Sunday, December 22, 2019

WeWriWa: Back to the Beginning . . . “By Moonlight” series

After completing my first edit of the final book in my “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series, I had to do some serious fact checking (looking for how many children a minor character in one of fifteen books had, a pet name used for an old boyfriend, whether a particular action was undertaken or simply discussed, the year and model of that orange Camero . . . those kinds of details!). With my sleuth hat on (because I didn’t do character sketches in the earlier books the way I do now because . . . who knew there’d be ten or so more of them!), I’ve been immersed in those early days and it’s like falling in love all over again (or going on a second honeymoon). So, I’m sharing excepts from the first book, MASKED BY MOONLIGHT as a reminder of why my main couple were worth all the time and carpal tunnel. Meet Max and Charlotte.

His stare locked into hers, gaze heating, darkening with something she’d never seen in them before. 

“Step back, Savoie.”

Her gruff command must have lacked conviction because his head lowered until his breath feathered soft and warm against her lips.

“Don’t,” not quite so tough.

He tasted her slowly, firmly, riding the jerk of her chest, gentling his hold on her hands, finally releasing them. Her palms came up to rest against his shoulders, motionless at first, then beginning to push until he lifted off her by a scant inch, his stare delving into hers, his breathing hurried.

“Max, stop.”

That hoarse whisper still didn’t convince as the tip of his tongue lightly rimmed the fullness of her lower lip, the gesture so provokingly intimate she trembled with a helpless chill of response.

His challenge brushed silkily over the damp part of her mouth, “I will if you mean it.”

And for a moment, for one startling moment, she didn’t.

Trying to keep the temperature level at the same degree since my first draft in 2008 has been quite the challenge. All those days . . . and nights. Whew! That’s a lot of cardio. Here’s a quick overview.

I’ll be concluding 2019 with another look back before greeting 2020 with my WIP, RISE BY MOONLIGHT.

Wishing all a HAPPY HOLIDAYS with those you love, be they family or characters or an assortment of both.

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, December 15, 2019

WeWriWa: These Dreams . . . RISE BY MOONLIGHT

I’m elbow deep in first round edits of RISE BY MOONLIGHT, the final book in my “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series. This book completes a dream I had in 2008 about a tough-as-nails female detective and a supernatural mob enforcer fighting against the undeniable tension between them. My dream carried these two main characters through a continuing series that started with three books, something common in Urban Fantasy but unheard of in Paranormal Romance at that time. I believed in it so strongly, I turned down a very nice contract for just the first book, insisting it be all three or nothing – a terrifying stand that paid off, both professionally and personally. I’m a big believer in dreams, and so is Max Savoie, the main hero in my 15-book series. But his dreams aren’t all good ones, as seen in today’s excerpt. 

Spending the day with the Terriots had been more than simple fun. Max had been pushing them, testing them, gaging their abilities and they’d far surpassed his expectations. If he had to go into a battle he wasn’t sure he could win, they were who he’d want at his side. . . but would they be enough? 

Frowning over that question, he’d just started down the stairs when he heard the unmistakable roar of a big block engine. The initial leap of his heart settled into the uncertainty of their situation, something she avoided, and he feared. He’d rarely placed boundaries on their relationship, and the few times he tried hadn’t exactly gone as planned. Taming his bold mate was never his intention. Her independent nature had drawn him from first glance. He’d never ask her to change or suppress those things that defined her, those things he adored. 

But he’d been having dreams . . .

Are dreams hopes of good things to come or grim warnings not to be ignored? Sometimes, they’re just spicy Mexican food.

Sorry to have missed making all the rounds last weekend. On the heels of coming back from New Orleans, my two-year-old cat spent last week at the vet’s undergoing bladder stone surgery and demanded TLC upon release (happily supplied). All this atop turning our house into a Mall of America Christmas display. He’s just coming off meds but will be on pricey prescription food forever (that makes two of them in the household now!). The things we go through for our pets . . . and our characters. But would we have it any other way?

If you or anyone on your holiday list is looking for a fictional escape in a paranormal dimension, you can start at the beginning with MASKED BY MOONLIGHT or jump in with my self-pubbed portion of the series with REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT which brings new readers right into the “By Moonlight” world. 

Me, I’ll be brutally slashing 10,000 more words (at least!) before moving on to edit #2. 

Looking forward to catching up on your progress as 2019 concludes. Are you where you thought you’d be?

Happy Holidays and Happy Writing, 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, December 8, 2019

WeWriWa: Draft One and Done . . . RISE BY MOONLIGHT

Nothing like a working vacation on location to get you to that epilogue! Just got back from a week long love affair with New Orleans, getting reacquainted with its unique rhythms, its traditions, and especially, its food! Finally, RISE BY MOONLIGHT’s first draft is complete. At almost 100,000 words, it’s time to begin some serious editing . . . right after this week’s WeWriWa excerpt featuring a heroine strong enough to carry a 15-book series, NOLA detective, Charlotte Caissie. Nothing’s harder for a wounded warrior loner to accept than help (or the fact that she requires it!). Cee Cee’s developed from a bullet train force of one crusading for many to someone dependent upon others to protect those she loves—a situation that doesn’t rest easy on her broad shoulders. 

Charlotte Caissie’s determined drive for justice had begun with her father’s murder at their Sunday dinner table. Now, she walked his streets, determined to carry that torch. The arrest of Warren Brady had shattered that system they’d devoted their lives to serving. When the police commissioner placed greed above the law she loved, he threatened not only her cause but her new extended family, as well. 

The tenuous existence of Max’s kind was already at risk. With Terriot refuges and threat from the North flooding the Quarter bringing division and danger, her passionate drive not to rely upon any resources or resolve beyond her own was no longer possible. Not when it came to the safety of those she loved. 

Her partner, Alain Babineau had her back on the streets; Mary Kate Malone, now Sister Catherine, held her confidence as sacred as her God; and, Max Savoie encompassed her heart with a tenderness and passion she’d never allowed or given another. This trinity, these two friends and this lover, were her world now, but a part of her still denied that good could defeat all the evil she’d recognized around her. And that darkness still grew, relentless, cold and all consuming, becoming a threat to her unborn daughter.

How could you not want to save this city? I miss it already. 



Here I go, plunging into that first edit. Wish me luck!

Happy Writing 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, December 4, 2019

IWSG: Living the Dream

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for December is: 

How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks like and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

Every time I sit down to the keyboard to recreate the stories that fill my imagination, I am living The Dream, that writer’s dream of telling a tale that miraculously appears in print. That Dream began with a fractured fairytale published in my elementary school newspaper and continued with bits and pieces of imaginings jotted in notebooks well into my adult years. Sending out that first typewritten manuscript and getting that standard rejection; three manuscripts later, getting The Call; multibook contracts from three different NY publishers in three different genres under three different names demanding 11 books in one years; visiting my publisher’s office in NY and talking with the team that created my first By Moonlight covers and writing a New Orleans travel journal to help launch their first blog; getting a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly; accepting a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times w/a Dana Ransom; yearly conference trips to places I’d only dreamed about to meet authors I idolized; a home office upgrade from the dining room table; speaking about writing to my sons’ classes at school; the pride of holding my first self-published book, REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT in a series I loved too much to let go, and now, just finishing the last book, RISE BY MOONLIGHT (my 70ish published book) in that 15-book series on vacay in New Orleans where the saga began twelve years ago.

After all that, with retirement just figured into the mix, The Dream hasn’t changed. It’s still turning on the computer early in the morning to share coffee with my characters, losing myself in their world, being constantly surprised by their cleverness or alarmed by their peril. And occasionally needing that cold shower.

The Dream was, and always will be, the magic of words coming to life one sentence at a time. And I’m living it.

How about you, fellow IWSGers? What are your dreams? Can’t wait to find out!

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 December 4th posting of the IWSG will be Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Tyrean Martinson!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG