Don’t Give Up Happiness

As kids, we are quirky and daring and brave yet afraid… the list really keeps going as we move from child to child since to some degree we are all different. Somehow along the way we shake off a lot of these traits and I used to think this was meant to happen to define us but as I age, I think a lot of this happens as we try to conform to whatever part of society we want to conform to.

Every day I talk to folks who are jaded from their work and in part (as sad as it sounds) from different aspects of their lives. They want to know how much longer they have to work or when they can retire or how to fix a lot of what has already been done wrong. Some of these questions are easier to answer than the others. In some cases though, it’s not possible to change the past. A pessimist will say what’s done is done and there’s no point in moving forward or trying to make it better, just wallow. I am not a pessimist and I say what is done is done but you can look to change or make better what you are working with now. Stop trying to conform or do what you are supposed to do and do what you enjoy.

And this applies to everything in life. I happen to work in the world of finance so you can’t just make money appear but you can learn to live within your means or consider part time work that makes you happy. Beyond finance, there is a whole world out there. It is never too late to learn a new skill or travel to new places or take up a different hobby.

The moral of the blog today is don’t give up the important parts of you, trying to be what society wants to you to be, in exchange for your happiness. I can guarantee that in most cases you will regret it.

Happy writing this week!

Posted in A writer's life, romance, Toni Kelly | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cutting It Close by Mandy Rosko

Okay, so the day before yesterday I finished the third volume of The Wild Wolf’s Wife and sent it off for a rush edit. It’s going to be close, but I think I can get it in by the 20th in for my lovely patrons.

I got almost no writing done for Atlanta, which makes sense when you’re having fun and going to writing talks, marketing speeches and writing down everything I could, plus catching a cold, yeah, there was barely any time for actual writing, so now I’m rushing to make up for all that lost time.


I have another 70K words to write for Siren, plus another 10K words minimum for my short story for the upcoming box set. The rest of this month will be down to the wire. Like, Nanowrimo down to the wire.


This tends to happen in May whenever I go to RT. I’ve always been able to make it work by hunkering down and getting the words out, so I’m hopeful it can be done right now. My big plans are to get to the coffee shop, and never leave it until I have at least 7K words finished for the day.


7K words per day for the rest of the month. I think that should be enough to get everything done, and last year I had to do the exact same thing. Which isn’t bad considering what I know some other authors end up doing to make their deadlines.


I had to get 7K words a day for 10 days straight last year to make that deadline, it got done, so I know I can do it again.

Go me!

Right, this was mostly just a pep talk for myself, but my next big plans are to grow my Bookbub following, and my Wattpad following. They day you have to write down your goals to keep them on the forefront of your mind, so my new goals are to reach 10K Bookbub followers, and 10K Wattpad followers, within 2 years.


Yeah, Reach for the stars, am I right?


But I did manage to get to the number of Newsletter subscribers I hoped for in that time, so I’m thinking I could make this work as well with enough effort 😛


I’ll let you know how it goes as the weeks go on 😉



Mandy Rosko


Want 3 Free Paranormal Romances? Sign up for my newsletter at and I’ll send you a free starter library from my backlist 😉


Posted in romance | Leave a comment

A Little Twisted Paranormal-Scope

Sometime life it too intense. I usually sleep when that happens. Or find a place to quietly write. This week may be a twisted experience for some. You’ll get past it. Hang on!

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:

Pixies are not always nice. Let me put it this way. Zombies are afraid of them. Tread carefully at work and smile at everyone.

Have you ever seen a gnome without a hat? What’s under that hat? A new hat is in your future. That could mean a hat or a new job opportunity or a new relationship. Hats are funny things and don’t always mean hats.

Werewolfpups are messy. Yes, it’s clean the home time. What fun! What delight! Afterwards take yourself out for a treat. Always reward yourself. And the werewolfpups.

One vampire is romantic or creepy. Your choice. Two are a threesome. Again your choice. What are you going to do with those that crave your company?

Werewolves are howling. Party time with friends. A new friend will be coming into your life.

Shapeshifters love interior decorating. Examine your home. Consider fresh paint in new warm or soothing colors. Add some new pieces. Take out whatever cannot be repaired or shabby.

Werespiders are weaving you a banner. You have accomplished a lot in life so far. It’s time to take stock, be grateful for what you have, and count your blessings. More blessings to come.

Orcs are attracted to you. Don’t be put off by appearances. Your new friend may be fun and brave at heart.

Werekittens enjoy hugging you. You will be adored by many. Picking that special one will take some ingenuity on your part.

A dragon has claimed you and will teach you their ways. Be careful with fire. Make sure you have fire extinguishers placed around your home and the smoke detectors work.

Sirens think you are delicious. Swim faster. Enjoy nature either with walks or home gardening. Stay out of the water unless there’s a lifeguard.

Elves find you enchanting. A new opportunity will come your way as well as a new friend. Check out both before proceeding. It’s an exciting time.

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

NEW: Vampire Princess of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 2 available in Kindle!  Coming soon in Print on July 4th!





Vampire King of New York,
Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1
available in Kindle and Print and  Barnes and Noble Print






Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available in Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch (mythology romance) available in Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) available in Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas,Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available in Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love , Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
Poseidon HR FinalMrsBrightsCoverVampire in the Basement-large

vampchrist20copy1The Stormy Love Life of Laura CordelaisWhenLoveSurvives_LgWeb-version_smash2







Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, 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, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

*Insert Jaws Theme Music Here* By Ripley Proserpina

Every so often, I come up with an idea that I know will be the start of a story, but it just sits in my brain, stagnant. For Missing Linc, my novella releasing this week, two separate ideas coalesced into this book. Years ago, I imagined a girl who fell in love with a boy kept prisoner by her family. I didn’t know how this would pan out—I knew he’d be supernatural and she’d be human—but that was as far as I got.

I also have an unhealthy obsession with lake monsters. Where I grew up in Northern Vermont, our very own Lake Memphremagog boasted a lake creature aptly named, Memphre. Having watched Jaws way too young, I had no problem imagining sharp toothed beasties winding around my submerged feet.

But it wasn’t until this fall that my two separate ideas turned into something with an actual plot. Edythe, is a smart girl who, after finding a boy in a cage in her basement, sets him free. Linc is the Aegean who falls in love with her and is subsequently captured by an evil scientist (who happens to be Edie’s dad).

Missing Linc releases on Tuesday, May 16th and is the first in The Aegeans series. It’s almost summer—think of it as an early beach read. Here’s an excerpt!

“Linc,” Edythe said under her breath, hoping he could hear her. “I’m coming. I’m coming. I’m almost there.” 

She wrestled the lock, dropping it onto the grass before bracing her foot on one side of the bulkhead and lifting with all her might. 

Her house was old, and the first time she’d lifted it, the bulkhead was heavy and rusted. The sound it made when opened was so loud it frightened the birds out of the trees. Edythe found the blue can of spray oil her mother used on the bedroom hinges and squirreled it to the bulkhead. She sprayed the sides, and the next day when she lifted it, it didn’t make a squeak. 

“Linc!” she whisper-yelled just like she always did. “I’m almost there.” 

She listened for his movement. Sometimes, he would smack the bars of his cage, or on really bad nights, he’d flop on the cold concrete floor. Edythe would hear the wet slap of his flesh against the hard surface. 

Tonight, all she heard was the steady drip, drip, drip of water in the sink. She found her flashlight. Problem solved. It was dark in the workshop. On the first night, when she’d turned on the light, Linc had screamed at the brightness. Now, Edythe flipped on her flashlight, the front taped with tissue paper so the only light was dim and blue. It was all Linc could handle, though Edythe thought maybe, when she got him out, his eyes would adjust to sunlight again. 

“Linc!” she called again, becoming more and more upset. She dumped the backpack on the floor and swept the beam across the floor. 


He lay on the floor, a dark pool of liquid around his body, his beautiful skin ravaged by her father’s merciless scalpel. The scales that covered his chest were pried off, cut in some places, ripped in others. All of them laid around his body, as if her father couldn’t be bothered to clean up his mess.

Universal Book Link (Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Nook):

Posted in Missing Linc, Ripley Proserpina, romance, science fiction romance, shapeshifters, The Aegeans | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Cats Stress?

Stress is tearing down humanity. Stress makes us unhappy and vulnerable to disease. Do cats stress? Though I know the scientific method, I decided to dispense with that and use anecdotal evidence. So I observed the kitty sisters of my house – Buffy and Bella.

Because we sometimes have power outages, we have glow sticks in the house. We stress about losing power. Obviously Buffy and Bella think it’s a game.

Sleep is a good thing. It’s important to get enough shut-eye every night to promote good health. It’s also a good thing to stretch out and relax the body as Bella demonstrates above.

Read books to promote a healthy mind. We’re not sure if Bella is actually reading them or just sitting on them.

Buffy and Bella take time out of each day to enjoy nature. If given the chance they would stop to smell the daisies. Actually in their case, it would be eat the daisies. That’s why they’re on the other side of the glass.

Bella and Buffy never miss a meal. Experts will tell you that skipping meals is not healthy and creates stress on the body. Be sure to eat healthy!

Most of all, it’s important to hang out with people you love. We de-stress when in the company of those we consider fun and emotionally supportive.

In our observations to determine if cats stress, I have to say: “No! Not under normal conditions.”

I say, “If the cats can do all these things to relieve stress, so should we.” I’m off to take a nap!

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

NEW: Vampire Princess of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 2 available in Kindle!  Coming soon in Print on July 4th!




Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 available in Kindle and Print and  Barnes and Noble Print






Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available in Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch (mythology romance) available in Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) available in Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas,Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available in Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love , Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
Poseidon HR FinalMrsBrightsCoverVampire in the Basement-large

vampchrist20copy1The Stormy Love Life of Laura CordelaisWhenLoveSurvives_LgWeb-version_smash2



Posted in romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter Pitching For Authors by Stacy Hoff

Lately I’ve been running some workshops for my writers’ groups, speaking about effective Twitter use for authors. My classes have ranged from the basics to more advanced. The most helpful news to my audience, however, has been about Twitter pitch parties.

For those of you who don’t know, a Twitter pitch party is when literary agents, and publishing house editors, check a particular Twitter hashtag on a certain date (I’ll explain that in a minute), in order to search out new manuscripts. This is an effective way for agents and editor to scan the “Twitterverse” for potential acquisitions.

Twitter pitch parties are an equally effective tool for writers who want to publish their manuscript. Each particular pitch party day will have it’s own rules (again, I’ll explain in a minute), but all pitch parties work the same—an author has got up to 140 characters to tweet their manuscript’s tag line. (By the way, a “tag line” is a one-sentence catchy summation of the story, meant to draw the reader in.)

Twitter pitch parties happen periodically. To know when they happen, I check Twitter. (Duh, right???) I check to see if there are any trending hashtags with the word “pit” somewhere in it. If so, I hop on to that hashtag to see if a pitch party is underway. That said, not every Twitter party contains the word “pit.” Some use “pitch,” and some use something else entirely (ie. the Knight Agency, which runs its own pitch party, uses a hashtag that begins with #TKA).

If you’re the organized type of personality, who likes to prepare in advance, check out this link, which provides a great calendar for pitch parties: This link is also great for upcoming writing contests, too. Bookmark this page, because it’s great.

Once you know that a Twitter pitch party is happening, check out who is hosting (either through the link I gave you above, or by simply checking out the Twitter feed for that hashtag, which will make the host’s identity readily apparent). Once you have the host’s information, you should check out the party’s rules. The rules spell out: the hours for the party, how many times in a day an author can tweet their pitch, the hashtags that each author’s tweet must include, and the types of manuscripts that are allowed.

You should only participate in a Twitter pitch party that allows your type of manuscript. You’ll need to read each party’s rules to be sure. Some parties, like #PitMad, are pretty all-inclusive (although a lot of all-inclusive pitch parties may  leave out erotica). Some pitch parties, however, will be very limited. #DVpit, for instance, only applies to manuscripts with diverse characters &/or authors who are diverse.

An important note: most (if not all) of these parties require the manuscript to be completely finished, highly polished, and never before published (usually, this includes manuscripts that have been previously self-published).

Whichever parties you’ve selected, here are some examples of hashtags to include. That being said—be sure to check the rules. Each party host can change around the rules for any of these hashtags.

1. the Twitter party’s hashtag is mandatory (or your tweet won’t show up in the party’s feed). Examples of Twitter party hashtags are: #PitMad, #TKA17, #PitchMas, #SFFPit, #PitDark, and #DVpit. These party hashtags are typically included at the end of a tweet-pitch, although it can be included at the very beginning of the tweet.

2. the hashtag age-range for the book, such as: children (#C), children picture book (#CP), middle grade (#MG), young adult (#YA), new adult (#NA), which is applicable for protagonists who are either college-age or recent college grads, and adult (#A).

3. the hashtag for the genre: romance (#R), Scifi (#SF) SciFi/fantasy (#SFF), fantasy (#F), horror (#H), suspense (#S), thriller (#T). There are many more!

Okay, so you’re now ready to pitch! Here are some upcoming Twitter pitch parties to attend (party hats optional):

May 18, 2017: #PitDark

June 7, 2017:  #pg70pit

June 8, 2017: #PitMad

June 22, 2017: #SFFpit

Good luck, partygoers! May the tweets be with you!!!!





PLEASE VOTE FOR MY BOOK, JOCKEYING FOR YOU in InDTale magazine's 2017 RONE Award "Cops, Jocks, and Cowboys" category this week!!!


JOCKEYING FOR YOU print version

JOCKEYING FOR YOU Kindle version

Newest release by Stacy Hoff:


Other books by Stacy Hoff:


DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC print version

DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC kindle version



LAWFULLY YOURS print version

LAWFULLY YOURS Kindle version


Posted in A writer's life, Christmas, Nothing is Impossible!, Prom Promise: Parents' Promise, publishing, St. Patrick's Day, Writing Exercises | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Remembering My Mother by Heather Novak

Three generation picture of my late grandma, my late mom, and itty bitty me!

Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day without by biological mom and I am NOT looking forward to it. Truth be told, I didn’t like the day all that much to begin with…but that’s a different tangent. 

I wanted to tell you a story about my mother, something I only found out when we were cleaning out her place.

She was a writer.

My mom’s high school senior picture and me. You can tell we’re related!

I knew it abstractly, something she mentioned a few times in conversation when we were kids. What I didn’t know was that she was submitting to agents when I started college. 

There are many handwritten pages, notes on looseleaf paper, and some fully typed chapters, clearly done on a typewriter. I know these are the only records of these words and I think that I will use them in a story somehow to preserve them. Reading through them is like being with her again. 

I will be frank – my mother and I were not close for the many years. She was sick and very dependent for nearly all of my life and the decline was steeper every year.






In the last few weeks of her life, when it was discovered that her multi-organ failure was the cause of a lot of her “non-caring” ways, the resentment and the anger all subsided and we had a wonderful month together.

Rereading her manuscript and agent notes, I’ve realized that there are huge chunks of her life that I know nothing about. Not for lack of her telling me, but for lack of my listening. 

Her writing is novice, but it’s imaginative and emotional. With a few more years of work, she would’ve been a phenomenal author. It’s a good reminder that with each story, each year, you’ll get better and better. Just keep writing. 

Mom and me while she was in hospice.

I’m heartbroken that I can’t call her or talk to her about her writing. However, I’m very lucky to have a fabulous step-mom and mother-in-law. I also have my mom’s manuscripts…and that’s kind of like having a piece of her with me.

If you’re lucky enough to have a mother you’re close with this Mother’s Day, count your blessings. If you are heartbroken for whatever reason this year, know that you’re not alone. 
As for my own books? Grief took a toll on my last manuscript. I’m giving myself a much needed break and will get back to writing in a few weeks.


On this day in 1918 – Sheila Burnford was born. She was a British author, known for her book The Incredible Journey which was the basis of the 1963 Disney film of the same name (d. 1984)

Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Instagram: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak

Hunting Witch Hazel: Now available
I was happy with my West Coast life – 24-hour pizza delivery and bikini-clad bodies as far as the eye could see. Now I’m in the small-ass town of 
Hayvenwood to extract a ransom to save my little brother’s life. And that ransom is locked inside of the sexiest witch I have ever met, Hazel Evanora.

Posted in romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment