Monday, January 31, 2011

New Release: WOLF WANTED

Hurray! WOLF WANTED releases today from Total E-Bound.

It's a m/m shapeshifter novella, a sexy and fun read. Enjoy!

Only a sacrifice can break his curse, and only the love of a maddening werewolf can satisfy his heart.

Incubus Prince Liam cast a spell for a wolf, and Anson exceeds his expectations. He’s golden, he’s sexy, and he’s a werewolf— a unique being in the world of shifters. After a hundred years of cursed living, Liam has a chance to finally break free from the spell holding his inner wolf at bay and embrace both his wolf and demon heritage. He never planned on falling in love with Anson, or of taking the maddening werewolf to mate. But his plans for a happily-ever-after come to a screeching halt when the evil sorceress who cursed him returns. She refuses to take ‘no’ for answer, and then she sets her sights on Anson…

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Circs: In Order

I've had a few questions lately about the reading order of my Circ books. So here's a quick snapshot. Note that though these books are in order, the NEW SERIES label means the series are not connected in that you have to read one series to understand the next. But they are tied loosely together.
1. Circe's Recruits (CR): Roane
2. CR: Zack & Ace
3. CR: Derrick
4. CR: Hale (introduces next group of Circs in Dawn Endeavor)

5.Dawn Endeavor (DE) 1: Fallon's Flame
6. DE 2: Hayashi's Hero
7. DE 3: Julian's Jeopardy
8. DE4: Gunnar's Game (introduces psychics for the PowerUp! series)

This series is much more loosely tied together. The psychics are all one big group, but they each take different cases, making each story distinctly stand-alone.
9. The Lost Locket
10. RetroCog

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sell Out? Sell More!

I love the fascinating discussions writers have when it comes to creativity versus earning the almighty dollar. (Heck, why stop at writing? It's an artistic discussion, since it applies to anyone trying to make a living with their art.)

Depending upon what you want to do with your writing, you're either in this business because your muse compels you to create and you're happy with that, or you want to earn some green by writing, because it's so easy. Okay, the latter statement would come from an idiot who's never written. Because writing ISN'T easy, and when someone writes for a paycheck, a reader can tell.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I write because my muse compels me to (when he's not slacking off eating bonbons or seducing hapless virgins), and because I'd like to make a living doing it. Like most of the naive newbies out there, when I started, I thought I could give up my day job and earn a ton off my first book. What a laugh. While I was learning my craft and trying to schedule writing around a 60 hour work week and my family, I fell in love with characters and stories. I wrote to write, and I'll never regret that.

But I did get to a point where I wanted to see some return on my investment. I could always and will always write stories for myself, but what about getting paid? My first sale was to an electronic publisher. I didn't get an advance, but I also didn't have to wait two years to see royalties. I was paid quarterly. And the success of that book and that first dollar urged me to write more. I did, and seven years later, here I am. Still writing nearly fifty books later.

The rest of the world has caught up with digital media. The Kindle and Nook are kicking major butt, and I see a lot more royalties because my books never go off the shelf. My highest seller to date came out in 2007 and has been in the Kindle top 100 of contemporary romance for months. (Enjoying the Show, in case you wondered.) So writing what I love now equals a nice paycheck. Hurray.

Am I selling out? Do I write to trends? Am I putting out so many books that none of them are quality? To answer those questions, no, I'm not selling out. I write what I love, and that's romance. I sometimes write to trends, but then, I write all over the place, and if it's hot and I have a story to tell, I will. But I'm not even going to try writing a historical regency because as hot as that genre sells, it's not me. Nor is inspirational romance, which rakes in millions. As to the question of quantity versus quality, I put the answer in my publishers' and readers' laps. Most publishers are pretty choosy about what they buy, and these days even smaller presses are saturated with eager writers wanting to produce. Readers do like to buy from an author they like, but if they read a book that sucks, it's doubtful they'll come back for more.

I'm a fast writer. I just am. When the story is singing to me, and I have a full day to write, I can knock out 10-20 thousand words easy. Yeah, easy. Again, the caveat is that the story is singing to me. My last work was painstaking, but on a good day I could still type 7-10 thousand words. On a bad day, maybe 2 thousand. I'm prolific, but what I write might not be to everyone's taste. (I swear, if my mother asks me to write another kid book or a book about dogs, I'm gonna lose it.)

My point with this post is that our processes depend upon our end goals. My goal is to continue to be a full-time writer, dependent on my writing income to live. I don't want to be bound by a particular location because my job is there. As a writer, my job is anywhere I can afford, because it's in my head and tied to my fingertips through a computer. Last year I wrote a post about what you can make writing ebooks. I'm happy to say that thanks to technology, it's getting better and better out there for those of us who consider writing a profession, not a hobby.

So you can sell more, but never sell out your muse. You write what he doesn't like, and you and your readers will know it; your royalties will show it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am SO addicted to this show. I've been waiting on pins and needles for two weeks, but Friday is almost upon us... Friday night, on the CW, at 9 (2100 for you military types). We'll see Sam with a soul again.

Seriously, I have never been the "fangirl" type. But this show, about two hot brothers fighting supernatural beings, it's just awesome. If you haven't seen it, you are seriously missing out. Note the light around the one brother and the snake crawling up the arm of the other. Good versus evil in this show always ends up in shades of gray, which I love.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh My Here Be Magic

Come on over to Here Be Magic and read about the gods. I posted some interesting information about the Norse gods. Interesting stuff, and addicting to me. I too often get sidetracked with Odin and Thor when I should be writing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ahoy Matey: A Real Pet Peeve

When I google my name, a ton of Marie Harte sites pop up. I would be flattered, except a lot of them are pirated book sites. Don't worry, I'm not going to belabor the point that pirating is bad. I'm just a bit surprised that the sites allow ebooks to be offered at all. Print books I get. Hey, I have books I trade into used book stores. But from what I gather, not one electronic publisher allows ebooks to be copies or distributed unless through explicit allowance by said publisher.

I try not to lose sleep over it. I mean, I send out takedown notices, but a day later, a new site goes up carrying my books. It's frustrating, but I do think what goes around comes around.

My big peeve lately is iOffer. The site continually lists books--FOR SALE--by people who collected them and just decided to sell them for money. It's one thing to share my books without buying them. I mean, come on, I'm trying to make a living here, and it's not easy in a niche market. But selling my work? That just ticks me off. Karma Karma Karma. Yeah, say it with me...

My vent of the day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mondays and Covers

I should just make this my standard Monday art. Ugh. I have to post at the Here Be Magic blog for Carina fantasy/paranormal authors on Wednesday, and I'm coming up blank. Straight up promo is discouraged, and come on, that gets boring anyway. Added to that, my book doesn't release until late April. I'm still anxiously awaiting the cover art.

Ah, a topic I can chat about--dreaded cover art. It's a fear I think a lot of writer share but refuse to talk about. On the one hand, it's exciting to see what an artist will make of your book. Cover art attracts the reader, the blurb and writing do the rest. But without good cover art, books don't get sold. Sorry. I don't care if the book is electronic or print. Crappy art leads a reader to believe in a crappy book. Hey, I'm a reader, and that's what I'm thinking. Now, I'm also a writer, so I'll usually waive the artwork and chance the blurb and an excerpt before buying, but that's if I'm hard up for a new read.

Depending upon the publisher, writers get more to less input on cover art. All of my publishers are smaller presses, with the exception of Carina, who has a big sister named Harlequin, and they all ask for input. Even at Carina, I submitted some details on a sheet. What the hero looks like, the heroine, the theme, what the story's about... etc. Then the artist takes over. I read a few notes from some big wig romance authors who've complained when their heroes are blond on the cover but dark haired in books. So it's not just smaller presses who get uber creative.

I haven't had too many complaints when it comes to my books. Some covers I love, some I wished had a little bit more of what I asked for. It's always a toss up to see if I'm more excited or nervous about the cover art in question.

I recently received art work for my upcoming work, The Lost Locket, coming out next month from Loose Id. I loved the cover, with the exception of one thing. I don't know if it can be fixed or not, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Thankfully, the rest of the cover is terrific and really fits the book.

I've heard readers complain about male torsos. What happened to their heads? Well, lemme tell you, I'd rather see a hero's smokin' body minus the head than an ugly model on the cover. That sounds nasty and superficial. Sue me. I have a hard time correlating sexy when I'm looking at Igor surrounded by Cinderella's ugly stepsisters. There's a reason models get paid to have their pictures taken. And no, I'm not a model. :)

Soon as I get the go-ahead, I'll post my newest cover. Until then, take another gander at Wolf Wanted. This is the second rendition of it. I didn't care much for the first. I think this one turned out much better.

Friday, January 21, 2011

OneNote: One BIG Fan...Grady's Back

I finished my latest manuscript, RetroCog, the second in my PowerUp! series. And man, it was a struggle to get through it for some reason. Reading through it again, I love it. But I'm not sure why it was so hard to finish. In any case, it's sitting on the computer until next month, when I'll go through and edit the thing to death.

In the meantime, I'm preparing my next work, a Cougar Falls story. I love my Cougar Falls books because they're fun, light romances. Not too angsty. I like to think of the town as Mayberry with a sexy shapeshifter twist.

Before I write my books, I outline characters, plots, details and such on paper. I have two ratty spiral notebooks with all sorts of notes scribbled every which way. Great while I'm writing, but it's hell on organizing topics. I have to flip from one page to another, looking for details to make sure I'm consistent with characters in the next book.

In order to make my life easier, I'm going digital with my organizing effort. I remembered another author on one of the loops mentioning OneNote, a Microsoft product that's great for managing data.

I'm on a trial subscription right now, and holy crap, I am LOVING the software. I've input all sorts of details about characters, plots, time lines, and places. Cougar Falls is coming alive again, and it's totally pushing me to hurry up and write Grady's story. (He's one of Burke's cat shifter brothers from Rachel's Totem who also made an appearance in Foxy Lady.)

Now, hopefully I won't have any more consistency problems between books, and if you haven't caught the errors, I won't tell you. :) I just need to finish rereading Foxy Lady and I'm all set. I can't wait to write again, and I'm glad to be back in the happy seat instead of pulling my hair out.

And now, on to Friday!!

Return to Cougar Falls...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gunnar's Good News

Gunnar's Game is now available at Amazon for the Kindle. It's also the #1 book in erotic fiction at Fictionwise. So today's a good day for the Circs.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 Contest Winners

Congrats to all the winners of the 2011 contest. They've been notified, but to everyone out there, these are the folks randomly chosen as winners:
Emma, Cindy, Evelyn, Sherry, Jennifer, Holly, Betty, Terra, Susan and Liona

Thanks to everyone who participated, and look for the next contest further down the road.

A Dream Come True

I did not write this book. I had nothing to do with cover art suggestions, characters names, or the plot. I might have looked at a very early draft of it and offered suggestions, but that's it, and that was a LONG time ago. But today I'm over-the-moon excited because my great friend, Ayla Ruse, had achieved a goal she and I had set for ourselves years ago.

While I finished having kids and started writing seriously, she was expanding her family. Like many of us out there, she'd try to write, but really had no time. (She homeschools her kids, so I don't know how she gets anything done, let alone writing.) But she persevered, and she did it. She didn't let anything get in the way of her dream, and I can't help but respect that.

It's not easy to write. It's a dream job--my dream job--but it's difficult. Writing is mentally exhausting. It's solitary, filled with more noes than yeses and rejection becomes a bitter friend. What one person loves another hates, and the subjectivity of editors and readers can be frustrating. How can you fix something that your readers like but your editors hate? Or to know how to draft the story when you have half the readers complaining and the other half loving what you've done? (Simple: you write what the characters tell you to, but that's another story for another post.)

Writing, for many, is a calling--like an addiction you must have in order to make your day complete. For Ayla, she took her courage and submitted her work, blasted through no, maybe, and yes, and found a home at Total E-Bound. I couldn't be happier for her than I am today.
Congrats, Ayla. And I can't wait to read the book...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Power of Three with Ayla Ruse

I don't often have guest bloggers, and it's something I really should do more of. My good friend and fellow author Ayla Ruse has a great post about three that is great food for thought, and a great lead in to a book I've been waiting to read for months! So without further ado...Ayla Ruse.


Three is a very powerful number. Think about it. Almost anywhere you go in life, no matter what your involvements, no matter what your beliefs or feelings, there is some kind of three-ness going on.

First, the number three itself is considered a very stable number. It’s unshakable. It’s the culmination of two previous unsteady numbers. It’s a tightening, a togetherness, a balance, if you will.

Still not sure how much a triad is a part of your life? Check out these little combinations:

Past – Present – Future

Thought – Feeling – Emotion

The Three Wise Monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil)

The Three Graces

And this list can go on and on and on.

There is also an abundance of words preceded by the concept of three: tri- , such as triathlon, tripod, tricycle, triangle, and triple, just to list a few. Heck, even the word “few” usually connotes three.

Then, of course, is the word itself added to another to indicate an involvement status.


When you read this word, you automatically expect to see, hear, or at least find about three individuals becoming romantically and/or physically involved. Even the thought of a threesome is titillating and exciting as most of us Jane Doe’s or even John Smith’s aren’t lucky – yes, I do mean lucky – to have experienced such an encounter.

So let’s live vicariously, shall we?

Tomorrow, January 17, 2011, will see the release of my first ever e-book, The Deciding Factor, available through Total E-Bound. I take my own words to heart and make liberal use of the power of three in this story.

Whether Alycia Delaney, the heroine, realizes it or not, she is and has been in an emotional threesome for some time. As her two supporting heroes make their appearances, each will have to find out for themselves, and together, if they have what it takes to prove the stabilizing power of a trio or if they will crumble and fall. They each have their own decisions to make regarding their relationship, but what ultimately makes or breaks their involvement?

I’m thrilled to say that tomorrow you can find the answer to this and many other questions.

Thanks, and Happy Reading!

Ayla Ruse

~Ensnare Yourself in Love~

Friday, January 14, 2011

Princess Needs Help: Bank of Africa in Dire Straits

I wanted to write something snazzy today, but I can't. Not yet. Not until I've helped Princess Kabbah and Alhaji Danco, two individuals frantic for my assistance. Apparently the princess is 24, very single, and very eager to make my acquaintance. I'm so excited! A real princess! I'll definitely have to remove her from my spam filter.

Not to be outdone, Mr. Danco is the Bank and Exchange Manager for the Bank of Africa (BOA--not the constrictor type). He's found a huge sum of money he needs me to help him invest. Yes, he wants my help, because though I majored in English, I also have mad financial skills. (Guess I won't tell him I can't even do my taxes without Turbo Tax.)

So forgive me for not posting anything of substance today, but a princess and the Bank of Africa are depending on me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do You Really Want to Know? Yes, I do.

Two of my biggest pet peeves are the stupid question, followed by the I don't really want to know question. The stupid question is one where the asker knows the answer even as he is asking it. Example: (I am reading a book by the fireplace.)
Husband (sees me and asks): So, what are you doing?
Me (giving him the "duh" look): Brain surgery, next question?

Then there's the I really don't want to know the answer question. Do I look fat? Am I pretty (because if you have to ask, some big part of you thinks not)? How old do you think I am? etc.

I'm currently holding a contest to determine whether or not there are things I should change on my website. If I didn't want an honest answer, I wouldn't ask the question. Some people like what's there, some don't. I'm interested in all of it;. What works and why, what doesn't and why not. Personally, I can't stand websites that have music, or ones that have fancy font I can barely read or pictures that flash. I'm trying to make my site better, but I think it's okay as it is. Okay, not great. See the difference? I've received some helpful comments.

Several people would like excerpts or blurbs of books that don't take them to another website. Others want to see a real picture of me on the bio page. For the record, that chick posted there is NOT me. She has a tail and has devoured many men, as there are skulls and bones by her feet. I just liked her picture, and she does look kind of like me, if I was an anime character. See picture, left.

On another note, the other day I asked a question online about writing another book. It's not so fans of the Circs could gush (ah, not that any really do) about the series and beg, "Please, please, Marie, write another book or I'll kill myself." It's just that sometimes enough of a good thing, is, well, enough. The series ran on for two four-book segments, period. End of story, right? Grayson's the only Circ left hanging, and I just wondered if there would be any interest in my writing a story for him. Why the interest on my end? Because without Grayson, Gunnar's Game might not see print.

I don't want to get bogged down in print versus ebook. I'm quite happy if my books stay electronic and electronic only. But since the first two Dawn Endeavor stories are in print, and there are tentative plans for a third, I'd hate to break the series for Gunnar's Game, which is too short to stand on its own (in print.)

I happily welcome comments from readers done with the series, as well as those who would like it to continue. I just thought I'd ask to see what readers wanted. So yes, I do want to know some truths, or I wouldn't have asked. Smart answers for smart questions asked. And that's my two cents for the day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Contest Reminder

The 2011 Contest ends on Jan 15, this Saturday. To enter for a chance to win, all you have to do is tell me what you like and/or don't like about my website. That's it. I'm giving away 5 print books (to those in the continental US only) and 5 ebooks. Don't miss out!

To celebrate 2010, I'm holding a contest and giving away five print books and five ebooks to ten lucky winners. The prizes are as follows:
Print Books
Storm Lords Vol. 1 (The Fire Within and Below the Surface)
Storm Lords Vol. 2 (Gale Season)
Over the Moon (an anthology with six other authors, all shapeshifter stories)
Circe's Recruits: Hale
Dawn Endeavor: The Circs (Fallon's Flame and Hayashi's Hero)
Kate Undone
Foxy Lady
To Hunt a Sainte
Enemy Red

Simply email me what you like or dislike about my website to be entered in the contest, subject line 2011 Contest. (Trust me, I want to know good AND bad.) Anyone can win, but you have to be a continental U.S. winner to receive a print book. (Sorry, postage is killer.) Send your response to by January 15th to be entered to win and note if you live in the U.S. or not.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

News and a Question

I'm having difficulty typing since my fingers are half frozen. It's still cold here, and yet another snow day the kids have off from school. I did get a good bit done yesterday, but today is seeming like a wash. I have two projects I'm struggling to finish, and another I need to start in two weeks, so I really need to wrap these up. But I'm just happy to be working again. I get edgy if I'm not typing at least a little every day.

I found out some good and bad news yesterday so thought I'd share.
Good News: Gunnar's Game is a Fictionwise bestseller and recent release. Julian's Jeopardy will be going into print.
Bad News: I'm not sure when Julian's Jeopardy will be going into print, and Gunnar's Game is too short for print, so unless I write another Circ book, that one won't be released in print.

I'm wondering if I should write a short story for Grayson, Ava's brother, since I had a lot of comments and questions about him after Gunnar's Game, but I already have my PowerUp! series to do for Loose Id. Maybe I'll leave it to the readers. Any thoughts?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Very Very Odd

One of my chief complaints about living down South is that it's not cold here. Well, color me wrong. Today there is snow all over the ground. We actually have a snow day, and my kids were up uber-early dying to go outside. They're now jumping around to Just Dance 2 in the other room, and to say I probably won't get much work done today is being kind. ACK. My friend who homeschools is laughing at me. But hey, I need my routine, and that routine is writing while my kids are in school...away from here. I love them, but gimme a break. They were just home for two straight weeks!

So above is a picture of what I'm looking at out my window. Talk about a wacky 2011. But at least it's cold.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Life

Thought I'd share what someone else in my family is doing today. A dog's life, ain't it grand?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Today was the delivery of my new couch. The kids abused the other one--I still can't get the marker out of my indestructible Naugahyde.I wish I had a better angle for the picture, but as you can see, it's here. I spent the day screwing around with galley edits while waiting on not only the couch, but also the exterminator (friggin's little black ants!!) and the ADT guy. sigh. Not much done work-wise, but the couch is REALLY comfy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Working Hard

No more goofing off. Today I'm hitting my WIP hard. My goal is at least one chapter. I'm crossing my fingers for two...
My list of things to avoid:
  • Facebook
  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Laundry
  • Staring at the ceiling
  • Blogging one more word
'Nuff said.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beep, Beep!

Beep Beep! School is FINALLY back in session. After my personal hell trying to wake up the 7- and 5-year-old and get them moving, I fed them, packed them up, and watched them eventually smile and laugh as they boarded the school bus. Meanwhile, I was bursting with glee. I love my little monsters, but hey, I have work to do!

After a fast mile and a half walk in the brisk wind, I came back, showered, ate breakfast, and made coffee. Now, after whittling through emails and a new contract, I'm sipping coffee and getting ready to get back to work on RetroCog--my erotic, psychic who-dunnit. So far so good!

And on the contract note, I'm happy to announce Samhain will be publishing Storming His Heart, the second in my Westlake Enterprises series. More psychics, more sex, more humor. I wrote the Westlake trilogy five years ago and have since rewritten the darn books so many times my eyes hurt from looking at all the changes. I'm hoping to have the third book to my new editor at Samhain sometime in June, if I'm lucky.

And now back to a little town called Brownville, where two lovers are about to cross paths with a killer. What fun!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday...

I am so not 2011 by naming this post a title from a 1986 Bangles song--and yes, I did have to look that information up. (For some reason I was thinking Belinda Carlisle.) For a treat, keep reading until you get to the video below.

I'm finally back to work. YIPPEE! Granted, the kiddos don't go back to school until tomorrow, but I've been working on final edits for a story releasing in February and I'm flush full of ideas for my current WIP, which I plan to have finished in the next two weeks.

I do much better with deadlines and a busy schedule than playing it fast and loose with a whenever time frame. Yeah, sometimes discipline is not my friend.

But in the interests of sharing, I wanted to comment on one thing a friend sent me today--scary info about a new electronic publishing house opening for submissions. I won't mention the house, because I wouldn't advise an aspiring or even seasoned author to sub there. They specifically ask for only polished manuscripts, because content editing will not be a factor at this new house. They will only consider minor grammatical changes. And right there, the STAY AWAY WARNING WARNING flag was raised.

As a reader, I want an edited story. I've read enough that were supposedly edited to know that editing is a necessity in a work of fiction. And for any author to think they're so good they're beyond edits it just crazy talk. That and ego, no doubt. In fact, lack of editing is one of the chief complaints many readers have with the new trend in Indie publishing. Authors don't have anyone else look at their work before deeming it perfect and publishable. But that's another discussion saved for another day. (I'm neither for nor against Indie publishing. I'm curiously neutral.)

I've been with a publishing house that started out normal and grew into a place that refused to edit. Their customers complained, the authors complained, and by the droves, we left as soon as we were legally able.

Bottom line. I'm an avid reader and writer. And if you think you're too good to have your work thoroughly edited, one, you're not, and two, you're an idiot.

My two cents on this wonderfully chilled Monday. Enjoy the music video, if you dare. I've gotta go grab some coffee.