Writing When You’re Scared

One thing I’ve never experienced when I started writing, was being scared *smile*

You know, scared of writing. I don’t know if it’s that innate fearlessness the youngest child has because we’re born with the knowledge that there will be someone taller, stronger, smarter, bigger, etc. than us. So we don’t compete with others, only ourselves. We don’t become paralyzed by performance anxiety, even when we do have anxiety it’s usually the ‘oh man I hope I don’t suck’ as opposed to ‘oh man I hope other people don’t think I suck’.

 

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Sam Winchester aka Jared aka Moose

People usually say the youngest child is self-centered. I tend to disagree with this. I’d say the youngest child is focused…on themselves *laughs*

There’s no time for gossip. There’s no time to keep up with what the Kardashians are doing because we simply are not interested. We’re working on keeping up with what we are doing. Not in a selfish way, but more in the way of knowing that we’ve got one life to live and only a short amount of time of living it. It can’t be wasted on the trivial and running scared all the time is a waste of energy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met a person who hasn’t doubted themselves before or felt a sliver of fear. But I’ve never met a youngest child who didn’t face up to that in record time, shook it off and got down to the business of what they needed to do.

 

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Dean & Sam. Every Supernatural fan knows how the dynamic between the two brothers plays out.

I read this article (can’t remember where), that youngest children are great at team work. They are the best employable people. Why? Because they’ve grown up cheering their brothers and sisters on. They had to sit through every soccer match and play and ballet rehearsal, whether big brother or sister was good or not, they were in the crowd. They learned to be supportive. It’s become instinctive.

So here’s my advice to writers who’s looking for Beta Readers or Critique partners.Go with the youngest child.

They will tell you the truth because they’ve learned from older siblings that the truth does cause you to grow as a person. They’ll always have something positive to say. Not for the sake of saying it, but because they generally are wired to notice when someone’s done something good. (I should know because I do *wink*). And last but not least, when they are in your corner, they are in your corner. They’ll advocate for you without you even having to ask.

When we believe in you, we won’t just tell you about it, we’ll tell our ‘followers’, ‘friends’, ‘subscribers’, and families 🙂

Get us on your team and fear will become a distant second!

#happywriting

Africa Online Book Fair 2017

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It’s funny how some of the ‘worst’ days and experiences can turn out to be saving graces. And for me propelled a proposal I’ve been tinkering with since September 2016‒an online book fair for romance authors who are from Africa and authors who write romances set in Africa.

A traditional book fair is an exhibit of books typically by a group of publishers or book-dealers for promoting sales and stimulating interest, often authors are also featured with their own booths and engages with readers. It takes place at a certain venue over a specific period of time and requires those who are exhibiting their books to be physically present, as well as those attending the book fair.

An online book fair in contrast takes place on the internet, but with the same underlined principle as a traditional book fair, to exhibit books for promotion of sales and stimulating interest, typically designed to provide access for those who are unable or unavailable to attend traditional book fairs.

The main objectives with the Africa Online Book Fair will be building relationships, networking, creating a fun and relaxed environment where authors and readers can engage with each other. A place where authors can share information, have Q&A’s and create interest in their books through prizes, gifts, giveaways, competitions, promotional discounts, etc. So definitely something for readers too *smile*

The Africa Online Book Fair will take place in June 2017 and will feature Romance Authors from SA and the rest of the continent. The event will be hosted on Facebook by using their Groups tool and will span over 3 days with scheduled timeslots for each author.

We will give out more details as we start kicking off the promo.

I am so excited about this. I view it as a wonderful means to showcase romance novels & authors from the African continent. There’s amazing talent and stories from the authors we have lined up, so keep an eye out *wink*

#AfricaOnBookFair2017

 

Hosts of the Africa Online Book Fair 2017:

Kathy Bosman @KathleenLBosman

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Zee Monodee @ZeeMonodee

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Inge Saunders @saunders_inge

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Blog Tour: The Wolf’s Choice

Today is the start of the blog tour for The Wolf’s Choice! And the first stop is a review stop by Splashes Into Books. If you haven’t got a copy of the book yet, read what they had to say about it 🙂

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Here are all the tour dates:

http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com and on FB page – bookshook 4/18/17
http://2bibliophiles.blogspot.com 4/20/17
Http://wickedlyinnocentpromotions.blogspot.com 4/21/17
http://www.facebook.com/lexcade & lexcade.blogspot.com 4/21/17
http://bookedandloaded.com/ 4/22/17
http://thereadingspotblog.blogspot.com/ 4/23/17
http://evermorebooks.weebly.com/blog 4/24/17
 https://fransbooklove.wordpress.com/ 4/29/17
http://writtenlovereviews.blogspot.com 5/1/17
http://www.carolkittie.com https://www.facebook.com/CarolKittieReviews/ 5/2/17
https://readourthoughtsbookblog.wordpress.com/ 5/3/17
http://angelsguiltypleasures.com 5/4/17
http://musingsfromanaddictedreader.wordpress.com/ 5/5/17
https://www.facebook.com/Thosecrazybookchicks 5/6/17
http://thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/ 5/7/17
http://denagarson.net 5/8/17
http://louisesbookbuzz.blogspot.com/ 5/9/17
http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/ 5/10/17
https://www.facebook.com/LittleShopofReaders/ 5/11/17
http://mireillechester.blogspot.ca 5/11/17
http://dogsmomvisits.blogspot.com/ 5/12/17

 

Here’s Why I Like Paranormal Romances

I’m the generation that grew up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed.  And I still own DVDs of both series, plus the Charmed books. The latter I bought a couple of years ago.

Since I can remember I’ve had a fascination with the supernatural. When I discovered Anne Rice in high school I was hooked to vampires in print. With Twilight and the Vampire Dairies paranormal romances experienced resurgence, especially amongst teens. And also in my reading world.

I’d been deep in a chicklit vortex by then. Loving romance sprinkled with humor and life and really relatable fantastic heroines. I hadn’t realized at the time that these ‘dark creatures’ of the paranormal world, would signal the end of my obsession with chicklit. But they had. And I’m not sorry *grin*

Paranormal romances like their TV shows and movies offers worlds where diversity is celebrated. Where being different is the norm.  There isn’t an expected blue print, in terms of the main characters racial or cultural background. Werewolves can come from any continent. They will still have a connection/something in common with shape-shifting wolves around the world. And that’s what, I realized, kept drawing me back to the paranormal genre.

It’s one of the things I like about paranormal romances.

Another thing I like about them is this, the badass characters male and female who in spite of living on the fringes of society, still thrive, still make their mark on the world. As a person of color, coming from SA with its history of Apartheid, I can relate to these shape-shifters. Even in romance, paranormal romances are not the ‘star’ genre. It’s not considered literary genius, even though it tests the reader’s ideas of ‘normal’ and acceptance.

I not only feel comfortable writing these types of stories, I celebrate them. I read them. I buy them.

So if you were wondering, why after two contemporary romance novels, I’ve written a paranormal romance about werewolves, these are some of my reasons. Though the biggest one has to be, I simply enjoy them. And I hope that when you pick up your copy of The Wolf’s Choice, you’ll be able to experience how much I loved writing this paranormal romance.

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Preorder Buy Link:

The Wolf’s Choice (Black Hills Wolves Book 64): Amazon:Kindle Store https://t.co/gipdx4OYiZ

#preorder #PNR #romance @DecadentPub

Public and Private Position: A Commentary Piece

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The US elections are on everyone’s newsfeeds whether you’re interested or not. All of us (the rest of the world) are a bit stunned at what’s happening. To be honest, (don’t throw virtual tomatoes at me) I expected Donald Trump to have fallen out of the race early on. The fact that he has come so far (and yes so close) is astonishing to me. The man is a walking billboard for every type of ‘ism’ out there, except feminism of course *drum roll*

Yeah don’t sue me. That was my attempt at a joke. I’m not a comedian, I’m a romance author *cheeky grin*

What keeps coming back to me this week, and has me on this US election train of thought, was something Hillary Clinton said, something to the effect of having a public and private position. Many were up in arms at this statement. And at first I was like “What are they going on about?” Everyone has a public and private position. But if you think about it, that’s not what she meant. She didn’t mean what Ludacris rapped in that funky tune of Usher’s, “We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed to say…” *bobs head*

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You know the sentiment that underlines the lyric, that there are facets about yourself that you keep private, personal. It’s no one’s business but yours…sometimes those closest to you too.

Though that’s not what I believe those who don’t agree with Hillary’s sentiment appose. Because if you really study the statement and I mean, really study it, not just from your frame of reference or world view, than it becomes problematic.

Because, according to her, you can have a different level of integrity in private than you have in public?

The answer to that is no. You need to be the same person when no one sees you, when you are not scrutinized. Your yes needs to be yes and your no, no. You can’t flip in public.

Here’s a definition of integrity, so that you know what I mean when I use the word. This is what I understand by it. It is “the quality of being honest and morally upright.” That’s the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition.

To me, no one’s perfect. I believe we all need to be a bit more gracious towards each other. Exercise understanding and consideration. You can work towards perfection, though let’s be honest, that’s not something you will achieve in your lifetime. We are all works in progress. Every day is a practical exercise in learning what it means to be human. And let me just say, this is not a pro-Hilary or pro-Donald or in any way a political post as much as it is a social one. I’m not interested in their political agendas, frankly, because I’m not from the US. I’m from South Africa. This election doesn’t impact me the same way it does an American. I’m not emotionally, mentally or physically tied it.

What inspired this post was a recent correspondence I had with someone who will remain nameless *smile*

You see, when you are in a position of leadership you are always under scrutiny. Whether you lead five or millions, you will get scrutiny. That’s why parents shouldn’t be shocked when their grownup kids give them a review of how they were raised, because from the child’s perspective that might not always have been a positive experience. But who wants negative critique? No one. We don’t like it, I certainly don’t. But we get it anyway.

So back to Hilary and her statement. After I got this correspondence I realized that there are people who live by that statement’s level of integrity every single day. They shape it according to who’s in front of them. If you are powerful enough to cause trouble for me, I won’t be honest with you. If your level of significance is the same as an ant’s in my life, I’ll be brutally honest and then some. Their level of honesty and morality adapts to their audience. And that’s what some people have a problem with. That’s what I learned, I don’t like.

It’s false, fake, phony…all those lovely words we use on a daily basis to describe someone we wouldn’t trust as far as we could throw them.

I don’t object so much to the fake and phoniness if you’re both that privately and publicly. Because then you’d be honest. I mean there I have to give it to Trump. The man is disgusting in private and in public. What you see is what you get.

Where the problem lies for me is when you profess to be ‘nice’ in the eyes of those whom you can benefit from, because they have a certain level of power over you, and then ‘rude’ to the people you think, doesn’t have the power to touch you.

Because, that’s what it comes down to, doesn’t it? Accountability and responsibility? If I have no one to answer to, if I’m a dictator, if I can’t be held responsible for my behavior, if there’s no checks and balances. Then what’s to stop me from flipping the integrity switch in how I deal with people, in my work life, in the societies I join and organizations I belong to. To one person I’m one thing, yet to another I’m something else. No one knows what they’re getting. And that’s problematic.

And when you are someone that’s under scrutiny that won’t just be problematic for you, but dangerous.

I’m thinking of Elorra’s Cave the e-publishing company that had this huge lawsuit going on with its authors. Before the paw-paw hit the fan, the company had a public position that turned out to be horse manure (yeah I don’t swear, get over it). Authors weren’t being paid, unprofessional behavior within the company, etc. (Just do a Google search on the publisher with the word lawsuit and everything will spill out.)

The integrity they professed to have to us (everyone on the outside) was not what they exercised in private. That, my dear people, in the blogosphere, is what I call corruption. See how far having a private and public position stretches when viewed in light of integrity. This isn’t on the side of that funky lyric of Ludacris. This is something else, much sinister. And when someone exercises this form of ‘integrity’ and they have no level of accountability, you have to start asking yourself whether you still want to deal with them and what your responsibility are here.

Because believe it or not, you do have a responsibility (this is where your integrity comes into play).

If you’re dealing with someone in leadership where there are checks and balances, it is simple; report to those checks and balances, especially where their behavior can lead to a lawsuit. If there are none, then you have to wake up and smell the horse manure. You are part of a dictatorship. And if history has taught us anything about dictatorships, they don’t get overthrown without a level of bloodshed *cringe*

Of course if you choose the pacifist route, than sit back, sip that glass of red you poured for yourself, because you and everyone else around you, are royally…you know what *laughs*

 

#HappyWriting

#haveanawesomeweekend

#seeyouontheblogosphere

 

 

 

 

Sold!

 

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Sold! The Wolf’s Choice!

What every author loves to hear when it comes to their stories, “we are offering you a contract.”

I’m officially part of the Black Hills Wolves pack! Okay fine, not the Tao Pack, but certainly part of the Author Pack who makes this wonderful shape-shifter series howl with awesome characters.

Yep, I’m a werewolf nut. If Stephanie Meyer hadn’t written Edward Cullen so gorgeous, I would’ve been Team Jacob. Just saying.

So here’s a sneak peak at the not-yet-edited blurb. I hope you love it!

*And to all the readers who love my contemporary romances, I am working on another flirty romance but in the meantime, enjoy Rebecca and Blaine.

 

Blurb:

“I’ll pledge my loyalty to you through a blood oath, if you support my choice of mate.”

Drew sat back in his chair. “What does Rebecca have to say? The last time I spoke to her, she didn’t mention you.”

Blaine smiled. He hadn’t earned himself any favors. “She doesn’t know yet.”                         

 

Thirteen years ago Rebecca Ferguson died, at least to everyone in the Black Hills territory. With a human mother and unable to shift into a wolf, Magnum Toa, the deranged Alpha of the Toa Pack would’ve had both her and her father killed for deceiving him. Magnum didn’t allow humans to mate with members of his pack.

Now Magnum is the one who’s dead and Rebecca can return.

But coming back from the dead, building a new life after her divorce and opening a library in town isn’t the only obstacles Rebecca faces. Elijah, her father, doesn’t approve of her being in Los Lobos to the point where he forbids her to get involved with the pack, especially the males.

Their relationship has suffered because of her absence and she hopes to bridge the divide; confident that she doesn’t want a romantic entanglement with anyone human or wolf, anyway.

In walks sexy private detective Blaine Walker.

Thirteen years ago Blaine stumbled on his mate at the local Swimming Hole. The next day, she was dead. Once he learns Rebecca is alive and living in Los Lobos, he decides it’s time to give up his career in Brooklyn and return to Black Hills. But he knows it won’t be easy to claim her since Elijah’s unnaturally overprotective. The only way Elijah will back off is to challenge him.

A challenge that will end in one of their deaths.

The Toa Pack’s rebuilding itself and needs to guard against any threats outside or in. For Blaine to have any chance to claim Rebecca Elijah needs to be dealt with and to deal with Elijah, Drew, the Alpha of the Toa Pack, has to sanction the challenge according to pack law.

Rebecca can’t deny the old attraction she felt for Blaine is still there and even stronger now that they are grownup. She’s caught between the man fate has brought back to her and her father, whose affection she craved her whole life.

But there’s a secret governing Elijah’s erratic behavior that can cost Rebecca everything she’s worked hard to build and everything she thought she could never have with a man or wolf.

Will Rebecca and Blaine beat the odds stacked against them?

Or will the choices they make ultimately lead them down a path both of them don’t want?

 

 

Writing Tips & Motivation 2.0

I’m working on a new WIP (work in progress). I submitted the first three chapters of a WIP to the wrong Harlequin line and ended up with possibly one of the nicest and encouraging rejection letters I’ve ever received in my writing career. I was asked to resubmit something else since the story I sent in didn’t fit with the line and the editors liked my voice *slaps forehead* Can you say nut? Because that’s what I am. Should’ve triple checked. Anyway, I thought I’d share some writing tips that keep me centered as I work through my new WIP.

Hope it helps you too 🙂

*disclaimer: these images do not belong to me, I found them on the inter-webs.

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