Musings

Talking Out Loud: So… What’s Next?

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Now that my first story for 2019 is out, I honestly don’t know what’s next. I’m too busy procrastinating doing everything else but start a new book or finish the one I’ve been procrastinating about.

That’s not to say I’m not writing. I’m writing.

Kinda.

There’s The Replacement Fiancee that I just swore on Twitter that I’d set aside until way later because I lost my grip on the story and I had no idea who the heroine really is. She actually started out being a successful programmer who is so used to technology that when she finds herself face to face with a wood stove, she has no clue how to get the fire going.

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One of these things

I said “going,” not started. She can start it alright. She just can’t get it going warm and hot.

But somewhere along the way, I questioned everything about her, wondering if I’m being too ambitious about my heroine being SO accomplished, and so she became this clueless, hapless socialite who can’t light a stove to save her life (or figure out her life, for that matter).

But the programmer heroine is having none of the change and she wants back in and there, I think, lies my conundrum with the story. While the muse of the story (the programmer) has been trying to get back into the pages, I’ve been busy pushing her out and shaping her to be someone else, the abovementioned socialite. It’s the same struggle I go through now when I write my stories: do I write to market or write what I really want to write? Because let’s face it, writing the stories I want to write hasn’t helped my sales numbers lately.

But in the end, it’s all about Kondo-ing this part of my life. I need to keep the things that spark joy, as Marie Kondo says, even if I have to talk out loud on my blog to do it.

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Happy Book Birthday to Me!

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Yup! Every Breath is live early and that’s the first story done and dusted for 2019. Twelve more to go!

Celebrations have so far included home-brewed coffee and breakfast that’s yet to be decided on. Toast or oatmeal… or bagel with cream cheese? Nothing too fancy because I have to get back to work on the next story.

Right now, Every Breath is $0.99 for a limited time and it’s also free to read in Kindle Unlimited!

No Commitments #TeaserTuesday

Tall and tanned from collecting samples by the San Juan River, it was a shock to the system to see him again. He’d cut his arm when the truck his colleague drove rolled off the embankment and broken glass from the side window cut through his bicep. I cleaned it and under the harried doctor’s orders, stitched it up. All that time, we never showed any sign that we knew each other. He was too busy watching my every move while I kept reminding myself to remain calm, the words It’s only Benny running through my mind like some mantra as I gave him a tetanus shot.

But this time, I knew if he’d ask me out to dinner or suggest we play hopscotch under the covers, there was no way I’d say no. And when he did, I didn’t. It was as if all the foreplay had been done back in Albuquerque two years earlier and we were ready to take it further—but just far enough so we were still comfortable, still believing we didn’t need each other for more than just sex.

No commitments, okay? I’d told him while making dinner at his apartment that night because he ended up with a fever from the tetanus shot and I told myself he needed a bit of TLC. I don’t have time for complications.

No commitments, he’d agreed as he stood behind me and planted a kiss on my shoulder. Fine with me, Sarah.

So much for that. Twelve years later, here we are.

No commitments.

#teasertuesday

Bad Boy or Good Guy Love? #awritersfebruaryromance

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I’ve recently joined an Instagram challenge called #awritersfebruaryromance and what I like about it is that it’s geared toward authors. Most of the ones I’ve seen are usually for readers and so when I spotted this one two days late, I jumped right in.

Today, the challenge was Bad Boy or Good Guy Love? Based on what my Liz pen name writes, it’s all good guys with the exception of Gareth Roman (Loving Ashe/Loving Riley) who does some pretty bad things.

My naughty pen loves writing about rich bad guys and I’m about to dive into writing a Reverse Harem romance featuring some badass security guys. But most likely, I’ll probably end up giving them hearts of gold and have to stop myself from turning them into cinnamon roll heroes before I know it.

Did you know there’s even a term for that kind of hero? I sure didn’t but turns out, I write about them… a lot. There are five of them so far in one series alone!

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Why Do You Write Love Stories, Mom?

On the drive to school this morning, Lil Dude asked me why I write “love stories.” He’s just turned nine and has seen my books and keeps the first editions of them (the not so steamy ones) on his shelf.

I didn’t answer his question right away. I kinda hemmed and hawed before I realized that I was a bit embarrassed to write love stories instead of serious literary fiction ones. So I told him that I didn’t use to write love stories when I started out. I wrote women’s fiction, historical adventure fiction specifically, and then paranormal stories about vampires, changelings, and ghosts.

He made a face when he heard this but I added that with all the stories I wrote, many readers said the same thing: You write about relationships very well.

So to make a long story short, my readers made the decision for me. Sure, I write stories that have adventure, mystery, even a ghost or two depending on my mood, but in a world where everything needs to be put in categories, genres, and tropes, my readers helped guide me to the right lane.

I write love stories. Real and honest romance, as a few of them have said.

“I like your love stories, Mom,” he said and my day has been going great ever since.

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Every Breath: A Valentine’s Day Slice-of-Life Novella falls on the very very steamy side of romance and will most likely not end up in LilDude’s bookshelf, but if you like steamy love stories, then definitely check it out! It’s scheduled for release on February 8, 2019.

Safe Word #TeaserTuesday

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I hear him make his way upstairs, the sound of the central heating switching on, a whisper of a breeze inside the room. I don’t even feel the cold. All I feel is that deep want for something only he can give me.

I catch my breath when Benny enters the room, still wearing his jeans unbuckled and unbuttoned, barefoot, his shirt half-open. I can feel him watching me as he approaches and I shiver in anticipation, biting my lower lip as his broad frame fills my vision. Friends have long wondered how we’d managed to stay together after twelve years when not even their marriages have lasted half that long. Sometimes I wonder if it’s this, the games we play together when we’re alone, the command over my body and my heart that I’ve given him so long ago, one that ends the moment I say my safe word… but I’ve never had to.

Sunday Musings: Not Enough Time

Today, I spent most of the day with the LilDude. I made him breakfast, did the laundry and then we went to church. Afterward, we went to Barnes & Noble so he could use the gift card he got for his birthday. I’m teaching him how to save his money and budget and so I tell him he has to decide which thing to buy. This or that. If he only has $20 and the Atlas was $13.00, then how much is left for him to spend on something else?

I‘m also teaching him that we need to shop at other places and not just Amazon but that’s a story for another day…

Unfortunately, there aren’t any Legos that cost $7 in the store so I told myself it’s one more gift for his birthday since he only got one sorry build-your-own radio kit and a twenty-minute cupcake party at school. That’s what happens when your birthday happens so soon after Christmas, I guess, but the poor kid deserved a new Lego set.

But then I also bought a Jot 8.5 ewriter or a Boogie Board. My son and I wrote notes to each other at first, him on one board and me on another, and in the end, I ended up buying it. It will come in handy when I need to jot down notes about my stories and in the process, save paper. Lots of paper. Come to think of it, looks like I need to be on a budget myself…

I should have worked on my book after we got home but it just wasn’t meant to be because I had the last 25% or so of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects to finish. I know Netflix has the mini-series but I always default to the book if a show is based on a book and I’m glad no one spoiled the ending for me. I got this book so long ago and found it while I was tidying up last week. I also have the audiobook but just haven’t had the time either.

But the moment I started listening to the first few minutes of the audiobook, I was hooked. I ended up reading the paperback in the end because I can’t remember details when I listen to an audiobook. I can’t take notes. When I read words on print, I fall in love with the printed word, the story, the characters, the author. I read the lines again, almost memorizing them just for that moment. And man, is Gillian Flynn just amazing! She had me hook line and sinker!

Have you read Sharp Objects?

Isn’t that cover cool? The razor reflects, too.

So now that it’s 9:45 pm as I write this, I realize I keep running out of time to do everything I want to do in a day, especially writing. So tonight, before I head to bed, I’m going to try writing at least 1,000 words of sex for my upcoming novella. Yup, you read it right. Sex. Considering that only 1200 words out of 14k words are about sexy times so far, for a book I’m marketing as steamy, I better have more than 1200 words of it. So I better get cracking!

Oh, and if you want to check out my upcoming novella Every Breath, you can read the first chapter here.