Saturday, May 31, 2014

Short Tales from Hell's Leak

As many of you know, my urban fantasy romance Nephilim was recently acquired by Kensington Publishing. I'm really excited about this new acquisition! To celebrate, I've published a series of short stories that are companion tales to Nephilim and Nathan Ink. Want to know what he was like prior to meeting Faye? Want to see how his special brand of tattoos affected people with the Seven Deadly Sins? Then check out these short tales--a steal for only .99cents at Amazon! Drop a review, and if you are in San Antonio in July, drop by the RWA Conference and get a signed copy of Nephilim!


When sin stains your soul, he tattoos your skin…
Tattoo artist Nathan Ink is more than he seems. An angel living in secret on earth, he forces his clients to face their flaws by tattooing images of their sins on their bodies, but this glimpse into the soul often results in his clients' deaths. Although Nathan avoids the other angels, when they ask him to keep an eye on Faye, a nephilim being stalked by another of her kind, he reluctantly agrees.

The angels have kept Faye in the dark about her stalker, but to keep her close to Nathan, they've tasked her with investigating the high mortality rate of Nathan's clients. Despite her distaste for his methods, she finds herself fighting a growing attraction to Nathan, and discovering he's not a rogue after all forces her to question her own mission. When Faye learns her stalker is another nephilim who intends to use her to breed a new race of hellish beings, teaming up with Nathan may be the only way to prevent a genocide.


We are all guilty of sin every now and then, but at Hell's Leak, your sins can be branded onto your soul... 

Bob is lazy and his old habits that once made him a loveable if odd "character" have finally run off all his friends. Stuck in a lifestyle full of selfishness and sloth, he can't really figure out what went wrong in his life. Getting a tattoo seems the perfect thing to help him start up conversations, impress new friends, get a girl or two into his bed. But entering the small tattoo shop on Sixth Street called Hell's Leak proves to be more than egotistical Bob expects. His new goat tattoo is not just visually impressive--it can walk, smoke cigars, and sounds a little like George Carlin. The problem is that it won't shut up and makes suggestions that slowly drive Bob insane. How far will he go to quiet the tattoo that now marks not only his skin, but his soul, too? 

Feed Your Soul is one of several short companion stories to Mary Ann Loesch's book Nephilim featuring Nathan Ink and his infamous tattoo shop, Hell's Leak.


Envy. It's one of the most common Seven Deadly Sins. For Karen Robison, it's a way of life. Vile thoughts. Trash talking. Gossip. Karen doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. When she sits down in Nathan Ink's chair at Hell's Leak, she discovers that her own lies and envious deeds are about to be sewn up in a neat little package.

Sort of.

Step inside Hell's Leak, my friend. Nathan Ink doesn't just mark up your skin with a tattoo. He brands your soul.

Silenced Envy is a short tale in the Hell's Leak series which features Nathan Ink, a character in the novel Nephilim.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

All Things Writing is Open to Guest Bloggers

As the title implies, we are once again open to guest bloggers! Feel free to follow the guidelines listed below and on our Guest Blogger page to submit your work.

YOUR PIECE MUST BE ABOUT SOME ASPECT OF WRITING! Yes, I'm shouting at you. But one of the things I really got tired of were people telling me they wanted to write about cars or roadshows. Awesome. You go do that. But this blog is about the process of writing and/or publishing. If you can't figure that out based on our prior posts, then you haven't done your homework!

If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger, contact Mary Ann Loesch at maryannloesch@hotmail.comBe sure to put All Things Writing-Guest Blogger in the subject field. This is a must! I've had some clever spammers just put "guest posting" in the subject line and will no longer open anything in my mail that does not say All Things Writing-Guest Blogger in the subject line. When you email me, I would appreciate it if you would double check your message before hitting the send button. When we get emails with lots of grammar mistakes and odd spellings, we tend to ignore them. After all, if you can't write an email, how will you write a blog piece?

We do not offer financial compensation to our guest bloggers.

A few tips:

1. Be ready to submit your guest blog to us 3 days before it will go live.

2. Please check it for grammar and punctuation errors.

3. You are welcome to include a personal bio, website link, and picture of yourself or book.

4. We will promote it on Twitter and Facebook, but in order for the most amount of people to see your work, be sure to promote it on your website/blog/Twitter/Facebook page.

5. Relax and let your voice come out in your writing! We will moderate all comments.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Beta Readers Can Strengthen Your Novel

Finishing a novel is like giving birth.

It's messy, painful, and something you can't put back once it's done. That bad boy is out there, waiting in all its afterbirth glory to be read by the masses!

However, giving birth doesn't have to be messy or painful--at least, giving birth to a novel doesn't! After all, they say that if you've done it once, you know what to expect the second time around, right? You've learned so much from Baby No.1!

When you're an indie author, you have to really pay attention to feedback and figure out how to refine your processes for the next book. One of my favorite little tricks is to employ the help of Beta Readers!

Beta Readers are those special people who love to read. They often can be convinced to read an early draft of a work and provide you with feedback. Some authors hate sharing their early drafts with anyone, but I disagree. I think once you've gotten your manuscript up to the 3rd or 4th draft, it's time to let someone else take its temperature and see what's going on.

Here are a few reasons Beta Readers can strengthen your novel:

1. Another set of eyes. We all make mistakes and sometimes skip things that should be obvious. A misspelled word, a badly written sentence or gasp!--an unresolved plot point. I'd much rather have a Beta Reader catch that than some Amazon reviewer who is all set to tear me apart.

2. Too much back story! Don't you hate it when you send your work to an agent or small press and they say things like, This was good but there was too much back story. Back story can be the kiss of death on a novel. It slows down the pace and takes the reader out of the tale. Having an early reader make you aware of this can save a lot of time for you and future readers.

3. Different Point of View. Authors get so immersed in their work that they can only see things in one way. Sometimes just having another person point out a different idea or direction for a particular plot point can trigger a new stream of creativity and strengthen a story line.

Who should you ask to be a Beta Reader? As I mentioned earlier, choose people that love to read and read a lot in the genre you're writing. After all, that will be your target audience eventually. When I'm scouting for people, I usually send something out on Facebook or even Twitter telling people that I'm interested in a Beta Reader for whatever genre novel I'm working on. They should private message me if they are interested. Goodreads also has several forums where Beta Readers gather and you can post your genre and book info for them to peruse.

Be careful about only choosing family and friends as Beta Readers. Those are the people who make good cheerleaders, but also want to protect our feelings. It can be harder for the ones closest to us to be honest. Try to get people you don't know as well for an objective opinion.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Wolf and the Highlander by Jessi Gage--a Review

Mmmm.....dirty, sweaty, well built men in kilts....that's what I think of when I think of Jessi Gage's Highlander series. I got to read her fabulous first book Wishing for a Highlander (click here for review) and just fell in love with her writing style. Luckily, she allowed me a sneak peak at her second book in the Highlander series called The Wolf and the Highlander.

So was it more sweaty men in kilts that make your toes tingle? Actually....nope! Big, well hung wolf men from another realm who appreciate women for all the right reasons--that's what awaited me in this exciting sequel!

Now before you start thinking "Oh, it's a werewolf book" let me just stop you right there. It is and it isn't. I found that the male characters were not your traditional werewolf stereo type. There was no "light of the full moon" craziness. They kinda just were always...wolfy. And apparently very hairy. Like Tom Selleck hairy in his bare chested Magnum P.I. days. They're the kind of hairy that makes your motor rev and your toes tingle!

Here's a quick plot synopsis: Anya (the bad girl from Book 1) is now crippled. Both of her legs were broken in a dramatic fall and everyone in her village assumed she was dead. However, she recovered with the help of a friend and decided it was important to return home, admit her wrong doings, and hopefully, not be put to death in the process. It's a gamble, but she wants to redeem herself. Of course, redemption does not come easily. Before she can ever ask for forgiveness, a magical box (the same one that caused all the trouble in Wishing for a Highlander) whisks her away into another realm.

And let me tell you what...this realm is sorely lacking women. Especially breeding women. The last chick born in that realm is pretty old so when a woman like Anya enters the picture, she causes a stir. In this case, it's the wrong kind of stir, and Anya is almost taken by some really nasty wolf guys who do not have any sort of honorable intentions. Lucky for her, she is rescued by Riggs--and apparently he is walking sex on a stick!

Together they escape from the bad guys and head towards the city where King Magnus is waiting for them.
A long time ago, the king had a dream about a girl who would come and save his kingdom. She would have distinct marks on her and carry a special stone.

Guess what? Anya fits the description and she happens to have a special stone that allows her to understand the language of the place she is currently in. Riggs is pretty sure the King will want to claim Anya as the mystery girl in the picture. But there is a catch...Riggs wants to claim her, too--even though he knows it's wrong.

Mistaken identity, revenge, sexual heat, and some supernatural shenanigans really set this story rolling along. I read it in one sitting and can't wait for Jessi Gage to write the third one! The characters were well developed and very human. I didn't like Anya in the first book and wasn't sure how the author would be able to redeem her. But she did! By the end of the book, I was rooting for Anya to have a happy ending. Riggs is a great hero. Strong, confident, but always trying to do the right thing, Riggs tugs at your heart strings and gets your blood flowing in all the right places. I had my doubts about King Magnus, but once again, I was surprised at how his character turned out. I really hope he will be the main character in the next book. I need to know what happens to him and his newly found love interest.

Let's talk sex....yep. There is some. It's good stuff, too. There was lots of build up to the big moment, but definitely worth the wait!

Overall, this is a fast paced, fun read! Can't wait for the next one! Ready to get your copy? Click on the links below!

All Romance eBooks