Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sydney Cougars

It's nice when you start seeing your work come together in a way that makes it real. After all the writing, contract signing and edits, an author can start to wonder why did I decide to do this. Then the book cover arrives, and you let out a little scream of delight. Yay, now I know why I do this, because I love writing and creating stories that might entertain and interest others. For me it's not until I see a cover that I realise I'm actually doing something tangible. I'm not just spending endless hours sitting at my computer playing author. I'm actually being what I want to be.

So, today the cover arrived for The Cougar Club, the first novella in my Sydney Cougar Series. Unlike the initial cover art for Finding Angel (which made me cry, because it was just so inexplicably horrid. It did get revised, thank god.) I screamed with delight when The Cougar Club cover landed in my inbox. Zeke looks like I imagined him and so does Jasmine. The are soooo sexy. I just want to hug them both. Well maybe I could do a bit more than just hug Zeke :)

Life sometimes takes you on a bit of a curve. You can go off on a tangent that sometime works out, other times the tangent leads to disaster. The Sydney Cougar Series, more specifically The Cougar Club was a tangent for me. I was trying to get Finding Angel contracted with a publisher. It seemed like that would never happen. As I was looking at submission guidelines for different publishers, I found Secret Cravings Publishing (SCP). They had a call out for submissions for a new line of books. Their new Hot Flash imprint. Stories about older women and younger men. Cougar stories up to 20,000 words. I decided to give my self a break from the endless grind and worry, write a story, then submit it and see what happened. Jasmine and Zeke came to life, so did the club, and there crazy friends. I had the best time working on the novella, it just basically fell out of my head onto the page in about 4 days. I submitted it, expecting a huge wait to hear back. OMG, a week or so later I had a contract. My first publishing contract. I decided it was fate. It was meant to be. I could use this as a learning experience for when Finding Angel got a home. It didn't work out that way exactly, because Angel got published and came out before this, but, oh well. I've still learnt a lot from SCP, they're a terrific company to write for.

And SCP is continuing to be a first for me. My tangent is paying off, they recently offered me a multi book contract. Three more of the Sydney Cougar Series novellas. I didn't intend for The Cougar Club to be part of a series, but it has. The secondary characters from the book grabbed my attention. They needed their own story. I wanted to let people know what happened to some of Jasmine and Zeke's friends. I mean 20k words doesn't give a lot of detail, inquiring minds (like me) needed to know more of what was going on. When I submitted the second novella, Catching a Cougar, to SCP they asked how many more were in the series. I replied two more unnamed titles. I know who they will be about, but as for how the stories will unfold, that's still jottings on paper. So, SCP offered me a multi-book contract for the remaining three novellas. How cool are they, and how excited was I? I'm still smiling.

I haven't got a definite release date for The Cougar club yet, but it is in February, so only a few weeks to wait. If you'd like to have a sneak peak at what the books about, visit my website. The link is on the right hand side of the blog page. I hope when your read The Cougar Club that you find it's just the right amount of good storyline and wickedly sexy fun.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews: Review - Finding Angel by Jan Graham

Hi Everyone,

Well I have a Christmas present to share with you all. I got a lovely review for Finding Angel on Christmas Eve (Australian time). It really made my day to know someone else enjoyed the characters and the book as much as I enjoyed creating them. Thank you Lee for your kind words. You can read the review at:
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews: Review - Finding Angel by Jan Graham

I'm also blogging at the site as part of the Holiday Celebrations. Angel shares the families True Love Roast recipe so why not take a look and try out the recipe over the holiday season.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Join the Cravings Club

As you know Secret Cravings Publishing (SCP) has contracted my Sydney Cougar Series, the first novella in the collection is due for release in February 2012. I've just finished the second round edits and the book is great thanks to my gifted editor, Kyle. There are some amazing authors being published through SCP and the company has just set up their readers club. The Cravings Club is the eClub for Lovers of reading and romance.

SCP is inviting readers to become a Charter Member of the Cravings eBook Club and receive Taming The Cougar* by Sandy Sullivan and Hunting Jaguar** by D. McEntire absolutely FREE!

As a club member, you receive four BRAND-NEW EBOOKS, specially selected by the Editorial Director, every month for a total price of only $9.99 for all four. This comes out to barely $2.50 per book, much less than the retail price and you’ll be able to enjoy your books even before they hit Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

As a club member, you will also receive:
· a monthly newsletter
· sneak previews of new books
· exclusive interviews with your favorite authors
· special offers not available to the general public

It's only $9.99 per month, once you join the program, you are charged automatically, through Paypal, every month. Your books get shipped within one day after the PayPal payment has cleared. You get to tell SCP what you like to read and a few other things at membership sign up. It's a great way to discover new authors and books that you may not find out about otherwise. You can cancel membership at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe button located on the Cravings Club tab at the bottom of the SCP website and you keep the FREE BOOKS as a gift.

It's easy steps to join to join. Just click on the link on the right hand side of my blog page and it will give you all the information you need.

About the free books:
*Taming the Cougar - a western, erotic romance:
Marla isn't looking for love or anything else from a man. Can Marla put aside her distrust of men for a younger man? Can Chris convince her he's not like other guys?

**Hunting Jaguar- paranormal erotic romance:
Rachel Hayes' Father set out to prove the existence of the Miloni temple and the Jaguar people. Tumi is a descendant of the Miloni race and is sworn to protect their secret with his
life. Will he be forced to uphold his vow at the cost of his heart and Rachel's life?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Come and Sit on my Lap Little Girl

Well it's that time of year. Yes the fat man will soon be squeezing his wobbly gut down a chimney near you soon. Well, if you haven't been too naughty that is.

I've always been a bit of a bah humbug kind of girl when it comes to Christmas. I still am to a certain extent, but I've discovered over time, that Christmas actually appeals to my perverse sense of humor. So, as a treat for myself, and hopefully you, I'm going to fester all over my blog for the next two weeks. To start off with though, I've decided I should give you a bit of an idea about where my bad Christmas attitude started. In case you haven't guessed, this is where I blame my family for everything...oh, and Santa of course.

As a child, I remember being terrified of sitting on Santa's knee. Yes I could sprout the argument of, it's the one time of year your parents actually encourage you to talk to a stranger who gives you lollies, but that's not what this post is about. Besides, I like it when men give me sweets and I've always found strangers interesting.

To give you an idea of my memories of Santa I've decided to show you a few pictures. Yes, me as a child with with the old fat pervert himself. I'm not the keeper of the photo archives in the Graham family, but I do have a few of the more terrifying memories captured on celluloid (I know I'm old.)

So here we go, my bah humbug attitude toward Christmas- the formative years.

1965: The chill out year
At three months old I obviously didn't give a shit
who's lap I sat on. Not that I'm looking at the old
jerk, but still, when you're three months old you're
still learning to focus.

 1966:  The terror begins
By the time I was 15mths old, I no longer had issues with focus. I could see that red and white monster and I wanted nothing to do with him. In order to stop me crying and actually get me anywhere near the old fool, some genius came up with the idea of sitting me on a bike. You'll all be happy to know I recovered from the conclusion I got when I toppled off the damn thing. However, I don't think my brother ever recovered from the death grip Santa had on his arm.

1967: I'm not here and neither is he.
Ah, 2yrs 3mths and the brain kicks in. Okay, so I'll sit on his lap and just try to ignore him. I can't smile, but I can bite my bottom lip to stop from screaming as old man Santa whispers encouraging nothings in my ear. If he'd just shut up I'd be able to get to my happy place. Now say the mantra you thought up...I'm not here, I'm not here, I'm not here.

1969: I'm going to get you for this my pretty!
By the time I reached four years of age, fear was starting to get old. I devised a new plan for the jolly fat man and the happy snap elf with the camera. Be nice, get the lolly and then make your parents pay. Yes, I'm still nervous and biting the bottom lip, but there's vengeance in those eyes. Just wait, I might not get you back right away but when I'm a teenager, I'll be your worse nightmare. My memory is'll see.

1971: Are we done yet?
Yes, by the time I was seven years old, I'd truly had enough. Enough of the frilly dresses, enough of the bribes and threats, enough of sweaty old men, in red velvet suits, with white nylon beards. No more biting the lip, no more tears. Just that are-we-done look that persisted in pictures throughout my childhood and into my teen years.

I think, for a seven year old, I did bored pretty well. Of course I'm perfected it by the time I was a teenager. And for those of you wondering if 4 year old Jan got her plotted revenge. Of course she did. I was a horrible teenager. *evil grin and wicked laugh*

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Win a copy of Finding Angel in ebook.

As part of the Finding Angel Blatant Self Promotion Tour, I am giving away a copy of Finding Angel in eBook format. The competition runs for the next two day.

Heres' what you need to do to win...

Step one: Visit Gale Stanley's blog and have a read of my guest blog.

Step Two: Click the link to my website and send me a message, via the contact form on the site. Mention Gale's blog somewhere in the message.

Step Three: Sit back and wait to here if you've won.

The comp will close on Monday evening at 6pm. The winner will be contacted by me ASAP after closing of the competition.

Good Luck.

Update 8th Dec 2011:
Thank you to everyone who entered the comp. The winner has been chosen and E Balinski in now the proud owner of a copy of Finding Angel.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Something is wrong, were fixing it soon.

This past week I feel like my life has been one long error message. I hadn't been able to figure out what was wrong until I was trying to update my website and a message popped up on my screen. Something is wrong...we're fixing it soon. Just great! It was only then it occurred to me, maybe the problem is me. Well, metaphorically of course. It never ceases to amaze me that the universe can send you enlightening massages through the most benign circumstances. My decline started last Saturday on an escalator at Central Station in Sydney, around 10 a.m. in the morning. Contrary to what some of my friends think, I was NOT I managed to see the day through until around 3 p.m, then I had to call an end to my planned weekend of fun and frivolity. I retreated arriving home about two hours later, very sore and hardly able to walk. Poor me. The week just got worse from then on.

I had so much work to do, including finishing my second book. Up until I'd gone to the city I'd been flying through the pages, everything falling into place, sticking to my schedule of at least one chapter a day. After the incident, everything stopped, just like the bloody escalator.

Sunday I decided to rest, I took painkillers and slept most of the day and night. Monday I knew I had to get back to work. I had a schedule, daily tasks to complete, a To Do list a mile long. I tried to write a few didn't work. I didn't like them, the words wouldn't come out the way I thought they should. I opened my manuscript, then closed it. If I can't get a blog to make sense then how can I write a book. I decided I'd give myself another day off and went back to bed to read. Tuesday I managed to finish the guest blogs I'd been working on and emailed them away, I did a couple of tweets and updates on a couple of other sites. I opened the manuscript, then closed it. It all seemed overwhelming. I went back to reading the book I'd chosen the day before. The rest of the week continued the same way, turn on computer, check emails, tweet, post, open manuscript, close manuscript, go to bed and read. Outside the rain pelted down on the ground, the sky was grey, the clouds dark an ominous. It reflected my mood perfectly.

By Friday I was firmly entrenched in a dark lazy cocoon. I constantly ran through the tasks I knew I had to complete. Write two book reviews - at least I've finished reading the books, I'll do the reviews later. Do a final edit and submit the second novella in the Sydney Cougar series to my publisher- it's not good enough and I don't feel like being rejected in the mood I'm in. Work on completing Playing Jax, the second book in the Wylde Shore series - why bother, I don't even know if people will like the first one. I had no idea where the thoughts were coming from but I didn't resist them, I let them dwell. Big mistake. I swear if my name was Vincent van Gogh, I'd only have one ear by now. But I'm not Vincent and all I really had was a sore knee, a messed up bed, five completed novels scattering the floor, and a miserable attitude. I picked up the next book in the series I found myself reading and snuggled under the blankets. Who cares, not me.

On Saturday, after crying my way through the final chapters of Christine Feehan's Dark Melody, I realised the rain had stopped. So, with both ears still intact, I dragged myself out of bed, showered, dressed and took my lousy attitude to life out to do some grocery shopping. I will go back and apologise to the check out operator I growled at sometime within the next couple of days, after all it wasn't her fault she was in a good mood. Today I sat down at the computer determined to get back in touch with my old self. I sent the book review requests I had been putting off all week, did the social network stuff, returned emails and attempted to update the website. Error and inspiration message from the universe received. Thanks so much.

Something is wrong, we're fixing it soon.'m fixing it now actually. I'm fighting my way out of the fog and I'm on my way to turning my sappy, depressed attitude into a blessing. I've decided to channel my misery into my novels villain. She is a woman who likes to make people miserable because her own life is not turning out the way she wanted it too. Not that I'm like that, but I figure I can turn my current wallowing, oh poor me, life sucks week, into something worthwhile.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Finding Angel Blatant Self Promotion Blog Tour

Finding Angel goes on sale November 30th. To coincide with the launch of the book I am going on tour - a blog tour. I'll be writing guest blogs and being interviewed across some excellent author and review sites throughout Nov & Dec. Find out interesting tidbits about the book, me, and even win a copy of the ebook at some of the appearance.

Dates and the blog addresses of the very generous authors and review sites hosting my appearances are listed below:
29th Nov:
Lynn Tyler Books

30th Nov:
Behind closed Doors

Not Enough Time in the Day

3rd Dec: Gale Stanley

7th Dec:
Zoey Marcel Books

9th Dec:
BDSM Book Reviews

26th Dec:
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Trust Issues

We all have things that drive us nuts. That bring out those little quirks in our personality we wish weren't there. In my case I wish I had a greater ability to trust. I don't like my reaction at having to face the never ending repercussions of my minimal trust ability. They leave me feeling drained and confused. They are physical and emotional states and feelings that I loathe. me when I say, my latest experience in the drained, confused, state hasn't been pleasant. We use the term so easily. Trust me, even if it's not stated out loud it's an implied sentiment in many of our interactions. So what had me tossing and turning in bed last night, unable to sleep? I wish I could say it was a hot and horny man, but alas, no. It was implied trust.

I've just finished the final edit and approval for the upcoming release of Finding Angel. Being new to the publishing process I really had only a minimal idea of what to expect once I handed over my manuscript to an anonymous individual at the end of an email. When the first edits arrived I discovered a new and interesting hell, the edits were a nightmare. I fumbled my way through, changing point of view (POV) errors, and applying hooks to a couple of the chapter beginnings and endings, adding some transitional paragraphs. As I made the changes, I realized I had to trust my editor and the advice she gave me to make the book a better read. Luckily I had no major rewrites, the story is still intact, I didn't have major changes to make, so what was there to complain about...nothing really. Well nothing except taking my over active mind in hand and convincing myself that I was able to place my trust in the editor. She knew the process, she'd done this before, she gave me positive feedback about the work, and she obviously had an investment in making the book as good as it could be. After all, editing is her job, her livelihood. I can trust her...I willed myself to trust her.

I assumed the second and final edit would be a breeze. I was so misguided. Trust issues raised their head again. The edit was easy. I basically had to clarify the meaning of a few words. Most clarification stemmed from the language barrier, yes, even though we both speak English, Aussies and Americans phrase things differently. So three days later it was done, finished. I read the manuscript again, and it's ready to send back. I haven't sent the email. Why? Because this is it, no more second chances. I have to trust that it's as good as it can be, that there aren't any mistakes and my editor has polished the words until they sparkle. In my rational mind, I believe it sparkles like a diamond, but what if there's a smear neither of us has noticed?

Irrationally, here's the problem. I am a veracious reader. I have some authors that I must read, and I mark on the calendar when their next release is coming out so I can read it ASAP. Recently, one of those authors had books go to sale with huge editing errors. Missing pages, write at the end. Not just spelling errors, those can be ignored even though they are noticeable, but whole scenes were left out during the edit process. Continuity issues where names of characters changed from the beginning to the end of the book. I understand that the process of writing and editing isn't perfect. Nothing in life can carry that tag. I've read Finding Angel so many times I no longer see the words properly, I just see the story and the characters I've created. I'm part of the book, and I believe if you’re too close to a situation you often can't see what's wrong with it. You need an outsider to look into the situation and point out the errors, so you can change what's wrong. In the case of Finding Angel, if there were errors, I have to hope and believe my editor has caught them all. But, if a major, highly regarded author can be let down in the editing process and have books go to print with large errors, where does that leave me? It leaves me battling my trust issues.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Tweet, Tweet, Twiddle de Tweet.

I may not rock in the treetops all day long, hopping and bopping and singing my song... but I do tweet. Social networking, the modern day authors new nightmare. When I first decided to concentrate on being an full-time author, I had now idea what I was letting myself in for. Ignorance is bliss doesn't really cover what I've discovered, but it goes a long way to explaining it. Once my first manuscript was completed, I went on the biggest learning curve of my life. In olden days, or at least my idea of them, authors wrote a book, got published, did a few book signings & interviews, then went back to their cave to write something else. I realise it's probably an incorrect notion or simplistic view of the olden day, but movies are really all I have to go on. I should probably add that if you were a crime or suspense writer, in between the signing and writing, you probably solved a few crimes or mysteries along the way, rescued a damsel or two and saved at least one city from destruction.

But I digress...

Once my manuscript was complete, I started to contemplate getting published. I know, it probably wasn't the best way to do things. I should have actively sought a book deal when the story was in plot form, but why organise something when I didn't even know if my ADD brain would even finish the manuscript. After all, I have a pile of them. Incomplete and dusty pages of dribble from pre-computer days, along with the mess of neglected archived files on mass storage devises, collecting cobwebs in their own techie kind of way.

But again, I digress...

So, while trolling publishers and investigating the how-too's and where-for's of the modern day literary world, I discovered the unthinkable. There is a monster preying on the lives of the modern day writer. Whether your published or not, the shadow of the creature lurks, tracking your every move. It's tentacles slowly reach for you, attempting to invade your soul. The beast's mystical powers of deception lull your once alert sense of foreboding, allow him to caress you and draw you closer. Now your within striking distance, your jugular exposed. Fangs pierce your skin, injecting a venom that targets your mind, eroding your creativity and encouraging you to seek distraction within the monsters arms. Once taken into the monsters embrace it is hard to break free, sharp talons pierce your body, clawing toward your heart. If the creature obtains your heart, it's all over, you are lost. You become enslaved. Trying to break free causes pain, you must obey the beast, seek solace, submit to its ever controlling will. You have become ensnared in the social networking world and your life will never be the same again.

I hear you all scoffing... Yeah, right! Crazy woman! But deep inside you know I'm telling the truth.

I started my dance with the monster about six months ago. A lot of the publishers I approached insisted authors have an Internet presence. Whether you're published or not, you need an online profile. Personal marketing gone made, attract readers for a book that isn't yet accepted for publication. Realising the fight to avoid said Internet exploitation was a losing battle, I conceded defeat and opened my google home page. How do you build an Internet presence? I felt the dark shadow drift over me, a chill quivered along my spine, the caress of something near my ankle caught my attention and I looked down. The tentacle of the god of knowledge encircled my ankle and wound it's way around my shin. Of course, you allow the beast to approach.

I already had a facebook profile, it was amusing at times. I posted stupid things and made the odd comment on friend's walls. I didn't mind going on there every so often, seeing what my real and pretend facebook friends were doing. I did however, recognise it for the time waster it was. So now, in order to look more appealing to prospective publishers I had to revisit not only facebook, but other sites I previously chose to ignore. My first step was to create a facebook page to highlight my work. It took me a nearly a day to set up. By the time I had filled in all the information, chosen pictures, sent invites, and read all the disclosure statements, I had wasted more time than I anticipated. I slowly started getting people to like the page...sloowwwly. Deciding I must be doing something wrong, I mean, why didn't I have a million followers in a week, I looked at what else I could do. A tentacle,  the god of inspiration, wrapped around my left leg. Genius....I'll write a blog. Time rolled by, a few days in fact. I had to find the blog site that suited me, then design the blog page. Again, more pictures, more info about me, my work... blah blah blah. The first blog post finally went live. Hallelujah! Praise the tentacle god of inspiration.

Eight weeks later, after posting on facebook, writing blogs, and sharing the blog to my facebook wall I had the strange feeling I should be doing more. There was a caress on my back, another tickle of inspiration as the tentacle god of seduction encircled my waist. I needed more social networking hits, more traffic to the blog, more facebook friends liking my page. I need to do more, to get more. Twitter, everyone talks about twitter. Sign up, write the profile, follow people, encourage people to follow me... more, more, more. Tweet this and tweet that. Link twitter to facebook, facebook to twitter, send the blog post to both. Now I'm getting the hang of self promotion. Now I'm getting word out about me. Now I'm connecting. The first offer of a contract, made me cry with relief. The second contract had me dancing around the house. Dancing hand in tentacle with monster, allowing the mystical powers of deception to fill my senses. Must tweet, post, blog. announce to the world I'm going to be published. When the email arrived asking for my website address I panicked. Then I felt the beast's warm breath on my neck, deception whispered in my ear. Its' easy, design a website now. A week later my website went live. Must tweet, post, blog, tell the world I have a website. The monsters tentacles pulsed around me, deception lulled me into a quiet satisfaction that I was doing everything as I should, I relaxed.

When the intervention came I tried to deny it. The lady of the industrial city didn't hold back her concern.
      "If you can write the first book in four months, how is it you've only written two chapters of the second book in the last six months. You aren't going to make a living on one novel. When was the last time your worked on the book? You do need to write you know, isn't that what your supposed to be...a writer."
I write. I write every day! I tweet, I post, I comment, I chat, I blog... I WRITE! At the periphery of my vision I saw a man. He was pale, thin, the tone of his muscles less defined. He'd was dejected, alone, obviously was Steve, my hero from the second manuscript. What had I done?

Suddenly the hot breath on my throat annoyed me. The tentacles of seduction, inspiration and knowledge, tightened painfully. I turned to stare into the monster's eyes. Deception radiated toward me, he was eyeing the pulse at my throat, lips snarled back to expose fang dripping with venom. OMG, I write social networking waffle everyday. I flung my fists at the beast chest, I struggled. I screamed out to Steve, his gaze lifted, and he smiled. I held out my hand and he rushed toward me, prying the tentacles from my body with his bare hands. Work with me, his unspoken message invaded my mind, allowing me time to think clearly. I imagined a sword, fire licking at it's chiseled blade, chains empowered with magic to secure any mythical beast who threatened the weak. Steve took up the weaponry and stuck at the beast. Tentacles lacerated, I fell to the ground. He swung the chain. Fangs shattered, before it's mouth was bound, tightly shut. Steve encircled the beast's body with he remain chain, tentacles strapped to it's body, legs shackled...immobilised.

Steve and I embraced, he administered a healing salve to my wounds and we walked away, together. But what of the beast. Steve explained I needed to keep him, a bound reminder of distractions that lay in wait, taking my focus off the prize. The monster quickly shrank in size, he sits on my desk, approaching my keyboard twice a day at the times I designate. He whimpers and looks at me forlornly until I allow him to feed. We visit the social networking site together, no more than an hour or two a day. So far the existence is a happy one. Steve and I have resumed work, his strength regained, his presence within my mind now firm and, as always, protective. I am once again the master of my own destiny...and Mistress to a little shackled beast who wobbles around my desk complaining the chains are too tight.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Guess who found a home?

I know it's a bit late coming, but for those of you that haven't caught up on the news, Finding Angel is now under contract with Siren Publishing. The estimated e-book release date is January 2012.

Okay, now that you've stopped jumping around the room and controlled your excitement, I would like to make two proposals in relation to the release of my first novel.

1: Let's delay Christmas so every female in the world can be given a copy of the book (along with a lovely new e-book reader if you don't own one) as a Christmas gift. Of course, this is my preferred option, because with only 8 weeks to go, I am no where near ready to attend the annual Christian baby shower. An extra month would make things much easier on the financial situation in this household. Additionally, a slight name change wouldn't hurt. Instead of calling it Christmas we could entitle it the Finding Angel International Book Launch, worldwide celebrations could then ensue, fun would be had by all and sales would skyrocket...your thoughts?

No? A bit extreme, maybe? Oh well.

2: For those traditionalists amongst us, who greeted the first option was a resounding...NO! Perhaps you'll get on board with option two. Ask family and friends for cash to spend in the Christmas sales, save a little cash back from the initial rush of specials and purchase the book when it's released. Argh, yes, much better I hear you say, I'll go with option two. Let me just say, I understand the rationale behind your decision, it is far more practical and less disruptive to the general running of the world. Still it doesn't carry the creative flair and daring of option one. Are you sure you won't reconsider?

No? Still too extreme for your taste? Oh well.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

It's Amazing What A Younger Man Can Do For An Older Woman.

It's official.... I have just signed my first publishing contract! Yay.
*Insert mental picture of a chubby woman doing a happy tushie dance here*

My good friend Suzie has been telling me for too many years to remember, I should ditch dating the older aging hippies I'm usually attracted to and go for a younger man. Yeah, Yeah... blah, blah... has always been my standard response. Well on the fourth of September 2011 a younger man by the name of  Zeke made my day and I'm still reeling from the aftermath.

Get your minds out of the gutter.... please, what do you think I'm talking about here?

If you've read any of my previous posts, visited my facebook page, or had anything to do with me over the last twelve months, you'll know that I've been trying to get my novel "Finding Angel" firstly written and secondly, now that it's completed, published. It's been an interesting time. Angel still needs a home and I'm confident she will find one, we just need to be patient. But Angel is another blog for another day, today it's all about hot, young and very sexy, 28yr old.

Zeke popped into my head as I was looking at submission requirements for publishers to submit Angel's story too.

I happened to noticed a publisher (Angel's story didn't meet their criteria), was asking for submissions for a new line called Hot Flash. They were seeking short stories/novellas that centred on liaisons between older women and younger men. And there was Zeke, like a little light shining bright in my head. I must admit he was a bit pushy, wouldn't leave my thoughts and out of sheer desperation, in an attempt to simply get rid of him I started to write. Zeke and his love interest Jasmine made their way to the pages before me and, 5 days and almost 20 thousand words later I had written 'The Cougar Club'. I sought the opinion and quick editing  opinion of my two friends (Heps and Suzie, hi lovely ladies) who always help proof my work and then sent the submission off to the publisher. 

I wrote the story and did the submission, mainly for the experience. I had a friend tell me that Zeke was a mere distraction and I should get back to writing the follow up to 'Finding Angel' after all, Steve (the main character of the book) is more my age and he's a damn fine man to be involved with. I shouldn't be flirting and running off to play with a 28 yr old.... yeah right.

When the offer to publish and the contract arrived I was blown away. I sat at my computer and burst into tears, don't ask because I have no idea why. Crazy 45 year old woman hormones probably, or shock, who can tell. Poor Suzie thought someone had died when I rang her at the crack of dawn and gave her the good news. She ran around her house and did the happy tushie dance for me, as did my friend Heps because I admit it took me about 24 hours to get into dance mode... but I'm there now.

So, what of my flirtation with young men and have I finally returned to Steve?

I loved the experience with Zeke, it was a quick, flirty, lust filled affair, that's left me fanning myself in amazement. I get a warm shiver of excitement every time I think of him, but I have gone back to Steve. My heart currently belongs to him, he is more my age and he draws me in the most subtle of ways. He waited patiently for my return, he understood my need for distraction and now that I'm back with him we are having a lot of fun. He knows I'm loyal to him and will ensure his story comes to life in a timely manner. I have to confess though, Steve caught me looking at the door of The Cougar Club yesterday, he merely shook his head and laughed. He knows I have a wandering eye, he also understands that Justin, the clubs new assistant manager, needs my help to win the heart of Katie. 

I love you Steve and I'll be back soon.... Mwah.

Note: The Cougar Club, is being published by Secret Cravings Publishers with an expected release date of February 2012.

Thank you Secret Cravings, you are the best and here's a free plug.
I think everyone should waddle over to the Secret Cravings Bookstore and buy an ebook, of course it won't be my book just yet, but you can always revisit the site again in February. I'll be sure to remind you all.

In the meantime have a look and save the store in favourites.

Friday, 26 August 2011

My New Novella

I recently finished writing a short story (around 20k words) called The Cougar Club so I thought I'd do a little blog on it.

The Cougar Club

Zeke Munroe is 28 years old and the owner of a club called Rubens in Sydney Australia. Rubens is fast becoming the most popular night club in town because, in a city where gay venues rule supreme, Zeke's establishment caters to the more mature woman looking to have fun. Of course where mature women gather on mass, so do the men that love them.

Business is great but Zeke's personal life isn't, he needs that one special woman to share his successful life with. After moving into his new harbour side home Zeke becomes infatuated with the girl next door. He needs to introduce himself to the lovely Jasmine, 11 years his senior, so he can proceed to sweep her off her feet and make her his own. The only issue is they never appear to be in the same place at the same time. When Zeke sees Jasmine walk through the doors of his club he can't believe his luck. Jasmine has finally come to him, he doesn't have to admire her from a distance anymore, tonight he intends to get up close and personal... really personal.  

Jasmine is a 39 year old events organiser and, since her divorce, has been determined to experience all life has to offer.  When her friends Katie Swayne, a 38 year old Artist and Trudie Dean a 42 year old wife and mother, take her to Rubens she quickly realises she may be out of her depth. It doesn't take Jasmine long to discover why Rubens is sometimes referred to as 'club rub'. If one more handsome man rubs up against her while she's dancing , she might very well embarrass herself by melting into an orgasmic puddle in the middle of the dance floor. The men sure are friendly here... friendly and much younger than she usually likes them. 

This wasn't exactly the sort of experience Jasmine had in mind when she agreed to go out with her friends. What she doesn't realise is that Zeke intends to make Rubens an experience Jasmine will never forget and at the end of the night when she literally lands in Zeke's lap, he has every intention of keeping her there.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Do you want the truth or something beautiful?

Submissions have been driving me nuts recently. Yes I've been doing them, apparently an author needs to do submissions to publishing houses if she actually wants her book to make it into print or even ebook format.... who I send off one, then get a thanks but no thanks letter and I send off another one to someone else. Trying to find a publisher for a novel is really the most frustrating thing I've done in a long while. Yes it's a fact of life if you choose writing as a career, I understand that but I'm not really finding pleasure in the dance I am now engaged in.

It wasn't until I went and had a sulk in bed the other day, that I realised finding a publisher is a bit like dating. I know my mind is strange but bear with me... I'm about to ramble and then hopefully reach a poignant conclusion.

When you meet someone your interested in and get to go out on a date you are faced with a few choices, and I'm not talking about where to go. I'm talking personal choices. I find the choice is basically summed up by the Paloma Faith song "Do you want the truth or something beautiful?"

You put on the outfit you keep for special occasions because it makes you look better that anything else you own. It might be that tight skirt that shows how perfectly rounded your butt is, along with the top that you bought when you went out shopping and your girlfriend said 'that make your tits look great, you so need to buy it.' You add the lace top stockings and your highest platforms that you sometimes refer to as your 'come fuck me shoes'. Next you get out the paint and move onto your face. You add a little foundation just to make sure the uneven tone is covered, the mascara and eyeliner highlights your eyes making them more alluring, the lipstick makes your lips look fuller and more kissable. You straighten your hair, ensure it has a nice shine..... by the time you get out in public you look like a new woman..... and for what? To impress someone you know very little about.

So he sits through dinner and talks at you (about himself of course) he burps loudly, looks at the asses of the other women who walk past the table and when he's disinterested in what you're saying, he stares at your tits. I mean really, you knew you shouldn't have worn that push up bra and top that makes them look great, what else did you expect? You console yourself that at least he's not yawning. By the end of the night you may or may not have decided to have sex with him, depending on how cute he is.

The next day after you've made him breakfast he looks at you and sees who you really are. Your hair is now a wavy mess with a few dry ends, because you showered late last night after he decided to cum all over your tits while having sex. Of course he was sound sleep so had no idea you'd even left the bed. You have no makeup on, your tits aren't as pert because you aren't wearing a bra and the fluffy dressing gown hides your shapely everything.  Arh... finally the truth.

Then the dance really begins, he might call, he might not. He may ask to see more of you before he decides no you're not what he's looking for. If he's nice he'll probably let you know he doesn't want to hear from you again. If not, you just won't hear from him. So, after a designated timeframe, and its different for everyone, you move on. You go out, find someone else and do the dance all over again. Hopefully before you run out of options you meet the one person in the world who thinks that your truth is beautiful.

A dance with a publisher is much the same, minus the sex and need to shower of course. You show an interest in them by sending in the submission. You give them a part of yourself to look at, usually the first three chapters of your manuscript. You make that part of you look as beautiful as you can. You dress the story up in your synopsis, you have the hook line, you try to make it sound interesting within the guidelines they insist you work within. You give them the pitch and hope they respond favourably.

If the publisher reads on past the initial query and synopsis (i.e. they decided to spend the night.) In the cold light of day things might look different. There are one or two spelling and grammar mistakes (well sorry, after editing 60 million times by myself I'm cross eyed and might have missed a few things here and there.) The manuscript basically fits into the guidelines they have for publication but it doesn't have all of them (oops did I have a DP scene, when I shouldn't have?). The now wavy hair looked better straight.

If they like the beautiful packaging then you might hear from them again, but even then they could still decide that you're not what they are looking for. If they're nice they will probably let you know they don't want to hear from you again. If not you just won't hear anything. So, after a designated timeframe, and its different for everyone, you move on the the next publishing house. You start the dance and hope for a different outcome.

And, just as it is with dating, hopefully before you run out of options you find the publisher who thinks that your truth is beautiful.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Finding Angel Character Biographies Finished.

Well it has taken a little while but I have finally added the character bios to my blog site. After all, what else is there to do on a cold, rainy Sunday in Tahmoor.

There are four pages in total (one for each of the main characters). Just look at the page menu on the right hand side of this page and you should see the bios listed.

You can find out all the relevant information on Christian, Daniel, Steve and Angel. There is of course the basics of what each of them does and their physical appearance but I've also tried to give you an idea of the type of people they are. To help you get a better feel for the gang I've also included some personal quotes made by each of them in the book and a picture collage inspired by each character.  

Anyway I hope you enjoy the read, and don't forget to let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Looking for sexy men.

On Sunday night I started working on the bio's for the men from my novel Finding Angel. While I was putting the info together I decided you might like some pics to help you visualise my heroic hunks.

What a disastrous idea!

After many hours of research or depending on your view of things, perving at images on the net, I discovered an unknown truth about the male species. You see it is just as difficult to find fictional men (pictures of anonymous guys that resemble my hunks) as it is to find perfect real life ones. How disappointed was I? I always believed that you can find anything on the net, but Sunday night proved me wrong.

Yes, there are lots of pictures of sexy men on the net. Google them and up they pop. Loads of them, just not ones that I needed. Story of my life really, lots of men around, none that I'm interested in. Of course there were some criteria that limited my search.... the pics needed to be stock photos, royalty free and not cost a bomb if there was a fee attached. Then there was the physical characteristics of the men I was looking for. A blond wavy haired sex god with brown eyes, a dark haired dominant hunk with nearly black eyes and a long haired lean muscled guy with tats.

Easy I hear you say, what's she bitching about? 

Well here's what I found out. Sexy blond haired men don't exist if you want them to have long or shoulder length wavy hair. Straight hair, short hair... no problem. Sexy men with dark short hair are in abundance (which you would  think gave the character of Daniel a leading edge.... wrong). They are in abundance with light coloured eyes not dark brown, nearly black. Most blond men have blue eyes, men with really dark brown eyes that are nearly black must never allow people to take pictures of them. Men with long hair of any colour who have tattoos either look like drug addicts or Satan.

Some of the men who, in the thumbnail images, looked like they might have a sexy dominant appearance usually turned out to be an illusion. Once the image was enlarged they looked like they were trying to pass a rock. If they weren't passing a large item out their bum then they just looked like they'd slap you if you offended them. Finally, about 10pm, I found three pics that I thought would be perfect. Yay me. Unfortunately perfection costs and I refused to pay $200 AU for the right to use the pictures. Like an unpublished author has that kind of money to throw away.... NOT.  So I did the only thing I could think of that might be of use. I enlisted my best friend, the gorgeous Lady Macbeth, to help me (much to her husbands' amusement).

One long distance telephone call later and she was on the phone telling me it can't be that hard to find what I was looking for. After assuring her hubby she was not looking at porn, we set out again to find Christian, Daniel and Steve.  At about 1am, after searching men who were too thin; too young; too old; muscles too big (yes this is possible); men who looked mean, sappy, gay, violent, drug addled; wrong colour eyes; hair not long enough; hair not wavy enough or OMG how many times was he hit with the ugly stick.... I finally called it a night. Disappointed and frustrated I went to bed... (again, not a new feeling... it's the story of my life really).

Monday morning with a new determination I finally found images that, even though they aren't exactly what I had in mind, they'll do. Yes... I settled. Just like so many of us do in real life I found men that weren't exactly what I was looking for but they'll do. I guess it's true that beggers can't be chosers.... even when your looking for an imaginary man.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Virgin Blog or How to Lose your Virginity at 45.

This is the monumental virgin blog... meaning my first on this site. For all those dyslexic people who are thinking I'm a virgin and I'm writing a blog all I can say is.... lol, yeah right, I'm 45 yrs're too funny.

Anyway, I just spent the last few hours trying to figure out what I'm doing (a tech head I am not) and hopefully now I've got it all sorted out. Well it's all sorted until I hit my first problem where something doesn't work properly.

So why am I doing blog I hear you say? Well for a few reasons, some of them based on technical incompetence, others on the need for a presence on the net and simply because I think it could turn out to be a bit of fun. 

Safety tip number one: never say you'll do something before investigating if you can do it.

I've ended up with this blog by accident. Initially I set up a facebook page to promote my work as an author. I had a few people who liked the page suggest that I put character profiles and some chapters on it so they can read bits of the novel. Good idea I replied, I'll do it!  Then I couldn't figure out how to do that on the facebook page.... mmm, yes technical incompetence. I had to admit that I jumped before looking and I overestimated my ability again. So, after much thought and beating myself around the head, I decided to set up the blog and link the facebook page to the blog.... no applause needed.

So, for those that know me on facebook, I'm still there and all you have to do is click the link I provide and you'll find me here, blogging away in my PJ's while eating pringles :)

The second reason for setting up the blog was to have the ability to include the blog spot and the facebook page links in submissions for publishers. I can't understand why publishers require an online presence when you're unpublished but according to some submission guidelines they do.  So given that a web page is so out of my reach on both a technical and financial basis, here I am.... Blogging.

My final reason for blogging is a simple one..... I think it might be fun. I am looking forward to being able to hop on here in the early hours of the morning when I can't sleep (yes happens often) or I'm bored (happens sometimes) and dribbling incoherent shit all over the page just to amuse myself. Oh, and of course hopefully amuse you guys as well.  I will begin the character profiles from the first novel 'Finding Angel' within the next few days so stay tuned. I'll then post some of my favourite bits from the novel so you can all get titillated. Finally I'll do an update on the second book and keep you all posted as it progresses.

Well that's all for now, the pringles have run out and I need a cuppa.... ciao for now.