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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New Year, New You?

 It’s resolution time. 

Exercise three times a week. 

Dry January. 

Read more. 

The options are endless. 

I never like resolutions. The pressure of the new year to makeover your life and lifestyle seemed a recipe to fail. Writing down all the things you’ve failed to do in your life the other 365 days of the last year can certainly knock down the level of your self-esteem. Then as the resolutions fall to the wayside, you feel even worse about yourself. 


I certainly don’t want to feel that way. We have enough hard times in life. So, I deal with the new year and all those bombarding messages of New Year, New You by doing nothing. Sure, I want to exercise more and learn something new and many other things but I don’t try to change my whole life because I know that it won’t happen. 


So what to do then?


Well, as the year unfolds slowly incorporate those new choices in your life. If you have fifteen minutes or an hour, go take that walk for exercise, read two pages of that book you promised to get to. Then if you don’t get to it the next day, that’s fine but maybe the next day, you do. Just take a step. You only need to take the first one then, the next. Thinking about changing your life is too hard but changing an hour of one day is easier to fit those changes into your life.


Remember, January 1 is just another day. So, if you don’t get to it today, there is tomorrow. You’ll get there.  

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Once More Then Again



This past Sunday, the new series And Just Like That premiered. I haven’t seen it though, I’m sure at some point I will. Yet, I’m not interested in it at this time. The press and social media have been buzzing about this show (negative and positive buzz) as well as reboots. Whether it’s Dexter New Blood, West Side Story, or Ghostbusters, it seems the opinion is that there are no more fresh ideas. If true or not, that’s not the purpose of this post. 

When the first teasers of the return of Carrie Bradshaw and her crew, I had dual feelings so let’s use And Just Like That as an example. I was a fan of Sex and The City, tuning in to HBO every Sunday. And I’m not reviewing the new series but the reasons why reboots do not always work. Sex and The City captured another time in the world when we were different people in different places in our lives. Watching the reboots of our past favorite shows or movies stir the nostalgia in us as well as the warring, slightly cynical thought Can’t they think up something new?  


These shows, movies, or songs remind us of our past, and by doing so, we —most likely compare— our lives now to the time before the present moment and all it's good and bad. But the view behind us isn’t clear. By looking back, we forget the bad times or realize the lessons we learned from those experiences. The happy times are brighter and warmer in our memories, a time we wish to relive and certainly, never forget. The distance of time has softened the edges of memory while we deal with the sharp edges of the present. 


I think we should look back and give a warm smile to the past, just don’t live in it since today will be tomorrow very soon so never miss out on life. 


Do you have a movie, TV show, song, or book that stirs your nostalgia?   

Saturday, November 27, 2021

New Release: Alien Enslaved by Janice Seagraves

 I have a new release just in time for Christmas. It's already set up to buy now as a prerelease.

I wrote this book because one of my critique partners said she loved sci-fi because she liked to see what other worlds and societies are like. And this story just rushed into my mind. 

I did decide Chased needed a friend, an usual friend, and Buster the talking kangaroo leaped onto the scene. 

And the heroine, Kaz, became a Texan because my husband is a Texan.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09LKS3V31/


Blurb: After his planet's destruction, the Arcon slave, Chase Starstrider, seeks death in every gladiator match. He's tempted by his master’s gift of the curvaceous Earthling whose touch awakens him like no other, but the Intergalactic Gladiator Starship is no safe place for a mate.
Kasandra Lee Sinclair, and known as Kaz to her friends, wouldn’t mind rocking the hunky Arcon’s world for a way home to Earth, but there are dangers onboard the spaceship and, in the arena, even for a sex slave like her. 

 Excerpt: 

“What are they doing now?” Kazstared at the alloy footboard of the bed and wished she could gaze out a window instead, but there was no opening in the room except for the two doors.

“The pilot has slowed our fall, matched the orbit of the space station and is guiding us in,” Chase said.

Fifteen minutes later came a series of clank sounds. “Did we just dock?”

“Affirmative.” His eyes got a faraway look in them. “They will be coming for me soon.” He stood and headed into the bathroom.

When the shower went on, Kaz climbed out of bed. A rattle made her turn. Metal arms rose out of the headboard, making her gasp. They plucked the pillows and returned through the slot. Next the arms reached to the footboard, taking out a length of both sheet and blanket, and pulled the bedding through a slot in the headboard, which cut the sheet and blanket to fit the bed. The arms tucked the edges around the mattress. A flap opened in the wall above the headboard and two fluffy pillows dropped on the head of the bed.

No need for a maid service here.

She found a brush on the dresser to tidy her hair and sat on a small stool, waiting for Chase to finish with his morning routine.

He walked out dressed in another pair of tight black pants and what appeared to be karate shoes but wore no socks or shirt. The top part of his hair had been brushed back and tied into a topknot, while the rest of his long locks cascaded down his back.

So that’s what he uses the ponytail holder for.

Once again Kaz found herself counting his eight-pack, before she stood and hurried into the bathroom. “My turn.”

When she finished her shower and changed into a new gown that the wall obligingly provided, she exited the bathroom to find Chase doing sit-ups.

She stepped around him, heading for the bed. “Aren’t you going to tire yourself out too much before the match?”

“I’m not doing that many.” He grunted. “I’m warming my muscles. If I’m stiff, I can’t fight well.” He stood to stretch toward the ceiling then bent forward, touching his toes. Next, he tipped forward onto his hands, doing a handstand, and then did vertical push-ups.

I could sit still for this. As she sat on the bed, Chase continued his calisthenics. His muscles bunched with the strain, turning lavender, each muscle group standing out from the rest. His silky, long hair swayed with every movement. The green at the end added an exotic element to his physique. When he turned away to stretch at the waist, she decided he had a nice ass, too.

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09LKS3V31/

Thursday, November 18, 2021

12 Easy Steps To Intimacy In A R romance Novel

 A tool in the romance author’s box is the 12 Steps to Intimacy. These steps happen between your hero and heroine (I’m using hero and heroine to simply the explanation of each stage) as discovered by Desmond Morris. These stages happen in the natural world and every attraction you had in your life. It happens even without our awareness and each step cannot be missed. 


1. Eye To Body:

Think about the movies. When the sexy heroine or hero first appears, the camera pans from the legs to hips, and up the chest, finally reaching the head. The idiom is beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As the beholder, we are experiencing the first stage (hopefully, so is the other character)—the physical attraction stage, or as I call it the damn, he’s hot step.


2. Eye to Eye: 

The second step is the first awareness between the hero and heroine. The spark of attraction grows hotter or fizzles. This is wherein a novel or real life, we notice details about his eyes. We might see a glint or feel cold or afraid and all from a glance (think how you feel when you first met the eyes of the person you love or the first time you saw that Charles Mason photo with his crazy eyes). 


3. Voice to Voice:

Or the Now, we’re talking stage. That’s what I call this one. The hero and heroine are physically close, most likely an arm’s length away so that they can carry on a conversation. Screaming across a room isn’t very romantic. The dialogue—what is said, how it’s spoken, and the sound of the voice. These details reinforce the intimacy. Think about after you’ve talked with someone, you feel as if you know them better. It happens at this stage. 


4.  Hand to Hand:

Have you sat at a bar, talking with a guy and you place your hand atop of his? The first physical touch and the attraction can build and in romance, it’s a must. This step reveals the beginning intimacy between the couple and helps draw them closer, emotionally. Think about that scene in Bridgerton when Daphne and Simon touch hands. You felt the attraction and intimacy in that simple act because you unconsciously understand its meaning. 


5. Arm to Shoulder: 

This step has more unconscious risk than the others. This touch places hands near areas of danger on your body—neck, and head. With this stage, a person could be drawn in for a hug or the hand placed on the back. It’s a level of intimacy not enjoyed by everyone in your life. Imagine if your boss placed his hand on your shoulder. You’d more likely feel uncomfortable maybe violate, having your space invaded and you may even think why are you touching me? 


6. Arm to Waist: 

This act of intimacy happens between people very close to each other. In a novel, desire is boiling, and the bond has strengthened. All who witness this physical act know the meaning of such a touch. Imagine if you spotted your partner with his hand on a woman’s waist. 


7. Mouth to Mouth:

There is nothing like a kiss. Scientists have stated that the chemicals of the saliva exchanged during a kiss have a way of letting our bodies know if the person is a good mate—biologically, at least. A bad kiss can ruin a good start to a developing relationship. We don’t go around kissing people, especially after Covid. Even kisses on the cheek have an attachment. 


8. Hand to Head:

Unconsciously, this is the most physically dangerous touch, which remains from our less evolved days. We are at risk when someone touches our heads. With this step, you must have an intimacy with the other person, knowing that no harm comes from that person. 


9. Hand to Body: 

    This stage can be half a love scene since this is a truly intimate act and the beginning before our hero and heroine enter the bedroom. Here, the body is explored in an amorous way. With the hand-to-body step, intimacy is almost at its apex and perhaps, love has bloomed even if unaware of it. If the next step is to happen, then this is where the couple has to decide to go forward together and toward the next one.


10. Mouth to Breast:

This stage is part of a half love scene as well as the beginning of a love scene. This stage is another actual physical intimate act. Emotions are involved.


11. Hand to Genitals:

   Another step in the half love scene or the middle of a love scene. Genitals are private, our own personal place that is not revealed easily. Think about how awkward GYN appointments are. This is an extremely intimate act, which will only build, at least in romance novels. 


12. Genitals to Genitals:

     S-E-X. The final step of these stages and the end of a love scene. There is trust, desire, and intimacy between the couple. 


But that doesn’t mean the book is over. These twelve stages will reinforce the growing romance between your couple. Best of all, you can mix up these stages. You do not have to countdown each one. If you do put—let’s say—hand to hand before voice to voice, just remember how your character would react in that situation. If she doesn’t like to be touched, then she’s going to pull her hand free. 


Or what if your hero and heroine have sex in the opening scene. That is a purely physical act but intimacy between the two is lacking so this couple will have to build intimacy with these steps. 


So, play with these stages and have fun. Then write them again. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Making A Book Trailer by Janice Seagraves

I've discovered I can make a book trailer by using a free online website; https://www.conva.com/

It's simple. 

You make up your pages, link them, and then animate them. 

Download your pages and put the pages into whatever you use for making videos. 

Once you're done you load it into Youtube and you can add music for free. 

Here are two I made.

Alien heart

The Arcons Tane and Brock Moonwalker are vacationing in the small town of Greenwood. Tane is dealing with agoraphobia, a condition worsened by the loss of their female. Brock and his friend needed to get away, but a tiny, gang ridden town is the last place they expected to find love.

Saki Starling had trouble on her heels and couldn’t catch a break. She lost her apartment and a local gang threatened her at every turn. With her week at its lowest point, Tane and Brock promised to brighten her darkening world.

Tane, Brock, and Saki must find a way to come together, if they have any hope of overcoming their past and heal their broken hearts.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Desire-Chronicles-Janice-Seagraves-ebook/dp/B09DFBWBXS/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1101434

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alien-desire-janice-seagraves/1140118729


And Alien Heart.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Heart-Chronicles-Janice-Seagraves-ebook/dp/B09F8M12WC/

Blurb: Divorcee and single mom, hardworking Audrey Westberry is the host of a TV show called Miz Fixit.
Romance was the last thing on Audrey’s mind when two handsome extraterrestrials join the audience of her show.
Soon Audrey finds out a single word “mated” has different meaning when you are born a galaxy away. After a wonderful night of passion, Audrey finds herself far from home, impregnated and her life turned upside down.
Will she ever be able to leave the alien compound, see her son again, or get home in time to film the fall season of her Miz Fixit show?
But what’s a girl to do with two aliens that smell like candy, and their kisses taste like it, too?


Monday, October 18, 2021

The Romance Genre Is Real Life



All The Hate

The romance genre is considered nothing more than a marshmallow—fluffy, saccharine treat that benefits no one. The New York Times doesn't even bother covering the genre. People call them bodice rippers or women's porn. The genre is considered frivolous escapism that is fake. Life doesn’t end in Happily Ever After.  

I disagree. The Romance Genre is real life. Perhaps, there aren't hundreds of dukes or billionaires. Those aspects of the genre are the dressing not the inner soul of the genre. This genre reflects real life. 

All The Feels

In the pages of a novel, you read these words, dealing with universal emotions. Love, fear, hate, insecurity, yearning even hatred. Just as in real life, we deal with those emotions. Think about the Presidential race. Your emotions must have been high, feeling rage at the candidates (whoever you voted for) and defensive behavior for the candidate you supported. Emotions bombard us every day like meteors striking the earth. Through, reading romance one can learn how to deal with emotions in a different way, expand their understanding of the human race and the self. 

We In The Pages

Self—life has a way of wounding our internal self. We develop flaws and beliefs about ourselves that are not necessarily true or need to be overcome. As with the romances' main characters, we go through life, searching for contentment in our lives. We must learn to resolve those issues or the happiness we seek (in whatever form you desire) will forever be out of your reach. That’s why we keep on dating the guys we should stay far from or don’t demand the raise we deserve or go after our dreams. The romance genre tells you, again and again, to fix yourself—self-care if you want to call it that. 

The Outside

But this doesn’t happen just in the pages of the romance. In real life, we deal with external conflict. Those people, events, or just life that we must deal with. It could be the job that your hate or the boss that annoys you. It can be caring for an aging parent while working, full-time, and caring for kids. It can be heading off to war or even dealing with a neighbor who annoys you. Life lives to throw things at people so we are forced to strive for what is most important in our lives. That isn’t all the romance genre does. Stories revolve around issues we deal with in life. Sexism. Illness, Family issues. Death. And so much more. The genre shows you a slice of life. Since most romance authors are women—they write about issues that women face in this world. 

All Hail Romance

The romance genre is real life, just dressed up in a story that will leave you satisfied and hopefully, feeling more hopeful about life than you did before. So, raise your romance paperback high and be proud.   

Monday, September 27, 2021

Make Your Book a Hardback by Janice Seagraves

 

I went on Kindle Direct Publishing website to submit one of my books to be publish and noticed that Kindle Direct now allows you to publish your book as a hardback.

A hardback! Isn’t that cool?

I haven’t done one yet, but I did check it out. The set up looks similar to publishing a paperback. Same tools and submission preference. The graphic for the cover needs to be bigger though, so far that's the only difference. 

 I can’t wait to do hardcover of my own.


 Alien Heart is available for presale. It will be release October 3, 2021.

Blurb: 

Divorcee and single mom, hardworking Audrey Westberry is the host of a TV show called Miz Fixit.

Romance was the last thing on Audrey’s mind when two handsome extraterrestrials join the audience of her show.

Soon Audrey finds out a single word “mated” has a different meaning when you are born a galaxy away. After a wonderful night of passion, Audrey finds herself far from home, impregnated and her life turned upside down.

Will she ever be able to leave the alien compound, see her son again, or get home in time to film the fall season of her Miz Fixit show?

But what's a girl to do with two aliens that smell like candy, and their kisses taste like it, too?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Heart-Chronicles-Janice-Seagraves-ebook/dp/B09F8M12WC/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1102544  

For the Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alien-heart-janice-seagraves/1140172407

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Top Ten TV Shows To Stream

 With network TV, cable, YouTube, and streaming services, there is so much to watch but too many options can be overwhelming. So, here is a list of the top ten TV shows to stream, at least in my opinion.



1. Ted Lasso:

     In case, you haven't heard Ted Lasso is truly a must-see show and if you haven't seen it yet, then you are among the few that haven't. It's the story of an American football coach who is hired by an English football coach (soccer) to be the manager. This Apple + show is in its second season. Ted Lasso has heart, humor and will pull on the heartstrings but you will end every episode feeling good. You must watch it. The writing and acting are perfect.

2.  Vera:

      Vera is a British mystery show that follows DCI Vera Stanhope and her team investigate murders in Northumberland. Brenda Blethyn is the star. She is an older woman and it doesn't focus on her life. She is single, childless, and a little grumpy but smart as a whip and calls everyone love. Each show is about two hours. You can view the eleven-season show on BritBox streaming service. This series arise based on mystery novels written by Ann Cleeves.

3. Nine Perfect Strangers:

    This mini-series is available on Hulu and is brought to you by David E. Kelley who also produced Big Little Lies. Nine Perfect Strangers is based on the same-titled novel by Laine Moriarty. This show stars Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy as well as Luke Owens and other well-known actors. It has beautiful scenery and will make your blood pump as your spine chills in this show. 

4. Truth be Told:

    This Apple+ series is in its second season. Octavia Spencer stars as a true-crime podcaster who solves a mystery and deals with her family issues. This season Kate Hudson is part of the cast. The acting is great, naturally and you never know what is the truth so the twist and turns capture the viewer. 

5. Lucifer:

    This Netflix show is in its sixth season. It was originally on Fox but was canceled and Netflix picked it up. The show follows the devil, Lucifer Morningstar, in Los Angeles as he solves murders with LA detective Chloe Beckett as angels, demons and even Eve come into his life. I have watched this show since the first episode. It's a great show that shows humanity in all its colors. 

6. Only Murders in the Building:

    Another Hulu show, Only Murders in the Building stars Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez as fans of true-crime podcasts who try to solve a murder that happened in the fictional building they reside in. This show feels like a cozy mystery you can watch. 

7. Schmigadoon:

     This show is a musical comedy show on Apple+. A married couple backpacking ends up in a town that is straight out of a 1940s musical but they can't leave the town until they find their true love. 

8. What We Do In The Shadows:

    This mockumentary is about four vampires and their familiar living in modern-day Staten island. It is in its third season and can be viewed on Hulu and FX. It's based on the same-titled movie from the minds of Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Concords) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

9. Ghosts

    This BBC show can be viewed on HBO Max (at least that's where I watch it). A woman named Allyson who inherits Button House, which is haunted by ghosts from different eras. She has an accident and is then able to communicate with the ghosts. It stars the cast from Horrible Histories (which if you haven't seen yet, you must watch on Hulu). You can watch this one with the family and laugh.

10. Domina: 

     This Epix show centers around Livia Drusilla, the third wife of Emperor Augustus Caesar and mother to future Emperor Tiberius. It has double-crossing, Roman history, and centers on a woman who played a major part in history. 

    

Friday, August 27, 2021

Self-Publishing by Janice Seagraves

 I've been going through the wonderfully weird world of self-publishing.

1. My cover artist's laptop is dying so I'm shopping premade covers. 

2. Our internet server is changing their 3G to 5G and it's super slow and I got a letter that says it will probably be that way for months.

Months!

3.I finally got my eBook to uploaded and then I couldn't upload in my cover for a paperback book since it won't go to the preview page. See above.

3. My sales are still down so my wonderful husband is footing the bill for my covers and editing. (He says he's proud of me.)

4. And last but not least, I missed out on a wonderful cover because payday was today and not yesterday. *sigh* It's okay, I found another premade cover that looks good.

Here's my prerelease/preorder:

My new release is available as a pre-order on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1101434

And on Amazon’s kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Desire-Chronicles-Janice-Seagraves-ebook/dp/B09DFBWBXS/

The Arcons Tane and Brock Moonwalker are vacationing in the small town of Greenwood. Tane is dealing with agoraphobia, a condition worsened by the loss of their female. Brock and his friend needed to get away, but a tiny, gang ridden town is the last place they expected to find love.
Saki Starling had trouble on her heels and couldn’t catch a break. She lost her apartment and a local gang threatened her at every turn. With her week at its lowest point, Tane and Brock promised to brighten her darkening world.
Tane, Brock, and Saki must find a way to come together, if they have any hope of overcoming their past and heal their broken hearts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Top Ten Books For Writing A Romance Novel


 
Have you ever thought about writing a romance? Don't know where to begin or perhaps, you are in need of some guidance. Here is a top ten list to get you started.

  1. Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels by Gwen Hayes
  2. Romance Tropes and Hooks by Karen Winter
  3. Break into Fiction by Mary Buckham
  4. Writing the Alpha Male by Karen Winter
  5. Write Naked by Jennifer Probst
  6. Finding Your Writer’s Voice by Bria Quinlan and Jeannie Lin
  7. Character Arcs by Jordan McCollum
  8. Practical Emotional Structure by Jodi Henley
  9. The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers by Elizabeth Benedict
  10. The Art of Character by David Corbett

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