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Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Dragon Awakes -Snippet Sunday

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop! 

I'm back...and I have a new blog header!  Yay! What do you think of it? My husband actually took the photos used, both the background clouds and Yours Truly. They were taken at Disneyland, by the way. 

I didn't post snippets for two weeks, and it felt like forever! Mostly because it meant I wasn't writing my next book. I was itching to get started, but my husband (also a writer) needed my help to get some of his stuff spiffed up. Now I finally have a snippet to share with you all, this one from the final book in my Sons of Herne series. Here's a quick synopsis of Archipellus: God of Samhain:


How can he hope to embrace love when his very touch brings death?
Archipellus thinks he alone is immune to the romantic power that has overtaken his sabbat brothers, for an incubus who drains partners during sex could never find happiness with a mortal woman. Then he meets Melissa, a woman willing to brave the danger of his erotic touch in hopes that his power might also cure her sister. When their passion tears a hole in the veil between worlds, Archipellus will embark on a quest to seal the breach and rescue the sister who was snatched and taken across the rift.

Today's snippet is the opening of the book. We meet our hero (scantily clad and in a randy mood, be forewarned). Some creative snipping was done to fit the length requirements.

The horns called forth the god of Samhain, and Archipellus felt urgent need rise from deep in his marrow. He stood in the antechamber, focused on the statue of Apollyon to keep his eyes from closing. Doing so brought him too near the suffering, voices crying out for relief in an anguished chorus. With the veil thinned to dangerous proportions, echoes from many worlds were mingled together, although few could match the pain and sorrow of those on earth.

Taking a deep breath that he held in his chest, Archipellus let the sound of the horns fill him. The lust he forced down all year swelled in response, rising in fury like a dragon’s head after being jolted from a long sleep. Drums added to the call, a primal beat that he matched with his steps as he strode forward to perform his duty, naked aside from the leather mask and the black ritual robe trimmed in blood-red. 

As Samhain was the high sabbat, most sacred of all the pagan holidays, all members of the counsel were required to be present while he invoked the ritual to seal the veil. He entered the Samhain chamber while the gazes of most in the room followed without making eye contact. His father, the great Herne himself, managed to meet the red, glowing eyes of his son without flinching, but Archipellus saw his Adam’s apple give a telltale bob.


...What do you think?  




Read Book 1 of the series, Dominus: God of Yule--and follow the link inside to get Book 2 free!
Buy on Amazon

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For more awesome snippets, check out 


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I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Surprising Writing Tip Authors Never Use

On Select Wednesdays, I post tips and strategies for writers. 

THE SURPRISING WRITING TIP AUTHORS NEVER USE
by J. Rose Allister

"Writing process" is one of those topics that mystifies new writers and is bandied about at length by the rest. Here's roughly the order in which a book is usually created:

1. Get story idea
2. Take notes/outline plot
3. Develop characters
4. Create draft
5. Revise/edit
6. Submit
7. Approve final edits
8. Approve cover art

There might be some shuffling around in there, or perhaps number 2 and 3 might be omitted by writers who are "pantsers" rather than plotters. But generally, most writers would agree that the above is common. But what if this chain of events was mixed up a bit? What if the last step became the first?


TIP: FIND COVER ART FIRST

Typically, books are written and then covers are created in an attempt to match the story. But why not find the perfect image/artwork first and write the book around that? There are two reasons why this can be a huge help to writers.

1. COVERS OFFER A VISUAL WRITING PROMPT

Writing prompts and plot generators are popular ways to spark creative ideas for stories. A few words or the right sentence can pop on the light bulb in a writer's head and launch them into crafting a great story. Similarly, visual writing prompts can trigger ideas as well.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the right image can be worth a 50,000 word book--or even a series. So surfing for cover art can, in and of itself, become a prompt for a tale the writer is excited about. Even better, the book will be written with the most important element of promotion already in place, which brings us to reason number two.

2. COVERS SELL THE BOOK

Despite the adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover," the plain fact is that stunning, emotionally-packed covers sell more books. If there's only one thing a writer can do aside from writing a great book,  it should be to make sure the cover screams, "Buy me."

Rather than writing a story and hoping a great cover can be found to fit, picking out The Ultimate Image up front gives you an edge right out the gate. Because while some questionable stories sell well thanks to a kick-butt cover, many amazing, well-crafted tales languish in obscurity because their covers were lackluster or downright ugly.



Which inspires interest, both as a writing prompt and an eye-catching cover?

FINDING STORY-INSPIRING COVER ART

So where can a writer go to find jaw-dropping, write-my-book-NOW cover imagery? If you're just looking for a visual prompt, a Google search for images, or else a peek at the top 100 Amazon bestsellers in your niche, can offer inspiration. But, if you're seeking images for your actual cover, you'll want to check out sites that offer them for download/purchase. There are many resources just a Google search away, but here are a few places to get you started:

(especially great for fantasy/horror/paranormal writers)


Some free resources:


You'll want to check licensing rights before grabbing images for cover art. 

This isn't just a tip for indie authors who are responsible for obtaining covers. Other authors can pitch their cover idea to publishers as well. Some are open to this (some aren't), especially if your suggested cover fits your niche and has major sell factor.  But even if the contracting publisher turns down the offer, you were able to write an inspired story based on your "prompt". So it's a win-win either way. (And maybe, just maybe, you can inspire their art department by sharing the cover concept.)

If you are paying for your own cover design, there's a bit more to it than having your perfect image. You'll want your cover artist to enhance the image with a professional-looking, high quality design. But already having the art you want in hand can help greatly along the way.

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For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Perfect Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


Today I bring you a fall-themed treat inspired by my new Sons of Herne romance, Anduron: God of Mabon. A harvest sabbat considered to be the pagan thanksgiving, Mabon is a time for autumn yumminess. In the book, two large pumpkins feature in the final scene, so what better time to kick off my annual tradition to embrace all things pumpkin?

These pumpkin bars are delish, guys, and the frosting puts them over the top. Although it isn't necessary, you can toss a handful of raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips into the batter before baking.

Perfect Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

 Ingredients

4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. 

Meanwhile, prepare frosting as follows:

Frosting:
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 2 tbsp. milk

Beat cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla in a small mixing bowl. Add enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency. Spread over bars.
Yield: 2 dozen.

Enjoy!
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J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!