Friday, March 31, 2006

In The Runes Series

I started working on my story for the upcoming In The Rune's Series for Cobblestone Press yesterday. I've taken on Thurisaz, the thorn. I tell you, the idea for this story just came to me from nowhere. Don't you just love it when that happens?

My Thurisaz piece will be a mid-range novel, between 20-40K words. I'm not sure yet if that will be a blessing or a curse. One never knows when a story starts. You think you know where it's going but then a plot twist hits you out of left field and you end up with more/less words than you intended.

I'll post more about this series as it developes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Edits--Round Three

I just sent back my third round of edits. Yay! I still have no idea when the release date will be, but I'm not going to complain. I need to start thinking in the ways of promotions. I'm considering getting promo cards made with the book cover on one side and possibly the site blurb on the back.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quiz Time!

You Should Be A Virgo

What's good about you: you have a quiet determination and aren't swayed by emotions

What's bad about you: you are an insane perfectionist and easily find faults in others

In love: you are obsessed with making your partner happy

In friendship, you're: helpful and giving - eager to be a true friend

Your ideal job: poet, flight attendant, or natural healer

Your sense of fashion: casual, upscale, revealing, conservative - you look good in all of it

You like to pig out on: a well prepared five course meal

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Feeling Better, an Edit, and a Blurb

It seems like I'm finally getting over my case of ick, so what better way to celebrate than to finish my first round of edits! :D I completed them last night and sent them off to my editor, Melanie. I'm really happy with the way it went on the first round. Here's hoping rounds 2 and 3 go just as smoothly.

I also wanted to mention the official blurb for Crossing Borders is up over at Cobblestone Press! How exciting!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Crossing Borders Cover!



I got my cover for Crossing Borders this morning! I'm so excited... it's my first! Cobblestone Press has been wonderful to work with. The staff is just amazing.

I haven't yet heard back about what the blurb will be on the back of the book, so as a teaser here is the blurb I used in my submission letter:

Crossing Borders
Laney Parker is drawn out by someone howling in the night. Thinking the new neighboring pack is unaware of where the border is, she goes out to stop this rogue male before her brother returns home and problems arise. However, when she enters the woods and finds the source of the call is none other than her old flame, Cole Holbrook, she realizes things are far more complicated than she had originally anticipated. Despite the bitter rivalry between himself and Laney's pack leader brother, Cole has come back to claim her as his mate, and he's determined nothing will stand in his way. Not even her brother, Seth.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Time to Regroup

I had a sit-down at the comp this morning and went through several partial ms I have on file to see what looked promising. I've got three pulled to the side now for working on. Whichever takes off first, will be the one I go with. Of course, I hope to finish all of them eventually, but for the time being I'm playing around with ideas. Now that hubby is off on weekends, I actually get at least a few solid hours of writing on the weekend--something I haven't had since Rune was born.

Anyway, there it is. I'm still psyched over my sale, but I don't want it to be a one time thing. :) I'm ready to get back to work!

Speaking of work... I finally managed to get a certain email link to work, so I'm now part of the Cobblestone Press Author's Blog. Woohoo! Soon as I get my blurb for my book, I will go and introduce myself.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Eeek! I SOLD!

I just got word that my erotic werewolf story Crossing Borders has been picked up by Cobblestone Press as a part of their Shifter Series.

I couldn't be happier!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Waiting Begins

Well, I did it. I sent off my rewrites. Hopefully I won't drive myself completely bonkers while waiting for a response. I made all the corrections as suggested, so we'll see how things go. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

4 of 7

Only three more chapters to go and my rewrites will be finished. Woot! I have really blazed through these, considering the insanity going on at home. Fifteen minutes in the morning, and fifteen minutes at night. That's my writing time. Usually with Rune on my lap. (Like right now.)

I've already made the corrections on the hard copy, now to put it on the comp. Then it's off to either AQ or Cobblestone--I haven't yet decided. I only hope the changes I've made make the writing stronger instead of taking away from the overall effect. That can be a real problem when writing romantica.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

What Kind of Soul Are You?

You Are a Retrospective Soul

The most misunderstood of all the soul signs.
Sometimes you even have difficulty seeing yourself as who you are.
You are intense and desire perfection in every facet of your life.
You're best described as extremely idealistic, hardworking, and a survivor.

Great moments of insight and sensitivity come to you easily.
But if you aren't careful, you'll ignore these moments and repeat past mistakes.
For you, it is difficult to seperate the past from the present.
You will suceed once you overcome the disappoinments in life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Traveler Soul and Prophet Soul

I was thinking...

I was working on Crossing Borders yesterday, and hit me that although I'm attempting to get this one book in at AQ, this is book one of a series--a series in which I already have about five other stories in various stages of completion.

I can't help but wonder if AQ is the right way to go with this after all. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be pubbed through AQ, I'm still going to send in my rewrites... But what if they accept this book, but then they don't want to buy my other books? How will that work? What will it mean for my series? AQ seem to have tougher guidelines than other companies I know of. I won't go into endless details, but this is really starting to bug me. I'm not sure what to do.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ellora's Cave Chat on March 10!

Romance Divas will be hosting a chat with several Ellora’s Cave authors on March 10th, from 9-10 pm est in our chat room.

Come with your questions and meet some of your favorite erotic romance authors. Denise A. Agnew, Jaci Burton, Kate Douglas, Kate Hill, and Jory Strong will all be ready to heat up your weekend. Read on for a bit more about these incredible authors.

Denise A. Agnew’s award-winning novels have been described as suspenseful, erotic, edgy, thrilling, romantic, and adventurous. One thing they share is that they are all exciting reads. Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine called her romantic suspense novels “top-notch” and her erotic romance PRIMORDIAL received a TOP PICK from Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine.

Denise has lived in Colorado, Hawaii, and the United Kingdom, giving her a lifetime of ideas. Her experiences with archaeology have crept into her work, as well as her numerous travels through England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. She now lives in Arizona with her real life hero, her husband. You can find out more about her extensive booklist, and Denise herself, at her website - www.deniseagnew.com.

Jaci Burton is a multi published author, with over twenty-five books published by erotic romance publisher Ellora’s Cave. Jaci writes in multiple genres, including paranormal, contemporary, futuristic, fantasy and BDSM. Among her many awards to date are the Cupid and Psyche Award for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance, the Road to Romance Reviewer’s Choice Award and two Reviewers Choice nominations by Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Romance Writer’s Ink, Passionate Ink and EPIC. Jaci has recently contracted with Bantam Dell for mainstream paranormal romance, and with Berkley HEAT for erotic romance. These books will release sometime in 2007.

Jaci lives in Oklahoma with her husband Charlie who inspires her to create stories about sexy, stubborn alpha males who don’t always do what the heroine wants them to. She has three children-two grown sons and one teenage daughter. She loves animals, has five dogs and one fish who keep her company while she writes. Her favorite activities are travel, reading and long afternoon naps. Find out more about Jaci, and check out her bookshelf, at www.jaciburton.com

Kate Douglas has been privileged to call writing her profession for almost thirty-five years, producing everything from radio copy to news stories to contemporary romances and erotica. With thirteen titles currently in print, numerous ebooks with various publishers, and eight more books in her erotic paranormal Wolf Tales series scheduled through 2008, at least she knows what she’ll be doing for the next couple years!

Kate and her husband are currently dividing time between two homes while they remodel the house in the mountains where they hope to settle when her husband retires. When she’s not loading or unloading the car, Kate’s either writing or playing with the grandkids…and trying to figure out when she can go to Hawaii to see her newest granddaughter, Ella, born Feb. 6. Visit her web site at www.katedouglas.com

Kate Hill is a thirty-something vegetarian New Englander who likes heroes with a touch of something wicked and wild. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications both on and off the Internet, and she has over twenty books available at Ellora’s Cave. When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, and researching vampires and Viking history. Visit Kate’s website at www.kate-hill.com

Jory Strong has been writing since childhood and has never outgrown being a daydreamer. She’s written several series for Ellora’s Cave, ranging from romantic suspense, to paranormal, to futuristic. When she’s not hunched over her computer, lost in the muse and conjuring up new heroes and heroines, she can usually be found reading, riding her horses, or hiking with her dogs. Learn more about Jory and see her full book list at www.jorystrong.com.

Our chat on Feb 24th was great fun – you can read the transcript in our forum archives if you missed it. But make sure to mark your calendar, you don’t want to miss this one!

Ellora's Cave--a Smart Bitches Interview

There's an interesting interview over at the Smart Bitches website. Anyone thinking of targeting Ellora's Cave for publication might want to give it a peek. There's some cool insider info about how the EC got its name, and more traditional info--such as what Ellora's Cave editors are look for in the submissions they receive. Good stuff!

*cheers*

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Missed the bus!

I think stress is finally getting to me. Last night I dreamed I was working on a writing project when I turned and noticed a friend of mine had taken a picture puzzle down from one of the walls and was in the process of removing it from the frame. I tried to tell her it was glued to the board backing but she took it out anyway, and when she did, the puzzle bent and buckled. It was ruined. Nevertheless, I got down on the floor with her and I tried to fix it with her. No matter how hard I tried, it just wouldn't go back into the frame. The pieces were too bent and mussed to fit back in place.

Around that time I notice that I should be getting ready to catch the bus. By the time I gathered all my things together and made it out to the depot, the cue was starting to move. I just made it out to the waiting vestibule when my bus (42) goes by. I tried to wave down the driver, but it's been 15 years at least since I rode that bus, and the driver didn't recognize me. He just kept on driving.

I was feeling pretty edgy by this point. I waited for a break in the cue, and went back around to the front of the school. As I'm walking, I'm wondering how I'll going to get home, and who could possible call to come and get me. (Mom? She can't come for me for some reason.) Anyway, I realize there isn't anyone to help me and I'm starting to get a little scared. That's when I start wondering: Hey, didn't I drive here on my own?

I honestly couldn't remember taking the bus. So as I'm walking across the campus, I look toward the parking lot and what do I see? Parked right up in front is my little yellow car--hard to miss, no? (And yes, I truly drive a yellow car in waking life.) I realized at that moment I didn't need to be in a rush, that I'd had a ride home all along. Just before waking, I realized I'd been upset over nothing. *_*

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sage Advice

I just dropped by Angela Knight's blog and read her post about How Not to Take 20 Years Becoming an Overnight Success.

I have to say, I am soooo guilty of not finishing wips! *blush* I've gotten better over the past year while I've been working toward getting published. I've finished two stories, both have generated a little attention, but neither are in print yet.
Anyway, I wanted to link to that particular post just in case someone else is a professional procrastinator--like myself. It's worth reading! There's also tid bits about getting an agent, and editors. Interesting writer stuff. Don't pass it up!

On another note... Even though hubby is working 7/12 on the nightshift, and it's killing me to keep the baby arranged during the daylight hours... and keep the household running semi-normally for the teenage son, I am still getting in time for my AQ rewrite! It's only about 15 minutes morning, and 15 in the evening, but it's happening. I've corrected 2/7 chapters. Woot!

I will say this about the rewrites though... who knew commas were such a pain to correct. And put politely, passive sentences suck. I promise to try and remember this the next time I sit to actually write something instead of edit.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Disillusionment and Writers

I believe everyone who reads secretly has a favorite writer, and although I could just be a weird exception, I'd be willing to bet that most series-followers have an idea of what their writer of choice is like in real life. Just like if you were walking down the street and saw a fabulously gorgeous person. You might assume they are a model or an actor, or some other such glamorous something. Or like when you look at Stephen King--you might assume he's sort of shy, or maybe even a bit of a goofball.

What's the saying about assumption? It makes an ass out of u and mption.

There is definitely a grain of truth in the above saying.

I won't go so far as to name my (former)favorite writer on here. Although we don't travel in the same circles, ALOT of people I know online know of her, or know her personally. I now know her too--perhaps not personally--but I've met her on more than one occassion. And I have to be honest, after that initial impression, I sort of wish I hadn't met her. That way I could go on reading her books without feeling disappointed.

Yes. Disappointed. It feels weird reading one of her books now, when I know she is not a person I could befriend easily--if at all. I realize it should be about the fiction, but I guess because I write too, I feel like a part of my soul goes into each finished work I create. So, with that, I guess I look at it like a bit of an author goes into every book they write. It might seem crazy, but there you have it.

I'm not normally one to go all Enquirer-Celebrity on people, I don't trail people around or make too many comments on someone's personal life. I will if someone asks my opinion, but otherwise, I mind my own business. I'm very much a "live and let live" kinda gal.

But I guess since this woman is a mother and a very hard-working writer--she puts out a considerable amount of much work each year--my assumption was that she would be a grounded and level-headed person with a witty personality... an average person, but also a charmer. Someone very bright. Someone pleasant to talk to.

Boy, was I wrong! When I talked to her--and keep in mind, this was in passing. I did NOT flag this woman down, wave her over, or in anyway approach her or anything. My first impression of her was that she's flighty and a bit arrogant. A prissy hair-twirler, and a bit of a sh*t-talker. (Excuse my French!)

I have to admit I was a bit shocked when I met her. Okay. I was very shocked. She was not at all like I thought she would be. And I couldn't help but catch myself over the following few days, reevaluating her books that I've read. I will likely finish reading out her latest series because I've already bought so many of the books, but beyond that I am truly no longer interested.

It's horrible. I know. I hang my head in shame. It shouldn't matter if she's a miss fancy-pants, it should be about her work and nothing else. And knowing that's the case also makes me fear what people might say about my work if they ever got to know me. But I can't help it. It's sort of like knowing how the magician does his tricks. Once you know what it's all about, the magic is gone.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Yikes! Rewrites!

Yesterday I sat down with my AQ ms and the letter detailing what needs to be corrected. I made lists and used highlighters to mark areas I knew needed to be fixed and were easily fixable... and then I hit the internet.

First, it was off to find a simple way to correct passive sentences. Okay, there were plenty of colleges writing-help pages for that. I printed up the best ones, reviewed the lessons, then took the mini quizzes online. Great! Now to find ways to pare down on commas.

Boy! That turned out to be a royal pain in the you-know-where. There are dozens of sites about commas but not all of them agree on the rules. *_* I did find a college site that was clearer than the others, but it only tells you how to use commas... not how to rearrange sentences so you don't need so many. I don't want to drop ALL my subordinate clauses just to shorten a few sentences!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Second Chance from Amber Quill

I didn't place in the anthology, but it looks like all is not lost. When I came on this afternoon, I had an email from Trace. Looks like they are going to give my story a second chance. *Cool!* They gave me a list of what the judges said, and a list of corrections they'd like to see made, and have invited me to resubmit it.

Here's the letter: (slightly edited--the specifies of attatched judges comments/changes recommended removed)


Dear(Cora Zane),

As you might already know, the manuscript you entered into our 3rd Annual Heat Wave Contest, CROSSING BORDERS, unfortunately, does not appear on the winner's list this morning. This does not mean, however, that your story went completely unnoticed by our judges. Indeed, based on their recommendations, I have decided to email you with an offer (a challenge, if you will).

During the three stages of judging, many manuscripts were almost immediately disqualified due to exorbitant editing problems, storyline inconsistencies, emotionless prose, etc. But your manuscript actually made it through to the final stages of judging, receiving high enough overall scores to mark it as being "special."

Therefore, for your consideration, I have take the liberty of pasting the judges' various comments below, which will give you the reason(s) why the story came "thisclose" to winning, but why they ultimately decided to set it aside at the last minute....

=========================
Certainly one of the better stories I've read. Definitely engages all the senses and fulfills the criteria for erotic romance. Some well chosen analogies--I liked the silver bullet analogy. The story does, however, contain a lot of passive phrasing, some repetitive words and phrases, and some typos.

(particulars edited)

A very good story with a lot of potential. There were some things that need correction. (particulars edited)

========================
Now, here comes the challenge, should you wish to accept it.

If you decide to revise your manuscript based on the comments the judges made, then resubmit the story to me, I will be happy to consider it for future publication with Amber Quill Press. Of course, though there are no guarantees the revised manuscript will be something we will eventually accept for publication, I wanted to at least give you the opportunity to revise and resubmit it. Please also note that, since this offer is outside the realm of the Heat Wave contest, the word count rules (5,000 to 12,000) no longer apply, meaning that you do not need to worry that any changes you make to the manuscript would extend its length beyond any specific guidelines.

Should you have any questions regarding the judge's comments, revisions, etc., I will be happy to answer them.

If you elect to reexamine the manuscript and revise it accordingly, that would be terrific. If not, I certainly understand. Whatever you decide, please know that I thank you for entering the story into this year's contest and wish you nothing but the very best!

Sincerely,

Trace Edward Zaber
Owner/Editorial Director/Creative Director
Amber Quill Press, LLC
The Gold Standard In Publishing!



*********
Guess I better get to polishing!

Amber Quill Results

Okay, okay... I admit, I was up at midnight checking the results.

~ UPDATE—MARCH 1ST, 2006 ~
The Results Are In!!!
With more than 200 manuscript entries received this year—almost double the number of entries we received for last year's contest—we had an extremely difficult time narrowing down the list of winning manuscripts. But after numerous weeks of evaluating the stories through three intensive judging phases, we have finally selected 11 manuscripts we felt best represented the erotic romance our readers have come to expect from Amber Quill Press.

So, without further ado, here are the manuscripts—listed alphabetically—we have chosen to receive our standard two-year electronic publishing contract, and the authors we will be inviting this year to join the Amber Quill Press roster of authors...

The Claiming - Sherrill Quinn
Cup Of Fate - Cassandra Curtis
Darkson’s Forfeit - Marie Harte
Diary Of A Dirty Cowboy - Jade Rivers
Family Jewels - Kelly Maher
Her Black Little Heart - Selah March
Poker Brat - Barrie Abalard
Santa’s Helper - Cassidy Kent
The Streets Of Florence - Pepper Espinoza
Tales of the Pride: Awakening - Larissa Lyons
Unloved - Nina Merrill
Within the next 24 hours, we will contact the authors of the winning stories and offer them our standard two-year e-publishing contract for the manuscripts listed above. (Please remember, authors are under no obligation to accept the contract.) If the author agrees to the contract terms, the manuscript will be entered into our production queue, where it will be professionally edited (content-editing and copyediting), have cover art created, etc., like all the other manuscripts AQP produces. The winning manuscripts will be published in June, 2006, to coincide with our Amber Heat Wave.


Thanks to everyone who entered our contest this year,
and congratulations to the authors listed above!


There are three divas I know of on the list!!! :D Way to go ladies!!!