Monday, November 29, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Wow I've been doing pretty good on the WIP this week! I might actually finish another book!

It's so funny but it seems I can't get over the feeling that I might never be able to do it again. I don't know if other writers feel that way...?

As I get closer to the end of the story, I'm more motivated to keep going. I think the hardest part is starting a book - those 70,000 words (or whatever the goal is) loom in front of you like an impossible goal. But when you're at 68,000 words it finally seems doable.

And not only that, when it gets close to the end, like any book, I have to find out how it all turns out!

I said that to my husband on Saturday morning -  I have to work on it and finish it because I have to know how it all turns out! He laughed at me. "Don't you know how it's goign to turn out?" he asked.

Well, yes, I do. Sort of. Of course there's going to be a happy ending. Of course they're going to end up together. And in this case I knew WHO was going to end up together, though I hope readers wonder. :-)
But I don't know exactly how that's going to happen, because it's up to the characters. I don't know what exactly they're going to say or do until my fingers are tapping on the computer keys. And I want to know as much as anybody!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Release Day for Taming Tara!

I'm keeping this post short because I've blogged in several places this week about my release today. Taming Tara is out with Ellora's Cave. I've blogged about how this story is a modern-day telling of The Taming of the Shrew. If you're interested in how Shakespeare inspired a D/s story, check out the blogs  here and here).and I also blogged today at Nine Naughty Novelists about the naming woes I had with this book.

As always, if you're a member of my newsletter, I'll give away a copy of Taming Tara to one commenter there - I know it's a busy holiday weekend so I'm going to draw the winner Sunday evening.



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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I finished It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This story turned out better than I expected from the first chapter, with lots of fun and interesting twists and turns that I really enjoyed. Now I'm reading Cowgirls Don't Cry by Lorelei James, always like her books.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Sorry this is a day late - for some reason Blogger decided not to post it yesterday.
 I'm not sure how many words I wrote this past week because I don't always keep track of that. I don't think it was the most productive week ever, but I did do some work on my WIP, which I posted a little excerpt from last week. I also spent some time working on a couple of new ideas, getting them started. This time I'm using a little different planning process, thanks to the workshop I've been taking called The Big Question. In fact, in that workshop I've been working on  yet another idea and planning it out. This process of starting with "the big question" that your story is about works the opposite of how I usually plan a story. Sometimes I have a story idea and sometimes I start with the characters, but I always start the planning process with the characters, developing them and then figuring out plot points that will challenge them and make them grow. With this other process, I have the story question and then come up with some plot points and THEN develop the characters, developing them to fit the story. There's no right or wrong way, but I'm going to try this and see how it works out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest blogging and a contest

Beth Kery is celebrating the release of her next book Explosive (can't wait to read it!) at her blog and I'm a guest there Monday/Tuesday - some time Tuesday she'll draw for a winner of a download of  my book Power Struggle and she's also having an "Explosive" contest - so come by and find out what my next Ellora's Cave release Taming Tara has to do with Shakespeare!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Sneak Peek

Courgette or Zucchini!!

By samsfadil Flickr

Here's a sneak peek from a work in progress, tentatively titled With Strings Attached:


“Hey if you guys are going to hang out in here, you can help.”  Matt got Corey scrubbing the little potatoes he’d bought at the market and Dylan cutting up the vegetables he’d already washed.

Dylan held up a baby yellow zucchini, not much bigger than his thumb. “Hey, you know what this reminds me of?”

The wicked gleam in his eye told Matt exactly where the asshole was going with that, but Corey turned and looked and said, “What?”

“Matt’s dick.”

“Oh har,” Matt said. “Very funny.”

Corey snorted, though. “As if.” She looked over at the counter where Dylan sat on a stool, and picked up a large green zucchini. Really large. “I’d say more like this.”

Matt grinned and nodded. Dylan laughed. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot you two are friends with benefits. Of course you’d know all about that.”

“You must have been thinking of your own junk,” Matt said, nodding at the tiny squash.

Corey laughed again and so did Dylan. “Bullshit.”

“I can’t believe we’re talking about the size of your man parts,” she said, reaching for a towel to dry her hands, the potatoes all scrubbed and in a pot. “Men. You guys are all so insecure about your size.”

“I’m not insecure!” Dylan protested.

“Sure,” she said with patent patronization. “Uh-huh. The more you protest...”

“Hey. You want me to whip it out right here?”

“I dare you.”

Matt held up a hand. “Stop! Not in the kitchen, for god’s sake.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone! Last week I finished off my Kristan Higgins marathon with Catch of the Day. I really, really liked it, but it wasn't my favourite, though I'm not sure I could say which one was - really loved Just One of the Guys. Also The Next Best Thing. My only complaint about her books is they end too abruptly - I'd like a little more satisfaction with ending, if that makes any sense at all.

Decided to switch conteporary gears and go with a Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel - and I chose It Had To Be You. Now I've already met these characters in a later book, but that's okay.The thing about this book that really struck me (and not in a great way) is the omniscient point of view in the entire first chapter. Which might also be called head hopping. Holy man, times have changed I think. That really just set me off. Into Chapter Two we seem to have settled into one character's point of view. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WIPs and Chains

The last week hasn't been extremely productive in terms of working on my two "works in progress", though I have continued to work on them. I did write FIVE blog posts however, and did some work to prepare for release day coming up November 26 (Taming Tara). I'm also doing another workshop right now which takes some time and involves homework - gah! And I did some planning and brainstorming on another project I have in mind. I got this idea and I want to try to flesh it out, but I know once I do that I'm going to be tempted to abandon my WIPs and start on it. I keep thinking about priorities and what I can do with these projects and time frames but there's so much that's out of my control as a writer (response times from publishers, response time from agent, whether something will be accepted or rejected, how long it takes to actualy get published after acceptance) it makes it nearly impossible to plan ahead. I LIKE planning so this frustrates me and I have to keep reminding myself, "JUST WRITE".

Friday, November 12, 2010

TGIF

It's blogtastic Friday!
I'm at The Bradford Bunch today talking about Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day with a true story about my father-in-law that I hope will inspire you.

I'm also at the Nine Naughty Novelists and I want to know - where do you buy your ebooks?

For a Friday sneak peek, here's another little snippet from my upcoming Ellora's Cave release, Taming Tara:



“You want that,” he whispered, bending his head to her. She shivered in his arms. His hand slid lower on her tummy, over the corset, lower…Her pussy clenched hard.


“No,” she said. “That’s not what I want.”

“What do you want?”

“I…I want to be the one in control.”

“Why aren’t you with those submissive boys tonight, then?”

She blinked. “I didn’t…they’re not here.”

“There are others.” He nuzzled her hair.

She sucked briefly on her bottom lip. She didn’t want to admit to him last week’s scene had left her feeling let down; as though none of them had been truly satisfied.

“Remember what I told you—the best way to learn is to experience it. Come with me,” his voice cajoled, seduced, his hands caressing her stomach. “Let me show you.”

Heat raced through her, lust sliced through her. Everything inside her yearned to say yes.

The scene in front of them, the beauty of the woman’s submission, the thrill of the man’s dominance, combined with the hard strength of Joe’s arms around her made it so hard to say no to him.

“No.” The word came out like a whimper and he gave a soft laugh.

“Oh yeah, that was convincing.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Yes I AM on a Kristan Higgins binge! This week I finished off  All I Ever Wanted and immediately bought The Next Best Thing. This one has my heart aching for Ethan. Although there is no male POV in her stories (that I've read so far, anyway) I can see what's going on with him so clearly, which is really well done. Pretty sure I'm going to read another KH book after this...

Monday, November 8, 2010

WIPs and Chains

So how do you like the new photo? I'm kinda liking it!

This past week I've continued working on my two main works in progress, going back and forth between them, and it's been going great! I've been cranking out some great word count, though I did get a little hung up yesterday, so I went for a run and did some yard work. Today I broke through the little writer's block.

Last week I also spent some time working on a plotting spreadsheet. This isn't as scary as it sounds. I've learned I'm not a plotter, or I shouldn't be anyway, because it takes all the fun out of writing when I know what's going to happen. But as I write (this is my own process) I have some looseleaf sheets that I jot down notes about each scene and chapter - the page numbers, whose point of view it's in, a few words about what happens. This helps me pace myself, so I know when I need a hook to end a scene or chapter, so I know I'm not writing too much in one character's point of view, and so I know when I'm getting close to a turning point (which I do plan out ahead). Lately I've been highlighting the character POV with different colour markers and adding in the plot, subplot or secondary plot that's in the scene also with coloured pens, thanks to the last workshop I took.

So I decided to try a spreadsheet instead of paper and it's been working well. I could use it to plot the whole story, but I just use it to do my scene notes as I go. It shows the word count for each scene as well as the TOTAL word count, and I've got colours for each POV and plot line. It has spaces for the scene goal (which I usually know before I write) and a short summary of the scene (which I don't know until after I write it - sometimes those darn characters just take over!) So I'm pretty happy with my plot spreadsheet!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sneak peek Friday

Here's a little snippet from my upcoming Ellora's Cave release, Taming Tara - coming November 26!!
Also you can see the trailer here


      She poured a small amount of olive oil into a plastic cup. “Place it in the palm of your hand and cover it with your fingers to warm it,” she instructed Joe, showing him with a small cup of her own. “After a minute or two, hold the cup under your nose to appreciate the bouquet of the oil.”
     They lifted the cups to their noses.
     “Remember earlier I said the organoleptic properties were taste, aroma, feel?”
      He nodded. “It smells like olive oil,” he said, wrinkling his nose and flashing those appealing dimples.
      She laughed. “Okay. Now place a small amount of oil on your lower lip, and with the tip of your tongue, taste the oil for its degree of sweetness.”
      Oh God. This might have been a big mistake. Watching his tongue come out and lick his full bottom lip was so sexy. She cleared her throat. “Now, sip the oil and taste for spiciness, using the sides of your tongue.”
      She waited.
      “First, what do you feel?” she asked him, watching his face.
      “Mmm…” His dark brows drew down. “It feels smooth…oily.”
      “How about thick? Sticky? Cooling?”
      He shook his head. “Yes. It’s thick and smooth but…not cooling, it’s…warmer.”
      Huh. How about that. “Good. And what do you taste?”
      “I would say this is…kind of peppery.”
       “Wow. I’m impressed. Here, try it with some bread.” She ripped a hunk off a crusty loaf and handed it to him. He dipped it in the oil and chewed on it thoughtfully.
      “It’s peppery and warm, but not really biting.”
      “It’s not making you feel like you have to cough? Not burning in the back of the throat?”
      “I do feel it in the back of my throat, but not like I’m going to cough.”
      “Good. It mellows over time. This is our Arbosana. It’s a perfect complement to traditional, rustic dishes such as bruschetta with garlic, pasta and beans, panzanella.”
      Joe grinned. “Sounds like home. And it’s not pasta and beans—it’s pasta e fagioli.”
      He said it with an Italian roll to the words that was so freakin’ sexy she felt herself melt deep inside.
      Drawing in a deep breath, she poured more oil into a clean cup and they continued their tasting. Watching Joe savor the tastes, closing his eyes to get a deeper appreciation of the aromas and tastes and feel of the oils was a disconcertingly arousing experience. He was a sensual man, obviously enjoying the sensory pleasures of the olive oils. Her lower abdomen grew warm and achy and she squeezed her thighs together.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Except it's Thurday *hanging head with shame at being such a delinquent blogger*

I finished Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Not my favourite book of hers either. It had a couple of funny moments, but for me there wasn't enough about Mnnie (cute name; get it?). I never sensed the maternal love Becky has for Minnie, in fact they didn't spend a lot of time together and when Minnie has "issues" they hire a professional nanny to deal with it instead of dealing with it themselves. That disappointed. me. I do sense another story coming, though, with Luke reconcilitation with his mother  - any bets?? :-)

I then read another Kristan Higgins books, Just One of the Guys. LOVED this book! Chastity really stuck in my mind, what a great character. Since I liked it so much, I bought All I Ever Wanted, also by Kristan Higgins. Just started it last night. My third book of hers and I'm starting to see the pattern...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WIPs and Chains


Okay - what happened to my picture!  Look at the thing go! Do you realize I never knew until just now that it was animated? I wonder if everyone else has been seeing that?  I think I may need to search out a new image! (Not that it's not appropriate for some of my stories!)

I've really been on a writing roll this week! I've been turning out between 2000 and 4000 words nearly every day, and man does it feel good after a long dry spell. Last week I mentioned I'd been working on Gabe's story and then switched over to With Strings Attached. I wrote and wrote on that story up until today, and then went back to Gabe's for a while. Gabe's story is at about 21,000 words and With Strings Attached is over 32,000 so I'm really happy with my progress. In fact, I was so busy writing I forgot to write this blog post yesterday. And now...cracking the WHIP...back to work!