Saturday, February 26, 2011

Where Does Your AHA! Moments Come From?


I’ve been thinking (dangerous, I know). It occurred to me that you can write and write for years, and love every word you scratch on paper (or computer) no matter how they turn out. I have stories I’ve written over the years, since I was fifteen or so, that I pull out every so often and read for fun. I love the premise and the characters of each and every one of those early efforts. I know those monstrosities wouldn’t even get past a fifth grader but would it be worth it to rewrite them? Not just no, but Heck No! I wouldn’t even try.
What I would try is to give the characters new life. Maybe take the general premise and character names and write a story that the two main characters will shine in. In thinking about that and how I would rather write just about anything right now that would keep me from the dreaded revisions of Perfect Doctor Viv, I realized something.
Rewriting an existing character to make him/her a live, shining embodiment of what they once were is exactly what these revisions are really all about. Taking Viv and Connor from who they are now- before revisions- and turning them into what I wish I could do to any other character in my queue of rubbish… that’s what this rewrite is equivalent to. I might as well stop wishing for one of those to work on because I know it’s not gonna happen. I’m in revision hell and until I can dig my way out, figure out what these two need, I can’t do anything about those other ‘promising’ characters. But I can’t seem to find what this story needs to survive. And then it hit me.
I tend to look at a glass as half full when I need to see it as half empty. Normally that is a good way to view something. But if what’s in the cup is too distasteful to swallow, why make it fuller than it is? Right? Right! In other words, I’m trying too hard.
So- here’s what I plan to do. I will turn that cup over. I’ll add the sweet ingredients necessary to create a palatable concoction. For example- if my hero isn’t heroic enough I don’t have to take him out and rebuild him. I can add some heroics and sweeten the pie. Heroine too sappy or wilty? Toughen her up. Make the hero fight for what he wants- even when he doesn’t know he wants her yet.

I watched ‘Life As We Know It’ last night with granddaughter. I enjoyed the movie immensely. Great plot, loveable characters. Heartache, anger, it ran the gamut of emotions all the way through. Never a dull moment. I found myself not only watching for enjoyment, but watching for ‘why’ I was enjoying the movie. It was a wonderful romance even though the first kiss didn’t come until somewhere in the last hour. But it was so well done that I didn’t even notice that until it happened!
These two met on a blind date set up by their best friends. He arrives to pick her up- an hour late. Then he offers her a helmet to ride the motorcycle he is picking her up on. Not gonna happen in the adorable black dress and four inch heels she’s wearing. She offers to drive them to a dinner he never made the promised reservations for- in her ‘toy’ SMARTCAR that he can barely get into. Then, before she starts the engine, he gets a phone call and sets up an after-date-booty call while she’s listening a foot away! Great tension, wonderful conflict. He’s a playboy and she’s been alone for three years without so much as a kiss from a man. He’s her first date in three years, but she’s not that desperate.
All the way through I kept thinking “These two like each other- really like, not just might.” Nothing really gave the impression, but I sensed it as the movie progressed. It wasn’t because they were getting closer and more lovey-dovey. In fact, there wasn’t really anything to make me think it in an obvious light. They fought at every event they were together at. He reminded me of my hubby- on his most irritable of days- all the way through. I wanted to kick him for her at times! But when he told her he loved her…I wasn’t caught by surprise because I already ‘knew’ it. How? I can’t explain without ruining the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it. It was just ‘there’. I just knew.

That is what I need for Viv and Connor. Not the constant combat maybe, but conflict to up the ante at every positive turn. And like the movie, there’s a child at the center- though in a very different aspect. But I have to find what makes these two work with and without the child, and why, so then I can build on that. That, even though they may not realize it, or the reader might not see it coming, the hero and heroine are falling in love so subtly and consistently that when it happens you just know without having to be told. That’s beautiful.

If you haven’t seen ‘Life As We Know It’- do. Watch it and enjoy. Is there a movie that filled you with a total AHA! Moment like this one did for me? One that showed you what you need to fix your ms into what you imagined it, no matter the genre, when you first began writing those two lovely characters? Did it really help you? I’d love to hear about your journey through rewrites and revisions. Or maybe it’s getting that story on ‘paper’ in the first place that you found a solution to something you were stuck on. Share. Really.

And for those I forgot to tell (color me lame for that lapse!)... please go here and see what I have to offer about revision letters and what to do with them. It could save your career!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Awesome Release Day for my Twinkies!!!


It's all about the love folks. I have to give a great big shout out to two of my critique partners. Chloe Cole and LC Chase, debut author. These two are great cps, wonderful writers and awesome women all the way around! And today they share their first collaborative effort from Loose-id.

Three To Tango.

So if you don't mind, please give these two huge love by jetting over to their blogs to congratulate them on a job well done. You can find Chloe here and LC here.

Oh- and you can win a free book!!! Also, LC did a fantastic job on the book trailer for Three To Tango so check that out while you visit them! It's beee-you-teee-ful!!!!

Congratulations Twinkies!


Thursday, February 17, 2011


What an exciting day. I love ghost stories and all the angst that goes with them. Today, as promised, I have, Rachel Lynne here for another thrilling adventure with Paige Stewart. She’s been touring through Savannah Georgia, showing us some haunted places to visit if we ever get to her neck of the woods. So without further chatter from your hostess…

Paige Stewart’s Midnight Visitor

Paige Stewart struggled to fit the key into the lock of her hotel room door while juggling an armful of packages and a steaming cup of coffee she’d snagged on her way through the lobby. She stumbled into the huge Johnny Mercer suite and let the bounty from her daylong shopping adventure on Broughton Street tumble onto the bed. She groaned with relief and, rubbing her sore arm, turned to close the heavy oak door. The Kehoe house was lovely, but there was something to be said for new hotels and keyless entry systems.
Paige plopped onto an overstuffed velvet loveseat and contemplated keeping her dinner reservation at the Pirate House. She wrinkled her nose and snuggled deeper into the luxurious sofa cushions. She was already late; besides, her jammies were beckoning, and spending a day in pursuit of bargains instead of boogey men had been too pleasant to wreck now. The supposed spectral scene at the Pirate House would wait another day and the remaining half of her Croque Monsieur from lunch at Papillote’s would suffice for dinner.
Paige’s mouth watered. The piece of buttery Gateau Breton she’d bought earlier, along with the of coffee, would be an even better dinner; and indulging her sweet tooth while sitting on the veranda overlooking Columbia Square would add the final touch to a perfect day.
A woman’s flirtatious laughter drifted from the Square as Paige polished off the last bite of cake and brushed the crumbs from her shirt. She sighed. Savannah’s lush parks and cobbled stone streets were a perfect backdrop for a romantic interlude. She looked around the suite. Polished heart pine floors, soft sage green walls, and a plush king sized bed made it the ideal lover’s retreat; too bad there was no one to share it with.
A vision of Clayton Moore rose in her mind. Thick blonde hair, sexy brown eyes and a body ripped in all the right places; her editor at the Paranormal Post made Paige’s mouth water in a way French pastry never could.
She smiled and walked into the bathroom. A cold shower was probably a better way to cool her desires but the decadent bathtub was an indulgence she couldn’t pass up. While the water filled the tub, Paige sorted through her shopping bags. She hung up the watercolor print tunic and black skinny jeans she’d bought at James Gunn and took the tags off of the wedge sandals from Copper Penny. She grabbed the Nour*ish and Savannah Bee Company bags and returned to the bathroom. Paige sighed and eased down into the warm, lavender scented water. She leaned her head back against the cool porcelain and closed her eyes. A smile lifted the corners of her mouth. Oodles of spa products and a restful night’s sleep would have her looking radiant for her dinner with Clay tomorrow evening; and the new clothes and shoes would be icing on the cake.
Soaked, scrubbed, and softened, Paige slipped beneath the silky sheets. Lulled by the gentle breeze flowing through the open French doors, she drifted off to sleep.

Pulled from a sound sleep by a chorus of high pitched giggles and thumps from the room above hers, Paige groaned and opened her eyes. She stared at the ceiling and gritted her teeth. Having her sleep disturbed by boisterous children for the third time, her pleasure with the Kehoe house was rapidly dwindling.
Another round of thumps and thuds rang out. Good grief! Where they bowling up there? Paige huffed and rolled over, jerking the covers up to her chin and plunking a pillow over her head. With the laughter and thunks muted, she fell back to sleep.
Paige gazed at Clay through her lashes and graced him with a come-hither smile. Her pulse leapt as he leaned closer and brushed his lips across hers. Basking in the glow of the sun and the warm sand beneath her, she allowed him to nudge her down onto the soft blanket. Seagulls chattered overhead and a light ocean breeze ruffled her hair. Damp tendrils clung to her cheeks and tickled her nose. She sighed as Clay tenderly brushed them away – Paige’s eyes flew open. Her skin crawled; that touch had been no dream.
Mouth dry and heart pounding, Paige turned her head and gasped. Standing by the open French doors was a toddler dressed in a long white nightgown. A high pitched giggle filled the room.
Oh this is too much! Mumbling about irresponsible parents and faulty old door locks, Paige threw back the covers and jerked on her robe. She turned toward the veranda and shrieked; her early morning visitor was gone. Paige ran out to the balcony … and found it empty. Dragging a shaking hand through her hair, Paige sank onto a wrought iron chair and stared out at the Square.  She drew a ragged breath as her gaze landed on the Davenport House. Yesterday she’d seen a little girl that wasn’t there and now this. Was her biological clock subconsciously sounding the alarm, or was she losing it?
She shivered and rose to her feet, wondering if she should make an appointment with her OB/GYN. She gulped; afraid her problem might call for an entirely different kind of physician. Paige yawned and turned to go inside.
A trill of laughter rang out. Paige rushed across the room and jerked the door open in time to see a child disappear up the stairs. Paige raced across the hall and climbed the stairs. She reached the third floor landing seconds after the child, yet he was nowhere to be found. The only logical explanation was he’d gone back to his room; and there was only one door. She made her way down the hall and raised her hand to knock then lowered it and bit her lip. It was barely six a.m. and … what if she was delusional?
Paige backed away and retraced her steps, but nagging doubts and simmering indignation plagued her. She may have been mistaken about seeing the child by her balcony doors, the room had been hazy in the pre-dawn light, but she was certain a child had climbed the stair and someone had been making the ungodly racket that disturbed her sleep last night … she was not crazy!
Tightening the belt of her robe, Paige marched down to the lobby.
            “Good morning. Breakfast won’t be served for another hour, but there’s coffee and tea on the buffet –“
            “No thank you. I’d like to speak with the manager.”
            The young girl’s eyes widened as she nodded and scurried away. Paige regretted her abrasive tone but she shook off her guilt and told herself to stand firm. Whether or not another guest’s child had been in her room, the fact remained that said child had kept her from a restful night’s sleep, and, that child was wandering the halls while his parent’s slept; someone needed a wake up call.
“Hello, I’m Elsie Barren, is there a problem?”
Remembering her mother’s admonishment about honey and vinegar, Paige summoned a smile. “Good morning, Ms. Barren, I’m Paige Stewart and I’m staying in the Johnny Mercer suite. Um, I’m not sure how they got in, but someone’s child was in my room this morning.”
            The young desk clerk gasped but Elsie Barren’s brow furrowed and her lips twisted into a half smile. “Ms. Stewart, are you perfectly sure you saw a child in your room?”
            Her doubts returned. Unsure how to respond, Paige bit her lip and fiddled with a pencil lying on the desk.
            “Ms. Stewart? What occurred to make you suspect a child was in your room?”
            Paige drew a deep breath and decided to spill the whole tale. “Well, it started when I was awakened by loud thumps on my ceiling. It sounded like a herd of elephants – no, I remember thinking the kids were bowling or something. It sounded like they were rolling something across the floor upstairs, and they were laughing. It was about midnight, so I figured their parents would put a stop to it, so I didn’t call the desk.”
            “I see. I’m sorry your sleep was disturbed. Was there anything else?”
            Paige nodded. “Yes, um, it sounds crazy, and I don’t see how he got the door opened but … About an hour ago I felt a hand brush across my cheek—like someone was brushing the hair out of my eyes—I’m alone so you can imagine how startled I was! I woke up and … and saw a little boy standing by the doors that lead to the balcony. Then, well, this is going to sound crazy but, when I got up he was gone.” Paige shook her head. “I don’t understand it, and I’m not sure he was even there, I mean it was still a bit dark … but a few minutes later I heard him laugh outside my door. I jerked it open and saw him climbing the stairs. I followed, but … Ms. Barren, I feel like I’m going crazy because he wasn’t that far ahead of me, and yet the third floor was empty …”
Elsie Barren patted her hand and chuckled. “Ms. Stewart, I do believe you’ve just met one of William Kehoe’s children.”
Paige stared. “But, but that’s not— I read your brochure! The Kehoe’s haven’t lived here since, since the 30’s!”
Elsie Barren grinned. “Ummm hmmm, but apparently the children weren’t given a forwarding address. From time to time they ‘visit’ our guests.”
Paige closed her eyes and tried to stem her rising anger. It seemed that, once again, a hotel in Savannah was trying to capitalize on the city’s haunted reputation. “Ms. Barren, please don’t insult my intelligence by implying ghostly children roam the halls of this hotel, it is entirely too early in the morning for such nonsense. I assume you’ll speak to the guests about their child so I’m not disturbed again tonight?”
            A twinkle lit the manager’s eyes, though she struggled to suppress a smile. “Ummm, Ms. Stewart? The Kehoe House doesn’t allow children to stay here.”
Calisa, thank you so much for allowing me, er Paige, to visit your blog! Intrepid reporter Paige Stewart may be fictitious but the legends of ghostly children at the Kehoe House are all true … to one degree or another.  Poor Paige, all she wanted was a break from the supernatural and a good night’s sleep to prepare for her date with Clay. I really hope she’s not expecting an uneventful dinner date … The Olde Pink House has quite a reputation!
                                                                                               Rachel Lynne

You can find me, and my books, at my website and I often hold contests on my FaceBook Fan Page, so why not join?
If you want to see what happens to Paige at The Olde Pink House, visit my Blog; the link and date of the next adventure will be posted in the News column.  And, if you can’t wait for another suspenseful tale set amidst the beautiful and historic city of Savannah, may I suggest my romantic suspense novel Ring of Lies?
Secrets, Lies, and Murder surround Ivy Michaels amidst the backdrop of Savannah’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities!
Book Trailer for Ring of Lies:  A cafĂ© owner and an ex-cop must solve the mystery of a hot blue diamond in order to catch a stone cold killer!  Excerpt
Things seem to be heating up between Paige and Clay. It’s just a matter of time before I convince her to give my newsletter readers the inside scoop so be sure to subscribe!

If you haven’t read Ring of Lies yet, I highly recommend this book! I’m reading it and loving every word!

Thank you for coming by Rachel and bringing us another wonderful tale from the Deep South!

Don’t forget to pop in to her blog and website to find out what else Rachel’s got going on- and there’s ALWAYS something!

And thanks for stopping by here to visit. Do you have a fave ghost story? Is it ‘real’? Now’s your chance to share, in a place you won’t be judged for believing…


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In revisions


I don't have a lot to say today except that I am finally 'feeling' Perfect Dr. Viv speak t me again! I have begun in earnest with the revisions my editor asked for and so far I like where it's going. I'll be buried in this cave of revisions for a while but I won't abandon you here.

In fact, I have a treat for you. Tomorrow journalist investigator, Paige of Savannah GA will be here for another excerpt from her exploration of hauntings in Savannah. I hope you'll join author of Ring of Lies, Rachel Lynne here tomorrow. And if you haven't already read Rachel's debut book- Ring of Les is a wonderful suspense set in her hometown of Savannah that I highly recommend!!! So come back tomorrow and see what Paige is up to and show Rach some love.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Lycan Lovers Beware


I love it. L.O.V.E. I.T. Not just Valentine’s Day and all it stands for, what romance writer wouldn’t? But I have the wonderful Gale Stanley here with her newest release! Not wolves this time, she has a thrilling new paranormal entity up for grabs. So sit back, have a Mocha Latte and chocolate heart cookie and let’s here from my good friend, paranormal erotic author, Gale Stanley! Welcome!

Please tell us what you have for us this time.

Tomorrow is release day for my Valentine story – LOVE BYTES. One of the heroes is a sexy vamp and it started me thinking about all the paranormal characters I’ve been drooling over lately. What is it about seductive lycans and sinfully good-looking vampires that make our hearts beat faster? Tomorrow – Saturday February 12 – I’ll be on my publisher’s FB page chatting and giving away a few books.

Stop by Silver Publishing and tell me which supernatural hero gets your pulse racing and I’ll enter you in the giveaway for a copy of LOVE BYTES.

A MM Valentine Romance

The volatile relationship between Ben and his boyfriend finally explodes and once again Ben is single when February fourteenth rolls around. But this year things are different. Instead of suffering V-Day depression alone in Los Angeles, Ben is suffering culture shock in London.

Sexy Welshman, Rhys Wynn, welcomes Ben into his bed as well as his hostel. The sex is great but Ben doesn’t want more. He’d rather spend Valentine’s Day alone than risk another broken heart. Rhys knows they belong together but guilt keeps him from pursuing the young American. Can love conquer all or will history repeat itself?

Available at Silver Publishing:

Although Ben considered himself an intelligent, well-adjusted man, he readily admitted to having separation anxiety. Dealing with the loss of a significant other, whether geographically or soulfully, had been a problem all his life. When Scott walked out on him six months ago, it sent him into an emotional tailspin that left him in a permanent funk. He seemed to be stuck in the past, with no hope for the future. Determined to change his life once and for all, Ben had traveled 5,440 miles to start over.
He didn't blame Scott for dumping him. Oh no, he had only himself to blame for this latest breakup. The same thoughts hammered away at him all through the flight. If only I'd done this or said that maybe we'd still be together. Ben wasn't particularly adventurous and his ex wanted more. Scott left because he refused to stay with a man who never wanted to go anywhere. The irony of the current situation would have been funny if Ben hadn't been so heartbroken.
Intense physical attraction had kept Ben and Scott together for eight months, and Ben considered himself lucky it lasted that long. Their rocky relationship had been as volatile as the one portrayed by Brad and Angie in Mr and Mrs Smith.
He and his ex had what some therapists might call a fighting and fucking relationship. Their arguments were legendary. When their friends threw a party, they were known as the couple to invite because they would provide the entertainment.
Scott loved a challenge, the thrill of trying something new and taking a risk. He might have been a knight-errant in a previous life. Scott wanted daring and dangerous, Ben wanted blissful and boring. Scott, a celebrity photographer, traveled extensively and met the most intriguing people. Ben, a Project Manager in IT, spent long hours in front of a computer. It was inevitable. A free spirit like Scott could never settle down and be happy with a geeky homebody like Ben.
Ben had been living a fool's dream, trying to be what Scott wanted. It seemed like Ben recreated himself with each new lover and it never felt right. Maybe he should give up trying to find that one special soul mate and learn to enjoy being single. The wrong relationship could blind a person so they'd never discover their true self.
Ben knew he needed to step outside his comfort zone and take a risk so he didn't wake up someday full of regrets. Relocating to another country might be a tad overambitious, but he'd taken the plunge and there was no turning back now. 

Wow, what a great excerpt! Thank you, Gale. So, all you eager readers- now that you’ve had a delicious sample of Love Bytes why not hop over to FB tomorrow and enter your name for a chance of a free copy? I can tell you I’ll be there.

In the mean time, what is your favorite lycan? What paranormal character makes your blood boil?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blogging topics and where I'll be today


I go to a lot of blogs (more than I should these days when I ought to be revising) and the bloggers have gimmick days. I’ve learned a lot from some of these blogs. Some useful, some not so much, but a lot of fun. Some blog excerpts of various authors’ books (a wonderful promo for friends), some do ‘Freak You Out Friday’, have a blast, type days (lookin’ at my <3 cp, Christine Bell), some do other great, and really helpful blogs.

Another instance is that my other <3 crit partner Melinda Pierce does Warrior Wednesdays; Tales of the Unpubbed on her blog at This is a really awesome idea she came up with- wish I’d thought of it first! She has unpublished authors drop by and tell the story of their journey to get published. That’s where you’ll find me today. Yep, I’m a warrior. As yet, like most (or all) of you know I am unpublished to date- though I have a major revision underway (stayed tuned to see how that project progresses)- unless you count the book I wrote in fifth grade, but to hear about that you’ll need to pop over to Melinda’s blog.  

I’ve decided to try something new. Well, not exactly new- as you’ve just read- but for me it is. So, short as this blog is, I’m asking for help. What can I do? I’m thinking Tuesdays or Thursdays and something fun but helpful. What would you like to see on my blog and what schedule would be best- weekly, twice a month, monthly? Speak out here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I enjoy helping my friends and fellow authors whenever I have the chance because I believe in the authors, or just because I enjoy their work. But this week I am joining others to get word out for a friend who cannot promote her new February release due to the upset in Egypt.

If you don't know- Olivia is a multi-talented woman. A doctor, singer, and writer is just a few of her talents among many.
You see Olivia Gates has a February 1 release by Harlequin Desire called To Tempt a Sheikh. Her friends and fellow authors would like to get out the word about her book since Olivia cannot.
Please help us by posting the information below on your blog, your Facebook page or by tweeting a link to Olivia’s home page. Just copy and paste the text below and this cover by right clicking your mouse. Let’s support an author who cannot access the internet to promote her book.

To Tempt a Sheikh by Olivia Gates

He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family’s rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom…and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn’t resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart’s greatest mistake…but she feared it was already too late….
In stores February 1!
Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books A Million and bookstores everywhere. Also available at eharlequin both in print and as an ebook.
To read a first chapter and visit Olivia’s webpage, please click here.

Please help by Tweeting and Facebooking her release. And leave a comment here for her, so when she is finally able she can see how much support she has around the world.

Thank you!