Friday, February 20, 2015

Writer's Block: Coping Strategies

We said writer's block was defined as a writer not being able to write, and we also talked about some of the causes of writer's block.

Writer's block doesn't have to take over your life. There are coping strategies that can help you work your way through the cause of your writer's block.

Some of the strategies I have used are:

Brainstorming  --  Remember back to junior high when the teacher told you to write a topic in the center of a sheet of paper. Then, you were supposed to write down anything you could think of that was related to the topic. You drew lines from the new ideas back tot he topic in the center. Then, you made more connections to the subtopics, and kept doing this until you had a web of ideas. This "old fashion" webbing strategy is a good way to get your brain to thinking.

Create lists  --  I like making lists. The lists can be of anything, even the steps as to how to do something, or just a list of possible character names.

Group Discussions  --  Bouncing ideas off of others can get the creative juices flowing. You get a chance to see someone else's view of the subject you're working with, and possibly come up with new ideas.

Take a walk --  Sometimes it helps to get away from the computer or paper. A walk can help you clear the stuff out of your head, and refresh you body and mind.

Take a warm shower --  A warm or hot shower will help you relax and focus on your writing. I've used this strategy when I get stuck and can't figure out what direction I need to take.

Read a book --  Sometimes you just have to totally get away from your writing. What better way than to read a book? You can escape to other worlds and various incidents created by another writer. This allows your mind to relax which in turn will help you focus on your writing.

These are just a few strategies to help you cope with writer's block.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Blitz: Obsession by Bonnie Vanak

(Werewolves of Montana Mating Mini 2)
Publication date: February 16th 2015
Genres: Erotica, Paranormal Romance


He comes to her in a dark dream promising sensual pleasure - sexy, tempting and dangerous. Raphael is an obsessed wolf with one thing on his mind. He wants Jessica naked beneath him, and nothing will stop him until he has her in his bed.

Jessica Tyrell is a Lupine with a mission – find her missing brother, her only living blood relative. Now, with the help of magick crystals, her dream can come true. All she needs is to hack into restricted records at her friend Alexa’s ranch. The only thing standing in her way is Raphael Amador, head of pack security. The wolf wants her with the same ruthless intent he displays in protecting the pack. Jessica knows if she surrenders to his sensual allure, she could lose her soul to Raphael.

Haunted by his tortured past and determined to never love again, Raphael finds his passion awakened by the lovely redhead who threatens his control. He has vowed to seek revenge against the man who killed his intended mate and scattered his pack. Can he experience a night of pleasure with the lovely redhead and pursue his goal of revenge, or will Jessica capture his broken heart?

Available At:

 BONNIE VANAK Answers a Few Questions

Q:  Are you a plotter or pantzer when it comes to writing?

Ms. Vanak:  I’m a “plantzer.” I do both. In addition to writing my self-published Werewolves of Montana series, I also write for Harlequin, so I have to turn in a synopsis. A synopsis is a terrific writing tool. With my Werewolves of Montana books, I’ll write a basic synopsis when I’m starting a new story. It helps me to gain a good idea of the characters’ motivations and emotional conflict.

Q:  Do you prefer an alpha, beta or gamma hero?

Ms. Vanak:  Alpha, definitely. Love writing and reading about alpha males. In my new Werewolves of Montana Mating Mini, Obsession, the hero is an alpha werewolf who lost his pack.

Q:  Which would you rather read, historical or contemporary romance?

Ms. Vanak:  Historical romance. My first books were Egyptian historicals. I had so much fun researching the Victorian time period of Egyptian history when archaeology was extremely popular. I included a real historical character, Flinders Petrie, in The Falcon and the Dove, my first book. There’s a fun scene in Obsession, where I include excerpts from The Falcon and the Dove, as the heroine is reading it. Jessica is a werewolf who adores reading romance novels!

Q:  Do you prefer print or ebooks?

Ms. Vanak:  Both! I do a lot of travel for the day job (I work for a charity and travel to places like Haiti and Honduras) so I read a lot on the plane. I also have a stack of books on my nightstand. But I love reading on my phone. I have both a Kindle app and a Nook app.

Q:  What’s next in your Werewolves of Montana series?

Ms. Vanak:  Passion, the third Mating Mini, will be released next month. And I’m working on Redemption, the fourth Mating Mini, and The Mating Challenge. The Mating Challenge is Aiden’s book. He’s the leader of the Mitchell pack in Montana, a very sexy alpha wolf who has been pursuing Nikita Blakemore, alpha female of the rival Blakemore pack. I’m planning to release Aiden’s book this summer. I already have the cover and if you “like” my Facebook page, you’ll see it posted there.

Q:  How can readers keep up with your latest releases?

Ms. Vanak:  My website is and that’s where readers can sign up for my newsletter to receive updates on releases, plus there’s a link to a special Members Only page where I have two free short reads.  I update my Facebook page more frequently. That link is  I also have a blog,  And my Twitter page is


Bonnie Vanak fell in love with romance novels during childhood. While cleaning a hall closet,

After years of newspaper reporting, Bonnie became a writer for a major international charity. She travels to destitute countries such as Haiti to write about famine, disease and other issues affecting the poor. When the emotional strains of her job demanded a diversion, she turned to her childhood dream of writing romance novels.

She lives in Florida with her husband Frank and two dogs, where she happily writes books amid an ever-growing collection of dust bunnies.
she discovered her mother’s cache of paperbacks and started reading. Thus began a passion for romance and a lifelong dislike for housework.

(Werewolves of Montana Mating Mini 1)

If you have not read book 1, here is were it is available:


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

I hope you and your special someone 
have a wonderful 
Valentine's Day!!!

photo by Stuart Miles @

Friday, February 6, 2015

Writer's Block: The Causes

I can't think of anything to write.

The cursor on the computer screen keeps staring at me. It's mocking me. I just know it is. It's  the reason I can't think of anything to write.

I had an idea, but now it's gone.

I got sidetracked by all the social media stuff.

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

Honestly, I think every writer has times when he or she can't get the words onto the screen or down on the paper.

And the culprit is...
                 WRITER'S BLOCK!!!

Basically, writer's block is when a writer can't write. The story...the words...they just refuse to flow.
But what causes writer's block?

A Lack of Inspiration
You just can't think of anything to write. Ideas flip through your brain like the pates of a book, but nothing sounds good.

Email, social media, the sale at your favorite online store...they all call to you, and you give in. Just for a few minutes, you tell yourself. Three hours later, and you have nothing but a blank page to show for your time. But distractions are not limited to the Internet, it can be pets, family, books, television, chores, the significant other in your life. The list goes on and on.

Life Events
We all have life events that demand our time and attention. It could be a sic child or a sick spouse. Maybe  you are the one who is sick. Financial difficulties are another life event culprit that eats our time. They take a lot of energy and time and unfortunately, have to be dealt with.

Any of the previous events can cause depression. Staring at sales reports or getting ready for the day job are just a couple of the stresses that can cause depression.

If we think about it, we can find dozens, if not hundreds, of things that can cause us to have writers block

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Blitz and Giveaway: TAKE ME

Take Me: 
Twelve Tales of Dark Possession Boxed Set 
Publication date: February 3rd 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance

Surrender to desire with 12 books by the hottest names in dark romance, including bestselling authors Pepper Winters, Anna Zaires, and Lynda Chance.

 CD Reiss – Spin
Jenika Snow – A Beautiful Prison
Pepper Winters – Destroyed
Skye Warren – Trust in Me
Kendall Ryan – Unravel Me
Anna Zaires & Dima Zales – Twist Me
Shay Savage – Otherwise Alone & Otherwise Occupied
Amber Lin & Shari Slade – Three Nights with a Rock Star
Pam Godwin – Deliver
Lynda Chance – Marco’s Redemption
Gemma James – Torrent

These e-books would cost over $40 if purchased separately. This set will only be 99 cents until release, so pre-order your copy now!



What is the hardest part of writing for you?

I have trouble shutting up my inner critic while I’m writing the first draft. I end up editing each sentence as I go along, which slows me down quite a bit (but speeds up the subsequent editing process :)).

Uhm, there is no hard part. I have the best job in the world.

Working past my hang-ups. My need for perfectionism makes me freeze up a lot. I write with a maddening stop-and-go process, which drives me nuts.

The hardest part for me is hoping readers like my stories. I stress every single time, even six years after being published, that readers will hate my books. I think that is normal for every writer though.

Everything. Writing books is HARD and sometimes agonizing for me.

That’s an easy question. Plotting. I hate plotting. I despise plotting—can’t do it and suck at it. –I always want to get straight to the meat of the story—which is when my alpha-male sees his woman for the first time and goes ape-shit crazy in territorial lust. Who has time for plotting when sex scenes are calling? 

Deadlines. The rush at the end, the caffeine-fueled all-nighters, and the second-guessing and self-criticizing that comes in the final lap are hell on my nerves. But ahhhh, when those final words are written, it’s an amazing feeling. 

Hardest part is my eyesight currently. Before, I could stare at a screen for 18 hours a day with no problem. Now, I have to wear glasses and they get tired very quickly. I can write very fast when I’m in the zone (up to 13,000 words a day) but unless my eyes are focusing, it’s hard. I’m lucky that I don’t really deal with writer’s block. If I do, I’ll get my notepad and pen out and do some plotting. That always helps get me back on track. 
Making the time to write is so difficult. Between my day job, family demands, and the siren song of social media, there are never enough hours in the day. Sometimes I just have to unplug, put a “do not disturb unless on fire” sign on the door, and get it done.
Carving out the space and time and mental focus to do it is definitely the hardest part. Having a co-writer makes it infinitely easier and harder ;-)

Developing auxiliary characters can always be a struggle.  I want the focus to be on the main couple, but they usually have to interact with others at some point.  From the standpoint of writing erotica specifically, it takes a lot of effort to keep sex scenes fresh and interesting.

Nothing and everything. I love the actual writing, coming up with a story and falling in love with them. But reader expectation is such a tough thing—it’s tough in any genre but has particular challenges for dark books. Even the word dark means different things to different readers. But ultimately I can only write the books I love and hope that my readers enjoy them.


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