Updates and Other News


It’s been a crazy few weeks – what else is new? For those who know me well, the annual July 4th celebration went off with mostly no hitches and was a rousing success. I enjoyed catching up with those I don’t see often, but who are very dear to me. Wish I had the stamina to do it more often!
In any case, that’s not all the news I have to share. Warrior’s Wrath, book two in the Warrior’s trilogy, has been officially accepted by Pink Flamingo. I’m very excited about this story, as I once again get to revisit characters I have written before and adore. Warrior’s Wrath is about Rowan Langley, Marissa’s brother from Warrior’s Vengeance. Rowan discovers something about himself at the very beginning that makes him question who he really is and his anger at those who have betrayed him affects everything he does. When he encounters Aeron, a thief who stole his coin, he decides to take her as his slave for repayment of the debt. Yet when he learns Aeron is fleeing a murder charge, he finds himself feeling a very different set of emotions. Aeron, on the other hand, is irresistibly drawn to the man holding her captive, despite his harsh treatment. Throw in Rowan’s best friend, who takes a much kinder approach, and Aeron is caught up in their wicked ways and finds herself losing her heart to them.
I’m hard at work on book three in this trilogy too. Warrior’s Possession is more of a prequel to the previous two books, as it tells the story of Gillian and Royce Langley, two characters I brought to life nearly twenty years ago. I’ve re-written the book extensively, and have also come to discover that Royce’s already dominant personality is perfectly suited to the changes I’ve made. I can’t wait to finish that and send it off. I’ve really enjoyed writing in this time period and I definitely have plans to visit it again in the future.
Additionally, the third Marchand book, Regine’s story, has been accepted by Sizzler Editions. I am STILL lost as to a title for this one, but I’m sure I’ll figure one out well before the release. Regine is a domme, but encounters a man who makes her want to submit. It throws her whole sense of self into turmoil, but what fun it was to write her story and have her discover new things about herself. Being an Enchantress from a powerful magical family has given her a healthy dose of pride and confidence that is shaken in many ways, and reinforced in others. Cameron McIntyre is the perfect man for her, she just has to realize and accept it. It’s a fun ride, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading their story as much as I did writing it.
Summer vacation has taken its toll on productivity, but the routine is settling now, so I’m hoping to step up the pace again and get working on my Vikings tales. Researching these books has been the most I’ve done on these stories so far, but once Warrior’s Possession is complete, I should have enough to get started. Until I find other things that need clarification, as is usually the case. The toughest thing is getting the language/dialect down. I’m going to need to re-watch Vikings from the History Channel to remind myself of a few things. I don’t think I’m going to mind that!:)
Keep an eye out for further release information, and covers and the like – I’ll share all that the moment I have it!
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Counting Down

At the end of this month, I officially become unemployed. I’ve talked about it before, and while there are still some lingering mixed emotions, for the most part, I’m ready to be done and out of here. My employer extended my position for one more month before it transitions to California, so I could finish up fiscal year end programs and tasks. Unfortunately, IT never got the word, and they shut off my network account. I still can’t get back into many of the systems I need to complete the tasks I stayed on for. It’s been frustrating, but on the plus side, it’s given me a few weeks where I was able to work on and wrap up two of my manuscripts.
I got good news about one this morning- the third book in my Marchand BDSM romance series has been accepted by Sizzler Editions. Sadly, I still don’t have a title, but I have a few ideas (and if anyone has any suggestions, I’ll take them! lol) It’s an equestrian eventing set tale, which is why coming up with a title has been a bit tricky – horses, BDSM – wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea! 😀  I don’t have any further information yet, but will be sharing as I get it.
I also wrapped up Warrior’s Wrath and sent that off to Pink Flamingo, though now I’m in a bit of a panic because I think I left something out of a scene, but I’m not looking. I figure my editor will point it out if I did and since there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment, no use making myself sick over it unless I really have to.
I’ve also been spending the last several days revising The Night Club – my next vampire romance. This book has been in the works for a very long time. I first wrote it shortly after I finished The Taste of Magic, in 2003! Various events conspired to knock me out of the writing game for a bit – the unexpected pregnancy with my son and his infant and toddler years, specifically. Babies take a brutal toll on the creative juices. Thankfully, we’re done with those days.
In any case, when I got back to writing, I took a huge detour from that book and tried something new. Some of you know I tested myself by writing a very popular Harry Potter fan fiction (Dramione, anyone?). It got such a good response that the darn thing took on a life of its own and really helped my confidence (I will advise you don’t go looking for it, it’s been removed from all the sites where it once appeared).  From there, the Marchand series was born. One thing led to another, and I wrote Warrior’s Vengeance, which was another book I started back in my early days. Since my goals and genres changed drastically, I didn’t give the vampire book a second thought.
Until I re-released The Taste of Magic. It did very well, so I dusted off The Night Club and decided to revise it. Turns out, this baby needs a whole lot of re-writing. Not only was it written back when my voice was significantly different, there are a lot of issues with the writing in general. Too much passive voice, more telling than I’d prefer, and plotlines that go off in all sorts of directions. I’ve been deleting a lot of things, streamlining the plot and cutting down on the word count. It’s still over 90K at this point, but I suspect it’ll wrap up around 80-85K when all is said and done.
Once that’s complete, I’ll be starting my next series, which I talked about before – Vikings! I have plots for two books. The History Channel show has inspired me so much, and last week’s episode was particularly awesome! Hail Earl Ragnar!  lol  I’m inspired, motivated and excited to get started. And with the next several months of actually having time to write, I’m salivating waiting for May to come!

Changing of the Seasons


Not really a complete change though – technically the cooler fall weather and the leaves turning won’t really start for a few more weeks around here. But summer vacation is ending, school is starting in a few days, so to me that signals the change. And I’m hoping it will bring a little more order to our little corner of the world.
It’s been a busy and eventful summer. On the home front, I can now honestly say I can’t wait for my daughter to get her driver’s license. The chauffeuring gets old fast, and somehow she had somewhere to go nearly every night. Much easier when her friends come over here, but that brings its own set of dilemmas. At least now, I can say no to Tuesday night guests and not be made to feel like I’m the evil stepmother in Snow White!
I turned a lot of my focus toward revising my next vampire story, The Night Club. It’s just about finished – I’m still doing some final revisions and adding a couple new scenes and just trying to get everything clean and logical. Which got me thinking ahead to my next vampire book. I actually began sketching it out. Just jotting down some ideas of what I think should happen, no real writing. Yet. You may remember Josh and Sophie from The Taste of Magic – well, they have their own tale to tell. So I started my spreadsheet for their story.
In the midst of that, I also began the sequel to Warrior’s Vengeance. Rowan Langley is the hero in Warrior’s Wrath, and if you read WV, you know him as Marissa’s brother. He learns a few things about himself that turn him very angry and bitter. This doesn’t bode well for the heroine, Aeron, a Welsh woman who steals from him. I’m having lots of fun getting this first draft down, and hopefully will complete it quickly. At the rate I’m going, there’s actually a good chance of that.
I’m also doing some minor work on the sequel to Prince of the Universe. I had lost my fire for that story a couple months ago, but it’s back. Christina and Reygar’s story is a bit more difficult to pinpoint. I’m focusing on world building at this point, and making my usual lists – these are of various cultural customs and societal norms. With each one that becomes clear, the trouble between the Aldarran and “Earth Woman” gets stronger. This book will be set entirely on the planet of Aldarra – and civilization on that planet is very different from Earth’s.
Lots of irons in the fire, which is kind of crazy, considering the insanity and chaos of the rest of my life. But my mind just works that way – I suppose because I’m a Gemini and there are way more than two of me in here! 😀 Each part of me wants to be focused on something, so to appease them all, I spend a little time on each planned book, at least so when I finish the two I’m neck deep in, I’ll have at least two more to get to work on. The madness keeps me focused – I get 2 to 2 ½ hours a night to write, so I’ve been trying to use it wisely. With school starting, I may even gain another hour – no more kids staying up late because they don’t have to get up in the morning! It’s really hard to concentrate on medieval England when Mario’s in the background trying to save the Princess!

Title Trouble

Another month gone by, so I guess it’s time for another post. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about – there’s a lot going on, as usual. But then it hit me. One of the most important aspects of a book is the title. It’s what the reader sees first. It should be intriguing, and make the reader want to look closer at the book, and it should also hint at what the book is about. At the very least, I think it should give a clue to the general theme or setting of the story.
And I am in a big title dilemma right now, which ironically enough, helped me with this post.
I am about 2/3 of the way through the next book in the Marchand series and I still have not been able to come up with a title for this one. I’ve set it in the equestrian field, and of course, like the other books in the series, the sexual relationship between the characters involves lots of BDSM fun.  I want something that gets at both of those factors, but many of the ideas that sprung up were just too… weird, icky, or plain old silly. Seriously, anything with the word “Riding” just came out so wrong! So I’m putting the task aside again until I have no choice to deal with it. I know, I’m a chicken, right? I should face this bump in the road head on and tackle it into submission. But I’d rather write the book at this point, and I’m hoping something will pop into my head before I get to end.
My sci-fi erotic romance, Prince of the Universe, will be out in a few weeks. That was a title I had no trouble coming up with. The theme song from the Highlander movies and TV show, as performed by Queen, always seemed to pop into my head from the moment I first started writing the book. After all, Vega is a prince, and he has traveled across the universe. It fit, perfectly, in my opinion. And as a nod to my love of all things Highlander, I couldn’t resist.
Warrior’s Vengeance was another title that came to me fairly easily. The funny thing is, when I first created these characters, way back in the late 90’s, I wasn’t writing anything remotely erotic. Sensual and hot, but without the intense, sexually charged (and kinky) love scenes. There were love scenes, and they were hot, but I don’t think anyone would consider them erotic by today’s standards. The book was originally called Passion’s Vengeance, which kind of sucked, but I was way worse with titles back then. I’ve learned a bit since. Worst of all, hero and heroine didn’t even come face to face until somewhere around chapter five! When I decided to dip my toe back into the medieval pool, I tossed everything I’d ever written about Marissa and Ian and started from scratch. The original title was always in the back of my mind, but once the story changed – drastically – the title just reworked itself. And I liked it.
The Taste of Magic was thought up by the book’s original publisher. I won’t even share the working title, it really, really sucked. (Not sure if I meant that pun or not! lol). But it does what it should do – tells you a little of what the book is about. It is one of my personal faves – maybe because someone else came up with it! 😀
The vampire book I’m revising, The Night Club, was a fairly easy title to come up with. A large part of the book is set in a nightclub, and of course, even though my vamps can function in daylight, nighttime is the real playground for the bloodsuckers. I’m also really excited about this book, another one I started way back when. I’ve made drastic changes to it, and hope to be getting that one on the submission rounds. The characters, while they have a sensual and steamy relationship, are pretty much vanilla, so this book is authored by my other alter-ego, Gina Rosavin.
How does everyone else come up with their titles? Is it easy, hard, somewhere in between? What titles have you found interesting – the ones that stick in your head, even if it’s been years since you read the book. What books have you read, simply because of the title? I’m curious. And open to any suggestions 🙂
* Yes, I changed the post title. Guess the issue isn’t just limited to book titles!

This Week’s Update

A lot’s happened in the last few weeks, much of it writing-related, some of it not. The timing couldn’t be better either, as my day job has a shutdown this coming week, and the best part of that is my kids will be in school most days! So I get to work on various writing-related tasks, as well as catch up on a couple things around here I just haven’t been able to squeeze in, despite the fast-reaching-desperate need to get them done. But I made progress on some cleanups for Warrior’s Vengeance, and I got a lot of new stuff written for the current Marchand book I’m working on.
But the biggest news of the week is that Prince of the Universe, my first stab at a sci-fi, has been contracted by Renaissance Ebooks Sizzler Editions! I am super excited about this, because as much as I love this story, and these characters, I really don’t know a lot about sci-fi. Seriously. I never even saw the first three episodes of Star Wars (which, BTW, I can’t help thinking of as the second three, since the others I saw in the 70’s and 80’s were the FIRST THREE I saw. Still come first in my head). That’s how bad it is.
Here’s the thing – one of my favorite TV shows EVER is “The Universe” on the History Channel, followed closely (really, really closely) by “Through the Wormhole” on the Science Channel. The idea of other worlds out there fascinates me, and I do find it hard to believe that we are truly alone in this vast universe. So I watch those shows as much as I can (marathons are like a drug overdose! lol), and my writer’s imagination goes to work after that.
I was able to incorporate some of what I’ve learned into this book, the rest – I kind of just winged it. Prince Vega, of the Planet Aldarra, is a human-like person who lands in Fair Ridge, PA, home of Meredith (Merry) Alexander, who just so happens to have had a really bad previous encounter with another Aldarran. There are a lot of reasons Merry fears Vega, but her compassionate heart can’t completely abandon him. Even though she wants and decides to let him fend for himself, she can’t cut him off, and once she makes her first move to help him, she’s doomed. But Vega isn’t like the other, and proves it, sometimes in a very arrogant and I’m-better-than-you-cause-I’m-royalty kind of way.
These two were fun to write – Merry, while she possesses a very legitimate fear of Vega, still has backbone and won’t completely back down. She’s funny, not afraid to speak her mind, and that compassionate heart of hers makes her a sucker for someone in need of help. Vega was a bit more complicated. He’s a prince, in line to a throne, he’s a warrior, and he has the capability of transforming into a hybrid man/feline creature with incredible amounts of strength and power.  Yet, he just wants to share his life with someone, just like anyone else. His goal to be king requires he have heirs. The Earth woman confounds him, but he can’t resist her. His perception of too many softer feelings for her is that it could weaken him, make him vulnerable. But he also discovers the motivation such feelings give him. Not that he ever loses that arrogant edge – he wouldn’t be one of my heroes if he did!
Anyway, as I get more details, I will share them – such as a release date, a cover, and all the fun stuff. This week – getting down to editing. Part of me is dreading it a bit, the process is sure to induce quite a few groans and head-shakes, with thoughts of “What was I thinking?” but it’ll be fun to work with these two again.