I had a deadline on August 31.  It doesn’t matter how well I prepare or how well I schedule, I always hit a big push right before a book is due.  This time was no different.  When I’m in deadline mode, I hunker down and tune out the rest of the world (the things that I can).  It’s all-consuming, and it’s not fun.  My time is booked, and things like cleaning, socializing, and yard work fall on the back burner.

But now I’m free!

I feel so light. I’ve got no deadlines weighing me down right now. I’ve been shopping the past two days. Clothes shopping, shampoo shopping, Blizzard shopping, etc.  This morning I’ve been cleaning up emails and outdated bookmarks.  I plan to tackle some gardening later.  It’s silly how all these normal activities are suddenly fun.  It’s really showing me how balance in everything is key.  If only I could figure out how to do that…

I’ve committed myself to just getting caught up this weekend — and I’m not putting together one of my infamous “to do” lists. I’m just going to do what I want to do or what needs to be done.  Yet in the back of my mind, I can feel myself turning through stories.  I need to nail down my writing schedule for next year.  Short stories are popping into my head, eager for me to make space for them.  I’m going to let them simmer for a little while.

In the meantime, I’m taking control of my life again and am waiting for my editor to send feedback on Courting Trouble.  It’s coming November 27 to an on-line retailer near you!


plotting_process_webWhen I write, I have a bunch of scenes in my head or points that I know need to be made.  Sometimes they come in orderly fashion, but often they’re a jumble.  There are always holes on how to get from one place to another.  That’s when I know I have to sit down and think everything through before I write one more word. Today was one of those days.

When I started writing this story, I followed the same process.  I wrote down a bunch of high points on index cards.  I haven’t looked at them for a while, but I’ve followed them really closely.  I had six cards left when I started today.  Quickly, I began to add all the new things that have come into my head.  They’re all scenes that need to take place to close out the book.  Threads need to be tied together. Characters need closure. Climaxes need to be hit. (Excuse the pun, but the sex scenes are on the index cards, too!)

Then I stare and sort. Add a card here, move a card there.  Stare some more.  Get rid of something that’s cool, but doesn’t fit. Save it for another time. Take care of a supporting player, add some foreshadowing, shuffle the remaining cards… Etc. etc.  And so it goes until I’ve got a pretty darn good map to get me to the end of the book.  Sometimes it works well (like today).  Other times I just want to throw the cards at the wall.  Then I have to figure out another way to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

And yes, whatever method I end up using, peanut butter-filled pretzels do help.

MAXIE contest winners

Congratulations to Cynthia M., Alex C. and Kayla O.  They all won print copies of Maxie through the contest I held here on my site.

Hint:  If you look around, there might be a new contest up and running.  ;-)

Everlasting Available for Free!

KimberlyDean_Everlasting_200pxFor a limited time only, Everlasting is available for free download at on-line retailers everywhere.

A Gothic, erotic romance

Restless for passion…
When naive college student Chevon finds herself bored in her relationship, she takes an impulsive road trip. Soon, she’s lost in a thick, unpredictable fog. Out of nowhere, the Everlasting Inn appears. The remote house on the cliffs is a haven, yet it evokes erotic thoughts and a haunting sense of déjà vu.

Taunted by dreams…
Hotel developer Trey’s sleep is filled with erotic and terrifying visions. To deal with the stress, he makes an escape to the gothic B&B he’s purchased and finds a familiar face. It’s the face of the beautiful woman he sees each night in his dreams and he feels like he’s encountered a ghost.

Trapped by memories…
Chevon is no ghost, but she recognizes the inn’s sexy new owner. Hazy memories of Trey have come back to her, and she remembers what she’s been craving. And why… The passion between the two is white hot, but their romance in the haunted house atop the crashing water isn’t fated to last. Unless Chevon can help Trey remember, too, and in time.

Download e-book  (FREE!)    Kindle Nook iBook Kobo All Romance EbooksSmashwords


Seeing Double

As a kid, I went to school with a lot of twins. Back then, I didn’t realize how unusual it was. Looking back, there must have been something in the water. We had every kind of twins from fraternal twin sisters (one redhead, one brunette) to boy/girl twins to ide girls.

The fraternal twins acted primarily like brothers and sisters who just happened to be born on the same day. The identical twins, though, had closer bonds. They were inseparable outside of class and always seemed to be on each others’ wavelengths. There were so many things about them that were alike, but as their friend, I could always tell them apart. All it took was a glance or the sound of a voice.

As we rose in grade levels, we just kept adding sets of twins. There were two more sets of identical girls, another boy/girl set (who did not get along at all), and a set of triplets  (one boy and two girls who looked identical). I was around them all a lot, and I thought it was just so cool. I guess even back then I was an observer of human nature.

It was many years later when I came up with the concept for my Triple X series about identical triplets reuniting and finding the men that they love. I wasn’t consciously thinking of my old classmates, yet I know my childhood experience helped me flesh out the characters. I knew firsthand the connection that Lexie, Maxie, and Roxie should have.  More importantly, I knew how they should be different. Identical siblings can be close, but they’re not interchangeable. They’re individuals with their own interests and personalities. They just happen to be part of a very close, matched set.  That’s why I gave each of my triplets her own book. Each sister had a different story to tell, yet as a set, they made up an even stronger trilogy.

So are any of you a twin or triplet? Do you agree that identical siblings have a unique, almost psychic bond? Or is that just make-believe?

Romance Tropes

I saw this post over on Mindy Klasky’s website about romance tropes.   “Merriam-Webster gives a definition of ‘trope’ as a ‘figure of speech.’ In storytelling, a trope is just that — a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.”  (source tvtropes)

That’s a  lot of words to say that they’re commonly used devices or story lines.  It all goes back to my post about there not being any new ideas — but there are a lot of ways to spin them.  I thought it would be fun to try to match up the list to my own books.  So, here I go…

Alpha heroes —  That would have to be ALL my books.

Billionaire — Solace in Scandal

Class warfare — Again, Solace in Scandal

Fake engagement — Maxie

Forbidden love — Private Dancer, Hell to Pay, Blade of Moonlight

Kidnapped — Manhunt (oh, I haven’t thought about that story for the longest time)

Law enforcement — Tiger Lily, On The Prowl (another oldie), Wanted

Office romance — Lexie, Fever

Orphan — Roxie

Reunion — New Year’s Bang, Everlasting, and oooh, Going Deep

Revenge — Tiger Lily (in a big way)

Siblings ex-spouse — Unrequited

Unrequited love — Unrequited (duh)

Those are my thoughts at first glance.  Do you think any more fit those tropes?  I was kind of surprised at how many of my stories didn’t fit.  I’m kind of proud of that.