Sunday, March 04, 2012

Reading Teen Romances

I'm not ashamed to admit I have a soft spot for high school romance movies, and yeah, I'll read teen romances. Maybe it's some sort of pathetic "want to relive my high school years but have them not suck" kind of thing. I grabbed a copy of Meg Cabot's Vanished, Vol 1 yesterday and read it all in one sitting. It was like someone took Stephanie Plum at age sixteen and put her in rural Indiana and gave her psychic powers. I LOVED it. If Cabot's other books are this good, I can tell I'll be heading to the bookstore quite often.

I know a lot of adults have read series like Twilight (I haven't yet...I can't get past Bella's woe-is-me attitude) but I was wondering if there were any "teen" that people would recommend. Our bookstore has a big teen section. By comparison, they don't have much as far as mysteries or adult romance and their sci-fi/fantasy section? So tiny!

So please, if you have read some good books generally considered to be teen reads, let me know.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Post V-day thoughts

First of all, the contest. The winner was Emmy!

The romantic thing my husband and I did yesterday? We went shopping for new skates for our son...yeah, not really much of a mushy good time. I did make one of his favorite dinners, and we watched The River together while the kids were that show. Tonight is Survivor night, the kids favorite night of the week. We make a big spaghetti dinner make fun of the contestants strategy (it's sad when an 8 year old can spot the flaws in someone's game)

Saturday, February 11, 2012


With only a few days until the most romantic holiday of the year, it's time for flowers, chocolate and all the other little things couples give to celebrate their love.

Or not.

Does your loved one go all out on Valentine's Day? Or are you the sort of couple that shows their love for each other all year and doesn't buy into the decidedly commercialized traditions? My husband and I fall somewhere in between, but mostly because our daughter was born on V-day, and so gets priority. I don't mind. I'm not big on flowers anyway, and frankly when I want chocolate I go to the corner store and buy whatever it is I'm craving. I don't really do jewelry either. Last year, my husband bought our daughter some Hello Kitty stuff, and got me a few of the same things...which I admit is a little weird but also cute (we wore our matching earrings the next day)

If I had my choice, I'd rather just be able to spend the day together, doing something where it's just calls from his work, no computer, and definitely no television.

Hmmm this was supposed to be a contest post. Okay, the details, starting today and ending on the 14th at midnight, anyone who posts an answer to the question below, will be entered into a draw for their choice of any ebook from my backlist, as well as a copy of my Valentine's Day short story, In From the Cold. I'll post the winner and send the email on to them on the 15th. (make sure you put your email in when you comment or I won't be able to contact you)

Okay so question - What is the best and/or weirdest Valentine's Day gift you ever got or gave.

I can't wait to hear everyone's answers! Be sure to check out the other contests going on on the With Love Blog Hop

Monday, January 23, 2012

In From the Cold has a cover (obviously) and a release date, January 26th.

My current WIPs are moving along slowly. Its been cold in my office so I moved to the living's warm but full of distractions. I managed almost 1K while the kids were curling yesterday but thats the most I've done all week.

I've had to re-evaluate my plans for the next few months. There are a few submission calls I'd really like to try for but figuring out which from my list to post pone is a little harder than I thought it would be.

I knew this would happen though. Submission calls with interesting themes pop up and I get excited to try my hand at them. Its made worse when the publisher is one I've wanted to submit to for a while. I'll fiddle with my list today since I'll probably be on the road for a while (I won't be driving LOL not that I haven't seen drivers do worse)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday 13


My Favorite 13 Romance series

I thought this would be easy. I have a lot of favorite romance books but limiting myself to a favorite series was a little harder.

1. The Cynster Family - Stephanie Laurens - LOVE possessive, protective, overbearing heros.

2. The Quinn brothers - Nora Roberts - My favorite couple in this one is Phillip and Sybill. The brothers are such great characters and Sybill's growth was wonderful.

3. The Malory Family - Johanna Lindsay - These were some of the first historical romance novels I ever read, and I will re-read them on an annual basis. I especially love James and Anthony.

4. The Gallagher Family - Nora Roberts -I love a good Irish hero, and I love Aiden and Jude the best. I have a soft spot for heroines who start off thinking they have no courage, and end up finding themselves.

5. Three Sisters Island - Nora Roberts - First one again was my favorite, for the same reason.

6. Deadly Series - Brenda Joyce - I love mysteries, so adding that to a historical series that also has romance is awesome.

7. The Sherbrooke Family - Catherine Coulter - I fell in love with Douglass and Ryder when I was a teenager.

8. The Bridgerton Family - Julia Quinn - A fun family. It's been a while since I've re-read the series, must do that again soon.

9. Dark Hunter Series - Sherrilyn Kenyon - Just Yum!

10. Highlander Series - Karen Marie Moning - more pure yum!

11. The Magic series - Catherine Coulter - More historical romance. My favorite of the three was Midsummer Magic with Philip Hawksbury and Frances.

12. Bastion Club - Stephanie Laurens (okay I pretty much love all her books)

13. The Star series - Catherine Coulter - I'm not usually a fan of historical romances set in America, but I really liked this one set in California.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Valentine short

I finished my short Valentine story yesterday, polished it up and sent it off. This will be the third story in the Tiara Islands Inn series, and for this one, I went back to Julie and Noah, the characters from Jewel of the Highlands.

When I started the series, I hadn't planned on it being a series of disasters for this couple. Poor Julie, every time she plans some big special event for the inn's guests, things fall apart, and it's all completely out of her control. Valentine's Day proves no different.

Back to work. The kids head back to school today, so I've upped by word count goal to 2K for each of the other stories on this months plan. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

7 Day Check In

A week into the new year, I decided to stop and take a look at how I'm making out on my writing goals. I came up with a new strategy for the year. Because I know how depressing it is to not meet my daily word count goal, but because I also want to have LOTS of books finished this year, I decided I had to make a change.

My old method was to take the intended word count of a book I was working on, and divide it by the daily word count I set for myself. So, a 30K story, if I was writing 4K a day would take me 7 and a half days. (Not including polishing afterwards) Inevitably, I get stuck. I have days when I just can't spend more than an hour or two at the computer, and those hours are never peaceful, solid writing time. So, I'm testing out this new way I came up with. In each month, I pick 3 stories. I then divide the daily word count between them.

Sounds kind of foolish when you think about it. I mean, you're making very slow progress on 3 things, rather than quickly finishing each story. Plus, how do you move from story to story without getting mentally bogged down on one so it affects your other stories?

Like I said, it's an experiment. The reasoning behind it was that on those days when you can't get lots of solid writing time to do a full 4 or 5K you may be able to bang out the 1K goal on at one of those stories, and at least then you've met one goal. Some days you might get all three, somedays only 2, but maybe it would feel better to say you hit 2 out of 3 instead of a big "fail" I also realized I had to take into account that I wouldn't get to write every day, so figured on at least 6 days in the month where I would get no writing done.

As for the mental aspect, well it's rare for me to actually get the chance to get totally immersed into a story. In the time it took me to get this far in this blog post, I've had to stop to hear about my daughter's plans for her birthday party, feed the dogs, let the dogs out (twice) and watch my son demonstrate his prowess at a video game.

Now, a week in, how is it working out for me?
WIP #1 Starting word count was 4370, and my goal was 1400 words a day for at least 6 days which would put me at 12,770. Current word count 8719. I only managed to make my word count on 3 of the six days.

WIP #2 Starting word count 0, with a goal of 1400 words a day for 6 days. Should be at 8400 am only at 2824. I had some trouble with this one, and really struggled the first few days.

WIP #3 Starting word count 819 goal of 1000 words a day for 3 days. I've surpassed my intended place of 3819 and am currently at 5794 words.

Thoughts: WIP #3 is intended to be short, and because I'm hoping to submit it ASAP (Valentine story) I've put a bit more effort into it than the others. Once it's done, I'll up the other two to 2K a day. Flexibility is the key here. I'm also hoping once the kids go back to school, I will get a bit more of that uninterrupted writing time.

I'll check back in next week for another update.