Writing New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

happyny2017I’ve been struggling with a lot of disappoints this year. I lost my main day job career due to health problems, and those health problems are still affecting me. I’ve been trying to get my writing off the ground into a second career, and sometimes I feel like I’m spinning in circles. But I’ve always found New Year’s Resolutions have helped me in the past, like when I said I’d buy a condo. I had done so by August of that year. So, here we go.

1) Work on creating speaking opportunities at writing conferences.
2) Create social media/publicity workshops for conferences.
3) Start on-line school to support writers with social media/publicity and eventually writing.
4) Self-publish two finished manuscripts.
5) Write every day in some way for at least one hour: blog/drafting or editing.

That helped to write out the list. Sometimes I get so much buzzing in my mind, it helps to straighten it out. I’ve got tons of writing projects and even audiobooks I’m going to be working on, but this is the bulk of what I want to do next year. 😉

*SIGH* So, if you’ve been wondering whether to do this, even if you put down one thing, it does help. I highly recommend it.

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!

-Marilyn

Ebook Deals and Novel Dreams: Nominate Everything For Love on Kindle Scout

Get Some Deals For The Holidays Nov 25-28

I’m participating in a Romance book fair over the Thanksgiving Holidays. There are over 30 romance books priced between $0.99-2.99. Everything from Historical Romance to Steampunk Fantasy. Find your next book boyfriend. When you visit, you can enter the contest for a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Link to the book fair: http://lovebooksloveautho.wixsite.com/promo/thanksgiving-book-fair

everything-thumbnailNominate Everything For Love 

Marilyn Vix’s first full length novel is up for consideration to be published by Kindle Press, Amazon’s ebook publishing house. It is listed through Amazon’s Kindle Scout program to be voted for publication. You can stop by the website, look over blurb and first two chapters, and make a nomination to see this new novel come to life.

**If you nominate, you get a free copy of the book when it is published through Amazon.

Link to Everything For Love on Kindle Scout:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/FOYZHG8OK50Y

A message from Marilyn:
“I’ve been working for three years on this novel. I can’t wait to share it with you. It’s a time travel romance. I had to research 19th century and early 20th century artists, and Victorian London. It was truly a labor of love. Please check out the profile for Everything For Love on Kindle Scout, and consider nominating it to be published.” -Marilyn

Happy Thanksgiving and have a great Holiday season!

Paranormal Romance Blog Tour 2016: Day 5 Sneak Peeks and Discounts

prblogtour2016finalGreetings everyone! Welcome to the last day of the Paranormal Romance Blog Tour 2016. Today, I have a sneak peek on the sequel to the Beware of Warlocks series. This new series, called Beware of Vampires, will involve the mortal friend of Catherine, Cassandra. The whole gang of folks are still hanging out in Vegas, and everyone is pairing up, even Jeff’s sister has Elvis. But Cassandra is the lone wolf. Until she meets, Rick.

Before the sneak peek, here is a listing of discounts from the authors. Thank you for stopping by this whole week. The giveaway will be open until Oct. 31. So, people stopping by during the weekend can still enjoy all the information and enter. Have a happy and safe Halloween! -Marilyn

DISCOUNTS ON BOOKS FROM THE AUTHORS:

cropped-beware-of-warlocks-box-set-3d.jpg

The Beware of Warlocks Box Set is available on Audible.com for only $1.99 for limited time. Reg. price: $14.95

 

1) Marilyn Vix’s Audiobook for the Beware of Warlocks Box Set

Available on Audible.com

Discounted to $1.99. Regular price: 14.95
And now, here is a scene from the new book. I hope you enjoy!

The following excerpt is from Beware of Vampires #1: Never Date A Vampire

©Marilyn Vix, 2016

Copyright under Marilyn Vix, 2016. All rights reserved.

Catherine pulled into the Stratosphere’s valet parking. Even the valets were impressed with the car as they drove up. Jeff got out, and opened the doors so Elvis and his sister could get out. Catherine opened her door for me.
I took a moment to look up at the amazing amount of lights twinkling above my head. There is one thing to be said for Vegas, it is never dull. Besides the fact it has more lights blinging itself up than anywhere else in the world. I followed all of them into the casino entrance. The bling, bling of slot machines greeted us as we walked into the Stratosphere. I looked around at people standing by slots. We kept along the path through the casino and people sitting at tables came into view. The tables seemed enticing. I hadn’t even tried my luck at anything yet. Maybe I’d have to give it a go later.
Catherine led the group through the casino and onward toward the mall. I piped up. “Are we going shopping?”

“No. This is the way up to the best place to celebrate. We’re going to the Top of the World.”

I nodded. I trusted her after all. Elvis was walking next to me. Her turned and said, “You been in the Stratosphere yet?”

“No. I haven’t seen much of the city yet. I was staying mostly in my hotel room unless Rich took me out.”

“That’s a crime.” Elvis shook the hand of Jeff’s sister. “After this, I know a few local places I’d like to show you.”

“Do you have a name?”

“Not while in costume, babe. Just call me Elvis.” He caught people looking our direction. “It destroys the illusion I worked so hard to create.”
We got in line to go up to the top of the Stratosphere. After being frisked for security, we crowded into an elevator and got whisked to the top. Walking out, Catherine led us around to the bar that was on the viewing platform. “Drinks are on me,” she announced when we got to the bar. I smiled to the gorgeous bartender that winked back at me.

His blonde hair and defined chest drew my eye that I almost didn’t notice when he asked, “What do you want?”

“I have a tall order for you. But I think you can only give me a margarita.”

“Sure thing.” He tapped the bar and moved over to the ice bin to fill up the blender. I turned with my back to the bar to take in the view. Out before me was a view of the Strip. Small minions of society trolled along like ants below me. At my feet was all of Vegas. I knew that this was the start of something. I may be alone, but I had my dignity, and the chance to start over. It was enough.

“Here you go.” I felt the cold of a glass. The bartender bumped my elbow with my drink to get my attention. “Thanks.” I took the straw in my mouth and watched his eyes linger on me as I sucked. I licked my lips after for emphasis.

He leaned on the bar towards me. “You seem to be the one in your bunch alone.”

“Yes. It’s just me now. I just broke up with someone.” I left out the fact that it was my best friend’s ex-husband. “It’s why I need the drink.”

“This is the best town to find someone else. Even if it’s just on the rebound. Have faith in Vegas.” He moved away, and I was left with my thoughts. Maybe he was right. This was the town to get lucky in.

Filled with new hope, I sipped my margarita and tried to listen to the conversation between my friends. But my mind couldn’t focus on what they were saying. Most of it was what they were going to do together in town. I thought came to me. I wanted to try my luck downstairs after all. “Hey guys, I’m going to go to the casino and see what damage I could do at the tables.”

Catherine looked away from her conversation with Jeff. “Try blackjack. It’s the best way to beat the odds in Vegas. Have you played before?”

I nodded. “My uncle showed me the basics when I was 13. I’m guessing the game hasn’t changed that much since I learned it. He worked as a security guard in Reno. He also taught me progressive betting.”

“That sounds about right. You want me to go downstairs and keep you company?” Catherine moved a little towards me.

“No. I think I want to try my luck on my own.”

“Okay. We’ll be here when you’re done. If not here, try the restaurant on the next floor up.”
I nodded and got up. With margarita in hand, I braved my way to the elevator to face the blackjack tables. I wandered through the mall back to the casino, and headed to the tables. Scouting for an open seat, I checked out the minimums at the tables. I wanted a $5 minimum to make progressive betting work for me. As you win a hand, you increase by $5 until reaching a $25 bet, and then you go back down to $5. It was a way to win at blackjack, but you had to be patient in your play. I usually would double my money in a 1-2 hour period. Like I said, patience.

I located a table with an open seat near the front of the deal order. That’s another thing I was looking for. If you were too far down the table, someone could take your card. So, I sat between a man absorbed in the cards, and a lady decked out in her Vegas finest. You needed sunglasses to look at her with all the sparkle and flash she was wearing all over her tank top, sequined hat, and belted shorts.

I put $100 bucks on the table, and the dealer welcomed me with a smile. He didn’t make a real connection. I didn’t expect more than a nod, because too much attention would look like trouble to the pit boss. But he seemed attentive at least. I didn’t believe in true luck. It was all about the cards in the end. And it would get my mind off of being the only one not paired up.

I got into the game, deciding between the face cards and lower cards whether to hit or hold. After an hour of play, I was fairly ahead, had one free rum and coke after my finished margarita, and was getting in the playing zone when the man next to me got up and another took his place.

At first, I didn’t really look over. I was concentrating. Then, I heard his voice. It was accented, but I couldn’t place him. He sounded not from the U.S. When I took a side glance, I had to swallow. He was gorgeous. In fact, he was so good looking, I was wondering if he was going to distract me from my game. Her green eyes danced with sparkle when he looked sideways at me.

I nodded back. This should be fun. A little eye candy was going to be a welcome neighbor.

He hit his card, and got 20. I got 16 and held. The dealer went around the table until everyone was done with their hand or busted. When the dealer went to hit his cards, he got 19. I slumped when he took my bet.

“You know, you could have taken one more card and at least pushed on that hand.” His r’s rolled off his tongue. It had a vibrating feel to it. My body reacted to his voice, feeling a pulse to his tone.

I swallowed again. “Well, I was taught to hold on 16.” Okay. He was definitely distracting.

“Who taught you?” He placed his bet down. $100. Wow. I was a small time player, not placing big bets. $100 wasn’t probably the biggest bet in Vegas, but it was big for me.

“My uncle.”

He looked at me. His smile melted my insides. “Let’s see how well he taught you.”

I placed my bet, taking it back down to $5 since I’d lost.

He looked over my chips. His eyebrow went up. “Playing cautious, I see.”

“Yup.”

“You come to Vegas often?”
“Not nearly as much as I’d like. This is really the first time I’ve been here.”

“You sure don’t seem like it is. Are you trying to play coy?”

“Really. Honest. My uncle taught me, and he’s from Reno. I’ve been there a couple of times.”

“Oh, I see.” He flipped his hand for another card. He got an Ace of Clubs to go with his Queen of Hearts. The table cheered. His smile lit his face again, and my stomach turned to jello.

I turned to him with a wink. “Now, if I could just get one of those.”

“You never know. Could be your lucky night.”

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from Never Date a Vampire: Beware of Vampires #1.

Remember, you have until Oct. 31 to enter the giveaway. The winners will be notified by email and will be posted on the blog next week.

Paranormal Romance Blog Tour 2016 Giveaway Link

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e14/

Have a fabulous and safe Halloween! -Marilyn

 

Paranormal Romance Blog Tour 2016 Day 2 Behind the Scenes: The Importance of a Cat Muse

prblogtour2016finalWelcome to the second day of the PR blog tour 2016. Last year, I discussed my kitty muse, Samantha. I talked about how much she was a support, joked about her being my kitty editor, and shared how much joy there is in owning a black cat. It is with a heavy heart that I am following that post up with the sad news of Kitty Samantha’s passing.

saminhospital

Samantha in the hospital fighting her kidney failure. It was her heart that gave out in the end.

I know we did everything to keep her going, and she fought the good fight. But in the end, there is something about letting go. I was holding her as she was struggling to breath. When I said, “I’m here, Samantha.” She felt comfortable to let go, and took her last breath. She knew I was with her, and my husband was beside her. We gave her the best life we could, and I will never forget her.

It was the most awful moment. The thing you dread the most with an old cat had happened. December 7, 2015 started with her passing at 7am. I was up all night, but we still drove out to have her cremated and placed in a black cat urn. I was numb for most of December, and celebrated the holidays with little excitement.

That brings me to what happens next. My husband is allergic to cats, and Samantha’s fur seemed to not be as bad. But he did insist on getting a hypoallergenic cat. So, we got ourselves on a list to get a Siberian bred kitten. After 9 months of waiting, we were finally able to pick her out at the end of August. In fact, I think she picked us out. And guess what, she’s a black cat too.

Catherine Zeta Jones picked us. Of all the kittens playing around my husband and I, she was the one that seemed the most interested in us. She kept coming back. I kept thinking, I don’t know if I can have another black cat. It will remind me too much of Samantha. But then I turned, and saw my husband’s face.

He was in love with the little kitten playing in his lap. I would have to try to convince him she wasn’t the right kitten, and to look at some of the others. But then I looked at her. She was a spitfire like my Samantha, except with longer fur and a slightly longer nose. She had spunk. And my husband had already fallen for her. You can’t argue with that.

kittenoctober2016

Catherine Zeta Jones patrolling her inherited cat territory.

So, I have a new cat muse in my life. She runs all over the house, jumps on my laptop when I’m writing, and just ran up a tree today getting sap all in her fur. She is a bundle of joy.

I know when I didn’t have a cat around to write, my craft suffered. It was hard to be creative. I even wrote a cat story with Lynda Belle since I missed having a cat so much. LINK HERE TO A CAT FOR TWO.

Now that I have a cat again, I feel life is back in balance. She’s my little touch stone, and her cute kitten meow warms my heart. It is hard getting used to a kitten after having an old lady cat, but sometimes life is just full of those kind of ups and downs.

Kitten hood happens only once. So, I’m taking lots of pictures, video, and documenting like crazy. My writing is back on track. I’ve submitted a proposal to Harlequin, and I’m starting NaNo with Beware of Vampires, the sequel to the Beware of Warlocks series. Plus, my health is doing better.

There is nothing better than a cat muse. They are a writer’s best tool. After this last year of not having a cat muse, I so understand their power. They calm and support us in ways that are hard to explain. Her purr helps me deal with bad reviews, low sale days, and gets me in the zone to write some more. I guess there is no better editor around than a cat muse. She spurs me on when I feel I can’t give more. Her purr and laying near me is her encouragement to keep going.

But of course, it’s taking a while to train my new cat muse. But then, it’s hard to get a cat to do exactly what you want. I’ll settle for her just being around me. And that can make the difference.

-Marilyn

***There is still time to go over and check out what the other authors have posted behind the scenes today. Here are their websites:

Plus, don’t forget to enter the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e14/

See you tomorrow for an author interview with Virginia Hunter!

 

 

 

Marilyn Vix Flash Fiction Part Of Indie Anthology

bite-sized-stories

Available for free on Kobo, Amazon, and Nook. 33 authors from multi genres bring fiction from horror to romance to fantasy.

Hi everyone! I know it looks like I’m not doing a lot of writing, but in reality, I’m writing up a storm. A lot of it is the fact I’m working on two manuscripts, one time travel novel and the other is a contemporary romance that I’m pitching soon to a Harlequin editor. So, that is why I haven’t had a book out in a while. But I have been writing flash fiction stories on the side. So, I’m happy to announce that a flash fiction anthology that has been in the works for a year and a half is finally out, and yours truly has a story in it.

It’s a little different than you might expect. It’s actually horror fiction. It’s a bit macabre, and definitely zombies make an appearance. So, it’s not a romance. It’s a step in a little different direction. I actually wrote it while I was cruising on the Rhone river through Holland, Germany, and France during the summer of 2014. Later, when looking for a story to include in the anthology, I rewrote and cleaned it up and submitted. And I got in!

My story is called “The Infected”. You’ll find it in the horror fiction section.

The anthology is called: Bite-Sized Stories: Flash Flood #1 It’s now listed for FREE on several retailers! Can’t beat that price. 😉

Here are links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bite-Sized-Stories-Multi-Genre-Fiction-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01LZIUFIW 

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bite-sized-stories-george-donnelly/1124651837

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/bite-sized-stories

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/667654

 

I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for other great new published works. -Marilyn

Pitching At A Writing Conference Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

writerstumpedThere will be a time that you say to yourself, it’s done. It’s time to find an agent, an editor, someone to get this manuscript breathing and out there. That’s when it’s time to hit the conference scene. That’s when you inevitable turn your eyes to the dreaded pitch. There are books, workshops, on-line courses on how to write a pitch. You can take them and pull your hair out just getting it right, but when it comes down to it, all you need is a simple formula. Setting-Characters-What’s at stake!

I’ve just returned from the San Francisco Writers Conference with a fantastic, positive journey. I’m going to give you some background on what happened leading up so you can prepare for your next conference in the same way.

For some reason, after all of the courses and workshops, this formula stuck. It might be that I was really ready, manuscript in hand, for this moment. I think that really helped. The irony is that I’d finished two manuscripts and had two ready. I’d taken an on-line writing course through Writer’s Digest University a few weeks before the conference. I really worked on my query letters, synopsis, and 10 pages to have them ready for the conference. What was really helpful was the members of the class all formed a private writer’s group on Facebook for the critique of queries and pitches. They were giving me feedback, and cheering me on during the conference. There is nothing better than getting support from fellow writers.

That brings me to my next point. My fellow writers at the conference all were in the similar knowledge of whether our pitch was good or not. We formed a critique group at dinner and slowly over a bottle of wine, our pitch session turned into a helpful drinking game. We started with everyone taking a drink, and then a person would pitch. Then, everyone drinks passing the pitch to the the next person topping off their glass. Thus, the process of drink, pitch, drink, pitch, drink, pitch created one of the best critique sessions I’ve experienced in tightening my pitch. When we were done, I went back to the hotel room (it was only 11 pm), and spent an hour tightening my pitch from the feedback.

Here’s what I got back: You need to let all the extra details fall away. I know you want to share all the details that make your story great. The only thing that really matters though for the pitch is this: Setting(Time and place), Characters(explain main characters), and what is at stake. You don’t need anything else. Let EVERYTHING ELSE fall away and you’ll have the perfect pitch.

I don’t know whether it was the feedback, the alcohol, or all the info at the workshops that day, but for some reason it all clicked in my head. The next evening I tried going to get more help to fine tune from author coaches in an evening of “Ask the Pros”. This lead me to practice pitching to two editors that both loved it. One editor even said it was the perfect pitch. The next day at the pitchathon to agents, I had five agents give me their card to send them a query and first 10 pages.

Why is it perfect? Well, it had several parts. The title of the manuscript is followed by the genre. Next, I had a tagline, explaining it in one sentence. I followed that with comparitive books or movies to my manuscript (also known as comps.) The last part is a paragraph that contains the setting/characters/what’s at stake.

Here is my pitch that I used at the conference for an example:

Everything For Love: A Time Travel Erotic Romance

One women’s sexual journey transcends space and time.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” meets “Lady of Devices”

Deidre Thomson is a timeanaut studying artists in the early 20th century that powers her time device by sex. A mysterious stranger follows her from Paris 1899 to London 1914. He saves her form being killed, which changes the timeline. The man, Max, reveals he’s been sent by the Time Counsel to save her. Max helps Deidre on assignment. But he is scretly in love with her, and defied the Time Counsel to save her. The timeline change brings Deidre’s past love back to life, and she must choose between the two men she loves.

The other thing that was really helpful was downloading a free note app to my phone, and writing my pitches into it. I also created a separate note listing all the agents I wished to approach with each manuscript. I even took notes on what the agents said during our meeting during the pitch session on the app. Everything was easily organized on my phone, and that really kept my nerves down.

In summary I’d suggest using the pitch formula I described, write out your pitch onto your phone with a note app, and practicing it with lots of different people before and during the conference. You’ll change and hone it until it’s time to pitch. It will only getting better this way, and you’ll increase your confidence the more you read it out loud to others.

If you’re off to a conference, good luck to you. Remain calm, you’ve got this. If your still writing the manuscript, wait until you’re done to pitch. Most agents and editors want it done first before they can do anything with it. It’s taken me 2 1/2 years to write mine. It will take time. The whole writing process does. Bookmark this post and use it as a reference. As always, keep writing!

**Marilyn Vix is a paranormal romance writer that has her paranormal romance novelette series, Beware of Warlocks, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. It has been recently released as an audiobook on Audible.com. She is currently pitching her new Time Travel romance manuscript, Everything For Love, to agents and editors. You can contact her at marilyn(at)tiffmeister(dot)net.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14720525/?claim=vue4hkjsgcq”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

 

 

 

 

Beware of Warlocks Blog Tour Week 2

Marilyn Vix will be continuing her Beware of Warlocks Blog Tour all this week!

Marilyn Vix will be continuing her Beware of Warlocks Blog Tour all this week!

Welcome to the second week of the Beware of Warlocks Blog Tour! Last week I was spearheading a multi-author blog tour. It was tons of fun, and I get to meet and read all kinds of fellow paranormal writers’ books. It’s something that has to be done the week before Halloween. But of course, I’m all about paranormal romance ALL YEAR long. So, my newly released box set for the Beware of Warlocks Blog Tour is continuing this week. Below is the list of places to visit daily. Guest blog posts, interviews with me, and sneak peeks continue. It will continue to be a fun, wild ride.

Please support Marilyn Vix to write another year during NANO 2015!

Please support Marilyn Vix to write another year during NANO 2015!

Meanwhile, I’m starting NaNoWritMo this month. I’ve got two projects lined up to make my 50K. A new novelette in which Cassandra starts to have interactions with the undead, namely a vampire. This will kick off the new Beware of Vampires series. Plus, I’ll be finishing the Time Travel Romance, Everything for Love. At 1,600 words a day, I’ll need all the support I can get. Something I’ve been fundraising for over the last few months is “The Night of Writing Dangerously”, NaNoWriMo’s Write-A-Thon to help support the website and their writing programs. I’ve got Beware of Warlocks swag that you can earn with different levels of donations. I would love your support.

Here is the list of blog sites participating this week:

November 2 Guest Blog and review
Happy Tails and Tales
November 3 Marilyn Vix Spotlight
Zenny’s Awesome Book Reviews
November 4 Marilyn Vix Spotlight
Teatime and Books
November 5 Top Ten List/Guest Blog Post
Roxanne’s Realm
November 5 Marilyn Vix Interview
Literary Musings
November 6 Marilyn Vix Spotlight
All I Want and More Books
November 6 Marilyn Vix Guest Blog
Fang-tastic Books
November 9 Book Review
Fantatical Paranormal Romantical
November 9 Book Review
Crónicas de uma Leitora
Beware of Warlocks is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

Beware of Warlocks is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

All this in celebration of the Beware of Warlocks Box Set release. Check it out at these retailers: