Tag Archives: author

A Little Cool Air, Please!

Thursdays Bite

a blog for the first days of summer

Writing spicy romance can get to be a hot job and I work in a house with no air conditioning. That’s right. None.

Now I know for all you people up North, this is likely a no-brainer, but for the Southerners I’m not sure they can conceive of buying a house without central air, or even those tiny window air conditioners. Nope, we don’t even own one of those.

boulder flatirons chataqua parkI grew up in Colorado and no one had central air. Not even the rich people. We all just opened our windows and used box fans, ceiling fans, and tiny desk fans, to cool off. At night the air temperature drops nice and low and you pull in all that cool air. In the morning, you shut the heavy duty blinds and keep the hot sun out and the coolness in. Houses stayed comfortable, for the most part.

I do remember sweating through some hot July’s and August nights, but before it got unbearable the evenings would be cooling off again. Then the out of state-ers started moving in. Things got crowded and they all needed air conditioning. Frankly, so did I. Summers seemed to get hotter and dryer and we lived in a neighborhood without the big trees of my childhood. A little air, please!

We finally installed air conditioning at our last house and used it sparingly. First of all, we kept the inside temp around 78°-80°. Second, we only ran it during the day- at night we would open the house up and pull in that free, cool air. And third, we only ran it during the really hot months. So the bill wasn’t too bad.

But then we moved.

And this house stays reasonably cool. We don’t have a ton of direct sunlight and we do have a basement. (That’s the other secret. Pull in cool air from the basement during the day when the house is closed up.) But I miss the air conditioning. I miss being comfortable during the day, and I’m really not looking forward to those hot nights in July or August.

But is it worth it? Is it worth it for only a few weeks of heat to spend all that money and replace the furnace, add all the pipes and things necessary for a house that has never had air conditioning?

My husband (who goes to work during most days and isn’t home in the heat) says he doesn’t think so, but I’m begining to think it needs to move to the top of the list. Meanwhile, I’ll be drinking my homemade iced coffees and cooling off in a mid-day shower.

How do you stay cool? Do you have air? Do you have a swamp cooler or a whole house fan (ours died, sad)? When does something change from being a luxury to being a necessity? Should we just let our bodies adjust?

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Filed under About the Author, Thursdays Bite

Discovering the Art of Splitting Oneself

Moonday Mania

 a blog on juggling balls- while standing on one

Be careful what you wish for.

puppy

See, cloning works!

Always good advice. I can see into the future and I see myself split into mini-Jessicas. One Jessica working on her edits from her publisher, one working on her edits from her self-publishing endeavor, one writing new stories for the future. Another to take care of the kids, another for the house, laundry, and groceries. One to hold down the day job. Oh, and one more- my husband wants his own.

How do we do this? How do we juggle so many balls in the air (without dropping any) and add even more? Lynn Cahoon, my guest author on Thursdays Bite addressed this very issue. She’s amazingly prolific and published with several different publishers. She’s worked hard for years to get here, and now here is today with so much to do that it is staggering. But she’s not complaining.

I’m not either. I just want more of me, so I can do more. Is that so much to ask?

And when I see other authors publishing book after book I wonder, how can they possibly get all those words down on the page and still get any sleep at night?

The answer? They don’t.

Office Punching Bag

Always good to have something to hit in your office when the tensions rise.

Something’s gotta give whether it’s your sleep, your exercise, your kids or your spouse, you can’t get it all done and I’m coming to grips with an ambition I didn’t even know I had. I want those multiple books, and fabulous fans, and I want my health too.

While writing this article I realized something amazing: this year, 2013, I will publish four books!

How did that happen?

Well for one thing I didn’t write them all this year. Snow and the Seventh Wolf was written in 2012 and The Dark Huntsman was originally finished in 2009. Another big advantage is that Snow and the Seventh Wolf and Goldi and the Bear are both novellas, under 35,000 words. So really I will have written one long novel and one novella, the equivalent of a very long historical romance. Not that I’m dissing my achievement. It’s going to be a stellar publishing year!

Another thing that helped is that I really do have several Jessicas working for me. My novellas are published by a publisher. That means I don’t have to be the editor in chief, the cover artist, or the formatter. They do all of that for me.

And as for The Dark Huntsman? I have hired help for that one too. I needed professional editing, so I’m hiring that and the copyedits out. I’m also on the lookout for a cover artist, as I am not going to add learning how to be an artist to my pile of balls I’m currently juggling.

Four books out in one year and sandwiched between generations and jobs I feel the tension. But it’s a wonderful tension and I’ll happily juggle for a little while, hoping that someday I’ll be cloned.

How do you deal with too much to do? Do you hire help, give up on sleep, growl at your family and friends? What gives when you are stretched to the bone?

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania

Tortured Hero Blog Hop!!!!

Thursdays Bite

a seat of your pants blog!

Today was supposed to be the kick off for the Tortured Hero Blog Hop, but it’s sadly been canceled. So sit back and enjoy my post anyway!

Betrayal, by ml guidaUnlike my Critique Partner ML Guida‘s heroesSeth (my hero from Snow and the Seventh Wolf, and my most tortured hero to date) doesn’t undergo the tortures of demons, the devil, or hell. No, his torture comes from his own stubborn insistence that humans are a lesser species than werewolves. Seth first appeared as the angry brother in Little Red Riding Wolf, and he tortured not only himself, but his sister with his prejudices, but once he reaches his own book, I turned the heat up in the form of his own sexy human lover, Snow Electra Jazzman.

But there are so many other tortured heroes! Paranormal books are full of them? Why do we love the angst of an alpah male? Why do we love to cause them pain, or find them already wounded, and salve their wounds? What is it about the damaged man that is so appealing to the female psyche? Are we sick? Twisted? Perverted?

No, we’re just in search of love.

And we want to be the one who heals the men. We want the heroine to be the only one who heals her lover, or the only one he’ll let close enough to heal his wounds. I’ve been working on a Beauty and the Beast Twist for my other series, Tales from the Black Court (book one out in fall 2014) and in my research all the beasts have inner wounds to match their outer ugliness. Look at Disney’s famous film and you can see that not only is the prince in need of learning how to help others love themselves, he doesn’t understand how he lost other people’s love. He’s wounded, and Belle can see it. She can see his inner pain.

So can Belle on one of my favorite shows, Once Upon a Time, see into Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold’s heart. And we see with her. He’s bad, he’s got flaky gold skin, and a funny weird laugh, but she sees that inside he just wants love. And why does he? Because women have wounded him over and over again and now he’s defensive and angry. A true beast.

In the end I believe all romances with tortured heros are versions of the Beauty and the Beast story. A man who was wounded and is now as ugly on the outside as we think he must be on the inside. A woman who sees the wounded man underneath. And a magic that will triumph over evil queens, magic spells, and plain old ornery stubbornness, true love!

Think about other tortured alpha males. Who is your favorite? Is he too a  Beast?

her warrior's three wishes by carrie ann ryanAnd while you’re at it check out Carrie Ann Ryan’s website. Carrie Ann usually organizes these hops, but due to overwhelming personal challenges she had to cancel. And this is during her release week for Her Warrior’s Three Wishes (Dante’s Circle)so hop on by her site and wish her well!

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Filed under Bloghops, fairy tales, Snow and the Seventh Wolf, Thursdays Bite

Native American Selkies and guest author VS Nelson

Thursdays Bite

parnormal guest author series, spring 2013

To celebrate spring I’m inviting fellow paranormal authors to write guest posts for Thursdays Bite and today I’m excited to welcome innovative author VS Nelson to Jessica Aspen Writes. Not only does VS write paranormal, but it’s paranormal with a Native American twist. I’m fascinated by selkies and never knew they are part of a Native American tradition as well as Celtic. Read on and discover…

NATIVE AMERICAN SELKIES

I was recently asked if my Native American version of the Selkie was based upon real Native American myths or did I make it up. Believe me when I tell you, Selkies are just as real to Native American’s as they are to the Celtic people. You will find myths and stories of these shape shifting water creatures throughout our Native lands, especially within tribes on coastal waters. The Selkie myth although called by different names changes throughout the various Native peoples but you will find them if you know what you are looking for.

Rafe Martin first wrote about the Native version of the Selkie in his, The Boy Who Lived with Seals, in his children’s book. I used this book more than once teaching Native myths to my elementary students. Although, Martin never uses the word Selkie in his description, it is evident what he is referring to.

In book one of my Sekhmet’s Guardians series, Eternal Lovers, I have tried to explain the variations of the shape shifting Selkie as seen through the eyes of different native people around the globe.

Here is an insert from that book.

the boy who lived with seals by rafe martin, david shannonThen he came across the stories of the Selkies. The Selkie stories changed as they crossed Europe from Scotland to Wales and through Sweden. In Scotland, the Selkie was described as a seal who took the form of a human woman to seduce men. The stories in Wales showed both sexes as Selkies and it appeared that was where the stories from which the merman and mermaid originated from. He read on further as the stories were leading him from one reference to another.

He was fascinated with what he read in some ancient tales from Sweden. He discovered stories portraying the Selkie as a fairy or water sprite like creature who took the form of many different animals, but most often took the form of sea creatures because of their love of water.  They were gentle and kind in nature and possessed a love for all living creatures. The female in her human form was considerably petite in nature with delicate features. Their hair ranged from Blond to shades of red to dark brown. It was said that many a fisherman would take a Selkie as their bride as they were faithful and loving in every way.

The Selkie bride had many skills including a psychic link to her mate. She would know his thoughts and be able to run to his aid should he fall upon danger. Stories continued to tell the tale of fishermen mated to Selkies, who out to sea came upon a storm putting their ship in danger. The female Selkie wife would sense this, change form and swim out to sea in order to save him and the crew. Other stories told of farmers who were in accidents away from their home on land. The Selkie wife would change into a type of bird or fast moving animal, what ever creature would provide the means to get her to mate in time to save him.

The male Selkie in his human form was described as an incredibly large man, robust in muscle and excessively handsome, who had little difficulty seducing human women. At one time, it was believed they had seductive powers which they used on their human prey, but later, it was believed it was only because of their great looks and build that attracted the women to them.

It was believed male Selkies would seek out those females who were dissatisfied with their romantic and sexual life and fill the woman with pleasures beyond their wildest fantasies. The stories went on to talk of Selkie males taking human wives and would remain faithful to them for the remainder of their life.

The male and female Selkies often times would outlive their human mates. In mourning the loss of a human mate, the Selkie would return to the sea or near by water mass, taking their seal or other water creature form and not return to land. They would live out their lives in sorrow taking comfort in their natural habitat.

The Selkies could mate and often times the children of the Selkie would possess some, but not all the traits of the full blooded Selkie. The stories told of these half breed, half human children were quite different across the land, but they all had things in common. These children, regardless if they could change form or not, possessed incredible swimming abilities. They had incredible speed in water just as their Selkie parent.

Reading on, Lance found additional links mostly associated with the Chinook Native Americans who proclaimed a herd of Selkies moved into their area.

Lance believed he found what they were looking for. All the things he read made perfect sense–there was no doubt in his mind, Jennifer had to be part Selkie.” excerpt from The Boy Who Lived With Seals by Rafe Martin, illus. by David Shannon

 END OF READING

The Native American Selkie creatures continue on into book two of the series, Eternal Nights which is scheduled for release May 1st. Two half-breed Native American-Selkie sisters and their full blooded Selkie father take center stage once again.

eternal nights by vs nelsonETERNAL NIGHTS 

With each passing day, Jessica’s consciousness grew stronger. For twenty years, she was content to remain as she was—trapped inside another. The life she led came to an abrupt end the moment she laid eyes on Raphael.  At first, she suspected they were destined to be together–his gentle touch confirmed it. Although he didn’t know it, he ignited waves of a fiery passion that burned deep into her soul. It became brighter every day, giving her the strength she needed. Somehow she would find a way to free herself from her grandmother’s powerful magic.

For weeks she managed to enter his dream state where they interacted with one another as if they were awake. Although no real physical activity took place, he took her to the heights of passion she had only dreamed about. Where they on inside another dimension? She believed so. His mind saw her as she should be–a woman walking on two legs with two arms to hold him and a body that was made for loving only him.

To have a human body again was more than she had ever hoped for.

SNIPPET: ETERNAL NIGHTS

Hours later, with stars twinkling over head and a bright full moon, Raphael and Jessica walked barefoot out on the long cedar dock that overlooked Jennifer’s favorite cove. They sat, dangling their feet in the cool water, enjoying the quiet surroundings after a day packed with travel and entertaining others.

“Jessica, there are some things we need to talk about,” Raphael said, sadness seeping into his vocal cords as he spoke.

She didn’t want him to be sad–not now–not ever. Turning her head she looked at him, waiting for him to continue.

“When… After Jen did the separation…”

“Raphael, I think I know what is bothering you… you think I don’t remember you saving my life but I do… It’s what saved me, Ray.”

“Ray? Since when did I become Ray?”

“The minute I first laid eyes on you back at the animal rescue center. You were my ray of hope, my ray of inspiration, the one that gave me the strength to fight for what I believed to be my destiny.

“And now that you here?”

There was a questioning tone to his voice–one she wasn’t sure she liked. His attitude was towards her was changing. Something is off.  Had all of it been a lie? For over a week they remained by each other’s side. He never left her alone for more than a few minutes the entire time they were in the mountains. Was everything they encountered, night after night, while he slept a lie? Was it just some fantasy she created in her own mind to give her the strength she needed to overcome her grandmother’s magic? Was he just being kind to her out of some sense of obligation or for his love for Nowaki?

 “You’re not sorry about offering your life force to me, are you?”  She questioned silently, trying to hide her panic.

“Oh no, I was just afraid that you didn’t remember and that you might be uncomfortable with the idea… I don’t want any secrets between us… and I don’t want you to feel like you are being forced into a relationship you may not want…”

Want? Was he kidding? Ray is everything… my reason for living, for existing.

“After thinking about it, I don’t think that little action bound you to me… You do know that you are free to make your own decisions on where you want to live… who you want to be with…”

Is that why he hadn’t touched her this past week? He wanted her to choose someone else. It had never dawned on her until now, he might not want her. She fought back the tears as she stood up, slid out of Alice’s grey sweat suit and dove deep into the icy dark water.

In the mountains on the day they visited the cabin where she was born, Jennifer told her of her experiences as a Selkie. Jen had always had a love for water but said, “Never before embracing her Selkie side, did she truly know what it meant to be one with the water.” To be emerged and comforted by the depths of the deepest pools was something she was longing for–needed this very instant. No wonder broken hearted Selkies sought comfort at the bottom of the ocean. The minute she dove in she felt the water protecting and comforting her like a mother’s womb–like Nowaki had for so many years.

She wasn’t sure where this water would take her–hopefully somewhere away from here–away from all the pain she was feeling. Perhaps she would eventually find the great ocean Jennifer talked about–perhaps she would find others of her kind where she could live out her days. Why, oh why did I take Ray’s gift? The wounds would have killed me and I would have been spared from this agony.

BIO – author V.S.Nelson

virginia nelsonBeing a Native American woman and a Scorpio, author V.S. Nelson has always had a fondness for history, mythology, the occult, and the unexplained events which have occurred on this world we call home. It was no wonder she found herself writing a paranormal series.

Raised on authors like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and coming from a long line of oral storytellers, Ms. Nelson work has been defined as innovative and fresh. She will take you by the hand and lead you into the depths of her imagination as if you are sitting next to her on the couch one minute and alive within her fantasy world the next.

She has always enjoyed reading stories with strong relationships and happy-ever-after-endings and it is reflected in her work. Even her commercial fiction, Sins of a Man, the Memoirs of a Mafia Hit man, is layered with romantic elements. I’ve heard her say she is in love with love more than once and that too is echoed in her stories.

Landing in Arizona, after an exciting teaching career, which took her to the Middle East for several years, she lives in Arizona where she spends most of her time making love to her computer while writing, editing or researching, seven to ten hours a day. The days she’s not writing, you will find her with her critique partners, attending or presenting a workshop or at a RWA (Romance Writers of America) meeting. She’s extremely active in three RWA chapters in addition to her other associations.

She enjoys hearing from readers, fans and people with similar interests. They are more than welcome to contact her through her website http://www.authorvsnelson.com

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Filed under guest post, Supernaturals, Thursdays Bite

The Speed of Writing

Moonday Mania

Blogging on the speed of writing

This is the first of four posts on how to improve writing speed I’ll be posting on four consecutive Moonday Manias during the month of April. But before I get to the blog post I have to brag, if you didn’t see my brand new cover for Goldi and the Bear on my Facebook page, then click HERE to see it on my Goldi and the Bear page. But come back for the post, because I can’t be the only one who wants to write faster.

I’m a super (crazy) goal setter. You know the type: the kind that laughs at SMART goals and just sets the bar WAY high.

One of my crazy-go-for-it! goals for the year is to write 3,ooo fresh words per day. (That’s working days, sorry folks I take weekends off.)Whoa! Three thousand words per day? I couldn’t even finish my spicy paranormal novella Goldi and the Bear during National Novel Writing Month and that requires a speed of 1,667 words every day for thirty days. And I didn’t come close. Why is that and how can I even consider trying to reach 3k per day?

And why would I want to?

Well, for starters, I’d like to write more than one full length romance novel per year. I know that the editing is the thing that takes me the longest, so if I’m taking a long time writing the first draft (and then I’m spending several months on editing) that means that I’m taking a very long time to finish a book. But I want to write fast and write well, so where can I speed up?

Writing faster comes down to three things, and that’s what the next three blogs will be about.

  1. Planning
  2. Organization
  3. Time Management

Now these may sound like three variations on a theme, but they’re not. Each one is a specific way I’m increasing my writing speed and if I can make each of these three effective than I think I will be hitting 3k per day without any trouble at all.

Amazed?

I am. But what I’m doing is working. I’m now up to an average writing day of 1,967 words per day that I sit down to write. If I’d done that during last November I would have finished Nanowrimo in twenty-five and one half days. WOOT! Just in time to cook Thanksgiving dinner and not worry about writing a thing.BBQ'd turkey

Imagine what happens if I hit 2,000 words per day, five days per week. That’s an 80,000 word novel in two months. (Not working weekends, remember?) Now of course this is a very rough draft and I still have to go into edits after this, but even at 2k for five days per week I actually stand the chance of finishing two full length novels in a year. But I want to do better than that.

I want to have flexibility. Time to work with my editor on my books that are already finished as far as submission is concerned, but need a final polish for publication. I want to take vacations. I want to not write every day during every week for the whole year. And still complete two novels per year.

Hence striving for 3k/day.

At 3k/day that 80,000 word novel gets finished in just over five weeks if I write Monday through Friday. But what if I don’t? What if I take a sick day, or my kids have a day off school, or my mom needs me? That’s the way my life has been going lately. If I hit five days of writing full time it’s getting to be unusual. So do I give up on my goals or do I just write faster?

Well, you already know the answer. WRITE FASTER, BABY!

My post next Monday will address time management, so tune in next week to see where I found my “write fast” inspiration and how I’m implementing that into my daily word count.

How fast do you write? Do you want to improve your writing speed? What about quality versus quantity? Are you a fast draft person like me, who spends tons of time on edits later. Or are you the kind of person who works that chapter until it’s perfect before you move on to the next one? Do you want to shift gears and work a different way? Or are you happy with the way you write? Are you willing to try something new? Or maybe two or three new strategies to improve your writing speed? What if I told you that the days that I really sit down and apply this I’m almost hitting the 3k mark, would that change your mind?

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft, writing organization

I Write New Adult!

Moonday Mania

so what the heck is new adult and how do I know I write it?

This is not an April Fool’s Joke. I’ve made an amazing discovery. My Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series is New Adult. So what exactly is New Adult? Contrary to some of the spurious claims by the media it is not YA porn. No, in fact it is targeted at older readers, just not so old they want to read bout forty year old heroines and second marriages. According to NA Alley, a blog targeted specifically for New Adult books, this genre is:

beautiful disaster by jamie mcguire

Have you tried this New Adult book?

We view New Adult fiction (NA) as a category of literature—meaning, it gives readers content expectations, but it does not dictate genre-based criteria. Typically, a novel is considered NA if it encompasses the transition between adolescence—a life stage often depicted in Young Adult (YA) fiction—and true adulthood. 
Protagonists typically fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. NA characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc. 
Other terms for NA include: Upper YA, Crossover Fiction, and Mature YA.  -http://naalley.blogspot.com/p/about.html

That says it all.

So, I looked at my books. My characters are all under twenty-six and over eighteen. Red (from Little Red Riding Wolf)  is dealing with trying to separate from her over protective family and balance her loyalty to her pack with her desire to go to college. Evan, her love interest, is recently graduated from college and trying to make a new career in the forest service.

Does that sound like the above definition? Yeah, it really does.

Okay, what about Snow and the Seventh Wolf? Snow isn’t as normal as Red. Snow has had to deal with her evil step-mother, but she’s almost twenty-one, about to inherit, and oh-so-ready to split! Seth is angry and dealing with his own issues. He feels differently from his family and he needs to figure out where his priorities lie.

And what about my newest book? Goldi and the Bear (out Fall 2013). Goldi discovers that her dad has lied to her and they are about to lose their ranch, the only home she’s every known and now the only person she can turn to  is her ex-boyfriend, Zeke. Goldi’s learning about facing adult reality: foreclosure, no job (she’s only ever worked on the ranch), and most of all, even your dad is only human. (Actually, he’s a werewolf, but they have human frailties). And Zeke is about to finally make it big, he’s been trying to prove himself to everyone, his dad, his brothers, but especially his ex-girlfriend, Goldi. Now he has to make some hard choices.

These do sound like NA plots. What about themes in NA plots. Well according to NA Alley they can be:

New adult touches on that space between adolescence and adulthood, so there is a wide range of themes and issues to tackle.
Common themes in NA are identity, sexuality, race, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, bullying, empowerment, familial struggles, loss of innocence, fear of failure, etc.
Combine those themes with common new adult issues: living away from home for the first time, military deployment, starting college, engagements and marriages, etc.

tiger's curse by colleen houck

While many NA are contemporaries, Tiger’s Curse is a paranormal.

I’ve got all that too! Red has to deal with sexuality and the rules of her pack as well as her identity and the issue of going to college or fulfilling family expectancies  All three books deal with racism. Okay, it’s species-ism, human versus werewolves. That counts! Snow loses her innocence and Seth finds his identity. Goldi learns empowerment through her familial struggles and Zeke faces his fear of failure.

Check, check, check.

Now we come to the big question. What about the heat level. Come on, let’s face it. My books are hot! They are so hot I blush when I talk about them to strangers, my parents, even my writer friends. 🙂

Can NA be hot? I’ve done extensive research on this and the answer is, YES! Come on, the readers are ADULTS. This is the time of life for experimentation, failure, new commitments. Sex is a huge part of adult life. Will you? Won’t you? Should you? So yes, spicy is just fine for New Adult.

Not all New Adult books have sex. Not all New Adult books are romance. They cover a wide range of genres, just like regular adult books and YA. But they do have all these things in common, the age of the main characters and the search for answers. So explore the world of New Adult. I’m trying some right now!

goodreads icon

Click the icon to be taken right to the New Adult page!

Have you ever read a New Adult book? Did you read it and not know what it was? Did you like it? Would you consider reading more or what about writing it?

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Filed under Jessica Aspen's Books, Moonday mania, New Adult, writing craft

What’s Your Number? with Paranormal Author Sharon Clare

Thursdays Bite

Please welcome guest author, Sharon Clare to Jessica Aspen Writes. Sharon is a fellow Margie Lawson enthusiast who I met through Sherry Isaac (my fellow WOO-HOO-U grad from Margie’s deep immersion class).  Sharon’s last post on Jessica Aspen Writes was a hysterical dive into our cultures struggle with women’s sexuality: Have Two Paroxysms and Call Me in the Morning. I loved Sharon’s first book, paranormal romance Love of Her Lives, where she introduced her mischievous elf, Finn. Read HERE for my review of Love of Her Lives on Goodreads and add it to your TBR pile. Now Sharon has come out with another fun Finn adventure where the elf once again meddles in the lives of two lonely people in dire need of some romance. Introducing, Sharon Clare and her new book Rhapsody.

Delve Inside Personality With Numerology

A few years ago, I spent a week in Beijing with three friends. With our own personal tour guide, we learned about China’s ancient history, the forbidden city and the great wall, it’s emperors and empresses, tombs and drums, pearls and silks, hot pots and rickshaws and a thread that wove through most everything—numerology.

The Chinese aren’t the only culture that believes in the mystical significance of numbers. Pythagoras, the father of mathematics, saw numbers as archetypes rather than just numerals.

I learned calculus from a brilliant mathematician who after explaining a mathematical theory exclaimed, “there’s proof of God’s existence right there.” He saw numbers in ways I’ll never comprehend, yet with a wide open mind, I’m drawn to both concrete and metaphysical concepts. I like learning about most anything, and I like wondering what-if. It makes for great story fodder.

So what if numbers gave us insights into our life purpose?

NumerologyIn a nutshell, http://www.numerology.com/ defines numerology as this: ‘Numerology is the universal language of numbers, and each of us was born with a set of numbers unique to us. These numbers unlock the door to the depths of our personality and reveal the way we interact with others, lessons we’ve yet to learn, opportunities we’ll be given and challenges we’ll face at specific periods of our lives—or throughout life as a whole.’

I believe we create our own realities. However we focus our thoughts (mindfully or habitually) will become real for us. Perhaps numerology does just that—triggers and focuses a thought. We see the number 8 and think prosperity. And then, voila, we find $20 in our pocket. Okay, maybe not. Perhaps it can work more as a prompt to remind us to invest that $20 wisely.

Or is there more to it?

Apparently, your birth name affects your numerology. I plugged my name into this site: http://www.paulsadowski.com/Numbers.asp. The results were remarkably accurate. My number is 3, described in part with this: ‘produces a quest for destiny with words along a variety of lines that may include writing’. Yep, that’s me. My soul number is 7 which means: ‘you are very fond of reading, and retreating to periods of being alone and away from the disruptions of the outer world. You like to dream and develop your idealistic understandings, to study and analyze, to gain knowledge and wisdom.’ Wow, again, accurate.

I’m a fiction writer, so I couldn’t resist seeing this as a tool to help develop my characters. I plugged in the name of the heroine from my latest release, Rhapsody, to see how close my representation of her matches her numerology. Isabelle Carson. Hmm, as I read, I see potential, possibilities I could have developed to strengthen her character.

I set Isabelle up as a woman with outer strength, but who inwardly feels she’s never taken seriously by men who can’t see past her sex kitten body. This belief pushes all her buttons when she’s caught in an Elven game of seduction she must play to win her freedom.

I’m always looking for ways to get deeper inside my characters’ heads, and I think I’ve found a fun one with this numerology site. Check it out. Is your numerology accurate?

A little about Rhapsody, published by Crimson Romance:

Rhapsody Book CoverIsabelle plans to escape the real world when she takes a tropical vacation. But escape becomes too real when Paradise Resort disappears. To win her freedom, she must break an oath and out-play her opponent in a game of seduction. Her self-control is resolute until her traitorous body decides this is a game she wants to play.

Jonathan’s needs are simple: break down Isabelle’s resistance, win the game, and get back to the real world where an emergency waits. Desire grows between them as each roll of the die reveals secrets, truths and skin, until Jonathan is forced to confront his worst fear or forfeit Isabelle to the dark mastermind of the game.

Rhapsody buy links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, itunes

Author Bio:

Sharon Clare lives in Ontario with her husband and three wonderful grown-up kids who come and go from the nest. She fell in love with writing at the University of Toronto where she graduated with a science degree in psychology and professional writing. She writes light paranormal romance and has published short stories, art reviews, newsletter and magazine articles. Her favourite place to write is outside under the maple trees beside the lily pond. Find out more at: www.sharonclare.com

Check out Rhapsody’s trailer HERE.

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Filed under Fae, guest post, paranormal inspiration

Hot New Trailers for Spring!

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Today is trailer day, WOOT! Next Thursday I’ll have Rhapsody author, Sharon Clare, on the blog, so check back on the 14th and see what Sharon has to say!

I thought Karin Shah came up with a very cool concept with a Chimera shifter, part lion, part dragon. Here’s In Like a Lion:

And for a very unusal live action, Tina Folsom‘s trailer for her Scanguards Vampire Series is hot, hot, hot!

And just one more to round out to the magical number three. Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman. An interesting mix of live action shots and stills. Love the eyes in here.

What do you love about trailers? What do you wish you could see? Do you ever look for them on Youtube?

I’m always looking for new paranormal romance trailers, so leave a link here in the comments if you have a cool one and I’ll check it out!

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Filed under Book Trailers, Moonday mania

Goal Post Check In

Moonday Mania

goals, goals, goals

First of all, I’m guest blogging on fairy tales and their twists on Lyndi Alexander’s new site HERE. Lyndi is the author of the fabulous Clan Elves From the Bitteroot series that starts with a glass slipper that breaks on a sidewalk and turns out to be chock full of tiny men.

Now, on to today’s Goal Post Check In. This year I’ll be checking in randomly and letting you see how I’m doing on my goals. I considered Row 80 Goals, like Jenny Hansen and lots of fellow writer goal setters, but I already use a goal setting loop for my weekly check in, so this is just for fun, and just for you!

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2013

Overall Organizational Goals: 

  1. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals In progress!
  2. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day So far, it’s hit or miss, but more hit than miss.
  3. Goal is 3k/day Yeah, right now I’m goaling 2k per day and hitting it about 3-5 days per week. When I am hitting it consistently I will then set the bar higher. I’m hoping to be doing 3k/day by the end of the year.
  4. and edit 15-20 pages per day Only on the days I’m not writing. And there are editing days when getting 5 pages deep edited is AMAZING!
  5. Keep up with personal site, blog 2 days a week Of course!
  6. Self-publishing class in January (taking a fabulous class on Author EMSwith  Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger!) This was a fabulous class, if you are at all seriously considering Indie Publishing, then take this class. You will absolutely understand the costs, labor and rewards involved.
  7. Tax class in February from Colorado Romance Writers. Yep! Done! Another great class, but I don’t know when it will be offered again.
  8. Market 1-2 hours per day Check!
  9. Attend CRW Writing Retreat in September

Writing Goals

  1. Finish editing Goldi and the Bear by January 18th I think I was a few days later than this, but it is done and turned in and I” expecting a Fall 2013 publishing date.
  2. Polish Goldi and the Bear  by January 30 Done!
  3. Write rough draft of B&B (second book in TQH series) I am 30K into this and really hoping to get it done by the end of March. That is the plan anyway. 🙂
  4. Edit rough draft of B&B
  5. Start thinking about 3rd book in  TQH series
  6. Outline 3rd book in TQH series
  7. Superhero goals: Edit BW and outline first book in that series

Marketing Goals 

  1. Submit Goldi and the Bear to PIP by January 30 Check!
  2. Decide what to do with HH Novellas
  3. Continue to submit TQH Check!
  4. Market all books (Little Red. S&S. GoldiCheck!
  5. Enter Little Red in  contests Check!
  6. Enter TQH into contests Check!
  7. Increase presence on Goodreads
  8. Work on All Romance Exposure
  9. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops
  10. I’ve joined Pinterest. I don’t have many pictures up, but I’ll be working on it slowly and adding them as I go. I’m not sure what the best way to work it is, so I’m a little slow. But you can check it out HERE.

That’s all folks. Hope your goals are all going well. I’m feeling pretty good about my direction this year and very good about 2013 in general. How about all of you? We’re just barely getting into the year, how are your goals? Are you on track? Do you need a goals re-vamp like I did in January or are you sticking to your plan?

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Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Goldilocks Cometh

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal Blog

I’ve sent the third book and possibly final novella in my Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series off to Passion in Print. Last year as my edits approached for Little Red Riding Wolf, I found myself unable to commit to starting a large new project. I thought about writing the sequel to Little Red, but I wasn’t sure of my direction. Should I write about Red’s brother, the erstwhile villain in Little Red Riding Wolf (next time I pick long titles, someone stop me)? Seth has depth. He’s a good older brother, watching out for his little sister and at the same time there’s something dark and tortured about his soul.

It was definitely an interesting idea. The prodigal brother finds love. Hmm, maybe. Or should I focus on the other brothers. The ones you never see in Little Red Riding Wolf, but you know exist. They are all blank slates waiting for stories. And there are so many fairy tales to chose from. Any one of the werewolf brothers could twist his own tale.While Seth’s story intrigued me it wasn’t the one I started last year.

I played with the idea of setting another story in the small town of Radon? Create a new hero or heroine. Someone to play a modern werewolf Belle or Cinderella or even Ariel. The possibilities are endless. I’ve found that I could, if I so chose, write the same fairy tale over and over. Twisting it in a different way each time so that each plot, each heroine and hero have their own setting and story.

In the end I started two stories. Seth’s, now Snow and the Seventh Wolf and Goldilocks, and Goldi and the Bear. So look out Radon, I’ve created a storm that’s brewing nearby. Close enough to cause trouble for the wolves, but with a distinct bear flavor. I’m not giving up the wolves, nor am I leaving Radon too far behind, but Goldilocks calls. And bear shapeshifters present a whole new idea. Hmm. How many bears were there? Now that’s a romance.

As much as I love shapeshifter romance and twisted fairy tales. As much as I love the way my paranormal romances have turned out, I’m working on some new ideas right now and all my twisted shapeshifter romances will have to wait until my current muse is satisfied. While I’m putting my Radon stories on the backburner, I’m up for suggestions on which fairytale to twist next for the series and I need title. It’s tough to keep the original title and the shapeshifter theme going, so I’m calling on you to use your imagination and give me some suggestions. When I’m ready to write I’ll have a whole slew of ideas ready to go, so let me have ’em!

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Filed under fairy tales, Goldi and the Bear, Little Red Riding Wolf, Snow and the Seventh Wolf, Thursdays Bite