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Social media: When IS enough…enough?


I’ve been thinking about this post topic for several weeks; writing and what I write. It seems when I’m given free rein my writer’s brain turns off. Much the way my creative bone unhinges. Why? Heckifiknow!

But I have discovered new levels on Facebook that I didn’t pay attention to before. I’d love if you click my FB link on the right or just go here: Facebook While you’re at it and in the mood, why not follow me on Twitter too?

Yes. This is a problem for my writing. I caved and got a Triberr account. Not a huge thing, not a big time suck as I’d thought. You really don’t do much there in my opinion. Click a few (or twenty or fifty) buttons to approve blogs to fly into your cyber world to help others promote as they do the same for you.

When I joined my first Triberr group in early July it was a brand new group with maybe five members and reached 4K+ readers. That’s a lot of people gaining access to your blog who didn’t before, which means 4K people possibly checking out who you are on any given day. Cool!

I looked at my numbers today and had to smile. With six Tribes (that’s what Triberr calls each group you join), 70 combined members (not all are in every group so I reach various areas of newness with each Tribe), I couldn’t believe my little old blog now has the potential to be seen by 99,871 people! In ONE month! That number increases with each new member to any one of my tribes. Just WOW.

It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? But- does it really help, or am I just sucking those 5 minutes a day or week by participating on Triberr? Does it really help my blog, or anyone’s of whom I ‘Approve?’ There is no way that I can see to track stats for Triberr success other than to watch my blog stats and see if they improve over time, and which I’m horrible at because I just thought of this! 😆 (going to look now!)

72 Blog followers. Not bad, but I haven’t checked to see how my number compares to say…Nora Roberts, or Laura Kaye, Callie Hutton—or anyone else really. I don’t like to compare because it only serves to depress me. Lol  But how many of those followers are due to Triberr? I can’t say, any more than I can say for certain that X number of followers were gained from Twitter posts, Facebook or even word of mouth and how many are just the result of my awesomeness of blogging talent and uber-cool posts.

The raw fact is—I don’t know. I don’t really care either.

Is that bad?

Do I care that it’s bad? Not really. Why? Because, though blogging is important—in my writerly opinion, or I wouldn’t do it at all—it does not MAKE the writer. I actually researched this. Yes, really! As popular as Nora Roberts is—she does NOT blog! Oh, she has a website, but no blog. So how does she get her name out there you ask? How did she first start and become who she is today? My guess is that she concentrated all her efforts on writing kickass books and , I’m sure, for a big six publisher in a time when they did most of the publicity for her. Now, in a new age when authors are responsible for their own publicity, she doesn’t need to worry as much because she’s already got a huge following.

In my opinion, that is the key to real success.

Write, write and write some more. The more backlist, the more your name is out there, the more readers and fan following you’ll grow. That’s not to say you don’t need to promote—this is the age of self-promotion, there’s no way around that. But if you don’t have books to sell, what do you need followers, readers for? What is there to waste time promoting? That one short story you sold five years ago? Not likely. Again, depends on you.

The question I think we need to ask is how much is too much? Is there such a thing? I think there probably is and that doesn’t matter who you are or how you promote. If you spend all your time promoting that one book—when will you write the next book, or the one after that? And if you do manage to hiccup out another two books, will you spend all your new time promoting them for another three years before you realize it just might be time to write something new again?

I have come to the realization that you should only promote in increments each day or week, or even each month. I have also come to realize my own platform is what will probably help me most. I hope you’ll join me Friday with a part two of this vein of thought.

In the meantime, what about you? How much do you promote and do you see positive results? Enough to keep going even if it prevents productive writing? Are you promoting more than you write?

How do you balance social media and promotion with production?



My interview with a vampire


When I finished reading Laura Kaye’s Forever Freed a while back I knew I had, HAD to meet Lucien Demarco. I asked Laura if she could talk him into visiting my little ranch here in the Pen. To my delight (and now yours!) he graciously said yes. Of course, those who know him know he can’t be anything other than gracious. I wondered about interviewing Lucien at first, I mean he is a vampire, and I’m not the one who gives his life meaning so I have a lot more to lose. But then I thought about how sweet he is. How concerned about life he is. And I knew I’d be safe to meet with him. (Plus a little special water boosts my confidence, but you’ll need to read his story to know what that means.)

I’d like to welcome Lucien to my home in the cyber world. Not quite as interesting as his paranormal world, but it’s mine. 🙂 I put some questions together. Let’s enjoy his answers. 

Thank you for agreeing to let me interview you Lucien. I’d like to begin with a question that nibbled…er, make that tickled… at me throughout the whole book. What is it like to be dead for all intents and purposes and live among the living? I mean how does that make you feel?

That’s a difficult question, Calisa. My author lady said you’d be easing me into this. Well, I’ve survived worse, I suppose, though I hope she told you I’m not always comfortable around people. How does it feel? I don’t feel dead, in the least. If death is defined as the absence of pain, I never died at all, because nearly unbearable pain has been my most constant companion for most of my existence. And, since I had the incredible fortune of winning the love of my girls, I have found the true wonder of life, which can never be experienced fully without love.

Sorry about the tough ones. Guess it’s too late to change it now, eh? I realize how protective you are, but has there ever been a time when those instincts seemed to fail you?

Since I can feel the innocence behind your question, I’m going to pretend it doesn’t make me a little crazy inside. I believe you know quite explicitly a time when my protectiveness did me little good, when I failed those I loved completely. In my darkest moments, the horror film of my first wife’s and child’s slaughters still plays in my mind. When I nearly lost Samantha and then Ollie, I relived those agonizing, powerless moments over and over. I will do anything it takes to protect them and ensure none of us ever experiences such loss again.

Forgive me if I say anything to offend you. Yikes! Touchy much? Is there anyone special in your life?

Thank you. Two special someones, actually.

Yet still gracious. Whew! Would you tell us a bit…uh, little about her?

About Samantha, you mean? Well, she is everything to me. Her love and acceptance helped me forgive myself and resurrected the man in me, kept me from giving over entirely to the darkness. I’d been so close. She is light and joy and love and pleasure and everything good in the world. So, uh, yeah. That’s about it.

They say behind every good looking man…er, behind every man there’s a good woman.

You lost a child. I’m so sorry for you. Do you wish you had more children? Can you?

I cannot have children. But Ollie more than fills the part of my heart that longed for a second chance at fatherhood. That child amazes me every day. And Isabetta would’ve loved her. In my mind’s eye, I can see them playing together.

Ok, I would love to know what kind of relationship you have with Laura Kaye? She’s ruthless it seems. Was there ever a time during your story that you were less than pleased with her?

*chuckles* I got along with my author lady just fine, as long as she was paying attention to me. Once I decided to tell my story, I was a bit, you might say, urgent in my need to have it recorded, shared. The eleven weeks she took to write the first draft, which came in at 145,000 words, seemed like, well, forever, to me.

I think Laura may just be one of my new fave authors. How is your relationship now that the book is finished?

We still talk all the time, actually. I’m rather fond of her. Though I have some questions about the things she’s planning for the sequel. I won’t say more, as I’m hoping to change her mind.

Do you think she’ll have another book coming out from your world?

Hmm, yes. Without question. There’s another one drafted. It’s dark and intense—my life before Samantha. And she’s outlining another one. Ollie’s story. That’s the one that’s giving me ulcers. Well, not really. You know what I mean. I rather think she ought to write Catherine’s story, too.

Lucien, I’m so thrilled your story has such a happy ending. But a look into the beginning will help a lot of readers understand you better. I think Laura has the right idea.

I’ve enjoyed spending time with you. Sam is a lucky woman. Is there anything you’d like to say before we say good-bye?

Thank you for speaking with me and sharing your enjoyment of my story. You might be interested to know it has received some recognition of late. FOREVER FREED dual finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf Contest for Published Authors – best paranormal and best first book categories. Here at Orchard Hill, we’re all rather pleased about that.

Thank you for being my guest, Lucien. And thank you Laura Kaye, author of FOREVER FREED for helping me set up this interview! I’m sure there are many who would love to keep in touch to know when your next book (related to FF or not) will be out. Where can we find you Laura?

Buy Laura’s Books

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A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance Hearts in Darkness and the bestselling and award-nominated paranormal romance Forever Freed. Her contemporary erotic romance Just Gotta Say releases September 30 and her contemporary fantasy romance, North of Need, releases November 1. Laura lives inMaryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of theChesapeake Bay every day.

EXCERPT: Samantha asks Lucien some probing questions after learning he’s a vampire:

I smelled her adrenaline again. Her eyes focused somewhere below my own. “What are you looking at?”

“Your…um”—a blush heated her face—“mouth.”



“I just will it, and they change. Some situations cause it automatically.”

She licked her lips and her eyes flitted between my eyes and my mouth. “Show me,” she whispered.


“Show me.”


“Because I want to know you.”

I glared at her and hated the idea she might define me by the vampiric nature I didn’t choose or want. Her heart rate spiked. I cursed myself. I leaned my head into the cradle of my hands and tugged at my hair.

She stroked the back of my head. “Lucien, I didn’t mean to—”

“I know what you meant—”

“No, obviously, you don’t.” Her tone surprised me. I dropped my hands and looked up. “I know…this isn’t all you are. But it’s part of you. I want to know it, too.”

Good, Lucien. Keep being an asshole, why don’t ya?

“Please show me,” she said softly as she fingered the side of my foot. Her small gesture of outreach melted my resolve.

Resigned, I glanced down into my lap. And punched out my fangs. I flinched when Samantha lifted my chin, but I didn’t resist. Instead, I closed my eyes, not wanting to also see the fear I was about to feel. As if on cue, she gasped. But the scent of her fear never came.

“Please look at me.” Her expression was filled with wonder and curiosity. “Eyes too?”

I frowned. “You didn’t close your eyes at all, did you?” She shook her head. I rolled my eyes, blinked them closed, and then trained my crimson orbs on Samantha. Her heart worked harder in her chest but still the fear didn’t come.

“Does it affect your eyesight?”

“Improves it,” I replied in a low voice.

Out of nowhere, she reached a hand forward. “Can I touch—”

I flinched away. “No!”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” she cried.

“You can’t…I can’t…”

“Okay. Okay. It’s okay. That was stupid of me.”


“What situations?” she deflected.

“What?” I panted.

“You said some situations make it happen?”

I groaned. “When I’m feeding, threatened, or, um”—I sighed—“aroused.”

She gaped and licked her lips again. Finally she inhaled to speak. I preempted her, not really wanting to hear her voice the question I just knew she’d ask. “Yes. And I hid it,” I said as I looked away, drained my eyes and retracted my fangs, and got off the bed to pace.


*From the author lady: Come on, admit it, you’d want to touch his…fangs, too…*

*fans self* Whew-y! Thank you Laura and Lucien. I think I’ll go find a cool pond on the back forty. While ya’ll leave a comment and let Lucien know what you think of him and his excerpt while I’m gone! He’s offering a SIGNED copy to one lucky commenter in honor of his 4 month anniversary!!


~I hope to see everyone Saturday the 24th, when I visit with Elizabeth Means about her new release~

I’m visiting and a GREAT book


As promised, I am visiting fellow TWRP author W. Lynn Chantale’s blog today. Why do I write what I write? Come on over and find out this answer and more about me! 

And to add to today’s fun- I want to suggest a wonderful paranormal book to read.

Have you heard of TWRP author Laura Kaye? No? Have you heard of a book titled Forever Freed? Thought it might be something you’d read but then never invested in trying it? DO IT!

Now, my regular visitors might know I love werewolves, not exactly werewolves, but wolf shapeshifters specifically. What does this have to do with LK? Um, she’s into vampires. Don’t we all know by now how well those two mix? lol But I fell into a revision slump Sunday and decided a read might wake the muse back up. I don’t know about the muse yet, but I’m awake! I absolutely love, love, love Forever Freed!!! So much so that I’ve put out the invitation to Lucien Demarco, the torn hero, to visit in the near future. He’s enough to make a wolf-lover switch sides when Edward Cullen couldn’t. 

So get this book. Read the book and I hope to hear back from Lucien soon and can bring him to my stage to introduce you all to him. Maybe I can get a little something from him about the love of his life, Samantha, too. For now I’ll say this about FOREVER FREED is the most heart wrenching and heart warming book I’ve ever read in first person. It’s not your average first person book though. I was amazed that Laura carried the whole story in the hero’s point of view (pov) and yet I felt so in tune with Samantha by the end it was incredible. The way Laura shows us the heroine’s side through Lucien’s eyes left me wanting more of these two. I did not feel as though I didn’t know her innermost desires at all, but I felt her pain and love for Lucien. Amazing. I will keep this book for many reasons. And let’s not forget little Ollie. The child reminds me of my own granddaughter in so many ways, she’s that real through Lucien’s eyes! As a writer some books make me want to get writing again and create my own love story. I can’t wait to write. I love those inspirational stories. But this one left me just wanting more. That is a good book. That I was left thinking about this story and the trueness of the characters long after the end- that is a great book!

Thank you Laura Kaye.



And don’t forget to visit me at W. Lynn’s blog so I’m not all alone!