Monday Mayhem – Pantser life

Yo-ho! Yo-ho! The pantser life for me!

Hey, gang! I’m back again this week, with a new/old trick. I’m reverting to my old pantser ways.

Reader say, “Wha?”

You see, the writing world is generally comprised of two types – plotters and pantsers. Plotters work out every detail of the book before they even open page one. Pantsers have an idea and run with it.

In other words, a pantser writes a story by the seat of their pants.

Most writers naturally gravitate to one style or the other. I started out as a pantser and continued that way for a number of books. But as my career progressed, I started selling books to publishers on proposal. Therefore, I needed to submit a detailed synopsis of each book I intended to write.

This is how I evolved into sort of a plantser – someone with a pretty sketched out outline of the book, but still winging it on a chapter by chapter basis.

But I am not currently under contract. I have no series to complete. I am, at the moment, free as a bird.

So what did I do?

I started writing a book I hadn’t even thought about until I opened my mouth Tuesday morning and a story started coming out.

One that hadn’t been hopping around in the plot bunny file. One I haven’t plotted, or even barely thought about. An idea popped into my head Monday night, and Tuesday, I started writing it.

This should be fun, huh?

In other news

Double Play is coming in October! Digital pre-order is available at all e-book retailers. The audio production is in progress, and should be ready for October 25, 2018 release.

Paperbacks will be available, They look fabulous, but I have to tell you, they are a little pricier than the usual mass market paperback. I wanted to produce them in the 4×7″ size to match the other two books, but there’s limited production availability for that trim size in print on demand.

ANNNND – I have declared 2019 the year of the backlist. As part of the celebration, I’ll be resurrecting some out of print friends – like Tracy & Sean from Contentment, Maggie & Tom from Commitment, and Lynne & Bram from Spring Chickens!

Whew! That’s what I have going on. What’s new with you?

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Figuring it all out

Newsflash:

I’m almost 50, and I’m still figuring it all out. Where did we ever get the idea that people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond should have their lives completely under control?

woman trying to keep track of it all

Did you read the the headline? We don’t.

Who started this rumor? Whoever it was, has obviously never spent any time wrestling mid-life into submission, that’s for sure.

The only thing I’ve figured out about life, is that I will never have it all figured out. And, I’m not sure I want to. How boring would that be?

Here’s my take on it:

Life loves to throw curveballs, and no one is prepared for them – no matter how many candles they blew out on their last birthday cake.

I write a lot of romance featuring characters 40+, which is a little out of the main for commercial romance. Inevitably, someone (usually and acquiring editor, an online reviewer, or maybe a reader who is email inclined) will ask whether the heroine/heroine should have had a better grip on what they wanted, needed, or even their physical desires.

My answer is no. The fictional characters I create are supposed to be human, just like you and me.

We are supposed to be continually figuring it all out.

Our relationships blossom, fail, or float along until the next storm brews.

I’ve been over a decade into a job, only to discover the career ladder I thought I was climbing was actually a rope ladder, and someone was taking a blowtorch to the rungs below.

Our bodies will betray us. That’s an inevitability.

At times, our minds play nasty tricks on us.

People we love will disappoint us.

We will disappoint ourselves.

Love is a shape-shifter. Our ability to love and allow ourselves to be loved is constantly evolving.

Mistakes will be made.

Failure is not fatal.

This is all I have figured out so far. How about you? Any wisdom to add?

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – The Most Interesting Post in the World

Okay, maybe it won’t be, but this week’s blog topic is inspired by a liquor store advertising poster, so you can’t expect too much.

Let’s talk about the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World. Unquestionably, this has been on of the most successful campaigns for any beer not produced in St. Louis, MO. At one time, everyone was talking about The Most Interesting Man in the World. Why?

Because “He lives vicariously through himself”, that’s why. The mystique surrounding the man whose “Signature won a Pulitzer Prize” was compelling. So was the face of the ad campaign, Jonathan Goldsmith.

Mr. Goldsmith was in his late 60s when the campaign began in 2007, but handsome enough to make the non-beer-drinking segment of the population consider sipping a cold one.

His sexy silver fox looks helped make it believable that he was allowed to touch he art in museums. Or that in Spain, he chases the bulls. We totally bought into the swagger because he looked exactly like a man who could have/would have done all those things, just as a matter of course. Not because he set out to prove what a man he was.

But now there is a new Most Interesting Man in the World. And while Augustin Legrand is easy on the eyes as well, he just doesn’t work for me as well as Jonathan did.

Sure, he has the beard and a few laugh lines, but where are the sexy streaks of silver? To me, this new, not-so-improved version simply plays as an overgrown thrill-seeker, not an experienced man who became ‘a national treasure in countries he’s never visited’ simply by being who he was.

The switch was made to ‘reinvigorate’ the brand. It’s not working for me. I want my silver fox back, but what is a girl supposed to do when his business cards simply say, “I’ll call you”?

How about you? Have you ever fallen for the face of an ad campaign, or are you still scarred by the image of Joe Namath wearing Hanes Beautymist pantyhose?

Oh, and if you’re looking for a good electrician, here’s a referral:

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Monday Mayhem – Typecasting

Do you have a type?

I’m working on Easy Bake Lovin’ (Play Dates #2), and one of the plot points is that the heroine is about as opposite the hero’s usual type. Their attraction stirs some not-so-subtle commentary, which, in turn, leads to hurt feelings and confusion.

“Type” seems a shallow plot point on first glance, but when you think about it, most of us DO have some characteristics we gravitate toward. Types can be based on appearance, common interests and passions, and our attraction can be conscious, or sub-conscious.

Weird example: Most of my celebrity crushes were born within a year or so of the man I eventually married.

1960 was a magical year.

Obviously, this was not an intentional thing. I didn’t go looking for a man who was born within months of Colin Firth or John Taylor from Duran Duran. It just happened that way.

And upon noticing that, I realized that they all share similar physical attributes – each just a shade over six feet tall, dark not-quite wavy hair, dark eyes, squarish jaw. Check this out:

Colin plays it a little bit stuffy

John’s still rock ‘n roll

 

My combo deal

Fodder scoffs at this, of course, but that’s okay. It works for me, and that’s all that matters. And when I really want to bug him, I tell him I’m going to frame this:

How about you? Do you have a type?

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Free, free, set them free!

Allow me to wish my fellow Americans a Happy Independence Day!

Independence-day-united-states-of-america-wallpaper-free-download

And a belated Happy Canada Day to my friends up north!

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Been a big, busy week…as usual. I turned A BOLT FROM THE BLUE in to my editor. Wooot! Now, I’m working on the first book in a new series featuring hot single dads.

But the big news is…A WILL AND A WAY releases into the wild tomorrow, July 5, 2016!

AWAAW FB

I’m really excited to set this one free. A WILL AND A WAY is the follow up to my super-hot seasoned romance, THREE LITTLE WORDS, and I can’t wait to introduce you to Will!

In the meantime, Fodder and I will be blowing up the back yard tonight. Have a safe and happy 4th!

 

 

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Ten good things

Lots of good things going on. Ready for a check in?

  1. I’m over the halfway point with drafting Ransomed Heart! Woohoo! This is the point in the story where I have no idea what my characters are doing, and I just hope they will bring it around again. You see, they’ve stopped listening to me a few thousand words back. Being a panther, I’m okay with letting them go for a little bit. I can always rein them in at revision time. Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 3.11.13 PM
  2. I have received and returned the first round of edits on book #3 in the Coastal Heat series, Love & Rockets! And…just one of the many cool parts about this book: it will release on my birthday! Look for it at your favorite retailer on November 16, 2016!
  3. Speaking of Love & Rockets, the cover art fairy visited my inbox this week, and I may have squealed a bit. I’ll share the goods as soon as I get the green light.images
  4. Got an AWESOME 5 STAR early review for Flip This Love (Coastal Heat #2, April 26, 2016) at Epilogue Book Blog! From the feedback I’ve had so far, readers are loving our new hero, Harley Cade. Yay!!!!WellsMaggie_FlipThisLove
  5. Going Deep (Coastal Heat #1) is on sale this month for only $0.99. This is the first book in the series, so if you haven’t read it, grab it now!gd
  6. Six? Funny, I have about 6 future story proposals under consideration. Cross everything!Sheldon-Cooper-Freaking-Out-Reaction-Gif-On-Big-Bang-Theory
  7. Six must be the number of the week! It’s been just over a year since I sent a query letter off to Sara Megibow, asking her to read Full Court Press. Since then, we’ve done deals for 6 books together.sara
  8. Have you tried the Buttered Toffee shakes at Sonic Drive-Ins? Yeah. Best. Shake. Ever.unnamed
  9. Completed my 100 word/100 days challenge. Stats: Total words added to WIPs 88,446! Today, I am starting a new 100 day challenge, but this time I’m going to try to go for 500 per day.Snoopytypewriterplotthickening.jpg~c200
  10. This week, I was reminded again of how very lucky I am to have such loving and supportive friends and family. Thank you for being a part of my life. You are the very best part.7dde1588-dead-4def-8ab9-128a02da884b

 

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Monday Mayhem – Welcome March!

So glad March is here. Not only did we have a beautiful weekend, but the daffodils are blooming and a young woman’s thoughts are turning to romance. Writing romance.

I’m proud to say I managed to keep up with my 100 words/100 days through all the trauma of February. There were some days when I eked by with just over 100, but I made my goal each day. If I can make it through to the 19th, I’ll hit the 100 day mark. I’ll share my total word count when all is said and done.

I’m working on the second book in the Warrior series. I’ve also got a few proposals for future work out there, so cross your fingers. Writers are like sharks, we just have to keep moving forward.

One of the fun things I’ve been doing is participating in the Seasoned Romance group on Facebook. This group is for readers and writers who want to see more couples with a little more life experience behind them. If your’e on Facebook and want to talk about book you love, join us!

In other news: GOING DEEP is on sale this month for only $0.99!

gd

Why, you ask? Because FLIP THIS LOVE is going to be released next month!!

Flip FB 2

I can’t wait for you to meet Harley and Laney! I think you’ll really like them!

That’s what I have going so far. What’s new with you?

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Diving Into December

If you need me, I’ll be over here having a nap…

Kidding. Actually, I had an awesome long weekend. Here’s my recap, complete with pictures!

Thanksgiving brunch was yummy.

toast

My baybeh came over to play

baybeh

I kept cranking away at the NaNoWriMo word count

count

Until I got this:

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

Then I spent some time doing this:

book

and this

oneclick

But there were still things to do. I had to finish a read through on Spring Chickens and do first-round edits on Going Deep

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Then we made our annual contribution to the electric company

house

December will be the month of revision for me. I have 2 mostly complete manuscripts that are pretty darn messy. I have 2 websites I want to overhaul. I also have 2 releases to promote, 2 holiday parties on the same day…Oy. Maybe we can skip right to January?

How about you? Is your December shaping up to be crazy as well, or are you going low-key this holiday season?

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Magoo edition

Greetings, my friends, and welcome to the home stretch. As we round the bend into the final week of November, there are tons of things happening. Big things, wow things, as well as little things and ‘do this now’ things.

It’s the final week of NaNoWriMo and as I type this I have just over 10k left to make my goal. As many of you know, I am a write by the seat of my pants girl, and though I always start with a loose outline, most of my stories veer off at some point. This one (Bossy Pants) has  pretty much been pretty much like taking a drive with Mr. Magoo.

I’m also in the midst of the first round of edits on Going Deep (Kensington-Lyrical – September 2015) and just returned the second round of revisions on Spring Chickens (Turquoise Morning Press – January 2015)

While I do all of that, I’m preparing for 2 more Maggie releases.

The first will be a boxed set of the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series. This will be all twelve novellas (including both Passionate Plume finalists-August Awakening and Daring Miss December) for the awesome introductory price of only $0.99! You can pre-order yours here:

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ Apple ~ All Romance ~ Smashwords ~ TMP Bookstore

On December 15th, I’ll be celebrating the first of my Kensington-Lyrical releases, Three Little Words.

AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

December is shaping up to be a busy month as well. I’ll have two mostly finished, but really rough manuscripts (Full Court Press and Bossy Pants) to wrestle into shape.

I have to sit down and work on my 2015 business plan (Bet you didn’t know authors actually did those, did you?) and set my goals for the year.

I’m also planning to undertake a website overhaul…or two. You may have noticed that I’ve been mentioning my Maggie Wells work here more often, and talking about some of my Margaret books on Maggie’s blogs. I plan meld my websites and combine my blogs (if I can).

I’m taking on two board positions with my two Romance Writers of America chapters. In 2015, I’ll be President of the Diamond State Romance Authors, and Vice President of Passionate Ink RWA.

Oh, and Thanksgiving is Thursday.

And Christmas is just 30 days away.

So yeah…the holidays are here! What are your plans for wrapping up 2014?

 

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It’s my turn!

Funny to pimp my own book on my own blog, but hey, everyone gets a turn! Here’s a bit about Paramour – part of the Enchanted Lover boxed set available now!

Paramour_med_300dpi

Paramour was inspired by one of my favorite old movies, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Like Lucy Muir, I fell in love with the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg. The bit when Anna told her mother that Captain Gregg used to visit her when she was a little girl and they had been friends stuck with me.

How cool would it be to be pals with a ghost? What if she grew up with that ghost in her room. Would she have fallen in love with him like her mother did? I also liked the idea of a tortured young hero trapped between worlds.

Here’s an excerpt from Paramour:

The scent was back, flooding her senses with the relief of homecoming. She wondered if he knew how many hours she’d spent at the men’s cologne counter sniffing samples, trying to place the fragrance. After twenty years of friendship, endless fights, and one unforgettable kiss, she’d wondered if she finally earned the right to ask questions.

“Are you really here?” she whispered, afraid she’d scare him away.

“Yeah.”

Their eyes met, and she tumbled into the depths of his dark gaze. Cam knew if she didn’t take the chance this time, she may never have another.

“What cologne do you wear?”

Frank’s eyes narrowed with typical caution. “Polo.”

“Huh. Smells different on you.”

His thick eyebrows rose, and a sardonic smile twitched his lips. “Might be because I’m dead.”

Cam swallowed hard and sat up. “I’m glad you’re here.”

“Welcome home. I’m sorry.”

She shook her head, forcing a small, flirtatious smile. “Did you miss me?”

“Every damn day.”

“Then don’t leave me again.”

Frank raised his hand. His fingers twitched. She could feel heat radiating from his palm. Those warm fingers curved along the contour of her cheek. “I’ll make sure you’re never alone.”

Cam smiled, smoothing her palm over the rough hairs on the back of his hand. “With you around, how could I be?”

ENTER TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD & A SET OF 7 PRINT BOOKS HERE!

ENCHANTED-3d-MD

ENCHANTED LOVER: Tales of Everlasting Love 

Seven Novels of Mystical, Magical and Paranormal Romance

PARAMOUR by Margaret Ethridge (ghost)
Two men: one living, one dead, and both vying for her love. Camellia Stafford has never been alone in her room. For twenty years, she’s been engaged in a fierce power struggle with her bedroom’s previous tenant, Frank DeLuca, the ghost trapped in the light fixture above her bed.

ENTRANCED by Maddie James (time travel, reincarnation)
Jack and Claire set out on a wild search through time, not only for the resolution to a powerful attraction between them, but also for a historical artifact that holds the key to their future happiness–the coveted silver-plated chalice made from Blackbeard’s skull.

MYSTIC THUNDER by JC Wardon (witch, mystic)
Millennia of tempestuous ancestral history forewarn Rayne Cavanaugh to hide her ability to communicate with ghosts. But– When the nephew of the man she just can’t resist goes missing in the mountains of Mystic Waters, West Virginia, she must decide between self-preservation and love.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME by Cheryl Norman (time travel)
When Stacy Webber travels to Germany for her best friend’s wedding, she loses more than her luggage and purse. She lands in a different time, fifty years ago, with no idea how to return to her world.

TIMELESS by Jan Scarbrough (psychic, ghost, reincarnation)
When Beth Abbott receives a surprise inheritance from her birth mother, she travels to the family’s nineteenth century mansion in Old Louisville, KY, now a bed and breakfast. There she meets the resident ghost, a little girl whose crying not only scares, but also intrigues guests.

MAN OF HER DREAMS by Cat Shaffer (dreams, parallel times)
Jessi Flint has a perfectly good life with a successful business and the perfect man. So, he’s only in her dreams…until her flaky assistant goes to a New Age fair and Jessi suddenly begins receiving gifts with love notes signed by a mysterious Damian.

ALMOST MAGIC by J.M. Kelley (magic, witch, gifts)
When it came to Vivian Burroughs’ unique connection with nature, her grandmother always said, ‘Mediocrity may not burn as bright as a firecracker, but it seldom blows up in your face.’ But the old woman never advised her on what to do when a sexy new neighbor stokes the flames of attraction.

Buy now at:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | IBOOKS | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

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