Sunday, January 6, 2019

It's Time to Get Going!



What are your New Year's resolutions? Are you going to work more regularly on your work in progress?  I hope to!

I feel when we survive Christmas and get past New Year with resolutions and everything, we should (keyword) dust ourselves off and do all those post holiday things. Lose weight, possibly--and get going with our writing if that's what we do.

I am planning on working on my work in progress more regularly! I do have another book in mind to follow it, but that can be tricky. It's almost a fool-proof way to procrastinate and shelve the w.i.p. by jumping ahead to the other work! I've discussed this with friends and after some sniggering they say, "No!"  They know me, you see!

I'd love to hear from you if you are resolved to do more work on your writing, planning or even researching.

And meanwhile, let me wish us ALL a very happy, prosperous new year filled with determination and positive thinking! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Pre-New Year Post




I'm finally moving full steam ahead after what feels like a long, troubled slumber which has been the aftermath of grieving. We all deal with the finality of death at some point and if it's a child, it's the worst! Second to that is the death of a spouse.

I posted when I could, I wrote a bit and tried to market for my publisher. But it's been touch and go and really hard. Now, I'm feeling a lot more able and positive.

I used to enjoy using Pinterest, not just for my books, but for me! Then I stopped--couldn't do it. But now I'm in the process of updating my boards.

Here are my boards at Me at Pinterest. They're still being updated.

I hope you all had a great holiday! Will post again for the New Year.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"Vampire Bodice Ripper!" I Like That!


                                                   "A real vampire bodice Ripper!"

I've had a lot of praise for this novel about a young woman who unwittingly becomes a vampire, but frankly I never thought of it as a bodice ripper! But I guess it is!

Justine goes from being savaged by rogue vampires on the streets of Revolutionary Paris, to being unable to die because the Vampire Prince will not let her die!

When she awakens from the first moments of the eternal undead life she will always know, she is shocked and horrified. The story takes her from crypts to freakshows to castles and a harem where a sultan not only falls deeply in love with her, he tells her a great secret that he carries.

Love comes to her again. The novel is an epic vampire tale, it tells of love, passion, lust, cruelty and revenage. Betrayal also by the first man she gave herself to.

The story transcends centuries and exotic locations.




Excerpt, Chapter 1


CHAPTER 1


"We are prisoners of our past, hostages of our heart. Yes, even those like myself whose heart no longer beats are slaves to it. Do we remember love? I think we do. For I remember my first loving or am I only recalling lust? I wonder if it matters. Perhaps nothing really matters, all the things gone before the current moment. Ah but there are so many moments in an immortal existence.


Shocked? Do not be. I am what I am, no more no less. The truth is I am a creature of the night—Blood is like wine to me, no wait. It is better than that. It is my life--alright, existence then.


Why not be honest from the first? I am Justine Bodeau, a vampire who recalls her existence now in this telling. My past has returned to offer me comfort. I am embraced by it. It feels good—though I know as I go along, I shall find certain memories painful. I wonder if I will bury them or if they will insist on returning. And when the past and present meet, when I find the truth to questions I have—I wonder if I shall wish to be destroyed for I have wished it many times. Still, I shall persevere.


I am aboard a ship sailing to a new chapter in my existence. What lies ahead I do not know. All I can do is guess and try to learn from the past; a past that included two worlds, one living and one undead.


I sit in my cabin, glad to be alone frankly, for I am able to reflect on all that had gone before. Was my existence worth so much that I cared to go on forever or for as long as I could? That was not a question to be taken lightly. There was much I would have to consider first.


Suddenly, there was a gentle knock at the door. It was Ramet. “I have brought you something…”


My dear friend Ramet—do not worry, you will know all there is to know about him in the course of my tale. He was bringing in something for me, something to take so that I would not sicken. Craving blood and doing without is not pleasant for one such as I. There is such gross discomfort when that happens. One is fraught with pain and nausea. I have felt that way many times, and it seems to me each time is worse than the time before.


“Justine?"


He came in quickly. “You must take this…”


I looked at the goblet and knew at once it not only contained blood but had an elixir he uses to restore vitality. It is the opiate of vampires as he says. We didn’t speak then, he just wished me to drink. And so I did. It tasted salty as blood always does, but there was the unmistakable taste of sweetness—too, probably from the honey I knew him to add.


“It is good, yes?”


I nodded and smiled. Sometimes I think Ramet is more like a concerned father than my friend. When I finished it he took it from me. “I will leave you now.”


He closed the door softly. Sleep beckoned, not the human sleep I can no longer recall, but the deep sleep of the vampire; sleep more like death than slumber—yet not being death it is often filled with dreams.


I undressed for I knew the cupboard would be warm. It was and small as well, still I knew if I slept on my side with my legs curled under me I should fit nicely. The darkness was soothing. There was no sound; just that of my own breathing filling the space. Soon I would be in sleep’s embrace and I would dream of the life that was mine long ago."


(end of chapter)

"Revenge, betrayal, passion, bloodshed, lust and love are just a few of the elements of this dark and spellbinding book."

"This vampire romance is rich in history, deep in blood sex and exotic locations and is very highly recommended."

"Vampires have their own allure and none more so than the female.
“An amazing historical vampire romance that must surely rank at the top of its genre.”


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Writers: How do you outline?



Assuming you do that is! Over the years, I have found outlining to be crucial. I not only have a sense of my story, how it begins--where it's going and what the end's like--I have a sense of what the point to it all is!

My work in progress has changed a little as I am writing and planning, but I think that's to be expected. I have written seven novels and a collection of short stories. In each book I've faced this and dealt with it. As I got more experienced, I thought of the change in plot and other aspects due to the fact of the novel evolving. You sit down and start--the best thing that can happen, in my opinion, is for your creativity to dictate the story and characters. I've often thought of that as the characters becoming so real, they TELL you off!

But I want to know how others feel about this issue.

For instance, take some cats and a human being who has suffered. The cats talk about him. As they do, we see their personalities.

"I just hope he gets it together, I have my doubts."

"Don't be so negative, you're negative sometimes!"

"Look, don't criticize her!"

See, Eduard doesn't know the cats are arguing, but they are. That argument affects my story and how they act to him. They want to protect him because he's suffered a lot. There's a great deal else they do, which is at the core of the story and the reason why it exists!

Back to my question of outlining. I think having a sense of each chapter, of each character, whether they are human or not, gives me my story. It's a journey--it's a process that anyone who writes knows and understands but it's worth it. Just to get your book or story completed is worth it!

I used to say characters give you your story. They do. Give a man a gun, have him stuck in an elevator with his wife's lover and there's your story!

Okay! Until next time! 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Using history and The Burning Times in my novel!


 Ah, yes! Nothing like an action which was all too prevelant in Mediavel Europe. Burning witches! That went on for hundreds of years all over Europe. Salem, Mass. got into the act with their own brand of lunacy which at least didn't involve burning. Rocks were laid upon something like a door which was pressing upon the chest of some hapless local inhabitant. There are very interesting documents which show, particularly in Salem, how an accuser's land increased when the accused neighbor was no more. Human nature can be so fascinating.

Okay, so why blog about that now? It has to do with my work in progress. If people were accused of witchcraft, their cats perished along with them!

Here's a quote which put me off the coronation of QE1, Somehow I don't think it would have been depicted in the Cate Blanchett films about Elizabtheh 1.:

Last Saturday the coronation of Queen Elizabeth was solemnised in the city with mighty bonfires and the burning of a most costly pope, carried by four persons in diverse clothing, and the effigies of devils whispering in his ears, his belly filled full of live cats, who squawled most hideously as soon as they felt the fire. The common saying all the while was [the cats’ screeching] was the language of the Pope and the Devil in a dialogue between them.”

https://alphahistory.com/pastpeculiar/1677-londoners-burn-live-cats-wicker-pope/

How horrible. It's one of the issues that I am researching for my book because it's relevant to the plot. Cats feature in my book as they try to help a victim of war. 

My cats know all these things as do their human friends. Very special, heroic humans, I might add! 

I love history and have incorporated it in my novels and I do no less in my new book. History, even if one is writing a contemporary novel, has shaped the world and us in it. Things happen because of it. 

Hatred, bigotry, religious intolerance are integral to my plot and characters. 

I think fiction would be shallow and pretty meanignless without demonstrating why things have happened the way they have. History and events in it are, for me, the impetus for getting my story off the ground. It not only has to be off the ground it has to fly, move and affect the reader!

As one of my cats, in the book says, "I have always made allowances for humans because they are so incapable of being fair sometimes." 

Cats can be difficult, even the cats know that, but they aren't in the position to incinerate entire populations of human beings just because they feel they ought to. 







Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dump the negativity!


Some people are crabby! You don't need them! No one does! I've learned that!

One of the most important factors in writing or staying with any project you might be doing is to get rid of all the malignant garbage, dust and negative thinking.

If you know a great many people, you've probably already run into the emotional messes that are contrary, spiteful and just not necessary to interact with. You can always tell you've encountered someone you need like an infection, when you feel you've walked through cobwebs. You can continue to move, but the cobwebs stick to you. You brush them off but more often than not, you have to shower.

I've known people that, for whatever reason, are detrimental to my well being. I have written about them and enjoyed the release it's given me.

Writing is a committment. It's to be done day in, day out. I'm just writing now, but I thought I'd do this post. I do want to blog regularly again because I feel more up to it.

Writing is hard enough without having to deal with people you don't need around you. This, I've discovered and although, it seems straight forward, it might not be. I would say to make it a priority. I'm going to be pretty strict about who and what influences me.

I don't want to dialogue with negative people. I don't owe them anything, not even my time.

Friends are important, but remember, if you think your friend is negative, and you're constantly getting annoyed, that 'friend' is no friend!

Chances are they'll attach themselves to other victims and stay there, for whatever length of time they can. Most people that are chosen by negative folks get fed up and move on. It's the logical thing to do.

You can always move on without being rude, remember that!

Forgive me for the short post. It's all I had time for today. Stay tuned.

See you soon!


Thursday, November 8, 2018

About My Work and Me


Sasha when she came into my life!
It's been a long battle and I'm winning. Many of you know that I suffered a life-changing event, the death of my husband just three years ago. I've had gains and setbacks since. Good days and horrible days. But I'm still here and still fighting. New work is coming, I'm writing it so I know, it's just taking long.

Thank you for your interest in my work. If it hadn't been for that, I'd just have stopped.

I hope to be blogging regularly. And I will make it as interesting as I can!

Here's a post I did some time ago, but it's pretty relevant:

If you have several books out, you are going to face this dilemma often! Imagine what Stephen King goes through! Okay, I can't either. But he doesn't have to push! I do, you do, most of us do.

 So which of my books do I target? I have my series, The Blackstone Vampires sold singly (each book)--The House on Blackstone Moor, Unholy Testament - The BeginningsUnholy Testament - Full Circle and The Fourth Bride (of Dracula). The series is sold as a box set as well: The Blackstone Vampires Omnibus.

My publisher, Creativia decides when the books are on promotion, by the way.

Justine: Into the Blood is also out as are House of Horrors and Circus of Horrors .
My newest release is I, Bathory Queen of Blood, the real life 'Countess Dracula', born Erzsebet Bathory, a countess with absolute power, she bathed in blood because she believed it would keep her from aging. She did a lot more and the book comes with a warning! She is my fave villain now! And as a new release, I am busy promoting.

This is done along with reading and working on my WORK IN PROGRESS. Everyday I sit down at my laptop and wonder which I should target. It's not an easy task. I try to make my posts as interesting and spam free as I can. I also feel readers don't want constant in-your-face 'BUY MY BOOK' stuff that's why I very often offer free reads. Each story I offer has appeared in an anthology.

I almost always promote Circus of Horrorbecause it's close to my heart. It's a horror novel with murderous clowns (among other quaint characters), but as my novels are character driven, and I am fussy about motivation, I gave reasons for the murderous mayhem. Given enough abuse, especially in childhood, the victims are damaged. How they handle the effects of that damage gave me their individual stories.

So there it is. And by the way, this is my author page at Amazon which not only lists my novels, but the anthologies I am published in as well!

ps Sasha does help! She is my friend and my muse!



Well, here I go! Happy reading and writing, all!