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!

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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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Monday Mayhem- Pardon my blatant self-promotion

Happy Labo(u)r Day, my friends! I’m celebrating the holiday with a new release! Okay, it’s one of Maggie’s, but believe me, I worked harder on this story than she did. She just swoops in at the end, sticks her name on it, and prances around like she did something.

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The Last First Date was truly a labor of love. There’s nothing I love more than a messy love story, and this one takes the cake when it comes to things going wrong. It also has what The Romance Reviews said, “contains what I can only describe as THE best meeting between a couple in any book ever.”

As part of the Harlequin-E Contemporary Romance boxed set, The Last First Date was a recommended read on the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, and is now available as a single title release.

Get yours here:

Amazon

B&N

iBooks

All Romance e-Books

Harlequin

Tell your friends!

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Monday Mayhem – Pardon me while I squee

BUT, ARE YOU WATCHING OUTLANDER?

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I’ve been both dreading and anticipating this for months and after three episodes, I’m happy to say I’m in love, love, love. I think they’re doing an awesome job of adapting the book and Jamie and Claire and Frank and SQUEEEEE!

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Ahem. Sorry. Now back to your regularly scheduled Monday.

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Monday Mayhem – Gotta Get Away

I’ve been suffering a pretty strong vacation urge for the last couple of years. When one moves 500+ miles from family and friends and marries into a ready-made family, vacation time is usually eaten up with trips back home or activities to entertain the kids.

My husband and I haven’t taken a trip that wasn’t work or family related since our honeymoon in 2001 when we went to Eureka Springs and stayed at the beautiful (and haunted!) Crescent Hotel.

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We had a taste of what it might be like when he flew to south Texas last spring to meet me for a quick weekend. I was working in McAllen for a couple of weeks, and the flight times to and from Little Rock just didn’t make sense for a Friday afternoon to Sunday evening turn around, but the proximity to South Padre Island and frequent flier miles made a couple days at the beach possible.

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Boy, did that whet the whistle.

When inclement weather forced us to stay overnight in Cape Girardeau, MO on our way back from Illinois, we discovered that we both enjoy exploring these old Mississippi River port towns. It didn’t hurt that we came out of the riverboat casino $60 ahead for the night.

So yeah, we’ve been itching to get away again, but with job/family/pet/financial obligations, it hasn’t been easy to take the time away. But then I had a flash of genius.

No, I didn’t invent an intermittent windshield wiper, but I did manage to put a couple of random thoughts together and come up with a semi-plan.

You see, I’ve been entertaining thoughts of a story or two with a historic South backdrop. Towns like Vicksburg or Natchez, MS. Both are within few hours of our house, so the man and I have been tossing around the idea of a road trip. The easy proximity from either of those locales to New Orleans, and the fact that my husband has never experienced The Big Easy, and well…it’s safe to say there’s a plot afoot.

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We like diner food and flea markets. We’re easily lured by roadside stands and local attractions. Photos of plantations turned B&B have spawned more than one fantasy involving sneak-drinking brandy whilst I observe the size and strength of Rhett Butler’s hands….

http://www.anyclip.com/movies/gone-with-the-wind/drunk-rhett/#!quotes/

Ahem. Sorry. I digress.

How about you? Are you a road trip person or do you prefer to make a beeline for your final destination? Anyplace in particular you’re yearning to see?

 

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Monday Mayhem – Nesting edition

Now, before my beloved Jewels goes bonkers picturing me acting like some kind of winged creature, let me state for the record that my kind of nesting looks more like this:

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I was quite the homebody this weekend, and though I sacrificed a writing date with the fabulous Katie Kenyhercz for a couple of alarm-free days, I feel it was the right decision. As much as I enjoy being on the go, it was time for this girl to whir and shut down for a bit.

Of course, being the obsessive compulsive I am, you know I managed to be terribly productive whilst on the nest.

The bathrooms have been scrubbed and the laundry is fairly caught up. I cooked pollo guisado patos (because I am turning into a Latina trapped in a body of Irish/German extraction) one night and meatloaf and oven roasted potatoes another. I smooched the grandbaby and spoiled the fur-babies. In my downtime, I did some banner work for my friend Maggie, read a galley proof and added another 6k to a work in progress.

I did leave the Ethridge Estate on occasion. You know, the usual errands – Diet Coke stockpiling, grocery procurement (read: we were out of chips), and the mailing of newly signed publishing contracts.

*waits a beat*

*proceeds to chair dance*

Nope, it never gets old. Of course, the contract was for one of Maggie’s stories, but never fear, boring old Margaret got a little action this week as well. It’s official! Turquoise Morning Press will be releasing a new edition of Spring Chickens! Whoo hoo! New life for Lynne and Bram!

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. How about you? What’s new and exciting in your life?

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Monday Mayhem – Revisited

Lately I’ve been working on rewrites for an old favorite. Remember Spring Chickens? Well, it’s going to have new life! Hopefully one that includes cover art that doesn’t make the author cringe each time she looks at it.

Here’s a little taste of the story to refresh your memory:

“Good morning,” she said, lounging against the doorframe. She raised the pot. “Coffee?”

Bram scraped his palms against his jeans. His eyes locked on hers. “Are you an angel?”

Her smile widened. “Maybe.” She gave the storm door a nudge with her foot. “Come on in.”

She didn’t peek to see if he followed. The heavy footfalls of his boots gave him away. She added a smidgen of sway to her hips and a blush heated her cheeks when she heard him pick up the pace. The pot and mugs barely landed on the table before she turned and ran into a solid wall of man.

“Good morning,” he whispered and brushed his lips over hers.

“Mmm.”

She blinked drowsily. Her hands slid to his shoulders. Muscle bunched beneath her fingers. Heat that came from more than early morning sunshine seeped into her fingertips. He pulled her closer, every inch of his long, lean body pressing flush against hers.

“I thought about doing that all night,” he murmured, stealing another soft peck.

Her fingers tangled in the short curls at the nape of his neck. “Hmm. Thought about doing what all night?”

A breathy chuckle rumbled from his chest. “Aw, now, no angel would say a thing like that to a guy.”

She laughed, and he swooped in, swallowing her gasp of surprise. He cradled the back of her head in the palm of his hand. His fingers sank into her hair, loosening the clip.

Oh, cheater.

Sugar and cream sweetened his tongue. He had coffee. So not fair. She lapped him up, knocking his ragged ball cap to the floor. The coffee mugs clanked when she stumbled into the table. He braced her back, his fingers splayed wide and sliding temptingly lower. She flailed, attempting to plant her hand on the tabletop to gain leverage. Instead, her knuckles grazed the steaming glass coffee pot.

“Aghhh,” she yelped.

“What? Did I hurt you?” he panted.

Lifting her hand to her mouth she shook her head as she sucked on her knuckle. “No. I’m okay.” He tried to pull back, but she reached for him again.

“Coffee. Hot. Bad coffee.”

She laced her fingers at the base of his skull, sliding her hips along the edge of the table and pulling him along with her. “You had coffee. Gimme more of yours,” she whispered and yanked his head down again.

He chuckled against her mouth, his lips molding to hers—tasting, testing, tempting. “Like that?”

She squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. “No. Yes. More.”

He stroked the skin of her throat, his breath stirring her hair. “Awfully bossy in the mornin’, Miz Prescott.”

“Haven’t had enough coffee. I’m not awake.”

“Oh. Well, then, maybe I can help.”

He kissed her thoroughly, sharing the dregs of his morning elixir. Her fingers clenched, pulling him closer by fistfuls of woven cotton. His hand slipped under the hem of her shirt, warm fingers grazed the small of her back. Lynne moaned and pulled harder, leaning back on the table.

The mugs skittered across the table. Hot coffee sloshed from the pot, splattering the hand he used to brace his weight. She arched against him, catching his groan and rewarding him with a triumphant laugh when they broke for air.

His lips brushed her cheek. He drew the tender flesh below her ear into his mouth, his warm tongue laving her skin. This time she moaned, and he answered with a chuckle. He ducked his head and nuzzled her neck.

“I am never going get the damn porch done,” he said in a husky whisper.

****

Hope you enjoyed this blast from the past. Happy Monday!

 

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Monday Mayhem – Hopping along

It’s bunny season, so it seems only right that I participate in a blog hop, right?

The fabulous Karen Stivali tagged me for the hop. Be sure to check her answers as well! Here goes:

1) What are you working on? At the moment, I’m writing a battle of the sexes type romance between a college football coach and the women’s basketball coach. At the moment I’m calling it Full Court Press. It’ll probably end up in Maggie’s wheelhouse. Seems like everything does these days. 🙂


2) How does your work differ from others in the genre? I think the biggest difference is that I’m not afraid to feature heroes and heroines who are a little more…seasoned than most. Yes, age does leave your characters at the mercy of gravity, but I think age adds depth to the character’s motivations. And to the steamy scenes as well.


3) Why do you write what you write? I guess this is where I fall back on the old ‘write what you know’ bit. Living inside the head of a nubile, young virgin would be a bit of a stretch for me at this point in my life.


4) How does your writing process work? Ha! I don’t really have much of a process. I am a pantser by nature, but have learned to use a loose sort of outline to keep my works on track. Other than that, all I require would be some background music and the occasional box of Cheez-Its.

Now I’m tagging Linda Rettstat, Bobbye Terry, and Evelyn Jules. Watch their blogs for their take on the same questions!

Happy Monday, my friends!

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Monday Mayhem – Snapshot

This week I am celebrating the release of my short story, Snapshot, in the premier issue of Fictionvale e-zine. Here are the first five lines:

I never told anyone I was the girl in the picture. There wasn’t any point. The kiss didn’t mean anything at all. He was just a fella cast adrift in the big city at a time when everyone wanted to hold their loved ones close. I was just the girl who was close at hand.

Snapshot was inspired by Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic “V-J Day in Times Square” photograph.

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Want to read more? Buy a copy of Fictionvale episode 1: Enter Fictionvale here or at Amazon!

Happy Monday everyone!

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Monday Mayhem – Throwback Edition

What I’ve been working on: I finished the first draft on Going Deep! Yay! Finally.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: It was a crazy busy week with work and travel and family and catching up with old friends. The front of my mind is too tired to deal with the back of my mind.

What I’ve accomplished: I’m on track (ish) for NaNo. I typed my two favorite words on the last page of Going Deep.

What new goal I’m chasing: I’m diving back into Containment in hopes of finding new inspiration. Wish me luck!

What I saw: Friends too fabulous to be called ‘old’ no matter how many years have passed.

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Special bonus! Here are the LAST five lines from the first draft of Going Deep:

Brooke drew back, ready to give him hell, but the sweet smile he wore grabbed her by the heart and squeezed. The indignation she should have felt was drowned in a hot rush of love. Brilliant or not, he was undoubtedly the dumbest man she knew when it came to women. A fact that made him all the more appealing in a twisted sort of way. Damn, she was in too deep.

Last, but certainly not least:

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It’s Veteran’s Day here in the states. I’d like to say a special thank you to all the men and women who have served. We greatly appreciate you and the sacrifices you have made for our country. God bless.

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