Opinions From a Frustrated Writer

There has been some talk in the Interwebs about the future of Ellora’s Cave. I’m sure most of you have read the post over at Dear Author—I have.

What really bothers me the most is all this is happening and EC doesn’t seem to care about their authors. Especially those of us who are in the now-defunct Blush line. Not only were we pushed aside to begin with—because our books weren’t as racy as their other lines and therefore didn’t make them the kind of money they wanted—we are practically ignored when it comes to reviews and promotion. EC has never promoted me as a writer with their Blush line, nor have they made sure my five—YES, FIVE—books have been reviewed. My last release back in August wasn’t even promoted on their Facebook page like the others. There were no tweets about the new release and there are certainly no reviews.

Now there is the issue of their potential bankruptcy and closing their doors because of mismanaged money. It seems to me, as a business, they know what’s happening with their finances. Wouldn’t it make more sense to release those of us who’s books DON’T make them the big bucks? (Or even small bucks for that matter.) Give us our rights back so we can actually, you know, make money on our books instead of letting them collect dust on the eBook shelves. OR letting them be tied up in a lengthy court battle that will drag on forever. I had three books this year that would be eligible for the RITA awards but they’ve already made a point to tell us that we are responsible for printing our own books if we intend to enter. Why would I go to that expense for that? They don’t help me. Why should I help them?

I’m frustrated and angry it’s come to this. I’d like my rights back on those five books so I can figure out what to do with them next. Because I’m in this as a business, too, and the bottom line is the publisher has single-handedly killed my sales thanks to their lack of interest and promotion in my series. So, yeah, I’m pissed off. And I feel like I have every right to be pissed off.

And to add insult to injury, most of those books have been pirated. Effing pirates. I hope their dicks fall off.

Maybe I shouldn’t have signed the initial contract for the first book. But at the time, who knew what was going to happen? Hindsight being 20/20 and all that.

All that said…I can’t let it kill my creativity or writing. I have to continue on. Worrying about it isn’t going to change anything. What’s done is done.

Blog Tour: @GoddessFish featuring The Darkest War by C.L. Parks

Author Pic

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The Author will be awarding one paperback copy of The Darkest War to a randomly drawn winner, One deluxe swag pack including paperclip bookmark, The Darkest War candle holder, paper bookmark, postcard, and playing cards will be awarded to another randomly drawn winner and One swag pack including book mark, postcard, and playing cards will be awarded to one more randomly drawn winner. All prizes will be awarded via rafflecopter during the tour and are US ONLY. Click the banner to follow the tour.

Cover_The Darkest WarTenna Massey hoped for a break after killing her possessed ex-husband, but the demons have other ideas. She thought her first Hunt was difficult; just wait until sh…e sees what the demons have in store for her now. The latest attack on her points to someone she knows, causing her to doubt her relationships with her soul mate, Jason, and the rest of her newly adopted family.

While Tenna wades through all the new information, trying to learn whether one of her own has betrayed her, the entire family is on edge with the arrival of an enemy clan of Shifters, the same Shifters responsible for the slaughter of Jason’s entire family and tribe. Everything is hitting too close to home.

The closer Tenna gets to finding the demon doing everything it can to be the one to end the reign of the Huntress, the more she realizes it is, indeed, someone she loves. Sometimes the dead don’t stay dead.

EXCERPT:

Jason’s fist slammed onto the table, the wood creaked under the force, glasses wobbled then tipped, and poor Bren jumped so high Tenna thought she’d actually come out of her chair. He stood abruptly, knocking the chair to the ground. “I knew where you were because you told us what direction you were heading and I caught your scent. I know the Okroyo because those are the fuckers who slaughtered my entire village, save me of course. Stacy doesn’t have ‘a scratch’,” he said imitating the way Tenna had said it, “because they weren’t there for her. They were there for you. And no, I don’t know why the fuck some Shifters would come after a demon Hunter…yet. But I will find out.” He took two steps and loomed over Tenna while she continued to sit at the table. “Do not ever. Accuse me. Of going against you. Again.” He bent at the waist, bringing his face even with Tenna’s, lining his eyes up with hers. “Do not. Accuse your family. Of turning against you. Ever. Again.”

The energy in the room was collectively angry, but a majority coming from Jason was pain. She’d hurt him. With her discreet accusation she’d cut him further than any knife could. She dropped her eyes to her lap not wanting to see the look in his eyes, although she couldn’t get away from the physical aspects of his agony.

Jason straightened, turned on his heel, and stormed out of the kitchen and out through the front door. The force with which he slammed the door rattled the windows and once again made poor Bren jump. Her eyes flitted from Tenna’s face, over to Russ, and then to Stacy who was still standing in her doorway with her arms crossed over her chest.

About the Author:

Author PicCL Parks has had a passion for writing since reading Charlotte’s Web in kindergarten. After rewriting the ending to gift Charlotte with immortal life she became obsessed. Her tastes quickly moved from sweet and innocent to the supernatural after reading Stephen King in fifth grade. Since the moment she picked up Pet Semetary she devoured every supernatural and preternatural book she could get her hands on by authors ranging from Anne Rice to Stephanie Rowe.

When not fully engulfed in the latest release or typing away at her newest novel you can find her corralling her chickens, playing with her dogs, spoiling her large lizard or sewing a new vintage inspired dress. Her dream is to travel the country in an RV with her husband while writing more books…after the kids have gone on to college, of course.

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Barnes & Noble:
She Who Hunts (Book 1) | The Darkest War (Book 2)

Amazon:
She Who Hunts (Book 1) | The Darkest War (Book 2)

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Writing Flicks: Story Structure Part 4

Here is part 4

Writing Flicks: Story Structure Part 3

And moving on to part 3!

A Make-Over

newdesk

newdeskA couple of weeks ago, I bought a new desk on sale. I was pretty excited about that because I’d been using a broken one for about, oh, seven years. Granted, I was the one that broke it. It was one of those crappy put-together-yourself desks that are flimsy at best. When I decided to pain the room, I’d dragged it out. I didn’t have help at the time because I lived alone and the boy wasn’t old enough to help me yet. Naturally when I dragged it out of the room, it busted. Since I was pretty poor at the time, I knew I had to find a way to cobble it together. It was totally hinky, too, the way I managed to piece it back together. I never moved it again for fear it would completely fall apart.

Anyway, so I’d been eyeing this desk for a while. I LOVED the idea of a corner desk. I thought it would take up less room (NOT) and that I would have more space (YES). I also bought a four-drawer filing cabinet.

Since I bought a new desk, I figured it was a good time to paint the room. I’d been looking through a Better Homes & Gardens magazine and saw this paint color that I fell in love with. I ripped out the page and told my husband that was the color I wanted. He went on a quest for me and found it. It’s beautiful! A sort of bluish-green with more green than blue. The name of the color is “park place” and he got it at Lowe’s from the Allen + Roth collection, in case you’re interested. ;)

I deemed this weekend as renovation weekend. I started cleaning up the room and moving things out of it during the week. There were shelves that went around the perimeter of the room. I removed them and packed up everything that was on them. I unloaded the bookcase and hubby moved it temporarily to the living room. I had so much JUNK in the office, it blew me away. The bookcase had been stuffed to the gills with a lot of crap.

The room was bursting at the seams with stuff. A lot of stuff. There were things piled up on the floor. The desk was a disaster. It was driving me crazy.

Anyway, he was nice enough to build the desk, the hutch and the filing cabinet for me while I painted. I haven’t painted in a while and I forgot how much hard work that is. I’m sore in places I didn’t know I could be sore.

By the time I finished the walls, he’d finished the desk. We moved it inside the room and TADA! Of course, it took me another day to sort through the crap that was my office supplies. I found 15 pocket folders, 10 spirals and 8 packages of note cards. I found 7 packages of photo paper (I never print photos), a package of cardstock with a dead bug stuck to it (ew), miscellaneous other special paper, my son’s second grade report card (he’s in 8th now), about 100 photographs my mother gave me, ticket stubs to a concert from 2007 the man and I went to, and various other sundries. *insert straight face here*

The room is much more orderly now. I have space for everything I need. There is no longer junk piled on the floor that I have to step over to get into the room. I threw away a lot of crapola I didn’t need anymore.  But I still have the ticket stubs from 2007.

Writing Flicks: Story Structure Part 2

Continuing with the story structure, here is part 2

Writing Flicks: Story Structure Part 1

I found this to be value in learning how to plot. Check out part 1!

Today: @MySexySaturday #MSS58

One Knight Only, Realm of Honor, Book 1
 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave | All Romance eBooks

Today’s My Sexy Saturday comes from the first book in the Realm of Honor series, One Knight Only. I adore these books. They’re such fun. This is the story of Maggie and Finn. Maggie has time traveled back to the Middle Ages where she wakes in the arms of a sexy Scotsman. Who can resist that?

A groan behind her made her spin around, grabbing the linen and holding it to her bosom. On the bed, a dark-haired man she had never seen before rolled onto his back. He was shirtless, showing off every ripple of muscle and fantastic pectorals, the likes of which she had never seen in her life. Smooth, hairless skin with tremendous biceps and a narrow waist disappearing into the bedding that made her imagination run away with hot fantasies.

“Ooohhhh,” she breathed.

Who was this man? More importantly, where the bloody hell was she?

A soft snore escaped him and Maggie couldn’t stop staring at that beautiful chest rising and falling with every breath. His long dark hair spilled around him. And his face…

“Wow.”

The word slipped out before she could stop it. His chiseled face hosted a strong square chin with a tiny indention in the center covered with a day’s growth of beard, a perfect nose, pronounced cheekbones, dark eyebrows. She propped a knee on the mattress, scooting closer to lean over him for a better look, amazed at how powerful his face appeared. Fierce. A man not to be trifled with. A man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to get it.

Maggie cocked her head to the side, enjoying her view, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. For a moment, she had forgotten the fact she was in a strange place. Her long, auburn locks cascaded over her shoulder and brushed against him. The baby-fine strands must have tickled his skin, for his eyes popped open and stared back at her.

Why I Said No to the Contract

Business 1836

ambitionI’ve been sitting on this for a while. I’ve been trying to decide if I want to blog about it or not. I guess because I wasn’t sure what kind of feedback I’d get. But I pretty much figure I’m talking to myself here at the blog, so why not?

Back in July, before I headed off to RWA Nationals, I received a contract offer for my urban fantasy series. Not only did they want the first book, but they wanted to contact all five books in the series. Normally, I would be jumping with excitement with this news. But I was…apprehensive. Something in my gut was telling me NOT to sign the contract. I’m not sure why I felt that way about the contracts. I guess because I had a bigger vision for the series than with this publisher.

The publisher was by NO MEANS a bad publisher. In fact, I did my homework. I know several writers who write for them and love them. They’ve never had a problem with them. They’ve loved their editors. Why, then, was I hesitating? It should have been a no-brainer. The books would eventually all be in print.

But I felt like something was missing. I agonized over it for days. I made a list of pros and cons and still I wasn’t happy with the results. The more I thought about it, the more I talked myself into signing the contract.

So I signed.

And instantly regretted the decision. I was so unhappy with that, it made me miserable. I kept telling myself it would be fine. I’d be writing the series I’d always wanted to write.

But it wasn’t enough.

A dear writing friend cornered me at my last chapter meeting before Nationals and asked me what was up. She knew I was unhappy and wanted to help. We had along chat. I told her why I felt obligated to sign the contract.

“But you’re not happy with it,” she said.

No. I wasn’t.

When I explained to her why I wasn’t happy with it and the vision I had for those books, she said three words that changed my way of thinking.

“Can you terminate?”

Can you DO that? That’s what I instantly thought. Is that possible? I went back and read and read and read the contract to see what the verbiage was for termination. I wasn’t very far along in the process—no edits, no cover art, no nothing. But I was leaving for Nationals in three days and I didn’t know what to do.

My husband, in his infinite wisdom, said, “You need to do what Michelle wants to do and forget everyone else. You want to terminate, do it. Write the email and get it over with tomorrow.”

Tomorrow being Monday.

I wrote the email. It was painful but I knew it was something I had to do. I knew this publisher wasn’t where I wanted my books and I knew it wasn’t a good fit.

After several days, traveling to Nationals in San Antonio and lots of margaritas later, the publisher released me. It wasn’t pretty. But I had my books back.

It’s probably the hardest decision I’ve ever made regarding my writing career. I never like letting people down, especially when someone offers me a contract for books I haven’t written yet. I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to go and I was disappointed in myself for not listening to my gut when I knew it was right.

After getting home from Nationals, I sat down and did some really hard thinking about my writing career, my writing goals and my writing in general. My husband was right: it was time to do what Michelle wanted to do. And Michelle didn’t want to do what everyone else THOUGHT she should do.

So I ditched a lot of social media accounts. I’m focused on solely Facebook these days. I don’t tweet. I deleted my LinkedIn account and my Instagram account. I got off Triberr. My poor blog has been neglected (something I’m making a valiant effort to resurrect). I may be posting sporadically but I promise you I will try very hard to post something every week.

What am I doing with all this time? I’m writing or revising. I took a month to rewrite the entire first book of the urban fantasy series. I’m much happier with the final product. It’s definitely a book of which I’m proud.

Writing is my number one priority these days. Not social media. Not volunteering. It’s really hard for me to say no.

But I have my goals lined out. And I know where I want to go. Now, I just have to get there.

Wish me luck.

For #TuesdayTeaser: Her Fierce Knight

HerFierceKnight300

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave |  All Romance eBooks
Book 5 in the Realm of Honor Series

Today’s post comes from my new release, Her Fierce Knight. This is the final book in the Realm of Honor fantasy romance series.

“How about whiskey?”

Ainthas stood and turned away from the table, walking across the dining hall to a high table on the other side. He grabbed two small cups and filled them with a pale amber liquid then walked back to her.

“I’ve never had whiskey.”

“Nor I. Shall we try it together?” He handed her the cup.

She held it between her palms and looked down into the liquid, smelling the sharp tang and smiling. “It smells delicious. And strong. Like I might get drunk on one sip.” She glanced up at him, her brows raised in question. “Or is that what you’re trying to do, your majesty?”

“Get you drunk? Why I never.”

She laughed. Together the two of them downed the drink in the same instance. It burned all the way down to her toes, giving her a lovely warming feeling and making her head thick. As though she’d suddenly grown fur between her earlobes. She laughed again. A hearty laugh that come from the belly up her throat. She held out her cup.

“Another.”

“Are you sure, your majesty?”

She wiggled the cup at him. “Another!”

He went back to the table, grabbed the decanter and returned to fill her cup and his. They clinked cups and then downed the drink together.

“How wonderful this is. I haven’t been this happy in ages.” She giggled.

“Did you know it’s the color of your eyes?” He held up the decanter, the amber liquid winking in the candlelight making it sparkle. “I’ve always thought so.”

“Have you?”

“I have.”

He set aside his cup and advanced around the table, walking in slow, silent steps like a big cat. As though he were on the prowl. Indeed, his mesmerizing green eyes sparked with desire and need. Everything she’d been feeling since the moment she saw him. She turned her back to the table and watched him approach. Her heart beat so hard, she was sure he heard it.

Ainthas pried the cup from her fingers and placed it on the table next to her. He pinned her between the table and his wall of muscle. She’d only noticed that for the first time. Gods, he was handsome. With that fall of silvery hair and those pale green eyes. She couldn’t stop from reaching up to brush away the locks from his forehead, letting her fingers glide through the strands and over his scalp.