonja uses her voice to purge her fans of their darkness, their hate and hopelessness. But evil forces want to use her magic for their own ends. All she wants, at this point, is safety for herself and her band.

When Derrick and Sonja team up, Sonja does her best to resist the lure of safety he represents, until a radical league that wants her dead propels her into his arms. Will his help be enough? Or will she lose her heart to him, only to be killed in the process of saving the world?

Tears streamed down her face.
He wanted to kiss them away.
She opened her mouth and screamed; power flowing out from her in a torrential force that clued him in to just how terrified the images were that she saw.
Then he saw them, the faces of the sad, the lonely, the angry, those who had taken their lives. He'd seen a very brief glimpse of the men who captured her, then his mind went fuzzy. Quickly stilling his mind, he leaned over her and did the one thing he could think of to distract her from whatever horrors raced through her head.
He kissed her, muffling her cries.
She sobbed but gave herself openly to the kiss. The power flowing from her stilled, calmness now settled around them. She still shook, her body convulsing in his arms while she tried to flail this way and that, turning from him with such force he had to use his puma strength to overpower her and force her back to the kiss.
Somewhere in that haze of their mingling tongues, the air changed again, this time the scents of terror and agony fading to give way to something dark, yet sensual. Derrick tasted her, pressing against the sweet plumpness of her mouth against his. Eyes open, he gave her hand a light squeeze.
She settled, blinked and looked at him through her wild gaze until her breathing slowed and she seemed to return to the here and now. Sonja shifted against him. She reached for his face, lithe fingers stroked along his chin.
He hardened instantly at her touch. Careful to steady his reaction against rising hormones, Derrick moved, feeling the softness of her breasts beneath his jacket. ""You're still wearing my coat,"" he licked her chin, then bit her neck.
The tears stopped, and she sniffled. Sonja laughed and kissed him back, taking his face in her hands while she slid beneath him. ""It fits. Perfectly in fact. I think I'll keep it.""
ABOUT Sascha Illyvich
Sascha, who was proclaimed by the publishing industry as The Bad Boy of Romance, started writing sixteen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio.  Recently, Torn to Pieces was a USA TODAY Recommended Read.

Sascha is a trained and experienced public speaker, and enjoys giving talks and teaching, particularly on aspects of romance, erotic romance, and writing.   He was the former host of The Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, and is fond of doing guest spots and interviews, on both traditional radio and podcasts.

Sascha writes for Assent Publishing, Red Sage, Secret Cravings Publishing, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing.

Find him at

Monday, August 17, 2015

Where Do Book Ideas Come From? ASK #MFRWauthor @VellaCMunn

What became the Seasons Heartbeat series started the fall afternoon a dear friend and I were watching a fierce storm head our way. Fueled by a glass of wine and the wind whipping the evergreens while the sky became dark purple, I started thinking about how much I'm impacted by the wilderness. In only a few minutes I had the series' basic concept in mind. I wrote four books with each one taking place during a different season plus a novella that covers a single day. Hopefully I've created flawed and complex people who allow their peaceful mountain surroundings to free them from their pasts and open them to love. 

Seasons Heartbeat:Spring
by Vella Munn
Contemporary Romance
Seasons Heartbeat Series

Alisha Hearne must decide whether to sell the family's mountain cabin or stay and tackle the necessary repairs and face painful memories. The nearby resort represents one thing to Nate Quaid—where he earns a living. Nothing means more to him than freedom and forgetting his past.

Despite their reservations, loneliness and need bring them together but are they capable of revealing their deepest secrets and exposing their vulnerabilities?

Do they dare risk falling in love?

Amazon: Seasons Heartbeat: Spring is romance at its best. Ms Munn's vivid descriptions of Lake Serene and her family's mountain cabin made me feel as though I was right there in that beautiful setting.
Amazon: The author's love of nature comes through so clearly in this book that I can almost imagine myself at Lake Serene. She has made the environment another character in the story and the book is richer for it.

Taking her cue from the older man who’d already started toward the shore, she trailed behind him. Doc was right. The crazy boat driver appeared to be checking out the fifty-some small docks belonging to private cabin owners. At least he’d slowed to trolling speed. At the rate he was going, he’d reach her dock in a couple of minutes so she planted herself as close to the listing structure as she dared. She didn’t care what he thought of her dock. She just wanted to give him a piece of her mind about his disregard for what this high mountain lake stood for. As she waited, she studied Mount Steens across the lake. The top was still buried under snow and thus intimidating to her. By late summer the sharp edges would show. She'd never climbed it, but when she was growing up, she used to tell herself she could tackle it no problem. She just wasn't sure whether she'd have to carry a sleeping bag and plan on having to stay the night.
Night alone near the top of the area's most imposing mountain. Away from all responsibility.
The motor’s high growl triggered something inside that she didn’t want to examine. She’d been under a lot of tension lately and didn’t need this idiot adding to it. She wanted him gone and the quiet back. Not just quiet. She needed to smell what was left of the snow, the water, pine and dirt. To be renewed.
Now that he was close, she realized this wasn’t one of the nearly-derelict boats she remembered the resort renting out. At least twenty-feet long, it had both a trolling motor and an outboard she figured was least ninety horsepower. Judging by the shiny sides and immaculate pedestal fishing seat, the craft was new. Envy nibbled at her. Being in control of the craft would be a ball.
As it eased around partly-submerged trees and closed in on her dock, she forced herself to stop imagining she was putting it through its paces and concentrated on the man with his hand on the steering wheel. It was hard to be certain, but she guessed him to be in his early thirties. The wind had been having its way with his longish dark brown hair while his slightly canted nose and cheeks were wind-chapped. He had a square jaw, deep-set eyes shielded by shaggy brows, and a serious slant to his mouth that made her wonder if there might be more to him than a hell-raiser after all.
Over a blue T-shirt sporting a motorcycle logo he wore an unsnapped grey windbreaker that speed had pushed away from a chest made for physical labor. This was no indulged teenager, not this man with his broad shoulders and big, strong, tanned hands. Because he was sitting low in the boat, she couldn’t see his lower half.
“Where’s your life vest?” Doc called out.
When the man didn’t immediately respond, she wondered if he was debating answering. If he gave Doc a hard time, she’d give him a piece of her mind.
He shifted into neutral and indicated behind him.
“Crazy as you’ve been driving, I’m surprised you thought of safety,” Doc grumbled. “There’s a speed limit here.”
The man shrugged. She wanted to examine his expression, but now that the wind was in charge, the boat had started to turn away from the shore. It swayed with the waves it had created. She imagined him a drifter, a lost soul without any idea how to put his life on course. He spent one week here, another week there, never planning beyond following impulse.
Then he put the motor back into gear and came alongside the dock, making her decide he had some sense of direction after all. He stood and reached out so he could grab the one remaining cleat. He wrapped a tie rope around it and sat back down.
“This yours?” he asked Doc, indicating the listing dock.
“No,” she said. “It’s mine.”
“Needs work.”
The understatement almost made her laugh. “Thanks for pointing that out. Winter’s been a little rough on it.”
He’d turned his attention to her while she was talking, surely time enough for her to get used to the intensity in his eyes. There was something arresting about him, something on the wild side perhaps. She half expected him to jump out of the boat and take off at a dead run because that was his way of dealing with the energy boiling inside him. This wasn’t a man for sitting and contemplating his navel. Just sitting inside a motionless boat was testing the limits of his self-restraint.

ABOUT Vella Munn
Vella Munn has been writing ever since she created a comic book with a horse as the hero. She has had over 60 books published and can't imagine doing anything else. She lives in rural Oregon with her family and two rescue dogs.

Thursday, August 13, 2015



A great site where you can look up agents, the genres they represent, the time it takes for them to respond, and even track your queries.

Another great site like Query Tracker.

This is a place to go to see what agents and editors are looking for.

TWITTER: #MSWL: MSWL twitter link
The Twitter link to ""real time"" hints, tips and wishlists of agents and editors - BUT PLEASE do not pitch your story on this twitter site.

A place to check and see if an agent or editor is reputable.

The perfect place to see if your word count is in the right ballpark.

A treasure trove of information about agents and more...

Tips about publishing.

An on-line community where you can share the trials and tribulations of being a writer, and get support, encouragement and inspiration.

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators website

A fount of information with contests that help you get published, find an agent or simply help you perfect your craft.

Growing up in a family with 9 kids and 1 t.v., I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I love books. . .maybe because I never got to pick what shows we watched. I’d run home after school to catch the last fifteen minutes of Dark Shadows...

I still love to run especially in Halloween-themed runs - where people wear costumes, while running. It's a lot of fun...I know those two words don't go together: But it is and I guess Dark Shadows influenced me more than I thought because Stephen King’s Salem's Lot is my favorite book.

Amazon Author Page:

Demon's Ink

Young Adult Paranormal
Midnight Frost Books

Demonic tattoo artist comes to town in DEMON’S INK.

Drake and Bartos come to the Pacific Northwest, where they open yet another tattoo shop but Bartos has no trouble dealing with the competition because there’s nothing normal about his art. And he’s stealing more than clients from the local skin artists. He's stealing their souls.

Customers fall in love with Bartos Slinderman’s tats but end up paying the ultimate price for their purchase because unlike Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, they can’t walk away from this art and it’s beautiful until the artwork takes on a life of its own...

DEMON’S INK: Art that’s more than you bargained for... Drake has to choose between love or his soul.
Excerpt (DRAKE)
Expectations can ruin everything. Like thinking my senior year was going to be something special. What a set up that was.
I should have known better than to get my hopes up.
I’d never been lucky. No one in my family was. I was six when I’d heard grandpa say, “We come from a long line of losers.” He was talking to my Dad. I don’t even know about what. But, now, I know I should have listened.
Dad had gone to prison, leaving Mom and me worse than ever. And we’d never been good but, at least while he’d hung around, she acted like things were okay. Now she wasn’t even pretending. Really, it was worse than that; she wasn’t even getting up off the couch any more.
I’d come home from school to find her passed out. The first couple times it freaked me out. Seeing her face-planted in the front room, not knowing if she was dead or alive, I didn’t want to find her like that, to have to turn her over to check if she was still breathing but I did. . . and I had no idea if she was high or drunk. I didn’t even care because what difference did it make? She was out of it and that was all that mattered.
So, after Dad went to jail, I was completely alone until Bartos made me a deal I couldn’t refuse but that was later.
For weeks, I’d come home after class and make a sandwich—if there was bread—otherwise it was a bowl of cereal for breakfast and dinner, sometimes I’d eat it dry because the milk had gone bad.
I knew I was going to have to get a job if I wanted to survive and I’d started looking around but that was right before everything changed.
It was late one Thursday evening. I still remember because I was thinking, “Only one more day…” I just didn’t know how right I was.
I don’t know what woke me up that night. Maybe it was the smell, the heat, the sound of my Mom screaming. I really don’t know. But I opened my eyes to the thick burning haze of a room filled with smoke.
I’d gone down into the basement that night and fallen asleep.
Looking around, I already knew there were no windows. I was trapped. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

#MFRWauthors Writing With A Partner @ErinCMcCrae @Racheline_M

Ever Consider Writing with a Partner?
MFRW Authors Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese do it! And they do it well!

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

TOGETHER, they write great stories!

Reviewers Say...
"MIDSUMMER is a beautiful blend of classic and contemporary themes....I love the theater, and this well written story marries one of my all time favorite productions, A Midsummer Night's Dream, with another one of my favorite things, finding love in unexpected places. Once again Racheline and Erin have gifted me with a complex cast of characters, multi-layered drama, romance and suspense. I'm thrilled with this new series and am excited to see where further installments will take me!" Carly's Book Reviews

Their newest release is Midsummer (Love's Labours, Book 1) is an Erotic GLBT Contemporary
Romance with Dreamspinner Press.
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John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.

Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness -- thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.
“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.
“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.
All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.
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