What's on my Kindle – Dec 1

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33020811I’m excited to share a new release by a debut author today. Prairie Heat is the first book in Cowboys of the Flint Hills series, written by Tessa Layne. I just finished the first chapter and I just have to say its a very sexy, sultry introduction to what I know will be a great book.

Blurb:

Will an Alpha cowboy find true love on the range in this sexy, small town western?

A captivating contemporary western romance series that will appeal to fans of Vivian Arend’s Six Pack Ranch, Cora Seton’s Chance Creek, and Maisey Yates’ Copper Ridge.

The Rancher’s Son
Cowboy Blake Sinclaire is determined not to repeat the sins of his father. That means choosing to love no one and save the settling down for his younger brothers. But one woman has thrown a wrench in those plans – Maddie Hansen, the sexy scientist who also happens to be the daughter of his family’s greatest enemy.

The Woman He Shouldn’t Want
Physicist Maddie Hansen vows she’ll never come back to the small town where she grew up – Prairie, Kansas. She’d rather stay in a dead-end job than stay trapped in a loveless marriage as a rancher’s wife. But she can’t stay away from Blake, especially after he saved her father’s life.

Will their love take them supernova, or collapse into a black hole?
Maddie’s father owns land that used to belong to the Sinclaires, and Blake will do anything to get it back – including talking Maddie into a fake engagement. But Blake’s got secrets. Big secrets. And when they come to light, will their love withstand the shockwaves?

Pick up your copy of Prairie Heat!

Kindle • KoboiBooks

 

It's LIVE! My debut novella

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dreams-come-true-3d Dreams Come True in Laguna is live! My debut novella is a Kindle Worlds novella written in Kaira Rouda’s Laguna Beach Kindle World

I’d like to introduce you to Jake and Erin!!

Jake Cooper has built homes for families in Laguna Beach for years, watching others make their dreams come true. Now it’s his turn to settle down, or so he thought. When his long-time girlfriend breaks up with him, he’s left with the perfect family home, just without the family.

Erin Johnson grew up with very few possessions, the glamorous lives of her high school classmates out of reach. Right as she prepared to start her life, a family tragedy forces her to derail her plans. Ten years later, with her college diploma in hand, Erin’s ready for adventure and freedom from responsibility.

When she meets Jake, she questions everything she thought she wanted.

Is it possible to build new dreams when the right person comes along?

Dreams Come True in Laguna is available exclusively on Amazon. Only $1.99! Click this link to purchase your copy! –> http://smarturl.it/DreamsComeTrue_LBKW

 

What's on my Kindle

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I read a lot. I find it helps me get my creative juices flowing. If I have trouble finding words, I’ll read someone else’s until I can find my own.

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chriskeniston-brooks-800_3_origRight now I’m reading Brooks (Farraday Country Book 2). This book by Chris Keniston is, as the name implies, the second book in the series. The author took an inventive release approach – she released the first three books in the series on the SAME day.

And then she set the first book – Adam – free.

 

Of course, I one clicked the first book. And I read it.

And at the end of the first book, she teased the second one. And guess what I did, I one clicked book 2.

The entire series is a play on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, but with an American Western twist. The Farraday family lives in a small town in west Texas where trouble seems to find them, even when they aren’t looking. The men in this series are swoon worthy and make your heart go pitter-pat. Adam is a veterinarian and Brooks is a doctor. There are ranchers and sheriffs and soldiers… all swoon-worth heroes.

But enough about that for now. Because while I’m typing this, Brooks is waiting impatiently for me to return to his story. So that’s what I’m going to do.

But check out Adam – it’s FREE right now, so there’s zero risk. But if you enjoy the romance, the gentlemen heroes who know how to treat their women with a touch of intrigue, I bet you’ll find yourself one-clicking the next book in the series like I did.

Long overdue update

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I apologize to the *two* readers who probably read this blog for not updating in a timely fashion. Summer has been filled with driving kids to activities and heads-down writing. The kids head back to school next week and for the first time in 12 years, I’ll have alone time in the house with the remaining two kids that are at home both in public school.

Fool For Love Winner LogoOne Last Risk received some good news in June and again in July.

On June 11, I attended an awards luncheon with the Virginia Romance Writers where One Last Risk won 1st place in the Short Contemporary category!!

 

 

 

Finalist CST unpubIn July, One Last Risk was announced as a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category of the Unpublished Maggies contest hosted by the Georgia Romance Writers chapter. I’m excited its being so well-received and even more excited because I will be attending the Moonlight and Magnolias conference at the end of September where the winners will be announced.

 

 

I have been heads down working on One Last Dance, book 2 in the Oak Grove series, while I submit One Last Risk to some publishers for consideration. I will make a decision in the 4th quarter whether I decide to continue looking for a publisher or choose to self-publish the book myself. Stay tuned here!

Finalist! Fool for Love contest!

FFL_Finalist Logo

I’m so excited to announce that One Last Risk has been selected as a finalist in the Fool for Love contest, hosted by the Virginia Romance Writers chapter of RWA. As my first book, I’m thrilled that the judges enjoyed what they read, and the feedback was constructive and helpful. I’m also thankful to all of the authors that read pieces or all of my book and gave me fantastic feedback.

Good luck to all the finalists during the final judging!

In search of a better book…

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That’s what revising is all about. Writing a better book. Often first drafts are about getting the thoughts out of your head and onto paper, in whatever form they are. Second drafts sometimes change the storyline, mix things up and move them around, and subsequent drafts are about refining the words on the paper until they practically leap off the page.

That’s where I am now.

I just finished a pretty major-ish update to my manuscript. I have some smallish changes to make to make based on input from several different critique partners and then it’s off to the editor.

But that’s not the end. That’s just the beginning of a new phase. I’ll be jumping into plotting for book 2 while book 1 gets made better by my editor.

I’ll have a targeted release date once I get the first draft of Book 2 written – that’s when I’ll have an idea of when it’ll be ready to go – my hope is to publish the books approximately 3 months apart.

Major Revision

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As I said before, The End isn’t often the end. As so is the case with my first book.

I had an author I met online read my draft manuscript and give me feedback. It was great feedback, just hard to hear. She gave me some great tips to enhance my craft and make my words stronger.

But the biggest thing she told me was that the story struggled with hero ARC and a couple of other things. That gets to the heart of the story and is harder to hear, and harder to adjust.

But I have. I’m not done with my major revision but my story is already stronger. Of course, the daughter of the heroine is 4 years older now, and they just moved to town instead of six months ago, but these are the types of things that are allowing me to build up the tension between the hero and heroine quicker and stronger. Things that will make this a better story.

It goes to the editor in two weeks. I can’t wait to share it with you!

"The End", but not quite

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Last week I typed the words “The End” at the end of my first manuscript. About 75,000 words after I began. But “The End” is rarely, and it shouldn’t be, the end at that point.

That was just the first draft.

I have no idea if my final book will look much like my manuscript when I’m done with it and my editor is done with it. I’ve had a BETA reader read segments of it and give feedback, and I have a subject matter expert reading a few sections, just to ensure it’s technically accurate.

I am getting ready to sit down and do the first full read through since I started. I’ve read large sections of it, and I spent much of last week doing keyword searches for overused words, so I’ve been looking over segments many times.

I know I have some holes. I know I have some things I want to change. But, I’m pretty excited to send it off to my editor in about a week and see what she has to say. I’m bracing myself for a file full of red, but I look forward to learning so much from her first edit and strive to have a better first draft each time.

Equally exciting, I started a new manuscript this weekend. This one is not in the same series, and it’s a bit of a secret right now, but I’m excited to be working on my second manuscript as well – this one will be a novella around 25,000. And for those who know me, brevity is not my strong suit, so this will be a challenge!

Author-in-training

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I decided about this time last year that I wanted to start working from home. Not a lot, just to make a little extra money.

I thought for a while I’d look into being a bookkeeper. I even took a course. God bless my sister, who is an accountant, but it’s just not for me.

Then I decided I wanted to be a virtual assistant. I used to be a mid-level executive, being an assistant couldn’t be that hard. But finding clients is.

I stumbled into my first couple of clients. Because of a new years resolution. My resolution last year was to write more book reviews for the books I read.

That led to starting a blog (because one author I liked said she would give away review copies if you had a blog, so why not). If you want to read my reviews, click over here: http://allromancereader.blogspot.com

That led to my writing more reviews, and joining blog tours, and emailing other authors when I reviewed one of their books, asking if I could get the next one to review in advance.

Eventually, I met some authors that needed additional support. So I started providing PA support for them. And editing support for them (I’ve always been a pretty daggone good editor, but in the past it was mostly technical writing). And promotional support for them.

All the while, this story was swirling around in my head. Asking to be put down on paper. I finally decided in November to start putting the words on paper. For about six weeks, I dabbled at it, told a few people I was starting to write a book, and kind of left it at that.

But I finally decided that if I really wanted to write this book, then I needed to get serious about it. This is a JOB and I need to treat it like a job.

So, I booked an editor, started building a web site, rebranded my internet presence, started to get my first cover designed and set some schedules to get this book written.

And just like every job, I am now an author in training. Because getting a story out of your head and onto paper is such a little bit about what it means to be an author. Not having an English background, some of the tools and constructs of a writer are a bit foreign to me. So, in addition to writing, I’ve been researching… and researching … and researching.

And to take a page from the Classical Education model that I use for my daughter, I am now at the grammar stage (i.e. learning the basic vocabulary and tools of your subject) of my writing career – and the information is overwhelming. There is so much out there to learn, and I’m not even talking about the marketing aspect of publishing a book.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is that other authors are generous creatures. They don’t, for the most part, appear to feel threatened by a potential new author on the horizon. They share their tools, their knowledge, their insights, and their struggles freely and graciously.

Thank God! Because I need it!