Writing With Passion – Special Guest Maureen O. Betita

on March 7, 2014


Thanks to Terri for allowing me to invade her blog today. I’m Maureen O. Betita, author of the pirate series, Forever A Pirate. I started publishing my stories last year and after collecting a lot of advice, I have pushed my production level into warp speed, renamed the series, re-covered them…(is that a word?) and began my pirate invasion of the world. (Ambitious much?)

Why pirates? Well…why not? To be honest, I love pirates, I love writing about pirates, I love dressing up like a pirate and going to events… TMI? Hey, I live what I love. This is something I encourage everyone to do…no matter your mania.

1-2 blogsizeAs I said, mine is pirates. Following my bliss, I began writing about pirates a decade or so ago. And I never stopped. I specifically write about a pair of pirates. Captain Jake Reynard and Miranda. She didn’t begin life as a pirate, but fell to it with gusto after arriving in the Caribbean and meeting Jake. (He is very persuasive!)

Miranda is a time-traveling sexual witch. The rivers of space and time are hers to sail and she’s been traveling for several decades. Her magical abilities are powered by sex…good thing she found Jake! She’s friendly, a bit of a meddler and carries a burden of guilt that drives her toward self-sacrifice.

3-4 blogsizeAnd Jake? Dashing, clever, a born liar and leader. (To lie well is a badge of honor for pirates, nothing to be ashamed of.) He lives for the sea…and after he hauls Miranda from the waters, he finds living for her holds more than he ever considered his right.

Love, passion, and, of course, enemies that must be defeated… The world of Forever A Pirate is challenging, sensual, rewarding and constantly changing.

5-6 blogsizeI invite you to set sail on this adventure with Jake and Miranda. They will not disappoint! Each book follows the other. Thirty books and one couple… Begin with A Caribbean Spell!

Me? I’m on Facebook way too much, I’m exploring twitter and I enjoy interacting at conventions, pirate festivals, scifi/fantasy gatherings… And I’ve known Terri for several years, back when she was a bosun on the Romance Writers Revenge blog and I was a bartender…

So, my mania is pirates…what’s yours?


on May 14, 2013

Sharlene pictureI realize there has been a pattern of increased panic and whining in my recent blogs, but oddly enough, one week before my debut novel goes on sale, I’m incredibly calm.

Who’d a thunk this would happen? Certainly not me.

A great boon has been the wonderful reviews I’m getting on Goodreads. I cannot thank these readers enough. They’ve taken a chance on a new author and truly gotten the story and loved my characters. And best of all, they’re telling their friends!

We authors talk a lot about marketing and publicity, blog tours and placement ads. But there is no better way to sell books than by word of mouth. By one reader loving your work and telling a friend. It’s something you can’t pay for or arrange, it just has to happen.

So thank you to those readers who have spread the good word about my book. I’d give you all a hug if I could. No matter what happens when this book is released, I’m already blessed with happy readers. Two, five, or twenty, it doesn’t matter. They enjoyed the book and that’s all I ever wanted.

The Book That Will Not End

on January 16, 2013

I’ve been working on this story (UP TO THE CHALLENGE Book 2 in Anchor Island series) since last summer and the end is so close, I can see it shining bright and happy in the distance. But that distance is the problem. The more I write, the more the distance seems to grow.

If you aren’t a writer, you’re probably thinking, “Why can’t she just end it if she wants to end it?” Oh, if only it were that easy. You see, the story ends when it ends and I really don’t have much say in that. Sounds strange, I know. I definitely would have considered a statement like that quite loony before undertaking this writing gig myself.

But this is also good. At least for me. You see, I’m not very good at writing endings. Most writers hate the middle, but I love it. That slide into THE END is the one that gives me fits. I tend to pull my punches, get through the ugly black moment as quickly as possible, have them make up, and BOOM we’re done.

You see the problem here. For some readers, that black moment is the best part. That’s the scene they’ve been dying to reach, the pay off for the time they’ve given to the story. You can’t rob the reader of that angst and heartbreak. At least not too many times before they stop bothering with you at all.

So I’m looking at this as progress. It’s taking this long because I’m not pulling punches and rushing. And in the end, the book will be better if I let it fall onto the page how it will. Still 4 or 5 scenes from the end, all riddled with angst and a couple should induce tears if I write them as I imagine them in my head. (One sad tears and the other happy tears.)

I will hit THE END by Sunday. That is my self-imposed deadline. Which is really non-negotiable since my contract-induced deadline is six weeks after that. In the meantime, the cover for my debut novel MEANT TO BE is under construction. I’ve seen a potential version and can I just say, THIS IS SO EXCITING! As I typed to my editor, “It’s a book. With my name on it. Heh.”

Understated much? Do you read for the black moments? The blacker the better? Is the happily-ever-after as satisfying if the heartbreak isn’t dark enough?

PS: Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to be in the drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. I’m giving away one a month now through May. (Can only win once and card delivered electronically.) Sign up on my Home page.

The Year That Was….AWESOME!

on January 2, 2013

This title is the best way to describe 2012 for me. In fact, I fear it borders on understatement. I cannot express the level of gratitude I have for all that has happened in the last twelve months. But more than the contest final and the contract is the people.

On March 26th, I received the call that started it all. Jeanne Adams informed me I was a finalist in the 2012 RWA Golden Heart contest (and dealt brilliantly with my crazy reaction.) That one call brought 63 of the most amazing women into my life. Almost instantly we were a family. I have 63 new blessings. 63 examples of strength, intelligence, wit, power, and perseverance. They teach me every day about life and the kind of person and writer I want to be. Thank you, Firebirds.

In June I found the person who would forever change my life further. Nalini Akolekar read my work, believed in it and me, and joined me as a partner and friend on this crazy journey. In August she called me with the news I’d sold and as a reward got was had to be the worst author reaction ever. I practically shut down. No happy dancing. No screaming. I still feel bad and intend to make this up to her by either flipping out when we get the next contract or buying her copious amounts of liquor at Nationals in Atlanta. (It’s likely I will do both.)

Next was virtually meeting the editor who fell in love with my work enough to offer a contract. Lindsey Guzzardo at Montlake Romance will always be the publisher angel who gave me my first contract. And though she’s moved on to other endeavors, I will forever be grateful. I’m now working with the ever enthusiastic Kelli Martin, who already makes me want to hug her with every email, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.

Then there are my friends and supporters who have been with me all along. My daughter who says, with great authority and no shock whatsoever, that she always knew I’d do this. Hellie who told me for years I was indeed a writer, only to have me argue that she was insane. Thank goodness she and kiddo made me keep going. Then there’s Marn, Mo, Hal, Sabrina, Sin, Donna, Dee, Leslie, Janga, Manda, Santa, Julianne, Lindsey, and PJ who all offered an endless supply of pom pom waving. And I can’t forget my mom and sister who both read the book and said, “I can hear your voice in my head as I read” and “It reads just like the other books I buy at the store.”

What more could a girl want? Well, lovely sales in 2013 and many more books to come would be nice. But right now, I just want to survive the next five months. I promise to blog more often. I promise not to constantly ask people to buy my book. And I promise not to ever get tired of hearing Hellie say she told me so. Since, you know, she did tell me so.

Why I Write Romance

on June 8, 2012

As you might know, I blog with a raucous group or writing pirates over on the Romance Writers Revenge, and last week the Gunner of the group asked us what we’re trying to accomplish when we sit down to write.
My first thought was that I want to tell a happy story that entertains the reader. Which is true. But then I thought again and realized the real reason I write Romance.
I’m trying to create the story I wish were reality.
We hear about wallflowers all the time. I don’t really qualify as I’m outgoing and love to mingle at a party. But as far as romance goes, I’ve spent most of my life invisible. Yes, I’ve had relationships, but as far as numbers go, it’s low.
I’ve spent most of my life wanting to be the pretty one who catches a guy’s eye across a crowded room. Or bumps into Mr. Right with a shopping cart and falls into a real life fairy tale. (Minus the singing animals. No singing chipmunks necessary.)
Well, these things have never happened and at my advanced age, I’m not about to hold my breath. But in my books, I can make these things happen. For the heroines anyway. It’s not just about the shy girl getting the hot guy. It’s about those moments. The first kiss at the end of the pier with nothing but moonlight and stars filling the sky. The slow dance with no music playing. The tuck of a wayward curl behind an ear.
That moment when you know it’s real and it’s not going away. The ones that set butterflies swirling, take our breath away, and shift our lives into something better. Something amazing.
That’s why I write Romance. Probably not the best reason, but I’ve always been too honest for my own good. If I can’t have the reality, I’ll write my own version on the page and share it with other women who might feel the same way I do.