Saturday, September 21, 2013

Six Line Sunday - A Warlord's Lady

Well, I have just got the cover for 'A Warlord's Lady', and I love it!
So to celebrate I'm posting up a six-line Sunday, although it's a little more than six lines... because I couldn't help myself!

Magic, murder and mayhem collide when an ordinary woman meets a powerful warlord — and writes a bestselling, tell-all book...

‘Why?’ he asked. ‘Why did you write it?’ His voice was soft, and casual, as if they had all the time in the world.

Sabra couldn’t speak. Her throat felt constricted and her breathing limited.

‘I’m flattered, of course, that you enjoyed my…prowess so greatly. But still, a lady should not divulge…such…secrets.’ A smile tugged at the corner of his arched lips, flashing a hint of white teeth in a way Sabra had secretly thought was beyond sexy. Still she couldn’t form words, so dry was her throat, so wet were her loins and so bewildered was her mind.

For another long drawn-out moment, Sabra stared at Cain; it was like standing next to a god he was so unutterably perfect. Yet, as she looked closer, there were slight dark shadows marring the smooth, brown skin of his face, and lines of tiredness she’d not seen before.
‘Do I pass your muster, Sabra?’

A Warlord's Lady is up for pre-order now!
Here's the official blurb:
Magic, murder and mayhem collide when an ordinary woman meets a powerful warlord — and writes a bestselling, tell-all book...
Eighteen fateful months ago, Sabra was kidnapped by the infamous magician warlord Cain Dath, and her body just won't let her forget. Hidden in the humid depths of the Laos jungle, she shared everything with him, but he never shared his heart.

In his position of power, Cain cannot show weakness. He must lead his people to freedom and no one — not even the woman he's fast becoming obsessed with — can stand in his way.

Then Sabra sells her story of love slavery in a tell-all exposé and brings fame, fortune, and every one of his enemies down upon them both. Now, she is open to attack on all fronts, and he can no longer stay away. The man who enslaved her may well be the only man who can save her.
Have a great Sunday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Art of recieving criticism....

Once you have reached publication, your book, your work, your love, your passions are on public display, ready to be critiqued by all and sundry. This means you will be laying yourself open for some wonderful accolades but also the inevitable criticisms. I have seen over the internet some truly disturbing accounts of authors attacking reviewers and reviewers attacking authors.... so how does one avoid this negativity?

Well, firstly understanding that you can't you can't help what people think about your work, goes a long way to steering clear from the potentially nasty. Just like everyone likes a different flavour of icecream, there will be some who hate all icecream.... and basically so what? That's life, people are free to like and dislike whatever they want. So you must realise, that once your book is out in the public domain... you have opened the door to the critics...

Yes, I know this... I hear you mutter, but how do you deal with the bad ones?

Foster a level of understanding and empathy with your readers and critics alike - in understanding that we're all different, it's easier to accept the critics.

1.Understand that even though it may be 'your best work', realistically it won't be without it's faults and flaws... No one's plot, grammar, punctuation, character arc, GMC etc is ever completely perfect. Jane Austen comes close, but you could still pick holes in it if you wished to do so!

2. Understand that your readers are unique people, and so to them, a heroine you think is kick ass and cool may come across as a bully. Similarly the Alpha hero you wrote to be powerfully sexy has come across as a narcissistic psychopath to your reader. You can't help how people interpret your characters. You just can't.

3. Understand that some people just like being critical, just as some like being mean. There may be very good reasons for them doing so, or there may not be. Ultimately, why someone chooses to write negatively about your work is entirely up to them. Even though it may offend you, it is their prerogative. Be magnanimous about it.  That's not to say, however, that sometimes, (or all the time) it doesn't hurt. A hard review inevitably causes that pain-filled swelling of self doubt and you may well find yourself worrying; "was it really that bad?". Or you may feel very angry, the review may seem like a personal attack, and those feelings are perfectly OK too... What is not OK, is to react to it. Even though a negative review has your name it connected with hurtful comments. It isn't really personal, all though it may feel like it. That person doesn't know how you take your tea, or that you secretly had a weird cartoon crush on Astro Boy as a kid. They don't know you. All they know what you write, and that they didn't like it. So what? Ultimately it doesn't matter, and heck, at least they read it, and hopefully paid for the privilege!

4. Never, EVER, respond to negative reviews. It may be difficult if you believe yourself to have been unjustly attacked over your writing. Yes, you will want to defend yourself, but the best defence is to say nothing at all, and let that review disappear into the ether.

Remember that your readers ARE NOT you.
They aren't going to connect with your fictional world like you do, love your characters like you do. They might still like or love your writing; but no one, and I mean NO ONE will have the same connection with your fictional world and its inhabitants like you do.

Try and take criticism constructively, see if you can understand their point. If not, shrug and go have a cup of tea safe in the knowledge that all people are different, just like the guy with halitosis on the bus. No judgements.

Simply knowing and truly understanding this will lessen the sting of that negative review.

And on that note, I bid you happy Friday the 13th, may your day be a good one, and reviews always kind!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Fossegrim... the what?!

Imagine if you will, a stunningly handsome man, semi clad; a sculpted body rivalling the perfection of some ancient Greek god.  He sits alone, playing a violin in the forest, luring and tempting women by his enchanted music...

(David Garrett, Violinist)

Is this some twisted erotic Pied Piper?

Well, yes, kind of...
Meet the Fossegrim (also known as näcken, strömkarlennäck, nøkk, nøkken, strömkarl )
Hailing from Scandinavian Legend, the Fossegrim, is most often depicted as semi clad (or naked) male faerie playing an enchanted violin. His amazing music lures women (and children) to lakes and streams, where they drown.
However, not all Fossegrim legends are bad. There are some accounts that suggest he may choose to teach a human how to play the violin as beautifully as he does, so that they may be successful as musicians.
Additionally; "Not all of these spirits were necessarily malevolent; in fact, many stories exist that indicate at the very least that Fossegrim were entirely harmless to their audience and attracted not only women and children, but men as well with their sweet songs. Stories also exist wherein the Fossegrim agreed to live with a human who had fallen in love with him, but many of these stories ended with the Fossegrim returning to his home, usually a nearby waterfall or brook. Fossegrim are said to grow despondent if they do not have free, regular contact with a water source. "
Read more:
There are some variations in the physical descriptions of the Fossegrim as well. Some suggest he is a beautiful but ordinary shaped man, another suggests he is a smaller, and in stead of feet moves about on a mist of water vapour. Finally, some legendary tales speak of the Fossegrim's unique ability to shift genders, which could be awkward!
In 2009  there was a competition in Sweden called "Water Fairy of the Year", in which naked men stood in a picturesque stream and played music before crowds of onlookers. The best musician won the title. Ironically perhaps, the winner was playing a horn...not actually a violin at all.
 **male nudity viewer discretion required!**
All I can say, is that the water must be terribly cold...
And on that totally bizarre note, if you happen to hear strange music in the forest, use your discretion before going to investigate. It could be any number of things including:
a) some strange naked Swedish musician trying to win a competition.
b) a sexy mythical male fossegrim trying to drown you.
c) a sexy mythical, transgender fossegrim also trying to drown you.
d) a fossegrim trying to teach you how to play the violin.
Or most likely
e) a disturbing hallucination.
Have a marvellous week!