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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More 2009 Goals

These aren't necessarily writing related but since they're pretty good goals for everyone, I thought I'd share them. I'm of the you never know what might happen mind-set and should therefore be ready for anything.

  • See a lawyer about a will.
  • Get that life insurance. My broker (and no he wasn't in that ridiculously high bailout that did nothing but line the pockets of the already ridiculously rich CEOs) recently suggested this savings-like life insurance. It's not term life where you lose that money if you don't die. You put the money into the policy like normal but if you happen not to die in 30 years (and I don't plan to) you get it back. With interest.
  • Purge my closets of the old but not necessarily buy the new. I have enough clothes, shoes, purses, and yet more shoes without buying more.
  • With that saved money I'll pay off my Macy's card and hopefully my Amex, too. With lots of luck and some restraint...
  • Meditate. Yes there are stupid people in the world bound and determined to annoy but my 2009 goal is to breathe deeply and let it go without a snarky comment. Which will be the hardest.

And of course - TO WRITE!

Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst
Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick

Christmas:
Four Calling Birds
Merry Sexmas Anthology: with the short stories, Memorable & Red Bow

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2009 Resolutions

Resolved:


  • To keep all deadlines already contracted for. (Coming up January 1...)
  • To market my stories far and wide.
  • To break two further wolfie stories (Shadow State), set in pre-WWII/early days of WWII.
  • To widdle down my 100,000+ word romantic suspense with romance and suspense and somehow merge them into a true romantic suspense.

Let's see how far I get in 6 months. I have high hopes (come on now, sing.) that I can do this. It's merely a matter of time. And no distraction by Richard Sharpe.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas is safe, warm, and very, very merry!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick

My first full-length novel is now available from Ravenous Romance! Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick where we follow Raven Drake and Malcolm Preston from their initial meeting in Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst through discovery and betrayal.

Losing her virginity can mean ruin for a Victorian lady. For Raven Drake, it means freedom to explore her sexuality. As a magicker in hiding, Raven subscribes to her culture’s less prudish philosophy. She wants to experience every erotic sensation imaginable.

Malcolm, Lord Preston, desires her from the moment he sees her, and doesn’t allow society’s rules to stand in his way. More than happy to introduce Raven to the pleasures of sex, he doesn’t expect to fall in love with her.

Their tryst is a welcome distraction from witch hunters and political maneuverings. But can it overcome the weight of another man’s ring on her finger?

Full of mystery, murder, and magick, The Dark Desires of the Druids series will leave you breathless!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Research

For some reason, all this wrapping and Christmas cheer got me thinking about research. OK, that and Sharpe's Eagle which I watched while wrapping. Sharpe's Eagle is the 2nd in the Richard Sharpe movie series based on the series of books by Bernard Cornwell. Sean Bean...yum. And I just discovered as I was checking Mr. Cornwell's website (and loving every link on his page!), that there are 2 more Sharpe movies with Sean Bean! Oooh, I can't wait to check them out.

On to research!

Googling something is all well and good but make sure you verify the source. Is it a government or educational source? Or some random .com. As you all know, anyone can have a website. Don't let Hollywood fool you with their version of history. Wikipedia is a great start for almost any search, but always, always, follow their references link to verify stuff and search any facts you intend to use.

Off line, the World Book Encyclopedia is a excellent source for beginning research. Libraries, while many aren't the repository of historic texts you may need, often have access to an Interlibrary Loan system that can get what you need. Be careful in what you request - if anything happens to that 100 year old book, you're responsible!

Do use other historic authors. Mr. Cornwell is a excellent example of a man who knows the Napoleonic Wars. Patrick O'Brien is his counterpart for the Napoleonic Naval War. Kathy Reichs of Bones fame is a forensic anthropologist. Jane Austen lived in the Regency.

Or documentaries...Ken Burns is known for his (really long) but excellently researched series involving letters ad interviews with the 'common man'.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Keeping up

Christmas is Thursday! I'm so not prepared. For days I've said I wanted to start wrapping. Haven't. Still need to buy 3 more presents...nope. Christmas Cards? Eventually. A second to myself? This morning when I slept in and it was wonderful.

In the meantime, I'm nearly finished my Valentine's Day story with my 4 couples, and I've managed another few chapters of Morgana's story (Dark Desire of the Druids II: Sex & Subterfuge). I've also read some great books.

Over at Wild Rose Press, Susan Macatee has a free Christmas short story out, and I'm reading Denise Eagan's Wicked Woman is out now, and the sequel The Wild One is out in January - I can't wait!

And don't forget to check out Four Calling Birds, and Memorable and Red Bow in the Merry Sexmas Anthology. Or Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst, the prequel to Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick coming out December 24.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Presents

I'll be Christmas shopping today, and if you're one of those who suddenly realized Christmas tricked you and IS NEXT WEEK! stop by Ravenous Romance for some last minute presents. Love Christmas stories? Check out Four Calling Birds and Memorable and Red Bow in the Merry Sexmas Anthology.

Magick more your style? Try Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst, the prequel to Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick coming out December 24.

Happy Shopping! And Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tis the Season to be

BUSY! Why is it that just when you're supposed to be jolly you're busy instead? I've spent the last week racing around the east coast working, driving, listening to a cool book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which I highly recommend!), Christmas shopping, and crashing early every night.

The good news: I met with my super nice, energetic, and knowledgeable agent, Emily Keyes of the Lori Perkins Agency, and Lori Perkins, of said agency, who is also a wonderful and funny person. AND I'm halfway finished my Valentine's Day story with my 4 songbirds, Lark, Nightingale, Cardinal, and Robin. Their Christmas story, Four Calling Birds is available from Ravenous Romance now. Just as well, that story's deadline is January 1...I'm working on it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmastime

I love the season. The music especially but the lights and the cheer. It's strange but people (some) actually are friendlier this time of year. Not so fond of the crowds, but then I NEVER am. There are few things more Christmas-y than finding love. This year, I'm blessed with being published with Ravenous Romance, and having 2 contracts with The Wild Rose Press.

With Ravenous, I have 3 Christmas stories out, 2 of which are in an anthology I blogged about yesterday. A third is part of the 12 Days of Christmas series, Four Calling Birds. Sure, there's lots of sex in it, but there's also romance. That's the whole point, after all, of a romance!

I'm revisiting these 4 friends throughout the upcoming year on various holidays, so stay tuned for more romance (and sex) from them!

Lark Summers, Paige Nightingale, Megan Cardinal-Walsh, and Eva Robin are four best friends with a mission. This Christmas they’re going to seduce the men in their lives no matter what.

Lark’s had the hots for her hunky professor since day one. Now that her Ph.D. program is over, there’s nothing standing in her way.

Paige finally admits that her gorgeous neighbor has potential. Though he’s spent months pursuing her, she’s resisted. With the encouragement of her friends, she’s going to see if his chivalry is all a fa├žade or if he really is a knight in shinning armor.

Megan has barely seen her husband in months. Between both their high-powered jobs, time together consists of a brief morning kiss goodbye and text messages that they’ll be late. Tonight, however, she’s going to show him who’s boss.

Eva is swamped with work and school and hasn’t had time to breathe let alone see her longtime boyfriend. When he arrives home tonight, the scene is set but who’ll be more surprised at the end of the night?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Anthologies

Today from Ravenous 2 of my Christmas stories are out in the Merry Sexmas Anthology edited by Lori Perkins.

In Memorable, Jozette Bellrose doesn’t remember how she ended up in the hospital. When a handsome stranger claiming to be her husband promises answers to her past, she willingly follows. Drawn to this familiar stranger, Jozette is caught in the secrets of her past, and his.

Nicholas has spent years trying to return to his beloved wife. The only thing he’s wanted, now that he has the chance to win her back, he doesn’t waste any time. But what will happen when she remembers the truth of their marriage?

Caught in a winter wonderland days before Christmas, can Nicholas overcome the hurt of the past? Or will he be the only one to remember their lives together?

In Red Bow, Jessica Oberon is a working mother of two. She and her husband, Kenneth, barely see each other any more between their high powered jobs and family. Twelve days before Christmas she receives her annual note from her lover. They only partake in these games during Christmas, and this one is no different. Thrilled, she plans to meet him wherever he instructs.

First is a hotel room, then the fitting room in Saks, then to Vermont for a night in a chalet. Jessica loves these adventures, and tries to hide it from her children. Christmas Eve is spent with her lover and Christmas Day with her family.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Scandalous Victorians

Today I'm blogging over at Slip into Something Victorian on The Great Depression. Oh, you think it happened in the 1930s? I'm not talking about the SECOND Great Depression, but the original Great Depression, also known as The Long Depression from 1873-1896.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Edits

I've just finished the first round of edits for my Wild Rose Press short story, In the Shadows. This is part of the Civil War Anthology my fellow Victorians and I came up with and submitted. The changes were minimal, a comma here, a clarification of a sentence there. All in all nothing I couldn't live with.

Set in Charleston during the beginning of the war, with spies and blockade runners, it's got murder, love, dragon-like aunts, and an Englishman. Had to throw that in there, since England truly was instrumental in the war, and for both sides.

I'm thinking of doing a sequel with one of my heroine's sisters set around Christmastime. But other than that one sentence, have nothing more on it.

And don't forget, my first book, Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst is available from Ravenous Romance. It's the prequel to Dark Desire of the Druids: Murder & Magicks available December 24.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Taking a break

I love writing. I love the start of it when I have a new idea, the tweaking it all out part to make it work, the writing it all, and eve reading it over again. I can never get over that I wrote this, and hey, it's not half bad!

But sometimes I need a break. Not a long one, a day works. Just to recharge and not write drivel. What's the point in writing when I'm going to delete it all later because it sucks? It's a waste of time ad I only get frustrated.

I have 2 deadlines coming up in January, and fully intend to make them but today I need to step back and breathe. It's a hectic time of year and with shopping, cleaning, baking, decorating, and general running to do in addition to working, writing which is a wholly creative process and doesn't do well under stress, must take a break.

Tomorrow I'll work on Morgana's story, I'll finish the middle third this week and go over the outline for the final 1/3. I'll also flesh out y Valentine's Day short story and hopefully that'll take better shape than it has been.

OK, OK, and I'll watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles tonight and House tomorrow night. What? Smart TV is so hard to come by...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Critique Partners

Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst is now available from Ravenous Romance!

I belong to a wonderful critique group. I haven't used them in almost a year but it's a wonderful group nonetheless. They know what I write and understand my time period, the Victorian Era so I don't have to explain the neat inventions that came about then. And they always nitpick those punctuations and grammar issues. Overall plot is harder, since we do a chapter at a time over 2 weeks. By the time they read chapter 10, months have passed.

That's what self-editing is for before they even see the story. Plot points are tricky little buggers, but they're what drives the story. You can't rely on others to pick up those things from your story.

Now that I have deadlines (not as cool as I thought it'd be and that's a shame) and more stories to work on that I even conceived of 4 months ago, I've started keeping a file of plot ideas. Basically, I have a story, say book 2 in the Dark Desire of the Druids series, Sex and Subterfuge. I have an overall synopsis for the major points, then a chapter-by-chapter breakdown.

Each chapter has some sort of cliff at the end. It wasn't hard to come up with the cliffs, but it was difficult to fill in the blanks between chapters. In the long run, it made the story tighter and more interesting. Easier to write, too.

And now that I know where I'm going, and with my Victorian critique group set to start up again after the holidays, I think they'll enjoy the story. And not find so many problems with it. *G*

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Editing

Sure, I knew my story wasn't entirely perfect, but the first time I got edits, it was a real blow to know that I had to change things. OK, a comma here, un-capitalize something there. But additions? I wasn't prepared. Then I read the story with the editor's comments in mind. Sometimes it takes a couple reads, but with that outside perspective, those comments really make sense.

When writing a story, you're in the moment - you get your characters, you understand where they're going and what they're talking about. Shouldn't everyone? Isn't that why you wrote the book?

Well of course, but only if you explain it and don't assume. You know what they say about assuming...

So now I read through everything one extra time with my editor's imaginary comments in my head. There's no harm adding a word or extra sentence so that readers who don't have access to the voices in your head can see where you're going. Makes for a better story and for less stress when editing yourself later on.

Tomorrow: Critique Groups!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tryst

I'm away for the next couple days for a funeral, but wanted to share the link to purchase Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst. It's my short story prequel to Dark Desire of the Druids: Murder & Magick out December 24. And be sure to check out Ravenous Romance's site, it's easy to use, and lots of great books there to download!

Ravenous is live!

It's a gorgeous site! I love it. It's so easy to navigate, and the graphics are just that good. Definitely check it out! And don't forget, my short story, Dark Desire of the Druids: Tryst comes out Saturday December 6.

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