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Archive for July, 2015

Fiction Friday: Alicia Cover Reveal

Today I have something special. A cover reveal for a fellow RoWer & WiPPeTeer!!

ALICIA
by Gloria Weber
Published by Solstice Publishing (Summer Solstice imprint)
Release Date: August 18, 2015

Alicia

Blurb:
Leon has decided it is better to remain silent and accused of Alicia’s murder than admit the truth. The truth, well… that’s so unbelievable it’s crazy. Not that Detective Dorndorf believes a word that comes out of Leon’s mouth. Dorndorf just wants a confession and figures dragging Leon to the last spot Alicia was seen might just pry it out of him. Will the detective’s plan work or will the truth come out?

Price: $0.99
Expected To Be Sold At: Amazon (for kindle) and Solstice Publishing’s website (http://solsticepublishing.com/)

And some teasers:

aliciapromomissing2

aliciapromolove2

Even a trailer:

Bio:
Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband, son, daughter, and many pets. She has been writing for publication since March 2006 with over a dozen titles published. Her favorite letter is L.

Website: http://gloriaweber.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @GloriaWeber ~ http://twitter.com/GloriaWeber
G+: http://plus.google.com/107706782152210234267/posts
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GloriaWeberWriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/GloriaWeber

Flames: A-Z – Luzat Family

Megan Luzat first shows up in Flames of Retribution, although she was mentioned briefly in Flames of Renewal. It isn’t until Flames of Recompense, we learn Megan and Callum Riley used to have a relationship. I didn’t even realize that until I was writing ‘Retribution’ and Callum mentions something to his brother, Adrian, although he doesn’t say her name.

Adam and Jennifer Luzat had three children, Warner, Megan, and Michaela. They both worked hard to provide for their family, but neither had well-paying jobs, so they struggled. While, Warner was the oldest, he wasn’t the most responsible. Most of that, fell to Megan. And since she was so good at stepping up, her parents relied on her maybe more than was healthy for any of them.

Warner died of a drug overdose when he was sixteen, Megan was just eleven. Her parents were, obviously, devastated, and she ended up taking on even more responsibility. She tried holding tight to her younger sister, but in the end, lost her, too, when Michaela was fourteen. Megan was only sixteen, and she was all that her parents had left.

Megan went to school, worked, and helped take care of things for her parents. She knew she wouldn’t be able to leave them to go to college, so she abandoned any thoughts of that, or her secret dream, becoming a firefighter. When she was twenty-one, she meets Callum Riley. She’s instantly attracted to him, until she learns he’s associated with the man she blames for her siblings’ deaths. But, there’s still something about him that pulls at her.

Fast forward three years, Callum’s trying to get clean and they’re together. Then, things go south. Callum is arrested on drug charges, Megan learns she’s pregnant, and she has some decisions to make. One of those is to keep Callum out of her daughter’s, their daughter’s, life. When her daughter, Kaelin, was six months old, her parents pushed her to go after her dream, obviously not as much a secret as she’d always thought.

A little over a year after that, she was moving to Crystal Glen from Erie. And a year after that, she runs into Callum again for the first time since he was arrested. But, for that, you’re going to have to wait to read Flames of Recompense.

 

Writing Wednesday: Getting Hot

Monday night when my husband got home, we put the air conditioners in the windows. Usually this waits until sometime in August. But, since the next 2 days were calling for 90 degree temperatures, we decided now was a good time. It was 85 degrees in our house by 10 yesterday morning. I definitely turned the a/c on.

This week is going rather well so far. I got First Choice, Second Chance back from the proofreader on Monday(actually Sunday night, but I didn’t check my email until Monday morning). So, I got that fixed up before starting my reverse outline for Demons Rising. I’m actually a bit ahead on that.

Before I get to all my progress for the week so far, it’s Wednesday, so that means time for another WiPPet Snippet!! Today I have nine paragraphs(7+2+9=18=1+8=9) following almost right after last week’s snippet(there’s like 1 paragraph between them).

Emelyn drew in a breath, letting it out slowly again, then straightened from the counter. Time to put that, and Casey, out of her mind. He was just the bodyguard. He didn’t matter at all. As long as she reminded herself of that, he couldn’t get to her.
She pulled a pan out of one of the lower cupboards then raided the cabinets. She settled on one of her proven concoctions, with just a few alterations going by what ingredients she found. She lost herself in the comfort of the creation. It was easier knowing this was something she wouldn’t mess up. Until it was finished, and she had plated the meal. Then, all the thoughts rushed back in, stealing her breath at the intensity. She turned and saw Casey standing in the doorway, his gaze focused right on her.
“How long have you been there?” she demanded, wondering how she hadn’t felt him sooner.
“Long enough,” he said, not taking his eyes off her. His blue eyes seemed darker, heated by something.
She opened her mouth to say something, hopefully something biting that would get him to turn away from her. Otherwise she thought she’d burst into flames. But, he just grabbed two of the plates and carried them over to the table. She stared at him for a moment, then grabbed the last of the plates and carried it to her own seat. “How do you know one of those was for you?” she asked. “Maybe I invited someone else over.”
“Your roommate said you were making dinner, and I’d enjoy whatever it was. She said nothing about anyone else joining us.”
One lip started to lift in a snarl, but he hadn’t really said anything that deserved the defensive response. She forced herself to relax and turn away from him. Again, why was she letting him burrow so deep under her skin? “Would that be a problem, or would I have to run that by you too?”
He studied her for a minute then just shook his head. “You may think it, but I’m not trying to ruin your life, Emelyn. Your father hired me to keep you safe until this threat is over, so that’s what I plan to do. So, yes, if you plan to have someone over, I’d like to know about it so I can be prepared.”
She studied him now. He had dropped the drawl again, and he spoke stiffly. Was he trying to prove something or what. It’s the only reason she knew for someone to act like that, to make themselves seem like something other than they were. She wanted to tell him to drop the act. But, the few times he had, it had done something to her. Something she didn’t think she really liked. With anyone else, she may have jumped on the feeling. But between him being the bodyguard and her just leaving behind one of those other train wrecks she’d jumped on, she knew it was better this way.

Are these two ever going to learn to get along or…well, what would be the fun in that?

  • Demons Rising(title subject to change, as there are no actual demons in the story): do reverse outline on notecards – I’m past the midpoint on this. A little ahead of schedule. A lot more scenes from Jade’s POV than Todd’s so there may be some rewriting in store(actually I know there will be anyway).

    orange are Jade's PoV, green are Todd's

    orange are Jade’s PoV, green are Todd’s

  • Guarding the Heart: finish Chapter 15(hoping to get to Chapter 16 as well, but who knows) – just finished Chapter 15 this morning. I’ve added 1360 words so far this week. That’s almost what I got on it all last week.
  • Into the Sun: finish 1st draft(I know basically how I want to do this, so we’ll see if the words cooperate) – I’ve still got at least a few more scenes to go. Not sure if I’ll finish this week, but I should get close. Added 1455 words so far this week.
  • Read: Finish Super Structure – getting close on this. about 84% through it.
  • Read: Finish Straight from the Hip, and work through other free books – finished Straight from the Hip. Enjoyed it more than the first two. Also read: Hard Knocks(Lori Foster) and Hot as Hades(Cynthia Rayne). I started another of the books I got from my MiL, but didn’t care for it so set it aside. I’ve started Silken Threads(Patricia Ryan). About 16% through it but not sure what I think still. Going to give it a little longer.
  • Crochet: Amazing Grace Blissful Beanie – finished this on Sunday.IMG_0763

Hoping the week continues to go well.

Teaser Tuesday: ‘Lived In His Memory’

It’s Tuesday again, which means time for another snippet from First Choice, Second Chance. Only 3 more weeks until it releases, but you can pre-order it now for Kindle or add it to your Goodreads.

Jess hesitated then poured the drink and passed it over to him. He took the first sip and winced at the burn. He wasn’t sure if he would ever get used to it. The whiskey warmed the parts of him that had gone cold with Lila’s arrival. He kept his eyes focused on the wall across the bar as he took the second sip. He still knew the moment she stepped up beside him. He didn’t know if her scent still lived in his memory and he recognized it, or if it went deeper. He didn’t even have to hear her voice. It was in his head, in his dreams, every day and every night. When she ordered a drink, it twisted around his heart again.
His fingers tightened around the glass. He was almost afraid it would shatter right there in his fist. He dragged in some air through his nose, but it only came back out sounding strangled. He started to turn away. He needed to put some space between them. He couldn’t handle having her so close. As soon as he took a step, her hand was on his arm, the muscles in it cording tighter. “Mason.”
He was going to explode, shatter into tiny pieces no one would ever be able to put back together again. He had to get away. He didn’t even respond to her saying his name. He set the glass on the top of the bar. It must have been harder than he planned because a crack sounded when he did it. He didn’t even look back. “Put it on my tab, Jess. All of it.”

 

Monday Mentions: Emotional Wounds, Character-Driven, & Character Maps

Back to the regularly scheduled Monday program this week. 🙂

First, I have a post from Writers Helping Writers in the emotional wounds series. This one is on Accidentally killing someone, but there are some other good ones, too.

And a post from Rachel Aaron on The Not-So-Secret Formula to Writing Character Driven Stories. My stories almost always start with the characters. I might have some idea what the plot will be as well, but this usually doesn’t develop until after I have the characters at least mostly figured out.

And from Ginger and Books, a post on building character maps. This is something I really need to think about doing. There are a lot of connections between characters in my stories/series. Sometimes it can get a little confusing, even to me. 🙂 I haven’t tried out scapple yet, but I might look into it. I do have family trees set up for two of my series. Can’t really use it for my Kurztown series, as most of them aren’t actually related. I’ve also started using Aeon Timeline again, so that helps with which characters are connected with which events/books. But, not necessarily with the connections between characters.

That’s it for this week. I’ll have more for you next Monday. Have you read any good posts lately?

Sunday Summary: WeWriWa – ‘All the Way Up’

Another week over, another jump into the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop. This week’s snippet takes place just a couple paragraphs down from last week’s. All three of these men have name patches on their vests: Icarus(the man in the middle from previous snippets), Bull, and Hawk. Icarus is the one speaking in the first line.

“That your bike there?”
“Y-yes, sir.”
That got a full out grin from the man. “I don’t usually get called that. Do I, Bull?”
“No, Cap’n, you sure don’t,” one of the men answered.
I glanced over at the man and swallowed. My stepfather was strong, but this man could outmuscle him any day. His knuckles had ink on them, and it ran all the way up his arms. I’d never seen so many tattoos in my life, let alone on one guy.

I’ve actually made quite a bit of progress on this during the week. Among other things. I’m about 2 weeks ahead of my schedule. Well, I was until I adjusted it. I got a new corkboard yesterday, that I can use for my editing notecards. The other one I had wasn’t big enough to fit everything and wouldn’t stay up on the wall.

Had some ideas simmering over the weekend for book 4 in my Kurztown series. The problem? I haven’t even started plotting book 3 yet.  Then, I realized that the two should probably be switched. This one should come first. I don’t know when I’ll get around to plotting it, but I might put a few notes down, at least.

Yesterday we went to my cousin’s stag & drag(for anyone not familiar, basically a combined bachelor/ette party. This was also basically their bridal shower too. It was a good time. We didn’t take the kids’ swim stuff, so they ended up swimming in their clothes. Not a big deal, except they were still wet when it was time to go home. I even had a couple family members ask when my next book was coming out.

Today, husband and I are going on a motorcycle ride. This will be my first big ride really. We’d gone on another one, but it was raining & not many people rode. We’re doing another ride Friday night, and the kids are staying over with my mom.

As for how I did on my goals for the week: haha. I changed them at the beginning of the week. So, I’ll just go from my reworked goals on Wednesday.

  • Law of Choice: Finish layering in details – DONE!! As in done, done & polished up, ready to go to my CP when she’s ready for it.
  • Guarding the Heart: Finish Chapter 15 – yeah, no, not yet. I did add 1480 to it. I’ve only been working on it in the mornings before the kids wake up. Then, switching to revisions for the rest of the day. I’m planning to continue this…for now, at least. The next one I’m revising will actually have big rewrites, I think, so I’ll probably set this aside while doing those.
  • Into the Sun – get to 17500 words(about 750 words away from this) – I met this goal this morning actually. In fact, it’s over 18k right now. I’ve added 1834 words to it this week(have been bouncing between it and Guarding the Heart in the mornings). I just might have it finished by the end of the month.
  • Read: Super Structure to 2/3 through – got this too.
  • Read: Finish Go with Me – finished this, and enjoyed it, though I had some issues with it. Also read Find Me When the Sun Goes Down(Lisa Olsen). The end pretty much broke my heart. Then, I went to add the next book to my wish list and ended up buying it instead. Oops? Also read Nice Girls Don’t Ride(Roni Loren). Loved it as much as I did when I read it as part of the Riding Desire boxed set. And I’m about 60% through Straight From the Hip(Susan Mallery). I got the first 3 books in this series from my MiL, don’t know if I like them enough to go out and buy the 4th(maybe if I see it at a book sale or the used book store). I also listened to Top Dog. I don’t usually listen(or read, except for research) non-fiction, but the fact it was about Marine dogs caught my attention(and it was on sale). And it was really good. Had me crying in a few spots too.
  • Crochet: Amazing Grace Blissful Beanie – just about finished with this. I should get it done later today.

Goals for next week:

  • Demons Rising(title subject to change, as there are no actual demons in the story): do reverse outline on notecards
  • Guarding the Heart: finish Chapter 15(hoping to get to Chapter 16 as well, but who knows)
  • Into the Sun: finish 1st draft(I know basically how I want to do this, so we’ll see if the words cooperate)
  • Read: Finish Super Structure
  • Read: Finish Straight from the Hip, and work through other free books
  • Crochet: Amazing Grace Blissful Beanie

 

Photo Friday: Summer Days

We’re more than halfway through summer vacation. Other than our camping trip and a family reunion over in Ohio, we haven’t really done too much. That’s fine with me. I don’t mind staying home.

On the fourth of July, we took the kids fishing before going to a picnic. Didn’t catch anything, and they lost interest after about 10-15 minutes.

IMG_0745 IMG_0739 IMG_0741 IMG_0740 IMG_0743 IMG_0744

Now, I have no idea where she gets this from(pretend you can hear the sarcasm here), but the girl likes to bring a book outside to read. The cat obviously has other ideas.

IMG_0746

This past Monday, I finally went and cut the boy’s hair for the summer. It was getting pretty shaggy. I swear he always looks like a completely different kid when we cut his hair. I’ll admit, I didn’t do a very good job of it(he kept moving his head around, and I missed a few spots). My husband ended up cleaning it up.

after the haircut

after the haircut

lots of hair gone

lots of hair gone

Spending a lot of time outside these days. In the garden or working on the porch while the kids play out in the yard.

first flower on one of my cucumber plants

first flower on one of my cucumber plants

flying his kite through the yard

flying his kite through the yard

Flames A-Z: Kayla Brooke

The Flames series really began with Kayla Brooke. All the way back in 2006-2007. I don’t remember exactly, only that my husband and I were still living in our apartment. I only wrote maybe two scenes back then. After that, Flames of Redemption spent about another 6 years simmering in my head. By the time I’d committed the final version to paper(okay, screen), the idea had changed but not completely. The main character was still a female firefighter. Her father was still a retired firefighter. She still had a younger brother. Besides that, I don’t remember a lot of the details of the original version. But, I’m sure this one was better than the first would have been.

Kayla is the older child of Zachary and Chrissa Brooke. She grew up with her uncle, James, as almost a second father figure, though. When she decided she wanted to get into the investigation side of the fire service, he’s the one who trains her. She’s a bit on the reckless side, not always thinking things through before she acts. Despite his arguments to the contrary, this is one of the things that draws Adrian Riley to her, even though he’s always thinking things through.

James sighed. “You have this tendency, Kayla, to be reckless. For making decisions without thinking them through first. Do you know what they call a firefighter who makes impulsive, reckless decisions?”
“What?” she asked, her mouth dry and scorched as if she’d walked through a fire.
“Dead.”
The single word slammed right through her. Dead, like Josh, who had made an impulsive decision to try to save the dog instead of staying with her. Dead, like more than one of the firefighters who had been at the department when she first started. Not all of them died in fires. Sometimes it was just a tragedy, like Whitney and Trent.
Her uncle closed his eyes, rubbing his fingers over them, usually a sign his frustration was reaching its limit. “You’re so much like your father,” he finally said, dropping his hands to the desk.
The change in focus surprised her. “What do you mean?”
“He’s impulsive, hot-headed. A good firefighter. I always thought he was one of the best. He could have climbed through the ranks if that’s what he wanted.”
“It wasn’t. He didn’t want to be a leader.”
James nodded. “He was always like that. He didn’t want to lead, but he wasn’t really a follower, either. Too hardheaded for that.” A small smile worked across his face. The first one she’d seen since he came into the office. “Just like you.”
She didn’t mistake it for a compliment.
“You say he’s impulsive, but he made it to retirement. That kind of defies your earlier argument.”
“Luck. Even he would tell you. He made it to the hospital more than once because of a reckless decision in the midst of a fire. You will, too, or down in the morgue if you don’t slow down and think first.” He sighed, running his hand over his head again. “Look, I used to walk into fires, too. You know that. I know you have to make split second decisions. That doesn’t mean they have to be reckless ones. If you can remember that, you might make it to retirement too.”
“I’m not even thirty. I’m not thinking about that yet.”

Writing Wednesday: Revising Goals

Judging by my spreadsheet, I haven’t made a lot of progress. Only 1500 words written so far(and that counts the 700 I’ve written this morning). But I finished second round revisions on Law of Choice(prequel to First Choice, Second Chance). I just need to go through and layer in more detail now then polish it up, and it will be ready to send to my CP. I went and shifted projects around again. Focusing on the 4 series I have published/out to readers. Then, throwing in a standalone once one of the series is finished. Means getting to some things sooner(revising Scars and All this October instead of next April) and some later(Guarding the Heart is now on the calendar for next August, although I’m still pecking away at it). We’ll see if I can stick with this for more than a week or two. For today’s WiPPet Wednesday, I have 8 paragraphs(7+2+2+1+5=17=1+7=8) from Chapter 6. Casey has shown up for a new personal security job, and him and the client’s daughter(the one he’s hired to protect) have gotten off to such a wonderful start.

Emelyn jerked her head up when her bedroom door swung open. She so did not feel like dealing with the arrogant, hard-headed…Her roommate stepped into the room before she could finish her internal diatribe against the bodyguard. “What do you need, Melissa?” she asked, turning back to the paper she’d been working on. Well, that was actually a stretch. She’d been staring at the screen for nearly an hour and hardly putting any words down. She never had this much trouble with a paper. “You making dinner tonight, or do you want me to order something in?” Making dinner would mean leaving her room and having to face Casey Brannigan again. Why did he get to her so easily? Why did she let him? He was just the hired help. She’d spent her life ordering them around. That wasn’t exactly right either. She’d never been like her father. Or her mother. She’d gotten along with all their employees, her nanny, the cook, the housekeeper. More than her father ever thought she should be. But, at least they’d been around when her mother had left. They hadn’t been the ones to abandon her. She shook off those thoughts as she realized Melissa was still watching her, that questioning look in her eyes. She sighed then pushed away from her desk. “I’ll whip something up,” she said. She’d have to face him sooner or later anyway. Might as well get it done. She walked down the hallway beside Melissa, doing her best to keep her shoulders squared and her head up. He was stretched out on the couch, his boots sitting beside it, and he had one arm behind his head as he flipped through the newspaper. He didn’t lift his gaze from the printed pages as she moved toward the kitchen. She didn’t know why that made her even angrier. No one had ever ignored her before.

I did mention last week these two like to yell at each other as much as me, right? And now for the mid-week RoW80 update. Like I said, I’ve shifted goals again, so this may not look great.

  • Guarding the Heart: try to get back on track. Decide if I’m going to keep with it or not. – even though this is more than a side project now, I’ve written just over 1k on it this week. I’ve been working on this from when I get up until about 6 a.m. – when I start chores – and switch to revisions after chores are done until noon. Then, I get everything else on the day’s list finished(social media, crafting, etc…) and if I have time, more revising before dinner. This schedule seems to be working for now. I’ll adjust slightly when school starts(boy will be home by 11, so all that time will be focused on writing & do chores in the afternoon).
  • Into the Sun: keep trying to finish. I at least know where I want to go with it. – I’ve been working on this in the mornings as well. And have added 418 words to it so far.
  • Read: Super Structure: get 2/3 through – I’m almost at the halfway point of this. Shouldn’t have any problem hitting this goal.
  • Read: Second Chance Summer & Go With Me(Elyssa Patrick) – Finished Second Chance Summer over the weekend. Really enjoyed it. 79% through Go With Me. Enjoying it for the most part. Finding some of the dialogue really repetitive, but other than that, I’m enjoying the story.
  • Knit: Dino Cap – FINISH – I finally got this finished yesterday. IMG_0755

Since I did shift things around, I’ve got some new goals for the rest of the week:

  • Law of Choice: Finish layering in details
  • Guarding the Heart: Finish Chapter 15
  • Into the Sun – get to 17500 words(about 750 words away from this)
  • Read: Super Structure to 2/3 through
  • Read: Finish Go with Me
  • Crochet: Amazing Grace Blissful Beanie

And I wanted to thank everyone who helped with Monday’s cover reveal. I really appreciate it! And a couple of the boy being a goof when I tried to get a picture: IMG_0751 IMG_0752

Teaser Tuesday: “You Did Nothing.”

So, this will be a new series here on the blog. Each Tuesday, I’ll share a small snippet from an upcoming release. For right now, that means First Choice, Second Chance. Here’s a bit from when Lila first returns to town.

The words slammed into her, like punches right to her soul. “I’m sorry, Daddy.”
“You are sorry?” The words came out as a roar, and thick with the accent that most of the times nearly disappeared from his voice. Then, he shook his head and stepped back. “I cannot do this.”
Lila watched him leave the room then turned back to her mother, tears gathering in her eyes. “I never meant to hurt him. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
Her mother didn’t say anything. She stepped forward and slipped her arms around the young woman. “You did nothing. He blames himself.”
Lila shook her head then laid it on her mother’s shoulder. “He did nothing.”
“He feels he pushed you at Kyle and away from Mason. If he hadn’t, you wouldn’t be here now.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. He didn’t want me to stay here with Mason. If he wouldn’t have done it, I’d still be here, and maybe not quite so miserable. But, I made the choice. I went to Kyle. It’s all on me, Mom, not him.”
“No.” Her voice was softer than her husband’s, but just as fierce. “What’s happened is Kyle’s fault, not yours. He’s deceived you from the beginning. I wish one of us had seen it sooner.”

First Choice, Second Chance releases on 8/18. You can add it to Goodreads or pre-order for Kindle now!

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