Tag Archives: paranormal author

October Burn Out

Moonday Mania

a blog about blogging

Before I get started whining (and trust me, there will be whining) I would like to take care of a few business items. 

  1. THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who has signed up for my Goodreads Giveaway (ending on October 22nd), hopped over to all my guest blogs (I have more coming!), and just in general supported the release of my new twisted fairy tale, The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court.
  2. Tomorrow is the opening of Sam Cheever’s Trick or Treat with Your Favorite Author! Don’t forget to stop by Jessica Aspen Writes, as well as the thirteen other participating authors stops during the next two weeks. The contest ends on Halloween. There will be terrific prizes including two Kindle Paperwhite Readers, so come back and enter!
  3. I will be visiting several more sites this week including author Lynn Cahoon’s site tomorrow, October 15th. An interview with Sherry Issac on Wednesday, October 16th, and a very cool article on Wicca in my World on the site Worlds of the Imagination on Thursday, October 17th.
  4. Last, but not least, on Friday, October 18th, I will be in Las Vegas at the Hot Mojave Knights Romance Readers Convention! WOOT! If you are going, please look for me. I’ll be the one putting her feet up in the bar!

Now on to the whining!

If you read the above list about this week you’ll see why I’m afraid of burning out this October. Not only did my planned September release of The Dark Huntsman get pushed into this month, but I also ended up springing an out-of-town trip on myself when I won the Hot Mojave Knights tickets in the August CRW mini-con auction.

I guess none of this is really something I can complain about, since I’ve done it all to myself. I’m the one who decided to schedule all the blogs and blog hops. I’m the one who bought the tickets to Vegas. And I’m the one who went at ahead and released The Dark Huntsman.

The question is why?

Why would I do this to myself?

Why would I chose October, one of the busiest months of my year to do all of this?

jessica aspen

Because I’m crazy, that’s why.

I am a crazy, over-achiever, goal setter. I knew you all suspected, but this month is proof. We are only half-way through and already I’m worried about not making my goals, deadlines, seriously high expectations. I have activities planned for every weekend, blogs to write, and a novella to finish.


What did you say?

I have to finish writing Ghosts of Christmas Past while I’m going to the October CRW Tea, and signing books, and going to Las Vegas? No way.

Yes, but…

I set the goals.

Yes, me.

The Crazy One.

So when November comes around and the rest of you think you are going out of your mind with planning the holidays for December, remember me. I’ll be the one in the straight jacket trying to type.

Any sympathy from the peanut gallery?  Are you realizing it is the end of the year and you better get cracking on that novel, that life-style change, that house-cleaning that you meant to do all summer? Yep, the end of 2013 approaches and if you are like me you are squishing everything you can into October so you can make it to New Years and say, “Yes, I did!”

How is your October going? Are your goals coming home to roost? Leave me a comment (and try not to say “I told you so!”).

Oh, and if you haven’t checked out The Dark Huntsman on Amazon, now is your chance. Click HERE to see how terrific the book looks. If you’ve read it, please think about leaving a review. I love reviews!


Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania, writing organization

Filling the Nest

Moonday Mania

A blog about the writing journey

Free Stock Photo - Bird Nest

The other day I was having a conversation with fellow author, Mart Ramirez, about children heading off to school next week. Which led us to discussing when they leave the house as adults. Mart’s afraid she’ll be sad when she gets to the point her child leaves home. I’m not. It may be callous, but I’m looking forward to it.

I love my kids, truly, wondrously, desperately love my kids, but at times I feel like a teenager waiting to get out of the house. I want to be me! I want to enjoy my spouse without being afraid a child will walk in. Drink a glass of wine without someone sniffing my breath (yes I have teenaged police at my house.) Travel without finding a sitter, or (even worse) leaving teenagers in charge of themselves and the house. What kind of vacation is it if you are constantly worried about what is going on at home?

I didn’t always feel like this. When the kids were younger, they were my life. I did everything with them and scheduled my life around theirs. Okay, I still have to schedule around them sometimes, but now I have a full life without the kids, and they are not even out of the house. Committing to writing has done more than fill my hours with satisfying work that I would do above just about anything. It has also filled my life with social obligations, travel opportunities, and real friends.

I will not be lonely when the kids go off to school, the husband is at work, and the house is empty. I’ll be on my computer discussing the best use of the word “t’will” and when did contractions come into common use. I’ll be at meetings, trying not to over-volunteer. I’ll be at writers retreats, conducting workshops on improv and taking workshops on NANORIMO prep.

In other words: Fill your life up and the empty nest won’t be empty, it will be full of you being you.

Oh, and the other thing I’ve done to prevent empty nest syndrome? I have a dog. She’s the baby now.

Stock Photography - Man wearing rucksack
What have you done to fill your life up? Will it be you or your husband who misses the kids most? At my house, it’s bound to be my husband when I’m off at RWA and he’s home by himself. Maybe he needs a hobby, like hiking.

Do you have other hobbies besides writing? Will they fill up your life the way writing does, so much that you merely wave at the kids as they trundle off to school and hope you remembered to kiss them?


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

Craft Books on a Writer’s Bookshelf, book one

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing

As most authors do, I collect books on writing. How to improve my craft, or books on how others have done so. So I’m starting a series on the most important books on my bookshelf and why.

On Writing

On Writingby Stephen King.

This book is single handedly the one I quote the most. I’m likely misquoting, but I love Stephen King‘s take on writing and the writing life. It’s an autobiography, but maybe because the author has been a writer almost since he could read, it is also a book on craft. It’s honest,and frank, and a little bit scary. When I first read it as a mom, with two young kids, and a part-time job, it made me angry.

carrie, original movie posterMost of the book goes through his life and how he become a writer. How he wrote and submitted all the time. What influenced him. And it’s a love story about his wife, Tabitha, who is also an author. One of the most impressive things about the book is how much his love and respect for Tabitha come through the pages. I love this book. I love reading about how he grew as an author. About how he struggled financially, but won the publishing lottery with Carrie. But at the end, he got me. He goes on a rant about how you need to be committed to the craft and you have to write every day or you are not an author. In fact, if you are not this committed, you should give up.

I was aghast.

How could I commit that much of my time and if I didn’t, should I just throw the whole idea into the trash? It was humbling to see how committed he had been at the beginning when he too was a young parent. Working during the day, then coming home to take care of the kids while his wife went to her job, he sat at a child’s desk and wrote. Obviously either his wife was cleaning the house and doing all the shopping and maybe now writing as much as she would have liked to, or (and this is highly likely given many writer’s houses) they ran out of food constantly and lived in a pig sty.

Something has to give.

I don’t know what it was in Stephen King’s life, being the woman, I’m inclined to think his wife gave up more writing time, but I don’t know for sure. What I do know is when he writes that particular portion of the book he’s actually talking to himself.

While he was working on the end of On Writing, he has a horrific accident. And he can’t write for  a long time. Then it’s very painful to sit and write. The end of that book is a lecture to us, but it’s mostly a lecture to himself that he can’t give up. And he doesn’t. He finishes the book and he keeps writing.

That’s the lesson I took from Stephen King. Not that I should give up if I couldn’t do this perfectly, but that if I gave up in the face of whatever challenges I had, then I wasn’t a real author to begin with. So I didn’t give up. I don’t give up.

I also don’t write every day. I should. I know I should. But I’m the mom. And no matter what that works out to be in other people’s houses, in mine it means that my time goes first to everyone else. It means that I don’t do fiction writing on the weekends, instead I’ll do this kind of stuff. Blogging or articles or promotion. I’m not giving up. But I need to do things that don’t require my whole attention. And writing fiction does. Fiction requires every ounce of focus I have. And that’s Stephen King’s real message.

Have you read On Writing? What messages did you take away from it? Is it on your bookshelf? Did you keep it?


Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Kristen Lamb

Moonday Mania

A blog on the craft of Writing

Once an author becomes serious about being a professional author it is difficult not to find yourself wondering what in the world is this marketing thing and where do I start?

Never fear, Kristen Lamb is here!

My go to expert for social media is Kristen Lamb, one of her recent posts (click HERE) touches on something I am just now starting to struggle with, analytics. Kristen’s blog always has something of interest to writers, but her social media expertise is what keeps me coming back. She is the author of my favorite social media book, We Are Not Alone. We Are Not Alone is the book that got me thinking about how to blog, not just spitting out words on the page.

In We Are Not Alone, Kristen focuses on the whys, wherefores and what the hell-do-I-do nows of social media. Kristen walks you through every step from developing a brand to what you should and should not be doing on your blog.

I am in direct violation of Kristen’s advice with this very column! Kristen says you should be blogging on what you are writing in order to reach readers. And of course, blogging on writing violates that very idea. That is exactly why I added my Thursday’s Bite blog, which focuses on Paranormal. It’s also why I developed Paranormal Freebies “A place where paranormal readers and authors converge.” Both of these endevours tie me to readers who may or may not be authors.

Kristen’s other book Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer is blog focused. That is on my TBR list, once I finish We Are Not Alone. I’m sure I’ll find out just what else it is that I’m not doing right. Actually I plan on doing most of what Kristen says, and on ParanormalFreebies.com, I actually have. On that site I have book reviews coming up on the first Monday’s of the month. I have a variety of interested authors blogging on interesting topics, and I get to blog there myself on all things magical and mystical.

Kristen not only has these two fantastic books to help you along, but she blogs regularly on topics ranging from marketing to editing to the social faux pas that can kill you on Twitter. And she’s funny. Did I mention that? Just go look at the tab on her website about the Pants of Shame. 

It’s because of Kristen that I started reading The Tipping Point and I’m now thinking about how to make not just my posts “sticky” but maybe somehow my book or my pen name. Hmm, who knew we’d all want to get sticky? The Tipping Point is a great audio read when you have a long drive, although I hear the rights are in turmoil so I don’t think you can purchase it in audio. The library is where I had to go to read Malcom Gladwell’s thought provoking book on what makes epidemics tip. Now I understand the Twilight epidemic.

Kristen also teaches classes at Bob Mayer’s site Who Dares Wins Publishing. I have on my to do list to take a class from either her or Bob or Jennifer Talty this year. It’s on my bucket list and at an affordable $20-$40 for an online class all I have to do is find the time. Okay, I’m making the time.

In the meantime you’ll find me in doctor’s office’s, waiting in the car to pick people up and at the breakfast table, highlighter in hand, pouring over We Are Not Alone. And of course I drink my coffee in the mornings looking over Kristen’s blogs. You should too. Just don’t have a mouthful of coffee when looking at the “Pants of Shame”. I refuse to be held responsible.

Have you checked out Kristen’s blog? What is your favorite piece of advice she gives? Have you read the post on WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE STAR WARS PREQUELS? If you have, tell me, isn’t that the best Darth Vadar costume ever!?


Filed under Moonday mania, website

Veganista or just Veganish?

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write what I want to

This past March I’d had it.

My birthday is in February and I had made what should have been a healthy cake. Chocolate carrot cake made with whole wheat flour. Homemade and full of fiber and vegetables. It knocked me sideways and lay me on the bathroom floor in migraine hell.

It wasn’t like I didn’t know it could happen. I’d spent the entire holiday season last year in a constant fight against a low grade migraine. You see migraines do what I call “lurking”. After you start a migraine, they don’t go away. They hide in a corner of your head and wait for you to do something stupid, then they jump out and lay you low.

I’d begun 2011 with the full intent of eating better, getting exercise and avoiding stress. And I did pretty well, but that cake was the breaking point. I knew I had to do something different.

So I became vegan.

For those of you not familiar with the term here is a definition:

ve·gan [vee-guhn] noun

a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet.
Now it’s not that easy. There are vegans who believe that you should not use animal products, and vegans that believe that you need to watch each and every ecological decision you make to be sure it doesn’t hurt another creature or the planet.
Given all that, why don’t I call what I’m doing vegetarianism?
Because I’ve found that vegetarian food frequently contains eggs and or dairy. And I’m avoiding those. Mostly.
Okay, you caught me. I’m a terrible vegan. I try.
At home it’s easy. I can make my own food. Control each and every ingredient in my homemade granola. Purchase only the veggie burgers that are true veggie burgers and not egg and cheese burgers with vegetables in disguise.
But when I go out, it is almost impossible unless I eat nothing but salad. And even then you have to be careful. Ceasar salad has anchovies and eggs, after all.
So why do it at all?
INFLAMMATION. I’ve discovered that most of my health issues are better when I decrease my inflammation. And that means cutting down on the foods most likely to cause it. Meat, eggs and dairy being some of them. White flour and white sugar being culpable also. In other words. The staples of the American diet.
So I’ve become something indefinable. I’m vegan by day, vegetarian at noon and meat eater at night. No. Acutally it’s closer to: Vegan at home, Vegetarian if that option is offered at the convention, and meat eater when that’s all there is. Because I’m not good without food. Those sneaky migraines don’t like if it I eat wrong and they don’t like it if I skip meals.
And guess what. It gets even more complicated.
I’m allergic to some nuts. Not terribly allergic. Not, “OMG you smell like peanut butter so I can’t breathe” allergic. Thank goodness! But when you go out and look at a restaruant’s choices even the vegetarian options have either nuts or cheese or something else on them that makes them something I can’t eat. So I cheat.
Oh, and I will add another confession. I do eat the occaisional chocolate chip cookie when it is waved under my nose. Even though I know it has white flour, white sugar and the evil twins, eggs and butter. I’m sorry. I’m human.
So for the month of November I’m calling on you all to send me your best vegan recipes. Those without cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts. Oh, and eggplant. I just hate eggplant (sorry eggplant people!). And in turn, on Saturdays I will share my favorite recipes (so far).
Today I’m sharing my granola recipe. Actually it’s Alicia Silverstone’s mother’s recipe with a few modifications. If you aren’t familiar with veganism, Alicia’s book The Kind Diet is a great place to start. While Alicia herself is a “superhero” (macrobiotic) she introduces veganism in a kinder gentler fashion. And she has some killer recipes. Her peanut butter pie is to die for!
(For those allergic to peanuts, substitute almond butter instead)
So here is the granola. And as Alicia says, “Yumm!”
Pre-heat oven to 350°
Place 6 cups of rolled oats onto a flat large baking tray. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring once.
(I actually use two pans because I like my oats well done, and metal works best for crunch. Don’t forget to stir.)
In a large bowl mix 1 cup raisins, 1 cup chopped raw almonds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and 3/4 cup wheat germ. Stir and add hot oats.
In a separate container mix 1/2 cup oil (I use canola, but you choose), 1 cup maple syrup (the real stuff please!), and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (also only use real vanilla).
Mix the liquid into the dry and stir well.
Spread back into the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once halfway.
Cool (stir before completely cool so the granola doesn’t stick)
Store in an air tight container and don’t over eat no matter how delicious it tastes. It is very filling!!
Have you ever tried veganism? What about vegetarianism? What about simply trying to cut out something that everyone loves from you diet? I’d love to hear your stories!


Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Veganista? Or Veganish?

The Sinkhole of Inspiration

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog

Today I’m welcoming fellow Paranormal Freebiesteam member, ML Guida to Thursday’s Bite. ML is pursuing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing through Regis University.  On November 15th, 2011, her novella,Cassandra, will be published through Five Prince Press in the anthology Finding Ms. Wright.


I hope everybody had a Happy Spooky Halloween.   I have to admit I overdosed on John Carpenter’s Halloween.  I love watching Jamie Lee Curtis be terrorized by Michael Myers.  What I like about John Carpenter’s Halloween is the suspense – how Michael jumps out of dark corners, the music and the tension.  When movies just show horrible gore and blood, they lose the tension and terror.  Think of JAWS.  How many times have you heard the theme song and shuddered?  As you can see, horror movies have always been a favorite past time for me.  A couple of weekends ago, I saw Paranormal Activity 3 and yes, it’s scary, because it possesses these same components.  My favorite is the babysitter sitting in the kitchen.  I won’t give away what happens because it’s one of the best scenes in the movie.  If you like to be scared, I’d recommend it.

I enjoy horror books as much as I do the movies.  But sometimes, the screenplay misses the terror of the book.  For instance, Stephen King’s The Shining is a suspenseful book, but the movie with Jack Nicholas fails to capture the terror in the book.  I know many people would disagree with me, but I like the ending in the book better than I do the movie.   My other favorite author is Anne Rice.  I feel in love with Lestat, Louis and Armand.  The ultimate sexy vampires!  I believe both Rice and King’s ability to develop believable characters makes their books hard to put down.

My fascination with scary movies and books led me to write paranormal romance.  In my world, I can create my own supernatural monsters.  In Cassandra, I create an Underworld where demons dwell, not the ones that will possess you like in The Exorcist, but demons that had mated with mystical and real creatures.  My hero, Eric, is Prince of the Dragon Demons who are in danger of becoming feral and conquering their world and then focusing on ours.

Many times, readers want to know writers come up with our ideas.  Writers develop ideas based on every day experiences.  In this case, I surfed the internet and stumbled upon a sinkhole in South America.  The huge sinkhole sunk over 100 feet into the ground.  A highway had caved into the hole.  I broke out in shivers when I saw it, because I wondered what would happen if it stretched to hell and something crawled out.  I took it one step further and thought about my favorite mountain town, Frisco.  What if a sinkhole happened in the middle of the night at Walter Byron Park?  Hmmm…what if a demon flew out searching for his mate?  Eric Wyvern comes to life for me.  What would happen if the heroine could see ghosts and a demon goddess from the Underworld?  The demon goddess in my book is the Wraith, and I have to admit she was fun to write about.   She is shrouded in a dark cloak and all you can see is her skeletal hands and red burning eyes.  When she talks, she hisses.  She is one of my favorite characters in this book.

So, the next time you see a sinkhole, imagine where it would go?  What lives down there?  What wants to escape into our world?


Filed under Thursdays Bite

Halloween Treats 2011 Grand Prize Giveaway Today!

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

Today is the day I announce the  Halloween Treats Grand Prize Winners for the entire month! Three lucky people will win a swag bag with wonderful Jessica Aspen Swag and a Barnes and Noble $15 Gift Certificate! But hold your horses, I have to gab for a minute first.

This has been a whirlwind October for me, and believe you me,  I have enjoyed riding the whirlwind. From running my first big contest, Halloween Treats, to exploring the world of Flash Fiction with Rach Harrie’s Third Writing Campaign, it’s been one new experience after another. I feel like I’m at the amusement park on my game board of life.

And I expect the rest of the year to continue to be filled with wonderful and scary new experiences. I’ll be working on my first professional edits, with my new editor from Passion in Print Press. I’ll be researching my options for my first professional blog tour. And I’ll be doing all this while running CRW’s Award of Excellence, our amazing contest for romance authors with books published in 2011.

This year not only was the beginning of this blog, but it also marked the beginning of Paranormal Freebies. A blog and ezine that I share with ML Guida, Hillar Seidl and Marilyn Wigglesworth. We’ve had great fun creating a place for paranormal readers and authors to converge.

My latest ride on the whirlwind came on Monday, October 24th with the opening of the Choose Your Own Adventure blog hop, Ahoy Sea Serpent. If you havent tried it start at  Kerri Cuevas’s blog and find out what happens when a group of random bloggers get together to write a story, and make you, the reader, the decision maker. Thanks Kerri for a wonderful opportunity.

This month I’ve given away a book with every blog post and today is the grand prize drawing! If you’ve been hanging out here you know that I’m running the contest in celebration of my novella Little Red Riding Wolf’s acceptence from Passion in Print Press. Little Red Riding Wolf will be available February 18th, 2012

My last giveaway book winner from Saturday’s blog is Gloria! WOOT!

I will be doing a whirlwing blog tour during January and February and promoting Little Red Riding Wolf‘s release date. And I’m thinking I just might run another contest in February. It’s not only my release month, but it also contains romance’s biggest holiday, Valentine’s Day. So don’t forget to check back during the month of February and find out what fun prizes are being given away. Who knows? I might even have copies of Little Red to give away.

So, on to what you’re really here for…

Drum roll please!

And the winners (you had to have commented during the month of October during my blogs to win) of the three amazing Jessica Aspen Swag bags complete with Barnes and Noble gift certificates are…..




Congratulations! Send me your contact info through the contact page and I’ll get your prizes to you! Any prizes not claimed by November 30th will be forfeit.

And for everyone who dropped by and commented this month, thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed getting to meet each and every one of you and hope to keep hearing from you on a regular basis.


Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Shadow Fall Review

Sensational Saturdays

A blog for whatever I feel like writing

Today I’m posting my end of the month Thursday’s Bite Book Review, delayed one posting by the amazing Hillary Seidl’s take over of Thursday’s Bite. I plan to be back on schedule for the month of November, so check back on the last Thursday of the month for a new review and another Bite.


Erin Kellison rocks!

Not only is she amazingly sweet and funny, but she can really write romance. Her book Shadow Fall is the second in the series that began with Shadow Bound and continues with Shadow Man out September 2011. I had the opportunity of meeting Erin at Rom Con 2011 and she made our paranormal games a blast.

Shadow Fall tells the tale of ballet artist Annabella whose talent for ballet creates a link between our world and the shadow world. Annabella’s grace and beauty lure not only a shadow wolf, but also tempt a fallen angel, Custo.  Custo’s tale of desperation as he races time and deportation back to heaven to save Annabella from the stalking wolf intertwines beautifully with Annabella’s ballet and the world’s battle against the wraiths.

Confused? You won’t be. I read this as a stand alone and was up to speed immediately without being bogged down in backstory. Ellison’s skill as a story teller sucked me in and kept me wanting more. And I’ve awarded her the coveted five omegas, ΩΩΩΩΩ not just for a superb book I’ll want to read again, but for creating a fabulous series that call me from the shadows.

If you’ve read the first book in the series, Shadow Bound, you will have already met Custo. I have yet to read the first one, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the story of Adam and Talia the half-breed daughter of the Shadowman himself. All three of these characters play important roles in Shadow Fall, but the stars are Custo, Annabella and the wolf.

And if you’re like me and love a good series it looks like the fourth in the series a novella entitled, Shadow Touch, will be out June 2011. Definitely add Erin to your TBR pile, in fact put her on the top!

Today is the last day in my Halloween Treats giveaway in celebration of my novella Little Red Riding Wolf available on February 18th, 2012 from Passion in Print Press. Leave a comment to enter in today’s drawing for The Bride Wore Scarlet and to get a final entry into Monday’s drawing for three grand prizes of swag bags and B&N Gift certificates. Contest closes Sunday, October 30th night at midnight!

Thursday’s winner is Sherry Isaac! Congratulations and send me your address through my contact box and we’ll get you your prizes!


Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Supernaturals

Retreat Bijou, Elizabeth Pelletier of Entangled Publishing

Sensational Saturdays

a blog about whatever is on my mind

This is the last in a three part series about the wonderful jewels I gleaned from the Colorado Romance Writers Retreat. To read the initial post about the CRW retreat you can visit HERE. To read about the amazing Margie Lawson’s Defeating Self Defeating Behaviors you can visit HERE. And to read about coping with contest grief with Ann Brady you can visit HERE.

Have you ever wished you knew exactly what an editor was thinking when they read through the slush pile? Do you want to know what stands out and how you can get your manuscript read? Well, we were lucky enough at the retreat to have our very own editor at our mercy. Liz Pelletier from Entangled Publishing was brave enough to step into the room and answer all our questions. She was frank, she was open and she let us know exactly what we could expect from Entangled when we sent our babies off to the slaughter.

No, that’s the first thing. Entangled is a small press. They are fairly new and they really take the time to look at your query and to try to read through those first five pages. If you are worried that no one even looks at your piece, Liz does. She can’t read everything, but she looks at the query and decides if it should be read in depth by an intern. So how do you get her attention?

She said it was simple. She needed to connect to the story, connect to the characters. And she needed to do it right away. Make your character either likeable, in a situation of adversity, sympathetic or empathetic (put the reader in the character’s shoes).

That’s it. If you do that, right away, Liz will send it on to the next step where they read it and critique it. At least the first thirty pages.

And then what happens? Well a few books get picked up. Most don’t. Why?

  1. The reader couldn’t connect with the character
  2. Lack of voice or too much voice
  3. Too many books just like it
  4. Just don’t love it
If you can hit the character hook, the interesting plot or a twist on an old plot, then you will make it to the next step. As long as they have a place for it. Liz said occasionally it happens that there is a fantastic book, but they just signed someone with a similar plot and they can’t publish two books that are so similar.
At Entangled they work with each author in depth, so they have to really like the book. Liz reads the books she’s responsible for multiple times. She has to love the story or she just won’t want to face it over and over and over again.
Is there anything else you can do to maybe get a leg up with a publisher? Yes. Edit your query and your submission. Then edit them again. Actually read them, don’t just spell check. And if you can, have someone else read them and make sure you didn’t use the wrong there, or two for to. I know you’ve heard this many times, but editors are still getting manuscripts with major editing mistakes. Don’t be a victim!
Be on the internet, be a prescence. We’ve talked about this before, but you should at least have a website and be on some sort of social networking platform. Editors want to know you can market yourself. Or at least that you know you should be doing it!
Google yourself. Check out if someone can find you, or does that stripper with the dog face come up instead. (Hey, it happens!)
Make sure your book is within the parameters for their house. If they don’t do YA, don’t send your YA mystery to them. Check the submission rules and be aware. Every  house is different with different rules. Get in line with the rules and you stand at least a chance. Get out of line and you will be receiving an auto rejection. Next!
I want to thank Liz for her time and consideration. She made me think and even though I’m not sharing everything on my three pages of notes I hope this made you think. Sometimes we take rejection personally, but after listening to Liz I had a new respect for how an editor makes her decisions. Thanks Liz!
Let me know about your experiences with rejections. Did the editor give a reason? Did you listen?
Today’s Halloween Treats book is giveaway is a signed copy of CRW’s very own Alegra Gray’s Nothing But Scandal. Halloween Treats is my treat to you in celebration of my novella Little Red Riding Wolf’s publication on February 18th, 2012 by Passion in Print Press. Leave a comment to enter the drawing for the book and to enter the grand prize drawing on October 31st for three swag bags and B&N gift cards!
Nicole Grueber has won Thursday’s book, Dragon Moon. Send me your address through the contact box and I’ll send you your book. Congratulations!


Filed under channeling success, Sensational Saturday's

Final Challenge of the Third Writing Campaign

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog

Newsflash: I just found out that my sensual paranormal novella, Little Red Riding Wolf will be released on February 18th, 2012! Thank you Passion in Print Press!

Today I am posting my attempt at the final challenge of the Third Writing Campaign. It’s been fun and exciting to try to not only write extremely short, but to make it interesting, add a twist and incorporate weird words into my efforts. Here are the parameters for this weeks challenge:

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: “synbatec,” “wastopaneer,” and “tacise.”   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

Tacise at the Beach

Cerise sat and extended her long bare legs in front of her, pushing her fingers high into the sky. Reaching for the streaks of iridescent color that heralded the dawn, she strove for enlightenment. It was elusive.

She bent at the waist. Bowed to the flat early morning ocean till her nose scraped the black sand between her thighs, and yawned.

This should be sacred time. Time to prep for her day as a synbatec. Without this time she knew she would lose it, as she applied the syntha-skin to each victim’s body.

But it wasn’t working. The repetitive lap, lap, lapping of the waves seemed repressive. Day after day the bright sun started as a glow, billowing out into a glorious sunrise that did nothing for her. And today was even worse.

Usually she could ignore sounds and scents that distracted her from her early morning tacise exercises, but today the stench of something caught between dead fish and excrement teased her senses.

She attempted ignoring the smell, but the best she could achieve was a flat un-involvement with her environment. This wasn’t working.

She stood, focusing her attention on the salty ocean smell, but it proved elusive, drowning under the putrid stench that wafted through her open mouth and choked her throat.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“That’s it!” Cerise whirled around, hitting the button on her mini-holo sythiziser. The beach disappeared. Her apartment balcony burst into view, a wastopaneer lurching its way down the alley below.

“I’ve had it!” She slammed into her apartment. Shut the door on the noise of the automatic trash collector as it sucked up her roommate’s corpse from the alley pavement.

This wasn’t working. She’d thought getting rid of Tanya would help, but she still couldn’t get into the rhythm.

She’d have to move.

If you enjoyed the post, please vote for me at Rach Writes, I’m number 74. And be sure to check out some of the other fabulous entries and vote for them as well. All of us have worked very hard during the campaign to not only keep up, but write interesting content. And check back on October 24th for the first day of the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop, starting at midnight EST on Kerri Cuevas’ blog HERE.

While you’re here, don’t forget to leave a comment to enter today’s Halloween Treats Contest celebrating my contract for my sensual novella Little Red Riding Wolf. Comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Rebecca York’s Dragon Moon.

Congratulations to Sharon Clare for winning Monday’s book! Send me your address through the contact box and I’ll mail your book.


During the entire month of October I’m giving away awesome books and everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into my final grand prize drawing on October 31st for three swag bags filled with goodies and a B&N gift card! Leave a comment to enter today!

Update: Thursday’s winner is Nicole Grueber! Send me your address and I’ll send you your book! Congratulations!








Filed under Third Writers Platform Building Campaign, Thursdays Bite