Friday, June 7, 2013

# Guest Blog # On Writing

How I Handle Negative Criticism with Guest Jo-An Torres!

I'm happy to have author Jo-An Torres with us today during her book tour to talk about criticism and share a hot, tasty peek at Vampire Elite, written by Irina Argo. Irina Argo is a pen name for two authors, Irina Kardos and Jo-An Torres. Jo-An will be giving one lucky commenter on her tour a $50 Amazon/Barnes and Noble gift card, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter code below for your chance to win! Welcome Jo!

How I handle negative criticism
Jo-An Torres

I find that negative criticism is beneficial. Depending on the topic, there are so many things that others know about that I don’t, I am always open to learning the right way to do something.  It also usually happens when I know that I did not put one hundred and ten percent into the project or effort.  The criticism would be deserved and would embarrass me enough to do a better job next time.

I remember having this huge crush on my uncle who was in the Navy and traveled all over the world.  He would send us postcards from everyplace he visited.  I was about twelve at the time and I wrote to him at least once a week. I sent letters, not post cards, and lived in a dream world of traveling around the world with him.  One time he sent one of my letters back and had circled every misspelled word.  He put a note at the top: “Jo-An, do you know what a dictionary is for?” I was humiliated, my heart was broken, and he probably thought I was a real dummy.  Well, from that day forward, I became a fanatic about spelling.  I would take a dictionary to bed and read words until I fell asleep.  Every letter I wrote to him after that never had another word that wasn’t spelled correctly.

I won the contest in my English College Prep class on finding words in the dictionary…it was an exercise in using the indexes at the top of the pages.  I beat everybody out by fifteen minutes! Yup! Criticism, constructive or negative is beneficial and I’m all for it. 

About Vampire Elite

Can the ultimate choice be made if saving your race means destroying the one you love?

At the beginning of the twenty-first century of our era a millennia long war between two immortal races was coming to an end. The Vampire Elite, the strongest among vampires, forced the race of immortal beings, the Amiti to become their blood suppliers, called bloodstock, locking them in their underground cells and treating them like livestock. The surviving free Amiti make a final attempt to strike back. The Queen of Amiti is proclaimed a traitor and is executed. Her death signifies the rise of a new Queen, her young daughter Arianna who becomes the last hope of her dying race. Arianna totally embraces her mission and is ready to fight for her people to the last drop of her blood but encounters an unexpected challenge—the vampire King Tor. They both are captured into a trap of love where they had to make an ultimate choice; to kill the loved one or to let their races die.

Vampire Elite is the epic story of a bitter conflict between two peoples, and the effect of that conflict on everyone living in its grip. The characters are driven to love and betrayal, vengeance and sacrifice in a world without easy black-and-white answers.

Based on an ancient Egyptian legend, packed with action and intrigue, Vampire Elite will pull you into the entrancing world of immortals and open new portals into their hidden universe.

Adult Excerpt:

She loved tormenting him, making him tremble with anticipation, his breath hitching in his throat. She knew it turned him on, and she’d also discovered that his blood tasted even better than usual when he was aroused. 

“Now go to the wall and spread your arms. Make it easy for me to punish you,” she commanded.

Oberon obeyed, leaning against the wall and placing his wrists into the metal cuffs embedded in the wall. Simone locked the cuffs and left him like that.

A moment later, she returned looking like Catwoman in a black latex bodysuit, her hair pulled into a high, thick ponytail. She’d accessorized with thick studded cuffs at her wrists, a braided whip at her waist and a dagger in her hand.

Walking slowly and deliberately toward Oberon, she sliced through all his clothing, removing it and his weaponry piece by piece. Dropping the dagger she tilted her head to appreciate the sight of him: completely naked, vulnerable, and helpless—and hard for her, of course. Good.

She showed him her fangs then lowered her mouth to his jugular and bit into the skin lightly, releasing only a few drops of blood. She lowered her head to his chest, tracing the muscles there with her tongue, and then, using her fangs as daggers, she pierced his skin in unexpected places: his chest, shoulders, biceps, abs, hips. The blood oozed from the cuts, and soon Oberon’s body was covered with crimson streaks that formed random, vivid patterns across the golden skin of his torso and legs.

“You look incredibly sexy,” Simone heard herself saying as she shifted into an altered state, seeing nothing but this tantalizing male body bleeding for her.

About the Author: Jo-An Torres is a Leo, a lioness who has emerged to follow her dream, to someday write a book of her own. She owned a costume shop for 15 years and was able to satisfy and excel in her creative nature. She is an over-achiever and believes that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and ignore the nay-sayers. Her philosophy is based on Shakespeare "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves." She currently resides in California with her 5 cats and 1 husband.



  1. Thanks for being here today and sharing this great post, Jo-An!

  2. Negative criticism can break us or make us I always think.


  3. I love the premise of the story.


  4. Loved the dictionary anecdote!


  5. Well, it’s Friday. Had fun following you around this week and looking forward to more good stuff next week. Have a great weekend!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  6. I agree that it's what you do about the criticism and not the criticism itself that matters. Unless the person is straight-up trolling, *any* criticism can be positive or negative when approached from that angle.

    1. Oh, and either amazon or BNcom works for me!
      purplhouse at yahoo dot com

  7. Having a blast following the tour.


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