Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Books That Changed My Life

Sometimes you can read a work of fiction and completely change your whole outlook on life. At one moment, your ideologies are there. At the end of the book, they've jumped way over to the opposite side.

Not many novels have done that for me, but when they do, I rave about them. So here we go with the top five books that changed my life.

I learned that writing the regular erotic romance won't do. I have to dig deeper in my heart and explore my fears and desires like Megan Hart did when she wrote this book. 

It's an incredible read.

This is a masterpiece of mega proportions. The day I finished this novel was the day I stopped taking the rat race to riches too seriously.

Although I wasn't happy about the way this story ended, this novel is the reason why I started writing in the New Adult genre. I loved the addictive quality of the hero and heroine as well as the sort of edge of the seat anxiety in their decisions.

This was so beautifully written. Their were several themes on beauty and love. I really began thinking differently on those topics after reading this.

This book discusses the famous poet Basho who believed that the journey to writing a book was way more important than the finished product. I keep that thinking with me always each time I write a book.

So what were books that changed your life?

The Deceptive Significance of Cover Art

People who say they don't judge a book by a cover are full of shit


I just wanted to set the mood and let you know that this blog post won't be lathered in B.S. I won't be shoveling fake opinions in an attempt to woo you into liking me enough to buy my books.


Today, after two large coffees and not much sleep, I will be raw, honest, and probably piss you off. Not that I'm not usually honest, it's just in this moment, I refuse to sugar coat this message.

Book covers matter. Sometimes more than the implementation of the whole plot-line.

Isn't that fucked up?

For a writer, it's disappointing and horrific that before someone gives your words and characters a chance. . .they judge your cover, something that is so outside of your creative process. . .it's ridiculous

However, as a reader, I won't buy a book if it isn't pleasing to the eyes, well-executed, or grab my attention in some way. So although I'm annoyed about book covers representing the story as an author. . .oh I'm a complete contradictory person when it comes to me buying a book.

But let's dig deeper. . .

Which book would you buy?



An unexpected experiment happened for me back in the fall of 2013 (so long ago). Amazon decided to finally regulate ebooks that they considered breaking their mature content rules. Basically, the site started deleting books that appeared to involve incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and all those things that pretty much disgust the normal population of people. 

My novel The Babysitter was deleted because (I assume) it showed a "shadowy vagina" and because the woman looked like an underage girl with a teddy bear. 

What is interesting is the next day I quickly grabbed a quick stock image that I believed represented the characters and the plot-line, then had an artist due the font. I more wanted my short story out there for my fans who were waiting on other books.

This became the cover. . .three hours later. . .The Babysitter was on the Erotica Bestseller's list as if triggered by magic.

With the other cover, the novel sold five books a day. With the new cover, it sold a thousand books in two weeks. The book continued to rise up to the top twenty on the Erotica list and remained there for several weeks.

Is this confirmed proof that book covers matter?

There are so many reasons why people decided to give my short story a try on that day and all of those reasons could have nothing to do with the cover. 

However, do I place more significance on books covers these days?

Um. . .did you see the part about the book going from 5 sales to a thousand?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top Three Non-fiction Books about Rock Stars

Top Three Non-fiction Books about Rock Stars

The best part about writing rock star romances is the research!
It's so much more fun than other topics. I read tons of rock star biographies, memoirs, and authorbiographies to better develop my hero Jude in Flirting with Chaos.

I didn't want a regular alpha hero. Sadly, that bores me at times. I needed him to be dark, twisted, yet so utterly lovable that the reader couldn't figure out if they Hated or Loved him, but they knew for sure they longed to hook up with him.

During my reading of rock stars, I created a top three that just really blew my mind away. I read about eight, but really these three books still linger in my mind months later. So here we go. . .

"Welcome to my nightmare
Welcome to my breakdown
I hope I didn't scare you"

Blurb: Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine.

"To his father's dismay, by the end of the 50s the boy (Jagger) had transformed into a precocious-teenage philosopher-prince obsessed with rock and roll and girls, and, worse became suspicious of uniforms and obedience."

Blurb: Combining biography with cultural history, Jagger unfolds like a captivating documentary, a series of episodes tracing the icon’s rise from his childhood in middle-class postwar London to his status as a jet-setting knight.


Blurb: This book, a visual collaboration between the singer and his friend, leading photographer Mark Seliger, follows Kravitz on the road, with his family, performing, relaxing with friends, and in the outrageous fashions that have become his signature style. 

I hope you all try at least one of these out!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Death as Art

Death as Art

Artists in different cultures and times have portrayed death in both symbolic and literal ways. 

a post card from Morbid Curiosity, the Richard Harris Death Collection

While writing The Muse, I researched the depiction of death in art and discovered this really insane artist that continues to push mega boundaries. His name is Gregor Schneider.

Why should you care about this dude?

Well for die-hard fans of The Muse, this guy is as close to a real-life HEX as you're going to find. For those who haven't read the novel, Hex is a huge part of the story and the main dark artist who takes the heroine on a very wicked ride through magic, death, and self-revelation.

I began reading up on Gregor Schneider due to all of these controversial articles he has in the press. The more I learned about him, the more the character Hex Castillo began to grown and start walking around in my head.

Here's some interesting and somewhat frightening exploits of Mr. Scheneider.

1. In 2000, he faked his death as part of an exhibition.

2. One of his famous art installations is a haunted house that people walk into called The Haus ur.

Visitors have reported having horrifying experiences while walking through the house.

The rooms' walls move in and out

The rooms also move around the house.

3. 21 Beach Cells
Scheneider took over Sydney's famous Bondi Beach and placed individual prison cells for sun bathers.

4. His recent art installation involves dark rooms that will blow fragrances into the air.

It consists of five silent rooms that a visitor walks through alone. The rooms are fairly plain - white, grey and metal walls. But the catch is that it's cold, pitch black, and there's no turning back. Each room is modified by tiny changes to get your imagination running and your heart racing. 

5. Creating a place in art museums for people to die.

Schneider stated in an interview that he wanted to create a space in a museum where people could die. His argument was that society's horror of death was so much that we prefer to ignore it, leaving people to die in the clinical impersonality of a hospital rather than somewhere beautiful.

Thanks so much for learning about one of my favorite artists and my muse for The Muse.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top 5 Erotic Classics

There are really some great erotica out there, if you just take the time to check a few out. Some push the envelope. Others present the beginning of a sexual relationship in such a strange way that you're so intrigued to read on.

I have a top five of oddly interesting erotica that are near and dear to my heart.


A sexual novel written in the form of a phone conversation between two strangers.


Thirteen vignettes--a covetous French painter, a sleepless wanderer of the night, a guitar-playing gypsy, and a host of others who yearn for and dive into the turbulent depths of romantic experience.


Beautiful writing and theme surrounding a married 
couple and the husband's best friend.


Not just sex but a literary novel on a woman's self-discovery and liberation.


A dark tale that is arousing and haunting.

So that's my top five oddly interesting erotic classics. I think these books are pioneers and can be read as fascinating historical lit as well as steamy erotica.

Check them out, if you dare.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Music Playlist: Vampire King Trilogy

The Music Behind the Madness

Two moons surround a planet that's inhabited by vampires, elfkins, and humans.

Welcome to the Vampire King Trilogy.

Book One
Book Two
Book Three

Sometimes in order for me to write about another world, I have to surround myself around other worldly things.

Since I can't just project myself into space, lounge on a moon crater, and write away. . .I'm forced to discover crazy musical tracks, plug my headphones in my ears, and type away as the most odd things fill my ears.

When I think of Vampire King Trilogy, I think of strange electronica with a sort of an 80s influence.

Probably not what you figured huh? What happened is that the night before I sat down to write Escape, I saw the movie Drive and that soundtrack stuck in my head.

First of all, the Vampire King Trilogy was supposed to be a simple little love story about vampires on earth. Nothing too big or complex. However, as I'm writing. . . suddenly my story is not on earth and these vampires are no where near what I'm used to. . .

The song Nightcall is why my Vampires can shift into a king form that gives them horns and hoofs.

The male voice in the song is so freaking scary, yet hot to me. I kept thinking. . .Romantic Monster. lol.

The song Under Your Spell inspired Samuel and Brie's relationship.

The song A Real Hero really set the tone for all of Samuel's turmoil that he experienced inside of him as he battled with being what he was born to be. . .and what he felt was safe to be.

And that my friends is the continuous sound of music I heard as I wrote the entire Vampire King Trilogy.