Monthly archives "December 2014"

From Wildcats to Magic & Becoming a Published Author

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” (Little Gidding)” ― T.S. Eliot

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If you would have asked me a year ago today what I’d expect to be doing in a year, I can guarantee that my answer wouldn’t have been writing a blog post.  I probably would have answered that I’d be enjoying some time off from work with my family, reading or maybe working on some writing-not one of my work in progress, but writings.  Because a year ago, I never looked at my work as anything but something I enjoyed doing, nor did I consider myself an author.  But here I am!

I have a published book!   Some days I’m still awed by the fact.  A published book!  Yes, I did that!  I went out on a limb, took a chance and my dream came true.  Drive Me Sane was a story that simply flowed out of me. I immensely enjoyed writing it and my only hope was that a few others would like it just as much as I did.  Having 19 five-star reviews, 4 four-star reviews and 1 three-star review on Amazon, has by far surpassed my expectations and I cannot thank you all enough!

I have learned so much along the way.  A year ago, I didn’t have a blog.  My blog was essentially created so that I could write about my excitement and despair after Kentucky lost to UCONN in the NCAA championship game. Shortly afterwards, I got the news that Crimson Romance wanted to acquire Drive Me Sane and so, I took off trying to transverse the world of marketing (still trying, I’m terrible at it) and geared my post toward more writing/book related topics (I’m terrible at that too.)  I now have nearly every social media site available and although I’m better at keeping up with some more than others, I’m getting the hang of things.

It has been an incredible journey and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone.  For the friends I’ve made (Bill & E.L, you’re awesome), for those that follow along and listen to me ramble, for anyone who’s read my work or given advise when needed. I truly appreciate it.  I’m still learning, but I am moving into 2015 with another finished manuscript that I hope I can sprinkle some magic on and turn it into something that others will also enjoy.

Wishing you all a joy filled New Year! Never give up on your dreams!

P.S.  Big rivalry game today when the UK Wildcats take on Louisville Cardinals.  Two great teams but only one can win.  Go Big Blue!

***HAPPY RELEASE DAY *** FRACTURED IMMORTAL by E.L. Wicker

NewReleaseThe first in a new series aimed at New Adults, Fractured Immortal is the tale of Ilia Rose, a vampire and a tortured soul and Nathaniel Dayton, a vampire with secrets that will force them together. For a chance to win a digital copy of Fractured Immortal see the end of this post.

blurb

After a terrifying vampire attack in 1810, Ilia Rose spends the next two centuries hunting Sol, the man responsible for turning her and her friends into vampires.When Ilia discovers he’s run to the one place she’s running from, she’s forced to face her most painful memories back in her hometown, Bearwood.

There, Ilia finds herself face to face with Nathaniel, an insanely hot vampire, and despite the evidence he’s working for her enemy, Ilia can’t fight her attraction to him, especially when he seems to show up whenever she needs him most.

But Nathaniel is keeping secrets and as they begin to unravel, instead of running away from him, Ilia finds herself falling for him. When his last secret is revealed Ilia’s past comes together in a way she never imagined and she’s left with only one option: trust Nathaniel to help her kill Sol, or risk relinquishing her new found strength thus causing catastrophic and devastating consequences for her and everyone she loves.

Ilia begins a gut-wrenching battle to save her life and the lives of her friends, a battle which not everyone will survive.

A vampire tale like none other, love, pain, devastation and revenge, all weave together to create the first in a dark and unmissable new adult series.

Due to sexual content, this book is intended for readers age 18+

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About
waldo2E.L. Wicker lives in England with her husband and two children. A connoisseur of not having the foggiest about anything and an intrepid dreamer, writing became the obvious choice. After ditching a pursuit of a professional career in psychology, E.L. Wicker chose to immerse herself in her own little world where bullying characters vie for attention, demanding she put them on a page. So she did.
Connect with E.L. Wicker on her Blog or Facebook or Twitter.
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giveawayEnter here to win a digital copy of Fractured Immortal. Open to everyone and running from 21st December 2014 to 7th January 2015

Tis’ The Season

It seems like I just sat down to write my Hello December post and here we are three weeks into the month.  It’s a busy time for everyone, myself included.  Knowing that I’ll be off of work for twelve days, at the end of the month, means that I have to pack four weeks worth of work into two and a half weeks and since my oldest son turns thirteen in a couples days, I’ve got birthday shopping/party(cake and dinner at home) to do on top of finishing up my Christmas shopping.  As of today, I have only purchased four gifts, all of which were ordered online.

My family, some friends, and co-workers also sponsor a local boys home for Christmas gifts each year. Normally we do one cottage of approximately 13 boys, but my sister and her husband, who financially back the biggest portion of this task, decided this year we would take on the entire home.  We are supplying gifts and stockings to a total of 36 boys, ages 8-18.  Last Sunday was spent organizing what we already have and I’ll spend this Sunday getting the stockings ready so that they can be delivered on the 23rd.  By the time Christmas Eve at my in-laws rolls around, I’ll be exhausted, but like I said, I’ll have plenty of time to rest at the end of the month.

With everything going on, I haven’t actually sat down and written a post in weeks and I probably won’t get around to writing anymore until the end of the year.  I have some bookie things still going on.   Pure Jonel is hosting a giveaway of one print copy and one digital copy of Drive Me Sane beginning today and running through the 31st.  I’ll also be on her blog December 25th talking about things I love.  FYI, I’m sharing my super, easy and favorite white chocolate fudge recipe, so be sure to stop by and say hello.  InD’Tale Magazine also featured their review of Drive Me Sane in their holiday edition.  I’ll post that soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been critiquing and beta reading for two other authors.  So far, I have only scanned my NaNo project, hoping that a few of the hangups, I know it has, will work themselves out.  I’m excited to finally dive back into it while I’m off on Christmas break.  An author I met on NaNo looked at the first three chapters and gave me some positive feedback with some areas to develope.  I’m also hoping another author friend is still open to taking a look and critiqueing it with me after the first of the year.

So, yes like everyone, Tis’ The Season to be busy, but I’m trying to take it as it comes.

I’m over the moon today after reading Pure Jonel’s 5 Star review of Drive Me Sane.  Be sure to stop by and enter the giveaway for a signed print copy and digital copy beginning today through December 31st!  And if your needing a quick dessert to make on Christmas Day, check back in for that fudge recipe- no cooking required!Natural BridgeHad a blast at Natural Bridge State Park last weekend.  Thanks to all who stopped by!

Virtual eBook Fair & Author Bash

Tis the Season … Come join the fun!

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JINGLE BELLS, MISTLETOE & MAGIC !!

Virtual Ebook Fair – Author & Book Bash!!! 

DECEMBER 13TH-15TH

Hosted by Award winning author: Tammie Clark Gibbs &
Reader’s Rock Lifestyle Magazine for Booklovers. 

*Meet Authors and Ask them Questions

*Prizes & Giveaways

*Find Amazing New Books

I’ll be giving away a digital copy (or two) of Drive Me Sane.  Join the fun at Jingle Bells, Mistletoe & Magic or stop by the VIRTUAL EBOOK FAIR WEBSITE for more information.  Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

 

A Down Home, Appalachian Christmas

COME SAY HELLO!

If you’re in the Natural Bridge/ Red River Gorge area this weekend stop by and join the fun.  A Down Home, Appalachian Christmas is packed with a full day of events.  Myself, as well as, some other Kentucky authors will be there signing books.  We’d love for you to stop by and chat!

BOOKSIGNING

***NEW RELEASE*** WINTER DREAMS BUNDLE

7 Heartfelt Holiday Romances for only $0.84

(at Amazon for a limited time, prices vary at other e-retailers).

Winter’s crisp cold is the perfect backdrop for holiday lights, snowball fights, and starry nights by the fire, curled up with hunky heroes. Let these seven couples show you how to find the warmth of red-hot romance.

WinterDreams_Cover

  • Christmas Dinner: Amanda dreads returning home single for Christmas, but the only available man is her rival for the TV anchor spot. Can the holiday spirit turn animosity into love?
  • The Winter Fairy: Recuperating ballerina Penelope Glazier can enchant the young girls in her class, but will her magic work on Carson Langley, the sexy but straight-laced single father of her most talented student?
  • Holiday Hoopla: Halle is about to lose her gift shop, until banker Blake walks into her life, dangling an offer that could save it all, or cost her everything.
  • Wynter’s Journey: Twelve years after tragedy tore Wynter and Sam apart, can another predicament bring them back together?
  • The Winter Promise: War throws Lady Emma and Lord Robert together, where they must decide if they can listen to their hearts – or if they would be wiser never to trust each other.
  • Winter Storms: Daniel’s sailing accident cost Carly her shot at Olympic dreams, while his own athletic success was unhindered. Now he’s returned and they’re stuck in the Cornish village where storms lash them from outside – and within.
  • Old Christmas: Casey needs help from the magic that walks on Old Christmas Eve to find her way back home, and to the love she left behind.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Amazon   Barnes and Noble   iTunes  Kobo


READ EXCEPTS & MEET THE AUTHORS

Christmas Dinner by Robyn Neeley

“Arrive at destination on left.” The familiar voice of Tate’s GPS echoed throughout his

Jeep, interrupting the soft sounds of Christmas music.

This couldn’t be right. Could it? He pulled onto the side of the road. His navigation

system had taken him down a dark and twisty path for the last fifteen minutes. There

were few homes on either side. He shook Amanda’s shoulder gently. His eyes focused on

the spectacle in front of him.

“What time is it?” She yawned and sat up. “Are we here already?”

“That’s what I would like to know. Amanda, is this your parents’ house?” He leaned over his steering wheel and peered out the window. In front of him, thousands of decorative red and green lights flickered on rows of Christmas trees at the bottom of a hill, showcasing what he could only describe as a cross between Santa’s Village and the middle of Times Square. A blanket of snow stretched at least a quarter of a mile up the hill. At the top was a beautiful two-story mountain log cabin. Glistening white Christmas lights outlined the house.

Amanda sighed. “Yep. We’re here.”

“This is amazing. Amanda, is your dad Santa Claus?” he asked, half joking.

“Not quite.”

“They could land 747 jets on your front yard. That tree in the middle has to be over

thirty feet tall.” He pointed to the west side of the lawn. “Is that a horse and sleigh over

there?”

“The horse is fake. I’d rather not talk about the sleigh.”

“Then we won’t.” He suspected she might have some unpleasant memories of it

involving the infamous ex. Perhaps it was the scene of the aborted proposal.

Amanda sighed. “Good. Did your parents decorate their lawn for the holidays?” She

reached behind her for her bags.

“No. Well, yeah, I guess. But this, well, this . . . wow . . . It’s just really something.”

About Robyn

Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places, watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit, can’t live without Recess Peanut Butter Cups and has never met a Christmas cookie she didn’t like. (Her favorite cookie made it into Holiday Wedding!) She writes romantic comedy, sometimes with a hint of magic, but always with a happy ending. Visit her at www.robynneeley.com.

 Winter Fairy by Lola Karns

 The sight of Penelope sitting on his sofa with her long legs tucked up beside her drew his attention as soon as he stepped inside. Her blue eyes blinked at him, giving her an expression that managed to be both innocent and alluring at the same time. He set down the cups he held in his hand, and after a long minute remembered to take off his coat and boots.

“Hi.”

“Hi, yourself.” She smiled. “How did your shopping go?” She skeptically eyed the one bag and the cups resting on the entry table.

He approached the couch, carrying the bag and coffees with him, the same time as she stood. “Very good. I’ll have to empty the trunk later. I brought you something.” He waved the coffee cups. “I didn’t know what you like. I got a peppermint mocha and a gingerbread latte. Which would you prefer?” She bit her lip and furled her brow. “Stay for a bit. I can’t drink all this coffee by myself.”

Her gaze slid to the cups, the left side of her mouth raised slightly as she glanced back to him. “I’m such a typical girl. I can’t say no to chocolate.”

He offered her the mocha before sitting beside her. He couldn’t agree with her – she was no typical girl in his book. She unsettled him. “Then I know which piece of cheesecake you’ll want.” He reached into the bag and handed her a box and a fork. “I could get plates if you want.”

She opened the box, revealing chocolate cheesecake decorated with chocolate ganache and white chocolate drizzle. “This is great. Thank you.”

Her fluttering eyelashes distracted him, but the moan she let out when she took her first bite went straight to his groin. Now he was second-guessing his decision to bring dessert. He’d wanted his grown up company to stay longer – he hadn’t anticipated being reminded of the more carnal pleasures he missed with his self-imposed solitude. Or had he? As he tried to resolve his true motive, she interrupted his thoughts.

“If it’s not too rude, what prompted this delicious treat?”

“I was by the shop and cheesecake sounded good. It’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in dessert after Eloise has gone to bed. Dessert always tastes better when…”

He hesitated. Calling her a friend didn’t seem quite right. She seemed more than that, even though he barely knew her.

She looked up, “When it’s shared.”

 About Lola

Having worked as a wide variety of jobs as she moved through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia, Lola decided she needed a more portable career. Writing fit the bill.

Lola currently resides in Minnesota with her husband, two children, two hairless cats, and a fluffy ex-stray cat. When not writing, she enjoys baking, reading and drinking coffee.

She is the author of Bad Traveler and Winter Fairy. Visit Lola at lolakarns.com

 Holiday Hoopla by Dana Volney

Blake Ellison continued to watch the woman. Can’t I have a moment of peace? I can’t even Christmas shop without . . . This gal has the right idea, drinking in the afternoon. That’s my kind of day. He wished it was just because of the holidays, but lately his life was complicated with unfair obligations that made him want to drink—a lot . . . a whole lot.

Blake assessed the friendly sales gal. Her blonde hair was tied back in a messy pony tail that was weirdly sensual. Her fresh face was a welcome relief from the overly made up women he usually encountered.

“I’m Blake by the way.” He offered his hand.

“Halle, nice to meet you.” She slipped her hand in his firmly. Strong. Good. Limp fish handshakes were the worst.

“You don’t happen to have another glass or bottle of beer hiding back there, do ya?” He raised an eyebrow again.

Halle laughed and her green eyes danced. He grinned, getting swept up in the moment.

“Tsk, tsk.” She crinkled her nose. “Isn’t it a little early?”

“Well, you made it look so fun.” He cocked his head toward the counter where she’d spilled what smelled like a Zinfandel.

“You, my new friend, are in luck. I happen to have a glass and, better yet, a new bottle.”

She knelt down to fish under the counter and Blake leaned over to check out the view his higher perch now afforded him. Sexy. Halle popped back up and his startled eyes found hers. She fetched a decorated glass off the shelf and waggled it in her hand.

“Convenient.” He nodded toward the spot she’d just made vacant.

“Perk of being the owner.” She winked and headed to the back of her store.

Blake wasn’t sure what do to, but he followed because she had wine. She owns this place? Huh. He couldn’t keep his eyes from roaming. Nice ass.

Halle motioned to a couple of high backed, brightly patterned green and pink chairs. A sitting area had been set up in the middle of the store, complete with an end table between the chairs and a rug. They sat and she poured.

“Cheers.”

They clinked glasses.

“So, Blake, what drives you to drink in the middle of the day?”

About Dana

Dana Volney lets her imagination roam free in Wyoming where she writes romances and helps local businesses succeed with her marketing consulting company. Surrounding herself with good friends, family, and boating on the lake whenever she can, she thrives on moments and memories created with loved ones, especially on sun filled days. That’s when Wyoming’s charm really sinks in. Dana is bold, adventurous and–by her own admission–good with plants, having kept a coral cactus alive for more than one year. Visit Dana at www.DanaVolney.com.

 Wynter’s Journey by Jennifer DeCuir

Okay, it was go time. What was the first thing they were supposed to do? Sam looked wildly around the room. He kept his voice calm, and hid the tremors that threatened to rattle his teeth loose. Wynter was counting on him.

He got her into bed and rushed to his desk in the corner. Jerking at the mouse to wake up the screen, Sam brought up the website he’d been studying just a few short hours ago. He thought he’d had more time.

Yeah, he’d been anticipating this. It was Vermont–in the dead of winter. Chances were pretty damned good that a snowstorm would make a routine hospital delivery less and less likely. And he’d been right to assume that Wynter wouldn’t take the contractions seriously until it was too late. She was too stubborn for her own good.

So they were doing this. Another scream from the bed had him yanking the power cord from the laptop and carrying it with him back to the other side of the room. The website hadn’t bothered to explain that hearing his best friend’s gut-wrenching cries of pain would push his own stress levels beyond human endurance.

“Amazing what you can learn from the internet.” That ridiculous statement earned him a glare. Yeah, probably best to keep the chatter to a minimum.

“Sam. Call 9-1-1,” she panted.

He was going to do that. It was next on his list. Really. He reached for the cell phone that he kept on the nightstand charger next to his bed. It wasn’t there. He stared frantically at the empty charger.

Wynter watched him closely, her eyes pleading with him.

“Sam, please!” She clutched at the sheets with a white-knuckled grip, her entire body going rigid. Crap.

“I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.” Sam spun on his heel and raced for the stairs, taking them two at a time, falling on his butt and sliding down the last few. Not letting it stop his momentum, he ran to his office.

 About Jennifer

Jennifer DeCuir grew up in a small town in Maine, which provides the basis for Scallop Shores, the fictional town in Drawn to Jonah. She’s busy raising two kids and a husband. She loves including children and babies in her stories, as her own provide endless story ideas. Currently residing in rain-soaked Washington, she can usually be found working on her latest book in a local Starbucks. Visit Jennifer at jenniferdecuir.com.

The Winter Promise by Jenny Jacobs

The painful stirrings of a headache began to throb behind Robert’s temples. He knew he was about to hear a story. He hoped it would at least be entertaining. He very much doubted it would be true.

The foreigner stared at his face with wide violet eyes. He narrowed his own gray eyes at her. He knew he was not the most attractive man to women, but she needn’t gawp at him in such a rude way.

He acknowledged her with a curt nod and seated himself on his chair, rough-hewn from one of the alders that flourished on Athelney, as sturdy and as solid – and as undecorative – as he.

Nettled by her stare, he responded in kind with a thorough and thoroughly offensive inventory of his own. She looked young but must have reached her majority or she would have a guardian to look after her and would not require his generosity. For he had no doubt that was what she was here to obtain. She must be a widow, or at least unmarried, or there would be a husband. Unless – he hoped she didn’t expect him to intervene in a marital dispute. He would never let a wife like this run away, not one with such delicate features and soft unmarred skin, masses of dark hair demurely covered with fine linen, the spark in her eye hinting that her spirits had not been entirely quelled by whatever misfortune had befallen her. Her wide violet eyes were compelling, and he found himself looking into them for a long timeless moment.

He made himself shift his gaze, cataloging all of her failings: the borrowed dress she wore, which could only mean she had arrived at Athelney without personal possessions of any kind; the lack of companions to accompany her, where any lady of quality would have at least one or two trailing after her, annoying his servants; the awkwardness of the curtsy she’d given him, which meant she didn’t care about her manner, and he already had enough of those in his household; the boots on her feet, which meant she would not be the quiet, retiring type who stayed indoors and consoled him with gentle murmurs and warm compresses; the outline of a dagger in her sleeve. He sighed again.

About Jenny

Jenny Jacobs, a writer living in the Midwest, is still kissing frogs, but likes to write about people finding their happily ever after—even if they have to go through some difficulties to get there. She is the author of Sadie’s Story and The Winter Promise. Visit her at www.jennyjacobsbooks.com

Winter Storms by Lucy Oliver

Slinging a rucksack over his shoulder, he stepped across the floating jetty to the sea wall. A rank odour of dead fish, salt water, and rust hit him; scents he remembered from his childhood. Boats creaked at their moorings and faint music drifted over from a pub.

Brick steps led up the harbour wall, slippery with rubbery, rotting seaweed and when he reached the top, he froze, waiting for the bright flash of a camera. It never came and he smiled. Of course in winter, the harbour lay deserted. It was during the summer months that scores of flip-flops struck across the warm cobbled streets, sticky with dropped Cornish ice cream. But he always preferred winter when the pavements were empty and waves hit the harbour walls in powerful green swells.

He strode across the cobbles. A new shop had been set up in his absence, a neat, modern place with a window display lit up by bright fairy lights and filled with sugar mice. Tomorrow he’d come back to buy Christmas presents, since he brought none with him, but now it was time to go home, time to surprise his family, to explain about Imogen and the cancelled wedding. He stepped back into the full force of the wind, striding along the harbour to the main town. Here the buildings caught the worst of the gusts and he moved faster.

A few shops were still open, filling the air with the scent of fresh bread and spicy minced pies, making his stomach rumble. A large fir tree dotted with white lights stood in the central town square surrounded by a band who clutched brass instruments and rattled collection buckets, sleet beading on their blue uniforms. Two younger members grinned at him and he smiled back, dropping a few coins into their pot.

“I know you,” the teenager said. “Your photo’s on the hall of the sailing club, you’re Daniel Edwards.”

About Lucy

Lucy Oliver grew up by the sea and particularly loved walking along the harbor in winter, when the streets were deserted and waves crashed against the seawalls. Now living inshore, she likes to return to those memories by writing passionate romances set against the backdrop of the English countryside. Lucy enjoys writing about characters that like all of us, have flaws, mixed in with her trademark touch of spice. She also writes under the name Lucy Hartbury for higher heat level works, including an exciting and saucy version of Dracula. Join her on Twitter @Writingoliver or check out her blog at lucyoliverwrites.blogspot.co.uk/

 Old Christmas by Kathryn Brocato

Casey blinked and shook her head. “Now I know what’s wrong here. This is a dream. All of you except Granny are dead. I knew there was something weird about this.”

Cynthia tilted one hip forward in imitation of a model’s stance. “You’re the one who believes in all Mom’s nonsense about Old Christmas. And they do say spirits walk on Old Christmas Eve.”

“I’m getting out of here.” Casey felt her hair attempting to lift off her scalp. “Come on, Granny.”

Alice chuckled. “No one here means you any harm, Casey. We all want the same thing–your happiness.

Casey reached out tentatively to touch Alice. Alice’s skin was warm and solid, not cool and fragile as it had been in the hospital.

Casey swallowed and regarded her grandmother in shock.

Alice smiled. “Don’t try to hold me, Casey. I’m more than ready to go. It’s Old Christmas Eve, you know. I only came to apologize for teaching you to be ashamed of your mother’s actions. I simply didn’t realize how it would affect you.

Casey squeezed her eyes shut, then opened them again, and forked her hair back to stare wildly around the barn. She couldn’t see two inches in front of her face.

She was alone.

About Kathryn

Kathryn Brocato writes contemporary romance with a small-town touch. She is a scientist and business owner who lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, dogs, and chickens. Her first published romance was a Kismet Romance, Storm Warning. She also wrote The Cartwright Heritage, writing as Katy King for White Rose Press. Currently, she writes contemporary romance for the Crimson Romance line. Visit Kathryn at kathrynbrocato.com.

 

 

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

WeHammersmithBookClub002lcome back!  It’s December- Yay!  Everyone getting settled in and ready for winter?  I love Fall, but Winter is actually my favorite time to read and write (post to come on that later).  Speaking of reading, I made a comment to fellow blogger Carrie Rubin a few weeks ago that I was devoting all of December to indie authors.  That’s right, any review request from traditionally published authors will be put off until after the first of the year.  Sorry … but I’ve been neglecting my indies for a while and my Kindle is still in need of more storage, so I’m diving in.  But before I do, I just have to say, ladies … don’t be jealous, but I’m off to see these hotties tonight:)

IMG_9777[1]Yes, I totally stalk Mr. Farr on his Instagram 🙂 Okay, back to the stuff I’m supposed to be talking about!

WHICH NOVEL ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING & WHO IS THE AUTHOR?

The Fog by Shelby Nolan

WHAT IS THE OPENING LINE OF THE BOOK?

“Mom? Can I ride my bike? Seven-year-old Rusty came running into the kitchen where Rocky was placing bacon strips onto a microwave rack.

WHAT ARE THE HERO & HEROINES NAMES OR MAIN CHARACTERS NAMES?

Rocky & John

WHAT IS THE 1ST SENTENCE  OF THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF CHAPTER 9?

“Let me see it first,” Arizona commanded as she moved quickly from one side of the attic storage room to the other.

WHAT IS NEXT ON YOUR TBR LIST?- Not only are these all Indie Authors, they are all Kentucky Authors!

Exposed Secrets by April Nichols Baker

Me and Jasper and the Summer of 86 (a preview of Adventures in Terror with Jasper Bohanon) by Aaron Saylor

Beautiful Strangers by Glenna Maynard

My Beautiful Suicide by Atty Eve

So what are you reading?  I’d love to know …

 

 

HELLO DECEMBER

Hello DecemberI did it!  I made it through and “won” NaNoWriMo.  I’ll admit the idea of writing an entire novel within a month was a little scary, but exciting at the same time.  Having never participated before, I wasn’t sure what to expect and hadn’t given it much consideration, but I’d been dwaddling around in a couple of projects with nothing really keeping my attention and then this new story kept screaming at me.  Determined not to start anything new until I finished one of the other’s up, I kept putting it off and then everyone kept talking about NaNo and I said, what the heck.  I jumped on the idea at the last moment.  Literally, I signed up on October 31st.  NaNo began November 1.  But even then I ended up a few days behind.  I didn’t write anything the first two days.  I can’t now remember what was going on, but I knew going into it that writing every day wasn’t going to be an option. Like everyone else, I have work and family obligations that keep me from it, but I was hopeful that I could do it.  Okay, I was determined!

Starting off, things went very well.  I made a few contacts and my word count was always more than needed.  I was excited and thought, man this is easy.  Then week three rolled around and my oldest child got sick.  And not with a twenty-four hour bug or a little cold.  He had a terrible case of bronchitis.  In fact, today was his first day back to school in more than two weeks.  I’m not sure if that’s what threw me off or if it was a combination of missing  and playing catch up at work, running to doctors visits, and planning the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Whatever it was, my writing suffered.  I don’t think I made my word count any of those days and what I did tapd out, was pretty rough.  Basically I was throwing out lines just to meet a count and it wasn’t very good.  As week four rolled around, I wasn’t all that hopeful.  I hosted Thanksgiving this year, so I knew I’d need to spend Wednesday evening baking and Thursday was gone.  But again, I was willing to give it my all.

There are things I both love and loathed about NaNo.  I love the community and support you receive.  Frustrated? Tweet it, tagging #NaNoWriMo and you’re sure to get a little support or advice (some followers too). Make it to a certain goal, shout that out.  You’ll have all sorts of congrats coming your way.  Those little things help, they do, and they were very much appreciated.  The awesome E.L. Wicker, who also participated and won, was very supportive (Her debut novel, Fractured Immortal releases December 21st and can be pre-ordered now, by the way :).  Our good friend Bill, checked in regularly with words of encouragement.  Julie Stock, gave us a little push at the end, and when I was really having a bad day, DJPM was there cheering me on.  These are just a few of the wonderful people who kept me motivated and made my first NaNo experience something to remember.  I also met Laurajay.  Who I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of her work.  She didn’t quite make her goal, but she’s close and let me tell you, the girl is talented.  I’ll seriously cry if she bums out on me and doesn’t finish her story.  She’s a copy editor, mostly non-fiction, and has generously offered to take a peek at my current work, even if it’s for proofreading purposes.  Hello!  Um, have I ever mentioned that I think comma’s are the anti-Christ?  I know that’s where my weakness lies and her offer is truly invaluable. Besides, I’m already in love with her post-apocalyptic romance.

But with the good, also comes the bad.  I pretty much ignored most forms of social media for the month of November.  I skipped reading blogs and didn’t scan my twitter feed except for checking in with those listed above.  I stopped reading and quit listening to music.  I didn’t even catch a full Kentucky basketball game the entire month.  When I wasn’t tending to family stuff, I was writing, even when it wasn’t always easy.  By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, my body let me know that it wasn’t very happy with me.  My back, shoulders, legs, elbows, hands, basically everything hurt.  I was tired and antsy and yet I trooped on.  Honestly, had I not had those few days surrounding Thanksgiving off from work it probably wouldn’t have happened and had I not hosted Thanksgiving and had all those leftovers, I probably would have been more stressed with the idea of having to cook for the family. While my guys lounged around and watched movies Friday and Saturday, I camped out on the couch and typed my fingers off.  I gave up with about fifteen hundred words to go around midnight on Saturday.  To the point of exhaustion, I just couldn’t do it anymore.  Four o’clock Sunday morning, I apparently felt differently, because I was up in full force, with renewed energy and ideas.  Those fifteen hundred words flew out effortlessly and with my word count validated, I shut my laptop and said that I was taking a break.  A week, maybe two.  No writing or editing, just some time to refocus for the edits and catch up on things I’ve neglected.

Yesterday, I laid on the couch and watched TV.  I didn’t go to my sisters like I normally do.  I helped my big guy start working on some of his make-up work.  I caught a basketball game, listened to music while I took a walk, I took a nap and I read.  Not one, but two books (okay, they were very short novellas) and by the end of the day, my fingers were itching to open my laptop back up.  Yep, I’m all ready to dive back in.  I haven’t-yet anyways. I’m still holding out and hoping that a few days away will jump start my gusto when I do begin.  I’ve been promising two friends that I was going to read their books and I still have some feedback that I’d like to send Laurajay.  So, yeah, I’m trying to give it at least a week.  We’ll see 🙂

Overall, NaNoWriMo was good for me.  I needed the little push and drive to make me maintain focus and finish up my second novel.  It’s still rough in places and needs some thorough editing, but I have something to work with.  Will I do it again?  Maybe, but I’m not going to commit just yet.  It takes a lot to write an entire novel within thirty days, so I will have to see where I am next year before I decide.

Congratulations to everyone who participated and thank you NaNo, I now have another completed manuscript ready for editing.

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