Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Transmute Writing Failures Into Success

How can you turn rejections, writer’s block, poor sales into success?

Look for the benefit in each and every failure. No really. If the book was rejected, that’s an opportunity to make it better. Having writer’s block? Is that a signal that you need to completely rework you story, start a new one, work in the garden, exercise, take a break and read a good book? Replenish the well of ideas? Brainstorm with friends? How do you handle poor sales? That’s a tough one. The best answer for that is write another book, and another. Are you writing in the right genre? Are you spending at least a little time marketing it? On social networks (blogging or visiting and commenting on blogs, Facebook or Twitter?). And not just “Buy my Book” socializing.

Fear is faith in reverse. Make a habit of being positive about your career. It may sound crazy but the positive energy perpetuates positive energy.

Visualize what you want. Do you want to be a best-selling author? What does that look like? Feel like? See it in your mind, experience it as if it already happened. Set your goals and write them down. Read them often with enthusiasm and emotion.

Transmute negative thoughts and doubts into positive ones. Anyone who works in the medical field will tell you patients who have a positive outlook on their health and life, recover much faster than patients with a negative, depressed attitude. Any time a negative thought comes into your mind, push it away and replace it with the opposite positive one.

Rejection is just another step toward success. An opportunity to learn and sharpen your craft, build connections, make new friends. Come up with your own.

Never talk badly about another author, publisher, agent, reviewer, etc. It may be hard at times because we’re so close to our work and we tend to take it personal. Take a step away from that negative response. It’s part of the business and you’re a professional. Self-discipline.

Look for opportunities. When they come up, think of them as gifts and GRAB them. These are bonus chances to succeed toward your goals.

Step out of your routine and old habits. Try something different in your writing. You may discover you have skills you didn’t know you possessed. Take a class, a day trip, a college course, go to a conference, read a book in a genre you’ve never read before, etc.

Always strive for greatness, never good enough! Imagine greatness. Think about greatness and your goals before you go to bed and the minute you wake up. Let me know if you notice a difference or change taking place in a few weeks. J

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cave Chaos Talk Radio on the 'C' Word

Two Appearances Coming Up:

I'll be a guest blogger at ARe All Romance eBooks CafĂ© Friday, April 26th. http://www.arecafe.com/ talking about the Perpetual Spring Break

I'm also very excited to be a guest on Cave Chaos. If you haven't listened to one of their shows, you have to give them a try. 

It's not very sexy but the "C" Word--CENSORSHIP will be the topic on Cave Chaos Radio Monday April 29th from 12-1:00 PM EST. Kathy Kulig will be a guest.


Controlling information and ideas circulating in society. In this day and age, you wouldn't think we wouldn't have an issue with censorship anymore. There are some valid reasons like national security, protecting children, child pornography, hate speech, preventing slander and libel. It's still a touchy issue.

Author Anais Nin's works were censored for decades.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Adventurer Discovers Strategies to Capitalize Triumphs & Misfortunes

Memoirist seeks to inspire his peers to get out and make nice with the world

Adam Shepard is my guest on the Passion Sense blog celebrating the release of his new book ONE YEAR LIVED
Adam has a passion for adventure, which you'll see by his bio. He's also a speaker and author empowering people by sharing what he has learned on his journeys to elevate people's performance. He creates strategies for success by capitalizing on both triumphs and misfortunes. Too many people are living the instant gratification life or have the entitlement attitude. By taking initiative and broadening their perspective, many people can enhance their lives and reach their goals.

His book ONE YEAR LIVED is an adventure story of his travels backpacking through 17 countries and the life lessons he learned that we can all use to enhance out lives.


Check out the end of this post for a chance to WIN a copy of Adam Shepard's new book ONE YEAR LIVED.

Attending Merrimack College in North Andover, MA on a basketball scholarship, Adam Shepard graduated with a degree in Business Management and Spanish. Serving as a Resident Advisor during his upperclassmen years, he began to take particular interest in the social issues of our nation. Shortly after graduation—with almost literally $25 to his name—Shepard departed his home state for Charleston, SC, embarking on the journey that has now become his successful first book, Scratch BeginningsScratch Beginnings tells the story of starting with $25, a sleeping bag, and the clothes on his back in a random city to test the values of hard work and discipline in today’s “me first, gotta have it right now” society.

After a whirlwind journey that took his self-published book to the Today Show, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, he sold Scratch Beginnings to HarperCollins and made appearances on the Dave Ramsey Show and 20/20. He has likewise been featured in the The New York Times, the New York Post, The Atlantic, and The Christian Science Monitor, and Scratch Beginnings has now been used on the curriculum or as a First Year Common Read at over 90 colleges and universities in the United States and translated across the world.

After a few years working as the world’s slowest bartender, Adam set out in the world to spend all of the money he had been saving. The narrative of this experience—a spirited blend of leisure, volunteerism, and enrichment—comprises his most recent book, One Year Lived. One Year Lived tells Shepard’s tales of travel and life lessons learned among seventeen countries, four continents, 42,134.6 miles, and one haunting encounter with a savage bull.

In his spare time, he reads, plays tennis, and travels the country empowering audiences to elevate performance by taking initiative. His keynote speech What Will You Do Next? details strategies for capitalizing on both triumph and misfortune.

Adam fights bulls here: 

(Raleigh, N.C.) – Do Americans—young Americans, especially—really know what’s going on in the world? Are we prepared to embrace globalization? Adam Shepard hopes his story will inspire young people to get out and arm themselves with a broader perspective.

By the time he was 30, the North Carolina man had already completed goals most people wait a lifetime to pursue.

From late 2011 to late 2012, spending just $19,420.68, less than it would have cost him to stay at home, Shepard visited seventeen countries on four continents and lived some amazing adventures. "It’s interesting to me," he says, "that in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, it’s normal for people to pack a bag, buy a plane ticket, and get ‘Out There.’ In the U.S., though, we live with this very stiff paradigm—graduate college, work, find a spouse, make babies, work some more, retire—which can be a great existence, but we leave little room to load up a backpack and dip into various cultures, to see places, to really develop our own identity."

His journey began in "the other Antigua"—Antigua, Guatemala—where Shepard spent a month brushing up on his Spanish and traveling on the "chicken bus." During his two months in Honduras, he served with an organization that helps improve the lives of poor children; in Nicaragua, he dug wells to install pumps for clean water and then stepped into the ring to face a savage bull; in Thailand, he rode an elephant and cut his hair into a mullet; in Australia, he hugged a koala, contemplated the present-day treatment of the Aborigines, and mustered cattle; in Poland, he visited Auschwitz; in Slovakia, he bungee jumped off a bridge; and in the Philippines, he went wakeboarding among Boracay’s craggy inlets and then made love to Ivana on the second most beautiful beach in the world.

His yearlong journey, which took two years to save for, was a spirited blend of leisure, volunteerism, and enrichment. He read 71 books, including ten classics and one—slowly—in Spanish. "If you can lend a hand to someone, educate yourself about the world, and sandwich that around extraordinary moments that get your blood pumping, that’s a pretty full year," Shepard writes.
One Year Lived is the compelling and transparent account of his experiences abroad.

The trip comes just three years after he made national headlines for taking a year to test the viability of the American Dream. With just $25 in his pocket, he boarded a train and headed to Charleston, SC. He lived in a homeless shelter for 70 days and took odd jobs until finding a full-time job as a mover, eventually earning enough money to buy a pickup truck and a furnished apartment.

Can everybody take a year to get missing? "Maybe, maybe not," he says, "though that’s not really the point. I’m just concerned that some of us are too set on embracing certainty. We want life to be cushy and regimented, but that’s not how we can create a lasting impact on our lives or the lives around us. There’s only so much you can learn in the classroom. Sometimes you have to get out there to experience it, to touch it, to feel it, to see it for yourself. It’s fascinating the perspective we can gain when we step out of our bubbles of comfort, even just a little bit."

Readers: Share a favorite place that you've traveled to where you learned something about yourself or the people there or the world we live in. (Not required to enter contest.)

I've learned many things from places I've traveled. I also visited Guatemala in the 90s when their civil war was still going on. The people were very poor and worked long, hard hours. They were kind, proud and happy. They lived very simply. A straw mat on the floor was their bed, wove cloth to sell for food, but they were always friendly and polite. One image I won't get out of my mind: A man with an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, and in his other arm he carried a little girl of about three (his daughter?). She was smiling and giggling and so was he. How much we take for granted.

Adam's website: www.OneYearLived.com.


Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to WIN a PDF copy of Adam Shepard's book:


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shameless Desire in a Sensual, Sultry Shifter Romance

Tall, dark and dangerously sexy

Tina Donahue's latest hot and sexy shifter book from Samhain.

CONTEST ALERT at end of this post!!

Yep, that just about describes, Kuma, the hero in Shameless Desire, Book Three of Outlawed Realm, my erotic paranormal series for Samhain.

Kuma’s a shifter, the Alpha werewolf from the fourth dimension on Earth—E4. When he’s swept through a portal into E1, the dimension we know, he sees Gwen for the first time. She’s unaware of the peril she faces, one Kuma has sensed, until a stranger attacks her.

Without pause, Kuma protects Gwen, setting off a series of events that pulls them deeper into danger, strengthens their bond and leads to a sensual and sultry romance.

Here’s the blurb and an excerpt to give you a taste of the story. To celebrate the upcoming release of Shameless Desire, I’m also offering a contest…so please, read on. J


Passion without limit. Carnal hunger that knows no bounds.

Within Earth’s five dimensions, nothing is as it seems…and desire is never far away.

In E4’s jungle, Kuma was the Alpha werewolf, bent on revenge against the hated guards. Swept with them into the E1 dimension, now he prowls Seattle at night, stopping the thugs from abducting women for use as sex slaves in E4’s Pleasure Palace.

On her way home from her nursing job, Gwen senses danger in the night’s shadows—an instant before a stranger attacks. Clinging to consciousness, she watches the impossible, a wolf fighting him off…protecting her. She wakes in her own bed, convinced it must have been a dream until she sees Kuma in human form. Virile, intense. A man like no other.

Within his powerful embrace, Gwen experiences rapture she didn’t believe existed. His unrestrained lust and burning need end her loneliness, though not the menace they face. The guards are a constant threat in their hunt for women and their determination to see Kuma dead. Together, he and Gwen must fight—for his life, her freedom, their future.


Out-of-this-world sex and a romance to die for. Features a hunk whose inner beast won’t be tamed, and the woman who craves his most shameless desire.


He brushed his lips over hers in answer, the tip of his tongue spearing into her mouth.

Aw, God. Not even as a horny teen had her body responded as willingly. Ribbons of pleasure rippled through Gwen. She suckled him deeper, their kiss exploring, then impatient, hard, uncivilized, the sounds they made feral and welcome.

It satisfied for a moment before they each had to have more. He pulled at her clothes, clearly wanting them off. Gwen struggled to do the same with his, but she was still too lethargic. Only her heart and mind raced with what she wanted, had to have.

She heard her hoodie hit the floor, not remembering him taking it or her tee and bra off, yet he had. Coolish air skimmed her rain-chilled skin. Her nipples grew even harder. He warmed them with his hands, pulling a longing sigh from her.

No, don’t stop.

He did, trailing his fingers down her torso to her belly. Her muscles quivered in response. He paid them no heed, continuing to her jeans, where he worked the button and fly.

Suddenly, she was naked and so was he. How had that happened? When? If Gwen could have managed a frown, she would have, disappointed that she’d missed him stripping.

Her bedsprings creaked as he climbed onto the mattress and unfolded his nudity over hers. Air whooshed out of her at his imprisoning weight. It was a gratifying balm, his body’s warmth the answer to her persistent yearning. Rarely had Gwen felt as wanted by a man, as safe.

With his knees, he separated her thighs and settled between them, his rigid cock against her pussy that was moist with need, thrumming with carnal hunger. He cradled her breast, his thumb stroking her nipple. At the same time, he claimed her other nipple with his mouth. He swirled his tongue over the tip.

 Wow. The sensations he created were fucking amazing. They registered clear to the back of Gwen’s throat. Her skin flushed with heat, piercing her stupor. She drove her fingers through his hair, clutching it, demanding he remain with her.

His actions said he wasn’t going anywhere until they were both satisfied.

How long might that take? A few hours? A day? Week? Month? What happened after it was over?

Shit, don’t think of that now.

The bad crap would come later. It always did.

As though he’d read her thoughts or sensed her body tense, he lifted himself on one elbow and regarded her. Gwen didn’t like the uncertainty she saw on his face. She wanted longing mixed with a whole lot of lust.

To encourage him, she rubbed her groin against his, surprised she could do so, her ability to move coming back. He got the message quickly from her carnal maneuver, his expression evolving from concerned to just this side of savage.

Good boy.

He grabbed his cock, running the crown up and down her damp slit, positioning the meaty head on her opening.

Gwen gulped air at what was coming. She drew her legs back to give him the greatest access. At her blatant invitation, he offered another smile and pushed inside, entering her in one hard, dominant—


With a start, Gwen came to. From where? A dream? Nightmare? Perspiration ran down her chest, the chilly air licking it, bringing on a shiver. She stared at her shadowed bedroom, the rectangular designs on the wall from the streetlamp’s glow.

It was obviously dark outside, still late. Or maybe early. Gwen couldn’t be certain. Panic pumped through her, eating away any residual fatigue.

Unwilling to look at her clock just yet, she patted the bed linens to her side and felt nothing but cotton sheets, cool to the touch, not warm from a body.


Her mouth went dry as images filled her mind of the man outside the hospital carrying her into this house, climbing on the bed, mounting her.

She saw his hair swinging forward with each powerful thrust. His shoulders and pecs tensing as he pounded into her. Prominent veins corded his throat. Several ran down his biceps to his muscular forearms.

Swooping down, he slanted his mouth over hers.

Gwen touched her lips. They were somewhat sore as though from a lingering, impassioned kiss. Her cheeks stung, slightly irritated. From a man’s stubbled cheeks scraping them?

Shit, she didn’t know, couldn’t be certain. Swallowing hard, she concentrated on her pussy to see if it was—

Her hand halted on the curls between her legs. She was fucking naked. Hurriedly, she touched various parts of her body, just to be certain of her state, at last searching her neck for where that dart had pierced her skin. Unless that was a dream she’d had.

Gwen winced when she reached the point of entry. Oh crap, oh damn, oh shit. The surrounding skin was swollen and sore. That fucking thing had hit her. She hadn’t dreamt it.

As quietly as she could, Gwen pushed to a sitting position and looked over. The numbers on her digital clock glowed red in the gloom. Nearly an hour and a half had passed since she’d left the hospital and all that weird shit that had happened in the alley.

So what now?

Steeling herself, she turned and stared at her bath.

The decorative nightlight was on, its Christmas-tree design a mixture of red, green and silver, casting the room in a festive glow.

Gwen’s heart banged against her chest. In front of the sink he stood, running a washcloth over his bare arms, as sinewy as she remembered. His naked back was broad and muscled, a male in his prime. He’d pulled his jeans back on and his running shoes, unless he’d never had them off to begin with.


Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.

Website: http://www.tinadonahue.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinadonahue

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tina.donahue.75

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authortina/my-books/




In celebration of Shameless Desire’s release on April 23, I’m offering one of my backlist ebooks to one lucky commenter. The winner’s choice includes:


1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT

2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit

3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award

4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT

5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT

6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller

7. Take Me Away - #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books

8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR

9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR

10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book

11.  Claiming Magique – Top Pick - NOR


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Sexy Break for Spring Break

Spring Break

Spring is taking a darn long time getting here. The flowers may be blooming but the weather is still too cold for me. Soooo, Ellora’s Cave is going to make it a little easier for it to feel more like spring. This week from April 8-12th my Exotika novella SPRING BREAK will be 25% off!!!

I’ve been working hard on a couple other projects and now that those are out of the way, I’m back to working on the second in this HOT series. TropiX is an invitation only club in South Florida where sexual fantasies come true, but sometimes not the ones you were expecting. After spring comes summer, and it gets very hot in Florida during the summer. TropiX will be looking even hotter in this next story with a new addition to the club. The wild and sexy Cynthia and Carter are returning with another adventure and hopefully the new couple Emma and Adrian will survive Cynthia’s good intensions.

Here’s the blurb to SPRING BREAK:

Spring break beyond your wildest fantasies? If Justin Watkins can stop watching over his college students like Big Brother, he might convince the prim-and-proper Mariko Maguire to be his sex partner at the invitation-only adult club called TropiX.Mariko is in Fort Lauderdale on business, trying to secure new clients for her PR firm. Abandoning prior commitments for one wickedly lustful evening--a one-night stand of kinky sex--was not on her agenda.Carter Bosworth is looking for an evening of sex games during his layover in the tropical playground. He's a regular at TropiX and always open for a new thrill. His plans are sidetracked, but it may be to his benefit after all when he meets the beautiful Mariko.The potent heat developing between Justin and Mariko tempts her into shedding her inhibitions, and an exploration in a menage beyond her imagination develops at the fetish club.

Ellora’s Cave Link for the 25% off: http://www.ellorascave.com/spring-break.html


Thursday, April 4, 2013

How To Keep UP & Survive in This Digital Age of Publishing

Writing, Reading, & Publishing Evolution

How does an author, reader or a publisher keep up with all the changes going on these days? One minute we think we have a plan for our careers, a successful business model, a preferred way to read books, and then we have to change, and change again, and again, just to keep our noses above the water line. For writers, how do make career plans when we’re not sure what the publishing landscape will look like in a year or two?

There’s no easy answer. The best advice? Be flexible, open to change and ready when opportunities arise. Read what experts have to say—those who have survived the business over the years and learned how to adapt. They may have sound advice on their blogs or in their newsletters. Many invite authors, editors and agents to their blogs to share what they know.
Go with your gut. There are many career paths for authors: traditional, self-publishing, small press or any combination (a hybrid) of the three. The bottom line is the same. Write a great book, continue to learn craft and grow as a writer, be professional. Don’t send out a crappy/unedited book whether to an agent, editor or to be self-published.
A few blogs I follow that I can recommend are:

Jane Friedman, editor of Virginia Quarterly Review and previous publisher of Writer’s Digest magazine http://janefriedman.com/ She has a variety of guest bloggers and helpful posts about the current publishing world and tips for writers.

http://janefriedman.com/blog/ I automatically get her blog posts sent to my email. She has a ton of great posts and guest posts on a variety of topics.

Also author Bob Mayer http://www.bobmayer.org/ and his blog: http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Especially helpful for the self-published author, writing tips, the business of publishing and much more.

And author and social media expert Don Lafferty  http://donaldlafferty.com/ Everything you ever wanted to know about social media and marketing and never knew existed.

I’m sure there are tons of great sites. Please share your favorite.