Saturday, May 23, 2015

Facebook Shut-Out Update

At the end of February this year, in the wee hours of the morning while I was breastfeeding my then six-month-old daughter, I was skimming through my Facebook feed to pass the time. I saw the usual posts from my friends about what they were doing, where they were and who with, but I also saw innumerable posts from authors that I follow via my personal page bragging about how good they were, and how their book is ranked number one and how now they are an “Amazon Bestselling Author.”

It was one particular post that finally made me snap, though. I posted about this on the 28th February (click here to read it). I actually wrote the post on my phone at four in the morning. FOUR O’CLOCK in the MORNING. I was so worked up that I posted on my blog at FOUR O’CLOCK when I should have been sleeping because I’d already been up half a dozen times with my daughter that night! Even thinking about it now makes me crazy.

I did have a couple of options to decrease the crazy. I could have simply unfollowed the author who was unashamedly boasting about their greatness, or I could have stopped looking at Facebook all together. I chose to do the latter. I uninstalled the app on my phone. I deleted the bookmarked page on my PC, and I have been blissfully ignorant to the world for the past three months.

I will just say that I do attend to my author page a couple of times a week, but I don’t spend more than five minutes on there at any time.

So what has all of this gotten me? To begin with…

1)      I wrote a 65,000 word novel in two months.

2)      I started with a 28,000 word novel at the start of this month and added 20,000 words to it. This may not sound like a lot, but I’ve got a nine-month-old baby at home who only gives me up to 2 hours of free time during the day to work.

After my husband gets home, I have to cook dinner, bathe the bub and put her to bed. That leaves me with approximately two and a half hours to work per night. You may ask why I don’t work longer? There are lots of reasons, but I think the main one is that I believe I should be going to bed when my husband does. It’s something simple, but I don’t ever want to feel detached from his life. If I can do that one simple thing, we can both rest easy that the other is sleeping peacefully beside us.

And I don’t just write in the evenings. I have a blog to maintain, a Twitter and Facebook page to update and then I might do some proofreading or editing work along with some formatting work, or maybe a little graphic design work with Photoshop. Sometimes I spend hours updating my website, or sending out newsletter to my subscribers.

3)      My focus on writing has increased exponentially.

4)      I don’t worry about what other authors are doing. I’m not longer comparing myself to them and their achievements. I’m no longer trying to measure up to them and their ridiculous word count goals. I have a word count goal. It’s not impressive, but it’s something that I try to achieve each day. One thousand words a day. It could translate to 30,000 a month—that’s 60,000 in two months, or 90,000 in three. That’s a book, and all it takes is focus and dedication.  

I have no doubt that I’m not the only woman out there juggling it all. Nor am I the first author to be doing everything that I am in order to get words on a page. I think what I’ve achieved just proves that doing what you’re capable of doing—no matter how big or small—can get results. It also proves what a waste of time Facebook is. Do I regret turning off and tuning out? Not at all. I feel like I have my life back again. My focus is on what’s important—my husband, my daughter, my writing—and in the end all of those things are what really matter.

After all, who cares if you’ve got one thousand likes, or whether you’re in the top ten free list on Amazon. Some things in life are simply more important.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Half Blood: Chapter Six


“What do you want?” Indi demanded, still keeping a safe distance away. When the guy didn’t answer, she tried again. “How did you know this was where I lived?”

“Oh, Kitten, you didn’t think I’d give up so easily, did you?” Mr. Wright, the prick from the cafe, was sporting two partial black eyes and a swollen, misshapen nose. Indi couldn’t take credit for how he’d brained himself on the table, but she had helped him on his way and that made her smile. 

“What. Do. You. Want?” she repeated in a hiss.

Running a finger across his chin in thought, his top lip curled up into a sneer and he said, “I want to teach you a lesson.”

She laughed derisively. “If it’s about how I shouldn’t beat the shit out of people when they touch me, you’re wasting your time. That ship hasn’t just sailed. It’s sunk.”

He pushed himself off the wall. There was a snick and when he uncrossed his arms there was a small switchblade in his left hand. “Now, you’re going to play nice, Kitten, or I’ll be sure to cut you up a little to remind you what happens when you don’t do as you’re told.” The blade flashed in the little streetlight available as he twisted it menacingly from side to side. 

“And if I don’t?” she asked boldly, raising her chin a fraction. She’d been threatened with knives before so she was strolling through achingly familiar territory.

“And if you don’t,” he replied teasingly, “it’s nothing a bullet can’t help.” He opened up his jacket and revealed a holstered gun on his right hip. Oh. That’s why he was so damn confident. He tapped it with the tip of the knife––a metallic sound pealing around them. 

Indi swallowed thickly. As if the sight of the weapon was a signal to her body, her pulse began racing again––pumping around the much-needed adrenalin. It cleared her head, allowing her to think through her options properly. 

Indi wasn’t in the habit of running from a fight, but she knew when she was beaten. If it was between a gun and a knife, then the loud, bullet-operated thing would win every time. 

One point for run. 

She knew from the cafe that he was a south paw. If he wanted to draw the gun, he’d have to drop the knife first, unless he just also happened to be ambidextrous…which she was suddenly praying he was not. She was sure she could get her blade out of the holster before he could reach for the gun though. Her reflexes had always been good.

One point for fight.

Factor number three: he had at least fifty pounds on her. If he pinned her, she’d be dead––plain and simple.

Two points for run.

Indi glanced around at the buildings. They were all very well sound-proofed thanks to the flight path they were living under. Nobody would hear the fight between them, which meant that if she had to resort to screaming for help nobody would hear her.

Three points for run.

Madness bubbled in his dark gaze as she met his eyes again. Rage, greed, lust and revenge were the fuel to the fire that lit him up from the inside. And that was the deciding factor. 

Four points to one. She ran. 

Taking off in the opposite direction to that she’d come from, her lighter frame and longer legs carried her a lot faster than his could. She rounded the corner, noting that the alleyway to her left was the one that ran behind her building. She knew it was a dead-end, but maybe she would be able to find a fire escape left down at random. If she couldn’t find a way out, she’d have to hide and launch a surprise attack. She’d done it before, and there was a lot to be said about the element of surprise. 

Her footsteps echoed all around her, amplified by the brick walls soaring up on either side of her like the walls of a prison. Her breath caught in her throat when she heard his footsteps stop. After some frantic searching and no fire escape later, Indi dove behind one of the dumpsters and waited for her opportunity. If this guy had half a brain, he would know that was where she was hiding, especially since she was panting so hard. Forcing her breathing to slow, she held her breath and waited.

A few seconds later, his footsteps sounded like gun shots booming through the alleyway. “Kitten, I know you’re hiding back here,” he called. The sound of his steps competed with his words, making it difficult for her to pinpoint exactly where he was. “Where are you?” he called in a sing-song voice.

Indi shifted her right leg forward, being careful not to make a sound, and pulled her knife from its sheath. She took comfort in the feeling of the blade in her hand. Taking a deep breath in, Indi retreated in on herself to find that place that was quiet and cold. This was her angry place––her safe place. She removed her fear completely, replacing it with her perpetually-raging anger. 

Grit crunched under Mr. Wright’s shoes, edging him closer to her and farther into the alleyway. With the blade out and ready, Indi let go of her held breath and felt complete calm sluice over her head, across her shoulders and down her back. 

“If you just come out here, Kitten, I’ll take it easy on you. I promise.”

Indi rotated her neck until every vertebra cracked individually. There was no need for stealth now. He knew exactly where she was. He was just playing with her. His shuffling footsteps ended around the corner of the dumpster, no more than a foot away from her. He was so close that she could hear him breathing. She steeled herself, ready to lunge, and a trickle of anticipation burned through her body.

One more step, she thought. 

One more step and then I attack. 

One more step...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Author Spotlight: Rachel Rivers

Rachel Rivers is a paranormal erotic romance author from Knoxville, TN. Her first novel, Embracing Betrayal, finaled in the paranormal category of the Laurie, Montana Strong, and the Maggies. 

She lives with her smart, smoking hot husband in an historic home in a quaint neighborhood. Her day job consists of strapping on a bulletproof vest and Sig Sauer P220 as she protects and serves the citizens in her neck of the woods. She spends her down time gardening, practicing yoga and spending time in nature, especially the Smoky Mountains. 

Where to find Rachel...

Mahaela Cremo, a private security consultant by day and hereditary Hunter by trade, has proven she doesn’t need a man to protect her. Hell, she’s been hunting the dark forces that prey on the citizens of modern day Knoxville since she was a teen. Yet when she’s attacked by an unknown evil she can’t defeat, she knows she must ask for help. She also knows the only person who can help her is the man who left her broken.

Noah Jackson has never stopped loving Mahaela, but as a member of an elite group of Hunters, he’s forbidden from being with her. He’s given in – until now. Now the evil that attacked her is forcing him to choose between risking her wrath or watching her die.

Can Noah and Mahaela come together and embrace their past or will their unresolved betrayals destroy their future?

Where to find "Embracing Betrayal" 

For other formats, visit Secret Cravings Publishing 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Bookish Escape: Book Review: Dark Desire (Dark #2) by Lauren Dawes...
*Taken from 'A Bookish Escape' book blog*

The time of Odin is over. The Aesir gods now live among the humans in their bustling modern cities. Their brutal dominion over the other gods and their eradication of the entire dark elf race may have ended, but their actions have not been forgotten.

With the death of Adrian still haunting Taer’s every waking breath, she dreams of getting revenge on the dark elf responsible for her brother’s murder. But when the one person she’s depending on to train her in the art of weaponry refuses to help, she has no other choice but to get instruction from the most unlikely of people. Driven by an undeniable desire, Taer finds herself learning more than just how to fight.

Eir, the goddess of healing, has had her spirit destroyed with the death of her twin at the hands of a deranged god. Still struggling with her loss, she is merely surviving each day. That is until a chance encounter with a human shows her that her broken heart can be mended in the simplest of ways.

Dreams Are Full of Dark and Terrible Things

Another hit! When I first read the synopsis to Dark Desire I wasn’t sure how I would like it because I fell in love with Korvain and Bryn. The good news is they were very much a part of this second installment. The bad news? Well, there isn’t any I was completely immersed in this installment from beginning to end. The focus was on Taer and Eir. These two suffered greatly in the first. Currently we follow Taer through her rage and determination to avenge her brother. Eir lost her sister in a horrific way and thus we follow her through the darkness of her grief. As much as I love Korvain and Bryn because these two really captured my heart, it was refreshing to focus on other characters. After everything that happened in the first book the second book was full of these wonderful characters moving on, adjusting and avenging. Each respective guy was absolutely delectable and perfect for the girls. I can’t wait for this series to continue I will for sure be following along with the events as they unfold.

arrion, sadistic and pure evil his days are numbered. Off into hiding for a time will not be enough to keep him safe forever. F-ing with the wrong Mare can bring dire consequences.
idan, his death is something that weighs heavily on Taer. Driven by a lust for revenge there isn’t anything she won’t do to make sure she reaches it.
emorse, Eir wishes things could be different but it seems her sister was destined to die and there was nothing anyone could do to change the outcome.
ind, Eir has always had a gentle heart love has always been her pulling force. Eir will surpass these dark times with an open heart.

esire, Taer will move heaven and earth to avenge her brother making sure the Mare responsible pays the ultimate price. The life of this being is inconsequential. Desire and revenge are the only things coursing through Taer’s body.
scape, Eir has been a nurse since the fall. Helping people has always been her calling now she needs to figure out how to help herself.
ingle, Loki has one wish one pull and he will do what it takes to see the all father dead by his hand.
rritating, Korvain wants to control each situation in his life but Taer and Eir have their own wishes and desires. Being controlled is not something they are used to therefore they will push against the grain all the while seeking what their hearts desire.
estrictions, Taer is unabashed in her pursuit of revenge allying herself with possible enemies is her only hope. Not wanting to ruin her chance at revenge she will take the necessary risks of trust to achieve her wishes.
vening, Eir has been through too much to let a simple misunderstanding interfere with what lays in her heart. Going after Mason feels right and Eir will no longer deny her feelings.

Gosh that ending was heart stopping in a very good way. So many things are left unanswered but it’s because we are set up nicely for the next book. All of the characters that I fell in love with in the first installment are there in the second. Seeing them develop was a bonus treat that was unexpected. Bravo! I cannot wait to continue with this series to see what happens. I will say Taer has skyrocketed to my favorites and I can’t wait to see more of her and Aubrey. Yikes those two are smoking! Dawes will captivate you with these books so get ready for an adventure full of anticipation and excitement with secrets and deceptions to boot.

My Rating
4.5 Shadows, Nightmares, Healing, Training, Dog, Shift, War Hammer, Dreams, Doors, Cancer, Hospital, Sushi, Fight, Sword, Doors, Ocean, Family, Passionate Redeemed filled Stars!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Author Spotlight: Elle Clouse

Elle has been writing fantasy and science fiction romance for years and an avid participant in the NaNoWriMo. Elle is happily married to a martial arts instructor, a mother of two small boys, and constantly talking her husband out of adopting a new pet. She knits and stamps in her spare time as well as feeds a latte addiction.

This or That?

 Vampire or Werewolf?

Romance or Erotica?

eBook or Paperback?

Wine or Chocolate?
Writing or Reading?

Where to find Elle...

What harm could come from impersonating royalty?
 After years on the road conning wealthy nobles out of their gold, Kiera is ready to give up her life of crime and return to her childhood home of Cearbhall. She’s got one last job in mind, one that will see her set for life. What harm could come from impersonating a country princess to marry a prince and live wealthily ever after? Except her childhood home is nothing like she remembered.

 The king has gone senile, his younger sons rule with terror, and the crown prince is missing. The prince she’s to wed is only interested in siring an heir, and her future brother-in-law wants to get into her skirts. Deciding the grifter’s life wasn’t so bad after all, Kiera plots her escape. Before she can steal away, she’s discovered and thrown into the dungeon with a crazed wolfborn to die.

Lachlan never thought that he’d see his childhood sweetheart once his wolfborn affliction set in.  Nor did he expect to ever see daylight. Imprisoned in the dungeon since adolescence, his brothers have usurped the throne and trail evil in their wake. When Kiera lands in the dungeon with him, he recovers his will to put things right. Kiera may not remember him, but he remembers her, and Lachlan vows to save her from his brothers and their schemes. 

Except Kiera wields a power unlike any other, and she doesn’t need saving. But the people of Cearbhall do. As Kiera and Lachlan fight the evil princes, they uncover a greater magic in the world around them, and a powerful magic between them that can’t be denied…

Where to find "Stealing the Wolf Prince"