Friday, March 13, 2015

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http://www.reanamalori.com/apps/blog/ 


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rhonda Marks Guest Blog - A New Year, A New Goal

Happy New Year!

I know you’ve all been saying that phrase or have been greeted with those words for the past week and a half, but are you really happy about the New Year? Did you make a long list of resolutions? Have you given up already or are you like me who hasn't even made the effort to start?

There’s a funny thing about being a woman my age (I’m a month away from being fifty-five): for the most part I’ve been-there-seen-that. Not much surprises me anymore. I guess that’s one of the benefits of being a seasoned individual. From the time I was a teen, I made my obligatory new year’s resolutions then promptly forgot about them and reverted to my old ways. Now I just skip that step altogether and try to make changes when I’m sure I can stick with them.

Change is hard, but especially so when you’ve declared to the world what your intentions are. It’s taken me decades to realize that my actions speak louder than words. For example, for years I told anyone who would listen that I was going to write a book. I had the names of my characters and a thrilling plot. Beside my bed were notebooks filled with ideas and half written scenes. You know where this is going, right?

In 2009, I attended Romantic Times Book Reviews Convention and entered Bobbi Smith’s contest for aspiring writers. I entered an excerpt from my novel, Making Time for Love and guess what? I won! One of my prizes was the opportunity to submit my novel to Bobbi’s agent to determine if he’d represent me. The problem? I hadn’t finished the damn book! A serious fire was lit when I was given two months to finish that book. And I did it. I carried my Alphasmart with me wherever I went. It was rough, but I did it. And the wonderful Evan Marshall agreed to represent me.

In 2014 I vowed to release a novella series and ramp up my backlist. Following advice from self-publishing queen Liliana Hart, I released the first three stories in my Who’s Your Daddy series in March 2014. Over the next several months, I published the last three stories. Then in December, I released my full length novel, Making Time for Love. Whew!! So what’s next, you say? This year I will be writing more novels and possibly branching out into paranormal and historical romance. I love both genres and want to stretch my writing muscles a bit. Maybe I’ll submit a few novels to a traditional publisher instead of self-publishing them. This is a new year and anything is possible.

What’s your excuse for not writing that breakthrough novel, getting into shape, or pursuing that goal you think about 24/7? Do you need to take an online course or two? Do you need to retain a personal trainer or join a gym? Have you been thinking about attending a writer’s convention but feel intimidated because you don’t know anyone? Stop the excuses and be about it! In 2008 I got on a plane and flew to San Francisco, my first time on the west coast, to attend that year’s Romance Writers of America conference. I knew no one, and I’m a certified introvert. If I can do it, you can too.

Let’s make 2015 the best year of our lives. We can do this!

Love,
Rhonda
Rhonda Marks

Amazon Author Page
Facebook/rhondamarks
rhonda@rhondamarksbook.com

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year. New Focus.

Hello My Friends!

Everyone says that the New Year is a time for reinvention. That as of January 1st, the past year and all of the challenges we faced are gone. Three-hundred and sixty-five days is a long time. If we can have one night to make all of those days, including the mistakes, disappear and float away into a beautiful memory, then why not? Bad days and long nights forgotten in a deluge of champagne toasts and midnight kisses. For me, it's primarily the "idea" of a new beginning that makes me yearn for January 1st each and every year.

We all want to believe that everyone has a chance for a do-over. That if we want to do something different with our lives, be someone better, that all we have to do is wait for that final 10-second countdown at the stroke of midnight. That annual reset of the clock. It's a wonderful concept and one that can give us a false sense of renewal. Why do I say this?

As individuals and authors, we can reinvent ourselves at any time. The calendar should not dictate when we decide to reset the clock or flip the hourglass over to allow the sands of time to begin anew. We can start that journey at anytime. And we should. At least once a week, I commit to doing something better, different, and with more passion. Whether my goal is to be a better writer, self-editor, blogger, mother, friend, etc., I dedicate myself to doing better. Do I always meet my goal? No. But the point is that I try.

One of my author friends posted something on Facebook recently and I understood her words and her frustration all too well. As authors, we give so much of ourselves to our books. Regardless if the books are 10,000 words or 100,000, when we finally hit "Submit" and post that book for sale, we often sit with fingers crossed, waiting for that first sliver of feedback. That first review on Amazon that gives us the validation that what we have poured our blood, sweat and tears into, has been accepted and welcomed by our readers. It is not easy. For most of us, we LOVE to write and we will never stop doing what we love. There are readers who will stick by us, come hell or high water, and I will remain loyal to them as long as they are loyal to us.

But, I digress. Back to improvements and doing better in 2015. Earlier today when I was working my regular day job, I read an article that came across my email and I was hooked. It spoke to me. It helped me put things in perspective. It motivated me and gave me perspective. There are several things I took from that article and I hope to remember these three items for the next 12-months.

1) Clarity - Who exactly am I writing for? Myself and my target audience. That's it! If I try to focus on writing books for someone else, they will fail. They won't have my voice, so I need to know and understand exactly who I'm writing for.

2) Focus - The specifics and quality of the story is EVERYTHING. Unless the story is good, it won't matter how much time I spent on the story. It's not good enough for my readers and they will let me know. In no uncertain terms!

3) Visibility - Assuming that readers will find me and somehow be inexplicably drawn to my wonderful stories is extremely naive. If I want this, I need to WORK for it. That means, being involved with readers, posting snippets of books, connecting with people who think the way I do and maybe, just maybe, love the same way.

I love writing. I really, really love writing. Creating characters and stories that others can relate to and love to read about, makes this all worth it. There is so much to be done during the next year and I hope that all of you will continue on this journey with me. There is a lot that I want to accomplish this year and I feel strongly that I'm on the right path. There are at least three novellas that will be published this year. I may even have a few surprises for everyone.

Yes, the beginning of the New Year is all about having a new focus and reinventing yourself. Just remember, the calendar doesn't dictate when you can be more and do better. Only you can determine how you want to make your mark on the world.

It's been said that it's best to "Speak softly and carry a big stick." I say....Step into this bitch by kicking down the door and announcing your presence. Who's with me?

Love and Hugs,
Reana

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holidays & Fun, with a dab of Sexy Thrown In....

Well friends,

I tried to give you a little something extra this holiday season and Holiday Desire was born! 

* * *

Desiree Stewart was no doormat and she was finally fed up. Christmas was a time for love and family, but for Desiree, this holiday had been her wake-up call. After her no-good boyfriend showed his true colors right before Christmas and she caught him with another woman, Desiree was ready to move on. The only person who could understand her was Jackson. Her friend, her confidante, and the one man who had always been there for her.

Jackson Banner was ready to walk away and never look back. For more than three years, the only woman he had wanted was Desiree, but she had been too blind to see what he had to offer. Well, patience be dammed. It was time for him to get his very own Christmas gift and Desiree was it. This time, he was calling the shots and Jackson was willing to put it all on the line.



EXCERPT:

“Desiree, we’ve been friends for a long time, and that will never change. I hope you know I’m always here for you, but I can’t do this anymore.” He turned to sit on the edge of the loveseat, his large hands resting on his thighs. “Actually, I won’t do this anymore.”

At his words, Desiree’s heart seemed to stop beating. Was Jackson telling her they could no longer be friends? Jackson had specifically said he wanted them to stay friends after that botched first time together, and somehow they had managed to muddle through. Jackson had been so good to her since they had met—why would he not want to be friends anymore?

No, that couldn’t be right, maybe she was jumping to conclusions. Okay, now she was confused. Oh, fuck, she was about to hyperventilate and pass out right in his living room. Not have Jackson in her life anymore? Not be able to call him after a long day and just shoot the breeze or stop by for a well-cooked dinner and some snuggling? No, this couldn’t be happening to her. Jackson was too important to her for him to just walk out of her life.

Wait…Jackson was too important to her? Only as a friend? No. More than that. He was more than just a friend. As soon as Desiree thought it, she knew there was so much more between them. Jackson had been there for her through thick and thin, and then some. Desiree loved coming to his house at night because Jackson took care of her. He fed her, talked to her, laughed with her, and he always comforted her when she needed it the most.

Yes, Jackson was so much more than just a good friend. And after all this time, she needed to open her eyes to what was right in front of her. All that effort she had wasted on Victor, a man who could never measure up to Jackson, might have ruined her chances to have something real. Now she was on the verge of losing the one person who had truly been there for her. No, this had to be a mistake.

Almost afraid of what she might hear, she took a deep breath and plunged ahead. “Jackson, what do you mean you won’t do this anymore?” Without giving him a chance to speak, she continued, “Do you want me to stop coming over as much? I know you have a lot going on, and you’re real busy with work. I know that me hanging around here all the time probably messes things up for you. Just, I’m not sure what you mean.” On pins and needles, she paused for Jackson to answer.

“No, it’s not that, but—” Jackson started to respond, but in her nervousness, Desiree didn’t let him finish.

“I know I’m always calling you when things go wrong with Victor, but that’s over now. I won’t do that anymore. Not after tonight. He was all wrong for me, and I finally see that now. I need someone who cares for me, who listens to my stories, who understands my world.” Taking a deep breath, she said the one thing she had never thought would ever pass her lips.

“I need you, Jackson. You’re my perfect guy, and I thought our chance was ruined after that first day when everything seemed to go wrong. Maybe that’s why I stayed with Victor. Because I couldn’t have you.” The shock, and truth, of what she’d said caused Desiree to quickly shut her mouth and lift her gaze to Jackson’s face.

That quirky smile she loved so much, the one that showed off Jackson’s boyish charm and good looks, graced his beautiful mouth. No wonder both men and women flocked to him. “So, I’m your perfect guy?”

“Well, I know we’re just friends”—Desiree was doing the quickest tap dance she could—“and I don’t want to mess that up by trying to start something you don’t want.” What a way to ruin a friendship in six seconds flat.

Jackson lifted up from the side of the loveseat and took three steps toward Desiree, bringing their bodies flush against each other. “Oh, Desiree.” He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close, his gaze catching hers. “What if I want more? What if all I’ve ever wanted was you?”

Purchase Link: Holiday Desire
Coming Soon to All Romance Ebooks, Nook, and Kindle..Stay Tuned.

Happy Reading!
Reana 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sharing is Caring!

I'm on another mission my friends!

Promote! Support! Provide Access!

Now, this is not only for me, but for my Author friends as well. Oh yes, I have an enhanced calling. Not only to write what I love, but promote what I love as well.

You may be asking yourself just how I will do this. Well, let me share a few ideas.

1. Promote my own work! Hey, I have to start somewhere and my own stories are going to be front and center. Just check out the recent review of my latest story, Redemption. 

Feel free to leave your own wonderful thoughts and reviews of this story as well: 
Redemption (Heaven on Earth Book 2)

2. Promote the work of those who have the same passion as I do...WRITING! My preference is to write and read Interracial romance, but I have found some AMAZING authors who write other types of stories. Writing is a small world and we have to stick together, right?

I'm supporting a blog tour on this site for other others who want to share their feelings, thoughts, upcoming releases or other musings. More to come on that soon!

3. Find some unique and different ways to access new readers! It's time for me to spread my wings and broaden my world a little bit. It's time to see what the rest of the world looks like and I'm going to do some unique promotions, connect with mentors and other writers outside of my sphere, and expand my world view.

Having a different outlook on life is wonderful and I'm excited to get this ball rolling!

Love and Hugs,
Reana

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My 500 Word a Day Commitment...Wish Me Luck

I'm on a new path for my writing adventure! As a test and a commitment to my writing, starting today, I'm going to write 500 words EACH day for the next 30 days!
Yes, 500 words for the next 30 days!!

For me, that is a huge commitment, but it is absolutely necessary.

Why, you ask? Well, because I'm a procrastinator. It's true. Me. The Overachiever and Control Freak has issues with procrastination when it comes to writing. The main reason....I love to read. I mean, I LOVE to read. So, while I'm sitting here after a long day of work and trying to relax, I will start a new book and enjoy the world it takes me to.

What I sometimes fail to do, is sit down in front of the computer and delve into the world of my characters and their love and life, troubles and sorrows. By the time I get ready to write again, my internal deadline clock says I have to write for eight hours straight, without food or drink. That I must suffer for my craft and write the entire story in a day. That's just no good for anyone - including the people who purchase and read my stories.

Therefore, I'm turning over a new leaf. Starting today. This is going to be really good and I'm excited to get started. 

Wish me luck my friends!!

Love and Hugs,
Reana

Heaven on Earth, Book 2 - Redemption


The second story in the Heaven on Earth series. Redemption, which is Ethan's story, explains his past and helps us understand why he had such a connection to Adele Woolner from Escape to Heaven. Ethan is a character that I love so much. He is genuinely a good guy, but his life was negatively impacted by the death of his sister. 

It was cathartic to write his story. It felt good to give more background on the five brothers who saved Adele and gave her a family. For Ethan to finally find his own happily ever after was exactly what I needed.

When this novella was finally released for everyone, I was scared, nervous and excited all at the same time. Uncertain of what the reaction would be after all this time, I had idea if the story would be received and accepted the way I had intended.

The results so far? Amazing!!!

I am thankful for the readers that "get" me and understand the stories that I try to bring to life. The background of the characters I love to write, and the stories I create. So, enjoy Ethan's story. Learn more about the family and why their bond is so strong.


* * *

Ethan Dickerson had experienced tragedy in his life. That one event changed him forever and the course of his life was set. He was a protector. His mission was to protect those who could not protect themselves. Becoming a Navy SEAL was the obvious choice for him and he was damn good at his job. 

Vanessa Baldwin was a widow with a young son. Her husband taken from her while serving his country in a desert so far away. Her heart was set against ever falling in love with another man who risked his life on a regular basis. Someone who could be taken away from her in the blink of an eye. 

Two scarred people trying to find their way in this world, find each other. As soon as he lays eyes on Vanessa, Ethan knows there is something special about the single mother. He is a man on a mission and his goal is Vanessa’s heart. A lifetime of loving her is the only option he’s willing to accept.

It’s time for Ethan to find his Redemption.

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks

Love and Hugs,
Reana

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Valentine's Special - Native Hearts by RaeLynn Blue - Available for $0.99!

Happy Saturday! The Wonderful and Talented Ms. RaeLynn Blue has allowed me to share her latest release, Native Hearts, with all of you. This is a Contemporary, Interracial, Erotic Romance. For a limited time only, the story is available for a special Valentine's Price of $0.99!!! Read more below and then go get your copy!

Blurb: Lee Stone didn’t want a heart-shaped box of boring chocolates for Valentine’s Day. She didn’t want a trip to Vegas. She’d been there and done that. What she longed for was one Valentine’s Day that didn’t invite tragedy and chaos. The last three years with her boyfriend, Tank Begaye, had been host to a blizzard, a fire, and a heart attack. For once, she wanted to spend the day nestled in her lover’s arms.

Tank Begaye had weathered the long-distance relationship with Lee for years. Now, he meant to make her a permanent fixture in his life—as his wife. Avoiding the cliché Valentine Day’s proposals at restaurants and public landmarks, Tank knew exactly where to go—his family’s Hogan, deep in the heart of the Navajo Reservation. Surrounded by his ancestors’ spirits, he would ask Lee to join their family’s circle.


Purchase Links:

Excerpt:
© RaeLynn Blue 2014

Scarlet streaks flushed to pink and vibrant orange as the day bled from dawn to dusk. The colors painted the horizon along the burnt dust of the northern edge of the Navajo Nation’s reservation land. At over a mile high, this section of the high desert stretched out in all directions, racing toward its postcard edges. Picturesque, perfect, and patient, the land had witnessed death, destruction, and desperation. So why the H.E. double hockey sticks did Tank have her out here? The bright sunlight, crisp air, and fluffy white clouds belied the near twenty-three degree temperature. February became cold around these parts. The season didn’t care at all that today was Valentine’s Day.

Lee Stone frowned as the bite of another cold blast tore across the mesas and threatened to tear through her coat. Shuddering inside her parka, she could not fathom another Valentine’s Day mired in tragedy or random acts of chaos. Slivers of icy wind streaked through her ebony parka and her sweater, directly to her very bones. With her fingers growing numb inside her leather gloves, she yanked her hat farther down over her ears, and not for the first time, cursed the Valentine’s Day gods. It appeared that for the fourth year in a row, her sweetheart day would end in utter disaster. She looked around.

What could possibly be out here?

Biting her lip, she cast a glance at Tank Begaye. One eyeful of him never satisfied her. It never quenched her constant craving for him. His cowboy hat was tugged low over his eyes, and his arrow-straight black hair tied in a ponytail that hugged the nape of his neck. After four years, most couples’ fires had cooled to a comfortable temperature. Not theirs. Her desire burned blue-hot for him, just like the first day they met. Feeling the familiar tug of hunger skirt across her clit, she squeezed her thighs together before taking the next step forward. Her gaze moved downward from his neck to his leather-clad back, wide and delicious.

Whatever plans he had, she knew that the calloused hand of Fate would knock them off, scattering them into oblivion and the Navajo desert. They crested a ridge that looked out over the valley below. Speckled with Western-style houses, Hogans, and mobile homes, the sheep and yuccas outnumbered the living structures.

“Tank…” She detested the whine threading through her voice, but the suspense threatened to overtake her.

He gazed out toward the valley below and hummed. “It’s beautiful here.”

When she sighed, a stream of condensed air flew from her lips. They’d met at a freak party in Las Vegas and she’d lassoed his heart. He lived in Colorado and she resided in New Mexico. Each year they planned to meet on Valentine’s Day, and each year Fate fucked it up. The first year a blizzard tore through the Southwest and dumped a foot and a half of snow on the Four Corner region. The second year, a fire exploded in Tank’s ranch-style home the day before he’d planned to leave. Last year beat the mother of all tragedies. Tank’s ancient grandmother died two days before V-day. He was devastated. Maybe that was why he had them out here on the rez.

Road weary and exhausted from hiking through the high hills and low valleys of the reservation, Lee put her freezing hands into her pockets and fondled the thin, gift-wrapped box. She’d bought Tank a necklace, one with turquoise and silver crafted by a Zuni silversmith. As a Navajo, Tank had access to Native American crafts, but she’d had this piece crafted just for him. One of her students in Gallup was Zuni and her father a silversmith. Despite the cold outside burning her nose and making her ears sting, the gift warmed her.

“Where are we going?” she asked, calling above the sharp whistle of the wind.

He turned to her in that slow, seductive manner of his. “It’s a surprise.”

She bit back the retort she had in her throat. His sable-brown eyes peered out from beneath the shadow of his cowboy hat. Heat washed over her as if he’d touched her. Feeling better, Lee smiled and found her hope reassured. He did that all the time, sometimes with his voice over the cell phone, and other times with his eyes via Skype. The long distance between them had made maintaining their love a challenge, but when they were together, like this, it was all worth it—every mile, every minute, and every bit of money to keep and nurture what they had. She huddled deeper into her coat. Still, this hiking thing was not how she’d intended to spend her Valentine’s Day.

“This had better be good,” she mumbled.

He nodded and took her hand into his big one. His much larger hand engulfed hers.

“How much farther?”

“Just down this side path.” He inclined his head to the west.

Through the sparse grouping of trees, she saw the small, single-story structure. The door faced east, and puffs of fluffy smoke huffed out of a black circular chimney. Tank stepped in front of her, and led her down the narrow pathway that wound through the desert’s untamed brush. Lee had taught in New Mexico for the last fifteen years, so she recognized the Navajo Hogan when she saw it. A five-sided structure sat alone on the flattest section of the land. Packed adobe covered some of the walls, but harsh New Mexico winters had worn some of it down. The gusty winds whipped it down over the decades.

Lee had no idea what to expect and her feet failed to move. Tank must have felt her hand fall away, and he turned to her, concern on his face.

“What’s going on?” She couldn’t shake her rearing. There were places black folks just didn’t go. Besides, sacred places like Hogans and cemeteries were not normal destinations for Valentine’s Day.

Tank sighed. “It’s Valentine’s Day…”

“Not a sacred Navajo day…” she interjected.

He grinned at that. “No, no it isn’t.”

“So…”

“So follow me and I’ll give you a surprise.”

~End Excerpt~

Love and Hugs,
Reana