Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fallen Angels and Book Club Selections

It's finally here! Ultimate Angels: Tales of Winged Warriors is now available for the Kindle. The trade paperback version will be available soon through Amazon if you prefer paper print. This book contains my short story Prince of Thorns, which has fallen angels, blood spells, and swords. I hope you'll check it out.

Also, I found out last night Morning, Noon, and Night is a romance book club selection. It's available in an exclusive hard cover edition offered through Rhapsody Book Club. I'm totally jazzed to see the book listed over there. Awesomeness!

Going by Mini's school calendar (which has a huge impact on my daily life), I have three weeks left to get Butterfly and the rest of my top priority projects wrapped up if I hope to have them uploaded and/or sent off before the Christmas holidays. No pressure, right?

With Butterfly, I have seven sections left to go over before it's ready for the next stage of editing. So, I better get busy. It's not the only project on my rush to-do list, either. Quick, someone take up the whip. I'm probably going to need it!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NaNo Overflow

Happy weekend! A few minutes ago, I was focused on reading through a story I'm cleaning up when there was a knock at the door. A neighbor had dropped by to give me a piece of mail that got put in their box by mistake. Very nice of her! Unfortunately, I look like something the cat dragged in and barfed on the rug. So now, I haz a shame. {blush}

Anyway, I'm back sitting at my desk sipping peppermint tea while going over notes. I've been a busy bee over the Thanksgiving holidays, and now my editing stack is overflowing with new short stories, and a full novel thanks to NaNo. I wish I'd kept better track of my NaNo word count this year, but I couldn't seem to get myself over to the website like I was supposed to. But whatever. The end result is the same. I have enough wordage on my hands to keep me busy revising and editing until January.

Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on the erotic fairy tale collection, and I'm writing the final story for the vampire/dark erotica collection. Both of these will be available on Smashwords soon. The novel is still very raw. It's definitely going to need another draft, and that could take months.

Also, I've collected dozens of notes (and hastily written sketch scenes) for a new erotic romance novella based on a rough draft I wrote a few years ago. At the time I initially came up with the idea, I couldn't get the story to work. I liked the characters and the overall idea, but I knew something was off when I tried to put it on paper. Honestly, I didn't know enough about plot and structure to work out the problems. So, it's try, try again with that one.

At its core, the story is really not that bad, but it does need quite a bit of clean up work to get it to a point where it's readable, and ultimately salable. I'm going to keep adding notes to the file until I have something solid to work with. Then I'll polish it, send it off for outside editing, and probably set it up as a Grrl X title.

But, for now, that one is still a "folder story". I'm not ready to pick it up yet. Sketching scenes for it has been an exercise in I have fifteen minutes to kill, so now what? writing. If I had a few minutes to spare, I jotted down a scene and tossed it in the hat. No revisions, no looking back. In the months ahead, we'll see what comes of it.

Lots of rewriting. That's pretty much all that's going on here at the moment. Oh, and reading. I'm pairing down my reading list before moving into 2013. Speaking of holidays, the coming new year, and such...We had a very nice, calm, stress-free Thanksgiving. (My favorite kind!) And I'm looking forward to a similar laid-back, stress-free Christmas experience. ;o)

Until next time...happy writing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Cluttered Mind :: A Restless Heart

Last night I dreamed I was sitting in an alleyway in Lafayette with PeBu. It was nighttime, and the alleyway (which was gated on both ends, a narrow thruway that was typically blocked off during the day) had occasional foot traffic passing by from both directions.

The alley itself was whitewashed brick but the paint was peeling, and people had posted flyers all over the walls for bands, rentals, pets for sale - that sort of thing.

We were sitting on a built-in bench and resting our feet, when two, cute Asian men came into the alley and began flirting with PeBu. In a daze, I took down a flyer and began reading it, and that's when one of the men leaned down to look at me. Right as I made eye contact with him, my friend jumped up from the bench and took off running toward the street. I panicked. Then jumped up and followed her.

By the time I reached the street, she was too far ahead of me. I couldn't figure out where she'd gone once she exited the gates. So, I'm standing on the sidewalk looking for her, and I start walking toward these clothing shops and looking for her dad. He was the reason we were in town at this hour. He'd brought us out here to hang out with the other young adults (yeah, yeah, I'm no spring chicken) while he was at the fais do-do a couple of blocks away. (Fais do-do: a street festival with drinking, live Cajun music and dancing, etc.)

Instead of finding her dad, I found Jay, and I told him we had to find PeBu because she'd cut her leg on part of the gate when she'd run from the alley. In my mind, she was no longer an adult, but a young girl. Maybe seven or eight years old, at most. I was worried about her, and had this fearful image in my mind of her in pain and bleeding profusely. That's when it dawned on me where she had gone.

Jay and I walked a few doors down to an antique store that's actually a real place, but in Monroe rather than Lafayette. The front door was glass with chain link type grating over the front of it. Through the glass, we saw it would be nearly impossible to get inside. The store had antique tables blocking the entrance, and they were piled high with lamps and baubles. So much so, that a red dining table that was right up against the glass, had begun to tilt. The table top bolts had become loose from the weight, and it looked like all the stuff would come crashing to the floor before anyone could transfer all the stuff to a different table.

We managed to squeeze in through the door, but we had to clear a path to get to the back of the shop. We started with the red table. There were blow mold lamps from the fifties or sixties everywhere, and we moved them aside. Strangely enough, one of the lamps was shaped like Huckleberry Hound. Anyway, we cleared off the table, and realized the table top (unbolted, remember?) had tipped backward, and knocked a standing bookcase into a second bookcase. We had to clear that out as well. Instead of books, however; the first bookcase was filled with old dolls. I looked at each one, and tried to identify them before moving them to the table, but I wasn't able to identify any of them. Finally, after much shuffling around, we had a path cleared out, and went toward the back of the store.

We passed through a broad, cased opening into the mid-section of the shop where the glass showcases were set up as a clerk's register area. Here, the lightning was very yellowy. Almost a neon yellow. We looked around and high up on one of the glass shelves behind the counter, there was PeBu - only she was now a little girl of about three or four...and she had been turned into a ceramic statue. She was crouched down, her bleeding leg kicked out to one side. There were towels lining the shelves because even in this form she was truly bleeding. What was most remarkable about the cut is that it matches the real life scar I have on the inside of my right calf. I realized then that the "little girl" I'd been worried about and looking for wasn't PeBu - it was me.

I was still puzzling over this when a heavy-set blonde woman came through this cased opening leading to the back of the store, which was very dark. She had come out of the back with a strip of band-aids so she could put a butterfly over the cut on the ceramic statue's leg. My leg. Which is what the grown ups did when I cut my leg in real life. No stitches, which is what it really needed. Just a couple of band-aids.

As if Jay and I wasn't supposed to be in there, the woman stopped in her tracks when she saw us. I told her that we had moved the stuff off the tables blocking the doors in order to get into the shop. While she didn't say anything against doing that, I thought she seemed disappointed. Or, maybe I was the one disappointed. It was hard to tell. At any rate, I stepped back and let her get past me so she could bandage the bleeding statue, and that's when I woke up.

Bizarre dream, right? One worthy of the dream journal since all the symbolism comes straight from my past. Oh, and "clearing the tables"... That's a new one for me, although I think I can see what my subconscious is trying to tell me. I'm pretty sure the dream means it's time to clear the tables of past obligations and unfinished business, wrap things up, set things right, and stop worrying over old wounds, physical and emotional. With it being so close to the holidays, and the New Year, I'm definitely down with putting the past to rest...so I'll be open for new beginnings, and new opportunities, in 2013.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Tour Stop :: New Orleans

Welcome to my stop along the Morning, Noon, and Night blog tour! 

When the lovely Alison Tyler asked me to blog about the idea behind the story I'd contributed for the Morning, Noon, and Night anthology, I happily agreed to share the origins of my inspiration.

My story, 4 P.M. No Show, is about a couple who owns an esoteric/occult shop in New Orleans. When one of their regular clients fails to show up for a tarot appointment, they take advantage of the downtime by sneaking into the back room for a sexy, afternoon rendezvous.

I have a soft spot for New Orleans. Hubby and I spent our second wedding anniversary there - essentially, our postponed honeymoon vacation. Of course, it rained on us the entire time we were in the city, but we didn't let that stop us from having a great time. 

On that same trip, we visited an occult shop located in a small, shabby, brick building a few blocks away from Jackson Square, in the French Quarter. The shop had no sign hanging out front advertising its name or what they sold there, but you could peer in the front window and see incense, tarot decks, green man figures, and a rainbow selection of folded altar cloths. Looking back, I think the business was probably just a few months shy of closing its doors forever when we dropped by that evening. Indeed, the business is gone now.

The building itself still exists, but on our last trip to New Orleans (in August of this year), it was vacant. Still vacant, I should probably say. Every time we've gone back to New Orleans, we've walked past there, and it's always closed. Always empty. Perhaps the building is not habitable anymore. After Hurricane Katrina, that's certainly a possibility, but I have no way of knowing for sure. 

Even so, that occult shop is still alive in my imagination. I've written at least three short stories with that specific building in mind, although I tend to move its location around the French Quarter to suit my needs. 

That said, I'm pleased to be able to share my Morning, Noon, and Night story with you. To this day, there is something about that little shop that keeps drawing me back. I like to think it's magick.




Morning, Noon, and Night  Buy Links: 



Barnes & Noble - Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/morning-noon-and-night-alison-tyler/1110913449?ean=9781573448215 (paperback version is available on the same page)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Writerly Randomness :: Believe in Your Dreams


Is it Turkey Day, yet? I'm ready to hang out with the family, eat too much good food, then find a cozy space to read until I pass out. That, friends, is my ideal Thanksgiving day. Add some Charlie Brown on TV during all that, and I'll be in heaven.

I've been sick for the past week, so this year I'm especially thankful I'm feeling better. It seems like every year I get sick around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it's always one of those lingering cases of ick that carries over to the New Year. Bah humbug on that. I'm resisting this year. I've got too many cool projects tucked under my Santa hat to be sick, so be gone foul germs.

Currently, I'm working on a sexy mechanic story and trying to meet the base word count. This is a deadline piece, and I do much better with that whole lump of word clay to deal with during the rewriting phase. So that's that. I'm giving myself until Wednesday to have that one ready to set aside for revising.

Last night, I made another pass over The Butterfly Prince. It's gradually shaping up. I don't know why this story has been such a bear, but I haven't had fits quite like this since I was writing Wicked Temptation. At any rate, I'll be making yet another pass over TBP tonight, and looking for anything that I can snip out of there to pare down the word count. The story seems to grow and grow every time I open the file. Gak. This is supposed to be a short story. That said, it will be ready to go to the freelance editor soon. Hurray for that. I'm more than ready to release this one out into the wild.

I have some freelance things to wrap up this evening, so I better hop to it. Oh! One last thing before I go... Tomorrow, here on the blog, I'll be hosting a stop in the Morning, Noon, and Night blog tour. I'll be talking about where I recount my tales of traveling to New Orleans, and where I came up with the inspiration/story idea for 4 P.M. No Show. I hope you'll drop by and say hello. :o)

Friday, November 16, 2012

NaNo Update :: Tempest in a Teapot


Hurray for Friday! I have a huge writerly weekend planned. Now, let's see if I can manage to stave off sickness long enough to make it through. That said, how's everyone's NaNo project going?

Yesterday, I hit the conflict wall with my characters. I knew it would come to this sooner or later. My manuscript is sitting at the 25k mark, and I'm at that first bend or break point. Someone, either the hero or heroine, is going to have to make an uncomfortable concession in the name of love.

I call this the first adjustment phase of the relationship. It's sort of a peace making moment. The couple is attracted to each other, they admit they need each other to reach their goals, now they are getting to know each other a little better. As soon as they strip away that surface layer of their personality, and they begin to learn more about what makes the other person tick, it causes friction.

The heroine is making the first concession in this particular story. She has to since she's in no situation to bargain with the hero. But, once she makes that concession, and effectively puts her life in his hands, that knocks the ball into the hero's court. They'll run with this for a while, then the hero will have to make the next concession. It will go back and forth like this until the last 25% of the book, when one of them will have to make "the big sacrifice".

I didn't plot this particular romance the same way as I have with my previous stories. I decided to give the characters the reigns and more or less let them dictate where they want to go. Doing so has been more...I don't know, organic? for the characters. But it looks like I may have to take a day or two and map out the back and forth between the hero and heroine little more. Maybe make a flow chart to make sure I don't miss any potential twists that could benefit the story.

These characters have a whole lotta junk to work through, and it's going to take patience, trust, and sacrifice on everyone's part to get them to a happily ever after. Honestly, at first glance, you look at the hero and heroine and have to wonder how the heck their relationship is ever going to work out. But it does. And in the long run, I think telling their tale will be worth the headache. These characters have been brewing in the back of my mind for a few years now. I'm ready to release them. They've both had rough lives, and they deserve to find happiness.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Morning, Noon, and Night Blog Tour


My internet connection has been really wonky for the past few days. I get booted off the net with no warning, and I haven't been able to troubleshoot the issue. While the disruption of service hasn't been very conductive to my online browsing, it's done wonders for my writing and productivity. {g}

Speaking of writerly things, and books, today is the first day of the Morning, Noon, and Night blog tour.

The tour kicks off over at Alison Tyler's blog, and below is a schedule of the tour dates and links. On November 20th, if you return here, to my blog, I'll be posting about the story behind my anthology story - 4 p.m. No Show.

If you're looking to buy a copy of this very sexy anthology, you can find it online. It's available in Kindle and Nook formats, and there's a trade paperback edition, too.

Morning, Noon, and Night is published by Cleis Press. 


The Morning, Noon, and Night Blog Tour 
Dates and Links

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Morning, Noon, and Night :: now available in trade paperback

Click to Enlarge
Morning, Noon, and Night is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback a few days early. Hurray! I've read this book cover to cover, and every story is totally drool worthy. If you're a fan of couples erotica, you won't want to miss this one!

My contribution to this anthology is 4 P.M. No Show, which is about a rainy day tryst set in a New Orleans occult shop.

On November 20th, I'll be cross posting with Alison Tyler's blog, Trollop With A Laptop, and talking about the idea behind the story. There's an interesting history behind 4 P.M. No Show. I hope you'll mark the date on your calendar and drop in for a look at my story behind the story. :o)


BUY LINK: Amazon trade paperback edition
[Kindle/Nook editions : available for pre-order]

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Writing :: Desires :: Morning, Noon, and Night


Let chaos reign. This week came with a lot of detours, but I'm slowly navigating my way through the twists and turns. I'm determined not to panic due to all the unexpected obstacles, because mostly, it's all been out of my hands. In the end, what will be, will be. I will do my best, and at the end of the day, that's all I can do.

On a brighter note, I went grocery shopping on Monday, and it appears my write in campaign has worked.  The person in charge of ordering books brought back my Harlequin Desires. Hurray!

I immediately bought two books - Maureen Child's An Outrageous Proposal, and the other is a Heidi Betts. Hmm. What did I do with the book? How does my office get so messy? Okay. Here it is. I bought Secrets, Lies, and Lullabies by Heidi Betts. It's a Billionaires and Babies book. I have couple of these, B&B books. My favorite one is a Janice Maynard book - The Billionaire's Borrowed Baby. I really liked that one. It's from September 2011. Since that book, Janice Maynard is an auto-buy author for me. I like her writing style a lot.

Over the weekend, I'm going to buy two more Desires. I'll write about those books when I get them. So, I guess the moral of the story is...if you can't find the books you're looking for, definitely write to your store. If they can get them, they'll listen. I'm relieved about that, because my next option was to drive to Bossier once a month to buy them. That's kind of an expensive book trip. Anyway, I noticed our local store also brought back the Love Inspired Suspense books. A few ladies from my NolaStars RWA chapter write for that line, so I look for those on the shelf. I'm glad to see the books back in the store.

Speaking of books, I have a new release out today. Morning, Noon, and Night - edited by the awesomely awesome Alison Tyler is available for purchase in trade paperback on Amazon. I have a story in that book titled 4 p.m. No Show. It looks as if the anthology is available a few days early, which is a-okay with me. The release date was set for the 14th. So, pretty close to the arranged date. Cool beans. I'm not sure if the early release is just for the paperback edition, or if the Kindle and Nook editions are up also. The digital editions may still only be up for pre-order. If that's the case, hang in there. All the versions will be released by next Wednesday. That said, I'm super excited about this release. Morning, Noon, and Night is a hot, sexy little book. If you pick up a copy, drop me a line, and let me know what you think.

That's all the news I have for now. Tomorrow I have to catch up on my NaNo project. I got side tracked working on business-y things. Stuff I couldn't put off til later. So, I'm not going to fret. The book is coming along nicely, and the day off from working on it actually helped me figure out how to rework an area in the story that was kinda clunky. See, it all works out in the end. ;o)

Happy wishes, everyone.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Story Behind The Story : Little Deaths

Today I'm guest blogging over at Sommer Marsden's Unapologetic Fiction. 

It's a "story behind the story" look at my zombie erotica tale Little Deaths, which is available in the Coming Together: Hungry for Love anthology


So please drop by an
d take a peek inside my twisted mind. (Okay, my mind is probably just lost and wandering, but that doesn't sound quite as dramatic.) 
J

http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-behind-story-cora-zane.html?zx=a2284d627848183d

Saturday, November 03, 2012

NaNoWriMo and Winged Warriors

Wow. It's already November. Where has the year gone? I feel like I've slept through most of 2012. What a shame. 

Tonight, I'm spending a quiet Saturday evening catching up on writing projects. I have one more guest blog to write before I go to bed, and I'm also trying to wrap up a short story for a new erotica collection I hope to have on Smashwords by the end of the month.  

On Halloween, I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2012, and so far I have roughly 4200 words on that story. This is what - day three? Something like that? I'm satisfied with the progress on that piece, although I'm not sure that particular story will stretch into 50k. We'll see. Either way, I'll take what I can get. I'm not too worried about the length of it, since the story will have to be rewritten anyway. 

My website has been updated with the latest news, including information on all my current releases, and a list of events I'm participating in over the next few weeks. 

Ultimate Angels: Tales of Winged Warriors (an anthology published by Knightwatch Press) should go live any day now. I realize there's been a very long wait for this book, and I appreciate everyone's patience. I'll post an update when that title becomes available on Amazon. My short story Prince of Thorns is in that book. 

One last thing...don't forget to set your clocks back tonight. Feel free to read that as Cora, note to self...set the darn clocks. I always forget. Anyway, that's all I've got for now, so I'll bid you goodnight. Happy dreams. ;o)