The Vrai Domicile

BOOK 1: The Sixth Domicile by Courtney Ruggles

The Vrai Domicile  description:

Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre…
Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

BOOK 2: The Vrai Domicile  2 STARS

Honestly I think Ruggles should consider just writing erotica. She puts more effort into the love story and sex scenes than any other part of this story. The problem with that is that you’re left with this revolution you came here to read about that’s barely developed, and a “hero” that just comes across as an idiot. I understand wanting your characters to be human. Wanting them to make mistakes and not have all the answers. I don’t understand how Q doesn’t realize that B isn’t  talking master plans or shouting DOWN WITH THE DOMICILE with every breath because they’re in a place where they’re being watched and it’ll just get them killed. You know considering that’s why she’s going along with the Elder’s plan after witnessing them beat her grandmother. She has no clue, no plans, and apparently an inability to pick up on hints, but she’s supposed to be the savior. B could be the hero, but Q just makes me want to punch her in the face for being so dumb. And overall the plot was ludicrous.

Why VA Insurance is a Joke

As you can probably surmise from the title, I’m not a fan of VA insurance. See, me and my husband are both partially disabled veterans, and so we get 100% coverage with VA insurance. That’s right. I get insurance for free, that allows me to go to the doctor for free as much as I want, and yet we choose to pay for insurance that has a nice little deductible just so we can get actual help.

Where I live I don’t have a full VA hospital, just a clinic, which is bad enough on it’s own, but wouldn’t be too bad for the average trip to the doctor. Except like when they don’t ever answer the phone. The first month of me being on VA insurance I called and called and called, and no matter what extension you choose, or how long you let it ring, nobody would pick up. Finally went in in person to get an appointment. After which I did get a call for some survey from VA asking about my visit, once I complained they actually finally started answering phones for a while. But even when you finally do get an appointment it’s definitely no picnic in getting any actual help. First off, they may just cancel your appointment for apparently no reason and not let you know about it. Or the earliest appointment may be 3 months away regardless of how bad off you are.

Then there are things like how I’m no longer on birth control, because my doctor wouldn’t put a prescription in. Right off the bat he told me he didn’t think I could get that, which was strange because the military never had problems getting it for me, and my last VA hospital got it for me, but he couldn’t. And I will say my last VA hospital wasn’t too bad. I’m saying this because I don’t want to claim that all are bad, just like not all of the doctors are bad. But the problem when you have no choice in where you get to go, you’re stuck with whatever crap they give you. Not only didn’t I get birth control, but it was extremely hard for them to even find a lady doctor who could see me for my lady stuff, because there was no way I was letting the sleazy primary care I got stuck with check me out. But even the lady doctor with her repeated confusion over the fact that I had never been pregnant nor had kids, and yes she asked it in about 5 different ways before she finally believed me, was of little help.

But the worst is now. My depression and anxiety have gotten to the point I need help, but no one answers their phone. There’s not even an answer machine to pick up to answer. I actually called the nearest full hospital and nobody was sure who was in and supposedly left a message that they were supposed to call me back to help me, but nobody did. Nobody will call back. Nobody gives a shit if I kill myself or not, because why should they? I’m just a veteran seeking help, and my VA insurance that should give me access to such does nothing, because the option I’m given is a hospital who won’t answer their phone, and doctors and nurses who won’t help you get what meds you need, or information that could help you. So instead I use the insurance I pay for to finally seek real help. And sure it’s no big deal to pay for insurance, just like so many other Americans do. My problem is when the government claims that they’ll take care of veterans, and basically put up some little facade like these hospitals to try and prove that they do, when in reality their help is really no help at all.

Barbarian’s Lady

Due to the number of books in this series I’m just going to add the link to the list of books I’ve reviewed by Ruby Dixon.

Barbarian’s Lady   description:

You’d think a tall woman would fit in on a planet of seven-foot-tall aliens, but even on the ice planet, I’m still a weirdo and an oddity. I’m everything all the other cute, dainty human women aren’t.

One guy in particular – the alien Harrec – is determined to embarrass me by pretending he’s interested. He’s a jokester that flirts like mad and hits on me constantly just to make me feel foolish. He gets under my skin. He makes me so frustrated I want to scream.

When a side-trip to a glacier turns into a nightmare and the two of us are forced to survive alone, I see another side to the enticing blue alien. Even with no one else around, his compliments keep coming and I start wondering if the attraction between us…is real.

BOOK 13: Barbarian’s Lady   4 STARS

I do love the books where the love comes before the resonance, and this was a fun one. Harrec has been a jokester throughout the series, and not someone I’ve really thought twice about. Poor Kate is self conscious about her height and doesn’t realize that Harrec’s teasing is his way of flirting, and that his “insults” are really supposed to be compliments. It’s a real case of miscommunication that just gets funnier the more it happens. I love how each of these books really lets you get to know not only the main characters, but the rest of the tribe better with each page. Understanding them and enjoying this world for all its’ got. My only complaint is how some of the conversations were a bit repetitive, like they didn’t remember they just talked about such. As well as the huge cliffhanger that Dixon just left us with. Like what the heck is going on here, and when will the next book come to soothe my worries?

T&A: Revelations of a Romance Novel Heroine

T&A: Revelations of a Romance Novel Heroine  by  Jill Monroe  description:

The woman who has sworn off romance finds herself trapped inside a romance novel…

Some think their lives are ruled by fate. Others by chance. But Annalise Morrison knows who crafts her destiny – an interfering author hag – and if Annalise ever finds that meddling writer, she is going to shove that keyboard down her throat. No one is going to tell her who to date, but grrr…why does Theo Griffin have to be so hot?

The man who’s only looking for a little T&A finds a whole lot of trouble…

Theo Griffin’s down to play hero to Annalise’s heroine. He’s all in for any kind of action between the sheets this novel requires. That’s what the hero does in these kinds of books, right? But this sexy woman entices him to ditch his plans and tempts him to give more of himself than he ever thought possible. Will he turn his back on love…or surrender?

It’s fun and games until the emotions turn real…

T&A   4 STARS

The first chapter is in Theo’s POV and it starts out a little crass, and had me sure this would be just a quick naughty read. However, once you get to Annalise and her realization she’s in a romance novel you’ll be dying laughing as much as I was. There was just so much to love about this book. First off, Annalise and Theo are both very well developed characters, who have a lot of fun within their parts. From commenting on how chapter headings are now appearing in her life, and how “one week later” leaves her a little fuzzy on what happened during that time, Annalise really helps to analyze a lot of the over used romantic tropes we all know, and that leave us sometimes wondering why the author is falling into the same old routines. Her fighting it and falling victim to it all makes for a rather unique take on the story. I loved how not only does Theo play the guy willing to believe this, but that he jumps right into it with her as well trying to figure out how they can come out of this with a happily ever after. Even Josie and Harper, her friends, are fun influences. Harper bugged me a little with her cynicism, but Josie helped to balance it all out. I honestly hope there are more of these sorts to come from Monroe. There are some typos and story issues like repeating them doing an action they just did, nothing too big and nothing to really distract from the story. My only real complaint is I wish the internal author had a bit more blurbs and part of the story.

 

Too Complicated COVER REVEAL!!!

Too Complicated by Bethany Lopez

(Lewis Cousins, #2)
Contemporary Romance – Coming April 24

Cover by Makeready Designs
Photograph by Lindee Robinson Photography
Cover Model: Garrett Pentecost

Reardon Lewis is a small-town lawyer in Cherry Springs, the place where he and his cousins grew up. With the body of a Viking and the heart of a geek, Reardon is loyal to his family and indispensable to his community. The only thing missing in his life is love, and it just so happens that the one woman he has always wanted but could never have has just moved to Cherry Springs.

Chloe Zahn is a successful businesswoman, a city girl, and a single mom. The last thing she ever planned to do was move to a small town, but that’s the choice she’s made to bring her son closer to his dad. The only problem? The Lewis family and the obvious disdain they have for her.

The more time Reardon and Chloe spend together, the harder it is to fight their growing feelings for each other. Things between them have always been Too Complicated, but Reardon knows this may be his last chance to win over the woman he’s always dreamed of, complications be damned.

Too Complicated is the second in an all-new small-town romance series by Bethany Lopez. Follow the Lewis cousins as they learn about love and loss in Cherry Springs, the kind of place where there are festivals for every occasion and everyone knows your business.

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Special Pre-order Price is $2.99

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EXCERPT:
Crazy tall, with blond, perfectly styled hair and bright-blue eyes, Reardon Lewis was not a hard man to look at. In fact, sometimes I would catch sight of him and my body would react in a completely unexpected way.
Kind of like it is now…
I was aware of the heat coming off his body, his shoulders so large that they were barely a centimeter away from mine, as he slouched into the seat, probably trying to reach some level of comfort. His hands were palm down on his thighs, and were so very large that just looking at them seemed to cause something inside of me to start twitching.
Then there was his smell.
Good Lord on earth, it was heavenly.
I’d caught a whiff every now and then, but at this proximity the bright, clean smell of him seemed to wrap around me in a warm hug.
“Chloe?” he asked, and I snapped out of my scent-induced stupor, and realized he’d asked me something.
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked, hoping he didn’t suspect that I was having a physical reaction to his presence. I clenched my thighs together and started counting to twenty, hoping to make the tingle go away.
“I asked if this is the first time you’re seeing it.”
“Seeing what?” I asked dumbly.
“Star Wars,” he replied with a chuckle, then narrowed his eyes at me. “Are you okay?”

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PURCHASE BOOK 1 IN THE SERIES

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TOO TEMPTING (Available now!)

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

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The Winner

The Winner  by  David Baldacci  description:

THE DREAM

She is twenty, beautiful, dirt-poor, and hoping for a better life for her infant daughter when LuAnn Tyler is offered the gift of a lifetime, a $100 million lottery jackpot. All she has to do is change her identity and leave the U.S. forever.

THE KILLER

It’s an offer she dares to refuse…until violence forces her hand and thrusts her into a harrowing game of high-stakes, big-money subterfuge. It’s a price she won’t fully pay…until she does the unthinkable and breaks the promise that made her rich.

THE WINNER

For if LuAnn Tyler comes home, she will be pitted against the deadliest contestant of all: the chameleon-like financial mastermind who changed her life. And who can take it away at will…

the-winnerThe Winner   3 STARS

This book took me forever to get through. While it was good, it just wasn’t so to the point I couldn’t wait to know what would happen next. You want to know the answers, but it also feels like it takes a bit too long to get the answers. More so, I really loved the Will Robie books, and Baldacci’s style of writing which feels so factual and to the point worked great with them. With him attempting to put a bit of a love story in here, and dealing with their growing emotions, made it not the best style. It’s like he had all the right parts but just couldn’t get them to flow together in a way that made LuAnn’s and Riggs’ feelings come across as realistic. I think that’s the one thing that should’ve had more of a build and less rushed. Plus the whole psychic bit that got thrown in for no reason, and how Jackson knew everything about LuAnn except the fact that she had no SSN, and so many other things that felt like they were holes in the story that I don’t want to mention for fear of spoiling it if you do wish to read this. There are good things. The plot was definitely different, and LuAnn was someone you could relate to, and her predicament is one that was understandable and tragic. You can’t help but feel sympathy for her throughout all of this. Charlie, Riggs, and even Jackson are well developed characters, but there was just something lacking in the end.

Remembrance: A Heart Lines Novel GIVEAWAY!!!

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Remembrance is now available and I’m so excited to bring you this story!

This is a spin-off of my Dirty Blood series and while it’s more fun to come in already knowing a bit about these characters, you do NOT have to read Dirty Blood first. You can just jump in here!

About Remembrance:

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She’s the cure that could save him. If only she could remember how.

Two years ago, 20 year-old Samantha Knight experienced a life-altering trauma. Unfortunately, she can’t remember what it was. Previously outgoing, fun, and carefree—it’s as if someone flipped a switch on Sam’s insides. Now, she’s afraid of everything, socially awkward, and convinced she’s going crazy. As Beyoncé would say, she woke up like this. Sam tries her best to juggle college classes, work, and the nosiest roommate ever, but behind the curtain, Sam’s life is all about keeping a firm grip on her own mind. And life is kicking her ass.

Alex Channing has only one enemy in this world: werewolves. Born and raised to fight in the supernatural military, he has become an expert at hunting and killing rabid werewolves. But when Alex is bitten and infected, he finds himself racing against a ticking clock for his own survival.

Alex’s search for a cure leads him finally to an oracle in a seaside town in California. And she gives him the reading of a lifetime. The key to his cure is a girl who forgets things, cries spontaneously, and might just be insane. And the only way she can save him is to do the one thing Alex knows is impossible: she has to remember.

Book 1 in the highly anticipated Heart Lines series, a spin-off of the bestselling and award-winning Dirty Blood series. Note: you do NOT have to read Dirty Blood first. You can start here!

“If you enjoyed the Dirty Blood series, Remembrance is a must-read!”

Available NOW! FREE for Kindle Unlimited!

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Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MZGCPMR

Enter to win!

I’m giving away some goodies to help celebrate! (There will be more giveaways in the FB group so make sure to find us there too.)

remembrance-release-giveaway

GRAND PRIZE: custom bracelet + signed swag + e-ARC of Inheritance (book 2 in the Heart Lines Series) By Heather Hildenbrand

2nd PRIZE: e-ARC of Inheritance (book 2 in the Heart Lines Series) By Heather Hildenbrand

Ends 3/5/17 ~ Open International.

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Can’t wait to hear what you think of this story! Happy Reading!

His Princess

His Princess  by  Alexa Riley  description:

Alena is a princess, and with that comes responsibility. Like marrying the giant caveman King Roman, who looks more like a warrior than a ruler. Everything about him is intense. Especially the way he looks at her. But she’s been promised to him, and there’s no way out.

Roman took one look and made up his mind. Princess Alena will be his and no one will stop him from taking her. Everything about her belongs to him now, and waiting one week for a wedding isn’t going to happen.

This beast of a man might just claim his princess before she has a chance to say “I do.”

his-princessBOOK 1: His Princess  3 STARS

If you want a quick read that’s a fun piece of naughty moments, then this is worth checking out. Tabby and Alena had me cracking up from the beginning, and I would’ve loved a whole story of just the sisters getting into mischief, because they were really the best part, and the most developed. However, once you get into the parts with Roman, it began to feel a bit off. Honestly, it may sound wrong, but if this had actually been set in more medieval times when arranged marriages and such were the norm this story might’ve made a bit more sense. In today’s world, Roman just felt a bit stalkerish, not overly creepy, but still not that romantic. And his use of the term “breeding”, as in wanting to get her pregnant, was definitely not romantic. It took anything that was supposed to sound sentimental and really made it more like him just wanting to spread his seed. I suppose I will stick with more plot oriented and complex characters, and leave the fluff for others to enjoy.

Chris Beakey has been INTERVIEWED!!!

chris-beakey-author-photo1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

My Twitter handle is @beaks318. Everyone can find me on Facebook, which is where I spend more time. I post my short stories and review books at my blog, located at blog.chrisbeakey.com. I LOVE hearing from readers, who can email me through my Web site at http://www.chrisbeakey.com.

  1. Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?

I play a lot of tennis, spend time on the beach (swimming and reading there in the summers and walking it other times of the year) . . . I also enjoy spending time with my friends and neighbors in the small town by the ocean where I live.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil . . . I think I wrote my first story in third grade. It was a spellbinding masterpiece about a treasure chest in an attic, with a ghost, which no one else would have ever thought of .

That’s actually partly true. I always wanted to tell stories, and was encouraged from my earliest years by teachers and my family. I didn’t foresee a clear path to success until my second year of college though. I was studying Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, preparing for a career in public relations because it would give me the opportunity to write for the mass media. I’d been writing fiction for awhile – essentially learning how to do it by doing it.

In my junior year I won a short story competition. In my senior year I wrote a comedic novella, in the style of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series, about campus life. It was published as a serial in the school paper. They were minor successes, but they showed I had the potential to shape a very small amount of talent and a very large amount of ambition into work that people would enjoy reading.

I decided then that I’d have a traditional career in media and would write fiction in my free time. For 20 years I woke up at 4:30 every morning so I could write for a couple of hours before heading out to the gym and then to my often-grueling day job. I wrote three novels that I couldn’t sell.

Something interesting happened shortly after I turned 40 though. I looked back at the failures in those books and admitted to myself that I’d been writing stories that I believed would be commercially marketable. Stories that were well-constructed, descriptively written, and safe from offending anyone in any way.

Since it hadn’t worked, I decided to try something different. I decided to write about my most visceral emotions and fears, without worrying about whether anyone would be bothered by what I wrote. I’d spent a lot of time as a mentor to at-risk kids, and had loved and worried about my sister’s kids as if they were my own. There had been countless moments when I’d imagined something happening to them – it was the kind of thing that would hit me in the middle of the night and keep me wide-eyed awake until the morning. I felt deep rage every time I read or watched a story about a child being abducted or abused, and actually thanked God often for the safety of the kids around me while questioning how God could allow any kid to suffer.

So I went there – to that dark, scary place in my mind. The result was Double Abduction, published in hardcover by J. Boylston & Company. It’s a thriller about Michael Bennett, a 25-year-old gay preschool teacher who becomes the lead suspect in the abduction of his beloved 5-year-old nephew – a case eerily similar to the abduction and murder of his other nephew 5 years before. The story takes place over 48 hours, which is how much time Michael has to rescue his nephew. That’s the “thriller” element.  The deeper story is about redemption – as Michael descends into Hell for the second time to save his nephew’s life and restore his good name.

It was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. It sold well, especially in libraries, despite being published by a small but earnest publisher that couldn’t really compete with the big houses. Half of my friends who are parents loved it because it was based on their worst fears. The other half of my friends who are parents couldn’t read it because it was based on their worst fears. In an ironic way I consider that a victory, because it made an impact.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

There’s a writer named John Farris who’s always been a mystery to me. He began writing slim crime paperbacks in the early 1960s, He evolved into a writer of paranormal/horror stories that literally pulsed on the page. He had his first hit with The Fury, about a psychic teenager who has to battle a secret government agency to save the life of her twin brother, an even more gifted psychic who’s been kidnapped so that he can be trained to be a government weapon. The book was made into a well-regarded movie by Brian DePalma. I’ve read it about four times . . . and if I live into my 70s I’ll probably read it at least three more times.

I’ve had similar reactions to John Farris’ other works. They’re stories about people who appear to live ordinary lives but who are challenged by their psychic sensitivities and abilities. His best stories are like the best stories by Stephen King and Richard Matheson – they’re far more “literary” than most snobs would admit. And completely real.

There are so many other writers who inspire me – including current greats such as Lisa Unger, Gillian Flynn, Joseph Finder, Harlan Coben, Jeffrey Stephens, Jordan Dane, John Lescroart, Peter Swanson, Norb Vonnegut, Neely Tucker, Greg Hurwitz and Lee Child (because there are days when I sorta’ wish I was Jack Reacher).

But when it comes to material I have to say it all does emanate from my own life experiences. Emotional triggers. Scary thoughts. Good people winning against more powerful bad people. And redemption – something that seems to be part of almost everything I write.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…fatal-option-cover

I’m about two-thirds of the way through my next thriller: Double Death. It’s about a psychic in the witness protection program who keeps outsmarting the bad guys who keep finding her. She also has $15 million in a Swiss bank account and an epileptic teenage nephew who depends on an illegal drug to stay alive. The other main character is Washington, DC police officer Gloria Towson, who helped Michael Bennett rescue his nephew and clear his name in Double Abduction.

I also write short stories and post them at www.blog.chrisbeakey.com.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I write very, very detailed outlines, but I always begin with a 2-3 sentence description/understanding of what the story is about. Fatal Option, for example, was always about a good man who does a bad thing for the best possible reasons – and then has to defy the law to try to get away with it and keep his family together. Double Abduction was always about a good guy living as a suspect in a child abduction who can only clear his name by rescuing another child. Double Death is likewise about a woman who’s effectively held captive by the U.S. Marshals until she can destroy the evil people who made her a captive.

Once I come up with that concise idea of the story I spend months in a stream-of-consciousness plotting mode . . . thinking about characters and scenes and even bits of dialogue that will move the story forward. I learned long ago that the best way to defeat writer’s block is to begin with this stream-of-consciousness approach because it frees me to be creative without boundaries.

But then I get very serious . . . whittling down that stream-of-consciousness outline to something much closer to a blueprint.

Then I start writing. And keep about half of what’s in that blueprint. It’s frustrating when scenes that seemed to work on the blueprint don’t work once you write them – and exhilarating when a scene takes flight  on a slightly different path than you forecasted.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I’ll describe my weakness first. I’m not very smart. Not very talented. Didn’t attend the Iowa Writer’s Workshop or obtain an MFA from American University or the University of Virginia or any of those other smart-people schools that field the writers who are selected by the literary journals. I’m too emotional, and too fixated on writing stories driven by people who are likewise emotional due to the terrifying situations they’re thrust into. And I’m simple. I don’t ever want my stories to be the kinds of works that have to be “analyzed” in order for people to determine what they’re about. You should always know what my story is about by the time you finished it. If not, I probably screwed up. I like stories with beginnings, middles and ends. And I’m especially happy when people tell me they came close to crying – or cheering as they read.

In terms of strengths, I’m always honest. I tell truths as I see them. And I always write about things that hit me in a visceral way . . . and always work to become better at this.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

I love people but am pretty introverted – if I go to a party I’ll typically end up talking to a librarian or a bartender or anyone who engages me in an interesting one-on-one conversation for most of the night. I think I’m pretty good at describing my work but I am very uncomfortable promoting it. Fortunately I’m working with a team of AMAZING people at Smith Publicity. They all read Fatal Option before agreeing to promote it, and from there they mounted a campaign that I’m especially comfortable with, which is driven by getting the Advance Reading Copies into the hands of everyday thriller readers and book bloggers.

These are the people I want to relate to – because after spending so many years inside my head writing I now want to know how people react to this story. I love this strategy. It’s not flashy. But it connects me to the readers, who matter most to me.

One tip I have is to find other people who have done this well and try to learn from them. And don’t try to do it on your own. There are zillions of books published every year. There are some that are truly amazing that no one ever hears about . . . and some that aren’t amazing at all that get far more attention because they’re pushed big time by the big time publishers that acquired them. The book marketing landscape truly is a jungle, with bamboo spikes growing out of the ground and snakes dropping out of trees underneath beautiful sunsets that prod you onward. You probably won’t get through it without someone to guide you all the way.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Try to figure out what makes you cry. Or laugh. Or lie wide-awake at night. Think about the most emotional moments of your life. Think about the most compelling people in your life. Draw from those experiences. If you do you’ll probably write better, and produce more.
  • Once you figure out which genre you want to write in, read as much work as you can from that genre. Learn from the masters. Emulate what you feel they do best while sticking to your unique voice and style.
  • Set aside time every day to write. This is so important – at least it is to me. I’ve met so many people who have told me “I always wanted to write a book” or “I have a great idea for a book” or “someday I’ll write a book.” Most of them don’t actually spend any time writing. I sympathize completely, because they’re typically people with demanding jobs, commutes back and forth to those jobs, and family responsibilities. But if writing is really important to you, you need to find a certain time of day when you can focus on it.

The best time of that day for writing is probably linked to your body clock. I’m a day person – I like to get up early, and am most creative in the first two hours after I’ve awakened. Other people are at the other end of the spectrum. They have to stay up late and can’t write until after 9 or 10 at night. You need to figure out where you are on that spectrum . . . and then you need to try and set aside at least an hour every day to devote to your writing. Consistency is important; I think we need these routines. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to write every day for decades before I sold my first novel. I then went to a demanding 10-hour a day job. I gave up a lot to do this. Stopped going out after work. Spent my evenings reading great books instead of watching TV. And spent lots of time going to writers conferences, interacting with agents and editors, and dealing with moments of validation and rejection. There were so many reasons to think I’d never succeed, but nothing could stop me. That’s the attitude shared by most successful writers.

The last thing I’ll say on this is to be easy on yourself. Editors, agents and readers can be harsh. New York City can be harsh. Librarians, though, are basically never harsh. They love writers and live their professional lives to create places for reading, introspection and creativity (so you really should get to know a librarian or two). Don’t dwell on the rejection letters. But do read the work of other writers – both published and aspiring – and engage in good dialogue with them. We’re all part of a community. We need to support each other.

Barbarian’s Redemption

Due to the number of books in this series I’m just going to add the link to the list of books I’ve reviewed by Ruby Dixon.

Barbarian’s Redemption  description:

For seasons, I have waited for her – my perfect mate.

In a tribe full of happy couples, I am alone. But I am not content to remain this way. There are no eligible unmated females left, so I will do whatever it takes to bring females back to our tribe…even if it means doing something wrong. Even if it means I must purchase my mate on the intergalactic black market. I will do anything to possess her, to claim her as my own.

But will my ruthless move turn my female against me before we ever meet? Can she ever forgive a male that bought her freedom?

redemptionBOOK 12: Barbarian’s Redemption  5 STARS

Bek has been a character that I didn’t necessarily hate, but you don’t really like either. He’s pushy and rather mean, and honestly I figured he’d get a girl like Liz, someone who is loud mouth and pushes back, but Dixon did better. He got Elly, a girl who needed nothing but patience and understanding, and helps Bek see that what he may think is best for everyone isn’t really taking into account the consequences that others may have to suffer. Bek really surprised me, and Elly is a wonderful character. Dixon really delves into the horrors of slavery, and helping not only Bek but the reader understand what it’s like to be considered nothing more than a thing. Truly a heartbreaking tale. However, it was so good Dixon even got me liking Vaza, of course knowing more of his back story and seeing how he treated Gail was too adorable to ignore. All in all this series continues to be a wonderful at not just spinning romantic stories, but looking into the issues people are dealing with and how each relationship has its’ own problems to work out.