Catching Up


Here we go again – if you follow this blog, by now, you know I’m probably one of the worst bloggers ever. The last several months have been incredibly busy, and what time I’ve had to devote toward writing (anything), has gone toward the projects I’ve been bouncing between for months, rather than this blog. One project is now complete, the other is thisclose to being done. Family issues have taken a chunk of time as well, and unfortunately, the blog was the sacrifice while I worked through it all. I still haven’t figured out how I managed when I was working full time. While I now have more time available, I find it fills up much more quickly. And no matter how carefully I plan out my days and weeks, something pops up nearly every single day to trash that. However, I take great satisfaction in knowing several of my house projects are also done, though that list seems to grow way faster than I can keep up with.
 
I’ve decided to try some new things here – I’ll be hosting some author interviews and the like, and I thought I would also do some brief reviews of some of my recent reading material. I’ve managed to read a few books while at the gym (thank you Kindle App!), it’s a great way to make that 45 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical go much faster.
But before I get to all that, I figured I should share a little about the projects I’ve been working on. As I may have mentioned before, I am a HUGE fan of History Channel’s original show, Vikings. I have long planned to write a series about Vikings, and the show inspired me to push that plan to the top of my ever-growing list of books I plan to write. I recently finished the first in what is currently a trilogy, though I may want to add to that. I had a lot of fun writing it, even through the dark moments of the story.  I’ll share more info on the release of that book as I get it. In the meantime, I can’t wait to get on to the next books. I already know that book 2 will be a deeply emotional book. The heroine is introduced in book 1, and at that point, she’s not very likeable, so I have a tough road ahead of me to redeem her. But her story is a bit dark, she’s suffered tremendously, and that’s part of what drove her behavior in book 1. I’m looking forward to revisiting the gritty and bloody world of 9th century Scandinavia.
The other project is the third in my Medieval Warriors series. I’m also enjoying this – these characters have been kicking around in my head for a very long time, though their story has changed drastically from its first incarnation. It’s also a bit longer than the first two books in the series, and I am calling it a prequel, since it tells the story of Gillian and Royce, the parents of Marissa and Rowan from the first two books. I also have a fourth book planned in that series – and it’s got a cool paranormal twist!
And lo and behold, just this last week I think I solved the huge plot dilemma I had for a shelved project. This one is a vampire tale, and incorporates several BDSM elements. I’ve combined both of my favorite genres with this one! This story also has some very dark moments, which I love to write. So that story is now back in the queue for finishing/polishing.
Last but not least, summer is finally here. I love summer – it is my absolute favorite season. That may have something to do with the fact I was born the day before the summer solstice. I have found over the years that people tend to prefer the season they were born in most of all. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally, most of the people I’ve discussed this theory with have agreed. So if you’re a summer baby like me, enjoy! For those who prefer the colder climates, don’t worry – they’ll be here again before we know it.
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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!

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!

End of an Era – and Vikings!

It’s been real quiet around here lately! As usual, things are hairy. My last post addressed the fact I’m about to become unemployed, and that reality has resulted in some pretty insane weeks. I’m busier than ever preparing to transition my job and responsibilities to someone else in another division, and it’s made me take a good hard look at all that I do here. I don’t think even I realized just how much that was! I was asked to stay for an additional month to help complete the transition, and I agreed to that, because I just can’t drop overnight what I’ve spent so many years working so hard at. I figure the extra month will help me be able to let it go a little easier – though I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to be so damn possessive! It’s the end of an era for me, and a beginning of a new one, though clearly, I still have mixed emotions about the whole situation. But I am looking forward to being home for a little while and having the time to focus on other things.
Specifically, writing. I currently have two completed books I am doing a final pass on – another vampire tale that has been in the works and close to finished for what seems like forever, and the next paranormal involving magic and magical people. And there’s another historical in the works as well, though it’s taking longer to get finished than I’d thought it would. The goal is to be done with those three by the time I am done with the day job, because my next writing goal is to start another series.
I’ve been watching the new History Channel series, Vikings. And while I’ve had plans for a Viking trilogy for some time, watching this show has thrust those ideas to the forefront. I am loving almost everything about it – even the at-times disturbing violence. I like the gritty reality portrayed, and the characters are compelling and complex – and based on real historical figures..
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) is sexy as hell! And his wife Lagertha is as coolly kick-ass as he is. I love their chemistry – that scene where they’re fighting, and she’s beating the crap out of him, and he’s not holding back either, but it’s turning them both on – damn, sexiest thing I’ve seen on basic cable in forever! I’m looking forward to exploring the perceptions and realities of the women of the time, because it’s so different from so many other cultures.
The villains are properly villainous – I’ve always been a fan of Gabriel Byrne, but I really loathe him here (that’s a good thing, BTW), though I do like the clues we get as to what makes him tick. But I’m really liking Rollo, Ragnar’s brother, a lot. He’s showing many signs he could be a villain to reckon with, and since I am particularly partial to villains, I’m drawn to that side of his character and can’t wait to see how far over the line his dark side evolves. Hopefully not so far that he ends up dead before the first season’s over.
I’m learning quite a bit about both versions of the characters – the TV version and the real versions, though even the real versions are usually steeped in myth and often a combination of more than one real historical person.
When I first thought about writing a Viking trilogy, probably about a year ago, I added the idea to my spreadsheet, and a couple of lines about what direction I thought the first book might take. I’ve kept some of that, but watching this show has made the ideas sprout with vengeance. Between watching and digging into the history behind the series, I now have plots for the first two books.  I’ll need to do more research, which I’m looking forward to, but come May, I plan on starting that series, and will actually have the time to devote to it.