TEN DAYS OF SUPERSTITON…DAY 7

It’s hard to put into words how much music affects my mood and enhances my life.  This is especially true when I’m writing.  The sound of songs I love playing in the background adds to my creativity in so many ways.  My taste in music is very eclectic.  Rock will always be number one with me.  But, I can get into a good country or bluegrass song, too. The following links are the songs I listened to over and over again when I was writing Superstition.  I’ve really been enjoying listening to all of them again while I’m putting this post together.

A few years ago I wrote this little blurb and I think it sums it up best: Music…moves me, inspires me, touches my deepest emotions and my darkest desires. It gives me wings to soar over the highest summits. A song can change my day, my mood, my world. Sing to me and I’m yours forever. Take my music from me and I will simply fade away like a vanishing mist…Veronica

Superstition Play List

Casper:                                                             Derek Blake

This is my amazing oldest grandson, aka D-Rock.  I’m biased, but I think he’s just great!  He lives in Fort Collins, CO, and plays regularly all over Colorado and on many nationwide tours.  When he released this song last year, I just couldn’t stop listening to it, especially when I was writing.

https://derekblake.bandcamp.com/track/casper-part-1

Beneath Your Beautiful:                              Labrinth

This song…wow!  The lyrics, the singing, the music, all of it, just gives me goosebumps.  It inspired the dance scene in Superstition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqIxCtEveG8

The Sound Of Silence:                                  Disturbed

I loved the original, but I really LOVE this version.  The gritty sound of David Draiman’s voice just moves me.  The song didn’t inspire anything in my book.  But just listening to it when I’m writing is inspiring to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

Down:                                                               Jason Walker

This song was relatable in the worse way when I was very depressed about trying to switch genres from historical romance to contemporary paranormal romance.  I listened to it way too much and let it get me ‘down’ way too much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvGYYg40Ijw

Tougher Than The Rest:                               Chris LeDoux

As I mentioned before, I’m a rocker chick, and not a big fan of country.  But thanks to my upbringing, I am a country girl in some ways, too, and there are some singers and some songs that just inspire me regardless of their genre.  Chris LeDoux and his songs touch me deeply.  I listen to them when I’m writing because they tell a story and I’m telling a story.  His words have meaning to me.  Tougher Than The Rest…the song and the video just make me what to write about dynamic heroes and the fierce women they love!  His songs are constants when I’m writing any book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWR7ILg75D4

Look At You Girl:                                            Chris LeDoux

Another song I love to listen to when I’m writing, especially when I’m writing a love scene.  When this song is playing, I can clearly see my hero looking at my heroine with the greatest love and deepest devotion ever.  Inspiring?  Oh, so much!  Candles burning softly are a must when listening to this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNEVx_nN8bQ

Riding For a Fall:                                             Chris LeDoux

Just another Chris LeDoux song that I find has so much meaning to me.  Every book hero and/or heroine tempts fate.  In a romance novel there is no escape from the destiny set in motion from the very first word, and that is what creates the conflict we all love to read about.  For some reason, I wasn’t able to just post the link, so you’re getting the entire video picture.  ??

 

Bella’s Lullaby:                                               Carter Burwell

If you know me at all, you know that I’m a HUGE Twilight fan, also known as Twihard or Twiheart.  I love this beautiful piano solo and I love to listen to it when I’m feeling mellow and writing is coming easy.  A glass of wine is always nice with this song, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od-3oxpFWB0

A Thousand Years                                          Christina Perri

Another beautiful song from the Twilight Saga.  It was perfect for the wedding scene in Breaking Dawn, Part One, and it makes me think of my own hero and heroine in Superstition.  Their love is so great that not even forever is long enough.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtOvBOTyX00

Feel Like Makin’ Love:                                  Kid Rock

Kid Rock is one of my all time favorite musicians.  I love everything he does, but this song was just seemed to be one that fit my mood while I was writing Superstition.  Mateo and Dawn always feel like makin’ love.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-tMN_etwV0

Crave You                                                        Flight Facilities

The title caught my attention…Mateo craves Dawn’s blood.  Then the line, ‘dripping in gold’ made me think of the goldmine in Superstition.  Boom!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=180zwSUBQkY

Beauty of the night:                                      Mads Langer

I loved this song as soon as I heard the title, because my hero, Mateo, could only come out at night.  Night time felt special—beautiful—when he was with my heroine, Dawn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmNrv_8FyRs

Walls On Fire:                                                  Stevie Nicks

Everything Stevie does, I love.  This is an old song, but I enjoyed listening to it when I was writing.  Mateo is my favorite book hero…I loved writing about him.  He sets my world on fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwnS_cGfaj4

Poison:                                                             Alice Cooper

I’ve always liked this song.  But, it related to Superstition, because it makes me think about how Dawn would get sick when Mateo bit her.  His vampire bite was like venomous poison. Perfect!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq4j1LtCdww

I Will Follow You Into The Dark:                 Death Cab For Cutie

My talented grandson played this song at one of his concerts I was fortunate to be at, and the words reminded me of how Dawn would follow Mateo anywhere, even if it meant she could die.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDHY1D0tKRA

Amen:                                                               Halestorm

I love Halestorm.  I love this song.  Sometimes, I just need to rock out when writing.  When this song comes on my playlist, I take a break from the computer and dance around the room and do a little head banging.  It’s probably scary to see (I’m old), but it keeps me young and it’s inspiring.  Haha!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sXoA7B5yJo

Tomorrow I will post the blurb from the back cover of Superstition, and my favorite scene from the book.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Now available for pre-order in eBook and paperback! Watch for news about the release of the audio book.  Release date: June 9, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/Superstition-Blood-Clan-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071VPQSY7/

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TEN DAYS OF SUPERSTITION…Day 5

Today is Sunday Funday.  I’m going to share some fun stuff that reminds me of scenes in Superstition and some actual quotes from the book that I think are fun.  I hope you enjoy them.

“Then they politely said goodbye to me like I was no longer worth their time, and waited out here on the sidewalk until he finished screwing you with his eyes and talking dirty in your ear. They all took off while you finished having a Mateo-gasm back there in the middle of the restaurant.”

Orgasm

 

No fangs? Nothing about Mateo Two Moons was typical, not even his vampire bite, she determined with an aggravated huff.

yes I do bite

 

Now, I’m not saying this salsa, named Mateo’s, or wine called Superstition, and the street sign by the same name of my hunky hero, are all products of my book, but hey, the salsa does say it’s not responsible for obsession.  I wouldn’t mind someone being obsessed with my new book!

cover 12 (1).jpg

 

Did women in this day and age still swoon, she wondered? That old-fashioned word might be the only one to describe what she was feeling right now, and she knew about these old fashioned things because, after all, she was a history teacher.

Swoon

 

Today she really did feel like she had been rode hard and put away wet. She would never leave home without her vibrator again.

viberator

 

She rubbed her sleepy eyes and tried to focus on the note. Please don’t let it be filled with bad news like, ˜Dear Easy One-Night Stand, Wish you had higher morals, but you don’t, so I won’t be seeing you again. Bye Bye.

one night stand

 

Chloe walked into the apartment and snickered. “And you’re obviously still trying to catch up on sleep. He must have worn you out, big time. Seriously, you look like hell. But in a good way, of course.”  She smiled and shook her head.  “Wet dreams. Pizza Porn. And now this.”

Pizza porn

 

This is one hell of a sexy look you have going on here, Miss Malone. You are giving a whole new meaning to fringe.” He cocked one brow, adding, “And my people do know our fringe.

Cover 2

 

Tomorrow I will talk about my book dedication.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Now available for pre-order in eBook and paperback! Watch for news about the

upcoming release of the audio book.  Release date: June 9, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/Superstition-Blood-Clan-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071VPQSY7/

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TEN DAYS OF SUPERSTITION…DAY 4

My first eleven books were Historical Romance.  I wanted to do something different–something I had always wanted to do.  I wanted to write a Contemporary Paranormal Romance about vampires.  Switching from writing about the people and lifestyle of the 1800s to present-day shouldn’t be a big deal, right?  WRONG!

In my humble opinion, I was pretty familiar with the customs, language, mannerisms, etc., of the Old West.  As I’ve talked about before, I was so lucky to have a ‘real’ cowboy dad, who lived by old-fashioned values, and loved to tell stories about the days of the American West.  It was fairly easy to write my own stories of romance and adventure in the Old West based on tales I had been hearing all of my life.

It only took me a couple of chapters into my new book (and new genre) to realize I was in trouble.  Writing in a contemporary voice as opposed to a historical voice was a whole different writing style.  I rewrote those first chapters over and over again. They just didn’t sound right.

I decided to write the entire book and then I would worry about finding my contemporary voice.  Easier said than done.  After writing a chapter or two, and sometimes even just a few pages, I would delete it all and start over again.  I wanted to give up.  I desperately wanted to write this book. It was a vicious circle.

My beautiful daughter-in-law, Heather Blake, was my oldest son’s wife. She was also an avid reader and one of my biggest fans.  Ever since she had became a part of our family, she was my writing mentor.  I would call her constantly while writing a book and bounce ideas off of her.  Heather was always straightforward, and I knew I could rely on her to tell me exactly what she thought.  We had talked many times about my idea to write a vampire book, but when I was finally ready to give her a rough draft…whoa…I was not prepared for her response.

I will just write the highlights of her comments the way I remember them.  Keep in mind, this book was also my first attempt to write erotic romance.  “Oh my God! Why didn’t you warn me that this book was so explicit?  Do you know how hard it is to read that stuff knowing that your husband’s mom wrote it?  I just skipped those parts.  Okay, so Mateo is magnificent.  I can picture him clearly in my mind.  What a hunk.  Love him!  But, Dawn…yuck.  She’s supposed to be this experienced camper and big-time hiker, but she can’t remember to bring matches?  Please!  What a ditzy blonde.  Can’t stand her.  Mateo deserves so much better.”

Ditzy blonde?  Yuck?  Mateo deserves better?  Oh my God!  By the way, there is another blog post here called ‘Ditzy Blonde’ that was inspired by Heather’s reaction to that first draft.  Needless to say, it was back to the drawing board.  I started over again, virtually changing everything but the locale and the names of my characters.  Heather had also mentioned that she wanted to know more about the history of Mateo’s vampire clan, so I worked hard on developing a story about the Blood Clan and their origins.

Motivated (and a little gutted) by Heather’s candid remarks, I rewrote this manuscript over and over again.  There’s another blog post here entitled ‘The Death of a Manuscript’ that was inspired by my relentless quest to find the voice I needed to finish this book.

It took me five years to write this book, which was just insane.  I gave up completely on it several times, and stubbornly refused to work on it for months at a time.  But, I thought about it constantly, and my love for my characters, Dawn and Mateo, kept drawing me back in.  They had a story to tell and they deserved a chance to tell it.

Throughout all this time, my wonderful daughter-in-law was my constant sounding board for all the story changes and ideas.  Tragically, she suddenly became ill two years ago and passed away on July 29, 2015.  I loved her (and still love her) like my own child and one of my best friends.  Her loss is indescribable for all of us, but especially for my son and their two boys.  How I wish Heather could be here now to read the finished book, and to celebrate the release of Superstition with me.  I would give anything to hear one more ‘brutally honest’ critique from her.  On release day, I will be looking up at the Heavens and whispering, “Thank you, my beautiful angel.”

Tomorrow is Sunday Funday.  I’m going to be posting some fun (and silly) stuff about Superstition.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Now available for pre-order in eBook and paperback! Watch for news about the upcoming release of the audio book.  Release date: June 9, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/Superstition-Blood-Clan-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071VPQSY7/

Superstition_w11384_750

 

 

 

TEN DAYS OF SUPERSTITION…DAY 1

Today begins my ‘Ten Days of Superstition’.  For the next ten days I am going to share something about my soon-to-be-released book, Superstition, and the long journey that finally produced the finished novel.  This will lead up to the release date on June 9, 2017.

The first words of Superstition, which I originally called Savage Bite, were written while I was in Forks, Washington doing a book signing for my eleventh book, White Owl.  I had been invited to be a guest during the town’s annual celebration for Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series, Twilight.  I was staying at the most picturesque place at the edge of one of the most beautiful forests I’d ever seen, and there was a little deck at the back of my suite.  I was sitting out on that deck one evening staring out at the lush foliage, completely in awe of being in this magical place.

It was no wonder to me, why Stephenie Meyer had chosen this magnificent area for the location of her Twilight Series.  As I thought about her fictional vampires romping around in those thick dark woods, I knew the time had come for me to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing about vampires, too.

Years earlier, I had picked a different genre for my writing path.  My amazing father was a real cowboy who loved the history of The Old West.  I shared his love of this by-gone era.  So, when I started writing romance novels back in the 1980s, I chose to write historical romance, mostly because I had grown up listening to stories about cowboys, outlaws and Indians.  I will always be a fan of this time period, and rugged cowboys and sexy Native American men will forever make me swoon.

But, also years ago, I had become a huge fan of vampire movies and books.  When I was about ten years old I watched my first Dracula movie with my mom and aunt.  It terrified me, but not as much as it fascinated me.  That was the beginning of my vampire love and it has only grown throughout the years.

Dracula, whether he was portrayed as a hideous monster or a drop-dead gorgeous hunk, was the ultimate seducer.  With nothing more than his intense stare he could entice his victims to do anything he desired.  Women eagerly offered him their necks so he could quench his unearthly thirst.  Then, after he had stolen all that they had to give, their immortal corpses were devoted servants to him for eternity.  Wow.  I knew there was some serious romance material there.

So, on that beautiful evening, in that enchanted site in Forks, the idea for my first vampire novel was born.  I grabbed my laptop and started writing my ideas down.  Tomorrow I will talk about why I chose to write a vampire book with a Native American Hero and the location I picked for the setting.

Now available for pre-order in ebook and paperback!  Release date: June 9, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/Superstition-Blood-Clan-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071VPQSY7/

Superstition_w11384_750

SUPERSTITION by Veronica Blake

superstition

I’m very excited to announce that I have sold the first book in my Blood Clan Series to The Wild Rose Press.  Superstition is a Contemporary Paranormal Erotica Romance and will be a part of The Scarlet Rose Line.  The release date is pending, but will be sometime in 2017.  I will be posting lots of updates once I know the exact release date.

Thank you so very much to everyone who encouraged me not to give up on this book. I couldn’t have done it without you!  xoxo

SWITCHING GENRES

Is it a mistake to try to take your writing career in a different direction if you are already established in one certain genre?  If you’ve been following my crazy writing life throughout the years, you know cowboys and Indians are my first love, but I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing something in the horror genre, too.  After eleven Historical Romances, I finally decided to give it a go.  I spent (or wasted) three years completely obsessed with trying to write a paranormal contemporary romance about vampires.  This project was in completely new territory for me. Everything I had written up to that point was about the Old West, a subject I had been enthusiastic about my entire life.  I had a really hard time finding my ‘contemporary’ voice, but once I finally found it, creating my vampire fantasy world was the most fun I’ve ever had while writing a book.  Unfortunately, I have been trying to find a publisher for this book for over a year, and that hasn’t been any fun at all.  Excuse me for a second while I toot my own horn here, but I just don’t get it?  In my humble opinion (and also in my daughter’s opinion) this vampire book is the best thing I’ve ever written.  Okay, I know, we don’t really count.

My plan was to write a series of at least three vampire books about the ‘Blood Clan’ that I was introducing in the first paranormal contemporary romance.  But whenever I try to work on the second book in this saga, I feel like I’m wasting my time…again.  If the first book never sells, why should I be writing a second one?

I’ve tried to write a new historical.  I keep wondering if it’s the genre I really should stick with because I’ve had a measure of success with my first eleven historical romances.  But, every time I try to work on the historical I start to feel guilty about spending my limited writing time working on something other than the second paranormal.  What if a publisher finally wants to buy the first one, and I’m not ready with the second book in the series?

In an attempt to try something entirely different and to get my mind off of my obsession with the paranormal book, I started writing a contemporary erotica, but after the first fifty or so pages I decided this genre just isn’t for me.  Although, I  loved writing the love scenes in my previous books, I’ve decided I’m just a bit too old fashioned to compete with the new and totally uninhibited writers of erotica, which by the way, I do love to read.  Instead, I’ll just continue to write my mildly explicate and beautifully romantic love scenes, while being totally jealous of all those writers who can write really explicate (and sometimes really raunchy) sex scenes that make me quiver and sweat in all ‘those’ places.  So, basically my attempt to venture into another unfamiliar genre was just another waste of my time and energy.

Rejection is the bane of a writer’s existence, but I have to admit, I was a bit spoiled.  Until the past year and the four rejections I’ve received for the paranormal, my first eleven books were published without a single rejection.  Of course I know how lucky I was, and perhaps now I’m paying my dues.  As a writer I’ve learned I have no choice but to be patient, because everything in the publishing world takes an extremely long time to accomplish.  But, it’s still hard to wait anywhere from four weeks to twelve weeks after sending out a query or the entire manuscript—no wait, it’s far worse than hard—it’s downright agonizing to wait so long just to get a form rejection email, or a quick reply from an editorial assistant that they are no longer reading vampire submissions.  Speaking of long, I guess I have no one to blame but myself since it took me too long to write my vampire book and the market is no longer hot for books about this subject.  But, I can’t help but ask myself, did I also make a drastic mistake by trying to switch genres when I was already an established author in another genre?

Now here I sit confused about what direction to take my writing career at this point in time.  It’s been so long since I sold a book (four years) I’m beginning to feel like I’ve lost all my writing mojo.  Every time I post something about writing on any of my social media sites I feel like a has-been who has no business even having a writing site anymore.  I know I just need to keep writing, but should I keep working on another historical romance or the next paranormal contemporary romance in my series?  I love both genres, but I can’t write two books at the same time.  Of course, this wouldn’t even be an issue if I would just sell that darn vampire book, but until that happens (positive thinking here) I have to figure out which genre I can be the most passionate about writing right now, and I need to do it soon before the last of that mojo-thing is completely gone.  Decisions…decisions…

question mark

WHITE OWL

As battle brews between the Utes and the white settlers in Colorado Territory, one bronze-skinned warrior will risk his honor and his life to claim the redheaded beauty who’s captured his heart.

5.0 out of 5 stars . This review is from: White Owl (Kindle Edition)
“I could not put this book down. I never wanted it to end. The romance was exquisite and exciting. I will definitely be reading more of her books.”
Excerpt:

“This was her room,” Tate responded to White Owl’s silent plea.  “Look around.  She packed her belongings and asked our father to take her as far away from here–and you–as possible.”

As Tate’s words penetrated his mind, White Owl turned back to the room.  It was room…just a room, void of anything personal that could distinguish it as Rose’s room.  He stepped inside and took a closer look around.  It wasn’t until he noticed the shiny object laying on the bureau that he realized it was true.  There on the delicate white lace doily was the shimmering gold heart necklace he had seen her wear on several occasions when they had met in the barn or she had come to watch him at the Ute racetrack.  His insides twisted into a tight ball, and his knees felt weak as the reality settled into his aching heart.  She really was gone.

“See, I told you, Injun,” Tate spit out as White Owl remained unmoving in the middle of the room.  “Now, I want you off of our land.  I will shoot you dead if you ever come back.”

White Owl stood mute.  He couldn’t speak, but he did think about provoking the man so that he would fulfill his threat to shoot him.  Why would he want to take another breath if Rose was not here anymore?

WHITE%20OWL[1]

NO PLOT…NO PROBLEM?

I am reading a book that is driving me CRAZY!  It was free for Kindle and it sounded scary; my kind of book.  It got a few really scathing reviews, but most of them were decent reviews, so I decided to give it a try.  Besides, I try to ignore most reviews because who is to say what kind of book (or movie) I will like or not?   In my opinion, however, this book the most poorly written book I’ve ever read.  It has page after page after page of nothing but text…every character’s life story is told in huge chunks of narrative with no dialogue at all, even when two characters are supposed to be talking the author just tells you want they said.  Grrrr!  I, personally, am a huge fan of dialogue.  I love to see how every character reacts and talks as each event unfolds.  But, in this book, I’m being completely robbed of that sort of interaction between the characters.  So, why you ask, do I continue to read it and complain about it?  Because the plot is so dang good!

It’s a horror novel and the descriptions of the crime scenes and victims are graphic and very well done, and the building suspense of learning about the beast that is doing the killing has me totally engaged.  I don’t want to stop reading, yet at the same time, I am so frustrated I want to give it up.  So, how can a writer be so good at writing a plot and so horrible at writing dialogue and emotion?   I’ve always felt the plot is not all that hard once you have a basic story idea in your head, and I find that my plots usually end up taking their own twists and turns once I really get going with it.  But bringing the characters to life with depth and dialogue, which is unique to each one is an entirely different issue.  I think of my characters as my babies since I create them, first as nothing more than a vague image with a possible name.  Then, I flesh them out and breathe life into them with their own individual appearance and traits.  They become real to me because I’m inside their heads at all times.  I want to know everything about them; what they were like from birth through death even though I am only writing about one small period in their lifetime.

Another thing bothering me in this book is the point of view issue (POV).  This writer switches point of view from one paragraph to the next.  Now, years ago, when I first started writing in the late 1980’s (ah, the 80’s were the best) I was also guilty of switching POV at the drop of a pin.  But, this is a terrible crime in the literature world now, and it was something I worked very hard on correcting so that I could keep up with the new literary guidelines.  Now, reading a book (even my very old ones) that does not follow this rule is so distracting I can barely get through it.

I checked to see who the publisher of this book is that I hate to love and it’s self-published.  Since all of my past books have been published through a traditional publishing house, I’ve always had to adhere to all of the strict guidelines of my editor and publisher.  However, this is not to say there have never been any errors in my books, because unfortunately there has been.  Even writers and editors make mistakes.  I know, hard to believe. LOL!  But, with self-publishing, do all the ‘proper’ rules and guidelines go by the wayside?

Please, self-publishers, don’t send me hate mail, because there are amazing self-published books and very talented self-published authors out there.  I know the majority of self-published writers don’t publish their work until they have made sure all the grammatical errors are corrected and the sentence structure is as perfect as possible.  They fret as much as any of us about point of view and character development and believable dialogue.  But, what about the ones who don’t take the time to have their manuscripts reviewed by a professional copy editor and are not qualified proof readers themselves?   Well, obviously they can just publish their books and hope their readers won’t care.  I’m sorry, but I care.  When I buy a book at a bookstore or for my Kindle I know I’m getting a book I might not like once I start reading it.  That’s a chance I’m willing to take and its okay.   What’s not okay is getting a book by an author who thought I would be okay with pages full of grammar mistakes, confusing sentence structure, no character development and no dialogue.  So what’s a reader to do?  I suppose we just keep taking chances, just like we always have when we buy or download a book to read.  Like everything in life…you win some and you lose some.