Archive for May, 2015
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Friday, May 29th, 2015
Last night we were out late celebrating Middle Son’s Birthday, and this morning I have to leave early for a 7:30 am hair appointment. On top of that, I’m working crazy hard on edits. In fact I’m so preoccupied, I’m doing strange things — for instance, the other night after dinner I found my toothbrush neatly put away with a perfect row of toothpaste on it.
Don’t ask, I can’t explain. And given how compulsive I am about brushing my teeth, it’s even stranger.
Anyway…I think we all need a break. Time for a tension-breaking cage fight!
First up is our military hunk. He’s so tough he pierced his own nipple to intimidate his enemies. Also, he can squat like this for hours and can stare down anyone, even Chuck Norris.
And next is our a mountain man who doesn’t need gloves, he just wraps his hands in ropes and he’s ready to fight any threat — bears, sharks, alligators or men. This guy is so fearless, he wears a burlap skirt and dares anyone to challenge his manhood.
So it’s time to lay down your bets. Who do you think will win?
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
For our Wednesday Worth Hunk today, I’m showing you all the cover for EXPOSING THE HEIRESS, Book 3 in Once A Marine Series by Jennifer Apodaca!
And here’s the Back Cover Blurb:
This Marine will protect her at all costs…
When wealthy heiress Alyssa Brooks finds out her stepfather has been paying her fiancé to marry her, she’s humiliated and betrayed. She quickly breaks the engagement, only to be blackmailed by her now ex-fiancé, who threatens both Alyssa and the son she gave up for adoption. With nowhere to go, she turns to the one man she can trust.
Former Marine sniper Hunter Reece’s lethal skills could save Alyssa’s life. But his little sister’s best friend has turned into a woman, who is an irresistible mix of secrets and sexiness. And while Hunter can trust himself to protect her, he can’t trust himself to keep his attraction hidden…or even pretend to be the man that Alyssa remembers.
Because the only way to keep the lovely heiress safe is to become the one thing he knows she could never love…a killer.
The release date is August 4, 2015 and if you use Goodreads, you can link here to find and mark it to be read.
So what do you think of the cover? Is the cover model worthy? And FYI, I’ve had this cover for a month, and have been dying to share it!
Monday, May 25th, 2015
Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a day of barbecues, fun, family and most importantly, taking a moment to remember all those who’ve given their lives to protect our freedoms.
To all the fallen, and their family and friends left behind:
As for my weekend, it was fantastic. I’m working on the revisions for CAGED MAGIC and love the story more and more. The editor has done some amazing work and now it’s up to me to take her suggestions and corrections and make this book shine. Then it goes back to the editor for another round, and after that I’ll find a proofreader and then formatting. I think we’re going to make the July 20th release!!
Also Wednesday is the cover reveal for Exposing the Heiress across many blogs and I’ll post it here too. I’m in love with the cover! I gave Entangled the concept, but let me tell you it exceeded my expectations. Simple and HOT
I found shoes for my Rita dress and I’m happy about that since I pretty much loathe shopping. But going with a friend always makes it much more fun! I’ll take pictures of the dress and shoes you guys another time.
How was your weekend?
Friday, May 22nd, 2015
It’s Friday! Yay!!
Yesterday afternoon I got revisions for CAGED MAGIC. I’m going to process them overnight then dive in. I’ve made progress, but the book still needs some work. This is the home stretch, that last mile to the finish line. I think most writers are fatigued at this point, but it’s more important than ever to stay 100% focused on the finish line. Sometimes it’s too easy to just give up, or to start celebrating too soon and not do that final push needed to take the book all the way across the finish line.
Like this guy — the runner that started celebrating too soon.
That had to suck for him. I don’t want to be that guy. Of course, I’m pretty much the opposite, never sure I’m going to make it until I’m actually on the other side. This is the point where I have to shake off any doubts or worried and believe in myself and the book. Because that’s what gives us that last burst of energy to get us across the finish line.
I had a wonderful reminder of why this is the point where believing can pay off. We just did the final proofread on EXPOSING THE HEIRESS (slated for August 4th release), and the proofreader contacted me to tell me she loved it. Man, that is so nice to hear at this stage when I can’t really change anything significant. But here’s the key point: I love that book NOW, but like all my books, there was a point where I loathed it. When I was sure it wasn’t working, that it was boring, that…well you get the idea.
All that kept me going was that I chose to believe in myself and story, and kept going until I hit that finish line. So when I read the proofreader’s lovely comments, all I could think was — what if I’d given up? Quit? Or lost focus (like that poor guy in the video above who celebrated his win prematurely)?
That’s my unsolicited writing and life advice for the day. Believe in yourself and what you’re doing, and hit that finish line!
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
The dress I ordered is supposed to come today. I’m excited to see it. So far, I’ve only seen it in this picture:
Bwhwahaha!! Okay I’m kidding. That’s Kate Hudson rocking that dress that I could NEVER wear. The dress I ordered is much more modest, a light aqua “sweetheart gown” with sequins. We’ll see if I like it. So then I’m on a plotting phone call with my friend Laura Wright and she asked about the dress. I finally confessed I’d ordered one but hemmed and hawed about showing her. I mean come on, Laura’s a former actress and much more fashionable than I am.
Laura, “Are you going to show me or not?”
Me, “Fine, I sent you the link. But I don’t know if you’ll like it.”
“Okay,” she said, “I’m opening the link.”
I waited and chattered on about my book that we were plotting. Finally I couldn’t stand it. “Have you looked at the dress???” Seriously how long does it take?
“It’s opening…oh I love it! It’s you.” A beat of silence then, “Damn I’m glad I didn’t have to lie.”
LOLOL! I love Laura. She would have lied to me, but she’d have hated lying and I would have known she was just being nice.
Then she asked, “So what shoes are you going to wear?”
Me, “No idea. But this is my princess dress so I’m going to wear a tiara. I’ve always wanted to wear one.”
DEAD SILENCE!!! I gave it a whole four-seconds before I burst out laughing, “I’m kidding! You are too fun to screw with.”
“Oh my God I believed you! I really am fun to screw with.”
I was laughing too hard to even touch her last line. And what’s really evil is she’d just helped me with a hook I desperately needed to get my book going. Laura’s awesome and I’m…evil. So finally I thanked her a gazillion times (I have some class) and then got off the phone, when Wizard asked.
“Why were you laughing like that? It’s your evil laugh.”
So I told him.
Now he’s swearing he’s going to buy me a fake tiara and I’d better wear it or his feelings will be hurt.
I think I just got paid back for teasing Laura. I’m so not wearing a tiara. But I might have to take a fake picture with one to convince Wizard that I did wear one Hopefully though, he’ll forget about the tiara.
Oh and Laura loved the premise of my new book, which is way more satisfying than her liking the Rita dress and convincing her I’m going to wear a tiara
Now if you waded through all that, here is our Wednesday Worthy. I’m sorry he’s wearing a shirt, but I couldn’t convince him to take it off. Maybe I should have worn my tiara and commanded him to take it off <g>
Stylized portrait of masculine handsome young man against neutral background
So is he worthy?
Monday, May 18th, 2015
Plotting a new book! I love this “research and development” part of the process where anything is possible. I think it could be amazing — IF I CAN GET IT RIGHT. I have characters, a premise and structure of the novel, but there’s one component I’m missing that’s key to making this book work. It’s part of the hook and it has to be exactly right. I’m excited, terrified and hoping I’m up to the challenge. We shall see.
But the truth is, I really won’t know what works until I write it. I have to get the characters on the page to see their chemistry with each other, and really understand their hopes, dreams, fears and vulnerabilities. But this “research and development” process is keeping me happy until I get the revisions back for CAGED MAGIC.
Otherwise, this weekend I did boring stuff, including getting the MRI done for my ankle. And yesterday I ordered a dress online to see if I like it for the RITA awards. It’s sad how few dresses are actually in the stores anymore. But I can return this easily if I need to, so I took a shot.
Today I’m heading back to my final dental visit to get my permanent bridge in, so I won’t be back to answer any comments until afternoon. But all that time in the dental chair will give em more time to think about my book
So how was your weekend?
Friday, May 15th, 2015
Once, I thought the more books I wrote, the easier this writing gig would get. Bwhahaha!! Nope, not for me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last year as I really struggled to write my last two books (CAGED MAGIC and EXPOSING THE HEIRESS), and that has me something seasoned authors told me long before I was published:
Enjoy the process now because once I published, all the pressure, deadlines and drama would suck out the joy.
Hmm, after writing twenty-some books, am I losing my joy in the process?
Sure, I look back on my early days of “writing the free and untamed book of my heart” with nostalgia. I miss just going for it without that pesky voice of experience in my head censoring each word, questioning every character motivation, scoffing at an unrealistic plot line or nagging me about passive writing. Trust me folks, those voices crowd into my head, bottlenecking my writing process and frustrating the bejeepers out of me. On top of that there are always deadlines ramping up the pressure to produce, which of course, sends my brain into the blue screen of death.
Oh yeah, it seems like the early, pre-published days were glorious – until I wipe away the nostalgia of writing with more hope and joy than any real skill, and I realize the truth.
I was clueless as shit.
No seriously. I didn’t know what sold. I didn’t understand the appeal of a trope (a tried and true plot line like redemption or falling for best friend’s little sister). I didn’t know how to emotionally hook a reader into my character’s goals to create page-turning tension, or how to use hooks and action to ramp up pacing and keep the reader from putting the book down.
I’m still learning every single day. I love that part of the job, I’m always pushing myself to write a better, more powerful and cleaner story.
But I hate the fear that has come with the knowledge. The more I learn, the better I get, the more critical and frustrated I become with my own writing. I realized this even more as I just did a revision on CAGED MAGIC, plus copy edits and proofreading on EXPOSING THE HEIRESS. I’m never satisfied and I suspect I never will be.
That’s called growing as a writer. Sure, in my beginning days as a writer, the newbie passion burned brighter and sitting down to the computer was more of a joyful experience. But that’s a memory that’s been cleaned and sanitized by time, often conveniently forgetting all the numerous people who didn’t take my career goals seriously and a few who made fun of me. And later, too many dream-crushing rejections to even count. Nostalgia has a way of softening the old pain and letting us recall the good times over the bad.
These days, getting paid to do a job I love is priceless. A deep and satisfying joy because I had to work my butt off for it with long hours, painful mistakes and pure determination to do it over and over until I got it right. Or at least close to right as I could, because as I said before, I’m never completely satisfied.
In my early days, I had a dream and every time I put my fingers to the keyboard, I was pursuing that dream with joy. That’s a good thing.
But now? I’m living the dream. It’s harder, takes more blood sweat and tears, but the joyful dream has matured into a sense of accomplishment, and a drive to keep doing it. And the pay off? Every time a reader falls in love with one of my books or characters, I experience profound sense of happiness that is significantly more satisfying that the simple joy I felt in those early days.
My joy still lives and burns, it’s just tempered by time, experience and the drive to do my best not to let down my readers who got me here.
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