Carrots, classes, 5 red crows & one GREAT review


To start this update, I’d like to acknowledge a wonderful review Hermes Online received yesterday. Remember I mentioned the hourglass was running out of sand for this book? There are only so many days a book can be reviewed before it gets gently pushed to the back of the shelf, the brief space it occupied taken up by new releases. Because I was late out of the gate so to speak, I got behind in the review requests and seriously, three years of reading writers magazines and how-to books, I don’t recall ever seeing I had to. Promoting is so essential I can’t believe I missed it, but I did.

When Hermes Online came out, I didn’t know book reviews were necessary at the time. I’ve since learned they certainly are here in the ether. With literally thousands of books online, these reviews with their I’ve read this book and its good comments are one small way to keep your title above water until your next book comes out and you gain renewed reader interest. This fresh attention often makes readers ask, “What else has this author written?” When Dreamscape hits the stores in a few weeks, if I’m lucky it’ll also bring about another surge of interest in Hermes Online. Then I’ll have two books to promote…*sigh*

Back to my recent review. Here’s what Marissa at the Fictional Bookshelf said:

My Take On It

Hermes Online is an erotic romance with two characters that will be hard to wipe from my mind. When you read the lovemaking scenes and the foreplay in between you won’t be saying, “Oh that’s a sweet moment,” and then forget about by bedtime. You will want to nudge your partner awake to help cool the tension Rose Anderson created when she wrote Hermes Online.

The heat level is smoking hot – not just a little flame that an itty-bitty fire extinguisher can put out. Imagine a much bigger flame. – the kind it would take a slew of men in their fire department gear using the big hoses. Trust me you’ll need to find a way to cool down once you read this.

The heat in this story gets an A+ from me.

What I loved about the book.

1. The heat. It was erotically written.
2. The overall plot was unique and flowed very fast. I couldn’t put the book down when I started reading it even when I was blushing from the very vivid scenes.
3. Vivienne, the main female character, was easy to like and very believable. I felt like she sat next to me and I saw her highs and lows personally. To give you an idea of what type of woman she was outside of the bedroom here is a passage from the beginning. This passage happens to be one of my favorites because it happens in real life. I hate seeing history being replaced and discarded without a second thought.

The house would be coming down within the month, the second significant landmark lost in as many years. Why couldn’t they see? Did everything have to make way for progress? Was the new chain store really that necessary?

4. I like the fact that there was steam between the two main characters from the very beginning but they didn’t actually come together until much later.
5. This is a book that I will come back to for those moments when I need cheered up or just want to blush again.

Now for the rating, which happens to be a sneak peek into how I will rate the books I review starting June 24, 2011. See rating system page for more information.

Hermes Online receives 5 out of 5 red crows, which means it’s amazing.

All I can say to this is wow. My last review said Hermes Online would set the summer on fire. This one says the whole fire department will be needed to put out the blaze. I don’t think I can feel the ground under my feet at this moment in time. The odd thing here, I’m beginning to wonder if I can do this again. I’ve had this conversation with several author friends recently. Apparently this little dash of doubt is common. My next book is coming out soon. I have two more after that, and three more after those. My as yet unnamed Magnum Opus is nearly done too. Is Hermes Online a fluke? If not, it may certainly be a hard act to follow.

My reviews for my first novel have all been terrific so far and I am exceedingly grateful for each. What a kick to read nice assessments for your intellectual creation. This recent one touched me in a way the others hadn’t. The reviewer saw the story within the story and by mentioning it, she acknowledged the emotion the story was written in. I can’t express how that made me feel. Yes, Hermes Online is a sizzling love story, but it’s really more than that. I wrote it after a particularly disappointing event and needed to turn it around and make something beautiful out of the sad emotion my mind was steeped in. This reviewer saw it tucked between the prose. She must be a person who truly understands the emotion in what she reads and by saying that I am by no means saying the other reviewers don’t. I’m only acknowledging that she went so far as to mention it.

Any authors reading my blog, send Marissa a request for your books. Her insight is well worth it. http://thefictionalbookshelf.blogspot.com/2011/06/hermes-online-by-rose-anderson-siren.html

***

So on to other news. I signed up for two classes. One, I might have mentioned before, is run by a well-known paranormal author. The other is a month-long seminar offered by Coffee Time Romance entitled: How to Create Living, Breathing, Lovable Characters. The latter I just signed up for last night but haven’t read the posts yet. But in the first, so far I’ve learned how to deconstruct the hero, I say deconstruct because my leading men are often fully formed in my mind. I know the type of hero that appeals to me and that’s where I write from. All in all it was a good exercise. This is just a sampling:

Hero’s Desires and Goals:

What are his internal goals:

Internal Motivation

Internal Conflict

What are his external goals:

External Motivation

External conflict

This also covers things like his physical appearance and his romantic conflicts if any. There’s a similar heroine format as well as a bit for the villain (if any), and outlines for a slew of lesser characters. There’s a lot more to this breaking down the cast of characters but as this is another person’s class with a class fee to participate, it would be really be in poor form to write it all out here. I’ve seen similar formulas in books on writing and online so there are options out there to learn from.

As I’ve suggested before, I’m what’s known as a pantser (a fly by the seat of my pants writer). To put it simply, I don’t do this pre-story character construction. My hero tells me who he is as the story unfolds. If I learn something new about him along the way, I scroll back and insert it here or there. I’m not a formulaic writer but these formulas do sell and many an entertaining book comes out of them. Then too, you always know what’s what with a formula. For me, I found using my creativity this way actually diminished my creativity when I sat down to write. I don’t think like that. This part of the class might never be implemented in my future writing, but it was very useful to see a formula in action. My fellow classmates are working within this framework and it’s fascinating to see their ideas unfolding as emails pass around the group. I’m confident some of those stories, were these writers to take them to completion, would be sellers.

Outside the formula I did find something that triggered a story in my head. This class opened with a brainstorm and that’s exactly what happened. My brain stormed. Like anything I write, when the Muse’s inspiration grabs me, the story pours out like a cloud burst. The class was to build a 50 page paranormal short story. Instead I got an idea for a new full-length novel. I’m quite pleased.

I wrote out my brainstorm as it formed in my head and sent it in to the group. I realize you all have no idea what I wrote but I got this in reply:

This is a FABULOUS opening!  I really like this.  Great writing, clean and powerful. I love the image of the shaman crying over that finger. Oh, wow!

LOL makes you wonder doesn’t it? 🙂 From that brainstorm I saw the entire story laid out before me. My time in the class is now spent sitting in the back row, one ear perked but my concentration elsewhere. Honestly, it was the best writer’s prompt I’ve ever had.

***

As part of that got to promote business I speak of so often, I sent ’round my twice a month yahoo groups excerpt for Hermes Online the other day. I try to take compelling clips from here and there in my novel and send them out as teasers. I also encourage people to go check out the youtube book trailer (got another nice comment there last week too). People are looking because my youtube visitor numbers go up after I post. I inadvertently sent it to a group I shouldn’t have (I have a few just for information or classes etc, not for promoting in). How is that possible? I have 6 pages of yahoo groups I promote to. Some have hundreds of members, some have a few dozen only. All are potential sales. Yahoo devils me. I know in theory, when I write an email, I should be able to cc anyone in my address book. I loaded up my group email addresses and wanted to send one posting. Instead I got thwarted, again and again. Giving up, I went to send them by hand one group at a time. Good grief what a time muncher.

Anyway, in reply to my wayward post, I received an email blasting my hero S. The poor man was labeled too girly and possibly scamming the heroine into bed. I was told that women know what men sound like when they speak and S wasn’t it. When she realized I had mistakenly sent an excerpt to her and that I wasn’t asking for help building my already published character, she promptly apologized in a follow up email. There really wasn’t a need for the apology. There was no offence taken. I know my book will only appeal to a certain kind of romantic. Yeah the love scenes are steamy but the story is tender chick lit.

I intentionally didn’t write S to be like every other guy out there. I wrote him to be different. I wrote him to appeal to the romantic notion of men. That’s why I read romantic fiction. If I wanted real, I’d go get my oil changed.  🙂

***

Vistaprint was dangling their carrot before my eyes again, and like a donkey wearing a straw hat, I went to their website. This time the free business card magnets caught my eye. But let me back up a bit here. I came to discover recently, that you don’t have to use their products exactly in the manner they’re designed for. For example: Their address labels can be nice stickers.

I’ve seen author goodie bags of candy or book fobs and other things that come in little plastic baggies. I thought, a label would be nice to have on hand should the mood to create a small promotional item grab me. Vistaprint’s free address labels are a wider size than the ones I get in the mail from various charities and animal or environmental groups. Given the opportunity to choose from their variety of gorgeous (and free) stock roses (lucky Rose Anderson), I realized I could erase the Name, Address, City, State, Zip and have a blank slate to work on. I created these. They’re full roses but the blog trimmed the edge. Notice the font? Three of these are their standard address label with standard font. The different rose in the bunch, came from a free offer of holiday labels that have more choices for art, layout, style and font.:

So as I was saying, the business card magnets came my way. Well who really uses those? I only have the emergency vet on my refrigerator. Mostly, I just cut them up and use them for other projects. However, I do have a business card sized magnet on my refrigerator and it has an inspirational poem on it. I don’t have any inspirational quotes off the top of my head but I did remember seeing a fan site for author Diana Gabaldon and her hero Jamie has what’s referred to as Jamieisms. Voila! An idea was born. I scoured Hermes Online for the sweetest- draw-a-ragged-breath comments from S. Then went looking for a good stock image from the hundreds Vistaprint has to choose from and made these. I would put these on my refrigerator, and I am guessing readers might too.

Also, my last load of goodies came and as promised, here they are in this order — my vinyl banner (for the table at my future book signings) 🙂 My poster (in case I have a wall behind me somewhere), my sticky post-it cards for a gift basket someday, and my cool hats. I’m thinking a contest might be a good place for these.


Another busy week ahead. The edits were wrapped up and sent back to Siren. Blocks of new story were added so these will come back needing editing too. Hopefully not this week. I’d really like to focus on my stories – three concurrent creations. A writer friend says, “So, girl, let’s get back to writing! It is after all, what you and I do best.”
And I say “I’m on it!”

About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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