Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Writing Process Author Hop

I've been invited to participate in the "My Writing Process Author Hop" by the amazing and talented Bethany Hagen, author of Landry Park. Bethany and I have been writing buddies for the past couple of years online, and we finally got to meet at a writer's retreat in Estes Park last month. It was fantabulous, and let me just say that aside from being a killer author who penned one of the best dystopians you'll ever read, ever, the girl can dance!!!

So, Bethany wanted to talk about the writing process, because every author is different, and has something to bring to the table for other writers. Okay, let's face it. Authors really just want to know if other writer's are just as, if not more, crazed about the writing process then themselves. Right? Right.

What am I working on? 

I'm always working on more than one project at a time. My brain isn't at all satisfied unless it has free, creative rein. Right now, I'm polishing up a contemporary romance Pygmalion retelling with an erotic twist, THE MISTRESS EXPERIMENT, featuring a hot British surgeon and a sassy Latina. In addition, I'm finishing up the third book in the Paint River Ranch series, to be released in September, 2014.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I have a rule of three that I follow, which I hope will keep readers coming back for more: Make them feel, make them cry, make them smile. Each of my works has a deeply emotional element in addition to the romance and the sexual relationship. Where some romance is perhaps a little more cut-and-dried, get-to-the-sex, my characters are never finding each other just for the physical aspect. They are growing/changing/finding themselves, and solving a deeply personal problem or changing a belief about themselves along the way.

Why do I write what I do?

After several years working as an emergency medical technician, I've come to appreciate what I call the, 'human element.' I crave the connection between people and the ups and downs they go through. I love the way humans interact and change, especially on their path to finding love or partnership. Plus, I'm just a sucker for a great love story!

How does my writing process work?

  • I write down all of my ideas, but if one grabs me really hard, I start to work on it immediately. I'm not a wait-and-see kind of writer. I find my best work comes when I actively pursue and idea and let it flourish instead of forcing myself to think about it. 

  • I create a basic plot/theme outline, and like Bethany, use the Save the Cat beat sheet. I plunk it into Scrivener, add in a rough sketch/profile for each character, and another basic outline for setting. After that, I pants my way through the rest of the story. 

  • I never stop. Once I start with a work-in-progress, I don't set it aside until I'm done. The only exception to this is if I have to do edits on a contracted book, or finish something for my editors. 

  • I write at least 1,000 words a day and if I'm really feeling it, can write 6-8,000 in a day.

  • Once my first draft is complete, I immediately go into a first round revision process. I keep a lot of little notes as I'm writing, so I know what to change or add. I also highlight key emotional growth and plot areas along the way, giving each main character their own color. This helps me go back and tweak their growth/thoughts/responses when it's time to edit. I also highlight major plot points and twists in pink for the same purposes.

  • Music is a huge part of my writing process. It's always on as background noise, and I find that instrumental and movie soundtracks really help when it comes time to dig into the deep emotions of my characters.

There you have it! As you can see, waiting isn't my forte. But that's what works for me. :)


Up next, is the ridiculously talented and beautiful Melanie Harlow. In addition to her incredible historical fiction SPEAK EASY series, Melanie just released a super hot, contemporary romance, FRENCHED. Be sure to visit her blog next week for her writing process post!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Harlequin, Here I Come!

Book news! Book news!!

I'm just tickled to announce that I've sold my steamy and emotional firefighter story FIGHTING THE FLAME to Harlequin SuperRomance, for publication in August 2014!

Yes, Firefighters...like these dudes:

And more importantly, these dudes:

Not familiar with Harlequin's SuperRomance line? It's a romance line that packs a lot of emotion with a lot of sexy and steamy, and if you've read my book TEMPTING THE COWBOY, you know I love to write both! The steam is a little tamer, but the emotional connection between the characters is off the charts. I love that, and so I really feel grateful and honored to be writing for the SuperRomance line.

You can see Harlequin's current SuperRomance books here.

What's FIGHTING THE FLAME about? I'm glad you asked! Here's the unofficial blurb (and I mean, very, very unofficial! LOL)

Here's the Pinterest Board for a little visual candy.  

Lily Ashden was a talented carpenter before a devastating fire ruined her left arm, reducing her from high-profile builder to lackey for her overbearing and emotionless father.The same accident that left her damaged also claimed the life of her sister--a life that wouldn't have been lost if the firemen on scene had just done their jobs. But they hadn't. They'd left her sister to burn to death as Lily watched.

Little does Lily know that the hot bartender from the Throwing Aces bar she has an almost-fling with, is also one of the firemen who failed to save her sister on that fateful day. Garrett Mateo isn't just Lily's self-declared enemy, but the big commercial construction client her father needs her to woo. Garrett is a Lieutenant on the Danbury Fire Department and co-owner of the Throwing Aces bar--a bar he promised his dying uncle he would renovate as financial padding for his uncle's wife and children.

Good thing Garrett and his brothers made a pact long ago--to skip commitment and focus on honoring their father's legacy as a Fire Captain. Wives, children, they were just potential casualties if he were to be killed on the job. When Lily pushes every boundary Garrett has set for himself, he has to decide if risk is worth the reward. Lily must gain Garrett's construction contract to save her father's business, but as her heart gets involved, she must decide: Firefighters already failed her once. Can she trust one to save her again?

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. What do you think???? I think we should let the party get started up in here. Woot, woot!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Little Blogger Love

I didn't know what I was in for when my book began landing in the hands of book review blogs. I was nervous. I was scared! I was anxious...but then good things started to happen! The reviewers liked the book...they started talking about the book, and telling other people, and letting me know what they didn't like so I can maybe do better next time.

Before long, I had my eye on so many awesome book review sites, that my head was spinning!  I started to tell my author friends about the cool blogging sites, and then I realized, why not feature a blog once or twice a month, and help spread the word?

So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm spreading the love, people. Spreading the love. Like jam. On toast.

Bloggers, want to be featured on my blog and across my social media sites? Yes! Yes, you do.

SIGN UP HERE (It's a Google form. Nothing scary, I promise).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cole Haywood's $100 Gift Card Giveaway~

So, if you've read TEMPTING THE COWBOY, you know the hero Cole Haywood is a sexy alpha cowboy with one hell of a soft spot for the women in his life. He's a hard-working rancher, a devoted single father, and, yeah, one hell of a lover, too.

He's also plays the fiddle and likes to give money away!

Ok, he really doesn't like to give money away, but I talked him into it. I found him in the barn the other day, trying to keep his black and white paint horse, Pana bar Noir from kicking down the door to his stall. Pana's kind of naughty.

"Look, Cole," I said. "The holidays are coming up, and I think it would be a nice gesture for you to give some of your money away." He just grunted and gave me a arrogant look with those brilliant, aquamarine eyes. I'm used to dealing with his attitude, though, so I just grabbed that old worn out hat off his head and held it behind my back. He tilted his head a little, his eyes going all angry-like.

"Dammit. Not funny." He reached for the hat and arched his eyebrows. I couldn't help it: I had to take one teeny, tiny peek at how damn good his chest looked in that tight grey T-shirt; his hips all lean and thighs filling out his worn jeans. He caught me looking, again. My eyes snapped back up to his, even though they were more than happy to stay put.

"Too bad, " I retorted. "You want this old piece of shit back, you have to give away some cash."Pana stuck his nose between the bars on the stall door. He likes to chew things. And kick things. And cause a rukkus, but mostly chew on things, so me being me, I sided up to the stall door and held that hat out to the horse's nose.

Pana's lips made a grab for the hat at the same time Cole crossed his arms and glared at me. I pulled the hat away from Pana before he could grab it, but Cole--well, he got my point.

"Fine." Came his tight-lipped reply. To which I was slightly disappointed that he gave in so easily. Tickling Cole into submission was my Plan B.

Cole held out his hand for his hat, and I held mine out for some cash, and here you have it folks:

A $100 AMAZON Gift Card! Enter in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!!

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Click the graphic to be taken to all my blog tour spots. You'll need this information if you choose the blog tour option for more chances to win the gift card. Or, VISIT HERE.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TEMPTING THE COWBOY Deleted Scene: The Barn Scene

Tempting the Cowboy started out more like women's fiction than category romance. That's an entire topic for another day; however, what it means is that a lot of the original story was cut to re-shape it into a category romance style.

Which means that I have a lot of awesome bonus scenes from the book!

This one was affectionately called The Barn Scene by my critique partners who read the book when it was shiny new.


The stable was quiet when they rode their horses inside. Cole dismounted first and grabbed Rylan’s reins while she jumped down.
“Go on ahead. I’ve got this,” He hoped she’d do just that, go about her day. The ride back should have been a little uncomfortable, but it wasn’t. Not in the least. It had been comfortable and…fun. Too much time passed since he'd last ridden for the hell of it. His time on horseback was necessitated by work and Cole couldn’t remember the last time he’d drank up his surroundings like he had today.
He did because Rylan had. It was like seeing Paint River through her eyes. The property hadn’t lost its beauty; he’d simply forgotten to look. Rylan’s eyes were wide enough for both of them and he enjoyed seeing the pleasure on her face. She leaned against Sisko, her ass perfectly in line with Cole’s view. He sniffed. If she didn’t hightail it out of here, he’d be tempted to find a reason to put more pleasure on her face right damn now.
“Nah, I’ll help you.” She flipped the left stirrup over the saddle and bent down to loosen the girth from the horse’s belly. Cole’s cock jumped. He turned his back, grappling to get his testosterone under control. This is stupid, Haywood, he chastised silently. It wasn’t like he was lacking in the woman department, far from it. It was his reaction to this woman that drove him nuts.
Rylan dropped the saddle and blanket, undid the bridle and laid everything in a neat pile. Cole did the same, resigned to ignore her before he jumped her in the fucking hay. They turned the horses out, bumping shoulders as they walked back to the tack.
“Sorry,” she said, brushing her arm where he’d touched her. Her gray eyes raked his face, the tip of her tongue wetting her lower lip before she tugged it a little with her teeth. She reached for the saddle, her breasts bouncing under her white t-shirt.
That was it.
Cole cleared the space between them and grasped her upper arms in his hands. She gasped, eyes growing huge. He took in the stunning dark outline of her lashes against pewter irises and the rosy flush spreading across her cheeks. Her chest stalled while his sped up. Cole pulled her close, her breasts a whisper from his chest. If he pulled her in all the way, he’d lose it hard.
He ran one hand up her arm to her shoulder until the back of her neck was cupped in his palm. Rylan’s lips parted, her eyes locked with his. He wanted the taste of her mouth, the sensation of her skin on his. Barely aware of what he was doing, Cole walked her back against the stall door. Breath left her in a soft rush as she pressed against the wood. He waited for some sign of resistance, but found nothing but a wicked wanting in her eyes.
“Tell me not to kiss you,” he whispered huskily, dipping his head until his lips hovered over the curve in her neck. Her hands grabbed his waist and for a second, Cole thought she was going to push him off. But she pulled him closer until his hips met hers, and her fingers wound around his belt to hold him there. She smelled like vanilla and sunshine, and he couldn’t wait another second to see if her taste matched. He touched his mouth to her skin and kissed her bounding pulse, Rylan’s gravelly moan flaming him on.  Cole traced her pulse with his tongue, the sweetness of her heady and perfect. The shiver that quaked through her was an added bonus and he knew right then that he was in so much trouble.
 “Tell me to stop,” his lips cruised along her jaw. Please, tell me to stop before I lose myself in you. 
Rylan’s hand cupped his chin.  Her fingers clenched harder around his belt as she leaned up, her breath washing over his lips. And then his hat went flying and her hands were in his hair, her fingers twining in it hard and urging him closer.
“Don’t stop,” her breathy whisper barely popped out before he crushed her lips to his. Her lips were hot and willing, parting and meeting his every movement, little moans blowing into his mouth as he devoured her. He ran his hands down her sides, over the smooth architecture of her ribs to the curve of her waist and soft, delicious flare of her hips. Grasping her waist, he pulled her forward until his erection dug into her belly. She gasped, reflexively grabbing his back and digging her nails into his shirt.
Flecks of surprise nagged his brain. This felt right. She felt right. How the hell did her husband ever think she was plain? Rylan was a goddamn firecracker.
 “Ah, Cole?”  A throat cleared. A low chuckle. Cole whipped around. Jaxon Moore stood in the aisle a few feet back with a huge shit-eating grin.
“Christ!” Cole smoothed Rylan’s arms with his hands, a little dazed at losing the connection with her. Her heavy breaths and kiss-swollen mouth pulled him back like a magnet.
“We got a mare delivering breech. You best come along.”
Rylan’s eyes shifted to Moore and back again. Her chest heaved, goose bumps dotting her arms. “Go. I’ll get the tack.”
He hated to leave her there, looking all trussed and bewildered with all that smoke brewing in her eyes. Hell, what had he just done? She was the housekeeper, a woman with an indifference to children and some heavy secrets in her back pocket. No good was going to come of this, but hell if he didn’t want her anyway.
Cole swiped his hand across his mouth as he turned away. The sooner he got the taste of her out of his mind, the better or he was in deep shit.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Tour & Prizes. Hey, I'm like a rock star or something!

Tour time. I've always wanted to go on "tour." It sounds so darn official, doesn't it? Like I'm a rock star or something. 

Prizes! Oh, do I have prizes. Follow along on the tour and enter to win at all the stops. Here's where you can find me:

October 29: It's Raining Books
November 5: Reading In Twilight
November 12: Long and Short Reviews
November 19: Susana's Morning Room
November 26: Rachel Brimble Romance
December 3: Harlie's Books
December 3: Musings From An Addicted Reader
December 10: Booklover Sue
December 17: Read Your Writes Book Reviews

In conjunction with prizes available during the book tour, I'll be giving away MORE THINGS along the way, including a $100 Amazon gift card & book packs from my favorite authors.

Start following the TEMPTING THE COWBOY tour on Tuesday, 10/29, and then visit back here on the blog on November 1st to enter to win a $100 gift card.

That would be a great way to start your holiday shopping, huh?


Friday, October 18, 2013

Entangled's Halloween Hop + PRIZES!

EntADS-halloweenbloghop13(250x350)Join the All Entangled Eve Halloween Hop! Click on the badge above to visit SIXTY authors, each talking about Halloween and ALL with loads of prizes! My prize is a copy of my steamy, spooky paranormal romance, BLOOD OF ISIS! All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Halloween isn't just a holiday of sorts at our home, it also marks the change of seasons from fall to winter. Because we live way, way out in the country, we don't decorate much. No one ever comes to our place to trick-or-treat, which is pretty common for rural homes like ours. We live in a farming community, so the kids all gather in the small town to gather their candy. It's handier that way, than for moms and dads to drive from farm house, to farm house, all over the country miles. 

We love to decorate pumpkins, though, and put up some dried corn stalks as a symbol of fading fall. For many years, we've grown our own pumpkins. Small white ghost pumpkins, big fat orange ones, teeny variegated green and yellow ones. It's not uncommon to see our steps lined with many varieties--some carved, some painted on, some dressed up like fat little monsters. The thing I look forward to the most? Slicing up all the pumpkins I saved from my children's creativity, to roast in the oven and mix up for the first pumpkin pies of the season!

You can't welcome winter without a great home made pumpkin pie! Well, you can try...but I wouldn't recommend it!

To celebrate my upcoming pie, I'm giving away a copy of my spooky, sexy paranormal romance, BLOOD OF ISIS. It's perfect Halloween/cold weather reading! 

Passion isn’t the only thing that burns…

When a designer drug rocks the small town of New Brighton and makes junkies spontaneously combust, Paramedic Jayda Swenson suspects the worst. The super-methamphetamine her husband created before his death has resurfaced. She’s worked hard to create a safe, tidy life and put her meth-ravaged past—and her secrets—behind her. But when tourists start disappearing and charred body remains crop up, Jayda learns the hard way that this drug doesn’t just fry people’s minds—it also fuels demons.

Sexy new medic Ben Tierney is a demon-hunter in disguise, but his demon-busting powers don’t work so well anymore…until he realizes Jayda’s touch can refuel the energy he’s lost—a touch she’s not so willing to dish out. Now Jayda finds herself wedged between an ancient demon that knows her past and her secret, and Ben, who has plenty of secrets of his own. He’s willing to help—for a price—but Jayda’s not sure if it’s a price she’s willing to pay…

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