Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Debut Author S.J. Francis

Hello there Imaginarians! I know it has been forever and I promise that I am back on the blogging scene now for sure. Today I want to welcome the wonderful S.J. Francis who has just published her debut novel Shattered Lies.

Where did the inspiration for Shattered Lies come from? 

SJ: Oh, I wish I had a magical answer for this one. There was no inspiration for Shattered Lies. It was just an idea, a one line sentence I came up with. What if? What if a young woman in a seemingly perfect family with a perfect life was to discover her entire life was a lie? That’s how a lot of my ideas form. I think of a question and before you know it, I have a book idea. Shattered Lies was always going to be set down south. I just never knew where until I moved to Mississippi. When I moved there, Shattered Lies basically wrote itself. The end result of it all could never have been foreseen from what I imagined it would be.

What was that moment like when you first found out your book was accepted? 

SJ: I was naturally elated, especially since the publisher I wound up going with was actually just one of three publishers that wanted to acquire Shattered Lies. I was lucky in being able to have a choice in selection as to which publisher I should go with. I must admit that I wasn’t as excited as I should have been, as others probably were. Perhaps, it was because I had been writing for so long that when the moment came, it was nice, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Do you have a particular writing routine? Do you listen to music as you write? 

SJ: As a matter of fact, yes I do. I definitely need some kind of background noise to keep me writing. I listen to music, usually music that somehow feels like the piece I am writing about or watch TV. This might distract other writers, but for me it keeps the ideas flowing. In fact, I don’t think I’d be able to write without this background accompaniment.

What was the best writing advice you received? 

SJ: This is a simple one. Several years ago, I took a respite from writing because I felt drained and unable to deal with mounting rejections. Yes, I was still publishing, but I also received rejections. I wanted to publish a novel, but wasn’t sure where to start or if I could even do it, if I really wanted to take that big step. I happened to mention it to another writer. She had such an enthusiasm about writing and told me to keep writing and not to let other things distract me. No matter what, she said, “Keep your writing passion on the fore.” That writer was the late and great Jackie Collins. I never forgot that and never will.

What would you tell a group of aspiring writers about pursuing their dream? 

SJ: I’d have to build on what Jackie Collins said. If you want to write, just write. Don’t talk about it, just do it. Study your craft. Learn it well. Never stop reading. Reading helps you become a better writer. Read outside your genre. Never stop writing. Practice makes perfect. If you want to write, just write. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. As long as you believe you can write, you can. Discouragement lurks behind every corner. Some days you are going to want to quit. Don’t. Never give up. Never let fear win. Never. For the day you do, you will give up. There are so many ways to get your work published now. There’s no better time to write than now, and despite what some may tell you, you don’t need an agent. A writer needs to write. Period. Any time and any chance one gets, even if it is just a sentence or a paragraph. These things eventually lead to something bigger. Never ignore an opportunity to write.
Thank you so much S.J. and huge congratulations on your novel. I wish you tons of success. You can find out more about S.J. and her fantastic debut novel Shattered Lies below.
My Black Opal Books Author Page:
View My ShoutOut:  http://bit.ly/1r3oynM
A Book Review 4 U: abookreview4u.blogspot.com
A Consumer's View: aconsumersview.blogspot.com
OnefortheAnimals:    onefortheanimals.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It Is Alive!!!

Hey there Imaginarians, sorry I've been so quiet. I'm still trying to kick cancer in the ass, but it has turned into all out war. I had my surgery on Jan 5 to remove all girly parts, thought that would be it. However, this bitch had other ideas. More tumors have been found and I am now considered Stage 4. I could not believe this shit. Now I am forced to undergo more chemo plus radiation. Ugh.

But, I am keeping a positive attitude. I'm still moving forward. I even have some good news to share. After receiving an email from a fellow author telling me to give up my writing and spend what little time I have left with family, I thanked her for the toe tag and finished the last two chapters on a story. I have a new contract for a novella called Silken Skies and I will let you know as soon as it has a release date and cover. Yay me!

Hopefully, I will not be going so long between posts. I'm so happy you all are sticking with me. You rock, my friends.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Big C Blog Hop and Anthology

My hugest thanks to Michael Di Gesu, who organized this. You are an amazing friend and I wouldn't know what to do without you.

As many of you know, I am currently locked in battle with the Big C...Cancer. Today I am celebrating the fight with my wonderful fellow bloggers on this Big C Cancer Blog hop. We are telling stories of the humor found in dealing with this disease. Humor helps a lot in this battle, it is a very effective weapon in keeping one's spirits up and at the ready.

Money is also an important part of the fight, so these entries you read are all going to be published in an anthology to help me in my fight. Whatever I do not use of the proceeds will be donated to Gilda's Club Chicago, a very important place for women fighting this terrible disease.

Thanks for reading. You can find all the incredible, wonderful participants here.

So without further ado, here is my entry....

An Unexpected Show

Chemo. Losing my hair. Vomiting. Losing my freakin' hair. I was upset and nervous and angry as we walked into UIC's Out Patient Cancer Center for my first chemo treatment. I had little enough hair as it was thanks to genetics now I was going to lose the rest. Perfect. I was going to be short, fat and now bald. Unless I got a wig. And my experience with wigs was almost non existent, except I knew they could be expensive unless one was talking Halloween costume types. Another expense. Great.

"You're scowling," my sister whispered.


"Yes you are. Stop it or you'll scare the nurses."

"Okay, fine."

She was right. It wouldn't due to frighten the people who were going to people who were going to take care of me.

After what seemed like hours we were called back to the infusion rooms.  The chairs were exactly like I'd seen in the movies, these uncomfortable looking recliners caught somewhere between spa comfort and dental office chic. I sat and my nurse introduced herself, a really nice, down-to-earth woman she was. She gave me the rundown of everything to expect. There was so much to process I felt like I was about to take a physics test without having learned the chapters.

First came the Benedryl, anti-nausea cocktail that put me to sleep. Just as I was beginning to enjoy a nap, the big chemo drug bag was administered. As I settled in and watched the drip, a little woman came in with a huge cart.

"Hi. I'm here from the American Cancer Society with some wigs for you. As a cancer patient, our program entitles you to one free wig."

Color me stunned.

My sister and I looked at each other, then at the wigs in the cart. The ACS rep left us with the wigs and we started pouring over them. An idea formed in my mind. I had to get into a better mood. After discounting all the ones that surely would not work, we snatched up the short. blonde ones.

"Let's do a wig show," I said.

"What? You mean try all these on and walk around in them?"

I nodded. "And take crazy pictures."

"Cool! Let's do this."

One by one I tried on the wigs, strutting around as much as my dance partner aka the IV machine would let me. The nurses came in clapping as I posed and pranced. A wig did not seem so bad now and neither was my mood. I laughed as my sister showed me the pics. I was determined to rock a wig and no longer afraid of losing my hair.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Battlefield Update: Round 2 of Chemo Over

Hi there Imaginarians! Happy Tuesday. I'm finally getting around to posting an update about my battle here with that old bastard, cancer.

I had Round 2 of chemo and this one did not go as well as I'd hoped. I had an allergic reaction this time. Talk about scary. When you get chemo, they start you off with a cocktail of drugs designed to prevent any kind of allergic reaction. However, with chemo it is all in the timing of delivery. They started my main chemo drip right after  giving me the cocktail and it hadn't had time enough to work through my system. My whole body suddenly got hot, turning fire engine red. My temp rose so fast that I thought I would spontaneously combust.

The nurses came running as my poor sister nearly freaked out. The drug was stopped and a saline drip administered ASAP. The whole thing felt as long as a wait at the DMV, but really only lasted a few terrifying minutes. Still, it was more than enough to bring home the fact that these are chemicals going into my body which are killing my healthy cells right along with the cancerous ones.

It's been a tough go, but I'm hanging in, keeping my levels up as best as I can.

This fight isn't just physical, though. Cancer is a hell of an expensive fight and I've been out of work these last few months. I'm really facing some financial burdens here. To help, my friends have started this fundraising page for me at Go Fund Me.com If you could share this link, it would help me tremendously. I know times are tough so I'm not expecting donations, just share this so that maybe I can reach the help that I need. I would be forever grateful. Thank you all very much.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Greetings From The Battle Zone

Hello! Just wanted to take a moment and say hey, my Imaginarians. I know I've gone radio silent, but this cancer shit is just wreaking havoc with my schedule and my writing. Plus, now I have to  fight broke because well, my Unemployment is up. And there are not a lot of people ready to employ me as I am. Boy, the Universe must think I am Xena, Warrior Princess because if it's not one thing, it's another. But, I'm keeping strong. I want to thank you all for the well wishes and prayers. I have feel truly loved and blessed counting you all in my corner. I'm also making sure that I do a lot of sleeping, exercise and taking supplements to keep up my strength. Cancer ain't got shit on this chick.

I've gone through my first chemo treatment. 1 down 2 to go. So cancer is taking a beating and so far I'm not too shabby except for sleeping a lot.

To help keep me in fighting spirit, my nephew took me to see 22 Jump Street and Transformers. I had a blast seeing both. They were a fun ride that made me forget the fight for a few hours. Joshua is a great sidekick.

Sorry I missed Insecure Writers Support Group. I had intended to post, but never got the time or the energy in sync. My insecurity this month is time. Will I get to finish the projects that I've started on time? How can I work around chemo and tests and appointments? Ugh. It feels overwhelming sometimes.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Leverage By Nancy S. Thompson

Hi Imaginarians, how are all of you? I've been quiet as I make phone calls to doctors etc. I have my first appointment on June 10. Thanks to all of you for your supportive comments, prayers and friendship. You all are amazing. Today I am really excited to bring you a kick ass new book from brilliant writer Nancy S. Thompson. Leverage is a hot new romantic thriller available right now...

Four years ago, Tyler Karras' quest to avenge his wife's death led to all out war with San Francisco's Russian Mafia. With the Bratva's collapse and its king, Dmitri Chernov, long dead, all Ty wants now is to put it behind him and enjoy a second chance at life with his new bride, Hannah, and the child they're expecting any day.

But Chernov's heir, Grigory Dmitriev, has returned, bitter and determined. He wants his kingdom back, and he's more than willing to leverage Ty's new family to get it.

First he targets Conner, Ty's brooding nineteen-year-old stepson, manipulating the boy into a vortex of sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Then he turns his sights on Hannah. At eight months pregnant, she's the ultimate bargaining chip. With both their lives in jeopardy, as well as his unborn child, Ty has little choice but to do as Grigory commands.

But Tyler swore he'd never kill again. He buried that monster four years ago and means to keep it that way. Grigory, however, makes that vow impossible to keep.

With his new family on the line, Ty will cross further into the dark side than he ever has before, challenging everything he believes about himself, and forcing him to face the ghosts of his past. Only then will Ty discover if he has the strength to do the unspeakable, to sacrifice his last chance at redemption and save the lives of those he loves most.

Buy Links:

About Nancy:

Nancy S. Thompson began her writing journey with her debut novel, The Mistaken, a dark romantic thriller released in 2012, and she’s continued the saga in Leverage. While Nancy loves to write, she pays the bills as an interior/architectural designer, as well as a freelance book editor. She’s a Bay Area California transplant, currently living with her husband and college-aged son near SeattleWashington.

Friday, May 16, 2014

I've Been Blitzed!

Happy Friday Imaginarians!! I'm feeling the love of this awesome community in super force right now. I got blitzed yesterday and just wow. Thank you does not even begin to cover the gratitude and positive energy I'm feeling. But all the same, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you all are wonderful, amazing, thoughtful people and I am proud to be a part of this community. I will be working my way through all the comments left and visiting everyone as my energy level allows.

As you may or may not know I just spent nine days in the hospital and am preparing for the battle of my life. I went in for a simple x-ray of my hip and lumbar area because 'd been having horrible pain that would not allow me to sit, stand or lay down for very long. Well, they found a mass. I was admitted and scheduled for biopsy faster than I could blink. It is malignant, so needless to say I am in for the biggest fight, but I am bringing my A game and going total badass bitch on this.

I'll be around as much as I can, but since I have major health considerations now, I may miss time. Thanks again for being my friends, my support, my Imaginarians. I love you!!