Tag Archives: Paranormal Romance

The Long, Hard Road out of Hell

So I kinda fell off the wagon for awhile there. It sucks, but it is what it is. Between a bout of depression, sickness from being pregnant, and a general sense of “why bother?” spawning from some less-than-productive professional relationships, I’d started the descent into giving up.

But truth be told, I’m not ready to give up. I’m just ready to be done with the bullshit. I’m ready to do my thing, tell my stories, raise my kids, and say To Hell with the internet in general. Unfortunately in this day and age of everyone trying to scream the loudest, I can’t push it all off to the side. I have to be here and present.

I did get off my duff and re-release this book, though:

Loki's Game

I still love this book. I’m ecstatic over the new cover. The story is updated a bit for continuity and grammatical uglies as well. Click the picture and take a look. I promise you’ll enjoy it. It’s also enrolled in KU, so there’s that as well.

But back to the point…

Yes, I’m struggling with my own personal demons, but that’s not the point of this post. The point is to say that I’m still here, I’m still around, and I’m still writing, very much against the desires of my subconscious.

It’s tough out there. Publishers are folding left and right. The big houses are growing even more elitist. The masses are turning more to self-publishing out of necessity than desire it seems. And the turd peddlers are cranking out even more crap than ever before. And nobody is making any money.

Last quarter, I sold four books. FOUR. And not for lack of trying. It’s extremely disheartening to know how bad the market is. And writing romance means it’s even stiffer competition. None of the readers have any money, and the ones that do are playing it safe with A-list authors they know by name. The market is flooded, and not necessarily with good fiction either.

Hence the “why bother” attitude. Sadly I’ve made more money by giving Loki’s Game away through Kindle Unlimited than I have selling copies of every book in my backlist combined. THAT is how bad the market is.

I was scrolling back through some of my older blog posts and came across one from right after I got started. It was talking about Digital Marketing and how I felt like I was doing it all wrong. Sadly, that was the point in my life when I was doing everything right. Sure, I second-guessed myself and had a pretty bumpy path in front of me, but back then I didn’t shy away from the daunting task of putting myself out there. I could sit here and make excuses as to why, but that wouldn’t be fair to myself or to you. The simple fact is this: I don’t do it. I should, but I don’t. Coincidentally, it was when I knew the least about my craft that I seemed to give the best advice.

I’m frustrated. I’m disheartened. I’m still overwhelmed. I need to learn to let those things go and get back on the writing wagon. Even if it’s 100 words a day, it’s something. I’m NOT giving up. That’s not what I’m made of. So please be patient, but expect great things. There’s always something wonderful just around the bend.

Oh, Look… I’m Back!

Yeah, yeah, yeah… for someone who writes books and things I don’t seem to do much writing. At least here, that is. There’s a good reason for it.

Being a human incubator takes a lot out of you.

Of course, holding down a full-time job with a three-year old, a writing habit in more than one genre, AND taking on two huge editing projects at one time will take a lot out of a person without the tiny succubus now present in my life. She’ll be here in November and we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Maybe.

So all of that aside, I have still been pretty busy. Crymsyn and I ended up doing a total rewrite on Frozen Hearts & Blazing Souls after contract, and it’s back in the hands of the editor for round two.

Purple Sword Publications has taken Marked and we’re finishing up cover art and minor details on that as well. I love that book, and I’d forgotten just how much until I reread it and did a little updating prior to submitting it. Now I just have to decide what I’m going to do with Loki’s Game now that I have the rights back.

I’m working on a really schmoopy Christmas romance and a few short projects. They’re all sort of jockeying for last place in my brain right now (I haven’t written anything substantial since finishing the rewrite on FHBS), so that’s an adventure. I’ve got a few interesting horror things cooking up there too.

As for the editing, which seems to be the big question on everyone’s tongue these days… It’s going well. The selection process took a bit longer than we anticipated simply because we had so many stories to read, and so many of them were so good. Margie and I have completed our selections, and Carpe Noctem has now turned into a two-book ordeal. It’s sister book, Tenebris Amore sprang from the four-hour discussion in which we discovered we had way too many stories we loved to let them all go. For the most part we agreed on everything. There were one or two we each championed to the other, and in the end it has all worked out for the best.

Contracts and rejection emails should be just about complete, and as soon as I have the digital files in hand, I’ll begin round one of edits.

Let me tell you guys… there are some absolutely outstanding stories, which is how we ended up with two volumes. For the most part even the rejections were very good…they just didn’t fit the call. It’s very hard to accept a horror story for a romance anthology. And we did get quite a bit of horror, which tells me the idea of Paranormal Romance many not be quite so cut and dry as we originally thought. Nonetheless, I’m considering one or two for my horror anthology project simply because they were just so freaking good.

So, two anthologies? How does that work???

I’m glad you asked. Carpe Noctem will be the first book, and will feature paranormal stories with a strong romantic thread and a happy ending. These will be the more traditional romantic stories that, despite the paranormal critters, are meant to give readers warm fuzzies.

The second book, Tenebris Amore, is much darker. The stories are still love stories, but not in traditional ways. The endings aren’t always happy, but each of the works we selected showcases a soul-deep love, and the ability of the human heart to accept the painful, and sometimes even the impossible.

I love these books, and I can’t wait to see them in production. Those of you who were accepted… you’ll be hearing from me very soon. To those who weren’t selected, thank you for your fantastic submissions. I look forward to seeing future work from each of you.

Look at the Shiny! (It’s a book release, kids!)

She-Wolf

It’s that time, my lovelies! She-Wolf is back on the market with an updated cover, re-edited interior, and even more juicy werewolf goodness. I love this book. LOVE IT. I do. It’s one of those that, when I go back and read it, makes me all tingly and giddy. Ridiculous, I know…but it makes me happy.

And I have to say, I absolutely adore Traci at Purple Sword. This cover is everything I always wanted it to be and more. So, so, so much more. I’m excited, so you guys should be too!


Back Cover Blurb

Is the wild attraction between them enough to upset her curse?

It is almost the full moon, and young werewolf Mira Winterborn is restless. Research has failed her, and she is convinced that no matter what happens, there is no way to stop the change. But when her best friend invites her out for a late night on the town, she finds herself drawn to the bad-boy in the corner as a likely candidate for a final experiment. Unfortunately, he’s there to kill her.

Rune Morwyn is a hunter, working to repay a blood debt. Mira is to be his last mark, but she makes him a bizarre offer that seems too good to be true. Is the wild attraction between them enough to upset her curse, and what will happen if he lets his normally guarded heart go?

♥ ♥ ♥

And a Taste…

Mira had never seen the bar packed quite so tightly before. Their normally deserted hole-in-the-wall pulsed with raw energy. Maybe the full moon was affecting more than just her tonight? Not likely, but she let herself believe it anyway to quell the frustration rising in her chest. It had been known to happen, after all.

As soon as they were through the ID check, Tempest vanished into the crowd with little more than a peck on the cheek and a backward wave, leaving Mira standing in the doorway alone. This was exactly why she’d tried to back out in the first place. The deep throb of industrial music filled her ears and her body, its heavy melody thumping all the way to her center. She had learned from experience it was useless to try and fight the rhythmic bump of the drum machines. The beat took hold, and she found herself swaying under its control, feeling the effects of her surroundings begin rip away her inhibitions and her anger.

Maybe Tempest was right…maybe Mira could find someone to take home. Even if the attraction wasn’t strong enough to stop the change, or if he wasn’t into the whole ritual sex-while-asking-the-cosmos-for-favors thing, at least she could have a little fun, scratch the itch building in her belly, and distract herself for a while.

Yeah…and frogs fell from the sky daily. As Mira passed, the men around her turned to watch her, sizing her up with obvious appreciation as she slipped and slid against their sides and around other men and women. She watched them with equal interest, making determinations based on her gut instincts as she passed.

Too young…too old…too much hair…too fragile…BINGO.

She spotted him at the back of the building, close to the DJ’s pedestal. He leaned against the wall, a beer in hand. He looked like he was at the extreme edge of boredom as he turned a disinterested gaze toward her. The second their gazes connected, she felt the effect of his presence lash through her body. A shiver of delight wormed its way down her spine and seated firmly in her belly, sprouting tendrils of warmth that twisted around her insides and drew her forward.

He seemed to feel it too. The look of boredom disappeared from his face, replaced by an odd mixture of tension and amusement. He abandoned his station and his drink and started toward her. The look on his face was feral; he appeared almost as wild as she felt. Another were?

Not likely. She sniffed at the air and picked up no trace of her kind in the building. He had to be human, or she’d have known it already.

As he neared her, she realized how big he was…tall, broad-shouldered, with formfitting leather pants and a tight, black T-shirt that showcased a well-defined body, perfect for clinging to. Deep-set silver-gray eyes held her gaze with laser-like precision and shoulder-length black hair to match her own framed his face in a messy, I’m-a-man-and-I-don’t-care shag.

So this is animal magnetism, she thought as they met without a word and fell into step with the music. He did not ask her name, and she didn’t offer it, content only to be here with him in this moment, moving together in a time-old mating ritual. He towered over her; she was of average height, but the top of her head scarcely came up to his shoulder. The smell of aftershave curled around her, the familiar, sexy smell pinging against her senses and upping her pulse considerably. She wanted to reach up and draw her fingers across his jaw to test the give in those sinfully crafted lips. Mira couldn’t take her eyes off of him, and delighted in the fact that he seemed inclined to watch her as well. A dark, wicked smile curled his lips as he stared down at her.

♥ ♥ ♥

Where to Get It

Purple Sword Publications Webstore
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks

♥ ♥ ♥

And remember, my darlings… if you’ve read this book, reviews are love!

Cover Pretties: Frozen Hearts & Blazing Souls

Guys, the good news just keeps rolling in.

Crymsyn Hart and I have been up to no good together for awhile now, and we finally have something to show for it. Book 1 of our Dragon Warriors series was contracted by Purple Sword Publications back at the end of January, and last night we were graced with quite possibly the prettiest thing I’ve seen in a long time. That means I’m going to share it with you!

Frozen Hearts & Blazing Souls

I am so completely in love with this cover. Seriously. Mrs. Traci over at PSP has really outdone herself on this one. I’m awed, amazed, and all those fun words that I can’t even think of right now because it’s Monday. But this… yeah. I’m totally loving this. I hope y’all do too.

Oh, and here’s what the book is about. If you can stop staring at that gorgeous cover, that is.

A prophecy exists: an Empress will rise from the ashes of the ruined empire.

On the run from a vicious sorcerer, Tazu seeks refuge in a ruined temple where she collapses into the arms of a stranger. When she wakes, she finds she has unearthed a relic from a fallen empire.

For hundreds of years Ryu has punished himself for the death of the Empress he once protected, but in Tazu’s presence, the ronin discovers the strength to heal both her physical and emotional wounds. Her closeness shakes his dormant heart and stirs the inner beast he has fought so hard to control.

Kyo, a warrior turned mercenary, hunts Tazu at the request of the sorcerer, Ning­Tse. Once Kyo discovers Tazu, he also finds himself entranced by her quiet strength. The sorcerer wants to exploit the power Tazu struggles to conceal, but the two warriors who have fallen for her will stop at nothing to keep her safe. The sorcerer’s insatiable greed sets the prophecy in motion, placing Tazu and her dragons on a path toward war, redemption, and the reclamation of long­lost power.

Walking Down a Dark Road, or, On Becoming a #ParanormalRomance Editor

Carpe Noctem Cover

Carpe Noctem: Truly. Madly. Deeply – Coming soon from Charon Coin Press

Isn’t this just the prettiest cover ever? I swear, Natasha Alterici does such perfect, emotional work. To me, that image speaks of a soul-deep longing, and a desire which can never truly be fulfilled. It’s tragic and beautiful, and it makes me want to cry.

It helps that my name is on the cover. That makes me smile.

So Carpe Noctem submissions closed two weeks ago, which means any day now I should be receiving the reading package. From what I understand, I have roughly fifty stories to read (FIFTY STORIES??? WOW!!!). I’m expecting close to 800 pages when that package arrives, which means it’s going to take quite a bit of time and some serious coffee intake. I should probably buy stock in Starbucks.

I’ve also noticed something else: since agreeing to take part in this project, my reading style has changed. I’m reading everything with a critical eye these days, including the newest Stephen King novel, which I’d been devouring up until I said okay.

I’m reading slower now, more carefully. It’s odd, too. I’m the girl who ripped through all four Twilight novels in about three days. Granted, the reading level on those isn’t particularly high, but it was a lot of pages and it took a lot of focus and concentration to stay interested in large parts of the story…but I did it. Where I used to read a novel a week, it now takes me all day to read a 9,000 word short story because I’m unconsciously picking it apart as I go.

I’m looking forward to the process, though. Being a lover of the written word, I’m excited to be able to read these stories first on paper instead of on a screen. I like the old-fashioned feel of the process. It makes me happy.

So one question I keep getting from those who have submitted and those who just seem interested in the project: What are you looking for?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’ve read a lot of fiction. And I do mean a looooot. I’m looking for something I’ve never seen before. Something new and different, and while the story has to have that impossible love story feel to fit the call, I want to see new ways of handling old tropes. I’m not looking for boy-meets-girl-boy-eats-girl… I’m looking for true love in odd packages. I’m looking for perseverance despite the odds. I’m looking for a satisfying, if not entirely happy, ending. But most of all, I’m looking for a good story. I’ll know that when I read it.

It’s almost time to start reading. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

On the iTunes: “Foreigner’s God” – Hozier
Mood: Optimistic. And Caffeinated.

One…More…Book…

Morning, y’all.

It’s been a minute. For that, I apologize. But there’s been some big stuff happening in the last few months. Remember how back in October I mentioned that Sugar & Spice handed me the rights back to four books? We’re taking care of that.

The lovely Traci Markou at Purple Sword Publications has contracted two of the four so far. She took Blood Doll and She-Wolf, and is in the process of pushing them out for me as we speak. I’m so excited! Purple Sword is so good to me. Take a look:

blooddoll_original

It’s available today, as a matter of fact! The buy links are still going live, but so far we have three:

All Romance eBooks | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

I’ll let y’all know when Amazon turns it loose. I’m so excited to have this book back in production. It’s one of my first, but it’s also one of my favorites.

Homegrown Hearts

Look! Looklooklook!!! It’s here!!! It’s finally here!!! I’m completely over the moon about this book. I think I’ve had more fun writing this book than I have any other book ever. It’s light-hearted and fun, and if every book was this easy to write, I’d have a million of them by now.

And you can even buy it!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

And then there’s one more pretty for you to look at…

She-Wolf

That’s probably one of my favorite covers to date. It’s absolutely perfect for the book. It makes me so unbelievably happy. The book is still in edits (that’s totally my fault), but I’ll be able to put it in your hands soon enough.

So that’s my big news. I’ll be back shortly with more fun stuff.

Oh, and while I’m thinking about it… all of you lovelies have five more days to get your submissions in for Carpe Noctem – Truly. Madly. Deeply.

Call for Submissions: Carpe Noctem (Charon Coin Press)

Good morning and Happy November!

A new month brings with it a brand new project. Remember that Sooper Sekrit Project I mentioned earlier this week? This is it!

Margie Colton and Jerry Benns at Charon Coin Press have invited little old me to participate as co-editor of their very first Paranormal Romance Anthology.

Carpe Noctem

“Carpe Noctem: Truly, Madly, Deeply” is seeking Paranormal Romance titles (4,000 – 10,000 words) featuring complicated and impossible love stories. One character must be human and the other non-human. Steamy elements are welcome as long as they are integral to the story. No erotica, please. Submissions close February 1, 2015.

For the full submission call, click here: http://charoncoinpress.com/open-submissions/carpe-noctem-paranormal-romance-anthology/