Guest Post: Clocks and Constancy by Ali Abbas

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Clocks are the standard by which we measure consistency. When something is “like clockwork” it is precise, beautiful in its predictability, constant. We admire that sense of everything being in its place.

Clocks give us an aspiration. In a tiny space, with almost impossible delicacy, gears and springs are pinned and layered, and in their alchemy comes the certainty that tick will follow tock. If only we, too, could be that way.17455094_10100852450155299_637820079_o

The lead character in Like Clockwork feels that way. Raymond Burntwood has spent his life at sea in the mid-nineteenth-century navy. Space is at a premium, no square foot is wasted, and the slovenly and unkempt are not tolerated. Is it any surprise that he finds a kindred spirit in Ariana Grahyart? Her lonely upbringing on a remote estate in Northumberland has been eased by her love of clockwork. She is meticulous and measured; no move is made that is not the design she has laid out.

Humans, of course, are not like that, mostly. We err, we forget, sometimes we forget ourselves, our codes and morals, caught up in a moment, swept away by an emotion.

Like Clockwork is a story of when absolutes and errors collide. What happens when a clock goes wrong, one spring dislodging all the gears and sprockets. Do you force all the
components back in, the springs deformed, the gears missing teeth, or do you discard them for new ones? A clock is a thing; there is no emotion or sentience attached to a spring.

People? Well, people are not quite so easily dealt with.

Check out Ali reading an excerpt from Like Clockwork.

Bio: Ali Abbas is a writer, photographer, and carpenter from London. He has travelled widely but still lives in the suburb where he was born. By day, he masquerades as an accountant, but no one is fooled.

Follow Ali on his website, at his blog, on facebook, or on Goodreads.

 

Closing Circles: My ultimate project timeline

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This last week, sick with some extra ick had its grubby grip on my faculties. Luckily, I had a blessed four-day weekend and spent some much-needed time writing in a personal project.

I’m pretty much the example of why writers shouldn’t have multiple projects going at once. I jump back and forth across multiple works, add to that the editing and the teaching, it may make a bit of sense as to why I operate like plate spinner.

I will say that I typically only write one project at a time—at least, one book. Short stories, sure, I can juggle a few. This is also the product of my master’s degree in creative writing. Deadlines are deadlines after all.

So why the hell am I talking about it? Because too often, we writers and editors spout advice and our own stories with a great deal of confidence and certainty. I don’t want to come off like my way is the right way or the only way. It’s simply the way I do things, and my process changes depending on my project.

But in all of them, planning has come in handy—even though I consider myself a punster.

Ultimately, I wanted to share the new way I track my projects for the year.

 

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This is my yearly projects at a glance, so I know when I should be doing what. This includes the planning, writing, editing, pre- and post-marketing, when to ask for help, and when to launch. This baby has all of the basics.

You’ll notice I limit myself to four projects on any given month. They’re in varying places of production to keep me from trying to create too much at once or edit too much at once, etc.

I will also be tracking the realities of my work ethic and ability to keep to deadlines. So far, I’m pretty close.

But it is just January.

How are you staying on track for your 2017 closing circles goals?

Closing Circles: A peek at my four-step planning process.

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If you follow my business partner, co-editor and co-publisher at Transmundane Press, you’ve heard of this process of closing circles. If you haven’t, you should really follow him.

Anyways, here’s Anthony’s plan:

  • Figure out what projects are worthy of completion
  • Organize and Prioritize
  • Follow through

His goal is to clear his slate before starting new projects.

My plan is a long-term plan, a now-until-2030 plan. Everything I start is important enough to finish. The steps are a bit different. It’s just the way I think and plan and process. Which is not to say that I don’t have small, lingering unfinished stories and projects, but they’re on my list. And when the time is right, I will finish them.

Here’s my plan:

  • Brainstorm and list making
  • Create a timeline
  • Break list down into actionable tasks
  • Follow through

I use a series of planners and white boards and post-it notes to help me. I’ve mentioned and posted videos about the system called bullet journaling, but I’ve never shown mine.

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So, here’s my system.

  • Brainstorm and list making

I do this in several places, like I said above, I have notes and lists everywhere.

Much like Anthony, I need to decide which are priorities and which projects can wait, but for this part of my process, I prefer to jot down EVERYTHING lingering in my mind. Every connection I can make between characters and plot points that might generate an interesting story. I don’t want to dismiss anything.

I know this seems counterintuitive for closing circles and finishing projects, but if I don’t know the possibilities available, I can’t plan my future properly.

I also use this system to keep track of my marketing plan and ideas.

And here’s one of my planning partners, Tecnn, and yes, he’s as big as he looks at 28 pounds of black, furry flubber. He loves to help me read, write, and edit as well.

 

  • Create a timeline

I work with a strict timeline for my series, and I have a lot of characters that demand stories. And they all take place at the same time.

Here’s a peak at my ideal write/publish plan until 2030.

For business purposes, I keep another timeline of my writing with other publications, including Anthony’s, to keep our press on schedule. This also allows me to know when I can devote time to writing, editing, and marketing for each project.

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  • Break list down into actionable tasks

Obviously, the next thirteen years is a long time to plan out, so I work in the next five years, the next year, its quarters, months, and weeks.

You can see how I brainstormed my next year’s projects and the major steps needed to complete them. Then I divided these steps into quarters so that I know when I need each step completed by. From here, I work out my quarter and my month, becoming increasingly smaller and more specific until I come to my weekly planning.

 

  • Follow through

I track my progress to keep myself accountable. I can only re-write the same task so many times before I feel guilty for not having it done already.

Weekly planning works the best for me as I can slip the rest of my life into the days on the left and keep a tracking page for the week on the right. Note how I track when I work on my craft, my job, and my goals. I also categorize my weekly tasks: business, create, plan. The rest is personal tracking for my health and my family and my home.

Finally, I also break down projects, like my novel or blog post planning and tracking. Honestly, if I hadn’t had this process for AHEA, I’d probably still be editing and planning rather than marketing and selling, which again, I also track. I have to note everything or I don’t remember what works and what doesn’t.

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Share your process for planning and completing projects with the hashtag #ClosingCircles.

The Almost-Death of an Over-Zealous Editor: the After the Happily Ever After official release

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It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here!

<Collapses on the floor from exhaustion. Mumbles to self and takes a nap.>

I’ve been taking a lot of those lately as I’ve neared the end of the semester and the completion of this gigantically massive anthology. If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen this cover and heard me talk about this project and its size.

Well, it’s finally here, and I damn-near killed myself doing it…Anthony, too…

But, I am so, so proud of this beast. I’m proud of the cover art, of the interior art, of each and every story, and that I finally completed my submission…four days before publication. Yeah.

My authors have especially made me proud. They’ve joined together to create a community, and the genuine appreciation that they’ve shown Anthony and me for the work it took to wrangle this beautiful thing together…it truly was a pleasure to get to know them and watch so many grow.

And one last thing before I flee to the sleepy languor that is a completed project and a closed circle. Thank you to those who supported the Kickstarter. Thank you to those who bought the first twenty signed, Limited-Edition Hardbacks. And as a thank you, we’re selling the e-book at a discount until New Years.

Here it is: Limited-Edition Hardback  |  Paperback  |  Kindle

As a thank you to Claudia Quint, who has been holding interviews with the other contributors on her blog, here, we’ve created our first-ever special author feature in our Transmundane Press Newsletters. It’s coming out tomorrow, so sign up now.

Hugs & Kisses, lovelies.

After the Happily Ever After Cover Reveal

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Guys and gals, fairy monsters and princess pigs, it’s finally here. The project I’ve been working on, and I am so excited to share it’s progress with you.

The cover. Oh my shit. I am IN LOVE with this thing. Do you see it? No..maybe not yet. Let me put it here.

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Right? (Major props to Dean Samed, our cover artist). And you should see the full wrap…which you can, but you have to wait until publication.

Or you can donate to the Kickstarter and get the background version in our first update. We have so many cool things to offer as rewards (like limited-edition hard-back copies and special stories from authors…and a special ARC copy of Blood Phoenix: Imprinted.

Our main goal is to raise funds to pay our authors more money for their hard work.

All right. Well, there’s more to tell or show or…I’ve got more.

Here’s the official blurb:

The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished.  Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive.  Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.

Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.

And they’re awesome. I love the collection we have, which is why we have so many. They’re all so different.

And here’s my sneaky peeky excerpt:

“Are you ready?” My mentor adorned her reaper’s hood, disguised as a craggily, old woman.

“Yes, Madame.”

She produced the poisoned apple, laced with a drug that would make me sleep like the dead; only my brain would record everything. One bite, and I will fall to the whim of whoever finds me.

Cupping the gleaming red fruit in both hands, I took a breath to soften my nerves, and Madame Grimm pinned a charm to the bodice of my dress. It was a forget-me-not serum. If they discovered me, I’d inject myself to erase all knowledge of my mission and my agency. It was a fail safe, and I hoped I wouldn’t need it.

I bit the apple, the sweet juices mixing with the bitter taste of the sleeping drug.

My body grew heavy.

I slipped the antidote behind my lower lip so that when Prince Charming kissed me, it would break open and revive me.

Madame Grimm caught me, laying me half on the grass and half on the path to my secret lair, where the D.W.A.R.V.E.S. will find me and contact the kingdom.

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I have a lot of ideas mixing in this story, Snow White, Cinderella, 007, Monsanto, conspiracy theories, and my favorite, the Dangerous Wee Assassins of the Royal Villains Eradication Society.

Here’s another few teasers, who we will feature again as we draw closer to publication:

“The Dragon” by R. Judas Brown

Lavender knew no one would come for her. Bad things happened to the daughters of poor, dairy farmers every day. The best she hoped for in life was a good marriage arrangement to a solid provider. Her dad only just found that arrangement with the town miller, a man her dad’s age. His apprentice looked like more fun, but the miller was well off.

Then she had been taken.

Fire from the sky.

A slam from behind, knocking her flat before the ground fell away impossibly fast.

Trees and rivers rushed by as she hung from yellow, bony talons until the darkness crept mercifully into her vision to steal her terror away.

She awoke on a bed of sharp sticks in a cave reeking of sulfur. Confused, she stood slowly, trying to find some semblance of sanity in the dark. A glowing sliver of daylight burned around the covered mouth of the cave.

Her feet froze before she had taken a full step as what she thought was a boulder in the dark shifted.

A long tail whipped as a pointed snout swung to regard her. It filled the cave entrance, a giant, scaly mass—a creature renowned for merciless violence and calculated malevolence. Lavender jerked back, tripping on the hem of her skirt in panic. Hands and arms scraped along jagged edges as she fell into the pile of sticks. When she came face to face with a skull, the truth shuddered through her.

 

“The Secret Life of Blanca Snowe” by Saryn Chorney:

The tragic events of Blanca’s childhood were at least partially to blame for her present condition. Blanca’s mother died in childbirth, and her wealthy father, the lord of Fairest Landing, raised his beloved only-daughter by himself. Although he lavished Blanca with love and affection, he missed having a wife. When Blanca turned thirteen, he remarried. Unfortunately, his new wife, Hilde, was a manipulative and vain woman with a suspicious agenda. Mostly, she busied herself spending her new husband’s fortune on beauty products. Hilde ignored Blanca; she passed the majority of her time in the toilette, mixing ointments and talking to herself in the mirror. Perhaps that wasn’t so odd, though, as Blanca spent the majority of her day talking to the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and stray cats in the courtyard of their estate.

Although the Fairest Landing police officially declared it an accident, Lord Snowe died suddenly from an allergic reaction to one of his wife’s homemade tonics, which he mistook for mouthwash.  Hilde made a big show of appearing devastated, but after a month of official mourning, she debuted a new youthful look and entertained suitors. To her disdain, most of them took a shine to Blanca, who was sixteen by then. In juxtaposition to her innocent beauty, the girl also had an alluring countenance that intrigued men. This infuriated Hilde, who gave a handsome sum to a handsome hitman named Hunter to make Blanca disappear. Mid-kidnap-and-chop-up plan, Hunter found himself pitying his pretty prey. Instead of offing her, he dropped her off at a so-called safe house where seven merry men lived.

 

“Beauty and the Beast: The Beast Within” by Lorraine Nelson:

“And that’s what you miss?” he snapped. “That childish, immature, ranting, raving, beast-like creature?”

Belle bit back a smile. “You need to let me finish. All will be explained.” She hoped. Adam grunted, the sound so much like what her beloved Beast made whenever he was displeased that her heart twisted. For one brief second, he was back with her. Then he glanced at her, questions evident in his beautiful, human eyes. And the moment was gone.

 

Check out more excerpts at our campaign page, with out authors, and coming up for blitz next week!

And join us for our giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card.

Did You Know…About Atlantis (Part Two)

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So if we believe Plato’s notes on Atlantis, the continent should lie somewhere off the coast-lines of the Atlantic Ocean. However, several hypotheses have tried to connect Eastern Atlantic structures as megalithic buildings, such as chambered tombs or stone monuments. These megalithic builders were characteristic of prehistoric Europe, and the claims of matching buildings in the Atlantic Americas do not uphold under close inspection. Essentially, “there are no America equivalents of the chambered tombs of the stone rings at Stonehenge, Avebury, and Carnac” (James and Thorpe).

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The various geologic claims of Atlantis as a lost continent, in short, are unfounded. The continental drift, in which the world’s one landmass fractured apart—now known as the tectonic plate theory, does not allow room for the Atlantean continent. Recent theories suggest Altantis may have relocated to Antartica, but no evidence exists to support this other than a literal reading of Plato.

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Although Plato’s depiction of the lost city was debunked, K.T. Frost, a young Belfast University scholar, suggested that Atlanteans echo the once-flourishing Minoan civilization in Crete: “Egyptian tomb paintings depicting visitors in Minoan-style costume showed that the Egyptians were aware of this civilization, while its sudden disappearance about 1400 B.C., Frost suggested might have given them the impression that ‘the whole kingdom had sunk in the sea’” (James and Thrope). The only drawback was the lack of a big enough catastrophe.

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Greek archeologist Spyridon Marinatos theorized that the crater left by the explosion of Thera, a Bronze Age volcanic explosion turned tsunami, left a crater and gave rise to the tale of Altantis’ destruction. His 1967 excavation uncovered streets, houses, and beautiful pottery. This discovery prompted several books in 1969 that argued Thera as the real Atlantis. However, many of the comparisons between the Minoan and Atlantean civilizations were too weak, the explosion of Knossos a decade and a half earlier, and the lack of communication breakdown between Egypt and the Aegean world was not significant to indicate a “sinking” of an island.

My source:

James, Peter and Nick Thorpe. Ancient Mysteries. Ballantine Books: New York, 1999. Print.

Want to know more?

Andrew Collins on Atlantis as Crete or Thera

The UnMuseum on Atlantis

The Shadowlands, Atlantis the Lost Continent

Want to read about my version of Atlantis?

Read “Maiden of the Underworld” in my DISTORTED anthology.

 

Writing Tip: How to write a strong-female protagonist.

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Writing Tip: How to write a strong-female protagonist.

First, I am not advocating that there is a single, right way to write a strong-female lead; however, I have noticed a rather disturbing trend in the practice, and that’s to make the female strong by inhabiting male characteristics, as deemed by society: i.e. to be physically strong, good with weapons, and to be a good leader (otherwise known as bossy), and the list continues.

However, you might imagine a male as strong, yes, a female can be strong in these ways as well. But why can’t a female character be strong and still be feminine—a woman who uses her emotions to carry her through a taxing adventure, who has mercy, who is smart and resourceful, who can nurture at the same time she kicks ass. Why not? Why do these gender roles have to be mutually exclusive?

Granted, we are starting to see these types of characters. The ever-popular Katniss from The Hunger Games series embodies a nice mixture of so-called male and female traits. She’s motherly. Her strong moments come when she is a woman, emotional, compassionate, bossy, resourceful. They even highlight these in the last installment when a group of leaders try to decide how to transform her into the mocking jay for the rebellion.

She even lacks a certain silliness that many female characters have (especially when a love-triangle is present, although some of my friends disagree with my interpretation). She doesn’t seem focused on her love life, rather she seems at a loss of why who she chooses matters when the world has larger problems.

For heaven’s sake, why can’t we all just get along! I imagine her screaming as the boys compete for and try to woo her. She seems disinterested in being some boy’s prize, rather using her public romance with Peeta as a political move. (This one is strangely genderless).

Okay, I like examples, let me give some of my own.

In my first series, based on a renegade vampire’s introduction to the paranormal world, my main character is a brat. She’s strong-headed, strong-willed, and she can fight (having a background in kick-boxing/martial arts). She can take care of herself and has for years, with the help of her bestie. She’s also emotional, breaking down several times as the monstrosity of her new world rains down on her. She feels compassion for the people she kills, worries over the others she leaves alive, and cares for a child meant to be her dinner. Is all of this strictly male or female? No. Ria’s complex, like a character should be, because people are complex.

In another novel, my female character is strong in other ways. Although she goes through some physical trials, like being water boarded, she isn’t physically strong. She’s got the mental fortitude of a warrior, however. She’s brave, she stands up for what’s right, she uses what she knows to survive. She’s allowed to be both smart and beautiful, allowed to cry and joke, allowed to be stern and unsure of herself. Kaia is allowed to be a contradiction.

Again, we’re all complex. We’re all contradictions of ourselves given the different situations we’re challenged with.

So, what I’m saying is that not all strong women need to be warriors, like that blonde Amazon in Game of Thrones, Gwendoline; they don’t all need to be wicked like Maleficent or out for revenge like Arya Stark. They don’t all need to be Katniss.

We need variation because we all have the propensity to be strong in our own ways if we have strength in our character and our beliefs (even if that makes us the bad guy). And we need to showcase these differences for the same reasons we need different personalities for different story plots.

Oh, and the same goes for men. But that’s a different post.

 

Want to meet my strong-female protagonists? Click here.

Editing Tip: My Take on Eliminating Words and Sharpening Language

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Editing Tip: My Take on Eliminating Words and Sharpening Language

So, you’ve finished your first draft, gone in and smoothed over your plot, and now it’s time to focus on language rather than content. Where do you start?

Years ago, I stumbled across a list of words to eliminate and an online writer’s tool as I edited my first novel; the combination became my first step at cutting vague or repetitious words, finding awkward language, typos, and the like. Since then, my editor and I have added to this list, and I’ve sent it off to several of the authors I’ve worked with.

They’ve proven effective.

Let me share my methods with you.

The list(s):

Original words to eliminate:

  • That
  • As (was)
  • Were
  • Just
  • Only
  • Try
  • Tried
  • Moment
  • Turn
  • Glance
  • Fro (From)
  • Could/Would
  • Had
  • Almost
  • Barely
  • Nearly
  • Even
  • Somehow
  • Something
  • Still
  • There
  • Manage
  • Feel/Felt
  • Like

Alisha’s Additions

  • Think
  • Thought
  • Notice
  • Saw
  • Look
  • Hear(d)
  • Taste

Anthony’s Additions:

  • Got
  • Went
  • Very
  • Important
  • Used to
  • Every
  • Never
  • Seem
  • Often
  • Big
  • Small
  • Have got

Obviously, you can’t cut them all, but look closely at the lines you use these in and play with the language to see if the word(s) can be eliminated. This typically makes language stronger and more active—more show and less tell.

The easiest way to utilize this list is to start at the top. Use the find option (command+f for mac or control+f for pc) and search for one word at a time through a chapter. This allows you to isolate and eliminate much more effectively than working through all of these words at once. Once you hit the end of the chapter, move on to the next word until you’ve worked through them all.

Finally, copy and paste the whole chapter (or part depending on its length) through ProWriting Aid (http://prowritingaid.com/). Join with the free membership, that’s all that is really needed. Your editor will fine tune what’s left.

How do you hone your language?

Feel free to comment, ask questions, and make your own suggestions.

May’s Top Ten YouTube Videos

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Key & Peele – Dance Show

One of my favorite skits from this duo (not my top, but still, it’s funny). It came up while Iw as watching The Voice UK and listening to the sob stories they elicit from the contestants to appeal to their audiences (not me, I don’t vote). In any case, it will make you giggle.

 

Targeting the Inner Thighs | The THIGH Gap | Operation Booty 3

I’ve noticed that a lot of my history shows workouts and videos from this young woman. In order to list some variety here, I got picky (as I should), but there has been a lot of talk about the thigh gap. Whether considered controversial or not, I do like this athletes take on it, her explanation: it’s healthy and it’s smart. I hope her young fans listen to her.

 

Our worst enemy ~ Frannerd

You’ve probably seen this young woman on my YouTube lists before. I feel akin to her in so many ways. She may be talking to illustrators, but her message reaches beyond the boundaries of her art to speak about all art forms. Artists can be their own worst enemies, even the ones who have household names.

 

Spaceboy part 2 || Digital Painting || Space

If you follow me on Pinterest (or have known me for any significant span of time), you’ll know that I love art. I used to be an art major before I went to college, where I started as a Photography major, before falling into more so-called serious majors and ended with English. I wish I could draw like this (on paper or Photoshop), but sadly, I am limited to realistic drawings in charcoal or pencil and adult coloring books with my fancy, expensive color pencils. (Don’t be fooled, I color like a professional, so be impressed.) In any case, this young lady is fantastic.

 

Building An Underground Oven

So, I have this thing about the apocalypse (generalized between my husband and I as merely “zombies”). I love watching Lilly build camp sites and necessities in hopes that someday, should I need these skills, I can recall some of what I’ve seen her do. She’s fantastic. And since I’m a cook, an oven would be a good idea because, you know, I like eating…

 

Hedley – Kiss You Inside Out

I clicked on this video by mistake, and once it started and I saw the lead singer with his tattoos and piercings, I thought to myself: Self, this is going to be some grungy rock music that you don’t particularly like. But it wasn’t, and I need to check my prejudices at the door. This song is fucking lovely. (By the way, I super love men—and women—with tattoos and piercings. After all, I have both as does my husband. I had a moment of weakness. Forgive me).

 

“We All Have The Same 24 Hours” Momfessions with Rachel Hollis

Disclaimer, I am not a mom—at least not a full-time one. But I do have a lot of projects, and I am overwhelmed with work during the school year (because grading papers is fucking hard. So fucking hard. I really can’t stress this enough. My brain wants to melt and escape out of my ear and go eat pasta in Italy every time I sit down to grade papers). But Rachel’s message is as motivating as it is short and simple. If you want the time to fulfill your dreams, you have to make the time for it. Only you can do that.

 

“A Promise” Richard Madden Hot Scene

So this is a little different from the other videos on her because it’s a sexy clip from a movie I’ve watched this month. And I may have watched this scene a few more times than I’m comfortable admitting. But seriously y’all. This is HOT. And since I like hot, steamy fiction, it made my list. Go grab an extra pair of panties and enjoy!

 

Palmoa Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This (Official Video)

I don’t know what it is about this song, but I love it. Obviously, I’ve been watching The Voice UK, like I mentioned above, and Palmoa is a new judge on the show. And although this woman is SO talented, I rather hated her on the show. Maybe it was when she put her head down and snored while Boy George was talking, and that rudeness just wouldn’t let me. But however I feel about her and her behavior as a judge on a reality show (which doesn’t mean much to me in the grand scheme of life), she’s got talent. I like the song. And that shift from her chest voice to her head voice is crazy!

 

Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems…palsy is just one

I laugh every time I watch this Ted Talk. This last year, I had two students with palsy. They were both quite hilarious young men. Both smart, both quick, both sociable. Maysoon is all of these as well. All three of them make excellent points about having to work harder to be normal, to be seen, and to be equal. I love this talk.

 

Those are my top ten for the month.

Do you have favorites that you think I’d like? Share them with me! ❤

I’m back with Cheap Reads!

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Hey, lovely readers!

I’ve been slacking. I know it, but this month has been CRAZY! Personal stuff, business stuff, writing stuff, teaching stuff. You don’t need the details, just know that I’m back, and I have new blog posts about the editing process, about BLOOD PHOENIX: IMPRINTED and beta reader opportunities, new giveaways, a new YA novel, and some new Did You Know posts. I’m also working on another newsletter and short stories.

But for now, my latest novel, LOVING RED, is on half off (on sale for $1.99) until June 6th.

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Here’s the latest review:

“When I first started reading this story, I was afraid it was going to be one of those insta-love stories. However, although the book only spans about a week’s time, it doesn’t feel like insta-love.

Severins is a wolf shifter on leave from the army. His impeccable sense of smell picks up Kaia’s scent during a bus ride, and he knows he has to have her but not just for a one-night stand. He goes to her job and pretends to be a client to con her into going on a date with him. He is unaware that Kaia, a human, knows of his world, and that she is in danger.

It isn’t specifically stated, but I feel like Sev immediately thought she was destined to be his. He instantly has a drive to protect her and to claim her as his but, like the romantic he is, he wants her to be the one to decide about their relationship. Swoon.

The two have an immediate attraction, but Kaia is leery because of a past relationship with a shifter. As the danger gets closer and closer to Kaia, the two must go on the run from the Celampresians who follow them.

Sev is 100% book boyfriend material. I loved his character. He is so caring and protects Kaia and Shawna with every part of his being.

I’m not completely sure how I feel about Kaia. I originally thought she would be portrayed as a weak human who needed saving, but the only time she comes across as weak is when she is, for lack of a better word, possessed. Many times she shows mental and emotional strength, but she never becomes an active participant in physical fights.

This was a great read that I would recommend to my closest friends. I really enjoyed the story and most of all Severins!”

Review by Tina, Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team