Romance is in the Air – blog hop giveaway

Welcome to this pretty blog hop!
My giveaway is a digital copy of the recently released GREAT AND THE GOBLIN KING by the fantabulous Chloe Jacobs. This gem has been on my to-read list for months, so my winner and I just might be reading it at the same time! 
While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

AND….since I feel like celebrating Monday’s release of SPEAKING OF LOVE (the second book in my Perfect Kisses blissful e-series), I’m also throwing in an digital copy of book one PLAYING AT LOVE. Hooray! 
 
This is how you enter to win all the stuff….. a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Hop away!

Romance is in the Air – blog hop giveaway

Welcome to this pretty blog hop!
My giveaway is a digital copy of the recently released GREAT AND THE GOBLIN KING by the fantabulous Chloe Jacobs. This gem has been on my to-read list for months, so my winner and I just might be reading it at the same time! 
While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

AND….since I feel like celebrating Monday’s release of SPEAKING OF LOVE (the second book in my Perfect Kisses blissful e-series), I’m also throwing in an digital copy of book one PLAYING AT LOVE. Hooray! 
 
This is how you enter to win all the stuff….. a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Hop away!

*slap*

A few weeks ago, I got the first pass of edits back for SPEAKING OF LOVE (the soon-to-be-released, second book in my Perfect Kisses series). It’s such a fun story; I’m so totally crazy in love with the characters and I can’t wait to send her out into the world.

Before that, however, I’d sent my rough draft to my critique partner. Who is fab and brill and dons a editing pen of fire and brimstone. She had kiiiiind of an issue with one of my characters, who had tendencies that my crit partner (ha-ha) did not care for. In fact, there were many comment bubbles that said things like: “I want to slap her.”

Fair enough.

As her notes on my manuscript progressed, instead of explaining what she didn’t like, she simply wrote “slap.” (I still crack up at the memory, even as I write this.) After some soul-searching and chocolates, I completely saw her point and set out to de-slap-ify my character, then sent the rewrite to my editor. Shew!

End of the story?
No.
Because it got me to thinking…

You know those annoying characters who keep making the wrong choices and every chapter you read gets more and more frustrating? Unfortunately, many of these characters are YA chicks. (Not her, her, her, or her and many others–I LOVE me some YA!) They whine, they pout, they stomp around and never listen to anybody.

Wouldn’t it be so great if–like with my crit partner–every time one of these annoying characters did something super-annoying, you could write “slap” in the margin, and the author was forced to take out the annoying slap-worthy action?

Let me just throw an example out there: When Bella Swan sneaks out on her new vampire friends because she thinks she has a better idea than the hot vampires who have been living in the vampire world for, like, 500 years…just call out “SLAP” and blammo, Bella is listening to Edward’s advice, ditching Jacob-the-manipulator, and washing her scraggly hair.

 Brilliant, no?

As soon as someone comes up with the software for this little gem, don’t worry, I’ll only claim intellectual property rights. We can split the royalties.

Dude, please close your mouth and run a brush through that hair.

*slap*

A few weeks ago, I got the first pass of edits back for SPEAKING OF LOVE (the soon-to-be-released, second book in my Perfect Kisses series). It’s such a fun story; I’m so totally crazy in love with the characters and I can’t wait to send her out into the world.

Before that, however, I’d sent my rough draft to my critique partner. Who is fab and brill and dons a editing pen of fire and brimstone. She had kiiiiind of an issue with one of my characters, who had tendencies that my crit partner (ha-ha) did not care for. In fact, there were many comment bubbles that said things like: “I want to slap her.”

Fair enough.

As her notes on my manuscript progressed, instead of explaining what she didn’t like, she simply wrote “slap.” (I still crack up at the memory, even as I write this.) After some soul-searching and chocolates, I completely saw her point and set out to de-slap-ify my character, then sent the rewrite to my editor. Shew!

End of the story?
No.
Because it got me to thinking…

You know those annoying characters who keep making the wrong choices and every chapter you read gets more and more frustrating? Unfortunately, many of these characters are YA chicks. (Not her, her, her, or her and many others–I LOVE me some YA!) They whine, they pout, they stomp around and never listen to anybody.

Wouldn’t it be so great if–like with my crit partner–every time one of these annoying characters did something super-annoying, you could write “slap” in the margin, and the author was forced to take out the annoying slap-worthy action?

Let me just throw an example out there: When Bella Swan sneaks out on her new vampire friends because she thinks she has a better idea than the hot vampires who have been living in the vampire world for, like, 500 years…just call out “SLAP” and blammo, Bella is listening to Edward’s advice, ditching Jacob-the-manipulator, and washing her scraggly hair.

 Brilliant, no?

As soon as someone comes up with the software for this little gem, don’t worry, I’ll only claim intellectual property rights. We can split the royalties.

Dude, please close your mouth and run a brush through that hair.

Thankful, a year later

November 30, 2011 – THE DEADLINE
Exactly one year ago, I completed my first NaNoWriMo project. (Well, it was one year ago, minus 3 days, actually, but I didn’t want to brag.) What a wonderful experience that was: creating a brand new story of 50,000 words in one month. I was petrified at the time, though energized and excited. All in all, it was major blast. 
From day one, I was in love with my story (that I named “Maren’s Big Scoop”) along with the funny, big-hearted characters that played around inside my head for a solid month. Recently, I went sifting through my Facebook posts from last November, to kind of relive when I’d been writing about Maren and Patrick and all their tomfoolery. What an amazing time that was for me, and what a perfect way to prepare for my future writing projects. Of course, last November, I had no idea that I would soon be under contract to write two more stories for the fabulous Entangled Publishing’s Bliss cat-rom imprint–namely, “Playing at Love” (you remember her?) and her upcoming spin-off “Speaking of Love.” I wrote each new story in about three weeks. Without my NaNo experience, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tackle such an ambitious goal.
Color me grateful.
And what is even more thrilling is that–a year later–I am currently editing my sweet “Maren’s Big Scoop,” preparing her for submission. And, ya know what, I’m just as head-over-heels in love with my characters and story as I was a year ago. I can’t wait for the world to meet these people and follow them on their ride.
So, cheers to you, NaNo. Thank you. You almost killed me, but I am forever grateful. 
And an extra cheers to all the fab writers out there who are winding down on this years’ NaNo. Congrats and let the celebrating begin!

Thankful, a year later

November 30, 2011 – THE DEADLINE
Exactly one year ago, I completed my first NaNoWriMo project. (Well, it was one year ago, minus 3 days, actually, but I didn’t want to brag.) What a wonderful experience that was: creating a brand new story of 50,000 words in one month. I was petrified at the time, though energized and excited. All in all, it was major blast. 
From day one, I was in love with my story (that I named “Maren’s Big Scoop”) along with the funny, big-hearted characters that played around inside my head for a solid month. Recently, I went sifting through my Facebook posts from last November, to kind of relive when I’d been writing about Maren and Patrick and all their tomfoolery. What an amazing time that was for me, and what a perfect way to prepare for my future writing projects. Of course, last November, I had no idea that I would soon be under contract to write two more stories for the fabulous Entangled Publishing’s Bliss cat-rom imprint–namely, “Playing at Love” (you remember her?) and her upcoming spin-off “Speaking of Love.” I wrote each new story in about three weeks. Without my NaNo experience, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tackle such an ambitious goal.
Color me grateful.
And what is even more thrilling is that–a year later–I am currently editing my sweet “Maren’s Big Scoop,” preparing her for submission. And, ya know what, I’m just as head-over-heels in love with my characters and story as I was a year ago. I can’t wait for the world to meet these people and follow them on their ride.
So, cheers to you, NaNo. Thank you. You almost killed me, but I am forever grateful. 
And an extra cheers to all the fab writers out there who are winding down on this years’ NaNo. Congrats and let the celebrating begin!

What I learned from writing the 1st draft of SOL

1) I am a writing drama queen


Wait. Let me back up.

I first have to tell you a little bit about the process of writing the Speaking of Love (spin-off of Playing at Love) draft.

I wrote the first three chapters over two months ago, got the “okay to move forward” from my editor, then got busy with other writing projects (such as editing both P@L and Abby Road and writing numerous guest blogs and interviews for P@L), knowing that I still had loooooads of time to get back to SOL. Then it came time to do the actual manuscript writing. I sat down with my laptop, cracked my knuckles, then checked Facebook. And Twitter. And pretty much anything else that falls under the title of “time suckage.” After about a week of this, I started to worry. Therefore, being the good little author I am, I sent an email to my editor explaining that it may behoove us both if she gave me a due date for the first draft . . . .because, obviously, I wasn’t getting it done on my own.

She did as asked.

And I freaked out.

Because it seemed very soon, only one month away. Additionally–since I simply CANNOT allow my editor (who, let’s face it, thinks I’m perfect. . . .) to see a first draft without it first going to my critique partner for a blood-drenched edit–I had to move up the completion date in time to send it to her in time for her to read it and send notes and then for me to have time to fix those before the looming due date. AND, since my crit partner is participating in NaNoWriMo starting at the stroke of midnight on November 1st, I needed to get my draft to her even sooner, since she would be completely out of pocket come 11/1.

Sooooo. . . .needless to say (but since I’m so long-winded, I’ll say it anyway), my writing time went from one month to two weeks and I was completely freaking out. Then (heh-heh) came the “writer’s block”–which often comes when I put undo pressure on myself. 🙂 After another few days of falling into the “time suckage” vortex, I was really panicking. My writing sucked, I lost focus, I didn’t know who my characters were or what they wanted or what they sounded like, and I basically started rethinking my skill as a writer and my reasons for being born.

Very productive.

Despite the fact that I was woefully behind my self-inflicted schedule, I took an evening off….not able to face that blank page. I watched a movie that I loved and pulled a book off my shelf that I hadn’t yet gotten to. I read that book and the first half of another. It was pretty amazing what that did. If nothing else, it reminded me what an actual book is supposed to look like and feel like and sound like. The books weren’t amazingly great, but they took me away from my own story long enough for my creativity to rest and reboot.

And then I wrote.

For three days straight.

My characters were back conversing in my head and driving me crazy, and the muses were smiling. It’s what we call a breakthrough. I finished the first draft just shy of two weeks. Which, for me, is pretty dang fast. It’s not perfect, it’s got loads of problems, but. . . . for a rough draft. . . I think it’s quite fab.

But I digress. . . . .

2) writing a good “hunky guy chopping firewood” scene can snap me out of a writing funk
3) I need to cut myself major slack
4) writing is easier when my mother is in town and cooking for me. Just knowing I have a freezer full of potato soup is soothing
5) it doesn’t help my writing to watch Vampire Diaries, but it sure is fun
6) I am productive under pressure, but I fear it ages me and drives those around me to want to run and hide
7) for a time, it’s okay to think that I don’t have any writing talents or marketable skills or reasons to be living. Obviously, that will all pass. If I can learn something from it (and then blog about it a week later), maybe those moments of panic aren’t in vain
8) I really need to read THIS
9) cupcakes can save the world (but I kind of already knew this)
10) a support system and friends who ask about my projects mean the effin’ world to me
11) Taylor Swift’s new album is really good. I like THIS one best.
12) I should give up Diet Cokes but I can’t
13) a good crisis of faith is healthy–but only if short-lived
14) I want/need a new office chair. One of those ones with the mesh back. Or a recliner. Or a private island.
15) Gwen Stefani totally gets me
16) always laugh. Find balance. Enjoy the moments. Even the stressful ones. Everything is fodder.

Now–my creative types–time to dance to Gwen. The first two minutes, you know you totally relate to this! 

(“tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock”)

What I learned from writing the 1st draft of SOL

1) I am a writing drama queen


Wait. Let me back up.

I first have to tell you a little bit about the process of writing the Speaking of Love (spin-off of Playing at Love) draft.

I wrote the first three chapters over two months ago, got the “okay to move forward” from my editor, then got busy with other writing projects (such as editing both P@L and Abby Road and writing numerous guest blogs and interviews for P@L), knowing that I still had loooooads of time to get back to SOL. Then it came time to do the actual manuscript writing. I sat down with my laptop, cracked my knuckles, then checked Facebook. And Twitter. And pretty much anything else that falls under the title of “time suckage.” After about a week of this, I started to worry. Therefore, being the good little author I am, I sent an email to my editor explaining that it may behoove us both if she gave me a due date for the first draft . . . .because, obviously, I wasn’t getting it done on my own.

She did as asked.

And I freaked out.

Because it seemed very soon, only one month away. Additionally–since I simply CANNOT allow my editor (who, let’s face it, thinks I’m perfect. . . .) to see a first draft without it first going to my critique partner for a blood-drenched edit–I had to move up the completion date in time to send it to her in time for her to read it and send notes and then for me to have time to fix those before the looming due date. AND, since my crit partner is participating in NaNoWriMo starting at the stroke of midnight on November 1st, I needed to get my draft to her even sooner, since she would be completely out of pocket come 11/1.

Sooooo. . . .needless to say (but since I’m so long-winded, I’ll say it anyway), my writing time went from one month to two weeks and I was completely freaking out. Then (heh-heh) came the “writer’s block”–which often comes when I put undo pressure on myself. 🙂 After another few days of falling into the “time suckage” vortex, I was really panicking. My writing sucked, I lost focus, I didn’t know who my characters were or what they wanted or what they sounded like, and I basically started rethinking my skill as a writer and my reasons for being born.

Very productive.

Despite the fact that I was woefully behind my self-inflicted schedule, I took an evening off….not able to face that blank page. I watched a movie that I loved and pulled a book off my shelf that I hadn’t yet gotten to. I read that book and the first half of another. It was pretty amazing what that did. If nothing else, it reminded me what an actual book is supposed to look like and feel like and sound like. The books weren’t amazingly great, but they took me away from my own story long enough for my creativity to rest and reboot.

And then I wrote.

For three days straight.

My characters were back conversing in my head and driving me crazy, and the muses were smiling. It’s what we call a breakthrough. I finished the first draft just shy of two weeks. Which, for me, is pretty dang fast. It’s not perfect, it’s got loads of problems, but. . . . for a rough draft. . . I think it’s quite fab.

But I digress. . . . .

2) writing a good “hunky guy chopping firewood” scene can snap me out of a writing funk
3) I need to cut myself major slack
4) writing is easier when my mother is in town and cooking for me. Just knowing I have a freezer full of potato soup is soothing
5) it doesn’t help my writing to watch Vampire Diaries, but it sure is fun
6) I am productive under pressure, but I fear it ages me and drives those around me to want to run and hide
7) for a time, it’s okay to think that I don’t have any writing talents or marketable skills or reasons to be living. Obviously, that will all pass. If I can learn something from it (and then blog about it a week later), maybe those moments of panic aren’t in vain
8) I really need to read THIS
9) cupcakes can save the world (but I kind of already knew this)
10) a support system and friends who ask about my projects mean the effin’ world to me
11) Taylor Swift’s new album is really good. I like THIS one best.
12) I should give up Diet Cokes but I can’t
13) a good crisis of faith is healthy–but only if short-lived
14) I want/need a new office chair. One of those ones with the mesh back. Or a recliner. Or a private island.
15) Gwen Stefani totally gets me
16) always laugh. Find balance. Enjoy the moments. Even the stressful ones. Everything is fodder.

Now–my creative types–time to dance to Gwen. The first two minutes, you know you totally relate to this! 

(“tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock”)

Playing at Love – musical giveaway!

Hey everyone. This is so cool. I’m hosting a giveaway to celebrate my first book 
PLAYING AT LOVE.

(eep!)

(I’m still so in love with my cover. Let’s take a sec to stare at it.
 Okay. Thanks. Moving on.)


Prize: 
a brand spanking new iPod loaded with . . . get this . . . 
the playlist inspired by the book!
So fab, yeah?

Entering is way easy. Check it out here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

All you bloggers out there, go crazy, grab the widget code HERE

Playing at Love – musical giveaway!

Hey everyone. This is so cool. I’m hosting a giveaway to celebrate my first book 
PLAYING AT LOVE.

(eep!)

(I’m still so in love with my cover. Let’s take a sec to stare at it.
 Okay. Thanks. Moving on.)


Prize: 
a brand spanking new iPod loaded with . . . get this . . . 
the playlist inspired by the book!
So fab, yeah?

Entering is way easy. Check it out here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

All you bloggers out there, go crazy, grab the widget code HERE