An ebook giveaway virgin — no more!

Sharing the love!

Slide1In celebration of my 1-year anniversary for publishing my first novel, Tainted Elite, I am giving away a free ebook. If interested, leave a comment on this post before April 9th and I will choose a lucky winner. You must be an adult and please make sure I have some way of getting in touch with you.

Good luck, ladies!!!

To read more about Tainted Elite, check my Amazon author’s page.

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells

Originally posted on Women and Words:

Wait, is it Christmas again? From the looks outside, you’d think it is. It’s halfway through March already and we’re still looking at snow. Ugh.

Well, never mind that. I have some exciting news. I’ve partnered up with Ylva Publishing to work on a new anthology. The theme is Christmas, and I’m inviting you all to submit something. The anthology is going to be a collection of all different types of stories: sweet, romantic, erotic, humorous…

I am going to be co-editor on the project and I think it’s going to be an interesting journey reading the different stories we get. Christmas elicits so many emotions, good and bad, and I get the feeling that the stories are going to run the gamut. And that’s what I’m hoping for—a variety of styles, emotions, and settings.

Whether you love or hate or are completely indifferent toward Christmas, there may be…

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Love Spanks 2014

Melissa Grace:

This is my first time participating in “Love Spanks 2014″ and I am more than looking forward to it. One thing I have learned in my short time in becoming a published F/F author is that there are a great bunch of authors who support one another. This is a prime example. Come check it out!

Originally posted on Ylva Publishing:

We donated a prize (four e-books – winner’s choice) for that special event and wanted you to have a chance to participated. So, here you go… the offical press release for “Love Spanks 2014″:

LoveSpanks2014When two grown-ups love each other, someone might get a spanking!

How would you like a brand-new Kindle Fire or Nook HD or another prize from a pool valued at over $1,000?

How about free stories from award-winning authors?

This Valentine’s Day, you can participate in a short story extravaganza! F/F authors will showcase romance, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and spanking fiction for your enjoyment. Chat with your favorite authors, meet new-to-you authors, find great new books, and meet new friends!

Want to become a Love Spanks ambassador and earn an extra prize entry? See below

Even better, participation could earn you a GRAND PRIZE!

  • Kindle Fire or Nook HD (winner’s choice)!
    (donated by Blushing Books)

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I got Lucky: Part I — “Hoosier Daddy”

I participated in the 2013 Hootenanny and won the book Hoosier Daddy by Ann McMan and Salem West on Day 3. The added bonus? They signed it. I can’t stop smiling!signed hoosier daddy

So far I am totally intrigued with the writing. I love a book that not only keeps me interested, but is so descriptive, I can even smell the scenes. –> Currently I am craving rhubarb pie.

I also want to be sure to give a ginormous thanks to Jove Belle and Andi Marquette for leading the charge in organizing such a spectacular event that puts these talented publishers and authors together as they give generously to those of us that love to read their incredible books. And they even did it during one of the most hectic times of the year… and in such a “poetic” manner, it had me cracking up.

If you want to know more about what the Hootenanny is, go to their co-admin blog Women and Words. (Check out all the authors that contribute to this blog! Whoa!) And don’t miss the Hootenanny in 2014!

A BIG thank you to all that contributed!

NaNoWriMo 2013 – How I won

Besides the obvious—like ahem, you have to write, these are the things I did to win:

  1. Made sure to keep my schedule as clear as possible. When I knew something was coming up, I wrote like crazy to get ahead so I could make up for the time I couldn’t write. I never thought, “I will make up the time afterward” because you never know what’s going to happen. And I prefer not to work under pressure. I do that enough in my day job.
  2. I stayed up late. Not always a good idea, but I wanted to win, so this was what I had to do. Between multiple jobs and three young children, my me time (and I am not complaining) is late at night.
  3. I wrote a scene or two each day and allowed them to be as long or as short as they were going to be. Some were just over 1K words and others were 3K+. I am not a scriptwriter, but I handled each day like it was a new scene in a movie. It does mean I have a lot more edits to make in order to pull everything together, but it really helped the words flow. During these “scenes” I learned more and more about my characters. It was inspiring and I look forward in incorporating these knew things I learned along the way into earlier scenes.
  4. I jotted story ideas in my notebook (always graph ruled…I am an Engineer after all) throughout the day and when I didn’t have a scene in mind during my allotted writing time, I read through these ideas until a full-on scene bloomed. And they sure did bloom.
  5. I didn’t go back and edit as I wrote. Okay, I may have a little, although I convinced myself I was just trying to remember where I left off in case I wanted to add to the latest scene. This was the hardest change for me to make. I want to mold and tweak and remold words until I get those goose bumps, but during NaNoWriMo…I just didn’t have time for that. And I had to be okay with that. Okay, I am still trying to be okay with that.
  6. I told people what I was doing and I updated my word counts religiously. It helped hold me accountable, although that’s not usually an issue for me. I am confident in that I do what I say when it really means something to me. Writing a novel in one month really means something to me and I am so happy I did it!

NaNoStats 2013The dip was during Little LOW weekend, because it was about the kids, and the other was due to holiday preparations, festivities, and engagements. Never faltered in stamina, but life can get busy.

See you next year NaNoWriMo!

There’s a little voice in your head reading this…

d07cb4ee61aa208c1b2ceaeb41dd4705And the cool thing is, they are my thoughts. No, I am not going to use this, um, “special” power of mine for world domination or control, I simply just want to put my thoughts in you…and yes, this goes both ways. I like to put your thoughts in me as well.

When you have stories in your head that you know people would enjoy, then by all means share them. I read a couple books a month. I know this may seem “piddlee” to some of you, but a couple long books with some short stories in between works fine for my schedule and me. The thing is, reading other people’s stories and having them read mine is a very intimate thing for me…and I don’t take it lightly. I become some of the characters. Some characters I despise, like, fall for….it causes a whole gamut of feelings and takes me to places I have never been.

It’s time for me to become a new character in a new place. Any suggestions?

The Beaver State

Oregon. Never been, but I want to go…real bad. The new novel I am writing splits time between Christmas Valley, Oregon and Hollywood. California, baby! I chose Oregon because from everything I have read, seen, or heard about the place, I love it there.

Christmas Valley has the sand dunes—a great place for my protagonist to practice her motorbike skills. Yes, she is well versed in motocross. Easy access to such a natural wonder, along with living on acres of ranch properly that has been in her family for years (and sadly teetering on foreclosure, oh no!) really gives her that small town feel that is an integral part of the character. But wait… then Hollywood (cha-ching) calls because they need a dirt-bike-chick stunt-double (say that three times quickly) for a famous and beautiful actress, well… you can only imagine!

It’s a start. Approx. 50K words so far. I’ll blog more about the novel in the near future, but I just have to say this story has really gotten my creative juices oozing and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I love writing it. In the meantime, here’s a picture of, ah, the person that writes this blog, ah, um… anyway… thanks for taking the time to stop by. Vroom-vroom-zoom!

Image

Candy Striped – A very SWEET cover

Like my new cover? Again, my gratitude goes to Vila Design.

Image
How sweet it is!

Frustrated in her search for a job that can tantalize her selective tastes, Zephyr searches NYC in hopes of finding something deliciously unique to captivate her attention. When she is slammed into the storefront window of an unconventional candy store by a mob of overzealous customers, she finds out soon enough how satisfying the business and its delectable owner Tori truly are. The merge becomes a very sweet deal for both women and a honeyed partnership evolves.

Free sample at Amazon or Smashwords.

My first novel…PUBLISHED!

This has been a long time coming and I am so excited to finally have it available! Woohoo! If you pick up a copy, please be sure to let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you!

Tainted Elite Cover

Years after the Parthenogenesis Revolution of 2069 and its breakthrough where women can impregnate one another, a young Cassaundra (seven years of age) watches as her moms are assassinated during a family vacation to Niagara Falls. After leaping into the falls to save herself from the Kretchtin snipers, she awakens within the walls of the ELITE Corporation, run by a powerful and callous CEO, Dr. Alexis Wu.

Along with other orphaned girls, she is raised at the ELITE Corporation under the watchful eye of Dr. Malek, a scientist who appears to care more about a secretive company project than the girls in his care.

At the age of thirteen, Cassaundra’s life takes another drastic turn when Dr. Malek forces her to undergo a DNA cleansing that turns her into an Enhanced-She-Human (ESH), giving her superior abilities. Her life now solely belongs to the ELITE Corporation and its Executives, whom she must protect and serve at all costs.

Despising the ELITE Corporation and everything it stands for, Cassaundra yearns to escape its control and when she befriends another ESH, a Gemini by the name of Tamar, both girls find it hard to obey the corporation’s imposed rules—and find it even harder to suppress their growing feelings for one another.
On the night of her eighteenth birthday, Cassaundra sneaks from her room to meet Tamar, who has offered her artistic talents to tattoo Cassaundra with a special rendering of her world-weary sign—the Pisces. When an enraged Dr. Malek finds out, he uses the corporation’s Omni-Force warriors to separate the two girls indefinitely.

Convinced that battling the ELITE Corporation would be futile, Cassaundra succumbs to their rules, allowing her short moments of independence from the corporation and people she detests so much. This helps spice up her life—especially her insatiable sex drive.

Now twenty-seven, Cassaundra is still a pawn for the ELITE Corporation and its Executives. Dr. Alexis Wu calls upon her favorite ESH to rescue her Scorpio daughter Abby from the Kretchtins—a group of men who want to forcibly relieve Dr. Wu from her power. Cassaundra is sent to Mount Fuji to rescue Abby from a hidden facility within the volcano. The heat rises beyond the temperature of molten lava when Cassaundra realizes that there is something about the ELITE Corporation that she does strongly desire…Abby.

Realizing her feelings and what they mean, Cassaundra must now choose between following her heart or dying, which is the consequence of any ESH caught having a relationship with any other member of the corporation.
This selfless act finally gives her the freedom she has always desired. Her life is no longer ruled by being Tainted Elite, but ruled by her heart.

Free sample at Smashwords or Amazon.

What-Who Inspires Me to Write?

oxfishFiguratively speaking, I am inside my head A LOT! I don’t know how I get anything done at work, but there is some sort of driving force that allows me to focus and complete the tasks at hand. And thankfully it doesn’t hurt that I catch onto “techie” things quickly. (I can thank my mom for that for signing me up for my first programming class when I was in 6th grade. Thanks, Mommy!)

Pisces are known to be in some sort of happy oblivion dreamy-state—soused with liquid-filled eyes, but as the Chinese Zodiac year of the Ox, I have a fanatical persistent drive that never allows me to give up. (I may decide something isn’t worth my time, however. That’s a different topic altogether.)

What I feel really skilled at? Observation. Yes, while I may appear as though I am not fully “there”, I am actually taking the environment around me in. I can hear and comprehend multiple conversations and I can even “feel” other people’s emotions—to an extent. It can weaken me, leaving me vulnerable, but it is also a strength that I feel blessed to possess. Think of it like a yin to my yang and a yang to my yin.

So back to the original question…what–who inspires me? Simply put…everything–anyone. A dream. A fleeting thought. A conversation I overheard. A conversation I participated in. A yearning desire—oh how those yearning desires could get me into trouble if I’m not careful. Take my short story “Candy Striper”, for example. That began from a dream I had about Pink. Not the color…check out the Capital “P”. I am talking about the incredibly talented musician/Rock Star whose powerful chops make the hairs on my arms stand up in a very good way.

I am a musician with a very picky ear, so I really appreciate a powerful voice with perfect pitch. Yeah there are many songs I like, mostly due to the words, but Pink could sing in some foreign language I don’t know and make me “feel” the music. I am also very impressed with her acrobatic skills, which is more than likely the reason I had the dream in the first place. (If you haven’t attended one of her concerts, do it!) And man-oh-man, that dream was a doozy. Does anyone even use the word “doozy” anymore?

Yes, inspiration is all around!

Catalyst for Head Shot: Saints and Sinners

I am an Engineer by day, sometimes nights, and on occasion several days straight when at a customer site. When I am not traveling, I work in a very stylish Environment that—apart from the “L” shape of the building itself (a HUGE Feng Shui no-no), was designed for maximum Chi potency—as I like to call it.

This high Chi potency is facilitated by surroundings that are open, light & airy; everything exudes modern design. Take our ceiling lights, for example (exhibit “A”). Not a single one aims directly downward. They point up, reflect off the white ceiling, and finally cascade their indirect, yet ample, broad-spectrum brightness down upon our busy heads.

Needless to say, I never turn on the light at my desk. Between my multiple monitors and Himalayan Salt Stone USB Lamp (exhibit “B”), I have all the light I need.

This began the first scene of my Head Shot story. I was simply walking down the hallway at work—minding my own business, and… Boom!  My active imagination went from traversing a sterile workplace corridor “in the real world,” to being wheeled on a gurney into Emergency Surgery “in my pretend world.” Next thing I knew, I was in an OR because of a bad beating by my parent, which I “explained away” by pretending to be a mixed-martial-arts pro-athlete. Wha-?

Then I was in a Psych ward, interacting with other “crazies.” I had a Psychologist. A hot roommate. A tendency to self-diagnose and diagnose the other crazies. My world as an Engineer was temporarily on hold, and a whole new life began.

From that point on, a story bloomed!

Exhibit "A"
      Exhibit “A”
Exhibit "B"
Exhibit “B”

I feel special ♡

????????????????????????????????????In the next few days I will be publishing a short story. After that comes my novel. I am more than excited!

I am so very grateful for my beta readers–Kathryn, Tamsin, Wendi and Tammy. They are amazing people and I feel so very lucky to have them in my life. I appreciate their keen eyes, straightforwardness, and the hard work they have put into helping me progress in this journey. What an incredible feeling to have such support!!!

I can’t thank them enough. ♡

Book Covers by Vila Design

I am practically speechless. The artist I contacted almost a month ago has since made two covers for me and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I find myself singing and stepping lightly with happiness. Check the designs out for yourself:

Head Shot2 Tainted Elite CoverIf you are looking for a cover artist that not only listens carefully to what you want, works at break-neck speed, and can go far and beyond your expectations–(I am wondering if she may be psychic), then check out Vila Design!

Sharing & Giving: My Journey to Publication – Part II

Today I contacted a designer for my book cover. I looked at their website, thoroughly enjoyed their samples, and hope this will work out. I know exactly what I want in my minds eye, but certainly open to suggestions. If it works out, I will be sure to let you know who I have chosen along with a recommendation. My first cover will be for my Tainted Elite novel. I’ll need another two covers not long after. I am getting excited! Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Time for a fresh start!

clock-1When celebrating the New Year, what is one of the most talked about subjects? Give up? Well, let me tell you… RESOLUTIONS! Of course, you may have already guessed it. Something about the new year gives us the desire for a “fresh start”—and then come the ideas as to what we can do to improve our lives. The possibilities to improve are endless.
My resolutions for this year are pretty simple, or at least I like to think of them that way.
1.  One exciting challenge will be getting at least one of my manuscripts published. I say at least one because in reality, I have only one that is in its final stages of readiness—aside from several short stories that I must either decide to offer individually or in an Anthology.
2.  Another exhilarating challenge will be to achieve my next belt promotion in martial arts. This will require more workout hours than I currently hold steadfast to, and in doing so, I will hopefully get the “look” I am going for, which helps out with resolution number three.
3.  Last, but not least—I hope to get some videos out onto YouTube. I am not talking about just any day run-of-the-mill type videos, but ones that help cultivate my creative goofy side… which I have an overabundance of goofy. If I am going to put my craziness out there for many to see, I want to be looking my best.
Happy New Year!

Care to share your resolutions?

Dear fireplace, is lying on the skin of a dead bear carcass really considered “sexy”?

No matter what you decide to lay on, it’s getting closer and closer to that time of year where it’s time to stoke the fireplace. What a great way to warm up with a loved one while the flames liberate its radiant heat. Don’t have someone to lie with at the moment? Try curling up with a good book—especially one that grabs more than just your attention.

Choosing your wood. I’m still talking fireplaces—just in case I lost you. To make those piping hot embers last, choose a hard wood. The best choices—if you live in an area where they are indigenous, are ironwood, hickory, beech, oak, sugar maple, and rock elm. For best results, avoid wood that’s been newly chopped or sopping wet. The wood I will be burning this winter was chopped, stacked, and tucked in beneath a large tarp last year by yours truly. I used leftover brick to pile it on so it would be up and off the ground. It’s had plenty of time for the Texas sun to dry it out to perfection. Oh yeah!

Back to that titillating book you’re reading by the fireplace… please, oh please, dear reader, don’t forget to follow-up online with a rave review of the book that helped get you all hot and bothered in the first place. It not only helps the authors, but gives them more of an incentive to want to continue to please you!

Tainted Elite – Synopsis

Tainted Elite Cover

Years after the Parthenogenesis Revolution of 2069 and its breakthrough where women can impregnate one another, a young Cassaundra (seven years of age) watches as her moms are assassinated during a family vacation to Niagara Falls. After leaping into the falls to save herself from the Kretchtin snipers, she awakens within the walls of the ELITE Corporation, run by a powerful and callous CEO, Dr. Alexis Wu.

Along with other orphaned girls, she is raised at the ELITE Corporation under the watchful eye of Dr. Malek, a scientist who appears to care more about a secretive company project than the girls in his care.

At the age of thirteen, Cassaundra’s life takes another drastic turn when Dr. Malek forces her to undergo a DNA cleansing that turns her into an Enhanced-She-Human (ESH), giving her superior abilities. Her life now solely belongs to the ELITE Corporation and its Executives, whom she must protect and serve at all costs.

Despising the ELITE Corporation and everything it stands for, Cassaundra yearns to escape its control and when she befriends another ESH, a Gemini by the name of Tamar, both girls find it hard to obey the corporation’s imposed rules—and find it even harder to suppress their growing feelings for one another.
On the night of her eighteenth birthday, Cassaundra sneaks from her room to meet Tamar, who has offered her artistic talents to tattoo Cassaundra with a special rendering of her world-weary sign—the Pisces. When an enraged Dr. Malek finds out, he uses the corporation’s Omni-Force warriors to separate the two girls indefinitely.

Convinced that battling the ELITE Corporation would be futile, Cassaundra succumbs to their rules, allowing her short moments of independence from the corporation and people she detests so much. This helps spice up her life—especially her insatiable sex drive.

Now twenty-seven, Cassaundra is still a pawn for the ELITE Corporation and its Executives. Dr. Alexis Wu calls upon her favorite ESH to rescue her Scorpio daughter Abby from the Kretchtins—a group of men who want to forcibly relieve Dr. Wu from her power. Cassaundra is sent to Mount Fuji to rescue Abby from a hidden facility within the volcano. The heat rises beyond the temperature of molten lava when Cassaundra realizes that there is something about the ELITE Corporation that she does strongly desire…Abby.

Realizing her feelings and what they mean, Cassaundra must now choose between following her heart or dying, which is the consequence of any ESH caught having a relationship with any other member of the corporation.
This selfless act finally gives her the freedom she has always desired. Her life is no longer ruled by being Tainted Elite, but ruled by her heart.

Free sample at Smashwords or Amazon.

Sharing & Giving: My Journey to Publication – Part I

When I write it’s because I want to share the stories I have swimming around in my head—and believe me, I have a whole school of colorful fish up there. When I share these stories, I am giving a part of me, a part of which I stand for, and a part of my deep and most uninhibited thoughts.

When I share my stories I do not expect something in return. Yes, it would be amazing to have a publisher decide my stories are fit for publishing, but then again, it’s not expected… I can continue to write freely and enjoy the simple fact that I am sharing and giving unconditionally. Thank you for sharing your time and reading my blog!

Upcoming Story Idea

iv drip“Elsa,” I spoke softly. Nothing but a small snort escaped from the back of her throat. I gently touched her hand with mine and leaned in closer. “Elsa, wake up!”

Her eyes slowly opened as her mouth closed. She focused on my face, and then finally recognized me. “Liesa, my dear. Your hands are like ice.” She rubbed them between her own—trying to thaw them out. “Have you been here long, my dear?” The air from the breathing machine whistled by the top of her head.

“Just long enough to get settled.” The tube of oxygen continued to hiss so I reached for it. “Shouldn’t you have this on?” I brought it up over her head and tucked it behind her ears.

“Oh, that’s for old people,” she joked. “My ninety-one year old lungs work just as well as they did when I was as young as you.” She positioned the air vents under her nostrils.

I smiled at her. “Is there anything I can get you? Anything you need?”

She leaned in closely. “Did you get me some Sugar Babies?” Her eyes were hopeful. The back of her snow white hair was tousled and flattened by the way she had been laying on it before I had awoken her.

I couldn’t resist the huge smile plastered across my face when I reached in to my backpack. Of course I remembered her favorite—yet forbidden—treat. I reached in the outer pocket and pulled out a box of Sugar Babies and handed them over before she had a chance to grab them.

Elsa’s chin tucked in to her chest and she raised her shoulders as she giggled. She caressed the yellow and orange box between her hands for a brief moment, and then fumbled to access its contents.

“Here, let me help you with that.” I popped the perforated opening with my finger.

Elsa quickly spilled some in to the palm of her hand and then popped them in to her toothless mouth. “Oh, how abtholutely delighthful.”

I was always so happy to see how such a small thing could make her so happy.

“How was school today?” She smacked at the tasty treat.

School was not a subject I liked to discuss. As a junior in high school, I still needed to complete the current year and still had yet another whole year to go. I shrugged my shoulders.

Elsa continued to gnaw on the same Sugar Babies—she could make them last longer than anyone else I knew. She tucked the box of contraband in a small pull-out drawer in her hospital tray—then shoved the entire tray table on wheels to the side. Small amounts of sticky caramel peaked out from both corners of her mouth. “Oh dear,” she said. “I take it you had another rough day at school.”

I nodded.

The Candy Striper

candyFrustrated in her search for a job that can tantalize her selective tastes, Zephyr searches NYC in hopes of finding something deliciously unique to captivate her attention. When she is slammed into the storefront window of an unconventional candy store by a bunch of overzealous customers, she finds out soon enough how satisfying the business and its delectable owner Tori truly are. The merge becomes a very sweet deal for both women and a honeyed partnership evolves. ADULT.

Click here for more

Email melissa.grace @ att.net to request password!

Head Shot: Saints and Sinners

dark angel

All right, so I am headed up to heaven on this elevator when the reality is that I am lying on a gurney being rushed into the OR. The bright lights surrounding me could very well be like the ones you see when it’s time to leave this world. I don’t feel like my body is mine. My head feels too big. Way too big. I am having an out-of-body experience, but I can’t see myself.

A bunch of over-zealous robots in scrubs pick me up from the gurney and toss me onto an operation table. Yippee! Next time could we at least be at an amusement park? They’re not really robots, but since they’re all wearing masks and the same light green color, they all look the same to me—especially their automatic movements like they’ve done this a million times before.

“We’re losing her…”

My world goes dark.

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Email melissa.grace @ att.net to request password!

Not-so-quietly Thinking Inexplicable Thoughts

Inexplicable thoughts have been stimulating my mind practically forever. At a young age I kept a journal rather than share these thoughts with others. After all,  journals are for private thoughts–right? Well, other than the occasional curious family member or snooping friend, that is what I thought journals were intended for. Now I use a journal to scribble down ideas that have the potential of becoming a blog or even a manuscript that I can share with anyone interested in reading them. With a pen and paper in hand, I can practically write anywhere. Don’t worry… I won’t keep you honking in line when the light turns green, but don’t be surprised if I pull off the road into a parking lot so I can log my thoughts before they’re forgotten. By the time I get back on the road I will probably have thought of something new anyway… which reminds me, I need to check my tire pressure.

Join Melissa Grace in the bardroom!

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