Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Guest Post: That Pesky Inner Editor

Thank you, Pamela, for hosting me on your blog. It is a pleasure to visit and I have enjoyed reading  the posts from your other guests. It is a fabulous way to discover new books to read.

The more experienced you become at writing, the more you learn and the journey becomes easier.

I would like to talk about the joy and frustration of our inner editors and when to keep that voice under control and when to give it free reign.

Recently, I set myself two strict deadlines. I am travelling to the United States in a couple of weeks to meet with my publisher and I decided to finish and polish two manuscripts to take along with me.

Well... that was the plan. I ended up with too much polish and not much finishing!

Three days of writing for six hours each day and I gained one thousand words in one story.

I actually wrote three thousand words but my inner editor would not let me keep writing and insisted that I go back each morning and revise each chapter. I wrote three thousand new words and pruned two thousand off earlier chapters.

I am usually a ‘put my head down and go for it panster’ and then I come back and edit when I have finished. Last week when my inner editor was constantly at my shoulder my productivity slowed to a crawl and I became frustrated. Writer’s block started to creep in...and then it wasn’t long before creativity flew out the window.

But, self reflection is a marvellous thing!

Instead of giving up and bemoaning this constant nagging voice, I analysed the changes I had made.

What did I find?

My chapters were stronger and the plot was a lot tighter. Dialogue had improved. Reading back over my changes I realized that my inner editor had stepped in, in a timely fashion and saved me hours of work at the end. And then I was able to put my fingers to keyboard and start flying again

So a good lesson learned.

Often we blame the inner editor for a lack of confidence and use it as a reason to procrastinate and not write. However, there are times when the inner editor can be listened to and can direct your writing in positive ways. It is a skill that comes with experience.

The more you write, the more savvy you become when dealing with that pesky inner editor.

My favorite story has recently released by Musa Publishing. Blind Lust is a sweet little paranormal romance with many unexpected twists and turns.

When Venus has a wager with Cupid, that prudish librarian, Lizzy Sweet cannot be enticed to love, she neglects to tell her son that Lizzy is a three hundred year old witch. The first man Lizzy sees after Cupid shoots his arrow is Josh Deegan, a famous country and western singer who has come to town to rediscover his muse, in an old farmhouse haunted by a culinary ghost. Local warlock, Wesley Gordon, who has been hitting on Lizzy to no avail for over one hundred years, is not impressed. The quirky old folk of Silver Valley watch fondly as the battle between love and lust plays out. Leaden and golden arrows zing around, spells are magicked, potions stirred, and ghosts hunted. Who will fall in love and who will let the other go forever?

Excerpt 1
Slowly, silently the full moon walked the night sky as Lizzy sat cross-legged in a circle of red candles on the damp grass in her back garden. Tall trumpet lilies bowed their heads elegantly to the moonlight, silver licorice plants formed long draping sweeps illuminated by the soft light.  The vanilla scent of white heliotrope mingled with the sweet smoke drifting across her hands, as they rested lightly in her lap.  Voices whispered in the silver birch trees and she chanted softly under her breath, repeating the incantation twenty one times.

“Unwanted love leave me be, cease your ardor, my warm regards have no path.”
At the end of each seventh incantation, Lizzy lit another candle and closed her eyes to begin the next round. 

When she finished and the candles died, she stood, stretching, her body and soul renewed, clear of any carnal desires. She frowned. It had been a most peculiar day. Her body yearned for Josh, and now for the first time in thirty years, Wesley’s naked chest stayed in her mind.

Excerpt 2
“Do you believe in ghosts, Josh?” she asked quietly.

He laughed uneasily, shaking his head. “If you had asked me that a couple of days ago I would have said you were crazy, but honestly now I don’t know.”

“What about witches?” She paused. “Magic spells and potions?”

“Give me a break,” he said, running his fingers through his shaggy hair. She was silent as she gathered her thoughts.

“You’ve been here for a week, haven’t you Josh?” she asked softly.

He nodded.

“Have you felt your Aunt Helen’s presence?”

He looked at her without answering and a strong gust of wind rattled the kitchen windows. The storm clouds scurried across the moon, the sky cleared and a shaft of moonlight shone through the kitchen window. Lizzy stood bathed in moonlight, the lace of the curtains fracturing the beam, and the power of the moon goddess entered her strengthening her will.

“Thank you, mother,” she breathed, her eyes closing as she let the power do its work. She stood motionless for a full minute.

“Lizzy, are you all right?” Josh sounded wary.

She stood tall and straight, holding her hand out to him. “It’s all right Josh, I’m sorry I upset you.”

He hesitated before crossing the kitchen and taking her hand. The look of adoration in his eyes sent sparks running along her nerve endings, all she needed was his touch. Closing her eyes, Lizzy focused on the power of the mother within, to resist succumbing to temptation once again.

Annie Seaton lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia, where she loves sitting in her writing chair, gazing at the ocean and writing stories. She has always been fascinated by all things historical and has found her niche writing contemporary romance and steampunk, where strong heroines and brooding heroes fight together to make their alternative world a better place.

Her debut novel, Holiday Affair, a contemporary romance set in the South Pacific was released as part of Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line in March. The sequel Italian Affair is currently underway. Watch out for the story of Tom and Brianna the sex therapist who spices up his life!

Winter of the Passion Flower was released through Lyrical Press at the same time. Currently immersed in the creation of Book Two, a full length novel, the adventures of Sofia and her Scottish laird, Annie is already looking forward to the rest of the series, particularly the adventures of Indigo’s four boys: Jago and Jory, Ruan and Kit. Strong sassy heroines and rebellious heroes have a rollicking good time as they work to make the world a better place-- albeit their own steampunk world.

Blind Lust, a paranormal novella (and her favourite story) was released by Musa Publishing on 15th June.

Annie lives with her husband, and ‘Bob’ the dog and two white cats, in a house next to the beach in a small coastal town of New South Wales. Their two children are grown and married and she loves spending time gardening, walking on the beach and spoiling her two grandchildren.

Visit Annie Seaton at

Check out her blog at

Twitter @annieseaton26


Buy links:

Barnes and Noble

Musa Publishing

Contest: Annie Seaton will give away a copy of Blind Lust to one lucky commenter. The contest ends Wednesday, August 1 and the winner will be announced Thursday, August 2. The winner will get to choose either a print copy or an eBook copy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Guest Post: C. C. Marks

Who wants to read a story where society has broken down, things have changed for the worse, and civilization is a thing of the past? Well, a lot of people.  One of the most popular genres right now is dystopian.  What exactly is dystopian literature?  When it comes to books, no two are exactly the same, but dystopians are stories that explore social and political structures, especially the breakdown of these structures.  What happens if society as we know it becomes a living nightmare?  You get a suspenseful story with strong conflict.

Thanks to releases like Suzanne Collins’s, The Hunger Games, everyone is clamoring for this type of fiction.  Yet, what is so great about the dystopian genre?  Why is the audience growing for this genre? Why does Hollywood love this kind of movie?  Here are several reasons why dystopian stories are so popular:
·         Dystopias automatically put characters in a “high-stakes” conflict, often concerning their ultimate survival or demise.

·         It questions authority, values, humanity--often the rites of passage for adolescence.

·         It is the hero’s (or heroine’s) journey, but through a world familiar and fantastic, often dangerous. It’s a story that stretches the imagination, but it is based in reality.

·         It is often a cautionary tale and provokes thought about the possible consequences of an irresponsible society and/or government.

·         Dystopias can be an outlet for anxiety of the unknown.  When the economy is bad, when wars drag on, when life seems unpredictable, fiction can generate optimism for a better tomorrow.

·         Of course, ultimately, dystopian literature is about hope.  The hero must overcome seemingly impossible circumstances, but in the end, he or she can make a difference in a ruined world.  Wouldn’t we all like to achieve that?

Edge of Mercy, my debut novel, is a young adult dystopian paranormal with a smidgen of romance.  It started as a flash fiction piece that got great reviews, except for one flaw--it was too short.  So, I lengthened it, and it will release on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012.  Hope you’ll take a look and see what all the fuss is about dystopian stories.

Charlie’s true identity is a secret, but her very presence places everyone around her in danger. With no other choice but to remain where she is, she stays with a community that might not be as benevolent as it appears. In this short dystopian romance where a friend might be an enemy and an enemy might be a friend, seventeen-year-old Charlie must protect her baby sister and herself from grotesque monsters outside the community as well as human ones inside. Will the truth she discovers about her protectors save her or ultimately doom her to a fate worse than death?

My life wasn’t a freaking animated fairy tale like the ones in movies or on television long ago.  I knew that very well, thank you very much.  Movies and television were gone now.  No more radio, no more Internet, no more tests of the emergency broadcast system.  All gone, and we were back to basics, back to primal earth in a never-ending game of predator versus prey, and we were no longer the predators.  Trust me, it was no fun being the prey.

In the community, I’d had bad days. I’d had days where I questioned if I really had an advantage inside the protected walls.  But tonight took it to an extreme level. Night in the compound terrified me, what with sure death constantly clawing to get inside.  Yet, this night eclipsed them all.

I covered my ears, gritted my teeth, a bubbled scream trapped in my chest.  A tight hold on my emotions kept my fear from popping free in a loud, long wail.  But just barely.

Others around me didn’t possess my level of control, especially Zeke, who sat beside me.  His breaths came labored and loud to my ears.  Part of me itched to reach a hand out, to reassure him that this night would pass like the ones before with all still safe inside, the sun rising on a new day.  But I didn’t currently do girly, and I was no longer Charlotte Baker.  Here, I was Charlie Little, the boy the community took in, along with a baby sister and a dying mother, a little over six months ago.  If they ever thought differently, I wouldn’t last the night. 

Screeches and clangs bombarded the combination wood and chain link metal fence surrounding the brick structure.  We cowered in windowless cells inside.  My hands firmly planted over the sides of my head, I couldn’t make myself pull them free.  Sure, our security protected us well.  The fence was electric and the building reinforced from the inside, but tonight, something was different.  The creatures never attacked with this much intensity, and a wish to crawl into the deepest, darkest hole and hide there until it all ended crept over me.

It would end.  It always ended.

Zeke’s muffled voice penetrated my flimsy hand armor, and I shifted my gaze to meet his.  His dark-brown eyes were wide and expectant.

“Right, Charlie?”

Right?  I hadn’t heard a question, wasn’t sure I could focus on anything he wanted to know now.  My response--a shake of my head.

He pulled one of my hands free from my ear and asked, “It’s worse than before, right?”

Before?  Before what?  Before tonight?  Before I stumbled through the community gate?  Before the world turned to blood, survival, and hiding at night, always hiding at night?

“I don’t know, Zeke.  Is it?”  The panic in my voice remained buried by the jarring crashes outside.

“Yeah.  It’s worse.  Something’s changed.”

I looked at my lap.  The truth would show in my eyes, so I didn’t dare look at Zeke.  “They’re becoming more aggressive.” 

Like last winter.  Last winter, I came face-to-face with a draghoul.  Then I fought through a horde of them to get here.  My fear wasn’t from ignorance.  I’d seen them up close, and they were beyond frightening.  Their exteriors weren’t that much different from when they were once human.  And they were once human, as unbelievable as it was.  But the transformation into a monster was permanent and dreadful.  The pale sallow skin, the glazed, souless eyes, the malicious teeth were a vision I would never forget.  The fact they used to be people we knew, some we loved, made the sight of them all the more devastating.

He continued, “But why?  They’ve always lurked just outside.  They’ve never tried to get inside before.  It’s like…they’d claw through the metal and concrete to get inside, I mean more than before.”

An explosive bang vibrated the walls and I jumped.  God, I hated the night.  It was too real, a reminder that humans no longer ruled the planet, a reminder that we were no longer the dominant species.  My hands shook, and I lowered and squeezed them between my thighs to keep them out of sight.

Zeke’s whispered words carried across the room to the opposite wall.  “What do you think, Thomas?  You’re the smart one.  Is it worse?”

I chanced a look in Thomas’s direction and felt more than saw his intense dark-eyed gaze burn into me.  So often, he just stared, and questions lingered behind his intelligent eyes.  Sometimes I wondered if he knew or at least suspected the truth.  Life could always get worse for Star and me if he worked out my real identity.  We wouldn’t survive in the forest again, and we had nowhere else to go.

His gaze turned to his cousin Zeke’s.  “No doubt, it’s worse.  It was only this bad once before, last year, in September and October.”

Zeke pressed, “What’s bringing them so close?”

“I don’t know, but the Council will figure it out and fix it.”

“You’re right.  The Council will fix it.”

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll check out Edge of Mercy, on July 31st.  If you just can’t wait that long, you can get an exclusive sneak peek with my short, “Mercy,” which is available now at Amazon and Smashwords.

Mercy Amazon Buylink          Smashwords

Connect with me at:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Guest Post: Vicky Loebel

The Road to Hell is Paved With Bad Intentions

I’m new to blogging (thanks Pamela, for inviting me!) and have been wondering how to fit in—a topic that’s been on my mind since the recent debut of my Urban Fantasy/Romance/Funny/But-with-Dark-Sexual-Themes crossover “Keys to the Coven.”

Fitting in is not something I’m used to thinking about. I was a mixed-genre kid. I loved Barbie but you’d never have caught me dead in high heels. I loved outdoorsy clothes but never did anything more rugged in them than sit on the grass with a book. I read whatever dropped into my lap, from  Daphne du Maurier to Alexander Dumas, Arthur C. Clark to Eric Segal. And let me assert this for the record: Love means always being ready to say you’re sorry. Anyone who tells you different is…let’s face it…a guy.

Some years back, I joined the (fabulous) Tucson chapter of RWA and decided my first professional novel would be a romance. Since my voice is, one might say, unsentimental, I picked erotic romance, and because I wanted to be free to make stuff up, crack jokes, and not be bothered with a lot of petty concerns about reality, I chose Urban Fantasy.

My premise? The hero, Max, is a demon who has to earn karma to stay in the living world. There are two ways to get karma: by purchasing and enslaving human souls—which he’s too moral to do—or by having glorious life affirming sex with women. Lots of women. Lots of sex.

My heroine, Felicity, is a witch who’s inherited a combination witches coven and bowling alley from her mother, but would rather stay home and train dogs. She’s immune to Max’s demonic charms, so rather than hop in his bed, she forces Max to interact with her as an individual.

My villain, Roksashael, is an arch-demon who’s seduces women, collects their souls, and stuffs them in an evil magic artifact called the Minsk Homunculus.  He needs a (witch) consort to hold this artifact, and 
Felicity’s family has been serving as Rocky’s chattel for 600 years.

Although I enjoy writing them, there didn’t turn out to be a lot of sex scenes in this story, so somewhere along the line the “erotic” fell out and I was left with an urban fantasy with strongly sexual themes, a lot of jokes, and the grim reality that there are some fates so inevitable, so cruel, love can’t possibly conquer all.

Except it does of course. I’m enough of a romance writer to believe in that.

So where does my urban-fantasy-romance, witty-but-dark, sexual-but-not-erotic, unsentimental-but-sort-of-goofy novel fit into the rough and tumble world of publishing? Darned if I know. I’ve had a heck of a good time bringing it into the world!
To become a demon, you must die in complete and utter despair. Three hundred years ago, Max passed that test with flying colors and joined the afterlife resolving never again to have innocent blood on his hands. Now a successful Demonic Intervention Agent, Max has been given the job of breaking Felicity Woodsen's family curse. But what she doesn't know, what Max can't bring himself to tell her, is that completing his mission almost certainly means her death.

When Felicity inherits her mother's coven, she learns each firstborn Woodsen daughter must become the consort of an evil-arch demon. Felicity's only hope is to ally with the mysteriously charming Max. But is saving her body from one demon worth the price of risking her soul with another?

Arch-Demon Roxashael landed in Hell when his Roman captors sent his family, one by one to be devoured by lions. The lesson was clear: power is good; lots of power is better. Two-thousand years later, Rocky has power. He's purchased hundreds of souls, and he's created the Minsk Homunculus, a magic artifact that, by binding a human witch as his consort, places him above the goody-two-shoes laws of karma.

But Rocky made a mistake. He fell in love with Felicity's mother and in a moment of weakness promised to give up his demon-consort charm. Now Felicity's mother is dead, the Minsk Homunculus is slated for destruction, and Rocky's power as an arch-demon is about to end.

No demon can break a promise. If Rocky refuses to give up the Minsk Homunculus, he'll become the lowest, most abject slave in Hell.

But then, why break promises when they're so easy to corrupt?

CAUTION: This book contains violence, strong sexual themes, moderately explicit sex between consenting adults, (unfulfilled) threats against children, and one completely gratuitous reference to unicorns.

Vicky Loebel is the author of award-winning amateur fiction and an avid reader of anything written with panache. She lives in the human world on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon, Arizona with two dogs and a rotating cadre of four men, and on the internet at Vicky’s quasi-fitness blog 5x10x15 Refit! muses on health and dieting for the terminally misfit.

Note: Vicky will be arranging free downloads and promotional giveaways as she gets a better handle on the publishing side of the business. If you’d like to join her (very rarely issued) email list, drop Vicky a note.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Guest Post: Amy Durham

Hello! Big thanks to Pamela for inviting me to be a guest on her blog. I’m thrilled to be here!

I’m Amy Durham, a Young Adult fiction author. I’m also a wife, a mom of 3 crazy boys, and a middle school teacher. I like to think of myself as a professional multi-tasker! My debut novel, “Once Again”, released in January of 2012. “Once Again” is the story of Layla Bradford and Lucas Ellis, who find out there’s way more to worry about than typical high-school drama when they discover that they’re the reincarnation of a young married couple from the 1800s who suffered a horrible tragedy at the hands of a madman who was never brought to justice. The evil that destroyed them in their previous existence is alive and well, and coming for them once again.

I’m currently writing the sequel, which I hope to release later this year.

When I talk to non-writers about my writing activities, I usually get a lot of “whys”. So for today’s post, I thought I’d take the 3 most common “whys” I’m asked, and expand a bit on each.

Why YA Fiction? I love that YA Fiction has such a cross-over appeal. For tweens and teens, YA Fiction can give readers hope and encouragement, as well as a place to temporarily escape the ups and downs of adolescence. For young-at-hearts like me, YA Fiction offers an opportunity to revisit the exuberance of youth, to remember the joys of childhood, and experience the intensity and heartbreak of young love all over again.

Why Paranormal Romance? I love paranormal fiction because I find it so easy to suspend disbelief and lose myself in a story when I’m swept away by something “otherwordly”! I love the imagination paranormal fiction involves, not only as a writer but as a reader as well. Being pulled into a paranormal story is one of my favorite pastimes!

Why Reincarnation? I think reincarnation is a fascinating concept. Whether you believe it exists or not, the idea of returning in another form or in another time is captivating. I love that reincarnation can be molded to fit most any storyline, and can even encompass other paranormal elements. And when it comes to romance, I think that reincarnation can really illustrate the idea of love being endless, spanning generation, and not being bound by space and time.

Thanks Pamela, for allowing me to visit here today. I really appreciate the opportunity to connect with readers and fellow-writers across cyber-space!

I can be contacted online at any of the following locations:

Once Again can be purchased at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday Guest Post: Teresa J. Reasor

First I want to thank Pam for letting me be part of her blog today. I love doing blogs and meeting new people. Pam and I recently met at a meeting of the Kentucky Indies group we both belong to. It was wonderful to meet someone I have so much in common with.

I love writing paranormal stories.  Paranormal, Fantasy and Science Fiction are the only genres that allow your imagination to go beyond the boundaries of the real world and get away with it. The sky’s the limit. And sometimes, depending on what you write, you can go beyond that as well.

Three years ago I saw a special on Kentucky Educational Television about an archaeological dig studying a ship called Belle. Belle lay on the bottom of Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast. She was part of an armada led by the French explorer, Robert La Salle. La Salle and his crew died when the armada sank. To study the wreak and recover and preserve artifacts from the site, which included a skeleton of one of the crew, a cofferdam was constructed around the site and the water pumped out.

The chance viewing of this special, titled Voyage of Doom, sparked an idea for a story that would consume me for three years. It was finished and published in January of this year.  That story is TIMELESS.


Archaeology student, Regan Stanhope, lands the chance of a lifetime when she’s chosen to work on a summer dig in Loch Maree, Scotland. The ancient monoliths hidden beneath the loch are the most important discovery since Stonehenge. And for seven hundred years, they have been waiting—for her.

Saturation diver Quinn Douglas is contracted to recover some of the megaliths from the loch’s bottom. The job will breathe life into the struggling salvage business he and his brothers are building. But from the moment he arrives, Quinn is plagued by dreams and feelings from a past he did not live. Or did he?

Regan and Quinn are drawn to each other as they research the monoliths and the reason behind their shared visions. But both sense something mystical at work, delving into their minds, manipulating their emotions. And when they finally discover the monoliths’ extraordinary secret, they know they must seal them away from those who are desperate to unlock their power. Even if it means remaining caught in a timeless struggle between the past and present forever.

Many other moments of chance went into the writing of TIMELESS. I have always dreamed of going to Scotland and Ireland. A friend and I were researching on where we would like to go on such a trip at the same time as I saw the special about the Belle and La Salle. That’s when I found Loch Maree and fell in love with it. It had everything I needed and wanted for my story. A history steeped in myth and mystery. And a loch that was perfect for my dig. And an island in the middle of the loch where Druids once worshiped. The place was just made for  my story. Here’s an excerpt of TIMELESS to prove it.

“I’ve discovered something you should see, and since it doesn’t grow dark until after nine, we have time to make the trip,” he said, breaking into her thoughts.

He gripped her hand to steady her as she stepped down into the boat. He untied the bow and leapt down behind her seat. With a practiced ease he climbed over the driver’s seat and slid behind the wheel. He twisted the key and the engine fired.  The familiar smell of oily fuel and the loch wafted up to her. He backed the vessel out into the loch then turned the bow down the middle of the channel.

They passed the site. The dark blue steel pilings of the cofferdam looked foreign to the rest of the natural surroundings. Why had they not at least painted the steel to blend into the environment? Not that it would help.

Quinn thrust the gearshift forward and the nose of the Bayliner rose.  Regan perched atop the seat back to see where they were going. He guided the bow toward Isle Maree.

Sudden fear ran along her nerve endings, and she slid back into her seat. She had researched the island, just as she had the loch and surrounding areas. But there was something about the small mound of land in the distance that caught her breath and shocked her heart into a gallop.

Quinn slowed the boat as they approached the northern tip of the island where a small finger of land jutted into the loch. The water appeared blue-black. This was the deepest part of the loch, over three hundred feet.

A shiver raced up her spine. Witches’ Point.  It had to be. She’d read they’d thrown witches into the loch as a test and buried them on the island after they drowned. Coira could have faced that for her beliefs, had she not been murdered. How had she held on to her faith with such strength? How had she faced Braden’s absences, knowing he might never return?

Quinn turned the boat away from the site and motored around to the opposite end of the island.  The wind bombarded them, kicking up the water. The Bayliner rocked so hard Regan’s grip tightened on her seat and she braced a hand against the windshield.

 A bare area with markings where several other crafts had beached came into view.  The hull of the boat made a grinding sound as Quinn ran the bow up on the bank. He killed the engine and leapt out to drag the craft further up and secure the bowline around a large rock.

Silence settled around them, a strange preternatural silence devoid of the normal sounds of birds. Birds nested everywhere—why not here?

A stiff bone-chilling breeze chased them up the wide leaf-strewn path into the trees.
The clustered brush and greenery acted as a break. She paused to rest a hand on one of the large oaks. Most of the trees in the area were pine. But here she saw oak and ash, holly and birch. She drew in scent of greenery, fresh and crisp.

An odd dead tree leaned upon supports just ahead on the path. Coins were scattered about it and hammered into its bark. Regan paused to run her fingertips over the edges of the coins and study them. Had the “money tree” really given up wishes for such payment?  And where was the “sacred well” supposed to heal lunatics?  Maybe she’d drink from it.

Nicodemus’s desperate need to be healed came to mind. Argus’s hope for him as well.

What would she have given to have her mother’s mind whole?  What would she have done to be able to carry on a normal mother-child conversation with her? Their relationship had so often been reversed. She was the one caring for her mother, soothing her fears, and trying to quiet her outbursts.  When Evelyn grew too unstable, social services had come and taken her away.

She’d been hounded by guilt for months because, God help her, she’d been relieved they’d come for Evelyn.

Her mother had died, never knowing peace, or having a clear drug-free thought. What hell that must have been for her. What hell it had been for them both.
And now the fear of following in her mother’s footsteps dogged her. The diagnosis had been schizophrenia, but what if her mother had experienced unexplained events similar to her own? Real events she couldn’t cope with.

A distinct memory rose up to torment her.  She’d awakened from a sound sleep to her mother’s raving about having lost her baby, but she had been there with her the whole time, a child of six. Was that tormented quest tied to Coira, or trapped in her mother’s own demented mind?

Was she reaching for an explanation for her mother’s condition in the hopes of ending the constant fear of following in her footsteps? Probably.

Quinn offered her his hand and she grasped it. They wandered further along the path. If the supernatural occurrences they experienced freaked Quinn out, finding out about her mother’s illness and the possibility she might develop the same condition—Quinn would be right to cut and run. Why would he want to take a chance on a woman who might go crazy some day?

The path expanded into a clearing. Dark mounds of stone created a large circle. Inside the henge, headstones thrust from the ground. Some appeared just misshaped blocks of stone. But others were carved in a more elaborate manner and appeared newer.

Quinn paused just outside the circle. Regan stepped through the opening to the circle and strolled around the perimeter. One particular head stone drew her. A flat stone with no distinct markings, it blended in with the rest. She knelt to brush the leaves away and a wave of grief rolled over her like a tsunami bringing instant tears to her eyes. “Who are you? Are you Braden or Bryce?"

The wind dipped and tossed dead leaves into the air. She twisted around to face Quinn. “What is this place? Why have you brought me here?”

He appeared pale and his hands clenched at his sides. “’Tis both of them, Regan. You’ve found them both. I brought you here so we can say good-bye.”

Places Timeless is available:

AMAZON  (e-book and print)
BARNES AND NOBLE (e-book and print)

For more information about Teresa J. Reasor’s books you can check out her website.
or her blog:

Thank you, Pam, for letting me be on your blog!!

Write on,
Teresa J. Reasor

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Adventures at Fandom Fest 2012

I would say I'm decompressing from Fandom Fest, but I've assignments and edits to catch up on. Like Warren Zevon said in his titular song, "I'll sleep when I'm dead."

But this isn't about sleeping or zombies or... Wait. Yes, there were zombies there. Not real ones of course, although that would be interesting. I even saw a Zombie Gumby. And the halls teemed with Star Wars stormtroopers, Ghost Busters, Goths, Steampunk, the whole spectrum of the horror/fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction universe.

All this took place at the Galt House. This is the hotel's first year hosting Fandom Fest/Fright Night Film Festival so I hope they were prepared for the weird, wacky, and wonderful denizens who converged upon downtown Louisville.

For the second year, I attended as an author and panelist. I was on three panels: "Horror Writing Perspectives from Female Authors", "Exploring Genres: Paranormal Thrillers", and "The Perfect Kill".

More about that later. This year, it wasn't so much about the panels as it was about networking. Many small press publishers had tables in the Dealer Room and I visited as many as I could. Some publishers I'd met last year, including Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications, Allan Gilbreath of Kerlak Publishing, and Eric Beebe of Post Mortem Press. It was nice to chat with them again and I hope to submit some stories to them in the near future. 
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Dark Continents Publishing Table

Dave Mattingly of Blackwyrm Publishing

Kerlak Publishing: Kimberly Richardson, Andrea Judy, M.B. Weston, and Allan Gilbreath
Also enjoyed meeting authors, both old and new. Horror/erotica author Christian Jensen offered to share his table but it turned out there was one available next to him. I didn't have any books, but I did bring "bags of swag", postcards, business cards, pens, collector cards, and yes, candy, to bribe the masses. By Saturday, all of my blue swag bags were gone. I also had people sign up for a gift basket and received 14 entries. Not bad for a first time. :-)

Christian Jensen
Although I heard he initially wasn't able to make it, I was excited to hear Christian horror writer Maurice Broaddus would be there. Of course, I stalked the poor guy last year and had him sign Dark Faith and Orgy of Souls. This year, he got even. 
Maurice Broaddus and Yours Truly

That said, you don't want to know how stoked I was at hearing Richard Kadrey and Angie Fox would be there as two Author Guests of Honor. Hell, I'd beg, steal, or find the money some way to see them. And, of course, I went all fan girl on them. Geez, how embarrassing! They were very nice about it, though, and signed my books and let me take their photos.
Richard Kadrey

Angie Fox
But the really cool thing? Angie must have seen my author badge and asked me what I wrote. When I told her, she was like, "Cool. Did you bring anything?" I told her I didn't have any print books, being e-pubbed but I had postcards of my books. She asked if she could have them and I said "Sure." As if I would refuse her. LOL I also asked Richard if he wanted any. After all, it would be rude for me not to offer since he was sitting right there. Of course, I suspect they were only being polite but one never knows, and it's nice meeting authors who take time out for their readers.

Let's see, where was I? Oh, yes, right, back to "normal", or as near normal as I can get. Hey, you can't blame me for being all giddy meeting two of my favorite authors. I also went into fan girl mode when I met Sherrilyn Kenyon at Hypericon a couple years ago. One author told me it took her three times before she stopped geeking out in front of her favorite writer. Apparently, I'm not the only one who does this.

Oh, yeah, I promised to talk about the panels. Well, it was definitely interesting. I enjoyed the ones I was on
but snafus kept our audience attendance low. Nevertheless, even one person is an audience and we all respected that. In fact, it became more of a dialogue between us and the attendees and that was even more fun.

Maybe I didn't sell any books, but I got inspired to write. Angie Fox was telling us in her Q&A about the problems she went through as a writer and I thought, "Damn, I'm going through that now." So it was very inspiring to hear I'm not alone in many of my writing struggles. Gives me hope to keep on.

If you'd like to see more pictures from Fandom Fest, you can find them here:

Amy McCorkle/Kate Lynd's Book Launch:

Until next year...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday Guest Author: Donna McDonald

When I attended the local Fandom Fest conference in Louisville over the weekend, I confess I spent most of my time away from the zombies, ghost hunters, and hobbits on the second floor. Instead I stayed on the third floor sitting in on assorted panel driven workshops about the Science Fiction genre, what I thought was my newest genre.

After hearing from a variety of published authors, I’m less sure now of what I’m writing. Is the Forced to Serve series romances? Yes. Is that body of work Science Fiction? Yes—soft Science Fiction complete with planets, aliens, parent ships, shuttles, laser guns, and wrist watch type communication devices. Are there some Fantasy elements to the series? Yes Malachi is a demon, but quite different than those in the majority of demon books.

The net effect of the confusion being that I have less idea than ever about who would conceivably be interested in buying the kind of story I have published. For instance, combining Science Fiction and romance on a spaceship was not deemed to be very marketable these days.

Most soft Science Fiction authors felt Fantasy (think vampires and werewolves) has usurped the readership. Many confessed to branching out into books they never intended to write just to gain a following. Adding romance to the mix was just something normal and most books included some of it. Also I learned that even though Space Opera by definition focuses on the relationships, most stories with that label are very military based.

The Romance genre has a lot of rules, but so does Science Fiction. I discovered my sexy covers that I was so proud of were deemed more appropriate only for Fantasy novels. Oh, and having a demon. . .that isn’t done in SciFi either, or at least not by a virtual unknown author in the genre. Most thought the amount of non-Science Fiction in my Science Fiction turned it into something else, but none could identify what any better than I had been doing.

I left the conference somewhat deflated, but reminded myself that George Lucas received many rejections about his Star Wars idea, a story most thought was lame by SciFi standards too. He called his a “space western”. Well, who had ever heard of that? It isn’t a category in Amazon either.

As a Contemporary Romance author, I wasn’t able to stay completely inside the category rules with my creative work, so I focused on the one or two rules that seemed immutable. I’m not going to be able to stay within the rules in this new genre either though I readily admit it would have behooved me to have researched the wide variety of Science Fiction work sooner. I thought I knew the variety after reading Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov in school.

The clarity I thought I would find among fellow SciFi writers turned out to be non-existent among the 30 or so I met. I still don’t know how to categorize the series of books I had so much fun writing. Now I empathize more with Speculative Fiction writers who are lumped into that category because their work doesn’t fit other categories. Did you ever hear a reader say “I love reading Speculative Fiction. It’s my favorite genre.”? There might be a handful out there with that view, but you won’t make a living selling to that small number. With an internet audience, it’s also about finding those readers among the millions and millions online. This is why having your book show up where your interested readers are looking for books is so critical.

I understand the “pick a known category” advice of published authors better now. How can you go looking for an audience who reads your type of book if you don’t know what your type of book really is? I don’t think an author who wants to sell can rely on just hoping that all interested readers will magically see a cover, read the blurb, and plunk down their cash blindly. All readers want some reassurance that what’s inside the covers is the kind of story they like to read.

Donna McDonald's cross-genre book, The Demon of Synar, is free at Smashwords through July.

You can also read her blog here: