Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Friday!!!

Halo, fine friends!!! Today I'm participating in an AMAZING Black Book Friday event.

This is Laura Howard's brainchild and she brought together a FABULOUS, LARGE group of authors. We are giving away dozens of books and four $50 gift cards.

Part of this promotion is an online party from 7-9 tonight, eastern time. We'd LOVE you to join us HERE.

Part of my gig for participating, is sharing one of the authors who's participating... so INTRODUCING Liz Long! She is promoting her book Witch Hearts.

Blurb:  How does a witch stay safe if a killer can get through her protection spells? Witches like Ruby and Courtney can take care of themselves. So when Courtney is murdered, Ruby’s world crashes to a halt. The only thing keeping her grounded is the return of Courtney’s brother, Cooper. He seeks revenge, but Ruby wants to help other witches stay alive. To do that, she’ll have to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend. If that wasn’t awkward enough, when the killer gets too close, Cooper temporarily moves into Ruby’s place while a police officer tails her every move. Cooper’s presence distracts Ruby as they fight their desire against their need to stay safe. Then Courtney begins to haunt Ruby’s dreams and secrets are spilled, things from Cooper’s past that could get them both killed. The killer continues to stalk Ruby and the more she discovers, the more she fears she won’t be able to keep her heart in her chest.


Liz's Facebook Page: (go like her)

In the MEANTIME, increase your chances of winning by helping us spread the word and liking us!

The blogs that are meant to be helping me out are these:

Cajun Book Lover 

Though if they've missed it, that is on me. In typical Tart fashion, I waited until last night to begin seeing what I was meant to do today, and the 'share you links' function had closed... I am bad about things like that. I tried to do some individual outreach, but if these guys have lives... you know... it might not have worked. I'd love you to go visit them anyway, because they were willing. I just fell down on my end.

And what you REALLY REALLY should do is enter to win stuff!!! (and participate in the FB thing tonight if you are around)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Naked Cheese! With Crystal Collier

Halo, fine friends!!! I know you don't normally see me on the weekends, but I have a special reason to be here! I am a stop on Crystal Colliers Moonless book release tour! And she is talking about two things we LOVE!!!! NAKED and CHEESE!!! (is there anything better?)

So without further ado, welcome Crystal!


What's that you say? Cheese is always naked? Not necessarily. Sometimes it's covered in rind, sometimes dressed up by side dishes or merely a tasty ingredient. But what we're getting at today is the naked cheese

What is it that makes a piece of art really shine--be it the written word, a painting, sculpture, etc?

Any piece of art creates a mood and invokes an emotional response. That's what you find at its core, the artist's passion. And where do we find that passion?


If you want to make your art more powerful, isolate experiences in life where you've felt extreme passions and channel that emotion into what you're creating.

While I was revising MOONLESS, my father was diagnosed with
stage four cancer. Being close to home, I helped with his care, and sat
with him through the last night of his life. It was my responsibility to administer relief through drugs or not, to try and wet his dry throat, to comfort him through his last hours.

In Moonless, Alexia has a moment of truth next to
a death bed, and although what takes place there is very different, the scene
draws heavily on a reality I lived through. It’s these experiences that ground
a work of art and really ring true to the reader. It's these experiences that help us come together in an understanding of the human condition. 

Now you ask, so what's with the cheese? 

Cheese is the best food. Cheese makes the world go round. Cheese equals happiness. (And if you responded to that by scoffing and referencing chocolate, you need to read my post where cheese and chocolate go toe to toe.)

Now get out and do some living, eh? 

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. 

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

"MOONLESS is powerful, compelling, and packed with soul." --Bethany Kaczmarek, editor at A Little Red, Inc. 

"I fell head over heels for the characters." --TC Mckee, BookFish Books 

"Power-packed action, heart stopping mystery, unpredictable twists and turns..." --I Am a Reader Not a Writer

Buy MOONLESS HERE or add it on Goodreads.

Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. 

You can find Crystal on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

And Crystal has a rafflecopter giveaway going on, too... if you'd like to join...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Lost Art of Blogging


Comes to the name: Confessions of a Watery Tart

Identifying Features: Silliness, periodic wisdom, man butts

See... I have somehow LOST my blogging mojo... and I can manage one side or the other of it... EITHER writing one OR reading and getting around... but I am having some trouble syncing up the two.

In fact I've seen some blogs recently talking about the diminishing returns on blogging. They didn't call it that. I did. But that's what it is... even the SAME effort isn't getting the same response (let alone those of us that have been falling down on the job).

But I DO have some news, both progress and upcoming events, so maybe I'll go with THAT.


Book 5 is with my copyeditor (a week later than I planned, but I was wise enough to never advertise a release date, so it's good)

Book 6 is ready for revision for 2nd readers.

Book 7 is DONE and first revisions done. Just some revisions to enter and then send it to first reader.

Book 8 is NEARLY done, but I am not revising until 9 is written.

About that... I have a strong inkling that this serial will be 12, rather than 10... it's all good. That allows the collections to be 4 books (400 pages) a piece, which to me makes a $2.99 price a VALUE (if a $2.99 book is made of 3 X $.99, then you pay three cents EXTRA for the set... this way they get a book FREE if they buy the set)

I think this ALSO sets me up reasonable to 'release in clusters'--when 5 is released the first week of December, I SHOULD be able to do 5, 6, 7, and 8 all 3 weeks apart, then have a gap for my Cozy book release, then do the last 4 clustered.

I am about at 36K for NaNoWriMo, though spinning my wheels a bit, as that break to edit goofed me a bit. I will finish...


Saturday:  My friend Crystal Collier released her book Moonless last week, and Saturday is doing a guest blog!  Come see her!!!

And NEXT WEEK, there is a huge BLOW OUT--a GIANT giveaway for Black Friday. There are FOUR $50 gift certificates and MANY books being given away--you definitely want to get in on it!

So that's what's up... maybe my mojo will fall back in line in December, but for NOW, featuring a few fun things seems to be what I can manage. Anybody else having trouble?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indie Authors: Time Management Challenges

Welcome to Indie Authors Second Wednesday Thingy-ma-Bob. In case you haven't heard of it, that may very well be because I can't recall the name at the mo, but it is a group of fabulous Indie Authors offering each other support and offering everyone ELSE a bit of a view into the world of this new ever-changing thing..

As to Time Management...

If you think my title implies you are going to find answers here, I will just give you a heads up now that I don't have them.

I just need a bit of a vent on the matter.

Cuz see... I have a lot of obligations, some more critical than others... I am a full time worker which is the only reason my family isn't starving on the street. I am a mom. I am traditionally published with obligations to people who have my name on a dotted line... and I am TRYING to be an Indie Author with all that entails...

You know... writing, editing, formatting (several versions), publishing, promoting...

I am TRYING to do it all, but some days it feels fairly impossible.

Take last night for instance:

I had a blog to write *waves at all of you*
I had prizes from a promotion to send out.
I had revisions for book 7 to enter.
And I had book 8 to finish writing. (my NaNoProject is books 7-10 for my serial)

And on Monday I had a medical procedure (just preventative) that caused me to be 'out of it' half of Sunday and all of Monday.

THANKFULLY, I was ahead on NaNoWriMo, so partially losing 2 days isn't the end of the world.  (I'm sitting at about 29K)  Though losing most of last night because nobody warned me the Windows 8.1 update would take that long really irked me. Especially as it would have been totally unnecessary if Windows 8.0 didn't suck so bad.

But enough grumbles... How do I TRY to cope?

Depends on the thing. The writing to me, isn't optional. It is my identity. I try to WORK AHEAD as much as possible... for the obligations to others on writing, too. I still find myself scrambling ALL the time, but if I hadn't tried to work ahead, that is a lot of lateness that would have crashed in on me.

NEGLECT MY FAMILY. *cough* I don't recommend this strategy, but it is one of the few things with any give. My kids are both teens and prefer it this way. It is only my husband who gets annoyed. Mr. Tart would prefer I cleaned more and parented more actively.

Learn the publishing IN PIECES. I am publishing serially—100 page installments of a longer story. The one-at-a-time ones I published to Kindle Direct first—get them OUT THERE, but only learn ONE system right off. It has given me free days to promote my first. Then in December I am going to begin that whole 'learn all the other formats for the collections' thing. Probably I should have published a stand-alone first so I didn't have to keep turning around and doing it all again, but I'm not known for doing things rationally... I CHOSE self-publishing because I wanted to do a serial and it was the only way. (my temperament is really better suited for traditional—I'm just not a details girl)

So that's my story and I'm sticking with it. How about you? Any time management tricks you want to share?

HA!  Indie Life!  That's it!  Find the list of authors here!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

February Grace and Of Stardust

So I know Bru doesn't actually need a lot of introduction, as she's a member of our blogging community, but Bru is one of my few writer friends I've had a chance to meet in person. She's a lovely woman who lives relatively close to me and came to the Kerrytown Bookfest the first time I participated in a signing at Aunt Agatha's booth.

So when I learned Bru had a book coming out, her second, I thought I'd invite her to talk a little about switching it up because I'd seen her talk about how different this book feels from her first one, and some of YOU think about switching genres sometimes, so maybe that would help you, too.

So without further ado, Welcome Bru!!!

What a gorgeous cover, eh?
You Wrote What? By February Grace

When Hart graciously invited me to write a guest post for her blog in honor of the release of my new novel, I was thrilled and thankful for the opportunity. She is such a fantastic writer and spectacular person to boot, how could I not be?

Then I asked her what she might like me to blog about, and she suggested talking about ‘writing different flavors’ (meaning of course, genres).


Yes it’s true that my first published novel was a literary romance with Steampunk embellishments about a brooding doctor with a dark, secret past, and my new novel is a fantasy romance about, um, well… a behind the scenes look at the lives of modern Fairy Godparents.

How did I get from Steampunk to something of a fairy tale?

All I can tell you is this: in the case of each book, the characters led the way.

The tagline on my blog has always been, “The characters are in control, I just take dictation.”
That sums up my experience as a writer. I don’t get to direct who I meet on my internal literary journey, any more than you get to choose your waitress at the truck stop off of I 75 on a really long road trip.

The characters are who they are to me, just as if they were real people; already formed. Identities, names, and personality traits all there—my job is to get to know them and convey their story to the world.

Your experience may (very likely) be vastly different. You might have complete control over where your characters go, and things like the names they’ll answer to. If I try to change the name of a character it’s likely they’ll stop ‘talking’ to me, and then I have to do a find/replace on the manuscript and put the name back to what it originally was before the stop with the silent treatment and the story can get going again. And they say writers are temperamental…it’s the characters to blame if you ask me!

You might wonder, ‘why in the world would I want to write in a different genre if I LOVE LOVE LOVE writing historical romances or technically mind-blowing sci-fi or dinosaur erotica’? To me the answer is clear, you might not want to. You might want to stick with it and only ever write the one kind of story; and if that works for you, I offer my congratulations! You’ve found your bliss, there’s no reason to deny it.

However if you are like me and the characters rule (my sympathies) or if you’ve ever even wondered what it might be like to try writing a book completely different from a book you’ve written previously (or poem, or short story, or play) then I say why not give it a try? If nothing else you will have learned something from the experience of working outside of your comfort zone, and if it works well you might even end up seeing the novel you started on a whim for NaNoWriMo the year before go through the revision and editing process and then end up a REAL BOOK, like my novel about Fairy Godparents named Gus and Till.

Just think about the possibilities! And consider how the library would look if everyone wrote the same genre, or if all authors stuck with only one genre. We would have a lot less variety to pick from, and as with food I really believe in storytelling that variety really is a wonderful thing.
So that’s the story of how I ended up going from writing moody Steampunk to writing romantic fantasy. In case you’re wondering, I have no idea what I might write next (after I finish the sequel in progress to the Fairy Godparents story, that is.)

I just know this, wherever the characters take me, it’s going to be interesting.

Thanks again to Hart for generously sharing her blog with me today, and thank you all for reading!


Buying Links:
Barnes and Noble:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Little NaNo Distraction with Jay Mims

Halo, fine friends!  A buddy of mine is visiting today sharing some distractions and encouragement for those of us doing NaNoWriMo... He is ALSO in progress for the release of his 3rd Cozy Mystery, The Gray Ghost Inn, so it is quite generous of him to spend his time digressing with us!

Welcome, Jay!!!

Hello Gentle Readers,
If this goes according to schedule, you should be reading this while we’re all in the middle of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and if my experiences from last year taught me anything it’s: 1) Meet your word quota, 2) Don’t forget to eat something (Low blood sugar makes for AWFUL writing), and most importantly 3) Don’t let this challenge overwhelm you!

So, in keeping with that spirit, I wanted to share with you, the Watery Tart readers, Mimsey’s Top 5 Keys to Instant Joy!

I realize if you’ve attended college, it’s mandatory that you’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and that everyone’s favorite naked blogger has a smile on her face as she’s reading this. But, if Grail is the only thing you’ve ever seen from this group, you are selling yourself short.
Each member on their own was a comedic genius, but when put together made something absolutely fantastic. If you want a good laugh, check out some of their stuff. And remember:


I know it’s kind of built into us as human beings to sometimes get jealous over the success of others. We can be competitive, we can sometimes only see our own faults, and we feel like everyone’s winning but me.

But, don’t play that game. We are all artists here, and we aren’t in competition with anyone. We are about pouring our hearts out to the world, and trying to tell the story that is burning to get out. Because if you don’t create that art, you will explode! Just remember, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill. And even if no one else thinks you will succeed, there’s someone who does:
Trust me; nothing breaks the monotony of pounding out the misadventures of a sardonic detective like watching animals at play. And when you’re writing about murder in a small Southern town (which I totally am!) you need a little joy.
I have to admit, I’m a dog person. And for some reason, I find dog shaming to be hysterical. Mostly because I’ve been around enough dogs to know they’re just going to do the same thing five minutes later.
I’m entirely convinced that, within five years, my characters will have a rabid fan base making loving videos set to Evanescence songs. Until then, I’m content watching videos crafted with care and tenderness.
And an overt fascination on cuddling.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have always wanted to go to Hollywood with a frog, a bear, a dog, a chicken, and a pig. See, in this scenario, I was always the weirdo.
And you know what? I’ve written three books, I’ve got a great day job as a teacher, and I get to blog about werewolves. Oh yeah, and I’m getting married. Sorry ladies, I’m going to be officially off the market here soon. Though, judging by my inbox, some of you take that as a challenge.
Jay Mims wants to make a fan video for Hart Johnson, set to the theme of “Hart to Hart”. He lives with a passive-aggressive Dalek named Steve, a lizard named Bob, feeds a cat he calls Eartha Kitty and recently rescued a kitten named Meowleficient. He writes books and is far funnier on Facebook then in real life. He is terrible at Twitter. His latest book "The Gray Ghost Inn" is available now. Feel free to email him here.

A wee bit about the book:  Private Investigator Dan Landis just wants to have a nice relaxing vacation with his best friend, Leroy Brown. They've got two rooms booked at the luxurious Gray Ghost Inn in beautiful Warrenton, Virginia. Everything was all set except now Abbey, Dan's new partner, has decided she wants to go too. And wherever Dan and Abbey go, trouble isn't too far behind. Dan, Abbey, and Doc get snowed in with a crazy crowd: Betsey Butler, the Southern Belle hostess; her obnoxious brother Dave "Big Bear" Butler; and Dave's ex-wife, Em. When a body turns up in the library, Dan realizes his simple vacation isn't so simple anymore. And what's worse, he's trapped in the Gray Ghost Inn with a killer. Jay Mims, author of The Five Santas and Cult of Koo Kway returns with his unique brand of storytelling, taking readers on a wild and entertaining ride into the eccentric world of Dan Landis and friends.