Month: January 2015

Excerpt…The Vampire’s Penance

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This certainly was not the first time Maddie Van Kool had seen a naked man. On the contrary. As a nurse at Golden Pastures Nursing Home, she’d seen plenty of naked men. Of course, they’d all been damn close to 100 years old and wrinkly and dangly, but they were men, and she’d had the obligatory peek at their naked bodies while bathing them. You had to look if you were completing a skin assessment.
In nursing school there’d been other male patients who’d been on her assignments as she learned the proper care of catheters and surgical preparation and other such procedures that would leave a patient exposed.
However, there had not been one, not one that came even remotely close to competing with Raffaele Valentino. Not one. Ever.
The mold had certainly been broken when he was made. Six-two, dark hair, gray eyes. Broad shoulders and chest and nice everything else. He was, generally speaking, a sight of true perfection. Though, tonight was clearly not one of those nights.
She donned her rubber gloves, ensuring they came up and over the sleeves of her gown, which hung long enough to touch the tops of her rubber boots. Then she checked the gauge on the shower nozzle.
“I think it’s ready,” she said from behind her face shield. “I’ll be as gentle as I can.”
“Yeah, you do that,” Rafe growled then let out an annoyed sounding sigh. “Let’s get this done.”
Seated on the shower chair in the infirmary’s fifteen-foot shower he looked enormous. His muscular frame dwarfed the little plastic seat. Beneath the angry red and festering sores his shoulder muscles rippled. He’d insisted on using the shower chair instead of lying on the specially built table that would allow her to rinse him and turn him without disrupting him too much. He held on to the chair for dear life.
Maddie was certain if she bumped him, she’d knock him right out of the seat.
Stubborn. That was the second word that came to mind whenever she thought of Rafe. The first word was, of course, drop-dead-gorgeous, which, although technically three words always sounded like one when she thought of Rafe.
For as long as she’d known him, he’d been stubborn. Maddie wondered what he’d been like as a human. She’d never dared to ask, too afraid he’d tell her to mind her own business.
He wasn’t a man of many words, especially not with her.
She brought the shower hose up to the back of his head and let the delicate lukewarm water spray his hair.
Rafe hissed and jerked away. “Damn it woman! What’s the sprayer set on? Needle pricks?”
Turning the nozzle away, she apologized. “I’m sorry. It’s only set to mist. It doesn’t get any lighter than this.”
The arm rests creaked under his hands, yet, he sat up straight. “Turn it to an even flow. A full flush of water is better than thousands of tiny stings.” He faced forward, head angled down at his feet. “Didn’t they teach you that in nursing school?”
“No. We never covered the care of vampires.”
“You must have been absent that day.”
“I never missed a day.” She switched the nozzle to a full flow of water and checked the temperature once more. “And as I recall the class on post-mortem care did not even hint of vampires. We were trained to expect the dead to remain dead.”
His head bobbed. “Hhmmf.”

What I am reading.

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Okay, so I am reading I am Malala and I am really getting mad. Life is so precious.

I am really getting ticked off with those Taliban people. How can one person exercise such much power to cripple a whole community with fear?Education is so important. How can they believe that Allah will punish them for learning? That an earthquake is God telling them that women should not be allowed to show their faces or be alone in public.

We take so much for granted and fear is such a powerful weapon.


So Excited about this Anthology

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This has to be one of the most challenging and rewarding stories I have ever written. Initially, when I was asked to be a part of the Valentine’s anthology, I wasn’t sure.  Then, when I was told that he would have the same premise: His name is Valentino, he is 6 feet tall, with hazel eyes and is looking for his brother. Oh yeah, he was abandoned on someone’s doorstep as a child.

It just got hard.

The original story I started writing was deep. It is a good story, but I thought it wasn’t right for the anthology, so I went back and played around a bit and came up with this title.

10930900_1585131198386467_1989483292803037024_nOkay, so this works.  I am the contemporary writer in the pack, so I had a bit more wiggle room. I can work with this, but how.  Truth is always more interesting that anything I can make up, so I started combing through my head.

Recently, I went to one of those house flipping workshops led by Than Merrill.  I thought cool, what if my Valentino was one of those dudes that came through cities and bought up blighted areas and rebuilt those fancy houses?  And what if she is one of those do goodies that like to stay and home and blog about her feelings.

Okay–so this works.

Here is the blurb:

Tino Boehner was up to his ears with Ebony Miller’s pot shots at him on her blog. Just as he was trying to figure out how to turn the tables, fate dumped her in his lap. Seizing the opportunity, he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse; come work by his side for a month.

A month can be a lifetime, or just enough time to make a man want to change his brutish ways.

Then I saw the cover pack for the anthology. I KNOW RIGHT!!!!!


One Hero, Different Worlds, Five Authors give their take on sexy Valentino….Yeah, We Did that!! #CMValentino

Up for Pre-Order for only .99!!!

Call Me Valentino – Fall in love this Valentine’s Day as USA Today and Amazon Best Selling authors come together to bring you one sexy hero written in five different genres. Call Me Valentino uses the same hero set in five different worlds. Your new book boyfriend is a cowboy, an FBI agent, A Highland Laird, a real estate developer and even a vampire. Which Valentino will be your favorite?


 — with Olivia Gaines, Kirsten Osbourne, Jordan K. Rose andJamie Lee Scott.

Yes.  You see who I am in this pack with?  Woot!  I am excited.  Go ahead.  Pre-order your copy.  You will be glad you did.

I needed a laugh today.

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Paying or Rewarding for Reviews

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I have recently noticed an online trend of #indie authors paying for reviews.  I have even seen several that have reward programs for reviewers. Yes, you write a review, the author gives you something.

I hate this practice.

It lessens the credibility of the author as well as other indie authors. So do the online publishers.  Amazon put a stop to authors gifting readers with free copies in order to get a review.  If you gift a copy of your book to a reader, that reader can not post a review on that same book.  I like this.

You want the reviews, EARN them.

If your sales are not equaling your reviews then head back to the drawing board and figure out what is not resonating with the readers in your stories.  I know for a fact if they love the story, hate the story or are hovering in the middle of the road, readers will post a review.

Here is the math.  If you sold 150 copies and only have 10 reviews were posted then people are not finishing your books.

It is time to work on the cliffhanger.

Each chapter should end with a little…ooohh!.  You know…a say what now? Moment that makes the reader want to get to the next chapter.tumblr_inline_n0hjkybdid1ruu1m9

Next, work on your wordsmything. Instead of writing, “Ella gazed longing into his eyes…” Yeah, I know pretty boring.  Try this.

Ella stood there, rooted to the spot where her feet seemed to be adhered to the floor.  Uncertain of whether to move forward or take off running, she stared back at him with a longing she had never known. She felt so stupid because she knew exactly how she was gazing into his eyes which shimmered like two pools of liquid sapphires.  Her Grandpa Joe, who was a diabetic, usually had that same look on his face when he stood at the pastry counter in the Amish bakery.  One thing Ella did know, she had it bad for Luke, and the stupid look on her face just confirmed it for him as well. “Well,” Luke murmured into her ear. “You going to kiss me or just drool on me.”

Writing for a living is hard.  You have to stay fresh which also means you have to get out there, meet other authors, take some classes and hone your craft.  Paying and rewarded readers for reviews is no-no.