Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Magical March - Lucky Green Giveaway

Sign up for my quarterly newsletter between February 26th and March 16th, 2014 and you'll be entered into a drawing to win the Hard Candy "lucky green" makeup set shown above. (Must be 18 or older to enter.)

The set includes one Hard Candy Single and Loving It eye shadow in the color Unattached, and one Hard Candy nail polish in the color Jubilee.

One winner will be selected at random on March 17th, 2014.

♣ Good luck! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Glimpse at Magical March

Available at Smashwords for .99 cents

Happy Friday!  I'm currently buried up to my neck in manuscript synopsis pages, and I have lipstick swatches running half way up my left arm. No, I'm not kidding about the lipstick. I'm very stripey right now. ;o) I'll be posting about the lipsticks (and a few blushes) come Monday. I have plenty of pictures and swatches to share with you, so keep checking back for that.

In the meantime, I've been steadily ripping into the Headache Project I blogged about post-Valentine's Day. This is the full novel I was talking about. I read through the entire thing, made notes, and wrote out a detailed synopsis. I'm not sold on the beginning that I've written, and like I've said before, I see two other options for how this tale could/should kick off. I'll be "synopsizing" (my new fave word, heh) two new beginnings over the weekend just to test the waters and see if I like either of the new options better.

Based on what I have, I like the story from chapter seven onward. Or rather, I'm more confident about the story from chapter seven onward. The beginning is okay. Iffy, but it's passable. A different publisher probably wouldn't bat an eye at the opening I've constructed. However, I'm not sure that I'm hitting the targeted line's magic buttons yet. But I'm working on it!

Once I have the direction of the second draft sorted out so that I know what I need to write, I will head off into the writing cave to retool the scenes that missed the mark, as well as fill in any plot holes and add in missing scenes. I'm not calling this one a Headache Project for nothing! I'm trying to cut myself some slack about it, since this is the first time I've attempted to write for this line. But who am I kidding? I'm totally freaking out inside. Carry on, nothing to see here!

Now for March... Break out your calendars, because I have a lot of interesting things coming up next month. Check it out.

  • First things first, throughout March, I will begin re-releasing my backlist through Smashwords. It could take several months to get them all re-edited and uploaded. There are a lot of boosk to post. Most of the re-releases are Werekind series books, but also some of my erotica books, as well as The Immortal Lovers series books. I'll blog more about this as each story is re-released.
  • I'll be attending the 2014 Margie Lawson Workshop hosted by the Nola Stars chapter of RWA in Shreveport on March 1st. If you're attending, I hope you'll say hi! 
  • The 9 Years of Sommer event kicks off on March 1st. Author Sommer Marsden is celebrating nine fabulous years as a writer. I'm a participating author in the blog event, and I will be giving away a lipstick prize package on March 18th - which is my blogging day. (More about this posted below!)
  • March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, I'll be having a green theme giveaway, so be sure to check drop by for that! 
  • March 31st, I will be doing an exclusive prize drawing for my newsletter subscribers, so if you're not already subscribed to my mailing list, visit my website at and sign up today!

The 9 Years of Sommer blogstravaganza I told you about above is kicking off on March 1st. Author Sommer Marsden has arranged an awesome lineup of erotica authors participating in the event, which pretty much lasts the full month of March, give or take a few days. I'll be over at her blog on March 18th to talk about my ebook How to Date an Android, and I'll be giving away a special lipstick prize package to one reader for commenting on that day.

Whew! Talk about March madness - I'm gonna have some going on. Hmm. I'd rather think of it as Magical March. Hey, I like that. I think I'll keep it. ;o) That's all for now. As always, if you'd like to connect with me, I can be found here on the blog, as well as through Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time...happy wishes!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Writing and Revising :: Rinse and Repeat

Cue the slippery socks dance! Late last night I finished the rough draft for one of the Werekind stories I'll be releasing this year. The story needs at least another draft, but the idea behind it is complete and on the page. That's the important thing - that it exists as a whole. However, I won't be diving straight into edits and rewrites. Instead, I'm giving that story a cooling off period while I switch focus to rewrites on another project.

This book I'm about to rewrite is a short, 50-55k novel. I've already printed it up, and it's on my desk.  I've divided it chapter by chapter, and I've already begun reading through what's there and making notes as I go. When I finish, I'll outline/write a synopsis for the entire thing. I'm doing this to prep the book for the major surgery it's going to need to salvage it. It's definitely in no shape to be submitted right now. I have three variations of this same book to work with, and I'm not sure which one I like the best - or rather, which version tells the heroine's story the best. I hereby declare this book my "headache project" of 2014, and I will continue to refer to it that way until it's rewritten and out the door. I've given myself a July deadline on this book.

First thing out of bed this morning, I sat down with the full novel, and a cup of coffee, and began writing out the pros and cons of each story version. There are some elements that work across all three variations, but there are other elements that I'll have to remove entirely if I go with version one or two. For example, in version two, if I use that beginning, it will eliminate a secondary character completely. I'll have to root her out of the story from beginning to end. Talk about a job. But I'll do whatever is best for the story. So prepare to hear a lot of fussing and ranting in the future as I dig myself out of this fictional mud pit. See the kind of messes I get myself into?

While I'm on the topic of writely things, in March, I'll be attending the 2014 Nola Stars workshop in Shreveport. The chapter isn't having a conference, per say. Rather, they're bringing in keynote speaker Margie Lawson to talk to everyone. There will also be an awards ceremony to announce the winner of the Suzannah contest, and there will be awards to celebrate our chapter members' accomplishments as well. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. Last year, I wasn't able to attend the conference, and I haven't been able to go to many of the monthly meetings for about a year.

Other than writing here and there, and reading books for the Rita, that's really all I've got going on at the moment. Brain work, mostly. Writing, revising, rinse and repeat. Oh! I did have a lovely Valentine's Day, though. Hubby bought me a box of chocolate truffles (which are all gone now, om nom nom) and a gorgeous bouquet of antique pink roses in a heavy, red vase. He knows me so well, that man. He's definitely a keeper. I love the roses, and I'll absolutely be using that vase again.

That's all for now. As always, I'm on Facebook, Twitter, and Smashwords if you're looking to connect with me outside of blogger, so don't be a stranger. And if you'd like to have my important book news-ish stuff delivered to your email, consider signing up for my email newsletter. Links are on both sidebars here on my blog. Sending you positive vibes for your Monday and throughout the week.

Until next time, happy wishes!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ice Storm Intermission

Life is busy, busy. I'm trying to wrap up the end of my latest Werekind novella, and I'm reading a stack of books for both Net Galley and the Rita contest. I have a good mix of books, lots of different genres, and it's perfect weather for comfort reading.

We've had ice storms all week, and let me just say I'm so very, very thankful to all the men and women at Entergy who have kept our lights on. Usually if there's even a rumor of an ice storm heading our way, the power bites the dust. This year that would be painfully hard to deal with since we still have no official heating in the house. Only the electric heaters. We'd have to pack up and go to mom's if there's a power cut, and as much as I love my parents, I prefer staying home.

With all the storms, I've had this fear that the lights would go out, and I'd be without internet and a working computer - the important things in life, right? I have the laptop still, but I haven't charged it in months, so I'm pretty sure if I tried to fire it up, I'd get a fizzle and hear distant fairy laughter. Just in case, I've been writing in short, fifteen minute intervals to try to get the words out. I've reasoned that if I do it that way, should the lights actually go out, I wouldn't feel like I hadn't worked out the keyboard when I had the chance. Turns out that's a really productive thing to do. Now if only the end of my story would cooperate.

That's all for now. Wherever you are, I hope you're weathering the cold, the snow, and the ice as comfortably as possible. Until next time...

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Mercury Retrograde: Relax and Write

Today's the first day of the Mercury retrograde. I think it's going on until the 28th of February. I'm not sure of the exact ending date. But instead of sweating mechanical malfunctions (don't even get me started about my car) or worrying about things that are out of my control (like, everything), I'm going to relax, let go, and allow the energy to flow around me. The cards will land where they may. And let me tell you, just writing that down makes me feel tons better and less stressed. I highly recommend writing down what's bothering you and releasing it. I read somewhere that when you feel like you can't hold on to something anymore, just let it go. If something is truly yours, the universe can't take it away. I can't remember who said that. It's about 2:30 in the morning, I'm lucky to have proper brain function, and I'm too tired to Google the quote, so make of that whatever you will. Moving along...

I'm going to use the retrograde period to go back over a draft I finished in December. It's just shy of fifty thousand words. It's ready for a round of edits, and probably a half dozen rewrites. I know the book is going to expand when I go through the revisions, so I really have to be careful and make every scene count. The piece is flawed, but I'm going to stick it out and trust the process. This novel is my main, focal project of 2014, and I start shaking in my boots whenever I think about it.

I hate revising. It makes me nervous. Sometimes, I can't see the statue, or even a potential statue, in the stone slab of a manuscript I've managed to pull from the imagination quarry. I've printed up the rough draft of the focal story, and that's exactly what it feels like I'm facing. It feels like I've been handed a spoon and told I need to carve Michael Angelo's David with it. Good luck, right?  Nevertheless, this is it. This project is my David waiting to be born. Somehow I have to get the man out of the stone slab. It's not going to be fun or easy, but I will never rest until this story is told. Period. It's one of those "stick with you" ideas that just won't let go.

About a week or two after I completed my rough draft on The David Project, which is what I'll call it for this blog post, I had gone on a shopping trip to a nearby town and bought a couple of books. They were all from the category line I'm targeting. I've been reading this line for a few years now. Anyway, since my favorite line is hard to find in my hometown, the book lady rarely ever stocks the Desire line anymore, I was really excited to find the full month's set of books on the shelf. On that particular shopping trip, I bought three books in total, all in that same line.

As soon as I got home, I sat down in my favorite chair and read the first chapter of what I now refer to as the "omg, book". I nearly tossed my cookies, not because the omg book was bad or gross or anything like that. It was actually really good. But the "omg book" had an opening scene similar to the first chapter of my David project. (Cue sobbing noises.)

Synchronicity? Irony? The universe pranking me, or otherwise playing a vicious joke at my expense? Any way you want to look at it...damn. Just damn. I mean, what are the odds that something like that is going to happen? Particularly in category? I'm glad I bought the book. I never would've known otherwise.

I'm sure similar scenes probably happen more often than I realize, but, after reading that first chapter, I had a panic attack and a big cry. I knew as soon as I began reading the omg book that I was going to have to rethink and rewrite my first chapter in order to make it different, and I'm still not sure how I'm going to do that. But I have to do something. It would really suck to send in a book that I've worked on for this long, only to have the editor reject me and tell me it's because they already have a book like that. I would definitely stick my head in a bucket if that happened. No doubt about it.

What gets me is that the beginning of the David project is the part of the story that I felt most confident with writerly-wise. So of course, that's the section I'm going to have to change the most before I even hit the ground running on those revisions. Head. Desk. Yeah.

That's just the first of a few issues I'm facing with The David Project. Still I figure this is probably the best time for me to tackle it, when I'm coming off one project and I'm ready to start editing another. And it just so happens the retrograde is revving up. Maybe it will give me a creative push regarding past projects that need a second look. A cosmic do-over, if you will.

Changing topic slightly here... For the past two weeks I've been writing a Werekind story, and I very recently cleared the half way mark in the manuscript. It wasn't until late in the 2nd chapter, or maybe it was early in the 3rd chapter, that I hit my stride with these characters, so I'm tweaking it here and there as I go. I really just need to push forward with it, stop worrying about making mistakes in the draft, and wrap it up. The romance is there. The conflict is there. Basically, I have something to work with. I need to flesh it out more and round off the corners. I can tell already, though, I'm going to want to pull  this story apart at the plot points and layer in more emotion once it's written. But anyway, I want to get this book finished as soon as possible, so I can give it a cooling off period before I dive in to revise it.

Anyway, that's what's going on with me at the moment. Bookish things, mostly. (Questionably) pleasant, creative things. I've been spending less time on the internet, which has done a world of good for my depression, and I hope no one thinks I'm avoiding them. I'm not. There's no one currently (ha!) on my To-Avoid list. Rather I've been spending more time hanging out in my happy place. I'm still around though. I check in over at Facebook at least once a day to read friends timelines, even if I don't post on my own. So, don't be a stranger. I haven't stopped blogging. Things are just moving along at a slower pace than usual.

Before I go, please consider adding me on Smashwords. I'll be releasing new Werekind stories there this year.

My sincerest thanks to all my readers and subscribers for your continued support.
Happy wishes!