Monday Mayhem – Here we go NaNo!

What I’ve been working on: I’m still working on the marine biologist story. The darn thing just keeps going and I want to see where it ends up without my interference.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: Holy crap November is busy! There’s work and writing and laundry and travel and birthdays. Not to mention Thanksgiving and the DSRA book signing. Sheesh! I think we need to spread this month out a bit. We’re four days in and I’m exhausted.

What I’ve accomplished: I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Because I am crazy. And because it’s my fifth year and I don’t want to break the streak. So far I’m on track. I consider that an accomplishment. Check with me on day 20.

What new goal I’m chasing: 50,000 words in 30 days!

What I saw: The inside of many, many conference rooms. And a sweet pea in a pod.

photo(18)

Share

Monday Mayhem – A nibblet

I’m traveling this week, so I thought I’d leave a little bit of my work in progress behind. Here are five lines from Going Deep:

“This is way too fast, Brian.”

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “Not saying today or tomorrow. Just…it’s possible one day.”

“When you talk next moves, you go all in.”

“I see no point in wading when I know I’m going under.”

What are you up to this week?

Share

Random recipe share

I’m getting in the Halloween mood, so I thought I would share a couple of fun to make treats with you.

First up: Scary Spiders

6oz chocolate chips
6oz butterscotch chips
salted peanuts
chow mein noodles
and candy for the eyes (since they don’t sell the little silver balls nymore, I used Nerds)

Melt the chips over low heat, stir in penuts and noodles and stir until coated. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper and add candy eyeballs. My hubby likes to add extra chow mein legs because it tickles him. He’s cute, so I let him get away with it. Here are some pics:

spiders!
lots o spiders

And now my claim to fame: Bloody Ladyfingers

Any shortbread cookie recipe will work. I use:
2 sticks butter
1/2c Confectioners sugar
1/4c Corn starch
1 1/2c All purpose flour
Sliced almonds
Red decorator gel

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until firm but not golden.

Mix dough and roll into finger length ropes. Press a sliced almond into the end of each finger for the nail:
press
fingernails

Use a toothpick to press three slight indentations into the middle of each finger for the knuckles:
knuckles

Bake and remove to rack to cool completely.

On a sheet of wax paper, smear the end of each finger with decorator gel for blood. We like to add little extras, as if she tried to put up a fight…
a phalanx of phalanges
bloody!

What do you think of my lovely assistant? Nice hands, huh? There you have it, a glimpse into the sick and twisted mind of the Bloody Ladyfinger Lady.

Boo! Skeered ya, didn’t I?

Share

Monday Mayhem – Lazy slug edition

What I’ve been working on: Still on the same story. Haven’t written much this week. The day job is wearing me out. 🙁

What’s running around in the back of my mind: To be frank, my mind is fairly mushy at the moment. It’s too bad that mush isn’t translating into mushy love scenes.

What I’ve accomplished: Um…the laundry is caught up. I’ve watched 4 hours of The Wind of War on Netflix. Read a Jill Mansell book yesterday.

What new goal I’m chasing: Finish the damn story.

What I saw: Robert Mitchum as Victor ‘Pug’ Henry

pug

Share

Monday Mayhem – Retreat to advance

What I’ve been working on: I don’t know what to say. My alter ego has taken over my life. She gets all the bragging rights.

What’s running around in the back of my mind: Shel and Josh from Containment are starting to whisper to me again (thank goodness). I’m trying to be cool and play it coy, but if they stick around I may work on them as my NaNoWriMo project.

What I’ve accomplished: The good news is I signed a contract to publish Jump Into Love with Harlequin-E! The other news (not necessarily bad) is that Maggie stole it from Margaret and made the darn thing all sexy and stuff. What can I say? Split personalities can be vicious.

What new goal I’m chasing: I’m trying to build momentum on my daily word counts in preparation for NaNoWriMo.

What I saw: Inspiration

lake

Share

Monday Mayhem – Reform Movement

I know. I know. I’ve been a pretty bad blogger lately, but I promise to reform. The problem is, most the time I don’t know what to write about. My life isn’t all that exciting. But I like talking to you each week. It’s true. I’ve missed you. And I’m going to do five things to make it up to you.

That’s right. Five things. Not bad, huh?

Each week that I don’t have something special to share, I promise to share at least five things with you. They could be five lines from one of my stories or five whats. What’s a what, you ask? They’re pretty simple:

What I’ve been working on:

What’s running around in the back of my mind:

What I’ve accomplished this week

What I accomplished this week:

What new goal I’ve set:

What I saw:

Since I’ve been a bad blogger, this week I will give you both.

Here are five lines from Long Distance Love:

“I’m being transferred to Louisville,” she said in a rush. Her statement landed like a punch to the gut. “Yeah. I just…I don’t see how….”

Ellie’s small, sad smile tugged at him, spurring him into action. “We’ll make it work.”

Not enough for you? Buy the book!

Long Distance Love – releasing THIS WEEK from Turquoise Morning Press:

LongDistanceLove-MKEthridge-LG

Love may be a many splendored thing, but it’s rarely convenient.

A Christmas Eve snowstorm leaves newly-single Ellie Nichols trapped in an airport terminal with only hunky FBI Agent Jack Rudolph for company.

Lucky Ellie.

For Jack, the passing of a long winter’s night turns into a New Year filled with possibility. State lines and hundreds of miles separate them, but the spark that flares each time they meet cannot be denied.

Can two ambitious, career-driven people find a way to make a long distance relationship work when matters of the heart bring them up-close and personal?

And here are my 5 whats:

What I’ve been working on: I’m working on love story for people who saw movies from The Breakfast Club era when they were first released. It’s a racy one, so you might be more apt to find updates on it at Maggie Wells’ website. 😉

What’s running around in the back of my mind: WWII – I have a WWII-era story flirting around the edges. Nothing concrete yet, just a bunch of plot bunnies hopping around in my head.

What I’ve accomplished: Did I tell you I’ve sold a story to Fictionvale Magazine? It’s the short story that sparked this WWII jones, and it will appear in the online magazine’s premier issue in November!

What new goal I’m chasing: At the moment I’m just trying to keep writing. The demands of the day job and the distractions at home have wreaked havoc on my productivity this year. I’ve recently tried to settle into a pattern where I’m writing a minimum of 500-1000 words per day and not beating myself up if I can’t do anything more. So far, it seems to be working. I hope to gradually build on that over the next couple of months so I’ll be back in fighting form for NaNoWriMo. So yeah…my new goal is balance.

What I saw: True love

boys

 

Don’t forget to click the envelope on the top right sidebar or go here to join my mailing list. Oh! And if you like my Facebook page, you can enter a contest to win a $10 gift card!

Your turn! What are your whats for the week?

Share

Monday Mayhem – The 4%

Been doing a lot of writerly soul searching lately. I haven’t discovered much other than the fact that my thoughts are about as shallow as a mud puddle in July. You see, a couple of years ago I made a plan for my writing career…. If you know anything at all about life, you know that it likes to scoff at plans. This time it was no different. Oh, I did all the things a person is supposed to do: targeted goals, set deadlines, mapped my expectations. I rolled through some major changes to my day job and navigated the shifting sands of the home life as best I could. In the end, I made 96% of those goals (actual percentage for the stats nerds like me) a reality.

Not bad, huh?

Yeah…That 4% is driving me crazy.

You see, that tiny percentage represents a major portion of what I thought I would accomplish. But try as I might, it’s not happening. I’ve been beating myself up over that 4% for the past 6 months. You see, that 4% represents Containment.

I’ve circled, poked, and prodded this novel, but I can’t make it take shape. The story is all in my head, but my usual panster ways weren’t working, so I turned to plotting device after plotting device in hopes of finding the key to unlock the story. I’ve tried The Hero(in)es Journey method. I tried to Snowflake and Beat Sheet the darn thing but let’s face it, my stories aren’t that hip. I’ve even attempted to go all Dom/sub on it, but it just laughed when I pulled out the flogger. I’ve even written a synopsis for it. If you know me at all, you know I despise writing synopses. But I did this one voluntarily. Desperation does funny things to people.

A few people have asked when it can be expected. The answer is simply, I don’t know. All I know is that for the sake of my sanity, I’m going to have to set it aside for a while. I’ve hardly written anything this year, and I’m afraid that if I don’t find a horse that’ll run, I’ll forget how to ride.

Those who know me personally know it kills me to say this. I hate not being able to follow through. There’s nothing worse than feeling like I’ve let people down. But I’m not abandoning it. I still intend to write Shel and Josh’s story. I just can’t seem to do it right now.

Bear with me, okay?

So, how about a little good news?

Long Distance Love is done and coming soon! The week of August 26th soon. Yay! I just did the final galley read-through and I have to say, I still love Jack and Ellie. I hope you will too!

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be back next week. Oh! And keep your fingers crossed for Commitment – the GDRWA Booksellers Best Award recipients will be announced later this week. 🙂

Share

Monday Mayhem – From this day forward….

Hi! I’m back from my excursion to the annual Reader & Author Get Together in Ohio. It was a great time, as always. The team of volunteers Lori Foster and Duffy Brown have assembled is top notch, and the staff at the Marriott spoiled us as usual.

The best part of the RAGT weekend is the casual atmosphere. I met so many awesome readers and fellow authors this weekend and also had a chance to catch up with some friends. I thought I’d share a few pics before I got down to today’s post.

Look! It’s Evelyn Jules! Squeeeee!

Evelyn

My fabulous editrix Lola del Sol!

lola

I photo bombed Julie Anne Lindsey during the signing

JAL

And pillaged my favorite Viking princess, Renee Vincent

renee

I also got to show off the beautiful cover art for this week’s TMP release: The Wedding Day Collection!

WeddingCollection_MD

Love, love, love it!

Want a taste?

“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, Maggie. I don’t care about the dress or if your hair isn’t perfect.” He smiled when she automatically reached up to tame her wild mane with her palms. The owner of a successful salon and day spa, beauty was no joking matter to Maggie. “You can’t tell me you don’t have make-up in your purse or the diaper bag. I’ve never once seen you leave the house with less than three shades of lipstick.”

“Not true,” she whispered. “I went into labor with only a Chapstick on me.”

“And you never looked more stunning.” The statement of fact came equipped with a charming smile. “You said you’d marry me, Maggie. I let you put me off and put me off—”

“Put you off? It’s been two weeks!”

Actually, it was three. Three weeks since another stick turned pink and his inner Ward Cleaver roared to life. He couldn’t help it. She was going to have his baby. Again. And damn it, this time he wanted to do things right. As right as he could make them at this point. Seemed the not-so-good Catholic boy in him joined forces with Ward to bring him to his knees. Literally.

That’s all I’m going to give you. I mean, it’s a short story. If you want to know what happens next, you’re going to have to buy the cow story.

Or catch a one of the copies my co-authors and I might be toss out there like a bouquets.

Last week, Louise won the drawing for an advanced read copy, and you can do the same!

All you have to do is comment below,share your favorite part of a wedding celebration, and I’ll draw another winner. Seriously, it can be nothing more than:

I’m in it for the cake!

See? Easier doing the Hokey Pokey!

Don’t be a Chicken dancer! All comment posted before 11:59 Wednesday, June 12th have a chance to win. Speak now or forever hold your peace….

Share

Monday Mayhem – Turnabout, fair play, and breakfast cereal

I do a lot of talking about me on this blog, but let’s face it, I’m not that interesting. This fact was hammered home over the weekend as I tried desperately to come up with topics for blog posts that weren’t complete snoozefests.

Then I realized something. I may be boring (wake, work, eat, write, sleep – lather, rinse, repeat), but I find YOU infinitely fascinating. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to turn things around.

I want to interview you.

Comment below with your answers and I will draw the name of one lucky commenter on Wednesday, June 5th and send them an Advanced Read Copy of The Wedding Day Collection.

WeddingCollection_MD

This anthology includes Always a Groomsman – the story of Tom Sullivan and Maggie McCann’s (Commitment) wedding day!

You game? Let’s do this thing!

What’s the title of the last book you read?

What is the worst job you can imagine having?

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

Name one thing you own that you wish you didn’t.

If you were famous, what would you be famous for?

 

Happy Monday, my darlings!

Share