January 2018

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

WeWriWa: Who Is This Guy? PRINCE OF DREAMS Sneak Peek!

“Where did you come from?”

In last week’s excerpt, a woozy Ophelia confronts her rescuing hero in a daze. Not only does he appear out of nowhere, but he returns her stolen cash box, too, the same prince charming who appeared in her Tarot reading, her Prince of Cups, who she’ll be surprised to eventually discover is a REAL prince in the shape-shifter House of Terriot. Is it the after-effects of the attack or the thrill of attraction that has Phe’s head spinning as the scene continues.

Kip Terriot smiled, dimple seducing as he explained, “I was on my way back to thank you for the information. Lucky, huh?” 

More than luck . . . fate. 

“Think you can stand up?” 

The way her heart was knocking and her head went light, she wasn’t sure but she nodded because it brought his palms to cup her elbows, lifting with surprising strength until they were bumping one another, her long skirt sweeping his shoes, her knees trembled against his as her dreamy stare lifted. 

Longish hair was tucked behind his ears where the flash from his stud earrings blinded—diamonds, big ones. 

Who was this guy, her rescuer, her hero, her knight in shining 2-carats? 

“Can I drive you home?” 

And put an end to this suddenly glorious evening? 

“No,” Ophelia began then, as his expression fell, she added, “but you can walk me to a little place a few blocks up because I feel the need for tequila.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing a series where the storylines overlap? Keeping that darn timeline in sequence. If you’ve bumped heads with the same issue, how have you dealt with it? There’s got to be an easier way than thumbing through previous books every time a question in continuity raises its ugly head. Was it in Book 1 or 2? Or the prequel? Or was it all in a dream? My heroine’s not the only one who’s light headed!

Hope this past week has been one of creative revelations for all my fellow Warriors as we continue to Write On!

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, January 21, 2018

WeWriWa: Back to the Keyboard. The Story Continues . . .

It’s hard to settle into a routine that’s been interrupted by weeks of PT and fatigue. I’d read all my planned books on Kindle: 606 pages of Justin Cronin’s “City of Mirrors” and Koontz’s “Forever Odd,” binged on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Brain Dead,” “Black Sails” and caught up with “House of Cards” and “The Black List.” Last week’s WWW post was the first time I’d opened my WIP and it was a struggle to focus on the story when I could be napping, watching “Supernatural” reruns or scrolling Twitter (not posting, just browsing). Enough. That book ain’t gonna write itself! To get back in the mood for the final book in my “House of Terriot” shapeshifter series, PRINCE OF DREAMS, (and find an excerpt), I did a read-through of my outline and chapters written, and, FINALLY, went back to work on Chapter 3. I’d like to say the words just flowed, but in truth, they’ll need a heavy edit, but at least I have them to edit now!

To get you (and me) back into the story, I’d introduced shapeshifter prince, Kip Terriot to Tarot reader (and much more) Ophelia Brady in a cute-meet some months ago. Instant karma! But when he goes back about his family’s business and she shuts down her booth on Jackson Square for the night, Phe meets with an unpleasant surprise where she’d parked in a shadowed alley . . . 

Let go, let him have it! Ophelia’s sensible, though dazed, mind demanded. Eighty dollars wasn’t worth her life, yet still she clung to the cash box, an anger fueled by detested helplessness feeding her determination as surprise registered in the harsh lines of her attacker’s face. Dwarfing her in size, he’d obviously expected quick capitulation, a snatch-and-grab, not a tug-of-war that he ended with the quick pop of his fist against her jaw, dropping Phe to dirty cobblestones, her planets spinning wildly out of alignment. Cradling the explosive throb with her palm, she watched a blur of ragged tennis shoes dart down the alley.

Then the bed of her rusty aqua truck rocked. The effort of glancing up swamped Ophelia with dizzying sickness, making her doubt what she saw . . . a crouched figure, there then gone, leaping over the cab with a thump on the hood, before disappearing down the alley. She turned her head to follow but wooziness forced her to close her eyes against the nauseating roll.

Then he was there, kneeling beside her, her Knight of Cups.

Lost in the tender light in his eyes, Phe heard the rattle of her cash box as he set it on the stones beside her to ask, “Are you okay?” his voice rumbling with concern. 

“Now, very,” she mumbled, trying not to move her pounding jaw. “Where did you come from?”

More on this scene next week. Now, my big news: I’m heading back to the Tucson Book Festival in March to sign the reissue of my first (!) novel in Tell-Tale Publishing’s booth! Just the thought of escaping these 6 to 26 degree morning drives to work has me digging out my summer clothes in anticipation of going from this . . .

To this . . .

Until then, Chapter 4, here I come!

Happy Writing, Warrior pals!

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, January 14, 2018

WeWriWa: I'm Back in the Saddle Again

Can one suffer withdrawal from not being at the keyboard for three weeks?! I thought I was experiencing the first twitches of it after not being able to sit in my office chair for any length of time after knee replacement. I'd gotten one of those bendy legged computer bed trays but trying to figure out how to get both sides positioned was too exhausting when my Kindle was loaded with books I'd promised myself I'd read. So lots of reading and Netflix binging ensued instead of increasing chapters on my WIP. One thing I did manage to accomplish was a goal list for 2018, and high on it is the reissuing of my award-winning Dana Ransom Western historicals from the '90s that I'd gotten the rights back to. Going through the first book, TEMPTATION'S TRAIL, got me all lathered up to go West again with my half-Apache tracker hero and his family. Here's a peek . . .

Bluntly, he told her, "Miss Duncan, where I'm going, every insect has a sting, every bush a thorn, every snake a fang, the sun is hot, the water's scarce, and the ride is so hard most sane men would refuse to make the trip."

"I'm not most men, Mr. Bass."

Having traded her fancy society clothes for a sensible split skirt and white cotton shirtwaist, glossy boots replacing kid shoes and the glorious twists of her hair braided back from the milky softness of her face and topped with a flat-brimmed hat, but even so, she looked no less feminine, no less fragile. She'd wilt within the hour and be begging for mercy by nightfall, and then he'd have to lose precious time bringing her back. 

Trying a different approach, he took a step closer so that in her boot heels, they were almost eye to eye, she, tall for a woman, built like a supple reed, easily bent, but not easily broken. "How do you know I won't take you out there where there's nothing but nothing and slit your throat?" he goaded, letting that sink in before adding with a whisper of menace, "or worse?"

Without so much as a blink, she smiled wryly at him. "If that was what you were planning, you'd hardly warn me of it ahead of time, would you? And then," she added with a bit more tartness, "you'd be losing out on the thousand dollars, and I hardly think a man would be willing to sacrifice that for me, so stop wasting time, Mr. Bass." 

His critical gaze lingered over the coltish sway of her hips as she walked toward the door, thinking about the courageous fire in her eyes, thinking she could be wrong . . . thinking way too damned much as he strode after her.

Having grown up in the great era of John Wayne and TV westerns - Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, How the West Was Won, Wanted Dead or Alive and Maverick, right up to the Magnificent Seven remake, Tarantino's Hateful Eight and Christian Bale's new adventure, to me, there's nothing like a steely-eyed hero with a grudge or a goal. Now the big decision . . . self-pub or look for a more traditional avenue?

So . . . how am I feeling now with my new bionic part? Up walking same day as surgery with a walker, walking on own two legs within three days at home without assist, climbing alternating stairs in six days (to the amazement of my PT guys!), graduated PT in less than two weeks instead of the recommended 6-7 weeks, driving and back to work full time in three weeks and stepping DOWN stairs (the hardest thing you can do with a new knee). Yeah, kinda like this . . .

Hope y'all have gotten off to a great start in this New Year. I sure have missed visiting with you! Can't wait to catch up.

Happy New Year, Happy Writing, and Happy Trails!

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, January 03, 2018

IWSG: All Booked Up for 2018

Even though I’m only two weeks post knee replacement surgery, I’m pleased and surprised to be able to answer today’s IWSG Day Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Every year is different. Some (when I wasn’t working full time) were gloriously ambitious: Writing 7 of the 11 titles under contract with three different houses, for example. No way could I do that in 2018. Just not enough hours in the day or available brain cells. I’ve always been one to push hard to make the most of what time’s available . . . but within reasonable limits of what’s doable. I already get up at 4:30 a.m. to write. I don’t think I can conjure up any more hours in the day, so I have to build my projected projects within the limited time frame I have. To do that, I start with the targeted number of planned releases then work backwards to fill in my work calendar. Here’s how 2018 is shaping up:

1. Ongoing promotion of October 2017 release, PRINCE OF FOOLS;

2. Set up PR for $0.99 sale of historical vampire romance, MIDNIGHT ENCHANTMENT from BelleBooks for 2-1 through 2-15;

3. Rerelease of first published novel, SWEET TEMPEST, a Regency-set historical written as Lauren Giddings with prospective Tell-Tale Publishing date of February/March;

4. Edit second Regency reissue, BARTERED BRIDE, for Tell-Tale Publishing toward a target release date TBD;

5. Write final book in “House of Terriot” dark shapeshifter series, PRINCE OF DREAMS, for a late summer release;

6. Plan packaging and timeframe for rerelease of five-book Texas historical series written as Dana Ransom for 2018/2019 along with a new sixth book to the series and decide to self-pub or go traditional;

7. Reread “By Moonlight” and “House of Terriot” series and outline potential concluding book to the series in 2019.

Yikes! When it’s all laid out in Calibri 12-pt, it looks overwhelming, but it breaks down to the promotion of three books (third book of series, rereleases, and sale book) during the first quarter of the year; writing one 95-100K new book during the first 3-4 months of the year then formatting, publishing and promoting that book; editing a previously released historical and working with publisher on cover, blurb, etc.; getting Texas series scanned for editing then developing cover concepts and PR plan; and, background reading toward development of book to write in my “By Moonlight” series for 2019. 

Yes, a lot of stuff to do, but all on different creative levels. The new writing, I do in the early a.m. and weekends. Promotions are built from a PR timeline already developed. Editing, blogging, etc. is done during my lunch hour, and reading, before bed. Totally doable!

My biggest lesson learned from 2017 is PLAN AHEAD! The more that can be done before it’s needed, the better. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

What kind of year is your 2018 shaping up to be?

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 January 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG