Saturday, June 30, 2012

Animals Can Drink Here - Joseph Eastwood

I'd like to thank Joseph Eastwood for being my guest today! Joseph and I are participating in the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour, and we are only half way through, so I hope you continue to follow us for the rest of the tour. 

Today's post is a little flash fiction based on a photo promt by Joseph... 

Flash Fiction: Animals Can Drink Here

He didn’t even wait for self-control to kick in as he shoved his head into the water and started to lap it up, then whipping his head out and gasping for a breath. It had been a while; you could say that, since he’d had a drink of fresh water, but to his tongue, the water wasn’t at all fresh, it was stagnant.
“Come, Christy!” He waved over at his friend behind him. “I found—water,” he said between slurps.
“John. No!”
“It’s fine, it’s clean.”
Christy glanced up at the sign above John, it read, ‘WARNING: Water unfit for human consumption’, she gasped and glanced back down at John, he’d opened up an empty bottle and started to fill it with the water.
“John, stop drinking the water. It’s not been treated yet!”
John didn’t stop, he didn’t even turn around to acknowledge that he’d heard her. He just licked his lips and then started to drink the water from the bottle.
Christy brought a hand up to her face and touched her lips. They were hard and dry; she desperately needed water, and either way she was going to die, through dehydration, or what looks like poisonous water. “John,” she said, her voice strained and whiney.
“The water hasn’t been treated,” she said, pushing a hand up against her stomach as it started to rumble. “And we need to get fresh water, and something to eat.”
John turned around, the whites of his eyes were now red and as he wiped at them, tears poured down his cheeks. “I’m fine, just drink some water, it will make you feel all better,” he said, gritting his teeth and almost punching himself in his stomach at the pang of pain shooting upward through to his chest.
“Oh, god. No! You can’t do this to me, everyone else has gone, you can’t leave me as well,” she said, kneeling beside him and looking into his eyes.
“I’m not, I’m sorry Christy. I’m not going to die,” he said, the pupils in his eyes broke, and leaked open, turning his eyes black.
He gripped Christy by the neck, and with a pop, he snapped her neck. Her head flopped into his hands and then her whole body fell limp over him. He tore at her skin, peeling pack until he was at the meat, and then he started to pull at the muscle, scoffing on her remains, just like he had with the rest of the group.

About Joseph

Joseph Eastwood is the eldest of five siblings. He lives and grew up in Lancaster, England, where he also attends the University of Cumbria, studying English Literature and Creative Writing.

He has always had a giant creative connection in his life, from drawing and writing to having an eclectic taste in music and reading a wide range of books, which he hopes reflects in his own writing. He also loves watching sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy based TV shows and films. Among some of his favourites are Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. As well as those he loves dramas, like The Good Wife and Desperate Housewives.

Joseph is either busy doing edits and writing or trying to get some university work done. He lives for creativity, striving to be different and thinking up new hoops for his characters to jump through.


About Lumen by Joseph Eastwood

Lumen is the first in the four-part Blood Luminary series following the characters, Daniel Satoria, Jac Lister and Mia Crosgrove.

Daniel, like all other adolescents on Templar Island is going through the final transition that will allow him to manipulate the bonds of energy and do more than just tamper with his own biological form. 

After a near-death experience he is accepted into Croft's Academy, the only private school on the island and for someone like Daniel to gain access to such teaching is a privilege, and they won’t let him forget it. He tries to fit in, but that’s when things take a turn for the worst, and everything he once knew can’t be possible any more. He doesn't know who to trust or what to believe.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Naughty Nights Blog Hop

This weekend I'm happy to be participating in the Naughty Nights Blog Hop being hosted by Naughty Nights Press (NNP) in celebration of their one year anniversary!

From NNP- giving away 13 prizes, comprising of a Grand Prize 1 x Kindle Touch plus 2 ebooks from our Amazon back-list. We are also giving away 12 Second place prizes of a randomly chosen ebook from our Amazon back-list.
From myself-one e-book from my backlist (Five books in Devon Falls series-paranormal M/F; Fantasies Unbound-paranormal M/F or Hot Summer Fun Anthology-M/M).Please comment to be entered on my posts during the hop-June 29th to July 1st for my prize giveaway.
To enter NNP’s contest, you need to go to their blog to enter for their prize giveaways.

In keeping with the celebration excitement, I would like to offer a giveaway of my debut novella titled, Let's Keep On Truckin'.

Blurb from “Let’s Keep On Truckin’” (By Laci Paige and Decadent Publishing, heat level 4).
Lily loves traveling on her job since no one can do it better than her. Being out on the open road gives her plenty of time to reflect and avoid unwanted attention, but somehow it always finds her....

When she comes across Ryder, first at a grocery store, then at a rest stop, sexual desire sparks and she knew she had to have him. If only her ex hadn't shown up, igniting a fantasy she never thought possible.

Seeing Alex in a whole new light, Lily realizes second chances are in order, but will she have to choose between the two men? Or could she be happy with both?


In the candy aisle, I felt someone looking at me. Turning my head, I gazed past a man standing near me. A very nice looking man, but I ignored him, or at least I tried to. His green eyes locked on mine. Warmth and tingles spread throughout my body causing my knees to go weak. The man’s face held sharp features, and his sultry lips rewarded me with a demure smile. I would’ve loved to feel them on mine. He stepped closer to me. My heart rate spiked. Nodding to the shelf in front of us, he focused in on something and reached for it. He stopped mid-reach, and our gazes met again. His arm lowered. I knew I couldn’t look away, and I had a feeling he couldn’t either. I bit my bottom lip, and I saw him take notice. He leaned in close to me, mouth parted to speak.
     “Excuse me,” a voice requested. We stepped away from each other so the woman behind us could retrieve candy from the shelf. She sure took her time. Separated by the woman, I kept glancing over at the man. He, too, continued to gaze my way. There was something about him; he made something stir inside me.

*Available for purchase from many online eBook retailers including: Decadent Publishing & Amazon.

~Please continue on the NNP Blog Hop and check out the other contests and giveaways by clicking on this link:   NNP Blog Hop  or you can just check out the links below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

This looks like fun, thanks to Rosanna Leo

What is a Liebster Blog Award, you say? The Liebster Blog Award is an award given to blogs that have less that 200 followers. It's a way of generating some love and some traffic for smaller bloggers. 

Of course there are some other rules:
  • Each person must post 11 facts about themselves
  • Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you've tagged
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post
  • Tell them you've tagged them
  • No tag backs

11 Facts about Laci Paige:

1. I am a mother of two
2. I started my writing career in my late thirties
3. I like brussels sprouts
4. my father, brother, and husband (and a few friends from school) were in the military all at different times.
5. I enjoyed Twilight
6. I'd been to over a dozen different countries before my 25th birthday
7. I play rock band by myself when my family won't play with me (I'm not good)
8. I dislike driving
9. Chocolate anything is my fave dessert
10. I drive a white nondescript four door car
11. I love my life!

Questions from Rosanna Leo!

1) Aside from what you're doing, what is your dream career?
Something, anything, where I can hob knob with Joe Manganiello.

2) Who is your fave literary hero ever?
I don 't have just one. I have dozens! 

3) If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?
On a tropical beach with white sands and clear blue water in one of those on the water bungalows. 

4) What is your favorite drink?
Sweet tea (in the southern USA only)

5) Who inspires you most?
My family.

6) Cat or dog person?
Cat! Dogs are cute but so much more work lol.

7) If a vampire offered you eternal life, would you say yes or no?
I would say no, unless all of my friends and family could live eternally with me.

8) Which paranormal creature would make the best mate for you?
A vampire.

9) Who's your favorite movie actor?
For looks see question one, other than that I would say: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Tom Cruise because I've enjoyed just about all the movies they've been in. 

10) If you had to pick either Italian or Chinese food, which would you pick?
Italian! (the real Italian food from Italy, not the american style).

11) Would you ever consider plastic surgery?
Yep. I would love a breast reduction. And I wouldn't be opposed to getting my lower lids lifted, my skin there is so thin and sad :( If I had the money, wasn't scared of surgery, or pain, I would have done both by now!

Thank-you all, and have fun!

Blogs I've tagged:

Questions for those tagged: 

1. Favorite color?
2. Tea or Coffee?
3. What is your dream job?
4. What time of day are you most creative?
5. Last movie you've watched in the movie theater?
6. What pets do you have?
7. Winter or Summer?
8. My son says that I should ask if you like to wear socks?
9. Favorite vacation spot?
10. Favorite superhero?
11. Last book you read?

Whew, that was a lot of work! But it was fun =) Thanks, Rosanna! 

Kristina Jackson and Snuff

My guest blogger is Kristina Jackson, author of The Fools Journey. Today she discusses Snuff, and no not the pulverized tobacco product, but the novel Snuff by Terry Pratchett. Kristina discusses how it just magically jumped into her shopping basket! It's funny how books can do that.


Last week I was talking about Terry Pratchett, this week I am reading him. I took the wheelchair to Tesco, for the first time on my own a few weeks back. There at hand height was Snuff, for £2.99. I swear it jumped into the basket on my knee.  For the last year at least I have been reading nothing but Indie authors. But this book kept calling to me. The siren call was too loud. I gave in.

When Commander Vimes, the never off duty policeman, is forced to go on a restful holiday to the country. He discovers an ancient crime more terrible than any murder.  He finds himself in a situation almost totally out of his control.  But where there is a crime, there is a chase. Where there is a crime there needs to be a punishment.

So far this book is proving hard to put down. When I am also reading true crime and smuggling books. Let alone the local history ones I have. It proves what a good book this is.


Bio of Kristina Jackson
"One day you will write your own book, just let your heart guide you."

Those were the immortalised words of my teacher in the 5th Year of Primary School; I was 8 at the time. I'd just had a short story published in the school magazine, and won a prize of a book for my privilege. I knew I had wanted to write since I could write sentences. 28 years later I am realising that dream.

I am Kristina Jackson. I am in my mid thirties, wife, mother of two, owner of one dog and slave to two cats. One of my cats, Bono, is my writing companion. He is often found sharing my lap with my laptop or partially draped over the keyboard if I am using the laptop on the desk.

I suffer from a condition called POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) I have become disabled by it, but as physical doors have shut the mental ones opened. Now I have so many ideas, and the ideas are throwing out so many characters who are each threatening to run away with my remaining sanity.

It is anybody's guess where this will now lead.

Book Blurb for The Fools Journey, by Kristina Jackson
Moira thinks she has everything she wants… The job, the house, the clothes but why is she still so unhappy?

Her world falls apart when she witnesses a terrible crime. Running away she comes across a psychic fair and a spur-of-the-moment decision to have a tarot card reading changes everything. The reading helps her see what she should do. When she quits her job, sells her home and moves to Wales, friends and family start to believe she is losing her sanity.

Can learning to read Tarot cards, help Moira learn more about herself and guide her to a happier future? Will the cards also be able to help her with her unwanted poltergeist guest or more disturbingly the handsome neighbour?

Social media
Twitter @KJ_author
Publishing website – 

Tweet - Can #tarotcards help a woman to find her path. #ghosts #hauntedhouse #paranormal#romance @KJ_author 

Selling links

***Have you read Snuff? If not what was your most recent read?

Friday, June 22, 2012

FREE READ, by Jacquelyne Alberta - I Have My Husbands Permission

  • Great read, sexy, erotic, fun, and humorous are all words used to describe, I have My Husbands Permission, by Jacquelyne Alberta, and it has received 5-star ratings on Amazon. Read on and see if it's something you'd like, because here's your chance to check it out for FREE! Yep, that's right...FREE! The link is at the bottom of this post, but you might not want to skip out on the smoking hot excerpt Jacquelyne has shared with us... *fans self* See for yourself... 

  • File Size: 303 KB
  • Print Length: 82 pages
  • Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing (May 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English


Jessica’s husband, Adam, is going through some changes. First, he writes an erotic novel and sells it online, using her name as the author’s name. Then, as sales take off, and male admirers start chatting to them on the internet, he convinces her to assume the role of the sexy female author and flirt with them. As the men want more information, and ask to meet her, Adam does what Jessica never imagined he ever would-he gives her permission!

Through a series of trysts, Jessica re-enacts different chapters from Adam’s book. She has a kitchen scene with the chef, a bedroom liaison with the gardener, and Adam even encourages her to meet the stable-boy in the stables. Working her way through different chapters and different men, she knows there is more to Adam’s behavior than selling books, she just can’t figure out what it is.


He’s a little taller than I imagined, but then again all I’ve seen is his penis picture from the emails and I don’t really remember it all that well. It’s hard to judge how tall a man is going to be from a picture of his penis anyways, isn’t it? And his voice, it’s some kind of an accent. Russian, maybe? He has the darkest eyes, too, smoldering? Is that a word? Is that what smoldering looks like? My husband would know. He’s the writer after all. I’ll describe them to him later and he can tell me.

“Could you just sit down on the kitchen chair, please, and open your legs to either side of it.”
I’m wearing a crisp white apron. It’s brand new; I just picked it up at the outlet store this morning. And that’s, um, all that I’m wearing. Yep, that’s me. I’m the one with the short cropped hair and tanned skin, and nothing else at all. It feels very strange to be dressed, or rather not dressed, like this, but I must admit that my skin looks really good against the white apron.

“Good, thank you.” 

He’s standing back a bit and watching me. Flip! Is that his cock pushing through his pants? Wow, it’s huge; that really is a big cock.

“My, you have such a cute little look of expectation. I will allow that, my Jessica.” His accent, wow, it’s so rich, so masterful.

“Now, I'm going to look under that front flap of your apron. And you know what I’m going to find, don’t you? Yes, that is lovely, absolutely lovely.”

He’s lifted up the front of my apron. I should breathe. I remember breathing in, but I feel like I haven’t breathed out in a while, maybe not even since he walked into the kitchen. That’s a long time to not breathe out. Yes, I really need to breathe out. This isn’t good. Oh, my gosh, my golly gosh, he’s touching me. He’s putting his finger on the lips of my...

“And let me just put my finger there and see if it's as wet as I imagined it would be.
Mmmmmm, very tasty, and wet. Thank you, Jessica. I like the way your mouth is slightly open right now. Keep those lovely legs of yours open, honey. I have big plans for that lovely little pussy of yours, very big plans.”

“Let's just roll that apron flap up so that it doesn't get in the way of my face while I'm down there tasting you, honey. Good, yes, you can help, but I don't want you to hold the flap. I want you to hold onto the sides of the chair. Good, that's right, very good.”

He’s talking to me as if I’m a child and I don’t care. I really don’t care. Just touch me again. Touch me again and put your fingers back where you just had them please, please.

“Whatever you do, Jessica, keep holding onto that chair, honey. I’m just going to kneel down here and hold your legs open, gently, just like that. You’ll open them for me anytime I ask, won’t you, my love?”

I’m nodding. I’m nodding and my mouth is hanging open and I’ll do anything this man tells me to do. That’s the deal. He wanted to re-enact the kitchen scene from the book. I’m the lady of the house and he’s going to taste my womanly area. That was the deal and that’s what we’re going to do.

“There, now, let's see if we can keep that incredible little mouth of yours open all the time while I taste you. I'm sure you're going to taste delicious and once I’m finished, I'm going to bend you over and give you my cock. Yes, I'm going to push that wetness open and slide my big, thick cock into you over and over again. And then I'm going to cum inside you. First, I need to taste you though, honey, get comfortable, hold onto that chair.”

Oh, my gosh, oh, my golly gosh. I want to hold his head. I want to pull his head into my crotch. This man has the sweetest mouth, tongue, and he’s lapping at my pussy like it’s, oh, shoot, I don’t know. It’s good. It’s so, so very good.

“Oh, fuck, you like that don't you. You like my mouth there. Let me just kiss those lovely pussy lips. I’m going to taste the master’s property. I’m going to taste the master’s lady.”
The windows are open and the curtains are blowing a little bit. I can feel the breeze on the top of my head. There's some noise outside, too, people talking maybe, but I don't care. I don’t care about anything right now. I just keep leaning back and holding onto the chair, just like he told me to.

His head’s up, he’s saying something now, “Sweet delicious Jessica.”
He’s holding onto the back of the chair and pulls me towards him. Holy moley, I’m bucking, bucking into him. Holy, holy moley, his hands have slipped under my behind now. They’re holding me from behind. His hand is on my behind, my bottom. Yes, that’s it, my bottom. His hand is on my bottom and pulling my pussy into his face.

“My cock is burning a hole in my pants, Jessica. It's getting so hard, every time I put my tongue into you or suck on your lips it pulses like it’s going to burn right through.”

That accent, oh, my goodness, that accent. His face is wet with my love juice, that’s what my husband, Adam, calls it, my love juice. He has one hand on my behind, I mean my bottom, and the other is playing with my pussy and I’m still bucking, bucking forward.

"Fuck, Jessica, you’re enjoying this, aren’t you? You’re enjoying having the hired help eat your tasty little cunt. My lady, you're going to satisfy my cock like you've never fucked a cock before. I'm going to slide into your wet little hole and split those lips wide open. Fuck, my cock so needs you, very soon."

Oh, that got me. That did it. Holy, double moley, now I’m bucking, now I’m, oh, my world. Everything up till now was mild compared to this. I’m squealing and stifling my voice at the same time. All that’s coming out is a moaning noise. The voices outside the window seem to have stopped. Are they listening to us? Do they know what they’re listening to? They’re probably trying to figure out if it's an animal or someone in distress or? I don’t care. I really don’t care.

I’m holding onto the back of his head now. I have to; I have no choice. I’m clinging to his dark black hair and bucking my pussy against his face. My boobs, oh, my gosh, my boobs are on the top of his head as we bounce around. He’s lifting me up now, right out of the chair. My goodness, he’s strong. His hands are under my bottom. I’m not heavy, but he’s holding onto me as though I’m weightless.

I’m finished. My high squeal is gone. I try to speak but I can’t. All that comes out is a soft satisfied moan. It sounds as though I've been hurt.

Mmmm, he’s put me back down, onto the chair again, and he’s stroking the outside of my legs, softly, nice and softly, and kissing the skin on my thighs, too.

He looks up at me as if he’s asking permission to go further. That wasn’t how it was in the book. They were interrupted and it ended right there. Well, this isn’t a book.
I look into his eyes and he knows. He knows. I’ll do anything this man tells me to do now. Anything.

I’m in his arms as soon as he offers them to me. He scoops me up and holds me close. The apron unravels a little and I look at him, making sure that it’s okay. He just smiles back and carries me towards the bedroom. It’s okay. I’m sure it’s okay. I don’t think we’ll be needing the apron anymore.

Starting Friday, January 22nd through Sunday, January 24th click here: at  Amazon to get your free copy of I Have My Husbands Permission, by Jacquelyne Alberta.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Scott Bury's Favorites

Today's guest blogger is author Scott Bury and he is going to share with us who his favorite author, or two, or three is. Take it away Scott...

My favourite author

Thanks to Laci for hosting my blog post this week for the TTC tour. Tasha has instructed us to write about our favourite author. Sorry, but it’s impossible to pick just one. I like different writers for different reasons.
This week’s Virtual Blog Tour assignment has forced me to think about exactly what it is that I look for in fiction. I know it has changed over the years, just as my taste in music has changed. When I was a teenager, I liked heavy metal—the louder, harder and faster, the better. Today I find it difficult to tolerate Mahogany Rush or Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow for more than a song, and I find myself tuning the (Internet) radio to the blues station more often than not.

Occasionally, I’ll go back to the authors I read as a teenager, but often I’m now disappointed by science fiction and fantasy authors like Frederik Pohl, Arthur Clark, Poul Anderson or Philip K. Dick. Sure, I still hold a fond spot in my heart for JRR Tolkien, Larry Niven, Roger Zelazny and Samuel R. Delany. But as I grew older I also became more conscious of the social significance of one’s reading list, as well as of my limited range of reading. I remember being thrilled by the styles of John Updike and John Irving, the meatiness and vocabulary of Robertson Davies, the literary flash of Mark Helprin, the raw power of Chuck Palahniuk and the imagination of Margaret Atwood. And the worldly, grounded magic of Gabriel Garcia Marquez — well, it’s beyond my abilities to describe how he makes me feel.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of independent authors, and I’ve been impressed by what I’ve read. Sure, there are a lot of self-published authors who really should take another look at their own work, then have several other pairs of eyes read it before they release it to the world. On the other hand, there are many, many independent authors who take a thoroughly professional approach to publishing their work, who hire and pay for professional editors and designers and produce books that easily measure up to, and surpass, the standards set by the commercial publishing industry.

Elements of style

I think that what I respond to, from the first page of a book is a writer’s style from the first page. It’s hard to define or quantify. I have a very low tolerance for grammatical errors. I have little patience for a writer who doesn’t know the difference between “lay” and “lie.” A book heavy on the passive sentences will not be gone into very far by me (see?).

But the favourite authors I cited above have a way with words well beyond a Grade-8 command of grammar, punctuation and spelling. They have a fluency, a grace; they spin metaphors at once imaginative and reasonable. And unless you really pay attention as you read their words, you don’t even notice their style until you’ve finished reading the book.

I think that’s the essence of a really good style. Like good design, it does what it’s supposed to do without calling attention to itself. When it comes to writing, a great style communicates clearly, puts you the reader into the situation and into the heads of the characters, makes it all immediate for you without showing you how it does that. It’s something I hope to achieve one day.

There are excellent independent writers I have found who can do that in all genres. Importantly, many redefine genres or defy categorization altogether. Here are a few of my current favourites:

·         Rob Guthrie, author of horror mysteries Black Beast and Lost
·         Elise Stokes, author of the middle-grade superhero Cassidy Jones series
·         Ben Wretlind, author of Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors and Sketches from the Spanish Mustang
·         Haresh Daswani, author of the flawed but captivating Evolution of Insanity
·         Will Granger, author of middle-grade/young adult action-adventures Anabar’s Run and Anabar Rises
·         Roger Eschbacher, author of the very entertaining Dragonfriend: Leonard the Great, Book 1
·         Gary Henry, author of the novella A Barbarian in Rome and the collection What Happened to Jory and Other Stories
·         The “two-bit bard” Jo King Von Bargen, author of the collections It Ain’t Shakespeare, But Oh, How it Glows, Oasis and From This Far Time
·         Zoe Saadia, author of At Road’s End, The Warrior’s Way and The Jaguar Warrior
·         Alan McDermott, author of action-thrillers Gray Justice and Gray Resurrection
·         Daniel Shortell, author of the non-genre Where’s Unimportant
·         Scott Morgan, author of the Short Stack collection of short stories.

There are others, as well, but what all these authors have in common is that fluid ability to tell a story about believable characters. They all have one skill essential to the writer: they know how to make you want to turn the page.

Scott Bury is an author, editor and journalist living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with an orange cat, two tall sons and a loving wife who puts up with a lot. His first novel is The Bones of the Earth. His blog, Written Words, can be found at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Raymond Frazee - Suffer the Dreams of the World Gone Mad

Raymond Frazee is my guest today! Won't you please join us on the blog and comment below? Thank you!

A native of Northwest Indiana, Raymond Frazee has been writing from a very early age, but has only recently seen success. His first work, Kuntilanak, is a horror story self published on Smashwords in September, 2011. His second story, Captivate and Control, is a story of mild erotica/BDSM, published by Naughty Night Press in May, 2012. Both stories can also be found on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. He currently has two novels submitted for possible publication.

Suffer the Dreams of the World Gone Mad

With no Internet in the Undisclosed Location it’s a fall back to doing it all old school: listing to CDs on the computer and writing this post in Word.  This is why I should have held onto the modem; I could hack myself up a profile and run the Net wide open, as if I were Case.

If only.

So here I sit, munching on Cheez-its while I wash it all down with sips of cognac, and I’ve got REM’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi on the computer, and the reality is all is good, because I’ve been writing up a storm.

Well, a storm is relative.  Yesterday (Saturday), it was 2,500 words, and tonight it’s around 2,100 words, and considering I’d been doing maybe 800 to 1,200 words a day, it’s a considerable increase.  So it’s a little storm, but it’s better than what I’ve been doing.

This has all been going into one chapter, and that chapter is getting to be a really, really big one.  Before I even got to where I am today, I “chatted out” the scene over dinner, so I knew what I’d be saying, more or less, before I ever wrote a word.  It works for me, but when I was out at the mall today, talking to myself, I got a look from a woman that said, “Are you nuts or what?”

Hey, shit happens, love.  Welcome to my world.

There was a time when talking to myself used to get me into a lot of trouble.  My mother was always worried I was turning schizophrenic because I’d do this when I was like 8, 9 years old, and she figured I was seeing things that weren’t there.  Sure, when I told her I wasn’t talking to anything, and that I was just talking to myself, she’d yell, “Stop it, then!  You look crazy!” but that’s okay, because it was all done with love, right?

These days I often make light of my mental illness, because I understand it’s one of those things that’s always there, and you got to learn to deal with it.  Yes, there was a time when I took medication to battle my bi-polar condition, but there was a problem with taking that medication.  One, I wasn’t on one particular med, I was taking four: one to combat the depression, another to offset anxiety, another adjust my moods, and the forth . . . hell, I don’t remember why I was taking the forth.  Eventually I stopped taking it because it wasn’t doing me any good.

I was taking about 450mg of meds every day.  Yes, it helped, and it kept me focused, and it helped me deal with work . . . but I was lacking something.  I didn’t have anything I’d call a spark.  There was no inspiration.

I couldn’t find my voice.

With all that crazy feeling behind me I should have been able to write like a mother.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t get motivated, and when I did, I couldn’t find anything worth while writing about.  It was like my imagination, and the push I needed to get it into gear, had been vanquished along with my craziness.

As soon as I stopped taking medication—which was exactly around the time when I ran out of medical insurance—I started to get crazy again.  It happened slowly, but it came back.  All the fear, all the doubt, all the depression . . . yep, there it was again.

But I had something else, too.
I had the desire to write again.

I took an online class in November, 2010, then I started getting motivated in early 2011—well, I got that motivation with a little kick from my Muse—and then I started writing in real earnest in July of 2011.
The rest is, as they say, history.

I have a story out of Smashwords; I have a novel that’s getting edited; I’ve got a story that’s going to be published in May; I have another story I’ve finished and another that I’m about 14,000 worlds into.
I’m writing.  I’m doing it all the time.  And the moment I start selling this stuff on a regular basis, that’s when I quit the day job I’m about to start tomorrow and go back to being—as I told my daughter—“Second Mom”.

Yeah, I’m always going to be bi-polar.  I can’t do anything about that.  One of these days I’ll get back into therapy and I’ll talk about my issues, and maybe I’ll even take some meds to help with the really bad days that hit me.

But the real truth is that creative types tend to suffer from some kind of mental illness.  Sometimes it’s kicking their ass to the point where they can’t function most of the time.  Sometimes it takes them right out of the game. Other times it gives them a push to keep on keeping.

So, here I am, kickin’ it old school, and the thing that bugs me the most these last couple of days?  The Poe Toaster is gone, through, finished.  No more three roses and a bottle of cognac.  I’ve had that in my life for a very long time, but it’s over.

Some things are meant to end in their own time.  When they do, take it stride and create something new.
Or better yet, just talk to yourself and see what comes of that conversation.

~Raymond, I thank you for visiting my blog today, and I am happy you got your crazy back, if only it means you get to write freely and liberate your muse. Thank you for being candid and open about your life. Lots of luck, and happy sales to you my friend. Come back and visit anytime!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Author Alexandra Stewart Talks Structure

Today I have Author Alexandra Stewart passing through on her virtual blog tour. She's written a guest post about how she structured her debut story, The Last of His Kind". 

About the Author:
Alexandra Stewart is an author from rural Washington State, now living in Texas with her husband and four dogs. She can be reached at

Title: The Last of His Kind
Author: Alexandra Stewart
Publisher: Self
Length: 188 pages
Genres: Paranormal Erotic Romantic Suspense

When Vanessa Morrow bumps into gentle hunk Christopher at the grocery store, she never expects a pleasant exchange of words to blossom into a steaming night of passion. But in Christopher, she finds not just a blisteringly hot sexual partner, she finds herself drawn into a war she never knew existed, and hunted by a man who will stop at nothing to catch his prey, even if it means putting her -- and everyone she holds dear -- in the line of fire. 
Steamy, fast-paced, and powerful, this debut by a fresh new voice in romantic fiction is sure to thrill.

She looked away, back over her shoulder at the bags on the counters. Laying a hand on a box of cereal, she said, “This is always the worst part about coming home from the grocery store, isn’t? You have all these things to put away, but by the time you finally get home they’re the last thing on your mind.” 

“I know exactly what you mean.” She looked back at him. He was standing closer. After a moment of watching her eyes, he said, “Especially today.”


“They’re the last thing on my mind.”

She tore herself away from his gaze to look down at her ruined blouse. “I need to change out of this thing.”

“Let me help you.”

She reached for the bottom hem of the blouse at the exact moment he did, and again she felt the soft skin of his hand against her own, felt the thrill it sent through her, and this time she didn’t pull away from it. She held the hand and looked up at him.

He was so close. She could feel the heat of his body, the moist breath of his mouth.

She looked into his eyes, unblinking, as she squeezed his hand, slowly, down the waistband of her pants, under the black silk of her underwear.

Available at:

Without further ado, here is Alexandra Stewart...

          When I began work on my debut novel, "The Last of His Kind," I wanted to see if it was possible to push the boundaries of the romance genre in a small way, playing a bit, perhaps, with readers' expectations, while still staying true to what I felt to be the roots of the form: capable heroine, mysterious hero, danger, and resolution. I wanted, moreover, to write the book in such a way that it would read well for a variety of people: those looking action, those looking for romance, those looking for paranormal thrills, and those looking for erotic sex scenes. Moreover, I aimed for a one-sitting read, something that pulled its reader through its 50,000 words without drawing attention to itself. Finally, I was curious to see what sort of balance I could strike between its three main characters, or, in other words, see if it was possible to make the reader care not just for the female protagonist, but for her troubled love interest AND for the villain pursuing them.

            To achieve this, I thought a great deal about structure, something which is often foregone in exchange for plot. Plot, as I see it, is merely a series of events; it's what you have left when you strip away all of the description and ideas and words of the book. It's the events of the story: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. In some books, very little happens, and yet the reader feels as though they've experienced a great deal; in other books, lots of events take place, and yet when the book closes, the reader remembers nothing. The former is a book that is interested in more than its plot; the latter is a book too interested in its clever story to show the reader anything else. While clever stories are all well and good, they often take on the quality of a news ticker: "Man shot. Wife finds killer. Son travels to Bangladesh. Daughter falls in love." These are all evocative ideas, but without anything surrounding them, we have no reason to care about these things: why was the man shot? How did his wife find the killer? What compelled their son to travel to Bangladesh? Is their daughter ready to fall in love?

            The first step to alleviating the dryness of a plain plot is characterizing a book's protagonists; by making us feel that these fictional people are in some way real, and by allowing us to relate things in our own life to things experienced by these blocks of words on a page (or screen). There has already been a great deal of good writing done on how the shapes of people present in books can be made to feel real or dynamic.

            Structure, however, is less discussed, especially in romance circles. For a book to have structure, it has to fit together in such a way that events, even those that seem most random, resonate with one another; things that are referenced in a certain part of the book are echoed in a similar part; ideas are developed in a pattern that makes sense to the reader, even if such ideas are purely subliminal. In short, the structure of a piece is everything happening "under the surface" of the description and dialogue and scenes that make up the action of the book.

            So I would ask you to read my book "The Last of His Kind" and tell me if you see the structure at work that I tried to build. Hopefully, it lends the novel a momentum to keep you reading, while leaving you feeling satisfied by the finale. My email is; if you read my book, definitely tell me what you think. I hope you enjoy it.


To continue on with Alexandra's tour click this link: CBLS Promotions Virtual Blog Tour

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nikki Noffsinger - Music And Writing The Happy Balance

Please welcome my guest blogger today, Nikki Noffsinger, she is 37 years old, and the mother of 2. Nikki is a published author with XoXo Publishing. 

Music And Writing The Happy Balance

I find when I write, I see the story first in my mind but it is often inspired by its own soundtrack. A question was posed, "What song describes one of your books and why?" I can honestly say there is no "one" song that inspired either of them. When I wrote Renegade Night, I was inspired from everything from Puccini's Tosca and Madame Butterfly to Rob Zombie. 

I love music as much as I love books and there are few genre's that I just refuse to appreciate or listen to. However when I look at Renegade Night and reflect I think the song that comes more often to mind is Apocolyptica's I Don't Care because for my main character Alexi, he's so closed off and hardened because of everything he's lost and the fact that he's the very creature he hates. He tells himself that he doesn't care for Lainey other than being duty bound to her to keep her safe, yet he falls for her. So his "I don't care" attitude is not only questioned and tested but it's found lacking but throughout the book, he has to deal with the conflict of the past and present as well as cope with the barriers that Lainey is breaking down. He doesn't want to be hurt again-he doesn't want to love again, but the die is already cast.

When I wrote my 2nd book, a soon to be released E-book, Cursed Awakening I believe if I had to pick one song it would have to be Dare You by Shinedown. Ivy Morgan is coming into her own-on her own terms and Nyx knows Ivy is right for him but Nyx's family is steeped in tradition right down when it comes to mates. So the song I Dare You I think fits them both in some way. I dare you to live, I dare you to step outside the safety zone, I dare you to love, and I dare you to walk through fire. The final publication of mine is a story I submitted for Lost To The Night that was written with: Denyse Bridger, Brigit Aine, Sara Gonzalas, and Kayden Mcleod for XoXo Publishing. Night Lessons was a bit on the naughty side. What would you do if you had a sexy Lit teacher in college that was a guitar playing vampire who could spout poetry? So what song came to mind when I thought of the very sensual Dante Notte? Bryan Adams Wen You Love A Woman comes to mind because the guitar in that song brings an exotic sensual flavor that is Dante Notte. 

I was also inspired by Three Dog Night's Mama Told Me Not To Come because Ariel is so against anything that has to do with Mr.Notte and going out of her comfort safe zone. However it's not all hearts and flowers-there is some pretty dark things going on as to why Ariel keeps herself at arms length from things. There's a bit of greed and plotting when it comes to a Stepfather who wants his stepdaughter's trust fund and is willing to do what he has to do to get it. Music like writing is an art form. It evokes emotion. For those of us who write music can help keep the creative juices flowing, drown out outside distractions, or help create a mood or emotional moment. It's like the motion picture that's on paper instead of on screen and we all have our soundtracks.

Nikki's Bio:
I've always had a love of books and writing since I was a young child. I am a high school graduate and currently obtaining credits towards a degree in college. Though I have a love of most genres I love writing Paranormal romance because I get to create my own worlds and stories along side some of my favorite horror icons such as vampires. I grew up in a mid sized town in Indiana and was raised by my grandparents. My first solo E-Book project is through XoXo Publishing is Cursed Awakening, a wolf shifter book that blends paranormal with strong Native American characters of the Lakota Sioux nation.