An Update From Beyond (with Giveaway!)

Hello, readers! I’m sure I’m talking to crickets but I wanted to post something this week to say HI! I’m still alive and breathing! And spending most of my time on Facebook. *grins*

Have I been writing? No, not exactly. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading craft books. So far I’ve read Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, Goal Motivation Conflict by Deb Dixon and The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maas. Both are excellent reads for writers. Now I’m reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

I’ve wanted to sit down and read these books for the longest time but with contract deadlines and only so many hours in the day, it makes it hard to get everything done. However, I have been mulling over a couple of different projects as I’ve been reading these books. I’m moving more toward fantasy with romantic elements than full-blown romance. I’m also still working on that urban fantasy.

What have I learned from my reading?

The key to great fiction is CHARACTER. A great character will make readers never want to stop reading. A good story is not really about the plot – it’s about what happens to the character. If you think about all the books you love, what is the one recurring element in those? A great character? You were invested in them and their journey and you had to see how it turned out, right?

I’m curious. Tell me two of your favorite books – any genre – and why. In a couple of days, depending on the number of comments I get, I’ll pick a winner who will receive their choice of anything on my backlist.

I’ll start. Two of my favorite books:

The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter because Strider was my favorite Lord of the Underworld (possessed by Defeat) and he and Kaia really made the pages sizzle!

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning because Mac is such a terrific character with so many flaws. Plus it’s a kickass series if you haven’t read it.

Now, your turn.

Book Tour: @GoddessFish Shimmy for Me by Deanna Cameron

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Deanna will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. For more chances to win, follow the blog tour by clicking the banner above.

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Blurb:

Cover_Shimmy For MeJuggling two jobs to keep her belly dance studio afloat keeps Abby Anderson’s mind off her shattered love life—until a reawakened pain sends her into the arms of an anonymous stranger she plucks from the audience of her tribal belly dance show. No names, no strings, no romance. She tells herself it’s a harmless hookup.

Until he turns up at her day job . . .

Derek Collier, the sexy heir to the Collier media dynasty, just landed everything he’s always wanted: the publisher’s seat at the Orange County Herald. Except his first order of business is to sell the newspaper. Reeling from his family’s betrayal, his only comfort is the memory of that mysterious belly dancer and the perfect night they spent together.

He won’t rest until he finds her again.

She’ll lose everything if he does.

Excerpt:

By the time Abby took her place on the small stage, the lights were low, and a slow, snaky melody had filled the restaurant’s main room. She was only a silhouette to the roomful of diners, holding her pose like a living statue. She usually closed her eyes during this prelude and focused on the energy of the music and the audience.

Not tonight.

In the darkness, her gaze roamed. She wanted a good view before the stage lights came up to brighten her, and blind her.

Nearly every seat was filled. A good draw for a Thursday night. Mostly couples, some groups. But it was the single men she searched for. The ones who sat on the fringe to watch.

Would it be the college jock tipping back beer in a bottle? The shy guy in the Oxford shirt fidgeting with his soda straw? Maybe the older . . .

A Suit at the bar caught her eye. One hand wrapped around a highball glass, the other tugging at his tie. Calm. Confident. And sexy as hell. The way his gaze locked on her made her tingle in all the right places.

He was the one.

Derek Collier sipped his Macallan 18 and watched the restaurant’s belly dancer come alive to the hypnotic rhythm pulsing through the dining room. When he’d seen the words “belly dancing” glowing in blue neon beneath the Sultan’s Tent sign, he’d expected the kind of flashy beads and sequins dancer he’d seen a hundred times before.

He didn’t expect this.

The poster at the front called her Zenina, a tribal fusion belly dancer. Whatever that was. From his vantage point at the bar, she looked like nothing he’d ever seen—part bohemian waif, part harem fantasy, part . . . Damn, the way she swayed and writhed up there was making it impossible to think.

About the Author:

AuthorPic_DeAnnaCameronDeAnna Cameron writes novels featuring feisty heroines transformed by true love and belly dance—the oldest and most exciting dance form in the world. Her novels have been translated into Japanese, Polish, and Serbian, and her work has been praised for its “deft prose, energetic characters and . . . colorful images” by RT Book Reviews and called “most entertaining” by the Historical Novel Review. Before turning to fiction, DeAnna worked as a journalist, writing and editing for several Southern California newspapers and magazines. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as its Orange County chapter. When she isn’t working on her next novel, she can usually be found at her jeweler’s bench, creating new wire-wrap, bead, and multimedia designs. She lives in Orange County, Calif., with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour: @GoddessFish Computer Love Inc II Gestation

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One randomly drawn commenter will win a $50 Amazon gift card. To follow the blog tour, click the banner above.

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Blurb:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00021]After the sudden deaths of two previous Computer Love Inc. CEOs, Marius takes control of the company. Embracing the talents of his godson, John, and his best friend, Zak, he hires the boys to oversee the Companion Services Division. Marius refines his breakthrough technology, the Brain Machine Download, and as a result, creates his double, M2, as the prototype. Together, they ignite the future of Computer Love Inc. by acquiring an elite team of scientists to expand the company’s technological boundaries. Meanwhile, Marius struggles with the government’s demands for a clandestine initiative – the Secret Service Companion. Between the looming government presence and the overwhelming force behind his new team of inventors, can Marius survive the outcome of his own creations?

Excerpt:

The room remained silent. Ten pairs of eyes were fixed on Marius, not even a single person consumed with a hangnail or discreetly checking messages on his or her unit.

“So then – and please forgive me when I say this, because often it seems that social delicacies elude me; I’m sure you all possess unique and likeable personalities, but really – it’s your brains that we’re after here.”

Again Marius paused. By now, some gazes had shifted: faces looked amongst one another, gauging reactions – animals measuring a threat by observing the rest of the pack.

“Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Can I pick your brain’? Essentially, that’s what I’d like to do here. I need your brilliance, and I implore you to consider this proposal. I would like to perform a Brain Machine Download on each of you in order to capture your intelligence. Is everyone familiar with what the theory of the BMD is, or what it entails?”

If they were not familiar, no one spoke up or raised a hand. Again, the looks flashed around the room – there were a few who wanted to know more, but, seeing that no one else had first spoken up, they remained quiet. Marius had seen it. Even in the wisest, cowardice lives…

About the Authors:

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoKurt and Jessica Hansen reside in northern New Jersey . Kurt has worked in the aerospace electronics industry for over three decades and enjoys the outdoors, writing, and composing music. Kurt is easily recognized with a guitar in his lap, a pencil in his mouth, and a piece of paper in front of him.

Jessica graduated from Montclair State University, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in English. Her favorite pastimes include reading, running and spending time with her family. She can usually be found with a book in one hand and a hazelnut coffee in the other.

The Computer Love Inc. series is a collaborative effort between father and daughter.

Where to buy:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Where to find the authors:

Kurt and Jessica Hansen Amazon Author Page | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Guest Post: Rose Lange on Being a Writer Mom

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Today I’m VERY pleased to host my friend and debut author, Rose Lange. I “met” her several years ago when I was coordinator of a contest sponsored by an RWA chapter. She’d done very well in the contest and we managed to keep in touch the last few years. She emailed me updates of how her writing was going. We shared writing war stories. :) So I was very excited when she sold her first novel and I’m super happy to have her here today to talk about her new book! Please welcome Rose Lange to the Inkwell!


Gracie's-Plan-Final-(med)-copyBeing a writer has its challenges. Being a writer, and a mom adds an entirely different set of challenges. Add to that having a full-time job, and you might wonder how any writing gets done. Let me start at the beginning.

I started writing when I was fourteen. By the time I graduated high school, I’d written two contemporary romances. But by the time I reached college, gotten married, and let life in general take over, I’d put them, and my writing, to the side for about eight years. It’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s that I was doing other things, and let’s be honest; I didn’t make it a priority at that time. But that little voice always spoke to me, “Why aren’t you writing?” or “You should be writing.” I never responded, but that voice never went away.

Then in May of 2009, I got pregnant with my son, and everything changed—my way of thinking shifted. Despite not having written anything in years (besides college papers) I still couldn’t help but think, “How will I ever write again?” Suddenly the urge to write again re-surfaced, and lit a fire under me. I immediately took action, and joined a local writer’s group where I quickly formed wonderful friendships, and was thrilled that I could talk to people that understood “writing.” For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel so alone in my writing journey. Then I began brainstorming a new book, and following my son’s birth, I started writing at night while he slept. Little by little, page-by-page, I had a completed manuscript I could be proud of, and something to work with!

In having a baby, I experienced a re-birth in myself. Deciding I couldn’t put my dreams on hold anymore. From then on, I’ve made writing a priority. Even if I can only write for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, as long as I had something down, I was happy.

Now, with one published book under my belt, and a work in progress later, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I’m grateful that little voice in my head never stopped talking, and even more grateful that I never stopped listening.

I love hearing from my readers! You can find me on my website, on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter. You can also reach me via e-mail.

I would like to thank Michelle Miles for being such a gracious hostess, and having me on her blog today. Thank you to everyone that stopped by, and I hope to connect with you soon.

About Rose Lange:

RoseLangeRose Lange has been a reader since she was little. Her joy for reading eventually turned into a passion for writing, which she started pursuing in high school. Her English teacher read her first manuscript, a contemporary romance, and encouraged her to keep writing.

She is a member of Romance Writer’s of America, as well as the Wisconsin Chapter, where she has formed wonderful friendships.

Rose lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband, son, and a mischievous poodle, Gizmo. She loves spending time in her “mommy” cave creating stories, and getting to know her characters.

When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching old movies, reading, and shopping.

“Gracie’s Plan,” a contemporary romance, is her debut novel.

Giveaway:

For the first five people to “Like” me on my Facebook author page, and leave a comment, I’ll send you a free e-copy of “Gracie’s Plan.” If you’re not on a social media out-let, no worries, just send me an e-mail at rose@roselange.com. Thanks for stopping by!

A Night with a Rock Legend

Earlier this year, I’d heard Paul McCartney was coming to play Dallas.

Now. You probably don’t know this about me but I am a classic rock lover. My husband teases me because I listen to the classic rock station (he calls if fossil rock). I’ve listened to Bo and Jim in the morning since their Q102 days (any locals remember that station?). They’ve been on the air 20+ years, to give you some history.

My big sister had these Beatles greatest hits album on a double LP – that’s vinyl, for all you young bucks who don’t remember The Time Before CDs and Digital. I used to listen to them OVER and OVER. A Beatles fan was born. This was probably in the late 80s. I lamented that I’d missed the best musical era ever (the 60s). When CDs became the norm, I bought every Beatles album. I had McCartney CDs from his solo career and Wings. I’ve been a fan for a long, long time.

SO. I would suffice it to say the Beatles are my favorite classic rock band and Paul is definitely my favorite.

Anyway… when I found out he was coming to Dallas, I salivated at the chance to get tickets. I was buying them no matter what. They went on sale and I was on the phone with Ticketmaster. I ended up with two nosebleed seats for a small chunk of change but I knew it would be TOTALLY worth it. The concert was scheduled for mid-June on a Monday night.

The date approached. And about a week before, he announced he was too sick to make it and was canceling the Dallas date. I nearly cried. Okay, not really, but I was pretty sad. However, it was rescheduled to October 13.

Okay. I can deal with that. I love October. It’s my favorite month of the year. Cooler weather, fall decorating, the arrival of hockey and football.

The weekend before the concert, the husband and I decided it was time to rip up the nasty carpet and replace it with laminate. That is a post for another day. We were worn out come Monday with sore muscles. But I was going to that concert and dragging him with me.

I think he didn’t know what to expect. We arrived early (DUH – because I can’t be late ANYWHERE) and found our seats way up in the top.

Two things then happened.

One: Husband and I are chatting and this long-haired guy and his 10 year old kid come down our row. There were probably six seats to my right and then the aisle. So they’re looking at their tickets and the dude says to me, “Are you in the wrong seats?” I looked at him, all deadpan, and said, “NO.” Like “NO you idiot I know how to read.” They look at their tickets again, realized they are one section over and left.

Two: About 5 minutes after that, several other guys come down the row. Now, the seats are tight so you have to stand up to let people by. (Sidebar: why do they put the seats so darn close together? And then you have feet behind your head and guys who want to prop their leg on their knee and their foot is like 2 inches from the person’s head in front of them. Pet Peeve.) One guy gets by me to the other side. There is some situation with people in the wrong seats (REALLY? How do you not know where you’re sitting? I don’t get it). Second guy standing next to me starts to wobble. Did I mention he’s hold a full to the brim beer? The beer sloshes over the side of his cup and spills all over the floor and the empty seat next to me. I glared at him. He says, “Sorry.” He smelled strongly of beer even before he spilled it. So now the floor is sticky under my feet. They finally figure out the seating issue and sit down.

After that everyone calmed down and enjoyed the show. Even the bar ho at the front of the section who never sat down the entire time and always had a full beer in one hand and her iPhone doing selfies and taking videos in the other. And the silver-haired biker dude on the other side of the section who was ROCKIN’ out. He was great.

And the man himself…I really don’t know how to describe it. Being there, watching him perform, I couldn’t help but think I was witnessing a living rock icon. He paid tribute to his friends, John Lennon and George Harrison. He played Something on a ukulele because Harrison had an affinity for it. He played the same Les Paul he played when he wrote Sgt. Pepper’s. There were so many small moments that made the entire night a magical experience. And the pyrotechnics on Live and Let Die were pretty awesome too.

My husband asked me after the concert why I liked him so much. It’s not because Paul is everyone’s favorite. It’s not because he sang “Michelle” (okay maybe a little ;)). It’s because I have always admired him. He stuck by Linda when she was sick. He’s always been humble and seemed rather down to earth.

I don’t know if he’ll come around to my hometown again, but if he does, I will DEFINITELY be buying tickets.

Do you have a concert memory that is unforgettable? Share in the comments!

Because I’m going to see this man tonight…

…and I CANNOT WAIT…

And this is my all-time favorite Sir Paul McCartney song :)

Blog Tour: @GoddessFish featuring Morningstar by Robyn Bachar

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Robyn will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click the banner above to follow the tour!

Nightfall, the first book in the trilogy, is FREE for a limited time:

AmazoniTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooks | Samhain

Cover_MorningstarDesire is an addiction that could destroy them all.

The second son.

Lieutenant Commander Jace Harrow is the second son of House Morningstar—the spare, not the heir. Armored with an arrogant mask, Jace keeps the world at arm’s length to protect those around him from becoming targets for his bloodthirsty brother.

The broken sword.

Lieutenant Bryn Viera was a shadow sword and a decorated officer, dedicated to protecting her people. But for the past five years she has lived as a slave and has the scars to prove it. Bryn vowed to escape or die trying—until she met Sabine.

The slave.

Born into slavery, Sabine never expected to fall in love. Her feelings for Bryn sparked her desire for a new life, but now Sabine is in phase, consumed by the need to mate with a male. Her dream of freedom with Bryn is on the brink of destruction, for to deny the phase means death.

Thrown together by the unforgiving demands of the phase, they must unite to save Cyprena’s people from a deadly new bioweapon—or be destroyed by the scars of their pasts.

Warning: Contains an arrogant officer with a weakness for having his hair pulled, an insatiable empath, and a badass warrior woman who form a male-female-female threesome sizzling enough to melt your shields.

EXCERPT:

The emergency lights flickered as they hurried to the docking ring, and Bryn prayed that the power stayed on. If the emergency power failed they’d have to manually override the doors, and that would slow them down. More pistol fire greeted them when they arrived, blocking their escape again. Bryn hunkered down and watched the battle while the girls huddled behind her.

“Who are they?” Sabine asked.

“Not the Alliance—too many Cy’ren. Might be a slaver fight.” Bryn turned, and her stomach knotted at the sight of Sabine. Her eyes were glazed with fever, and her violet skin glistened with sweat. “How are you?”

“I don’t feel well,” Sabine admitted.

Bryn kissed her. “I love you. It’ll be all right.”

Shrieks rose from the back of the group, and Bryn darted toward the noise. An armored figure stood near them, and Bryn rushed him. He raised a blade of his own and blocked her attack, and retreated a few steps.

“I won’t hurt you. I’m with the resistance.” His voice was mechanical, spoken from behind an armored helmet with the tinted visor down. Not a bad idea—the smoke was beginning to scratch her throat, and some of the girls were coughing.

“Prove it,” Bryn said.

He pulled his helmet off and hooked it at his belt, revealing a male Cy’ren. His white hair was mussed from being trapped beneath the helmet, and Bryn eyed the ink just barely visible at his throat against his charcoal skin—House Morningstar family marks but no slave marks. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen a Cy’ren without slave marks, but Morningstar was one of the top three houses on the ruling council. Must be nice to be important.

About the Author:

Robyn_BacharRobyn Bachar enjoys writing stories with soul mates, swords, spaceships, vampires, and gratuitous violence against the kitchen sink. Her paranormal romance Bad Witch series, historical paranormal romance series Bad Witch: The Emily Chronicles, and spicy space opera romance trilogy Cy’ren Rising are available from Samhain Publishing. Her books have finaled in PRISM Contest for Published Authors, the Passionate Plume Contest, and twice in the EPIC eBook Awards.

As a gamer, Robyn has spent many hours rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors, and slaying creatures in mmorpgs.

Where to find Robyn:
Twitter | Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Shelfari | Amazon

Where to buy Morningstar:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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Writing Flicks: Story Structure Part 5

The final part of the series.

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

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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