Welcome back to Behind Closed Doors. Today I would like to ask a favor. I’ve started a Thunderclap campaign for my first book of poetry. Not only was it the first of the poetry to be put out there for all to see, it was the very first book I published myself through Sassy Vixen Publishing. It was only the second book I had out there after For the Love of Quinn with Siren Bookstrand.
January 1st marks the third anniversary of the release of Follow Me: Poetry from the Heart and Soul. Besides chronicling my path through some of life’s most challenging moments, it’s a journal of my evolution as a writer.All the ups and downs are there: love, loss, betrayal, destruction of self esteem and redemption. All can be said for working my way through the highs and lows of the publishing world.
That’s right. The world of a published author isn’t all five star reviews, wine and roses. It’s full of blood, sweat, and tears…a hell of a lot of tears. Some of them are happy, while others are bittersweet. During the last three years I’ve seen and experienced quiet a bit from success to failure, from excitement to despair, from nervous butterflies waiting for reviews to the heartbreaking betrayal of fellow authors.
Reading through these poems again reminded me just how far I’ve come as a person, lover, wife, friend, poet and author. I’ve built walls around my heart and have developed an even thicker skin than I had when I submitted that first manuscript to Siren. I’m far from perfect—just like my characters and their stories. I write about real, honest, and often gut-wrenching emotions. Sometimes the scenes aren’t pretty, but in the end the characters find their way through and into the arms of the one who completes them heart and soul.
Will you help me celebrate these poems by supporting me in my Thunderclap campaign? All you have to do is click on the photo/banner above, or here. I have until midnight on December 31st to meet the goal of 100 supporters so the campaign will go live over Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. It’s easy to do. Click on the outlets you would like to support the campaign on and Thunderclap does the rest. They will only post the one spot and will not have access to your accounts to do anything else.
At the time of this post, with 11 days left, we are at 46 supporters. Can you spare a moment or two and join me?
Thank you for your continued support in everything! Without you, I wouldn’t be able to continue to share my work.
Welcome back to Behind Closed Doors. I’ve been away for awhile sorting through the projects on my desk and getting ready for my new releases scheduled over the next two months. It’s been a whirlwind of activity with a few set backs with the move, new jobs and my monitor dying on me last night. LOL! Thanks to the Navy Exchange, I have the new one up and running and I’m catching up on everything I wasn’t able to tackle with the Netbook.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the new wave of pirate sites and illegal file sharing groups. It’s disheartening to get Google alerts with my books listed on more sites daily. I took a long hard look at where these places got the files to begin with and my heart broke further. Most of them came from copies I had given out in exchange for reviews and for prizes during blog hops. The other source turns out to be from purchases right from Amazon.
Yes you read that correctly. Amazon’s policy to allow returns of ebooks has enabled these book hoarders to continue to steal from their “favorite” authors. One person purchases the book and copies it to their computer before returning it to Amazon for a refund. Then they take this file and convert it to any other format needed for their share groups before uploading it to those sites. It’s a game to these people. They love the attention they get when people ask them to find a book for them. All the while they make it more and more difficult for the authors of these books to continue with their craft. I mean, who wants to pour your heart and soul into a story only to have it stolen from you over and over again?
Speaking of stealing…
It’s not only the pirates we have to watch out for but the snakes in our own community. That’s right. What’s the old saying? Keep your friends close but your enemies closer? What do you do when the people you thought were your friends and colleagues are the very people stealing from you?
Creating stories similar to each other is bound to happen. We are a close knit group. There are fewer and fewer truly original ideas out there. I’m not talking about that but blatant, full on plagiarism. Oh wait, it’s not really that now but “mixing.” That’s what some snot-nosed 17 year old writer, and I use the term loosely, calls her theft of another author’s published work. What’s even worse is she is getting REWARDED for this horrible behavior instead of tossed out on her ass.
But wait! There’s more.
I posted a question on my Facebook page not too long ago. I asked what was worse: an author who steals from a fellow author or an publisher who steals from one of it’s own authors and then publishes the story under their own pen name. The overwhelming response was while both were heinous, the theft by the publisher made everyone want to vomit.
I agree. It’s the worst kind of betrayal but add in there snakes who disguise themselves as beta readers or critique partners, or those valued members of your street teams. Who the hell is left out there to trust? My original question on Facebook wasn’t a hypothetical. It actually happened. Not to me but to someone in my inner circle. Those of you who know me, know I don’t sit back and take that sort of thing lightly. I may appear all nicey nice on the outside, but if you cross me, my family or my friends then I unleash the Wicked Vixen…and “it ain’t purdy.”
This whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth and a knot in my stomach. Why should I keep writing and putting myself out there if someone will end up stealing it away from me or my friends? We’re supposed to help and encourage each other in our journeys, not sabotage them before we leave the nest.
So what do we do? We keep going. We continue to write and put our best stuff out there. The more we do, the more people/readers will know we are the real deal. We’re not going anywhere and we will take back what was stolen from us…in spades.
For those of you out there who think you’re getting away with stealing…we’re watching you and we’re not the only ones. Karma never forgets and neither do I.
I’d like to welcome everyone here today. It’s the first day of the Wicked After Dark Halloween Blog Hop. Over 220 authors and bloggers are participating in this hop giving you many opportunities to visit with authors you already know and discover new ones…maybe even try out a new genre or two. Who knows?
On each blog you will have a change to enter a contest to win prizes ranging from ebooks and gift cards to something wicked or naughty to go along with the Halloween theme.Here on Behind Closed Doors, I’ll be offering a fun prize package that includes some adult toys for a fun night of role playing and maybe a little BDSM with the one you love…or just the one you lust over! 😉
I‘ll be putting up posts during the entire week of the hop starting tomorrow when Wiccan Priestess Brigid Moon takes over the blog. She’s one of the characters from the second novel in my Now and Forever series. TheIslandis to be released on November 15th and I couldn’t be more excited! Even though it’s the second book in the series, it’s actually a prequel of sorts explaining how it is Quinn and Jacob have been destined to be together through every lifetime.
Before I go any further, I’d like to give you a peek at the prize package I put together for one lucky visitor. All you have to do to win it is make sure you leave a comment on any of the days of the hop. You can do it every day if you wish to get more entries. The Rafflecopter link will be posted at the bottom of each day so you can check it to be sure you’ve collected every entry possible. Some are worth more entries than others so for your best chances, collect all entries available. Here’s a picture of the items in the package…
There is a feather boa, mask and of course a tickler/whip to play with. There is a battery operated “friend” in there along with a package of lubes and oils to make your play time special. As you can see, this is definitely and ADULTS ONLY prize. This is an ADULTS ONLY blog too. So if you are under 18 years of age, you should leave now.
On to today’s post…
I decided to give a basic overview of what to expect this week. Tomorrow will be Brigid giving us her insights and maybe even a guest appearance by two of the Gods I call The Three. Since Brigid can see them, she should be able to interview them, right? 😉 Since these two siblings tend to be at odds frequently, I’m sure Brigid will have her hands full keeping the interview on course. Just in case, I’ve given her two days at the helm. I’m sure she will handle it all with ease. Not much phases her!
After Brigid, we’ll get another special treat. Steve Eischer has agreed to stop in and fill us in on the stuff that went on behind the scenes in Las Vegas. Besides The Three, Steve knows the most about Quinn and Jacob and their journey to be together. Hell, he even took matters into his own hands when it looked like things were going awry in For the Love of Quinn. Not too much goes on without Steve knowing about it. Ahhh..the perks of being a billionaire!
My sister blog Sassy Vixen Publishing is also participating. Over there you will be able to see Quinn and Jacob’s story through the eyes of their Guardian Angels Michael and Daniel. Make sure you stop in and see what they have to say. You will be seeing a lot more of these two in the future books of this series!
Okay, so now you have a basic idea of how I’m going to run my part of the blog hop and contest. Make sure you come back tomorrow for the start of Brigid’s posts, start gathering your entries through the Rafflecopter link below, and make sure you take the time each day to check out the rest of the participants in the hop. All you have to do is click on the graphic at the start of the post and you will be taken to the list of the other blogs. Or you can click on the little Linky Icon below the Rafflecopter link to take you to your next stop. Have fun!
Once again it’s time to fire up the spotlights and shine them on the couch on center stage. In just a few moments, my guest author Elodie Parkes will join us. Her newest novel was just released and she’s graciously agreed to spend a little time with us today talking about that and herself. So gather around, get comfortable and join me in welcoming Elodie to Behind Closed Doors.
Thank you for agreeing to be with us today, Elodie. How about we get started with the questions about you as a writer. What inspires you to write?
People and emotions inspires me. The complexity of life spurs me to write.
Are you a plotter or panster or a little of both?
I start to write with the ideas and characters already in my head. It generally just flows because I know the story I want to tell.
Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven?
Both I think, although with a greater emphasis on the characters.
Do you listen to music while writing? What kinds of music work best for you? Do different types of music help you for different types of scenes?
I listen to nothing when I am writing (laughs) even if something is on, you know TV or CD I can’t hear it. I go into my writing and that’s it, I’m completely unavailable to the world and its noise.
Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? Why are these types so appealing to you?
I write about composites of people I have met, seen, or noticed in real life. I think there is a lot of loneliness out there in the real world and I like to give those characters I create love, friends and for them to grow too.
What are your favorite fiction genres to read from? Well I read heaps of books and genre hop. I have no favorite author, as I love so many author’s work. I read a whole lot of paranormal romance. I read Science Fiction, mystery, contemporary romance. I read reference books too, usually, art, art history, and some business books. I’ve read all William Gibson’s books. I’ve read hundreds of books, as it’s one of my favorite pastimes. I’m reading ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ right now.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you think they appeal so much to you? Well as I said I don’t have a real favorite author but I can say, I like Philip K Dick because his Sci-fi is so creative and intelligent, Robert Goddard because he is forever re-inventing, Sue Grafton because how do you write am alphabet of detective crime that is entertaining consistently like her ? Christine Feehan because she just goes for it (smiles).
What kinds of stories are your comfort reads when you are sick or feeling low? Sexy, erotic romance HEA’s
What inspires you and why? (Art, poetry, music, movie, book, etc. Please share something specific if you like.) People inspire me, just in general life. Art is a favorite of mine but it has not so far inspired a book. I think it’s life and the way we all live. I write romance, erotic romance because I think we need more love in the world. Real love I mean, acceptance, caring and camaraderie.
Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time? What’s your day job? Do you like it? Why or why not? How has your job affected your personal development? How has it affected your writing life? I run about with my dogs Celt and Chaucer. I trawl through antiques fairs and markets as I do love this. I work in a shop, an antiques shop and I meet a huge variety of people who often give me ideas. For instance for my book ‘Millie Reinvented’ I did have inspiration from a customer. I was talking to a young woman who was in the antiques shop where I work and she was buying a little sculpture of two lovers kissing. She said she had to have it because it was so nice to look at, as her husband didn’t even kiss her anymore. I couldn’t say anything I just wrapped the item, and stored the thought until the story burst out onto my laptop.
Congratulations on your new release, The Horoscope Writer. In one or two sentences, give us the core premise of the story.
Life is stranger than you think. Everyone needs and wants real love and a lifelong love.
When and where does your book take place? The Horoscope Writer take place in rural/urban United Kingdom in 2012.
Who is the heroine? Cassandra Thomson
What drives her? Her childhood experience of being a disappointment to her parents. Her artistic talent. Her need to be loved.
What draws her to the hero in this story? She is drawn to Dominic the hero because he is unusual, creative as she is, (he’s a writer). He is unknowingly broadcasting desire for her and she needs that.
Who is the hero? Dominic Reed
What drives him? His loneliness, his past experience, and his strange inheritance from his great uncle.
What draws him to the heroine in this story? Her looks initially and then her trust and love for him. (Smiles)
Rumor has it, you’re working on your next novel. What’s it called?
The Last Time
Now let’s get a look at your new release The Horoscope Writer. You are all in for a real treat. Elodie has brought an excerpt for us today as well as a short blurb.
When Dominic Reed looks out of his study window and sees Cassie, he’s not sure what to make of her at first. That’s before he sees her lovely gray eyes and pretty skin. He’s a writer and works alone, which to his sadness has become his way of life.
When he asks Cassie to have coffee with him, it’s the start of an intoxicating romance for the both of them. If only Dominic didn’t have to hide some of his writing, if only he hadn’t inherited a strange gift from his great uncle Aubrey. Cassie ignites a passion in Dominic that he has never felt before, and he seeks for a way to bind her to him.
Cassie is an artist and when she falls in love with Dominic she paints him a picture of his wonderful back garden where they have made love, little knowing that it will have a special effect on Dominic.
Dominic stood back and pulled off his sweater, and then almost tore the buttons of Cassie’s shirt open to reach her breasts. He pushed her bra down to her waist exposing her breasts and cupping them in his hands. Cassie’s breath was coming in gasps as Dominic sucked on her nipples, and then turned her around to clasp her to him, and kiss down her neck from behind. With his other hand, he unzipped her jeans and slid his hand down her stomach.
Cassie was desperate to feel his fingers inside her, and she arched towards his hand, pushing her jeans down for him to reach her. Dominic moved his fingers down to reach her wet and throbbing for him.
He held her gently around her neck to reach her jaw and bring her head back to kiss her lips. With his fingers inside her, his tongue in her mouth, and his own hard desire pressing against her bottom Cassie moaned as she came. She was weak from the sensation, and Dominic was groaning low and whispering something to her. She turned her head more bringing her arms up around his head to keep his kiss on her lips.
“I need you so much”, Dominic was whispering, and he gently pressed her to bend across his kitchen table. Cassie knew what was going to happen and she craved it. Dominic pushed down his own jeans to free his erection before the hardness killed him. He was tender as he pushed into Cassie from behind, holding her around her breasts so that she was not pushed hard against the polished wood. He slid into her and thrust deep wanting her to come again as she sighed with the pleasure of his hands on her breasts, her hips, and the way he filled her.
Dominic was in love with her but she ignited a sexual need in him that drove him to thrust hard, and he let go of her breasts to bring his fingers to her bud at the same time as he thrust into her. Cassie couldn’t breathe as she came again, and gasped his name. “Dominic”.
Elodie Parkes, it’s been a pleasure having you with us today. I hope you will come back again soon when your next book is available for us to read. Until then we’ll catch up with you and your latest novel updates online.
Hello again! Welcome back to this fabulous blog hop. Have you had a chance to check out the other authors participating? Well, you still have six days to visit them all and revisit them at will. Make sure you leave comments so that you can be entered in all the contests. As for mine, all you have to do is comment on one or all days I put up a post during the hop and you get another entry to win a signed print copy of my erotic contemporary romance For the Love of Quinn and a basket of Las Vegas Bling! What’s in that basket? Well, I’m set to arrive in Vegas on February 18th. From the moment I check into the New York New York Hotel/Casino it’s game on! I will be looking for all sorts of things for the basket. Watch for further updates about what I found on each day. Now mind you, I have to be there for a veterinary conference, so I will have a big chunk of the day devoted to lectures, but the nights…oh the nights…will belong to me! Bwahahahaha! Sorry about that. The Vixen takes over from time to time. 😉
Las Vegas is my favorite place on earth second only to my home state of Michigan. A close runner up is of course Disneyland. Hmmm…maybe that’s why I set For the Love of Quinn in all three spots! This blog entry today is devoted to Sin City. What better place to feature during a Naughty Blog hop? If you’ve never been to this city that is truly the one that never sleeps (trust me, it’s not New York as Mr. Sinatra would have us all believe!), I suggest you save up your allowance kids and get there! You have not lived until you’ve experienced all that this city has to offer.
From the night life, to the buffets, to the casinos without any clocks, to the fantastic shows, there is something for everyone in this town. Sure the biggest attraction here are the casinos, and this is where the hotels make their money, but you can keep busy here and not gamble one cent. There is always at least one Cirque du Soleil show playing every night, famous singers such as Cher, Celine Dion, Bette Midler and even Elton John in featured shows. Are you into magic? David Copperfield has his own theater at the MGM Grande. At different times there are Broadway shows such as Mamma Mia and The Lion King playing at the Mandalay Bay. Of course this town is also well known for hosting thousands of different conferences from the Adult Film Industry to the Western Veterinary Conference. (This is the one I’m attending!) There are free shows too such as the water fountain productions at the Bellagio every half hour on the hour, the pirate battle at Treasure Island and oodles and oodles of street performers. There are beautiful flower displays at the Bellagio every season and my favorite so far is the one last Christmas. So many displays packed in one large room. It was breathtaking!
Want to commemorate your trip to Vegas? How about getting a little ink? The PussyKat Tattoo Parlor is where I got my second tattoo. It’s a nod to a pendant that Quinn had made for Steve in For the Love of Quinn. I had a heck of a time coming up with a name for the series of these books and low and behold, I had it all the time…on my left shoulder blade area! They say once you get inked, you crave more and boy is that true for me. I’m planning on a third tattoo, but finding the time to get it done had been a challenge. Maybe in a couple months I’ll get back into that chair and feel the “scratch” of those tat needles. Oh, I can’t wait! I’m thinking of a phoenix as a nod to another book in this series My Love, My Friend. The heroine, Sammi decides to let Derek Quartermarsh design a tattoo for her. For her, the phoenix symbolizes the rebirth and changes she is having to go through to get her life on track. hmmm…is anyone else having a feeling of deja vu? LOL
My favorite past time in Vegas is of course the slots. I love the sounds of all those bells and whistles…and that’s not always when you are winning. Now they have machines that entertain you as you play, keeping you feeding money in them to get more and more songs or movie clips to play. There are machines based on our favorite television shows such as American Idol, Survisor, The Amazing Race, and Wheel of Fortune. The best games are those with multiple pay lines and therefore more ways to win. If you by chance get a great spin going, you can fill the screen with wilds and BAM! You’ve won a jackpot!
There are so many things to so and see that you can’t possibly do them all in one trip. I know I can’t and I’ve been to this city at least once a year for the last twelve. This year is extra special for me. My muse/soul mate will be joining me the second half of my stay. I can’t wait to show him and all of you “My Vegas!” I fly out tomorrow so look out Sin City! The Vixen is BAAAACK!
Thank you, Tammy, for inviting me to your blog. What an opportune time for me! In March the first book of my series comes out. Now I have a chance to shout out to the world about it. First I’ll bore, er, I mean I’ll tell you a little bit about me.
I grew up in Utah. When I was young, I lived on a 40 acre farm. Had a great time, you can’t imagine what a kid can do, who has a good imagination, with barns, kennels, hay fields and the list goes on. It was a small town and every 4th of July they had a big celebration with a rodeo and baseball game. Sort of like Doc Hollywood without the squash and Micheal J Fox.
Now I’m older than dirt, have 6 kids and 7 grandkids and I love it. We areall very close. My 3 oldest grandsons and I are writing a middle grade story called History Mysteries. I’ll let everyone know when that comes out.
Every Wednesday evening the entire family—that lives in Utah that is—descends to have dinner at our house for Papa and Nana night. During the winter, it’s a bit of a challenge since it’s crowded, but come summer we have a blast outside in the yard with dinner on the patio. Oh and we mustn’t forget the two dogs that usually tag along also, Duchess and Bubbles.
Now that you’re all yawning I’ll move on to the exciting stuff! The Becketts are coming to town! The Beckett Series is about a family who grew up in Brooklyn.
The Beckett’s have a strong sense of family and honor.
When one of their own is threatened, their bond is as strong as a badge of steel.
eBook March 2012
Print May 2012
After two years undercover as an FBI agent to infiltrate a crime organization and discover the identity of a hit man, Tyler Beckett’s cover is blown. Tyler’s new assignment is to protect the only witness who can identify the mysterious killer. If only he didn’t find her so attractive. Each day it becomes harder to keep his objective, especially since he knows the interest is mutual.
Keira Cavanaugh is the only witness to a hit ordered by a crime boss. The safe house is compromised and the same hit man shoots Tyler. Fearing Tyler is dead, Keira plans revenge on the crime organization. She must fake her own suicide in order to survive.
When Tyler discovers what Keira plans, he realizes he must stop her before he loses her for good.
eBook July 2012
Print September 2012
All Jessica wants is a home and a family. So how did she suddenly find herself falsely accused of a felony and then kidnapped by a hit man?
Jessica Beckett loves her job teaching high school algebra. That is until Coach Brinley makes her life miserable because she actually has the audacity to fail his three staring football jocks. Maybe if they’d done their homework they would have passed. She refuses to be intimidated. He on the other hand refuses to admit defeat and manipulates the boys into accusing her of sex in exchange for passing grades.
Gabriel Despain loves his job as FBI agent. But falling for his partner’s sister has complicated a great partnership. It would be a lot easier to ignore his feelings if Jessica hadn’t found herself in trouble. Now he must keep her safe. And if he can’t remain objective, they both might get killed.
eBook November 2012
Print January 2013
Christine Beckett’s dream of partnership in a prestigious New York City law firm has finally come to fruition. She has financial security, a loving family, and owns her home, why does she need a man?
Detective Solomon has worked with Tyler Beckett on several cases, he almost feels he is part of the Beckett clan. He considers them his good friends, except for Christine who seems to look down her professional nose at him.
Christine receives a threatening note and her townhouse echoes with mysterious cries in the night. That is when the handsome and irritating detective insists he temporarily move in to protect her. To add insult, it is with her family’s blessing.
Awakening before the setting sun,
Desire burning for my Promised One.
Longing to embrace you under the light of the Moon,
To drink our fill of each other until the dawn.
Your smile alone is enough to make me swoon.
The veil of darkness at last falls,
Allowing me to pass through these damp, lonely halls.
Our home is cold and dark without you by my side,
But not for much longer.
Tonight you will be my Vampyre Bride.
The full Moon illuminates the clearing
Where I find you feeding from one of your admirers,
His face full of bliss.
Watching you drives me wild with desire
To touch you and taste the blood
Still warm on your lips.
My pulse quickens as I draw near.
The need to give my body and blood to you
Grows sharp and crystal clear.
Still I hold back just a moment longer
Watching you quench your insatiable hunger.
Your scent is an intoxicating bouquet.
Your beauty eclipses all those around.
I long to lay with you and bite you again on this day,
As always my love for you knows no bounds.
The desire to have your fangs deep in my neck,
Drinking from the Well of Life
And Power in my veins can no longer be denied.
Moving across the field, silently praying for you to see.
You come to me at last, eyes burning,
Arms open wide.
Melting in your embrace,
Exposing the well at my neck for you to taste.
The Life Force of the Elders courses
Through my veins.
The perfect gift for you:
My love, my heart,
My Immortal Mate.