Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday's Wench - An Informative Delight - Sharon Ledwith

Welcome to Sharon Ledwith.  Thanks for sharing these terrific tips for authors.


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, debuting through Musa Publishing this May 18, 2012. When not writing or digging up the past, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.


Six Sales Points for Authors

There are a lot of authors out there today competing for readers’ attention—readers that you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Some do a very good job, make a lot of money, and stick around. They build satisfying publishing careers that last for decades. Other authors try to wing it and burn out. What’s the difference between a successful author and a wannabe author who just dawdles on the borders of success? Owning a great website? Having a damn good marketing plan? Creating a social media plan for each book release? Good luck? Whatever the answer, often the key to a successful career in the publishing field can be attributed to one or all of these time-tested sales points:

If it doesn’t work, fix it. Let’s face it—some sales strategies work better than others. The trick is to reassess what you’ve been doing. If you’re not producing the sales you’d like to see for a certain book, then chances are you need to correct and fine-tune your methods. For some authors this may mean retooling their blurb or tagline or change the cover. For others, it could be giving their website or blog a fresh new look.

Listen and learn. A number of things factor into book sales. One of the most important is your target audience—who you are writing for. Ask yourself, how are you fulfilling your readers’ needs? What must you do to continually hook their attention? For starters, you have to be willing to walk that extra mile by getting to know and understand your readers. You do this through social networks (Facebook, Twitter), workshops, book signings, school and library visits, book clubs, and online communities such as Goodreads or LibraryThing.

Show enthusiasm. Enthusiasm builds bridges. Panic tears them down. One thing an author has going for them is their unique voice. You use it in your books, so use it to sell them. Readers know when an author resonates with them. Be invested enough in yourself, as an author, to give your readers a fantastic story they’ll never want to end. Then write another one.

Sell yourself, on yourself. The power of positive thinking works wonders. Motivation builders such as podcasts, CDs or self-help books can help reinforce the super salesperson in you. Be specific with your goals and rewards, such as if you send out ten review requests in a day, book a pedicure or lunch with a friend. Write notes reminding yourself that you are a ‘Bestselling Author’ and ‘You can do it’, then leave them around your desk. After all, seeing is believing.
Create a sales plan to suit each book. Every book you write is one of a kind. Sales tactics for one book may not work for the second book. That’s when you get creative and take chances. Giveaways are always a fan favorite. Experiment with each book until you get a sales formula that works for you. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps, so if you can afford it, hire a publicist or a marketing consultant. The bigger the investment, the bigger the payoff.

A bit about The Last Timekeepers by Sharon Ledwith  available at Musa Publishing
http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=277


When Amanda Sault and her four classmates are caught in a major food fight at school, they are given the choice of suspension or yard duty. It was a no-brainer. A two-week crash course in landscaping leads the kids to discover a weathered stone arch buried in an overgrown backyard. Instead of a forgotten lawn ornament, it turns out to be an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis. Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from an evil force—the five children, along with two offbeat adults, are sent on the adventure of their lives to save the Earth from an uncertain future. The Timekeepers’ first mission lands them in England in 1214, where they must find an adolescent Robin Hood and his band of merry teens before history is turned upside-down.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Instead of a travel adventure today, I agreed to be on this blog hop. 

THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP

Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. I hope you'll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy. On this stop on the blog hop, you'll find a bit of information on me and one of my books and links to five other authors you can explore!
 


Emerging Magic is the latest release in the Magical Love series is a followup to the AOE Winner, Beyond Magic.
 

Against her will, the Cailleach puts into play the magic to unite another pair of soul mates. 

Loneliness drives Cori Sparks to chocolate. The fledging witch's desolation also compels her to attempt using her emerging magic in the quest for love. Unsuccessful, she turns to a dating website and discovers what may be her perfect match.

Rob Vesha is tired of the money hungry women he meets. Given his gene pool he doesn't think the real 'him' would excite them as much, but he can't share enough to find out for sure. On impulse he turns to the internet and discovers Cori.

Can their love survive his family reunion in Transylvania?




My gratitude to fellow author, Nicole Morgan, for inviting me to participate in this event. You can click the following links to learn more about Nicole and her books.

Nicole’s site:
http://nicolemorgan1.webs.com/  

In this blog hop, my fellow authors and I, in our respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our current book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We've also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write--the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?
I’m currently working on Nordic Heat.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Nordic Heat (new title) is a revised and expanded version of an old novel that I received the rights back.  Always thought there should be another POV and now I get make it happen.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Erotic Romance/ Paranormal

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I really haven’t thought about that.  Right now my main focus is getting the revisions and additional scenes completed.  If I have to chose right now, maybe the guy who played Thor in the movie...foreget his name, but he's hot.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Sparks fly when hot Nordic god clashes with hard-headed mortal weather forecaster.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Probably will self-publish.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The original book was written so long ago that I don’t remember exactly.  I think it was around 3 months.  It has taken longer on the revisions than I anticipated, but life stuff happens and you just have to work around that.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not sure.  The books I’ve read recently have been historical and YA.  I’m not sure what Paranormal to compare this one to.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A former publisher created the original series, but the publishing house didn’t make it.  That is another reason I’m doing so many revisions, to take it out of their series and make it my own.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

If readers like strong women and hot men combined with humor and heat, Nordic Heat could be their cup of tea.

Below you will find authors who will be joining me virtually, via blog, next Wednesday. Please be sure to bookmark their sites, and add them to your calendars for updates on their upcoming books! Happy Writing and Reading!

Sam Cheever
http://www.samcheever.com/

M.L. Guida
http://www.mlguida.com/

Hillary Seidl
http://www.hillaryseidl.com/Home_Page.php

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's Wench - S. G. Rogers




Tuesday's Wench is S.G. Rogers.  I confess after reading the tease in the Look Inside at Amazon I had to have this book, so it now sets on my Kindle waiting for me to get time to read.  If you like England and the late 1800s defintiely take a look.


S.G. Rogers has lived in some of the most romantic places in America, including La Jolla, California, Asheville, North Carolina and currently Savannah, Georgia. She spent several years in Hollywood, studying acting and writing. Rogers holds black belts in several different martial arts and likes to consider herself a warrior princess. Always an avid reader of young adult fiction, she wrestles with her teen for all the newest titles. Check out her blog at www.childofyden.wordpress.com.

Also, check out Rita Monette's review of The Ice Captain's Daughter on her blog http://ritamonette.blogspot.com/
 
 
The Ice Captain's Daughter   
by S. G. Rogers.
 
The daughter of a wealthy ice merchant, Miss Jillian Roring intends to marry for love. En route to her first Season in London, however, a failed kidnapping sends her into the arms of the most jaded bachelor in England. When Logan and Jillian unwittingly violate the rigid rules of propriety in Victorian-era England, he is obliged to make her an offer of marriage. Because she aspires to be more than an obligation, Jillian refuses the match. Logan follows her to London to woo her properly, but his scheming ex-fiancée has other plans.

Can Logan convince Jillian that his love for her is real or will the cruel gossip and sharp tongues of London society tear their budding relationship apart?

A romantic Victorian-era novella set in 1899 England.

 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Magic Monday--Put a Little Magical Love in Your Life

Thanks to the talented Lex Valeneting, here's a trailer for the award winning Beyond Magic, the first book in the Magical Love series.



Love the video and love, love the music!


Today's NOOK READER Question from last Wednesday's blog: What do I refer to as the end of the world? Email the answer to lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net to enter.  Winner will be drawn February 18th.  So follow and email to enter for a chance to win a NOOK READER

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wenchy Thursday - Arley Cole's Alter Ego Writes Sex!

Arley Cole/Leigh Daley shares with us why she writes sex.  I understand her conflict over sharing with certain people, but Leigh (since she's the hot ego), one of the nices compliments I've received is from an 80+ lady who read Beyond Magic.  She still talks about the elevator scene and follows her comments with a "my, my" as she fans herself. 

So thank you for sharing the 'why' on writing sex.  Great job!


TITLE: Why I Write Sex 

by Arley Cole and Leigh Daley 



I write under two pennames—Arley Cole for my YA-friendly fantasy and Leigh Daley for my steamy romance. Arley Cole keeps it out of the bedroom, but Leigh Daley gets into some seriously R-rated territory.

This makes life difficult for me in my tiny Alabama hamlet. When people ask about my latest release, I have to make a quick judgment—do I tell them about the Leigh Daley stuff or will it scandalize them? What would the little women in my church say about me if they read my Leigh Daley stuff? Would they ask me to put a scarlet letter on my choir robe?  

But the truth is sex has a hugely important place in women’s lives. We think of men as being the sex-driven beings, but human relationships are cemented together by the physical act of belonging to one another. If we want stronger relationships, we need to be having frequent, mutually beneficial, loving sex.  

That is not to say that I am at all in favor of the “jump in bed first, ask questions later” school of relationships. From personal experience, that attitude leads to sleeping with frogs rather than princes. My characters sometimes do sleep with each other before they should – that’s one of the relationship minefields we have to navigate. When they do, I am compelled as a story-teller to deal with their actions in the most realistic way possible. Sex too soon causes trouble they have to work out together.

But sex in the fullness of time in a relationship binds two people together in ways very little else can. I truly enjoy writing about a couple’s exploration of each other. In loving someone else, we really do discover things about ourselves. The sex act opens up all kinds of emotional territory for us, and I love to show my characters discovering themselves through their physical loving of each other.  

Our sexual experience affects us profoundly, no matter our age, background, or gender. As an erotic writer, I try to treat the subject with the respect and integrity it deserves. If my readers sometimes find themselves inspired to jump their partners after reading, I am glad of that.  Anyone fortunate enough to be in a loving, committed relationship owes it to that relationship to invest in it physically as often and as jubilantly as possible. In fact one of my personal goals as a romance author is to inspire my readers to have more sex!  

In my latest Leigh Daley release, Storm Duty - Finally Ever After, a natural disaster shakes up divorced couple Kyle and Jenna. In the midst of the chaos, they both have to learn that all that really matters is who we love, and their love scene is one of my favorites because of the healing that takes place between them.  

At this season, especially after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I think we all need to remember to hold close the ones we love. So I’m going to keep writing romance, and I hope you all will keep reading. Now, go hold somebody!  

Leigh Daley 



Their careers drove them apart--could disaster bring them back together?

 BLURB:

In the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, Kyle Mathis just wants to guide his linemen to restore power to the devastated town of Milton. When reinforcements in the form of corporate deskjockeys come to work storm duty, he's glad for the extra bodies to help serve food and support the crews working eighteen hour days.  

But Kyle is not prepared to face one of the latest arrivals, his ex-wife Jenna. Jenna left him years ago, choosing her career over their marriage. However, being back together in their home town brings back memories and desire--for both Kyle and Jenna. 

Can Kyle and Jenna find each other again in the midst of the devastation? Or will their jobs pull them apart and leave not only their homes but their hearts shattered?

 EXCERPT:

The instant Jenna Harlow heard her ex-husband’s voice, she wished she hadn’t agreed to come.

 She certainly wanted to help and Cedar Hill had been home once. But as she stood and saw Kyle face to face, she wished she hadn’t. There were just too many memories.

“Yeah, I’ve got some made already,” she answered him, aware that his eyes had widened at the sight of her. She covered her own desire to stare by pouring him a cup. “Do you still take cream and sugar?” she asked, trying to keep her tone light even though her heart pounded so hard she could feel it in her fingertips.

“I’m drinking it black these days,” he answered, his tone just as even.

As she passed him the cup, her hand trembled. He took the coffee, but the hot liquid splashed out a little over the side. His hands were shaking too.

He cursed under his breath as he sat the cup down on the table and grabbed a napkin to mop up the spill.

“Don’t worry,” she insisted. “I’ll clean it up.” She looked at his face in the dim light. His eyes that same dark green, his hair the same light brown—still cut the same as she remembered from seven years ago.

But his shoulders were broader, and he stood taller, more muscular. His jaw had a strong, determined set, and little sun crinkles had begun to frame his eyes. She’d always thought he was good-looking, but now in the fullness of manhood, he was downright gorgeous...

To read more of Storm Duty, please click HERE.

BUY LINKS


Amazon 



 Leigh Daley lives with her husband and kids in the wilds of West Alabama along with her dogs Bruno and Jack. Now on her fourth career, she has spent most of her life writing for other people, but these days she is writing for herself. She eats like a cavewoman, posts crazy fanfic as Arcole, and tries to meet her creative needs by writing romance as Leigh Daley and fantasy as Arley Cole. She’s a really big fan of happily ever after.

 Learn more about Leigh Daley on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Travel Wednesday - The End of the Civilization


Ushuaia, is regarded as the southernmost city in the world and is located in the region of Patagonia, Argentina.  Some refer to it as the end of the world, because there isn’t much civilization south of this location.
This ended up being our first stop on the Antarctica cruise when the ship had to turn back north because of the weather.  The people that live in Ushuaia year-round come from a sturdy gene pool, that’s for sure. All winter of below zero temperatures is not my idea of a fun time.
Though the city may not be the largest in the world, the Patagonia region it sets on the edge of is beautiful.

Today's NOOK READER Question from Monday's blog:  What do I love about Isabella?  Email the answer to lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net to enter.
Here are a few pictures from the trip and one I found for winter.
 
Sailing in to Ushuaia in their summer

 

Their winter taken by the brave soul Peter Smith



 
 


Out in the beautiful countryside...a great trip!



Is this a place you'd like to retire? 
.


 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday's Wench - Susan Lodge

Meet Susan Lodge.  If you love Historical romances you'll love Susan! 

About Susan

I have been writing stories for ever but only in the last few years seriously started marketing my work. My first success was a short story published in a national woman’s magazine in the UK. This small but long awaited success prompted me to finish my novel Only a Hero Will Do.

 Having lived at some of England’s most historic ports I have been surrounded with maritime history, so it is not surprising that my book is partly set at sea in the year 1810. 

About - Only a Hero Will Do 

Hetty’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can an overbearing ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family? 


Blurb
Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to raise funds to escape the match she earns money the only way she knows how—gambling. Her plans go astray and she finds herself onboard a man-of-war under the care of its stern physician. But Hetty soon realizes that the disapproving Doctor Withington is not at all the man she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Excerpt

“Annie, will you please walk beside me? Try to remember, I am supposed to be your brother not your employer. You must keep your arm on mine.” Annie pursed her lips but did as she was told.

At five foot four, Hetty was tall enough to masquerade as a male. Her disguise was not of fine quality this time, as she had no desire to stand out in the crowd. It was serviceable and clean, if a little ill-fitting. She resembled a rather youthful clerk.

They had left in the early hours after Hetty had written her aunt a short note to tell her not to worry. She couldn’t risk anything else, as she knew Stark and her father would ask too many questions. If she knew nothing, Aunt Amelia wouldn’t have to lie—something she didn’t like to do.

After a moment, Hetty and Annie searched for a respectable inn, both having missed breakfast. It was only after they had seated themselves in the Boar's Head and ordered a modest meal that Hetty realized it was a bad choice. The tables were occupied by groups of unsavoury looking males, half of whom were staring at Annie in a very vulgar way. Hetty looked around with a feeling of foreboding while picking at a cold rabbit pie. The room started to empty as a strange murmur of discontent rippled through the establishment.

Annie fidgeted beside her. “I don’t like it, Miss Hetty! It ain’t right.”

Hetty groaned. “Harry—not Miss Hetty! For heaven’s sake, Annie!”

“Beg pardon…Harry,” she said, as though the name was blasphemous, “but I think we should go now.”

Hetty agreed and prepared to rise when the door shot open and the remaining customers scattered in all directions. A small party of hefty men, armed with wooden batons, sauntered in and stopped in the centre of the room, assessing the occupants.

Annie grabbed Hetty’s arm. “It’s the press-gang!”

It took a moment for Annie’s words to register then Hetty swallowed violently. If only her skirts were back on. One of them noticed her and narrowed his eyes with a terrifying gleam like a predator. He pointed his finger her way. “Now, lad, I reckon you look ripe for adventure. Eager to serve your king, I wager.”

Hetty shook her head and grasped Annie. “No, sir, I have my sister here to look after.”

The man wandered closer, his fleshy face beamed and his voice cajoled. “What’s your name, lad, and how old are you?”

“Harry Blake. I am fourteen." Surely that is too young.

The man considered her for a moment, and Hetty didn’t dare to breathe.

“Bring him.”

Logic ceased. Hetty ducked under the table and tried to crawl toward the door, but one of them crunched a foul-smelling boot down on the small of her back, and her breath escaped in one whoosh of pain. A large hand hoisted her up by the neck cloth and placed her on her feet.


 

Please visit me at my website -  http://www.susanlodge.com



 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday - Slap the Bitch!


Nights of missed sleep make for a cranky Lizzie and that’s how I crawled out of bed this morning.  After kissing the Honey goodbye and grabbing another mug of coffee to stare into before I swilled it down, an old saying popped into my wee brain…Life’s a bitch and then you die.  I heard this as a child from one of my relative’s that didn’t find joy in much of anything from what I could see through a child’s eyes.

But that didn’t hit me as hard as hearing those endearing words from my first husband when I had a day that wasn’t up to par.  Of course that was only a few of the encouraging things he said until I finally said “enough” and left his behind.

So when “life’s a bitch” popped into my morning cranky thoughts, it stopped me short. Yep, there are days when that’s the case and one thing for sure, we’re all going to die at some point.  In the meantime tough, I’m going to slap that bitch Negativity and kick her ass to the curb.  And from there I’m going to live life until the old Grim Reaper knocks. 

From the pissing and moaning I’ve moved into planning and writing.  Here you go with another snippet of the current rework.  I love Isabella…strong, determined and even falling in love with a god from the Nordic realm, she’s still her own woman who can still control when the mood hits…

“What’re you doing?”  Galvin pulled against the restraint on his left hand while she secured his right wrist with a scarf.

She sat back and admired her handiwork and the god who lay sprawled before her.

“I’m going to show you what woman on top is all about.”   

NOOK READER QUESTION:
What did I think about Paradise Bay?
Remember…email your answer to enter the drawing for a Nook Reader to lizzietleaf(at)Comcast(dot)net

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wenchy Thursday - Nancy DiMauro


The tag line for Nancy DiMauro’s Paths Less Traveled is spot on, not just for this book.  One does need to find themselves before they can find justice or a lot of things in life.  And sometimes that one little issue…finding ourselves and the person we really are becomes a challenge.

So thank you Nancy for making me think, and discover me before I try to seek out other things.

 Paths Less Traveled
By Nance DiMauro

Sometimes finding justice means finding yourself.

Some women walk their own paths through the ages, even when mayhem follows. Follow two of these women as they each walk the Paths Less Traveled.

In “Lightning Strikes”, Falcon, a disinherited princess, wants to be the king’s spy. The theft of a prize stallion is her chance. But when her best friend stands accused, far more than her dreams are at risk. Falcon races to catch a thief before fatal vengeance falls on an innocent man.

Worlds away, Psyonics Corporation controls all paranormals and psychics in “Flashes of Life.” Its highest-testing but still latent psychic, Vonna accepts an assignment with the D.C. police to avoid the company’s breeding program. The company works to ensure failure in her first case – a homicide. If she can’t unlock her talents, a murderer will go free and she’ll be consigned to slavery.

The Paths Less Traveled. Strange universes. Kick-butt heroines.

Excerpt

A blonde female officer growled as I bent to slide under the yellow police tape. Her aura flicked with the burnt amber of authority and a hint of annoyance. Her jaw snapped shut as she took in my white leather outfit and gloves, the outward sign of my other than human status. Silver surprise limed her before changing to puce and signaling her disgust. Her gaze flicked to the emblem bearing the Greek letter Psi on my chest, and then skittered away.

"A pleasure to meet you Officer Williams. I'm Vonna Sinya, the assigned Psionic . Detective Muller is waiting for me."

Williams tapped her commlink and turned her back.

"The Charlie's here," Williams whispered.

Charlie-short for charlatan.

The word burned across my skin. It’s what the insens called psychics despite the scientific proof of our existence. I drove my fingernails into my palms. The white leather gloves only transferred the barest pressure to my hand. Recently graduated from Psy Corp, the gloves were a new addition to my wardrobe.

The gloves chafed.

Muller strode briskly toward me. "Let her pass," he said as he approached. "Ms. Sinya, nice to meet you." He looked down at his hand, and then dusted it off on his pants before extending it.

Touching a psychic was the equivalent of offering your throat to a hungry vampire. The corners of his eyes tightened making the three crow's feet under each one stand out from his skin. He wasn't as sanguine about his offer as he'd like me to believe. He knew psychics were a threat even when smothered in leather. Maybe especially then. Still, the alpha dog was offering me a place in the pack and hoping I didn't challenge his authority.

I pasted a smile on and grasped his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Please call me, Vonna."

"Rick." He lifted the tape. "First murder?"

I ducked under the line separating cops from little people. "My first crime scene."

He shifted a step back. "Why do I get the newbies?"

"Because you're willing to shake hands with us?"

The change in his mood was so rapid that his bark of laughter and bright blue slash of humor startled me. "That may be it." He walked toward the house. His pace was half the speed of his departure. "Main talent?"

A rash of heat flamed across my features. "We don't know."

Muller stopped and turned. "The Company does not let unknown psionics wander the streets, much less join active investigations. It's not like I just asked your favorite sexual position."

The Company was a pejorative term for Psy Corp. I'd heard it referred to an ancient song about owing your soul to the Company you worked for. If so, it wasn't a misnomer.

"I'm a thirty-seven."

"Excuse me?" Muller went pale in the flashing blue lights.

Despite the pit in my stomach at what might await me in the house, I smiled. "Just realize what you'd given your hand to?"


 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Traveling Wednesday - Antarctica


One of the most stunning places I’ve been so far in my travels is Antarctica.  I never imagined that a color palate of blue, white, gray and black could be so breathtaking. But the getting there was rough going.

Thank goodness we were on a large cruise ship with stabilizers. Even that didn’t prevent lots of rocking and rolling when we sailed into a storm.  The situation became so dangerous the captain made the decision to turn around and reorganize our trip.  This led to a group of stupid people protesting to the point they shoved the Hotel Director when she tried to calm them down.  Their cruise was cut short. Security escorted them to their cabins and when we finally made a port of call, they were escorted off the ship.

The weather had improved when we made our way back toward Antarctica.  We didn’t get to a couple of scheduled locations, but the cruise through Paradise Bay was amazing…cold, but freaking amazing!

Here are a few pictures of the trip.
Me Freezing --- yes, it was COLD, but so worth the shivers!

 
The view from our cabin

 
Finally, calm water! Love the clouds.

 

NOOK READER CONTEST QUESTION:

 What was I obsessed about in Monday’s post?

Don’t forget…to enter answers must be emailed directly to me.  lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thursday's Wench - Eleni Kostaine



For Thursday’s Wench we’re going Downunder.  The delightful, Eleni Kostantine lives in Australia.  Given my traveling bug I hope to someday appear on her doorstep.  For now I’ll have to settle for reading her books.  And also her thoughts on feeding the soul.

TITLE: Reading Feeds the Soul 

by Eleni Konstantine  





 
For the last year, I had been part of conference committee and I also began studying. So much of my spare time was tied up with those activities that I noticed that my reading had gone downhill. My current reads are at 25 for 2012 whereas in 2011 I had read 74 books. That’s quite a difference. Please check out my reading list at Eleni’s Library.

The other thing I noticed was I felt down that I couldn’t get more reading done. Gone were the days when I used to read all night. With chronic fatigue syndrome, if I’m tired, I can’t read past a few pages.  

That is very sad. Don’t you think? 

I’m of the belief that reading feeds the soul, especially the writer’s soul. Nothing is like escaping into a book, reading about events and characters as if it were happening right in front of you. And when that isn’t happening - it’s like losing a piece of yourself. 

I was finding that my own writing and creativity suffered because of this. I couldn’t really get settled into my work. Editing was fine (thank goodness because I had releases to work on), but writing something new felt stifled. No new idea grabbed hold or felt right.  

However for the first time in months, I wrote something new the other day. It’s different, and still forming, but I like the basic idea. 

Why the change? 

Conference is over for 2012, I dropped a couple of subjects at school and I’ve started reading more again. In the last month, I have read six stories. Not all of them were novel length, but it’s still more reading than I’ve done for ages. I feel so much better for it.  

My muse is rubbing her hands together and saying, “Yes, we can work on this and this, and that. Oh, and this one as well.” 

It’s a good feeling to have choices for writing after a year where it really didn’t seem to.  

How about you - does reading feed your soul?

~Eleni 





 
Zeta will protect the one she loves, even if it means living in Hell.  

Mastering a unique power was much safer for Zeta Kosmos with a mentor to help her along. Now that he’s disappeared, Zeta must continue alone with her calling—closing Gateways to Hell.  

Daniel Richards is in the family business—Warding supernatural evil from causing havoc on humans. As such, he’s only interested in the safety of one-night stands. Until Zeta. This bad boy now wants a long, lasting relationship.

But Zeta can’t let go of her past, nor can she ignore the secret demonic threats against Daniel’s life. She’d rather fight demonic spawn and be dragged into Hell than allow anything happen to him. Can Daniel convince her to stay? Will she have to pay the ultimate price? 

To read an excerpt from Gateway to Hell, please click HERE.

Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer. 

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy. 

Learn more about Eleni Konstantine on her website and blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Update & NOOK CONTEST still going!


Today in the life of Lizzie—exhaustion, That's what happens when you wake up in the middle of the night and never get back to sleep.  Focusing on the positive though, I worked through an issue on my revisions for Nordic Heat. 
I became so obsessed that once the Honey was out the door, I plopped my butt at the computer.  The new ideas required the need to go back and do a lot of rewriting/adding for one of the new scenes I wrote last week.  Hated that scene and now I know why.  With all the tweaks, I will rewrite the scene and I think the flow will be much better.  I know the character interaction is more to my liking.
Here’s a little tidbit from the scene I had to revise so the added one would work.  This area didn’t get as much revision as some spots.
TIDBIT
Her brother shook his head and laughed.  “So, did you just make out?”
“No, we went beyond making out.  We did the deed.”  Isabella bit her bottom lip to stop the tremble.  “There in the elevator while waiting to be rescued.”  She buried her head in her folded arms and hoped the floor would open up allowing her to slide out of sight.
 “Boy, Sis.  You know how to fuck up worse than me.  What the hell were you thinking?” Gino shook his head, the furrow between his brows deepening.   “You know they have security cameras everywhere now.” 
***

Fingers crossed I’ll be done with this by next week!

NOOK QUESTION OF THE DAY:

From last Wednesday’s blog, what did I say was my favorite neighborhood in San Francisco?

Email answer to lizzietleaf(at)comcast(dot)net  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Friday - Forget the Mistletoe


 Today it’s all about my book Forget the Mistletoe which has been nominated for 2012 Best Contemporary at Love Romances Café  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/surveys?id=2447995
To vote you do have to join LRC. Voting is open until January 18th.
 
And a PDF copy of this book will be in the book drawing for January.
Forget the Mistletoe
By Lizzie T. Leaf
Publisher:  Musa Publishing BLURB:

Marta's cold on the retail holiday season, but warming to the hot hunk from home office, even if he loves Christmas.

Marta Holt hates Christmas and all the fuss that goes with it, which isn’t a good way to feel about the biggest money making season in her chosen career field, retail management.

Linc Blanchard’s family owns the chain of retail stores and shows up in Denver to make sure that Marta, the temporary manager, doesn’t affect the bottom line of that store’s Christmas season with her lack of appreciation of his favorite holiday.

Mix in Claude, an elf with attitude that has been sent into the human world to help Santa correct the mistake he made with Marta when she was a little girl and you have a hot, humorous fantasy to relieve the stress of your holidays.

EXCERPT:

Aspirin. A whole bottle would be great about now, Marta thought as she followed Linc to yet another department. His suggestions covered every area of the store. He asked — never told — managers to consider moving merchandise around. “Change a display here,” “add something to a display there,” he said with too much enthusiasm for her taste.
In the fur department, he suggested to the manager that she and her employees wear the fur collars and scarves. He even pulled Marta over and demonstrated what he had in mind as he arranged a fur scarf around her shoulders.

They left the department with the manager salivating at his every word, just as all the managers in the prior departments did. Personally, she’d rather have left with one of the sable coats, but that didn’t fit her budget now. She envisioned being wrapped from head to toe in sable.
Someday, she thought. Someday.

Linc strolled through the various departments, greeting employees and customers alike. “There’re lots of very nice people in Denver. I can understand why my grandfather chose this to be one of the five cities for our stores.” He left the employees fawning in his wake as he oozed charm and smiles.
Marta didn’t know how much longer she could keep the grin on her face plastered in place. If this goodwill tour didn’t end soon, she would have to excuse herself to puke.

“One more department to go, and then it should be time for lunch. We’ll eat in the fourth floor dining room. Does that work for you, Miss Holt?”
No way would she let his charm affect her. Instead, she ignored the reference to lunch and said, “From my calculations the last area to cover is the toy department. Right?”

“Thought we’d save the best for last.” Linc headed toward the back of the store.
Marta dreaded what ideas he’d throw out when they reached their destination. She didn’t trust this man, since his suggestions turned out to change everything she and Mr. Peterson thought worked. Who knew what he had in mind for toys? Then again, maybe he’d put Mr. Pain in the Ass elf in his place.

“Claude.” Linc greeted the head elf like an old friend.
“Linc. Good to see you again.” Claude reached up to shake hands with the man who loomed above him.

Good heavens, they’re on a first name basis. Wonderful, Marta thought as she observed the interaction between the elf and her employer.
“Marta, you look a little pale today.” The little man turned his attention to her.

“Thank you, Claude. Nice of you to notice.” Yep, she needed to strangle the little shit.
“Claude, Marta and I are going to the dining room to grab a bite of lunch. I hope you can take a break and come with us. I’d like to hear more about the ideas you mentioned last night.” Linc placed his hand on the small man’s shoulder, and the men walked away leaving Marta to follow.

Damn, damn, double damn. Marta felt like the outsider here. No way would they shut her out through their male bonding. She rushed to catch up.

 

 

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