Scheduling, I hate thee… #countdownsale

Frustration banner
Why do I hate scheduling?

Because it never goes off the way I mean it to. That blog post that went up last night about the Countdown Sale? Yeah, it’s too early. It ain’t happening on schedule. Why? I guess Amazon had other ideas. So that was time wasted, and time wasted drives me crazy because I could be doing something constructive, like writing. Instead I’m having to fck with this blog and update you all as to the problem (instead of avoiding the problem to begin with). Why? I wanted the sale to go down at my leisure (as in today [*actually, no. I wanted it to go down yesterday!]), but Select’s programming module only lets you schedule things beginning x amount of days in the future, usually two or three (I think it said) which means you have to get in there x amount of days in advance and set it up for some blind date in the future. (Future authors, listen up!)  Which well, if you have to schedule marketing surrounding it and they need four years in advance notice (I’m only half kidding, there) that makes sense. But you know what? That’s not the way I roll. When I want to get something done, damn it, I want to get it done now when I have the time to screw with it not six weeks from now when storm Pain in the Ass might (or might not) be hitting.

*sigh* Because you might think it takes no time to blog but yes. Yes, it does. (I’ve been working on this blog post for a good hour now. Time well spent? Feh. (Yes, dear Caitlin and Trevor, and Isaac, Ruth, Stacy and Aaron, I hear you. I’m coming…). Frustrating no?

So when I was thought I was setting it to TODAY, the system decided I meant TOMORROW. I don’t know about you but my calendar says it’s the 16th. Somehow the sale date got changed overnight to the 17th. Will it show up tomorrow? I can only hold my breath and wait.

*Sigh*

This glitch also adds to the kerfuffle about Select and their lovely way of doing things and why so many people are fed up with it. You can type Select into the search engine and come up with a billion articles on it, I’m not going to add my two cents here. Daddy always said “you’re in their ballpark, you play by their rules” and it so applies here.

Julicoversgr500Anyway, for you all,  again, mea culpa. That last (to borrow another indie author’s term) wasted ink post about the Countdown sale for Murder Upon a Midnight Clear, went out early. The sale is actually TOMORROW, not today.

I think. I hope. (Crossing all fingers and toes and eyes)

Enjoy the rain…Well. Maybe.

keepcalmrainTwo stops on the blog tour tonight, if you’d like to see them: Coffee, Art and Books, with a guest post about Changeling’s Crown and Peace Love and Writing. It’s been a rainy, thundery day today so I did way more plotting than anything (yep, I’m writing again!).

 

Pick your favorite rain related song and have a great one! :)

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 writer Renae Rude.

Q and A with romance author Melissa Snark

I have a treat for y’all today. I’ve twisted –erm, asked, a fellow paranormal romance author to come sit down and talk with me. I find her books intriguing because she deals with…well, Norse Myth. :) Say hello to Melissa Snark!

Thanks for being here, Melissa, why don’t you start by telling my readers a little about yourself?

 

Author Melissa Snark

Author Melissa Snark

Melissa Snark: Juli, thanks for having me as a guest on your blog today. It’s always hard knowing where to begin. I’m a stay at home mom who writes erotic romance and paranormal fantasy novels between dishes and laundry. I have three kids, (four if you count Mr. Snark), and three cats. I have a B.S. degree in Business from Arizona State University and I worked for a number of years as a medical device documentation specialist and a technical writer for software engineering in medical device and satellite engineering. I’ve also been a claims adjuster for a car insurance company. All in all, I have a pretty eclectic background, which I try to bring to my writing.

 

What can you share about your Norse Werewolves series with our readers who may not be familiar with it?

 

Melissa: When I decided to write paranormal fantasy, I wanted to come up with a fresh angle on a creature. Hopefully, something that hadn’t been done before. I stumbled into the idea for modern day Viking werewolves due to my love of Norse mythology and history. According to Norse myths, the great wolf, Fenrir, is descended from the god, Loki. I simply extrapolated—what if Fenrir had sired descendants and they were werewolves? My origin story went on to include Viking colonies along the coast of North America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. My werewolves were driven from the Norselands and settled in the New World. Many mated with Native Americans, so the werewolves in my series have a mixed heritage of Norse and Native American blood.

 

What inspired the Norse Werewolves  series?

Melissa: Lake Tahoe in the winter. My family goes up there every January or February on a ski vacation. The snow covered mountains and lake are simply breathtaking. My imagination wanted to conjure a story set there so Victoria was conceived during a vacation about four years ago.

By what authors would you say you are influenced?

Melissa: That’s really hard to answer. I read a lot and have since I was a child so I tend to take my influences from all over the place. I want to say that Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors, but then so are Steven Brust and Jennifer Roberson. Each one does something different but equally magical for me.

Any interesting stories to share about your road to publication?

Melissa: I don’t know. I have the typical roomful of rejection letters, enough to paper my office. Through the years, I just kept writing and honing my skills until it eventually paid off in terms of a contract offer from Wild Rose Press. So, no, nothing interesting or inspirational. To unpublished authors I’d say…don’t give up.

Now that  is out, what can curious fans expect from you next?

Melissa: I have four things in the works right now.

  1. The Mating Game. An erotic paranormal romance novel revolving around… You guess it! (Werewolves). TMG is 79,000 words long and is currently with my publisher, being considered for contract.
  2. Battle Cry. Paranormal fantasy and #3 in my Norse werewolves series. This is the sequel to Hunger Moon and it is only about 50% of the way through the first rough draft.
  3. Hell on High Heels. Currently at 60k. An erotic romantic suspense novel and the sequel to Learning to Fly, my romantic suspense title published with The Wild Rose Press.
  4. Hearts of Thunder. Currently at 10k. This is a paranormal romance novella that I’m co-authoring with my critique partner, Lisa Ryans, author of the Wanted: Vampire series. It’s about a Native American woman who is a Thunderbird and a very proper British gentleman.

You also write erotic romance and romantic suspense. Is there anything special you do to switch gears?

 

Melissa: No, not really. I feel like there should be but I switch gears between genres pretty easily. I guess I’d say the hardest thing to write is the erotica scenes because it requires quiet. I can’t work on sexy love scenes with a houseful of hollering children. Lol

 

I could see that would ruin the mood. ;) Do you have any advice for aspiring Romance authors?

 

Melissa: Keep reading, keep writing. And don’t give up.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

 

Melissa: Yes, I write humor also on my blog and I’d love to have new readers drop by. Please check out my family oriented humor at: http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/

 

Finally, my novella, The Child Thief, is the start of my Norse werewolves series. It should be free on Amazon and everywhere else by the end of June.

 

Special questions:

Favorite Ice cream: Double chocolate gelato

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction

Favorite band: Led Zeppelin

Spring, Summer, or Winter? Fall—no rain, cooler than summer, warmer than winter. And my favorite day of the year is when the kids go back to school! ;-)

Romeo, Dracula, or Thor? Loki –Heehee

High Heels or Tennies? Flipflops

Follow fashion? Or make your own? Fashion? What’s that? I’m frumpy. *G*

 

Woohoo, another Zep fan! ;) Tell us a little about your books:

 

Okay: Blurbs:

 

Childthief420The Child Thief (The Norse Werewolves series, book 1)

“Help me! Please. The child thief has stolen my son.”

Valkyrie Victoria Storm has werewolf hunters hell bent on revenge trying to kill her. She can barely keep her own downtrodden pack alive, let alone respond to the pleas of a murdered mother.

Can she set aside her differences and work with her sworn enemy to save a little boy from a Christmas nightmare?

buy links:

Amazon Kindle:  http://www.amazon.com/Child-Thief-Werewolves-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B00BWBOQNI/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371041065&sr=1-3

Barnes & Noble:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/309967

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hungermoon-1190970-140.html

 

hunger-moon_420Hunger Moon (The Norse Werewolves series, book 2)

Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not to mention complications.

War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see her dead.

Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety.  Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible.  Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.

Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.

What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.

Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon

Excerpt:

Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his in instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.

As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.

Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.

“Let’s take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness,” he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.

Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.

Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.

His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.

“Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?”

His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.

“I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer,” she said, making her boast. “I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor.”

“You’re kidding.” He registered surprise and disbelief.

Victoria arched her brow. “I am not.”

 

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Norse-Werewolves-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B00CJ1D1BI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371041065&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunger-moon-melissa-snark/1115200892?ean=2940016581392

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/309967

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hungermoon-1190970-140.html

Author BIO

A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”

As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.

At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.

I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.

I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/

I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.

Where to find Melissa on the Internet:

Website http://www.melissasnark.com/

Blog http://www.melissasnark.blogspot.com/

Email [melissasnark@gmail.com]

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/MelissaSnark

Twitter https://twitter.com/MelissaSnark

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/MelissaSnark

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0076EEQIU

 

Thank you for being with us, Melissa. Best of luck in the future. Folks, don’t scamper away yet. Melissa is offering a copy of “Cat’s Tale”, her erotic romance, to one lucky commenter. So leave her a comment or question below.

New release–The Temporary Wizard of Locklynn by S. G. Rogers

Congrats to my friend S.G. Rogers for her new release: The Temporary Wizard of Locklynn. It’s free on Smashwords right now if you’d like to snag it: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/322418 It’s also available at Amazon for a mere $.99.

I think it’s no secret how much I just love Suzanne’s work, so I urge you to give it a try if you haven’t before. :)

Temporary Wizard

Temporary Wizard of Locklynn by S.G. Rogers

After Ilene completes her wizarding apprenticeship, she begins to look for a job. As one of the first female wizards, however, she underestimates the challenge. The pretty town of Locklynn needs help, so Ilene agrees to a temporary position. Can she prove herself before Locklynn’s wizard returns, or will Locklynn’s wizard ultimately prove her undoing?

Enjoy. Congrats, S.G., dear, on your new release!

flourishforsuzb

Light it up blue 2–cruelty free

paintitblue

For today’s light it up blue segment.

bluenailsApril4

I’ve officially run out of blue nail polish choices now, but I hope to remedy that this weekend. For years I’ve loved funky nail colors—honey, I was painting my nails black back when it wasn’t chic to do so, because it wasn’t chic. Remember when Lita Ford was doing it?

Yeah. That far back.

That the fashion designers latched on to it burns my britches. (It was my little goth girl color first. Give it back!! hehe)

I’ve moved on to testing the look of other colors, white, meh. I’m okay with white. But I love dark so I use a lot of deep blackish blues and dark greens these days—and my dear favorite deep purples. *Cue Smoke on the Water* hehe The stormier the shade the better.

Now, here’s the hard part. I ran across this article last night and it said that there are three nasty ingredients some add to nail polish—DBP, Toulene and Formaldehyde. (You know, the stuff morticians embalm bodies with?) Well, these three ingredients were banned for nail polish production in 2006. Because they are toxic to humans.

Whoa. Being a nail chewer, and more importantly, having lost many family members the last few years to cancer, this gave me extreme pause. I went through my collection of polishes (I’m a polish nerd, I admit it). I had to get a magnifying glass out to read some of the lists (yeah, remember that line up there that ends “back when Lita Ford was big”? I’m officially old). Turned out, all but seven of my current collection had these pesky chemicals.

To add insult to injury a few of my favorites are bound to companies that test on animals.

Yes, I did. How did I not know this all these years?

Luckily, the company I’ve always looked to for my funky colors Wet N Wild, dumped that toxic soup and they’re animal friendly (with a name like Wet N Wild I’d be disappointed if they did any less.) and they’re readily available at the grocery store I shop at.

Point two, convenience is everything! So, hopefully I’ll find a pretty couple blues to replace the two I just had to dump. I may even look into some over at Etsy but that’ll depend on ye ole credit card. (eep!) I’ve found roughly seven other Name companies  that meet both these cruelty-free, chemical free criteria, and lots of ones on Etsy that claim the same.

(FYI just assume all my book heroines know this—especially my witches Caitlin, Beryl, Sealya, and Heather—and that they just forgot to tell Mommy, the Writer).

My jury’s out on one company I love but I don’t have any blues by them. I’m still looking into the question do they/don’t they test on animals. I hope not, but I don’t know.

In the meantime, while I figure all this out, go check out Tammy’s Light it up Blue posts. She’s hosting a giveaway, ladies. Have a happy blue day.