Tag Archive: Survival Games


Hi all. Seeing as it’s Friday, I figured I’d let one of my more colorful characters have cart blanc reign over the blog today. So without further adieu, I give you Ty Aris.

*Laughs* You know, I’m not sure Ms. Taylor knows what she’s doing here.

I’ve never blogged, so forgive me if I screw up some mysterious blogger etiquette.

I’m certainly not used to the spot light.

Well, I take that back, I have had a starring role in some . . . a-hem . . . risqué flicks. My talents extend well beyond the screen and my step-brother benefits from some of the most sought after black market porn in the industry – pieced together by yours truly.

While the one’s I’m in are much more mainstream–you know, the hot and steamy type — the one’s my step brother insists on producing are vile and violent and twisted beyond reason. I’m sure Ms. Taylor’s fine fans probably wouldn’t have the stomach for it. Hell, most of the time I don’t either, but what am I going to do?

Walk away?

*Laughs*

Yeah, like Frank would allow that. I’d probably end up another prisoner in his fucked up fantasy world.

You see, I was fine with operating the cameras and the occasional screw – just fine with it.

Until I kidnapped Jessica Connor.

I should have known better. I really should have. My gut told me she was trouble from the first time I laid eyes on her. But my gut wasn’t what was in control when I saw her. Nope – it was a little south of there and it took over my entire being.

Man what a colossal fuck up.

Now all I can think about is getting my hands on her. I can’t stay away from the holding cell where my step-sister is prepping her for the videos and even though she’s drugged to the hilt, the woman fights any time her conscious pulls through the haze.

My problem? . . . Well, I don’t want to share and I can tell that’s going to cause problems with Frank.

I see the gleam in his eyes too.

Shit, speaking of Frank . . . I gotta run.

Ms. Taylor – Thanks for having me and perhaps I’ll run into some of you folks in the near future. 😉

Thanks for swinging in and catching a glimpse of Ty Aris, one of the main characters in Survival Games which is due for release on July 19th from eXcessica.

“SURVIVAL GAMES started out with a hook and made me anxious to read more. . . . This book had it all, and even though I started off not knowing if I would truly like the content, I was blown away by how honest, true, emotional, and frightening it really was. J.E. Taylor has spun a story that is sure to catch reader’s attentions and hold it until the last page. If you are looking for a story that will keep you on the edge, make your toes curl from the eroticism, and make you feel love and sorrow, then I would highly suggest SURVIVAL GAMES. I can’t wait to read the other two bookin what is to be a wonderful trilogy. Bravo Ms. Taylor!” – Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com

Sexy dark and intense, SURVIVAL GAMES will bind you to the page, kiss you slowly and then kick you where it hurts the most; I couldn’t stop reading until I knew who won the game . . . Jessica Connor is one amazing character, and SURVIVAL GAMES is one hot read!” – John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The 13th and Siren

Pre-order your ebook now: http://excessica.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=124&products_id=410&osCsid=8231fcc410768f6edb2cfdd40c309de8

Or order the book in print on July 19th at : https://www.createspace.com/3417288

 

I just received a 4 nymph review from Literary Nymphs and I’m  stoked.  I also have a very special guest on my blog tomorrow — Former NFL Linebacker Bill Romanowski — and in light of my top of the world mood – I thought I’d have some fun with both our fans!

So here’s the deal. . .

Anyone who comments on my blog tomorrow in a creative manner including both the phrase ‘4 nymphs’ and any of the subjects I talk to Bill about will be considered in a drawing to win a signed copy of my novel Survival Games.    

You can increase your chances of winning by doing two things: 

1.  If you also ask Bill a question in addition to the 4 nymphs comment — you will get two entries in the drawing.

2.  Creativity counts as much as asking questions – so if I find the entry particularly entertaining – or if Bill comments about the entertaining quality of your comment – you’ll get an extra contest entry in the pot!

The blog will be up at 12:01am EST Friday 6/11 (tomorrow) and all comments meeting the criteria that are entered through 12:00am EST Saturday 6/12 will be placed in a drawing.

The winner gets a personalized signed copy of Survival Games!

This contest is only available at my Blogspot Blog – so be sure you’re in the right place!

http://jetaylor75.blogspot.com/

See you tomorrow!

Ciao

JET

J. E. Taylor, suspense writer and Allegory E-zine assistant editor is delighted to announce the acceptance of her debut novel by FIDO Publishing. Dark Reckoning, scheduled for release on July 5, 2010, is the first in a planned series featuring undercover FBI Agent Steve Williams.

DARK RECKONING: released by FIDO Publishing (www.FIDOpublishing.com) on July 5, 2010:

A sadistic killer stalks the secluded college town of Brooksfield, New Hampshire. With bodies piling up and rumors of the murders being part of sacrificial hazing rituals, the FBI plants Special Agent Steve Williams in a fraternity at Brooksfield University. His investigation takes a ninety degree turn into the bizarre when he’s introduced to Jennifer, a clairvoyant co-ed who swears the killer isn’t human.

Steve considers the plausibility of the extraordinary, the unspeakable, even the inconceivable when his notebook starts bleeding cryptic messages. Messages that indicate Jennifer is at the heart of the darkness in Brooksfield.

When she describes her latest vision, a trail of violent deaths, including his, Steve asks the million-dollar question: Is Jennifer trying to help . . . or is she actually the one responsible?

J.E. Taylor’s short stories have appeared in Niteblade and Allegory and she has credits in three upcoming 2011 and 2012 eXcessica anthologies.

Her first erotic suspense novel Survival Games received a 4–star review from Manic Readers, an edgy, erotic, hang by the edge of your seat thriller that will be released on July 19, 2010 by eXcessica.(www.excessica.com) Mind Games and End Game, the final two in the Games trilogy are due to be released by eXcessica on November 29, 2010 and February 14, 2011 respectively.

Ms. Taylor lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Visit her at http://www.JETaylor75.com.

My first review. . .

I have to admit, I was ill prepared for a review like this. It left me breathless, and hyper and ecstatic beyond words. I set my expectations very low so I wouldn’t be disappointed when they started rolling in. I’ve seen some good writers filleted by reviewers, and who isn’t a bit insecure in their abilities – I certainly am.

   
So when I took a moment yesterday morning to open my email, and I found my first review notice, I gulped, not really looking (or comprehending – I saw it but it didn’t compute) the four stars indicated in the email. I clicked the link and started reading, and it wasn’t until I was halfway through that I realized it was favorable. But the last paragraph – the last paragraph was stellar. What every writer hopes to hear from their readers and I nearly fell out of my seat.

    
Dear Claudia Rhyes over at Manic Readers – you made my day. Hell, you made my millennium!

      
4 Star Spinning
This book had it all, and even though I started off not knowing if I would truly like the content, I was blown away by how honest, true, emotional, and frightening it really was. Jane E. Taylor has spun a story that is sure to catch reader’s attention and hold it until the last page. If you are looking for a story that will keep you on the edge, make your toes curl from the eroticism, and make you feel love and sorrow, then I would highly suggest Survival Games. I can’t wait to read the other two books in what is to be a wonderful trilogy. Bravo Ms. Taylor! – Manic Readers

     
I’m still expecting that bad review and I’m sure it will come, but until then, I’m going to ride the wave of this one, the euphoria and the validation that I don’t suck.

     
Survival Games will be released on July 19, 2010 in both e-book and paperback. You can pre-order the paperback on Amazon.com (or at least sign up for notification of availability). I really hope you folks will buy the book in one format or another and nearer to the release date, look for information on getting signed paperback copies!

    
Ciao – and here’s to a wonderful weekend!
JET.

Patience, a virtue I lack . . .

I’m not very good at playing the waiting game. As a matter of fact I hate it in any aspect of my life. I’m thinking that comes from the utter control freak that resides at my core. I’ve learned to loosen up in a lot of aspects over the years, but impatience is not one that little pain in the ass will let go of.

There are a whole host of things I’m waiting for right now and they all have me on edge.

First, word from a publisher on my non-erotic thriller, Dark Reckoning. I’m trying to be patient – but it’s like asking a child who’s been waiting for the ice cream truck all day to wait at the back of the line because their mother hasn’t made her way to the curb with the money yet. Especially since I’ve worked out the cover with my favorite cover artist from down under, Willsin Rowe.

I’m waiting for a couple more author blurbs for Survival Games as well as the reviews to start rolling in – although I know on the review front that these can take up to 90 days – which is why I sent them out at the beginning of the month. All of which have me really nervous. The one blurb I did receive blew me away but I’m sure I’ll get mixed reviews from the masses because of the very dark subject matter. So I wait, with my nails bit down to the stub.

I’m also waiting to find out what’s next on the day job. What project are we going to tackle next? I don’t like ambivalent periods and yes we’re supporting a system we just implemented – which is an important task, but I’m getting anxious to start on the next creative challenge.

The last thing I’m waiting for is May 1 and the nice spring / summer weather – which don’t necessarily coincide. As I said last week – with the spring teaser, this has become a more pronounced want that I have to wait for. And with the return of the cold weather (we actually had snow flurries this morning) it just makes this that much worse.

Not one of these items is within my control and as I said before, the control freak in me is wigging out. More so this year than in the past – although spring is traditionally a restless time for me. Right now I’m feeling like a caged lion, pacing in my confines just waiting for the next chance at a great escape – or a tasty meal.

I just need to get through these last few days of March and then I’ll be knee deep in the Backspace April Marathon – which will take my mind off some of the idle restlessness. I’ve got at least 30k to add to the sequels to Dark Reckoning along with some refining editing before I can get them ready for submission and I have a few unfinished manuscripts that need attention.

I do have a few things to organize and iron out – like reaching out to bloggers to set up a blog tour for Survival Games – but unfortunately that won’t keep my restlessness at bay.

So folks . . . What do you do to keep your mind occupied when you’re impatiently waiting for something? Any words of advice, antic dotes, commiserations?

Also – anyone who has a book release in April, please shoot me a message so I can include you in my monthly shout outs!

Have a great weekend!
Ciao.

What editors want . . .

I figured since I’m knee deep in reviewing submissions for Allegory and operating as a content editor for both eXcessica and FIDO, I’d take a moment to talk about what I am looking for in a story. 

I lead a very busy life between my day job, my writing, my marketing efforts and operating in an editorial capacity, so when I sit down to read a submission, I want to be swept away. 

I want to forget about the ten gazillion things on my plate and get lost in the story. 

I want to feel something; love, hate, fear, sorrow, joy.

I want to be moved in some fashion by what I read. 

In order to do that, the writer must leave passive voice at the door.  Passive voice is the kiss of death in my book.  Telling the reader the story instead of letting them experience it for themselves is a cardinal sin and a lesson I learned with a little help from some very savvy and very patient writing friends.  

Let me give you a hideous example of passive voice from my own archives: 

This is from the very first draft of Survival Games:

They sat in solemn silence as the memorial service began.  The priest had inspirational words for the family about knowing that their loved one was at peace with God.  Family and friends shared stories of their experiences with Jessica and expressed how much they would miss her.

BORING!  No wonder why the original version didn’t get the fan fare I hoped for.  Frankly – it sucked.   At the time, I didn’t know better but as I said before, I learned.  Not only did I benefit from harsh critiques but I also invested in some fantastic on-line writing courses.  My favorite series by far is Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing courses, I highly recommend them for the beginning writer and even those more seasoned writers that want to dig deeper. 

After a long road from first draft to where I am today, I’ve learned to write with impact.  

Now compare the original with the same passage in the published version:

They sat in silence and the memorial service began.  The priest shared inspirational words for the family about their loved one being at peace with God, but it did nothing to fill the hollowness in his soul. He didn’t want to know Jessica was in heaven, he wanted her here to help raise their family, to watch them grow, to rejoice and celebrate year after year together.  He wanted his wife and as family and friends shared stories, Daniel listened with a bitter and empty heart.   

Twenty years together.

Twenty years gone in the squeal of tires and exploding gas. 

Twenty years and now he was alone.

This passage engages active voice and enlists rhetorical devices, letting the reader into the character’s head, thus making it a more compelling read than the earlier version. 

If something akin to my original version crossed my desk, I’d stop reading right there.  Basically, if the first page is riddled with ‘was’, ‘were’,  ‘is’, ‘are’, ‘to be’ and ‘had’, I won’t read any further and your story will be rejected.   I know that sounds harsh, but it is what it is. 

Another thing I watch for is info dumps.  The key with back story is to sit and write everything you can about a character and then read it with an ultra critical eye.  What does the reader REALLY need to know?  Will this information propel the story forward?  If the answer is yes to either of these questions, the info can stay, everything else should be nixed.  Too much back story brings the momentum to a grinding halt. 

The key to a fantastic read is letting your audience get into the main character’s head, into his hearts, feel what he is feeling, tasting, hearing, smelling and touching.  But this can be taken too literally, too far and what ends up happening is head hopping from one point of view to another, which is another faux pas.  The reader loses a sense of connection when the point of view is constantly switching. 

Each passage, chapter or section should be one character’s point of view unless your book is from an omnipotent point of view, but that is another challenge all together.  If you’re in Johnny’s head (POV) and he has his back to Sally, you shouldn’t show Sally’s facial expressions unless Johnny’s an alien and has eyes on the back of his head.  *wink-wink*

I’m usually a little more forgiving on this unless it starts to pull me out of the story, then like passive voice and info dumps – the story will end up on the rejection pile. 

The last thing I look at is dialog and the overuse of adverbs. Period pieces aside, if dialog doesn’t ring true, or sounds contrived or forced, you are dead in the water.  The best advice here is to read it aloud, that flushes out the more awkward phrases and such. Also, ask yourself if you would speak like that.  If the answer’s hell no – change it.    

And as far as adverbs – I’m of the opinion that these are the lazy man’s alternative to writing fresh and too many will land you on the rejection pile.    

I’m sure none of this is new or ground breaking for those who have been around the block, but for those new to the ring, I’m hoping this will help you step back and look at your piece with a more critical eye before submitting to any publication.  The writing has to be concise and compelling no matter what the genre. 

So, I wish you a sharp pen and an even sharper razor to cut the needless phrases, the passive voice and those pesky adverbs. 

Good luck and God bless!

JET.

A discussion about titles. . .

Happy Friday everyone.

I’ve been looking at my next pile of books to polish up and get into the land of the published. This is my FBI thriller series that starts off with a book currently called Mirror Lake. In comparison with the other titles in the series, this is pretty docile and a little boring. So I’ve been tossing around alternative titles and have honed in on one, the only problem is, I can’t seem to let go of Mirror Lake.

You see, I started Mirror Lake back when I was a freshman in college. I never finished it back then but it’s been sitting in a drawer and festering in my mind, percolating for twenty some years. During my writing jag of 2007 and 2008, this was one of the books I revamped and finished after I pounded out the Games series.

So calling it anything else is a struggle.

But title is just as important as a captivating cover, so this is one thing I have to divorce myself from. It will always be Mirror Lake to me BUT when it comes time to publish this sucker, it’s going to get a facelift. Mirror Lake is becoming Dark Reckoning.

It fits better with the titles I have in the series:
1. Dark Reckoning (formerly Mirror Lake)
2. White Fury
3. Vengeance
4. Hunting Season
5. Georgia Reign
6. Saving Face

Seeing the list with Mirror Lake was the eye opener and that’s what prompted the re-evaluation of the title. Seeing it with the new title has more of a punch, which is the whole purpose of a title. Now all I have to do is finish polishing these up and get them on the publishing train. 🙂

I only have two other titles beyond this, Crystal Illusions which my MC from the above series has a cameo and my science fiction story – Dome Warriors. Not bad on the title front – but once I go through and polish them; the titles may again be reviewed and tested against the story line to make sure they carry the right weight. After all the right title and the right zippy slogan to match is what marketing is all about!

This week has been quite an experience starting with the receipt of my Survival Games ARCs. Wow, let me tell you cutting the tape off the box and pulling out that first copy was surreal. It’s been a dream of mine since high school, and I had the pleasure of sharing it with my folks who were at the house to get my son off the bus like they do every Monday afternoon. I actually made my father tear up because that first book I pulled from the box, I gave to him as an early birthday gift. You have to understand the relationship I have with my dad, he is and always has been my hero. The man has a heart of gold and an equally sharp sense of humor that has defined my outlook on life, so it just seemed right for him to receive that first copy.

And here I thought my week couldn’t get any better than that but then Monday night I received the preliminary artwork for Mind Games from a stellar cover artist down under. Working with Scott Dawson was a pleasure and after a few minor adjustments in the image eye color, we had the cover ironed out and submitted. I posted that cover over on Facebook and I’m telling you, it is beyond beautiful.

The rest of the week was tied up with work – my day job overriding a lot of my time and sucking the life out of me so I had nothing left at night and even wading through the Allegory submissions was slower than usual. Well, I guess that’s what you get for taking close to two weeks off from work. LOL. I did get an invite to the Winslow House Bookstock event in Mass on October 2nd and set up a couple guest blog events close to the release dates of both books, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The week ended on an up-note. I was hired as a content editor and my story Grayson House hit in the top ten over at the P&E readers poll which thrilled me to no end. I’d love to see this story get within the top 5, so if you get a chance, please take a second to vote for me before the polls close on the fourteenth. Here’s the link and I would be eternally grateful for your vote! http://www.critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryh.shtml

Well, that about does it for me for this week faithful fans. Until we meet again!

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year. 

My new year resolution is to pay a little more attention to my blogs.  I’ve neglected them for too long.  So prepare for a weekly rant from yours truly.  

I received wonderful news a couple days ago, Mind Games, the second book in the Games trilogy has been picked up by eXcessica for release on November 29, 2010.  A little over four months after Survival Games goes live.  I’ll have to work on the last of the series which is appropriately titled End Game and hopefully that can get on the docket for early 2011. 

I also have a short story that is in the staff showcase over at Allegory in the January issue.  Armageddon.  So jump on over to www.allegoryezine.com and check out all the fabulous stories that made it into this edition.  There were some stellar submissions and I had the joy of helping Ty Drago narrow down the maybe list to the final eight.  It was a joy to read all the maybe’s but a bear to try and pare that list down for both the best and a balance of fantasy, science fiction and horror. 

Anyhow, submission period starts again in February, so we all get a breather to focus on our own writing.  Once I finish polishing End Game, I’ll start my focus back on the FBI series and start hunting for representation of that series.  I already have 5 books (that need work) and a partial 6th in that series and I’ve been away from them for too long.  It’s time to get Special Agent Steve Williams back into hot water. 

My wish for all the writers out there is for a prosperous and productive New Year!

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Eve morning and I’m all done with the shopping and wrapping, and have cookie mix ready to go for when my sister and her family arrive. Now I’m just relaxing and alternating between editing and watching television with the kids.

As I sit here and reflect on 2009, I figured I’d do one last blog to recap our year. I still can’t believe 2009 is almost over!

Let’s see, this year was a very busy year starting with celebrating New Years in New Hampshire, a trip to the Carolina’s in February, a business conference in Orlando in March, a writer’s conference in New York City in May, a wedding in Nashville on July 4th, and summer vacations in Maine. Beyond the traveling, we also had school dances, spring sports, recitals, and rondoris, your basic mayhem with the kid’s schedule.

My son won an award in his Jukido Rondori, taking the first place trophy in his division. He also jumped up to a yellow 2 belt and continues to do well. He also pitched his first game in little league this past spring. The boy is a natural and the next sport he wants to tackle is football. So in 2010 it looks like he’ll get that wish.

My daughter graduated from middle school and chose to attend a high school for the arts. She is now dancing 4-6 hours a day along with her academics and has limited her extra curricular dancing schedule to only one class, but it’s a competing Hip Hop class and I’m told they may be competing in New York City in February.

This summer we had the pleasure of housing two college girls from Missouri who were working for the Southwestern Company doing the most hideous job I can think of – door to door sales. They fast became members of the family and when they left, it was like a blanket of solemn silence descended on our home. We truly miss them.

Both my husband and I continue to enjoy our day jobs. He is still playing in the APA (American Pool Association) at his brother’s bar every Tuesday and whooping my butt every time we play at home. Maine was relaxing as always, unfortunately this year the fish weren’t biting and he came home empty handed most of the time, but he did reel in a couple striper and we got some stellar fish chowder courtesy of our neighbors at the campground. He was able to get a few golf excursions in between the rain storms and we got a rare treat at the end of the season, a clear warm day and we joined our neighbors on a kayak venture up the York River.

As for me, I’ve had a busy year between work, writing and a new assistant editorship for Allegory e-zine as well as the general taxi service on the home front. But by far the biggest news of the season is the publishing contract I landed for Survival Games.

Survival Games – an erotic thriller – will be released in both e-book and paperback on July 19, 2010 and can be picked up through my publisher eXcessica.com or from Amazon.com. You can now pre-order the Kindle version on Amazon!

Well that about wraps up the recap. I hope this finds you safe and warm during this holiday season.

Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a safe, joyous and prosperous 2010!