Monday, May 31, 2010

WIPs and Chains




Well I`m happy to report that I am digging myself out of the black hole of unreasonable depression. After a few weeks off (which truthfully wasn`t really "off" because I was always thinking of story ideas) I've gotten back into it. A few happy events helped bring me up out of the hole - a sale to Ellora's Cave and a 4 star review by RT Book Reviews for Lost and Found! Watch for more details coming soon!

So I feel more comfortable continuing with one of my WIPs , the Celtic story, I've had some ideas and feel eager to move on. I gave some thought to a "spin off" story featuring a secondary character of my recent Ellora's Cave sale, but I haven't quite figured out quite the right match for him. And then I got an idea for a completely new story featuring a chef. Okay it's not COMPLETELY new, because I wrote a story about a chef already, which was a freebie serial on my blog, But the main female character is completely different and has her own journey to make in this story, and I get to use the extensive research I did for that last story.

So I'm feeling better and looking forward to release week  - June 8! Lost and Found! I'm so pumped about this! Watch for lots of blog articles about this story and some cool new ideas!

And watch for exciting news from the Nine Naughty Novelists! We were braintorming and when you get 9 creative novelists together, whoa! Craziness! It's going to be so much fun!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sneak peek

My next Samhain release is coming soon! June 8 is release day for LOST AND FOUND and I can't wait!

Here's a tiny excerpt, but watch for more, I'll be blogging all over the place and partying in the Samhain cafe!


Krissa rinsed the conditioner out of her hair, then reached for the tap of the shower. She cranked it off, opened the shower door and put out a hand for her towel. Derek stood there, leaning against the vanity, towel in his outstretched hand.


He still hadn’t dressed, and despite her anger and sorrow, and despite his obvious hangover, his muscular chest, smooth and tanned, made her want to touch, and the low-riding boxers drew her eyes to the V-shaped muscles tapering down beneath them. His eyes were shadowed, his face lined with fatigue.

Krissa took the towel and dried off, aware of Derek watching her. Her pussy clenched and her nipples tingled. She wrapped the towel around her, tucked the end in to hold it in place.

Water dripped from her long hair onto her bare shoulders, soaked into the thick towel as they looked at each other.

“I know you were hurting yesterday,” Krissa finally said. “But that doesn’t give you the right to treat me like shit.”

“I know. I said I’m sorry.”

“You could have at least told me you were going out.”

“I know. I screwed up, okay?”

She continued to watch him. His eyes, dark with pain, met her.

“Did you tell Nate?” he asked.

“No.”

He nodded.

“Were you with someone?”

He shook his head slowly. “No.”

“I smelled perfume on your suit. Not my perfume.”

“There were women in the bar. I smelled like cigarettes, too, but I wasn’t smoking.”

She nodded. A couple of years ago, they’d had this same conversation. But he’d emphatically denied it, and she’d had no reason to disbelieve him—okay, the truth was, she didn’t want to disbelieve him—so she’d let it go. She didn’t like fighting with him, and nothing else had ever happened, so she must have been wrong.

She didn’t like the suspicion eating at her insides, the fear and worry.

“I love you, Krissa.” He held her gaze.

“I love you too.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Eek! I'm a bad blogger! The long weekend here got me all messed up. I totally missed my Monday post (nothing much to say anyway about the WIP because THERE ISN'T ONE.). And it's six pm and I just realized it's Wednesday. Duh.

So this week I finished Erin McCarthy's The Taking. LOVED this book! The first time I ever read one of Erin's more "serious" books, I felt she had a hard time switching from her usual voice, which is funny with often sarcastic, smart-mouthed heroines, as there were elemetns that seem to fit, especially dialogue. But this time it was smooth, and the story was wonderful.

I've now started Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl. Already laughed out loud once!

I went to the book store the other day, mostly because my son wanted to go. I usually buy ebooks now, but I thought I'd look at the books and maybe buy one (because you know, if you don't buy any paper books, the book stores will close, and I do love book stores :-) But I couldn't find a single book that appealed to me. I'm a contemporary lover - I like them humorous or deep, more on the hot and spicy side. But it seemed to me that everything I looked at was paranormal. No offence to paranormal writers and readers, but most of that stuff I just can't get into. I don't mind a hot historical a la Kate Pearce or Sylvia Day. I like their stories because the heroines aren't simpering virgins, but are strong, sexy women.

What do you think? Are there enough good contemporary romances out there? Got any recommendations for contemp, or hot historical?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring Showers!


If any of you haven't heard about this incredible event, Coffeetime is having a big Samhain celebration at their forum, with tons and tons of excerpts and prizes.

My excerpt from 2 Hot 2 Handle is up this week.  To win, all you have to do is comment on it, or any of the excerpts (and you get to check out lots and lots of great books).

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/showthread.php?p=119484#post119484

Here's a bit about the rules:

"For each excerpt you comment on you will receive one entry up to a maximum of one entry per excerpt. To make things even more wonderful, since we authors love you soooo much, each entry you get will carry over until the end of the promo in five weeks time. Meaning, you can accumulate simply tons of entries into the last and splenderifically fantasticus final prize draw, and the Star Prize of three ebook downloads of your choice from Samhain Publishing.

Basically, the more excerpts you comment on over the next four weeks, the more chances you have to win.

Can you win more than once? Yep, you bet your little cookies you can. We don't toss your cookies, uhm, entries just because you’ve won. And if you can't comment on an excerpt for one week (like if you've died and had to come back as a lost spirit to enter) don't worry. You won't receive an entry for that week's prizes but the excerpts remain up for the run of the contest. That way you can comment on them at any time for the current weeks prizes."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Good news and a sneak peek!

I've sold another book to Ellora's Cave! I gave you a sneak peek at this story, Power Struggle, back on March 5, so here it is again...unedited, of course...


“I’m hungry. Let’s get something to eat.”

She shifted in her seat to face him. “I didn’t think food was what you had in mind. If I’d known that, we could have left half an hour ago.”

Everything inside him eased and softened and he couldn’t help the broad grin that pulled his mouth. He wanted to grab her and hug her. “It wasn’t what I had in mind,” he admitted. “But I’m trying to slow down here.”

She nodded. “Okay. Where should we go?”

“Mickey D’s. Where else is there?”

“What!” She sputtered a laugh. “In your tux and this dress, we’re going to McDonald’s?”

He grinned. “You bet. I’m craving a Big Mac.”

Shaking her head, she leaned back in her seat. “Okay. Sure.”

Uncaring of the looks they attracted, they ordered at the counter then he carried the tray to a table in the back corner of the restaurant. The smell of the burgers and fries filled his head and tempted him. He handed Tori her hamburger and Diet Coke and then opened the box of his own burger. “Yum,” he said. “I’m addicted to these.”

“Big Macs? Or any kind of burger?”

“Pretty much any kind.” He took a big bite.

“You know it’s not really that healthy. You’re a doctor, for heaven’s sake.”

He smiled as he chewed and swallowed. “I know. Don’t do as I do, do as I say.”

She laughed and shook her head, picking up a French fry. “Okay.”

They talked as they ate, about all kinds of things – families, work, school, living in Santa Barbara. Talking to her was easy and fun and he wanted to know everything about her. By the time they left the fast-food restaurant he felt more in control of himself, a little less like throwing her over his shoulder like a cave man and carrying her back to her place to have his way with her. The thought made him grin.

“What’s so funny?”

He turned to her beside the car having unlocked the door for her. “Me.”

She nodded, lips quirked. “It’s good to laugh at yourself.”

“Yeah. I’m a laugh a minute for myself. Seriously.”

Her expression warmed and heat exploded between them again. He bent his head and kissed her, unable to stop himself. Soft and sweet, her mouth opened for his and heat poured through him, coalescing in his groin, hard and hot. Jesus! He loved her mouth. Loved the softness of her tongue. Loved the graze of her teeth. Loved the way she kissed him back.

“I’m going to take you home now,” he whispered against her mouth, fighting for breath. “And I’m not coming in with you. But I am going to call you. And we are going to go out.”

“Another fabulous dinner date?”

Laughter sprang up inside him as he moved away from her, every nerve ending in his body on fire. Christ, never mind laughing at himself, she made him laugh and he loved it. “Maybe I’ll spring for pizza.”

She laid a hand on his cheek. “That sounds great.”

*****

When Tori was alone in her house, she hopped slowly into her living room and dropped onto her couch. She stared across the room, sitting in the dark, the lights of the city spread below her window out to the blackness of the ocean.

She touched her fingertips to her mouth, where Dev had kissed her.

Dev. His name was Dev. Dev Fillmore. A doctor.

A man.

Why had she made that crack about him being a baby? It had annoyed him, and she’d hated herself for that, and plus, he was so far from a baby, or even a boy, it was ridiculous.

She leaned back into the softness of the couch and closed her eyes, remembering the smell of his skin, a sexy male scent mingled with spicy sandalwood and sage, remembering the roughness of his face against hers, the faint abrasion of his whiskers another reminder of his masculinity, his maturity. Remembering the strength in his hands, the width of his shoulders, the power of his gaze when he’d looked into her eyes and threatened to carry her out of there.

Remembering how she’d melted, how her panties had literally grown wet, how she’d ached between her thighs, how…she’d wanted him to carry her out of there.

Dear god, she’d wanted him to carry her out of there.

She knew her own weaknesses, her own triggers and hot buttons and Dev had been pushing them all evening. Wow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I finished Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale. I loved this story. I so admire how her heroines are so likeable and sympathetic. And I loved Hubert! It was so touching when Callie loses him, when she'd been so eager to take him to the fair and show him, when she brushes his tail and buffs his hooves. And Trev was such a sympathetic bad boy, too. A fun story with a neat little twist at the end.

I then moved on to Kate Pearce's Simply Insatiable. I've loved all Kate's other "Simply" stories. She's so good at the wounded hero and I was really looking forward to seeing how she handled Minshom - he was such a jerk! I wondered how she would make him sympathetic, if not likeable. But she gave him a troubled past that worked. He was still a jerk, but every time he acted like a jerk, we were inside his head and understood why. My only wee quibble is the introduction of   Thomas Wesley - he kind of shows up out of the blue and at the end Minshom mentions him and the possibility of a...er...get together... yet I never felt there was much emotion between the two of them.

Now I'm reading Erin McCarthy's latest "The Taking". Just barely into it, so more next week!

Monday, May 17, 2010

WIPs and Chains


I haven't written a word in a couple of weeks. As you know from my previous blog posts, I've been busy with writing work other than writing. I've also been struggling a bit with the two stories I have in progress, going back and forth betwen them.  I sat down and made a list of other story ideas. Many of the ideas I have involve secondary characters from other stories. I've worked through a few of them, made some plans, figured out some characters but wasn't excited about any of them. And then I got some really discouraging news and on top of the struggles with the writing and a blow to the self-confidence, I decided to take a break from writing. And in fact, not just from writing but all the networking stuff, too, like Twitter and Facebook and all the loops I belong to. I didn't even blog Friday, and considered not blogging today. Feeling like a big failure, I just need to get away from it for a while, I think. Take some pressure off myself. Really, I don't know why I push so hard when the publishing inndustry moves so slowly. I have three submissions out, with my agent and two with editors, so I can't send out anything else to them and I have ten completed mansuscripts waiting to go (though at this point I'm pretty sure they're all a bunch of crap). 

I can't say I've been happy spending the last week not writing. In fact, I've felt pretty down. On the other hand this is a good time to take a break. There are lots of other things to do to spend my time:

1. read a book

2. work out

3. have a bubble bath

4. gardening and planting flowers

5. read a book

6. go for a massage

7. watch TV (hockey playoffs!)

8. mani/pedi

9. clean toilets

10. bake cookies

11. go for a run
12. read a book

13. shopping

Monday, May 10, 2010

WIPs and Chains

If it's that hard to make myself do it....maybe I shouldn't be.

Lat week I wrote about all the research I'd done and how I'd gotten back into the "Ponzi" story. Well, I came up with the most Amazing Idea for the plot to link all the books in this planned series together and did even more research. I thought it was brilliant. Until Friday when I looked at it and thought "This is so stupid."

Sigh.

Maybe it will still work. I don't know. But since it had now been a week since I'd gone back through that story, I had to review it again to get my head back into it and I wrote about 20 pages on it and today I'm procrastinating so much going back to it, I'm thinking it it's just not that much fun to write, I'm not going to do it. Writing is fun for me - or it should be. If I had a contract and a deadline maybe I'd feel different and I'd push on with this, but for now, it's going on the back burner (again!).

I feel like working on something fresh and I have a few ideas kicking around and maybe I'll start one of them. Something fun and easy...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sneak peek

Because it's NHL playoff season, I'm sharing another little snippet from my hockey story, Breakaway, not yet published (but stay tuned for news):


“Would you like to go get some dinner?” Jace blurted out.


Remi stared at him.

“Dinner?”

“Yeah.” He lifted a shoulder. “You know. In a restaurant.” Oh, Jesus, he might as well just disappear and never come back. What a moron. Like she’d ever want to go out again with someone like him.

“Why?”

“Uh...why not?” He tried his smile, the one that usually worked with women. Not this time.

“I thought we were just having one night of fun,” she said.

“Yeah. Well. We could have two nights of fun.”





Remi’s tummy did a little flip.

“I don’t think so,” she said breaking eye contact and picking up the folder she planned to take home. “I’m not really made for fun. Apparently. After what happened the last time.” Add to that the fact that he’d said he was going to call her when he clearly had no intention of ever doing that, having dinner with him would be a big mistake.

He laughed. “I told you. That was funny. Maybe not at that moment. I think it’s nice that your friend cares that much about you.”

And it also showed how out of character it was for her to do something like that, but she didn’t want to point that out to Mr. Fun.

“Come on, Remi.” His voice was deep and velvety soft. “Come play again.”

The suggestive words and the silky tone of his voice made her shiver, made her nipples tingle, made her insides clench.

He reached out and stroked a hand down her bare forearm, lingering at her wrist, his thumb stroking over her pulse there.

“Let’s go out.”

“When?”

“Right now. Tonight.”

“I can’t go out on a school night!”

He laughed. “Why not? It’s just dinner.”

Why not indeed? Remi nibbled her bottom lip. No Jasmine or Kyle waiting at home for her to cook dinner. She had papers to mark but that could wait till later. What was wrong with a dinner out? Other than this guy was the hottest guy on the planet and was dangerous like dynamite. And about as resistible as chocolate.

“Just fun?” she asked.

He nodded. “Just fun.”

“Why not?” she murmured.

“We could go to Inferno,” he said. “The food’s incredible there.”

It was the hottest, most expensive restaurant in Chicago. She looked down at her black pants and teal blue turtleneck sweater.

“I’m not really dressed for that,” she murmured. “Neither are you.”

“True.” He shrugged. “How about pizza?”

She smiled at him. “That sounds great.”

They dropped her car off at home and he took her to Mama Sophia’s. Over deep-dish pizza and beer she quizzed him about his hockey career. “I don’t know much about hockey,” she admitted. “But I think it’s very rough.”

“It can be.” He smiled at her. “That’s the fun part.”

“Do you fight?”

He laughed. “I have been known to mix it up a bit. But not often. There was a time back when I was a junior player and I was headed to goonsville because of my size, but my coach—a great, great man—convinced me not to go that way.” He tilted his head. “You should come to a game.”

“Oh. Yeah. Maybe.”

“I’ll get you a ticket. I’ll get you two tickets and you can bring your friend…what’s her name…?”

“Delise.”

“Yeah. She didn’t seem too impressed with me the other night. I think I should make it up to her.”

“It wasn’t you she wasn’t happy with, it was me.” Remi grimaced. “She’s the one who wanted me to find a guy that night and get lucky. Then when I did, she freaked out and got all paranoid that I was leaving with a serial killer.”

Jace choked on a mouthful of beer. “Good to know she has a high opinion of me.”

Remi laughed. “She didn’t even know who you were. She would have felt that way if I was going home with the Pope.”

“Ha. Be glad it was me. You wouldn’t have gotten three orgasms with the Pope.”

Now it was her turn to choke. “I didn’t get three! We were interrupted…”

“Damn. That’s right.” His eyes went even darker. “I guess I owe you one more, then.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Still working on Delicious by Shayla Black. Having a teensy little problem with Luc. This guy is dating a "nice girl' who he thinks is good wife and mother material, so he can have kids with her. He knows they won't be having much sex because he's not really attracted to her that way (the way he is to Alyssa, the heroine, who is a stripper) but that's okay, because she'll be a good wife and mother. WTF? WHAT ABOUT HER? Did he never think she might not want to be in a marriage with no sex? Geez, man! Why would you do that to someone?

And I finished Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov (confession: it's overdue at the library but I couldn't renew it because someone else wants it, so I kept it). I wish I'd read this book when I was 19 and needed it. There are some things in the book that made me cringe and some things I was nodding wholeheartedly to. Be prepared for a number of provocative blog posts about this book!

Monday, May 3, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Another week of very little writing. I have to get over the idea that if I'm not actually writing, I'm not accomplishing anything. There's so much more to this "writing thing" than I anticipated when I started out.

Last week there was promo - with my Nine Naughty Novelists and with another group of authors at the Samhain Cafe, which meant about four hours of on-line promo work. That's important, right? But no actual writing got done that day!

I also did a lot of research. I've mentioned before my "Ponzi" story and how I intended it to be part of a series of stories. When I started work on it many months ago, I felt overwhelmed by trying to plan out a whole series and I let go of the "series" part of it and just focused on the Ponzi story. Which has progressed, though I got stuck, left it, went back to it, left it again. A few weeks ago the library books I'd been waiting for to use as research came available, and that got me started again. And then somewhere out of the blue, the idea for the overall plot that would connect the series came to me! And I got deeper and deeper into more on-line research.

I have to say here - I love research. When I was in university, I loved doing research for papers, reading, making notes, learning. And research is even more fun for a book because it's research into things that interest me. I can see the danger of getting too involved in research and never writing!

I still haven't figured everything out - but I also know that I don't have to have every little thing figured out to be able to start writing, because ideas come to me as I write and often the characters figure things out for me.

Yesterday I finally got back to the story. Started at the beginning, using some of the new information I have, to change some details here and there. I added a scene that I now know has to be there, to set up what happens later. And I think I'm ready to move forward with this story. Because even though I now have the series figured out, I still have to write that first story!