Monday, October 20, 2014

Vaginas and Writing

Vaginas and writing: Is it important to know a #writer is a woman?

This subject has hit home for me several times in my writing career. I'm often immediately confronted with "Do you write romance/erotica?" when I talk about my writing. And while my first book has a heavy romantic element, the rest of my work is just about as far from romance as one gets. I try to describe my work as either fantastic works (such as my paranormal mysteries or fantasy shorts and novel) or slice of life, general fiction (such as several shorts and my upcoming Feather in a Hurricane novella). The fact that my books contain sex or romantic relationships, however, seems to automatically place them in many people's minds in the "romance" genre.

Don't get me wrong. Romance writing is still valid writing. I enjoy reading #romance books as well, when the mood strikes. And, while #genre definition can be tricky for authors, it is easy to see the character archetypes in a story and simply focus on the relationship aspects, giving way to romantic categorization. The injustice of doing this with all #books with heavy interpersonal character #relationships, instead of focusing on the character development or emotional journey of a story, is profound and a discredit to both the #author and #reader.

I suppose it's like one of my favorite movie #quotes however: "You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions." (The Breakfast Club, 1985) Until women who write stand up and say, "I am a writer. I am not my gender; I am not my race; I am not my socioeconomic background," we will be constantly defined by our #vaginas. #ebooks #amwriting

Original Article that sparked my rant:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Promo: Nightcrawler by Candy O'Donnell

Title: Night Crawler 

Author: Candy O’Donnell
Release Day: September 28th, 2014

The past never stays where it belongs!

In Westwood, California, was where John Francis, the town’s priest re-encountered the beast. To his astonishment, horrifying events began unraveling before him. These unprovoked occurrences soon turned to fright when Sister Teresa's body was found murdered. When Kathy Riego stepped into the Sister's shoes she showed him a renewed identification for the word love. John began this new relationship with a masked reality as the horrid beast began showing him a long forgotten past that was supposed to be buried long ago.

Author Bio:
 Candy O’Donnell was born in Carmichael, California. At the age of twelve, she wrote her first mini book. Filled mostly with what took place with her mother and her long tedious bout with leukemia. It was a short story told as extra credit when she suffered a sprained ankle and had to be out of school for over two months. School officials refused to believe a word of what she had written until her grandmother, her guardian back then, entered the school with the truth. Everything she had written down was exactly what took place. Unfortunately her mother succumbed to the disease. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and Culture. After living with her aunt and uncle for over five years she wished to explore her uncle’s Native heritage and did so with vigor. She also has 6 Grad units in Criminal Justice.

Twitter: @Candyodonnell

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Promo: Blood Line by John J Davis

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Blood Line1 Enjoy Happy Geek Media's Virtual Book Tour of John Davis' debut novel, Blood Line[/caption]
Blood Line , A Granger Spy Novel (Book 1)
by John J. Davis
Publisher: Simon & Winter, Inc.
Genres: Action, thriller
254 Pages
Release date: October 14, 2014
“Sharply written, with characters that readers will be happy to see again.” —Kirkus Reviews Blood Line is a high-voltage spy thriller that redefines rogue—the Granger Spy Novel series introduces a loving family with lethal issues caught in the crosshairs of global arms dealers. When a simple home invasion turns out to be not so simple, Ron Granger must put aside his quiet rural life and return to the Central Intelligence Agency. Aided by his brilliant wife, Valerie, and resourceful teen daughter, Leecy, Ron must quickly decide who to believe among the calculating opportunists, shrewd criminals, and power-hungry rival agencies racing to possess the technology that will change modern warfare forever. But when Leecy is kidnapped, Ron and Val must choose between the mission and a rescue. With time quickly running out, Ron only knows one thing: When you can’t trust anyone else, trust your family.

Purchase Links for Blood Line

Amazon/Goodreads/B&N/Indie Bound/iTunes

Author John J. Davis will be making personal appearances at bookstores while the virtual book tour is in progress. If you live in the areas he'll be visiting and would like to meet him, here are the locations he will be at throughout October and November:
Thu Oct 23 – Charlotte NC 7:00pm – 8:30pm Charlotte NC Park Road Books - 4139 Park Road Charlotte, NC C 28209 Wed Oct 29 – NYC 6:30pm – 8:30pm NYC Mysterious Bookshop - 58 Warren St, New York, NY 10007 Fri Nov 7 – Chicago 12:00pm – 1:00pm Chicago - Barbara's Books Willis Tower - Willis Tower Chicago - Lower Level 233 S. Wacker Drive Chicago Nov 8 – Burr Ridge, IL 1:00pm – 2:00pm Chicago - Barbara's Books Burr Ridge - 810 Village Center Dr, Illinois and Michigan Canal, Burr Ridge, IL 60527 BLOOD LINE - ABOUT THE AUTHOR JohnJDavis-Photo copy (2) John J. Davis is the author of the Granger Spy Novel series, including Blood Line and the soon to be published sequel, Bloody Truth, available Spring 2015. Davis grew up in the Southeastern US and after university traveled extensively in North America during his career as a regional sales rep and independent broker for leaders in the transportation, shipping and pharma industries. His years sitting in lobbies and airports honed his skill for human observation and fed his talent for writing fast-paced, character-driven stories. His inspiration for the Granger family-of-spies comes from the people he has known and his family roots in the Carolinas–the extraordinarily strong and gentle women and men, whose lives are defined by the love, trust and respect for family. Currently at work on the third Granger Spy Novel and a screenplay, Davis lives near Atlanta with his wife, daughter and two dogs. BLOOD LINE - SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS


Good luck and happy winning!
Tour hosted by

Excerpt from ‘Bloody Truth’ releasing Spring 2015. To learn more about the Grangers and the Granger Spy Novels visit John Davis' Official website 

Glancing away from the target, I saw Val. There was something emanating from her. Maybe the thrill of being on mission again after sixteen years of being a mom ignited something inside her, because she was glowing. She was exquisite in her little black dress–all beauty and grace. Moving through the coach with such ease and composure, her presence alone was enough to cause the men to blush and the women to fume. She’s exactly what she needed to be tonight. She was irresistible, and I was the envy of all the men. “Like mother, like daughter,” I said as Valerie eased up next to me. “You look amazing, and you still take my breath away.” “Thank you, dear,” Valerie said, and kissed me full on the lips. “Hmm…salty. You taste good,” I said. “I’m starving so I sampled the caviar in the dining car. We haven’t eaten since this morning,” she explained. Leecy, interrupting our private moment, said, “Okay, you two, this isn’t date night. The target is at my twelve o’clock. Time to station is fifteen minutes. Ready?” Valerie and I sipped from my flute of champagne and said, “Ready.” Copyright @ John J. Davis

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Duality of A Writer

*This post sparked by a Facebook Meme and the resultant comments. The meme stated: "Writers literally create worlds from scratch... What is sexier than that? I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer." by Rachel Bloom. This article is a hybrid of ideas presented about the nature of 'being a writer', the thoughts they led me to, and the further expansion of thought/comments from Facebook, Twitter, and private messaging.*

Duality (from the Pinacoteca Central)
Few understand what it means to be a writer. 

Yes, they know about our love of words, our fanatical need to perfect a sentence, and our frenzied creative bursts. But grasping the reality of what it is like to be a writer is a concept so foreign it makes others feel uncomfortable or rejected.

There are only two worlds that exist for writers. 

Time Writing and Time Not Writing

The Time Writing world is where we want to live. We are ever seeking a means to get back to this magical place where stars are born in the space of a breath and everyone is known and knows as intimately as if they'd shared the same womb.
The Time Not Writing world is hell, a infinite distraction, that we walk in, trying to puzzle out how to get back to our Time Writing world.

The rub is that our Time Not Writing world is where people live. Family, friends, jobs, obligations to non-writing. Genuinely, we love these things. Most of us wouldn't trade them for anything. Except Time Writing. Which riddles us with guilt. Guilt for walking in the Time Not Writing world, and guilt for not being in the Time Writing world.

The most difficult part often is the social ramification. We love our family and friends. They love us. They don't want to hear (as was best put in the Facebook conversation on this matter) "Of course I want to spend time with you, but..." This leads to feelings of rejection.

The non-writer who loves one reads this and thinks I'm not that way; I want them to have as much time as they need to write. And you do; bless you, you really do. Until you realize Time Writing and Time Not Writing has nothing at all to do with time.

With a full blessing the non-writer in love with one gives the writer leave to work on whatever project they are enraptured with dealing with at that point. "I'll give you as much time as you want. How about a month of no distractions to finish that project?" Non-writer says. It's kind. And pointless.

Time Writing has no time. It is timeless, eternal and fleeting. One month becomes two months;
Conversations with No One
becomes six months; becomes a year. A year of not interacting, not being distracted, not participating in anything but Time Writing. No one's patience is that infinite. But a writer's need of Time Writing is that expansive. Suddenly the need for detachment is unhealthy, although a writer has never been happier. The desire for the writer to rejoin the Time Not Writing world becomes pressing, and we rejoin it, with reluctance and an outright bitch-fest but understanding.

Then the non-writer is left knowing we are with them, but also just want to get back to Time Writing. The writer is there and not there, part of their mind, soul, in the Time Writing world. And any time we're in the Time Not Writing world one hundred percent, not distracted at all by Time Writing, we are some of the most miserable, sorriest, least organized and functional lots ever.

So, yes, the premise of being in a relationship with a writer is sexy. What writers do is stimulating. Anyone would want to be constantly stimulated by exposure to that. But, resoundingly, we're also alien to the point of being unfathomable. Who wants to be in a relationship with someone you have nothing in common with and can't understand the very basics of their existence?

BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having committed almost every bad deed in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate other writers through humor and simple instruction.

Anthologies: Fracas: A Collection of Short FrictionQuixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Guest Post: Perseverance by Doug Solter

First, I would like to thank Billie for allowing me do a guest post on her blog. Today I want to share a personal story about perseverance. No, I'm not a life coach and I refuse to tell you any secrets about unlocking your true potential. But sometimes writers can't see the end of the road because we are so caught up inside our story forest that we lose sight of the road that can lead us out of the forest. Now some writers enjoy being lost inside that forest. However, if that writer wants a finished book out of that journey, they better find a way out of that stupid forest before it consumes all their creativity and time. How do I know? Because it happened to me.
One day I had this idea for a new book after reading Twilight. (Yes, I did read it and stop all that snickering. Say with me on this.) Okay, I didn't like Bella Swan's character because to me she was rather weak and I like strong female characters. So it got me thinking...
What if the girl was strong? Like a werewolf? Yeah, but that's been done in some books. Okay. What if the boy was weak? He's not special and actually needs a strong girlfriend to bring him out of his shell and make him learn how to be stronger? And she can't bite him and turn him into a brave werewolf because that would be cheating.
Thought that was a good enough idea to start an outline of my story to see if I had a book there. I always outline my books. Not to say I follow them to the letter when I'm writing the first draft, but it's nice to have something you can go back to if you lose your way on the path through the story forest. (Sometimes you can build a lot of new paths in the story forest, which is fine, just as long as they ALL connect back up at the end.)  So I did my outline and felt like I had enough material for a book. I knew the beginning and the end of my story. Had a few good sub-plots and story elements that would support the middle sections of the book. I felt I was in good shape for the first draft so I took a hike deep inside my new story forest, confident I would get to the other side of the path I was on.
Wrote the first act of the story and everything was great. Halfway into the second act and the story elements were hitting on all the correct notes. So far so good. And then I hit the midpoint of the book and the path stopped.
Hmm. I could see the ending. The path that began the third act was in the far distance. I could see my ending, but I had nothing to connect it with. All the sub-plots and story elements I had planned to use for this portion of the story had already been used or were not strong enough to last into the second half of the story. A novel needs conflict and tension in the middle to drive it towards the third act. But all my good story ammunition was already spent and here I am stuck right in the middle of the novel.
Yeah, I was in trouble.
I rewrote the book from the beginning to see if the creative juices would help build up the momentum and carry me over that empty space. Surely something new would pop into my head to fix that big gaping hole in my second act.
It didn't work. I was still stranded inside the forest.
I tried writing the book from the werewolf girl's POV to see if that unleashed an idea.
It didn't.
I rewrote the book alternating between the boy and girl's POV.
Nothing. I became frustrated. Why couldn't I solve this? It's ridiculous. I was a writer. I created stuff. Why wasn't this connecting up? It was a paranormal werewolf story not freaking War and Peace.
I abandoned the novel and worked on two other projects, hoping the answer would come if I gave the story some distance. Again and again I would return to that stupid werewolf book and then again and again I would stall in the middle of the second act. I loved the characters so much that a part of me still wanted to solve this personal enigma because I wanted to see these characters complete their story. But I still couldn't crack it. Another part of me wanted to get rid of the novel so it wouldn't keep wasting my precious writing time on a project that was going nowhere.
I confided to a writer friend about my torment and my intentions on deleting the book. Joe told me not to do that and kept encouraging me to keep working on it. But I wanted to be free of the torment the book produced in my creative life. So I deleted the book from my hard drive.
Then I loaded the backup file of the novel back on to my hard drive.
Damn it. I couldn't kill this stupid book. The story still clutched at my heart. Still not wanting to die. Still hoping I found a way to save it from extinction. Instead of deleted the back up file, I left it alone again.
At this point, I had lost count on how many times I tried to restart the book. However, on whatever numbered attempt it was, I decided to simplify. Instead of focusing on escalating the stakes of the plot, I decided to escalate the natural conflict inherit in the relationship between the human boy and the werewolf girl. Make their relationship so toxic that it would keep the reader engaged until the third act drops in to take over. And then that major shift in thinking allowed the words to flow out. A series of new scenes began a new sequence. Three main plot sequences and a new sub-plot sequence helped build a new path through that last half of the second act which finally connected to the old path.
Finally I was able to walk out of the forest with a complete novel called My Girlfriend Bites.
Now I'm not telling writers to stick with every project that doesn't work. Sometimes you can outline an idea and then find out it's not strong enough to last 60,000 words. That's a good discovery because it saved you precious writing time that could be used towards another idea that will make a much better novel. But if you ever find yourself stranded in that story forest like me, don't be afraid to give your book some breathing room. Have the confidence in knowing that the answer you need to fix your book is somewhere deep inside you. It might take more time than you realize, but don't get discouraged if the answers don't come right away.
They will. In time.
Remember that patience and perseverance are always a writer's best friends.
New Release Blurb:

 Last season seventeen-year-old Samantha Sutton shined as the hottest new racing star of Formula One, but the girl's rise to the top takes a hit when her boss steals her arch-rival Emilio Ronaldo away from Ferrari and makes the sexist jerk her team's number-one driver. This sends Samantha's perfect life into a tail spin that threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard for.

Besides her six wins last season, the best thing Samantha won was Manny, the cute German boy who saved her from herself. But Manny chafes against the self-absorbed racing star rising above the ashes of the simple girl he fell in love with. Can he save that simple girl from destroying herself again?

While Samantha's performance on the track suffers and her status on the team plummets, Emilio rises within striking distance of another championship. Is this the final wake-up call the girl needs to beat Emilio and win the world championship? Or will the pressure break her.