Every Author Needs a Reader

The first week of January. It seems like the BEST time to renovate. Right? New year means new me. I hope I’m not digging my own grave here by posting my intentions for the year. You’ll hold me to it, right? Not exactly new year’s resolution material, but I’m definitely gearing up for a new direction. So…my game plan this year:

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But wait, don’t you already market, Kirsten? I tried, and I failed. Let me be honest with you. I suck at marketing. I’m horrible at it. I absolutely hate trying to sell myself as an author. Feels like I’m tooting my own horn a little too loud. The worst part is, I have to toot my own horn louder than everyone else who’s blowing theirs. So, it’s just a gigantic cacophony of authors making noise. And honestly, it’s exhausting.

I need something new, something fresh, which also brings me to my brand. I know who I am. I know what I like to read. I certainly know what I like to write. And I will be perfectly frank, I write what I would want to read. Sounds simple right? Wrong. Once again, I need to build my relationship with readers. Which is why I’m firing up the old blog again.

Facebook has done a bang-up job of hiding posts from my followers and potential followers. They want me to pay for every post to be seen. Well, I’m sorry, I don’t have that kind of money laying around. I have to be wise when I invest my money and my time as an author. Just like you do when you’re thinking of trying a new-to-me author with a shiny book cover and a promising blurb. I’m a reader too, I know. *wink*

bad books

I picked up two part-time jobs to pay for my self-publishing. The problem was, it stole all my time from writing and marketing. My writing fizzled out. I had no direction. So, I made the decision to leave those jobs behind and focus on my writing again.

YOU are going to be the biggest help in having me succeed in my goal this year. When I say Focus on the Relationship, I mean the relationship with you as a reader. ❤

Readers are KEY. Why am I spending the money and the time writing and editing a book if no one will read it? I will gladly write it for me. But I want to see the joy and delight when someone dives into one of my stories and loses themselves if only for a short period of time.

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I love creating worlds and characters and romance. I truly believe it’s my calling in life. But I can’t write if I don’t have readers.

I promise to do my part. I have a list of stories that long to be shared with the world. Your love, encouragement, and support are more important than you know.

If you love an author’s work, let them know.  It could be the encouragement they need on a day when they just want to give up writing altogether.

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Here’s to a new year. I hope you will join me on my journey of writing self-discovery. I have faith it will be a productive adventure for both of us. Be sure to follow for updates. There are some fun blog posts planned for this year.

May your bookshelves be full and your hearts even more so.

All my love,

Kirsten

Authors After Dark 2015

I will be attending Authors After Dark 2015 in Hotlanta!

And best part is that I will be part of the multi-author book signing on August 15th. YAY!

If you’re going to be in the area, please come and join the fun.

Signing Poster Lrg

Authors After Dark Convention

Today I’m taking a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina to participate in my first conference. Although I’m an author, I will be attending as a reader,but in all honesty, I’m both to my core so I’m just pleased to be able to attend.

Authors After Dark

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They are also hosting a Sins and Virtues Ball this year. Which sounds like a blast!  My hands are shaking from excitement.

Sins Virtues AAD

 

I will be sitting at the Diligence table with author Jayne Rylon. I promise to post photos and details as soon as I get home next week.

So, for those of you readers who want to mingle with authors in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, this is the convention for you!

I will give a full report of my adventure in next week’s blog post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kirsten. @—/—–

Creative Update: Current Projects

I thought this week I would write a little post to let you all know what projects I’m working on.

Prohibition Story (tentatively titled Mississippi Moonshine)

Virginia is a tomboy. Having been raised by her father and seven brothers, she lacks all the grace and sophistication a woman should have according to society in 1923. But she’s a river rat, born and raised near the Mississippi River outside of Alton, Illinois. When she discovers her family’s secret distillery hidden deep in the woods, she stumbles into a horrible confrontation with a rival shiner.

Nathaniel shed his proper English gentleman persona to become the most infamous shine runner on the Mississippi. His suppliers in Illinois and Missouri provide him with the most coveted moonshine in the country. But when a gang attacks his most lucrative supplier, he finds himself saddled with more than a financial loss. He finds a river rat stowed away on his boat.

Interesting huh?

Stage play titled Confessions of a Fangirl

We’ve all had our moments of fanaticism. This play is meant to be a visual depiction of the five stages of fangirling and how the seemingly innocent obsession can quickly consume us and ruin our relationships in real life.

I didn’t want to use one specific actor…so I combined three of my favorites to depict a much broader fandom (and not point any fingers since this isn’t about shaming or blaming, just showing the reality and the consequences).

This is my first attempt to write a play. I’m hoping it will help me hone my dialog and plotting skills…even more, I am hoping it will enlighten the world to the wonders and dangers of being a fangirl/boy.

Angus’ story, Book 3 in the Shadow Guardian series, working title A Wicked Shadow

Angus has been bothering me since I started writing A Shadow’s Kiss last fall. He’s begged and pleaded for me to tell his story next. So I am. I have planted the seed of his tale in A Shadow’s Kiss. His love interest is much more…unconventional than Madeline and Evelyn, who are both unique women in their own rights.

I will be plotting his story over the next few months and plan to write it for National Novel Writing Month in November of this year. My first two books were NaNo babies, so Angus’ will be too.

A book of poetry (if anyone had an interest to read it, I have no idea)

I’ve been writing poetry since I was in 8th grade. I have notebooks full of poetry, and so I’ve debated the idea of self publishing a little book of poetry. It’s the project I have spent the least amount of mental energy on, since poetry is such an underrated creative medium. Perhaps one day I will follow through with it if there’s enough interest. I thought it might be fun to just have some printed and sell them on etsy. 🙂 Who knows…I may need a push to do that at some point in the future.

I also have some ideas started for a series of Regency/Victorian (haven’t decided which yet) stories.

There are always notes and ideas floating around for stories to write. I always find a new character who speaks to me, begging me to tell their story. I promise to update you on the status of my projects.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to post them. I love hearing from my readers.

Also, check out my blog posts at my writer’s group site The Sarcastic Muse. I focus on my writing process and romance in those posts.

Talk to you again soon! Have a great week.

❤ Kirsten

New Release: Wolves and Warrants

Let’s give a warm welcome for the return of D.F. Krieger showcasing her New Release…

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You can purchase the book HERE now!

For this release, I’ve asked my guest author some tough questions. *wink*

Behind the Scenes Questions with Author D.F. Krieger:

1. Author who influences your writing the most?

No one. I’m an insanity all of my own making. But truly, I try really hard to be certain my voice is completely my own. It helps that I don’t get to read as much as I used to so I don’t risk my tone reflecting current authors. I have been told by a few authors when I was helping edit their work that I do a good job mimicking their voice when offering writing suggestions. Not sure if that’s good or bad…

2. Who was your inspiration for Detective Jake Markovich?

Jake was one side of what I desire in a man. Honest, loyal, and dependable. There was no particular influence, but I did manage to take a photo of him. Lookie!

3. Who was your inspiration for Veltis?

Ah, now Veltis is all the things I dream about in the darkness of the night. Dominating, powerful, seductive, and sarcastic. Sadly, he’s refusing to let me show off pictures of him just yet. Gimme time. I’ll find a way to come to an agreement with him.

4. Who was your inspiration for Zeara Faxfire?

I’m going to be honest here. Me, me, me. Crazy cat lady? Check. Psychotic amounts of animal knowledge? Check. Sarcastic sense of humor? *shifty eyes* That one…I don’t know where she got that from.

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5. Did your characters nag you when you weren’t writing their story?

One character in particular bitches the most. Zane the lab tech. I hear his voice more than anyone else’s, which is funny because he isn’t my main character, nor a love interest for Zeara. But he just won’t….shut…up.

6. How do you get into the writing groove?

I growl at my family, put some music on, crawl into bed, and tune the world out. Tea is always nearby, along with cats in a semi-circle, and occasionally I risk coming out of my nest to socially interact. If I’m writing a particularly emotional part of the story when I take a break to interact, in never bodes well for others. I’m am empathetic torturer.

7. What are the five requirements you HAVE to have to write? (example: I need coffee, music, no family interruptions, my ecig, and a friend on skype)

I suppose a computer with Word is a given? Let’s see, tea, as I said above. Cats for strategic creativity enhancement purposes. My husband for moments when I’m not sure if people can even bend that way. Angsty music to reflect my turmoil at inflicting so much torture on characters.

8. If you listen to music, can you give us a sampling of the songs on your writing playlist?

Heh heh heh. You’ll wish you’d never asked. I’ll give you bands, to make it easier. Depeche Mode, Julien-K, and Blaqk Audio.

9. Tell us one thing about one of your characters that we don’t know.

I know the truth behind Magic and you don’t. *Sticks tongue out* Karma knows too, but she’s not telling. Oh, so does Veltis. But no one else knows. Mwahahaha

10. Let’s say your book gets picked up to be made into a movie…Who would you cast in your movie?

You mean after I had a heart attack and needed to be revived? I have no bloody idea. I think I’d be too busy nit-picking every actor and actress to death. I could see myself now… “I said snarky and sexy, not bitchy and trampy!”

 

Thanks for having me, m’lady! It’s always a pleasure to be closely studied by one such as yourself.

~D.F. Krieger

You are very welcome.  Stop by again and keep us posted on your new projects!

 

Social Media Links for D.F. Krieger

Website:

Official Facebook

Faxfire Facebook

Buy Links   

Breathless Press

Amazon

ARe

Her Favorite Vice Author Interview

Hello everyone, this week we have another special guest.

Holden Granger

Tell me a little about your book and what you write.

I’m Holden Granger, and my most recent book is Her Favorite Vice.  This story was a lot of fun to write, and I hope it will be a lot of fun to read! To sum it up, it’s the story of a young police detective, who has her first big case in which she must go undercover as a high-priced call girl. She has the help of her partner, who also pretends to be one of her clients. Together, they match wits with the corrupt judge who uses his office to run the call-girl operation.

Click on the Image for Direct Link to Buy this Book!

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Ten Questions:

  1. What motivates you to write?  I love to create stories, and I’ve found I love it even more when people can read and enjoy them.
  2. Top five most romantic films in your opinion:  Casablanca – Pretty Woman – An Affair to Remember – When Harry Met Sally – Say Anything
  3. Best Kiss scene in film: Undoubtedly the spaghetti scene in “Lady and the Tramp”
  4. Top three authors who have inspired you:  Mario Puzo, Anne Rice and Raymond Chandler
  5. What is your favorite subgenre of romance?  Right now I enjoy paranormal romance because it gives both writer and readr a chance to enter a new mythology, at least it should if it is done right!
  6. Do you have a favorite poem?  Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 – it has fun with the classical ideas of romantic poetry
  7. What do you do in your free time, when you get it? I can’t remember!
  8. Any new projects on the burner? I always try to keep a couple going. I’m really excited about a paranormal romance I’m working on now.
  9. What is your secret indulgence? Pop music from the 80’s, I use it to set the mood when I write. Please don’t tell anyone.
  10. If you could do one thing right now, without consequences, what would it be?  Why? That’s the toughest question I’ve been asked! A lot of possibilities come to mind, but I’ll stick with a relatively tame one. I’d like to walk into the Oval Office and chat with the president. I’d love to get his perspective on a few issues.

Lightning Round:

Favorite season? Summer – less clothes

Biggest pet peeve? Know-it-alls

Favorite dessert? Anything with ice cream

Favorite color? A deep, dark red

Drink of choice? Vodka and water

Favorite band? Fleetwood Mac

Action flick or RomCom – why can’t I have both?

Cuddling  or making out – Making out for sure!

Video games or a good book – Good book without question

Pirate or cowboy – Pirate, I love the ocean

Sexy or sweet – sexy

Bonus: If you could meet one person in all of history, who would it be and why?

Maybe it is a cliché, but I would want to meet Abraham Lincoln. I’d like to tell him that all he suffered was not in vain.

Thank you very much, Holden, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview and congratulations on your new release!

Guest Author: Shelli Rosewarne

Hello everyone.  I’d like to welcome my friend Shelli Rosewarne to my blog today.  Her new zombie romance released last week from Breathless Press.  Let’s give her a warm welcome!

Thanks so much for letting me visit today. My zombie-themed romance ‘Love Reawakened’ was just released on Friday so I’m very excited! I know what you’re thinking – zombies and romance don’t really go together. I must admit before this I would have been inclined to agree – but hopefully this will give you a bit of a different view. Emma and Garret are two people who are brought back together in *ahem* let’s call it difficult circumstances, but at the core they are still two people falling in love and I really hope that’s what comes across most in the story. Besides, I think you might be surprised that the zombies aren’t what you would normally expect either! If a zombie comes back from the dead do they really forget everything about who and what they were – or do the important things, like the love they had, still stay with them? I think I’m probably giving a lot away here – so you’ll have to read to find out anything else! I really hope you give it a try, and that you enjoy 🙂

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Emma needs to find an escaped zombie! With lives on the line, the only person who can help is the man who broke her heart.

Emma Strachan is a professional witch and quite frankly a zombie raising should be all in day’s work. Now, though, something has gone horribly wrong and with lives on the line Emma is forced to turn for help to the one person she never wanted to see again.

When Emma Strachan shows up on Garret’s doorstep he knows she must be in trouble – after all nothing else would bring her to his door. Still, he never imagined a zombie gone rogue, or that the blazing attraction between them would be as strong as ever.

As Emma and Garret risk their lives to track down the missing zombie can they put aside past insecurities and trust in each other – before it’s too late.

 

Excerpt

He grinned at her. “I’ve learnt a few things since you last knew me.”

She felt her face flame. Oh, they were so not going there. She turned on her heel, and headed back to the car. She heard his low laugh as he followed her and tried not to bristle at that. She slid in, a scowl on her face.

“What now? We still have no idea where he might be or how to reassure him when we find him. Any ideas?”

She saw a slow grin spread across his face, then he leaned over and captured her lips with his, catching her surprised squeak. His tongue plunged deep, his mouth forceful, demanding, and she was helpless not to respond. A whimper rose in her throat as she clutched at his shoulders, heat curling in her stomach. His hand slid to the nape of her neck pulling her closer and she went willingly, her nipples hardening as she came up against his chest. He slowly pulled back, causing a moan of protest to rise in her throat. He smiled ruefully, resting his head against hers.

“This is really not the time or the place,” he murmured.

She pulled back crossly. “Why did you do it then?”

He grinned at her. “It was an idea.”

Hilarious! “You have any ideas actually related to the problem at hand?” she snapped at him.

“Surprisingly, yes, I do have one. I know someone who might be able to help us find him.”

Emma frowned. “Who? And why didn’t you just say that instead of, well, you know.”

He sighed. “You’ll see, and I kissed you now because you might not let me afterwards.”

 

Buy HERE:

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Reawakened-ebook/dp/B00FS37EG2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1381490144&sr=8-3&keywords=shelli+rosewarne

 

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Reawakened-ebook/dp/B00FS37EG2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1381489941&sr=8-3&keywords=shelli+rosewarne

 

Breathless Press

http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=13&products_id=486&zenid=7a14efbd64d8b4d3d6855d09ee8cfd6e

 

I’m also running a Rafflecopter giveaway – prizes include a zombie themed mini book bag, a spooky Halloween phone cover and a witchy (and lavender scented) keyring – who said scary can’t be cute! I’m also giving away a free copy of Love Reawakened in the ebook format of your choice. If you’d like to enter then just leave a comment.

Rafflecopter code

<a id=”rc-6q1lj7vim” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6q1lj7vim/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

<script src=”//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js”></script>

 

A little about the author:

Shelli Rosewarne had always had a dream in the back of her head about wanting to be a writer, from the time she was handing in ten page stories at primary school and driving her teachers crazy. However, like with so many things, life and paying the bills got in the way and she worked in various jobs from call centers to shops to offices. She eventually realized that life is too short not to try and follow your dreams, and has since had her first stand alone novella published with Breathless Press, along with several submissions in anthologies, another novel contracted for later in the year and various works in progress in the pipeline. Yup, she’s having to pinch herself as well! She currently lives in Edinburgh with her long-suffering fiancé and slightly psycho cat. When not writing she loves reading, music and photography.

You can follow her at:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shelli-Rosewarne/364962230246715

Twitter – @shellirosewarne

Blog – http://shellirosewarne.wordpress.com

 

 

Guest Author: Raven McAllan

Hello everyone!  Let’s give a warm welcome to my fellow Breathless Press Author and guest this week…Raven McAllan.

 

Hi all, so nice to be here….I’m in a dancing mood. No don’t worry, I won’t.

 

If you could do anything you wanted as a job or a hobby what would it be?

If you’d have asked me that two years ago I’d have shouted to be published. If you ask me today, it’s almost the same. With the addition of one word. Again.

And if you had asked me even two and a half years ago if I ever thought I’d be able to put author in the occupation bit of any official form, I’d have asked if you felt okay and offered you two Aspirins.

Now, oh wow it gives me goose bumps when I get asked occupation and I say I’m an author. mid you it took me a long while before I felt I could. Even now I have to pinch myself and tell myself firmly, I am an author. I have books out. That people read. And comment on.

chair swivel jiggle moment

 

You know it really is a case of have mac will travel. My lovely DH bought me a MacBook Air as our old laptop was heavy, and my fibro made it hard to use. He came home with it, and daughter and her boyfriend were up.

DH—here’s a present

Me—oh wow thank you

Daughter—Do you know what that is?

Me—A laptop

At which point she rolled her eyes and told me exactly what I had. And it’s great. It’s well travelled, and used in a variety of places. On a plane, train, bus or boat. On a balcony over the Indian Ocean, or the caribbean. In a shaded garden in Australia, or by a pool in South Africa. Looking at mountains, rivers and cityscapes. Usually with a glass of wine in one hand. I love it. (All in the name of research of course)

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This time two years ago I was a nervous shivering excited wreck. I was almost a published author.

Here I am two years on and in the same state—or very nearly.

If you’d’ve told me then, that now I’d still be writing, still being published and have over fifty stories out there with my name on them, I’d probably asked you where you got the magic mushrooms from.

However here I am, and yes I have and oh how fabulous it is.

Around three years ago, I was away from work, bored, sore and wondering what on earth I could do other than read. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, but I was rapidly running out of books.

Then someone suggested I went onto Facebook, and lo and behold (sorry dramatic or what?)I discovered a writing competition, at which I hasten to add I was rubbish. But through it I met a lot of other wannabe authors and then, became part of my crit group UCW.

The rest as they say, is history.

When I started I had no idea how I wrote, or even if I could. Let alone what. I’ve been oh so fortunate that my publisher have let me try my voice out in more than one way.

Even though I started off writing Regency, which I love, I had to try writing contemporary romance as well. And paranormal, m/m, menage, YA—well you get the idea? I needed to know what I’m capable off. I still do for that fact.

There’s nothing like the thrill of having a character shout in my ear and say write me, get on with it. So I do.

I’ve learned the hard way (I’m a member of the lone star club) that not everyone will like what I write or the way I do it. But thankfully that others will and do. Whichever, any comment means someone has read one of my books. The one I cherish most, is a third hand heard (but confirmed by the speaker only last week almost eighteen months on) that, “have you heard? Raven writes, and her books are disgusting.” To which my answer was “Books plural? Then she’s read them all?”

To celebrate my birthday, I’m dotting all over the place for a couple of weeks. For each blog I’m on (and sorry no list you’ll just have to keep your eyes open) I’m offering a mini swag bag plus an Ebook, for one person who answers my question. As well I’ll pick one commenter at random form all the comments overall and send one of my print books (winners choice)

So what shall I ask? I’m going to be cruel and ask two questions. How did I get my pen name? What’s your favorite type of shifter and why?

Stalking links can be found here…raven avatar

http://www.ravenmcallan.com

 

 

 

Bringing A Little Romance to the Zombie Apocalypse

 

Kol’s living her dream. Her gorgeous neighbor, Nick, promised to make her life brighter yet,

until something from her past threatens the entire world.

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Today I am hosting a wonderful writer and fellow Breathless Press author, Sheri Velarde, writing as Kelly Ryan.  With Halloween nearly upon us, her new release Salvation will get you in the mood.  Let’s give her a warm welcome!

When I took it upon myself to write a romance story with zombies I got a little worried. Zombies don’t exactly bring about the loving feeling if you catch my drift. This was going to be a challenge, but I like challenges, that’s why I write!

So, first thing I had to do was figure out what my zombies were like, I knew that I wanted to do something different, something other than animated and rotting corpses. I had to put on my researchers hat. Ok, some of my main research was a short documentary on Netflix as my brother changed the oil in my car, but hey that still counts as research. An idea for my zombies began to unfold, something different but also something that allowed for a little bit of hope during the zombie apocalypse.

You see, the hope aspect was very important to me. I felt that there needed to be hope for my heroine and hero to have a chance at a real love outside of chaos. Sure, love when all hell is breaking loose is hot, but I wanted my characters to have a chance for something more. I guess that is just the hopeless romantic in me, I want the happily ever after even during the end of the world as we know it. Especially for Nick and Kol in this story. I really cared for them and they were so perfect for each other, that even as the author I was routing for them, even though I knew I controlled their destiny.

The result of all this research contemplation and hard work is a piece that I am very proud of, my novella “Salvation”. It is being released by Breathless Press on October 4th and I couldn’t be more excited. I kinda have a love for zombies now.

 

Here is a snippet from Salvation.  Enjoy!

Not knowing why, not examining her actions or thinking about the consequences, Kol leaned forward and kissed Nick on the lips. She was very tentative at first, but when he put up no resistance, she deepened the kiss, parting his lips with her tongue, truly tasting him. She moved closer to him, turning and practically crawling onto his lap. As way of encouragement, Nick reached down and pushed his seat all the way back, giving Kol all the room she needed to continue her course of action. Needing no further invitation, she crawled onto him, straddling him, all the while never breaking their passionate kiss.

Once she was on top of him, Kol lost a little bit of her confidence, some of the self-doubt that had always followed her around began to work its way back into her psyche. Nick could clearly sense that something wrong, for he brought both his hands up to her face and held her gaze as he spoke to her.

“This is a traumatic time; we don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. I don’t want to make matters worse for you. I only want to protect you, make you feel safe.”

“You do make me feel safe. Plus, I have wanted you since the moment that I laid eyes on you; I just don’t want to force you to do something out of pity or…” Kol trailed off, finding it impossible to put into words that she her fears that a man like Nick could ever want damaged goods like her.

Nick brought his lips slowly and deliberately back to hers and kissed her gently. “I wanted you when I first saw you move into the building. You are a gorgeous woman and if we had not seen those helicopters and planes from the roof of the building, I think you would have been spending the night in my bed. So trust me when I say, I am doing nothing out of pity here. Lust yes, pity no.”

 

You can purchase the full story here:

Breathless Press

 

And be sure to check out the author on her home turf:

Website: http://sherivelarde.weebly.com/

Facebook: Sheri Velarde/Kelly Ryan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sher_V

 

Thanks for stopping by today.   Now go grab a stiff one!  😉