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Guest Post by Gail Z Martin: Creating Fictional Holidays

Reign-of-FINALToday I’ve got a special world building treat for the writers out there. Gail Z. Martin stops by my blog to talk about making holidays in fictional worlds. Without further babbling on my end, here’s Gail:

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Amazon to Local Writer: “Neener Neener.”

A guest post from obscurity by Anne Holly

Amazon taunts me. I know if I close my profile page, it will laugh behind my back. Thus, I must keep staring at it, just to make sure.

As I write this, it happens to be October 10, 2012, exactly two years since my first book went up for sale. By some standards, two years is a very short time in a profession. By others, two years is nearly an elder. By Kindle author standards, I feel like I’m settling into middle age somewhere. But I’m rather letting myself go, I admit.

Since 2010, I have released two romance novels, five erotic-romance shorts, a romance novella, and one paranormal erotic story, and a few collections, and all have been greeted by the public with resounding yawns and/or complete disregard. It’s been a heady couple of years, basking in my own obscurity, let me tell you. If anyone needs a method for counteracting all that “I’m Special!” optimism instilled in people during grade school ribbon ceremonies, I highly recommend publishing to Kindle. A few years of that, and you might never feel special again.

So, okay, I might be cranking up the bitter here a little, for emphasis, but it’s my anniversary so I’ll give myself a chance to wallow. Frankly, you’re lucky I’m not drunk blogging this.

If this were a football game, would this be the time for a halftime speech? What should I say to myself? The way I see it, there are two options – “We’re not licked yet!” or “Screw this, let’s forfeit and go for pizza anyway!” I remain perpetually on the fence when it comes to these two possible paths, so I have no idea what to make my little Mind Coach say.

But, whichever way I go today or tomorrow, or next week, I can honestly say I don’t really regret giving this a go. I’ve enjoyed writing every one of my titles, in different and surprising ways, and I’ve loved hearing people say they enjoyed them. I might not be making any money at this (at all), but I am doing exactly what I always hoped I’d do – getting my words polished, published, and in front of readers. And that part is rather delightful.

However, I have one question: Did Amazon really have to debut its new “Author Ranking” system on my anniversary, just to make it was even more clear how much I suck at this business? Really, Amazon, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you had an evil sense of humour!

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Anne Holly is a Canadian writer and teacher, and author of eleven titles currently available on Amazon, B&N, and elsewhere in both ebook and paperback. You can get to know her on her blog (http://anneholly.blogspot.ca/), and  follow/befriend her on GoodReads, or on Facebook or Twitter. Check out her books on Amazon, if you’d like, and help keep her profile there from being overrun by cobwebs and squatters: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004GR1CGY

Anne’s most recent novel is Textbook Romance:

Chase after love? As a single mother, Professor Liberty Sullivan knows better. Between her flighty mother and a disastrous history with men, she’s pretty much soured on the whole concept of romance. Personal freedom and self-reliance are her new guiding mantras. Raising her son and being a career star are the most important things now.

Then she meets Seth.

An ex-cop who’s making a new life for himself and his daughter, Seth Webster has every reason to play it safe. Then he meets Liberty. Prickly about love, following some crazy anti-romance curriculum, she still makes Seth’s heart pound. And a lifetime of cop instinct tells him he’s about to teach Liberty that this romance will be anything but by the book.

Find out more at: http://textbookromance.webs.com/

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Guest Post by Michael Lee: On Creating Talbot

Today I’ve got a guest post from Michael Lee, who has a paranormal book called From Russia with Blood. Here’s the blurb:

400 year old vampire Ian Redd joined British Intelligence during the Cold War. But after the Berlin Wall came down they decided they no longer needed his services. He was retired, almost permanently. Ian escaped and has lived the quiet life in a small town until a professional hit team arrived at his doorstep. Who sent them? That’s a question that will lead Ian into the arms of a beautiful woman named Larissa Barton and into the most dangerous operation of his unlife.

Larissa Barton’s life has barely begun and it’s already gone off the tracks. She’s back in her hometown working as a barista. But things change when Ian Redd enters her life. Dark, mysterious and gorgeous, Ian is her only protection from the people and creatures who suddenly want her dead. With Ian by her side Larissa plunges into a world of magic, werewolves, vampires, spies and assassins and discovers her own secret past.

“One part James Bond, one part Dracula, and a whole lot of action and adventure. From Russia with Blood kicks ass!” – Vivi Anna, award winning author of the Valorian Chronicles

Now I’ll let Michael tell you about the idea behind the werewolves in his book (for more information about him and his books, check out his blog): (more…)

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Guest Post by S.J. Davis: The Gears and Gadgets of Steampunk

Boy do I have a treat for you today. What, I ask you, is better than vampires? How about vampires and steampunk. See, I knew that would get your attention. I have a guest blog today from author S.J. Davis, who wrote a book called Invisible Sun that features both!

Check out the description:

In Victorian London, at the beginning of the Industrial Age and the height of man’s obsession with alchemy, scientists gave birth to the foundation of modern genetic science. As steampunk airships cut across the foggy city of Gravesend, vampires are brought to life.

But instead of scavengers prowling the fringe of society, these creatures have evolved to be the respected organizers of the Society, a universal religion, and the Guardians of Science.

One stray drop has spilled from the vein.

Draegan, heralded from birth as the genetically perfect vampire, has turned rogue, attacking the women of London’s East End. Only his brother, with the help of Lady Astrid West, can hunt him down before he is able to unleash his full insanity upon the helpless city. And only another birth, the birth of yet another perfect vampire, can stop his madness.

And now, S.J. Davis, with a little bit about the gears and gadgets of steampunk:

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Guest Post by Ashley M. Christman

For your reading pleasure today, I have a guest post by Urban Fantasy/Paranormal author, Ashley M. Christman. Here’s the blurb for her newest offering, Nightingale:

Being Sidhe is hard, but a Sidhe without a heartbeat?

Life is lucrative and easy for Dr. Grace Caldwell–daughter of vampire father and fey mother–until her ex-boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Montgomery, blackmails her into helping him solve a prostitute’s murder. If only she wasn’t as attracted to Jack as ever, she could concentrate on finding the murderer and get back to her regularly scheduled life. And then there’s the vampire Constantine, seductive and powerful, a family friend she’s supposed to marry…

Not much of a vampire, and clueless about her fey powers–if she has any–Grace must journey to the Sidhe and enlist the help of the fey to unravel the riddle of the murder. She and Jack might just get killed, but then, two worlds depend on her success. If she fails, both her worlds and all of humanity will descend into chaos of epic proportions.

Without further rambling from me, here’s Ms. Christman: (more…)

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