Co-Authoring with Chantel Seabrook

I’m happy to welcome Stella Marie Alden to my blog. Today, Stella shares her co-authoring experience and her upcoming novel, Dark Vortex.

Here’s Stella!

stellamarieOne might ask, how in the world, after publishing just two books, did you find a co-author?

I met Chantel Seabrook, on Goodreads. She was asking for people to review her book. As I always do, I checked out the first pages posted on Amazon. I was astonished. I really love her book, Cara’s Twelve.

My first book, How to Train Your Knight, came out about the same time and we started to compare marketing notes. Did you try this? What about that?

Soon, we started a Goodreads romance group together, and then we co-hosted a Facebook Group. We shared our tools, gave encouragement, and read each other’s next beta copies.

chantelOne day, she said, “We should write a book together.”

I had a paranormal novel in my computer that I’d written three years ago. The plot was good and the characters good, but it needed some serious help. The sex scenes were blah, the antagonist was a caricature, and my writing had not yet matured.

I knew, working full time, and with one more Medieval in my series to write, I might not get back to the paranormal for years.

I asked if she would like to co-author it.

At this point, I had to bury my ego and trust Chantel to be kind. It’s hard to show someone work that is not your best. I told her it was like having someone stop by, while in my PJ’s, no makeup, and not showered.

She laughed and read while I held my breath.

“I LOVE IT.” She pinged. “I can edit this for you.”

“No,” I chatted back. “Definitely not. Don’t edit. This is fifty-fifty. Make it yours as much as it is mine. Do whatever you want with it.”

We signed a contract, so as to remain friends, and she had it on pre-order in less than three weeks.

DARK VORTEX will be available on March 9th. We’re already talking about the next novel in the series.

I’m discovering what is needed for self-publishing, and about writing more concisely.

She’s had fun, with all my descriptions. She says it’s easier to remove some, than make it up.

The synergy is amazing. Funny? We both have husband-editors.

Also, we bring two fan bases to our book and have already hit the top 100 in our Amazon romance categories!

We encourage each other when the rankings are low.

We continue to tweet, post, raffle copter, and Facebook party.

We lol as we bounce ideas off from one other. We answer each other’s texts like an old married couple. Often, when we touch base, we’re researching the very same thing.

Most of all, we share our passion of writing together.

I have a new virtual best friend.

It’s awesome.

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Blurb

Shameless Cravings. Wicked Pleasures. Can she survive a bond more powerful than love?

For the survival of his clan, Jack Fialko needs to mate with a witch of equal power before the end of the solstice. He finds the perfect woman, except for one serious flaw. She has no idea how to engage in the dangerous magical foreplay–the duel for sexual equality. The task of training her in two days seems insurmountable, especially while other warriors are trying to kidnap her.

Zoe is a warrior-healer hybrid. The trouble is, she has no idea what that means. It’s all a harmless game until one night a dominant, brooding, sexy-as-sin warrior touches her and ignites a shameless craving to mate. Zoe must decide if the scorching chemistry between them is worth fighting for.

Can love and lust exist together in an exhilarating magical combination? Or will their bond combust?

WARNING: Book contains mature themes, steamy, sexual scenes and graphic language.

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Where to find Stella…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest


Change

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate Author Stella Marie Alden sharing her thoughts about change and introducing her debut novel, How to Train Your Knight.

Here’s Stella!

stella“Nobody likes change.”

Twenty years ago, I considered my boss’s words carefully, and unlike the woman I am now, I said nothing. But I disagreed fully. I liked change. A lot.

In fact, it’s when things stay the same, that I am most unhappy. But not everything. For example, I’ve been married for many years. But he has changed, too. So, in a way, I am not married to the same man. I have been married to many. The young man who charmed me off my feet, the middle aged man who steadfastly stood arm and arm as we raised our girls, and now, the studious professor who is studying for a master’s degree in nutrition so he will have a new career as he enters retirement.

Our body cells regenerate completely in x days.

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Blurb

Year of our Lord, 1276.

In the hours just before dawn, blasphemous curses echo throughout the stone manor. A knife clatters to the floor and a feisty young widow is bound, blindfolded, and led to the marriage alter. The king couldn’t possibly have sanctioned this farce of a marriage, could he? After all, she alone transformed a few mud huts and starving serfs into a flourishing town, never once hesitating to pay generous taxes to his royal kingdom. Abandon her beloved people to be ruled by her new husband, an ignorant Templar knight? Never! the Lady Ann vows.

A murderous witch for a wife? The Beast of Thornhill finds himself in the middle of either a cruel jest or an evil conspiracy. After returning from the Holy wars, he accepts bestowment of a small parcel of land in return for saving King Edward’s life. But the reward comes with a warning regarding the estate’s mistress. Despite his insatiable attraction to the black-haired beauty, he allows her time to warm to him while observing her strange, forward-thinking ways. But when all is on the line, will he stand by her through the inquisition or will they both hang for her secrets?

Excerpt

Chapter One

Year of our Lord 1276

“By God, drag her down here! Naked if you must! Bread and water from now to eternity if you can’t!” Sir Marcus Blackwell slammed his fist on the well-worn table and the sound echoed back from every direction. Of all the bad luck. Forced into marriage with a foul-mouthed, murderous widow.

He clenched his teeth when the next bout of high-pitched screams and curses exploded from the floor above. Crashes, clanging, and banging followed. He cringed as the Lady Ann’s strident screaming rang throughout the stone manor and probably into the courtyard.

“He can’t steal my lands this easily. He’ll live just long enough to rue this day. I shall never, ever, turn my people over to a blood-thirsty, gold-grabbing beast. I’d rather be cursed to hell. Nay, verily, I’d rather marry the devil himself than see myself married to him.”

Beast? He’d strangle the minstrel who’d taken his sword’s moniker and baptized him with it instead. He was a holy crusader, deserving of respect, not an animal.

Crossing himself while counting to ten, he paced the dark hall lit by a single weak torch. Shadows danced across dark tapestries, beyond a hearth the size of two horses, and over enough tables to feed a small army. Thatch crunched under his boots, releasing a perfume of lavender and grasses. He stopped for a respite of blessed silence. What in God’s creation have I stepped into?

When the mayhem started up again, it was from his first-in-command, Thomas D’Agostine. “The devil take it, watch out. A knife!” A dagger fell upon stone with a metallic clatter.

“Damnation. The bitch nicked me.” The smack of a hand against skin, a female yelp of pain, then the battle paused momentarily.

“Enough!” The king’s command would be obeyed. Certainly, she’d have to understand that. He stood at the foot of the massive stone staircase and waited for the thundering echoes to cease before continuing at a lesser volume. Envisioning the vile creature, he shuddered. It was far too late to retreat now. He’d wanted the land and bedding the ancient hag was part of the bargain. “I said, do her no harm. Gag, bind, and blindfold the wench if you must. For the love of God, she’s, but one woman.”

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Bio

Stella Marie Alden loves Zumba, yoga, watercolor painting, and fixing up her house.

Her first book, ‘How to Train Your Knight’, won Romance Writers of America coveted Molly and Show me the Sparks Contests, and placed in three others. Truly remarkable, considering she’s only been writing for three years.

Growing up in Vermont, she loved to make up stories. Crayons fought each other over size and placement in their cardboard box and imaginary friends crowded the house. Her brother often complained. “Tell her no one’s here, Mother.”

Her career paths have varied. She’s been a librarian, a classical clarinetist, recording studio engineer, broadcast electronics repairman, and now she architects software programs. She lives in Bergen County, NJ with her life-long hero and their two cats. Her two girls are grown but ever supportive. You go Mom!

Where to find Stella

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Joanne here!

Stella, you are a poster child for reinvention. Thanks for sharing your story and good luck with How to Train Your Night. Happy Release Day!