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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating tales filled with romance, conflict and magic. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Musings: The journey to self-publishing

After going the traditional route and having a publisher do all the work of publishing my books, I decided this time around I was going to try self-publishing. Well, it hasn’t been easy and I have a newfound appreciation for my publisher, but I feel more pride in the work I’ve turned out because I had to do everything myself—hiring an editor, a graphic artist to do the book cover and formatting the interior of the book.
I didn’t have much of a problem hiring my own editor and in a way I think this is better than being paired with someone unknown to me, but I’ve had both good and bad experiences with the publisher-assigned editors. This time though I picked a tough editor. She challenged me and I liked that. It made me take a closer look at my story and work to improve it.
The cover design was a challenge for me because I know nothing about designing a cover. Why should I? My publishers always took care of that part of the publishing process. The first covers I planned on using were made by a friend for free, but after I showed them to another friend, who is also an author and graphic artist, I nixed them. And my friend was right—the covers weren’t that good. Now, I am probably one of few who don’t think a cover should make a book. It’s the inside, the story that should make a book. But readers don’t think that way. To them a good book has a good cover and a good story. And they are right, of course. I got lucky and found an awesome cover designer on Fiverr. He opened my eyes to what a great cover looks like.
Finally, I had to tackle the interior formatting of my book. I know a little bit about formatting so I figured it couldn’t be that hard. Wrong again. At first I was going to have a friend format my interior, but then I decided I wanted to learn to do it myself. I picked up some helpful tips and went to work. And it drove me nuts, but I managed to fumble my way through it and I’m satisfied with the results.
Will I self-publish again? Sure, I plan on self-publishing the other 2 books in my Arcadia series. After that, I’m not sure. It depends on how well these books sell and if it’s really worth my time and money to do it myself. I still believe in using a publisher. They really do a lot for us authors. I just wanted to see how well I could do it myself, see if my sales increased or not. I do like the flexibility of setting my own prices and designing the book the way I want it.
If anyone out there is planning on self-publishing, do it right. Hire an editor. I can’t stress this enough. This is probably the most important step in the entire process. Writers cannot see their mistakes. Believe me. I know what I’m talking about. My editor really improved my story and found things I should have seen but didn’t. So, don’t skip this step.
This has definitely been a learning experience for me and opened my eyes to new opportunities.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604
TheBearGoddescover_small_final
Forbidden love… Broken vows… Betrayal…




Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite song

Favorite Song

Africa by Toto

 

I am a Toto fan. They are all such great musicians. Africa is one of those songs that if I hear it on the radio while driving in my car, I want to hear it to the end even if I’ve reached my destination. It’s such a beautiful melody, their vocal harmonies are awesome, and who else can sing the words Kilimanjaro and Serengeti so smoothly in a lyric? This song make me want to visit Africa.

 

 

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weird Word Wednesday

AXENIC

axe·nic

adjective \(ˌ)ā-ˈze-nik, -ˈzē-\

Definition of AXENIC

:  free from other living organisms

axe·ni·cal·ly adverb

Origin of AXENIC

2a- + Greek xenos strange

First Known Use: 1942

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Musings! New Book Release! The Bear Goddess available now in Print and Kindle on amazon.com

TheBearGoddescover_small_final
Book Title: The Bear Goddess
Author: Kelley Heckart
Genre: Greek myths/fantasy/shapeshifters/romance
Page Count: 284
ISBN-10: 1502982684
ISBN-13: 978-1502982681
ASIN: B00P74X0WY




Blurb:
Forbidden love… Broken vows… Betrayal…
Callisto, daughter of the great Arcadian King Lycaon and the nymph Maia, has studied all her life to attain the high position of Bear Goddess among the nymphs of Artemis, taking a sacred vow of purity. But when she meets a mysterious man, her life changes forever.
Kasin is a prince among the fierce centaurs and one of few who can take human shape. A follower of Zeus, he is mystified to save a nymph’s life and even worse, to fall in love with an enemy of the centaurs. He is torn between his duty to his people and his love for Callisto.
When the nymphs capture Kasin for their next sacrifice, Callisto cannot allow him to die, but before she can help him escape, they are caught together and their secret connection exposed. Surrounded by armed guards, they manage a daring escape. On the run from the nymphs, danger and betrayal follow Kasin and Callisto. To survive, they must evade a god obsessed with having Callisto for himself as well as others who also want to keep them apart. Will their love for each other be enough to save them?
Excerpt:
In a flashing blur of altering limbs, Kasin stood before her, naked from the waist down in his human shape. He pulled on the rest of his clothes.
She held out her bound hands so he could free them.
He studied the chain for a moment, searching for the clasp. “Hmm.” He unbound her hands, inspecting the silver chain. “I have never seen anything like it.”
She frowned. “I am grateful for that,” she said, watching him in wide-eyed wonder.
Raising one eyebrow, he asked, “Why are you giving me that questioning look?”
She raised both of her eyebrows. “When were you going to tell me you are a centaur?”
He crossed his arms over his wide chest. “Never.”
Tightening the blanket around her shoulders, she gave him a hard look. “I do not think I heard you correctly because it sounded like you said you were not planning to tell me your true nature.”
“I knew you would be displeased. You speak so harshly of my people,” he said in a defensive tone.
“And I have good reason to speak thus of your people.” Even if he was different, there were too many stories about the savagery of the centaurs for them all not to be true.
He unfolded his arms. Looking weary, he grasped her shoulders. “I do not want to have a battle with you now. We should rest. Tomorrow we must start before daybreak.”
“Where are we going to go? I have no clothes.” She looked down at the blanket covering her naked body. All she had was her moonstone choker, the only item that remained on her when she shapechanged into animals.
“Yes.” He rubbed the dark stubble on his chin. “I cannot bring you unclothed into a village full of lusty centaurs.”
She glared at him for his arrogant assumption that she would want to go to a centaur village, but she held her tongue, realizing he was only trying to save her life. And she had no desire to start another argument. The events of the night began to weigh on her. She suppressed a yawn.
He pulled off his tunic and then took the blanket from her shoulders. Gently, he dressed her in his tunic.
His baggy tunic hung just below her knees. The short sleeves of his tunic reached to her forearms. Accustomed to her clothing that hugged and flattered her female curves, she wrinkled her brow in disapproval. She stared at him, at his taller, more muscular body that made her seem small even though she was considered tall for a female. “It looks like a lumpy grain sack.”
Tearing a long strip from the blanket, he said, “I am not finished, love.” He fastened the belt around her waist.
His expression of affection left her with a tender sensation beneath her breast. She watched him, her lips forming a pensive smile, enjoying the feel of his hands lightly brushing her as he dressed her and, at the same time, troubled about their dangerous situation. She couldn’t fully comprehend what had happened yet or the consequences of being discovered breaking her vow and then running off with a centaur. This night seemed like a strange dream to her. She wanted to pinch herself to see if she would wake up.
****
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband, dog and a number of backyard “pets,” including Godzilla the desert iguana. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. When not writing, she works as an editor/proofreader and practices target archery. She can be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
To sign up for my newsletter and receive special notices like new book releases and giveaways only for my subscribers: http://kelleyheckart.com/Contact_Kelley_Page.html

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/CelticChick
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Romance Lives Forever: 5 Easy Questions: Kelley Heckart author The Bear G...

Romance Lives Forever: 5 Easy Questions: Kelley Heckart author The Bear G...: The Bear Goddess  5 Easy Questions is an interview is designed to be quick, easy, and fun. Today's guest is Kelley Heckart. Wha...

It is 12:28 pm and I still haven't worked on my new book, the sequel to Of Water and Dragons, which I was supposed to do today. I keep getting side tracked on the internet-setting up this blog is the reason I haven't written one word today. Does this blog count? I will say "yes" and feel good that I am at least writing something today. The good news is I am finding more sites that will review my book, the most recent at www.midwestbookreview.com. Today I sent off one of my books to New Zealand for review on www.loveromances.com. I feel good that I have accomplished something besides the grocery shopping.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Favorite Friday: Sharing a favorite vampire book series

Favorite book series

The Draculia Vampire Trilogy, a vampire series set in the Regency era.

Here is a review I wrote for the 2nd book in this series, Lucifer's Saint: The Vampire Dimitri

What I really liked about this book and the series is that the story is set in a historical setting. I like seeing vampires in non-modern settings. That being said, I'm not a fan of the Regency period so I had to put my feelings about that aside. The characters engaged me and that's what I like in a story. I liked the brooding Dimitri. At times Maia annoyed me with her principles about having to act like lady, but that was because of the time period, so I let it go. I did like her boldness as she stood up to Dimitri. The hero and heroine had a spark between them and I enjoyed watching that grow into love.
I'm not sure I bought the ending though, but I do like the vampire world Ms. Gleason created with her Draculia. At first I wasn't sure about heroes who make a deal with the devil, but it seems to me the devil tricked them into making the deal. I recommend this to readers looking for a different vampire tale and setting.

              

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weird Word Wednesday

AUTACOID

au·ta·coid

noun \ˈȯ-tə-ˌkȯid\

Definition of AUTACOID

:  a physiologically active substance (as serotonin, bradykinin, or angiotensin) produced by and acting within the body

Origin of AUTACOID

aut- + Greek akos remedy; probably akin to Old Irish ícc cure

First Known Use: 1914

 

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/CelticChick

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelley-Heckart/111838455604