What’s Going On With Lexx?

Greetings everyone! It’s been quite some time since we talked. See what happened was, I normally updated my blog at work when there was nothing else going on. Then, several months ago, “The Powers That Be” decided that we needed to lock down the internet to save bandwidth. They nixed WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and lots of other sites. Hence, my blog fell by the wayside. But don’t worry, I’ve resolved to fix it and get myself back on a schedule. In the meantime, I’d love for you all to visit my new website at:

http://lexxxchristian.wixsite.com/alexandrachristian

It has news, appearances, book info, and you can sign up for my newsletter, “The Hell’s Belles.” Each month I’ll feature authors, give updates on events, share writing tips, and give away free books! So basically, I’m leaving my blog here to be my heart and my website to be my head.

So what’s been going on? A lot! As you guys who read the blog regularly know, I’ve been trying to sell my book about the shapeshifting superspy for YEARS. Well guess what? I just signed a 4 book deal with Boroughs Publishing Group to release my new series, Phoenix Rising, starring the incredibly sexy spy, Cage St. John. The first book, NAKED, will release on April 13, 2017!

Also, y’all know about my obsession with Sherlock Holmes right? Well it finally paid off! I’ve just signed a contract with Falstaff Books to produce 4 novellas starring Dr. John Watson. In the novellas, Watson will find himself in situations most dire where he’ll need to rely on his wits to escape monsters lurking in the underbelly of Victorian London. And he might even get a little help from his friend, Sherlock Holmes.

So I’ve been super-busy lately! But I also feel super-lucky. I do hope you guys will keep coming back!

Top Ten Horror Movies with Crymsyn Hart

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It’s been a while since we last spoke. Let’s just put it this way, kittens— it’s been a long summer. But now we’re back and the autumn is upon us. You know what that means: it’s time for all things spooky!! And let’s kick off the spookiest season of the year with author Crymsyn Hart. This week she’s hopping from blog to blog promoting her Deathly Encounters series. I asked Crymsyn to pop over and talk to us about her top ten most HAIR RAISING HORROR MOVIES!!!

Since I write about Grim Reapers, you would have to say that I must have been influenced by something. Well, that is true. I am a lover of horror movies. Here are my top ten favorites…

  

  1. Poltergeist – The original not the remake
  2. The Thing – The Kurt Russell version.
  3. The Ring
  4. Jaws
  5. Rose Red
  6. The Shining – the TV movie not the Jack Nicholson version. Great movie, but not one of my favorites.
  7. Dawn of the Dead
  8. The Exorcist
  9. The Conjuring
  10. Puppet Master

Well I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely added some movies to my Halloween Watch-list!

Here’s a little bit about the second book in the Deathly Encounters series, DEATH’S REVIVAL, available NOW from Seventh Star Press…

Becoming a grim reaper was right up my alley. I enjoyed being dead. I helped souls crossover into deathsrevivalcover1200x800either Heaven or Hell with my fellow reaper, Than. For two years, I enjoyed my life and then the killings started. Psychics were being murdered at haunted sites and souls disappearing.

Someone was tampering with the fabric of the universe, trying to draw something evil into this world.

To do that, the killer needed the souls of the psychics and the ghosts he could gather to open the doorway. I was charged with saving those souls and find out who the serial killer was. Yeah, being used as bait was definitely not my first choice, but who can kill a grim reaper?

I’m already dead. With Than’s help, I’ll stop the evil from penetrating this world so I can get back to my soul gathering.

I mean the dead stay dead, right?

Get it now from these fine retailers:

Amazon                                            Barnes & Noble                                         KOBO

About Crymsyn…

crymsynhart_authorphotoCrymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.To find out more about Crymsyn:

Website: http://www.ravynhart.com

Twitter: @crymsynhart

Blog: http://www.crymsynhart.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crymsynhart

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crymsyn-Hart/e/B002BMJ1Z0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1405515745&sr=8-1

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Author Seeking Complex Readers

 

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Greetings from the world of the living! It’s been a while, but I hope you’ve all been well. I’ve been writing my little heart out the last month trying to finish up my upcoming release from Little Red Hen Romance. It’s a charming little #Sherlock Holmes #mystery entitled “Chasing the Dragon.” It’s a bit longer than the regular LRH release, coming in at just under 30K. But the 30K are well worth it in my humble opinion. As I was talking to my editor about it this morning, we inevitably veered the conversation into that deep, dark pit– how to sell more books? It’s a question that is always on the minds of writers these days. Many of my colleagues have gone from selling enough books to make their car payment to barely selling enough to warrant a check. There are so many layers to this question that we can’t even begin to examine all of them, but I wanted to focus this blog post on the most important one:  YOU, dear reader.

Picture it, Facebook: 2016. A beautiful young writer is browsing the author groups and reading blogs. She is puzzled, as she keeps seeing words like “BESTSELLER” and “5 STARS.” The problem is, all the books that had been tagged as “BESTSELLER” or “5 STARS” seemed to be carbon copies of one another. And they certainly weren’t the kinds of books that the young writer was churning out at light speed. Romances that weren’t even remotely romantic that featured predatory relationships, unreal situations, no high-stakes conflict, increasingly whacked-out scenarios– the list goes on. And apparently readers are lapping it up like milk and honey.

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Something about this just doesn’t gel.

I know readers, particularly romance readers, are smarter than this. I know they want complex stories that aren’t just about the sicky-sweet love and the increasingly disturbing sex. And how these two things exist in the same story still escapes me.

Here’s what I want in a reader: 

Someone who believes in love. I often get the impression that the people writing 50 Shades knock-offs think that love is a joke. That the fairy tale stuff doesn’t exist so we may as well make it a humiliating experience that no one will enjoy. Love ISN’T perfect, but it is out there. Sometimes hiding in the most unlikely of places.

Not a hopeless romantic, but a hopeful one.

Someone who wants adventure and a complex storyline in their romance. It doesn’t have to be all about the romance. There should be more at stake than an old boyfriend blowing back into town. Romance CAN exist in the midst of an international incident. Or on an interplanetary mission to save the sun. Or between a dragon and the slayer sent to kill him on behalf of the government. Romance novels don’t HAVE to be Hallmark Channel movies of the week.

Someone who isn’t just reading from one sex scene to the next to get off. That’s what Penthouse Letters are for.


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So where can you find these amazing feats of literary fitness? Well look no further than Little Red Hen Romance. It’s co-op of authors, Lucy Blue and yours truly, work tirelessly to bring meaty love stories to the complex reader. That reader that wants to lose themselves in the magic and adventure of a damn good story and feel the heart flutter as they witness two people falling in love.

I know you’re out there.

GUEST POST: E. Chris Garrison Talks About BLUE SPIRIT

BlueSpirit_cover_1200X800I’m really excited today because I have the pleasure of bringing you to a work close to my heart.  Blue Spirit is a fast-paced modern fairy tale that blends the fantastical and the humorous.  It’s really no surprise as it’s author, E. Chris Garrison whom I find completely hilarious.  I love the book and I know you will too.  But don’t take my word for it….

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.

Hello and thank you for having me on your blog! I’m Chris Garrison, an indie author from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am here because my publisher, Seventh Star Press, is helping get the word out about my latest release, Blue Spirit, a Tipsy Fairy Tale.

About me? Well, I’m a fan of all things science fiction and fantasy, though I mostly write urban fantasy, science fiction, and some steampunk. I am a long time homebrewer, and have been jokingly named Seventh Star’s official Brewmaster. I think it’s just to get me to bring “samples” of my stuff to conventions. I love board games and spending time with friends and family. My favorite band is Five Year Mission, who are doing a rock song for every original Star Trek series episode.

What inspired you to write Blue Spirit

Blue Spirit is a sort of spin-off of my Road Ghosts Trilogy. I had finished those three and wanted to move on to other characters and situations. I had the thought that rather than ghosts and demons, I’d like to write about fairies in our modern world. I also wanted to write something even funnier than the Road Ghosts, and I wanted it to be in first person so I could filter the world through one person’s senses and thoughts. I’d written in a sort of comic relief character in the second Road Ghosts book, Sinking Down, a drunken vampire roleplaying gamer named Skye, and it came to me that she might be the most fun to turn into a protagonist. Originally, I thought about setting it in Chicago where Skye lived, but instead went with what I know and set it here in Indianapolis. It was fun thinking up places in my own city that could be magical.

Blue Spirit is a fairy tale, of sorts.  What are some of your favorite fairy tales and why?

I am a huge fan of the Little Mermaid, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s the Disney version that I love best. I empathized with Ariel wanting to transcend the world she’d grown up in to become something else. Skye’s definitely impulsive and brave like Ariel, though she’s a bit older and makes more questionable decisions. I love the story of Pinocchio as a child, because I knew what it was like to yearn to be more than I was. I guess this is a similar theme with the Little Mermaid too, now that I think of it.As an aside, I watched Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons as a kid, and I loved the Fractured Fairy Tales segment most of all. I loved the skewed take on classic fairy tales, the sense of humor, and visual jokes. I guess that’s why I am a bit wry in my telling of my own fairy tales. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Although he was meant to be a sort of whimsical side character, I love the Transit King, Bask. He wasn’t meant to be more than a humorous plot device initially, but he’s turned out to not only be my own favorite, but a fan favorite as well. He’s also been borrowed by fellow Seventh Star Press authors R.J. Sullivan and John F. Allen in their writing. There’s just something irresistible about the little Fairy Godfather, riding the buses granting favors to those in need – in exchange for any favor he asks later. Also, I have great fun writing his vaguely Celtic accent and using him to say cryptic and prophetic things to my characters.  

Chris, you’ve been writing for quite a while now.  What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?

I’ve learned that you’ve got to love writing. It’s not a quick path in any sense of the word. It’s a skill you have to work on by doing it often, and by getting feedback from others. I highly recommend finding or forming a critique group with other writers. The most important thing while writing the first draft is to keep going, don’t worry about whether your grammar and spelling or details are perfect. If you’re uncertain about something (say, a character’s eye color, or the length of a zeppelin) make a note as a comment in bold and move on. Write now, fix later. And be sure you do fix it later, go over the result before giving it to beta readers. When you get feedback, don’t feel obligated to change anything, but be sure to listen to what’s being said. If one reader says one thing, but others say different things, then it’s probably a matter of personal preference. But if many readers point out the same thing, it’s probably something you’ll need to fix.

Art seems to be a big part of the Seventh Star marketing model.  The cover art on this book is pretty extraordinary and it’s my understanding that the authors have a lot of say in the covers. Did you work closely with the artist, Anne Rosario? Tell us about that process.

Anne is a fantastic artist, a real professional, and a friendly person. I supplied her with a file containing my (often hilariously 1_Illustration_BlueSpiritbad) whiteboard sketches, along with notes and blocks of text from the book to go with the scene. She came back excited and had many questions about the characters, what they looked like, their personalities, and so on. She sent me pencil sketches of her ideas, and used feedback from me to produce the beautiful artwork you see on and in Blue Spirit. I very much look forward to working with her for the sequel, Restless Spirit. I’m interested to see how she’ll draw my trolls.

Blue Spirit is available right now!  Tell us where we can get it!!

 Print:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-E-Chris-Garrison/dp/1941706827

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-Tipsy-Fairy-Tale-ebook/dp/B00X6571BC

Barnes and Noble Link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-spirit-eric-garrison/1105805795?ean=9781941706824

I also have a book trailer video, which features the artwork of Anne Rosario, along with other information about Blue Spirit here:

http://sillyhatbooks.com/blue-spirit

My Blog and contact information are at http://sillyhatbooks.com and I can be found on Facebook as E. Chris Garrison, author.

Thanks once again for having me as a guest!

Synopsis of Blue Spirit: Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships. With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

ECGarrisonAuthorPhotoAbout the Author: E. Chris Garrison (who also writes as Eric Garrison) is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

Chris’ novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013.

Seventh Star Press is the home of Chris’ supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ‘til Late, Sinking Down, and Me and the Devil.

Querying Author’s Lament: Stop Being Lazy and Triflin’

me and amy (2)So kids, its been some time since we’ve gotten in touch.  I would give some excuse about the holidays and making resolutions and all that crap.  But that’s what it would be– crap.  The truth is, I’ve been balls deep (I’ve ALWAYS wanted to say that even though I don’t have balls) in #querying for #agents.  It’s a long, arduous journey, but it hasn’t been unsatisfying.  I’ve gotten some nice feedback, and met some amazing folks.  If you’re ready to start this process, go to Twitter and meet some others!  There’s an amazingly supportive writing community out there ready to give you a boost when you need one.  Use those #amwriting #query #agenting #pubtips #writetips hashtags to help you on the way.  Probably the most important thing to remember on the path to finding the elusive “traditional publishing success” is to persevere.  This will not happen over night.  Prepare to get rejected.  A lot.  Usually nicely, but not always.  Prepare to do your homework and research folks.  Don’t say yes to the first person who asks without looking them up and seeing what CREDENTIALS they have.  Remember, anybody can call themselves an agent or an editor on the internet.

So on to the things that have annoyed me today.  The first was someone complaining that a writer’s advice to stop talking about writing and just do it was condescending.  Uhm.. no. That’s not condescending.  That’s the truth.  There are tons– literally, tons of “writers” that are more in love with the idea of writing than actually doing it.  They’d rather sit around with their critique groups, re-writing the same draft over and over again while talking about their brilliance at a single sentence. BTW– if you’ve been writing that first draft for 5+ years, move on with your your life.  That story isn’t ready.  Anyway, these folks read blogs and articles and god knows what else all at the expense of actually writing. I hate to break it to you, kids, but writing is more than having that great idea.  You have to have the great idea, be disciplined enough to write it down, and talented enough to write it artfully.  Oh and then be brave enough to show it to others.  And when I say “others,” I don’t mean ya mama, ya girlfriend, the kids in your writer group who have known you for years, or your friends.  I mean people that are not invested in you personally.  I’ve spoken to a lot of writers who say “oh I don’t need an agent.  They just take all your money.”  What that almost always translates to is “I’m too scared that they’ll say no.”  And you know what– they probably will.  Repeatedly.  But if you’re talented and committed, the right person will see you for the brilliant little author person you are.  In the words of Lana del Rey, “Be young.  Be dope.  Be proud.”

internal screaming

Another thing that annoyed me so much was a post where someone took the attitude that they basically were hot shit and wouldn’t any agent just be pleased as a parsnip to represent them?  Now.. they weren’t interested in waiting (btw– the waiting is part of it. Some agents have 3 month + query response times) or having a brand new, polished work to send.  The feeling I got from this person was that they had already proven how wonderful they were and why wasn’t someone already falling all over themselves to represent him.  WTF?!  No.  You need to write a billion query letters and another billion versions of your synopsis of your NEW UNPUBLISHED work and then jump on the burning train to Hell that is querying.  There are too many great writers struggling right now for anybody to start shirking.  Or thinking they can get off easy and not do the work.

Anyhow– I hope I didn’t tick you off with this new and refreshing dose of truth telling, but it needed to be said.  Making art is hard.  If it wasn’t, Justin Bieber could do it.  Be encouraged that you are not alone and that others are glad to help when they can.  Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re going to carry you or your stuff.

Some great resources for the querying writer:

Literary Rejections:  http://www.literaryrejections.com/

Manuscript Wish List:  http://www.mswishlist.com/

Various Twitter pitch sessions:  #adpit #pitchmas, etc.  There’s one coming up on 2/5/15.  More info here:  https://heidinorrod.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/its-coming-adult-pitch-5-feb-2014-adpit/

And don’t forget those Twitter hashtags:  #querytip #agent #amwriting #writetip #pubtip

How to Sell Your Book by Way of a Great Cover, or Cover Lovin’ by David Blalock

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Once more I’ve decided to welcome another author over to the Belle to do my dirty work.  Today, author and cover art critic David Blalock has come over to talk about his Angelkiller Triad and how a really great cover artist can give your book the boost it needs to excel.  Because, as we all know, your book might be the best thing ever, but no one will know if they don’t pick it up.  And if you’re like me, you often choose a book initially because it has an interesting cover.  Seventh Star Press is well known throughout the industry for having the very best in cover and interior artwork and David’s trilogy is a perfect example.  But I’ll let him tell you…

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What can I say about Matt Perry’s artwork that can do it justice? His covers have drawn some significant attention to the series, attention it probably would not otherwise have had. As an artist, Matt has the ability to take an idea and imbue his own personal interpretation into the image without losing the original theme. It is a tricky balancing act, one he has mastered admirably.

 

Click me to buy!
Click me to buy!

 

The cover of Angelkiller is a striking image, unlike anything I’ve seen. His use of atmospheric imagery on that cover gave it that disturbing, unreal feeling that conveys the essence of the Great Conflict. The books are about a war between entities more than human and that cover shows just enough humanity to connect with the reader while retaining that otherworldly quality. The interior images in Angelkiller faithfully reproduce the scenes from the text in an exciting and provocative manner. They more closely connect the reader to the text, inserting more humanity into the art while retaining just enough emotional impact.

 

 

CLICK ME to buy!
CLICK ME to buy!

 

For Traitor Angel, Matt reached into the idea of virtual reality crossing over into mundane reality by presenting the combat between good and evil, represented by the knight and the dragon, against a background of circuitry. As a lot of the book contained just this combat, it was again faithful to the ideas embodied in the text while making a broader statement about the story arc in general. The interior art continues this theme, reaching toward the humanity without letting us forget how different the virtual reality conflict can be.

 

 

CLICK ME to buy!
CLICK ME to buy!

 

Finally, in Doom Angel’s cover, Matt states the Great Conflict in an iconic image that sums up the series marvelously. The feedback about this art has been unanimously positive. Again, he took the road of impression instead of strict interpretation, resulting in a stunningly beautiful, yet slightly troubling, image. The Great Conflict could not have been better presented in a single piece of art. The interior artwork only reinforces and strengthens the conviction that what is happening has a deeper meaning than simply a war between human factions.

 

 

Having Matt Perry as my artist for the series was a struck of incredible luck. I am very fortunate to have such a talented and perceptive individual on my team. And Seventh Star Press has a gem of an artist in their employ.

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Now you all know that while I’m a romantic at heart, I really love a dark urban fantasy.  I’ve just started reading Angelkiller but I’m already in love.  Read this description.  I dare you not to be desperate to read it…

Why do bad things happen to good people? Simple. In the ancient war between the Angels of Light and Darkness, the Dark won. Now it is the job of an undercover force simply known as The Army to rectify that.

Using every tool available, The Army has worked to liberate our world from The Enemy for thousands of years, slowly and painfully lifting Mankind out of the dark. On the front of the great Conflict are the Angelkillers, veterans of the
fight with centuries of experience.

Jonah Mason is an Angelkiller, and his cell is targeted as part of plot to unseat a very powerful Minion of The Enemy. Mason and his troop are drawn into a battle that stretches from real-time to virtual reality and back. The Conflict is about to expand into cyberspace, and if Mason is unable to stop it, The Enemy will have gained dominion over yet another realm.

Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?  Okay, kids.  That’s it for me today.  I’ve got a dragon by the fireplace waiting.  He seems pretty tame but he keeps shouting, “Bored!” and breathing fire. If I don’t act quickly, my house may burn down.  See ya, kids!

Forgive Me Somehow, Danielle Steele

CLICK ME to buy!
CLICK ME to buy!

In case there’s someone out there who didn’t know, my big sis, Lucy Blue, is a much better writer than me.  So much better that I’ve let her take over my blog today to talk about her new release, Alpha Romeo.  It’s a scintillating tell-all book written in the style of a Hollywood memoir.  Think about it this way– it’s the book about Angelina Jolie that you’ve always wanted to read.  Lucy herself describes the book as being  throwback to the old Danielle Steele/ Sidney Sheldon days.  Anyway, today she’s taking over to talk about how she came to write Alpha Romeo and why it’s such an important book for her. 

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When I was a teen-ager, my mother’s favorite writer was Danielle Steele.  It was one of the many things we fought about.  “Those books are just garbage,” I would tell her.  “They all have the same stupid, melodramatic plot.  The characters are paper dolls.  They read like the back of a cake mix.  You read Thomas Hardy for fun, for heaven’s sake.  How can you read that crap?”

                As I recall, her defense usually ran along the lines of different strokes for different folks.  But if I’d been particularly obnoxious, she might point out that she couldn’t understand how her beautiful daughter could enjoy “sickness” like Stephen King and Anne Rice, either, but she still loved me.

                As I got older and started writing fiction of my own, she read every word I wrote.  She was what that sicko Stephen King would call my “first reader,” and she praised it all, even the stuff outside her comfort zone, even the stuff I never finished.  She encouraged me every step of the way, and when I sold my first book, a horror opus about vampires, consumptive whores, and Shakespeare, no one could have been more proud.

                Mama’s health was never great, but about ten years ago, she took a definite turn for the worse.  I was in the midst of writing about medieval vampires for Pocket Books.  I actually made my first draft deadline for The Devil’s Knight during a two-week leave of absence I had taken from my day job to take care of her after her second open heart surgery.  I don’t remember ever having the conscious thought to write a “Mama book.”  I was very happy with my vamps.  But right around that same time, reading a tabloid account of a celebrity divorce, I got the idea for Scarlett Cross, a movie star who’s been haunted her whole life by the violent death of her mother.  I started writing about her in first person, a technique I hadn’t used for anything but short stories since college, because that was just how she came out of my head.

                There are no supernatural monsters in Scarlett’s world.  Maybe at that point in my life, the real world seemed a lot scarier than any horror I could think up.  Maybe I lost the knack for believing in fairies and witches and vamps for a while.  I know I made Scarlett a movie star to keep the fantasy, to keep that distance–the same reason, I suspect, that all of Danielle Steele’s heroines in those days were fashion models and lady business magnates and the daughters of Russian nobility.  Those women go through hell, but they look fabulous doing it, and they never have to worry about stuff like money or bad plumbing (at least not after the first fifty pages).  I know for me at that time, the story of an ordinary woman watching her mother waste away was beyond my talent and strength.  But I could write the outlandish trials and tribulations of Scarlett Cross at lightning speed, wallowing in her pain.  I wrote her made-up memoir right alongside my paranormals, hundreds and hundreds of pages of her voice telling the lurid story of her life while my own life as I had always known it fell apart.

                And out of that came my latest book, Alpha Romeo, the story of Scarlett’s first love.  Mama passed away in 2008, years before my notebooks full of Scarlett gelled into anything like an actual book, but sections of that manuscript were the last of my writing she ever read.  “I love this one,” she told me.  “This one is you.  This is the one.”  And while I know my vamps are as much me as Scarlett, and I still think Danielle Steele’s writing kind of sucks, I love this story in a way I’ve never loved anything else I’ve written.  Because I know she would love it, not because her daughter wrote it, but because it’s her kind of book. 

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Our poor mother always wondered how she ended up with two daughters who liked to hide in a fantasy world.  I think it’s safe to say that we are exactly what she made us. Here’s more about the book:

If the tabloids only knew.

Scarlett Cross is the classic Hollywood princess. Daddy is a movie star; Mama was a supermodel murdered when Scarlett was only four years old. Now she’s eighteen pretending to be younger for the sake of her father’s image and starting her own career as the muse of a famous European auteur. But bad boy actor Romeo Kidd is everything she’s ever wanted. He makes her feel safe and loved and wanted for the first time in her life, and she’ll do anything to keep from letting him go.

If Alpha sounds like your kind of book too, you can click the image above and zoom right over to buy it!  It’s also available from Purple Sword Publications and All Romance if you prefer a different format.  They also have nifty-neato excerpts so you can test drive first!! 

BLOG TOUR: Top Ten Horror Movie Villains

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Welcome!  Today kicks off the Death’s Dance blog tour.  That’s right, author Crymsyn Hart is stopping by the blog today to talk about her top ten horror movie villains.  And Crymsyn knows horror movies.

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Yes, it’s true I am a big lover of horror movies. Have been since the first time I saw one when I was four. That movie was Poltergeist. I remember peeking out from behind the chair in our living room and watching the movie. Although I can’t recall what about the movie frightened me the most, probably that darn clown doll that attacks the kids because it still creeps me out today. From that first movie I was hooked.

I watch B movies and some I classify as C grade movies because we know they are just so bad that you can’t look away. For a couple of years when I was a teenager and there were such things as video rental places, I would walk up the street and rent a video for $1.25. And the video store was stocked with movies from Full Moon Productions way back in the 1990’s and I watched things like Subspecies, Puppet Master, Meridian, & Trancers to name a few.

Horror villains come in all shapes, sizes, and other supernatural varieties. Here are my favorite top ten.

  • Death – from the Final Destination movies because you can’t cheat death.
  • Blade – From all the Puppet Master movies
  • The Tall Man – Phantasm franchise
  • PumpkinHead – PumpkinHead
  • Pennywise – It
  • Radu – Subspecies Movies
  • Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street
  • The Creeper- Jeepers Creepers
  • Chrome Skull – Laid to Rest & Chrome Skull: Laid to Rest 2
  • David – Lost Boys

 

 

So yeah these probably are the typical ones most people pick. However, these are some of my favorite franchises I watch while I’m writing. If you haven’t seen any, I suggest checking them out.

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DeathsDance1200X800Ugh!  How is David from The Lost Boys not higher on the list??!!!  He’s one of my favorites as well.  But I suppose I have to forgive Crymsyn, as she is a true goddess of horror.  This month, she’s spotlighting her new release from Seventh Star Press, Death’s Dance.  Here’s a little taste:

Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are. Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost. From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.

From there things went from bad to worse.

 

 

You’re asking, where can I get this jewel??  This tome of horrific loveliness that will haunt my dreams so badly that I’ll have to shove it in the freezer til morning?  Well, kittens, you can just click on the cover above or follow these links:

Kindle Version: http://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Dance-Deathly-Encounters-Book-ebook/dp/B00L8JOJAY

Print Version: http://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Dance-Crymsyn-Hart/dp/1941706134

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deaths-dance-crymsyn-hart/1119890521?ean=9781941706138

Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/death-s-dance/8MJfOZ9G80ubXTya7VDoEA?MixID=8MJfOZ9G80ubXTya7VDoEA&PageNumber=1

You can also stalk Crymsyn in many other venues:  CrymsynHart

Website: http://www.ravynhart.com

Twitter: @crymsynhart

Blog: http://www.crymsynhart.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crymsynhart

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crymsyn-Hart/e/B002BMJ1Z0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1405515745&sr=8-1

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Bio:

Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

AHS Coven Roundup and Halloween

american-horror-story-coven-2You guys probably noticed that I didn’t comment on American Horror Story last week. Well, I was a little disheartened by last week’s episode.  There was some stuff going on that I just didn’t feel were particularly necessary.  And the one thing I hate in horror is when the writer does something just for ick factor.  There was a lot of ick factor last week:  the Incest is the Best storyline with Frankenwiener, the Is that a Cowbell or Are You Just Happy to See Me event with Queenie and the Minotaur— it was just too much for The Belle.  So I didn’t say a lot.

This week, the show was redeemed!  I’m not really surprised.  Every season has had a mediocre episode followed by the bombshell Halloween episode. This season was no different.  Marie Laveau has permanently cemented her place in my heart with this week’s badassery. Hell hath no fury like a voodoo queen scorned.  I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that the Civil Rights Movement might have sped along a little faster if they’d let Marie settle some of the disputes.  I actually kind of like that we’ve got some social commentary going on this season.   I was also pleasantly surprised that Delphine and Queenie seemed to be coming to an understanding.  Perhaps old Madame LaLaurie will be the one getting redeemed this year.

The theme this week was obviously:  When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.  As I mentioned on Twitter, there were a lot of checks being written that asses can’t cash.  Never cheat on a witch– her Coven will come after you.  Never hurt a witch– her Coven will come after you.  Never gang up on a witch– her Coven will come after you.  They may hate one another, but nobody else better fuck with em.  Which brings me to the double-edged sword of this week’s episode for me:  the witch council.  I hate complicated political structures in paranormal fiction.  Remember that stupid vampire power structure in the Sookie Stackhouse books? The Volturi in the Twilight series?   Yeah… I hate shit like that.  You’re freakin’ witches. I think a governmental body is a pretty moot point.  However, I loved the three actors that played The Council.  If these kids had been the Volturi, it would have been entertaining.

Coven did one thing extremely well tonight, though.  The Southern Gothic element was portrayed with the mysterious reverence it deserves.  If you’re an author who is trying to pinpoint how to capture that atmosphere, watch the encore episode and take notes.  It doesn’t get more perfect than this.

Happy Halloween, kids!  Have a spooky, sexy day!  And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow when I’ll be all about my RELEASE DAY!  That’s right, I have a new quickie from Ellora’s Cave dropping on Friday, Nov. 1st! So come back and see me!  You never know… I may give away a free book!

 

Fanfiction: Masterclass for Baby Writers or Root of All Evil?

me and amy (2)OK, admit it, when you saw the FANFICTION at the beginning of this blog post, you thought, “Has The Belle finally taken leave of her senses?”  And the answer is: no more than usual.  Let me begin by saying that I’m very positive on fanfiction.  Like many of my colleagues, “fic” was my introduction to building a story.  Yes, kittens, beneath this cool exterior beats the heart of a true fangirl.  If you’ve seen my Pinterest page, you know that already.  I’ve always been a movie person and had that little obsessive streak.  I still do. I’m hugely inspired by movies, music, television, actors and actresses. Therefore, fanfiction has been crucial to my development as a writer.

The first complete short story I ever wrote was a fanfiction.  It was 1996, I was in college and I was obsessed with the TV show, Forever Knight.  If you’ve never seen the show, its the predecessor to all the sympathetic vampire shows we know and love now.  Anyway, I joined a mailing list (remember those?!) full of other Forever Knight fangirls and I was introduced to the fic phenomenon.  The story was called “First Kill” and it was a shortish, angsty piece about Nick Knight and his first involuntary vampire murder.  I’m sure if I came across it now, I’d cringe at how awful it was.  However, it helped me craft a complete story without having to worry about building a world and a lot of original characters.  I also got lots of encouragement from other people that  liked the story and liked my writing style.  They also told me things that I could do better.  I started to think, “Hmm… I might be able to do this.”  Fast forward about 5 years and found a new mailing list dedicated to “Moulin Rouge.”  That’s where I really took off and started writing A LOT.  I actually gained a following (hi out there to any former Cleo followers) and learned how to add details, description and plot twists. Oh and did I mention explicit sex scenes?  I also had the remarkable experience of meeting some of my best friends IN THE WORLD on those lists.

The point of this story:  writing fanfiction is like training wheels for authors.

Now, the dark side.  Fanfiction is technically copyright infringement.  Wait, wait… don’t jump on me yet.  When you write fanfiction, you have to keep in mind that your fingers are playing in someone else’s pie.  And if you’re going to play with their worlds, then you have to respect their rules.  Some authors/ screenwriters/ filmmakers/ actors are very positive on fanfiction and even encourage their fans to have fun with their universes as long as said fans aren’t making money off of it.   Authors such as Neil Gaiman, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling, E.L. James, Stephanie Meyer, Terry Pratchett, Jim Butcher and many others give their full blessings to fan fiction writers as long as no profit is being made (the exception being Conan Doyle who is, in fact, dead– of course his estate is a different matter for a different blog post).  They realize that their works have inspired others to write and their creativity might lead future authors to realize their potential.  Others are VERY MUCH against it. Marion Zimmer Bradley, Orson Scott Card, Diana Gabaldon, Laurell K. Hamilton, George R. R. Martin, Anne Rice, and J. R. R. Tolkien are pretty adamant that their works NOT be borrowed or played with.  And that’s just a small sample.  So keep that in mind before hitting that PUBLISH button on Fanfiction.net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVRDQacBVh0

The thing I don’t like about fanfiction is that some folks have taken it too far.  The “rules” have become way more stringent than in my day and flaming seems to be the rule of the day.  When I was writing fic regularly, it was a very supportive environment where aspiring writers tried to encourage other aspiring writers.  Now it can be like a warzone.  Fic authors are afraid to write Original Female Characters (OFCs) because they’ll be accused of doing a “Mary Sue.”  If you don’t know what that is, a “Mary Sue” is the author inserting herself into a story in order to engage in sexual situations with the objects of their desire.  I was actually reading a story on fanfiction.net the other day (yeah, I went snooping before writing this post) and in the author’s note the poor girl had actually apologized for her OFC.  This disturbed me because 1– you should never apologize for creativity and 2– if you never create an original character, then you’ll never move beyond fanfiction into your own stories.  I wanted to write this poor girl a note and tell her to take that apology back.  It was obvious to me that this girl was very young and very new to writing, and I’d hate to think that some fandom battleax would crush her because she’d dared to have an original idea.  I’ve also heard that for some fandoms, if someone dares to write a “hetfic” (meaning that the pairings are heterosexual rather than slash) that they’re almost guaranteed to be flamed off the list.  This disturbs me.  If two male characters aren’t gay in their fandom’s canon, why do we insist on forcing them into a sexual relationship in fanfiction?  Don’t get me wrong, if you want to write that– awesome.  Have at it.  However, don’t flame someone else who isn’t into that.  Personally, if I’m writing fanfiction about a heterosexual character, then its more satisfying to me to keep them in character (I’m lookin’ at you JohnLock!ers… ;P).

Now, the answer you’ve all been waiting for:  Do I, Alexandra Christian, Southern Belle, erotic author and part-time pinup girl, write fanfiction?  Yes.  I do.  Do I publish it anywhere?  No.  It’s something I write for myself for my hard drive for my eyes.  Fanfiction is now how I break through blocks, give my brain a rest and work through writing issues that I might be having.  I share it with a few friends every now and then, but for the most part I keep it to myself.

Mostly so George Lucas doesn’t kill my dog.

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ingenue_new lineCOMING FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST!!– Not a fanfiction…LOL

Never fall in love with a hoofer. That’s the advice given to Stefan—advice he immediately ignores when he falls head-over-heels in love with burlesque dancer Rose, the shimmying, corseted star of the Footlight Theatre. But wicked, wounded Rose is far out of the humble stagehand’s reach.

Rose has stars in her eyes—and bruises on her face. As she suffers abuse at the hands of a cruel patron, she dreams of the day when she’ll find her way out of her nightmare and into the arms of the passionate, protective Stefan.

Inside scoop:  This book contains scenes of domestic violence before the heroine fights back and finds her true hero.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave