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Friday, March 6, 2015

Blogger Has Had a Change of Heart

I wrote a post not too long back about Blogger's plan to implement a new policy this month that would have done a major disservice to writers, bloggers, and romance readers. 

Usually when a company makes a decision this huge, they have no plans on turning back. So I was shocked to see the following on my Blogger dashboard this evening. 

In this notice, Blogger has announced that they will not be implementing the changes. Even more amazing, they are stating that they actually noticed and listened to the feedback that followed their original announcement... and this is what resulted in their decision to leave things as they are.

Kudos to Blogger for actually listening to the people that protested. This says a lot about a company that does that. 

The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms With Deirdre H. Gage Interview

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/9/15 – 3/9/15
Genres: Paranormal, Humor

Four girlfriends on a weekend trip to New Orleans attract the attention of flesh-eating Scavengers. The women must rely on their wits, a cocky Irish movie star, and a dodgy deal with vampires to survive the night during this wild adventure through the Big Easy.

The clock struck midnight at the Columns Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. A mild, damp breeze stirred old Mardi Gras beads dangling from the heavy branches of the live oak trees shadowing the porch. Aging white columns framed a massive wooden keyhole door and laughter spilled out from an open window where patrons sipped Pimm’s cups in the dusty velvet-upholstered booths of what used to be a grand dining room. A streetcar rattled quickly past on St. Charles Avenue, leaving a flash of old trolley and the faint buzz of electricity lingering in the air.
Half a dozen tables sat vacant on the porch, chairs long since pushed back and the tops stripped bare of crumpled white table cloths. One lone table remained occupied by four women, laughing a little too loudly as they sat back in tipsy satisfaction; a cluster of empty glasses and a dirty crystal ashtray evidence of their evening’s entertainment.
Somewhere in the Garden District, a church bell tolled the late hour, causing the women to jump a little at the sound. A dark-haired woman in purple nodded toward the direction of the echoing bell and quipped, “Sounds like God wants a cocktail.”
The woman on her left, a short curvy blonde in a tight black dress snorted; spewing the remains of a dirty martini all over her friend.
“Damn,” said the brunette as she patted a tiny cocktail napkin uselessly around the table cloth, and then looked down the deep v-neck of purple jersey covering her breasts, now damp. “My dress is getting drunk.”
A third woman, slender and graceful with silky straight black hair drawled, “Audrey, stop bringing up God when you’re intoxicated. It’s tacky.” She eyed the blonde, adding, “And Beth, honey, don’t order martinis if you’re going to slop them all over the table. Sloppy girls don’t get asked to the prom, if you know what I mean.”
The fourth woman was tall and busty with skin the color of milky coffee. She wore a glossy candy apple red wig, a sparkly silver sheath, and fake python boots that gave an extra six inches to her already statuesque frame. She drained her glass before declaring, “Evie, we all passed prom more than twenty years ago, so drop the Junior League shit. Besides, sloppy women do get laid.”
Evie pursed her lips in disapproval. “Syd, do you always have to be so crude?”
“Fuck yeah,” the redhead snapped. “I’m on vacation.”
Evie winced.
“Oh, calm down,” Syd said with a wink. “You just need another drink.” She wiggled her fingers in the air and a young waitress seemed to magically appear from inside.
The waitress sighed as she surveyed the dirty table. “Ladies, you ready for another round?”
Syd beamed. “Honey, you read my mind.” She looked around at the otherwise empty porch, adding, “hope we haven’t chased away your customers.”
The waitress gave a tired smile and said, “No, you ladies are just fine.” She gathered up glasses and asked, “Y’all celebrating somethin’ tonight?”
Audrey looked up from the futile task of patting her dress dry. “Yeah. I just got a divorce and Syd here turned forty.” She pointed to the redhead and gave a low, vodka-loosened laugh. “Now we’re all over the fucking hill.”
Syd gave her an evil eye. “And that’s why we’ve had to buy our own drinks all weekend.”
“Sorry,” Audrey replied as she tossed the napkin on the table and resigned herself to wet cleavage.
“Hey girls,” the blonde yawned. “Weren’t we talking about something naughty before I made such a mess?”
“Ooh, thank you, Beth,” Syd replied with a nasty gleam in her eye. “The list!”
“Ah, the list,” Beth’s lips twisted in a wry smile as she pointed at Evie. “Your turn. Five celebrities you’d sleep with if you weren’t married.”
Evie groaned. “The list? Really, Syd. Aren’t we too old for this?”
Syd gave her a stern glance and answered, “Evie, we’re forty. The only thing we’re too old for is American Idol. The day I can’t get drunk and fantasize about hot guys I’m not married to, you can plan my funeral.”

Buy Link:


When did you decide to write your first book? In my 20s

How long did it take you?  About a year for the first draft

Do you do a lot of research? It depends.  I tend to write either about places or situations in which I have some experience to start with, and then fill in the gaps with research as needed.  I guess I follow the general rule of "write what you know." Except, of course, I don't actually know any vampires.  Or maybe I do...

How do you design your covers?  I don't. I leave it to the experts -- I know a couple of super talented graphic designers who came up with a cover that's a million times better than what I could design.

Can you tell us some about what you're working on now?  Yes, working on a book about a ten-year-old girl  in Texas fighting to save her mother's soul from a vengeful spirit. About 3/4 done with the 3rd round of revisions, so getting there!

Is there anything you wish you would have known when you first started writing? Just to keep writing. Even if it's 20 minutes in a day, writing consistently is rewarding and it leads to more writing...

Do you have any tips for new writers?  Yes -- carve out time!  You'll always be busy, but do whatever you have to, in order to find even a little slice of time for your writing. It matters.

Can you tell us about your current releases? I have The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms out under my name. I've also written New Orleans Lover: A Creole Christmas Tale, under the pen name of Lush Jones.

Do you see writing as a career for you?  I actually do write for a living, although in a more corporate environment, so yes.

What are some of your favorite books? Movies?  I love books more than just about any inanimate object, but some of my faves include: Jane Eyre, Black Mountain Breakdown, The Witching Hour.  Movies: Dazed and Confused, Death at a Funeral (the English version, please!), Fright Night, and Steel Magnolias. Yeah, I dig Dolly and Julia, what can I say?

What's one thing in life that you haven't done yet but would like to?  Travel to Italy and join the Polar Bear Club.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing?  I think it's a great route for some, but it does require a lot of work on the author's end.

What influenced you the most to go with self-publishing? I had gone the traditional route and gotten stuck, so I decided to take a chance.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?  I'm a Libra, I like short walks on the beach, and I'm afraid of the dark.

About the Author:
Deirdre H. Gage is a Texas writer who has claimed half a dozen other places as home, including Kentucky and Chicago – but her heart belongs to the Big Easy. She has been published in the Darker Times Anthology Volume Three, Cosmopolitan Magazine and Appalachian Heritage literary journal. The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem and Moms is her first novel, and book one in The Getaway Girls series.

Connect With The Author:

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon gift cards on The Getaway Girls: A New Orleans Tale of Monsters, Mayhem, and Moms Tour and Giveaway! Open WW 2/9/15 – 3/9/15.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Horror Feature Jagannath and Interview With Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender

The Complete Self-Publishing Indie Authors Resource Site interview with Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender 2/26/15

When did you decide to write your first book?

When I was about seven, but it took another thirty-six years to get started. Seriously: I wanted to write novels since I was in first grade. I wrote lots of short stories as a kid, and even won First Place in a high school newsletter contest when I was thirteen in eighth grade. I still have the plaque hanging on my wall of accumulating awards. But when I hit my teens I picked up the guitar and ended up being a professional performing musician for thirty years. In 2003, I decided it was time to start writing that first novel. It was clamoring for release, stuck inside my head, and needed to get out and be told. Since then, I’ve put the music on the back burner and started writing full-time in 2009. I now have eight novels completed, six of them thoroughly edited, two published, and am working on my ninth.

How long did it take you?

While working a full-time job, my first novel took six months to write, and another five months to edit—and I had to spend a lot of that time learning how to properly edit my work. I’m still constantly learning how to improve both my writing and editing skills, and will never stop learning. There’s always something new to learn and implement in writing: like “mastering” a musical instrument, it can never be done. As soon as you decide you’ve learned all you can about any subject or artistic endeavor, you’ve closed your mind off to learning new ways to improve your skills and techniques, and will miss out on opportunities to reach for the stars in your efforts to constantly supplement your talent and hone your craft. As with playing a musical instrument or sport, or any endeavor in which you combine knowledge, wisdom, and creativity with physical performance, you must always practice, practice, practice.

Do you do a lot of research?

Yes! Any writer intent on making a career out of writing or even being taken seriously as a genuine writer must learn how to be an adept researcher. If you get your facts wrong about physical attributes and workings of existing mechanical devices, history, biology, geology, geography, science, anatomy, or anything in which the facts can be checked and verified, your knowledgeable readers will call you out on it, and you will be labeled as an amateur and a charlatan. That is a stigma that can ruin your valuable reputation and possibly never be eradicated. I’ve learned, through trial and error and application, how to be a good researcher, and even learned how to make it fun... most of the time.

How do you design your covers?

I wish I had that skill! Having only been traditionally published so far—versus self-publishing—my input on the cover designs for my novels has been moderately limited. Most publishers worth their reputation generally offer you a form in which you can provide your synopsis, plot, some character descriptions, and story arc and character goals. My two publishers allowed me some input on what I would and would not like to see on my cover, but once that was established, the final design was pretty much out of my hands. With self-publishing you have a lot more control over your cover design... but the bill for the work involved in creating it is also your responsibility.

Can you tell us some about what you're working on now?

This interview, lol. I’m also in the heart of my marketing campaign and virtual blog tour for my brand new post-apocalyptic sci-fi/ horror thriller JAGANNATH, published on February 3rd by Permuted Press. Marketing and promoting your publications is hard work, an endless task, but it’s a necessary endeavor. When handled tactfully and strategically, it yields rewarding results in sales, author recognition, building your fan base and author’s platform, and increasing the chances that your publisher, other publishers, or literary agents will enthusiastically sign you up for future publications.

As for my current work-in-progress, I never discuss projects I’m in the process of writing with anyone. All I can tell you is that it’s another reality-bending supernatural-slash-sci-fi-slash-horror thriller with protagonists my readers will be sure to love and villains they will love to hate.

Is there anything you wish you would have known when you first started writing?

Yes! Everything I’ve learned about writing, editing, marketing, and the publishing industry thus far, along with everything I’m going to learn about them throughout the rest of my career, lol. That would have saved me years of hard work in the acquisition of knowledge about good writing. But that’s the thing: writing is hard work, an ever-ongoing process of learning and honing your craft. For me, however, it’s a spiritually and emotionally rewarding process. Nothing else in the world equals the thrill and satisfaction of completing a piece of writing I’m proud of, and happy to share with the world.

Do you have any tips for new writers?

Yeah, hang it up so I have less competition. Just kidding. My advice is to write and write often and consistently. Develop a routine writing schedule and stick with it no matter what may develop that interferes with it. Understand and accept that you have much to learn, and always will. Constantly improve your writing skills and hone your craft: writing is an art form, and no worthy piece of art is finished by lackadaisical application of your talent or lack of attention to details. Plus, when the time comes and you’re ready to submit your work for potential publication, develop a thick skin: the literary business is a subjective one, and is replete with rejections. But it only takes one good “yes” to negate a thousand or more rejections. I recommend subscribing to what I call my “Triple P Philosophy”: Patience, Persistence, and Perseverance.

Can you tell us about your current releases?

My new novel Jagannath is about an amorphous shape-shifting creature that feeds off living organisms by absorbing them. It formerly thrived in the ocean depths, but when it comes ashore, it quickly develops a ravenous appetite for human flesh and blood. And the worst parts are threefold: One, it also absorbs our intelligence along with our bodies, becoming smarter the more it feeds off us. Two, it can assume the shape of not only any creature it has absorbed, but also the form of any creature we’ve ever dreamed about or even imagined—including combinations of demons, serpents, mythological creatures, and monsters from our darkest nightmares. Three, it has no conscience or morals, and delights in tormenting its prey—and its ultimate goal is nothing less than the extinction of the human race.

More than anything else, Jagannath is about the intrepid surviving humans who make their last stand and fight to destroy this nearly indestructible metamorphosing creature, about the strength and resilience of the human spirit, about hope, faith, loyalty, friendship, and ultimate triumph and redemption.

Do you see writing as a career for you?

Writing is a career for me, so yes. I’ll be writing until I keel over for the final time, and move on to the next world beyond this one. And if there’s a way to write in the afterlife, I’ll write there too. And if there’s a world or form of existence beyond the afterlife...

What are some of your favorite books? Movies?

Books: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge, Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons, Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon, Watchers and From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz, The Passage by Justin Cronin, and of course the unabridged version of Stephen King’s The Stand. I could go on with this list for hours, but I’ll stop here.

Movies: The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston, Prince of Darkness by John Carpenter (still creeps me out), Event HorizonBruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness (both versions), and I absolutely loved The Thirteenth Floor, The Princess Bride, the first two Jurassic Park movies, and Anne Parillaud in Innocent Blood. I could go on here too, but I’ll stop.

What's one thing in life that you haven't done yet but would like to?

Breach the barrier between this dimension and multiple parallel dimensions. Good thing you didn’t ask me about more than one, otherwise I’d include traveling back and forth in time, achieving willful instantaneous invisibility, learning how to fly, and ruling the universe. Oh, and I’d love to go to Hawaii.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing?

Mixed. Many writers have done so successfully, but so many are doing it nowadays that the market is flooded with vastly inferior works that are not only poorly conceived and written, but also very poorly edited. It gives writers in general a bad rap, and makes the truly excellent work harder to find. I do not begrudge anyone the opportunity to share their work with the world, but I caution writers who self-publish to go to great lengths to ensure that your work is professional and exceptional, and properly edited. You could ruin your reputation and future chances at lucrative traditional publication by self-publishing inferior work.

What influenced you the most to go with a publishing company?

Being offered two separate contracts for two of my novels by two different publishers. Seriously. Those were the best two days ever, and they came in the same week of December 2013. I shop my novels for representation from literary agents as well as directly with publishers. Whoever makes the best offer wins the prize. One of my ultimate goals is to be published by TOR Books, consistently the publisher of many of my favorite books and authors.

Would you ever self-publish?

Absolutely! In fact, now that I’ve learned so much more about that side of the industry, how to market and promote my work, how to create, format, and convert Word document manuscripts into e-book files, and how to properly format the interior text of a Word doc for a Print-on-Demand paperback edition, I’m considering self-publishing one of my six other novels. Maybe even as soon as late Fall or early Winter this year. But don’t tell anybody. I want it to be a surprise. ;)

For the new writers who might be struggling with finding a publishing company, do you have any tips or advice for them?

Never give up, never surrender! That goes back to my Triple P Philosophy: you won’t get published without employing patience, persistence, and perseverance. A great resource for a listing of publishers, among many others, is Preditors & Editors. They’re extra helpful because they warn against scammers and disreputable publishers, usually with details on why. Here’s their site link: Another good one is Writer Beware:

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Yes: First, I want to sincerely thank my friends, readers, fans, and colleagues for all their support and encouragement over the years. You are the good people who make my Big Dream Machine sprout wings and fly!

Second, check out my works, specifically my novels Jagannath and Soulsnatcher. There’s a good reason they’re both getting numerous rave 5-star reviews. And I don’t solicit my friends for good reviews just to stack the odds in my favor: these are reviews from people I don’t personally know—regular readers, bloggers, and reviewers.

Thanks so much to Jesse at The Complete Self-Publishing Indie Authors Resource Site for giving me this opportunity to share a little about myself and my works, and happy reading to everyone!

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/9/15 – 3/9/15
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Suspense, Thriller, Action/Adventure, TEOTWAWKI

The monster from your nightmares is here. It’s destroying civilization. Soon the human race will be extinct.
The year is 2037, and Corporal Kimi Jayden has one chance to rescue the lone refugee girl who is miraculously immune to Reaper absorption. Twelve-year-old Lily walks the deserted streets of Savannah alone, ever since the Reaper absorbed her family—and tried and failed to absorb her—a year ago. An amorphous creature that has nearly wiped out civilization, growing as it feeds, the Reaper assimilates its prey’s intelligence when it consumes flesh and blood. Growing smarter with each human it absorbs, the Reaper transforms into monsters created from our darkest nightmares—and it loves tormenting its victims.
Kimi and her fellow survivors in the North Georgia Renegade Enclave believe Lily’s DNA holds the key to mankind’s survival. But the Reaper covets and abducts Lily, and Kimi must battle a ghastly horde of Reaper incarnations to preserve humanity’s last hope against extinction.
JAGANNATH reveals the resilience and determination of the human spirit in an action-filled tale of terror, selfless courage, and ultimate triumph and redemption.

What an exciting story and non-stop action! Set twenty years in the future, JAGANNATH is about a monster from the depths of the ocean, awakened by its hunger and its need to feed… and it feeds on humans. After devouring more than half of the world’s population, it has grown to epic proportions and is seemingly unstoppable. There is one remaining chance: a little girl named Lily. Hop aboard for a thrilling adventure!” – Deborah D. Moore, bestselling author of The Journal: Cracked Earth and The Journal: Ash Fall

Jagannath is a hair-raising, fantastic, adventurous ride. Brilliant, amazing, and impossible to put down. A must-read for all sci-fi/ horror fans. Highly recommended!” – Lynda Fitzgerald, critically acclaimed author of If Truth Be Told, Of Words & Music, and the LIVE mystery series.

A tentacle as thick as a railroad tie burst out of the gap in the crumbling wall. The sinuous limb shot toward the Renegade soldier like a giant compressed spring releasing. Before the soldier could aim his flamethrower at it, the tentacle coiled around him and squeezed.
He shouted for backup, and two soldiers raced toward him. They aimed their wrist-mounted nozzles at the transforming tentacle. Tight streams of blue gel spurted toward the creature’s extended limb, but the soldiers fired too late. The tentacle seeped under the soldier’s visor and touched bare skin, and the Reaper began to absorb him.
Kimi scowled, studying the holographic video of the battle against the Reaper in the dead city of Savannah, Georgia. Safe within the War Room of the North Georgia Renegade Enclave, she had a bird’s-eye view of the chaos and destruction from two days ago. The scene stoked an ever-smoldering fire inside her.
The Reaper had killed her whole family fifteen years ago, one day before her thirteenth birthday. She had hidden, helpless to stop the creature as it consumed them. The loss left a gaping wound inside her that only vengeance could heal.
Her shoulders tensed as she remembered watching her hometown of Jasper, Georgia burn. The raging flames had surrounded her as everyone she knew and loved was absorbed. The Renegade soldiers who came to rescue the survivors were too late to save anyone but her.
Kimi was an orphan in the truest and bloodiest sense of the word.
Joining the Renegades was inevitable. She signed up two years after her rescue at the lawfully acceptable age of fifteen. Ever since that day, she wore the red, blue, and orange insignia of blood, life, and flame with honor and pride.
Though the holo-vid was painful to watch, Kimi’s duty was to observe and learn. She kept her eyes on the soldier, knowing he would respond with the only avenue of escape he had left.
“Fall back!” the soldier called to his buddies. “I’m hitting the fail-safe!”
His voice was loud and close through the War Room’s speakers. He was doomed, but he didn’t cry out as the Reaper soaked up the skin on his neck and jaw. The creature’s pseudo-flesh shifted shape, forming a cocoon around him. But the soldier popped off the cap covering the recessed red button on his hand-grip control before he was immobilized.
Not for the first time—or the last—Kimi wondered why they didn’t call the fail-safe button by its true name: a suicide switch.
The two standing soldiers trained their flamethrower nozzles on the creature as they backed away. Tight streams of fire shot out and ignited the Reaper’s viscous muck, too late to save the dying soldier. But the flames started frying the isolated portion of the creature into yellow smoke and charcoal gray ash.
The doomed soldier pressed the red button, and the potent explosives in his helmet and body armor did their job. The force of the blast made creature-gook spray outward in all directions—along with various body parts.
Kimi gritted her teeth. Had the soldier pressed the suicide switch in time, or did the creature absorb his brain before he died?
When the Reaper rose up out of the oceans’ depths and came ashore sixteen years ago, it seemed like nothing more than an amorphous sludge with the limited intelligence of the aquatic mammals it ingested, a creature of transforming slime that imitated living organisms. It separated into portions like a deploying army, and quickly developed a ravenous appetite for human flesh and blood. But when it began metamorphosing into human form and mimicking people, the evidence was conclusive: the creature was growing smarter, accumulating knowledge with each person it consumed.
The Reaper was not only feeding on their flesh and blood; it was absorbing their minds, and assimilating their intelligence.
And it grew as it fed.
Kimi’s scowl deepened as she watched the holo-vid. She still heard her mother, father, and little sister’s screams, heard them even in her dreams. Being assigned to fly in the follow-up search-and-rescue mission with the eleven other Renegades gathered in the War Room had her stoked.

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

About the Author:
Colleagues and readers alike have dubbed Kerry Alan Denney The Reality Bender. The multiple award-winning author of the paranormal thriller Soulsnatcher (Lazy Day Publishing, April 29, 2014 – ISBN 978-1499251777) and the post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller Jagannath (coming from Permuted Press February 3, 2015 – e-book ISBN 978-1618684134, trade paperback ISBN 978-1618684127), as well as numerous short stories and eight novels, Kerry blends elements of the supernatural, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror in his novels and short stories: speculative fiction at its wildest and craziest. With joy, malicious glee, and a touch of madness, he writes reality-bending thrillers—even when the voices don’t compel him to. His protagonists are his children, and he loves them as dearly as he despises his antagonists… even when he has to kill them.
Kerry lives near Stone Mountain, Georgia with his Golden retriever Holly Jolly, a professional Therapy Dog, and is currently writing his next supernatural novel and trying his best to remain rooted in this dimension—and trying to decide which characters he’s going to kill.
For more information, please visit

Connect With The Author:
Kerry Alan Denney is The Reality Bender
Kerry Alan Denney aka The Reality Bender Facebook Author Page
“JAGANNATH: The Monster From Your Nightmares Is HERE!” Facebook Online Book Release Party Saturday February 7 – 1 to 4 p.m. EST
Kerry’s The Reality Bender Blog
Kerry’s Amazon Author Central Page
Kerry’s Goodreads Author Page
JAGANNATH – The Monster From Your Nightmares Is HERE – YouTube “JAGANNATH 2015 Book Blog Tour Extravaganza” promo video
Kerry on Twitter
Kerry on LinkedIn
FREE Sneak Preview of Kerry Alan Denney’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi/ horror thriller JAGANNATH
FREE Sneak Preview of Kerry Alan Denney’s paranormal thriller SOULSNATCHER

Enter to win the following on the JAGANNATH by Kerry Alan Denney 2015 Blog Tour with Fire and Ice Book Tours: 5 E-Book Copies of Soulsnatcher, Five $10 Amazon Gift Cards, an Ebook Copy of Deborah D. Moore’s The Journal: Cracked Earth, or an Ebook copy of Deborah D. Moore’s The Journal: Ash Fall! Twelve Winners! Entry dates are 2/9/15 – 3/9/15. Open Worldwide.

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Lips Like Ice

Title: Lips Like Ice

Author: Peggy Barnett
Genre: Science-Fiction, Erotica
He calls himself the Prince. He is humanoid but not human–fascinating, sensual, at the cusp of maturity, and accustomed to getting what he wants. And Lydia has awoken in his world to find that she has been given to him–as a pet, a plaything, and, if he so desires, a lover.
But the Prince lives in a world where birth order dictates gender, and in declaring himself male he has thrown tradition back into the face of his father, the King, a very, very dangerous creature to cross.
As Lydia comes to realize that the Prince is as much a prisoner to his culture’s ways as she is, her resentment slowly unfurls into pity, understanding, curiosity, and a deep, unpredictable, consuming lust. She wants him too, on her own terms. But in a world fraught with hidden dangers, her terms are not open for discussion, not when their thirst for one another could doom them both. In a court where monarchs are obeyed and sexual hierarchies are strict, one wrong move could end the Prince for ever… and what would happen to Lydia then?

About the Author:

“Peggy Barnett” is the erotica pseudonym of a Toronto-based SF/F author. Peggy writes stories for the thinking erotica reader. She likes to write stories that are both one-handed reading and topical discussions of consent, non-binary gender, the full spectrum of sexuality and romanticism, and relationships that bloom beyond monogamy.


Google/Blogger Policy Update - What This Means for Erotic Romance & Erotica Authors

After Wordpress declared war on book blogs and book reviewers that participated in online book tours, Blogger seemed a pretty good place to be. Not only is the platform more user-friendly, but Blogspot has been pretty easy to use. In other words, it has been a book bloggers dream come true.

But that might be about to change. On March 23, 2015, Google will be changing blogs with any sexually explicit images to the private status... which basically means nobody will see it. 

This likely won't affect more mainstream authors... yet. But it's going to affect a lot of romance authors, in a big way. Although Amazon doesn't allow nudity on their covers, many of the covers for the romance genre are suggestive. Some more than others. And considering that erotic romance is one of the hottest and most popular genres today, this can have a very negative impact for the authors. 

There aren't many book bloggers that don't have erotic romance in at least a few of their posts. It's just too popular not be be common. And although Amazon is allowing many of these covers, that doesn't mean that Google will. 

The link I mentioned above is in regards to explicit images... but what about wording? Will just featuring an erotic romance be enough to get you kicked into the "private" status? Nobody knows. 

And with this policy change, it makes one wonder how long it will be until they go one step further, and start banning book blogs just like Wordpress did? 

If you're a book blogger, I think now is the time to start looking into your own self-hosted blog. There is a lot of risk that comes with hosting your posts on a free platform, and this is just one of the examples.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Interview with Mainstream Author D.U. Okonkwo Plus Book Tour and Giveaway

Interview with Mainstream Author D.U. Okonkwo:

Can you tell us some about how you became an author?
I’ve always loved reading, but it was only when I was ten years old that I started writing my own stories. Event then it was only a hobby. It was only when, years later, when I got the idea for RISE that I realised that wiring was something that I could do and enjoy.

What inspired you to write your book Rise?
I was browsing in a book shop during my lunch break at work, and I suddenly had the random thought of seeing my name on the cover of a book. That night the idea for Rise popped into my head. The book chose me. Literally. The idea came into my head and refused to leave. 

Did you find the publishing process daunting?
When I decided to self-publish, I had to battle back loads of fears about how hard it would be. But honestly? It’s not hard at all. All an author needs is a good editor, a cover designer, a proof-reader, and then someone to convert your book to an eBook. Or you can do it yourself with software such as Scrivener. All of these are one off flat fees. And all of these services can be done in good time.

What are your thoughts on Indie/self-publishing?
It’s the most liberating and empowering thing that has been given to writers since…ever. I believe that writers past would have loved to have had the opportunity and choice that we writers are today empowered with. So many great writers never had their dreams come to fruition because they had to be disempowered by waiting for someone else to say: ‘We have decided to publish your book.’ Now a writer can empower themselves and say: ‘I’m publishing my book.’

What is the best piece of advice you could give to new writers?
1.       Write and read as much as you can
2.       Follow great industry blogs, especially indie / self-publishing ones
3.       Learn how the publishing industry works so you can make an informed choice on how to publish
4.       Read / Listen to books about great publishing strategies
5.       Treat writing as a business, because it really is
6.       Share what you learn with other writers

If you had to describe this book in 15 words or less, what would you say?
RISE is the story of how a facially scarred and reclusive sculptress discovers true self-esteem.

Any last words?
Enjoy the read!

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/26/15 – 2/23/15
Genres: Mainstream, Literary, Spirituality, Coming of Age

Blurb: Riana “Ria” Ofor is a gifted sculptress whose beautiful creations could draw crowds. But due to the childhood accident that left her facially scarred, she avoids selling her work publicly, instead scraping a living through online sales. However, when a home repossession notice arrives, both her love of sculpting, as well as her home, suddenly come under threat.

Now she is forced to step out of her comfort zone and enter the very public world of gallery showings. When she does land a gallery contract, she then finds herself the target of a rival artist after the very same contract. Using malicious lies about Ria, he intends to make her regret taking what should have been his. Now, Ria must look to find a truth that conquers all lies.

Chapter one.
Ria appreciated the beauty of the headless female sculpture standing before her. A sculpture without its head has its own particular beauty. Strong sculpted legs, intricately crafted torso and powerful shoulders – the beauty of creation.
She squatted in front of the sculpture and ran a slender hand over its flanks. The modeling clay she had chosen had done its job; its durability ensuring the legs of the sculpture came out strong and smooth, the hips gently curved. Seven weeks into the making, this piece would be larger than any piece she had previously sculpted, and certainly more challenging.
Here in her art studio, which spanned the basement of her small house in London’s Island Gardens, clay statues of ancient kings and queens graced the long wooden shelves resting against ivory walls. A small sink sat at the far right end against the wall beside a large white storage cupboard, snug beside a two-seater. A small stereo, which she only turned on when sketching, rested on the table beside it.
Time to begin the head, she decided, as she rose gracefully to her feet. Creating the head was her favorite part. If the legs, shoulders, and torso possessed their own particular beauty, then how she created a sculpture’s head showcased its personality – laughing eyes, a slanted mouth, and a molded chin. These will bring out the figure’s humorous manner.
Ria got to her feet. A slim young woman with close-cropped, tightly-curled black hair; she had a dewy, dark chocolate complexion. And with a delicate oval face, even the faded pink burn scars that ran from the apples of her cheekbones down to her collarbone, her classic beauty couldn’t be marred. 
She reached for her apron and tied it around her long-sleeved white t-shirt and soft faded blue jeans. Sculpting was arduous and messy work, but one of the perks of being a full-time sculptress was that she went to work in her most comfortable clothes.
She moved to where the armature waited atop the worktable. Shaped like an egg, an armature’s rigid metal framework ensured effective structuring of a sculpture’s head.
Collecting an armful of old newspapers from the storage cupboard in the corner, she rolled the papers into balls then began to fill the armature with them. Once thoroughly packed, she secured the head in place with a small plastic bag. Now for the clay. She took a moment to relish the solid, yet light weight of it in her hand. Then, detail by detail, piece by piece, she began adding more and more clay to the stuffed plastic bag, melding and smoothing it against the bag’s slippery surface. She hummed as she worked, following the measurements she had set out when the idea had first came into her head. Her deft and skilful fingers, armed with her trusted sculpting chisel, manipulated the clay.
The sharp slap of the letter box upstairs stopped her. She stretched her arms high over her head, working out the stiffness in her shoulders caused by bending over the armature. She crossed to the sink and washed her hands, then proceeded to leave the studio, heading up pink carpeted stairs to the ground floor.
She plucked the white envelope lying on the doormat. Early morning sunlight shone through the glass panel in the front door, and the click of women’s heels sounded on the pavement outside as they carried a neighbour to work. Once the morning rush was over as everyone had either left for work or school, she would go for her daily morning walk and then fuel up with a green juice.
She broke the seal of the envelope and pulled out the letter. 
Dear Ms. Ofor,
Account No: 17032007-55GM Property: 55 Garden Mews
 Please be informed that payment due on the above-referenced account has not been made. We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact you. Our records show that your account is in arrears by £11,509.
 Please make arrangements to clear the outstanding amount within 28 days, otherwise the case will be escalated to our solicitors, whereupon they may be forced to take legal action resulting in the repossession of the property.
 If you have since made arrangements to clear the aforementioned amount, please ignore this letter.
 Ria’s stomach dropped somewhere below ground level, and the noose of the repossession notice only tightened further around her neck, almost choking her.

Buy Links:
Apple iBooks
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About the Author:
D. U. Okonkwo was born and raised in London. An avid reader from childhood, she began writing her own stories at the age of ten. She holds a BSc Hons degree in Business with Spanish, and is currently working on her second novel.

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Win a $25 Amazon gift card on the Rise: A Novel – Rejection is a lie… by D.U. Okonkwo book tour! Open WW. Enter 1/26/15 – 2/23/15.

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