More Tales from the #RWA14 Conference

I’ve been going through a transitional/unhappy period with my writing. I haven’t been happy with the way  my sales are going. It’s hard to get a royalty check for under $10 for a month’s worth of royalties. In fact, it downright sucks. But that’s the way it is. So for me, this conference was all about attitude adjustment.

I skipped all the workshops about self-publishing and social media. I know, for me, self-publishing isn’t the route I want to go right now. And I really have social medial fatigue. I’ve decided to only focus on the social media sites I really enjoy and ditch the rest. I removed my LinkedIn account. It didn’t work for me and I was uncomfortable with so much personal information out there. Plus, the creeps seems to follow me everywhere. I even had a stalker there. I’ve decided to par down the tweeting and use Facebook only sparingly (conference week was an exception).

Back to the conference… I took a workshop on how to juggle two careers, which really seemed to help me because I work full time and write part time. I wrote notes with reckless abandon and started to feel a little bit better about myself. The next one I took was about “protecting your joy” which really meant how to love writing again. Because I haven’t been able to love it for a while. Something hasn’t been clicking with me and it’s time for me to make a chance. It helped me realize I just want to focus on what is most important–WRITING. Another workshop I took was about reinventing yourself. Because I think it’s time for me to take a hard look at where my writing career is and where I want to go. This workshop really spoke to me and helped me understand where I am as a writer and where I want to go. It was all worthwhile. I have some hard thinking to do and I intend to do that and figure out where I want to go and how to get there.

One of the best things about conference is coming home feeling fueled with creative energy. I do feel better about my writing and my direction now. I have some hard decisions to make about what my next steps will be. But the best thing is it’s all up to me and I know I can do this.

My #RWA14 Conference Experience

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I’m fresh off the RWA annual conference and home from San Antonio. It was nice to have a conference in my home state. I managed to drag my husband for the first time.

First things first: Mexican food.

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After traveling all day , we stopped in at Rio Rio on the Riverwalk. I had some of the best street tacos. I loved them. They were gone in an instant. They were small and totally delicious. We got to the hotel a day early so we’d have some time to hang out together before conference madness. It was great! We HAD to visit the Alamo because that’s what you do when you go to San Antonio.

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We’ve been there a dozen times in our lives but it never gets old. And it was HOT. Can you tell? Next stop: Casa Rio for more Mexican food.

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I love flautas. Probably some of my most favorite. Heck, I could eat Mexican every single day. And look at that yummy goodness. It was really good. Also on the Riverwalk.

Then Wednesday night kicked off the conference with the literacy signing–RWA donates a portion of sales to literacy. We raised over $53,000! Isn’t that incredible? Here are a few pics of my friends from the signing. There were over 500 authors signing. It was loud and amazing and awesome. The husband bought books and actually had a great time.

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Here’s the fabulous Barb Han signing a book for my mom:

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Fellow Plotting Princess, Sylvia McDaniel:

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Me and the super awesome Elizabeth Essex:

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Patience Griffin signing her debut novel, To Scotland With Love:

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The very talented Addison Fox:

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AND last but not least, I had the chance to meet Jill Shalvis:

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Sorry for the blurry pictures. My iPhone didn’t like the lighting in the big room.

I also took more selfies.

Me and Karilyn Bently:

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Me and Vicki Batman:

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Me and Barb Han:

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I even managed to get one with me and the hubby!

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YES. I wore the hat everywhere. And boots. I’m a native. I can do that sort of thing. ;)

And I leave you with this. A margarita on the Riverwalk from County Line BBQ:

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@GoddessFish Book Tour: Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie

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The author will be awarding one autographed print copy (US or Canada – digital copy substituted for international winners) plus a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and the Reviews Only Tour. Click the banner above to follow the blog tour, comment and enter to win. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!

Andrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

Excerpt:

Cover_ShiftHappens“Where’s your fera?”

My knees banged against the table and my right elbow broke my fall as I leapt across the desk—the injuries mere flea bites in comparison to what raged inside my head. There was no chance to consider the ramifications of my actions. I strained forward and ignored the pain from the machine straps and chords ripping off my skin.

Tucker’s soft neck squished between my hands. I increased the pressure. No norm asked about feras nowadays. None. Not if the valued their lives. Shifters had been the hardest hit after the Purge. Every dumbass redneck who owned a gun ran out and used feras for target practice. So many died in the first years of the purge that they nicknamed the time the Shifter Shankings. I’d been born in the middle of that turbulent time and always assumed my birth parents had been two of the casualties. Why else would I be put up for adoption?

I squeezed harder, enjoying how Tucker’s eyes bulged.

The door banged open and Agent Booth stepped in.

“Agent McNeilly stand down,” she commanded. “Release Agent Tucker.”

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View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2About the Author:
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Where to Buy:

Author Links:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

 

GoddessFish

Friday Flicks: Fifth Element Taxi Chase

Another favorite of mine – English and bad English!

Her Fierce Knight @MySexySaturday #MSS50

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Welcome to Week 50 of My Sexy Saturday! Here is a little sexy snippet from my forthcoming fantasy romance, Her Fierce Knight releasing on August 28!

His mouth, so hot, landed on her neck as he kissed her. He kissed his way to the back of her ear and back down again. He kissed his way across her breasts that she so desperately wanted to be freed yet the damn dress held them right in place. He kissed his way up her chin to—finally—her lips.

And oh, gods, what a kiss that was. His searing mouth did not take his time as he had before. He took what he wanted, his mouth pillaging her. His tongue dueling with hers. She noticed then that he did not taste like wild berries and honeywine. He tasted like whiskey. Strong, sharp, tangy. Much like the taste in the back of her throat. They had shared the drink and now shared the kiss of passion.

Laerwen pulled him to her, all the sharp angles of his body thrusting against her. She was aware of his hips bones and his hard shaft as he rocked his hips against her. And her body responded in like as a moan bubbled up her throat.

Gods, what were they doing? This was insane and she had to stop.

But she couldn’t stop any more than she wanted to stop.

Finally, she broke her mouth away from his demanding one and turned her head. “Ainthas.” His name came out a breathy whisper.

But his mouth continued to taste her and kiss her and make her mind frazzled so much so she couldn’t think or form a coherent thought.

Friday Flicks: Armageddon

The husband and I have been introducing the pre-teen to all the cool action flicks of the 90s. This was a recent movie night at our house and one of my favorite scenes!

NEWS! New Series Coming Soon!

REALLY excited and happy to announce I SOLD! I’ve signed a contract for a new urban fantasy series called Dream Walker. The first book, Two Steps From Hell, is due out later this year from The Wild Rose Press. I’m especially excited about this new series because it’s something I’ve been working on for nearly two years and have been trying to sell for over a year. After several dozen rejections, I didn’t think it would ever find a home but I’m really glad it finally it. There are five books in the series. Book two, Blood and Bone, is currently underway.

But, you say, what’s it about? Well, I’ll tell you! Angels, demons, a kick-ass heroine, a hot homicide cop, a sexy messenger angel, action, adventure, holy relics, exotic places and lots of secrets. It’s a story about the ultimate good versus the ultimate evil. So stay tuned for the release date, cover reveal and teasers!

Here’s the blurb:

Zoë Cavanaugh—immortal dream walker, sleep therapist and occasional consultant in homicide investigations—that’s me. I stay under the radar and try to help others get rid of their nightmares.

Until a black-winged fallen angel insists I use my talents to find the Horn of Gabriel, one of the five Holy Relics. Even worse? His counterpart in Heaven, a messenger angel, wants to hire me for the same job.

Torn between good and evil, I’m trapped in my own nightmare uncovering a family prophecy claiming I’m the Keeper of the Holy Relics. Accepting that position means I accept my duty as the one—the only one—who can stop the coming war between two ultimate powers that can save or destroy mankind.

Can a girl get a break here? Now I must make the most important choice of my immortal life. Embrace my job as Keeper and secure the artifacts before Lucifer and his minions take them to Hell, or turn my back on Heaven’s angels and my destiny. Either way I’m pretty sure I’m screwed.

Release Date for Her Fierce Knight

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I’m so excited. The final book in the Realm of Honor series, Her Fierce Knight, will be released August 28, 2014! So mark your calendars for release week because I’ll have all kinds of fun stuff happening here on the blog and over on Facebook.

To celebrate, here are the opening lines from the book. Enjoy!

Princess Laerwen emer’Aranhil Bloodfire stood on the dormant volcano and looked down into the ruin that was once her kingdom. Her gut clenched into a tight knot. The charred black earth still smoked from the recent fires. It still smelled of death. Homes had been burned to the ground. Some had stood centuries including that of the royal palace.

She had climbed this mountain numerous times as a child. She knew every handhold. Every foothold. Every nook and cranny. When things had gone to hell, the safest place for her—she knew—was here on the mountain. She’d paused halfway up to turn and watch the horror play out in front of her. Helpless, all she could do was wait for the sun to come up.

Now it had. The burning dawn revealed the loss of life and devastation.

Looking at the destruction below, one would expect such a result from a volcanic eruption. But the Hin’Dar Rhule had not exploded in thousands of years. This destruction was not from the lava that had once flowed. This was from the bloody Fomorians, a race they thought long imprisoned in the Sorrow Lands.

Laerwen wore the voluminous skirt and blouse, both bejeweled with shimmering stones against the red and green silken material, that she’d worn to the previous night’s ball. The matching sari was tossed over her shoulder, though she’d lost her veil somewhere in the fray. Glancing down at her attire, she seemed rather out of place in the aftermath of the attack. She jerked off the jewels on her head and flung them to the ground.

Hiram, her father’s advisor, trudged up the hill with a slow careful pace. He wasn’t as agile as he used to be and she was surprised he’d found her. His long cobalt tunic was smeared with a black streak of blood. The knees of his trousers had a mixture of blood and mud, as though he had knelt by someone’s side who might have been dying. His black hair stood in tufts about his dirt-smudged face. It was clear he had been running his long fingers through the thick locks over and over. Worry lines wrinkled his brow and around his mouth. Seeing it etched on his face so prominently did nothing for her nerves.

He paused next to her, his chest heaving as he tried to catch his breath. They stood together to survey their ruined realm. He emitted a little gasp of horror and she knew it was the first he’d seen it from this vantage point. It looked far worse from this distance than on the ground in the midst of it. Tension emanated off him in waves. Tension and distress and sorrow.

“So many lost.” He whispered the words, but she still heard.

“Aye.” It was the only response she could force past the lump in her throat. She swallowed it hard, regaining her composure. “How did you find me?”

“Every Fire Elf knows this is your favorite place when you want solitude.”

And here she thought it to be her secret place.

@Goddessfish Book Tour: Spirit of the Knight by Debbie Peterson

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I’m delighted to have Debbie as a guest today! She will be awarding one Art print, inspired by the novel, and signed by the artist and an ebook copy of Van Locken’s Witch and Shadow of the Witte Wieven (books one and two in the Wieven series to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour by clicking the banner above!

Prize_Prayer for the FallenThank you so much Michelle, for inviting me to share your blog. I am excited to be here!

All right, Mizz (emphasis on the “mizz”) Peterson…just why did you chose to write your stories in the genre of paranormal romance, anyway?

With so many asking this question, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate the answer. So what did I come up with? Well, I think it’s merely the culmination of all the books I have ever read and enjoyed over a lifetime of reading.

I can credit my mother who read to me from the earliest days of my childhood, as well as my third grade teacher, for instilling in me a love of books. In those days I loved reading fairy tales (ghosts, witches, warlocks, fairies…), the Nancy Drew series (adventure, mysteries…), and anything wherein a horse played a central part (always contemporary). As I grew a bit older my aunt introduced me to romance novels by suggesting I read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Not long thereafter I gravitated to novels written by Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Daphne Du Maurier. From there I discovered and found myself enthralled with authors such as Johanna Lindsey and Kathleen Woodiwiss (books obviously historical in nature). Are you seeing the pattern?

So, when my husband (and he gets all of the credit) convinced me to pick up my pen and write the stories floating around inside my head, I discovered my present-day romances were all interwoven with elements of the paranormal, history, adventure, and a dash of mystery…go figure.

Now, I’m also quite certain I can blame my three ghostly romances on the influences of “Dark Shadows,” (the soap opera, not the movie) where–in a particular segment–the dashing Quentin Collins fell in love with the ghost of the lovely Daphne Harridge. I rooted for this couple, just as I did for the ghostly Captain Gregg and Mrs. Muir—both in the movie and the series. I also feel the need to mention the characters of the very mortal Jack Crawford and the ghost of Mary Plunkett in the movie comedy “High Spirits.”

I had to wonder how such a love as these could possibly end in a happily-ever-after. And if somehow it did, then my-oh-my, what a unique and special love it must be in order to overcome such impossible obstacles. With that idea in mind, I wrote Spirit of the Rebellion, published in 2012, Spirit of the Revolution, published in 2013, and Spirit of the Knight, now available on Kindle, with a world-wide release date of July 9th, in both print and E-book. For those who chose to read my books (and I truly hope you all do), rest assured, each story does indeed have a Happily-Ever-After ending!

I hope you enjoy reading them every bit as much as I did writing them!

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Cover_Spirit of the KnightBlurb:

She fell deeply in love with him in the early days of her childhood. And in return, she captured his heart the moment he first cast his gaze upon her…

Renowned artist, Mariah Jennings hired to paint a thirteenth-century Scottish castle, gets the shock of her life when she encounters the handsome knight who has dominated a lifetime of portraits and sketchbooks.

But Sir Cailen Braithnoch is no ordinary ghost, nor did he suffer an ordinary death. Magic of the blackest kind cast a pall over the knights centuries ago. As the ghost and his lady seek to unravel the paradox surrounding his death, black arts, otherworldly forces, and a jealous rival conspire against them.

Will those forces tear them apart, or is their love destined to last throughout the ages?

Excerpt:

He tilted his head to the side and shrugged. “It wouldn’t have mattered. I didn’t know when I brewed it that you had already given your heart away. And of all th’ stupid, ridiculous things you could possibly do, you gave your heart to a ghost. I should have realized it from th’ beginning when I first laid eyes on your sketches. Therefore, my potion wouldn’t have had th’ desired effect.”

“And you think this new one will?”

“Och, without doubt.” He nodded his confidence. “This one will make you forget any of th’ knights ever existed. Do ye ken? All your memories of them will be gone in th’ mere blink of an eye.”

The arrogant tone roused her temper even further. “Just so you know—there’s not an herb, potion, or magic incantation powerful enough to erase Cailen from my heart. He’s possessed it far too long. You’re wasting your time.”

He shrugged. “We’ll see.”

Though she tried not to show it, Evan’s calm assurance scared her half to death. Her thoughts drifted to Cailen. Surely when he returned to the castle, he would move heaven and earth to find her. If she called out to him periodically, he would hear her. He could find her simply by following the sound of her voice—

“If you’re thinking your knight will rescue you, let me save you th’ trouble of hoping,” he said. “Cailen is not coming back.”

About the Author:

Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages. However, in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press and the rest is history. She now has five published novels to her credit.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family, within the lovely, arid deserts of southern Nevada. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

Connect with Debbie:

WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Where to Buy:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

GoddessFish

Friday Flicks: We are going to live on

Happy Independence Day