I'm Turning Into Rogue!

Monday, January 28, 2013
Yes, you heard me right. I'm turning into Rogue off X-Men, and not because I absorb the life energy of anyone I touch. Yeah, definitely a no on that one.  It's because I'm going gray!  ACKKKKK! I know, right.

And there's only one spot I see all these gray hairs coming in: right in the middle of my bangs along my cowlick.  If it keeps up like this, I'll have nothing but white bangs to go with the rest of my hair dark, which honestly, I think would look kind of cool.  So, if I MUST go gray, I guess it's best it's happening the awesome Rogue way!

Since I've been married to my hubby going on twelve years now, I suppose I can't blame him for turning me gray. Ergo, I'm blaming the kiddo!  If she wasn't so stinkin' cute, I might have strangled her a couple times by now. She'll be three next month and she's quite a little ball of personality.

The child can't keep a secret. She told Grandma what she was getting for Christmas, and she told her daddy what he was getting for his birthday. I'm definitely going to have to watch my P's and Q's around her because she tells her baby-sitter (aka, my mother-in-law) EVERYTHING. Last week, she told Grandma she got a new puzzle. It came in a box and some guy brought it to the house. Took Grandma a while to figure out the "guy" was the UPS man, and he was delivering her birthday present, which YES, I gave to her early. I know, I have no willpower.

But anyway, it still has me freaked out. The only thing worse than your mother knowing every little thing you do is for your mother-in-law to know every little thing you do. So if I'm going to be lazy and watch a marathon run of The Lying Game on Netflicks all evening long (kind of like what I did all of last week), you-know-who is probably going to tattle on me.

So, that's my new life these days! Living with a kid who talks WAY too much.

On the the book end of my life, I'm still writing here and there. And reading on my RITA books. I haven't gotten into a Rita-read story that totally rocks the casbah yet, but I'm not quite halfway through the pile yet, so there's still hope that one will WOW me.

And now that I had to go and use the "casbah" cliche, I totally have The Clash song pounding through me head.  So...in a Happy Monday to you, I'm going to share the ack-I-can't-get-that-song-out-of-my-head moment with you. A little blast from the 80s!  Enjoy.

Writing a Better Book than the Last One

Friday, January 25, 2013
Marie Rose Dufour got me to thinking about this after I read her Tuesday post. So...thanks a lot, Marie!

The first book I ever published continues to be my bestseller.  I have no idea why.

Is it the best book I ever wrote? Yeesh, I hope not. To think I peeked there and have been going downhill ever since is depressing.

But I couldn't tell you which of my other stories would be better. Seems like the "one I just finished" is always the best because it's freshest in my mind.  But if your stories are like your babies, then you really can't have a favorite; they're all special in their own way. And to me, they are.

So it's very hard to watch one of my books get more attention than the others, especially the first one.  I see it succeed, and I get to thinking, "I did it once, I can do it again." Then, I don't do it again.  And hmm.  What went wrong?

Beats me.

So my new mission in life is to publish a NEW story that will sell more copies than The Stillburrow Crush.

Still don't know how to do this yet, but...I have a few ideas.

-A rocking book cover.

-Affordable price (seems like 99 out of the top 100 books in the bestselling list on Amazon is $2.99 or cheaper)

-Great story, of course.

-A blurb that pulls you in and make you want to start reading NOW!

-Getting the word out about it.

-Writing something that readers are currently buying like crazy.

Can you think up any other factor that makes a book SELL?

Writing just for the pleasure of writing remains number one priority to me! Selling really is secondary--REALLY! I'll keep creating stories, no matter what. But beside all that, this will be a new side goal for me.  Do you ever make side-goals for yourself?

Another one of my side goals is to write a book that will sell in an actual real-life book store some day. 

Well, that's all I have to talk about today.  Have a good Friday!

My Late Monday Post

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Well, I was going to write up a post yesterday, but with a day off work and all, I just got too lazy! Plus, I don't have anything really, super exciting to say.

We've gotten through first round edits for Addicted to Ansley, and it's release date is less than two months away, so I guess that's sort of exciting!

But I haven't heard anything new about my New Adult story, so I'm still not a hundred percent positive what it's title will be yet. Not so exciting. 

I'm reading bunches and bunches lately, but had to take a time out from my 2013 reading resolution list because I signed up to read books for the RWA Rita and those showed up last week. All the Rita books I received are written by authors I've never read before so it'll a total surprise to me what each book is going to be like.

I've also been coming up with a lot of story ideas lately too (and thank you to everyone who assured me I wasn't an idea thief)! So I've been trying to jot those down before I forget them.

And I've decided one thing I need to work on in my writing is my purple prose. But it's sooo hard to do.  Authors are supposed to be creative, right, so naturally we want to come up with a creative way to say something, and before we know, we get carried away (well, I do, anyway) and we start saying things like "his uncontrollable emotions frothed to the surface."


My mom read that and was like, "huh?" Well, it's like this. I've seen emotions 'bubbling,' so why can't they froth?

Sometimes, my frilly description gets a little out of control and it makes my readers lose a little of the true meaning of what I want to say. It turns into a a bunch of pretty words that just confuse everyone: aka-purple prose.

They say Hemingway was a master at using simple words to make deep, meaningful descriptions. He never got caught up in purple prose. Maybe I should read Old Man and the Sea again to beef up on my internal  purple prose eater.

What's something you need to work on in your life?

OH!  And one last thing: Lisa at A Tasty Book Tours is setting up a book tour for A Fallow Heart. Yep, I'm finally having someone else set up a tour for me!! If anyone wants to participate, here's the link: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/01/now-booking.html

Stealing, Sharing, and Giving Away Story Ideas

Monday, January 14, 2013
Today, I'm curious about everyone else's thoughts on the community use of story ideas.

I read this post a few months ago about about a woman who had shared her unique, one-of-a-kind idea for a story with a twitter/blogger/facebook/okay-I-can't-remember-which friend. And when that "friend" turned around, totally back-stabbed her, and stole her story idea, using it to write her own book, word-for-word with the same idea, she was completely devastated.

I kind of freaked out when I read this blog, listening to the poor woman go on and on about how heartbroken she was and how she'd never be able to write her dream story now because someone had stolen the idea.

And I wasn't freaked because I feared someone else would steal my ideas, I was freaked because I worried I might've stolen someone else's idea!

I know the idea for my story, Delinquent Daddy, came after reading the first chapter of Sandra Brown's book, Long Time Coming. It's about a dad showing up to cuss out a woman for a letter he received saying he's the father to a kid he doesn't know about...only to realize he really is the father to that kid.  Other than that, the two stories have really no similiaries, but I TOTALLY took the idea from that book because I really, really, really liked it.

Then, I also stole the story idea of my ebook How to Resist Prince Charming from the movie In Good Company. That's the one where the new, young boss falls in love with his employee's daughter.  I just LOVED that idea too, so yeah, I wrote a book about it...because, you know, it was calling to me. But my book has a happy ending, UNLIKE the movie's ending.

Granted, I didn't copy those stories word-for-word, but I did use their basic plot ideas. If I asked you guys, I have a feeling you'd reassure that I didn't steal anything. At least I hope you would (please).

It all got me to thinking though. Isn't the idea for EVERY story we write somehow taken from another story? And what about all those re-writes of Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast? And don't they say there are only so-many plots out there? How can you actually STEAL an idea? Or are we all just dirty-rotten theives?

I was getting really confused and worried with all my philosophical pondering when last week I saw some kind of blog party (or something or other) where writers were actually SHARING their story ideas with other people.Come share an idea, it invited.


So, now I have to know what you good people think? Is it possible to steal an idea? Even if you use the basic outline from one person's story, the two stories could never truly be the same. I mean, wouldn't they still have to have different writing styles, different characteristics, different author points of view, different scene chronology?

I totally don't think taking the blurb or idea or whatever someone has for a fresh, new story word-for-word and making it your own is okay, but I do think it's okay to use what you've seen out there on some level. What I don't know is where that line is drawn. When does it become okay?

Where would YOU draw the line of stealing and sharing??

I read a blurb for a book recently, and it was so compelling, I loved it so much, I began to write my own version of that story from that blurb in my head. I've completed the prologue and first chapter for it already because it's so loud up there in my noggin. When I broke down and bought the book that inspired me, I was actually disappointed it really wasn't anything like the story I had rolling around inside me.  So...would you consider it stealing it I continued with my story and finished it? Or should I set it aside because I'll be a big-fat thief it I stick with it?

Friday Updates!

Friday, January 11, 2013
It's a good thing I didn't make "visit more blogs" one of my New Year's resolutions because I've totally bombed in that department so far this month. I have no idea how everyone else is doing. I know lots of my blogger friends are having book releases, and tours, and cover reveals, and I'm over here, lost in my own world.  But hopefully, I'll get out and visit today. Fingers crossed.

I've been busy in my little world though.I've been swamped in my day job. One niece passed the state board test and is now officially an RN. One sister had to stay the night in the hospital due to high heart rate (but she's out and okay now). Another sister received an award yesterday for being the top first-year teacher in our state. My mom is going on a trip to Alaska this summer. My kid still refuses to go number two in the potty. And in the past fifteen days, I've sold TWO stories!!!!

I know, crazy huh?

Since Black Lyon Publishing has mentioned it on their website, I guess it's okay for me to announce: ADDICTED TO ANSLEY will release in the spring. This is a sweet adult romance (something my mom will actually read!). And it's about a guy who falls for a girl. You know, the usual!  I tried to implement the issue of drug use. But...since I know next to nothing about that topic, it's gonna be real interesting to discover how accurate I actually got some details!!  I still love the romance part of the story though!! I sigh out a little dreamy sound every time I think about my two main characters, Ward and Ansley.

I also have a college-age romance story I sold to Omnific Publishing. But I haven't gone too far in dealings there yet. I don't even know if the working title I submitted with my manuscript is going to stick yet or if it'll be changed. So I can't report much past, I SOLD A BOOK!!  But I'm still VERY excited about this one.  The plot is....pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  Whenever I've given anyone a quick run-down over what it's about, I can't tell I've captured their attention, yet they still say, "Whaaaat? That's so....wow. Just, wow."

So there are two things you have to look forward from me this year. Now, I'm off to visit everyone else!

Happy Friday!

Carol Kilgore's Cover Reveal of SOLOMON'S COMPASS

Monday, January 7, 2013
When U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell discovers her uncle’s drowning death was murder, she must determine the killer’s identity in order to prevent another murder. Jake Solomon’s job is to make sure Taylor isn’t the next victim.

It is my great pleasure to help "Crime Fiction with a Kiss" author Carol Kilgore reveal the cover to her next novel, SOLOMON'S COMPASS, which is coming out APRIL 2nd!!!

Carol Kilgore is an award-winning author of several published short stories and many essays and articles. Solomon’s Compass is her second novel, a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss – always at least one crime; always a love story. Carol and her Coast Guard husband live in San Antonio, Texas, with two herding dogs that like nothing better than pack time on the patio.

You can find Carol here:

website . blog . facebook . twitter . goodreads

Solomon's Compass Blurb:

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Many congrats to Carol on another new release.  I have to say...I LOVE this cover and feel honored to see a sneak peek!!

2013 Reading Resolutions!

Friday, January 4, 2013
It's January!! Yay.  It's my hubby's birthday month, plus time to make those New Year's Resolutions.  Since I suck as actually reaching any of my new year goals, I decided to make some goals I might actually meet.  Reading!

So...I'm listing some books I plan (and totally WILL) read this year, all of them waiting patiently in my iPad Kindle ap, thanks to all those wonderful family members who know me so well and got me amazon gift cards for Christmas (love you guys).

Here's what I am resolving myself to read this year:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
Down to You by M. Leighton
The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski
Effortless by S. C. Stephens
Flawed by Kate Avelynn
Gravity by Melissa West
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Just Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles
Not Quite Dating by Catherine Bybee
Kissing Kendall by Jennifer Shirk
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Mishief at Mulberry Manor by Romy Gemmell
Rock Star's Girl by J. F. Kristin
Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley (57% finished already. SCORE!)
Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker
That Boy by Jillian Dodd
Thoughtless by S. C. Stephens
The Wild Ones by M. Leighton
You Against Me by Jenny Downham

And here's a list of "coming soon" books I will add to my resolution list as soon as they're available!

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Bound in Evil by Marie Rose Dufour
Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Faking It by Cora Carmack
Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt
Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Precious Things by Stephanie Parent
Resisting Fate by Heather Powell
Retail Therapy by Amber Skyze
Solomon's Compass by Carol Kilgore
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
Tempting the Bodyguard by J. Lynn
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

So, what do you think? I can swing this, no problem, right?!  Yeah, I think so too!  What is on your reading resolutions list??