Writers write. Right?
Ask just about anyone what the number one rule of writing is, and you’ll hear this.
From Ray Bradbury, to my inspiration Stephen King, authors who get many books written tell you the same thing.
The key to writing, as Red Dwarf recently mentioned, is BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard).
But sometimes, life can become so complicated, stressful, engrossing and time consuming that writing falls by the wayside.
Even for those who have been writing for years, publishing books. Even for those who’s writing is their stress relief and they’d never imagine not writing because it’s not only just so important to them, writing is part of that person.
Then what happens?
A writer isn’t writing 😦
The all-knowing “They” say it takes about a month for a habit, good or bad, to form in your life.
Writing, starting or getting back to it, is at the core a habit. BICHOK doesn’t happen all on it’s own.
So, after too much time away, I’m getting back in the saddle.
Even though I love writing, getting back to it on a daily basis is a struggle. I’m having to deliberately sit down with the intention to write a minimum word count.
When writing my last book (Magicstorm HoaV #4), I could easily do my daily word count of a few thousand words a day. The words weren’t always easy, but the dedicated time and using it every day was just part of my habits.
Now, I’ve realized that I need to be more reasonable with myself. I’m asking me and my muse for a minimum of 1 hour a day, and 1000 words. Once I can attain that easily (and in a few weeks, the kids will be back in school so the time at least will be easier to find) then I can increase it and work on getting back to my pre-life/stress/suckage that I used to have.
How about you? Do you BICHOK every day? How do you make sure writing every (or most every) day is one of your habits?
Over at The 7 Evil Dwarves, Dreamer and Red Dwarf have talked about the “ideal” writer’s life.
I read their posts and had to laugh.
Sure, I’d love to wake up at my preferred time (noon-ish), schlup around the house while drinking at least two pots of coffee, then gently ease into a comfy chair and write for hours, only broken by eating and refilling the coffee pot.
HA! I say.
Instead, here I am, in the dog days of summer.
Between the weather and wrangling my kids all day, I’m lucky to squeeze in an hour of writing at night, after the required hours of summer time tug-o-war to get them to bed 😉
It’s also hard to jump back in the saddle of both writing and blogging after the past
few many months when life has interfered so much I’ve barely been writing at all.
So, what is your “perfect” writing day, or for readers, your perfect reading day, like?
Please welcome Magicstorm into the world, Heart of a Vampire, Book #4.
When a mortal cop must delve into the paranormal, only a Viking vampire can save her soul, and her heart.
Detective Celeste Wilder knows who she is, a damn fine cop. But when the recently dubbed ‘Cult Murders’ start back up, this time targeting city prostitutes she’s sworn to protect, she’s thrown into a world of paranormal creatures she never believed existed. And now, they’re out to keep her from uncovering even more secrets.
An immortal Viking vampire, Brandon Wulfgar knows something is strange the moment he sees Celeste valiantly fighting for her life against a group of rogue vampires. When he’s asked to work with her–solve the crime while keeping the mortal woman safe–he figures no problem.
But as the undeniable connection between them grows and danger appears from every side, they will have to trust one another not just for their lives, but for their very souls.
Brandon Wulfgar sat stiffly on the icy metal chair. He took a hefty gulp of his drink–a mix of blood and whiskey–never glancing away from his twin brother. Eric lay in the bed, facing the stone wall of the dungeon room. He mumbled in his dreams, the quiet mutterings occasionally punctuated by short, guttural screams. Was he reliving the painful past they’d shared, or that of Eric’s own more recent tortures?
The room stank of cold sweat, permeated by fear and agony.
Brandon’s hands clenched and the mug cracked. It crashed to the floor, shattering.
He stared at the white shards of ceramic covered in crimson. The sight mirrored how he felt, unable to help his brother pick up the pieces and leave the darkness he’d descended into.
With a sigh, he stood and headed for the hall. His king’s new wife was going to be pissed he’d broken yet another cup. He snorted, the sound lacking any amusement. Dalia would just have to deal with it.
He opened the door, then stopped short.
Dalia stood in the hall, arms crossed, tapping her foot. Her short pink-streaked blonde hair settled around her pointed chin and her green eyes flared, vampire-red circling the irises. “Again?” she demanded.
It didn’t matter he dwarfed her with his six-foot-four height, nor that he was ten times stronger. All she had to do was shoot that look of hers and even the strongest of the vampire warriors living in the castle crumbled as if facing a disappointed mother.
Brandon merely shrugged. “I’ll clean it up.”
“Yeah, right.” Her gaze softened as she looked past him to Eric. “No change?”
She straightened, rubbing her hands together. “Jordan wants to talk to you. I’ll sit with your brother. And I’ll clean up the poor cup. Again.” Shooting him an ironic look, she added, “We’re almost out of dishes.”
It wasn’t true, but she had a point. He’d gone through an awful lot of mugs lately. But it wasn’t on purpose.
As the older twin, albeit only by five minutes, he’d been raised to protect his brother. To fight the world, side-by-side. Yet he was failing miserably, unable to draw Eric from the cocoon of sleep where he’d escaped.
Dalia entered the dungeon room, and leaving the thick metal door open a bit, sat in the chair Brandon had vacated. She leaned back, hands folded in her lap and started humming. Her voice was soft and airy, a sound guaranteed to get soul-deep inside anyone listening and make them feel better.
As an Omega, she could calm people’s ragged emotions. More recently, with her magic growing, she no longer needed to look into their eyes to gain that connection. Her voice could suck anyone in when she tried.
Brandon’s shoulders tightened when her voice brought no reaction from Eric. It took most of his will to leave, but he forced himself to walk down the icy hallway, and upstairs to his king’s chamber.
Inside, Jordan reclined in a chair, facing the fireplace. The man held a glass of amber-colored liquid. A second full glass sat on the table beside him.
“Sit for a while,” Jordan stated, his Scottish brogue thicker than normal.
Brandon twitched at the tension in Jordan’s voice, and crossed the room to the waiting chair on the other side of the table.
“Any change with Eric?” Jordan lifted his drink and sipped, trying to act casual as he ran a hand through his short blond hair.
Taking his own glass, Brandon gulped it down. The smooth whiskey burned his throat, then settled warmly in his gut. “No.”
Jordan sighed, shifting to face Brandon fully.
Trepidation filled him. The man was normally direct.
“The ‘cult killings’ have started once more in the city,” Jordan said, his gaze dark with anger and confusion.
“But Connor killed the demon behind them just a few weeks ago,” Brandon protested.
“Aye. Yet, here we are.”
Brandon set his empty glass back on the table before he broke that one too. “So is Connor returning?”
“He’s busy with something else.”
“What? His refound family?”
“Nay. Something for the Magic Council.”
Considering the man was a Judge for the council, it shouldn’t be surprising. “So they’re not sending him back?”
A sinking suspicion crawled into his gut. “Then who are you sending to investigate?”
Jordan just stared at him.
Jumping to his feet, Brandon paced to the fireplace. “I can’t go. Eric needs me–”
Jordan’s voice broke through his agitation. “Needs you? He hasn’t said two words in the last month. He doesn’t respond to anything we try.” He stood, arms behind his back, as Brandon paced. “Someone has to take care of the problem. If it’s another demon, you’re the only one I can send.”
Anger turned his stomach, bile burned up his chest. “I can’t leave my brother.”
Jordan’s voice cracked like steel. “You’ll tell me no?”
Stopping short, Brandon slowly swung around and met his king’s blazing red gaze. He’d never told Jordan “no,” since the man had rescued both him and Eric from living agony. But to leave his brother…
The tension in his shoulders ached. His chest tightened and he gave his king the only answer he could. “When do I leave?”
In the lingering heat of the evening, Celeste Wilder strode from her unmarked car towards the flashing lights shining from the alley. Near the yellow police tape, cameras flashed as bystanders tried to capture anything interesting they could put online or sell to the news.
Whipping back her long black hair, she muttered under her breath, “Mierda! Gotta start keeping a damn hair tie in the car.”
One of these days, she was actually going to remember, so when she was called into a crime scene unexpectedly, she didn’t have to deal with the looks she was getting now. It was difficult enough being a female detective without flaunting her femininity. More importantly, it got in the way.
Like usual in Arizona, the weather had bypassed spring entirely. Sweat dampened her neck, making her loose curls cling uncomfortably to her skin.
“Daily, let me in,” she growled at the nearest officer blocking the alley.
He hurried to pull back one of the sawhorses. “Yes, ma’am.”
She pushed past him, taking in the scene. Phoenix PD officers guarded the sight from the lookie-loos, while the coroner hunched over a body only partly hidden behind a rusty dumpster. Overlaying the scent of rotting garbage, she caught the distinct coppery odor of fresh blood.
“Who was first on scene?” she demanded from an obvious rookie as he nervously flicked his notepad open and shut.
“Um, I was, detective, um, ma’am.”
She read his name-tag. “All right, Portensky. Details.”
He fumbled open the notebook, nearly dropping it. “The call came in at 8:02 p.m. I was dispatched, and arrived at 8:09. I didn’t see anything at first.” The kid paled, swallowed hard, then continued. “Then I smelled it.”
“Any information on the caller?” She studied how the dumpster had been pulled away from the wall. Black and red lines of wax snaked from the brick to the center of the alley.
“No, ma’am. Distorted voice, barely clear. Dispatcher said she wasn’t sure she’d even heard the address right.”
“Make sure your report is on my desk by morning.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He hustled toward the street, as if trying to put as much distance between himself and the body.
Unfazed, Celeste headed right for it.
Hovering over the body, the coroner, Frankie, glanced up. Weariness dulled her dark eyes. “Hey, girl. Rough night?”
“About to get worse.”
Frankie sighed, pushing her long bangs from her eyes with the back of her hand, then waved at the body. “No name, no ID.”
“I assume that’s why I was called in. These are my streets,” she replied.
“Sad state this last month, with all these killings.”
Shrugging, Celeste stepped closer. The woman lay mostly exposed, tattered remains of her clothing spread back from her chest. A small piece of red cloth had been draped over her face. Bleach-blonde hair spread around her head, the tips soaked with blood. The killer had taken a knife to her throat and chest.
“Time of death?”
“Her temp is still high. I’d say in the last hour.”
Considering Portensky had been dispatched less than a half-hour ago, it was possible the rumors were true. This cabrón was calling it in before his victim was dead.
Frankie pulled off her gloves. “What kind of sicko mutilates young girls? That’s what I’d like to know.”
“Aren’t they all sickos?” Celeste replied, forcing her emotions away. The victim’s wounds were ragged, as if caused by a serrated weapon. They still hadn’t figured out what the killer was using.
“We’re ready,” Frankie said.
Nodding, she replied, “Go ahead.”
Frankie lifted the red cloth from the body to seal it in an evidence bag.
Celeste’s breath caught, hitching in her tightening throat. “La madre que te parió!” she cursed.
No woman, just a girl.
Baby had been fifteen, max. She’d worked the streets, saying it was better there than at home.
Trying to get these girls into shelters was a trial. Every time Celeste got one off the streets, five more took her place. But Baby had been sweet, mostly clean, not the hardened type Celeste was used to dealing with.
And next week, there was an opening at one of the shelters Celeste worked with that Baby had agreed to enter.
Three damn days.
Swallowing hard against the dark, useless emotions trying to choke her, Celeste forced herself to move, to get on with the job. She noted the wounds and the bruises covering the girl’s face and upper arms. A broken necklace of cheap, brightly colored glass lay discarded near her left hand.
A dark smudge against Baby’s pale skin caught her eye. “What’s that?”
Frankie bent closer, snapping some photos, then gently turned the girl’s hand over.
A black mark had been drawn on her wrist. A question mark with a bar crossing the center of the straight line. Celeste drew a replica in her notebook.
“Didn’t see anything like this on the other bodies,” Frankie said as she took more pictures.
“I didn’t either. They were only left on the walls.” She continued to note the details of the crime scene as the morgue techs wheeled away the body, along with the scattered trash on the ground. They took it all. Anything could hold a clue.
As the other officers dispersed, Celeste stood back and watched. Waited for the scene to clear so she could search for clues. See if she could find more of the strange markings, some sort of runes, like at the other scenes.
As she waited, tapping her foot impatiently, her anger burned hotter.
These “Cult Murders” as the press called them, were supposed to have been solved weeks ago. They had disbanded the taskforce on her captain’s orders.
The city began to breathe easier.
Until a few nights ago, when they’d started up again.
I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card, INT, Winner to be drawn next week on May 1st.
In the comments section, please tell me which of the Hero’s from the Heart of a Vampire series is your favorite so far : ) (Shane, Jordan or Connor)
Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
I’m a plotter, I can admit that fully. I like my little road map laid out before I begin writing, even though I know full well that at the end, the book probably won’t look much like my initial outline.
That’s because as I write, my characters take on their own personalities and decide from there on out where they’re damn well going to go.
But being a plotter, I still need to know quite a bit about my characters before I can start that initial outline.
I recently sat down to plot book 5 in my Heart of a Vampire series. I wrote two pages of outline before my heart sank and I showed it to Wicked.
My characters were wimps and the story was going nowhere.
Which is when I finally realized I didn’t know nearly enough about my characters to even begin plotting.
So, my Q4U: Writers – how well do you need to know your characters before you begin to write?
Readers – Are you drawn to books with more action oriented plots, or by great characters (or both)?
Lucky in Love? Well, are you? It’s a time of luck and wealth…or not. With each romance we find ourselves in a new world of love and memories. Are these just by chance? Is it luck? Welcome to your second annual Lucky in Love Blog Hop where we want to hear about your love, your romance, and how much you love St. Patrick’s Day!!! Are you wearing green? Ready to get pinched…or wait…do you like that?
Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love!
But that’s not all….
We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
To check out all the stops on the blog hop, click HERE
And for my personal giveaway, a $5 Amazon gift card, in the comments, tell me:
Do you think luck plays into love? Why or why not?
Leave your email address so you can be contacted if you win 🙂
Last winter, I had a major change in life.
Like, an unexpected move, among other things.
Yeah, it sucks.
But the move is done (even if the unpacking seems to never end).
The good news is I’m back to writing.
I’ve missed it. Writing is my outlet, where I get to be creative, get to know new people and their unique lives, and go on adventures with them for the length of my books.
The best news for the many who have been asking (thanks, it makes me feel awesome to know you’re waiting), is Magicstorm, Heart of a Vampire #4 is now in edits. I expect a release date in late April.
I also expect to start blogging again!
And if you’re signed up to get my newsletter, there will be some yummy goodness coming your way later this month 🙂
Welcome to Amber Kallyn’s Birthday Bash. We’ve got some great giveaways for you to win!
I love the holidays, but not necessarily having my birthday fall smack dab in the middle of them, LOL. But this year, I’d like to do something special for my readers. Over 25 authors and bloggers have come together to celebrate my 24th birthday (I won’t mention how many years I’ve turned 24 again 😉
We have some wonderful prizes, and all you have to do is leave a comment at the participating blogs to win. Easy.
And don’t forget, Bloodstorm (Heart of a Vampire, Book 1) is currently free right now for an early present : )
Ebooks from the following Authors
Paloma Beck (Coming Home, Contemporary romance)
Jami Grey (Shadow’s Edge and Shadow’s Soul, Urban fantasy)
Zrinka Jelic (Paranormal romance)
Christine Fairchild (An Eye For Danger, romantic suspense)
Marian Lanouette (If I Fail, Mystery)
Sylvia Hubbard (5 Ebooks)
Kenra Daniels (Safe Heart and Kassern, Paranormal romance)
A $40 Gift card to either Amazon or B&N
Plus, there will be giveaways at some of the other blogs : )
How to win
The contest is open from Dec 19th to Saturday the 22nd. Hop to all the blogs. The winner will be chosen from the commenters on all participating blogs. Leave a comment at each blog for additional entries to win. That simple : ) Winner will be drawn on Sunday the 23rd.
Enjoy meeting new authors and book bloggers, and good luck on winning the Birthday Bash Prizes.
Who likes Halloween and wicked things?
I do, LOL.
If it’s sexy or scary or a hunky guy, I’m there 😉
Since Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year, I’d like to celebrate this hop by giving away 10 e-copies of my erotic short story, Red’s Wolf: Beginnings (Volume 1) in Nook, Kobo, or Kindle format, international.
To enter, leave your contact information below and tweet or post to faccebook the following:
I want to win the sexy story, Red’s Wolf by @AmberKallyn on her blog http://wp.me/p10Tqd-nm #WickedAfterDark
I’ll be drawing the winners on Friday, November 2nd.
Don’t forget to check out the other Hoppity participants for goodies and giveaways.
What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink* Starting today, and ending on Oct 22nd, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.
And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
But that’s not all….
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!
My favorite thing about Alpha males is they don’t take any crap from anyone… except their love. They’ll die trying to protect her, or their family.
My giveaway will be 2, $5 gift cards to Amazon.com
To enter, just tell me in the comments why you love Alpha Males, or, Who your favorite Alpha Male is 🙂
Make sure you leave contact information so I can reach you if you’re a winner.
And have fun 🙂
Who likes Halloween and wicked things?
Especially the sexy, wicked things 😉
Since since I love HOT! and I love Halloween, I’m celebrating!
To enter, leave your contact information below and tweet or post to faccebook the following:
I want to win the sexy story, Red’s Wolf by @AmberKallyn on her blog http://wp.me/p10Tqd-ny #HotInHandcuffs
I’ll be drawing the winners on Tuesday, October 16th.
Check out the other blogs for goodies and giveaways.
And don’t forget to come back through the month for the other blog hoppity’s and giveaways happening here 🙂
I’ve written everything from urban fantasy, to paranormal, to erotic romance, and I’ve enjoyed each story.
Recently, the whole 50 shades of you know what, has plopped erotic and BDSM stories in the news seemingly all over the place.
I think that’s awesome for authors, because in my mind, it’s just one more thing getting headlines and therefore getting people thinking about books and reading.
Okay, so I may be a bit optimistic, but I’m okay with that 😉
It also helped me to take the plunge and publish the first of a short story series I’ve had in mind for a couple years, based on Red Riding Hood… adult style, LOL.
Most know of me, or at least have heard my tale.
Certainly you would recognize my crimson cloak, perhaps you have even been regaled by tales of my battles against the wolves.
And other News
Take care and hope your weather is turning into fall. Ours is not ~ we’ve still been in the 110 range, with high humidity. *Steps outside and literally melts*