Sunday, February 24, 2013

Life of An Indie Writer: Blog Hop

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an Indie Writer?  You have this great idea; characters talk in your head and scenes play out.  Why not?  

Self-publishing has opened the door to anyone with a vision to make it a reality.  

I've just polished off a 2 liter of Diet Pepsi, elixir to the gods and the juice that keeps me going.   Here are some answers to probing questions, I know you're dying to know.  

The Blog Hop

1: What is the working title of your book?

The Do Over

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Life.  But it's purely fiction.  Although a lot of the events have happened to me, one way or another.  And a lot of them didn't.  

3: What genre does your book come under?

Contemporary Romance

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Genesis Rodriguez as Dani Ruiz
Paul Walker as Liam Lucas
Marco Dapper as Rick Marin

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The Do Over is about second chances, learning when to hold on and when to let go.  

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Self published

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I've been working on The Do Over since mid-October almost done.  So far five (5) months.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmm, good question.  But I don't have an answer for that.  I'll have to think about it.  

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Kindle Buddies Facebook group had a prologue contest in October.  I decided to give it a shot and submitted my prologue.  And the craziest thing happened, the characters haunted me until I told their story.  

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The Do Over is fun, sexy and steamy.  I think to one degree or other, the reader can relate to the characters.  You'll laugh and roll your eyes.  Fall in love and understand that sometimes things aren't always black and white...or maybe they are.

PS  The blog hop would be much more successful if i would have done it correctly.  But see, I didn't.  Oops, my bad.  I've been exhausted this week. Overwhelmed with the life of an Indie Writer. You have no idea how much goes into making this vision a reality.  A few times, I wanted to close up my laptop and just walk away.  Yep, true story.  

Off to work on edits and finish up two chapters.  I'm plugging away.  I will finish.  I will do this.  

Whatever your dream is....make it happen!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ride 'Em Cowboy

Happy Valentine's Day 

I'm here holding the book Destined to Change by Lisa M. Harley and am pretty stoked, let's just say about to pass out with excitement, that I will be in the presence of none other than Cowboy Cade Walker.

Megan has just advised me that Cade has arrived and is being prepped for the interview.   I need to do some breathing exercises to get ready for this. 
If you haven't entered the drawing go and do so.   I've added an ebook copy of Destined to Change as a prize. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hot holy hell, he just walked in.  Instant Hot Flash.  This man is gorgeous and can I say, I've never seen anyone that big.  I mean tall.  I need a fan, icepack, something.  Wow.  I'm a professional, I can do this.

Ana:   Hi Cade, so great to have you here.  Welcome to Ana's Antics, Rants and Rambles. 

Cade:  Hey Hon.  Thanks for havin' me. [He tips his cowboy hat and winks]  

 I'm having trouble swallowing.  My mouth is dry.  I need a glass of water.

Ana:  Eh hem.  First of all, Team Cade!  How does it feel to have such a huge female following?  You even have your own Facebook fan page.  Pretty impressive

Yes he is.  My heart is beating a mile a minute. Does this happen to Katie Couric?

Cade:  What can I say, Ana...I'm loved.  **Yes, he is.  I growl internally. ** I just want to make sure everyone knows I have a fan club, that asshat Jaxon doesn't. 

This man is built like nothing I've ever seen.  I'm flustered. 

Ana:  What do you do to keep in shape? 

Cade:  I'm a real man...[I nod in agreement]  I work for a living.  I don't do any of that pansy-assed office shit.  I get my damn hands dirty.

Hmm, I have a few ideas on what he can do with those very large hands.

Ana:  The first time we meet you, you've had a couple of drinks.  Do you drink a lot and does that affect your ability to you know....

Cade:  [He leans in and places his hand on my knee.  My body is trembling under his touch]  What do you think, hon? ** My brain is mush**.  I like to drink and I like sex.  And I've sure never heard any complaints in the bedroom, or the truck, or the barn or up against the wall...get the point I'm tryin' to make? 

[I nod my head to show some life left in me. I'd been holding my breath and slowly exhale.]

Ana:  Cade, if you'll excuse me for a moment. I need to get something from the other room.  Be right back. 

I need something stronger than water.  Diet Pepsi. I need lots and lots and lots of Diet Pepsi.  Any Extra Sugar Free gum around?  I need some. 
Where's Megan. I need Megan.  Diet Pepsi.  Megan.  Where is she?  Oh wait, I think I see her.  She passed out.  Wow, that man is intense.

Breathe in, Breathe out.  I'm a professional.  I'm a professional.

Ana:  Let's talk about Lorelai.  Why her?  And not me.

Cade:  I gotta be honest...the first time I saw her I knew I had to have her.  She looked like a damn angel, just waiting for a devil like me.  [He sits back in his chair and has a big belly laugh]   Sigh, I'm going to come undone.  Once I got to know her and saw the way she felt about her farm and family, I fell hard...damn hard. 

Farm life is getting more and more attractive by the millisecond.

Ana:  So Cade, tell me would you let anyone stand in the way of you and your woman? Like maybe, an inked up, pierced hottie?

Cade:  Now, Ana...I like ya, even feel we've gotten pretty close today.  [He winks.  I melt].  So, I'm gonna say this one time, I do not want to talk about asshat. 

Close?  Hmm.  I can work with that. 

Ana:  Cade, darling.  I'm going to have to ask some hard questions about that asshat.  I know you'd rather not talk about him.  But the readers want to know a little more about how you feel.  So for me, please babe.
Under different circumstances, do you think that you and Jaxon might have been friends?

Cade:  Hell no.  I make it a point to not befriend pansy ass bastards.

Ana:  What do you think of the Team Jaxon groupies?

Cade:  To each his own, hon.  If they want to fall at that asshat's feet, more power to 'em.  [His deep southern drawl drops a few decibels].  At least you, and all of Cade's Cuties, know what a real man looks like when ya'll see him. 

Damn straight we do. 

Ana:  Are you romantic?  Tell me, what would a date with the handsome Cade Walker look like?

Cade:  Me romantic?  Of course I am, hon.  Wouldn't you like for me to show you what a date with me would be like?  Wouldn't that be more fun?  Maybe after we finish this interview? 

Ana:  Why Cade, I'd love nothing more than you showing me what it would be like.  I think we can wrap up these questions quickly. 
I'm hyperventilating.  Air. Where's the air this room?

Rapid Fire Questions:

Family Man or confirmed bachelor:  Both, next question

Boxer or Briefs:  Tightie-whities.  Gotta keep "cowboy" comfortable

Wranglers or Levis:  That ain't even a question, hon.  I don't leave the house without my W's

Blondes or Brunettes:  Blondes, brunettes, redheads, makes no difference to me, hon.  But right now, I kinda got a think for blondes. 

I'm making sure I get my highlights done this weekend.

Final Question:

Ana:  Before we wrap it up, if there's one thing you want people to know about you, what would it be? 

Cade:  I'm really just a good ole country boy.  I like to drink, I like to ride horses, and I like to have a warm woman woman in my bed...nothin' wrong with any of that.

Well there you have it.  My interview with handsome Cade Walker.  I need to go freshen up.  I'll be saving a horse tonight. 

If you haven't read it, Destined to Change, by Lisa M. Harley, went live yesterday on and Smashwords. 

Destined to Change

Monday, February 11, 2013

Passionate Reading

    Last year, I belonged to a Facebook Mommy Group that posted a link to the 50 books every child should read before entering Kindergarten. Being the ambitious, over achieving mom that I am, I set out to meet this goal. The last thing I wanted was for my son to enter kindergarten unprepared.  

    Keep in mind, I read to my son on a nightly basis. I wasn’t intimidated by this 50 book goal, at all. Bring it on! In fact, where was the list of books to read before first grade?  

    As I continued my research, one of the articles suggested that the parent should be a reading role model for the child in order to create the lifestyle. I liked to read and even though I made the same excuses so many people made -- I’m too tired or I have no time-- this was my kid.  

    This article challenged me to sacrifice myself in order to help my child develop a healthy love of reading. Parenting, after all, pushes you into selflessness, even when you fake it. Therefore, I needed to give up some time in front of the TV and read. My goal was extremely reasonable, one book a month.  

    By October, I had read over 60 books. I’m not exaggerating here. In fact, I’m probably downplaying it. I became passionate about my reading. According to some, I was obsessed. I rolled my eyes at them. Obviously, they didn’t understand.

    Thank God for Facebook and the wonderful community of like-minded passionate readers. It was here that I met Claire Contreras and had the privilege of beta reading There Is No Light In Darkness.

    Here’s my Goodreads review.
There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness, #1)There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've had a love hate relationship with reading for years. Usually, the love portion wins out, but then there are long seasons of hate or perhaps the better word is indifference. I suppose this is typical of most people. We make excuses on why we can or can't read. We're busy, tired, and let's just face it, have other things to do. These are all legitimate reasons, but having a preschooler at the time, I wanted to set the example of good reading habits and made the goal of reading one book a month. I picked up a very popular series and was hooked and became what I can only describe as a book junkie. I couldn't get enough. This lead me, of course, to connecting with likeminded and spirited people who would devour books and have the need to discuss the experience. You could say, I read alot -- to the tune of maybe two or three books a week -- and discussed it even more.

So what does any of this have to do with There Is No Light In Darkness? Probably everything. As an avid reader, English major, and networking with other readers, Claire Conteras and I became Facebook friends. And I admit this publically because you may consider my review to be biased. Honestly, I suppose it is. After all, I've been involved in and part of the process for several months. I've seen the hardwork, the labor of love, and the novel come to life. From the first draft to the fourth draft, I read, re-read and read it again. The joke has been that I've read the chapters more than anyone. I've followed the journey of these characters -- that oddly invaded my thoughts, and only oddly because I have my own characters to deal with -- and loved every moment of it.

Blake Brennan is a strong female protagonist. Having suffered a horrible childhood trauma that would leave most people withdrawn, bitter, angry and unable to attach to others, Blake has a wonderful emotional resiliency. Having lost her family of origin, she is adopted, unofficially, into a new family. Blood ties are irrelevant. They are family. But don't think that those traumas haven't affected her. They have. She loves but doesn't admit it to others. Until she does, experiences freedom in her admission until her fears might not be as unfounded as she thought.

Blake is also determined to uncover the truth of that fateful night where she was taken from her home, seeing her mother lying in a pool of blood and her father carried out. Vivid dreams reveal the past memories the subconscience holds. She forms relationships with people that may lead her to the one person who she believes holds answers, ellusive Mark Lewis, the attorney who handles her estate. As the dreams and reality collide, Blake learns truths that forever shake her foundation. She leans on her family, and primarily Cole Murphy, to guide her, support her as she tries to reconcile what she has learned with it's value to her present life.

Cole Murphy can relate to Blake. They've had a connection since the first time they laid eyes on one another. Personally, I had a connection with Cole as well. Cole Murphy is one hot, sexy and swoonworthy male character. I have an unhealthy attachment to Cole. I want to marry him and get jealous when others claim him. I have to be reminded that he's fictional. And that thought saddens me. Cole oozes sensuality from his first introduction to the very end of the book. If that wasn't enough, Cole has a badass edge with a heart of gold. Just the right combination, the right words, the perfect touch, and well, I sigh and get tingles. I love him. But back to the book and not my experience with Cole. This isn't one of those "insta-love" connections. There's more to it. Maybe, it's Cole's abrupt abandonment by his father when he was dropped off at Maggie Parker's home when he was four years old. The feeling of having lost your family and the need to control and find answers. That could be it. I refuse to give any more spoilers. And leave you with this last thought on Cole Murphy. I love him. He's mine, back the hell away from him, or this is going to get ugly.

Nothing is accidental. Don't discount any detail as being redundant or accidental. These are pieces of the puzzle that has yet to be solved. Let the theories begin.

There Is No Light In Darkness is a must read. Download a copy and get reading. Meet these characters and let me know what you think.

View all my reviews

If you’re looking for a good book to read, pick up There Is No Light In Darkness.

What am I reading: The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons. I’m only at 48% in the first book. I LOVE it. Great book!

What am I writing: As soon as I get 100 likes on my Facebook fan page, you’ll be the first to know.

Thought provoking question of the day: To Tweet or not to Tweet?

Don’t forget to enter the drawing!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Look Who Decided to Blog...Again

I’m back...

I missed blogging. After all, I’m a little narcissistic and believe -- even though I’d deny it -- the world revolves around me and everyone wants to know what’s happening in my life. Come on, my life is exciting, thrilling and the thing reality TV shows are made of. Do I really believe all of that? Not really, not all of it anyway.

For those who are new to my blogging, you might quickly learn that I’m a tad bit sarcastic and prone to exaggeration. So I’ve been told by those close to me.

Let’s cut to the chase. What are you going to find in this blog and why on earth would you want to follow it? That question really doesn’t need to be answered. I know, I’m loved. Okay, insecurity is choking that thought.

I’m a reader, writer, and single mom -- with a demanding full time job. Try doing that on a daily basis and tell me that Bravo shouldn’t be knocking on my door offering me a reality TV show series.

Guilt. That’s what I feel for not saying I’m a single mom first. Mommy guilt. Sigh... I’m going to go hug my son, spend some time with him while I get my nails done and hair blown out and he plays on the tablet. I just lost the Mommy of the Year award. Hangs her head in shame.

I’m a little nervous about this being my first blog post in years.  Can't you tell?  I'm all over the place.   

Thought provoking question of the day: Why do I have a pair of skinny jeans in my closet?

What am I reading: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Shura. That’s it. No need for any other words. I fell in love at 7%. “Shura, Shura, Shura.” My heart melted. Read it.

What am I writing: Ah, want to find out? Once I get 100 likes on my facebook fan page -- yes, I’m going there -- I’ll let you know. But to bribe you, I mean motivate you, I’ll be raffling a $10 Amazon gift card and 3 ebooks: The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons,  There is No Light In Darkness, by Claire Contreras, and   Happenstance, by MJ Abrahams.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have a couple of interviews lined up for the next couple of blog posts. So stayed tuned. They should be a lot of fun.

See you soon! And thanks for stopping by.