Trying to Get Back Into the Blogging Groove

NBTM Review The Portal Guards Tour Banner copy

Blatant self-promotion again. But if it helps me sell a couple thousand copies, so be it.

Yeah, that title pretty much says it all. I usually don’t have a lot to say unless I have a new release because my life just isn’t that interesting. Sorry, folks. That’s probably the case with most writers, though their Tweets and Facebook postings probably make you think otherwise.

So what made me want to do this today? Probably because I need to straighten some things out in my brain in terms of my writing for the rest of the year. Might as well do it here.

The Portal Guards (fantasy romance)
I’m still trying to drum up some promo for this one as well as having some future promo in the works, too. This is my first foray into Romance in more than a year. Let’s just say I was romanced out and needed a change. Now, I’m feeling my romantic side again. Not on every project I’m working on though.

The Underground Portal (fantasy romance)
I’m currently working on this and I’m loving the way it’s turning out. This time, we’re in the city of St. Pierre, which is somewhat having it’s own identity crisis because there are parts that are very fantastical, parts that are very modern, and parts that look like it might have come from the steamy side of the Victorian Age. Nonetheless, we learn more about Evelyss’s sister from The Portal Guards and how having a passport through the portal doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing from there. It gets more complicated when you fall in love with the main guy the Officials keep pretty much under lock and key, since he’s one of the few scientists who’s researching how the portals work and how to create them on a whim.

The Light at the End of Judgement and Day (paranormal)
If you’ve read The House on the Corner of Brim and Stone (short story in the In the Bloodstream anthology), then this is the first “full-length” story in my Yvette Mills angel series. Yes, it’s under 30K words, but for Mocha Memoirs Press, it’s at the maximum word count. Therefore, I’m calling it full-length. Think of this as Touch By an Angel meets The Conjuring, but with a taste of Michonne thrown in. I have plans for my character in another follow-up novel I’m working on called The Grave at the Edge of False and Prophet.

Stricken (urban fantasy)
I haven’t talked about this much, but I’m about to now because it’s on submission. If you’ll recall this is the follow-up to Stripped and it’s currently at 60K words. I’m bringing back Alexa York and in a big way. So, keep your fingers crossed that you get to read it someday.

Strained (urban fantasy)
This was originally titled Half-Breed, but I had gotten my rights back and made some changes so that it fell more in line with Stricken. I don’t know exactly how much of the novel has changed in terms of word count, but I feel like it’s a much stronger story than previously. Again, it’s on submission, so cross your fingers that I hear something soon.

What’s next on the horizon? Well, I’ve been kicking around a few ideas in my head for the sequel to Bittersweet. However, keep in mind that the next book will most likely feature Phaedra in college and more along the lines of a New Adult. I also have a secret project that I’ve worked on all last year that’s in the science fiction genre. It was more of an experiment, really, which also made me decide to start a new pen name as well. I’m going to tell you what that is because I’m not ready to yet. Perhaps next year–it just depends. Also, since I tend to like my romances more on the shorter side, I’ll probably keep that bus rolling with works around 30K words.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. How much everything will change is anyone’s guess. But, I’ll keep you posted as much as possible.

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COVER REVEAL (Again) – Bittersweet

E-book on sale for $2.99 at Amazon.

Bittersweet_Print Cover

A HUGE thanks to Kat at Aeternum Designs! For the anniversary of Bittersweet’s release, I wanted it to have a facelift. It’s taken me a couple of months of on-and-off searching before I finally found something that I really liked. I absolutely LOVE this cover!

Before you ask, this will be available for The Novel Experience book signing event. If you don’t get me at The Novel Experience, then there are several other times where you can catch me throughout the year. Just check out for where and when on my website.

What I’ve Been Working On

So, there are a couple of updates that I have, and hopefully they’re good ones.

New bookcover for Bittersweet. That’s right! I have a new book cover coming soon for Bittersweet. I’ve seen the draft and it’s gorgeously haunting. I’ll share as soon as it’s finalized. What that means in terms of the story, not much, since the content will remain the same. Which leads me to the second update.

The Novel Experience update. I’ve been wanting to update Bittersweet‘s book cover for a long time now, and there’s no better time than The Novel Experience.  This is pretty much a huge book signing event that will be taking place the last weekend in March and will be held in Atlanta, GA. Check out the link for more details because this will be something you don’t want to miss, especially when you think about the parties, the reader-author get-togethers, the corsets and tattoos. You name it! I’ll be participating in the preview session on Friday and the mega book signing on Saturday. I’m planning to have print copies of Bittersweet with the new cover, too.

Stripped, Book 2 – Untitled. I’ve been saving what I think is the best for last.  Not only have I gotten the rights back for Half-Breed (which I’ll be revising and changing the title), but I’ve been working on the follow-up story to Stripped. The only reason why I feel okay talking about it is because I have about 5,000 words left and I wanted to make sure I could finish it. I’m pretty sure of that now. 🙂 So what’s it about? Well…all I’ll say at this point is that my favorite human hybrid is in the middle of a supernatural mess that involves factions, treachery, and hopefully an ending you won’t see coming. Oh, and did I mention that she’s got the scoop on who’s in love and who’s in denial? Given her familiarity with matters of the heart, navigating those waters as an unwilling cupid might be the most dangerous mission of all.

Project Plans for 2014

I hate long goodbyes, so that’s all I’m going to say about 2013. It wasn’t a bad year. In fact, it was pretty awesome. Of course, if you follow my blog regularly, you probably won’t believe me and I wouldn’t blame you. I’ve done a horrible job at keeping people posted on my happenings. But in case you’re wondering, I’ve been writing like a crazy woman. You’ll understand come June/July 2014. So stay tuned. 😀

One VERY cool thing I have to show for this year is selling my short story The House on the Corner of Brim and Stone to Mocha Memoirs Press for their In the Bloodstream anthology. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about that. It was originally a story meant to be about 80K words, but I could never find the words to finish it. So, I turned it into a short story that left me riveted and excited about continuing my Touched By an Angel meets The Ghost Whisperer series with The Light at the End of Judgement and Day. That’s one project I’ll be working on in 2014.

Also, I sold a second story to Mocha Memoirs Press called Sixth Night: A Fringe Line Novel. It’s a fantasy romance that will be released in 2014. The plan was to turn it into a series, but I wasn’t feeling the “romance” part with the so-called second book. So even though the next book will take place in the Earth world after having passed through the Fringe Line portal, it’ll be more like an urban fantasy with romantic elements. So for now, let’s just call it Fringe Line #2. I’ll come up with a better title later.

I’ll be getting my rights back to Half Breed, my very first book in my Alexa York world. Woohoooooo! I have nothing but great things to say about Double Dragon eBooks, not only because they gave me my first shot, but they were very real from the beginning in terms of setting expectations, being warriors for their writers, and keeping their finger on the pulse of the publishing world. They taught me about the ups and downs of this world and, in a sense, made me want to learn as much as I could about the business of writing. I’ll forever appreciate that. Now what will I do with Half Breed once I get my rights back? We’ll see. 😉 As for Alexa York, I still want to write a third book in her world that will take place after Half Breed and hopefully give readers a two-fer in terms of the release.

Silent Scream (Bittersweet #2) is still on my mind. The difference is that this book will most likely be a Young Adult where Phaedra will be attending college for the first time. It’ll be an interesting world she’ll live in, especially since she’ll need to stay in the Hub-sponsored apartments, if she expects to have her tuition paid for by the unknown.

Keep in mind that none of this is guaranteed because whenever I tell someone about what I’m working on or doing, I tend to lose interest in it. Well, screw that. This is the plan and I’ll muscle through even if it kills me. Although, I reserve the right to always start something totally new. 🙂

Some changes in my writing. One thing I’ll be doing this year is sticking to shorter stories so that I can get through my 2014 Project Plan. That means I’ll be writing anything from 3000 to 60,000-ish words. No more 80,000+ words because it’s too demanding. I find I can get the words out better and faster with less. It also forces me to kick up the pace and keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Will I continue to self-publish or try to sell to publishers? I don’t really know right now. I’ve always liked the idea of being a hybrid author. It’s the best of both worlds in terms of widening my readership. That’s what I want more than anything else right now.

Have a happy and safe 2014, everyone!

Some Updates, Including Indie Firsts!

First, check out the first issue of Indie Firsts.  It’s a magazine that showcases a group of authors’ first chapters and Bittersweet is in it.  Woohooooooo!  Now, granted some of you might have already ready my first chapter, but the thing you don’t know is NYT Bestselling Author Victorine Lieske, among others, has a first chapter in it, too.  I’ll definitely be checking out her excerpt.  And in case you didn’t know it, she hit the NYT list at the same time Amanda Hocking did.  🙂

Now for the important part.  😉  Indie Firsts is free.  Do you hear me?  I said FREE!!!  Check it out at Amazon (they need to price match first), Smashwords, and Drive-Thru Fiction.

In other news, I’ve started splitting my time between Hazardous Environment and Skinned, trying to get them both done.  Which one will prevail is anyone’s guess.

Also, I wanted to give you guys an update on my tablet choices.  I’m torn between the Amazon Fire and the Nook Tablet. Right now, the Nook is winning because I like having the expandable slot.  Amazon doesn’t have that.  Unless you’re connected to the internet, you’ll have a hard time accessing anything beyond your allotted 8GB memory.  The only reason why I’m pausing on the Nook is because you must have a NetFlix or a Hulu Plus account to be able to watch movies.  I don’t have either and don’t really want to have either.  One thing I’ve thought about is going the iTunes route with it instead where I’ll download the movies I want from iTunes and play them on the Nook.  That’s assuming there isn’t anything blocking me from doing that.  I’ll just have to see.  Of course, if Samsung Galaxy lowers their prices, then all bets are off with both of these choices.  🙂  So, I’m going to wait a little longer to see what happens.

What’s going to be in your Christmas stocking this year?

 

Me? Write a Series?

I don’t know if I’m going to do another Bittersweet book again.

Let’s face it. I’m more comfortable with writing stand-alone novels than I am with writing a series.  That goes against everything that urban fantasy has been built on.  It’s like a must in this genre that you stay within your main character for a series of books before you venture outside of him/her.  Unfortunately, my attention span doesn’t work like that.  It likes to try new and different things and explore different characters (i.e. Dark Encounters series).
That’s why it took me 4 years to write another book about Alexa (Half Breed and Stripped) and more than a year to realize that a third book for her wasn’t happening.  Yet, no matter how much I loved that world, I needed something new and different, which is why I started on a book for Genevieve, her older sister.
Honestly, I don’t know how other writers can write about the same characters day in and day out for 5+ books and never get bored.  I’m humbled by their brilliance.  But if you ask me to do it, you’re lucky if you get 1 good book out of the bunch.  This is one reason why I stopped pursuing the ever elusive NY contract.  I know what my strengths are and anything other than a loosely connected series isn’t one of them, even if I flesh out enough of an overarching plot to get through me a couple of books.  At least with romances, after the characters fall in love, that’s pretty much the end of their book.  I like the concept.  Kelley Armstrong keeps her series fresh by switching to different character view points every couple of stories.  That’s probably why I’m such a fangirl.
So what does this mean for Bittersweet and the others?  It means if I feel the urge, I’ll write that second book.  I’m just saying don’t look for it anytime soon.
What about you?  Have you guys ever been bored with a series, even though everyone else raved about it?

Two Free Copies of Bittersweet for Grabs – Day #18 Giveaway

I can’t believe I practically missed this.  Anyway, two copies of Bittersweet are up for grabs today: Day #18 giveaway at CoffeeMugged.  Enter yourself in to win a copy.  Tell your friends to follow me on Twitter and you get an extra entry.  By the way, the price of Bittersweet has gone back up to its normal price of $2.99.  So, if you planned to get it at the $0.99 price, you missed out.  But…you might stand a chance at getting it for free, which is best of all.  😉