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Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Power of Brainstorming

Another writing retreat in the can. My writers' group wrapped this year's event last Sunday, and as always the brightest ember from the weekend remains our brainstorming sessions.

We've been holding retreats for over a decade now, and it took us a little while to discover the magical mix of programming for the weekend.

At first we approached it as a sort of mini conference, with craft sessions scheduled for two out of the three days. In a stroke of brilliance, someone scheduled a brainstorming session one year in place of a craft session.

We've never looked back since.

At first we scheduled the brainstorming for the final morning of the retreat, but now that we know how much we value these sessions, we've moved it to the Saturday in order to be more on our game. Yes, it's a retreat, with all the socializing, wine-drinking, food-eating and laughing you'd expect. But by Sunday there's an aspect of mental fatigue that sets in, so the brainstorming works much better when it's scheduled earlier in the weekend.

How we brainstorm:

We split the retreaters into smaller groups of four or three, and allot each person 45 minutes.

We assign a timekeeper to make sure the session doesn't drift and to remind the writer on deck how much time she has left.

We often mix genres, by filling a group with people who write YA paranormal, historical and contemporary. You'd be surprised at the great ideas I've gotten for my dark vampire stories from contemporary romance writers.

We most often come to the session both prepared and wide-open to suggestion -- we don't want to waste any precious time from our 45 minutes groping around as we explain the story or situation we want to brainstorm. Think of it as honing your elevator pitch for a conference.

The members of my group have basically set the course for the upcoming writing year from these brainstorming sessions. That's why we treasure this part of the retreat so highly.


Have you participated in a brainstorming session before? How did it work out for you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fleating Fashion - Eternal Style

Real Divas Have Style
By Alison E. Bruce

My mother had a Chanel suit. I was ten when she invested in it - and it was an investment. The classic lines of a Chanel suit have never gone out of fashion since Coco Chanel introduced it in the 1920s. Mum passed the suit on to me ten or so years later and it was neither worn out nor out of style. One of the reasons I loved it was that it was so comfortable.

Starting out in business in 1910, Chanel lead a fashion revolution away from the structured and confining gowns of the Edwardian era. The looser fit and straight lines of her suits and dresses, her use of costume jewellery and long ropes of beads, set the tone for the 1920s flappers.

This is when she introduced The Little Black Dress, the must have item in every sophisticated woman's wardrobe. Simple, elegant lines, light-weight fabric (Coco used jersey knits previously only used to make men's briefs), The Little Black Dress could go from day wear to evening wear with the addition of a few accessories.

In my teens I favoured another Coco Chanel creation: bell bottoms. I even had a navy pea jacket. Post World War II, Chanel adapted to women's couture these items that had previously only been worn by sailors.

Okay, bell-bottoms have gone in and out of fashion over the years, but the Chanel suit and The Little Black Dress have only changed superficially, not in substance.

That's Style.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shapeshifters, vampires and sexy spirits, oh my! 12 paranormal romances by 12 bestselling authors in a brand new anthology!

TUESDAY'S REVOLVING BOOK is the sexy paranormal romance anthology SEDUCTIVE SUPERNATURALS: 12 TALES OF SHAPESHIFTERS, VAMPIRES AND SEXY SPIRITS by Erin Quinn, Caridad Pineiro, Erin Kellison, Lisa Kessler, Chris Marie Green, Mary Leo, Maureen Child, Cassi Carver, Janet Wellington, Theresa Meyers, Sheri Whitefeather, Elisabeth Staab

CHECK OUT THE LAUNCH PARTY PAGE! 10/20 & 10/12 https://www.facebook.com/events/527329667404679/


AMZ: http://amzn.to/1pmeL9A

BN: http://bit.ly/Xy9hBO

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1p4Q81O

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1uMBeTy

AMZ Ca: http://amzn.to/1ptNgMC

AMZ UK: http://amzn.to/1rndlN9

AMZ AU: http://bit.ly/1rXvTUa

AMZ DE: http://amzn.to/1t3Ev0B


SEDUCTIVE SUPERNATURALS: 12 Tales of Shapeshifters, Vampires & Sexy Spirits

Bad boys, tortured alpha heroes, and kick-ass heroines all come together in 12 steamy full-length paranormal romance novels and novellas from NY Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors! Whether you’re looking for tantalizing dark tales or the humorous side of the supernatural, you’ll get werewolves, vampires, fallen angels, monster hunters, and ghosts—every one of them a hot temptation you won’t be able to resist...


Gracie Beck vowed that she would never to return to Diablo Springs, but the haunted town lures her back—along with the man who betrayed her years ago. Reilly broke her heart with his lies. Now, he wants a second chance to win her, but can they survive the ghosts of Diablo Springs?

READ AN EXCERPT: http://erinquinnbooks.com/Diablo_Springs_excerpt.htm

VAMPIRE REBORN by Caridad Pineiro

Would you be reborn for love? Ryder Latimer, sexy Southern vampire, will have to make one of the most difficult choices in his undead life: Become human again or protect his new wife and child.

SHADOW FALL by Erin Kellison

Just discovering her magic, ballerina Annabella Ames didn’t mean to summon a dark wolf from Twilight, nor the tempting fallen angel Custo Santovari, who has no place in Heaven. The cunning wolf stalks them relentlessly, and danger seduces as they fight for redemption and love.

NIGHT ANGEL by Lisa Kessler

When Colin Flynn returns home to Ireland, the immortal Night Walker's flesh has healed, but the scars hide a broken spirit. Juliana Duffy plays piano in spite of her deafness, challenging him to redefine himself and find the strength to battle an ancient enemy.


Two monster hunters fighting a star-crossed attraction and one bloodthirsty phantom leaving a trail of death... Can love survive till the sun rises?


They say Hotel Colorado is haunted, but when Dillon Spencer appears in his hotel room to find Hilly Thompson, his assistant, soaking in the tub, he begins to question whether or not he’s alive, dead, or caught in another dimension.

MORE THAN FIENDS by Maureen Child

At 32, Cassidy Burke discovers she’s a legendary Demon Duster. But she’s got bigger problems than some pesky demons. Like, Logan Miller--first love, baby daddy to her genius daughter is back. Then there’s Devlin Cole, a walking orgasm with too many secrets. Cassidy’s life is out of control and about to get way too interesting.


When Dr. Evelyn Vale is paired with Immortal Bounty’s sexy commander to go undercover and infiltrate a supernatural body-trafficking ring, she’s eager to get to work. Until she learns the catch... To crack this case, he’ll need to possess her body.

FOREVER ROSE by Janet Wellington

Tarot cards predict a dangerous journey for Taylor Rose, but she doesn’t expect to travel back to 1888 San Diego. What the cards didn’t predict was falling for a man bent on revenge, a helpful ghost, and spooky séances. Is she there to prevent a murder or to find love?


Corporal Cole Wagner lost his humanity in war – literally. Turned into a vampire by the military’s Vector Force, he’s the ultimate weapon, but when he returns home to set the past right, will the enemy stop at nothing to get him, including threatening the life of the woman he loved, and lost, before?

VAMPIRE MAGIC (Blood Genie, books 1 and 2) by Sheri Whitefeather

Two tenderly romantic, wildly erotic stories featuring supernatural hybrids (vampires/genies) who grant wishes for the exchange of blood.


A mandatory vacation lands Agent Sherri Walker in bed with a local werewolf. Asher Hughes walked away from his outlaw pack but couldn't ditch the bad blood. Together they’ll have to pull off one hell of an act to get out of treacherous territory alive.


FB: http://on.fb.me/1pmgn30

Launch Party 10/20 & 10/12 https://www.facebook.com/events/527329667404679/

CONTEST INFO (IF HAVE): http://erinquinnbooks.com/Contest.htm

Erin Quinn
New York Times Bestselling author
Dark & Deadly: The Forbidden Life of Alex Moore
The Three Fates of Ryan Love (coming soon)
RT Book Reviews Top Pick! “Fascinating...powerful...beautifully wrought.”
Publishers Weekly: “Intense and Satisfying”
Literal Addiction: “One of the best books I've read all year!!”

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ErinQuinnAuthor
Twitter: @ErinQuinnAuthor

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sneak Peek Monday: The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements)

THE ACCIDENTAL WITCH COVERIt's Halloween season so get your spooky on with Today's Sneak Peek,  The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements). It's funny, scary, clever, and features a heroine that you will just love to bits.

What it's about:

Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.

Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening.  Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.

Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.

I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.
I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.
“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.
I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.
I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.
Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.
“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”
A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.

Did you like what you read? You can get The Accidental Witch at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon.

Connect with Jessica online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.
Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun Friday Question of the Week: Win a Free Book!

Hersheys-Halloween-Candycandy-corn-1Halloween-Tricks-and-Treats-Jack-O-Lantern-L10875716Happy-Halloween-Candy-Cauldron-Of-Treats-d3972600-64a0-4f49-aede-1b947a3ff1dc_320Week 5 in our Lachesis Publishing QUESTION OF THE WEEK! Every Friday we're asking a question right here. You have until midnight tonight (EST) to leave a comment to get your name put in a draw to win a free e-book! The winner will get to choose one e-book from our site (winner's choice!) and we will send it to him or her. On Saturday morning, I'll post the winner's name here and on our Lachesis Publishing facebook page and contact him/her on facebook as well. This week's question is: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HALLOWEEN TREAT? Good luck and happy reading! Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.