Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What I'm Reading--September Edition (So far)

It's been a busy month!  Finished a novel, getting ready for my short story to be published, sending kids back to preschool, traveling to Maine for my best friend's wedding, and going to Disney World (in a few days).  So here's my current reading list.
So far I am loving this one by Susan Donovan, set in North Carolina.
I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm finding the hero pretty darn delicious right now.
So far, this is beautiful and dark.  I'll let you know what I think when it's finished.  
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What I read--August

I read some really great books in August.  I went on a bit of a crazy Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth binge-reading fest and loved it.  That's what trilogies are for, right?  Here they are in no particular order.

Lauren Oliver shows a mastery of the voice of a high school mean girl in this poignant work.  I really love her writing style and found this compelling and heart-wrenching.  

Though this one was very well-written, I didn't love it.  I just wanted to solve the mystery and felt like I wasn't into the storytelling enough to exercise patience.  I might have skimmed just to find out what happened.  Not the uathor's fault.  But when I start out knowing that there's a mystery to be unravelled, I sometimes do this.

I liked this story.  I definitely want to find out what happens next.  I could stand with a little less architectural description and I'm not sure I love the ghost, but neither thing made me not really like the book. 
I really loved this trilogy.  Even if at times I found the concept a little more than improbable. Oliver's writing is so descriptive, and even though it's maybe a little flowery, it was perfect.  I practically fell in love with the coupling myself.

I'll confess, I watched the movie and then had to know what happened.  Loved the premise.  I'm still reflecting on the last book and trying to decide if I'm cool with it or not.  

So Stephen King basically tells us how he writes in this memoir and manual.  Much of it was great advice and I will consider it when I am crafting from now on.  But not all of it.  It may be okay to plot in advance and not mean you are dull.
I would actually recommend all of these books.  Even if you aren't into YA, I really think that Lauren Oliver's trilogy is so full of beautiful and heartbreaking romance that any romance novel fan would be sucked in, lifted up, destroyed, and fulfilled by it.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Working on a little cover fun.  Which one do you like best?

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Did you know that you can get the Elements of Style by William Strunk for free on Kindle?  I've had my copy since 10th grade, but it never hurts to have a second one.
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New Work

I've been working on some new things while taking some time away from Chasing Storm before I dig in to work on a second draft.  This is something exotic and different, a departure from my usual work. I'm calling it Hotel Hedo for now, but that will probably change.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this scene.

The rubber tires screeched as the plane touched down at the Princess Juliana International airport in St. Maarten.  The landing was a bit rough—though the sky had cleared, the wind still gusted.  Kate gathered her bottle of water and her bag onto her lap while she waited to deplane.  She felt a little woozy after the turbulence and the groping and the stiff drink.  She wiped a finger across the screen turning her phone’s power back on to check her messages.  Nothing from Moira.  Eight new messages from work, all about the new advertising and PR campaign for SED, Incorporated.  It was probably the most important pitch she’d ever worked on—it would be worth more than 50% of her firm’s total income for the year if her team got it.  But, she reminded herself, everything was done from storyboards to mockups.  The only thing any of her co-workers should’ve been doing was polishing and perfecting.  
Kate glanced at the emails and shot back quick responses to the questions.  Font, Frutiger.  Color, Maroon.  The first tagline.  Not a comma, a period.  Conde Nast.  The pressure on the inside of her skull was mounting—a sure sign of a major headache.  Martin had stepped out into the aisle and was actually waiting for her to go first.  She slid the phone into the pocket of her linen pants and stepped out of the row.  She glanced up and reached with her hand toward the overhead compartment where she had stowed her carry-on, but it was already open, and empty.  She had completely forgotten about the luggage falling out during the rough flight.  Her eyes searched and then came to a rest on a completely horrifying sight.  Her bag had come unlatched, and all of her clothes, toiletries, and lingerie were strewn about the first-class cabin.  A stewardess caught her mortified expression and made a dash toward a particularly lacy black pair of panties.  Kate stumbled toward the suitcase, tripping over someone’s protruding briefcase, and snatching up her bikini and a silk camisole as well as her makeup bag.  She stuffed them back into her suitcase and slammed it shut.  
Her hair had fallen in her face and her blouse had come untucked during the mad scrambling.  Holding her damaged suitcase firmly in her right hand, she walked back to her row, where Martin was still standing.  He had an incredibly devilish grin on his face, and she cocked her head in confusion—that is until the red silk thong dangling from his finger caught her eye.  Her cheeks matched her panties, as she snatched them out of his hand and stuffed them into her pocket.  Then she swung her bag up onto her shoulder and stomped off of the plane.  
“You’re welcome,” Martin called after her.  
Kate didn’t look back as she marched down the stairs and along the path marked with orange cones to the gate door for the terminal.  Inside, she quickly located the transportation sign and headed toward it without looking back.  She couldn’t even think about facing that cad.  I mean, who does that…picks up a lady’s underwear and holds it up for all the world to see.  The airport was crowded with tourists, flowing caftans and Hawaiian shirts abounded.  Kate could see a small desk with a stack of brochures and one small man trying to serve the long line of stranded, disgruntled passengers.  She took her place at the end of the line, which was clearly moving on Caribbean time, not New York time.  The weekend would probably be over before she made it to the front.
“What are you doing?” Martin’s sexy voice and breath on the back of her neck made her jump.
“What’s it look like?”
“I’ve got my own transport.”
“How nice for you.”
“Is this about the panties?”
Kate spun to face him, her arms crossed firmly across her chest, anger blazing in her hazel eyes.  She was silent as her glare burned into him.  He threw his hands up in surrender, but his eyes were still smiling.
“You don’t even feel bad about that, do you?”
“Not really.  Nice choice though.  Red suits you.”
“You’re a pervert.”

“I’m not the one who left my undies all over a plane.”  He extracted gunmetal grey aviator shades from his pocket and slid them on his nose, a look of smug satisfaction on his face.  Then he grasped the handle of her smashed roller bag and started toward the glass door, a spring in his step.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finally done with the first draft of my latest work, Chasing Storm.  It's full of strong tornadoes and even stronger chemistry.
Here's an excerpt.  Enjoy!
“Alright, I’m here.  I’m here.”  Jen pushed past Anna through the open doorway.  “I brought the wine,” she announced swinging the bottle over her shoulder as she strode into the kitchen.
“Pour me a big one,” Anna said as she tagged behind.
Anna’s kitchen was a small galley style with a cutout that faced into the living room area.  It was modern and clean with bright pendant lighting, glistening stainless steel appliances, and white cupboards and quartz countertops, which were covered with small takeout boxes from the local thai place.  Jen looked over the selection and scooped out some rice and cashew chicken.  She pushed herself onto the counter and immediately started pushing the food into her mouth with chopsticks.
“Spill,” she said through a mouth full of food.
Anna filled a goblet with the Georgia scuppernong and took a large swig, filling her mouth with the spicy sweetness before she spoke. “They want us to share the show.”
“You got the show!?  That’s great! I thought you called me to mope.  This is a celebration!”
“Jen, are you listening?  They want me to co-host the show with that…that Creighton.”
Jen plucked Anna’s glass off of the counter and took a gulp.  “Creighton?  I thought he was hot…Wow, I picked a good one.  I forgot how much I love scuppernong.”
“Mmmm…I hadn’t noticed,” Anna lied.  
“Yeah, right.”  Jen eyed her critically as she filled her own glass neatly to the brim.  “Just the fact that you’re denying means you thought he was really hot.”
“In that case, I admit that he is reasonably attractive.  But that’s not the point.”
Jen sighed audibly.  “What’s the point then?”
“I can’t do it.”
“Of course you can.”
“Nope, it would be torture.”
“Oh, yes, the absolute torture of being on a television show with a gorgeous hunk.  The horror!” Jen mocked.
“Jen!  I’m serious—I can’t stand him.  The last thing I would want to do is be associated with him.  It would ruin my credibility.”  
Jen rolled her eyes.  “Give me a break, Anna.  It’s a show.  I doubt it’s going to mar your scientific record.”
“He’s a glorified tour guide who spent all of last season following me around.”

“I’d like to have him follow me around,” Jen muttered from behind her wineglass.  
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Falling on Ice

My novella "Falling on Ice" will be released in late October as part of Melange books Frozen Anthology!  I couldn't be more thrilled.  In fact, I got so excited, I made a fake cover.  I couldn't help myself.  Consider it a little amuse-bouche before the main course.  Until then, here it is.

After the horrible year ice sculptor Sam McLeod has had, 
falling off a ladder at Nationals into the arms of her nemesis 
is the absolute last thing she needs.  Or is it?

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