Monthly Archives: August 2011

Book Review: Cutlass and Musket, Tales of Piratical Skullduggery

Cutlass and Musket, Tales of Piratical SkullduggeryCutlass and Musket, Tales of Piratical Skullduggery by Jessica A. Weiss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Welp… I have to be honest here, right? Even though I have a story (and a damned good one if I do say so myself) in this book, I really wasn’t all that impressed with the anthology. While some stories were good and held my interest (and that shouldnt be hard since I LOVE PIRATES), for the most part, the stories read pretty flat to me.

I will try to go through and select the stories I really enjoyed — like a winners and losers type of thing, but at this point I have downgraded my rating from a 4 to a 3. I mean I can’t dislike a book that contains something I wrote…

View all my reviews

Tuesday Teaser: From WIP The Pirate and the Selkie

Things have been moving along nicely with my historical fantasy/romance I gave a working title of The Pirate and The Selkie.

To celebrate the completion of another chapter in Daniel and Ellie’s saga, I decided to take this week’s Tuesday Teaser from this novel/la in progress.  Enjoy 🙂

Her mother nodded. “We discussed it before he sailed. After you almost drowned.”

The hitch of emotion in her mother’s voice stabbed Ellie with guilt. “Do I have to go?”

“Yes, Ellie, you do.” Momma’s tone turned serious, telling her there would be no arguing.

Ellie’s shoulders slumped under the weight of resignation. She let out a sigh, lowered her head and gave the only response she could.

“Yes, Momma.”

Children and Technology: The Truth About Social Media?

I had a conversation with my 11 year old daughter, Shelby about Hurricane Irene last night at dinner. What she had to say made me giggle, and showed me that while the information age is great for spreading information, sometimes we need to make sure the info picked up by our children is accurate.

Here is a snipit of that informative chat:

Me: Wow, 10 inches of rain is no joke.

Shelby: They even had to evacuate New Jersey, the whole thing. That’s alot of people.

Me: No sweetie, not all of New Jersey, just the Jersey Shore.

Shelby: (with a big smile): Oh, that’s okay. They are all in Italy right now, anyway.

So there you have it. My daughter, the holder of all important news. *giggle*

Happy Monday!

Book Review: Little White Lies by Aimee Laine

Little White Lies (Mimics of Rune, #1)Little White Lies by Aimee Laine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I took this one with me to Cape Cod this month and have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I found the writer’s style easy to read and the characters three dimensional and endearing.

I have to admit, I did have some trouble in the early going — I had trouble following what was happening from a backstory perspective. I felt for the first quarter of the book that I had missed something or that sunstroke had attacked me on the beach and that was why I wasn’t following the plot. I think some of the secrets in the book were a little more vague than I would have preferred. Coupled with not understanding the mechanics of what living as a mimic is like, well, I felt a little lost.

The author’s voice and the personality of the characters I was introduced to is what kept me reading. By the time I hit the halfway point in the book, I was hooked. Charley is spunky and sweet, while Wyatt is just perfectly dreamy 😛 (dating myself with that reference). The secondary characters really fill the plot out nicely.

When we get to it, the romance isn’t corny, but feels genuine, and I found myself rooting for love in a way a cynic like me hasn’t for some time. The covert operations kept me reading and turning the page, and while I had an idea who the bad guy was earlier in the story, I didn’t quite have the full story. The surprises were a nice bonus.

An enjoyable summer read.

View all my reviews

Six Sentence Sunday: From Current WIP: The Pirate and the Selkie

Now that my erotic short is complete and submitted, for better or worse, my attentions have returned to pirates (as usual). My six sentences this week comes from my novel/la in progress, The Pirate and the Selkie.

Enjoy 🙂

Excitement coursed through her. Nothing exciting ever happened on the barren dunes where their house sat.

“Do we have to go to the mercantile, Momma?” Ellie’s voice lit with hope. Mr. Jameson was always nice to her, giving her candy from his bottomless right front pocket every time he saw her. She often wondered if the storeowner kept them just for her, or if the other children also benefited from his magical pocket.

What’s All This About Platform: Do I really need one?

Over the past few weeks, I have heard everyone from fellow writers, to agents, to publishers touting the importance of having a writer’s platform. My first question was, “What the hell is a platform? Do I have one and not know it?”

It turns out I do, but I didn’t figure that one out until after I looked up what it was. Let me de-mystify it for you. A platform is merely a presence. A place and way to reach your readers–your audience. In today’s high tech world, there are a myriad of ways to accomplish this, and it doesn’t matter if you have your book sold, or you are still writing it. The sooner you build your name and take steps toward networking and advertising yourself and your writing, the better off you will be when it comes time to start querying agents or if you self-publish, getting the word out about your book.

Here is a list of 5 things you can do as a writer to start building your platform now:

1. Start a blog or website (or both) about your writing and/or anything else you might find of interest to talk about. Once you create it, post regularly — at least once a week.  You can post about anything, really. Just remember that it is your blog, so it should be about you or show a visitor a glimpse into who you are.

          1a. Update your content regularly. This way visitors know and can see that the site is active and updated.

2. Attend readings, signings and book launches. What better way to network and get to know other writers in your area?

3. Twitter and Facebook. Yes, I know they are time eaters, and for many, way more work than fun, but once you get used to using them, they are  not quite as evil as they appear. Besides, they are a great social networking tool and heck, you might as well take full advantage of the resources available.

4. Join writing sites and follow/support other writer blogs. The more you put yourself out there and show you are willing to help others promote, the more you will be promoted by others. While I don’t subscribe to things like giving good reviews to friends merely because they are friends, I do believe in a certain amount of you wash my back and I’ll was yours. We all have been new to this at one point or another. And you know what they say about karma.

5. Attend writer’s conferences and retreats when possible. While I have yet to do this one, it is on my list. I am just waiting to have a complete novel to really go out and push when I am at one. These are great places to meet other writers, agents, publishers and all sorts of people “in the biz”. Networking is really never a bad thing, is it? Kinda like no publicity is bad publicity.

Long gone are the days where an author left the hard work, selling themselves and their work to agents and publishers. In this modern publishing age, it is up to us– the ones that sweat over the work– to really push it, and ourselves to the forefront.  It all goes back to my personal favorite line– and something I truly believe.

If you dont believe in yourself, nobody else will.

Good luck and happy writing.

Blog Reaches 5,000 Hits!!

Wow! While it took a bit more than a year to get there, I have just noticed the blog now has over 5,000 hits.

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for stopping by and supporting the blogging effort.

You guys really rock!

Teaser Tuesday: Enslaved

Just a small teaser from the erotic short I just completed earlier this week. Hoping to have it subbed out in the next day or so. No worries, the excerpt is completely G rated 🙂

A small upright canister vacuum hummed into the room. It circled and veered in their direction laden with a tray of brie and fruit. The mechanical waiter jerked to a halt before Marley, scattering a few loose grapes at her feet.

Her eyes widened.

“Not hungry?” the professor asked.

A chuckle burst past her lips. She reached a tentative hand forward and took a strawberry from the tray. “How cute is that? It looks like a miniature version of R2D2. Did you build it?”

“Yes. Milo was my first robot, actually. He’s been with me almost twenty years.”

Character Interview: Jem Stonehouse — Darkness and Light by J.A. Belfield

As I promised earlier this week, we have a special guest on the blog today. I managed to fenagle a visit from Jem Stonehouse — one of the illustrious main characters from J.A. Belfield’s new novel, Darkness and Light and I am quite excited about it. *wiggles*

So without further ado, please welcome Jem Stonehouse to the blog.

First off, Jem, how are you adjusting to pack life? All happy and blissful?

Adjusting to living with the pack was made easy by them, and yeah I’m happy. As happy as I’ve ever been. But blissful? You forget I have to live with Ethan.

*laughing*  Fair enough. Let’s dive right in with the questions then, shall we?


When did you first realize that there may be something quite different about you? Was that before or after the dreams started?

Define different. You mean, like dreaming about werewolves chasing me from the age of seven? I’d always dreamed of them, they just didn’t resonate with me until Sean’s presence showed up.

Though the sniffing issue being a problem for others’ did tip me off that that wasn’t quite normal.

*chuckling* After Peter’s first “attack” on you, why didn’t you leave him? What prompted you to stay and stick it out?

Commitment and loyalty are important to me. It would have been hypocritical of me if I didn’t practice them myself.

What did you think the first moment you saw Sean in the diner? Was there a feeling of the familiar?

The instant I laid eyes on him, some bizarre tingle hit the back of my skull. Although it was the most … weird situation, the sense of déjà vu was too powerful for me to disbelieve him when he said he was Sean. Besides, no one else could have known that name would trigger a reaction, besides me, Poppy and Jess.

If you had only one word to describe Sean, what would it be? What about Ethan (who happens to be my my personal favorite)?

Sean … um … one word? Seriously? Then, I guess it would have to be … elixir.

Ethan, on the other hand … I’d have to peg him as mighty. As in mighty strong … mighty mouth … you get the picture.

How do you feel about Josh’s apparent crush on you? Does it bother Sean?

Josh has a crush on me? Where on earth did you get that idea? Of course he doesn’t—I’m way too old for him.

Have you really accepted Nathan’s “fairy tale” at this point or is it still sinking in?

There’s still some part of my subconscious that pauses and asks: is this all real? Is this all possible? Because I’m really not all that special. I’m just me.

What is next for the pack? Any big plans? Wedding bells perhaps, or maybe a pup? Would it be considered a pup or is that being rude?

Goodness me, it’s a little early to be thinking about bambinos. And as for wedding plans? I’d have to be proposed to first. And who knows what goes on inside Sean’s mind?

If you have to pick one trait of Sean’s that you love the most, what would it be? The one you like the least?

His protectiveness is his trait I love the most, whilst his possessiveness is the trait I like the least, which results in a real pickle because I doubt Sean could ever provide one without the other—to him, they’re probably both seen as the same thing: an incessant need to keep his mate safe.

What is your favorite part about being a werewolf? (Besides Sean)

Cue sigh here.

The total and utter feeling of freedom. The power in my limbs. The connection with nature that comes as standard. The way every instinct instills itself in my brain as though they were just waiting for the command to arrive from dormancy. The equality and unity amongst the pack.

Need I go on?

What part of the werewolf life has been the hardest to adjust to?

Oh … I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I guess I’d have to say the changes—because although the hunt awaits me on the other side, I still have to go through hell first to get there.

What’s your favorite color? Sean’s favorite color?

Chocolate brown is mine. And you’d only have to take a look around Sean’s bedroom to figure out he has a fondness for sapphire blue.

If you were a tree, which would you be and why?

I’d like to say oak because of its regal-ness and the way they mature and have such ownership of pride with age. But I’m probably more of a silver birch—put me amongst all the others in the forest and I stick out like a sore thumb.

Any regrets about your decision to join the pack (or Sean)?

None! Whatsoever! How could have I have when I feel as though I’ve finally come home?

I am sure there are lots of ladies out there interested in finding their own “Sean”. Any advise you can give the readers with respect to finding their soul mates?

Quit looking for him. He’ll find you just as soon as the time’s right. After all, fate refuses to be manipulated—surely you know that?

See this post for my July review of Darkness and Light: REVIEW

J.A Belfield’s debut novel, Darkness and Light (J. Taylor Publishing 2011) is available in print and ebook from both Barnes and Noble and For more from the Halloway pack, check out Instinct and Fated Encounter — two new novellas by J. A. Belfield (Coming soon. Also from J. Taylor Publishing)

Manic Monday: The Return of the List

Summer is quickly coming to a close, and with that, comes the new school year–and a whole new brand of mommy busy. Monday is the beginning of a new week, and a chance to get better on setting goals and sticking with them.

So… A lot of personal irons in the fire.

1. Still working on Ellie and Daniel’s Tale, as well as Machenwood. I would really like to get focused on these–if the muse would cooperate–so I have something to start serious querying with. Both are suitable stories for publication – one fantasy, one more fantastical  (paranormal?) romance.
2. Currently writing an erotic short with the hopes of an anthology submission in the next week, at most. This is justly occupying the lion’s share of writing time.
3. Have about four short story submissions out, so I am forever hovering over my email in the hope of a gem of good news from those.
4. Back to school shopping for two daughters. (I don’t even want to talk about it.)
5. Gearing up for a Labor Day Weekend Halloween celebration at our seasonal campsite. Halloween comes early in my world, making it even harder to find appropriate costumes and decor. Not to mention actual time, were I inclined to actually make the costumes.

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