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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I loved a book with bad reviews!

This should be a lesson to authors who toil over bad reviews.

I just finished Scott Weiland’s Biography. I absolutely loved it.

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The book has some…not so kind reviews, including some 1-star bashing. I, however, really enjoyed it. It was a great insight into a life of stardom, struggling with addiction, even as a child, as well as his struggles in love.

Sure, this doesn’t give every secret, every detail, but really, I couldn’t put it down. And if  I can’t put it down, then I count that as a great read.

Yes, it was sad. I’m reading about how he was enjoying his sobriety, taking it serious, feeling better. Yet, he’s dead. From chasing the dragon. So yeah, that sucked.

But if you are an STP fan, I suggest giving this a read.

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.

Where did 2015 Go?

Oh my God! I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve already. This means that 2015 is rapidly coming to a close.

It’s been a decent year, and a year of change. At the end of March, I started a new job to support my writing habit 😀 Seriously, my eldest needed braces and I began looking at my retirement portfolio. In order to get where I needed to be, I had to do more than write books.

dark fantasy sorceress woman, composite photo
Lady winter is haunting!

At first it made me sad, but honestly, it was the best for my family. I’m still writing, but it just happens at a slower pace now. Maybe one day, I can go back to it full-time.

I recently stepped down from the Erotic Author’s Guild. It wasn’t an easy decision. I really do love helping other authors. I realized I could still do that, without the headache of being on a Board. Again, I’m okay with this and I wish all of the members the best.

I realized I hadn’t posted since December 1!!! That’s because I’ve been incredibly busy. I started two different books… oh yes, this is a first for me. One has been designed as a stand-alone and the other is the beginning of a new Erotic Sci-Fi/Romance series that I’m just loving.  Dual writing has been weird. Very weird. But it’s kept that portion of my brain active and that keeps me happy.

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2016 is looking like a decent year to come. I will be at the North Iowa Book Bash at the end of April. I am very excited to be a part of this growing event.

This month has been so full of shopping, writing, and baking that I literally lost track of time. It wasn’t until I sat at my computer and saw December 24, 2015 on the screen that I realized how fast this whole year has gone.

Mother warned me this would happen!

So, I wish you all a Merry  Christmas (if you celebrate it,) and a Happy New Year!

As always, thank you all for sticking around, buying my books, writing reviews and your comments.

~Much Love,

Anita

The Perfect High

I get hit up a lot by poets on facebook. “Hey go look at my {shit} over here.”  Truth is, I’m not into poetry. I never have been. I know…breaking stereotypes over and over again…a chick that doesn’t dig poetry?

But this little gem I heard back in 1994. A huge dude named Ron Barany would recite this during his gig at a coffee bar where I worked.  This was written by Shel Silverstein. I love the moral here. Enough from me:

There once was a boy named Gimme-Some-Roy… He was nothin’ like me or you,
’cause laying back and getting high was all he cared to do.

As a kid, he sat in the cellar…sniffing airplane glue. And then he smoked banana peels, when that was the thing to do. He tried aspirin in Coca-Cola, he breathed helium on the sly, and his life became an endless search to find the perfect high.

But grass just made him wanna lay back and eat chocolate-chip pizza all night,
and the great things he wrote when he was stoned looked like shit in the morning light.
Speed made him wanna rap all day, reds laid him too far back, Cocaine-Rose was sweet to his nose, but the price nearly broke his back.

He tried PCP, he tried THC, but they never quite did the trick. Poppers nearly blew his heart, mushrooms made him sick. Acid made him see the light, but he couldn’t remember it long. Hash was a little too weak, and smack was a lot too strong. Quaaludes made him stumble, booze just made him cry, Then he heard of a cat named Baba Fats who knew of the perfect high.

Now, Baba Fats was a hermit cat…lived high up in Nepal, High on a craggy mountain top, up a sheer and icy wall. “Well, hell!” says Roy, “I’m a healthy boy, and I’ll crawl or climb or fly,
Till I find that guru who’ll give me the clue as to what’s the perfect high.”

So out and off goes Gimme-Some-Roy, to the land that knows no time, Up a trail no man could conquer, to a cliff no man could climb. For fourteen years he climbed that cliff…back down again he’d slide . . .
He’d sit and cry, then climb some more, pursuing the perfect high.

Grinding his teeth, coughing blood, aching and shaking and weak, Starving and sore, bleeding and tore, he reaches the mountain peak. And his eyes blink red like a snow-blind wolf, and he snarls the snarl of a rat,
As there in repose, and wearing no clothes, sits the god-like Baba Fats.

“What’s happenin’, Fats?” says Roy with joy, “I’ve come to state my biz . . .
I hear you’re hip to the perfect trip… Please tell me what it is. “For you can see,” says Roy to he, “I’m about to die, So for my last ride, tell me, how can I achieve the perfect high?”

“Well, dog my cats!” says Baba Fats. “Another burned out soul, Who’s lookin’ for an alchemist to turn his trip to gold. It isn’t in a dealer’s stash, or on a druggist’s shelf… Son, if you would find the perfect high, find it in yourself.”

“Why, you jive mother-fucker!” says Roy, “I climbed through rain and sleet,
I froze three fingers off my hands, and four toes off my feet! I braved the lair of the polar bear, I’ve tasted the maggot’s kiss. Now, you tell me the high is in myself? What kinda shit is this?

My ears, before they froze off,” says Roy, “had heard all kindsa crap; But I didn’t climb for fourteen years to hear your sophomore rap. And I didn’t climb up here to hear that the high is on the natch, So you tell me where the real stuff is, or I’ll kill your guru ass!”

“Okay…okay,” says Baba Fats, “You’re forcin’ it outta me… There is a land beyond the sun that’s known as Zabolee. A wretched land of stone and sand, where snakes and buzzards scream, And in this devil’s garden blooms the mystic Tzutzu tree.

Now, once every ten years it blooms one flower, as white as the Key West sky,
And he who eats of the Tzutzu flower shall know the perfect high. For the rush comes on like a tidal wave…hits like the blazin’ sun. And the high? It lasts forever, and the down don’t never come.

But, Zabolee Land is ruled by a giant, who stands twelve cubits high, And with eyes of red in his hundred heads, he awaits the passer-by. And you must slay the red-eyed giant, and swim the river of slime, Where the mucous beasts await to feast on those who journey by. And if you slay the giant and beasts, and swim the slimy sea, There’s a blood-drinking witch who sharpens her teeth as she guards the Tzutzu tree.”

“Well, to hell with your witches and giants,” says Roy, “To hell with the beasts of the sea–
Why, as long as the Tzutzu flower still blooms, hope still blooms for me.”
And with tears of joy in his sun-blind eyes, he slips the guru a five, And crawls back down the mountainside, pursuing the perfect high.

“Well, that is that,” says Baba Fats, sitting back down on his stone, Facing another thousand years of talking to God, alone. “Yes, Lord, it’s always the same…old men or bright-eyed youth… It’s always easier to sell ’em some shit than it is to tell them the truth.”

Shel Silverstein

Why I remain #notchilled

While I do have some limited legal knowledge (like, I can read the stuff) after some years as a legal secretary and quasi paralegal, this is in no way, shape, or form legal advice. That shit’s expensive. Like Tony Stark expensive!

oh robert

Moving along: first, if you have no idea what this is about, ePub Ellora’s Cave sued blogger Dear Author. The suit, as it appears to many, is an effort to chill free speech, hence the #notchilled hashtag.

I’m often asked why I’ve been active on the #notchilled hashtag on Twitter and why I insert myself into the discussions online. Do I have any books with Ellora’s Cave? Nope. Am I a contractor with them? Nope. Am I affiliated with Jane Little and Dear Author? Nope. So why?

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, that’s why. I also have a White Knight complex and when I receive messages from other authors saying they’re AFRAID to speak up…my blood boils. Don’t sweat it, I’ll say it FOR you and you can eat popcorn. The fact that someone has to have true and real fear just to speak the truth is abhorrent.

Recently, I participated on an online discussion started by Anne Rice regarding an article that was posted where Jaid Black (owner of EC) blames Amazon for her troubles. Incidentally, she’s blaming Dear Author for the same thing. The *cough* always classy Ms. Black joined in as well. Clearly, this woman hasn’t received one piece of PR advice in her entire life.

I digress.

What burned my ass most of all was that Anne Rice openly admitted to not having read anything about the caseat all. Then she hops on the “EC will have their day in court” bandwagon. I’m sorry…what? The business is accused of: defaulting payments, mailing checks out months after they were written, mailing envelopes sans date stamp, and not paying its authors. And…you want to support them. (Cries as hero falls off pedestal.)

I argued with Anne Rice. What was most upsetting was I never even had the opportunity to go all fan girl. Never did the star-struck reality hit me. I was too disgusted at what I witnessed.

head bang

ignorantia legis neminem excusat

Ignorance excuses no one.

How can someone, seemingly so intelligent, someone who battles bullies all of the time, jump on the side of someone attempting to bully another party into silence? What the actual fuck? The irony…it kills.

Pardon me while I empty the contents of my stomach into porcelain.

An author…one who makes their living from their books, who expects to get paid for said books, film rights etc. is going to throw support toward someone NOT PAYING THEIR AUTHORS (allegedly)???

We have the right to this discussion (Thank you 1st Amendment.) Anne Rice has the right to her opinion, no matter how uninformed. I have the right to say and think what I want and trust me, I blabbed. I blabbed a lot. I even tweeted that I could not “watch AR suck JB’s ass anymore. I’m out.” Was she literally sucking on the anus of JB? Probably not. It’s a figure of speech… SPEECH. Because, we have that right.

Now, onto the suit. Here’s my two cents.

Defamation is really hard to win. With any suit, you must state a claim where relief can be granted. For example: Neighborhood dickbag bashed in my mailbox. I have him on video. I sue Neighborhood Dickbag for $145 for a replacement box plus court costs. That’s relief. (Think about insurance, it’s to indemnify or make one whole. Relief is to make you whole again.) Defamation is no different. State a claim, how it hurt you, and how much it will take to make you whole again.

Defamation requires that you prove the Defendant acted with malice. That…that’s very difficult to prove. Unless you find, during discovery, an email from Jane Little stating, “Let’s burn this bitch to the ground with a pack of lies,” you’re pretty much screwed here.

Truth is also a defense in a defamation suit. Affidavits have been filed by those who went unpaid by Ellora’s Cave. Dear Author also had citations in her article listing the numerous tax liens against Tina Engler (Jaid Black), demonstrating the poor financial decisions that have been made…for years. She did her job. She demonstrated that she had every reason to believe what she wrote was true and that she was reporting on a publisher in the industry. The financial situation over at EC certainly seems to be in turmoil. Hell, Jaid Black is pointing the finger at everyone other than herself, but even she admits to some issues.giphy

There are other foundations of a defamation suit that must be met in order for a judge to rule in your favor. But like a house of cards, remove a leg and the house falls down. Little’s attorney has already removed a few legs and the house…well, it’s teetering.

IMHO, this case has already been won by Dear Author. It’s just a matter of time and procedure at this point.

Court of Law v. Court of Public Opinion

Let’s talk about Bill Clinton for a moment. I’ve joked for years that giphy (3)he should have just admitted to smoking weed and to banging Monica Lewinsky. Why? Truth. Do you know how many college kids have smoked dope? It’s not a big deal. You’re young and allowed to make stupid decisions. Clearly, if you’re a candidate for president, you’ve overcome those stupid tendencies. And admitting being a stupid college kid??? That makes you human, relatable, and gives Saturday Night Live writers excellent material.  As far as Lewinsky? That was a matter between Mr. & Mrs. Clinton. It was really none of the country’s business. Who cares if he played hide the sausage with her? They were both adults. Infidelity isn’t a presidential issue, it’s a marital issue. Instead, it became national news and a media shit storm. Didn’t matter what the court said. We all knew he did it, just as sure as we were all certain OJ was guilty.

When EC decided to sue a blogger, many who hadn’t seen the article, who didn’t know who EC or DA were, now did. Instead of making a public statement that the company had suffered some losses but that they were working on making things right, they attempted to shut DA up.

Bad move.

Not only do you now look guilty of covering up the truth, you look like a bully. Those who are still waiting for money are sick to death that precious funds are being spent on a lawsuit instead of fixing the accounting issue, paying royalties that were due and rehiring some of the folks who had been laid off. This is what the public sees. This is what I see.

I see authors posting pics on social media of envelopes sans date stamp; of checks and royalty statements they receive now for months and months ago. I see people posting 1099 discrepancies in ECs favor. I see a sock puppet (pubnt) spewing insider knowledge of a company and then pleading with the court stating they know nothing, claiming to be legal bloggers.  (Bitch, please.) Which is it, you know something useful or you know nothing. Which is it?

PubNT a team of legal bloggers?
PubNT a team of legal bloggers?

As a mother, I’m constantly preaching to my kids about taking personal responsibility. Yes, things can happen to you, but sometimes, you’re at fault. I have a truckload of respect for those that can say, “I fucked up.” We all make mistakes. It’s part of the human condition. It’s forgivable if and only if, you take responsibility and take steps to fix said mistake.

Crystal Ball, Crystal Ball, what do you see?

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What do I think happened? I think EC grew too big too fast. I think someone spent money that wasn’t theirs to spend…for a while now. I think they priced themselves out of the market. I think they lack Public Relations in a major way. I think they’ve based business decisions on nepotism, rather than fiscal responsibility. These are just my opinions, and I’m entitled to them…and I have a constitutional right to publish them here. After all, this is just supposition at this point. I’m not stating facts here, just what I think happened.

I believe DA (has already) will prevail. They’ll win the suit, and the counter-suit. Jane Little is an attorney. I can pretty well assume that she knows the difference between journalism and defamation. I believe she’s proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that her article was researched, that she had proof from authors, editors and the like before she even drafted her article.

I believe PubNT is either Jaid Black’s former roomy or her paralegal friend, but no…these are not legal bloggers and I don’t believe for one second this person is unaffiliated with JB or EC. Either way, the veil of secrecy is about to be lifted. giphy (4)

I also see future problems from the publisher, if they can’t hop on board and do some market research. This suit has damaged their reputation. As authors speak about their fears, other authors (and up and comers) hear them. They pay attention.

Calling authors not published by your company “slush pilers” is also going to do long-term damage. You can’t insult those with which you’d like to do business.

I believe JB will continue to cry that everyone is out to get her, misquote  her, and make every attempt to dethrone her. She’ll continue to say things online that make us shake our heads. She’ll continue to blame, DA, Amazon and indies for eating into her profits. She’ll continue to make bad business decisions like painting a bus in lieu of making responsible business decisions and she’ll eventually have a nervous breakdown.

 

 

Pass the Torch by LL Sanders

MBB_TourBanner_PassingTheTorch copy

BLURB:

Deep in the Arizona desert live a girl and her dad, burying secrets–and bodies.

Mesa Kingston’s first memory of burying a corpse was at eight years old. Back then it had been the carcass of a large lizard her dad found that they buried in the backyard of their isolated cottage. At age fourteen, the body of a young lady accompanied the reptile’s remains, and ever since, an accumulation of female bodies began to grow. Now, the only way Mesa can stop the haunting screams of the dead is by drowning them out with flames. Or is there more to the blaze than even she can perceive?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MediaKit_BookCover_PassingTheTorchEXCERPT: 

Good girls do anything for their fathers, including rob, cheat, and kill, and I always considered myself a good girl. The time I first came to that conclusion will stay with me forever. Years later, here I am, still fulfilling my daughterly duty.

 

After wiping the sweat from my palm onto my jeans, I press the bulbous tip of the match against the strike strip on the side of the small carton. My hands shake worse than Grandma’s had when trying to slice her ninety-first birthday cake just a few hours ago, but I manage to run the match across it anyway. The flame comes alive at my fingertips, dancing merrily at the prospect of latching on to something and disintegrating it into smoldering embers. Although the light breeze causes the flame to flicker at the end of the matchstick, I’m aware of the control I have over it. I watch the glow change shape through a veil of tears and with that the decision was absolute.

 

The flame will get to perform its destructive duty.

 

I flick the match toward the pile of wooden planks that used to be the porch. Instantly the fire catches the fumes of the pooled liquid and expands so quickly a wall of gasoline-scented hot air rushes me before the blaze travels deeper into the house. I back away to a safe distance as the straw-like grass crunches beneath my feet. Nearing the homemade fence, which is nothing more than a double row of chicken wire, I hear the screams from the distance, cries of agony that meld with my memory like two spreading pools of melted wax. I can’t stop the waterworks. I don’t even make an attempt.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

The L.L. stands for Leslie Lee. I write erotic romance and post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction under Leslie Lee Sanders.

But horror and thriller fiction is what I grew up on, what inspires me, and what began my pursuit to authorship. I’ve written many short scary stories since the 6th grade. Now they’re much more mature in general, thanks to the wide range of emotion and experience I’ve encountered over the years.

I’m a huge fan of horror and psychological thrillers in every fashion, including movies, books, art, campfire tales, etc. Some of my favorite stories are those that twist at the end or are ambiguous with deep societal or morality themes. This includes dystopias like Hugh Howey’s Wool, psychological thrillers like Shutter Island, and popular and classic horror/romances like V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic, my favorite.

All my ideas start with a twist, which is exactly how most of my stories end.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/lls4sanders

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/LeslieLSanders

WEBSITE: http://llsanders.com/

AMAZON BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TNTLTZY

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