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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maureen O. Betita's Winner!

And the winner of the soon to be released ebook, The Pirate Circus, is....
.............................. Sorcha!!!!!
Look out for an email from Maureen. You'll receive your ebook as soon as it's released.
Thank you everyone for reading and leaving your comments for Maureen. Be sure to go buy the first two books in her series so you're ready when this one is released!

WWWW: A Sign of the Times?

I've decided to try some semblance of a schedule on my blog. So, for now we're going to begin with World Wide Web Wednesdays. Every Wednesday I'll post something funny, crazy, or interesting I've found on the web. You've been warned. 

Those of us who have lived in a large city our whole lives aren't necessarily surprised to learn of drug deals happening on busy street corners late at night. But, what if they're advertised? This sign, posted in the Houston Chronicle, almost looks like an ad right? I'm sure it is in fact an angry neighborhood resident sick of the lack of response from HPD about this known spot. Heck, I can drive around the city and point out where to buy drugs and pick up hookers too, but I don't think helping the uninformed is the way to go.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meet Maureen O. Betita!

Today I have a special treat for you! One of my first writing buddies is a wonderful lady I met at the RT convention back in 2008. We were both aspiring back then and she has been such a font of encouragement for me throughout the whole journey. I'm absolutely delighted to let ya'll know about her book series dedicated to the pirate world she loves. Please welcome Maureen O. Betita! She's also generous enough to offer a prize to one lucky comment left on today's post. Good luck!
What is Your Impression Worth?

I really believe in friendship, for the characters I write and for all those around me. And I’ve been blessed to find some awesome people in my life the last few years. The type of friends who listen to my woes and come up with solutions. Who send me delightful little things in the mail and those who post on my Facebook page, sharing photos and so many things that simply make me laugh.
We all need to laugh more and FB is so good for that!
As are friends. I recently worked on a 3 minute video, introducing myself, for a project I’m hoping to be part of… I know nothing about recording video. I knew my Dell had a camera thingy, but had no idea how to use it. Friends to the rescue!
With instructions, encouragements and eventually…reviews…;-)
There is nothing like hearing how good you look, how your hair is fabulous and I did a fabulous job! And “my, how great you look since you lost weight!” Considering this impression was far different…
Impressions are tricky, especially first impressions. And I’m working on setting a good impression with my video…
In my new release, The Pirate Circus, a little boy arrives in Tortuga, open-hearted and ready for adventure. His father? Well, he’s ready for something, but is it adventure? Love? Certainly wasn’t a pirate! But you never know what you will get in The Kraken’s Caribbean! And first impressions or preconceptions? They aren’t worth much…

Bosun Janey knows who and what she is. A pirate. And a damned good one at that. Living a life of excitement, adventure, and sailing the seas of the Kraken’s Caribbean is enough for her. But when the Quill is stuck in dry dock, Janey is left to search for distraction along Tortuga’s waterfront. How does a pirate occupy herself? Certainly not by making friends with a six-year-old boy or mooning after the boy’s father. That’s not how a pirate behaves!
Widower Benjamin Silvestri arrived in Tortuga seeking a fresh start. At first, the pirate haven doesn’t seem like a safe sanctuary for second chances, but life is full of surprises. The sun breathes life into his little boy, and new freedoms help his errant niece embrace her true nature. And then there's Janey. A pirate and most unconventional woman, she stirs feelings in Benjamin that are far from proper.
But who’s to say what is proper in Tortuga? Before he and Janey can explore the possibilities, Benjamin's son and niece disappear onto the high seas. Together, the couple set out to rescue them—because only a loving father and a cut-throat pirate stand a chance against the dangers of The Pirate Circus. 

The Pirate Circus is the third book in my Kraken’s Caribbean series. A world where anything can happen, and usually does!
Impressions, first or third…are they to be trusted? Not to mention preconceptions!
Maureen O. Betita is an author living along the Monterey Coast. She has an interest in steampunk, pirates, scifi/fantasy, and, of course, kraken. You can find her and play with her, explore the Kraken’s Caribbean at her website, She’s also on FB at Maureen O. Betita Author, is on twitter as Maureen O. Betita and has a newsletter you can sign up for on her website.
The Pirate Circus is available on February 3rd, from Decadent Publishing and other e-book outlets.
One lucky comment today will win a copy of The Pirate Circus!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Switching Heads

I've decided to do something I've never done before, and to be honest I'm a little nervous. I'm writing the sequel to Day Shift (tentatively titled Blood Rush) from the hero's POV rather than the heroine. First person certainly isn't new for me but writing from a man's perspective is. I've considered it a few times, and written third person stories where part of the story is from the guy's frame of mind (Resignation), but writing totally in Greg's head is very...different. So far I'm just over 3,000 words in and I think it's going well. So, here's a little teaser. Let me know what you think.

The sound of flesh striking flesh woke me before the stinging slap burned my cheek. I gasped in a lungful of air that made me cough it right back out. I was dying, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering. I’d had a good run, saved a few lives, pissed off a few people and left as little damage behind as possible. Collateral damage they called it, but complete and total fuckery is what it really amounted to. In my line of work, losing an innocent kid to the sick fucks currently beating the shit out of me had happened on occasion. I’d be damned if I let it happen again.
“You awake, sheep fucker?”
Oh yeah. It had happened again and now I was stuck with the assholes responsible.
“Fuck you,” I croaked back.
I didn’t even recognize my own broken voice. They’d starved and beaten me, left me without water or blood for days, then beat me again.
The vampire before me was a big, beefy fucker with meat-cleaver hands. They hurt like fuck when he hit me but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of flinching.
“No thanks. I heard you like to fuck sheep. No telling what I might catch.”
He thought that was not only clever, but fucking hilarious. I watched through swollen eyes as he laughed and reared back to swing again.
“Enough, Marco. We don’t wish him dead…at this time.”
The cultured voice that cut off Marco’s fun belonged to the biggest sick fuck of them all, the man I’d been sent in to watch. Some days I wished I wasn’t a cop so I could do more than watch men like him.
“Yes, sir,” Marco said before stepping back.
His boss, the leader of the Blood Martyr’s southern division, Jonathan Crosby, stepped forward into the ring of light given off by a single harsh bulb hanging from the ceiling.
“You have no idea what you have done, stepping into the hornet’s nest, Mr. Parsons.”
“Detective…Parsons…you sick…fuck.”
He smirked before throwing a glance over his shoulder at Marco.
“He does have a mouth on him. Perhaps it’s time we did something about that.”
Marco chuckled as Crosby stepped back into the shadows again. They had already whipped me, burned me, shocked me and tried to drown me. What the fuck could they possibly do next?
No sooner had the thought crossed my mind when the most glorious scent filled my nostrils. Sweet and fresh, like newly baked bread, I inhaled greedily despite the pain n my chest.
“Ah yeah, lookit, boss. He’s getting hungry.”
I knew the joy in Marco’s voice couldn’t be a good thing, but I’d been too long without human food or blood to care. I was hungry, fucking starving to be honest, and whatever they had brought into the room smelled like heaven.
“We’ll see how long this hungry sheep-lover can resist a little human sustenance.”
And then I knew what they’d brought.
Marco moved back into the shadows with Crosby, pushing a bundle of cloth towards the chair I was strapped into. I looked down at the trembling blanket, inhaling its sweet scent no matter how hard I fought it. My fangs ached and my stomach growled, I wouldn’t be able to hold out much longer. Crosby leaned forward and snatched back the cloth to reveal a pretty little human girl with bright red hair. Her face was puffy from crying and her eyes were tightly shut.
“There you are, Parsons,” Crosby said. “I know you’re hungry and I know you want to prove your loyalty to the Martyrs. Here’s your chance to satisfy both.”
Hunger crawled through my gut like a snake full of venom until all I could think about was how sweet the first drop of warm blood would taste. I shook my head and breathed through my mouth to escape her enticing scent.
She’s only four and her name is Libby.
I repeated her information in my mind like a mantra as I continued to shake my head back and forth.
“No? No?” Now Crosby was pissed. “How about we make a deal then, hmm? I’ll take this little sheep back to her parents and bring you a bigger catch. Oh, but there’s just one thing. The other treat I have in store isn’t human.”
He cackled like a B-movie villain as the door swung open again. A gasp sounded like a gunshot in the room, but even that brief sound had the hair rising on my arms.
“No. No! Motherfuckers! That better not be my sister, Crosby, or I’ll—“
“You’ll what, Parsons? Run back to the chief of police? Tell the media?” he laughed. “Don’t be an idiot. You’ll drink from one of these offerings to prove your loyalty or your sister dies. It’s that simple.”
I closed my eyes though they’d barely been open from the swelling of the numerous beatings over the past few days. My sister sniffed, the scent of her tears acrid in my nose. I had no choice. All I could really do was make it as quick and painless for the little human girl as possible. I straightened against the hardwood chair and looked up at Crosby.
“Give her to me.”
He smiled, showing dried blood on his teeth, and that image followed me into years of nightmares.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Changing of the WIPs

So I got a response to the email I sent my editor that I hadn't told anyone about. To be honest, I was trying not to think about it too much myself over the past few days. But, unfortunately, the response means a change to my writing schedule and therefore requires an explanation to ya'll. In short, I asked if the sequel to They Call Me Death could still be submitted once I finished re-revising it. By the way, it's been re-titled from Much More Than Human to Releasing the Animal Within. While I was asking, I also mentioned my first Archangel story that I had previously submitted for an anthology call. The answer to both was a heartbreaking NO.
What does this mean exactly? Well, it means I had to decide on whether to finish these to manuscripts now, when I already have file upon file of other submittable work, or move on. To be honest, I need to move on...for now. I am in no way giving up on either Emily or Zerachial (my Archangel). However, I'm going to shelve both for a little while. I've decided I need to concentrate on books I can actually submit to one of my publishers so they might make it to your waiting hands. You may wonder, why not just try another publisher or self-publish? I am actually looking into a couple of other publishers where I think I can be happy. I'm VERY picky when it comes to publishers and to be honest, Samhain and EC have spoiled me for quite a few others.
As for the self-publishing thing, well...I keep going back and forth on that but for now am still not seriously considering it. So in short, I do plan to write my ass off every chance I get this year, but am moving on from what I've been working on for the past couple of months. If you were hoping for another shifter story don't worry. Next up is Kotori's book and it's going well. I haven't finished it yet but will post regular updates on my progress.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where I'm at This Week

In 2012 I hope to be better about posting writing updates on this blog. So here goes the first of the year. Right now I have four manuscripts actively in my WIP file that I go between when the writing mood strikes me. I was in the midst of Archangels when Emily Olavson (Andor's daughter from They Call Me Death) started talking to me again. 
This isn't an odd occurrence for me. I often have to tell other characters to shut the hell up so I can get anything done. Anyway, Emily started talking and I know better than not to listen to her. I started reworking my MS and decided the title just didn't fit her story. After all, she is half human/half shifter, but this story is about her shifter side emerging. Therefore, I changed it from Much More Than Human to Releasing the Animal Within. 
Of course, I couldn't let a good title go to waste. So now Kotori's story will be Much More than Human...because he is. 
As I said, I was in the midst of my first Archangel story and I'm very happy with the changes so far. It was actually completed last year but then rejected by my chosen publisher. 
I decided to give it another look to see what could be fixed/changed. I'm basically adding more sexual tension between the main characters and possibly more details about the secondary characters. We shall see. I'm hoping to sub it sometime in February but haven't settled on a publisher yet.
On the erotic romance front, I have one sub in with my editor and am waiting for word on whether she will accept it. Cross your fingers. If you enjoyed my first Ellora's Cave release, Two Week Trial, then hopefully you'll like this one too, as it is a sequel. It's Sean's story, in which his atrocious behavior is redeemed.
That's all for now folks. Outside of writing I'll be struggling to finish reading the final Harry Potter book and the Stephen King anthology I began last year. I'm also packing up my household and moving into a larger house where I'll get an office! WOOT!! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I am a Collector of...Things

If there is one thing I've learned from moving over the years it's that I'm a pack-rat. I honestly can't help myself. I just seem to collect things without really trying. My infamous (to those who know me personally) clown collection is by far the largest. I own porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal and feather masks and figurines in all shapes and sizes. Basically anything clown, harlequin, circus, etc themed is in my collection. However, I also own a shitload of shot glasses. I honestly didn't realize how many until it was time to pack. They were the first thing I boxed up, after washing off about three years' worth of dust. 
My only other overwhelming collection (purses and bags don't count because I'm female) would be my books. At last count I owned over 1,000 but I haven't updated the list in about a year. I've added and subtracted from the shelves in that time. Once I move and get my shelves put back together, I plan to redo the list I keep in my database.
For now all my precious books are being packed into cardboard boxes. The clowns are lovingly wrapped in tissue and sitting in plastic totes. And the shot glasses are also wrapped and awaiting the move...well, all but the biggest ones.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reading in 2011

2011 was a good reading year for me. According to Goodreads, I read 113 books. In actuality it may have been closer to 120. I'm pretty sure there were a few that fell through the cracks of my laziness in adding them online. In fact, any of you who take a peek at my Shelfari page would be ashamed of me. They think I read 56 books since discovering their site in 2010. However, I am very proud of my reading accomplishments for 2011. I could have done better. I completed the 100 book challenge, but failed miserably at the Stephen King reading challenge. This kind of shocked me not only because I own almost all of his published work, but because I LOVE reading his books. In fact, if I had to choose one book read in 2011 as the one that stuck with me, that I liked the most and that really left an impression, it would be Blaze. You can read my full review here.
I also read a lot of series books last year. There were a few I've been reading for a couple of years but also some that I completed. Those were mostly trilogies or four-book series. If I had to choose one as the very best it would be The Rarest Blooms series by Madeline Hunter. If you like regency romance even a little bit, I can't say enough about this series. It has one of my now all-time favorite characters, Tristan, the Duke of Castleford, in it. The only bad thing was I had to wait until book four (the final book) to get his story. However, each installment was a sensual journey through a fascinating time in history. Even if you aren't a big fan of the period, I'd recommend this series to any romance lover.
In the new-to-me category, my favorite of 2011 has to go to Joe Hill. I discovered he was Stephen King's son some time ago but hadn't picked up any of his books yet. I happened upon Heart-Shaped box and was immediately taken in by the blurb. He is definitely a great voice in the genre and stands on his own as an author regardless of who his father is. If you enjoy horror or any type of thrill-ride while reading, this is a must-read.
Another new to me author that must be mentioned is Dakota Cassidy. Now, I've followed Dakota in online social networks for a while, but I'm sorry to day I didn't pick up any of her books throughout the year. It wasn't until I attended Readers n'ritas and sat at her table (where she gave us all a free book) that I picked up my copy of You Dropped a Blonde on Me. To say it rocked my socks off is a slight understatement. It totally blew me away. I honestly didn't know what to expect but from her online personality I knew it would be funny. It was funny, heartbreaking, entertaining and memorable. All around a great read for anyone interested in chick-lit, romance and a good heartfelt story where the underdog comes out fighting.
Most anticipated release that lived up to its name goes to River Marked by Patricia Briggs. For those of you who haven't yet started the Mercy Thompson series all I can say is, why in the hell not?! This is one that can appeal to almost any reader. It's urban fantasy with just enough romance to satisfy the most die-hard romantic. There's action, suspense and paranormal elements. However, its not graphic in any sense of the word. Patricia Briggs has one of the best storytelling voices I've ever read and I honestly can't say enough about her work.
In the much anticipated, over-hyped and pleasantly surprised category, Laurell K. Hamilton wins the trophy. I had pretty much broken-up with Anita Blake after Flirt. That was a waste of my hard-earned money and some damn good trees. However, Anita has this great buddy named Edward that I can't get enough of and LKH was smart enough to put him in Hit List from page one. You can read my full review here.
So, that was my reading in 2011 in a nutshell. I have high hopes for 2012 as I finish two started last year that I had anticipated reading for quite some time. I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Full Dark, No Stars. These are both great so far and the only reason I'm not done yet is because I'm limiting my reading time to get some writing done. After those two I'll be catching up on Lynsay Sands' Argeneau vampire series, finishing Lilith Saintcrow's Jill Kismet series and reading the next installment in Christine Feehan's Sisters of the Heart series. What will you be reading?