October 7th, 2012
Three New Reissues Now Available!

Three new re-issues from Anya Bast are now available!

Together, in a world thirsting for drinkable water, Angelo and Bianca make fire….

When Bianca Robinson steals a special crystal, Angelo, a Guardian of the Order, tracks down and arrests the thief. However, Angelo suspects that Bianca isn’t a criminal, but merely a woman ready to do anything to right a wrong.

Bianca has grown jaded in her fight for survival, but every brush of Angelo’s hand on her body breaks down her barriers. He alone seems to have enough heat to melt the coldness within her. He makes her want a man’s touch for the first time in many years and awakens every carnal and dark erotic yearning within her.

Angelo knows that Bianca is forbidden to him, but she tempts him like no other woman. She inspires him to act out every one of his sensual desires. Angelo will break every rule in order to have her…and to keep her.

“The chemistry between Angelo and Bianca is sizzling hot and, at the same time, very sensual and romantic. Their conflict is an amazing vehicle for this story, and it will keep the reader firmly engaged. Bast has a very creative mind and has aptly demonstrated this in her latest effort.” FOUR STARS, RT BOOK REVIEWS

“As the story builds, the passion that flares between Angelo and Bianca is the epitome of erotic romance. Their scenes blend outstanding sexual heat with a welling of emotion. Combine their developing relationship with the action that surrounds the crystal and this is one story that delivers from start to finish!” FIVE STARS, FALLEN ANGEL REVIEWS

This stand alone full-length futuristic novel has a plot with plenty of meat, as well as a sexy romance.

This revised version is now available as an ebook for the Kindle and Nook and is also available at Smashwords.

Read the first chapter here.

Moira suffers from psychic attacks that bring not only pain, but also visions of a man named Dain d’Ange into her mind. Dain is the cursed thirteen lord of Aeoli, a man they say killed his wife with the chaotic and dark magick he possesses.
Desperate to find a cure for her attacks, she travels to Aeoli and its cursed thirteenth lord. The harsh winter closes in on her and she soon finds herself trapped with a man who is every degree as chilly as the season.

However Moira senses that Dain isn’t always cold, and she vows to discover the heat that lies under his frigid exterior. It doesn’t take long for her coax the man from the monster.

When Dain’s brother Killian arrives, Moira finds herself seduced to both of their beds and is soon lost in a web of carnal pleasure. She also finds herself lost to Dain because as time passes she discovers she loves him.

But as the mystery of her attacks and of Dain’s history unravels, keeping him will be difficult…..

“With sexually adventurous characters, a thoroughly liberal view on monogamy and sensual scenes straight out of the Kamasutra, this fantasy Romantica novel is not for the coy or generalist romance reader, but for the bold connoisseur with, let’s call them, selective tastes. Neatly compressed into 115 competently written pages, this makes for an intense read… Ok, let’s talk about sex! It’s steamy, it’s naughty and there’s lots of it.” – All About Romance

This title is part five of the Seasons of Pleasure series, but is written to stand-alone. The plot of this novel is set in this same world as the Seasons of Pleasure series, but the plot is not related to the first four books in the series, therefore you do not need to read the first four novellas to follow this one. The rest of the Seasons of Pleasure series is currently out-of-print, but will be re-issued in the future. Winter Pleasures: The Training (first in this series) will release from Samhain on 2/19

Now available for the Kindle, the Nook and at Smashwords.

Read the first chapter here.

Jade has been entrusted with the keeping of a Vampir known for his ruthlessness. The Embraced need Niccolo Romano in the fight against the Dominion, but even his own friends consider him dangerous. As a Priestess of the Morrigan, Jade can handle most anything, but perhaps not this man.

Jade looks damn good to Niccolo, but she proves resistant to his charms. Soon bedding her becomes a mission, but he takes one step too far in his quest to possess her and soon she possesses his heart. She has secrets she wants to keep, but Niccolo has a way of laying her bare in more ways than one. Every time Niccolo seduces her to his bed—sometimes gently, sometimes not—he unravels another piece of her history, bringing up long repressed sexual need and emotion.

Soon Niccolo is fighting two battles—one against the Dominion and the other for Jade.

“This was a fabulous read” — Fallen Angel Book Reviews

“Blood of the Damned is a wonderful read…Bast incorporates fast-paced burning romance that blazes.” — The Romance Studio

2006 winner of Best Erotic Romance in eCataromance’s Reviewers Choice Awards

This book is the fourth in The Embraced series. All books in this series are written to stand alone and do not need to be read in order, although reading them in order may contribute to a richer reading experience.

Now available for the Kindle, the Nook and at Smashwords.

Read the first chapter here.

For more excerpts, visit Anya’s web site www.anyabast.com

October 4th, 2012
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August 1st, 2012
A Note of Warning to Those Who Self-Publish

Cross-posted to Between Fire and Ice

In an increasingly tight and tumultuous traditional publishing industry, self-publishing has become a viable and profitable option for writers. It’s a bright spot in an otherwise murky publishing future for many of us. And everyone knows who the heavy hitter is in the self-pub market—the Kindle.

I began self-publishing my backlist about a year ago and am writing a few original novellas as well. I’ve been surprised and pleased at the income I’ve been making from my self-pubbed works and wish to continue self-pubbing in the future. About 80% of my self-pub royalties come from, you guessed it, Amazon.

In my opinion, without the ability to publish works for the Kindle, self-publishing is a no-go. Not worth it.

Bottom line is, no matter what you may think of Amazon and their business practices, if you want to self-pub you must play ball with them.

So I was pretty upset when I logged into my Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) account last week to find it terminated. After some investigating, I found a warning email in an account I hadn’t checked in over a week (I’d been out of town). It appeared that the Amazon bot had located a copy of one of my novellas online and had decided that perhaps I’d plagiarized someone else’s work. It was asking for proof I hadn’t.

Since I hadn’t received the email and hadn’t responded within five days (which was totally my fault, I know), they’d terminated my account.

As I looked into the matter further I became alarmed that I would never be able to publish anything for the Kindle again. If your KDP account is terminated, I was told, they almost never reinstate you. I also knew from their TOS that if my account was terminated I would never be allowed to have another. In short, if your account is terminated with Amazon, you’re prevented from ever again publishing anything for the Kindle. That’s it. Out of business. Black balled. Some 80% of your self-publishing income is gone, just like that.

I understand Amazon is trying to prevent plagiarism and I applaud them for it. However, the bots can’t reason out what they’re finding the way a human can and mistakes are made.

I KNEW I hadn’t violated anyone’s copyright. I’ve never plagiarized in my life, never “scraped” content from the internet. All my works are 100% mine. I own all the rights to them. So I knew the Amazon bot, which is just a computer program after all, had messed up. It had found something innocuous and confused it. Or, I thought, it had likely found a PIRATED copy of my work somewhere, perhaps on Scribed.

I spent an extremely frustrating day attempting to contact someone HUMAN who could help me. There is no customer service for KDP, no number to call, no human being to talk with. There are only the bots and email. So I sent off my email explaining what I thought had happened and felt sick for the rest of the day, thinking I’d never publish for the Kindle again….and therefore never self-publish again.

Luckily, once I reached an actual, live, human being, they could see the truth. Yes, indeed the bot had found pirated copies of the novella on Scribed and one other site like Scribed (that I didn’t even know existed).

Number 123,000 why pirates suck. I hadn’t violated anyone’s copyright—it was my copyright that had been violated.

My account was reinstated, but I lost at least a week and half of sales and I’m still having trouble getting everything re-listed in the Amazon search engine. To top it off, that one novella is STILL blocked because the bot (again) found something pirated, so I’m still not done dealing with this.

I didn’t write this blog to vent. I wrote it to illustrate something self-pub authors need to understand: Amazon has A LOT of power over us. The agreement we sign gives all the power to them. I was appalled at how quickly my self-publishing career had been eliminated—80% of my self-pub income gone, just like that.

Keep this in mind and be careful about relying purely on self-publishing income because it could be taken away very easily and very quickly…all by a bot that can’t properly interpret what it’s finding on the internet.

July 24th, 2012
A few things I believe

A dozen strong beliefs I hold:

1. I believe personal growth and development is won in the moments, in how you treat others and in the love that you show.

2. I believe it’s better to be able to bend once in a while, otherwise one day you will break.

3. I believe that being kind and having compassion are strengths, not weaknesses.

4. I believe it’s important to have tolerance for everyone, even those who are intolerant. (This one is very hard.)

5. I believe we create our own reality.

6. I believe we all change every single second. I am not the same person I was yesterday, or even two hours ago, not exactly.

7. I believe we are all ultimately responsible for our own happiness. No one else can provide this for us. We make choices about how to perceive ourselves and our lives.

8. I believe that some of the most hurtful and challenging people in my life have been my very best teachers. They have helped shaped me into the person I am.

9. I believe you can’t change the past and the future is made in the present. So it’s important to really be present.

10. I believe there is always something to learn.

11. I believe that while it’s fine to strive for “more,” it’s important to be content with what you currently have and not take it for granted.

12. I believe in keeping things simple.

Please take a few minutes to tell me something you strongly believe in the comment section.

July 17th, 2012

Well, we’re back from a wonderful vacation in Florida. I feel energized and refreshed from my time near the ocean. We went to the beach every day we were there and played in the waves. The water was clear and we could see fish swimming around us and could gather shells from the sand under the waves. It was really, really nice. That’s a picture of my daughter above, feeding the seagulls.

Of course, I’m glad to be back home. I missed my furbabies a ton.
We weren’t there alone. We were visiting old family friends. Two families, in fact. One family that lives in Florida, but came from Belgium. The other family came from Belgium, originally, but actually live in Niger. The family that lives in Niger comes to Florida for three weeks of every summer. 
Altogether there were 5 kids my daughter’s age and all of them speak French. It’s a good exercise for her. She’s learning French from her father (also Belgian), but we’ve been kind of lazy about it. Her Chinese is actually better than her French at this point. I spoke a lot of French when I was there, too. So much that my brain is still a bit in “French Mode”.
We all went out one day to be dolphin paparazzi, trying to spot them wild in the ocean. We were lucky and saw many of them. At one point an entire pod swam alongside our boat. My husband jumped in and swam with them. He was close enough to touch them (but he didn’t. You should never touch a wild dolphin).  
I never fail to feel awe when I see them. I don’t even need to be in the water with them. Seeing them from the boat is enough.
Of course, I’m awed by most everything on the beach and in the ocean. Seeing schools of big fish swimming around me is impressive to this normally landlocked lady. Even the seagulls and pelicans make my heart beat faster. 
Below is one of the pictures I managed to snap of the dolphins we saw. They’re not easy to get pictures of, so I guess I’ll just have to cherish the memory in my mind. 

Now I’m home and ready to go back to work. My fingers are itchy to get back to writing. How was your week?
July 10th, 2012
Headed to the Beach

Cross-posted from Between Fire and Ice.

We’re headed to the beach today. Oddly enough, it will be cooler there than it is at home. After suffering through many, many days of 100+ temperatures, a slightly cooler ocean breeze will be welcome.

The ocean, also, is a very cleansing place for me. Being near the ocean always makes me feel peaceful and raises my spirits. These days, I could really use that. So, even though my body really isn’t made for beaches (bring on the sunblock, SPF 200,000!!), just being near the sea will be a good thing for me.

While it will be nice to escape the heat a little, the temperatures haven’t managed to kill off my garden. Below is a picture of just a fraction of the veggies we’ve been able to harvest.

Eggplant, zucchini, green peppers, peas, green beans, tomatoes and potatoes. They’ve all been plentiful. I had enough here to make a dinner for 8 people, most everything harvested ourselves.

There’s something really satisfying about growing your own food. This year was a learning for me and I’ll do things much differently next year, but I think I’m officially addicted. Next I need to learn how to preserve things.

So, since I’m off to the beach, a place that heals me, I want to ask YOU. Do you have a location you go to that hits the “reset” button for you, chills you out, makes you peaceful, raises your spirits? If so, tell me in the comments. I’d love to know.

July 3rd, 2012
Whose Head am I in today?

This morning I heard an author on NPR (don’t know who, sorry) say something to the effect that a writer should always put themselves in the place of their audience when writing. I got me to thinking (this is the part where you should run away and hide).

I do think of my audience when I’m writing, but it’s usually before I start a novel, when I’m the plotting/outlining stages. For example, I write paranormal romance. That means an HEA is a must or I will be strung up by my neck by my readers and left to die a slow, choking death. There also other considerations when crafting a story for the romance reader that I always take into account when plotting and planning. Sexual tension, placement of love scene, character development, ect…

But once I start writing, I’m really not thinking about y’all anymore. ;) At least, not when I’m sitting there looking at my MS. When I write, I’m not in the head of my audience; I’m in the head of the POV character I’m writing at that moment.

Creative visualization is a must-have tool for a fiction writer. The ability to place yourself in the environment your character is in, to smell what they smell, see what they see, hear what they hear. The hardest thing about this is, of course, thinking the way they think because those characters are not you. They have different backgrounds, different ways of seeing the world, are driven to make decisions differently than you would. The mark of a skilled writer is getting the reader to believe the characters, but in order to do that (in my opinion) the writer has to be fully in the head of the character, not the reader, when they’re writing.

This is on my mind right now because I’m writing an especially tricky character. It’s easier when a character is sort of like me. I can name a few of my heroines to whom, were they real people, I’d probably relate pretty well. Then there are characters like, oh, Daria from The Chosen Sin, who are so different from me that they’re a real challenge to write. That’s okay, I like challenges. Prefer them, in fact. Makes the experience more interesting.

Sometimes people tell me that my writing is personal wish fulfillment. This is the comment non-writers make. My characters are not fulfilling wishes I have. They are entities unto themselves, living out their lives in my imagination. I see the world I’ve created from their perspective which is usually pretty different from my own.

So, you see, as much as I love you all and appreciate the absolute hell out of you and HOPE like a crazy person you like the end result, I am not thinking of you when I’m writing. Or of myself, for that matter. I’m only thinking of the fictional character on the page and trying to get them right.

May 11th, 2012
Summer!

There’s only three more weeks left of school. Summer approaches. It already feels like early July here some days, so it’s not exactly sneaking up on us this year.

I have my daughter in a swim class, trying desperately to get her to learn how to swim before the hot weather is upon us. She’ll be going to camp for most of the summer (where there will be swimming) and I want her to be confident in the water (and for me not to worry about her). Her favored activity is figure skating. The water thing is not so hot with her, but we’re getting through it.

We don’t really have any special plans for this summer. We did consider Disney, but I have a health thing happening and can’t set any concrete dates at this point. It would probably be unbearably hot anyway. Florida is like a steam bath on steroids in the summer. It’s probably better to go in the fall. So we’ll wait (impatiently).

I plan to do some fishing (yes, I love fishing), much sitting by the pool, and taking the occasional day trip somewhere. Other than that, we’re playing it fast and loose.

I don’t much like the heat, so summer isn’t my favorite time of the year. I actually like winter better (snow! hot chocolate! warm, comforting fires!). I know that goes against most people’s preferences, although once in a while I’m run into someone who also prefers winter and he or she will act like we’re long lost soul mates. :) It’s just not a commonly held opinion.

So, how about you? Have any interesting plans for this summer? Do you like the heat or prefer the cooler weather?