Musings

Keep Going

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I’ve been the queen of procrastination lately. I’m not happy about it because nothing is getting written. The story I had been so eager to write a few months ago has stalled, with every excuse I can think of to derail it, and every distraction from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to actually reading a book… anything but write what I need to write.

But this weekend, I’m quitting social media so I can tackle this baby. I actually got past Chapter One after telling myself to stop worrying about word count. Can you believe it? I haven’t moved on past Chapter One for a WEEK because I wanted to write my usual minimum of 2500 words but fell short at 2100 and decided I wasn’t going to move to the next chapter until I wrote those 2500 words?

That’s when I realized it was another excuse not to tackle the story.

And so the business side of me just said enough is enough. I got to get writing or I’m not a writer or an author. I’m just someone who thinks herself as one, talks the talk but CAN’T walk the walk.

So here’s business me whipping creative me into shape and getting this show on the road. Wish me luck!

And if you find me on Facebook, tell me to get back to writing.

Authorly Distractions: Pinterest

Here we go again. I’m stuck. Again.

Yup, it’s that same WIP again. Sawyer’s story that was supposed to be filled with so much angst and heartache. Apparently, subconscious writer-me isn’t exactly down with that and so Naughty Pen has been getting all the words instead. For Sawyer, I haven’t written a thing beyond the angsty prologue (that did nothing for the story at all but sometimes you got to write 3K words to know it’s a terrible idea to start with a prologue) and that’s seven weeks and counting.

So what’s a writer to do? 

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Why, she goes on Pinterest, of course!

Distraction! Anything to remind her that she has better things to do than write! So she starts going through her Pinterest boards and organizing them by book. She makes pretty graphics so they’d all look uniform, and there’s even a board specifically for her Naughty Pen. No, she doesn’t say who it is but she has her steamy inspiration in there… for research.

I’ve had these boards forever but never got around to organizing them so they’ll look nice at first glance and now I have and I wonder what took me so long. I may even have to download the app for my phone even though I know it will be huge time-suck if I do.

After all, this girl’s gotta write.

 

Share Your World 2018 – Week 7

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

Are you a practical jokester?

I don’t think I am. I do like a good joke but that’s about it. I’m pretty boring actually.

Who cuts your hair?  You, a friend, or professional.

My friend Bill used to cut and color my hair. He always made me feel like a princess when he was done. I would drive 20 miles just to get my hair done and then one day, I just didn’t have time anymore to drive and see him. I grew my hair long and colored my roots myself using non-Aveda products and that was that. It’s horrible now, of course, and I keep my hair up in a pony tail all the time. Last summer, I even cut over 12 inches from it to start over. He actually moved a few blocks away from me as far as home-wise and I’ve yet to call him or pay him a visit. Now I need to!

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind?

I don’t remember having a stuffed animal although I did have a stuffed doll with long arms and legs. I didn’t get a stuffed animal (that I remember) until I inherited one of my boyfriend’s teddy bears that I learned later, came from his ex-girlfriend. But by then, I fell in love with the little bear – he was unwanted after all – and he’s now been passed on to my little guy although his currently MIA at the moment. The little bear, not my little guy.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciated good ol’ essential oils this week, specifically this product. Last week, a nasty spider bit me and I didn’t realize what it was until it looked pretty bad. The whole time I thought it was contact dermatitis, maybe from the pocket buttons of my jeans. Go figure, but it just never occurred to me that it would be a spider bite but when I finally looked at it closely, there were four spots in succession and if you use Google for identification of the bite, you’d think you were going to die a slow death if you didn’t act fast. But since I was still alive four days after it started hurting, I figured I’d survive.

So I dug out the Everything Balm and covered the bites up all day and night. They healed up pretty nicely and my only problem now is the irritation from the bandage adhesive I used toward the end. Still, it could have been worse. Seriously though, don’t look up bites caused by the brown recluse spider or the hobo spider. They’re bad…

 

Free and Discounted Romance Books for Valentine’s Day!

There are lots of free or discounted books this Valentine’s Day and I wanted to share them with you. Some may be steamy (but not erotica), so check the description first if that’s not for you. Some are available at all retailers while others are available only on Amazon.

This first one’s available everywhere:

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A Love Thing is a limited-time set featuring full novels by the following authors:

ASSUMPTION by Aurora Rose Reynolds
A WEEK IN NEW YORK by Louise Bay
DIAMONDS by KA Linde
FILTHY WICKED LOVE by Lili Valente
MASTERING HER SENSES by Laura Kaye
PERSONAL GEOGRAPHY by Tamsen Parker
SPIN by CD Reiss
THE PAWN by Skye Warren
WILLING VICTIM by Cara McKenna
THE PRINCE AND THE PLAYER by Tia Louise

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2Exvmua
iBooks: https://apple.co/2BVtyKx
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2BWLeWd
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2EwnN7b
Google: http://bit.ly/2F4eclX

A few from iBooks:
Hero Force Box Set by Amy Gamet
Entice by Stacey Lynn
Spite Club by Julie Kriss
Lakeshore Secrets by Shannyn Leah
Faking It by Lexy Timms
Royal Player by Katie McCoy
Falling Fast by Kaylea Cross

And a few more (Amazon):

A Few Boxed Sets (limited time free):

This banner links to free and 99 cent books on Amazon:

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Hope you find something you like on the list and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day and here I am, enthralled with this young ice skating couple representing France, Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres. They’ll be competing in the Olympics with this routine (if they haven’t already done so) and I wish them all the very best.

They’re simply pure poetry on the ice and with the way I can’t stop watching them, I’m bound to have characters by the names of Vanessa and Morgan pretty soon. I haven’t cared for pairs ice skating for as long as I can remember, but when I saw this couple three weeks ago, that was it. I love them.

Anyway, for Valentine’s Day, I’ll probably treat myself to a nice cup of coffee and a cookie and then drop the kid off at school and pick him up after I do some writing because heaven knows, I am so behind. It’s a Wednesday after all and there’s no rest for the weary.

Not even on Valentine’s Day.

There will be roses, probably, something I’ll teach my son that women love to receive flowers on Valentine’s day. He hasn’t quite gotten the meaning of certain days yet; he thinks every special day is HIS day and so he’s the one who should get the cake, the flowers, and definitely the presents.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, one of my books is free for a limited time. It’s Date Night, the one with quite a bit of sex in it, a collection of short stories beginning with Esme and Evan and couples some of you may recognize, Ashe/Riley, Heath/Billie, Sam/Erik, and Dax/Harlow.

Enjoy!

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Teaser Tuesday: Seven Minutes

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She rolls her eyes. “Half an hour is not a quickie. Not by a long shot.”

“Oh, too long? So you’ve been timing it?”

She swats my chest playfully with her hand. “No, I was not timing it, but you said so yourself then, Dax. We only have thirty minutes before Nana comes back with the twins..” She pauses, her hand leaving my crotch and I groan. “Did you know the average length for sex is about seven minutes?”

“Seven minutes?” I look at her incredulously. “I wonder how they went about testing that one.”

“They have their methods. But get this, about 43 percent are completed within two minutes,” she adds, emphasizing the word two like it’s a challenge. She’s a veritable treasure trove of information, important facts like the average length for sex being seven minutes and trivial facts like Michael Fassbender getting married in Ibiza.

“Two minutes is even worse than seven, mi amor. Too bad the researchers didn’t poll us. We could have told them the average length of sex is thirty minutes.” But only when the twins are spending time at their grandmother’s house.

Harlow giggles. “Oh, and did you know that ten to thirty minutes was considered too long by many of the respondents?”

“Then they have the wrong partners… and the wrong respondents, for that matter,” I say, narrowing my eyes as Harlow starts unbuttoning my shirt. “So does that mean I take too long?”

She pulls my shirt open, sliding it off my shoulders. “Oh no, Mr. Drexel. As a matter of fact, you’re perfect.” She starts to unbuckle my belt. “So perfect you have me wanting to prove every single one of those people surveyed wrong.”

“Really?”

She kisses me lightly on the lips before pulling away, our breaths intermingling. “We’ve got thirty minutes.”

“Aren’t you afraid we’re going to disappoint the experts by going ‘too long?’” I ask. “You know, in case we make it to thirty.”

“Screw the experts,” Harlow says, laughing. “They haven’t met you.”

Well, I Did Ask… A Very Informal and Unscientific (and Last Minute) Survey of My Mailing List

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Last week, I set up a survey in my last email. It was very last-minute and so very unscientific but it was an interesting glimpse into the people who comprise my 8,000-subscriber mailing list. The questions are also NOT in any particular order because I didn’t realize you couldn’t change the order until after I had written down all the questions. And again… last minute so I didn’t want to go back and fix them.

Here are the informal results and you can draw your conclusions about the health of my list (it’s only about 20% organic, meaning people signed up at the back of my books; the rest are from group promotions where there’s usually a free book or Kindle or prize offered in exchange for entering the contest). I’ve winnowed this list down from 13K names to 6K only to join more group promotions at the end of last year and now I’m at 8K again but this will need another winnowing of sorts.

Oh, you’ll have to click on Page 2 to continue reading.

Share Your World 2018 – Week 6

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Time to Share My World, a weekly prompt by Cee’s Photography! Hope you’ll join us as well! Anyway, here are the questions:

What would be your ideal fantasy way to spend Monday?

Probably in bed, under the covers… and preferably sleeping with the hero I’m writing at the moment because, well, it’s research. It’s one of the heroes that belong in my secret pen’s retinue which means he’s O-M-G-H-O-T 🔥🔥🔥

What one person that you are out of contact with would you like to say thank you to?

It’s difficult to really lose touch these days with social media being everywhere (unless you’re my hubby who has no social media whatsoever except for that FB page I set up for him seven years ago and neither of us know what the password is) but I’d like to say thank you to my old friend Galia. She grew up in Yugoslavia (back when it was Yugoslavia) and helped me get through some tough times. I loved her sense of humor and her honesty. She was just one of those people you could be yourself with and still have tons of fun. She was smart and so giving of herself and just plain authentic. I have a bigger picture somewhere but it’s in one of my other external drives somewhere.

List your favorite toys or games as a kid?

My favorite toys were paper dolls of a boy and a girl. I loved to play with them whenever I was alone in my room. I imagined the space under the built-in desk was their house and they kinda lived on their own and had to fend for themselves. They didn’t have any parents simply because I had no paper dolls to represent them.

I also loved to play the board games Monopoly (my older brother always ended up with Park Place and we all would lose!) and Clue with my brothers and cousins. I loved the tiny pewter gun and the candlestick and most of all, the small envelope where the clues would be kept! And who can forget Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlett, and Colonel Mustard!

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Well, this week I caught a nasty cold that I originally thought was the flu because my face hurt. Turns out, it was just my sinuses—and a cold. But what made me smile was the nomination of Everything She Ever Wanted for the 2018 Audiobook Listener Award which focuses on works by independently published artists (that would be me and my narrators, Melissa Moran and Joe Hempel). There’s tough competition ahead because all the other nominations are amazing but it’s not like I’m going to give up. So if you can vote for Everything She Ever Wanted in the Romance category, I’d greatly appreciate it!

 

February Newsletter

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My monthly newsletter just went out and here are the latest updates:

  1. I have the flu. Or a cold. Or whatever it is that makes the bones on my face hurt. Maybe a sinus infection. That’s my excuse for a newsletter that completely disregarded that February is the month of love love love! I didn’t even mention Chinese New Year! But that’s only because I was so distracted by #2…sally-field-oscar-speech-o
  2. A nomination! Everything She Ever Wanted is an Audiobook Listener Awards finalist in the romance category! While it’s not Academy Awards type picking of winners, I guess it goes by how many votes you get. So that means Dax and Harlow will need your votes. Like, every day. You can vote here and also get to vote once per day… until June. Whew! That’s a long way off!
  3. #2 was such great news that I temporarily forgot I was sick but 12 hours later, and my body reminded me and I never got to send this out in time. Hence I’m sending it two days after I started writing it, sent it and sent a correction…
  4. A Completely Unscientific Survey! I decided to create a poll right here on my blog because I really want to know what my readers like about my books, or books in general in case they haven’t read a single one. If you want to answer it, it’s here.
  5. Giveaways! I’ve got a few promotions to share. Free book downloads and Kindle Fire and Echo Dot giveaways. And then there’s my Everything She Ever Wanted audiobook giveaway or $20 Amazon/Itunes Gift card in case you already have the audiobook. Just click on the banners and you’re good to go!

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Always Write Club Presents...

Filthy-February

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With my cold-addled brain, it’s a miracle I got to send the newsletter on time which also means I won’t have anything to send out for Valentine’s day when everyone will be sending out newsletters talking about their latest sales. I got none except for my romantic suspense novel, Collateral Attraction. It’s 99 cents for the month of February! Wait, that’s not a really good sales pitch, is it? But I do like my nifty graphic…

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Anyway, this is not such a good play-by-play of my newsletter so I’ll link the first one that went out with a bad link for a new release and the corrected version which turned out to be a condensed version with a free book download of a pretty erotic novella… 😘

First Newsletter with all the fixings

Second (corrected link) newsletter with free erotica novella