Easter's Lilly

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NOW AVAILABE "Linked ~First Blood" (Book2)

FIrst Blood has been released today! It is book 2 in the Linked Series. Find out what happened to Daphne, and what will happen to her daughters. Are they vampires like their father, or did they remain human? Who will "link?" When a vampire links with a human, they share a soul, causing the vampire to "humanize." And what does the mob have to do with it? Here's the blurb...

Diamond never asked to be a vampire. Unfortunately for her, her transition requires her to have her first blood given to her by a full-blooded, male vampire. Her father takes her to Dante, the kingpin of the vampire mafia, who is a close and old friend of the family, to do the job. After much resistance, Dante accepts and their worlds are turned upside down. Dante unexpectedly links to Diamond, causing a connection that appears to be unbreakable. The only known cure for vampirism is when a vampire links to the soul of a human: the soul that once belonged to them. Diamond is discovered to have a special and unique bloodline, which makes her extremely valuable to the vampire species. As more and more vampires become aware of her gift, the race is on to see who can gain control of her first. With her first blood gone, her new love hovering, and a rival gang hanging in the midst, it is all Diamond can do to stay safe. Will her link to Dante save her, or put her in more danger than she can handle. Sometimes true love is worth the risk.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rating and reviewing a novel

There are many things that need to be considered when rating and reviewing a book. The first and most important point is that the person who wrote the book you are about to dissect is a real person. This may be a person that you might meet someday, so choosing your words carefully might be in your best interest. Also, you have to remember that these authors put their hearts and souls into their work, so finding something positive to say is simply common courtesy. Here are a few tips when reviewing someone’s novel.
· Start with something positive- It is always best to start with something optimistic, so that the author isn’t caught off guard. Even if the book is terrible, there is always something kind you can find to say.
· The critique should be in the middle- Much like a sandwich, the critique is the meat of the review. Here is where you write what your true feelings are. Of course, it is always best to be polite, but even if you are not feeling especially courteous, this is where the criticism goes.
· End with something encouraging. Try to end with something constructive. If you don’t recommend the book, it goes at the end, but there is always a way to leave the subject on a positive note.
Now it is time to talk about the rating system. Everyone knows that there are star ratings on blogs, Goodreads, Google Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other such places. It is important to be consistent with your stars. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Not recommended- One star should be for books you really did not like. This is a terrible read, one that you would not recommend to anyone.
2. Poor- Two stars are for books that did not catch the attention of the reader. The author of this book may not be skilled or perhaps the content just did not reach the reviewer.
3. Good- Three stars mean the book was good. The reviewer enjoyed it but there are still portions of the book that need improvement. This book may catch the attention of other readers even if it did not stimulate the reviewer.
4. Very good- Four stars mean that this was a very good book. This was a great read and satisfied the reviewer’s thirst. There is something in a four star that kept the reader from thinking this book was outstanding, but four stars is an awesome read.
5. Outstanding!- Five stars means that this was a page turner. Not only will you recommend this book to everyone you talk to, but you loved it! Some reviewers are very stingy with their five stars and some give them away like candy. It is important, however, that the reviewer exercises consistency.
So, take some advice from an author who is also a reviewer, and use caution when reviewing someone’s work. Always remember that behind the pen is a person.

Friday, August 22, 2014

'Unveiled' by R.S. Broadhead unveils new young adult perspective

3 out of 5 stars

Book description:
'Unveiled' by R.S. Broadhead is a paranormal romance about a group of girls who run into a paranormal nightmare. Reese Salt is the main character and she has two close girlfriends who take this journey with her. She appears to be living a normal life when she is picked up by some guy who runs a tactical group of fighters of the paranormal.
This world of monsters that Reese and her friends are recruited into defending takes them into a world that was not known to them before. They become warriors and join the men who were already being trained to overcome the monsters that be.
My review:
There are times in this novel where you will be engrossed in the activity. Some of the action is very stimulating, while other relational moments between the characters tend to go very slow. The sexual tension between the main character and one of the warriors will keep you glued to the page. R.S. Broadhead is certainly creative with her creatures of the night, and you will be continuously surprised by her things that go bump in the night.
That being said, the book felt like it was written by a very young writer. Although the main character was 21 and the story was told from her perspective, it may be difficult to identify with her if you are not a teenager. Some of the words used were juvenile choices, and may be a bit of a turn-off for the mature reader. If you are familiar with books like ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent,’ you will recognize the training parts of the novel. That part was not new and can become a bit tedious if you are looking for something fresh.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars, but don’t let that discourage you. I can see how younger readers might really enjoy this book and find the party girls and the sexy alpha males quite appealing.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Author Karli Rush says, “Write your story, your way…”

Indie Author Karli Rush was kind enough to take the time to speak with us today about her career as a writer.
Thanks so much for being here today, Karli. How long did it take you to publish your first novel?
Once I got to the point in my life where I said, “Okay, I'm going to truly write,” it was more of a challenge to find out when. You see, I have a son with autism. He’s a beautiful, vibrant, and very energetic eleven year old. I do therapy with him during the day, and my husband works nights, so the only time I found free was after the house quieted down and everyone went to sleep. Then, and only then could I find my writer’s voice. I became a nocturnal creature and found a secret lover in coffee. Shhh, don’t tell my husband. He thinks coffee is just a friend. A twelve month love affair later, and I had my first novel. 'Crescent Bound' was complete, but I knew the story wasn’t done. It was only the tip of my iceberg. Since that start I have conceived five other novels and two novellas into my collection and there’s still a lot more to come.
We are glad to hear that you found the time to write. What is your latest project?
I love Marc from ‘Crescent Bound’ and I had received numerous emails regarding Marcus. Who was he before the witch world collided with his own? How did he know the things that he seemingly and instinctively knew? So, I wanted the readers/fans to see his point of view from ‘Crescent Bound.’ And once I announced the book was in the works everyone, including myself, has anticipated the release. So, that's my current project. Marc's story, Ice Bound. Here is the blurb for the book due out later this year.
Ice Bound - Marcus Colten is living the perfect life, high school football star and dating the head cheerleader. He is popular, skilled in athletics and from a wealthy family. The football team he quarterbacks for just won their first district championship.
Marc doesn't show it, but he is being haunted. Orphaned at the early age of two, he has ghostly memories of a past that makes his flawless model life feel out of place. And then there are the illusive dreams. Visions of someone that relentlessly possess his nights. What does it all mean? Where will it all lead? This time, he’s not the one that is at the top of the game.
In this final installment of ‘The Crescent Bound Series,’ you will find new things which directly tie into ‘Crescent Bound’ in a way that enhances the story even more. I also introduce a side character that may be spun off into an anthology. If things go as planned, that story will be coming out around November of this year.
That sounds like an exciting story. Have you ever thought about using a traditional publisher?
I would love for one to ring me and offer a big juicy signing bonus, but then don’t we all. I’m really considering it in a trial basis, but I sure enjoy being the boss. To create the words to a story and to design the covers is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Just ask my husband. I guess that’s why I love self-publishing so much.
I see that you really love self-publishing because it gives you so much freedom. What do you think about self-publishing in today’s market?
Well, first off, I think it’s absolutely fantastic. It offers so many opportunities to writers like myself. I have also seen some very successful New York Times Best Sellers diving into the self-publishing world too. I think it even gives traditional publishers great access to great writers; let them do some courting for a change. Yes, I’m a definite fan and I think it’s here to stay.
I can see that the future of publishing is certainly changing especially with all the technology available today. How does social networking benefit your career?
Tremendously, being able to have any reader look me up and send me a message puts me on the front lines like never before. Full access to an author through social media is the best invention since the cell phone. In fact, reach out to me anytime and here’s how.
And that’s not all but I had to stop. It’s a cyber jungle out there.
Wow! That is a lot of sites. Social networking can certainly put an author on the map. What would you say is your best form or advertising?
Word of mouth. I just love hearing someone say they told a friend about one of my books. Word of mouth is free and the absolute best form of advertising ever! So, how about telling a friend?
I understand that there is a story behind ‘The Crescent Bound Series.’ Can you tell us a little something about your experiences that lead you to this storyline?
Yes, the feel of ‘Crescent Bound’ began taking shape when a friend and I visited a haunted hotel, called the Crescent Hotel. It’s located in a very small town called Eureka Springs, Arkansas. While touring this hotel, I actually saw an apparition. It was my first touch with the paranormal first hand. I became interested and more aware of my world around me. The town took a hold of me. Everything in this small, quaint little town is quite unique and diverse and filled with mysticism. Like the narrow obscure alleyways with only a sign hanging overhead, words scrawled out, Tarot Card Readings inside. Every nook and cranny has something to offer, whether it be handcrafted jewelry, natural crystal shops, or homemade soaps. And just like in ‘Crescent Bound,’ there is an existence of magic there waiting if you’re only willing to see it. I think this is what opened up a whole new perception of how I saw things and this is when the dreams started. These dreams weren’t like my typical dream. They were more vivid in color, not black and white and recurring. Each night I could re-enter a dream from the previous night and pick back up right where I had left off. It was as if Alyssa, Marc, Lisa, and Megan all had a story to tell and they were not going to simply fade away and this is how the birth of ‘Crescent Bound’ came to be.
That is a wonderful story. I’m sure your readers would love to know, who is your favorite character?
My favorite female character is Megan; she’s a wild child and a blast to write about. This girl is beyond the words of timid and discreet. She is a free loving, definitely open-minded kind of woman and naughty in the most playful sort of way. She is mischief personified My favorite male character is Marc. He will forever hold that special place in my heart; I guess you could say he’s my first. My first male character that is. He’s an unstoppable force, who loves passionately and eternally. What more of a man could a woman want?
I get attached to my characters too. I sit down at my Mac and let my characters take me for a ride. What is your writing ritual? Do you outline your books or do you just sit down and write?
Write. I have very specific visions of each scene for my books. I really know no other way to bring out my stories. They’re all caged inside my head like wild animals fighting to speak to me. Sometimes I have to push one aside that is trying to surface and tranquilize it for a moment and write them as they come.
Is there a writer who has influenced your career? What is your very favorite book?
There are several authors who influenced me, but one in particular is Cate Tiernan. Cate is one of those authors that weaves her stories together like an intricate tapestry. She is funny, witty, attention grabbing, and she teaches pieces of truth in her tales. She’s the first author that introduced me to witch stories. ‘Sweep,’ it’s a series and a must read. My favorite book is ‘Bag of Bones’ by Stephen King. I have never come across a book that brings everything I love together into one story as well as this one does. Paranormal, romance, mystery, suspense, and horror all combined by an expert such as Stephen King.
It sounds like you follow the heavy hitters. It is always good to follow successful authors so that we can learn from them. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?
I do. Don’t be in a big rush, take your time. Writing is something like a marathon race. Pace yourself. And don’t get discouraged, we’ve all been through bouts with self-doubt, but never, ever let that or anyone else take what you believe in away. Write your story, your way, and know that if you’re doing something that you truly love, then you’re doing something right for you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Writer's Blog: Giveaway | Promises In The Dark by Princess Racena...

Writer's Blog: Giveaway | Promises In The Dark by Princess Racena...: Book Title: Promises In The Dark Series: Secrets of the Mystic Author: Princess Racena McConell Genre:  Paranormal Romance Rel...

Giveaway | Promises In The Dark by Princess Racena McConnell @PrmTjm1981

Book Title: Promises In The Dark
Series: Secrets of the Mystic
Author: Princess Racena McConell
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Released:  November 17, 2013
Length:  345 Pages Print
Presented by: As You Wish Tours

What began as a casual dinner with friends quickly blossoms into a beautiful friendship for Rachel Adams and Derek Williamson. In time, it will develop into something much greater than either could have ever imagined. The pair have each had their share of tragedy and heartbreak that time has yet to heal. As their friendship evolves into something much more, Rachel begins to open up to the man she has fallen in love with about secrets that have consumed her life for so long.

Just when life seems to be opening up possibilities for the two of them, inexplicable and unsettling things start to happen. When these mysterious occurrences begin to invade their happiness, they are faced with the reality that they must find the truth about what haunts them. Will they survive as they uncover some of these long-kept secrets? Will the mystical forces that linked the lovers together so long ago be the same to destroy them in the end?

Book Links

Princess Racena McConnell( who has never and will never go by her first name) was born in Kings Mountain NC and now resides in the busy little town of Summerville SC with her husband of 32 years. She is the mother of 3 and grandmother to 4 with a 5th one on the way! "Promises In The Dark"; her debut novel—is part 1 of a story that has been in her mind for many years, and finally had to be told! She enjoys spending time with her family, and is so thankful they all live within 20 minutes! She also enjoys reading, writing and anything horror related. Her dream is to someday see her books splashed across silver screen!

Author Links

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(Giveaway Posted on Facebook)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Writer's Blog: Stephanie Tyler’s Advice for New Authors: “Write w...

Stephanie Tyler’s Advice for New Authors: “Write what you love.”
      Stephanie Tyler is a well-known romantic suspense author. Her credits include the Hard to Hold Trilogy, The Shadow Force Series, The Section 8 Series, The Defiance Series, and The Harlequin, Blaze Series. Stephanie writes most of her books surrounding military heroes, which is what she enjoys reading most. She has recently ventured into the paranormal with her Eternal Wolf Clan Series. She also writes M/M-Romance and has a string of novels out using her pen name, SE Jakes. (M/M-Romance is a subgenre that contains romantic relationships between males.) Her latest quest is her Skulls Creek Series and book one, Vipers Run, is scheduled for release on July 1, 2014. Stephanie also co-writes paranormal erotic romance for Bantam Dell under the name Sydney Croft. 
Stephanie graduated college with a double major: English literature and creative writing. She has a master’s degree in English Literature and finished half of her doctorate. As she was trying to find a way to support herself as a writer, she did many different things, including teaching grades from middle school all the way up to college. Her daughter was born in 2001 with some medical problems, which caused Stephanie to re-think her situation. She left teaching, went back to writing, and fortunately for us, she hasn’t stopped since.
How long did it take you to publish your first novel, and who was your first publisher?
I started reading romance in late 2001 after my daughter was born with serious medical problems. I wrote just for me in 2002, and in 2003 I got online and started thinking seriously about publishing. I sold to Harlequin, Blaze in 2006 and they published my first two books in 2007. Three weeks later I got ‘the call.’ I sold the Sydney Croft trilogy (with Larissa Ione), and then my own first three single title SEAL books, both to Random House. I had a plan—I loved category romance, but at that time, a lot of authors who exclusively wrote category were having trouble getting into single title New York publishing. I realized that I would almost have to simultaneously publish category and single title in order to not get boxed in. My, how things have changed.
            That must have been an exciting time. Harlequin, Random House… that sounds like a dream come true. What is your latest project?
I’ve got a lot of them. As Stephanie Tyler, I’m working on my third Section 8 Romantic Suspense, and my second in the Vipers series for next summer. As Sydney Croft, we’ve got a story out in Riptide’s Holiday Charity Bundle this November, and as SE Jakes, I’ve got 5 more releases in 2014, and only 2 of those are written so far — it’s what I love about ePublishing! However, basically, as you can see, I’m always working on multiple projects. It keeps me creative and if I get stuck on something, I keep a forward progress. I’ve tried the ‘one book at a time, write in order’ thing, but after 50 books, it’s not my process, although I think it would most definitely be a bit easier.
It sounds like you are very prolific. Having so many works in progress must keep you very busy. What would you say are the benefits of having a pen name?
Larissa and I would’ve been fine publishing the Croft books under both our names, but back in 2006, neither of us had a ‘name.’  So the publisher wanted a single name, but they had no problem with people knowing it was us. When I started writing as SE Jakes back in 2011, it was for different reasons entirely—I wanted a fresh start, and I wanted to see if I could re-create my success without any help from my established audience. SE Jakes really saved me at a time when the online romance world, in my opinion, got really dark. I’m extremely grateful to the indie authors who broke through, because I know they changed the whole tenor of the online world for romance.  I recently just revealed the SE Jakes name, because it had gotten too big to steer secretly. 
A lot of people pick pen names (and my last name for all are pen-names), mainly because my real last name is very unique, and it’s also really hard to spell. Friends of mine use pen names because they have other careers in which they wouldn’t want their employers to know they write romance, and some because of family pressure. But for the most part, I think it’s a privacy issue. 
That is certainly something every author should think about. Being totally anonymous with new ideas certainly looks like it has some advantages. In today’s market, when an author can write multiple novels in a year, it makes one wonder if many authors use pen names to test out unchartered waters. What do you think about self-publishing in today’s market?
I love it. You don’t understand (or maybe you do!) what a wonderful option it is!  It’s completely freeing. There are no gatekeepers for that, so for someone like me, who knows the process of what it takes to get a book out (aka editing!), it’s taken so much pressure off getting the next contract. Honestly, I also think that sometimes too much editing can suck the life out of a book—some of the more unpolished writing is getting praise because it’s fresh. So I encourage people to have an editor they trust, someone who will bring out the best in their story.  It’s important to work with people who love your writing and love your voice. At this point, I’m still what’s termed a hybrid author, and I don’t see that changing—I’ve never liked putting all my eggs in one basket.
            Although self-publishing gives the author total freedom when it comes to having their story told, the dream of most authors is to hit one of the top commercial publishing houses. Having an agent appears to be essential for making something like that happen. What was the hardest part about finding an agent?
Unfortunately, today I think it’s much harder (and it was already difficult when I started), because of so much seemingly instant successes of indies and the like; agents are looking for the next big hit. They can usually find it easily enough these days—it’s less of a guessing game for them because those indies already have the sales to back them up. So, they can be more discerning, and they don’t necessarily have the want or need to grow an author from the ground up. But then again, the flip side is that you don’t necessarily need an agent to publish today. I don’t think New York publishing needs to be any romance author’s first goal anymore, and that’s exciting. There are other ways in. That being said, having an agent when you do get contracts is invaluable. I mean, you have to be attractive to them, but you also have to remember that they’re working for you—you can’t be ‘grateful’ that an agent takes you on. You have to remember that they make money when you do, and you work as a partnership, but that ultimately, you are the best advocate for your career. A good agent should bring out the best in you and your career. 
One of the downsides to self-publishing or using a small publisher is that advertising is generally the responsibility of the author. What would you say has been your best form or advertisement?
My best form of advertising is word of mouth of my readers. Especially with the SE Jakes readers—the M/M community is very, very vocal and tight-knit and welcoming. My readers make it a joy to go online and communicate, mainly via a Goodreads group and a Facebook group, which are both moderated by awesome readers and writers. I love going there and hanging out, but what I love even more is that they’re all very close, so they don’t need me there all the time. They have fun hanging out, discussing their lives, and the books they’re reading. Although they’re my groups, the conversation doesn’t always have to be about my books.
As Tyler, I started blogging in 2003, along with Larissa Ione, Sylvia Day, HelenKay Dimon, and the like, all before we had anything to sell. I think that really helped us because we had to find a way to engage people without giving them a product. This is how we grew our social media voices. 
I understand that you used to be a teacher and that you have a master’s degree in English Literature. Do you feel that education is important for becoming a successful writer?
Nope. I don’t regret my education, but a lot of that was done because I never thought I’d be able to support myself writing. It’s what I was taught, especially in college, that if I were going to write poetry and short stories, which is where I started out, I would need an education. So I love reading, and English Literature was a way I figured I could be close to what I loved. Although I loved teaching, and was creative in my methods, it did zap a lot of my personal creativity. I didn’t write a lot of fiction during those years. While I appreciate that we do have so many highly educated women who are bestsellers, I don’t like that we have to tote that out when the inevitable disrespect of our genre happens. I’ve gotten to the point where I simply blow that off because when people say to me, ‘oh you write those trashy romances,’ my husband will say, ‘and bought us our new house.’  Because romance, in my option, is about two of the best things in life—sex and love, I’m not sure why people look down on it, but that’s their issue. I’d rather work on my books than worry about not having the respect of people I probably wouldn’t want to hang out with anyway. Romance readers and writers are some of the most intelligent, well-rounded, and generally open-minded people. Whenever I’m chatting with someone who reads romance, it’s this instant bond. 
With all the books you have written, there must be a few darlings in there. Who is your favorite character?
            I have two: Jake, from my Tyler Hold series and Prophet, from my SE Jakes Hell or High Water series. All my characters speak to me, but these guys don’t leave when I’m done with their books. I feel like they’re my muses. 
Writing every day can be difficult for some writers, but my understanding is that successful writers do write daily. Do you have a daily word count that you strive for, or do you just sit and write until your characters stop talking to you?
The latter for sure. My word count is pretty high, but it’s usually a culmination of a week or two, rather than a steady amount daily. I mean, I do write daily, but I vary between computer and longhand writing. Right now, I’ve got 20 pages to transcribe and I always add to that when I’m typing in, but you have to write daily, no matter what. Honestly, if you’re working on the right project, for the most part it shouldn’t be something you want to procrastinate. When I find myself procrastinating, it’s usually because I’ve tried to force my characters to do something and they immediately go silent, like, ‘really, lady? When you’re ready to listen to us, then we’ll talk.’  Or else it’s a project that scares me—I call them the growth books—and sometimes they hurt, but you can look back and go, ‘yeah, my writing really kicked up a notch there.’
Often whom we read impacts what we write. Is there a writer who has influenced your career? What is your very favorite book?
That’s a hard one, but Gone With The Wind is one I read obsessively over and over when I was around twelve. I also love, in the romance genre, I’ll Take Manhattan by Judith Krantz (very old school and sprawling and fun), and Cherry Adair, Suzanne Brockmann and Tami Hoag were some of the first romance authors I read, and that’s when I realized, ‘This! This is what I want to write.” So I owe them a great deal. 
Anyone who reads this interview will already learn so much about publishing and how to be a better writer. Is there any other advice that you might have for up and coming authors?
Write what you love.  Today especially that’s even more important advice, because we were always taught that the books of our heart weren’t always marketable. Right now, that advice is pretty much out the window with indie publishing (Hello, new adult!)… So, if you love what you’re writing, someone will love it too. It might not be your most successful book, but until you get past that book of your heart, it’ll probably hold you back. Keep writing—even a couple of paragraphs, fan fiction, anything that makes you creative. 
Please be sure to give me links to where my readers can find your books and find out more information about you.
I’m at stephanietyler.com, sejakes.com, and sydneycroft.com.  I’m probably the most active on social media as SE Jakes, but you can always grab me for Tyler or Croft questions at that name with no problem. 
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today. For my readers and for me, this is certainly an honor.
Thanks so much for asking me!  It’s my pleasure