Since I only launched the Friday House Guest in my post yesterday I really didn’t expect to be able to post one today. I have had some folks show an interest already, and next week my House Guest will be Victoria Blisse, but I thought I’d kick things off by re-posting a guest blog that the lovely Ms Cassie Exline wrote for me back in September. Cassie will also be contributing a couple of Monday Morning Flash entries over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy re-reading her post.
Hello, my name is Cassie Exline. I'd like to thank Marc for asking me to be his first guest. I'm honoured. In 2004, Marc and I met at Desdmona's FishTank, a critique group for writers of erotica. What's unique about the Tank is that the members are from all over the globe and at different stages in their writing career. Add to the mix different genders and there's bound to be explosions. But it's that interaction with peers and seeing what the other writers glean from your work that is priceless. Oh, I'm not saying that my toes were never stepped on or I never got bent out of shape by some of the comments, but it taught me to step back and be more objective about my story (after the anger management classes and they took away my baseball bat).
What I learned from Marc and other members from the UK is there is a big difference in English. But what we from the United States don't realize is how authors from other countries have to work hard to blend with our way of writing stories. By “our” I mean publishing houses in the U.S.. Nor did I consider that a male writer could have trouble fitting into the world of romance authors. Although I don't think Marc is having any trouble in that area. And don't get me started on the time difference, Lord ,have mercy.
But I do credit the Tank with helping me get my start and for my success in getting my work published. I think every author should participate in such a group. It's a valuable, valuable experience. And I still participate in the group. It'll always be home base for me.
Since then, I've had several stories published at Ruthie's Club, The Erotic Woman, Justus Roux, and the Erotic Bookworm. Also one of my stories is in one of the Coming Together anthologies at Phaze.
My first ebook, Tree of Buried Secrets, published by Lyrical Press, had its start at the Tank. I worked hard on researching for that story, things from a widow's walk, Victorian mansions to apple trees and wine. Research is one of my favourite things to do, next to writing. Tree was also named Book of the Week at LASR and it came in #20 in a Preditors and Editors poll in the best contemporary romance category.
A dark night. A terrible tragedy. A buried secret. On the night of her elopement, Julia witnesses a tragedy that spawns generations of secrets. For too long she's managed to remain silent. Only when Julia is unable to carry her burden any longer does she dare confess what she saw that one dark night decades ago…
Amber's Mysterious Death has just been released and is the first book of my new Sheryl Locke Holmes Mystery series available at Wild Child Publishing. Three more books of the series are also under contract: Ruby's Deadly Secret, Opal's Disappearance, and Dragon's Pearl. Each title features a gemstone which is also the name of a character. Whether the character is good or bad, lives or dies, well, you'll have to read the series to find the clues. Sheryl has excellent deductive skills and was born to be a cop, but her parents wanted her to take over the family antique business. With the help of Sheryl's best friend, Dot Watson, they've found a way to mix business with chills and thrills.
In Amber's Mysterious Death: Amber was Sheryl's and Dot's best friend in college. The three were inseparable. The game's afoot when Sheryl spots Amber's husband, Roger. The man had disappeared without a trace after Amber's death, leaving numerous unanswered questions. With the help of Dot, Sheryl follows Roger and a trail of amber jewellery which leads to duplicity, mayhem, and murder.
Opal's Disappearance: An old college friend begs Sheryl to help find her missing cousin, Opal, who may have been kidnapped by a mysterious mountain man. Sheryl concocts a dangerous plan when she offers herself as bait for the kidnapper.
Dragon's Pearl: Blood on the moon signifies death for some unlucky victim. A haunted music box and a ghost keep Sheryl and her cohorts on their toes.
Work In Progress: The Curse of Jade's Bluff. Logic dictates that a curse is ludicrous. But Sheryl is ready to throw logic out the window when a stalker manages to leave her threatening notes, dead flowers, and knows her every move, yet no one ever sees him. Sheryl wonders if she'll escape with her life this time.