July 2017

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

WeWriWa: Mixed Emotions

No one likes going for a rebound (unless they're playing basketball). It's that uncertain, awkward stage between heartbreak and desperate loneliness that leads to some pretty bad decisions, the kind that fuel the opening scenes of PRINCE OF FOOLS. He's lost the woman he loves to his brother, she's there to pick up the pieces, telling herself that she's okay with being second string, second choice. Riiiiiight. Like that's going to end well. While I'm finishing my first read through and moving on to that second pass to revise, here's a glimpse of my characters stumbling through the motions . . . starting with that morning-after moment of regret.

A picture on an unfamiliar nightstand, the girl he recognized, but not the room, not the bed where covers tangled about his naked form.

Oh, holy hell, he’d gotten drunk and pity-f-ed by Amber James!

Covering his face with his hands, he repressed a groan of horror then peeked between his fingers, spotting his clothes on the foot of the bed, cleaned and neatly folded, and hoped maybe he was wrong, that she’d simply let him crash and sleep off his misery . . . until he inhaled. No mistaking the rich aroma of well-enjoyed sex lingering on every inch of him.

What had he done? He screwed someone’s mom! 

Amber . . . she’d hate him, or worse, expect something from him that he couldn’t give. Hurting her was the last thing he wanted, the last thing she deserved after all she’d done for him and his family.

What the hell was wrong with him that he had to go out of his way to so effortlessly mess everything up?

The Prince of Fools.

While I'm visiting your sites (I apologize for not showing up last Sunday - houseful of company followed by busy first full week back at work, but THANK YOU for your awesome comments!), enjoy another, less painful take on dealing with heartache. Rico and Amber should have taken this advice as their friendship tumbles toward relationship.

Happy Writing, All!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

WeWriWa: Draft One . . . and Done!

Ahhhhhhhhh! That feeling when you write that last sentence, sit back and go “Damn, that’s good!” The euphoria lasts about as long as it takes to realize you’ve got edits and the trimming of 10K words ahead of you. But for the moment, it’s pure heaven.

As I’m sharing this clip from one of the final chapters of PRINCE OF FOOLS, the third book in my “House of Terriot” shapeshifter foursome, I’ve already started my first complete read through and . . . so far, so good. I think I’ve cut about 20 words! A long way to go . . . but the journey is the best part of reaching the destination.

“What’s wrong?” 

Rico kissed her to postpone his answer, pouring all the emotion dammed up in his chest into the tender union of lips and tongues and breaths. Perfect. She was perfect, fitting him, completing him in every possible way, fulfilling every dream and desire he’d ever imagined, bringing out in him every strong, brave and noble instinct that had been percolating since the first time he’d seen mother and child together and recognized the family he’d longed for all his life. This moment was flawless, the one he’d hold fiercely to sustain him in the days and nights to come. 

They cuddled on the cold, celestially drenched patio, stars in their eyes as the strange new entwining of their souls relaxed and released them. Rico nudged into Amber’s palm as she stroked his cheek, turning his face from the dark sky toward his own personal heaven. The intensity of her gaze allowed for no escaping her demand. 

“Rico, talk to me.” 

“My brothers and I are going back to New Orleans tonight . . . alone.”

I’ve got critique group company all weekend, but I’ll sneak away to visit everyone’s snippets before heading back to the work office tomorrow after three looooong weekends and a partial vacay (working in the home office, of course!). Looking forward to some good reads! Then it’s knuckle down to plan promos and set a release date time.

Happy writing!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

WeWriWa: Proud to be a Grrrrl!

I spent the long holiday weekend enjoying two highly entertaining and vastly different movies with the same message: It ain’t easy being a girl so you might as well come out swinging. On the surface, Wonder Woman and Hidden Figures don’t seem to have much in common, a comic book Amazon and a trio of real life women in the ‘60s, but both celebrate strength when faced with overwhelming odds – a strength of body, of mind, of will and character (and bladder!) that had audiences cheering “You go, girl!”

It’s no secret that I love a strong heroine in my books. At first glance, Amber James, single mom, working as a bartender for shapeshifters (there’s that grrrrrr factor!) to make ends meet seems quietly determined to stay under the radar and simply survive. But when her greatest fear rears up from the past to threaten daughter and her love, she shows that superhero moxie in today's excerpt.

Rico was . . . gone, most likely dead if they could be believed, and no one else would notice her absence, not in time to save them. Amber forced down the flood of anxious, weepy emotions, refusing to let them weaken her, just as she’d defied her fear of Brady in his office, by focusing on Evie. 

They were safe for the moment, a moment she hoped would be long enough to provide a way out, because Brady, like her father, would be looking for an opportunity to crush her, his placating lies buying him time to formulate a suitable and probably long dreamed of revenge for emasculating him all those years ago. A man didn’t get over that kind of personal insult, his hatred of her equal or greater than her terror at being helpless within his grip again, but she still held the upper hand, if she could hang onto her nerve long enough to play it. 

She didn’t have to wait long. 

The door burst open, startling her into a defense pose as an enraged Brady shoved his man aside to close himself in the room with her, a room suddenly a hundred times smaller and less cozy. Though fright leapt in her chest, Amber forced her posture to relax as she regarded him coolly, smile remote and taunting. 

“You think this is a game,” he raged, holding himself in place with difficulty, big, brutal hands working at his sides as if eager to feel her neck between them, "that you can trick me with information that's coded.” 

“And without that code, useless to you. You’ll get the code when my family is out of your reach.”

I'm finishing the last few scenes of PRINCE OF FOOLS, (had that finale epiphany while doing my eye makeup on Friday morning before work and wished I had a super power to stop time so I could get it all written down right then!) and once they're done, it's editing time. I'm so looking forward to this first page to last read through. Glad I offered to only work two half days this week while my attorneys are out of the office. My super power is creating time when there is none. Shazzam! Now, to use it wisely . . .

And if you haven't, see those movies!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

IWSG: Know Your Tribe!

July’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group topic has to do with “What is the one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?” The total tonnage of what I’ve learned in my 30-year career is somewhat staggering (and not all of it is still relevant), but there’s no quibbling over this one. Know your tribe. Your peeps. Whose got your back. Where like minds collect and spark. Where seldom is heard a disingenuous word.

Your tribe. Who are they? Writers. True. All we wordsmiths have basics of creativity and discipline in common, but that’s a dang big group to relate to on a daily basis. So, narrow it down. Fiction writers>romance writers>paranormal authors. Where do I find them? Nationally: RWA, Ninc, etc. Locally: Mid-Michigan RWA and more recently Capital City Writers. Personally . . . now this is where things get focused. I belong to a fabulous local chapter of writers who are active, supportive, enthusiastic, and fun to hang out with. Our meetings, and better yet, our write-ins and Retreat, are dynamic places to meet and mingle with like hearts and minds. But my personal tribe takes it down another notch: to those I commune with, sharing the good, bad and ugly, first just as critique partners, and now, more like sisters . . . for over 20 years!! The stuff we’ve gone through! Rejections (both professional and personal), successes (again, both professional and personal), through sickness and in health, through the highs and lows and sometimes endless plateaus. We’ve got each other’s backs and best interests! We don’t all write or create the same way, on the same level, in the same genre, but we share with the same respect and trust. I am blessed by my tribe.

Find your tribe, and let them support you with knowledge, with encouragement, with enthusiasm that can lift you from the lowest ruts. Give as well as receive. That’s the true benefit. Have more than one tribe. I have a fantastic cheering section in my Weekend Writing Warriors online group that forces me to produce . . . something, every week, that I connect with even though I’ll probably never meet all of them face to face. And what about our wonderful IWSG? It’s that CONNECTION that matters, that keeps you from getting lost in the sometimes disheartening and lonely job that we do.

Find your tribe and find your strength.

Happy July! Happy Writing!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the July 5th posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, July 02, 2017

WeWriWa: It's All In the Cards . . .

Last week, I had the phenomenal opportunity to be a guest on Arwen Lynch's "Tarot By Arwen" You Tube site. I'm such a groupie of hers! To launch her new book on using the Tarot to aid in developing plot and characters, she's doing author video readings to answer those questions in regards to their WIPs. Cool, right! As a Tarot dabbler, I jumped at the chance, and had her do a background check reading on Ophelia Brady, Kip Terriot's love interest in PRINCE OF DREAMS, Book 4 in my "House of Terriot" series, which is still very much on the drawing board. WOW! Did the reading ever fill in the blanks and give me a positive direction! So for today's 8-10 lines, I'm giving you a glimpse of Ophelia and Kip's first meeting in UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS. FYI, Kip is the youngest of the Terriot princes who is more at home on the computer keyboard than in the boots on the ground conflict his family is drawn into in New Orleans.

Kip trotted down to the Square where shops were closed and the street vendors still packing up had nothing to share, making him almost ready to give up when he approached a girl in Bohemian garb standing on an overturned crate taking down some nice sketches from the fence around the inner park. When he called out to her, she yelled back over her shoulder, “Sorry, closed for the night, but your face and your fortune can be first in line tomorrow.”

That’s when he noticed a card table draped with sparkly scarves holding various crystals, now cold candles, a large deck of strange cards, a battered cash box and a sign in the same bold pen and ink style as her portraits proclaiming “Mademoiselle Ophelia Sees All.” He hoped so.

She stepped down off the crate, turned, looking up, way up, and smiled with a flirtatious, “But for yours, I’ll make an exception.”

Kip grinned because she was damned cute with her heart-shaped face, upturned nose, sassy red lips, and curvy figure all wrapped up in bangles and colorful flowing fabrics - definitely more pixie than voodoo queen.

“I was wondering if I might ask you some questions, ma’am, if you have the time.”

“Ma’am?” she challenged, making him blush. “I can’t be more than a minute older than you. Let me see your hand.”

You can check out my character card reading with its Q&A on writing, on YouTube (and remember, I am by NO means a video star wannabe!) 

I've got a loooong weekend continuing into Monday and Tuesday, and am using it to finish the first draft of PRINCE OF FOOLS, and to introduce our new 7-week old kitten Keanu to his surroundings and feline roommates. (Maybe Ed's blogging partner can give me some insights from the furry side). Here's his adorable face. C'mon, a collective Awwww!

Happy Just-starting-to-heat-up Summer! And a safe and glorious 4th of July!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.