Friday, April 29, 2016

The Yikes Factor with @MeganSlayer

I'm about to complain about something that to some would be a terribly small problem, but I'm still going to grouse a bit.

Time management.

Now you might say, how is time management hard? You're a writer. You write. That's all you do.

Well, no, it's not ALL I do. I have a family and pets who think they're both human and my children. They are, don't get me wrong. But it's difficult when one of the cats thinks he's a person, another cat thinks he's a dog and the third cat is a boneless slug. Oh and the dogs? One has serious separation anxiety (from me), one thinks she's a person, too, and the third one still can't control his long legs - he's four and all goofy, clumsy leggy hound. They're all clingy and in desperate need of attention when I'm neck-deep in something important. I'm a mom and a wife, too. So yes, it's a little hectic around my house.

Now back to the issue at hand. Time management. I'm looking at my writing schedule - most all of it takes place at night after everyone has (mostly) settled down - and getting a little freaked out.

This is in one way a great problem to have. I've got work that wants to be done and stories dying to be told. I'm a panster for the most part and just write as the stories flow. Scheduling was never my thing, but I'm a sucker for a hard deadline. So you'd think I'd be happy. Stories coming left and right.

But that's where the rub is. Being that pantster I mentioned, sometimes the story isn't flowing. That's why I tend to have three or four stories going at one time, but still. If the deadline is fast approaching and the story isn't working... I tend to freak out. I like deadlines, but I NEED to have space. I can't write until the zero hour and have the story work. It doesn't.

So to help my issues out, I set up my calendar with reminders... is this story done? Have you started this one? Where are you on this one? I've got the reminders a few days out and a few weeks out from when things are due so hopefully I stay on track.

But it's still the YIKES! Factor. Yikes, how did I get myself into this? Yikes, I'm letting the characters run away with me. Yikes, how am I going to get this all done and correctly? Yikes, I'm in over my head...

What about you? Do you ever have those moments? How do you cope? Let me know. We can commiserate and help each other out.

In the mean time, here's a little bit about my latest release, You Complete Me

Battle Scarred 4: You Complete Me by Megan Slayer 

Paranormal, Contemporary
Loose Id
Art by Mina Carter
An AllRomance Ebooks Staff Pick!
I’ve got your back, if you’re willing to trust your enemy. 

Hagan Dean thought he was helping his friend. He was playing the role of saviorexcept he ended up left for dead in the sunshine. Vampires and sunshine dont mix. Even worse? A Hunterone of the sexiest women hes laid eyes onis ready to kill him. Hes got a lot to survive for and the odds are stacked against him, but he’s a fighter. Will the Hunter let him live another night? Or is this vampire destined to fry into a pile of soot?
Emily Cross is a born Hunter. Her life’s work is to keep the balance between the Supers and the Supers who have stepped out of line. She’s never been keen on the Rogues taking over the Hunters. She doesn’t want to kill all the Supers…she is one! When she finds a nearly charred vampire in the woods during one of the hunts, her thoughts turn from killing to keeping him alive.
Will these two opposites come together to find common ground in order to help end the war? Or will the passion crackling between them tear their worlds apart?
Available right now from Loose Id!

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Doctor Who?

One of my all-time scenes from Doctor Who is when the regenerated Doctor (David Tennant) burst through a door in a robe and pajamas into the middle of a major crisis and says, "Didja miss me?" That note of levity was typical of Tennant's Doctor. That question also applies to my missing my turn here last month. Sorry about that. No excuse. No reason, other than absentmindedness.

I'm sure my fellow Whovians have their favorite Doctor. Tennant is mine. I came late to the party. But if you have to come into an existing franchise, the best time is during a retrospective--like the 50th anniversary. I couldn't believe Doctor Who had been on the air for all that time and I never knew about it. I could up quickly with the anniversary specials, and I've now seen all the episodes in the new version, starting with Christopher Eccelston's Doctor. Wasn't too crazy about him, though. 

As I mentioned, Tennant's quirky humor endeared him to me. But he wasn't all fun and games. He could be tough when he needed to be. Remember his threat to bring down Harriet Jones' government with six words? Very clever, that man. Or is he a man? He's certainly not human. A Time Lord, who doesn't die but regenerates. The most poignant scene was with Rose on the beach when she knew she would never see him again. I was very disappointed when they wrote out Tennant.

I'm still ambivalent about Peter Capaldi's Doctor. Loved the interaction between him and the much younger Clara. The humor was still there, but then the series grew much more serious. And weird. I didn't want to see Clara leave. Even worse, the way she did, as well as the way the Doctor tried to hold onto her. The strangeness of the last episodes of the season left me wondering how they would ever return to the humor of previous seasons. I hope they will.

Don't get me wrong. Doctor Who has always made us think about our current events. That's what science fiction is good at--dealing with current crises in an oblique way. Gene Roddenberry did the same in Star Trek.  Watching aliens work through troubles is easier than being lectured at for polluting the atmosphere or racial relations.

So I'll keep watching, keep hoping. And enjoying good science fiction.

When Diane Burton isn't writing romantic suspense and mysteries, she's off to the frontier of space, the world of her Outer Rim series.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Five Wonderful Insights You Need to Know About Writers

The moment I sat my butt in the chair and my fingers to the keyboard, intent on writing a novel—I knew I had a lot to learn.

Okay, honestly, I had no idea what was involved in writing a novel. You just sit down and write, right? Preferably in long stretches in a secluded cabin. 

Well, over the last ten years I’ve learned a lot about writing, but the most surprising thing I discovered was about the elusive introverts tapping away on the keyboards—the writers. (The uninterrupted time and secluded cabin continue to elude me.)

1.    Writers might horde sticky notes, pens, and chocolate (or is that just me?) but there’s no hoarding of information

·      If I ask a question on a writer’s loop- multiple answers & suggestions appear like magic
·      I’ve gained critique partners, beta readers, new ideas, email addresses-I can’t even list how much I’ve benefited from making writer friends.

2.     Writers make sacrifices for their love of the written word. Things like sleeping, a social life and occasionally…their sanity.

·      Turns out, I’m not completely insane for getting up at the crack of dawn to write- so do a ton of other writers.
·      Writers are the only people who don’t raise a brow when I confess to not watching most of the popular television shows (or much TV at all without my laptop)

3.     Writers embrace the odd and unusual- I’ve found my peeps! I’m not alone!

·      A secret obsession of office products is expected. Yes!
·      They utilize a clandestine language in their writerly discussions — WIP, PR, dayjob, TBR, RWA, TSTL…

4.     Writers can become fast friends even if they’ve never met or spoke in person

·      Some of my writer friends know me better than the people I see everyday
·      Could be because the people I see everyday get a little nervous when I share too much of what’s going on in my mind when a story is percolating.

5.     Writer’s boost each other up – sure there might be a little of the green eyed monster now and then, but for the most part there are never too many stories.

·      I’ve never heard anyone say, “I just can’t read another book. Or I have no room for another author in my TBR pile.”

Writers- what insights would you like to add?
 Non-writers (i.e.: normal folk)- How do you envision your favorite authors?  (I was pretty sure 'my authors' lived in that cabin...still waiting on the invite...)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Being a Writer and Pet Parent...with Megan Slayer

I'm a vocal pet person. I love cats, dogs, bunnies... well, you get the idea. I need critters around my house because they keep me sane.

I've got three dogs and three cats. To say the least, it's a zoo. But I love them. I do. I've always said I have a soft spot for critters with issues. One cat thinks he's a dog. One cat hates...everyone...sometimes even me. The third cat I'm pretty sure doesn't have any bones in his body. He's liquid. One dog, the water dog, is deathly afraid of water. Another dog swears she's a person and she's the mother of my kid. Then there's my shadow dog. If I'm not there, she's not happy. She's got serious separation anxiety.

So now you might be wondering what all of this has to do with writing. Sometimes I wonder, too.

Okay, no. I know, but bear with me.

I'm sitting here trying to decide what to write about. I mean, I'm a writer. I have ideas. I have characters talking to me. Writing shouldn't be hard.

Now factor in critters. One dog wants me to pet him. Another wants to sit on the cushion RIGHT next to me. He breathes on the computer and plugs the fan. Okay... gotta move. I head to the desk. One cat wants to sit behind me on the office chair. So much for proper posture. Another cats wants to knock EVERYTHING down because he's not getting attention and/or fed on his time. The third cat shows up just to sleep on the desk beside the computer because he has to keep me company. I don't mind him being there. He sheds all over everywhere, but it's not that big of a deal.

Enter the dogs. The one who can't live without me has to stroll by and toot before she jumps onto the couch in the office. The second one wants to chase the cat sleeping by the computer. Growls, howls and hissing ensues. Third dog strolls by, leaving a stench trail, before she heads upstairs to sleep on the landing.

Now I'm supposed to write characters having sex. Hmm. I'm pretty sure I'll have to let the room air out and a few critters go to sleep before I get anything written.

Such is the glamorous life of a writer.

Want to know more about my latest release? Here you go!!

You Belong to Me 

Battle Scarred, Book 3
Megan Slayer
Contemporary, Paranormal
M/F, M/M, M/F/M, Ménage, M/M/F, Anal Sex
Available from Loose Id

The vampire and wolf shifter will protect Ava with their lives—because they belong together as deemed by the Sources. Will their blossoming love wither before they get a chance to stoke the flames, or will it be strong enough to overcome their problems?

The world can crumble around us, but we’ve always got each other. Always.

Ava Grant learned the hard way not to trust anyone. Trust equaled opening up to another person and allowing herself to be hurt. She’s done with pain—until she’s summoned by the Sources. Her world is thrown into upheaval. Two men can help her, if she’s willing to let them in. Will she able to open her heart to a vampire and a wolf shifter?

Joachim Stokes and Padraig O’Malley are the best of friends. The attraction between them is palpable, but there’s something missing. When they are tasked with protecting Ava, they realize they’d found what they’ve been missing—her. A bond forms between the three, but some bonds are meant to be broken. With the war heating up, her past won’t stay hidden forever.

Will their blossoming love wither before they get a chance to stoke the flames, or will it be strong enough to overcome their problems?

Available here:

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Friday, March 4, 2016

Easy & Fun Book Promotion From a Self-Declared Technology-inept Author

By Maureen L. Bonatch 

On more than one occasion I've openly declared my limited ability, and desire, to learn all this new fangled technology.

 Despite my words sounding like a stubborn ancient oldster about to recollect the amount of snow traveled to school back in the days of their youth (hint: it's always uphill both ways)or an ostrich with it's head in the sand—I've come to realize I'll have to learn some of the ever changing world of technology.                    

                                      Wanna come along?

Why Learn Something New?  

Because no one is going to come looking if you don't put yourself out there. 

Believe me, I've waited and waited, but no one has come knocking on my door to ask to see the books I have published...or the four draft manuscripts on my computer. 

Why do people wait, delay, stall or ignore?

Because Change is Hard

Taking that next step, finishing that draft, or learning a new skill is imperative to growth 

I've already...

Today I want to share my latest venture and a display few ways even a technology-phobe-novice like me used PicMonkey and Canva to interact with readers, share my books, and have a little fun. (Some items are free and others have a minimal fee for use- be sure to check.)

Yes, I said fun! Who would've thought? 

I'm not going to provide step by step methods to create these because...they're that simple. Go to the site and it tells you exactly what to do. 

Instead I'll show you a few different ways you can use these great resources for marketing your book, interacting with readers, or just having fun!

1. Use a line/quote from your book 

 2.  Use a quote of yours, or one you like, to  share your thoughts 

3.  Use a tagline to tell the reader a little about your story 

4. Use comments  (Be sure to quote and/or give credit)

5.  Use one of your own photos

These are just a few examples, and I'm by no means an expert. 
I mean, none, nada, not even close, miles away from anything close to an expert! 

Now go on and have some fun making your own 

Can't get enough Paranormal and Urban Fantasy? 

 You're invited to the Bump in the Night...a Paranormal Experience Facebook Party on March 12th from 12  p.m until 6 p.m. EST! 

You’ll find me (at 12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. EST- check the time zone peeps!) and 11 other paranormal/urban fantasy authors. Stop by for prizes and loads of magical fun!

About the Author:

Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Find Me:
Writing on my Website
Tweeting on Twitter
Pinning on Pinterest
Flapping on Facebook

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lions with Piercings... Oh My! A Conversation on Lion Shifters with @MeganSlayer

I've read plenty of shifter stories and I love them. The more I read them, the more I love shifters. Lions, Tigers, Wolves... you name it.

So as I worked on my latest novella, Loving Leo, a thought occurred to me. Piercings and tattoos on shifters. Now how does that work? I'm sure other authors have written shifters with tats and piercings, but I hadn't come across any.

Then my character, Leo, informed me he wanted both!

First thought? How does that work during lion time? Does the tat show up under the fur? Or disappear? What about the piercing? Would the animal side even understand what it was?

Now instead of driving myself nuts trying to sort all of that out, I went with the character's lead and wrote the story. Leo wants a piercing and gets one. He wants to be different. I let him and his partner dictate how things shook out concerning that teeny little piercing. If they were happy, so was I.

So my question to you... what are your thoughts on shifters, tattoos and piercings? Let me know. I'd love to discuss it. :-)

* * * * * * * 
Here's a little bit about Leo and Axl:

Loving Leo 

Book 5 in the Sanctuary Series
Paranormal, Contemporary
M/M, Anal Sex, Shifters, Lion Shifters
Resplendence Publishing

This lion’s ready to claim what’s his on the day made for lovers.

Figuring out what Valentine’s Day isn’t easy, especially for lion shifters. Until coming to Sanctuary, Leo had never heard of the holiday, but he’s not about to let the special day go by without taking notice. He knows his heart and it belongs to Axl. He’ll do what it takes to get Axl’s attention, but will Axl share his feelings?

Axl is the brute of the group and has no need for Valentine’s Day. He’s tough and takes what he wants—including Leo. He doesn’t need a holiday to dictate his actions. That is until Leo bares his soul and his needs. Will Leo’s honesty be enough for Axl to come to terms with his feelings? Anything can happen on Valentine’s Day.

Available from Resplendence Publishing

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
Subscribe to our newsletter ~ 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Expanding the Imagination

An article in inspired me to write this post.

Where will the next dreamers come from? The writers of science fiction books and movies? The scientists, explorers?

Much has been written about the latest Star Wars movie Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Not all of it good. Take it from a long-time Star Wars afionada and the grandmother of a six- and 8-year-old who are crazy about anything Star Wars, the movie was great. I wanted to see the movie with them, to share the excitement and to find out what they liked. However, circumstances prevented that. So they were all geared up to call me . . . until their mother said no spoilers. That put a damper on their enthusiasm. After I saw the movie, they happily shared all the “exciting” parts.

Something else those grandchildren are crazy about are LEGOs. At their house, they have several Friends and Star Wars sets. On the other hand, I have the plain building sets—some their mother and uncle played with thirty-plus years ago along with new ones. My thinking is to let the kids create whatever they want. During a recent school snow day spent at my house, they not only devised structures, they put on skits based on the “underworld” scenes they created with LEGOs.

I love watching creativity at work. Storytelling, skits, building blocks. Whether it’s building kits or making up stories based on movies and TV shows, their imaginations soar. A site we’ve used for several years to write stories is My Storymaker from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The program keeps improving, offering more choices for the kids to make up a story. (They talk, I type.)

The more opportunities we give children to use their imagination the better dreamers they’ll become. If they can dream it, anything is possible. Our next storytellers, filmmakers, scientists, astronauts will come from those who were encouraged to use their imagination as children.

Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. Her latest science fiction romance release is The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel: Book 3). She blogs here on the 13th of the month and on her own blog on Mondays.


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