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Archive for July, 2014

Monday Mentions: New Releases

No blog posts to share this week, so I’ll be doing another new releases edition. I consider a new release to be anything published in the last month. So, I looked through my wishlist and recent buys to find some I’m looking forward to(or already devoured).

Claimed, by Lindsay Buroker: This is number 4 in her Flash Gold series. This series that introduced me to Lindsay’s writing(Thanks to Kait Nolan). Really love these stories and can’t wait to read this one.

After years on the hunt, Cedar Kartes is finally within striking distance of Cudgel Conrad, the criminal who slew his brother and framed him for murder. With the help of Kali McAlister, his business partner and the woman he’s mustering the courage to court, he believes he can finally rid the world of a bloodthirsty felon.

But nothing is ever easy in the Yukon. The new police commissioner has taken an interest in Cedar’s checkered past, a suspicious newspaperman is trying to make friends with Kali, and Cudgel may be laying traps for Cedar even as Cedar is trying to trap him.

Eventide, by Krista Walsh: This is the second book in Krista’s Meratis trilogy(and has technically been out for just over a month, but I’m still counting it as a new release). I loved the first book, probably more than I expected to. And the second didn’t disappoint. Krista is very good at twisting my heart around just before ripping it out. And still leaving me satisfied at the end. I can’t wait to read the third book.

Six months after he returns from his fictional world of Andvell, Jeff Powell is still plagued by nightmares, and an inability to write anything new. Cursed with permanent writer’s block, and on the verge of losing the woman of his dreams, he feels his life can’t get any more complicated. Until he comes home to find Jayden and Brady in his apartment with news that the evil sorcerer Raul is in Montreal.

In their search for the now-powerless villain, they find themselves cast back into Andvell, tasked by the Sisters with finding Raul before he regains his power and destroys the world.

As far as Jeff is concerned, he has greater issues. Cassie has a new admirer, his characters are keeping secrets, and he has become the target of a silent assassin. Without his creativity, Jeff doesn’t know if he’s up to the challenge. If he wants to save his world from ruin, he needs to prove he has more to offer than his imagination.

Past My Defenses, by Wendy Sparrow: I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Wendy. I haven’t started this one yet, but it’s waiting on my kindle.

Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can’t outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he’d trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.
Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can’t escape the feeling they belong together.
They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak’s Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

 

Sunday Summary: ROW80 Round 3 Goals

This month has already gotten off to a good start. By the time I went to bed on Friday, I had written 13,688 words on Stained by Ashes. And was able to write ‘The End’. Still more work to do on it, but the first draft is finished. And I wrote 381 words on Flames of Renewal(my 2nd Camp NaNoWriMo project) yesterday. I’d been stuck on this scene when I was working on this WiP before and had moved onto the next. I seem to have gotten past that block with pen and paper though.

Of course, that’s not all I’ll be working on this round. Since during the last round, I figured out I work best when I have a few projects going in different stages, I’m going to continue with that. Also continuing with breaking quarterly(round) goals into monthly goals. And monthly goals into weekly. I’ve already finished one goal I had for the third quarter(finishing Stained by Ashes), and just about finished with revisions for The Choice. Also have 3/10 of this month’s books & finished one of my crafting projects. As for the rest of them:

Writing:

  • Flames of Renewal – 1st draft
  • Law of Choice(working title for The Choice prequel) – 1st draft
  • Chasing the Ghost – pick back up(about 11-12k already written)
  • Stained Snow – get ready to publish
  • Flames of Redemption – send to betas
  • The Choice – send to CP and hopefully edit
  • Stained Blood(follow-up to Stained by Ashes) – Outline
  • Flames of Retribution(Flames #3 – Mark’s story for anyone who’s read #1) – outline
  • Fantasy story idea – flesh out & outline
  • Pirates story idea – flesh out & outline
  • Rick & Leann(short story) – finish

I know, it’s a lot of goals, but it is for over 3 months and some I’ve already started on. I have about 11k of Flames of Renewal. I’ve start my plotting process on Stained Blood already and have some brainstorming notes for Flames #3. Still I know I may not get to everything.

Reading:

  • Listen to 3 audiobooks
  • Read 27 fiction books
  • Read 3 writing craft/research books

Crafting:

  • Knit: 9 projects
  • Crochet: 6 projects

And for the rest of July, I will be focusing on:

Writing:

  • Flames of Renewal – add 50k
  • The Choice – polish & send to CP
  • Flames of Redemption – work through CP’s comments
  • Stained Blood – outline
  • Flames of Retribution – Write back stories
  • Rick & Leann – write 500 words/week

Reading:

  • Finish listening to Days of Blood & Starlight
  • Read: 7 fiction books
  • Read: Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Crafting:

  • Knit: 2 projects(I’ve already finished 1 this month) – Basic Newborn hat & Leaf Lace Washcloth
  • Crochet: 2 projects – Flower Power Dishcloth & Round Basket
Easy Stay On Bib

Easy Stay On Bib

And for the first week of this round:

  • Flames of Renewal – 15,000 words
  • The Choice – Polish & send to CP
  • Stained Blood – Character work
  • Rick & Leann – 500 words
  • Read: The Star Thief(Jamie Grey) &  Tall, Dark, and Dangerous(Suzanne Brockmann)
  • Crochet: Flower Power Dishcloth

Hope everyone has a great round!

Fiction Friday:

Time for another installment of Garren’s story. We’re into the second half of it now. If you’ve missed any, I have all the previous scenes on one page here. 2 scenes today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Garren rubbed his eyes as he walked across the room. He’d been on the night shift before without any problems. Of course he hadn’t had a night of drinking before that. And he’d gotten some sleep before going to work. Not so much this time. Even when he’d gone back to his apartment after lunch, he hadn’t been able to relax. His father’s words were haunting him. Was he really going to end up like his grandfather?
He shook away those thoughts. He wasn’t an alcoholic. He liked to go out with friends. He liked to drink. That was it. It’s not like he got wasted every night. It didn’t affect his work. He wasn’t an alcoholic.
He ran a hand over his face. What was wrong with him? He let out a breath and moved toward a window. He was here to do a job. He needed to do that instead of obsessing over his father’s words. He glanced outside then turned from the window. He knew standing in front of it with the light at his back could make him a target. That was something he couldn’t seem to convince Jonah about. He continued to do just that several times a night. Not to mention walking outside and standing on the sidewalk in broad daylight. Sometimes he wondered if the man was trying to get them to mow him down in front of his family.
He drilled fingers into his eyes. Enough with these morbid thoughts. He’d do a check around the perimeter of the house then settle in until it was time to do another check.
He stepped outside, keeping his hand on his gun. He let his eyes adjust to the darkness before scanning the surrounding neighborhood. He didn’t see anything. Nothing out of place, no one moving along the street. It was quiet and calm. He moved toward where he knew the marshal on duty was parked and gave a quick knock on the window. When it rolled down, he asked, “Seen anything out here?”
The marshal shook his head. “It’s a quiet neighborhood. Honestly, I’m starting to think we’re not even needed here. No one’s coming after this family. If he really did get those threats, that’s probably all they were.”
Garren wanted to agree with the man, and he was probably right. He just couldn’t quite bring himself to though. “Hopefully they’ll find the ones responsible soon. I want to get back to my real job.” He glanced back toward the house, saw Jonah standing at the window again. He had to fight back the growl that rose in his throat. “And away from the idiot who makes himself a target.”
The marshal glanced in the rearview and shook his head. “He certainly is something. All the protection we can give him won’t help if he puts himself out there like that.”
“I’d better get back in there. So, he can tell me how I’m not a real cop. See you on my next check.”
He turned and started away but the marshal called out to him. “Hey, Alexander.” He stopped and turned back. “Don’t let him get to you. You’re young, but I’ve been on the force nearly two decades. I know a good cop when I see one.”
Something bloomed in him at the praise. He wasn’t sure what to say though so only nodded before moving back to the house. As soon as he stepped inside, Jonah stepped out of the living room to confront him.
“What good are you going to do my family by standing outside chatting.”
With the marshal’s words echoing in his head, Garren stepped right up to Jonah. “You’re the one not doing them any good offering whoever’s after you an easy target. I was speaking with the marshal as I’m supposed to on my rounds. So, back off.”
“Look, you little-”
“Jonah.” Mary stepped into the room, interrupting him. “He’s just doing his job. Let him be.”
The older man was still bristling, but he did step away. “Just do your job. If anything happens to me or my family, it will be on your head.”
Mary stood where she was while Jonah left the room. She offered Garren a slight smile. “Don’t listen to him. He gets gruff when he’s stressed.”
Garren lifted his shoulders in a shrug. His personality didn’t make a difference. He was only here to do a job. Mary stepped back. “Well, I’ll see you in the morning, Officer.”
He nodded at her then settled on the couch once she was gone. He’d rest until time for his next rounds. He couldn’t wait until this assignment was over though.

***

Garren stepped out of the shower and reached for his towel. He felt like he’d just come off the longest shift ever. He’d gotten a reprieve from Jonah during the night, but he’d started right back in first thing this morning. Too bad first thing was before four a.m. Three hours of his berating talk had been more than enough. He’d been so glad to see Officer Mackel come to relieve him.
Now, all he wanted was to get as he headed to his bedroom to change, was to get something to eat and drop off for at least eight hours. Maybe even ten or twelve. He slipped on some athletic shorts and a tank top and headed for the kitchen. He had just poured a bowl of cereal and was reaching for a banana when the phone on his counter rang. Fuck. Even thinking the swear word had his face heating. His mother had pounded it into him not to swear. Even with other influences in his life now, he found it difficult to forget the early learning.
He set the banana on the counter and grabbed the phone. “Hello.”
“Officer Alexander.” Fuck, again. Not his mother at least. As if she could hear his unspoken thoughts.
“Marshal. I just got off duty. What do you want?”
He heard a smothered chuckle. “I knew you’d be a straight shooter, Officer. And I understand you just got home and are probably ready to get some sleep. Which is why I didn’t want to call you.”
Garren felt something twist in his stomach. “Did something happen? Is everyone all right?”
“Nothing happened, exactly. The Wilkers are all fine.”
“Then, what are you calling me for?”
The marshal was silent for just a moment, then he said, “We need you to come in again tonight.”
“What? What don’t you understand about I just got off duty? I’m supposed to have twenty-four hours off.”
“I know, Officer. And trust me, I’d like to give it to you. But, Hersch just called in sick. It was his shift, but he can’t do it now. Mackel is on right now, and we won’t ask him to stay on for twenty-four hours. You’ll at least have a chance to sleep and recharge.”
Garren sighed and ran a hand over his face. He was right. And he couldn’t be pissed at a man for getting sick. Even if it was just sick of their charge. “All right. I’ll be there for the shift change. I guess I don’t really have much choice in the matter.”
The marshal chuckled again. “There’s the positive attitude.”
He couldn’t quite fight the smile either. “Can I please eat now so I can get that rest?”
“Of course, Officer. Again, I’m sorry to have to do this.”
“Right,” he said and hung up the phone. He barely restrained himself from swearing again, out loud this time.
So much for that ten or twelve hours he’d hoped for.

Writing Wednesday: Break, What Break?

RoW80 is still on a break between rounds. It starts on Monday, but I’ll probably have my post up on Sunday. Mostly so I can stick to my schedule. I’ve still been writing though. Boy, have I been writing. JuNoWriMo finish on Monday. I’d actually passed the 50k goal on Thursday. Ended up with over 54k for the month. Then, Camp NaNoWriMo started on Tuesday(today as of the time I’m writing this). In these two days, I’ve written over 5700 words. Over 5400 of those are on Stained by Ashes. I’m moving toward the climax. If I can keep writing like this, I hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the week. May or may not happen though.

And I should be getting an email from my CP today(Wednesday). She said I’m very good at stabbing her in the heart. Repeatedly. Lol. I’m going to take this as a compliment(because I’m an evil writer apparently).

So, since RoW80 hasn’t started back up yet, this will be mainly a WiPPet post. Adam has gone into town to tell the sheriff what he’s seen. This is the last 9 scenes from that scene(the last line refers back to something the sheriff said a bit earlier. But I didn’t want to include all that).

The sheriff’s ruddy face paled at that. “Burned alive?”
Adam gave a short nod. “Like I said, I didn’t know them. They didn’t deserve that though.”
The sheriff rubbed a hand over his eyes. Then, he let it drop again. “You said north of Patrick’s ranch?” At Adam’s nod, his brow furrowed. “That’s Kline land.”
“It wasn’t any of them.”
The sheriff’s face relaxed. “Squatters then.”
Adam’s jaw tightened. “They still didn’t deserve to die that way.”
“No. No, of course not.” The sheriff sighed and reached for his hat. “I suppose you want me to come out there.”
“I figured you’d want to see the bodies and bring them in. They deserve to be buried at least.”
“Right.” He sighed as he headed for the door. “Like I said, cut from the same cloth.”

Neither Adam or I were too fond of the sheriff here(and it’s not the last time he’s a bit of a jerk). Of course, the sheriff isn’t too fond of Adam either. And since it didn’t happen in his town, he’s not too concerned about it.

Only about 10 more scenes to finish this draft(unless I add more as I go). So, I don’t know if I’ll be sharing more of this next week or not. I guess we’ll see how much progress I make on it.

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