I Haz Planz 23/10

Given that today’s main post is a guest entry I don’t want to share it with my crappy goals. And, saying that, going forward Ileandra and I will be separating our goals from the main post of the day. That way whatever we are talking about at that time can have your full focus. From today the main post of the day will go out first thing in the morning, while the goal post will publish in the evening (which also gives us an extra few hours to achieve said goals!)

So… how have I done this week? Let’s have a lookie see.

Last Week

book and reading light form openclipart.com~Complete deep edits on ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’
Nope. I’m a good way through but I’m not done. That will be the focus this week coming up.

~Complete checks on second pass of edits issued by Breathless Press for Slippers & Chains
Done! Phew! I didn’t think I was going to make it at one point but I’m lucky in that the Funk Master understands what this means to me. So he gave me plenty of time to ensure that I could get done what needed to be done. That’s sent off, I’m sure I’ll hear from Jenn later this week.

a pen and a pencilThis Week

This is the last full week before NaNoWriMo starts and I’m already getting cold feet. I’m nervous about writing this story in a way I never have been before and I can’t figure out why. Guess I’ll have to work on that. Meanwhile…

  1. Look into ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ cover art options.
  2. Issue requests for two book reviews for ‘Vicki & Lara’ or any other story in the Meeting Each Other series
  3. Complete deep edits on ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’

That should be plenty. Next month is going to be an INSANE ride so I’m doing my best to be gentle with myself up to that point. Let’s see how we go.

Raven's Signature In Black

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Guest Blog: Interview – Nancy Corrigan

Sup lovers! A few weeks back Ileandra and I talked about opening this blog for other authors a bit more. We want to reach out to other people doing what we’re doing, look at their books and learn more about them.

So begins what I hope will soon become a regular slot for other authors to come in and chat with us, either with their own post on what they’re up to or an interview. There’s no posh name for it yet, but hopefully we’ll be able to launch it properly in the new year. Hopefully.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

In the mean time, first author to kick us all of is Nancy Corrigan.

Nancy Corrigan's logo

For the sake of those followers out there who might not be familiar, can you tell us who you are and where you’re from? Kinda like Blind Date style? ;-)
My name is Nancy Corrigan. I’m from Pennsylvania. I’m married to a very patient husband who understands my writing quirks. I have three kids, a cat, dog, snake and two guinea pigs. When I’m not writing I work as a scientist.

And what do you write?
I write paranormal and contemporary romance. For a heat level, I’d put them at sexy and explicit but they all have an HEA/HFN. At the moment, all my titles are M/F. I love everything paranormal. My worlds touch on shifters, gods and demigods, demons, faeries and vampires. My contemporaries which will be releasing soon are centered on a rural town called Sander’s Valley.

Right, now with that stuff sorted out, here are the super hard questions. The brain grinding, chest thumping, sweat inducing questions… What’s your favourite type of chocolate? No, I’m serious, go ahead.
Dark chocolate. I love the Hershey’s little nugget ones. They’re small. They don’t really count ;-)

I like that logic! And pizza topping? 
Bacon. Well, bacon on just about everything. I am, however, holding off on the maple and bacon flavored muffins by Betty Crocker. But then again, if anybody has tried and loved them, I’d give them a shot.

What about favourite movie? 
Oh, there’s so many. I don’t watch TV, but I love movies, especially horror and action. If I had to pick just one, I’d have to say the original Star Wars movie. Not my favorite genre but that’s okay. It’s still amazing.

You’re not wrong there, the original three were brilliant. Right, that’s my silliness indulged. ^_^
Your most recent release is Mist Unveiled, out now I believe. Do you have a favourite character from the story? One that sticks in your mind for any reason, positive or negative?

My favorite character from Mist Unveiled is Cat.

Can you tell us why?
While I didn’t write her as a reflection of my personality, she does share a couple of the same traits I’m guilty of having—getting caught up in her work and forgetting to eat and sleep, for one. She’s also a scientist.

What was the hardest part about writing a character like that?Realizing how crazy I must seem to my loved ones when I wake up in the middle of the night so that I can write “that scene” I dreamt about.

And where might readers be able to get hold of it?
Publisher: http://www.ellorascave.com/mist-unveiled.html

Fantastic. Do you have anything else in the pipeline?
Right now I’m working on an intensely emotional and sexy shifter book. No title yet.

Can you tell us a bit about it?
It’s not part of my Royal Pride series which is my feline shifter series, but it’s a standalone that I had to write. It came to me in a dream and my hero has since been demanding it be told (one of the writing quirks my husband just shakes his head at-lol). I’ve been squeezing in scenes whenever I could while finishing off my second contemporary. My first, Love Repeated, will be releasing from Loose Id on Nov. 25

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Ain’t she cool! Anyway, thanks for that, Nancy and thanks for this delicious excerpt too. Read on to get a little taster of Mist Unveiled.


Excerpt #1 (PG-13)

Unable to resist the scent of heaven that had lured him to her in the first place, he buried his face into the fall of her raven hair. She smelled of something fruity and exotic. He couldn’t place the scent, but it compounded his craving. He wanted to devour her.

Deep breaths filled his lungs with her signature fragrance. Dizziness gripped him. He tightened his hold on her to stop himself from swaying and unleashed his will to influence her. With the few drops of his blood in her body, he wasn’t sure it’d actually work, but he had to try something.

“Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you.”

She hiccupped. The fingers scratching at his back stilled. He waited a moment for her to succumb completely to his order. Her tense body and rapid heartbeat didn’t lessen as they should have. More expletives whipped through him at the implications of her resistance. He took another breath to calm his racing pulse.

“You’re going to bring the authorities here. They’ll harass me, maybe toss me in jail, all for kissing you. You don’t want that.”

“Don’t I?”

Shit. He dropped his forehead to her shoulder and reined in his power. It was pointless to expend the energy if she was resistant to it. “No, you don’t. You can’t blame me for losing control when faced with temptation. You’re beautiful, Cat.”

She turned her head. He eased back and met her probing eyes. “How do you know my name?”

Author Bio
Nancy Corrigan believes in unending love and epic tales with a paranormal flare. She enjoys transcending the boundaries of reality to take her readers on a passionate, emotional and romantic journey.
She’s also a mother of three and a wife to a very patient husband who doesn’t mind reminding her to eat and sleep. Her other interests include tattoos, animals, classic cars and all things spooky and sexy.
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Pinterest | Blog

Aaaaaaaaand! If that isn’t awesome enough Nancy is running a giveaway to celebrate the release of the book! Hurry on over to enter and give yourself a chance to win a $10 gift card for Amazon or Ellora’s Cave.


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Traditional Fantasy vs Contemporary Fantasy (& Mah Plans – 20/10)

You guys know I write fantasy, right? From the urban setting that forms the backdrop to my Saar’s Legacy trilogy, to the sprawling, pure fantasy world I created for my RPG characters to run around in.

I write both. I love both. Traditional fantasy and contemporary fantasy (or urban and high fantasy) are two forms of the same fantastic genre. They are so different and yet so alike.

I’m going to spend some talk talking about both in brief and why I like them. Also in the coming weeks I should have examples of what I consider to be urban fantasy (and why) and what I consider to be high fantasy (the same). I’ll talk about the worlds I ‘created’ for Saar’s Legacy and Gaea which, though superficially different, are also incredibly similar.

I’ll also talk a bit more about the project that will follow completion of Saar’s Legacy and how I plan to control that sprawling behemoth and turn a 300k story (which was initially a prologue intended to introduce the main story – *sigh*) into something more reader friendly and manageable from an author perspective.

Expect plenty of gushing about Tolkien, Robert Jordan, George RR Martin and Katherine Kerr. Prepare to be stunned as I tell you about authors I’ve not read and just how many books actually currently live on my ‘to read’ list (don’t let Goodreads fool you, I just haven’t put everything on there yet).

I’ll talk about specific characters, made up languages, dragons, magic, vampires, sword fists, guns, car chases, blood, werewolves, myths and legends, gods, monsters and demons. I’m going to have a lot of fun over the next few weeks and I hope you do too.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Last week

Ooooh, this is going to be hilarious.

Finalise SORB’s press release

Yellow happy smile from wikimedia commonsComplete 40 pages of SORB edits
Done. *phew* Gotta keep pushing.

Approach seven individuals regarding my blog bounce (that’s only one a day)

Decide on content and frequency of tweets regarding SORB’s release
Kinda. I mean yes, it’s done. Just not totally happy with the content yet.

Find one group on Goodreads that is reader friendly
Got one. They’re a lovely bunch but I’ve just not been able to sit and chat with them as often as I’d like. *sigh* Maybe this week.

Visit two peer blogs per day
On average, yes. Per actual day, no.

Pen2This Week

I need to put some effort into actually getting more of this stuff done. Enough is enough now.

  1. Finalise SORB’s press release
  2. Complete 40 pages of SORB edits
  3. Approach seven individuals regarding my blog bounce (that’s only one a day)
  4. Visit two peer blogs per day

It would really be good to do these things before NaNoWriMo starts because once that kicks off all hell breaks loose. I just know it.

new ileandra signature,

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Ileandra’s October Indie eBook Review: Disconnect, Book One of the Divided Worlds Trilogy

Disconnect cover

Credit: Imran Siddiq

Author: Imran Siddiq
Title: Disconnect: Book One of the Divided Worlds Trilogy
Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy (YA)

‘Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.’

Back for this month’s book review and this month it’s YA. I don’t normally read much of this, but I have to admit that The Hunger Games really did open things up for me. Let’s go.


five starsThis cover is how Imran and I met in the first place. At the first Self Publishing Conference in 2013 (I think?) I went to a workshop on book covers. We had been asked before hand to send in examples and this was one of those that made my jaw drop. I loved it. It turned out that the chap it belonged to was sat right next to me! How about that. :p It’s taken me a long time to read the book since that day, but my love of the colour remains the same. Simple, elegant but powerful. I adore this cover.


five starsZachary lives in the Underworld and makes his way by scavenging for scraps dropped through the ceiling by resident of the Overworld. All is good and right with his life until a drop through the ceiling leads him to find a piece of tech that allows him to communicate with a young girl from Overworld. Rosa. Cue madness as he slowly falls for her and (to some degree) what she represents as the world around them quickly and violently changes.

Romeo and Juliet in space was my first thought when I started reading. My next thought was that I wanted more to happen. The set up of Zachary’s homelife was very much necessary to give weight to what follows but it went on slightly too long for me. Also, from a personal perspective, I would have liked to know more about Rosa. Though I suppose this would have taken some of the edge of later chapters where her past is revealed.

Things moved very swiftly about a quarter of the way into the tale. Before this point, Zachary kinda mulls his way around doing what he always does.

Despite that, the story is (very!) clever, involved and strong enough to make up for the slightly slow start. By the time you reach the half way point you’re almost panting for breath along with Zachary and it doesn’t let up after that. What I find most impressive that the story manages to do that without getting too breathless at any point. Pretty skilled if you ask me.


3.5 star ratingThere’s quite an ensemble to this novel so I’ll just focus on the main two characters.
Zachary Conner. The Hero. Reluctant hero, yes, but aren’t most of the best ones exactly that? He goes from simply getting on, getting by, to actually forcefully moving things to get what he wants. It’s a slick example of character development and you don’t really see it happen. You just accept that he has come from one place, seen terrible things and come out on the other side doing things you might never have imagined in the opening chapters. And that’s as it should be.
Rosa Kade. The Damsel In Mild Distress. Rosa has a clear and attractive voice. She’s playful and sombre all at once, a mix that is all the more powerful at the end of the novel. She has just the right amount of snark for a teenager and just enough maturity for someone of her social status that she feels very real to me.

Overall experience:

four starsCurious phrases every now and then. Colourful verb choices and a dash of unusual sentence structure that forced me to re-read a line once or twice. But none of that took from the strengths of the book. Let’s just say I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed a YA fantasy which, really, should (and could) be classed more as YA sci-fi romance.
Throughout the entire novel I found instance where I thought a word might be missing, otherwise the formatting is super-clean and so is the proofing. No complaints from me.

Final score:

4.5 starsAverage across all scores 4.375 with rounds out into 4.5 stars.
I will be looking into the rest of the trilogy. When I first started reading I wasn’t sure that was the case but by the end I changed my mind. I need to see what happens to Zachary after all that he’s been through. I’m with him now. I’m on his side.
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Why I Write #Erotica pt4 – (& I Haz Planz 16/10)

We finally made it! Ha, sorry about that. The fourth and last post in my over-long why I write erotica series. Check out the first, second and third posts if you’re interested in what was going through my head.

So, why do I write erotica?

4) There’s a market for it.

From an utterly business point of view, why would I not provide reading material that people so clearly want when I’m in a position to do so? It’s crazy! And daft. Obviously not everyone can write erotica (nor do they want to) but those that do have an amazing opportunity to reach audiences all over the world and share what’s important to them about sex and relationships.

Sex isn’t discussed enough in our society. For reason I’ll probably never understand it remains taboo, but there is a need for material, both as entertainment and as educational tools.

Never for a moment would I go so far as to say that my books are in any way educational (though there are some details included within them that reflect things that are new to me) but they certainly meet the former of those to needs I highlighted above.

I know I keep harping back to it, and I’m sorry, but 50 Shades of Grey is such a fantastic example of what I’m talking about. Prior to its mainstream release of course erotica existed. Hell, I read a shit-load of it. But erotic as a genre has never been as visible and mainstream as it is right now. Particularly BDSM erotica. Doesn’t that, in of itself, demonstrate the fact that there’s a market for it?

I think it does.

So that’s it. Four good reasons why I chose to write erotica when I could just shut up and let Ileandra write her fantasy. To be honest, some aren’t as heavily weighted to me as others (one should write for oneself, rather than to markets after all), but as long as all four reasons continue to apply, I’ll continue to write.

Heh, looks like I’m going to be around for a while. ;-)

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

*head desk*

What a week.  By Monday I knew I wasn’t going to get everything done. I just knew. Not because of any one reason (though Da Shared Brain’s magazine project is certainly a contributing factor) but just because. Tis okay though; it’s another of those weeks in which lots of little (but still important) things got done.

Last Week

book and reading light form openclipart.com~Complete deep edits at least 1,500 words of ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’
Nope. I finished my first pass of edits but never managed to get to the deep stuff. Though I have highlighted some changes I need to make so that’s certainly a good start.

~Complete checks on second pass of edits issued by Breathless Press for Slippers & Chains
Nope. I’ve asked for an extension of the deadline, with Jenn has kindly agreed to. I said Saturday, she said Sunday, which is a comfortable safety net to get things done in. I just don’t want to rush at this point. I know it can be a sign of being too precious about things, but I really want this novella to shine. It’s a great story; I need to do it justice.

a pen and a pencilThis Week

  1. Complete deep edits on ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’
  2. Complete checks on second pass of edits issued by Breathless Press for Slippers & Chains

I think Da Shared Brain is easing off a bit now. That means I’m freer to get my bits n bobs done. My goal now is to get all of this little stuff out of the way before NaNoWriMo kicks in.

What, didn’t I tell you? I’m totally going to be doing NaNoWriMo this year. Not Ileandra, me! Haha! Yes, yes, I’ll still use her profile (beats making my own) but I’ll be writing the next story in the Slippers & Chains series. Wheeeeee!

Raven's Signature In Black

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Getting To Grips With Goodreads (& Mah Plans – 13/10)

In the goal section of a post a few weeks back, I talked about organising myself across social media and finding places I wanted to do the most of my talking. Boy was that tricky! I decided to focus on Twitter, peer blogs and Goodreads, doing most of my socialising across those three platforms.

The first two? Piece of cake. I love twitter and since I run a blog myself, it’s easy to talk to other bloggers about what they’re doing and how. I’m still not as organised as I’d like to be on that score, but I’m getting there.



Goodreads? What the hell?!

I’m sure it’s no more difficult to navigate prior to Amazon’s takeover, but for some reason I’m really struggling to find my way over there. It’s so busy. There are lots of conversations happening all the time and I must admit I’ve found myself somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer weight of traffic that seems to drive through that site every day. And I know that has changed since Amazon acquired it. The pair are linked now, which means that every book purchase I make, for instance, may end up there with reviews. I’ve had to manually tell both Amazon and Goodreads not to talk to each other as my Amazon account is also full of things Da Shared Brain has bought like DVDs, games and ink cartridges.

I digress.
Sorry. I’m good at that.

What I’m saying is, my grand plan to find new book buddies over there isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. I’m finding it really tricky to wade through the flood of ‘come to my book event’ (aka look at me, look at me, I’ve got a book I want you to buy!) and ‘be my friend’ (aka I’m adding as many people as I can to my account’s friends list so I have more people to spam with the ‘come to my book event messages).

I don’t mean to be a complete cynic about it, but I’m reconsidering my choice to use Goodreads as a platform to chat to people. There is so much noise over there that it’s hard to find people who just want to talk books. And that’s what I want right now. I have a critique group, but I don’t have a book club and of all my friends, only a tiny handful reads the sorts of things I read. So I want to talk to people about books I love.

My bookshelves*sigh* Maybe I’m just not spending enough time there. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places for this sort of information. But I don’t even have an author profile there yet. I have no books released (even if Raven does), so there’s no point me attacking Goodreads as an author. It would be far more valuable to me as a reader, right? Right? *hopeful voice*

Do you guys use Goodreads? How do you find it over there? Are you constantly drowning in the mire of authors trying to flog you things or have you actually managed to start chatting to people? I’d love to know. :)

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartFor some reason I’m not certain of the week seem to crawl. I got lots done, but it seemed to be far more of the ‘here and there’ stuff rather than the items I added to this list. Or maybe that’s my brain playing tricks with me.
Let’s see.

Last week

Check in with Karen regarding SORB edits
Yep. Pretty much the day after I mailed her, I had the file. I’m 65 pages in and taking my time. Weird though, it’s just about a month and a half since I sent her the file and it’s like reading the story for the first time. Again. How is that even possible? o.O

Yellow happy smile from wikimedia commonsCheck in with Dave regarding cover art if no input by Wednesday)
Yup. Got a message back saying he’s doing well with the designs. This is a case of my own impatience creeping through to be honest. I’m sooooooo keen to see what he has that I can barely sit still. But he has promised me scans of the thumbnail sketches so I can drool over those (again) for a little bit while I’m waiting. And share them as teasers for my subscribers of course. ;-)

Seek hosts for my blog bounce
This is another instance in which I phrased a goal badly. I did this, but I have no way to measure it. I’m not sure how many people I’ve spoken to, I just know that I’m getting some responses and that I’m becoming pretty damn good at answering interview questions. ;-)

Outline content of SORB’s press release
Not quite complete but the basics are there. Of course I have no images yet (like final cover) but I have some details from the press kit over at the main website. That’s enough to get me hitting the ground running.

Spend at least two nights NOT working and combine them with EITHER an early night or a CrossFit/Roller Derby workout*
Eeerm. Totally didn’t manage this. Far too many late nights and nowhere near enough exercise. Especially since I’m on a roller derby break. Oh, I hadn’t mentioned that? *eye roll* Yes, I need a break from it just while I pull all these projects in order. Losing every Sunday and various weeknights for skating is contributing to the stress I’m feeling so I’m looking at other ways to cram in the exercise I need.

Pen2This Week

  1. Finalise SORB’s press release
  2. Complete 40 pages of SORB edits
  3. Approach seven individuals regarding my blog bounce (that’s only one a day)
  4. Decide on content and frequency of tweets regarding SORB’s release
  5. Find one group on Goodreads that is reader friendly
  6. Visit two peer blogs per day

That’ll do for now. Gently, gently, slowly, slowly. That’s how you get things done (if you’re me, anyway).

new ileandra signature,

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Beware: WordPress.com targeting authors and reviewers

Ileandra Young:

Hadn’t really thought about what would happen to all those people linking away form WordPress, but, apparently, there is stuff to worry about / think about.
Let me know what you think, eh?

Originally posted on The Dreamweaver's Cottage:

So, WordPress.com has targeted one of my favorite bloggers and book reviewers.  I tried to access her blog two days ago to read about a book she reviewed and I got the following message:

[name of blog] .wordpress.com is no longer available.

This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.
For more information and to contact us please read this support document.

Upon looking at WordPress.com’s Terms of Service, I noted they had highlighted one clause:

the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);

Why is this clause potentially problematic…

View original 708 more words

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