Sunday, July 29, 2018

WeWriWa: Set Sail for Some Summer Loving (on sale for $.99!)


Having doesn't always live up to the hype of wanting. That's what Lisa Reynolds, the heroine in my recently reissued contemporary, TOTALLY YOURS (written under my pen name, Dana Ransom) discovers when all her hard work to reshape her future (and herself!) doesn't measure up to her expectations. Instead of living the dream with the man she desires on a promotional cruise as the new spokesmodel for a self-improvement program, she finds herself drowning in old doubts, and in today's excerpt, she reaches out of habit for an old life preserver . . .



Lisa was all the way to her room before her sensi­bilities cleared, and then there she was, alone with four helpings of sheer bliss, stepping out of her high heels to sit on the foot of the bed, plate cradled on her lap, not turning on the lamp because sneak eating, like forbid­den sex, was best if done in the dark. 

One small taste and she heaved a pampered sigh, continuing to nibble, telling herself she had control because she didn’t devour it in one gulp. She refused to let even the smallest amount of shame encroach upon the
mo­ment, not her disap­pointment over Chuck or her confused emotions concerning Harlan, not when immediate gratification was its own reward...just like this trip, a temporary fantasy while reality waited back in the icy winds of Michigan. Reality was Chuck Webb’s womanizing, Maggie on Harlan’s arm, only a book of business and a fat gray cat to come home to, with no man’s embrace to keep her warm, and now, not even have the comfort of her own personal insula­tion to guard against the chill of loneliness. 


A sudden tap on her door sent Lisa rocketing off the bed, clutching her goodies defensively, furtive in­stincts making her shove the half-emptied plate be­neath her bed and brush at the brownie crumbs that dotted the front of her skirt before answering the door.

Harlan. 

“I got worried when you didn’t show up for dinner so I came to offer
Dra­mamine and sympathy if you needed it.”


Lisa smiled, positive he could see those calories settling about her hips as she insisted, “I’m fine, just a little overwhelmed by all the socializing.” 

“How ‘bout we share a little moonlight together, or have you got something better lined up for this evening?” he asked, touching the corner of her mouth, coming away with a telltale glob of whipping cream as Lisa cringed, waiting for his lecture. 

Instead, Harlan sucked the goo off his thumb before offering his arm, and miraculously, the lure of cream puffs disappeared.


Man, now I want to go on another cruise . . . or grab a cream puff. As I weigh those options, take a look at TOTALLY YOURS, on sale through the 31st for just $.99 (a lot cheaper than the trip or the calorie guilt!).


When a popular self-improvement program gives Lisa Reynolds a smoking hot body, she wins an unexpected prize: a Caribbean cruise as the club's corporate spokesmodel. Lisa, a hardworking insurance sales rep who prides herself on her brains, hesitantly accepts the siren call of being admired for her figure, too.

But suddenly this new glamour girl faces magnetic CEO Harlan Jameson, whose interest in her matches her attraction to him, except . . . the "real" Lisa isn't this workout babe he created. And old self-doubts about being loved for herself resurface.

Harlan's not what she thinks. A self-made success, lonely, and isolated by a busy schedule . . . he's drawn to Lisa's honesty and warmth. When he understands her fears, he sets out to prove there's only one thing he wants her to change for him: her last name.
★ ★ ★ ★ 
I'll be in final revisions for PRINCE OF DREAMS next week, after spending this weekend rerouting all my contacts from @msn, which suddenly closed my e-mail account when I couldn't prove I was me even after jumping through three days of their hoops with all the requested info and no way to contact a human to address my problems (grrrrr). Now Microsoft wants to kiss and make up, but I ain't feeling the love after ten years of saved e-mails with contact information disappeared. That ship has sailed. I'm an @gmail girl now. So "H.o.T" shape-shifter princes, carry me away!

How's your summer shaping up, fellow Warriors?




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 22, 2018

WeWriWa: Sorry I Missed You . . . with News of My “RELEASE DATE!”



Whoops! My post didn’t get linked last week, so Weekend Writing Warriors didn’t get my news. Since good news bears repeating, I’m retreading last week’s post with added new content (kinda like a reissue!). I’m taking a short hiatus from PRINCE OF DREAMS while it’s in the hands of my BETA readers (finally!) to give the ole creative brainpan a breather, before it goes from BETA readers, to line edits, formatting, final cover proof, promotion plans . . . and before you know it, that planned summer book has an October release date! Just can’t get it through so many hands in less time. So, I’m rolling with it to announce a Release Date for the final book in my House of Terriot shapeshifter series of October 2, 2018! And to help celebrate, I’m reopening the doors to my Haunted Halloween Open House and will be participating in a spooky hop through Bewitching Books Tours! More on that later. Today, let’s get straight to the heart (or is that the heat?) of the moment with today’s excerpt from an earlier scene (and an earlier post) in PRINCE OF DREAMS.


As he strode behind the truck bed, she watched in the rearview as his outline was traced by the rear lights, desire and impatience for what she couldn’t have chafing aggressively like two raw agates in a rock polisher. By the time he got in, she’d fogged the windows with her ragged breaths. 

As he twisted to find his seat belt, Ophelia spoke his name softly, “Christopher.” 

Kip turned in question and she was on his lips in a heartbeat. As his parted in surprise, her tongue shot between them, engaging his in aggressive play. The taste of him . . . zingy sauce, dark beer and pure heaven. 

He gripped her upper arms, at first, she thought to push her away, but he drew her closer instead, dragging her toward him, lifting and twisting her body to angle her around the steering wheel, grinning into their kiss as her butt brushed the horn, startling a quick beep. Skirt tangling about the shifter knob, she freed one hand to tug it loose, so Kip could pull her across him, her knees straddling his thighs on the vinyl bench seat. They settled into a hurried, hungry lip lock. 

Delicious.
I wonder where this is going? 

While I wait anxiously for BETA news, I’m distracting myself by hyping the $0.99 Sale of my Dana Ransom contemporary romance, TOTALLY YOURS. I’ll be sharing from that close-the-the-heart (and waistline) book next week, but here’s a peek to get you started...


Happy Writing no matter where you are in your journey, fellow Warriors! October will be here before you know it!



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 15, 2018

WeWriWa: A Delicious Peek at PRINCE OF DREAMS and “RELEASE DATE!”


Nothing warms up a summer day like final edits of a sizzling scene! Whew, is it H.o.T. in here or just me? Getting PRINCE OF DREAMS down to its lean and mean fighting weight and loving every minute of it. But time flies so fast when you realize all that’s involved in getting that baby out into the world. BETA readers, line edits, formatting, final cover proof, promotion plans scheduled . . . and before you know it, that summer book has an October release date! Just can’t get it through so many hands in less time even though my job is almost done. So, I’m rolling with it to announce a Release Date of October 2, 2018! And to help celebrate, I’m reopening the doors to my Haunted Halloween Open House! More on that later. Today, let’s get straight to the heart (or is that heat?) of the moment with today’s excerpt from an earlier scene in PRINCE OF DREAMS.


As he strode behind the truck bed, she watched in the rearview as his outline was traced by the rear lights, desire and impatience for what she couldn’t have chafing aggressively like two raw agates in a rock polisher. By the time he got in, she’d fogged the windows with her ragged breaths. 

As he twisted to find his seat belt, Ophelia spoke his name softly, “Christopher.” 

Kip turned in question and she was on his lips in a heartbeat. As his parted in surprise, her tongue shot between them, engaging his in aggressive play. The taste of him . . . zingy sauce, dark beer and pure heaven. 

He gripped her upper arms, at first, she thought to push her away, but he drew her closer instead, dragging her toward him, lifting and twisting her body to angle her around the steering wheel, grinning into their kiss as her butt brushed the horn, startling a quick beep. Skirt tangling about the shifter knob, she freed one hand to tug it loose, so Kip could pull her across him, her knees straddling his thighs on the vinyl bench seat. They settled into a hurried, hungry lip lock. 

Delicious.

I wonder where this is going?

Back to Chapter 12, is where I’m going on this final eagle-eyed voyage in search of errors before passing my baby on to pre-readers. Deep breath, deep breath! Thank goodness for looong weekends!

Happy Writing no matter where you are in your journey, fellow Warriors!



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 11, 2018

TAKE FIVE with Diane Burton and New Release NUMBERS NEVER LIE!


I'm always thrilled when one of my writer pals has a new release coming out, especially one I know I'll enjoy for its sassy humor, twists and turns (I adore suspense in any form and have read sneak peek excerpts, so I'm really geeked!). I'm tooting a horn today for Diane Burton with a five question interview and a look at her brand new romantic suspense, NUMBERS NEVER LIE as part of her blog hop (and that means a giveaway!) Welcome, Diane! 


Nancy, thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I’ve always valued our friendship. Over the years, you’ve helped me so much in my writing career, and you’ve been an example of never giving up when the going got rough.

1. What do you find the most satisfying point in your book's "journey" - Plotting, the writing process, editing (no one said EVER!), promotion, Release Day, reader responses, reviews or something else?

I love the beginning from when an idea pops in my head (usually as I’m dropping off to sleep) to writing the first scenes. It’s exciting to discover the characters and what they get into. I know the ending; after all, I write romances, but I don’t know how the characters will get to that happy-ever-after. Since my books always contain a mystery suspense, I don’t know at the beginning how it will be resolved. Around chapter eight, I have to stop and (sort of) plot, adding details on how to get to the end.

2. You publish in multi-genres (Yeah, you and lucky readers!). What do you find are the pluses and minuses - changing voice, research, reaching an audience or something else?

With my contemporary stories (cozy mysteries and romantic suspense), I use the local area for the settings or places I’ve visited. Research is easy. The mysteries are written in first person point of view. That means I can “be” that girl—young (yes, I do remember that time LOL) and a bit of a smart-ass. I have a lot of fun writing stories set in the future. In the sci-fi romances, I really get to use my imagination. I can make up cultures, religions, settings that are, literally, “out of this world.” Research is more difficult. As much as I’d like to, I can’t just pop over to the Outer Rim for an ale at a tavern or a taste of alien cuisine.

3. Do you have a favorite character from one of your books and if so, what makes them so special?

That’s like asking me to name my favorite child or grandchild. LOL Each female character is different, but they have many of the same qualities. Sassy, feisty, independent, and determined. Some of those qualities I’d like to have more of myself. The men range from stiff and austere, to easy-going wise-crackers, from Alphas to reformed Alphas, now Betas. Since I like a guy with a sense of humor, one who is honorable and dependable, that’s my hero.

4. I think of you as a PR guru - how do you manage the time and effort it takes and what avenues do you find are the most productive?

Wow, thanks. Time management is hard, even being retired from the day job. My creativity is best in the morning, so I use that time to write. Afternoons are better spent doing promotion. As far as what works promo-wise. I wish I knew. I enjoy writing blogs. Short and focused writing. That’s why I put together this blog tour. I tweet and belong to Triberr (a tweet multiplier). I’ve paid for advertising. I participate in local book events with personal contact with readers. I don’t know what works best. It’s sort of like throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping it sticks.

5. And, of course, what's next?

I’m working on a science fiction romance, 4th in my Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space. The Spy will be released in the Fall.

My newest release is Numbers Never Lie, a romantic suspense. Even since One Red Shoe, I wanted to write another romantic suspense. I started this story over fifteen years ago, but Life intruded. Our mothers needed more care, and my paying job drained me of energy. I set this story aside for longer than I expected. This winter, I rediscovered Maggie, her brother Jack, and their friend Drew and remembered how much I enjoyed their story. On Monday, the story released on Amazon.



NUMBERS NEVER LIE 
A Romantic Suspense 
By Diane Burton 
Release Date: July 9, 2018 
Length: approx. 80,000 words 
Available at AMAZON
Free with Kindle Unlimited

A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack's an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.

Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that 
– an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.

A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger?


EXCERPT

Drew glanced at her blinking answering machine in the corner of the peninsula counter that divided the kitchen from the eating area. “You have a message.”

“I’ll get it later,” Maggie said over the running water as she rinsed the lettuce. Unlike her mother, she didn’t let the phone rule her life. No matter what she was doing, Mom always ran to catch the phone. As if afraid she would miss a call.

“What if it’s important?” He studied the machine again with its flashing red light.

“My friends would call my cell. And the only person I need to hear from is Jack. He knew I was going on the camping trip. If it was important, he would’ve called my cell. As I told you before, I check for messages on that phone while we’re on a trip—in case it’s one of the parents.”

“I’m surprised you still have a landline. Most people don’t.”

“My folks had it. I should disconnect it since I only get robo-calls.” She dried the lettuce then set it on the counter.

Drew prowled the kitchen, making her trips from the refrigerator to the sink worse than dodging an obstacle course. “I can’t get over Jack wanting to listen to a CD in the middle of a workday.”

While she washed and chopped veggies, she told him about Jack’s visit on Friday. “I couldn’t believe how tired he looked. He didn’t say much—you know Jack.”

Drew nodded. “Never complain, never explain.” Which pretty much described Drew, also. She thought it prudent not to make the comparison out loud.

“I guess he’s putting in a lot of hours making up for Ben being out.” She explained about Jack’s business partner’s motorcycle accident. “Jack’s doing an audit over in Muskegon. I gather it isn’t going well.”

“Muskegon? Seriously? I’m working with a client over there. In fact, I was there all day Friday.” Drew slanted his eyes at the answering machine. “I can’t believe you’re not curious enough to listen to your message. I’d never not check.”

He glared at her answering machine. “I can’t stand this.” He punched the Play button.

“You have a lot of nerve—”

“This message is for Maggie May Sinclair. Please call the Muskegon County Sheriff immediately.” A phone number followed.

Maggie stared at Drew. Her heart thudded in her chest. Alarm plummeted into her stomach like an icy weight.

“Jack?” Drew voiced her worst fear.

She grabbed the receiver and dialed the number. “This is Maggie Sinclair. I’m returning a call I received.”

“One moment,” the operator said. A minute later, a man answered. “Ms. Sinclair? I called about your brother, Jack Sinclair.”

Alarm shot through her veins. She heard bits and pieces through the roar in her ears. “Regret to inform you . . . accident . . . early yesterday morning—”

She slid down, the kitchen cupboard at her back. The phone clattered on the white vinyl floor.


Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s Website!



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Sunday, July 8, 2018

WeWriWa: Trimming the Fat, My Personal Struggle with Editing . . .


My name is Nancy . . . and I’m a wordaholic. Yes. I admit it. I love words, the more the merrier. Until it’s time to start editing that WIP. It’s like trying to decide which of your children you’ll cut out of the will! “Yes, yes, I need that scene,” this author cried in despair, clutching it desperately to her dramatically heaving bosom. “It means everything to the plot!” Weeeeell, maybe not so much. <delete> Okay, only 10,000 more to go . . .

Such is my grim task with PRINCE OF DREAMS. I thought I’d find lots of fluff during my first read through. Sigh. Only 1,000 ditchable words. Only 35 more pages to trim. If all my scenes were as lean and mean as today’s snippet, I’d be up you know what creek! (dialog tags added to comply with number of sentences allowed. Extra fat added for flavor!)

“Do you still see them?” 

“My mom?” 

“And your brothers.” 

His voice dropped a gruff degree to admit, “Her, never enough but them, I’m always tripping over, especially now that some are here in New Orleans,” then catching himself before revealing more. 

Elbows on the table, she leaned forward, chin in her hands. “Are they like you?” 

“Tall or good looking?” 

“Nice,” she amended. 

He grinned. “They’re tall and good looking.”


Kip’s s family . . . that’s the root of the problem. I adore them. The interplay between him and his brothers . . . don’t get me waxing wordy poetic. Those scenes aren’t just informative, character builders, I can . . . and do argue with myself, they’re FUN to write and read! But can the book still rock without them? (she wonders, finding herself adding MORE into those interplays instead of Xing them).

Thank goodness for BETA readers who don’t suffer from that same separation anxiety. I can hear them now: “Put that flabby bastard on a treadmill and sweat that excess fat off!” Yikes. I’d better get busy . . . I can always put those precious scenes into, gulp, Extra Content. (sob!)

Half way through the first pass of edits and my 5-day weekend. Wish me luck!




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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG: What I Want to Be When I’m a Grownup (Writer)


The first thing a burgeoning writer dreams of is success – awards, the tours, the six-figure-and-up contract, the talk shows, the lists, the fans lined up around the block with your hardcover in hand, followed by movie options – you know, the good life all your hard work is going to lead to, that silver lining celebrity accolade we feverishly chase . . . leading to this month’s Insecure Writers Support Group thought provoker:

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

That’s what I wanted - the whole glitzy, adoring pinnacle of author recognition. From the first time I committed pen to ruled notebook paper a lifetime ago, the first time I submitted a hand-typed manuscript in a box to some unknown face in NY who was going to recognize my genius and make me that star! As I sold more books and my contracts got bigger, I gave talks on setting those high goals as carrots to dangle and chase relentlessly. Then I got a taste of that dream and a hard look at what it would cost to reach and sustain it.

Like many (heck, most!) writers, I’m a recluse, an OCD/ADD introvert who likes a small world I’m in control of. The very idea of a hoard of strangers, constant smiling and spotlights scares the snot out of me, but I did those things because I wanted that dream. I did interviews on camera, gave national workshops to full houses, smiled my way through signing hundreds of book copies at marketing events, did an anxiety-filled multi-state publicity book tour my publicist set up and paid for, stood on stage to accept a lifetime achievement award, spent hours I could have been writing to frantically try to keep up with new social medias springing up everywhere, making myself an exhausted, frustrated wreak who kinda wanted to spend a weekend once in a while sitting out in the back yard with the cat, reading a book I wasn’t promoting and not getting up at 4:30 am every single day for 70+ books and 30-odd years.

It took a sidelining knee replacement (with really good drugs) and a workshop on making a business plan to get me to relax enough to REALLY think about the career I wanted to sustain for the rest of my writing years. All the glitzy, stressful, ooooh shiny things fell away. All I really wanted to do all these years later was still the first dream I ever had. I wanted to write books I enjoyed and make a living doing just that - an enjoyable supplement income from the one thing I couldn’t NOT do. It’s still work and plenty of it, and none of it is easy, but cutting away the false trimmings of a success I really didn’t desire gives me the freedom to enjoy it again.And it’s enough for me.


So, to those who chase that brass ring of stardom – good for you! Go for it if it’s your dream. I’ll be cheering you on in the backyard with my cat on my extra day off, drinking coffee and dreaming plot dreams before heading in to my WIP. After sleeping in until 6!


Happy 4th for those of you celebrating!!


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 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, July 1, 2018

WeWriWa: Outside the Rules with PRINCE OF DREAMS


BIG news – finished first draft of PRINCE OF DREAMS!! Now I’ve got 512 flabby pages with 108K words to whip into shape. I wish I was as excited about my own workouts!

I’m sharing a scene from this fourth book in my “House of Terriot” shapeshifter series with the help from the heroine from Book 1. Sylvia Terriot knows a thing or two about stepping outside the strict rules that govern their secretive clan . . . and she’s broken most of them. Nevertheless, she was stunned by the youngest prince’s reveal that the woman of his dreams is . . . gulp, HUMAN! The scene continues . . .


"That's the tip of the iceberg, since her father's the one who was holding Rico's mate hostage, but she's not like him!"

"I should hope not," she chastised, but before they could continue their discussion with more question he didn’t want to answer, her tone roughened as she looked beyond him into a purring, "Hello, gorgeous."

His brother, Colin scooped her up for some serious tongue action before restoring her, flushed and smirking, to her very high heels with a lusty murmur of, "Hey, Syl, looks to kill, as usual. I need to borrow the kid for a minute."

"Keep him alive," she murmured with a suggestive, “he has better things to do with his evening than hang out with you lot."

Colin looked between them, eyes widening as he blurted, "You told her?"

"You told him?" she echoed, staring at Kip in equal surprise then, with a laugh, said gleefully, "Good, now I can gossip to Turow.” 

"But he'll go to Cale," Kip protested, knowing their king’s less than favorable position on dating outside their clan, let alone their kind!

Seeing his worry, she patted Kip's cheek, promising, "Not if he wants to come home to me, so who do you think he'll choose?" and with a wink, she swiveled away, certain both men were appreciating the view.

They were.

It takes a strong woman confident in her own skin . . . and within her own relationship . . . to behave as, ummm, freely as Sylvia, but that self-assurance came a tremendous cost, placing a lifetime of cynical distrust aside to believe in the honor of one man, the one sent to “escort” her to her own probable death. A bumpy (and entertaining!) road to happiness with her PRINCE OF HONOR.



   

Will Kip and Ophelia be as lucky . . . and their journey to happily-ever-ever as rough?

I’m looking forward to a loooooong 4th of July weekend (five whole days!) to read all the way through PRINCE OF DREAMS for the first time, then I’ll know what kind of editing work lies ahead. The hard part - staying inside. Wish me luck!

Happy upcoming Holiday for my fellow US Warriors!!



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.