Monday, July 29, 2013

I needed that

I'm now in the home stretch with Back to December - about 300 pages into the last draft's redline edits with most of the major editorial changes made (as opposed to the technical, typo stuff). I haven't made as much progress the last several days because it was my daughter's 6th birthday on Friday. We make a big deal out of birthdays around here, and usually, it's a multi-day celebration. Mostly in the vein of celebrating more than once, but when you have a huge family and your kid has friends from school, it happens. The party with her school friends was yesterday, and I think it went pretty well, given that I decided they should make cake pops. Now that's all done and though we were blessed with gorgeous weather over the weekend, it's going to be blah and rainy for two days. I won't complain about that right now!

So, I'm going to post some more snippets this week, starting with today. With any luck, by week's end, we'll be ready for publication. *crosses fingers*

On other notes, I was chatting on FB with my sister this weekend and actor Victor Webster's name was mentioned in conversation. She said she pictured him as Rob, which is close but no cigar. Darling Henry Cavill is Rob, not the least of which is because of those gorgeous blue eyes and the panty dropping smile - didn't that make you believe he was ladies man Charles Brandon? It made me believe! She said she keeps seeing Charles Brandon and not Superman, but to me, that's just hair and costume, and Rob would change his hair with every role. His eyes and his smile would always be the same, and that's what makes Henry Cavill Rob for me (it was just the Man of Steel promos that helped me see it; personally, I love shaved-head Henry). In part, that's because I really didn't know who Henry Cavill was before that. But he's Rob. He just is. That's who I saw in my head when I wrote the character originally. I had no idea a person like that really existed and was also famous.

Victor Webster, however, could easily be Sergeant Owen Nichols, who will feature in book #5 and will play a bit part in book #3 of this series. Owen is movie star handsome like Rob, but he's in the Army not the movies and he's also part Native American - thus the dark hair and eyes. At this point in his career, I'm not sure he'd be young enough to play Owen, but you never know. And I loved him as Coop on Charmed, so I know he could pull off the confident, smart-assed, sentimental Owen. Couple that with his soon to be turn in The Scorpion King and yeah, he could play ass-kicking soldier, too, I bet. *sigh* I think all romance authors must fall a little in love with their heroes. Or is that just me?

Okay, back to the real writing. Here's today's snippet. Emily has just had a  conversation with her sister. It's Christmas Eve and she's on emotional overload.

Mo opened the door for her and Emily climbed inside the limo. Rob was sitting across from her and suddenly, nothing else mattered. Not her call with Charlie, not her mother's opinion, not Josh or his feelings, not even the small sliver of nagging doubt that was plaguing her. He smiled, and that was it. Her eyes watered.
“Hey. Are you okay?” he said so sweetly it almost made her cry. He moved to sit next to her, even though they were still in visible range of the photographers. And she let him.
She shed a tear. “I am now.” He pulled her into his arms and just held her. He kissed the top of her head and rubbed her back in slow, rhythmic circles. The tears kept coming.
After a few minutes of silence, except for her sniffles, she pulled away so she could look at him. “Thanks. I needed that.”

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Laughter is the best medicine

I'm posting a new excerpt from Back to December today, but it's more fun when the blog posts aren't just book blurbs, right? Right. Yesterday, I was checking out something on goodreads, a series by an author whose book I'd just read. And, WHAM! I see the image I had picked as the cover art for Back to December. I thought, DAMN! The good news was that I hadn't actually purchased anything, yet, just made a mock up of the cover. And, thus, went the search for an image. Thankfully, my aunt, author Laurie Breton (who is helping me get this thing off the ground) is smart and she suggested I start at the end of the image list. DUH, why didn't I think of that?

So, now I've got a new image for Back to December which I actually like more than the original. I did love the very first one I chose, but it vanished, POOF! This new one is better than both the other two for lots of reasons. One of which is because, at one point, Emily and Rob take a selfie and post it to Twitter. This new cover, I think, hearkens to that moment in the story. Which is actually a huge moment for Emily and for their relationship. Life is about making lemonade out of the lemons, right? And I always love a book cover that is truly relevant to the story in an obvious way once you've read it.

It also got me thinking about the other books in the series, all of which I had cover art in mind. Book #2, Only One, was the most important to deal with next, so I found an image that I like and it is somewhat similar in look and intent to the original idea, but it's actually a lot better choice, I think. It was also many pages back in the search (shown by popularity). Now I've got new mock ups for every story that's in progress, including books #6.5 and #7. And I was actually kind of giddy about them, so I take that as a good sign.

Also yesterday? I followed a few new pages on Twitter. Holy Frak! My feed exploded. Wow. And I don't follow nearly as many people as others do. So mind numbing. Truly. I was discussing social media management stuff with someone the other day (a real world friend who also happens to technically be family) and I'm sure it's something that will be a necessity soon enough.

I need a character who uses the word frak all the time. All you BSG fans know what I'm talking about. Jus' sayin'. Okay, now I'm just mumbling. Here's the latest snippet...

Emily is having a little freak out because she's had a conversation with her sister, Charlie, and realized that Rob spent a ton of money on her recently. Like to the tune of what you and I spend on a wedding (okay, to the tune of what I spent on my wedding, at least!) Small town girl Emily is having a moment and Rob needs to talk her down from it. And when I wrote and re-read this passage, it makes me laugh. Every time. Maybe that's just me, but it does. And I needed a good laugh. So here it is:

Emily put her head in her hands. “You didn't buy me anything else ridiculously expensive did you?”
“Define ridiculously expensive.”
“Like more than a mortgage payment. And I don't mean million dollar home mortgage, I mean average American mortgage.”
He hesitated and Emily looked at him like he had to be kidding. “Well, the other stuff wasn't more than that combined. But the shoes might be.”
“Shoes? What shoes?”
“For the gala. I told Christopher to do the same for you that he does for Amy. She likes shoes. Sometimes they're expensive, but I figure it's the least I can do when I drag her to everything.”
“Oh, my God, Rob. You can't buy me designer shoes!”
“You don't like designer shoes?”
“I don't know if I like designer shoes! I'm not Charlie; I don't buy expensive shoes. But I do know that you can't buy me stuff like that! We just started dating! You're not helping me feel less like a whore, here!”
“Em, you're not a whore. Stop saying that. And I bought my mom and Amy both a piece of jewelery to keep the first time they went to a red carpet event with me, too. Do you think I consider them to be whores?”
“Then why would you believe I think that of you?” She had no response to that.
“Look, Em, I told you the first night that one of the things I liked about you was that you're not that kind of girl. You're beautiful and put together but you don't look like it's the only thing that matters to you. And I may have wanted to rip off all your clothes and make passionate love to you the second you kissed me, but I didn't think of you as that kind of girl, either. And I love that about you! I love that this thing between us, this amazing sexual energy isn't your usual thing. It's not mine, either. Don't get me wrong, I'm a guy and I like sex. A lot. But I've never had what I have with you with anyone else. I've never wanted someone all the time like this. I've never wanted to try anything and everything. You know you're not the latest in a long line of women. I told you that already. But I didn't tell you that I wasn't exactly adventurous before, either.”
“You weren't?”
“So, some of the things we've done are new for you, too?”
“Not all of them, but, yes. Most of them.”
“Really?” He nodded. “Then where did you learn it?”
He laughed. “The same place most guys do. I watched movies and read the Kama Sutra.”
“You've read the Kama Sutra?”
“Well, technically, I own it, too. That and The Joy of Sex.”
Emily giggled. “You own them?”
“Why, do you want to read them?” he teased.
She shyly shrugged. “Maybe.”
Rob laughed. “Any time you want to read them, feel free. They're in the night stand on the opposite side of the bed from the condoms.”
“Seriously. And if you find something you want to try, just let me know.”
She smiled at him. “Thanks.”
“For telling you that you can read my sex books?”
She laughed. “No. For making me feel better.”
“Oh, there are more ways I could make you feel better...” he flirted.
“See, that just makes me feel like whore again...” she said, trying to keep a straight face.
“I'm sorry, I didn't mean...”
“I'm teasing. Only teasing. I wouldn't mind if you want to make me feel better. I seem to recall that you were about to kiss me when Annie called...”
“I was. Did you want me to kiss you?”
“Yes, please.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sexiest Dork Ever

Today, I worked on several writing projects simultaneously. I finally chose a title and began the actual body of Charlie's story, aka Ward Sisters series book #7. That one is now called Better Be Home Soon. Meanwhile, did I mention that I began a novella that will take place between book 6 and 7? Yeah, okay, so I didn't stick with just 7. But this will be more like 6.5. And I'm keeping the details of that one close to the vest for a while. Primarily because the main characters' identities will spoil some of the other stories. Need to keep you people on your toes, right? Can't give away all the cards. But I can tell you the working title, which is Tell Me What It Takes. I mentioned that I write through my writing blocks, didn't I? Yes, yes, I did. Also, the muse speaks when she feels inclined. I like to listen to her.
The other item of business, beside the awful heat (I think I heard a collective groan from everyone in this heat wave) was to actually speak to a few friends today. I've been very lax about that since last fall. I don't ignore people when they call or write, I just haven't been initiating as much as I did in the past. So today, I spoke to some friends and didn't write as much. Which was fine, since I wrote earlier in the day. Sometimes, you have to listen to the muse and talk to other people, too.
Last order on the blog is the most important. Really. It's the next teaser post for Back to December.  You know you were waiting for it. Come on, tell the truth. Did I mention that our hero, Rob Deacon is a movie star? Oh, sorry, a film actor. He hates the term movie star. He's also a big ol' geek of the highest order, wrapped up in a sexy disguise.

Emily got up from her stool and walked over to Rob. She whispered in his ear, “You're the sexiest dork I've ever known.” She looked at him and grinned.
He smiled and looked at his sister, shaking his head. “You told her about the superhero costumes, didn't you?” That set off another round of laughter among the women. Rob pulled Emily into his arms and whispered in her ear, “Watch out, or I'll make you a Wonder Woman costume and force you to wear it to ComicCon.”
She looked in his eyes, and they were twinkling. So that only he could hear, she said, “For you, I'd do it. Besides, I've already got the hair.” And then she winked.
His eyebrows shot up. He put his forehead to hers and said, “I'm not going to forget that,” and he grinned, wiggling his eyebrows. Maybe Christmas presents didn't have to be material things.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Two things. I forgot to post that I'm on Twitter now. Oops. I posted on Twitter about my blog, but forgot to post about Twitter on the blog. Confused, yet? LOL. My Twitter handle is @PKorbetAuthor. I don't tweet all the time, but I do occasionally. The second thing is another Back to December teaser...

“You've ruined me for other men. You're stuck with me now.”
“I prefer to think of it as fortunate you let me still keep your company.”
“However you want to label it, just take me to bed and show me how much you missed me this week.”
“What makes you think I missed you?” he teased, taking off his pants.
She pushed him against the wall, pressing her naked body into his and he gasped. “That,” she said, smiling, and he scooped her into his arms, carrying her to the bedroom.

Friday, July 12, 2013

What did you do with my best friend?

Another Back to December sneak peek...
"The other night, for a late Christmas present, I did the Pretty Woman thing.”
“Which one?”
“When he comes home and she's only wearing a tie she bought him. Except, I was also wearing 5-inch Louboutins.”
“Holy shit, Em! Who are you and what did you do with my best friend?”
“I'm the chick who used to drool over Trevor Winchester at school and fantasize about Viggo Mortensen in the movie theater.”
“No way! I thought that chick died when Gail the Wicked Witch of the East dropped a house on her!”
“Apparently, she was just mortally wounded and has been recuperating all this time, waiting to make her debut. Who knew it would take getting knocked down by a hot guy to wake her up from her coma?”

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back to December snippet

“What's on your mind?” he asked. She had gotten quiet, lost in her thoughts, and some of what was crossing her conscious brain must have passed her face.

“I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
 “Why do you say that?” He looked confused.

“You just can't be this great. How is it possible that you're this great?”

He raised his eyebrows. “I guess I don't know what you mean.”

“We're having a real conversation. About work. And it's interesting. To me, at least. I guess I can't speak for you, but I know that I'm enjoying it. You waited for me to eat. You sat down and rubbed my feet as soon as I got here. You've been nothing but sweet to me. You surprised me with lunch. You took all my stress away this morning and then made me feel like I was the greatest girl in the world when I returned the favor earlier. If it wasn't for the insanity that is your security team, I'd be hard pressed to find a single thing wrong with you.”

He shook his head slightly. “And all that is...bad?”

“No! I didn't say it was bad. It's just...mind boggling. How is it that I traveled halfway across the country to pursue the ultimate career opportunity and ended up meeting someone so...”

“Perfect?” She looked at him oddly, mostly because he was right. “I wasn't tooting my own horn. That's how I feel about you.”

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Pretty on the Beach

So, the point of the blog is to put writing stuff out there and to occasionally talk to myself. In a not weird way, I swear. It's July and it's Maine, which means summer is really here. That also means lots of lazy time in the sun.

This week, we've been enjoying vacation - it's not a staycation, because we're doing stuff that's fun and not household related, but we haven't actually, you know, gone anywhere. Saves money when you sleep at home and mostly eat there, too.

There were fireworks on my birthday in our neighborhood, which was really cool and helped us decide to avoid them on the 4th. Then, after two days of rain, we spent a couple days on our boat at two of the lakes near our house. Today, we hit the beach. In part because it was nearly 90 and in part because the timing was good for the tides at Popham Beach. If you're ever visiting Maine, check out Popham Beach State Park. Just make sure you plan accordingly, because there is so much beach erosion there now, that at high tide, there is hardly a beach. At low tide or as the tide is going out, however, the beach is huge and really, really fun - rocks to climb, a natural lazy river, waves to body surf, room for frisbee golf or touch football, sand castles to build, plenty of walking and of course, sunbathing/people watching.

So, we head out there and we're super excited. We think, we're golden. We left the house after high tide so we'd arrive as the tide was starting to go out. Except, the timing was crap for parking because we ended up down the road at the Fort and not on the Park beach. Last time the park was full, we went to a campground nearby and parked there instead. This time the campground was full, too. So we went down to the Fort and hoped for the best. We got lucky and found a spot, but it still seemed like a huge bummer - tidal portion of the river instead of the ocean and no realistic way to connect to the main beach.

But then this lovely Boston Whaler showed up and anchored next to the shore near where we sat. Two more boats came and then two more. And on these boats? Let's just say that there was plenty of man candy. Many of them obviously related. And it turned out, they were staying at the house next to the beach behind where we were sitting. Hubby made a joke that the Kennedys were at the beach, and while that probably wasn't completely true, based on the boats alone, they were a group not hurting for money. So there was lots of pretty. And lots of grinning from me.

When you live in Maine, you don't expect to see the pretty on the beach (at least not the men). Chubby French Canadians in Speedos? Check. White guys who haven't been to the beach or outside without a shirt in nearly a year? Check. Dads who don't have time to think about the weight bench when they can think about beer instead? Check. Every once in a while, you get lucky and there will be barely legal boys showing off with their girlfriends. Occasionally, you get guys like the one sitting immediately next to us this time, who was all muscles and tan and...okay, I'm fanning myself. Well, I was, until he started puffing on his ciggies. Ew.

So when hot, tan, shirtless, smoke free guys show up (and okay, there were some attractive women too, I saw that but didn't care much; they weren't draping themselves over the men, so it wasn't distracting), it's a big deal. Big enough that I probably stared way too much. When the husband looks at me and says, "I need to work on my abs," my ogling was noticed. I didn't suggest he was wrong. Does that make me a bad wife?

Best part of the whole thing, though? So many ideas floating in my head for stories! I was checking out Lori Foster's Pinterest board of man candy the other day, in the interest of story prompts or something like that. And I thought, Lord, there is an abundance of beautiful men in the world. But I never see them! Well, today, I saw some. In my back yard, so to speak. Ahem. I debated snapping photos so that I could use them for book covers - they were playing football and frisbee and paddle boarding, jumping off their boats, swimming. *sigh* But first, how do I explain that to the husband? And second, will they be mad if I take their picture and then make money off it? Probably. Which left being content to ogle. And plotting, plotting, plotting ideas in my crazy head.

Ahhh, summer....