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Thursday, September 29, 2016

My First Pen Name -Throwback Thursday

On select Thursdays, I like to share a throwback to past writing, book trailers, or randomness about me and/or writing life.


New writers often ask whether or not they should use a pen name. I knew I wanted one pretty much the moment I decided to try becoming a published author. For one, my "real" last name is long, a bit of a bear for people to pronounce, and the first letter occurs rather late in the alphabet.

Why is that important? You see, back when the concept of ebooks was barely arriving on the scene, I figured my destiny would be to sell in brick and mortar bookstores. Since fiction titles are arranged on shelves alphabetically by author last name, I didn't want to be "all the way down" the row.  Nor did I want to be right in front, because as I was told, when people browse fiction, they tend to walk into the center of a row and start there first. So my ideal pen name would fall in the middle of the alphabet. 

The pen name I chose, for those who don't know, is Lisa Logan. Lisa is actually my legal first name, although it is not what I use in everyday life. "Logan" is the nickname my husband was called at the time (as in Wolverine from the X-Men comics). Clever, I thought, and kind of rolls nicely off the tongue, don't you think?

Now fast forward several years. I had decided to try my hand at a new genre: the spicier stuff. You know, 50 shades of not-your-grandma's romance. Once again, I needed to decide on a pen name. For my first name, I opted for "Jade," the nickname *I* had been called for years at that point. (Based on a SciFi EU character.) But the initial J. seemed much more chic and authorly, so I went with that. "Rose" is my youngest daughter's middle name, as well as a family name on my husband's side.

That left the last name, and I couldn't think of one. I no longer had to worry about bookstore placement, as my work was all digital. My publisher's site listed their authors prominently in the sidebar alphabetically, A's up top. I mentioned this to my husband as he walked through the room, and he came up with "Allister" off the top of his head. It's a play on the term "A-lister." Which he said he hoped I'd be with the new name. A nice sentiment, I thought! And it must have been a good omen, since my first release as J. Rose was also my first bestseller.

The reason I decided to write about my old pen name today is that I've been thinking a lot about Lisa Logan lately. She sadly slid by the wayside while J. Rose went hog wild with three series and quite a few single titles. I've had some ideas for Lisa books, though, and I think a relaunch is in her not-too-distant future. 


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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!

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.

~*~*~*~
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!
~~~

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!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Now Available: Anduron: God of Mabon

ANDURON: GOD OF MABON
Book 7 of the Sons of Herne series
September, 2016

BUY NOW
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He frees those who are unjustly imprisoned...but can he free his captive heart?

The Fates have been bringing all the sabbat gods to their knees over carnal desires, including Anduron's own twin brother. He will not be so easily swayed, however. The god of Mabon needs only one thing from the Fates: the power to free one who is unjustly imprisoned, an act bestowed upon him once per year in honor of his sabbat. Then he encounters an old woman in need of rescuing, an act that, outside of the ritual of Mabon, is technically forbidden.


Jenna is worried sick when her overdue grandmother shows up with a handsome stranger on her arm and tales of how sexy Anduron saved her from a mugging. Jenna is grateful, quite possibly to the point of swooning, until he disappears right in front of her eyes. He returns to say he is the god of the pagan thanksgiving--and that he wants her for a ritual where she will sleep with him out of gratitude for her grandmother's rescue. The sheer nerve leaves her burning, but those eyes and that hard body leaves her curious. She proposes an alternative: he will attempt to woo her like a mortal man, and if he succeeds, she will grant her consent for the Mabon ritual.



Anduron has little experience with courting a woman, let alone one as infuriating as Jenna. She rejects all his overtures until she finally confesses what she wants most: a freedom raid on an animal testing facility that will cost him more than he bargained for. He will have to risk capture to keep her out of danger. With no guarantee she will agree to his terms, just how many immortal laws will he break in order to win her consent to be his?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Falling Behind, Falling for Autumn, Falling for Heroes

On the first Monday of each month I gab about what's going on with me, my writing, and life in general.

September is here! Can you believe it? I know everyone talks about how fast the years come and go, but I swear this one has gone the way of The Flash (as in the superhero speedster, for fellow fans of the show).

Falling Behind

One side effect of a year that's running rampant is that in a blink of an eye, I've fallen behind on my release schedule. I barely got Sons of Herne 6 out on time, which meant I was already under the gun when I started the draft of book 7.  Then, when I sat down to review the scene cards I had carefully prepped in advance (I did a general outline for the whole series back when I wrote the first), I saw I had a big problem.

I hated it.
My original scene cards for SoH 7, using Scrivener

I'm not sure what was going through my mind when I did the original concept, but I realized Anduron's arc just didn't pack enough punch for readers--or for me to want to write it. So production came to a screeching halt while I went back to the drawing board to do the next son of Herne justice. Pretty soon, the real story behind the god of Mabon's past, present, and future opened up, and that spark of creative excitement hit. I wrote furiously, managing sprints of double my normal word count on several writing days, but time was not on my side. In the end, the book was finished late, and as of this writing, I am hoping to release it this Friday or next. Which, of course, means the final installment is now also behind...
Meet "Andy," who found his way into Book 7!

But that's the way of things sometimes. I find it far better to slow down and create the best book possible rather than churn out whatever I can manage by the deadline. And I'm hoping readers of the series will agree that in this case, the extra effort spent on Anduron and Jenna's adventure was worthwhile.  (And one added benefit to the change: an adorable puppy found its way into the tail...er, tale!)

Falling for Autumn


Summer heat, Fall goodies!
 When Starbucks comes out with its Pumpkin Spice Latte, you know fall is here. Even though my locale still thinks temperatures at and above 100 degrees is perfectly acceptable. Whether or not you're a fan of all things pumpkin (which I am, make no mistake!), there are probably some things about autumn that make you smile. Fall leaves, cooler weather, the upcoming holidays, and a time of year to enjoy heartier fare like soups, stews, chili, and baking! The smell of fresh bread or muffins in the oven is hard to top.

Summer weather or not, my fall decor went up by my front door this morning. September is my husband's birthday month, so there'll be some celebratin' going on around here next week. Beyond that, autumn also means National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner. I have zero idea what I'll be doing for this year's challenge, and September is the month I try to lock that down. October is all about prep, plans, and outlines. A certain swell of excitement stirs when I think about NaNoWriMo, even though I write all year long. Knowing you're part of a huge celebration of fiction writing is an exhilarating experience!


Falling for Heroes


The extra time and attention I gave to Sons of Herne 7 paid off...I've gone and fallen for another one of my heroes! Anduron saves little old ladies, plays with puppies, and not only does he give flowers and chocolate to impress the woman he's trying to woo, he'll go all out and help her raid an animal testing facility. What's not to love about a hero like that? Unless you're a member of the sabbat counsel dealing with the fallout of his actions, of course. But phooey on them. 

Cue dramatic swoon... ::back of hand drapes across forehead::

~*~*~*~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five 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.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Rather Different Hero -Snippet Sunday

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

 Last snippet from Sons of Herne 7,  Anduron: God of Mabon, I hope!! It's been taking longer than I'd planned to get it finished and ready for publication, so I'm late on my deadline.

Last time, Anduron, god of the pagan thanksgiving, carried an old woman to her home after saving her from a mugging. We ended with: "He swooped her up and carried her, the woman clinging to his neck with her glasses perched on her nose, regarding him closely."

We skip ahead a few sentences and meet our heroine, Jenna. Anduron has brought the old woman home to find an anxious Jenna awaiting her overdue grandmother. The woman is taken inside to sit down. 

We pick up from there...


Jenna regarded Anduron with open suspicion. He knew his appearance was rather different, but then again, she was no average human. He gave her a similar once-over, taking in the wide, sea-green eyes and silken strands of gold hair with soft bangs framing a doll-like face. So innocent, yet every curve cried out for his touch, teasing him with a warning that not possessing her would be a crime against nature.
“What happened?” Jenna asked.
“She was attacked by three men who wanted her money,” Anduron replied, almost flinching at the glimmer of fear welling in her eyes.
The girl sank to her knees in front of her grandmother’s chair. “My god, should I call an ambulance?”
“He told me he wasn’t my guardian angel,” the old woman said, taking hold of his cheek and pinching it. “But that’s exactly what he is--an angel and a hero.”


What do you think?  



About Anduron: God of Mabon:

The Fates have been bringing all the sabbat gods to their knees over carnal desires, including Anduron's own twin brother. He will not be so easily swayed, however. The god of Mabon needs only one thing from the Fates: the power to free one who is unjustly imprisoned, an act bestowed upon him once per year in honor of his sabbat. Then he encounters an old woman in need of rescuing, an act that, outside of the ritual of Mabon, is technically forbidden.

Jenna is worried sick when her overdue grandmother shows up with a handsome stranger on her arm and tales of how sexy Anduron saved her from a mugging. Jenna is grateful, quite possibly to the point of swooning, until he disappears right in front of her eyes. He returns to say he is the god of the pagan thanksgiving--and that he wants her for a ritual where she will sleep with him out of gratitude for her grandmother's rescue. The sheer nerve leaves her burning, but those eyes and that hard body leaves her curious. She proposes an alternative: he spends the week wooing her like a mortal man, and if he succeeds, she will grant her consent for the Mabon ritual.

Anduron has little experience with courting a woman, let alone one as infuriating as Jenna. She rejects all his overtures until she finally confesses what she wants most: a freedom raid on an animal testing facility that will cost him more than he bargained for. He will have to risk capture to keep her out of danger. With no guarantee she will agree to his terms, just how many immortal laws will he break by involving himself in the affairs of humans?


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

~ * ~ ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *







For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
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!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Get Your Instafreebie! Freebie Friday

Welcome to Freebie Friday! On select Fridays, I'll be offering something free, generally a book. (But not necessarily.) The books will either be one of mine or some other erotic romance that is free at the time of my post.

Recently I started experimenting with Instafreebie, a helpful service that lets writers offer free copies of their books. To "test" it out, I'm offering a free digital copy of my most recent Sons of Herne title, Feillor: God of Lammas! If all goes well, I'll be using Instafreebie quite a bit, including to deliver thank-you's and special offers to my exclusive mailing list community. (Not a part yet? CLICK HERE and you'll also get book 2, Eradimus: God of Imbolc free as a special thank you!)  And hey, I'll add a shameless plea right here...if you enjoy this freebie, could you please take a moment and drop a review? 

Here's more about this month's freebie:

Trapped in the last place he ever wanted to be...he will find the only thing he ever wanted.

Feillor is reaping the first harvest when a woman appears out of nowhere right in front of his scythe. She is naked and stunningly beautiful, but she is a mortal. Salina is calling on Herne for help in saving the forest when she finds herself in a field with his son, who is unbelievably sexy but has no regard for humans. To get home, Feillor must accompany her and remain on earth for three days, during which time he will find himself embroiled in a struggle to protect the seductive witch from those who would either destroy her or try and win her for themselves.
Ready for your freebie?