Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New feature??? What do you think??

It seems that many bloggers offer all kinds of writing advice and tips. And many of their readers adore them and really appreciate it. I have shied away from giving advice because, well, I don't feel I am in any position to give advice. I am still a newbie in this biz. What could I possibly say that can help???

Well, I have learned a lot so far. And why not share what I've learned?? Maybe I can help others and they can avoid my mistakes???

What do you think???

I thought of making this a weekly feature, until I run out of things to share. Maybe on Tuesdays.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Never-Ending Scene Blogfest!!!

This blogfest is so so cool!!! Please stop by Brenda Drake Writes to check out the list if participants!! This should be a really great blogfest!!

And here is my entry! It's a scene from A Bitch Named Karma. This is when Lexi's life starts falling apart! Enjoy!!

Later that morning, the elevator door opened to the offices of Smith and Roland and people sprinting around, every one with armloads of papers and boxes. The place normally resembled the theater a few blocks down that only showed nature documentaries; quiet and boring with most of the audience half asleep. Something was definitely up. I walked into Val’s office, looking like a battle had just taken place. I stepped around cardboard boxes as Val popped up from behind her desk.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Oh, Lexi. Everything is a mess! I don’t even know how to tell you this. You better sit down.” Her gravity defying hair looked a bit more frizzed out than normal. As Val explained to me her demotion and the changes that were effective immediately, I wanted to scream and cry and throw myself on the ground in a toddler-esque tantrum yelling, “No! No! No!”.

Val also explained the tiny royalty check I received a few weeks back. It wasn’t a mistake. My book sales dropped considerably and she would no longer be my editor. They replaced her with an outsider, a miracle-worker of an editor they lured away from another publishing house. Mr. Smith and Mr. Roland needed to make some major changes for the good of the company and hoped the big bucks they threw at this new woman would save it.

“She’s here already,” Val said, stifling her tears. “You are meeting with her today in her temporary office. As soon as I’m cleared out, she’ll be moving in here.”

I didn’t know what to do. My relationship with Val far surpassed the editor/author marriage. We were also friends. She established my career and walked me through my first publishing experience. She gave me my first big break and I owed so much to her. What would I do without her?

As she reached to pull one of her photos off the wall, she broke down crying. I did the only thing I could think of.

“These assholes can’t fuck you over like this! This is unacceptable! If they don’t give you your job back, I’ll walk!”

“Lexi, no. They mean business. For the sake of your career, you need to stay put.”

Our eyes met and I knew she was serious. I trusted Val on every aspect of my career in the past, no questions asked. I had no reason to doubt her advice now.

“Fine. I’ll meet with her. But if I don’t like her, she can go to hell. They all can.”

I walked down the hall confident as my Manolo Blahnik’s click-clacked on the marble, ready to raise some hell. A hand-written sign had been plastered to the door: Sheila Brown- Editor. The scent of a black Sharpie wafted into my nostrils as I pounded on the door.

And if you're interested in reading more...you can purchase A Bitch Named Karma as an ebook at Lyrical Press's website or at Amazon for the Kindle or in print!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why am I sitting here? I have things to do!

Yeah...I have tons to do right now. Tonight is my turn to host the monthly Girls Night in with my close group of friends. (Can you say martinis and comfort food???) I have to clean the bathroom, do up some dishes, get the dining room ready....and a pan of homemade mac n cheese isn't going to magically appear in my oven. Ohh and what's that smell....oh...my son needs a diaper change too.

But where am I??? Right here, at my computer. I've just spent the last two hours reading blogs, commenting on blogs, Twittering, Facebooking, Goodreads, etc.... I think I'm a little obsessed, but not obsessed with social networking, per say. I'm obsessed with getting myself out there and connecting with people. I'm obsessed with getting people to want to read my book.

I need to do this. I need to be successful. I need to make something of this dream.

There's so much I want and I want it now! I so feel like Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I see other people have it and I want it too. Sometimes I really want to stamp my feet and be bratty. Sometimes I wish my daddy would ask "Okay, how much?" and buy me my dream come true.

No, that's not true. I've always been a girl who needs to earn what I have. And yeah...nothing worth having comes easy. I know that.

Sometimes I just wish it wasn't so damn hard. It would be so much easier if my dream was to be a doctor. You go to school and as long as you apply yourself and work hard, you dream will someday come true.

With my dream there is no guarantee...ever.

Okay, the stink is getting to me and I really need to go clean!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Hunksday: Special Edition!

This week I decided to pay tribute to all those hunky guys that decorated my walls as a preteen and teen! All those pages I ripped from Teen Beat and Bop magazine. All those dreamy heartthrobs that made me melt!!

Here they are....did you share any of my teenage fantasies????

The first is a band that, at one time, decorated every square inch of my bedroom walls. And in all honesty, they are even hotter as grown men and if my husband would allow, I'd probably plaster my bedrooms walls with them now!!

New Kids on the Block

At one time, this heartthrob had a sacred place, right above my bed!!!

Kirk Cameron

Totally loved this guy..."Whoa" is all I can say!! I listened to his album on tape so many times that it snapped. He's still pretty damn hot now, though I'm not diggin' the shaved head thing.

Joey Lawrence

I think every teen girl in the late 80's had a crush on this guy. I had a huge B&W poster of him. RIP...love and miss you always!

Patrick Swayze

My favorite of the Coreys...I could watch License to Drive all day long!

Corey Haim

I fell so in love with him in Ladybugs!

Johnathan Brandis

And who could forget Zak Morris??? Definitely not me..I still watch Saved By the Bell reruns!

Mark Paul Gosselaar

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Twitter and Facebook- I need you all!!!

I've decided to host a giveaway! Two, actually!!!! I am not happy about the number of Twitter and Facebook fanpage followers I have. I need to do something about it!!!!

So...I've decided to give away a couple signed copies of A Bitch Named Karma! When each of my accounts reaches 200 followers, I will randomly draw one follower who will win the book!! And if for some chance the winner already has the book, instead they will receive signed copies of both Chicken Soup for the Soul books I am featured in!!

Here is my Facebook Fanpage link.

And here is my Twitter page.

Thanks in advance for all your help!!!!

And while you're at it, please check out this great contest at Project 52! She's giving away The Hunger Games trilogy!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jealousy in the publishing world?

I don't care who you are, there has to be a time in your life that you have been jealous of someone or something. There are many levels of jealousy, in my opinion, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I see skinny women with well-toned behinds and I am jealous. But that jealousy just encourages me to work extra hard to get it too.

I've seen jealousy be a very bad thing though...

But what about the publishing world? I have to admit, I am feeling very jealous right now. I think we all see our fellow bloggers struggling and trying to make it out there in queryland. There's a real sense of comradery. But what about when one of those comrades makes that big leap ahead of you? And tons of success is seemingly thrust at them. It really changes everything. You don't feel like you're on the same planet anymore, let alone the same level, like you were moments earlier.

Of course I am happy for my bloggy friend....but that green-eyed monster has also grabbed onto me. Not sure how to shake it off.

I try to take that emotion and turn it into ambition and strength....use it as inspiration to keep on writing, keep on learning, keep on growing.

But some days...it is damn hard. Some days it feels like it will never be my turn.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I *Heart* Reviews!

I am always SOOOOOOO appreciative when someone reads my book and posts a raving review online!!! It totally makes my day!!!

Thank You Lisa @ Raven and the Writing Desk!

Please check it out and give them some bloggy love!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

First Page Blogfest!!!

Elle Strauss is hosting this fun blog today!!! Please check it out here!!

And here is my entry!! This is the opening page (well, first 250 words) to Spellbound!!

"Yes, Mrs. Vandewater, your daughter’s wedding bouquet will be delivered to your house by noon along with all of the attendants’ flowers,” Roda Morgan answered for the third time as she doodled on a yellow legal pad, taking the name Vandewater and added horns to the V and a pointed tail to the R.

As the owner of a service oriented business, “The customer is always right” became a motto she had no choice but to live by, regardless of how insane it sometimes made her. Numerous times she would have loved to chuck that motto right out the window, watching it splatter on the street like a water balloon tossed from ten stories up. What joy she’d have telling the customer exactly what she thought of them and where they could take their “one last question”. But in the end, her desire to please everyone won out.

“No, I will not get lost on the way to your house. I have the directions you gave me, plus printed directions off the Internet. I also have your home phone number, your cell phone number and your maid’s cell phone number programmed into my phone just in case.”

The door chime sounded and Roda looked up to find a wide eyed twenty-something. She had that dreamy look in her eyes and began browsing around the shop, stopping to caress a fluffy guestbook pen and smiled.

More screeching came from the receiver of the phone and Roda turned her attention back to this year’s Momzilla,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Editing and Writing at the same time???

Well...here I am in the middle of my first round of copy edits for Paradise Cove, YIPPEE!! But I've been spending so much time on Karma Kameleon...trying to get the first draft done by the end of October.

Normally, I do not mix editing and writing. I do one or the other. When edits come in...I usually put aside whatever I'm working on to devote all my time to that. But for the first time, I don't want to do that. I really had my heart set on meeting this goal by the end of October. And I am in a really good position to accomplish it! That means still keeping with my daily work count goal. Paradise Cove is a shortie...only 16,000 words, so it's not like editing an entire full-length novel. And I could put Karma Kameleon aside for a few days to work solely on edits...but I'm just too afraid that I'll get behind and not able to come back.

Yesterday went well. I actually got a decent amount of the editing done. Earlier that day, while out to lunch with my son, he started the next scene on Karma Kameleon. I wrote in my little purse notebook while he slowly ate his food. (I don't know about your kids, but mine can sometimes take for-ev-er to eat.) So I typed that into my computer...just over 600 words. Not bad. I was going to leave it at that. Editing and getting 600 words down wasn't too bad. But I just couldn't leave it. I got back on the computer after the kids were in bed, did more editing, and also squeaked out a few hundred more words. I made my word count goal, barely, but I did it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Hunksday!!

Today's piece of man candy is my first foreign hottie! (Well, I had a Canadian or two, but I'm so close to Canada that it doesn't really feel like a different country to me!) I first saw this guy in a movie called Something New and then in a really fab movie, The Devil Wears Prada. He spoke perfect American English in both...so when I saw him in an interview, my mouth dropped open. Damn that Australian accent is so sexy!! Wikipedia tells me he is now an American Citizen...let's just hope he keeps his Aussie accent!

Ladies...today's super hottie is Simon Baker! ENJOY!! I know I will ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Mom, if you haven't noticed...."

"...I am a 33-year old grown woman."

That's what I had to say to my mom yesterday. She'd just finished reading A Bitch Named Karma. She said she loved it, it was a really good story....."but".

Don't ya just love a "but"????? She said she had a hard time with the sex scenes.

Now I know for a fact that my mom reads all kinds of romance...and the scenes in my book are very glazed over. Yes, there's some colorful language...my MC Lexi is pretty sassy and says exactly what she's thinking. It's first person, so of course the sex scenes are described using her language.

"But you're my daughter...and you wrote that..."

I get that...but I think she needs to separate herself and just read the book like any other book. Maybe that's easier said than done....

I guess it kinda hurt me a little. I think we sometimes expect glorious praise from certain people and when it's not given, it's a little heart-breaking.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog posts: Write every day or schedule them?

I admit, when I first started this blog a year and a half ago....it was just something I thought I needed to do to "build my platform". But I got into it and started meeting some A-MAZ-ING people! And I found that I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and reading other people's. I found a real kinship with my readers.

But, life happens and I don't always have time to sit here and write out a great post every day. And I don't get to read every blog I follow every day either.

What I do do is this....when I get the time (like today...it's actually Tuesday that I'm writing this.) I sit here and write out several blogs...about different topics. Something that strikes my fancy, or something that's happened to me recently, or a random idea that I wrote down to use "someday". I schedule them for different days and can sit back and relax in knowing that I am still out there...I'm still connecting with my readers and friends.

And even if I'm having a crazy day, I still check my email and my blog and reply back to comments.

So what do you all do out there??? Do you actually blog everyday and post it that same day???? Or are there more people out there like me who kinda cheat a little???

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Hunksday!!

I have been a fan of Dancing with the Stars since season 1! As a dancer myself, I love that part of the show most of all, but when my favorite pro comes out with his shirt wide open or no shirt at all...OMG!!!! I don't care much about the dance anymore! Is it bad that one of my goals for my writing career is to become famous enough to be considered as a celebrity dancer???

And my first choice for my pro partner........none other than Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I want pictures of you with my book!!

I read Jody Hedlund's blog and thought she had such an awesome idea for her first release, The Preacher's Bride. She asked her readers to take a picture of themselves with her book and she displays them on her website! I think that is just so much fun!!!!

So anyone wanna pose with their copy of A Bitch Named Karma??? I know many of you have it as an eBook, but that's cool too! I bet you can set your Reader to the cover and take a pic with it!

Please send pics to stephanie_haefner (at) yahoo (dot) com

Thanks so much!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It never gets old! And I hope it never does!

I knew when I started writing seriously with the goal of publication, that I would get all tingly when I actually saw my name and my words in print. But I also wondered if those butterflies would ever stop fluttering.

You know how it is when you're first dating someone. Every kiss, every touch...every look sends those butterflies twittering like crazy. And the longer you're together...it's still awesome and amazing, but the newness has worn off. It's different...the level of connection is deeper and it's just...different. The butterflies just do a few little tumbles instead of flying around like they're on speed.

With my writing, I'm still in that dating phase where every little success is still fresh and exciting.

My newest release is called The Evil Eye and it's featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters Edition!

I received my contributor's copies a few days ago..it's not yet available for sale. I signed one and gave it to my dad...since the story in the book is about him. He seemed to really like it..laughed and said it was good but not true. I just looked at him.

"What do you mean it's not true?"

"I don't do that!"

"Oh yes you do! Ask anyone!!"

My dad totally has this "look" that he gives people...he tilts his head down and looks up at you over the top of his glasses. And he'd used it many times on the boys that I brought around as a teen!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back in writing mode!!!

I don't know about you guys, but I have trouble flip flopping between creating new and editing old. I need to submerge myself in one or the other. And I'm proud to say as of yesterday, I am back in creative mode!! YAY!!

And that means I am back to my 1000 word a day goal!!

This is something I am very serious about. But I do cut myself some slack. I work a month at a time, usually. And as long as I make 30,000 by the end of the month, I am happy. Some days I do not make my goal..other days I do and double it..once I even tripled it! What a day of accomplishment that was!

So needless to say, I keep track of every word I type, every day! I was last in creative mode in July and managed just over 30,000 words!! I thought maybe you guys would be interested in a breakdown of the month!

Here goes:

Number of days my 1000 word goal was met: 18
Number of days it was not: 5
Number of days I didn't write at all: 8 (Didn't realize this number was so high!)
Number of days I wrote at least 1500 words: 9
Number of days I wrote over 2000 words: 4

Total word count: 30,590

So, half of the days I made my goal, I wrote 50% more. And 4 of those times, I more than doubled my goal. I more than made up for the days a shorted and the days I missed.

Not bad!! Let's see how I do in October!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

They're People Too blogfest!!!

Fun fun fun blogfest today!!!!!! Tessa over at Tessa's Blurb has organized this really cool blogfest! So please stop by and show some blog love and check out the other participants!!

So, this blogfest is about personifying a concept...and of course, I chose karma!!! This is a scene from my WIP, Karma Kameleon, the sequel to A Bitch Named Karma. For my main character Lexi, karma is a very real concept...so real it's become a person.


Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this sadistic kind of torture?

And then it hit me. That Karma bitch.

My back straightened and I stood up, tears having been replaced with fire. I looked around the bathroom and saw nothing. I continued out into the hall and the living room, the kitchen. Nothing.

“Where are you, you fucking bitch?”

I stomped into my bedroom, then into Preston’s nursery.

“Show your goddamn face!”

This couldn’t be happening—not again. I wasn’t the same person I was before. I’d reformed and grown a conscience. I was a good person. I didn’t deserve any kind of bad karma.

I thought Karma and I were good. I thought we were friends. Why the hell would she do this to me again? And something as awful as this? This didn’t just hurt me, this hurt Rich. He definitely didn’t deserve this kind of pain.

I went back to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, only seeing my bedraggled reflection. I turned and jerked open the shower curtain. “Where the fuck are you hiding?”

As I tore into the linen closet, I heard footsteps behind me and swung around to meet Karma’s icy gaze.

“Lex, what are you doing?” Rich stood there, staring at me and the pile of towels sitting at my feet—the ones I’d yanked from the closet in my search for a paranormal figure that only I could see.

“Um, uh…nothing. Just looking for something.”

He didn’t look convinced. “Can I help?”

“No,” I said and shook my head, the tears and sadness returning. He reached out to me as I broke down and cradled me in his embrace.

“What’s going on?” He spoke in his most calming voice as he smoothed my hair. My apparent mind loss was probably freaking him out.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Social networking and our opinions

I think most people frequent at least one from of social networking- Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc..., whether it be for business reasons or purely for pleasure. I visit these places for both reasons. Some weigh more toward one reason than the other, but I do it because I enjoy it. And I like interacting with others.


Everyone has their chance to say whatever is on their mind....whenever they want. Opinions on anything and everything. And we all have our opinions, which are different from what others think. So when we open ourselves up by posting our thoughts.....it's expected that others will respond with their opposite opinions, right????

When I post something, I do it with the knowledge that someone may think differently and share their thoughts. I normally don't mind....I don't expect or want everyone to think the same as I do. I don't mind a good debate as long as all parties remain open-minded and things don't get nasty.

When you post, do you expect to get a range of comments back?? Does it bother you if someone disagrees with you?? Since it is your post, if someone doesn't agree, should they just not comment??

There are many times I have a different opinion that what someone has posted and I wonder if I really should comment. I try my hardest to always post my opinions in a concise and respectful way. But as we all know, words on a screen are often misconstrued.