Saturday, September 29, 2012

Newsletter news!

I'm starting an author newsletter, which will feature book news, information about contests and freebies, appearances and even fun stuff like recipes. I plan to email the first newsletter in November, with a fun recipe for my mother's special cookie press cookies that was a holiday tradition in our household.

To sign up, visit the link below and enter your email address in the form that reads "Sign up for the newsletter." It's just below the email contact form. You have the option to unsubscribe at any time you wish.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Go for the grapes

I finally finished writing The Phantom Wolf, the next book in my new mini-series. Yay! I’m worn out, so here is a rewrite of a blog from two years ago. And a special thank you to all the readers who make such deadlines possible for me. You rock!

Go for the grapes

I'm not a known or a best-selling author. No one talks about my books on discussion boards or blogs when they rave about authors whose books they love.

But I have known the quiet sense of pride and joy of seeing my book on the shelves, and hearing from readers about how much they loved reading them. That means a lot to me.

Disappointment is a given in the publishing industry. It can come with getting rejection on a project, or not making a list such as USA Today or the NY Times. It can be something as seemingly small as a minor mistake in cover art, or something as crushing as your publishing house dropping you because of poor sales.

We all face disappointment one time or another. It's tough when your friends and your peers make the lists, have their books buzzed by book bloggers or get glowing reviews on Amazon, or they final in prestigious contests. Or they receive a contract for six figures, and there you are, clipping coupons so you can meet your grocery budget and there's another rejection letter sitting in your mailbox.

During those times you must remember the Sour Grapes Rule.

When someone else gets the grapes, go find a glass of plum wine and toast them, and yourself.

You know, the story about the fox and the grapes? The fox tried and tried to grab the sweet-looking grapes dangling from the vine. When he couldn't and finally gave up, he told himself, "Those grapes were sour, anyway."

Don't be the fox and deny your friends and peers the recognition they have received. Don't short change yourself either. You worked hard, wrote a great book. Or you have lots of talent and are trying to get published. You need to cheer yourself on when disappointment comes calling.

The person who got the award, the contract, the great sales, has worked very hard. She’s also endured their own trials in trying to grab those grapes. Maybe she’s a single mom, trying to make ends meet and this six-figure contract (which, when broken down book by book, isn't as grand as it appears, especially after taxes), will enable her to pay for health insurance or her kids can finally eat steak instead of hot dogs.

Life is filled with good times and bad. When you learn to seize precious moments of triumph for yourself, be it finishing a book or even finishing a sentence, it makes those grapes sweet, not sour.

Go for the grapes. Even if you constantly try to reach them and fail, drink a glass of plum wine to cheer your efforts. And some day, you'll be the one grabbing the grapes and everyone will be cheering YOU!

But that glass of plum wine is one you’ll never forget, because it's a reminder that life is not all about tasting success. It's the journey of the goal, the effort to do our best, and the grace you display when someone else grabs the grapes.

Keep going for the grapes. The next time, they may fall right into your lap when you least expect it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Win a copy of The Empath!

I'm over at Workspace Wednesday, talking about writing with a Shih Tzu on your lap. Stop by to comment for a chance to win a signed copy of my first Nocturne (now out of print), THE EMPATH!!

Here is the link.

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Sexcerpt from INCUBUS WOLF

WARNING:  Not intended for anyone under the age of 18.

Incubus Wolf
Copyright 2012 by Bonnie Vanak

Now available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, at eHarlequin  (save 20% through this link) and available as a digital download at online bookstores

She leaned back. “Your pack is known for its sexual exploits. Public sex, spankings, bondage.”
“By others who fear us, and don’t understand. Each member of the pack fully accepts the rules. Those who do not are free to leave without consequence. But this is their home, our home, and it’s a safe haven.”
“For the males, yes. But the females.” Alex shook her head. “They’re treated like sex slaves.”
“We revere and honor our females.” Dominic sat on the chair’s arm, tipped her chin up with a finger. “Just as you would be revered, if you were to stay.”
She sputtered. “Stay?”
“A warm home, security and respect, Alexandra. Not a cold cabin where you would forever be lonely.”
“Free,” she challenged.
“There is great freedom here, in being among those who understand.” Secrets shadowed his expression.
An odd hope fluttered through her. A home, where no one would shun her or laugh at her. Right. Alex silently laughed.
“Here? Your pack is comprised of dangerous rogue wolves. None were ever accused of a crime, but they were all tossed out of packs because they’re rule breakers.”
Tension turned his jaw to granite. “Rumors and gossip. Every single member of my pack was homeless and alone. Michael was tossed out, yes. Because he lost an eye in a vicious fight protecting his alpha, and for his loyalty, he was banished, no longer considered whole. He came here and met Carla, his mate, who’d been left orphaned. All my people have found acceptance, and a place to belong.”
Dominic thumbed her chin, his gaze intense. “You too, could belong here, Alexandra. We’d make a good pairing.”
The odd longing surged with vehement force. Somewhere she could relax and be herself, not worry about her looks or being judged.
Fifteen acres in Colorado looked less attractive. Solitude was wonderful, but was she embracing it the rest of her life? She was still young. Maybe somewhere, someone would want her, despite her ugly appearance.
But if she had the wizard’s potion, she would never be ugly again. Her stomach twisted at the idea of what she had to do to get it.
And if Dominic ever saw her real face now, he’d be repulsed, just like the men in the bar.
“I don’t need anyone. I can do perfectly fine on my own. And I’m not the pairing type. Certainly not in a pack where females are expected to be submissive to their males’ sexual whims.”
“Don’t mock what you haven’t tried,” he said in a silky voice. “They’re quite content and their mates keep them far too busy and pleasured in bed.”
He turned her toward the window. “Look.”
Outside, two wolves scampered across the meadow, coming to a halt just before the lamppost. The smaller gray wolf turned and snapped at the larger one. He nipped her hindquarters and she whined.
Suddenly the wolves shifted into human form. The male wore an eye patch and had a firm, trim body. The short-haired blonde was petite and seemed frail. Both were naked. “Michael and Carla, his mate,” Dominic said quietly. “He’s disciplining her for disobedience. I ordered Michael to punish her when she went beyond our borders against my express orders. Watch.”
Michael pointed to the lamppost. Carla closed her eyes, bent over and grabbed the post. Alex cried out in shock as the male began to slap Carla’s bottom.
Outraged, she jumped up. “Hey, stop that!”
Dominic’s fingers clasped her wrist. “Do not interfere. But watch.”
The ecstasy on Carla’s face gave Alex pause. Her moans of pleasure, not distress.
Michael stopped spanking his mate. Then the werewolf slid a hand between her legs. When he pulled his fingers free, they were glistening.
“She’s very aroused,” Dominic mused. “Now, she is ready.”
Shocked, Alex stared. She enjoyed the punishment?
“Very much so,” Dominic said softly, reading her thoughts. “I ordered Michael to punish her, but the means of punishment was up to him. He could have inflicted something on her that she did not like. But this will give her less reason to stray far from home, knowing such pleasure awaits her at her mate’s hands.”
Silently Michael pointed to the ground and Carla dropped to all fours.
Carla raised her reddened bottom in the air, her legs slightly spread. Michael stood, proud and straight, behind his mate. He had a heavily muscled body, and his long, dark hair spilled down past his thick shoulders. His erect penis stood out stiffly. Alex’s breathing hitched as Michael ran his hands down the small of Carla’s back, between her legs and then knelt behind her.
Carla threw her head back and cried out as Michael eased into her. Hands on her hips, he began to thrust hard and heavy.
Dominic leaned closer, his warm breath feathering her blushing cheek. “Look at them. Wild in their passion. Losing themselves in each other, so caught up in their pleasure, the world ceases to exist. This is the essence of my people, Alexandra. Come, be with me and know the erotic passion of completely losing your inhibitions...”