Friday, June 29, 2012

Shiny Book Review loved Bleeding Hearts!

Since its debut in March 2012, BLEEDING HEARTS has been read and reviewed by many people...but certain reviews really resonated with me. A writer can tell when a reader connects to her work, especially when the reader takes such care to give a thoughtful review.

This is one of those reviews. Take a moment to read it--perhaps you, too, will find my character familiar...

Thank you, Barb, for your wonderful review of my book. Readers like you are the reason why I'm glad to share my story.

You will find several links to other great reviews on the sidebar...check 'em out a while!

And stay tuned for two new events coming up next week--not one but TWO holiday blog hops are tripping across the Demimonde. I hope there'll be fireworks!

Namaste, everyone...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Using Writing Contests To Improve One’s Game Using Writing Contests To Improve One’s Game: Long before my first book was published, I was hard at work, putting the manuscript through some very vigorous paces.

Since it was my first book, I wanted a litmus test before I started flinging it at agents. I wanted to toe the waters of publishing before plunging in. I wanted to feel my way cautiously through the dark instead of bumbling through it.

Publishing had become my sport. Was I ready to query agents? Was my manuscript ready? I 'd be going up some pretty tough competition. I couldn't go out on the field unprepared so I practiced…by competing.

Confused? Don't be. What I mean to say is I entered my manuscripts into writing contests.

Visit the Query Tracker blog to see how I used writing competitions to get in shape for the big publishing game...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Night Owl Reviews Summer Fun Web Hunt

Welcome to my Night Owl Reviews Summer Web Hunt post...glad you stopped by!

I'm thrilled to be a part of this awesome event--so many great prizes that are up for grabs. Books, gift cards, swag--talk about booty! I've won books in NOR's web hunts before so I personally know how much fun this is. I also found so many great new authors and books so it was a huge win all around...

I know you're here to find a special answer and I'm going to totally make it worth your time….'cause I got a BONUS WIN in this post!

The clue lies within the pages of the Demimonde…

BLEEDING HEARTS is the first book in my Demimonde series. Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who has a little secret…one she doesn't even know. Yet.

When she meets Marek, he seems to draw her secrets to the surface. His redemption depends on her. Unfortunately, he's got secrets of his own—dark secrets, terrible truths that are hard to share. He is Demivampire, in danger of losing his treacherous soul.

Sophie is drawn into his world, step by step, tempted by his seduction, enticed by his need, and lured by the promise of a love for which she searched half her life. What is her secret—and is she strong enough to accept her own truths?

Bleeding Hearts was released this March through Pink Narcissus Press. The follow-up, Blood Rush, is on the editor's desk (if her laptop is on her desk, I suppose) and is expected March 2013. I'm going deeper into the Demimonde…and I hope you'll join me.

I've got an extra giveaway for you all. In addition to providing Marek's hint for the Night Owl Summer Fun Web Hunt, I have an extra surprise for followers of the Demimonde. Use the Rafflecopter form below to follow me and the Demimonde and you can win a print copy of Bleeding Hearts and a ten dollar gift card to Barnes & Noble! Earn bonus entries by Tweeting about the giveaway...the more, the merrier, I say!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting my Demimonde…I'm thrilled to share my world with you. Be sure to stop back some time to check out the review links on the side bar to see why Bleeding Hearts is getting great reviews. Readers love Sophie and Marek and the world of the Demivampire. Will you?

I have a great idea for a Bonus Bonus Win! Since I'm trying to spread the word about Bleeding Hearts and the Books of the Demimonde, I can really use your help.

Anyone who puts my Rafflecopter widget on their page to promote my book will be entered in a private raffle…for a $25 dollar Amazon Gift Card! Just leave your name and a link to your page in a comment on this post so that I can verify your entry. You can find the link to the widget here...  So far, I've verified three pages (hugs and cheers, ladies!) If you're the next one to help me promote my book, you'd have a one in four chance of snagging that gift card. Damn good odds, I'd say! What do you say?

My thanks for your help in getting the word out about Bleeding Hearts and the Books of the Demimonde. Without enthusiastic readers and helpful friends, our books would remain our secrets…and books are secrets we should never keep from our friends. <3

 Hugs and thanks for joining the Demimonde!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Deep Cuts Antho: Submission Guidelines

I saw this call for submissions on one of my loops and thought I'd share. Sounds like fun! Enjoy...

Deep Cuts
Submission Guidelines
Editors: E.S. Magill, Angel Leigh McCoy, and Chris Marrs

Deep Cuts: (1) songs on an album that do not get commercial air time.
(2) great songs that get overshadowed by an album’s hits.

Like the "deep cuts" on an album, there are good stories out there,
stories worth digging up and having another go at. In honor of Women
in Horror Month, we invite you to submit an original story and write a
recommendation for a “deep cut” horror story written by a woman

Here’s what we mean by “recommendation”: each submitter is asked to
write up to 150 words honoring a short story by a female horror
writer, telling why the story means so much to you and where it was
published. If your story is chosen, this short piece will be included
in the anthology.

We didn’t what Deep Cuts to be just a reprint anthology. So we came up
with the concept of combining new stories, recommendations, and select
reprints of some great horror stories by women writers.

This will be a horror anthology. We do not want splatterpunk, urban
fantasy, or supernatural romance (even though we do like these
subgenres). We will choose stories that do or don't contain
supernatural elements, but all the stories we choose will obviously
have been written with the intent to make the reader uneasy with the
lights off.

Yes, we’re honoring women writers but anyone can submit, man or woman,
so long as you’re over 18.

OPEN: June 1, 2012
DEADLINE: August 31, 2012
THEME: Horror
PAY: $0.05/word and royalty split

• Include: your own short story submission and a cover letter with
your name, address, and email address through our automated system.
(See below.)
• Include: a 150-word (max) statement/recommendation honoring a short
horror story written by a woman that moved you or influenced your own
writing. We will take this statement into consideration when gauging
whether your story will fit in our anthology. Make it literary. We’re
getting some beautifully written recommendations.
• Name your file so that it makes sense. An impressive filename for a
fiction submission is: (lastname)-(word from title).RTF [like this:
• Story word count: 1000 – 5000 (Query for longer works).
• Use standard manuscript formatting.
• No simultaneous submissions to other publishers.
• No multiple submissions. We want to see only your one best story.
• Story must be horror.
• Gore, sex, and adult language welcome, but make sure it improves the story.
• Use good grammar, double-check the punctuation, and do a
spell-check. We prefer Chicago Manual of Style rules, and we will
reject a story if it’s a mess, even if it’s an amazing story.
• We will accept reprints. Make double sure the rights have reverted
to you. By submitting it to us, you affirm that the story is your work
and that it is free from any commitments that will conflict with the
rights you give us.
• We reserve the right to change these guidelines without notice.

RIGHTS: With this payment, we’re buying the worldwide rights
(exclusive for two years) to publish your story in print, audio, and
digital formats, and to use portions of it and your name to market the
anthology. You will be asked to sign a contract.
Response Time: We will respond within 90 days after the final deadline.

Direct any questions you have to deepcuts111@...
Submit your entry via our automated system at

Warning: Cuts May Be Deeper Than They Appear

Friday, June 8, 2012 Conquering the Cliche Conquering the Cliche: Whether a plotter or a pantser, a novice or a pro, every writer will eventually do the same exact thing—and that's stare at the screen, fingers poised over keyboard, planning a character's next move.

How you handle your character's next move will set you apart from the rest of the writing masses. Genre matters not; length matters not. What matters is whether or not that next move is a cliché.
Continue reading this article at Conquering the Cliche.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BLOOD RUSH: Book Two of the Demimonde

The second installment to my series is complete and safely in the hands of the editor.

Second books are like middle children. Of course we want them; we are so much in love with our first-borns that we are eager to spawn another creation of wonder. But, like middle children, second books have a personality of their own. They have different moods, different ideas about their destinies. We find out quickly enough that they are not clones of their older siblings—they are unique individuals.

My first book--Bleeding Hearts--was born in a moment of passion, an urge to write, to create, to express. My second book was planned, a calculated decision to continue the story and round out the protagonist’s world. Of course, I didn’t expect the story to take on a mind of its own.

It’s a pleasant surprise, actually. While writing the first book, I developed as a writer. There are so many fantastic resources out there for writers and one day I’ll have to make a list of the library I’ve amassed; not only books, but blogs and websites, communities, and on-line workshops. But it was passion that drove the writing.

Coming up on the sequel, I had a clearer idea of plot set-up, structure, character development—in short, the technical aspects of the novel. I labored over the first chapter, the inciting incident, the three-act story arc, the first page, the first ten lines. And slowly it dawned on me—while I was ensuring myself no major revisions would be necessary, passion wasn’t first and foremost my driving force. This book was officially (gasp!) work.

Middle children shouldn’t be labeled as laborious. When I was doing final edits last month, I needed to understand my novel for the individual story it is, not for the expectations I’d placed upon it. So with this in mind, I returned to my first job as a writer—which is a reader—and read it straight through without stopping to edit. (Difficult task indeed.)

By stepping back and looking through the eyes of a reader, I saw the story for what it truly was—saw the themes, the messages, the journey of the characters and the conflicts that filled their lives. I reacquainted myself with them, remembered who they were and why I wanted to bring them to life. And during the reading, the spark of passion ignited, unfurled, and reminded me how much fun it is to be a writer.

It renewed me.

I ran the draft through a bit of a test—pulled out the Writer’s Digest Yearbook edition of Novel Writing and “workshopped” a few of the articles, making notes and comparisons. I opened Donald Maass' Writing the Breakthrough Novel Workbook and read through several exercises. I combined my eagerness to write with the skills I've learned and hope to continue creating stories that will captivate readers.

Coupled with my rediscovered passion, I am ready to jump back in and continue the series with the same eagerness that I felt while writing the first book. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little incentive—now that I finished the second, I can finally, guiltlessly, write the third.

Let’s just take life one WIP at a time.