1/04/2014

I Resolve What?- Welcome Tina Westbrook

   
I Resolve to…What?!
Happy New Year!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Tina Westbrook, and I am a writer.  I know, it kind of sounds like an intro at an AA meeting, but it’s actually one of the things I have put on my New Year’s Resolutions list, but I’ll get to that shortly.  For now, I will entertain you with some highlights of what I do and who I am.  Okay, maybe it will entertain you and maybe it won’t, but either way I’m doing it, so here we go:  I write books.  What genre you ask?  Well, I write thrillers.  I enjoy books that leave me wanting more and I hope that’s what I leave my readers with.  I also enjoy books that have that, “Gotcha,” ending and you sit there saying, “Oh dang!  I never saw it coming!”  Yeah, that’s me.  I figure if I like to read books like that, I might as well write them.  Some of my recent titles (all available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and any other place you typically purchase books) are Death by Consent: An Erotic Thriller, Coffee with the Devil, and Cloak of Sanity.  My most recent book, A Presence in New Orleans, coincidentally launched on January 1, 2014. Do you like the way I just plugged it?  Yep, I’m pretty sly.
Besides writing, I’m an avid reader – bet you never saw that coming – but I never read if I’m currently working on a manuscript.  I have a fear I’ll read something and it will influence what I’m working on, so I don’t risk it.  It’s commonly referred to as paranoia, but I’m okay with that.
My other interests include photography, travel (I could go on-and-on about travel,) social media, and music.  But enough about me, let’s discuss my writing oriented resolutions.  Ooops, I guess that’s still about me.  Oh well, if I find them worthy of making, maybe others will, too!  
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been one to make resolutions.  I’ve always felt that making resolutions – on the first day of a brand new year – was basically setting my own self up for a year of disappointment.  Then in late October, 2013, I made a snap decision to join NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) and write a novel in thirty days.  That got me to thinking; if I could buckle down and write daily for a month, then why can’t I do it all the time?  The answer to that question was lack of discipline.  So, I resolve to….
1)    Write daily, whether I want to or not:  I learned from participating in NaNoWriMo that despite my years of saying, “I have to be in the mood to write, I can’t just write for the sake of writing,” I was merely lacking discipline.  It’s true that creativity can’t be forced, but if you don’t sit down and just write, you don’t know what creativity you might be missing out on.
2)    Try something new:  I confess, I always write in third person.  This year I resolve to write a novel in first person.  It couldn’t hurt (too much) if I step out of my comfort zone.
3)    Give another writer a gift:  This year, I’m going to read four books that no one is talking about.  And when I’m done reading them, I’m going to review them.  Let’s face it, being a writer can be downright difficult.  This year I resolve to pay it forward.
4)    Call myself a writer:  This goes back to what I mentioned in my introduction.  I’m one of those people (writers) who never refer to myself as a writer.  In my mind, despite the fact that my sixth novel is now available and I’m currently writing my seventh, I don’t really consider myself a writer.  I tend to think I dabble in writing.  This year I resolve to stop thinking that way.  The truth is; if you write, you are a writer. 

Of course, resolutions aren’t written in stone, they’re nothing more than a formality.  But, when we resolve to do something, little or big, we plant a seed.  If we tend to what we plant, it grows.  With that, I wish each and every one of you a year of personal and professional growth.  



After a traumatic life-changing event, novelist Levi Brashear is unable to move forward. With a deadline looming, his agent and publisher begin to apply pressure and Levi experiences writer's block for the first time.
Turning the events of the past twenty-six years over-and-over again in his mind, he realizes the only story he can tell is his own.
Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, Levi Brashear is about to discover ghosts exist beyond his own imagination.






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1/03/2014

I Resolve With Hank Edwards


In 2013, I signed contracts for three books that will be published in 2014, all with Wilde City Press, and I'm excited about each of them for different reasons. First, BLOOD & STONE: VENOM VALLEY BOOK THREE, will be releasing sometime late February or early March. I am especially proud of this series; I think it's unique and scary, bringing back the bloodthirsty vampires of the old days.
2014 will also see the publication of my first mainstream novel, REPOSSESSION IS 9/10THS OF THE LAW. This is a humorous murder mystery told in first person present tense and should be available sometime late summer.
In the fall, just in time for Halloween and the spooky season, Wilde City will publish my ghost story WICKED REFLECTION, which has undergone a serious rewrite since it first appeared on my Story Orgy blog posts and later in our anthology with Breathless Press.
I'm currently working on book 4 of my Up to Trouble series with Loose Id, tentatively titled CHOKED UP. All I'll say about this book is, it's time for Pearce and Mark to get back to Detroit and deal with Robert Morgan once and for all. Oh yeah, it's on! No dates or contract for this book yet, I'm still writing it, but I hope to have it to my editor at Loose Id by the beginning of February, so maybe a late summer or early fall release.
As for writing oriented resolutions for the New Year, I intend to try and stick to a more rigid writing schedule. I have a lot of story ideas and really need to get my butt in the chair and get them written. We're kicking off the weekly Story Orgy posts again, so that should help fuel the writing fire.
Here's a little something to whet your appetite for BLOOD & STONE, and if you haven't read books one and two yet, now's the perfect chance to catch up here: http://www.wildecity.com/authors/hank-edwards/
BLOOD & STONE: VENOM VALLEY BOOK THREE
     More wolves swarmed through the church doors, and behind her, Glory felt the heat of the fire swell as it grew larger. Ohanzee helped her dodge left and right, and Glory stabbed one wolf through the chest, then used her foot to push it off her sword. Before she could try for another, Ohanzee seemed to shove her aside, back from the doors. A second later, the horses bolted past, trampling several of the wolves and, from the cry that arose, one of the Army men, as well.

     Sure enough, once the horses had cleared the door and were fleeing along the road with the wolves snapping at their hind legs, Glory saw the young Private Kirby lying on the floor clutching his right foot.

     "Soldiers!" Sergeant Maxwell shouted above the noise. "Solider down! We leave no man behind. Stay together in tight formation!"


     Two other soldiers grabbed Kirby roughly beneath the arms and dragged him out the doors of the church. Glory looked back at Sally who stood flanked on either side by flames, tears running down her face and her arms outstretched as she laughed up at the shattered stained glass window. Turning away, Glory ran out the door behind Beatrice, keeping both hands tight on the handle of her sword as blood ran down her arm. Ohanzee's presence strengthened around her, and she knew they were not yet safe.







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Four series, 21 books, one explosive finale.

Get into Pulp Friction today.
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1/02/2014

Ring in the New Year with FE Feeley Jr -


New Years Writing Resolutions


Hi and Happy New Year. My name is F.E. Feeley Jr and I am the author of The Haunting of Timber Manor and the soon to be released, Objects in the Rear View Mirror.

 

I guess one of the things that I need to change or make sure to pay more attention to, is patience when it comes to writing.  I have a really bad habit of letting me get ahead of myself. I’ll write a book that gets accepted for publication and then I sit down and push out another one and not pay attention to what I’m doing.  In the end, its crap and the publisher rejects it.  Then I get mad and rage over it, damning everyone in the process. Yes, I am that guy.  So, as far as resolutions go, should I ever publish again is to slow down, soak in the accomplishment and not jump right into another book thinking that golden words flow out of my fingertips.  I need to respect the entire process. So yeah, this is me apologizing for being a douche and a promise that I am gonna work at it.






The Haunting of Timber Manor

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor.  Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen.  Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor ground. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows to protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past- not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family; whose very souls hang in the balance.




You can reach me at : FACEBOOK
And you can read and comment on my blog here: FE Feeley's Blog









Fantastic heroes, some amazing loving and a happy ending are the answers you can find in The Librarian- Reviewed by Elise at Sensual Reads












What Not to Say #4




The Old Soda Shop 
An M/M Romance by Lee Brazil 


Former college roommates Matt and Sam have a history.
Will a chance encounter in the street lead to a second chance at love?


Years ago, art student Matt Gilray's world turned on its axis when his lover Sam rejected him at their favorite hangout. He'd spent the years since learning to be a businessman and an artist, letting go, forgetting a love affair that had brought him more pain than joy in the end.

A last minute realization that his college fuck buddy had turned into a lover wasn’t enough to stop business student Sam Balantyne from chasing his dreams. When the dreams runs out, Sam returns home and buys the derelict soda shop where they used to hang out. He wasn't looking for a second chance; he just wanted to enjoy a memory.

In the process of “freeing himself to pursue his dreams”, 
had Sam tarnished them beyond recovery?

1/01/2014

Watching the Ball Drop with Havan Fellows

Howdy ya'll...Havan Fellows here. :) So Lee hunted me down and hip bumped me, telling me I have to make some New Year resolutions...um...so I should close the Candy Crush window right? *winks* Just kidding, I'm at the EDJ—can only get Bejeweled here. lol

Seriously though, this is the first year of the rest of my life...right? So many things I want to accomplish and so many things I feel I can't do...

Yeah, I'd kinda like to prove myself wrong.

Let's start with the "gimmes":
STORY ORGY IS BACK!!!! Every Monday, whether it is a hundred word flash, a promo for a new release (oh please lol) or a thousand word short...I will be on my blog making the most of it.
-and not to be out done-
PULP FRICTION IS BACK!!!! We gave you some kick ass men of Atlanta...what happens when we wrangle up some ass kicking men of Flagstaff? I'm not sure either...but I'll be front and center to find out. ;)

Okay—so those were the easy ones...let's delve a little deeper for the next couple of resolutions:
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm perpetually late with almost everything...I'm talking a 90/10 ratio against my good name. I'd sure like to make a resolution that I'll turn in my WIPs on time to my editor. Oh wouldn't that make her happy happy too! lol
Plus I'd like my BDSM series Secrets of the Sanctuary to maybe have a go at it this year...so far I've got two shorts for that series in the public eye: Hidden Needs (which should be edited maybe for re-release soon) and Secret Needs (a sexy little holiday short in Melting Jack Frost). I'm working on two longer stories: Forgotten Needs and Unspoken Needs, trying to get them finished and shined up.

And finally...there are two men that seem to be shouting at me now, wanting their turn in the spotlight. Over a year ago I started a book that finally got finished and published in Nov – Judging Jude. I'm really proud of this book—Lee calls Jude the anti-hero that everyone will fall in love with *squee*. Well, there are two guys who helped Jude in his trials...Wally and Doc. *looks around and leans forward to whisper* You know what? I think Wally just might like the Doc...and I'm pretty darn sure the Doc might like him back. So what's the problem? Well you know my men—nothing can be that simple. *winks*

So there you have it...*counts down the list* well crap! I've got way too many resolutions here...*heads desk* Like I don't know...five too many? lmao *hip bumps Lee back* so whatdoya say? Think you can keep me on track for another year? *big smiles* I guarantee I'll make it interesting for ya! hehe

Here's a little peekie poo at Judging Jude...guess what—it's half price at ARe right now! *winks*

Judging Jude excerpt:

Jude heard the door open.
"What's up, doc?" He laughed at his own joke.
Dr. Haims joined Jude at the window. "How're you feeling today? You got up on your own? That's good."
"Yeah, I even peed like a big boy all by myself."
"Well, it's been a couple of days. You should get up and move around by now. It's not like you were in a coma." Dr. Haims chuckled. "No matter what Billy thinks."
Jude kept his gaze trained on the silhouette of the trees and hoped he sounded nonchalant. "Is he still here?"
"Snoring on my couch as we speak."
"Doc? Can I ask you a question?"
Maybe Dr. Haims could feel Jude's insecurities, or maybe he had really good bedside manners. Either way he didn't try to face Jude or pry in any way. "You can ask anything you want. My answering, now, that's a different question."
Jude snorted solemnly. "Am I sober? I mean… two days, is that enough time for my system to clear out?"
He heard the long, deep intake of breath from the doc. "Technically, yes. For the poisons you took, they're gone from your body."
Jude continued to bore a hole through that window. "I'm lucid. It's been a long time since I've had real thoughts. I mean thoughts solely mine, not chemically induced. The headaches, the shakes, the nausea…I can handle all that. These thoughts scare the hell out of me, though.

"I can't go back home. If I do, I'll fall down the rabbit's hole again, and this time I might not get out…" 










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Best Seller? Why not?


Found the secret to writing the best seller on Pinterest a while back. Thought I'd share it with you all. Because I'm nice, that's why. 

I'll be over there...*points left* 

Writing. 



12/31/2013

Ringing in a New Year! Pass the Pickled Herring!



My father used to gather us (my eight siblings and I) all around on New Year's Eve and we'd write out our goals, our resolutions to be read aloud. I hated it. I never knew what to say, because really, I had no desire to change myself. So every year it was all more of the same. "I'll be more active", "I'll watch less junk on television and more documentaries", "I'll lose weight".  Blah blah blah. All things that should make us realize how critical we are of ourselves and how difficult it is to be happy and productive when you're so down on yourself.

But he was adamant, so every December 31st, we'd sit down and share these goals, and seal the deal by watching the ball in Time's Square drop at midnight whilst munching on pickled herring and crackers, black-eyed peas and ham hocks.

It seems counterproductive to me. Every year starts afresh with the promise of new things, of rewards and blessings and joy that can be had…if only we do something differently than we did the year before.
Do we really think we can be happy in the coming year, if we lose weight, exercise more, read more books, ask for a raise, find a better job? How is doing all these things that make us miserable going to make us happy?

How can we expect to be happier in a new year, if we plan to punish ourselves?
We probably can't.

I don't usually make resolutions for that reason, and a few others.

But I look around today, and I know things have to change. I have to work smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively. So, I have a few writing related resolutions for the coming year to share with you.

1.      Write 1K words a day.
2.      Keep a schedule. This is my "job". I should treat it as such.
3.      Connect with readers via the blog and FB regularly.
4.      More specifically: Revise, expand and republish Be A Bad Boy
5.      Complete projects 2 weeks ahead of schedule

There. That ought to be sufficient to start off with, huh? Meanwhile, I've coerced some of my fellow authors into sharing their resolutions for the upcoming year. Watch this space for posts from Hank Edwards, Laura Harner, Havan Fellows, Tina Marie Westbrook, F.E. Feeley Jr., Raven McAllan, Edmond Manning, Lisa Worral and more!

Bonus:

Pickled Herring for New Year's and ALL special occasions!
(Similar to my Dad's, but this one is from HERE)

INGREDIENTS
6 new or baby red potatoes (about 12 ounce)
⅛ tsp salt
8 oz pickled herring fillets (see note), drained
3 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
fresh dill for garnish
freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Put potatoes in the basket and steam until barely tender when pierced with a skewer, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size. Slice each potato into 1/4-inch-thick slices (discard the ends). Sprinkle the potato slices with salt.
2. Cut herring fillets into pieces small enough to fit on a potato slice. Place one piece of herring on each potato slice, dollop each with about 1/8 teaspoon sour cream and sprinkle with red onion. Garnish with dill and a grinding of pepper.
Note: Pickled herring are herring that have been cured in salt, rinsed and then packed in a vinegar-based marinade that can be flavored with wine, mustard, sherry or cream—any flavor will work in the recipe. Look for it in jars or tubs in the seafood department at most supermarkets.




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Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955