Thursday, October 24, 2013

NaNoWriMo Classic top ten

Buy now, if you've followed me for very long, you know I'm a bit of a NaNo enthusiast. My first year, it literally saved my sanity. Now, it may very well stretch it, but I digress. NaNo pros and cons can be seen everywhere. quickly, before I post my top ten list, I'd like to give you a reason. If you're a writer, published or not, the only way you'll make it is to develop good writing habits. Every year, by the time NaNo rolls around, my habits have deteriorated to the point of hellacious, despite writing partners, contracts, etc. (Oh, didn't you hear, I have a 15 book contract for War of the Weres. Go me! :D So excited. But *ahem*)

This helps me get back into the rhythm of writing every day or goal per week. *More on that in the top ten* and it keeps me on track! Now some people can get all fancy shmancy and use those word counters. I haven't figured it out yet. Heck, it took me two years to figure out how to use bloggers easy interface traffic counter. I love watching my little green bar rise to tell me I'm hitting a goal. For no other reason, this makes NaNoWriMo a terrific tool for me. Okay, that's enough about me. What about you? Okay, so there will be more about me, but it's to benefit you. Here is my list of top ten things for NaNo, and more importantly, WHY they're in the top ten.

1) Turn off your inner editor. I know. sucks. Make notes. Word commenter system worked wonders for me (one of the things I learned my first year:)

2) Breathe. This may seem obvious, but think of the stress you get under pressure. This is the worst kind of pressure-the pressure to create. An intimate act that you are doing that you hope will eventually be printed by strangers and loved the world over. Or at least by enough people to keep you in ink and pepsi. (Uh, no Pepsi doesn't pay me for product placement. I live on the rez. Some stereotypes hold true.)

3) Find a rhythm. A pattern. Whatever your pattern is. It helps me to twitter/blog and get my brain going. It gives my kids a chance to remember all that, oh yeah mom, I forgot to tell you stuff, and I'm hungry whines, and get it all out of the way. Then, when writing is underway, I can say with total assurance, I took care of this or that. That was my pattern. It helped. You may need to stay off the internet and use it as a reward. You know yourself. If you don't, you have a week to figure it out.

4) Quit freaking out about the word goal. It's not really that high. You may need to push yourself out of that comfort zone you've been in, but just do it. (Nike's not paying me either. Maybe I should apply?)

5) Make your daily word count based on weekdays or in other words, a 5 day week. That does two things. One, you have two days off if you succeed and you can look forward to that. It allows for birthday parties, school functions, what ever you need those two days for. Two, it gives you those days to make up something you missed because you got a flat tire on the way to a write-in (I had three flat tires during my short stay in Texas...they're ALWAYS doing roadwork) or your kids' teacher calls and wanted to know why they thought Duct tape was an awesome disciplinary tool.

6) Prep meals and TREATS ahead of time as much as possible. Freeze cookie dough, muffins, whatever it is that you and your family like, particularly if you or your family have a food allergy/preference (gluten/vegan comes to mind). They will feel less like you've abandoned them. I wasn't prepared my first year (yikes! Still not this year!), so the first week sucked, but I'm a quick learner. I spent one day prepping as many meals as I could for the next week. That included grocery shopping, and portioning out things in preparation. My first year was a real challenge because I had no oven or microwave-stove top only. A gas stove top. I'd never used a gas stove top before. I also had literally, 800/month for rent, power, and food for a family of six. Challenges. I've had them.

7) If you are having problems with the plot, or a chapter, write what you want to happen. I did this and before I knew it, I was writing again to the story. Granted, I had to edit out things later, but it kept my word count going and my stress level stopping. (Can you keep something stopping??? LOL)

8) Let no bad happen. If you can help it. I don't mean in your story. If you are writing horror. Write things as bad as you like. I mean, don't over stress the little things. Further, farther? OMG which is it? My story will suck now cuz I can't remember. Worst, worse? Everyone will think I'm an idiot. Okay, get the picture? QUIT IT. When this is over, I will steal a few wonderful language sites from edittorrent's grammar site and post them here so that you can fix it-LATER.

9) Keep networking. Keep talking to those people who have been your support all this time. It will relieve stress, give you companionship, and keep it all in good fun, which leads to my last rule.

10) Have fun. We're writers. Writing is fun. Yes it's hard work. Yes, it can tear us apart emotionally when things aren't loved by everybody and their dog PB. But over the top, it's fun. Why else would we do it? Half the time we are fighting sterotyping (that's not a REAL job & You're not Published? then you're not a REAL writer) and our families to buy the time we need. Not to mention jobs, illness, life's foibles. Why not have fun?

There you have it! I hope this helps you to a successful, enjoyable NaNoWriMo.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Killer on the Road ~ Charles O'Keefe

Halloween and masks


Halloween is a great time of year; kids get to dress up and go around looking for treats. Adults (with children) get to bring them around the neighbourhood and relive their own trick or treating memories and of course, there’s Halloween parties and horror films. When I was out trick or treating (which I’ll admit was over 25 years ago) people were trusted a lot more. There used to be someone down the street who made homemade candy apples, my parent’s didn’t even question it, I took it home and ate it. There was no checking candy, no worries about allergies, no having my parents close by. I just filled up a pillowcase of candy and then came back for another if it was a nice night. I lived in (still do) a small town and I guess people just knew their neighbours. I wore the same crappy costumes as anyone else but we always had fun. Enough of my reminiscing, let’s talk about masks.


Masks are used for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s a doctor wearing a surgical one or a bank robber wearing a ski-mask, they are practical and the reason for their uses are obvious. Masks, as we know, can be used for a lot of other occasions though. Here in Newfoundland we have a tradition called mummering and of course masks are often part of costumes used at Halloween parties, conventions or masquerade balls.  For me personally I have always been fascinated with them, some masks are meant to scare, others to amuse, some are just to hide your identity, some are meant for certain occasions, their variety and uses are vast and are important part of our society. I think it’s amazing how someone you know is instantly hidden by a mask, for me you get this uneasy feeling when you don’t know who someone is. I’m not even sure why I feel this way, I just do.


So of course in books my vampires do find occasions to wear masks. In book 2 “Killer on the Road” Cassandra, the main female character, decides to take justice in her own hands. While she doesn’t wish to be caught, she does have a sense of style (and is starting to be a little geeky in her own way). Cassandra decides to wear a Catwoman mask as she likes the character and finds the mask at a comic book store. I loved the masks from the Roman era and as such one of the villains in my book, the Emperor Commodus, also loves to wear this mask:



           Yes I know it wasn’t the emperor who wore it in the movie, that’s the benefit of being a writer, I can have whatever I like in my world. So what masks do you love? What’s your favourite Halloween costume? Have a happy Halloween everyone, get some candy, wear a mask and don’t lose the fun and wonder that this unique day has to offer.

Title: Killer On The Road


Series: The Newfoundland Vampire


Author: Charles O’Keefe


Genre: Horror / Paranormal / Romance / Vampire



Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print


Release Date: January, 2011


Blurb: Joseph O’Reily is still adjusting to the lifestyle and the dangers that come with being a new vampire. He and Cassandra recently fought to the death with Cassandra’s estranged husband John Snow, and now Joseph has experienced his first ménage a trios, as only a vampire can. As if all of this was not complicated enough, he and Cassandra have been tasked with hunting down and killing a rogue vampire, Donald Rathmore.

Another of John Snow’s creations, Donald is an evil misogynistic killer in his own right. Donald has no interest in avenging his creator’s death, but killing Cassandra is at the top of his list.

While Donald continues his murderous spree, Joseph and Cassandra always seem to be one step behind him. The chase is further complicated as they encounter other vampires and learn more about the mysterious nature of the Vampire Council and the coming war between good and evil.

Joseph is only now beginning to trust Cassandra, and this trust will be shaken when he discovers she has even more secrets than he imagined. Her idea of justice and morality is at complete odds with his own. Despite all his powers and growing skill, Joseph is tested physically as a vampire and emotionally by Cassandra. This time the answers and challenges may be too much for the young vampire to handle.





About Charles O’Keefe:


Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther. He works as an I.T. support guy and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, martial arts and of course fantasizing about vampires.

He currently has two novels out, books 1 and 2 of "The Newfoundland Vampire" series.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Love Reawakened--Zombies!!!!

Please welcome Shelli Rosewarne to the blog ;) She's hear talking a bit about her book and being part of the zombie Dead Man Walking for the month at Breathless Press. If you follow me on Facebook, you've seen some zombie pick up lines. Here is hers:

Hi Leona,


Thanks so much for letting me visit today. In case some of you don't know, Leona is also my editor at BP – so I better watch my spelling on this! (and oops, have started with the overload of exclamation points already!) I do have an excuse though, as my zombie-themed romance 'Love Reawakened' was just released on Friday so I'm very excited!

Zombies are officially invading over at Breathless Press this month as part of the Dead Man Walking event. To be honest, I'm more surprised than anyone to be a part of it. As some of you may know, I'm not a zombie or a horror fan – I'm usually the one hiding behind the sofa when there's a scary movie on (and by scary I'm meaning Disney villains!) But as other authors may know these pesky characters seem to have minds of their own – so not only were Emma and Garret insisting on their story being told (and who am I to argue with a necromancer and a witch?) but now it seems like some the secondary characters want in on the act. Looks like I might be stuck with the zombies for a while yet!

Anyway, I really hope you read and enjoy :)




Emma needs to find an escaped zombie! With lives on the line, the only person who can help is the man who broke her heart.


Emma Strachan is a professional witch and quite frankly a zombie raising should be all in day's work. Now, though, something has gone horribly wrong and with lives on the line Emma is forced to turn for help to the one person she never wanted to see again.

When Emma Strachan shows up on Garret's doorstep he knows she must be in trouble – after all nothing else would bring her to his door. Still, he never imagined a zombie gone rogue, or that the blazing attraction between them would be as strong as ever.

As Emma and Garret risk their lives to track down the missing zombie can they put aside past insecurities and trust in each other – before it's too late.




Shocked gasps came from behind her, but the vibrations were already running through the ground. Quickly she smeared the blood around the edges of the circle. The energy was rising now; waves spreading out as she could feel the hairs on her arms standing up and tiny tremors through the soles of her shoes. She drew a final symbol in the blood on the gravestone itself, the rough stone grazing her fingers and making the lines awkward.

"Patrick Connell rise. Come from your grave at my command, rise from your sleep at my bidding."

The earth in front of her practically bubbled now, and then it parted and a tall figure emerged. Neil almost shrieked behind her but her attention stayed focused on the corpse in front of her. He was newly dead and so perfectly preserved. In fact, gazing at him, you would barely know the difference if you saw him walking down the street. She was quite proud. She didn't do this spell much, but this was a damn good raising!

"Patrick Connell, you have been raised at my command. You will do as I say and nothing more, bound to me by blood and magic. Do you understand and obey?"

The corpse looked at her, surprising clarity in his deep blue eyes. She didn't think she'd ever raised one this 'new' before and it was actually a little disconcerting how alive he looked. He'd obviously been a handsome man, tall with broad shoulders, thick dark hair, strong jaw, and quite startling eyes. Then he opened his mouth and said a single word.





Shelli Rosewarne had always had a dream in the back of her head about wanting to be a writer, from the time she was handing in ten page stories at primary school and driving her teachers crazy. However, like with so many things, life and paying the bills got in the way and she worked in various jobs from call centers to shops to offices. She eventually realized that life is too short not to try and follow your dreams, and has since had her first stand alone novella published with Breathless Press, along with several submissions in anthologies, another novel contracted for later in the year and various works in progress in the pipeline. Yup, she's having to pinch herself as well! She currently lives in Edinburgh with her long-suffering fiancé and slightly psycho cat. When not writing she loves reading, music and photography.


You can follow her at:

Twitter - @shellirosewarne




Just leave a comment and you'll be entered into my Rafflecopter giveaway. Prizes include a zombie themed mini book bag, a spooky halloween phone cover and a witchy (and lavender scented) keyring – who said scary can't be cute! I'm also giving away a free copy of Love Reawakened in the ebook format of your choice. Good luck :)




Buy Links


Breathless Press



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Raven McAllan with The Girl on the Bus

Hi peeps! I've began to get a few guest blogs and you won't believe the line up :) Not all romance either! Which I feel is fitting considering my first urban zombie thriller is due to be released at the end of this month :)

For now, be happy with my darling Raven as she puts out yet another great one!! Today she speaks of the awesomeness that is a crit group. Take it away Raven!


My crit group have learned and coped with a new and unusual aliment.

It's called Ravenfingers and generally isn't catching. It's an ailment of mine that affects me when I type. I really do think my fingers are typing the letters in the right order, and hitting the correct keys, when in reality they often aren't.

They've all come to accept that rodya could be today. Or rides, or well anything. However they are pretty good at getting the gist of it.

There's a very simple reason for this ailment. I type as fast as I think, even though tis only with two fingers. Sometimes I correct as I go. Other times I write a whole paragraph and struggle myself. Ah well it makes for interesting conversations with my writing friends. Along the lines of…"anyone any ideas what this is supposed to mean?"

All I can say is thank goodness for them, and editors. I think, I type I check, friends check. (I de 'had' de 'was' and de ing' ) I sub. If it's a yes, I'm over the moon.

If it’s a no I reread and think again.

I've had my fair share of 'no thank you', and 'revise and resubmit' as well. However I can luckily say I've had more of the 'we'd love to publish your work' ones.

And two years on, I can finally accept I am a multi-published author.

This week I'm celebrating that.

Ah and okay not just that. Of a book out as well. Yep, today The Girl on the Bus is available from today, and I'm really excited.

I never ever lose that butterfly in the tummy, chair swivel jiggle, happy dance, excitement when I have a new release. The cover art, the author files, the first sale on the publishers site, All Romance eBooks, Bookstrand and Amazon. It's a fantastic build up.

You know I never ever thought I'd get to this stage. Someone asked me did I regret not starting earlier? Well as nice as that would have been I know for a fact I couldn't have written like I do now, when I was younger. So that's a no then.

And after all I need to travel to get my places to set my books now don't I?

Anyway, to celebrate author birthdays book releases and fantastic editors and publishers, I'm doing a wee giveaway. (Note that's wee as in little—I live in Scotland—not wee as in pee.)

But as I'm in a high-five party mood, I'm going to ask some questions.

So, where in the word would you go to celebrate something big? And let me see what would you prefer to celebrate with…Champagne and strawberries or whisky and haggis?

So and finally, The Girl on the Bus is out today from (oops I've already said that)




Julia ran out on Rob five years ago, so she cannot be the face he sees on the bus. However, when she ends up being the one taking notes at his meeting, he knows he will move heaven and earth to make her his once more.

Will she agree, or will she run again?


And a wee tease…



Once inside the room, which as far as Julia could see, was empty except for a bed, Mister T gripped her by the chin. "What is the first thing you thought when you came inside?"

 Julia answered him without thinking about it. "Is that all?"

His shout of laughter rumbled through her, and his hand on her hair sent zaps of hot hard arousal to her clit and pussy.

"Well we can't have that, can we? A disappointed sub. Now I wonder what we should do?"

 Going on instinct, Julia knelt awkwardly in front of him—she'd done her research on line—put her hands behind her and bent her head.

 "Please, sir." To her annoyance her voice shook and she cleared her throat. "I want to learn."

"What, pet? What do you want to learn?"

Julia swallowed. "Whatever you wish to show me, sir." Then she remembered one of the books she'd read. "Within my safe words."

He'd laughed. "Clever, pet. What are they and what do they mean?"

 "Red, stop now. We may discuss why I'm calling red but until we do its non-negotiable. Yellow, I'm not sure about what's happening, and maybe we need to discuss it further. And green, oh yes, I'm very happy let's carry on."

He crouched in front of her and kissed her nose. "That seems to cover it. Well sub, I'm considered to be best at wax play. Are you willing to let me show you the beauty therein?"

Those words spoken in his velvet voice made her ream coat her pussy and thighs and the hairs on her arms stand up.

"Yes, Sir. Please, Sir." The salutation seemed so easy to say, and so normal to her, that it rolled of her tongue automatically.

What followed became the most special and mind blowing time of her life. It was all well and good saying no sex, but it had been sexual in its own way.

Tay showed her with both diagrams and pictures what would happen. Then asked her to sign yet more disclaimers, before telling her to shower to remove all lotions and perfumes.

When she'd exited the shower, a tall smiling woman waited for her. Julia blushed. She might not be ashamed of her hourglass figure, but she wasn't used to flaunting it.

"Master T said would you put this on, please? He reckoned you'd not be happy dressed just in a thong as he'd prefer." She'd passed a bikini to Julia who looked at it doubtfully. It was so tiny, Julia reckoned she'd be lucky to get her nipple covered by the top, it looked to be an AA cup and she was a DD. The bottom wasn't much better, but at least it covered her bush.

The other woman, "Call me Callie," giggled as Julia blushed. The way Callie’s face crinkled up, made her look much more approachable and ten years younger. Julia realized she was around the same age as herself.

"Master T?" Julia asked as she struggled to dress in the bikini without dropping the towel. "Does he ever go mask-less?"

 Callie shook her head. "Nope, but he's so good no one worries. Look, honey, it's obviously you're like a newborn babe here. Believe me, no one will bother about your body, except to see the marks of your Sir or Master on it. For hygiene's sake, if you carry on you'll shave or wax your pussy, it's preferred, and you'll get used to being mainly unclothed. It's no biggie. Right, you're playing in private, but I'm dungeon master for you. Master T thought you'd be happier with a woman around."

The following hour had been eye opening, enlightening, and mind blowing.

"I'm tying you down, pet, for your own safety," Tay told her. "Color?"

"Green, Sir." Okay she didn't know how she felt about not having the chance to move, but then she trusted him to know best. Behind him, Callie leaned against the wall ever watchful. So she did have a get out of jail card.

Once the first drop of wax hit her chest, the intense sting was followed by a flush of arousal so strong Julia almost came there and then. At the stern, "do not come until I say so", she bit her lip, regulating her breathing instead. She flew. Nothing existed except each soft drop of wax, his quiet praise, and the way she was detached and watching herself flush and blossom.

He tapped her mound gently and spoke in his sex on legs voice. "Fly, pet. Come for me now, Silver, show me how you let go."