As an author the goal is to be published. We work and toil, endure grammar Nazis and hope against hope that our frustrations weren’t in vain. The idea in the end is to share our story. To have someone say that our words touched them. We’re not the type of people that go out and want to actually meet people in person…. My God no, we’re petrified of people and only talk to those in our heads. Now those people are funny and awesome and if they piss us off they die on page two-thirty-four.
So why would I (the girl who did an embarrassing dance as well as shook and cried for a day after getting my first contract) ask for the rights back to my book? I made it. I am published. Through multiple houses now and good ones at that.
See here’s the thing… no one explained the rules of you have to write a million words before you become a writer and that you’re supposed to throw those words away. Throw them away? My babies? No, I couldn’t do that… especially when a publisher and quite a few people loved the series.
You don’t know what you don’t know. We see that every day in parenting, start up businesses, and publishing. When a publisher picks you up they don’t really know how knowledgeable you are in the business. Just because it’s your first book doesn’t mean you haven’t written a million words and thrown them away. You may have a PhD in English and creative writing. Your ability with grammar may set the standard for which all writing should be judged. (BTW grammar… is a four letter word as far as I’m concerned) You could be a social media guru who knows how to manipulate to the point of massive sales.
In my case, I’m a storyteller. I create characters that keep you up at night. Or so I’m told by people as they yawn in complaint because they couldn’t put my book down the night before. Hey, I’ve been there too. I’m not apologizing for that. Bad grammar and plot holes I’ll get on my knees and beg forgiveness for that. I was never truly taught grammar. I know the basics. Verb is action, noun is subject, adjective describes and adverb describes action. But I end my sentences in prepositions and I can jump tenses like I’m skipping rope.
At least, I did before I hit that million word mark. I now write in third person instead of first. I’ve learned to show, not tell most times. I’ve even learned about that nasty four letter word grammar (although I obviously don’t know how to spell or count). I’m not perfect and no author, editor or publisher is, but once your work is out there it gets scary. Readers understand that book one is going to be different than book ten. With my tenth book coming out in a week from Secret Cravings Publishing I made the choice to have five of my books pulled back from my other publisher.
They understood. I wished that things had gone different with my first release, but they didn’t and for that reason the Chrysalis and Frozen series are coming off shelves. Fans of those series worry not for I have a plan. I took them down so the knowledge and connections I’ve made since publishing them can help me make them better. New scenes will be added and issues will be resolved. When I release them again I’ll feel comfortable that when a person likes one of my books they can expect the same quality from all.
Speaking of quality… my August release Silly Girl is up for a RONE award from In’Dtale magazine. The first step was earning a high review rating, which I did. The second step requires your help. I need votes for Silly Girl, which is in the Cops, Jocks and Cowboy category. I get enough votes and Silly Girl will go to the final judging. Check out my review and throw a vote or two Silly’s way and trust that I’ve written my million words and gotten enough paper cuts and ruler slaps to my knuckles. I’ve learned my lesson and now I’m putting out stories that will keep you up at night… don’t believe me? Just read the reviews.
In’Dtale voting click here.
Hello and happy Friday to everyone out there. March is National Woman’s History Month and since I am a woman, I wanted to take some time to take a look at some women who affected history.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett – I’m sure many of you have read my little ditties about Ms. Ida. In fact, my contribution to the HerStory anthology was a fictionalized version of what might have happened on the day that Mrs. Wells-Barnett was barred from marching with her Illinois delegation because the National American Woman Suffrage Association didn’t want to offend the “delicate” sensibilities of the Southern ladies. Despite the name “woman” in the association title, these Southern flowers threatened to pull out of the march if blacks marched alongside whites. She hid out until the Illinois delegation passed, then joined in.
Nannie Helen Burroughs – Black educator and suffrage supporter. She established industrial schools throughout the South where Black women could learn such skills as bookkeeping, sewing, home economics and typing. The goal of these schools was to give these women a skill that they could later use to become self-sufficient wage earners. Her motto? “We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible”.
Mary Church Terrell – Her father is referred to as the first black millionaire by multiple sources. Mary majored in the classics at Oberlin College and was elected to two of the college’s literary societies. She earned her master’s degree from Oberlin as well. She was the first president of the National Association of Colored Women and founded the National Association of University Women, which focused on educational initiatives for blacks. Interestingly enough, she and Ida B. Wells-Barnett were the only two black women invited to attend the first organizational meeting of the NAACP. Mrs. Church Terrell was also very active in the women’s suffrage movement.
I don’t claim that these are the only women that should be recognized during Women’s History Month. I chose these women because not only are they inspiring to me, they also either overcame extraordinary circumstances, worked under duress or used their privilege to better others.
I hope you will take a look at some of the women that inspired you. Post them in the comments!
When she first lays eyes on Mya Riley’s slashed up body, Baltimore Detective Lisa Swanson is certain that the Sandman, a ruthless serial killer from her past has reemerged. Lisa dives headfirst into the case with her partner Dee, and lovesick Winston Lewis, a detective who grows more captivated with Lisa by the day.
The Sandman wreaks bloodthirsty havoc throughout the city, and this time he is determined to make Lisa his victim.
Armed with intense hatred for the Sandman and a stifling fear of who might end up dead next, Lisa struggles to solve the case by the book. But when the Sandman switches up his plan and goes after her lover Jake…Lisa ignores all the rules.
“There’s a song stuck in my head.” He hummed it. “I was listening to it earlier but can’t think of the name.” He swayed Lisa while he hummed. “It’s been a while since we danced.” He twirled them around in circles.
Lisa laughed. “Whoa! You’re putting all the moves on me.”
“You always like it when I do this.” He lifted the front of his wheelchair off the floor and came back down. “You like that, huh?”
“Whoa!” She laughed. “You’re right. It’s been a while since we went dancing.” She put her hand in his as he swerved them across the kitchen. “So we can go dancing then.” She lifted her head from his shoulder. “We could both use a break, don’t you think?” She played with a button on his shirt. “We can go to the Rush.”
He rolled his eyes. “How come we always go to the wheelchair nightclubs?”
“I thought it was your favorite place. I just want you to be comfortable.”
“I want us to go dancing for real.” He laid his arm on the armrest. “I used to love dancing.” He got teary-eyed. “I miss that the most.”
She kissed his hand.
“I wanna take you dancing like a real man would.”
“You are a real man.” She got off him. “And we can dance the regular way right here.”
He got a paper towel off the table and dabbed his eyes. “What are you talking about?”
She went across to the living room and turned on the stereo in the entertainment system.
“Okay, let’s find something good.” She stopped on her favorite station that played old-school slow jams. The sultry beginning of Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” began. “Uh-huh.” Lisa bobbed her head. “That’s what I’m talking about.” She shimmied back into the kitchen.
“I love this song.” Jake tossed the paper towel on the table.
Lisa stood in front of him and held out her hands. “May I have this dance?”
“What?” he whispered.
She bent down. “You said you wanted to dance the real way. Let’s dance the real way.”
“You know my legs are too weak.”
She took his hands. “Then lean on me.”
He took a deep breath and slowly rose from the chair. “Oh.”
“It’s okay.” She put her arms around him. “I got you.”
He stood straight and put his weight on Lisa. “I’m six three and two hundred pounds.” He leaned on her. “I’m gonna crush you.”
“I’m stronger than you think.” She laid her head on his chest. “Just take it slow and relax.”
He stumbled a bit then picked up his feet in perfect rhythm.
“Wow.” Lisa held him tighter. “You’re a smooth dancer, Jake.”
His lips brushed her cheek. “This feels amazing.” He swayed. “Just like the old days.”
“See?” She moved her hand up his back. “Now you’re leading.” She lifted her head. “How does it feel?”
“I…” His voice cracked. “I haven’t danced since two thousand eight.”
“Well, you’re dancing now.” She kissed him. “And you’re doing it beautifully.”
Nia Long as Lisa
Ryan Philippe as Jake
Christian Bale as Winston
(Will be on retailers shortly after release)
Captivated @ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19465039-captivated
Disturbed (Book 3) Coming April 12, 2014!
Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is a published novelist of interracial romantic suspense and mystery novels. She started writing professionally in 1997 when she was nineteen years old. Stacy grew up loving the suspense genre. Her idols are Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock. Her love for Psycho and many of his movies fueled her fire for suspense.
She was born, raised, and resides in Houston, Texas.
Mailing List: http://www.stacy-deanne.net/newsletter.htm
This a great recipe that can be used over baked or smothered chicken, fish and a variety of shellfish. It can go from everyday to fancy, smancy with the table decor.
3/4 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of white wine *use one with some acidity, not too sweet*
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of shallots *can be omitted*
1/2 pound of butter cut into pats
1. Mix all ingredients except butter into a skillet over low heat.
2. Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons.
3. Stir in butter one pat at a time until the liquid forms a creamy sauce.
Please note that this recipe will cover about a pound of shrimp. To increase, chicken broth and wine are measured at 1/2 cup chicken broth to 1/4 cup of wine and 1/4 pound of butter. Adjust garlic and shallots to taste.
Greetings readers! My post about writing m/m is an update from the first few posts I made about the same subject. Since I’ve been around the past three plus years I’ve learned a lot and I wanted to restate the reasons why I love it.
In the beginning, it was about it being taboo, it made me hot, etc but now, it’s more about my enjoyment for writing romance. I discover with every story I write, I’m putting a little bit of myself in every character, whether it’s my snarky side, my long winded, my love for the overdramatic. Notice I said, overdramatic, doesn’t make me a drama queen! *snicker* I do love the tension but occasionally, I love a story without all the heartache. I like the fluff as my favorite fellow writer put it.
Ever since I was a teen, I loved reading stories about romance and two people falling for one another. It started with the cutesy Harlequins or my grandma’s Barbara Cortland novels and then I wanted to know more about the steamy with Fern Michaels and Jackie Collins. In many people’s eyes, those writers put together smut but hey, it had a romantic element, or tried to. *grins* The bottom line is, it opened the door for what we know now as erotic romance.
Then I started getting into Anne Rice and much later, Zane, who writes erotica as well. The common thread? In those stories there was something about two people connecting, finding a common ground, and maybe love somewhere along the way. Perhaps it wasn’t clearly stated, but reading between the lines, you saw something in those characters that made you enjoy that book.
And so, that spurred me into wanting to write my own but it wasn’t until I gained the confidence through encouragement from friends and the fanfic community did I get the courage to publish. It took me a while but here I am. Now, just like the writers before me, I enjoy writing about two people connecting. Most of the time, I just like them to be two men. Other than the genitalia, what’s the big difference? Men have feelings, desires; they have their ultimate partner just like women do. They have hang-ups, fears, some express their feelings openly, some do not. Why should writing m/m be singled out?
Sure, a lot of men might fit what society calls a “real man” but in my world, the characters may not always fit that mold. They’re unique, most of the time imperfect, not always what America considers as everyday males. They debunk stereotypes, cross over boundaries, they’re human to me and they connect. I love that the most and as much as I am a feminist, I love writing about the opposite sex.
So my ideas are better defined. Yeah it still makes me hot, I love the taboo, but most important, I just love writing romance and the fact that it’s between two men, shouldn’t be a big deal. It is after all about human interaction. I enjoy it, and God willing, I’ll continue to do to for years to come.
Blurb: Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end.
To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.
Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.
Kajika stepped out of the tub, grabbing the towel nearby to dry off. He’d been looking forward to spending the night and the early part of the day with his man, but duty called, causing Frankie to run out the door without saying anything more than ‘I’m gone’ and ‘I love you’.
Sometimes Kajika wished Frankie worked a nine to five instead of the dreaded detective position he held at the police station. They hadn’t had much time with the workload being so large due to shortage of staff, and it affected their relationship more than Kajika would’ve liked. At first he thought he could handle it; the excitement of his hot homicide detective out in the streets solving murders. Such a dangerous career but with it came nice money and accolades. Although Kajika was scared to death of blood and dead bodies, he loved hearing about some of Frankie’s cases, including the more intriguing ones that had yet to be solved. Tonight though, he would’ve traded all that in for his Frankie to be by his side.
In bed with me, where he should be.
Kajika finished wiping down and wrapped himself in his terry cloth robe to get ready for bed. He’d thought about staying up and watching some television, hoping that Frankie might return sooner than later, but he knew the truth. When called in, detectives don’t make it back home within a couple of hours. More like a few hours, or even half the day, would pass before he’d see his man again. As long as he came home safe, Kajika would deal with the amount of hours he spent away from their warm bed in Kenner, Louisiana.
On the way to the bedroom, Kajika wrapped his hair in the towel, drying his long strands. He glanced at the clock on the wall and grimaced when he noticed the big and small hand hovering over the two.
“Shit. Now I know I won’t see you until breakfast.” Kajika clicked his teeth and stomped on the trail of rose petals, angered by their night being interrupted. He pushed their bedroom door closed and leaned against the wood. “Damnit. We haven’t done a whole lot other than late night cuddling, quickies in the bathroom or on the kitchen floor. I need more than that, Frankie…I need−”
A long buzz sounded from the dresser, and Kajika moved quickly to see who was calling.
Frankie, or at least Kajika hoped it was, calling him with the news he’d be returning home sooner than expected. Although farfetched, Kajika could still wish his husband to be back early. He gulped hard and said a little prayer before clicking the connect button. “Hello?”
Silence then a sigh. “Babe, it’s me… I… I got some real bad news to tell you, sweetheart, but I’d rather you hear it from me as opposed to anyone else.”
Kajika released a deep breath and shrugged. “Are you okay, love? Something bothering−”
“Naw, I’m good, boo, but−” Frankie stopped a moment and blew hard through the phone.
Kajika plopped on the bed and crossed his legs, wondering what the heck his man was talking about. Bad news? What could it possibly be? Kajika nibbled on his bottom lip while he toyed with the frayed threads on his housecoat. “What is it, lover?”
“Babe, the murder I got called in for was…” Frankie ceased speaking again and sounded a little choked up about it.
Kajika held his breath and blinked twice in succession. “Who Frankie? Come on, just spit it out, right…who…”
“Lana Miles, babe. Lana’s been strangled to death.” Frankie spoke quickly to get the words out.
Kajika stared straight ahead, and his heart caught in his chest. Oh my God! Unable to cope with what he’d just heard, he dropped his phone and immediately the tears welled under his eyelids. Lana? Oh my God, who killed her? She was a good person…she…
“Kajika? Babe, you there? You okay, love? Talk to me, honey.”
Overall Series Blurb
The N’awlins Exotica/Paranormal series
The city of New Orleans is rich in tradition, diverse, and known for the inspiration it provides. In the “Big Easy” there lies the hunger for the erotic as well as the unknown. The residents here feel that sexual energy and it reveals itself through their various creative activities.
Join the characters as they take a wild ride on the edge, enjoying their town for all it has to offer. There’s a certain magic in the air, an erotic magic that cannot be ignored.
To find out more about book one, I Like Em Pretty, click the banner
Follow the blogtour for more chances to win
2/23 The Rainbow Studio
2/25 Lily Velden
2/26 Its Raining Men
3/4 Raine O’ Tierney
3/8 JC Wallace
3/9 Chris T Kat
3/10 LM Brown
3/11 Rob Colton
3/12 Shira Anthony
3/15 QueerTown Abbey
* * * *
About the Author and the muse
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com.
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
The Literary Triad – http://www.thelitriad.com/#!
Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com
BLMorticia – http://blmorticia.wordpress.com
Rawiya – http://rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
TriadPromo – http://triadliteraryworks.blogspot.com/
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/rawiyamikembl
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheLiteraryTriad
AuthorGraph – http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/rawiyamikembl
I was plotting my books when I realized something that absolutely floored me. We are almost a quarter into the year. Feels like it was just yesterday that I was taking down Christmas decorations. The months flew by and what does that say about the rest of the year? Seriously I plopped down in my office chair and really had to think about it. Use to be the months would drag and I was wondering why things (anything) would take so long to accomplish. A smile spread my lips when I thought of that old adage… time flies when you having fun.
And I am having a blast. This chick here is living life one day at a time and enjoying every minute of it. Years ago which feels like ages I would worry about the job,kids, bills, life. Recently a few ideas dawned on me. You can’t change the world. Yeah I know you’ve probably heard that a time or two also but for me it finally sunk in.
I think Nina Simone said it best “Its a new dawn, its a new day and I’m feeling good.”
So barring jail time or anything along those lines I’m going to live life on my terms and relish the little things I was too stupid in my youth to enjoy. LOL! I bet you thought I was going to blog about something profound or tell you about a new release…Sike! There I’m showing y age.
Getting back to my point about time. It flew for me because for the first time in a long time. (I bet the editors reading this are cringing because I used the word time a lot) *chuckle* no matter what is happening around me. I’m feeling pretty damn good.
I found my groove, how is yours working out?
Later Gator, Kass
Check out my new release.