30 September 2014

30 Seconds by Chrys Fey

When a woman finds herself in the middle of a war between a police force and the Mob, 30 SECONDS is a long time.

Title: 30 Seconds
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Heat Rating: Spicy (PG13)
Length: Novella (105 pages)
Format: eBook
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Published: 09/10/2014


When Officer Blake Herro agreed to go undercover in the Mob, he thought he understood the risks. But he's made mistakes and now an innocent woman has become their target. He's determined to protect her at all costs.

The Mob's death threat turns Dr. Dani Hart's life upside down, but there is one danger she doesn’t anticipate. As she's dodging bullets, she's falling in love with Blake. With danger all around them, will she and Blake survive and have a happy ending, or will the Mob make good on their threat? 


       She panted with fear. What if they see the chest? What if we get caught? What if my breath stinks and I’m breathing right into Officer Hottie’s face? She shut her mouth and let oxygen flow through her nose.
Her eyesight slowly adjusted to the darkness and she could see Officer Herro’s silhouette. His head was turned and he was listening to the thuds of heavy boots getting louder; the intruders were coming their way.
Then the thunder of footsteps sounded right next to them. “There’s no one here, Red,” someone announced.
“Look for documents,” a man ordered, who Dani could only assume was Red. “I want the name of the person I’m going to kill.”
A moment later, there was a reply. “All the mail is addressed to a Dr. Hart.”
Hearing her name said aloud by one of the men who had ransacked her place made her want to gasp. Her mouth fell open and her breath was reversing into her lungs, but before she could make a sound, Officer Herro lowered his lips to hers, silencing her. Stunned, she could only lie beneath him with her eyes wide and her body tense. She couldn’t believe he was kissing her. She wanted to push him back, but knew if she did he might hit the inside of the chest, giving away their hiding place. That was when she realized he was kissing her so she wouldn’t gasp.
She let her body relax. After her initial shock faded, she was able to feel his lips. They were comforting and caused a reaction deep inside her. She couldn’t stop her lips from reacting to his. It was an innocent connection, a soft touch of lips. Until his hand slid from her shoulder to her neck and the kiss deepened into something else.


Chrys Fey is a lover of rock music just like Dani Hart in 30 Seconds. Whenever she's writing at her desk, headphones are always emitting the sounds of her musical muses -especially that of her favorite band, 30 Seconds to Mars, the inspiration behind the title.

30 Seconds is her second eBook with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Hurricane Crimes, is also available on Amazon.

Discover her writing tips on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook. She loves to get to know her readers!

Bonus – Chrys Fey reveals 3 things about herself and 30 Seconds:
  1. Dani Hart and Blake Herro eat all sorts of meat in their story, but Chrys Fey has been a vegetarian for six years.
  2. Blake is a police officer and Chrys wanted to join the police force when she was a teen.
  3. Dani made it half-way to her prom while Chrys never go to have a prom.

29 September 2014

How Do You Stay Motivated?

No, really--I want to know. I don't think I could motivate myself if my life depended on it right now. I just have no desire to work on anything. Every time I think about getting the third draft of Uneven Lines done, I just cringe and stop thinking about it. If I want to plan out my new book ideas, I usually just picture some scenes in my head and then forget about it. I still haven't even named my characters or written anything down besides the synopsis for the first book, but I wrote that weeks ago.

I think part of it is because I've hit a brick wall with my editing. Of course, the other part is the feeling that no one is ever going to like this book, but there's not much I can do about that at this point. I just can't get myself to work on any part--even the easy things to fix, like cutting the words I overuse. Usually I over think things; now I feel like I have the opposite problem. I can't and don't want to think about it. I know what's wrong with it, but I can't figure out how to fix those things.

I just really want to get back into that mode of wanting to get things done. Pretty much all I can motivate myself to do right now is write blog posts and clean my apartment. I haven't been reading as much as I'd like to, either. I've been trying to finish a book for a long time so I can write a review, but I'll get through one scene and want to stop. It's not that I don't like the book, either. It's that I just have such a hard time motivating myself to keep going.

I guess the easiest answer is to just force myself to do something--like getting rid of those overused words. Maybe it will help me to ease back into editing. But it's hard to even motivate myself to do that.

What do you guys do to motivate yourself? Any tricks you'd like to share? Anyone else feel like they're in a writing slump?

24 September 2014

Making Things Up

No matter what kind of story you're writing, there's a lot of work that goes into it. You have to create realistic and compelling characters, map out an entire plot, make sure everything not only fits and makes sense, but entertains as well. I've written both fantasy and realistic fiction, and while creating the worlds in these stories is very different, I can't really say that one is easier than the other. When you're writing something realistic, it's more about research. With fantasy, you get to make things up. 

You'd think making up your own world and all of the tiny little details in it would be fun. Well, it certainly can be. But it can be difficult as well. I recently came up with a two book medieval fantasy story that I'm trying to map out in time for NaNoWriMo. I never outline any book before I write it, but in the case of this particular story, I need to figure out a lot of things before I write a single word. 

While creating a fantasy world can be fun, it's also a lot of work. You may need to start from scratch. You could certainly write a fantasy novel that takes place in any time period within the structure of the real world. But if you want to take it a step further, you can literally create an entire new world. This has its ups and downs. You can basically make this world whatever you want it to be, but you also can't leave any room for error. It has to be consistent, and it also has to make sense. 

There are a lot of details that go into creating a world, and I'm trying to figure all of these things out as I craft this story idea. I have the basic story line mapped out and all of the characters at least partially created, but there's still a lot to figure out. I have to at least have a vague idea on so many things--geography, religion, laws--so that if I need to insert a tiny detail into the story, I'll have it ready to go. It's even taking me a while to name my characters, since I'm not sure if I want to use real names or make them up. It can be fun to create names, but they can also sound silly. I want people to take my characters seriously. When creating this kind of story, you have to decide what elements from the real world you want to use, and which ones you want to completely make up. 

When there's fantasy involved, it can be easy to fall back on that as an excuse. If something doesn't make sense, you feel like you can say, "Because magic, that's why!" While this can work to some extent, overusing the fantasy elements just to move the story forward can be annoying for the reader. I actually just figured out something that was bothering me about this story. I knew that two of my characters will have a protection spell over them, but I had to figure out how this spell actually worked. The point is so that these characters can't be seriously harmed, but can they feel any pain? Like, if they stub a toe, would they even feel it? One of these characters goes his whole life without even knowing he was under this spell, which I thought was a little unbelievable. I also have the other character sentenced to death at one point. But if he's protected, can he even be killed? It was a lot to consider, and the easy way to deal with it would just be to say, "well, it's magic so it can be whatever I want it to be." Well, the reader is going to see right through that. Sure, it's fantasy and magic, but it still has to make sense. I did some brainstorming and thought, what if this spell only protected the characters in an instance where blood would be shed? So, maybe these characters can't be cut, but can still bruise, or the threat of hanging would be something to worry about. I haven't figured out all the details yet, but I came up with something specific that will help this idea to work. 

I think my best advice would be to constantly ask yourself questions. Don't get so caught up in your fantasy world that you can't see what's wrong with it. After I wrote out a quick synopsis for the first book, I immediately started a list of questions I had--things that needed figuring out, potential plot holes I saw. I'm hoping I can actually figure out every detail of this story before November so I can write this thing. 

Anyone else working on fantasy? How do you go about creating a world? 

22 September 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest

Today I get to take a break from all the doom and gloom and write about something I really love. Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting the Underrated Treasures Blogfest.

Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

Today, September 22, post about your favorite unknown –


Post about one or all four – dealer’s choice!

I was all over this one because I always feel that when people ask me about my favorite musicians, authors, actors, etc., I get a puzzled look with an exaggerated "WHO?!" And then I have to tell them something that they would know this person from. I decided to only pick one for the blogfest, because I felt the need to not have my post go on for days. And also because I can blame most of my obsessions on this man.

But first I'm going to bring you back to 1996 (when I was 9), because I know you remember this song...

If I had to pick a favorite musician, it would hands down be Duncan Sheik. I think the man is a genius. Honestly. Most people only know him from the one hit wonder that is "Barely Breathing," but I'm not really here to talk about something you already know. UNLESS, you're also a Broadway nut like myself, then you probably know him because of THIS...

Which I could really talk about for days (like how I still listen to the cast recording on a regular basis, my ridiculous obsession with the original cast, and so on...). I find a hard time picking a favorite movie, TV show, book, but favorite musical? Spring Awakening trumps any favorite thing I've ever had. I'm eternally obsessed with it, and I only went to see it because Duncan Sheik composed the music for it. But I'm not going to talk about that, either (Ow! My heart...). You should know, however, that Sheik has two Tonys and a Grammy because of it, so if you still think of him as a one hit wonder, you shouldn't feel too bad. 

What you probably don't know is that Duncan Sheik has released seven albums, all of which I adore. When "Barely Breathing" was first released, my sister and I were obsessed with it. I remember running into her room one morning and telling her how I had learned more of the lyrics by watching the video with the closed captioning on. For a few years I didn't really keep up with him, well, because I wasn't even a preteen and I was obsessed with the Spice Girls, but anyway, my sister always kept the love alive. She bought all of his albums, occasionally playing a song for me.

When I was 15 and actually started to develop a taste in music, my sister burned me a copy of Sheik's fourth album, Daylight. That was when the obsession started to kick in. It's still my favorite album of his overall--like if I could only pick a few CDs to take with me on a deserted island, this would be one of them. After that, I kept track of everything new he released, especially after my sister took me to see him in concert when I was 19. I've seen him two more times, most recently at 54 Below in NYC last year, which was AWESOME. He performed a lot of musical songs including three from Spring Awakening, as well as some of my favorites of his songs. 

So whenever there are blogfests like this I tend to go on and on, so I'll try to wrap it up. I'm going to share my top five Duncan Sheik songs...which was really hard for me to pick! Surprisingly, no songs off Daylight are actually on my list, I think because it's hard for me to pick just one. The first two are from his first album (self-titled), "Alibi" is from his second, Humming. "Mr. Chess" is from Phantom Moon, his third album, and "Stripped" is from his most recent album, Covers 80's (it's a cover of a Depeche Mode song). 

19 September 2014

Book Realizations, Part Two

So with all of the negative feedback I got from my PitchWars entry, I came to a few realizations about my book. The first was something I pretty much knew the whole time, and the second is something I've thought and thought about but didn't realize I had made the wrong decision until I got this feedback.

First of all, my query sucked. This is mostly because of procrastination. I waited way too long to even look into what PitchWars was, and so was scrambling to write a query just a few days before the deadline. I struggled to cram everything I thought I needed to say about my book into a short, concise query. My novel is a bit complicated and I found it hard trying to figure out what I needed to say about it.

But I also think that maybe the way I was trying to sell my book isn't the way I should be selling it. Maybe what I thought was at the heart of this story isn't the most important thing to tell. I may need to totally reassess how I want to pitch this book, and what I think is going to make people want to read it. Judging by the feedback from one mentor, I really don't think I got the right point across in my query, although that could also be subjective. It could also be that the concept just didn't appeal to her.

Here is the second thing--my big, giant realization: my book is not Young Adult.

It still feels weird saying it. Yes, my main character and narrator is fifteen. And no, it is not told from an adult perspective, like if he was thirty and looking back on these events. It reads like a fifteen-year-old is telling the story. And yet, it can't possibly be a YA book.

I've struggled over this decision for a long time. Obviously, I made the wrong choice when I submitted to PitchWars. Genres are always changing, and just because a book has sex or swearing in it doesn't automatically mean it can't be YA. But I also think it depends on the story itself. There is a bit of a coming of age element, but I also have a narrator who doesn't really give a crap about that sort of thing. He doesn't necessarily find himself throughout the course of the novel--maybe he learns a few things, but there's nothing earth shattering. He doesn't really learn a lesson, which is usually important in Young Adult fiction.

I've always had a hard time calling my book YA even though my main character IS a young adult. But it's about more than just the age of the character. It's about the story more than anything else. So by calling my book YA, I made a bad decision, but I guess one that ultimately led me in the right direction. I made the wrong choice, so now I know what the right one is.

I'm not sure which is harder, trying to sell a YA book with adult themes, or an adult book with a teenage narrator. I've been trying to research some examples and I'll I've got so far is The Catcher in the Rye, which I love, of course, but I think it might be really pretentious to use that as a comp title in my query. Then again, there's a huge part of me that wants to call my book "Catcher in the Rye meets Lolita" so freaking bad! But I really don't think that will impress anyone.

So what do you think? Have you read any adult novels with younger POVs? Because I would love to read them!

17 September 2014

Book Realizations, Part One

I apologize if this comes off as whiny. I'm going to do my best to have it not do so.

I absolutely, completely, 100% regret submitting to PitchWars. I wish I hadn't done it. It's not because I didn't get picked--there was roughly a 10% chance of getting picked, so I was hopeful, but not delusional. I don't think my book is so fantastic that anyone who read it would jump at the chance to pick me. But I also didn't think it was so horrible that everyone would hate it.

Here's what they don't tell you: after the choices are announced, some mentors send out rejection emails explaining WHY they didn't pick you. Depending on the reasons, obviously, this could actually be useful, but it also depends on how the mentor goes about it. I've come to realize that some of the mentors understand that everything is subjective, that maybe a certain book just wasn't for them. Others, though, I honestly believe are way too full of themselves and frankly, just plain mean. (Judging by a lot of Twitter nonsense, the whole full of themselves thing goes for potential mentees as well--but that's a whole other rant in itself.)

I don't want to get too much into it because what I really want to talk about is the realizations about my own book this process has led me to, but I'll tell you this: I got two personalized rejection emails, one of which was slightly constructive, the other I couldn't get past the first two seconds before I burst into tears. I never read the whole thing and I'm not going to. It's already deleted and long gone. I could honestly tell by the first two sentences that there wasn't anything useful in there, and reading the whole thing was just going to put me in a worse place than I already was.

But anyway, the general consensus was that nobody liked my book, hated it even. They didn't like my narrator. Yes, that's right. Nobody likes Jordan. He doesn't care, of course, but I do! I was more confused than anything else. People always seem to like him when I have him write on my blog, and when I first sent out my chapters for people to read, I got some positive feedback. But one of the mentors I sent to said he was "shallow and unlikable," and that made her not care about what was going to happen to him for the rest of the book.

Now, obviously everything IS subjective. Not everyone is going to like every book, or every character. Maybe my writing style just didn't appeal to this particular mentor (she did actually talk about the subjective thing, so it's understandable). But I honestly felt like I was missing something. Was I completely delusional in thinking my book was any good at all? Do I have to start from scratch or should I just scrap the whole thing?

After several days of "woe is me" thinking, and a good discussion with a fellow writer (who has also read my book), I know I don't want to scrap it. Yes, not everyone is going to like my book. Honestly, that would be a little weird. But I feel like it can be very frustrating for a writer when the world is telling you your only options are to completely change your book or give up on it altogether. And I've worked way too hard on this book to do either of those things.

I think what I really need to do is turn this book into the book I want it to be, the one I've always dreamed it would be. And then I'll hopefully find an agent who gets it--who isn't turned off by the narrator or the subject matter. And I just need to not worry about everyone who says no in between.

Look at that, I've rambled and rambled and didn't even tell you half of what I wanted to. Well, I guess I'll be back on Friday to wrap things up--and I'll actually tell you some of the changes I'm planning on making.

15 September 2014

Figuring Some Things Out

Last week I did something that I haven't done in a long time. I didn't blog at all. Not once. I didn't even look at other people's blogs because I didn't want to comment and then have them go to my blog only to see I hadn't written anything new.

I could go into a big, lengthy explanation of why I did this, but that would probably just be really awkward for everyone. I think at some point I probably should write about depression, but when I'm in a better state of mind so it's not completely personal. Another problem I had last week was that my motivation was at 0%. I didn't want to work on anything.

I also don't really want to whine about why I haven't been working on my novel. I do want to tell you about some of the changes I've come up with, but I think I'll save that for another day. Today I want to talk about motivation.

I just haven't had it. Like, at all. I feel like I haven't gotten anything done since I quit my job. I was supposed to get a lot of things done, figure things out. And it just hasn't happened. I think part of the problem is that I have a hard time motivating myself. I try to schedule myself, or make a daily to do list, and I never stick to it. I just haven't found a system that works for me.

I'm trying to change a few things. I want to actually write again. I feel like I haven't written anything new in a long time. I need to finish editing my novel, although I think there's even more to do than I originally anticipated. I want to exercise more and change the way I eat. I really need to not watch so much TV.

Here's one thing I have done: I put my cat on a diet! He's gone his whole life having 24/7 food access, and now I'm feeding him two times a day. It's going pretty well so far, but last night was the first time his food ran out before bed so he kept jumping up on the bed and bothering us all night. We'll see how it goes. I kept saying he was looking less like a cat and more like a sausage with fur, so I knew I had to do something.

Anyway, I'm drifting into rambling territory, so I should probably stop and actually get going with my day. I promise I will actually blog this week!

05 September 2014

Cat Anthology Blog Hop!

It's an exciting day, everyone! Today is the day for the Cat Anthology Blog Hop, organized by the awesome Kyra Lennon. I wasn't always a cat person, as you'll find out below. I decided to share a nonfiction piece about how my cat Gizmo came into my life. It certainly wasn't planned but a view it as a sort of intervention of fate. Enjoy!

The Cat Who Chose Us

            I had always been a dog person. My whole family, in fact. Growing up, our black Labrador, Angel, had been a constant presence in my life and the best friend you could have. She was always up for being my pillow when I wanted to read a book out in the front yard, and we’d spend our nights laughing as she howled a song or barked at my dad as they pretended to fight. When she passed away, it was heartbreaking. It was strange to have to live without her.
            When a few years had passed, we felt it was time for another pet. Especially after my parents divorced and my mom moved out, my sister and I felt that we needed something to liven things up, to fill the void that Angel had left and now seemed even larger. We started doing some research, trying to figure out what breed of dog we wanted and where we could get it. My dad was also on board, so the plan was in motion.
            I never expected anything to interrupt that plan. We were dog people, and we were going to get a dog.
            My sophomore year was coming to an end and I was just about the moodiest sixteen-year-old girl you’d ever meet. If I wasn’t on the computer writing elaborate fantasy novels, I was locked up in my room blasting music. In fact, my favorite band’s new CD had come out just a week before so I couldn’t really be bothered with anything else. You can imagine how annoyed I was when I heard an obnoxious banging.
            Since my dad didn’t feel like actually coming upstairs when he needed me, his usual method of getting my attention was to stand at the bottom of the stairs and bang on the wall. I flung open the door, letting the music continue to blare, while I glared down at my father wondering what the hell could possibly be important.
            “What?!” I asked.
            “Come see this!” was all he said, disappearing from the bottom of the stairs as he went back into the kitchen.
            I rolled my eyes, shut off the music, and went downstairs to see what all the fuss was about. Our kitchen had a glass sliding door that led out to the deck on the side of the house. Since it was mid-June, the glass door was open, letting the fresh air come in through the screen door. And sitting on the other side of the door, meowing his head off, was a cat.
This was after we fed him but before he officially moved in
            I’d never liked cats, but my first thought was that this one was pretty. It was black and white, with perfectly symmetrical markings on its face and a pink nose. It was small and skinny—not a kitten but not quite full grown, either. And it was meowing at us like it lived here and wanted in.
            In my mind, cats had always been horrible creatures. Sure, they look cute, but get too close and they’re bound to scratch or bite you. I just never understood people who liked cats. I was too afraid to actually go outside and try to interact with this cat, so I just watched him for a while before losing interest and running back up to my room to blast my music again. My dad and I both figured the cat would go back to where it came from. We didn’t know what to do about it, so we did nothing.
            The cat came back the next night. Where it went during the day, I had no idea, but our deck seemed to be its nighttime hangout spot. My sister was home so I showed her our strange new neighbor. We decided to be adventurous and went outside to meet this furry little creature, although we were both a little afraid to actually touch it. We didn’t want any wounds.
            It seemed harmless enough. The cat was friendly enough to let us pet it a few times, and we sat on the deck watching it chase moths. When it caught one between its paws, it would chomp down on the moth like it was a tasty snack. We laughed as the cat entertained us. I even dug into my hardly used art kit for some string so I could pull it around and watch the cat pounce on it. But eventually it got late, and once again we retreated inside, leaving the cat to do whatever it was it did when we left it.
One of his favorite spots--he used to be so little!
            The next day I figured out where the cat was living. It crawled out from under the grill like it had been living there its whole life. Now that I was finally seeing the cat in the daylight, it was very obvious that it was a boy. I had no idea how long he had been living under our grill. I just went outside to play with him again.
            More days passed and this cat was not leaving. We didn’t know what compelled him to stay. The warm glow of the kitchen, the shelter of the grill, the endless supply of moths to eat. Even though he had a flea collar around his neck, it didn’t seem like he had a home. Either he was lost, or as my dad suggested, his family probably dumped him on the side of the road and he just came to the closest house he could find.
            My sister and I eventually came to realize the cat was catching moths because he had nothing else to eat. We felt terrible for this cute little guy. My dad warned us, “If you feed him, he’ll never leave.” Well, he wasn’t leaving anyway, and he was hungry. We didn’t have any cat food, but we had tuna. We opened up a can and set it out for the cat, along with a dish of water. He dove right in, eager to be eating something that didn’t have wings.
            Doing something so simple was bigger than we even realized. By feeding this cat, we were claiming him. My family—the dog people, feeding a stray cat. Eventually letting that cat inside and naming him Gizmo. Letting him back outside so he could hunt mice and leave their organs as presents on our doorstep. And ultimately, letting him into our hearts.
            Our search for a dog ended when we let Gizmo in. We didn’t get to choose our pet because he chose us. To this day I have no idea where he came from, but I’m so glad he showed up when he did. I have a very different attitude toward cats now, and I couldn’t imagine life without my little man. Even though he’ll occasionally take a swipe at me, he’s always good for a snuggle. It’s been ten years, two moves, and several pounds (for both of us) later, but he’s just as cute, quirky, and lovable as the first time he meowed outside my door. 

About two weeks after we got Gizmo--we were already snuggle buddies
Ten years later--now we take selfies :)

03 September 2014

'Twas the Night Before PitchWars

It's that time again! The first Wednesday of the month is the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog to learn more!

First Wed of Every Month

Before I get into it, let me spoil it by saying I did not get picked by a mentor for PitchWars. I didn't really expect to, but I'm not necessarily sorry I entered. I always get that feeling that my work isn't good enough, so why the hell did I let four people read it? That could be an entire IWSG post in itself, but I decided to have a little bit more fun with this one.

Knowing the PitchWars picks were being announced at midnight, I of course decided to stay up and find out. But as the night slowly (I mean, very slowly) crept toward that time, it got harder and harder to deal with the wait. So here was how I spent my night, trying to kill time and ignore all the anxiety and insecurity that was waiting to take over. Enjoy!

8:00: Watch the making of Frozen special on ABC. Why? What do you mean WHY? Haven’t you been here before?? Learn a lot of fascinating stuff and laugh hysterically at least once. Killed an entire hour! Only looked at PitchWars Twitter feed during commercial breaks, I swear.

9:00: Do my daily routine of exercises—crunches, lunges, squats, lifting weights, etc.  

Go back on laptop to find 33 new tweets on the PW feed. Eat some watermelon. Stalk the feed relentlessly.

9:30: Wash ALL the dishes! Except one. It needs to soak.

Look at the feed again. One mentor I submitted to is tweeting but I’m already certain she hasn’t picked me because she’s been tweeting hints for the past few days. It’s definitely not me.

Claw my way to the very back of the fridge & find a Yoplait chocolate whips yogurt. EPIC SUCCESS. See that it’s expired. EPIC FAILURE. Google if it’s safe to eat expired yogurt. Upon research and smell/taste test, decide to eat anyway. Still good.

Missed 13 new tweets during yogurt expedition. See fellow potential mentees are tweeting about how their MC met the love interest with #lovestory. Decide not to touch that one with a ten foot pole.

Step over very fat cat sprawled on the floor to use the bathroom. Forget where I left my glasses. Oh they're in front of the TV. Riiiiiiiiight. Cat is now sprawled across my notebook.

Remember I put a Gatorade in the freezer and should probably get it out so I can have a drink and not a popsicle.

10:00: Still two hours to go. Try not to have a panic attack, especially because I KNOW I'm not going to be picked. Still singing “Let it Go” to myself.

Try to ignore extreme thoughts of self-doubt. Well, no one I sent my book to actually read it, so NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD IS GOING TO READ IT. Who the hell is going to buy gay fiction written by a straight girl anyway? What the hell was I thinking?!

Self-doubt: 1. Sarah: 0.

Reread blog post from Monday for a good laugh and because I’m pretty sure Jordan doesn’t even know what anxiety is. No, wait! Yes he does, but he thinks it’s a good thing. He feeds on it—gets a rush from it. Try to channel his attitude—it doesn’t work.

Thinking there’s no way my manuscript is good enough to get picked and what the hell was I thinking by entering in the first place?!

You know, I really should have just started watching Frozen at 9:00. This would have killed so much time.

Open up new flat iron I bought earlier in the day since my old one died a horrible death. Wonder when the hell did flat irons get so skinny? New one is 1 ½ inches wide, the biggest one I could find and about ½ the size of my old one. I have a LOT of hair, people. Aint nobody got time for that. It’s quite spiffy, though. And pink! And comes with a stand!

10:20: Floss and brush teeth. Brush teeth while checking Twitter feed.

This happens: I see fiancĂ© putting on socks. “You’re putting on socks?” “Yup.” “Aren’t you going to bed soon?” “……….Oh yeah.” He takes socks off.

Do ridiculous nighttime face washing routine. Come back. It’s only 10:34. Heavy sigh.

10:48: Fiancé goes to bed. I isolate myself with my laptop on our tiny corner table that is more junk pile than table at this point.

11:00 Tune in to Whiskey, Wine, & Writing, very thankful that they’re doing this show since it will kill a whole hour and be lots of fun.

12:00 Brenda Drake’s website crashes because of all of the views. Is anyone surprised? Blog finally goes up! I go through the list. Did I get picked? Nope. Did my beta reader get picked?? Nope. Ehhhh….oh wait, someone I talk to on Twitter got picked as an alternate! Yay? It’s the only joy I can hold onto, so let me have it, dammit!!!

12:26 Ok, seriously, time for bed. 

02 September 2014


Title: Love Undercover
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction (Sweet, Multicultural)
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Release Date: September 13, 2014

The last thing she expects is to fall in love with a prison guard…

Hotshot Secret Service Agent, Sarita Cerez is thrown into a medium security prison—for work. Her job is to protect the daughter of the president of South Korea. She never envisioned making friends with illegal immigrants or falling head over heels for one of the guards. Now the clandestine activity, which is integral to protecting her charge, may destroy her only chance at love.

He's never fraternized with the inmates—until he met her…

Matthew Carter always plays by the rules, which includes maintaining a strictly professional relationship with the inmates in his charge. But when Sarita saunters onto the unit, all bets are off. Her status as a deportee with a permanent ticket to Columbia means they can never be together, but try as he might, this doesn’t stop him from risking his career for her.

He's a man who values honesty above all else, and she lies for a living. Can two people from such different worlds find any common ground?

As inappropriate as the situation had turned out to be, Sarita was his. At least until she returned to Columbia in what? A few days? A week? No matter when, she would go. “No wife or girlfriend to hang out with.”
Her chest deflated with her released breath. He wished he could have taken her air into himself. I’m screwed. “What about you? Are you married or have a boyfriend waiting to break you out of here at the first opportunity?”
Her eyes blazed into his. “Single as single can be.”
The admission sparked something deep within him. He had to touch her. Nothing else mattered except having his fingers glide over her flawless mocha skin. The all-encompassing urge pushed him to stand.
With a controlled effort he strode to the area across from the television and leaned against the wall.
On every unit, one spot existed where neither the cameras nor inmates could see.
Management knew about it, but the cost of adding a third camera would be too expensive for the facility to contemplate so they left it. At least that’s the story Matt had been told.
He’d never used the spot, but as he waited for her to join him, he couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
He motioned her to him with a crook of his index finger. “Come here.”

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

Twitter: @NanaPrah
Goodreads: Nana Prah
Google + :  Nana Prah   

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01 September 2014

Jordan Takes Over, with Special Guest: ME!

Ok, ok, I take full blame for this one. When Heather M. Gardner asked for volunteers to pass on the Meet My Character Blog Tour to, I sort of jumped on board without even thinking. I soon realized the day I needed to post was also the first Monday of the month, which is of course the day I always let Jordan write a guest post. Uh oh. He wasn’t too happy. But in my defense, it is only my love and obsession for him that made me want to answer these character questions in the first place.

So I got to thinking—wouldn’t it be fun to have the blog tour AND Jordan’s post on the same day?! He didn’t share my enthusiasm, of course, but he’s going along with it. So we’re both going to be answering the questions! To minimize confusion, I’ll be typing in black and Jordan will be in blue.

Whoa, wait, what? Why do I have to be blue? I don’t want to be blue!
Ok, fine! I’ll be blue. There, happy?
Why can’t I be gray? Gray is my color. You know this.
Because my blog background is gray. You know this.
You think I pay attention to that shit? I just write my posts. I don’t worry about the details.
Can we start now?
No no no! You type in black, I’ll type in blue. There! Let’s get started now, ok?
So cranky…

First, business! I was nominated for the Meet My Character Blog tour by the awesome—
You call everyone awesome…
Shut up! Anyway…the AWESOME (deal with it) Heather M. Gardner!

Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips.

As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend, who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats.

Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Facebook Author Page: Heather Writes Romance
Twitter: @hmgardner
Goodreads: Heather M. Gardner

And now, for the questions! I apologize for any bickering or rambling that is about to happen. If you read the whole thing, you get a cupcake!
She's lying. There are no cupcakes. And if there were, I would have eaten them all. So there are no cupcakes.

1) What is the name of your character?  Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
  Full name?
If you must…
Ok! My main character is named…drumroll please…
From who? Me? I don’t think so.
*sigh* Jordan Mason Palmer! Although his middle name doesn’t come up in the book…
That’s because it’s STUPID.
Anyhoo, he’s a fictional character. 
That’s what she thinks.

2) When and where is the story set?
It takes place in modern day New York City. 
In the bedroom, mostly…
That’s not true!
Ok, on couches. And the kitchen.
I was trying to create juxtaposition between the busy city that the characters live in and their need to be isolated. So yes, it mostly takes place within the characters’ apartments. 

3) What should we know about him/her?
Where do I begin…?
Maybe I should handle this. Jordan is fifteen, pretty much lives alone because his mom is always working or…err…
She fucks her boss! 
Right, so for various reasons, she’s never home. But he’s ok with this. What’s unique about Jordan is that he’s always looking for something interesting—some way he can manipulate a person or play some kind of game where he is in complete control. He’s always looking for the next thrill. So for example, when the book starts, he’s trying to fail his math class just to see how long it takes the teacher to confront him. He’s kind of a borderline sociopath, honestly. 
     You left out the most important part!
     I like boys! 
Oh, I thought everyone knew that already. He’s a great singer, too! He likes walks in Central Park and people watching. And any kind of dessert, especially chocolate. 
     Are you telling people about me or trying to find me a date? 
      I'm not--
     Only cute boys need apply, thank you. 

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
My life doesn’t get messed up. I mess up other people’s lives.
What about when one of your friends punched you in the face? 
  That only messed up my complexion. 
Right, so, conflict! So when his teacher figures out his little game he calls Jordan’s mom, who, in her cluelessness (or maybe not…) hires a private tutor to keep him in line. What Jordan doesn’t expect is to get a huge crush on his new tutor, Tom. When he figures out that Tom is gay, he just has to find a way to get something to happen between them. But Tom is 28, so even when he admits to being attracted to Jordan, he refuses to do anything about it. 
Yeah, see, that’s where he fucked up. I don’t take refusal well. 
Since Jordan’s mind is constantly plotting, he comes up with a whole scheme that allows them to be physical but with specific boundaries. They start by just kissing and very gradually take it further. And it becomes a trade, really, where a kiss is worth something. Like, since Tom cooks—he makes Jordan dinner and then they make out for a while. 
You make it sound ridiculous when it was really GENIUS… 
The point is that the structure is always in place. Jordan gets whatever he wants and they get to be physical, but it’s still safe. 
You forgot to tell them that Tom is a pervert.
He’s an ephebophile. 
No one knows what that is! 
He’s exclusively attracted to a certain age group—like around 14-16. For obvious legal reasons, he’s repressed those desires but his guilt over feeling them has led him to become a recluse (besides doing his job). He agrees to Jordan’s game because it allows him to give in to those desires but with the strict boundaries in place, so it feels safe. Jordan controls every second of their relationship, which is what they both want, because Tom is afraid of losing control. AGH. Ok, I’m done. No wonder I had such a hard time summarizing this in a query…
Huh, what? Sorry, I fell asleep. 

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Food and handjobs, mostly. 
     *glares* I’d say if you boil it down, his main goal is to be in constant control of the situation. Being able to manipulate someone who is nearly twice his age is a huge rush. But his more immediate goals are constantly changing as what he wants changes. The more he learns about Tom, the more he feels he can manipulate him and get what he wants. 
I wasn’t lying about the food…
I know you weren’t. 
He makes me pasta from scratch! And desserts! So many desserts…
The food is supposed to represent a hunger. First, a literal one for food because his mother has never been present in his life so he’s never had a home cooked meal or a cookie fresh out of the oven. Second, a sexual hunger, because he’s pretty much known that he’s gay since he was 8 years old but hasn’t been able to do anything with another guy until he meets Tom. And third is a hunger for life—something to be passionate about. He sees other people with their passions and he can’t fathom being able to care about something on that level, but that changes when he and his friend Eric start to explore their love of music. 
Whoa. That was deep. 
Thank you.
You didn’t tell them about the cupcakes! 

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
     Phew, ok, this is an easy one. The title for this novel is Uneven Lines, and the only place to read about it at this point is here on my blog. 
     Because it’s ALL she ever talks about. 

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
     Probably never, at this rate…
     Oh, come on, I can be very persuasive. Just point me at the agents!
     Writing the query from the character's point of view is a big no-no.
     Who said I was going to write it? I was thinking something like bribery. Or seduction...

Well, there you have it! I'm sure I lost everyone somewhere along the way...Now to pass the tour along to three more people! And wooooooooo I finally have all three! Is anyone still looking at this post? Crickets? 

Crystal R. Martin

Crystal R. Martin is an as yet unpublished author. She enjoys living a creative life and hopes you will give her stories a read.

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Crystal Collier

Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 

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S.E. Dee

Born in 1987, Hackney, London, Shay suffered a major mishap at the age of two when she came across a pencil and sheet of paper. Twenty odd years later, you could say the result from that encounter was having her right hand replaced with a Bic Pen - blue if she can help it. (Hence her Blue Bic Blog and matching @bluebicblog)

As a stay at home mum raising a crazier reincarnation of herself, Shay often delves into the world of Young Adult/Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but when escapism is compulsory, she’s not afraid to pen the wEiRd either…