Raven says…Put up, shut up, and grow up…

Thursday thoughts and Raven rambles on—again.

This week, I’m calling it…Don’t throw the dummy out. Use it to shut yourself up when necessary.

What am I rambling on about today?

Reviews, reviewers, bloggers and authors reactions.

You’d like to think no reviewer sets out to be deliberately nasty. And I’d say 99.9% of then don’t. Of course there will always be the odd one. Ignore them. don’t moan groan or spit vitriol. Just accept that into every life some shit had to fall. They are your shit. They are also not what this post is all about.

baby crap bag

(okay not exactly the correct pic but I couldn’t resist…

I’m talking about those lovely people who read our books, and then give a good honest and justified review.

We need them.

Don’t give them grief when they are honest and explain what they didn’t like about your book. Listen and take heed. You may choose to differ, but suck it up buttercup. It is their honest opinion. Don’t rail at them, do not ask them not to put the review up and for all that’s holy do not, I repeat not ever ask them to up the rating (number of stars or whatever they use) they gave you.

A screaming woman and books

That’s what I mean by throwing the dummy out.

Chill and have a glass of wine…and chocolate

Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar

LONDON, UK – MAY 6TH 2016: An unopened Dairy Milk chocolate bar manufactured by Cadbury, pictured over a plain white background on 6th May 2016.

Who are you to say they are wrong? Who are you to intimate their views are not acceptable, or les worthy than yours?

Think how you’d feel in their shoes.

They’ve given up their time to read your book. They are trying to be honest and say what they thought.

Accept it. Be gracious. Hold on to the dummy.

knitted baby and dummy

Or next time you have a book out, you might not get a review, and it could be the book that would have made you. If only people could have seen what other people thought.

Happy food for thought…

Raven x

All pics are sourced via pinterest

Acts of Terror and Charity Anthology Call #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with some somber Tuesday Thoughts. As you no doubt know I live in the UK which has been hit by three acts of terror in as many months.

I can’t even begin to describe that sinking feeling in my stomach when the TV gets interrupted for breaking news.

The latest attack was, of course on Saturday evening in London. You’ll all know the details by now, so I shan’t rehash the gruesome details.

I will only say this.

To those cowards who think they bring down the UK with their random killing spree of the innocents. Fuck you! and think again.

We are stronger than that. Hate will never win!

With that in mind, I would like to draw the attention of all you authors out there to this submission call for a charity anthology made by the awesome Lucy Felthouse!

 

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As well as having been completely horrified and distraught by the recent terror attacks in the UK, I’ve also felt quite helpless. The latest attack at London Bridge spurred me into action—I might not be in a position where I can physically help victims, but I can do something. I can put together an anthology where all proceeds go to a charity that will help those affected. So that’s what I’m doing. Please consider writing something for this collection, and do share the call for submissions with anyone you think might be interested. Thank you.

United in Love (tentative title).

I want love stories about unity in the UK. About pulling together in the face of hardship and adversity. About solidarity. About positivity. I want heart-warming tales with a heat level of 3+—so hot romance to erotic romance. No closed-door sex or sweet romance. I’d like stories with a British flavour—so set in Britain. Authors do not have to be British or living in the UK, as long as the story has a British flavour.

I’m not looking for pure erotica, or BDSM/kink/similar. The emphasis is on love stories, and I’m looking to appeal to a wide variety of romance readers in order to maximise sales and therefore monies raised.

Stories should be between 3—6k (there’s a tiny bit of wiggle room, especially if your story is exceptional, but not much), with double quote marks around dialogue, double spaced, indents not tabs, UK spellings, and have been edited to the best of your ability. If you can get someone else to go through it once you’re done, all the better. I will be editing/proof-reading stories that are accepted, but the less work I have to do on that front, the more quickly the anthology can hit digital shelves and start earning money for charity. Stories do not have to be brand new, but they must adhere to the theme, and if they are previously published, please ensure you hold the rights to re-publish.

Which brings me on to the chosen charity. I’ve selected the British Red Cross. They’ve just set up a UK Solidarity Fund to help victims of terror anywhere in the UK—assisting with immediate issues and ensuring that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties. All money raised from sales of the anthology will go directly to them.

I want to move fairly quickly on this, so the deadline is quite short, I’m afraid. Stories should reach me no later than 14th July 2017. Ideally, I would like to publish the collection sometime during August. Please send your story to lucy@lucyfelthouse.co.uk with the subject: United in Love submission. Please refer any questions to the above email address.

Thank you so much for considering this, and please do share widely!

Lucy

 

So there, you have it. I will try my best to come up with something for this anthology.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

 

D xx

Not the ride I was looking for #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Greetings one and all, and happy Friday. Hope everyone has had a great week. Mine was decidedly strange, and truly should have ended on Wednesday. But I shall continue to slog through, it’s only a few hours more after all.

Today’s post is one that we’ve touched on prior here on NQ, but it obviously needs repeating. I’ve been reading a book which is the source of much angst currently in my life. Normally I can whip through an ebook in no more than two days, a paperback roughly three. This bugger has me currently at day four and I’m only half way through. It’s not a super long book by any means, 168 pages (print length), which for me is usually nothing.

But I’m having trouble with it. For one, the heroine has seesaw emotions that quite frankly have me feeling nauseous. I’m a roller coaster, slingshot, etc. riding maniac. The more something makes you scream the better. Yet this up and down with her emotions, one minute she’s terrified, two paragraphs later she’s all lovey-dovey, and then she’s angry, and then and then and then…

To top it off, roughly around chapter two, the hero in the story (and her future man) refers to himself in conversation with the antagonist. And not in a third person sort of thing, but as a separate person entirely. It threw me, completely. But so far it’s the worst thing that’s happen where he’s involved. The heroine on the other hand – she might just benefit from seeking professional help with her rather severe, and whiplash like mood swings.

While the concept of this book is also quite intriguing, the totality is thus far leaving me with no more than a bad taste.

Let’s be clear here authors. If your heroine/hero/secondary character, whomever, is in a traumatizing event – yes they should be a little out of sorts, and even moody. But once they have pushed through that initial trauma, unless you are specifically putting in some PTSD, quit with the emotional seesaw! Readers don’t like that shit. Other authors who read your works REALLY don’t like that shit. STOP IT!

The emotion of your character(s) needs to fit the situation. If it’s upbeat, light, and fun keep it that way. If you’re throwing them into danger than make sure their emotional state fits. Having your characters acting out of tune with the scene you’ve set in detail only confuses your readers, and makes it feel like slogging through the bayou on the hottest day on record. No fun at all.

So unless your one character knows something that the others in the situation don’t, or has had a horrid day, or ended up run over by a tanker trailer, try to keep their emotions on an even keel. Readers everywhere will thank you, and we on NQ won’t have to keep writing about it.

Raven says…pick five words…go on, any five…

Morning (or whatever) Raven rambling here

The sun is shining on me at the moment so I’ll take it.

Across the lawnJPG

(Pic Raven)

It’s one of those ohh grief, what am I going to write times this week. I scratched my head, and hubby wanted to know why the deep sighs.

I’m stuck, I said.

To which he reminded me of something i”d said to him ages ago. ‘You say you don’t get writers block but your characters get arsy so you write something else.’

Then he grinned. ‘So write about something else.’

Not that helpful when I couldn’t think of s topic!

But then I remembered something a few of us did as newbies when we were stuck for a topic. We gave each other 5 or 10 (or however many words) and said write 100, or 200 (or however many 😉 ) words with those words in it.

It’s amazing how such a silly prompt can help. Especially when the mix of words makes you giggle, or be very inventive. It even works if you pick your own mix.

Alternatively ask someone to give you a sentence, and you have to write the next paragraph. Or go to a book at random open it and pick a sentence without reading any of the context.

It’s fun, and if you are having trouble with what you are writing…hopefully it will help.

Rainbows, bananas, needlework, coconuts and lacy-tights anyone?

thumbs up

(pic source, pinterest)

It might make you giggle if nothing else.

Happy writing,

enjoy your words,

love Raven x

Migraine stops play #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hey, lovely peeps, Doris here. At the point of writing this, I feel like the proverbial stuff at the bottom of your shoe, warmed up, and spewed back out again.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up how I feel. So forgive me for not being able to string together a coherent post. I didn’t want to leave you hanging and wondering what happened to my post, however, so this is just a quickie.

I’ll be back next week with, hopefully, something clever to say.

I’ve been fighting this darn migraine for three days now, and screens make it worse, so I’ll get off here again.

Stay naughty, and above all stay healthy.

D xxx

Writing Is My Sanity by Jules Dixon #MondayMessages #AmWriting #WritingAdvice

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Hello, everyone! How are you all doing?

I’ve had a long week, busy with moving, holiday gatherings, and getting a house ready for market, but I’m not going to complain, I’m reveling in the fact that I’m getting as much done as I am.

But, something had to get hurt in the process. For me, that was my 4-6 hours of writing a day. Not only did time have something to do with it, but in reality, some weeks are better than others for writing. It’s just the way muses work, at least mine.

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One thing I’ve found consistent is that when I’m having a bad or busy day, if I’m able to get at least some me writing time into the end of a day, all seems to be better.

 

Writing truly is my release time. It’s been keeping me sane these last few weeks.

This morning I was stressed out. Lots had gone right and some had gone wrong this weekend. So hubby convinced me that we needed an hour away just to decompress and so we tried a new breakfast place that is close to our new home, moving from the ‘burbs to the middle of the city.

This lovely couple saw us waiting and asked if we’d like to sit with them. We had a wonderful conversation and their personalities inspired me to write in an older couple to my current story. They were so in sync with each other. Fifty-six years of marriage, three children, eight grandkids (who they gushed over and had every right to) and one great-grandchild. It was lovely to see and really made me think.

Life is pretty darn great.

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Seriously.

Even if I’m hurting in every part of my body. Seriously, my feet right now…on fire. There is something to look forward to or to appreciate right here and now.

Little things and big things.

Like the new firmer mattress waiting for me at the new house. And a new desk for writing–can’t wait to start writing at it. Friends and family to have over to enjoy our new home with.

Just have a few more things to do at this house to get it ready to sell and we can start a new chapter in our lives.

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And the kitties need to be moved. Not sure how they’re going to do with it all, but we’ll work it out. Cause again…it’s all good, if we’re together.

If that couple taught me anything it was to not worry so much, enjoy the people in my life, and invite people to sit at my table.

So to all the readers, writers and friends I’ve yet to meet out there, you are always welcome at my table.

❤ and Hugs to all.

Jules

 

 

 

Behind the mask #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

It’s that time again, Friday. It was a short week for some of us, but damn if it didn’t feel incredibly long. I’m not only talking about the extra scramble to cover the day off, but also all the happenings in the world. I won’t get into it, but I will say it’s getting bloody exhausting reading about the same events, while they might be in different places, continuing to occur. When are we going to say enough is enough already?

As this isn’t the purpose of my post today I’ll leave that question to hang for you, and those around you, to answer at your own speed. No, today I want to discuss masks. Particularly the masks we as humans all wear.

Yes, yes, I can hear some out there saying that they don’t ever, or wouldn’t ever. Whatever. We all do it. From professional to personal, we each have a bag of masks we carry with us at all times. They could be hiding some pain (physical or mental), some slight, some news (good or bad), whatever it might be – we all wear them.

I’m not here to say to ditch them all. That isn’t the point, and yet it is.

As writers we have to see behind masks others wear to discover their heart, soul, and purpose. We then use that information in our writing. Where we then create characters who have their own bags of masks to protect them from the world. It’s all part of making them life like and relatable to readers. For in our creation they might see something that mirrors their life, their situation, their pain and gain insight, or even comfort from knowing that there are others out there going through the same thing. Yes, it comes to them in the form of a fictional character, but as authors the golden rule of thumb is to always write what you know (and what you learn, and what you research carefully). One never knows when the band-aid you, as an author, have torn off and bared to the world via your story telling ability will help someone else halfway around the world.

We all want to be able to create reactions in our readers whether they laugh, cry, scream, rage or any other number of emotions. To touch on something within them that is profound and true is the height we all strive to reach. Now, let me be clear, I am NOT talking about sensationalism – we get enough of that shit in the news on a minute-by-minute basis. What I mean is a careful unfolding, development that maybe gives them an “ah-ha!” moment. Perhaps even clarity, or startling realization. For we can not only amuse, but we can also teach and lend aid through the words we put together.

Think about it.

I know this one’s short but it’s been one hell of a week and exhaustion is banging at the door, so I’m off to watch a movie before encapsulating myself in my bed for the night. Have a great day everyone, remember it’s started out fresh and new, no expectations (except that you be dressed while in public), and it will become whatever you make of it. So go forth and Carpe Diem one and all.

Raven on…I have no idea TBH

Hi all, Raven here with her Thursday thoughts…

Living in the UK, this week it has been hard to think of things other than than children not coming home. Mums, dads, friends and relatives lost for ever.

But we have to, because otherwise the baddies win.

I say baddies on purpose because that is how I have to think of those bastards who kill people for whatever reason they think fit.

And now I have to say, terrorists/freedom fighters however you chose to look at them will not win by hatred or killing, but by peace.

I have to believe that or why bother to carry on?

I’ll be honest, the last thing on my mind was writing or blogging. I remember that every day there but the grace of our Gods goes me and mine. We have to carry on..

So, once this ‘not a lot to do with writing and blogging post’ goes up, I’ll make a coffee (it is 3.30 am, yes I am awake), get comfy, open my lap top and add a bit to my WIP.

If it happens to be a WIP where the baddies get eaten by pigs, well who can blame me?

Life is very good at throwing us curve balls, upsetting our ‘lists of what to do’ for the week. It’s easy to let things overwhelm you, and then it’s chaos as you play catch up.

Don’t panic. Just accept that this weeks word count will be down, you won’t get the home made soup prepared (that’s what tins and add a bit of this and that are for) or the mantle piece is dusty.

In the grand scheme of things it will all even out in the end.

And that my friends is it for this week. I’m off to throw a few herbs in tonight’s tin of soup, blow at the dust, and reassure my heroine that the hero won’t leave in the state she’s in for too long.

Take care, hug your loved ones, and happy writing.

Now where did I put that tin opener?

Love

Raven x

Love and Prayers #Manchester #ManchesterUnited

 

Good morning everyone. Kacey here, I hope you’re doing all right. In light of recent tragic events, I simply want to say today that there are times when we need to step back and remember what is most important.

Family and friends. And remembering that violence is not the answer to anything.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families in Manchester.

manchester

 

 

With love,

Kacey xoxo

 


 

“You don’t read that rubbish…” #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with her Tuesday thoughts, which will be short and sweet, and quite possibly ranty. You have been warned.

 

What brought this on, you may well ask? Well, the title will give you a clue! The above was actually said during a wedding dinner I attended this weekend. Now, don’t get me wrong the actual event was fab, and I really enjoyed myself, but as we were sitting around this table making small talk which folks we’d never met before the conversation inevitably turned to, “So, what do you do?”

My ever supportive and far too proud of me hubby announced that I was an author.

“Oh, really, what sort?”

All well and good until the subject of what exactly I write came up.

As per usual, the whole oh like Fifty shades came up. I just smiled sweetly and said, “My dear, I write far hotter than that.”

While the women at the table were supportive, you had to get one joker, who came out with the rubbish comment, not to me, I hasten to add, but to his wife, who was talking to me about my books.

Cue her reply, “No, but she writes it.”

Cue me, smiling not so sweetly at Mr. Clever Clogs. “Yes, that’s right, and I do very well, thank you.”

The expression on my face must have given me away. I know I have a very expressive face and probably looked ready to take his head off…. because he dropped the subject. Then again, my continued ignoring of his might have had something to do with that too.

Seriously, though…. grrr….

That was on top if the usual, “Oh, I should write a book,” and wink, wink, nudge, nudge comments. Is it any wonder I normally keep what I do to myself?

   Anyhoo, just had to get that off my chest. I shall never understand why folks have such a low opinion of the romance industry in general and erotic romance in particular.

On the upside I also met several folks at the wedding who are avid fans of my writing, so, ya know it swings in roundabouts.

They tend to be quieter than the neighsayers, mind you, but that’s okay.  I shall continue to ignore those that belittle the genre and continue to write what I love. Best way of dealing with them really, and well I know what my next villain will be called.

He may or may not find himself emasculated by a pint-sized, erotic romance reading woman…

 

*whistles innocently*

That’s all from me today, folks.

Do stay naughty, won’t you!

Dxxx