November 18, 2014

I'm a real writer now...and it feels like it, too!

As many of you know, because you're following me on various places around the internet, I've been writing in one form or another for most of my 40 years. It started waaaay back in elementary school and eventually turned into a full-fledged part-time career.

My first "published" novel was crap. I had a fun time writing it, but I had no idea what I was doing. When I got slammed with horrible reviews, I knew I needed help, so I found help within writer's groups and with writer friends. I didn't consider myself a real writer. Not even close.

The Lucky Series sold to Wild Child Publishing and I can honestly say working with Marci and my awesome editor has helped me become a better writer. The group of writers there are supportive and wonderful to work and network with as well. The first two books have sold well, but Romantic Suspense is a hard genre to break into for unknown authors. But at the very least, selling these books helped me to feel more like a writer than before.

The next sale I made was Wild and Wicked to Tease Publishing featuring Mason Storm and Veronica Chance. It was my first try at writing a novella, which eventually turned into three of them, but the company closed. Now I'm working on an anthology of all three coming out soon from Freya's Bower, sister company of Wild Child. :-) Okay, maybe I am a writer after all.

My next sale will be glossed over for various reasons.

The sale after that one is under a pen name. :-) If you want to know more, you'll have to send me an email or message. lol

Now, we move on to the Tiva Boon dyad. If you don't know the story behind Tiva getting publishing here's a good starting point - CLICK ME! It was the second story I finished writing back in the early 2000s (seriously), but only recently found its proper home at Crushing Hearts. Yet another awesome small pub with rock star authors and a kick ass marketing and creative team.

Well, I had this book finished before Hunger Games, Twilight, and all the other YA Books of late. I made the mistake of thinking the violence in Tiva's world was too much for the young adult crowd. Spoiler alert (highlight to read- she slashes a guy from stomach to throat at the age of 16.- (end spoiler) Apparently, it's not so violent anymore. So, when I got the rights back for the second time, I decided to try Upper YA/New Adult as a sub category within the SciFi-Fantasy. It worked, I found the right placement for Tiva and with the response and sale I'm seeing now, I really do feel like a writer now.

No, it's not about the money, though it has helped, it's the fact that complete strangers, in different countries, are reading my books. With the recent explosion of the YA/NA genre, and the added bonus of older adult women devouring the genre, I've found myself in a very interesting spot. The "SaleWhichWillNotBeNamedButYouCanProbablyFigureOut" has been selling, on it's own, simply because it's also a Science Fiction novel. Lucky's Charm and Lucky's Break are also selling with little advertising from me right now (I'm gearing up for another sale, stay tuned). I'm getting real reviews from people who love it and hate all my books! Okay, no one has said they hated anything yet, but I have a couple 1 Stars on Goodeads and 2 Stars on Amazon. To me, that's just another indication that I'm a "real writer" now.

I'm not on the USA or NY Times Bestseller's list. I haven't hit #1 in any Amazon category lists, yet, and I'm a long way away from making the kind of money I'd need to make to quit working my day job, but I'm a writer. I'll always write. I guess I've always been a writer, but now it feels like it, too.


October 14, 2014

Jenn's MiniTV Recap #4

We're almost done with this years season premiers. A few left throughout October and a handful more when Mid-Season comes around. Let's see how it went! Possible spoilers this time!

In no particular order....

Revenge - I'm only still watching this show because I want to know what happens to Victoria. With Conrad out of the picture the show seems to have lost something. But now that David is back, I'm reinvested in Emily.

Selfie - Yes, I watched it. Yes, I knew it was loosely based on My Fair Lady. Yes, I'm a Whovian. Yes, I love John Cho. So how could I not watch this? First two episodes were cute. I chuckled a few times. I'm not digging Eliza's accent and think it would have been better is she talked like her normal self. If I get bored I may keep watching, but I rarely watch comedies these days.

Vampire Diaries - If we could get away without having Elena on this show, I would be a happy girl. I like every single one of her Doppelganger personalities more than Elena. I think I hate her even more now after the memory wipe. Damon is still hot, so that's worth it.

Originals - Klaus needs to just be evil. I don't like him when he's trying to be redeemable. Elijah is hot. He's really the main reason I watch this one.

Flash - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! It's fun, it's fast, it's got heart and a fantastic cast with great chemistry. I have nothing bad to say about this show...yet.

Arrow - Great season premier, probably my second fave over all this year. (I'll get to #1) I was shocked but not surprised by the last few mins of the episode, and I really, really, really, love Oliver and Felicity's chemistry. Shame it'll never happen.

Criminal Minds - I'm sure the new chick, yeah yeah, JLH will grow on me. I just don't like when the writers force us to like them by making them buddy buddy with someone on the show so quickly. It never happens like that. lol

The Walking Dead - Best season opener ever! I don't think I've liked any other season premier more than I did this one, seriously, ever. I hope the rest of the episodes keep this awesome momentum going. Wow! And Carol! I love that woman.

What about you? What did you watch and love or watch and hate? Any new shows on your Must See  list now?



October 11, 2014

Author Spotlight & Giveaway - LaQuette



Heart “Mac” MacKenzie is a tough police lieutenant in the NYPD servicing the rough streets of Brooklyn, New York. She’s a strong leader who doesn’t mind getting in the trenches with the men and women she leads at the seventy-fourth precinct. Her house, her people, and her family—both blue and blood—are the only things that matter. She would live and die for the blue wall that shields her from a traumatic past.

When her captain assigns her a high-profile kidnapping case that she doesn’t want, and insists she allows the missing girl’s irritatingly sexy uncle to tag along during the investigation, her blood boils. Mac has no choice but to do what she always does when things get out of control, lay down the law—her law.

Kenneth Searlington is a rich playboy from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. With stunning looks and an unlimited source of wealth, he’s used to being the center of everyone’s attention, especially the women that he comes in contact with in high society. His life is fun and carefree until his niece, Merridith is kidnapped, and he’s forced to seek out the help of his godfather an NYPD police captain, David Porter.

Afraid and frustrated, Kenneth defers to his uncle’s expertise and his promise that he’s putting his best cop on the case, Lieutenant MacKenzie. When Kenneth discovers “Mac” is actually a sexy as sin lady cop with a fiery temper to match, he decides mixing a little business with pleasure might be just the thing he needs to distract him from long-standing family issues that are trying to crawl their way back into the forefront of his life.

Each used to having their own way, can these two work together long enough to bring an innocent child home? Or will they settle their differences and unyielding attraction in a more carnal way and get right down to the heart of the matter?

Excerpt:
Kenneth watched Heart climb the stairs two at a time. She went into what had now become their bedroom and headed straight for the walk-in closet. He heard the keypad beeps from the gun safe as she dialed in the combination code.
He felt a slight sense of relief. Heart was silent-angry. That was never a good thing. At least if she was this mad and her weapons were locked away, he stood a chance of surviving to see the next day.
She re-entered the bedroom and walked directly past him. He heard her quick footsteps run down the stairs. He followed, saw her head for the basement door, and disappear into the lower level of the house.
He walked downstairs to find her standing in the middle of the gym with her arms crossed against the expanse of her heaving chest.
“Baby, I…” She put up her hand and stopped his words. She turned toward the stereo, turned it on, and fiddled with the dials until he heard Maxwell’s “Bad Habit” pouring from the speakers.
It was late and she had the sound turned up on damn. Fortunately for their neighbors, the basement was soundproofed. When the house was built, the original owner had wanted a place in the house where he could make as much noise as he wanted without disturbing the neighbors. By the looks of it, Heart planned to benefit from that fact. He wasn’t quite sure if he was going to benefit from it or not yet.
“What’s with the music being so loud?” He yelled over the driving base.
“I want to make sure that the neighbors don’t hear you scream,” she said, face straight, muscles tightening in her arms as she squeezed her hands into tight fists.”
“Shit,” was all he could say. He knew he was in trouble now.
She rushed him…that was the only way to explain how she was standing across from him one moment, and sitting on top of him the next. In a matter of seconds he was on the floor; face up, with her sitting on top of him.
“Heart, this is not funny. Get up so we can talk.”
She didn’t move, didn’t even make a sound. She just looked at him, through him with sharp brown eyes cutting into his soul. His hands had somehow ended up near his head when he fell. He went to pull them down and felt resistance. He tried to move them again and heard a metal clinking sound above his head. He moved his head around until he could see the shiny glint of handcuffs. She’d cuffed him to the weight machine they’d landed in front of when she’d taken him to the floor. This was the very same weight machine that was bolted to the floor and immovable.
“Heart, this isn’t funny. What are you doing? Why did you cuff me?”
Her face was still tight with anger, her body stiff and poised for attack.
“Kenneth, do you know that I hate watching you get dressed. I hate it because I hate that anything else in this world gets to touch your beautiful alabaster skin as closely as I do. I want to be the only thing draped over you so intimately. Not the fine garments you wear, and certainly not that bitch, Faith.”
He watched her pull something from her back pocket. At first it looked like a heavy handle, but with a flick of her wrist, it became a knife.
“Heart?”
She ran the dull side of the knife across his lips and said, “Ssssh.”
He swallowed carefully as he watched her remove the knife from his lips and slice the sharp side down the length of his shirt, causing the two sides to peel away from his body like water.
She continued the slide of the blade through his pants until he was lying beneath her naked and at her mercy.
“I’m an only child, Kenneth. I never really learned how to share. I’ll be damned if I’m going to share you. So hear me now. If you want that bitch, be with that bitch, and leave me the fuck alone. But if here is where you want to be, keep that bitch, and any other out of your face. I. Don’t. Play. That. Shit.”
He nodded his head quickly. He knew he hadn’t perpetrated that kiss with Faith, but him lying naked beneath her while she had a sharp blade dancing between her fingers didn’t seem the most appropriate time to point out whose fault this entire fallout was.
She brought down the hand holding the knife with a hard and fast stabbing motion. He flinched, anticipating pain, but realized soon that there was no pain. She hadn’t stabbed him. He turned his head slightly to the side and saw the shiny blade next to him, sticking out of the floor.
Heart grabbed him by his chin and allowed one word to slip through her tightly ground jaw, “Mine!”
She slammed her mouth down on his and kissed him hard, sharp teeth biting into his flesh. His skin rent and he tasted the bitter metallic tang of blood. He should have been pissed, he really should have felt afraid, after all, this woman had rendered him helpless and brandished a weapon in front of him. He was shaking, his heart was pounding, and his breath was coming out in rapid tufts of air from his heaving chest. But surprisingly, there was no fear only…interest.
His dick jumped beneath her. He was handcuffed with a knife sticking out of the floor next to his head and he was so turned on his dick could cut granite.
What the fuck is wrong with me?


A native of Brooklyn, New York, LaQuette spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator. Writing: her escape from everyday madness has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she'd forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic.


She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on FacebookTwitter, her websiteAmazon, and her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge.

October 9, 2014

The Sin of Procrastination by Irene Peterson

                The Sin of Procrastination

I’ve started this post twice already. Had to stop to put a load of wash in the dryer and make supper,
but here I am, back at the computer and rarin’ to go.

Let me say this first. A writer should not procrastinate. Every thought left hanging in the air is bound to get lost unless one is careful to make notes.  Except when it’s midnight and you’re really sleepy.  Then, instead of getting up and writing down that fabulous idea, you put it off until morning, when, of course, it will be gone.

I speak from personal experience, of course.  I can’t tell you how many great ideas I’ve lost, but then, we’re all pretty much guilty of putting off things.

Six years ago I started a book about a widow who goes to the seashore during the very end of World War II.  Of course, I went gangbusters and polished off six chapters immediately.  I had lots of notes and did months of research since I couldn’t write about the war personally, missing it by three years. I even traveled to the seashore to note the color of the ocean, went to two museums and gleaned all the facts and interesting war anecdotes I could.  The notes piled up.

Then, I got sick.  I mean seriously sick and this great idea got put on the back burner.  For five years. It burned in my brain, of course, along with other chemical nastiness, but while I did write some weird stories based on my pharmacologically induced dreams, I did not touch the WWII book.

My friends kept bugging me to work on it.  So, occasionally to shut them up, I’d write a scene that I felt would really get them going.  Unfortunately, these scenes were just as I thought them up, not in order…those first six chapters were never really continued.  But I had progressed, in a backwards sort of way.

To my credit, I created a timeline. It took me days to write, because the story was now jumbled up and random.  Stirring scenes, but they went nowhere. My therapy was done and my hair grew back and, though I knew the illness could come back at any time, I started to get back into life.
However, about this same time, I got the idea that, if I should finish the story, I would die.  Dorian Gray’s portrait, sort of. Only in my case, the never-ending now four year old story was my picture in the attic.

My friends started bugging me in earnest to finish the story.  My mother wanted me to finish it.  I wanted to finish it, but I would find any excuse not to work on the story.  It was all in my head, I would proclaim. I can finish it at any time.  But I didn’t.  Instead, I wrote two other novels and two novellas, but those poor characters stuck at the seashore at the very end of the war stayed where they were.

Then Facebook happened.  What a great way to waste hours and stay in touch with hundreds of lovely people I didn’t really know.  And their cats. So easy to sit at the computer, look over those sections of the story I had, glance at my copious notes and think…and look at cats and respond to writers who were selling their books and posting clever cartoons.  Mostly about cats.

So, this story has been in the works for six years or more.  Two weeks ago, I made a vow to myself to finish the story before the New Year.  Even though my house underwent the complete destruction of two rooms, I have tried to write a few thousand words every few days.  I have absolutely no idea how many words I have already or even if they will fit in the timeline. Facebook continues to lure me away and domestic duties keep me from writing every day, but I have put things off long enough. World War II took less time than this book. I have made a grievous mistake writing the way I have, but I do expect the timeline to redeem me.

Procrastination is a deadly sin for a writer. What should have taken me four months has taken far too much time.

But, I did manage to write the novellas and they’re pretty good, even if I do say so myself. Dead Dreams and Dead Meat are unvampire stories.  The hero is a man whose job it is to eradicate vamps.  You’ll like him.  Of course, the third episode of this intended trilogy has yet to be written, but I’ve got copious notes for it and some day, after I finish the war story, I'll get around to writing it.

Irene Peterson is a women's fiction author from central New Jersey. She is a freelance editor, anglophile, and Godzilla fan. A graduate of Montclair State College, she never wanted to be a teacher, always dreaming of being a published author instead. So she taught for a couple of years. And she wrote poems, short stories, touching subjects ranging from science fiction to fantasy to romance.

She has vowed that nothing will keep her from writing, not even two bouts with cancer. But sometimes, real life does intrude.

Visit her at her website: http://www.irenepeterson.com

Buy her latest release Dead Meat on Amazon now! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NR06JH8

October 7, 2014

Teaser Tuesday with Katie Thornton!

Today's Teaser Tuesday comes from author Katie Thornton!

Enjoy & Comment!

The Lands of Ayrenia was once a place that flourished with Magic until the Cataclysm, an event that eradicated all Magic. Three hundred years have passed since, and the gods seek a way to bring Magic back into the dying world. They choose Braelyn, a young girl, who is captured by pirates and sold as a slave to a gladiator house. Born to a warrior clan, Braelyn uses the skills her father taught her to rise in the ranks as a gladiator in order to earn her freedom. If she survives, the gods have great plans for her.


EXCERPT: 

The next few days were quiet in the village on the coast, with a few visitors to the Inn and very good catches at sea. There was rain one evening, followed by very thick fog that came rolling off of the ocean and settled over the village. The fog was still there in the morning, making it difficult for the children to concentrate with the sword practice.

            “Let us go down to the beach,” Braelyn told the children. They laughed as they made their way carefully down to the beach. Some of them chose to play around in the water but the rest chose to build sand houses. Braelyn was in the water for a bit, until she thought she heard what sounded like an oar dipping into the water. She turned to face the ocean but could only just see a few feet before her.
            “Out of the water,” she whispered to her friends, waving her arms to get their attention. They quickly did as she said and they all waited nervously on the beach watching the water. Beyond the barrier of pointed logs twenty feet out they could just barely see the outline of the barrier itself.
            Braelyn focused on the water, listening. Then she heard the unmistakable sound of oars in the water and men cursing.
            “Go alert the village,” she whispered to her friends. “Jack and Jon, go. Be quick.” She watched as the two boys ran off up the beach. “Meg and Ryan, go to the docks quickly!” Those two left at a run as well. To the remaining four she told them to head for the blacksmiths where there were weapons that would need to be passed out and most likely used.
            “What about you?” one of the girls her age asked her as she turned to go.
            “I will stay here.” Braelyn pulled a dagger from her boot and ushered her on. The girl ran as Braelyn went over to a sand dune to hide behind.
            She did not have to wait long till she heard a scream from the water where someone had met badly with a pointed log. Braelyn heard curses and then someone said, “This village is more prepar’d for water ‘tacks than them other ones.”
            “Quiet, you lout! Sound carries in the fog!”
            Braelyn rolled her eyes at the incompetence of the pirates as she noticed that the fog was thinning. She could finally see the longboat that the pirates were in on the other side of the barrier, and there was a man literally stuck on the point of one of the logs. Blood dripped down into the ocean as the man squirmed in death throes, only sinking himself deeper onto the log.
            Braelyn heard shouting from the location of the dock and then heard the crash of the dock falling apart.
            “Something’s happened to our ship!” one of the men in the longboat exclaimed. “This village is not like any of the others.”
            “Just ‘cause they’re ready for us doesn’t mean we can’t take ‘em,” another man said.
            She heard the creak of logs being moved by hand and she turned back to the ocean. There were men in the water moving the logs to allow the longboat and another behind it full of men through. Twenty pirates came onto the beach and headed up the path to the village. Braelyn followed through the long grass just behind them.
            She heard shouting up ahead and then saw many of the pirates stagger back with arrows in their chests. The other pirates drew bastard swords and advanced only to be met with the steel of the villagers. The blacksmith was among the villagers and he fought with his giant hammer, smashing in heads and breaking arms that came near him.
            “Back to the beach!” one of the pirates yelled out when he noticed fire from near the dock that he realized was their ship. A bell tolled on the ship which seemed to signal that they indeed needed to retreat so they took off at a run. Braelyn headed back down to the beach along with them, but when she reached the beach she was ahead of them and she did not hide in time.
            “Well, lookie here.” One of the pirates saw her as she tried to duck down behind a dune. “A villager brat!”
            “Might as well get one, than none,” another said as they advanced on her. One of them reached out to grab her but her dagger flashed in her hand and cut off a couple of the man’s fingers. He screamed in pain and fell backward as she slashed at another who jumped back and into the other man who pulled him down with him. Some of the other pirates came to their comrades’ aid and surrounded her whilst the others rushed to the longboats.
            The pirates yelled curses at her as she warded them off with her dagger. She caught flesh a few times, and punched quite a few where it counted. There was an opening in the circle that she took advantage of; she thought she was clear of them when someone grabbed her hair and yanked her back. She let out a yelp as he pulled her up by the hair and then cursed as someone yanked her dagger out of her hand.
            “Hurry it up!” a pirate from the longboat yelled to them. “There are people coming to the beach and the ship is waiting!”
            “You have caused quite some trouble, girlie,” the pirate holding her hair told her as he shook her roughly. “You should have stayed hidden, ‘cause you’re gonna be in the Shadows soon.”
            Someone tied her hands and ankles quickly, and then she was thrown over someone’s shoulder before they headed for the longboats. Braelyn heard yelling from the beach as she was thrown into the longboat, and she looked up to see villagers coming after them, yelling her name. She kicked and wriggled out of the ties on her hands and punched one pirate in the nose as hard as she could, hearing the sickening sound of the nose breaking. The man fell over the side of the longboat and did not attempt to get back up: cartilage from his nose had gone into his brain killing him.
            Braelyn grabbed hold of another pirate’s bastard sword and pulled it from its sheath in one swift move before disemboweling the very pirate the sword belonged to and pushing the man into the water. She turned on the other pirates but was not quick enough to avoid the blow to her head that knocked her out. She sank down amongst the viscera from the last man she had killed, and she knew nothing else but darkness for quite some time.




Katie grew up with a love of reading, and started writing in her early teens. By the time she was done high school she had written a novel. She went to Wilfrid Laurier University in the Archaeology program to become a Medieval Archaeologist. The knowledge she gained about the Classical and Medieval world she used to incorporate into her writing. She lives in a small town in the township of Howick, the County of Huron, Ontario, Canada. She is very happily married to her amazing and loving husband Jason. She has an adorable son Daniel, with another child on the way. They have two cats, Orion and Andromeda.

She loves reading and writing, and getting her feet dirty. She hates the cold, worships the sun, and likes sundresses. She likes all animals. She loves life, and is looking forward to the future.

Fantasy novels is what she enjoys most, in what she reads, and writes. It's an escape. All of her heroine's have a part of her in them. She created the Lands of Ayrenia to be a Magical world, where anything can happen. Keeps you on your toes. Wanting more.