#TeaserTenth for February

teasertenthbadge

#TeaserTenth is a monthly meme for writers, both published and unpublished. It’s a great opportunity to meet other writers, as well as readers, by sharing a sampling (10 lines or less) of the stories we are working on, or have already published.

Feel free to join! (click the badge above for details.)

This week, I’ve decided to share lines from one of my works in progress. This is taken from a random spot in the book. (unedited.)

Enjoy!

Here’s something a little more intimate than I’m used to. These lines are from my current work in progress, tentatively titled GAMBIT.

“I love you,” Sam gasps between kisses.

A moan escapes Fox’s lips as Sam digs his fingers into her back. He drags her closer to his body. If he holds her close enough, they synchronize. Two hearts beat as one. Two chests rise and fall in tandem. Two beings become one. Sam kisses deeper, feels the love of Fox under his skin.

In his mind, this moment could last forever. Sam imagines doing this on the beach, sun setting into the ocean. Hell, for this, this feeling, this moment, Sam would drive to the ends of the Earth. A hundred lives could never make Sam feel as real as he is right this moment.

A sound somewhere between a Wookiee and a cat caught in radiator fan is the only warning to the slimy, dirty, rotted fist that connects with Sam’s right ear.

#TeaserTenth Here’s ten lines or words and such

teasertenthbadge#TeaserTenth is a monthly meme that writers, both published and unpublished, can play along in. It’s a great opportunity to meet new folks like yourself, as well as showcase what stories you have going on to both other writers and (hopefully) readers.

Here’s ten lines (THE FIRST TEN LINES) from a novel I’m working on titled: Uprising, in Requiem, I hope y’all like it.

“You know, when Hank said, ‘A county boy will survive,’ I just don’t think this is the kind of shit he was talking about.” Galvar glances back over his shoulder at Grace. She puffs out a tired laugh and adjusts the tree branch they are using to carry the fallen deer on her shoulder.

Grace and Galvar spent years hunting for hobby—and for Grace’s famous deer jerky, of course—but now they hunt for necessity.

“I’m serious.” Galvar steps on a branch hidden under the leaves on the ground, stumbles, rights himself. “Why do we have to get the shittiest apocalypse of all time? Yeah, sure, zombies were cliché and all, but that would have been better than this. Hell, even sparkly vampire apocalypse might have been better than a fucking angel apocalypse, maybe.”

Six months since angels descended from the sky like locusts, but they didn’t destroy the Earth like some biblical plague, this was more like a hostile fucking takeover.

Feel free to check out some of the other authors’ ten lines, all participants can be found here: http://www.jabelfield.com/teaser-tenth-sign-ups.html

Have a great day, guys!

Embrace the Grind #MondayBlogs

So I saw a maxim scribbled across an athletic shirt that caught my attention. Now, generally speaking, I absolutely hate athletic shirts with silly slogans on them. Every time I see a forty year old dude wearing Oakleys like he’s fucking Kenny Powers with his stomach hanging out of the bottom of his Under Armour shirt that declares ‘Clutch Performer’ I have an urge to ask him when, exactly, he performs under pressure. Probably a knee jerk dickhead reaction on my part, but hey, it’s how I feel.  Back on task, I saw a shirt and the motto read, ‘Embrace the grind’. Holy shit, I want one of those, but not for all that athletic shit. Ten thousand practice free throws a day is not my kind of grind.

But you know what is my kind of grind? Yeah, you guessed it, wordsmithing. If you aren’t a writer and think that writing a novel is as easy as dropping your ass in front of your laptop/word processor/typewriter/stone tablet and kicking out a hundred thousand or so words, you’re right. Well, sort of. Let’s just say you have made it through the entire process of finishing a complete novel. Counting beta reads and editing and all that jazz. Congrats, you’re a novelist. What’s next? Sit down and write your follow up masterpiece, right?

Wrong. Fucking wrong.

If you want to make any money off your novel you need to write a query letter and synopsis and research what agent would be the best fit for your hundred and sixty thousand word epic about a corn kernel’s journey through the small intestines of an aging biker. Then you get picked by an agent or publisher, you’re done right? Not quite Mr. Jumpy Pants. Drop some lead right in the seat of your Levi’s because there’s marketing to be done. Interviews, blog tours, and all kinds of other ‘hey, I wrote a book’ kind of posturing. Oh yeah, while you were writing your book however many months ago, you probably should have been blogging about what the fuck ever people blog about to build an audience. Yeah, audiences buy books. Sold books continue writing ‘careers’ and yes, I use the word career loosely.

So, that second book you were going to start, you remember the one right? Yeah, you had that kick ass idea for a story about a werewolf that changes form every time someone squeaks a squeaky toy titled ‘Like an Lichan’. It’s time to get started on that bad boy. NO, WAIT I SAY. Your publisher loved your breakout hit Colon Kernel and now they’ve requested a sequel. They wan’t to know if you can have them the first draft in two months.

Okay, so that whole scenario is a bit blown up, it’s true. But not by much. Sustaining a writing career (There’s that fucking word again. I don’t mean that you make a living off your writing, I just mean the act of your writing and everything around it) takes a lot of work. There is always a deadline (self imposed or outside imposed) and there is always pressure to perform. This book has to be better than the last one. I need to sell more copies. I need to diversify my bibliography. I need to actually find time to read other people’s books. I promised x,y, and z beta reads this month that I need to do. I need to blog. I need to market. I need to sit in a corner and cry for all my hard work that’s gotten no recognition.

Whatever.

You are always being pulled in a million different directions and at time it feels like too much to handle. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the shit you don’t think about. That’s exactly the time you need to embrace the grind. This is why you do this. This is what you wanted, right? It’s what I wanted. I want fans to read my books and beg for more. I want to write more to give them. I want to share what I have to say, that’s why I started sharing my writing in the first place. So I say it again embrace the grind. That’s fucking right.

We’ve all got shit to do and shit we want to do. If writing is the thing you want to do, then you know what you’ve got to do. That’s right. Embrace the mother fucking grind. 

Myth of the Machina #WednesdayBlogs #DeusLikeAMotherFucker

While reading a review (First mistake, reading reviews. It generally goes against my nature, but this was a special case) the other day I read something that got me thinking. The reviewer pointed out that an otherwise good story was marred by an overbearing use of deus ex machina, or some other eloquently stated version of that, I don’t remember the exact words.
Wikipedia (Yeah, I know, not the most reliable source, but it works for this example so back off, ass) defines Deus ex Machina as a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.
Pretty nifty term, right? And we all love our nifty terms. The internet is full of them. Asshat, noob, dumb bastard, diddly fiddler, wanker, wombat, walrus, and wheezlefuhrer, for example. Okay, I might have made that last one up. Just testing you.
So this nifty new term is all about when a writer pulls some ol’ bullshit right out of his (or her) ass to resolve a plot. Makes sense, but let me ask you this: What’s the difference between deus and a just plain ending?
As writers, our job is to paint our characters into corners while surrounded by hungry boogey men with flaming pitchforks of hatred, or something like that. If a character was put into an easily solvable situation, then there would be no reason to continue reading, because there would be no danger.
What if you picked up a book and the blurb on the back read: Follow the harrowing tale of Gary Drinkwater as he tries to decide the fate of his breakfast. Will it be toast? Or will it be CEREAL? There’s also the non-stop subplot of his wife and her incapability of taming the intangible wardrobe.
Does that sound like something you would want to read? Fuck no you wouldn’t. That’s every day for most of us and those aren’t problems. The answer, by the way is cereal, it’s always been cereal.
Now what if the blurb read: Follow along as Gary Drinkwater tries to get to his kitchen table through the piles of death-blaster toting alien bullfrogs whose only weakness is fat steel drum beats? Meanwhile, his wife battles zombie appliances come back from the undead to cosmetically enhance her, from the inside out?
Sounds a little more interesting, right? Sure, it’s not Gaiman level prose, but it might be a fun story to read, yeah? Now, say in that second tale at the climax of the story the husband uses magic to summon the Wailers to his living room to ward off the aliens. That’s pretty fucking ridiculous, agreed? You might even be tempted to call it deus ex machina. No one saw that shit coming. Right out of left field, that solution just slapped you in the face like a Larry Bird fastball. Yeah, I know, Larry Bird played hockey. I’m not big on sports, okay?
However, when we break it down, we are talking about a story involving reggae hating aliens and living appliances, isn’t that pretty outlandish to begin with? So wouldn’t a pretty outlandish ending be fitting? Better than saying the whole thing was some stupid fucking dream.
Now, yes, I know I’ve gone a bit overboard with my example, but the point remains the same even if you dull it down a bit. The hero always gets put in a corner and there is always a surprising way out of it. Some might call that deus, but if surprising your readers is poor use of the deus ex machina, than I want to Deus Like a Mother Fucker. Serious. I’m going to deus all damn day.
Writers. Readers. Inhuman space monsters, please comment your feelings on this and feel free to call me an asshat. Also, I like to tweet a lot, so feel free to tweet any crazy ideas with #DeusLikeAMotherFucker (or #DeusAllDay  for the PG crowd) and I will retweet all of the good ones.

Burdin of Choice Cover Reveal!!!

perf5.250x8.000.inddLook at that. Ain’t she pretty? Or I guess he. Either way. Here’s the cover for my newest book, Burdin of Choice. It’s the sequel to Beasts of Burdin, so if you haven’t read that yet, you need to get on it. Like, today. Please?

 

The sequel is coming out in November and here is the blurb if you need words to go along with your fancy cover.

 

Ty Burdin is back. Back to drinking and back to avoiding demons. He is, of course, the leading expert in his field. In both subjects.
That’s probably why, when a shady character, or customer as Ty likes to call them, offers him way too much money just to locate a missing car and some mysterious cargo, he readily agrees. The dude was human after all—Ty’s prime target client base.
Of course, along with the money comes a slew of disappearing people. All of whom Ty tries to ignore while tracking down the car. They might be demon related, which of course, Ty will have nothing to do with.
There’s an agency for that, and Agency business is not his. Period. 
Until today.
Now, Ty Burdin is to drinking and back to … everything he vowed never to get involved with again. 
Question is, which one will kill him first? The booze? The demons? Or the Agency?

The Greatest Thing I’ve Ever Written #MondayBlogs

Oh no, this isn’t the best thing I’ve ever written. Sorry, that title maybe a little misleading. This is about the best thing I’ve ever written,  sort of.

I’ve always tried to be upfront with all my readers that I am fairly new at the writing game. It’s not secret that I didn’t start writing novels until about two and a half years ago.

When I wrote my first novel it was the best thing I had ever written. In truth, it sucked. A lot. But since I hadn’t written anything else it was the best ever. The second novel I wrote was even better. (It still sucked, but it sucked less) I mean, I had practice. Of course it came out better. How couldn’t it?

The third novel I wrote (Beasts of Burdin, the first thing I ever had published) was the best up till that point. With B.o.B I discovered how to write in my own voice and that was a huge forward step. It still needed a lot of love before it was ready to be cuddled by tens of readers all over the world, but J. Taylor Publishing saw promise and gave it the through edit it needed.

After that I wrote the sequel to B.o.B. Going through edits with the first book taught me a lot, so clearly the sequel was even better.

Now, I get to my point. The next thing I wrote was an urban fantasy. I liked it. I liked the world and the characters. Beta readers? They all agreed that it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the Burdin books. My big, giant rug of wordsmithering ego was ripped out from under me. For the first time in my life, the newest book wasn’t the best.

I panicked. I wondered if I had lost my touch or if Burdin was the only good character I was capable of writing. I thought for sure I would never write anything interesting again. Who knows, maybe I haven’t.

This is a good time to note that most authors are wound up balls of self-loathing and caffeine (liquor if they’re old school or hybrids that alternate between the two) to begin with. As a matter of fact, author Joriah Wood has probably quit writing forever twice in the time it has taken you to read this post. We all hate what we are working on at the moment, but usually calm down when the project is done. Doubting a project that you have spent HOURS on is pretty crushing stuff.

After a hefty edit by the talented Linda Murphy (who has just started her own editing service, hint hint, wink wink) the novel in question was transformed into something much prettier on the eyes. One day I hope to share it with you guys, but there’s a time and a place for that.

Currently, I’m working on Burdin 3 (Ty Down, for those curious) and guess what? I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. Maybe I am set to write Burdin forever, but I doubt it. Maybe the next novel I write well be the best thing I’ve ever written. Maybe it will be terrible and all my friends will point and laugh at the literary failure I’ve become. It’s quite possible, really.

My biggest point is this: if you are writing novels or short stories or poetry or music or painting pictures or writing out plans for world domination to sell off to the highest bidder; what you’re working on right this moment might not be the best thing you’ve ever done, but that doesn’t make it bad. Or hell, even if it is bad, that doesn’t mean your next project will be. Find out what worked about the “bad” project and reuse that in something else later. Then, find out what didn’t work and vow to not do that next time.

Art, of any kind,  is a skill that can never be perfected. I bet Hendrix found flaws in his music, Hemmimgway probably found them in his writing, and Mr. Keebler may have even find some in his cookie recipes. I have my doubts about that last one,  but the first two are probably solid examples. Maybe. The only way to improve toward deity-esque flawlessness is to keep learning and keep working. That is all.

 

Cover Reveal Secret of the Souls @TerriRochenski

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Secret of the Souls

Pool of Souls

by Terri Rochenski

Release Date: October 6, 2014

Target Reader: Adult

Keywords: Fantasy

Back of the Book

Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.

On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.

URL: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/34

 

I read the first book in this series and it was very good. You should go read it while you’re waiting on this awesome sequel to release.

Free Sexy Dog Books @JABelfield

Hello Hello, my friends my friends. For some reason I have an echo today, today, today…Me and my echo are here to present you with a giveaway, giveaway, giveaway, free shit…Sorry, my echo gets a little sassy, much like the author of this book, Lady Belfield. I’ve read this book and as a stone hearted, hard as nails, manly man of all things testosterone related, I can say I liked it alot. So enter for a chance to win a free copy today, today, today, right fucking now…. J. Taylor Publishing are giving away FIVE ARCs of Unnatural by J.A. Belfield!

Check it out!

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female. The first two, he blames on the vampire venom. The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve. As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own. No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can. Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack. Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her? If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

A great addition to the Holloway Pack, UNNATURAL will please both veterans of the series and new readers alike. It also just might be the paranormal romance you’ve all been waiting for.

And J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARC copies.

To YOU!

You don’t even have to be a book blogger!

Nope, so long as you are willing to leave an honest review* between the dates March 19th and April 6th 2014, you are eligible to enter.

Interested?

Then just fill out the form and keep your fingers crossed.

You have until midnight of March 18th to enter.

*A review should consist of your honest thoughts regarding a book, usually a few paragraphs long and around 150 – 500 (sometimes more) words in length. About J.A. Belfield: Hello Hello, my friends my friends. For some reason I have an echo today, today, today…Me and my echo are here to present you with a giveaway, giveaway, giveaway, free shit…Sorry, my echo gets a little sassy, much like the author of this book, Lady Belfield. I’ve read this book and as a stone hearted, hard as nails, manly man of all things testosterone related, I can say I liked it alot. So enter for a chance to win a free copy today, today, today, right fucking now…. One day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become. One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop. J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

Holy Shit It’s Over

I’ve been busy with a million things and as opposed to doing any one of them well, I’ve been half assing everything. I went to see where my blog tour was today and realized it’s over. That’s right, done. Call this gravy and put it over some potatoes because I’m hungry.

 

This week was another short one with only two stops. I got to give a quick interview with JeanzBookReadNReview and I told The Cover Contessa about my ideal paranormal character.

 

This is officially the end of my marketing for Beasts of Burdin, well, sort of. Of course I’m going to be doing some giveaways and keeping everyone up with awesome new reviews. With Beasts in the Books, I’m happy to tell you that the sequel, Burdin of Choice, will be available Nov 10 and I’ve just started writing the third and final installment, Ty Down. It should be ready to go early-ish next year. Thanks for all the love and support guys! Hope you like the book.

Week 3 Blog Tour Roundup

What’s up fellow friends of the internet? I’ve been busy as hell lately so my blog tour roundup is a day late. My apologies. So here you go, one day late, but spectacular as ever…

 

Monday Ty stopped at Terri Rochenski’s place for a quick interview. As always he was a many of many snarky words.

Wednesday I was off to my LS Murphy’s spot to talk about my completely worthless method of picking character names.

And finally, Friday I dropped some knowledge of the Prose Before Hohos guys about how to write a series. It’s some pretty epic knowledge and I’d suggest most authors read it to learn everything I have to say about the topic.

 

Yup, pretty short week, but it’s all about quality, right?