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!

Write with Feeling!

Today, I ponder the difference between good writing and talented writing. Plus my thoughts on what happens when an author loses their joy – Once More, with Feeling by Casey Wyatt. Stop by the 7 Scribes and share your views!!

And just a reminder – MYSTIC STORM is coming next week!

Here are My Good Reads!

Today I’m switching gears and I’m sharing my post over at the 7 Scribes on my page today. I know, totally lazy!

After I finish a manuscript and send it on its merry way, I go on a reading binge. After finishing Mystic Storm, I’ve become a story glutton. If you’re my friend on Goodreads, it looks like I’ve gone crazy.

And I guess I have! I won’t bore you with all the books I’ve recently completed but I will share a few that really grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let me go until I hit the end.

1. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – this book was a Kindle daily deal. I tried a sample and within about 8 seconds I was buying it. I am not sure what age group this is really aimed for (Scholastic published it) but it has that same wide audience appeal that Harry Potter had. This book is fabulous and it’s awesome that the sequel is coming out today (March 1st). Yahoo! Seriously if you read any book on my list, read this one.

2. One Good Earl Deserves A Lover by Sarah MacLean – Here I forayed into the realm of historical romance. Omigosh, I love this author’s writing. Immediately after finishing this book I realized that this was book 2 so I bought (and read) – A Rogue by Any Other Name. Both books – Fun and fantastico! I plan on reading more of her books for sure.

Let me break here and say, notice none so far have been paranormal romance or urban fantasy. But I can’t stray too far from the genre I know and love which brings me to . . .

3. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley. Also purchased as a Kindle daily deal. Thank you Amazon because I may have never found this book. It’s really a fairy tale of sorts. Gritty, lyrical, and poignant. If you like Once Upon a Time or fairy tales in general, you’ll probably enjoy this book.

Okay, last one.

4. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey – by the Countess Carnovan. This one’s for you Downtown fans. All about Highclere Castle and Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnovan. For King Tut aficionados – her husband, the fifth earl, is the very same Carnovan who financed Howard Carter’s excavation of the boy king’s tomb. I read this on my Kindle and drank up every fascinating detail.

I could go on and on. But I won’t! Now it’s your turn.

So everyone, what good books have you read lately? Please share!!

Stories that Stick

Please join me at the Scribes today as I share – Stories that Stick.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

When Good Cookies Go Bad

Finally, I’m ready to share the scoop on my latest book. But first, a bit of back story. Radiance was the very book I ever attempted to write way back in 1997. Being a brand spanking new writer, I had no idea what I was doing. I spent years and years writing scenes with no rhyme or reason.

Eventually, I set it aside out of sheer frustration and moved onto other stories. Because Radiance was the first one, it’s always bothered me that I never finished the story.

I know, I know. There’s a reason those first books stay in a box under the bed. But I couldn’t let her go.

Last year I began the process of re-imagining the book. I chucked out virtually the entire plot and went back to my heroine and what I loved best about her. I titled the new version, Devil’s Advocate and got to work plotting. And promptly became snarled in a tangled mess.

My first thought was – I will never get this story right. I took a break and started plotting Zephyr’s book and dealing with Galen’s mess.

Then in 2012, after a mental head slap, I realized that the story was too big. I needed to step back and break it down. So Devil’s Advocate became book 2 in a three book series.

Mind freed, I spent April plotting book 1. In May, I began writing. It was slow going at first, then my friend Susannah Hardy issued one of her famous writing challenges, this time in the form of writing sprints. By June, I was on fire banging out 2,000 – 3,000 words a day. I finished the last week in June and the first draft has been cleaned up, ready to send to my valued first readers.

So, I present to you Misfortune Cookie!

Most of the time a family’s secrets should remain just that – secret. Reformed party girl and retired socialite Radiance Ashworth is happy to remain in obscurity, enjoying her idyllic life away from her greedy, backstabbing family. That peace is shattered when she inherits the Ashworth fortune and a nasty supernatural legacy. Now, Radiance is expected to chase escaped souls and return them to the Hereafter. Refusal is not an option and she vows to play along until she can find a way to break the family curse.

She doesn’t have to navigate the supernatural world alone. Luca, sexy, confident, and so damn tempting, is happy to guide her – if she’d only accept his help.  She quickly learns how much she needs his assistance just to stay alive, when a Jiang Shi – a vengeful
Chinese spirit – starts systematically murdering the city’s elite businessmen. While the Jiang Shi proves to be a formidable opponent, Radiance finds the growing attraction between her and Luca to be even scarier. She’s determined to be free of him and the curse. Luca has other ideas and won’t stop until he’s captured her body and soul.

Thanks for your patience!

Also, I’m over at the Scribes today where I answer the question – What’s Love Got to do With it.

Come Chat with Me!

Today is my first ever author chat over at The Romance Reviews First Anniversary Party!

Please stop by and say hello! I’d love to meet some new people and see some familiar faces (well, virtual ones – you know what I mean!).

In order to chat, you need to be a registered user of the site. It’s free and easy to join!

Click on the link here or the banner below:

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?

Ever Been Rejected and Accepted in the Same Day?

Happy Friday everyone! Please be sure to visit the Scribes today. I have posted my recipe – Wyatt’s Whoopie Pies.

And if you still haven’t entered the Soul Mate Author’s December contest, what are you waiting for? The prize is a brand new Kindle! You can enter once per day!

As most of you know, I have two other completed novels, besides Mystic Ink:  Ascension and The Undead Space Initiative. I have been actively seeking publication for both books. And both were out to editors. Key word in that last sentence – were.

Now, I never thought in a million years that I would receive a rejection and an acceptance all in the same day.

The rejection – Ascension – which boiled down to scheduling, was disappointing. But, I was expecting it. (I always expect a no, but that’s how I protect myself from being crushed by rejection!). The editor was kind and encouraging.  I will try submitting that book elsewhere in the coming months.

Later, that same day, I received an offer for the book I wrote in a month as part of the Scribes double dog dare back in July.

Yeah – The Undead Space Initiative which I never, ever, thought would sell, that book received an offer!

I was so shocked, I asked my husband to read the e-mail to me. He looked at me like I was nuts, but obliged. After all, I had just been rejected, how is it possible that on the same day, I got an offer to buy USI?

I’m not complaining,  but merely pointing out the strange way the world works. I’m thrilled! Ecstatic to have made another sale!

You may have noticed, I haven’t named names. I won’t yet. Not until everything is finalized.

I only mention the offer now, because two weeks ago, I promised on the Scribes page to mention good news faster.

And a promise is a promise!!

Once it’s a done deal, I will share the details.

And now, I really have to start my next book! Evil plotting – here I come!

Ever have good news, but been afraid to divulge it right away? If you have any good news or any news, feel free to share it!