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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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Resurrected! They’re Baaaaack!

by Nancy Gideon

I love this new publishing era that allows us to return our paranormal heroes and heroines to entice new readers!

This month, I’ve got TWO brought back to life books, one with vampires and one with shape-shifters – the best of both preternatural worlds!

MIDNIGHT SHADOWS, the latest re-release in my Touched by Midnight vampire romance series, brings back my favorite hero – who surprisingly is human! Frank Cobb, the cynical spook (the government kind, not the otherworldly kind!) taking his personal agenda into the jungles of Peru to hunt down a myth that’s all too real. Take a look at its sultry new cover and tempting sneak peek:

She doesn’t believe in monsters . . .

Myth-busting ethnologist, Sheba Reynard's life's work is proving that destructive paranormal beings don’t exist. But while exposing hoaxes, she's also hiding from the frightening shadows in her past that say differently. To find the missing pieces of her memory that continue to haunt her dreams, she must face the truth behind the nightmares . . . a truth that could lead to madness or even death.

He doesn’t believe in death . . .

Frank Cobb knows monsters are very, very real. He's pursued a wily vampire into the jungles of Peru, prepared to face the demon with only his very human skill set. But are his motives—to bring the creature back for government research—purely business or for revenge? Either way, he’s not happy to have an annoyingly strong-willed—and utterly irresistible—woman getting in his way.

Forced together by circumstance, they venture into the shadowy unknown. Only it soon becomes clear that one of them will have to surrender their quest . . . if the other one is to make it out alive.

“Ms. Gideon continues to run in the fore-front of the vampire romance genre. Non-stop action and passion combined in an exotic setting will definitely thrill fans, leaving them craving more. — Kathe Robin, Romantic Times

“Nancy Gideon is one of the best supernatural writers on the market today!"— Midwest Book Review/BookWire


“Sheba, what if the monster is real?”

She meet his gaze directly, hers expressing her scorn and disbelief, yet there were shadows lurking behind the bravado, shadows he hated like hell to bring out into the open. 

“Real, as in the Fanged Deity the Indians worshiped before the Incas? Oh come on, Cobb, you can do better than that.” 

His expression remained somber, his stare unblinkingly sincere as he vowed, “Sheba, there are monsters, and I know this one by name.” 

She tried to laugh it off but the attempt at humor lodged in her throat, a hard, choking lump of horrible truth. She knew Cobb wasn't lying to her, but to say she believed him was to let her own personal demons loose, and she wasn’t ready for that yet. 

“I’ve heard a lot of different names, Cobb. Which one are you picking?”


The June 20, 2016 release of PARANORMAL ATTRACTIONS, the first boxed set I’ve ever participated in (along with eight other uber talented authors) features REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT from my By Moonlight series with its dark, deadly and very damaged hero, shape-shifter, Max Savoie. PARANORMAL ATTRACTIONS is now available for pre-order through Amazon. Check out this lush cover!

Aren’t you glad you can’t keep a good paranormal hero down?!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Friday, May 13, 2016

New Story - New World by Diane Burton

A couple of weeks ago, I talked to a group of readers at the Saranac (MI) library. One fan asked if I would set any books in a different world from those in my Switched and Outer Rim series. I’d already written a short story for The Roses of Prose blog set in a different world. Afterward, I thought why not expand the short story into a novella.

Since I had the main characters—not fleshed out—and a basic plot, I could think more about the world. I’m a pantser, and that means I build my world as I write. Again, the basics were already in place. In the future, Earth needed to do something about the effects of population overload. NASA’s successor had already transformed Mars with domed habitats, but it was time to expand beyond our solar system to find that Goldilocks planet where humans could live free of artificial atmosphere. A planet that is not too hot, not too cold. A planet that is just right for humans.

The story begins on Titan, Saturn’s moon, the jumping off place for the Goldilocks Mission. There, three teams train, preparing for the trip to their designated planet. What did I know about Titan? Not much. So research became really important. Even though my characters couldn’t go out in the methane atmosphere I still had to write what the outside world was like—preferably accurate, because sharp readers will let you know mistakes, often in reviews.

I needed to know what would the habitats be like. Again, imagination along with what I could find out from the Mars One project filled in the details.

When I was in high school (college, even), I hated doing research. Dry texts, boring subjects. That’s what happens when you don’t get to choose your own topics. Or get to decide what about the topic you need to know. That’s how I research. I get to a spot in the story that needs more detail than I know. I can’t move on until I find out. Some writers advise inserting "[add more detail]" then keep going. Something in my makeup won’t let me.

If I plotted first, I would do all my research up front. I might even draw diagrams of the habitats. Alas, if I did, there might still be little details I hadn’t thought of. Or, I would have too much info and be tempted to include it in massive info dumps, as my critique partner often says.

I think my way is more practical. I look up what I need for that part of the story. But you know what happens when you research on the internet? You read the article, get what you need then—oh my goodness, links. Ooh, that one sounds interesting. Click. And that interesting article has more links. Click, click. Oops, I forget to check the other links attached to the original article. Click, click, click. So easy to get sidetracked.

Besides the internet searches, I found (to my dismay) another terrific source. The Great Courses. Their catalogs include videos and books on every possible subject. I need to warn you, though, don’t click on that link.  If you do, you’ll learn why I’m dismayed. Because after you buy one item (not that I’ve only bought one), their catalogs keep coming. Some days that’s my only mail. Still, they offer great discounts and the topics are so interesting . . . Maybe I need to check  out . . .

What’s wrong with doing all that research? I’m not writing the story. While it’s great to learn so much, especially about our solar system and the search for Goldilocks planets, I still need to finish the novella.

Here’s a little excerpt from Christmas on Serenity. The science fiction romance novella will be released before Christmas. I hope.

As I make my way down the corridor to our quarters, I stop at the narrow walkway between the Admin section and Crew Quarters to look out the viewport. Through the lighter-than-normal smog, I think I can see the hills of Xanadu near Titan’s equator. The techs say we’re too far away. Even so, I always search for landmarks when the smog lightens. This land is as foreign as that around Ares Station. From the pictures sent back by the probe of the Earth-like planet my team named Serenity, our new home will look as natural as Earth itself. I want so badly to believe the reports that the surface will have breathable air, that we’ll be able to walk outside without our enviro suits, that we can live there as we live on Earth.

Do you like to read a lot of info in a sci-fi romance story?

Diane Burton writes romantic suspense, mysteries, and (her favorite) science fiction romance. She blogs here on the 13th of the month, on The Roses of Prose on the 30th, and on her own blog every Monday, where she talks about any topic from baseball to mothers to Disney cruises.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Five Ways to Sharpen your Writing on a Dull Day

by Maureen L. Bonatch 


Most of us are in search a way to make the most out of the twenty-four hours we’re allotted. Despite how we might like to spend our day, our time is often filled with things we need or have to do.

So what do you do when you’d rather be writing (or escaping into a good story) but you’re obligated to physically be somewhere else? Then once you sit down to write you don’t know where to start.

No worries.

There are no chains on your imagination. Harness this time to exercise your muse and save your ideas and inspiration for later.

Think of that meeting – conference – event – boring task, as Multitasking or…Research.

1. Eavesdrop

·      Now don’t be creepy and hover for the whole conversation. Snagging a snippet of conversation and making a story from there or developing an interesting character makes it more fun!

As much as you’re tempted to stay to find out the rest of the conversation- don’t! Make it up for yourself. The muse loves to be challenged.

Here are a few interesting comments I heard over the last 24 hours: “You’re my unicorn.” (Seriously- you can’t make this stuff up) and “It started at breakfast.”

 2. What if?

·      What do you do when you’re ‘bored out of your gourd’ but obligated to stay? Play the “What if…” game and escape the ordinary with your imagination.

Just Imagine: What if the speaker had wings? Or What if while I was folding laundry that noise in the garage was the start of the zombie apocalypse? Or How would people respond if I ran screaming out of the meeting?
3. What’s their story?

·      This is a game I’ve played with my girls while on vacation at a busy boardwalk, or in a mall. Pick someone and study the person intently-but not enough to freak them out.

Then decide –What’s their story? What are they doing here? What are they thinking?

4. Body language

·      Close your eyes and listen to the speaker’s voice, or the people talking around you.  How would you describe their voice? Take a look around. Can you jot down some interesting body language or gestures for a future character?

Me: A lady nearby sneezed with the sound of a squeaky toy. I thought my dog had somehow interrupted the meeting to lure me out to play.

5. Appearance

·      When you’re around a large group of people, this is the perfect time to compare the various colors of blue or…

The texture and style of a woman’s hair- or a man lacking hair. The plethora of body builds. Clothing styles. Mannerisms.

Go ahead, ‘draw’ your characters in your mind.

Make sure you write down all your great ideas and writing prompts.

Do you have any creativity games you do while you multitask that you’d like to share?

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.

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