Another WIP Down

Friday, February 22, 2013
I finished writing my story, Price of a Kiss, on Wednesday! I'm going to call this one a mature New Adult novel. It ended out at 91,000 words long the first draft through.

I know, how did I come up with some many words?

Now, I need to look it over all the way through, catch the initial mistakes, and start begging for beta readers. I've had a few people read the first few chapters, and I'm kind of afraid to hear back from them. What if the story I saw in my head while writing it comes out as total junk to the readers?! I just don't think I can take that kind of rejection.

Actually, I know I can. I've done it before with pretty much every other book I've written. And somehow I survived. I don't think I've received a 100% outstanding reviews on anything I've finished. But I was kind of relishing my honeymoon stage with this book--you know, that point where you think its beautiful, and amazing, and flawless. 

I know it's not, but I'm still hoping reactions will be little things that will me give me a "oh, why didn't I think to do that in the first place; good catch," moment, instead of "you hated that part? But I Loooooooveeedd it. Pleeassse don't make me take it out. Pu..pu...please!"

We'll see.

Yesterday, was a snow--or maybe I should say ICE--day for us. All classes were cancelled, so no work for me. I stayed burrowed in my house with my family and had a lovely time. 

Now, it's time for catch up, so I better go.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

The Fun Way to Research

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Best Kid Line of the Day:

When I was rolled up with strep throat this weekend, I pretty much just curled up on the couch and didn't move as much as I could help it. And I cretainly wasn't in the mood to read bedtime stories to the three-year-old.

So when I had to put her to sleep, and she started begging, the ol' "Mommy, doesn't feel well. She's sick. Her throat hurts. She can't read tonight," just didn't fly with her.  So, I said, "Why don't YOU read tonight?"

Her answer: "I can't. I don't have my glasses."

Hmm. Since I usually take my glasses off to read, I'm guessing she learned that line from Grandma.

Now, onto the topic of the day...

I'm am so psyched about my newest story.  I am now 80,000 words into it, and I had thought--and kind of hoped--it would be over by 80K, but nope, it's still going strong. 

One thing I worried about was trying to make my character authentic though. She's just beginning college and is a very modern girl. She walks the walk, and talks the talk.  And me, I'm still stuck back in the 90's when cowabunga was new (shout out: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. woot, woot!), so I was worried I was going to make her sound like an old fogy (is that how that's spelled?  hmm).

Anyway, I was kind of stressing about that, and kept looking things up in the online urban dictionary to make sure I was getting phrases right when I said to myself, I'm going to have to hang around a group of eithteen to twenty-year-olds and just listen to them talk. 

And then it happened.

For Lydia's birthday, we had to visit Grandma's house for a birthday supper, and Grandpa put the Disney channel on for her to watch this teenie-bopper show. 

Pow, suddenly there were a group of teens in front of me talking in the most up-to-date teen lingo out there!  So, I found some scrap paper in my purse and started talking notes.  Oh, yes I did.

Another thing I wanted to get right in this story was music, with some of today's hits being mentioned.  Have any of you played SongPop on Facebook (or off any SongPop app really?) yet? They have lots of today's current songs there.  So, tada!  I got help for that little problem by playing SongPop (seriously, if you do play, feel free to challenge me, I love playing!!!).

Usually, when people talk about how much research they do for their stories, I just cringe because when it comes to researching something, my best friend is usually Wikipedia. But now I can say, I watched Disney and played SongPop to research my latest novel!

Some night my hubby's going to come home from work to find me at the kitchen table with all the junk food spread out in front of me. "I'm researching," I can say. "I need to aptly describe the flavor of Nacho Cheese Chips!" 

I know. It's a hard life, but someone's got to live it.

Coordinating Your Story

Friday, February 15, 2013
I was reading this book last year by one of my favorite authors. The hero was wearing these wicked awesome shades that was driving the heroine crazy becaues she couldn't see his eyes behind the dark lens.  A few lines later, he said something and his eyes flashed with some kind of emotion.  A few lines after that, he took his opaque sunglasses off.

So, I covered my mouth and was all like, "Ummmmm, that was so wrong. How was she supposed to know what his eyes looked like before if he just took the shades off now?"

I do this kind of thing ALL the time. I'll have someone sit down, and a few lines later, they'll sit down again...when they're already sitting.  I'd be nice to catch every single one of these oopsies, but I know that's kind of impossible.  Still, I wish I could somehow list out all the actions so I can go back to my data and figure out where everyone is and what they're doing when I need to know.

I haven't figured out the small details yet, but I did have a brain-child moment about the big stuff.  In the current book I'm writing, I knew I wanted all these different things to happen, but I wasn't sure when they should happen or in what order. It was obvious some things had to go before other things and so much time had to pass between some scenes. I was looking at my calendar, when I realized...Brilliant.

I dug up an old 2012 monthly wall calender and began scribbling events onto that.

I know, I know. I'm a little slow on the uptake, but doing this had never actually occurred me before. Now, I think I'll have to try it for every book I write. And, hey, I even feel green about it, recycling old calendars, and all. It really helps you figure out where you want to be in the story and where you want to go, all the while lowering the risk of coordination mistakes.

I would totally recommend using a pencil instead of  pen though. Learned that one the hard way!

What are some tricks you writerly people use to help keep track of the timing in your stories?  Cause, obviously, I need as many helpful tips as possible in that department.

In Other News:

My erotic romance writing buddy, Miranda Stowe, has happy news all over the place lately.  And since she kind of sucks about promoting herself, I feel I must brag her up a little bit over here!

First of all, she had a new release out last Friday. It seems to be doing well! She checked Amazon Kindle this morning, and MATES SINCE BIRTH was currently rated at 5,500.  That's a record for her!

Then yesterday, she got an email from the Sensual Reads Review site that her story, FRAMED AS A KILLER, received a 2012 Sensual Reads Reviewers’ Choice Award in their suspense category. Plus, in October, she also learned FRAMED AS A KILLER was a 2013 EPIC Awards Finalist. I'm so proud of her.

And that's all I have to chit-chat today. Well, I guess I COULD tell you my wonderful amazing husband, got a sitter for us on Tuesday night and took me out to dinner, then gave me a new computer printer for Valentine's Day, which was too sweet. Then, on the actual day of Valentine's he passed on his strep throat to me. But, I didn't figure you really wanted to hear about that, so mums the word!

Hope you had a great, amazing, healthy V-Day!  Toodles.

Cover Reveal - Addicted to Ansley

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I got my cover for Addicted to Ansley!!

I just love the little hummingbird in the title.  I love the fonts, and the cover model (who is Jason Baca, by the way), and the color scheme.  And I just love its sweetness factor. 

After showing it to the hubby, he scratched his head and said it wasn't as steamy as my other covers.  Well, that's because the story isn't as steamy as some of the others I wrote, so, I guess that's a plus!

Anyway, Friday starts the one month countdown until it releases on March 15th! I'm excited. There are still open spaces left in my book blast release (March 18th). If anyone wants to join the blast and host a little blurb about Addicted to Ansley, there are still opening to sign up HERE. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, to those of you who already joined. I so love you guys!

This is the second time I'm posting on a Tuesday, when I usually to do it Mondays, so I'm thinking I may just change my blog schedule to Tuesday and Friday posts. It's just so hard for me to get into gear on Monday mornings.

In other news, my baby girl is now the big THREE years old. She was so stoked after her big birthday celebration on Sunday evening that she woke up Monday, wide awake and raring to play with all her new 3:30 am.  Yeah, I wasn't quite as raring as she was...which was probably why I didn't post a blog yesterday.

And on the new-story front, I'm still madly writing on my newest WIP.  What do you think of the title: Price of a Kiss with the tag line of: "Reese finally found Mr. Right; she just can't afford him."?

Have a great day; see you Friday!

Sick Kids and Guest Posts

Friday, February 8, 2013
I was out of commission from late Friday night to this Wednesday morning with a puny kid. Fevers, hives, emergency room visits, it was all great fun. NOT!

Before it was all over and done with, we had visited three different medical institutions, and received three different medical diagnoses. She either had the flu (though that swab test came back negative), strep throat (and that test came back negative too), or an allergic reaction to something! She had things poked and prodded into just about every orifices she had, and she threw up more than half the medicine we tried to give her.

Here's what she looked like on Sunday morning (maybe you can see her head-to-toe rash, or maybe not):

Anyway, I've been a little busy with those things, so I haven't been out in the social writing world lately. 

Still, this post would probably still be all about my baby because her birthday is THIS Sunday.  I know, that just came out of nowhere.  She's going to be three, and I have a bad feeling the birthday presents we ordered for her are not going to be delivered in time.  Oh well, a day late is better than never...I hope.

She started drawing people this week.  On Tuesday evening, the weather was so nice, and she was tired of being cooped up inside from whatever-was-wrong-with-her, so we went out for a little bit.  She likes to "paint" with water and paintbrushes on the sidewalk, and when I saw she'd painted her first person, I totally flipped out, praising her. Then I ran inside to get the camera.  Dad came over to check it out and pulled out his cell phone to take a picture too.  Lydia was thrilled by our praise and felt the need to draw a couple more people.  So, here is the first time she drew something we could actually "see"!

Her memory skills are getting good too. She can quote more than a few things. Here's a little peek at what our almost three-year-old can say now:

If you didn't catch any of that, I'll translate! She said :  "One little monkey jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Momma called the doctor, and the doctor said, No more monkeys jumping on the bed."

In writing news... 

A Fallow Heart was reviewed on Tuesday, February 5th, (five stars, thank you very much!) at Mrs. Condit and Friends Book Review Blog! Plus, I also had a guest post there, along with the review, about what was fact and fiction in my story. There was a contest to win a copy of A Fallow Heart, but I'm not sure when it expires, or expired!

And that's all from me for today!

Hope you have a great, rash-free weekend.  Hugs!

Book Blasts, Gushing Muses, and Four-Syllable Words

Friday, February 1, 2013
I did it again!!

I'm having someone else help me with my promotions.  Lisa (or Tasty Lisa as I've dubbed her!) over at Tasty Book Tours is helping me out once more. She's so helpful!  Anyway, she is setting up a Release Day Book Blast for my story Addicted to Ansley.

She will provide the book cover, book blurb, excerpt, author info and custom tour banner (plus an E-Galley copy of the story for anyone actually interested in reading and reviewing it) for a Book Blast post that will take place on March 18th!!  If anyone (hint, hint) wants in on the action and would like to help me blast about my newest release on March 18th, you can go HERE to set it up with Lisa.

I came up with a quick little blurb for my sweet contemporary, Addicted to Ansley. It's not the official one, but if you're curious what it's about, then:
Ward Gemmell's day started like any other, giving a speech at a high school to warn kids away from drugs, to warn them from becoming what he'd become. He had no idea he'd end up meeting his daughter at the end of that speech or that he'd find himself back in the life of the woman he never forgot. 
In other writing news: My muse has attacked BIG TIME. After finishing up Addiction to Ansley, I'd been kind of floating, just playing around with a dozen different stories, writing on one WIP one day and doodling with another the next.

One of these stories (the one I was talking about a few weeks ago--about how I stole the idea off a book blurb I'd read, remember? No. Oh, well. Anyway, it) really started bugging me this week. On Sunday, I didn't even have six thousand words in my Word document for it. On Wednesday, I almost had thirty thousand.  Yeah, the ideas just...came. So, I typed. And now I want to talk about my story! A lot. To someone. Anyone!

Has this ever happened to you? Do you get really excited about an idea and you just want to tell someone about, but you don't know if it's too soon. Seriously, though, I want some kind of validation. I need someone to hear my idea and say, "Wow, Linda. That's a bestseller, right there." I think I'll bug my sister about it first. you want to hear about it? Do you? I'll tell you! I swear.

Moving along!

Little Big Mouth (aka, my daughter--geesh, It must be my week to give people strange new monikers!) has struck again! She's not giving away secrets this time, but she's just saying things that crack me up! "Comfortable" is her new word! That's four-syllables and one word for a not-quite-yet-three-year-old. I have no idea if this is typical or not, but I'm going to go with the whole she's-the-smartest-kid-in-the-world theory!

Smart or not, she still needs to learn to sleep. She woke me at two-thirty on a Monday night saying her belly hurt. Since (for some strange reason I do not understand) she has to poop in her bedroom closet--in her diaper, mind you--she wanted to go lay in the two-thirty.  Yeah, i know. Worst of all, she made me go with her. So, while she's camped out in a plush nest of pillows and blankets on the closet floor, my big, 'ol adult body has no padding under me. But Little Big Mouth has to go and ask, "Are you comfortable, Mommy?"

No!  I wasn't comfortable. At all. I wanted to be asleep. In my bed.

Anyway, time passed, my grumpiness continued, and I finally got to crawl into my bed at four.  Two days later, she's up at a quarter 'til five o'clock, which is when I typically get up to get ready for work. So I plop her into bed with Daddy while I take my shower. She falls asleep until I have to rewake her to take her to the babysitter.  Still half out of it, she grumbles. "No...I comfortable," when I pull she sheets off her.

So, that's what's up with my kiddo. Pulling out four-syllable words, keeping me up at all hours of the day and night, and pooping in her closet. What a life.

Have a good weekend, everyone!