Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Loves: HARRY POTTER

Well, it's obvious this was coming. I'm rereading the Harry Potter series, rewatching the movies... so OF COURSE I have to use it for a Friday Loves post. And instead of gushing on and on about it, because everyone already knows it's awesome, I'm going to show my love with GIFS!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Writes: The Start of Book 3

Well, I still haven't done any writing. But I don't feel like a slacker, not at all. Last week, I took part in a week-long Facebook event for the launch of THEN COMES WINTER (an Austenesque holiday anthology in which I have a short story). I only hosted for an hour but I tried to take part as much as I could during the week. It was the first time I've done anything like that and I had a lot of fun, so I'm so glad I got to be a part of it all.

Facebook Party Time

I've also decided on ROMANCE BOOK #3. Book #1 is of course, SWAY, which comes out in just over a month! Book #2 is COLLIDE, which is currently with my CPs. I'd like to make it a round three books, but I had no clue what classic I wanted to retell this time. But I found it!

I'm going to keep it on the DL for now because I feel like if I blab, I'll jinx something. But for now, I'm planning on just how to write it, how I'm going to tie-in both SWAY and COLLIDE, the format of the book (because I want to do something a little different than the last two), and then I'm going to get outlining. I'm super excited about this... I think it's gonna be good!

Monday, November 23, 2015


Another great reading week, but I'm reading HARRY POTTER so what do you expect?

I loved GOBLET OF FIRE, of course. It's where the books start to get a little more grown-up. As always, JK Rowling does a fantabulous twist, and even though I knew what it was, it's still exciting to read to that big reveal!

After I finished GOBLET, my daughter was still on ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and I had a reserve come in at the library, so I took a brief break from HP to read DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy.

I loved this book, like so much. The only thing that disappointed me was the end. I wanted more. It ended way too abruptly, IMO. Otherwise, EXCELLENT book, and one I want all my daughters to read when they get older. The things Willowdean thinks about her body are so spot on- there were times when I was like, YES. SHE GETS IT. I think all women, no matter their size, would be able to relate. A definite must read.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Loves: The Hunger Games

Since the last Mockingjay movie is coming out, I kinda wanted to reread the series, but decided to pass, mainly because I'm doing a Harry Potter reread right now and have no time. But I decided to do a rewatch of the movies in prep for when I see Mockingjay Part 2 this weekend.

I gotta say, as far as books-to-movies go, the Hunger Games movies are some of the best. In fact, I almost prefer the movies to the books (don't tell anyone I said that), although there are some really great lines in the books, mostly said by Peeta.

The actors are all phenomenal, and I can't wait to see the series wrap up on the big screen.

Are you looking forward to Mockingjay Part 2?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Writes: Er, Not Really

I finished up revisions on COLLIDE and sent it off to my wonderful CPs. Now I'm thinking of book 3 and what I will possible write about. Even though SWAY and COLLIDE aren't an actual series, they are both retellings of classics, and a couple of characters from SWAY make a brief appearance in COLLIDE. I want to continue with that theme for book 3 (three books total sounds right), but at this point I have no idea what classic I want to retell.

I did PERSUASION in the first place because I love that book, LOVED the movie version, and felt like it would make a great modern day story. NORTH & SOUTH is also a favorite, and even though it was a lot harder to put that story in a modern setting, I loved writing every minute of it. But what to do next?

I don't want to pick just any random classic. The story has to be one that I really FEEL, even if I don't love it. And it has to translate to modern times. I thought at first about doing a Dickens, so I watched GREAT EXPECTATIONS and then NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, both faves of mine. The problem with Dickens, or maybe the great thing about Dickens, is that his stories are so much more than love stories, and to cut out those other elements would seem untrue. (I already feel like I did this a bit with COLLIDE/NORTH&SOUTH.)

So I put it to Facebook, asking for people's fave classic love stories. GONE WITH THE WIND was the top, but to be honest, I don't even want to touch that. Also, that book isn't really a romance to me, probably because of the end, which I've never liked anyway. (Sorry, GWTW fans.)

I don't want to do something obvious and overdone, like PRIDE & PREJUDICE, ROMEO & JULIET, or JANE EYRE. As much as I love Jane Austen, I don't want to do another of hers either.

So where does that leave me??? Well, I have a few ideas, nothing concrete yet. My writing time right now is being taken up by watching movie adaptations of classic romances to find the one that really sings. Hopefully this won't take longer than this week so I can start writing next week, or at the latest, the beginning of December.

Any classic romance recommendations for me?

Monday, November 16, 2015


I'm still reading my way through Harry Potter. I read PRISONER OF AZKABAN this week, and I loved it as much as I did the first time. PoA is one of my favorites, though I'm not sure why. One of the reasons could be it was the book that really hooked me. While I liked the first two a lot, I think PoA really swept me up into the world and the fandom. Also, as a kid I wanted to write a story about wizards who can change into animals and this book does that but in a really fun yet unexpected way. Plus I LOVE the Marauder's Map. It still disappoints me when I watch the movie that Lupin never explains to Harry who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are.

Anyway, I'm on GOBLET OF FIRE right now, and my oldest daughter is also rereading her way through- she's on book 5. We're also watching the movies as we go. I'm fast getting sucked into the Harry Potter world. I was thinking about why I love the books so much and there are probably a lot of reasons, but world building is a huge one. JK Rowling does such a great job building a world that is magical yet feels so real, feels like it could actually exist out there somewhere. Makes me feel like I might still get my letter for Hogwarts one day... One can always dream, right?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


In lieu of a writing post today, I want to briefly express my gratitude for those who have fought for my wonderful country, and those who have fought for freedom all around the world. In my opinion, no one says it better than John McRae:

I know I post this song every year, but I love it so much. I don't just listen to it on Remembrance Day, it's in my regular playlist and it brings tears to my eyes every time.

Please take two minutes at 11am today to remember the sacrifices of so many.

Monday, November 9, 2015


It was a great reading week! (Which I LOVE.)

I read MORE THAN MAGIC, a fellow Samhain book by Donna June Cooper. Here's the premise:

DEA agent Nick McKennitt is sure magic exists—a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that’s wreaking havoc on the streets of Atlanta. He’s also sure that locating and eliminating the source could mean his death.

When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner’s anxious attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of a rare, ancient species of ginseng.

As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades into the distance, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with an inherited magical gift she didn’t want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather’s final, cryptic message. 

The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now she must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

This book was excellent. There were secrets from the start that I wanted the answers to. The world-building was excellent- grounded in our world with just a hint of magic and some science mixed in. I loved the love story between Grace and Nick- even though the book only took place over a few days, the love story had a slow build which I loved. I read the book in two nights because it was a definite page-turner.

I'm also doing a Harry Potter reread. Last week I read THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE and THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being back in the world of Harry Potter. It feels like being back with an old friend again, and I'm quickly slipping into fangirldom. That's what Harry Potter does to me. 

Friday, November 6, 2015


This past spring I wrote a short story called BECOMING FANNY and entered it into a Jane Austen-themed holiday romance anthology contest. I ended up being chosen as First Runner-Up, which means BECOMING FANNY will be featured in the anthology coming out before Christmas!

This past Tuesday was the cover reveal for THEN COMES WINTER, the title of the anthology, and I think it's really adorable. The cover kinda fits with my personal story, and I love how there's Jane Austen writing below the picture (taken from EMMA).

The authors and editor of the anthology will be hosting a weeklong Facebook party from November 16th-20th to celebrate the launch, with tons of giveaways and swag, including an advanced e-copy of my book SWAY! Come check us out if you get the chance.

BECOMING FANNY is MANSFIELD PARK meets HOLIDAY INN. Blair McTavish loves quizzes. But when she does “Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?” and gets Fanny Price, she’s disappointed. Blair wants to be Elizabeth Bennet, not Fanny. After all, Fanny wouldn’t leave her dysfunctional family over Christmas to perform in a musical with complete strangers.

But every time Blair tries to be more like Elizabeth, things go horribly wrong. If Blair doesn’t figure out who she really is, this Christmas will be rotten, just like all the rest. Or maybe, if she can learn to be happy with herself, it may just be the best Christmas ever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Writes: Some Editor Love

Last January, I had a HUGE decision to make: which publishing contract out of three should I accept?

I took this decision very seriously, and it was super hard to make. Like most decisions, I had no idea what the final outcome would be so I had to do a lot of research, and then go with my gut.

One of the things that made this decision slightly easier, was that my editor from Samhain contacted me directly. He was the one to offer. He told me up front what his editing style is like, and we had very brief email chitchats back and forth before I made my decision. From that little intro alone, I knew this was someone I could work with, and that was one of the reasons I went with Samhain Publishing.

Not that I wasn't super super nervous to get that first editing letter. I'd heard of twenty-page long epistles detailing everything wrong about an author's manuscript, and I was dying worrying I'd get one of these. Not that I wasn't ready to roll up my sleeves, but still... nerves. My edits weren't quite so long *phew*, and they were spot on. I think I agreed with almost everything my editor said, and not because I was trying to be easygoing. He was just right. It was so easy to work with him and I count myself lucky that I had such a talented editor look over my work and make it better. The best thing about him though, was that he really brought the funny to this manuscript. Out of six unpublished works, this was by far my most serious, and my most quiet. I did have a few lighter moments, but I'm not gonna lie, it's a kinda angsty book, in an adult way. So I love that my editor helped me create some laugh out loud moments.

To Noah Chinn, I'm grateful to have you as my editor, and I hope I don't drive you too crazy. ;)

Monday, November 2, 2015


Confession: I don't really read romance.

I know, I know, I WRITE romance. And you should ALWAYS DEFINITELY read the genre you write in. Before you accuse me of not practicing what I preach, here's the thing: I don't really read romance, as in category. As in, the really racy rated R kind. I don't write that type of romance either. I'm not knocking it, it's just not my jam. Before SEDUCING CINDERELLA, I think I'd only read one other romance novel- a Victorian one. The reason I picked it up in the first place is because my male MC in COLLIDE is a fighter, and Reid from SC is an MMA fighter.

So did I like SEDUCING CINDERELLA (by Gina L. Maxwell)? Yes. It was a great story with great characters. Reid was hot and sexy and sweet, and Lucie was the typical You-Don't-Know-You're-Beautiful kind of girl, but it didn't feel formulaic. There was plenty or racy to go around, so if you like that, then definitely check out this book.

I love romance in books. It's almost a must for me (I say almost because I've read a few really amazing books that had no romance storyline in them). I love to write romance. But for me the fun is the flirting, the will they/won't they, the push and pull. The almost kisses. It reminds me of this meme I saw on Pinterest a few weeks ago that made me laugh, it was so true for me:
What about you? Chippendales or top hats and cravats? LOL