What am I working on now? #WIP

WIP

Okay, yes, I know I just posted one of these updates just the other day, but I have to decide what to do next! And my muse is a scatterbrained nutbar….

GUNPOINT (Sky Hunters) has been accepted by Evernight Publishing and is coming out in August 2016!

Now, I have to decide if I want to go back to my work-in-progress HER DANGEROUS MISTAKE (dragon shifters on Earth/secret/whoa), if I want to write the next Sky Hunters novel (Flight), or if my muse is interested in continuing the Stronghold series. *headdesk*

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And there’s my newsletter thingie: it’s almost ready! You can SIGN UP HERE.

This is a newsletter that I will be sending out when I release new books, so typically, that means no more than once a month because I’m not one of those speedy writers, LOL. If I manage a book a month, well, that’s a freaking miracle. A MIRACLE. The newsletter will most likely be coming to your inbox every other month, or every third month.

 

What am I working on now? #WIP

WIP

It’s been a while, I know, but real life has been kicking me in the butt. I’m still working on Bitter Bite (menage with a vampire, priest, and virginal heroine). It was supposed to be 20,000 words long… yeah. HA HA! It’s going to be longer. Maybe 30k? We’ll see.

I was planning on working on the next Stronghold series book, but the second book of the Bad Oak Boys keeps climbing into my brain and tormenting me. Stronghold might be put on the back burner while I write Josh and Gerwulf’s story.

That’s it for now, folks. 😀

Work in Progress for the new year……..

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9 january 2015

Happy New Year! I can hardly believe it’s 2015, but time does tend to keep moving along. Right now I’m working on a brand new story that came out of nowhere and demanded that I get to work. I’m calling it Win a Kiss and it is about a sexy rockstar (Ryan), an alpha wolf shifter (Bardulf), and the crazy mess that ensues when they meet: insta-bonding!

I’m also still working on a  sequel to The Billionaire’s Bodyguard and The Blizzard. I have a confession to make: I couldn’t write at all during December because my life went crazy. Nothing bad, just a lot of stuff to do with the family and holidays. However, I’m feeling rested up and don’t worry, this story will be done soon!

Last, but not least, I have two more books to write for the Stronghold series, Day and Dawn. I am so looking forward to writing Isaac’s story! He’s the cocky adventurer of the four brothers.

What am I working on now? #WIP

WIP

I just finished writing a new MM romantic comedy/suspense, tentatively titled, The Billionaire’s Bodyguard. Here’s the rough blurb (unedited):

Billionaire Alex Roman needs a bodyguard. His best friend, Jesse Emerson, an ex-Security Forces Specialist, needs a job. What could possibly go wrong?

Jesse thinks protecting Alex will be a piece of cake. He’ll get to spend quality time with his oldest friend while avoiding his ex-girlfriend. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Why would Alex introduce him to everyone as his lover? And why didn’t Alex tell him about the threating notes he’s been receiving for months?

Alex has been in love with Jesse for years, not that he’d ever admit it to his best friend, but he’s not above making a practical joke out of it. Telling everyone that Jesse is his boyfriend will go a long way toward relieving the stress of the threats he’s been plagued with recently. Unfortunately, when someone tries to shoot him at a charity gala, he discovers that maybe he needs Jesse’s skills more than he realized…

…because sometimes a billionaire’s best friend is the fake boyfriend who’s really his bodyguard.

 

Next up: today I begin plotting Dusk, the second Stronghold series book. I’m looking forward to writing Lucy and Solomon’s story!

What am I doing now?

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I just finished revising a short story that was loads of fun to write: Karma Bites. It’s been accepted by my publisher and I’m waiting on a tentative publication date, yay! It’s about a guy who pretends to have a boyfriend (even though he isn’t gay) so his cousin Coco will stop pestering him for a date. Much ridiculousness happens! I laughed all the way through this one.

My newest menage, Joyful Devastation, was accepted by Evernight and will be coming out sometime in April. What happens when an off-duty cop sits on his niece’s knitting needles? He needs to go to the ER, of course. This one started off as a fun romp and morphed into a serious sci-fi novel.

Now what? After rummaging around in my virtual box of goodies, I think I’ll be writing a story about a cranky, eccentric, territorial hero who falls in love quite unwillingly. 🙂

 

Work in Progress

Angel’s Honor is doing really well and I’m very excited about this series. I have two ideas for more angel shifters: a menage and another MM. I think I’ll write the MM first. I even have a title for it: Angel’s Blade. I’m going to start the first scene today. The idea came to me in the shower, which is typical. All my best ideas appear while I’m running on the treadmill or in the shower. :-D

As for the zombie menage, it’s almost done. I have one more chapter to write, then a revision, and it’s complete. It’s called: You Taste So Sweet. I keep stopping work on it to do real life stuff. It’s kind of driving me crazy, but I’m honestly trying to be nice to myself and not push it. Nov., Dec., and into Jan. are my busiest months of the year.

I love February. No, really. Even though it’s usually cold and icky outside, it’s my most peaceful month.

This is a view from one of my favorite hikes, taken this past weekend (if we’re talking about peaceful):

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Running into the unknown. Naked.

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I have a WIP page here on my website (Work in Progress) that I use to keep you kind of up to date on what I’m doing, but it doesn’t really encompass the sheer insanity of my life this year. I’ve written eight distinct works so far as Erin M. Leaf and Marie E. Blossom, and it’s only June. That’s two short stories, and six novels (some were 30,000+ words and some were 50,000+ words long). My favorite story is my worst seller. The novel I was most nervous about is one of my best sellers.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

I think, in order to understand what it is like to be a writer, you need to imagine you’re in a dream. You’re on a boat and the ocean is vast, beautiful, and treacherous. It’s nighttime and the stars are incredibly bright. You can’t stop looking at them, because you’re trying to figure out where you are. You never do. Instead, you befriend a dolphin for a little while and tell her story. Then you find an island where there is nothing but sand, and you tell the story of the lone turtle sleeping on the shore. You cast off again, and follow a reef, telling the story of the coral. Eventually you end up on another island, except this one is a continent and you head into the forest to explore. You tell the story of a mountain lion, a frog, and the mist. This continues….

forever.

You never find out where you are going, but you remember where you have been. You have no tools except for your mind itself. You are exposed all the time and you must use your wits to ignore the weirdness of having your soul visible.

If you spend too much time second-guessing yourself and obsessing over what is happening to you, you end up frozen, like a zombie with its strings cut. The zombie gets eaten very quickly because anything unmoving in this dreamscape is food. The world eats you.

That is what writing feels like to me.

I love it. Even though it’s scary.

Length… explained

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No! Not that kind of length—get your mind out of the gutter!

I’m talking about book length. One of my publishers (Evernight) has a novelette line called Romance on the Go, and I’ve noticed that a lot of readers are confused about length and word count.

There are a bunch of different opinions on how long a novel should be, as well as a short story or novella, but generally speaking, here is a short cheat sheet you can use so you know what you’re getting:

  • Short Short Story = up to 7,500 words
  • Short Story/Novelette (Romance on the Go titles) = 8,000 to 12,000 words
  • Novella = 20,000 to 40,000 or 50,000 words
  • Novel = 40,000 or 50,000 words and up
  • Epic OMG this is going to take forever to read = 100,000 words and up

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For some comparison shopping, here is some more info:

little-dove Little Dove is 10,850 words

Kiss Is A Four-Letter Word Kiss Is A Four-Letter word is 40,600 words

Appassionato released! Appassionato is 64,657 words

something-shifty Something Shifty is 40,680 words (releases Thursday!)

Five books that take zero energy to read which makes me happy

There’s this little known fact of life about being a writer that no one tells you: it takes a LOT of freaking time to write a book. Most of us have to give something up in order to manage it. Some people give up sleep (which just-NO). Some give up being nice (let the spouse do all the work-also NO). Some give up food, clothes, and other essentials like bathing (NO NO NO).

I gave up … reading.

Seriously. I have so little time leftover after cooking and doing stuff with the family and sleeping and exercising, that I’ve been trying to fit reading in while I eat lunch. And during bathroom breaks (which is kinda TMI, isn’t it? Sorry…). Sometimes I read during commercials while I’m watching tv with the family, but with DVRing most of our shows, that leaves me about ten seconds.

So, I’ve begun reading stuff I’ve already read a thousand times. I know what happens. I know the characters. Practically no mental energy is used up trying to get into a book and then getting interrupted by life and then … well, forgetting the names of the characters.

I tend to reread things that make me either laugh or sob uncontrollably (and no, I don’t know what that says about my mental landscape, and I don’t have the time to figure it out, either, so we’ll all just have to deal).

Without further ado, here is my list:

Indiscreet

Indiscreet by Kasey Michaels

Hysterical. I mean, I need tissues when I read this because it opens with a scene where the main characters’ parents fall off a balcony while boinking. I generally laugh so hard I cry.

*****

AViewtoaKiss

A View to a Kiss by Caroline Linden

The hero is a spy. He wears a disguise … an UGLY disguise. The girl falls for him anyway. Totally awesome.

*****

BrideHuntBall

At the Bride Hunt Ball by Olivia Parker

In one scene the heroine throws a fruit at the hero’s forehead and he goes DOWN–>so freaking funny!

*****

SilentMelody

Silent Melody by Mary Balogh

This is seriously old-school romance (well, not for me, I started reading romances long before 1997, but still, you get the idea). The heroine is deaf. The hero is the only one who thinks she has a brain. Sigh-worthy, heartbreaking romance in this book.

*****

AtrociousLies

I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl by Laurie Notaro

Um, do I really have to explain this one? I mean, look at the title, come on! That’s funny! This is the one non-fiction book in the list, but I have to admit, I bet Ms. Notaro took some liberties with the hilarious stories in the book. She’s possibly a connoisseur of hyperbole, of which I heartily approve.

What ebook format for what ereader?

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Did you know that when you buy a book directly from an ebook publisher, you often get it at a discount for the first week it’s released? Sometimes, publishers release books on their sites first, and on other distribution outlets later. Did you know that getting an ebook on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK platform usually lags weeks behind the release date at the publisher or Amazon? What’s an avid reader to do?

The answer, of course, is to buy direct from the publisher. Not only do you get what you want faster, possibly at a discount, but authors also make more money when you buy it directly from the publisher. Our royalties aren’t being eaten up by the overhead a third party distribution site demands. Of course, the next question is: what format will suit my ereader?

There are a plethora of options: mobi, epub, pdf, prc, etc. Once you buy the ebook from the publisher, which format do you download and copy to your ereader? Here is a basic chart:

  • Kindle: PRC & MOBI
  • NOOK: EPUB
  • Kobo: EPUB
  • Sony Reader: EPUB
  • iPhone/iPod/iPad: PRC or EPUB
  • Android/Blackberry: PRC or EPUB (depending on your application)
  • Windows/Mac OS: HTML, PRC, or EPUB (depending on your application)

If you’d like a more detailed chart, click here for BookStrand’s Formats and Devices page. They do a fabulous job of explaining what applications, what devices, and what readers to use for your new book.

If you need instructions on how to copy your downloaded book from your computer to your device, here is another handy chart. I’ve linked to BookStrand’s instructions, once again. When you click on a link below, it will take you to BookStrand’s instruction page. However, the instructions are the same even if you download a book from Evernight Publishing or any other ebook publisher. The basic thing to do is find out where your device stores books and simply copy the downloaded ebook to the correct folder on your device (Documents folder on a Kindle, My Library/My Documents on a NOOK, database/media/books on a Sony Reader, etc.)