I’ll take What is Purple Prose for 50 Alex #MFRWauthor


Welcome to week 9 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  Each week I will post something about that week’s topic. Ready to play?

This week’s prompt:  Words that make me go ick!

For me, that would be purple prose.

Do not use purple prose, euphemisms, words or phrases that make you uncomfortable. Use words that are appropriate, even if you are a little uncomfortable with them. Do not let your characters get so involved in the physical act that it becomes, quite disappointingly, mere sex. Readers do not want to hear all those cotton-soft euphemisms any more than they want to hear anything inappropriate to the scene. They want a sensual experience — seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting. Do not neglect the “jarring” senses either, like talking, moving, thinking, — because that is where the sense of reality enters in.

Here is a good test of whether a word is worth using in a love scene. Say it aloud while you are in the midst of the love scene you are writing. Does it make you hot? Hotter? Alternatively, does it make you laugh aloud? If you laugh out loud, that is a pretty solid indication that it’s not a word you should use because your readers will probably do the same. Unless you are going for the humorous bit and then use it.

I have been stopped dead in my tracks many times while reading love scenes by words and phrases like “his manhood waved at me like a flagpole”, “his rod of pleasure”, “her honey pot” or “they soared on the wings of love and exploded into infinity.” “He stood over me, his eyes partially closed, his lips slightly parted, the hot breath hitching as his magnificent sword waved before me.” (Excuse me? His sword? Is he going to slice her head off?)

I cringe or laugh, sometimes both.  Along the same lines, certain words may be too crude, rude or shocking to use in your romance novel. This will depend on the subgenre. If you are writing a steeple hills sweet romance where they close the doors and turn the lights off, use of the words vulva, vagina, penis may be considered too vulgar. On the flip side if you are writing a BDSM erotica, using “his man-sword” instead of “cock” will leave your reader in a fit of giggles. OR maybe that’s your preferred method of masochism. If it is,  good luck with that.

If, as a writer, you are too uncomfortable to describe the scene, maybe you should choose a different genre.  Know your genre, know your audience, and don’t be surprised that someone will complain regardless.

Don’t forget this is a blog hop. Anyone can join at any point in the MFRW 52 week challenge…  Click here. Make sure you check out some of the other authors below.

Write on my friends, write on!



Red Wine Makeover!

Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Deitrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine

Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rodgers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it

Vogue, vogue

Ah, those flashback moments. When I received my finished  cover last night,  I was singing this song to myself. Weird maybe, but there it is. Particularly this  section of Madonna’s song Vogue, They had style, they had grace . . . . ladies with an attitude.

Have you ever seen pictures of some of Hollywood’s darlings without their makeup? It gives hope for the rest of us! Seriously, some of the stars in the raw have you scratching your head and asking How?

There have been tons of makeover shows on TV. Biggest Loser’s most viewed episodes are makeover week when they transform the former fatties into Haute Couture Hotties.

My book, Red Wine & Roses was originally published from Eclectic Bard Books last year, September 19, 2015.

11924560_1472539119715060_6584436532208606751_n (3)While I loved the elegant and understated cover, readers found it confusing. Some thought that it was perhaps like a Steeple Hill Christian romance, like this reviewer:  red-wine-roses-1

on December 8, 2015
First things first, I am not a prude. With that out of the way, it would have been good knowing that this book included graphic sex. The story overall did not need such scenes, I felt they were added to embellish and titillate. The main story was good on its own, but the end felt rushed, as if the Author was limited to a certain amount of pages. Or, perhaps after running thru a 2 -3 hour movie, they rolled up the last three chapters after the final commercial break. This was most definitely not my cup of tea, but it could be yours. The characters are well defined and fleshed out with certain aspects of them coming to light only late in the game. It is also about a young woman looking for love. If you come into this book knowing there will be hot and heavy scenes, you may enjoy it more than I did. Well written and described.
I appreciate his honesty! I was surprised, to be honest that someone would read a contemporary romance and be surprised that there is sex. I thought I had tamed it down and that it wasn’t as graphic as I have been on Storytime.  Then there was the comment about it being rushed, . . .  which I think had more to do with my edits than anything else.  I tried years ago to write a Christian romance, and I couldn’t do it.  With the CBA restrictions on words that I couldn’t use I had to eliminate a character named Angel, along with cut out so much of my story because of the prohibited words, I threw my hands up in defeat and realized I can’t tell the story I want to tell within those restrictions. Life is gritty  and that’s when we learn and grow.
So, . . .my contract with Eclectic Bard Books ended November 18, 2016. This book is now retired.  I do have a few print copies left in stock.
However, I am rereleasing a 2nd edition, retaining full rights of my work (thank you for that Eclectic Bard Books). the word count went from 82K to 91K, so some of those rushed chapters are now  more fully fleshed out. Part of this was a matter of adding back in some cut sections and adding additional lines in others.
Today, I get to unveil the  revised version! Are you ready?
Thanks to my fabulous cover artist Gabrielle Pendergast atwww.coveryourdreams.net. 

Drumroll . . . . 


And, 15175619_10154822248251177_1133214610_n









Isn’t it gorgeous?  I absolutely love it!

I will share the release date just as soon as I have it, but until then . . . enjoy the eye candy!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and  happy by proxy Turkey day to all of my  no ‘Murican friends. Enjoy the  family, friends and celebrations. No Black Friday shopping for me, I’m not into that. Instead, that will be the day we transform our modest home into a Christmas time capsule akin to some of the old department store displays.

This is my favorite time of year! What better Christmas gift to myself than a makeover of my debut novel? OH I know, starting on revisions for my next one, Roxy Sings the Blues, which is planned for release in early 2017!

Now go eat some pie! Tell ’em Ellie said so!

Write on my friends, write on!


Interview with Nikki Jefford

While I was at Penned Con 2016,  I got the opportunity to talk with and  interview a few authors live, one on one..  OK,  so I fangirled a lot as well. What can I say?

Nikki Jefford is one of those authors. I took a big breath, exhaled loudly,  then quickly approached her to do an interview.  She was such an amazing sport, and I know I cut into her set up time.

Sorry Nikki! I had only read the first  of her books but was already in love with this character and series. I was so nervous however,  that I forgot to get her to autograph a print copy for me. Next time Nikki, don’t let me forget!

You can tell I was nervous,  I was tongue tied, which is rare for me.

I first saw a post on Facebook in the Penned Con group from Nikki back in April I think. She posted a release for her latest book, True North (Aurora Sky, Vampire Hunter book 6) and I had never heard of it before that time. It piqued  my curiosity so I went over to Amazon and immediately got book 1,  because I can’t jump into a series on book 6 that’s just crazy. I’m currently on book 3.


I talk way too much when I am nervous and Nikki was great about it. *facepalm*




Nikki Jefford is the author of the Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter series and Spellbound Trilogy. She is a third-generation Alaskan now living in the Pacific Northwest with her French husband and their Westie, Cosmo. When she’s not reading or writing she enjoys taking long walks and motorcycling. Lifelong nature and animal lover with a fondness for hot chocolate, tea, wine, and baked goods.

Find out more at Nikki’s website at: http://www.nikkijefford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornikkijefford/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NikkiJefford

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikkijefford/

Go check  out her latest book. Better yet,  get the series!

Write on my friends, write on!


Interview with Amy Hale

While I was at Penned Con 2016,  I got the opportunity to talk with and actually interview a few authors.  OK,  so I fangirled a lot as well. What can I say?

(You may have to turn the volume up,  I haven’t figured everything out yet.)

Letters From Jayson by Amy Hale

Jayson wants a quiet place to finish his current project. With one missed deadline behind him, he doesn’t have time for distractions and interruptions.

When Lindsey temporarily moves into a beach house owned by her best friend’s fiancé, she finds that it’s already occupied… by Jayson. To him, she’s a nuisance and a distraction from his work. To her, he’s a conceited and bossy obstacle. Both annoyed at this unavoidable situation, they agree to make the most of their predicament and try to co-exist in peace until their work is done. But Lindsey and Jayson quickly learn there is a fine line between love and hate. Is it really possible to love someone that makes you so crazy? Blurb:

Lindsey is ready for a change.

Shallow relationships and a dead end job have left her longing for more, so when a rare, but difficult opportunity presents itself for a promotion and temporary change of scenery, she jumps at the chance to try something new.

Letters From Jayson is a heartfelt comedy about finding love and forgiveness in the midst of chaos.



Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Letters-Jayson-Amy-Hale-ebook/dp/B01J2EPZR2/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/letters-from-jayson-amy-hale/1123885820

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/letters-from-jayson/id1120781774

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/letters-from-jayson

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/640719


An hour later, Lindsey retied her sarong around her waist and slowly made her way back to the house. She smiled as she walked, taking note of every detail she passed. The sand, the rocks, plant life—everything felt perfect. And the solitude was amazing. Not a sound outside of nature could be heard. The waves crashing softly were the perfect background music to start her new adventure. She pulled open the French doors and stepped inside the cottage. Then she froze in place. She heard humming. Masculine humming. It was coming from the vicinity of the kitchen.

At that moment, a man walked through the doorway with a knife in one hand. His piercing blue eyes met hers, and he stopped in his tracks. She let out a scream and grabbed the nearest thing she could find, which turned out to be a small potted plant. Lifting it over her head, she flung it at the intruder. He ducked just as it smashed against the wall next to him.

  “Get out,” she screamed. “Get out. Get out. Get out.

Lady. Hold up a minute,” the stranger yelled back. He quickly glanced at the remnants of the plant, disapproval on his face.

“I’m going to call the cops. I’ll have you put away for life. Get out of this house, you sicko.” She ran for the bed-room that she’d left her bags in, hoping she could shut him out and get to her cell phone.

He got there first and blocked the door. “Calm down.”

Calm down?” she screeched as her eyes jumped from his to the knife still in his hand. She backed up as she blindly searched for something else to throw at him, and her hand landed on a small glass paperweight. She lobbed it at him, and his reflexes weren’t quite quick enough. It nailed him in the chest.

“Argh … Dammit! Stop throwing things at me.” He rubbed the spot where she’d hit him.

“If you think you can just waltz in here and … and … assault me, I’ll have you know that I will not go down without a fight.” Her tone was full of determination, but she was sure he could see the fear in her eyes.

“What are you talking about?” He held up his hands and only then seemed to realize he was holding a large kitchen knife. He looked back at her. “I’m gonna put the knife down and we will talk like rational adults, okay?”

She backed away from him several more steps before swallowing and giving him a reluctant nod.

He placed the knife on the table to his left, keeping his eyes on her the whole time. “Now, why are you yelling at me like a deranged banshee?”

“Why am I …” His description set her teeth on edge and her anger flared. “Listen, Bucko, I’m not an easy target, so don’t think you can smooth talk me or trick me into letting my guard down. And insulting me sure as hell won’t get you anywhere.”

He put his hands on his hips and raised one perfect eyebrow. “You listen, sweet cheeks, your virtue is safe. I don’t have to resort to forcing a woman if I’m in need of intimate company.” He took a moment to admire her red bikini and see-through sarong. “I mean, you’re hot and all, but don’t flatter yourself.”

She opened her mouth for a witty retort, but all that escaped was air. For a moment, she was actually speech-less, and that didn’t happen often. That moment quickly passed. “Why did you have a knife?”

He looked at her like she was an idiot. “To cut my sandwich.” He pointed to the coffee table in the middle of the room. A blue plate sat on one edge of the table—a large sandwich and a handful of chips covered most of the surface. An open beer bottle was nearby.

“A sandwich?” She was really confused. Why would a guy break in and make a sandwich? She looked him over then, really taking notice of him. She amended that thought—Why would a guy break in and make a sandwich, wearing nothing but lounge pants? He wasn’t just any guy, either, he might have easily been the most attractive man she’d ever set eyes on. He looked to be a few inches taller than her and was muscular everywhere. Not bodybuilder, vein-popping huge, but more like lean cut and definition that spoke of a man who took good care of himself. His face was classically handsome, with an angled jawline and rugged features, yet there was also something about him that made her think of that adorable boy she’d had a crush on in fourth grade. Maybe it was the bright-blue eyes, or the spiky but messy hair. Or it could have been that impish grin that told her he knew just what she was thinking. Damn, he caught me checking him out.

She shook off those thoughts and glared at him. Typical. Handsome and full of himself. Before she could fire off her next set of questions, he pinned her with a hard look.

“Now that we’ve established that the only thing I planned to murder is a hoagie, maybe you can explain to me what you are doing?”

She pulled herself to her full height and looked him in the eye. “I don’t owe you an explanation for anything.”

“Since you are in my house, uninvited, I might add, I’d say you do.”


Author Bio:

Amy Hale is an author, mother, and wife living in Illinois. She started her writing career in 2003 with non-fiction and educational pieces, but decided to take the leap to fiction in 2014. She’s always plotting new projects and writing down crazy ideas. She’s a hopeless romantic and adores all the various ways a love story can be told. Amy also loves mystery, humor, suspense, and other action-filled stories, so her goal is to blend the action with romance and keep you on your toes.
Her husband and kids are the center of her universe, although her cat believes otherwise. She also loves reading, music, and photography. When she’s not writing or reading, Amy can be found watching MST3K movies with her kids, or enjoying the scenery fly by from the back of her husband’s motorcycle.


Social Media:

Website: http://www.authoramyhale.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramyhale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramyhale

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authoramyhale/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoramyhale/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChcgDFwggfO6NziPrGtLzHg

Go check  out her latest book, and maybe take a gander at  her others!

Write on my freinds, write on!


Writing THAT scene


I am rapidly approaching a milestone, posting my 500th post. I was amazed last week when I saw this. Have I really made that many posts? HOW? This prompted something that I’ve had in my head for a while. I’ve discussed it with my writing group but up until now, I haven’t done anything with it. In that vein, I am working on something that will be ready for release during Penned Con! ( September 23 and 24)

This was originally posted February 15, 2012 entitled Steamy Sex Scenes. This was one of my most viewed posts. I received a lot of feedback from this, most of it comments that I did not share publicly. I find it disturbing the number of creeps that come out of the woodwork if that three letter word is used. Oh, I so wanted to respond to some of them, but at the end of the day, I chose to ignore and quietly delete them instead of engaging.

The WIP referenced is the third book of Realm Wars, tentatively titled Faere Guardian. I have shelved this for the time being as my previous coach advised me that I need to tell the story arc main plot first, to which I agreed.

First things first, this very much depends on the genre you are writing for.

In an Inspirational Romance, there will be NO steamy sex scenes. The list of words not allowed by the CBA is  extensive. Any impropriety is frowned upon and the slightest touch of hands can be provocative. The word desire and provocative are prohibited. You can imagine how monumental that first kiss has to be.

I like to read historical fiction and historical romance. Often the societal norms are to be observed in the telling of the romance between characters. The conflict and tension have to be developed in a manner that draws the reader expectantly along to the point of anticipated release. In these novels, a very sweet innocent progression of love usually culminates with the conclusion of a marriage where the sex is kept within the norms. Isn’t it fascinating however that within the Victorian Era of “proper society” was a sharp rise of immoral behavior?

What I’m working on now is a paranormal romance. The paranormal genre has been dominated by vampires and werewolves, but not exclusive to just them. Time travel, shape-shifters, magical elements, and yes vampires,Lycans and other mythological beings qualify in paranormal. Whatever subplot is going on, the primary story is always the romance. My story does not include vampires. It revolves around the Celtic mythology of the Tuatha  de Danaan or the Faerie realm.

My WIP (work in progress) is not an erotica nor am I a smut peddler. I hate when people use that term! Why is it  wrong to write about the love developing between characters and their natural desires for physical love, yet it’s OK to write macabre tales of murder?

Why write the sex scene?

If the story doesn’t call for it, don’t! If it’s just inserted for the purpose of sex, it’s gratuitous and should be omitted. If it moves the story forward, moves their relationship forward, and moves their own development forward then by all means, the characters should be between the sheets.

That’s a lot for a sex scene to have to accomplish!

Yes, it is! If it doesn’t accomplish these things leave it out or push it till later. Again, I’m not writing porn here!  I’m not writing a gratuitous sex scene just to write it. A good sex scene is difficult to write.

There are my own feelings to deal with.  If I’m not comfortable with the act, how am  I going to convey it effectively to a reader?  If you’re not comfortable reading about it, or actually doing it, then I suggest you move on to some other topic. I’m sure there are several articles about the current mortgage rates and the recovering housing market if that is more interesting.

There is the matter of the characters likes and dislikes. Maybe Joe is a sloppy kisser and Jill has hangups from being raped in high school by a man who was a sloppy kisser. This is why a writer has to know everything there is to know about their characters.  My characters are not flat Stanleys.  They are fully rounded people with backgrounds, families, quirks, and dreams. Just as in real life, there are certain turn-ons and turn-offs.  It’s the  spark that ignites between Jill and Joe, not between Jill and Tom, Brad, Bill, Derek, Randy, and every other man. It’s the spark, that secret key that unlocks their hearts and makes them willing to take the scary plunge into the sea of love.

There is the matter of building the expectations. By chapter 2 my characters are attracted to each other but in my personal world, it’s not proper protocol to jump in the sack on the first date. They have to wait and let the tension build. The relationship has to escalate, desire building to a crescendo of emotional turmoil,  the physical desire so strong  that they are willing to risk everything to be with each other.

Dramatic?  Yes, it’s supposed to be.

Cheesy?  The premise yes, but this is the stuff every woman fantasizes about and seldom realizes. This is why women read romances in the first place.  Real life demands our attention in various directions. A good romance offers an escape from the mountain of dirty laundry and the mess the kids just made on the floor for the umpteenth time.

Usually, the sex scene occurs about 2/3 of the way through the book. I have a friend that skims the first few chapters then jumps to this point, reads it then she’s done. Her philosophy is that all romances are the same, just different names so why not jump to the good part? Because she misses the entire story. It’s all about the story!

My paranormal romance is about a man and a woman who are falling in love. My moral integrity dictates to me what I am comfortable writing and what I’m not really comfortable with. To be honest, I’m more comfortable writing a battle scene that is more akin to 300 than to write the sex scenes. Sex is an intimate issue. It’s an important part of a relationship, but not the only part. I believe in a one woman one man relationship where there is mutual trust and respect. The couple learn about each other, explore each other, and give pleasure to each other. Isn’t that what is supposed to happen in a loving relationship? My characters may get frisky, may experiment with food, or blindfolds and silk scarves but my hero is never going to invite another guy into the picture or  have a bit on the side.

Sex is not just the physical act, if you want that go read Penthouse or some  gratuitous erotica that’s out there. Let me say here that not all erotica is gratuitous sex either. There are authors who make the effort to tell a story that happens to include a lot of sex. I write romance, a story that shows the developing relationship in the midst of whatever chaos happens to be going on in the world I created. In a romantic relationship, sex eventually happens when they progress to that intimate level.

The steamy part is tricky. Writing the scene to show the building tension, the desire, the passion without telling. Conveying the emotional impact of every touch, scent, and senses while making it last long enough to peak the reader’s interest and satisfy the character’s needs is a daunting task.

Ever see the Olympic figure skaters that make it look easy and natural? A good writer can make the sex scene like that. The reader never sees the hours of practice, the blood coming from the fingertips, the strain of putting the words together to show and not tell.

Having been married for many years, I know very well what goes on. Knowing that tab A is inserted into slot B is only part of the puzzle. I have read some things that make me wonder if the writer has actually ever experienced what they had written. Makes me wonder if their anatomy is somehow different.

Being comfortable in writing the most intimate acts down is another matter. Writing the scene that conveys the emotional impact while progressing the story is my goal. When Joe and Jill take that step, they have to be ready for it. Things between them will never be the same after the scene.

It’s really the same in real life. Once you share the intimate act of sex with a partner, there’s no going back. You’ve crossed a line that can never be uncrossed. If the line is crossed too soon, the relationship may never develop beyond “the act”. If that line is never crossed one or more may lose interest and move on.

I’m a firm believer in friends first lovers second. I married my best friend. It wasn’t a light matter for us to cross that line and I believe it shouldn’t be for my characters either.

The bottom line in romance is that we all want somebody to love us unconditionally. Letting someone into your heart at the level of intimacy that sex requires is a scary and tricky risk. In my romantic world, taking that risk should be rewarding. Ah, but there’s always the plot twist of unrequited love.  The darkest moment when the whole world is collapsing in on them and everything has gone wrong.  The moment they realize their own vulnerability because they took that risk and have to decide if it was worth it.

How much more impact does the steamy sex scene have when a few chapters later she is left heartbroken by the man she gave everything to? Sex scenes carry power if they are done well.

Multiplicity versus Singularity

I’ve been struggling with a concept for  some time now.  Thanks to my friend Misty, I think I’m beginning to see the fog clearing.

There has been much talk in the writer community about branding, creating a distinct logo to identify yourself from others. I see my peers with fancy designs,  symbols, something they identify as setting themselves apart from the crowd. Meanwhile, I am standing back here scratching my head,  I don’t get it.

One author has a Celtic symbol with a phoenix, another has a Celtic knot, one has  ruby-red lips dripping blood, one  has a dragonfly, another a fairy. . . I don’t identify with just one symbol.



If I had to pick just one image,  I don’t think readers would “get” one of those twisted trees standing on the edge of a cliff weather-beaten  but still standing.


A geode comes to mind because inside a plain-looking rock are fascinating treasures. But again, this seems rather singular. I’m not a one or two-dimensional person. There are numerous facets to who I am. I don’t just write in one genre, but many. I don’t  think a single symbol defines the multiplicity of aspects that go into my craft.


I look at authors I read –  George R.R. Martin; Stephen King; Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts, Hemingway – shouldn’t your writing set you apart from others?

Do you think that C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien discussed  logos amidst the elf discussion?

“Why don’t you just use a blasted elf for your logo? Everything you  write has elves in it.”

“I suppose you’d use that stupid Lion. Like that hasn’t been done a thousand times. I suppose you could use your  lamp-post. OH but wait, that’s been used as well.”

“Stop mocking my lamp-post. Why wouldn’t I use Aslan? He is a symbol within himself. The allegorical king of all kings.”

“For heaven’s sakes man, move on.  Can we just get back to the writing? I want to delve into the beginnings of my wizards.” 

“Ugh! If it’s not elves it’s wizards. Fine. But first, let’s have a spot of tea.”

However funny it might be,  I honestly don’t think they discussed logos.

But then again, I seem to be an antiquated element within my profession. I’ve worked for years on my craft. I’ve written more words than many of the published authors  out there. I believe in quality first. Yes, so much to the point of perfectionism and setting my work aside because I see every flaw, every  spot where I could do better.

One thing that was very difficult for me in the publishing process with Eclectic Bard Books was the cutting of the umbilical cord.  I had a deadline. I spent grueling days going over my prose — fine tuning, changing, and rewriting —  It came down to crunch time and I knew I had to jump.  One of my fears was confirmed with one reviewer calling me on the “rushed” chapters. I wanted another week to rewrite them,  add to them and have them fully baked.  I knew they lacked some oomph, but that deadline was fast approaching.

It did teach me  however,  that at some point, you have to take a deep breath and jump. Let it go. Release it to the world  to enjoy, tear apart, or ignore.  This fueled my passion in a way that I had been lacking. I’ve since taken a few of my previous works from their dusty storage bins to assess how much work they will need before being released.

I’ve worked on being a better writer. I’ve worked on crafting a good story.  I’ve learned  about the elements that make a good story, how to string my sentences together, and how to do so using good grammar. Maybe  not always great grammar, but most often it has to do with my poor typing.  Yes, there are mistakes in my work as there are in most author’s works. Yes, There is always room for improvement.

I am a storyteller, a creator of fictional worlds, a teller of tall and short tales. Basically, I make up lies.

How is it  that we have moved past appreciating  quality works such as Lord of the Rings, The Illiad, Wuthering Heights to  indulging in trashy novels such as Twilight saga and it’s Satan spawn, 50 Shades? In what society do some of the descriptions and phrases of these texts sound sexy?

“Desire pools dark and deadly in my groin.” – Dark and deadly? Does it emit some toxic secretion? No thanks.

“My inner goddess. . .” – this phrase is used so many times it isn’t even funny. My inner goddess says be original or  go home.

“How could he mean so much to me in such a short time? He’s got right under my skin… literally.” – yeah, kind of like a festering splinter.

OK, enough about those.  Back to my point.

Quality work should be the first step in branding yourself.  Why have a platform that declares – I WRITE CRAP! What sets you apart from other writers?

Hopefully a unique voice.

Hopefully, a unique style.

Hopefully, a standard of excellence.

Be a BADASS writer that breaks the rules, pushes the boundaries, explores new horizons, dares to be themselves in a world of copycats.  Work hard, do your best, and be yourself! I’m a one of a kind original masterpiece! A masterpiece that has  many colors, nuances, voices, and some deep caverns that have yet to be explored.


I am indeed a dying dinosaur amidst a hoard of lemmings.  The push is to get something out there, anything. Make a logo that people can associate with your name and build your platform!


You want a logo?

You want some symbolic image that people can associate with my author name?

Here you go!


Now Excuse me while I get back to writing. I have some changes to make  on Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening from my beta reader’s comments.

Write on my friends, write on!



Prize- apalooza!

Yesterday my good friend V. L. Locey had a release party for her latest book – Twirly Girl. 

twirly girl release party

Wow does she know how to throw a party!

Although I was nervous about doing it,  I had an absolute blast! The turnout was amazing!  I even connected with some new readers that are fairly close to me- BONUS!

Today I am sharing the prize winners from that event.

5 Review Prizes:

An e-copy of Red Wine & Roses; signed rack card, wine charm, and hand-crafted bookmark.


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Winners are:

Michelle Graham, Christine Combs Mead, Jean Torgeson White, Amanda Avakian, and Kristine Radgman. Congratulations!

3 Contest winners:

Cup cozy, signed rack card, and wine charm.


Winners are: Kris Saluga, Mindy Velasquez, and Michelle Graham.


My Grand Prize  – Signed copy of Red Wine & Roses Rack card, a wine charm, and custom designed earrings.

Goes to: Elizabeth Hensley Roney!  CONGRATULATIONS!!

Thank you, V. L. Locey, for including me in your  event and thank you to everyone that participated. Now I have to get back to work on my next book – Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening.  I’m so close I can almost taste it!

This Sunday will be the last snippet I share from it and I’ll have to figure out where to go from there.

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time




An Unforgivable Love Story

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Cover Design: Najla Qamber Release Date: March 22, 2016



Love is patient.

Love is kind.



She wanted to forget her past.

He wanted to change the course of his future.

She was everything he never knew he needed.

He became her unexpected.

Everything was perfect.

Until …




One of Five ARC’s for An Unforgivable Love Story

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link:



Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]

About the Author

BL Berry grew up telling lies. Eventually, those lies turned into elaborate stories and when she grew older she started writing them down. When she’s not hiding behind her computer writing, you can find her spending time with her family or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Rumor has it she’ll sleep when she’s dead.

Residing outside of Kansas City, she lives with her husband, two children, and a black pug. Each day her family thanks the makers of e-Readers, because without which they would be living amongst stacks and stacks of romance novels. Conversely, each day B.L. Berry thanks the makers of e-Readers for hiding her book-hoarding tendencies.

Connect with BL

Newsletter signup link: http://bit.ly/1zCPOPr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BLBerryAuthor/?fref=ts

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/629890583798312/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8441842.B_L_Berry?from_search=true&search_version=service

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BLBerrywrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blberrywrites/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/B.L.-Berry/e/B00O0DZATE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1456287479&sr=1-2-ent


SAvvy PR



<h6 style=”text-align: center;”>Book Trailer</h6>



Sunday Snippet – Red Wine

This weekend is the anniversary takeover celebration for Eclectic Bard Books.  In honor of that,  my snippet today will be from Red Wine & Roses.

Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

This is from Chapter 20  Wine Women & Jackowski:

“What do you see in her Derek?” Ashleigh took another bite of the chicken.

“The future.” He cleared his plate and added it to the stack of dishes piled in the sink.

Her fork stopped halfway to her mouth. Was he serious? A future with Julia?  She was nothing. She was less than nothing and by the time she was finished with her plan, he would see it as well.

Derek wasn’t about to make it any easier on her end of the bargain. He reached under the sink for the detergent and the scrubber, and then set out the drainer. “Oh, did I forget to mention that my apartment doesn’t come with a dishwasher?”

“You mean I have to wash all of those by hand?”

“Afraid so princess.” He grabbed a beer and headed to the living room.

She took another couple of bites then scraped the rest into the trash. With a big showy sigh, she stepped out of her platform heels. “I did agree to clean in exchange for the place to sleep.

“That you did.” He clicked through the channels. She was already annoying him. He had forgotten the little things that Ashleigh did that got on his nerves. The constant sighing over anything that took a little effort on her part, the way she would flip her hair over her shoulder in an exaggerated movement to draw attention to whatever it was that she did, the running dialog when he wanted peace and quiet, they were still there and annoying as ever. Nothing about Ashleigh had changed in their time apart. It was apparent in the contrast of how he felt around her and the way he felt around Julia. When he was with Ashleigh, he couldn’t wait to get time away from her with his friends. With Julia, he lost track of time and often wanted to forego time with his friends to stay with her.

“You know, I don’t mind doing this. I was prepared to do this with you.” Ashleigh slowly transferred the dirty dishes from the sink to the counter, holding them delicately in her hands as if they were poisoned with a disgusted expression. “Does she know what a slob you are? Or that you are afraid of long term commitments?” She turned towards him as she filled the sink with water and began with the glasses.

“I’m not a slob. It’s been a long hectic week and I have barely had time to eat and shower. You asked for a place to crash and offered to clean so have at it. As to the scared of commitment, I’m not. Never have been. It was you that accused me of it because I didn’t want to rush things.”

“This is disgusting, I’d call it being a slob. you worked all the time and never had time for me.” She turned towards him, her best doe eyes and added. “I still love you Derek. I was frustrated that I was never at the top of your priorities.”

“Yeah, I know. You’ve told me, repeatedly. Right before you ripped my heart out. Oh, and moved to New York with that photographer.”

“How many times do I need to say I’m sorry? How many times do I have to admit I was wrong? You and I were great together Derek. We can be again.”

He slammed the rest of his beer down. “You don’t need to apologize anymore. You have said it enough. I’m going to run out and get some wine. You want anything while I’m out?” He grabbed his keys and stuffed his wallet into his jeans.

“Wine? Could you get white zinfandel?” She reached for the towel to dry her hands but he was already out the door.

Ashleigh walked to the door, opening it to catch him before he got on the elevator.

“White zinfandel, I heard you. Anything else?” He glanced sideways at her, his hand on the elevator door.

“No that’s all. Thanks.” She ducked back into the apartment and retrieved her phone.

“Hey it’s me. I’m in. He is going down the street to get some wine for us for the evening. Score!” Ashleigh made a fist pump with her free hand. “OK, well I have to get back to the dishes. I think he dirtied everything up just so that I would have to clean them. No, it was part of the deal of him letting me stay. Hey, if it works then it will be worth the dishpan hands. Keep your fingers crossed. Talk later.” She smiled moving back to the kitchen, tossing the towel in the air and catching it.

“Yes, indeed. If this works, it will be worth every dirty dish that he can throw at me.”


Derek jammed his hands into his pockets and walked down the sidewalk. Not sure where the sudden animosity came from towards Ashleigh, he figured it was best if he got out of there before he started a big fight. He didn’t want to fight with her, he didn’t even want her to suffer for the pain that she had caused him. Perhaps it wasn’t too late for him to give her the cash and send her to the hotel. He kicked a rock out into the street. It seemed strange that he resented her presence.

What was he afraid of anyway? If he didn’t have any desires for Ashleigh, then her staying there shouldn’t be a big deal. Jogging across the street to the bench that sat facing the water, he sat down. His feelings were for Julia, not for Ashleigh. It wasn’t even a matter of testing his resolve. He dialed Julia.

The phone rang several times before connecting to her voice mail. “Hun it’s me. I was thinking about you, about that picture you sent me, and thinking how much I miss your kisses. I can’t wait to have you in my arms again. Missing you Jules.”

It wasn’t a test of his character; there wasn’t a desire for Ashleigh. He was simply helping a friend. That was all.

Derek rose and walked the next block to the corner market. He grabbed a bottle of the red moscato that was Julia’s favorite and a bottle of the white zinfandel for Ashleigh. He grabbed a bunch of bananas, a couple of apples and a package of brownies from the bakery, wishing that they were some of Julia’s. “You’ve released my inner fat man Julia. It’s your fault. I’m probably going to need to buy bigger suits when we get married.” He grabbed the package of apple strudel for in the morning as well. Moving toward the front check out, the weight of what he had absentmindedly said registered. “Married.” He turned down the next aisle, glancing over the shelves as he thought.

When had he mentally made the decision to marry instead of move in together? He grabbed a box of snack crackers. The words that Kevin shared from his father’s advice had made an impact to be certain, but how did that translate to marriage? He knew his parents wouldn’t be in favor of moving in together, they were of the old-fashioned sort.


Do you have an elderly man in your life that has given you sage advice?

Go check out my friends links for Snippet Sunday as well!

Cathy Brockman 

Vicki Locey

Write on my Friends, write on!


3Days, 3 Quotes Part 2

Just a fun little blogging challenge, from PaulaActon’s blog. For 3 days, post a quote from a favorite book. It’s that simple.
 My quotes are from my favorite Shakespear work – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
quote 2
 Love can turn your world topsy turvy, it can yank the rug from under your feet, and it can crush your soul with a fatal blow if love is unrequited, or spurned. 
Passion is the strongest of forces,  that can take us to the highest highs or the lowest lows. 
It can turn on a dime from one extreme to the other.  It can leave us breathless or stewing in anger.

You know how yesterday I said I needed to  find a term,  that term in epigraph.

                                       epigraph     [ep-i-graf, -grahf]


1.an inscription, especially on a building, statue, or the like.

2.an apposite quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc.

 I had  quotes to start each chapter of the next story. I didn’t know there was a name for it –  but there it is,  it’s a thing!

 By the way,  a bit of information just for my blog readers: my character’s name was lifted from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Tune in tomorrow  for your third installment  of this mini series of literary gold.

Write on my friends, write on.

Till next time ~~~~~