WordPress and I had words

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There is something going hinky with wordpress and stopping me from blogging. I may have found a way around it so lets see how this goes. Not much has happened recently. I have a release on 18th November with Beachwalk press for a book im really excited about, Taming the Hunted.

I also just finished the second in the series and sent it to my editor (fingers crossed she likes it). I finished an entry to an anthology which is only about 5k short of what it needs to be (sigh). So things are moving along nicely. Next stop is a new laptop which i hope to get by years end because mine is seriously making me nervious… 

Battle Magic

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Ok WordPress is playing up so forgive the formatting, i tried my best.

Have you ever read reviews before a book? I have Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce in the mail and decided to see if it would live up to my dream. The reviews were mixed with most of the low scores being that they didnt find it lined up with the book that follows it. The curse of the prequel i guess. But they also raised an issue that bugs me. They commented that it was too dark for them because a kid gets tortured. This was raised with the Hunger Games too. Why is it that its ok for an adult to kill an adult but when its a kid killing a kid its too dark?? Death is death people. Plus its fiction…We arent actually going to battle children to the death for entertainment. Well at least not that i know of.

Frankly when i was a teenager i had the same concerns and morals as i do now. If i had killed someone as a kid it would be for the same reason i would do it now. Being a kid doesnt make crimes any less or greater than being an adult. Now if you tell me it was a three year old thats different. The same with torture, if a kid knows some information how is it different to an adult being tortured? Its still a horrible act no matter what the age but frankly this isnt real life, its a book, its made up, its not real, no one is actually being tortured. The same with movies, its a movie! Its not real life, yes they can torture and kill people and its bad but you have to remember, its a movie so get off your high horse and if you dont want to see it, dont watch the movie!

So frankly if thats peoples only hang up about this book then im keen to read it. Anyone else have a pet peeve?

New ‘City of Heavenly Fire’ snippet: ‘Clary…meet Tessa Gray’

TMI Source

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Today Cassandra Clare has shared another City of Heavenly Fire snippet and I think this definitely qualifies as an OMG! moment.

But see for yourself:

“Clary,” Jocelyn said. “I want you to meet Tessa Gray.”

Shadowhunters, what do you think? Sound off in the comments!

Click here to check out all the other snippets.

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Retreat

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We had a great friend offer up her holiday house as a writers retreat. I managed to get away for a few days you loved the experience. Sadly a lot of people dropped out but we had a good group. We got little writing done but did get a few conversations going about out industry. It was great to be able to talk to others about my writing as my family and friends dont really understand the ins and outs of the Publishing industry. 

One retreater has not yet been published and another is an old hand at it. With me in the middle I gained a lot of information on who are the big publishers and what marketing works. 

A big point that came up was Conferences. Sadly in  Australia our conference is quite small and we struggled to be inspired by the courses available. The networking is great fun as is the atmosphere. But for the cost of flights, accommodation and the conference itself, we cant justify it more than once every few years. One retreater often goes to the american conferences and she said that there are thousands of people, readers and authors alike. People line up for autographs and big names sit on panels. Why doesn’t this happen in Australia, numbers. Our population just isn’t big enough to get the numbers through the door.

The other thing we discussed is professionalism. Just because a lot of us are self published does not mean we can chuck any old thing up on the net. We have to hire editors, cover artists, marketing. We have to take on the job of the publisher. Sadly a lot of people don’t realise this and it is giving selfpub a bad name. All we can do is hope i guess 🙂

Guest author: Annalynne Russo

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Blood of the Nile

Maliyah Aziz has no time for men. Employed by the U.S. Government overseas, the self-described workaholic refuses to let a relationship derail her flourishing career. But when her estranged father passes away abruptly, she must re-examine her priorities and return to Cairo, a place plagued with bittersweet memories of her childhood.

For eight hundred years, vampire Ramses Shakir maintains a low profile, making a living along the trade routes of the Nile River. Although not until he forms a partnership with a human by the name of Anwar al Aziz, does he truly make his mark on society. Together the two men amass a fortune and forge an unbreakable bond. Suspicious of Anwar’s sudden death, the vampire turns to his best friend’s daughter in search of answers. As they scour all of Egypt for clues, the last thing Ramses and Maliyah expect to find is love.

 

Teaser Excerpt:

 

Ramses dragged his fingers through his damp hair as perspiration gathered at the base of his skull. That day, the temperature in the Sahara surpassed one hundred degrees and Maliyah wasn’t doing him any favors by turning up the heat. The wanton tease made him want to yank off the flowing, floral print dress she wore and fuck her silly. Visions of her sweet ass plastered against the windows of the train car danced in his head. He wanted her naked and it didn’t matter if a whole caravan of desert nomads stopped to catch a glimpse. Their coupling was bound to happen. Why not sooner than later?

Nonetheless, Maliyah made a good point. Ramses had promised her cousin Husani that he’d keep his hands to himself. A man of honor, he intended to stay true to his word. He wouldn’t touch Maliyah. At least, not with his hands. His mouth and cock, on the other hand, were both fair game.

            Before Maliyah returned from the powder room, he reached into the small rolling suitcase he’d brought along for the trip. He pulled out a red paisley necktie and placed it next to the other articles of clothing he’d dangled over the chair. There was a good chance he’d need to be tied up in order to keep his paws off Maliyah. The necktie would come in handy if that turned out to be the case.

            The door swung open and Maliyah sauntered in. Her hair was now loose, its shiny, brown tentacles hung haphazardly in front of her face. She’d removed most of her make-up and traded in her three-inch heels for a pair of simple strappy sandals. She looked up at Ramses. Her green-gold gaze locked with his. At the same time, her lower lip jutted out to entice him with its sultry pout.

            Maliyah stepped closer and spoke into his chest. He could feel the heat from her skin tickle his nerve endings. “So now what? We’ve got eleven hours to kill and I’m saving the fashion magazines Salma shoved in the side of my bag until I get desperate?”

            “You? Desperate?” Ramses repeated. His raspy tone came out as sensual and breathy, with a hint of sarcasm mixed in to keep Maliyah on her toes. “It’d be a pity if we let that happen. I think we can find something to keep us occupied. Maybe there’s a deck of cards in my carry on.”

            Maliyah put her hand to her lips as if to giggle, but instead a loud snort came out through her nose.

Is she mocking me? Ramses thought to himself. She hadn’t uttered a single word, yet he knew her snicker was meant in protest.

Only Maliyah, a siren who embodied the perfect combination of subtle innocence and feisty femme fatale, could dish out corrosive rancor just as well as she could take it. That time, she’d done so without even opening her mouth. Although Ramses had great reverence for the Egyptian culture in which he was reared, he found himself drawn to Maliyah’s freethinking, American tendencies. He respected her desire for independence and the rebellious streak she wielded at every turn.

Before he could think of a saucy comeback, Maliyah had already placed both hands on Ramses’ bare shoulders. She massaged his biceps and let the pads of her fingers caress their way up and down his arm. Soon, they became tangled in the shaggy, black hair that gathered at his neck.

“How could a game of cards possibly keep me amused? Not when I have all this tempting, well-toned flesh at my disposal.”

“Wait,” Ramses said, pulling back slightly. He hadn’t anticipated Maliyah’s aggressive pursuit. His need for her bordered on the absurd, but he knew he’d have to take things slow. Otherwise, his vampire persona might make an unexpected appearance. He shoved his hands in his pockets to keep from touching her. “What about the pledge we made to Husani?”

Maliyah leaned in, and her heated breath skated across his tanned skin, sending a direct signal to his cock. It was time to come out and play. Whatever sport Maliyah wanted to tackle, Ramses would step up to the plate.

“I made no such promise. Just keep your hands to yourself, lover boy. Let me do all the work,” she said, darting her tongue out to taste him. God damn, Maliyah was a woman after his own heart. God damn, Maliyah was a woman after his own heart. Her succulent lips blazed a path from his neck, passed the sparse patch of hair that peeked out from the top of his shirt.

 Maliyah hiked the shirt up past his navel. Her eyes followed the line of dark curls downward until she once again spotted the thick erection through his jeans. She sank to her knees, and then used her hands to remove his belt. One by one, she undid the buttons of his 501’s, as a flush of red spread across her face. She must have realized that he wore nothing underneath.

Ramses’ shaft was as hard as stone. It sprang eagerly from his jeans. Maliyah lowered them to the floor and without hesitation licked the head of his cock into her mouth.

“To hell with restraint!” Ramses groaned.

 

 Annalynne is offering a free copy to one luck commenter! Or

Buy it now!

Guest Author: Amaris Chapman

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Hi folks. Amaris here to tell you about my new release,

Prevailing Life.

Genre: ParanormalWord Count: 50, 230ISBN: 978-1-77130-573-0Editor: Marie MedinaCover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Maggie is a teenager with a secret. The strangest part of her life isn’t that she works in a graveyard—it’s the fact that her best friend is an Angel named Dina. They have lived thousands of years together, but as a mortal, Maggie must die, leaving Dina to find her in each new life and start again.

Someone has been setting fires, and the town is ablaze—literally. Someone or something is fueling the flames, and one of the suspects is the devilishly handsome Justin. With the memories of past lives coming back to her and Justin vying for her attention, Maggie may get more than she bargained for.

 

Excerpt:

I felt as weightless as if I were made of light. I gasped and felt us drifting, and then the cool salty smell of ocean air washed over me. I looked down. We were sitting on the rail of a lighthouse overlooking the small dots of light, which marked a town nestled in the hills. Then I looked up and gasped. Stretched out above us was a vast expanse of glowing sky, each star as bright as a lamp sweeping across a great black expanse. My mouth fell open as I gazed in wonder at the universe stretching out above me. How was this possible? The sky felt unlimited.

“Where are we?” I asked still gripping her hand and holding on to the rail as tightly as I could with the other my face turned up to the pale moon above us.

“We used to live here. This is the tower you were talking about.”

I looked back at the twinkling lights, which ran from the water’s edge and up what looked to be, in the dark, a hill surrounded by mountain terrain.

“This is the town from the fire painting you are making.” I could make out the main street, which snaked through the hills. The line of lights at the bottom must mark the dock and jetty, which had doubled in size from the time that Dina remembered it in her painting.

“But this is in another country. We came here, my family and I, when I was little. It took us a day to get here by plane.” I looked at her in awe. Knowing she was an angel was one thing; I had even seen the ghostly shape of her wings. But to be at home one minute then, as fast as I could think it, be in another country almost sitting in a sky that seemed to just envelope us was unbelievable.

“I’m light, remember?” she said, her strong voice hushed by the wind that raced up from the waves. “I travel as light and air.”

“But I’m not, how did…no, I don’t care. This is incredible.” My voice trailed off as I took in the true magic of where I was. No lights obscured the sky, and the stars stretched out in a blanket of white light above us. Dina closed my mouth with a finger under my chin. I laughed but didn’t take my eyes from the sky. In all my life I had never seen anything so beautiful. My blocked head and fever forgotten, I sat surrounded by the sounds of the ocean and air crashing together. It was as I shivered that I remembered I was ill.

“I’ll be back in a moment,” Dina said.

Before I could ask what she was doing she had launched herself from the railing. I rocked forwards to catch her in a reflex and almost fell from the narrow rail. As I watched, the light shape of her body rose, the ghostly outline of her wings bright in the night sky. Her light darted to the town so fast she looked like nothing more than a reflection in the lighthouse’s turning lamp. I watched until the town’s lights swallowed hers then gazed out over the sea.

From my seat, I could hardly make out the white of the waves breaking on the rocks at the base of the small island the lighthouse stood on.

A wave of fear swelled in my chest as I looked down. My blood left my face and rushed to my heart. I took a deep breath to calm myself, telling my body that it was being silly and that Dina wouldn’t have brought me here if I could have fallen. My body rebelled; my pulse quickened, and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I fought to keep breathing, taking deep breaths to try to calm myself. I knew I should just look up or close my eyes, but I was too scared that if I looked away it might somehow make me fall. My hands tightened on the rail, the cold metal biting into my palms. In my head I called out to Dina to hurry up and get back. I couldn’t bring myself to look up and see where she was. My body was rigid, even the cool wind that had been soothing just moments before now threatened to knock me from my perch. My thoughts scrambled, as I imagined myself falling and smashing like porcelain on the rocks. I could see my body lying broken below, the waves knocking me off into the sea.

 

Buy links:

Amazon

Evernight Teen

www.amarischapman.com

 

Guest blogger: Tamsin Baker

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Blond Truth: By Tamsin Baker

M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance.

 Blurb:

Tommy is thirty one, an architect, gay and gorgeous. Yet, no one has ever really ‘seen’ Tommy before. Sure, they all see his pretty face, blue eyes and hot arse, but they never care enough to see that he’s more than that. Tommy’s getting more frustrated by the day, especially with everyone pairing off. Even Marcus, his best friend and ex lover has found true love. But with little to no relationship experience, how will Tommy find what he needs when he doesn’t even know what that is.

 

Big Bear Ben is thirty nine, a power lifter and an extremely successful business man. He’s never found a man who holds his interest longer than a few months and, having spent ten years under a pile of paperwork, he probably wouldn’t have noticed them even if he had met them. Tommy, a mutual friend sparks his interest like no other. The gorgeous brat brings out Ben’s dominant side and when his chance arrives to get his hands on Tommy, he finds he’s unwilling to let go.

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Excerpt:

Ben dropped his head and stopped, mere millimetres from Tommy’s lips.

“You sure you want this? I don’t want you to think I’m harassing you.”

Tommy shivered as Ben’s breath tingled across his skin. He shook his head avidly. “No.”

Ben didn’t move, just stared down at him. “No, what? Tell me what you want baby?”

Tommy swallowed the moan that rose. This guy was one sexy bastard. That voice was enough to make him weak at the knees. But first he had to beg a little, and rightly so considering his earlier behaviour. “I want you to kiss me.”

Ben didn’t wait a second more. His eyes flared a little, then he bent forward and kissed him. If you could call it that. This kiss was out of this world. Ben had thick, soft lips that demanded a response. Tommy moaned low in his throat as Ben swept his tongue inside and tasted him.

His neck muscles loosened, and his head began to tilt away from the kiss. Ben’s hands moved quickly, one cupped the back of his head, anchoring him in place, while the other hand slid down to his hip.

Tommy moaned again and pushed up against the wall of muscle, needing to get closer. He ran his hands down Ben’s back, stopping at the sculpted arse to squeeze hard.

Ben growled and pulled back, panting and trembling. “You are too much.”

Buy Links:

Amazon

Steam eReads

Find Tamsin at
Blog

http://www.tamsinbakererotic.com/

 

Reviews- the good, the bad and the ugly

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I recently found a whole heap of reviews while googling myself (as you do). I was quite surprised by the comments in them. Some authors wont read reviews and others will reply to them. I like to sit halfway and read them but not reply. After all people are entitled to their opinion. What surprised me were some of the comments that just didn’t make sense. The main complaint was that it was too short. Well you can see the word count before you buy it so I’m not sure why this would surprise them??? I asked some friends if they thought i should make it longer and was told by one that she got the same comment on an 80k story she wrote…

I also got a long list of odd comments in reviews that i thought i would share:

“I hated this book because it was erotica…” The category was erotica

“There is too much sex in your book” Again the category was erotic

“The alpha male is arrogant” well yeah he is an alpha male

“I normally don’t read romance because of the gratuitous sex but yours was okay.” It was an erotic.

“I wouldn’t call this a novel, it was more of a short story.” Category: short story. 

“Wasnt worth my money” Its free

“Contained witch craft, i wont be allowing my children to read it and it should come with a disclaimer.” It was Harry Potter

Writers block

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A lot of people when they hear that i am an author ask me how to cure writers block. This is always a question I’m interested in answering myself. Some friends tell me that there is no such thing, which is kind of true as it is a mental condition so if you apply mind over matter then no it doesn’t exist. However, I believe that it is true but that there is always a reason for it. Here is what i have found helps so far.Image

1. You have been a hermit and have run out of imagination. Authors need to experience new things to include them in their books. So get up from the computer and see a movie, read a book or go on a short weekend away. Get some new material. 

2. You have made your characters do something that they didn’t want to do. This is a big one. If your character is madly in love with the hero but then you have her cheat on him this is out of character and yes you will be stuck because you have just changed your character completely. Go back and find where you stuffed up and re write it. Or get someone else to read it and identify where you went astray.

3. Your writing is so boring it even bores you. This has happened far too often. Nothing has happened in my story for a few pages and i get bored writing it so my brain stops working. You can either go back and throw a spanner in the works or do as i like to do and write a scene that is totally crazy (you can delete it later) where something crazy happens. I once wrote that a rhino charged into the classroom and went from there. Cured the block (i obviously deleted it later) so i could think of something more believable to happen to move the story along. Something has to happen every chapter. If nothing happened in the last chapter you wrote that can be included in a synopsis then its wasted space and you need to re do it.  

Hope this helps. And just remember, you actually have to write to get past writers block.

Books in schools

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I read an interesting article this morning about what books are being taught in Imageschools. I know when i was at school we were set such old books they held no merit in my mind. One that stands out was On the Road. This has now been made into a movie which concerns me as it was the dumbest excuse for literature i have ever had the miss fortune to almost read. Let me put it this way, we were set an essay on it for our final exam. I only actually read the first three chapters or so, i got an A on my essay. ImageThe book was literally just following a dood around as he picked fruit for a living. That was it. I have no idea why this was set to our class and hope i never see it again. On the other hand in primary school we were lucky enough to be read a book by the librarian which i still remember to this day. The Silver Sword. It was about some kids in a war. It was gritty, it dealt with the realities of the situation while still being relate-able to us at the time, even when we were young.  

So what was the difference between these two books? Well on the road was chosen because it had won awards and was considered ‘literary’ where as the silver sword was chosen because they thought we would enjoy reading it. Now tell me which one you would rather study and grow your kids love of reading? ImageFrankly we were set several other boring as brick books in my school years and they were so rich in classic literature that i cant even remember their titles. I obviously learnt something from them…Image

But the article i read this morning touched on the fact that apparently books today are chosen because they teach students about real world issues. Well i hate to say it but all books do that. Even the most rich fantasy book will deal with real world issues, bravery, friendship, sex, death. So should we be setting books that are gritty and deep or books that will grow our kids love of reading? I agree that the classics have a place, but lets not look at the deep and meaningfuls, lets look at the popular ones instead. Anne of green gables, Lord of the Rings, the Great Gatsby, heck set the Di Vinci Code and i promise the kids will look up those famous paintings and artists and actually learn something. I mean To kill a mocking bird is still a text book, surely they can find a more recent text that deals with the same issues? (Frankly I only got two chapters into it too) Just because its old doesn’t mean its good. So lets review the why of school books and start setting things kids will want to read and study. 

Did you have a fave books set at school?