Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vote for your favorite excerpt

I need your help!

I need to know which excerpt is the best for my book.

Vote in the comments section. Thank you!!

#1 He stepped closer, lowering his chin, giving her a deep stare. His eyes had a depth Andy had never seen before. Knowledge and understanding and something else in those pupils.
“Your black belt won’t always save you, you know.”
Andy turned away. He continued to follow her.
For some reason, that irked her. She thrust a hand to his chest. Rock solid. “Don’t. I could take you down if I had to.”
“I’m sure you could.” He had a cocky grin starting at one side of his mouth, then spreading to the other. “Goodnight, then.” With a salute to her, he marched backwards. When he rounded the corner, Andy found her phone and dialed Carla.
“So what was that all about?” Carla asked.
“Some guy wants karate lessons.”
“Are you sure? I think he was into you. I think this is just a way to get to know you.”
Andy changed the subject. “What did your mom want?”
Right at that moment two men in rubber masks rushed her, sliding up beside her, grabbing her phone and purse. She didn't care about the burner phone, but her weekender tote! Everything she needed was in there!
She was not letting go without a fight.

#2 Hugh shouted, “Let it go. It’s just a bag! It’s not worth it.”
“You don’t understand!” Andy said. The man held tight but still she persisted. “It’s my life, my everything.”
“Girls and their purses! I was talking to the duck.”
Daffy managed to stand, still holding the purse. Andy was too slow to return to her feet. Then Hugh jumped into action. Andy had never seen anyone so agile. He grappled the Daffy around his neck, then crashed him into his knee. Andy recognized the Russian Sambo technique. Even with the rubber mask, the wallop hurt. Daffy probably had a broken nose.
Andy stood still. This was the same man who asked for karate lessons a few minutes before?
Holding his nose, Daffy ran with Bill from the alleyway leaving the purse. Andy retrieved it from the sidewalk.
“So what was that?” she asked.

#3 She bit her lip, her fingers twirling the stem of her empty wine glass, thinking. It was all coming too fast. Andy didn’t know anything about organized crime. “What’s in it for you?” she asked.
“Freedom. I didn’t realize what I was getting into, and I want out. There is only two ways out. Death or the downfall of Imperium.” Now she understood his haggard appearance. “I’d prefer the latter.”
A silence passed between them. Her gaze darted to the other couples seated with hurricane lamps between them, the flames wavering in the open breeze. It was all so ironic. All those years growing up, Brad convinced Sandra and her dad that he was the obedient one, and Andy was the rebellious one. And now she was having this conversation.
Brad broke the silence. “Listen, I’m sure they’re watching me, so we don’t have time. Are you in or out?”
Seeing Brad so scared, so small, so internally sick with fear, made her all the more afraid.
She understood when she replaced her father as Andrew Baker there might be some retaliation from those she exposed. But a lone wolf breaking the law was different than organized crime. This was the mob he was talking about!

Monday, June 19, 2017

So what's next?

I have so many people ask me what's next in the publishing process that I thought I'd communicate the next few steps.

I have to go through at least three rounds of edits. I just got my first back today! yay! Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, even though I went boating this last week and burned the tops of my thighs. Needless to say, I can't set my laptop on top of them without a pillow! Yow! Painful lesson learned!

Cover Art
This is the fun part! I filled out a form for the art team talking all about my story. Darn, right? The cover artists need to know the tone and feel of my book, what the characters are like, what symbols are important and setting.  We scrolled through a lot of great work and picked a few covers that had the feel I like. I'm excited to have the cover reveal. If you want to be one of the firsts on the cover reveal, sign up for my newsletter to the right! =>

Back Cover
I have to write a blurb, a dedication and figure out the sweetest cut for my 250-word sample which should entice readers.  While my husband had my worksheets open on his laptop and was writing what I was dictating to him (see story about sunburn on thighs above) he wrote out a really nice dedication to himself, haha!

Now that I have a contract for my first book, I'm writing like mad to finish up another book with my characters.

Social Media
Creating a marketing plan and timeline. I have in mind a video I want to post on my website about a disguise my main character girl uses to rescue some information. I want to try and recreate that in a video.  I'll let you all know when that goes live!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

At what point do you call yourself a writer?

When I was nine years old, I took a piece of blue construction paper and stapled it around some blank computer paper. I titled the book, Young Author. I didn't know what I was going to write in there, but I knew it was going to be good!

I wanted to write mysteries. I read a whole lot of Nancy Drew at the time, everything in the local library and bought a few dozen more with my own money. (My daughter has them on her bookshelf as I write this--no way was I getting rid of those.) I attended a few workshops, dreamed, scribbled in notebooks, started a dozen stories, wrote a play (in fourth grade) and a scene I took to drama competition, took some Creative Writing classes in college. But it wasn't until nine years ago that I decided I was going to do it.

I had read a book that contradicted the thought that I had to be wildly talented to get published (a popular belief that I held or held me back), I only had to work hard, gain experience, and learn skills. In roughly ten years, 10,000 hours or 1 million words, I could overcome the talent curve. That gave me an incredible amount of hope.  And it helped me find my voice. I found that I do like mysteries, but I write more of action-adventure-romantic-comedies. Or Romantic Suspense with a comedic slant :)

So I am happy to announce that after nine years of studying books on the craft, attending workshops, and putting my bum in the chair, I finally have a contract on a book! And I feel like I can finally call myself a writer.

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Third Place from Book Buyer's Best Contest

A sweet romance wins third place Sweet romances can compete and win! I'm super excited for this honor.  I want to tell you, please keep ...