Monday, March 26, 2012

Missing Walking Dead? Try, Wanted: Dead or Undead

Stephen King has a term called “Ideal Reader”. The one person you write for. I am fortunate to have one of the best as my ideal reader, Angela Scott. Two years ago, we met at a writing meeting. We formed a critique group a while later, in which we are the only two remaining members. We are a little too opinioned, a bit too blunt, and a bit too determined for most people, I suppose. But, it works for us.

Angela didn’t start out that way. She was far too humble to admit her talent. During our first meeting, she pulled out a copy of her NaNoWriMo proof and said, “I’m good with this. All I want is a copy on my shelf to look at now and then.”

Thankfully, she didn’t know me well enough, at that point, because that wasn’t good enough for me.

There was no way I could allow someone with that much natural talent to hide. So, I pushed and soon, she pushed me back. And two years later, I am thrilled to say she has just published her first book called Wanted: Dead or Undead.

Who would’ve thought a dare—a writing exercise—would become a series? A fun, engaging series.

Not only is her writing tight. She creates great characters we root for and a story full of rich description without the fluff.

She has a lot in store for her characters and I can’t wait for the next book.

Check out the blurb from Amazon:

Trace Monroe doesn’t believe in luck. He never has. But when a fiery-headed cowgirl saunters through the saloon doors, wielding shotguns and a know-how for killing the living dead, he believes he just may be the luckiest man alive.

Trace wants to join Red’s posse, but she prefers to work alone—less messy that way. In order to become her travelling companion, Trace has to agree to her terms: no names, no questions, and if he gets bit, he can’t beg for mercy when she severs his brain stem.

He agrees, knowing only that Red is the sharpest shooter he’s ever encountered. The fact she’s stunning hasn’t escaped his attention either.

What he doesn’t know, is that Red has a very good reason to be on top of her game. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she IS the answer.

For one day only, Tuesday March 27, 2012, Evolved Publishing is offering several of their books for free. FREE!

Take the opportunity to check out their site HERE for a list of books and links to Amazon. 

Here is a direct link to Wanted: Dead or Undead

Also, check out Angela's writing blog with more information about her upcoming books

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Sword of Senack Release

Over five years ago, I met a crazy girl at Sam’s Club. I never expected a lifelong friendship to be forged while waiting in line for a pretzel.

We shared more than our love of carbs. We were both closeted writers and soon, we began sharing our “attempts” at fiction. Let me just say, it wasn’t pretty. In fact, let me share an excerpt of Elisa’s first draft:

Did you hear that? Funny how loud a hundred pound woman sounds falling off her chair. Hahaha. No worries, E. It’s safe—for now.

Elisa’s second child, the boy she always wanted, died from birth defects at only three months. Recently she published her journal as a way of helping others manage their grief, called The Golden Sky. In it, she shows us what it’s like to lose a child—lose everything—and yet, come back stronger and more determined.

This determination was the driving force behind The Sword of Senack. She had her oldest child with a patchwork of memories of her little brother and subsequent children with only photos and endless questions. In an effort to settle her children’s curiosities and to help them cope, she filled their minds not of death and loss, but with wonder, magic, and love.

Each night Elisa would tell the story of young Jack and his quest. It grew more grand and elaborate as her children begged for more witches, pirates, mermaids, and magic. Not only did they love the story, but it also brought them closer to their lost brother—Zeke.

Sometimes writers are inspired by a question, a memory, a dream. Elisa’s story came from the best inspiration of all: the love of a child lost and the hope of the children remaining.

The Sword of Senack is introduced at a low price of $.99. And look at this cover! Fantastic. 

Click to Amazon

If you want more information about the author, please visit her blog at there you will find links to her publisher’s site and her web page. 

Description from Amazon of The Sword of Senack
Aliya Fisher knows nothing about her true heritage until a vindictive sorceress kidnaps her brother and sister. The young adventurer must take up her birthright, battle strange creatures, and find the Sword of Senack if she hopes to best the witch. But even if Aliya finds the famed weapon and survives the perilous oceanic journey, the enchantress is far more than she appears. How does one defeat an immortal who lusts for revenge? 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Happens If I Hate It?

I’ve met a lot of great people on my writing journey. Some are lifelong friends, while others are simply random faces I’ve chatted with here and there---forever locked in that Google Friend Connect pose.

I’ve met writers at conferences and writing meetings. Blog hops. Coffee shops. Work. It seems there is a writer everywhere. Some of these writers have asked me to critique their work, while others just ask for me to buy their book when they publish.

The few who have allowed me to manhandle their work with my endless red scratches know I can be a bit brutal. I don’t intend to be mean, but I worry that if I don’t push for better or mark mistakes when I see them, I’m setting my friend up for a blow I should’ve eliminated in the first place. I’m down to one critique partner. She’s the only one left who can put up with me; she knows my intentions are good.

Have you ever read the negative reviews on Amazon? Holy cow! Some make my chest tighten, while others are right on. But being right about something and saying it tactfully doesn’t help the writer desperate for praise. We hate to hear we suck, especially at the no take back stage. Clicking that publish button makes it a done deal and it seems with the ease of self-publishing, too many people are clicking before they are ready.

So, I have a dilemma. Many of my friends and acquaintances are publishing, some traditional, some self-published. I get more “buy my book” tweets filling my home page every day. We need to support each other, but when asked what I think do I tell them the truth?

I’m not the type of person to just give a five star review just ‘cause we’re blogging pals, but how do you politely say no?

Has this ever happened to you? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Up With The Commenting, Blogger?

Last year, I was unable to comment on blogs. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so I switched from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome and yay me, I was able to comment again. Well, my problems have come back. At first it was isolated to other blogs. I would post and click publish and it would disappear. Then, I tried to comment on my blog and still, no dice. So I read somewhere that switching from the comment embedded below the post to the pop up window or full page would help. I switched to pop up window and I can now comment on my own blog. 

I know other people are having troubles too, so if you are thinking you aren't getting as many comments as you used to, switch to pop up window and see if it helps. 

I would love to comment on your blog, but over half the ones I visit, I'm just unable. If you'd like me to test your blog with my failure as a comment-er....shoot me a message. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ain't Like It Used To Be

When I was younger, I liked to think of myself as a smart girl. I loved to have in depth, intellectual conversations with my friends, who were all much older than I was. But after having kids and staying home to raise them for nearly eight years, my smarts have all but vanished, along with my muscle tone and my patience. 

I went to a dinner recently with a group of people, most of who did not have children, and found myself thinking I was a complete idiot. I mmmhmm'd and nodded, channeling my best Sydney Bristow. I was someone else. Not me. Someone smarter and worldly. But my mission wasn't so successful. 

While they discuss the impact of extinction on our environment, I think about this sort of extinction:

Or maybe this is more my style:

They drink wine and fancy schmancy teas, while I’ve been known to:

Okay, that’s not totally true, sometimes I prefer this:

While they discuss politics, I think about this:

Or maybe even:

While they share their fine dining favorites of seafood and specially rubbed beef, I imagine my own fancy seafood diner:

They discuss books like this:

While my favorite book remains this:

They discuss television shows I’ve never heard about because this is the show I watched last:

So, my goal is to get a bit of my old self back (or the illusion of). Be a little more like this: 

Wait a minute. . . 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Just Nonesense Blogfest

As a writer, I rely on all my senses to bring my stories to life. But what if I didn’t have one of those senses? What if I lost one of the most important of all?

A good friend of mine has struggled with diabetes since she was a young child. Diabetes has been rough on her body. Last year she had surgery to try and save one of her eyes, but it wasn’t successful and now, whatever sight she had left is dwindling.

I can’t imagine her fear—her anger. But, she is in remarkable spirits. One of our mutual friends took the initiative and published several of her blog posts into a book called, Just Nonesense by Melynda Fleury.


Melynda has already lived quite a live and never hold back on anything she does. Her mouth tends to always get her in trouble, which is great for more of her hilarious blog posts. She's always dreamed of becoming a writer, and although her path isn't quite what she imagined, she is a great writer with lots of stories to tell. 

Already her book is doing fantastic with less than a week of sales. With medical costs mounting and the need for talking diabetic monitors, she could use the money. She may not be able to read her own book, but maybe you can. Or, check her out at her blog: CrazyWorld


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Writing Prompts and New Release

I'm getting really excited for my friend Angela Scott. Her first book is going to be released sometime in March. What makes this so exciting, not just that she is one of my favorite people, but her book started out as a writing exercise--a double dog dare.

We've been writing buddies for a while and used to meet regularly to talk about writing and whatever else--mostly writing. We thought we'd change things up and challenged each other to write out of our comfort zone. Elisa, our nonfiction and YA writing buddy, was challenged to write romance. Me, the suspense/women's fiction girl, landed sci-fi/fantasy. And, just because we love to torture Angela, we dared her to write a zombie western.

The jokes on us, I suppose, because she is in love with her zombies. She even has a another zombie YA book brewing after the two in her Zombie West Series.

I know there are a lot of writing exercises out there to wrangle your creative juices. What are some of yours? 

If you have a minute check out the link to my first photo challenge using a photo from my friend's Flickr account as a writing prompt.

Finding Inspiration: My First Writing Challenge 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Was Tagged!

I got tagged by Christine Taylor. It didn't hurt, no worries. But I'm supposed to answer questions about myself. Normally, when I get these award/game thingies I turn into a big smart ass and post things about myself that is all made up and from the fictional characters we love, (Stylin' and Profilin' and  Look Shiny! Secrets revealed )but just to play nice here are my answers.

1.    What do you eat when you write? What don’t I eat—ever? I’m game for anything.
2.    What do you do when you experience despair and crippling doubt? Wow, if I didn’t feel despair before, I do now. Am I supposed to be crippled with doubt? That doesn’t sound good. I am my worst critic. I will always think my stuff stinks, but that doesn’t stop me from clicking and clacking away at the keyboard.
3.    How did you find your first critique partner, or what are you looking for in a future CP? Back when I was a closeted writer, another friend of mine mentioned she was writing a novel, soon we exchanged our crap and found other writers from there. We didn’t match well for writing. I am far too honest and she is far too nice, so it didn’t work out, more so for her. I can be brutal, but it's all because of love and passion. I'm the most brutal on the people I care about. Kinda like spinach in the teeth--gotta tell 'em something nasty is in their choppers, right? As far as what I look for in a CP:  I think it is important to be honest and brutal, but fair. I expect my feelings to be hurt and I expect to get better; it's the circle of life without the Hyena that has a Whoopi voice.
4.    What is your biggest distraction when you write? My kids, husband, cats, squirrels, rainbows, sunshine. You name it. I am easily distracted and . . . I forgot what we were talking about.
5.    What character in your writing are you most proud of development wise? Why? I like a piece of each of them, I’m not sure if I like one more than the other because I sort of move on to the new characters I’m working on. I love the father of my second novel, because I had a crappy one and good dads are hard to come by. Atticus Finch syndrome or something. 
6.    What is the worst thing you’ve ever written? Ugh! My first novel was crap, embarrassing crap, but I reworked it and have had some great praise, a couple contest wins, but I still see such huge flaws.
7.    Do you talk to yourself, get up, act things out, or make faces when you’re writing? I read my stuff aloud to make sure it flows. My husband makes fun of me all the time because he thinks I’m talking to myself.
8.    Where do you go for inspiration? Other books, movies, a long shower, a drive in the country, my car at lunchtime. Anywhere where I have a moment to just be and let the voices tell me what’s up.
9.    What is the hardest part about writing for you? Writing is a huge sacrifice to family. We are so consumed by it that’s all we want to do. I say, we, because I’ve seen it over and over. It is really hard to balance life and writing. My kids miss out of me because, rather than living in the real world, all I want to do is play in imaginary ones.
10.  If I were a world famous author what advice would I give new writers? Hmmm. . . Don’t ever let anyone tell you how you should write, what I mean is yes, there are rules, but getting wrapped up in them takes away from the creative unique way you tell a story. If you want an adverb, write it. Don’t be afraid to break the rules, but in order to write well you need to know the rules just so you can break them. (That makes sense in my head)
11.  Have you ever had ketchup chips? Nope, but I like the dill pickle kind.

So, I’m supposed to tag people now. If that doesn’t involve running, then maybe I’ll participate. Unless you’d like to make my life a lot easier and pick one question on here and answer it in my comment box. Help a girl out. Oh, and can you hand me the remote, while you're up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Study In Movement Thanks To "Lars and The Real Girl"

I don’t have much to blog about, but I just had to share a clip from a movie I’m crazy about. I love Ryan Gosling, first of all, but the story is one of the more endearing ones I’ve seen in a while.

When I find a movie I like, I usually try to watch it again when it is fresh on my brain. Instead of watching for the story, I watch the characters and their reactions to what’s happening around them. Movement and description can be difficult to effectively pull off for a writer, especially with so many characters furrowing their brows or nodding and the endless chuckling...fuhgetaboutit. Movement is where we truly see who a character is without being told through blatant narration.

Ryan Gosling did an amazing job in this flick. The blinking eyes, the smell of his baby blanket he keeps around his neck like a scarf, the reactions of supporting players to him. 

Good stuff. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Likable VS Fallible Characters

Nobody’s perfect
We all make mistakes
Live and learn
                        To err is human to forgive is divine

One of the most important things a writer can do is create believable characters. Even if writing a zombies vs. robots book, we have to relate to the characters.

 There are so many characters in literature who are noble and good. We want to be a better person after reading their stories. I think those are great, however we are not a perfect race. We are not always noble or good. We think and do things we genuinely know we aren’t supposed to, but we do it without really knowing why.

 I like to pride myself on being a giving person. Someone who is considerate of others feelings, however there have been so many occasions when words fly out of my mouth unintended—at least partially unintended. It takes a few seconds. A look. Whatever. Then I want to crawl back inside myself and take it back. I don’t know why I said what I said, but I did. Does that make me a bad person? No. I guess, it just makes me real.

So how far can you go when crafting characters? How big of a hole can you dig them in before the reader simply thinks the person is unlikable?

I’m struggling with this in my second novel. It’s completed, but in need of a good edit. I am a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer, no matter how hard I try to follow a written or even an imaginary guide, my characters steer me on their own path. 

In this story, the MC is struggling to relate to her father, to forgive him for a foolish and disastrous mistake he made in a moment of weakness. He made the wrong decision because he loved someone so much. He paid his consequences, however so did his family and that is the thing she can't forgive him for. 

Years later, his daughter makes a really bad decision of her own also in the name of love. She tells a horrible lie. One that she can’t undo. This isn't new. Who hasn't lied when they've been pushed in a corner? 

I’ve had a critique partner suggest I take it out. “We need to like her,” she says.  I get that, but so often in life we repeat our parents mistakes. No matter how much we say we won’t do this or that, we end up doing the exact same things. My character judged her father so harshly for something he would give anything to take back, yet she made a dumb mistake too. She took a risk and it didn’t pay off. 

So do I dumb it down? Make her do the right thing so she’s likable? Or do I let it ride, hoping someone gets it? 

I’d love to hear about how you infuse character idiosyncrasies into your work? 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Starting In The Right Place: Are You a Flasher or A Meander-er?

One of the biggest issues I see with some of the free downloads I’m reading on my Kindle is that many of them are starting in the wrong place. The concept of the story sounds great, but the beginning isn’t enough to pull me in, or it’s full of so much backstory and narrative.

We are an impatient society. We want our food fast, our internet fast, and our women . . . (just seeing if you’re paying attention).

So how do you know if your story starts in the right place?

Wanna come to a party and find out? Put on your fancy shoes and step inside. Drinks are on me. 

When I was rackin’ my brain trying to come up with a way to explain how to start a story in the right place, I kept seeing two friends of mine. We’ll call one Matilda and the other Amy.

Matilda is responsible. She works hard and likes her life to be as simple and stress free as possible. Amy also works hard, but she grabs each minute of her free time and lives it completely. These two girls are a blast, but they are very different.

Matilda takes her time in each situation. She thinks things through. She wanders the food table, samples a bit of the usual tid bits, takes a cracker or two, but she just isn’t ready to jump into the gooey stuff everyone’s been raving about—too risky. She nurses her drink while she makes small talk with Jimmy, a friend of a friend’s brother Larry. They chat about nothing in particular, in fact, Matilda can’t remember his name. She’s so preoccupied with saying the right thing that she loses a bit of focus.

Meanwhile, Amy doesn’t waste any time. She storms into the room and announces her presence. She skips the crackers and cheese and takes a big dollup of the gooey stuff and smacks Jimmy on the ass. She doesn’t waste time with idle chit chat; she heads straight for the dance floor. She isn’t much of a dancer, but that doesn’t stop her. And when the party starts to waver, she’s the first to flash the crowd and bring them back to submission.

So am I saying your main character needs to flash her boobs and smack some ass? Yep, I am. We don’t have time to meander through the crowd, building up courage to talk to the hot shot across the room. We need to start with action—purpose—and not only lead the reader through the story, but pull them by the eyeballs.

I’m a smart reader, most of the time. I catch onto things. Trust me a little bit. Let me discover and feel the story. Resist the urge to explain. Have a drink. Flash your boobs. (book boobs, not real boobs)

This is a hard lesson, I know. I’m a meanderer in real life. I don’t wanna touch the gooey stuff, especially not after Larry double dipped. I want to get to know people slowly, so I know whether I can trust them. I don’t want to be the first on the dance floor. But if I bog people down with backstory and dense narrative right from the get go, I’m gonna be the girl who doesn’t get invited back to the party, and what a shame that would be since I just bought a fancy pair of shoes. 

What do you think about starting in the right place? Do you see more stories getting it right or meandering?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It’s Time To Kiss The Baby

A year ago, I was an active writer, deep in the dream of publication. I wrote every day, blogged, belonged to two different critique groups, and pursued my dream head on.

However, a bump in the road steered me in a different direction—a different state—and I started working full time. Full time work meant part time writing, and when part time writing seemed too much I stopped all together. Meanwhile, the lives of my writing circle changed. They moved closer to their goals of publication and soon, one buddy published with an e-publisher, and another decided to go the self-pub route and a couple months ago another signed with a publisher and is getting ready to release her debut. Yet I remained just as I was—stagnant and far away from my group in both distance and direction.

As much as I wanted to be supportive, I struggled to keep up the mask of excitement. I was excited for them, but I was the one who had brought us together and soon, I was the one standing in the crowd watching. I had lost my desire.

I was resentful that I wasn’t strong enough to balance it all and bitter that I allowed myself to slow down, to let my dream fade as if it meant nothing at all.

I was thinking about this recently as I tried to pull myself out of my funk and give my writing peeps some of the support I wasn’t previously able to give. I remembered when I had graduated college and started my big girl job.

I met a couple friends who were born to be mommies and desperately wanted children. They couldn’t get enough of the drooling, boogery things, but unfortunately, no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t have children. Despite their hang-ups, life carried on for those around them. Soon, a mutual friend had a child, then another and another. One year turned into ten. Yet, through years and trial after trial, these women weren’t able to live their dream. Failed adoptions and broken hearts kept them at a distance. Relationships faltered.

I couldn’t imagine what it was like to want something so bad and have to face that loss every day. To greet friends with smiles, knowing that she has the one thing you could never have. Baby showers full of women, forced laughter, and envious stares, then a hug goodbye and a silent car ride to an empty nest.

I remember watching one of these ladies as she scooped up a child into her arms and lulled it to sleep. The look in her eyes as she stared at that baby was heartbreaking. All the people in the room hushed because this woman, in particular, had suffered through three miscarriages.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help but ask her later how she was able to cope and she simply said, “Sometimes you just have to kiss the baby.”

So as I figure my way back to my dream, I just wanted to tell my friends—new and old—how exciting it is to see them pursue theirs. This is a rough business and not one for everyone. We face scrutiny, jealousy, frustration, and a loss of faith in ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way if we take a minute to remember why we do what we do, why it matters. 

How do you handle life and writing? Have you ever wanted to give up?  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rach Writes Platform Building: Are you in?

When I first started blogging, I was fortunate to get involved in Rach Writes Platform Building or "Crusade". It is a great opportunity to meet other writers and bloggers and support each other.

Pop on over and check it out. Hope to see ya there!

Here it is in Rachel's own words:

"There are so many of us out there. Aspiring authors, bloggers (whether established or beginning), industry peeps, even published authors, all of whom want to build their online platforms. We write insightful posts and articles, actively blog within the blogosphere, take part in challenges, competitions, and contests galore.

We have the passion and the drive to make it, but…we could all do with a bit of support.

So I started thinking. What if we link all these people together? What if we create a way to meet people in a similar position, people who genuinely want to help build our online platform while at the same time building theirs? People who want to pay it forward in the spirit of writerly writerness and blogging beautificity (and see it come back to them in turn).

And so, my Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign was born."

Click here to head right to her site. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The End? Seriously?

My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas, which was much nicer than last year’s present. I won’t rat him out on what I scored last year, however let’s just say I did not shake, shake, shake myself into great arms and shoulders.

Anyway, love my new gadget. The trouble is I’m downloading a mess of sample chapters and not a lot of books. I’m just simply not impressed. Perhaps it is my impatient mind, or my whining children. I don’t know. I just feel like there isn’t a lot of great, grab-you-by-the-eyeballs books out there.

I just finished a self-published dystopian. It actually started pretty good and I willingly purchased the book. The author kept my attention, however the book could’ve been so much better.

Repeater words, thick narrative saying essentially the same thing, bare minimum character development, and just enough to get by world building.

The worst, and deal breaker for me, was the ending. The book simply cut off after a major turning point in the story with a lackluster lead to the next book. The End. Please purchase my next book. 

Thanks for the sample chapter, Ms. Author, but I’ll pass.

I don’t like ploys. Hate ellipses that try to infuse drama. And I won’t spend another $3.99 for your second book because chances are you won’t know how to end the next one.

I love series books. BUT the first book needs to have some sort of resolution—a pay off of sorts. The threat can remain, but I need it to come full circle somehow or I have no desire to read on.
Hunger Games is hugely popular, so I will reference this. The first book’s ending alluded to more to come, however the initial threat was satisfied. Katniss and Peeta lived. They won the games and outsmarted the government. It was a moment to breathe, yet our minds couldn’t help but wonder what else was on the horizon for them. We knew they were in for it. And because I read the book right after it came out I had to wait another year before Catching Fire came out. I had time to think about it, let it stew, yet not feel jipped.

What do you think about the ending of a series (first book in particular)? Do you need resolution of sorts, or if the second book is out is that okay? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Do I Have What It Takes To Be A Book Pimp?

I’m a bit shocked with the change in Twitter since my brief hiatus. I don’t know if I just didn’t pay attention before, but I find myself avoiding it all together. Each time I log on, my Timeline is full of the same five to ten faces, all pimping their books or blogs. The tweets vary, but are obviously scheduled and mostly sound the same.

It didn’t always seem like this. It was more about people, building relationships in 140 characters or less. Tweets were creative, drew attention to themselves with their wit and spontaneity. Those are the people I wanted to follow. 

Now it is simply feels like a pimpfest of street vendors, parading as authors. I don't blame them, but in less than three minutes . . . the same post?

If I choose self publishing is this what I’m going to have to do just to sell a book? If so, I might as well pack it up right now. I’ve never been a good salesman. I sold Avon for a short time and felt so guilty for providing people with a free, no obligation brochure. Needless to say, I closed up shop a year and a whole lotta face cream later.

But is there any other options for the indie author? Is this the only way? 

Maybe I need help from this guy. 

What do you think? Does all this blogging and tweeting endlessly about your book really help?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Did She Just Say . . . Penis? Our Critique Group’s First Experience with Romance

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard the advice to join a critique group. Some believe strongly in it, while others clutch their babies and hold on to dear life, not ready or willing to share themselves. Then there are those who simply think they are above that and want to go it alone. (Good luck on that!)

I was reluctant at first; it’s a big deal. Someone not only is peeking into your “panty drawer” but he or she is digging in, moving stuff around, and putting it on their heads like an obnoxious teenager. You want to look over their shoulder, making sure they are taking care of your unmentionables. But, this is a moment of restraint—of trust—and one that I wouldn’t change for anything. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my group.

When Kacey Mark joined my partners and me in our critiquing mayhem, we couldn’t be happier. She was blunt and to the point and offered great suggestions to keep us going. But as my critiquing friends and I delved further into her paranormal romance, we realized we had a different sort of cookie on our hands. I was writing women’s fiction at the time, while the other two were tackling nonfiction and contemporary YA. Kacey was writing romance, but this wasn’t your average romance as we’ve read. It was heated and intense.

At one point, I was behind on chapters and received an email from the biggest pervert of the group, who just so happens to be an active Mormon.

“Did you read the part about . . . ? Call me as soon as you get to the part with
the . . . “

Then another email from my other partner, who is not Mormon, but a girl who is as naïve as they come—in a good way. I call her my sunshine and roses friend.

Did you read the part about . . . ?” Call me as soon as you get to the part with the . . . "

I grabbed my laptop and started plugging away on my critiquing of A Muse Gone Rogue, I read three chapters and never got to “the part about . . .”

WTH? I emailed her, feeling cheated.

“Here’s your chapters. They look great, but I seem to be missing something.”

Can you really say, “Hey, where are my sex scenes?” Nope. “Something” would have to do.

She sent me two more chapters, which I promptly went through and still, no “part about the . . .”

Where was my dot, dot, dot?

I didn’t realize I was that far behind. Meanwhile, I received another email.

“This is good stuff. Can you believe Kacey wrote this? She looks like the PTA president. I had to read the one part with Quenton and Marie twice. You know, that ONE PART.”

No, I actually don’t know THAT ONE PART or THE DOT DOT DOT! I was digging her story. I mean check out her product description from Amazon:

“When a demonic attack leaves one child without a mother, Marie Durrant throws out her predictable lifestyle to become the little girl’s nanny.

It’s a big enough step for the virtual shut in, but even more difficult when Marie becomes inexplicably attracted to the mysterious widowed father, who happens to be the most powerful muse west of Mt. Olympus.

Quenton Blake is an extra hunky, extra irritated immortal, cursed to seek out those desperate for inspiration and feed on their souls. There wasn’t anything wrong with saving Marie’s soul for dessert, but his sweet tooth has a way of overriding his good judgment.”

Quenton was sexy and the sexual tension with Marie was great, but I had yet to get to the good stuff. I was a housewife after all. We need some inspiration to get past the boogers and whining that fill our day.

Then I got it. Finally. *insert celestial music* But my chapters also came with a note:

Here it is!

That “here it is” was a little fishy and I could’ve sworn I heard giggling. I’m thinking one of my compadres had passed on my lack of dot, dot, dots.
I’m not going to give away the juicy details, let’s just say it was definitely a read-it-twice kind of scene (or two). Especially since I had forgot to edit the first time.

So what kind of romance does Kacey Mark write? Well, let’s just say it’s enough to make a girl blush and enough to keep you turning the pages. It’s not trashy by any means, but if you have a heart condition you may want to read it with only one eye opened, just to be safe.

Lucky for you, A Muse Gone Rogue is on sale for a limited time. Evernight Publishing is offering it at the promotional price of $.99. But, that price won’t last for long. Her second book A Muse Gone Commando was released recently and is just as steamy.