Monday, April 30, 2012

Writer's block

I am in the middle of a massive stretch of writer's block. My characters are screaming at me to get writing but the minute I sit down to do some writing, I lose all ambition. I know what's happening. I'm overwhelmed. It's the end of term at the college, so I'm just coming off of that. My current job will conclude on June 14, so my principal is trying to squeeze every bit of life out of me until then. For the past week, I have been in charge of the Scholastic book fair at school. I guess I'm expected to open it the minute I walk into the building. Here is a perfect example of this. I was in the bathroom about a half hour before school starts and all of a sudden there was an all call for me to open the book fair. Really?

One of the reasons why, besides not liking rush hour traffic, that I get to school early is to have at least an hour and a half of writing time by myself. I find when I'm locked in my office, I am my most productive. I  do write at home, when I can write, but it's not the same. There are many distractions at home. The minute I sit down, I think about he dishes in the sink, the dust bunnies rolling down the hallway after the cats like tumbleweeds, the ants crawling around my bathroom. You get the picture! I rely on that quiet time before work starts and I'm not getting it lately.

Oh, well...this will pass soon!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hate the new set up for Blogger

I have to say I totally hate the new set up for blogger. I can't figure it out. Ok, to be honest, I haven't had the time to figure it out lately. Another confession, I don't know if I want to figure it out. I have missed so many posts from people who I follow because I can't see them anymore. So, I apologize. I'm not ignoring you, I'm just clueless when it comes to this new set up. It's getting harder and harder lately to figure out what to write about never mind, now I have to figure out this new set up!!

The rant is done. I'm a little stressed. Can you tell? Got a super crappy night sleep last night, I did it to myself though. Stayed up late watching Dancing with the Stars and then the special after with the hubby. Motown didn't float my boat last night.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Never judge a book by its cover

Before I became a writer, I used to like this statement. I would use it to refer to people. I still totally agree with it except when it refers to what it should refer to which is the covers of a book. In that case, readers totally judge books by their covers. As an "author", I hate the phrase because I know now the importance of how having a good cover can change the success of a book.

As a reader, the first thing I look at is the cover. If it catches my eye as I'm trolling a publishers website, I'll read the blurb. It goes the same way if it's the opposite, if it's a terrible cover, I'll just pass it by. So every time a new cover comes in for my book, I just cringe. Is it going to be good? Am I going to like it? Is it going to help me sell my book? Is the cover model overused? Honestly, we know when we see the same cover model over and over again on the book covers. We become jaded after looking at the picture  after a while. Here is a perfect example from my own meager "pool". I live in the smallest state in the US and my Romance Writers chapter is also probably one of the smallest. One of my books has almost the exact same cover as another writer in the chapter. The only difference is the background. The cover model is the same one, with the same pose and everything. What are the chances of that happening? She self-pubbed her novel and I went through a publisher. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the cover. I have given approval on all of my covers. So ultimately, it falls on my judgment. But it really blew my mind. Don't you just want to roll your eyes when you see yet another Jimmy Thomas cover? He actually keeps a tally of how many covers he's on. The last time it came across my desk it was close to three thousand covers. The man is nice look, don't mistake that but is he the only cover model out there?

What it comes down to, is that our covers really help sell the book. We do judge books by their covers.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cracking the success code: Venue

I am convinced that there's more to a successful book than just writing a masterpiece. I truly am. There a quite a lot of factors that go into a successful book. So I figured, I'm going to write about a few that I think are important. By no means do I consider myself a successful writer. No, no, no! These are just my thoughts because I'm convinced it takes a lot more than just a good book. Heck, Nicholas Sparks has proven this fact!

The first think I think we need to look at is where are our books selling the most. The vendor! I know in my own case, my books seem to sell on Amazon but on Barnes and Noble, I have had extremely limited sales. Why is that? I don't know but for some reason for every one book I sell on Barnes and Noble, I will sell four on Amazon. Does one have a broader readership? Is the Kindle more successful e-reading than the Nook? Again, I don't know but it's something to think about.

Why, am I thinking about these things you ask? I think now a days when everyone knows  someone who is extremely successful at self-publishing, you ask yourself the same question. Would my books sell more if I self-published them? I know personally two authors who are extremely successful in the world of self-pub and a lot where the books are just doing average sales. So the answer is maybe yes and maybe no! I can say if you're going to self-pub, make sure you write a trilogy and put the first book for free. If you can hook the reader with the first book, they are probably going to buy your other two to see how the series ends up.

Basically, where do your books sell the most? Do you know?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Genealogy of a character

This weekend I went to my local Romance Writers chapter meeting and attended a really excellent workshop. The topic was character genealogy and I found it fascinating. Normally I'm a total pantser. I don't like to plot anything out, I write where the story takes me but we went through an activity during the workshop that really solidified my main character's family in my mind. I think it's going to bring a depth to my writing that I haven't had before.

This is especially going to be helpful considering I'm writing a 3 book paranormal series right now about three families of witches in Massachusetts. These families are big and can trace their lineage back to the Salem witch trials. So mapping out, the families seemed totally natural to me. The idea flowed and I didn't get my normal block when I try to map something out. 

Off to writing now!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Release day and Talking Two Lips Contest

Today is Friday the 13th but it is a lucky day for me. My third book Saddle Up is officially released today by Secret Cravings Publishing. This book is one of my favorites it's hot and funny. The main character Tasha is constantly putting her foot in her mouth and saying the wrong things.

Also, I'm participating in the Talking Two Lips "I didn't get to go to RT contest.". I'm going to post some questions on their loop that can be answered by reading the blurb and excerpt from Saddle Up. The winner will receive a free copy of the book. Here's the link to play and win: 

Saddle Up by Marie Rose Dufour

Tasha Lane never realized how boring her life had become until one phone call in the middle of the night totally changed it. Can this forty-two year old accountant put aside a nine-year age gap and perpetual “foot in mouth” disorder to find love and happiness with an ex-rodeo star turned rancher?
Three years ago, Devin Grant traded the rodeo circuit for a cattle ranch. If someone told him, he would fall in love with a woman he’d never physically met, he’d think they were kicked too many times in the head by a bull. When her brother is thrown from his horse, it was finally time to meet the sexy woman of his dreams and convince her, he was worth taking a chance on.
Can he convince her before she goes back to her boring life? Will she be able to overcome their age difference and her own insecurities?

“Hello.” Tasha fumbled around in the dark to answer the phone, spilling a glass of water all over the floor in her haste.
“Hello. Am I speaking to Natasha Lane?”
“Do you know what time it is? Who is this?”
“I’m sorry for the lateness, ma’am. My name is Devin Grant. I own the Double Barrel Ranch. Your brother, Dave, has been working for me this past month.”
“Oh. My. God. What happened? Is David alright?” Tasha felt like her heart was going to explode out of her chest.
“He will be. His horse threw him earlier today when it was spooked by a rattler. He broke his leg in three places and had to have surgery. He is resting right now.”
She felt like she was paralyzed.  She was hearing the words that Devin was saying, but it felt like he was talking to someone else. She was numb. David had been hurt. He was the rock in the family. If something needed to be fixed, you called David.  If you were in trouble, you called David. He was always there for his family. Except for one month every summer, he flew to Colorado and worked on a ranch.  He loved it.  It was so different than working in a bank.  Last month, he decided to quit his job and move to the ranch permanently. The rest of the family didn’t understand, but Tasha did.
“How can you leave me alone with Mom and Paul?” Tasha had joked with him while choking back the tears. She would miss him so much.
“You’re just worried about how you will have to start hiring someone when things break around here. You’re not going to miss me, you’re going to miss my tool belt.”
“You know, you’re right. Just hand me those yellow pages out there. With the rate that things break in this house, I’m going to have to find someone and put them on speed dial.”
She stared at her brother as her heart was breaking. “You will be careful, won’t you? It’s a hard life you’re choosing to live.”
“Careful is my middle name. Now come and give your little brother a hug.” He enveloped her in a huge bear hug.
“You know that this is going to make me happier than I’ve ever been before, right?”
Tasha nodded, not trusting her voice. The next day he was on a plane for the ranch.
“Natasha. Natasha. Are you still there?
The voice on the phone broke her out of her revelry
“Yes, yes.  I’m still here,” she whispered in a small voice.
“I’ve arranged a plane ticket to be available for you at the USAir terminal. Do you think that you could be ready and at the airport in two hours?”
“What? What are you saying?”
“I figured that you’d want to come here and see how he is for yourself. So I bought you a plane ticket. It’s waiting for you. The only thing is that it’s in two hours. It was the only flight available. You’re really going to have to pack quickly if you want to make it.”
“I don’t know what to say. It is extremely generous of you.”
“Ma’am, you’re brother is my friend. I know that the two of you are close. He’s always talking about you. Sometimes I feel we’ve already met from the stories that he tells. He’s going to want to see you when he wakes up.”
“I can’t thank you enough. I’ll make the flight. You’re going to have to give me the hospital information. I’ll go there the minute I land.”
“I’ll be at the airport waiting to bring you to the hospital myself.”
“Ok. So I’ll see you in a few hours. Oh, and by the way, Mr. Grant, if you call me ma’am one more time, I might have to kick your ass despite your generosity.”
“Not a problem, sweetness. I’ll tussle with you anytime you want. See you at the airport.”
Tasha stared at the phone for a few minutes after he disconnected. What did he mean by that? Could he have been flirting with her over the phone? Nah! Just her mind playing tricks on her.
Two hours later, she was sitting in first class and on her way to Colorado to make sure that her brother was all right and to meet the intriguing Mr. Grant.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Heat Waves by Amber Skyze

My very good friend, Amber has a new release today. It is an exceptional book. Check it out!!!!!

Heat Waves - Available Now!


Ever wonder about the face behind the voice of a radio DJ?

Nina Walters has. She can’t get enough of disc jockey Ty’s sexy baritone. He has her masturbating to his voice daily. When he challenges his listeners to a contest Nina wants the upper hand. Lucky for her Cindy, her best friend works at the radio station.

Ty is offering a dream date, with him, to one lucky winner. He’s almost positive no one will guess the answer correctly. So, when Nina does he’s floored. Being a man of his word, he goes through with the date.

Sparks fly, but secrets linger. Will their heat for one another be enough to ride the waves of deception?


“So are you tired?” she asked, lifting his shirt and running her fingers up his stomach.

Was he tired? How could he possibly be tired with such a sexy woman stirring his manhood awake?

“Depends. What did you have in mind?” he teased.

“A little of this.” She reached up and kissed his neck, while her hand worked the button of his jeans. “And a little of this.” She nibbled on his earlobe, rendering him useless.

He grabbed her and tossed her down on the seat. “I’m not tired in the least,” he said, tugging at her shirt. “I want to devour you.”

She squirmed under his touch. “I’m feeling a little sleepy.” She faked a yawn.

Ty loved a challenge. “You can go to sleep, but first let me show you what you’ll be missing.”

He brought his lips down on her breast. He felt the bud hardening under the heat of his breath. His fingers roamed her soft skin, searching for the other breast. When he reached his destination he tweaked the nipple between his fingers. She closed her eyes.

“Very sleepy.”

She was going to play that way, was she? He’d show her tired. Lifting her shirt over her head, she didn’t resist him, but she didn’t assist him either. Laying like dead weight she continued with her pretend sleep. But Ty knew it was only a matter of time before she stopped faking and joined in on the fun.

With her shirt off and her bra opened, he worked on shrugging her out of her jeans. It wasn’t easy, but he managed. Now she lay fully exposed – an open invitation to do whatever he pleased to her.

He placed gentle kisses on her flat stomach. Tiny hairs stood on edge, her skin prickled under his touch. She was becoming aroused. He could smell it in the air. He admired her perfectly trimmed pussy as he made his way to prove his point. As he drew closer to her pussy her arousal became more pronounced.

Sleeping, my ass. Let’s see you sleep through this.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Trailers

I want to wish everyone a great holiday weekend. I have today off, so with all days off, I have a list of things to do a mile long. Writing doesn't even show up anywhere but I'm hoping to squeeze in some time later today.

We stay home for Easter, which makes things a lot easier. I usually spend the day in my pj's, cook what I want, eat what I want, and do whatever I want. It's MY holiday.

My one goal for the weekend is to try and figure out how to create a book trailer. I know they probably don't boost sales all that much but any sale is a sale.

I have a MAC. Any words of advice....

Peace out,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Irish Rising new review

Irish Rising received a review in the new JERR newsletter. It was a very pleasant surprise to wake up to this morning. Check it out!!

Title: Irish Rising Author: Maria Rose Dufour Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing Reviewer: Silla Beaumont Rating: 5 Stars Heat Level: O Page ~ 25JERR Newsletter April 2012
The last thing Kim expects while on vacation with her cousins in Ireland is to meet a man. And not just any man...the only man she’s ever burned for within seconds of meeting! Duncan’s family legend is something he’s never truly taken seriously, until he laid eyes on the stunning American wandering near his bar. Almost immediately, Kim and Duncan can’t keep their hands off of one another, but it’ll take a little more than Irish luck for the two of them to make it once Kim learns the secrets Duncan has tried to keep hidden.
Ms. Dufour has cast a magical spell on Irish Rising, I’m sure of it! From page one, I could not put this book down for more than a few minutes at a time without itching to get back into it. I adored the mystical elements in the book, particularly the family’s mermaid lore, and I enjoyed how it affected Duncan’s family positively throughout the years. But the best part of the book was the heat and chemistry that radiated off the e-page every second that Kim and Duncan spent together. Every scene was hot as sin and brilliantly written, and both characters seemed to be under that magical spell of Ms. Dufour’s. Though Irish Rising could use a little editing work, the few mistakes barely distracted me from being utterly enchanted by this terrific book. I’m really looking forward to checking out more gems from Ms. Dufour!