Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cover art!

Oh man, I love cover art day! It's like opening up a Christmas present. :D *squee* So here's my cover for: Fire in the Sky and Cursed: A vampire's tale. Yay! What do y'all think?!

There's a new genre in town!

Move over Dystopian YA's. The hot new genre is: CRAP! Yup, not kidding. Go read Pub Rants if you don't believe me.

After reading that I sort of feel both disheartened and encouraged. I basically blogged about this the other day, writers (knowingly or not) following trends. Listen y'all... you may not know me from Adam, or even want to believe a word I say but I've got some ins in this biz and I'm telling you loud and clear... that ship has sailed. Editors are seeming more and more disgusted by it, to the point that even if you come across a REALLY GREAT read they already have a preconceived notion of what they're getting and are 9/10's of the way toward rejecting it before they even read the first word! Can Dystopian/Tweeny glittery vamps still sell? Sure, but with the sheer amount of queries out there yours had better be not only FRESH but also Fan-Freakin-Tastic! That's a very tall order. Which is sad, but unfortunately part and parcel of the business.

We saw the fallout from paranormal romances just a few years ago. What would have sold before in no time flat would now make anyone hestitant to make an offer on simply because the market can't really sustain it. I've always felt like I tried to keep one step ahead of the 'hot' new thing in para (listen, I write paranormals and fantasy... I won't stop simply because I know the market for it sucks eggs now) but no sooner would I get a brilliant idea to write about a new species of demon (nephilim) than I see tons of novels dealing with the Judaeo-Christian version of demons. So what do I do? I submitted that novel to several agents, many of whom requested more and responded favorably before ultimately rejecting it. Why? Because they already had 1 too many authors writing demon books. In fact, 3 of those 4 agents asked me if I had anything else for them to read. That told me one thing, they weren't giving me the pat 'it just wasn't for me' answer. They sincerely liked my voice but just weren't sure they'd be able to sell this book when they already had authors on their roster (and I'd bet my last dollar... they're having a tough time selling those).

I'm not saying don't write the Dystopian or glittery vamp, I'm just saying understand your market and if NY is your ultimate goal then realize you may never sell that book, no matter how good it is. :( As for me, I came to the conclusion that readers tastes don't really change, so while NY has had enough of para and now it seems certain categories of YA... readers still like what they like and will give my little demon a chance. I decided I like writing paras too much to pursue NY any longer. I'll be self pubbing, for me... that's probably my only good option left.

For you... just decide if you're willing to go through the rigors and headaches of being told this is great, but sorry... just can't take you on right now. Who knows, lightening always strikes... maybe it'll strike you. Whatever you decide, just think it through and decide just how much you're willing to put up with to realize your dream.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


So the other day I read a freaky story on aol, straight from the Miami Herald. I can't stop thinking about it, not because I loved it, but because it disturbs me too much. I write fiction, in fiction I've no problem with the concept of zombies eating flesh to survive, why... because in real life it's NEVER supposed to happen. It's safe because its confined to the pages of a book. Just like dinosaurs are fun, NOW... how ever many years ago they walked this Earth in no way would I have wanted to personally know one. Not even the herbivores... I like my dinosaurs in bone form, thank you very much.

I don't even want to relate this story because it's given me bad dreams 2 days running, but I feel I need the catharsis of purging this from my subconscious so here it is, in all its unfiltered macabreness.

A cop was called to a scene of two men fighting under a freeway overpass in Miami this past weekend. When he arrived on scene it was to see a nude man straddling the prone form of the other. Naked was bent over the other, blood was everywhere. The cop got on his loud speaker and at gun point urged the man to back away. Then the cop heard a noise that chilled him to his core... the slurping of naked dude eating on the other man's face. Yes, eating.

He fired a shot into the air, again told the guy to back away. The guy laying down wasn't moving anymore. Naked guy was still eating his face. The cop fired a slug into his shoulder, dude got flung back and on bloody knuckles crawled his way back to the prone body and resumed eating. Cop fired off a total of six rounds, killing the cannibal only to discover when he walked up to the bodies, the dude who'd been eaten on was still alive!!!!

His entire face had been gnawed off. When I read the story last the man was in ICU fighting for his life. By all reports Cannibal was tweaking on coke and I dunno... maybe confused the homeless drifter for food? I don't have any bloody idea and we'll never know since he's dead now..but can you imagine? Even if that poor guy survives he'll never be the same. And I'm not just talking physically, spiritually, emotionally... if he survives he'll probably wish he hadn't. He was attacked and eaten on.. his face is gone. I'm sorry to make you all so sick with this story but it literally has turned my stomach for two days now and I just want to vomit when I think about it. That goes beyond mere mental illness, that act is about as depraved as a human can go. Is he even still considered human? Did the man even own a conscious? Even high as a kite could he really not tell he was chewing on a living man's face? My God that poor man, my heart bleeds for him. No one, no one! should ever have to go through something like that.

Too sad. :(

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #4

Howdy folks! Happy Sunday (almost) and Happy almost Memorial Day! :D Red Rocket's Giants came in second place in the baseball tournament, we're so proud of him! Just a mini-brag before getting down to business. *vbg*

So thinking about what I wanted to post, I decided to go with a story I set aside last year. It's a great story and if it weren't for plot bunnies I'd be done with it already. LOL. Maybe posting some lines will spur me on to finishing.

So without further ado:

"Oh Alistar, what have you done?  Forgive me, dear wolf, my fight is not with you."  His eyes widened.  "Ignis," Memphis cried, energy pulsed from her hands and then she drove the fiery spear through his gut. Alistar fell to his knees, shock and pain scrawled fine lines around eyes that grew glassy and dull.  She held the flame in place until the light died and his soul fled.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Factoid Friday

What a week! Red Rocket finished his last day of fourth grade yesterday, we all went to sleep way too late and are looking forward to exploring more of Hawaii this summer! Dh has learned we've  been granted an extension, so we'll actually be living in Honolulu through 2017 God willing and yeah.. life is good! *vbg*

I'm halfway through Gerard's book and am happy where it's headed, am reading a pretty fantastic book *Retrieval* and so without further ado:

1. Oprah Winfrey makes $10 a second.

(No, I did not say an hour, a second... wow! I'm just... yeah, totally jealous)

2. Jean-Clause Van Damme learned to speak English by watching the cartoon "The Flinstone's".

(That explains so much...)

3. During his lifetime, Herman Melville's Moby Dick sold only 50 copies

(And as a writer, that totally depresses me)

Happy Memorial Day all!

Remember to thank a veteran. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cover Art

LOVE posting cover art. It's like opening a present at Christmas for me! *smiles* So this is for book 2 of the Kingdom Series, currently being written entitled: Gerard's Beauty. Based on the Beauty and the Beast book, but with a twist. Of course. *wink* The beast in question is the hot head Gaston (although for copyright reasons his name has been changed to Gerard and there's actually a really funny story about why Gerard's name was changed to Gaston in the first place... but to find out, you'll have to read the book!) finally meeting his match in the sexy yet nerdy librarian, Betty Hart. I love this cover and feel like it really conveys the fairy tale like quality of the book!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is too much of a good thing, too much?

You might be wondering what's gotten me to ask that question, well just this... seems like when anything suddenly becomes trendy (IE: Twilight, The Hunger Games) the masses jump ship and start writing nothing but YA. Years ago, Para Rom was all the rage and just about everyone I talked to was writing one. Even writers that traditionally only wrote contemporaries. Which inevitably meant the market got glutted, less and less writers were discovered in that genre and eventually burn out happened. Now you've got agents who are fed up with Para Rom. Which to me is sad, because I still love a good vampire novel. But you even mention the word and well... it ain't pretty.

So a couple years ago a new book kinda went global, Twilight (ever heard of it?) and suddenly vampire romance YA's exploded. Every. Where. Then here comes this bleak, dystopian tale of kids killing kids and now... it's also everywhere.

I'm not harping, because well... I've been very guilty of also following trends. Not thinking I am mind you, but an idea will strike and I'll think... why not? But here's the thing, it's sort of dawning on me.. once a book makes it the trend has actually already been in effect for 2-3 years. Say it takes you a year to write your book, get it all polished up nice and perty like.. well... now you're at 4 years behind the curve. Say, just say, all the stars align and an agent is still cuckoo for cocoa puffs (oh..hmm..sorry, haven't eaten lunch yet*blush*) dystopian society/vampire/erotica a la 50 Shades/insert trend here.. and they snap you up. Well that's just one hurdle amongst many. Now you have to convince NY that you're worth it. Say they do and they buy your book- but you're a newb author, so there's not gonna be much promotion for it and you're not going to get a quick release date *unless they're a start up company, which yeah... hasn't happened in oh... forever* You're looking at a potential release date of a year, maybe even two. Yes, I've seen it happen.

In the end, you followed a trend (knowingly or not) and you're now releasing a book 5 or 6 years after the mega hit came out. At that point the reader is sick of them, the market is glutted, and unfortunately your book gets no love and now the agent is wondering... what did I ever see in that?

(A slightly cynical what-if) But it could happen. I guess my point of this post is this... I love romances/UF and for two years now I've been trying to write a YA. Why? Because I'm a masochist, clearly.

I finished the 'YA', shopped it around, and got soundly rejected. I realize why... A. It doesn't stand out from the crowd, it's pretty much a been there done that type plot, but B. I'm a Fantasy/Adult Romance/UF YA wasn't really a YA at all. Yes, I had a 16 year old MC but she talked mature, she thought mature, and she got put into mature situations. In my case (and I can only speak for myself) I followed a trend hoping to get some recognition but my 'voice' is pure adult. I just couldn't make it work and I know I'm not the only one.

So write what you love. Forget the trend. Who knows, if you stick to your guns long enough you might be the one to churn out the next mega success. So here's hoping ugly pickle loving IT nerds who fight vampire trolls at night while learning to fox trot during the day will be the start of something amazing!... I can only hope. ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #3

Wow, three weeks of S.S.S.! Nearly 10k into my latest book, but now I'm switching books and I'm putting six sentences from an older story. This is from my fantasy w/romantic elements: Fire Dancer (formerly known as: The Girl in Amber Flame)...

So without further ado...

     His words punctuated each snap of flesh against flesh. She moaned, denying it. His eyes flashed and what he did next laced her soul with horror and she screamed.
Then he was quieting her with his toxic kiss. The one that drained her of thought, of fight, of anything but the primal need to have more and more. But like a parasite, all he did was take and take, giving nothing back, and each time he took she became less and less...


Friday, May 18, 2012

And so here we go...

The kids are getting ready to start Summer Vacation. Which, ironically, I'm happy about. :) I hear most mothers whine about... can't wait till they go back, I've always been just the opposite. I love having Red Rocket home and look forward to this summer. Hiking Mt. Kilauea, camping on Bellows Beach, hiking (for the second time!) Diamonhead, and let's not forget Hanuama Bay. I love Hawaii! So much fun, all of it free. Or so cheap it might as well be. The most expensive thing about this place is getting here, once you do... you can comfortably have a fun vacation without spending an arm and a leg. If you know where to go. ;)

But anyway... Fun Factoid Friday time! Yay, I know how much you all look forward to my obscure little facts. *g*

1. Hippo's milk is pink!

(Okay, that is one ugly beast! I'd hate to be the baby sucking on that nipple!)

2. Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don't.

(And this is why I write romances! It's good for your health!)

3. A poll has found that computer 'nerds' make the best lovers, with 82 percent of it being IT geeks claiming they put their partner's pleasure above their own.

(Who wouldn't want that? Grrwar!)

Stay classy San Diego!

Oh wait, I was channeling my favorite geek ever...

Okay, so with him, I might belive it! ;)

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hello, my name is Marie and I'm an addict...

A kindle free reads download addict that is! Oh man, I've seriously lost count of how many books I've downloaded. Each night, right before bed, I open my kindle and browse the top 100. It's seriously like Christmas for me. I get so giddy, so excited at the thought of finding 'the one'. My new favorite. New favorite author, book, series. Ohhh, it's just insane how many good books there are out there. I'm amazed by the quality of Indie writers.

When I first started reading it seemed like for every 10 books, only 1 would be readable, but as time has progressed either writers are getting more crafty and realizing just how important good editing is, or I'm just getting really lucky. Last night for instance I found 5 new books, I always read the first page of each book after downloading, just to decide which book I'll choose to read next. And the quality is just... I'm so excited! Already I've found an author I plan to follow religiously, Rhonda Stapleton, and a series (while not perfectly edited) has been fun!

I said that to say this, if you ever wonder should I do a free day? Does it really pay off? Yes, it does. I've followed at least 4 authors beyond their free read and look forward to finding more. I love the freedom of Indie pubbing, I love all these authors we would never have had a chance to know before. I think it's an exciting time to be a reader/writer and I for one just wanted to say a great big thank you to all the writers out there brave enough to go for it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest blogger

I happen to have friends in the industry. I know, I'm totally lucky that way! *g* and today I decided to post some of his thoughts on queries. Here's some hard and fast rules to make it the best query you can and give yourself the best chance of getting seen by the 'right' eyes.

Surprise number one, many many agents employ interns. Not all, but a number of them. The intern is a faceless, nameless individual who reads through thousands of slush piles and decides which queries will get before an agent's eyes. They know precisely an agent's likes and dislikes and will forward IF and only IF the author meets certain criteria.

This is forwarded from the horse's mouth himself:

1. You wouldn't believe how often rules get broken. If we say only include the first 30 pages, pasted within the body of the email, it does not mean attach the full manuscript! We won't open them and you'll be rejected without even reading it.

2. Please don't tell us your bills are piling up and so you'll take any amount of money. A. We're your agent, we shop your book around. B. We don't pay you, you pay us! Don't give us a life story, remember this is a professional industry, keep it professional. Sad as it is to know you're in desperate need of funds, we're also not going to stop rejecting you if the project doesn't work for us. Period.

3. Do yourself a favor, include the sample writing! If you think to tease us with a query by saying go to this website or that website, nope. We simply don't have that kind of time. If the query is weak, we'll reject. We request the sample pages from the beginning because we understand not all writers can write a strong query. But if all you give us is the query, we'll judge you based on that alone. And here's the kicker, we find authors more often than not based off the strength of the writing and NOT the query. So you're only hurting yourself by not following the guideline's.

4. If you write a vampire novel PLEASE DON'T start the query by saying, "I Know... I Know... Another Stupid Vampire Novel." If you don't have enough faith in it, then why should we?

5. DO NOT REQUERY THE SAME BOOK OVER AND OVER WHEN WE'VE ALREADY REJECTED IT! Yes, we remember you and no, we don't read them again. So STOP. Chances are if you write another novel, we won't even look at it because we remember you and who you are! If we don't ask you to resubmit, DON'T.

6. Do, be professional. Query one agent at a time. That is not saying not to send out multiple queries, but don't do it in the same email. How would you like getting a group rejection?

7. The query letter is a simple thing. Give us length, genre, name, phone number, and a brief blurb and already you're ten paces ahead of the pack.

8. Secret number 8... list every single writing credential. Even if you don't think it matters, it matters. Do you have an MFA, say so. Brag about yourself, that is the time to do it!

9. Don't follow trends. Write what you love, if you do... we'll know and respond. Beautiful writing is beautiful writing, no matter what genre it is. Don't listen to naysayers saying such and such is dead, or such and such is hot, write what you love because that's what we want to read!

Well...I think he was pretty thorough there. And thank you so much *mysteryintern* for your pearls of wisdom! Hope you all enjoyed!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Yes, it's late, but this was the first time I could get away to put it up! LOL. This is from my very ROUGH wip Gerard's Beauty! Happy Mother's Day all, and with that I give you Six Sentence Sunday:



Friday, May 11, 2012

Gotta love new covers!

I normally would wait to post again till the next day. But new book covers simply cannot wait!! I was pleasantly surprised to find my book cover for Her Mad Hatter waiting in my inbox this afternoon. I'm sooo happy, first: because what are the odds I'll find an Asian Alice?! Second: Because this just feels so Hatter.

So what do you think?

I also received a cover for my second novella. It's in deep editing stage just yet, but I'm so happy to have the cover ready when it's done!

Love it!!

Fun factoid Friday...

And so another week bites the dust. Red Rocket is getting ready start summer vacation in 2 weeks and I've got a massive amount of edits to hit on Hatter. I'm hoping to get that well under way today, so without further ado:

1. Cherophobia is a fear of fun.
(Wow, really?! People are afraid to have fun... how sad.)

2. A donkey will sink in quicksand, but a mule won't.

3. Worms reportedly taste like bacon

LOL....that last one is so gross. :p Ya'll have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The reality of the harsh critique...

They exist. Yup, if you're a writer- and no matter how many fans you might have, the old adage is very true: Can't please them all.

First off, let me start this by saying I'm not thinking of anyone in particular. But I've had my share of them, I've been around for 10 years. It happens.

In the beginning those things used to get me so low I'd literally go weeks before I could write anything. I'd question everything I wrote, would start to listen to every negative comment and let it dictate to me what type of writer I was. But I've learned... and it's taken me a while to understand this... I am not what I write!

So what if someone doesn't love your work? 

They are every bit entitled to their opinion and you just have to live with it. That's what this business is all about. Harsh but true.

For an example: Stephanie Meyer has sold like gangbusters, her books have been turned into films and yet there's plenty of people who HATE her stuff. So what you think.. she's just a flash in the pan. Fine, let's look at a writer of classic literature, taught in schools, colleges, MOST readers would tell you she is their favorite author of all time. Jane Austen, author of such notable classics as P&P, (that's Pride and Prejudice for the few of you still living under a rock *wink*) Sense and Sensibility, and my personal favorite- Northanger Abbey. But go on to Amazon reviews, there's at least 100 people who would rather burn it than read it. 

So what's my point with this post? Just this. Learn. Learn from them. Listen, I never send my stuff out to get read with the need to be told, this was divine, an instant classic, you write sooooo much better than me, I'm not worthy... while those things are nice, you cannot learn from them. In fact, once the dust settles and you can sort out the feelings from the critique, it's often the really harsh critique from the person (who you know HATED it) that will give you some great insight. Something obviously turned them way off, try to find what that is, stew on it... and you might be surprised to find it's got merit. 

Besides, writing is all about drawing out emotion from the reader. I'll take hate over antipathy any day of the week. ;) Just means I'm getting closer.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hi guys

For the two people that read this! LOL...Sorry I've not updated in a while. I've been BUSY. Completely and totally. My internship has kept me unbelievably busy, not to mention my own writing. I've recently completed another book! Yay me. :D Entitled: Her Mad Hatter. Based loosely off Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland. It's the grown up version. ;) It's in the beta/editing phase and I'm feeling really good about it. Working on book 2 in my kingdom series. Will post book cover photos and a blurb soon, I hope!

I'll write more later...!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

So I guess I'll be jumping on the bandwagon! My C.P. and good friend suggested I join in on the fun. So six sentence Sunday from my current wip:


Have a great Sunday :D

Friday, May 4, 2012

Have to do this

Instead of Fun Factoid, today I'll be doing something I rarely do. Write a review!
Super Zero

I don't normally write them. And most especially not for a superhero romance. I've not found one yet I love. Well, that all changed last night. In fact, I loved this so much I'm blogging about it. The author is clearly a skilled writer, all sex scenes are fade to black (normally that's how I prefer it) and yet, I found myself almost wishing there was one, that's how hot the chemistry was between the two.

Cover is super cheese as  you can see, but this is a prime example of don't judge a book by it's cover! You absolutely must go download it, it's free...honestly, no reason not to try it. This book rocked my socks off. An adult version of Sky High, campy, cheesy goodness!

Just do yourself a favor, DON'T start reading this right before bed! It's highly addictive!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Premonition: Anticipation of an event without conscious reason
(Merriam-Webster Definition)

So to tell this story properly, I have to back track a little.

Last night, right before bed my husband started prowling the house. He checked the doors, then rechecked them. And then again, about an hour before bed, he rechecked them. Locked. But he was paranoid because the back door was open earlier in the evening. The only one who would have opened it would have been either myself or him, he asked me when he noticed if I'd done it. Honestly, I can't say that I didn't. But...I don't remember doing it. I would have had no reason. I didn't go into my garden yesterday, which is the only reason why I'd do it.

Anyway..after that, he was paranoid the rest of the night. So much so, that when we went to bed, he shot straight up thirty minutes later, grabbed my son's baseball bat and said he was going to check the doors again. He also walked the perimeter of the house. When I say he's not normally like this, I mean it. It was strange enough behavior that I started to get a little nervous. What was he doing?

When he finally came to bed, he didn't sleep well. He had so many bad dreams, it kept waking  me up. I'd have to literally slap him to get him to wake up and stop screaming. Needless to say, I did not sleep well last night. Before he went to work this morning he told he kept having these dreams that someone was breaking into our house and had hurt Bean.

I shrugged it off, it was only a dream. Right?

This morning when I walk Red Rocket to school I see cop cars at the neighbor's house. I really don't think much about it, this is a military base, it's not that uncommon. But when I'm coming home my neighbor is outside, she's got a ginormous suburban. We call it big blue, this thing is like a house it's so big. Hard to miss.

It was stolen last night. Not only that, she tells me the robbers hit most of the houses on the street. They jacked open garages, were stealing motorcycles, breaking into homes...last night my street got hit!

But not my house. Not only that, I left my car door unlocked. There was even cash in the ash tray. We have a classic Harley in the garage. Nothing got taken!! OMGosh!


You decide.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The trials of fabulousness...

While I know it might be hard to imagine, my being anything less than completely and totally is true that I'm a human too. I'm completely and utterly helpless when it comes to technology of any sort. In fact, it's a minor miracle I was able to boot up this laptop today. I know, shocking right.

Point is, I'm entering a very scary phase of my writing life. Promotions. I don't have a clue where to start, how to do it, et cetera. I've always left that up to my publishing houses before, would go to chats they scheduled for me, would go to the website where they'd put up ads for my books...yeah, I did nothing. Bit of a pampered doll I was.


Now, it's all on me and I don't know where to start. I hear so many conflicting reports. This works, no it doesn't. You must do this, I did that and not only did I waste 400 bucks...I didn't generate not one sale. So what does a girl like me do? I'm really not great at searching the web, mainly because I'm too lazy to learn. I'd rather write. That's why I go the easy route, blogger instead of word press as a point in case.

I thought, wrongly I'm guessing, that when you upload your stuff to amazon they did a certain part of the marketing for you. Like for instance, if I signed up for KDP select program..they'd circulate my book in all the appropriate venues, get some buzz going and I could sit back and see the magic happen.

I'm thinking however, that's just not the case. I blame stories like the Mill River Recluse for making me think this way. Darcy Chan (?) the author, plunked her book onto amazon for .99 cents, did zero advertising and it's now sold well over 300,000 copies. Granted .99 cents is a very low price point and maybe that enticed buyers to give it a go. But, there's many books marked down that low that get nowhere near that amount of sales.

So if anyone could give me a very basic, rudimentary plan for marketing that doesn't involve spending a fortune, in would be best, I'm a struggling writer *eye roll*, I'd be forever indebted to you and would definitely be willing to share some of my awesomeness with you! :)