In With The New…

A new year often means new choices, new resolutions, and all sorts of wonderful changes. For me, though, not so much.  Generally speaking, I fear change, unless we’re talking about the monetary kind in the form of coins and such.  Then I only fear it if someone is flinging it at me with great force.  Not that that happens to me often, and quite frankly I’m starting to think that the extra money would be worth it if it did.  So feel free to hurl away!  Checks and all major credit cards, too.

But as stuck in my ways as I am, I do realize that a little change now and then is good for a writer’s productivity–especially after the holiday season when all the hustle and bustle have taken their toll on said writer’s daily writing habits.  So I figured January is a good time to play around with some new ideas and see if I can’t put a little ZAP back into my creativity.  Thanks to the internet, I’ve found all sorts of things to try!

Some are easier than others to put into practice, of course.  For example, it’s true that my productivity would probably improve leaps and bounds if I followed one suggestion and tossed our television set out the front window, but my husband doesn’t seem nearly as interested in that prospect as I am whenever I mention it, and even though I’m one of those few people who don’t really care one whit about watching the Superbowl, The Blacklist is supposed to be starting up again after all, and I do care a whit about that.  Quite a few whits, actually.  (Is Red Lizzie’s dad after all, or isn’t he…?  I must know!)

Tweaking my writing schedule seemed more doable and certainly easier on our window panes.  Or at least it did until my alarm went off in the wee hours of the morning to mark the start of it, and I considered throwing it through the window.  Bleh…  Perhaps I’ll keep tweaking.

It’s awfully chilly in our house in those same wee hours, too, and typing with cold hands isn’t fun, so I thought starting a roaring fire in the wood stove before I settled in to write was a brilliant move on my part.  All cozy and conducive to churning out plot points.  Turns out, though, that I’m not very good at starting roaring fires.  But if you want a fire that coughs, wheezes, and feebly sputters out after three minutes, I’m your gal!  So I don’t get many words down on paper that way, but on the plus side, I think all the sitting down and getting right back up again to stir the coals is doing wonderful things for my thighs.

My most recent experiment in habits that might improve my writing focus has been finding something to provide appropriate background noise, which is not as simple as it might sound.  Lots of writers say they like to write with music on in the background, but I find that hasn’t worked too well for me.  If it’s songs I know and like, the temptation to get up and boogie around my living room is sometimes too much for me to resist.  (Ask my neighbor across the street, she’ll tell you.  And she’ll probably tell you to tell me to please close my blinds, too.)

I tried listening to a movie soundtrack that was mostly instrumental to counteract that effect–Lord of the Rings!  Yay!–but that only seemed to lead to hobbits popping up in my contemporary mystery that I’m currently working on, and it really didn’t help the plot at all; neither did the elves.  Go figure.  And then of course there was that time my husband heard me cry, “For Frodo!” and hurried in to find me perched on the arm of the sofa with my pencil wielded above my head like a sword.  It was awkward.  We didn’t make eye contact for a week after that one.

But I’ve hit upon a CD that seems to be just the ticket:  thunderstorm!  Not with music, just with thunder and, well, storm sounds.  It seems to set the mood for the dark and dreary house in my story with the added bonus of being quiet enough that it doesn’t send my beagle cowering under the cushions, which is what she does during real thunderstorms.

It’s been a win-win so far!

Well, except for the effect that the sound of accompanying rainfall has on my bladder, but hey, nothing’s perfect.

Christmas Greetings!

Here’s hoping this post finds you happily ensconced someplace cozy with loved ones on this fine Christmas morning!  Hubby and I are curled up with our beagle (who seems somehow to take up more than half of the couch despite her small size, but who also knows she can absolutely get away with it because she’s so cute…) and are admiring our diminutive Christmas tree:

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We did not wake up to snow on the ground, but thanks to modern technology, we can still have a white Christmas and share it with you no matter in what climate you live:

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!  :)

Happy Halloween!

Seems kind of fitting that I’m working on a ghostly haunted house story this Halloween.  I suppose it will be less fitting if I’m still working on it by the time, say, Valentine’s Day rolls around, but maybe I can figure out a way to work in a spooky winged cherub if that happens.  Might be the first of its kind… a new niche!

I thought I’d take a break from haunted houses and ghostly mysteries long enough to wish you all a happy Halloween, though.  So… Happy Halloween! Here’s to happy and safe trick-or-treating, and to put you in the right mood for all those cutie pies in costumes who will be showing up at your door tonight, here’s a nice little dose of Halloween cuteness:

And now I must return to my writing cave and get back to work on…The Bloodline!  Muahahahahaha!

(That was supposed to be evil laughter, just in case that part wasn’t clear.)

Have a happy holiday!

Leaves Aren’t The Only Things That Are Falling Right Now…

So if you’ve read any of my books, you know that I write stuff that’s at the opposite end of the spectrum from, say, Fifty Shades of Grey.  My stuff isn’t even three shades of ecru.  Anyway, one writer’s group of which I am privileged to be part is called Clean Indie Reads, and if you happen to prefer sweet rather than spicy reading material, you might want to check some of these authors out.  And now’s the perfect time because many of us have joined together in a HUGE sale through October 11th, and prices have temporarily “fallen”

(Get it?  Heh heh…  Sorry, I should probably “leaf” that one alone…)

You can find all three of my Heavenly Bites novellas there on sale for 99 cents right now, but if you prefer other genres than romance, you’re in luck–they’ve got ‘em galore!

Here’s a link to the Fall Sale web page with all the books if you’d like to check them out. There are even several freebies.  Can’t beat that!  :)

So, anyway, just a little FYI for you all…  Have a good one!

Better Than Christmas Morning!

Okay, maybe not BETTER than Christmas morning, but for a writer, Release Day is pretty dang close.  Can’t sleep the night before, bound out of bed bright and early in the morning, and wake up one’s poor significant other by shouting, “It’s here!  It’s here!”  I’m so glad my hubby is patient.  :)

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Anyway… It’s here!  It’s here!  Release Day for All’s Fair in Love and Weddings!  It’s finally gone live on Amazon here, and it’s already garnered some lovely reviews.  Check them out at these blogs:

Bookworm Nation

Aleksandra’s Corner

Tome Tender

GenGen’s Book Blog

They certainly put a smile on MY face.  And on that note… Happy Release Day to all, and to all a good night!

And So Ends The Summer…

Summer is winding down to a close now, and with it, the prep for the release of my most recent work-in-progress, All’s Fair in Love and Weddings.  Whew!  It’s been a busy couple of months…

But it was all worth it, because my book is just undergoing a final polish for things like typos and accidental gender switches (pronouns, not the characters) and is now officially…[drumroll]…available for pre-order on Amazon!  Woo hoo!

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The formal release date is September 30th, and if you would like to check it out for yourself, click on the Amazon link here.

Now please excuse me while I get back to relentlessly hunting for typos…

Coming Soon…

After a somewhat chaotic summer, I finally finished my first solid draft of All’s Fair in Love and Weddings–and it turned out to be somewhere between two and three times as long as I expected it be originally.  How did that happen?  Guess I’m wordier than I thought.

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So once I get a chance to do some tweaking and polishing up–and yes, that is the highly technical terminology for it–I plan to chase down a couple of beta readers and sit on them until they promise to give me thorough feedback.  Once I let them up and they do a read-through, this baby’ll go live on Amazon.  Yay!  I’m SO looking forward to it!  There’s a certain thrill that goes along with pressing that little “Publish” button…

And then, of course, there’s the upcoming September 15th release of the Crimson Romance book bundle that my first novel, Coming Home, is in, so I’m pretty excited about that, too:

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There’s even an official link for it now right here, although the very pretty cover art isn’t up yet.

Good golly–I guess it’s about time to get busy on the next project…  :)

Coming In September…

Who doesn’t love a sale?  Or books?  Or better yet, a sale on books?  On September 15, that’s exactly what Crimson Romance will be offering, specifically a 99-cent book bundle on Amazon containing 10 of their contemporary romances under the collection title of Love in a Small Town:

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Isn’t it purty?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the third book from the left is one of mine… ahem.  [coughs discreetly]  Coming Home will be one of those 10 sweet small-town love stories, and I’m thrilled to see it alongside the works of so many other Crimson writers I respect.  So thrilled, in fact, that I just had to tell someone, so I’m telling YOU.  :)  Don’t you feel you special?  You should, because you are special.  Very special.  And I’m not just saying that to kiss up to you and get you to buy my book.  Also, you look very pretty today.

Anyhoo, just thought I’d share the good news…

Happy Tuesday!

Hot, Hot, Hot…

Um, just to be clear about the title, I’m referring to the temperature outside, not announcing a steamy new story I’ve been working on…

Where I live, we’re smack in the middle of a stretch of triple-digit-temperature days; maybe it’s like that where you are, too.  At times like this I find myself wondering about two things:  1) could I possibly fit my whole body inside my refrigerator, and 2) why are hot summer days in movies supposed to be sexy?

I expect to be conducting my own experiments to determine the answer to #1 later today, but as far as #2 goes, I’m stymied.  In the movies it always seems like a hero and heroine can catch each other’s eyes across a stuffy room/barn/dance hall/gladiator arena and just barely resist the urge to pounce on each other as sweat already drips off of every inch of their exposed skin.  When I’m that hot and sweaty, I gotta admit that I’m not much in the mood for pouncing on anything except maybe a giant snow cone.

(Although my hubby and I HAVE been grappling with each other a lot for the squirt bottle and a good spot under the ceiling fan.  Does that count as sexy…?)

Maybe I’m just being snarky because I’ve been getting over a summer cold, though.  “Come hither” looks don’t work nearly as well when one’s eyes are red-rimmed and puffy. But at least it’s better than having the flu, if this video clip from Parks and Recreation is anything to go by:

So it definitely could be worse, I know, and I will try to keep that in mind.  In the meantime, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in the icebox…