Tag Archives: story

Massive Birthday Thanks!

Thank you all so much for those who attended my Facebook Birthday Party!

There were so many giveaways and prizes, not just from me but also from other great authors who love a party!spectacseptauthors

Special thanks to the participating authors, CA Szarek, JM Walker, Anne Conley, Marie Skye, Tanya Sands, Krystal Shannan, Marsha West, Jerrie Alexander, Kimberly Packard, Angi Morgan, Roni Loren, and CM Doporto. You are all rockstars!

And major congrats to all the winners of those sweet contests! Several of them made out with multiple prizes!

I feel so blessed, so loved, and EXCITED!

youloveme

I have recently signed a contract to rerelease AUDREY’S PROMISE with another publisher, and this should hopefully be released no later than the end of October. I’ve been pouring over images, models, backgrounds all trying to find that perfect picture for the cover. I’ve revamped a lot of it and changed a few things. You will not want to miss the new edition!

As soon as I have an official release date I will share it. I will also host a cover reveal party on my page as well. So please keep checking back on my website! Or you could always sign up for my newsletter, and receive those updates personally! *wink wink

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Shortly after that, the ROYALS OF SOLANA series will be released one novel at a time, but in quick succession. This one is so steamy and more intense than the first editions, you’ll need to turn on the fan in every room when you read it!

So many exciting things going on! I can’t wait to share them with you!

Until then, have a fabulous rest of September, and keep reading!

gatsbycheers

 

Release Day for PRINCE OF SOLANA!

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Click on cover for Amazon link

It’s finally here! It’s finally release day for my newest book baby, Prince of Solana!

And with all of the ice and snow, it couldn’t be more perfectly timed! I could really use a tropical escape.

There are so many people to thank for helping me get this book through to publication. The agonizing hours of editing that I thought would never end, and all of the incredibly helpful critiques that forced me to swallow my pride because they were so right… mostly to my critique partners in Greater Fort Worth Writer’s group, to my family for putting up with my crazy side while I fought through writing this, to my mother for our summer plotting sessions in the pool, to my brother the history buff in helping me make this realistic, to my father for reading the story before I submitted it (yes, a romance! Thanks Dad!), and especially my husband. My ultimate support and encouragement. For watching our boys so I could write, attend critique meetings, and promote my passion.

And how do we celebrate a new book release in our house? By packing more boxes to get ready for our move!

I hope everyone loves this book and as much as I do! I hope Andre becomes your new book boyfriend, and the Island of Solana is a wonderful escape from winter for you. If you liked the story, please be sure to leave a review on Amazon, GoodReads, or from wherever you bought the book. Now I’m off to finish writing the sequel, JEWEL OF SOLANA! Princess Alanna’s story!

Open Call for Reviewers- FREE E-Book!

I received wonderful news from my publisher last week, announcing they are giving their authors more free e-copies of their novels to share with reviewers and bloggers!

Guess what that means?FreeEBook

OPEN CALL FOR REVIEWERS!

I’m asking for anyone who is willing to read AUDREY’S PROMISE, and write a review (at least 150 words) to post onto Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Good Reads, and any review sites they belong to (blogs included). I will email a .pdf file copy of the novel to you (completely FREE!), and you can download it to any device you prefer (Kindle, Nook,  Kobo, etc).

WriteAReviewMy request is that the review be posted within 6 weeks of receiving the novel. If you don’t like the book, that’s ok. I will not be offended. But please keep your reviews PG rated (no swearing or personal attacks). Keep it strictly on the book and characters. 🙂

Here’s the book blurb:

Audrey Allen is poised to become the youngest Texas senator, a position that fits her nickname, The Peacemaker. But she’s unable to make peace with many in her hometown, where memories and grudges run deep from a decade-old tragedy. 
Ethan Tanner, an ambitious and tantalizing journalist, joins her at Thanksgiving for an in-depth look at the promising candidate. But he has an agenda of his own that’s not entirely honorable.
Ethan could stir up trouble for her budding career, or awaken the deep passions she’s buried for so long. Will Ethan find that he values love more than getting the story?

Thank you in advance! Either comment on this posting or send me an email through my CONTACT PAGE.

Now: KeepCalmReadOn

Great Opportunity to Read Free Books!

I know a lot of avid readers out there (myself included) that would hurdle over a semi-truck for this chance to read a bunch of great books like this! BookLove

North Texas RWA is holding a new contest for published books, called the Carolyn Reader’s Choice Awards. Judges will read various Advanced Reader Copies of novels (for free!!!) from up to 9 categories, and score them based on certain criteria.

Here’s the sweet part: they need judges! Anyone salivating yet?

The judges are avid readers who are not members of any professional writing organization or associated with the publishing industry in any way. That means no authors, no editors, no agents, etc… Just people who love to read romance novels! Since these are romances (varying heat levels), they require all judges to be at least 18 years old.

There’s an online application if you’d like to become a judge. You can fill out your preferences for which categories you’d like to read, which heat levels you’re comfortable with, as well as which length novels you’d prefer. Talk about best of all worlds!

Here’s the kicker: there’s a time frame you MUST stick to. You can choose which round you’d like to enter, the first or the final. First round is through March 14th, 2014. You’ll need to read at least the first 30 pgs of up to 6 novels. The final round begins March 31st, and ends May 14th, which means you’ll need to read up to 3 full stories in that timeframe. But that’s not as intimidating as it sounds. With awesome books like these, you should fly through them like a G6 plane!

For more information on the contest, click here

To apply to judge the Carolyn Reader’s Choice Award, click here

2013 NTRWA Logo Full Color

If you’d like to see more about North Texas Romance Writers of America, click here. They’re a local writer’s group full of experience, resources, and fun!

Hope you enjoy!

Cautiously Optimistic Happy Dance

 

Time for another happy dance, folks…

Yes, I love Steve Carrell

I need to celebrate the little milestones, although this one isn’t so little.

I received a FULL manuscript request from an editor. And of course, the minute I saw it, I started my own little happy dance around my kitchen island. Then called my hubby, parents, posted on Facebook, and texted a few folks.

I know I got a little ahead of myself. This isn’t a request for representation yet or a publishing contract (if only!). But I’ve only had 1 other full manuscript request in my life, so I have to grin about this!

I entered an online pitch contest, where I had 35 words to entice editors to want more. That’s it. 35 words.  ACK!!

Do you know how hard it is to create an entire book blurb in just 35 words? And not just that, but to make the editor/agent drooling for more. I thought writing a 1 page query was tough.

I submitted the pitch, along with 199 other people, thinking that at best I would get a request for the first chapter or ten pages. But a FULL? Sweetness!!!

Granted, there were at least 20 people who received full manuscript requests, but I’d expect that. Because I read through a lot of the other pitches and they were excellent! Really intriguing stories that had me drooling. Clearly, writing a 35-word blurb was easier for them than for me.

And congrats to all the other folks who received requests, as well. This industry is freakin’ tough and anything like this that gives us opportunities, I’ll rave over.

I’ll let you know if anything comes of this. For now, I’ll do my little happy dance and keep on writing.

 

My Favorite Stories

Some of my favorite little novellas and short stories have been rejected by the mass market of readers. It’s a shame they haven’t hit the New York Times or USA Today’s Bestseller’s List, or at the very least Oprah’s Book Club.

Pride & Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen 

Edgar Allen Poe’s Torture and Mutilation Guide

Tropical Field of Dreams: Ode to the Everglades

The Bitch & Biker’s Guide to the Galaxy Theater

Deaf’s Guide to Rock & Roll Music

Blind’s Red Rose Garden

Jiminy Cricket’s Ode to the Bug Zapper

Lying Solves Everything by Oscar Wilde

Ernest Hemingway’s Bartending Guide

 Thought it would be nice to share my favorites with the world. Happy April Fool’s!

Protesting a Book, In My Own Subtle Way

Bad editing of a promising book is like finding out your favorite food

Just in case you were hungry, now you're not

is made of dog crap.

I’d expect a few mistakes on a debut author, particularly if it was self-published or an e-book. Sometimes the formatting on E-Books can be the Devil, no matter how many times you proofread it before you hit ‘Submit.’

But this was a Hard-Back book from a major publishing house, written by a New York Times Bestselling Author. (I won’t name the book or author, but its a name every romance reader knows). I read it several months ago and vowed never to pick up another one from them. Then I walked thru the bookstore the other day and found a new release from her. And I scowled. In the middle of the aisle, in a brick-and-mortor bookstore, with other people around me. Actually scowled.

I could have written a better manuscript than what she submitted, but this woman keeps getting more and more contracts, and clearly doesn’t care about the quality she submits. And what’s even worse, the editors don’t even care to call her out on the mistakes. Maybe they don’t even bother reading it. It’s so frustrating. Particularly for someone who’s trying to break into the publishing world.

The book I ended throwing across the room had serious mistakes. Entire paragraphs repeated. What newbie editor doesn’t catch that??? Repetitive phrasing throughout every chapter. I wanted to puke every time I read the words ‘pleasure.’ She used it 3 or 4 times in a single paragraph. Imagine that, EVERY OTHER PARAGRAPH throughout half the story.

Personally, I think that editor should have been fired. If she isn’t going to take the time to respect her job and the publishing industry, then I don’t want to take the time to read anything that crosses her desk. And as for the author, it was clear she didn’t care about the story at all. She was probably so pressed on a deadline and was so far behind, she just vomited words on the page and clicked ‘Send’ in her email. She stopped respecting her own profession. Thereby, I’ve stopped respecting her books.

I guess that’s how I protest things I disagree with. I don’t purchase their products. Just like I don’t buy gas from Exxon Mobile or Citgo (7/11’s). (Exxon Mobile is a horribly unethical company and Citgo is a Venezuelan company and supports Hugo Chavez. Just in case you care to join in my protest.) I don’t buy Lady Gaga music, and anytime Chris Brown songs come on the radio, I change the station.

Before you click away from this posting claiming here’s another liberal, sign-toting, picket-line enthusiast, I’m actually not that liberal. I’m a conservative. Personally, picket lines are pointless. You should be spending that time at your job, or protesting in a more productive way, like donating money to the cause, or even better, taking money away from the target. Nothing is more effective than hurting the pockets of a controversy.

But alas, that means I must add another person/company to the list of stores/products that I will not purchase in my own subtle protest. This one just hurts a little more because someone is succeeding with crap in a business that’s close to my heart.

How about you? How do you react to a bad book? And take it a step further: how to show your disapproval for companies or products that disappoint you?

How Do Women Write Men?

Interesting topic came to mind during a recent chapter revision.

It’s probably for the same reason you don’t see many male romance authors out there, simply because most men have no clue how to write a woman character and make it believable. Every little detail: gestures, word choice, slang, as well as what a woman would notice first looking at a man, or even another woman.

A lot of earlier romances had the stereotypical male hero: rough, tough, very little emotion, and all action. Either no words at all, or any words were based on the Tarzan psyche (Me want Jane. Me hungry.) I wonder if those male depictions in earlier writing were because most women authors didn’t know how to portray a realistic male character.

I ran into that issue the other week. My male character said certain things and behaved certain ways that didn’t sound believable. So I sent the chapter to a male critique buddy of mine, who helped me ‘man him up.’ (Another reason why I highly suggest joining a writer’s group!)

Such simple things like phrasing:

Original version: “People are mean.”

Manned up version: “People are cruel.”

Or how they refer to their own bodies:

Original version: ‘Thin Man clunked his beer bottle on the bar and jerked up his worn jeans over his hips.’

Manned up version: ‘Thin Man clunked his beer bottle on the bar and jerked up in worn jeans over his exposed whity-tighties.’

(I was told men never refer to their ‘hips.’)

There were several other areas that my critique pal noted were too ‘feminine’ for a male character (or at least the male character I was trying to portray). It’s amazing how different men and women will describe even a setting or what someone is wearing.

These kinds of suggestions are invaluable to me. It helps me learn how to write male characters better (and since my husband doesn’t read my work, I rely more heavily on my writer’s group.)

Women writers: how do you write your men? What tricks do you use to keep them realistic?