Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Magical Mystery Tour in June

On June 1st my friend and fellow writer, Marva Dasef, is holding an awesome month long even on her blog and I get to be part of it for my new release Duty and Devotion.

Here's the line up:

6/1 Roseanne Dowell - Double the Trouble

6/3 Ginger Simpson - Beside Myself

6/5 Larriane/Larion Wills - It's Still Tomorrow

6/7 Lisabet Sarai - Exposure

6/9 Arlene Webb - Ashes

6/11 Lorrie Struiff - Gypsy Crystal

6/14 Anna MacLean - Louisa and the Missing Heiress

6/15 A.R. Norris - Duty and Devotion

6/17 A.M. Roelke - The Space Station Murders

6/19 Pat Dale - Crossed Lines

6/21 J.Q. Rose - Sunshine Boulevard

6/23 John Roseman - Dark Wizard

6/24 Ellie Burmeister - How to Get an Agent in Two Murders or Less (*NEW)

6/26 Frank Scully - Dead Man's Gambit

6/28 Heather Haven - Wedding to Die For

6/30 L.J. Sellers - Dying for Justice

So make sure to stop by throughout the month to see all the cool TBR ideas.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sale! Sale! Sale!

*Pats chest*

Where are my virtual sale signs???


I'm uber excited to let everyone know that Desert Breeze is having a one day sale.

Just hop on over, choose a book, and you'll get 25% off the purchase...when you use the code REMEMBER at check out.

So stop by goofy heads and see what awesome books my DB buddies have out!

Here's the link: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/StoreFront.bok

Friday, May 27, 2011

Plotter or Pantser...is There Really a Difference?

Okay, okay...I know I'm going to crack the hornets nest with this post, but something hit me earlier in the week and I've been brewing on it since.

Is there really a difference between a plotter and a pantser...at the core of it?

The biggest thing I hear about pantsers is they say they fly by the seat of their pants and knock out a story one scene at a time with no idea where the story's going to end.

I'm a plotter.

I know I'm a plotter and am okay with it. Not just a plotter but also layerer (it's a word, an AR word). In reality, I fly by the seat of my pants, knock out a story one scene at a time and I never have an idea where the story's going to end.

The difference is I sit down and get to know my characters and their motivation a little first before I start writing. I imagine the story in my head and note the scenes as I'm thinking through it. I lay out each scene the characters go through on their journey and then in my head think about where the characters would go next based on their personalities.

Jane just got smacked in the face by Renaldo. She's a tough little nut. Would she cry and walk away or would she plant explosives in his car, then cackle when he started the engine and it blew sky high? -- She'd go with B. In my scene box I'd write, "Jane plants bomb in car, sits at bistro with a tall mocha and waits."
Really, the outline for me is a very raw first draft that's about 95% telling. The next few "layers" add depth and sensory to the scenes.

And, I get surprises all the time along the way during the journey.

Jane laughed while the car blew...but in her heart she knew she'd killed the only man she'd ever love...
What? Are you crazy? Is she crazy? Someone's crazy! (Eek...maybe it's me! You know what they say, if you can't pinpoint the one in the group it means it's you.)

From outlining through the final draft I'm smacked with "What the Wisconsins!" moments all the time. People live or die I didn't think or want to live or die and characters react in unexpected ways.

I don't know, maybe it's the fact that plotters mentally detail the story a little longer and court their characters a bit more than Pantsers. Whereas Pantser get a really cool idea and the general theme of the story and start writing right away and learn about their characters as the story unfolds on the paper.

Or maybe plotters just note down their ideas beforehand, whereas pantser don't. But as a plotter, let me tell you...I have millions of ideas throughout the day, and about 15-20 different in-progress or future story ideas. That's a lot of thinking! If I didn't jot them down somewhere most of those ideas would be lost.

Okay, that's my rant. I'll go hide behind the couch and wait for the cabbage throwing to begin.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Frenzy Just Kicked Off

I just completed and submitted the final manuscript of Telomere Trilogy Book 1: Revelations of Tomorrow to my publisher. You know, the ones with the house style edits complete. I'm so happy with the final product, though I know my editor will tear it to shreds here in a couple weeks.

But hey, I'll worry about those tears later. Right now it's celebration time!

I'm relishing in a job well done...and looking forward to the next project. I'd been in this editing nightmare with several novels in the editing phase at the same time...now the genie's (that's Her Highness the Muse) is out of the bottle and refuses to be put back in. So much so that I woke up at 3:15 Monday morning with my brain revved to get going.

I've got the Duty and Devotion's prequel. Or so I thought, until I had a dream and it actually flipped around to a sequel. I'd been working on that in between the Revelations of Tomorrow edits, so it's about halfway done. I've decided to title it Lasting Bonds. When you read it you'll understand why. I just couldn't get into the life before the war for these girls. They'd moved on. I'd moved on. No looking back to what they were, right?

In this dream I saw a couple loose ends wrapped up from the main story and felt compelled to write it out. So, we'll see how it turns out when the Free Read comes out. Let's just say both girls get something they wish for, for the holidays.

Oh! And I have my pet novella project, Lilly's Journey. I've been sneaking in time to work on it so that's going well. I don't know what I'm going to do with this manuscript when it's completed. I've fallen in love with the innocence of Lilly and her adventure, but I just don't know where it would fit in anything. I guess time will tell.

I know I'll have to reign my Muse in eventually, I mean Revelations of Tomorrow's editing rounds will start here shortly. But, I mine as well let her -- and me -- enjoy the freedom while it lasts.

So, what are all you up to right now?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taking the Journey – What's it like to be a Witch?

I've got the groovy author Stephanie Burkhart back on today. She has a new paranormal release she wants to chit chat about. Take it away Steph!


I'd just like to thank Amber for having me here today. My latest release is "The Wolf's Torment," a paranormal romance set in Romania in the 1860's. Prince Mihai has a secret – he's a witch. Can his love for Theresa give him the courage he needs to save his family from the werewolf that haunts them?

The challenge in writing paranormal characters is to bring out the humanity in them. Mihai Sigmaringen is the Crown Prince of Moldavia. He's young – 18 – but he has the world on his shoulders. He has to learn Moldavian politics, build a railroad, unite the principalities, and get married. On top of that, he's a witch – and an untrained one at that.

Mihai realizes early on that he needs to understand the power of the witch so he goes poking around his mother's old things. He discovers a book that talks about the origins of witchcraft and his mother's athame. It's the ferons in Mihai's blood that allows him to channel energy, but he has no real direction until his fiancée's sisters, Beatrice, reveals to him she's a witch and can train him.

Beatrice shows Mihai how to focus his energy, how to use plants and herbs medicinally and how to see auras. She teaches him tarot and how to read the stars. Mihai had best learn his lessons well because when Viktor threatens to destroy his family, Mihai will need to call on all his powers to keep those he loves safe.

From The Pen & Muse:
A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot. Lovers of historical paranormal romance will enjoy this read, the first in the Moldavian Moon series.

Link: http://thepenmuse.net/archives/2720

From Reader's Favorites
5 Stars - The Wolf’s Torment has it all, witches, werewolves, a vampire, a princess and a prince. This is paranormal romance at its finest.

Link: http://readersfavorite.com/cat-71.htm?review=4120

Enjoy this Excerpt:
Beatrice avoided the flowers on the floor and walked to the desk. She placed her fingertips gently on Mihai's leather-bound book.

"What I'm about to tell you must be kept from Theresa."

He raised an eyebrow. "I do not intend on keeping secrets from my fiancée."

"You must. I can help you with Viktor -- and Sonia, but you first must promise to keep certain things from my sister."

Mihai narrowed his eyes, suspecting Beatrice had kept secrets from Theresa for years. And the thought of it appalled him. Didn't Beatrice feel disgust with herself? Or were her displays of affection all for appearances' sake? Was he even being fair to her?

"Do you want my help with Viktor and Sonia or not? Certainly you have the power to keep him in check, but not the knowledge."

Mihai glowered at her. "Do not attempt to pit me against my family."

"You will fail miserably if you go it alone. I can help, but you must keep secrets. It is your choice to make."

Mihai's jaw clenched with tension. Neither choice suited him. He was trying to prove to Theresa that his deep feelings meant something to him. How could he do it if he had to keep secrets from her? And yes, he was a witch, and he was growing more practiced at channeling energy, but he did not know what he needed to keep Viktor and Sonia safe.

"Fine, I will keep your secrets, Beatrice."

She looked at him with all seriousness. "Good. The first thing you need to know is that I'm a witch."

Mihai drew in a small breath. He thought she was going to tell him that, but the tone of her voice took him off guard.

"The von Krackens are a royal witching family. Our family business, as we refer to it in front of Theresa, includes establishing covens, teaching new witches, and disciplining any that violates our code."

"Is Theresa a witch?" The thought of it thrilled him and scared him as well.

Beatrice pursed her lips and put her hands on her hips, trapping his gaze with hers. "Yes, she is, but she doesn't know it and she's not to know it. She wasn't raised a witch and she does not think I am. It must be like that."


"My father possesses divination and saw this future for her. You must respect his wishes. He's the Duke of our witching realm."

Mihai nodded. "Fine. I'll respect his wishes, but only because he's the father of my intended. How about Sonia? Is she a witch?"

"I believe she might be, but I can't sense her as well as I sense you -- or Theresa. I need to check the ferons in her blood."

He drew in a deep breath, knowing this wouldn't be easy for his sister. "How can I use my powers to help Viktor?"

"That is much more complicated. He's tasted human blood, so his eyes have become a golden yellow."

She withdrew a small bag from the pocket of her dress and placed it on the desk. Then she took a vial from the bag and shook it, whispering a chant. A spell, perhaps? The liquid contents turned blue.

"He must use this dye. Every morning when he wakes, have him put this in his eyes. It will make them blue again. His yellow wolf eyes will attract attention."

"You'll show me how to make it?"


"How dangerous is he?" Concern for his sister and family settled into his heart.

"Very. A wolf must have human blood and have intercourse during the full moon. If these needs are met, then he can act human during the rest of the month, but it is not easy. The feral nature takes much to control."

Visit the Book Trailer on You Tube and give it a 'like' at:

The Wolf's Torment is available as an ebook only on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Sony Ereader. Formats include: PDF, html, and epub which can be found on the Publisher's Website at: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-163/Stephanie-Burkhart-Moldavian-Moon/Detail.bok

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-One-ebook/dp/B004YTI3FM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1305222473&sr=1-1

Nook: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Moldavian-Moon-Book-One/Stephanie-Burkhart/e/2940012459787/?itm=2&USRI=stephanie+burkhart

All Romance ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-moldavianmoonbookonethewolf039storment-544310-139.html

About the Author:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She also served as an MP in the US Army. Multi-published, she has a children's book, "The Giving Meadow" with 4RV Publishing. She's an avid reader , loves coffee in the morning, and her favorite movie "werewolf" is David Thewlis, Lupin from Harry Potter.

You can find me at:
Website: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com/
Blog: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Burkhart-Author/149938795021166

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hanging out over at LASR

Hi all!

I'm guest blogging over at Long and Short Review today, talking about if true love really exists. Stop by if you have a chance!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Picking Up Where You Left Off

Hey all, there's something difficult about picking up pieces to your life after you've dropped them. (Total "duh" statement, I know.) This happened to me a couple weeks ago, when my medical issue decided to take over my life. I was rushed to the hospital and then transferred to another, bigger hospital and went into surgery.

It was awkward timing to say the least. I had a contest going on that Saturday (my first ever) on my blog. My ARC for Duty and Devotion was nearing it's last rounds. And, I was in the middle of a large project at my day job (several actually).

But all that flew out the window as I drove in an ambulance across the Golden Gate Bridge. Truthfully, it was the last thing on my mind at the time. Of course after, when everything turned out fine, I had a whole lot of balls to put back into the air. It was a daunting task to say the least. As a mother, wife, writer, and project manager there are a lot of balls floating around.

So, today I'm going to take it easy and just give a writing progress update. To get back into the swing of blogging again.

  • Duty and Devotion editing rounds are complete.

  • The Telomere Trilogy Book One: Revelations of Tomorrow is almost done for its June 1st submission to my publisher.

  • The Telomere Trilogy Book Two: Echoes of Regret is waiting in the wings to start editing phase.

  • The Telomere Trilogy Book Three: Ending Eternity is almost finished.

  • Lilly's Journey is still in progress.

  • I'm also going to start a holiday Free Read that follows the sisters in Duty and Devotion, title still to be determined.
So that's that. I've got to reorganize my blog stuff and reschedule some guests so I'll get back to you on all that.