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Archive for February, 2015

Fiction Friday: The Choice Ready for Beta Readers

I just finished revising The Choice, per my critique partner’s comments and cleaned it up. This is the first in my Kurztown series, set in small town Pennsylvania. It’s a contemporary romance that sits at a little under 68,000 words.

Seven years ago, he watched her drive away.

Lila Corelli was the love of Mason Akeley’s life, but she chose a music career and another man over him. He thought it would destroy him, but he’s been scraping by; on the family farm and in life. Now, she’s back in town, and he feels like he’s barely hanging on.

She made a wrong choice.

Lila knows she made a mistake. She thought she had been on the right path; to her career, love, her life. Instead, she never saw the disaster one wrong choice could cause. Now, with everything gone, she returns to her hometown, hoping to find her way to a new path.

Mason’s love for Lila has never died, but he’s afraid to open himself to be hurt again. Lila chose the wrong future once, and she worries she’ll be making another bad choice that will only lead to more destruction. But, if they can untangle their past from their present, they just might be able to find their future together.

If anyone is interested in reading this and providing feedback, let me know either by leaving a comment here or emailing me at fallonrb@gmail.com. It has a bit of an alternating timeline and is more on the steamy side than sweet.

Writing Wednesday: Warming Up

It was in the 30s here on Sunday. Then, Monday and Tuesday it dropped back down into negatives. By last night, it was up to about 20. I’ve looked at the next week’s forecast, and it looks like it’s going to be staying around there and even warmer over the weekend and into next week. Looking forward to this, even though it will mean all the snow and ice on the roof of the house and garage is going to start sliding down onto the sidewalk/porch. So, we’ll have to find someplace to put it among all the other snow.

The weather isn’t the only thing warming up. Words have been flowing this week. My goal has been to write at least 3k a day on Flames of Recompense. I’ve been able to get this done in a little over 2 hours each day. Most days I’ve had my writing/editing/plotting goals all done by lunch time. Along with most of the chores for the day. So, I’d say things are going well. Today may take a bit longer as I spent a good part of the morning getting dinner ready to put in the crock pot.

I believe I shared a snippet a while ago of Flames of Redemption that had Callum in it. He was only in a couple scenes in that one, and his and Adrian’s brotherly relationship was rather strained. I like seeing how that’s evolving as this series goes on. For today, I have 17 paragraphs(2+2+5+2+0+1+5) from the first scene.

“You’d said you wanted to see me this morning, Cal. What can I do for you?”
Stop looking at me like you think I’ve screwed up again. He didn’t voice the words, though. David hadn’t had to hire him more than a year ago. Most wouldn’t have with his record. But, he’d given Callum a chance. He wouldn’t take that for granted. “I had some drawings I wanted to show you.”
“Did you show them to Raymond?”
Callum’s gut twisted at the mention of his manager. The man sneered more than talked to him. He didn’t trust Raymond to make sure they got to David. He didn’t think anyone here knew much about his past, but they did know his relationship with David. Most probably thought it’s why he’d gotten this job.
They wouldn’t be completely wrong.
David sighed and pinched his thumb and index finger over the bridge of his nose. “I can’t show you preferential treatment, Cal. You know that. You have to go through the chain of command. And I’m not the head of design.”
“I’m not asking for any kind of treatment. Just for you to look at them. You’re the head of everything. That means you have the final word, right?”
David blew out a breath. “Yes, the final say over what Raymond sends me. He didn’t send me these.”
“Has he sent you anything of mine?” The words came out before Callum realized he was going to ask the question. He’d had his suspicions for a couple weeks though.
David froze in massaging the space between his eyes. Then, he dropped his hand and narrowed his eyes. “He hasn’t. I figured you were still settling in, figuring out the ropes here. That you weren’t producing much yet.”
“I’ve given him at least a dozen drawings, Dave. He hates me. I don’t know why, but he hates me.”
“I’m sure there’s more to it than that,” David insisted. “Still, I’ve seen what you can do. I figured I’d get at least one of yours.” He sighed. “Leave them here, and I’ll take a look.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate you giving me this chance, and I don’t want to take advantage-”
David waved his words away. “I gave you this chance because I saw that you’re a good artist. Being my brother-in-law is secondary to that.”
“Still, with my record,-”
“Enough, Cal,” David snapped, and Callum jerked back in his chair.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured, not sure why it had upset the other man so much. He was just trying to show how grateful he was.

It’s been a pretty good week for me so far.

  • Flames of Recompense – add 15k words – I’m at 7593 right now. On track to meet this.
  • The Choice – Fix fragments & polish. Send to beta readers if I can finish this & get them lined up. – I got the fragments fixed. working through my list of words to search out now.
  • Buried Secrets – Outline – I’ve got the plot summary written & the list of signpost scenes done. Just need to fill out the beat sheet & summarize chapters & scenes. On track with this too.
  • Take Me Under(short story) – finish first draft – haven’t worked on this since Sunday. Won’t until this weekend.
  • Read: Queen of the Tearling, The Vampire Exclusive(Julie Glover), & Marine for Hire(Tawna Fenske) – finished all of these. Enjoyed them. Now starting Nights with Him(Lauren Blakely)
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes – I’m 70% through this.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – Finish – I’m on pattern repeat 20/32. A little behind on this but not too much. Still hoping to finish it this weekend.

Monday Mentions: Cover Reveal – Torn by Kate Sparkes

Time for another cover reveal!  Kate Sparkes is another writer I met through WiPPeT Wednesdays. A great writer, and I really enjoyed her first book, Bound.

Since I tend to jump right in to things, here is the blurb for book 2 in the trilogy.

Torn (Bound Trilogy Book Two)

Kate Sparkes

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON.COM

Release date: March 31, 2015

Limited time launch price: $2.99

Oh, I so cannot wait to read this. And now for the great reveal!!

I love drawing out the suspense.

…(Okay, Okay)

 

torn_full

Designed by Ravven @ http://www.ravven.com

Isn’t it beautiful?

And if you haven’t picked up Bound yet, now’s your chance.

bound sale 1

Sunday Summary: Staying On Course

I know it’s only been half a week, but falling back to my normal way of doing things seems to be working for me. I guess I’m just not one of those people who can focus on one project at a time. Besides the other projects I’m working on, I started a short story yesterday morning. A while ago, I did this exercise where I went through my playlist and randomly chose 30 song titles. The exercise is meant to be used for chapter titles for a WiP. I decided to use it for short stories. I’m only going to work on these on the weekends, though, since I don’t usually work on my main projects then anyway. I’ve got a little more than 1k on this one so far.

Thursday was a 2 hour delay day, and school was cancelled Friday. It was -15(F) out even before the wind. I only went outside to take our garbage can to the end of the driveway, and I’m really glad we didn’t have to wait for the bus. It’s warmer this weekend, but we’re getting more snow. At this point, I’m ready for winter to be over.

It’s been a good week. Wrote almost 14k this week. I’m at twice that for the month.

  • Flames of Recompense – get at least 9000 words – 9023 words. This is coming along pretty well.
  • The Choice – finish fragment read through – got this done too. Of course, I still have to go through and fix everything I highlighted.
  • Buried Secrets – finish back stories – got these done too. Almost 1500 words in plotting.
  • Read: Maybe Someday & Finding It – finished both of these and really enjoyed them. Also read Falling into Forever(Elena Aitken) and started Queen of the Tearling(Erika Johansen) yesterday. I’m 40% through it now.
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes – 50% – got to this point. There’s been a lot more about sword fighting than anything else, which I don’t have much of in my stories. still some useful information.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – halfway done with pattern repeats – just about there. I have 2 more pattern repeats to do, which I hope to finish today.

Like I said, it’s been a good week. For next week:

  • Flames of Recompense – add 15k words
  • The Choice – Fix fragments & polish. Send to beta readers if I can finish this & get them lined up.
  • Buried Secrets – Outline
  • Take Me Under(short story) – finish first draft
  • Read: Queen of the Tearling, The Vampire Exclusive(Julie Glover), & Marine for Hire(Tawna Fenske)
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – Finish

 

Fitness Friday

It’s been two weeks since I started my new goals for getting in shape/losing weight. This is my first time updating since then. I wasn’t really expecting a lot of progress.

What I’ve Done:

  • Water: I’ve been drinking at least one bottle a day. Trying for 2 or more. I haven’t had any pop during the week, although I do let myself have it over the weekend.
  • Workout: Haven’t done too good with this, other than a few times shoveling. Still need to work on it.
  • Snacks: Pretty good here. I haven’t been snacking much during the day. Most nights I’ve had a bag of popcorn, but that’s the most of it.

My starting numbers:

Beginning weight: 174

Last check-in weight: 173.6

Today’s weight: 171.8

Weekly loss/gain: -1.8(for 2 weeks)

Total loss/gain -2.2

Better than what I figured it would be. Hopefully I’ll keep going the right way.

Writing Wednesday: Starting New

Remember 10 days ago, when I said I was going to try to focus on only one project at a time? *commence laughing now*. I didn’t even last a full two weeks on that plan. I’ve already fallen back to my usual way of doing things, working on something in each stage of production(plotting, drafting, editing). Apparently this is just my way of working since it seems to be what I always come back to. I’m not quite sure why I fight so hard against it. So, yesterday I went through and reworked my calendar again, and shifted the next Flames novel to the top of my list. Part of that is because I was listening to the new Imagine Dragons album yesterday and a good half of the songs on it fit Callum’s story almost perfectly. So, it had me thinking about it and having a very strong urge to start working on it RIGHT NOW. I don’t often get that feeling about a story, although I did with Flames of Retribution, too.

Also, when I was reading through The Choice for fragments(an issue my CP is always pointing out to me), one of the conversations between two of the characters in one of the past scenes, gave me an idea spark for a YA spin-off. I don’t know if anything will come of it(sometimes those sparks die out without catching on anything), but I added it to my “to plot” list. If I do write it, it will surround these 3 girls when they’re 15-16(since one of them leaves when they’re 16, it can’t be later than that). One of those girls would be Cassie, who you know from the Scars and All snippets I’ve posted.

Speaking of which, since it’s Wednesday, it’s time for another of those snippets. This will be the last one from Scars, and after last week’s, I’d like to make this one a bit more light-hearted. I have 18 sentences that happen when Cassie & Doren are back at his place after leaving the hospital.

She felt heat rush to that skin, but he was already leaning over her again. She lifted her hand and brushed it over his ribs, where the tail of the dragon twisted toward his stomach. “Whoever did this did good work,” she said, tracing it.
“I designed it.” His voice sounded rough now. “I took the drawing in with me when I went to get it done. The same with all the others.”
Her gaze came back to his face. “You drew all of them?”
He nodded. “It’s what I was going to college for. Well, not tattoo artistry, but I was an art major.”
Her hand froze on his ribs. “You were? I didn’t know you-”
He rested his knees on the edge of the bed and put his hands on his legs. “What did you think I went to college for? Football?”

This week has been going well, despite changing my plan again. I finished Flirting with Flames this morning. And i did jump into Flames of Recompense. I’ve finished almost two scenes so far. Not sure I like the first scene, might need to start earlier, or maybe later. But, I’ll probably leave that for revisions(it’s hard for me to see the whole picture before it’s all there, so I resist editing before it’s completely drafted).

  • The Choice: Hoping to at least finish those last couple of added scenes & organize the ‘past’ timeline. If I can, do my search & destroy mission for all my crutch words/phrases – I got the scenes finished & the timelines reorganized. I cut about 6 scenes from the past timeline. And I started a read through for fragments.
  • Flirting with Flames(that bonus short story) – finish drafting this – this is done. It’s just over 9900 words. A little long for a short story, but oh well.
  • Read: The Duchess War(Courtney Milan), Halfway to Nowhere(Steena Holmes & Elena Aitken), Easy(Tammara Webber), Maybe Someday(Colleen Hoover), & Finding It(Cora Carmack) – Really loved The Duchess War. Can’t wait to read the next book. Halfway to Nowhere was good. I liked all the different connections to characters. And I loved Easy. I’m about halfway through Maybe Someday.
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes(Rayne Hall) – I’m about 20% through this. hoping to get halfway by the end of this week.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole -making some progress on this.

I don’t usually list new goals in the middle of the week, but since I’m changing my plan, that’s what I’m doing here.

  • Flames of Recompense – get at least 9000 words
  • The Choice – finish fragment read through
  • Buried Secrets – finish back stories
  • Read: Maybe Someday & Finding It
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes – 50%
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – halfway done with pattern repeats

Sunday Summary: Snowed In

When I got up this morning, I could barely open our front door. Almost thought I would have to climb out the window to shovel out the door. Turned out, I was able to open the door just far enough that the dog and I could squeeze out. I figured we’d had a ton of snow dumped on us. Not quite. The wind just blew all the snow right in front of our door. This isn’t unusual with the way our house and garage are set up. It makes a nice wind tunnel right there. At -10(F), I didn’t really want to go out and shovel, but I got bundled up, and it didn’t really take too long to clear out the door and a path along the sidewalk. We’re running out of room to put the snow, though. Hopefully we don’t get too much more, or at least some of this melts before we do.

This week’s gone pretty well. I got The Choice back from my CP on Monday and started working on those edits. I got through all her comments, a lot of them were more general things, and decided to add in a few scenes. So, I’m still working through writing those. I’ve added almost 2500 words this week. Also rearranging things a bit. I had an alternating timeline, but I may take out some of the ‘past’ scenes. I’m still trying to work out which ones are needed and which can go. I’ve also still been working on the short story/bonus content from Flames of Retribution. I added 5430 words to that this week. Some of those(mostly dialogue) were copied over from that scene. I have 1 maybe 2 more scenes to write, and I think this will be done.

I also have been running a free promotion for Duty to Protect this weekend. My expectations may have been low, but I think it’s done pretty well. It had over 220 downloads by Saturday night. I figured I’d run a sale on Flames of Redemption for Valentine’s Day as well, and dropped the price to $0.99 for yesterday. It’s still there for now, if anyone wants to grab it before it goes back up.

  • Buried Secrets – finish outline – didn’t get to this as I was working on The Choice. Once I have that ready to send to beta readers, I’ll get back to this.
  • Read: Dark Paradise(Angie Sandro), Scarlet(Marissa Meyer), Tell Me Something Good(Jamie Wesley), This Weakness for You(Wendy Sparrow), & Outsider(Becca J. Campbell) – had finished all of these before dinner Saturday, which was mostly a reading day. Enjoyed all of them. This Weakness for You had me laughing so many times, which seems to be typical for her books. I loved the interactions between all the characters. I also read The Binding(Kate Sparkes) last night. Interesting look at what happened before Bound. And I started The Duchess War(Courtney Milan). About 20% through that.
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers – had this finished earlier in the week
  • Knit: Cap with Beaded Flowers – finished this earlier in the week
  • Crochet: Broomstick Lace Hat – finished this too, on Thursday. IMG_0465

So, I did get a good bit done, even if it wasn’t all in the plan. Next week’s goals:

  • The Choice: Hoping to at least finish those last couple of added scenes & organize the ‘past’ timeline. If I can, do my search & destroy mission for all my crutch words/phrases
  • Flirting with Flames(that bonus short story) – finish drafting this
  • Read: The Duchess War(Courtney Milan), Halfway to Nowhere(Steena Holmes & Elena Aitken), Easy(Tammara Webber), Maybe Someday(Colleen Hoover), & Finding It(Cora Carmack)
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes(Rayne Hall)
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole

Fiction Friday: Valentine’s Weekend Sale

So, I put Duty to Protect up on KDP Select last September. I figured I’d put it in Kindle Unlimited and maybe at least get some exposure. Of course, I was doing pretty much nothing for promotion, so this didn’t work out too well. Then, it renewed before I could uncheck that, so it’s been up exclusively at Amazon for almost 6 months. And I haven’t taken advantage of the promotional free days. I did opt out of it renewing again, so I’ll be able to put it back up at other sites after March 7. I figured before that, I should actually do something with the benefits I have. And with this being Valentine’s weekend, what better time to do a promo for a romance novel?

So, from today through Sunday, Duty to Protect is available for free. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, now’s your chance. I’m hoping to have the second book in this series out by the middle of the year.

Writing Wednesday: Settling In

So, I’ve been working on my new schedule this week. It’s been going well, although I’m still struggling a little with the focus thing. Like working on this blog post during one of my writing blocks of time. Oh, well. I suppose it will take some time to settle into it. The girl had a 2 hour delay on Monday, so there was no transportation for the boy’s preschool. I worked around that, though. Then, yesterday morning, I checked the news site, and it still had the preschool listed as having no transportation. Well, the bus went by at its usual time. So, apparently it hadn’t been updated. Thankfully my husband was home and was able to run him in. I figured the roads were just icy. I know our driveway was. I fell while I was waiting for the boy to get home. Wouldn’t have been too bad if I hadn’t tried to catch myself. Still, not too terribly bad, although it did hurt my wrist and jar my shoulder a little.

I did finally get that email from my CP I’ve been waiting for. So, I started compiling notes and nearly got through 2 chapters of edits yesterday. Still working on this bonus set of scenes set in Flames of Retribution. Also, it sets up Nolan’s story a bit. I’ve added 2598 words to it so far this week.

Before I get to the rest of my progress, my WiPPet Snippet. This will probably be one of the last from Scars and All. It may see out the month, but that will probably be it. Today I have 13 paragraphs. Doren and his father finally have that talk.

“You were still in surgery when we got there. They said they were doing everything they could to save your leg, but it didn’t look good. It didn’t look good, Doren, and I was losing my mind. When they finally let us see you, I-” he broke off and turned away, rubbing his hands over his face. “Damn it, Doren, I couldn’t take it. To see you so broken there. You’d just been home. You’d just had Amy home with you, and the two of you had been so happy. And now you lay there broken. I didn’t know if you’d get back up again. I didn’t know how to deal with it.”
“Dad,-”
His father shook his head though, and Doren closed his mouth again. His father seemed more agitated with each word, but he’d let him get this out. “When I came back out of your room, Amy’s parents were there. So were the cops. And…God, Doren, I was a mess. They started shouting at me. I didn’t even realize she was-” He stopped and swallowed- “Damn it. I didn’t know yet. And they were yelling that it was your fault. I shouted back, I don’t even remember everything. Somewhere in there the cops mentioned another vehicle being involved. The only thing I cared about was if you were going to make it. Once everyone calmed down and I found out she had died, I felt terrible. But, I couldn’t feel guilty that you were still alive.”
His chest still ached, but Doren forced a breath out. “Her father came to my room after I woke up. He said he didn’t care what the cops said. That he knew it was my fault, and she never should have been with someone like me.”
His father dropped his hands to his sides. “That…” H broke off whatever he was going to say and turned back to face Doren. “I know you don’t believe it, but I sat by your side every damn day. I was afraid if I didn’t, you wouldn’t hang on. I gave up a week of work, but that was worth making sure you stayed with us.”
Doren’s eyes burned, and he wished he could claim it was just the wind. “Then, why did you turn your back on me after I woke up? Did you think I didn’t need you anymore?”
His father seemed to have trouble meeting his gaze. “I was an idiot, and I know I handled it wrong. You were in so much pain. They had you on some heavy-duty drugs at first. But, you still woke up crying out for Amy. Nothing could touch that pain, and I didn’t know how to make it better.”
“So, you just walked away?”
“Damn it, Doren,” he cried, shoving his hands through his hair. “I told you I was an idiot. I couldn’t stand to see you hurting and know there was nothing I could do. So, I went back to work. I tried going along like nothing was wrong. And I screwed everything up. What I said yesterday,-”
“Was about how you reacted then,” Doren said just realizing it himself. “I thought you meant you were ashamed of me. Because I always let everyone down.”
“Never, Doren. Why would I be ashamed of you? You’ve taken something terrible and moved on from it. If I lost your mother,-” He shook his head. “I wouldn’t be able to deal with it. And you lost more than just Amy, but everything you were working for. I’m sorry I didn’t make it easier for you. And when the rumors started,-”
“You believed them.”
His father just stared at him, his eyes wide, and the color draining from his face. “No. Never. God, Doren, I knew how much you loved her. I knew you would never do anything to hurt her. And they gave us everything they found on you. They gave us the ring, Doren. I know you planned to propose to her. That night?”

Maybe now that they’ve had everything out, they can move forward 🙂

  • Buried Secrets – finish outline – set this aside until I finish the edits for The Choice. I did have one backstory finished and just started another.
  • Read: Dark Paradise(Angie Sandro), Scarlet(Marissa Meyer), Tell Me Something Good(Jamie Wesley), This Weakness for You(Wendy Sparrow), & Outsider(Becca J. Campbell) – I finished Dark Paradise and Tell Me Something Good. Going to start Scarlet today. I was in the mood for something lighthearted when I finished Dark Paradise, though. I did enjoy both.
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers – finished reading this yesterday. some interesting stuff & definitely a resource I’ll keep around, since I have a few lawyers in stories.
  • Knit: Cap with Beaded Flowers – finished this Monday…kind of. I didn’t make the beaded flowers for it(I don’t have any beads to make them), but the hat itself is done.IMG_0462 IMG_0463
  • Crochet: Broomstick Lace Hat – I have this started. Had some trouble figuring out the broomstick method, but I’ve finally got it, I think.

For the rest of the week, most of my focus is going to be on edits for The Choice. I’m hoping to get them done and have it ready for beta readers before the end of the month.

Monday Mentions: Writing Community & Binge Writing

Today I only have two posts, and they are both from Ava Jae. The first is on why she Loves the Writing Community. I have to agree with everything she said about it. Now, I’m not the most social person. I have trouble even putting myself out there online. But, I’ve made a lot of friends in the writing community. If it wasn’t for twitter and this blog, I wouldn’t have my CP. I wouldn’t have found the RoW80 community either, and without that I’m not sure that I’d have two books out there right now.

And the other post is about Confessions of a Binge Writer. As a fellow binge writer, it hit a chord. I mean, NaNoWriMo has become barely a challenge for me now. This past year, I hit 50k by day 24. I usually take weekends off, so that was 18 days of writing. By the end of the month, I’d written over 80k. And this isn’t an unusual thing for me. Last year, I wrote almost 560,000 words between short stories, plotting, drafting, and editing. 5 months I surpassed at least 60k.

I write fast. And writing energizes me, so I don’t usually feel like I have to take a break between projects. It’s the editing that gets to me. Not so much the initial revisions, I don’t really mind those, since it usually means adding to the story, digging a little deeper. But, I’d rather be creating new. Of course, that first(and even second or third) isn’t all it could be, so I have to work the edits in. But, even when I’m plotting or editing, I’m probably writing something on the side, even if it’s just a short story.

Like I said above, I usually take weekends off. Unless I wake up early(which isn’t unheard of since I’m so used to doing it during the week), I don’t write on Saturday or Sunday. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t think about the story and the characters. And by Monday morning, I’m so ready to get back to it.

How about you? What’s your favorite part of the writing community? Are you a “write every day” person or do you tend to binge? Or do you fall somewhere in between?

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