Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Zoey Derrick”

RT Recap and How To Convention

Today’s Brew: Is there coffee shock therapy?

by Kristen

If you follow me on Twitter (and if not, why not? You know I’m fun.), you know that last week I was in New Orleans for the Romance Times Convention, or as you saw it a thousand times, RT14.  Simply put, I had a blast. All of us who spent time together are lamenting how weird it feels to get back in to our regular routines at home.

Tammy Farrell, a convention virgin (yes, Tammy, I outed you) asked me a lot of questions about RT, and we figured she couldn’t be alone with having questions about attending conventions.  I had her ask some questions I could answer on the blog that might help you if you’re wondering why the heck we go to these things.

What is the schedule like?

During the weekdays, there are panels scheduled throughout the morning and afternoon. Because a wide variety of people attend this particular convention (writers, readers, agents, editors, bloggers, booksellers, and librarians), there were panels directed at all groups of people.  I looked for ones that were about writing craft, marketing, or self publishing. The nice thing is, if a panel isn’t what you want it to be, you get up and go to another one, or just get a coffee and relax. Because your brain can get overloaded quickly at these things, there are also social events during the day that are just fun and you can meet people.  At night, there were parties to attend, but I found most people stopped by those briefly and either went out to dinner with a group or hung out in the lobby and socialized. Saturday was fan day, and the day of the huge book signing. 300 authors signed at the event. I was waitlisted because I’m an indie author, which was fine with me.  I attended another event that evening called FAN-tastic that I was able to connect with readers at.  

I’d like to know how you get set up to do a signing, what kinds of things (materials) do you need to prepare. 

Don’t quote me on this, because I didn’t get in to the signing in time. I got waitlisted.  It looked like you were automatically able to sign if you were traditionally published. It seemed like there was a predetermined amount of spaces for indie authors.  There was some controversy about calling the indie author room “aspiring writers.”  Shame on you, RT.  Do you know how many NYT best sellers were in the “aspiring” room?  I don’t think there should be any segregation at all. Just first come, first serve, no matter who you are.

If you are doing a signing, obviously you need books. Bring a sign so people can see what you have from a distance.  You want to draw them in and talk to them. Make sure you have something they can walk away with that they remember you and your brand, even if they don’t buy a book. Swag swag swag. LOL.  Before you set foot into the signing space, you need to shout it from the rooftops you’re going to be there. Activity attracts activity and you want to make sure you’re not sitting there looking at Twitter.


What’s the best way to meet people. How do you choose which event to go to?

Charlaine Harris and Jeannine Frost at a RT14 panel. I take lousy photos. Deal with it.

Charlaine Harris and Jeannine Frost at a RT14 panel. I take lousy photos. Deal with it.

Go up and introduce yourself. Just start talking. Everyone is there for the same thing. Yes, that sounds scary as hell, and it is. I suggest the buddy system.  I had two awesome roommates, Angi Black and Sarah Guillory, who I didn’t really know all that well before I went, and thank God they were awesome. It’s a lot less intimidating to enter a room with someone or looking for someone. Reach out to your Twitter or Facebook friends who are going to be at the event, and make sure you find them when you’re there. I spent a lot of time with Zoey Derrick, and because of her met Angel Payne, who was amazing. Anyone you really want to meet? Reach out to them and offer to take them to coffee.

The description of some events will tell you right away if you want to go or not. A YA sleepover party might not interest you, but the NA one? Hell yeah. Some things were publisher hosted, some were general events, and sometimes, you just want to hang out in the lobby and talk.


Best/Worst practices at a convention. 

Have a plan. I like to print out the schedule beforehand so I know what events/panels interest me.
Talk to as many people as possible.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything. Take breaks if you need to.
Try new things.


After putting out all that money, what do you think YOU got out of it? Why is it worth it? 

You might think you have a great reach on social media, with tons of followers and fans, but going to a convention is a way to really get to KNOW those people, for them to put a face to your name, and to get them invested in you, and vice versa.  I talked to Angi on Twitter before we roomed together, but spending five days living with her, I really got to know her. I barely knew Sarah at all, and I was so glad we roomed together because we probably would have never started talking on social media. Other people knew my name, but didn’t really know me, and they got a chance to see what I was all about. Some didn’t realize I had any books out. Twitter moves fast, and everyone has a lot going on.

It was also a chance to get my books in front of readers, simply asking them what type of things they liked to read. The number that said paranormal or urban fantasy was staggering, so I don’t want to hear that paranormal is dead. Readers still want it. A number of people’s eyes lit up when I told them about vampire rock stars. Would they have ever found me in the millions of books available online? Maybe not.

You can also read articles all day long, but to talk to people who are doing things well and pick their brains in person is priceless. Sometimes you find out about things you didn’t even know to ask about that make all the difference in your business. You see marketing, get to see and hear what readers are interested in, and really get to fully immerse yourself into the industry as it’s happening now. I can’t do that on my couch.

Pick conferences well, break out of your shell, and absorb as much as you can.

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Devilish Desires and Zoey Derrick Cover Reveal

Devilish Desires

Today’s Brew: Julie’s French Toast.  Sorry Julie.  I’m enjoying it more than I usually do. 🙂

Today we wrap up our guest appearances feature of Stories To Strip By with a bang.  During our first short story exposition, The Nightmares Before Christmas, Zoey debuted Devilish Desire.  She enjoyed writing the story so much that not only does she offer the second installment of the story for your reading pleasure today, but Zoey is also thrilled to announce that she is developing Devilish Desire into a full length novel!  Here is your first chance to sneak a peak at the cover!

ZD-Cover4

Cover Art completed by Olivia Rivers with permissions outlined here; http://olivia212.deviantart.com/#/d5suzi3

Olivia is a member of the Twitter community and can be found https://twitter.com/RiversOlivia
Release date: Right now Devilish Desire is on my list to follow Finding Love’s Wings and the best release date I can say is Fall/Winter 2013.

Now, without further ado, here is Devilish Desires by Zoey Derrick:

The time that has come to pass since Christmas is a blur. I remember Christmas clearly, my friends and my family are clear, but when I think back to the vision and look at the pictures, there’s a void. A missing piece, not just mentally, but physically. When you look at pictures, there is a gap between people, and not just an area of space, but an object has been removed from the image. I had a distinct feeling that what ever was there bares no reflection and camera’s look past its presence.

The more I think about it, the more the pain comes. It wreaks havoc on my heart, and tears through my brain like burning fire. Something somewhere has been lost. Most days, I don’t think about it, and most days, I feel as though I can remember, but today is different. Today is Valentine’s and the ache of lonely emptiness plays with my soul.

Since Christmas so much has changed, my eating habits are over the top and I eat just about anything in site. Being the girl that has always had problems with weight, I have learned over the years the important necessities of diet and self-control. Though lately, the times have changed. If I crave a chocolate bar, I eat it. A big greasy cheeseburger smothered in mushrooms, bacon and onions, a big juicy rare steak, all of it, I consume without a second thought and I hate red meat. But what is strange and has me concerned is that I don’t change. I haven’t gained a pound, my hair is still the same length and my nails haven’t lost the last manicure I had nearly three months ago. It’s almost as if I have been frozen in time, yet moving forward from one day to the next.

Despite my feelings of emptiness, I always feel like I’m not alone. Like someone is watching me. Deep down inside my soul, something is telling me that whatever is watching me will not be hindered by locked doors, windows, light blocking curtains, and a security system.

Despite the business of the bakery and all the people at the dinner that I work at, I’m off today. No one even bothered to ask me to work for them, which was surprising because most of the women I work with are either married or deeply involved with their significant others. Maybe the money is better tonight and I really am missing out. Come to think of it, I have been at work most days and it seems as though most people are ignoring me. The conversations we once had have been nearly non-existent.

It’s just another thing to add to the growing list of weird.

As I’m dwelling on the fact that I appear invisible to the people around me, I enter my apartment. All the lights are off, that’s weird, I swear I left the light above the stove on before I left this morning. Maybe it burnt out. As I reach for the light switch near the door the lights flicker on.

I scream.

“Sh Nyssa, it’s me.” That voice, I know that voice, somewhere deep down inside my very being, I know this voice. I feel his arms embrace me, cuddling me close to his body. Gently caressing my hair.

Every fiber of my being is warning me to scream and kick and fight, but my fight is gone. His embrace is warm and welcoming and I can’t help but be coddled by his touch. “Wha…Who…who are you?” I manage to sputter.

I feel his hand cradle my forehead and in an instant a mountain of images come flooding back to me. An onslaught of images of Christmas, the dark warmth, the chains, being restrained, being tortured in so many delicious ways. All the laughing and crying, a feeling of complete happiness washed over me as I take in the images of a tall beautiful man, a man that I love, he has returned.

“Link.” I breathed and turned my head ever so slightly, my lips searching for his, and they found their purchase, kissing him ignited a raging inferno throughout my body, an inferno of desire, of necessity and need. I managed to turn in his arms and I wrapped my arms around his neck, while bringing my legs around his waist, pulling him closer to my body. This is the reason I feel lonely and confusion quickly swarms my brain. I want answers, I need to know where he has been and why he has left me alone. But, in this moment, I don’t care. Right now I need him, with me, in me.

He picks me up off of the floor and carries me down the hall to my room. I notice that he is moving slower than his usual pace and I am puzzled by this revelation. “Link?” I ask, breathless from our kiss.

He looks at me and answers my unspoken question. “I must savor you. I cannot allow my short time with you to be rushed. I only have tonight, Valentine’s night and then I must leave you once again.” I felt unwelcome tears start streaming down my cheeks.

“Link, it’s not fair, why must you go? I want to come with you. I need you.”

“In due time my love, you will stand by my side for eternity, but for tonight, I must have you. Here and now.” He reached the door to my bedroom and as the door opened, I caught the glimmer of flames and the sparkling of crystal as he crossed the threshold. Here in my room, on every surface including the floor were the petals of black and red roses, surrounding the vases from which dozens of long steam, in full bloom, roses of red and black stood in all their glory. Surrounding those vases were candles of white and black and the fresh floral scent that filled the room was like an aphrodisiac coating my senses and pooling in my core.

“Link, it’s beautiful.” I breathed. “Thank you.” And once again my lips found his and we melted into a tangle of lips, tongues, arms, clothes, and all kinds of nakedness.

Once we were naked he laid me out on the bed with expert care. His body hovered over mine, shoulders strong and straining against his skin. The muscles of his arms and chest were in perfect form as he held himself above me. My hands gently stroke up and down his arms, across his chest, down his stomach, around his hips to his tight, finely tuned arse that fits perfectly into my hands. I tug, trying desperately to bring him closer to me, trying to bring him inside me.

He lets out a low chuckle and in one quick burst of movement he is buried inside me, to the hilt. I can feel the curve of his balls smack against the crack of my ass and I moan. I’m full, he has filled me completely in one movement. His girth should have had me torn in half but I accepted him willingly and without pain.

Without moving inside me, he rears up and pulls at both my legs so that my feet come up towards his mouth and he licks, then nips, at the pad of my big toe and the sensation sends my mind into a tailspin of wonton desire for him. Finally he begins to slowly slide in and out. The motion is painstakingly slow as my desire builds harder and deeper. I can feel my sex turn slippery and wet as he slowly picks up his pace.

Once satisfied that my body is fully responding to him, he gently lays my legs down on the bed so I’m laying on my right side. My shoulders remain square on the bed as he runs his hand over my engorged nipple, wanting and needing to be touched, and licked. His hand continues downward and lingers along my stomach. A look of pure raw devotion crosses his features, a manner that, in my pre-orgasmic state, I cannot comprehend. “So beautiful.” He breaths as his pace increases. I feel the warmth of his hand across my belly, but no pressure. I look down to where our sexes are meeting in pure raw passion. Though I can feel his hand, he is not actually touching me.

He leans down and begins licking, sucking, and biting at my breasts and he quickly takes a nipple into his mouth. The sensation is so intense that my orgasm is building to unmanageable proportions. I’m going to explode, there is no other definition for what he is doing to me. “Cum for me beautiful, cum now.” He growled and my orgasm erupted from deep inside. My eyes close involuntary and he brings his hand down, hard, along the bubble of my ass and my eyes fly open. “Look at me. I need to see you.” The stars continue to fall in front of my eyes and I watch as his growling intensifies and his body begins to morph from the beautiful pale face I fell in love with, into the bright red eyed, dark black skinned, bald beast that has become a part of who I am. His horns become visible from the peak of his now absent hairline. A normal person would be scared stiff, but I, I caress his beautiful face, because even in this form, he is still beautiful.

I feel his need and desire pour into my body as his orgasm rocks his body. His in and out motion slows, but I can still feel his erection, as hard has it was when we started. Slowly he morphs back into the beautiful, violet eyed, long jet-black hair, strong-jawed man that I love.

Follow Zoey on Twitter and check out her Blog!

The Next Big Thing

One of the fellow writers Julie and I met at backspace, Joy Dawn Johnson, asked us to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, so here we are!  Check out her site, she wrote an amazing young adult fantasy novel called Underlake Academy.

What is the working title of your book?
Kristen–Immortal Dilemma

Julie–Running Home

 

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Kristen–To get my brain to stop thinking about all the daily nonsense that keeps me awake at night, I make up stories to get myself to relax.  Immortal Dilemma was roughly one of those stories.

Julie–From having my first baby, reading Twilight, hearing the Kings of Leon’s “Closer,” and watching Iron Man.

What genre does your book fall under?
Kristen–New Adult Paranormal Romance

Julie–Paranormal Thriller 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Kristen–God, I really don’t know.  I’ve struggled with this in my head.  The problems of an overactive imagination.  🙂  Plus, I’m horrible with what actor is who anyway unless it’s Brad Pitt, so I’d probably say the wrong person anyway.

Julie–I have already chosen Robert Downey Jr. as Nicholas (save the date, my friend). Zooey Deschanel for Ellie, Isla Fischer for Kat, Leo DiCaprio for Roman, and the hot guy from Burn Notice for Lynch.  Not that I have put any thought into this.

 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Kristen–I can sum up my book in two sentences:  Callie always knew Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, she never dreamed they’d lead him to immortality.  Now she must weave her way through a world of debauchery she never knew existed to get what she really wants and find the true meaning of Bloodlust.

Julie–Shinigami are a race of vampires with Chosen victims to save from worse tragic ends.  The Shinigami are also Chosen, and when the paths of the Chosen cross, fates are worse than death. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Kristen–I am represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Larsen Pomada.

Julie–Seeking representation.

 How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Kristen–About six months.

Julie–Four years. Off and on.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Kristen–I asked my beta readers this question before Backspace and they told me it didn’t remind them of any other book they had read.  I liked that answer.  I have a lot of unintentional similarities to Twilight, but it’s a completely different story.

Julie–The mythology of a Kylie Chan novel, with the tone of JR Ward.

 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Kristen–Julie inspired me to write my book when I discovered she was writing hers.  For the content, I drew on life experiences. 

Julie–my baby, Bennett. And Stephanie Meyer.

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Kristen–Immortal Dilemma is the hottest vampire rock band in residence on the Las Vegas Strip.  They also star in their own reality show, Immortal Forever.  How can you possibly go wrong with Las Vegas, Vampires, and Rock n Roll?

Julie—It has a feel all its own, twists you could never see coming, the kind of romance that makes you wonder if there is any romance at all, and a mythology unlike any other novel in the genre. And hot characters.

On December 19, these awesome writers will be answering the same questions.  In the mean time, go check out their blog offerings.  Many of them have or will be showcased in our Nightmare Before Christmas extravaganza.  If you enjoyed their stories, get to know them better.

Jeanie Gray
Zoey Derrick
Dylan J. Morgan
Bobby Salomons
The Living Notebook

Devilish Desire by Zoey Derrick

 

TODAY’S BREW: Abysmal homemade blend I call French Mintnog Nut. Don’t try it.

The Undead Duo forced Miss Zoey Derrick to write outside of her comfort zone to appease us.   Success! Enjoy this wonderful little read!

 

Today was such a beautiful day, spending Christmas Day with my family and my boyfriend was something that had scared the hell out of me when the idea was brought up. My boyfriend, Link, is someone that generally gets along with everyone. At least I had no problems getting to know him. Now I am beginning to understand why.

I am panting, out of breath. My heart is pounding out a rhythm beneath my ribs that has my whole body trembling. I’m running. One foot in front of the other, but it feels like I am on a street long treadmill. I can’t get to the end of the block that I see up ahead. He’s behind me, chasing me.

The man I thought I loved turned out to be something more, something unexpected. Something that I had only ever read about in books or seen on tv. I never, not in my wildest of nightmares expected him to be something of fantasy.

He is stalking me, forcing me to run from him. Why? Why am I running from him? If everything I have read in books is true, just like this is coming to be, then I should be dead. Right?

I’m still running and finally I am coming towards the end of the empty block, I turn back and he’s gone. I skid to a halt. “What the hell?”

“Looking for me?” His voice is sweet and sensual. Desire courses through my body. My body’s reaction throws me off guard. I shouldn’t be attracted to this man, a man that is trying to kill me.

I feel a magnetic pull course over my body. Pulling me backwards, back into his arms. “NO!” I scream and I start to fight the feeling and try to run back the way that I came. The pull I feel releases and a shoot forward like a slingshot and I am running again. Once I have managed to gain my balance I look up to look where I am going and there he is.

Standing about twenty feet in front of me, I skid to a halt again. “What do you want from me?” I shout at him.

“I want you, with me, forever.” A slow seductive smile crosses his lips and I can’t help the sharp intake of breath that wracks my entire body.

“You…” I take another deep breath, “You want to kill me?”

He doesn’t respond, just shakes his head in a silent “No”.

The pull has returned, it is harder to fight in my forward position. This pull cannot be real, he cannot have this kind of physical effect on me, can he?

I look to my left and there he is. I look to my right, and he is there. I start to turn and he is there, right behind me, reaching his arms out to embrace me into his arms. I take advantage and take off in the opposite direction.

Before I can make it ten feet, I become aware of his presence in front of me and my running has me catapulting into the air. I see him getting closer, the snow strewn streets, the sparsely lit windows and buildings covered in Christmas lights as I slam into him. He catches me. Picks me up and takes off. I quickly realize that he is running faster than humanly possible. I scream.

“What are you? Why were you chasing me?” I shout at him. He continues to race down the street. It is empty; not that anyone could see us anyway. I could see the streams of Christmas lights blurring past us as we made our way to God knows where. The motion was starting to make me dizzy and I closed my eyes. I could feel Link’s hands on me, rubbing, caressing. “What do you want from me?” I whispered.

“Who and what I am are none of your concern. What I want from you, you will give me freely, without hesitation. I can feel your want and desire for me. It is washing over me in waves. You will do this and you will be mine, Forever.” His voice was menacing and seductive all at the same time.

For a moment, I had images running through my head. A dark shadow stalking me, enveloping  my body completely. The room is dark and I can see flames flickering in the distance. The image changes, the shadow is gone and Link appears before me. Naked! Wearing nothing but a set of horns.

My eyes flew open. “You’re the devil?” My eyes closed again and everything went….

 

Enjoy Zoey at http://www.zoeyderrick1.blogspot.com, follow her for sure on Twitter @ZoeyDerrick.  Email the heck out of her at zoeyderrick@gmail.com .

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