Feeling the Blood Kiss (Guest Blog)

So… I saw the Kickstarter and full confession I checked it out because my inner fangirl saw Amber Benson of Buffy was in on it…but I backed it cuz it sounded cool.

And it does.  David wants to tell you more about it, and you can also read about it here.  If it sounds cool to you to you as well, maybe you can help back it, too…

On to David Raiklen, Producer/Composer

bloodkiss

Blood Kiss Image via Kickstarter Page

First, thank you Shiloh for letting me guest blog, I feel honored to contribute. There’s a sense of magic and romance on this site.  And that leads to Blood Kiss.

There’s a sense of wonder and magic in the screenplay and the people involved. I want to help bring a unique story to life, and work with some of the most wonderful creative people in the world. Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson, Michael Reaves, and Tom Mandrake are warm, funny, creative, and inspiring. Every day one of them says or does something that makes me think, laugh, and do better than I could before. Being part of a great team is key to having a successful project, and somehow I fit into this creative team. We blend our skills and make something new happen every day. I’m a composer and love the Golden Age of Hollywood. That was an era of gorgeous melodies and lush orchestrations.

Blood Kiss is set in that world and gives me a chance to update those grand romantic gestures and spice them with otherworldly electronica. To do that takes money to hire live musicians. People are better than boxes. And more authentic. That means we have to raise enough money to hire great performers, string players and brass. In a project like this everything goes on screen and the more we raise the better our production values. Everyone knows what classic movies sound like and I have to create that sound. A real challenge. But with the support of fans it’s possible.

And did I mention that Amber Benson sings? She plays Ruby Day, a world-famous chanteuse with a dark secret that hardboiled Detective Joe Belicek discovers. But it’s too late, he’s in love with her.

Michael tried to get the studios to see the value in a new kind of character driven, glamorous Hollywood vampire tale. They didn’t get it. But you do. We can do this together with your support. That’s kind of amazing, that Michael’s dream can come true, Neil gets to act, Amber can sing, I can orchestrate melodies, do things we really believe in and do well. With fans giving us the green light.

A big reason I’m part of Blood Kiss is that crowdfunding gives me a chance to to my best work, be creative in ways the old system might never allow. If we have great success, maybe we can even change the system a bit.

We all want to make the best movie possible, and that involves a lot of people, time, money, and resources. With such strong personalities there are differing opinions, and finding a middle way that works for everyone is a real challenge sometimes. Designing the campaign for Kickstarter took months, and everyone contributed. Because we believe in the project, the final version looks great and holds your attention. All the parts fit and help tell the story.

In a sense it’s a microcosm of how the whole filmmaking process works.

Collaboration-Communication-Completion.

I’m grateful to Michael, Neil, Amber, Tom, Daniela, Leah, Dave, Dan, Tommy, and Fernando for doing amazing work. Please see their work at PledgeBloodKiss.com.

We’re making magic here!

Thank you again!

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Guest blog from Lynn Viehl… also known as …the day Shiloh curled into a ball and cried

Contest is OVER.  No comments posted after 12/7/2012 will be entered… winner posted next week… thank you!

Why? Because I CAN’T WIN THINGS ON MY OWN BLOG! Damn it! Kicks rocks.

Okay.

Carrying on… ahem.

Here we go!  Everybody say hi to Lynn!

Everybody!  Read her awesome post and enter to win her awesome prize…and ignore me. I’m over here kicking rocks.

The Rule of Three

Lynn Viehl

Lately my life has become a ménage à trois .  Not in the classic sense, of course; that would be a little difficult to explain to my mother:  Hi Mom, meet my guy, and my other guy.  I know it’s a little unconventional but . . . Mom, put down the baseball bat.  Instead, sets of threes have taken over my life:  I live with three wonderful people (my guy and our two kids) and three pets (two dogs and a cat.) Every day I work three jobs (author, housewife and teacher) and devote my spare time to three hobbies (quilting, painting and journaling.)  Last week I even grew two extra heads.  No, honestly, I didn’t, but I bet you’re paying attention now, right?

Despite all the naturally-occurring, non-gruesome, G-rated threesomes in my life I’m still learning how the rule of three works.  Did you know there is an actual rule involved?  As it happens using threes is a sure-fire way to make things like storytelling, humor and ideas more effective, as three is the smallest number of things that make up a pattern.  Because it’s the smallest, it’s also the easiest for us to follow, understand and remember.  For example, we can name the Three Stooges (Larry, Curly and Mo) much faster than Snow White’s Seven Dwarves (Sleepy, Dopey, Angry, Smiley, Shorty . . . and those other two little guys.)

Writers rely on the rule of three when we structure classic story arcs (aka the introduction, the complication, and the resolution) and comedians tell jokes with the comic triple (the set-up, the expectation, and the punch line.)  Back in 1971 our teachers even used the rule of three while making us memorize a new street safety code — Stop, Look and Listen — that reduced road casualties across the nation 11% that year and has been saving young lives ever since.

It’s also natural for most storytellers to unconsciously rely on the rule of three when writing a story (according to Philip Larkin, a beginning, a muddle and an end.)  I’ve always liked writing trilogies, and the very first romances I published were a threesome, at least until my editor said, “Where’s book four?”

From there I wrote what would become an eight-novel romantic suspense series, a ten-novel SF series, and then a twelve-novel dark fantasy series, all of which I enjoyed but over time seemed to be stretching out into never-ending stories.  As a reader I enjoy long series, but these days there are so many being published that it’s tough to keep track of which book is what without a cheat sheet.  That’s why I decided to take a break from writing long series and go back to my story-writing roots with the Lords of the Darkyn trilogy.

Writing a three-book series is not easier than a lengthier project; in some ways it’s more demanding.  Having ten or more books to spend in one universe doesn’t impose a lot of limits, but a trilogy demands you get everything done no later than book three.  For me this meant I had to stop falling in love with my secondary characters, most of whom always want their own books. Keeping control of my subplots and connecting threads between the books was also imperative.  It’s a bit like taking a three-day weekend holiday versus spending a month or two on vacation; you can’t bring a lot of baggage, you don’t put off anything important and dawdling by the pool for days to flirt with the cabana boy is simply not an option.

Along with the challenges writing a trilogy offers some decent benefits.  Keeping track of your characters and their storylines doesn’t require updating a complicated, gigantic series encyclopedia; you can usually fit all your story stuff in a few binders.  Readers don’t have to wait years for you to finish a series story, while you don’t have to worry as much about a publisher ending your series before you’ve written the final book.  Trilogies tend to attract more new readers, too, because they don’t have to read five or ten books to catch up if they discover the author in mid-series, because book two is mid-series.

To celebrate the holidays and the release of Nightbred, which is the mid-series novel in my Lords of the Darkyn trilogy, I have for one winner signed copies of all three novels (Nightborn and Nightbred in paperback plus a manuscript copy of Nightbound, which will make the winner the very first person besides me and my editor to read it), all packed in my hand quilted and beaded Emerald Dreams tote. If you’d like a chance to win, in comments name a trilogy or short novel series you’ve enjoyed reading by 12/7/2012… (ETA by Shiloh…I’ll draw a winner and post it here by 12/14…you must check back to see if you won, folks...)  This giveaway is international, too, so everyone on the planet is welcome to join in.

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guest blogger… Ruthie Knox

So I’m heading out of town…er… I already did.  And I’ve got a guest!  it’s Ruthie Knox.  I got to read her book early, too.  It’s hot.  It’s fun.  And City is awesome.

London Calling

 You know, it never occurred to me that it was an unusual move to set a contemporary romance in London until I did it and people started telling me it was. Oops!

But also, yay!

I don’t mind being unusual, especially when it means that I get to share my love of London and the surrounding area with the world. (Also, my love of hot Englishmen.)

Way back in days of yore, before I was a romance writer, I was a grad student, and I earned a Ph.D. in modern British history. As part of my studies, I spent nine months living in Greenwich, a village suburb in southeast London, for nine months.

The experience was both wonderful and awful. I spent nine months commuting by train to various metropolitan archives, sitting for eight hours five days a week in silent rooms where I took notes on a laptop, then commuting home. I took up jogging with a vengeance, running every morning in Greenwich park near my flat. I took up Iyengar yoga at the neighborhood community center. I learned to cook. I went on hikes and visited museums and took weekend excursions to Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strasbourg, Nuremburg, and all a bunch of different places along the Thames. I read a ton of books from the library.

Nobody ever really talked to me.

I was lonely, but it was a very capable, sustainable sort of lonely, if that makes any sense. I sent a lot of e-mail, made a lot of phone calls, and had a number of visitors—including my then-male-friend, who became my boyfriend over the course of his visit, and then became my husband, which is a whole other story I’m not going to tell here, or probably anywhere, ever.

But the thing I spent hours doing—the thing that didn’t feel like a luxury at the time but was—the thing that I miss now—was watch people. People on train platforms, people in archive lunchrooms, people at the park, people at yoga classes, people in shops. I became, over that year, a student of people. I became a student of London, too, and I fell in love with it.

So my latest release, About Last Night, is, in a small way, my love letter to London, with a lot of sneaky little references to things I adored about my short-term adoptive city. Maybe you can pick some of them up in this excerpt, set at the Canary Wharf location of Marks & Spencer.

She was standing by the checkout, trying to decide whether Hello! or OK! magazine would make a better accompaniment to the cookies in the meantime, when she heard him.

“Tell me that’s not your dinner, Mary Catherine.”

Her arms broke out in goose bumps at the sound of his voice. Seriously, goose bumps. She was a junkie for this guy. It was humiliating.

“You want me to lie to you, City?”

Because she so badly wanted to look at him, she made herself wait. She placed her cookies on the checkout belt and started digging through her purse for a few pound coins. In her peripheral vision, she peeked at what he was buying. His basket was full of vegetables, eggs, bread, tomatoes. He was going to make something healthy.

She wondered if this was where he usually bought his groceries. It was the most convenient option for commuters—a quick hop off the train and then back on again—but too expensive for Cath. She used it strictly as a cookie stop and made the trip to the dodgy Tesco in Lewisham once a week for her real food.

“No, I want you to eat properly.”

“Don’t worry, I’m going to have some milk with them.” She did look at him then, just a glance over her shoulder. Enough to see the dimple, the green eyes, the charcoal pin-striped suit with a red tie. Her favorite banker.

She started running her mouth so she wouldn’t have to deal with her runaway emotions. “The best part is, they won’t even make me fat.” She handed her money to the cashier. “We Talaricos are a short, scrawny crowd, genetically incapable of gaining weight. My dad was pint-sized. It worked for him, though. He looked like a young Frank Sinatra, with these big blue eyes and a smile that had the ladies practically throwing their panties at him. At least, that’s what Mom always said. It’s kind of hard to imagine anyone throwing panties at your own father.” After accepting her change, she tossed her purchase in a bag and finally turned around to face him.

It really wasn’t fair. He had to be the only man alive who was always more attractive in the flesh than in the imagination, and he was giving her a look. She’d seen that look before. They’d both been naked at the time and he’d been . . . mmm. Her goose bumps got goose bumps.

“Let me make you dinner.”

How many times in her life had a man offered to cook dinner for her? With vegetables, even? Zero, that was how many.

No dates, she reminded herself. No emotions. Just sex. But it was hard to remember why when he was standing in front of her being all sexy and friendly and sexy.

The obvious solution was to refuse to look at him. She kept her eyes on the floor while he packed his groceries into a bag and thanked the cashier.

Then he touched her, a light caress of his hand at her waist that flipped her on switch and started her whole body vibrating. “Mary Catherine?”

“No.” Just don’t look up. “I can’t. No.”

He tipped her chin up with one finger, forcing her to meet his eyes. A slow smile spread over his face, devastating her defenses. “If I didn’t know better, I’d begin to think you don’t like me.”

“Who says I like you?” But the question didn’t come out as ballsy as she wanted it to, not when he was close enough to make her skin itch.

He chuckled. “How many times did you come last night?” he asked in a low voice.

Three. “I’m not answering that question.”

“You don’t have to. I remember every one. You like me fine.”


How about you — have you ever spent a long time living abroad on your own? Do you have a love affair with a foreign city? What about it do you like to remember now, looking back?

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Guest Post with Myke Cole

I’ve gotta admit, I’ve been looking forward to this guy’s book for a while.  It comes out next week and damn it, I wants it.

After I read the guest blog he wrote for me?  WANT IT EVEN MORE.

Say hi to Myke Cole

Here’s the info about his book, which I think you all should read.

SHADOW OPS: CONTROL POINT

Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer.

Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the dead, and set everything they touch ablaze.
Army officer Oscar Britton sees the worst of it. A lieutenant attached to the military’s Supernatural Operations Corps, his mission is to bring order to a world gone mad. Then he abruptly manifests a rare and prohibited magical power, transforming him overnight from government agent to public enemy number one.

The SOC knows how to handle this kind of situation: hunt him down–and take him out. Driven into an underground shadow world, Britton is about to learn that magic has changed all the rules he’s ever known, and that his life isn’t the only thing he’s fighting for.

And onto the guest post…

from Myke

If there’s one thing that bugs me about being a genre fanatic, it’s when you run into folks who have already made their minds up about how your genre functions and why they’re not interested.

Like most haters, these people have inevitably never read anything in your particular genre, or if they have, it’s just the major classics, most of them totally not representative of where things stand today.

Fantasy? That’s magic and elves, right? Harry Potter? Kids stuff. Comic books? That’s for kids. Science fiction? You mean like Star Trek? I watched a few episodes when I was a kid. There’s more serious stuff on TV now.

Argh. Must. Control. Impulse. To. Strangle.

Instead, I try to interest folks in genre by recommending books or comics that I think have broad enough appeal to hook non-speculative fiction readers and bring them into the fold. I’ve had some success with this (using George R. R. Martin and Peter V. Brett for novels and Bill Willingham’s Fables for comics), and I’m really proud of the nerds I’ve helped create.

So when I went pro and began looking more widely at my writing career, I refused to stigmatize any genre. I want to be a writer, not just a genre writer. I want to have the option (and the skill) to throw my pen in any arena that strikes my fancy. I’ve done a lot of non-fiction writing, mostly on counterterrorism/military theory, but it’s a sector I enjoy and would be happy to get back into. Ditto for military public affairs writing (an entirely different style). I’d love to write for comic books, or video games.

So, yeah. Romance.

I’d been raised with all the misconceptions and stereotypes that everyone has about the genre: parodies of category titles, Fabio lounging shirtless on the cover, some heaving-chested damsel swooning in his arms. I knew that was over-simplistic, foolish. I knew that romance writers put every bit as much blood and sweat into their work as I did.

And then one day I went to meet my friend Cassie Alexander at RWA in Times Square. I got on the escalator and was checking twitter on my iPhone when it finally deposited me on the convention floor and I looked up.

There were no men.

No, seriously. Not one.

I’ve since been informed that there were some men there, but I just didn’t see them, but everyone has admitted to me that they were few and far between.

And through my whole lunch with Cassie, I couldn’t stop thinking “There’s a man on the cover of most of these books. Why aren’t there any at this convention? Don’t men write these books?”

As it turns out, not usually. And when they do, they assume female pseudonyms.

Now, I remember getting mighty pissed when I first found out that Andre Norton was a pen name deliberately adopted to make her work more marketable. Ditto for Robin Hobb. The thought that a woman couldn’t just be a woman writing fantasy and science fiction seriously burned me.

So the more people told me that men (writing as men) couldn’t write romance, the more I became determined to do it.

You know, in my copious spare time.

I met up with my friend Laura Anne Gilman (no stranger to the genre herself) and told her that I wasn’t real happy with folks telling me what I can and can’t do. She told me to calm down, take a deep breath, and first learn what the hell I was talking about. She gave me a long talk about the history of the genre, explained the range of styles from single titles to erotic to category (sternly warned me never to use the term “bodice-ripper”) and left me with an old trade paperback of Nora Roberts’ Night Tales.

A little Internet research reminded me of just how vast this genre was, how much history had already existed before I even started paying attention. As I realized how much I had to learn, my desire to write in the genre waned (daunting hard work’ll do that to you).

In a development that surprises exactly nobody, Roberts didn’t disappoint.

So, I moved on to Lora Leigh. Nauti Nights made me blush, and I spend much of my time working with sailors.

And it was fun. Romance and romantic relationships are every bit as interesting to men as they are to women. Sit a bunch of guys down, give them alcohol, and leave them alone for an hour. If the conversation hasn’t turned to sex after fifteen minutes, check their collective pulse.

Jessica Scott tweets a lot that her books are being read not only by men, but hard-bitten army operators (a special-forces Command-Sergeant-Major was her latest convert). So, clearly the trend is changing, but not fast enough in my opinion.

If just my brief sampling of the field is any indicator, the romance genre is a pack of outstanding writers who are simply focusing on a different subject. That’s no reason for a gender divide. Men marry, men screw, men fall in love. Men spend a lot of time thinking about those things. It preoccupies our minds every bit as much as it does women.

I’m hoping for a day when I see erotic romances on the shelves written by male authors under their own names, and to walk into a future RWA that’s a little more gender-equal. Who knows? Maybe, if the writing gods are good, I’ll be able to make a real go of this and eventually make good on my threat to write a romance some day.

RWA 2015. See you there J.

Myke Cole

www.mykecole.com
www.facebook.com/mykecole
www.twitter.com/MykeCole

Bio…Myke Cole is the author of the SHADOW OPS military fantasy series. The first novel in the series, CONTROL POINT, will be coming from Ace (Penguin) at the end of this month. As a secu­rity con­tractor, gov­ern­ment civilian and mil­i­tary officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Coun­tert­er­rorism to Cyber War­fare to Fed­eral Law Enforce­ment. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deep­water Horizon oil spill. All that con­flict can wear a guy out. Thank good­ness for fan­tasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dun­geons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing.

 

And…because I suspect this is going to be an awesome book, I’m doing a giveaway of Myke’s book.  Want a copy? Tell me a genre that you normally don’t read but that you think you might want to try.  I’ll draw one random winner and you’ll get an unsigned copy of Myke’s book.

My standard rules apply, international is fine, don’t post to sweepstakes sites…void where prohibited, odds of winning depend on number of entries, read the disclaimer, etc, etc, etc…

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Gorillas! Gorillas! They’re everywhere! #giveaway

Ok, that’s not what Amy wanted this called. Sulk.

We have a guest today.  And a prize. *G* Prepare to be amused.

And say hi to Amy Ruttan.

A gorilla or how brainstorming can get those creative juices flowing.

While I was writing my little 1920’s romance Bentley Gal I was twittering because hey it was my only outlet to real people since I had my youngest in 2009, anyways I was writing a scene where the hero and heroine who aren’t supposed to be together are in a boat on a river in England.

I wanted to overturn them in the water, because I’m cruel like that and I knew how I was going to accomplish this.

Swans.

Sure, they’re all graceful and pretty and they have a tragically beautiful ballet named after them, but swans are mean sons of a …*ahem* you get my point.

Before my hero and heroine were overturned they were trying to find a way to deter the swans and it made me pause because firstly what scares a swan and secondly what kind of predator in 1920’s southern England who be roaming the countryside?

Hmmm. My writing came to a halt.

I was trying to show the heroine how the hero was trying to save her from being overturned into the cold wet river, especially since she was wearing designer clothing.

What is a swan scared of. Truly…not much. They’re mean birds. Their claws are venomous and will give you a nasty infection if they scratch you and the males or cobs won’t hesitate to bite you if you’re intruding on their territory. Also, in England, swan meant had been a form of delicacy since the time of Elizabeth I. So granted, swans are going to be a bit protective.

I was on Twitter, what did I have to lose?

I posed the question. What is a swan afraid of?

Only one answer came back from Shiloh Walker.

@shilohwalker A gorilla?

I explained it was 1920’s England and it would be hard pressed to find a gorilla. However she countered she would be afraid of an angry gorilla and I had to concur. Gorillas, especially silverbacks are insanely strong. They may look like gentle creatures and for the most part are, but if they had to defend themselves they will hurt you …badly. Hey, a swan and a gorilla given the right circumstances could be natural enemies. Right?

Hence this scene occurred:

“It’s a—” he didn’t get to finish as the boat was whapped from the side, rocking back and forth he tumbled over the side into the cold water of the Thames. When he surfaced he saw Davina still was in the boat, but the oars had drifted away and the cob was circling, making a beeline toward him. Its honking sounded like it was coming from the depths of Hell itself. It backed off a little way letting out another god-awful honk while it flapped its wings.

“What do I do?”

“I don’t know,” Davina screeched, but he could hear the humor in her voice.

“What animals are swans afraid of?”

Davina’s eyes were wide. She shrugged her shoulders. “Gorillas?”

“Gorillas? Why would a swan be afraid of a gorilla?”

“I would be afraid of an angry gorilla,” she suggested.

“How does a gorilla act?”

Davina shrugged again, stifling a laugh.

“You’re loads of help.” He swam over to the boat and clung to the edge, trying to get in. The swan whacked him with its wings and jabbed him with its beak. “Dammit all to hell,” George cursed, the blow stinging his back. The cob circled again, but George made it into the boat this time. “Christ that hurt.”

Davina was hiding her laughter behind her hand. “You shouldn’t have skipped that rock so close to him yesterday.”

“Ha ha ha, very funny.” He rubbed the sore spot on his back. “I didn’t know swans held grudges.”

“Apparently.”

“Oh lord, here he comes again. I’m sorry Sir Swan, just let us be.” George’s plea seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

“I know, start flapping your arms and honk louder.”

“And what will you do, darling, laugh?”

“The swans seemed to be scared of my father’s pointers, perhaps if I imitated the dogs?”

“All right, worth a shot.” George began to flap his arms and mimicked the swan to the best of his honking abilities, while Davina barked like some kind of rabid dog behind him. It didn’t work, for the cob busked their boat, and this time the row boat rolled over on its side, depositing them both in the Thames.

I can’t recall if I intended the scene to be humorous, but thanks to Shiloh’s ribbing and the addition to a gorilla the scene became humorous and it worked for the story.

Of course, now any time I mention anything with a question Miss Smarty Pants always quips:

@shilohwalker Is there a gorilla in it?

There are plans for t-shirts if we ever end up in the same conference, right Shiloh? I’m totally game for that.

Anyways, my point is (and I swear I have one) sometimes you have to look outside the box for answers, the most unexpected tool can help you brainstorm an idea you never planned on in the first place and that suggestion could really work.

Trust me, not all brainstorms work, but heck brainstorming and trying ideas in your writing are better than hitting the proverbial brick wall and thus not writing anything further. I’ve been there before too.

Just keep writing and don’t be afraid to try something new or unexpected, you’ll never know where it will take you.

And thanks Shiloh for throwing a gorilla in the mix, so because of that I’m giving one lucky commenter an eBook copy of Bentley Gal and a mini stuffed gorilla.

Isn’t he cute?

BENTLEY GAL: Now available from Ellora’s Cave *Blush* http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9763-bentley-gal.aspx

 

Superstar of the Brooklands racing circuit David Garr makes all the ladies swoon. Too bad he’s actually a lady too.

Davina Wentworth should be happy, she has it all—money, a gorgeous fiancé, but ever since her brother’s death the good life is not enough. Dressing as a man and racing under the name David Garr gives her the thrill she needs—until George Dyson becomes her number one rival, both on track and off.

George left the States to escape prohibition and his broken heart. He vowed never to trust a woman again, until he meets his sponsor’s fiancée who captivates him. Though he knows he shouldn’t pursue her, he can’t help himself.

Davina has only ever felt alive behind the wheel of her Bentley, until George crashes through the barriers of her heart.

 

Where to find me:

www.amyruttan.com

http://amyruttan.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/ruttanamy

Disclaimer

  • FYI…make sure you read my disclaimer. You have to check back to claim the prize. We’ll post the winner at the end of this week or early next.
  • entering the contest means you’ve read the disclaimer and agree to it.
  • void where prohibited by law.
  • odds of winning depend on number of entries
  • do not post to sweepstakes sites
  • entries must be made to my blog via my website
  • read the disclaimer (link above) for the rest of the rules
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Guest Blogger… Jessica Scott

Guest Blogger…Jessica Scott

All questions were collected from visitors to my blog or FB…

From Doris S: I can’t hold being Army against you(Air Force here)….but do you ever sleep?

A) Too funny. I sleep all the time. I’m blessed with my mom’s energy level so I’m typically an early riser (no thanks to my children who refuse to let me sleep in on weekends) and I’m usually asleep by about 10 or 11. Some days are incredibly busy and tiring, others not so much. But coffee helps tremendously.

From Caroline D:  Who is your hero based on and where can your twitter followers in the UK get your book we’ve been waiting for this for ages and ages…

A) Shane Garrison isn’t based on any one person. He’s kind of an amalgamation of a whole bunch of guys I’ve met over the years, the strong, quiet type A army guy who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. He’s the kind of guy that makes work easy in the army because he gives good direction and takes charge to make sure us officer types don’t screw things up too badly.

From Emma D: If money wasn’t an object what would be the ideal holiday?

A) Ooh, good question. Hmm. Maybe a month in Europe traveling. I was stationed in Germany when I was a private in the late 90s and it was amazing. I’d love to go back and just travel more. I love the history and the cool part about Europe is that damn near everything is less than 6 hours away on the main continent.

From Mary G: When did she know she wanted to write or even know she could write well enough to be published?

A) I decided in 2007 to officially try to get published. I’ve always written but in 2007, I finally actually wrote a book that had the end on it. Little did I know how much work goes into actually writing and more importantly, revising, a book.

From TuraLura: How did you meet your husband?

A) Well, this is kind of a long story but the short version he was a friend of a friend and we met in Germany at hang out called the Crazy Feet Discotheque. We didn’t know we’d end up married but things have a funny way of working themselves out in the end.

 

 

Bio: Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.  No zhu zhu pets were harmed in the writing of this book.

 

 BECAUSE OF YOU by Jessica Scott – Excerpt:

Someone solid and heavy knocked into her and sloshed beer down the front of her blouse. A strong vise latched around her arm to steady her. She glanced up into the lightest grey eyes she’d ever seen. Grey eyes that she’d seen before but never this close. In the dimly lit bar, they looked almost silver.

Shane Garrison. A friend of Trent’s. Jen had seen him around before, but had never actually spoken to him. He’d always seemed big, but up close he was massive. Black tribal tattoos twisted up both of his wrists, writhing up his forearms to disappear beneath the frayed edge of a green T-shirt. And who knew that bald could be so sexy in the right lighting? Had to be the rough jaw that did it.

“Sorry. You okay?” He leaned close to her ear so he didn’t have to shout. Jen shivered as his breath brushed across her skin. He stood closer to her now than any man other than a doctor had in over a year. The heat from his body caressed her skin, and she could smell him, a mixture of spice and smoke and something entirely male. She swallowed and tried to find her voice.

“I’m fine. Thanks. This place is crowded.” She knew better than this. She pulled her arm free and tugged the clinging blouse away from her skin, suddenly afraid that he would see the scars on her chest through the wet material.

As the words left her lips, someone jostled her into him again. He tried to steady her but she fell against him anyway.

Time hung suspended and she stood in this man’s embrace, feeling protected and safe and deliciously unflawed. It was impossible to miss the hard angles of his body. For one brief fantasy moment, she imagined what it would feel like if this dangerous and sexy man lowered his mouth to hers.

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About her book…

From the war-torn streets of Baghdad to the bittersweet comforts of the home front, two wounded hearts navigate the battlefield of coming home from war in this explosive eBook original from newcomer Jessica Scott.

Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire.

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Grimm Guest…Thea Harrison

Today’s Grimm Guest…Thea Harrison

Blurb:

He’s a wyr warrior, a god of storms. She’s the heir to the Dark Fae throne. But desire will bring both to their knees in this all-new Novel of the Elder Races.

During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle “Tricks” Periwinkle found sanctuary among the wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle’s death, there are those who don’t want to see her ascend to the throne…

Able to wield thunder and lightning, wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the wyr’s best weapons. And he’s sent to protect Tricks when she’s almost assassinated in Chicago.

Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds…

EXCERPT: Chapter One STORM’S HEART

 

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He had gotten used to her infectious grin and that sexy wriggle she did with her cute little ass when she was flirting either with the camera or with someone in person. Anger burned that someone would dare try to harm her. She was so small and delicate, maybe all of five-foot-nothing and a hundred pounds, soaking wet. And now she was missing.

His hands fisted.

Dragos grunted and pushed a button. “There.”

Tiago looked back at the flat-screen along with everybody else.

The female reporter came back, speaking more news babble. Blah-fucking-blah. More sexy footage of Niniane, winking at the camera and blowing a kiss. Damn, that mouth of hers was made for Playboy TV. He clamped down on the thought and concentrated on being relevant.

She had arrived in Chicago with an escort of Dark Fae that had been made up of some second cousin or other and assorted guards. She had met with a small delegation that was headed by one of the Dark Fae’s most powerful governmental figures, Chancellor Aubrey Riordan. She and the delegation stayed in the penthouse suite at the Regent, preparatory to crossing over to the Dark Fae Other land for her coronation. She had, by all accounts, left the hotel last night for dinner with her cousin and a small escort.

The usual swarm of paparazzi had bayed in pursuit. The Dark Fae lost the paparazzi after a high-speed chase. What happened for the next couple of hours was unknown.

Tiago gritted his teeth as he glared at the screen. Get to the fucking point already.

And there it was, the fucking point, sprayed all over a fifty-six-inch plasma flat-screen, and apparently all over the Internet as well. One million, seven hundred and fifty thousand hits and counting, as of 1:30 am.

The grainy, badly shot footage showed a dirty alley that could have been anywhere, in any city in the world. The scene jerked. Whoever had recorded the footage couldn’t have done a worse job if they’d tried.

Still, Niniane was unmistakable in a red halter dress that accentuated her compact hourglass figure. Two Dark Fae were already on the ground. She was locked in some sort of struggle with the third.

The Dark Fae struck her hard in the ribs. The breath left Tiago in a growl as if he had been the one who had taken the blow. The asshole with the cell phone kept filming this shit and did nothing to help her? The scene jostled. Shit!

Then it came clear again. The last Dark Fae was down.

Niniane stood over her attacker, gasping and disheveled, one hand pressed to her side. She started to kick the body. “I hate my family!” she shouted. “I hate my family! I hate my family!”

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Thea is giving away three signed books (this is limited to US & Canada only).  

To enter, just leave a comment below.  

Remember, all comments left during the daily Grimm Giveaway are entered for the big giveaway…info here.  Make sure you’ve read my disclaimer-all winners will be posted to my blog and that’s your notification.  If you don’t check back…you don’t know if you’ve won.  More info on the Grimm giveaway link.

Dying is hard enough… coming back to life is brutal.

read more… 
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When publishers act unprofessionally, a reader’s take.

Forewarning, this is a pretty long rant, read at your own risk ;)

Hey all, Nicole here, Shiloh’s admin. You can find out a bit more over at the FAQ page. But ya know, I’m that person you’ll see answering questions on occasion either here or over on Shiloh’s Facebook. Just FYI, ya know, if ya wanna; I have FB page and a twitter. Facebook is Admin SWalker and twitter is @Admn_SWalker. Though, if you follow Shiloh, which I’m sure you do, I’ll be reposting a lot of her stuff…but will try and post fun things on occasion, and you’re free to reach me on one of those. Just another source of Shiloh-news if you will ;). Shiloh has been kind enough to let me blog here about some recent events concerning a pretty big taboo an e-pub recently committed (IMHO, anyway). Without further ado…

As many of you may have seen, there was some drama surrounding how a publisher, Decadent Publishing to be precise, handled a negative review of one of their author’s books. Please note the following is simply MY opinion as a reader, NOT Shiloh’s, NOT my “professional” opinion in an occupational sense. I’m not a publisher/editor/agent. Right now, just a reader. So, please please understand I do not wish for any repercussions to come back on Shiloh, if you disagree with me, that is fine, but these views are NOT Shiloh’s. They are MINE and mine alone. I will mention, however, feel free to post if you disagree, but if you get nasty, Shiloh or myself can, and likely will, delete your comments. If you wish for a nice, thoughtful discussion, I’m all for it. But no bashing authors, Shiloh, me or others who may comment. Keep it respectful.

OK, now to the meat of this post…

Apparently The Enders, a blog review site, had one of their members purchase a book and post a review on said book. The publisher is Decadent Publishing. Now, let me be clear that I don’t know all sides here, as in I don’t know if the author simply mentioned the negative review to her editor or other representative at Decadent and Decadent on their own volition decided to go to the blog and comment or if the author asked Decadent to go and intercede on her behalf regarding the negative review of her book. My thought, I really, truly hope the author didn’t request Decadent take any action and it was a decision made solely by Decadent. Because if the author requested any such intervention, well as a reader, I won’t be buying ANY of this author’s work no matter who publishes her in the future. Negative reviews are gonna happen. Not all of us readers are going to like each and every book in the genre(s) we read, for whatever reason. Maybe we didn’t like the plot line, the author’s writing style, how a particular sub-plot was handled, etc. But, to me, as long as a review remains constructive in it’s criticism, they are entitled to their opinions. I know I haven’t always like every book I’ve ever read. In fact, I have not always made it through every book I’ve picked up. Now, if I’ve tried it once and I have trusted friends who rave on and on, I may give it another go. Alas, I digress. Back to main point. If this author asked Decadent to intercede, well it is MY opinion that maybe this person should re-think their intended career. Not every reader (or agent or editor or publisher) will like your book. Take the constructive criticism if you think it can improve your writing or do what I think (based on tweets from authors or what authors have posted on their respective blogs) do and ignore the negative review. Either way, if you don’t have thick enough skin to deal with the negative review, um, well…find something else to do. That being said, I wish them luck finding ANY profession where at some point you will get negative feedback about some aspect of your performance. That’s just life.

Now, what I’m hoping happened is either the author or someone at Decadent stumbled across this review (maybe a google search?) and either the author happened to be venting about it to her editor or whomever at Decadent or what have you, and then this person decided to either speak with others at Decadent or on their own, made the decision to email the people at Enders. From the information I’ve seen, these emails were scathing and threatening to the persons who make up the collective group of bloggers (some of which are authors) and Decadent found out WHO these persons are. First, as a publisher, really and truly you have no business emailing the review site or it’s members or even commenting on the actual review. You should know this, really you should. Negative reviews are gonna happen…you should be explaining this to your clients. What did they hope to accomplish by not only sending a nasty email, but continuing to bash these people via comments? All you’ve really done is piss off other authors (who are quite vocal and LOVE to share information), which means you’ve ruined your rep in the industry. This is an industry, IMHO, that is similar to my “day” job…your reputation is EVERYTHING. If you get a bad one, you’re finished, essentially. At very least you’ll have a hard time getting in decent talent and only get those poor poor writers who haven’t done enough research to figure out they shouldn’t sign with you. Also, us readers, we like to follow our fave authors. That means we go to their blogs/websites for information, we follow them on twitter if they have an account, we find them on Facebook. Why? We like information. Authors give us readers little goodies and fun bits of information. This can be snippets from upcoming releases, information on new WIPs, contests, etc. So, if you upset an author, especially one (or as in this case based on all the twitter activity I followed on Thursday) who is well known and has a large reader base, um, well hate to tell Decadent this, but you’ve just pissed off readers, as well. Know what that means? Less profit for you cause if you’ve upset us by your actions, know our way of handling it? We DO NOT BUY from you. That means your authors suffer, which if they’re innocent in all of this, I offer my sincere apology (and suggest they find way out of their contract with you so they can find a more reputable publisher). It also means your bottom line suffers. Hey, it’s the least us readers can do to make a statement.

Second, there is some speculation on whether Decadent has shared personal information about their authors or about the persons running the Enders. Again, you HAVE to be kidding me. Not only have you acted in a seriously unprofessional manner, this could very well violate some rights. Now, let me be very very careful and issue a clear disclaimer. YES my day job is an attorney. NO I do not practice IT/Copyright/privacy issues, etc. Nor do I know the terms of Decadent’s contracts with its authors. I AM NOT submitting a professional opinion as to whether they have or have not violated any laws, etc. I’m just saying writers/authors, should tread very carefully if you decide to sign with Decadent. I’d be pretty cautious…THAT IS ALL I AM SAYING. Be cautious, make sure you’re INFORMED and making INFORMED decisions, make sure I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. How you go about that is up to you. I offer no advice AT ALL. Hope we’re all clear there ;).

Bottom line is this. It is MY opinion (and mine alone) that as a reader, I believe Decadent has overstepped its bound and acted in an extremely unprofessional manner. In MY eyes, their reputation is nil. I do not plan on buying anything published by them. I hate that the repercussions of this decision will affect innocent authors (none that I’m currently reading I do not believe are published via Decadent…so will be cautious when checking out new authors). But, unfortunately, they’ve signed with a company who apparently can’t abide by industry standards and handle business “in-house” as it were.

Kudos to you if you’ve stuck with me through my rant ;). One final thought, many thanks again to Shiloh for letting me rant as a guest blogger *G*. In future, I promise to hopefully keep my posts shorter if she’s still willing to let me blog again he he.

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Guestblogging today…AND… Nalini Singh

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Over at Lisa Renee Jones’ blog.

Come say hi!

AND… Nalini Singh’s latest is out.  Play of Passion. FYI, it’s my personal and professional *hey, I’m a professional writer, that means I can have a professional opinion on this, right?*  Anyway, it’s my personal & professional opinion that Nalini Singh rocks.  Professionally-her stories are awesome.  Personally…um…well, she sends me ARCs.  How can I not adore her?

Passion and reason collide with explosive force in the newest installment of Nalini Singh’s “mesmerizing”* Psy/Changeling series. As a conflict with Pure Psy looms on the horizon, two powerful wolves fight a far more intimate war of their own…

In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home…

Excerpt

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