Monday, November 23, 2015

Review by Cold Coffee Press for Just Another Desert Sunset!

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Just Another Desert Sunset by Nikki Broadwell
“There was once a coyote who wanted to become a man, but before he could be granted his wish the shaman asked him for three things.”
Just Another Desert Sunset is a provocative paranormal romance that begs the reader to recognize the fine line between humans and animals in a mystical realm that honors Native Americans traditions and beliefs.
This face paced well written story takes place in Arizona where Author Nikki Broadwell uses the beauty of both sky and land with desert creatures that crawl, area birds fly and furry animals that hunt. Nikki weaves spell binding rituals with humans that are going about their lives unaware of the clash of cultures that exists as a fine line ready to tear the very fabric of time and space.
Well-developed characters live in a modern world that collide with a spiritual world were a coyote leaves his familiar pack in search of a way to become a human man. His deepest desire is to see, hear, feel and make love to Sarah who overwhelms his senses with her fragrances and beauty which brings confusion and longing in his spirit. Shape-shifting is not new to literature, but it is new to coyote when his warm, four footed fury body shifts into a Native American man named Istaga with yellow eyes, long braids and smooth, hairless skin.
I quote a passage where romance bridges instinct. “Coyote woke with a start, staring down at the woman curled up next to him. She looked serene and peaceful, a slight smile curling up the corners of her mouth. He wanted to stay as he was, wanted her to know him as animal as well as man, but it was too soon—too early for her to find out the truth. If she woke now he couldn’t imagine how she would react seeing a wild beast lying next to her. He thought of the night before and how he had longed to turn into his coyote form but had managed to control the urge. How he wished his visions would come to pass—that they could change together from human to animal while they mated. When he moved away she moaned in her sleep, reaching for him, but he was already loping into the underbrush, searching for their breakfast.
When Sara woke, Istaga was gone, nothing left to indicate he’d ever been there. She had a moment of panic, wondering if she’d dreamed the entire scenario, but then she felt the sand in her hair, the sore muscles in her shoulders and hips and smiled to herself. There had been no exchange of the usual endearments between them but somehow the episode felt profound and deeper than any sex she’d ever experienced. Except for the first time with Istaga, she thought to herself, chuckling. Hopefully he had only gone to relieve himself and would be back soon. The thought of him disappearing from her life again was too painful to bear.”
Cold Coffee Press endorses Just Another Desert Sunset by Nikki Broadwell as a delightful paranormal romance that intertwines human and animal nature in its purest form. Nikki currently has 10 books within 4 series, two Kindle Gift sets and a new book coming out early in 2016. We reviewed this book in a Kindle/PDF format. This review was completed on November 23, 2015. For more information please visit
Five Star Book Review
Amazon Headline: Human and animal nature in its purest form.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nanowrimo and Halloween

Nanowrimo is nearly upon us! For those of you who've been thinking about writing a story but haven't gotten to it yet, this is for you. It is also for those who have begun a story and stuck it in a drawer somewhere--bring that sucker out and finish it! And for those who doubt yourselves and don't believe it's possible to write a 50,000 word book in a month, get to work!

You don't even have to join to participate, just do the daily word count! And don't edit! Editing is for later when the month is over.

If you've been reading my last few posts you'll know that I've been doing writing prompts by way of pictures. I have two for you today and they fit with Halloween. One is a sentence, the other is a picture --combine or not, this is your chice. Write on!

If I had only known before I walked through that door. But once my feet had crossed the threshold...

Once my feet had crossed the threshold it was as though something alien had taken hold of my psyche. I couldn't explain it even it I wanted to, that sensation of losing myself. I couldn't think, couldn't do anything but follow the hallway toward the stairs that looked too rickety to hold me. But despite my practical mind screaming NO! I was climbing upward toward a blackness that seemed too dense to be
merely an absence of light. My mind screamed at me to turn around and go back, but my feet kept moving upward, upward until I was inside that darkness, my mind going blank as I was taken beyond what my brain could process--lost in a place that could not exist.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

inspiration? more prompts!

What I felt when I saw that familiar city, the place where the bridge had connected those two land masses, went beyond mere words. I stood on that barren hill trying to wrap my mind around the scene of desolation, but in the end all I could do was stare. I had no more tears for what had happened to our civilization, no more regrets and no hope. We had done this to ourselves and although I had known it was coming it made no difference. What I knew and what I tried to tell others had fallen on deaf ears.

They had been determined to continue with growth above all else, greed for money and riches going beyond any considerations for the environment, people or anything that made any sense. And now we had finally reaped our reward--a barren land that would not sustain life. I took a breath and then another, knowing that even this would be taken from me very soon. Oxygen was the product of the plants and trees and now that they were gone it would be in short supply. Some of the wealthy had thought to protect themselves in domes that supplied them with their needs, but without electricity even these would fail in the end. 

I watched the sky turn purple and then gray, no sun descending into the western horizon tonight. It was like my worst nightmare come true. The end had come in the way of a nuclear bomb that had destroyed all of us, everything. How could we have been so stupid? And yet our country, the one that was supposed to the leader, had set the thing off, in a misguided attempt to stop our enemies. What enemies? We're all in this together now--no separate countries, no boundaries, no religions to fight against. If anyone survived we will have to pool our resources, what little we have. I turned to find a place to spend the night hoping to find one soul to speak with. 

Thanks for reading! Now take a look at this picture and let your imagination run WILD!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sisley and writing prompt

What does the painting by Sisley conjure in your soul?

I was walking next to the city wall carrying what I'd managed to glean from the abandoned house down the lane when the snow began. The village disappeared in a flurry of white, my headscarf disappearing with it. In front of me I could barely make out the orange gate that opened into the village proper. I was alone and afraid.

The past year had been a struggle to survive, everything gone in the flash that bore down on us that early evening. Since then we'd lost so many people to disease and starvation. We, the survivors, had buried them as best we could and then dispersed into groups of two or three, some heading out of town to find a way out, others, like myself, finding a hideyhole where I could be safe. Mine was in the basement of an old building that had once housed a family of four--all of them gone now. 

When I saw a figure hurrying my way I backed up against the wall hoping they would simply pass me by, but this time I was not so lucky. Before I could cry out they'd ripped the meagre hunks of stale bread from my hands and thrown me to the gound. I lay there like dead, watching the blood from the cuts on my hands and arms from the rough stone beneath my body pool red against the white. I knew if I didn't rouse myself I would be dead by morning.

What do you see in this picture? Can you begin a story that leads you into the world of your imagination? Go for it! And if you want to post it into the comments, please do so!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 16, 2015

#writing prompt/nanowrimo

One of my favorite exercises in English class was when the teacher/professor gave us a sentence and said: 'write for twenty minutes'. What I want to do here is somewhat the same, especially since November is nearly upon us and Nanowrimo! What better way to prepare? But instead of a sentence I'm going to be using photos or pictures to stimulate the creative part of your brain. So here we go:

When I saw the wooden door I knew--it had to be the one. It was old, older than anything I'd seen around these parts. And the color was exactly as she had described, a shade between turquoise and cerulean. It was set deep into the hand chiseled stone surrounding it, as if guarding something secret. I stood there for at least twenty minutes staring at the cracked paint, the rusted handle, thinking about what she'd said. 
"When you find the door all you have to do is step through and everything will be different."
"How different?" I'd asked, my skin prickling.
She'd smiled then, her eyes crinkling, her lovely mouth moving up at the corners, making me want to kiss her. But when I took a step toward her she backed away, her sweet smile turning into a frown. 
"If you trust me you'll do it," she'd said before turning her back and walking into the dusk and shadows. 
"Wait!" I called out. "How will I know it's the right one?"
But she was gone and I was left only with the  echo of my words. 

I put my hand on the rusted latch, apprehension moving through my body. Was I ready for this? How did I know she'd been telling the truth? After all we'd only been friends for a little over six months. What did I really know about her? I pictured her triangular face, the pale amber eyes that seemed to see straight into me. She looked like a pixie or a sprite, as though she might sprout gossamer wings and fly away.

I breathed in and out, picturing her waiting for me on the other side. My heart was racing. At first the latch resisted when I pressed down, as though it wasn't sure I had a right to be here. I pushed inward with my shoulder, feeling the stickiness of age and disuse, hearing the groan of rusty hinges, and then it swung open.

So you get the picture--(no pun intended) Now go for it! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saffron and Seaweed and other crazy ideas...really?

If writing quickly and getting another book out in a series in a couple of months is a good thing then I'm doing great! I just completed Saffron and Seaweed, book 2 in the Summer McCloud paranormal series. AND I've got the title and the first chapter of the next book at the end of this one. Marketing is like a bad word now, a bug in my ear that I can't ignore. I don't even want to think about it. When I ask questions in my author groups I hear answers that frazzle my brain cells and make me feel like I'm living on another planet. And then I become utterly discouraged, because, how is it that I'm so far behind?  I know I will never catch up. Is it my age, my idiocy or is everyone living in another reality?

These people use acronyms and other language that I don't know the meaning of, and ask what  I've done about this or that. What? What is it and how do I access it? Is it my imagination or is this too complicated for mere mortals to handle? And yet these people are selling hundreds if not thousands of books a month. I won't even mention the paltry number of book sales I had last month.  I have to admit I'm a failure.

But despite the knowledge that I'm an idiot I keep marching ahead, starting another book and feeling like this one may change everything. I've been doing this since I finished my first trilogy and now I'm working on book eleven. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting another outcome. Hellooo... I would dearly love to sell hundreds of books, but right now I'm settling for what I can get and trying as hard as I can to find SIMPLE ways to raise sales. I appreciate so much all the help I've been given--if only I understood what they were talking about!! Maybe one of these days I'll figure it out, but until then I'm writing.

The 3rd book in my mystery series is called Black and White and Red all over--catchy title that I have to google to make sure it isn't out there a million times. My first book, The Moonstone, competed with several other books of the same name and it didn't do me much good, but in the scheme of things who really cares? It still doesn't come up first when I google it but at least it's there. And so I'm marching ahead despite poor sales and the feeling that I'll never figure it out. But I have to tell myself that it's the writing I care about. And the writing keeps me going because I absolutely love it! I just hope that readers will find my books and decide they like them and come back for more....

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

New thoughts

I don't know how many people read my blog--I have a list of followers but I doubt very much if they all follow me any more. I have noticed that I don't follow other blogs the way I once did. Not enough time and also, even though I was once signed up, they no longer appear in my in-box. I've been remiss in not blogging more often and vow to do better in this regard!

This leads me to marketing, a subject I can't seem to get away from. I placed my first Facebook ad today--they refer to what I did as promoting my page but I assume my ad will show up on the right of the FB page--at least I hope it does. From what I've read 'promote page' is better for what I'm trying to sell than 'boosting posts.'

They wouldn't let me include a link so I hope that the ad itself will link back to my author page--from there one click will get to my books on Amazon. My ad goes for 10 days at 5 dollars a day. At least at the end of it I'll have more information about what works and what doesn't. Trying to choose the target audience is hard, though--the choices they give you seem more geared toward small business trying to sell a pair of shoes. I did the best I could given what I had to work with, entering e-readers, arts and music, environmentalists, dogs, cats, and so on, into the interests area...

I'm sure many of you have experience with this sort of thing--I'm kind of flying blind. Maybe that's good since I don't have any expectations.

Speaking of marketing I've been trying anything and everything these days, tired of my books languishing in KDP. It used to be that I would sometimes see my own titles in my e-mails from Amazon, but that has not happened in a very long while. How does that work, exactly? I wish I knew.

I used Draft2Digital for my newest cozy mystery novel, 'Murder in Plain Sight' in order to place it in Kobo, Nook, I-tunes, Oyster, and several other e-book markets. They offer the service for free but take a nominal percentage when the book sells. I decided to do the same with my other books, incurring the wrath of Amazon in the process. I had heard that offering the first book in a series as permafree is a good marketing tool but I neglected to pay attention to whether the two I chose were still in select. They were and I found out about it tout suite. Select on those two titles (The Moonstone and Gypsy's Quest) has now expired and all is well, at least I hope so! Hate to anger the largest retailer in the world.

I do some form of marketing nearly every day now, taking the time to research sites or going with others advice who have been there before me. My main problem continues to be doing stuff and then forgetting what I've done! I hope this is due to being disorganized and not some form of brain disorder brought on by age...

Thanks for reading!!!