Can a novel be sensual and gripping, but not erotic and graphic, and still make you love, laugh, cry, and hope?

I hope you realized that was a rhetorical question. Of course it can!

Some of the most famous books and movies are famous because they appeal to a wide audience. 

One of the things I've always recognized about animated movies such as Shrek and Tangled is their ability to make innuendos that children miss, but adults catch. While I know this is annoying to some parents when looking for a sweet, innocent movie for their children, it’s what makes the movie appeal to the masses.

And at the risk of readers fussing at me, what’s wrong with a little sensual innuendo? That’s my favorite part. I don’t need it spelled out for me. Sexual tension is a lot more fun than just getting right to the act. And hey, attraction is a part of life; we are supposed to be attracted to one another. 

If you’ve read previous blogs here, you’ll know this is an argument I constantly fight: why is it okay to show violence, but not sex—even between a married couple—in a book or movie?

I’ve been accused of ‘mommy porn’ and ‘couldn’t stomach the moral values’ in the same book, even though I’ve warned readers…

All of my novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping, but not graphic, and will make you cry, laugh, love, and hope. I don't think there's anything wrong with a sensual read, but I leave the best parts to your imagination. Readers have great imaginations; that’s why you read. 

AND… Although I don't write 'Christian' books, I often share my characters' beliefs, even if they struggle at times. Why? Because they are my beliefs and ninety percent of Americans’ beliefs. Our beliefs--good and bad--are what make people...real. If you didn't have any ideals, you'd be a vegetable. So my characters are real people, who come with real flaws; no perfect people allowed.


I refuse to conform to either side of the “ultra clean, not realistic story” or the belief that “we have to shock you to keep your attention” type of stories. I write stories that overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy, because they are believable and true to life, while still being a great escape from reality as I weave a story of love, hope, overcoming, and restoration.

So you’ve been warnednow, if you like, you can check out my books for yourself.

Until next time, happy reading!

Carmen


Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember, these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.  If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.

If it isn’t available free in your area, use...
Smashwords

The last excerpt for Creatus Eidolon is a SHOCKER! Enjoy! #AmReading #KindleUnlimited


Not all phantoms are myths...

For four thousand years, creatus have concealed themselves from the humans who hunted them almost to extinction.

Now, one rogue creatus faction wants the world to know they exist, and one woman with nothing to lose plans to stop them.

Whatever it takes, she will hunt down and kill the creatus who took her life from her.

This is an excerpt from Book Three in the Creatus Series, which is Coming Soon! If you'd like to start the series from the beginning, you can download the prequel, Creatus (They Exist)here

For those of you who've read the first three stories, get ready...this is the last excerpt, and it's a shocker! If you haven't read any of the Creatus Books...you should probably skip this. Happy reading! J


Spoiler Alert!!!


“Derrick, I understand that we rarely seek high political positions, but surely you must see what a benefit this would be for us,” Matt said.
“No. I don’t. Not unless you plan to be an advocate for civil rights...” Derrick dropped his head a notch, “for our kind. Is that your intention, Sir?”
He waved his hand. “Don’t be ridiculous, Derrick. Obviously I can’t suggest laws to protect the rights of something that doesn’t exist.”
Sabrina and Kristina had to crane their heads to hear. Even Reece had a difficult time catching every word. This definitely wasn’t a conversation for a public restaurant. If federal investigators were watching the family, their words would be picked up. Not that anyone at the table had mentioned the word creatus, and the meaning of the conversation was vague at best, but it still would have been better to hold this meeting at one of their soundproofed residences. Then again, the way Derrick’s eyes seared his brother, maybe Mike knew that it was better to have an audience for his presentation.
As though measuring each word, Derrick steepled his hands in front of his chin. “But if somehow, the government and populace discovered our existence and meant us harm, then your role there would be invaluable, would it not?”
“Yes, I suppose it would,” Matt allowed. “I am an attorney after all, and this is simply the next step in my career.” Matt beamed, assuming he’d won Derrick’s vote, but Reece didn’t see that. Derrick had been calm, cool, and collected every time Reece had seen the man, and though he’d asked each question with respect, Reece could see the fire brewing in his eyes.
Derrick laced his fingers again, only this time, he clenched them together as if he were afraid he might hit something—or someone. “And who exactly suggested—
“He...” Kristina broke through the whispered conversation with a gasp, and all eyes turned to her.
Derrick’s arms immediately wrapped around his wife. “Baby, what happened? Are you okay? Did you feel something?”
Tears poured from Kristina’s eyes as she sunk down in her seat, but she peered around Derrick’s shoulder. “It’s...him.”
“Him?” Derrick and the rest of the family turned to look where Kristina indicated, to a man bussing a table, but only his back was visible as he leaned over a booth.
       “The man...who killed...my mom.”



That's it, my friends. Yes...everything means something in my books. No matter how random it may seem, everything always circles around. No man is an army...and no kingdom is built in a day... 

The Creatus Series is not your normal paranormal story...it's a realistic twist of the myths you've heard your entire life. Prepare to believe...


Creatus Eidolon is Coming Soon!

Kindle Unlimited Members, read the entire series FREE!

After downloading and reading...play Creatus Trivia for a chance to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The power of the short story. Why I like to read and write them. #AmWriting #AmReading


I’m a fan of Wikipedia for general research, not quotable text. It’s a great place to start, as it usually has a great compilation of information from other sources. Often, when I Google a question, Wikipedia is the first page to pop up. So I’ll begin my search and then dig deeper based on my findings, and in the case of my mysteries, especially where cause of death and ways to die are an essential part of the story, I seek out scientific journals and experts in that specific field. Therethat’s my disclosure. On to my blog post. :)

Today, I had a quick question on the popularity of short stories. I was with Wikipedia until I read… “Sometimes, authors who do not have the time or money to write a novella or novel decide to write short stories instead…” Wikipedia


What???

Ummno… How on earth does a short story cost less? Most authors spend the same dollar amount on their cover, and it doesn’t cost anything to upload it to Amazon. Time... maybe… but even that seems silly, as authors who write short stories, usually write many of them. I think authors write short stories because they enjoy writing short stories, especially in between large projects or while waiting for their editor or publisher to finish reading their current project.

“Short stories date back to oral storytelling traditions which originally produced epics such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey circa 7th or 8th century – Wikipedia, again (I didn’t see the need to research further. J) For that matter, Jesus told parables so that his followers could better understand his teachings.

Charles Dickens and Washington Irving--who were famous for novels and biographies--wrote short stories, and of course, Edgar Allan Poe argued that a literary work should be short enough for a reader to finish in one sitting. And yet, when I went looking for advertising, I found it almost impossible to find a website that was willing to promote my short storieseven if I was willing to pay the same amount as I would for a full novel. I also noticed many publishers refuse to publish short stories, which as far as money goes, I can understand that. They would have to shell out money for a cover for little return.

And now for the craziest thing, I wrote my short stories, knowing I was going to give them away. Yep. My first short, The Pit Stop was to have fun with my readers, which a lot of them happened to be authors. We’d write five hundred words a week on my website, and when we finished, I informed them I’d publish it and pay tribute to my top contributors.

But then something happened… Readers demanded more--I love it when that happens. Per readers’ requests, I wrote The Depot. And nowbased on those two short stories, again per readers’ demands, I’m writing a follow-up novel.

And with no awesome book advertising, but because of word of mouth from some great readers, The Pit Stop and The Depot hit #1 in Mystery Short Stories and have spent plenty of time in the top 100 in the last two years. I received my rights back from the publisher last week, so I had to re-upload them. Yesterday...they hit #1 and #2 again! 

My thoughts on short stories… An average movie is one and a half to two hours long, and yet, it can still convey a full life, from birth to death, of a character, we can solve a ten-year-old murder mystery, view a first date as it matures to marriage and kids, so why wouldn’t I like a quick escape when I’m sitting at the DMV, waiting in the doctor’s office, and a hundred other places where we waste hours of our time. The answer is… I do like that; in fact, I love it! I’ve read many short stories on car trips across the state, flights, and waiting while my car gets serviced.

Short stories are a great way to meet an author without a long commitment or a nice release when you need just a little escape before going to bed, since there’s no risk of staying up too late to finish the story, as most short stories take less than an hour to read.

Wellthat’s it… Just my thoughts on why I write and read short stories. And so you know...I would never think to compare myself to the 'greats' I pictured above; they were just my point that short stories can be great and are an art. I have a long way to go, but my little short stories do have close to one hundred reviews averaging four-plus stars just on Amazon, so if you want to try on one for size, you can download The Pit Stop and The Depot absolutely FREE from Amazon here or from one of the other eBook retailers listed below. I hope you enjoy the quick escape from reality!

As always, happy reading, friends.

Carmen

Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember, these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer.  If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.

If it isn’t available free in your area, use…



Busting the paranormal myths...one eBook at a time. The Creatus Series ~ #AmReading #PNR


Not all phantoms are myths...

For four thousand years, creatus have concealed themselves from the humans who hunted them almost to extinction.

Now, one rogue creatus faction wants the world to know they exist, and one woman with nothing to lose plans to stop them.

Whatever it takes, she will hunt down and kill the creatus who took her life from her.

This is an excerpt from Book Three in the Creatus Series, which is Coming Soon! If you'd like to start the series from the beginning, you can download the prequel, Creatus (They Exist)here

For those of you who've read the first three stories, you probably know the characters this week. For the rest of you, I'm leaving out the names so there are no spoilers. Happy reading! J


She glanced at him. She understood the concept of protecting others, but she didn’t get how that would help his rebel cause to free creatus everywhere. She liked her anonymity. “How exactly will helping humans and letting them know we exist, help us?”
“We’re setting up the chessboard. When this goes global, humans will be crying out to know who we are and why we’ve been hiding. But...we have to have our key players in top government positions, so that when humans realize what we are, no orders will be given to hunt us down.”
A cool breeze blew her hair in her face. She should have pulled it back. “Why would people or the government hunt us?”
“Why would people…” He broke off in a chuckle. “Well, that’s a silly question. There will always be the gunslingers...the hunters looking for sport. We represent a challenge, and since we’re not human, we’d be fair game in some people’s eyes. Not that I have a problem with hunting, but I only hunt for food. The thought of hunting an animal for sport disgusts me. If we can get the majority of humans on our side, though, they’ll protect us, I’m sure of it. Thankfully, in these times, humans are always looking for a cause to support, unlike hundreds of years ago when they tried to burn some of our kind at the stake. Sadly...they usually murdered innocent non-humans associated with us, since there aren’t many chains strong enough to contain us.”
She smacked her hand over her mouth, then dropped it. “Humans thought creatus were witches?”
“What would you think if you saw a small child jump off the roof of a house? That’s how my dad found out. My brother had knocked the ball up on the roof, and I jumped up to get it.”
“I’m sorry...” She released a long breath. She’d known his father had seen him, but he’d never said what he’d been doing. Playing. Playing with his brother. No wonder the guilt was eating at him all the time. He felt responsible. She didn’t want to upset him, so she decided to reiterate the other half of her question. “And the government, why would they care?”



Oops...only one myth allowed. But...Creatus Eidolon will show how the US government learned of the existence of the creatus race.

The Creatus Series is not your normal paranormal story...it's a realistic twist of the myths you've heard your entire life. Prepare to believe...


Creatus Eidolon is Coming Soon!

Kindle Unlimited Members, read the entire series FREE!

After downloading and reading...play Creatus Trivia for a chance to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway