Exciting News! Images Eternal Cover Revealed!

I am so excited to share this wonderful news from fellow author Toni DeckerImages Eternal is the first book in The Shoalman Chronicles, and it will be available for purchase September 15th.

How about a preview? Read on!

The blood of a Guardian, the heart of an artist, no one can hide the truth from Amanda Hayworth. Focusing her visions through her camera lens, she reveals secrets no one plans to expose, even her own. To protect herself, Mandy hides her ability in plain sight, photographing local bands and showcasing the dramatic images on her website. Most bands beg for a feature article. But the new lead singer of one particular up and coming band isn’t like anyone she’s ever met. Lucien entangles her with his mystery and makes Mandy want things she’s never wanted before—strings.
Lucien Solvak has to impress an influential music blogger whose promotion could skyrocket his new band to stardom or flush them straight into the gutters. But the moment Mandy aims her camera his direction, he fears the images will expose his ties to the immortal he’s sworn to protect and destroy his one chance to live out his musical dream. Hiding from her camera is tough enough. Denying his growing feelings becomes an impossible feat, forcing Lucien to choose between oaths as a Guardian, his rock-star dreams, and the girl he wants.
Secrets define them. Lucien’s bind him to silence; Mandy’s bring her nothing but pain and disappointment. Only when they focus on what’s behind the images can they embrace their secrets for what they are—truth

And now, a look at that beautiful cover:

Images Eternal CoverWasn’t that wonderful? I can’t wait for more…so I’m marking my calendar for September 15th, and I bet you will too. AND you can look for Shoalman Immortal, book two in The Shoalman Chronicles in January 2015.

Also, for a special treat, check out the blog post by amazing Cover Designer, Sharon Carpenter, on the behind the scenes look at the cover design.

Author Bios:
Who is Toni Decker?
tonidecker
Two authors telling one sizzling story after another about twenty-somethings getting along in their own crazy, fantastical worlds. Both women are wives and mothers, sharing brain cells and characters as if they only exist with the other.
Toni, one half of the Toni Decker brain, is an avid reader of all things Young and New Adult while Kira, the Decker half of Toni Decker brain, devours fantasy for midnight snacks.
Co-writing together, we leave it up to the readers to guess who writes which character *grin*

Contact Info:
You can chat with both Toni and Kira on a variety of social media. They love talking books, writing and life in general.
Twitter: @ToniPicker & @KiraDecker and stay tuned to @ToniDeckerBooks for more updates and teasers for the upcoming release.
FaceBook: Toni Decker & Kira Decker
Tumbler: Toni Decker Books
ToniDeckerBooks.wordpress.com

 

Secret to Success

We live in a society that demands instant gratification, whether it’s material items, weight loss or attaining our dreams.
Along the way we’ve forgotten that one secret that we need to be successful in whatever we want and that is hard work and tenacity.
When I first started writing, I thought the first editor would read my manuscript and fall in love. That didn’t happen. Nor did it happen after a year of submitting to various editors and agents.

It made me began to doubt.

But it did not make me give up.

I continued on, putting in the work and writing, even when I didn’t feel like it.

The most important piece of advice I ever received was to not give up. Ever.

So stop making excuses and start putting in the work.

Revisions and Then Some.

Since beginning my revisions I’ve really learned a lot about my characters. I know what you’re going to say. I should already know them front and back, inside and out. And I do. But when I started revising my novel I started seeing themes that I didn’t before.

I knew what my characters motivation was during their journey and I knew the conflicts they must face. But I didn’t realize the theme of my story until I started the revision process. I then realized the conflicts my hero and heroine would face wasn’t much different than what we face everyday. Their conflict is just on a much grander scale with fairies and demons and life and death situations. And a very hot Viking. : ) Gotta have that Viking.

 

 

The Call

When I started this journey to publication I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I knew there would be rejections and rewrites and revisions. I knew there would have to be daily discipline to sit down and write. And I knew that there would be those who wouldn’t really consider what I do an actual job.

But what I didn’t expect to find was an enormous network of authors who would not only extend their knowledge and advice but they would extend their friendship as well. It is through these friendships that I’ve found the encouragement to continue to write, to continue to edit and to continue to submit. It is those friendships that I have turned to after I have received a rejection letter, or start having doubts, or even think about quitting. And it is those pep talks from your author friends (who, by the way, are like no other entity on earth) that tell you to shake it off and get your butt back in the chair and continue on. Even if you don’t feel like it.

Because it’s when you do, when you continue forward on this journey, that it finally happens.

The Call!

And I am thrilled to announce that I signed my first contract with Gilded Dragonfly Books for a three book trilogy! My first book, VEILED SECRETS, will be out latter this summer. Of course when I have a specific launch date I’ll be posting that later.So check back!

Life is right now, and we all have a choice how to live it. Don’t waste it dreaming about what you want. Go after it! Pursue it! And don’t stop until you get everything you want!

So here’s the question. What do you want?

Because

 

Jax Cassidy on Writing

 

Writing was as natural as breathing for me. Of course, there’s always that transitional period when writing in diaries became writing poetry…and then, jotting down ideas turned into writing full-fledged scenes. I think I wrote and illustrated my first book when I five and then finished a short novel about a girl and her pig when I was eight. Writing was an addiction that didn’t stop there. It was a secret that I kept hidden from my family because writing was something so personal for me and kept me sane through those years of teenage angst and rebellion.

In middle school, I had an English teacher who totally changed my life. Ms. Cherry had big, bouncy blonde curls and a flamboyant yet infectious personality that wasn’t typical of any of the English teachers I’d ever known. She introduced me to the world of creative writing and opened my eyes to what literature could look like in my imagination, not from what was simply printed on the pages. She was also the one who told me I had the gift of storytelling and I should pursue it as a career. I didn’t know it then, but Ms. Cherry changed the direction of my dreams.

Creative writing took a back seat when I studied broadcast journalism in college but my focus was scattered. At the time I was trying to juggle school, acting gigs, and managing my family’s Chinese restaurant. It didn’t help that my parents were very traditional in thinking so it was added pressure for me—a person who had lost her direction.

During my second year of college I was offered an opportunity to work and live abroad. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Paris, France had always been one of those places on my bucket list and I spent three years immersing myself in the culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. Being so far away from home gave me a chance to re-evaluate my goals, and when I cleared my head, I was ready to return to the States with a fresh perspective.

I’m not going to lie, being a writer is difficult. The journey is plagued by obstacles, self-doubt, and fears. Along the way, some may want to tear you down or make you feel inadequate but you’ll also discover true friends who will weather the storm with you. Even with all the negatives, there are more positives as long as you have the drive and desire to succeed. Publishing is a tough industry and requires a thick skin but the only sage advice I can provide is: Never stop writing.

Yes, it’s that simple. Just write.

You can’t sell a product if you don’t have any.

One of my favorite quotes is: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” —Ernest Hemingway

Decipher it how you may but for me, it’s about giving yourself fully to the project. Mind, heart, and soul. Why? You can’t fool your readers because they will know when you’ve given it your all or when you’ve rushed a book because you lost your love for the story. I hear this often enough and I agree, “you’re as good as your next book”, so write, write, write!

You’re probably wondering if I’ve reached my goal. Well, I can definitely say that I’m inching closer and closer. After almost a decade of writing romance—not to mention another decade of prior writing experience as a journalist, copywriter, and screenwriter—I’ve finally signed a three-book deal for my WAR OF ANGELS paranormal series. Although I’m most known for my sensual contemporary romances, this was a challenge and direction I wanted to take. I’m not going to stop there because I have my eye on a few other genres…but as an author, I want to take chances, push myself, and grow as a writer. No matter how long you’ve been at it, there will always be something new to learn.

 

 

DEATH WARRIOR, Book One

 

War of Angels series

VIE is Death’s warrior, the most skilled of soul collectors and a powerhouse who has spent centuries making up for the sins of her past. Trust doesn’t exist in her vocabulary after being burned by the Archangel who condemned her soul for eternity. When she is forced to make a swift decision to save the sexy scientist, she never expected the tables to turn. Now marked as a traitor, she’s unleashed an apocalyptic chain effect that leaves her soul ripe for the collecting from angels, demons, and the very one who created her
 HIRO MATSUMOTO has returned from the dead, only to discover he’s become a human target alongside a sassy, foul-mouthed, and distrusting soul collector. A beauty that wields a mean set of miniature scythes, and a woman he’s willing to do anything just to crack her armor. While they figure out a way back into the good graces of heaven and man, he’s going to savor every moment rebuilding the trust that his savior has lost.

AUTHOR BIO

Jax Cassidy followed her dreams to Paris, then Hollywood to pursue a film career but managed to fall in love with penning sexy romances and happy endings. She writes contemporary, paranormal, and historical romances and is Co-Founder of Romance Divas, an award winning writer’s website and discussion forum. Jax is also known as one-half of the retired writing team of Cassidy Kent. She is represented by Roberta Brown of the Brown Literary Agency.

 

 

 

Website: www.jaxcassidy.com

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorJaxCassidy

 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaxcassidy

 

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/jaxcassidy

 

Encouragement

Writing is a lonely job. We all need some kind of support group, someone  rooting for us to never give up. It may be a group of fellow writers, family or spouse that is always there at the end of the day encouraging us to keep going.

I have an enormously supportive and loving husband who has been with me throughout this journey. He has made sure I had the resources available, whether it’s going to meetings, attending conferences, or doing research online t see that I reach my goal.

He’s never faltered in his support or never doubted that I couldn’t reach my goal. And for that I’m eternally grateful and blessed.

So who is your strongest supporter, standing behind you and championing you toward your dreams?

Anaheim RWA 2012

It almost didn’t happen. Well, for me anyway. When I found out that RWA Nationals were being hosted in Anaheim this year, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go. It was really far, I didn’t think anyone else from my chapter was going, and it wasn’t in the budget. But my supportive husband told me I was going anyway.

And I’m glad I did.

I met some of the most amazing people who encouraged and motivated me every day I was there. They gave me back my spark, my desire, my excitement.  I knew then as I know now that writing is the career I want and that I won’t settle for anything else.

What kind of affect did RWA 2012 have on you?

Deep POV

Deep POV. Ok. So your critique group  said you need it, but just how do you get a deeper POV when you write? I searched the internet and put together some ideas how you can achieve a deeper POV in your writing.

1.When writing a scene for your character stay in his/her head. You don’t need to use any tags, like she said, she thought,etc.  Take out tags.

2.Don’t use pronouns when referring to character POV.

3. Before you get ready to write your character’s scene from her POV, do a little role playing.  Image the scene in your head and use your five senses to  see what the character sees, smells, tastes, touches, hears. 

4. Don’t forget to add strong emotion that only your character POV can provide. Try to remember a time in your life when you felt the same emotion your character is experiencing. Use that as your fire.

 

Five Characteristics I Don’t Have, But Wish I Did

By Susan C. Muller

A favorite interview question seems to be: In what way is your main character most like you?

I doubt my readers would continue reading if my hero or heroine were that boring. If anything, I look for characteristics that are exactly opposite to my own.

In my novel, The Secrets on Forest Bend, my heroine, Jillian, has many qualities that I wish I had.  Here are five characteristics Jillian has that I don’t.

1. Jillian is tall and slim and likes to wear a tank top without a bra. Her dark hair is short and spiky and she has at least one tattoo. My hero, Adam, spends half the book wondering if she has a second one. If so, where is it? What would it taste like?

I, of course, am short and no longer thin. My days of going without a bra have long since passed. I modeled her hair after Halle Berry in that James Bond movie, but I’ve been told Lisbeth in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo also has spiky hair. I feel a little like the bakery shop lady who describes Jillian to Adam. “I kind of liked the hair. Wished I had nerve enough to try mine like that.”

As for the tattoo, I never approved of them. I told my kids they couldn’t get one while they lived under my roof. Lately though, I’ve been wondering. Maybe just a little one, on my ankle?

 

2. Jillian owns her own business. She inherited the family gun store from her father, but she’s built it up and expanded it. The store had a bad reputation when her father owned it, but now it’s one of the nicest stores in the county. Running a gun store, she has to deal with some rough characters, but she’s learned how to handle them.

I worked outside the home for many years. I worked for all types of people. Some were pleasant and a joy to be around. Some were crotchety and demanding. Working in unpleasant surroundings leaves you exhausted and tense at the end of the day.

I’ve always admired people who have their own business. The dedication and creativity necessary to make a business succeed isn’t for the faint of heart.

 

3. Jillian loves to cook. Her mother died when she was twelve and she took over the cooking for herself and her father. She’s even taken some cooking classes, just for fun. When Adam comes over, she grills pork chops and asparagus. She makes a fancy salad with types of lettuce Adam doesn’t recognize, and bakes a cinnamon-apple side dish.

When my kids were growing up, I cooked almost every meal. I never loved it, but I tried to do a good job and looked for healthy recipes that they would enjoy. Still, the smoke alarm was often called the dinner bell, and to this day they refuse to eat anything on a restaurant menu labeled blackened.

 

4. Jillian built her own deck. She hired a professional to erect the support columns and the stairs, but she did the rest. Her arms are toned and strong from carrying the lumber and hammering.

I can’t imagine taking on a project like that. I can bend a nail while hanging a picture and have hit my own thumb with a hammer more time than I care to admit. I once built a dollhouse from a kit, but I had several pieces left over and never did figure out where they were supposed to go.

My seven-year-old grandson can put together a complicated Lego Star Wars fighter jet before I finish reading the instructions.

 

5. At one time, Jillian rode a motorcycle. After her father was killed in an auto accident, she switched to a Volvo for safety.

This is a deep, dark secret, but I have never been on a motorcycle, and I’ve always wanted to. The idea of driving down the road, holding onto the handlebars, with the wind blowing and all that power at your command screams “Freedom,” and I’d love to try it. I know, they’re loud, they’re dangerous, and probably uncomfortable. But think of all the places you could go.

 

What’s your favorite book?  Can you find any characteristics that you share with the hero or heroine?  Or any you wish you had.

 

Susan lives in Spring, Texas with her rescue dog, Buster. When not writing or playing with her grandkids, she loves to travel and has visited every continent except Antarctica, but she’s been eyeing heavy parkas, just in case she gets a chance to go there.

The Secrets on Forest Bend is available from: www.soulmatepublishing.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Follow Susan at www.susancmuller.com

A Change of Scenery

After ten days of white sandy beaches, rustling palm trees and the whisper of ocean waves,  my vacation was over and I had to leave my little paradise and go home. I didn’t want to. I’d gotten an idea for another novel and I needed to soak up more inspiration at my current location. Not to mention,  I’d gotten quite used to ten days of basking in the sun, working in little snippets on my manuscript and indulging in twice a day Happy Hour. Yes, twice a day Happy Hour. Sigh.

When our plane landed in Memphis, we still had another hour and a half drive so we didn’t make it home until after midnight. And when I fell into bed that night, Iwas a little homesick for the Caribbean, where the hardest decision you have to make is where to go for dinner.

The next morning, I got up early and grabbed my coffee and slunk to the kitchen to pout in silence, dreaming of getting my morning run in along the ocean instead of the treadmill at the gym. As I sat by my kitchen window overlooking the backyard, the sun began to rise above the treetops. As dawn broke, I sat transfixed, amazed at what I was looking at.

When we left for vacation, the leaves on the trees were just turning green and the flowers were pushing up from the ground. But now, ten days later, the trees were lush and green, not to mention the grass had jumped up, begging to be cut. I headed to the front door and stepped outside. To my delight all the flowers in our flowerbed were bursting with pink and white color. While we were away, spring had arrived!

In fact I was now happy to be home, not giving another thought about my Caribbean island. Energized I set about getting things done so I could sit down and write. And write I did! I might have gotten my inspiration while being on vacation, I got my productivity from the change of scenery  when I got home. My enthusiasm for writing had gotten a boost just from a little change in scenery.

And don’t we all need that, a little change in scenery? Whether it’s going on vacation to some exotic island or taking a small road trip, writers need to step away from a story in order to make it better. We need that time to recharge and refresh. And when we do, we find we are writing better than we ever thought we could!