Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
NaNo & Maths
I hope you're all having a great week! The last week of October has been filled with edits for me. The bad news is that I wanted to take it easy this week and just lose myself in planning the novel I want to write next month. The good news is that the third round of edits for CHRISTMAS CAROL has now been done. Yay! Did I mention that this is the sequel to CHRISTMAS LIGHTS? Yep, it is.
As you can tell, I'm going to take part in NaNoWriMo again this year. This'll be my third year. I think it's a lot of fun. Besides, I enjoy throwing myself so deeply into a first draft that I manage to spend an entire month thinking, dreaming, note-taking, and writing the one story I just can't wait to tell.
Okay, here's the maths of it. I know that the month of November has 30 days, but I will only be writing for 20. Why? Because I like to take weekends off. That's because family time + brain recharge time + reading time = the ability to have a large word count output Mon-Fri. Lol.
So, that means that in order to finish a 50k novel during November, I need to write 2,500 words each day. That means 12,500 words a week. (12,500 x 4 = 50,000) Can I do it? I'm pretty sure I can, since I usually aim at 4k/day. It's just a matter of buckling down and getting so wrapped up in the story that some days I might even write more than what I have to. At least, that's what I'm hoping.
You know, after talking about all that, I think it's time I get my Playlist ready and continue the exciting process of making up a story...
So, are you taking part in the craziness this year? If you are, feel free to buddy me. I'm over here. My username is *Y*. ;)
Good luck and have fun!
Labels: Yolanda Sfetsos
Friday, October 24, 2008
So, I'm going to be a lazy blogger today and simply post the video book trailer I created for Breathless, my first m/m shifter published by Cobblestone Press.
I love writing, and I love creating these trailers. Looking for pictures and then music, then somehow tying them all into one neat package is yet another creative outlet. It's different than writing and leaves me feeling both challenged and accomplished.
Hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Dropping Shows & A Keeper
Well, it looks like that's all going to change. You see, there's a combination of reasons. One is that Australian TV has decided to pull their usual crap of axing and playing around with viewers, and the other is that some of the shows are just not great anymore.
Here's a recap:
FRINGE - Channel Nine has decided to axe this show. It doesn't matter that they advertised this show like crazy and were seriously fast-tracking it here. Nope. They've decided they don't like the ratings, but didn't bother telling anyone. The only reason I know is because I found this online. We were really enjoying it too.
THE MENTALIST - Although this is a great show and we've watched three eps, we've decided to drop it before the channel does. I mean, they've moved this show to FRINGE's old timeslot, which means it's only a matter of time before they cut this one too. So, if we're still interested when it comes out on DVD, we'll borrow it then. Simon Baker rocks in it! I hope it does well in the U.S.
CALIFORNICATION - This is on a different channel, but that doesn't mean they're any better. Still, what made this show excellent and interesting during the first season has been forgotten. All that happens now is Hank arguing with the chick he's with. Damn. What's her name? I can never remember because she's so annoying. Hank doesn't feel like Hank anymore.
HEROES - I didn't think it was possible to screw this show up... but I was terribly wrong. It totally sucks now! We watched the first two eps and it was like pulling teeth. Only managed five minutes into the third before switching it off and deciding it'll just be a waste of time to invest anymore time in this one. My gosh! I hate this new crappy direction they're taking. Why can't they leave the future where it is?
BURN NOTICE - Where is it? Channel Ten pulled it and well, no one knows what the hell they're doing with it. Stopped mid-second season for no good reason. WTF? I miss Michael, Fiona and Sam. :(
So, where does that leave us now? It leaves us watching SUPERNATURAL, which totally rocks! And we're not going to depend on Aussie TV for this one, either.
I'll leave you with a clip of last week's episode. Monster Movie was hilarious!
Labels: Yolanda Sfetsos
Monday, October 20, 2008
Today I thought I'd post a trailer I made for my upcoming Kensington Brava release, MIDNIGHT SINS. MIDNIGHT SINS is the second book in my "Midnight" trilogy, and it's scheduled to release on November 25th. (Ah, just in time for Christmas shopping! Hint, hint.) I hope you enjoy the trailer.
Labels: Midnight Sins
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Three new reviews for Pentacles of Magick Series - Grade:A
October is one of my favorite times of year and as we approach Halloween and get a taste of cooler weather here in North Carolina, I start to get really excited.
I find myself reading more paranormal books and watching more creepy television. Thanks to my new best friend Hulu.com I am watching lots of new to me shows and having a ball.
I'm also celebrating many supernatural creatures at the DAMM blog this month. We have done vampires and witches and we are now moving to shapeshifters and demons. Fun stuff with lots of guests and fun prizes.
Today I received notification that the first three books in the Pentacles of Magick have received three outstanding reviews from Simply Romance Reviews.
For Pentacles of Magick: The Bonding
"I loved The Bonding and the steamy sex scenes between Graelen and Rena are in a word--HOT!"
For Pentacles of Magick: The Burning
"Ms. Gayle scores another hit with Cash and Selene's story. Scorching..."
For Pentacles of Magick: The Healing
"The menage she creates between two witches and a mortal will leave you breathless."
Each book received a Grade A, Outstanding Read. Thank you Whitney at Simply Romance Reviews for reading and enjoying the books, that's what it's all about.
Speaking of Pentacles of Magick...
This week the fourth and final installment, The Revealing, released from Phaze Books and the entire collection in print is now up for preorder.
The final chapter of the Pentacles of Magick series comes to an explosive end!
As a demon hunter, Noah has seen and done it all...until his twin sends him to rescue a woman he wanted to forget.
Noah Scott is a mercenary hell bent on ridding the world of evil, one demon at a time. He walked away from the family prophecy determined to do things his way. Until one woman had tempted him then left without a trace.
Jessie has spent her whole life hiding her darker side from those who would never accept her. When she met gorgeous Noah she knew he would be different and their passion ignited a connection neither of them understood.
Now they must face the past and their future in a race to save his family, while fighting a sexual desire threatening to destroy them both.
I'm so excited by all that is going on and even more so since it's October! Woot!
Have a good one,
Friday, October 17, 2008
I'd rather have Candy Corn
And yes, you heard me right, agent requested. Now, before you start squeeing, I haven't acquired an agent. I did, however, bid on and win a manuscript critique from Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary through the Brenda Novak Auction. He read through 50pages of my full-length proposal and gave me lots of guidance. He also requested to read the full! (Now you can squeee). I'm hoping to get it finished, polished, and submitted to him by mid-November.
Oh, and I was notified by Phaze that they'd like to put The Werewolf Whisperer into print. PRINT!!!! That's a big SQUEEE! Only, the story is a bit short. So, I could either fill it out or write a short to go with it. So, the sequel that I've been toying with for months (a 10-15K novella) will need to be plotted, written and submitted. If it's accepted, it will come out in e-book when the print combination comes out. I am sooooo excited...I just keep pinching myself.
But now...I'm back to chewing all those edits and wishing it was candy corn.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Reviews & Releases
Well, I've gotten my first two reviews for my Tease Tarot novel, HELLBLAZE, and I wanted to share them...
LeeAnn from Coffee Time Romance gave HB a 4! This is some of what she said:
"Yolanda Sfetsos has written a wonderful book that is dark and dangerous. The suspense of this story keeps you on the edge of your seat."
You can read the whole review here.
SkyWalker from GhostWriter Literary Reviews gave HB a 5! Here's some of the review:
"I found this book to be totally entertaining. It's very well written with excellent dialog and great imagination. Who knew Demons had such wit and charm."
You can read the whole review here.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to both LeeAnn and SkyWalker for their lovely words, and for making my day, too. I love Blaze's story, and I'm so happy that others are enjoying it too. :)
Labels: Yolanda Sfetsos
Friday, October 10, 2008
Phone Calls from the Dead
Last year, I wrote Postcards from the Dead. It was the story of Cassie and Drew and how they both dispelled the ghosts in their lives to find love together. Cassie's sister Rosalie and her fiance, Kyle, played small secondary parts. But I loved Rosalie and was determined to give her a story this year. The problem was, I couldn't come up with a plot involving Kyle. Yeah, I know...that sounds silly...but sometimes the characters just won't cooperate.
So, I did what many authors have done before me. I killed him off. Sad but true...
The resulting tale turned out spookier and much darker than Postcards from the Dead. In fact, I can proudly say that I gave Sable Grey goosebumps! Squeee!
Here's a bit of a sneak preview:
Phone Calls from the Dead by Ericka Scott
Available today at Cobblestone Press
Can the new man in her life help her find love again?
After being left standing at the altar, Rosalie Hopkins is just beginning to put her life back together. A mysterious phone call makes her realize she needs to find her ex-fiance in order to forget him. So she hires the oh-so-sexy private investigator, Tavon Williams to help her.
Tavon Williams was investigating Rosalie's ex-fiance. After tailing the man for months, Tavon discovered two things. One, the man was cheating on her. And two, Tavon was in love with Rosalie. So, when she hires him to solve her cold case, things really heat up!
Rosalie sipped her drink and pretended she hadn't heard. With an exasperated sigh, Cassie leaned forward in her chair and shouted to be heard over the noise of the crowd in Dino's, a local night spot. "Did you get the job?"
At five o'clock on Wednesday, hump day happy hour was in full swing. Halloween decorations announced the season. Bales of hay stood along one wall, displaying elaborately carved pumpkins, and in the center of the dance floor, the disco ball had been replaced by a large skull with glowing eyeballs. Local newscast commentary from the widescreen televisions perched over the bar vied with the strains of a local Salsa band playing a south of the border rendition of Monster Mash.
"As if you didn't know?" Rosalie rolled her eyes.
"I get postcards from dead people. I'm not psychic." Cassie waggled her eyebrows and repeated, "So?"
Rosalie grinned. The job interview for a position at the ticket counter of the local airport had gone stunningly. So well, in fact, that she started work the next morning. After months of scraping by on savings, it would be fabulous to have a steady paycheck again.
"I start tomorrow!" Rosalie did a little happy dance in her chair. She'd forgotten how much fun having drinks with her sister could be.
"Yippee!" Cassie lifted her margarita glass as if in a toast.
"Are congratulations in order?" Drew, Cassie's husband, asked as he slid into an empty seat.
"Rosalie got the job," Cassie said as she leaned in to kiss him.
They made such a cute couple. Tall, blond and buff, Drew wore his hair in a buzz cut and had started wearing black-framed glasses. Cassie called it his Clark Kent look; while Drew insisted he only wore the glasses to chase other women away. Just for a second, the pang of jealousy almost undid Rosalie. She averted her eyes and straightened the candle holder, a large plastic spider, in the middle of the table. Cassie and Drew looked so happy together. Without Kyle, they would never have met. Thinking about her ex-fiancé evaporated her good mood, but she fixed a smile on her face to help convince herself that she was so over him.
"Well, this calls for a celebration," Drew said. "How about I take the two prettiest women in San Josue, California, out to dinner?"
"On a reporter's budget?" Rosalie teased. "I'm not sure I want to eat at McDonald's tonight."
"Hey!" Drew's blue eyes lit up as he laughed. He stood up and pulled out his wallet to pay for their drinks.
"Good one, sis." Cassie tapped Rosalie's glass with her own. "It's been a while since you…"
"Yeah, I know," Rosalie cut in. "But get used to it, I'm back." She hoped her voice and body language spoke with more confidence than she felt.
As they stood, Cassie put her arm around Rosalie's shoulders and gave her a brief squeeze before following Drew through the crush of bodies. Rosalie had almost forgotten how crowded Dino's could get on a Wednesday when they served bottles of various beers in a bucket. Tables were in short supply, and quite a crowd had gathered around the bar. A smattering of couples gyrated on the dance floor while the band played Thriller, salsa style. She glanced around. No one even looked her way, not like they used to when she stood beside…
No, she was not going to dwell on the past tonight. She wasn't going to let the bastard spoil any more of her life. Then, as she started forward, she saw him–a tall, black man standing at the bar. He towered head and shoulders above everyone else and had on a local team's football jersey.
Without thinking, she turned and strode in his direction. What would she say? Confront him? Ask him why he'd left her standing at the altar and then just disappeared? Despite her thoughts, anger carried her forward. Then, he turned and her footsteps faltered. The man in front of her was only a young college kid. It wasn't him–it wasn't Kyle.
Without breaking her stride, she turned and headed blindly toward the door. She collided with a hard body and was enveloped by warmth and the scent of expensive cologne.
"Whoa!" a deep voice said.
Rosalie looked up through tear-filled eyes.
"Hey, aren't you Kyle's wife?" the man asked.
"Um, no." Heat seeped up her neck and into her face. "We didn't…I mean…well…" she stammered. Jesus, she sounded half-witted. Why hadn't she just said yes and moved on?
"You know, I saw him that day." The man's soft hazel eyes, framed by impossibly long curly lashes, bored into hers.
"Yeah, he lived on Stetson Drive, right? Well, I'm a huge fan of his and just as I drove by the house, he came out the front door. I stopped, but by the time I pulled over to the curb, he was already in the car and pulling out."
Rosalie blinked, trying desperately to come to grips with the information. Right after Kyle's disappearance, there had been hundreds of leads, most of them from crackpots angling for a few moments of fame. But this man's story seemed plausible. After Kyle's knee injury had sidelined his basketball career, he'd become a popular sports commentator; people frequently stopped him on the street to say hello.
And the man standing in front of her certainly didn't look like a crackpot. Skin the color of café au lait, he wore his black hair short and his face clean-shaven. His dark slacks, white oxford shirt, and sports jacket all looked neat and orderly.
But then, most serial killers probably looked like someone's next door neighbor, too.
However, she certainly hoped serial killers didn't elicit the response from his victims that this man incited in her. For the first time since Kyle's disappearance, her heart beat faster, and a slow burning heat coiled low in her belly. She was disconcerted to feel this level of attraction for a stranger, no matter how gorgeous he was. Perhaps her body was finally waking up and taking notice of men–men who weren't Kyle.
Although she would have liked to indulge in a carnal fantasy, one with her naked and wanton in the stranger's arms, she directed her attention back to the conversation. No one had told her there were any witnesses to Kyle's departure. "Did you tell the police?"
"Oh, yeah, I told that horrible detective Manny what's-his-name." The man shrugged. "However, he didn't seem to think much of it. I called a couple of times to see if he'd discovered anything, but he never called me back."
Typical. Rosalie knew what it felt like to receive a brush-off from the officer. "Well, thank you for letting me know." Rosalie tried to smile and hoped it looked more pleasant than a grimace.
"Sure. It was nice meeting you…" the man trailed off and held out his hand for her to shake.
"I'm Tavon Michaels."
The name struck a familiar chord, but she couldn't remember where or when she'd heard it before. She took his hand and felt a zing of desire with his touch. Even though she'd just met this man, her hormones screamed for her to pull him closer so that she could feel the heat of his body warm hers. Her nipples hardened and pressed against the fabric of her blouse as she looked up into Tavon's eyes.
What would Kyle think?
The thought came unbidden, and it was as if a bucket of cold water had been poured over her head. Pulling her libido into check, she said a hasty good-bye, turned away, and tried to make an unobtrusive exit.
When she careened into her sister, she realized tears were pouring down her face.
"What?" Cassie gasped. Then, in the intuitive way sisters have, Cassie stood on tiptoe and scanned the crowd. She, too, must have spotted the tall man at the bar, for she exclaimed, "Oh my God, is that Kyle?" She pulled away from Rosalie, heading in the man's direction.
"It's not him. Cassie!" Rosalie called after her sister's retreating back.
Cassie turned around. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure." Rosalie took a shuddering breath. "Let's just get out of here."
"Do you want to go home?" Cassie asked.
Oh, did she! Rosalie wanted to do nothing more than to curl up on the couch, wrap herself in an afghan, and cry. But she'd spent far too much of the last three months doing that. She shook her head. "No, I want tabloid-boy to buy me dinner."
"That's my girl." The words were whispered in an oh-so-familiar voice. Rosalie started and looked around; goose pimples danced up her arms. Kyle?
"Did you hear that?" she asked Cassie.
But her sister was already headed for the white truck illegally parked at the curb. Rosalie trailed along behind her, casting a glance over her shoulder. It simply had to have been her imagination.
Or was it???
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Shows & More Shows!
But anyway, let's get started.
First up, SUPERNATURAL. My gosh! Just when you think this show can't get any better, you start to watch the fourth season and think: yikes! It can. Honestly, it's fantastic and I can totally see where Dean and Sam are headed. And it's not a happy place. Not when we're talking about one being touched by a demon, and the other by an angel. But you know what, I can't wait!
Did you all watch last week's episode? The one where Dean goes back and meets his parents before they're married. It was amazing! And totally unexpected. What an awesome ep! :D
Next up is FRINGE. We've watched the first three episodes and I have to say that I'm impressed. I like the female protagonist and the two men who stand beside her.
Olivia is a strong FBI agent that was deceived by someone she thought cared about her. The turn of events from that situation led her to the Bishops. I love the dynamic between father and son, and can't help but speculate just why they seem to be so disconnected.
I can't wait to see what lies ahead, looks like it'll be interesting. And the best thing is that we get answers as the episodes end. Not left hanging, like LOST for example. ;)
THE MENTALIST just started here on Sunday night and we loved it too! Simon Baker's an awesome actor and he brings a lot of awesomeness to this character.
Love that Patrick has a tragic backstory. And what about that opening scene, huh? I gotta say, it hooked me in from the beginning. Looking forward to more of it.
Oh, and CALIFORNICATION started the same night too. I loved the first season. It was raw and crude, and I enjoyed Hank Moody's insane life. But the first ep in the second season left me feeling a little... I don't know. Meh, maybe? There was something not-quite-there about it. Not sure what, but I hope it gets better.
Also, tomorrow night we're getting the first two episodes of HEROES. I've heard mixed things about the latest season, but I want to see it for myself.
And last but certainly NOT least, BURN NOTICE. I love this show. The excellence has carried over into the second season, but I just wish Aussie TV would stop screwing us around with it. They put it on, they take it off. It's so infuriating. I enjoy catching up with Michael, Fiona and Sam. They're so awesome!
Okay, now that I've spilled my TV score card for this season, what's yours look like? Do we share any of them?
Labels: Yolanda Sfetsos
Monday, October 6, 2008
I love October.
And I do love the ghosts and goblins that will soon be at my door. :-)
I've found that when I'm writing a paranormal story during Halloween (like I am lucky enough to be doing right now), the pages flow faster. The energy of the story seems more intense--and I can't wait to sit down each day and write.
I'm done with traveling and attending workshops for a bit, so I'm going to spend the next few weeks getting as much done on this story as I possibly can. I'd love to be finished with the rough draft by Halloween, but I'm just not sure that will be possible. Even if I don't get this tale wrapped up until mid-November, I still know that I'll have one hell of a good time writing these characters.
Are there any other October lovers out there? If so, why do you love this month so much?
Friday, October 3, 2008
Embarking on a new adventure
Teaching is not something I've ever aspired to. I admire teachers immensely, I just never wanted to be one. Looks like I'll be able to add yet another chore to my repetoire. Sigh.
Just when I wonder what life can throw at me next...
On the writing front...I got a couple of stunning new covers for upcoming stories. The first is for my October release with Cobblestone Press. Designed by Frauke at Croco Designs, it's a complement to my Hallowed release last year.
And, the one I got just yesterday for a short story picked up by Forbidden Publications (yes, Yolanda, I think I am following you around! We share, what, three publishing houses now?)
And now...I have to go ring the school bell for my daughter ~ boy, now, I'm doubly glad it's Friday!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Okay, I was on my way out of the door at 6:30 am to get to the early morning sessions as the customer event the company I work with hosts each year. Well in my house we have a baby gate at the top of the stairs to keep my kids' puppies from running around the house at night.
Yours truly stepped over that gate, down one step...and my sock slipped on the carpet. I went down like a ton of bricks and slid down the stairs, bumping my ass and my head until I got to the bottom. It was SO not fun!
My son came running from his room to help me get up (my sacrum and head were on FREAKING FIRE!) the puppies were at the top of the stairs (amazingly the baby gate stayed in place) looking at me like 'what the hell...?' and my daughter, who can't walk right now, was in the living room downstairs yelling and asking if I was alright.
So here I am at the end of the day in the most amazing pain. My sacrum is bruised and it hurts to get up or sit down. Hurts to just sit here. Ack! But overall, the day was awesome! ROFL!
Now on to the good stuff...
Author, Moira Rogers, is holding the coolest contest I've heard of in awhile. Not only because one of my books is featured in it, but because it's an awesome idea for people (like me ;D) who enjoy series. I'm always looking for a good series, ya'll. So first, the cool graphic...then the details ;D
So, what do me, Sharon Cullen, Misty Evans, Carolan Ivey, Kate Johnson, Melissa Lopez, Michelle Pillow, Moira Rogers, Renee Wildes and Linda Winfree have in common? We're all authors with Samhain Publishing, and we want to hook you on a new series! These stories range from paranormal romance to romantic suspense, and are sure to entertain you. If you'd like a chance to win one, fill out the form on Moira's website and you'll be entered in the Get Hooked On a Series drawing. Eleven lucky winners will discover a new series! Winners will be announced on October 20th.
So scoot on over to Moira's and get in on the goodies...while I go take some more Motrin! ;D
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
October & Goals
Anyway. I started this month with a clean slate. I met my self-imposed deadline of finishing the first draft of my latest WIP by the end of September. The word count ended up being 82,246, and I'm very happy with how the novel turned out. Now, to plan for the next two installments. Lol.
This month, I won't be embarking on any huge projects, especially any of the novel kind. That's for November, NaNoWriMo month, right? What I would like to do this month is complete the final draft of the 30k novella I wrote a few months ago and sub it, plan (I don't like to use the word outline because it's more like a brainstorm) two different short stories I want to write, do the same for the NaNo novel I want to write, promo the two new releases I have for this month, read the urban fantasy books I've had to ignore during my first draft writing, clear out some of the clutter from my room, and just enjoy the month.
So far, all I've done is edits, though. I've done two separate rounds, for two separate stories during the last few days. Not bad. And I'm expecting more during the month.
Oh, I'm also Featured at The Romance Studio this month, so check me out HERE. :D
Anyway, what have you got planned for the month of October?
I'm going to go and read the rest of this awesome book now! Bye for now.
Labels: Yolanda Sfetsos