Friday, July 12, 2019

An Escape, Support, & Building Minds

Something got me to thinking this morning (yeah, I heard metal screeching too, lol). As a result, here's a short informational rant.

Read books. It's a safe, fun way to ESCAPE the stress of this world. Whether ebooks, kindle books or paperbacks, reading is actually GOOD for you & strengthens your mind/brain. Those who are not writers don't understand how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into wri
ting. It's not just a matter of sitting down, pounding a story out on a keyboard, then announcing "See? I wrote a book!" It's plotting. It's research. It's countless hours of revisions, checking for typos, making sure grammar is correct, rereading to make sure the timeline for Monica isn't at the 7/11 AND the church at the same time (If you're not doing all this, you should be!). And even then the work isn't done. If a manuscript is accepted somewhere there are usually several rounds of edits with an editor, reading contracts to make sure it's legit, not to mention the promotion before AND after the book is released. And if the author self-publishes, there's all the added work of finding a cover artist or making the cover yourself if you're able, the expense of finding an editor and cover artist, checking the book seller's contract, etc.

Never dis an author or h/her work. It's a job just like any other except that we have the privilege of enjoying what we do. Support authors and their work and review their books if you enjoy what you've read. Tell your fellow readers to go BUY such and such author's work, but DO NOT pass the ebook around because that rips the author off. Writers work hard at their craft. Support reading and the written word. Build the mind into something beautiful and escape the upset and chaos of this reality by stepping into another world for a while.

https://www.amazon.com/Ana-Lee-Kennedy/e/B016R26062 and my recent release under my Faith Bicknell name https://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Sable-Faith-Bicknell/dp/1793201374

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Woodsfield, Ohio: I'm Writing What I Know!

I’ve always wanted to write cozy mysteries, so that’s what I’ve been working on of late. I debated for some time whether or not to base the story in my home town of Woodsfield, Ohio. I do have a motorcycle club/paranormal romance trilogy set in Woodsfield called The Werewolves of Rebellion. Those of you who live in or around my home town will recognize landmarks, businesses, state routes, nearby communities, and more. So, as I was mulling over what to do, I eventually decided to go with that old writer motto of write ‘what you know’. As a result, my cozy mysteries are going to be set in Woodsfield, too, only in this series it will be called Monroetown since it sits in Monroe County, Ohio. Moreover, after researching Woodsfield’s history for a research paper during the past spring semester, I have a wealth of information to add to future novels.
There are added elements to this first novel that are not in the town of Woodsfield, so I’m taking creative liberties by adding businesses and making the town a bit larger than it actually is, but that’s one of the fun things about being a writer, plus the essence of my hometown is still intact. In the case of book one, the characters live on a huge property composed of lake houses and also an old, well-maintained apartment complex. I have had a blast breathing life into the characters who reside in this building! Now if only a series title and book title would come to me, lol.

I haven’t enjoyed writing a novel like this in a long, long time. Perhaps I’ve been writing the wrong genre for the last couple of years? Hmm, maybe.

If you’d like more information about The Werewolves of Rebellion also set in Woodsfield, click HERE or HERE to view the first book, which is the cover above. It’s pretty intense, so brace for impact, lol. And to check out my other titles, visit my author pages on Amazon HERE and HERE.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

RED - New Release!

Available as ebook and a lovely, thin print version!

Get your e-book version for just 99 cents! This sale will only last a few days then the price will go up a bit. Caution: forced seduction.

Purchase links:

eBook 

Print 

Damnation is a redheaded woman.

When erotic visions claim Joshua at unexpected times, he begins to question his sanity. As he leaves work one day, he’s menaced by a terrifying vagrant. He’s saved by Rowena, a mysterious and stunning redhead who seems to be able to read his mind and sense his most intimate desires. Once she invites him to dinner, Joshua is plunged into a strange world of sex, bizarre creatures, and an earthbound magical race.

Seduction comes in many forms, but with Rowena it means more than sex. Joshua is, as they say, merely a mort, a common human, but if Rowena commands it, he will die for her. However, he soon learns he’s made a grave mistake. Rowena is using him as a tool of destruction against the Tylweth Teg, a magical being who can bring about Rowena’s downfall. She insists that Joshua has the power of the Tylwyth Teg and she wants it back, but he has no clue what the Tylwyth Teg is or where to find it, especially when magic can take any form. Once he realizes he has fallen for Rowena’s damning charms, it’s too late, and he is forced into a realm where few mortals have traveled and even less have returned. His only hope is the Tylwyth Teg, but who or what is it and will it be able to save him from damnation?

EXCERPT:
“Uh...” Joshua’s tongue seemed glued to the roof of his mouth. What should he say? He was drawn and yet repelled, wary.
The cab rolled to a stop in front of a brick apartment building.
Rowena offered him a Cheshire cat smile. “My place at eight o’clock sharp.”
“Nineteen seventy-two East Mulberry Street,” the cabbie announced.
Fumbling with the door handle, Joshua finally managed to open it and practically fell out of the cab and into the street. He slammed the door and hurried around the trunk to the sidewalk.
The window on Rowena’s side rolled down a couple of inches.
“Wear something smart,” drifted out of it.
The cab pulled away from the curb.
“Fuck you,” Joshua whispered. He bounded up the apartment building’s steps three at a time.
Already soaked to the bone, Joshua grimaced at the rain beating down on his head and shoulders. It dripped into his eyes, and he wiped it away in annoyance. Mrs. Buttface would probably give him hell over the water in the foyer, but it couldn’t be helped. He stepped inside and paused on the entryway rug so the worst of the water could slough off him instead of dripping across the building’s newly laid carpet. Dialogue from Mrs. Buttface’s television bombarded the foyer. Joshua identified the show as The Young and the Restless; the woman planned her life around the Soap Opera Channel’s programming. He glanced over at her apartment door. He really shouldn’t call her Mrs. Buttface, always experiencing a tiny stab of guilt whenever he referred to her as such, whether in mind or muttered under his breath, but the woman’s mouth looked exactly like a puckered asshole. Not only that, she possessed the disposition of a pissed-off Chihuahua that had eaten some bad Chinese takeout. Her real name, Geraldine Topinsky, adorned a wooden plaque affixed to her apartment door with the words BUILDING MANAGER stenciled beneath it.
He stood there with bated breath, hoping like mad the woman didn’t hear or sense him standing outside her door. A conversation on the TV program reached him. A man invited a woman to dinner. Rowena’s invitation rattled through his brain again. Even if he had intentions of joining her for a meal, which he didn’t, how the hell was he supposed to know where the woman lived? Rowena had neglected to give him her address.
And how had she’d known what he’d been thinking in the cab?
Or was it truly coincidence? That freaky vagrant had certainly put the fear of God into him. Maybe he was just overthinking the entire situation.



Sunday, March 24, 2019

Why Does the Old World Fear Her & the New Paranorms Desire Her?

Chuckling, Thomas strode over to the massive fellow and stared up at him. “What was that about?” He jerked a thumb over one shoulder, indicating the scene where Gerald had pinned Sable.
“Orders,” Gerald replied, his gaze zipping from one shadowy area to another. He lowered his voice a couple levels. “The Old World wants her to give up looking for her daughter. It’s too dangerous. If she’s to remain off the New Order’s radar, Sable must stay away from Cheyenne.”
Thomas sighed. “I know, I know.” He ran both palms over his cornrows in exasperation. “When I was first assigned to protect Sable, I thought it was just a matter of babysitting yet another human whose magic would prove too insignificant for the New Order. I really believed this case would be over by now and the New Paranorms would move on to the next ‘gifted’ mortal, and then I’d be assigned to someone else. Hell, this has turned into a six-year assignment. Sable is too powerful, and the Old World is scared shitless that the New Order will either woo her or kill her.”
“Don’t you hate the ones that shock the hell out of you?” Gerald quipped. “Especially when the human is clueless they even have such a power.” He smiled, and his thick, bushy mustache parted. “Most of the time they’re more trouble than they’re worth.”
Nodding, Thomas groaned. “She’s a handful, that’s for sure.”
“You admire her.”
“I don’t know what to think of the woman.”
Gerald gazed down at him, and Thomas bristled. The glint in the giant’s eyes implied something else entirely.
“Spread the word that I’m protecting her,” Thomas stated, his tone gruff.
“The New Order Paranorms hate you, Valimar. The fact that you possess natural magic doesn’t endear you to them any either. You really shouldn’t draw attention to the fact you’re Sable’s marshal.”
Thomas shrugged. “Being hated is part of the job, and I’m not telling you to announce where we are. Just let it be known that I’m her marshal. That’s all.”
The giant laughed and lumbered toward a mass of vegetation growing between a storage shed and the backside of a tanning salon. “Until next time,” he called and disappeared into the leaves and palms.
e-Book and Print can be found here https://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B07M73KKRZ plus you can click on the "look inside" cover graphic and read more if you're not sure.

The Werewolves of Rebellion Series

Frank hated the heat. The sun beat down on the Wraithkillers’ MC with vengeance, and the aroma of pig shit, cow manure and hay, cut and drying in the fields, bombarded his sense of smell. Sweat trickled through his hair, caught by the black-and-white bandanna rolled into a long strip and wrapped around his head. He watched Crow, president of the Wraithkillers, for any signs of deceit, wishing he could just kill the man, piss on him, and walk away. He blinked several times and willed those thoughts to pass. Their days of Claiming and Maiming—as the old timers of their clan called it—were over. He had to control his urge to spill blood. They all did, humans and werewolves alike.
“It’s a fair trade, Frank,” Crow stated, bringing Frank back to the problem at hand.
“You stole one of our women,” Frank growled, furious with Crow, “and you call it a fair trade?”
“Sure.” The man smiled, revealing perfect white teeth that looked ten times brighter against his dusky skin. Some said Crow was part Native American and part African American. Others swore he was of Jamaican descent, and some even said Crow had Japanese in his bloodline. Whatever his nationality, he was shrewd, smart, strong, conniving, and women gravitated to his good looks and charm. Men admired him and desired what their president had, but they knew better than to challenge him.
To Frank, the man’s grin hinted at a panther preparing to attack. However, this one appeared to have had one too many hits of something today, so Frank would have to be doubly careful not to piss him off.
“You have our crate of guns and we have one of your women,”—Crow glanced over at a prospect—“who is Beastman’s old lady, I believe.” When the prospect nodded to confirm the woman’s identity, Crow continued. “Return what is ours, and we’ll give back what is yours.”
“Dammit, Crow!” Frank thundered.
Crow’s men all reached for knives or pistols.
Frank prayed he could curb his temper. “My men didn’t steal anything from you. They found the crate sitting half-busted in the road with 9 millimeters and AK-15s spilling out of it. You’re lucky we found the box at all. The Wraithkillers are known for dealing weapons. If the pigs had come across it, you know they’d be sniffing around your club to tie you to that crate. We did you a favor.”
Crow shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. You still took what doesn’t belong to you.” He swept one hand toward the woman at the back end of a tractor where a couple of Crow’s prospects had bound and gagged her. “I like to keep things even.”
Frank looked over at Phil, his second-in-command, who shook his head and sighed.
“Might as well swap for what’s ours,” Phil said. “You know, if Beastman doesn’t get his old lady back he’ll break protocol, and come in here to Crow’s compound and take her. Probably start another war, too.”
“Listen to your second-in-command,” Crow urged, his tone smug.
~~~~~~~~
This excerpt came from the opening page of Nightshade's Flame. You can find the trilogy at these two links but the books are available at other online book retailers--B&N, etc.--too. Both ebook and print for each is available. 🤪



Thursday, January 10, 2019

Was and Were--They're Moody!


Whenever I try to explain the differences between this grammar rule and that one, authors and clients will say something like, "Will you please speak in English?’" so I began teaching such things with the technical label for a specific form of grammar, followed by a simple explanation of it.


Was and were, however, often suffer PMS. They have moods just like people do. So they’re a bit more difficult to explain, especially to young students.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Everyone I work with, whether kids doing homework or writers pounding out their next stories, struggle with was and were. There are to be forms of was and were, but there are also the subjunctive forms of was and were. Subjunctive verbs are the forms I see misused the most by writers.

To be verbs—was and were—are the forms we all recognize. He was a little boy. We were going to the theater when John slipped and fell.

Subjunctive is mood. I wish I were blond. I’m in a wishful mood and want to be blond, so the subjunctive were is correct.

Another hint that the verb is subjunctive is the word if often followed by would or could. If I were blonde, I could have everything I wanted in life. The if is imaginative and the could implies that it won’t happen or isn’t possible. If I were tall, I would pluck the moon from the sky. Again if followed by would shows that it’s imagination, a fantasy, and the would shows that plucking the moon out of the sky isn’t possible.

So when is it correct to use was? If it might be true, if you’re assuming or guessing something, then use was. The sale began early. If Jane was late, she probably missed some great deals. I don’t know that Jane was late. I’m only guessing, so was is correct.

Determining the context is how you decide whether to use was or were. Does the sentence use if to show a wishful statement? Does the sentence use could or would to imply something won’t happen or isn’t possible? Or does the sentence show something that might be true?

There are other mood verbs, which is something all writers and students should study and learn inside and out. Not knowing the correct verb form can give your sentence the wrong meaning. As an editor, I encounter this a lot.
Like I said, was and were are moody. Learn as much as you can about them. Don’t make your editor moody too (winks).

The Darkness of Sable

Now released in ebook and paperback! Grab your copies here for ebook https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M73KKRZ/ and here for paperback https://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Sable-Faith-Bicknell/dp/1793201374


Friday, January 4, 2019

Stay Tuned!


I'm waiting on the release day for the book and print versions of my new novel! I hope you'll check this page, watch my twitter www.twitter.com/FLBicknell or my Facebook www.Facebook.com/FaithBicknellAnaLeeKennedy for updates and news about The Darkness of Sable!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Different Publishing Path


Since this is my first post for 2019, I want to wish all my readers and visitors a lovely year with bright blessings. Part of my family came in for New Year’s. We watched movies then finished the evening by watching the ball drop on TV and having some sparkling red grape juice. 

I do, however, have some news. I’ve decided I’m not pursuing NYC publishing or another agent. At least not until I either finish school or I finish my latest serious manuscript. When I say serious, I’m talking about a plot that means something to me, and that has a message for readers. No erotica. Except for the Luna Moonstone Stories, there will be no more NEW erotic romance from my keyboard unless the last manuscript I have submitted out there actually comes through this time for this particular publisher. But honestly, I really don’t have any high hopes that it will. I’m one chapter into this new novel and, since it requires research, it’s taking me time to gather the info I need. So, when I add being a full-time college student to the mix, managing a huge family and elderly parents, you can see my I-need-time dilemma.

Anyway, I believe I’m at a crossroads, too. Since I turned 50 in December, I’ve been struggling with the fact that I’ve been in publishing as both an author, as an editor, and have had 3 different literary agents over the span of 38 years. Nothing has happened. Nothing has changed. I have nothing to show for 38 years of hard work and dedication. Two of the three agents disappointed me so badly that I have little faith in that arena anymore. I’ve even submitted material directly to large publishers (those that take unsolicited submissions) only to get form rejection letters. The last publisher rejection I got right before New Year’s Eve. Although I normally have armor-plated skin, this time it broke my heart.

A reader who has become a friend has read all my releases. She was outraged when I told her about this last rejection for a new manuscript. Even my personal editor was surprised about this last rejection. I sound all woe is me, but I’m just being practical. I know I’m talented. I know grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc., etc., inside and out, but I guess nowadays it’s all about the fast buck that can also be turned into a movie, novelty items, and the like, and zero about quality fiction. I know, too, this business has jaded me.

Will I still write? Yes, it’s part of my DNA. For me, not writing is like not breathing. But I’m tired of seeing badly written material selling well. I’m tired of the tired excuses I get in submissions. I’m tired of pouring my soul into something just to be told “sorry, not for me/us”. I’m also tired of writing for e-publishers and finding numerous errors in the finished product the e-publishers refuse to fix, which makes not only the publishers look bad, but also me as a writer. Trust me, I’ve emailed about glaring errors only to be told “not enough money for another editor” or I’m simply ignored.

So what IS my plan? One is to finish college. I have 3 semesters left, the first of which I start in mid-January. I plan on revising & rewriting some very old material, material from 15 plus years ago. These are good stories, but they need updated, material added/cut or just rewritten, and some things corrected, because rules change, and then I will submit them somewhere. I plan to continue writing for FaiBana Books, because although new, I don’t have to worry about umpteen typos  throughout my prose left uncorrected. I don’t have to worry about terrible covers either.

And I already have 4 new releases due out the first of this year. The Darkness of Sable (interracial paranormal romance), Moone's Spell (paranormal romance), and one is Soul Ripper (supernatural with a romantic element). The fourth is a novella titled Red (erotic fantasy, a revision of one of those 15-year-old stories).
The Darkness of Sable will be available any day now. The other three will follow at appropriate times.

Part of me feels like I’m giving up on my dream. I’m not, really. I’m just embarking on a different path to achieve it than the path thousands upon thousands of other writers are pounding. Once I graduate, I may hang out my own shingle as a literary agent. Perhaps I’ll launch a reputable publisher. Who knows. For now, I just want to write for someone whom I know actually appreciates my work. That way my faithful readers still have access to my books. Maybe I can pay a bill or two with the royalties instead of wondering what the hell happened to the promotion and sales once I’m on the author roster of an e-publisher. I’m tired of the emotional and mental rollercoaster, so I’m taking my own road.

Watch for my new releases here on my site. Also, you can find me at twitter.com/FLBicknell and facebookcom/AnaLeeKennedyFLBicknell 

Happy 2019!