Posts Tagged ‘guest post’

Guest Post

Guest Post: “The World’s Gone Crazy and Here are the Tropes I Want to See in 2017” by Patricia Eimer

His Fake Alien Fiancee Patricia Eimer

No matter what side of the aisle you sit on politically – and I really really don’t care FYI—I think we can all agree that 2016 was a bloody dumpster fire of a year. David Bowie set the tone by dying and leaving us with the album Dark Star (that he recorded knowing it was his final love letter to the world) at the beginning of the year; Carrie Fisher died and left us with a final image of her in Rogue One at the end of the year; and in between, a whole raft of talented people left the world a darker place with their passing. The election seemed like it was never going to end. The weather was crazy. People were shot in churches and nightclubs and medical facilities and schools. A politician was stabbed on the street in England. A child was killed by an alligator at Disney World. The papers were filled with pictures of Syria. Freaky clowns kept appearing in playgrounds because we aren’t all scarred enough by clowns already. 2016 was literally a highlight reel of tragedy porn.

But I’m lucky, because I had people that I could go to who looked at the dumpster fire that was 2016 and could make me laugh about it. My girlfriends and I have a tradition, we always try to get together in January. Some years we all fly to the same place and spend a long weekend together. Sometimes we do a large conference call kvetch. This year we were all feeling pretty battered and bruised so we actually decided that it was worth it to spend the money and get together in person—away from our families. And every one of us made the comment that we didn’t go out New Year’s Eve. Partly because we’ve gotten old enough that being drunk young people puking on our feet just isn’t fun anymore, but the other part was that we were all essentially hunkered down, waiting for the dumpster fire that was 2016 to finally end. We didn’t want to risk setting foot outside until it was over.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Why THE LIST Author, Tawna Fenske, Should NOT Make List of Her Own

The List Tawna Fenske

Sometimes I think I should have been a doctor instead of a romantic comedy author. I mean, I have no aptitude for science, and needles make me woozy, but I could totally rock the bad handwriting.

Which I why I probably shouldn’t rely my own grocery lists, to-do lists, or other organizational tools that require handwritten words. Besides the abysmal penmanship, I have a tendency to get distracted or to use unclear phrasing in my lists. The results can be confusing. And comical. But mostly confusing.

Here are a few choice items that have appeared on my recent lists:

  • This word showed up on my grocery list, and I spent a good twenty minutes perusing the store looking for something resembling seemach. Turns out it was my chicken-scratch way of writing “spinach.”Semach
  • Buy ball, strap. It was for yoga, I swear. But I had a solid minute of trying to recall when I decided to get into hardcore bondage.Buy ball strap
  • Reply to sketchy lady. This was on my to-do list at the day job, where I work as the PR & Communications Manager for my local tourism bureau. I had a tough time narrowing down which sketchy lady I meant to remind myself to contact.Reply to sketchy lady
  • FAM planning. In the aforementioned PR world, a “FAM trip” is a familiarization tour designed to acquaint a group of journalists with a destination. Common enough lingo in the day job, but I was in author mode when I glanced at it. Immediately began pondering what sort of birth control/family planning plotline I meant to include in my manuscript.
  • Mom = Not a raccoon. This was on a list of plot ideas for a book I was working on a few months ago. I still have no idea what it meant.Mom not a raccoon

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Grand Gesture” by Amy Andrews

Playing The Player Amy Andrews

We all know that moment at the end of the book/movie right? When the hero or heroine performs some extravagant or emotionally sacrificial gesture to prove the depth of his or her love (particularly if it has been in some kind of doubt) that makes you sigh and swoon and know that its twue love! Ever since I read A Tale of Two Cities in my teens I have been a sucker for a grand gesture. I still weep whenever I recall that famous last sentence.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

Sob!

In Playing the Player, there is such a moment and while it doesn’t involve going to the guillotine I have to say I think Linc out does himself. 🙂

Naturally, it got me thinking about my favourite grand gesture moments in movies. Which lead to half a day lost in the wilds of YouTube and a crashing need to re-watch about a hundred movies! The sacrifices I make for my craft…

So, here are my Top 5 in no particular order.


The press conference scene in Notting Hill is probably one of the best Grand Gesture moments ever. I’ve seen it probably fifty times and it still makes me swoon!

 

Probably one of the most iconic moments in modern cinema history is Richard Gere sweeping in to Debra Winger’s workplace and sweeping her up in his arms, rescuing her from her factory floor life in An Officer and a Gentleman. Happy sigh.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: New Year’s Resolutions in Amanda Forester’s MY HIGHLAND REBEL

My Highland Rebel Amanda Forester

Every New Year I make new resolutions…or at least I think about making resolutions. Sometimes I start, sometimes I only think about starting, but rarely do I continue with any of my resolutions…at least until the next year!

Being released at the beginning of January is a great time for My Highland Rebel, because the two main characters definitely make some serious changes throughout the book. Both are stretched and grow and make some significant changes—ones I’m pretty sure they will keep!

Before Jyne Campbell meets Core, she has been dismissed by her family as the youngest and weakest lass in a large and powerful clan. With so many big personalities around her, it is easy to fade into the background. When she is placed in a situation where vulnerable people need her help, however, she finds in inner strength not even she knew she had.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Guest Post: “Cat Fisa’s Five Rules for Surviving in the Kingmaker World” by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire Amanda Bouchet

It’s a dangerous time to be the Kingmaker—a human lie detector and the most coveted diplomatic weapon in the realms. In Breath of Fire, the second book in The Kingmaker Chronicles trilogy, Thalyria is heading toward all-out war, Cat is now officially out of hiding, and her secrets are out, too. Some key Olympian Gods as well as her warlord lover, Griffin Sinta, are all telling her it’s time to kick denial in the butt and start taking responsibility for the kingdom, so continuing to ignore that pesky, world-shaking prophecy about herself is getting harder to do. The problem is, when you’re a runaway princess just about everyone wants to capture, kill, or use, actually getting around to ruling the world can be tough. It’s hard enough just to survive.

So what’s a girl to do?

Learn how to hide. Know how to fight.

Cat is adept at both. In fact, when hightailing it to safer ground isn’t an option, she can melt enemies with magic, turn their own powers back on them, and hit just about any target with a knife. When it comes to protecting the people she cares about, she can be unapologetically violent and forget to even blink an eye at the ensuing bloodshed. And when situations really get sticky, whether her foe is human, mage, or beast, Cat follows some rules of survival that have served her well over the years.

 

  1. The Gods can be trusted—usually.

If an Olympian shows enough interest in you to dole out magic, gifts, or even advice, take it. It’s extremely rare, definitely not to be ignored, and might not make any sense at the time, but things like that have a way of working themselves out—once you understand what’s going on. When Gods dabble in the lives of men, anything can happen. Cat’s philosophy on this one? Take the magic. As for the rest… Wait, see, and hope for the best.

 

  1. If you think an adversary has more magic than you do, bluff like there’s no tomorrow—there might not be.

Bravado goes a long way in any battle, especially when the magic in Thalyria is so powerful and vast that, frankly, you never know what an enemy might be able to throw at you in a fight. Elements? Creatures? Something conjured from thin air? The good thing is, your foes don’t know what kind of magic you’ve got in you, either. If they think you can pound them into the dust with a single thought, they might be less likely to try to burn you to a crisp. Cat’s viewpoint? Make them run away first. It’s better than doing it yourself.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Otome Games, Toxic Masculinity, and Non-Traditional Masculinity in M/M” by Xen Sanders

From The Ashes Xen Sanders

I have a very sheepish confession to make:

I play otome games.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “otome” means “maiden,” and they’re called “maiden games” because they’re targeted toward throngs of eager young female players who want their own pretty bishounen (beautiful boy) paper doll to dress up, chat with, and…pretend he’s knocking boots with the other boys in the game, not the girls they’re actually supposed to be dating?

Yep. Even though it’s basically Neko Atsume with boys, while the original goal was a story-style hetero dating game, what otome games attract the most are M/M fans who love their pretty men and love it even more when they dress up in appealingly flamboyant, stylish outfits…and then kiss. (You may have heard of the term “fujoshi.” I’ve seen some Westerners wear it proudly, even though fujoshi, like otaku, is actually an embarrassing label in Japan.) I can see why; many of these games originate in Japan and Korea, and it shows. In both countries, masculinity standards are different; there’s no one uniform for it, but things like sensitivity and grace can be praised rather than derided. Men pursue hobbies and passions that Westerners consider traditionally feminine, and it’s normal; what matters is the dedication to perfecting a craft. Men know how to take care of themselves without being babied by a spouse or parent (well, for the most part, let’s not get into hikikomori or the fact that sometimes some people are just slobs regardless of gender or culture.) It’s not embarrassing for men to care about their appearance as much as women, and some (very heterosexual) men in Korea even use skin care products and makeup, while the rise of KPop has created an entirely new era of men’s fashion that flatters men’s figures in ways that, in the West, might seem effeminate. You can see the same in JPop; both are subcultures that represent less the culture of a country and more a media-sensationalized ideal, but what they do is serve to normalize and even cater to ideas of masculinity outside what we’re used to in ways that blend into everyday society over time.

You can imagine why that would be popular and make such a huge transition from East to West in the form of games, manga, anime, J-Drama, K-Drama, music. In the West, in the United States in particular, we have such a culture of toxic masculinity that men are taught to repress our feelings because anything else makes us feminine and gay, and both those things are painted as negatives instead of positives. “Metrosexual” is used as a mocking insult. We’re taught to do this constant dance of making sure our every action is manly enough. Where women can call their female friends “girlfriend” without it being a thing, if we call our male friends “boyfriend” we’ll get punched in the face. The hetero quadrant of our demo will riot over the inclusion of a gay and/or trans character in their favorite game, because how dare something have 1% of content not catered exclusively to them. We live in a constipated snit of hair-trigger male egos and desperate attempts to prove our status as a manly-man worthy of dragging someone back to our cave by the hair and mating with them. At best, it makes it entirely frustrating to deal with our bull-headed and entirely fragile male egos. At worst it leads to misogynistic behavior that can express itself in sexual harassment, violence, assault. Basically men in the West are an unstable, unpredictable powder keg, and when women come together to share stories of the things they deal with every day from men, it’s really not surprising.

So is it surprising, too, that women (and some queer guys) flock to this imported subculture that creates a safe environment for exploration of other, less rigid forms of masculinity?

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Top Five Romantic First Dates That Are Problematical” by Jess Anastasi

Diffraction Jess Anastasi

Ah romance. It’s that magical thing we live to experience. Relationships are made and broken over it, some people will do anything for it, and lives are changed by it. It’s why we read romance novels, right? We want to experience the blissfully rosy glow of finding new love and getting to know that special someone.

But life isn’t often a romance novel, which we all know well. So, think about it. Some of those scenes out of your favorite romantic book or movie, how would they have really gone down if they’d happened in real life? Well, luckily I’m here to burst your romantic bubble with a smack-down of reality.

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Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post

Guest Post + Excerpt: “Tips For Potential NAVY SEALS” by Anne Elizabeth

Soul of a SEAL by Anne Elizabeth

My #1 Tip for Potential Navy SEALs is understand the nature of your desire. If being a Navy SEAL isn’t the #1 choice for how you want to pursue your life then choose something else. But, if you want to eat, breathe, sleep, fight, and bleed, and you are committed to the training above and beyond all things then this desire will give you a fighting chance.

My #1 Tip for Potential SEAL Wives or Girlfriends is follow your dream. Plan your life goals to be independent of your mate or boyfriend and allow yourself to achieve your greatest dream through your own sweat and dedication. It will benefit you in several ways: 1) you have something to fill your time with what you enjoy and are dedicated to doing, and that sense of achievement can never be taken away; 2) it takes the pressure off your relationship; and 3) having an independent source of income is always useful. In all ways, ‘living the best of yourself’ helps you stay happy and encourages you to continue to grow and succeed.


Excerpt: 

As he turned the corner, he smacked right into her as if he had conjured her, sending her heading for the floor. He wasn’t a small guy. At six feet and 160 pounds, he was all muscle and could have been a decent wide receiver for any NFL team, even in his early forties. He ran every day, worked out, and had serious stamina for whatever task was at hand.

His hand caught hers, and with one tug he had her safely in his arms. He cradled her against him. He murmured in her ear, “Sorry about that.” His first instinct was to be polite and distant, but this contact brought a wave of protectiveness with it that made him even more uncomfortable. He needed to keep his perspective. “I always seem to be apologizing to you.”

“Must be something about me,” she murmured against his chest. Her body changed from pliant to stiff almost instantly. They were locked together for several seconds.

“Guess so.”

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Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post

Guest Post + Excerpt: THIS IS OUR SONG by Samantha Chase

This Is Our Song Samantha Chase

I’m one of those people who can multi-task. To a point. I do like almost complete silence while I write with the exception of my Sounds of the Ocean soundtrack playing. I can have twenty tabs open online and be on social media while I’m writing, but please don’t make me listen to anything! But amazingly enough, on most of my books I do end up with a playlist that helps me get the job done.

I just don’t listen to it while I’m writing.

I turn to it when I’m blocked – when I’m stuck in a scene and need to get hyper-focused on my characters. This is Our Song was kind of easy to have a playlist to because Riley is a musician. There were songs that I felt like I could imagine him singing or that the lyrics really applied to him.

So what was on my list and why? Here’s just one of the songs that was on my This is Our Song playlist!

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Anna Schmidt’s Writing Routine

Last Chance Cowboy Anna Schmidt

I am what in today’s lingo is known as a “pantster”—writing by the seat my pants. [BTW I actively hate labels of any kind because I think they stereotype and classify whole groups of individuals, so PLEASE never ever call me by that or any other label.]

Okay, back to the question at hand: I write on deadline. It is a habit I developed in school—never starting my term papers or studies for exams until I was close to delivering them. As I age I find that time frame has to be stretched—it takes more time these days. That said, I am always writing—if I am out for a walk or running errands or listening to music, it is amazing how often something will crop up that I know I will somehow use in the story. So the simple answer is that I am always writing.

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