Jennifer Lyon
Monday, March 30th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

This weekend was a blur, and now I’m deep in the trenches of CAGED MAGIC revisions. I’m hoping that once I get this done, I can write more interesting blogs. In the meantime, tell me what’s the last book you absolutely loved and why? For me, I loved WORTH THE RISK by Claudia Conner because both the hero and heroine were damaged by their past and deserved love. The story just drew me in.

Your turn! And how was your weekend?

 

 

Friday, March 27th, 2015
Happy Friday!

Many of you already heard my news: HER TEMPORARY HERO is a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Awards. So the phone ran around 10 am I think… and I of course, was my usual graceful self. My response when the woman announced she was with RWA? “Seriously? This is really happening?” Yeah, I’m a total dork sometimes.

She assured me HER TEMPORARY HERO had truly been nominated for the RITA in mid-length contemporary. And frankly, she really sounded sure :-)

I ran out back and told Wizard who was cleaning the pool. “He’s like, wait you’ve been nominated for, and won other RWA awards, right?” He was trying to figure out why I was acting strange (okay stranger than usual). (Also I’m always excited and honored when my books place in any contest!)

It finally dawned on him what I was talking about. “At the chapter/local level, this is national! The RITA’s. You have to be in the top 4 to 6% of scores, it’s like the Academy Awards of Romance. They swear they nominated Her Temporary Hero but I waiting to see if my names shows on the list.”

“JEN!!! YOU DIDN’T TELL ME YOU WERE WAITING FOR THE CALL TODAY!!”

Umm, yeah, he might have yelled that. It’s true, I didn’t say a word to anyone because… “Uhh, I didn’t think they would call.”

“Damn, all these years you worked so hard, and look at you now.” Then Wizard jumped on his computer and started looking at flights and hotels to NY for the big awards ceremony in July.

And me? I sat at my computer, on the announcement page of finalists and did this: Refresh! Refresh! Refresh! Refresh! until my name finally showed. After a few minutes, it finally did! What do you know, it wasn’t a mistake :-)

Here’s the list of others in my category and they are amazing!

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

Carolina Man
by Virginia Kantra
Penguin Publishing Group USA, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor

Her Cowboy Hero
by Tanya Michaels
Harlequin, American Romance
Johanna Raisanen, editor

Her Kind of Trouble
by Sarah Mayberry
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell, editor

Her Temporary Hero
by Jennifer Apodaca
Entangled Publishing, Indulgence
Kate Fall and Alethea Spiridon Hopson, editors

Love with a Perfect Cowboy
by Lori Wilde
HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books
Lucia Macro, editor

Once a Family
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Harlequin, Superromance
Paula Eykelhof, editor

One in a Million
by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Leah Hultenschmidt and Alex Logan, editors

Reforming the Playboy
by Inara Scott
Entangled Publishing, Indulgence
Alethea Spiridon Hopson, editor

Starting with June
by Emilie Rose
Harlequin, Superromance
Wanda Ottewell and Karen Reid, editors

Worth the Fall
by Caitie Quinn
Self-published
Jenn Harris, editor

I still don’t know if I’m going to NY or the ceremony, but this is one of those moments I’m thrilled to experience! I also owe thanks to many, many people, including Entangled Publishing and my two editors Kate Fall and Alethea Spiridon Hopson, who supported my effort to show the hero, Logan Knight as a man dealing with PTSD in the most authentic way I’m capable of writing. That was super important to me, as was showing Becky, the heroine, as young but very strong woman and mother. I’m just thrilled to have the book nominated!

Now I have to get back to making CAGED MAGIC shine. This nomination gave me a boost of confidence to tackle it! I’ll be doing that all weekend.

So what are you guys doing this weekend?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

I’m working! I love CAGED MAGIC so much, but the beginning needs real work…so that’s what I’m doing. Cross your fingers that I can do it :-)

This morning I have to go get a stupid x-ray on my endlessly annoying ankle so I can see an orthopedic in a few weeks. I pretty sure this orthopedic will find nothing, but we have to check since the ankle likes to wake me up around 1:30 am. Apparently doctors think that is  a problem, but I’m so used to not sleeping I like to think of it as an opportunity to sneak in a little reading time :-) :-)

In the meantime, I have a Wednesday Worthy Candidate for you all because no matter how busy I am, you guys are still on my mind! However, much as I love you all, I’m not sure about this guy so tell me what YOU think:

Portrait of fashionable young caucasian sexy handsome athletic m

So what do you all think, is he worthy?

 

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Weekend Roundup

So…we started having internet issues last Friday and I didn’t want to deal with it. Every time I call our provider I get a massive runaround. Last time I was told that both my brand new computers had massive viruses. Unlikely…it took a over a week to get our provider to admit there was a problem and finally address it and resolve it.

For nine months everything was fine until now.

Now here’s the interesting part — Wizard called yesterday (Sunday!) and got help. The whole call was maybe a half hour, they immediately spotted a problem in our line, did some internal switching and agreed to send us a new, upgraded modem. I was shocked and pleased. Serisouly happy with Verizon AND Wizard. I was thrilled that I didn’t have to call, and that Verizon must have improved their customer service.

Except there’s a little voice in my head saying, “Hey Jen, maybe it’s because Wizard is a man???? Does the world still treat men with more respect than women?”

Never mind, there’s no point in thinking like that. We should have the new modem Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest and the problem with be solved.

Otherwise, the weekend was good but sooo busy. We got to see Bailey yesterday! I didn’t take any pictures but he’s coming to stay with us in a couple weeks and I’ll take pics then. We also celebrated middle son’s girl friends birthday with Kahlua Chocolate Pound Cake — I put the recipe below for anyone interested.

This week I am working! I’m anxious to tackle this first set of revisions on CAGED MAGIC.  And I’m really hoping Wizard’s foot heals. Dang that minor little procedure has turned into a major annoyance for him.

How was your weekend?

Kahlua Chocolate Pound Cake:

1 box chocolate cake mix (I use Duncan Hines Devil’s food)

1 – 16-ounce container sour cream

1/3 cup Kahlua

1/3 cup oil

4 eggs

1 6-to-12 ounce package chocolate chips.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and prepare a Bundt pan. (I spray mine with baking spray that contains flour),

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl EXCEPT the chocolate chips, and mix (I use a hand mixer) until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour/spread into prepared pan. Batter will be thick. Then bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool

For topping, you can dust with powdered sugar, or what I do is melt some chocolate frosting and pour it over the top, and sprinkle with chocolate chips and let it set. I’ve also made a ganache to pour over the top.

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Happy Friday!

One thing I know for sure from years of writing books.

Revisions almost always make a book better.

Yesterday afternoon I was working on editing a file when I got an email from my editor on CAGED MAGIC that basically said, “You need to revise the opening of CAGED MAGIC.” Actually she said it much nicer with more details, but what she wants me to do is revise it and a few other things before she goes on with her edits.

You know what I’m going to do?

Well first, according Wizard, there’s a little bit of wine and whining happening :-)

But after that? I will absolutely do it.  Because this is what it takes to write a solid book, and frankly, right now, it’s not solid. My reply to Sasha (my editor) was send it back to me and I’ll do it. But this is not something I’d automatically do. When I did my final read through of the book before sending it to Sasha, the first few chapters bothered me, so I agree with her on a gut, no-lying-to-myself level. And since I do agree, today I will set aside everything else to carefully read through the all her notes up to this point and figure out how to strengthen the opening, clarify the world building and really make it WORK.

Because that’s what writers do.  When edits are needed, we don’t argue, we do them no matter how freaking hard and challenging. Sasha and I have the same goal here, to make the book shine. And this is just the beginning as there will be two more rounds of edits before ti goes to a proofreader.

In other news, Wizard is healing slowly from his minor medical procedure, and frustrated by his limitations. He’s so bored, he’s even offered to read my opening pages to help me revise :-) I may take him up on it, he’s good at it. But I have to be in the right frame of mind to take more input.

As for this weekend: I’m having lunch with a friend tomorrow, and Sunday we are celebrating middle son’s girl friend’s birthday with Chocolate Kahlua Pound cake.

Kahluh-Chocolate-Cake-1-of-11

 

This isn’t a picture of a cake I made, but it looks exactly like it :-)

Oh!! And we’ll get to see Bailey too!

Bailey thinks work is stupid

Wizard and I both miss him so much.

So what are you doing this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

On Monday, Wizard had a really small in-office medical procedure. All’s fine except we’re both tired. It’s amazing how something that sounds so easy in theory, ends up taking more energy that we think :-) Wizard’s healing fine, and it really is nothing serious. But I may be just a tad overprotected. I know, you’re all shocked :-)  Wizard is being a very good sport though about staying off the foot and not worrying me, which I appreciate.

Although by today, I’m betting he’s going to be sick to death of me hovering over him. I’ll back off him a bit. Maybe.

Okay lets move onto Wednesday Worthy. Here’s our candidate:

Fearles MMA Fighter ready to fight

So what do you think? Is he worthy?

Monday, March 16th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

First up today:

Fine art sepia toned portrait of beautiful young fit man at the

Anna owns and operates the Herding Cats & Burning Soup review and book website, which by the way is a very cool website to check out. She is starting today as my assistant, helping me with some social media (mostly FB), setting up my street team (unfortunately we have to set up a “new” team as the I didn’t own the site for the old one and couldn’t do much), and several other things. I’m very excited about working with Anna, and wanted to let you all know so you’d have a clue who I’m talking about when I mention Anna :-)

And for the record, I loved working with Carla, my former assistant. Carla is starting a new venture now and I’m wishing her much luck and success!

My weekend was pretty good, I’m getting a ton of little things done but no real writing. Getting started on a new book is slow going as I’m having to reconsider some plot points. What I really need to do is jump in a write a couple scenes to get a better feel for my hero and heroine. As much as I’d love to be a completely organized plotter to make writing easier, in the end, it’s the characters stories that drive the book and ultimately decide the who, what, where & when of the book.

In the meantime, Wizard and I are considering what we want to do to the house vs what we can afford. Why does budget always have to ruin our fun? :-) And frankly I have to wonder just how insane I am to jump into all this house project on top of my writing schedule? But when has that stopped me before???

So how was your weekend? By the way,  I’ll be gone this morning, but will answer comments once I get him in the afternoon.

 

JenniferLyon.com