Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Aftermath Horizon--More Than A Romantic Adventure

One hundred and eighty-three years after biological warfare eradicated all but a trace of mankind, Beth Gooding graduates from basic training as a Cultural Anthropologist with a Linguist subcategory. For intermediate training, she is sent to Hope, a remote outpost near Old Boston. She is assigned to Professor David James and required to learn Old Persian, a language she considers useless in a society recovering from near extinction. Despite their age difference, romance develops as Beth and Dr. James endure austere lives typical of the early 1800’s frontier. Dr. James eventually introduces Beth to a three-million-year-old shard found by his father—an object that could not be duplicated with modern technology. In attempt to uncover the shard’s origin, David and Beth set out to explore the radioactive Kill Zone in Old World Syria. Through constant struggle to survive and many brushes with death, they come to realize life without the other wouldn’t be living at all. On returning to civilization, they reveal the shard led them further back in time than they could have imagined—and provides potential to move human kind further into the future than anyone dared dream.

Here’s the moment when Beth realizes the civilization from which she and David evolved, the Old World—the one in which we now live—was not the first. Instead, a more advanced civilization called the Endohl preceded it.

My shaky touch brings the device to life, and it displays an organized index. We select a reading called “Extinction of the Endohl,” a name appearing on every box in the room—the name we believe they called themselves.

We understand the language in general but are too inexperienced to be fast readers. Still, by late afternoon, we have a fair concept of what happened to them. The Endohl were much like those in the Old World—warlike and opinionated, a bad combination. As near as we can tell, the only major difference between the Endohl and our predecessors was their advanced technology. In the end, one group created a weapon that destroyed everyone, but much more slowly than BHS killed the Old World.

In their case, it appears the Armageddon weapon of choice was influenza, released into an unsuspecting population without any natural immunity. Pointing to the information on the screen while struggling with the translation, I mutter, “Crap, I guess we have them to thank for the common cold.”

David just grins. “Or for our immunity to it. Until BHS, influenza killed more people in the Old World than any other disease—hundreds of millions.”

His grin quickly morphs into an expression of dismay, and he sighs as he continues reading. When he shakes his head, he summarizes with, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. They only built one vault, the one we’re in now, but they suspected influenza’s creators built another in an unknown location. When they sealed themselves inside this vault, they thought only a few of their people would survive in the outside world. In a very real sense, the people of the Old World owed their existence to the extinction of the Endohl. Their influenza extinction was an evolutionary horizon, a point in history where one species dies off and another arises. Their near extinction begot the people of the Old World—people with influenza tolerance. We are an evolutionary horizon too—the aftermath horizon, the people with BHS immunity who are now expanding into the New World.”

I believe his interpretation is correct. “That would also explain a lot of Old World biblical history—the reason Adam and Eve’s children found mates. Not everyone died. Some of the Endohl were naturally more resistant than others. It could also explain the long lifetimes attributed to some of the original survivors in the Biblical book of Genesis. The original survivors probably had access to Endohl serums to extend life but not the knowledge to create it. When the supplies were exhausted, the life spans reverted to those we now experience. It’s even possible that long ago, at the very beginning of what became the Old World civilization, fanciful tales about the fountain of youth might have been true.”

Here are some reviews of Aftermath Horizon that might move you to purchase a copy:

This is an incredible novel with a profound message. About 200 years after biological warfare devastates mankind, population rebuilding and exploration lead to a discovery almost beyond imagination. There are no zombies; however, you'll find excitement, love, and deep meaning in the story.

Aftermath Horizon is a book that transcends to all ages. I would call this book a close match something like Twilight. If you never gave Twilight a chance either you should have. Books like this aren't chained to any specific genre. It's not just sci-fi, it's not just romance, it's all of the above. The way the author makes such a strong connection with his characters allows the reader to make that connection as well. You don't have to be a young teenaged girl to be able to connect with the main character Beth as she carves her path in life after a massive biological war that makes the Earth uninhabitable. You don't have to like sci-fi thrillers to become enveloped in this story that crosses through several generations. You will be hooked from the first chapter guaranteed.

What a privilege to read this book! It was one of the best, adventurous books I have read in a long time. I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to see what was going to happen at each turn. I can't wait to read it again! Wonderfully written!

After the human race is almost wiped out by a terrorist biological attack, some doughty survivors make the slow comeback. Every twist and turn makes you think, and say, "Yeah! It might be like that." Each step is plausible, exciting, or novel and makes you want to see what happens next. You admire the main characters' brains and nerve, and wish them well, and yet, this is also a "Love story." There's something to suit the tastes of every reader. I liked the story.

Thanks for reading,

James L. Hatch
P.S. Please check out all my books from Solstice Publishing:
The Substitute
Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!
The Training Bra
The Trophy Wife
Ordinary People; Extraordinary Lives
Aftermath Horizon

Monday, December 10, 2018

Writing Christmas... Channeling The Nightmare Before Christmas while Writing with @MeganSlayer #gayromance #iamwriting #christmas #inspiration

As I write this post, I've got the movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, playing in the background. I'm an odd duck. I like to listen to movies and television programs, in addition to music, while writing. It's Christmas and Nightmare is one of my favorite cross-holiday movies. Hey, I like it during Halloween straight through to Christmas.

I like to have noise on while I write, as I said. I can honestly say the stuff I'm watching doesn't show up in my work, necesarily, but what happens is I get an earworm instead. So I'm typing and all I can hear is the song, Making Christmas. It's not even playing in the movie. But I was working on a Christmas story for next year, so I guess I'm making Christmas. I'm writing it, anyway.

Do you ever get earworms? What? Maybe we can commiserate.

In the meantime, here's a little bit about my Christmas story for this year, Pick Me Up!

Pick-Me-Up (Christmas Spirits 1) by Megan Slayer 

Cover Art: Bryan Keller
BIN: 008659-02798
Themes: ChristmasGay
Book Length: Novella
Page Count: 55

Price: $3.99   $3.39

Nic Kristol wants one thing for Christmas -- a second chance. Being dead makes second chances hard, but the moment he sees Jon, he’s determined to meet the handsome man.
Jon Ruhle thought he’d given up on romance, but along came Nic. He’s drawn to the mysterious man and would love to spend the holidays together. There’s just one problem -- Nic’s a spirit. Will he and Nic find their forever together or apart?
Changeling Press: https://bit.ly/2zNhLeI
Universal Link: https://bit.ly/2G9dyYf

Sunday, December 9, 2018


A New Spin off Series from the best selling Eternal Flames Series By Maggie Walsh
and Cree Storm.

                                                  "Savage Heart" book 1

Russell Savage has been around since the dawn of time. He is the original shifter and has spent most of his life fighting in one war or another as well as hoping that one day he would be blessed with a mate. Little did he expect to find him, clinging to life, as the last victim of a serial rapist and killer in Crystal, Colorado. Going on pure instinct and need, Savage whisks his mate to the place he has called home for thousands of years. 
Gill wakes in a strange place, with a gorgeous stranger watching over him, explaining that he is the ultimate of shifters and Gill is his mate. All the promises Savage makes about love, safety and acceptance is something out of the romance novels Gill loves to write. However, how can he believe Savage when his own parents never offered any of the same. Little did Gill know how easy that would be but underestimating how far his family would go to get him back threatens the life Gill and Savage are trying to build. 
How will Gill and Savage unravel the evil Gill’s father has started so that Gill can finally find love, peace, and paradise, in a place they call…Savage Island.

He opened his eyes again and tried to sit up, but the twinge in his back pulled again. Gill ran his hands over his face and through his hair, scratching the top of his scalp. He needed to figure out where he was, why he was here, how he got here, and what the hell was about to happen. So first things first, he needed to get his butt out of the amazing bed he lay upon and get moving.
Motion behind the curtain at the open door caught his attention and Gill froze again as he held his breath. Suddenly a gruesome face flashed before his eyes, and his heart began to pound in his chest.
“You’re safe here. No one will harm you. I give you my word,” a deep, sexy, soothing voice said from somewhere outside the door.
“H-how did I… I… I mean… um… How did you…” Gill trailed off, then swallowed hard.
“How did you get here? How did I know you were finally awake? Or how did I know what you were thinking?” The voice asked.
“Um, all of the above I guess,” Gill replied, his voice coming out calmer than he felt. Gill was surprised to see that although he was concerned, he wasn’t exactly scared. More like anxious.
Heavy footsteps thudded against wood, the sound coming closer. Gill wanted to sit up and pull away, lifting the blankets to cover his naked chest. Shit. He had been so curious about the wherefores and the hows, as well as the decor of the gorgeous room, that he hadn’t even noticed until now that he was shirtless. Or was he more?
Gill lifted the blanket enough to peek underneath, then pulled them up to his chin as he closed his eyes tight. It was just as he suspected. He was lying in a strange place, with a strange man nearby, and he was completely naked. Shit, did that mean... Had he been violated? Wouldn’t he remember if he had been? Had this man done something to him while he was asleep? How did he get Gill out of his room at the shelter without him knowing? Son of a crap cake! What the hell was going on?
“Be calm, Gill. It’s okay. Like I said, I give you my word, no one will harm you here and no one has,” the voice promised.
“So then... what’s happening? How did I get here? Why am I naked? Where am I? Who are you? Why does my back hurt so much? And what are you going to do with me? If you’re looking for a ransom, I hate to tell you this, but my dad won’t pay. He doesn’t believe in paying off kidnappers or blackmailers, so if it’s money or favors you’re hoping for, you’re shit out of luck when it comes to my parents. And if you’re trying to get some kind of money out of me, then you’re in even less luck. I don’t have a dime,” Gill quickly fired off his questions in rapid succession, then began to ramble.
A sexy chuckle came from the open doorway, that went straight to Gill’s cock, and the damn thing went from limp and uninterested to steel rod and wanting in under two seconds.
The heavy footfalls came closer and suddenly the most gorgeous man Gill had ever laid eyes on stood there in the doorway with the sun at his back creating a soft silhouette. But Gill could still make out the man’s size, which had to be close to six foot six, drool worthy and the finest specimen of male perfection that Gill had ever seen, and age, which was older than him, just as he liked it. Whoever this man was, he looked to be about ten to fifteen years Gill’s senior, but he looked damn fine for his age. Not a wrinkle or grey hair to be found from what he could see from their distance.
He blinked a few times, coming out of his thoughts, then cursed himself when he realized the guy had asked him something and he was clearly making a goober out of himself by staring and drooling.
“Yes,” he said, in a voice too high for his liking, and wanted to pull the covers over his head and hide.
Either this guy didn’t notice, or he was being polite and didn’t let it show, thus trying to spare Gill from his embarrassment. He was sure it was the latter.
Adonis took a few more steps into the room and slid his hands into the front pockets of the tight blue jeans he wore. The move brought his attention to the very large and impressive bulge that was now framed between those pockets, and Gill swallowed hard. Boy what he wouldn’t give to see that up close and in person. Shit, what was wrong with him? He didn’t know this guy or even where he was. For all he knew this guy had kidnapped him or he was an evil serial killer. And here his pathetic ass was lusting over him.
That deep, sexy, chuckle came again, and Gill looked up, his gaze meeting stunning sapphire blue eyes. Now that the man had come into the room further, Gill could see him more clearly, and the first thing he noticed was the guy was even better looking than he first assessed. He did indeed have a few silver-grey hairs at both temples. The look didn’t make him look old at all, just more experienced and wise. Gill really liked it.
“I am definitely and completely flattered by your response to me, handsome, but if you think you can get out of your own head for a few minutes and stop fucking me with your eyes while staring at my dick, I think we can get to the talking portion of this meeting. If you can’t, then we both run the risk of me ripping my clothes off and joining you in that bed, then fucking you through the mattress.”
Gill’s eyes went wide as heat filled his face and his cock twitched with need.
“I can smell your arousal, Gill, and I am fighting very hard to control myself. There are so many things we need to discuss, fated one.”
Finally Gill was able to take a breath and pulled in a lungful of air, then released it slowly. Okay, he could do this. He could stop behaving like an untouched teen boy and man up. As much as he wanted exactly what the man had said he was about to do, Gill knew that was insane and the man was right. One, they didn’t know each other, and two, they had a lot to talk about. He knew he should be afraid right now, but he wasn’t. For some reason he just knew he was safe here and with this man, so Gill straightened his spine and lifted his chin, ready for whatever was about to happen.
“First let me start by introducing myself to you. I am Russell Savage, but everyone calls me Savage."

For more from Maggie Walsh check out her website at: www.maggiewalshauthor.weebly.com 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Refilling the Well #selfcare #writing

I'm a very goal oriented person. There are some aspects of being that way that are good. I'm sure this trait is one of the reasons that I got published in the first place. The drive and determination towards the goal, no matter what. And the reason that I've continued in this industry all these years. But being focused on goals can have some side effects, such as not always being able to see the big picture.

For the last year, writing wise I've been struggling. I had a fantastic 2017. I put out the most works I ever have, had the highest sales I ever had and expanded my knowledge by attending my first writing convention in five years. But doing that much also drained my well. I wasn't surprised that I was burnt out for a while, but the burn out seemed to linger. Over the past year I started several stories, but nothing real stuck. It was an extremely frustrating state for writer.

That was until Nanowrimo came around. I love Nanowrimo. Its one of my favorite times of the year. And last year, because of my December releases, I had to skip it. So regardless of the difficulties I've had this last year, so I wasn't going to skip it again. But just like all my other stories I'd started in 2018 it started okay, but keeping the momentum going (which you need to win Nanowrio) was difficult.

But about half way through the month I had a realization. I hadn't read a book in my genre in over a year. It was that goal oriented behavior all over again. I'd been focused on the goal of writing, revising, reading the books on my bookshelves to make room for more, that I hadn't focused any time on just enjoying the process. On focusing on what I enjoyed about writing instead of the tasks it required. I hadn't done anything to fill my erotic romance well.

Whether it was a combination of the amount of time, the community and accountability of Nano, reading a great erotic romance or some combination of all three, it became apparent to me just how depleted my well was. And with a little bit of time and effort I was able to fill that well back up, at least enough to get to my 50,000 words for Nanowrimo and keep up the momentum on a story to close to finished.

Now that I know what the problem is, I am working hard to fix it. I'm trying to read more, to focus more on what I enjoy and on writing books that I enjoy, not what might sell well for the industry or what publishers are looking for. I'm trying to focus on refilling that well, in taking care of myself and my passion. And for the right now its working. For the first time all year, I've maintained the momentum on one project for over a month and I am close to completing it.

For any other goal oriented people out there, if you're having trouble doing what makes you happy. Take a moment and get back to the beginning. Spend some time rediscovering why you fell in love with your passion to begin with. At that time you might not feel like you are working toward your goals, but taking time for yourself can be the most important thing you can do. Not just for you goals, but for you.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Winter Solstice , Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and a joyous New Year!

I just wanted to wish everyone a great holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Our 13-year-old son could not wait to decorate this year.  Oh my.  I barely had him picked up after school the Monday after Thanksgiving and he was already talking about it.  He decorated the tree all by himself this year.  No supervision from me or his dad.  He did a great job.

I know, right?  A blow-up Unicorn.  I'm in an author-reader group on Facebook and the mascot is a Unicorn.  My secret Santa in the group sent me this for Christmas.  My husband HATES yard art of any kind but we love our Unicorn.  We haven't named her yet but isn't she cute.  She's 3'5' tall.  I love her but I can't put her on the lawn.  Just on the front porch.

See you next year!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Season for Miracles #I_Believe #Holiday #miracles #melissa_keir

The Season for Miracles

In December the holiday season is in full swing. Christmas parties fill the weekend. Shopping and wrapping. Decorating and baking. Lighting the Menorah and visiting with family and friends. Whew, sounds busy and tiring, right?

But December also marks the magical season where a red-suited gentleman delivers packages around the world during one night, bringing presents to children. It's the time when a single star marked the birthplace of a baby who would go on to perform so many miracles and save the souls of Christians everywhere. In addition, it's the time when a small amount of candle oil lasted for eight days.

Miracles don't always occur during the holidays. They can occur any day of the week and during any season. In fact, my family has their own miracle which prompted me to ask others to share their stories. I compiled the stories and created a book. 

I Believe is a book filled with true stories of miracles who occurred to others. An urgent voice, a guiding hand, a loved one who comes back to protect you or a prayer answered. These stories are heartwarming and inspiring. 

I hope you will purchase I Believe. It's a perfect gift during the holidays. All proceeds will go to the Children's Miracle Network, who are helping children each and every day.

Miracles Surround Us.

Do you believe in miracles? Have you ever heard a voice urging you to do something or not to do something? Have you had a prayer answered? Has someone who has passed come to help you? 

Miracles happen to everyday people.This book shares real experiences from ordinary people. Miracles occurred. Some are profound and demonstrate the work of a higher power. Some appear as happenstance but are life changing. These are their stories in their own words.

Grab this book and be prepared to be amazed. There is more to life than what we see and Miracles Surround Us.

**Proceeds will go to the Children's Miracle Network which provides miracles to children everywhere.**


Until next month... Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and Amazing New Year.

Keep Reading,


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Cupid's Christmas Gift

By Tim Smith
If it’s Christmas, it must be time for Stocking Stuffers from Extasy Books. My contribution to this annual series of short books, “Cupid Says Happy New Year,” will be released on December 11.

“Scott Burke and Lisa Berger were high school sweetheart wannabes once upon a time, but that was fifteen years ago. Sparks were rekindled when Lisa found herself stranded in Scott’s home base on Christmas Eve, and they realized that they never should have parted. Now it’s a week later, and they’ve made plans to spend New Year’s Eve together. Will the two lovers keep the flames burning, or will Lisa decide to return to her lucrative job in another state once the glow of the New Year begins to fade? Can Scott bring himself to make the ultimate commitment, or will he stand aside and lose her a second time?”

This is a sequel to last year’s holiday release, “Santa Slept Here.” As with all of my series titles, they don’t need to be read in order. Both are nice lightweight romances with some sensual scenes and some laughs. The stories bring to mind the holiday movies that saturate Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel this time of year, but with a lot more spice. Here’s an excerpt:

Scott slid out of bed and refilled their glasses. He handed Lisa her glass, then joined her under the covers. They rested against the headboard and toasted each other. Lisa snuggled closer and rested her head on his shoulder.

“This is nice,” she said. “It’s fun cuddling with you. I think I could get used to this, Scotty.”

“Do you know that you’re one of the only people I let get away with calling me that?”

“Who else?”

“My grandmother, but I let it go because she thinks I’m perpetually eight years old.” 

Lisa laughed with him. “I say that as a term of affection.”

“In that case, I don’t mind.”    

They cuddled in silence for a few minutes. Scott enjoyed Lisa’s warm, soft body next to his. She placed her hand on his chest and lightly traced a pattern with her French-manicured nails, causing a slight tickling sensation. He ran his palm along her upper arm and inhaled her scent.

“I love that perfume you’re wearing,” he commented. “What is it?”


“It fits.”

“Thank you.” She hesitated. “Can I tell you something?”

“Go for it.”

“Last week, when we lay together like this in your bed, I felt something I hadn’t experienced in a long time.”

Scott took a sip from his glass. “What was that?”

“It was the way you held me, and talked to me, like you’re doing now. You made me feel really close to you, like you didn’t want to let me go.”

“You didn’t like it?”

“No, I liked it a lot. I just hadn’t felt it recently.”

Scott thought for a few moments, dredging up memories of his failed marriage while wondering how much he wanted to share. “Since we’re being honest, it had been a while since I felt a deep connection with anyone like I did with you. The last year or so of my marriage wasn’t the best of times, and sex was more biological necessity than I-want-to-hold-you-forever. Make sense?”

Lisa took a drink of wine. “Actually, it does, now that you put it that way.”

“Similar experience in your failed relationship with the guy you were telling me about?”

“Pretty much, but I never thought of it that way. He was such a control freak that I felt like I was just spreading my legs so he could get off while fantasizing about the cute ass of the new secretary he’d just hired.” She paused. “The last few months we were together, I felt like he was making love to someone else.”

Scott gave her a soft kiss, letting his lips linger against hers for a few moments. He placed his palm on her cheek and peered into her eyes.

“I think that’s the difference. When we reconnected and talked about how we’d always had feelings for each other but never did anything about them, that made me realize how much I’ve always loved you. I guess that’s what you were feeling last week.”

Lisa ran her fingers along his cheek. “You mean it wasn’t just because we finally made it into bed and lived out a few dormant high school fantasies?”

Scott chuckled. “Trust me, it was a lot more than just that. What we did last week wouldn’t have meant nearly as much then as it did now.”

“It sounds like we’ve both grown up.”   

Mark your calendars for December 11 and pick up a copy of “Cupid Says Happy New Year.” It’s the perfect stocking stuffer!

#HolidayRomance #StockingStuffer #EroticRomance  

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A romantic suspense samples....and a $5 GC for the winner

A romantic suspense sampler

Ready for some spine-tingling, blood-heating, thrilling and exciting romantic suspense? Instead of one book today I thought I’d give you a taste of a few. Leave me a comment telling me which one appeals to you most and ne lucky person will have their name drawn for a $5 Gift Certificate.

Book #3 Corporate Heat

Hunting a murderer is hot work, in more ways than one.
Lindsey Califaro, second in command at Elite Marketing, is suspicious when her boss is killed in a one car accident. She’s had a funny feeling about things around the agency for a while and now her spidey senses are going haywire. Something is wrong and she’s determined to find out what.
John Martino, highly sought after forensic accountant, is sent by Arroyo to dig into Elite’s books and see if there is an answer there. He expects problems but what he doesn’t expect is to find a super smart hot female who pushes all his buttons and sends his sex drive into overload.

As the two dig into Elite’s books and Craig’s private life, they uncover a sordid trail of sex trafficking and drugs so extensive it shocks them. As they draw closer to the real head of the operation the heat between them rises in temperature and their feelings for each other explode.
As they work to blow open the criminal enterprise, their relationship intensifies and John knows he must do everything to protect Lindsey from a master criminal.

Double Deception
Corporate Heat #2
No one could tell who was telling the truth…
For Liam Benedict, the merging of Software By Design into the Arroyo mega-conglomerate is a dream come true—until someone on his staff screws with critical software and put the
company and its future in grave jeopardy.
Suddenly life is not so euphoric for Liam. His contract with a defence contractor is in jeopardy, he doesn’t know who to trust on his staff and there is a distinct possibility a foreign power is behind the whole thing.
When forensic data analyst Eric Braun discovers who it is and how they did it, he is killed before he can tell Liam he’s discovered the mole. Framed by the killer, Liam is arrested for the murder.
It will take the combined resources of beautiful criminal defence attorney Sydney Alfiore, the woman he loves, and the huge Arroyo Corporation to solve the riddle, but can they do it in time?
Reader advisory: This book contains a scene of on-page murder.

Guarding Jenna
Brotherhood Protectors

Jenna Daniels grew up in a world of great wealth and privilege. Powerful men and women from all over the country attended the lavish parties that her stepfather hosted on their Montana ranch. But the night of one party, one of those men crept into her bedroom, blindfolded her and viciously raped her, threatening to kill her if she spoke out. Years of therapy have helped her deal with it but she still freezes at the thought of an intimate relationship. Now she’s a true crime writer specializing in unsolved rape cases, determined to find others similar to hers and track down the rapist. When she uncovers several committed over the past fifteen years, she knows she must return to Montana to find her answers.

Medically discharged after twelve years in the SEALs, Scott Nolan doesn’t know what to do with himself. There’s not much in civilian life for a former sniper. Then a friend puts him in touch with Hank Patterson who heads Brotherhood Protectors and he feels as if he’s found a home again. He’s just finished his first assignment when Hank receives a call from Grey Holden, head of The Omega Team in Tampa, who asks him to have someone keep an eye on Jenna. Good thing, too, because she’s hardly settled into her rental cabin before someone leaves a threatening note under her windshield followed up by a dead skunk on her doorstep with another note.
Good thing the cabin has two bedrooms because Hank insists Scott move in with Jenna so he can monitor her twenty-four/seven. As Jenna gets closer to finding her answers, the attempts on her life increase. But is she in more danger from the unknown person or from Scott, himself a tortured soul but who wakens feelings she is afraid to face may be the only one who can get past her emotional fear and teach her how to love?

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Most Important 250 Words You Will Ever Write! And it's not the blurb...

Hello again from the Canada! 

Hope everyone is ready for the big event in the not so distant future. I’m talking about Christmas, of course. A favorite time of the year. One of these years I’m going to write another Christmas story. I keep promising myself, but regular work gets in the way, eh!

In the meantime, I’ve been reading about crafting a story that draws readers in from the very first word. It’s said that you have 250 words to make an impression and entice readers to enter your story world. The number one need is getting the story to raise questions that arouse the curiosity. Then pour on the conflict! If YOU feel what your characters are going through, if you walk in their shoes, then your readers will too.
In my efforts to practice what I preach in a recent exercise, I’ve put together an opening of 249 words to demonstrate. Please share your own examples in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you!

This is from the Book, OUTSIDER CODE, a conspiracy thriller I’m just beginning to write:

Jackson Knight scanned the east ridge. An uneasiness roiled his gut. The Rocky Mountains surrounding him were stark gray giants, stretching out for hundreds of kilometers in all directions, seeming like a distant planet. He had plenty of the isolation he craved this morning, catching only brief glimpses of two skiers, a few minutes behind him. One a female, judging by clothing and finesse of movement.

He was about to cross a second slide path, climbing north along Balu Pass, moving parallel to the silver ribbon of water tracing the Connaught Creek Valley. It was a treacherous stretch, and he carried appropriate gear, including a 240-cm carbon probe, collapsible shovel and a transceiver. Nothing looked amiss, and he opened his backpack to remove his water bottle, taking a quick swig of its contents. He rubbed at the symbol etched into his chest, considering. Make me worthy.

Dynamite cracked the air. No human intervention had been planned according to Parks Canada, but something had gone wrong—horribly wrong. A massive avalanche thundered down Mount Cheops’s jagged face, a virtual wall of powder determined to wipe everything from the mountain.

He forced his legs to move with inhuman speed, not forward in the direction of the sane, but back toward the two skiers, frozen and staring at Armageddon. He had seconds to reach them before the snow slammed into the valley bottom and surged up toward them. Fluid at first, it would settle into concrete to bury him, and them. Alive.

Well, that’s all for this month. I wish y’all a very Happy Holiday Season! :-) 

Hugs, January
OPPS, almost forgot! My new book, Racing Peril is now available on Amazon! And for only 98 cents!

Revenge. Greed. Murder. And an insatiable passion...

When a drunk driver ends the life of her sister and her unborn child, Silk O’Connor resolves to take justice into her own hands.

Jake Marshall is a decorated soldier on leave, filling in for a friend at Sterling Security—and protecting the very man who used his car as a weapon and murdered Silk’s only family.

The two clash when Jake finds Silk preparing to mete out her own frontier-style brand of justice from the courthouse roof…and the adrenaline-fueled high-stakes world it ensnares the pair in will test them to their absolute limit.

It’s a fight for survival as they’re forced to team up to dispense justice on an international scale when thrust into the evil world of sex trafficking. With time running out for Silk and Jake, it just might be a fight to the death!
Buy here!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

2018 Year in Review - Sharita Lira #marketing #branding #publishing #books

*sings merrily while typing away on my laptop*

Oh wait. I’m supposed to be blogging, right?

Ahem. *clears throat*

Hi folks. It’s that time again to do the yearly wrap up. And as I say every dang year, boy does time sure fly. What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is time goes a lot quicker. Seemed like yesterday when I was in the prime of my life, having fun, with no responsibilities…

Uh, nevermind.

Anyway, back to the yearly post. I believe this was my breakout year. Finally. And no, I didn’t get that dream book or movie deal nor did I make six figures. However, I did learn something more about how to get closer to my writing goals. So this year, the word to sum up 2018 is…

*drum roll*


That’s right. This is the word for 2018. Unfortunately, it didn’t come until after a good author friend of mine suggested a book I should read. And since a lot of authors read this blog, I don’t mind giving it a plug.

Write to Market Deliver a Book That Sells by Craig Fox – https://www.amazon.com/Write-Market-Deliver-Faster-Smarter-ebook/dp/B01AX23B4Q/

Where was the book for me like 5 years ago?

Truly, this book helped to change my perspective. The whole time I’ve been publishing, I’d always thought writing to market was about falling pray to what’s highest on the charts. And believe me, with my weird tendencies, a good portion of my writing might not be what everyone wants. However, that’s just the point. You find your niche in the market by studying the charts and doing the research to see what best fits your brand as well as what you’d enjoy writing.

Oh God, why didn’t I learn this sooner? Bottom line, I’m glad I read it because it helped me to see my journey in a whole new light. I looked at my books and found what I’d mostly be interested in. Then I studied to the charts, finding my niche in two places: Dark Romance/Fantasy for Michael and kinky, humorous, for BLMorticia. BL also loves to write musicians, so I’ll be sticking to that for the most part. The key is, finding that audience that appreciates those same things.

Writing to Market isn’t about selling out. It’s about finding your place in the market. With this new information, I’ve got a clearer goal in mind of what I wanted to accomplish. By doing this, I’m building the brand I need to establish my names. Mostly, I’ll be focusing on Michael and BL, but the other names will follow a certain model as well.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, a lot of my writing career has been about trial and error. Writing, publishing, and saying a small prayer to the gods that someone will read it. In the long run, this doesn’t always work. In order to make it you have to build a foundation around what you write. And although there is some luck involved, you still have to do more work to make your books stand out. Work means marketing way before the book releases to create the buzz, building your keywords list, writing intriguing back copy or blurbs, which now isn’t so daunting as it used to be along with writing stronger characters to support your brand.

I’m grateful to my friends and others for recommending this book because it was truly an eye opener. I’ve kept it bookmarked on my kindle app for reference to go back and read it. If you’re an author who wishes to get a better understanding of how things work, I’d highly recommend it.

One more thing: I also made the commitment to go wide with most of my books. While I haven’t made as much on the other retailers as of yet, I do see royalties, especially from iTunes and Google Play. For the exception of Immortals, and the two newest ones coming this month, all my other books are on the other channels and I’m looking to add them to Smashwords as well as load the rest to Payhip.

Immortals has done well in KU, especially now with the boxset. Longer books succeed in KU, as was shown to me with Where There’s Smoke in January. I’d garnered a significant amount of page reads and that was with very little reviews. The book sells okay on the other channels too which makes it a win win.

Now, looking back at the year, I did do more things to hone my craft. I didn’t have as many submissions as I’d hoped, but it’s okay, because I’m fine with focusing most of my efforts on self-publishing.

This year was more successful monetarily, so I was able to spend a little more on ads. I’m lucky to have friends who are authors that are willing to help with covers, edits, beta work, etc which brought costs down some and eased my anxieties.

As it stands, I’ve released ten books with three more set to go this month. Also, a story in an anthology.

Where There’s Smoke BLMorticia (My biggest seller to date Jan 2018)

Calisto’s Quest Immortals Book Four, Caught in the Crossfire PROTEKT Book Three (Pride Publishing) Michael Mandrake (March 2018)

Teacher’s Pet Veronica Bagby (April 2018)

Nola Nights Boxset Michael Mandrake (July 2018)

Mercurio’s Mating Immortals Book Five Michael Mandrake, Beautiful Skin Anthology What I Like About You BLMorticia (August 2018)

Starf*cked BLMorticia (September 2018)

Push Music in Motion Book One Dreamspinner Press, Because You Loved Me w/Remmy Duchene BLMorticia (October 2018)

Immortals Box Set Michael Mandrake (November 2018)

Nerds Like Us Full of What I Like About You BLMorticia, Breakable Faith Vale Valley Shared Universe Book Eight Michael Mandrake, Taken and Crowned Michael Mandrake (December 2018)

Which lands me at the number 13 again with releases. *smiles* Something about the number 13 I suppose. So far for 2019, I have one book being released from a publisher in the 3rd quarter called Love Voodoo. It’s a novella at around 37K. I’m pretty excited about that and hope to get at least 2 or 3 more in before 2019 ends.

So, with all this information, what’s the focus next year? Branding again. I’m planning on having my website redone and unveiling new logos. I also hope to attend a conference or two next year, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m focusing on getting the December releases finalized, which is driving me nuts. All three first drafts are done, but I’m passing stories to betas and to my editor. The blurbs are written, and I’ve promoted the books for the last 3-4 weeks.

Hopefully all that hard work will pay off and I’ll have another success story to blog about.

Until next time, and thanks for listening!

* * * *

How about a look from my upcoming release? Nerds Like Us is the full version from the Beautiful Skin anthology. The story has been expanded into a short novella full of laughs and smexy romance, just as BLMorticia intended it to be.

Release Day is December 10th!

Will has the dumbest luck!

Will is a poor suburban white kid with no clue what he’ll do in life. When his nemesis exclaims, he’s sitting at the wrong table, Will braces himself for a punch that could alter his face. No amount of makeup would cover that up.

Enter James who is the handsome bisexual version of Richie Rich. Instead of burying his head in the books, his plans are derailed when he stops a bully from manhandling Will. Despite walking away, James makes up his mind he and the cutie will get better acquainted.

Although James rescued Will, he isn’t convinced the jock likes him. Not until the impromptu meeting at the mall snowballs into something more.

Will is the first guy to pique James’ interest. Extra kudos for wearing skinny jeans and nail polish. But will that nerd accept one of James’ kinks? Although the chances are high, James worries his valiant effort to save the dorky hottie will be wasted.

This book is a kinky, sexy, low-angst standalone with an adorable dork who has an affinity for guyliner, and a handsome stud who likes frilly things and cum play.

You have been warned!

**This is the full version to the story What I Like About You, part of the Beautiful Skin Anthology

Link - http://bit.ly/2DGO4ia

* * * *

Bio: Romance and erotica author Sharita Lira believes that love conquers all. Writing sexy stories of people who might be complete opposites, but somehow make a lasting connection that often leads to a happily ever after.

Happily married and mother of two, Sharita never allows complex plots to deter her from writing the story. Inspired by heavy music, attractive people she’s seen in person and on the internet, Sharita always has a tale on her brain.
In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine FourteenG.
For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com and if you’re a fan who would like exclusive updates on her writings and chances to win prizes, sign up for the newsletter!
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Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Sad Inspiration for the Last of a Series The Virgo Pisces Connection

My latest release The Virgo Pisces is the last of the Opposites in Love series and a story that has more bits of me than usually enter the story. This was difficult to write. Here’s how the events in the first chapter of the book began. Writing it made me very sad. I was nineteen and assigned to my student serve on Pediatrics. One of my patients was a five year old little girl with leukemia. She wasn’t responding to treatment. One morning when I entered her room, she opened her eyes. “Tell Mommy not be sad. I hurt no more.” Unlike the scene in the book, she didn’t wait for her mother but died right after she spoke. I think that was one of the saddest days of my life.

The Virgo Pisces Connection (Opposites in Love Book 6) Kindle Edition

Pisces Megan experiences burnout. Her third witnessed death on the Oncology Unit in a week is too much for her to handle. Going to her apartment and being alone isn't to her taste. Of all the Grantley Gang, she is the only one not married. She tries to resign from the hospital and is persuaded to take a month of her accumulated vacation time first. Avoiding her five friends, Megan rushes from town, not knowing or caring where she is going. Escaping the ghosts of the dead is her primary goal. During a blinding snowstorm, she crashes into the life of Dave Malloy MD.

Dave is a Virgo a traveling doctor going from assignment to assignment over the country. He's decided two things. One is to settle and gather moss. The other is to find his sister lost years ago when they were sent to two different foster homes. He has found her and vows to rescue her from an abusive situation. When Megan lands against a tree at the house where he is staying, he finds her very attractive. But can he act on this attraction when he must care for her after the accident and his decision she is a patient?

Together, they must find his sister and hope they aren't too late.

Megan entered the room of her favorite patient and rubbed her arms to chase a sudden chill. The five year old girl looked so tiny and frail. Leukemia of a virulent type had drained the child rapidly. The little girl’s color nearly matched the white sheets. Megan drew a deep breath. Though the night nurse had assessed Bonnie’s condition as stable, Megan knew the woman had been optimistic.
Not today. Please. As certainty entered her thoughts, her stomach lurched.
“Morning, Button.” She waited for the child to open her eyes and make her usual response. The little girl’s eyes remained closed. She didn’t speak. Megan cleared her throat and tried again, hoping to hear “Not Button. I Bonnie.”
The child’s eyelids fluttered open exposing her dark eyes. Bonnie seemed to stare at a point in the distance. Slowly, she focused on Megan. “Tell…Mama…Not be …sad…Hurt gone.”
The whispery voice brought a cold shiver. Megan checked Bonnie’s pulse. An erratic beat bounded against her fingers. Shallow breaths were interrupted by long pauses. Megan’s fears deepened. She pulled her cell phone free and dialed the number taped to the bedside stand.
“Mrs. Mellis, Megan Carter here. I’m Bonnie’s nurse. You need to come at once.”
“Is she?”
“No but she’s very weak.” Urgency filled her voice. She prayed the woman would arrive in time. She bit her lip to keep from crying. Why this child? Why now?