Chasing my tail

OH LAWDY! It’s August 1st already. What the hell happened to 2016?

The year has been a blur thus far. Receiving my rights back from Liquid Silver Books on the Dirty White Candy series, means they were all recovered and re-released this year through Syn Publishing.

That took some work.Web  Web  Web

In March, I released my very first Sci-Fi Alien Romance.KINDLE

I also attended my very first multi-author book signing at the North Iowa Book Bash! I rubbed elbows with awesome artists such as Sidda Lee Rain, Ella Dominguez, Jenna Jacob and more! I was even fortunate enough to win a table at next year’s event.

Now, as for the remainder of the year…I am working on a super secret project and while I do want to spill the beans, all I can say is that I signed a confidentiality agreement! When I can tell you, I’ll scream it from the mountain tops.

Also, I’m involved in a Winter Anthology through Lavish Publishing. For my contribution, I’ve added 3.5 into the Shifter Chronicles. For the Anthology, the version will be PG-13, but for those who like erotic romance, I’ll be publishing a full-length, sexed up version. I don’t believe cover reveals are all that big of a deal, so I’ll share it with you now. 😀 See, Miss Anita loves you!

Christmas Surprise

In this installment, we get a good look at the Special Forces division of FOSE and Jake’s obsession with Nala’s human friend, Susan. We may even get to find out who is behind the Separatist movement!

There is one more project I’m trying to finish this year, and that’s a Romantic Suspense/Crime Fiction novel. I’m not sure if I can squeeze it in, but if not, it’ll be early 2017 as I’ve already been working on it.

If you love sneak peeks and other surprises, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter!

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Hide and Go Freak

Oh I realize it sounds like a kinky game, and sure, I’ll share some of those with you (as I always have.) But this post won’t be about that.

From March to July of this year, I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. Spending 13-16 hours a day on writing, editing, blogging, marketing, etc., and with the help of a dedicated, but brutal editor, I put out four books in five months.  That’s almost a book a month…and not a novella or serial like some authors are resorting to… novels.

In the meantime, my eldest needed braces. I looked at my lack of retirement savings, Amazon’s experimentation with how to make money, and realized, it was time to go grab a day job. I’ve been writing and publishing for ten years. I’ve carved out a nice little place for myself among my peers. But I need things, and so do my children.

I started the new job (which wasn’t on days, mind you) at the end of March. I managed to publish books in April and July. I was exhausted…spent….frustrated. So, I backed off social media and…well, I did this.

HIDING

I just sort of disappeared. Oh, I popped onto Facebook from time to time to reassure folks I was still around. Just as I was about to get back into the swing of things, I was switched to the midnight shift.

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Now I had to try to figure out when to sleep, when to eat, and when to get ANYTHING done. Yes, it is a challenge to sleep when the weather is beautiful outside… My house slipped into something close to filth and squalor and I went some days on as little as 3 hours of sleep.

That doesn’t lend well to creativity. But, I have great benefits. The pay isn’t bad, and I now have a Pension and 401(k)! Whooo hoooo!

But…I must write. This isn’t a hobby for me. It never has been. I take it seriously and let me tell you… if I don’t write, my head will explode!

Many authors have full-time jobs. It’s simply the reality of trying to compete with a very diluted pool. Amazon keeps starting new programs…like KU that just GUT our income. A library option is great for the reader, but when you make ten cents on the dollar (or less) so that they make subscription fees…it’s not hard to see who is getting the short end of the stick here. It takes months of hard work, money, and expense of time with family to craft a full-length novel. I keep mine priced reasonably. Sidenote: I also read a lot! When I buy a “novel” for $5.68 I expect to be able to enjoy for more than TWO HOURS! I will never throw a novella at you for more than a freakin eBook should cost. Jesus!

The point of all of this is, rest assured, the Shifter Chronicles will have it’s finale. I also have a Dystopian/Sci-Fi series I have started engineering. I love creating new worlds where the possibilities are endless and this one…has me excited.

Because I’m not going away anytime soon. Hell, I fight like a girl, and these stories WILL submit to me.

fight like a girl

Release Day!

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Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Syn Publishing
Date of Publication: April 2, 2015

Wendy Baker is a staple in the Belfast Lycan pack. She serves others, manages the house and events. So when Nala Baker, her sister-in-law and new Alpha of the pack, asks her to relocate to the new shifter university, she feels lost. How can she leave her pack behind?

Zoltar, the Centaur King, has eyes for Wendy, but years of animosity between Lycans and Centaurs could mean Wendy’s excommunication if they’re discovered.

As new Headmistress at McGovern University, Wendy struggles to find her place and considers Zoltar. He’s smart, sexy, and thoughtful. What will her brother think? But before they can enjoy their new relationship, a Pixie is murdered and the school falls under attack by a group that does not appreciate integration, the Separatists.

Can Wendy overcome her fears and find true love? Can she defend her school and her new pack from the murderous revenge of the Separatists or will she lose everything?

**Content Notes** Adult content suitable for mature audience only. M/F, violence (not for titillation), bondage

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Excerpt

“I can’t help but notice you look lost in thought. Is everything okay?”
Wendy turned to him again. “I’ve been invited to be headmistress at the new university.”

His laugh was smooth. It flowed like melted chocolate, stirring her longing further than it should have.

“It means leaving my pack, Zoltar. That’s very difficult for a Lycan to do—especially one my age.” She looked down at her feet. “An old handmaid sure, but I’m very attached to this place…to my pack.”

Standing from the rock, he extended his muscular arm toward her, his fingers relaxed and open. “Walk with me.”

After considering him for a split second, she complied, though she wasn’t entirely sure why. She wanted to sit and ponder her future, not wander around with a Centaur who would surely try to seduce her. Still, she followed him down the path around the lake, hoping no one would see them together and start gossiping about her desperateness for a mate. The Lycan men were on edge when the Centaurs arrived and the Centaurs had sworn an oath to keep their hands to themselves.

Wandering around alone with a single Lycan female wasn’t exactly part of that oath. Wendy’s hopes of finding a mate could be completely devastated if the men thought she was sneaking off in the woods with a horny Centaur male…King or not.

“How much do you now about my race?” He looked at his feet as he walked, his brows pulled together.

Shrugging she turned her attention to the path ahead of them, not daring to gaze at his handsomeness—a potential distraction. “Same as everyone, I guess. You have the ability to seduce females of other species so you can produce more Centaurs…being that Centaurs are only male. You are powerful warriors, fierce in battle.”

He strolled in silence for a moment, nodding as she spoke. “You know, there is far more to us than that.”

“I’m sure there is, Sir.” It was a fine line to walk, keeping a Centaur in check while managing not to be offensive at the same time. Anxiety teetered at the pile of emotions overwhelming her.

“Zoltar, please,” he corrected tilting his head. “Or you can call me ‘Z’ as my friends do.”

“Z?” She giggled. “How new age.”

He smiled then looped his arm in hers as if they’d been friends for ages.

The warmth from his arm permeated through her, giving her an odd sense of elation. She swore she’d have to remind herself to breathe.
“We are the sons of Apollo.”

His words caused an unexpected chuckle to escape her lips once again. “It explains the good looks.” Silently, she chastised herself for that statement. How dare she flirt with him?

“I find it very pleasing you think so,” he said with a wink. “It is true, we are fierce warriors. Fierce, but not invincible. The last female Centaur was killed in the battle with the Lapiths. There has yet to be a female born to our kind. It was our ancestors’ pleas to Apollo allowing us the ability to breed with other species so we would not go extinct. However,” he cleared his throat, “our offspring are not a hundred percent Centaur. They can shift into the form of their mother as well.”

“What? You’re telling me a child could shift to Lycan and to Centaur?” She stopped in her tracks. “How is this possible?”

Releasing her arm he turned to face her. The air around him shimmered and he shifted into a golden wolf briefly before shifting back into his human form. “Yes, it is true.”

She gulped. “Well, Z, if I needed a distraction, you certainly came through for me.”

He bowed. “Now,” he looped his arm in hers once again, “we are also very good at Astrology. We all have individual strengths, as I’m sure Lycans do. I, for one, have a touch of precognition. I’m also a bit of a healer.”

Shifting his eyes, he glanced at her while keeping his head forward. “Care to know why a Lycan of your age looks quite a bit older?”

She could not hide her embarrassment. The desire to jerk her arm loose and run far from him was overwhelming—or perhaps she could crawl under a rock. “Nothing I can change, so why bother?”

“And if one simple kiss from me would turn the clock back for you, would you grace my lips with yours?” He didn’t slow his pace as he waited for her to reply. When she tried to jerk her arm free, he held on a bit tighter.

“What? No.” She wanted to go back to the house, away from Z. She wanted some space so she could focus on the problem at hand…the university, her brother trying to get rid of her, being hopelessly single and aging.

“Your beautiful hair, restored to its former glory, the worry lines erased…the only cost being one simple kiss?” He laughed. “Does the thought of kissing me repulse you that much?”

“No.” She finally pulled her arm free. “I’m not some young pup you can trick into your bed.” She turned her back to him and started off toward the main house. His long legs prevented her stomping pace from putting any distance between them.

He latched onto her hand. “Please. I did not mean to offend you.”
She stopped, causing him to bump into her. The heat from his body sent her senses on fire. She could smell his arousal, meaning he could smell hers. She silently groaned. “Look, I don’t know what you’re playing at.” He was so sexy, standing there in a pair of jeans, hanging low on his hip. His blonde curls bounced when he moved.

“Fuck it.” She meant to give him a quick peck to shut him up, but something else happened. When she stood on her toes, large warm hands cupped her face. His searing lips brushed up against hers, making her limbs feel like putty. Her ears started to ring.

The kiss was slow and tender, but quite respectful. He didn’t shove his tongue in her mouth. He didn’t crush her mouth with his. This…was a first kiss, a tender moment and it melted her.

When he released her, she felt heaviness in her lids.

“That wasn’t too repulsive, I hope.”

Staring at him, she was at a loss for words, or a singular thought.
“I see,” he said with a smile, the thought of rendering her speechless apparently entertaining. “Race you back to the house.” Shifting into his wolf form, he tore off, leaving her behind. Wendy shook her head to clear her mind before shifting and taking off after him. His wolf was large, nearly as large as Grace’s. Wendy figured it had something to do with the royal blood. However, he didn’t spend much time in his wolf form and it was obvious as he was rather slow.

Wendy pushed hard to get next to him. He looked over at her and made a leap to get ahead of her. She dove under him, digging in her hind quarters then sprinted toward the yard, which was only a few feet ahead. When she finally skidded to a stop, the large Centaur-Wolf was skidding up behind her. The both shifted in unison.

“You’re a vivacious runner, Wendy.” He nodded. “Very impressive.”

“Wendy!” Colin stood glaring at Zoltar. She’d just been caught cavorting with a Centaur…by her brother.

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A little about Anita Cox...

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International best-selling author, Anita Cox has been writing general fiction for nearly a decade. In 2012 she strapped on a new name for a new genre and jumped head first into writing erotic romance.

Anita Cox’s erotic debut series Dirty White Candy was picked up by Liquid Silver Books in 2013. In 2014, she became a Director for the Erotic Author’s Guild. Her altruistic nature found its purpose, assisting other erotic authors with issues specific to the genre.

Genres/subject matter you can expect to see from Anita: Contemporary, Ménage, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Erotic Suspense and all things naughty.

Cyber-stalk Anita here...

Anita’s Den
Anita’s Goodreads Page
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Anita’s page @ Syn Publishing
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To Serial or Not to Serial

Writing Serials

This topic has been discussed with me countless times in the last three months.  Today, I declared to my editor, “I refuse to publish serials.” There. I made a declaration.

Never say never…right?

Series v. Serial?

To make this easy, for those not well versed in literary lingo, I’ll drop this down to television viewing. I’ll even use my favorite show, The Blacklist.

Each week we get approximately 40 minute snippets of Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington’s story. Each episode has a plot, an arc, and conflict resolution. However, there is a larger plot and arc, as well as a major conflict that we wait, not so patiently, to get the answer.

This is equivalent to a series. Now, let’s focus on a serial.

Imagine, you sit down to watch John Wick. You think you’re going to discover John Wick, what drives him, his conflict, and his resolution. You have your giant bowl of popcorn, your big guzzler 42 ounce fountain soda and a box of candy. You press play and for ten minutes, you discover John and what happened to his wife. Some Russians pull up at a gas station and admire his car. He speaks Russian to them.

That’s it. Movie’s over. You have to wait X weeks/months for the next ten minutes of the movie. Meanwhile your popcorn has grown mold and your soda looks like a lab experiment. Mice have chewed a hole in the corner of your theater box candy.

It could take a year, two, three or even the possibility of NEVER to discover what happens to John. Does he get his revenge? What happens with the Russians? How does John know to speak Russian? And I say NEVER because I’ve been around for a decade and a LOT of writers fizzle out when they discover how hard this business can be.

So why do I say never?

I’m not just an author. I buy books…a LOT of books. I love to read. I bought installments 1-3 of a serial and never saw installment 4 released. I’m still pissed off. Can you imagine getting emotionally invested in a story someone didn’t BOTHER to finish…and you SPENT YOUR MONEY on this bullshit?

Next…here’s my moral issue with it as an author. I know…I know… it’s not easy to make money with so many people flooding the market. I know, we’re trying to earn a living here but serials don’t make financial sense for me as a writer or an author and here’s why:

Most of my novels are around 50-60k words. If I broke that up into, say…15k word chunks, how do I price it?

Let’s do some self-publishing math. Most of my books are around $3.99. Self-publishing would pay me around $2.79 for said novel.

Those $0.99 books? Well, the author only receives 30% royalty on those books. We’ll round up to 30 cents.

So if I break my novel up into four pieces, and charged a buck each, I now make $1.20 for the whole book, but my costs have now quadrupled. No matter what, I have to pay for cover art, editing, ISBN assignment, and formatting. Now I have to pay for that four times.

If I just publish the whole novel for $3.99, I have those expenses once and I make $2.79 per book.  (And the reader receives an entire book, not “an episode.”)

But some authors are charging 1.99-3.99 for those partials. This means you could end up paying $15.96 instead of buying the whole book once for 4-5 bucks. The reader is getting screwed and so is the author. Either way you slice it.

I can’t do that. I just can’t. I’m not going to take the hit and I sure as HELL don’t want to do that to my readers.

That’s not all!

This isn’t the only problem. Part of the reason we authors go through SO MANY rounds of edits, is that during content edits, plot holes are found. They need to be fixed.

And…I’m sorry to say that most of the serial writers are new authors. They’re not writing these and editing them in advance, many of them (I know, because I read author blogs) publish the serials while they’re still writing.

So the holes can’t be plugged. The reader is getting screwed because if the author took their time and wrote the whole novel at once, this could be fixed.

I just can’t take part in this. Plotting out a seven book series has been a big enough challenge. I can’t won’t switch to writing serials.

I’m not taking a swipe at authors who are publishing serials. Some are making it work for them. Some have a very devout following. GOOD FOR THEM. Truly, I mean that. Grab that success and ride that train as long as you can.

But I can’t.