The plot lines in this story come together to create a complex romance in an unusual setting, complete with fabulous supporting characters. Readers will be on the edge of their seats wondering what will come of Emma and Luke’s relationship, while also enjoying the endearing bond between Emma and her geeky older brother Eddie. Niles accurately depicts the world of Sci Fi conventions in a way that is accessible to newcomers but does not disparage or poke fun at what occurs at these events.
The link to the entire review: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-review/defying-convention
I don't know about you, but for me, being reviewed by them was a rite of passage in my writing career. We each have our own personal goals as writers. My list is slowly (I mean slowly:) being checked off. Almost seven years ago, I started writing. At that time, my only goal was to learn the craft and finish a novel. It took me a year to sale my first very short story. It took me two years to write my first novel (which has been shackled in the deepest, darkest corner of my computer's hard drive never to be seen from again). Once I finished my first novel and actually had a vague idea of what I was doing, my goals became more defined and while some have changed over the years, others have stayed. Being reviewed by RT was always one I wanted. Five years later, I'm able to check off another stepping stone. Now it's time to concentrate on some of the other things on my list. Some may take me twenty years to finally obtain, but I'm a stubborn broad. If it take twenty years, it takes twenty years.
What are some of the stepping stones on your career path?
I'm so excited! Flaunt It, the first story in my Paolo's Playhouse series will be released from Samhain on Tuesday, Aug 30th!
When it comes to sexy and sassy, Piper, the most popular waitress at Ben’s bar, has it all going on. Now that they’re dating, though, Ben wishes she’d dial down the skimpy clothes and flirty attitude, and her habit of dancing around the bar and flashing to her favorite song. Every teasing peek at her body, every laugh at some customer’s lousy joke, is certainly good for business—but it sends his jealousy meter into the red zone.
Sure, they’re dating, but he’s no muscled, tattooed stud with diamonds in his ears. How can he compete, especially when she refuses to even spend the night at his place?
Desperate, Ben books a room at his friend Paolo’s fantasy club, hoping an erotic night in front of a two-way mirror will get her exhibitionist streak out of her system. Praying it won’t prove his greatest fear—that she lives only to show off. And he’s not that special to her at all…
I love the characters in this story so much, and according to Flaunt It's first review from The Romance Studio, others will too. I'm thrilled Flaunt It got a 5 Heart review.
The review said in part:
"...let me just say this book does not disappoint. The plot is fast-paced and enthralling because Piper is so full of life, and constantly pushing Ben for a reaction to her wild antics. While the dialogue pushed both characters to open up to their feelings for each other, and express it through words for the first time. The sex scenes were adventurous and hot..."
You can check out an excerpt at the Samhain site.
The second story in the series, Risk It, will be out in November and features the couple on the other side of the two-way mirror. I can't wait to share it with you.
Today Flaunt It is still available for pre-order at a reduced price. I hope you'll want to check out Flaunt It and will enjoy Ben and Piper's story.
I can't believe how fast it's gone. Mine started that first weekend in June at the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together. That was such a fun weekend, full of seeing old friends and making new ones. Here's the Ellora's Cave group of authors (I'm in the back row, in pink):
Then came our annual Florida trip in late June. We stayed in a new location this year, which was gor-ge-ous. But the trip was chock full of, well... Let me put it this way. 2 tickets on the drive down, courtesy of the state of Kentucky (one for hubby and another for our daughter who drove her own car), coming thisclose to getting thrown up on by a child at a public rest stop, a car accident in downtown Birmingham (NOT my fault, and we were all okay!), chipping a crowned tooth on -- get this -- a piece of frozen dark chocolate, all ending with our daughter locking her keys in her car mere minutes before leaving for the fifteen hour ride home. Sigh. But all of that was mixed in with hot weather, constant sun, and wonderful times with amazing family and friends. When I look at it like that, it definitely makes all that other stuff we went through so very much worth it.
|The view from our balcony.|
|My daughter's boyfriend fished quite a bit while we were down there. Here I am, petting one of the sharks he caught moments before we put him back in the water. Cool, huh?|
And then there was July and August. Where the heck did they go? Most of the time was spent doing this or that, getting some writing in whenever I could and generally just trying to enjoy the summer. I've spent a lot of time with my husband out where we keep our RV, finally working on the landscaping and enjoying some alone time with him now that the kids are older and don't want to go out there too much any more (Is it bad for me to say that that's just fine with me? LOL).
And now, here we are, days away from September and the beginning of fall. School has already started (YAY!), and I'm working on getting myself back into my fall/winter writing routine. I have the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's coming up mid-September that I participate in (in honor of my mother and grandmother), then, on the lighter side, I'm attending the Ellora's Cave's RomantiCon convention at the end of the month. I'm so looking forward to that! It's one convention that truly stands apart from all the others I attend every year. Other than that, it's just writing, writing, writing -- hopefully mixed with a release or two in there somewhere!
I hope your summer was just as relaxing and/or as fun as mine was. Here's to everyone having a stellar fall, and a productive winter. Hmmm... Is it spring yet?
That’s what I’m posting about today. Those little things that make a difference to others that we ourselves might not even think about as being any kind of consequential. As a writer, it’s funny to hear what people say about my books; some of the random or remote details that stand out to readers that I’d never have realized had any resonance turn out to be very important to them. As a reader, I’m sometimes shocked when I discuss a book with others who read it and discover some small part that made a huge impact on me that no one else even noticed. Reading is such a personal experience that I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but I am. The written word is powerful indeed!
But so is the spoken word, and even more so when those words are unexpected.
A few weeks ago, I made a point to mention to a colleague that he’d be perfect for a job that opened up where we work, one a couple of levels beyond his current classification. I told him I thought he was perfectly qualified and would do a wonderful job--just because I really believe it--even though I figured he’d be applying anyway. He told me it made his day to hear that, because he wanted to apply but was feeling a little unsure. My comment gave him a boost I didn’t think he needed, and it reminded me that sometimes people we think are confident still need encouragement.
The saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” However, I think they both have more power than we realize. A kind gesture like holding a door or giving a simple smile can make a big difference. A few positive comments even when we don’t think they’re needed can go a long way in changing a so-so day into a great one. As writers, we never know where our influence will begin or end, and as neighbors, siblings, friends, lovers, etc., we don’t know either.
Can you think of a small act or a few words that had an impact on you or on someone else? Please do share and have a fantastic day!
I’m also trying to adjust to a new schedule myself. I started a second part-time job, which I think is going to work out great for me, but also made everything really wonky the last two weeks in regards to having time to write. In fact, I’ve had no time to write. Between working two part time jobs and having the kids all day, my writing persona has been almost non-existent. My day yesterday? I worked my first part-time job (4 hours), got off at 12, picked up my kids, spent a couple of hours with them, then went to work my second part-time job (another 4 hours). By the time I got home, I was exhausted. I forced myself to stay up and watch Awkward. Is anyone watching that? I love it. By the time I went to bed…well I don’t even remember going to bed. LOL.
My nephew (the third of my three. I keep him while his mommy is at work) starts pre-k on Sept. 6th. (The reason for the second part time job) Then I will have four mornings free a week, all dedicated to writing. I honestly can’t wait to have those mornings back. I miss writing. It’s a stress reliever for me and gosh knows I’m all twisted up right now because I’m not writing.
But I should be able to write a little more with only the nephew home. It’s amazing how much noise and distraction three kids can make. But only one? It’s almost like no kids are home.
So in celebration of Esme and Abby getting some time back on the computer, I want to give away four of my books. Esme has offered up Devlin’s Destiny, The Panther’s Lair and The Feline Fugitive and Abby is giving away a copy of Defying Convention. Here's a blurb for each:Gabby’s future is uncertain. Devlin’s is written in stone.
About to lose everything, Gabby Stone’s life is in shambles. Upon waking in a medieval castle owned by a sinfully sexy Scottish Laird, she believes she’s having an erotic dream and jumps right into the fantasy. But she quickly learns that this is no dream. Somehow she’s been transported into her favorite romance novel, Devlin’s Destiny, and is now starring as the heroine next to the scrumptious hero, Devlin McAlister, a character who puts all flesh-and-blood men to shame.
Deciding that living in this parallel universe is better than going back to her real life, Gabby plays it safe at first even though she hates the way the heroine in the book treats Devlin. As time passes, however, she finds herself wanting to become Devlin’s true heroine, to have him love her, not the woman he’s written to marry.
But how bound to the book is Devlin? With each turn of the page, obstacles are thrown in her path as a war between love and written words ensue. Can Gabby overcome a predetermined future to claim Devlin for her very own Happily Ever After?
You'll never look at a cat the same way again...
Claudette Richards adores Fluffy, her cat. Little does she know how much he adores her in return, nor that he's secretly a man named Luca Doyle, who has chosen her for his life mate. Framed for murder, Luca hides out in cat form while he hunts down the real killer, a battle that could reveal him to Claudette before he's ready. If it happens, will she match his passion or send him to the pound?
Sydney Chase may have sworn off relationships—but she still has needs. So she heads to the Panther's Lair in search of sex: no strings, no emotions. The club owner, dark, mysterious Raimond Decoudreau, is exactly what she's looking for—his French accent alone makes her hot. Fortunately, his mouth has other sinful talents, as well...
After just one night with Sydney, Raimond knows she's his. And when the time is right, when she loves him in return, he'll reveal his deepest secret. For now, he'll enjoy pleasuring her in the most intimate of ways.
But when Sydney's life is threatened, Raimond's instincts take control, and she gets a glimpse at the beast within...
Journalist Emma Portland would do anything to save her career, even go undercover at the 31st Annual GalaxyCon in search of a story. Emma thinks she's hit pay dirt when she meets Luke Evans, a bestselling sci-fi author whose readers have turned against him. She has no problem getting close to the sexy writer to get the scoop on his downfall. Except the more time she spends with Luke, the more she has a different kind of exposé in mind...
Luke can't believe he's found the one woman at GalaxyCon who hasn't heard of him and can look that hot in a bikini. For the first time he's opening up about himself...and the secret that torpedoed his writing career. Too bad his former fans are out for blood—and out to sabotage his budding relationship with Emma.
But amidst rival reporters, eager fanboys and overzealous role-players, it's Emma's secret that may put the brakes on their sizzling attraction for good...
So tell me about your summer vacation. Are you as ready as I am for the kids to get back in school? Or did nothing change for you?
I’ll choose three random winners sometime Friday afternoon. If you've already read one of these, leave a little comment about that and if you're picked I'll make sure you get one you haven't read:)
Born and raised in the Inland Northwest, Bonnie has a degree in Radiology Technology - yes, you can bring broken bones her way - as well as multiple years experience in the medical transcription field.
Four children and a yummy husband chase through the hills with her on dirt bikes in pursuit of the perfect trail. Dirt and mud are no deterrence. In fact, Bonnie prefers the rain.
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Jude Deveraux are two of her favorite authors and she can't get enough of anything romantic - this includes chocolates. Don't you want to be a strawberry dunked in the stuff?
The characters in her stories beg to be let out and it's all she can do to keep up. You'll find different storylines where the hero and heroine tell their own story. Bonnie is just as surprised as you by what happens. She's cried writing a scene or two.
Sometimes, she thinks she is Joan Wilder.
Q: Welcome, Bonnie! Can you tell us what inspired Breathe Again?
A: During a shift interning to be a radiologic technologist, I was with a technologist called down to the trauma room for some films. Halfway there, we received a second call – she wasn’t the one to go, someone else would replace her. She asked why and they replied the trauma was a gunshot wound to the head. I found out later she’d discovered her son that way a year or so ago. I gave her space and wrote the first three pages in the break room. Suicide is terrible and so is terminal disease – Maggie has to deal with both and realizes neither is the way to go.
Q: That is so tragic and sad. Why do you write romance?
A: Oh, romance is the essence of what makes us human (in my opinion). It’s locked in the melancholy or pushes the truly joyful. Romance isn’t just subtext for sex or physicality. I see romantic notions in the mailing of a letter to an elderly person because they aren’t caught up in the current tech trends. Romance when a child passes a flower to a sleeping kitten. It’s the sweet parts of our lives that touch our hearts.
A friend of mine said she wasn’t a romantic at all, didn’t understand it. I laughed. The moment didn’t seem appropriate to point out that packing up a lunch for her husband and leaving a napkin on top with his favorite candy wrapped inside marked with an XOXO was romantic and even a bit mushy.
I write romance because I see it, breathe it, smell it, feel it and live it. I can’t help but want to share it with the world.
Q: I agree, your friend does sound romantic. Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: The original title for Breathe Again was Whispers of Me. The betrayal of her husband’s suicide slammed Maggie into a shell of herself. She barely recognized what and who she’d become. When Carina Press picked it up, they decided a new title would be more marketable. I didn’t mind. They let me and my editor come up with a list of 12 to 15 possibilities for them to choose from. A fave was Breathe Again. I love it, they loved it. Good all around.
Q: It's a wonderful title! Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Beside my husband. As long as he’s with me, the world is bright and cheery and I’m loving every where (on a dirt bike is even better!).
Q: Which element of story creation is your favorite?
A: The first few pages – the set up. I love it. I’ve written about 20 book starts just for the fun of it. There’s something special about getting to know the characters and introducing the plot and setting. I love beginnings.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: Dealing with the brother. I actually cried while writing this piece and the tears burned. I felt betrayed – even though it’s set up throughout the story, I still hate what happened.
Q: What inspires you? What motivates you?
A: My family. Plain and simple. I claim to be an underachiever, but I know I’m not. I do the things that are necessary for my family.
Q: Please describe your journey to publication.
A: I have a P word for this. Persistence. I wrote the first book – rejected. Second book – rejected. Third book – published. I worked and worked and learned and learned. Even though rejections are discouraging, I tend to be hard headed and refuse to let people reject me for long.
Q: What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?
A: Humility. Willingness to learn from others and assimilate what they suggest was the best thing I could learn. I take most suggestions given to me, filter them, and use what I need to or learn what I can and move on to the next.
Q: What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
A: That I wouldn’t want to stop writing even when marketing demands my time. Also, pick a brand and a genre and stick with it. I love contemporary romance and need to stick with it for a while. I have some thrillers and romantic suspense planned, but I need to stick with what I have going for now.
Q: Can you share with us “the call” story?
A: Telemarketers always bug me during my writing time – afternoonish when my kids are sleeping. One or two a day, you’d think I was rich.
November 4th I sat down to write a particularly difficult scene and my phone rang. I glared at the offending buzz and shook my head.
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. I groaned and answered. “Hello?”
"Is Bonnie Paulson available?” Super sweet voice which makes it even harder to say no, not interested.
“This is.” Mama taught me manners and I use ‘em.
“Hi, Bonnie. This is Angela James from Carina Press. I’m calling about the manuscript you submitted.” At this point, my eyebrows scrunched together. Had I done something wrong? I’d never heard of an editor calling an author. Maybe I’d offended someone. Still wasn’t 100% certain she wasn’t a telemarketer.
But Ms. James continued on and I realized she was offering me a contract. I’d only been saying “Uh hunh” to her comments and she paused, asking if I had any questions so far.
My response? Yeah, she tweeted about it. I said, “I think I’m gonna throw up.”
Q: Wow! That is both hilarious and inspiring. Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: Keep it up. Persist. Don’t give in to the discouragement. That story needs to be told and you’re the only one who can do it.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I have a contemporary romance series on submission right now, a contemporary romance series in the works and a non-fiction piece I’m working on with my CP.
Q: Best of luck with all your projects! Would you like to ask readers a question?
A: I would love to, thank you! Do you have a book that brought you to tears and made you laugh that you would like to recommend? Why did it touch you and how?
Bonnie has a copy of Breathe Again as well as a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs! A separate winner for each! Please leave your email in some form, or a way for us to contact you if you win. Thanks!
Isn't that so true? This is one of my favorite motivational quotes. It reminds me that amazing things are possible, if only I make the effort.
I collect quotations, and as I struggle to start a new project, I find going though them can help me get back on track. So I thought I'd share a few with you today.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. - - T. S. Eliot
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face, and then reach for the stars." - Joan Curcio
Then, there's the simple words tacked onto the bulletin board next to my desk, "Don't Stop Believing!"
What's your favorite motivational quote?
FLAUNT IT - Coming Aug 30th!
I enjoyed Beastly, a new version of The Beauty and the Beast. I liked the idea that the ugly part of the inside of the boy was brought out on the outside of him and he had to find a way to show he cared about someone, to quit being so self-centered and downright mean.
This was a vintage photo of a little French girl. Isn't she adorable?
Did you know that the French were big on hunting werewolves? So when this photo was taken, they might have been having a trial concerning a suspected werewolf.
My daughter would have said, "That's random, Mom."
Random? Absolutely not! Well, maybe just a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot. But truly, the French did participate in werewolf trials.
And I still have to say the purported werewolves were fake. How do I know this? They would not have given up their secrets. Ever.
The big question is--is the young girl a werewolf?
One look at the expression on her face and I have my answer. What about you?
This week I'll focus on flipflops and high heels, and I'll say right up front that I'm not trying to offend anyone. I just have opinions about clothing, accessories, and styles I'd like to express in the hopes it will save someone some stress when she opens that closet door and faces The Big Decision (what do I wear?).
Over the last decade, I've noticed a disturbing trend in women's shoes. I have difficulty finding shoes I can wear due to an old injury, and I hate shoe shopping because of it. I also grew up with someone who had back problems and buying shoes was less about fashion than functionality and maintaining healthy feet and skeletal structure, so the current trend of 3-4 inch "fashion" heels is really rather disturbing when 1-2.5 inches will do if it's the right fit. I guess it's like men and their masculine parts, if you get my drift. The same goes for flat flipflops with no support. Wearing them a little is fine, but wearing them all the time doesn't seem like a good idea at all, for a number of reasons.
I don’t know which is worse—flipflops worn to weddings or 4-inch spike heels worn to funerals. Flipflops, no matter how you dress them up, are not semi-formal or formal attire. They're pretty much shower or beach or run around and have fun shoes. It's really hard to see a young woman in a lovely dressy dress with her feet adorned in $2 flipflops (or $50 flipflops that look like the $2 version), or to see someone come in for a job interview in the same attire. Even if you've got the greatest pair of flipflops in just the right shade of black to match your interview outfit, hold back on that urge to actually wear them. For semi-formal and formal occasions, try some pretty strappy sandals, ones comfortable enough to dance in just in case that special someone asks for a turn around the floor. For job interviews, try something with a closed toe. For the sake of your feet, try something with a little arch support. I have some Dr. Scholl's flipflops that are awesome in the support department and are pretty enough to wear almost anywhere (except semi-formal and formal events).
By the same token, three inch spike heels, no matter what you wear with them, really only look like you're trying to make your butt look good (because that's what high heels do). While that's not bad in and of itself, sending the message that you want your butt to look good while saying good-bye to the dearly departed may not win you any friends among the mourners. The women will not appreciate it, and although the men might, they certainly can't express said admiration with their wives sneering nearby. For me, 4-inch heels, especially if you don't know how to wear them, look out of place anywhere but a nightclub (and, I have to say it, a street corner). Most women I've seen in these are wobbling around or their heels are red and irritated or their toes are squished out, mostly because these shoes don't really fit anyone well. They're made for posing and looking sexy, not for actually standing or walking. The high heel can also exacerbate back, knee, and hip problems if you're not careful and can cause worse damage if you fall down in them, which I've seen.
Perhaps I'm just an unhip oldster, or just an unhip oldster dancer who worries about her tootsies too much, but it makes my feet ache and my fashion muse cringe when I see these sights, and I'm seeing them more and more. I have to dress, at least occasionally, my heroines, and so I try to stay up on the fashion thing so they won't look like unhip oldsters, too. Maybe I should just keep them all naked and barefoot. lol
What about you? Seeing any shoe trends that make you stop and think such things as, "Owww!" Please do share and have a great day!
One of the questions I get asked often as a writer is which character I most enjoyed writing. In my book His Hotness, Gram is a hoot, and I had to stay on my toes to keep her fresh and sassy. But I always found myself looking forward to the scenes with Kai or Adam, for, while I enjoy writing all of my characters, I really enjoy writing the males. Maybe because it stretches me to have to think from the male perspective … or maybe, because guys are just so much fun. They’re uncomplicated and straight-forward, more prone to act first and think about it later—characteristics that lead to great conflicts when they’re thrown against a complicated female who chooses her words carefully and wants to think everything through. But apart from the obvious, I have a great advantage when it comes to writing guys.
I grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, a small city in the far western section of the Commonwealth. I delineate Paducah as a small city because, at 35,000, it was large enough that everybody didn’t know everybody else (or their business) but small enough to have neighborhoods where everybody did know everybody else. Our neighborhood was our world for the first ten years of our lives; we even had neighborhood elementary schools that we walked to and from. It was my neighborhood … my world … that gave me the aforementioned advantage. There were seven children my age in my neighborhood … six boys and me.
If I wanted companionship, I had to learn the guys’ rules of the game early in life—and I did. Most of the time, I was treated as an equal. I ran fast, developed a courageous side, and was always ready for an adventure. But the boys had their principles. When we played Justice League, I had to be Supergirl or Wonder Woman. When we played army, I was only allowed to be the nurse. Occasionally they would play house with me, but I always had to be the mom who stayed at home and cooked mudpies while they went out and saved the world.
I was never just one of the guys—there was awareness that I was different-- but I was privileged to be accepted into their inner circle and became privy to their way of thinking and handling situations.
I distinctly remember the exact day I knew things were changing … forever. The boys were playing football that afternoon. I wasn’t allowed to play—not their rule this time, but my mother’s, who was sure I’d get hurt—so I watched from the sidelines. One of the boys had a friend over from another neighborhood, and he was the cutest boy I had ever laid eyes on. His name was Rick. Each time the game would stall or there would be a timeout, Rick would come over and talk to me. Even with a backyard full of comrades, I captured his attention. I was enchanted. But the true magic happened when my mother called me home to supper. Seeing me leaving, he left the game and ran over to me, and asked: “Can you come back?” I still can feel the flutter in my stomach stirred by those four words … words that rocked my world off its steady axis and never allowed it to return to the way it had been before. It wasn’t only what he said, but the way he said it. He wasn’t just being nice. He wanted me to come back because he saw me not as a tomboy but as a girl.
I burned my membership card to the Boys’ Club that day; I had found the Girls’ Club, and instinct told me it was going to be even better.
Now, when I’m writing, and I come to a scene where the hero has to save the world, I think back to the lessons I learned from that wonderful group of guys, and I ask myself what Jack, Randy, Jeff, Gregg, Bobby, and Jimmy would do. And, of course, when the hero needs to say the exact words to win the girl, I recall the flutter in my stomach at Rick’s question.
I’ll never be able to thank my buds enough for the insights they gave me, but I can promise to portray them genuinely and faithfully. They will always be superheroes in my book.
And I got goosebumps again. *happy sigh* Thanks for sharing this with us, Pamela. It's so awesome that you have those guys to think back on when you're writing your guys. If anyone would like to check out one of Pamela's fantastic reads you can find His Hotness here at the The Wild Rose Press and The Timestone Key here at Lyrical Press. Thanks for stopping by!
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles published by The Wild Rose Press.
Recently I branched out beyond historical & light paranormal romance with a nonfiction book about gardening and country life entitled Shenandoah Watercolors, available in Kindle & Nookbook.
For more on me and links to various sites:
My blog: One Writer’s Way
My books are available in print or digital download at: The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.
What's envisioned is exciting.
What's planned becomes possible.
What's scheduled is real."
Dreams are a dime a dozen. Don’t get me wrong, dreams are important. I love to collect inspirational quotes. I have a framed picture on my wall that says “Nothing happens without a dream". We can dream all we want, but until we take definite steps toward making that dream come true, it will never become reality.
You have to do the work. Not all at once. Not more than you can handle at one time. But day by day. Page by page. Word by word.
Goal setting is important, so much so that I may have even talked about it here before. But right now I'm getting ready to start a new manuscript and I'm working out a plan of how many words I need to write a day to reach my goal. Then it's simply a matter of sitting down and putting in the time with the characters, letting them live out their romance, giving them their happy ending. After maybe torturing them just a little bit. And one word at a time, it will happen.
So dream your dreams. Envision them coming true. Plan how to get there. Schedule the work.
Then DO the work.
FLAUNT IT - Coming Aug 30th
What I wanted to post about today was questions I’ve been asked in interviews or by friends or fans that have stuck with me over the years. Have you ever had someone ask you a question that just stayed with you, for whatever reason? What was your question? Mine are below.
1. Why do you write?
I included this one because I sometimes don't know what to say. I have to think about it. There are a million reasons why I write, but the truth is that I can't not write. It's how I think. If I'm thinking, I'm writing, either in my head or via keyboard. This one always makes me wonder about myself and why I'm this way.
2. Do you do all those things you write about?
Since I write erotica and romance, this one is a little over the top. Just because I write about having all kinds of sex doesn't mean I do. I mean, do mystery writers murder people? My answer to this is always no, because I haven't done all those things I write about, just some of them. Also, I've never slept with a vampire or shape-shifter that I know of, and I deny any involvement whatsoever in that one sexual escapade with that one hunky movie star and his brother. That wasn't me, and you can't prove that it was. The pictures were too fuzzy, and the video too blurry. So there.
3. Does your husband think he’s lucky?
I love this question. Why would he think he's lucky? Because naturally as an erotica author I'm a sex maniac and won't let him leave our bed for days? Because I wash his clothes and feed him well? Because he's just grateful I don't write murder mysteries (see above)? Because he's married to a writer? God help him. My first response to this question--that I keep to myself but will one day actually say--is, "Why, yes, he does think he's lucky, and so does your husband. Tell him Cam says hello and she'll never forget Paris."
4. What’s your bra size?
I cannot even comprehend why this person asked me this. Perhaps she was considering asking for a trade because her bra was too small. I simply responded by telling her it was the same as my husband's age and the last letter of my favorite author's name. She furrowed her brow and wandered away. I was glad.
5. How long have you been writing?
On the surface, this is a pretty straightforward question. However, after I answered a matter of decades, this person then asked why I hadn't won a Pulitzer yet. Seriously? As if they give the big P for erotica (maybe they do?) and as if just any writer who's produced a body of work over a period of time gets a Pulitzer. This one always makes me smile, though, because someone actually thinks I could be eligible for the prize, and that in and of itself is just cool to ponder.
6.Who’s your favorite author?
Who doesn't want to answer this with "ME! ME! ME!" Especially after an afternoon writing marathon that's left you breathless, aching, and exhausted but happy. It's actually not true that I'm my favorite author, as I’d rather read a number of others besides me including the other ladies on this blog. :) I love to read, but this answer can vary from day-to-day. Besides, if I answer truthfully, people will be halfway to knowing my bra size.
Those are some of my questions. How about you? Please do share!
So how did it go?
I shudder at the memory. Kidding! Kinda….
It took about three or four days before I was totally happy with the outline. (And perhaps I shouldn’t mention it was like pulling teeth with a pair of fricking pliers. And that I did A LOT of wandering round the house muttering to myself and finding excuses to procrastinate. Like doing housework. You know there’s something up when you’d rather vacuum the house than write an outline.) But it was worth it in the end, because then I got to reward myself with the fun stuff.*cue me rubbing my hands together with glee*
Then b*gger me (as we say in New Zealand - and not in a rude way) as soon I started writing, one of my main characters went neener neener neener! and decided to change professions. So there went a somewhat crucial aspect of my carefully planned goal, motivation and conflict between the hero and heroine. Nooooo!
“Oh, come on!” I whined to my muse (who by this stage was snickering in a most unladylike fashion). “Don't do this to me! What’s the point of plotting if my characters aren’t gonna stick to the darn plot?” No answer from Ms Muse. She was too busy having fun at my expense - evil beyotch.
Mutter mutter growl growl. Okay. Okay. It's not the end of the world. Just go with it, Maree.
I went with it.
And about five thousand words into the story I got smacked upside the head with another curve ball. My editor emailed me to ask if I had a novella ready to submit. Like, now. Because the publisher had a gap that needed filling. And it’d be a chance to submit a novella for the next Red Sage Secrets anthology. Which meant I’d finally achieve my dream of being in print.
Since the “Are you freaking kidding me?" response that sprang to my fingers didn’t seem appropriate (*g*), I told her I had something in the works. Only trouble was that it’d been planned as a novel-length non-erotic romance. But hey, since it was already fully plotted (there's that heinous word again) I could have a go at scaling it back to a novella and get it to her by, say, the end of the month?
Three weeks. Gulp. (I tried really hard not to think about that whole three weeks thing for fear I’d get writers block.)
“What the heck,” she said. “Go for it, and see how quickly you can get it to me.”
So I went for it.
And despite some plot tweaks – like, having to get the hero and heroine er, “together” really early on (*cough* erotic romance *cough*), and secondary characters who had far too much to say for themselves, I had a ball writing the story. And an incredibly short time later, I typed The End on the last page of a 30,000 word novella, Kat On A Hot Tin Roof. I’d written 25,000 words, and rewritten the first 5000, in three weeks.
Better still, my editor gave me the best feedback I could ever ask for when she emailed me with: "I absolutely loved it. Made a bad day go by fast! And to me, the ultimate recommendation for a story is that it gets the reader through a bad day."
She also said my story was howlingly funny, deliciously tender and super-hot - not that I’m blowing my own trumpet or anything. Aw, what the heck. Toot! Toot! *grins and buffs fingernails on the front of her pjs* (Mind you, I suspect the howlingly funny part might be a nod to my heroine’s Grandma Louise, who lives in a retirement home and refuses to age gracefully. She’s a terrible flirt and she constantly gives the staff conniptions with some of her antics. Moon-hopper races, anyone?)
So, there you go. This pantser is eating a big slice of humble pie, because I truly believe that without plotting and outlining Kat On A Hot Tin Roof before I started, I would not have been able write it so quickly, and I’d have lost my opportunity to have a novella published in a print anthology - my first ever story to go to print. SQUEEEEEE! Mmm. Maybe this plotting business has some merit, after all ;-)
BTW, that slice of humble pie I'm eating? It's apple. With a large scoop of hokey-pokey ice-cream. My favorite!
And if you’d like to read an excerpt from KAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, please click here.
(Warning, readers must be 18 years or over. *cough* erotic romance *cough*)
Time for a giveaway!
Unfortunately I can’t give away a copy of Secrets Volume 30 as I’d planned, but…. Instead, I’d like to offer one commenter (chosen at random) who answers my easy peasy question, their choice of any eBook from my backlist:
Even Demons Get The Blues (Demons, Book 1)
Let Sleeping Demons Lie (Demons, Book 2)
From The Ashes
Scent Of A Man
So if you’d like to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling me the answer to this question:
What is Jace’s private nick-name for Kat when he first sees her?
Hint 1: the initials are M-K
Hint 2: the first word is “Miss”
Hint 3: Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but the answer is in the excerpt ;-)
Hint 4: You can always wait for someone else to leave a comment with the answer, and copy their answer... but then you'll miss out on all the fun of reading the excerpt!
~To enter the giveaway, you must be 18 years or over *cough* erotic romance again! *cough*
~Please indicate your choice of prize with your comment.
Maree always knew she had a reeeeally warped imagination. The trouble was finding a socially acceptable outlet... which is why she became an author.
The other great thing about being an author is having a valid reason to read loads of books -- all in the name of research, of course. When she's not 'researching', Maree's writing romance of the paranormal persuasion. She's a Kiwi, a New Zealander, and she's addicted to chocolate -- the darker the better. Not to mention coffee and excellent NZ wine. She's not quite so addicted to her local gym but she's working on it ;-)
Facebook author page
At the urging of her best friend, Andi Crawford visits an exclusive club in order to find some sexual satisfaction after her divorce. The last person she expects to find at a place like Club Cox is her overbearing ex-husband, Blake. But, he’s there and as tempting as ever. Can she maintain her independence, or will she surrender to the intense physical pleasure only he can give her?
KAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF ~ Maree Anderson
Workaholic architect, Jace Burton, inadvertently flashes Kat Meyer, who later turns up at a crucial meeting…and seduces him in the bathroom. She’s one of the designers vying to impress him. And boy, is he impressed to discover her prowling his house—naked. Kat has no clue what’s causing her nocturnal wanderings. And when Jace discovers she’s the victim of a zodiac curse, will he fight to keep her, or run for the hills?
KELLEN’S CONQUEST ~ Anne Kane
As an Alph-Elite warrior, Kellen is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is the sexy data thief, Mia. Problem is she won’t admit she wants him or that someone is trying to kill her. It takes all of Kellen’s mutant strength and Mia’s streetwise smarts to keep her alive long enough to unravel a vicious plot for revenge.
SCOUNDREL IN A KILT ~ Nicole North
Brodie, Chieftain of Clan McCain, is a dark, sensual Scottish scoundrel, who likes nothing more than being a selkie shape-shifter, even if he has been cursed by a witch of the dark arts. Stunning, modern day supermodel, Erin Schultz, blazes into his 1621 world like a falling star. Though he’s certain she will shatter life as he knows it by breaking his curse, he can’t resist her tantalizing seduction.
Secrets Volume 30: Desires Unleashed available now from Red Sage Publishing, and coming soon to good bookstores