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 . . . . 

redwine-ebookTADA!!!

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!

 

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Feature Creep


Have you ever tackle a home improvement project that you thought was a simple matter but turned into a much larger project?

REmoving a bad tile floor.

Removing a bad tile floor.

For example, a few years ago I decided to update our guest bathroom.  Pain and a few themed decor items would have put the total cost around one hundred and twenty dollars. However,  we ran into feature creep.  The faucet was leaking so that had to be replaced. The commode had leaked and damaged the flooring so the wax seal and flooring were replaced. The shower curtain was torn in the process, so that had to be replaced.  By the time the feature creep had stopped my one hundred twenty-dollar update cost us nearly a thousand.

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The same thing applies in storytelling. Red Wine & Roses is a good example of this. Originally I had posted a flash fiction piece inspired by an image of a red rose with dew drops on Storytime Trysts. Flash fiction is a way to prime the pump, so to speak. Some of my writer friends use fan fiction, some use flash fiction,  some use prompts when they feel the pump needs priming or are experiencing writer’s block.

A few months prior to this, an online friend suggested flash fiction to me. I dismissed it.  Another hosted a flash fiction Friday feature on their blog. Maybe. Then I was involved in a blog hop and one of the assignments was a flash fiction piece.  * head desk*

Fine. If I have to. I guess.

Flash fiction has kept me in the writing habit when I’ve been stalled on my WIP. I have a file that I keep my attempts in, a few I am pleased with. Most are just practice and shall never see the light of day. They will remain locked for all eternity in a closed file within the depths of my computer. AHEM.

FEATURE CREEP.

This one kept  drawing me back, the characters demanding more time than the brief glimpse I had written. An opportunity arose,  a specific call for a publishing house that I felt – this story fit perfectly. In a very short matter of time I had expanded it to ten thousand words, which was the  limit for the call.  Well, in all honestly I had to pare it down to meet the requirements as it exceeded it by quite a bit.

IT WAS REJECTED. *HANGS HEAD* 

The writers come out of the woodwork to tell you that rejection is part of the game.  Stephen King has received X many rejections.  J.K. Rowling received X many rejections. ‘INSERT your favorite author here’- received X many rejections. I know it’s well-intentioned, but it doesn’t make the sting any less painful.

I shelved it. I was frustrated.  I told my closest friends that I  quit. I didn’t write for weeks.

Then a writer friend that used to write on Storytime with me, in his gentle *cough* tactful  *cough cough*manner essentially jerked the slack out of me and my little pity party and put it into blunt terms for me.

I cried.

I thought about it.

I cried some more. (Hey, I’m a woman. It happens.)

Then, swallowing my pride, I let a few out of the file drawer.  Derek and Julia pleaded for my attention. I took a hard look at the rejected manuscript and the deleted scenes.  There  was a larger volume of the story untold.

I had to ask myself -Why do I write?

Because  I am compelled to write.  Whether it’s a psychological processing of  data, or a creative nature, or wild imagination, the bottom line is I write because I LOVE writing. There is a thrill that I’m going to step out on a limb here and compare to an addict. Don’t get all with me for  belittling addiction.  There are many levels of addiction.  I know I have an addictive personality.  With specific symptoms of OCD, and ADD (squirrel!) I am fully aware of the “writer’s high”  when I nail a scene. The euphoric elation when I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that  this,  this last part I just wrote is solid gold. Sadly,  it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

It’s much like a mining process!  Dirt, dirt, rock, more dirt, another rock, bigger rock, crystal (nice), dirt, rock, GOLD!

My little flash fiction piece has expanded to some 85,000 plus words.

Oh, I might mention that there was much chocolate and coffee consumption during the process as well. It’s good to have real friends that care enough to speak truth to you and not feed you sugar frosted bomb puffs. It takes a village.

Who picks you up when you fall in the mud?  Who walks you home when you’ve lost your way?  Who sets you back on track when you’ve derailed?

Sometimes I feel like I am the village idiot, sometimes the town crier, and sometimes I am the caretaker, lurking in shadows, watching everyone. Never mind me, wrong kind of creep.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

Journaling and Challenge


I had good intentions for posting yesterday –   it was supposed to be all about my bullet journal.

My new obsession.

MY PRECIOUS

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First off, I didn’t spend a fortune as this is my first go at this venture. Here is my 35 cent notebook. Nothing fancy.  In case you haven’t figured out by now,  I tend to the cheap at times.  The fancy Leuchtern and moleskin journals will go on the wish lists for gifts. Pens as always goes on the list. For now,  this is like the pencil draft before applying the India ink.  

I can tell you that I already want one a bit larger as this one is a bit too compact. This is filling up fast! 

Next time – a bit larger.

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My key or legend  – very simple and straight forward. Nothing fancy schmancy yet.  Well ok, my title I played a little with  one of my Calligraphy pens.  You’ll see on the photo – an inspirational photo for a tropical destination that I have written out the phrase that  I liked from the first video –

Track the past, organize the present and plan the future! 

I don’t like my index –  but like I said I considered this a trial run so I’m not fretting over it.

On to fun stuff!

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Day 12: Killed darlings – 

In Red Wine & Roses, I didn’t kill anyone. Honest! I wanted to, but it wasn’t that kind of story. I mean JoAnne and Ashleigh, right? But no. WHAT? Why are you laughing?

Day 13: A fave book in genre –  

Katie McAlister – Love in the Time of Dragons.

Nora Roberts -The Reef

Lynn Kurland – A DAnce Through TIme

Day 14:Fav of my covers 

Since this is the only one out –  then the winner is . . . Red Wine & Roses

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Teaser for BUllet Journal – check;

Update for February Challenge – check

Blogging on a Saturday – BONUS!

Now get on with the Romancing and chocolate eating!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February Challenge continued


Just a few minutes ago I shared the post that I wrote on Eclectic Bard Books blog – but you can go here if you missed.

I spent the bulk of yesterday running errands.  Driving around to be specific for those who use public transportation.  I don’t want to mislead anyone in thinking that I am actually running when I’m not.  Some day, but not this day.

Today has been spent in the trenches.  I’ve met and exceeded my word count goal! Woo hoo!

My eldest daughter calls from college and tells me ” wanna hear a funny thing?” Then she proceeds to tell me. . . yesterday I was in class. I’m like, “Is that the funny part??”  A mother’s worry about her daughter at college – one of the worries is that she is blowing off  and skipping classes.

She proceeds to tell me, “No mom, that isn’t the funny part. Jeez.”

I swear I could see the eye rolls over the phone.

Being in a particularly good mood I   elaborated on a previous question about her assignment.  You can give your two cents worth as well.  Her  capstone project is about the seven deadly sins and seven virtues.  She is making a character for each one and the discussion was pertaining to envy.

She was making her character a mermaid, based on legends of such to portray envy as a mermaid.  I gave her reasons why this was a brilliant idea.  My argument for: fish are gorgeous in the water.  Consider a rainbow trout, their scales are iridescent, sparkly, shimmery. But you take the fish out of the water and they are slimy and stinky. Then if you consider such fish as barracudas or piranha, with gnarly teeth  it definitely works.  Her professor was not as easily convinced. Of course, this professor doesn’t even know what an incubus is. REALLY??  This is an art instructor. How, just how?

Anyway, since I downloaded most of the thoughts from my head pertaining to  what’s on my mind on the other blog up there,  I will still update the February Challenge.  Just real quick – 4 agreements. Breathe, breathe, breathe. It will all be ok.

On to fun stuff!

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Day 8: Awesome moment – 

Wow,  there have been many. Let’s see most recently . . . ah OK.  I  had to  go back into the WIP and rewrite several chapters because my taglines  conflicted with my main plot. I thought  my tagline was creative and I was well pleased with myself for it.  Then the stress began, the mental hand wringing ensued as I  worked out the details so I could use my ending line – because it WAS GOOD! and I Had to use it!  My bullet journal is filled with days of notes for this. THEN I GOT IT!

Day 9: Challenge Overcome – 

For every single story that I have ever come up with, the  conflict.  In Red Wine & Roses,  it was  what conflict is keeping them apart? For Valkyrie’s/Awakening it was how to get her out of the tunnels. For Valkyrie’s/Trial it was  what would the challenge be for the trial.  It took some serious brainstorming to come up with my solutions and I’m certain that there will be critics that don’t like what I did or who dies, or . . . well I don’t want to give too much away.

Day 10:Non-author photo –

Really?  You guys are gluttons for punishment. ACK! I  hate this. Now is the moment that I am second guessing my agreement to do this. IS it too late to quit? What if I just quit? What if. . .   oh fine. I’m not a quitter.

I clean up occasionally.

I clean up occasionally.

Day 11: A fave review

Wonderful Romance, Extra Spicy

I find the irony of this priceless.  I hope that this gentleman wasn’t  too terribly upset with the read, but come on it’s romance.  I take it he’s never read any of the stuff I had posted on Storytime Trysts.  I just love his delicately chosen verbatim – he states that parts were well written, and the plot was good,  just ‘haven’t  you people ever heard of . . closing the doors.’ Hehehehe – what fun would ther be in that?

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literary Abandon – That’s a Wrap!


Today is the last day of NANO. I have been  extremely focused, er mostly. It’s that last-minute push to deadline, 90 to nothing, write like the wind, all systems GO!  It hasn’t been a great month writing wise. Two weeks ago I got the creeping crud, that had me down for days. My weekends are already off-limits for writing, and the past few days, well with Thanksgiving and my daughter being home from college . . . there hasn’t been much wordage accomplished.

I did however manage a fair amount of handwriting the story in my trusty spiral notebook. Have pen will travel!  While football was on . . writing or crocheting.  While the bird cooked . . . writing.  While the rolls were rising. . . writing.  OH! Then there was a great inspirational  burst of eighteen pages of handwritten glory.  I spent the morning dictating my  massive amount of wordage to my Dragon,  and then came up 7500 words short.  GAH!

The race was on.  Write like you’re on fire from 6 a.m. until my fingers are bloody stumps or I reach my goal. Whichever comes first.

It was a close call, but I have done it.

 I WON NANO!

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My 50000th word that sealed the deal – Versailles. But, that wasn’t enough for a performance oriented overachiever. NOOOOOO.  My final count is at 53, 611. The story isn’t complete, but  at least I hit my goal.  So . . . I’ve decided to go ahead and join the ranks of my writing buddies and participate in Snippet Sunday.   I’ll be sharing  just that – little snippets of Valkyrie’s Curse with you but you have to promise that you’ll leave feedback on it! If it sucks then I expect you to tell me it sucks, OK? Do we have a deal?

Much has transpired in the last few months, just in case you were wondering why I haven’t been posting.  I’ve gone from the ranks of the dual employed down to singularly employed, now I am officially unemployed.   I can’t file for unemployment however, because  the company I worked for was located out-of-state, and has not payed in Missouri taxes for the 5 years that I worked for them.  Yeah,  it was a bear at tax time.  I’m back to filling out job applications and pounding the pavement. OH the joy!

As much as I love doing this blog,  a paying job always comes first. At least until everyone buys my books and I can earn a living from the sales. OOH! That reminds me, about my book Red Wine & Roses;  I’ve been nominated on the Best of the Best for 2015 for five categories! The  categories close today for the next round, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I  will still be in it for at least one of the categories.  The categories that I was nominated for are:

  • Favorite Book of 2015
  • Favorite Contemporary Romance 2015
  • Favorite Romance Author 
  • Favorite Debut Book
  • Favorite Contemporary Romance Author

I am thrilled and excited to be nominated even if I don’t make the top ten to go into the next round.  Also, I was invited as honored guest at the Library Book Club, and they chose my book for their December read – YAY!!!    I dare say, I may have to let it slip that I was nominated.  SQUEEEEEE!   Just a moment of excitement there, I promise not to get  egomaniacal on you!

With this writing abandonment this month, it has  had me reflecting on my past NANO projects. My first NANO in 2011 I wrote Kiss of the Dragon. Some of you may remember the excerpts I shared from that one. It is definitely a paranormal fantasy. I edited, revised and tweaked that one multiple time, having submitted it to three different publishers where it was rejected. I shelved it.  Then there was my Pirate tale, Cabin Fever which I did not win at NANO, then shelved it, incomplete out of frustration. I’m not sure what  I can do with that one because one of my former associates took my idea and ran with it, publishing  his version as an erotica. Do I trash it,  try to revise it?  I don’t know.  Last year’s NANO winner was the first Valkyrie’s Curse, which started as a short serial installment on the group blog I formerly managed, Storytime Trysts.  It was supposed to be scary, which it failed.  It was supposed to be romantic/erotic, which it failed. What it  is though, is an action adventure with  the best antagonist that I have ever come up with.  If Hannibal Lechter gave you the creeps,  then  Dr. Sheffield will set your teeth on edge.

What to do with my drawer full of projects?  I am pursuing publication of Valkyrie’s as a series because  it has grown from the feeble serial posted on Storytime to  a full-blown novel, and  now a  whole series of seven books.  NaNoWriMo has been a great catalyst for me to get the first draft down.  I would in no way feel that  any of my NANO drafts were publishable, but as a great writer once said “You can’t edit what isn’t written. Although this year has been a trial for me,   with this final push I did it.

What this tells me is that each of us,  me, you . . . ALL of us can do more than we think we can.

Your-dreams-reach

We CAN achieve our goals.  

We can accomplish our dreams. 

The new year is coming up fast which is the perfect time for goal setting. I’ve accomplished a few things on my list,  but not as many as I would have liked to. Start thinking now as to what  you want to accomplish in the coming year.  Take ten minutes today to evaluate this year and what you would like to change in your life for next year. Aren’t you worth ten minutes?  YOU BET YOU ARE!

Write on my friends,  write on!

Till next time ~~~~~

Ellie

 

Revelations


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Quotidian dose does not own rights to this image. All rights reserved to artist.

After the usual workday routine, it’s time to don the domestic goddess apron.  There has been a disruption in the force, a deviation from our usual routine. I had roughly an hour to myself  which I used to write! I have numerous manuscripts, all in various stages of completion. As I worked on my favorite project,  fingers flying over the keyboard, I had an epiphany.

This particular project is my favorite.  In the writing community there is that old saying that your first draft is always crap. Well,  in this case it was absolutely true.   Many years ago I had the inspiration for this story.  Alright I’ll be honest, the characters took up residence  and demanded my attention.  Lexy and Kyle are about the cutest couple you could imagine.  Sweet, young, and somewhat naive Lexy charmed her way right into my heart.  I know my readers will adore her. Maybe not as much as I do, but it’s kind of like a mother’s pride since in a sense I’m the one that gave her life so to speak.

My first rendition of Lexy and Kyle’s story was to be a Christian romance.  My hat is off to  those that can write those, cause I couldn’t.  First there were the CBA (Christian Bookseller’s Association) list of words that aren’t allowed.  REALLY?  I can’t use Angel?  One of my character’s is named Angel.  (Y’all are going to love her as well!)  I wrote  twelve chapters then allowed a good friend to read it.  Sitting back anxiously wringing my hands, nervous but expecting to hear – wow great job. It didn’t come.

“Well,  it starts off with action and that is good but that’s really the only action that happens and it’s kind of dull.”  Numerous chocolate shakes, pout-fests and Dove dark chocolates later I realized how invaluable this honest friend is.  AHA!  I’ll rewrite it. She’s right, it needs a lot more action.  I worked furiously at a fevered pitch.

 “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology, we have the capability to build the world’s first bionic book. Faere Deal will be that book. We can make it better than it was before; better, stronger, faster.”

My original title was Never Judge a Book by its Cover;  then Faere Deal, then a dozen other things.  I gave up on trying to write to the CBA guidelines.  My life hasn’t been squeaky clean, and if the saying holds true about write what you know, there will be some grit and grime in my world.  Besides, how do you rectify the Faery race with Christianity?  I didn’t know and gave up on  trying to make that work.  I recreated my story, keeping the initial scene that sparked the  whole thing and this crazy thing happened. It wasn’t really about Lexy and Kyle.  They were key players in a much larger scheme.  HUH!

I called my friend over to reread my new revision and complete outline, bribing her with a hot home cooked meal and dessert.  “Wow, there’s so much action I can barely catch my breath! I feel like I need a seatbelt on my chair.”

*FISTPUMP*  YES!!!!!  “Care for a second slice of pie?”  I continued working on that story, then  I was suddenly struck with the idea of “dragon complex” thanks to my daughter’s comment.  (That one is being edited currently.) In the back of my mind though, Lexy and Kyle were impatiently waiting for me to get back to their story.  Kyle  is sometimes a really impatient jerk! Since things weren’t happening he decided to get my attention.  That ploy backfired on him though, as I  started telling his brother’s tale – part of which appeared on Storytime Trysts as Passion’s Price.  AH,  yeah THAT story.

I revised Passion’s Price to a point where I thought it was good enough to submit.  My first beta reader was wowed.  She had questions though.  My second beta reader however wasn’t so impressed.  A gazillion questions, asking me about the back story,  about the overall arc, asking about the why’s whens, whats and whatnots.  *BROWS FURROW*

Fine!  I had all the information in my head, no big deal.  I’d get it all down on paper.  It was slow going,  as I went from averaging about 3000 to 5000 words a day to maybe 1000 if I was lucky. ( I had a really rough time after that auto accident, whiplash can do that!)  Slow and methodical, and then there were the days that work demands were greater and there was no writing time.  Anyway,  I’ve been editing all that additional stuff that I added.

If I were to include this part with Passion’s Price, then the book would be about 175000 words.  Combine that with Lexy and Kyle’s story, and Rob and Lana’s story with the conclusion of the overall bigger picture — I have 5 maybe 6 books instead of 3.   AND – here’s the clincher –  I have the larger majority of that already written. And I’ve been beating myself up over not having anything completed.   Honestly,  I guess it’s best that I have taken so long to tell the entire story.

 

As I prepped our evening meal enlisting the help of my daughter home from college, we had the chance to talk while we worked.  We talked about family stuff, about her school and about writing.  I shared my outline with her and she gave me some pointers.   We are both encouraged once again to continue on our writing journey. Sometimes, it’s just what you need to reignite the fires.

Write on my friends, write on!

Nano Nano!


An interesting thing happened  on the way to my appointment.  I got slammed!  Completely waylaid, left staggering.

I was sincerely stunned.   Here’s the thing:  I’ve posted in various groups  about my own personal blog as well as the Storytime Blog.  I have posted in this group since November of 2011, and I’ve been posting the blogs since February of 2012.  Today however, there was issue taken with sharing the  Storytime blog.  It was ‘ offensive’ to some and our group was reported as spam and pornography.  NICE!

Interestingly enough, this post was my  episode for Oral Dilemma, and the characters don’t even so much as kiss!  Y’all have to admit, for some of my episodes that is really tame. What followed was a series of personal messages informing me I was promoting child pornography and had no integrity,

First of all let me say this:  * clears throat, steps up to microphone, giving  stern expression*

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and  a mentor and teacher for  other survivors, I will in no way ever support, encourage, promote or in any way condone anything that  in any way is child pornography.  I have given into Crisis Aid International for the purpose of removing children from  the sex trade industry.

I in no way would ever, EVER be involved in a group that would write  in such a way that glorifies sexual predators or sexual abuse.

I am the managing editor for Storytime Trysts, and although I do not read every single episode, I have read the outlines and submissions for each author that  is hosted on Storytime. We’ve always maintained the strictest guidelines as to age of characters involved in the stories.   Even though we are fiction writers, this subject is taken very seriously.

I understand that the writing on the blog isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.   We’ve never forced anyone to view material that is unsuitable for under aged children.  If you click on the link, the first page you land on is a disclaimer that informs  the reader that it is adult material.  you have to accept in order to go beyond that page.

What saddens me the most is the attacks that ensued, and  the  continued slanderous comments that were made long after I left the group.   Personal messages  that I  am a heathen, immoral woman, that I am a purveyor of pornographic smut, a smut peddler, and  a threat to decent society made my jaw drop.  ME?  They were accusing me of these things.

I do understand that  many object to  the erotica, but to call me all those things?   Really?

I’m an overprotective mother of two beautiful teen girls.   I am not peddling anything.  I thought, that the idea of the Storytime blog was a good idea,  that idea being to get author’s work out there and stir up some interest in their writing and to showcase their work in the hopes that someone  or several someones will enjoy their writing and  want to   follow that author.  Storytime offers more than erotica.  It features poetry, flash fiction, romance, YA romance, paranormal romance, and more.

I don’t know the individuals that attacked me and the posting of the blog.  I don’t want to know them now at all.  I have many friends that came to my  aid  on their own accounts to say that i was within the guidelines to post, that I didn’t violate any rules.  Thank you to every one of my friends that did this – it means a lot to me.

It saddens me that  this group has gone down hill, that the majority of  ” new blood” on there are  shallow, superfluous  people dabbling at writing that feel the need to criticize those that are actually writing.  I skimmed many posts before this happened and shook my head at the lack of writing, reading, and research they were doing and willing to do – because you know it’s much easier to make a post in a group and  have everyone else answer your question than to Google it.

The admins of the group are wonderful people, people who I respect.  I had to leave  though, before my Irish temper kicked in and I blasted everyone with a fiery tongue that  I could never take back.

I was willing to just walk away  until we were reported for child pornography.  THAT is a serious charge.  When I find out who made these accusations I  will be contacting necessary persons to find out exactly what legal recourse I have.

This isn’t Junior high people, and we aren’t  the geeks with braces for you to kick around and bully.  Some of us are adults that  are serious about the craft, whatever genre that we write in.  Be careful what fight you pick, you just might lose.

I hope everyone else’s day was tons better than mine.

Write on my friends, even if  the critics hate  your genre, write your  heart out baby!

Foxy Roxy’s Dilemma


I”m back on Storytime!

It’s been a rough couple months  recovering physically for me.   Apparently it takes longer to heal when you get older.  I know the x-rays showed no broken bones, but I almost feel like they lied.  I still have pains in the injured areas, and complications  from the injuries.  Ibuprofen is my friend.  I quit taking the pain meds and muscle relaxers pretty quickly as they rendered me into a big pile of mush that just oozed onto the sofa.

I can make it about 15 minutes on the treadmill, then my hip catches and my lower back  pain begins.  the same goes for the elliptical, or the cycle.  Trying to strengthen the joints, while avoiding additional injury has been a real challenge for me.  Now, I’m not whining – you know I hate whine.  Just stating that I’ve had a few setbacks and am slower at recovering than I ever anticipated.

So, enough about me and my aches and pains.  I’m going to give you a little teaser for my new story over on Storytime.  It’s not as smouldering as some of my previous ones.

Here’s a sample from Oral Dilemma, Part 1.

It was the story of my life. The same thing that always got me in trouble – my mouth.  I stood just off  the stage, shaking inside, so nervous I wasn’t sure I could go through with this. 

“Hey, knock ‘em dead Roxy.”  His hand brushing my shoulder as he eased past me.  Devon Miller, the man I’d crushed on since 6th grade.  Oh hell, who am I kidding? I’ve had a crush on him since that first day of kindergarten when he shared his fruit chews.  He was instantly my best friend.

We sat at the same table in class.  He rode my bus and we shared a seat because he lived four houses down and we got off at the same stop. We raced our bikes, played in the tree house, skipped stones at the pond and made mud pies.  Then in fourth grade my parents divorced.  I spent half my time with my dad and his flavor of the month. Back home mom worked long shifts at the hospital leaving my sister and me at Devon’s house. We made forts, hunted monsters, played video games and slept on the couch together.  Not that anything happened, we were just kids.

  By the 6th grade, I’d gained a good amount of weight and was chubby.  That’s when Devon broke my heart the first time.  We were sitting at the edge of the pond skipping rocks when he told me he asked Casey Reynolds to the school dance.  Then he asked if anyone had asked me.  I’m not sure if I was more upset that he asked Casey, or that nobody asked ‘the chubby girl’. 

Anyway, it was the first in a long string of disappointments.  I’ve been a plus sized girl in a size 0 world ever since.  By my junior year I was in a size 16, my double D’s the only thing that got me dates. the rest of me is rather plain Jane nothing special.  My dark hair never gets noticed. My facial features are average.  I wasn’t blessed with thick long lashes, or pretty eyes, or even full luscious lips.  My lips are small, unnoticeable, and completely forgettable.  Although I’ve been called a big mouth for other reasons.  My ‘big mouth’ was always getting me into trouble by saying the wrong things.  I made a smart alec comment to Chad Ramsey, this gorgeous hunk of a soccer player and he challenged me to “put my money where my mouth was”.  He dared me, so it kind of forced my hand.  

Just then who should walk in but Devon with Phoebe Yates draped on his arm.  Phoebe was all of 98 pounds soaking wet. She’d make Taylor Swift look fat standing next to her.   Why I even cared I don’t know but I did.  It pissed me off, big time.  I slammed a glass of Jack and Coke, and told Chad  “I’ll accept your challenge.”

I grabbed Chad’s hand and dragged him to the unoccupied room, his bedroom. Once inside I kissed him hard, walking him backwards to the bed.  I followed him down when his knees hit the edge of the bed.  He scooted up to where his head was on the pillow as I climbed on top of him and straddled him. 

  “You’re really gonna let me?” Chad asked, his eyes huge, a hopeful grin on his face.

I slowly peeled my shirt off over my head and tossed it.  His eyes grew even larger.  I reached behind me to unclasp my bra hearing  the hitch in his breath.  I held the bra in place for a few seconds making him wait.  I nodded slowly, teasing him.  I knew he had a thing for breasts.  He was always flirting with me, I doubt that he even knew what color my eyes were as nothing registered above my tits. Slowly, very slowly I lowered my bra then tossed it on the floor.  I leaned forward teasing him with them, my nipples just barely out of reach of his lips.

If you want to read more go  to Storytime Trysts.

Check it out and let me know what you think of it.

Meanwhile I continue to work back towards what is normal, or at least what is normal for me.  Hopefully,  things will smooth out here pretty soon and I can gain some momentum once again.

Write on my friends, write on.

All That Glitters


Sharing a bit of flash that was posted on Storytime Trysts at the first of  the month.  You may have noticed that I’ve been MIA; in all honesty I’ve been swamped with work from two jobs, trying to coordinate Christmas things, and final edits on Kiss of the Dragon.  I haven’t fallen off the earth,  I am still planning the big end of the world bash, and the post llamacolypse resurrection for the 22nd. Trust me – the Mayan throw down will rock!  And the post party will also.  Anyone got any nifty Mayan tunage? 

The chocolate fountain is procured, the tequila is purchased; the chips are in the pantry and the taco bar is planned.  Sewing Mayan costumes for the sacrificail dancing before effigy burning; and trying to find some sort of maks – may end up with headdresses.

So, while I busy myself with pre party planning, finish with my Christmas cards, and  print off the bills for the lucky individuals to receive here’s my flash contribution.

Putting the car in park I called my best friend Stacey.  “Well, I’m here.  I don’t see his car, but this is the place he told me.  I’m so excited. Do you really think he’s going to do it?”

 

“Yes!  It’s so romantic!  I’ve heard it’s the best restaurant in town.  Can you take a picture of it in the bathroom and send me at least?”

 

I turned the ignition off and checked my makeup.  “OK.” We squealed together before I ended the call.  Dmitri and I had dated for a year, tonight marking our one year anniversary.  It was turning out just like one of our conversations when he’d asked me about things I thought were romantic.  The holiday lights twinkled, the  snow lightly falling, and the crisp chill in the air contributed to the romance.  He couldn’t have made it more perfect if he’d had a movie set.  We had talked about a romantic dinner, then a sleigh ride together in the lightly falling snow as he proposed.  I glanced down the street and sure enough a white horse with an elegantly decorated sleigh with a man in top hat and long tails. 

 

I blinked several times to keep from crying.  It was absolutely perfect. I had fallen madly in love with Dmitri after four months. He was charming, kind, and had a great sense of humor.  I took a long slow breath as I walked carefully to the door in the new fallen snow.  Blowing out a steady stream of air, as I entered, I glanced around but didn’t see him.  Tonight he would make it official.

 

The maître de escorted me to a corner booth that had a single red rose in a vase.  I had arrived before Dmitri.  I sat nervously scanning the crowd.  The waiter brought my wine while I waited.  Ten minutes later he arrived with another woman’s hand in his.

 

“Sonya, I’d like you to meet my fiancée’ Claire.”  I stood and nervously extended my hand.  His fiancée’? He scooted into the booth, staying close to Claire, their fingers laced together.  I couldn’t help but stare.  Was this his idea of a joke? Claire was a lovely girl.  Physically the opposite of me in every respect; blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, and a rail thin body. I couldn’t help but evaluate against my own dark hair, brown eyes, olive skin, and curvy figure. 

 

Dmitri bragged to me that he had taken my idea of a perfect romantic evening to propose – to Claire. They had just returned from their carriage ride and he wanted her to meet his work associate that he’d gotten the idea from.

 

I wondered if she knew that the conversation came after a passionate night of lovemaking.  Could you even call it that?  Apparently it was just sex to him.  As she beamed, and he chatted on my mind went back over the past year to the date.  I looked for any signal that I had missed, but didn’t see one.  I was reeling, wanting to scream. At one point Claire had thrown out that they had dated for six months.

 

Claire excused herself to the restroom and Dmitri patted my hand and said. “Don’t worry babe, you’re still my little bit on the side.”

 

I was devastated. After a few seconds I gathered my wits. “No.  I am nobody’s bit on the side.  Thank you for clarifying things for me.  Also, thank you for remembering the date, however poor taste it is to ask me to meet you on our anniversary to find out you’re a two timing snake.  Does Claire have any idea that her ‘darling’,I put extra emphasis on it the way she had, proposed to her the way your “work associate”  using my fingers to quote the phrase, suggested after fucking your brains out?”  I waited just a couple seconds.  “NO?  I didn’t think so.”  I gathered my purse and scooted out of the booth.  I turned around to face him. “Congratulations. Thanks for clearing my schedule for me.  I certainly hope it doesn’t take Claire as long to see you’re a snake.”  I took two steps then turned.  “Oh, and don’t bother showing up Monday.  You’re fired.”

I heard Claire asking him what I meant by what I had said as I walked out into the snowy night. I managed to get to the car before the tears flowed, driving straight to my apartment.  I didn’t see that one coming.

Inspired by Murder and Betrayal


I have a special guest today, as part of the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour.  My guest is Anjie Harrte.  I’ve been working with Anjie on the shared blog Storytime Trysts.  You can click over there and get a sample of her work – for free!  Let’s hear what Anjie has to say about what inspired her current work.

Inspired by Murder and Betrayal

by Anjie Harrte

Do I multitask or am I just disorganized?

Maybe you can answer that question for me after reading this.

At present I have two works in progress (WIPs).

Why?

If I knew the answer to that question I probably would’ve figured out how to concentrate on one thing at a time.

I am in the process of rewriting the Lesfic romance novel that I started on the blog StorytimeTrysts and I am also writing the present story for the said blog.

The Lesfic romance novel came about when Cathy Brockman, the brain child behind the story blog, opined that she wanted several different romance genres. The other participants were writing; M/M romance, a supernatural romance and a m/f romance so I thought I should try my hand at a Lesfic romance.  I relied a little on a personal experience of mine and then I tweaked it. My imagination picked me up and took me on a journey taking certain aspects of my life and changing them around to fit the story. For example the story is about two women who meet at a media house and form a friendship that develops into a relationship. I worked for a radio station some years ago and now work for a television station. During my tenure at the radio station I met a lesbian young woman with whom I became good friends. The story goes on to the show the difference between these women, one being more mature and looking for a love that is stable and long-lasting while the other is looking for thrill and excitement and the fast way to success.

It is here that my imagination takes over and drives the story down a path of betrayal, healing, new-found happiness and then tragedy when the main character ends up in the hospital.

I am always curious about the mind of people who set out to use others for their personal gain and this drives me to create and develop the antagonist who keeps popping up in the protagonist’s life and only causes ruin. Throughout writing the story I keep envisioning it as a Lifetime movie, with that final scene being a scuffle among the characters with one hanging on the ledge of a hotel on top of a cliff and the other prying their fingers off one by one. This work is not complete, for I am in the process of the first rewrite. It has probably been an entire month since I took a look at it. However,  the last month of my life has also been very hectic. I have set the date; September 1st as the release date on which I want to self publish it and I have titled it: An Unexpected Desire.

Why that title you ask? Well it is because one of the characters was living a straight life until she met the other and then found herself attracted to her unexpectedly.

 

My other WIP is a contemporary adult mystery romance. Is that even a genre?

About a year ago the local newspapers carried a story of a young woman found in her kitchen stabbed to death. It was reported that three knives were used to commit the murder after each one broke. Her child had witnessed the crime and it was alleged that her husband killed her before fleeing the country. When I read this story I started thinking of the possible reasons this crime occurred. Then I started asking ‘what if?’ – the question that always gives birth to my works of fiction. In March of this year I started a novella which opens with that very brutal scene of the woman found stabbed to death in her kitchen. I never reached the end of the work as I began to lose momentum in the story. I began questioning it all the way through. So I decided to go back from the beginning and do a rewrite so as to get interested in my plot again. When June began and I was required to write a new story for the blog, I changed the storyline of this very WIP and presented it on the blog. The novella is called A Fatal Indiscretion and the blog story is called Fatal indiscretions. The novella is about a wife and mother who meets another married man and has an affair that subsequently costs her, her life – hence the title. The blog story is about a childless married woman grieved by her inability to bring forth a child. In an attempt to heal herself she goes to art classes where she ends up having many sexual encounters with her art instructor that subsequently costs her, her life. This work is still ongoing and is being written by the seat of my pants, in the form of episodes for each week’s posting on the blog.

Most of my works are either born from personal experiences wherein I write how I would’ve liked certain things to go, or how they should’ve gone to make it more exciting and dramatic, or in some cases born from newspaper reports about crimes taking place in my country.

How are your ideas born? What are your inspirations for writing? If you are a reader, have you ever read a piece of work and wondered how this idea was born?

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Anjie Harrte – Romance with some Caribbean flavour

                        Anjie Harrte is a twenty-nine year old mother of one who resides in sunny Guyana, South America. Sometime between running a small business, having a full-time job and being a mother and partner she finds time to pursue her passion for creating stories. Anjie dreams up stories of contemporary fiction splashed with some romance, a little dose of murder or an ounce of suspense and sometimes when no one is looking she dashes in a little twist. When she isn’t doing any of that, she is decorating a cake, knitting a chair back or sewing her latest design. Anjie even finds time to lurk around and stalk people and pages on Facebook and you too can stalk her if you like at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anjie-Harrte/ ; you can follow her on twitter @anjieharrte; keep updated with her writing at http://authoranjieharrte.blogspot.com/

or check out one of her stories at http://storytimetrysts.blogspot.com/