This is what happens when you frustrate your muse. COVER REVEAL Mortal Musings by @AriaGlazki #amreading #amwriting

Today I'm excited to take part in a cover reveal with IndieSage PR. I'm extra excited because it's for an author I've recently gotten to know through the interwebs. She's a wonderful combination of really cool chick and font of knowledge. I speak of Aria Glazki and her upcoming novel, MORTAL MUSINGS. Before  I show you the cover, here's the blurb -- which I think ALL writers will find interesting... 

Mortal Musings by Aria Glazki
Publication Date: 25 August 2015

Muse Alexandra has had it with the arrogant, ungrateful humans she is obligated to inspire. When the internal ranting of her latest charge pushes her past reason, she disregards the rules and forces her own words through his fingers, and is instantly entrapped in mortal form. With no magic, no identity, and no resources, Allie has no alternative but to navigate the mortal realm, depending entirely on her reluctant host while discerning what exactly caused her transformation — and how to reverse it.

Brett doesn’t have a chance to consider the words that mysteriously showed up on his screen; he’s too distracted by the stunning woman who appeared in his office out of nowhere. Before his brain can catch up, Brett’s uninvited guest becomes enmeshed in his everyday life. Her artless innocence gradually lessens his suspicions. Most importantly, the writer’s block that’s been plaguing him dissolves under the fantasies the naively beguiling Alexandra inspires.

All too soon, the forced proximity sparks a confounding awareness neither writer nor muse are able to resist.

Add to Goodreads
Ready for the awesome cover??



Mortal Musings Cover

Isn't it so fun and pretty?
Congrats, Aria. 

About Aria Glazki: Aria’s writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say, she was hooked! Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published in a few collections. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together – if they don’t get in their own way, that is.

Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism.



Insecure Writers Support Group: Growing Up

Y'know what? I don't really feel like talking about writing today. I'm nothing if not ADD, and at least one of those D's has taken my mind temporarily in other directions. Would you like to see my current creative obsession? As of my son's 18th birthday this coming fall, my house will have ALL adults living in it. So I adultified the kids' bathroom.

But I reject the idea that being adult means having no fun, so the under-the-sea theme stays.

The guest room is getting a grown-up fairy tale theme. I blame the froggie prince.

Creative minds can't stay locked on words and manuscripts all the time, right? Sometimes they need to break free and express themselves in paint and accessorizing ... and maybe even crafting window treatments out of ribbons instead of curtains.

Where do your creative energies flow when you're not writing? 

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.


A Super Awesome Summer Playlist

Hey gang! I'm going to start posting links to my monthly newsletter at my blog. If you'd like to have Nicki's News  delivered right to your very own in-box, you can sign up here. This month I'm sharing a super awesome summer playlist plus 5 things that are real in VIBRIZZIO & 5 things I WISH were real.

(or click on the stack o' tapes to go directly to the awesome playlist)

On a total side note - have you seen JURASSIC WORLD yet? I just did last night & it's soooo good. So, so, so good. When my kids were toddlers they'd watch our VHS tape of JURASSIC PARK over and over and over again, so it was super fun to sit w/ them as almost-adults to watch this proper sequel. I thought it did a great job of being fresh while still giving nods to the original. I already want to go see it again.


Another story on the never-give-up front: Susie Salom #IWSG:

Some of us first met Susie Salom as as the Girl Wizard. She's also Suze from the former Subliminal Coffee blog. (You can now find her on Twitter as @Susie_Salom.) Those of you who kept up on her blog were let in on many of the trials and triumphs of her writing journey. In case you haven't heard, here's the latest triumph---and it's a big one:
Scroll down at the link to see Susie's pretty face and  read the details of the big announcement in Publisher's WeeklyCheryl Klein at Scholastic's Arthur A. Levine Books has acquired world rights to Kyle Constantini Finds Her Way, a middle-grade novel by debut author Susie Salom

Hooray!!! This absolutely wouldn't have happened if Suze had let earlier discouragements kill her dream and belief in herself. She's truly a testament to never giving up. I asked if she'd share a bit about her writing story, and this is the wisdom she poured forth:

From Susie Salon:

I wrote a women's fic piece and didn't submit it because I knew it wasn't pub-worthy. It was more a practice manuscript. Then I wrote another women's fic piece, a coming-of-age piece and a third women's fic piece. Over the course of five years, I wrote the three, queried two of them and took two of them to conferences. I had partial requests that turned into fulls that got looped into the revise and resubmit turnstile until my heart felt it wouldn't survive another round. But then came the MG piece. And after that, things happened fast. Why? Because everything was clicking. It was the sweet confluence of variables in which the story got into the hands of an agent who got what I was trying to do and then into the hands of an editor who was looking for something like this for her list. If anything, it was mostly a matter of staying true to the kind of writing I wanted to put out there and just waiting for everything to come together to nail the moving target.

And that's what I would want every writer to keep in mind. There's no such thing as a rejection. That's toxic semantics. Disassociate that word from the valid and personally-meaningful work you are doing because what you're looking for is your moment. It's the opening you're believing is going to present itself and for which you're staying ready. Because the universe doesn't play favorites, it just plays fast and hard and you've gotta keep your wits about you and be ready to leap--and keep on leaping--when your diving board swings into view.

Tingles on the Ferris Buellerish final sentence, right? I'm so happy this latest leap took her sky high. CONGRATULATIONS, Girl Wizard!

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.


Popping the bubbly for the ultimate forbidden romance: SAVING EVANGELINE by @Nancee_Cain

Congrats to Nancee Cain, who's debut novel, SAVING EVANGELINE, is out today! It's already  getting great reviews. I asked Nancee my favorite release day question: If you had to choose one song that best captures the essence of SAVING EVANGELINE, what would it be and why? Here's what she said: 

"Given to Fly" by Pearl Jam because of its feeling of being down, persecuted and yet rising above it to live and love and finally being free.

Such a cool song!

Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.

Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth. There’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch. He can’t reveal his angelic nature and must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.

Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers try to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Join Nancy at the Confess Your Love of Romance Novels Facebook event
on Sunday, June 7 from 2-4pm


Hmm, what music goes with humorous dark tales of human behavior? Congrats @NickPWilford on this fabulous collection!

The marvelous Nick Wilford has a release today! A CHANGE OF MIND AND OTHER STORIES is a collection of short speculative fiction. If you read any of Nick's flash fic during A to Z, you know he's a wizard with words. We're all in for a treat with this brand new collection of stories with a twisted edge. 


Nick took time out of his busy schedule to answer one, simple question for me:

Me: If you had to pick one song that best captures the essence of A CHANGE OF MIND AND OTHER STORIES, what would it be and why?

Nick: I don't normally write with music in mind, but I kept coming back to Radiohead's "Karma Police". Apart from being a great song, I think the lyrics fit with my novella quite well. The chorus to me means "this is what you get if you mess with who we are, i.e. try to be someone you're not" ... and of course Reuben "lost himself" too!

Nick: It's quite an odd but cool little video. For an extra fun fact, the frontman Thom Yorke, who was the only band member to appear in the video, almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning from sitting in the car...

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. 

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around. 

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be… 

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone. 

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world. 

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him. 

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition. 

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.

Purchase Links:
Snatch it up at 99 cent Release Day pricing TODAY only
add to your list at Goodreads

Meet the author:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter or Goodreads.


High Tea at Liz Blocker's

I'd be ever so delighted if you'd join Lady Liz Blocker and me at her esteemed blog for a spot of tea and an exclusive excerpt in which I'm told LOL's are to be had.

You can also stop by My Crazy Corner's Romance Blogfest to learn how VIBRIZZIO all began.


Popping the Bubbly for TROUBLE ME by @BeckAndersonID

TROUBLE ME, the much anticipated sequel to RITA nominee FIX YOU by Beck Anderson, releases today! Congrats to Beck, a really cool person and a gifted writer of realistic romance that tugs at the heart in all the right places.

Read the blurb below and then scroll down to listen to the most righteous 80's tune of the same title---which isn't an accident. Beck has always loves the lyrics of the song, and they fit nicely with the emotion of TROUBLE ME, the novel.

In Fix You, movie star Andrew Pettigrew (Andy to his fans, Andrew to his friends) somehow found the level-headed love he was looking for in young widow and “regular girl” Kelly Reynolds. Now, as they work to mesh their growing relationship with his gold-statue ambitions, things go a bit sideways, in true Hollywood fashion.

Though they’re still wonderfully in love, it’s challenge enough for Andrew and Kelly to decipher what it means to be a family—and a growing family at that—between takes on set. But Andrew also brings history with a temperamental co-star, assorted paparazzi, and someone out there who has serious, perhaps obsessive, issues with him into the mix. Suddenly the Reynolds-Pettigrew clan must fight not just to stay together, but to stay safe.

In Trouble Me, the sequel to Fix You and third novel from Rita finalist Beck Anderson, Kelly and Andrew struggle to stay sane within their whirlwind life. It’s a life that’s equal parts amazing and amusing, less glamorous than you might expect, and spiked with very real fears no amount of stardom can overcome.

Will Andrew and Kelly stay strong at the broken places or be torn apart? 


Patience, Persistence, and Prevailing #IWSG

Well, well, well, here we are again. Welcome to the May 2015 edition of Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I keep blah blahhing over a little intro to this month's post, but I've been writing for nearly 12 hours straight for my day job and I appear to have used up my daily quota for decent words. So here, go read this guy's words. They're not only reassuring, they're inspiring. "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner's reassuring Life Advice for Struggling Artists.

The article caused me to think harder about some words I heard spoken by a talented young woman on the speech team with my son. These are from Dolly Parton's book, Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You. 

"Do not confuse dreams with wishes. There is a difference. Dreams are where you visualize yourself being successful at what's important to you to accomplish. And dreams build convictions. Because you work hard to pay the price to make sure that they come true. Wishes are hoping that good things will happen to you. With wishes, there is no fire in your gut, pushing you to the limit to overcome every obstacle to reach your heart's desire."

Matthew Weiner is a dreamer. I'd like to be, but I think I fall too often into the wisher category. Hey, sometimes wishing works---for example, right now I'm in the midst of a blog tour for my new release, VIBRIZZIO and the reviews have been really, really good. :)  Here are some of my favorites so far:

"It was fast, fun and flirty. And the best part, it was funny!!"

"Vibrizzio is a fun yet insightful story that frequently had me smirking." 

"The characters are charming, the story is engaging, and the pacing is absolutely spot on!"

(hehe, some of you may be interested in the giveaway at the book blogger links)

But it looks like the dreamer part of me will have to kick in to get the Amazon rankings to follow suit. Or maybe the situation is that I'm a dreamer when it comes to writing, but only a wisher when it comes to sales. Hmm...

How about you---where do you fall on the dreamer/wisher spectrum?


Are there sex scenes in your future? Y'might want to read this...

I don't know why they keep letting me back on there, but Savvy Authors has again invited me over. This time I'm talking sex. More explicitly, my topic is:

Please stop by if you've got sex in your future. I mean sex scenes. That you write.

Speaking of sex scenes that are only ridiculous when I want them to be, I got word from my publisher that VIBRIZZIO's Kindle price will go up this weekend. So if you'd like to pick it up for a cool 99 cents, you can do that right here...but only for today. (Those of you waiting for Nook or Kobo formats should be in luck by Monday.)

VIBRIZZIO is only 99 cents for ONE MORE DAY!

Lyssa Bates doesn't need a man. Not while the world is fully stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon's health and sexual wellness category.


Sex and the City Meets Walter Mitty @SwoonRomance

VIBRIZZIO is heeeeeeere!
How appropriate to have a release on R day of the A to Z Challenge.

The official blog tour starts next week, but today on VIBRZZIO's first day out the world, I've got a mini-tour of sorts happening. First,  stop by Michael Di Gesu's for one of his famous, original intros. I've no idea what he cooked up this time. I'm a little nervous... 

Then catch a glimpse of  VIBRIZZIO at the e-homes of these lovely people (get some delightful manly reactions to the Vibster's premise along the way):

I know there are more of you & I'm sorry if you're missing from the list - when I catch ya, I'll add you. For anyone else who's willing to help me spread the word, I'd love it if you'd simply visit one of my social networking profiles & Share, reTweet, Like, and/or Favorite what you see:

Thank you!!!!!

Lyssa Bates doesn’t need a man. Not when the world is fully-stocked with double A batteries (long-lasting) and a wide array of options in Amazon’s health and sexual wellness category. Thank the gods of Internet ordering. 

After yet another failed relationship, the twenty-six-year-old investment analyst is convinced that real guys aren’t ever going to live up to her expectations—so why should she bother with them when the only thing standing between her and her next mind-blowing O is the case in which she keeps Vibrizzio? Yep. She gave it a name. An Italian name!

She’s determined to keep her dating life purely electronic...though she occasionally fantasizes about Hayden King, the delicious new associate she just got partnered with at work.

While Lyssa manages her romantic risks by deleting men from of the equation, the ever-charming Hayden protects his heart by diversifying his love life across multiple women.

As the two young professionals travel together around the country for business, their flirty working relationship develops into a close friendship that hurtles toward something more.

Between hot tub confessions in Baltimore, an accidental kiss in Dallas, and an all-nighter in Chicago, Hayden proves himself to be better than any fantasy, and Vibrizzio's days may finally be numbered.


M is for Men (as in looking for a few good)

So, yeah, I'm not doing A to Z this year. But I seem to be going through some sort of withdrawal. When I realized VIBRIZZIO's Release Day is on none other than R day (April 21), I had a tiny flash of inspiration. When the first two A to Zers who offered to post for me happened to be men, well, I got a whole 'nother idea...

If you're doing A to Z (or even if you're not) and if you're a man (or even if you're not), I'd love it, love it, love it if you'd consider including a blip about VIBRIZZIO's release in your post on either April 21 (R Day) or April 25 (V Day). The only things I'll ask you to post are the cover, Amazon link, and the mini-blurb:

Lyssa Bates doesn't need a man. Not when the world is fully stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon's health and sexual wellness category.

Lastly, (here's where the man bit comes in) if you're a man, I'd also like you to include a one-sentence-or-less honest reaction to that mini-blurb. If you're not a man, please grab the man closest to you, read him the blurb, and share his reaction with your followers.

That's it. You in?



Pop the Bubbly for ENTWINED, an Embrace Series Novel by @CherieColyer

We're popping the bubbly today for Cherie Colyer, whose third book in the Embrace series was released today!  I've already read the first chapter oF ENTWINED  and oh, boy am I excited to dive in head first.

le Blurb:

Only a few months after embracing her magical powers, defeating a dark witch, and banishing a faerie prince back to his realm, sixteen ­year ­old Madison Riley is back in book three of the Embrace series—and doing the bidding of a demon. She has no choice but to do so if she wants him to honor the deal they made to save the life of someone she loves. Twenty years of service to a creature of hell is a big price, but one she’s willing to pay. And it sure beats the alternative: selling her soul.

But life gets complicated when you’re the beck­and­call witch of a crossroad demon. Caden, the demon she serves, wants to become master of Death Himself, and with Madison at his side he has the means to do it.

It’s up to Madison and her coven to foil his plans, but Caden’s intentions aren't entirely evil—and the kisses he seals his deals with aren’t too bad either. As Caden's motives test Madison’s trust, his shameful flirting tries her boyfriend Isaac’s patience. But being caught between two supernatural hotties is perhaps the least of her concerns when the coven’s interference in Caden’s plot might just cost Madison her life and unleash hell on earth.

Enter the ENTWINED RAFFLECOPTER to win either a $20 Amazon Gift Card or a 3 book bundle of the entire Entwined Series!


Happy Release Day @AlexJCavanaugh! DRAGON OF THE STARS is here!

Today a whole bunch of us are popping the bubbly for the release of Alex J. Cavanaugh's fourth novel, Dragon of the Stars!! And this from a guy who never even intended to be a writer. He just can't help it---his talent and his muse, not to mention his fans, just won't let him stop.

After finishing his Cassa series, he wasn't sure he'd write another book. Then a super awesome song came along and inspired him. We can't have a party without music, right? So let's get this party started with the tune that's responsible for this shindig: 

Available today!
Dragon of the Stars By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057

The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. But when the Alliance declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray and told he won’t make captain. One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?


Wouldn't be a party without games & prizes either, would it?

SCAVENGER HUNT! Comment to win an autographed copy of Dragon of the Stars, tons of bookmarks & postcards, and a $20.00 iTunes gift card–where is Mini-Alex? (Open through April 11 – winner announced April 13 at Alex’s blog.)


Cover Reveal Time: ENTWINED by @CherieColyer

I'm excited to be hosting the cover reveal for the third book in the wonderful EMBRACE SERIES by Cherie Colyer. I enjoyed the first two books of this YA supernatural series. My reviews are here and here. You can get started on the series for only 99 cents with EMBRACE.

I'll be getting that reveal, but first, le blurb:

Book 3 in the Embrace series by Cherie Colyer

Only a few months after embracing her magical powers, defeating a dark witch, and banishing a faerie prince back to his realm, sixteen-year-old Madison Riley is back in book three of the Embrace series—and doing the bidding of a demon. She has no choice but to do so if she wants him to honor the deal they made to save the life of someone she loves. Twenty years of service to a creature of hell is a big price, but one she’s willing to pay. And it sure beats the alternative: selling her soul.

But life gets complicated when you’re the beck-and-call witch of a crossroad demon. Caden, the demon she serves, wants to become master of Death Himself, and with Madison at his side he has the means to do it.

It’s up to Madison and her coven to foil his plans, but Caden’s intentions aren't entirely evil—and the kisses he seals his deals with aren’t too bad either. As Caden's motives test Madison’s trust, his shameful flirting tries her boyfriend Isaac’s patience. But being caught between two supernatural hotties is perhaps the least of her concerns when the coven’s interference in Caden’s plot might just cost Madison her life and unleash hell on earth.

Ready for le cover?


Here it is!

Genre: Young Adult Supernatural Romance
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Twitter: @CherieColyer


Insecure Writers Support Group: April 2015

Wow. I haven't posted anything since the last IWSG. What the hell happened to March? In any case, thank you for stopping by during this month's meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh (who's got a new book coming out next week!!) .

My insecurity this month is...well, that I'm not feeling insecure about anything when I probably should be. I mean, I've got a whole list of stressors to choose from:

1. As of today it's officially official that I'm not doing A to Z this year. This makes me sad because I know I'm going to miss out on a lot of fun, but I also know that nobody around here is going to hold it against me. What would've made me insecure is signing up and then not being able to keep up, which is most certainly what would've happened w/ the month I've got ahead of me. .

2. My family is coming over for Easter, and other than the big ham in my fridge, I haven't done one thing to prepare. Bah, it always comes together; it'll happen again. Besides, as long as we have eggs and Jesus (and that giant ham), what else do we need?

3. I've got a book releasing a few weeks. Last two times this happened I was all in a tizzy, but as I espoused last month, there's only so much I can do. So I'll do it, and whatever will be will be. If you're willing & able to post something about VIBRIZZIO on April 21 (release day) to your blog or FB or Twitter or wherever,  please sign up for my e-mail list & I'll send you some goodies to choose from next week.

4.  I haven't written or done any serious editing to my WIP for a couple of weeks. No guilt; no worries. I think it's to the story's and the writer's benefit to take little breaks from each other. Every once in a while I need to step away and let my creative energies play in other ways...like making this video trailer for the Vibster. Whaddaya think?

So you can see my big concern, right? I'm way too chillaxed. This never lasts---what's lurking around that corner that's going to blow my Fonzie jacket right off? Do you ever feel this way?


What I Believe #IWSG #BookMarketing

Hola, Insecure Writers Support Group! Nice to see you. Once again, thank you Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh for bringing us all together to help each other through the ups & downs of this writing adventure. My insecurity, or rather challenge, this month is going to sound rather strange, particularly considering that I have a new release next month. What I'm struggling with right now is to not market my book. That's right, I said not

After five years of observation and direct experience, I've come to beleive that once a book is written and out there, there's very little an author can do to sell her own book. I've seen authors work their bums off, implementig really, really good marketing strategies with little to no sustained impact on sales. I've seen other authors do hardly anything at all and meet with great success. 

I believe sustainability of sales depends on a perfect storm of appealing cover/blurb/premise, the right timing, compelling story, and magic. All of those things work together to conjure the one thing that will bring about sustainable sales: word of mouth. An author can shout incessantly from the top of a mountain made of Rafflecopters, promo pics, book trailers & Instagram followers, but unless readers start talking about her book on their own, it ain't gonna sell.

I find this conclusion both frustrating and freeing. Frustrating because dammit, there's nothing I can do. Freeing because hey, I don't have to do anything! Well, maybe not nothing. We do have to make at least a small effort to let people know the book is out there in the hopes that they'll pick it up, read it, love it, and talk, talk, talk about it. What I'm trying to do is stick to a simple promo plan and not panic and shift into pointless promo overdrive - because as strong as my conviction is, I have to constantly resist the urge to shout from the top of that mountain. 

All that being said...come on now, you didn't expect me to go cold turkey, didjya? But I swear, this giveaway is part of my simple, basic plan. If you have any interest at all in a sassy Chic-lit/Love story please click away below and do what the Rafflecopter tells you. Thanks!

How do you keep from going into promo overdrive? 


I always thought @Debra_Anastasia was insane...now I KNOW it. #‎FireDownBelow

Check out the...er, unusual reviews for Debra Anastasia's Fire Down Below:

So, you know when someone says "Ew, gross. Smell this," And then, for some inexplicable reason you do? Well, I smelled it. And you can read my review at Goodreads.  

▴Amazon US ➜ amzn.to/1HvQywp 
▴Amazon UK ➜ amzn.to/1DgCa4U 
▴Amazon AU ➜ bit.ly/1CkOCDU 
▴KoBo ➜ bit.ly/166Xtej 
▴iBooks ➜ bit.ly/1Kfvpmh 
▴B&N ➜ TBA

There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia’s house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She’s made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at her—six eyeballs altogether, though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can’t catch the items fast enough.

Debra has a smattering of books in a few genres. There are two in the Seraphim Series and three in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series with a prequel, Poughkeepsie Begins in the near future. Fire Down Below is the first in the comedic Gynzaule Series. The second, Fire in the Hole, will be published in late 2015. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance will debut this summer. And last, a novella called Late Night with Andres is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!) You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared...


Romance Authors Don't Suck

On Saturday, I'll have been a published romance author for five years. Throughout those five years, I've often sensed the disdain that accompanies utterance of the term "romance" in the literary world. It's so far beneath all those other genres of real fiction, right? At my local library, the used book shelf sells old VHS tapes---that most people can't even play anymore---for a dollar, while used romance books sell for ten freaking cents.

Kinda gives a girl a complex. So I was ecstatic to get a bit of vindication this past weekend when I sat on a panel called Real Life/Real Love at the first annual Elgin Literary Festival. While one panelist wanted to make it very clear that she wrote (highly esteemed) literary fiction and not (blechy) romance, edgy YA romance superstar Simone Elkeles explained why romance is the hardest genre to write.

I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially what Simone said was that at the beginning of a romance novel, or often from just the blurb, readers know how the story ends: the H gets together with the h and they live HEA. Romance writers can't rely on simple curiosity to know how it all ends to keep readers reading. We have to work every page to keep the reader vested in the characters and caring about how they get together---enough to read all the way through even though they know exactly where the story will end. 'Tis no easy task.

For the record, I was a writer's conference newb, so this festival was my first event of the sort. I so much loved getting to meet other authors in real life! Here I am (left) with the super cool & sweet AJ Pine (fellow panelist & my book-signing table buddy) & the wonderfully open and approachable Simone Elkeles (right).

FYI, on Monday at the IWSG website, Alex J. Cavannaugh put together a great piece about the pros and cons of small publishers---with input from 12 authors you just might recognize...


Insecure Writers Support Group: February 2015 #IWSG

Has anyone out there not heard of IWSG yet? If so, learn all about it here. Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh for bringing us all together!

I know everyone has their own writing process and that what works for one person may not work for another, but I've just realized another benefit to the plow-through-the-first-draft-no-looking-back approach, and I want to share it with you.  I write this way because I learned that if I don't, I'll never finish anything. I get too caught up in editing, so I simply can't let myself do it until version one of the story is all out of me. That's benefit #1.

As I work on the second draft of my current WIP, I've seen benefit #2 in action. Since I didn't spend time re-re-re-re-reading chapters to mold and polish along the way, I'm able to attack this draft almost like a first time reader. I think with all writers, the more times we read our own words, the more attached to them we become and the more right they sound to us no matter how very wrong they might be. Since I haven't read these words multiple times, I can slice and dice them more objectively. It's sort of freeing. Have any of you experienced this benefit? Have you tried the no looking back approach?

In case the graphic in my sidebar issn't obnoxious enough, I have some exciting news this week---my upcoming novel VIBRIZZIO is up for pre-order at Amazon!  Right now it's at a special pre-order price of 99c. I don't know how long that'll last, so if you're interested in a love story that's a little bit smart and a lotta bit naughty, you might want to snatch it up now. Scroll down to the bottom of this link for a free sample (i.e. the opening scene)


Four Somethings & a Sixpence #Romance #Giveaway @RumerHaven

I'm so excited to feature a brand new novella---just released today!---by Rumer Haven. Rumer has such a lovely way of painting stories with words, and this particular story features one of my favorite twists ever in a romance. It's a perfect short read for Valentine's season. 

by Rumer Haven

Adult Contemporary Romance
Available February 3, 2015 
from Battered Suitcase Press
(an imprint of Vagabondage Press)

SUMMARY: One wedding. Six participants. Be they sitting in the pews or standing at the altar, bearing witness in person or only in spirit, each of them knows something about the unsmiling bride. Go ahead—offer them a sixpence for their thoughts, and they'll make you these vows:
  • One would love to declare this woman his “awfully wedded wife.”
  • One fears what she already has and will have to hold—if not from this day forward, then soon.
  • One takes her to be richer, not poorer.
  • One is better for what she told him this morning, worse for betraying a friend to get to this point.
  • One worries whether today finds her in sickness or in health.
  • And only one already knows that not even in death will they part.
Whether they speak now or forever hold their peace, they all give the bride a little something she didn’t register for. With romance, resentment, faith, fear, mystery, and the mystical, Four Somethings & A Sixpence is a loaded yet light read just in time for Valentine's Day!

Add it to Goodreads

 RAFFLECOPTER: In celebration, Rumer is giving away 4 free ebooks of this 9,000-word novelette, and a lucky 5th winner will receive the ebook PLUS an authentic silver sixpence coin struck by the Royal Mint in London! RSVP at the Rafflecopter for your chance to win (runs from 2/3 - 2/14).

AUTHOR BIO: Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband. She made her authorial debut in 2014 with the novel Seven for a Secret, where historical fiction meets contemporary rom-com. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul.

Website * Goodreads * Amazon * Twitter: @RumerHaven * Facebook 


Let the Stomach Churning Begin: Revealiing #Vibrizzio @SwoonRomance

Today's the day the cover for VIBRIZZIO gets plastered all over the book bloggerverse! If you haven't bumped up against it yet, you can see it at Will Read for Feels. Or A British Bookworm's Blog, Collector of Book Boyfriends, The Phantom Paragrapher, BookSkater, Carol Oates, The Book Addict,  etc. etc. etc. Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for organizing such a smashing event!

I'd love it if you'd come back here to let me know what you think of the cover.

The blurb is posted along with the cover, but at my place I'd like to give you just a smidgen more. Below is a teensy excerpt from a conversation between our leading lady & her BFF.  It's the gist of the story in few words:

“Just because he’s a guy doesn’t mean he and I can’t be just friends.”
“And just because you don’t have to insert batteries into him doesn’t mean you can’t be more."

VIBRIZZIO has it's first review! The lovely Jennifer Lane, author of chart-topper BLOCKED, a NA sports/political romance, was my valuable crit partner on this story. She's the partner that keeps on giving and took the time to write out a wonderful review. Thanks, Jen!

Add VIBRIZZIO to your to-read list at Goodreads


Something Wicked is Here! Congrats @CarolOates

It's heeeere, Something Wicked by Carol Oates.

Now available

For the enticing blurb & author bio,
please visit my cover reveal post.

Carol took time during her busy release week activities to stop by and answer one simple question:

If you had to choose one song that best captures the essence of SOMETHING WICKED, what would it be and why?

There were quite a few songs on an eclectic playlist when I started writing this. It’s difficult to pick just one.

For writing the 19th century scenes, I preferred something with a classical feel. I love Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi and listened to it while writing an early scene, which was particularly horrific for the main character. It was the scene where Henry goes through the final moments of his transition to a vampire. He doesn’t realize the extent of what has happened to him and is, in fact, filled with a sort of hope that he’s still alive and will see his family and his precious sister once more. This hope is cut short, followed swiftly by devastation and the corruption of his humanity when Henry takes his first taste of blood. The title is ‘To Become’.

A couple of times, Henry reflects on his nature as being somewhat stagnant, he talks about patience and habit as though he is stuck, which in his mind he is. He doesn’t see that the opposite is true and he is always in a state of evolution and on his way to becoming something other than what he is at any given time. As soon as one part of his journey completes, another begins. So, I think ‘To Become’ is very apt.

When I listen to a musical score in a movie and it is telling me how to feel through every second of imagery, I get frustrated sometimes. I like the idea of beautiful music and horror so my ears aren’t telling my brain I should be scared. I like the idea of being softly lulled with a rising dramatic score and feeling it in my heart rather than my ears.

When not writing, Carol can be found exploring history, old buildings, castles, and tombs.


Insecure Writer's Support Group: January 2015

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the first 2015 meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavannaugh. (If you haven't joined the club yet and are interested in learning more, click on either of the links in the preceding sentence.)

JUST read the memo about the brief introduction, so here it is: I live in the Chicago 'burbs w/ one husband, one bunny, one teenaged son, and a daughter who also lives across the state border at university. I work in digital and print marketing for a local retail icon so I get to do lots of writing at my day job. I realize now that I've written fiction in my head my whole life but I didn't start putting my stories into words until the summer after I turned 40. I'm so happy I didn't wait any longer.

I burrowed pretty snuggly into the Land of Offline the past several weeks, so I'm excited to bop about today to see what's up with all of you. My insecurities are the same ol' same ol' for January---a year's worth of new goals and concern that I won't be able to do it all. I've learned by now that setting a schedule & sticking to it is key, so that's what I'll do...and when I trip over inevitable obstacles, you'll get to hear all about it at future IWSG meetings, hehe.

The first super exciting thing that'll happen for me this year is the January, 23 cover reveal for my upcoming chick-lit romance VIBRIZZIO, If you'd like to post the cover on the 23rd (and get a slightly early peek at the goods), please sign up at Xpresso Book Tours.

Lyssa Bates doesn't need a man. Not when the world is fully stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon's health and sexual wellness category. Coming April 21, 2015 from Swoon Romance.

Yesterday I revealed the wicked awesome cover of SOMETHING WICKED by Carol Oates. Take a scroll down to see it. :)