Misfortune Cookie – SOLD!

After a whirlwind week: younger son’s graduation, younger son obtaining his driver’s license, life is finally almost back to normal.

I’m happy to report some very good news – Misfortune Cookie is sold!! Soul Mate Publishing will be releasing it sometime in early 2014.

I’m also discussing the title of the book (and how it’s not so unique anymore) over at the 7 Scribes – How Many Misfortunate Cookies Can There Be?. Stop by and leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.

Meat, Potatoes, and a Whole Lotta Bacon! #paranormal

First off, a HUGE thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy of Mystic Ink on 6/4 and 6/5. I’m happy to say it made it to the #1 spot on the free Kindle, fantasy romance list (and #4 in paranormal romance).

Don’t fret if you missed out. My publisher has dropped the price of Mystic Ink to $2.99.

In other news, my Soul Mate sister Meggan Connors’ book Jessie’s War is free on Amazon for the next few days. Don’t miss a chance to read a fun Steampunk Civil War romance!

Also, today at the 7 Scribes, I continue my series on plotting – The Meat and Potatoes by Casey Wyatt.

As promised, the bacon!

Rejections and a Cover Reveal

Rejection. We’ve all been there. But how you deal with it is important – Wallowing and Other Coping Mechanisms. I’d love to hear your take on the subject.

And I’ve received the second round of edits for Mystic Storm. Like the cover?? Another fabulous design by Rae Monet.

Blazing a Trail by Frankie Roberston

I have a wonderful guest over at the 7 Scribes today. Frankie Roberston is discussing her new book – Blazing a Trail by Frankie Roberston. If you want to learn more about self-publishing or if you are weighing the pros/cons, then you’ll want to check out what Frankie has to say.

Have a great weekend!

I Must be Crazy!

Happy Friday! Please remember to visit me over at the Scribes for Cal’s Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies. Yes, you did read that right. I did use double, chocolate, and cherry all in the same sentence.

It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that I started this blog (in April 2011). And last May, I was preparing to pitch to editors (see here). Well, CT Fiction Fest is back (tomorrow!!) and I will be pitching again. Only this year, I’ve decided to throw an agent or two into the mix.

Now that I’ve sold two books, I’d like to expand my horizons or maybe it’s more accurate to say broaden my reach. I’ve realized that in order to keep motivated, I need to update my goals. For so long, the goal was – sell a book!

Mission accomplished. Now it’s time to dream bigger which includes writing more stories. And believe me, I’ve got loads of them locked in my head, scribbled in notebooks, and even all over Post-It notes. Coming up with ideas is not a problem. Executing those ideas, while promoting Mystic Ink and preparing The Undead Space Initiative for release all while maintaining a full time job/life, is not so easy.

But, hey, I’m not complaining. No one is standing over me with a gun making me write. I could walk away at any time. Of course, I wouldn’t be happy with myself. I already know because I’ve walked away from writing before and it drove me nuts.

Don’t let life drive you cuckoo!

Since stopping isn’t an option, eventually something will have to give. At the moment, I’m focused on Mystic Storm and a totally different novel. That’s means not so much time spent on social media or other activities. The only way I can create time for writing is to take it from something else. That’s just how it is.

Buried deep in my mind is the fantasy that some day I can quit my day job. There is 8-9 hours, right there, plumb for writing. If I need to  acquire an agent to do that – I’ll consider it. If I need to stick to e-pubs for a while – yup, that works. If I need to Indie publish – that’s a viable option too.

So back to pitching, this year, the focus is on –  where can I go next? And what can I accomplish with the time I have?

To a non-writer I know this seems like crazy talk! But in reality, you have to really love what you’re doing to keep going. Selling a few books was exciting, but by no means the end of the story. Like anything writing is a journey, not a destination.

How about you? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you willing to give up to get there?

Knowing When to Say No More!

Happy Friday everyone. Please be sure to visit me over at the Scribes today where I explain why – I’m an Incubator.

I don’t have much to say today. My mind is otherwise occupied with Mystic Storm (check out my post yesterday – Lucky Seven for quick glimpse). But working on a sequel has me thinking about when an author decides to end a series. Or at least move onto something else with the promise of another book in that universe down the road.

I’ll admit it, writing another book in the same world as Mystic Ink is not easy for me. It’s not because I don’t love the setting or the characters, but a tiny voice in my head knows that after Zephyr’s and Devlin’s book, I don’t see any more in the future.  That doesn’t mean there never will be anymore, it just means I have other stories to tell.

I might be better suited to writing standalone books (like Kristan Higgins), but in the paranormal romance universe that usually doesn’t happen. I can tick off a list of authors whose books are in the teens now or close to it. Some of them, I have long since stopped reading. They all started to sound the same after a while or the characters never seem to move on (or if they do it’s in a negative direction.)

One author I totally admire (and she was the impetus for this post) is Gail Carriger. Her latest release – Timeless –  is book 5 in her Parasol Protectorate series. It is also the last book.

As a fan, I should be crying.

But I’m not.

The books have all been fabulous adventures. Yet, I’m relieved that she stopped the series at a high point. (I’m not going to review her book. Instead, I invite you to visit Penelope’s Romance Reviews for her take.)

In my opinion, too many series have run into the ground with characters or plots that should have given it a rest a long time ago. I’m not going to pick on specific authors or series, but I’m sure everyone has at least one or two they can think of that fit this description.

Gail has another series coming out (The Finishing School Series) and I’m looking forward to it. I admire that she is working on something else and is not being “typecast” into one kind of book. I don’t know the reasons behind the decision (that it was hers or the publisher’s), but I applaud it.

Thank you, Gail! (and if its not too much to ask – I hope someday we get to see more of Lord Akeldama!)

What say you? Do you like never-ending series by your favorite author? Or would you rather they wrapped it up?

One Lucky Evening

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to stop by the Scribes. My guest today is USA Today bestselling author – Terry Spear!

A few announcements:

  • The winner of the Paranormal Freebies Giveaway is: Renee BennettThe winner of the The Romance Review’s Week 2 Q&A is crazycatlady. Congratulations you both won an e-book copy of Mystic Ink. I have e-mailed you the details.
  • Also, on March 20th, I’ll be having my first ever author chat over at The Romance Reviews. I hope you can stop by. But don’t worry, I’ll remind you again!
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This week, my fellow Scribe PJ Sharon released her third book – Savage Cinderella. I highly recommend it to all of you. I know, because this is the story that brought PJ, me and the Scribes together.

See, it happened like this.

J Monkeys, Susannah Hardy, and I were all part of a writer’s group at our local library. One June evening, PJ arrived looking for critique partners. After the meeting, Suze and I stayed behind to talk with PJ. After that we all became critique partners. PJ’s book was Savage Cinderella, mine was Ascension and Suze’s was Bonaparte Bay (click here for a short story from this wonderful universe).

PJ also enlightened us with the words RWA (Romance Writers of America). She is personally responsible for recruiting me, Suze, and J to CTRWA.  J met Jamie Pope (since they joined the same month) and PJ introduced us to Katy Lee.

Last year, J birthed the idea for a group blog and the 7 Scribes were born.  And, personally, I crossed the line between wannabe writer over to professional.

It has almost been a year since the Scribes started and two years since I met PJ, Suze, and J. I am so happy to have made such great friends and to know such wonderful writers.

So to PJ – Congratulations on your new release! I’m sure glad you decided to come to our writer’s meeting that June! I can’t imagine life without knowing you, Suze, J, Katy, and Jamie.

Spill it – tell me about your friends and the people who are traveling with you along the journey of life!

Tell Me a Good Story

Happy Friday everyone! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today –  Lasting Impression.

I recently began writing MYSTIC STORM, Zephyr’s story, and it got me thinking about storytelling and two television programs – Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.

What does a British period piece and a post apocalyptic survival story have in common?

On the surface they seem to have zero in common. But in reality they have many similarities. They are both about a group of people trying to cope with social change brought on by a world cataclysm (World War I, The Spanish Flu, a zombie outbreak). They both feature a compelling cast of characters that are easy to root for (or in the case of Thomas and Mrs. O’Brien – despise!). And both programs are stellar examples of great storytelling. The kind that sucks you and doesn’t let you go. (Even if I do rush out of the room when zombies appear during The Walking Dead).

As a writer, these are the comments you want to hear from readers:

“I couldn’t put your book down!”

“The story pulled me in.”

“You kept me up all night.”

“I can’t wait for your next book.”

Music to a writer’s ears. Praise of the highest order.

As a reader I want to read (or watch) a great story. I’m not impressed by flowery prose, laundry list descriptions of a character’s outfit or paragraphs describing a room’s furnishings. In my mind, writing and storytelling are two different things.

A storyteller takes you on a journey, weaves a tale, and connects you to the characters. Writing is the vehicle that brings the story to life, but should be more the like the soundtrack (in the background creating a mood, not bowling you over with bombast).

So tell me, what’s your preference? Do you get caught up in the words themselves? Or do you go for pacing and action? Or maybe a combination of both?

Welcome to Mystic….

mysticink_72dpi

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes – Tattoo You.

Well, it’s finally happened.

I’m officially a published author!

MYSTIC INK is on sale now from Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Paper copies should be coming in late 2012. I appreciate all the help, encouragement, and support from everyone. Please drop me a line and let me know if you enjoyed the book!

Today, I thought I’d take you on a tour of the book’s setting, real world Mystic, CT.  Mystic is not an official town, but rather a historic district sandwiched between Groton and Stonington. Even though Mystic doesn’t exist as a political entity, it’s a real, vibrant community.

Lovely historic Main Street

Mystic’s two main tourist attractions are Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium (where an important scene takes place in the book).

Throughout the novel, many of the places in the book are real: Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shop, Elm Grove Cemetery, S & P Oyster House, and the famous Mystic drawbridge.

The Mystic River Bridge

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. Nix and Cal get help here from an unlikely source.

The Ice Cream – Fabulous!

Some places are based on a real buildings that I modified for my own purposes. Fawn’s Pawn’s, Devlin Ward’s pawn shop, is modeled after an old factory site that is really a restaurant complex. Toro’s Pizza is my take on the famous Mystic Pizza.

Be on the look-out for Satyrs

The building that inspired Nix’s tattoo shop, Mystic Ink.

Tattoo anyone?

In reality, if you visit Mystic, you’ll find out that there is no tattoo shop in this building.

Anyone recognize this owl? He’s not in MYSTIC INK but he was in a storefront window in a shop called Whyevernot.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and the pictures. And, if you are ever in the area, be sure to visit Mystic, CT!

What books have you enjoyed based on the location? And do enjoy books where the location is as much a part of the story as the characters?