Thursday, August 25, 2011

The True Story Behind To Start Again.

If you haven't picked up a copy of this novel from BTP then shame on
Here's a blog from J and J on just how it happened.

We have a confession: neither Jeanie nor I had ever read a novel, seen a play, or recited a poem by author Raven Starr until she submitted a manuscript to Beautiful Trouble Publishing.  That, however, didn’t stop us from being familiar with the author.  Despite the masses of authors out there, publishing circles are small and the six degrees of separation are more like three degrees of separation…if that. 
Even though neither of us knew her, we knew of her because she had an online presence.  That is, she had a blog, was on both Facebook and MySpace, and had a yahoo group.  You might wonder what that has to do with her submission and we’d answer “everything.” 
When reading over submissions, we look for a well-written and compelling story.  That, however, is not all we look for when we receive a submission.  As a publisher specializing in e-Books, we also look for how the author looks online.  Before we read the first word of the submission, we perform an internet search for the author.  We expect veteran authors to have a presence, and Raven definitely had one. 
Able to check off that first box on our ‘must have’ checklist, we read her submission.  We didn’t accept Raven’s first submissionnot because it wasn’t a good read, but because it was a genre more appropriate for a different publisher.  Asking her permission, we hooked her up with another publisher and encouraged her to submit something else to Beautiful Trouble Publishing. 
She did.  Word on the street is ‘because we’re so awesome’.  That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.  Skimming her submission, as usual we mentally noted typos, repetition, and other grammar things.  Somewhere along the way however, we got sucked into the story.  We wanted the heroine to make it out to the other side, especially as the hero was damn likeable.  Before we even reached the end, we’d decided to accept the story. 
Knowing Raven has children, was also a student herself and managed to squeeze in a social life, we emailed her and asked her to call us.  A few minutes later she called the business line.   That initial conversation was memorable. 
“Hello, Beautiful Trouble Publishing,” Jayha said (Jayha likes to add that she sounded all sophisticated and whatnot…The Jeanie likes to point out that is a damn lie).
“Hi, this is Raven.  You asked me to call.”
Being the epitome of professionalism, grace and etiquette, I responded.  “You B*tch!” I screamed/sniffled because I was still crying from the story.  “You are wrong for making me look so un-gangsta like.  We want the story.  By the way, DIBS on Aidan.”
Instead of being offended, Raven responded with tinkling laughter before getting all serious.  “So you liked it?”
“We did.”
Raven was concerned that the story wasn’t “enough” for our publishing company.  We were concerned that we might be too much, not just for Raven but for many authors.  The Jeanie and I…we’re picky, we’re demanding, and according to rumor “UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME.”
Was To Start Again our usual type of romance?  No, but we pride ourselves on not having a “usual” typeother than kickazz.  During the read we got angry, we cried, and in the end we sighed when Madison and Aidan both received their HEA.
The story went through what many of our authors refer to as “editing boot camp.”  Through it all, Raven was the epitome of a professional.  She didn’t whine and moan about our picky ways (well, at least not out loud).  Instead, she buckled down and put her nose to the grindstone.  We happen to think To Start Again is her best piece of writing…and that’s not simply because we published it.
The book is dedicated to her mother.  We think her mom would be proud.  We certainly are.  Thank you Raven for being part of Beautiful Trouble Publishing.  Jeanie and Jayha

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plots, Characters and storylines oh my...

I've interviewed a lot of authors on my blogtalk about how a story comes about. Most can hear the voices of the characters crying out for their stories to be told. I know I keep a pen and paper by my bed at all times for those moments. Do you write what you know or branch out, research and write something new? I love doing both. While writing my young adult series I have started to outline. I have never really been an outliner. I just write, then read, edit and write some more. Some plots have sub-plots that need to run underneath the surface to keep secondary characters going. How do you keep your name fresh while closing yourself off to write? Promotion is one part of the game I am not the best at. I must say I love writing. I love creating worlds and falling in love with the characters.

Writing the young adult has taught me to research more and use more outlines so I can keep all the information together. I have to say it's different then writing adult fiction. I love both genres, but with adult stories I find there is a limit. Do you use an outline? Writing in so many different genres I muster up all the different plots and stories. I have notebooks full. So, what's been new with me lately? I was a writing, querying machine but an unexpected hospital stay has slowed me down. I'm still going to school for my BA in English and I have to say its a lot of fun. It's hard work, but fun. I haven't gotten to the math portion

I've been thinking a lot about new ways to promote myself and besides interviews with other authors what else can I do? I'm going to join the RWA asap. I feel like if I were apart of this organization maybe I can further my writing career. I'm always up for ideas so if you have some let me know. I signed a new contract with Damnation Books for a new story called Half Ghost.

This is a tale about love and demons. I really enjoyed writing this one. It's slated for a September release. I love the cover on this book. Oh I have good news about Tainted Blood. The cover is going to be redone and it will be re released very soon. I'm very happy about that. Don't forget about the blogtalk show one world one voice. I'm off to explore the world. Kisses to all <3

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wet Your Whistle on This! To Start Again by Raven Starr

Madison began opening up several paints and applying them to her palette.
“So are you sure you like it?” Aidan asked again.
“I’m very sure. Get comfy I want to capture your essence.”
 “Shirt on or off?” Aidan smiled as he walked past her.
“Unbuttoned halfway…showing a little skin, but leaving something hidden. Yum.” She licked her lips as she slowly slipped the buttons from their loops.
“I got your yum right here.” Aidan whispered back.  
“Yes, you do,” she winked.  “That’s the essence I want to capture.  Now relax and let me work my magic. 
“That’s perfect. Just relax.” Having spent many days looking at Aidan and many nights dreaming about him, Madison didn’t have to look at Aidan that much during the entire painting process.  Madison looked because she wanted to. Looking at his tanned skin sent shivers through her. Remembering the kisses they’d just shared, she couldn’t help but long for him.  A tingling started at the tip of her nub and spread warmth throughout her entire body.  
Just as she knew his body she knew his soul and wanted it to shown through on the canvas…just as it shown through on him. With everything happening around her, Aidan was the only stable thing she had to count on.  And it felt good to do so.
She’d been painting for a while when Aidan’s sweet baritone voice pulled her from her task.  Madison.”
 “Everything alright?” she asked.
Aidan twitched his nose. “I have an itch. I can either move or you could do the honors.”
Madison set down her brush and walked over to him. “Where?”
“There is a spot right under my bottom lip. I don’t want to move, would you please?”
She scratched the side of his lip. “Here?” She asked.
“Lower,” he groaned.
She let her fingers ran down the middle of his chest.
“Oh yeah, that’s the spot.”
 “I think I got a little paint on you.”
 “It doesn’t matter,” Aidan said as he pulled her down onto his lap and kissed her lips. “You are what matters to me.”
Madison pulled him closer and kissed his mouth. “Aidan,” she whispered. Aidan scooped her up as if she weighed nothing and made his way to his bedroom.  Gently, he laid her on the bed before standing back and looking at her. Aidan didn’t just look at her; he stared in the depth of her of soul.  And then he smiled. When he opened his mouth to speak Madison sat up and placed her slender index finger against his lips.
“The only thing I want to hear you say is my name as you’re making love to me,” she said as she pulled him down for a kiss. They fell back on the bed together, their lips busy exploring each other, their bodies locked in a passionate embrace.
They undressed each other between their passionate kisses.  Aidan only paused long enough for them to catch a single breath before he moved his lips to her neck.  Wow. She moaned lightly when Aidan slid his fingers between her breasts.
“Your skin is as soft as I imagined. Now that I’m touching it I’m pretty sure I won’t ever get tired of doing so,” he said.  Cupping a breast in his hand, he bent to lick her nipple. “Beautiful,” he whispered before moving to the other.
Reveling in the attention Aidan paid her body, Madison did her own exploring.  She ran her hands over him enjoying the feel of the muscles in his back and the fullness of his ass.
 “Nice body,” she said as she gave his ass a squeeze.
Aidan looked up with a sly smile. “Wait until you see what it can do.” He pulled away and kissed his way up her thighs. Opening her legs with his forearms, he bent and licked her clit.

I know with every book I write I say I love it, but this one is from my heart. I wrote it when I was grieving over the death of my parents(grab a tissue) so it has some very emotional undertones as well as some romance in it.
I just had a birthday last week and I'm really thinking it's been awhile since I've had a contest. This is is going to be really easy.

By now most of you know I host a blogtalk radio show on Saturday nights at 6pm est. (You paying attention?) On my show tonight and a special show on Next Sunday( the 3rd of April. That means two chances to WIN) I'm going to say the Special Word. You have to write the special word and email it to along with the special guest for that evenings show. Sounds easy, right? Good. So listen to the show tonight and write down my guest's name and the special word and email me at

The Winner will be announced on Saturday April 9th 2011 on my show and on Facbook plus I'll email them personally. The prize you ask? A ten dollar gift card. And a signed postcard of my latest book To Start Again.
Here's the link to the blogtalk show

Good Luck to All...


Saturday, January 22, 2011

News Update

Hello All, I've been dodging and ducking and now I'm here to drop some news on ya. Tonight I'll be doing my blogtalk radio show with my co-host Tavia and a special guest along with Interracial author Empress. It all takes place tonight at 6pm EST.

Other than that I've had a New Years release which you can pick it up at
                          New Year’s Wish by Raven Starr
  After another Christmas alone, Freya gets the gift of a lifetime. Marcus is special kind of man. He’s a Cupid. If he can find someone to love him, he’ll lose his wings and become human.  Enter Sirius is Marcus’s dark brother. He has a chance to kill his brother’s dreams of a mortal life. Will Freya end up in love or in a coffin? 

And coming soon from the same publisher is A Husband for Martha
Martha Jones is a single woman in her thirties. All of her friends were either married or in a relationship, Martha was left out. Until the night Cade appeared in her life. He’s everything she’s not: mysterious, dashing and dangerous. Can Cade change Martha’s life and show her the meaning of love. Or will he introduce her to world of darkness?

Here's the info about tonight's show:

Blogtalk Radio: IR Authors Raven Starr, Empress LaBlaQue, Special Guest, and Co Host Tavia! Q & A, Interracial Romance~Discussions! Reviews! Contests! Fun! Saturday Evening, 5:00 CT. Visit these websites to win freebies.,, or 1-347-994-2252

Call in or join the chat for your chance fof my cool giveaways and freebies.

On the news I just sent a story off. Everyone cross your fingers. I've finished the first book in my 4 part series called The Book of Ancients- Lost Guardian. I'll post a snippet of it in the next few days. I'm hunting for an agent and belive you me it's daunting, but I'm plugging away. Hear more about this and so much more tonight on Blog Talk Radio!!!