Chapter One — Work Continues

I added about 1200 words to Chapter One today, but focused more on editing.  It’s coming along nicely, but I really need to expand on the heroine.  I realized that I’m assuming that readers know her, but you don’t!  That will be my goal tomorrow.  I need to take a deeper dive inside her head and polish up that finishing scene.  Then I’ll be comfortable moving on to Chapter Two.

Speaking of being comfortable, my freak-out from yesterday seems to have subsided.  I don’t know why I was putting pressure on myself.  Writing doesn’t need to be fast, it needs to be good.  I’ve found that if I go too slow, I can lose the overall tone of the book.  If I go too fast, though, I can get ahead of what I’ve plotted.  Then things can take a disastrous turn.  For my last several books, I’ve written at a breakneck pace and have felt the stress associated with that.  I think that I’d come to equate writing with stress and that was what happened yesterday.  It’s not necessary.  I just need to remember that.

Yeah, like I have that kind of control.  Ha!

Chapter One

I got a good start on Chapter One today with 3250 words.  I try to get about 5,000 words per chapter.  It was a boy meets girl scene, told from the hero’s point of view.  I want to add her reaction next.  I always add words when I edit, so that should put me pretty close to what I want to hit before moving to Chapter Two.

I don’t know why, but I’m feeling pressure to write that additional scene tonight.  Self-inflicted pressure, which is ridiculous.  I don’t have the scene fleshed out in my head yet, and things never turn out well when I try to wing it.  I also haven’t plotted out Chapter Two yet, so why the rush?  Writers are weird.  A part of me wants to hit that 5,000-word mark, but the other half wants them to be words I can keep.  If I know the scene in my head, I’ll write it much faster.

Stupid brain. See, it’s starting already.  Want to know a secret? The writing process drives writers crazy.

New Project

I started working on a new project today.  I plan to do some binge writing over the next few days, so I thought I’d blog about it here.  I’ll share what I did, how much I wrote (or didn’t write), and when or why I got stuck.  I figure this will keep me accountable and maybe somebody out there would find it interesting.  Mainly, it’s to hold myself accountable.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been pushing in my head for inspiration, which never works.  I knew who my heroine was, but the story I’d originally envisioned for her just wasn’t working.  Then I had the idea for a different type of hero. I liked him a lot, but there wasn’t enough there for a story.  It’s strange, but a romance is never just the love story.  That would be so boring.  There’s got to be some sort of drama or  action going on, too, to move things along.  Since I write erotic romance, it also had to be sexy.  That’s the part I was missing until the other day.  I don’t even know how it came to me, but I remember going into a room to get something. Instead, I stopped because an idea had hit me — and it was the missing piece that brought the story together.  I finally had the sexy conflict I needed to keep the plot moving with my two characters.  (I never did remember why I went into that room.)

Scenes then came to me.  That’s how my creative process works.  Unfortunately, they’re never in order.  So today was all about getting the big picture sorted out in my head. I ended up writing the synopsis.  A synopsis is a 2-5 page summary of the story that publishing houses require you to submit with the full manuscript.  It’s essentially the Cliffs Notes version of your story. Some authors wait until the very end to write these.  I’ve come to realize that it’s helpful for me to write them first.  Once I plot a story out, it doesn’t change much.  If it does, the synopsis can easily be updated.

Anyway, today I wrote a 1,214-word synopsis.  It helped me get some of those scenes in order.  It definitely helped me flesh out my characters, especially the hero.  He’s not the Alpha type I usually write, but I can tell he’s going to be a good one.  I hadn’t really pictured this story all the way through to its end, but I came up with an idea that would tie everything up pretty nicely.  And, no, that’s not a bondage joke.  Ha.  I’m happy with the progress I made today.  It’s not quite there, but the story is starting to come together.

Tomorrow, I plan to work on Chapter One.  Yay.  Here we go.

Flash Sale – Get LEXIE for only 99 cents

For a short time only, get LEXIE for just 99 cents!

LEXIE
Triple X, Book 1

Genre:  Contemporary romance

Desire is a double-edged dance.

Lexie Underhill works her tail off in hopes of winning her adoptive father’s approval. It’s never enough. The stinging proof? He’s brought in a reorganization expert. As if the prospect of losing her job in the family business isn’t enough, Cameron Rowe’s sexy, intimidating presence makes her palms sweat.

When Lexie’s face appears on a scandalous freeway billboard, her protestations of innocence go unheard. With orders to save the family name—or else—she marches into the bar the billboard was advertising and comes face-to-face with an identical twin sister. Roxie is wild and free, everything Lexie isn’t. Before the night is out, she welcomes the chance to explore her own sensuality.

As she dances wantonly on the bar, suddenly Cam is there, kissing her as if he has the right. The sizzle between them breaks out in four-alarm desire, but Lexie has recalibrated her life plan. And the equation doesn’t factor in Cam—until she’s sure where his loyalties lie. With her…or her father’s company.

Download ebook    Kindle NookiBook KoboGoogle Play

Spring Cleaning

I’ve been busy with spring cleaning, which is always a chore. Still, it’s nice to brush the dust off things and see reminders of the past.  One of the items on my chore list has been going through my book collection.  As you can imagine, I have drawers filled with books.  Shelves are stacked high with paperbacks. I have boxes of books, waiting to be read.  I’m trying to weed through these and find a better organization system.  I’ve received a lot of books at conferences, and then there are always the stacks of books I get to judge for the RITA contest every year. Those books are fun to investigate, but they aren’t the ones with which I have a connection.

I have books that I will keep forever, no matter what fantastic technology comes along.  I have the old Linda Howard Silhouette books.  (Yes, all of them.) I have a lot of Sandra Brown’s early works.  I found an Anne Stuart thriller that I remember reading on vacation. My friend asked to read it, and I warned her it was dark, but she gobbled it up, too. There’s the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, all in paperback (except the last two, which I bought in ebook form because I couldn’t wait for the paperbacks.  Who started that stupid trend?)  I have Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series (same for that one.)  Dare I go on?

The point is, it’s very hard for me as a reader to try to downsize.  I get pulled into back cover blurbs. I hold onto unread books, because I might have liked something the author wrote before. I want to keep weak books by my favorite authors, just because.  Do you see my problem?

How have you handled the switch to digital?  Or have you even tried?  I’m looking for pointers to try to get me through this project, or I’m going to end up with even more books than I started with!  🙂

White Screen of Death

I checked on my website this week and, to my dismay, discovered nothing but a white screen.  What happened? Had I been hacked? Had I not paid some bill? Had I done something wrong with the administration?  In the end, I found out it was none of those things.  A plug-in provider had made an update that had taken down thousands of websites.  🙁

A plug-in is something that’s supposed to enhance a website. It’s supposed to help.  It’s definitely not supposed to wipe out a website entirely, because someone didn’t do proper testing before releasing it out into the wild.  To say I’m miffed is putting it mildly, because this is the second time it’s happened in the past six months. Different providers, but same white screen of death.

Fortunately, I’m back up and running. No content was lost.  Still, with “friends” like this, who needs enemies?

Losing Time

Where did February go?  It’s March Madness time already?  Once again, I have lost time. When I’m writing, especially when I’m trying to finish something, I seem to go into a deep dark cave.  Recently I was finishing up a new manuscript so I could submit it to a publisher.  Then Samhain returned my titles.  Unfortunately, they closed their doors as of March 1, so my focus then turned to getting those books back out into the marketplace.  I think I’ve got Lexie and Maxie back out there for sale now.  Yet once again, February has disappeared without me seeing it.  I’m only now emerging from the cave.

Does this happen to you when you get immersed into a project?  Or am I entering some weird time warp?

High School Reunion Release Day!

High School Reunion

Genre: Contemporary, humorous erotica
Release: Jan. 25, 2017

Tara Hanson is having a crisis – a common crisis for a twenty-eight year old woman, but a crisis nonetheless. Her problem? Her ten-year high school reunion is approaching fast, and she’s not ready. It’s shallow, she knows, but she wants to set her old classmates on their ears. She’s got a good job, but she needs the whole package if she’s going to succeed. That would, of course, include an awesome car, a killer body, and a mouthwatering hunk on her arm. An eventful visit to the gym shows her that she may be able to get two birds with one stone. Personal trainer Jake Logan is a spine-tingling, knee-weakening, hunk of burning love. She just has to find a way to convince him to be on her arm when the boasting at the reunion begins!

High School Reunion excerpt

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Contest Winner and Poll Results

Congratulations to Raeline, who won the Dreamer Starlight Clock giveaway from my winter newsletter contest.  Want to have a chance to win next time?  Join my newsletter group.

Thanks for voting on what cover you liked best for my upcoming release, High School Reunion. The majority of you liked Cover B!

Finally, here’s how you responded to the poll question:  What do you think of free reads?

I only download free books.   5%
They’re a nice way to keep up with a series between larger books.  9%
If they’re free, they must not be any good.  0%
They’re a nice way to try out a new author.   86%