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Sunday, February 17, 2019

During the Eclipse of the Supermoon, Larissa Meets Roman...


I'm thrilled and a bit sad to share that Larissa and Roman's trilogy is complete with the release of Captivated by the Gargoyle. 



Here's an excerpt from the first night they meet in Tempted by the Gargoyle.

Roman:

What troubled the brunette? An instinct to protect her kicked in. The pull toward her was compelling, a sensual onslaught that overpowered him.

Remember why you're here.

He stepped back, both mentally and physically separating himself from the woman, and shielded himself behind the bar. That compulsion was one he'd never experienced, and not knowing what it meant bothered him all the more. All the uncertainty about tonight had him on edge.

Turning away, he gulped in the cool night air. It invigorated him for only a moment. What hit him next almost knocked him off his feet--a sudden whoosh of energy. It blasted past him with immense force and power, indicative of dark magic.

A gut feeling made him turn to locate the brunette, and he scrutinized her. He sensed something unusual about her than the other humans on the roof. Was she the source of that dark magic? He opened a mental link to communicate with Arto.

There's a woman on the roof I'm going to keep an eye on.

Is she in danger? Or is she dangerous? Arto asked.
Good question. That's what I plan on finding out.

***

Tempted by the Gargoyle


An eclipse of the red Supermoon.

Humans hype the event as a night of passion,

But, the gargoyles sense a threat...


Larissa, a police officer, wants nothing to do with the event pushing soulmates, but her friend convinces her they need a night out to move on. It will be their first night dancing since the attack. When they visit a gothic-themed club, Larissa catches an attractive stranger watching her.

Roman, commander of the Stone Sentries, patrols from a Boston rooftop. When a blast of dark magic soars past him, he attributes it to a brunette. Something about her is different, demanding all senses be on high alert.

Is she dangerous? Or in danger? 

Roman tracks Larissa to find out, discover something far more shocking...

"If you haven't read Ms. Carlisle's books, what the heck are you waiting for. Her Gargoyles are hot! Before you know it, you'll be lost in a world beyond your imagination. Full of wicked fun and tempting Alphas."

"Wowzer... she had me hooked from the beginning and there was no way I was putting it down."

"So thrilling, action packed, and romantic." "Plus, hey, it's Boston, cops, and gargoyles..."

"Omg! Omg! Let me start by saying that! This book is exactly what I have been waiting for!... These two characters had such great chemistry, that I can completely see a future for them in series form, and I for one cannot wait for that to happen!"

Tempted by the Gargoyle is the first book in the Stone Sentries trilogy and is cliffhanger-free. Perfect for fans of action-packed, steamy, and suspenseful stories.

Don't miss this Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!

Start Larissa and Roman's story today!

Friday, February 15, 2019

A Celebration of Love

This is a celebration of love which is appropriate this week.  This week Rebound, released and to help celebrate, The Playmaker, which takes place in the same world is on sale at all outlets for 99 Cents.  I wanted to give everyone a chance to read and get to love my world of Philadelphia sports and athletes.

Rebound is the story of Bri and Obie and takes place around the world of basketball.  You will meet old friends from The Playmaker, and definitely make some new ones.  Happy reading and lots of love.


Professional basketball player Bri Early needs a physical therapist after an injury, and he’s heard that Obie is the best. Bri takes an immediate liking to the out-and-proud man with the magic touch, and even though Bri isn’t openly gay himself, he’d never let anything stand in the way of something he wants.

Obie can’t deny that the sexy athlete presses all his buttons, but he’s a professional and has no intention of getting involved with a client. While they’re working together, it’s hands off, no matter how great the temptation.

But being a pro athlete isn’t easy. Bri has enemies, and one of them is making his life hell. When his house is set ablaze, Bri can no longer pretend the threatening messages he’s receiving are jokes. He needs a safe place to stay, and Obie can’t turn his back. But the two of them in the same house is a recipe for combustion that could burn them both….



Professional football player Hunter Davis is learning that saying he’s gay is very different from actively being in a relationship with another man—especially in the eyes of his teammates and fans. So when Hunter needs a personal assistant to keep him organized, he asks for a woman in order to prevent tongues from wagging.

Montgomery Willis badly needs to find work before he loses everything. There’s just one position at the agency where he applies, but the problem is, he’s not a woman. And he knows nothing about football. Still, Hunter gives him a chance, but only because Monty’s desperate.

Monty soon proves his worth by saving Hunter’s bacon on an important promotional shoot, and Hunter realizes he might have someone special working for him—in more ways than one. Monty’s feelings come to the surface during an outing in the park when Hunter decides to teach Monty a bit about the game, and pictures surface of them in some questionable positions. Hunter is reminded that knowing he’s gay and seeing evidence in the papers are two very different things for the other players, and he might have to choose between two loves: football and Monty.




Thursday, February 14, 2019

Gentle Ben


Note from the Author:  Do you remember young love, how it felt to be starry eyed over a guy? Well, for Valentine's I picked out this novella to remind you how it felt. It's an intense little story with a lot of love. Happy Valentines, everyone!!!


That Saturday, Kitty slipped out of the house and met Ben at the mailbox. She wore a pair of nice jeans and a pretty white peasant top. She combed her hair until it shone, and she put just a tad of make-up on.
"You look nice," He said as she grabbed her helmet quickly.
"Hurry, let's get out of here." She said in a slight panic.
"Something wrong?" He asked handing her the helmet.
"She's on a warpath. Maybe she'll settle down now that I'm gone." She told him.
"I'm sorry babe. I don't want to get you in trouble with her." Ben told her.
"I'm so disgusted right now, I had to get out of there or I might do or say something I'd regret." Kitty sighed against his back as he started his cycle and headed for the road.
But when she noted the direction, they were going she asked, "Where are we going?"
"We're going to get my truck. I should have brought it. We can't go to a drive-in on a motorcycle." He smiled as he turned his head to see her.
"You got a truck now?"
"Yeah, it's not brand new, but it's good enough. I bought it off Mr. Grimes. He said he won't be driving much any longer. His son will do that for him. It's a little old, but it's in good shape. Mr. Grimes always took good care of his things. And besides, we can't watch a movie on a cycle." He grinned.
She chuckled. "I love the drive-in movies. You know they are tearing a lot of them down. I think that's sad."
"Thank goodness we live in a small town."
They pulled into his mother's drive.
His mother came out on the porch with his sister. "Hi, what's going on?"
"Just getting my truck, Mom. We're going to get something to eat, then go to a show."
"Sounds good. I'm going over to Helen's." She told him.
"Helen's but it's not Friday."
"She's kind of lonely and wanted to know if I was interested in quilting tonight, so I told Rose if she'd take me over, I'd stay with her a while."
He went to help Rose get her down from the porch.
"Hi Kitty, how are you?" Rose asked. Rose was a lovely girl with dark brown hair and eyes that matched. For a woman with two children she still had a terrific figure.
"Fine now."
Rose turned her head.
"I'm sorry, just having trouble with Mom." Kitty explained.
"Well, sounds to me like the both of you could use a night off and enjoy yourself." Rose smiled.
"I think you are right."
Ben's mother reached for her hand, "I wish I knew what to tell you Kitty. But I'm glad Ben is over there with you. After we talked, I realized how much help you do need."
"I don't know what I'd do without Ben." Kitty winked.
"Ya'll have fun."
Rose smiled, "The kids and I are going over for a while, the kids wanted to make cookies for them."
"Sounds great." Kitty told her.
They got in the truck after Ben put his cycle up and took off.
"Your mother looks good." Kitty smiled.
"Yeah, she's actually better these days. I think seeing your mother has brought her out of it a bit. She realizes she's not the only one that has troubles."
"Yeah, sometimes we forget that." She nodded.
"Kitty, I don't want to tell you what to do, but I think it's time we had your mother see a doctor." He told her.
"A doctor?"
"Well, a shrink actually."
"She'd never go, willingly." Kitty shook her head sadly.
"Look, there's a doctor over in Fairfax, he's retired now, but he's a shrink. If you'll agree, maybe I can arrange something. Maybe a private session in his home? If we could arrange for her to visit him in his home, maybe she wouldn't be so opposed to seeing him. I know this isn't ethical, but we could lie to her and tell her he is interested in her and wanted to spend some time with her."
"Is he real old?"
"No, he just retired early because he could. He's in his fifties. But he's still a nice-looking man, and since he's a doctor, maybe that would impress her."
"Do you think he'd see her like that?"
"Once I explain the problem, yes."
"Alright, see what you can arrange. But you may have to help me get her there. And for sure, help me lie about it. I can't lie straight to her face. She catches me every time."
"I will. It's time. This has gone on long enough, and it's starting to have effects on you. I'm more worried about you than her. We can't just let this go on forever." He encouraged. "It's time to do something, Kitty."
"It's worth a try, I guess. It's hard to see your own mother in this kind of situation." Kitty admitted.
"I know babe, but she's beginning to cause you a lot of headaches. It's time."
"Alright, I'm willing to try." Kitty shrugged.
They stopped at a known burger place in town and grabbed something to eat. They ordered their famous burgers and fries, and Ben got them both a coke. Ben tried to take her mind off her mother for a while though as he brought up some of the kids that he'd bumped into since he got out of juvenile.
"I saw Curly Martin; did you know he's married with a kid now?"
"No, I had no idea. He moved so I didn't know what was going on with him." Kitty smiled. "Married and a kid. Wow."
 "Was he friendly. Did he know you?" Kitty asked.
"Oh yeah, he said I hadn't changed much except got a few more muscles." Ben laughed.
"A lot more," Kitty blushed.
He smiled. "Comes from hard work."
"I gotta admit, I've ogled you some when you take your shirt off. Can't seem to take my eyes off you."
He stared, then grinned. "Really, well don't worry babe, I've done my fair share of staring at you, too."
"You have not…"
"Oh yeah, when you helped me bale that hay to the loft, I watched you a lot. Enjoyed the picture too." He grinned.
She put her burger down, "I wasn't trying to get your attention." She tried to excuse herself.
He reached over the table, put his hand in hers and stared into her eyes. "You don't have to try babe, I think you are beautiful. I always have, even in middle school."
She laughed, "You've got to be kidding, I had braces then."
"I know and on you they were cute."
She giggled.
He loved hearing her laugh like that. He hadn't heard her laugh before and it tickled him that he could get a laugh from her. It meant she was relaxing and being herself. That's what he wanted to see.
When they left the burger place, he took her hand, and guided her to his side of the truck. He encouraged her snuggling against him and she felt at ease enough to sit close and hold hands the entire trip to the drive-in.
He turned to look at her now, that they had cokes and popcorn and fixed the speakers on the window. "Now it's time to relax and enjoy ourselves." He smiled.
"I can't remember the last time I was here." She told him.
"Have you dated much Kitty?"
"When dad was alive, I did. Nothing real serious. But I had fun. You know went out with the crowd to places."
"Good," he said and put his arm around her, bringing her up close to him. "Good, I'm in to fun." He smiled. "I haven't gone out much, I'm sorry to say. When I got out of juvenile, I went to work, and I didn't know many people. But coming home, when I realized I was applying for work at your place. I decided that was going to change. I'm ready to date again."
She began to relax.
He fed her some popcorn and she laughed.
They were running a cartoon, and it was Tom and Jerry. She chuckled, and he could tell she was beginning to feel comfortable with him. He soft laugh, filled the old truck and he leaned back in the seat, held her close and enjoyed that sound.
The movie was a romantic comedy and he leaned over and kissed her a time or two. Her lips were salty with popcorn, but he didn't mind kissing the salt right off. In fact, he licked them and laughed.
Soft sweet kisses that helped her relax and enjoy the night.
After a while he whispered in her ear, "You sure do know how to kiss."
"You're not so bad yourself." She stared up at him.
"I really like you Kitty." He whispered again. "I don't want in your pants, right away at least, but I sure do enjoy kissing you. Do you mind?"
"No," she whispered. "I think you are what I needed all along."
And he kissed her again. This time the kiss was more passionate and heated. His warm tongue darted out to open her mouth and let him in. Together they swooned. He heard her breath hitch, felt her body relax against his.
He stared hard when he came up for air, "I don't know how to say this. I mean…how they say it these days. But I want you to be my girl…I care too much about you Kitty, I couldn't stand another guy taking you out."
She sat up now and looked at him, "You want to go steady with me?"
"That's kind of old-fashioned terms, but yeah, I do." He kissed her again. This time she wrapped her arms around him and invited him with an explosive kiss that steamed his truck windows. He pulled her into his lap and his arms went around her. The kiss intensified, as his lips drifted up and down her neck and he blew softly into her ear. When she came up for air, her eyes met his, and the look he gave her was possessive.
"Me too…" She sighed and melted into him.
"Will you go out with me on the weekends?" He asked.
"If I can I will." She smiled. "And if I can't, maybe you could stay in with me."
"I'd like that. Sounds good. I just want to be with you. You're very special to me Kitty. Your one of the few that doesn't look down their nose at me because I went to juvenile. When I first came here, I wanted to help you, but now…dammit I care about you Kitty. I care a lot."
"Oh Ben, all you did was take your step-dad's car for a ride. That's not criminal you know. But you didn't get to grow up with anyone around here much. And a lot of the kids you used to know are married now." She became silent a minute then looked at him. "Do you really think my life will ever get back to normal again? I don't want to hold you back, but I'm so glad you are with me."
"I'm glad too, I'm glad I found you. I'm gonna see that everything works out right babe. I care too much to let you ever go." He said and smothered her once more with a kiss that spoke of their dreams together.
"Promise?" She whispered.
"Promise." He smiled
When they drove back to her house, he turned off the engine and they sat inside the truck, kissing. "I can't seem to get enough of you, babe." He chuckled.
"Me either." She cried.
They were steaming up the window when her mother came out and knocked on the windows.
"What are you doing, you little tramp?" Her mother accused as he rolled down the window.
"Do you mind. I’m kissing my girl goodnight, Mrs. Baldwin." Ben told her.
"Looks to me like you've done enough kissing. What else have you been up to?" She demanded to know.
"Mother!"
"Get in the house, Kitty." Her mother spewed with an acid tongue.
"Goodnight Ben…" She moved to the other side of the truck.
"Goodnight babe," He called with a smile, then leaned to kiss her one more time as he pulled her gently back into his arms and kissed her tenderly.
"Now!"
"Mrs. Baldwin goodnight." Ben said and put his truck in gear once he saw Kitty go inside. "I love her Mrs. Baldwin you might as well know that now. And I'm going to marry her someday."
"Marry her!"
"Yes ma'am, that's what people do when they love each other…" He smiled. "See ya Monday."
"I ought to fire you now!"
"Maybe, but you won't. You need me to get this place on its feet. And I'm going to do just that. Goodnight again."






Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Reading 10 Books a Month Challenge

Someone asked me last year how many books I read and I guessed 100 and their mouth dropped open. I won't lie. I read a lot, fast. I read like some people binge-watch TV shows, like, as soon as I finish a story, I'll story another one in that genre (especially if the story was a good one because then I have a book hang over and the cure is to just read more. It's science.

So my goal is to write down every time I finish a book. Seems simple enough, right? Even one month into 2019 and I scrambled trying to remember and figure out what books I read and where. I tend to alternate between kindle and paperback. But, this past month has been incredible because every book I read was amazing, memorable, and I would recommend every one of these stories to everyone I know.  I tend to read romance, but there is always a Young Adult and something resembling a thriller each month.

The list:

—Innocent Man John Grisham does a phenomenal job writing about the true and heartbreaking story of a man put on death row who was innocent. The book documents the police work and shows every little misstep on how an innocent man was accused of a horrific crime. Gripping, sad, and captivating.
—Hot Shot Doc RS Grey is the master of banter and painting a world within a story. I felt like I was in the surgery room throughout this enemies-to-lovers story. The banter, wit, and back-bone of the heroine were the perfect combination that had me rooting for the two stubborn characters to just let love happen. 
—The Secret to Dating your best friend’s sister I love books that give you the squishy feels. Meghan Quinn does an awesome job with this brother's-best-friend trope by weaving the past and the present into the central love story. This book made me laugh out loud multiple times, squeeze my kindle to my chest with swoons, and had me wishing for more of their story. 
—The Ex Effect Kayla Sorensen took a trope that had potential to be a disaster (the hero was engaged to the heroine's sister) but she wrote it in such a real, beautiful way that had me begging for the two to overcome the past. I love sports romance (it is my favorite genre to read and write) and we get to see the world of football and how the two characters navigate their sticky past. This was one of my first books of hers and I'll definitely read more. 
—Intercepted Alexa Martin is now on my list. Another sports romance that had all the feels. I like a heroine who sticks up for herself and a hero who is a big cinnamon roll when it comes to love. This story made me laugh and cry, and with Alexa having experience being an NFL wife, it showed an entire different side of the NFL I didn't know about. I LOVE learning about another world when reading so it was pretty awesome. 
—Merrily Ever After Jenny Holliday surprised the hell out of me. I'm not a huge fan of novellas (remember I'm a binge-reader, so I want to be there for hours) so I was hesitant diving into it but holy shit, I'm glad I did. This story had SO MUCH HEAT AND HEART I fell hard for the characters. I'm not kidding. It took no time for me to be so invested in their happy ending, I sped through it. There is something about a romance between married couples that is like an extra punch in the gut (in the good way) and how she wrote the characters, their flaws and all, I got big ole heart eyes for them. 
—Two Can Keep a Secret Karen McManus is the queen of young adult mystery. The characters are so relatable and feel like old friends. This latest story is so interwoven with clues and past and present crimes mixing and gah, it was chilling and incredible. I stayed up way too late to finish because it's one of those "tell me right freaking now who did it" type of stories. 
—99 Percent Mine Sally Throne is one of my favorite authors and I will get my grabby hands on anything she writes for the rest of her life. Her books are so powerful and emotional...I ate this entire story up the night it came out and cried when it was over (because it was so good). 
—Two Weeks Notice I love a story female lead. This story is about a badass chick who works her tail off and kinda/sorta falls in love in the process. I really liked this because it showed an entire world of high-stakes careers in New York and, the chemistry between the two characters explodes off the pages. Whitney G is now on my insta-buy list.
—The Contract Melanie Moreland was a new author to me when I read this book and I am SO GLAD I did. This is an enemies-to-lovers, fake marriage story (okay Enemies-to-lovers is my catnip) and oh my God. She wrote this so well. Each page was a layer falling off the surly hero and the sweetheart heroine not backing down. I cried, laughed, swooned, and fell in LOVE with her writing style. I'm not one to re-read books but... this one might make that list.

With all the reading, I haven't been able to shout to the world about my new book on pre-order February 19th. It is a fake-dating, friends-to-lovers sports romance that is angsty and full of fun drama. 

Here is the cover and blurb: 

Pretending to date your best friend is always a good idea…right? Wrong.

Greta Aske has a lot on her mind, and a string of bad dates has her giving up on men, at least for the time being. Her life contains a little too much drama, meaning she needs a break and to save money and get good grades. The perfect solution presents itself—pretend to date the campus playboy. That’ll keep the guys away for sure.
Aaron Hill is desperate to save his baseball career because, with his dad fighting cancer, he damn well knows he can’t ask for a single penny from his parents. Baseball is his past, present and future, so when a scandal threatens his chance in the MLB, he turns to his best friend for help. A fake relationship will keep him out of trouble. It’s perfect, really. Greta’s taking a break from dating and Aaron needs to focus on training.
Nothing could go wrong…as long as neither falls for the other. But when lines are crossed, what’s real and fake blurs and the two are forced to face their fears. Could Greta be the game changer Aaron needs?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

Aftermath Horizon, An Adventure Novel Like No Other


Alone and with no hope of rescue, Beth and David struggle against all odds to survive. At times, all seems lost except for their love for each other. This book will touch your heart, provide deep reflection on the human condition, and offer a glimpse of what could come next. Here’s the excerpt:

            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.

And here are a few reviews:

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

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Over My Head in More Ways Than One With @MeganSlayer #writing #valentines #romance

This year has been one for the record books. It's not even two full months into the year and I feel like I'm already behind. I don't mean a little. A lot. 

I've walked 105 miles so far which is good and only missed two days of exercise. For me, that's huge. 

As for writing, I had a schedule. I had a plan. Those went kablooey. Yep. One book took much longer than I thought and another didn't quite end up the way I wanted, so I had to redirect. I'm good when I have a plan, but this plan... oh boy. 

Then there's life stuff. The tot started driving. That'll give you a heart attack. We've got a new dog. Okay, we got her back in November, but she's a pup and we haven't had a pup in forever. Oh and the tot had mid-term exams. It wasn't so much him taking the tests, it was me trying to get him to and from said tests. Then there's college to consider and what does he need to be doing now to get into college. Makes my head hurt. 

Oh and it's almost Valentine's Day. I'll be spending it alone. Tot has a school function and DH will be working. What am I going to do? Hang loose with the critters and write. 

As much as I feel like I'm over my head and I'm stuck in Jell-o, I'm not as freaked out as I thought. I'm trying to take the hiccups in stride. Isn't that what you're supposed to do? 

But any good vibes you can send are welcome. Any thoughts on managing the stress would help, too. 

If you're interested in stress relief or a good read, then try Over My Head my Heart Attack story for Totally Bound. It's hot. 

Over My Head by Wendi Zwaduk 

Contemporary Erotic Romance
M/F
Novella
From Totally Bound

What happens when two opposites realize they have more in common than expected?

I’m a dancer…and a damn good one. I work at the Silver Steel Gentlemen’s Club. My hard and fast rule? No freebies and no office dating. Except for Slade. Hard, fast, slow, gentle...I don’t care. I’ll take him any way possible. But he’s not that into me.

Or so she thinks. I’m a bouncer at the Silver Steel. Astra doesn’t realize I see her—I can’t help myself. She captivates me every time she’s on the stage. I want her, but I have a...problem. I’m not at the Steel to pick up chicks or even work the room. I’m there to stop the influx of drugs into the community. Yeah, I’m a cop. But if the job means sampling the dancers... Well, as long as I keep my heart out of it, I’ll be fine.

I hope.
Reader Advisory: This book has a kick ass hero, a dancer with all the right moves, hot sex, a little mutual anal play for good measure and mention of drug use.

Available at:

Saturday, February 9, 2019

What to do next?
An author's dilemma

Normally I just post a promotion for one of my books on here, but today I am going to do something different. I'm going to rant a little. Not anything political or change the world kind of thing, more a personal thing.

When I started in this industry back in 2014 I was stunned when a publisher wanted my first book. I was so excited and scared all at the same time. I had no idea what I was doing and unfortunately the publisher really didn't offer me much help.

Because of this my first few books, although I still love them, were a mess. An editor and readers nightmare as far as I am concerned, and to this day whenever I read any of those first few books, I still cringe from all the errors. I can't wait until I get those copyrights back. The first thing I will do with them is to send them to my new personal editor and I will go over them with a fine toothed comb to make sure all the errors are fixed.

After getting hit a few times from readers about the poor state of the editing, which I had no idea I had any control of at the time, I finally reached out to other authors who also wrote for this publisher. Some told me it was unfortunate but something we had to deal with, while others told me, no, if you are not happy call the publisher and tell them.

So after that I started really paying attention to my books as they went through the process the publisher puts them through. I went as far as finding a personal editor and paying her to go over the books even after the publishers editor's went through them twice. And to my shock, my editor still found so many errors.

I was already paying the publisher to do that work, so why should I have to pay another editor to do something the publisher was already being paid for? Well, for me it was about product and my name being on that product.

I, like most people, work very hard for their money and when I spend that money I want to make sure I get the best product for that money. With that in mind, as myself as a consumer and an avid reader, I was and still am so completely honored when someone spends that hard earned money on one of my books. So to honor them, I want to give them the best possible product I can. So the extra cost was and is still worth it to me.

As the months passed and I put out more books, I was still not happy with the editing of my books with my publisher and after many emails and phone calls with them I realized no matter what I said nothing was really going to change, so it would be up to me to make sure my work went out with the least amount of issues.

Now, I must say, no matter who the editor is, there will always be mistakes. People are human and mistakes are a part of being human. I do not expect anyone to be perfect, just to do their best. And honestly, I have been through a few personal editors over the past three years for one issue or another. Only once has it been about the work that was being sent back to me, or should I say the lack of work. So as a business decision, I had to let her go. Not that she was a bad person, because she wasn't. She was a very nice lady and I liked her a lot. But it wasn't personal, it was business. So I had to find someone else.

Now since then I have had some great editors who I have absolutely adored as people and respected as business associate's. Unfortunately, because of personal reasons for my past two editor's they needed to step back and focus on their families, which I completely understand. To me and anyone who knows me, or reads my books, family is the most important thing in the world to me.

So a few months ago I found and hired another amazing editor, and so far things are going fantastic and I love her to death. She is very professional, does and amazing job, her prices are reasonable, and the time she takes to edit my work is reasonable. I don't see me changing editor's again any time soon unless something unforeseen happens.

But in actuality, editing is not really what my rant is about today. It all started because of my publishers lack of care when it comes to editing. As I kept working and putting books out and getting frustrated, other authors started telling me that I should think about doing other books beside the series I was working on and gaining a big following for, despite all the editing issues.

I heard many times that I shouldn't be a one trick pony and give my readers more options. So I started writing other books. A stand alone and another series, but I still had to send them to the same publisher and still had to go through all the problems and headaches.

But I continued on and kept writing because I love it so much and more series began to come to me and grow, but I didn't want to send them to the publisher anymore. So I started asking around and doing research and began self publishing. Best decision I ever made.

But now everything was totally on me. Hiring an editor, which I already had, getting a proofreader and finding a cover artist. Then paying all of them. But thank the stars above it all worked out wonderfully for me. And the fact that I was an art student when I was younger and I have a degree in Photography, all helped and I have been teaching myself how to do covers. So now I do work with one cover artist for some of my work, while I do some of my own covers.

Now that I have my foot firmly placed in the self pub world and I pretty much know what I am doing, my big dilemma is what book to write next?

That is really what my whole rant is about and an issue I know many other author's face. When I was told not to put all my eggs in one basket and to offer my readers more book options, I started a few series. Now, as of today, I also started another two series. My readers don't even know about these two yet. LOL.

Also, three years ago I started working with another author and we joined to do a small series of 6-8 books. Yeah well, that series was such a success and the readers love it so much that they yelled for more. So what was supposed to be a quick little series has now turned into us working together for three years and 3 spin off series to that original series, which now is up to I think book 12. All together in those four series we have written about 26 books in three years. Plus each writing our own personal books. No wonder I'm tired. LOL.

The good part about it is we work so well together and we both love the series and the characters we created just as much as our readers do and we are having a blast writing these books. But that means the dilemma grows.

Which book next?

Now, I am a fluid writer, which means I don't write an outline when I write. I don't break it down like some authors do and have everything planned from start to finish before I start writing. Some authors make lists, they want this, this, and this in chapter one, then so on for each chapter until the end and once they have all of that then they start writing.

Not how my mind works. Neither does my co-author on those other books I mentioned. She works exactly like I do, which is why I think we get along so well and work good together.

So, I am a fluid writer. Ideas pop into my head and certain characters will talk to me. Whole visions of scenes will come to me with those characters talking as I am driving, or in the shower, or cooking dinner, then I will quickly go write those ideas down.

With those in mind, the story starts to build in my head and as it does and the characters start talking to me, I start writing. Sometimes I can go 4-5 chapters with them whispering in my ear before they stop talking and give me a break. Sometimes that break is a day or two and other times it can be weeks before they start talking again. Which can be a real pain in the ass at times.

Sometimes I have multiple characters from multiple series talking to me all at once and I can't keep up and I write for days jumping around from one book to the other, writing a chapter at a time in each. Then I need to go back the next day and make sure I didn't put the wrong people in the wrong books. LOL.

Then there are other times when no one is talking and writing each sentence is a struggle and like trying to pull healthy teeth. Very frustrating and can last for weeks at times.

But then I hear the grumbling from readers about when the next book is coming out. God bless my readers, because I swear to god I really have the best readers in the world. But I do get so many request sometimes that I get worried I will disappoint them. In one week I will be contacted by say ten readers each asking when the next book will be coming out, but they each want it from a different series.

Yes, I no longer have that one series and now have many, but boy it does make it harder at times. I do have 32 open works in progress all from all my current and now two new series. Each has at least 3 chapters written, some more, but none nowhere near ready to be finished. Then there is the one that all my readers are yelling for, but that one hasn't spoken for months, and others have, so the focus goes on the ones that are talking.

So that is my dilemma and my rant, I feel like I am letting my readers down by not getting out the books they want, but at the same time, because I am a fluid writer, I don't force it. I will never force a story because I can tell you with a hundred percent certainty, that the readers can tell when you do. There is a change, even slightly, in the way you write or how you let the characters talk and interact with one another and the readers will pick up on it. So I will never force a story and always wait for my characters to talk to me.

So the point is, the frustration is real, but it's the reality of the beast that is this industry. So which book do I write next? Which series do I try to focus my mind on and put out the next book? Which of the 32 open works in progress will I finish next? I haven't got a clue, but I can tell you this, having this problem is a real problem for writers, but in the grand scheme of things it's really not a problem and I should be happy that this is my issue and not something bigger.

So, which will I work on next? Hmmmmmmm. Now that is the question.


For more information on Maggie Walsh and her work, please visit her website at:
www.maggiewalshauthor.weebly.com