Big Easy Blog Hop

My first blog hop as an official author…exciting! Thanks to Tierney James, a fellow Black Opal Books author, who invited me to participate in this tour. So the gist of this is I answer a few questions and then list the authors who are following me on the tour next week. (But the two people who promised to follow me on the blog tour backed out at the last-minute so I don’t have anyone…yet. I will update when/if I get the info on the next person on the blog hop!)

Here is the question and answer section:

1 – What am I working on? Well, that’s a hard one to answer actually. I’m currently working on three different projects. I’m finishing up revisions on my muse story for a revise and resubmit I got from a publisher. I’m also hard at work writing book 2 in the Hollow Moon series – KISS ME. As if that wasn’t enough, today I’m starting Publisher’s BluePrint. BluePrint is an event through Savvy Authors where you work with a publisher to plot your book and then in July I will write it in a NaNoWriMo fashion of 50k in one month. I do best if I have a lot of pressure and deadlines so setting myself up to have a lot to do is just right for me.

 

2 – How does my work differ from others of my genre? My paranormal romances really focus very little on the paranormal. I like to call them light paranormal romances. In MAKE ME A MATCH, Maddy is a witch and it definitely affects the story, but the true focus is on the romance between her and Sean. The romance is the most important part of the story for me.

 

3 – Why do I write what I do? Um, I don’t know – I just do. I actually write in several different genres. The book I’ve contracted to publish is a paranormal romance, but I’m going to be working on a contemporary romance in July. I just love telling a good love story.

 

4 – How does my writing process work?  I am an extreme plotter. I do character sheets, a beat sheet and scene/sequel cards. I tried to write without plotting once and wrote myself into a corner that I couldn’t get out of without deleting most of what was written. My day-to-day process is fairly simple. I sit down with my coffee and browse the web or thirty minutes or so and then get to work. During the summer I write in the afternoon (morning is playtime with the kids). It’s pretty much the same thing, but with iced tea instead of coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Bee…That’s Me!

I’ve been so busy lately and (of course) the first thing to fall to the side is blogging. My birthday was at the beginning of the month and it was wonderful. I was spoiled by my husband and kids – starting with waking up to the whole house decorated with streamers and balloons! This past weekend my Mom and I got away for a girl’s weekend and saw Christina Perri. The concert was fantastic and it was wonderful to get a break from being mom for a bit and just have fun. In between these two things I’ve been doing the normal soccer practice, soccer game and homework thing with the kids. We are at that end of the year things with a million activities time when there is something every night (sometimes two things!) and not a moment of down time in between.

I’ve also been writing and taking writing classes. My new book is coming along nicely and the classes are really helping me in the areas that I have issues with. Savvyauthors.com is a fantastic site for learning craft and getting down to the basics of writing. This week I started a class on writing sex and I can’t wait to see how the class plays out!

 

What I read in April…

Because of the read-a-thon I managed to read a lot in April!

  1. THE ACE – Rhonda Shaw
  2. THE BAD BOY BILLIONAIRE – Maya Rodale
  3. BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA – Julie Anne Long
  4. BEYOND JEALOUSY – Kit Rocha
  5. CATCHING CAMERON – Julie Brannagh
  6. GOOD GIRL’S DON’T DATE ROCK STARS – Codi Gary
  7. HER BEST LAID PLANS – Cara McKenna
  8. HOW TO SEDUCE A VAMPIRE (W/O REALLY TRYING) – Kerrelyn Sparks
  9. IMAGINARY LINES - Allison Parr
  10. ONCE UPON A BILLIONAIRE – Jessica Clare
  11. PLAYING IT CLOSE – Kat Latham
  12. BEACH BAR BABY – Heidi Rice
  13. BECOMING THE PRINCE’S WIFE – Rebecca Winters
  14. MAI TAI FOR TWO – Delphine Dryden
  15. ONE NIGHT WITH AN EARL - Jennifer Haymore
  16. PERFECT 10 – Erin McCarthy
  17. STOLEN KISS FROM A PRINCE – Teresa Carpenter
  18. WED AT LEISURE – Sabrina Darby
  19. WOO’D IN HASTE – Sabrina Darby

Read-a-Thon Time!!

For the first time since 2011 I am free during a read-a-thon weekend! I started reading right when I woke up this morning, but this is my first time at the computer to update :)

I love the read-a-thon. It is the perfect excuse to do nothing for the whole weekend, but lay around and read. This year my 7-year-old is going to read with me (in between playing outside with his new water gun and riding his bike). With my writing stuff taking off I haven’t spent as much time reading lately as I would like so this is the perfect time to catch up on all the books that I have saved to my kindle! This morning I already finished LETTING GO by Maya Banks and up next is STOLEN KISS FROM A PRINCE by Teresa Carpenter.

Another thing I love about Dewey’s Read-a-Thon are the memes! I’m going to play catch up and then hopefully stay on track for the rest of the day.

KICK-OFF MEME:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Oklahoma
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? THE SCANDALOUS ADVENTURES OF THE SISTER OF THE BRIDE by Victoria Alexander
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? The peanut butter cookies I plan to make during a break this afternoon
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Mother of 3, writer (just signed my 1st contract), stress baker, and avid reader
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I plan to take a nap this afternoon so I can stay up later tonight :)

HOUR 5 UPDATE:

Total books read: 1

I’m halfway through book number two. I took a break for some kid time and now I’m back to reading! The plan is to read for the next hour or two without taking another break :)

HOUR 8.5 UPDATE:

Total books read: 2

Finished book number two and started number three. Number three is a novella, WOO’D IN HASTE by Sabrina Darby, so I should get through it pretty quickly. I took another quick break with the kids – they were having a water gun fight in the back yard and I had to get in the middle of all the giggles – and lunch. I’m back in my comfy reading spot with a big glass of iced tea and a banana (I’m saving the cookies for later). I’ll update again in a couple of hours!

HOUR 11 UPDATE:

Total books read: 3

I finished another book and started number four – PERFECT 10 by Erin McCarthy. I may have drifted off to sleep for a thirty minute power nap in the middle of book three, but now I can read for several more hours.

I’m going to take a break to make/eat dinner with the family and then get back to my books!

HOUR 13 UPDATE:

Total books read: 4

Another book down! I will admit that I picked books that are on the shorter side so that I could get through several in one day, because I know that if I started a long book then I am more likely to fall asleep :) The rest of the family is watching a movie so I get another few hours of uninterrupted time. I think it is time for a bubble bath with my kindle and a glass of wine. Next up is BECOMING THE PRINCE’S WIFE by Rebecca Winters.

Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now? BECOMING THE PRINCE’S WIFE
2. How many books have you read so far? 4
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Not sure – I keep changing my mind on what I’m going to read next.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, luckily this is a soccer free weekend for my kids so we didn’t have to go anywhere all day (a very rare occurrence!)
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Just kid stuff and I stop and do whatever they need me for – it’s what Moms do :)
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? More snacks :)
9. Are you getting tired yet? No
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? No

HOUR 17 UPDATE:

Total books read: 4

Still working on book number 5. I took a break to get the kids in bed and spend a little bit of time with my husband. Now it’s back to reading, but honestly I’m getting sleepy.

HOUR 20 UPDATE:

Total books read: 6

I finished BECOMING THE PRINCE’S WIFE and HER IRRESISTIBLE PROTECTOR by Michelle Douglas. I thought about starting another book, but instead I’m going to bed. I read a total of 1351 pages today and my eyes are tired! Today was a lot of fun and I loved all of the books that I read. I hope that I have a free weekend the next time Read-a-Thon comes around and I can do this again.

 

Do you have an obsession?

shopping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have the type of personality that lends itself very well to obsessions. I have things that I love to collect – candles, pens, post-it notes – and I end up with a huge stash. My husband then pulls me back and reminds me that I should use some of these things before I buy anymore. It’s a great partnership we have. I’m the same way with books, bath bombs from Lush, and really good chocolate. I think I would make an excellent hoarder. My newest obsession is washi tape. It’s like regular tape, but pretty. You can buy it in craft store, Target, and on Etsy. I now hunt for the perfect one (I NEED baseball washi!!) and anything will make my planner cute.

Luckily I’m married to a wonderful man, Restaurant Guy, who is willing to put up with all of my obsessions and smile as I look through the twenty rolls of washi tape I own for just the right one.

Today I had planned to start a new book…

Actually, I was planning on starting April 1st and then some things got in the way (exciting things – the contract for MAKE ME A MATCH and something else I hope to share soon), and I didn’t start writing anything new till today. Usually when I start something new it just flows right out of my fingers for the first ten thousand words, then I have to start thinking about where the story is going and if I’m going to end up where I want to. This time I have sat in front of my computer for several hours  and….nothing. I have a plot, characters, setting – everything I need to get started, except for the first sentence and it isn’t coming. When my oldest came home from school, I told him my problem and he said that I had to just walk away and try again tomorrow. I’m going to take his advice (he’s smart like his Mom, lol). After soccer practice, dinner, baths and bedtime, I’m going to curl up in bed and watch my go-to movie for vegging out – the Avengers. I watch mostly for Loki :)

You should be Writing Loki

Procrastination and my new hobby…

Lately I have been finding lots of little ways to NOT do the work I’m supposed to be doing. Not just my writing (although I eventually make my self mandated word-count), but house work and everything else that I need to do. It started when I had foot surgery last month. I was out of commission for two weeks – unable to do anything but lay in bed. I did get some reading done and a lot of television and movies watched. My foot is still in a surgery boot and has limited use, but I’m able to get around the house and do most of my normal stuff. (Just no trips to my beloved Target!) However, instead of getting back into the swing of things quickly I’m having the hardest time readjusting to the real world. I’ve only been vacuuming once a week instead of every other day and the dishes only get done when I run out of coffee cups. Laundry, is pretty much the same, because my husband and eleven year old have taken over. I can’t get to our laundry room because of the stairs so they have been keeping to my one-two loads a day schedule. In my quest to procrastinate I have found a new hobby…planner decorating.

I am an ErinCondren.com addict. I have the notebook, notepads, note cards, desk pad and life planner. I recently found a group on Facebook that decorates each week in their life planner with stickers, washi tape and colored pens. I did my first week on Sunday and I think it turned out pretty. Here are a few pictures:

photo 1 photo 2

What I read in March…

I used to do this monthly, but stopped when I stopped reviewing. I like the idea of seeing what other people read, so I decided to start doing the monthly round-up again. Here’s the list of what I read in March:

  1. FALLING FOR OWEN – Jennifer Ryan
  2. THE RETURN OF BRODY MCBRIDE – Jennifer Ryan
  3. MARKED – Lauren Dane, Kit Rocha, Vivian Arend
  4. LOVING LORD ASH - Sally Mackenzie
  5. THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X – Eloisa James
  6. WALLFLOWER GONE WILD – Maya Rodale
  7. ONCE IN A LIFETIME – Jill Shalvis
  8. FOR HIS EYES ONLY – Liz Fielding
  9. A DUKE OF HER OWN – Eloisa James
  10. CONFESSIONS OF A BAD BRIDESMAID - Jennifer Rae
  11. THREE WEEKS WITH A BULL RIDER - Cat Johnson
  12. ROMANCE FOR CYNICS - Nicola Marsh
  13. TAKEN WITH YOU – Shannon Stacey

I loved the two Jennifer Ryan books – she is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers of the moment. THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X was my favorite read of the whole month.

So…

Obviously I’m not great at updating my blog. I’ve learned something about myself. Unless there is something definite for me to post about the blog gets pushed to the side. I’m going to work on that and try to pose at least three days a week from now on. The posts may be short and sweet, but I will post something!

Today I’m starting Camp NaNoWriMo and a new book! I’ve spent so much time with the last one and I am more than ready to start working on something new. This time I’m writing a little differently and I’m curious to see how it will all work out. I have a very vague idea of how I want to story to progress, but no detailed outline like I usually do. My hope is that the story will flow better if I don’t feel boxed in by my own plot points. Of course, I might cave in a few days and start furiously plotting so I have a security blanket beside me while I write. Only time and the words will tell…