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