Monday, 27 January 2014

Guest Blog - Yolanda Sfetsos is gonna have you Shivering

I swear I'm not just having loads of guest blogs because I have nothing to talk about myself. That's really only like 50% the case. Anyway. I'm delighted to have Yolanda Sfetsos here today to talk about her newest Samhain release!

Hi there! I’d like to thank Naomi for having me over here today to help celebrate my latest release with Samhain Publishing. :)

My name is Yolanda, and I love to write. I write in a variety of genres, but it seems like every time I sit down to brainstorm and/or write a story, it becomes a series.

When I wrote Wither several years ago, I planned to tell the story of a wrangling space cowboy and the woman who slipped away. But as soon as I got started and created a galaxy with an array of dangerous planets and a malicious tyrant trying to own everyone, I knew there would be more stories to tell. That’s when I decided that the Recast world would become a category-length Sci-Fi series with Romantic Elements, and that each instalment would focus on a new couple’s adventure.

In the second book, Clash, I casually slipped in several references to a character called Knox. Eniell Knox is the hero in the latest book, Shiver. The poor guy has been imprisoned inside a filthy arena for years. He’s forced to fight to stay alive, and when he finally gets the chance to escape finds himself in a terrible predicament—of the bloodthirsty kind. But don’t worry, there’s an equally messed up heroine to help him struggle even more. ;) Lian isn’t a vamp, but she does come with her own lot of trouble in the icy world she lives in.

I really enjoy adding secondary characters that I know will become the heroes or heroines in later books. It’s fun! But as much as I love writing a series, I’m starting to wonder if I can still write stand-alone stories. LOL.

That’s why I’m going to challenge myself this year. I’m determined to write a stand-alone story or two during 2014.

Thanks for reading,


Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.

Yolanda lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter, and cheeky cat.



Blood made him a monster. Passion could be his salvation.
Recast, Book 3

After narrowly escaping brutal captivity in the Clash Arena and the bite of a bloodsucking creature, all Eniell Knox wants is to get off the crappy planet that ruined his life. When he steals an abandoned ship and is shot down over freezing northern Fray, he finds nothing but more trouble. An alluring young woman who stirs his hunger—and her shackle-happy mother—could push him over the edge.

Day after day, Lian Shan lives like a prisoner, fending off a parade of creepy potential husbands her mother tries to force upon her. She longs to experience life outside the confines of her ice castle and meet the man whose face haunts her dreams.

When a handsome, mysterious man crashes onto the estate her world breaks apart, spilling unfathomable secrets. Some of them her own.

Though Eniell and Lian’s mutual attraction explodes off any known star chart, there’s something her dreams left out—he’s been bitten by a monster. Which means if he turns into one, the first thing on his menu could be her neck… 

Warning: This book contains shared temptation hot enough to melt ice caps, a warrior with a blood craving, a rebellious heroine who isn’t afraid to share hers, and the galaxy’s most dysfunctional family.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Guest Blog - Iyana Jenna is Improvising for me

she will forgive me for that terrible pun...

Yes, Iyana is here to talk about her new release, IMPROVISE, an m/m romance from Books To Go Now. She's talking about the trials and tribulations of getting this bestseller ready for the reading public! Take it away, Iyana...

Hi Naomi, thank you so much for having me on your blog!

I’d like to share with you and your readers my new release from Books to Go Now Publishing. This short story is the first release I have with them and I’m very grateful for everyone who made this no. 1 in Amazon Best Seller list in Action/Adventure Gay & Lesbian category. That was the first time for me. I feel so happy and very grateful for my publisher and you, readers.

I also want to talk a bit about the problems I had in writing and editing this story. First, I’d like to say that I’m very grateful for Books to Go Now for having guided me in editing this one. I learned a lot from the editors from the publishers I worked with, and each of them taught me something. With BtGN I learned a lot about point of views and passive writing.

I wrote the first draft of Improvise using present tenses. I used them because that was the style I liked when I began this. The editors didn’t really point out at that issue but I re-considered it and decided to change the tenses to past. I really hoped it helped improve the story.

Point of views is one of the aspects I try hard to be careful with. I learned more about it with BtGN, for example for the use of ‘to.’ This might not be a new thing for other authors but it was for me. I just knew that He stood up to reach for the salt shows his POV already.

The next thing was about passive writing. I know passive voice and I try not to use it a lot in my stories, but I didn’t know passive writing is more than that. Anything with to be, will be, will have been, etc. is considered passive. It’s much better to use action verbs, instead.

Editing this piece had been hard but thankfully BtGN gave me as much time as I needed. I only sent my edits back after I felt sure about them.

12,000 WORDS


A stage actor, Tim Gregory found someone had broken into his changing room and turned everything upside-down. When insurance investigators Brent Sullivan and his partner came to see him, he it was to answer to his previous call. It turned out that the agents wanted to question him on a missing necklace that was stolen some time ago.

After witnessing what happened to Tim’s room, Brent Sullivan was convinced that the insurance company was not the only one that wanted the necklace. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that Tim didn’t want to tell him where the necklace was. He honestly didn’t know or remember. The worst thing was some people didn’t care if Tim remembered or not. They would do anything to get the jewelry back. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Guest Blog - Doris O'Connor brings us The Bear Project

What better way to end the week than with a rough and rugged bear shifter? Especially one written by Doris O'Connor! 

Thanks so much for having me here today.

Inspiration is a funny thing, don't you think? At least it is when you have a muse as unpredictable as mine seems to be.

A while back I wrote a flash, involving a wolf cub sat in a mountain of clothes. The story went that this cub was the result of a one night stand the heroine had had. At the time she had no idea that the sexy guy she slept with was a shifter, until her adorable little girl shifted into a wolf.


When I wrote that, I had it in the back of mind that this premise would make for a good story.

Then came a submission call for an Alpha Shifter anthology, and that idea reared its head again.
Only this time round the shifter was a bear. Cole Jackson is the original bad boy, who picks Emmi up in a bar one night on the full moon and….

Bang, my muse goes off on a tangent. I quickly realized that there was far too much story to tell and The Bear Project was born. The more Cole and Emmi told me, the more involved this story became and it morphed into a sequel to The Orgasm Project.

Those of you who've read it, will find those characters make a re-appearance as I delve deeper into their world and the mysteries surrounding their blood lines and what it means to be a shifter, hidden from the human world.

I have another story planned, which will be The Mating Project.

And as for Cole and Emmi… well, you'll have to read the book to find out, but these two are hot, when they get together. Sparks fly, rules get broken, and those bloodlines may never be the same again.

The Bear Project

When Animal conservationist Emmi Layne meets bad boy Cole Jackson there is no denying the instant lust between them. She has a thing for bears, after all. However, you cannot build a relationship on awesome sex alone, especially when you live on different continents, and have nothing in common.

Everything changes, when Emmi discovers that their night of passion has left her with more than erotic memories. She has no means of contacting him, even if she wanted to, but she hasn't counted on this bear shifter's determination.

Cole is not what he seems, and he will stop at nothing to claim what's his—even if that means breaking all the rules.

Can he trust the mating bond to deliver, or will it spell the end of an ancient blood line?
With the odds stacked against them, can this unlikely duo find happiness together?

Read on for a hot, hot excerpt!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

"When genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot"

DH Lawrence

I love that quote. I think it might be my quote for 2014.

And it is 2014, so I guess some of you might be wondering what I was up to in 2013, because I certainly wasn't up to very much writing. The short answer is, I really lost my passion for writing last year. The reasons are myriad: I started a small business which took off and smashed my expectations. I poured a lot of my creativity into perfume-making and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, but it is time-consuming and did impact my writing. I'm aiming to find a balance between the two this year.

But perfume-making aside, when I did try to write I wasn't happy with what I was writing. For most of 2013 I was still coming to terms with losing my dad, and that affected my writing on a level I hadn't anticipated - the novel I was working on when he passed away (the third Ethan Banning book) was not a happy novel. I didn't want to write unhappy stuff in the wake of Dad dying, but nothing else I tried held my attention either.

So in the end I just stopped trying. I did of course have the Urban Wolf series republished, and I did start a fourth book in that series called Black Dog, which I hope to continue with this year. I've been delighted and humbled by the response to the series' relaunch (WOLF STRAP is still riding high in the ARe lesbian charts, nine months after its release; SILVER KISS was an Amazon bestseller; all three books in the series are ARe bestsellers), and will be forever grateful to Evernight Publishing for giving Ayla and Shannon a new home.

But honestly, in 2013, writing wasn't fun for me and it didn't call to me. I've gone through periods before where I haven't written, but last year I would say I was simply disenchanted with the whole process. Changes in the industry, frustrations with past choices, a sense that I was trying to put myself into a box I didn't actually fit in...It all added up, and combined with grief and a general sense of futility regarding my writing career, I just...stopped. I considered stopping permanently, in fact, which is why you're reading this on a brand new blog and not my old one - I deleted the old one.

But deep down inside, I didn't want to stop writing. It's just too big a part of who I am and how I work. So I knew I had to get back in the saddle, but I also knew I had to be clear and focused going forward. I started and abandoned so many projects last year, it was just adding to my unhappiness and leaving me certain that I couldn't write anymore, that I'd lost whatever spark it is that makes writers tell stories. So going into 2014, I've decided to get back to basics.

What I love, and where my heart is, is grim and gritty urban fantasy. Whilst I love reading paranormal romance and enjoy writing it, it isn't my passion and I don't feel my voice is authentic in those stories. So I won't be writing anymore.

I have three projects I plan to work on this year. The first and most important to me is the Ethan Banning series. I did start to post chapters of Undertow (book 2) at my old blog last year, but obviously that fell by the wayside as I dealt with depression and lack of enthusiasm. Now I want to get Undertow published and will more than likely be self-publishing it. More on that as it develops. I may or may not do a long blog on the subject of DEMONIZED, AFTERLIFE, and why I don't promote them anymore in the near future. But Undertow will definitely be released into the wild in 2014, and I plan to continue the series until I've ground Ethan into a fine pulp.

Project Two is the Urban Wolf series. I have about 8k written of Black Dog, and whilst it's certainly not the best stuff I've ever written, the seeds of a good story are there. So I'll be getting stuck back into that and carrying on with Ayla and Shannon's adventures.

Project Three is to revisit my first ever urban fantasy world. This is down the list because I need to do a lot of thinking and planning - I came up with this world and the characters when I was in my teens, and it's all very dated and cliched now. But it was my first love and it's got so much potential, I feel I owe it to Young Me to start over and fulfill that potential.

So that brings us up to date. Hopefully I'll get back into a regular blogging schedule as I get back into a regular writing schedule. Stay tuned for more ramblings, lots of guest posts from awesome authors, and news about Undertow. Happy New Year! Time to turn over a new leaf.