My Writing Process

(I think this went live too early, earlier. Sorry folks)

My Writing Process – Blog Tour 
Step one: Acknowledge the person & site that involved you in the blog tour (that’s me).
Thanks, Helena Fairfax for tagging me in this process. Helena Fairfax is a contemporary romance writer and author of The Silk Romance and The Antique Love. You can find out more about Helena’s books and her writing process on her post at http://helenafairfax.com/2014/04/18/my-writing-process-blog-tour/

Step two: Answer these 4 questions about your writing process, at whatever length you wish.
 
1) What am I working on?
I’m about to release my next title, Changeling’s Crown. It’s a lighthearted paranormal romance, revolving around a disgraced faery godmother. :) For fans of my paranormal fantasies,  I’ve been working (slowly) on two follow-ups to Drawing Down the Shades. What with the “slowly” part I can’t say when they’ll be out. I hope to have one of them in my beta readers’ hands by Halloween. *knock on wood* Stay tuned.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to take chances, be somewhat different from what readers might expect. For instance, my disgraced faery godmother. :) I mean we all know faery godmothers from the fairy tales. Do you ever remember them fouling up an assignment? Neither do I. Until now, that is. For the Antique Magic series well, my heroine starts out a skeptic, and really gets into what she does. I’ve only read one other book like that.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always written tales with a magical bent, though I couldn’t really tell you why. I think it’s because I like the work involved in building a world outside the norm. Just setting something in a world that we all instantly recognizes has always seemed boring to me. Tweaking reality is just so much fun!

4) How does my writing process work?

Oh, I get an idea and–depending on the idea–I’ll do a little research or I’ll just start scribbling, I have a good friend (writer Jolene Dawe), who I bounce ideas off when I get stuck (and she bounces stuff off me!), then if necessary, I’ll do more research to fill in the blanks. I build off that until the end, then I’ll let the story or book sit for a week or so, then go back and do my first revision. Fix all the stupid mistakes, fill in with more research if possible.

Thanks for being with me on this journey and thanks, Helena, for including me in the hop.

Three other writers to visit:
Catherine McMaster
Helena Fairfax, of course.
A fine writer S.G. Rogers
and paranormal enthusiast and budding writing Renae Rude.

So you want to be a paranormal investigator

For this week’s Freaky Friday, this may just be a rumor, but someone I was talking to this week said he’d heard “paranormal investigator” was now a “hot job”. Okay, I don’t know if *I’d* be brave enough to go out for it (unlike my characters Caitlin and Beryl, I am a Chicken–yes, that is a capital c). Still, these are some of the articles I went to help them along the way.  (aside from the workshop I sat in on with the May Stringer House…) I’m really not sure I’d recommend it, though. Just reading through several articles, it seems fun, but I’ve also heard (even from some paranormally inclined folks I’ve had peripheral contact with *waves to Renee*) that it seems you can get into some serious trouble if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Seven Best Jobs for Paranormal Enthusiasts.

TAPS (THE Atlantic Paranormal Society) [of course]

Careers In Paranormal Research.

How to Become a Paranormal Investigator.

PIs-copy

As for me, yeah. I’m a chicken. I think I’ll stick to reading about it and picking other people’s brain for plot goodies. ;)

 

Blogging about corrections, color, cookies

C: Corrections, color, cookies.

Despite the fact that I’ve blogged more recently (you’re shocked, I know), I’m busy writing. I’m making revisions on a forthcoming story so my mind keeps going to that. Corrections, ugh. Yes, I too make typos. It’s part of life. So right now, I’m going through and making those corrections. The other c-topic on my mind? Color. I’ve been participating in the April event my friend puts on for the nail community, so Mainly blue. For this month, I have a lot of blue nail polish. :)

blueapril3blueapril4blueglitteralone3

My husband likes the sweet stuff, though, so this seemed a good addition. topic.

 

(and now…cookies!)

cookies
Sorry I didn’t actually get a chance to bake any. That’s where the corrections and the writing gets in the way.

I guess I could add to this topic, my new book’s title falls in the C’s. :) *hinthint* Stay tuned for that. So…that’s my boring ole C topic this week.

Redeeming and releasing a rebel with author Cynthia Woolf

Romance author Cynthia Woolf recently released a new historical romance. I asked her to tell us a little about it.

 

Redeemed by a RebelBlurb:
Jake Anderson killed a man defending his fiancée from a brutal attack, but lost her and his freedom in the process. Now he’s on the run, hunted by one of her murderers and tormented by the need for vengeance.Becky Finnegan will do anything to escape her drunken father’s fists, including slave away at their mine. Her only hope is to strike gold and make a new life for herself somewhere far, far away from Deadwood. But then Jake arrives and does the unthinkable…forces her to feel, to hope…and to love.

Jake would give his life to protect Becky, but all he can offer her is a broken heart, a criminal’s life, and a past haunted by failure. How can he save her when he’s already lost himself? When the devil catches up to him, will he destroy everything, or can the beautiful rebel redeem Jake’s lost soul?

CHAPTER 1

 

August 1876

He’d been dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Becky Finnegan remembered finding Horace Sutter splayed across the rocks like the annual sacrifice to some unknown god. Heck, that wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. She’d had to leave him to collect her no good, drunkard father, Billy, from The Gem where he spent all the gold she worked her butt off to get.

She’d lied to Billy once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all of it, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, since Becky killed her Ma by getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.

Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from The Gem, after he’d spent another night drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.

She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. Some said they were rebels because West Virginia was in the south during the War of Northern Aggression. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Becky barely remembered the place anymore. She supposed the only reason she didn’t forget it altogether was because she’d lived there with Grandma Bess. Those were the memories she liked to remember. Grandma Bess was so good to her, but then she had to go and die. Then there was just Billy and new place after new place

Every time she hoped this might be the spot, the one where they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the goodwill from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on.

She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and speak so she was able to get better jobs as time went on. But not good enough to keep Billy supplied which was why she spent all day in the cold river panning for whatever gold, flake or nugget, she could find.

She went into The Gem and saw Billy, face down on one of the tables next to the door.

“Hi, just came to get Billy,” she said to the man behind the bar.

“Ah, if it isn’t Miss Finnegan. Where are your bruises Becky? Guess Billy’s been keeping his fists to himself lately.” Al Swearengen, owner of The Gem and procurer of flesh, said from in front of his second floor office.

“No thanks to you and all the whiskey he downs here,” she said. There was a running dialogue that she had with Al, every time she picked up Billy.

“Thanks for that. I love the gold Billy spends here every night. He almost single-handedly keeps me in business.”

She rolled her eyes and looked over at Billy, wondering if she really could be related to the reprobate. She’d get the barkeep to load him on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. Totally ignorant of the whole situation, he blissfully slept off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor.

There’d been just as many times she left him at The Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass..

Dan, the barkeep said, “you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim. Wouldn’t you like that Becky? No more standing in the cold river. You’d be flat on your back, but you’d be warm.”

He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway. The small porch like structure went along the whole back of the building, all of the doors to the whores rooms were off of it and visible from the bar where the barkeep could keep track of the comings and goings of the men from the rooms.

“Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.” She hoped the sarcasm came through in her voice.

Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Help her load Billy on to her mule,” he said to the barkeep then he turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky,” he called over his shoulder.

She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let any man with a dollar in his pocket touch her in that way.

Redeemed by a Rebel is available at: Amazon -
Barnes & NobleKoboAppleGoogle Play

Author Cynthia Woolf

Author Cynthia Woolf

Bio:

Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similiarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

 

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

 

TITLES AVAILABLE

REDEEMED BY A REBEL

TAME A WILD HEART

TAME A WILD WIND

TAME A WILD BRIDE

TAME A SUMMER HEART

CAPITAL BRIDE

HEIRESS BRIDE

FIERY BRIDE

LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story

 

Find out more about Cynthia and her works on her website: www.cynthiawoolf.com

Cynthia on Twitter @CynthiaWoolf

The Romance Reviews Third Anniversary

Oh!! And before I forget, I’m taking part in the Romance Reviews 3 year Anniversary party today–that is, March 30.
Romance Reviews 3rd anniversary

There are more than 450 authors participating with giveaways and the grand prize is  a $100 Gift Certificate! You need to be registered and log in to participate in the giveaways so head on over there now to do that.

cover art for Passion's Sacred Dance. Cover art by Kim Mendoza

Cover art by Kim Mendoza

And I’m giving away an e-copy of my paranormal romance novel Passion’s Sacred Dance to one lucky winner. My Q and A contribution is up here. Good luck!

Joleene Naylor on Children of Shadows

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Joleene is an independent soul and author who has created a unique paranormal world in her Children of Shadows series. She blogs at Joleenenaylor.com, is a regular contributor to the Self Pubbed Authors blog (http://selfpubauthors.com) ,and in the hours between creates cover art for other authors (at http://coverart.joleenenaylor.com/)  and still finds time to indulge in photography.

Hi, Joleene, thanks for being here. Why don’t get a little coffee, and meanwhile, tell us a little about yourself.

Joleene Naylor: Ah! It’s that moment when I’m supposed to make myself seem witty and interesting, but sadly I’m just boring. As for witty… well, I try, but you know how it is. People tend to assume I’m a dark, depressing person because my books are dark, but I’m actually pretty cheerful. When asked, “Is the glass half empty, or half full”, my response is, “Yay! We have a glass!”

That’s a great outlook to have in this tough business. So tell us, who or what inspired the Children of Shadows—or for those just starting the series, Kat and Jorick, and their story?

Joleene: Anime always inspires me. In fact I’d love to see the series turned into one. My main goal has always been to be different, and I think from some of the comments and reviews I’ve received that I’ve been successful. There’s romance, yes, but there’s a lot of blood, too. There aren’t any werewolves, or shifters involved, just good old fashioned vampires. As for Children of Shadows, it picks up a week after Heart of the Raven ends and is the middle of the three part Heart of the Raven story arc. That means there are a few unanswered questions in this one, and it’s also the first in the series to end with a sort of cliff hanger.

I read somewhere that you’re a fantasy reader at heart, so, with such a glut of Vampire novels on the market, why write them?

Joleene: I actually wrote Shades of Gray, the first in the series, in 2005, before Twilight was mainstream and the giant glut had hit. At the time, I’d read several vampire books back-to-back where the human woman was supposedly a humdrum lady until she met the vampires – whom she automatically accepted – and then she immediately became a kick-ass fighter. Every time I thought, “This is ridiculous”, so when NaNoWriMo rolled around I decided to write a story where a more average woman gets tangled up with them. She doesn’t believe it right away, and she certainly isn’t a natural born fighter (though she’s been improving as the series has progressed). She had a job that she lost, she has a mother who, when she disappeared, reported her missing. It’s still not 100% realistic – there are vampires, after all – but I think it’s closer than a lot of the books out there. And since I’m a fantasy fan, as the series goes it picks up more of a fantasy-style format.

Why do you think readers keep returning to the subject?

Joleene: Vampires represent so many things, especially if you add romance. They’re the ultimate lovers (hundreds of years of experience, and then add the orgasm inducing vampire bite), they’re the ultimate hero (generally they’re killing or fighting someone, usually to save their lady) and they’re the ultimate dangerous bad boy (they could actually kill you while drinking from you!). Even if you take away the romance, they give writers and readers a lot of flexibility. They can be old fashioned in modern circumstances, which is always good for a laugh, or they can be ultra-modern. You can write in any kind of story: sad, happy, contemporary, historical, in any era, and so long as they have fangs it falls under the paranormal umbrella, so as a writer you don’t have to break your genre. Then you can give them super powers and cool nicknames like Hand of Death. It doesn’t get much better.

True. What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

Joleene: The Amaranthine books aren’t life changing experiences, though there’s some wisdom poked among the pages. Mostly I just want my readers to be entertained, and it would be awesome if they liked the characters.

You decided to indie publish this series. As many writers are leaning towards that option these days, what do you think are the best, and worst, things about it? What should prudent, budding authors be aware of when considering what to do with their work?

Joleene: The best and worst thing is that it’s ALL up to you. This is the best because you have control, but the worst because there’s no one else to blame. I’ve read blogs from traditional authors blaming their bad covers, bad editing, forced plot changes, etc etc. on their publisher, but we don’t have that luxury. We take the blame for everything. Even if we hire it out there’s still an expectation that we should have checked it first and it’s still our fault.
Something writers should be realistic about are that sales equal work. There are amazing success stories, but the average indie isn’t one of them. I know hundreds of authors, and most sell less than a hundred of copies. Is it because their books are bad? Or because they don’t advertise? Or maybe they just haven’t gotten lucky? I don’t know, but I do know that advertising is very important. The average reader isn’t going to stumble on your book accidentally. Especially not when there are so many free titles now. KDP Select has really toughened up the market because why should someone pay for a book when it may be free later, or they can get a book of equal value for free?

What’s next for you now that Children of Shadows is released?

Joleene: I’ve actually started the next book, Clash of Legends, which will wrap up the current story arc and if I’m lucky start the next one. I am also working on a second short story collection and Tales of the Executioners (Aine is currently a free read on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc.). I’d like to do an Amaranthine Encyclopedia, but I don’t know if or when I’ll have time for that.

Lastly, a fun question, if you could meet any famous vampire, who would it be and what would you ask him (or her)?

Joleene: Louis de Pointe du Lac, from Interview with a Vampire. I’d ask him, “Why are you still whining after all these years?” Ha ha! Okay, a little joke there. Actually I think the brides of Dracula would be interesting. I mean, what’s their story? How did they end up there? Did he kidnap them? I always got that feeling, and I imagine their lives are actually pretty tragic. And that should make for an excellent story.

*lol* Who wouldn’t want to ask Louis that? Just get a hold of yourself, man! *giggles* Thanks again for being with us today, Joleene and good luck with Children of Shadows and all you do! Folks before you head off, don’t forget there’s a contest involved. Just fill out the form below and good luck!
Children of Shadows Release Tour giveaway

Amaranthine Book 6: Children of Shadows

Amaranthine Book 6: Children of Shadows

You can fill out the form for the giveaway here:
Children of Shadows Release Tour giveaway

Excerpt:

It was nearly three when Jorick and Katelina went to the restaurant. Wolfe and Sadihra sat at a table in one of the smaller rooms. A handful of tables were scattered around them, but most were empty. Though Katelina couldn’t say why, she got the impression it was some kind of VIP room.
Sadihra greeted them, and Wolfe gave them stony nods. A waiter took their order; blood for the vampires and a pasta dish for Katelina. Once he’d gone, Wolfe turned to Jorick. “The Höher Rat spoke to the prisoners we brought with us.”
“And?” Jorick asked.
“Their evidence held true. They would give very little information about their so-called order, except to say its function is to destroy the Children of Shadows, which they claim is not defunct as we all believe, but instead has been secretly thriving.”
“The last of that cult died when I was still a fledgling,” Jorick said. “Malick helped hunt Memnon himself. I watched him burn, and I watched his followers burn.” He paused a moment then added with no emotion, “I helped to light the fires for some.”
Wolfe nodded. “I was there, too, if you’ll remember. They weren’t all they were rumored to be, just a squabbling bunch of immortals scrabbling for power.”
“There was a lot of that back then,” Jorick said.
“Yes, before the Kugsankal stamped out the last of it and organized the new system. With the recent upheavals, I worry those times may come again. If the group really has resurfaced then it’s no wonder. Malick may have set a dangerous precedent.”
The waiter interrupted with the food, and it was only after the glasses of blood were poured from a large crystal decanter that the conversation resumed.
“As I was saying, the research department found mention of The Black Vigil in a collection of letters from the ancient materials department. They were a group from Moldavia, led by a Dumitru, who organized them in the fourteenth century, initially to fight another ‘evil’ master. Eventually they evolved as enemies of The Children of Shadow, though it doesn’t say why. There was some hint that they had a change of leadership, but no specific name is given. They disappeared from records in the sixteenth century, presumably wiped out by the Children, and no one has seen or heard of them since.”
“I see.” Jorick sipped from his glass. “So they are both dead orders, so to speak.”
“Or un-dead,” Katelina muttered to herself.

Bio:

Author Joleene Naylor

Author Joleene Naylor

Joleene Naylor is the author of Amaranthine, a paranormal series where vampires live in the shadows and don’t sparkle. In her spare time she is a freelance artist, book cover designer and photographer. You can find information on all of her pursuits at her website http://JoleeneNaylor.com . She also maintains blogs full of odd ramblings and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live near Bolivar Missouri with their miniature zoo and a couch coated in cat fur.

Blurb:
The sixth installment of the Amaranthine series pulsates with the dark blood of vampire lore.
The Children of Shadows, a vampire cult not seen for hundreds of years, resurfaces to wage war on the vampire guilds. Led by a familiar face, the cult wreaks havoc while Katelina and Jorick are trapped in Munich. Ume, a mysterious vampiress, claims to know Verchiel and offers the help of her secret organization. But can they trust her?
As mysteries are solved, new ones appear. Why have the Children of Shadows returned, and is it really a former ally that leads them, or a look-alike?
Legends rise and secrets are revealed in a world where vampires walk, drenched in blood and shadows.

Children of Shadows is available at:
Paperback – https://www.createspace.com/4668712
Amazon Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IZ6OX18
B&N NOOKbook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/children-of-shadows-joleene-naylor/1118473860?ean=2940045616157
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/403239
itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/children-of-shadows/id811435603?mt=11&uo=4

You can find Joleene at the following:
website- http://JoleeneNaylor.com
author blog: http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks
twitter http://twitter.com/joleene_naylor
good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3165393.Joleene_Naylor
facebook profile – http://facebook.com/joleene.naylor
pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/joleenenaylor/boards/