Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's creeping nearer...

Every day, it gets a little closer. And closer. Don't look now, but Halloween is coming.

I love it!

And I'm planning ahead for a month-long party on the blog. For those of you who've participated in the past, you know how much fun it is. Spooky stories, ghoulish treat recipes and best of all, giveaways.

Nearly half the calendar's filled up already, so authors, grab a date fast. Just comment if you're interested, or email me at cate.masters [at] gmail.com

Readers, mark your calendars! You won't want to miss the fun!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Alien Attachments by Sabine Priestley

Congrats to Sabine Priestley on her upcoming release of Alien Attachments! Please show Sabine some cover love. :)



Alien Attachments
Book One

Finding one’s psi-mate is something every Sandarian dreams of. Too bad Ian’s family and society would never allow him to bond with a human. And even if he could, Dani would never let some alien voodoo tell her who she was going to spend the rest of her life with. No matter how hot he is.


Excerpt
 “Earth Protector? You’re kidding right?”
“No. Pretty much what it sounds like. Cliche as it may be, we are not alone in the universe.”
Dani held Jared’s gaze. She’d heard what he said, but couldn’t process the words. They sat on her brain like little beings, patiently waiting to be let in. Knock, knock. Dani let out a nervous laugh. Maybe if I ignore them, they’ll go away. Jared didn’t blink. Or maybe not.
“So you’re not an EP?”
“Nah, I’m human, just like you. I’m what they call a Support Agent, or SA for short. I do what I can for Ian and the other EPs, but I’m based with Ian.”
“So you’re a spy.”
“Support agent, not secret agent,” Jared said. “Although, we are a secret.”
“You’re a spy for aliens.”
“Stop it. It’s not like that.”

Bio
Sabine grew up in Phoenix, but has lived in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Massachusetts and Florida. She has a BS in Electrical Engineering Technologies and did everything but her thesis for a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology, looking at the nexus of culture and technology. She was a Project Manager flying back and forth between Tucson and Boston when she met her very own alien. She spent a year running the QA department for a seriously cool and under appreciated computer telephony system then moved to California where she ran a small tech support group for a company making DSL routers before anyone knew what DSL was. A life long fan of Science Fiction and Romance novels, Alien Attachments naturally gelled in her imagination. Sabine lives in Florida with her husband, kids, cats and whole mess of characters in her head. 

Links
Email: SabinePriestley@gmail.com


Friday, August 15, 2014

What's that smell?


Ouch! It's me! Getting roasted! And toasted :)

I'm at Authors Roast and Toast today! If you've never visited the site, you should. These ladies know how to throw a cyber party! And as a bonus, there's Oliver... you'll have to visit to experience him first hand!

I hope you'll pop over for the party. And to enter my giveaway - more Treat Yourself Like a Goddess gifts. :)

Come on over and party like a goddess!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quitting

I must do it a hundred times a year. Writing a story is bliss. The industry is hell. I suppose that's true for most artists these days, sadly.

It saddens me more to read about authors quitting for good. Last weekend, another one gave up for the reason above. She couldn't take all the promo.

It can be exhausting. And for someone so behind the times as me, nearly impossible to navigate. I have a Twitter account but am a dunce at it - my tweets generally come from my FB page. I know I should take the time to learn to use it, but I don't use my phone for online tasks, and I already use too much computer time on marketing stuff. I did a rough tally of time I spend online versus writing, and writing time has taken a huge hit. Something I can barely afford because life interrupts too often.

Then there's the turmoil within the publishing industry itself. Amazon's letter asking writers to plead with Hachette was almost laughable. It brought to mind the dialogue in the movie Red, when the CIA held the girl in custody and said if she wanted to save the guy, she had to help the CIA. Her response: "You're asking me for help? That is so lame. He's going to eat you alive."

Yeah. Something like that, Amazon.

But enough about their drama. I disconnect from all that when I write. My laptop has no Internet connection and I can focus on the story alone (except when I need to do research, then I have to switch to the desktop).

Apparently, the state of the publishing industry has gotten to many writers. It's becoming more frequent to read about writers who quit. These writers are a good example of the frustrations we all go through. And also the reasons we keep writing.

Lately, it's felt as if the universe is pushing me toward something else. I don't put a lot of stock in horoscopes, but if I did, I'd note the increasing trend of them telling me to switch occupations if I want to make money.

That's the real issue. Compensation. People in third world countries earn higher salaries than many writers. In fact, my hubby's helping me with a side project related to my photography that I may share later on if it actually develops (no pun intended. Well, a little maybe).

So am I quitting? No more than usual. Maybe after I finish the dozen WIPs I've started. Oh, and I had a few more killer story ideas...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Goddess or feminist - why must we choose?


A funny thing happened during the release party for Goddess, Awakened. At first, we were having fun, discussing mythological goddesses and favorite authors and books.

Then someone asked if my book promoted feminism. The question confused me at the time. Here was my answer:
“Not at all. The theme encourages women to empower themselves by accepting who they truly are and strengthening their unique talents. All things positive.”
Maybe I should explain why I began writing this series, The Goddess Connection, which will all be paranormals/fantasies based in mythology, all stand-alones, each based on a different goddess.

I love empowering women. Celebrating their uniqueness. Each of us have talents or skills we might view as quirks, and maybe we even dislike ourselves because of them. Or maybe we simply ignore them to fit into a more standardized life where we go through the motions but don’t really feel fulfilled.

In each of these books, the heroine will have lifelong quirks that she sees as detrimental, but by the end, she’ll learn that these quirks are actually strengths. They help define her as an individual, and that’s not a bad thing.

So it saddened me that, when I read the answers to one of the questions I posed at the party, “Do you think women should be treated like goddesses?” and some said no. Some argued women shouldn’t be put on a pedestal – and I agreed:
“that’s definitely not the message I want to send. As I mentioned above, the idea is *not* to put women on a pedestal or treat them as divas, but to value who they are in all their flaws, unique beauty, and talents. The theme of the Goddess Connection is for women to nurture that in themselves, too, and not let others devalue us. I hope that makes sense.”

I’m definitely confused too. Obviously, these young women have the wrong idea about feminism. Maybe they picture a militant society where females are barely distinguishable from males, some sci-fi interpretation that skews the real meaning. To me, feminism honors the struggle and hardships women endured to receive basic rights that should be afforded any human. To vote. To have an education. To choose for themselves how to live their lives. To better themselves in whatever way that appeals to them.

Lately, I’ve been seeing the term thrown around pretty freely, and it’s disturbing. Another article claimed the Starz series based on Diana Gabaldon’s work was the “feminist” answer to Game of Thrones. Why do journalists feel the need to pit one show against another? One gender against another? (Yes, I know – to boost ratings)

The HuffPost article put the question about a feminist label for my books in perspective, and if someone asks again, I’ll have to better qualify my answer.

Yes, to be a goddess means to embrace your best self. The only way to do that is by freeing yourself from restraints, either from outside or originating in yourself.

In my mind, the same definition applies to feminism.

And if you’re interested in The Goddess Connection, the first book is now available from Kensington Publishing’s Lyrical Press imprint.


Goddess, Awakened
The Goddess Connection, Book 1
Fantasy/paranormal romance novel
About 89,700 words