Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What could be better than 2 sexy vampires?

How about getting them for 30% off? I don't know about everybody else, but I LOVE a good sale. And I also love to read. So, a sale on books is right up my alley. LOL

To help celebrate the release of my latest book, Diary of an Incubus, I'm offering it for a limited time at 30% off. All you've got to do is enter this code when you purchase the book at Smashwords.

Coupon Code: TB56G

The coupon expires: February 29, 2012

So, this discount is good for the next month!

Here's the link to purchase the book on Smashwords:


And here are the details on the book:

Jewel Mathers needed a good story for her next novel. She turned to the ancient journals in desperation. But fame and fortune comes with a price … and a couple of hot vampires.

WARNING: This story contains violence, lots of sex, and some frightening creatures. No werewolves were harmed in the making of this book.

NOTE: This book was previously published elsewhere. It has been re-edited, revised, and expanded.

Sweet N Sexy Divas: Guest blog with Tracey Kitts

Sweet N Sexy Divas: Guest blog with Tracey Kitts: Put a little umph in it I get asked fairly often, as I’m sure other authors do, “Why do you write about that stuff?” Meaning one of a few ...

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's always awkward when...

Someone says they bought one of my books for their kid. Or they intend to buy one for their kid. Seriously? Why do people assume that I write children's stories? Have they never even looked at the cover art?

No matter how many times I tell people that no one under 18 should read my books, someone is bound to not believe me. There is graphic sex and graphic violence in my stories, and often graphic language.

Though I'm sure most kids have seen worse on HBO by now, I don't want to be to blame for anything. Know what I mean?

Every time I explain this to a parent I feel like they should know better. But, it still happens. Don't get me wrong, it's up to each individual what they allow their kids to see or read. Still, if someone says to me, "I downloaded your book for my 15-year-old." I'm going to tell them, "Please, don't let a 15-year-old read my books."

In my opinion it would be grossly inappropriate. I'm not trying to tell people how to raise their kids; I'm saying I think children should NOT read my work.

I'm not sure how this misconception started, but I DO NOT write children's books.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Self publishing, writing, and life in general

Boy is that ever a random post title. But, it's the best way I could sum things up. I've been busy. I have a new book out. It's not new to everyone, but it will be new to lots of people. The rights to Diary of an Incubus have recently reverted to me. The contract was up and I chose not to renew. This was not for any malicious reasons. I'm saying this now because I don't want any rumors to get started.

My reasoning was simple. The book wasn't selling. Period. Naturally, I examined all the reasons this might be. I also took a good hard look at the story itself, let several people (who aren't my closest friends) read it. I believed in it, but was that good enough? I looked at the book as a product rather than "my baby."

Much to my relief and delight, everyone who read it at my request, loved it. With that in mind I (and my writing partner) re-edited the book. I revised some scenes and added in a few thousand words of new content.

Plus, I designed my very own, smokin' hot new cover, and re-worded the blurb. I feel like I've done the best I can to make this book appealing. I haven't dressed up crap and tried to make it smell good. I've enhanced a good story that I believe in. It is my hope that everyone will find it as entertaining as I do.

On a side note, I decided to upload this story to both Smashwords and Amazon. The reason I did this (besides trying to gain the most exposure possible) is that I've seen no benefit in listing exclusively with Amazon. That's what I did with Frank and The Werewolf Tamer. As soon as my KDP 90 day agreement is up, I'll be listing that book on Smashwords as well. However, Frank and The Werewolf Tamer has remained in the to 25,000 at Amazon for most of the past month (several times it went higher, even in the top 2,000). So, sales aren't bad by any means.

I figured my fellow authors who are considering self-publishing might like to know all this. :)

Now, without further ado, here is a peek at my latest release. On a side note, thank you to all of my loyal readers. If you can't purchase the book right now, but want to show your support. Please, stop by the page and click "like." Thanks:)

Jewel Mathers needed a good story for her next novel. She turned to the ancient journals in desperation. But fame and fortune comes with a price … and a couple of hot vampires.

WARNING: This story contains violence, lots of sex, and some frightening creatures. No werewolves were harmed in the making of this book.

NOTE: This book was previously published elsewhere. It has been re-edited, revised, and expanded.
Purchase Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/126569

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life doesn't get in the way

I’ve never had writer’s block. I’ve had annoying things happen that kept me from writing when I wanted to. I used to say that I had “life block” or that my life was getting in the way. Then I realized something, my life was the reason I could write. All those pain in the ass incidents sparked my creativity … eventually. It is because of my life that I have anything worth saying.

So, I’m not going to say anymore that life gets in the way of my writing. You either make a choice to live your life or let it pass you by. For a writer, letting it pass you by is (in my opinion) a grave mistake. After all, if you haven’t lived, how could you possibly write about other people’s lives?

So what if I don’t write a book in a month like I used to? I’m taking more time for myself, getting in better shape. And you know what? I feel great. For the first time in years I spend more time feeling good than bad. And my writing is better for it. Now when I do find a few minutes to write I have more to put into it.

People will ask sometimes how long until my next book. (I love those letters, by the way.) Now the answer is most likely when I have something else to say. When I have something inside of me worth letting out. When my latest vision of vampire perfection can no longer be denied. LOL

Seriously, take the time to live your life. You won’t regret it. But if you put all your love into your work (whatever it is) there will come a time when you regret that decision. Save a little love for something else, like yourself. (This includes spending time with your family. To me, spending time with people you love is loving yourself. It’s a good investment.) You deserve it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A dream is a wish your heart makes

I’m inspired to do a lot of things by my dreams. I've created characters and even written entire stories based on dreams. Dreams can lift your spirits or remind you of something you forgot was important.

Just like Jiminy Cricket said, “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” I know it’s a cartoon, but take a minute to think about that. To me (when I awoke from a dream a few days ago with this song on my mind), it was profound. Sometimes dreams are just dreams, but other times, they are the desires of our heart, played out like a movie in our sleep.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep.” I haven’t heard this song since I was a child, yet somehow I remembered the words. In my dream I was watching what appeared to be hundreds of falling stars. It wasn’t apocalyptic or anything like that. They were drifting to earth like glitter. Naturally, I made a wish. As soon as I made my wish, I could hear the song. After not having watched Jiminy or heard his song in over 20 years, I take this as a sign. Good things are coming my way. So, go ahead, be inspired by your dreams. I think it’s important for everyone to have a dream. Maybe even more than one.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Paranormal Bad Boy Blurb Fest!

It's SMOKING SATURDAY where Bad Boys of paranormal romance come out to play!

Any paranormal romance (erotica) author is welcome to join in the fun. How to participate...
Just grab the graphic above & post the event details and graphic on your blog inviting paranormal authors to post blurbs/buy links on your blog post through midnight, January 21, 2011.

Don't forget to include the blurb and buy links to your romantic paranormal bad boy tale in the post.

Finally, leave your blurb and buy link to your story here (NO EXCERPTS please) & the url to the event at your blog so all the participating authors can post their blurbs and buy links there as well! SMOKING SATURDAY ends at midnight, January 21, 2011!

And now, please allow me to share with you the man I consider bad in a good way. LOL

Honestly, he's the hero I'm crushing on at the moment. He's my own sexy version of Frankenstein from ...


Blurb: Katherine has had a hard time finding work, mostly because she’s a vampire. Turns out, people aren’t clamoring to work with the undead. She goes to the massive theme park, Notte Oscura, as a last resort. What Katherine doesn’t realize is, there’s a lot more waiting for her than just a job.

Genre: Erotic paranormal romance

Length: Mid-novel

Thanks again to Skhye Moncrief for getting this started!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well, I've been called the devil before

But this is ridiculous. I laughed so hard at this blog post.


Please, take a minute or two to read it when you have a chance. It's making fun of a study/article written by a psychiatrist who claims that romance novels lead women to have unrealistic expectations. Because we all think six-foot-five men with rock hard bodies (who are incredibly well-endowed) grow on trees. Oh, it also blames romance for weight gain, adultery, and unprotected sex. Get real.

First of all, that's stupid. So much so that it's hilarious! I can see the fan letters now, "Yeah, I'm sure my neighbor is a werewolf, but no matter how much silver I stick him with, he won't shift form!"

Or "I've been sitting outside waiting for the fairies to show up, because I planted the flowers they like."

"My best friend says her neighbor is really pale and works at night. We're planning to sneak into his house during the day and see if he's allergic to sunlight."

"My boyfriend has back hair ... is he turning into a werewolf?"


I could go on, but I won't. Nobody is that stupid. Except the psychiatrist who wrote the article. I've never met anyone who read romance or any other type of fiction and expected these stories to come true. Even when I read Lord of the Rings in elementary school, I didn't expect to see elves and hobbits in my back yard. Of course, I fantasized about how cool it would be. :)

Just like I fantasize about hot vampires, sexy werewolves, and all the other things that to bump in the night. It's called imagination and it keeps us young. :)

But, I totally wanted to fly after reading Harry Potter.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How much do reviews matter to you?

I've often wondered how important reviews actually are. I try to look at it objectively and not just from the perspective of an author. So, I'll answer the question as honestly as I can from both perspectives.

As an author, it's wonderful to know when someone loved my book. However, it's also more likely that people who HATE it will leave a review. I'm not sure why this is true, but it seems to be. People who love the story seem more likely to send me an email. Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate this. Kind words do wonders for encouraging me and keeping me motivated to do what I love. I suppose the people who leave bad reviews do so because they just want to "hate and run." LOL Sending an email might actually open up *gasp* a dialogue between them and the author.

Constructive criticism is often difficult to hear, but totally understandable. Everyone sees things differently and has different opinions. However, bashing an author on a personal level is horrible and should never be considered a review. As a rule, I don't respond to reviews. I have broken that rule once when someone actually called me names. That's right, they attacked ME, not THE BOOK. Still, I was professional and to the point. And I only responded ONCE. (By the way, that review was removed by the site for violating policy. Yes, it was that bad.)

Also, it seems that many bad reviews are planted delibrately by others who seek only to make the author and their work look bad. Why anyone would put such effort into bashing someone else is beyond me, but it happens.

I've read in several blog posts and online discussions that reviewers are uncomfortable when an author responds, even if it's to say "thank you." So, unless someone draws my attention to a review they posted, I don't even do that.

I sincerely appreciate someone taking the time to read and review my work. I read a post yesterday in which the individual said they thought it was tacky for an author to post links to "great reviews." Seriously? We aren't allowed to gush when someone totally gets us and what we were trying to say?

Anyway, as an author, I think that reviews only matter to me when they are in reference to my books. (Sorry, didn't mean to go into a rant.)

As a reader, which I've been all my life, I tend to overlook reviews for the most part. Most of the time, I've already made up my mind to purchase the book based on a few factors.

1. The cover art must catch my attention. I'm sorry to say, but I really do judge books by their cover.

2. Price is the next thing I look at. I'm most likely to purchase the book if it's under $5. The cheaper it is, the more likely I am to buy it.

3. The blurb. I read the book's description. If it sounds like something I might like, the cover looks good, and the price is right, I'll buy it.

Beyond that, I might glance at the reviews, but they have only once changed my mind. That was because I saw a book had rape in it, which I have no desire to read about. (Or see in a movie for that matter.)

Even before I was published, I only glanced at reviews if I was bored or had a spare minute. And they still didn't matter to me. In particular the really bad, ranting and raving reviews (in my opinion) only made the reviewer look bad, not the author.

So, that's my 2 cents on the subject. How much do reviews matter to you?

Monday, January 16, 2012

What do your characters do for a living?

Is it a part of who they are? Or just something they do to pay the bills? That's the question I'm asking myself right now. As I make notes on a new story, I'm trying to figure out what my heroine will do for a living.

Sometimes the main character's job is important to the story. For example if they're a werewolf hunter and they start dating a werewolf, it adds to the conflict. Other times, it's not important to the story, but it is important to who they are as people.

The characters in my stories have done a little bit of everything, so coming up with something new is a bit of a challenge. I don't want them to sound boring. Ha. Ha. But there's nothing wrong with having one "ordinary" aspect to their lives. Especially, considering I write paranormal. A little bit of the ordinary is a good thing.

I try to balance how many characters have fantastical jobs vs how many do something "normal." My characters have been bounty hunters, werewolf hunters, club owners, bar owners, florists, decorators, one was a fiction writer (before that she had other jobs) and one wrote the little blurbs that appear beside pictures in adult magaizines. My latest heroine (Katherine in Frank and The Werewolf Tamer) is a vampire who ends up being hired as a Werewolf Tamer in a theme park.

Oh, plus I've got an upcoming release with Ellora's Cave, Constant Cravings, in which the leading lady is a fortune teller.

After all that, I'm thinking it might be nice for this heroine to do something "normal." Right now I'm toying with a few ideas, but can't settle on anything that suits her personality.

She is outgoing, friendly, tough but not a bitch (LOL). I am TOTALLY open to suggestions.

Is there anything you haven't seen that you think would be interesting for a leading lady to do for a living? It may not play a big part in the story, but it's still important.

Ideas anyone?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

10 things you might not know about me

I thought it would be fun if I blogged about something ... well, FUN. You know, just for the heck of it? Just because I take writing seriously doesn't mean that's all I ever talk about or blog about. Let's face it, there's more to the world and to life than one topic. On my blog you will encounter all sorts of randomness. LOL

Now, here's 10 things you might not know about me. (In no particular order.)

1. I tried to fly once when I was 8 yrs. old. Epic Fail.

2. I have always loved to read and write about vampires and werewolves. It's not something I did to be "popular," or to stick with any trend.

3. I used to have a coffee cup that said "I'm saving myself for Tom Selleck." LOL Don't know what happened to it. I should get a new one made:)

4. I can think of few things more peaceful than a clear, cool night with the full moon shining down.

5. I was one stripe from a black belt in Krav Maga (and another mixed style) when I stopped taking classes. If I'd finished my last stripe, I'd be registered as a weapon.

6. I think Chuck Norris' beard is sexy.

7. Hulk Hogan told me to take my vitamins once when I was a kid. Seriously. He patted me on the head and everything. LOL

8. I don't have a foot fetish or anything, but I DO notice feet. If someone takes care of their feet, it's a good sign they take care of the rest of themselves. The sight of freaky unkempt toes will make me scream. It's so nasty!

9. Beauty and The Beast is my favorite fairy tale, followed closely by Red Riding Hood.

10. I love drama, the theatrical kind. Not stupid bitches who talk trash. LOL

Now, you know a few more random things about me. Wasn't that fun? Talk of drama makes me feel the urge to practice my bitch slap. Well, off to take care of that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Welcome to Notte Oscura

One of the most fun parts of writing Frank and The Werewolf Tamer was coming up with the idea for the theme park Notte Oscura. I knew the type of atmosphere I wanted to create, but I didn't want it to be a circus. Not exactly anyway.

So, I asked myself, "What would be the ideal place for vampires, werewolves and other creatures of the night to work?"

"What would make a great setting/location?"

I let the idea rest for a couple of days. Then, as I was trying to cook dinner one night, Notte Oscura came to me. I took out my notes and while attempting to not burn dinner, the plan began to form.

One of the most relaxing places in the world to me is the beach at night. Thinking of this naturally brought to mind the closest beach to me, Panama City. In the blink of an eye, I thought of all those little "mini-carnival" type places as you get near the beach and BANG, I had my idea.

I knew I wanted a theme part and not a circus, like I'd said. I'm not crazy about the circus. I also needed a place where a man like Frank would feel at home. Notte Oscura (the name came easily enough after that. It means Dark Night in Italian.) was born!

In less than 5 minutes, I had enough details in my head to make the park come alive on paper. I was thrilled. Now, I could finally begin work on the story. Because Frank had been in my head for over a year. It was getting crowded in there. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Why did I keep him to myself for so long? I was working on other projects at the time and Frank was simply on the back burner in my mind. Ever so often I'd pull the thought of him out of my mental file and take another look. "Hmmm. I'm not ready for him yet," I'd think. And so it went until one day everything just clicked.

I never know how to answer (though I do my best) when people ask me if I'm a plotter or a panster. I don't make an "outline." I make notes that may or may not be in the order they need to occur in the story. Sometimes all my notes will make it into the book. Other times the story is complete without them. And once in a while I decide that an idea or phrase or whatever it is will work better in another book entirely.

So, I don't sit down and just fly by the seat of my pants entirely. But I don't over organize either as I believe that stifles creativity. If I had to give myself a title I'd say I'm a dreamer. It is my greatest desire to bring my dreams to life.

Details for Frank and The Werewolf Tamer:

Katherine has had a hard time finding work, mostly because she’s a vampire. Turns out, people aren’t clamoring to work with the undead. She goes to the massive theme park, Notte Oscura, as a last resort. What Katherine doesn’t realize is, there’s a lot more waiting for her than just a job.

Purchase Link:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

We should build each other up, not tear each other down

I do not understand the need some people seem to have. We've all met or in some way encountered them, people who thrive on negativity. Regardless of your religious beliefs (because this is NOT a post about religion), most people will agree that we shape our own reality to some extent.

By that I mean if you are a cruel, mean-spirited, abusive person, you will inevitably draw others of like disposition to yourself. You get back what you give out. I for one don't want to plant that kind of seed.

I've seen it too many times in my own life to not believe. Naturally, random things will happen. People will say cruel things you didn't deserve. Why? I don't know. But what I do know is that they are probably miserable. Those who lash out most, do so because of their deep levels of depression, jealousy and/or despair. That's not my speculation, it's a proven fact. Misery it seems, really does love company.

But you know what? If you're a positive person, they won't be sharing your company for long. Them or their misery.

Positivity counts! It really does. I firmly believe that you get what you expect to get out of life. Believe every day (and say it out loud) that good things are coming your way. Declare boldly that you are a success. You deserve nothing less.

Those people who lash out for no reason and deliver cruelty to others are digging their own hole. Years from now when you are prosperous and successful, they will still be miserable.

The way to success is not to tear others down, it's to lift them up. I treat others the way I would want to be treated. No, I'm not perfect, but I support my fellow authors. I speak kind words to those who need to hear them and unless severely provoked, I'm not an asshole.

The best way to get what you want out of life (like say kindness from others as an example) is to give it to someone else. I feel sorry for those who feel compelled to give out nothing but bitterness and spite.

Life is too short to waste time being miserable or trying to make others that way. I want to be happy. I choose to be happy. And I refuse to let anyone ruin my happiness.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A day in the life of a full time writer

Before I get started with this, let me say again that I love what I do. However, I'm often put-off and sometimes entertained by what most people think a writer does all day. Some (like my relatives) think I do nothing at all. In this post, I will be brutally honest and share what my life was like just a few days ago.

Currently, I'm working on editing/polishing a book I plan to release through Amazon at the end of the month. (I feel I need to work quickly on this project, because I never know when my editor might get back to me on my new release with Ellora's Cave.) My goal for the day was to edit 2 chapters and possibly put in some additional description in a few places.

5:30 a.m. - My husband leaves for work. Though I don't hear him, he wakes up our dog, Roscoe (a little black wiener/chahuahua mix) who then proceeds to lick me in the face for 5 minutes while I insist, "No, Roscoe, I don't need any sugar!" In the back of my mind, I know I should get up and get started on the book. But, I'm exhausted. Roscoe and I go back to sleep.

6:00 a.m. - I awake to the sound of a gunshot. Ah, the joys of living in the country during hunting season. While cussing the idiot who fires shots before dawn, I fall back asleep.

9:00 a.m. - Oh, shit! I overslept. Roscoe is asleep under the covers, snoring. I leave him and go into the room across the hall to turn on my computer. While the computer boots up, I start some coffee and get out my notes on the story I'm working on.

9:30 a.m. - I've approved all the posts in my tribe on Triberr, started a load of laundry and still haven't opened my book. So, I open it and scroll to the page where I left off yesterday. I decide it's about damn time I get a cup of coffee.

12:30 p.m. - I've edited about 7 pages, the beds are made and half the laundry is finished. I've also had three cups of coffee and I'm wired. I should take the time now to workout, but I really need to have this book ready by the end of the month. I decide it's time to wake up the dog.

1:30 p.m. - While I eat lunch (heat and eat ramen noodles) I search online for the perfect pictures that I will use to create the cover art. I do this and the rest of the household chores for the next few hours.

3:30 p.m. - My mom drops off my son after picking him up from school. (He spent the night with her.) He is eager to see me, play the Xbox, and get a snack. So much for editing for a while, but at least I found the right pics for the cover art. We proceed to blow shit up (in the game) at a phenominal rate. LOL

6:30 p.m. - After a long, hot shower, I have dinner cooking while I at last get back to my book. Ahhh, Mr. Tall, dark, and sexy is right where I left him. At least some things can always be counted on. The house is surprisingly quiet. My son and dog are both in his room, watching a movie. I actually get to edit a chapter and a half!

8:15 p.m. - My husband is home. This means I won't get another opportunity to write/edit unless I want to piss him off. (Because he thinks he's being ignored) I go in to turn off the computer while everyone else eats dinner.

I've gotten sidetracked by some idiot on Facebook. For some reason he seems to think it's appropriate to discuss my religious beliefs (or what he thinks I believe) in public. After being very pissed off for about 20 minutes, I delete his posts and get on with my life. I really hate assholes.

Now, I scan the book, make a note of the page I'm on and turn the computer off. I did accomplish my goal and clean my house. But somehow I don't feel like I've done much. I go back to face my most hated chore, washing dishes.

While I wash the dishes I wonder if any of my promotional efforts for my latest book have paid off and whether I should try the same techniques for this new book. My mind is buzzing with the possibilities.

Even as I try to sleep a few hours later, all I can think about is what I've done right and what I've potentially done wrong. I am a writer 24/7.

It's not glamorous, but it's who I am. Not all days are this bland, but this is typical. It isn't exciting unless you count reading a great review or seeing that your sales have improved.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Does giving away books equal more sales?

Honestly, I have no idea. I'm still very new to the self-publishing world (although I've been traditionally published for 4 years) and trying my best to figure everything out. Naturally, I want to earn a decent income. But, I also want to give readers something of value for their money. (On a side note, I still filed copyright. I mention this now because I've heard horror stories of people being ripped off. But, back to the subject.)

I believe in my writing. If I thought my stories were crap, I'd never try to sell them to anyone. Actually, if I thought they were crap, I'd be embarassed to even give them away. I wouldn't want my name on it.

That being said, I released my first self-published book Dec. 26, 2011, Frank and The Werewolf Tamer.

I was and still am thrilled about this new release. I set the price at $2.99. That is the minimum where I feel I can earn a decent royalty and survive and still give readers a good price. In its first week, Frank and The Werewolf Tamer sold a whoping 14 copies. I was crushed. I'd heard others say their sales started out slow, but this was depressing.

So, I decided to take advantage of the Kindle Select program I'd signed up for. By the way, I see no benefit to this program other than being able to offer your books as free for 5 days every 90 days. I may not re-enroll after 90 days. That's still up in the air.

Now, want to hear something really sad? Frank and The Werewolf Tamer has been downloaded over 600 times since yesterday morning.

I can't help but wonder if people are just not willing to pay for my work. Which is VERY depressing. Or if everyone is taking a chance on it because it's free.

My hope (and fondest wish) is that new readers will find me this way, love the book, and spread the word. Maybe by the time the promotion runs out, people will be willing to pay $2.99. Seriously, that's still cheap.

I've heard other people speculate that sales go up an average of 30% when a free book is offered. But, I don't think you can count on that. I believe that every situation is different. What works for one book (or author) may not work for another. However, in the on-going effort to pay my bills, I keep trying.

At the moment, I'm viewing this as in investment. That's advertisement that didn't cost me a thing and at least 600 people have heard my name.

If you've already experimented with free books and/or self-publishing, and you wouldn't mind, please share your results with us:) Comments and suggestions are very welcome.

This week only

Frank and The Werewolf Tamer is FREE. That's right, you heard me, FREE. For this week only you can download my latest book to you Kindle for no charge at all.

Have fun and happy reading!

Katherine has had a hard time finding work, mostly because she’s a vampire. Turns out, people aren’t clamoring to work with the undead. She goes to the massive theme park, Notte Oscura, as a last resort. What Katherine doesn’t realize is, there’s a lot more waiting for her than just a job.