Monday, August 21, 2017

The 5 Big Lies You’ve Been Told About Self-Publishing, And Why They Tell Them




The ad promised riches.

All I had to do was purchase their product to learn the secrets of self-publishing, and the money would start rolling in.

Fortunately for me, I’d bought enough snake oil over the years from ads that promised I could rub away that ugly scratch on my car’s fender, or let a little robot clean my apartment while I relaxed.  Which is an excellent idea—if only it worked. The truth is there is no magic bullet, and ads that promise one are more than misleading, they’re deceiving.

There’s nothing more misleading than all the information that’s out there about self-publishing. If you are a writer interested in self-publishing, everywhere you turn you’re hearing conflicting information: Self-publishing is hard, self-publishing is easy, self-published authors don’t make any money. Use Scrivener, don’t use Scrivener. It’s enough to make you go batty.




The truth is, self-publishing isn’t for everyone.  In my new webinar, The 5 Big Lies You’ve Been Told About Self-Publishing, And Why They Tell Them, I break down the 5 big lies. Afterwards I discuss all of your publishing options so you can make an intelligent choice about which option is best for you.

Those of you who know me know I’ve had a lot of success in my 30 year career as a writer: Bestselling novels, a 2015 award winning novel, novels optioned by Hollywood, movie scripts, and I am an Emmy and Academy Award nominated writer. When it comes to writing, I know how to be successful, and I’d like to share some of my success secrets with you.

If you’ve thought about self-publishing but didn’t know where to begin, start here: https://app.webinarjam.net/register/43154/f8922b4d83 

Spaces are limited to the first 100 so sign up now.





Saturday, August 19, 2017

Haunted Mirror Tutorial #HalloweenDIY




So I made this Haunted Mirror for Halloween but never got around to posting the tutorial. I shared the images on Facebook and had several inquiries for instructions.

So here you go.

I found an old wooden photo frame with intact glass at Goodwill for under $1. I always look for wood frames because I can easily sand them and paint them any color I want.

I used several of the 8x10 ones I found to frame photos of my kids but this one was a little bigger 12x14 I think-  perfect for the Haunted Mirror.

You can use any size you want but I wouldn't use anything smaller than 8x10, you'll lose detail and effect.

This was relatively easy to make. The spray paint was the most expensive part of the project- around $12 for a small can at Michaels but there's enough paint to do a couple projects.

I purchased a strand of fairy lights on eBay for .99



Items Needed:

Old Photo Frame with Glass

(Optional- purchase a cheap frame that's ready to use)

Sandpaper

Paint for frame

Glass cleaner

Scotch Tape

Krylon Looking Glass Silver Spray Paint

A rag to wipe off paint if needed

Spooky image to put in mirror (you'll need to print two copies, one regular and one in reverse)

Optional: Battery operated wire strand of fairy lights

Instructions:



1) Start with your frame. Is it ready to go or do you want to paint it?


If you are going to paint the frame, disassemble, remove the glass and set it aside, lightly sand and wipe the frame clean.




2) Prepare your work surface.

I work at my kitchen table so I lay out wax paper to keep paint from getting on everything, plus your project won't stick to the paper even if you get paint on it.

3) Paint- I put the frame on the wax paper and painted it a mix of red and black with blood droplets on it.

4) Choose an image for the mirror. I just googled "spooky image with hand reaching" and found what I was looking for.



5) Print 2 copies of the image. One facing the way you want it to and one in reverse. To create a reverse/inverse image open the photo in your photo editing software and simply flip it. It'll be a mirror image, completely backwards to your original image.

6) Clean your glass thoroughly and let it dry

7) Now determine the front and back of the mirror. Place your image under the glass as it will be in the frame so you can get an idea of placement. 


8) Remove your image and flip over the glass so the back of the glass is facing up. Put the inverse image under the glass and tape it. It will be taped to the outside of the glass. You are painting the inside, which is the back of the glass.

9) Find a well ventilated area or take the glass outside to paint. Make sure it is a dry day. If it is a humid or rainy day the paint will bubble and turn cloudy. 

I made this mistake the first time I tried to paint.

Shake the can well before spraying. Have a rag handy so you can wipe away paint if you spray too much.

I lightly misted the glass. It didn't look like enough, so I sprayed again. Then I had to wipe away the middle so the image could be seen.

The goal is to have a mirror surface but still see the creepy face coming through the glass. This can be tricky to do and make take a few tries.

Don't worry about imperfections. You want the mirror to look cracked, creepy and worn.

10) Once everything is dry untape the inverse image, flip the mirror over, put your real image under the glass and place in frame. You should have a creepy haunted mirror.




11) Optional - add a strand of wire fairy lights.

I had several strands of fairy lights I bought on eBay for .99 each. I had gold and blue. 

I decided to add the blue lights to give the mirror a creepier effect in a dark room.

So I opened the frame back up and stuck the lights in around the inside of the frame under the glass. Just enough so they could be seen and give the spooky image a ghostly glow.





When I completed the project and took it to my husband, he looked at it, said "Oh that's cool. Then he looked closer, his face paled and he backed away, "No, uh uh, that's creepy."

I laughed. I knew I'd done a good job if it creeped him out. That was the effect I was going for. It is a Halloween decoration after all.

I plan on making a couple more of these this year. I have this amazing creepy old frame I trash picked. I just need to get glass for it then it is going to be a large haunted mirror.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Guest Blog- The Accalia by H.L. Girton


Hello! I am author H.L. Girton. I am guest blogging today and sharing the news about my debut novel and brand new release of The Accalia. I would like to discuss a fun topic in relation to my novel and share some fun facts about The Accalia that you might not have known otherwise from reading the story alone.

When I read books, I like looking for the fun connections or read about some of the author’s playful tactics or hidden eggs in their stories. It always gives the reader a deeper understanding to the author and a glimpse into their thought process in writing their stories. When I began writing The Accalia I just had to have fun with it. One thing I did, and I hope you find the fun in it, is play a little game with the character’s names. I did hours of research and name hunting for my characters that were meaningful to who they were or what their destiny is in the series. I felt like I was looking for a million baby names for the babies I was birthing in the world of The Accalia. For example, Genesis, her name means the beginning. Her character role in The Accalia is the beginning of something new, a change to the shifter world that turns everything they knew upside down. She is a first. A beginning to a new. I hope this little tidbit helps you have some fun with the characters. 

Creating characters is never easy. I had struggled with a few to get them portrayed just right in the series. The first character, and most major one, that I struggled with getting right was the hero of the book, Liam. I had a hard time getting his image how I needed him to look. Liam (meaning warrior or protector) needed to come across as intimidating. He needed to be someone that people feared but also someone that could be kind. For weeks I created and deleted characters that were not fitting enough. Then one day when I was grocery shopping (we lived in Alaska at the time) I found myself floored. I stopped walking and was just awestruck. A group of Russian hockey players were walking through the store and I about died. They were giant and they looked like they could start some trouble. Right there and there I knew Liam had to be a Russian. I needed him to give that same feeling I had seeing those hockey players. He needed to tower over people and instill that fear with just a look in his eye.

A last fun fact that would be the title of The Accalia wasn’t always that. I originally had the book titled The Beginning. I was wanting to tie in the heroine’s name to the title. It had to be about her. (Another name play!) But with further research and the more I wrote the story the title just didn’t sit right with me. It didn’t fit. It didn’t have that uniqueness. Not until I came across the name Accalia, meaning She Wolf. I knew instantly that she was going to be their savior, their prophet come to life. The Accalia flowed and fit right in, claiming Genesis in another way. She was their only she wolf. Their Accalia.

There are many more fun fact and hidden eggs. Can you find any from reading the story? More will come as the series goes! I can’t wait to share those too.



The Accalia
The Accalia Series
Book 1
H.L. Girton

Genre: YA paranormal

Date of Publication: Aug 14th

Cover Artist: SK Designs

Tagline: The truth hurts more than secrets and lies

Book Description:

After traveling the country with her aunt, Genesis Berkley finally feels like she is home. Settling in Tillamook, Oregon, she begins a new life and everything seems to be going smoothly. That is, until she runs into a mysterious young man.

The feelings that he awakens are unsettling, and soon, her simple, peaceful world shatters. Lies and secrets are revealed, and danger lurks in every corner.

Now, Genesis must discover if she is strong enough to fulfill her destiny. Will she learn to accept the truth before it is too late.

Amazon US       Amazon UK       Amazon CA


Inktera        Kobo        Itunes        BN


Excerpt One:

“Please! I’m not the Accalia as you all believe. I cannot be her.” I looked around at them, their eyes locked onto me as I denied their silly prophecy. “I’m not a savior. I’m not the girl they describe in here. I don’t know how to love like that. I don’t have the power or strength to stop whatever it is the Accalia’s meant to stop. I’m just me. I am just a normal girl who graduated high school a few weeks ago. I’m sorry, but I’m not who you think I am.”
I was apologetic, but firm. I couldn’t be what they wanted me to be. I just wasn’t that girl. The only love I had ever known was the love I had for Aunt Cammie, and until I met Madeline, I hadn’t loved a friend before. They expected me to be this all powerful, unconditional loving, Accalia, but I was nobody.
“You are the Accalia, Genesis, and you will come to realize the importance of it in time. You are also my daughter and both roles come with responsibilities and expectations.”


About the Author:

Heather Girton has been a creative writer since her childhood, writing creative stories and poems for the love of imagination and literacy. It started out as an outlet for personal struggles and a way to cope with them through fictional fantasy and turned into a passion and need to share her aspirations with the world. It wasn’t until 2013 that she decided to share her talent through fictional novels due to the encouragement from her family and friends.

Since graduating high school in 2006, Heather has spent the last eleven years being a dedicated mother and military spouse. In that time she nurtured a family of four children all while traveling the country following her husband’s career. She spent the last five years working towards her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. She has done volunteer work with grief support organizations gaining experience with her field of study.

Currently Heather lives in Texas with her husband, children, support dog, and lazy cat. She is an avid reader and loves it as much as she adores writing. She spends her free time sharing her devotion for it with her children. When she isn’t reading, writing or focusing on her family, Heather has a personal admiration for photography.



Monday, August 14, 2017

Sexy Moresomes and Logistics -Guest Blog Beyond The Rules by Anna del Mar



So, have you heard? My newest erotic romance is a ménage titled Beyond the Rules. This is my first ménage and, classic me, I went all the way and made it a ménage á quatre. Yes, not one, not two, but three extraordinary alphas and one really smart girl, a very lucky woman.

In the story, Nina is a brilliant hacker who crash-lands in the rugged mountains of Montana. She’s fleeing from a deadly enemy and a painful past, and runs straight into the arms of three hot, sexy, mysterious ex-SEALs who have an agreement to share everything and that includes—
yup, you guessed it—her.

Tanner Vazquez is a healer at heart, a kind, giving, thoughtful personality profiler, a man who soothes Nina’s broken heart. Aiden Black is sweet, earnest and straightforward, a techy with an off-the-charts IQ who understands how her mind ticks. Balthazar Flint is an enigma, passionate, hard, intense. When he glares at Nina, she has to repress an impulse to kneel at his feet and ask for mercy. He’s a man who could very well unlock the darkness in her soul.

Yummy. No wonder she falls for all three!

The ménage meant I had to juggle four POVs, four completely different characters, and four different approaches to life, romance, and sex. But, hey, I do love a challenge.

So I went for a deliberate, simmering, erotic buildup, where Nina develops sexy, distinct, and nuanced relationships with each man before they give it a go in a group setting. Next I knew, this foursome broke all the rules and the novel caught on fire.

Which left me wrestling with the logistics of an all-out conflagration. Logistics, yes. When you’ve got a three to one ratio in bed, one must remember the basics:

1.     Every part has an owner and every owner has his parts.
2.     The owners—like their parts—are not interchangeable.
3.     So don’t mix, but do match.
4.     Keep track of every person and every part in every situation.
5.     Neither part nor person can be in more than one place at the same time.
6.     Flexibility is desired, in mind and body, but flesh and bone? They only bend so far.
7.     Gravity matters.
8.     Pleasure is the objective but love is the goal. :-)



Beyond The Rules
An At the Brink Novel
Anna del Mar

Genre: Erotic Romance.

Publisher: Anna del Mar

Date of Publication: August 15th, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9799682-6-6

Number of pages: 290 pages approx.

Word Count: 113,000 approx.

Cover Artist: Mayhem Cover Creations

Tagline: A brilliant hacker fleeing for her life runs straight into the arms of a trio of ex-SEALs bound by a sacred, battle-forged pact, men who have agreed to share everything…including her

Book Description:

When Nina Leon crash-lands in the rugged mountains of Montana, she’s fleeing from a deadly enemy and a painful past, desperately searching for the legendary hacker who can help her defeat the ruthless terrorist stalking her. Instead, she’s rescued by three brave ex-SEALs who will do anything in their power to protect her.

Tanner Vazquez, Aiden Black, and Balthazar Flint live by a pact forged in battle and signed with blood. It’s a bond that has saved their lives more than once. They’re committed to watching each other’s back and sharing everything.

Everything.

As different as they are, Nina hits all their buttons. They agree. She’s the one they’ve been waiting for.

But Nina’s not looking to commit to anyone. She doesn’t believe in love. Her life has made her the ultimate skeptic. Lust? Yes. Sex? Absolutely. Love? What a crock.

Protecting Nina is gonna be hard enough. But convincing Nina to stay, fulfilling her sexual fantasies and getting this brilliant hacker to trust and love them—all three of them—for good?

That’s gonna be a hell of a mission.

Amazon     Kobo     BN


Excerpt:

Nina

My jeans were scorched in places, so Tanner lent me a black T-shirt and helped me into the single pair of panties I owned, fresh out of the dryer. I was clean and my hair was combed and almost dried. My knees were still shaking from the orgasm, but on the upside, I didn’t have to walk far. Aiden insisted on carrying me down the stairs. The smells of bacon and biscuits scented the house and sent my stomach into a growling fit.
            Aiden looked down on me and cocked his broken eyebrow. “Hungry?”
            I flashed an apologetic grin. “Starving.”
            “No worries.” He settled me on a stool by the kitchen island and went over to the huge fridge. “We’ve got you covered.”
Wow. When was the last time someone said that to me?
A quiet beep lit up over the discreetly paneled door that slid aside to reveal Tanner, leaning on his crutches, shuffling out of the elevator. “Ready to chow?” He winked at me and then joined Aiden and Zar at the kitchen counter, picking out cutlery from one of the drawers.
I caught an excellent view of three very nicely built backsides, broad shoulders, tapered waists, asses chiseled from granite. Holy hell. These hunks made menial kitchen work look like a sexy, seductive dance.
I fanned my burning face with my bandaged hand. “Can I help with something?”
“No need,” Tanner said. “Sit tight.”
            Zar was parked in front of the stove, firmly in charge of some gigantic omelets, plus a pan of bacon and the biscuits he maneuvered out of the oven. A distinguished touch of silver frosted his fair hair at the temples. It had to be premature gray, because he was otherwise too young and fit. Or else he worried too much. Yeah, that could be.
He glanced over his shoulder. His eyes were startling. His irises were a shocking color, azure flecked with Lapis. I couldn’t decide whether his gaze reminded me of the oldest glaciers in the world or the flame’s hottest fire. A million questions gleamed in his stare. He considered me as if he was debating whether he should send me to the corner or spank me. If I had a choice, number two, please.
Balthazar Flint. The name suited him to perfection. It had gravitas. It also matched his demeanor, down to the hard edges of his powerful body. It occurred to me that, in another life, I could’ve been the steel to his flint and we would’ve made lots of sparks. Dream on, girl. Like that could ever happen.
Zar transferred the last of the omelets to the plates and Aiden plunked a cup of tea in front of me, Earl Grey with lots of cream. Before I had time to ask Aiden how he’d known exactly what I liked in my tea, Tanner picked up the mug and tipped it against my lips. I took a deep draft, enjoying the sweet heat that warmed my stomach and spread to the rest of me. The four of us sat at the kitchen counter, facing our loaded plates. After examining my right hand, I was about to give the utensils a try, when Aiden beat me to the fork.
            “I promised I’d be your hands when you needed me.” He speared a chunk of eggs and lifted them to my lips. “You need me.”
So freaking sweet. Panty-melting cute. “Thanks,” I mumbled through a mouthful. Had I died and gone to heaven?
I chewed my food, enjoying every bite, studying the men as I did. These guys were military or ex-military, like my brother had been. They spoke, moved, and acted like trained warriors. Tanner had admitted to training as a corpsman and Aiden had mentioned they’d designed the house while they were on deployment. I had to get to Ulysses, but I couldn’t help being fascinated by the remarkable trio that had taken me in.
I stole a glance at Tanner. At six feet or so, he was the shortest of the three, tall to my five foot five. Fit and compact like a soccer player, he was a head-turner. The striking contrast between his smooth, dark olive skin and his light green eyes gave him an exotic flair that conjured images of distant shorelines, sun-kissed dunes, and fabulous spice markets.
There was no question that Tanner appealed to me. What he’d just done to my body challenged my skepticism at every level. With his chiseled chin, his body’s perfect proportions and his hair, cropped in a clean, sharp cut that spiraled from the cowlick at the back of his head, he should be strutting some runaway in Milan.
My gaze shifted to Aiden. His size alone should’ve made him lumber and yet when he moved, he did so elegantly and efficiently, as if he’d trained his body to function in a world that didn’t always fit him. Aiden looked like a basketball player. Or an Olympic swimmer. The scar that nicked his eyebrow gave character to his face and the curls and facial scruff added a roguish touch that reminded me of pirates and Vikings. I bet he’d taken a few shield maidens to Valhalla.
My eyes went to Zar, downing his food with automatic precision. Height-wise, he was somewhere in between Tanner and Aiden, but he was built like an NFL linebacker. His muscular neck was made to carry the weight of a dangerous world. His solid pecs could serve to bulldoze entire armies. His thighs were as brawny as the beams that held up the house. When he glared at me as he was doing now, I had to repress an impulse to kneel at his feet and ask for mercy.
“You got enough in you to talk?” He set down his fork and nailed me with his skull-piercing gaze. “The sooner we deal with this, the better.”
He was right and I needed to get back on track.

The first two chapters of Beyond The Rules are available here: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/excerpt_beyond.html


About the Author:

Amazon Bestselling author Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass heroes who defy their limits to protect the women they love.

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories.

When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she splits her time between Colorado and Florida where she lives with her indulgent husband and a very opinionated cat.

Anna loves to hear from her readers. Connect with Anna at:







Subscribe to Anna’s Newsletter: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/newsletter.html

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Guardian Unforgiven by Nollen Bradley




Guardian Unforgiven
Book One
Nollen Bradley

Genre: Werewolf Erotic Thriller

Date of Publication: 7-05-2017

ASIN:  9781521565940

Number of pages: 241
Word Count: 81,290

Cover Artist: Nollen Bradley

Book Description:

Family secrets are hard to hide, sometimes they claw their way out.

The werewolf, most believe to be folklore or legend. For centuries, the existence of werewolves were kept secret and guarded by a warrior class of lycan descended from a fierce ancient line known as the Guardians. These Guardians, sworn to uphold the peace between the wolf and humans. But, some werewolves not satisfied with living in secrecy start lashing out, hunting and killing all with the ancient gene to push humanity into extinction.

Now, only a few descendants are left with the cursed bloodline, some don’t even know they have it…   

Amazon Print     Amazon Kindle       Smashwords       24 Symbols     BN

Excerpt 2

"...I walk up to the first one in line, the horse big, powerful Watching the horse’s breath seeing the mist flow in the cool night air as it blows out and curves and dissipates into the night. The horse is black, over its skin were flames like a neon blue aura, the horse seemed jumpy and acted like it wanted to run.

 I look at the rider sitting proud, cowboy boots into thick heavy leather chaps, a long oily, black trench coat, the strength and power radiated from him with the same neon blue flames. Stepping next to them I could hear the horse breath, the small creaks of leather on leather. As I look up, he turns his head and stares directly at me. Startling me as I see his face under his glowing black, Gus cowboy hat. A skull, with blue neon flames again radiating from around his collar and surrounding the skull. The rider takes one arm reaches out and touches my shoulder."

About the Author:

Nollen Bradley is a pen name for Bradley Noll an American author residing near Leavenworth Kansas. The married, father of two grown children is new to the published author scene even though he has been writing song lyrics, poems and short stories all of his life.

Brad grew up on a farm outside of Winchester Kansas learning the value of hard work. Following college, Brad spent twelve years as a Paramedic until his second back surgery ending his successful career where he received several letters of commendation.

Brad spent time farming in his off days feeling the everyday pressures of the weather, markets and juggling the debt that is associated with large business. Brad also spent several years as an amateur Rodeo Clown (Bullfighter) working several local rodeos in the IPRA circuit. All the while, continuing to write songs and preform at local venues. Following a music CD he produced named “Make Believe” with eleven of his original songs and while in the process of producing his second Album he realized his talent was more suited for writing then music.

Brad takes the experience from the sweat stinging his eyes from the heat on a hot July day in Kansas. The heartache from having to tell a parent or a child that their loved one has died and there was nothing he could do, to the struggles of trying to pursue a dream and watching it crumble in front of him.

Brad has developed a style that draws on real life experiences to provided exciting yet believable story lines that captivate readers. Writing unbelievable tales with the realism of the struggles from everyday life in the painful cookie cutter suburban age. 




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Our First Dance by P Nelson


Our First Dance
The Doms of the Cage
Prequel Novella
P Nelson

Genre: Romance, Erotica, BDSM

Date of Publication: August 11, 2017

ASIN: B073WCNVTT

Number of pages: 115
Word Count: 39, 291

Cover Artist: Veselin Milacic via Upwork.com

Tagline: The sizzling hot passion only betrayal could tear asunder

Book Description:

We met Calla and Master Flynn as the sub and Dom with so much sexual tension it set the dungeon of The Cage on fire. Find out how their love affair began and why it had to end to protect them both in Our First Dance.




About the Author:

P Nelson has just started her journey in Erotic Romance with her debut novel Take My hand. Our First Dance is a prequel novel to Take My Hand focusing on the characters of Calla and Master Flynn. Nelson calls Vancouver her hometown and is married with one young daughter. At 6.00pm most days she can be found with a G and T in one hand and either her daughter or a good book in the other.