Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mission to New Earth

Three years ago, I wrote a short story for The Roses of Prose, another blog on which I’m a contributor. I liked the story so much I decided to expand it into a novella. Easier said than done. As most writers will tell you, it’s harder to rewrite than to start fresh. Still, I persevered.

Why? Because I’m fascinated by the idea of finding a New Earth. The story is set in the not-too-distant future, 2170. As predicted by scientists even now, Earth is using up its resources. Along with overpopulation stretching the limits of what’s left, we’ll need to find a new home. The United Earth Space Agency—a common cause finally united us—is sending astronauts to explore three Goldilocks planets. One, if not all three, has to be our new home.

credit: Mars One
So, how would astronauts prepare for a one-way trip to a new planet? The Mars One project provides a lot of information. In my story, we’ve already begun populating Mars and established an outpost on Titan, Saturn’s moon, from which the astronauts will leave on a five-year voyage. To save resources, they will become popsicles (aka, put into cryo-sleep).

What would motivate these men and women to leave everything they’ve ever known? Their families, their friends, their way of life? There’s no returning to Earth. Fame and glory seem too transient. A sense of adventure might motivate some, but would it sustain them through vigorous training? Selflessness? Doing something for the good of others? Possibly. Each person would have her/his reason. I concerned myself with the narrator, the team commander.

While delving into her life, her motivation, I thought about the early pioneers of the “new world.” Those who landed on Plymouth Rock, those who ventured farther inland and crossed the Appalachian Mountains, those who heeded the message “Go west, young man.” I’m sure each person had his/her own reason for leaving all behind.

Then I asked myself if I would go. Could I leave my husband, children, grandchildren? As much as I love adventure, my answer is no. A resounding NO. That’s the great thing about being a writer. In my imagination, I can do anything. In real life, not so much. But I can put myself in my character’s place. I can give her the fears, doubts, excitement I would feel if I could go.

What about you? Would you be a pioneer? Under what conditions?

Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. She blogs here on the 13th of the month, on The Roses of Prose on the 30th, and on her own blog on Mondays where she “muses” about topics as varied as baseball, vacations, and bucket lists.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Celebrate the love of animals and help support the World Wildlife Fund

Who doesn't love animals?

At any given moment on Facebook you'll stumble across a picture, or a video, about some kind of animal. 

I might have the best intentions to pop in for a quick minute on Facebook, and then find myself ten minutes later still mesmerized by videos of cute cats, funny dogs, or other wildlife, with little to no recollection of what I went to Facebook for in the first place. 

Most people love nothing more than finding joy in the unconditional love of an animal. That's why it was a no-brainer for myself, and my four fellow authors, to choose the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as our charity to donate all profits for our upcoming anthology, Moon, Mist & Magic. 

  • Why I love the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)

WWF's mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

They organize their work around six areas:

    1. Food
    2. Climate
    3. Fresh Water
    4. Wildlife
    5. Forests
    6. Oceans

To find out more about the World Wildlife Fund, or provide an additional donation, visit their website.

  • Why I love my Pets
If you've visited my website, or follow me on Facebook, by now you've met my writing assistant, Scruff.  He tends to be a camera hog so he shows up all over the place. He's adorable, and he knows it.

Scruff ensures I keep my butt in the chair- by sleeping behind it, blocking my exit. 

Before we had our lovable, opinionated, Shih Tzu for the last three years, we had a Lhasa Apso, named Bummy (he was a 'bum puppy' or a 'runt') for over fourteen years.

Bummy also assisted in helping me write, as you can see... 

Throughout the years, I've written essays about the adventures of my twins and our furry family members (including Beef, short for beefcake, our long deceased hamster. )
    1. My dog wears diapers
    2. Where's the Beef?
    3. New Tricks to an Old Dog
  • Why I love Animals in Stories
Most of my stories have some type of animal in them. I believe they add fun to the storyline and make my characters more believable. It allows them to reveal traits about themselves that they might not be able to with another person. 

  • Why I love Shifter Stories 
Although I've not yet written a shifter story, I've read some really good ones. You'll find a few in the Moon, Mist & Magic Anthology that are pretty awesome! 

I think the first shifter story that caught my eye would be Twilight. After seeing "Jacob" in the movie, I had a hard time determining if I'd be 'Team Edward" or "Team Jacob". 

Since then, I've found many other shifter stories that I love. What kind of paranormal creature do you love to read about?

Get ready to be enchanted by mythical beasts, magical creatures, and moonlit nights. Enjoy your favorite author, and perhaps discover someone new, in these five fantastic tales of paranormal romance woven with moon, mist, and magic…

Featuring stories by Maureen L. Bonatch, Abigail Owen,
 J.C. McKenzie, Sharon Saracino & L.A. Kelley
Moon, Mist & Magic

What do you love about animals? Share your favorite magical story, or tell us about your pet!

About the Author:

Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Find Me:
Writing on my Website
Tweeting on Twitter
Pinning on Pinterest
Flapping on Facebook

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Writing Process and Me (Or, How I Survive as an Author....)

I figured I'd answer a few questions I get asked often concerning my writing. Survival as an author can be scary. It's kind of a lone wolf existence sometimes. You're responsible for your own posts/promo/work/etc. But this is a great big family, too. Ask and someone will answer and probably help. So here are the answers to these frequently asked questions.

1) What am I working on? 

Glad you asked! I'm knee deep in a new series featuring Club Desire, from Resplendence Publishing. In fact, I just turned in the latest book, Raining Men, to the publisher. Here's a little bit about book 1 - 

Tied Desire by Megan Slayer
Club Desire Book 1 

M/M, Anal Sex, Toys, Spanking, BDSM
Resplendence Publishing

Get your rocks off however you want at Club Desire. We’re not easy and we’re not free, but we are discreet. Find your fantasy in the club.

            Ford Gehrig likes everything hard—his racing and his sex life. His career driving stock trucks is riding high. He’s a top performing rookie. Club Desire fulfills his needs for pain in his pleasure. But even a strong man has his breaking point. His wounds run deep and won’t be easy to overcome. Will the club be his salvation or his downfall?

Master Zane knows the rough side of the club well. He’s been at Desire longer than many of the Doms. Few subs turn his head like Ford. He wants the hot blond on his table, against his cross and in his bed. Nothing at the club comes easily, but Zane’s not one to give up. Will he be able to pierce the protective walls around Ford’s heart, or will his own past be the barrier he can’t destroy?

Only time, some cuffs and a few spankings will tell if this tied desire is meant to last.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I write about couples in the midst of a second chance. First love is great, but I like the redemption story. How did they manage to get back together or make the second time around work? Usually a second time around is more complicated and emotional. I like playing with that emotional aspect. I also love playing with hot guys. I mean, who doesn't? I get to do lots of great research and look at images of said hot men. Yeah, it's a tough job, but someone has to do it. 

3) Why do I write what I do? 

Writing for me is like breathing. I have to do it. I love letting the characters run and play. It's fun. If I didn't I'd have to listen to the characters talk anyway. I might as well write them. Grin. Plus, I love writing. I've always been good at stringing words together - be it in lesson plans or papers for school. Getting to make the stories hot just added a whole lot of good to the deal. I also love telling tales of second chances. Lots of times, life isn't one single instance. There are bits and moments where things come around. I like being able to show that. Plus... hot men!

4) How does your writing process work?

I usually write a bit of the plot out in my notebooks. I love to do some of the work by hand. Once I get a decent amount of the story in the notebook, I sit down at the computer. Usually 3-5k words at a time, I go at it. Hopefully the book works out and doesn't need major revision. Sometimes it does. I send it by my crit partners and beta readers and then swoosh! Off to the editor. Not the most exciting process, but it's the truth. *G*

What about you? What are your favorite questions to answer? Or better yet, are there questions you want ME to answer? Put 'em in the comments. I'll do my best. 

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Monday, June 13, 2016

#ScienceFictionRomance by Diane Burton

I love Science Fiction Romance (SFR). Love to read it and love to write it. My SFR roots go back to being enthralled with the “space race” of the 1960s. When the USSR launched Sputnik, our national pride wouldn’t let us sit back and marvel that someone had gotten a projectile through our atmosphere and into space. Oh, no. We had to not only match it but surpass it. Thus came the challenge to put a man on the moon. In that decade. And, by golly, we did.

Every space launch had me glued to the television. Not really effective in black-and-white, but who cared? My enthusiasm became contagious. The posters I brought back from Cape Kennedy Space Center hung on my classroom bulletin boards. I knew the names of the first group of astronauts. No, I didn’t make my students memorize them.

So, anything space-related grabbed my attention. I’d watched the corny, old TV shows B-movies with silly aliens and dorky plots. (Doctor Who wasn’t on American television yet) What really captured my imagination was Star Wars: A New Hope. Fast-paced adventure, a hint of romance, fabulous music. And the good guys won. What more could you ask? Now I was infecting a new generation, my children and their friends, with my enthusiasm by taking them to the movies.

The combination of space adventure and romance captured me and hasn’t let go. Not enough movies so I looked for books. Jayne Ann Caste came out with Crystal Flame, followed by Gift of Gold, and Gift of Fire. All right. From then on, I searched for “futuristics” as SFR was known then. When I couldn’t find enough to read, I wrote them.

Nowadays the choices are overwhelming. Good news, bad news. Great that there are so many choices. Bad that there are so many choices. How do I choose? I mean, my book “budget” isn’t that big. Word-of-mouth is always great. That’s why I have guests on my blog (Saturday Sampler) showcasing books. Still, so many choices.

Here’s a word-of-mouth recommendation. PORTALS: A Gateway To The Worlds Of Science Fiction Romance. Portals is a way to check out books by your favorite SFR authors and new-to-you authors. Each volume contains the first chapters of ten published books. Three volumes are available with three more in the works. While my math skills aren’t the best, even I can figure out I can “test drive” sixty books. Read the first chapter, if I like it, click on the link, and buy.

The best part is Portals is free. Yep, free. I’m sure you’re asking where you can get Portals? Everywhere. Maybe I’d better qualify that. It’s at the following online book vendors:




Shameless plug here. The first chapter of the first book in my Outer Rim series, The Pilot, is in Volume Two.

If you like SFR, you’re sure to find some new books to read. I did. Oh, my poor book budget.

Diane Burton combines her love of adventure and romance into writing science fiction romance (as well as romantic suspense and mystery). She blogs here on the 13th of each month, on The Roses of Prose on the 30th, and on her own blog on Mondays.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cover Reveal for a new Paranormal Romance Anthology- Preorder Today!


Cover Reveal!


Coming August 4, 2016 – Pre-Order Now

Charity Benefit:
All profits from this anthology will go to charity to benefit the World Wildlife Fund!

Get ready to be enchanted by mythical beasts, magical creatures, and moonlit nights. Enjoy your favorite author, and perhaps discover someone new, in these five fantastic tales of paranormal romance woven with moon, mist, and magic…

Get ready to be enchanted by mythical beasts, magical creatures, and moonlit nights. Enjoy your favorite author, and perhaps discover someone new, in these five fantastic tales of paranormal romance woven with moon, mist, and magic…

Witch You Were Here, by Maureen L. Bonatch
Featured Creature: Witches
Lucy is a witch with a successful business righting magical mischief. A call for help from her high-school heartache, Shane, prompts Lucy to manage his magical mayhem herself. No longer a nervous, hormonal, teenager, Lucy takes the case to force an apology and bury her past humiliation. To her surprise, Shane insists he couldn’t forget Lucy—because she hexed him ten years ago. Will Shane and Lucy put their past behind them, or will the spell prove permanent?

About Maureen
Since you’re on my website, hopefully you know, but here’s the spiel…
Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

A Ghost of a Chance, by Abigail Owen

Featured Creature: Ghosts
What’s a girl to do when her brother’s ghost appears asking for help? If that wasn’t bad enough, finding her not-dead-yet brother’s body before he becomes permanently spectral isn’t her only problem. Josie can’t save him on her own. The only person who can help is the last person who would want to. Bryce Evans, a man she once wrapped hopes of her future around, can’t stand to be near her. How can she convince him when her evidence is a ghost he can’t see?

About Abigail
Since you’re on my website, hopefully you know, but here’s the spiel…
Award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author, Abigail Owen resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two wonderful children. She attempted to find a practical career by earning a degree in English Rhetoric. However, she swiftly discovered writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.

Dangerous Dreams, by J.C. McKenzie

Featured Creature: Dragon Shifters
As a dragon shifter in hiding, Lara Stone wants nothing to do with others of her kind or finding a mate. No way, no how. She’s perfectly content to work for a security company, masquerading as a simple mage. When the leader of all the dragon clans personally requests her as a bodyguard, Lara fears her secret is blown, or worse. What danger could possibly make Rafael Dragoi, the powerful Astarot, seek protection?

About J.C.
J.C.J.C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She’s from an island in the middle of a temperate rainforest, and loves the ocean. She currently lives in land-locked, rural Saskatchewan, which holds a magnificent beauty of its own, but she still finds herself dreaming of the deep blue and missing it terribly. J.C. writes predominantly urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish alpha-type men.

Myths and Legends 101, by L.A. Kelley

Featured Creature: Succubus
Flickering lights. Strange drifting shadows. Unnatural cold. Anthropology professor Jim Calloway is convinced the recent eerie phenomena at Octavian College are due to his overactive imagination until he meets Keilana Yamada and her eccentric grandfather, Toshi. Dazzled by the beautiful Keilani, Jim volunteers to help hunt for an ancient evil roaming the ivied halls. Can a mild-mannered academic find his inner demon hunter and a way into Keilani’s heart? Or will a supernatural predator with an insatiable hunger destroy them first?

About L.A.
Fantasy, adventure, humor, and romance with a touch of sass.

The Keeper, by Sharon Saracino

Featured Creature: Secret Surprise!
When a stranger lands on her slab, poisoned with silver and reeking of vampire, Medical Examiner Olivia Duncan fears someone’s discovered her dangerous secret. Enter Nick Alexios, a mysterious man with a hidden agenda of his own. Olivia ignites his passion and challenges his loyalties, making him question his duty. Nick might be Olivia’s salvation…or her downfall. Will honor-bound promises drive them apart or unite them against threats from both near and far?

About Sharon
SharonSharon Saracino was born and raised in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania and resides there with her long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. When she is not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, she brews limoncello, dreams of moving to Italy, and works as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse.
Have you grabbed your copy? 

About the Author:

Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Find Me:
Writing on my Website
Tweeting on Twitter
Pinning on Pinterest
Flapping on Facebook

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Genesis of a Story with @WendiZwaduk

Often times, the stories I write have a kernel of truth to them. What do I mean, they have bits and pieces of my life in them. The story below was the genesis of my book, Careless Whisper. Sad part? The story below is a true story. 
They boys bugged me to do this, so I will. This is a true story, which is what makes it even odder.
I went to buy a digital voice recorder to prove that ghosts exist and do talk to us. I get to the store and it's raining, so my normally stylish coif is plastered to my head. Yeah, I was going for all-out sexy in a drowned cat fashion. Anyway, so I get to the location of the recorders, and the salesman stops me. This was our conversation. (And Kealie will vouch for me)
Salesman (Who was hot BTW): Can I get you anything?
MS: I came here for a digital voice recorder. This one. But it says the thing is on sale. Can you check?
SM: Sure. (He goes to check it on the computer.) How you doing today?
MS: I'm wet, cuz it's raining.
SM: True. What'cha want this for?
MS: To listen to ghosts.
SM: (Shaking his head) You know ghosts don't exist?
(At this point, the boys--when I told them--were furious, because being vampires, they know all the undead and ghosties and so forth do so exist.)
MS: (I looked him square in the eye.) Then YOU tell them that.
SM was stunned and hurriedly got his manager to assure me the price was the sale price. So we go to the register to check out. Now a person I know stops me and tells me she liked my free stories, but was Slayer my real name. Duh. Apparently, seeing my credit card, SM decided he needed to speak again -- you know, dealing with the transaction.
SM: What nationality is that?
MS: I'm part Irish and part vampire, but don't tell anyone about the Irish part. They tend to talk.
Again I got that blank stare. I dunno. Maybe he's never heard of Irish people before.
What do you think?
Here's a little bit about Careless Whisper
He’s her kinkiest desire, if she’s willing to open her heart and believe in him.wzcarelesswhisper

 The dead don’t always rest in peace. Some stick around to make the lives of the living hell on Earth. Ryan Black knows the frustration of dealing with the dead. He’s a Ghost Explorer. He’s conquered houses filled with apparitions, abandoned school buildings that house angry vermin, and managed to woo the female population of Snake Falls, Ohio. But he’s about to face his toughest challenge, convincing sceptical Samara Jacobs she not only shares his gift, but holds his heart.
 Women fall at Ryan Black’s feet and Samara’s determined not to be one of the many—that is until she’s forced to work with him. He’s certain ghosts exist and willing to prove it. The more she gets to know the man behind the television persona, she decides the handsome klutz who chases things that go bump in the night isn’t so silly after all. But is he worthy of her love?
This book contains anal sex and a little harmless domination.
Available At:   Totally BoundAll Romance EbooksBookstrandAmazonBarnes and Noble
Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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