Monday, November 16, 2015



It's how I've been feeling for the last few weeks. (And no I do not mean literally drowning.) I mean creatively drowning. You see a lot is happening at once for me. I'm in the midst of relocating with my family and once again I'm on the search for another job. That would be a lot for anyone, but add trying to build a career as a brand new nurse and burgeoning author at the same time. Yeah it's a lot. I find myself up at night unable to sleep as my mind constantly races. Insomnia has become my new best friend.

The job market still sucks right now. I've accepted that and I'm also aware that landing another gig may take some time. What I didn't expect was that the thing in life that has brought me so much joy, my writing, would instead turn to another source of frustration and worry.

I'm in the midst of a rewrite of my next upcoming release that is taking me forever. My enthusiasm for the story is waning. I've also started about 10 chapters into a brand new Mafia series, The Corrupt Cassinellis and I've written about 2 pages into my 3rd Demi-God Daughters book, Goddess by Surrender. My interest in everything is pretty much gone at the moment. I love writing, but lately I've had no desire to write a single word. I thought it was just the pressure of "real life," affecting my creativity but it's more to that.

I'm burned out with the struggle. I'm tired of seeing mediocrity rewarded and I'm tired of being pressured to conform to what everyone else is doing in order to sell my novels.

It felt good to get that off my chest.

I started writing because it brought me joy. I started writing because it was fun. Somewhere along the way writing stopped being fun and it became work. And when it became work it became stressful. That's not what I want for my muse or me. I want to get excited about the thought of sitting down to work on something. I don't want to spend my time trying to put myself on a schedule or forcing myself to write something in a hurry so I can try to cash in what's trending now.

Writing is supposed to be an escape.

Writing is supposed to be fun.

My characters are supposed to dictate what I write and not anyone else. So for now I'm going to take my time. I'm going to stop pressuring myself and just write. It may take a while before I have another release, but so be it. My next release may be so far out of left field of what's currently selling but who cares. I started creating the stories I wanted to read and I need to get back to that because there are enough people in this world co

Thursday, October 15, 2015



Ball breaker.

Have you heard those terms used before?

I'm sure you have. You've probably heard them used in reference to strong women. The fact that these terms are even used to describe a woman with strength, that does not need a man to take care of her signifies that we have a real problem in society.

Some readers who have read my third novel, Dirty Little Secrets, have called my heroine, Ava, such names. At first I was angry and thought, "What's wrong with them?" Eventually I got over it and just didn't care.

Ava Hill is the widow of a mob boss. Prior to that she was his goomah for many years before he decided to marry her. In that type of situation it's pretty clear to me why Ava would be guarded and have issues trusting anyone. Do I think that makes her a bitch or a ball breaker? No. Ava is a strong woman who knows what she wants and will take crap from no one. It is one of the things I loved most about her chracter.

I grew up with a love of Disney Princesses (I still love them honestly) and in most all of the movies, the princess had to be saved. Though those movies and characters will forever hold a special place in my heart, let's be real, we girls and women can save ourselves. We don't need a man to do that for us. So instead of tearing down women that take no crap from anyone and women that can manage fine with or without a man let's celebrate them.


In honor of strong women everywhere, I'd like to share with you some of my favorites from books, TV and movies.









These are just a few of my favs. Drop me a line to share some of yours.

Monday, September 21, 2015


"My heroines kick ass. They don't get their asses kicked."-Jackie Collins

      When I read the news that Jackie Collins had passed away from breast cancer, I thought it was a hoax. It couldn't be true. But then I read the statement issued by her family and with a sinking feeling in my stomach I knew that the magnificent woman who'd sold half a billion books and was a consistent figure on numerous best seller lists was really gone.
     The first Jackie Collins novel I ever read was Dangerous Kiss , A Lucky Santangelo Novel. At the time I read Dangerous Kiss, it was the most recent in the Lucky Santangelo series. Lucky was a gorgeous, business savvy mob princess who didn't take crap from anyone.. Call me biased but I think Lucky Santangelo is the greatest female character ever written. It was then and there that my love of Jackie Collins' novels was born. After devouring Dangerous Kiss, I read the rest of the books in the Lucky Santangelo series before moving on to reading every book Jackie had written at the that time. Today I own them all.

     Years ago I wrote to Jackie and received two autographed photos of her. They are among some of my most prized possessions. I would often go to Jackie's website and listen to her interviews. Her wit, sassiness and take no prisoners attitude always made me eager to go pick up my pen and start writing. When I tweeted to her November 12, 2013 about her being such an inspiration and she responded back my life was made.
     Jackie inspired me to write. Her stories that highlighted a woman's strength, and sexuality were cutting edge and ahead of their time. Jackie didn't write cookie-cutter characters, especially women. She firmly believed that a woman could do anything a man could do and not only her writing life, but her real life reflected that as well. "I live my life like a bachelor. I have a man for all seasons," she is quoted as saying. Jackie was a woman who lived by her own rules and she let nothing define her.
     Before there was erotica, there was Jackie. Before there was Fifty Shades, there was Jackie. She is a pioneer in the literary world. A woman who created characters that represented people from all walks of life and from every race, background, religion and sexual orientation. Jackie created stories reflective of the world we all live in.
     Though she is gone, the stories and characters she created will forever live on. I'm sure that I am one of countless people that Jackie influenced in some way. Goodbye Jackie, you fantastic woman. There will never be another like you.
                           Jacqueline Jill Collins October 4, 1937- September 19, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015


        Life has really gotten in the way lately and I mean real life...the Erin Ashley Tanner separate from being an author. But I'm here now and I hope things in my author life will soon come together as well. So today's topic: FINDING YOUR NICHE. What does this make you think about? For me it has come to symbolize a struggle with myself and what the world wants me to be. This has been a lifelong struggle for me, but I foolishly thought it would never spill over to the thing I love most: writing. I was wrong. So very wrong.
        At this moment I have 6.5 novels under my belt, 3 published, 1 to be published and 2.5 languishing away wondering when the hell they are going to get a home or be revised again. I've written paranormal romance, interracial and multicultural but at this point I have no idea where I belong. What is my niche? I write romance. Beyond that everything else is pretty much up in the air.
    To date my best selling novel is Goddess of Legend. I have no idea what it is about that novel, but it's done pretty good. The categories it was placed in: African American Urban, Science Fiction and Fantasy. In those categories GOL was in the top 100 categories for a good 2 to 3 weeks which was absolutely amazing to a first time author. It still is.
     My follow up Goddess by Chance shifted to some different categories: African American Romance & Multicultural and Interracial Romance. Let's just say GBC did not enjoy the success of its predecessor. I'm not sure why, but possibly the category switching had something to do with it.
    Then there comes Dirty Little Secrets, the novel that garnered me a two book deal with Samhain Publishing. I could tell how much my writing had improved and that I was finally coming into my own as an author. DLS was placed in the categories of: Multicultural and Interracial, Multicultural and Contemporary. Let me be the first to say that those are some tough categories. Really tough and the audience for those holds no punches back if they don't like something.
    So what has all of this taught me? I have no idea where in the hell I'm supposed to be. Is Paranormal Romance my strongest suit? Or do I really have a baseline of comparison to draw from either way?
    Do I think GBC would've done better if it remained in the same categories as GOL? Yeah I do. Do I think DLS would've done better under Romantic Suspense and Organized Crime? Yes I do. But you know it doesn't really matter now. What does matter is that I find out where I should be going forward.
   I love to read pretty much everything and I want to write everything, but there comes a point where you have to play to your strengths. It's time I take some serious time to figure out what mine is because after all how can you build an empire if you haven't figured out what to build on? And that is where I'm at. I'm taking some time to listen to my muse's voice and the longings of my own heart to truly find where is my niche.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


        You live and you learn and then you get LUVs. Anybody remember that commercial? I do and I remember thinking how cute it was then. Now, I see a nugget of wisdom in there that I've often ignored. "You live and you learn." For the past few weeks, this writer has been in an artistic funk. Not only has my muse decided to take a vacation, but my own self doubts about my place in this literary world have been plaguing me almost nonstop.
      As a writer you're often given the advice that each novel you produce should be better than your last. I've tried my best to adhere to that bit of wisdom, but what happens when you do just that and the stars still don't align? Well if you're me you fall into a funk of catastrophic proportions. You ask yourself should I stop writing? What's the point? Nobody is buying it. Yeah. That's just what I did, had a pity party on an epic scale. It felt good to have a tantrum in all honesty, but once that was over I still was left with a very important question: What now?
      Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm a woman who believes in having a plan. So what did I do next? I took a look at all of the novels that were getting rave reviews and selling pretty decent and thought that I need to try to emulate that. If I write the way those writers are I'll be sure to reach this mountain I've been pushing so hard to climb. So I read the first few chapters of some of these so highly rated best selling novels and you know what happened? I was bored to tears!
     Yes. You heard it right. As a reader I was bored and I couldn't understand how people were getting past the first chapter, much less giving these books 5 star reviews. So then I got angry. No way was I ever going to be able to write like those people. I'd bore myself to death first. That plan dead in the water I searched through some novels I'd absolutely adored and loved and I thought I'll try to write like them. But that experiment too failed and I found myself having to face a hard truth.
   You can't write like anyone but you. Yes. Let that sink in for a minute. Just as in life, with writing we all have to be ourselves. There already is a J.K. Rowling and a Jackie Collins. Those spots are taken and you will drive yourself crazy trying to emulate what has already been done. So be yourself. Write the stories that make you happy. Write in the style that makes you enjoy every minute of whatever you're working on. Love your story for being uniquely yours. You don't need to be anyone else but you.
   This has been a tough revelation for me to swallow. Ever since I gave into the call to write all I've ever wanted was to see my name on a best selling list and there is still a chance that could happen one day. I'm still a fairly new novelist with just 3 books under my belt, but if it doesn't I have to learn to be okay with the place I'm at. That means not looking at my stories and saying, "It's not true to life mafia enough," or saying, "This might be a little too gritty for some readers," or  "Yeah, maybe you need to hang it up." No. My muse is who she is and I'm sure that if I just keep listening to her, she will continue to give me stories that I will love to write, worlds that I will love to explore, and one day maybe a Best Seller title.
     But in the meantime I have to learn to be happy with the works I've created and remember that no matter what these stories came into fruition for a purpose, even if I can't yet see exactly what it is. BE YOURSELF.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


     As a writer sometimes I write to music and sometimes there is just one song you find yourself listening to over and over again. Selena Gomez's The Heart Wants What It Wants was that song and I'd say it perfectly captures the relationship between Dominic and Ava. You might even say it's their theme song. Enjoy.

Monday, July 13, 2015


        I've been a fan of the romance genre since the first time I started reading my mother's Harlequin novels when I was ten. Like any young, adolescent girl I was drawn to the older, mature hero who knew just what to say to sweep the heroine off her feet. And to this day I am still a fan of the older man, younger woman romance. It just appeals to me in a way I probably will never be able to fully explain.

        But like most things in life, eventually you branch out and discover new things. Believe it or not the same thing happens with writing. Especially when life hands you just the right inspiration. For me this bit of inspiration came from my favorite soap opera, General Hospital. The lone ABC soap now, it has been a part of my life ever since I can remember.
      Well ladies and gents, meet Ava Jerome and Morgan Corinthos, collectively known as Amor.
        This controversial couple lit up my television with undeniable chemistry and sex appeal. Morgan Corinthos is the youngest son of daytime's leading mob boss Sonny Corinthos and Carly Jacks. Ava Jerome is the half sister of rival mob boss Julian Jerome. Ava and Morgan's sexy hook up began when Morgan (who was married to Ava's daughter, Kiki,) was dumped by his wife for his brother! Yes. Isn't that all kinds of juicy? 
       Anyway, Morgan sought refuge with Ava who had just been rejected by her daughter's father because he was in love with her niece, Sam. Did you get all that? Yeah. Messy isn't it? What it all boils down to is Morgan had sex with his mother-in-law, Ava. When everyone in Morgan and Ava's lives found out, the shit really hit the fan but it didn't matter. What had started out for both of them as just a rebound fling to cope with their disappointing love lives soon blossomed into real love and many steamy nights and mornings full of passionate romance.
     In the character of Ava you have a sexy, vivacious 40 something year old woman who knows just what she wants and is not afraid to do whatever is necessary to get it. With Morgan you have the typical young man trying to find his place in the world while being all too confident in his burgeoning sex appeal.
     As I continued to watch the relationship of these two characters unfolding on my screen I started to think about writing a new story. I knew my heroine's name was going to be Ava naturally and as thoughts swam around in my head the first line of Dirty Little Secrets was born. As I continued to write I soon had created a super sexy romance featuring an older widowed mob wife and a younger, virile man. And to think this all started from watching a soap opera. Thanks General Hospital.
     What are some things you have seen on TV or read about that have inspired your writing?

Monday, June 1, 2015


      The photo above describes exactly how I feel. I am so beyond happy that I finished my 6th novel on time and turned it in to meet my deadline. Yes. Yes. Yes. Why am I so happy? Simple I managed to write a 98K novel in the midst of going to nursing school and in the process I realized I can crank out a novel in less time than I thought I could. Though I wrote intermittently and not consecutively, it only took me 64 days to write my latest novel, Devious Little Lies. That's roughly 3 months and 4 days so if you think about it, in a perfect world I could write 3 novels a year. Okay, maybe I'm stretching. After all I do have to take real life into account, but still under the high stress and craziness I'm proud because I know I can do it.
         In the now 3 years since I've been writing I've switched from paranormal to fairytale retellings and now to mafia suspense. Believe it or not I've enjoyed all of the genres I've written in and I have plans to add a few more to my list and herein lies my current problem...what now? What next?
       I have no clue what to start on next and it's certainly not because I don't have ideas. I have a notebook full of them. So why can't I just pick something you ask? Because there are some things to consider. I miss writing paranormal with a passion. It was the first genre I started out in and my first love. Unfortunately unless you're a big name with a big fan base a lot of paranormals are not being picked up right now. The same for the fairytale retellings I was writing and falling in love with. So for now, they have to be on the backburner regardless of how much I want otherwise.
      It sounds all well and good to write what you love, but I love pretty much everything. And secondly, writing what you love may cause your novel to never get picked up if you're attempting to go the traditional route like I am. So for now I'm looking and pondering, making notes, moving things around and trying to decide what direction do I go in next. Will it be the historical saga calling to my heart? Or the action adventure? Or a mystery? Or another dip into the world of organized crime? I don't know. I just hope my muse will tell me what she wants to write next.
       How do you decide what to write next? Drop me a line and share.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


               Every author has their own little quirks when it comes to creating stories. For me, I've always loved the physical act of writing. A pen in my hand, a blank sheet of paper or a cool, hard back journal. It feels like I can connect with my story and characters on a deeper level if I'm putting down the words in my own handwriting. Of course it takes a lot longer to write a novel because your hand tends to get tired. Oh yeah, and there's the unfortunate realization that you still have to type up the story anyway if you want to send it anywhere.
             But stubbornly I refused to follow other authors and I painstakingly wrote my first four novels by hand and then typed them up. In the midst of my convoluted process, a few of my author friends teased me. Of course I tried to explain my rationale, but they still just laughed until one of them made it her mission to convince me to write a story on my laptop. Yes I'm talking about you my friend
          Of course I thought the whole idea was ludicrous. I had like 30 hardback journals lying around I bought for the specific purpose of filling with my novels. No way I was writing strictly by laptop. Nope. I was convinced my muse wouldn't speak to me. No way was this happening. But my friend kept pestering me to try it. Finally, weary from battle with her I agreed to give it a shot. Naturally I expected nothing to come of this. My muse was old fashioned like me. She likes pens and journals.
          And so I wrote the first sentence: "Last time I checked it was my name on the door."  With that sentence written I sat there a moment and waited. And then the name of the character who was speaking popped into my head. Ava. (She's named after my favorite female character on General Hospital). So I plugged along and decided she'd be a kick ass businesswoman. I wrote a little more and then decided she'd be the beautiful young widow of a notorious mob boss. By this time I was really getting into it and before I knew it...I'd completed my first chapter.
       I couldn't believe it. My muse hadn't abandoned me. She was fully cooperating. Maybe Robin had been right. Maybe I could do this. And so with slightly more comfort than I initially thought I brought Dirty Little Secrets to life. So 6 months later, I'd given birth to a novel written all on my laptop and it was damn good. Good enough my agent loved it and was excited about. And finally it was good enough to get me my first book deal with a major publisher.
      Looking back over things, Dirty Little Secrets would have never come to life if it were not for Robin pushing me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. And because of her I have completed a new novel in a new genre and now I'm halfway finished with my second novel written completely on the laptop. My muse is still with me and I'm inspired even more now to step out of my comfort zone and explore new things with my writing. It's amazing what one little push can do. Thanks Robin. I owe you.

Monday, February 16, 2015



    I bet you're looking at the title of this post and wondering what kind of outlandish foolishness I'm proposing. Before you write me off let me explain. I'm currently writing my sixth full length novel and I think I've discovered some pretty amazing things as I continue to write and build my portfolio. What has occupied my thoughts lately is how every novel I've written contains a piece of me. What do I mean by that? With every finished novel I've either written about some past experience, a secret side to myself, my personality traits, a dream or fantasy I've had, my deepest pain or greatest desire and finally a chance to live life vicariously through someone else.

    So what point am I making? Every thing you write should have a piece of you in. When you look back over your body of work, you should be able to see a theme, or pick out a certain issue that was on your mind when you wrote it. Let me give you a few examples.

     In my very first novel my heroine was so like me. Cameryn struggled with her self image and always felt that she was different or out of place. These are issues I've dealt with my entire life so while Cameryn Kane is her own woman, she is also very much a part of me.

     In my fourth novel, my heroine is strong willed and has a mother of an equally strong will. Arienne just wants to live her life on her own terms without feeling like she has to measure up to what her mother expects of her. Arienne is me. My mother and I are both strong willed women and we butt heads on the exact same issues as my heroine and her mother do. Life and art are truly one with this novel.

    In this sexy romantic suspense novel I'm exploring what it would be like to be a woman at the very top in a traditionally male domain, having the power to do whatever you want with no consequences and the joys of being with a younger man. This novel is all about exploring a fantasy and living vicariously through someone else.

     Now do you see what I mean? With everything I write I can identify some subliminal thing that gets put into my novels. So when you pick up that pen or sit down at your keyboard, next time think about what little piece of you that you'd like to share with your readers. Sharing is caring and while you're creating your own little world you could be making a real difference in someone else's.

What are some common things or issues you've explored in your writing? What have you written that hits the closest to home in your life?

Monday, January 19, 2015


      I'm sure in our every day lives we all feel a bit stretched thin, and pulled in too many directions. But what about in your writing life? For me that answer is a firm and loud YES! Ever since I started writing, I've been pulled in too many directions by my muse. What do I mean? Well I usually have a WIP I'm trying to finish before moving on to something new. But unfortunately for me, my muse usually has other ideas, such as me abandoning my current project and taking her advice to start on this shiny, new project that will be much more interesting than what I'm already working on.
     This never fails to happen to me. If I'm working on a paranormal, the muse is telling me I should be writing suspense. If I'm doing suspense, the muse is telling me I should try something new like a historical or thriller. This is a constant battle for me. I am happy to have the fresh ideas that my muse provides but I need her not to keep pulling me in so many directions. (Especially now when I'm on a deadline.)
      Being as firm as I can I try my best to put my muse's new ideas on pause until I complete my current WIP. But sometimes I get a little weak and am no longer able to fight the temptation of writing something on the new idea I've been provided with. Has this ever happened to you? If so, what do you do? Are there any projects your muse is currently tempting you to abandon? Drop me a line.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015



   To jump or not to jump, that is the least when it comes to switching genres. There are so many schools of thoughts on this topic as to why you should or should not make that leap of faith. In fact there is so much other information out there, that even though this post is titled "genre jumping," it's not about what you should or should not do. Then what am I talking about? I'm sharing my own plans for genre jumping and the inspiration behind them.

As many of you know I jumped into the publishing world by writing paranormal romance- The Demi-god Daughters series that includes Goddess of Legend and Goddess by Chance. I do have definite plans to write a third in this series, Goddess by Surrender and possibly a 4th novel. My inspiration for the series came from a love of the Greek myths.

 I have also started another paranormal series- The Mermaids of Astaeria. Of the 3 books planned, 1.5 are complete. My inspiration for this series, Disney's The Little Mermaid and Splash. I love the paranormal genre and will probably always return to it. (Between you and me, I have at least 5 other standalone paranormal novels planned.)

As much as I love paranormal I also like variety and for that very reason I have branched out. My first mafia romance novel, Dirty Little Secrets recently sold to Samhain Publishing and I'm currently working on a follow up, Devious Little Lies. I tentatively have plans for 3 more mafia style books. Ever since I read about Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and grew up to know who the infamous John Gotti was I've always been fascinated by the Mafia. I'm enjoying diving into this new genre and putting my spin on things, but I don't intend to stop here. I have plans.

I've written the first in what I hope to be a 5 book series called Fractured Fairytales where I put my own unique spin on some of the childhood fairytales I've grown up reading and watching. I can't wait to finish these and share them with the world.

Besides my fairytales I also have plans for a hot 4 book contemporary romance series following 4 cousins as they attempt to find love.

I also want to tackle writing a thriller and have one in the planning stages. Steve Berry and James Rollins are my inspirations for wanting to take a shot at this genre.

Moving right along, I have plans for a few novels in the romantic suspense genre. My inspiration for that is none other than the Lisa Jackson novels I've read.

And last but not least I want to write a historical novel and I have one outlined called, The Inheritance. After reading so many historical novels and researching my own family history I decided there was no reason I couldn't write this kind of story too.

So there you have it people, this author plans to genre jump and write in all the genres I love without fear, without worry. I love to read in all these genres I've named so why not take the leap of faith and create my own stories in them as well. So now that you've heard all of my crazy ideas and inspirations, tell me about you. Will you be making the leap of faith into another genre and if so which one?

Monday, January 5, 2015



Happy New Year everyone. I'm back from vacation. At the end of every year you look back over everything that happened and you make goals for the next year. At least I do, when it comes to writing anyway. When it comes to my life Jesus take the wheel. But I digress. Despite some setbacks and unforeseen things, 2014 was pretty good to me as I continued on the road towards being a professional author.

January- I was blessed to sign with an agent, Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary Agency. In a day and age where getting picked up by an agent is still a hard thing to do, I remain ever so grateful.

April- I complete the second novel in my Demi-God Daughters series, Goddess by Chance.

August- I complete my fifth novel, my first mob romance, Dirty Little Secrets.

November- Goddess by Chance is released by Evernight Publishing.

December- Dirty Little Secrets is sold to Samhain Publishing and expected to release Summer 2015.

So looking back over 2014, things were pretty darn good. I wrote 2 novels and both those novels have homes. I signed with an agent at the beginning of the year and by the end she had me a book deal. Yes 2014 was good to me in the pursuit of my dreams and I hope 2015 continues to be even better.


1. To finish my second mob romance, Devious Little Lies and find a publishing home for it.
2. To start and complete my third Demi-god Daughters novel, Goddess by Surrender and find it a home at Evernight Publishing with the others in my series.
3. To finish Siren's Embrace, the second in my Mermaids of Astaeria series that has yet to find a publishing home. But I'm passionate about this story and this series and even if it does not find a traditional publishing home I will self publish it myself.
4. And if I'm really, super ambitious maybe I can start on the 1st novel in an edgy, contemporary romance series called Fated.

That's a lot in addition to keeping up my grades in nursing school so I can graduate, studying to pass my boards, looking for a job and hoping Mr. Right will finally decide to show up. It's a lot, but when you have a passion you have to put in the work to make sure that it goes somewhere and I intend to do just that.

 I hope you all have an awesome year. What are you looking forward to in 2015? Let me know.