I’m moving

I’m moving

Okay so with my Facebook page in limbo status, with no promise to return, and a webpage that had to be rebuilt from the top up, there have been some changes. I mean, if I have to rebuild, why not go ahead and streamline. Right?

So the new blog is still a wordpress blog, but it’s attached to my website: http://authoranitacox.com/blog/

And my new FB Fan page is HERE. It’s fairly sparse at the moment, but hey, I’m rebuilding. There’s not only dust, there’s an echo, echo, echo…

If life has taught  me anything it’s not always have another alternative, so I’m not deleting this page. It’ll stay right here with this post at the top.

Thank you for your years of support.

With Love,

Anita

#mynameis Anita Cox – Never Trust Facebook

I haven’t been on facebook much the last few months. I suffered a back injury and honestly, I would have done nothing but whine. So I kept my posting/scrolling to a minimum.

But I’m in groups on facebook that are important, groups I’ve PAID to have access to. I’ve taken expensive training courses where updated material is added.

On May 19th, I went to my millionth doctor’s appointment for my back injury. As I waited to see the doc, I pulled up facebook and bam…I was suspended and had to prove my identity.

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I apparently impersonated myself. So fine, I reluctantly sent them my driver’s license. After FIVE hours and several messages, my regular profile was reinstated. The minute it was, they shut down my Anita Cox profile.

Insert tears.

So I’ve paid for courses through Nick Stevenson and Mark Dawson. This has given me access to private groups and content. I can no longer get to those groups. I imagine if I contact them, they’ll help me out, but that’s my time, and theirs, robbed because of Facebook.

Then….there’s my fan page. I am the only admin on my fan page so now, I’ve lost SIX YEARS worth of work. I’ve sent them signed contracts, mail, etc. and still…I’m banned. BANNED!

There’s literally no customer service at Facebook. There are bots that spit out responses…maybe. I’ve received no response from them whatsoever, I’m just still locked out.

We live in a day in age where everyone is on social media. We also live in a world where identities are stolen all the time. Why does Zuckerburg and his underlings need my driver’s license, bank statements, mail, and other identifying information JUST TO BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? Jesus, it was easier to get a home loan than to prove I am Anita Cox? That I operate as Anita Cox, have for years. They’re costing me time, money, anxiety.

There’s no guarantee I’ll ever see my page again. None. No one to reason with over at FuckupyourlifeBook.

They want this information so they can share it–so they can expose you. Forget the money I’ve spent on ads with Facebook. Forget that my BUSINESS is attached. They can rip away your contact with the world…just because.

And don’t give me the Community Standards bullshit. There are TONS of people online who operate under a pseudonym. Tons. Authors and other professionals use them all the time. Facebook has made it so that you cannot reply to people during events and whatnot from your fanpage. They made this mess and you have to try to navigate the waters that they change at whim…because they can.

And after SEVEN years of being on facebook as Anita Cox they rip it all away in ONE day. My contacts, my livelihood…threatened by them for no apparent reason.

So, I’m going to sit here binge eating Hershey Bars, chasing it with strong coffee while I figure out how to proceed. If that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll stick some xanax in the next chocolate bar and just slip away into the night, never to be heard from again.

We need a different platform. We need one that will be easy for people to switch to because this…this is awful and I’m not the first, nor the last, person this has happened to. One author’s post I just read quit writing entirely. She was doing very well until some dickweed reported her for impersonation. It was all downhill from there.

Asshat of the Day, Cinco de Mayo Edition

EDITED TO ADD THAT THE COMMENTS WERE NOT MADE BY THE AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLER.

 

asshat

Dear Lord…SWEET BABY JESUS! It takes a special kind of tool to drag me back to a blog where I haven’t had much to say.

First, for those of you not ‘in the know’, authors, cover artists, and yes, even publishing houses use stock art. These photos are not exclusive and can be used more than once. Probably numerous times. There’s a group on goodreads (sorry, I tried to find it again but just gave up) that literally pokes fun at similar covers.

This article sort of touches on that very topic. It’s very likely that if you go looking, you’ll find the exact same photo on more than a few books. You can pay for exclusive photos, but those are salty.

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Okay, she’s discovered a similar cover. It happens. But Thieves? Really? Because this shit happens all of the time…rookie.

Screenshot 2016-05-06 03.30.41

 

“Seriously, They (sic) just took off his beard and filtered it. FUCK THAT” Uh, no. I’ve seen this pic before. This author put the beard on the guy (poorly, I might add.) But she didn’t bother to correct her croanie. Screenshot 2016-05-06 03.35.15

 

Now here, Ms. Shaw tries to tactfully defend herself. (Bravo for not losing your shit, by the way.) Let me direct you to the last comment by the asshat. “and not even a book no ones heard of but a pretty popular book.” Really princess? Because I’ve never heard of you or your book. It’s great to have self-confidence, but you passed that intersection a long time ago.

By the way, I never heard of you until now and this is the impression you left. You’re rude, arrogant, lack common sense and decency and probably needs to hire a PR firm…that no one else has ever heard of. You know…just in case.

Screenshot 2016-05-06 03.39.14

She continued on her book page…to insult Shaw MORE by comparing her to children. By the way, “Now who looks like a child?” You do.

Seriously. Then, Captain Obvious acknowledges that starting Twitter fights isn’t the best business decision. Excuse me…you posted a link to an author’s book on social-fucking-media and called her a thief. Twitter is open so you can respond. No one butted in, this woman tried to defend the name SHE worked for that YOU were trying to smear, fuckbucket.

This fine specimen continues to tweet to herself. If her book is anything like her tweets, I’m sure she gets a lot of returns.

Screenshot 2016-05-06 03.43.54

Meredith drinks a lot of wine, but perhaps you mean whiny? The last tweet? I. Just. Can’t.

We are a community. We should support one another. I’ve met so many fantastic authors, readers, bloggers…all who support one another.

For 10 years I’ve not called out another author. I have never said one negative word and gave an author’s name. You, my dear, earned screenshots. Congrats!

Ulterior Designs – Cover Reveal

UDcover2EBOOK

Ladies and gentlemen, I did some beta reading for this little gem and let me tell you, it is HOT HOT HOT!!! Here are the details:

Warning: This book is designed for readers 18+ due to language and graphic sexual content.

A blueprint for desire.

With a shared passion for breathing life into an unconventional dream home, the attraction between a struggling new grad of interior design and an award-winning architect with eclectic sexual tastes is irresistible. But with a cloud of lies and loss hanging over him, the only arrangement Logan wants is one of indulgence and pleasure. However, fate seems to have another design plan in mind for them—a plan that ultimately leads them down a path of desire and discovery.

When the man obsessed with creating his unusual home sets his sights on the woman who keeps unknowingly navigating her way back to him, lust clouds his judgment and he makes an inappropriate proposition. After nearly blowing his chances with the talented and alluring beauty, he readjusts his plans, because it just so happens that his sexy ulterior motives go hand-in-hand with her expertise in interior design.

Though Chloe may be young and naïve in Logan’s eyes, she sees him for who and what he is: a man with severe commitment issues. But she’s optimistic—maybe too optimistic. And she isn’t easily deterred or scared away either, not even by the unusual nature of his design plans or his eclectic sexual tastes. In fact, she’s intrigued by them. Faced with a man who can give her not only the experience she needs to propel her career, but everything she’s ever fantasized about, she hopes that their physical and intellectual compatibility can prevail over his fears. And more importantly, that they can move forward to become not only design collaborators, but partners on a deeper level.

Preorder Links:

iTunes

Smashwords

Kobo

Amazon

Writerly Woes

In March of 2015, I had to make a difficult decision and go back to work full-time. This greatly reduced my ability to write, market, blog, etc. I’m still going but at a much slower pace. Case in point, my last blog post was for Valentine’s Day. 😦

I love what I do…writing that is. It is, undeniably, my happy place. And I haven’t given up. I’m working on a story right now. I began a new series with Valkyrie, Tales of the Asgard. At the end of this month you can find me at the North Iowa Book Bash, and I’m already signed up for the Bourbon County event next year.

The publishing landscape is in a tailspin. Small publishers are closing their doors right and left. Authors are claiming that a major erotic romance publisher isn’t paying them their royalties and refuses to give the rights back.

Rosanna Leo just posted about making the hard decision for herself and her family. Rosanna has seen more success and accolades than I have, and I was almost shocked to see her backing away (not quitting, mind you! Thankfully!)

I have talked a few of my closest author friends down from the ledge. It is such a challenge to keep plugging away when sales plummet and expenses don’t. The market is so saturated with every Tom, Dick, and Harriet that think they can write. Some can…a lot can’t.

Amazon isn’t helping with their bologna either!

What can a reader do? Stick with your favorite authors. Always write reviews. Just a few short sentences saying why you liked the book is all that is needed. If you see your author post something on social media about their books, share it. That’s all. Oh, and always get your books from reputable site, and never from a pirating site.

And be patient with us as we navigate these choppy waters.

What would my mother say?

Let me preface this by saying my mother does not have a computer, or a smartphone. She doesn’t do the internet, make payments online, or order anything online. She gives me the cash to do it for her. Yep, she’s old school. Thank God! Because if she did, she’d surely strip my father of his belt and beat my ass with it.

I do have a cousin with a wife that likes to stir things up (not in a bad way,) and Jessica might just show this to her so she can laugh her ass off with all of her wiener dog rescues. But I digress.

What’s incredibly hilarious to me is the assumptions folks make about the authors of erotic content. It’s like we are so sex starved that we are getting finger banged in the grocery store bathroom every Wednesday by the young man who bags our produce.

 

Assumption: Your mother must have been incredibly progressive for you to have the sex education you have.

churchwithfamilyinside

Reality: My mother is a quiet woman, who enjoys country music and church. Yes, she’s read all of my books but we do not speak about them…like at all. It freaks me out that she reads them and I’m sure it freaks her out that I write them. But we don’t DARE speak about them. When it was time to talk about sex, she grabbed a Medical Encyclopedia (for you young folks, it’s the old time version of Wikipedia) and showed me a diagram of a penis. It was horrifying, not to mention not very educational at all. But what it did do was make me stop asking questions. Poor thing…she did the best she could when I asked her what a Blow Job was.

 

Assumption: Your husband must be the most satisfied man on the face of the planet!

Reality: I work full time and write/blog/edit/market when I’m not at work. When’s he supposed to get some booty? Okay, we do have our wild times and yes, he’s a happy man. But he wants sex like 8 times a day. Who has time for that? I got shit to do!

 

Assumption (this one cracks me up): You must slip into something sexy when you write. You can just feel sex appeal slipping off the page. (Yes folks, these are actual words sent to me.)

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Reality: If I have to sit in a chair for five hours, I’m not doing it in lingerie. If I did, the hubs would be attacking me and I wouldn’t be writing. Not to mention I have a 15 year old who would be scarred for life if I sat around the house in lingerie. A pair of crotchless panties would just send him to a lifetime of therapy.

I actually slip into something stretchy and usually have an adult beverage on hand, like Vodka and carbonated cranberry juice, or moscato. During the day, it’s coffee. But no… no lingerie. I did try a dress once but when I sat Indian style, my kid hand a stroke.

 

Assumption: You’ve experienced everything in your books.

giphy

Reality: Do you ask other people what sexual experiences they’ve had? For the record, I’ve never been to an island that is a swingers resort. I’ve never had sex with a shifter, or a pixie. Also, I have never magically grown a dick. That’s all fiction. Not that I’m opposed…

 

Assumption: You must be really open with your kids.

 

Reality: This one is actually very true. I believe in sex education. My daughter can and has asked me some really crazy questions. I’ve always had the answer and shared openly with her. The one time I didn’t, I looked it up. When she came out as bi-sexual, I didn’t shame her. I brought up the research and showed her statistically, she’s pretty fuckin’ average. That gave her the confidence to come out publicly.

The boy…the boy doesn’t ask much. He just mentioned to me that he can’t wear condoms because he’s allergic to latex. So…I gave him an education on non-latex condoms. He’s a lot less comfortable talking with me about this stuff, but he’s starting to open up.

And I don’t just recommend the YouTube Channel Sexplanations on here. I’ve also sent links to my children. My eldest is 19 and the youngest is 15. Who better to explain things to them than a Licensed Clinical Sexologist?

https://www.youtube.com/user/sexplanations

Assumption: You love reading erotica and watching porn.

 

Reality: I do watch porn. I don’t enjoy most of it. The gagging, facials and all around grossness gags me. There are very few “scenes” I find sexy at all. And what the FUCK is with all of the anal? Come on….I actually read an article from a videographer that filmed those scenes. He said the smell alone killed his appetite and sex drive. Don’t get me started on all of the spitting. Who thought THAT was a good idea?

Call me an old fucker if you want, but some of these girls look 14 years old… I just cringe. Not sexy to me. Not sexy at all.

I do enjoy reading erotic romance but for fucks sake there’s so much drivel out there. I find some of the BDSM novels horrifying. According to reviews, there are many out there that like it. But when you draw blood? Well, if I had a dick, it would turtle.

And the bodily fluids…don’t get me started. When I read that a woman has cream oozing out of her, I’m thinking she needs to get to her OBGYN. I’m not exactly getting worked up. Yogurt just doesn’t flow out of a healthy vagina.

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Oh yeah, this is sexy!

With all of that being said, there are great porns out there and great erotic content. You just have to be a smart buyer. Look at/read the samples. I’m not saying mine is the best. Not at all or I’d be selling like Maya Banks and Shayla Black.

 

Assumption: You’ve got to be making a killing!

 

Reality: I work a full-time job because I have to. Because I have a family. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to get the big house. For now, no, a killing doesn’t describe what I’m making.

Baoule Spirit Lovers Guest Post by Christy Gissendaner

statue

The Baoule people of Africa’s Ivory Coast believe a parallel universe, called the Blolo, exists where the spirits of newborns waiting to be born and the deceased co-exist with the real world. Every spirit has a mate in the Blolo, who can be enlisted to save their mate’s problems while in our world. Interesting? I certainly thought so. Enough to write a Christmas novella centered on the Baoule culture.

Romantic problems, infertility, and general unhappiness in the real world can be cured by commissioning figurines of spirit mates. Blolo bian (males) and Blolo bla (females) are generally carved from wood and are created to the specifications found most desirable in a spirit mate. Food, money, and attention can be given to the spirit mate to keep them appeased, thus allowing a person to find happiness in the real world.

Active relationships are maintained between spirit mates, particularly in a dream state. It is believed that nocturnal visits from a spirit mate will initiate healthy interaction between a person and his or her physical mate.

Much detail is given to these figurines – plump bottoms, elegant necks, thick legs. All the attributes desirable in a proper Baoule mate. Social status and individuality is acquired by use of adornment, costume, and hairstyle. Even skin tone is considered when commissioning a spirit mate statue.

This very primitive…yet romantic…practice provided the inspiration for Christmas Spirits, a holiday themed novella set in modern-day Georgia. A chance reading in an old encyclopedia and Tedros, the “spirit” of Christmas Spirits, was born! The story is meant to portray the reality of spirit lovers, and I took a very atypical approach to most romance novels.

Keep reading to learn more about Kia’s quest for happiness and just what role Tedros plays in her search for happiness.

Christy cover

Coming Soon

Christy Gissendaner

Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, African American, holiday romance

Publisher: Christy Gissendaner

Number of pages: 90

Word Count: 20,000

Book Description:

Kia Mays has little time for anything as her lifelong dream of being a fashion designer comes to fruition. For Christmas, she takes time out of her busy schedule to visit her family in Georgia where her beloved grandmother, Naya, reveals a secret of her Baoule heritage.

In Baoule, located on the Ivory Coast of Africa, the people believe in spirit lovers, which you are separated from at birth. Tedros, Kia’s lover from the spirit world, appears to her and reveals that he is there to assist her in finding a mortal lover.

Elliot Melton, the brother of Kia’s new sister in law, is also invited to share the season with the family. With the help of a meddling grandmother and an otherworldly spirit, Elliot and Kia soon find out that Christmas is the best time to fall in love.

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Spirits-Christy-Gissendaner-ebook/dp/B016G14KS4/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Christy%20Gissendaner%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

Excerpt

One moment Tedros was there, and the next, his image faded away. She blinked and opened her eyes to find herself in a store, only a few feet from Elliot. He stood in the middle of the women’s clothing, frozen like a statue.

She circled him to admire his form.  His taut buttocks and thick thighs looked delectable in a pair of dark jeans.  A faded Hendrix T-shirt completed his ensemble.  His casual clothes should make him look ordinary, but even in a sackcloth the man would entice a sane woman to madness.

She could stand there forever, but her body urged her to do more than look.  She touched him, and he immediately came to life.  He didn’t seem to notice the sales lady frozen at his side or the young couple stuck in an eternal embrace.

She drew him toward the dressing room, allowing him to see the promise evident in her eyes.

“Kia,” he said her name, but she shushed him with one hand over his mouth.

“Don’t ask any questions.”  She ran her other hand across his firm pectorals before she reached for the hem and drew it upward.  “I want you to think about what we’re fixing to do.”

“And what is that?”  His lips tickled her palm as he ignored her command and spoke anyway.

She gave him a coy look.  “What do you think?”

He snuck his hands around her waist and cupped her ass.  “I think you’re being very naughty this Christmas.”

“Maybe I need a spanking.” She took a step back, intrigued by her reflection in the mirror.  Her thigh length skirt and tall, heeled boots were unintentionally sexy when paired with a pink cashmere sweater.  She lifted a leg to unzip her boot, but Elliot stopped her.

“No.  Leave them on.”

She slowly lowered her foot to the floor.  This could be interesting.

Without waiting for him to give another command, she reached under her skirt and peeled off her panties.  The red silk slithered down her thighs and she balanced on one foot, then the other, as she tossed them aside.

Elliot’s jaw tightened as raw need flashed across his feet.

“Come here.”  His husky voice promised untold delights.

She shook her head and crooked a finger at him before sinking into the padded chair opposite the mirror.  “You come here.”

She spread her legs.  The damp curls of her sex were clearly visible in the mirror.  Her hand dropped to her lap and she flipped her skirt aside.  “It’s time I gave you your present.”

He zeroed in between her thighs.  His nostrils flared and his dark gaze met hers hungrily.  “Baby girl, you’d better be damned sure.”

The familiar nickname on his lips warmed her heart. Other places, too. “Merry Christmas, Elliot.”

He moved forward.  He bent his head to capture her lips, and his kiss left no doubt she would be his before they left the dressing room.  She held onto his shoulders and lost herself in the forceful kiss.  She rubbed against him, and her delicate tissue scraped the fly of his jeans.  The rough material and cold metal made her shiver. 

About the Author:

Christy Gissendaner is a paranormal and contemporary romance authorauthor who believes laughter and love should go hand in hand.

 

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

 

To find out more, please visit http://christygissendaner.webs.com

 

http://www.twitter.com/christygis

 

http://www.facebook.com/christygis

 

http://www.goodreads.com/christygissendaner

 

Dear Author, it’s okay

reality

Do any reading on what it’s like to be an author you’ll see some of the same phrases repeated over and over.

  1. This is a solitary business. You’ll be alone a lot.
  2. This business is cutthroat or this business takes thick skin.

I just had a conversation with another author who has faced what I have so many times in the last decade.

You meet another author and hit it off. You start slow, maybe personal notes in comment sections of social media, then private messages. Those turn into emails, then phone calls. Before you know it, you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands driving, flying, etc. to meet your new BFF.

Then someone better/newer/different/more connected comes along and you’re swept into the dustpan and tossed out with the trash. No more calls. Unanswered emails linger in your mailbox…PM’s show they’ve been read but still… no reply.

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It hurts. It cuts you deeply. You realize your new BFF was just using you as a benchwarmer and you cry all over your cat/dog/hampster until their fur is matted.

Shiny new BFF has more followers! Can edit/design their cover/hook Ex-BFF up with Agent-Extraordinaire, whatever. And you’ve lost what seems like the only person that understands what it means to work 16 hours a day, alone. Your sounding board is no longer there. And you don’t feel as useful because you’re not helping Ex-BFF with their projects anymore because shiny new person came along.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. I can’t tell you your BFF is coming back and if they did, I’m not sure you’d want them. But what I am going to tell you is that in the decade I’ve been around, and the amount of times I’ve been gutted… I have made some friends that are still around.

The thick skin forms eventually and it hurts less when you’re left for a shiny new BFF. Oh, it still hurts, I won’t lie. But my suggestion? Take it as a learning experience. Don’t be afraid to welcome in a new author buddy. There are so many of us out there, you’re sure to land one that sticks like dried applesauce to a plate.

But when that old author buddy walks away? Lick your wounds and keep plugging away.

Until then… here’s a big hug from Anita!

 

Interview with Michelle Brown, author of After the Garden

VBT_TourBanner_AfterTheGarden

Michelle Browne will be awarding an autographed paperback copy to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway then follow the tour for more chances to win!

Anita Cox: Welcome Michelle Brown!  So you write romance.  Tell us why romance?

Michelle Brown: I like writing stories about people who fall in love, and people who are in love, working together as a team. Being in a long-term relationship myself, I actually think the point where people work together as a team and the strains and pressures of a longer-term relationship are really interesting, even underappreciated by a lot of writers. The way people get attached to each other and the friction life causes—those are things that really, really interest me.

Anita Cox: Do you write in any subgenre?

Michelle Brown: I’d actually say romance is kind of the subgenre here; I write primarily science fiction and urban fantasy. Sci fi shapes almost everything I write, but so does a sense of magic. I think cities are really underrated as a setting, because there’s so much life and so many layers to their ecosystems—especially the ecosystems built from people.

AC: What is the heat level of your books?

MB: Moderate. I like writing honest sex scenes. I think they’re kind of a reward for readers, and can be either a nice break from action or a way to increase the tension, depending on what’s going on! I think there are different kinds of sex, too, so using sex to show and explore relationships between characters is really interesting to me.

AC: Tell us about you.  Do you have any passions other than writing?

MB: I collect boxes and jewelry, and of course, I love my partner—he helps a lot with difficult situations in my writing, even if it’s just by letting me talk at him until I figure something out.

AC: I know that you have one/more very unique hobbies. Please tell us about it/them (Cannot be writing. Remember, personal unique details really make you stand out). 

MB:  I’m a crafty girl. I mostly knit right now, but I do knotwork, off-loom beading including peyote stitch and netting, I work with wire, and sometimes I do stuff with hemp. Occasionally I sew and do crewel embroidery, too. I also like to cook. I’m a bit of a jill-of-all-trades, but it’s nice to have lots of ways to exercise my creativity. I also doodle and draw a bit, and I have an extensive collection of boxes and jewelry!

Anita Cox: There was a place from your past that you’ll always remember. How do the memories of it influence your life/writing?

MB:  Mmm, well, there are a few places I’ve lived—small apartments, especially—and my old high school was very evocative. So, too, was a different old high school. The public school, Western Canada High School, is a place of mysteries and fond memories. The private school, which will remain nameless…was not such a nice place, but the oppressive confines and the way there were windows everywhere, no hiding spaces, also left a big impact on me. The feeling of constantly being watched, unable to hide, is something I will never forget. 

Are most of your works available or do you have what a drawer or closet of “not quite there” work? Do you think any of those old projects will see the light of day? 

MB:  Oh my gosh, I have an enormous idea file. You’ll all be seeing those ideas eventually; I have so much planned for the next few years! 

Anita Cox: What is your writing “system” like, and how has it evolved over the course of your career? 

MB:  I generally start with longhand notes on paper, because I really like writing the “old-fashioned” way, especially in cursive—it’s easier to think in cursive, in some ways. I often draw maps and flow charts as I try to figure out plots.

From there, I dash out a few notes about how I want a scene to go or what has to happen, usually in point form, and then get writing in the word document. I type very quickly, so that’s my favorite way to get a story down.

Once I’ve written out a scene, I keep going until I run out of juice or get stuck. After finishing a chapter, I write a line or two of summary in an Excel spreadsheet that I keep to help myself keep track of plots and continuity for series.

After I’ve finished a work, off it goes to my inner circle of mentors. They look it over, I make changes, and then it goes to my editor. My editor critiques it, and after three or four passes, I send it to the formatter and prepare to unleash it on the world.

It used to be that I would just write scenes when the mood struck me—which still happens, mind you—and I’d go from there. The problem with that was that I would end up dithering and getting stuck on plot points. Moving from pantsing to planning has been a great transition, and has really improved my productivity. 

Anita Cox: Do you have beta readers in your family or circle of friends, or do you trust your own instincts before you publish your works?

MB: Oh yeah. I have three or four people that I like to run things past; mostly close friends of mine. Sarah Dimento is one; Zig Zag Claybourne is another. And of course, my editor, Katie de Long, is worth her weight in ruby rings.

Anita Cox: Do you think of yourself as a particular type of writer and how do you think that influences the decisions you make about your stories/novels? 

MB:  I think of myself as being a part-time writer, because frankly, I often run out of steam. I’m trying to write a bit more often—my best days often come from times when I’ve just overcome sluggishness and forced myself to write. Sometimes those days will take me in totally unexpected directions, too. I’ve gotten faster at writing, mind you. 

Anita Cox: What is your most recent book/story release? And could you tell us about it? 

MB: After the Garden is set approximately a hundred and fifty years after a disaster, The Great Crash, which shattered civilization as we know it. People have rebuilt as much as they could, but it’s a different world than the one we know. The Memory Bearers, however, remember The Time Before—our time, and the time of the Crash. Ember, one Bearer, has come down from the mountains, giving up all she knows and loves, for the sake of an impulse she doesn’t understand. The people she meets in the city intoxicate her and appeal to her, and she senses her destiny is being fulfilled—but she has no idea how, why, or really, what’s going on. But her heart is pulling her in new directions, and a terrifying cult leader threatens to take away the little she has reclaimed…

Anita Cox: What led you to tell this particular story? 

MB:  I moved to Calgary in my teen years, and couldn’t stop imagining the beautiful, vibrant city in ruins. There was just something about the city that demanded to be in a story—and soon enough, a tale came to me. I’ve had to revise it a few times, but Calgary and Edmonton have both left their influence on it. 

Anita Cox: Which part of your story was the most difficult to write? Why? 

MB:  The violent stuff and some of the more disturbing content. Definitely hard. Technically speaking, some of the emotional conflicts were also tricky, and for some of the science stuff, I had to do quite a bit of research—but I like research, and it wasn’t as emotionally taxing as, say, torture scenes.

Anita Cox: If one of your works made it all the way to Hollywood, what kind of a monster would be in the film? And which actor or actress would you have battling it (be wild and fun with this—readers like memorable, find, over-the-top answers in most casesJ).  If your book doesn’t have monsters – think Bad Guy!

MB: Oooh. Well, the bad guy is supposed to be attractive…I’d be entirely okay with someone like Tom Hiddleston playing him, actually. Doesn’t have to be Hiddles himself, just someone with killer cheekbones and a piercing glare.

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Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don’t miss any of the phuquerie–get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out!

After the Garden by Michelle Browne

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BLURB:

Memories of another life and lover guide her, but are they even hers? She is a Bearer—keeper of past lifetimes and gifted with strange talents. Ember must find her answers away from safe Longquan Village, snared instead in the sensuality and dangers of The City. Hidden among spider farmers and slaves, prostitutes and weavers, a nest of people like her are waiting.

A powerful man outside The City raises his forces, determined to hunt down the ‘demons’ who could taint his followers. Threatened from without and within, can the Bearers even trust each other?

Powers will rise and alliances will be forged in a dark new world. The Memory Bearers are coming.

This book includes violent and mature content. Reader discretion is advised.

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Excerpt:

 

She was looking in a mirror, marvelling at her powdered face. You can’t even tell, she thought admiringly. She picked up a bottle of perfume and sprayed some on her wrist. She dropped it, and there was a heavy sound, a clunking noise, as the bottle connected with the tile. Not plastic, but thick glass.

Hearing the crash, he appeared from behind the bathroom door. “Are you all right, honey?” he said, resting a hand on her shoulder.

“Oh yes, I’m fine,” she said, nuzzling him.

“You look exquisite. I can’t believe you spend most of your time in a lab coat when you look like this.”

“Believe it,” she said. He twisted her around suddenly and kissed her.

“How much time do we have before dinner?” he asked.

“Enough.” She took him by the hand. “Come with me.”

The memory slid away to another part of her mind. She considered telling—no, wait, who could she tell? Their names eluded her. She winced, frustrated. She’d already forgotten her family’s names. That was part of the deal, she told herself; she’d known what she was in for. Paranoid, she wondered if she would forget her own name next. It wouldn’t be that bad, though; and after all, she knew she would remember someday. When the time was right, the lock would open again, and she’d have the things she was giving up back. And though they were frustrating and mildly debilitating, she still had the fragments. That annoyed her, but it was a comfort.

Philosophy was the path of madness, she decided, shoving the bottle in her satchel. In the meantime, she had other things to do—she had to see if there was anything of value left in this house and get out of here as quickly as possible. Something unpleasant had happened here after The Time Before had come to an end, a small disaster after the fact, and she was eager to leave.

About the Author

Michelle Browne is a sci fi/fantasy writer from Calgary, AB. She has AuthorPhoto_AfterTheGardena cat and a partner-in-crime. Her days revolve around freelance editing, jewelry, phuquerie, and nightmares. She is currently working on the next books in her series, other people’s manuscripts, and drinking as much tea as humanly possible. 

She is all over the internet, far too often for anyone’s sanity, and can be found in various places.

 

Amazon Smashwords Blog Tumblr Twitter Facebook

Other books by Michelle Browne:

The Underlighters (Book 1 of The Nightmare Cycle)

The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming (Includes The Underlighters and many other short stories)

The Stolen: Two Short Stories (Book 2 of The Meaning Wars)

And the Stars Will Sing (Book 1 of The Meaning Wars)

Collaborations:

Euphoria/Dysphoria

Cult Classics for the Modern Cult

Frost and Other Short Stories

Coming soon:

The Meaning Wars

(Book 3 of The Meaning Wars)

Monsters and Fools

(Book 2 of The Nightmare Cycle)

Within the Tempest

(Book 2 of The Memory Bearers Saga)

 

Scarlett Moon Release Day

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From Bestselling Paranormal Romance Author Lisa Olsen

I’m not hiding who I am. Well, I’m hiding what I am, because you don’t just say Hey, everybody, I’m Scarlett and I’m a shifter at the first mixer. All I want is the chance to go to college with normal people and lead a normal life for a change, maybe even meet a normal guy. I’ve just been too chicken to go after it until now.

I’m making friends, I even met a cute guy who seems into me. Everything’s working out like I’d hoped. Except for this other guy, Kane, who thinks he has to protect me, just because we’re both wolves. Every time I turn around he’s there with his dark, piercing stares and his deep, sexy voice that somehow manages to get past my defenses. I left my pack back home for a new start. The last thing I want is to get caught up in any shifter drama, no matter how sexy the package it comes wrapped up in is.

Kane is exactly the kind of man I don’t want. Bossy, infuriating, insisting he knows what’s best without even asking me, and so freaking hot, his ego’s the size of Texas. I especially hate it when he’s right. It turns out there are scarier things out there than midterms, and they’re after me.

* * *

The last thing Kane’s looking for is a mate – but that’s exactly what his Alpha has ordered him to bring home. A very specific mate. Adding Scarlett LaRoche to the pack will cement his ties to her pack and the prophecy, which puts him one step closer to the ultimate power. But can he seduce a girl that doesn’t want to be seduced?

Challenge accepted.

*** Scarlett Moon is a shifter paranormal romance with steamy sex and violence, and should not be read by those under 18. It can be read as a stand alone book, or as part of The Wolves of Cutter’s Folly, and has a HEA. ***

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Amazon US / Amazon UK / iTunes / Kobo / B&N

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Kane had me under his spell, and I felt a flutter of panic as I realized I’d made a big mistake in agreeing to this dance. But suddenly, I realized he was under mine as well. I could feel the effect of the tiniest shift in my hips all along his body, and the desperate way his hands smoothed over my skin. He was mine, every bit as much as I was his in that moment.

It was a definite high, knowing he was completely attuned to my every move. I felt sexy and alive in a way I’d never felt before, and part of it was because I knew I shouldn’t be doing this. Kane wasn’t what I wanted in a man.

But it was just a dance.

Turning, my back pressed against his chest, never missing a beat when his hands closed on my hips. His hot breath fanned across my neck, and my skin tingled as I sensed his hunger for more than the dance. Kane’s arm wrapped around my middle, pulling me close, and I flashed back to that hot kiss in his kitchen – the feel of his hands on my bare flesh and the rush of desire I’d felt. Was still feeling. Pressed up against the length of his body, we swayed and pulsed together to the beat of the music. At the brush of his lips against my ear, my hand stole up to wrap around the back of his neck, pulling him closer.

“Your body remembers me.” His voice was low and intimate by my ear.

It wasn’t just a dance. It was so much more.

He was right, my body throbbed for his touch, and in that moment I wanted it too. “I remember lots of things,” I whispered back, trusting his ears to pick it up through the din of the room.

“So do I. I’m a fucking idiot for letting you go that night.”

No, he’d been right to let me go instead of forcing the issue. Stopping had been the right thing to do. Just like I knew I should put on the brakes before what we were doing got too out of hand. And yet my body still moved with his, shivering with delight when I turned to face him and his fingers traced a path down my back.

“Admit it. You feel it too.” His cheek nuzzled against mine, marking me with his scent.

“I don’t want to,” I murmured, even as I erased the last breath of space between us, pressing up against him shamelessly.

“You’re mine,” Kane growled, his fingers sinking into my hair to tip my face up before he took my lips. I opened my mouth to him, awash in the taste of him, drowning in his scent. The kiss in his kitchen had been a pale shadow of the heat that sparked between us on the crowded dance floor. I’d never had anyone take control of me like that.

I was utterly his prisoner, trapped by the cage of his arms. One hand held my head in place while the other clutched at my hip as he took what he wanted. He growled again, a primal sound that touched something deep inside me, and I clutched him tighter, my nails raking against his back in my desperation to get closer to him. My reservations were gone. Kane was everything I wanted in a man and the only man for me as I kissed him back with everything I had.

 

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GET MOONSONG (The first book of The Wolves Cutter’s Folly series) FOR ONLY 99¢!

Amazon US / Amazon UK

Moonsong reviews

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I am a writer, wife, and mother of two currently living in the Pacific Northwest. I am a complete TV addict (have to have it on at all times, even when I’m writing). I also enjoy online RPG’s, singing, reading, cooking… lots more I can’t think of at the moment.

The supernatural has long been my favorite to write and read. Werewolves, vampires, witchcraft, ghosts, things that go bump in the night; these are a few of my favorite things to write about. Not sparkly beings with phenomenal cosmic power that are always the smartest, bravest, prettiest Mary Sue to walk the planet, but real people who just happen to have this little quirk…

I’ve just published my 27th book, Scarlett Moon (The second of my Wolves of Cutter’s Folly shifter books). I’m currently working on Carter, which takes place in the Forged Bloodlines vampire universe.

Here is a complete list of Lisa’s books:

Forged Bloodlines Series

Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down

Meet Me When the Sun Goes Down

Find Me When the Sun Goes Down

Miss Me When the Sun Goes Down

Follow Me When the Sun Goes Down

Hear Me When the Sun Goes Down

Release Me When the Sun Goes Down

Trust Me When the Sun Goes Down

Tempt Me When the Sun Goes Down

Kiss Me When the Sun Goes Down

Carter (announced)

Forged Bloodlines #11 (announced)

The Fallen Series

Angel of Mercy

Mercy for the Wicked

Mercy for the Damned

Child of Mercy

Mercy for the Fallen.

The Company Series

The Company of Shadows

The Company of Darkness

The Company of Lies

The Company of Death

Pretty Witches All in a Row

Kiss the Witch Goodbye

Moonsong

Scarlett Moon: Moonsong sequel

Nine Steps to Sara

The Touch

Kindle Worlds: The Vampire Diaries: Tabula Rasa

Kindle Worlds: The Vampire Diaries: Dark Side of the Moon

You can keep in touch with Lisa here:

Facebook ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Web page

 

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