Title & Cover Reveal for Shattered Dreams Book 2 by D.L. Kane

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Title: Reckless Lies
Series: Shattered Souls #2
Author: D.L. Kane 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Fall 2015

Victoria Reynolds has never known love. From birth, her life has been a series of brutal lessons and bitter disappointments. They call her The Ice Queen. Cold and calculating, it’s the only way she knows how to survive. But beneath it all is a woman desperate for the one thing she’s been denied her whole life.

Sean Roark is a study in rugged perfection. He exudes a raw dominance that reaches into the deepest corners of her being, uncovering her most secret desires, and tempting them with the promise of pure, lightning hot passion. He is everything she craves. Everything she fears. And the one thing she can never allow herself to have.

One stolen night will change everything.

When Sean learns the truth, he’ll stop at nothing to make her see the one thing she has always craved is standing right in front of her. But will his love be enough to overcome her demons, or will Tori be forever trapped behind the frozen wall of Reckless Lies?





D.L. Kane is a 2015 Dream Award Finalist, a Kansas City mother of three and the proud wife of a United States Marine.

                 
 
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Kane’s Favorite Things Week of 3/20/15

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Fleur de lis in black and goldThis week features a classic fight movie you can watch right here, a song that gives me the warm fuzzies, a reminder of courage and one act of kindness that changed the lives of an entire basketball team.

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That’s Paco on the left 😉

Movies:
One of my Hooligans has recently taken an interest in Capoeira, a style of Brazilian martial arts that combines music, dance and acrobatics in a series of complex, high speed, rhythmic moves. It just so happens that one of my favorite “not Steven Seagal” fight movies is Only the Strong. Staring Mark Dacascos and my very first Hollywood crush, Paco Christian Prieto, Only the Strong is the story of an Ex-Special Forces soldier who returns to his former high school only to find it overrun with drugs and violence. In an experimental program, Louis Stevens takes 12 of the worst kids under his wing, using Capoeira to teach them discipline and self respect. Silverio, the local drug lord, also an expert in Capoeira, isn’t too thrilled and an all out war ensues. As far as I can tell, Only the Strong is the only feature film ever made showcasing this unique fighting style. Netflix doesn’t stream it, BUT, you don’t even have to leave this page to watch it for yourself. The entire, uncut, full length film is available on Youtube. Here it is! Enjoy 🙂

Music:
Discovered this song recently and fell in love. It has a very special place in my heart.

 

Books:
*le sigh* Still haven’t had a chance to read anything. Still waiting download (1)on The C.E.O. and I’m getting pretty antsy for an update from Lora Leigh. I did one-click a few Claire C. Riley books though. She’s a Best Selling British horror writer who comes highly recommended by quite a few of my favorite authors, so I’m anxious to get started! Besides, we share the same affinity for Cadbury Cream Eggs 🙂

Fashion:
This week’s fashion fave is a bracelet that was given to me1175294_516019631808124_1425836872_n shortly after the passing of my dearest friend Ruby Knight. It has been almost two years, and I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her. I wear this bracelet any time I need to remind myself of the strength and courage Mrs. Ruby swore she saw in me.

Epic:
I love inspirational stories and this one is hard to beat. Sometimes all it takes is just one act of kindness to change the course of someone’s life. This story does that for an entire basketball team.

“At a Gainesville, Texas, juvenile correction facility for felony offenders, one of the few perks, for very good behavior, is a chance to leave the prison a few times a year to play basketball. Steve Hartman reports on the surprise awaiting the Gainesville Tornadoes, who usually have no cheering fans, when they visited Vanguard College Prep in Waco.”

Kanes Favorite Things: Friday the 13th Edition

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it?!?! Thank you all so much for checking out this “supposed to be” weekly post!! Fleur de lis in black and goldThis week is kind of a hodgepodge of goodies 🙂 We have a song I just can’t quit, a Hooligan with a birthday, some anticipated new releases and one epic as hell Facebook post! Ohh, and a new color scheme for the graphic, voted on by The Hooligans themselves!

Music:
I know I blogged about this the other day, but I really do love this song and it is definitely worth another listen. This is on the play list for my para and will probably make it on to several more of my play lists in the future.

Movies:
Today is Hooligan #2’s Birthday! To celebrate, we took her to see Cinderella. Absolutely LOVED it! This live-action telling of a classic is by far the best one I’ve seen. Hollywood has a tendency to “remake” movies, and more often than not, the remake falls short. That is not the case here. Instead of “reading” you the story, you actually get to experience it in a way that can have a profound impact on its target audience. One of the things that I personally liked was the “why” of Lady Tremaine’s hatefulness. Thinking back, I can’t remember a time when the evil step-mother ever gave a reason for her ways.

After the movie, we went for ice cream and I asked my girls what their biggest take-away was. They thought about it for a while, then Hooligan #2 says, “To have courage and be kind.” The evil step-mother and wicked step-sisters are nothing more than bullies. The same kind of bullies we face in our every day lives. It takes courage to stand up to them. But more importantly, it takes kindness to understand them, and to ensure that you do not become one. This movie serves as a strong reminder that everyone, even bullies, have feelings that can be every bit as fragile as Cinderella’s slipper.

And, since it is Friday the 13th, we ended our night with a terrifyingly fun Jason Voorhees marathon. We made it through the first three movies before we all nodded off. We all agree, the first was the scariest!

Funny:
Oh, there are sooo many this week, but these two are my favorite 🙂
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Books:
Ohhh lordy… You tell me!! I haven’t had a chance to read in weeks! I feel deprived and starving! I am definitely looking forward to The C.E.O. by Niquel though! She is having a big release party on March 23rd. Consider yourselves invited! Just click this link right here. I am also looking forward to Saving Austin by Nicole Clark. The synopsis is very intriguing and the hot blonde chick on the cover is one of my faves!

Fashion:
I am obsessed with History Channel’s The Vikings. So much so that, in lieu of flowers and chocolates, The Hooligans gave me this hoodie for Valentines Day.

10463919_376603992509656_1046153573315744424_nThis Teespring Campaign is available until March 25th through Vikings Nation, so hurry up and grab yours!

EPIC:
Eddie Ray Routh was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. While this blogger would love to see him hang, I think Marcus Luttrell’s Facebook Post pretty much sums up Routh’s bullshit plea and what he has to look forward to the rest of his life.

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Take Me to Church

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My good friend Kimber introduced me to this song a few weeks ago, and it’s been on repeat ever since. Some of the lyrics are so powerful, I felt compelled to write them down. There is one in particular that has really stayed with me, and I’m not even sure I’m hearing it right. Before we go in to why that is so important, let’s talk a little about the song.

In a Youtube Interview, Hozier stated that the song is not so much an indictment against religion as it is against “institutions that would undermine some of the more natural parts of being a person.” Nevertheless, churches around the world have condemned the song as an attack on faith and a belief system that has been in place for hundreds of years. The song itself was written in acknowledgement of the struggles members of the LGBT community face daily, but the message is one that reaches beyond those bounds to encompass all aspects of life.

I was raised in a Christian home. For a great many years, I practiced the faith, read my bible and attended church. A Sharpernsignificant personal tragedy not only caused me to turn my back on my faith, it led me to question it altogether. Does God really exist? Is there really such a thing as higher power? I struggled with these questions for years, eventually coming to the singular conclusion that there was no way to really know. As a result, I found myself less inclined to believe in the teachings of the church and even more critical of the hypocrisy prevalent in a culture seemingly built on a foundation of intolerance and subjugation.

They call people like me Agnostic. I do not believe in God any more than I deny his existence. I choose instead to live a life of morality, based not on the tenants of faith, but rather the mandates of my own personal conscience: Live and let live. Help when you are able. Be honest and fair. Have compassion and empathy. These sound a lot like the basis for Christian faith, do they not? In fact, every major religion in the world preaches these things in one form or another. The most significant difference between what I practice and what religion teaches, can be found in a single word- Absolute.

Absolute is the absence of imperfection. High HorseIt cannot be disqualified or diminished in any way. It is universally valid and cannot be seen any other way. It is black and white. It is perfect. Right is right, wrong is wrong. The church preaches absolutes dictated by standards carved in stone. There is no give. No allowance.

“My church offers no absolutes.” Most agree this is the correct wording. It is a powerful testament and one that touches me on a deep level. Death is the only absolute. It is the great equalizer, the one indelible truth proven both by science and religion. There is not a living being that can escape it. We can delay it, ease it and postpone it, but we cannot prevent it. Beyond death, there are no absolutes. Right is not always wrong. A gray area exists in the conscience of every human being that cannot be defined with absolutes.

But when I hear this song, I do not hear “absolutes”.

I choose to live a life separate from organized religion. I base my decisions on conscience and empathy. I do not sit in judgement. My actions are not measured by the testaments of others, but rather the inner knowledge that I have committed all that I am. If I have done what I can, helped where I am able, been fair, honest and just, than I have fulfilled the commands of my conscience. I neither believe nor disbelieve in the existence of a higher power. Judgement is not final. It is perpetual. I am held to account every time I look in the mirror. My sins haunt my dreams. I cannot function under the weight of a conscience made heavy by wrong. No matter the time or distance between this moment and that, I will pay penance until my own soul is clean. It is in that regard that I have become a church unto myself.

Absolution is the formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. Because I choose to live my life based solely on the commandments of my own conscience, no being, human or divine, can absolve my sins.

I Kissed a Girl!!

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I’ve been getting quite a few messages about Kane’s Favorite 55304318Things and when it will be coming back. First, TOTALLY AWESOME that you’re enjoying it!! And secondly, this Friday! Lots and lots of shenanigans have kept me busy and away from the ole blog these last few weeks. I’m really excited to announce that one of the artists featured in Kane’s Favorite Things has agreed to an interview!!!

©Raising Kane Photo Co. Models: Carl White, Mandi Kay, Justin Edwards

©Raising Kane Photo Co.
Models: Carl White, Mandi Kay, Justin Edwards

I held my first major shoot of the year a few weeks ago. It featured a new and two very well established cover models. This session was a blast! We took several hundreds of images that you can start viewing at Raising Kane Photo Co. More will be added throughout the week, so make sure you check back often.

I had the honor and privilege of putting my journalism hat back
katrinaon for a feature with Wicked Women Books and More. I was asked to chronicle my own experience with book pirating, what can be done and what I thought was really to blame. It’s a bit long, but it offers a different perspective and some technological insight. Be sure to check out Pirating: Are Bloggers Really to Blame?

I-am-sorry-apologyIf you follow my Facebook page, earlier last week you were probably shocked by a post I made. It was not a typical post for me, and one that was very painful to make. For those that called, messaged and texted, THANK YOU!! From the bottom of my heart ❤

Pressure had been building for a few weeks, and our Min Pin’s sudden illness was the final blow for me. Like most pet owners, our dogs are beloved members of the family. Sonny, our 6 year old Min Pin, began getting very sick over a very short period of time. He was diagnosed with Rapid Onset Advance Stage Diabetes. He lost all vision within 48 hours. His prognosis seemed dire, and after a great deal of discussion, we made the heartbreaking decision to have him put to sleep. We were all devastated. Tuesday morning, I called the vet to schedule it. The words were locked in my throat, but bless her sweet heart, she knew what I was trying to say. That night, we gave him extra treats and extra love. Hugs, kisses and tears. I stayed up with him the whole night, trying to convince myself that it was the right and best decision. My head and my heart refused to agree. The next morning, I carried him to the truck and said one last goodbye. My heart felt like a shattered piece of glass ripping its way through my chest. I don’t know how much time passed before my husband finally called, but when I answered the phone… It felt like my heart collapsed and exploded at the same time. The vet had a new therapy they wanted to try!! They were going to keep him and see what happened!!! Three days and we would know if it worked. Sonny had a chance!!!!

Wiping really happy tears away.

Wiping really happy tears away.

I was able to visit him on Friday, and the difference was nothing short of a miracle! He looked fuller, healthier and REALLY happy to sniff his Momma. My heart was filled with so much joy, I kissed the vet!! I’m not sure which of us was in more shock! Then again, it wasn’t like a full on KISS kiss. It was more of “grabbed her cheeks and kissed her forehead” kind of kiss. But she totally got it, and apparently I’m not the only Pet Momma to plant one on her either!kiss_me_im_a_veterinarian_posters-r9cb13e086b174bb49f4789be036aea86_w2q_8byvr_512

Saturday morning, The Man brought Sonny home!!! Needless to say, we are all overjoyed to have our little buddy back, healthy and happy!! We have to make a few changes with regard to furniture, the beds and stairs, and I’m learning some new diabetic treat recipes. He does have to have two shots a day, so we are rearranging schedules and plans to ensure that one of us is always home when it’s time for a shot. He does really well with them, too. The needle is so tiny, I don’t think he even notices it. He also seems to be getting at least a little of his vision back. The vet said it was possible, and I can tell he can, at the very least, distinguish sharp contrasts.

I do have some other really REALLY exciting news on the book front, but like they say, “Nothing’s final till you see it on paper” 😉

Thank you all so much for bearing with me these last few weeks. It means a whole lot to me.
xoxo
D.L.

THIS is Why it Took Four Bloody Years to Publish

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I was scrolling through my news feed this afternoon and came across an article that was posted in the Indie Author Group. The second I saw the title, every horrible, terrible memory from my first attempt at publishing came rushing back to me. I promised one day I would I have an answer for why it took so long to publish my first book, and here it is:

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Indie Publishing was still in its infancy when I completed my first book. After two rejection letters, I started looking at different ways to get my book out there. When I typed “alternative book publishing options” in a Google search, it was page after page of “Don’t Do It”, “You’re NOT an Author”, “Indie Pub is For Hacks”, “100 Reasons You Shouldn’t Indie Pub”…you get the idea. It was drilled into my head that indie authors were industry pariahs, low men on the totem poles and would never be taken seriously.

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*revised with updated industry terms and other valuable information*

Vanity Press Publishing
I mentioned once on MySpace (yeah…it was that damn long ago!) that I’d written a book and was struggling to publish it. Within about a week, my inbox was filled with “interest” in my novel. I was thrilled! Until I opened the first email. And then the second. By the third one, I wasn’t even bothering. The presses contacting me weren’t legitimate publishers with verifiable distribution. YOU paid THEM to publish your book. There was no risk on their part. If the book sold, they got a cut of the profits, if it didn’t, “oh well.” To this day, I get at least one email a week from companies like this. I always caution new and aspiring authors to read the terms carefully and research the company thoroughly. Look at their distribution and the authors they have signed. And remember, if you’ve mentioned ANYWHERE on a public forum that you have either written a book or are working on one, you will show up on their radar. Unless you have an agent and a contract with a major pub house, there are going to be expenses. Vanity Presses aren’t necessarily a bad option, just make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you send them your money or your manuscript. ***Side Note*** I spoke to an author once who sent her completed MS to one of these presses. They decided NOT to publish it. A few months later, her book showed up for sale under a different author’s name.
***Author G.B Miller contacted the blog to include the following note about Vanity Press***
“Vanity presses offer zero editorial help, zero marketing help (unless you pay for it) and zero distribution (Amazon only). They will publish your manuscript as is.”

Digital First Publishing
After ruling out Vanity Press (I didn’t have $8,000 just sitting around) I looked into a third option. Digital First includes publishers like n165287Ellora’s Cave and Siren. You didn’t pay anything up front, didn’t have to have an agent, and everything was done electronically. The publisher would distribute your book through their site and affiliates, they would get a percentage of your sales (45-55% at that time) and would mail you a monthly/quarterly check. One of the things that I didn’t like about Digital First was the lack of creative control. You literally sent in the MS, they edited/revised to their specifications and designed their own cover. Most of these presses also had contract requirements between 2 and 5 years. Now remember, this was several years ago, and I am almost certain several aspects of this type of publishing have changed. In talking with authors who DO publish through these presses, I’ve learned there are two very attractive benefits:

1. Distribution. If your book performs well digitally, it’s possible the pub will print it in trade and distribute it to book retailers. Places like Barnes & Noble and Target have special contracts with some of these presses that reserve a certain amount of shelf space for their books.
2. And this is the BIG one. There are fewer genre and content constraints. That is not to say “anything goes,” but this allows authors to step outside traditional formats and common themes to publish something The Big Five may consider too risque or sensitive for their market. My absolute FAVORITE series debuted with Ellora’s Cave. Berkley signed the 6th book, and every one after that. There are, to date, 27 books in this series, and every new release debuts on the best seller’s list.

***Lynne Connolly offers greater insight and details regarding current publishing options in How to Choose a Publisher.***

Indie Publishing
In  “Self-Publishers Should Not Be Called Authors,” first published in March 2014 on GoodeReader.com, Michael Kozlowski says “Indie authors and self-published authors who authorclaim they are real authors makes me laugh. The term basically doesn’t mean anything.” That is exactly the kind of negativity (along with the third rejection letter if I am being totally honest) that forced my manuscript into a box four years ago. Is he entitled to his opinion? Of course. Does he make a few valid points? That depends on where YOU stand.

Literature is a form of art. It’s subjective. What one person likes, another may hate. Just look at Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s one of the best selling books in history. It’s a major motion picture that is breaking box office records worldwide, yet there are almost as many people calling it “poor fan fiction” “that never should have been published,” as there are people calling it the greatest piece of fiction of our time. Regardless of detractors, Indies and Traditionals alike aspire to achieve the kind of success E.L. James has.

Are Indies Really Authors?
The indie industry has exploded, and authors like Tara Sivec and 10926420_10205695980624011_6960556299755508256_nJasinda Wilder have paved the way for so many aspiring authors to become published. These women went out on that limb when it was still dangling above the shark tank. They broke trope rules, crossed genre boundaries and charged through the criticism to become some of the most successful authors in the industry. I dare anyone to say these ladies are not authors.

Am I an Author?
Like Kozlowski callously pointed out, “Just because its easy to upload your written word, so that it can be downloaded to another machine does not make you an author, any more than me buying a stethoscope allows me to be called a doctor.” I believe the point he is ‘trying’ to make is that Indie Authors are not held to any particular standard. He highlights this by listing some of the criteria required in order to join certain professional organizations. I belong to one of those organizations, so by that definition, YES. I am a professional author. But he later Dictionary Series - Politics: independentdiscredits that by pointing out “professionals” are required to meet certain standards or guidelines in order to be considered a professional. The very reason I published Shattered Dreams independently is because it DID NOT meet the guidelines outlined by the publishers I submitted my work to. The story played out in my head like a soap opera. I wrote the book that way. Changing it to fit what pub houses wanted would have landed me a fat little contract, but it would have compromised the story and diluted its uniqueness. That was not something I was willing to do. So I put it out there on my own. I hired industry professionals to edit and format the content. I used a professional artist to design my cover. I spent the time and money to learn and understand an industry that changes almost daily. But by Kozlowski’s standards, I’m really not an author.

My Opinion
Yes, it’s a lot easier now to publish a book than it has been in years past. But that doesn’t make it easy. There is so much more that goes into publishing a book than I think most people realize. And when you’re going indie, it’s even more difficult. You have to find, interview and hire professionals for everything from editing to cover design and layout. These expenses are typically covered by pub house. As an indie, it’s all on you. You can buy stock photos and risk the same image showing up on someone else’s cover, or you can contract an exclusive shoot which will 9365641791_79fc48df0d_bcost even more. Your cover design will be based entirely on your visual preferences and may not be well received. In the digital world, that can make or break your novel. Traditional publishers have a marketing team devoted to promoting their work. They have market insight not readily available to indies, and a distribution range that is almost impossible to achieve without major financial backing. Indies are relegated to digital distribution in a market that is expanding further and faster than readers can keep up. They have to come up with new and inventive ways to attract readers and hope that their work keeps them coming back for more.

I have a difficult time calling myself an author. My book is an original work of fiction that is available in digital and print versions. Both are selling. I’ve been asked for my autograph, invited to attend signings, and have even been nominated for a few awards. To anyone else, those things would probably make me an author. But the truth is, the stigma of articles like Kozlowski’s make me feel less than adequate enough to openly carry that distinction.

The literary world is changing daily. People who have been denied the opportunity to distribute their work to the masses are finally being given the opportunity. I can only hope that at some point in the future, those of us who choose a different route will be given the same consideration as those who have followed traditional methods. Instead of judging the method, it’s time to start judging the content.

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There’s a Tear in My Beer

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Austin Theron Dixon

My Cousin. My Best Friend. There will always be a tear in my beer for you.

Eight years has come and gone…

A thousand memories chase the shadows from my heart.
But nothing can heal the pain of feeling it torn apart.

I miss you Red…