A Bit of Skill Makes the Difference

Okay, so perhaps I should clarify the title. I’m not saying that a teensy bit of skill is all it takes, although it does depend on what we are talking about. I’m mainly talking about writing, but beyond that there are tons of areas where this applies.

Think about it. Once every now and then we get the anomaly, the person who completely stands out from the pack and seems almost superhuman with their abilities (Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Einstein, Michael Bolt, Michael Jordan…I can go on and on). Still, even many of these greats, had their hardships and history will continuously poke holes in their greatness. But for the majority of us, their are still many who reach a very high level of what many would term “success.” The Dan Browns, Grishams, J.K. Rowlings of the world. And the truth is while they all have a talent for entertaining, it is the details with them that make the difference– a penchant for the fantastic or the thrilling.

So what does this mean for the rest of us? In general I’d say that most of us should really rely on what is inside of us to write. Many times, I see writers chasing down the story they feel they should write versus what their gut tells them they should write. I feel that by doing this, we can sometimes lose a part of our voice in the process. The other thing I’d say that is very important is that we continue to practice our craft. No matter how much we write, we can always grow in some way or another. It just might be all that practice that makes the difference when it comes to that little bit of needed skill.

Happy Writing this week!

Posted in A writer's life, inspiration, Toni Kelly, What A Writer Needs, What inspires you? | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wattpad by Mandy Rosko

MandyRosko_TheArrangement_800px              index

One thing I always missed about my early days of writing was all the feedback I used to get, chapter by chapter, or even people who would comment at the end of each story after they’d finished reading. That sort of encouragement that spurned me on to write more, to add in the little things people thought were missing, really brought a lot of extra enjoyment into my writing.

It did that back when I was writing on Fictionpress.com and other fanfiction sites, because back then, I was more aware of my audience, and interacted with them more. Even with Facebook and Twitter, it’s difficult to interact. Facebook only lets a certain percentage of your readers and followings know you posted something, and Twitter can get a little cluttered.

One of the panels was with Anna Todd, and the lady in charge of Wattpads content. (Not sure if I’m allowed to post her name or not, so I won’t)

Anyway! Listening to them speak, and hearing Anna’s story, brought me way back. I severely doubt I’ll ever be one of those people who will get major followers like Anna did, what are the odds, right? But at the same time, it made me miss those days of really interacting with people, and seeing first hand for myself that people were reading and enjoying the work. Not just the entire work, but specific phrases or paragraphs. With the help of comments like that, I was able to pinpoint what the readers liked, what they didn’t, what to build upon and what to back away from. It was a great way of writing, and I definitely missed it.

I posted a short two part epilogue of sorts for Burns Like Fire up on Wattpad a couple of months ago, and nothing really came of it, which is fine since it’s an epilogue for a story not too many people have ready right now anyway, but I was hoping to try something a little different.

I’m going to post, every day, on my account, a chapter of the story I’m currently working on. It’s my first Billionaire contemporary, and I need to learn how to write, so I’ll be hoping to get comments from time to time from readers :)

The story is currently about half done, unless it gets to be longer, not sure, but that should give me long enough to catch up in some places while still tending to other responsibilities. I hope O.o

So if anyone wanted to check it out, I’d be super grateful, and if you don’t have a Wattpad account, or an After Dark app (their naughtier version for promoting more erotic stories) then I suggest getting them anyway since I’ve already found a couple of free reads that I’m getting into :)

Cheers!

http://www.wattpad.com/user/Mandyrosko

Mandy Rosko

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Burns Like Fire (Dangerous Creatures Book One) is Available Now!

The Princess’ Dragon Lord is Now Available at Amazon and B&N

Connect with me online:

Facebook

Twitter: @rizzorosko
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Butterflies Weekly Paranormal-Scope

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal-scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Aries:
Werewolves chase butterflies. Go for your dream. This is the time.

Taurus:
Dragons love to sit in meadows and let butterflies land on them. Enjoy the company of family and friends.

Gemini:
Vampires live in the shadow and counter to what people believe they do not collect butterflies in jars. Someone you know is different than what you expected.

Cancer:
Butterflies fly free. Hobbits save and plan their freedom.

Leo:
Aslan roars but allows the butterfly to land on his head. Are you allowing someone more privileges than you are comfortable with? Rethink your boundaries.

Virgo:
Elves use butterflies as messengers. They are sending tokens of joy to you.

Libra:
Goblins don’t care much for butterflies. They keep getting in the butter. There will be obstacles this week. Don’t get mad, just let them melt away.

Scorpio:
Faeries love butterflies as playmates. When was the last time you set up a play date with someone close?

Sagittarius:
Mermaids surface to watch butterflies. They wish they could be different. This is your opportunity to try something new!

Capricorn:
Pixies dance with butterflies. Enjoy the outdoors more, and bring flowers and plants inside.

Aquarius:
Orcs have a soft spot for butterflies. Someone has a soft spot for you.

Pisces:
Butterflies and werebunnies are close friends. Good things are coming your way. Friendships are to be treasured.

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABCs of Romance: M is for Moonlight

Salida_Luna_-_Villa_Gesell

In the ABCs of Romance, moonlight has to be one of the most romantic settings there is. A walk by the sea in the moonlight, a moonlit carriage ride, a moonlit garden, a moonlit bedroom are all more amorous than the same settings in mere daylight. Something about the moon brings out the passion in us, especially romance writers.

The moonlight’s intensity is only equivalent to .1 lux, or 1,000 times fainter than sunlight. Therefore, encounters in the moonlight are shrouded in shadow, without sharp definition to lend finality to it. The indistinct light of the moon lends a mystique to everything it touches, making men and women do some awfully strange things while under its influence.

The moon has much folklore surrounding it, and a great deal of this folklore suggests that moonlight is harmful to people. Moonlight was thought to transform men into werewolves. The light of the moon was thought to increase madness in the insane. (The word lunatic is from the Latin word lunaticus, meaning moonstruck.) And a full moon is still thought to make people act more erratically than normal.

So it is with lovers in the moonlight. One of my favorite scenes from my romance Only Scandal Will Do (note the moonlight in the background on the cover) takes place in a moonlit garden, where the heroine, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam and the hero, Duncan, Marquess of Dalbury meet alone to discuss his outrageous behavior (he bought her in an auction in a brothel).

91xBE7mBjRL__SL1500_Excerpt:

“I assure you, there was never a night like that before.” He spoke quietly, and she sensed tension in him. “I had never done such a thing before. Never participated in such an auction. Never tried to take a woman unwillingly to my bed.” He stopped speaking. Just stopped. Then his breath hissed as though he’d slowly released it.

“I cannot find the words to tell you how deeply I regret I was not a better man that night.” He paused, and she held still and waited. “What I tried to do was madness, without thought, without honor. I do not even have an excuse other than my base desires, and that your abundant charms overwhelmed me.” His face was shadowy in the scarce light of the sickle moon, but he sounded contrite. “I have no right to ask for your forgiveness. I have no right to expect it. But I would ask you to allow me to attempt to remedy the situation.”

Kat shook her head slowly. “What on earth do you believe you could do, Lord Dalbury, that could even come close to a remedy for the terror and humiliation you put me through? Do you think now that I have met you, heard your feeble attempts at an apology, and rejected them, the memory of that night will magically disappear?” She fought to control her anger, though she yearned to blast him with it. “What magic potion would you have me take that would erase the memory of you pinning me to the bed? Because if you have such an elixir, then yes, I will gladly take it from you and obliterate you absolutely and irrevocably.”

He stood silent at her words, then said simply, “I have only myself to offer, my lady.”

“You would have me kill you, my lord? In that, too, I agree I would oblige you, but not at the cost of my own life. I understand the English law punishes those who do murder quite severely.” Kat was astonished when he lurched backward, as from a blow.

“No, my lady, I would not have you kill me,” he said, sounding grimly amused. “Though indeed that would probably give you most satisfaction. I meant I would have you marry me.”

His words surprised a laugh out of her. “Marry you?” The laughter grew. “I see, my lord, you think me both a whore and a fool.”

“I think you are neither, Lady Katarina.”

“Then you are the fool to believe I would put such a man as you in control of every aspect of my life.” That he thought she would even entertain the suggestion was insulting.

The pale moonlight shadowed his face, but she could read displeasure there just the same. “You judge me solely on one act that, I assure you, was grossly out of character for me. You cannot possibly know what kind of husband I would be.”

“And never will, Lord Dalbury. I can swear to you that I would not marry you if I were in Hell and you were my only hope of Heaven.”

He inclined his head toward her, a faint smile touching his lips. “I believe you made a similar claim about dancing with me, Lady Katarina. Yet we have indeed enjoyed a dance together despite your words.” His tone was soft, the sensuous, cajoling one he had used to seduce her that night in the House of Pleasure.

Kat trembled, recalling the incredible sensations of his hands, his mouth on her body. Damn. He could not do this to her again. Not just with his voice.

“Is there nothing that would entice you to leave your Hell for my Heaven?”

She struggled to answer, opened her lips to deny it, only to find her mouth completely sealed by his.

Only Scandal Will Do is on sale at Amazon for only .99.

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Shhh! It’s A Secret Revealed! Part 2 – The Last Unicorn World Tour with Peter S. Beagle

Cable Car CinemaUnicorn

 

 

 

 

 

This morning I told you that I was going  to have rare and wonderful fun. It’s time to reveal the secret.  My daughter Cera and I went to The Last Unicorn Screening World Tour with the wonderful world-renowned author Peter S. Beagle at the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI.  I’ve added the link so you can see the next screening closest to you. The entire experience was so much fun.  It began with an introduction and a young man sang one of the songs from the movie.  Then there was a Q&A session with Peter and a raffle for prizes. Then the movie which is a masterpiece of a children’s film based on Peter’s amazing book, The Last Unicorn. After that was a signing and there were many things to buy from the books, the movie, comics, t-shirts. Talking to Peter was great. I had met him previously at the Nebula Awards Weekend put on by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA), of which I am also a member. Going on that pictures speak louder than words. I’m putting up as many photos as I can.

Pete Q&APopcorn

 

Greeat munchies at the Cable Car

Booksigning

 

 

 

 

 

Peter and Cera

Peter and Cera

Peter and Susan

Peter and Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookgoodies

 

 

 

 

 

We actually got a lot more things and Cera had brought books from home to be signed too.  Peter is a delight to talk to and the event is just wonderful family fun with many parents with children there. Here are some more links to find out about Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn World Tour, and Peter’s books.

The Last Unicorn Screening World Tour: http://lastunicorntour.com/
Conlan Press: http://www.conlanpress.com/
Peter on Twitter: https://twitter.com/petersbeagle
Peter on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petersbeagle
His books and the movie is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and in fine bookstores everywhere.

What a great day!

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in Fantasy for children of all ages, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, Peter S. Beagle, romance, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Last Unicorn Screening World Tour, the romance of life, vampire books, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shhh! It’s a Secret! Part 1

I’m going to have rare and wonderful fun tomorrow!  I’m going to be posting again later in the day and hopefully with photos.  I’ll tell you all about it then. Have a fun day and check back after suppertime!

Waves to all the friends in Dallas, Texas, for the RT Booklovers Covention. Today is their Giant Book Fair from 11 am to 2 pm in the Landmark Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Dallas! I’m not there this year. Maybe next year.

See you later!

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, Readers Conference, Readers Conferences, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, the romance of life, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with Author Bethany Averie by Stacy Hoff

Today I’m interviewing one of my favorite authors—Bethany Averie. Bethany infuses realistic people into supernatural worlds that are so believable, you think you can enter these worlds yourself. And you find you want to, despite powerful foes, epic battles and poor odds of good triumphing over evil.

I’ve read absolutely all of Bethany’s work. Yep. That’s right. All of it. But it’s her latest series I’m going to focus on here.

Bethany Averie photo

Though Bethany’s series is classified as YA (young adult) I enjoyed it throughly, despite my forty-four years of age. And whereas I do sometimes dabble in YA reading (Twilight, Harry Potter, Beautiful Creatures) I had never  before encountered a modern, middle-America YA storyline built upon Greek Mythology. A novel idea by Bethany? You bet! And it makes for engaging—and intriguing—reading.

I’m glad the last book in her series—Immortal Love—is finally out. I had been waiting for the crescendo.

Bethany, tell us a little about yourself

I started off my writing as a kid (I don’t usually mention this, but it’s true). I had a little song I made up when I was probably 3 or 4 years old. My dad picked out the simple melody on his guitar and started singing it with the instrument. Even as a kid I was slightly embarrassed (although, also flattered) by that. No, I won’t tell you the title or the words, nor will I tell you how to get in touch with my father to find out (and if he reveals it, I won’t speak to him for at least a week—that’s how embarrassed I am. He thinks it’s an adorable song, I’d rather it stayed within the family). But enough about my embarrassments.

The things I am proud of with my early writing are the collaborations I’ve done with my younger brother, who is a musician/composer—and brilliant as far as I’m concerned. Our first collaboration was at his behest when I was in high school. He had a tune he felt needed lyrics, and since he’s not a lyric-writer, he approached me. Stunned he’d ask me, I immediately agreed to try. It wasn’t easy to come up with something to the music and my lyrics certainly didn’t do his tune any justice, but it was fun anyway. We got a friend of mine to sing it and we recorded it on a cassette tape (yes, those old audios. This was before MP3 players and Smart phones!) The next time we collaborated was for my wedding. I had written a duet for a man and a woman about the bride and groom and I wanted it played as a prelude at my wedding. My brother came up with something just gorgeous. Unfortunately, through a miscommunication, the song didn’t make it on my wedding DVD, but I heard it from the room I was sitting in waiting to go down the aisle, I also got to hear the soprano from the church choir and one of my brothers-in-law (who has an awesome tenor voice) practice it for my wedding. It was lovely. Would I collaborate with my brother again? In a heartbeat. He’s easy to work with and so talented.

Divine Love

Tell us about about your non-writing  work

When I’m not working on writing novels or blog posts (or Facebook or Twitter), I’m Wife and Mom. Those are both full-time jobs and require a lot of my attention. But I wouldn’t change it. My Husband is my Real Life Hero and one of my biggest supporters. My offspring laughs at my (bad) jokes and thinks I’m hilarious. I always figured I was somewhat funny, but I learned how truly comical I am when I became a mom. There is no greater encouragement when it comes to cracking jokes and being silly than being a parent. Trust me. Well, I suppose, if you’re stand-up comedian an audience would do that, but I have no aspirations to do stand-up. I leave that to the professionals and enjoy my own brand of humor. Which, luckily, my family and friends seem to appreciate—and even readers have liked some of it, so I figure I can leave stand-up alone. We all have our talents.

AstralLove-

Tell us your goals as a writer

Those constantly change. In the beginning, it was to be published. With my 4th book coming out, I’ve achieved that goal. Of course, I want to continue writing and publishing, so that’s the immediate goal right there. My other goal would be to see what the future holds—where I end up as a writer, where my talent can take me. I don’t know the future—I don’t even try to predict it—but I’m interested to see what it holds.
ImmortalLove

Lastly, Bethany, tell us what your next project will be

Personally it’s the newest addition (or character, if you will humor me) in the Averie Household. The new arrival is expected any day now and so that’s the most immediate project. In terms of writing, I’ve got several things bumping around in my head. There is a project that has been trying to get out for 6 years. I won’t talk about it much because that was my first mistake with this poor novel. Another project is in conjunction with my Immortal Dreams Trilogy, but I don’t know what is going to happen with it, so I can’t really talk about it, either. Then there is a rough idea that I’ve hashed out a few details that I don’t know if it’s going to stay in my files or if I’m going to pursue it. So yeah, just because the Averie family is growing, doesn’t mean I’m stopping writing. I’ll be on hiatus for a while to adjust to the new addition, but I don’t plan to stay away from writing or the writing world indefinitely. You’ll just have to keep watch for my return, because you never know when it’ll happen.

Thank you, Bethany for letting us get to know you. Trust me, I will be watching for your return!

Bethany Averie Author bio:
Bethany Averie is the second-to-the-youngest of eight children. As a kid, she loved fairy tales, especially Cinderella and Beauty & The Beast. Bethany still loves fairy tales, Greek & Roman Mythology, and romance. She resides in the Lone Star State with her real life hero, and a shadow who calls her ‘Mom’. When not writing, Bethany enjoys time with family and friends and dreaming up new worlds. You can reach Bethany at http://writebybethany.blogspot.com/ and/or on her website: http://bethanyaverie.wix.com/authorbethanyaverie She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Bethany Averie’s Links Page:
Official Author Website: http://bethanyaverie.wix.com/authorbethanyaverie

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BethanyAverie.Author
Blog: Write By Bethany http://writebybethany.blogspot.com/
Email: bethany.averie@gmail.com
Twitter: @WriteByBethany
Goodreads Profile Page: https://www.goodreads.com/BethanyAverieAuthor

The Immortal Dreams Trilogy by author Bethany Averie, follows the adventures and journey of 18 year olds, Laney Alberts and Jason Magnus.

Laney believes she’s an ordinary human. As a descendant of the Greek god, Morpheus, Jason has enjoyed the cushy life of an Immortal.

However, both their lives are about to change. The Fates have selected them to stop a power-hungry goddess, from taking over both the human and Immortal worlds. Do Laney and Jason have what it takes? Can they even survive?

As the goddess of discord, Eris, plots their demise and her rise to power, the pair must learn to trust themselves, each other, and their allies.

Start your journey with Book One, Divine Love. Uncover secrets and betrayal in Book Two, Astral Love. The ultimate battles for life and hope come to a head in Book Three, Immortal Love. Discover whether two unlikely teenagers can save the world or if it’s just a bunch of Immortal Dreams.

AMAZON LINK FOR IMMORTAL LOVE http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Love-Dreams-Book-ebook/dp/B00VEUQF40/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431693126&sr=1-4&keywords=bethany+averie

 Links for Stacy Hoff

AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS: http://www.amazon.com/Lawfully-Yours-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00U7U2WCC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425508177&sr=8-2&keywords=book+-+lawfully+yours

AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES: http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Everglades-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00NFSMCYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410289138&sr=8-1&keywords=desire+in+the+everglades.

Find Stacy on Social Media: http://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff Twitter: twitter.com/authorStacyHoff Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com

Posted in New Release, romance, Writer's life, YA | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments