Friday, December 27, 2013

What's next...

With Only One complete and out there for the world to judge, what's next on the horizon? It's that time of year, so let's get to the goals/plans. I like putting them out there - it holds me accountable.

One of the things I had to do for my marketing class this fall was create an action items list for the first year. I went a step further and looked at the first two years. It made me think about my writing goals, my publishing goals AND my marketing plans. I won't throw it all out here right now, but I have some upcoming goals I wanted to share.

First of all, Book #3 of the Ward Sisters Series is nearly done its first draft. My plan is to publish that on St. Patrick's Day. There are a few reasons for that - for one, lead male, Neil Murphy, is Irish. For another, that's just after the Oscars telecast and I'm planning a pre-publication promotion/giveaway to coincide with the Oscars. Anyone who has read Back to December and/or Only One will know that the Oscars play a little role in the series, at least this part of it. Oscar night is a big night for several people and my giveaway will capitalize on that. The winner of the giveaway will receive, among other things, a copy of book #3, Right Here Waiting. Lastly, St. Patrick's Day is about 4 months after the publication of Only One, and I'm aiming for about 4 months between book publications. I think it's a reasonable goal; we were about 4 months between books 1 and 2.

Further ahead, I'm anticipating that the next book will be published around the end of June, to celebrate my 40th birthday. Right now, I'm expecting Reggie and Eddie's story to be book #3.5, but if, as I complete the first draft on that or on This Year's Love it looks better as book #4.5, then so be it. In which case, Josh and Annie's story, This Year's Love, will be published at the end of June, with Buying the Cow (Reggie and Eddie) coming in the fall.

I have a second series in the works. Book 1 of that series, The Piece I Don't Need, is planned for November 2014. The series will be called Warwick, Maine, and is set in a fictional town. It has a stronger social bent and I'm hoping will be well-received. I'll start promoting that this summer.

So, those are some of the upcoming things from me. I also have a Pinterest board and a Google+ profile that will be launched in January. And you'll see more contests/giveaways as the year progresses. I'm happy you're taking this journey with me!

Only One is Officially DONE!

That's right. If you didn't already know, Only One was officially published to Kindle last Saturday. It was uploaded to Nook just after that and is now finally available on Kindle, Nook and on Amazon for print. I also uploaded Back to December to Nook. I have no idea if people are really purchasing it there yet, but for all my Nook-owning fans, it's available. And for a few more days, at least, both books are on sale. Back to December is $0.99 and Only One is $1.99 until January 1st. I'm waiting on word about an upcoming contest for which my books are part of a prize package, so once I hear the details, I'll post in the various spots.


Amazon: Back to December (Kindle and print)
                 Only One (Kindle and print)

Nook: Back to December
            Only One

Friday, December 13, 2013

As promised, an Only One teaser...or three

Did I say I'd post some Only One teasers? I did? Oh, right. Well, between editing Only One, editing Laurie's next book (Redemption Road, Book 4 in the Jackson Falls Series), living life and trying to finish my marketing class, it has been a bit hectic. You know, that Christmas thing. We bought a new home entertainment system for ourselves for Christmas (tired of sharing the TV with two small people). It's already set up in our living room. Which meant that last week, we moved the old one down to the family room. And then today, I had to organize in my office/storage space so that we can use the desks in there for gift wrapping. Which was great, given that it needed doing. Especially since I'm hosting book club this coming week, when they will be discussing *gulp* my book, Back to December! Not nervous. Nope. Not at all. Really. Okay, I'm lying. But I'll post the discussion questions in the next day or so.

Anyway, with all that stuff, I hadn't had a chance to post an Only One teaser that I knew had been fully vetted by my kick-ass editor. So, without further ado, here's the first one....

Jenna met his eyes, but it was too intense, what she saw there. She was too afraid. The look he gave her, it inspired hope, and she couldn't have that. This was temporary. She tried to look away, to close her eyes, but he wouldn't let her.
Don't. I want to see you. I want to watch you come apart for me so I can think about that every night.”
Jenna whimpered as he slowly drove her insane again. He was so good at this, had shown her heaven so many times. And his eyes, they said so much. They said the three little words that simultaneously terrified and elated her. But she did as he asked. She gave herself to him one more time, eyes open, and said a silent prayer to a God she didn't much believe in that the big L word might finally come her way when he returned in six months.

And here's the second....

She walked off the plane with trepidation. Her heart began to race in anticipation and she was trying not to have an anxiety attack. What if he didn't want her anymore? What if that electrical connection, that chemical explosion between them before, had been a fluke? What if the emotional intensity had fizzled? What if she'd imagined it all?

And the third...

Since when don't you hump anything that moves?” Mary Cate said, laughing hysterically.
Hey, I've never been that bad!” Liam grumbled.
Oh yeah? I recall a time about a year after you joined the Agency when you had a different girl every time I talked to you and half of them were nameless because you couldn't remember what they'd told you.”
Liam blushed. “Okay, for a little while I was that bad. I haven't done that in years! Not since before I started working at Deacon.”
No, you just fuck a handful of girls. Including the one you slept with tonight. You did sleep with her, right?”
Only his sister, and maybe Rob, could be so blunt with him and not royally piss him off. “Yes, I slept with her, but I didn't enjoy it.”
She laughed again. “You're a man. You enjoyed it.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

Only One Teaser

Here it is, a tiny excerpt from my upcoming novel, Only One, Book #2 in the Ward Sisters Series. Just a little one, because I'm waiting on some edits and I want the teaser posts to be finished work from here out. The official publication date for Only One has been set for December 21, 2013. For any of you who have read Back to December, you'll know why that date is significant to the series. And if you haven't read it yet, that book will be coming to Nook as soon as I get the file up to B&N specs. Maybe Tuesday. Tomorrow is Christmas tree decorating day and help a friend move day. Which means its not marketing homework day nor is it work on book stuff day. Enjoy the tidbit. More will come over the course of the next week or so!

The longer she looked at him, the sexier he got. Listening to him talk, hearing him joke with his family, just made the gorgeous outer package more appealing. At one point, their eyes met and the smile he gave her would have melted the clothes off a nun. Willingly. Damn.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Temptation Bay by Anna Sullivan - Book Review

I received a copy of Temptation Bay, by Anna Sullivan via NetGalley for an honest review. This is the first story in a series about a fictional island off the coast of Maine called Windfall Island. We open the book with the hero and heroine flying in a helicopter to the island. The pilot? Maggie Solomon, our heroine. That right there should tell you Maggie isn't going to be your typical romance heroine. Her passenger is Dexter Keegan, as supposed lawyer, but we learn later that he's a PI. The cloak and dagger surrounding his true profession relates to the reason he's going to the island, which is to solve the mystery of a suspected kidnapping. A baby was taken from her wealthy parents, presumably by the nanny, about 100 years ago. The trail leads to Windfall Island, a place full of mystery and a bunch of Mainers who are both suspicious of outsiders and hesitant to give away any information.

Dex wants to find any living descendants of this baby for his own reasons, in part to make a name for himself and in part because he likes the idea of changing people's lives by solving these kinds of cases. Life on this island is hard, and Dex can see straight away that the descendant of this baby would greatly benefit from creating financial ties with the wealthy Stanhope family. Problem is, someone doesn't want that person to be found. We're never given the why of that fact, just informed that it's the case. The mystery continues into the next book in the series, Hideaway Cove.

Maggie isn't technically an islander, since she wasn't born there. But she's a transplant with family ties - her mother was an islander and her mother's family still lives there. She's made a name for herself by building her own little airport and charter company from the ground up, and everyone loves and respects her. Well, almost everyone. It's evident from the get-go that Maggie is a no nonsense kind of girl. She grew up with a military father, a man who is now an Admiral in the Navy and is poised to join the Joint Chief's of Staff. He's not very happy with Maggie because she always refuses to play his games. Yes, she has some big daddy issues. As such, she's very, very protective of her adopted home and the friends who have become family (as well as the family she adores).

Maggie and Dex ruffle each other's feathers from the moment they meet. Between stepping on the other person's last nerve and the sexual attraction they keep trying to ignore, they're like an explosion waiting to happen. And then it does. They're forced to work together on Dex's case and sparks quickly ignite into an inferno. Thinking one time will get it out of their system, they go for it. Only to find that once is just not enough.

But it can't be straightforward, because what good story ever is? Maggie's life is on Windfall and she can't envision Dex wanting to stay. And Dex thinks that Maggie will never let herself fall for him because of her issues with her father, so he's trying not to be the stupid one who gets their heart broken. Their story gets resolved by the end, but Dex's case does not. That leads into Hideaway Cove, which will tell the story of Maggie's best friend, Jessi Randall and Holden Abbot, the genealogist Dex hired to help him solve the mystery. I could see the sparks between those two as soon as Hold showed his pretty, southern gentleman face at Solomon Charters.

Overall, an enjoyable read. I'm not typically attracted to mysteries, but this one was interesting and it helped support the romance enough that I could like it anyway. I wish I'd been able to prioritize it, but since this wasn't a paid review, well, it didn't get its due until later. But it was worth the read once I started, and I can't wait to read about Hold and Jessi and see if the mystery of Eugenia Stanhope is resolved in that story or if it continues. I'm hoping there will be more than just two books in the series, regardless. I think once you introduce one outsider to an island community, you make it possible for there to be others. If it was me, I'd bring along Alec, Dex's friend and the Stanhope family's lawyer, for the next book so that he can get his own story in the third one. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

One last note: for a woman who is from Michigan and who lives there, I think the author did a pretty decent job of portraying Maine. From someone who has lived here a majority of her life, that's a big compliment. I tend to dislike stories set in my state that make me feel like I'm not really here. Kudos, Anna Sullivan. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Lessons Learned

This blog post I shared on my Facebook page is a pretty accurate depiction of how I felt about writing when I first heard about NaNoWriMo. What it comes down to is this: writing is putting one foot in front of the other (or writing one word at a time). Good writing is a combination of talent and a whole lot of hard work.

Yeah, sure, sometimes the hard work pays and sometimes it doesn't, but the key is, without the work, the ideas are just figments in your head. No one can know if your ideas are any good until you write them. And you have to write for yourself first. If you don't want to read what you write, then who else will?

Last year, I did my own version of NaNoWriMo by writing a fanfiction. I've mentioned this in the past. This year, I'm officially participating in NaNo and while I kicked butt in the first 10 days, writing 34,003 words in that time on This Year's Love (Book #4 in the Ward Sisters Series), I have been neglecting it lately. Why? Well, I've had other writing projects that have taken precedence. But I'm writing, and that's what matters. I still anticipate finishing NaNo on time, and even if I don't, my book is part of a series and will most certainly be completed soon enough. Truthfully, I'm not sure if making the goal will actually finish my book anyway, but I can knock out 16k words before November 30th.

Regardless, in this past year, my writing has changed dramatically. The biggest lessons I've learned over the past year?

1) Write for yourself
2) Write every day, even if you think it's crap, even if your muse isn't speaking to you, even if the only thing you write is a blog post, an email or a plot outline.
3) Know you'll need to edit. Expect to murder your darling, and to maybe even reassemble the body parts into something you hadn't imagined, to make it worth reading. You are Frankenstein and your work is the monster. Make it pretty. It's going to be hard work.
4) Realize that criticism will happen. Always. There is not a writer out there whom every single person loves. Some people even hate writers who are revered by most, like Shakespeare.
5) Keep going. Whether it's one word at a time, one paragraph at a time, one chapter at a time, one novel at a time, one series at a time, KEEP GOING. You only get better when you write.

Writing has been the biggest blessing in my life outside my children and family. It fills my soul in a way that very little else does. Discovering that fact was such a gift. If you think you want to write, stop talking about it and just DO it. That's what NaNoWriMo is all about. You don't have to do it officially, you don't have to segregate yourself to the month of November. Honor the intent of the project and you'll reap its rewards. Trust me. I know from personal experience.

Writing, writing, and more writing...

It's been a while since I made a blog post, so I'll create a few today. For one, when I'm writing a Facebook post and it starts to look like a blog post, I realize I probably want to write on my blog. Also, I need to post a review of the other book I read via Netgalley so that they might give me more someday, LOL. And I had a draft post that I'd still like to publish, so that will happen, too. So, here we go...

Yet another gross weather day, which is fine. Nasty weather lends itself well to writing, especially in the coziness of my house with the woodstove running. And I have a lot of writing on my plate - #NaNoWriMo, on which I'm still behind; a marketing project (again); a marketing mid-term makeup (that I must kick butt on, since I got spanked on the exam itself); a project to polish for Pitch Wars; and edits for Only One. Yep, that's on top of the list of regular life stuff, plus I'm going to see Catching Fire tomorrow.

I finally finished the major changes to my latest draft of Only One. Did I say this on my blog or just on Facebook? I can't recall. Either way, I said that my muse smacked me around a bit and told me that I was going to make some plot changes for Only One, whether I liked it or not. I'd had a discussion with Laurie (for those of you who don't know, my mentor is author Laurie Breton) after my last draft review and she made a good point about where the story should end. Since I wanted it to end at a certain point, I had to make the rest of the story work toward that. And one major issue was making it...difficult to see why the story should continue after a certain point. So, I made a minor tweak to the plot. Nothing crazy, just changed the timing of an event.

Oh? Did I say nothing crazy? Okay, I lied. I mean, the plot change really wasn't crazy and it makes the story so much better. But once I did that, I had to make some big adjustments to the story to reflect it. Along the way, I came to a couple other realizations about character motivation and BLAM! The story was blown wide open. Questions I hadn't even considered before (but should have) needed to be answered, new scenes were written. On top of all that, I'd been restructuring the manuscript to reflect a more chronological approach, which allowed me to answer those questions and simultaneously enrich the story. More conflict, layers of the characters that were there but not shown well, these things appeared as I made the changes. Best of all? I didn't set out to give an explanation for something in Back to December, but I realized today that anyone who has read both stories will hopefully appreciate the information.

Now, I'm going back through to make sure my changes on Only One are consistent. I'm hoping to finish today. As you can see, I haven't been writing on NaNo, but I have been writing. I still have 8 days to finish my last 16k for NaNo, and for me, that isn't as big a challenge as it might be for others. I tend to write a lot. But I really wanted to get Only One out for a holiday release, and if I don't get the latest draft ready for review, then it won't be possible. Book 2 takes precedence over Book 4. If I can manage to actually finish Book 4, maybe it can be my Pitch Wars submission. I don't know; I was thinking I didn't need a 100% finished manuscript, but I guess I do. *shrug* We'll see; this might not be the year to do it. Maybe next year will be better. My class has to take priority, since it is being graded.

I'll post two more blog posts, one of which will be a review for Temptation Bay by Anna Sullivan. The other is about writing. Enjoy! And wish me luck getting that To-Do list done...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

Today, I'm gearing up for NaNo, which starts tomorrow. I decided that I'm going to focus on completing Book #4 of the Ward Sisters Series, Annie and Josh's story, This Year's Love. It's about halfway to where I like to be for word count. Yes, I know I'm verbose. I like to write and then cut, so with This Year's Love at ~60k, I've still got at least 50k left. The purpose of NaNo is to just get it all out there, so my goal is to have this story 100% drafted by the end of November.

Strangely enough, though this is Book #4, I realized that I need to write it before I write Book #3.5, Buying the Cow, which is a novella about Josh's best friend, Eddie Besson. The timeline actually overlaps This Year's Love, and I know where it starts and where it ends, but I have to fill in the middle. Well, the middle will be impacted by what happens in This Year's Love, so it just makes more sense to write that now. And Book #3, Right Here Waiting, is too close to completion for NaNo.

I've been reading Kristen Lamb's Blog entries about getting ready for NaNo, and one of the things she talks about is feeding your muse. With this book, I've already written part of it, so I've done a fair bit of research. It's also part of a series, so there is connection to the other stories. And then there is my writing method, which, when I'm in the zone and writing 8-10k words each day (yes, I can do that, I really can! I type faster than I write and talk), I work best if I've got a soundtrack playing. Not in my head, literally in my ears. So, one thing I'll do today is beef up the This Year's Love playlist on Spotify. One of the things I love about using Spotify is that I can go from my desktop to my laptop and I don't have to do anything special to access the playlist. Love it. Anyway, this book hasn't been a priority, so its playlist is pretty shallow. That'll have to change.

As I said in yesterday's post, NaNo sets the writer up to average about 1,700 words/day to meet the goal. Since I have this marketing class and I'm editing Only One and I need to polish something for Pitch Wars and oh, yeah, I have kids and a husband and a job as caregiver/housekeeper/cook/CFO, I probably can't devote all my time to banging out This Year's Love in just a few short days, thus, completing NaNo in a week. Which is fine; I'm not doing this because I haven't disciplined myself to write every day. I write. Every day. Not always on any one thing, but I do it I have to write. It drives me nuts if I don't and the days we went camping this summer and I had to be unplugged, I wanted to tear my hair out because I couldn't sit with a cup of coffee and write first thing. I won't have trouble meeting the goal. But I'll need to be more rigid about my non-writing activities. Priorities, people.

Thus, I might be a little less present on Facebook and Twitter (I know, you're all so sad). And I'm thinking I need to examine what's on my DVR and decide what can be ditched or watched online instead. Writing, class and my family will have to take precedence over reading, TV and social networking this month. It's all good; I'm sure I won't be 100% absent from any one thing, but you have to do what it takes!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NaNoWriMo and Pitch Wars

I just officially signed up to do NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. You can do it independently (I basically did last year), but if you go to their site and sign up, you're tasked to write 50k words between November 1-30. To give you an idea of what that is, it's ~1,667 words/day. Final word count for Back to December was around 138k words, so it's actually a small volume for me. In the last year, I think I counted and just in my novels/fanfic, I wrote over 1 Million words. That doesn't include emails, blog entries, or the stuff I wrote for my class so far this semester. What can I say? I'm verbose. Or prolific. Take your pick.

During NaNo (as it's called for shorthand), there are people who can give you feedback and encouragement at their website. I'd wanted to do it before, but I guess I was afraid. Now that I have a novel out there for public consumption, it's a little late for the fear stuff. At least in my mind, it is. I'm really looking forward to interacting with other authors.

If anyone else out there is doing NaNo and wants to come along for the ride with me, let me know! My handle over there is PKorbetAuthor (same as my Twitter handle). I'm not sure if I'm going to task myself to complete one of the works I already have started or if I'm going to start something new. The only stipulation is that you have to write 50k words. I've got Book #4 in the Ward Sisters Series, This Year's Love, that still has a long, long way to go before it's done. I could probably write 50k on that. Same with Book 3.5, Buying the Cow - 50k might actually complete that book (it's at about 12k now), since it's a novella. I've got a couple days to decide. I think I'll let my muse speak to me and see what she says.

Regardless, I'm really excited about this project and another one I'm planning to undertake, Pitch Wars. My marketing class has me creating a Marketing Plan, as I've said. One of the things I had to do for the Plan was set objectives for my first two years. Then I need to come up with strategies to meet those goals. I set my goals in my most recent Plan assignment and one of them was to network with other authors. It just so happens that the timing for some of these things is perfect. What better way to do that than a writing contest or two? Pitch Wars involves submitting a manuscript to mentors - authors who have agents and who are often published or about to be. The mentor chooses an author to work with them, critiques their work and readies it for submission to agents. If I get nothing out of it other than exposure to other authors and get someone else to check out my work (and even better, encourage others to do the same), then I'll have won, even if I don't 'win'.

So, that's what I'm doing over the course of the next month. I'll be participating in NaNo and hopefully completing an official first draft of something. I'll be readying a manuscript for Pitch Wars (has to be submitted by 12/2) and then, of course, I'll be completing my final draft for Only One. Oh, and working on my marketing class, but that almost feels like part of my job as a writer, so it's all good. I'll keep you all posted!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Facebook Author Page

So, when I dove back into social media, specifically Facebook, I guess I did it wrong. I thought I was such a smarty pants, creating a personal page that said, 'author' on it and assuming that worked best.

Yeah, not so much.

Thing is, my writing is my 'business'. I'm learning that in great detail by taking a marketing class this semester. As part of the course, I have to create a marketing plan (might have mentioned this), and I decided to focus on my writing. For one, it's a practical use of my time; I'm learning how to best market my work. For another, it's a tangible way to learn how to do this stuff and I'll be able to see real-world results. Win-win.

As part of this plan, I have to come up with strategies to improve my exposure, etc. One of the things I noted when I was doing the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis was that my original Facebook page had 237 friends - all people I knew personally, either from high school, college, work, family or my real-world social circles. This was in the earlier days of Facebook, before everyone I knew and their brother (and every business out there) was on the social network. Now, some of my original friends have hundreds of friends of their own. I hadn't intentionally sought out many of them, in part because the word 'author' was attached to my profile. I didn't want people to think the only reason I was friending them was to promote my writing, thus, making me a spammer.

That brings us to now. I decided to create a business page for my work so that anyone interested in following my writing career can do so. I have dropped 'author' from my personal profile handle and noted my maiden name (it appears parenthetical). Now, for the most part, my 'friends' will be people I know and if anyone who is just interested in my work wants to follow me, they can LIKE my author page. Of course, I'd love for every single one of my current friends to LIKE my page. Naturally. If they spread the word, even better. But this way, I can promote my work and still stay in touch with old friends. Because I realized just how much I missed that in the time I was away.

Meanwhile, I'm still on Twitter (@PKorbetAuthor) and have author pages on Goodreads and Amazon's Author Central. In the next week, I'll migrate to Google+. It's yet another suggestion in the articles I've been reading on marketing strategies for authors, and I need to work with what I've got. I'll need to be thoughtful there - my Google info has been relatively private up until now. But if I want to make this author thing successful, I need to put myself out there. After all, that's why I jumped back into the deep end of this pool in June, right?

So, come join me at my new author page, Author Patti Korbet on Facebook. I'm excited to take things into the next phase, and I hope you'll all be along for the ride!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Working with writing prompts...

So, a friend has a new project called Dashing Donklets. They'll have prompts and it should be fun to see what people do in response. It's not just writing; other creative things could come from this. But since I'm a writer, well, I thought I'd play along and write.

Cora Carmack has been doing something called Flash Friday Fiction, where she takes suggestions for her characters and then writes a blurb - raw, coarsely edited - and posts it for fans. I like this idea, so I think I'll try to work around that concept. Which means I'll take this prompt and pick two characters from my writing. Later, maybe I'll take suggestions from readers. For now, it's just easier if I choose them.

The writing prompt is an oldie but goodie: It was a dark and stormy night… and we're going to learn a little more about Liam and Jenna from Only One. I actually needed to write a scene for them and this was as good a place to start as any.

It was a dark and stormy night, one that made Jenna think about the horror movies Catie had coerced her to watch in college. She shivered thinking about this one movie that had a scene not unlike the one she was living.
A woman can't sleep during a spring storm, so she wanders to the living room and watches the lightening blaze trails across a moonless sky. Enraptured by the power and the beauty of the spectacle before her, she is unaware of the killer behind her until he grabs her from behind...
Suddenly, Jenna felt a hand on her shoulder and she nearly jumped out of her skin. Her heart raced. She whipped around and saw Liam. "Oh, my God. You scared the crap out of me! What are you doing?"
"I'm sorry," he said as he enfolded her in his arms. "I didn't mean to scare you. I thought I was being loud enough that you'd hear me."
"No, I didn't hear you. I wasn't paying attention. I don't think your idea of being loud is the same as other people's," she said. Thinking she'd give him an opportunity to tell her more about himself, she added, "Learn stealth in the CIA, did you?"
Liam laughed. "Long before that. Just perfected it on the job." He sat behind her and pulled her against his chest as they watched the lightening together. He didn't add more and she didn't push. After a couple minutes listening to the rain pound on the roof and the thunder rumble, he asked, "Why'd you come out here?"
"Couldn't sleep. I didn't want to wake you. I tossed and turned for a while and thought maybe I should just sit out here instead. Somehow, watching the storm makes it less scary for me."
"You scared of a little thunder and lightening," he teased as he nipped her ear.
"Not just the thunder and lightening, but storms like this in general. I lived in Boston, so I know it's completely different weather there. Growing up around here, storms like this often meant uncontrollable fires or mudslides. I had a friend in elementary school who lost a house to a mudslide and I knew a girl in high school whose family cabin was destroyed in a forest fire that was caused by a lightening strike. We were lucky that it never happened to us, but you always heard stories. And when it's sunny most of the time, it's a little frightening when you see the violence of this weather."
"I think it's beautiful," Liam said reverently. He looked at her. "Terrifying, but beautiful. Kind of like you."
"You think I'm scary, huh?" she asked.
"Just a little," he replied with a small smile, a lightening flash illuminating his eyes.
Jenna turned to face him. "And why is that?"
"Because you make me do and say and think things that scare the shit out of me."
Did that mean what she thought? Was it too much to hope? "What kind of things?"
"Oh, like surfing," he redirected, making light of what he'd said. But she saw his eyes before. He hadn't been talking about surfing. "Come back to bed," he said. "I'll protect you from the storm."
"Will you?" she asked, knowing she didn't just mean the natural fury raging outside the walls of Rob's house.
"Always," he said. God, did she hope he meant it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reinventing the drawing board...wait, what?

Just kidding. We're not reinventing the wheel or going back to the drawing board over here, but Only One is getting seriously revamped. And probably then eviscerated after that fact. If you were a first reader, by the time the book is published, it won't look the same. Oh, the plot will still be the same, but so much will have changed structurally, aesthetically. There will be loads of scenes that didn't exist in the draft you saw and a bunch of stuff that was cut from that version.

One of my weaknesses as a writer - and let me say that any writer who professes to have no weaknesses is either lying or full of it - is that I like to tell a story. That doesn't sound bad, does it? Except, to engage a reader, sometimes it's better to show them a story. The funny thing about it is that, when a story is coming out of my head and onto paper, it's playing like a movie in my mind - the ultimate 'showing' of a story. So, I'm working on that. It's one of the major changes to the manuscript. So far, it has resulted in a boost to page and word count. Which translates to CUT, CUT, CUT! It's still nowhere near as voluminous as the first few drafts of Back to December, but I'm sure it's not done being cut, and I'm still finessing the show/tell stuff. I think it's making for a better story overall.

The goal is to produce a better product so that readers will want to not only read my work, but will want to tell their friends all about it. Because I want people to keep coming back and read the rest of this series. So, between edits to Only One and my marketing class, I've got a lot on my plate (besides the usual life stuff that happens when you're a mother of two school-aged children, have a husband who expects dinner on the table and clean laundry, and run a household. Ayuh).

I'm still shooting for a pre-Thanksgiving launch of Only One, but depending on how long this phase takes, it might push Right Here Waiting a lot further into 2014 than I'd hoped. It's all good! I want to be a better writer. Better writers have happier readers.

So, keep telling your friends about Back to December, write happy, positive reviews wherever you can, and just know that it'll only get better from here!

Monday, October 7, 2013

*sigh* It had to happen sooner or later...

Most of my readers who have read Back to December have praised it. They've been excited to read the next book and have given me stellar reviews. Of course, they aren't posting those reviews on Amazon or at Goodreads, so I have to contend with feedback at those places from people who are giving it.

Yesterday, I got a really crappy review on both Amazon and Goodreads - one star, which I personally reserve for things I really loathe. I have posted 583 reviews on Goodreads. Of those reviews, I have four, yes 4 books I've given 1 star, two of which I read in high school and two that were books I did-not-finish (one was a book club selection). I have 26 two-star reviews, and since many of them are somewhat recent, I can say I gave detailed reasons why it was I personally didn't like the books. I've rarely ever said I would never read another book by any author that I hadn't given at least a couple shots. Heck some of my 2-star reviews were for authors I've read many of their books and continue to do so.

When I compared books with this bad reviewer on Goodreads, I found we had only 3 books in common. That's 3 books I've read, and I just said I have reviewed 583 of them. I have several on my 'currently reading' list and 609 on my 'to-read' list, yet I have 3 in common with this reviewer: my book and two by another new, self-published author. I find it suspicious that the person who gave me the bad review in both places also gave 5-star reviews to that author's two books, for which I gave a detailed critique. I had tried to contact the author directly before to discuss my comments prior to posting them, but had no success. So, I published an honest review that, frankly, was generous for the first book. And in fact, my review was higher than I felt the work deserved because I wanted to boost that author's rating so more people would read a new author like myself. Trashing one author to give props to another isn't going to help anyone.

Thank you, Goodreads, for telling me to take a deep breath and don't reply! Just don't do it! So, instead of replying there or at Amazon, I'm posting to my blog instead.

They trashed my characters and my writing, both of which I chock up to spite or subjectivity. But they also indicated that Back to December is full of grammatical errors, and I take issue with that. I just wanted to point out something to my fans and my future readers. If you ever find grammatical, spelling or typing errors in my work, please let me know. My editor and I both worked very hard to find every one, and yet I know they are probably still in there somewhere. Even people like Nora Roberts still have those kinds of issues. So to say that my work is full of them, either the person is lying, trash talking and being rude or else they have no idea what good grammar is. And unlike Nora Roberts, I have complete control over updates to my published work, so I'll gladly fix the errors.

I really hope the other author isn't encouraging behavior like that, but I'll continue to do what I always have: read and be honest if I'm unhappy with what I read.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cover for Only One

Here it is! I posted this to Facebook and Twitter yesterday. The official cover for Only One!

Only One Teaser 2

This passage will be new to all but a few of you. You could call this the meet cute, but in Only One, that's not really accurate. A meet-cute is usually an unanticipated meeting, a happy circumstance that brings two people together. Liam and Jenna's story isn't nearly as simple as most romances for a variety of reasons. You'll see why once you read the book. For now, you can hear from Liam about his first impression of Jenna.

Liam met Jenna not long after starlet Lola Benedict had dumped Rob, while he worked security for Rob in Malibu, trading shifts with Brian and occasionally, Rick. One day, there was a knock at the door. Since it was his shift, Liam answered and expected a reporter or someone else annoying.
What he saw when he opened the door was a typical California girl – petite, brown eyes, tan skin, long, straight blond hair, bleached by the sun, wearing a cute, little, bright blue tank top and board shorts that barely covered her ass. Underneath, she was obviously wearing a cherry red string bikini and on her feet were a very sexy pair of leather sandals.
Liam almost came in his pants just looking at her. She looked like she was barely an adult.
He cleared his throat. “Can I help you?”
“Hi! Is Rob home?”
Bold. Most of them turned into piles of goo when they got to the door. They were all brass balls getting there and became blubbering schoolgirls by the time they saw the door open.
“Is he expecting you?”
She could be Rob's new thing, but it was unlikely; given that he'd had two epic failures for relationships in the recent past and both those women had been blond, Liam suspected his best friend would steer away from blonds for the foreseeable future. Besides, at 21, Lola had been young; this girl looked like she wasn't old enough to drink.
“You know, I can't remember if I told him today or tomorrow. Let me check.” She pulled out her iPhone and quickly tapped the screen until she got her calendar app going. “Yes. Today. Good. I thought I got it right. So, the answer is yes. He should be expecting me.”
“Okay, well, he didn't say he was expecting anyone, so let me check with him, first. What's your name?”
She stuck out her hand. “I'm Jenna. Jenna Ackerman. Rob's assistant in charge of social media?”
“Oh. Right. I forgot he was doing that stuff now. You know what, I think he's down on the beach. Why don't you come with me, I'll take you down there. He probably forgot. He didn't mention any appointments today. I think he's still distracted because of the Lola stuff.”
Jenna followed him inside. “So which one are you?”
Liam looked at her funny. “Which one?”
“You're the bodyguard, right? I know he's got several. I've seen you in pictures, but I guess I've never gotten your name. I know you're not Rick. He's the brother and he's a giant. No offense, I can tell you're not several inches taller than Rob.”
He laughed. “None taken. No one would ever mistake me for Rick. I'm Liam. Liam Neely.” He stuck out his hand and she shook it.
“Irishman, huh?”
Liam gave her his best brogue. “Down to me core.”
She laughed. It was a cute little laugh and it made him smile. “Where are you from?”
“You like the Bruins?”
“Second only to the Sox. You a Bruins fan?” A California girl who was a hockey fan? Unlikely.
Jenna smiled, as if she knew what he was thinking. “I am. My favorite players growing up were Cam Neely and Ray Bourque.”
Holy shit, he was in love. He'd never met a girl who actually liked hockey and was this hot. Not to mention one who liked his favorite team and his two favorite players. He almost thought he was being Punk'd, but that show was defunct, right?
“Seriously? How're you old enough to remember them?”
Jenna laughed. “Well, for one, my dad's from New Hampshire and he played hockey, so hockey was religion in our house. And for another, I bet I'm older than you think.”
“Oh, really? So how do you know Rob?”
“I went to Minnesota State.”
“Not when we were there. I'd have remembered you.”
“You went there, too?”
“I did. I played hockey. And I know I'd remember you, especially if you knew Rob.”
“And how's that?”
“Because he was my college roommate for three years.”
“Well, then. You're right; it wasn't when he was there. Professor Deacon was on my thesis committee. He introduced us. I stuck around Minnesota for a couple of years after graduation. When I thought I might move back to Cali, get a job in Silicon Valley, Professor Deacon said I should meet his son, that he was single.”
“So this was recently.”
“Not that recently. It was after he broke up with Rachel and before Lola. Anyway, Pat invited me to a barbecue and Rob saw through the situation pretty quickly. We were left alone and he took the opportunity to tell me that he thought I seemed like a nice enough girl, but he had no interest in dating me, sorry. I told him he was too pretty for my taste anyway, and we had a good laugh. We talked about my thesis and he told me if I was ever looking for a job to give him a call, he could surely use someone like me. I jokingly said that if he could pay better than Facebook, I'd consider it.”
“I take it he pays better than Facebook?”
“That he does. Significantly. I called him once I got an offer from Facebook and I knew I was coming back here one way or another. It was when things were heating up with Lola and his name was all over the place. He'd probably have paid whatever I asked, but I told him to give me a number he thought my skills were worth and when it was far and above my other two offers, there was no question which one I'd take. I had plans for a social media roll out, but when everything exploded with Lola, that got put on the back burner for a bit. Now, we're ready to move forward. That's why I'm here today.”
“That didn't answer the how-old-are-you question.”
She gave him a sly smile. “I'll make a deal with you. If you were paying attention, you'll have all your answers. I went to college at a typical age and I did a typical track. If you can figure out my age within a year, I'll go out with you after you get done here today.”
Liam's brows shot up. “That assumes I want to go out with you.”
Her grin grew wider. “Oh, you do. You just think I'm too young for you. I'll ask you my age when I'm done meeting with Rob.” She said nothing else, just winked at him and walked down the path to the beach, where Rob was sitting in an Adirondack chair. Liam watched as his best friend stood, hugged Jenna and the two of them sat down. They looked back and Rob gave a little laugh.
Well, if nothing else, the girl got Rob to laugh. He hadn't laughed much lately.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Only One Teaser - Prologue

Note: This has been edited to reflect the changes made to the scene. Nothing major, it just reads better! We aim to please - improving quality all the time!

For any of you who have read Back to December, you've seen this, since it appears at the end of the book. This is for those of you who haven't read Book #1. What are you waiting for? Quick! Go buy Back to December and read it before Only One comes out in the next month or so! You'll really, really wish you had!

Also, just a quick note. My awesome book club is reading Back to December for our December read (of course!) and as such, I will be creating a list of discussion questions. If you're interested in having those for your own book club, I'm planning to post them here when they're ready. I've got a couple months, so I haven't put that on top of the to-do list yet.

Here's your snippet, as promised!


Jenna pulled up to the big, white house with its New England charm, complete with a huge front porch. Numerous cars occupied the driveway, but since this place had been an inn, there were still parking spots. Unfortunately, there were none near the door.
You ready for this?” Christopher asked. Jenna nodded.
Fake it til you make it, she thought.
Rob and Emily were getting married and that meant there would be a crowd of people here soon. The gathering wasn't the issue, however; the problem was that one of those people would be Liam.
As Emily's full-time bodyguard, Liam now lived with their boss, Rob Deacon, aka movie star Deac Roberts. Jenna hadn't seen Liam in seven torturous, heartache-filled months when she wondered if he still loved her or if he'd changed his mind. She'd despaired for six months because she hadn't told Liam his baby grew inside her.
Jenna and Christopher, who was Rob's stylist, had discussed Liam during the entire flight to Maine from L.A. She couldn't hide her pregnancy. These days, Jenna could barely get out of her own way. Concealment was impossible unless she was seen from the neck up. That wasn't going to happen.
Christopher walked ahead to the house door and his massive frame engulfed the whole doorway. From a distance, Jenna observed Chris' air kisses upon Emily's greeting and heard his compliment that she was glowing. He shouted over his shoulder, “Come on, big girl, you're lagging behind.”
Ha-ha. You'd walk slower if you were me, too.”
Christopher replied, “Thank God I never will be. My figure couldn't handle it.”
She stepped into the house and hugged Emily, whose eyebrows shot up her forehead. Apparently, Rob hadn't mentioned her pregnancy.
I'm so glad to see you!" Jenna said. "I'm so happy Rob finally came after you. He knows." She put a protective hand over her belly.
Knows?” Emily asked, brow pinched in confusion, eyes narrowed.
About the baby. I told him.”
Emily's face suddenly paled. Did she still not trust Rob? Jenna clarified, “It's not his baby! I meant I told him. Because he's my boss. And I'll need to take time off when the baby is born.”
Her breathing relaxed and Emily smiled. “Oh. Right. Of course! So, how far along are you?”
About seven months. Actually, it's 34 weeks on Monday.” If Emily did the math, she'd know what that meant.
They walked toward the back to the kitchen, where Rob's former make-up artist, Reggie, stood alongside a tall brunette who Emily introduced as her best friend, Meg.
Reggie hugged Jenna, rubbed her belly and gave her a knowing look. Nervous, her smile wavered and she thought, Yeah, it's about to get real.
She and Christopher stepped onto the deck. Across the expanse of wood, Liam stood in a small group. He was as handsome as ever, his recently-cut wave of brown hair accentuating his cheekbones. His shoulders shrugged with a stifled laugh and his smirk made her smile. God, had she missed him.
Liam finally noticed them and looked in their direction. His eyes found Jenna's and heat rushed through her body. Those gorgeous lashes framed twinkling brown eyes, the chocolate orbs that had first caught her attention, and her heart clenched at the memory. A grin spread across his face as wide as the one he'd given her at the Malibu house in January, the night when, after three years, he'd finally said he loved her.
Then his eyes strayed down her body to her breasts, which had grown from a C to a DD since the last time she saw him. As his gaze traveled to her hand on her belly, he wobbled.
Grab him, Rob!” Emily shouted a second too late, because Rob barely caught Liam's arms before his best friend collapsed. In the process, Liam's head whacked Rob's nose. Rob lay his friend on the chaise before he asked for a cloth for his nosebleed.
Jenna gasped and tears sprang to her eyes. He knew that the baby was his, or else he wouldn't have reacted that way. Her hand instantly covered her mouth to stifle a cry of relief.
She looked down at the red-haired woman who'd dropped to her knees beside Liam. She'd also gasped and panicked as he fainted.
Oh, my God! Is he okay? What just happened?” Red asked and looked at Emily.
And that was when she saw Jenna.
Red's eyes teared, mouth drooped in a wobbly frown and her eyes drifted closed for a second before a tear rolled down her cheek. When Rob told her to head into the house, that he'd take care of Liam, she agreed without a word as Meg helped her stand.
She must be Liam's girlfriend.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Let the Only One teasers begin!

It's that time! Only One went to the editor late last week. I'm pretty confident that, despite this being only the second time she's seen the book and the first she's seen significant portions, that we're a lot closer to being done this time around. For one thing, the word count is around the same as Back to December's final version. Which means the story is already tighter than its parent book. For another, I've gone through a few drafts myself before I sent it along for a review.

So, we'll start with the current synopsis. I've combed through to see if I accidentally revealed plot points, but I don't think I have. It might change a little when it goes to print, but maybe not. Here you go!

Only One

He never believed love was in the cards for him.

At 33, Liam Neely has lived the perfect bachelor life since joining Deacon Security 8 years ago. As one of the elite bodyguards for movie star Deac Roberts – his best friend, Rob Deacon's, alter ego – Liam has had plenty of money, lots of travel, glamorous parties if he wanted to attend, and a handful of girls he considered regular booty calls. It sure beat being shot working for the CIA, where he spent his post-college years. He didn't think anything was really missing in his life. Until he met Rob's new assistant, Jenna.

At first glance Jenna was a typical California girl, but Liam soon found that the surface was where the description ended. Despite his insistence that he didn't do relationships, he found himself falling in love with Jenna, hard and fast. Unfortunately, the life he created before her wasn't conducive to commitment, especially when you're Liam and you have family baggage, trust issues and a lack of experience actually trying to make it work.

When Liam chased Rob's girlfriend, Emily, across the country to protect her, it didn't help him stay in touch with Jenna. They don't do the phone call/text/email thing, and when Rob says she's no longer asking about him, Liam is convinced that Jenna has given up on the two of them. Just as he's trying to move on, Jenna appears and throws his whole world into a tailspin. Will it be a case of better late than never, or too little, too late with the only one who ever truly mattered?

She knew he was wrong.

For 32-year old Jenna Ackerman, life has always come easily. Brilliant, beautiful and wealthy, she could live the life of a socialite as expected. But she hates doing what's expected. So instead, she used her brains to become a cybersecurity expert and landed - not by chance - a job as the woman behind the curtain for movie star Deac Roberts. Deac's real-life counterpart, Rob Deacon, became her very best friend, the one man for whom she'd walk through fire. Rob is her main focus, until the day he introduces her to his other best friend, Liam. For the first time in her life, calm, cool, collected Jenna is turned upside down. But love is a complicated dance. Can Jenna and Liam manage to make the choreography work? Will Liam's past and his issues prevent them from finding a happy ending? And are those the only problems that stand in the way? Or are there other things that lurk just beneath the surface which are unknown even to those involved?

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Influence of Music

Yesterday, I finished another Jasinda Wilder story, Stripped, and like the other two books I've read by her, she included a playlist at the back. I, too, am highly influenced by music when I write. I prefer to listen to music while I write (though in mom mode, it's not always easy) and I also find that songs can shape my stories.

For instance, when I wrote Back to December, I had a pretty extensive playlist that was mostly from my own music files. Then I turned to YouTube videos. And finally, I found Spotify once my sister introduced me to it. I've since created both YouTube video and Spotify music playlists for each story. If you're interested, become my friend and I'll share them with you. I considered posting the titles to each song, but there are some really long lists, so it's just easier to let people see the playlists.

Originally, I had a different title for the book. It doesn't matter what it was now, but the first, working title for the book was not Back to December. Then, one day, I was listening to the radio - probably in the car, since that's usually where I listen to radio - and Taylor Swift's song, Back to December came on. I've always liked the song, both for the melody and the orchestral sections, but I really heard the lyrics that day. And I thought, This is my story. This is how Emily feels about the mistake she's made. And it spoke to the story on several levels. If you've read the book, listen to that song and maybe you'll hear something new in it. Maybe you'll also see things in the story that you didn't before.

Music moves me. It always has. It's always been a huge part of my life, of who I am. I'm not a musician, though I always wanted to learn to play something, anything. And while I still could, well, I've got other things I want to do right now, so I think I'll leave making music to people who are far more talented than I'd ever be. But so much of my life has its own soundtrack. I hear a song and it brings me back to the time in my life when it meant something specific. And now that I'm creating these characters and their worlds, when I hear music, it often speaks to me about those people.

How about you? Does music shape your life that directly? If you're a creative person, do you listen to music while you work?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Creating Characters

Working on some character building. No, I don't mean enriching my own character, I mean giving a background to those in my stories. I know some people don't do that sort of thing and I don't sit down with a list of story characters and make up who they are ahead. Heck, I don't even know who all my characters are every time - even in this series, sometimes, they just walk onto the scene, and half the time my heroes in this series have done just that. With the exception of Rob Deacon, who was the genesis of this series, the other male leads have just wandered onto the canvas and become someone important somehow.

In other words, my writing is more organic than sitting down with a character list or doing any purposeful plotting. Not that there's anything wrong with such things, I just don't write that way.

But as I'm writing, details emerge about characters and settings and I find that I want to know more about those details. I ask myself if they're realistic and am always thrilled when I come up with something off the top of my head that just makes sense.

I'm sitting here, working on some of these details, because one character, Neil Murphy from Right Here Waiting, has a tattoo and I've debated it for a while. It's like I'm choosing my own tattoo - once I give him this ink, it's there forever! Gotta make sure it works. And Neil, he's a methodical sort of person - he's a sniper, so he's careful and thoughtful. He'd never be spontaneous about that sort of thing. When I wrote the scene where we first see his tattoo, it came out as a tribal armband. But then I realized, nope, that doesn't work for him; he has a job where it wouldn't be a smart decision to have something so visible. And Neil's not stupid, he's really smart. So, I let it lie for a bit, figured, I'll think about it some more.

Then I moved the ink to his pelvis - his girlfriend is the one who is seeing the tat in an intimate moment, so it makes sense and given that Neil would have his ink where it can't easily be seen, well, there you go. But what is it? He's a guy. A very manly man. It can't be a girly tattoo and the pelvic area is sort of iffy. Yeah, it was a challenge to make these decisions. Like I said, because of who he is, it was like choosing my own tattoo! (Not that I have one, but you know, if I did).

Finally, in the last day, I figured it out, something that would be meaningful to him and would work. And now he actually has two tattoos, because another character in a different story mentions his tattoo and I thought...okay, when I originally wrote that, he had a tribal one on his arm. She'd never, ever have seen the pelvic one (ahem). Does he actually have another tattoo? Yes, yes he does. Where is it? What is it? I found one I liked, that worked for both instances (a trifecta on his ribcage over his heart - he's Irish and religious), but I thought, Yeah. That's great, but while it's probably pretty sexy if you like tattoos, it's nowhere near as sexy as one you're sure is something many people have seen. That's still not his only tattoo. He has one Nina has never seen. I couldn't find any Celtic stuff that didn't seem too girly and he's not going to have a tribal tat there - I decided that a while ago. Words. It would be words. Ones that were meaningful to him, that would say something to him. Of course. They're upside down so he can read them. And in a Celtic script, but not Gaelic words. Nope. Latin. Because he's that kind of guy - scholarly, smart. And upside down Latin words in a Celtic script would be hard to read. Perfect!

Anyway, I shared all that detail because it reminded me of this project we did in English class, sophomore year in high school. We read Oliver Twist and our teacher made us write dossiers for the characters. At the time, I probably didn't get the significance of what we did, not really. But what she was doing was getting us to build the characters. Who are they? What motivates them? What scraps of evidence can we gather to illustrate this background, this definition of these people? I loved that project. I didn't like much of anything else that teacher taught, but loved creating those dossiers. Given my penchant for making up stories in my head and my love of inventing those dossiers, I guess it should be no surprise that I'm a writer.

So thanks, Mrs. Lane, for assigning that project. It has helped me be a better writer. And thanks, internet, for making it easier to get the job done!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Writing Update

I'm still writing like a fiend. I've pretty much been doing that since last fall. No joke. I said to a fellow writer on Twitter earlier today that I think my word count since last fall is probably around 1,000,000. I'm not kidding. I wrote about 280k just with my Hunger Games fanfic. Then the original, first, complete draft of Back to December was 237k (or something) - the final version was 137k, I think, and that included some bits I wrote later that didn't appear in the first draft. Then there are some of the other side projects I've written here and there. Plus, the other stories in the Ward Sisters Series. I guess this is where I'll update you on those.

I've been editing Only One (Book 2), which has included some new additions as well as some restructuring and some tweaking/cleanup stuff. It's getting there. Even without editing the story to within an inch of its life, we're still close to the same word count as the final version of Back to December, which makes me happy. I'm sure it will get cut back, but at least it doesn't have nearly so far to go as Book 1 did.

For Book 3, Right Here Waiting, I've been writing some significant sections and also have restructured the story, based on what I found with Only One (and also what I learned from editing Back to December). We're at 82k with some big chunks to go. I've been picking the brain of an amazing source (who I happen to also call family) and I've got high hopes for this particular story. Honestly, I firmly expect that Only One will be a polarizing story for several reasons. But I would be shocked if people don't adore Neil and root for a HEA with Meg, across the board.

Book 3.5 is a novella and I hadn't written too much on it before this week. It's called Why Buy The Cow? Or maybe Buying the Cow, I haven't decided yet. It's funny that the metaphor has layers I hadn't realized until I delved into the meat of the story. A scene in Only One had me asking a question in my mind and I answered it by writing a huge chunk of this story, which is always very cool. And things just go from there. In some ways, I'll write a better story for Only One because I'll have thought about some things later in the series already. That one is barely started at 16k

Book 4 is Annie and Josh's story, This Year's Love. I've been ignoring that one lately for other parts of the series, but I need to get back to it soon. I know the direction it will take, but there is a lot left to write there. That one is further along than I thought, at 61k.

Book 5, Just Realized, has been mostly done for a while. I've got a few scenes left and then I think it's done. Although, I think I may end up adding some things that will set up a later story better, things I hadn't even contemplated until that other story was significantly written. We're at 82k there.

Book 6, Think of Me, is in my head but has a long, long way to go on paper. Once book 2 is published, this story will become one of my central foci. That's around 54k right now.

Book 6.5, Tell Me What It Takes, is another novella. I haven't done much with that lately. Like book 6, it will become more prominent as the next two books are published. That's also at 16k

Book 7, Better Be Home Soon, which was barely a thought when I started this blog 3 months ago, is now nearly 96k words. I wrote some big scenes for that today. It's not done, but I'm really astonished at how quickly it came together.

For the next 13 weeks, I'm taking a marketing class and that, of course, will cut into my writing time. Or probably it will cut into my domestic engineering duties. Yeah, that's more likely. Once I have a more firm idea when Only One will be ready for publication, I'll post it here, on Twitter and on Facebook. Have a great night everyone!