Monday, September 30, 2013


October is a busy busy month for us! Stephanie's FANTASTIC For The First Time will be published at the beginning of the month. Honestly - go preorder right now. This is Steph's best book with Superromance. Amazing heroine, great hero, crackling dialogue and sexual tension. So good. Clink on the link above to read an excerpt if you don't believe me.

And at the end of the month my first book in the Boys of Bishop Series Wild Child comes out.

I've been doing little snippet excerpts over at Romance At Random

But here is a longer excerpt - the first two chapters of Wild Child - have a look!

How about you guys? How is your October shaping up?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Parks and Rec

I've been flirting with tv this past week. I haven't watched a lot, but there have been a couple of shows I've sort of watched to get a sense of whether they'll actually work or not.

Agents of SHIELD was ok, it had some Whedon hallmarks, but was a bit messy in execution, and other than that, I've watched a few minutes here and there of some of the new comedies.

Most of which have been painfully unfunny, loud, and bordering on annoying. So as a palate cleanser, last night, I gave into my Amy Poehler fangirling and watched Parks and Rec.

And it's awesome. It always surprises me that it doesn't do better, because it's so good and last night it struck me why. Aside from the great acting, it has such a great balance and so much heart. To balance off Leslie's sheer enthusiasm, there's Ann who rolls her eyes at everything. To balance off Tom's general crazy, there's Ron's gruff masculinity, and last night was such a great staging of all of the factors that go into making this show so great.

It's a show that's gotten better each season and one to need to go back and re-watch. And it hasn't helped my Poehler fangirling, and neither did this. Poehler and Jon Hamm held an Emmy's loser party, where winners could only get in if they paid a fee at the door, and all proceeds went to charity.

Anyone watched a really great new show this season? I've been largely disappointed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Did you see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Emmy's

It is without question these are two of the funniest women of my generation. They aren’t just funny though. They are brilliant and funny!

They rocked the Golden Globes and in tribute to that they were brought back for the Emmy’s to do a little skit. But if you were reading between the lines, which I do with these women because (see above) they are not just funny they are brilliant and funny, they were also making a statement.

Awhile back I blogged about Miley Cyrus and the epic TWERKING EVENT OF 2013. I commented that I felt sad a talented girl felt she needed to go to those lengths to get attention. Because in watching it I did feel she was degrading herself as a person by becoming solely a sexual object. Now there has been lots of back and forth on who is to blame. Some blame her, some the producers, some Robin Thicke. Heck some will say it’s because Billy Ray is a bad dad.

But Tina and Amy put the focus on where it should be. On the Double Standard. They showcased what it looked like to have two women heckling a man and telling him to take his pants off. Twerk, they told the host, Harris. They come to award shows for twerking! When Harris said he wouldn’t twerk because it would be degrading… their answer… “Yes, but we would be de-grateful.” When he asked them, why are you wearing 3D glasses, Tina’s response was… “Because I want to see your junk up close.” Amy’s quip… “Yeah, show America what you’re working with.”

They were lewd. They were crass. They were completely disgusting… and wasn’t it hilarious? From a comedic standpoint it works, because you’re getting the unexpected. How shocking of these women to say such things and isn’t that so funny. From a brilliant standpoint America just got schooled on why Cyrus’s show became a national talking point for so many and in essence who is really to blame.

US. Us for making a show like that okay. Us for accepting that it’s perfectly acceptable for girls to get as naked as they can on television for the entertainment of others. Tina and Amy put together a really funny skit, but Tina and Amy also gave us a look at ourselves that again, if we’re reading between the lines, maybe we didn’t like to see. Because frankly it’s not a pretty picture.

It’s not okay to put on a show that is going to be seen by a national audience and let a girl “degrade” herself just because it’s salacious and will boost ratings.  And if women ruled the world and men we’re forced to put on a sexual display to garner attention and they were only judged by the size of their “junk” I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t feel comfortable in that role either. Unless they are a stripper, in which case they know what they’re doing and what they are getting paid for.

I can’t change the fact that some people think what Cyrus did, including herself, was no big deal. I can’t change the fact that often girls will put themselves in bad situations because they think this kind of attention is the only attention they can get. I can’t change men/boys from taking advantage of women in these bad situations because hey, it was the girl’s choice to do that wasn’t it?

But Tina and Amy… maybe they did. Maybe they got through to some people… you know, once everyone stopped laughing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When the Author is the Superstar

One of the more interesting and strange films I saw this year at TIFF was Horns. To say it was unusual is an understatement and while I'm glad I saw it, I'm not positive I'd widely recommend it.

But whether or not I loved it, isn't really what I want to talk about.

The film was showing in a relatively small venue for TIFF. Less than a thousand seat theatre for sure. And it's kind of an odd/awkward theatre where it's impossible/difficult to shield the film stars from the audience. And Daniel Radcliffe was in this movie. So... they had a bunch of uniformed police standing in the aisle--I've never seen that. Even for Brad Pitt, or Jennifer Lopez. I assume the cops were there ready to pounce on anyone who tried to pounce on Radcliffe.

Thing is... this wasn't the type of film that would draw a big Harry Potter fan club contingent. Nor would it draw the screaming teen girl types. Sure, people clapped for him when he came up on stage before and after the film...

But who did this crowd go gaga for? Joe Hill.

And Joe Hill is the author of the book on which the film is based. And at least half of the questions from the audience during the Q&A were directed at Hill. I thought this was kind of cool.

Juno Temple, Daniel Radcliffe, Joe Hill -- Q&A after world premiere of Horns
Now, of course, I do wonder if he'd have such ardent fans if his dad wasn't Stephen King... (doesn't he look uncannily like him?) but still... It's not often that the writer gets the rockstar treatment at a film screening. Joss Whedon does. Stan Lee, I guess... But it's not that often that people get as excited about the writers as they do the actors.

Now, Horns... Hmmm.. How do I describe this film.

Radcliffe and the female lead, (Juno Temple), insisted it's a love story/romance, during the Q&A after the film. And I suppose that's true at it's core in the end. But to reveal that is a bit of a spoiler. And if someone goes expecting a romance... well, they're going to be shocked by a lot of other things in this movie.

The story starts with a young man, who's being hounded by the press and public, because he's been accused of the brutal murder of his girlfriend. But he can't remember the night in question at all. At first he thinks he didn't do it. But it's clear that even his mother thinks he's guilty, and he starts to crack up.

Soon, the audience starts to doubt him too, especially when, um, he starts to grow horns from the front of his forehead. And then other characters start confessing really terrible things to him and/or asking his permission to do unspeakable things. And I guess we're supposed to believe that he's the devil at this point? But that's the part of the story I never really understood in the end... Because, well, let's just say I didn't understand why or if he was the devil. The plot takes some twists and it's not as simple as that.

Okay, maybe I am recommending it. For the adventurous film goer, anyway.

Although, based on my quick glance at IMDB, it doesn't look like this film has a distributor yet, so you might never get the chance... :(

At least I got to see it, and to see an author being treated like a movie star.

And an addendum... Speaking of authors getting the star treatment: Here is a snap of our Miss Molly reading from Wild Child Monday night.

Is there an author or screenwriter or TV writer you'd give the movie star treatment to?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Positive Side of Feedback

I had my first stint as a volunteer Inspirator for 916 Ink yesterday. Say what, you say? I don't blame you. Let me explain.

For my MFA, I need to do what they call a Field Study Project. Field Study Projects take many shapes and forms, but need to meet three criteria (criterion?) : 1) the education of literary artists, 2) community service or engagement, 3) the pursuit of social justice. People do all kinds of things.Set up reading series. Interview groups of people and help them set up blogs. I can't even remember some of the other examples.

I am not that creative. I thought about the things that matter to me and what would be geographically advantageous and Googled "literacy and Sacramento" and found this gem of an organization that is using creative writing to boost literacy in Sacramento.

I emailed them and met with them and, frankly, they are super mega awesome fun. I went to their volunteer bootcamp and will be helping out at one 12 week session with the idea that I'll be able to run my own 12 week session at a school in the Spring.

So this is a really long roundabout way to get here. We were talked about criticism yesterday. This group uses a method called the Amherst Writers and Artists Method. It's all about acceptance and praise. Through the first 8 weeks of the program, there is no negative feedback. It's all about what's right with a kid's writing and what's strong about it. I know it was only the first day, but you should see the looks on these kids' faces when they share something and everyone tells them the things that were good about it. I think I saw some of them literally get taller.

Eventually, we will talk about revision, but from what I've read, the method is still focused on talking about what is good in a piece and how to get more of it in there.

I know it can't be that way in the big bad world, but it was a nice little place to live in for an afternoon and I'm looking forward to going back next week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

We need more thoughtful criticism. Not less.

As romance writers we can no longer in one breath bemoan the romance genre’s lack of credibility, cry that no one respects the books we write, hate the fact that they are considered trash/mommy porn at worst, escape/beach reads at best, and then in the next breath complain about bad reviews. “Mean” reviews. Critical reviews.

It sucks getting a bad review. There’s no question about it, it’s debilitating and some of them can be snarky and personal and the ones with the gif’s…? Oh, it’s a stab to the heart that can send me right back to bed.

But our genre’s path to credibility and respect is through more thoughtful criticism. Criticism from people who love the genre, who read all across the genre, who write their reviews with an understanding of context and history. Who can explain why a book works – not just emotionally but technically - and more importantly why it doesn’t. Reviewers who understand a genre that has deep ruts but at the bottom of those ruts there is still gold to be found.

If the New York Times Book Review is the epitome of credibility, then we need reviews and reviewers that hold our books to the highest standard. Men and women who can write a great review, even if it’s a bad one.

But in order to get those voices, we need to let all the voices talk. Obviously, there are reviews that cross a terrible line; reviews should be about books, not about authors. Personal attacks against authors because you don’t like the books he or she writes, have no place in the romance community. And the same can absolutely be said for authors who go after reviewers who give “bullying” reviews.

And frankly, I’m glad I’m not in any position to have to monitor a community, be it Goodreads, or a chat room or a blog. Talk about a thankless job, but I think there are ways to do it that are fair and equitable and civil, to both readers and writers.

Buying reviews or review sites that only hand out glowing reviews – these things aren’t going to serve us in the long run. If we want to be taken seriously in the literary world, we need to take ourselves seriously and behave professionally and that means sucking it up when those gif reviews come in. There are reviewers out there who only review books they like – and I completely understand this. In terms of the way I talk about books on-line, this is the camp I fall into. But there is a difference between a discerning good review and a generic one.

Reviews don’t change the way I work. Or how I view my books. I don’t expect reviewers to appreciate in any way the work I’ve put into the book – that’s not their job. I have a book out in October and the bad reviews will come. They always do. But I’ll take a well-written bad review if it takes the work seriously and elevates the discussion about romance novels. In my opinion that should be part of our collective goal – discover our next great stay up all night book to read and raise high this genre we all love.

WINNERS and a very cool event tonight in Toronto!

Thanks for all of you who followed along at the Hop - there will be another one in October with more chances to win gift cards and copies of Wild Child, so be sure to come back! Now the winner of a digital copy of Deviants and Compliance is Gail Rosenstrom! Gail you should have an email from me in your in box!

Tonight I am so thrilled to be a part of a very cool event in Toronto - A NIGHT OUT WITH AUTHORS
Local authors Mary Sullivan, Ann Lethbride, Kate Bridges and Margaret Moore have organized a genre reading series in the city!! And tonight will be the first night and the line-up, if I do say so myself, is impressive. Myself, Mary Sullivan and the fantastic New York Times Bestselling author Susanna Kearsley. We will be reading from upcoming and recently published books - all of them amazing!

NIGHT OUT WITH AUTHORS takes place at the Tranzac Club 292 Brunswick Ave. (between Bathurst and Spadina subway stations in Toronto).

Readings are scheduled to run from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. There's an admission charge of $5 to cover the cost of the room.

Although there are no meals served at the Tranzac Club, you are welcome to bring in your own. There are several restaurants nearby with take-out options.

Beverages are available at the venue. All beverages, whether alcoholic or nonalcoholic, must be purchased at the Tranzac Club and the legal drinking age will be strictly enforced.

So if you're in the city and love genre fiction - come out and support this great event that will hopefully become a highlight in Toronto's literary scene.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Milestones - Day 5 - Balance

I love a big pronouncement. I occasionally make them, mostly after a few ciders, but they almost never work for me.
I'm with Steph, it's the small steps that seem to help me most.

For me, my milestones are about keeping a pretty hectic life in order. My milestones are about keeping everything in balance, so nothing in my life feels neglected. When I focus too much on one thing, everything else falls by the wayside and I feel guilty and I get distracted and nothing gets done.

First on my list is writing 5000 new words a week. It's totally doable. Molly and Maureen do this in a day, but for me, this is an achievable goal, and something that will keep me on track.

Edit a previous manuscript and get it ready for release. Three months should be what I need, so by Jan 01st, it should be live.

Eat better - I've made an effort over the past six months to really improve my eating habits. For me it's about making better choices and it's paid off, but I want to continue to work on this. For this I use My Fitness Pal and it's great, it really helps me understand that maybe I can't have the 10 am muffin and the 3pm cookie, but one might be ok.

Continue to workout. I don't have a ton of time, and getting to the gym is an impossibility, so I do at home workout DVD's, which are really effective. I started on P90X and now am working on Insanity. I can't commit to their schedule, but every second day is achievable, so usually I can manage a workout 3-4 times a week.

Read a great book every month. I'm committing to picking up a book from a genre I don't read as much and reading something new every month, whether it's literary, science fiction or fantasy. I need to broaden my reading habits.

That's it, but looking at it right now, it seems like it might be enough. I know from experience if I over commit, I'll get discouraged and nothing will get done.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Baby Step Milestones DAY 4

So this week we’ve seen some pretty big goals from Molly, Eileen and Maureen. Don’t know what Ripley (aka Sinead) has in store for us tomorrow.

But for me I’ve learned I can be a pretty spectacular failure at the big goals. I’ve spent almost my whole life (I’m not kidding either probably since age 12) battling my weight. I’ve had success but mostly it’s been failure and I’ve come to a point where I have to stop saying I’m GOING TO DO THIS… because the reality is I don’t. Need to lose 8-10 pounds – I’m your girl. Need to lose 20+ 30+, so far I haven’t found myself in it for the long haul.
For milestones, I’m trying another approach. I’m not going to get in shape to run a 10K. I’m not going to lose 20% of my weight (which I absolutely should). I’m not going to go vegan. Or commit to writing 2000K words a day (which I absolutely should).

For me in the next few months it’s all about baby steps. My favorite saying is “you can’t fight the war on all fronts.” In times of stress I tell myself I can’t do everything. I can’t work my butt off at my day job, and lose weight, and exercise, and write, and eat healthy. It’s too much. So I pick the one thing I want to focus on, and that does usually get done, but sometimes at the cost of other things.
This time I’m not going to fight the war. Instead I’m going to engage in minor skirmishes. My baby step milestone list:

1. Drink less wine. I don’t want to stop altogether (I like it too much) but I’m cutting back.

2. Go to bed no later than 11:00 during the week. There is no reason on work nights to be up later than this.

3. Get up a little earlier in the morning. (see above) The key to getting up earlier is to fit in a few more tasks.

4. Run 20 minutes a day a few times a week. Again – nothing crazy here. Baby steps. Easy things I know I can accomplish that are going to help get me in better shape.

5. Cook more.  I’m the opposite of most people. As a single person I cook on Saturdays and Sunday’s when I have time, but tend to eat out during the week. This leads to the wine and extra calories – so if I can find the energy to cook 1 more night a week at home this will help. 

And that’s it for now. If I continually meet these goals, I may up my game. But right now it’s all about getting started. I’m like a big slow train that needs to be pulled/pushed and manhandled out of the station to break some ingrained habits. The hope is that once the train gets rolling, I’ll be able to pick up some steam.

Wish us luck. For our readers… you know you want to join in. Give us your goals and come along for the ride with us!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I've read that a good way to hold yourself accountable for goals is to make public declarations, and I have considered--countless times--starting a blog or a tumblr just to track my main life goal: losing weight.

But I've never followed through to do it. And I think it's because it's a bit scary to put it all out there and to realize that a) other people will be paying attention, b) I might not meet my goals and be embarrassed, or (and I actually think this is the scariest on some level c) I might actually meet my goals and then not know how to cope with that.

But here I am, saying publicly, that over the next year, (yes, I'm giving myself to the end of next August) I am going to lose 20% of my current body weight. I'm not going to give the number, but just know that while this is a doable goal, it's not an easy one. And anyone who watches The Biggest Loser knows that those guys do that in a month, but I *don't* plan to try to do it quickly.

I've done the rapid weight loss thing before. Several times. I lost nearly 30% of my body weight once. And I've lost track of how many times I've lost at least 12-15% of my body weight. But what I've learned from all this is that a) I am great at losing weight quickly when I put my mind to it, but b) doing it that way NEVER lasts. Yes, I know that's also what (most) doctors and dietitians say, too. But I always think I'm different. ;)

We've talked a lot about how hard it can be to keep writing and believing in a project that hasn't sold. Is it any good? Is it worth my time? What's the point? And let's just say that after my 10th or 12th time gaining back the weight I'd lost, after thinking, "Never again! This time is it!", I've been in a "What's the point" place the past couple of years. The feeling of futility is very similar.

No more. I am going to do this.

I'm not going to state any writing milestones right now. I have a deadline for my revisions for GLORY (The Dust Chronicles #3) and when I *have* to do something, I don't need the extra motivation as much. :)

So, for now, I am just going to have this one goal. I might add more next time. Probably something about what time I get into and out of bed....

Wish me luck!

PS. Happy Birthday to my sister Sue. :) Not that she reads this blog. ;)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


In case you missed Molly's post yesterday, welcome to Milestone Week at Storytelling Rules. To recap, I quote directly from Molly:

We are all declaring our Milestones - the things we are hoping to achieve in the next few months. This idea was born in one of this discussions we were having about how fall makes us feel like it's time to get back to work on all things; Health, writing, exercise, organization. All of it.

So this is what we're going to do. Each of us will have some goals that we're going to declare to the world this week. Every month from now until the end of December we're going to check in on the last week of the month and update how we are doing with those goals. We would love you guys to commiserate, to join us, to shame us should we fail, congratulate us when we succeed. Just, in general, join the conversations.

Here are my Milestones:

1) Recommit to Weight Watchers with Molly even though I have never uttered the phrase "I immediately lost 10 pounds" except possibly after having given birth. This means, no more taking spoonfuls of peanut butter, shoving them into the chocolate chip bag and eating the result washed down with milk. I am hoping to make it to the end of the month without doing that even once. I am hoping not to lie to you about it if I do.

2) Get at least 1 of the chick lit books I'm rereleasing in November formatted for both Kindle and Nook.

3) Have my 20 page submission ready to submit for workshopping for the December residency of my MFA program (does it count as a Milestone if I HAVE to have it done by October 1?).

4) Play less Spider Solitaire. Seriously, I have a problem. It's absurd. I often reward myself for writing a page by playing a game of Solitaire. I am going to stretch that to two pages with plans to go to 3 pages in October.

5) Continue to exercise even though I did this to myself by tripping over a tree root on Monday morning:

Monday, September 16, 2013


This week we are all declaring our Milestones - the things we are hoping to achieve in the next few months. This idea was born in one of this discussions we were having about how fall makes us feel like it's time to get back to work on all things; Health, writing, exercise, organization. All of it.

So this is what we're going to do. Each of us will have some goals that we're going to declare to the world this week. Every month from now until the end of December we're going to check in on the last week of the month and update how we are doing with those goals. We would love you guys to commiserate, to join us, to shame us should we fail, congratulate us when we succeed. Just, in general, join the conversations.

These are my goals for fall:

1. 10-12 thousand words a week. Back in the day, this was nothing. I am woefully out of writing shape, but deadlines are looming and side projects are beckoning, so it's time to get serious.

2. Re-commit to Weight Watchers. I joined WW a few months ago and almost immediately lost ten pounds. Then I gained it back. Then I felt so bad, I stopped logging into my profile to write down what I ate or how I exercised and then I gained some more weight. So, it's time to stop that. Back to Weight Watchers.

3. Better sleep. I need to be lights out at 11 at the latest. Staying up till midnight ruins my next day.

Stay tuned for more Milestones through the week and NEXT WEEK WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS FOR THE HOP!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's hot! It's steamy! It's a Wild Child Excerpt! It's a giveaway and a BLOG HOP!

So, it's a steamy summer hop we're engaged in and there are a ton of prizes all week, including a kindle fire and whack of free books already downloaded.

All the rules and how to hop details can be found on the Safari Heat site. Follow this link

Since the theme of the hop is heat - I'm going to post a moderately sexy scene between Jackson,a small town mayor struggling to save his community and Monica, a former Wild Child trying to forget her past from my October book Wild Child:

He pulled her into his arms and perhaps she helped, perhaps she jumped when he pulled, but she ended up in his lap in the chair, their bodies flush. Their hearts pounding against each other.
Slowly, carefully, as if there were trip wires all over them and any sudden movements would blow them up, he leaned back.
“Are you always this good?” she asked. And as if she’d pulled one of those wires, his eyes went dark. And she knew what was coming; she knew this kiss in this hotel room wouldn’t be stopped by the police chief or Jackson or her. Despite knowing there was a good chance it would end badly—for both of them—this kiss was going to happen.
It was fast, the kiss. Zero to sixty in no time. They went from lips, to careful breaths, to teeth and tongues and a deep, sawing need. A breaking pulse that ham- mered between them.
Want. Want. Want.
More and yes and there and now.
Her heart pounded with excitement. The long, slow, delicious build started in her body, in her core, under her skin. Her body, untouched by anyone else for so long, woke up to pleasure, but her brain—always her reluctant brain—struggled to keep up. It kept pointing out the trapdoors, the pitfalls and dangers.
He stood with her weight in his arms like it was noth- ing, and her panties were wet in a heartbeat. And while he crawled over the end of the bed she clung to him, her lips fused to his, her tongue memorizing the taste of him. Coffee and peaches and toothpaste. Honest tastes, real and good flavors.
Don’t trust this, she thought, don’t get carried away. He broke the kiss, burying his face in her neck, where his breath feathered across soft and hidden places that carried the sensation all over her body, making connections in her hands and breasts and between her legs and
on the bottoms of her feet.
It’s not real, you know that; it’s desire and it fades. It vanishes.
His hand slid from her waist to just under her breast, pausing as if to ask for permission. The gentleman. And she was suddenly furious with herself, furious with her apprehensions, all the rules that kept her alone and lonely because she was so scared of who she’d been.
This feels so good and I am not that girl, she told herself, and she arched into his hand.

That's it! That's all you get!! If you want more excerpts check out #wildwednesdays on twitter or my facebook page

Here at Storytelling Rules we'll be giving away our own swag through out the week so be sure to check back and just comment to win. Today you can win kindle copies of Deviants and Compliance, the first two books in Maureen's bestselling Dust Chronicles series.

Remember leave your email address in your comments so we can get in touch with you and to win the big prizes keep hopping!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crosby is a Douchebag and Sarah is a Self-Involved Twit or Why I Should Probably Stop Watching Old Episodes of Parenthood

My latest binge watch is Parenthood. I just started Season 4 and I'm getting really frustrated. There are a couple of characters that are simply not able to learn from their mistakes and I'm beginning to root against them. I actually hope that Crosby's wife leaves him and never lets him see his son again and that his mother stops doing his laundry. I hope that Sarah's relationship fails and her children never speak to her and Ray Romano fires her ass.

Not nice, right? I remember when this happened to me with Desperate Housewives and I started wanting things to fall out of the sky and squash Bree because she didn't deserve to live. I could go on about why Crosby is a Douchebag (could he not just once consider someone else's feelings besides his own?) or examples of Sarah's self-involvement (it didn't occur to you that it might be difficult for your son if you moved him in the middle of his senior year and in addition moved in with his English teacher?), but I realize that's not really the point.

The point is how difficult it is to sustain a series. If the characters grow and change, then they become something different than they were at the beginning of the series which is ostensibly what people liked about the series in the first place. If they don't grow and change, people get frustrated with how stupid they are and are no longer interested in them or perhaps even wish horrible fictional deaths on them. Lose/lose, right?

I'm in the planning process for Book 4 of my Messenger series. Melina has learned a lot about trust and letting people into her life and accepting herself as she is in the past three books. Has she changed enough? What more needs to change about her? How much more can I change her without turning her into something else entirely that might not be interesting to my readers?

I don't know. I'm not sure. I know what kind of supernatural creature I want her to battle. I know some of the struggles facing some of the secondary characters. I know I want it all to climax in a funny wedding fight scene.

How about you guys? How much do you want characters to change? Any examples of characters who've changed enough? Too much? Not enough? Un peu? Beaucoup? Pas de tout? A la fou?

Monday, September 09, 2013

Hopping! Book Covers! Summer is over!

it's finally silent at my house. The kids - they are at school. My to do list is three pages long. I'm not kidding. That was nearly two months of being utterly unproductive on many levels. The 10K I was going to train for - didn't happen. My fun historical side project I'd been hoping to have shined up - didn't happen. The promotion schedule I was going to organize - didn't happen. Basically, when I got ten minutes to do work, I flailed around probably making things worse. But, let's see what happens.

First in exciting news - Random House is re-releasing my Prequel to Crazy Thing Called Love. All I want For Christmas Is You will be released at the beginning of November. And the cover is lovely -

And we're going to be doing a few hops around here

If you follow the hop and post comments on the blogs you are entered to win a new Kindle Fire and there are also a HUGE whack of books up for grabs - the hop begins on the 11th - so stay tuned!

Friday, September 06, 2013

It's time to get to work


So I'm sure everyone else has been working, but I've been slacking and this is the week that my work habits change.
So, I'm getting to work. Daily output, challenges, word count goals and deadlines. I need them all, because I'm at my core - lazy - and a procrastinator.
This summer has probably been my worst yet for getting anything accomplished. Now I have excuses, a lot going on personally and in my real job, but that settles now, so I'm putting together a weekly plan and sticking to it. Or Maureen will shame me. Possibly publicly.

The other thing I'm going to do is focus more on better eating and exercise. I have a lot going on in my life, a full time job, kids, writing, and it is a delicate balance maintaining it all, but I also find I sleep better when I'm physically active and I'm more alert, so fitting in a few hours a week of exercise is key for me.

This means less TV. Which is not a bad thing, given I wasted an hour last night on some abomination of a program feature a Spelling woman and her ridiculously overpriced condo. And maybe a lot less house hunters too. I'm going to go for the quality over quantity route.

I'm pretty sure I do this every September. I announce I'm getting to work, and then I hunker down for a few months. I'm doing this again, and looking forward to getting my writing house in order.

Anyone else in the same boat, or am I the only one that blew off work for the summer?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

The good. I signed a new contract with Harlequin which means I’ll be an employed author for at least another year and a half. Also I’ll be doing two promotional novellas which I’ve agreed to some crazy deadlines. But still… me… promotion… like for real. One of my favorite people is RaeAnne Thayne and I remember her saying at a workshop once, doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, when the train pulls into the station you get on board. Because you don’t know if that train is ever going to come back again. I don’t know if she was quoting someone else, but that line always stuck with me. I wasn’t sure the train was ever going to come my way, and this is more like The Little Engine that Could, but still I have to take this chance when I can regardless of the crazy that is my life right now. Right? Too late. I already agreed.

The bad. To make this happen I have to put aside a book I’m writing that I just flat out love. LOVE. I love everything about it. And getting up every weekend was a thrill because it meant that I could write it some more. But business calls, and real deadlines have to be met, and no one in the world knows if this book will sell or not, so I have to make the hard choice. Bye Clara… Bye Ronan… I hope I’ll see you in a few months. Don’t leave me… just hang out for a while as I get this other stuff done.

The ugly. The revisions for my book due out in March are not going well. And when I say not going well, I have thoughts like these… is it possible to re-write an 85K book in 2 days? That’s a no right? I mean for someone who can’t type as fast as Superman. And it wouldn’t really even matter if I could because I just don’t know what to say. It’s brutal. It’s ugly. I hate it. But by Sunday night I have to turn in something. So all I can do is slug my way through it. Emphasize the parts that I love. De-emphasize the parts that I hate and in the next two days find something, anything that will wrap up the story better because right now my editor’s notes are… you need to find a “better” way to do this.

So that’s my week in writing… anybody else have a little good bad and ugly going on right now?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Same As It Ever Was

I'm rereading Do Me, Do My Roots to format it for Kindle to prepare for the Thanksgivukkah Miracle when I'll be releasing Do Me, Do My Roots; Dancing Naked under the Moon (formerly Balancing in High Heels); and Un-Bridaled. I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

If anyone asks me what my favorite book that I've written is, I always say Do Me (The book, not as a command. Get your minds out of the gutter, people!). Writing that book was such an important step in my own personal healing process that it would always be dear to me even if it hadn't gotten me my first contract with a NY publishing house or been nominated for a Rita (two, actually) or been a National Readers Choice Award finalist. Over the years, so many people have told me how much they loved it. It's hard not to have a soft spot in my heart, given all that.

Rereading it has been unexpectedly difficult. I was unprepared to be slammed back into exactly how I felt at that period in my life. I had forgotten how hard it was. I'd forgotten about the time when I'd accepted that I would wake every morning with a hard little stone in my heart. I'd forgotten how real and how present my husband was still in my life then. In fact, before I started rereading, I would have told you that I really didn't feel all that much different now.

Boy, would I have been wrong. I have come a long long way. My husband was a terrific guy. We still talk about him and, to be honest, my oldest son looks so much like him that it's almost creepy. He's still present in our lives, but it's not as immediate as it was then. I'll always miss him. I'll always love him and grieve for him, but that little stone in my heart? It's like a pebble now.

I'm incredibly lucky. I know that. As sad as rereading Do Me is making me, it's also reminding me of how much I have to be grateful for.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...