Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rudius Freedom by blood A to Z: R

His blade sang as it cut through the air of the arena. The gladiator growled as its edge sank into the flesh of his target. A soft spray of warm blood spattered his chest and arm as he turned to meet the next opponent.

 He could smell the fear of the Murmillo even though the opponent was the one to advance. His lip curled as he watched his fellow gladiator swing the trident in an effort to intimidate.

He easily stepped back from the sharp points. The trouble with pole arms and using them for their length is the time it takes to reset for the next blow. He took full advantage of the Murmillo’s position and stepped into the fighter as the gladiator’s blade came down upon the wrist holding the trident.

The Murmillo cried out in pain and tried to back away, but the gladiator wasn’t going to give his opponent the chance to get any footing. He grabbed the leather strap of the Murmillo’s arm guard and gathered his strength as he drew his other arm back. He drew in a deep breath of the Murmillio’s sweat and thrust his sword forward.

The Murmillo gasped as the blade sank into his fatted belly and thrust further up into his heart. The gladiator held the Murmillo close as he drove the blade as deep as the man’s body would take it.

The crowd stood on their feet and roared their approval. The gladiator was victorious, he had survived the match, he held back his elation until the Murmillo went limp in his arms.

He lay his fellow warrior upon the sands and said a prayer, then stood to raise his sword high the blood glistening as it dripped from the edge. The mob in the stands erupted once more and he let their excitement fill him. The roar of his name echoing through the arena.

All at once the mob quieted and took their seats. The gladiator feared another opponent had been loosed, it was not uncommon. The wealthy in their boxes would often pay for another round if their bloodlust had not yet been satisfied by the games.

He turned and readied for the gate to open. Instead of an armored beast he was greeted with the sight of a senator and his wife.

He watched them still wary. Could it be a trick? Gladiators dressed to fit this part for the mob’s entertainment? No, he remembered the senator.

The senator was his master, his owner. He would come to the ludus and watch him train. He dropped to one knee and lowered his eyes.

It was the senator’s wife that stepped toward him, she rested her hand on his shoulder. The sweet perfume on her skin filled his senses. Her soft fingertips rested on his blood-spattered chin and raised his face to meet hers.

She wore a soft smile, her face glowing with pride. “You have made our house proud, your debts have been paid and it is time for you to walk Rome a freedman.”

He heard the words, but surely, it was some kind of hallucination from the heat and excitement of battle.

The senator stepped forward now and took him by the shoulders, raising him to his feet. The woman was as lovely as her scent as she handed her husband a leather pouch. The senator thanked her and offered the pouch to the gladiator.

The mob seemed to understand before he did, they erupted once more. Cheers and chants began through
the arena. The gladiator opened the pouch and pulled the concealed object from it. 

A rudius. His freedom.

No longer forced to fight, it would be his choice to be Rudiarius. His hands curled around the inscribed wooden sword and prayers of thanks fell from his lips to both his gods and his masters. A new kind of victorious joy filled him as he raised the rudius high for all to see he was free. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quitting the story is not an option

Relieve that stress with chocolate! :) 
When life gives us lemons, as often it does, don’t be content making lemonade. Throw those sour bastards back and demand chocolate!

Don’t give into the stress and pressures going on that make us say, “I can write later.” Put your boxing gloves on and fight through it. Duck life’s left hook and counter with a powerful uppercut by finishing off that next chapter.

Quitting a current project or giving up even temporarily is not an option. When the writing gets tough the writer needs to kick ass. We change goals and pound out pages of words through writer’s block, character frustrations, plot holes, appointments, and real world tasks screaming to be done. Whatever is attempting to hold us back from our story we will fight back.

This week down that pot of coffee, eat the whole bag of peanut butter M&M’s, order take out, or duct tape the kids to the wall. Okay, maybe not that last one, though you have to admit some days it’s tempting. Just don’t lose heart, or give in to that urge to say, "well, I’ll make it next round." There is still plenty of time this round to make our quarter goals. I’m ready, how about you?

Goals for this week:
Keep up with Blogging from A to Z (got caught up again yay! )
Get 2 chapters done on WIP

Get rid of at least 1 box of junk and clutter 

Friday, April 18, 2014

OneWord/60 Seconds for L, M, N, O, and P Catching up with A to Z

OneWord.com is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires.This is my entry for today's One Word. What's yours? For more of my past One Word entries, check out my One Word Profile EliseV.
Your turn, 60 seconds. Go!

Instead of staking out the local chop shop he could be out with Gina, or Lola. Oh yeah Lola. He popped the lid off his coffee and tossed it onto the dash with the rest of the night’s collection. Maybe this one wouldn't taste like used oil.

After seven hours of crap coffee and no action, he watched the sleek sedan pull up to the garage door. The detective took a tentative sip and sighed as a big man stepped out of the car and straightened his coat, the hood he’d been looking for. He regretfully tossed the first decent cup of java all night out the window and flipped on the flashing lights. At least his wasn't the only date night to get ruined. 

He knew it, there was a mole in the station. Looking down at the body of his CI he blamed himself. But he
swore to find this mole and make him pay for the death. The kid might not have been an innocent but sure as hell didn’t deserve to die.

Sitting on the bus, she began to notice the man in the seat catty corner to her. He was fidgety. Shifting left. then right. Something was very wrong about that man and the way he clutched the shopping bag on his lap.

Have some optimism, there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. That’s what my mother would say when we were frightened of the creatures in the dark. She couldn’t see them so she didn’t think they existed. Even now as I cower under the covers, a grown woman I find myself whispering those words. Could there really be a sliver lining to the dark shadow looming over my bed? 

Looking down, he saw a wooden panel loose on the desk. The jutting corner begging for discovery. Gently he pried at it with the tip of a pin. The panel fell to the floor, revealing a compartment. Reaching inside, he pulled out a diary, the first line read…. “My God,what have I done?”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Keeping up with your social media marketing platform

Out of the hundreds of ways an author can market their books, some of the most effective come from social media. A strong social media platform can mean sales through positive interaction with fans and getting discovered by other readers. The downside, it can eat valuable time out of the author’s writing schedule.

There are ways, to flip that and make social media do the hard work for us. So authors can get back to creating and less time selling.

Link it up.
Yes, it can be that simple to grab a chunk of time and head back to our favorite characters. Link your accounts with networking clients or managers. Here are a few of the best.

NetworkedBlogs: This client allows an author to syndicate their blog posts. Meaning this client program will send the link of your latest blog to Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedn without you having to lift a finger. Much better than copy pasting and running around the web slapping links on pages. NetworkedBlogs is a free to use program, but they do have a premium membership for more bells and whistles.

Hootsuite: This little gem of a site will allow you to link up nearly your entire profile. Including G+ and Pintrest. You can schedule posts to your platform, read and reply all from this one place, saving a ton of time going from individual site to site. 

Buffer: is also a social media client that will allow you to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedn, app.net and G+. Buffer only sends though, you can’t read any of your tweets or other media on this one.

Feed140: With this site you can schedule tweets on a 24/7 loop to feed to your twitter accounts. Just be careful not to have them post one after another within minutes. Flooding the Twitter stream is a good way to get unfollowed. Intervals of two or three different tweets an hour gets what you need out there without the deluge.

Triberr: Triberr isn’t really a client or manager, but it is a huge tool for getting your blog posts out there. You join a tribe and share each other’s blog posts to your chosen social media. Depending on how many tribes and how well your tribes share you can reach possibly millions of potential readers with a single post. Yes, really it is that powerful. My personal  experience saw 100 new blog followers and 500 new Twitter followers within the first month of joining and being active. It takes about 5 minutes a day to share posts and is absolutely worth every one.

All of these sites/programs are free to use. They do offer premium memberships for a fee with a few more bells and whistles to add to your marketing wizardry. 

Okay, now you know one secret to getting more writing time and less marketing time. Remember though, this only works if you can stay away from Candy Crush or Castleville while you’re surfing through your social media. *wink*

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jewelry and books from the heart

Cly's Oceans Apart Clay Creations Necklace 
Fairy Tales and Jewelry is an Esty shop filled with enchanting necklaces, earrings, and more. The beautiful jewels are handcrafted by 82 year old Chuck Young.

Mr. Young has always been a creative. He works with wood designing and building everything from cabinets to delicate scrollwork. He found another love in crafting one of a kind jewelry creations for JLB Creatives Fairy Tales and Jewelry shop.

Mr. Young’s creativity rubbed off on his daughters, Janet Beasley and Dar Bagby both authors and creatives in their own rights. Janet is author of the best selling enchanted fantasy Hidden Earth series and CEO of JLB Creatives Publishing.

Dar, has a musical talent with a degree in music: vocal performance, she is an accomplished operatic soprano. Now she’s closed the curtains and turned her muse to writing. She is also the head of JLB Creatives Publishing’s editing department.

I have to say this is a family full of talent and great heart. They’re wonderful folk who make you feel like you’ve known them half your life just after meeting them.

Mr. Young’s jewelry is special for another reason. His darling wife Marilyn is also has medical needs. The
Cly's Pink Shadows of Desire Clay Creations Earrings 
proceeds of these handcrafted treasures help to meet those needs. The jewelry is an expression of Mr. Young’s creative talent as well as his heart for his lovely wife of 63 years.

I personally have two of Mr. Young’s pieces and love them to bits. They fit my personality perfectly and get tons of compliments whenever I wear them.

The designs are fun and there’s something to go with any outfit for any occasion. Not to mention links to the epic enchanted fantasy Hidden Earth series. So what are you waiting for go shopping already!

You can find Janet's books and other great reads at JLB Creatives.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Images: Why every blogger should use them

Every blogger should use at least one image in their blog post. Why? Well, the answer is simple. Images are powerful tools all by themselves.

A picture is worth 1000 words. The right image can grab a reader’s attention faster or sometimes more effectively than words when they’re scrolling through posts on Facebook, G+ or other social media site. Images can be bold and dramatic or even just silly. Whatever the impact you need to make the right photo can reel them in.

Shareablility! Yeah, I made that word up, but it’s true. People will share a snappy photo or a hilarious meme and often your link right a long with it. Not to mention getting pinned. Pintrest is out growing most other social media sites in popularity.

Snappy Susie pins the photo of a cat from your blog to her boards. Then Pinner Pam says “oooo” and pins it to her board and clicks on the link to see if there are any more cool things to pin from your website or blog. The cycle continues when people pin the photo from those to their own boards and so on. Before you know it you’re blog is all over the web and you’ve got new followers. All thanks to Snappy Susie taking a liking to the cute kitty you posted with your blog.

Searchablility. Yes, images can help you in your SEO. I have gained a few readers who mentioned they stumbled across my blog because they were searching for something and a photo from my blog popped up on their list. The blog title or something about the description made them hop over and check out not only the photo but my blog too.

There is a trick to it though. It is recommended that you place  your photo to the side of your text or under the first couple of lines so that the SEO bots don’t hit it first and skip over the important words that will help boost you in search engines.

Screencaps for easier explanation. If your post is something instructive, it may help to have some
screenshots showing exactly what you’re referencing.

Makes it more enjoyable to read. A lot of text can get hard on the eyes. A long post broken up with an image or two can make it more appealing and easier on the eyes.

All of that to say, photos can make a difference and even boost your blog. Here are a few sites to find some blogger friendly/ royalty free/ and cost free photos. Be sure to check the licensing before you use the photo, some require a type of attribution.

Half : A to Z Challenge letter H

Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
Purchase links:

Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him far away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No, I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing, caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor, she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”