Monthly Archives: March 2013

Giveaway! It’s That Time Again

Be Still is coming up on its one year anniversary in May.  When I started this adventure into publishing last year, I had no clue where it would take me.  I thought I was taking the road less traveled; turns out the Self-Publishing Road is  a crazy, busy highway.  Thank goodness most drivers are friendly and well mannered.

I’ll write a one year memoir in May, telling all the ups, downs, positives, negatives, joys, and regrets of this rocky uphill climb.  Well, guess it couldn’t be all bad since I plan on publishing again this year . . . or maybe I enjoy swimming against the current more than I think.

In honor of coming up on my one year anniversary, I am doing a biweekly giveaway (that’s every two weeks, I looked it up).  The entry date starts today and will end May 31st.  There will be four drawings: 04/14, 05/01, 05/14 and the big giveaway on June 1st.

The first giveaway is for an ebook of Be Still on Kindle or Nook.

The second giveaway is for an ebook of Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse  on Kindle or Nook.

The third giveaway is for an autographed copy of Be Still in softcover along with a softcover of When I Thought I was Tough.

The big finale is a wonderful goodie bag: softcover of Be Still, When I Thought I was Tough, Surviving the Writing Apocalypse (if softcover is not out yet it will be an ebook), bookmarks, tote bag, pen, magnets, sticky pad, and any other fun stuff we have at that time.

Entry is simple: Use Rafflecopter to be entered into the giveaways through the end of  May 2013.


A bonus surprise giveaway will be held on June 1st for anyone signing up for the email list. We send one monthly update listing new books, offers and events and that is all. Find the email sign-up here:

Tania L Ramos, Author Surviving the First Year

Help me out friends, family, and fellow authors by sharing this post to your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. Thank you.


At a Loss for Words

What is a writer’s nightmare? I can rattle off a few: migraines, carpal tunnel, vision discrepancies–I suffered them all.  What now? Early linguistic Alzheimers.

I used to know a bazillion words! I was a walking thesaurus.  Need a synonym for mad, I had hundreds, right down to slang and witty urban sayings.  Now I sit around trying to figure out what word I am trying to find in the thesaurus.  I mean, how do you look up a word right at the tip of your tongue? It’s that word that sounds like the color blue and reminds me of kindergarten is not searchable on  Should be!

It’s not even complicated words that I can’t always recall, sometimes it’s as simple as the word mad.  Seriously, brain? I have to keep a word log these days, something I can go to in a little journal to revive my brain from the word coma it has gone into. Author nightmare!

I can write through migraines.  Heck, I’ve plucked away the keyboard with one finger through carpal pain.  I even winced and squinted through one red, teary and exhausted eye to write one more chapter.  But how does one go about writing when they don’t remember something as simple as . . . what is that thingy I’m looking for again? Sounds like pink and makes me want to smile. Starts with a “W?”

Sometimes I wish Google was probed to my brain and could weed through what I’m thinking to find that thing on the tip of my tongue.

Tania L Ramos, Author–I Think.

Please stand by and watch this fun little trailer while I collect my thoughts.

The New Voices: 3 a.m.

When I start nearing the end of a book, I clutch my chest and start bracing for the palpitations: do I have another story in me? I recall always having some story lined up, always having something to write, but since I started seriously writing it seems the brilliant award winning ideas have derailed into the vastness of my endless thoughts.

Do I have another story? This plagues me into insomnia. What if I never have another creative thought in my life? What if there is nothing beyond this? What if all i’ll ever be is a nurse who wrote a few things? Ugh, hello 3 a.m. and hopeless thoughts of being a has-been writer.


Alas, the clouds break and the rain goes away and smack dab near the end of writing this current book a new set of voices break through. Bad timing, I tell them . . . but hold that thought.  The longer it takes me to finish this book the louder the new voices get.  Hello 3 a.m.! Hello new characters that wake me from a dead sleep with their incessant muttering about art and music. Damn, their teenagers! Nooooooo, not a teenage book. You aren’t my genre, I tell them.

“Then why are you already creating a plot line?” She says.

Crap! I can’t escape this. I let her play out the beginning and end of the story, somewhere along the lines of teenage angst at a crossroads of you can never go home again, mixed with some synethesia (hearing words in color) and the cute ruffian kid rebelling against the machine and I tell her, “A cross between Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and Scott Pilgrim Versus the World mixed in with some Blake Shelton music? 

She claps and jumps up and down with joy.  Obviously, I get it. *sigh*

“Bet you have a title?” I ask

” The Pretty Words,” she says

I think about the implication and how it ties in with hearing words in color.  Great, this is about as indie as it gets.  I give a reluctant nod.

She replies, “When can we get started?”




Tania L Ramos, Author Who Talks to Herself


Current writings found at

Be Still: It’s not your ordinary romance, the main character is in a coma

The Great Escape: Las Vegas, NV

It has occurred to me that I can not finish my next book while at home.  The endless noise, questions, stares, and distractions make this a near impossibility. But, Tania, you wrote 95% of the book at home, so what’s your problem, you ask?

Answer: Although the beginning and middle are all great, I think the end deserves a special kind of finesse and must be done with tact.  It is hard for me to wrap my head around this concept with so much going on around me all the time.  Did I mention before that my home was a hostile? Okay, not really. I love my family, but it’s time for the big escape to finish this book without any distractions.


My plan: The mission I have accepted is to spend four days in beautiful Las Vegas at a wonderful resort courtesy of my expiring timeshare. Each day I will wake-up and spend my time divulged into finish the book. I have 2 days to do this. TWO! The next two days will be spent on doing a quick go over, before submitting it for editing.

Agenda: Wake-up and do some social media for Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse (available in print soon). I am allowing only one to one and half hours to do this then …

9am: write

12 pm: snacks, smoothies, nurishment

1 pm: reading (for books for review)

2:30pm: more writing

5pm: dinner

6:30pm: poolside reading for reviews

7:30pm: more writing

9pm: frozen cucumber slices on my eyeballs because they are going to hurt

Goal: Finish writing and first round editing

Milestone: I’ll be ecstatic if I just finish the book!

If anyone is in the Las Vegas area and wold like to meet for coffee, tea, lunch, or dinner let me know. It would be nice to mingle with some authors during my tentative breaks. I’ll be there early April

Tania L Ramos, Author With a Plan

Facebook Fan Page


By the way, The Writing Apocalypse website is accepting submissions for books for review to be accepted onto the website. The March cost is $25, and you get a full content review along with a basic review to be posted on Amazon and here. If your book is accepted we place it on the website with a link directly into Amazon and share you across all our social media sites. Plus you’ll be eligible for Book of the Month and Book of the Year. That’s a huge package for a small cost. (we only charge because it helps us keep the website up and one of our guys does this job full time) Click for info: SURVIVOR All reviews are honest! Just because you pay does not guarantee a good review or acceptance onto the website.

Age Limiting Books

This subject has been blogged, chatted, and come up across the web, but I feel the need to cover it.  Should there be age restrictions on books? My strong opinion is that there should be. Heck, until last July I had to escort my kid into the video game store to give him permission to buy Modern Warfare (he was 17), and had to go into the movies with the kids to see last The Fast and the Furious (he was 16). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all warfare, hot cars, sensual women, and foul language; Wreck it Ralph was the last movie we watched as a family, and surprisingly, they loved it. Undoubtedly because it was about gaming, had a zombie, and fast cars (even the Sugar Rush ones).

laracroftBack to the topic at hand. At any given point, I could say that I am not allowing my child to purchase a video game because of the language or violence. Heck, did you know there is a special award for best “panty shot.” I once sat at work, when I was an EMT, and listened to my employees talk about how hot this girl was; she was a game character…oh Lara Croft, you were young boy’s fantasies across the globe.

Then there is the subject of movies. I can get my kids into an R-rated movie, heck, if I really wanted, I could take the 5 yr old in.  My neighbor once asked if she could take my boys with her son to see some horror movie (Jason or something to that likeness). She came back and apologized to high heaven.  The movie had so much nudity, she said, “I felt like I just took my neighbors kids to see porn.” She was appalled and confessed that had she known, they would have never gone.

So we have rules about movies and video games. Why not books? Yeah, I know I pick on 50 Shades of Grey a lot, but because most of us know what it is. Yes, I’ve browsed the book, can’t say I finished it, never will. One, I felt it was poorly written, but second, I figured why take the time to read porn when it’s readily available all over television. My issue was when I walked into the local bookstore to find two teenage girls, maybe 14-16 yrs old, purchasing the book.

Teenage girl conversation:

Girl#1: Okay, call me when you get to the good parts

Girl#2: [so and so] said they talk about fisting

Girl#1: What’s that?

Girl#2: My boyfriend told me what it was, but I guess we’ll see

And my ears began to bleed and pretty sure my uterus prolapsed right then and there! Oh my goodness. And what does the cashier say to them, “Oh, this was such a great book!” Argh! Really, you’ll let teenage girls read about anal fisting, use of sexual torture, and mental sexual terrorism, but my kid can’t buy  Modern Warfare or see The Fast and the Furious? Wow! Just wow! It’s all I got.

Some arguments are that kids should be able to read anything they want because it’s fostering … well, reading. Okay, so it’s alright for your teenage boy to read Hustler; for the articles of course.  Is there really a difference between visual pornography and written pornography? I’d like to think the teenage mind would do a lot better job at creating a visual than many would think. And hey, I’m not bashing erotica or Harlequin no more than I’m bashing that wild sex scene in Twilight, I’m just saying, shouldn’t parents have a say in what their children read? No, NOT book banning! Just book on hold until they reach a level age, OR, parents must buy the book in the same way they must purchase a video game or theater ticket.

It’s not rocket science. I am all about literacy and encouraging young people to read, but come on, there are thousands of other books out there to purchase.  And if you are okay with allowing  your child to read something more provocative, violent, and with moderate language, then okay, just show your I.D. at the store. I’m not judging, only saying we should have more discretion.

All comments welcome, just keep them in perspective and intelligent. I love hearing great arguments.

Tania L Ramos, Author With PG-13 Books


Why is Be Still PG-13? It contains the subject matter of death, deals with personal demons which manifest as a psychological demon, and follows the progression of a man’s terminal illness. No moderate language, no sex scenes, and no violence.               

L.A. Festival of Books Booth 214

This is a quickie shameless plug, which I haven’t done in quite sometime, so here it goes:

Blackbird LSD (social media & publicity for indie authors) as well as myself have secured our booth at the L.A. Festival of books. We will be at booth 214. Please come visit us if you are in the area of the beautiful USC campus from April 20-21. They are also representing the lovely, Michelle Proulx and her book Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into It. It’s a scifi/YA book and one that kept me on edge with it’s fast paced action and adventure.

They will also display my books: Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse

What they will have:

  • Bookmarks
  • Buttons
  • Books
  • Magnets
  • Info on Blackbird LSD services
  • Whatever else they can get their hands on

We have high hopes that this event will bring all of us great exposure.  There is an expected attendance rate of over 200,000, and all of them are there for one reason: books!

Blackbird LSD is currently accepting two late admission authors (we had one unable to commit to the dates & awaiting confirmation of the others). You do not have to be there for them to represent you, however, they do need to read your book so time is of the essence.  You will need to provide your own promotional material (bookmarks, books, etc). If you can attend, even better!

Please visit BlackbirdLSD for more information or email for questions and prices.

Oh, and also see the latest updates at The Writing Apocalypse

Tania L Ramos, Author Attending LAFOB 2013

We will be at Booth 214

We will be at Booth 214

Finally, Progression

I’ve been whining and complaining (same thing, I think) about how I’m never going to get this book completed.  I mean, where is the time? Between long hours at work, the most recent running 26 hrs, because I made a critical error and scheduled myself at a part-time job immediately after leaving a 21 hr shift. Not brilliant, not a finer moment, but I survived to tell about.

Then there is the matter of being home and trying to work. Did I ever mention my home was a hostile? Okay, not really, because the kids at hostiles tend to work for their stay. Not mine! Anyway, between the constant knocking on my bedroom door (and if I don’t answer, the knocking gets louder–because I don’t need sleep), the mundane questions by a certain soon-to-be exboyfriend if he doesn’t wise up, and all the craziness of social media, I mean really? When am I supposed to write?

Recently, my eyes have started to complain, and when that happens the migraines ensue, and when that happens I have to take Imitrex, and when that happens I feel like I’m going to stroke out! Argh! Scream with me readers, it really is a great release. On the count of three: 1-2-3 … ARGH!

So, last Tuesday, the day of the end of my 26 hrs at work, I marched into my house and abducted the laptop, plopped it in my backpack and scurried off to Starbucks. Unfortunately, my Starbucks is very loud and people like to squat there.  Often times, loud and obnoxious squatters. Ugh. Glad I took my earphones. So, I spent six hours writing with only one major interruption in which I attended a parent-teacher conference for almost an hour (drive time included). In those six hours I wrote 7,123 words, finished 3 1/2 chapters, and came up with a working title: More Scars than Miles.

Oh boy, oh boy, so I miss the exciting days of being able to hammer away at my computer and pop out a book in three months.  This one has taken seven months so far, and if I can get away for just three days of seclusion, I think I’ll not only be able to finish it, but also do the first round of revamping. Soooo, I’m staring at my calendar and thinking I may just take the first weekend of April off and use some of my timeshare in beautiful Palm Springs.

I’m also thinking it is time to start put out feelers for beta readers. Any takers? I’d like at least four readers for the raw version. In return, if you live in the U.S. or Canada, I will send you a signed physical copy when the book comes out.  If you are in other wonderful parts of the world, I will send you an e-book.

Tania L Ramos, Author On The Run
Be Still on Kindle Forced into a world between living and dying, one man must make amends on both sides. But, what he leaves behind is a whole other story.