March 24, 2012

Blogging – A new form of self-imposed torture


A couple of heroes.
Blogging – A new form of self-imposed torture
By L. M. Brown

Blogging:  Official Definition: A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.

Blogging:  My Definition: The ability to come up with something interesting, readable and engaging when you have nothing whatever to say.

I have come to the conclusion blogging is something I need to work on, since I well and truly suck at it.  My excuse is that all my creativity goes into my stories, so there isn’t much left over for blogging.

Trying to come up with a topic to talk about is harder than writing my heroes out of the messes I put them into.  Ghost of a dead guy wanting some love – no problem, I can fix that.  Forbidden love between angels and demons – easy-peasy. 

Blog about something interesting - cue the blank Word document.
 
You would think, being a writer, it would be easy to pluck a topic out of thin air and wax poetic about it for just long enough to make it a blog post rather than a tweet.  But it is tough, and from what I have seen around the internet, I’m not the only one to think so. 

It isn’t that there are a lack of topics to talk about, far from it, the problem is what hasn’t been talked about already?

Writer's Block.
Take the current hot topics in the publishing industry (at least at the time of writing this)…

PayPal and the Credit Card companies throwing their weight around and trying to censor what we read.  There are dozens of bloggers talking about this, so what would I add to the forum?  Nothing that hasn’t already been said I’m afraid… can probably be summed up in write and tell them what you think and sign the petition that’s doing the rounds.

Or what about the latest author plagiarism scandal?  Is there really any need to prolong the agony that all parties to that must be going through?  I don’t think so, so I leave well enough alone.

Recycling blog posts and talking about topics that have already been hashed out by all and sundry has got to be even more redundant than recycling the plots in our stories.  And maybe that is why so many of us struggle to come up with blog posts. 

We strive to be original in our works of fiction because the public demands it.  If you choose to write about werewolf shifters and their mating rituals you better have one hell of a new slant on the idea to even get a publishing contract because the readers have read it all before and want and deserve something originally refreshing to read.

When it comes to blogs we are equally determined to provide the readers with something fresh and new.  We probably can’t help it.  The difficulty is, with so many bloggers posting on so many subjects, every single day, how do you stand out from the crowd?

You can be amazingly funny, brilliantly insightful or ground-breaking in originality… and still not make so much as a wave in the world of bloggers.

<>

And if all else fails, pictures of gorgeous men are sure to at least grab some attention because, let’s face it, sex sells!   A gorgeous cover will always sell more books than one that is plain.  Thankfully for me, Reese Dante does amazing covers, as you can see for yourself just a little below.

Anyway, for someone who couldn’t think of something to talk about, I seem to have rattled on for more than long enough, so I’ll thank Kayelle for letting me blog here today, and leave you with an excerpt from my novel, if you can tear your eyes away from the cover long enough to read it. 

And be sure to at least scroll down to the end if you would like to enter my contest to win an ebook copy of Between Heaven and Hell. 

L.M. Brown
 - - -
Between Heaven and Hell

Blurb

Angel Machidiel and demon Alastor have been denying the attraction they feel for each other for centuries because relationships between angels and demons are forbidden.

Things change forever when they both fall for the same mortal man and begin a relationship with him. Together with Tristan, the ménage they form is filled with jealousy and insecurities, passion and love.

Only time will tell if the relationship they have forged together is made in Heaven or Hell.


Genre(s)
Contemporary, Fantasy, Gay, Menage, Romance
Excerpt
Tristan moved the computer mouse over the play button and clicked it. The video stream began with an out-of-focus shot of what appeared like the carpet in the study. Then the image panned out and he saw the face on the screen. It was the face that looked back at him from the mirror, yet he had no recollection of making this recording. Of course, that had been the whole point, hadn't it?

"Er, hi," the man on the screen said awkwardly. "I'm Tristan Garrett and in a matter of hours I'm going to lose my memory. But I guess you already know that.

"Your parents and the rest of your relatives should believe you're dead by now, so don't go looking them up or anything like that. Your parents were..."

Tristan watched himself falter on the screen.

"Damn, this is pointless," the recorded Tristan said. "I can't tell you all about your life in just a few hours. There'd be stuff missing and it'd be like a half-written story with gaps and plot holes. So here's the important stuff. The stuff you really need to know. It all started on Halloween night the year before last...
* * * *

Tristan Garrett could feel the man's eyes on him as he moved away from the bar. Like many of the men in The Inferno, the stranger had gone all out for Halloween and was the very image of a sexy, badass devil. He wore a pair of fake red horns atop his head; they poked out from his shoulder-length, ebony hair and the lights of the club caught them each time he turned to survey the crowded room.

Even from a distance, he looked amazing. Tristan admired the way his tight leather trousers hugged his shapely arse, and his hands itched to trace the washboard abs that were only partially covered by the black vest.

Tristan wasn't the only man in the club following the devil's movements. Several had approached him only to be turned away after only a moment. The direct approach didn't seem to be working for this guy.

"He's out of your league," teased Lawrence, Tristan's best friend and former lover, when he caught Tristan checking out the devil for the third time in under ten minutes.

"No such thing," Tristan replied lightly. "You're the one who taught me to go after what I want and not let anyone tell me I'm not good enough for them."

Lawrence took a swig from his pint of beer before he answered. "Fifty quid says you can't pull him."

Tristan watched as the devil rebuffed the latest man to approach him. The devil smiled in his direction and even though he hadn't said a word, Tristan sensed he might have a chance if he were to try his luck.

"I'll take that bet," Tristan replied quietly. Maintaining eye contact with the devil, he slowly finished his beer and put his glass down on a nearby table. Turning back to Lawrence, he nodded towards the dance floor. They had played this game countless times, and it almost always worked. Lawrence led the way and Tristan followed. Moulding their bodies together, Tristan's back to Lawrence's front, they began to slowly move in time to the pulsing beat of the music.

Tristan closed his eyes and rested his head back on Lawrence's shoulder, letting the taller man set the pace. He knew his fair-skinned looks and spiky strawberry blond hair were complemented by the contrast as he nestled against Lawrence's dark hair and bulkier frame. He was a fit and healthy twenty-seven year old man, and while he wasn't the best built guy in town, he knew how to draw attention to himself when he wanted to. Right now he wanted the attention of the devil focused on him. He wasn't going to chase the other man to win the bet; the devil would come to him. He was absolutely sure of it.

Lawrence whispered the devil's movements in his ear. "He's watching us. We're turning him on. He's watching me grinding my cock into your arse and wishing it was his."

Tristan moved back against Lawrence as the other man's fingers slowly rubbed their way closer to his groin. He guessed that within five minutes the devil would be approaching him, just as they had planned. The devil wouldn't care he was with another man right now; he'd step in and claim what he wanted, no matter who stood in his way. "Soon," he whispered, as the slow beat of the music changed to a faster, insistent pace.

Sure enough, just a few minutes later, a hand on his chest caused him to open his eyes. "May I cut in?" the man in front of him asked politely.

Driving Me Crazy
Tristan blinked in surprise. It wasn't the devil who stood before him. Instead, a blond Adonis was asking him to dance. Piercing blue eyes pinned him to the spot and he nodded mutely. The man pulled him into his arms so they were dancing face to face, and close enough for their erections to touch through the material of their jeans.

Lawrence looked slightly unsure as he stepped away. Tristan shrugged and smiled. "Guess I owe you," he said. The dark-haired devil had left his spot near the bar and disappeared into the crowd. Tristan realised he must have misjudged his potential conquest. He should have kept eye contact with him.

Still, the evening wasn't a complete loss, not if he ended up going home with the man who was holding him close right now. The devil was forgotten as Tristan gave himself up to the music and the man who held him in his arms.

Reviews
Serena Yates for QMOBooks - This book held my attention from the first page to the last. The balance between paranormal/fantasy and real-life issues is great, and all three characters totally fascinated me. One of the few examples of a three-way making sense for more than the ‘fun’ bits between the sheets, it brings up issues of faith and morality in a fresh way. If you like stories with some meat to them, if angels and demons and their relationships with each other and humans interest you, and if you’re ready for an emotional roller coaster watching these three men struggle with each other and their ‘fated’ roles, you will like this book. I loved it!

Full review - http://qmobooks.com/index.php/component/content/article/42945-between-heaven-and-hell-heavenly-sins-1-by-l-m-brown

Backlist
Touch of a Ghost – male/male paranormal contemporary romance
Driving Me Crazy – male/male contemporary romance
Gift of Love Anthology (with Lydia Nyx and Shawn Bailey) – male/male contemporary romance
Contest information
To win a copy of the ebook Between Heaven and Hell all you have to do is comment on this post and tell me the best blog post you can ever remember reading.  Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if it isn’t mine. ;-) 

Buy links
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Between-Heaven-Hell-Heavenly-ebook/dp/B007H9VQ3W
Kobo http://kobobooks.com/ebook/Between-Heaven-Hell-Heavenly-Sins/book-ha7w1StXREO2dMOCaJUXSA/page1.html

Where to find L.M. Brown

30 comments:

  1. LOL! While I'd love a chance to win a copy of Between Heaven and Hell, I'm afraid you might disqualify me, L.M. You talked about how your mind goes blank at having to write a blog.... well, my mind is blank on being asked to tell you about te best blog I've read. I just can't do it, sadly the memory is at a total loss. LOL! Sorry. I hope that you'll still let me enter your contest though. The book sounds gtreat and that cover is absolutely wonderful!!

    Pati
    JPM6966@aol.com

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  2. LOL Pati. I only really asked the question to try to get some chatter going since most of the time when I blog about anything I seem to be talking into a vacuum.

    I think your entry can count (and no doubt the same for anyone else who is struggling to think of a great blog post). You can always come back later in the week if you find one that sparks your interest in the meantime.

    Thanks for your kind words about my book. The cover is one of Reese Dante's and she does just amazing work. It's like she gets into your head and sees your characters as you do.

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  3. I actually like blogging. I can get my what if's and my random thoughts out of my fiction and focus them in a small venue. For instance, why does the previous generation, raised with pacifiers instead of thumbs, seem dissatified and take to smoking?

    There are no limits.

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  4. Best blog... I must say I've read so many that have stuck with me. One blog I go back to is Kristen Lamb's. She always has thought provoking ideas on marketing and I like that, but I also like funny ones like Solitary Mama. LOL

    JPM, I hear you on the blank aspect. Staring at the screen and trying to think of what to say... it's what results in that "look" in the cartoon LM shared!

    Julie, since pacifiers and mass produced cigarettes are a product of the same generation, maybe that's part of the problem? ;)

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  5. It doesn't help that a lot of us writers are introverts and work best alone at a keyboard. The whole social networking thing is great, but... writing takes time.

    I like this story because it has quite a lot going on besides the hot sex. Although you are a bit of a fiend for that cliff-hanger... I'm sure there are already people besides me waiting to see what you do in the next book!

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  6. Hi Julie! Thanks for stopping by. I like blogging when I can think of something to say. If I have a topic I can go on and on for pages, it tends to be the starting point where I flounder.

    I never really thought about pacifers and cigarettes myself. I am of that generation but am one of the few people I know of my age who doesn't smoke. Perhaps it is a regional thing.

    Kayelle, I tend to gravitate towards the amusing blogs myself. Though I would probably be better off spending more time on the marketing ones as well. I have not heard of the Solitary Mama blog at all. I will have to see if I can track it down.

    Lee, I totally agree on the introvert aspect. I have been a member of many groups and forums since coming online but have always preferred to lurk. It is true what they say about it always being the quiet ones. :-)

    Thanks for your kind words about my story (again) and for helping to make it what it is. I am still working on the first draft of the second book. Fingers crossed I can get it contracted before the end of the summer.

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  7. Hi, Lee. Sad but true on the writing takes time comment!

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  8. The best blog post I ever read? That's a toughie. I recently enjoyed Neil Gaiman's leap year post, where he urged people to take an author out to dinner. Works for me. I sponge all the free meals I can get.

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  9. LOL Denise! I could get behind that, too. Thank you. ;) And thanks to Neil!

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  10. Hi Denise

    I like Neil's idea. I am sure many of us need to tear ourselves away from the laptop and get out more. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Here's the link. http://solitarymama.com/ The owner is in one of my Triberr tribes. Very funny.

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  12. Great post on a subject that I battle daily with and I'm not even an author...*S*I love blog post that make me think or laugh so hard I think about the subject long after.
    I have blog and it puts the fear in me every time I want to write a post. Why? Because although I feel passionate about many things, love the books by authors I admire and respect, who would want to really what I have to say?
    I admire authors for their creativity and character and plot building. I get so lost in the stories that I lose track of time...*S*
    Thank you for the great post and making me think..lol

    Darcy
    pommawolf @hotmail.com

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  13. Thanks for the link Kayelle.

    Hi Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes (what a great user name!)

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog about blogging. I am exactly the same way about blogging. I am tempted to let my characters take over my blog instead of me. They lead far more interesting lives and I am sure people would be very interested in what they have to say for themselves.

    I also lose track of time when I am reading a good book. I have to force myself to not read before going to work lest I forget I need to put the book down.

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  14. Thank you L.M. !
    Thank you so much for commenting back & for liking my handle name..*S*
    It's a combo of the names I've used online since 1998. I have an internet troll that has harassed me since 2000. Rather than give up "Pommawolf" and give in to the insane nutcase I combined the names so it makes it harder to use and pose as me on the websites and emails. But people who have come to know me online over the years can recognize the whack o when she goes on a bender and sweeps into cause her chaos. It also helped that I discovered her real identity, and that put a stop to much of her insanity...*S*
    I hardly get the time to come back to read comments as being on Alaska time I'm am forever behind on email, chatting post. But I have a rare Saturday off work as I usually work weekends
    I love reading as it it has literally saved my sanity with the long dark hours of winter months. I also read during the hours long drive to work in the mornings & afternoons, and bless my DH for being the driver...lol
    Now I have a better internet connection via satellite wifi to keep up on the books and authors I so enjoy....*S*
    Again, thank you!

    Darcy

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  15. Pommawolf... you sound like an Alaskan, talking about long winters. My hubby grew up there. Summer is nice - who wouldn't like 20 hours of daylight, but the winter was rough. I'm glad you get to read while commuting. Makes a long trip so much better.

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  16. Thanks for the wonderful post L.M. I'm always torn about blogging. I can normally crank out under a thousand words on just about anything, but my really good ones are things that get under my skin.
    I have been reading so many blogs lately its hard to spot one that was awesome, one that really irritated me was yesterday a blog hating on indie authors. That one got to me and I had to give a long response.

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  17. @ Darcy - I always reply to comments so no need to thank me for that. If I blog somewhere I always (at least when possible) subscribe to the post so I don't miss any replies.

    That is awful that someone tried to pose as you online. I know that user names can sometimes be similar and coincidences happen, a good example is myself and Julie Lynn Hayes - her blog is called Full Moon Dreaming and my user name in fanfiction circles is FullMoonDreams. We have also been in the same fandom and wrote stories for that fandom with the exact same title without ever knowing each other, and only found out after we both released books with Silver Publishing and got chatting. But to deliberately take on another person's name is dreadful.

    I'm glad you get your reading time. I am not sure whether I could handle the daylight/night hours of Alaska. I am one of those people who cannot sleep when it is light so I'd probably be a zombie during the summer.

    Hi AM. I think I saw that same blog about indie authors - though it might have been a different one since there have been a few in recent weeks. It is a shame since I have read some really good indie author books and although there are some that give it a bad name, it is really unfair to tar them all with the same brush.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting (and for the shoutout on FB).

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  18. I follow too many blogs to have a favourite. It's like asking a mother which child is her favourite - it can't be done ;)

    ilona

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  19. OMG, angel/demon/mortal combo! Love it.

    As for blogging, I have trouble coming up with stuff too. I was neck-deep in the whole PayPal issue, so I managed to squeeze out a number of entries on that (because I was genuinely interested in the subject), but now I'm just...bleh.

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  20. Hi ilona. Thanks for stopping by. Don't worry if you can't pick a favourite blog. I would probably be spoiled for choice as well.


    Hi Erica. Nice to see you here. Glad you like the angel/demon/mortal combo. I had fun writing them, and still am, since it is book one in a trilogy. Not that it was planned as a trilogy any more than it was initially planned as a menage. ;-)

    I also followed the PayPal issue, though never had time to blog about it when it was all happening and I think everyone said everything that needed to be said.

    I have just one blog post to write at the moment and am, once again, scratting about for a subject that is even semi-interesting.

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  21. Hello L.M.,

    Thank you for offering such a very generous giveaway of an ebook copy of "Between Heaven & Hell", it sounds like such a Fantastic Book & I have definitely added it to my "to buy" list.

    What's the best blog post I can ever remember reading? Well I REALLY love to dance & their was a post on Passionate Reads called “Sex on the Dance Floor” by Shannon Emmel. It was basically about if a Guy was HOT on the dance floor, would those moves carry over to the bedroom. Many, Many Moons ago LOL....OMG I just LOVED a Man/Woman who could move with me on the dance floor. So this Post really intrigued me, so much so, it was the first time I tried to re-blog a post on my newly formed Blog Page. I was soooooo happy with myself because it actually worked. For those interested in reading Shannon's Post from Passionate Reads & those interesting comments, I'll try & give the link to my Blog here, hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did. OH & she posted some HOT EyeCandy with as well.
    http://paparanormalfan.wordpress.com

    Take Care Everyone & Stay Naughty,
    PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)
    paranormalromancefan@yahoo.com

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  22. Hi Renee' S

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    That sounds like a very interesting blog post and I will have to check it out. The HOT EyeCandy is always good!

    Quite a lot of my stories (especially my free reads) have characters 'groovin' on the dance floor' or in the case of the one I am working on for this coming Wednesday - stumbling about and making a twit of himself. Actually, most of my characters are highly untalented when it comes to dancing. I think only Tristan (the mortal in the menage in Between Heaven & Hell) is the only one who doesn't have two left feet.

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  23. This has been a fun discussion, and I've enjoyed the comments. Def checking out the hot eye candy and dance moves! My thanks to each of you who have commented so far. LM will announce the winner shortly. Blog subjects and articles are hard to do! I'm using a few memes on my personal blog - Unstoppable Heroes. I can't do six sentences -- there is just no way. LOL But I can do six paragraphs. I do a Thursday 13 on the Romance Writers Behaving Badly blog every other week. I switch out with author Mary Quast. So the dilemma of what to write is one I share.

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  24. Actually, Kayelle, I was going to leave the contest running until next weekend. I am on so many groups where you can only post on certain days of the week and I thought I'd give as many people chance to participate as I could.

    If you want me to round it up now then I can do though. Just let me know.

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  25. Hey LM,

    I'd love to enter your contest. please put my name in the hat

    yinyang1062 (at) yahoo dot com

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  26. Hi, L.M.

    I can't remember the most amazing blog post because none stand out, but your post is one I wholeheartedly agree with.

    I also struggle with blog topics. Even though a friend told me a blog doesn't have to be long and definitely does not have to be about writing or publishing, I still come up blank most days.

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  27. LOL well, lets see if I can think of one....

    Uh, I think one of the best blog posts I have read has been on a blog tour for Riptide, when Aleks was talking about Dark Soul. I think the second or third book had just come out and he was talking about how there were so many outlines for his character before Dark Soul finally was created. He had Silvio for years and years so many outcomes and plots he could easily fall into and yet, not one of those really felt like his home. In some he died and in others he was alone or something, all different and then suddenly his plot bunny kicked it into high gear and he was finally able to complete Silvio's home. lol... I was so fascinated to see that about a character and an author's struggle finding the character's true home.

    Heh... but yeah, It's a blog post that has really stayed with me. :))

    Judi
    arella3173_loveless(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. Hi Lily - consider yourself entered. Thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Pender - I am very glad I am not the only one who struggles for blog topics. I have done so many recently I have probably run out of things to ramble on about. I have one more post to write and need to get to it soon, but I am drawing blanks on anything even remotely interesting. I am hoping inspiration will strike.

    Hi Judi - Thanks for stopping by and answering the question about blog posts. That sounds like a great post. I love reading about individual characters and how they came to be. You can often find hidden aspects of their personalities in blog posts and I love it when that happens.

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  29. You've had a lot of comments, LM! Thought provoking post and a good contest. :) My thanks to all the folks who have come out to say hello.

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  30. Back again to draw the winner. To make it fair, and as I said in my first comment, I have entered everyone who has commented into the drawer and the winner (chosen via random.org) is Erica Pike.

    Congratulations Erica. I hope you enjoy the book.

    Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting and a special thanks to Kayelle for letting me blog here.

    L.M.

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