Today’s the day to get Risk Is A Four-Letter Word…. free!

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All Romance eBooks is offering free books all month long! The first book in my Four-Letter Word series is available today! Check out Risk Is A Four-Letter Word at ARe… download it for free… see if you like it. If you do, there are two other books in the series just waiting for you to pick them up!

Risk Is A Four-Letter Word   Kiss Is A Four-Letter Word   LICK

Chance encounters never really go anywhere, do they? But what if you kept running into the same two people again and again? What if those encounters made you realize just how much you yearned for the kind of love you never thought you would ever experience? Would you take a chance and let it happen?

The Four-Letter Word series is all about taking a chance when a chance encounter convinces my heroines that the universe is trying to tell them something. Don’t worry, you can read them out of order, so feel free to pick and choose at will! Take a chance…

What’s in a series….. free ebook!

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All Romance eBooks is offering free books all month long! The first book in my Four-Letter Word series will be available on Friday, September 13! Check out Risk Is A Four-Letter Word at ARe on Friday… download it for free… see if you like it. If you do, there are two other books in the series, just waiting for you to pick them up!

Risk Is A Four-Letter Word   Kiss Is A Four-Letter Word   LICK

Chance encounters never really go anywhere, do they? But what if you kept running into the same two people again and again? What if those encounters made you realize just how much you yearned for the kind of love you never thought you would ever experience? Would you take a chance and let it happen?

The Four-Letter Word series is all about taking a chance when a chance encounter convinces my heroines that the universe is trying to tell them something. Don’t worry, you can read them out of order, so feel free to pick and choose at will! Take a chance…

Running into the unknown. Naked.

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I have a WIP page here on my website (Work in Progress) that I use to keep you kind of up to date on what I’m doing, but it doesn’t really encompass the sheer insanity of my life this year. I’ve written eight distinct works so far as Erin M. Leaf and Marie E. Blossom, and it’s only June. That’s two short stories, and six novels (some were 30,000+ words and some were 50,000+ words long). My favorite story is my worst seller. The novel I was most nervous about is one of my best sellers.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

I think, in order to understand what it is like to be a writer, you need to imagine you’re in a dream. You’re on a boat and the ocean is vast, beautiful, and treacherous. It’s nighttime and the stars are incredibly bright. You can’t stop looking at them, because you’re trying to figure out where you are. You never do. Instead, you befriend a dolphin for a little while and tell her story. Then you find an island where there is nothing but sand, and you tell the story of the lone turtle sleeping on the shore. You cast off again, and follow a reef, telling the story of the coral. Eventually you end up on another island, except this one is a continent and you head into the forest to explore. You tell the story of a mountain lion, a frog, and the mist. This continues….

forever.

You never find out where you are going, but you remember where you have been. You have no tools except for your mind itself. You are exposed all the time and you must use your wits to ignore the weirdness of having your soul visible.

If you spend too much time second-guessing yourself and obsessing over what is happening to you, you end up frozen, like a zombie with its strings cut. The zombie gets eaten very quickly because anything unmoving in this dreamscape is food. The world eats you.

That is what writing feels like to me.

I love it. Even though it’s scary.

What ebook format for what ereader?

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Did you know that when you buy a book directly from an ebook publisher, you often get it at a discount for the first week it’s released? Sometimes, publishers release books on their sites first, and on other distribution outlets later. Did you know that getting an ebook on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK platform usually lags weeks behind the release date at the publisher or Amazon? What’s an avid reader to do?

The answer, of course, is to buy direct from the publisher. Not only do you get what you want faster, possibly at a discount, but authors also make more money when you buy it directly from the publisher. Our royalties aren’t being eaten up by the overhead a third party distribution site demands. Of course, the next question is: what format will suit my ereader?

There are a plethora of options: mobi, epub, pdf, prc, etc. Once you buy the ebook from the publisher, which format do you download and copy to your ereader? Here is a basic chart:

  • Kindle: PRC & MOBI
  • NOOK: EPUB
  • Kobo: EPUB
  • Sony Reader: EPUB
  • iPhone/iPod/iPad: PRC or EPUB
  • Android/Blackberry: PRC or EPUB (depending on your application)
  • Windows/Mac OS: HTML, PRC, or EPUB (depending on your application)

If you’d like a more detailed chart, click here for BookStrand’s Formats and Devices page. They do a fabulous job of explaining what applications, what devices, and what readers to use for your new book.

If you need instructions on how to copy your downloaded book from your computer to your device, here is another handy chart. I’ve linked to BookStrand’s instructions, once again. When you click on a link below, it will take you to BookStrand’s instruction page. However, the instructions are the same even if you download a book from Evernight Publishing or any other ebook publisher. The basic thing to do is find out where your device stores books and simply copy the downloaded ebook to the correct folder on your device (Documents folder on a Kindle, My Library/My Documents on a NOOK, database/media/books on a Sony Reader, etc.)

First chapter of Devotion by Marie E. Blossom

Over on my alter-ego’s page, I’ve got the first chapter of my new novel up. If you like the idea of a bodyguard and his queen and a little bit of knife-play in the bedroom (it’s hot, not bloody, I promise), head on over–>

First chapter of Devotion!

Did I mention this novel is an editor’s pick? And still on sale at Evernight Publishing? 😀

my alter ego has a book – Devotion released!

As you can tell from the ginormous cover pic, Devotion is now available! My alter-ego, Marie E. Blossom, is doing a jig in my head. *\o/* Even more exciting, it’s an Editor’s Pick!

Click on the cover to buy from Evernight Publishing. Click here to read an excerpt.

Description:

Queen Ximena is devoted to her people and will gladly sacrifice herself for them, even if it means her death. Her bodyguard, Zefirino, is devoted to her and will gladly sacrifice himself to keep her alive.

When a terrible enemy suddenly attacks their planet, how will they protect those they love without losing each other? Together they survive an assassination attempt, invasion, and capture, but they both know that their duty may eventually tear them apart.

How can Ximena give her life for her people when she knows that Zefirino will die trying to save her? Who does she put first: her planet, or the lover she isn’t even supposed to have?

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Where to Buy: 

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Dear Muse: please STFU (and sneeze into your elbow)

Many times over the years I’ve had people say to me (upon finding out that I am a writer): Oh! I have a great idea for a book! You should write about [insert random idea here].

I generally smile and thank them and let them believe that I will use their suggestion. I’ve learned that telling them I have plenty of my own ideas doesn’t make them stop talking. On the contrary. Most people come up with more ideas—two, three, sometimes even five of them and they love to push them on me with great energy and charitable zeal, as if were in desperate need of inspirational sustenance. I am not.

I am not entirely certain why people think writers have a hard time coming up with ideas. I don’t think you can even become a writer if you don’t have a lot of clamoring, incessant imagery inside your head. Indeed, my skull is stuffed full of useless shit that will never make it into my writing. And by stuffed full I mean ideas are coming out of my ears, nose, eyes, and every other orifice as well as floating into the air from my pores, like an evaporative perfume. I’ve got daffodils and roses and freaking cinnamon scented pine cone ideas dissipating into the ether from my brain. I truly don’t need more.

I have so many ideas because the Muse is a vengeful bitch and I spent about a decade ignoring her. For ten years I went about my daily life without writing down a damn thing. I dreamed, I ate, I worked, I had children, and all the while the Muse bided her time, rubbing her hands together gleefully in anticipation of the day when I finally picked up a pencil and tried to scratch something creative onto the backside of a grocery receipt. As soon as I did this: BAM.

Ideas are like viruses. They breed.

And the Muse? What did she do? She spewed her infectious, rainbow-colored, surreal, insistent, desperate pathogens all over me.

Right now I have eleven novel ideas with notes and characters and some basic plot outlines sitting on scraps of paper. I have others, too, that I refuse to write down, because really, who needs more than eleven novel ideas at any one time? I sure don’t. I had to come up with another pen name just to keep up with all my ideas. I now write under three personas. THREE. Most people who think they are three separate individuals are clinically insane. Me? I’m just a poor writer, trying to sleep through the inspiration. And failing.

You hear that, Muse? I need sleep, I really, really do. Please shut the f**k up.

And sneeze into your elbow next time.

Lover Unexpected Manlove & Sappho editions now available!

Now Available!

10 short stories by 10 powerhouse M/M Authors

Best friends make the best lovers? Indeed they do. There’s nothing more exciting than discovering that the person you already share everything with is the one you want sharing your bed.

Join us for ten tales of sexy and decadent discoveries as these gloriously hot men find all the love, lust and orgasmic delight they could ever want—closer than they expected.

Where to Buy:

Evernight

Amazon

BookStrand

ARe

Rainbow eBooks

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Now Available!

7 short stories by 7 fabulous F/F Authors

Girlfriends share lots of things, including their most sinful secrets. When those secrets involve love, lust and long denied desire, sparks are sure to fly. And sometimes, there is no denying the need for a woman’s touch. In this volume you’ll find seven delicious stories of sensual, daring women who open their hearts to discover love, fulfillment and satisfaction—closer than they expected.

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Where to Buy:

Evernight

Amazon

BookStrand

ARe

Rainbow eBooks

This Story Is Actually a Tragedy

Why do writers kill their characters?

I know none of us likes to contemplate such horror, but it happens. Happily, the romance genre is known for its persistent HEA (happily ever after) endings, so I tend to read a lot of romance novels. My motto is: life already sucks massively, why would I want to read about horrible shit when I don’t have too? I want the books I read to entertain me. I don’t want them to be real. That’s why I get so angry when authors kill off beloved characters. Why do they do that?

  1. Boredom: I am so sick of writing about so-and-so and her issues. I want her to die in a fire. Slowly.
  2. Laziness: Hey, wait! I know an easy way to add conflict! Let’s kill off the heroine and see what happens!
  3. Hatred: I hate that character. Where did she come from? What is my inner psyche trying to tell me? You know what? I don’t care. She’s dead. *evil laugh*
  4. Planning: I don’t care how much this character has grown or how many readers love her. I planned to kill her way back when, and by damn, I’m going to do it!
  5. Wickedness: Ha! Everyone likes so-and-so. Lemme burn her house down and then have her drown in a flood! That’ll be hilarious!
  6. I’m a Better Writer Than This Series: Sorry everyone, I don’t care how much you like Sherlock Holmes, I want to write literary fiction (as if anyone actually reads such snobbish prose).
  7. Just Like Real Life: Not everyone survives a crashed car, tornado, war, etc. And how else to explore the emotional impact of such a thing? Kill off a secondary character and see how the main character deals.
  8. This Story Is Actually a Tragedy: Oh, right. There are other genres instead of romance novels! And people die in those books, usually because they are stupid. Romeo and Juliet still has the capacity to enrage me beyond reason.
  9. Zombies: Everyone dies. Hilariously. Probably because no one was smart enough to stockpile flame throwers and shotguns.

Plotter or pantser? Neither. OR how to not bore oneself to death

 

When I began writing novels, I started with an outline for the first few of them. I had main points and ideas for how long it should take to write the whole thing and all sorts of useless notes about chapter length and so on. And when I began writing, I got SO FREAKING BORED. Why? Because the part that was most fun (making up a plot and characters and figuring out how to torment them) was all over by the end of my outline. The sheer drudgery of writing description and dialogue nearly killed me.

Okay, I thought. Clearly I’m not a plotter.

The next few books I wrote without an outline. I sat down and started typing away with whatever floated into my head. The frightening mist of the unknown closed around me like an evil fist. I got lost. I got so totally lost I couldn’t figure out what the hell I was doing until I wrote an outline. Then I grew bored. AGAIN.

Clearly, pantsing my way through a novel didn’t work either. (Being a pantser means you’re flying by the seat of your pants: no outline, no concept, etc.)

There must be a happy medium, I told myself as I desperately pecked away at my keyboard.

There is.

It doesn’t have a pithy name. It doesn’t fit into the “Plotter or Pantser” lingo at all. I sort of outline my novels, but I don’t write anything down. I make up characters and then I put them into sticky situations. This is what my train of thought looks like: oh, I want this character to fall in love with that one and then BAM! Bad guys show up or someone trips over themselves or whatever. I don’t give myself a road. I stand at the edge of a prairie and stare into the distance at the pass through the mountains, and then I begin typing my way there.

In one book I missed the pass entirely, but that’s okay. In another, I got to the pass, but then decided to hang-glide down the other side instead of walking.

So what does one call that? Am I a jumper? A pantser with a plot? A plot with no pants? No idea and I’m not sure I care.

Oh hey, look! There’s another mountain! *points excitedly* If anyone asks for me, I’m heading over that way…