Monthly Archives: February 2013
Okay, I can be completely stupid sometimes. I know, shocking but I was cruising Goodreads last night and look what I found:
Basically, I’m now #251 out of #512 in the Listopia of Best New Author Books. Okay, didn’t know this existed and Holy Cow!!! The reviews have been very good on Goodreads, too.
I won’t talk about my ranking over at Amazon…its sad, very sad but again, the reviews have been excellent. I still don’t know if the book has made a dime and won’t until next month.
Anyway, just thought I would share my good news.
I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. Its been a difficult year so far for me on the writing front. My debut (in my mind) bombed. Yes, I’ve written about promoting my debut, the troubles that I have had with getting reviews, being taken seriously…blah, blah, blah. Well guess what? There has been an upside to me writing and publishing book. Yes, something positive as happened to Harlie…the review blog has exploded. Something that I never expected was that people finally discovered the reviewer site of me.
Let’s back up a bit…when I realized that my debut was not going to go anywhere, anytime soon, I put my energy into the review blog. I hired an assistant (LOVE HER), we set a schedule of what the blog would do every day, cleaned up the review form, emailing the authors that sent requests and basically slowed down. Well, I didn’t slow down on the blog. I decided to do a spotlight that is exclusive on Thursday. I figured why not do a Harlequin Spotlight on Thursday. I mean, I did pick my pen name and name my review blog in honor of Harlequin.
Okay, it has already exploded. Yes, the Harlequin Spotlight has exploded. I’m completely booked until May now. Oh and I have a very special guest that will be on the Thursday spotlight for the next couple of months…Sherryl Woods. I nearly fainted when her PR person emailed me to set up some spots for her new trilogy that starts releasing in March. I mean, really? Me…Harlie…the reviewer that most people ignore or sneer at times? I fist pumped so many times that my husband that I was crazy. After setting up the schedule with her and just basically pinching myself over this coup, I’m still in the clouds.
I realize that I’ve been too hard on myself as a writer but there has been silver lining to this all. People are starting to notice me and seek me out. In fact, I recently signed a contract with Secret Cravings to work as their Promotions Manager for the Southeast Region. It’s in the pilot program stage now but so far, I love it. I work with about 10 authors with their releases and basically helping them set up their blogs, FB pages, helping them with promotion and helping them any other way I can.
Don’t think that I have abandoned my writing. Oh no, I have to finish a book in about 4 weeks before my chapter conference. I’m pitching it to two different editors and it has to be done. The synopsis is done and the first three chapters are done. Still need to write about 7 more chapters or 15k in words left. I can do this, I know I can. The worst is over…the synopsis.
So now, did my debut do what I wanted it to? No, it didn’t but its very slowly being reviewed and the reviews have been excellent so I’m getting out of my funk as an author. But the flip side to all of this is that the review blog is getting its due and more.
To all the readers, authors, PR people and publishers, I can not thank you enough for the consideration and positive feedback that Harlie’s Books has gotten from my debut novel.
Keep it coming and get the fingers crossed about my two editor appointments in March. Maybe I’ll be a published author again.
Welcome Charlene! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Thank you, and hi everyone! My name is Charlene Lokey, but I write as Charlene Roberts. I live in Toronto, Canada with my family. I’ve written 2 erotica e-books; Under Cover of Night and A Gentleman’s Savior, both published by Ellora’s Cave.
I’ve been writing for awhile, but haven’t been able to make the leap to full time author (but working on it!) I have a full time job as an administrative assistant with a consulting company, but I’m hoping to change that soon.
I’ve got 2 cats named Miko and Koji.
I’ve done a lot of things; modeled, worked with a film crew, reviewed books for Romantic Times, was a contest coordinator and newsletter editor for my local chapter. I want to travel and have been to several states, the Caribbean and London, England, but just don’t have the funds.
*My dream reviewer job would be for Romantic Times. sigh*
Is Eternal Heiress a single title, or part of a series?
Well, the e-book was supposed to be a single title, but when I finished the story, I realized I left an opening for a sequel. That won’t happen anytime soon as I do have other projects I’m currently working on.
What were your inspirations for the story?
It’s weird – I like to imagine “what if” scenarios. What if this happened instead of that? And it makes for a completely interesting result. For Eternal Heiress, it started off with “what if Napoleon had a second chance with his war?” He was exiled to an island called Elba after he was captured (I thought he would have been executed for his crimes), and I always wondered what he would do if given the opportunity to return to France. I give him that chance when he makes a deal with Satan, and thus Eternal Heiress was born.
Please share your setting for Eternal Heiress. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Eternal Heiress is set in several cities and countries; Toronto, where I live; England, which I would love to go back and visit; France, which I’m dying to visit; Japan, a country that looks so beautiful, and want to travel to one day; and Egypt. Egypt is a mysterious country with history so vast that it would take more than a lifetime to learn. I’d love to visit Egypt.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I helped a friend type her first draft. I used a typewriter (I know! Tells you how old I’m getting – lol) and it was a historical, so definitely about 250 pages. My boyfriend had moved to another province, and noticing how upset I was, my friend told me about her book but was having a hard time finishing the typing (she wrote it long-hand), and that’s when I stepped in. I was interested in her story and asked if I could go with her to her local writing group. After the first meeting, I was hooked.
Who are your favorite authors, book/series?
I love the Dresden series by Jim Butcher – a detective who’s also a real wizard? All right!!!
I’ve enjoyed the Game of Thrones by George Martin – enormous sagas of treachery, magic and trust. I’m only on book four because it invests a lot of reading time to go through them.
I know you’re going to ask; how did I end up writing erotica? (which I do). I had to spend time deciding what genre I wrote best. I’ve written historical, contemporary and romantic suspense with no results, before stumbling onto erotica. It paid off with two published works. I still write erotica because I enjoy it, but I wanted to explore genres, and the fantasy element came to light.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
JK Rowling – I’m so impressed with how she stuck it out until her first Harry Potter book was published.
Nora Roberts – she has done everything it seems, and hasn’t slowed down.
Suzanne Brockman – a nice lady (I met her once at the RT Convention when it was in Toronto). I’d like to get some tips on her research style.
Claire Delacroix – a good friend who has been in the business a long time too.
The Bronte Sisters (if possible) – their Regency romances are the epitome of sexy! All of that tension brewing under the surface. They knew how to keep their readers entranced until the last page!
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
Not really; I spend most of it reading or writing. I go to the gym and exercise with my trainer. Being the middle of winter, I don’t do much – I don’t ski or play a lot of winter sports. Bring on summer!
From inside the flap
Tyler Cooper is the town sheriff and, in the past, had been the only person keeping Holiday steady. Though the community is now finding out that it’s town is magical, Tyler has always known it—it’s in his blood. He has always known his fate of becoming a cupid, striking love into the hearts others, but an enemy from his past is set on keeping him from finding his own destiny—and love.
Abigail Clarke is leaving Holiday for good. She has to. After years of trying to fit in and make Tyler notice her, she’s giving up. She’s watched her friends fall in love and it’s heartbreaking. Acknowledging that the one man she’s always loved doesn’t want her, it’s time to move on and find her own future.
Right when the stars align and Tyler opens his eyes, his enemy is back and has his sights on Abigail. Abigail is in danger and Tyler may be the only one to stand up to him and save her.
Warning: Contains one sexy sheriff who turns into cupid, complete with bow and arrow, the sweetest teacher you’ll ever meet who needs to find her bad girl side, and a love of candy hearts that’s sure to bring them together.
Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate – even if it’s just in her books. Happy endings are always near – even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.
Carrie Ann’s Redwood Pack series is an bestselling series that has made the shifter world even more real to her and has allowed the Dante’s Circle and Holiday, Montana series to be born. She’s also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.
Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:
Judas has never been very popular, not in any incarnation that he and Jesus and the others have lived through. But he doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is following the instructions of God as set forth in the script that they follow. And Jesus. For Judas has secretly loved the son of God for over two thousand years.
But now he decides that enough is enough, and he’s tired of watching Jesus die far too early, and for what? This time Judas is determined to see that Jesus lives a long and happy life, no matter what price he has to pay to accomplish it…no matter if he has to make a deal with the devil himself.
Revelations is a story of what could be, told by those who play it out, time after time after time, unbeknownst to the rest of mankind. They’ve come back again, for yet another round. But this time is going to be different.
It’s not always easy to sit on the sidelines and watch what is happening, to resist the urge to intervene in his best interest. My son’s that is. Jesus. But I do so, because I know it’s for his own good. As well as for the good of mankind. I can’t let my concerns as his father override my vested interest in the fate of man. But sometimes that is easier said than done.
This morning I am not alone. Someone else is with me, someone with his own agenda, although we are not as diametrically opposed as some would imagine us to be. Good and evil aren’t the simplistic concepts some would portray them as being—there are more grey areas there than you might think. And rightly so.
He smirks. Too much for my taste, I have to admit, but sometimes he does have his moments, and he too has a part to play in what is happening in the world of men. Someone needs to fill the role of the villain, after all.
The stage is being set for the third act, the scripts have been handed round, and the actors are taking their places. Will this time end any differently than the others? That depends on my son, on Jesus. I’m thinking this will be the time when he’ll make the change.
“He’ll change nothing,” Lucifer interjects, although I’ve asked him nothing, certainly not inquired as to his opinion.
I glance at him. He’s dressed to within an inch of his life, and wears the most ridiculous sunglasses I’ve ever seen. I decide not to comment on his fashion sense. “I think he might, this time. I think he’s ready for change.”
Lucifer snorts. “It’s been two thousand years, and neither one has exactly caught on yet. Why should this time be any different?”
“Care to put your money where your mouth is?”
He eyes me carefully. “I would, but you see you have this whole mystic omnipotent God thing going on. Personally, I don’t care for those odds.”
I arch an eyebrow. “I may be omnipotent, but Jesus does have free will and he does possess the ability to make his own decisions. You think I’d stack the deck in my son’s favor? Just to win a bet with you?”
“Let’s say I’m taking no chances.” He smiles. “Tell you what, though—give me free rein. Let me do what I want, and you not say anything or do anything to interfere with me? As far as they’re concerned, that is.”
I open my mouth to object, he hastily interjects. “No killing, I swear to it.”
That’s better. I still have some measure of control over the serpent.
“So be it.” I agree, turning my attention back to where it had been, to my son. I’m smirking now. Openly.
O ye of little faith, watch and learn.
Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me, Harlie! Well, obviously I’m a writer, have been for over forty years, which puts me on the other side of fifty lol I’ve lived most of my life in the St. Louis area, been married twice, have five kids, but only one still at home. I have two cats. My favorite thing to do is write, but after that I enjoy reading, watching movies, long drives in the country, visiting the Art Museum (St. Louis has a great one!), crocheting, knitting, cross stitch and needlepoint. I visit my kids when I can, and hope to do a lot more traveling in the future.
Is Revelations a single title, or part of a series?
Yes and no lol It isn’t part of a series, but there will be other stories that feature the characters. You might call them companion pieces, but they aren’t exactly sequels, and are still in the writing stage.
What were your inspirations for the story?
One of my biggest inspirations was Weber & Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve listened to it so often I know most of the words and can sing all the parts (not well, mind you, so only in private). After that, I drew on inspiration from other movies I watched and books I read, and I formulated my own ideas and they became Revelations. I think one of the biggest spurs came from listening to someone talking about the Second Coming and what would happen at that time, his vision of a fire and brimstone God that I found to be rather strange, as I began to think to myself, how do you know there hasn’t been a Second Coming already, a non-announced one? Maybe more?
Please share your setting for Revelations. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Revelations has no specific setting, not geographically. It all takes place within a small area, including the jail of a small town, and the site where most of the action takes place, just outside of town. But you can see it as you wish, it’s anywhere you want it to be. The characters are what counts, not the setting.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I was maybe nine or so. Our teacher was reading a book to us about some kids and the adventures they had and I began to imagine my own story and wrote it, a mystery involving an island and dinosaurs and an expensive diamond perfume (long before Elizabeth Taylor ever conceived of White Diamonds lol). Sad to say, no copy of this story exists any more.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
That’s a tough question, because there are so many. William Faulkner, P.G. Wodehouse are two. Charlaine Harris/Sookie Stackhouse, Sherrilyn Kenyon/Dark Hunter, Preston & Child/Pendergast series, Frank Herbert/Dune, Isaac Asimov/Foundation, not to mention great manga/yaoi series: Youka Nita/Embracing Love, Kizuna, Love Mode, Maiden Rose, and much much more. And great new upcoming m/m writers: M.A. Church, Chris T. Kat, Sui Lynn, and others. And let’s not forget graphic novels: Mike Carey/Lucifer, Neil Gaiman/Sandman, Mike Carey/The Unwritten, Joe Hill/Locke & Key
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Oh this would be fabulous! I’ll limit it to live authors, for expediency’s sake. Mike Carey, Joe Hill, M.A. Church, Sui Lynn, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, Christopher Moore.
Better stop there, that’s a full table lol
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
Yes, I love to crochet, knit, cross stitch and needlepoint. I don’t do anything useful, like sew, though. I love jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles, the harder the better. And Sudoku.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
That’s a hard question. I’ve seen a lot of things in my over fifty years. I heard the sound of my first husband being shot to death, although I did not see it. It doesn’t sound anything like in the movies. I’ve heard people talk in tongues, which I found rather strange. It’s hard to separate the strange from the normal sometimes, it all goes into the pool of our experiences.
Thanks for having me, Harlie! And thanks to everyone who stopped by!
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she’d never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, and MuseitUp Publishing, and she has also begun to self-publish at various places on the Internet.
My blog: http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com
My facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527332074
Museit Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_222
If you haven’t checked out the review of Blood Purple, the link is above. Great book and it was different from the usual vampire books. Great start to a series.
In a world we think we know, live other races entirely hidden from the mortal perspective. Creatures of legend, of fable and myth, their very history and nature have allowed them to walk side by side with humans since time immemorial. They are warriors, they are hunters, and they are Algula Vampire. And in their own midst, a battle is brewing for supremacy, for dominance, that can and will affect all around them. Old hatred never dies and vengeance is a fiery sword that cuts a bloody swath.
Writing…that hobby that will forever provide you enjoying. To me it’s the best thing that I could do to pass the time on a lazy Sunday, dreary Monday or a happy Friday. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is or what is going on in the outside world there is always something for me to write. It is the hobby that will keep on giving.
How many of you keep your stress and frustrations pent up? How many have no outlet for the feelings inside and you keep them that way until you explode? Honestly I think that’s all of us, we all have things that stay hidden and we don’t know how to push them out and to the surface. It took me a long time to realize how valuable writing is to me. Well, not just writing, creativity as a whole. It comes together and with every facet of our being.
Writing…that hobby that will forever give you fulfillment. There are so many ways you can pick up a pen and bring joy to someone. It’s as easy as sending a letter to a long lost friend or relative. Jotting down a poem in the middle of the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed with some thoughts. Sitting down at your comfy desk and plugging out a blog or short story. You never know where writing will lead you.
One thing I love about writing is I can go anywhere and be anything I want. I don’t have to get dressed up and look fancy; I don’t have to fix my hair, hell I don’t even have to wear socks! Writing gives you that option to be as free as you allow yourself. I honestly believe that it’s this freedom that stirs creativity.
When I sit at my laptop I always write with my eyes closed. I visualize where I am, am I on an island in the Caribbean? Am I sailing the seas of the Atlantic? Could I be on a plane across the world going to see a friend? Yes, yes yes yes! All of the above. That’s the ability you gain when you write.
One thing just occurred to me while my eyes were shut and I was daydreaming about my plane ride to Ireland…the audience here is probably made up of mostly readers. Ahh readers…the key to any author’s success. Without the reader we are nothing. When I spoke about writing and the endless fulfillment it provides, it’s in part because of all of you readers. The lengths you will go to in showing an author you love their works is amazing. The support, loyalty and encouragement from the readers are a driving force in a lot of what is transferred onto the page.
Personally, I know without a few key words of encouragement from a few fans my author days would have been numbered. So let me leave you with this thought for the day, writer or reader, take ten minutes out of your day and jot down a story, poem or thought. Take a collection of the year and at the end see what you have. Maybe it’s a book of poetry, maybe it’s a book of inspirational phrases. Maybe it’s just a few short stories. But read through the years’ worth of work and see what you have – it might be the next great American novel.
Hamza walks into the room with his guard looking at Nikole’s still body lying on the table. “Is she dead?” he questions.
“No sir, she passed out while we were in the middle of the procedure. We were doing like you instructed and burning her body with the needles when she went unconscious. We thought it best to come get you right away.”
Hamza looks over her body, placing his fingers to her neck and feeling only a small hint of life. His lips curve up in excitement as he anticipates what is yet to come. “Good, leave us alone.” He starts to walk around the table staring at her naked and bloodied body.
The room emptied out while Hamza continued to circle the table. He tried to decide what to do with this dead weight prisoner. Leaning over her body, he backhanded her jaw, the cracking of her bones deafening in the silence of the room. He heard her moan in agony while she slowly came to consciousness.
“Nikole, I think it would be best if you just gave me what I asked of you. As soon as you tell me what we want to know this pain will all stop.” Taking his knife from the sheath on his belt, he placed the cold blade to her cheek. “I will cut your pretty little face apart. Don’t think I won’t.” Taking the tip of the blade he breaks the skin at the top of her left cheek and slowly cut lines into her face. Droplets of blood ran down her cheek staining her flesh as he slashed her face. Nikole’s voice is gone from all the screaming she has done and all she can do is heave a cry. Her eyes are still forced open, not even tears can form since she can’t blink. “Come on little Princess, just tell me where Zayn is so I can kill him. I promise this will all stop.”
About the Author:
Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.
Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life and they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.