Weekend Writing Warrior – 9/13/15

It’s release month for Going Deep! To celebrate, I’ll be sharing new excerpts from the finished product!

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Brooke’s pink tongue darted out to wet her lips. She looked up and caught him staring at her mouth, mesmerized. Turning his attention to the bottle in his hand, he shoved the white-hot shaft of desire down deep and focused on the laws of thermodynamics instead. Adiabatic cooling. A sudden change in temperature caused the water vapor trapped in the sparkling wine’s fizzing bubbles to condense. Vapor rose from the lip of the bottle, curling like smoke on the cool spring breeze.

“You should be embarrassed,” he chided.

“Consider me mortified.”

Brooke’s throaty whisper enveloped him. Unwilling to risk releasing the stream of gibberish from his head, he clamped his mouth shut and offered her the champagne.

Be sure to check out all of this weekend’s Weekend Writing Warrior posts!

Going Deep – To the heart of the story.

Making Headlines

Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.

Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…

All Romance ~ AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 9/6/15

Hey gang! Guess what? It’s release month for Going Deep!

It sure has been a long time coming. I opened the original doc on 7/13/13. As of 9/15/15, it will be out in the world. To celebrate, I’ll be sharing new excerpts from the finished product!

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“As a rule, it’s good form to compliment the woman to whom you are speaking.”

To his credit, Brian recovered quickly. His eyes narrowed. Cocking his head, he studied her like she was one of his elusive microorganisms swimming under a microscope. “I don’t bother much with rules. It’s too hard to remember them all.”

“Sad to see your cognitive skills haven’t improved.”

His smile turned rakish. She’d be damned if his eyes didn’t twinkle when he faced her dead-on. “No, but I’m still an ace when it comes to chemistry.”

Be sure to check out all of this weekend’s Weekend Writing Warrior posts!

Going Deep – To the heart of the story.

Making Headlines

Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.

Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…

All Romance ~ AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

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Monday Mayhem – Ennui Edition

So it’s no secret I’ve been suffering a little end of summer ennui. I’m pleased to report that I have powered through, and Saturday I managed to get chapter one of LOVE & ROCKETS (Coastal Heat #3 – October 2016) done. Now I just need to psyche myself up for chapter two.

I got my first round of edits back on FLIP THIS LOVE (Coastal Heat #2) this weekend. Also got some great feedback from my editor on the story itself. Can’t wait to share this one with you in April 2016! Right behind it will be A WILL AND A WAY (sequel to Three Little Words – coming June 2016!) so I will be deep in the writing/editing cave as the leaves start to turn.

But first, I’m planning some prizes and giveaways for the release of GOING DEEP on September 15th!

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Found this super-cute beach bag that matches the cover colors that I plan to fill with books and goodies for my newsletter subscribers (sign up now at the top of the right sidebar!).

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I also have some fun stuff for the Facebook party I’ll be participating in that evening.

So yeah, I’m hoping to gain a little momentum again as the summer starts to cool down. Give me another couple of weeks and I’ll be in full-on Fall mode. That means being football and first draft ready.

I plan on turning this ennui will be off-oui (Gilmore-ism – thank you Sookie St. James Bellville!) and getting back in the groove.

How about you? What are you looking forward to this fall?

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 8/30/15

Here’s another excerpt from FLIP THIS LOVE – coming April 2016 from Kensington/Lyrical Press!

Finally, the gravity of his confession and her silence closed in around them. Laney drew a deep breath, wishing some of his boldness had somehow rubbed off on her in all those times they’d rubbed against each other. But it hadn’t. So she’d do what she’d been doing her whole life—plunge ahead without a clue about what she’d do next if she failed. After all, it hadn’t killed her thus far.

Sliding her hand down his arm, she laced her fingers through his and held on tight. “Come on, big guy.”

He glanced down at their joined hands as she tugged him away from the counter. “Where are we going?”

“Next stop on the nickel tour,” she answered.

 

 

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Be sure to check out all of this week’s excerpts from my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!

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Monday Mayhem – Catholic guilt edition

So I think I may have to change my author picture to something like this:

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I was a complete slug this weekend. I mean, I didn’t leave my house other than to go to the Kum & Go to refill the massive mug.

Nor did I write.

What did I do? I read THE ANGEL by the fabulous Tiffany Reisz. I napped. I watched more episodes of Friday Night Lights than anyone should admit to watching in one weekend.

But somehow, I managed to make it through the entire weekend without adding a single word to my fledgling work in progress.

I did do authorly things. If you missed the Unforgettable Heroes II pre-release party on Facebook, you missed a good time. Lucky for you, you can still order your boxed set for only $0.99. It includes SPRING CHICKENS!

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AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1U1in0N
IBOOKS: http://apple.co/1NoBT8o
B&N: http://bit.ly/BNUH2
KOBO: http://bit.ly/KoboUH2

/sales pitch

I also packaged prizes to be sent out and started assembling goodies for my street team. I just didn’t put any words on paper.

That’s when the Catholic guilt kicks in. I feel bad about having so much free time and not making anything out of it.

Yes, I know sometimes I need to give it a rest. I know that reading a book or watching television can and are helpful to me as a writer/storyteller. I just have a hard time with the need to have something to show for my time. And the upcoming month is going to be action packed. UNFORGETTABLE HEROES II releases this week, SEDUCING STEVE will be going on sale September 10-14th, then GOING DEEP releases September 15th. In the midst of all that, I will be working edits on FLIP THIS LOVE and possibly A WILL AND A WAY.

So, I should have used this weekend to crank on the draft of LOVE & ROCKETS.

But I didn’t.

And I feel guilty.

Apparently not guilty enough to stop ogling Kyle Chandler, but there you have it. My confession.

Bless me readers, for I have loafed…

How about you? Are you ruled by guilt, or do you revel in guilty pleasures?

 

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 8/16/15

Not much new to share this week, so here’s a little more from FLIP THIS LOVE – coming April 2016 from Kensington/Lyrical Press!

Leaning down, he brushed a kiss over her lips. She arched when he pulled away, silently asking for more. Harley wondered if she even knew she was shoving him away with one hand, but all the while begging for more. It was one of the things that kept him coming back to this maddening but irresistible woman. Rolling half on top of her, he pinned her to the mattress so she couldn’t wriggle away.

“Do you believe me now?”

“That I ruined you for other women?”

Harley was gratified to note the tremor in her voice. He liked her best when she was just slightly off balance. He figured he was less likely to get steamrollered if she couldn’t get her feet planted firmly on the ground

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Be sure to check out all of this week’s excerpts from my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!

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Monday Mayhem – Mostly lazy edition

In case you missed it, I did end up doing my RWA wrap-up post on Thursday. Thanks for letting me slide on the Mayhem last week.

I spent most of last week polishing FLIP THIS LOVE (Coastal Heat #2) to get it ready to turn in to my editor. I’m pleased to report that I pressed send on Friday – one day ahead of schedule! Woo hoo!

Though it was a sprint to write it on time, I loved bringing Laney and Harley’s story to life. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. It should be available from Kensington/Lyrical-Shine in April 2016. But don’t forget that book #1 – GOING DEEP will be out September 15, 2015.

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With this three book series plus the sequel to THREE LITTLE WORDSA WILL AND A WAY coming in June 2016, I’m going to have my hands full in the coming months. That’s why I am asking for help by forming a street team.

Street team members are a merry band of readers who help spread the word about new releases and promoting sales on back list titles. In exchange for their efforts, I provide them with advanced read copies of upcoming titles, swag (bookmarks, pins, etc.), books I’ve picked up from my fellow authors, and other prizes and gifts as my way of saying thanks. If you are interested in joining my street team, complete this form!

Other than that, I’ve done very little writerly work this weekend. Oh, I played around with my series bible (the document were I keep all the details for the Coastal Heat books) some, and I may have written a few sentences – 4 to be exact, and the gist of those were jotted on an index card while in NYC – but mostly, I relaxed and recuperated.

After the month-long writing marathon and the whirlwind that was RWA nationals, I needed it.

I took care of some chores, did a few errands (Did you know that apparently every grocery store in the metropolitan Little Rock area was closed while I was away?), napped a couple of times, cooked an actual meal, and watched multiple episodes of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I feel a little guilty about not getting more accomplished, and there are bits of LOVE & ROCKETS (Coastal Heat #3) floating around in my head, but…yeah.

How was your weekend?

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 8/2/15

Hello, Warriors! The last month has been a whirlwind. Not only did I just spend five fabulous days at the Romance Writers of America national conference, but I wrote a book in 31 days before I left. Yep. That’s what a surprise deadline will do for you. I know I shared a little tidbit from Flip This Love (book #2 Coastal Heat series) before, but here’s another taste. Hope you enjoy it!

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“Delaney—”

“I said no.” She kept her voice pitched low but coated in the sticky-sweet honey she was taught would soften even the harshest of blows. “Stay away from me, Harley Cade. You had your chance to make something happen and you blew it.”

Once again, he covered her hand with his. She tried to pull it away, but those thick, strong fingers wrapped her up tight. “Sweetheart, you weren’t ready for the chances I wanted to take.”

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Be sure to check out all of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors posts!

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As promised…

I went to New York for 5 days to attend the Romance Writers of America national conference. Here are some highlights of my trip to NYC for RWA15.

Wednesday:

Travel was smooth as silk. After discovering that we’d be on the same flight, I hooked up with fellow writer Renee N. Kelly in Atlanta and we shared a ride into Manhattan together. I even brought Pocket Jamie along for the adventure!

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Got checked in, changed, and ready to head down to the Harlequin author Meet & Greet when who did I spy waiting for the elevator on my floor???

SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS!!!!!

I have no photo because, frankly, I was too busy trying to fangirl without actually dropping to the floor and worshiping the ground she trod upon. Those of you who know me know that I am wary of meeting my idols live and in person. I hate it when they disappoint me by being human. I’m happy to report that SEP is everything gracious and lovely. We had a nice chat on the ride down, and apparently no restraining orders were filed.

Wednesday night was the huge Readers for Life Literacy signing. Here’s my set up:

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My friend and roommate, Karen Booth was signing as well:

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Now, some of you may have noticed that there was no mention of food so far in my post. That’s because, other than a bagel at the airport, I had none. The schedule was so jam-packed, and I didn’t want to miss a thing to take time out to eat. You can bet your bippy I did once the signing was over. Back in comfy clothes, I ventured across the street to Junior’s Famous Cheesecake for fortification.

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Thursday was my busiest day.

I started out by attending some publisher spotlights and signings. Here I am with my new BFF, Lisa Kleypas.

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After offloading books and other goodies in my room, I joined my DSRA pal, Mia Kay, for a walk up to the Random House offices. There we had lunch and listened to their editorial team talk about their digital first imprints, Loveswept and Flirt. Here are some highlights from the walk up Broadway:

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Upon our return, I worked the line for the Kensington Books signing, handing out my nifty ‘How deep is too deep?’ promo buttons for GOING DEEP (September 15, 2015).

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Then, I ducked into a fabulous workshop on Conquering High Concept led by Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Avon editor, May Chen.

After that, it was time for the Carina Press wine break, where I got to schmooze and booze with my fellow Carina authors.

The next thing I know, it’s time to slip into my party dress and head off to the Bowery district for the Kensington Books party at Duane Park jazz club. I was lucky enough to hook up with fellow Kensington authors Sharon Struth, Terri-Lynne DeFino, and Sonali Dev in the cab line.

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There were cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvers. We had a great time mixing and mingling with publisher, Steven Zacharius, and the whole Kensington team, including my acquiring editor, Martin Biro.

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Upon my return to the Marriott, Karen and I slipped into our PJs and headed downstairs for the Harlequin.com pyjama (they are Canadian, after all) party where we sugared ourselves up good before heading off to bed.

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Friday we hit the ground running with a keynote address from historical romance mega-star, Julia Quinn. After that, more spotlights and signings. Here I am with my fellow diamond, Elle James:

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And the always charming and glamorous, Olivia Gates:

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As the morning wound down, I slipped out of the conference to meet up with fellow Gilmorian and NYC native, Marla, for a fabulous lunch at Arriba, Arriba and my very first caramel frappachino.

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Back at the hotel, I slipped into a session on developing characters given the incomparable Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Copious notes were taken, but will make sense to no one but me. Then it was on to another publisher spotlight before I dashed up to the ninth floor to help set up for the Passionate Ink RWA speakeasy party:

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Sadly, I couldn’t stay long once the festivities started to heat up, because I was due to change and head for the historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for the Harlequin authors Black and White Ball!

There were a bunch of us in the cab line, so the doorman cut a deal with a limo driver, and nine of us arrived at the party in style!

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Once there, we drank, ate delicious desserts, then donned our dancing socks – yes, socks – and boogied the night away.

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I’m proud to report that my partner in crime and I shut that baby down!

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Saturday was tennis shoe day.

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It was also the easiest day in my schedule. I attended workshops and leadership meetings, slipped into a great seminar on dialogue led by Alyssa Day, Elizabeth Hoyt, and my other new BFF, Kristan Higgins (squee!):

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After that, the roomie and I decided it was time to slip out for a little John’s meatball pizza, and a walk in the lovely low-80s evening before dashing back to dress up one last time for the RITA and Golden Hearts awards ceremony.

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I had a few author pals who were finalists. so the cheering was loud and proud. So happy for fellow Team Megibow (kt literary) client, Tiffany Reisz. She won the RITA for best Erotic Romance for THE SAINT.

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She even let us touch her RITA. Very gently. And with great reverence.

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We shared a celebratory cocktail in the bar after the ceremonies, where I posed with my RITA. She’s a little smaller, and made of chocolate, but someday….

The following morning, I hugged my roommate extraordinaire goodbye while she stood in the FedEx line, then hooked up with my travel partner, Renee, for the trek back to JFK.

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And that, my friends, was how I spent my summer vacation. Want to share in a little of the loot from my trip to NYC? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving away goodies to random winners chosen from my mailing list and from my Maggie Wells Street Team.

Sign up to be a part of one or both today!

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Monday Mayhem – Frenzy!

First, let me just say:

 

 

The draft for FLIP THIS LOVE is complete, has been pre-edited, revised, and is now back with the ever-fabulous Jewels for another round of scrutiny. Which is good because this

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appeared in Friday’s edition of Publisher’s Marketplace, and my agent posted this awesome announcement on the kt literary blog.

Next up? RWA National Conference in NYC!

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Literally finished revisions Sunday, so I’ll be frantically packing for the next two nights. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, you can gaze upon this and we’ll all pretend we’re at the beach.

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I’ll be back next week with a full report!

 

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