Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Block vs. Burnout

I've been a very bad blogger these last several months, missing days, and frankly, phoning it in on others. Not just here, either, but on the other three group blogs I belong to as well. I owe all of you an apology for that.

My dirtier little secret, though, is that during those same months, I haven't been any more productive as a writer. Really, it's been almost a year since I put any significant number of words down. At that point, we're talking about more than mere writers' block.

I've tried all the writers' block "cures." Mind games. Timers. Word count goals. Hell, even NANO, which should tell you exactly how long it's been. Walking it off. Changing up writing locale or rituals. BICHOK. Nothing worked. Partly, I think, because I hadn't yet realized the difference between block and burnout.

A few years ago, I released 14 books in a year. In eight years as a published author I've sold 53 novels, short stories and novellas. 1 will come out in November, one is in edits, and one is the book that just won't be written. The one I've been trying to write for almost a year. And before you say, "ditch it and write something else," that didn't work either. Nothing wanted to be written this year. Nothing. So I took some time to really examine the situation, and my life as a whole. That's when I realized it wasn't block. I have a serious case of burnout.

Some of that, I think,is because writing, especially writing romance, IS emotional. It's draining. Eventually you run out of energy. I'd been writing a lot, and fast. Burnout was probably inevitable. Other reasons include a spate of rejections, making me seriously doubt my ability as a writer. Finally, there were other, unrelated stressors going on in my life. Things in our household have been a little more difficult than usual this past year, draining even more of my creative juices. Truthfully, I haven't even wanted to read much lately, which almost never happens to  me.

So what the hell is a writer supposed to do? I'm not exactly in a position to run out and get a day job. Positions in my former career as a naturalist are few and far between, plus I can't really hike for a living like I did up to seven years ago. My new profession is a lot kinder to my ankles, knees, and hips which are all pretty much shot. Besides, I love writing. I love being a writer. I don't want to be a greeter at WalMart or a substitute schoolteacher (another former fallback position.) Therefore it's time to come up with a PLAN.

So, here's the plan.

Step 1: Cut myself some slack. It's time to stop beating myself up about the past year, so that self-disgust quits being one of the stressors. It happened. Move on.

Step 2: Write. As much as I can, as often as I can. In small bits, if necessary. But I'm trying now to write at least a page every day. Baby steps are still steps.

Step3: Mix it up. Yes, I still have the major contracted project to work on, but I'm adding in some small, short fun projects. That way, I can write whichever the mood suits, which will make it feel less like work.  Also, if I finish one or two of the small projects, I'll have SOME sense of accomplishment, which might build more momentum.

Step 4: Ask for help. I have to remind myself it's okay to ask for a little encouragement now and then. That's what my writer friends are for, right?

So if any of you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! I can't be the only one who's ever doubted themselves or run out of steam. Thanks for listening!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Favorite Things About the South

Happy Labor Day! Fall is officially upon us or at least it is down South as wearing white is now forbidden. Of course, it's still hot as Hades in Alabama, but what's a little more heat? That's why I'm giving you an excerpt from DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE.

Southern belle Campbell Layne is the rising star of the Manhattan Ballet Theatre, providing she lands an upcoming principal role. The stage heats up, however, when Rod Carrington steps in and teaches her more than she ever expected!
Determined as she is to stay focused on the audition that will push her into stardom, dazzling attorney Rod Carrington still proves to be a major distraction especially when he ends up teaching the college class she’s taking in her spare time. Campbell humiliates herself on their first date, but that doesn’t stop Rod from whisking her off to Italy and turning her into quite the vixen. Too bad he also had to use his powerful influence to secure the lead for her. Now she’ll never know if her talent was real or “bought” by the man she thought was the love of her life.

“It leaps right off the pages and into your heart. I will remember and reread. I look forward to Ms. Crow’s storytelling in the future. I just love the sassy, Southern girl meets cool rich guy. This book is well worth the read.” My Erotic Reviews

Here's a mainstream excerpt:
“Thank you for attending the performance and for your generous donation to MBT.” His dark eyebrows shot up a notch, highlighting a definite mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Why did they have to be the exact shade of turquoise as the Caribbean Ocean at sunset? Stunning.

“That’s well-rehearsed, Miss Layne. Tell me, though, do you turn on the Southern belle charm for all your fans or only the male ones?”

Her mouth fell open, but thank goodness she had the presence of mind to snap it shut. “How dare you? First of all, I’m from Alabama which makes the accent genuine, and secondly, that’s…that’s the rudest, most ungentlemanly thing to say.”

“I never said I was a gentleman and readily admit to be undeserving of your sweet fa├žade. I’d much prefer the real you.”

She propped her hands on her hips. “And precisely what, may I ask, do you assume to be the real me, seeing as our acquaintance has a life span of what? Thirty seconds?”

Rod glanced at an expensive-looking gold watch. “Forty-five.” He stepped closer.

She did not see that coming and stumbled back only to become trapped between the wall and his body. The hard, cold stone competed against his warm, harder presence. Damn it, the latter won out. She ground her traitorous fingertips into her palms in an effort to prevent them from brushing away the stray curl that fell across his forehead.

The hem of his jacket brushed her hip as he moved in to splay his hand over her waist. The pressure built as he gathered her an inch closer. She caught a faint whiff of his cologne. The clean, fresh scent permeated the air and reminded her of the Southern pines back home, but this was not the time to reminisce.

“In fact, I’d like to get to know every inch of you.” Another sharp tug had her chest pressed against his rock solid form.

Her blood boiled in a delicious rhythm. Obviously, the vibrator thing was getting old if this jerk was turning her on. She made a mental note to ask her best friend, Heidi, to set her up on a date. Any man would do—as long as it was not Rod.

She flexed her fingers and pushed against his shoulders. “Let go of me, you arrogant pig.” A lion, cougar, leopard—anything powerful—seemed a more apt description though.

Rod chuckled and loosened his hold. A fraction. Enough to insert his finger between them. It followed the line of fabric at her shoulder slowly, very slowly, across her chest. As he glided over her cleavage, he said, “But, my dear, you’re mistaken. It’s confidence I possess.”

“More like cockiness.” Even as she said it, Bella couldn’t take her gaze off his finger or steer her attention from the intense hunger  sweeping through her. She instinctively arched her back, lifting her breasts to silently beg for more.

“Either way, but I always get what I want, and in case you need me to spell it out”—he slid his finger up her throat to tilt her chin, forcing her to look at him—“I. Want. You.”

He uttered the words with such conviction, her breath hitched. No, stopped. She literally thought she might pass out. Swoon, like one of those Regency ladies she’d thought of a moment ago, only she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

Feigning haughty sophistication was not in her repertoire, but there was a first time for everything. She raised a brow and allowed her gaze to wander his body as he’d done to her. The black tux cut a dashing figure, making her mouth water for a taste of what lay beneath. She imagined herself undoing each of the black buttons on his starched, white shirt. His bowtie was a little askew. She reached to straighten it, brushing against his neck. She heard his breathing deepen, sensed, rather than saw, the quickening of his jaw. She inwardly smiled and wiggled her toes in a victory dance, but those stupid, treacherous fingers battled back, wanting to still the muscle with a gentle caress. She balled her fists in reprimand, uncaring that her short nails dug into her palms.

When she reintroduced her eyes to his, she shot him what she hoped was a contemptuous glare. “Take your hand off me,” she said slowly and deliberately. She made a dramatic showing of enclosing her fingers, one at a time, around his wrist and tugged his finger away from her boobs.
Nothing happened. Well, almost nothing. He managed to do that trick when one eyebrow lifts higher than the other.

She sighed loudly and exceedingly unladylike. Then she pulled. Hard.

Finally, he broke contact by approximately six inches when twelve would have been much closer to the acceptable personal space limit. Too late to hide her puckered nipples, she still folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot in perfect tempo with her index finger. “An apology would be appropriate at this time.”

“Ah, but then I’d have to, in fact, be sorry.”

He said that? Seriously? She just stood there, gaping. It would’ve been so nice to find the words, any words to speak, but nope. A boa constrictor squeezed her throat.

“What? No response? I assume that negates the possibility of you actually wanting an apology.”

Again, robbed of speech. She felt like a fool, but her mind remained as blank as the sky on a cloudy night. So much for feigning haughty sophistication.

“Um…” Jackpot! At last. Okay, it wasn’t a three-point goal in the final seconds of the game, but her voice hit a few decibels nevertheless.

Rod’s deep chuckle reverberated throughout the alcove as he captured both of her shoulders. He laughed at her. Worse, he was going to kiss her. She knew it. Right here, right now. In front of everyone. A complete stranger. Well, not completely, she knew his name at least. Knowing the first name made it all right, didn’t it?

Lord, what am I thinking? She did not go around kissing strangers. Hell, she didn’t go around kissing people she knew. What would her mama think? She’d die of shame, that’s what.

But heaven knew she wanted to taste those beautiful, full lips. She purely ached to run her fingers through his wavy, chestnut hair and slide her hands inside his coat to see if his abs were as hard as she imagined they would be. She closed her eyes and barely swallowed the lump stuck in her throat before licking her lips, preparing for the inevitable.


DANCE WITH A MILLIONAIRE BUY NOW from Amazon or from Siren Publishing
Visit Casey at http://www.caseycrow.com
Follow on Twitter @caseyecrow and Facebook Casey Crow

The story definitely has my “Sexy, Sassy & Southern” trademark so in honor of the hotness of DWAM and the hot weather down South, I’ve put together my list of Top 10 Favorite Things about the South.

1. Sweet tea and sweeter accents
2. Macaroni & cheese is a vegetable and pecan pie is a staple
3. Y'all is a proper noun
4. Smocked dresses and hairbows as big as a little girl's head
5. Front porches are wide and words are long
6. Sultry summer nights that start in April
7. Mardi Gras
8. SEC football. Enough said.
9. Pageants are serious business
10. Everything is darlin' and someone's heart is always blessed

So what are your favorite things about where you live? I hope you’ll take advantage of the uniqueness of your area and enjoy it, no matter where you hail.
As always, thanks for stopping by.

Southern Smiles,
Casey Crow

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fifty Shades of Underwear

Unless you're living on a different planet and even if you are, you've probably seen the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer...


Seems we'll have to wait until Valentine's Day 2015 to see everything the film has to offer. Till then, I've written some "Fifty Shades" poems to go along with super sexy pix from www.Dreamstime.com

Today's topic: undies

Fifty Shades of Underwear

by Jina Bacarr
Your mama told you once upon a day
Wear clean underwear when you’re away

So you shopped the sales for navy, black, and red
In no granny panties would this girl be caught dead

Pink, persimmon, peach panties are oh so fun
But what really counts is bringing it down to one

For the hot color in undies across the land
Is not sizzling red or desert sand 

But a lovely shade of dominant grey
To show off your butt and take his breath away...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NAC Welcomes Jennifer Kacey! New Release and Contest!

Brought to His Knees Boxed Set for $0.99

Okay…before I get to the boxed set stuff I have something to confess.  Come a little closer. Don’t be shy. I’m a kinky girl. Umm…yeah, that’s not the confession. For Beneath the Pages I was determined to right an MF contemporary story with no kink…


Yeah I have no idea what I was thinking. Seriously, it’s so kinky I had to cool off while writing it, and as for the MF part. How’s MFMM sound instead? Good? Hot? Double…err…Triple Hot? 

Why yes it is!

One wicked night with her did nothing but whet his appetite. Now he’ll settle for nothing less than her complete submission.

As for the set you’re in for a treat! Available for a Limited Time for $0.99! Don’t miss out on this AMAZING Boxed-Set from some of your favorite erotic authors. That’s 11 stories…in one book…from sweet to sizzling and everywhere in between!!!

The Alpha male. Strong. In control. Letting no one and nothing rule him…until he meets the one, and all bets are off. The world tilts, the bed rocks, and suddenly that tough guy finds himself Brought to His Knees—in more ways than one.

This collection of ten hot to erotic novellas and one short erotic novel will take you on journeys of lust, love, and adventure, leave you breathless and quite possibly in need of a cold shower.
Enter with anticipation. Finish satisfied…

Now for a bit of giveaway fun! Would you like to win a spanking (hee hee) new copy of Beneath the Pages featured below? AWESOME! I hoped you would!!!

What do you have to do to win? Easy.

Go here - http://jenniferkacey.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=f09bd32b8c279cebcc930950e&id=2a45c210e8 – sign up for my newsletter, then come back here and leave a comment! Any comment will do and I’ll pick a random winner on the next business day.

Now go get a copy of Brought To His Knees! Your significant other will thank you for it! MWAHAHA!!!
Buy Links

Beneath the Pages
Jennifer Kacey

Acacia owns and runs Fame, one of the hottest celebrity magazines in the country. She survives on convincing the rich and famous to reveal things they would normally do anything to keep hidden. She lives, eats and breathes the magazine. Day in and day out. She has no life, nothing to keep in the dark. Nothing but the night she gave herself over to the one man she never should have wanted.

Radigan, the most sought after actor in Hollywood, wants her again, and won’t take no for an answer. He had her for one night. Several hours of the best sex of his entire life, but she was gone the next morning before the sun had fully risen. His attempts to contact her have gone unanswered. Everything he’s tried so far has been a miserable failure. But he finally knows what to do to slip beneath the pages of her heart.

This time he’s playing for keeps and the exclusive rights to her body, heart and soul.

Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.

Blog – The Decadent Divas - http://www.thedecadentdivas.blogspot.com/ 

#BTHK 11 author hot/steamy box-set availble a@B&N for pre-order. Limited time only! #Nook ow.ly/zzOwe @JenniferKacey @SabrinaYork