Tag Archives: New England

My Path to Publication… (More like my rocky road.) by Ashlyn Chase

An excellent, inspiring article by Ashlyn Chase. You don’t want to miss this one!

 

I’ve always been extremely creative. I missed the clues that I might enjoy writing…like loving my creative writing class in high school and even earning an A+ from a tough teacher, but like I said—Duh. I had already decided to pursue fine art, so I stubbornly stuck to that goal. But at Mass College of Art I discovered there were far more talented people than I, and we were all going to starve. LOL

Fast forward several years with twists and turns like marriage, birth, divorce, and I became an RN to put food on the table. In nursing, creativity is highly discouraged by doctors who want you to follow their orders to the letter. Sheesh. I needed an outlet!

I took a course in screenwriting. That taught me how to tell stories, but Hollywood passed on my romantic comedies. Oh well. I lived closer to New York, anyway. So I turned my ‘movies’ into novels and found where I fit in.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Well, I don’t have to worry about that! I monitored my reading tastes to see what I might like to spend months writing. (Novels are a hellova lot longer and more difficult to write than screenplays.) I discovered that I liked reading the hot stuff! When I accepted this (and stopped blushing) I tried writing a steambath of a novel.

Back in the early part of this century, traditional publishers held the reigns. ebooks were almost unheard of. I had joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and was trying the traditional route along with everyone else. I received a lot of good advice and continued to practice my craft, while submitting my first finished novel and getting a slew of rejection letters. Many self-published authors have missed this awesome opportunity to thicken their skin. There’s nothing like being told, ‘Thanks but no thanks’ to boost your self-esteem. (Pass the chocolate, please.)

Anyway, a fellow author who liked my writing but knew what I was up against, mentioned I might try epublishing. I didn’t know what it was. Heck, nobody did back in 2002. So, I looked into it and researched a few electronic publishers. I narrowed it down to three and submitted my manuscript. (Not the story that was rejected everywhere. By then I had taken the hint.) But I used what I’d learned from it and wrote a better book. I wasn’t letting rejection discourage me.

My ego finally got a boost when all three epublishers offered contracts! Oh my goodness. I picked one and began publishing. Let’s fast forward again. My ebooks were doing well. Reviews were positive and my romantic comedies were being nominated for (and winning) awards! I was having fun! Cool. I got from my readers what I didn’t get from a lot of my fellow writers. Respect. Epublished authors at the time were considered inferior. Erotica authors were considered the red-headed stepchildren. I was both.

Time to fast forward again. I kept trying to find a publisher that would put my books on the shelves at Barnes and Noble, make bookmarks for me, contract non-English translations…in other words, someone to make me world famous. LOL. I’m nothing if not a big dreamer. But it’s a funny thing about dreams. They won’t come true if you let them go. Eventually I wound up in the right place at the right time with the right idea. Lo and behold, I received “the call!” Yes. Editors used to call, not email. Some still do.

In 2010 my first mass market paperback came out. It was the start of a series. The series did well and garnered a spin-off series. The spin-off did well and they contracted another spin-off! Okay…we’re nine books into this thing (as of the August 1st 2017 release, Never Dare a Dragon.)

Are we done? Not by a long shot. I’m calling my Sourcebooks titles “The series that never ends.” I’m working on book 2 of another spin-off now. I’ll give you the run-down in easily digestible bites.

Strange Neighbors – the name of the book and series that started it all. Book 2 is The Werewolf Upstairs and book 3 is The Vampire Next Door.

1st Spin off series: Flirting with Fangs. Book 1 is Flirting Under a Full Moon; Book 2 is How to Date a Dragon; Book 3 is Kissing with Fangs.

2nd Spin off series: Boston Dragons. Book 1 is I Dream of Dragons; Book 2 is My Wild Irish Dragon; and book 3 is Never Dare a Dragon. Here, we’re up to date—publishing-wise.

3rd spin off series under contract: Phoenix Brothers. Book 1 is Hooked on a Phoenix. Finished and sent to my editor, waiting for the dreaded red pen. And what am I working on now? Book 2. Title? I don’t really know yet. I’m calling it Wing-men. I’ve rarely kept the titles I started with, so I’ll have to get back to you on that.

By the titles alone, I hope you can tell what I write. Light paranormal romance. And I’m not just an epublished or traditionally published author. Now I’m an Indie author too. The rights to several of my old epublished books have reverted to me. So, I’m updating, rewriting, and rereleasing many of these books, independently.

The roller coaster ride continues. I have an agent next to me now. She keeps me from screaming too loud or demanding the ride stop, because I can’t take it anymore.

Advice to the newbie… Yikes! Are you sure you want to do this? If no one can talk you out of it, no matter how many sensible arguments they throw at you, you just might make it. Ignore the haters and hang in there.

And if you’d like some company, I’ve started a wonderful conference for readers and writers that takes place in New England, smack dab in the middle of foliage season!

 

 

Wow…I’ve always been fascinated with New England. What a wonderful conference…I’d love to come. Maybe I’ll plan to do that.

Thanks so much for joining me today, Ashlyn!

 

Find Ashlyn here:

http://www.ashlynchase.com
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshlynChase

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Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers

The Wild Rose Press Lobster Cove Series – Enchantment, a Ghost, and Fun Answers

Two more stories to introduce from the Lobster Cove series. Check out these new releases and fantastic covers!

 

Nicci Carrera – Love Caters All, Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Was there anything in particular that inspired your idea? 

Yes, the food truck festival in my home town. There was a New England themed food truck featuring lobster and clam chowder. I love good food and was first in line. Then I knew I had to have a character who is a caterer. 

What was it like working on a series where you had to coordinate with other writers?

Wonderful! I’ve never had so much fun in my writing career. I love collaborating with other authors. Everyone was helpful and the creativity flowing in our online group was inspiring. I loved sharing my bits that featured other authors’ characters because everyone was supportive. Then the help in getting the word out has been really wonderful, a huge boost. Publicity is the hardest part. So, thank you, Alicia! I really appreciate the chance to be on your blog. 

Was there any part of your story that was taken from real life…that you can tell us about, that is? 🙂

Yes, my husband is a pilot like Rick, and the town that Maya and Rick flew too in one of the scenes, is the same place we flew to when we were very early on in our dating. He wanted to see if I liked to fly! I found that out later. I passed with flying colors. *wink* Now, boating is another matter…I don’t do so well with that. 

Besides the main characters, who is your favorite character in the story and why? 

Mama. She came to me fully realized. I just love her warmth. When writing her scenes, I felt like I was snuggling right up with a real mother. She is wise, devoted to her family, a great cook, non-judgmental, and has a great sense of humor.  

What do you love that most people would find odd?

 Airports 

What do you dislike that most people would find odd? 

Cruises.

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Blurb:

When hard-driving CEO Rick Nordan arrives in Lobster Cove under strict orders from the family doctor to take a break, he discovers the rental house comes with a family attached, including one sexy dynamo of a caterer. She’s nothing like his ex-fiancee who wouldn’t sign a pre-nup, but maybe that means she’s the real deal and not a gold digger.

Maya Cruz wants life for her widowed mother to get easier by renting out her house during the summer. But teaching Mama business means explaining Rick isn’t a “guest,” he’s a “customer.” And the first thing Mama does is invite Rick to join their family activities. Having Rick around wouldn’t be so bad if Maya didn’t find him so attractive. The last time she fell for a vacationing millionaire, she had her heart broken.

She swore off his type, and he’s not looking, but this might be a recipe for love. 

Excerpt:

“Doc made me unplug. Ordered me to read books. Even went so far as to write out a prescription.” Rick reached in his pocket.

She took the paper he’d retrieved and read it. Sure enough, their website and the words, No electronics, read a book were scrawled on an Rx sheet in Doc’s handwriting. She handed back the note. “I’d recognize Doc’s penmanship anywhere.”

“Penmanship!” Rick grinned. “You can see from Doc’s chicken scratch, if I had to rely on the Internet for entertainment I’d be out of luck. It’s old-fashioned bound-paper for me this week.”

“I love books. In our library, you’ll find the classics, westerns, and some spicy romance.” Maya thought she’d just toss the last genre in there to see how he’d react. He grinned. Her stomach fluttered. This man was nothing like the conceited ass she’d dated last summer. Both men might be rich, but they were so different. “History, biography, and a Bible.”

“Will there be a quiz?”

“Only on the romance.” His laugh was so sensuous she could roll in it.

“I really need to dry the floor. I’ll get a rag. Excuse me.”

Mama passed her at the hall closet. “We should invite Mr. Nordan to our party tomorrow.”

Oh no. Rick was going to meet the gorgeous twins before Maya even had a single date with him.

 

Buy links: Click Here for Amazon   Click Here for The Wild Rose Press

Social Media Links:

niccicarrera@blogspot.com

@niccicarrera

 

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LJ Vickery – Storm Force

Was there anything in particular that inspired your idea? 

Living in a seaside town and spending much of my life on and around boats, I thought it was about time I wrote something ‘seaworthy’!  And I’ve always been fascinated and very curious about the station with its sleek fleet just a few miles from my home. 

Was there any part of your story that was taken from real life…that you can tell us about, that is? 🙂

I have been on the water with a storm approaching, and let me tell you, it is one scary prospect.  There is nothing kind about rough seas and  high winds. 

What was it like working on a series where you had to coordinate with other writers? 

Working with the other writers on the Lobster Cove series was a delightful experience.  They are a wordy, prolific and giddy bunch!  Some days when I’d finally get to my in-box, it would be completely full of useful information and witty parlays.  I wouldn’t hesitate to work with a group again! 

Besides the main characters, who is your favorite character in the story and why?

Since this is a short story, there aren’t many characters, but I will say that there might be a book in the offing about Ross’s sister Sinclair, better known as Sin. She’s feisty…and single. Two of my favorite elements in a female character! 

What do you love that most people would find odd?  

What do I love that is odd?  Editing!  The process that some authors hate, I tend to love.  For some reason, when I receive corrections from my editor, I feel like I’m playing the best video game ever as I ‘shoot down and replace’ my errors.  Weird, huh?

What do you dislike that most people would find odd?  

I guess, as much as I love my cat, I hate it that she constantly head-butts my ankles when I’m trying to write.  I’m torn between working and patting, and when I finally succumb to patting, she moves just out of reach.  Very cat-like!

 

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Blurb:

When heavy weather throws arrogant lobsterman Ross Bennson up against Coastguard Surfman Calla Hutchins, the storm raging outside has nothing on the internal tempest stirring between the two. She’s used to being in charge, and he’s not keen on taking orders. Can they calm the furies that set them against each other, or will their destinies be blown off course?

Excerpt:

 

***WARNING – Explicit language

Calla turned, expecting to maintain a calm and authoritative demeanor. Instead, the minute she looked at him she felt like she’d been sucker punched.

Ross stood six feet tall, his shoulders broad and muscled from what Calla figured was years of pulling traps. The hair she’d imagined curly now tickled his nape as it dried and showed appealing bits of gray at the temple that begged for fingers to comb it through. But what really held her, in a mouthwateringly heart-stopping way, was his face. Weather-beaten and tanned, there was nothing gentle in his look. His dark eyes, misshapen nose, and square chin all screamed hard and determined. This was one man who didn’t like being told what to do. Well, fuck him. As attractive as she found him, Calla had a job to do, and nobody screwed with protocol on her watch. First things first, he’d left the hatch behind him wide open.

She threw the blankets on one of the survivor seats and strode past him to close the QAWTD. “It’s called a water-tight door for a reason.”  Trying to regain her equilibrium, Calla gave her next order. “Now take off those clothes.”

Shit. Calla almost groaned out loud. She didn’t mean for the words to come out like that. She only meant that he needed to get warm…not naked. Hell, no! Where were her brains? Probably in her perky and attentive nipples, which were suddenly picturing him stripped to the skin and weren’t getting the memo to behave. But damn it, how could she back off now?

“Excuse me?” Ross’s imperious eyebrows rose.

Calla had the misfortune of meeting his gaze again and was nearly singed from the lustful heat in his slow appraisal of her, from head to foot.

“You heard me,” she blustered.

 

Click here to buy: Amazon  The Wild Rose Press

Find LJ Here:

LJ Vickery.com
 ljvickery.blogspot.com 
Find LJ Vickery on Facebook
Twitter @VickeryLJ

 

 

 

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Filed under Entertainment, For Writers