Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Dog's Purpose

Hi All!

Once again I’m blogging to the dog lovers out there. Last week we had a terrible storm here in Minnesota. Knocked out my power for three days! Of course we had generators running but that was to keep food cold and frozen in the 90 degree temps.

So what is a bored girl to do? (Like I even have time to be bored.) But, when there’s no power in the country living, there’s no clothes washing, drying, or all the fun cleaning opportunities that include running a water pump. No computer, television or stereo. Toilets don’t even flush unless we get a bucket of water. But there is always those boxes of photos that need to be gone through, or a closet to clean, dusting, grass mowing and yard pickup with all the branches and trees from the storm scattered about.

Hmmm…it’s pretty warm in the house with no air-conditioning…

I happened to walk into my bedroom In a quick second I decided that it had been far too long since I’d enjoyed…well, delighted in the sensual feel of my sheets against my bare legs, the pure unadulterated joy of letting that hot emotion of relishing one little act that sends heat racing through my blood, that tingling sensation that curls your toes…reading a GOOD BOOK! There on the floor beside my bed was a book my girlfriend had given me three months ago! Unabashedly, I dove on it, flopped to the surface of my bed and opened it up! Me? Read? Well what the hell, there was no power but plenty of sunlight so I did it! I actually spent the afternoon reading.

No not hot, erotic romance, but a story t my friend had urged me to read. It was called, A Dog’s Purpose. The rest of the day, I was lost in a story that so grabbed me, it’s hard to explain. W. Bruce Cameron, the author, took me on a mystical journey inside a dog’s brain. You see, this story was from the dog’s viewpoint and written about how a loving companion searches to find his soul purpose for living. It was magical and brilliant at the same time. Yes, if you’re not so much an animal lover, the essence of the book may escape you. But if you love furry, wet kisses and know when you’re feeling out of sorts, that the warm heartbeat cuddled up beside you can make the world right, then I guarantee you’re going to love this tale…er, um tail…

Yes, you will need a box of tissues. You will laugh out loud, then quickly swipe the tears on your cheeks. That story so stayed in my mind for days after I returned the book to my friend, that I downloaded my own version to my Nook. Of course, I couldn’t let it go and was compelled to re-read the last chapter. Lo and behold, there on the screen at the end of the story was the information that Mr. Cameron had just released a sequel in May 2012 called, A Dog’s Journey. Well, boom! That second story was downloaded and I had to steal some time, but I finished that one, too!

All I can say is open your mind and read these two stories. One thing for sure, you will never look at your pets the same way. It’s been a week and one of my biggest heroes, Toby, is still padding around my brain.

So, throw yourself a bone…and read this rich tale of love and companionship!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Promo: What works? What doesn't?

As a bottom of the list author who has to pay for promotion, it's hard to decided what works and what doesn't. Over the years, I've given away more gadgets with my logo & website on them than I could possibly count, not to mention the wads of cash these things have cost. Yet, I still don't know what works. What item catches the reader's attention enough to make them check out your website and hopefully purchase your books?
It's an ongoing struggle to figure this out. I want to hitch my wagon to the promo horse that will place my stuff in everyone's hands world wide. I want to be the next "Fifty Shades" but better written with amazingly believable characters, plot and sex scenes. Do you think the person that wrote that book went around passing out pens and bookmarks at readers events trying to get noticed? I highly doubt it.
Did she just get lucky? Nope. I don't think that's it either. I think she hit the promotional jackpot. But how?

I'm opening up the discussion for what you believe works and what doesn't in the world of bottom and mid-list authors. How do we become A-list, got-to-have authors? What promo do you believe will make us stand out in the crowd? What item have you collected at a reader's event that you've kept and used and gone to the author's website because of it? What do you throw away without even reading the promo?

I look forward to your feedback.
Tara Nina

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Can't Go Home

You Can’t Go Home
A writer friend of mine and I were talking recently about our first romance books. I loved Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and would read and reread her stories. I remember  reading ASHES IN THE WIND so many times, the pages fell out. I recently went out and got another copy of it because I hated that the one I had was held together by elastics.

We talked about THE WOLF AND THE DOVE and THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER and she asked when was the last time I had read one of KEW’s books. I said I hadn’t read one in years. Probably not since I started writing.

She said, “Don’t! It’ll never be the same.”

The more I thought about it, the more I think she’s right. Before I learned more about the craft of writing, I think I was a happier reader. Now I go back and look at my earlier books (SURPRISE and TAKE YOUR MEDICINE were the first books I EVER wrote) and absolutely CRINGE at what I read.
It’s kind of like when you look through your photo album from high school and you see the terrible hair and the awful boyfriend you thought was “It”. Cringeworthy indeed. (Hey, I grew up in the 80’s you have no idea how bad those pictures are.)

I still have all my KEW books, but I doubt I’ll read them again. I don’t want to ruin the good memories I had reading those books on snow days or on the beach when my biggest worry was whether I’d have a date for the prom… or if I had enough hair spray. . .

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rain, rain, go away...

So two months ago some of the UK was under a hosepipe ban because the winter had been too dry. People moaned and complained about not being able to water their gardens or wash their cars. Bet their sorry now. July has been the wettest the UK has had in decades, perhaps ever. There’s widespread flooding and it’s been weeks since we saw any proper sunshine. On the positive side, the hosepipe ban has been lifted. I’m just glad I live on high ground.

I’m not complaining though, I’d much rather have our rain than the 100F temperatures people in parts of the USA are suffering right now. It’s easy enough for me to put up an umbrella or put on a rain coat and still get on with my day. I can’t imagine dealing with those temperatures everyday and getting anything accomplished. I still hope the weather clears up before our summer is a distant memory but it helps to remember that I have a holiday booked in November. In the meantime I’ll don my coat, put up my umbrella and make the most of it.

How are you coping with the weather this summer? Are you sweltering in the heat or dancing in the rain with me?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A little murder with your dinner?

I've been writing erotic romance for nine years. In that time I've published 8 short stories, 5 novellas and 6 full-length novels. In each one I have explored some aspect of the D/s lifestyle, from the extreme Master/slave relationship to a simple power exchange between a married couple looking to spice up their love life.

But in all that time, in all those stories, I've never tried a murder-mystery. Well, that's not actually true, I do have a partial mystery sitting on my laptop that I never finished (wrote myself into a corner at 20,000 words and there it sits). It's a hard genre to write in and more focused on plot than relationships. Murder-mysteries have more characters, plot twists and red herrings than I've ever dealt with until now.

So I approached Shooting Star with some trepidation. Could I actually manage all those characters? What about the false clues? Could I successfully hide the true killer until the reveal at the end? I was nervous and excited all through the writing of this novel.

Last week I took the plunge, releasing it as a self-published book. It's already available in all ebook formats and print is coming soon (found some formatting problems in the proof copy. Fixing those and hope to have print copies available shortly). The story involves not one, but two couples (okay, three) who run afoul of one very nasty person intent on killing.

As Sherlock would say, "The game's afoot!" Read the book and leave reviews (on the site or on your own blogs) and let me know if I successfully pulled it off! My next novel is one for the Sweet Spot series and I'm thinking there may be murder prowling the streets of Port Clef if Shooting Star is well-received.

Play safe!