Thursday, June 27, 2013

Designs For Him Review

I'm thrilled to share that my e-book, Designs For Him, has just been reviewed by Hearts on Fire!  It's been out for a few weeks now, so I'm happy that the story is still attracting attention in such a crowded marketplace.  I hope you all check it out!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Writing What You Love

One of my favorite writing blogs is A Newbie's Guide to Publishing not only because it's funny and informative, but the comments section often provide a lot of insight and perspective.  If you're thinking about going the self-publishing route, the blog is a MUST read.  However, there's still a wealth of knowledge to be gained even if, like me, you are submitting and querying publishers.

A recent guest post by Dakota Madison addressed the push-and-pull of writing what you love vs. writing what will sell.  After writing several "interesting" books that resulted in low sales, Karen Mueller Bryson decided to become romance writer Dakota Madison and starting writing books that have earned, in her words, "pay-the-mortgage" money.  As a romance writer, I'm thrilled to hear about her success because it means there's a chance I might one day encounter similar good fortune with my writing.  Yet, I can't say I'm entirely comfortable with the tone of her post because she makes the process of writing romance novels sound easy and implies it's a path to big bucks.  At least that's what I took away from it, but I might be reading too much into what she's saying.

Writing romance isn't easy, at least not for me.  Part of the problem is that I edit as I write, but I'm also questioning the direction my characters are taking or whether my plot is really working.  As a result, it's really slow going for me, but the end product is a work I'm proud to submit.  And I don't think I'd be able to do it at all, slow or not, if I didn't enjoy what I was writing and have a genuine interest and passion for the genre.  I'll admit I kind of wish chick-lit would make a big return because I LOVE writing stories with bitchy, self-absorbed narrators.  But I know that trend has run its course, for now anyway, and more heartfelt, steamier romances are what's hot right now.  It's all a matter of striking that balance between the stories you want to tell and the stories that you know will sell.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Low Production

I'm still working on a story for a submissions call and making good progress, overall.  I'll make the deadline with no problem but today was a low production day and I'm feeling a little frustrated by it.  I know that you have to think of writing as a marathon, not a sprint, but I'm an impatient Aries who 'sprinted' earlier this week and wants to sprint again.  I realize that any writing that puts me closer to the goal of finishing is a good thing, but sometimes I can't help but wish I was getting to the goal a little faster.

On the bright side, I might be able to post some good news about another submission of mine in two or three days.  It's really exciting news and I can't wait to share it!  :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rainbow Book Review for Designs For Him

I'm thrilled to share that Designs For Him has been reviewed by my fellow Total-E-Bound author Serena Yates for Rainbow Book Reviews, which you can read here.  This is the second time Serena has reviewed a book of mine and I'm very grateful for the time she takes to write with such a thoughtfulness and care.

I've finished polishing the story I was working on for the submissions call, and all I need to do now is come up with a blurb for it.  After that I can hit 'send.' (eek!)  Next up, another story for another submissions call.  I don't want to take a break while I'm on a roll, but time off after I finish this next story will feel REALLY good.  :-)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Contract!!

I just signed a contract with Total-E-Bound for a story for their Lust Bites series!  I'm really excited not only because of the opportunity to be published again, but also because this is will be my first M/F story for Total-E-Bound.  Writing M/M is my preference, but when Total-E-Bound put out a submissions call specifically for M/F stories (and it's still going on, so submit those stories!), I thought it would be fun to challenge myself.

Although the book won't be available until November, I have to admit I'm a little nervous.  A person recently posted on a popular message board for writers that M/M writers who branch out into M/F territory will not sell the M/F books.  He even put will not sell in bold letters.  Maybe he's right, I don't know because I don't have enough experience to say one way or the other.  But part of what excites me about writing is tackling new challenges and trying new things.  I also think this is what's helping me to grow and develop as a writer.  If I stay in my comfort zone out of fear that a book won't sell, I think my stories will quickly become repetitive and stale.  And even I know enough to realize that a book that is repetitive and stale is a book that will not sell.

I'll post more details when the title is finalized and I get a copy of the cover.  For now, I'm still polishing a story for a submissions call and working on another story for a submissions call coming up towards the end of the month.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New week, new focus

I'm glad I took part in The Romance Reviews Sizzling Party Summer Reads Party promotion.  I've emailed the winner of the Q&A for Designs For Him, but haven't heard back from him/her yet, so if you're out there, come claim your prize!

I face deadlines for two submissions calls this week, and I've written about half of one story and I've outlined the other.  In other words, I have a lot of work to do this week, but fortunately I work well under pressure...well, the pressure of a deadline anyway.  Pressure from a personal crisis is another story entirely, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed none of those pops up in the next two weeks.  :-)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sizzling Summer Party Reads Q&A (look for question #9)

Today's the day!  Please check out the Sizzling Summer Party Reads at The Romance Reviews Site and play the Q&A for a chance to win an copy of my ebook, Designs For Him.  I'm question #9!!  Check out the excerpt I posted yesterday for the answer, and remember, you need to be registered and logged in to play the Q&A.  Good luck!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sizzling Summer Reads Party Excerpt

As promised, here's the excerpt from my ebook, Designs For Him, which contains the answer to the question posed in Sizzling Summer Reads Party Q&A from The Romance Reviews.  Remember you have to be registered and logged in on The Romance Reviews site in order to play the game and get the chance to win.


Jon stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes fell on the man at the opposite end of the table. From the way he sat apart from the other men, who were huddled together on either side of the table, it was clear this was the new CEO. However, what interrupted Jon’s train of thought was the recognition of the man as the sweaty stranger from the break room the day before. The man who had come to his defence was here, not more than twenty feet away. The man he’d almost picked up was his boss’s boss’s boss, with maybe another boss or two thrown in.

A hint of recognition flickered in the man’s hazel eyes, but professional detachment quickly hooded over it, and Jon thought maybe he’d imagined seeing it. For a moment, he forgot where he was or what he was supposed to be doing. All of a sudden, he and the sweaty stranger were back in the break room and Jon had a second chance to ask him out. This time, probationary status be damned, he was going to go for it.
But Leonard’s voice brought him back to the present. “The customer can what, Jon?”
Snap out of it, your career is on the line here, he reminded himself. “The customer can post the pieces of furniture he or she has selected to Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, or Twitter to get opinions from friends and followers. This, in turn, will drive more traffic to the Cressen Furniture website and create more buzz. I’ve created an example of what a typical customer experience will be like.”

The further along he went in his presentation, the less Jon focused on the new CEO and the more he concentrated on showcasing what his software program could do. It helped that the sceptical looks from the department heads had turned into approving nods, with some of the men even making their own suggestions. By the time he’d finished, everyone smiled and applauded, with Leonard leaping up to clasp his hand and raise it in the air, as if they were Olympic champions.

“Thank you, I’m glad it meets your approval,” Jon said, a little dazed by all the attention. “But don’t get too excited yet. I still need to make sure this will work on a scale that can handle the demand from all of Cressen Furniture’s customers. The current website has nowhere near that kind of capacity. We will need to—”
“Whatever you need to get up and running, just name it. As of this moment, this project of yours is fast-tracked,” Leonard said. “The sooner you can get it implemented, the better.”


Good luck to everyone who enters and I hope you enjoy this excerpt along with all the other posted on The Romance Reviews website!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sizzling Summer Reads Party reminder and Game of Thrones : THE Episode

Just wanted to give a reminder that tomorrow I will post an excerpt from my ebook Designs For Him as part of the Q&A giveaway sponsored by The Romance Reviews for their Sizzling Summer Reads Party event!  You have to be registered and logged in at The Romance Reviews before you can play the Q&A in order to get the chance to win a copy of Designs For Him.  I'm so excited about participating in this promotion and can't wait to post the excerpt tomorrow!

As for Game of Thrones, all I can say is....WOW!  I've read the books and I knew what was coming but it still didn't keep me from being completely blown away.  Okay, there are a few minor quibbles I have, like the show toning down Walder Frey's taunts while Rob was dying and it didn't make a big deal out of the Frey's providing bread and salt, usually a custom that guarantee a guest's safety, and slaughtering the Starks anyway.  But that's nitpicking and I don't want to detract from what was a brilliant episode in every way, including the writing, acting, directing, cinematography, all of it.  This is the episode I've been waiting to see ever since I read the books, and I'm happy to say that it not only met my expectations but exceeded them.   :-)