Friday, August 10, 2018

Guest Blogger: Ann Bradford



www.annbradfordauthor.wix.com/books


About Ann Bradford
Romance and erotica author Ann Bradford was born and raised on the prairies. She loves her rural lifestyle and hopes the passion for the simpler things in life slips into her writing. A romantic at heart, Ann enjoys nature, reading, and spending time with her family and St Bernard. Ann is happily married with two children and works for a non-profit organization.


Please tell us about your latest book.
His Forbidden Stare is book two from the Truth or Dare Forbidden Love collection. Alain shouldn’t be kissing Mel. He knows this. On the Prairies of 1930 where his religious upbringing is strong, men are supposed to marry women and raise large families and be happy with the life that was drilled into them. Mel can have all that, especially when Alain’s sister needs a father for her bastard child. But… well, he’d have to stop kissing Alain.



What can we expect from you in the future? I am always working on several projects. Need a peek into what is in the works? Book three of the Truth or Dare Forbidden Love collection is being polished. This is a M/M/F sharing the stories of Xavier, Charles, and Gwen, who we meet in the earlier books. I have a short story coming out with Solstice in this collection HER TROUBLED STARE which shares the story of Johnny and Anna from the collection. I also have a medieval Forbidden Romance and a couple erotica lined up for polishing that will hopefully be ready to share with my readers soon.


How do we find out about you and your books? Please feel free to check out my website and sign up for my newsletter. www.annbradfordauthor.wix.com/books or follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ann.bradford.author/



Why did you decide to write Forbidden Romances? I do like forbidden things.


Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow? I write every single day. I never miss a day. Ever. I’d probably explode or something if I did.


What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions? I welcome interruptions because my time with my children is slipping away. There is always time to write when they’re out with friends or sleeping. I enjoy every moment they spare me.


What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries? As a family, we take the dog for a long nature walk every day. Sometimes twice a day. My time with my family means everything to me and like my time to write, I can’t go without it.


Where do your ideas come from? His Holy Stare came about while I was researching for something entirely different. I was digging through some files from the 1950s when I stumbled on a picture of a Brother who ran a convent in a forgotten town on the prairies. He had this incredible smile, yet his eyes had this deep sadness to them. I was so intrigued.

I never know where a story will come from or where it will take me, that’s part of the magic that sweeps me away.


What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write? When I was starting out, these scenes were awkward. I studied how other writers I admired did them. Tore those scenes apart looking for what made them satisfying. Then I made myself a workbook to help me perfect them.


A few rules I follow: I always work within a heat factor scale, keeping the words and on-scene romance within this scale. I always respect my virgins and rape victims by giving them off-scene sex. That’s just me and a choice I make out of respect. Anyone else is free game according to the heat factor.


Romance scenes, be it a kiss, a slap, or sex are read several hundred times all by themselves to make sure every word is what I want, every punctuation mark is part of the dance. I take them very seriously. They have to flow, dance, demand, seduce, intrigue, inspire, destroy…


What does your partner think of your writing? My partner is the one who sits me back at the desk when I give up.

Favorite type of hero or heroine: My favs are the ones who defy so they can stand firm to their beliefs. I love a hero who looks up when he knows not to.


How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer? I’m far from a new writer yet I have a lot to learn. I’ve been writing novels for close to 30 years. When I was young, I wanted to be reporter because I was convinced that’s how I’d meet Superman.


After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it? Of course. I only write books I want to read at least 70 times.


Among your own books, have you a favourite book? I have yet to write my fav book.

Favourite hero or heroine?
In this moment, Mel from His Forbidden Stare is at the top of my love-list just because his beliefs are so hard to stand by, yet he does. Breaking society’s rules is never easy, being cast aside and the freak can leave you alone and troubled, but Mel doesn’t care about fitting in with a bunch of jerks and I just love how he found acceptance with who he is and wouldn’t let anyone tell him to be someone else.


What are the elements of a great romance for you?
I’ve read so many romances that I can anticipate the encounter, the kiss, the breakup, the reunion. Which means, I need to write romances that surprise and intrigue me because I don’t want to stop reading them! I just need to read romances that break the mould. And so I write romances I want to read.

I love writing and reading about:
-A troubled past. This for me adds a layer to the story that we relate to.
-A heated yet memorial encounter. When the love interests meet there has to be some type of explosion. It can be love or hate, the line is fine either way. But the encounter has to be so memorable that it haunts the reader for pages. In His Holy Stare she’s looking in a garbage can and offers him her hand to shake. Only Brother James can’t take it because he’s covered in grease and holding a romance novel. The moment should be awkward and uncomfortable but the romance he’s holding is what changes the entire scene. Why does a Brother have a romance in his hands?
-A defiance. I do like forbidden things and to defy, so yes, someone has to be breaking a rule or smashing their beliefs to hell. Like in His Forbidden Stare when Alain decides not to lie to Mel the first time they meet, even though he’s not supposed to tell anyone who hit him or who killed Mel’s father.
-A firm belief. I like characters who stand by their beliefs, so this is the opposite of the last one. Someone who will not break their beliefs. They will question them, test them, suffer them, but in the end, they will stand firm to them. It might be the hero, but it might be his hero…
-Symbolism. This is so important in any story. Holding a pendant from someone the hero loved but lost is symbolic. When the hero doesn’t kiss the heroine but clutches the pendant, as a reader we feel his conflict. Later when he tosses the pendant in the river, we let go with him. Symbols are how we show emotions.
But of course, word choice and sentence structure are also important. In an exceptional romance that moves the reader to tears or laughter or gasps, every word is chosen like a step in a dance. If he acts, she reacts. If she moves, he mirrors… A dance of utter seduction that takes passion to craft.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

You are an artist. With that comes a certain responsibility to pass on our current beliefs, our current speaking patterns…to just be a reflection of our times. Master your craft, be proud of every word you choose. Push yourself like no one else will. But! Above all, have fun because every story I was swept up in was written with passion, not rules.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Guest Blogger: James Moushon

BREAKING NEWS: Another Jonathon Stone Short Story JUST RELEASED: Operation Runaway 

NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon for $0.99: https://amzn.to/2OE3W85 The price is right. Enjoy the Mystery and Action of a Jonathon Stone Mystery by James Moushon. READ MORE - http://bit.ly/2vnNZuZ

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What happened to my son tonight

To say that I am pissed tonight doesn't come anywhere near what I'm feeling right now. I am so far and beyond pissed that I can't even describe it.


So my son had his 1978 camaro parked at an apartment building today. He left his car there and got into the truck with his friend ,who lives there, and they were gone most of the day. 


When he got back his car was gone. He was freaked out. He called me instantly. He thought his car had been stolen. But no that wasn't the case at all. You won't believe what happened.


First let me tell you how we licensed his car. His car has year of manufacture plates on them. So it says at the top of the plates the date of 78 on the left hand side.  Then in the middle is the state of Missouri and then on the right hand side it has the month of march.  Then on the plates has the license number like all other plates. So basically it is historic plates for the car.


Ok here is where it all goes crazy. So the apartment complex didn't recognize the car so they called the cops. Even though my son was with somebody who lives at the apartment building. So the cops get there and a young one I guess didn't understand what Year Of Manufacturer ( Historic Plates) are. So they said that the tags were expired and agreed to have my car towed to the tow trucks yard. Where my car is still sitting because they are closed. We call the tow yard and they said that it was towed because it had expired plates on it. 


This is bull shit.  This car is completely legal. So I call the police department. And they deny the fact that one of their officers misunderstood the plates. They said they towed it because the apartment complex is private property and they had to do what they said. So they towed my son's car. 


The tow yard said that I can not have my car back unless I pay them $125 to get my car that was basically stolen today.


There is no excuse for what has happened to us today. None at all. That apartment building had no right to have the car towed. It was in a parking spot the way it was supposed to be. And the police department had no right to tow that car. If they didn't know what year of manufacturer plates were they should have called somebody else. I mean really who on this planet would actually drive expired tags from 1978. I mean come on. I've seen people not get their plates renewed and be a month off. But seriously you see a 1978 plate and you seriously think somebody just thought it would be a good idea to drive it if it wasn't legal.


So now they want me to pay $125 to get my own car back out of a tow yard lot. This is fucking ridiculous. 



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Guest blogger Geoff Nelder









      

1.     XAGHRA’S REVENGE is an historical fiction piece focusing on something that, sadly, continues to today--slavery. What is it in your past or psyche that facilitated the need to obtain social justice for Gozo's inhabitants?

Never mind the past, I am a slave now! I don’t just mean marriage; a slave to the economic system; a slave to society’s cultural mores and laws. I am a slave to my damn brain. It’s a writer’s lot to own a rabid imagination and mine gets into the being of my characters so much I can’t escape. Of course it’s not like the physical slavery of people being brought from a poor country and forced to work for example in my Britain because they owe a fortune to the gang who brought them. I hadn’t come into contact with an actual slave or knew much about them before I went on a family holiday to Malta. There I learnt with horror about the 1551 mass abduction by pirates of the entire island of Gozo. I couldn’t believe that cultured and intelligent people such as those pirate leaders could do that. We’re not talking about uncouth Hollywood pirates, but well-educated Muslims (Rais Dragut, who had himself been a galley slave to a Christian Knight of St John!) and Jews (Pasha) who have loving families at home. Yet it was acceptable for them to abduct whole towns and islands. Split up families, torture and kill for their meagre wealth then go home to their own people. It’s another culture completely to that I was brought up with. Of course Dragut had religion on his side. If the abducted were righteous their God will see them right, Okay?

On Gozo I discovered that not many people knew much about the 1551 abduction. It didn’t happen to them or their personal families because the emptied island was looted and reoccupied by people from Italy, Sicily, and Malta. The pirates were cunning enough to steal property deeds and sell them to the rich in Tripoli and Constantinople. I found direct descendants of those Gozo abducted but over in Tarhuna, Libya. They are still there! I could not find many people who felt strongly about that abduction so I had to do something on their behalf. Xaghra’s Revenge is for those 5,000.

Excerpt from XAGHRA’S REVENGE
Xaghra is a real town on the small Mediterranean island of Gozo. I chose it to begin the story because I’ve been there many times. It’s the site of one of the world’s oldest buildings, The Ggantija Temple – older than the pyramids and Stonehenge! I’ve hugged those huge limestone blocks and the vibes touched me. I’ve stood in the spot where Stjepan hears the alarm bell, where he sees his friends chased by pirates, and outside his house. It’s personal.
This opening sets the story with a contrast and conflict: an idyllic rural and family scene versus a worrying incursion threatening to disrupt everything.

CHAPTER ONE from XAGHRA’S REVENGE published 15th July 2017 via Solstice Shadows, imprint of Solstice Publishing.

The Mediterranean island of Gozo 1551, July 24th

Stjepan leaned on his hoe and listened. His beans needed rescuing from the bindweed, but they’d have to wait if that was the warning bell coming from the city.
Five… He stepped up onto a low limestone wall and scanned the horizon. A flock of starlings created an air sculpture – God’s chariots chasing each other. It always lifted his heart.
Six… The Citadel topped the hill to the west; the clock tower visible, but he couldn’t see if people were running up the lanes to the city walls.
Seven, eight… He strained to see, but hills prevented a clear view of the ocean even though Gozo was less than a day’s ride across.
Nine… Perhaps a pirate ship had been seen again. The damned Turkish corsairs raided more often these days. Pirate dogs. He spat at the soil. His short sword lay under his cot at home.
Ten... In spite of the heat, he shivered at the thought of his wife and four-month-old son thrown into the dank belly of a corsair galley.
Eleven, twelve… He held his breath as if that aided hearing. The starlings swirled around the citadel as if they knew something. His heart sank.
Thirteen, fourteen… curses.
He drove his hoe into the stony soil, wishing it was Dragut’s black heart. Stjepan picked his way through berry bushes and olive trees until he reached his village, Xaghra. Karlu, his neighbour, called as he walked in the opposite direction towards the capital, Rabat.
“Ho, Stjepan, you’ll get fined again.”
“I’m not going without Lidia and my son. Your wife?”
Karlu stopped, scratched his head and twitched his moustache. “In Rabat, staying at her mother’s. She’s been coughing up hairballs.”
“That’s cats. Ah, you never liked Senora Angelina. I’ll see you there.”
 In spite of the humour, panic tightened his chest as he ran across the central square. Stjepan saw his marmalade cat, its tail upright. She possessed a sense for trouble. “Heket, you’re supposed to be Lidia’s guardian.”
He frowned pushing past neighbours then saw Lidia waving at him outside the church.
“Father’s tripped on the steps. He can’t walk to Rabat.”
“He’ll have to go on the priest’s cart.”
“Already gone.”
Stjepan gnawed on a knuckle while his brain raced. He couldn’t afford another florin fine, yet the alert was probably another false alarm.
“I’ll carry your father.” Blood seeped through Alfredo’s grey robe from his knee. His eyes apologised.
Stjepan crouched before the old man. “Come on, I’ll carry you on my back.”
They crossed the wide village square. Stjepan found the old man lighter than he expected. Nevertheless, he stopped.
“What about Calypso’s Cave?”
“No.” Lidia breathed heavily carrying infant Pietru. “It’d be too obvious a hiding place. Keep going.”
He did, with increased pace until he reached the top of the steep scarp slope. The lane wriggled as it fell to the valley floor before climbing the Citadel’s slopes an hour’s walk away. They could see the exodus along the most direct route from Xaghra to Rabat.
Lidia stopped. “No.”
“What?” He followed her free arm pointing to the north. A dozen men ran along the valley floor lane. Their scimitars flashed in the midday sun, and their white turbans gave them away as Turkish corsairs.
*  *  *

To read more of this chapter head over to Amazon Kindle http://myBook.to/Xaghra Free on Kindle Unlimited

There’s another excerpt from Chapter 23 where two slaves consider escape while watching a beetle in the hot desert sand.

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Twitter @geoffnelder



Monday, July 9, 2018

Guest Blogger: James Moushon

BREAKING NEWS: Another Jonathon Stone Short JUST RELEASED.
Operation Deadline

NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon for $0.99:  https://amzn.to/2tYuAjx

Shout Out to Readers would be GOOD. A PURCHASE would be GREAT. A PURCHASE and a REVIEW would be DOUBLE GREAT.

The price is right. Enjoy the Mystery and Action of a Jonathon Stone Mystery by James Moushon. READ MORE - http://bit.ly/2NuunMZ

A reminder. A marketing opportunity for you.
If you have a new release coming soon or you have scheduled a promo this summer, please get on my schedule to do a showcase post to help promote your book. Just send an email to: james.moushon@gmail.com

Also, if you’re going to release a set of your books, let me know and I will set something up. As you might have heard, we recently passed ONE MILLION views on our blogs.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Don't write in Clichés


Don’t write in Clichés

 

What does that mean? The meaning of cliché is this:

Definition of cliché

1trite phrase or expression; also the idea expressed by it
2hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation
3something (such as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace

We are going to talk about example #3. Something that has become overly familiar. If it’s overly familiar that means it’s overly used. You want your writing to be original. Not the same old story told over and over. Here are some examples of things overused in writing and movies.

1.  Woman and girls seem to have forgotten how to walk. Writers think that the only way to have a romance in a story is if they start out with the old cliché that a woman has to be walking, trip to fall, and the guy has to catch her. Then the romance can begin.  No. They honestly can have a romance and fall in love without the woman doing that played out scene of falling and needing to be caught.


 2.  The second one on the list is another forgotten thing. Apparently, people have forgot to eat. They can’t seem to open their mouths wide enough to get the food into it. It has to always fall on their face and the man or woman has to lean over and wipe it away with the long gazing look and then the romance starts. Truly and honestly there can be a romance without needing to have your character fall face first into their food. They don’t need to be toddlers needing cleaned up after. I just watched this in a tv show over the weekend. Yet again the woman gets bar b q sauce all over the side of her face and the guy has to take his finger and his napkin and clean her up and again you had the just a little bit longer look and then the quick look away. Okay here’s the truth about romance writing; you really can have a romance where the characters can actually get food into their mouth all by themselves and not need the help of the soon to be love of their life.

 3.  Number 3 would apply to any genre. But don’t overuse things to give your story filler. I admit it I’m bad about this one too. It’s hard to get your story going where it needs to be so your characters end up having more baths or showers than you can count or they eat a lot of food in your story. Easy thing to do. Like I said I do this. I will read back through my story and see that wow this character has went to her kitchen 100 times in this story for food. Ok maybe not 100 LOL But you see the point. So you look down and say ok I need to do a few small rewrites. My character doesn’t need to go cook or eat in every scene. There are so many more things your character can do. Just to name a few; they could watch tv, do laundry, fold laundry, actually go somewhere and do something. Hey they could go out to eat LOL or they could go to a movie. The ideas are endless. But they don’t have to do the exact same thing in every scene. And no I’m not saying don’t fix food or take baths and showers. LOL I’m saying just don’t do it in every scene.


I hope some of these tips are helpful.





Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Guest blogger: Tia Didmon





Please tell us about your latest book.
Virgin Mate is the first book in the Cascade Cougars Series


What can we expect from you in the future?
Book two in the series is coming out in a few months

How do we find out about you and your books?

 How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I write Paranormal so not a lot in that area but I hope the characters with a good sense of humor come from me.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I started thinking about writing when I was in high school. When my kids started getting older and more independent I decided it was time to go back to my writing.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I try to write (or edit) for at least a couple hours a day.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
I three kids so I definitely have interruptions in the summer months. During school months I write when the kids are in class.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I live on Vancouver Island so in the summer there are a lot of lake or beach days. I definitely write more in the winter months.

Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Dreams. Something I see in real life.

Do you feel humor is important in books and why?
Yes! I do. Regardless of the genre I am reading I love humor in a book.

What kind of research do you do?
I Research the area I am writing in first to make sure my area facts are correct then I move on to speech patterns and slang if they differ from my area. If I reference a specific event in my book I look that up as well.
.
Please tell us about yourself.  

What are some of your favorite things to do?
Swimming, spending time with my family, travelling and you guessed it writing.


Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
J.R Ward and Nalini Singh

What do you think of critique groups in general?
I don’t mind them. They give you honest advice.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
With a dozen books published and two kids graduating.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I have written two complete books and both have been published.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
Yes, I bought both books on Kindle after publication and read them.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
My favorite hero is Hunter. He is coming out in book three of the Cascade Cougar Series.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Having a reader, email you or post on social media how much they enjoyed your book.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
I would find a way to write even if it was on a napkin.

What is your greatest desire?
When my kids are older I would love to take an extended trip and write about the exotic locations I come across.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
You hear it time and time again but keep writing.