Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Author Tool Bag

Pick giveaway winners at random.

My Author Tool Bag feature sites I use in writing, editing, marketing. It's stuff I've found online and the usual caveats apply--no recommendations either expressed or implied, don't click on blind links, have a good antivirus, etc. You know the drill.  Feedback appreciated!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Strong Women and the Men it Takes to Handle Them--Guest Cathryn Cade--plus Giveaway!

Cathryn Cade is a fellow Samhain author who writes my favorites--alpha heroes, strong women, great lines and lots of sass...well, see for yourself :) Please welcome Cathryn!

I usually (okay, always) write alpha heroes. My men have even been described as alpha-holes by one of my editors. Sometimes I tone them down, sometimes I don't. 'Cause I write what I love to read. And I love to watch a strong, macho manly man brought to his knees by the most powerful force in the universe … love.
Yeah, love to watch him stride in with fists and big ol' jaw clenched, eyes slitted menacingly while he lays down the law to anyone who threatens our heroine.  Okay with me if he wipes up the bar room floor with 'em, too. Sigh … now that's just fun.

However, what happens when the action hero of the story is the heroine?
That's what happens to Jack in my new release, Hawaiian Heroes, Bk 4, Burning up the Rain. Jack Nord is a California golden boy, a big, handsome, blond dude who played football for the U of Hawaii Warriors, and then went back to the West Coast to sell real estate. He now owns his own realty office, with a partner. He's successful, has beautiful women on his arm and travels to his friends' private beach enclave on the Big Island to vacation. Great life. No need to botch that up with a demanding woman, right?

Oops! Sorry, Jack, you're in the Cade-iverse now. Gonna have to hand you a red hot, drop-dead gorgeous wahine who not only invented temperamental, she's a Honolulu society queen and an ex-beauty queen.
Oh, and did I mention Lalei Kai-Ho'omalu has just learned she has some pretty awesome powers? That's right, big guy. Not only are you not gonna be able to rush in like a big action hero and save the day, you're going to have to stand back and watch a slender, delicate Hawaiian wahine do that. And get hurt in the process.

You see, Jack's story is all about learning to deal with what life hands him, in a way he can live with. He has to learn that he can be part of a team and use his unique skills to help, but he's not in control of the world around him. He's not even entirely in control of himself. Handsome, debonair, successful Jack has a secret. He's an alcoholic, and if he doesn't admit it, he knows deep down he'll lose everything.
So this is one alpha male who has a wild, whirlwind of a wahine by the tail. He's perfectly willing to enjoy the explosive chemistry between them, but can he give her the freedom to wield her unique powers and discover the woman she really is?

Burning up the Rain, Hawaiian Heroes, Book 4

Her powers could save her island…or bring their love crashing down.

Despite her successful career, Lalei Kai-Ho’omalu has always considered herself mere decoration in a dynamic Hawaiian family, with none of their powerful gifts. Destined for life in the background as a useless, upper-crust wife.

Desperate to escape her mother’s latest matchmaking attempt, Lalei acts on her sizzling attraction to a guest at her cousin’s island wedding, making him a bold offer he can’t refuse.

A no-strings, no-holds-barred affair on Nawea Bay with the sexy Hawaiian beauty is just the break California Realtor Jack Nord needs from his fast-paced career—and an inner darkness he’d like to forget. Just for a while.

Their very public liaison is the shocking declaration of independence Lalei intended—with unintended consequences. Stirred to anger by developers set on carving her family’s unspoiled ancestral lands into a resort, Lalei discovers she has the supernatural power to stop them.

But when Jack learns his lover can bring down the rain and throw bolts of lightning, whose side will he take? The money-making machine? Or the woman born to protect her island home?

Product Warnings
A wahine whose real estate may be too hot to handle, and a Realtor who’s determined to seal the deal. 

Available at Amazon, BN, Samhain
If you'd like to win a FREE copy of the ebook, leave a comment, and share your preference for alpha/beta/or any range in between for your heroes. There's room for them all, right?

 Cathryn Cade
... red hot romance!

And sign up for My Newsletter for a chance to win goodies!




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cathryn Cade Coming Soon...

My apologies to readers looking forward to Cathryn Cade's visit today. Due to a terrible email mishap involving overexcited electrons, sunspots and probably a stray deer, I wasn't able to get her post up. But she will be visiting soon!

In the meantime, here's Vivi Andrews's snippet on Facebook for Teaser Tuesday. Best first line in a teaser EVER: “You wanna tell me what you’re doing in a bank vault at three in the morning?”

And an xkcd comic (

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Author Tool Bag

Novel Rank estimates sales on Amazon and reports within a few hours.

My Author Tool Bag feature sites I use in writing, editing, marketing. It's stuff I've found online and the usual caveats apply--no recommendations either expressed or implied, don't click on blind links, have a good antivirus, etc. You know the drill.  Feedback appreciated!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

3T Writing Tidbit

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Plotting can sometimes be thought of as a series of scenes, each with a scene question and answer. When plotting, push beyond the first right answer. Look for a less obvious alternative or an answer that provides multiple solutions. Even the exercise will open up creativity.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Author Tool Bag

Stuck for a title?

Here's a blog with some tips

And here's a fun a Random Title Generator -- read the PBackWriter blog post for cautions before trying the generator. Always practice good Internet hygiene.

My Author Tool Bag feature sites I use in writing, editing, marketing. It's stuff I've found online and the usual caveats apply--no recommendations either expressed or implied, don't click on blind links, have a good antivirus, etc. You know the drill.  Feedback appreciated!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nonsensical Dating Advice Floating Around--Guest Selena Robins--plus link to FREE short story!

Selena is a fellow Samhain Publishing author I met at an online exerpt reading party. She writes "genre-defying romance" and characters who are "witty, strong and hilarious" (Joleen, Goodreads review). I'm so there :)

Warning: you may laugh out loud at this. Some adult language and situations described.

Welcome, Selena!

(Warning: the word dick head is used a few times)

I put out a request on Twitter, asking men to privately message me about dating advice they were given so I could use their information for a blog that I wanted to write.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of men who came forth and shared the dating advice they’d been given. A lot of the advice was duplicated, it seems that more than one guy is giving and receiving the same advice.

I promised to keep them anonymous, so they are referred to as Man Tweeter A, B, etc.

However, I never promised I wouldn’t be judgmental or highly opinionated in this blog post, so what you see is what you get from me on this topic.

Man Tweeter A was given this advice by his still single friends:

“Even if you don’t want to see her again, just say you’ll call her. If you run into her, just say you lost her number. Works every time and gets you off the hook. And check out her friends on Facebook, if they’re hot, try to get their numbers, that way you can call one of them and hook us up as well.”

My Opinion: You’d think this would be a no-brainer and Man Tweeter A would tell his friends they are crazy-ass idiots, especially, regarding the latter piece of advice, which is beyond stupid and would never in a million years work. He did tell me that most of his friends like this piece of advice. All these guys are still single and looking. I have a feeling they’ll be single for a long time to come.

Dear Men who think this advice is viable:

Women talk (I know hard to believe), and she’ll tell all her friends who will then tell their friends what a dickhead you are for saying you’d call and you never did.

Any guy who actually thinks that a woman is going to hand over her girlfriend’s phone numbers to a guy they are seeing, truly has a dick for brains.

My Advice:

If at the end of the date a guy knows for certain that he doesn’t want to call her, simply thank her, say goodnight and don’t make promises you know you won’t keep.

She’ll probably still think you’re a dickhead, but at least you’ll be an honest dickhead.

Man Tweeter B was given this advice by his father:

“Screw your brains out every chance you get to get it out of your system before you settle down. Once you settle down, you’ll have to get used to not having much sex.”

My Opinion:

First of all, I’d love to smack his father for trying to live vicariously through his son and imparting such nonsense.

Out of his system? Really? Because after he’s had sex with 100 or more women, he’s not going to want to have sex any longer?

A. Men always want to have sex. No such thing as getting it out of their system.
B. Women love sex even after they settle down. Shocking isn’t it?

My Advice:

It takes two to create a healthy, fun-loving sex life. Guess what, guys…it starts the moment you wake up, and lasts all day. If things are crappy outside the bedroom, then chances are the horizontal mambo isn’t going to be all that exciting. But that’s a whole other subject.

Man Tweeter C was given this advice by his still single friends: (A lot of “still single friends” doling out advice out there)

”Never ever call a woman the next day. Wait four days minimum, five days max, then call her and act like you are not interested. Makes them want you more.”

My Opinion:

She’ll think you’re a dickhead (I did warn you that I use dickhead a lot) and you would have earned it big time for going by some urban rule that is floating around out there.

My Advice:

It’s really okay to be open with a gal that you actually want to see again, and call her the next day. You like someone’s company so much that you want to see them again then don’t play this head game.

Man Tweeter D was given this advice by his mother.

“Just be yourself.”

My Opinion:

This advice has some merit, just don’t act like you’re trying out for a role in a Jack Black movie or a character on The Simpsons.

Man Tweeter E was told this by his father: (Seems that dads like to dole it out as well to their sons)

Meet her mother, that should tell you if she’s going to turn out to be a bitch.

My opinion:

Just a wild guess here, but I’m thinking this guy’s father isn’t that fond of his mother-in-law?

My Advice:

First of all, chances that you’ll be having a long conversation or get to know her mother all that well on the first or even second date is rare.

If you want to know more about your date, talk to her and observe how she treats the wait staff when you are out. Is she impatient with the slow service? Is she rude? Is she having a hissy fit because her nail broke?

Of course people are usually on their best behavior when out on a date, but there are small nuances in her behavior you can pick up on that will tell you if something in her personality will send red flags.

Tweeter F given this advice by his single friend:

“Tell her you were in the military. Chicks dig men in uniform and she’ll do you on the first date, guarantee.”

My Opinion:

Advice giver is a Three Star General Dick-head.

My Advice:

Sure go ahead and lie to her about being in the military to impress her, and if you happen to click and this is the right woman for you, you’ll be able to rise up the ranks to being a Five Star General Dick-Head once she finds out the truth.

In Summary:

Dating a woman isn’t rocket science or that complicated.

There is no game plan, or rules in my opinion. It’s about connecting with someone on different levels and if you are both interested in each other, then forget about all this silly stuff going around that says you have to wait a certain amount of time to call or not call, or pretend you’re someone you are not, or act like you’re not interested.

I was raised with brothers, have a son and a husband, so I somewhat understand the male mind (not always, but I do have my moments). Men are not that complicated. They do complicate matters when they seek out advice about women from other men. From what I’ve read from the information I received, the advice they received is loaded with a bunch of rhetorical bull.

Advice to Single Women:

It’s really quite simple.

If a guy wants to get to know you more, see you again, it won’t matter what is going on in his life, his career, his financial status, if he’s hung over, broken leg, or if he’s in the middle of the Amazon jungle, he will find a way to call you, reach out to you and not let you slip through the cracks.

If he feels a connection and wants to get to know a woman better, he will not play games.

Often times women will try to rationalize and pick everything apart to find out what went wrong, why is he not calling back? The simple truth is, he’s not interested and won’t be, no matter what a woman says or does.

I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with a woman calling a guy the next day to simply say thanks for the dinner, movie, walk in the park, dart game, (whatever is it they did on the date) and telling him she had a great time. That is if the date ended well. Let’s face it, men, women, we all have instincts, they’ll know if they both had a good time, if there was a small spark, and even if it’s one-sided, it doesn’t matter who reaches out to who, communicating and letting the other person know they wouldn’t mind seeing them again is not a crime.

I’m not suggesting women go all Alex Forrester, bunny-boiler on the guy, but a quick email or phone call to say thanks will not make the guy run and hide or hire a bodyguard.

If the guy freaks out and goes into full-panic, thinking that she wants to go and pick out a china pattern, then he’s a dickhead and not worth worrying about.

Advice to Single Guys:

If the woman you took out on a date is stalling, not committing to wanting to see you again; she’s not interested. Plain and simple. Move on. Be Real. No Games and connect with someone who is as real as you are.

Question to men and women:

What is the worse dating advice you’ve ever been given?

About Selena Robins:

Genre-defying, witty, humorous, suspenseful, romantic and sexy--words used to describe Selena's novels. A chocolate guru, she loves to dance with her dog, sing into her hairbrush and write in her PJ's. In love with her family, friends, books, laughter, hockey, lively discussions and red wine (sometimes all at the same time). Selena is a dragon slayer who enjoys reading and writing sassy heroines and hot heroes (the ones your mamma warned you about, but secretly wished she'd dated a few in her life).

Aside from writing romantic novels, Selena also writes children’s stories under the pen name, Maddie Ryan. Her children’s book, “Pippy’s Wish” has been a best seller on Amazon.

To learn more about Selena and all her books, visit her website at:

Chat with Selena on her blog at:

Amazon, BN, Kobo, Samhain Publishing, All Romance E-Books

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Author Tool Bag

I thought I'd try a new weekly tip. Feedback appreciated!!

My Author Tool Bag will feature sites I use in writing, editing, marketing. It's stuff I've found online. The usual caveats apply--no recommendations either expressed or implied, don't click on blind links, have a good antivirus, etc. You know the drill.

Here's my first tool bag tool. Online dictionary and thesaurus. I have a dictionary on my computer but I use these for checking emails, blog posts, etc.

(MATB is stuff I use, no recommendation express or implied :) )

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 1T Olio -- Cover reveal!

Beauty Bites (Biting Love Book 6) -- Coming August 27!

Beauty is skin deep…but the beast goes all the way.

I'm thrilled to unveil the gorgeous cover for Beauty Bites. This breathtaking beauty is by the incomparable Kanaxa.

Here's the blurb:

When top Minneapolis ad man Ric Holiday is asked to design a campaign for a quaint little town, his first reaction is absolutely not. Meiers Corners is too near Chicago, home of the vampire who turned him as an orphaned boy.

Then the city sends an angel-faced med student with a body made for sin to plead their case. Synnove Byornsson is the ray of sunshine Ric hasn’t felt since he was human.

Armed with determination and a micro miniskirt, Synnove is prepared to crash Holiday’s penthouse cocktail party—and to dislike him on sight. But Mr. All-Style-No-Substance turns out to have a deadly smile, a barely restrained, feral strength, and piercing blue eyes that look at her—not at her cleavage.

Unfortunately Synnove has competition in the form of a sly temptress with a counterproposal. For the first time in her life, Synnove must cash in her genetic lottery ticket and fire back with some sizzle of her own—or her beloved Meiers Corners could become the new Sin City.

Warning: Contains a doctor with a bod for sin, an ad exec with a chip on his shoulder, sarcasm, sex, and a cabin full of annoying friends. Secrets are revealed. One heart-stopping, horrific moment leads to the ultimate of happily-ever-afters.