Monday, May 31, 2010

Only ONE week to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!!!!!!! My plans for today include a trip to a nearby amusement park that we have season passes for! Hope you all are having a fun time as well!!

But the most exciting news- today marks ONE WEEK `til release day for A Bitch Named Karma!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm still not sure how I want to celebrate that day. I will be chaperoning my daughter's zoo field trip, which I am very excited about. They only allow 4 parent volunteers and I was lucky enough to get one of the golden tickets! (It's a lottery if more than 4 parents volunteer, and in this suburbia, there are always tons of parent volunteers!)

My release party is planned for June 12th and I've invited my closest friends, family and writers group members. So far, it's looking like I'll have about 50 or so guests, with a bunch still MIA. (Why can't people rsvp???) Hopefully Mother Nature will give me a warm sunny afternoon and evening. My house cannot hold that many people! :) I wondered if I should even be having a party...the book is being released digitally at books to sign or anything. Print release is still TBA. But I've worked hard for this and I wanted to celebrate. I'm officially starting my writing career...after this when people ask what I do, I can say "I'm an author!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Got something releasing soon??? Let's cross promote!!!

My debut, A Bitch Named Karma, is releasing in less than two weeks (YIPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!) And I'd love to do a blog tour sort of thing the few weeks after the release!! Is there anyone who would like to interview me for their blog??? I will, of course, reciprocate!! Do you have something coming out soon and want to promote it on my blog??? Let's help each other out!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5 Diamond Review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am beyond ecstatic right now!!!!!! My first review on A Bitch Named Karma came in!!!

Check it out on Got Erotic Romance?

I love my friends love my editor and publisher love my story.....but strangers???? Readers who are just out there somewhere?????

They like me...they really like me!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Two weeks and counting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two weeks from today, my debut- A Bitch Named Karma will be released!!

I am so so excited!!! Can't believe that it's been a year since receiving the email that changed my life and career! It feels so amazing to know my story will sound be out there for the world to enjoy!! (I hope everyone enjoys it anyway!!)

It will be available for sale on my publishers site: Lyrical Press. And here's my listing on Amazon.

So, of course there will be a mega celebration over here!! Not sure what we'll actually do that day. I am chaperoning my daughter's zoo field trip during the day but maybe a celebratory dinner out will be necessary??? :) We are throwing a party that Saturday and have invited all our friends and family and surely it will be fab! (Hoping mother Nature complies since it will be an outdoor party.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Why does romance get such a bad rap???

When I started writing...I had no clue what genre it was. After a while, I realized it was stuff only women would be interested in that made it women's fiction. And mostly I had young heroines...set in an urban setting...chick lit. But then someone mentioned something to me......romance. Yeah...there were romantic scenes in my writing, but to call it a romance novel with heaving busoms and burning loins???

I'll admit, when I first thought what I wrote was romance, I wasn't real comfortable. I didn't know much about romance and what I did know from sterotypes told me it was something a lot of people didn't take seriously. I did not want that for my career.

So I did my research and was amazed at what I found. It's not your Grandma's romance novel anymore! Heroines are smart, funny, resilient, strong...they get what they want and don't need a man to save them or give them anything. The difference is that they want the man around (or woman, or both. I'm extremely pleased to see how many glbt novels there are out there! Yay!)...a partner to share life with...and isn't that what we all want....even in the 21st century???

Now I'm not gonna say there aren't corny covers out there...but they are much better than they used to be! No more Fabio look-a-likes.

If you need more this article! I got the link from my fabulous editor and fellow romance writer Piper Denna!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stuck between pride and frustration

I think kids were put on this Earth to show us a variety of emotions, many times two or three at the same time.

Yesterday I went to the bus stop to get my daughter after school. It's only 5 houses down- corner of my suburban residential street. But she's only 7 and I am just not ready to have her go it all on her own yet. The bus came to a stop, flashing red lights and all, and the three sisters from down the street hopped off the bus, waited for the bus driver to give his signal, then ran across the street and past me.

Where the heck is my kid???

Bus drive started to inch away and I waved him down and asked where my daughter was. He calls for her. Nothing. Turns to me "She's not on the bus."

"She's supposed to be!" I start to freak out.

He calls back again. I hear some of the other kids on the bus calling too. He turns back to me. "She's not here."

Panic surges through my body. We rarely pick her up from school and it requires a note letting the teacher and office know. Parents then need to sign the kids out when they pick them up. I certainly didn't send in a note. I turn and start to trot back toward my make calls, jump in my car, do something to locate my kid.

The girls from down the street come running over with their mom yelling "No, she is on the bus! We saw her!"

Bus driver stops again and then I see my child's head pop up from behind the seats and then around the front of the bus, book in hand. daughter was so engrossed in the book she was reading on the bus she didn't realize she was at her stop...even after the sisters got off...even after her name was called multiple times. Fear having drained from my body, I couldn't help but smile.

I gave her a good talking to: You need to pay attention on the bus!

But I also told her it was good that she was so into the book!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm participating in a Blogfest today! So cool!!!!

This is my first Blogfest, to pardon me if I make any faux pas!

Make sure you check out this post at Fiction Groupie to view the list of participants!!!

This is a dialogue Blogfest, so here is a scene! This is a novelette I wrote- Paradise Cove. Hopefully it will find a publishing home at Lyrical Press, my publisher, who is publishing my debut, A Bitch Named Karma, next month. This scene is between Shelby, my MC and Gabriel, the Grandson of the the old couple who'd sold their Cancun resort to her. Shelby is in the middle of renovating the property and has just fallen head-first into a dumpster. Gabriel just happened to be there and pulled her out.

“What’s wrong with you?”


“I can see you’re in pain.” His impatience came charging through. “Is it your ankle?”

Shelby sighed and continued to move forward. “Yes. I must have twisted it.”

Gabriel set the ladder down and stepped to her. “Come here.”

“I’m fine. I can do it.”

“No, you’re not fine.” He wrapped his arm under hers and supported her weight. A flock of butterflies and ice water surged through her body as his hand curled around her, every one of his fingers pressing into her side as he held her tightly.

They hobbled into the lobby and he set her down on the rattan sofa, its floral patterned cushions no longer having any fluff to them. Gabriel retrieved a first aid kit from behind the front desk.

First he surveyed the damage to her legs, riddled with cuts, scrapes and bruises. “I don’t think any of these are too bad.” He rummaged through the rusty metal box. “How is your head?”

“It’s fine.” Shelby ignored the throb at the back of her head. “Um, thank you, again. For helping me out there. And for getting all this.” She motioned to the kit.

“I didn’t even realize there was a first aid kit behind the counter.”

“Well, I’ve spent nearly my entire life at this resort,” he stated coldly. “I know everything about The Paradise Cove.”

“I hope to learn.” She took an antibiotic wipe packet from him and tore it open. He then handed her a few large bandages.

“You sure you know what you’ve gotten yourself into?” he asked while taking out a long stretchy bandage then wrapped her ankle with it.

“I think so. I’m going to put everything I’ve got into this place.”

“You better. This resort is very special to my family and I’m not happy about it being owned by an outsider.”

Shelby sat quiet as she cleaned her wounds but could feel Gabriel’s eyes on her. And she started to wonder. If this place was so special to his family, why were Mr. and Mrs. Espinoza here all alone? Surely they needed help taking care of guests and doing repairs. Where was the family when the resort was going downhill? And if this place was so special to Gabriel, why was he in San Antonio instead of Cancun?

“Well, I care about this place enough to give it the attention it deserves, even if I’m not an Espinoza.”

“Are you implying that I don’t care?”

“If you did, why weren’t you here years ago, helping your grandparents take care of the place?”

“I was making a career for myself.”

Shelby could see the smoke starting to billow out of Gabriel’s ears. Apparently she had nicked a nerve.

“If I had the sweetest grandparents on the planet, I would have dropped everything to be at their side when they needed me.”

“I was doing what I had to do. You have no idea what you’re talking about!”
He slammed the first aid kit onto the table and she watched as the sweat beads on his forehead began streaming down. The constraints of a suit, dress shirt and snugly fitted tie had to be excruciating.

“If you had minded your own business and left my grandparents alone, none of this would be happening right now. I’ll be shocked if you don’t run this place completely into the ground!” He stood up.

Shelby stood too, matching the fire in his ocean blue eyes, set off by his bronzed skin and onyx black hair. “You just wait! I’ll make your grandparents proud!”

He marched past her, got in his rental car and sped away.

Monday, May 17, 2010

WooHooo!! I love when I get a contract in my inbox!!!


I sent my novelette to my editor over a week ago and wahlah...over the weekend I received a contract for it!!!

One of the great things about epublishing is the fact that all lengths of stories now have homes. In the print publishing world...who wants a 16,000 word story??? Yeah, there are anthologies and compilations, but in my genre, I think it's mainly established authors who can sell on name alone.

I remember when I started this story. I had written a flash fiction piece for a contest (and it placed top 10, BTW!). A friend had told me about a Romance magazine that was looking for pieces, max word count 10,000. So I decided to give it a whirl. I took this flash fiction piece and knew I could expand on. It felt VERY refreshing to work on something of this length, knowing I could not add in subplots or too many characters. I had to stay focused just on this one plot idea. I finished the story relatively fast and took it to writers group, got feedback, worked on editing it. I submitted to the magazine and started another story to be the same length- something I pulled from my idea file.

Never heard from them, and that was a good year and a half ago. After coming down from the high of my first publishing contract with Lyrical Press, (a year ago yesterday!!) I decided to go back to it. Lyrical publishes all sorts of lengths and I thought this was my chance to find a home for this story that I loved.

I had to keep setting it aside to work on edits for my novel, but I finally finished it about 2 weeks ago. Since Lyrical now has a 15,000 word minimum, I had the freedom to add more description. And I decided to change the POV from 1st to 3rd, which also gave me the chance to add in the hero's POV, which I love to do.

I submitted it to my editor and over the weekend, I received a contract for it!! I am so so excited to find a home for this story! I really love it and I can't wait to share it with everyone!! And it's a nice quick read...doable in an hour or so!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sometimes life can be so bittersweet.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds myself in situations where I'm both happy and sad at the same time.

Take today for example. There are many opportunities for my hubby to work overtime at his job. And there are usually times there are so many other guys that want it, there is a list and you are offered overtime based on when the last day you worked OT was. Someone who worked more recently gets put toward the end of the list. Hubby usually doesn't know if he will get it `til maybe an hour or so before he has to go in- guys have up `til an our before the shift starts to call in sick, so that greatly effects the amount of overtime available. Hubby is on the list today for the 3-11 shift.

It's going on 1 and he has not gotten a call yet. They need to call him by 2 if they want him there on time.

I want him to get called- 8 hours of time and a half is VERY nice. But I so want a nice night with my family and husband. I have a movie we need to watch cause we need to return it. And I don't want to watch it alone.

We win and lose no matter what happens.

Do you ever find yourself in those situations???

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Choosing a career....and changing your mind.

Some choose for the money-making aspect...others do what they love. There are a few extremely lucky people in this world who do what they love and make a boatload of cash doing it. I don't know if I'll ever be one of those people, but I'll certainly try.

For me, being happy and fulfilled is very important. Your career is what you do for many hours a day- you spend more time at your job each day than you spend with your family. If you don't enjoy it...what's the point?? is the point. We all need it....we can't get by without it. We can get by on less if we have to...but how many of us are willing to give up some of our income to ensure our career happiness??

I am one of an extremely small group of lucky women. My husband makes enough money for us to live on without me having a job outside of the home. Now make sure you read that right...I said "live on" not roll around in cash. We get by, our bills are paid, and we can still enjoy some of life's pleasures. It's by no means a walk in the park, but when we had kids we decided it was important to us to have me home to raise the kids. And while doing that, I was given the opportunity to follow my dreams. Thank you hubby...I will forever be grateful!

I used to have a job out of the home..a career...I have a college degree that gave me the title of Floral Designer. I loved my work and at that point in my life knew I wanted to open my own shop one day..but a specialty shop, not just a regular retail flower shop. I wanted to concentrate on weddings. And I did do that out of my home for a few years. Worked okay for a while and I thought I was happy. But things changed...I changed. And I chose a new career.

I've spent the last five years working my tushy off and it's finally paying off. And this new career has made me happier than my last career ever did. I feel fulfilled now.....and I never did before. I hear poeple complain about work and dreading going in and counting down `til the weekend....not me. I never feel like I get to work enough! I work whenever I can...I work on weekends...on Sundays, on holidays!

I wish everyone could feel this way about their career.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dealing with mixed emotions...

I've been using the library since I was old enough to sign my name on the card (back when you still had to do that). And in my circle of girlfriends, swapping books is the norm. If I read a great book that resonates in me, of course I want to share it. In today's economy, we can't all afford to rush out and buy every book we want to read and there are tons of people who cannot afford to buy even one book. Without libraries and friends, some people, including children, would not be able to read at all.

But now I'm stuck.

These practices are found to be completely acceptable........but not in the ebook world.

I am soon to be published as an ebook author and I fully support digital media. I bought a Sony Reader and I buy more books now than I have in years. But I hear so much about how wrong it is to share ebooks.

We ran into this years ago with digital music sharing (remember that lil' site called Napster??). Geez...when we were kids, I can't even tell you how many mixed tapes I had that were songs other people taped off their tapes for me or taped off the radio. We all did one was making money off it...we were just friends sharing what we had.

I am 100% behind authors, and all artists, getting the money that they are due...always have been. And of course I want to reap the benefits of all my hard work. This is my career...I want to be successful. But I find myself stuck in the middle here.... If feels hypocritical of me to say "Sharing ebooks is evil!" when I myself have borrowed treebooks (paper books) from the library and from friends for as long as I can remember.

Does anyone else feel as conflicted as I do???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do blog contests draw readers in???

Can I ask my bloggy friends out there, why do you do contests?? Is it just for fun? Or do you hope to get something out of it?? More followers? A boost in sales??? I'm really curious as to your reasons for doing it.

I did one contest on my blog a while back. I had seen others do them and it seemed like a neat idea! Give away a cool prize (make someone's day) and maybe boost my follower list in the process!

But I was a little disappointed. I only had about 10-12 entrants and my follower list only bumped up by 2 or 3. But I did enjoy making someone's day! :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Waiting Game

Life seems to be a waiting game. Every day. You wait in lines, wait for food to be ready, the laundry to be dry. In this day and age we've come to want everything immediately- an instant gratification society. I can't say I enjoy waiting, but I do try to make the most of my time. Hate to rush life by.

But I do hate waiting to hear from an agent. Man that is excruciating! Not so much the query letters...but a partial. It's step one in the journey. It may be the only step you get. It's excruciating to sit back and just wait to see if you'll be moving your career forward...or not.

My partial has been with the agent I met with at The Write Stuff conference for over a month now...close to 5 weeks. Her website says 10-12 weeks for partial I know I need to sit back and chill. But it's so hard!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I need to carve out more time!!!

Seems there's always something to take up my time and minimize the time I get to write and work on writing related projects.

There's the house and chores and dinner preparation, laundry, food shopping. There's always something we're prepping for: we have a costume party this weekend and I need to shop for supplies and make our costumes.

And then there's the kids. Every parent knows that the kids always need you the second you sit to do something for yourself. If my son didn't take a good nap every afternoon, I would not be sitting here typing this right now!

I hate to sound like I'm complaining, I'm really not. I know how lucky I am to get what I get. But I so badly want to make this career a success and I need to somehow find more time to give to it. But how do I do that without feeling guilty?? The most logical is after dinner. Hubby is here and able to take over parental duties 100%. I keep telling myself that if I worked a job out of the home, that is when I'd have to do it. But that is the only time we have as a family and that time is precious to me. The kids are only this age once. who knows how much longer we'll have before they won't want to play with us anymore.

I've tried the get up early thing...does not work for me. I am so not a morning person. I am better at night, but editing seriously makes me so sleepy!! I can usually write new stuff at night, but not edit.

Thanks for listening...I know there's tons of you out there who can relate!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's their story???

Do you ever see a person or a group of people and watch what they're doing and wonder why they're there and what brought them to do what they do???

I do. All the time, actually. Is it my writer's brain that makes me think like this?? Or am I just nosey??

There is a McDonalds not far form my house, I pass it every single time I leave my house or come home (unless I come the back way, but that's rare.) And as soon as the weather turns nice, there is this little group of old men that congregate in the parking lot. They open up the hatch-back of a mini van and sit around it in folding camp chairs like they're tailgating. Sometimes they're there early, like today- it was noonish when I drove by. And there've been other times I've seen them as late as 9 pm. And I am so damn curious as to why they sit there, in the parking lot, only about 10-20 feet from a very busy road. Why would they choose to sit there rather than one of their houses or a bar or a park or anywhere else on the planet beside a fast food restaurant parking lot!

Humans are fascinating creatures. It's so interesting to observe and wonder and see what they'll do next. Maybe this is why reality TV has become as popular as it has. It's completely unpredicable. (well, sometimes. I know there is completely scripted "reality" tv out there too...but those shows are so lame.) I think poeple like to see other people and to know they're not alone in their idiosyncrasies.

What do you think???

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back to reality...but did I ever really escape??

We're back from our alone trip to Disney World, just hubby and me. We had been looking forward to this trip...we so needed some alone time and a chance to reconnect and just "be" without worrying about anything. I knew the trip would not be 100% worry-free...we were left our kids for 5 days and they were over 1000 miles away, but still. They were in mostly capable hands.

The trip itself was fantastic. Fab weather- 85-88, sunny, only rained one night and it was later on. We had a lot of fun and were silly and posed for lots of pictures. We rode all our favorite rides and re-rode them too.

On the Tomorrowland Speedway:

Waiting to be seated for Mickey's Philharmagic 3d show:

At Winter Summerland Mini Golf:

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival:

The Morocco Pavilion in the background:

Streets of America at Hollywood Studios:

On the Teacups at Magic Kingdom:

And Cinderella's Castle:

Sunset Boulevard at Hollywood Studios with our favorite ride in the background- Tower of Terror!!

But of course it was stressful too...our son got sick, just a little virus or something, but because he has asthma, it becomes a bigger issue. Luckily I had prepared our sitters ahead of time and he seemed to be okay. But still.....very hard for me to be that far away at a time like that.

And the relaxing nights we had planned for the resort's hot tub...yeah...that didn't happen. There were tons of school trips and such while we were there and every night, when we headed to the hot tub, we were pretty much the only adults there, surrounded by a minimum of twenty unsupervised teenagers.

The trip was well worth it and we did find ourselves missing the kids and very much looking forward to our next trip to "The World" with them in December!