Let's play a game.

12:21 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments



Have you ever been in a pool, splashing around with your friends, when suddenly one of them called out "Let's play Marco! Polo!"? Neither have I. Usually, it's a game I've played with my sisters in Walmart while my mom is being slow. Which (if you ask my husband) is completely hilarious because now it's me who takes two hours to buy oven mitts in that time vortex of shiny things.

But I digress.

The lovely and talented Voirey Linger wants to honor Marco Polo with the game so aptly named after him.

His life came to an end on January 9, 1324, so that is the day we will celebrate his legacy. We we are launching Marco Polo day on Twitter. The rules are simple. Follow the players listed below from your Twitter account. When one of them yells MARCO you hit reply and @ them with POLO. First to respond will win an ebook. If you’re not following, you can’t win.

Authors interested in participating should reply on this page. This is where Voirey has the official list set up, so check it out if you're interested. Include your name and a link to your Twitter page.

Participating Authors (and links to their twitter pages):

Lexie Donovan
Nina S. Gooden
Voirey Linger
Annie Nicholas 

Today's infinitely adorable is a little different. I saw it an instantly fell in love...

If you want to see more from this artist, you can find them here: http://lossien.deviantart.com/

Lossien, Stephanie. Marco Polo. 2010. DeviantArt, Canada. Web. 30 Dec 2012. <http://browse.deviantart.com/?offset=24


Eating healthy.

1:59 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Click the picture to see the text better. It's worth a look-see!

This post is going to be a little preachy. I got halfway through writing it before I realized I was going in that direction. I apologize to anyone who's like me and skims posts like this with a disgruntled expression on their face! Kee.

  Like many people, my husband and I have known that our diets are crap for a long time. We've done the "little" things: cutting out excess sugars, watching the fat content of our meals, minding how much process foods we take in. We've done these things, not with the mindset of losing weight, but more as a health consideration. Neither of us have the best health (though my chronic issues are much worse than his general wellness), and we've been very much aware of how each Mcnugget we shove into our faces affects our future and current quality of life. We know this....but damnit, double cheeseburgers are cheap and tasty.

We've been getting newsletters and keeping our ears to "food health news" since we learned what pink slime is. If you don't know, I would suggest at least doing a little search. I won't go into details, but after that Tay and I were particularly concerned with the processing and wording of our food. It's so easy for companies to spin certain ingredients and contents, and we (because we trust our government and the various checks and balances these products are SUPPOSED to go through)
We've always checked our labels, but things like "maltodextrin" and "silicon dioxide" didn't phase us.

It wasn't until we started googling these strange additives that we learned how "eating healthy" could still be damaging our bodies.

Now, don't get me wrong. If you're cooking at home, no matter what you're making, chances are you're doing better than if you were chowing down fast food three times a day like we were. But still, some of these chemicals can be just as harmful.

So. The hubs and I decided that we're going to take the next step. We're going to cut out these chemicals altogether. We're going to start eating meat without fillers, and foods without ingredients we can't say. I'm abso-fucking-lutely positive it's going to be a struggle...but in the end, I think the improvements in our health will be worth it.

My art choice today is by the wonderfully talented Jimmy Xu. He made it for a class assignment and it is now gracing my desktop as my background. Not only is it colorful and pretty much made out of awesome, it sort of serves as a motivational poster for me right now.

If you'd like to see more from Jimmy, here is his profile on DeviantArt: ArtMagix!

Xu, Jimmy. Journey of Eating. 2010. DeviantArt, Canada. Web. 1 Jan 2013. <http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=§ion=&global=1&q=eating healthy



3:42 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Lately, it's come to my attention that I am absolutely terrible at managing stress. I'm not sure why this is and I wouldn't have even thought of it as a problem but a lot has happened in the last week. I've taken on a lot more in my work lately. Not only with writing and contests, but editing as well. It's a little crazy when I think about how much time I spend just writing and now I've added more.

I like the work, though. Don't get me wrong. I'm one of the lucky people who gets to do exactly what she wants all day. It's a passion and it makes me happy.

That doesn't mean that deadlines and scheduling doesn't make me want to tear out my hair.

In addition, I decided that I'm going to start volunteering with some of my time. Working a regular job didn't pan out so well, thanks to my spells, but I thought it would be nice to get out of the house once in a while and do something productive for my community. I live right across the street from an elementary school, so I thought I'd go volunteer there. Unfortunately, when you walk into a school with no children and without knowing any of the teachers you come off as a bit of a creeper. Who knew?

My next options are the Rec Center and the local hospital. I like the hospital idea but it's kind of far away. The Rec Center is within walking distance but I'm not sure what I would be doing there. I also looked into working for the actual school district as an Teacher's Assistant or something like that, but I don't have enough schooling. I'm going to be going in the Spring...I wanted to go this Fall, but one thing happened right after the other and I ran out of time.

All in all, I thought I was doing okay managing my stress. There are tons of plates in the air, but I thought I was balancing them out nicely...

Last Thursday there was a death in the family. My long-term boyfriend's grandpa passed away. I didn't know him very well, but in the minimal amount of time I did get to enjoy him, I came to love and admire the man. He was one of those guys who could light up a room, just with his big, mischievous grin.

The week before that, my Aunt passed. I didn't post anything about that here, or anywhere else. Honestly, I thought I was coping, but now that I've had time to process the finality of that sentence...it breaks my heart. My Auntie Dee was amazing. We used to visit her when we were kids. We visited all of our aunts, but Auntie Dee was special. She's the one I told stories about. She's the one whose house was a hub of familiar traffic. She was a cornerstone in my life even though I lived states away....and now she's gone.

My insomnia is back in full force. I've had this damn eye-twitch for two weeks. I'm not eating right. My stress is definitely not handled but I don't know what to do to make it better.

I feel like screaming. I feel like breaking things. I feel like sleeping for days. I feel like polishing off that bottle of Jack I have in my pantry. But I can't. I don't know where that ends. And my Aunt wouldn't want me to fall apart anyway. No one wants that. I have things to do, I have to push through them.

But burying myself in work isn't the answer either.

So I'm taking it one step at a time. Writing, playing, working out. I don't know what else I can do.

This Deviantion is perfect in every single way. Drowning in one little word...

If you want to see more from this artist, you can find them here: http://namirenn.deviantart.com/

Namirenn. Stress. 2012. DeviantArt, Unknown. Web. 22 Oct 2012. <http://namirenn.deviantart.com/art/stress-284493231>.


Trip to California.

12:41 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

The week before last I was in beautiful California for a week. It was definitely an experience. I love to travel. Even if it's hopping in a car and going to the other side of the city I live in, I love to see all the different buildings and people. I always think that I should write some of what I'm feeling down while I'm in the car, but I get so swept away by what I see that I usually forget.

I also got to stay in two hotels during the trip. I won't name the first one...but ohmigosh, it was awful. We (my friends and I) opted to stay in it because it was a little cheaper, but it wasn't worth the $15 savings. So, that was a good lesson for the trip. Yeah, I love to save money as much as the next girl, but not having the cops turn up and being able to leave my room without seriously worrying about being attacked is worth shelling out a bit more.

The second hotel we stayed at was a Best Western. I love BW. The people who work there (in my experience) are always amaze-sauce. They're fun, helpful, and seem to really enjoy their jobs. Also, there was breakfast. I'm a sucker for breakfast, it's my favorite meal of the day. Besides that, it was free and just added a level of luxury to the stay.

As you guys know, I live in Vegas. It's a fantastic city if you're into the Nightlife, but being an epileptic in the City of Lights is kind of  >_>. I loved Cali. There were tons of shops, malls, and interesting things to do. Like the trampoline warehouse! And museums, I am such a whore for museums.

At any rate, that's what was on my mind today. I'm still working out and I'll tell you guys about that once the soreness goes away!

The art I'm using today pretty much sums up me on our trip. Doesn't it have a tone of distinct emotion? Mmm. Art!

If you like this picture, visit the artist's DeviantArt page: http://diri.deviantart.com/

           Richter, Dirk. California Dreamer. 2011. DeviantArt, Germany. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://browse.deviantart.co/?q=California&offset=24



11:09 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

So, I've decided to use my blog more often, just to talk about my life. At least that way it'll actually get used, since I never feel comfortable with a blog post that read "I wrote today....it was fun."

Of course, writing is a huge part of my life, so it'll get mentioned (a lot) but not today! Today is about kale.

So. I'm not shy, so I'll just let it all hang out: I'm overweight. DUN DUN DUN!

It's probably due to my work schedule, poor eating habits, and general laziness, but I'm going to blame work. I work at a desk! Yeah!

No, that's a sucky excuse and I'm getting over it. Starting earlier today I've decided to take extra, extra steps to improving my health. I already cut out sodas and fast food....kind of. The soda I can do, no problem. I haven't been drinking it hardcore in almost 9 months, not that it shows, damnit. Still, I'll have a mountain dew here and there as a treat but common! It's been forever! The fast food is another story. It's just so convenient! But no more!

This morning I did about 20 minutes of cardio. I thought I was going to pass the heck out, ohmigosh. I was doing it a while ago but I kind of fell off the wagon. I'd forgotten how sucky it is at the beginning! Apparently yoga is not good enough.

For dinner tonight, I made pork tenderloin and kale chips. The chips were NOT THAT BAD! I was sooo surprised. I was giving them the stank face the entire time they were baking, but this is a good start to my new healthy lifestyle.

This is going to be fun!


A second new cover!

3:39 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

This one isn't out for a bit but I wanted to share the cover and blurb with you guys anyway. This is the second installment to the Riding Hood Tales.

Available Now:

Release Date: June 18th, 2012
The Big Cry Wolf
by: Nina S. Gooden
ISBN: 978-1-59578-947-1
And a Blurb for your reading pleasure:
Roux has never been happier in her life. As a Human living among wolves, she’s ready to tackle the job of earning their respect and approval. Her mate, Aldrich, is a sinfully sensual Alpha with the ability to light her up with just one look. It’s a shiny new start, a fresh chance to have all the things she’s never thought she would: love, acceptance, security.

She never expected it to be easy, but she didn’t think it would be murder.

When the confusing world of wolf politics and caste expectations takes a deadly turn, she finds herself in the midst of a brewing war where only she can find the true instigator. There are other shifter-races in the forest surrounding Harmony, and if she doesn’t stop this war, conflict will shake them all.

To make matters worse, no matter how hard she tries, she cannot resummon the Blut-kette. Aldrich, needs the mystical red riding hood to remain sane, and every day he is without it, he loses a little more of himself to the battle between man and beast.

It’s up to her to conquer the warring energies within her and the Pack. She has to … or she will lose everything. 

What’s a girl to do when an average day turns into war and turmoil?

Amanda Kelsey is the soft touch behind this cover. Isn't it beautiful? I was a little worried when I asked for something "with red." I'm not a big fan of red covers as a reader, so I was taking a risk here, methinks. But it came out beautifully! I'm absolutely thrilled with this story and pleased that it has a cover that does it justice.


Another release date and cover!

3:31 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Available now at:

Release Date May 28th, 2012
Clockwork Kiss
by: Nina S. Gooden
ISBN: 978-1-59578-941-9

And a Blurb for your reading pleasure:
In Victorian England it is whispered that the prestigious Blackwell family is touched with paranormal abilities. Eliza knows firsthand that those rumors are true, as she is plagued by wandering spirits, no matter how hard she works to ignore them. As a bastard of the family, she thought she'd succeeded in not only hiding her heritage but repressing the mystical call.

Content with the life she has made for herself as a thief, her world is shattered when she is discovered by her long-lost sister. Desperate to escape the family and her "gift" she agrees to exchange a favor for her sister's silence: she sets out to steal an ornate box from the home of the rumored madman and brilliant inventor Lord Cyril Reeves.

When her plan goes awry Eliza is held prisoner by the eccentric noble. The box is revealed to be the only clue to the disappearance of Cyril's late wife. Eliza is bent on escape but then the ghosts begin to link their deaths to the revolutionary automaton he is working on. She realizes that the only way for her to save him is with the help of the gift she wants no part of.

Cyril awakens a passion within her that she never knew existed. With every inch he gains into her closed-off heart he pushes her toward a power that may blow her mind—literally and figuratively. The more she uses her abilities, the more danger of being lost to the spirit world. At the same time, if she doesn't take the risk she may end up losing Cyril to the madness the ghosts around him are creating.

 I'm like...stupid excited about this release.
It's the second installment in my Blackwell Legacy!

The wonderful and brilliant April Martinez takes full credit for this cover, once again. She was a doll. Though, I have to give a special shout out to Mr. Roscoe James for catching a problem I was to starry-eyed to even notice. Liquid Silver has fantastic people!

And an Excerpt:


Eliza’s throat was hoarse from crying and screaming. Her tiny frame was bruised and scraped but the waves of teeth-chattering pain had long since faded to numbness. Her body had stopped throbbing from her fall and she could even ignore the weird angle her leg was pointed in.
She’d fled the safety of the camp hours ago. Angry and hurt, she’d run off without paying attention to where she’d been going, and no one had found her yet. Her young mind had decided that no one had come for her because they didn’t want her anymore.
“I’m sorry I was bad, Llesenia.” The little girl tried to scream her apology, hoping that her adopted mother was hiding in the trees, but all that came out was a pitiable mewl.
When nothing happened, she dropped back against the leaves and swallowed the salt that welled up in the back of her throat. If she hadn’t yelled at her Rommom she wouldn’t be here now. Instead of looking up at the orange tinted noon sky from a dirty, moss infested forest floor she could be watching Llesenia mix and crush the velvety black powder she loved so much.
The elderly Gypsy woman would hug her with soot-covered hands and promise to teach her how to use the blasting powder when she was ready. But that wouldn’t happen now, Eliza had been too mean. The child frowned at the memory of her cruelty.
“Why can’t I just go and watch now?” Eliza had botched a simple one-handed cartwheel, whining when she hit the ground hard enough to bruise. “I just want to see the zeppelins drop off the morning postage.”
The familiar, patient voice of her Rommom—a term she had come up with all by herself to refer to the Romanian who had taken her in—had filled the clearing they had made between dozens of tents. “No slacking off, practice the tumbles Vetz taught you.” The older woman had waited for the younger one to attempt a back flip and land clumsily on her back, before sighing. “No, no. Spread your arms a little further. That way you’ll be able to stay up longer. I’m not seeing any improvement, young lady.”
“That’s because I don’t want to learn to tumble. I want to … go to the country. And raise horses!”
The woman sighed again. “You have to start with smaller goals to reach the ones you have in mind, my dear. Try again.”
“Then can I go see the zeppelins?”
Eliza had inelegantly rolled into a standing position. “That’s not fair!”
The Gypsy reached up to tug on a thick lock of silver hair that was tucked behind her ear. It was an action the little girl had seen a thousand times while her Rommom was thinking. Usually, it ended with her getting what she wanted, so the girl smiled. That smile quickly died when the silver head began to shake.
“But why?” Eliza all but exploded.
“Because it’s outside the limits of the camp. Ah, ah, don’t think to argue with me. I know exactly where the postmaster is and what you’d have to cross to get there.”
Eliza bristled at the reminder. To anyone who knew anything, London was separated into Five Quarters, a geometrical impossibility that didn’t escape her young mind.
In the First and largest were the Blue Bloods. They kept all the wealth and land, looking down at everyone else. The Second Quarter was for their mules, the people they hired and commissioned for their expensive soft clothes and the other shiny things they supposedly needed. It was where they found “acceptable” house workers.
The Third Quarter was primarily made up of people who labored. Not crafters like those in the Second Quarter, these people grew things, fished, or moved heavy objects for a living, which was ironic since they never seemed to live long. They weren’t so much respectable, as considered a necessary evil by the Blooded. After all, it wasn’t as if they were going to muck out their own stalls.
The Fourth Quarter was filled with the unmentionables of society. Gamblers, prostitutes, murderers, drunks and thieves gathered in the dark alleys. Various bars, taverns and brothels littered the area like so much garbage and still, still they were considered better than the tiny and elusive Fifth Quarter.
Comprised of a small settlement of Romanians, they’d been abandoned by an airship pirate fifty years back. Their grasp of chemistry had given them a small allotment of land so they could trek to the Second Quarter to sell wares that would be otherwise missed. Untouchables, they were sometimes called, shunned and ignored beyond basic transactions.
For the most part, nobody cared. At least, none of the Gypsies cared. They were glad for the space and isolation. It allowed them to keep their secrets, for everyone knew that while the people of London had a firm grasp of all things steam and mecha, it was the Gypsies who understood the secrets of alchemy and chemistry.
“You’re too curious for your own good, my girl.”
Her mumbled response had gone ignored or unheard. “…one little peek couldn’t hurt.”
Eliza had turned her back to Llesenia as she reflected on the confusing world of social status. She didn’t understand much of it but she did understand that the Roms were a lot like the Blooded, though they thought they weren’t. They were a mysterious group of people and even though she had lived with them as family for years they still held her at a distance. The secrets they kept from outsiders were kept from her as well. They were nice, even loving, but she knew as well as they did that she didn’t really belong.
“The others travel through the Fourth all the time, so why not me?”
She heard the softening in her mother’s voice and it made her even sicker than the irony of being part of a Quarter that wasn’t a quarter. “You know why, Elizabeth. You’re special.”
“Special? Special?” In a rage she swung around, eyes wide. The messy veil of her hair, purposefully cut to hide her face, flew to the side as a curtain parting. Clear as day, the little girl saw the woman who claimed to love her, flinch. In those sad brown eyes, Eliza saw the reflection of her own, and hated herself for them. Startling neon-blue surrounded her pupils, intensified by her emotions. The blue glowed brilliantly as if there were some inner light behind them desperate to get out. “Don’t lie, Mom! You tell me every day that lying is bad. You just don’t want anyone to see me for what I am.”
Llesenia took a step back, and Eliza would have sworn she had heard her heart breaking in that instant. When the Gypsy spoke, her voice quavered, betraying her fear. “That isn’t it. The post is in the Second Quarter. It’s too close to the Blooded. If one of them were to see you they would know you’re not Rom. They might try to take you away.”
Blue flames leapt up Eliza’s arms as she stood before her mother, panting. The flames didn’t hurt, didn’t burn her, but she knew instantly that they weren’t of this world. They were something else entirely and if she didn’t get them under control something would happen. She knew this in the back of her mind, in the place where adult thoughts and reasoning were beginning to form.
But to her conscious self, all she saw was the fear and disgust coming from someone she loved. Someone she knew she’d deeply wronged who may be trying to punish her now by keeping her from something she wanted. She lashed out. “You’re just afraid that if they do, their ghosts will come to me!”
The sound of skin connecting with skin registered in her mind before the sting of her cheek. Eliza lifted a hand in shock, her eyes settling on the crumpled expression her mother wore. Then she’d taken off.
Sniffling, Eliza closed her mind to the memory. She knew what she’d said had been cruel. She would apologize to her Rommom and be forgiven later, but for now she had to find a way to get back home.
Think. That was what Llesenia had always said was her best weapon. If she could be resourceful and quick she would find a way to do anything.
Unfortunately she couldn’t think of anything. What she needed was help. Too bad she was all alone … the little girl closed her eyes and swallowed. Help, she whispered in her head. Please, someone. Come save me.
She must have nodded off because once she opened her eyes again the sky had gone from the polluted orange of noon to the deep red of dusk. Heavy clouds the color of vile smoke were pasted to the unhealthy sky, threatening to unleash drops of murky rain all over her battered body. Eliza felt tears threaten her eyes again moments before a familiar sound roared into hearing distance. The flapping of metallic wings was to her as a banquet would be to the belly of a starving man. It filled her up, made her bursting with hope that she’d long since lost.
Her voice, rested from her nap, wasn’t a hundred percent but it was functioning. “I’m here. I’m here, please help me.”
The flying machine, frequently called a Flapper, kicked up more debris and leaves, forcing the girl on the ground to turn her head.
The rider disembarked, and she expected to hear one of the Gypsies call out to her. The Flappers were a higher end product and they were frequently only readily available to the Blooded. Still, Eliza knew that sometimes the Rom worked on them so her rescue party may be using the mecha to look for her.
“I finally found you,” gasped a tiny, cultured voice. “I finally found you, Elizabeth.”
Before she could adjust to the shock of hearing her voice on strange lips, Eliza found herself surrounded by a soft golden light. The warmth settled onto her skin and sank down into her bones. Slowly, slowly, the unnatural numbness vanished, taking the pain with it. Disbelief warred with the unmistakable mobility of results. Eliza stood on shaky legs and stretched. “My leg. It’s all better.”
“Yes.” Her rescuer stood up slowly, tossing back rivers of golden hair. Familiar blue eyes blinked back at her from a different face. “My name is Olyve and I am your sister.”


The hectic days of April!

10:55 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I didn't really mean to, but I ended up taking the last bit of March and all of April off. I thought I could visit relatives AND get some work done, but I was very...very wrong.

I spent a couple weeks in Kenosha, WI, which is a lovely place right in between Milwaukee and Chicago. I have a lot of family there and was a little nervous, as this was the first time I visited alone. I shouldn't have been worried, though! I had a fantastic time reconnecting with people I hadn't seen in years. I'm still laughing over some of their jokes and I checked a few things off my bucket list while out there. You guys have probably picked up on how important family is to me. I figure they're the lifelong friends I wouldn't have otherwise, since I'm a military brat. I'm hoping that with some hard work I'll be able to visit them more often!

Right now I'm back in North Carolina with most of my immediate family members and my adorable little nephew. Who I am going to spoil rotten. I've been here about a week thus far and the nonstop action of two moves and a wedding pretty much knocked me on my butt. I'm going to do two posts after this one...posts that should have been done a while ago, but I just never had the time. Squeezing in time to work just seems weird, since I'm usually all over it!


A Novel Sprint!

11:42 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Ellora's Cave is running a handful of submission calls that I didn't know about until yesterday. Since this is a rather big and well-recommended company, I'd like to have a submission for them...but I don't have anything readily available.

Because of this, I've decided to try my hand (again) at a novel sprint. It's always a little stressful because I know I can write the book in so few days, but the editing phase is pushed in with said work. That means it takes twice as long and I have to be extra careful with everything I put down on paper. Either way, I'm going to do my best!

This is the submission call I'm trying to beat:

Hex Appeal
Charm readers with stories about wanton witches, lusty warlocks and sizzling spells!
~ Length: 18K – 70K words
~ Deadline for internal submissions: June 15, 2012. Earlier is preferred.
~ Deadline for external submissions: May 15, 2012. Earlier is preferred.
~ Stories will release in October 2012

 I have my rough outline done, so here I go! I'm going to post my updates on Facebook, so if you want to tag along on this mad journey, you can find me at http://www.facebook.com/NSGooden!

My DeviantArt for this post is by Angie-chan from Brooklyn New York! Isn't that cool? You can find her profile here: http://paranoidfactors.deviantart.com/

ParanoidFactors, Angie. "Ice Witch." Stuck IN Reverse. DeviantArt, 18 Jan 2012. Web. 9 Mar. 2012. <http://paranoidfactors.deviantart.com/art/Ice-Witch-280159779?q=boost:popular sexy witch&qo=815>. 


More good news!

1:27 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Today is a good day. I did some laundry, got some good food in my tummy, and oh yeah....I signed another contract! Huzzah!

Yes, I did just say "Huzzah!" You guys should have seen me, I pumped my fist into the air and everything. It was great fun.

The Big Cry Wolf is now under contract with Liquid Silver Books. I can't tell you guys how pleased I am with this outcome. It was difficult making the switch between publishers, but I kept bumping into problems with the Riding Hood Tales TWRP. Of course, I still love the Roses. They're a supportive company who is always looking for the next best thing when it comes to helping out their authors.

At any rate, I will be posting additional information about it as it comes. This is my 5th contract! So, yay!

Also, here is a bright, shiny blurb for the story:

Roux has never been happier in her life. As a human living among wolves, she is ready to tackle the mountain of earning their respect and approval. Her mate, Aldrich, is a sinfully sensual Alpha with the ability to light her up with just one look. This is a shiny new start, a fresh chance to have all of the things she never thought she would: love, acceptance, security.

She didn’t expect it to be easy….but she didn’t think it would be murder.

When the confusing world of Wolf politics and caste expectations takes a deadly turn, she finds herself in the center of a brewing war where only she can find the true culprit. There are other shifter-races in the forest surrounding Harmony, and if she doesn’t stop it, conflict will shake them all.

To make matters worse, no matter how hard she tries, she cannot resummon the Blut-kette. Aldrich, needs the mystical red riding hood to remain sane, and every day he is without it, he loses a little more of himself to the battle between man and beast.

Roux has always been the one who ends up being rescued. Not this time. This sheep among wolves is going to have to find the strength to run with the pack, or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.


What I've been up to...again!

3:55 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  it's been a while since I posted, but I haven't been ignoring you guys. Really.

… Okay maybe a little.

But it's not my fault, I swear. The voices in my head! They've been so insistent lately. They say "Nina you have to write this." I dragged myself kicking and screaming from my notebook, trying to get to you guys, trying to write a post, but they're too strong. They make me write until my fingers cramp, (I would've said the bled, but that's a little too dramatic -- irony) then pour me into my bed with a kick to the ribs and a command to come back again tomorrow.

These voices are vicious.

Any who, I wanted to let you guys know that I have a release date! No, make that two release dates: I now know when Light Can Be Gentle and Clockwork Kiss will be out.

Light Can Be Gentle will be available March 19, 2012.

Clockwork Kiss will be available May 28, 2012.

Let the celebrations begin!! ...after a nap.

My deviant for this post is adorable, isn't it?! I love it and you can find more here: http://eridaiho.deviantart.com/. A bit of warning, though, the artist has some explicit pictures. Nothing tacky, but nudity is there, so be warned!

I can't sleep. 2009. Graphic. DeviantArt, Lima- Perú. Web. 22 Feb 2012. <http://th06.deviantart.net/fs44/PRE/i/2009/070/d/7/I_can__t_sleep_by_EriDaiho.jpg>.


A belated debut novel!

12:24 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Forgive me, if this post sounds a little loopy. I'm running on very little sleep! Hehehe!

It was April 2008, and I'd just finished my first manuscript: a 90,000 word historical romance about a bipolar man who tried to kill himself. I was ecstatic to send it out to all of my favorite publishers, convinced that Not Even My Mind would be my debut novel.

It wasn't.

Fast forward four years, and the little story that began as a 15-year-old's Inuyasha fanatic has been reworked and rehashed within an inch of its life. In fact, going back to the original version, I can see a single line, scene, or character who isn't drastically changed. This is probably a good thing, but in hindsight, I could have just started a new book.

At any rate, I'm proud to announce that Clockwork Kiss, formerly known as Not Even My Mind, has been picked up by the ever wonderful Liquid Silvers! It's the second installment to The Blackwell Legacy and after a fairly brutal revision, I signed the contract today!


Another shiny new cover!

1:10 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Today is a good day: the sun is shining, my cat didn't grow up on anything while I was sleeping, and oh yeah… I have a new cover!

This is for my naughty little m/m creation. It's a little different than what I'm used to doing, it's Sci-fi. During our summer vacation, my Dad unwittedly challenged me into writing outside my usual brand of Paranormal. Silly man, telling me I can't do something is the fastest way to get it done!

This is the result!

March 19th, 2012!

Available at:

Liquid Silver Books, All Romance, and Amazon

Light Can Be Gentle
by: Nina Gooden
ISBN: 978-1-59578-905-1

And a Blurb for your reading pleasure:
In the shadows of post-Apocalyptic Earth, a new race of being has emerged. They are The Lige.

Created by desperate scientists within the Forgotten Colonies, Ligers were engineered for the sole purpose of reuniting humankind with its home planet, currently overrun by Beasts. However, when an unexplained explosion forces the debilitated weapons to flee to the arms of their enemies in the Military, they quickly realize they will not be saving the human race any time soon.

Hagan has always known he was different. He did not belong in the human world but could never be a part of the struggling Lige. This all changes when a mysterious man appears, claiming to have what both groups need in order to overcome the creeping threat of the Beasts.

“Come with me. Trust me. I need you.” His dark, libidinous voice calls to Hagan from the depths of his psyche. It pulls him forward through an existence he does not want toward a destiny he fears he cannot fulfill.

It is Hagan who must bridge the gaps between worlds. There is a power hidden within him, a power that can strengthen the weakened Lige and protect the remainder of humanity. He is the only one who can fight off the threats they do not see coming and the extension of both races, but only if he is willing to trust the stranger with his heart and body.

Did I mention, it's interracial? No? I should have.
...did I mention the BDSM? No? Darn it.

I have to once again, give mad props (yes, I did just say that) to April Martinez. She's  a dream come true. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to kidnap her and force her to do covers in my basement...

just kidding...

kind of.


Is The RWA Conference worth it?

1:05 PM Nina S. Gooden 2 Comments

I feel as if this is going to be a particularly long post, something that I don't do that often. I'll try to keep it short but I imagine it'll be a little bit rambling, --even more so because I'm dictating it-- so I apologize for that, but I've got to get this off my chest.

When I was a kid we never spoke about money in my family. It's only in recent years that I've realized how rare that is, but that's just where it is. My family and I never spoke about money, whether we had it, whether we didn't: it was just a topic that my dad was  really uncomfortable with so we avoided it. Even though I can understand why he didn't want us, as kids, to worry about our financial situation, I've found that as an adult it's given me an aversion to the most basic of monetary conversations.

Something as simple as my husband asking me if I have enough in the bank to pay such-and-such bill, is pretty much enough to send me into a fit of sputtering. And that's my husband.

I tell you guys this because I want you to understand how uncomfortable I am with this post. It's something that I wouldn't write out unless it was extremely important to me.

Well, getting to the nit and gritty: I'm not sure if I should spend the money for the RWA Conference.

First off let me say that I don't have anything against the RWA. I understand that for some writers, it's a valuable tool and support system. Unfortunately, I also think that writing is a very personal and at times solitary endeavor. Not so much that I like to sit in dark rooms and write on a typewriter while Tchaikovsky blares in the background,but that the process of writing is very individualized. What may work for one writer does not always work for all.

And that's where I come to my problem with the RWA. When I first signed up to be a member, I thought the organization would be…more like what I understand now is a critique group. I thought it would be large groups of individuals, getting together, not only to discuss their craft, but to work on it. In my mind I had images of women with ink stained fingertips surrounding a board table, or swarming a library, while they discussed characters, love, and cheesy gimmicks.

I suppose that's what happens when you idealize something, only to be disillusioned later. It's not so much that I'm disappointed with the way the organization works. There are many merits to what RWA does. They are a good source of information, and being a member does establish you as someone who is serious about a career in writing. In addition, RWA provides a common thread between you and whatever editor or agent you are attempting to pursue. These are all good, valuable inputs to any career, but only if you are a person who will utilize this leg up.

I feel as if being a member of RWA doesn't establish me in the community. I've signed up for all the newsletters, joined all the forums, and I've listened to all of the advice, only to feel that much of the progress I've made in my career as of late has had little to do with any of that. My Chapter members are fantastic and fun, but I'm not sure what we do during our meetings, besides raffle off baskets and pay to listen to other people talk.

There are contests you can enter, and workshops you can go to, but I feel that much of the information that's being circulated can be found in other avenues.

A few months ago I attended a workshop by a talented and prestigious editor. While she was smart and funny, I walked away from that class (which I paid $35 for), with information that I already had from an entry level marketing class. In fact, almost all of the information I got from that seminar is fairly common sense: if you want to sell books, write good books. If you want to build a brand, connect with and please your customers.

It's not that I think that the efforts are wasted. I'm sure that there was somebody in that class who didn't know that. And of course I'm not saying that I already know everything about publishing (far, far be it from me), I'm just saying that many of the things taught to us by these web classes can be learned through good old-fashioned experience.

I appreciate the effort, but I just find myself unsatisfied with the end product.

It was my understanding that RWA would serve more as a union guild for writers, and less as a grouping of resources that may or may not be utilized. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I've missed something valuable in the whole process. The point of this blog post is not to debulk RWA as an organization: some people swear that it's helpful, that it works. Some authors find these tools to be invaluable to their growth as writers, I'm just not seeing it.

Anyway, this brings us to the actual purpose of this post. Is this conference going to benefit me as an author?

I sat down with my husband to figure out how much attending would cost us, if he also wanted to take the trip but not attend the Convention:
  • First of all, if I register before April 9 the fees are $495.
  • We live in Las Vegas, and currently the cheapest price to fly is $130 per person.
    • It's important to note that this price will land us in Los Angeles, which is 35 miles away from the convention. I'm hoping that there will be shuttles, but if not we will also have to pay for some kind of transportation, perhaps a taxi.
    • We considered driving as well, in which case we will have to factor in gas.
  • The hotel costs for the duration of the conference are hundred $199 per night. Just for those three nights, that amounts to a little under $600.
    • In order for our flight to be there in time for the first workshop, we will have to leave the day beforehand. This will add an extra day to our hotel stay.
  • This does not include meals.

Ultimately, there is some wiggle room in travel depending on which way we go. There are also other hotels, but that still presents a problem of transportation. In the end, I could easily pay about $1000 for this trip.

Now, I don't mind paying the money. I started saving early, so the funds are there…but is it worth it, given how I feel about workshops and speakers?

After careful consideration, the only real reason that I would like to attend this meet and greet, is to meet the writer friends that I found on Twitter. This is a great group of gals, they're supportive informative, and everything that I thought the RWA would be. But realistically speaking, I could fly to each of their home towns, spend a one-on-one weekend with them, and fly back, for the same price.

I understand that networking is an important part of this business, but I'm just one of those people who prefers to meet people through my work. Yes, I could find the perfect agent at this Conference. I could bump into him or her at the buffet line, get to talking about how much we love cheese cubes, and cleverly seque into how much the heroine of my Paranormal Romance loves cheese as well... or I could send them a query letter. Yes, this way I get to make a personal connection with somebody who would being knee-deep in something that I've spent a good chunk of time on, but I'm not sure I'm willing to pay $1000 to rub shoulders with someone who's probably rubbing shoulders with thousands of other authors.

There's something just so...cluttered about the whole environment. Classes to make me a better writer? I'm not sure if I want them. Or if I need them. I've always learned better with my hands dirty, you know?

But if I've missed something, please let me know. If this is a glaringly beautiful opportunity that I'm just too blind to see, explain it to me. I see from Twitter that a lot of people are really excited about this conference. They say that it's got great speakers, a fantastic production schedule, and cookies from the dark side… but I'm allergic to cookies.




5:56 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Must. Keep. Editing.

I've been working my poor little fingers to the bone, lately, which is good for productivity, but bad for my husband. Who is eating way too much fast food. Le sigh! Finding a balance between the writing life and the family life can be a bit of a pain. I always thought that, because writers can set their own hours, it would make things easier.

Poor, misinformed me.

For writers like me, that just means it's that much easier for me to be so completely absorbed into a project that everything else is completely ignored. It's pretty bad. Still, I'm super excited about the progress I'm making. Clockwork Kiss was actually one of the first books I ever completed. It never got published because...well, to be honest, it was pretty shitty. Don't get me wrong, I worked my butt off on it, but at the time I was...maybe 14. Since then, I've always gone back to it, typing away. Fixing little scenes, reworking characters, that kind of thing.

After A Clockwork Christmas was published I decided to hit this story hard. It's from the same series so why not? I have a lot of the first versions of the book saved. I can honestly say that it is nothing like the original, which is mostly a good thing.

Right now, I'm cleaning it up, fleshing out the characters, and chopping away at the word count, since I started at 128,000 words. That's way too much. Like...way, way too much. Right now, it's at an even 100,000. Yay. Still, I want to rid of at least 5k more...while adding two more scenes that I think are vital to character development. Meh. Balance. Once again, I'm not very good at it.

My DA from this post if by the oh, so fantastic Rui Ricardo! Check out his DeviantArt page here!

Ricardo, Rui, and . "Writer." http://www.rui-ricardo.com. DeviantArt, 03 03 2009. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs44/f/2009/062/8/9/Writer_by_rui_ricardo.jpg>.


Six Sentence Sunday.

11:44 AM Nina S. Gooden 1 Comments

So, there's this nifty little thing I discovered! So what if I'm a little late? Anywho, it's time for #sixsunday, which is a Twitter  event (as far as I know) where authors take six sentences from something they're working on or have finished and post them onto their blogs. Easy, right?

 Here's a snippet from Clockwork Kiss, the second installment to The Blackwell Legacy that I'm currently editing.

Open, just open up.

The world around her shimmered once and then flashed away into a black and white shadow form of what was left. A chill skittered up her spine but she ignored it as the atmosphere trembled with every breath she took. The flames were back, bright blue and standing on the edge of her vision as if waiting patiently to consume her.
Eliza tried to fight the semi consciousness that pricked her vision but found herself too weak to do so. A weight seemed to be pulling her down, dragging her into a blackness she couldn't muster up enough energy to be afraid of.

For more writers and their own little snippets, check out the Official Six Sentence Sunday website.