28 November 2012

Hump Day Hook - 28th of November

I was unprepared for this Wednesday’s Hump Day Hook.  I meant to write this post out earlier but found myself doing it Wednesday morning.  I wanted to talk about how I got the name Written Butterfly for my blog because I had a comment left on the last blog hop that it was a beautiful mantra.

I moved to Los Angeles, California almost thirteen years ago with two of my closest girlfriends.  We all had our hopes and dreams for moving to this charming city, and mine was to be a writer.  In the span of a few months, I had a guy I was crazy about and lost him when I found out he had made me the “other” woman.  So I wrote some poetry about it and before I knew it, I had written this autobiographical story on the break up my marriage, being dumped on Valentine’s Day from this guy I had fallen for, and the happiness I had now that I met this other guy (still my boyfriend after almost 13 years!).  It was a catharsis for my soul.  As I tried to put a name on this story, I thought how I was just like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon to finally fly.  I love butterflies, so with these feelings written down I came up with the title: Written Butterfly.

Years later, when I went to start up my blog, I thought how appropriate that title still was.  So…let romance take flight!

For this week’s paragraph, I thought about which character was a like a butterfly emerging from his or her cocoon, and came up with Paden Winters.  He’s a man who has emotional issues stemming from his kidnapping as a child.  He’s lived a long time thinking he’d never find happiness again, and when he realizes love can set him free, he’s a completely different person.  So this week, the paragraph is from Love Story for a Snow Princess:

Turmoil boiled through his mind because now he was free, or
     supposedly free. Truth be told, he did feel different, but could it be his
     mind playing tricks? He wanted to test if the invisible specter that had
     clung to him for years had suddenly vanished, but he was half-afraid
     to try. What if Thea had been wrong and all of this had been for
Yet, what if Thea had been right?

Please be sure to check out the other paragraphs for Hump Day Hook at:  http://kerriannecoombes.wordpress.com/

24 November 2012

Winners of the Blog Hop!

The Thanksgiving weekend was very relaxing for me.  Recently my boyfriend and I bought a house in Las Vegas so we spent the whole week there…and yes, I ended up shopping on Black Friday, although I hit up several thrift stores that were having major sales.  I love thrift stores for several things, one being books.  I can find so many old/older Harlequin and Silhoutte and Zebra and Candlelight Romance books that I read in the early eighties that I wish I’d kept.  Stories that I remember but can not remember titles so I look and look.  I’ve found so many awesome books in thrift stores!

I decided to have three winners for my Black Friday Blog Hop since I had so many leave comments!  My wonderful and beautiful assistant (AKA: son) picked the names randomly from a bowl.  Susan Frances, JYL22075 & Cat Fire.  The winners have been sent emails.  Thank you so much and thanks to all who visited with me.

I have some interesting upcoming guest blogging coming up in December.  Every Wednesday I participate in Hump Day Hook, where I give one paragraph from a work in progress or something already published.  No prizes are given but I always have something interesting up!  On December 5th, I’m guest blogging with Cassandra Carr.  On December 7th I am participating in the Zombie Blog Hop…this should be interesting, eh???  On December 14th, I’m doing the Holiday Gift of Love Blog Hop and I’m going to have a HUGE give-a-way…the kind where I’m going to need an address to send it to one lucky winner!  I’m talking a t-shirt, a desk calendar, & a gift card from Barnes & Noble!  And finally, on December 21st, if the world has not ended, I’m going to be guest blogging at When One is Not Enough. 

Big things coming, so please stop my blog often!  Have a great week!

22 November 2012

Black Friday Blog Hop-

For Americans, Thanksgiving Day is a time to reflect what we are thankful for.  In school children are taught the first thanksgiving supper between the Pilgrims and the Natives.  A cornucopia represents all we’re grateful for, whether it’s a bountiful harvest or having a day off work.  It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the War Between the States, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, and celebrated the final Thursday in November.

The day after Thanksgiving…well, that became known as black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and the official start of the Christmas/Solstice/Holiday season.  The name originated in Philadelphia where it described the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that came the day after Thanksgiving.  Some say it also denotes the day retailers operate in the “black”, or start turning a profit. 

I absolutely, positively, irrefutably, refuse to shop on Black Friday. 

The lines alone are enough to make me shudder in horror.  I’m the kind of person who starts Christmas shopping in July.  I make note of items friends or family really like and go back later and buy it for their present.  If, for some reason, I can’t find a gift then I resort to gift cards, but luckily I haven’t done that too often.  By the time Black Friday rolls around, I usually only have one or two presents left, and those are usually for Little Boy (AKA: son). 

But as I started to think about what I was going to write for the Black Friday Blog, I kept thinking about one of my favorite characters that I’ve written…Heather Hart.  Heather, from A Silver Lining, is a very broken woman.  She is summoned to her dying grandfather’s bedside because he wants to see if she’s worthy on inheriting his ranch.  She’s pitted against the foreman, Tristan Rogers, who loves the land fiercely.  She decides she wants the ranch, not because of family loyalty or pride, but because she knows it will make her rich when she sells it.

Heather has nothing to be thankful for.  I can’t reveal why she is the way she is, of course, because her journey from spoiled, selfish girl into a mature and nice woman is the story.  Many people have told me that they hated Heather and that’s good, because she’s not a nice woman.  If she was nice or likeable then her transformation wouldn’t have the same impact.  But something powerful made her the way she is, and only the gentle, compassionate love of Tristan can heal her.

I will reveal one little tidbit about the story.  Chapter One starts out when Heather was fifteen and the entire scenario where she meets a twenty-one year old Tristan actually happened to me.  And before most of you can go “Eww”, nothing happens to the teenager!  When I was fifteen, my parents and I went traveling the States one summer.  We ended up at this place called Hart Ranch in South Dakota and everything that Heather endures with a twisted ankle and a knight in shining armor rescuing her, happened to me.  My cowboy was named Damon, and we’re still in touch today.  But that’s where Heather’s story and my reality ends.  I did not go through the trials and tribulations that she went through, thank goodness! 

I am so thankful for the most important parts of my life: the health of my son, the ability to put food on the table, and wonderful family and friends around me.  Everything else is gravy.  And I rally appreciate all readers of my blog.  Thanks so much for visiting with me today and be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop!
To win a PDF ebook, winner's choice, just leave a comment on if you shop on Black Friday and what's on your list!  Winner will be notified on Sunday (because I'm out of town till then!)  

19 November 2012

Hump Day Hook...Thanksgiving

This year I have much to be thankful for.  My boyfriend and I bought a house, and it’s the first time that I’ve felt stable, that growing older won’t be so bad now that I can provide a home for my son.

I have a healthy little boy, my boyfriend (truthfully, he’s all but my husband…feels odd calling him boyfriend when we’ve been together almost 13 years) has a good job, and I have a wonderful writing career.  Plus, I have the love of family and friends around me.  What more can a person ask for?

This Hump Day Hook I wanted to do something Thanksgiving themed, but alas, I haven’t written anything with this holiday, so what I had to make due with a section from a series in progress I hope to come out in 2013.  Taken from my book Otherworldly, the scene sets up Charlotte trying to cook a chicken, but some of the fat leaks over the side and starts burning.  The fire alarm goes off and think of it as if Majel Barrett-Rodenberry decided to do fire prevention. 

(On a side note, this situation actually happened to my friend, Lark!  When she told me the story, I was laughing so hard my sides hurt!  I told her I was going to use this in a story and she just rolled her eyes.)

So, from Otherworldly, here is my paragraph:

“FIRE!  FIRE!  FIRE!” the alarm kept saying in a very loud, very annoying tone.
            “Shut up!” she cried and grabbed a dishtowel to start fanning the smoke away from the detector.  She spotted a reset button and hurried to find a broom.  Thankfully, the smoke was starting to dissipate.  She found an ordinary broom in the pantry and grabbed it, trying to line up the reset button with the handle, but the handle was too wide and couldn’t fit in the small button slot.
            In the meantime, the detector kept yelling “FIRE” at her and Charlotte was contemplating smashing 

the damn thing with the broom when the front door opened.

Please visit the other Hump Day Hook paragraphs at:  http://kerriannecoombes.wordpress.com/

ALSO: I'm going to be participating in the Black Friday Blog Hop starting...well, I'm sure you can figure it out.  LOL!  I'll be giving away a free PDF ebook, winner's choice.  December 5th I'll be guest blogging at Cassandra Carr; December 7th I'll be participating in the Zombie Blog Hop (that should be interesting!!); December 14th I'll be participating in the Holiday Gift of Love blog hop and I will have a large Christmas give-a-way to one lucky winner; and finally, on my birthday of December 21st, the world will end...but in case that doesn't happen, then I'll be blogging at When One is Not Enough!  Thanks so much for visiting!

13 November 2012

Update & Hump Day Hook!

Thanks to everyone who participated in my Blog Hop this weekend!  I love hearing about opinions and readers favorites, like hearing about y’alls favorite names.  I picked two winners this time around because of the volume of comments and my trusty assistant (AKA: son) picked Shar Simms & Beckey!  Each person has been notified via email.

I’ll also be participating in the Black Friday Blog Hop happening…you guessed it!..day after Thanksgiving.  And at Christmas, I’ll be giving away a special prize so be sure to stop back often!

I’m taking this post to also put up my Hump Day Hook for this week.  For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Hump Day Hook is something I participate in every Wednesday.  A bunch of us authors post so please visit the others at:

This week I wanted to post something about how time flies.  We’re getting ready to enter the last holidays of 2012 and again, I can’t believe how fast the year has flown by.  So from You Can Run, here is my paragraph:

January in Maryland was always miserable. Rain turned to ice and snow, while temperatures fluctuated somewhere between holy-fuck-it’s-cold and I-can’t-feel-my-nads-anymore. It was the type of weather where nose hair froze. Kyle had run thoughtlessly and keeping warm had been the last thing on his mind, but now, unfortunately, he was kicking himself for not grabbing his coat. A thin vinyl jacket wasn’t cutting it.


08 November 2012

What's in a Name?

This Blog Hop is supposed to be about Autumn.  I love autumn.  The temperature drops from the hot days to cool nights, making us snuggle down into sweaters and jackets.  The rainy days offers us a chance to curl up next to the window with hot chocolate or with a sweetheart under the blankets.  It's the start of holiday cheer, good cooking, and singing Christmas hymns (because, of course, Christmas starts the day after Halloween now).  

But I decided to blog about something different.  I've had on my mind how I pick names.  Picking names for characters are one of my favorite things whenever I start a new story.  Names are just as important as the story itself.  So to celebrate Autumn...and my being able to bring out my Thanksgiving Day sweaters...here's my blog on names:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

 Arguably, one of the most famous scenes in literature, Shakespeare knew the art of names.  Naming a character is like naming a child.  You have to find the right combination of first and last names to match characteristics, looks, intelligence and character background.  And it can be a long process. 

Just imagine this line, “Buddy, Buddy, where for art thou Buddy?”.  It’s just doesn’t have the same impact.  Now imagine Edward Cullen.  The name ‘Edward’ has a certain ring to it, a noble quality, while the character of Edward Cullen is gentlemanly, cultivated, and distinguished.  The name fits with who he is, where he came from, and the time period he was born. 

And not only do writers have to figure all that in, but we have to be aware that some names are new creations.  For instance, the name Vanessa was “invented” by the author Jonathan Swift in the early 1700’s, so if you happen to be writing a piece set in the 1600’s then the name would be anachronistic. 

I have a hard time, just like every other writer, finding that one name that jumps out at me to define the character I have in my head.  But I tend to get my names from unusual places.  For instance, in my book Spirals, the two heroes are Tobias Noble and Orion West… which are all street names in LA County.  Even my heroine, Kaori, got her last name from a street in El Segundo, California.  In Kismet, the sequel to Spirals, Evie’s last name is a surgical instrument!  A writer will never know where inspiration will strike.

Names that have strong syllables usually bring to mind strong heroes.  For instance, John or Luke or Max.  Each name brings to mind a certain man: John Wayne, Luke Skywalker or Mad Max.  Most writers will go with a strong name over something more…odd.  Eustace probably won’t usually be a hero’s name, at least not in romance books, although he was an excellent Anti-hero hero in Voyage of the Dawn Treader!

Each one of my heroes have names that are special to me.  My give-a-way is any of my listed books to the side!  Just leave a comment on a hero's name you love, be it book, film, tv or any other type of media.  I will pick one winner at random for a free PDF on any one of my titles, winners choice, so be sure to leave a way to contact you!  Thanks so much for visiting and be sure to hop to the others on the list for more prizes!

07 November 2012

Hump Day Hook - Post Election Day

Today for Hump Day Hook I tried to find a piece of work that tied into the National Election we just had…but couldn’t.  I have never written about politics and elections because I think that’s just, well, boring! And I don’t really know anything about it all except the superficial, so I don’t know if that makes me sound dumb or un-American, but I just can’t get into judicial or governmental stories.  And that includes tv shows.  The only lawyer type show I ever watched was Boston Legal because let’s face it, that show was so preposterous it was hilarious.  James Spader and William Shatner were the perfect couple! 

But I digress.  I did manage to find something in my books about government after all, though from my dystopian story titled Spirals. This isn’t exactly what freedom and National Elections are about but it’s the closest thing I had. 

I love dystopian stories because it thrusts us into an alien world that’s both foreign and similar at the same time.  We can be horrified by futures like The Hunger Games or The Running Man because we think that couldn’t possibly happen, and yet there’s that nagging sense that yes, it could.   We could be reading about our eventual outcome.  So I delved into this terrifying horror story genre by writing two books set in the same world.  The first was Spirals and the sequel was Kismet.  I admit that Spirals was a lot better than Kismet because I wrote the first one from my heart and the second one from what my editors were pushing for.  One day I may have the chance to rectify that, but for now, let me give you a small taste of Spirals:
It is absolutely amazing how certain things survived the Great Incident and how other things didn't. I use the term Great Incident because there hadn't been a war. Sometime six years ago, North Korea detonated a biological bomb in the air, and the fallout spread a virus that turned into a pandemic. I only know this term because people bandied it around earlier from a scare of the swine flu. It had turned out to be nothing compared to the new threat. The virus started out as an airborne pathogen then quickly mutated into a disease that had no antidote. Unfortunately when the virus mutated, the pandemic spread fast, creating panic. And with panic came desperation. People left their homes, the cities, thinking running would help.

Thanks so much for reading!  Enjoy your Wednesday and be sure to stop by my blog this weekend as I do the Autumn Harvest Blog Hop with a giveaway to one reader!  

To read other Hump Day Hooks, check out Kerrianne Coombes Page: http://kerriannecoombes.wordpress.com/

02 November 2012

Self Promoting in the Ebook World

Ebook publishing has really opened doors for many authors like me.  I may not have ever gotten my feet in the door of seeing my dream come true if technology hadn’t shifted, making it easier to get smaller bodies of work published.  My books usually average around 35,000 to 45,000 words, which is almost half the length or novels published through traditional media houses. 

This is a great thing, but consequentially, ebook publishing has its downfalls.  The main one being lack of marketing.  With ebooks, marketing falls directly on the author to drive attention and produce sales for their work, taking time away from allowing the author to create and produce more.  And it’s a fine line to walk in promoting and spamming. 

It can be quite frustrating to bring your story to life, fine tune it, oh and awe over your cover, and then have your sales fall flat because you’re just not finding the audience you need.  One of my great disappointments was with my book “Love Story for a Snow Princess”.  To me, this book is wonderful and I’m so proud of it.  I took a subject matter that was harsh to understand and created a love story that I (forgive the pun) fell in love with.  As a writer, part of my job is to push boundaries that are uncomfortable and make people fall in love with the characters.  But the book never found an audience despite wonderful reviews.

There are only so many avenues an author can market because we’re also competing against all the other ebook authors doing the exact same thing.  Perhaps the number one promotion is just building a body of work.  I had five stories (novellas & books) published this year and right now I’m busy writing for 2013, so for the rest of 2012 I won’t have a new book out there to promote.  But this can’t stop me from blogging, blog hopping, and all the various other tools authors use to keep their name out there.