Starting over

12_Angels_Publishing_1These last few months, I’ve been doing a lot, a lot of thinking. You see I got into self-publishing about three years ago in the fall of 2012. This November will mark my third year.

I wish I could say that I’ve experienced great success and I am but a breath away from reaching my goals of doing this full time. But sadly, the reality is, I’m no where close to that dream.

Yes, I am further than where I started, but my path has taken twists and turns that have  often left me confused and discouraged. At times, I’ve even felt taken advantage of. While there are many great people out there, unfortunately there are also a lot of bad ones and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in these three years is that I cannot be so trusting. Not everyone means what they say. Essentially, the saying “buyer beware!” is the golden rule to follow on the internet.

I am not posting this to feel sorry for myself. But rather, because I need to be honest with myself.

In the past three years, can I really say that I’ve put forth true, committed effort? No, I can’t.

Admitting that kills me, but I need that cold douse of water thrown at my face to wake me up. I need that honestly to scream at me, get in my face, and slap me upside the head. It pains me to admit that I’m failing in this endeavor because of… me.

I’ve even told myself that maybe writing isn’t for me. That I got into writing because my friend did. That I was nothing, but a hack and a phony. That I had no talent, no skill, nothing worthy enough to read.

So why, in my darkest moment, do I go back to writing? Why, when I’m thinking about the future, writing is a part of it? Why do I cringe when I think about putting down my pen permanently? I love to write. I’ve finally found a love that multiples my soul in so many ways and it doesn’t ask for anything back, but for me to keep at it.

In all this time, I have not been able to get away from myself or to get away from the fears that have always held me back. Why? I’m sitting here shaking my head because I don’t have a good reason. Even in the face of disaster, when this book business could have been my safety net, and my salvation, I didn’t do what had to be done. Why? Cause I’m an idiot, that’s why!

In the meantime, I see so many people that I started with rise to greatness. I feel lost and pushed behind their wake of success. You know like that salmon swimming upstream, only to die at the end or be eaten by a bear? That’s what it’s been feeling like.

Well, I’ve had enough. I’m done being afraid. Life is passing too quickly.

I may be more of a tortoise than a hare when it comes to finding my book success, but I will find it. The time has come for me to start anew. I’m not a sparkly new penny anymore. I’ve been tossed around, scratched, and have landed in dirt more times than I care to admit, but I’m still here.

This journey is not over and there’s more in store for me.

I believe there’s more in store for all of us, and we will each find our success, and see our dreams materialize in the best ways.

Abundance and joy to you.

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My kindle library

file9531244575592Like most authors, I’m also an avid reader and yes, a book hoarder. My to-be read list grows by the week.

Do I have a slight problem? Yes, I believe I do. I have more books than I can read. I really don’t need to download any more, but something about 1-clicking on a kindle book… ahh. It’s therapeutic 🙂

So, I was actually looking through my kindle library searching for a book when I started to notice that my books of choice seem to fall in very certain categories:

  • Writing tips and how-to’s
  • Marketing
  • Self – publishing
  • Spirituality
  • Paranormal Fiction (Romance, Erotica, YA)
  • Wicca
  • Dreaming
  • Chakras & Energy & Crystals
  • Cookbooks

I’ve always had varied taste and the book categories above all make sense given my interests… all except Cookbooks. LOL! I don’t like to cook and I’m not much of a cook, but I still like to look. I have a lot of hardcopy cookbooks too. I think it’s the colorful pictures that attract me. I do love food.

But, the best part about all this? For all the books I have, the money I spend on e-books is so minimal. Self-pub authors are generous 🙂 Not only do authors often run free promos, but most books can be had for $2.99 or less! I can spend more on a latte.

Being that I’m an author myself, I like to support the community. It’s a good thing for me. I grow my collection, I learn, and I’m entertained. For the author, it’s good as well. They get sales, ranking, and a new reader.

Positivity all around. Support an indie today.

 

BB & B got a facelift!

file6831251040142Okay, changing the site’s look wasn’t exactly something I’d planned on. In fact, it wasn’t even a thought. But, technology had other ideas. I got a prompt to install an update on my last theme. So, I did. Didn’t really think much about it, until my whole site crashed!

Anyways, thanks to HostGator, my host server, they got me back up. Problem was, the old theme was no good. It got corrupted. I was so bummed! I really liked the way my old theme looked, but I couldn’t use it again. I had to scour for another theme and came across this one. I like it, it’s different from my old one and it will take some getting used to.

I’m a creature of habit and new things take time to sink in. I just hope this theme package works. Sheez! Gotta love technology. I may still look for something else, but I want to test run this theme for a bit and see how it goes.

I hope you like it!

Lesson? Yes, rather than pulling out your hair when things go ka-bloo-ey, try to go with the flow. It’s either that or you’re thrown with the blast anyway. Moving with the flow results in less scrapes and pain and more bounce.

Well, that’s it for now. Fingers crossed, my  new theme holds up 🙂

 

 

Spawn, Tangled Threads Series

Spawn_ebookSpawn by Nancy Brooks

is here!

True to form, Nancy continues with this fast paced, action packed adventure that will keep you turning the pages.

Kiarme’s band of mercenaries aren’t quite out of danger yet… find out what happens.

Book Description:

It would have looked like a typical American home, except for the bars on the windows, the aluminum foil wrapped around the roof, and the sign on the lawn that read ‘Beware of Aliens’. This they were used to; it was an assignment they could handle efficiently as Disseminators of Misinformation. But when Seven Banks and his fellow DOM operative arrive in Nebraska to discredit a typical alien sighting, they find themselves thrust into the wrathful path of cannibalistic creatures highly skilled in guerilla warfare. A hostage situation soon ends in a race against time to stop bloodthirsty creatures determined to hunt down and kill fugitive enemies—a band of mercenaries led by the only man who can exterminate the spawn of a demigod.

Click here to read SPAWN

 

Gathering Storm

read an ebook wkSmashwords is celebrating the adventures of e-books this week.

If you haven’t already heard, there are tons of both free and discounted books available.

Stock up your reading device and join the fun!  As a little something to get you started, Cecily’s book Gathering Storm is FREE as part of this wonderful celebration.

Click on the links below and use the coupon code posted on the book page to get your copy for free. ENJOY!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/439173 gathering-storm-ebook-newcomp2

While you’re shopping, Prelude to a Storm is also free.

What can I say? We love to give and share around here 🙂

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/435397

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NEW RELEASES!!

We have been busy at the 12 Angels Publishing arm of this outfit.

Take a look! Four (4) new e-books released within a matter of a couple months and the great news is that both NANCY BROOKS and CECILY MAGNON are busy working on the follow up books to their respective serieses.

2015 is going to be raining with great new books.

Stay tuned.  We have a lot in store for you this year!!

For more information on the books pictured above, check out any of these links below:

12 Angels Publishing blog

Cecily Magnon Amazon Author Page

Nancy Brooks Amazon Author Page

Assassins by: Nancy Brooks

NEW RELEASE!!

ASSASSINS

by: Nancy Brooks

Assasins-EbookLegend has it that Humans and Non-Humans once shared this land we now call Earth. Truth is, they still do. Most Nons are descendants, half-humans, living undetected on every continent. They like it here. They want to stay. This is their home.

It wasn’t always like that. Back when legend was being written, Nons wanted this land for themselves. They hated humans and would do anything to force them out of this world. They’re the reason why the Milesian Army was formed. With the Milesians leading the battle, almost every immortal was exiled into the Otherworld. Those who managed to escape were considered violators. 
 
The M.A.’s off the grid. No one really knows who or where they are. They capture, contain, and exile every Non they can find. They make sure the average person lives in ignorance, unaware that immortals exist; they hire assassins to make sure the secret stays hidden.
 
My name is Eric LaSalle. I am one of those assassins…
NEW RELEASE!!
DARK SKIES
by: Cecily Magnon
dark skies ebook_coverPassions are erupting…
Cryptic alliances are forming…
Armies are gathering…
And the fabric between good and evil is slowly tearing open…Time is running out on Elysa and The Order of the Anakim. A gathering gloom hangs heavy over their mystic realm as the demon hordes measure a final deathblow in their age-old struggle. Step by step, the demons murder, capture, and conjure their way to a realm unified by utter darkness. Their ruthless queen Ashtaroth – guided only by ambition and her voracious thirst for carnal pleasures, masterminds their rising tide of evil.

The Order must unify its splintering members to meet the defining challenge of their history… or pass forever into oblivion. (To read more click here)

Author Interview — C.D. Gorri

Books, Blogs, & Bits

is proud to present:

C.D. Gorri!!

~ ~

BB& B: Christine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Christine: I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Montclair State University. I attended Catholic school from grades K-12 and photo 1am the youngest of six daughters born to Italian immigrant parents.

I currently live in my home state of New Jersey with my husband, my children, and my dog.

It has always been my dream to be an author and I am proud to say I am currently writing a teen/YA paranormal fiction series. My eBooks, Wolf Moon: A Grazi Kelly Novel, and Hunter Moon are both available online.

BB & B: I thought the story was very well done and I’ve read a lot of paranormal, but I have to admit most of my reading has been in the Adult genre. I’m curious why you chose to go with Young Adult?

Christine: I chose to write Young Adult lit for a number of reasons, the one that comes to mind first is I am a huge fan of YA books. I love the whole coming of age story line that sort of goes hand in hand with YA fiction. When you start with a character who is a child or a teen there is so much room for growth on a personal level and in the story line that the possibilities are endless. It just made sense to me that if I wanted to write a supernatural story this is where I should start.

Also, I’m a mom. I wanted to write something my children could read and identify with a little bit. My ten year old is my biggest reader and I didn’t want to write anything that I would have to tell her she couldn’t see until she was much older. It also gave me a built in test group for my ideas! LOL

WolfMoon2 (1)BB & B: Wolf Moon is your first novel. How long was this story brewing inside of you before you began to write it? How long before you decided to publish?

Christine: I have always wanted to write. Grazi, my main character, has been whispering in my head for years. It finally took a very long and cold winter last year for me to come back to a short story I had written about her (about ten thousand words) and turn it into a short novel.

The night I published Wolf Moon on Smashwords I was completely giddy with excitement. I was only looking to see how it would work and I was honestly thinking about waiting a month or so to do it, but then bam, one click later and it was done. I haven’t looked back since.

BB & B: I got a chuckle a few times reading about Maria Graziana’s school experience in a Catholic School. I went to one too and it certainly brought back some memories. Can you tell us what inspired you to pick this setting for Grazi’s character?

Christine: Well, it is a small world indeed! I am a Catholic schoolgirl myself and I wanted to use some of my own experiences in my book. There is something universally true in all schools I think, from the linoleum to the weird teachers and stuffy principal that we can all identify with. It is also an environment that doesn’t see much light in the world of fiction and I thought, why not? My kids go to Catholic school, wouldn’t it be cool to write about something I know and they know and share it with the world?

Also there is Grazi herself. She was raised by her Catholic grandmother and it just made sense for her character to have grown up going to Church and attending Catholic school. The same Catholic school her mother attended and where she met her future husband, Grazi’s father. I guess I could argue if they hadn’t gone there, they never would have met, and the story would not have been possible.

BB & B: Can you give us your favorite scene or quote from Wolf Moon and what inspired this particular scene/quote?

Christine: That is almost like asking me to pick my favorite child! LOL Seriously though, I don’t think I have a favorite scene or quote. I love all of my characters, yes, even the bad ones! I would have to say I am a big fan of Grazi’s and am rooting for her all the way! But the deeper into the series I go the more the other characters surprise me and I am sure they will surprise you too. Grazi is not the only one I feel deeply connected too. Ronan, Angela, and even Julianna have some growing to do in books 2 and 3 and without giving anything away I can tell you they are just fascinating to write.

BB & B: I am truly curious what lies ahead for Grazi. Without giving away any spoilers, can you give us a little sneak peek into the next book?

HunterMoon (2)Christine: In Hunter Moon, book 2, we pick up right where book 1 leaves off. Grazi knows she is a Werewolf and becomes aware that there are things that go bump in the night. Things that seem to want her dead. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning more about her heritage and her parents’ lives and deaths. She makes new friends and her relationships take surprising turns. Grazi’s character also learns that not everything is as black and white as the Hounds make it. In fact, she will help them realize what they have been ignoring for years. Demons are stirring and they want the world.

I am currently working on Rebel Moon, book 3, in it, Grazi must learn and decide for herself who to trust. She learns more about her role in the upcoming battle for dominion over the world and she must decide how and if she will fight. In her personal life things are getting complicated and Grazi comes to see that love comes with a responsibility that she had never realized. Darkness comes for her in the shape of a boy-faced demon and Grazi must resist him in order to find the strength she needs to continue the fight. In the end she will find that when she has her friends by her side she is stronger than ever.

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Christine: I am planning at least two more books in Grazi’s series as well as a possible spin off series. I am just fascinated by Grazi’s universe and have plans to expand and build upon it.

BB & B: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Christine: Yes. Write. Don’t stop writing. When you think you are finished, write some more! It is easy to say I will start tomorrow, but don’t wait. There is never extra time or enough time. Just write wherever and whenever you can. And for those who ask you what your real job is just remember this is a real job. If you treat it as such you will get it done. Good luck and never give up.

BB & B: Any last words you’d like to share about Wolf Moon or the series?

Christine: I just want to say thank you for hosting me here and thank all of you for taking the time to read this! And if you are looking for something with a little fang and a little fur to read, give Grazi a try. I think you’ll like her.

Be sure and look for me, C.D. Gorri, author of the Grazi Kelly Novel Series.

WolfMoon2 (1)

Thanks and happy reading!
“del mare alla stella,
~C.D. Gorri

If you’d like to find out more about CD Gorri and her fantastic new series, be sure to click the links below:

CD’s Website

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Instagram

Goodreads

All of CD’s books can be found at your major ebook retailers like:  Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Google Play, Itunes, Kobo and more.

Amazon links:

Is there a difference between erotica and steamy romance?

Couple Kissing at SunsetWell… I have been pondering this question for some time now. Why? Because, I admit it, I read a lot of romance novels of all heat levels — all the way up to erotica; and I have noticed that the difference between erotica and steamy romance is very blurred.

I would say there is a difference, but at times it’s really hard to pick out and even harder to explain, but I’m going to try. The differences are based on my observations only and certainly not something I’ve scientifically researched.

So, what are the differences?

  • Descriptive word use
    • In erotica, you get a full frontal assault and there is no questioning what body part is receiving attention and what is getting done to that body part. The body part is glorified in all its splendor and there is no shame in the words used to pay it homage.
    • Steamy romance — the choice of words are softer, more subtle, not actually naming the part, but perhaps pointing to its location. Yes, there is plenty of loving attention to the body part as well, but attention is shown in a more “flowery” kind of way, but with a mix of a good “pounding” when needed. Catch my drift?
  • Frequency of sex
    • In erotica, all the time, all ways, any ways.
    • Steamy romance, there’s a buildup in the story that leads to the sex scene. In some stories, the couple may not get together until half way through the book — the peak if you will 🙂 LOL! I crack me up.
  • Focus
    • In erotica, the point of the story is the sex. The best way to describe this is with erotica anthologies. The focus of each short story is the sex — the how, when, and where, doesn’t really matter, but you know that in each story, that the couple will end up boinking.  Why, because that’s the point of the story. There is no plot twist, except maybe if the alpha male twists something on alpha female, but that’s it. The goal is for the couple to succumb to their lust and have brain numbing sex while they’re together.
    • Steamy erotica, like I said above, there’s a build up to the sexual encounter. The plot moves and winds for the couple to overcome certain things together and sex just happens to be one of the things that brings them closer. In most stories, the sex is the act that solidifies their bond and brings out their feelings of love. That’s where the “romance” comes in 🙂

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Here’s a few more related questions:

Can steamy romance have “explicit” language and scenes? Yes.

Then shouldn’t it be called “erotica?” Perhaps.

So is there really a difference, if steamy romance can have the same type of scenes that erotica can have? The difference may be miniscule and the only difference, may be in the way the author and/or publisher decide how to categorize the story and  market it.

Either way, as a reader, whether you purchase a book categorized under erotica or romance, I think it’s fair to say that you’re going to be reading some scenes that can have you wiggling in your pants — and really isn’t that the point of both these categories because when it comes down to it, a great author regardless of genre, will make you feel the characters — in this case the feel includes pleasure.

Happy reading!