Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Holidays! Join the Blog Hop

Wel­come blog hop­pers! You should have come from Dhympna du Maurier’s blog, and the tour started at Trina M. Lee’s place, so if you’re just stum­bling on this post, be sure to start there! But before you go, have a glass of wine?



Everyone wants an angel of their own, right?? How about putting him on your... um, tree?

Love ebooks and stress-free holidays? Leave a comment for a chance to win some amazing gifts just for yourself -- honest, you don't have to share these:

Preja Vu by Alanna Coca
3 paperbacks from Emily and Elise
For a Price by Olivia Brynn
Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad
Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Bound by Deception by Christa Paige
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
Banged Up by Jeanne St. James
Endangered Hearts by Jolie Cain
Flesh and Blood by Tina Holland
Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
The Challenge by Serena Shay
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler
Human Nature by Cat Kane
Backlist book by Dee Carney
Semper Fi by Jambrea Jo Jones
Red Lioness Tamed by Savanna Kougar
The Spirit of the Place by PG Forte
Iron by PG Forte
In the Dark by PG Forte
Winner's choice of any book by K.Z. Snow
Six Foot Hero by Shea McMaster / Morgan O'Reilly
TBA by J. Morgan - never miss with Jmo!
Hearts Afire December by Emily, Elise and Ella
Signed print copy of Destiny's Magick by Rae Morgan
The Omegas by Annie Nicholas
The Extremist by Juniper Bell
Tastes of Pleasure by Shara Lanel

Your next stop on the Holiday Hottie Blog Tour is Sara Brookes' blog. Don't forget to join us for the after-tour chat party at Gem Sivad's Place. There will be authors dropping in all day long, so come on by! No password necessary.

One more hint for a relaxing holiday: eBooks make an easy, affordable, fun, ecological gift. ;)
Our best wishes for the merriest of Christmas's and the brightest holidays, however you may celebrate,

Morgan and Jmo

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Blog Tour!

This Friday, December 11, Jmo and I are participating in another fun and fabulous blog tour! Be sure to stop by for your chance to win some fabulous books and talk with some great authors.

Participating authors and prizes:

Trina M. Lee http://trinamlee.com/blog/ Chatting
Serena Shay http://serenashay.blogspot.com/ Chatting
Jolie Cain http://joliecainauthor.blogspot.com/
Tina Holland http://tinaholland.wordpress.com/ Chatting
Stephanie Adkins http://stephanieadkins.wordpress.com/blog/
Emily and Elise http://www.scorchedsheets.com/blog Chatting
Paige Tyler http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/
Juniper Bell http://authorJuniperBell.blogspot.com Chatting
Alanna Coca http://alannacoca.com/blog Chatting
K.Z. Snow http://kzsnow.blogspot.com.
Ella Drake http://elladrake.blogspot.com/ Chatting
Jeanne St. James http://www.jeannestjames.blogspot.com/ Chatting
Annie Nicholas www.annienicholas.blogspot.com
P.G. Forte http://www.rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com/ Chatting
Shara Lanel http://sharalanel.wordpress.com/ Chatting
Olivia Brynn http://oliviabrynn.com/blog Chatting (when Alanna's not )
Dhympna du Maurier http://culinarycarnivale.blogspot.com/
Morgan Q. O'Reilly http://themorgandiaries.blogspot.com/
Sara Brookes http://www.sarabrookes.net
Savanna Kougar http://kougarkisses.blogspot.com/ Chatting
Christa Paige http://www.christapaige.com/blog/ Chatting
Vivian Arend http://vivianarend.com/blog/ Chatting
Cat Kane http://catkane.blogspot.com/Maybe Chatting
Dee Carney http://www.deecarney.com/blog/
Jambrea Jo Jones http://jambrea.wordpress.com/ Chatting
Gem Sivad http://gemsivad.wordpress.com/blog/ Chatting
Rachel Fox/Rae Morgan/Monette Michaels Chatting only

**********************

Grand Prizes so far:

Preja Vu by Alanna Coca
3 paperbacks from Emily and Elise
For a Price by Olivia Brynn
Wolf's Tender by Gem Sivad
Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Bound by Deception by Christa Paige
Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
Banged Up by Jeanne St. James
Endangered Hearts by Jolie Cain
Flesh and Blood by Tina Holland
Between Heaven and Hell by Stephanie Adkins
The Challenge by Serena Shay
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler
Human Nature by Cat Kane
Backlist book by Dee Carney
Semper Fi by Jambrea Jo Jones
Red Lioness Tamed by Savanna Kougar
The Spirit of the Place by PG Forte
Iron by PG Forte
In the Dark by PG Forte
Winner's choice of any book by K.Z. Snow
Six Foot Hero by Shea McMaster
TBA by J. Morgan
Hearts Afire December by Emily, Elise and Ella
Signed print copy of Destiny's Magick by Rae Morgan
The Omegas by Annie Nicholas
The Extremist by Juniper Bell
~~~~~~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jmo's Desert Breeze Scavenger Hunt Stop

Happy Holidays, Folks.


Thanks for stopping by. Well, I guess you're looking for a question. I know I had it here somewhere. Under the laptop? Nope. Stuck to my bag of Cheetoes? No, not there either. Shoot! I know I saw it a minute ago. Wait! There it is right next to the TV Remote. Good thing, I didn't lose it. The remote, not the question. Though losing that would have been bad, too. Okay, here goes…

Drum roll, please...

What does the hero in Anne Patrick's upcoming DBP release do for a living?

And for the answer click here to go to Anne Patrick's Blog.

Before you go, did anyone see what I did with that remote?

Jmo

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Anatomy of a Love Bite

One of the most asked questions any author faces is: "Where did the idea for that story come from?" I thought why not blog about it. Hey, I blog about sillier stuff. Instead of focusing on one book, I thought why not go whole hog and talk about what inspires a series. Fair warning this blog contains blatant self promotion and more than a little ego spanking. That said, stay tuned for the…

Anatomy of a Love Bite.

It was a dark and stormy night sometime in the Spring of 2008. Really. It was. Check the weather reports if you don't believe me. Anyway, Lynne Connolly IMed me to say a publisher was about to open submission for comedic paranormal shorts. Sounded perfect for me, since I am a comedy writer. At the same time in another window I was talking to another good friend Savannah Chase, in case you're wondering. She said something. I said something. We both LOLed and suddenly the idea for Love at First Stake popped into my head… along with my heroine, Savannah Marshall. But, I needed a hero to match her. Okay, this is going to sound crazy but in yet another window I was chatting with another friend, Helen Ravell, just to give everyone their due. Whereas I wanted Savannah to be a little ditzy but strong, I wanted my hero to be her opposite. Telling Helen my idea, a hero started to take shape. From that brainstorming session Donatello Ravell was born. Rudolpho came as a complete surprise and reflects no other IM windows I may or may not have had open.

A week later, I had the nearly perfect 20k story written and subbed. Now during the two month wait to hear back, I prayed it wouldn't be accepted. Weird for an author to say, but it was true. The whole world inside that 20-something thousand word story kept nagging at me. It wanted to be bigger, longer, and instead of a short story, I had a novel forming in my head. Luckily, I got my rejection and that freed me to start playing again. Over the next 4 months, I tweaked, wrung and basically teased the world I wanted out of the shortie. But, that still wasn't enough. I saw a bigger world. I just didn't know how to get it out. So I shelved it to percolate and worked on a few other things.

Skipping ahead a bit, I heard a new company was about to open. So I dragged Love at First Stake out again and read it over. A small amount of tweaking went on yet again and I subbed it for a second time. Biting my nails I waited. Exciting, isn't it? Since you're reading this, you know I heard back with an affirmative from Desert Breeze Publishing. Feeling pretty good, I beamed, but a pesky question from Gail Delaney set my mind to wandering. In a conversation about the book, she said, 'From the ending I see you left it open to do a sequel. Where do you see this going?'

Okay, as I said, L@1stS was left open to a sequel, but that question burned a hole in my brain, as I scrambled to come up with something other than 'duh'. My muse slapped the answer in my head. At the time I thought it was a good one that soon changed. I waxed poetic about all these siblings floating around and how I'd toss them in the love abyss in each book. See, sounded good to me. Sounded good to Gail, too. So, now we had 3 books in the series in our collective heads. The second, Love to Stake Another Day—available now!—would be about Sav's brother and Donnie's sister and I'd toss in Rudolpho's crazy daughter as the villain. We'd work on the plot for Book 3 later but it would probably be about Eli, Donnie's younger brother.

Before Gail left me off the hook, she asked, 'So what would the series title be?' I was on the hot seat again. Several titles floated through my head. Vamps in Love? Nah! Love Sucks! Yeah it did at times, but no. Love Bites? Okay we both liked that one and sounded much better than Love Sucks, even though Vampires suck blood but in the case of the series, the books wouldn't. Suck that is. We had a title and a second book in our heads. Time to get to work.

Now, we come to Love to Stake Another Day. I was halfway through my first draft, when inspiration smacked me a good one. Each book in the series would be a stand alone book, but part of something bigger. Suddenly conspiracy theories and subplots floated through my head. Each book would tell a main story, but underneath it all something darker lurked. Somewhere down the line all these subplots would converge and explode. I get chills just thinking about it.

That brings us to Book 3, Love Free Stake Hard. Instead of Eli, I saw Demetrious as the hero in this third volume. So, Eli gets pushed back to book 4. With each book I wanted to build upon what has gone on before and pump up the tension. LFSH will have all the elements of the first two, but will finally reveal some secrets I started in L@1stS. I can't divulge anything just yet, but I promise when you turn that last page, you'll be asking yourselves, 'He didn't just do that. Did he?' Or you could be asking yourself, 'WTH was he thinking?' I'm betting on the first one.

Somewhere in the middle of Book 3, still in production by the way, I had another moment of inspiration. L@1stS always felt like there was a story that needed to be told that lead up to the meeting of Sav and Donnie. I approached Gail and said I have this idea for a short, a freebie that would give some insight into the Love Bites world and help bridge the distance between Books 1 and 4. I explained what I had in mind and Gail said run with it. Love Bites ½ was born, or as I like to call it, Love a Little, Stake a Little. And now another piece of the puzzle fell into place. With more pieces to come as the muse sees fit to let me know about them. For now, that is the story thus far of how the story thus far came to be. Whew, I'm tired just writing that last sentence.

Well, that's the Anatomy of Love Bites, sort of. As you can see, inspiration isn't a one time thing. Like a child it grows, adapts and gives you migraines along the way. As an author you either learn to adapt along with it or it'll put you in a nursing home with padded cells. I've already got mine reserved and waiting.

I hope any of this made sense to you. Like I said, people always ask where our ideas come from. Sometimes a two or three line answer leaves out a lot of the details and the Vampire is in the details. 'Snicker'

Okay boys, slip me in the coat and cart me away. I'm ready for the cell now.

Jmo

Before I leave, I just have to thank the man who makes every cover paint a story. Nik, I couldn't do it without you. Well, I could but it's more fun to see what you'll come up with next.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Love to Stake Another Day





Halloween is over! That doesn't mean you get to miss out on all those things that go bump in the night and the fun they make. Thanks to a special dispensation from the Vampire Council and St. Vlad's—no not that one—League of Slayers the fun is only beginning.

Love Bites Book 2: Love to Stake Another Day is here to get you over that Post-Halloween Slump. Desert Breeze Publishing and J. Morgan are proud to present the second installment of the series that's so Fangalicious, Vampires everywhere are suffering from bad dental hygiene and a severe case of stomach cramps from all the laughter.

Don't find yourself wondering what all the blah blahing is about. Go out and get your copy today. I wonder say you'll regret it, but a stake to the heart may be in your future if you don't. Just in case you're wondering a stake to the heart isn't a good thing. Just as Vlad—yeah that one.

Love to Stake Another Day

Love Bites Book 2

From

J. Morgan

And

Desert Breeze publishing

Available Now!


Blurb:

Lyssette Ravell finds herself smack dab in the middle of a mess her brother started. When a new threat surfaces to threaten the Vampire/Human alliance recently set in place, she finds herself teamed with Kristain Marshall, who just so happens to be her almost brother-in-law.

Sent to rescue her brother Eli from the clutches of Rudolpho's daughter Valerious, Lyssette finds more than she bargained for. There's a traitor on the Vampire Council. Now, Lyssette must save her brother, root out this traitor and at the same time avoid at all cost falling in love with Kristain, the one man who could make her forget all the vows she's ever taken as an agent of the VCI.


EXCERPT


"Let go of me!" It would have came out more assertive if the towel hadn't slipped and I had to scramble to make good on my promise not to show him the money again today.

Kristain pulled me into his rock hard chest, trapping me. "Not until I have my say."

I gave up trying to fight him. Not sure, but I thought my nipples were liking it entirely too much. "You've said enough."

"Maybe I have, but I've been saying it the wrong way. I'm attracted to you. More than attracted to you. Don't ask me what I mean by that, because hell if I know. I just know I can't get you out of my head and that makes me a little stupid around you when all I want is to be James Bond." He let me go and just walked away, leaving me semi-naked and confused. "So, if you want to leave, leave. I can understand why you would want to. I've been nothing more than a horse's ass since the first time we met."

I knew that touching moment would pop up sooner or later. "You're not always a horse's ass. Sometimes you're a cute buffoon."

"At least that's a step up from where I thought I was. Lyssette, I shouldn't even be thinking about you this way."

"Why, because I'm a Vampire?" Not that I didn't agree with him, but I wanted a damn reason.

"Hell, no. After seeing Donnie and Savannah together, what we are ¿ or aren't ¿ isn't an issue."

"What then?" Now I really wanted to know.

"For one thing, we're partners and for another we're family. Well, sort of. The thing is, if we started something and if it ended badly it wouldn't just affect you and me, it could tear Savannah's marriage apart. As much as I want this—" He waved his hands between the two of us. "I won't do anything to hurt her. She deserves every bit of happiness that comes her way."

He'd actually thought this through. I'd taken him for one of those insipid-macho-girl-in-every-city types. He certainly had the swagger down. Let's not forget how well he could fling a line of bullshit at fifty yards without missing a beat. Granted, he was probably a toad and this could be just another one of his tricks. As good as that sounded in my head, I didn't get that feeling. Hard as it was to believe, Mr. Marshall appeared to be baring his soul to me. I didn't see that one coming.

"You're right. It would definitely complicate things so it's a good thing we're not taking this any further." We weren't. Right? My mind said no, but my body seemed to think it might be a damn fine idea. Stupid men showing their sensitive side.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Hop Winners!

Thanks to everyone who passed our way!!
My sweet slave appreciated all the very nice comments and says he was most happy to have provided pleasure to so many!

And so many requested a copy of The Morgan Diaries, Vol 1, I hope you get a chance to read it today as it reaches its climax on Halloween night.

The Winner of Jmo's Advance Copy of Love to Stake Another Day, Book 2 of the Love Bites Series is...

Gloria Bryant! 
Come on down and claim your prize geewiz387!!  Or email Jmo at jennmorgan69 (AT) yahoo (Dot) com
Now on to the winners of the Blog Tour

AND THE WINNERS ARE...
First prize: Jewel
Banged Up – Jeanne St. James
Hearts Afire – 3E’s
Afterthought – Cat Kane
Love at First Stake – J. Morgan
No Recourse – Mari Carr

Second prize: Patsy Hagen
Bound by Deception – Christa Paige
Once Bitten – Trina M. Lee
The Challenge – Serena Shay

Third prize: Fallon Hadley
Cin – Ella Drake
Halo in her Pocket – Morgan Q. O’Reilly
Felicia’s Fling – Jolie Cain

Runner Up: Sherry
The Wicked Flame – Stephanie Adkins
Winners choice from Tielle St. Claire

Runner Up: Noelle
Intimate Strangers – Gem Sivad
For a Price – Olivia Brynn

Runner Up: s7anna
Iron – P.G. Forte
The Extremist – Juniper Bell

Runner Up: SusiSunshine
Battered not Broken – Ceilia Kyle
Wyoming Solace – Alanna Coca

Runner Up: SusiSunshine
Battered not Broken – Ceilia Kyle
Wyoming Solace – Alanna Coca

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all the players. You made the day fun and wild. I can't remember a day in the recent past when I've smiled so much. You make blogging fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Hottie Hop - Stop 5

Get your ghoulie shoes on and prepare yourself to trip the Hottie Fantastic. With prizes sure to stop any of your internet TPs out there, we're certain to Treat your Trickery. To those of you coming to us from Juniper Bell's page, Welcome!

First of all, our Hottie. Okay, really he's Morgan's and she's letting him out only for today. Jmo had nothing to do with the capture of this lucky soul. Morgan treats him sooo nice!

Sigh. Ain't he pretty? And so very, very pleasing too...

Now the fun part. MorganO is holding a copy of Halo in Her Pocket behind the jack o'lantern for one lucky person.

We're not stopping there. Everyone who comments gets a copy of The Morgan Diaries Vol. 1, a compilation of the serial event we wrote in the weeks leading up to Halloween last year. Like pirates and vampires? Great! So do we and we put them together in a fun story for Halloween. Just be sure to comment and send us an email with - I Want TMD - in the subject line. Send emails to: morgan @ morganqoreilly. com (take out the spaces!)

Does that sound like enough treats to you? Nope, not to us either. Jmo is offering up for your spooky consumption a copy of Love at First Bite AND, drum roll please... This is sooo exciting!! An advance copy of Love to Stake Another Day, Book 2 in the Love Bites series!!!

Prizes galore! Everyone gets a treat!! So comment, get a free read, and be automatically entered to win one of the three books being given away. What could be simpler? Nothing, which is why you need to comment right now, before you get excited and forget.

When you're through haunting our blog, hop on over to Christa Paige's Blog for more Ghostly Goodness in the Halloween Hottie Blog Hop.


PS If you get lost on the tour, check out the map located at Site: 1 Gem Sivad
It's a Halloween party!

The bloggers below are gathering the tastiest treats for your trick-or-treating pleasure. Join us on Friday October 30th for a plethora of eye candy. All you have to do is start at the beginning, you’ll find a link to the next blog on the trail. Comment on each along the way for a chance to win the following prizes! More information to follow

I have my hottie all picked out, just don't tell Jmo! He might get embarassed.

Also, tell me if you can spot the other two Alaska authors on the tour!

Thanks to Alanna Coca for including us!


Gem Sivad – http://gemsivad.wordpress.com/blog/
Trina M Lee- http://www.trinamlee.com/
Emily/Elise – http://www.scorchedsheets.com/blog
Juniper Bell – http://www.authorjuniperbell.blogspot.com
Morgan Q. O’Reilly/Shea McMaster and J. Morganhttp://themorgandiaries.blogspot.com
Christa Paige – http://www.christapaige.com/blog/
Celia Kyle – http://www.celiakyle.com/blog/
Olivia Brynn – http://oliviabrynn.com/blog-2/
Stephanie Adkins – http://stephanieadkins.wordpress.com/blog/
Paige Tyler – http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/
Sara Brookes – http://www.sarabrookes.net/
Jolie Cain – http://joliecainauthor.blogspot.com/
Jessica – http://culinarycarnivale.blogspot.com/
Jeanne St James- http://www.jeannestjames.blogspot.com/
Alanna Coca- http://alannacoca.wordpress.com/blog/
Serena Shay – http://serenashay.blogspot.com/
Mari Carr – http://www.maricarr.com
P.G. Forte- http://www.rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com
Cat Kane – http://catkane.blogspot.com/
Ella Drake – http://elladrake.blogspot.com
Tielle St. Clare – http://tiellestclare.blogspot.com/
Tina Holland – http://tinaholland.wordpress.com/

Friday October 30th is also the last day to enter the Cupcake Give Away at Naughty in the Backseat (see previous blog post). Be sure to enter and win some sweet cupcake prizes!

Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Get Some Tonight

Look for my books at Barnes & Noble, Amazon/Kindle, Books-a-Million and other fine online retailers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nine Days of Prizes


It's a Cupcake Give Away from Romance in the Backseat and you could win a download of on of my books... or a whole bunch of books!
You can't win if you don't enter! Save the Ta-Tas!
Morgan O'Reilly
Get Some Tonight

Monday, October 5, 2009

What does it take to be an author?

This isn't the Blog I planned for today but sometimes things happen to change the warp your mind wants to take. This Blog ties in, so bear with me.

I've spent the last few weeks talking about the hazards of writing, and the inspiration a writer needs but I haven't hit on the most important thing. What does it take to be a writer? Let me adjust that. What does it take to be a published author?

Let me start off by saying anyone can write. Writing is nothing more than getting an idea from Point A—your brain—to point B—a piece of paper or a computer screen. Writing can be a diary entry, a poem, or a note to your loved ones. The thing is it takes more than transporting ideas to be a writer, well a published writer. It takes a talent that doesn't come from anywhere but inside you. Writing makes you a writer. Talent makes you an author.

That said it takes more than talent to be a published author. It takes contradictions. Huh? What you taking bout, Jmo? I'm talking divine honest to God truth. Talent gets your foot in the door, but it doesn't put you on the fast track to anywhere. That's the first contradiction in being an author.

Being an author is all about Ego. It takes a mountain of guts to put yourself out there and say this is my work to first off a perfect stranger—an acquisition editor—then to a whole slew of strangers if it gets accepted and published. Those who slew of strangers? They're the reading public who will either love your book or toss in a box to trade in at the used book store. Lets get back to the editor thing because that leads to our second contradiction.

I said you need an Ego to get into this business. But, and this is a big but. You need to be humble and willing to say to yourself, I'm not as good as I think. That's where an editor comes in. Before you start saying, you don't need anyone telling you how to write, YES YOU DO. It may be something as simple as mechanics of the craft but an author should always be willing to open themselves to new ideas. On the flip side, you should never bend when your gut tells you you're right. Just make sure it's your brain talking and not that Ego.

Contradiction number three. You are your biggest fan and your worst enemy. Say what? Hey, that's not me talking. It is a stone cold fact. This happens to me, so I know I'm not the only one. I'm trucking along with a book and I hit a stone wall. Instead of admitting to myself I've lost control of a situation and rethink what I'm doing, I keep hitting that wall, knowing if I keep banging away at it something'll give. It rarely does. Authors are stubborn that way. This comes from two simple sentences. Thinking you're good is one thing. Thinking you're great will get you in trouble. That trouble being—thinking everything you write is golden.

Well, it ain't. You've got to be willing to take advice and listen to it. Really listen to it. You may hear a lot about crit groups and partners. There's a reason they exist. We as authors need someone to say 'that needs work', or 'hey that's good'. Believe me when I say this. It's easier coming from a comrade in arms than an editor. Not sure why, but it does.

So what does it take to be a published author? Ego, a humble acceptance of criticism and the most important thing of all—a finished book. Not to offend anyone, but I hear all the time—sometimes from myself—I almost have this story done. Well finish it. That's the big difference between a writer and an author. We can push that Ego to its limit and in spite of our own doubts and the doubting of our friends and family, we know in our hearts of hearts we're authors. It's that confidence that tells us to put aside our fears and sub that book. In the end all those contradictions will pay off. The first book may not sell but sooner or later, your greatness will shine and publishers will notice it.

Then, you go from Writer to Author.

Jmo

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jmo gets Inspired

The word Inspiration is bantered about quite a bit by us creative types. We speak of it in hallowed tones. We attribute it to obscure things like muses, and very rarely do we say the truth. Inspiration is a tool that very few people can use their advantage. Artists, musicians, authors and crazy people are numbered among those people. Notice how close I put authors to crazy people. There's a reason for that. Namely, we're crazy.

As both an artist and a writer, I can say this with all honesty. Writers are the craziest of the bunch. Why, you may be asking yourself? Because out of all those creative types, writers are the only ones able to get away with living inside their own minds and allowing the delusions in their heads leak out to infect those around them. Sure musicians can make you whip your head around and artists can invoke emotions at a single glance, but authors make their dreams become your dreams—the worlds you actively want to stay within. If that ain't crazy, I don't know what is.

But, this isn't a blog about crazy people or writers. This is a Tion blog. The Tion of the week is Inspiration. Though crazy has a lot to do with it, as I know I'll get across as this thing gets wired up. Before I go off on more tangents than you can shake a mouse at, let me put up a professional definition of inspiration thanks to the Encarta Dictionary that came with this Microsoft Word program…

Inspiration: 1. Stimulation for the human mind to creative thought or to the making of art.
3. The quality of being stimulated to creative thought or activity.

That's only a couple of the many meanings of the word, but the two that apply the most to what I'm trying to get across.

Now that we've heard from the professionals, here's my take on it.

Inspiration is the fuel that drives the creative mind. Inspiration is the ability of the creative mind to take the natural world and reform it into entertainment. Inspiration is the ability to form sanity from the craziness that is the human condition. Finally, inspiration is a gift that we all too often take for granted.

Let me start with the first one and explain what I mean. Inspiration is fuel? Hell yeah it is. To an author it is an important as a balanced diet. Writing a book is hard work. Just because you get inspired to write a book doesn't mean that book is going to get finished. No, inspiration is an ongoing thing throughout the writing of a book. A good idea will only get you so far. Constant inspiration acts as the fuel that drives the book. An author's imagination needs continuous stimuli. Heroes need obstacles to overcome as do heroines. Those obstacles come in the form of you guessed it. Inspiration. It doesn't matter where it comes from but it has to come. When it doesn't you've got another unfinished manuscript to add to the growing pile lingering around like a trash heap on your hard drive. Believe me I have a stack of them and it is growing as we speak.

On to the number two in my list. Inspiration is the ability to reform the natural world into entertainment. At its heart, that is the true definition of writing. We, meaning authors, take everything that surrounds us, from our pasts to the ride home from work and use those experiences to create our worlds. Humans are the sum of their experiences pure and simple. Perhaps more so for an author, because we have the ability to take all that and represent it to readers in such a way they can relate to both us as author and the world they sometimes can't see around themselves. That is the true art of being a writer. We see more than even we realize. Amid all that deep thinking, we also entertain through laughter or by forcing you to drift away from your harried life for the span of a hundred pages or more.

Sanity from craziness? Yes, Inspiration is that too. Everyday each of us is bombarded with more sensory input than even a computer could make sense out of. Yet, Inspiration allows a writer to manage those sounds, images, or emotional whatevers into a neat package. Sure sometimes it gets sloppy getting there but if we do our job right, you’ve got a book, or ebook file as the case may be, that makes a little more sense than your hectic life. We can even promise a happily ever after ninety percent of the time. You tell me how often real life can promise you that?

And finally. Yes authors take Inspiration for granted. We think it's always going to be there and truthfully it is. The problem is us. At times we can't process that data coming at us, because we let our heads get in the way. Whether through dealing with life or too much data, we simply block it out and blame our mythical other halves for doing it to us. Funny, how us humans can always find someone else to blame for our shortcomings.

Now you have my take on the whole Inspiration thing. I know you're used to me being a bit off the wall with these things. I hope this tamed down Jmo hasn't disillusioned you. I promised to be back to my abnormally normal self, next time. Til then go dig up some Inspiration on your own and stop trying to steal mine.

The nerve of some people. Where're my Oreos? I need them to go hide in the closet from the muses trying to tell me to do naughty, naughty things.

Jmo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jmo gets Desperate

Over the past few weeks—has it really been that long, man I like to run off at the mouth—I've gone over the three worst bad habits an author can have. Now it's time to show what happens when you—cuz I don't do those things—let those things take root and stick around. Drum roll please…

Desperation!

That's right, authors get desperate. I'm talking shoveling chocolate, hiding under the bed, wondering if the Editor Gnomes are coming to get us for missing our deadlines. Don't laugh. It could happen. Has happened. Shiver!!! In case any of you out there lose your minds and decide to become authors, Editor Gnomes hunt by tracking down the scent of fear and chocolate to its source. But I digress.

Seriously, if a writer's block lasts for a long period of time, it does funny things to your mind. Writing is like Crack to an author. We need to be doing it. Our whole lives revolve around this one single thing. The need to create is so great inside us, we can't imagine not doing it. Once an author, or any form of artist for that matter, finds an outlet for the thoughts in our heads we have to do it on a daily basis. We write, even if it's nothing more than a single line to burn off those creative juices swirling around in our noggin.

Normally the process flows smoothly. Notice I said normally. Despite our delusions otherwise, the brain needs a rest every now and again. We might not know our limitations but our brain does. These creative vacations are an integral part of the process. Of course we don't see it that way. A couple of days of nothing we can handle. Longer than that, and we literally go nuts. Seriously you can only spend so much time on Facebook and rearranging bookshelves before you start shaving the dog and wearing strange outfits to the Wal-Mart. That brings us to desperation.

In our darkest hours we turn inward with our anger at not being able to write. We plot nastiness and wish mortal harm on our muses. We snap at loved ones. We mark our internet territory with blogs about not being able to write, and endless promos telling readers how great our books are. When the truth is all we can do is tell ourselves we suck, the world is coming to an end, and agonize over that bump on the end of our nose that we're sure is well on it's way to becoming Aunt Eugenia's beauty mark—i.e. wart, a big hairy one at that.

Desperation can also lead to some crazy actions on our part, not that the wart thing isn't crazy enough. I, myself, have been known to talk to myself while begging the dog to…

JUST TELL ME WHAT THE HELL I DID WRONG!
WHY DID MY MUSE DESERT ME?
OH, LORD WHY?!!!

He doesn't answer of course. The sorry sack of crap. I know he is conspiring with my muse to write a tell-all book about me.

Instead of going on and on, I decided to ask a few authors what's the most desperate thing they've done to break a writer's block. Hence avoiding revealing how crazy I truly am.

Okay unsuspecting authors…

What is the most desperate thing you've done to break writers block?



Uh, that isn't a moment of silence. Though, it would be more than appropriate in this instance. The truth is, most authors refused to be interviewed on the record after tating it was none of my business and I should go write instead of bothering them. I think it was a load of horse puckie but they threatened my Oreo stash, so I'm leaving them to wallow in their desperation and denial. It seemed to be the most humane thing to do under the circumstances.

All comedy aside—not sure what side but either will do—writing is not easy. Quite frankly, it doesn't take much to throw us over the edge, straight into madness. When you see an author in this state, don't approach them and forget all about any sudden moves. I'm trying to save your life here so listen up.

Authors are dangerous, desperate creatures. We're neurotically moody. That's putting it mildly but you get the point. If you have friends or relatives who are writers don't try to get them into support groups or any of the thousands of other self-help twaddle that's floating around. Just leave us alone in our junk food littered dens of iniquities. Feed us when we grunt and Lysol us down when we begin to smell. Aside from that, there's not much else you can do. As soon as you accept that, the easier it'll be for you to have us locked up when the royalty checks stop paying for our internet connections and caffeine intake.

Did that sound overly desperate to you?

Lurking behind the potted plant,
Sincerely,
Jmo

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mommy Home Alone

Certainly, over the last eighteen plus years, I’ve had time home alone.

The first time my one and only child left for longer than an overnight, he was only six and we sent him down to Oregon to visit friends. Six years old and flying off to Eugene all by himself. I think he was braver than I was, but he made it safe and sound and the minute I knew it, off I went to our cabin for two weeks mostly on my own.

Bliss! My husband came for the weekends, leaving me alone to fend for myself in the Alaska wilderness. I coped by hand-sewing blankets into window coverings, listening to books on tape and drinking wine with my friend Tina. I also had the furry child with me, so I wasn’t entirely alone. When our son climbed off the plane, he’d entranced a few women. The niece of a friend hung out with him in Seattle during his three hour layover and the lady who shared a row with him on the plane also colored and played cards with him. She sought us out at baggage claim and complimented us on our very polite and wonderful child. How can a mother not feel proud after a moment such as that?

The next time the child left, we were living in Colorado and sent him back to Alaska where he was passed from Grandparents to Uncles to Godparents. He had a great time. I indulged in more wine and romances. Or was I working full time? Either way, I survived, as I did when he and the boy scouts canoed down the Green River or trekked across sand dunes or went to summer camp.

This time, it’s a bit more serious. He’s off to college.

Usually in the summer, he worked or hung out at a summer program. This year he missed out because of some nasal surgery in early June. So I had him at home, for the first time since he was three, 24/7. For three months.

As the end of summer approached, and the date to leave for college raced toward us, we began to get antsy. I tried to get him to start packing sooner because I wanted to spread out the expense of new clothes and supplies, as well as make sure we knew what he had and what he needed. My passive-aggressive boy… sigh. Typically, the last few days were a rush to get it all together and I swore I’d be glad when he was settled in his room. My husband and I joked about backing up to the dorm and slamming on the brakes with enough force to send his luggage flying out the back then driving away.

Imagine my surprise when he stopped us in the middle of the hall on our way back to the elevator with the empties to take home and said, “Well, I guess I’ll be seeing you.”

What?

Not the goodbye scene I’d imagined at all. It was only 10:30 in the morning and we didn’t have to be on the road until Noon. We still had an hour and a half!

But no, he was ready for US to leave. Under protest, we got our hugs and then were sent on our way.

Hmmmm.

It’s now been two and a half weeks, and I’ve talked to him only a couple times. One sort of longish phone call, maybe fifteen minutes, the others just quick messages. His father got the hour and a half call this weekend while I was at the writers retreat. At least I know he’s breathing and attending class. He even confessed to his father that he was doing homework before gaming. Good thing he figured that one out early.

But that leaves me with a quiet house and ALL the cleaning and laundry. Harrumph. Though there is one plus. When something gets cleaned, it stays that way a little longer. And it gets cleaned a little better. Laundry moves faster and things get hung up right out of the dryer. I’m hoping to see big savings on the electricity bill there, as under his watch, dress pants tended to go through the dewrinkle cycle 3-4 times before making it onto hangers.

We also have fewer dishes which make it into the kitchen sooner.

But I miss having him to talk to out of the blue. He and his friends provided me with much amusement. Heck, I even miss the all night Rock Band parties, even though not buying pizza, soda and chips for half a dozen young men means Hubby and I can actually go out to a nice restaurant a couple times a month. And still have change left over!

Ah well. It’s for the best. Life moves on and children grow into adults. People tell us we did a good job with him. Now it’s time to turn my attention to myself.

Suddenly writing seems like such a lonely profession. But I like lonely, right?? I’ll let you know at the end of the semester just how I feel about being an empty nester. In the mean time, I don’t have to hide my chocolate in new and creative places. DH never finds it but the kid sure could find every hiding spot! Leftovers also stand a chance of hanging around for a few meals or making into DH’s lunch. Or mine. And I get more exercise traveling up and down the steps when the doorbell rings or the laundry needs swapping. I might get in shape despite myself!

So here’s to empty nesters. May we learn to live with the quiet!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Split Personalities are Me

After posting my last blog on procrastination, I find it funny I'm way late with my next blog in the Tion series. That said, my tardiness has nothing whatsoever to do with procrastination. I know you're all giving me the look, but this time I'm telling the truth. I spent the last two weeks actually doing my main job, writing. Since last I blogged I've finished the dreaded first draft on a Christmas story—shameless plug coming your way—that will be released from Desert Breeze Publishing just in time for the holidays and the last draft on another short that will see the light of day next year.

Since my next Tion blog isn't exactly to the point I'd like it, namely finished, I thought I'd engage in some shameless self promotion. Being in a gracious mood, I've allowed three of my favorite characters to ask me one question about my approach to writing. I'm letting myself in for a bucket load of regret but sometimes you've got to put yourself out there.

First up is the star of my book MisStaked. No not Breathred, he refused to show up. Something about a comic convention and a fear of internet viruses and a lack of vaccinations if he caught one. So, I've asked Stud Lee Monkey to kindly step up to bat in his place. God help me.

Stud: Yeah like I enjoy taking virgin boy's sloppy seconds. You're lucky I'm a tender soul or I'd shove this blog when the banana don't shine. My butt itches so let's get this over with, so I can get to the spa for my flea dip.

Alright, Mr. Fancy Pants Writer Man how do you come up with such memorable characters? Just remember I was here way before you so you can't take credit for my magnificence.

Jmo: Tell you what, tell the Spanky Bottom Spa to send me the bill for that dip. Stupid monkey, blogs are for kids. Anyway, good question.

Stud: About time you came across with some of that royalty moollah you money grubbing son of...

Jmo: Thanks Stud. Uh, has security escorted him out? Good.

Where was I? Oh yeah. I wish I could take credit for my characters. They spring out of nowhere and capture me like I hope they do you. To be perfectly honest, characters are easy. They're the ones who actually speak to you and let you know who they are. I've been honored to work with some of the greatest characters in the business and can't wait to introduce you to my newest collection of crazies.

Next up is my favorite witchy woman, Nikki. She's the femme fatale who answered the question How Wicked-er Can She Go? Niks, thanks for agreeing to join me today.

Nikki: No prob, Jman. I was just sitting around pestering the fairies in my belfry. As one of the victims of your insanity, I just gotta know. When you come up with your stories, do you have it all plotted out or do you just make this crap up as you go along?

Jmo: Not to disillusion you but I have no idea how to plot a book. When I start, it's you the characters who tell me what's going on. I just listen to you and write it down. I think writing should be like reading. You should never know what's going to happen next. Part of the thrill for me is reading the story same as you the readers. Believe me. I don't have a clue what's going to happen until it does. In my own defense I have an inkling of how a book will end, but half the time I get thrown for a loop and what I think will happen changes completely when that last page is finished.

Last up is one of my newest friends, Savannah Marshall, vampire unslayer supreme and the heroine of Love at First Stake. Sav, thanks for taking a break from your honeymoon to join me today.

Savannah: What honeymoon? My stupid sister-in-law showed up and ruined the whole thing when Rufus' whack daughter decided to go on a rampage. Oops, I wasn't supposed to say anything about that. Was I? It doesn't matter, they'll be finding out soon enough anyway. My question is this. What in the hell are you thinking when you come up with these crazy villains you throw at us?

Jmo: Hey don't look at me. They come from the same place you do. Comedy lends itself to parody and exaggeration. My villains are a reflection of that. I want to create a villain as memorable as my heroes and heroines. From Leopold du Chabris Portus to Rudolpho my baddies are in your face evil with that touch of insanity that makes them stick in your mind. If anything they're the flipside of my hero/heroine. Or, if I wanted to be perfectly honest, they're my evil side. Scary thought huh?

Before you guys decide to get me a nice long armed coat and an all expense paid vacation to a padded cell, I'm going to wrap this self promo lunacy up. If you want to find out more about Stud, Nikki and Savannah, feel free to check out their books at these find book sellers. Night Y'all

Mis-Staked can be bought directly for Champagne Books and…

http://www.champagnebooks.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_10&products_id=165

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b68030/?si=0


How Wicked-er Can She Go? can be found at…

http://www.onceuponabookstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_72&products_id=110

http://www.amazon.com/How-Wicked-er-Can-She-ebook/dp/B0029LHXBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1252971521&sr=1-1

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b87952/How-Wicked-er-Can-She-Go/J-Morgan/?si=0


Love at First Stake is lurking at Desert Breeze Publishing and Amazon on Kindle

http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-17/%3Ci%3ELove-Bites--dsh--Book/Detail.bok

http://www.amazon.com/Love-First-Stake-Bites/dp/B0021L9YCG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252971637&sr=8-1

Monday, August 31, 2009

A little Procrastination if you please.

In the light of my growing need to expound on the things going through my head, I’ve decided to continue this Tion-fest. This week we’re—rather I’m—focusing on another dreaded Tion. This time we’re—I’m—turning my blind eye on Procrastination. The last of the trilogy of nasty Tions.

Authors are masters of devising little ways to get out of writing. Don’t ask me why. We just do it—a lot! I think it harkens back to our creative natures. Hating to be tied down to a normal nine to five existence, we like to branch out and see our world from different angles before committing our thoughts to paper. Yeah, you caught me there. I smelled the BS myself. But part of that is true.

To understand procrastination, you need to understand the creative process. Before we do that let me set the record straight. Authors do not think like normal humans. We see reality and some of us strive to write it as accurate as we can. That said, it’s impossible to do that. You can’t do it. Our personal views will forever change the landscape of reality to suit us. That it is simply human nature. For writers, our worlds live in our minds. It is as real to us as the one we’re all forced to live in day after day. You, the reader, come visit our worlds for that very reason. We make our worlds so real you want to stay in them. Or at least we hope we do. How well we accomplish that is ultimately up to you to decide.

That out of the way let me sum up the creative process for you now in as few words as I can. Author sees world. Doesn’t like it. Creates his/her own. Then fills it with people and as much extras as we can. There, that is the best I can do without writing a self-help book. Who do I look like to you? Stephen King. Okay that may be a blog for later, but let’s get back on track.

Procrastination!

Procrastination is a defense mechanism. It allows our minds to wander and explore exactly what we’re trying to do. It can take many forms and I’d say half actually is creative process related. Since my editor may be reading this let me start with the—snort—most important one.

Research. Sometimes an author needs to find stuff out. Hey, this isn’t a technical manual. I can say stuff if I want to. Anyway, it’s true. We all base our writings in things we know but we don’t know everything. I do but that’s beside the point. We’d get bored writing about our hometowns and the idiot neighbors or coworkers who populate our lives. So we get out there and Wiki ourselves into a frenzy or go visit the places we want to write about. If we’re writers of Historical novels we immerse ourselves in whatever ever period we’re jumping into. Or, you could be like me and research talking monkeys. Yes there is a way to research talking monkeys. It’s called a Planet of the Apes marathon.

Reading. This one falls into the Distraction arena too but hey being an author means you have had to read at least one book once in your life. If you’re an author it probably means you’re reading a book while you’re reading this blog. Being an author isn’t just the joy of creating. Sometimes reading is just as much a part of the business as writing. Not to disillusion anyone, but they are things like market trends to consider. Okay, that sounded good to me. I just hope everyone else bought my feeble attempt to legitimize my book addiction. Nothing to see here. Let’s move on to the next topic.

Writer’s Block. See how all these Tions tie together? Writer’s block leads to Distraction, Frustration, and ultimately Procrastination as you try to figure out what in the hell is going wrong. I’m going to leave this one here, but again it could lead to a self-help book and nobody wants that from me.

Family. I don’t see this as a Distraction or Frustration. To me this is the only true excuse for Procrastination. As much as I love writing, I love my family more. If being tied to a computer means I miss those little moments I can never back, I’d rather not write a single word. All the accolades and fans in the world will never replace your child’s first steps, their graduation or a dinner with the person you love most in the world. Writing is many things but it’s not the sum total of existence. I write because my family fills me with love and the inspiration I need to create. Besides, a book won’t put you in a nursing home, if you ignore them.

This one has run a little longer than I’d planned but I’m almost to the end. So let me get this over with. Procrastination is a part of the creative process, as important as inspiration and the rest. It allows you to connect with the world and gives you the ability to step back and examine where you’re going with a book with a fresh eye and keeps you out of a 60 Minute type aged care facility. There is more to the story but Stephen King is calling to find out exactly what I meant in that paragraph up there and I’d just as soon be gone if he decides to send Pennywise to strong arm the answer out of me.

Until next week when we hit a whole new Tion, happy reading and avoid clowns with balloons.

Jmo

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Opportunities to Win eBooks galore!

Today is an awesome day! Lots and lots going on and you can find me bouncing my way around the net, starting with Lyrical Press's End of Summer Event.

My interview is up! Comment and you could win a copy of Cowboys Dream Too. Or comment just for fun and then check out the rest of the interviews so far. Lots of fun information about the authors and editors of LPI.


And if you haven’t entered yet, you have until the Aug 31 to get your entry in for the Alaska Heat Wave Contest


Just released, Morgan writing as Shea McMaster, Six Foot Hero You could win a copy by entering the Alaska Heat Wave Contest.

Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Get Some Tonight
http://morganqoreilly.com

Available Now From Lyrical Press
www.lyricalpress.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon/Kindle, MobiPocket and Fictionwise
Frozen ~ eBook and Print
Chinook Wine and Sink Her ~ eBook
Cowboys Dream Too ~ eBook
Six Foot Hero ~ eBook

Available now from Cobblestone Press: Halo In Her Pocket

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maxwell's Fall by Tielle St. Clare

Last, but certainly not the least of the Four Alaska Heat Wave New Releases this month, Tielle St. Clare and Ellora's Cave present the latest of her hot werewolf series. And this is one scorching author!

You have just a few days left to enter the Alaska Heat Wave Contest to win this book and the other three released last week. Send an email to contest@akrwa.org before August 31 to enter!


Maxwell's Fall
by Tielle St. Clare
Ellora's Cave
Genre: Paranormal


Never threaten a werewolf’s mate…it just pisses him off.

Mandy wants to prove her father’s innocence and her friend Jackson has agreed to help. Only he’s acting strange. In one day he’s gone from “mild-mannered accountant” to “bad-boy Sex God” and she can’t keep her hands off him. Now she every secret submissive fantasy she’s ever had seems possible, even necessary. It’s very distracting.

Max came to Alaska to check on his brother. But Jackson’s missing. And a cute little blonde is claiming to be Jax’s fiancĂ©. That would be okay if Max’s wolf didn’t want her, bad. Mandy isn’t Max’s type. He likes bold and bitchy, not curvy and innocent. But when Mandy mistakes him for his brother, he goes along with the charade. And discovers that innocence hides some wicked tendencies.

Now he’s got himself into a real mess. He’s sleeping with a woman who thinks he’s his brother, his werewolf has developed a strange attraction for Jax’s very best, very male friend and there are the bad guys after Mandy.

This can’t end well.

http://tiellestclare.com/books-maxwellsfall.htm

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jmo on Frustration

Last week I ranted on Distractions. So this week I decided to hit another ‘Tion’ that is the bane of authors. Yep, the dreaded Frustration. Some of you may confuse frustration with distraction but in my book they’re kissing cousins. One automatically leads to the other. Usually it’s the distraction that causes the frustration.

I’d like to say I’m not prone to it, but quite frankly I’m on the verge of coming off a long bout of it. For anyone who’s been a writer for long know that Frustration is just another word for writer’s block. The P.C. name for it I guess. There are a lot of other words that can be used to call it, but this is a family oriented forum. I won’t use them here, but if I can’t finish this thing, I might scare the dog with them out of your earshot of course.

What causes frustration?

Why do we suffer from it?

Where did all these questions come from?

You got it. A clear cut case of not knowing where to go with this blog. That’s the thing about stumbling over a word, a phrase, or what have you. It preys on your mind until you can’t see daylight anywhere. So let’s start here with the causes of Frustration.

When you’re writing, the mind can see exactly what’s happening. For me at least it’s like I have a movie playing in my head. All the little players are doing their thing and for all intents and purposes, everything is right in the world. Okay, so we got the fact the characters know what they’re doing, the plot is pretty much flying on autopilot and that’s where we hit the roadblock. Sometimes the mind can’t translate the film to words. I can’t tell you how many times, I re-watched a scene and all I could come up with was, see spot run when the last thing spot was doing was running if you know what I mean. Honestly, I’ve had books sit for weeks—heck months—before spot didn’t anything but go duh.

I wish I could say getting out of the literal quicksand was easy. The last thing it anyone would want to call it is easy. By the time, you finally get past duh, you’ve banged your head, followed every distraction in the world to take your mind off the scene, in some vain hope serendipity will kick in and the words will come. Truthfully, that is what it takes. You’ve got to go away. Books are like watched pots. They never come to a boil until you’re doing something else.

But sometimes it’s not the phrase that’s the thing holding you up. It’s the plot, or story idea itself. Just because you’ve got an idea doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good one. Sorry authors out there, but sometimes a Were-Pekinese isn’t a good idea—if ever. What I’m saying is, don’t get trapped in a bad idea. I’ve done it. I’m pretty sure a lot of writing have, too. My advice is step back or better yet, let someone you trust read it, before you start smashing laptops through TVs like some sad rock star. By trust, I don’t mean someone who loves everything you write, but someone who can be brutally honest. By the way, if you can’t take brutal honesty, you’re in the wrong business.
I’ve got to rambling so let me cut this short. There are many other causes of Frustration but they’re pretty much self explanatory. Bad day at work. Your head’s wrapped up in personal issues. They just canceled your favorite TV series. Basically life gets in the way.

Authors need to be centered, focused to write. To quote a great movie—Happy Gilmore in case you’re wondering—we need to be in our happy place, or sad place if that’s what drives you. Your family probably won’t help you get there. Your friends won’t understand. But, your fellow authors will and that’s what makes us family from another mother.

To all my Frustrated brothers and sisters out there, calm down, smell the roses and whatever you do, don’t let it get you down. If writing was easy, everyone would do it. That my friends, is why we’re unique, and the masters of all the worlds we create.

Jmo

Friday, August 21, 2009

Six Foot Hero once more strides across the land


Once more available, Six Foot Hero is leaping off the eshelves at Lyrical Press, Inc. Two years ago when this first released with a publisher who closed, Romantic Times Reviews Magazine gave this then-debut novel a Four Star Review.
Re-edited, cleaned up and tightened up, it's an improvement on a an already good thing. See for yourself! Logan's still hot and hunky, but Nicole's a bit stronger and more worthy of him. Together they are hot and sweet.
Visit Alaska and tour Northern California. Fall in love again...


Sometimes a woman needs a hero.

Nicole Dahl has some hard decisions to make. Trapped by a job and the troubling attentions of a mentor, she breaks free temporarily on an Alaskan vacation. Once there, instead of the soul-searching and relaxation she'd planned, she meets Logan Schafer, a man who erases her loneliness with his strong, skilled hands.

Logan is mesmerized by Nicole's emerald eyes and beguiling sense of innocence, but he knows their pasts spell trouble for any hope of a future together. He has a prior claim to deal with once and for all, and Nicole's so-called mentor is a much bigger threat than she realizes.

Will Nicole let him be her hero?

For more Morgan books, check out Barnes & Noble, Amazon/Kindle, Fictionwise, and All Romance eBooks.

Shea McMaster / Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Get Some Tonight

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jmo on Distractions

Being an author is all about distractions. Some good. Some bad. For me, writing is the greatest distraction in the world. Bad day at work. Write to wash it away. Kids getting on your nerves. Shut the door, slap on the earphones and write to drown them out. Spouse giving you the evil eye. Smile and write. Can’t comment further. She reads this. But, you get what I’m saying. Authors need to write to distract them from the hazards of being alive in an insane world. See, non-writers think we’re insane for writing, and we think they’re insane for not writing. Nice balance.

Yet, there are times when we’re just as insane as everyone else. You guessed it. When we’re not writing!!! Yep I like to call it, PMS, or Post-traumatic Muse Syndrome. Now, that I’ve giving it a snappy acronym, let’s get into the many causes for this distracting condition.

LIFE. Yep the reason you’re breathing and suffering is the leading cause. It’s hard to write when you’ve got a day job, bills that demand to be paid, a spouse who wants things fixed, cleaned, cooked, or generally done. Kids fall into this category too. Then you have crappy co-workers, bosses who can’t accept that writing is an integral part of your being and if the muse hits you, you’ve got to get it out of your system before you lose it. And, you’ve got a million other little things that throw your mind out of the game. Somebody cuts you off on the way, Wal-Hell not having Double Stuf Oreos when you want them, or a pushy bitch who snatches the last box. All these things and more can kill a good muse buzz quick.

TOO MANY IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD AT ONE TIME. This is the worst. Your muse is whispering so many good ideas in your ear, you can’t focus on just one. Believe me you can’t do them all at the same time. I’ve tried. I myself believe this is the way a muse uses her powers to get a short vacation.

EDITS. Sure they’re part and parcel of the game, but nothing kills a creative mood like getting handed a big reminder of all things you got wrong. Edits are learning experiences and you can’t grow without making mistakes. That’s what the rational mind has to say on the matter, but the insecure nail biting part is screaming, if I’m this bad, why do I keep trying? After a week or so, the author figures out they’re great and it’s the editor who needs help and we start writing again.

PROMO. Another part of the game, but one that kills a muse just the same. It never fails. When you’re on a roll, there is some event that you must show up for. As much as we love chatting with our fans, because we do and you’re the reason we’re doing this, writing is a disease just as insidious as anything bought on the street. It’s a monkey we don’t want off our back. If you take it away, you kill a part of us we can’t bear to lose, our sanity.

ONLINE SOCIAL COMMUNITIES. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter…evil each and every one. Hey, we’re adults but we’re just as prone to look at the shiny object as well as any kid under the age of 18. We get addicted to being close to both other authors and those who read our books and the muse goes along for the ride. By the time we’re ready to get to work and write, they’re still roaming around doing quizzes, playing Mobsters and generally making an ass of themselves socializing on our dime. BRB, must find out which movie psycho I am.

NEW BOOKS BY OUR FAVORITE AUTHOR. I fall into this trap and I know others do too. You’re writing your butt off and you look at the calendar. Damn, the new Sheri is out today. You say to yourself, I’ll start back writing when I get back from the store. Then it’s I’ll only read one chapter until I’ve only got thirty more pages to go, I’ll let that idea percolate while I finish this up. By the time you’re sighing to yourself, whatever train of thought you had going is just that… Gone!

TV, DVDS, VIDEO GAMES, ONLINE SODUKU, ETC… Need I say more.

FINALLY, YOURSELF. An author is the most destructive stumbling block to writing. We like to look at all the pretty things around us. We like to doubt our ability. We like to chat amongst ourselves about how we can’t write. We like to generally avoid writing. Mostly, we like to see a world that doesn’t exist except in our minds and sometimes we want the real world to be as great as the ones we create. When they don’t, it fills us with such a depression, we retreat into all those things above to escape the horror that our minds aren’t enough to reshape reality to reflect what we want. But, we can affect those who read our books. We can make you smile, laugh, cry and join us in wishing the world was as fantastic as the ones you read.

So, in short… I’m writing this blog to distract me from the fact I have too much to do, not enough time to do it, but as soon as I get this out of the way, I’ll get right on it. Yeah right. I still have a kabillion quizzes left to take on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Six Foot Hero Coming Aug 17, 2009

The return of Shea McMaster and Six Foot Hero, the story of Nicole and Logan that spans the glorious locales of Alaska and Northern California. From Midnight Sun to Napa Valley, from the Golden Gate to the Northern Lights, their story is freshened and updated, re-edited and re-released. Don't miss this specatular eBook, or the chance to lick those abs... ahem.

Okay, okay, getting a bit carried away, but this book is worth it!

Coming August 17, 2009. Brought to you by Lyrical Press, Inc. Look for it wherever ebooks are sold. Particulary Barnes & Noble, Amazon/Kindle, Fictionwise and other fine e-booksellers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Win Four New Releases



It’s an Alaska Heat Wave!
Enter to win one of the four new releases!
One Grand Prize Winner will receive a copy of all four books.
Four more will win one of the four books in a random drawing.

Send your name to
contest@akrwa.org
You may be added to the mail lists of the four authors and AKRWA
but you may unsubscribe at anytime. Names will be drawn randomly from all entries.

Contest begins August 10
and
ends August 31, 2009

Brought to you by
The Alaska Chapter
of the
Romance Writers of America
http://www.akrwa.org/
AKRWA is a non-profit organization and reaps no monetary reward from this contest

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Count Down to School!

Anyone else excited about Back to School?

This year it takes on a whole new meaning for me. College.

Yup, the one and only kid is going to college. It's not so simple as throwing bedding in a trunk and clothes in a duffel bag. Oh no. There's so much more to it all.

My kiddo is lucky, he knows his roommate. Friends from High School, they picked each other. Now we're coordinating who bring what. No, not food. Game and computer systems. Printers, microwave and fridge. Dishtowels and brooms. The laptop is on the way, Grandma bought the microwave, and as we speak the new towels and sheets are going through the wash. Next step, get them monogrammed because he chose colors too dark for me to mark with a Sharpie. Sigh.

And trying to get him to sort out his clothes... oy. I know guys are easier than girls in some respects, certainly when it comes to basic clothes, but in his own way he's as picky, if not pickier. We can't buy jeans because Old Navy doesn't have what he wants in stock at the moment, so he's heading off with only four pairs, most of which are on the ragged side, and we'll mail order later. He's looking at T-shirts, they have to be funny, but his brand of funny, not what Mom thinks is funny. Socks we're good on, but he needs more shorts. Coats, hats, gloves and scarves are covered (it gets to -60F where he's going), but we're still fighting about boots.

So here's a poem my mom found today and gave to my son. Written by my sister probably close to thirty years ago...

How was I to know when I was five, playing dolls and tinkertoys,
That with each stepping stone - first grade, second, third, fourth...
Its magnification would increase

From tinkertoys to spelling words, and the shadow grew
From spelling Bees to Algebra and the shadow grew more
From square roots to college boards and the shadow grew

The grade,
The grade,
The grade!

The almighty G.P.A.

Registration,
Pass or Fail
Graduation?

The Almighty G.P.A!

I think I'll email this to him once a month. Just to remind him, homework before gaming! We've already had the talk about drinking, drugs and parties. He and his roommate both are adamantly opposed to the bad stuff. Whew. One worry reduced.

What plans are you making for back to school? Shopping? Lunch out? Pedicures? Massages? New books to read? Talk to me, I want to hear. Me, I'll be trying to figure out how to do all the jobs he does around the house. Sigh.

Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Get Some Tonight

My books are now available at
Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and more. Be sure to search wherever you buy ebooks.

Six Foot Hero coming August 17 from Lyrical Press!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Courtesy of Rowena Cherry: 25 Tips for Buzzing an Author or Book

My grandmother on the distaff side used to say, "If you've nothing nice to say, don't say anything..." Switch "nice" for "helpful" and you have my current philosophy.

I've recently been invited to become a contributing member of the blog "1st Turning Point", which got me thinking about what I have to offer (or pay forward), and I took a look at a 25 Ways to promo list which I assembled a while back. I'm astonished how important Amazon seemed three years ago. Now... I think my old list is out of date. So here's my new 25 point "To Do" list.

All authors for the purpose of this article will be considered female. (No sexism intended).

#1. Help the search engines find her. Why? Even if you know where to find your friend, her blog, and her books, “hits” help. The more visitors the search engine spiders find, the more priority the author's website gets. So: Google her. Ask Jeeves about her. Dogpile her. A9 search her. Use Alexa. Try a Yahoo search. Blog search. Search on Technorati. Even better, set up a Google Alert for her name, also common misspellings of her name, and for her book titles.

#2. Having “Searched” or been "Alerted", Visit… her website; blogs; author pages. If you may comment, do so. Everyone who takes the time to blog or post content is grateful when visitors comment. Human nature leads more people to read a post that has received a lot of comments.

#3 Follow. Favorite. Share. Google's Blogger, Twitter, Facebook "Pages", Squidoo lenses, You Tube videos and more allow you to become a follower or a fan. Do so. Connect wherever you can. It's good for both of you, because follower/fan photos show up.

#4 Click to read (and rate) any reviews she has written, or Lists she has set up. These days, anyone can make an EssentiaList on Barnes and Noble.com, a Listmania on Amazon.com, a Top Ten list on Chapters.Indigo.ca, also Listopia on GoodReads.com/ If you like her reviews or lists, click Helpful.

#5. If you see a good review of a book you've enjoyed—on any bookselling site that allows customers and visitors to comment on reviews-- click Helpful if it truly is a helpful review. Votes help both the reviewer and the author.

#6. Tag her books wherever you can. Amazon isn't the only place (Amazon isn't even one site… there's Amazon.ca, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de etc etc) Many book selling sites encourage readers to tag.

What is a tag? It's a search term that a reader might be using to find a type of book she likes, when she is looking for a new author. Some tags might be "Romance", "Fantasy", "Mystery", "Shapeshifter", "Georgian Romance", "Humor" or "Space Opera".

#7. When you are on an admired author's Amazon book page, click on links to:
Put it on your wish list, it’s extra, free advertising for the book. Tell a friend. Scroll down the book page to Tag this product. Or make a search suggestion).

#8. Join in the Customer/Reader discussions on her book page, or on the forums. Ask a question. Start a discussion. Hundreds of eyeballs scan the discussions on Barnes and Noble bookclubs. The search engines pick up on the discussions. The longer a discussion keeps going, the better the PR buzz for your friend. This does not just apply to Amazon and B&N. Discussion anywhere is "buzz".

#9. Review her book… Most people know that a customer can write a review on Amazon.com. There's a purchase requirement with Amazon (and I think with Barnes and Noble, too). However, many sites don't require a reader to have bought a book from them in order to post a review: GoodReads.com, Shelfari.com, LibraryThing.com, E-Bay, Powells, FlipKart, We-Read (on Facebook), NexTag etc etc.

#10. Smak her. Have you ever noticed the "Add This" or "Share" or "Recommend" widgets on online pages and on You Tube? If you think your author friend's blog, or news about her is interesting, syndicate the news to Digg It, Reddit, Technorati, Stumble Upon, Furl and as many of the other 40 or so sites as you have time and energy for. It's self promo when she does it. It's news when someone else does it.

Smak is SmakNews.com. News for women, posted by women.

#11. If the author has a reminder on a public calendar (Amazon has one, other sites have the function, too) for a booksigning near you, click on Remind Me Too. Booksignings are nerve-racking. Support is always appreciated, even if you don’t buy a book.

#12. If she lists an "Event", which one can on Facebook, GoodReads, and too many other places to mention, be sure to RSVP with a kind comment about the book.

#13. Make her a top friend on MySpace, Bebo etc, Give her book cover image as a "gift" on Facebook, with her permission, make her cover into a widget or tile it as a background, or keep it on the top page of your Shelfari/GoodReads/MyB&N display of what you are reading.

#14. If you have a MySpace page or Bebo.com, or Twitters, or Clasmates.com, or facebook.com, or theyack.com (and if you don’t, but really want to help, get one… it’s free) invite your author friends to be your friends there. Write a bulletin about your friend or her book. Add a comment on their profile page’s comments section. Your comment is their opportunity to say something about their book without the appearance of soliciting. Review their book on your MySpace blog. Or on You Tube!

#15. If her publisher has a forum, join it and ask her questions. For instance, Dorchester Publishing (home of Leisure and LoveSpell authors) has http://forums.dorchesterpub.com/

Again, your comment will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, and it will give your friend a reason to post something interesting and quotable about her book without seeming to be self-promoting.

#16. If you have a blog or website, (and you should always secure your own domain name before you become famous yourself) publicize your friend’s upcoming signings/author talks/workshops on your blog. Mention her website URL. Link to your author friend’s website or blog on yours. Put her book as a 'must read' on your own site, or in your own newsletter. Have a list of links to authors you like, and blogs you enjoy.

#17. If you belong to readers’ group sites, or book chat sites, or special interest sites, post what you are reading. Plugs never hurt. These are also picked up on RSS feeds and the search engines.

#18. Join your favorite author’s yahoo group, let her know where you’ve seen her book in stores, or where you’ve seen discussions of her book, or reviews of her book.

#19. Drop in on her online chats to say how you enjoyed her book. Supportive friends at chats are cool because chats can be chaotic, and typing answers takes time.

#20. Tweet on Twitter about how much you are enjoying the book. Retweet or reply to any comments you see that promote the book, or the author.

#21. Offer to take a bunch of her bookmarks to conventions, or conferences, and make sure they are put in goodie bags, or on promo tables. Or simply visit her table at a convention, and sign up for her newsletter, or pick up her bookmark and tell someone else how good the book is. Offer to slip her bookmarks into your own correspondence when you pay bills, taxes, etc.

#22. Instead of quoting Goethe in your sig file, try quoting a line from your friend’s blurb in the week of her launch.

#23. Ask for her book in your local library. If they don't have it, maybe they will order a copy. If the library won't do that, ask if they would enter the book in their system if the author were to donate a copy to them. Once a book is in one library's system, it gets into the database for other libraries.

#24. If you see your favorite author’s books in a supermarket or bookstore: face her books (if there is room), turn one so the cover shows. Tell store personnel how much you like that book, or that the author is local. If you don’t see her books, especially when they ought to be there, ask about them.

#25. If you are connected on LinkedIn.com and your author friend is listed as "Author" or "Freelance Writer" or similar, consider "recommending her" on the strength of her writing. Recommendations on LinkedIn are intended to be for professional purposes.


Bonus Tip:
If you are an author buy colleagues' autographed books from them at booksignings to use in your own giveaways instead of always giving away your own books.


Rowena Cherry http://www.rowenacherry.com

What makes Rowena Cherry tick?:

My goal as an author is to give good value…to entertain. I expect to provide my readers with six to eight hours of amusement, a couple of really good laughs, a romantic frisson or two from the sensual scenes, a thoroughly satisfying Happy Ever After, something to think about when the book is finished.

My books are:
Forced Mate (2004)
Humorous, futuristic take on "abduction" Romances

Mating Net (e-book, short, politically incorrect)
The prequel to Forced Mate.

Insufficient Mating Material (2007)
A "SURVIVORMAN" endorsed, castaway romance

Knight's Fork (2008) Political satire.
Helen of Troy in outer space seeks reluctant sperm donor.

BIO
Rowena Cherry is unreliably psychic. She has exceptionally good hearing, an eye for detail, and a near-photographic memory. And, she’s lurked and observed from some of the world’s most glamorous and privileged vantage points. Of course, she’s also incredibly discreet!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Saturday!

Yes, I can finally say that! For once, a Saturday I got to sleep in. It's been at least three months where everyone in the house got to sleep in and it feels so good! Graduation is over (Isn't he so handsome? Magna Cum Laude) and summer is upon us! I need to get my flowers planted pronto!

Just a quick update on what is happening at TMD.

Jmo and I both had new releases from Lyrical Press on April 6. His (How Wicked-er Can She Go?) is short and funny. No one does comedy quite like Jmo and he always makes me laugh out loud for real. Mine (Cowboys Dream Too) is long and sexy. One reader "yelled" at me because the warning didn't include the instruction to keep toy or SO handy while reading. She loved it, and so did her husband. So reader be warned!
Did you know? Summer Solstice is just over a month away. If you haven't read Halo in Her Pocket, now is the perfect time! It takes place on the solstice in Alaska. A great way to celebrate!

Desert Breeze publishing has also opened. Headed up by the fabulous Gail R. Delaney - keep an eye out for her Phoenix Rebellion series this summer - Jmo has a release with them as well (Love Bites - Book One: Love at First Stake) and so does Helen Ravell, some of my favorite authors from days at Triskelion.

Speaking of Trisk, or rather my one release with them, written under the pen name Shea McMaster, Six Foot Hero, is on the schedule at Lyrical to be re-released this coming August! We're in the middle of working the cover art now so I hope show if off any day now. The book will updated and I've got the chance to fix a few things I wasn't quite happy with in the original. It will be better than ever!

Just remember, every once in a while a girl needs a hero. Nikki will take hers to go...

As usual, we're open for questions! Have a question or comment about Romance burning in your tummy? Ask away! We'll do our best to answer, or research the answer. Questions like, where the heck does Jmo come up with his ideas??? How hot is Morgan that she sets her oven on fire and has to call the fire department? And will she ever stop with the FaceBook quizzes? What's coming next for The Morgans? What are Alaska men really like? Seriously. What do you read in your off time? What's on the TBB or TBR list?

I'm also open to suggestions on what to do with an 18 yo new HS graduate who is heading off to college in 3.5 months.