Monthly Archives: May 2012

Cover Art Reveal– The Montmoors 2: The Bastard Returns

I know. It’s large, but I wanted you to see the shadowy guy in here. I got some awesome cover art from Kelly Shorten and the folks over at Musa Publishing. Their first concept was perfect. I had no tweaks. I love it when minds meld like that. Without further ado, here it is, releasing June 29th, following Montmoors 1: The Governess and the Master that is out now.

Enter the Contest Here/Start Here

Hi, folks! Looking for print books for your summer vacation? Well, I’m giving away three signed copies of my books in a contest that runs till June 10th. If you win a copy (or more than one depending upon your entries and number of participants), you can choose from Magnolian, Moonlight on the Palms, or Come to the Tower, Love. See my books page for more about each.

Since I can’t paste the contest entry here into wordpress (Boo), you’ll need to do one of the following to have a chance or chances at winning:

1. Visit my Facebook fan page to get to the contest link. You don’t have to “like” my page to see it, but I hope you will anyhow since that’s another entry in the contest. If you visit the link, you can see the other ways to enter multiple times as well.

2. The easiest way to enter is to subscribe to my newsletter. That will enter you twice into the contest.

I love giving stuff away, and summer is a great time to do it!

Stephanie Campbell: Some of the Forms of Writer’s Block and How to Get Over It

Welcome Stephanie Campbell to the blog today! She has some good advice that all writers can use…

You are sitting at your computer, typing away. The scene is coming along great. You feel your blood burning as the words pours out of you and then, “Wham!” it happens. You can’t think of what next to write. It’s like you ran straight into a brick wall going two hundred miles per hour. You’re gasping for air, scrambling to find the momentum that you just lost, but the creative air has been pushed from your lungs.

That is something I would like to call writer’s block. It comes in many forms, in many ways, but it doesn’t matter how it hits you—for a writer, it’s a kick in the gut. The lucky part is, though, that there are ways to overcome writer’s block, which every writer should be familiar with. After all, if it hasn’t happened to you, it will. Cue the sinister laughing.

1) You’ve hit a scene that you can just NOT finish. 

Do not despair. Go back over your work and see what you’ve done so far. Read through it. See if you can gain that excited momentum that you just had. If not, this could be a sign of Writer’s Burnout. 

2) You can’t come up with ideas. 

This one can be fun to fix. At least, for me. I am the creepy girl who sits in the backs of movie theaters and doesn’t watch the movie—I watch the person sitting next to me. It’s a good thing I’m too small to appear threatening, or else I would have gotten beaten up by now.

Now, I’m not telling you to be a creeper like me. I’m saying examine people’s lives. Put yourself in somebody elses shoes. Also, have fun with it. Do writer’s exercises. Invent some ridiculous main character. Imagine killing your enemy and write down every little detail…No, just kidding. I did tell you that I was a creeper, didn’t I?

And if all else fails, watch Lord of the Rings, just because it’s that awesome.

3) You have too many ideas.

I have this one. A lot. I work on all ideas at one time, and yes, it’s nearly killed me. There are ways, however, to fix it.

List your ideas so that way you don’t lose them. Write the first page of each of the ideas. See which ones get you REALLY, REALLY excited. As in, pick the one that makes you want to wet your pants.

And I hate to say this, but also pick the one with market potential…Yeah, I said it. But a cool idea is still a cool idea, and the truth is, you want your work to reach people, right? I mean, you may write an adult story about a talking spud name Stanley, but that won’t work, no matter how fascinating you find it.

4) You are afraid that people won’t like your story.

I think that this happens to a lot of writers. It’s happened to me. All writers will experience rejection and bad reviews, and they WILL NOT BE PRETTY! They will hurt. A lot. People will tell you that “it’s just one person that you don’t even know.” But it won’t make the pain go away. It’s a person that dislikes your book.

So how do you convince yourself that it’s worth it? You pour hours and hours into your work, filling it with your heart and soul. You don’t want to endure that pain.

I think that the best method to overcome this is to focus on the positive. Look at the people who have liked what you’ve written before, even if it is just a short story. And if you’ve never shown someone, find a positive beta reader. I know that some may take this as bad advice, but before you start crushing your own hopes and dreams during self-edits, you have to have the self-confidence to get your work done. Finding the perpetual Pollyanna always helps me.

For me, this type of writer’s block often comes with Writer’s Rage.

Glossary of Terms

Note of Warning: These are what I call specific problems. They are only universally embraced inside my brain, which is a scary and twisted place. You have been warned.

Writer’s Burnout: Ever been walking around and have your I-pod run out of batteries? Writers are a lot like I-Pods. If you don’t give us fun time to rest and re-charge, we’re going to run out of energy—and ideas.

Writer’s Rage: That moment when you sit down and, instead of working on your manuscript, you get the convulsive urge to throw your laptop out your office window. Too angry to continue, you will then skulk off to take your rage out on your pet goldfish, Tuttle.

Got more questions about writing or about me? Feel free to contact me at specimen x (at) hotmail (dot) com. I answer all questions, but let me warn you in advance—I only date men that look like Johnny Depp. All other suitors need not apply. 

Please keep your eyes open for my new releases coming out this summer, Case Closed and Keeping Freedom.

Find Stephanie on Facebook

Share your Photo Blog or Gothic Image Driven Websites

I’ve been reading several blogs lately with some gorgeous photographs and images in the Gothic realm. These sites made me think about my readers and lovers of the Gothic and gothic romance genres in general.

If you have a blog or website with Gothic photos, images, or book covers, I’d love for you to link to it in the comments. It’s fine if your site  just has a section of such photos and images. Share that page with us! If it’s the whole blog, I want to know about it. A facebook page/group? Link to it below.

I’d love to see your work, and I’m sure visitors here would as well. These images inspire me to write, and I hope they get the creative juices flowing for all artists.

Here’s one of my gothic romance covers just to get us started. 😉 I’ll also post feature some of your shared links over time on the blog. Thanks!

What Scares You?

Since I have a new release today and it’s a spooky, historical gothic romance that kicks off a set of like serials, the idea of what scares people has been in my head. What makes your heart beat faster and your skin crawl? When do you sleep with the light on?

I tried to come up with a short list of things and situations that scare me. Here’s it is, in no particular order:

spiders, snakes, bugs, clowns, ghosts (yes, I do believe in them after coming into contact with more than one), isolated places, the woods at night, empty buildings after dark (alone), being alone (some nights when hubby is traveling), cemeteries after dusk (I love them during the day!), being locked into a mausoleum or other place of the dead.

Now you know I’m nuts. You might just have suspected before.

And then there are life events that scare me like being in an accident that takes away my current ability to live as I do or some harm coming to someone I love. Or death. That one doesn’t scare me these days, but some people have a huge fear of it.

Whew. This is getting a bit deep. Big, scary life events aside, I don’t think it’s surprising that snakes, ghosts, locked mausoleums, and other elements make their way into gothic romance or my gothic romances in general. These are common fears of humankind, and some are quite logical. After all, snakes and spiders can kill, and so can clowns. Joking–sort of. So, what are you afraid of? I’d love to know.

Buy serial 1 from the Publisher (click on the image for Musa’s page) or Amazon and other retailers:


Buy the first serial in the set!