Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Titles I'm Loving Right Now

I wanted to take a little break from the me-fest to share what I'm reading right now. A wonderful Xmas short and an exciting mystery/suspense.

Here are the covers and blurbs:

Gabriel Sandoval is crazy in love. His life with his wife Lily is everything a man could ask for. She’s beautiful, funny, smart and sexy. She even swallows. There’s just this one little thing…

Lily Sandoval is wild about her man. He’s strong, supportive and gorgeous. There’s no one in the world she would rather spend time with, and their sex life is off the charts. But she knows that deep down, Gabe has a secret wish. And this Christmas, Lily will let go of all her inhibitions to make that wish come true.

Dolores Cruz (Lola for short) loves shoes, chicken mole, kung fu (she’s a black belt) and her close-knit family. When her brother’s hunky old high school friend Jack Callaghan moves back to town, Lola falls hard. Now, after a year and a half as an underling at Camacho and Associates, a local private investigation firm, her oh-so-sexy and mysterious boss, Manny Camacho, assigns Lola her first big case: solving the mysterious disappearance of Emily Diggs. Can Lola juggle two men, her loving but demanding family, her PI exams, solve her all-important first case, and shop for fabulous shoes?

So, tell me what you're reading right now.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I am not a fan of slasher movies. Give me a suspense or a thriller, but please don't waste my time with a magical being/crazy/psycho who is slashing people just to see blood.

However, last night I felt like I was the antagonist of one of those horrors I despise. The protaganist was my beloved WIP Reunited Undercover. She barely survived.

Had you going for a second there, didn't I?

I recieved great feedback from the Mills & Boon New Voices Competition regarding my first chapter of Reunited Undercover, but there were a few issues the commenters agreed on. It took too long to get to the point in the beginning and the end of the chapter didn't end on a hook. Then a very lovely pubbed author sent me an email also agreeing with those comments and adding a few more. My secondary characters are cliche. Oh the horror!!! But wait, I thought I was being clever in my beginning. I thought having my cliche secondary character end the chapter added a little humor.

So, last night I sat with my printed pages, took out my pink (yes, pink, not red) pen and began slashing. Like all serial killers, once I got a taste for the kill I couldn't stop. I hacked almost 2k out of my WIP. Bye-bye clever beginning that took too long to get to the point. Bye-bye cliche waitress. Bye-bye backstory I didn't realize was abundant in that first chapter. And so I moved on to the next chapter and the next after that.

This morning I'm feeling only a twinge of regret, but realizing my WIP will be a better book (I hope)should get me through the next round of slashing. And hopefully, by January I'll be ready for Savvy Authors EditPalooza and then my beloved's scars will be healed and I'll be ready to send her on her way.

So, what about you guys? Do you find it easy to slash words from your WIP when you are trying so hard to make a specific word count?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How a Simple Conversation Can Change Your Perspective

Back in August I submitted a chapter for Harlequin’s Medical Romance Fast-Track. It was a lovely little chapter brimming with a surprise pregnancy, a confirmed bachelor, a natural disaster and five kids fresh from the pediatric burn center.

Intrigued? One of the editors was, and asked me for a revision on the first chapter and a partial. Thrilled right down to my chipped toenail polish, I sat down to pen chapters 2 - 3 and STALLED. Big time. Several agonizing months later, I’ve only slugged through part of chapter 2. A conversation I had yesterday with my precocious 4 year old flipped on the little light switch in my head as to why I’m having problems moving forward.

We were sitting in a restaurant and it went something like this…

“I want chicken.” DD announces and returns her focus to the three toy dinosaurs she refused to leave in the car.

“Okay. Do you want french fries with them?”

“No.” DD doesn’t even look up.

“Okay… Oh look, they have bananas. Do you want a cut up banana?”

“Monkeys eat bananas and live in trees.”

“Yes, sweetie that’s right.”

“Where do monkeys live at?”

“In the jungle. So, do you want a banana or not. The lady is coming to take our order.”

“No.” Resumes playing with dinosaurs, at which point I sigh as the frustration mounts.

“Okay…They have mash potatoes, corn, what do you want?”

No response. Dinosaurs are now eating each other.

“Baby, tell me what you want with your chicken. Do you want cut up fruit?”

DD now gazes at me with her big baby blues. Her voice is laced with irritation, “I told you I just want chicken.”

Do you see? This is a realistic conversation with a child. I have 5 who are going to be in my book. I’m scared of them. Terrified in fact that my heroine and hero are going to give their own child up for adoption after dealing with the 5 in very close quarters for 10 whole chapters.

They can’t all be little angels, can they? At what point would I be beyond the suspension of belief? How can my heroine and hero connect if they are juggling medical conditions, feeding times, arguments, etc.? My entire manuscript could be filled with conversations like the one I demonstrated above. And, am I actually blaming my writer’s block on children?

Solution? I don’t have one yet. But the first step is admitting there’s a problem.

I’d love to hear what you guys think. Do kids and romance mix? Do you often buy romance novels if there are children pictured on the front?

Staring at a blank page,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why I'm Thankful for Heroes from Three Letter Agencies

The wonderful ladies of CBC Romantics presents our first blogfest on heroes. Why we love the ones we love, are thankful for them and enjoy writing them. Thank you for stopping by my blog to check out my take on heroes from three letter agencies, and for more fun reading on heroes, please scroll to the bottom of this entry and click the link beneath the names of some truly talented authors to be directed to their blogs.

Three Letter Agencies. Yes, I heard that term on Castle a few episodes ago and I’m blatantly stealing it, although I doubt the show's writers coined the term. Three letter agencies refer to intelligence agencies. The two most popular in the intelligence community are the CIA and FBI, whose secret spies and domestic policing have inspired popular fictional characters such as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and the show Criminal Minds. We may also think of our UK counterparts MI5 and MI6 (yes, I realize 5 and 6 aren’t letters) from which we’ve seen the likes of Matthew MacFayden’s role as Tom Quinn and the ever-popular and revered James Bond.

Some lesser known, yet just as important agencies are the NSA, DIA, DEA, NRO, and DHS.

Why am I thankful for these types of heroes? I’m so glad you asked. When I picture a hero from an intelligence agency, I think of a man that has been through rigorous training, speaks several languages and is an expert with both firearms and martial arts, not to mention able to whip out a sexy, smoldering gaze on command.

He puts his country above all else. Shoots first and asks questions later. And most important, takes time out of his busy and most times secretive schedule to woo the woman he loves. *sigh*

Whether he is scouring the country for serial killers or stopping terrorist attacks, this hero feels the weight of the world on his shoulders, and by the end of the book or movie, I’m wishing I could be the one to massage out the kinks!

So tell me, are there any Three Letter Agency heroes that you love to watch or read? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and remember for more exciting posts on heroes, stop by each of the blogs listed below.

CBC Romantics

L.C. Chase

Ella Dane

Calisa Lewis

Allyson Carter

Christine Bell

Donna Shields

Kristina Knight

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Don't Have to Say Thank You

I'm taking a break from my regularly scheduled NaNo whining, to tell you a little about what being a veteran means to me:

A common misconception is that only those who have served in combat or those who have retired from active duty can be called military veterans (

I was 17 when I signed a contract to serve 5 years in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer. Two weeks after my 18th birthday I hugged my momma and daddy good-bye and was shipped off to basic training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. I was young, naive and wanted nothing more than to serve, protect and kick the crap out of bad guys.

The reality of military life is 12 hour shifts, working 7 days straight then finally getting one day off, no holidays (well, hell someone had to work them!), missing my grandparents funerals while overseas, not having enough funds to fix broken military vehicles and weapons, being paid below poverty level and riding a bike because I couldn't afford a car. Heartache over watching soldiers take their own lives or physically abuse their spouses blaming the military for their stress. Wondering some days if it was all worth it.

And in all my five years I only got to kick the crap out of one bad guy.

Would I do it all again? Was it all worth it? Damn skippy. Being a soldier isn't easy, but that's not the point. Being a soldier isn't about getting a thank you one day out of the year. Being a soldier is about the greater good. It's about protecting the innocent during times of peace and conflict. Making sure the generations that come after us have freedom and a country worth fighting for.

I'm proud to be a veteran and to have served my country. I think most veterans would agree, you don't have to say thank you to us. We've served our time. The thanks should go out to those men and women who continue to serve day in and day out, putting on their uniforms and risking their lives. For us.

Thank you, soldiers and to my fellow veterans, Happy Veterans Day.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What I'm Missing For You

Dear Nano Diary,

Day Two and I am suffering from drastic television withdrawals. Not only did I miss Castle last night (horror!), but tonight I'm missing Sons of Anarchy. How will my life go on if I don't know if Jax will be any closer to saving his son Abel. My commitment to writing instead of watching t.v. this month may be the ultimate test of wills.

Thank the NaNo Powers That Be for TiVo.

Word count so far: 1267 - far behind the 1600 I'm supposed to be producing each day. Shhh... don't tell my team members.

Happy writing,

Monday, November 1, 2010

When Day One of NaNo Sucks - You are in for a bad month

Dear NaNo Diary:

I set my alarm to get up at 5 a.m. This is the only time of day when it is quiet enough for some serious writing. I got up and moved to the couch. Fell back asleep. Woke back up at 7 a.m. when hubby and daughter woke up.

Word count so far for first day: 0

Me <-------------- Failed first morning!

Hopefully the day will get better and I will find some time to write.

I've noticed all the blog posts with fabulous advice on how to make it through NaNo. I wanted to share some important advice as well.

There are many items that will be put aside during this highly anticipated month of writing abandon such as dishes, laundry, day-job work, eating, Thanksgiving and sleeping. However, below are 2 items you should not neglect:

1. Please continue to shower. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to not wash your hair in order to shave off precious minutes better used for writing, but it will become distracting when you lift your arms to type and the smell of sweat-stained armpits assaults your senses.

2. Continue to feed your children/animals. While you may forgo the time consuming rituals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, please do not neglect your children and/or pets. Child Protective Services and the Humane Society do not care about NaNo, and even worse, you can’t take your laptop to jail.

Happy Writing!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Interview with a Werewolf

In anticipation of Christine Bell’s release AWAKENING: Book Two in the Wolves of Pray series, Christine has allowed me to interview her sexy main character Sean Mulaney.

Sean, thank you so much for being here today, although I can tell by the glare you’re throwing in my direction that you aren’t too thrilled to be interviewed.

Listen, I might as well tell you right off the bat, this wasn’t my idea. Christine asked me to do it, so here I am. But I’m a busy man, so let’s skip the foreplay and just get to the questions. That work for you, Red?

Okay, let’s jump right in, shall we? Tell us a little about your pack – the Wolves of Pray.
We don’t usually talk about this kind of stuff. Christine says you’re cool, so I’ll give you a brief overview. We’re a werewolf pack, living in Pray Montana. Our alpha is Liam, his female is Amalie. We run a business that deals in real estate acquisitions. Anything else is pretty much classified. If I told you…I’d have to eat you.

*I place my hand around my throat and hope like hell he’s kidding* Um, moving on, you all share a house and send your children to a private school. Why is this?
The single members of the pack, along with our alpha and his mate, share a house because it’s practical. We have needs that can’t be easily met by a traditional home life. A large plot of secluded land where we can train and exercise, excellent security, and the camaraderie of our pack, just to name a few. For us, pack = family, so it doesn’t feel strange to live in a group. Being alone feels strange.
As for school, our kids need to learn things that traditional schools don’t teach. If you can find me a school in town that offers Stalking With Stealth, I’ll certainly consider a transfer, though.

Recently, a new addition joined the household; I believe her name is Chandra. How do you feel about her joining the pack?
Chandra’s good people. She’s really nice to my son Ryan and she’s a strong addition to the pack. She’s also dead sexy.

Wait, does she read this blog? You know what, can you just delete that last part?

On to a more difficult question. Your mate Sara was murdered and the pack has yet to find the culprit. How has the loss of Sara affected you and your son?

I can’t sleep, I can’t think, I can hardly parent my son. The grief is heavy, every minute of every day. I’m stuck in it. It’s like quicksand, trying to suck me all the way down. The only reason I even fight it is because of Ryan. Then there’s the guilt. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. What kind of mate am I that I allowed this to happen? That I haven’t found the man who took her from us and punished him yet?
*Sean sits back in his chair and folds his arms, leveling me with a chilling glare*
The key word there is YET.

Do you think you will ever be able to find that special bond you had with Sara with another wolf?
No. And I think we’re about done here. *curt nod*
Thanks for your time.

To find out more about Sean’s journey to salvation check out AWAKENING coming soon from Cobblestone Press

Book Blurb:

Sean Mulaney’s beloved mate Sara is dead and her killer’s trail has grown cold.

Eaten up by grief and guilt, it’s an effort just to get through the day. Now, after a year in mourning, his animal instincts have reawakened. As Sean struggles to control the need clawing at him, along comes Chandra and she wants more than just passion.

But if she refuses, she might blow her once chance to convince him that she can rock his world and fill the empty space in his heart. Will Sean let love in, only to risk having it taken away again?

Christine has two awesome giveaways – First is a copy of the first book in her Wolves of Pray series, PRAY. Become a follower of my blog (shameless, I know) and comment on this post and you're entered to win!

The second is a 10 page critique on your manuscript. To enter for the critique, become a follower of my blog (still shameless) and leave a comment with the best line from your current work in progress.

The winners will be chosen on Sunday, so please check back on Halloween to see if you’ve won one of these awesome prizes!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have a Plan

Recently, a new member of Savvy Authors posted a question that many of us ask at one point in our writing career:

“I’ve written my book, what do I do next?”

It’s not a complicated question, but it did make me stop and think. Where should she go next? Then it hit me – she needs a plan. However, that isn’t something I can work out for her. Having a book plan is something each of us needs to sit down and figure out on our own. Yes, just like you write out a synopsis and a chapter outline, you need to have a written book plan as well. I keep mine posted on the bulletin board in front of my computer to remind me how often I’m ignoring the plan I’ve set out for myself!

Here are a few thoughts on how I think a book plan should go:

Step No. 1 – If you have just finished your book – Congrats! Half the work is finished. Now you need to revise, rewrite and find a critique partner to give you critical feedback so you can revise and rewrite again.

Step No. 2 – Research agents and publishers. If you didn’t have a clue as to where your book was targeted when you first wrote it, now is the time to really sit and think about it. As far as agents are concerned, I love using the Association of Authors’ Representatives website. It will give details on which agents are looking for what, and how to submit.

Many publishers do not accept unsolicited works, but you won’t know this until you research their websites and find out the criteria. Take the time to figure this out and then make a list of where you want your work to go.

Step No. 3 – Put together a simple spreadsheet with the name of your book, where you are sending it, the date it was sent and if you received a confirmation email or not.

Step No. 4 – Give yourself a deadline. By _____ date, I will have submitted to 6 agents. Then give yourself another deadline and another after that. Hold yourself accountable for meeting these deadlines.

Step No. 5 – Write that beautiful synopsis, polish your first three chaps and get that baby out the door. No excuses, no whining – out the door.

Not too long ago at a local RWA chapter meeting, an astonishing statistic was given:

Only 25% of writers who start a novel finish it. Only 25% of those writers actually submit.

Step No. 6 – While waiting to hear back from agents and publishers, start your next book. You want to have something more to offer them, don’t you? Yes!!

Like I said, those are just a few of my thoughts on how to put together a book plan.

If any of you have additional thoughts on book planning – please share!

Good luck All!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I just love a good challenge.

I’m not a very competitive person, but I find myself surrounded by challenges lately. Some I initiated, and others I’m running into blindly.

But what makes a good writing challenge? Should you move forward with writing on a subject even if it’s leaps and bounds outside of your comfort zone?

Rhetorical question my dear friends! Of course you should. Well, that’s what accepting a challenge means, doesn’t it? Pushing past the unfamiliar and doing the required research and reading to pull off a piece successfully.

Recently I left my comfort zone and it paid off in a big way. I submitted a synopsis and first chapter to the Mills & Boon Mid-Summer Madness Medical Fast-Track. This was a romance line I’d never considered before. Sure, I watch a good amount of medical drama on T.V., but how would that translate into a highly emotional romance good enough to catch the eye of an editor at Mills & Boon. I instantly realized I didn’t want to go at this challenge alone. So I posted for my critique group (the amazing 9 of Chapter By Chapter, to whom I owe more gratitude than I could ever convey) to write and send in submissions along with me. Four of them said yes. What did we have to lose?

Turns out, going outside the box was just what I needed. I got a partial request. But, things are never that simple. What I really got was a “revise your first chapter keeping these points in mind, then send in your partial” request. No complaining, I’m honored and will take a request anyway I can get it. So, for me the challenge continues. Again, I must push past my comfort zone and produce a piece that will sell.

That’s not the only challenge I have going on. Today I am entering the Battle of the Sexes Suspense Blog contest at Romance in the Backseat. Eight of us will face off against each other to write on a prompt in the POV of the hero or heroine for the readers to vote on. I only thought writing a medical was outside my narrow little box. Putting my work out there for the world to vote on – this truly turns my insides. I have yet to develop the thick skin an author needs to handle rejection. And should I lose after the first round, it will be a very public rejection.

As if all the above isn’t enough – Angela James, Carina editor extraordinaire - is taking blog pitches at Savvy Authors. Yep, you guessed it. I’m going to submit a three line pitch for a short story I wrote at the beginning of the year – by September 18th. Better get busy, huh?

But, if I don’t push through my insecurities and outside of my writing box, what would that say about me as an aspiring author?

What kind of author do you want to be?

I’ll leave you with that question swirling through your mind.


What I’m reading – One Tough Marine by Paula Graves
What I’m writing – Chaps Two and Three to my Medical, Suspense Challenge, and polishing my short story.
What I’m watching – Nothing, don’t have time. Oh, Being Human how I miss you.
Who I’m loving – My Twinkies (no not the food!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Secret Crush Thursday

Now that the SavvyAuthors Summer Symposium is over, life has settled down just a tad. I am back to writing, editing and - yep - watching those beloved summer programs that help us make it through until fall.

One of my fav new shows is Covert Affairs airing on USA. I've loved Piper Perabo since her quirky roll in Coyote Ugly. I'm excited to see if they can make this CIA drama work. But my crush isn't on Piper, nope it's for Christopher Gorham. You may remember him as Ugly Betty's nerdy boyfriend in a few seasons. Well he's back on t.v. and looking like a hottie as the visionally challenged Auggie. He's definitely not the only drool inducing man on the show, but I'll start with him for now.

What's going on with me:
What I'm reading - The Definitive Book on Body Language
What I'm Writing - A synopsis and first chapter for the Harlequin Medical Summer Madness
What I'm Watching - Nothing good comes on Thursdays, but tomorrow I'll be watching the new SyFy show Haven (love my cop dramas!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Congratulations Christine Bell!!

I had to come out of my short hiatus to extend a huge congratulations to my fellow twinkie, Christine Bell. The first two books in her The Wolves of Pray series have been picked up for publication by Cobblestone Press.

She is a true example of what comes from hard work, perseverance and oh yeah, don't forget - loads of talent.

As soon as she has a set release date, I'll post it and we can count down the days together.
Next week I'll be attending the Savvy Authors Summer Symposium - free to premium members or $30. It is five days of workshops, author chats, Q&As, and pitches starting on the 28th.
If you have the time - stop by and check it out. I volunteered this year to help with obtaining author donations, and coordinating some of the Q&As and chats. I'll also be moderating several of the events as well.
It is a great line up!
See you soon,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

It is a great feeling to be so busy writing manuscripts that you don't have time to blog. I am hoping to take the summer to regroup and become more focused where blogging is concerned.

See you soon,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Theme Songs

I love theme songs or intro songs, whatever you like to call them. Hearing the song fills me with anticipation for the show I am about to view. Some of my favorites that have made it to my iPod are:

Theme from Psych - I know, You know by the Friendly Indians
Theme from Saving Grace by Everlast
Theme from True Blood - Bad Things by that country singer fella

The list goes on and on. Most of the time I can't even remember the title of the songs, but upon hearing them I know what show they go with.

Now apply this to writing. A few different authors have posted on their websites a list of songs that inspired them or ones that set the mood for their novel.

Then there is me. I do not like to listen to music while I write. None. In fact, if I had to pick a song to represent any of my writing, I just couldn't do it.

I have no theme song. Do you?


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Away Too Long

Oh my, I have been away far too long. I can't even believe it is April and tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Where does the time go? (no snarky comments about the t.v. watching)

I think I had a total mental block and freaked a little when I read somewhere that a particular author doesn't believe in blogging unless he has something important to share with others. I never thought about anyone else when I started this blog. Should I only blog if it is a worthy topic for others to read? Who gets to decide this?

So I have decided to enlighten the world with only words of wisdom from now on -

Yeah right! If I had any words of wisdom, I would probably follow them and become a better person, but to be honest I am kinda happy with who I am, so I think I will leave well enough alone. For now, you'll just have to settle for my ramblings about unfinished manuscripts (I got 2 now), unfinished writing workshops (got several of those too), and the unfinished laundry (there is always going to be unfinished laundry!).

Speaking of unfinished manuscripts - I have a completed first draft of a romance short story and it is in front of my very awesome critique partners. Assuming they don't tell me it is complete crap - I will submit the query and synopsis by the end of the month.

I am truly excited to see something get out the door - even if it is only a short.

Happy writing and cheers to getting something out the door!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

T.V. Junkie

I am a self-diagnosed T.V. junkie. I've tried to quit. Honest. I once read an established author's advice saying if you want to be a better writer, turn of the T.V.

I now realize he is insane. I just love drama. Not reality, mind you. I live in reality. I want drama!!

DVRs are a girl's best friend. BUT, I never let the shows get more than a hour past their air time before I am watching them. Let me just clue you in on the seriousness of my T.V. time:

The Good Wife
The Closer (I don't think this is back yet)
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
The Vampire Diaries
The Office (and occasionally The Office reruns)
Accidentally On Purpose
V - (can't wait for this to come back end of March)
Sons of Anarchy
AND the only reality show I do watch - Psychic Kids - Children of the Paranormal

I had to let Ugly Betty go when it started back in January and I was bummed to see The Dollhouse cancelled.

See what I mean - and it is possible that I have left something off. That is about 14 and a half hours of time I should spend writing. Or should I? It is all about balance right?

Writing makes me happy. T.V. makes me happy. Reading a great book makes me happy.

I want my cake and to eat it too. Don't you?


Friday, February 26, 2010

*Sigh* The Blahs

I definitely have the blahs. I have found it very hard to get back on track since going on a mini-vacation up to visit my family.

I think it is the pressure. They all know now that I want to write, SO they want to know when I am going to get a book published. As if it were that easy. Then the self-doubts start piling in. What if I never get anything published? What will they think of me? Am I wasting my time? Why on earth did I ever tell them?

Don't get me wrong, I have the most wonderful and supportive family in the world. That is the problem. I don't want to disappoint them.

Hmmm... "I won't think about it today, I'll think about it tomorrow."


Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Toys

I will never be an e-reader. I just love books too much. I love the feel of the pages as I flip through them. I love being able to fold down the page when I pause for the night. I love the treasures that I have read lining up across my book shelf. You just can't curl up on the sofa all snuggly with a computer. I've tried. Doesn't work for me.

All of that leads us to my point. I got some fun new and used books off of Amazon that I hope are going to assist in the development of my writing, and I thought I would share them with you:

1. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms. Fun!!!

2. The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters. It was the 'Other Monsters' part that caught my attention.

3. Romance Writer's Phrase Book - what romance writer wouldn't want this?

4. How to Write Romances - well, you gotta start somewhere don't you?

Do I think these books will lead me to fame and fortune? Probably not, but they will be great additions to my book shelf.

Also, let me give a shout out to my wonderful critique group. You ladies are making me a better writer and your input is more valuable than any book or writing course!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Self-evaluation Time

Wow. Is the first week of February gone already? My mom always says time flies the older you get. I think she is right on target about that.

So I was thinking it is time to take a little break and review my goal list to see where I stand:

Write daily - Wish I could say that is what I am doing, but alas, it is so easy to find other things to do. If I was writing daily, I would probably have another half finished ms on my hands. I need to remember that.

Brush up on style and grammar - I am still working on the copy-editing course that Mezzo Magazine is putting me through. I think that I am learning a lot from that course. It isn't as easy as I thought it would be. There are tests.

Submit - I am. Not to a publisher yet, but I have submitted to a couple of pitch contests, the Chase the Dream Contest (twice), and I am trying to keep up with some of the HQ 1,000 word prompt challenges.

Patience - is a virtue.

Read - I am a little behind on this. I plan to rectify that in a few minutes with the new Paula Graves book I picked up yesterday.

Out of writing closet - I can say I really have completed this task. Being published on Mezzo Magazine really helped this one. I was so excited that I shared it with everyone I could, including my hubby, parents and best friend. All of which did not have a clue I was even interested in writing. They are all so supportive, I wish I would have told them sooner.

Not too shabby, me thinks! Last, but not least I am so pleased to have joined a critique group on-line. They are a great group of ladies and I am learning so much from them already. I like a group versus one partner because there are several different points of views to work off of.

It's a good thing. Now, off to relax and read. Go Colts - you got this!


Friday, January 29, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The UGHly!

I'll start off with the good - a short story I submitted to Mezzo Magazine was chosen for publication in their January on-line issue. I couldn't be more thrilled! I have been doing my version of the "happy dance" all week waiting for it to go live. Check it out, it's entitled Where You Least Expect It:

Next, is the bad. I didn't win the Perfect Pitch Contest with Donna Alward. I didn't even make the top eleven. However, I did get back some great feedback from Donna and I think she is very amazing for even holding the contest. I am very embarrassed to find out that I let some grammar errors get through. See what happens when you spend so much time on what you are saying and not enough time making sure you are saying it correctly. Even though I didn't place, I did want to share my pitch and her comments:

Hell Bound is the story of a contemporary demon hunter, consumed by revenge, who finds redemption in the arms of an unlikely savior.

Healer hunts and kills demons on a daily basis, but there is one demon who continues to elude his capture – the demon who murdered his sister two years ago. He has sworn to use any means necessary to destroy this demon, and won’t let anything or anyone get in his way. Now, his closest lead is the demon’s next target, the naive and outspoken Krystina Hall. Krys is a research assistant for the local newspaper and enjoys her normal, easy-going life. All of that changes when she is the witness to a demonic ceremony that results in the murder of her boss; and suddenly she is thrown into the middle of a world she never knew existed.

When Krys shows up at a Catholic Church seeking protection, Healer sees this as the opportunity he has been waiting for to take down his sister’s killer, and he intends to use Krys as bait. Krys only thought she was the one in need of saving, but she soon finds herself willing to do anything to save Healer’s soul from being eaten up by revenge. So she goes along with Healer’s plan on one condition,when she returns to her normal life, he must give up demon hunting and come with her. As they work together to stop a demon from releasing Hell on Earth, they quickly discover true Hell would be to lose one another and the passion they have found.

Donna's comments were that she really liked my logline and the use of the words revenge and redemption. Her more specific comments regarding the body of my blurb were, "Tiny nitpicky item: no conjunction after the use of a semicolon. In your last paragraph, you have a slight problem with tense agreement. "Krys only thought she was the one in need of saving, but she soon finds herself..." First phrase is in past, second in present. Since pitches and synopsis are usually in present tense, I'd simply change it to "Krys thinks she's the one in need of saving, but she soon finds herself..." The onward - after condition I would use an em dash rather than a comma."

Feedback can't get any better than that!

Now for the UGHly - While I have worked quickly to finish my ms and I think my pitch is ready, my inner critic is still plaguing me with doubts about it being ready to submit - is the conflict strong enough? Are the sex scenes sensual enough? Is anyone really going to care about my hero and heroine? Okay, I could go on forever. Well, guess I will be sending the edited pitch in within the next few minutes and then I will have to move on, ready or not.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Distractions, distractions. Now that I seriously want to sit down and write, I am inundated by distractions. This week is all about making pirate costumes, making a paper mache parrot and octopus and putting together a mini pirate ship float for my daughter for a pre-parade walk on Saturday. I thought this week would be about getting my NB finished up, and yet I am still on ch. 4.

However, I am 18 days into January and already I have been working hard towards reaching several of my goals. I have come out of the writing closet with my husband (who wants to help me by giving me lots of story ideas). I have submitted the January "Your Story" entry to Writer's Digest and I am considering pitching my NB by the end of this month. Oh, and I have read about 5 books.

Take that distractions!

Monday, January 11, 2010

To Pitch or Not to Pitch?

I just can't rant and rave about eHarlequin enough. It has a great online community of supportive women and also boasts author participation like I have never seen - weekly blogs and forum posts from the authors themselves!

As if this isn't enough of a reason to be a part of their community, they also have editor pitches. That's right, I repeat editor pitches. You can send in a two paragraph blurb about your book and if you are chosen you get actual chat time with the editor to sell them on your book.

Now here comes my dilemma. I was planning on submitting a piece of work to them anyway via email at some point this year, but now I have an opportunity to try and pitch if I send in my blurb by February 1st. The problem is that I know that my manuscript will not be at its best by pitch time. So, do I try for the pitch or take my time and when I thing my final product is worthy send it in? Hard choice.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Isn't it funny?

Isn't it funny how one word spoken by a stranger can affect us the rest of our lives?

Prime example - I was in elementary school and our teacher announced our class would be part of a writing contest. We were all given bounded white books and told to write a story and design our own cover. I was thrilled. I had the best story ever (according to me). It was about a little girl who rescued a kitten from a field where its mother had been stomped to death by a horse. The kitten had a really long tail and large ears. All the other kids made fun of the girl's kitten because of its looks, but she loved it with all her heart. (I did mention this was elementary school, right?) Eventually the kitten grew into a beautiful cat and all the other kids felt bad they had ever made fun of it.

My teacher's evaluation of my story was summed up in one word - morbid. Yep, she actually said that to me. To my young mind that equalled horrible. I think my self-esteem took a severe blow that day. I can't even remember that woman's name, but I remember the look on her face and what she said. Every time I write something to submit, I worry that someone is wrinkling their nose up in distaste on the other side.

Worries aside, I am still writing and submitting.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing goals for 2010

I did a lot of whining last year and wasted a lot of time. Time that could have been spent doing more of what I have started to love - writing. I never thought of myself as a writer. Ever. In fact, I have told no one (hubby, family or friends) that I have started writing as a hobby. I like doing it in secret. That way if I am a complete failure at it, no one will be the wiser.

2009 was a bit of a bummer year for me and my family. Without boring anyone with specifics, I will just say it felt as if someone had put a hoodoo hex or something like that on us. Almost every month it seemed as if we received a little kick in the pants. Well, 2009 is finally over and hubby and I have decided 2010 is going to be a great year.

Part of what will make this year great for me is taking writing a little more seriously. I have decided to set specific goals for myself and keep an update of my progress here for all the world to see (except for hubby, family and friends).


1. Write. Almost every published writer has published some form of a "how to" for writing. Their practices and opinions vary widely except in one area, writing. They all say in order to become a writer, one must sit down and write, daily. Common sense, right? My goal for this year is to sit down and write at least five days a week and to post a blog entry at least once a week. Doable? We shall see.

2. Style and Grammar. All writers can continuously improve their writing by studying the various grammar and style principals. My goal is to study up on these subjects and try and learn or refresh my knowledge on a specific rule at least once a week.

3. Submit. There is nothing more rewarding to a writer (at least I think) than to see their work published. Last year I dabbled a little and submitted a few short stories to Writer's Digest for their short story competition, submitted a short story to Mezzo Magazine, and I participated in's Write a Date with Destiny. This year I will submit a short story for all six of Writer's Digest short story competitions, I will write at least three short stories to submit to Mezzo Magazine, I will participate in every Date With Destiny posted on, I will write a novella to submit to Harlequin's Nocturne Bites series and I will begin work on a novel for submission to an agent.

4. Patience. Several writers have stated that it took at least 10 years to see their writing published. Well I can wait. I hope. I shouldn't be too old before then. I think.

5. Read. This is an easy one. I love to read. Losing myself in books has got me through some troubled times. My goal is to read 50 books this year with five of them being classics. This may mean turning off the t.v. occasionally.

6. Come out of the writing closet. This will be the hardest. Several times I have had my writing confession on the tip of my tongue, but I have held back. Like I said above, if I fail no one will know. However, if I tell someone close to me then perhaps I will be held accountable for my goals.

Well, there you have it. To some writers my goals may seem mild, but not to me. I have a lot to do, so I'd better get started.

See you soon,