#ROW80 update and progress on goals

This has been a crazy hard month for us, started really end of January, and it’s looking to continue to be another rough month. My spouse was fired, we’re switching kids’ daycare because of abuse issues, I’ve been sick with some cold, stomach bug through the house, COVID scare…it never ends. That’s legit just the last two weeks haha

So…my goals likely need to change. Here’s the original and what I’ve accomplished. I think I should still be able to get most of it accomplished. I’m on chapter 20 of 29 for Race War in terms of writing. I can’t do anything with Stone’s Mistake until I get edits back (I’m impatient for sure), and I should be able to write the other two by the end of March. Fingers crossed I’m able to start picking up the pace even just a little to meet my goals.

Round 1 Goals

  1. EDIT – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – Waiting on edits back
  2. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – halfway done
  3. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2) – IN PROGRESS
  4. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  5. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  6. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – IN PROGRESS
  7. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

COMPLETED GOALS

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Love Burns
  3. EDIT – Lawyer Piece

Open when you get fired… #loveletters #openwhen

love letterOh love,

My heart breaks for you. This isn’t what you wanted or what I wanted. And it is completely out of our hands. Let me hold you, love. Let me hold you while you cry, while you curse, while you run worries around your head so much that you don’t know where to begin with how to fix what you think is broken.

But we are not broken, love.

You are not broken.

I am here for you and with you, through the thick and through the thin, through the hard times and the good times, through the shitty times and the joyous times. I love you, and that is what matters. I love you through our troubles, through our failures, through our struggles, through every moment of this life together.

Take a breath. We’ll be better than okay.

Glorious Day by Skye Kilaen #amreading #review #lesfic #scifi @skyekilaen

I read this novella earlier this month, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. There are quite a few twists and turns in it. It’s got the perfect amount of plot for a novella. Check it out and my review.

 

The bodyguard is a traitor. The princess is her one true love. And the revolution is almost here.

Elsenna Hazen left spaceport security and ended up a royal bodyguard. She should have known better than to fall in love with a princess.

It’s been two years since one ill-advised kiss in the garden pulled them apart. With uprisings in the streets, the nervous princess transfers Elsenna back into her service. Her Highness has no idea Elsenna is leaking data to the revolutionaries bent on overthrowing the princess’s oppressive father.

Now Elsenna wakes up each day wondering what will happen first: her own execution, or that of the woman she could never stop loving. When rebel attacks escalate and the king plans retaliation, Elsenna discovers that the fights for her love and her life are one and the same.

This was a great quick read. I’m a slow reader, and I think I read it in about four hours start to finish. I enjoyed the simplistic plot, by that I mean the plot itself wasn’t simplistic, there was just really only one plot line, which is perfect for a novella of this length. The main character, Elsenna, was well-rounded and I loved having her insight. I definitely missing insight into the princess, but that was okay. She was intriguing character, and I could see why Elsenna was interested in her from beginning to end.

But this isn’t really a romance book. It’s a story about taking back our control of the government, kind of fitting to read this week actually since I am based in the US.

I would have given this 5 stars except it took awhile for the story to get really moving, and the first couple chapters were difficult for me to be interested in what was going on. The writing in the beginning seemed stiff/aloof, but it quickly morphed once the turning point in the story started and flowed much more easily.

Want to check it out?

Find it here…

Publisher
Amazon US

Bright and Early morning in the Smith household #ROW80 #Amwriting #Lesfic

My kids have gotten in the bad habit of waking up super early in the mornings, thus my morning writing time has become very short. Which has been a struggle, not going to lie.

I’ve been struggling with this book on my writing list that I need to get done. I’ve honestly avoided it for months. I had originally planned on writing it in November, then December, then first thing January, and now we’re to the end of January and I just started it.

This piece. … It’s a tough one emotionally. This is for my FBI series, and the title of the book is Race War, so you can probably imagine what it involves. Bombers on a vendetta against one particular race, in this case, Somali Muslims. Diving face first into the world of racism, extremism, violence, why someone would do this, how they could come to the conclusion it was needed, is draining to put it in the slightest.

But I also feel, given the current climate of the US, that it is very much a necessary topic to explore. Because I think a lot of people like me (aka those who would be reading this book) don’t understand that viewpoint, they don’t understand why someone would go to those levels.

My story is in no way glorifying it. It’s an FBI mystery, procedural, so you know–of course–the bad guy gets caught in the end, but goodness, it makes writing this piece tough. Especially because I do “bad guy” POV, and I’ve essentially required myself to get into the headspace of someone who would be willing to bomb and kill someone.

On a happier note…the book is going. I’m writing chapter 7 today. I’m only one day before where I had originally planned to be, and hope to make it up this weekend sometime.

I did get edits back for my August release titled Love Burns, so I did those last week, which was not part of my original goal list since I didn’t know when I’d be getting them back, so some of my edit stuff might be switched around, so I’m going to change some of those based on what’s happening with send-backs from publishers.

I found a new online digital calendar that I think I can officially say I like. It’s got it’s issues, but thus far, it allows me to do the major thing I need, which is move chapters around on different days to shift when I get things done/don’t get things done.

Round 1 Goals

  1. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  2. EDIT – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – Waiting on edits back
  3. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – Printed & kind of started but not really
  4. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2) – IN PROGRESS
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  7. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – IN PROGRESS/ONGOING
    1. Doing some live readings on my own Facebook page
    2. Did an official cover reveal
    3. ARC is up on BookSprout and Netgalley
    4. Doing live readings for various groups
    5. NEED – Blog Tour for release
    6. NEED – Figure out what type of launch party I’m doing
    7. NEED – Find more promo opportunities
  8. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

COMPLETED GOALS

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Love Burns

A Jade’s Diamond by Char Dafoe #bookreview #enby #nonbinary #wlw #romance

Back in December I agreed to read a book. SHOCKING, I know. I’m a slow reader, and I almost didn’t agree to read this because it was a tight deadline, but I couldn’t withstand the pull of two enby characters falling in love on the page.

So, let’s recap. This book releases TODAY! You can buy it NOW, which I think you should do. I did enjoy this book. It’s not without issues, like any book. I’ve yet to find that elusive perfect book. But it was good, it was gripping, and I am still thinking about the characters weeks after finishing it.

After five long years as a slave to the hard, cold streets, Nayvee LaCroix was done selling their soul. Desperately at the end of their rope, Nayvee knew something had to change before they made the grave decision to end it all, permanently. The night Nayvee had given up hope they met a fellow lonely soul who also had been yearning for more in life.

Trystan Diamond, successful entrepreneur with more money than anyone could dream of, was instantly attracted to Nayvee and their chivalrous charm and boy-ish good looks before gaining any knowledge of what Nayvee really was.

Switching on their charm, Nayvee scored the biggest payload of their life that could help get them off the streets, but what Nayvee wasn’t expecting was for the charming and handsome millionaire to fall in love with them. Living life by the rules of the ruthless streets, Nayvee’s defenses were always up, creating a hardened wall for anyone to break past their offense, including Trystan. Little by little, Nayvee’s less than desirable lifestyle mixed and mingled with Trystan’s refined, sophisticated life, slowly chipping away at that wall, letting an astronomical and blinding bright light of love to penetrate Nayvee’s heart.

Just when Nayvee and Trystan slowly find their footing on the shaky ground of their budding romantic relationship, in stepped Rian, a ghost from Nayvee’s past, and partner on the streets, stirring up old emotions in Nayvee and new ones in Trystan.

Rough meets refined in this tale about kindred spirits who don’t conform to the norm and fall head first in love with each other in this modern day Pretty Woman meets Cinderella story.

 

I give this book 3.5 stars with a bent toward 4 stars (I’m indecisive on this one).

While I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the intrigue, and all the plot, there were a few things that put me off. The first was the instant-love trope. I don’t like this trope to begin with, and had I known fully well going in how much this was going to be a part of the first 30% of the book, I might not have to agreed to read it for an ARC because it does skew my opinion. So, if you don’t like instant-love, steer clear, because it is kind of over the top and throughout the book.

That aside! This is not a typical romance, and I hesitate to call it romance even. I liked Trystan a lot, Nayvee got whiny and annoying in some ways, and I felt had not a whole lot of character development going on. My favorite character, hands down, was Rian, and I was really rooting for the three of them, and this was when I started to super enjoy the book (I’m also perfectly okay with how this resolves because well, it’s my favorite way for characters to…um…happen? not spoiling).

There were parts of this book that felt more like an explanation of what it means to be enby and a bit of a soap box, but I think in some ways, especially for my enby friends, it needs to be there.

This book has a whole love of plot to it, which I loved. At times it felt slightly overwhelming, but it also kept me on my toes with trying to figure out when J would show back up next, although how many times can Nayvee be tortured and not have it massively affect their psyche in some ways. I am slightly disappointed in that it felt that whole story line wasn’t well-resolved and not all the loose ends were tied up.

Overall, this was a good pleasant read. The story moved well, the writing was excellent, the transitions from chapter to chapter were near seamless and always left me wanting to read on. Grab a copy, check it out, and step out of your comfort zone.

Get the book here.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU

#Row80 check in for round 1

I’m going to try to consistently check in this time, and I’m aiming for once a week. Not sure yet if that’ll be Wednesdays or Sundays….today it seems to be a Sunday haha.

This week didn’t start off so great and I got behind in my outlined schedule of what I should be doing because you know people be crazy, but I made up for a lot of it Friday, and I’m mostly back on schedule assuming I finish writing the chapter I started this morning.

I’m currently writing Country Style, which is a May/December contemp romance with one singular cowgirl and a musician who needs a break. It’s going well. I’m almost halfway through it and should finish it next Friday. Then I’ll be on to writing Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2), which is a book I’ve been kind of avoiding writing for a few months now.

Friday I hosted some all day sprinting and managed just under 17,000 words in one day. Holy cow. That was a lot! My brain was definitely done by the end of it. I’ll hopefully be doing the same this coming Friday.

Overall, my goals are going well for being about a week in to this thing. =P

Round 1 Goals

  1. WRITE – Country Style – IN PROGRESS
  2. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  3. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  4. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. EDIT – Country Style
  7. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  8. Edit – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  9. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  10. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

Round 1 of #ROW80 for 2021

It is 2021, and I’m so glad we’ve started a new year. I love making goals, and setting out a plan to achieve those goals. This post is going to be two-fold for me. I have year long goals, but I’m also making goals for just this round of ROW80.

Here we go.

2021 Goals

  1. Launch 5-6 books into the world.
  2. Prep 5-6 for launch in 2022.
  3. Write 1,000,000 words.
  4. Learn more about marketing.
  5. Read 20 Sapphic Books
  6. Earn an average of $500/month on royalties

ROW80 — Round 1 Goals

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  3. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  4. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. EDIT – Country Style
  7. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  8. Edit – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  9. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  10. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

Writing through grief #ROW80 #amwriting

It has been probably the worlds longest month. Writing through grief is an experience I never wish on anyone, especially when the writing you’re doing is not grief related. Journaling through grief is so helpful, please don’t think I’m saying don’t write your emotions.

The end of November is always rough because it’s the anniversary of the due date for my first miscarriage. This year hit hard because my youngest is two and I’d planned on being pregnant again and having another baby in the next year or so. That won’t happen, ever. So grief this year has been particularly strong.

But also on December 7th, we had to put our dog down. We suspected it was coming, she’s been sick for awhile, but goodness, there is nothing to do to prepare for that swarm of emotions. We lost three animals this year, and it has been rough!

So I didn’t write. From the 7th to the 14th, I focused on my, myself, and I and my family and working through our own grief. But I started typing away yesterday, and I’m so glad I did. I love how stress relieving it is.

My goals have shifted because of the slow down due to grief, but I’m still set to accomplish a lot in this Round of ROW80.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – IN PROGRESS (70%) done
  3. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  5. Write F/M/F romance piece
  6. Write Lawyer romance piece
  7. Edit Glacial Freeze aka Eira
  8. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2) – not happening
  9. Write Love Burns: Take 2 – not happening

Mid-week check in for #row80 and #nanowrimo wrap up

I spent the last week barely writing and focusing as much as I could on launching my book. The barely writing slowed down my nano progress goals so I didn’t hit my goals for NaNoWriMo, which were to write every day for 30 days and to write most of if not all of three novels, which would total about 210,000 words.

I did write every day, although the last few days were about 150-500 words each. Totally NOT my norm.

I did write two full novels and then I went back and forth between two before abandoning one and focusing solely on the other. I’m about 21,000 words into that novel, which is about 1/4 of the way through the book.

I did not hit my word count goals. I wrote about 172,500 words for NaNoWriMo. Not my goal, but still a great chunk of words. NOW to all the edits hahaha.

Yesterday, I launched my first book in 4.5 years (since May 2016!). It was amazing and fells amazing still! I’m super excited for this book, and yes, I’m still doing marketing for it. That will likely not be done by the end of December since it’s an ongoing project.

I am 21,000 words into Young & Old.
I am 6,000 words into Love Burns: Take 2

My plans for December are to finish out Young & Old (Missing Persons #3), write Beware (Quarter Life #4), and maybe write or start to write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2).

I took the entire last week off in December to hopefully finish out my goals!

TTFN

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – IN PROGRESS
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2 – IN PROGRESS

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  5. Write F/M/F romance piece
  6. Write Lawyer romance piece
  7. Edit Glacial Freeze aka Eira

Brandi Carlile Rabbit Hole #ROW80 #NaNoWriMo

So many rabbit holes this week, but the one I’m super excited about is Brandy Carlile music! It’s my new favorite station on Pandora to write to. My kids are so tired of be “playing music” on the TV instead of television shows for them. I keep telling them it’ll make them smarter, but I don’t think the 4 year old and 2 year old care much.

As for ROW80, I hit some goals this week but I also again slowed down this week. Seems to happen when I finish something. Totally normal! I finished writing my lawyer piece, ended up having to rewrite the whole last 4-5 chapters of outline. I finished editing Eira, formally know as Glacial Freeze/Thaw. FINALLY NAMED THAT SUCKER! Thanks all goes to my spouse who named it for me. I also sent it in for submission.

Because I finished writing a piece, I was supposed to write Love Burns: Take 2 next for NaNoWriMo, which my goal was to write three romantic pieces, but…I don’t know…just wasn’t feeling it? I managed the first chapter, and stopped to outline Young & Old. Ended up writing the first full chapter of that which was much easier. So the next 8 days of NaNo, I’m either going to focus on Young & Old or I’m going to flip flop between the two of them. Who knows.

De-Termination marketing has picked up massively. My release is 8 days away. Eeeek! So, I’m working on finishing filling out slots for my release party (need at least 1 more preferably). I need to check in with ARC reviewers, and I’ve been making teasers and figuring out posts. I’ll start doing my live readings of De-Termination next weekend after one more live reading of Unbound on Tuesday.

SIDE NOTE: I realized I needed a series bible for well everything. Anyway, so I started work on that, specifically focusing on Agent Morgan Stones series and Grace Halling Series stuff because those two are so interconnected and Morgan is a new series so best place to start. I think I’m going to take the last week in December, when I’m on vacation from day job, and really work on some of this.

This was long, but like I said, so many rabbit holes this week! I’m going to go swoon over some more Brandi Carlile now.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – IN PROGRESS
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2 – IN PROGRESS
  5. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  5. Write F/M/F romance piece
  6. Write Lawyer romance piece
  7. Edit Glacial Freeze aka Eir

Glacial Thaw and other unnamed titles #ROW80 #NaNoWriMo

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a ROW80 update. I’ve been neck deep in NaNoWriMo, in editing this Snow Queen redo, and in marketing for De-Termination. So there you have what I’ve been up to. haha.

My daughter told me last night: “Mama, doctor now. Ear hurt.” so I took her in this morning, and she has a double ear infection, explaining why NO ONE has slept the last week. I never would have guessed without her telling me.

I have a release party coming up! It’s a celebration of women loving women fiction. Feel free to come in and join in by clicking the link here. There will be lots of other authors there with giveaways and talking about their own books they have out. It’ll be a blast.

I finished writing my F/M/F piece, and I HATE IT. So it’s filed away on my hard drive for when I decide to tear it apart. I’m 4.5 chapters away from finishing my lawyer romance piece. I’m 130,000 words into NaNo (my goal is about 210,000 words and three books), so pretty much right on track for that to happen. I’ve got 3 chapters left to edit on Glacial Thaw (which used to be Glacial Freeze, testing this new title out). Then I’ll input all the edits and think about subbing it some place. Eeeek!

That’s my update!

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  6. Write Lawyer romance piece – IN PROGRESS
  7. Edit Glacial Freeze – IN PROGRESS

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  5. Write F/M/F romance piece

Non-existent mornings #ROW80 #NaNoWriMo

As I sit here at not even 7am with my daughter watching Moana for the six millionth time, I’m annoyed. Not because of Moana, not because of time with my daughter, because 5am-7am is supposed to be my writing time, especially on Sunday mornings and since daylight savings, my kids have been waking up when I do…meaning early morning writing is next to impossible.

I digress.

I have been managing to get some writing in because my spouse is working evening shifts, so after the kids go to bed, I have time to get some words out. I’ve been sprinting to my hearts content and dependent on how much Dr. Pepper I have drank that day. haha. This will change THIS WEEK as my spouse is back to being scheduled for mornings.

So for  updates as fast as I can.

I’ve edited Chapters 1-5 of Glacial Freeze. PS I really need a new title for this. I’m so open to suggestions.

I’m 3 chapters away from finishing my F/M/F piece, also need a title for this. Tentatively Delivering Kris … Maybe…we’ll see. I wanted to be done writing this today. I’m thinking it’ll happen tomorrow because…you know…kids.

That’s about all I’ve done. Some marketing for De-Termination but not a whole lot.

I completed NaNo on Friday, at least official NaNo. My goals for NaNo remain 1. write all 30 days of it and 2. finish F/M/F piece, Lawyer Piece, Love Burns: Take 2 (which will total about 240,000 words for the month). I really need names for these things. It’s getting bad.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  6. Write F/M/F romance piece – IN PROGRESS
  7. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)

#ROW80 update, week 3 round up #NaNoWriMo

Whew! It’s been an insane week. I decided after much thought and listening to my muse, the story, and my spouse, that I needed to expand Glacial Freeze (this is not the final title). So I added 5 chapters to it Thursday-Saturday and turned it into a 55k word novel from it’s 39k word novella.

Then I finished final edits on Broken & Weary (Missing Persons 2) and emailed that off to my publisher.

Before all that I finished final edits on Release (Quarter Life 3) and emailed that off to my publisher.

So BUSY! And TODAY IS NANOWRIMO! W00t! I got up at 5:30 this morning and started typing. Sundays are busy days for me because of church, so I managed 7300 words before I left for work. I’m hoping to write another chapter in the in between times tonight. Wish me luck!

I have moved around my writing schedule a lot, so the goals listed below are not entirely accurate. I don’t plan on writing Beware (Quarter Life 4) until January. Race War and Young & Old are set for December.

In November, for NaNo, I’m insane and opted to write 3 novels. I have 2 goals for NaNo. One is to write these three novels. The other is to write every single day of NaNo. I may not finish the third novel, but I know I’ll at least get a good chunk of the way through it.

First piece I’m working on is a menage FFM piece with no title yet, maybe Delivering Kris, but I’m not sold on that. The second piece is a lawyer piece that will border on erotic romance but I’m hoping to keep it to plot as much as I can. =P The third piece is Love Burns: Take 2. I had Love Burns accepted by a publisher. It’s set to release August 17th, 2021, and this would be a sequel to that.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  6. Write F/M/F romance piece – IN PROGRESS
  7. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)

#ROW80 Week 4 mid-week update #letsdothis

I’m going to keep this short and sweet today! I’ve been doing a lot of editing on Release (Quarter Life 3)–have about 4 chapters left then it’s off to the publisher–and a lot of NaNoWriMo prep and a lot of marketing.

I have a release event for De-Termination right here if anyone wants to join in.

If you are an author and want to sign up for a 1 hour time slot for my release, here’s that link.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  7. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  8. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)

ADDING

  1. Write F/M/F romance piece
  2. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze

#ROW80 update and heading straight into #NaNoWriMo

I did not update this week, which is my bad, but this week had shit hit the fan hard. It’s too long and too personal to explain, but let me start by saying I’m so grateful to have a therapy appointment on Monday. It will be well-utilized.

Quite a lot has also happened in this week, which is a bit crazy and awesome at the same time. I put a pause of edits of Broken & Weary and sent it to a beta reading. I’m very much worried I tried to smash too much plot into it for it to be developed enough and that some things get lost. I’m waiting to hear back from my trusted beta before I go any further in editing (in case it needs a massive overhaul).

I picked up editing on Release (Quarter Life 3), however. I’m hoping to be done with these by November 1, so I can focus on NaNoWriMo. I’m on chapter 22 of 38, so not too far off. It’s going well, and I can’t wait to send that in to my publisher.

NOW, for the good and exiting news. Last month, I submitted Love Burns (a contemporary May-December lesbian romance) to a new publisher after it was rejected from another publisher. I heard back Friday, and they want the book. Not only that but they said they rarely pick up F/F books but mine was so well-written and the characterization good that they wanted it.

I did submit tentatively two sequels to Love Burns, which they don’t want at the moment. They don’t think there’s enough plot in my outline of them. Totally fair, there wasn’t much plot there haha. But I can always write them or combine them into one and submit it and see where it goes from there. I wasn’t dead-set on it being a series, so I’m still freakin’ crazy excited.

I’ll let you all know more when I know more. Which hopefully is soon!

I’ve been playing around with and learning more about Amazon Ads, which has been an adventure. I’m focusing primarily on Memoir in the Making and Unbound (Quarter Life Book 1) for now, but maybe I’ll do more eventually. For marketing for De-Termination, I set up a blog tour SIGN UP HERE if you want to join in on it. I’ve sent out some review copies and have been doing weekly Facebook Live readings from Unbound which will soon turn into De-Termination once we get closer to the release date.

I also wrote and finished Glacial Freeze, which I have sorely undermentioned. It’s a retelling of the Snow Queen, set in modern times in Glacier National Park with obviously a lovely lesbian twist to it. It’s paranormal romance plus fairy tale. It’s a novella, so only about 40,000 words in length, which was super interesting and weird to write. I had to hold back on my need for plot haha.

I’m adding two pieces I plan on writing during NaNoWriMo, both romances, both May-December lesbian romances. One is a menage, but definitely romance and not erotic romance (though it’ll be borderline. I like my plot!).

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  7. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  8. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)

ADDING

  1. Write F/M/F romance piece
  2. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze

ROW80 Update #ROW80

Good morning!

I’ve been working hard (kind of). I’ve actually been resting a lot too. I had surgery last week, and recovery has been slow. Here’s my mid-week update on what I’ve been doing.

For marketing, I’m learning about Amazon Ads, I’m looking at blog tours and a release event for De-Termination which is coming up QUICK! I got my pre-order links today.

I participated in a podcast of sorts! Chanel Ivy has a podcast where she reads the sexy parts of books, so I sent her over an excerpt from De-Termination for the month of October, a spooky scene with Faye & Molly pushing each other’s buttons and trying to entice the other to their own ways.

If you want to take a listen, go here! It was an interesting and fun experience.

I have been writing…slowly…Sun, Sea, and Gwyn. I’m almost done with chapter 3 as of this morning. I don’t know why this piece is so slow going compared to my normal writing, but it is. I’ve also been distracted with edits and market, so that might be why.

I started editing Broken & Wear (Missing Persons 2) yesterday. I’m 3 chapters in out of 21. Onward and forward.

Oh! Oh! I did get the first round of covers for Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone 1) and I’m in love! Can’t wait to share it when I get the final version.

See you all Sunday!

ttfn

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Sun, Sea, and Gwyn
  5. Write Love Burns: Take Two
  6. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  7. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  8. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  9. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  10. FOR EXTRA — if I need it — write Love Burns: 3 Together, Agent Morgan Stone #3 or Missing Persons #4. And edit edit edit everything in sight!

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)

Outlining and Kids #ROW80 #Goals

It is 7 am. …

I routinely wake up between 5-5:30 every morning and do some writing work. My kids wake up, generally 7-8 every morning, especially on Sundays. Right now, it is 7 am and both my toddlers are running amok in my bedroom as I ATTEMPT to outline this novel. It’s been this way for close to an hour now.

Yo…this parenting and working game is not for the weak-hearted OR the easily distracted.

This weekend I officiated a wedding and once again attempted to install a fan in my living room (long story), so my Friday work time was cut significantly short. I did manage to finish my final edits on De-Termination a whole 3-5 days earlier than planned. I sent those back to the publisher.

I am currently PANICKING about what I’m going to be writing for NaNoWriMo. I had originally planned to write 3 novels during that month (Love Burns: Take 2, Young & Old: Missing Persons 3, and Agent Morgan Stone 3), but I have literally NONE of them outlined. So I’m panicking.

This morning, I’m attempting to outline…not a novel in that list of three. haha! It is a romance. I tend to write romances for NaNo. No idea why, but I do. This piece I’m outlining is my first F/M/F romance and it’s boggling my brain. I’ll update Wednesday since I should be outlining things this week along with writing Sun, Sea, and Gwyn. Hopefully I’ll have more answers by Wednesday.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Sun, Sea, and Gwyn
  5. Write Love Burns: Take Two
  6. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  7. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  8. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  9. Edit Her Cold Heart (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  10. FOR EXTRA — if I need it — write Love Burns: 3 Together, Agent Morgan Stone #3 or Missing Persons #4. And edit edit edit everything in sight!

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)

Another round of #WIPpetWednesday #amwriting #thriller

I can’t think of the word thriller without Michael Jackson’s voice running through my head! Yesterday during therapy, my spouse mentioned that I had written a scary weird ass novel to our therapist. She was all “What!?” I was all, “I wrote a thriller.” Cue Michael Jackson.

Anyway! I am here to share another excerpt from this book, Stone’s Mistake. I did finish writing it, and the lovely and insane editing process begins tomorrow.

Yesterday, I went through my calendar for the rest of the year in what I have planned to write. I changed my mind. SHOCKER! haha. I ditched my short stories. They’re just not happening. As much as I want them to be written, every time I sit down to work on them, nothing happens. So back to the closet they go for awhile.

I rearranged my schedule, added two new romance novels to the list (sequels to Love Burns) that have been rocking it around in my brain these past few weeks.

So here’s a brief outline of what I am working on and what I will be working on.

September:
Broken & Weary: Missing Persons #2
Release: Quarter Life #3

October:
Release: Quarter Life #3
Special Agent Stone #2

November: AND NANOWRIMO!!
Love Burns Take Two (not the actual name)
Blind & Seen: Missing Persons #3

December:
Beware: Quarter Life #4 (tentative title)
Love Burns Take Three (not the actual name)

This gives me a WHOLE lot to do, but I’m pretty sure I can do it. I slowed down writing my Grace novels. I was planning on writing two chapters a day, but I realized how unrealistic that was, so now I’m aiming for one chapter a day. Grace is long winded in her chapters. haha

Without further ado, however, my WIPpet for September 9th, 2020.

This is from Stone’s Mistake: Agent Stone #1. 10 paragraphs for today’s excerpt from chapter 8. Math is as follows. 9 (for the month) + (2/2) = 10!

Little introduction. Morgan really likes Fiona. Fiona is kind of clueless. Morgan is BAD at dating. Morgan has just returned from a stint in Kansas were she worked on a human trafficking case. Fiona has been waiting for her to get back so they could meet up at a crime scene and discuss Fiona’s case. Fiona is Chicago PD homicide detective and Morgan works for the FBI.

Morgan’s heart rose to her throat again. She coughed to try and clear it, sputtering as she tried to find words. Business she could talk, but she wanted so much more than business with Fiona. Wexford took a step closer, her hand on Morgan’s arm.

“You okay?”

“Uh, yeah. Just a frog. It’s been a long week.”

“Where’d you go? You said you were driving back yesterday.”

“Had an operation to do.”

Wexford’s eyes widened. “Were you in Kansas? Was that your case?”

Morgan’s eyebrow lifted. She didn’t answer as Fiona stepped even closer. Her heart thudded hard, and her breath stopped up in her lungs once again. She didn’t know what possessed her, but leaning to her side, she pressed her mouth to Fiona’s.

The kiss didn’t last long. Morgan jumped back, her eyes wide and fear settling in the pit of her stomach. Looking wildly to her car, Morgan begged for a phone call, a distraction, something, anything.

“That was…I don’t…Uh…” Morgan bit her lip. “I don’t know why I did that. I should…I should go.”

Booking it for her car, Morgan escaped and didn’t wait for a response from Wexford. She didn’t want to hear or see the reaction she might have had. Putting her car in drive, Morgan headed back to the bureau, ready to dig in to some old case files and see if she could find another one that matched the two here.

Religion in lesfic #brokentaboos #amwriting #shortstory

I write lesfic, and I write religion, and the two do not often mix. There are some places that this works, but most likely, whatever I write with a women loving women bent and religion is not going to take off.

I know this, but still I write it. Why? Because lesbians are Christians and Christians are lesbians. I tend to stick in the Christianity realm (versus other faiths) because that is my area of expertise. There are a whole slew of LGBT et al folk in the Christian faith. The loudmouths like to let us believe otherwise, but it’s not true.

I’ve got a romance novel that’s sitting finished on my laptop. I finished it in July. And here it sits. I did submit it to one publisher, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be rejected because one of my main characters, my lesbian character, is a chaplain at a hospital. Now, to note, she may be a chaplain, but this is ironically one of the least religious books I have ever written. I think she prays twice in it.

My Spirit of Grace series and anything to do with Grace and Amya is religious. Grace is named for the grace of God. Can’t get much more connected than that. I’ve had people tell me the book series is preachy, but well, I’m a preacher during the day, so I disagree. If they want preachy, I can give them preachy. =P

But why is it that these two subjects can’t seem to go well together and sell. I can’t sell it on the Christian market because well, lesbians and women loving women and sex (sometimes). I can’t sell it on the lesfic market because apparently all Christians are assholes and don’t like the gays (not true).

I’m left with the conundrum. Do I keep writing it? Do I stop? Where do I put it out for others to read? And who the hell wants to read it other than me?

I’ve been literally working on a short story serial called Kansas Beatitudes for four years now. You should know where this is going. The Beatitudes are scripture. There are eight of them. For each Beatitude, I am planning on writing a short little romance story around the central theme. I’ve already written two. But the first Beatitude is Poor in Spirit, and I’m struggling beyond compare with it.

Two reasons: poor in Spirit is far more religious centered than mourning or being meek. Secondly, I really want it to be an open relationship, F/F/F, with a pastor as one of the F’s in there. So what happens if and when I write it? Hmmm? Because I can’t imagine a publisher who would be willing to publish it. Yes, there is self-pubbing, but the questions about marketing and production are the same. Who will read it? Who on earth is the market? Is the market big enough to warrant the story and the time and the effort? Do I write it anyway because it’s not about sales but about story itself?

It would be easy enough to change the story. To write something different. But I tend to go where the muse and the little green men in my computer tell me to go and write.

Why is this taboo so taboo? People come in all shapes and sizes and religions and faiths and colors. Why is it that religion and the LGBT et al combined is so hard to sell and so repulsed by every side of the reading spectrum?

I recently finished reading Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Shameless, and I’ve got to say, we need a sexual reformation in the church, but we also need a religious reformation in the world. I live in a world where I almost have to 100% keep everything separate from each other. I can’t talk about my lesfic writing in church; I can’t talk about my church in my lesfic writing.

Sex and religion have so often been at odds with each other. It’s time we stop fearing both. It’s time we open the table for discussion. It’s time we shut up and listen, truly listen, to what is being said and what is being felt.

If you haven’t read Nadia’s book. It’s worth it. Trust me. So worth it!

Partners in Fighting Crime #WIPpetWednesday #Snippet #WIP #Excerpt

I’ve been working on this novel for a week or so now. I thought it was crime/mystery at first. I realized the other day, it most definitely is not. It is a psychological thriller through and through. I even looked up a definition of it and sent it to my spouse going this, this, this, this, this, this…ALL OF THIS…is exactly what this novel is. haha.

So…I guess I’m writing a psychological thriller with a crime/mystery bent. This novel is about an FBI Special Agent Morgan Stone (yes, she is sister to Chaplain Amya Stone, Grace’s infamous girlfriend). Yes, Amya does show up in this novel, and Grace too, albeit briefly.

This novel is about my agent trying to catch a serial killer. That’s the basic of it. Morgan has been with the same partner at work for near a decade, so she knows him amazingly well. This is just a little snippet into their working and personal relationship. From chapter 3 of Stone’s Mistake. This is completely unedited as I never edit while writing a novel because well I won’t finish it if I do. So bear with me on that.

26 paragraphs from Chapter 3 of Stone’s Mistake. 26 is for the day of the month! That’s your WIPpet.

Sighing, Morgan glanced up as Pax jerked his chair back and plopped his briefcase heavily on the desktop. She shot him a questioning gaze before leaning up to focus on her obviously angry partner. “What happened?”

“Mel. Mel is what happened.” He huffed out a breath and sat next to her, grumbling something she couldn’t hear.

“Care to elaborate?”

Pax and his wife had been married fourteen years, and it still wasn’t unusual for him to show up miffed about a fight they’d had just before he’d left for the office. Morgan, in some ways, reveled in his life. Married, boy-girl twins, stability, a home. It was everything she didn’t have and only some things she wanted.

She’d known Pax since before he married Mel, had been the best man at his wedding even, so she knew the ins and outs of their issues. When he shot her a look, Morgan chuckled. “Forget to take out the trash?”

“One flipping day, that’s all I wanted.”

“Wanted for what?” Morgan turned back to her computer screen, deciding she wouldn’t waste all her energy on placating him in his foils.

Pax grunted. “I wanted to go golfing.”

“Since when do you golf?” She furrowed her brow, shook her head, and pursed her lips. “And who the hell do you golf with?”

“None of your business.”

“Wait. Hold on. You don’t golf. What did you really want to do?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he muttered, powering on his computer and clenching his jaw.

Morgan turned her lips to the side as she debated whether or not to pursue the topic. Giving in, she pushed slightly back from her desk and turned to face him fully. “No. What did you really want to go do?”

“I was trying to set up a renewal of our vows.”

“Oh…” Morgan pulled a face. “Really?”

“Yes.” He glared.

She laughed softly. “Didn’t figure your for the sentimental type.”

“It’s a surprise, for our fifteenth. Thought it might be nice.”

“You thought it would get you out of some hot water for something you did, or you thought it’d win you some bonus points for the future when you screw up.”

The look he gave her told her the latter was correct. She laughed again, shaking her head. If he was going this deep in his planning, he was going to have to lie better than trying to go play golf when the man had never swung a club in his life.

“Pax, you’re gonna have to learn to lie better.”

“I can’t lie to Mel, you know that.”

“You’re going to have to if you want this to be a surprise.”

“Can’t you—”

“Absolutely not. This is your own fresh hell you welcomed into your brain. You do it. I am not the best friend who plans vow renewals. You’re lucky enough I dressed up for your wedding and showed up for it.”

He grimaced. Ending the conversation, Morgan turned back to her computer and continued searching for Reilly’s real name and face. She was another hour deep into search when her phone in her pocket buzzed. Frowning at it, she knocked her head to Pax to see if he was paying attention or not. When he wasn’t, she slipped away from their desks and down the hall to a quiet and empty conference room.

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