12/29/16

List of Authors Repaying Greed with Generosity


I posted here this morning about All Romance closing, which is a hardship to authors and readers. I said I wanted to respond to the greed behind those losses with generosity and put up The Snow Leopard's Tale for free. I've since made that book easier to collect by posting it at Instafreebie

Since that time several other authors have joined me in repaying greed with generosity. I'll include a Linky at the bottom of this post so they can add links to posts about their gifts.

Keep checking back. The giveaways are running until the end of the month and anyone who wants to cancel greed with generosity is welcome to add a link here.

Alternative to ARe Deal and More Great Deals for Readers


Looks like I had the bestseller for All Romance Ebook's deals today. Unfortunately, they have announced they are closing at the end of the month. So I thought as an alternative offer, I would give  a copy of  The Snow Leopard's Tale to anyone commenting here at the blog. You have to comment at the blog as opposed to social media posts where you see this shared, as I need your email address to send the book and the blog comment form will collect that for me. This is today only.

The Snow Leopard's Tale is the second book in my award-winning Pantherian Tales series. You can read an excerpt here.

The third book in the series, The Grizzly's Tale is up for pre-order and you can get an excerpt and watch the trailer here. A Goodreads giveaway for print copies of The Grizzly's Tale opens today. Check it out and get entered.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Grizzly's Tale by Nara Malone

The Grizzly's Tale

by Nara Malone

Giveaway ends January 31, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
  

Because it is the season of giving, I'm not done yet. We still have the giveaways of books and a Kindle Fire going to celebrate the launch of The Future of Fiction Ezine. The magazine features monthly articles exploring cutting edge storytelling.

What do you have do to collect free books or gifts from author's Siobhan Muir and Shannan Albright and Nara Malone as well as be entered in the drawing for the Fire? Subscribe to the ezine. The winner of the Fire will be chosen at the end of the month.

11/28/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: The Matchmakers Playbook


 matchmaker_cover  I thought I’d try out another Kindle Motion title. This time to genre was truly romance, so it made for a nice comparison. Nice work with that cover.


 What I loved:  Rachel Van Dyken tells a great story. I can’t recall ever reading a m/f romance that was entirely from the male viewpoint. The male characters and their dialogue were well done. Conflict kept the pages turning. I read this in one sitting.


wingman

When it came to the motion graphics in this one, I was surprised to find I could have done without them here. In the romantic suspense, motion graphics clearly added dram and suspense. Here, they pull you out of the illusion you are a part of the story. I think they just lost track of their target audience. I’d guess 98% of readers  for m/f romances are female and if book covers are any indication, they enjoy looking at scantily clad males. Putting in gifs of a female undressing or a female in the bed, caressing the sheets was not the smartest move.

IMG_1741


That said, I still loved the bits of color and page style that brighten up the pages.

The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

The Matchmaker’s Playbook at Amazon

Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb

11/27/16

How to Unwind from the Holiday


When I want to unwind, I pick up a good book and get lost in  a fantasy.  These are some of the book boyz you'll find roaming in the fantasy worlds of Nara's Nook. If that's too much effort just now, buy one of the books there on the sidebar will keep you entertained.

11/19/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: Tracks of Her Tears


KindleMotionCover I accidentally deleted the review I had done for this Kindle in Motion book from my blog and my laptop. I thought it was an important innovation and worth redoing. So if you’ve seen this, forgive me. If you missed it, don’t miss it now.
Amazon isn’t publicly promoting this in any way that I have found, beyond just tagging the few books released with this technology so that searching Kindle in Motion will bring up all the titles available. There are only a few so far. What sets these books apart are striking visual elements, like being able to watch the snow fall on the cover. Subtle, but pretty. It makes you want to look inside.

 What I loved:  Melinda Leigh’s story was compelling and kept my turning the pages. A romantic suspense with a whole lot of suspense and a sprinkle of romance expressed by kissing and protecting your loved one. Usually I like something higher up the heat scale, but the visual elements drew me in, adding to the suspense and creep-factor in key scenes.
page_oneblinds
The wintry landscape, that blood-red, drop cap, that face suddenly peeking through blinds as I was reading, imparted that same an edge-of-the-seat feeling I get with a spooky movie. Not all graphics were in motion. Sometimes it was a still pic, a small graphic or page background. Many pages had no enhancement at all. I think the balance of text to active elements was excellent. It is the best of an enhanced e-book can do that I’ve ever read.
kitten
What’s not to love about a book that includes cat GIFs? But if you don’t like the images and  motion features they can easily be turned off in the preferences menu.


Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh

In the first thrilling Rogue Winter Novella, sleepy little Solitude, Oregon, wakes up to another deadly threat.
County investigator Seth Harding intends to spend the holidays with his newly reconciled family, but a few days before Christmas, a homicide thwarts his plan. Seth arrives at the scene and makes a painful discovery: the victim is his brother-in-law’s girlfriend. Her apartment has been ransacked and her toddler left motherless. To make matters worse, Seth’s brother-in-law, Bruce, is missing. With Solitude locked in a rare, deadly deep freeze and the temperature plummeting, the residents launch a desperate search.
Seth calls his wife, social worker Carly Taylor, to take the case so the little girl doesn’t get lost in the foster care system. With the holidays near, Carly brings the child home with them to celebrate Christmas. But when the Taylor farm is also trashed, Seth and Carly must race against time—and against a paralyzing winter storm—to find Bruce and catch a killer in the first pulse-pounding sequel to the Rogue River Novellas.


Tracks of Her Tears at Amazon

Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb

11/10/16

Reality Needs an Upgrade


The keys to your equality are all there on your keyboard. Knowledge is power.

10/21/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: Addicted

AddictedAddicted is not “mommy porn”. Charlotte Stein’s Addicted is a humorous and hot love story. I really hate the meme that erotic romance is a female version of the content the commercial porn industry directs toward men. Nothing wrong with porn or erotica. That’s just not what this is. Calling it such misleads those looking for porn and those looking for a romance. An erotic romance is first and foremost a love story that doesn’t skip over the most intimate and vulnerable element of a romance. While we are most  vulnerable when there is nothing between us and a lover but skin, erotic romance takes that one level deeper. What happens when you ask two imperfect and insecure people to share their secret fantasies with each other? How does that journey through fantasy change who they are and who they become as they fall in love?

Charlotte Stein’s characters are funny and imperfect. They come to the story believing they are rubbish at everything while pretending to the world they are cool, calm and sophisticated. Yet as they gain the courage to reveal a little more of themselves to each other by reenacting the fantasies in Kit’s secret novel, they learn to see themselves through their lover’s eyes. That doesn’t just change who they are as lovers, but who they are as individuals. Yes, they get there via hot, hot, hot sex. When two lovers are willing to risk that level of vulnerability, the love scenes will singe the pages. But let me be clear. The result is not bodice-ripping trash or mommy porn. It’s naked, imperfect, heart-melting love.

 

Addicted by Charlotte Stein

Kit Connor has always led a safe, cautious life. But when Kit’s friend points out that her erotic writing lacks something, she decides to attend a Sexual Healing group to improve her knowledge.

Kit expects to find the gritty underbelly of sex, and instead finds louche, laidback, sex-loving Dillon Holt.

Dillon makes a suggestion to Kit: that he will tell tales of his sexual excess, and help her book get the realism it needs. She agrees, but hasn't the least idea of what she's getting into.

Dillon doesn't have simple advice in mind … he has lessons to teach her. Lessons on everything she's never dared to experience, from kink to real passion.

Now Kit is never sure: is Dillon the addict, or is she just addicted to him?

From Charlotte Stein, the author of the bestselling Mischief titles ‘Power Play’, ‘Make Me’ and ‘Deep Desires’.


About Charlotte Stein

 

Charlotte Stein is the acclaimed author of over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including the recently DABWAHA nominated Run To You. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and their now totally real and completely nightmarish dog.


Buy Addicted on Amazon




Check the Link at the Nook Blog to find more Books Worth Your Bucks or to add your own review to the listing.


Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck_thumb_thumb








10/14/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: Cloudburst Ice Magic

Cloudburst_cover What I loved: Siobhan Muir delivers page-melting romance with her ice demons and that’s something you don’t find just anywhere. As summer is fading and fall has you thinking of lighting a fire and getting cozy with a book, Ice Magic makes a perfect companion.

Cloudburst Ice Magic by Siobhan Muir
Avalanches may bring down more than snow…
Working for the Search and Rescue team at the Cloudburst Resort in Colorado, Lily Sinclair figures she’ll do all the rescuing from now on. When hikers are caught in a spring blizzard, Lily and her partner head into the storm. Cut off from communication and facing deadly conditions, Lily fears she’ll never see her Ice Demon lover before death claims them.
Zach Snow encouraged Lily move to Cloudburst to grow and learn, but missed her every day of their months apart. His plans of moving to Colorado get pushed up when he receives her text explaining her situation, and saying goodbye. He must negotiate with the local Ice Demon clan to work in their territory to rescue Lily and the hikers before the Spring Fling blizzard kills them. But he’s running out of time.
Between the amorous hiker hitting on Zach, Lily’s self-doubts, and an avalanche bearing down on them, Zach and Lily must rediscover the love they first kindled in a Christmas ice cave, and create their own Cloudburst ice magic.

About Siobhan Muir
Siobhan Muir lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he's never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she can be found looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked for good.
Buy Cloudburst Ice Magic on Amazon

If you enjoy Cloudburst Ice Magic, you’ll want to check out Muir’s  website and her Cloudburst series.




Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck_thumb_thumb

9/23/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: Hard Wear

HardWearThere is so much to like about Hard Wear.  I loved the small town setting in Washington state. I used to live in Washington and this story took me back in a way that I could smell the ponderosa pines.

I loved the characters, Chase and Kali. It’s refreshing to read a billionaire romance where the hero is likeable, loveable even. It’s refreshing to read a BDSM romance  with a submissive who is kind and strong and independent. I love the sweetness of the romance that unfolds here. I think you will too.

Hard Wear by Marilyn Lakewood 
Book One of the Hot Alpha Billionaire Series Stand alone. Not a cliff-hanger. HEA. M/F, Mild D/s themes.

Successful, sophisticated, 36 year old, Chase Tanner is a Dom who has everything…except love. When he meets the woman of his dreams - a submissive beauty who’d rather be alone than with the wrong man - Chase knows convincing her that he’s the “right” one, won’t be easy. It’s the courtship of his life—and he’ll have to put his life on the line to protect her.

“You’re just not good enough, Kali.” Her ex-husband’s hurtful words echoed in Kali Benson’s memory as she moved to small-town Washington State to rebuild her life. It hasn’t been easy, but finally at 39, she’s happy, self-sufficient, and emotionally armored. But her strength and resolve are tested when a sweet-talking hunk, who drives an old Dodge truck and makes her feel nineteen again, comes to town.


About Malirlyn Lakewood

Marilyn writes erotic romance. Her stories range in heat levels from sweet to hardcore, sometimes include ménage, and usually have themes of dominance and submission. Be advised, the road to love is a little hard at times. You may need to buckle your cuffs. ♥

Buy Hard Wear on Amazon

If you enjoy Hard Wear, you’ll want to check out Lakewood’s  website and her Hot Alpha Billionaire series.




Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck_thumb

9/17/16

Opensim on the Web for Storytelling

Selkie Island Scene


This is a gif from a scene I made back in May. What I want to do is build a scene that introduces a scene from The Selkie's Tale novel I wrote. This one would be a mini hunt for a selkie's pelt, because when you have the selkie's skin, you own the selkie.


I had managed to get the basic scene converted to mesh, add an avatar and the horse. I got the character moving forward and backward and had the animation controller running on the horse. All very buggy and a bald avatar. I even put up a webGL version from what I had made. My goal was to get as far as I could on my own and then ask for help.


Neothar Cortex helped me get things working better today. It took us awhile but we've got a webGL version up that can be used on a tablet by opening in Firefox.




Then he exported a version that can be downloaded to play on Windows desktop. This is just setting and characters. The horse was not animated yet in the uploaded version.

Still to be done:

Get the horse waypoints and animations done properly.
Add some interactive text story/quest components that play as the character walks through the scene.
Add a graphical arrow controller so tablet users can navigate
Add sounds

Scene from desktop version




Screenshot from iPad


This takes a long, long time to load on iPad and I used Firefox.

Go straight to web version in your browser from here.Use your arrow keys to navigate through the scene. The character starts in run mode so hold down the shift key if you want to walk.

If you would like to stay up to date on this project and other Future Fiction experiments, subscribe to our Future of Fiction Magazine.

If you would like to explore the Future of Fiction with us, join the Nara's Nook Virtual Writer's Colony.

9/11/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: A Virtual Romance

Blow_Me_DownThis week I thought I’d review a virtual world romance since they are so rare and hard to fine. This offering is from back in 2005. I don’t know when the author did her research or where, but the blurb reminded me of one of my favorite pirate sims in Second Life, Barbary Coast, so I picked up a copy.  If you’re a virtual world adventurer don’t expect this story to be about current technology. It’s more about future tech, like the projects underway to create VR headsets. I enjoyed that the characters do get into the whole start a business build a virtual economy and earn a virtual living.  But beyond that I loved the romance and the interaction of the main characters getting to know each other first as avatars in another dimension and then as humans.

Blow Me Down by Katie MacAlister

This Game Girl has wreaked havoc on the high seas—but the tide is about to turn…

In the Internet virtual reality game Buckling Swashes, Earless Erika and Black Corbin are two of the most deadly pirates to sail the online seas. And now they’ve met their matches: each other.

But fearless Earless Erika is really just Amy—a financial analyst with little time in her life for anything but work. And Corbin is none other than the man behind the game—the programmer and owner of the company. He’s intrigued by Amy, the only buccaneer to best him in this test of digital testosterone, while she just wants to take his arrogance down a peg. But soon the two find themselves comrades in arms against a merciless rival bent on Corbin’s destruction—both on the virtual high seas and in real life. Only by setting aside their differences can they locate the actual people behind the swaggering swashbucklers—and along the way find that love can tame even the most fearsome of pirates.

Shiver me timbers…


About Katie MacAlister
Katie MacAlister is a Seattle-area author of fiction and non-fiction. Her most popular titles are historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance.


Buy Blow Me Down on Amazon


Check the Link at the Nook Blog to find more Books Worth Your Bucks or to add your own review to the listing.


Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck_thumb

9/2/16

undertow
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Books Worth Your Bucks.

It’s the last big weekend of the summer--Labor Day weekend holiday here in the US. Traditionally everyone makes one last trek to the beaches. With tropical storm  Hermine thrashing just off the Atlantic coast, it’s not looking good for a beach weekend. I think I’ll curl up with the last story in Undertow while the rain falls.
Undertow by Patricia A. Knight
Former Army Ranger, Max Harper didn’t know the young woman playing fetch on the beach with his therapy dog—but he wanted to. From his first meeting with Holiday Jones, her fresh beauty and soft heart swept him away. The wounded veteran knew he wanted forever with Holiday. There is just one small problem. She thinks he’s someone he’s not. When his down-to-earth Holiday learns who Max really is, love might not be enough—for no matter how generous a woman’s heart, it’s difficult to forgive deception..

About Patricia A. Knight
As a child I sat on our front stoop surrounded by the neighborhood kids making up fantasies about knights and fair ladies and cowboys and horses.  My front stoop has changed but I haven't. Grab a gin and tonic, have a seat on the porch (the wicker rocker is very  nice) and let me tell you a story.

Buy Undertow on Amazon

If you enjoy Undertow, you’ll want to check out Knight’s  website and her Verdantian series.

Check the Link at the Nook Blog to find more Books Worth Your Bucks or to add your own review to the listing.

BooksWorthYourBuck

8/19/16

Books Worth Your Bucks—Undertow: Backwater Blessing by Kris Michaels

undertow
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Books Worth Your Bucks.

Where did Summer go? There re only  few more beach weekends ahead. If like me, work demands are making a getaway impossible for you at the moment, grab a copy of Undertow, an anthology of summer beach reads from Troll River Publications.

As each of these stories is a nice length, and a satisfying read in itself, I’ll take you through them one at a time in the remaining weeks of August.

Story number 3, Backwater Blessing
Backwater Blessing by Kris Michaels
When Cole, Mr. FBI, and Logan, local cop and reigning Ice Princess, hook up to solve a case of Mississippi corruption at the highest judicial levels, sparks fly. Their attraction is hotter than the sultry southern sun. She wants to hate him—but she can’t. And Cole would never commit career suicide by staying in a backwater Mississippi town…not for any woman…especially not for Isabella Logan Church.



What I Loved
The main characters, Cole and Logan, are unique and engaging. I loved the interaction between them. I really love the way Michaels weaves setting into the story, makes it a part of the characters to a degree that the setting becomes a character, a character treated with respect.

About Kris Michaels
Kris Michaels is the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother who loves to write erotic romance with a twist of military flavor.
A chance meeting and immediate friendship with an established author propelled Kris into a world where her lifelong fantasy of publishing romance novels came true! Her vivid imagination and erotic fantasies evolved into the Kings of Guardian Series.
Kris believes in meeting life head on…as long as there is an ample supply of coffee, whiskey and wine! She believes love makes this crazy life worthwhile. When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a busy life with her husband, the cop, and her two wonderful sons.

Buy Undertow on Amazon

If you enjoyed Backwater Blessing, you’ll want to check out Michael’s Kings of Guardian Series

Check the Link at the Nook Blog to find more Books Worth Your Bucks or to add your own review to the listing.

Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.


8/12/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: Undertow--The Break

undertow
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Books Worth Your Bucks.

As August settles in, the only truly comfortable place to be is at the beach. If like me, work demands are making a getaway impossible for you at the moment, grab a copy of Undertow, an anthology of summer beach reads from Troll River Publications.

As each of these stories is a nice length, and a satisfying read in itself, I’ll take you through them one at a time in the remaining weeks of August.
Story number 2, Riptide, by author Rachel De Lune.

The Break by Rachel De Lune
 
When Victoria Abbott makes the hard journey back to her quaint, seaside hometown in Wales, she's unprepared for the guilt that claws at her. At the same time, she's instantly calmed by being on the sands where she spent time as a child. Her self-imposed rules never before gave her a shot at true happiness and she's not sure if she can face a second chance. But when she walks into Aeron Morgan's life, all that changes.

Aeron Morgan has all he wants from life. A financially successful business and the house of his dreams sitting on the cliff overlooking Oxwich bay. Until Victoria Abbott walks into sight. Not content with a one night stand, he wants Victoria to accept him and his darkest desires, forcing her to become the woman he knows is under her suit of armor. With her independence on the line Victoria grapples with choosing her dreams over what she's worked so hard for all her life.

What I Loved

I connected emotionally with the characters, Victoria and Aeron. Definitely the claim "emotionally driven erotic romance" is one that suits this story, and is an essential ingredient of the erotic romances I love.

About Rachel De Lune



Rachel De Lune writes emotionally driven erotic romance. She began scribbling her stories in the pages of a notebook several years ago and never considered it would be the start to the adventure she’s currently on. Today, she’s still scribbling stories of dominance and submission and is thrilled to have her debut, More, out in the world.

Rachel lives in the South West of England and daydreams about shoes – you know the ones with the red soles! lingerie and chocolate. She is a wife and has a beautiful daughter. She finds it particularly funny when she’s scribbling her steamy scenes to the sound track of My Little Pony on the TV. She would love to give up her day job to devote more time to her scribbles.
For every woman who’s ever desired more.


Buy Undertow on Amazon 

If you enjoyed The Break, you’ll want to check out De Lune's Evermore Series on her website

Check the Link at the Nook Blog to find more Books Worth Your Bucks or to add your own review to the listing.

Check back again next week. Until then, happy reading.










8/5/16

Books Worth Your Bucks: Undertow—Undertow

undertow
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Books Worth Your Bucks.
It’s the last big weekend of the summer--Labor Day weekend holiday here in the US. Traditionally everyone makes one last trek to the beaches. With tropical storm  Hermine thrashing just off the Atlantic coast, it’s not looking good for a beach weekend. I think I’ll curl up with the last story in Undertow while the rain falls.

Undertow by Patricia A. Knight 
Former Army Ranger, Max Harper didn’t know the young woman playing fetch on the beach with his therapy dog—but he wanted to. From his first meeting with Holiday Jones, her fresh beauty and soft heart swept him away. The wounded veteran knew he wanted forever with Holiday. There is just one small problem. She thinks he’s someone he’s not. When his down-to-earth Holiday learns who Max really is, love might not be enough—for no matter how generous a woman’s heart, it’s difficult to forgive deception..

About Patricia A. Knight
As a child I sat on our front stoop surrounded by the neighborhood kids making up fantasies about knights and fair ladies and cowboys and horses.  My front stoop has changed but I haven't. Grab a gin and tonic, have a seat on the porch (the wicker rocker is very  nice) and let me tell you a story.


Buy Undertow on Amazon

If you enjoy Undertow, you’ll want to check out Knight’s  website and her Verdantian series.

Check the Link at the Nook Blog to find more Books Worth Your Bucks or to add your own review to the listing.


Check back again next. Until then, happy reading.

BooksWorthYourBuck

7/29/16

Books Worth Your Bucks

BooksWorthYourBuck

True bibliophiles seek other bibliophiles. My friends, even those that are not authors, love to read. One series that I shared with my reading buddies was Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series. Being that we all love national parks and a good mystery, they burned through everything she had written in a few weeks. While we were waiting for her next book release one of them commented that it would take a couple months beyond that to get a copy to read at the library because the wait list would be so long. In the course of that conversation I learned they never bought books from their favorite fiction authors. I was stunned. It certainly wasn’t a matter of not being able to afford them.
They were stunned that I did buy books. Sometimes I would read a book from the library and still buy it.  Their reasoning was that books are free at the library so why would you buy them.
My reasoning, if an author is so good that you have read everything she has written and wait eagerly for the next book, you should financially support the work of an author you love.
You don’t have to buy everything they write, but you should buy a book or two as thanks for the entertainment pleasure. One, they need to pay bills and library sales alone are not going to do that. Two, if individual sales aren’t high their books won’t be in the library, and low sales will get them dropped by their publisher. In this tight economy the threshold of sales is much higher than it used to be and the competition from masses of books released every month is fierce. It’s even harder for authors who have given up on the traditional route and become hybrid or independent authors.
So Shannan, Siobhan, and I wanted to help those authors worth spending money on in their quest to find readers who will love them. Each Friday we will share with you a brief summary of a book we each bought and why we felt it was worth the bucks. That way if you’re looking for something to read on the weekend you’ll find it here.
ExposedDesires
My first suggestion is a military romance, Exposed Desires by Brandi Evans.
Her opening:
It was now or never.
Sophia stared across the smoke-filled club as the man she loved took a long pull of his Heineken. Regret expanded her chest like a lead-balloon, so heavy she could hardly breathe. She’d had over a year to tell him the truth. A fricking year! But somewhere along the way, time had become her enemy.
Evans writes hot, sensuous, erotic romance. I admire that the romance is still first in everything she writes. When the clothes go flying you know it is not just characters in heat, but a couple falling in love driving the action. As an author I admire her skill with metaphor.
If you’re looking for a quick, hot read you’ll love Exposed desires. It’s  quickie length, four chapters and an epilogue. You can grab a copy here.
I’m happy to say my friends saw the sense in my reasoning and started collecting books in a series from their favorite authors. I hope that even if a particular book we share is not your thing, that you will keep checking back as we will cover a spectrum of subjects. We’ll share obscure indie authors and famous ones we love. We’ll cover all the genres of fiction. Happy reading.

Check out Siobhan’s pick for this week.
Check out Shannan’s pick for this week.

7/28/16

Nook’s Not Dead Yet

IMG_1540
I’m back at the helm even though officially Nook is still on a summer break. I should have done a post sooner about our break. I just did not have the energy. I think I’m stronger now and it is easier to talk about some things. I’ve gone from two steps back for each step forward, to maintaining and running in place.  For those who don’t know I lost my husband a few months ago to an NSAID induced stomach bleed. He had refused narcotic medication to deal with his pain from an accident several years ago and took what he thought to be a safer over alternative. I can’t unsee those last few hours of me trying to keep him alive until help arrived, and of the rescue squad trying to bring him back to life. It  takes all my energy to reach a point each day where I can pause the mental equivalent of a full color video stuck on replay, so that I can get small things done.  The result being that I have been in now-you-see-her-now-you-don’t mode. Mostly you don’t.
I was not the only one that real life got too real for. One member was downsized out of her job.  Some had personal health crises, a couple more who are caregivers for elderly family members saw them through traumatic hospitalizations and are now helping them recover strength at home. One had a child undergo surgery to save a kidney. So the Nook has been empty and events were put on hold for the summer to give us all a chance to catch our breath.
All of this has set the stage for a situation the Nook gang has asked me to speak to. This is as much a talk to encourage them as it is to explain what is happening. While we were busy elsewhere, there has been an ongoing replication of the events we have come up with as unique ways to engage authors and readers: Our write-ins, The Everything Writing Chat, Author Balls, Flash Fiction Workshops and so on. All of those events replicated in a sort of Nook Nock-off appearing on some commercial grids. I’m not sure if there are still 3 or it is just the one being moved around. The event descriptions are worded so closely to ours that people think I have handed off the torch. Some thought the Nook members left the grid because I abandoned it and were holding their events elsewhere. Some just thought we put a clone of ourselves on other grids and were expanding.
The Nook members were all frustrated because we saw it happening but none of us was able to deal with it. In the past weeks, especially the past week, we’ve all been asked what was up by different people and the team said it was time to speak up. So here I am.
There is no copyright on events or ideas. Yes, anyone can create a perfect clone of our grid and we can’t stop it. I think it’s a waste of good energy to pay it any attention, but to clarify for those who were fooled or wondering:
1) I did not pass the torch.
2) We did not invite anyone to replicate our events for us elsewhere.
3) Nook is not dead. We’re not finished. We do not quit.
4) We hold Nook events at Nook and nowhere else. If we want to expand, we’ll add another server.
That said, I want to say to the Nook team. No one can replicate you, what you are about, who you are as a community, or your driving goal to have a hand and a voice in shaping the future of fiction. You have poured years of your lives into this goal and we are not done yet. No one can duplicate that.  When someone makes a Nook knockoff, that’s just them wanting to be the star of your party. The passion you pour into everything you do will always outshine that.
So we’re going to take a few more weeks to get ourselves together. All Nook events will resume at their regularly scheduled times in September.
We do, however, have one new feature launching outworld. Every Friday, starting this Friday, we will each blog about a book we bought that we think is worth the bucks. There will be a strong focus on indie authors, but it will not be limited to them. It will be limited to books we spend money on. Watch for us here and on social media. I will link to all the others participating when I make my post.

Edit: Forgot to say, Siobhan Muir made the lovely book graphic.

BooksWorthYourBuck

4/4/16

Writing Roadblocks: Recovering from Life's Left Hooks

WaitingOnTheWords_001
Waiting for the words to come...

Sometimes life delivers a punch that knocks you flat and it’s hard to get your feet under you and get back to the writing again. I don’t talk much about my personal life. Mainly because writing about that includes people close to me and I don’t want to violate their privacy. This was particularly true of my husband. I sometimes wrote poetry about him, but never firmly defined who the poems were about or that they were anything more than fictional. That seemed a good way to process what I needed to process and shield him. In February his condition took a downturn and by the end of the month he was gone.

IMG_20160330_121515-2
I’m not finding it so easy, but I am muddling through. I feel a bit like this tree—losing him hollowed me out. It amazes me that old oak still grows and sprouts leaves every spring. Proof it can be done I suppose. 

I don't know the steps you have to take to come back from this. Losing a spouse changes everything about your life. I think your art, the thing you create for the sheer love of it is always the way out of those dark places life dumps us in. At least it has worked for me in the past.

I am determined to fight my way back into something like a normal schedule this coming week. Yes, I do know I have said that a couple times. Progress is not as fast as I would like but it’s there and I keep taking the steps.

I had  book due out in Feb. I will make it a goal to have that up before months end. The release schedule should be back on track on the next couple of months. There is a new game and a new book mixed in with the re-release of books I’ve acquired my rights back to.

All virtual activities will resume on schedule this week.
* Hypergrid Nights on Wednesday evening at 6 SLT – we’re going to a birthday party and enjoying a little dancing.
* WIP this Sunday at noon SLT. If you want to hear about what has been happening with our Opensim in a browser experiments, be sure to be there.
* Everything Writing is on Monday evening, April 11th at 6 SLT.
* My next NPC workshop will be Sunday, April 17th at noon SLT.



 *Opensim Fashion Show will be April 23, noon SLT.


Not far down the trail from the first tree is this one.
IMG_20160330_145055-4
 A hive of honey bees has taken up residence in the hollow. A little reminder that maybe you never completely fill the hole losing someone leaves, but eventually something new can grow there.

~Nara

1/28/16

Writing Challenge: Writing in the Next Dimension

NestDimtub_001
Writing at Dawn in Nara's Nook

I’m not the first author to love writing in the tub. Agatha Christie plotted her novels wrapped in the warmth of a nice bath.

Nextdim_write_blog
Testing Linda Kellie's new tub at my treehouse
I wonder if her characters joined her for nice chats among the bubbles.

But real world tubs have real world problems like soggy pages and runny ink. Laptops and tablets in the the steam--not so great. I found a virtual tub to be useful workaround. Now the physical experience is not quite the same, but once you are settled and you are chatting with the hero about whether to include a bath scene in the story, it’s very much like you are dreaming you are taking a bath.  I find it a good way to access that dream state of mind and get words on the page.

Getting words on the page, no matter what your project is, is a battle. There are times it requires every trick you can come up with.

electro_inspiration
Writer Dungeon in Villa Greyville
To quote Steinbeck:
“In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. The rest is nonsense. Perhaps there are people who can work that way, but I cannot. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not.”
The Greyville Writers have come up with a method for getting words on the page that is a bit less stressful than the one depicted in the picture above. Every couple of months we hold a writing challenge. We ask you to set a daily writing goal for the number of words you want to get done every day and then report your progress in the Metaverse Authors group on G+. Anyone is welcome to participate. This next one is due to start February first. You don’t need to be working on a novel. We’ve had participants join us to work on novels, blogging, poetry, class assignments. Whatever you need to get done.

Here’s how it works.
Join us in the Metaverse Authors Group on G+
Tell us your writing goal
Show up every day to report your progress.
You can even post pics of your favorite place to write.

I’m in for a thousand words a day for February. How about you?