Squee overload!

6:27 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I have come to the conclusion that there is just not enough squee in the world to cover how I'm feeling right now. It's been a BUSY two months. I mean, the Holidays are usually a rather hectic time, but wow. This is probably the first holiday where I actually  had work to do at the same time. I've never been good as managing my time well (something I'll doubtlessly need to work on in the future), but this was just insane.

Between edits, family, friends, and that pesky thing called sleep, I've never been more grateful to Taylor, who reminds me to eat.

On the other hand, I did get to meet some family that I hadn't seen in...well, ever. I'd seen my Uncle once before, but now I've had the chance to meet his clan. I love family. They pretty much remind me that I'm normal, somewhere. I won't tell you guys too much about them, but let's just say I'm lucky to be where I am at and who I am.

Oh! But I digress, as I am wont to do when I write these. The purpose of that squee is to announce my second book! Liquid Silver picked up two from me and I now have a release date and title for one of them. You know it!

It's finally here! Along with a nice, shiny release date: December 19th, 2011.
A Clockwork Christmas
by: Nina Gooden
ISBN: 978-1-59578-871-9

You guys have no idea how pleased I am with this cover. It's everything I wanted and more! I spent soo much time working on this Steampunk/Paranormal world that I would have been crushed if the cover wasn't up to my standards. Luckily, April Martinez is a genius. Enough said.


An excerpt from Ash and Diamonds, an unpublished/complete novel.

5:13 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments


If Charis had known that something as simple as finding an injured stranger, bringing him home, and patching him up would turn her world upside down she would have left him in that puddle of blood. Instead she helps him and finds herself thrust into a world of gods and magic where she hears the word "Erinyes" spoken as both a curse and a prayer.

Erinyes; a mystical goddess of justice sworn to protect mankind at the behest of the dark god Hades. She is told that she has a brilliant past that she cannot remember and an even brighter future. Forced to take all of this in moments before being thrust back into her own world, she is sent to track down a ruthless killer escaped from Tartarus. A killer that she finds to be one of the pieces to the puzzle that stands as her questionable past.

To make matters worse she finds that the golden hunk she rescued is to be her partner and handler on the hunt. A part of her past long gone Arsenios stirs emotions in her that she shouldn't feel given the circumstances of their life now and the one they lost before.

As one of the Archaeos, an ancient group of men selected by Hades to serve him, Arsenios knew the dangers of having an Anathema roam free. What's worse, he sold his soul eons ago in order to defend against this particular monster. After spending so long guarding the hells of Tartarus he began to fear he had lost the ability to feel anything other than cold. Until the escape brings him face to face with Charis.

From the moment he lays eyes on her Arsenios swears that Charis will be his. But when he discovers that she's not only a lost Erinyes but the one responsible for his servitude he has to make the hard decision between burning for revenge or passion.


Mighty bat-like wings shuddered against the pale skin that stretched across her back. Her hair hung in thick, rolled locks the same shade as fresh blood. Her body trembled with the sheer force required to keep from crying out.
The rage that she had held so close became the weapon that tore her body and soul apart. It sunk into her on every level, in every form, cutting her into slippery ribbons of tortured flesh. She felt the betrayal so deep it made her want to scream with physical pain. It struck her in waves, toppling her over.
On her knees she slammed her fists into the hard earth. She felt her knuckles split and saw the mixture of blood and dirt turn the ground underneath her into an ugly mud. A mud that represent all that she was. Filth. Filth covered in blood.
Behind her a shadowed figure approached. Hades was the same as she had left him, the same as he always appeared to her. The god seemed carved out of a perfect marble pillar, as beautiful as he was unrelenting. As he was dangerous.
“Why?” The guttural demand that expanded in her throat and dropped from her lips could hardly be considered a word.
It didn’t matter. He knew what she asked. “You are a warrior. That is your single purpose in life. The relationship you felt, the sudden need to nurture was unnecessary and distracting.”
The Erinyes surged to her feet and for the first time since he had informed her of his decision, she looked like what she was. She looked like a goddess of divine retribution. She looked like a warrior of justice somewhere in the grey between holy and unholy. “You had no right!”
His expression did not so much as flicker as the air vibrated with her outrage. In fact, the only sign that he had heard her at all lay in the darkening of those soulless eyes. “I have every right. You are my sword, my blade. You are but a servant of Death.”
She looked as if she would strike him. The whip at her side uncoiled as she palmed the hilt, the heavy tip sliding to the ground and filling the air with the hollow clink of metal hitting solid mass. Her wings expanded and her hands stretched and twisted into claws. “You dare? You forget, Hades. You forget how this works. I’ve agreed to serve you of my own free will. You may govern the dead but it is we who have leave over the damned.”
Her show of anger fell on deaf ears. The god held up a hand and she was held captive in the vortex of truths she hadn’t known. “You think that I am the villain in this tale, little Justicar? It was not I who felled an innocent woman. It is not I who was tricked by the love she has for her charges.”
Electricity slipped into the funnel of wind and struck her. She knew what the bottled lightning was. It was the pain of her victim, the horror, the confusion that she had felt during the last minutes of her life. It was her guilt.
Tears fell from her eyes and mixed with the mud-blood at her feet. The anger she had learned so long ago to wrap around her like a shield failed. She felt none of the familiar warmth, none of the strength that came from the berserk.
Her whip slipped from her fingers and fell to the ground. He was right. As long as she remained here she would be nothing but a servant of Death. A sad smile spread over her face, reflecting the anguish she felt within.
She took a look around the misty grey world she had spent most of her long life in. It had been home for centuries. What’s more, it had been a place for her to look forward to. She would spend weeks on the surface, weeding out the darkest stains of the human condition but it never touched her, never tainted her.
Until now. She had had a place to come home to, a place to wash her sins away. Now there was nothing here but the hollowed echoes of what had once been. It hurt to know she would never see it again.
Before he could stop her she flapped her wings and raced towards the Judges. It didn’t matter how badly he wanted her to stay. Hades would never breach the sacred lands to keep her within his grasp for he feared the loss of his power.
Yes, she thought, a humorless grin pasted on her face, there is almost nothing that Hades loved more than his power. Almost. As she barreled across the Lethe she dashed for the water, drinking it in eager gulps. The three faces that judged her as she crossed were little more than surprised blurbs. Her heart pounded as she moved through the fountains of rebirth.
An Erinyes may not have the ability to die but she was about to find out if they could have the same second chances as everyone else. She would be reborn.


How to convert file types for the Kindle with Calibre!

5:00 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

The pictures on this post were too big to be of proper use in thumbnails. If you're having trouble, please click on them in order to see their appropriate sizes.

I was pretty bummed the other day when I bought a spiffy new book for my e-reader, only to find out the files weren't compatible. Luckily, there are a few trustworthy programs out there that can change that. At first, I was a bit wary of downloading some random program from the internet...but my book addiction is greater than my fear of my husband's wrath (he's the one who ends up having to fix my computer after questionable downloads). Anyway, I figured it out, so I put together a quick tutorial for a spiffy new Twitter friend...only to realize it'd be helpful to others as well. Anyway, enough yacking! Onto the explanation!

 First and foremost, there are several different programs out there, but I chose Calibre. It's got the best reviews and the easiest layout to learn so...yeah. I downloaded it from the following website: http://calibre-ebook.com/. Again, I was a bit wary, but nothing wonky popped-up and even after two just-in-case virus scans, nothing appeared out of place. So I'd say it's safe.

After downloading it, I opened it up and ended up on this page.

As you can see, there are a lot of buttons and goodies with this program. Right now, we'll just focus on getting our books where we want, so we'll go through the bare minimum. Later on, you may want to explore a bit, though! Our first step is to click Add Books, as show here:

Find your books in your library. I usually save mine in a folder titled "books," but depending where you got your purchase from, it might just be in your download folder. If you cannot find it, you might want to go redownload it, and remember the file address you land on when you do so. It's easy to backtrack! Once you've found your book in your library, double click it and it should appear in your list, as shown:

Now that you have your fantastic book (mine is from Carina! It was pretty darn good, if I do say so), highlight it with a click and press the button on the top of the screen that says Convert Books! It's circled in red, here:

 Once you hit the Convert Books button, another screen pops up. This one is actually super cool. You can change a lot of settings here, but as I said, you should play with that later. Right now, you should go to Output Format in the top right-hand corner and click it. You'll end up with a drop down menu with lots of options. Keep in mind the ones that are supported by Kindle, and pick the one you like. I usually stick with the standard TXT (text) file.

After you ask the genie for your file wish (hit OK at the bottom of the new screen), you'll see a spinning wheel on the original page. This is just showing you that the program is working on your request. It should only take a couple of seconds, though don't panic if you have to wait a few minutes.

Once the wheel vanishes, you'll notice something new and shiny on your page. We have second format! Yay!

If you click on the "Click to Open" next to path, it will show you where your new format is saved. Now, with TXT format, you lose a bit of your formatting with the conversion. Mostly indention. I didn't find it that annoying, but if you cannot abide by the suckiness, you can open the new document in Word and alter it yourself. A quick Alt+A and a Paragraph alteration and you're ready to send this bad boy to your Kindle.

So there you have it. It sounds like a bit of work, but in all actuality it takes less than ten minutes to set this up. After that, it shouldn't take more than three to convert your books. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any questions at all!

Happy reading!


It's been a long weekend.

11:22 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I've been sick for days, which I suppose isn't all that surprising when you take into consideration that Fall only now decided to hit Vegas. At any rate, I didn't get much work done but I did do quite a bit of research on blogs and what "works" for a professional one. Unfortunately, that doesn't actually work for me. I'm not really interested in doing nothing but advertisement on my blogs. So, I'm going to continue to do it like I do! Which...mostly amounts to putting down whatever comes to my mind. Ugh, this post is filled with the ramblings of a sick woman. But I'm alive!



12:42 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

He opened his eyes and saw me.

Even in the darkness his gaze settled on my skin and he saw me trembling. My breath came out in desperate pants and liquid heat ran from my body to dampen my panties. I tried to speak, tried to tell him what was happening to me but no words would leave my lips; there was only harsh, hot air being expelled from my lungs.

"You're breathing awfully hard over this." His voice was as distant thunder, warning of the storm approaching.

I couldn't tell if he was aware of how close to the edge I was. My entire form shuddered, pressed against his warm, firm skin. He was perfection cloaked in darkness, Adonis hidden in the power of shadow. I swallowed, trying to get a grip. He was seated in the chair before me and somehow I had ended up in my knees, pressing my mouth wantonly against his neck. Please, I whispered in my head, knowing he couldn't hear me. Please.

Time slowed down and I was trapped in a cell of my own making. My heart pumped wildly, slamming thick, heated blood through my system. His scent sunk into my skin, descended into my lungs with every breath I took. Dizziness made itself known, the product of the lust that pricked my skin and the silent cries of love that burned unspoken in my throat.

He touched me. His rough, calloused hands ran down my back leaving a trail of goosebumps painted on my skin. I tried to speak again, just one word, just one moment to convey all that I was feeling. He was everything I'd ever wanted. My soul mirrored his own, my body recognized him as the perfect half to my incomplete whole. No matter how I tried to focus, my mind was swarmed and muddied with the need to touch him, to consume him the way he was so effortlessly devouring me.

My hands shook as I managed to peel away his shirt, my breath catching in my throat once his carmel skin was bared. Even in the low light he was tanned and glorious, blessed with effortless muscle and strength. A soft, dusty nipple beckoned for the tip of my tongue but I avoided contact, unsure of how he would react and unwilling to break the spell.

My heartbeat threatened to bruise the inside of my ribcage. My mind had gone blank but for the most basic and primal instincts one has to.....possess and claim. I wanted him, wanted him more than I wanted the air I was gulping at desperately in a futile effort to clear my mind. Every fiber in my body burned to touch his, pleaded in loud inaudible voices to give myself to this man.

His mouth touched my neck and I felt embarrassed heat trace its way up to my cheeks when a soft mewl of pure pleasure escaped my lips. He had hardly moved, was frozen in the marble statue of beauty that he was, and still he was managing to drive me crazy. The way he smelled -gorgeous and wonderful- was taunting me, pushing me forward.

I love you, I whispered to him in the silent darkness of the night. I need you.

My hands reached for his belt, but those powerful, pleasuring hands of his left my back and wrapped around my slender arms. He pushed me away from him and I felt my stomach bottom out in disbelief. No, don't. I wanted to scream it but instead I just sat there, dumb and shocked, staring into the dark depths of his eyes. Even with little light his face was lit up to me, shining with honesty and knowledge as it had been since the first day I met him.

"I can't." The thunder in his voice twisted and turned on itself until it was more like lightning. The promise of the storm was gone and in its wake it left jagged pieces of emotion locked safely away behind glass. It was visible and so close I could see it but a barrier had been erected and I knew instantly I wouldn't be able to penetrate it. He was lost to me.

Still, my body hummed with energy, with need. My breathing had slowed down and I felt the prick of tears burning the back of my eyes. I wanted to ask him why, wanted to rail against that wall he had set up between us. My pride held me still for a milisecond, telling me to be strong and to simply nod but I dashed that thought away quickly. I'd wanted him for so long, had ached to be close to him for years and I knew, I knew that this was the only chance I would ever get. Pride be damned, I would beg if that was the only way to get him to hold me, for just a little longer.

His mouth descended on mine, catching me completely unaware. Soft, gentle, and warm he drew me out of a shell I had never realized I was in. Something deep and unseen within me swelled and glowed, my soul was touched and caressed. He was a big man, a man who towered over my head, made me feel small and fragile but...he touched me with such care, sure reverence. I kissed him back with all of the passion and fear and trust I felt, again trembling.

"...but right now I can't." He was speaking seconds later, his voice no longer echoing a storm but deep and sweet. He spoke with longing and regret as well as determination and steel.

This time I nodded. My body was still packed with gunpowder, a keg waiting for the smallest flame, but the part of me that simply loved him was satisfied. He set me away from him and for the first time I saw the strain in his face, the jerky movements of his usually fluid and sensual body.

I nodded again, Fate was a cruel mistress.


What I've been up to!

8:53 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Ohmigosh, guys. I've been so deliciously busy this last month I can hardly stand it. Last time I checked in with ya'll, I had just announced that A Clockwork Christmas was picked up by Liquid Silvers.

Well, a few weeks later and so was Light Can Be Gentle, my M/M story about life after the ruination of Earth. The story took a lot of energy and research, since I'm not the Sci-Fi buff my dad would like me to be, but ultimately I'm extremely proud of the manuscript. It's a project that is a lot like cleaning out the garage. It's hard, tiring, and after you're done you're covered in dirt and bruises, but it feels good. Accomplishment does that to me. I'm like a junkie.

After that offer email I decided I wanted to get one more done before NaNoWriMo, which I'm still  not entirely sure I'm going to participate in. Grinding out the second of Roux's (The Big, Bad) story wasn't as difficult, since I knew exactly where I wanted the tale to go, but I was a bit nervous about some of the changes I made to the characters. I wanted to give them room to grow, but I feared spending too much time on that growing. In the end, I had to trust my characters and let them lead more than my outline. It's how I wrote the first one, but I haven't used that method for anything else since, so we'll have to see how it went when the publishing company responds to my query.

Now, though, I'm taking this last week and a half of October off. I need to figure out what I'm going to do for my Hallow's Eve costume (I'm going as a Sith!), and I'm going to unwind before tackling my next project. Which I think will be a Sci-Fi as well! Maybe that's what I'll do for NaNoWriMo!

Picture of the Day is fromthe talented neznayer. Here is his DeviantArt Profile!

 "Busy." Graphic. neznayer. Moscow: DeviantArt, 2009. Web. 22 Oct 2011. <http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs48/i/2009/172/8/3/Busy_by_Neznayer.png>.


When Perserverance Not Only Pays Off....It Pays Well.

8:49 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Hi guys!

You guys know I was pretty bummed a couple days ago. I had a submission that I really loved be rejected by my "dream" publisher and it was a tough pill to swallow. Lucky for me, I did a lot of research before I fell in love with this publisher. All of the reasons I wanted to work with them came to light and I wasn't disappointed.

Liquid Silver was one of the first publishers I ever submitted to. Even though I ultimately limped away with not one or two, but three rejection letters, I was desperately in love with their Acquisitions Director, Tracy West. Now, I don't think Tracy does ALL of the reading for Liquid Silver (that would be impossible), but as far as I know, she handles the entire process afterward. She's the person who sends you your acceptance/rejection letters but she always adds a little...I don't even know. There is something about her and Liquid Silver that just makes rejection...softer. It feels less like a business (and let's be real, publishing is a business) and more like having family read your books. I've never submitted to them without feeling as if I walked away with something more than what I started with, even if it wasn't a contract.

Anyhow, back to the point I'm trying to make. A couple of days ago, I got a rejection from this wonderful company. They liked my writing but had some problems with the story. They said they would be happy to look at it again after some revisions, but it wasn't stellar as is. After about an hour (okay, so it was probably closer to two), I decided to sit down with my Beta and work. Hard. We ironed out what they asked us to in a marathon session and I resubmitted.

And I got the offer email!

To say I'm happy would be an extreme understatement. I've wanted to be a part of this business since I was eleven. Never give up, guys. If you want something badly enough, there is always, always a way to get it.

The cute little GIF on my post is from this artist whose work reminds me of Cooking Mama! http://shinukoto-dei.deviantart.com/
"Happy Dance." Graphic. Shinukoto Dei. Osaka: DeviantArt, 2009-2011. Web. 21 Sep 2011. <http://shinukoto-dei.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d1yc9c2>.


One of those Downer Days.

8:52 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Everyone has those days where they just can't seem to get it together. Between my cat knocking all of my papers off my desk repeatedly to the car, stalling out while we were on the road, today has been one of those days. Now I'm sitting in front of my computer, trying to force myself to write and despite my usual cheer, I have to admit, it's not a walk in the park. It's more like a jog through a swamp. Hot, sticky, uncomfortable, and I'm pretty sure the bugs are going to eat me alive. If the bugs are metaphors for stress. Yeah.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you guys what I do on days like these. It's not easy being a writer. I'm sure the struggles are different when you're established, but while you're trying to get your foot in the door, you have to have an incredibly tough skin. Some people have it. Others don't. There are periods of time where you're so high on cloud nine you're sure someone is going to see you and proclaim you the next Superman. Then there are those days where you just want to crawl into bed and hug your pillow for hours.

I'm convinced that true heartbreak is thinking, knowing that something you've written is amazing, but not being able to find a company or agent willing to see your potential. It's hard to walk around puffed up like a rooster because you're positive what you've submitted is going to get picked up. Why wouldn't it? Your story is solid, your characters are well rounded, your voice is engaging, if not witty...what could be wrong with that? Only to find, four weeks later, that you don't have the "right" voice, or the story just "isn't for us."

It's disheartening to say the least, and it's easy to get into a slump. That's what I'm calling it. It's not really writer's block. It's just this depressive slump where you're not seeing any outcome for your hard work and you wonder if you ever will.

To battle the slump, I do a number of things. First off, if you find yourself staring at your screen for three hours with nothing coming...stop. Take a break, read a book (an important part of writing anyway), and just breathe. Go outside, take a jog, just do something to get your mind off of it for a little while. You can't expect to reset if you never give yourself time away from your frustrations.

If that doesn't work, I usually have a cup of tea. I know, tea, right? But it's always had a calming affect on me. I go outside, take my cup of tea, and let my mind wander for a little while. I don't think about work, I don't stress over what I've done wrong. I give it a rest. One of the hardest things about writing for me is that it never turns off. When I dream, I dream of my characters and how to make them better fleshed out. When I go to the store, I wonder what kind of food they'd eat and how that influences their tastes and smells. My work is never far from my mind, which isn't necessarily a good or bad thing. It's just a thing and need to be regulated at times.

My last bit of advice kind of depends on the kind of person you are. I'm a Cancer, and if you read into horoscopes, this makes perfect sense to you. If not...well, I'm an emotional girl. So, my last bit of advice is to cry. Just find yourself a nice place and let it out. Holding in all of your frustration and sadness isn't helping you so you might as give yourself some release.

So there you have it! You can do those things, or you can talk to a friend. Or write a blog! It appears to have helped me, at the very least. But remember, nothing worth having is ever easy. This is an uphill battle, but if you want it bad enough, all the stumbling and scrapes will be worth it. Absolutely.

Picture today is by http://zpolice.deviantart.com/

It was suggested to me that on top of adding the citation, I let the makers of the pictures I use know it's here on blog. I've reactivated my DeviantArt to do just that (LadyKahlan), but if I missed you and you do not want your awesome picture on my blog, please let me know and I will remove it immediately!)

"Original - Sad Day." Graphic. ZP zpolice. Thailand: DeviantArt, 2009. Web. 20 Sep 2011. <http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs44/f/2009/100/5/8/Original___Sad_Day_by_zpolice.jpg>.


A Little Rant About Patriotism

3:31 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I'm a pretty patriotic person. I imagine it's because a good chunk of my family is military and I was a military brat growing up, but it really irks me when I hear people complaining about America and how messed up this country is. Yes, we have problems just like any other country. Maybe you haven't been overseas lately, it's not all peaches and cream in other places.

I feel like a lot of people completely take for granted the fact that they are allowed to have such opinions. That they are allowed to disagree and express themselves here. There is no shortage of groups and people who feel the same way you do and you can all get in a circle and blast one another with your opinions. But that doesn't mean you have to force them on other people. It doesn't mean that there is only one "right" answer, and you've got it.

Instead of sitting around and complaining about how "awful" America is, why don't you do something to help the situation? Volunteer, start a petition, write to your Senator. Complaining without any attempt to better the situation is just annoying and a waste of my time. Better yet, if you hate America so much, why don't you leave? We really don't need any more dead weight hanging around, so if you're so sure this is a shitty place, give up your citizenship and move somewhere else. I don't want to hear it.


2:50 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Today was a beautiful day. There's nothing better than that. I went to the post office with the hubs, had lunch, and then worked for a while on the second installment of the Riding Hood Tales, which is now called The Big Cry Wolf. Ah, title changes.

I opted for another picture from DeviantArt today. This one is from the talented CroftMan93, and I...well, I want to come up with some deep, wonderful meaning behind it, but the guy is just hot. Yes. Hot.

"Hot long haired black guy." Graphic. Daniel Kevin (model). CroftMan93 . DeviantArt, Web. 14 Sep 2011. <http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs49/f/2009/213/6/6/hot_long_haired_black_guy_by_CroftMan93.jpg>.


Ah, it's Sunday.

2:17 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Everyday, I spend a disturbing amount of time on DeviantArt. I love the creative energy of the site and today is no different. I'm not working today, besides managing my Networking sites. Taylor asked me to take the next two days off and hang out with him, so that's what I'm doing. Still, I found myself searching the pages, for little to no reason and stumbled across this. I love it, so I'll share it with all of you.

horsesilly, . (Photographer). (2011). The calm before the storm. [Web]. Retrieved from http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/214/7/e/__the_calm_before_the_storm___by_horsesilly-d42kdxa.jpg

There is it. It feels very...me today. I've added a citation, because the artist deserves (her?) credit. So, if you like what you see, stop by her user page. She's got a lot of great stuff up. http://horsesilly.deviantart.com/

And that's what's going on on my two-day vacation.


Trying new things.

2:05 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Crazy, yet productive day. I'm working on getting all of my networking sites up and running. Who would have thought surfing the web could be so exhausting?! But it's all right. I know which ones I will be focusing most of my time on and which will be primarily just for updates. Either way, it all works out.

Now! For blogging, which is always fun. Hahaha. I wanted to try a lot of different things for my blog, including handwritten letters. Because who doesn't enjoy getting a letter from time to time?

I like the speed of emails but there's something so personal about someone sitting down and writing you something with their own hands. So, yeah. I didn't get very far. Turns out, writing on a tablet is not nearly as nice as writing on paper. I'll keep up the effort, but for today, this is as far as it goes. Yeah.


How Time Flies

12:24 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

When I was Twelve Years Old, I wrote one of my favorite authors and told her I would be a writer one day. She sent me a postcard, wishing me luck and I framed it and kept it over my bed. Some years later, when my house was hit by a fire, that memento was one of the things I mourned. Today I had the opportunity to write that author again and tell her how far I've come. It was a turning point in my career, and as I sat here with tears in my eyes I couldn't help but feel cemented in my choice.

This isn't an easy business to get into. I have individuals telling me all the time that they could do it, that it's easy and effortless. Most of the time I just sit and nod, listening to them talk about things they don't know. But the truth is, being a writer is like being any other kind of artist. There's heavy competition, blows to your ego, and vortexes of need that devour your time. It's exhausting, elating, and completely worth it IF you love it as much as you need to.

Ultimately, I'm happy. I'm happy with the hundred dollars I just dropped on a membership to the RWA (heck yeah!). I'm happy with the house load of chores I haven't completed because I was editing all of last night. I'm happy with the five thousand words I just had to delete because they didn't fit with the flow of some secondary character in the back of my head. I'm HAPPY. But not everyone could be.


What I'm working on.

11:32 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Hi, Guys;

I haven't posted lately, so I want to catch up. Right now I'm staying in North Carolina with the family. I've been here since June and plan to stay until the end of August, so I'm right in the middle of the trip. We're having a great time and I'm adjusting to writing with so many wonderful distractions around me.

I'm currently working on an Untitled WIP. It used to be called Lion's Den but with the second and third rewrite, that's no longer appropriate, though I love the name so I'm hoping to get to use it at some point in my career. One of the biggest changes I've made to this manuscript has been to change it from Fantasy to SciFi. I've never written SciFi before, but I was introduced to the genre at an early age (much by force), thanks to my Daddy.

It's taking me much longer to finish, due to the changes in genre, but I'm enjoying the experience. I hope to have it finished by the time my vacation is over. Then I can begin on the second installment of the Riding Hood Tales.



11:12 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

If you're unhappy with your role in life, change it. It's that simple. All of the energy you spend whining and moaning could be put to making yourself a new person, correcting your circumstances, or building your own "luck."



2:27 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

My biggest obstacle to writing consistently is sleep. Insomnia bogs down my mind and pulls me under a blanket of jumbled words. This blog post has taken me ten minutes. It's four sentences. Ugh, I desperately need sleep. My epilepsy is easier to deal with.


St. Patrick's Day.

10:41 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

It's a muggy, cloudy morning. The sun is blotted out by the heavy hand of dust that hangs in the Vegas skies. My cat roars a symphony of morning meows that wake everyone in the house. It's cold.

But I remember...and smile. Today is St. Patrick's Day and though I'm sure I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me, it's still a powerful holiday. Not because I'm going to go out drinking or slather myself in green clothing. Today is a good holiday because I am reminded of things my family and I did through the years. Be it that year my dad dyed everything (and I do mean everything) green when he made us breakfast, or the four consecutive years I found four-leaf clovers with my sisters.

No matter what the true meaning of a holiday, be it forgotten or not, it's a chance to make memories that can last for a lifetime. So, I hope you guys enjoy this holiday as much as I do!


A Cover! Yes!

3:35 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Ah, it's been a crazy couple of days but look what came out of it! The Big, Bad... now has a cover and I must say, it's absolutely beautiful. Then again, I may be a tad biased. Either way, Tamra Westberry from The Wild Rose Press did a beautiful job. Here is her website, if any of you are curious!

Amazing, amazing job.  Now I'm back to finishing my last read through!


Hello, again!

1:42 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I've been completely neglecting my blog while I figured out what I should be writing about. I don't think that counts as irony, but it is pretty funny. I feel like these days the blog is so important because it connects readers with a different side of whatever writer they care about. Still, I'm not sure what goes into my life that is pertinent to you guys, so I've decided to just kind of wing it.

Well, The Big, Bad is still in the works. It's taking a little longer to edit than I thought it would but let me tell you guys. I absolutely love my editor. She's from The Wild Rose Press and I do love her. Besides the normal "yay, I have an editor!" love, she's amazing to talk to. I expected someone who was all business and kind of blunt (after all, her job is to go over my hard work with a fine-toothed comb and single out problems), but she's so sweet and funny. Chatting to her is more like chatting with a friend and I feel like that makes me more open to making changes when she suggests them.

Because I can be a little stubborn when it comes to my work. Ha.


What I should write.

1:51 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Good Morning, guys,

  It's almost five in the morning, which isn't all that surprising considering my sleep schedule. I'm watching a movie on SciFi, now called SyFy. It's poorly written, the effects are awful, the acting is terrible, and it's wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.  Sometimes I think I should give writing Scifi a try. Maybe not completely Scifi, but Sci-Romance as opposed to Fantasy-Romance. That would be nice.


Kisses Not Like Clock Work.

10:29 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Hi, guys;

   I got the answer for Clockwork Kiss today. After the various rewrites and beta-reads it was rejected. That's how it goes sometimes, I guess, but I'm still not happy about it. Of course. I'll take another look at it when I get home and see if I can fix...something more. If not I'll just send it out. I realize that sometimes your work just isn't what they're looking for but it's still hard to have a project you know is good rejected like that. Ah, well. Got to keep on going.


Options and worries.

11:04 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Hi, guys!

   It's been a whole week already and I can't figure out where all the time went. I realize that not everyone has a close relationship with their family members but for me I don't think I could picture my life without each of them. I'm really hoping my novels will do well and I'll be able to visit at least once more this year. Actually, I need to make sure that happens either way. My Elle is having a baby!

  I've been working on my promo plan for The Big Bad, but I think I've acknowledged the fact that until I build up a fan base it's not going to be any kind of huge explosion of interest. That's fine and understandable, I'm more than willing to continue writing. The difficulty there is knowing which one I should focus on working on. Again, I'm hoping this will be something I learn to manage better as my career progresses. I'll have to work on it!

  I think I'm going to work on the second installment to The Riding Hood Tales before I finish Blood and Rubies. It shouldn't take me too much time to complete the first draft but I'm worried about putting off the other projects for too long. Ash and Diamonds isn't even on the market, though I know it's my strongest piece. Honestly, I wanted to finish the trilogy before I put it out there but I'm starting to think that that may not be my best option.


Dust and Feathers.

1:25 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

 Hiya, guys;

  Still in North Carolina with my family. I had a fine day, spent most of my time being rolled over by my little brother and watching anime. We finished Karin today, and we're starting Princess Tutu tomorrow. Hopefully. It snowed today, which is a special treat since I've been in Las Vegas for a number of years. Though it did snow beautifully my first year there I've missed the rain and vegetation.

  I feel a little silly blogging now, when I've yet to establish any kind of reading base. It's kind of like looking for a flashlight in a dark room. You need it in order to find it sort of thing. It's all a very awkward affair. Half of the time I have absolutely no idea what to write. I worked on Blood and Rubies today. That was fun. I love to write. Obviously.



Ahh, lazy daze.

9:30 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Hiya, everyone;

  Today was another good day. Absolutely perfect. All I did was lay around with my mom and my sister and watch T.V., which I know doesn't sound all that exciting but it was wonderful. We watched a lot of silly television, in particular we watched a lot of Teen Mom. We also watched a movie I've never gotten around to seeing...Mean Girls. It made me miss Lindsey Lohan. She was so cute and talented, I miss all that potential.

  I didn't do much more than map out all the key aspects of the WIP The Big Huff Puff. That's all right, though. I'm on vacation!


Being yourself.

12:09 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

 Hi, all;

  I was thinking about all the different bits of my personality that make me, me. I freely acknowledge that I'm a bunch of confusing layers meshed into a more confusing cake of Nina, but who isn't? I feel like I've just found myself (which I imagine is very typical for my age) and for the most part I'm happy with who I am. On the other hand, I'm having a hard time shaking those individuals who can't accept the changes in my life and personality. I guess when you get comfortable knowing a person in one way you're not always able to deal with it when they're no longer like that.

 Still, that's not always a bad thing. I've grown more and more comfortable with finding people who understand and know this new me. The outcome? I end up with better, more balanced relationships. It's nice to be around people who like you without the mask of propriety you set up to be "acceptable." It's nice just to be my goofy, inappropriate self. It's nice to be yourself.


My Mom and her English.

8:20 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

 Hi, everybody;

  My mom has been living in Italy with my little brother and her companion Guido for a little over a year. It must be amazing to submerge yourself completely in a different culture. The other side of that is that she's slowly and hilariously forgetting her English. I never thought that the saying "use it or lose it" was quite so literal but there it is.


Day Two, A Lesson in Grumpy Toddlers.

9:15 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Hiya, guys;

   I'm posting a little early tonight mainly because I'm absolutely exhausted. My wonderful brother was getting over his jet-lag and decided that the best way to do that was with grumpiness. Which is understandable, after all, he's only three. Still, it's good to know that when toddlers are unhappy everyone around them is bound to be as well.

  Still, it wasn't a bad day. My sister Elle taught me how to pump gas. Now I know this sounds silly but I've never had to do it before so it's nice to learn something new. She died laughing but I didn't mind (much). She's being so amazing.

  I woke up early and not by choice. My Cityville addicted mother decided that I needed to get up and work her city before I was ready to. I did it with a slight fever that was broken and gone by noon. All in all, it was a good deal and what I lost in sleep I made up in time spent with the family.

   Vacation is going well.


4am Ramblings.

1:29 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Hiya, everyone;

   It's 4am in North Carolina but, of course, I feel like it's 1am. Which means I'll be awake for quite a bit longer. There are some awful commercials on at this time of night, something I've ever noticed before. I just saw an infomercial for "Snap on Smile." The product is basically dentures for people who are vain enough to want a beautiful set of teeth without wanting to actually go through the effort of taking care of their teeth. I'm flabbergasted, mostly, but I guess it doesn't matter ultimately. I understand people who lose their teeth in accidents and the like but...it's so easy to take care of them. We're taught to do so from an early age, so why not just brush and floss like a responsible person?

   Other than that, I'm having a good time with my family. They're an awesome group of people and I'm really glad for the person they shaped me into. All of them have had a hand in who I am today and I'm more grateful than I can ever say to each of them. I really lucked out when it comes to them. The first thing we did was hit my favorite restaurant. Mmm. Rice bowls. I couldn't have steak this time but I can have chicken. My new cholesterol diet is rubbish. Understandable rubbish but that doesn't mean I like it! I'm going to complain. You guys....I can't have cheese. Cheese! Everyone loves cheese.

  Taylor didn't come with me on this visit. I'm bummed about missing him but I'm comfortable in the knowledge that I'll see him again. I'm a bit strange when it comes to distance between people I love and I. I'm going to assume it's because I'm a military brat. It's like...yes, I miss you but it's not crippling. It's more a break to me than a distance. Does that make any sense? Probably not. Either way, I'm having a good time. I already said that, didn't I? It's true, still. We didn't do anything special today but it was still an awesome couple of hours.


Still Sick, Go Figure.

9:53 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Good Evening, everyone;

 Sadly enough, I am still sick. I have to be at the airport at 7am and I just know I'm not going to clear up in time. I hate this weird hot and cold feeling. It'd be nice if my body would just pick one already! Ah well, I suppose I should count myself lucky. I have Freddie Mercury to keep my company while I'm guzzling  water and orange juice.

  On the other hand, my second boss is awesome. I write game reviews for an awesome pair of guys and they are always so understanding. Mr. Ostrum always seems to go out of his way to ensure I'm comfortable, which is so amazing. I truly believe that treating your employees well will always have a positive outcome. At least that's how it works with me. I've stuck it out with them, worked overtime to make deadlines, just because they're great bosses. There is a lesson here somewhere.


A Sour Note in an Orchestra Masterpiece.

6:49 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

So, after my good news yesterday I am now sick, sick, sick. I slept most of the day away and the rest I spent zoned out in bed, trying to work up the energy to do something useful. Finally Taylor just brought me some medicine and ordered me to rest. Goddess, I love that guy. He always knows what I need.

I'm getting ready for my trip back to North Carolina. It's two days away and I'm extremely excited. The only hitch is that I've lost my ID card. I've got my birth certificate as well as something shiny and stamped by the Social Security office but you never know with Delta. All I can do is hope for the best!


A new and shiny Blog!

10:08 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

 Happy New Years, everyone!

 Mine is already shaping out to be a fantastic one. I've been offered a contract on one of my manuscripts. Thanks to Wild Rose Press I've been introduced to the slightly hectic pre-publishing scene. It's amazing and I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with. I absolutely love my Editor already. She's what I hoped the business would be like: fun, laid back, and great to work with. It's a job, I know, but she brings a sort of comfortable flare to it. Exactly what you hope for when you're dealing with something that means so much to you. I love to write and I don't think I could do that if I didn't feel like the person who would be handling my precious words loved her job as well.