Labels

1944 (1) 1950s (1) 2013 (1) 24 (1) 60s (1) 60th wedding anniversary (1) 70s (1) 99cts (2) A Handmaid's Tale (1) A Wrinkle In Time (1) abduction (1) action (16) action adventure (5) adventure (17) African cats (1) Agents of S.H.I.E.D. (1) Akira (1) Akira's Choice (4) alien abduction (2) alien invasion (1) Alien Lockdown (1) alien planet (6) alien planets (2) alien visitors (1) Alien Zoo (1) aliens (28) Allison Merritt (17) alphas unleashed (1) alternate realities (1) alternate reality (1) Alyson Noel (1) AMANDA'S EYES (1) Amazons (2) America (1) Amy Bartol (1) Anasazi (1) ancient aliens (5) Ancient Enemy (1) and Grimm (1) Andromeda galaxy (1) Angel (4) angel planet (1) angels (4) anime (1) Anne McCaffrey (1) Antiope (1) apocalypse (2) Apocalypse 2012 (2) Apocalypse Babes (14) apocalyptic books (2) apocalyptic fiction (1) apple pie (1) archangel (5) Arilase (1) Arrow (1) Art (1) ASPCA (1) atomic age (1) author (3) author interview (3) author introduction (3) author signing (1) authors (3) avatar (1) awards (1) awareness (1) Back To The Future (1) bad acting (1) bad boys (1) bad movies (1) bad writing (1) barbarian tribes (1) Batman (2) Battle Royale (1) battles (1) Battlestar Galactica (1) Baz Luhrmann (1) Beantown (1) Beijing York (1) Believe (1) Bella Street (22) Ben Stiller (1) Bender (1) Beth Caudill (6) Big Bang Theory (1) big cats (2) Bio (1) bioengineering (1) Black Dragon (3) black gate (1) Black Jaguar (2) blasters (4) blog hop (3) bloggers (1) blue abyss (2) Blue Lioness (1) Blue Maneuver (1) Blue Moon (1) book (1) Book Barbarian (1) Book Breeze (1) book covers (2) book giveaway (4) book release (1) book review (2) book sale (1) book signing (1) books (6) Books We Love (1) Borealis (6) Borealis series (4) Boredom (1) born in blood (1) Boston (2) bounty hunter (4) bracelet (1) Breaking Dawn (1) breast cancer (2) brides (1) Browncoats (1) Browncoats: Independence War (2) Buffy The Vampire Slayer (3) burn out (1) Bushido (1) busy (1) BWL (1) C.D. Ledbetter (1) callahan (2) Camp NaNoWriMo (2) cannibals (1) Captains (1) Carolyn Jewel (1) Cassandra Rose Clarke (1) cat saves boy (1) Catching Fire (3) Cathy Pegau (1) cats (11) cats in space (2) Caught In Amber (1) challenger (1) changing seasons (1) Channing Tatum (1) characterization (1) Charlize Theron (1) checkmate (2) Cheetah (4) cheetahs (1) Cher (1) chewbacca (1) chimera (2) chimera born (2) Christine Taylor (1) Christmas (8) Christmas Village (3) Christopher Nolan (1) Chronicles of Kassouk (12) Chronicles of Kassouk series (2) Chroniclesof Kassouk (1) cinnamon (1) Civil War (1) classic novels (1) classic rock (1) cold warn (1) combining romance genres (2) Comic Con (1) ComiCon (1) comics (1) coming soon (1) communication (1) computers (1) conflict (1) conspiracies (1) conspiracy (1) contemporary fantasy romance (5) contemporary romance (2) contest (5) contracts (1) convention (2) cool aliens (2) cosplay (1) costumes (1) Council Falls (2) Count Olaf (1) cover (1) cover art (1) cover reveal (2) Craft (1) creativity (1) crop circles (3) crop patterns (1) crown (1) cruise into eden (1) Crusader (1) Cupid (5) CW6 (1) cyborgs (5) Dark Knight Rises (1) dark romance (1) Day of the Triffids (2) Daynight (1) decorating (1) decorations (1) Desert Breeze Publishing (1) Desert Breeze Publishing (1) diamond (1) diamonds (2) Diana Gabaldon (1) Diaspora Worlds (1) Dietmar Wehr (1) disco (1) disney characters (1) Divergent (1) Do No Harm (1) Doctor Who (1) dogs (1) Dollhouse (3) Donnie Darko (2) Double Takes (3) Douglas Lindsay (1) DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES (1) Dr. Who (1) Dragnet (1) dream lover (1) dreams (2) Dredd (1) dressing up (1) Dune (1) Dungeons and Dragons (1) dystopia (1) Dystopian (4) earth (1) earwigs (1) ebook reader (1) editing (1) EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1) Elementary (1) Eliza Dushku (1) Elysa Hendricks (1) end of the world (1) End of year (1) english (1) epilogues (1) escape (1) Esther Williams (1) evil spock (1) excerpt (2) excitement (2) extinction (1) F. Scott Fitzgerald (1) faerie romance (1) fairy tales (2) fall (2) Fall movies (1) Falling Skies (1) fan fiction (1) fantasy (15) Father's Day (1) fearless (1) feehan (1) felines (4) fiction (2) film review (2) Firefly (9) first person (1) five senses (1) five-star review (2) FLASH GORDON (1) food (2) Foreigner (1) Forever (1) Forever is Now (1) Fourth of July (1) Fran Kanz (1) Frank Herbert (1) free (2) free book (2) free books (2) free ebook (1) freedom (1) Frequently Asked Questions (1) Fry (1) full moon (1) fun facts (1) furries (1) Fury Road (1) Futerama (1) Futurama (1) Future (4) future release (1) futuristic (19) futuristic romance (11) Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1) galactic fleet (1) galactic prison (1) gamma radiation (1) gay (1) Geeky Girls Love Sci-Fi (1) genetic disorders (1) Genghis Khan (1) George Martin (1) George Reeves (1) getting published (1) GI Joe (1) gift cards (1) gift certificate (2) Girl Under Glass (1) girls with guns (3) giveaway (2) giveaways (1) gMOs (1) goals (1) gods of Egypt (1) good and evil (2) gorgeous hero (1) gorgeous heroes (1) gratitude (1) gross (1) Grub Street Reads (1) Gwenyth Paltrow (1) H. D. Thomson (8) habits (1) hadean (2) hadean 2 (1) Hallmark (1) han solo (1) Harlequin (1) harvest moon (1) Healer's Fate (1) Heart of Steel (1) Heat Vision and Jack (1) Henry Cavill (1) heroes (1) heroines (1) HGTV (1) historical romance (2) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1) hoax (1) Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop (1) Holiday season (4) Holiday windows (1) holidays (7) Holly Madison (1) holograms (1) home improvement stores (1) Homer Simpson (1) Hot Fuzz (1) hot summer heroes blog hop (1) house for sale (1) how to write (1) Howl's Moving Castle (1) Hugh Howey (1) hunters moon (1) IMDB (1) immortals (1) Implant Makes Rats Read Minds (1) imprints (1) incentives (1) Independence Day (2) indie publishing (2) Indiegogo (1) Inkheart (1) inspiration (1) Intergalactic Bar & Grille (1) introduction (2) Irish folklore (1) Irish romance (1) Iron Man (1) Iron Man 3 (1) J. J. Abrams (1) Jack Black (1) Janelle Stalder (1) January 28 1986 (1) Jean-Luc Piccard (1) Jekyll and Hyde (1) Jessica Keller (1) Jody Wallace (1) Johnny Depp (1) Joss Whedon (5) Juicy Couture (2) Jupiter Ascending (1) K. Vale (1) Kathy DiSanto (1) Katniss (1) keys to writing (1) kick-ass heroines (1) kick-butt heroines (10) kids (1) kimber vale (6) Kindle (1) Kirk Alyn (1) Kiss Me Before Dying (1) Kiss Me I'm Home (4) Kiss Me I'm Irish (7) KISS ME I'M YOURS (5) kitten (2) Lamaism (1) large cats (1) Las Vegas (1) Last Resort (1) lawman (1) Leela (1) legends (1) Legends and Lovers Series (4) leia (1) Lemony Snicket (1) leprechauns (5) Lewis Page (1) Lexi Post (1) lgbt (1) liberty (1) likable characters (1) Linda Andrews (7) linda andrews. gmos (1) Linnea Sinclair (2) lists (1) literary fiction (2) Lois Lane (1) Lost (1) love (1) Love Romances (1) love story (2) love triangle (1) luck (1) M Night Shyamalan (1) M/M (2) Mackinac Island MI (1) Mad Max (1) magic (2) Malcolm Reynolds (1) male/male (1) mammogram (1) Man of Steel (2) MARS ATTACKS (1) matchmaker (2) matriarchal societies (1) Matrix (2) Mayans (1) medieval (1) Megan Rhomason (1) Melisse Aires (1) Meljean Brook (1) memes (1) memories (1) mercenary (1) Metropolis (1) Michael Ende (1) Micheal Scott (1) michele (1) Michele Callahan (8) mid century modern (2) Mid-Century Mayhem (2) mid-mod (1) Mila Kunis (1) Millennium (1) Mina Khan (1) Miracle Laurie (1) Miss America (1) Miss Milwaukee (1) Miss Wisconsin (1) Mission to Mars (1) MM romance (1) Mockingjay (1) Mockingjay Part 1 (1) modern culture (1) mom (2) Monica Enderle Pierce (1) Monsters University (1) Moonstruck (1) Mother's Day (2) mothers (1) movie (3) movie characters (1) movie review (2) movies (5) Movieweb (1) moving (3) Much Ado About Nothing (1) Muse (1) music (1) music bands (1) Must Love Cats (1) mysteries (1) Mysterious Purple Spheres Found In Desert (1) mythology (2) names (1) NaNoWriMo (1) Nashville (1) Nell Stafford (1) nerds (1) new authors (2) new book release (1) new planets (1) new release (10) new releases (1) New Year (1) New Year's (1) New Year's Resolutions (1) Nicholas Cage (1) nine lives (1) Noah's Ark (2) nomination (1) Nook (1) novel (1) novella (2) novellas (2) olympics (1) Once Upon a Time (1) open house (1) Oregon Trail (1) organization (1) Otherworlds (2) outer space (5) Outlander (1) Ovilvion (1) Owen Wilson (1) paperback (2) parallel universe (2) paranormal (6) paranormal romance (10) paranormal suspense (2) parodies (1) Pauline Creeden (1) Percy Jackson (1) pets (1) pets in fiction (1) phage (1) Phoenix (1) Phoenix Comicon (3) pirates (1) plague world (1) Planet of the Apes (2) planets (1) playlist (1) post apocalyptic (4) power (1) pre-order (1) Pride & Prejudice (1) prison (1) prizes (1) prologues (1) publishing (1) pumpkin pie (1) pyschic (1) QUEEN (1) rabies (1) rating (1) reader (1) readers (2) readers conventions (1) readers events (1) readers' choice (1) reading (3) rebel. (1) rebellion (1) rebels (1) Red 2 (1) Red Leopard (1) red night (3) Redaction (1) redoing covers (1) Reeses Peanut Butter Cup (2) regency romance (1) registration (1) reincarnation (1) Research (3) retirement (1) retiring (1) retro (1) retro romance (1) Retro Romance Presents (1) review (1) Revolution (3) Riddick (1) Rip Van Winkle (1) Rise Of The Siren (1) robots (1) rock star romance (1) rock stars (1) role models (1) Role Playing Games (1) romance (42) romance sub-genres (1) romance writers (1) romantic elements (2) romantic movies (1) romantic science fiction (17) romantic science fiction. Anasazi (1) romantic scifi (2) Romantic Times Convention (1) romcon (1) Romeo and Juliet (1) Ron Silver (1) Rosamund Pike (1) RPG (1) RT Booklovers Convention (1) RT16 (1) running away from home (1) S.E. Smith (1) S.H.I.E.L.D. (1) sabrina garie (4) Saint Exupery (1) Samurai (3) SANCTUARY (1) SAVING YESTERDAY (1) school teacher (1) sci fi romance (20) sci-fi (30) sci-fi authors (6) sci-fi bands (1) sci-fi books (7) sci-fi erotic romance (1) Sci-Fi Fantasy (1) sci-fi films (8) sci-fi movies (4) sci-fi romance (41) sci-fi tropes (1) sci-fi tv (1) science (2) science fiction (52) science fiction romance (14) Science Fiction Romance Brigade (1) science-fiction (1) Scientists Create Sixth Sense (1) Scientists Create Zombie Cells (1) Scifi (9) scifi erotica (1) SciFi movies (1) scifi romance (7) SciFiRomance.net (1) Scott Nova (1) Scott Speedman (1) se smith (1) Season Finale (1) secondary characters (1) secret bases (1) secret projects (1) self-publishing (1) Selfless (1) selling a home (1) SERENITY (2) series (16) Series of Unfortunate Events (1) sexism (1) Sexy Sci-fi (1) SFR (5) SFWA (1) shades of gray (1) Shakespeare (1) shapeshifter (2) Shaun of the Dead (1) Sherlock Holmes (1) Sherrilyn Kenyon (1) Shonna Wright (1) Shooting Stars series (2) short fantasy romance (5) short story (1) short valentine's day romance (2) shrouded in illusion (3) shrouded series (2) sight (1) Signs (1) silver storm (3) Simon R Green (1) singh (1) Slim Whitman (1) small press (1) small town romance (1) Smart Girls Love Sci-Fi (1) smell (1) smugglers (2) Snoo snoo (1) Snow Cheetah (2) songs (1) soulmate (1) sound (1) South America (1) space (10) space age (1) space aliens (1) space battles (1) space exploration (4) space frontier (1) Space opera (14) space pirates (1) space shuttle disaster (1) space station (8) space travel (1) space western (1) space-time continuum (1) spaceship (4) spaceships (3) speculative (1) speculative fiction (6) Spiderman (1) St Patrick's Day (2) St Patrick's Day short story (3) staging (1) Star Catcher (3) STAR CRASH (1) Star Trek (9) Star Trek Beyond (1) Star Trek Into Darkness (2) Star Trek Voyager (1) Star Trek: Next Generation (2) Star Wars (1) Stargate (1) Starship Crew (1) Starz (1) Steam Drill Blues (1) steamfolk (1) steampunk (5) Stephanie Meyers (1) Stephen Amell (1) Steven King (1) story (1) Story Ideas (1) Stranger Than Fiction (1) Strictly Ballroom (1) strong heroine (1) strong heroines (2) Stuff I Shouldn't Be Writing (1) successful writing (1) summer (1) sun glasses (1) super hero (1) superhero (2) superman (1) Supermassive Black Hole (1) Supernatural (1) supernatural abilities (1) superpower (1) supersoldier (1) survival (1) survivor road (1) suspense (2) Suzanne Collins (3) sweet romance (1) SWITCH (1) swords (4) symbolism (1) syn-en (5) Tahmoh Penikett (1) Tanith Lee (1) Tara Chevrestt (1) taste (1) Technology (1) telekinesis (1) telepathy (1) television series (2) Tengrism (1) Tennessee Waltz (5) text messaging (1) Thanksgiving (2) The Brady Bunch (1) The Cleverest of the all (1) The Doomsday Book (2) The down home alien blues (1) The Galaxy Express (1) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (1) The Great Gatsby (1) The Hobbit (1) The Host (1) The Hunger Games (5) The Hunter Games (1) The League (1) The Legend of Jogn Henry (1) The Long Road Home (1) THE MAD SCIENTIST'S DAUGHTER (1) The Matrix (1) The Offshore Pirate (1) The Register (1) The Scarlet Letter (1) The Sci-Fi Romance Group (1) The Silver Metal Lover (1) The Sky Pirate's Wife (1) The syn-en solution (1) THE SYNCHRONICITY WAR PART 1 (1) The Tempest (1) The Treasure Hunter's Lady (3) The Turncoat's Temptress (2) The Whispers (1) The Whole Truth (1) The Z Word (4) theories (1) Theseus (1) This Time For Keeps (1) thriller (1) throwing away chapters (1) Time (2) time travel (10) Time Travel By Design (1) time travel romance (9) time-space continuum (1) time-travel (4) timewalker (2) Timewalkers (4) TNT (1) Tom Cruise (1) Tom Hardy (1) Tonya Cannariato (6) Total Recall (1) touch (1) traditional publishing (1) traditions (2) Trail of Tears (1) treasure (1) tree (2) tropes (1) TV series (2) TV shows (4) TV Tropes (1) Twilight (1) Twilight Moms (1) Twilight Zone - A World Of His Own (1) twins (1) UFOs (1) UNDER DIFFERENT STARS (1) Underworld (2) Unicorn City (1) vacation (1) Valentine's Day (6) vampires (1) Vance Kotrla (1) vanilla (1) veterinarian (1) Vijaya Schartz (66) village (1) villains (1) villians (1) vintage paperbacks (1) vintage romance (1) vintage sci-fi (1) virtual reality (2) visions (1) Wachowskis (1) waning gibbous moon (1) war (1) warrior (1) weapons (1) western historical romance (1) what I'm reading (2) what to write (1) what's next (1) whipped cream (1) white fire (1) White Tiger (2) widowed father (2) Wikipedia (1) William Shatner (1) win (2) winter (1) Witness (1) Wolf-Rayet (1) Woman To Give Birth To Neanderthal Man (1) woman warrior (1) Wookie (1) WOOL (1) word count (1) work in process (1) workshop (1) world building (2) World War Z (1) world-building (1) World's End (1) wormholes (1) writing (15) writing advice (1) writing craft (3) writing on deadlines (1) writing process (1) writing science fiction (1) writing scifi (1) writing series (1) writing. (1) Wytchfire (1) YA books (1) yoda (1) zombies (2) Zoolander (1)
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

CUPID'S APPRENTICE

Valentine's Day is sneaking up on us. A little over two weeks and the day for hearts and flowers, Cupids and candy will arrive. What do you do to celebrate this annoying little holiday?

Over the years (we're been together for nearly forty-four and married over forty of them) hubby and I have learned to ignore a lot of the gift-giving holidays - Valentine's Day tops the list of ones to ignore. We already have all the junk we need, neither of us "need" candy, and we tell and show each other our love every day in dozens of ways, so to paraphrase a line from Blazing Saddles "we don't need no stinking holiday" to remind us to do so.

Still, there is something appealing about Valentine's Day - probably the chocolate. This year I decided to write a short story featuring Cupid. But it turned out that Cupid was too busy to give my muse an interview. Instead, he sent one of his newest apprentices. The interview was to say the least - interesting. Here's the blurb of the story she (yes, some Cupids are female - equal rights and all) told me.


CUPID'S APPRENTICE
http://www.amazon.com/Cupids-Apprentice-Holiday-Council-ebook/dp/B00B0OL2ES
A Short Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Approximately 15,000

To earn her wings, Cupid's apprentice Medarda "Dar" has until Valentine's Day to match two-time Loser Laura Quinn with Boring Brian Hoffman. When Dar's love arrow goes astray and hits the sexy PE teacher Flynn Sullivan instead things get interesting.

Laura loves teaching high school in the small town of Council Falls, but knows it's only a matter of time until her famous mother shows up and the quiet life she's created comes crashing down around her ears.

Flynn's been interested in the shy history teacher for a long time, but it isn't until they're forced to chaperone the Valentine's Day dance together that he gets the opportunity to make his dreams come true.

With time running out can one bumbling Cupid's Apprentice bring together a Jock and a Brain?

Next month comes St. Patrick's Day. Now there's a holiday worth celebrating - green beer and no gifts to buy. Stay tuned for LUCKY'S LEPRECHAUN my next Holiday in Council Falls Short.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Cover for Kiss Me Before Dying

I've been busy working on a new series. Vampires of all things. I never thought I would be writing about creatures drinking blood. Goodness knows, I've written alot about bloody scenes with killers. I'm actually really enjoying it and creating a very different world. I'm also enjoyuing creating the cover for it. Not sure if it is the final deal, but I'm getting there on both! :)

Below is a short excerpt of my work in process, currently titled Kiss Me Before Dying:


Mark grimaced. “The poor bastard.”

“What do you think happened? Do you suppose he got trapped in here and just wasn’t able to get out? He couldn’t have been stupid enough to go spelunking alone.”

They both pivoted around slowly and angled their lights around them in a complete circle. Stalagmites protruded from the cave floor, while the ground to their right sloped downward to the motionless pool. A thick black, impenetrable wall cut off deeper parts of the cave.

“I don’t see another body,” Jason murmured. “I’m not an expert on dead people, but I’m guessing that he’s been dead probably a couple of months.”

“You think?” Mark avoided looking at the body. It just creeped him out too much. But keeping his gaze averted lasted all of two seconds. Morbid curiosity won out over repugnance and he found his gaze inadvertently drawn back to the corpse.

“Hell if I know.” Jason grunted. “I can’t imagine dying in this place alone and unable to see a damn thing. I probably would have gone insane before I finally bit the bullet.”

“He might have been alive for a good while. He could have easily broken a leg or something and couldn’t get out, and then possibly starved to death.” When he noticed the neck and chest, his hand with the flashlight stilled. “Then, maybe not...”

That same morbid curiosity urged him down on his haunches to get a better view. This close to the body, both his flashlights revealed a neck and chest torn apart. “Shit. This guy didn’t’ die from anything broken. It looks like a wild animal got to him.”

“That’s crazy,” Jason argued, his voice thick with unease. “This place is locked up so damn tight. Nothing that big could survive down here.”

“Tell that to the dead guy.” Then Mark noticed a rock or something. “Hey, what’s that between his arm and body?”

His cousin aimed his light at it. “It doesn’t look like a rock. Too porous...”

“Jesus!” Mark jumped up and back, almost falling on his butt in his haste to get away from the body. “It’s his heart.”

“No!”

Jason, having an obviously better stomach than him, bent over and peered down at it. “It looks like part of its missing.”

“Missing? Looks worse than that. It looks like someone ripped his heart out of his body. That’s what it looks like!” Mark backed further away. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Goose flesh rose along his spine and across his neck. He peered into the blackness around him, unable to shake the sudden fear digging into his muscles, and kicking up his heart rate. Any second now and he expected a wild bear or rabid wolf to attack.

“Wait. Not yet. There’s something else...” Jason hunched even lower and pulled at something in the corpse’s hand.

“Just forget it. It’s not important.”

“No. This guy found it important. It looks like he was clutching it like some type of life-line.”  Jason tugged harder.

At the sound of bone snapping and giving away, Mark winced and thought he just might get sick.
Jason lifted some type of silver rope into the air.

They both angled their lights at it. Mark now realized it wasn’t a silver rope but a thick chain with a large, fist-sized medallion on one end.

The pendant swung back and forth before Jason steadied it with a hand.

As Jason lifted his palm, the silver winked beneath the flashlight’s beam. Mark realized he had it all wrong. It wasn’t a medallion or a pendant, but a necklace. And at its end was a blood-encrusted cross.




Friday, January 25, 2013

Like I Care

I'm currently writing about cannibals.

I'm sure you're thinking that it would be very hard to give people the warm and fuzzies over cannibals. But as writers our job it to make people care, even about the villains.

So how does one do that?

It depends. Not the answer I'm sure writers want to hear.

Why is that? Because, what connects me to a character won't be the same as what connects you.

But we, as people and readers, need to be connected to others. We want it, crave it and have it encoded in our DNA.

The best way to start those connections is to give the reader an enemy to hate, one that threatens the hero and heroine. The bigger the threat to them, the closer your reader will be drawn into the conflict.

Have you ever heard the saying, the enemy of my enemy is my friend? That had to come from somewhere, and it's true.

But it isn't enough.

The US joined forces with the USSR during World War II to defeat the Axis powers. Yet both before and after the war, there existed a state of hostility between the two nations.

You can't have that in a romance, otherwise the reader won't believe in the Happily Ever After. And we as readers want to believe.

But how a writer takes us there is unique to them, and that's why everyone has a different favorite author, why the explosion of Indie writers is a great time to find new favorites and why I love my iPad.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Indie Publish or Traditional Publish why I chose Indie


How do you decide to change your life path when it comes to your writing?  Is it an easy decision?  Actually, after 20 years of rejections, it was a very easy decision.  When my friend, Michele Callahan, told me I could publish with her, I had no idea what she was talking about.  I’d never heard of self publishing and knew nothing about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. 

I had a Kindle, had only gotten it a few months before so I was still in the throes of new love with it.  All these books I could get.  I thought they were all put out by regular, traditional publishers, as I found some of my favorites that I could buy for it.  And buy I did.  I hadn’t discovered freebies yet.  Then my brother told me about all the free classics you could download.  When I put “free” into the search line, it brought up a lot more than just the classics.  It brought up all kinds of books of all varieties.  It was a great way to try new genres and new authors.

But I digress.  I tend to do that a lot.  Anyway, I prepared my manuscript, got an editor, did my own cover (not recommended by the way, get a professional cover done.  Your sales will show the difference) and put my book up there for the world to see.  I’ve since gotten the book re-edited and a new cover.  The sales increased 10 fold with the new cover.

Would I ever go back and publish with a traditional publisher?  Probably, if they offered me a good enough deal.  Would I take the deal they usually offer a new or midlist author?  NO WAY!!  I’ve made twenty times more money than the usual advance and I’m still making money.  My books will be available forever if I choose them to be.  That doesn’t happen with a traditional publisher.  They are available a few months at the very best, unless you are a big time author like Nora Roberts.

So, my recommendation to all of you out there who are contemplating self-publishing is to go for it.  You won’t regret your decision.
Monday, January 21, 2013

A good story transcends genres - by Vijaya Schartz


Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, even Mystery and History... in my experience, all these elements can mix fabulously. As a writer, whether I research the future, the past, the myths, or the legends, it always leads to a dramatic story of love, hatred, passions, violence, adventure, discovery, plot twists and intriguing mysteries. Of course, the good guys win in the end, and the lovers get their happily ever after (sometimes literally forever). But the road to their happy ending is fraught with trials. Their love, their convictions, their bravery will be put to the most rigorous test, before they can get their rewards.

That’s probably why I write across the genres, without regard for conventions. It got me in trouble many times over the years. It probably barred me from traditional publishers earlier in my career, when I started shopping around my books.


Many an agent told me they loved my story and the way I write, but I should consider a more traditional kind of story in order to get published in the major leagues. I heard them, I understood them, yet I could not agree. I could not imagine limiting my creative mind to writing only what they wanted at the time. Traditional publishers are stuck in the past. They believe what worked before will work forever. They think they know the market because they have teams of marketing experts, but let’s be honest. No one predicted Harry Potter, or the Twilight series would become mega-sellers and blockbuster movies.

So I politely said: "No, thank you. I will keep writing what I enjoy." It’s my life after all, and the choice is mine.

I write all day. It’s my passion. And if I cannot write the stories I like, then what’s the point? I write the stories I like to read, stories that challenge as well as comfort the reader and the characters. I thank my fiercely loyal readers when they dare pick up one of my books that doesn’t quite fit their usual reading tendencies... just because I wrote it, and they liked every book of mine so far.

When I started writing, my true love was science Fiction, with lots of action and adventure. Then I discovered the extra dimension romance gave to my stories. Romantic conflicts sure can crank up the intensity and stir the characters in dramatic directions. So I wrote sci-fi romance. Then I expanded to include fantasy, historical legends, contemporary romantic suspense.

So I dare you, reader to try something of mine in a different genre, and tell me how you like it.
Find my books at AMAZON - B&N - ARE - Smashwords, Sony, Apple, and all other major formats.

Happy Reading.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Friday, January 18, 2013

Post-Non-Apocalypse Therapy


Apocalytic and Dystopian fiction has been a hugely popular in our post-modern culture, and the Mayan apocalypse was almost anticipated with glee.

Now that we found out the Mayans were wrong, it won't be long until we're nostalgic for the good old days of mass panic and destruction.

Luckily, Apocalytic and Dystopian fiction is still available on our shiny, non-scrap-metal e-readers and phones. Phew!

So indulge in a little Post-Non-Apocalypse Therapy and read a book. Amazon alone carries 3, 316 apocalypse themed books. A couple of us Starbound Lovers bloggers have apocalypse-specific reads for your perusal:


http://amzn.com/B0061Y7J94

Six months after an Influenza Pandemic swept across the globe, the world is starting to emerge from quarantine. But Pestilence Free Day is short-lived. For an unseen enemy has just been unleashed.

Five people. Seven days.

A brilliant scientist with an apocalyptic forecast

A soldier that needs an enemy to fight

A college student venturing into a changed world

An insurance salesman who exploits every opportunity

A juvenile delinquent desperate to leave his past behind

Redaction: Humanity is about to be erased from the Book of Life

http://amzn.com/B006OFBP5E

It's been said that a sure sign of the coming apocalypse is an 80s roller skate disco movie coming to DVD (with special features). In the science-fiction novel series Apocalypse Babes, a stylish group of twenty-something friends are torn from the Babylonian arms of 2006 West Hollywood and flung nearly thirty years into the past. It might be because one of them purchased the taboo film in a nostalgic moment, setting off a chain of events more disturbing than a roller skating conga line. They wake up in an apocalyptic but strangely familiar landscape, complete with a hidden mountain compound and retro survivalists, hinting at hidden and retro secrets they must face if they want to survive.

So grab your gas masks, MREs, and some apocalypse reads, and settle in for some pulse-pounding, chaotic storylines in lieu of the real thing.

For now. 


 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To go alone or miss out? That is the Question.

To start 2013 I've whittled my goals to exercise and write. But I also want to go out and experience more, even if that means doing it alone.  I like going out but prefer to join a group.  If I'm by myself, I tend to stay home - a different form of procrastination.  For example, I missed seeing The Dark Knight Rises in the movie theater because my schedule didn't work with any of my friends.  Instead of going when I had time by myself, I skipped it all together.  

We received a copy of the movie on DVD and I'm sorry I missed the theater experience. This year I'm working on getting over the 'fear' of doing things alone. To that end, I went to see the Jekyll and Hyde musical by myself. My husband hates musicals and refuses to go to any more of them. And for whatever reason, nothing panned out with a group outing.

This was not the best experience for my first trip alone but I did it and survived.  First problem, I had the wrong start time.  I thought it started at 2pm when in reality it started at 1pm.  The theatre did exchange my ticket for the night show...but that meant more driving...45 minutes one way.  I wasn't sure I would go back...but I'd spent the money and this is the chance to get over my fear.  So I did go back.  

It was an okay show.  The sound system needed tweaking so you didn't get blasted with white noise when the whole group hit their high notes together.  And I thought musicals used to have more sets than sticking up walls and projecting images on them. Not quite that bad but I thought the sets lacked substance.  And then I didn't exactly get the storyline.  I think they skipped a lot of development.  

I love Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Phantom of the Opera.  I can sit and listen to Trans Siberian Orchestra's Beethoven's Last Night.  I have absolutely no desire to hear or see this musical again. A lot of people talked about the songs before and during intermission. Listening to conversations...apparently some patrons sang along (fortunately not by me).  But I didn't get into the music - almost every song made me think of a different song.  

I stuck with my plan and I'm not giving up on musicals.  I want to see Mary Poppins when it comes to town.  But I hope my next outing alone is more enjoyable.

Do you venture out alone?  
Monday, January 14, 2013

My Big Fat Busy New Year


January is going full-on. I mean, that's expected because the Earth revolves around the Sun and days bleed into nights and on and on. But for me, January in full swing means I'm super-busy. I plan on making 2013 an even better year for writing than any year before.

I started by registering my own imprint. Why, you may ask (someone did ask)? Okay, I have reasons that go beyond, ooo, pretty graphic on the cover page of a book.

1) In Missouri, it's really easy to start a sole proprietorship. There's not a lot of paperwork involved, no need for a federal employer id number, and you don't have to apply for a line of credit. Makes tax work way easier.

2) It looks nice inside the book and on an ISBN registration.

3) It looks professional on a business card. (Note to self: update business cards)

So, you can see the logo there. And what's with the bug? And the fancy French? Demoiselle translated into little lady, more or less. But that's not why I wanted to use the word. I'm fascinated with dragonflies because of a Native American legend about how dragonflies carry messages from our world the the next. There's a mention of that in the third book in my series. While I was researching dragonfly species, I found out about a damselfly, which is a little smaller and they hold their wings differently. But they're known as colorful, predatory insects. I think we all know you have to be a little colorful and predatory to stand out in the publishing world. I loved it immediately. A little graphic perusing on a stock photo site, and I found that one. Boom. Logo.

Some people will argue that using an imprint name on self-published books is dupping readers into believe they're real books published by real houses. Let me stop you right there--it is a real book. We're real authors, whether we have the Big Six behind us, a little known e-publisher, or are self-published.

Aside from getting my imprint going, I've been participating in a program similar to NaNoWriMo to help finish up the fourth book in my series. It's been a loooooong process. After accidentally (but possibly subconsciously on purpose) deleting the first 70,000 words of it in November, I've been struggling to rewrite and take it in a different direction. Rewriting it has been a pain, but I know I'm better for it. It's not the first time I've rewritten a book. I'm closing the gap at almost 70,000 again. Just a little more to go and then it's back to editing.

This year will also bring me to the end of my 5 book series, Legends & Lovers. I have a plot in mind and character names in place for rounding off the last book. I even have a cover. Because I'm a procrastinator. And I figure if I buy the images and make the cover, I have to write the book. Maybe I should hire some big beefy guys to whack me on the kneecaps if this book falls through. One second thought . . . maybe not.

Argh. Might've taken a little too much
off the left side of my head. And, I
admit it, I made my arms a little skinnier.
One other thing I'm working on right now is raising money so I can go to the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City this May. I set up an Indiegogo page for my campaign, RTKC or Bust! It includes horrible Paint cropped pictures of me, so you'll want to check that out. If I don't raise all the money, I promised to donate half of what I earn to the Ozarks Literacy Council here in Missouri so others can learn to read and improve their reading. But if you donate, you have the option of picking a prize from me including e-books and signed artwork related to my series. I think it's kind of cool. If you can't donate, that's okay, because you can still help me spread the word through your social network sites.

When I'm not begging for money and blogging here, I'm at my own blog, Have Novel, Will Edit, on FacebookTwitter, and G+.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I've Nixed the New Year's Resolutions

This year I decided to skip the whole New Year Resolution thing. Since I've never managed to keep any of my previous resolutions for more than a week or two, I figured why bother to even make them. Making a resolution then breaking it just makes me feel bad about myself and there's enough in this world that already does this. I certainly don't need to set myself up to fail.

Instead this year I've decided to set myself some goals, things I want to accomplish. One of my goals is modest, realistic and under my control. I want to finish writing several of my works in progress that have been languishing for far too long. If I apply myself this goal is within the realm of possibility, unlike my resolutions to exercise everyday, lose weight, and write 5,000 words a day.

Some of my other goals are more complex, difficult and will probably conflict with my ability to reach my more reasonable goal. Hubby wants to retire in 2013 and we'll be relocating to Florida.

And then there are the goals that are more dreams than goals and totally outside my control - I want to become a rich, famous, bestselling author. Okay, part of that goal is up to me, I have to write the book.

Sigh. Seems like accomplishing the goals I'm setting for myself are going to be as hard to handle as those old pesky New Year's resolutions.

So what kind of resolutions - goals have you set yourself for 2013?




Friday, January 4, 2013

Marking Time


Time is a funny thing. Most of us think of it as a fixed thing much like the number two. We mark our age, anniversaries and periods of time by events and look back to reminisce.

But when humanity leaves its little blue marble and joins the galactic community, our notion of time is going to come up against something much harder than the light barrier. It's going to come up against what's ingrained in our minds. 

Let's face it, time on Earth is measured by divisions on Earth. A year is the time it takes for the Earth to travel once around the sun. A day is one revolution on Earth's axis. Hours, minutes and seconds are divisions of that day, randomly chosen by someone at sometime because they made a kind of sense.

And while we might think easy-peasy right? We're not all on the same calendar. Most of the West consider this 2013, the Chinese could consider it 4710, 4711 or 4650 when it starts on February 9th or you could say we're still in the Year of the Dragon heading toward the tiger. The Mayan long calendar just ended so that could be year zero in some other deity's year. And the Arabic calendar considers this to be 1434.

So even on the same planet we mark time differently.

Throw in some extraterrestrials with their own timetable and we're talking migraine coming on. 

That said, there will already be a time keeping system in place when we arrive fashionably late to the party and I'm betting that the earliest, most spread around the galaxy will also be the one that at some point was tied to commerce. If you're edging your way into intergalactic markets a smart business woman will want to march in step with her customer base.

As for the rest of us--we'll either find our lifespan expanded in the new year measurement or shortened. Either way, there's a New Year's Eve Party in the future.

Happy New Year!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Excerpt from The Swords of Gregara - Honora

I had no idea what to blog about today, so I'm giving you a sneak peek of my lastest release, The Swords of Gregara - Honora.  First the blurb:


They stole her love, her life and want to steal the secrets secured in her mind. Secrets that could topple world governments and decimate quadrant security forever.  Now she’s on an epic quest to find out why and make those responsible pay.

Honora Reyestat gave up everything to become a member of the esteemed Gregarian Guard.  No family, no friends, no connections--nothing that can ever be used against her.  Captured and enslaved, she's become a prized gladiator for her master.  Given the task of training a new slave, she recognizes a fellow Zolthor and the son of a tribal leader at that.  Her mission changes from discovery of the enemy's tactics and secrets to returning Joridan to his people.  

Drawn to this fierce woman as no other, Joridan Dolana tries to explain she is wrong.  He's not Zolthor, he's Centauri.  He was raised on Centauri with his sister.  Faced with proof of a father's ultimate betrayal, he must choose between revenge and the protection of this woman who has sworn to never return his love.

Now the excerpt:
“Oww” a woman’s voice awash with pain reached his ears.
“You disappoint me, Honora.  You continue to try to escape me.  When will you learn?” asked a whiney voiced man.
The whip struck flesh.  Again the woman moaned but didn’t scream.  She didn’t scream.
When he woke again he was not alone but the man with the whip was gone.  Chained across the room from him, hung by her wrists, was a woman.  He could see the lash marks on her back.  Lash upon lash, new over old.  They obstructed the beautiful tattoo of a dragon on her back.  The blood hard to see within the red of the dragon.
Crawling to her he released her hands from the chains holding her up.  She collapsed in a heap on the floor.  He crawled back to his side of the room as darkness overtook him once more.

*****

The dried blood on her back cracked with each movement, but she worked through the pain as she stretched.  Breathed deep and accepted the pain.  Her sword weighed heavier in her hand than usual.  More evidence of the lashing two nights ago.  She looked down at the unconscious man at her feet.  A new recruit.  A Zolthor,  like herself.  Another reason Perdor punished her for her attempted escape, her sixth try in as many months.
This last punishment was the worst.  Five lashes.  Not enough to incapacitate her but enough to make her remember.  Perdor wanted her to be able to train the new slave.  He wanted them to be a team, good enough to take on all contenders.  He’d be the only owner with two Zolthor fighting for him.  Not just one, but a team.  He was practically wetting himself in anticipation of the beras that he’ll win with a team of Zolthor fighters.
Again she looked down on the naked man.  Long brown lashes lay against his cheek.  A nice contrast to his golden blond hair.  What color eyes did they hide?  Blue?  Green?  Brown perhaps.  She’d find out soon enough. 
He was a beautiful man.  Well formed.  Broad shoulders.  Trim waist.  Long muscular legs.  He looked like a warrior.  Would be a good fighter.  Maybe even a good lover as he appeared well endowed there as well.  
He’d awakened from the drug induced sleep long enough to crawl over and release her from the chains.  For that she was grateful.  Her wrists didn’t hurt as much as usual because of him.  Using her blades was easier than it had been after her previous punishments.
Time to wake up the sleeping man and get him trained.  Time was short and she intended to make the most of it.  He would learn or he would die.

*****

“Abra dit, Zolthor.” 
Cold metal slapped his buttocks.  His naked buttocks.  What the hell?   
“Jūsų mokymas prasideda,” said the female voice in words he didn’t understand.
He swatted at the irritating object, sat up immediately, reeled from whatever drug they’d given him, and nearly fell back to the ground.  “My name is Joridan Dolana, tensign in the Centaurian Army. CA number 5551234”
“Oh, an Army man,” she scoffed speaking perfect Centauri.   “You look like a Zolthor, therefore you are a Zolthor.  I am Honora.  Your trainer.  I will teach you to use a sword.  So whether you are Zolthor or not, you will fight like one when I’m done with you.”
  “I’m not Zolthor.  You must know since you’re speaking Centauri.”
“I speak many languages.  You carry the tribal mark on your hip.  You are Zolthor.”
“That’s a birthmark.  My sister has one just like it and she looks nothing like me or you.  She has black hair and the clearest, most vibrant green eyes you’ve ever seen.”
“Exactly.  A tribal tattoo.  I have one as well.”  She pulled the waistband of her short pants down to reveal the mark.  A small crescent moon on her hip.  “They are given to every Zolthor at birth.  You say she has clear green eyes, like a jewel?  Answer me Joridan.  Are they like a jewel?  Do they slant up on the ends?”
“Yes, Why?”  He looked down at her hip and then at his, not believing what he saw.  They were the same marks, same orange color.  Gram told them it was a birth mark that every family member had one.  She’d even showed them hers to prove it.  She’d lied.  “Even if what you say is true, I am still Centaurian, not Zolthor.  I know nothing about you or your people.  They mean nothing to me.”
“No reason.”  She knew of only one person who had eyes the color he described.  So clear a green, they pierced you with their brilliance.  She looked down at the man she now believed to be his son.  A Valmud’s son.  “It matters not whether you believe it.  Perdor believes it and he wants you trained.”
“Water.  I need water,” he said. The ground cold on his naked buttocks.  
The woman, whatever her name was, handed him a metal cup filled with a brownish liquid.  He drank it, needing it regardless of its unappetizing color. Now he remembered what she said.  Honora.  But who was she?  For that matter, where was he?
He looked around him and saw only a small room, with two openings.  Where there should have been doors instead were just empty archways in the walls, one leading outside the building and one to the inside.  Coming from the outside was the din of metal hitting metal yet he saw no one.
“Tell me where I am,” he commanded over the sounds.  “What is that noise?”
“You’re on Gregara.  You’re now a slave owned by Perdor, Valmud of the Tokina tribe.  That noise is gladiators training.  They are in the yard next to this one.  You will not see them yet.”
“I am no man’s slave.”


Who We Are

This tells about us.

Followers