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June Wrap-Up & New Goals

I don’t usually post anything on Thursdays, but this is the last day of June, so I figured I’d do my wrap-up post for the month today. It’s been a pretty good month, at least word-wise. There have definitely been a lot of those. Over 96,000 as of right this moment. So, how’d I do with everything? Well, let’s see:

Drafting:

  • Protecting the Heart – get to 40000 words – 47172 words
  • Ready When You Are – get to 50ooo words – 52782 words & finished 1st draft(yeah, it was short. I’m sure I’ll add to it in revisions)
  • Paint Me a Picture – finish 1st draft – got this done, too. A total of 36461, 10202 written this month.
  • Shed Some Light – get to 35000 words – Just barely. 35232 words
  • Break on Me – get to 30000 words – Not quite. 23172 words
  • In the Moonlight – get to 25000 words – Only 19901 words on this. I haven’t worked on it yet today, but I still won’t make this.
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 4500 words – 5878 words. This one’s been going really well.
  • Goin’ Down – get to 4000 words(or finish) – This was actually just under 2500 words, but the 1st draft is finished
  • Snow White Twist – get to 3500 words Only at 3009 words, but I might add more later today.

I also plotted and started writing Closing Time(Cam & Gio’s story – a Flames novella). I’m about 1500 words into it so far(just started writing yesterday).

Editing:

  • Work on stuff as I get it back from readers – I have through Chapter 8 of Stained by Ashes back from the second beta reader. I’ve been compiling the notes into a master file, and will start revising when I have all the chapters back.
  • Start read through of Come Back Down & revise – I started the read through last weekend but only got through the first chapter.
  • Revise Midas’ Daughter & consider submitting – haven’t started this yet.

Blogging:

  • Maintain regular posting schedule(Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun) & stay caught up with blog hops – I’ve done pretty well with that, though I’ve skipped a couple Monday & Tuesday posts.
  • RoW80 – Post twice a week; stay current with sponsor duties – Pretty sure this has been a success. And I signed up to be a sponsor again for the next round. Working on my sponsor post(though I haven’t gotten further than outlining my idea)

Reading:

  • Listen: 7 audiobooks currently in Audible library – I’ve finished listening to 8(though there was another I didn’t finish b/c I didn’t care for it). Listening to Ice Like Fire(Sara Raasch) right now, but won’t finish it today. I’m already above my goal for the year on this one(and I used to think I’d hate listening to books being read to me)
  • Read: 26 books – I’ve only finished 22, though I may finish up to 2 more today, but I’d still fall short of the goal. Still, not bad considering all the words I’ve written this month.
  • Read: Description(Elements of Writing Fiction) – I’m just about finished with this. I did finish after I’d typed that.

Not a bad month at all when there’s only one red item. Now, looking forward to next month:

Drafting:

  • Protecting the Heart – finish 1st draft(or get damn close)
  • Closing Time – finish 1st draft
  • Shed Some Light – write 17000 words
  • Break on Me – add 9000 words
  • In the Moonlight – add 8500 words
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 7500 words
  • Snow White Twist – get to 5000 words

Editing:

  • Stained by Ashes – compile beta notes as they come in
  • Come Back Down – read through & revise
  • Midas’ Daughter – Read through once Come Back Down is finished

Reading:

  • Listen: 7 audiobooks in Audible library(1 from my credit, 1 was 1.99 add-on to free ebook, 2 were on sale, & 3 were read & listen from Kindle Unlimited)
  • Read: 28 books
  • Read: Romancing the Beat(Gwen Hayes)

Writing Wednesday: Cruising Through the Break

RoW80 is still on break, but have I stopped writing? Absolutely not. Why would I do that? The words are coming pretty well still. I’ve written almost 90k words this month(Already up to 10k for this week). Hoping I can keep that up next month for Camp NaNoWriMo. Then, in August I’ll be focusing on editing.

I’ll get to the progress I’ve made this week, but first it’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for a new WiPPet. Today I’m sharing from Break on Me again and continuing the theme of oversharing from last week(when I shared from Protecting the Heart). You may remember Susan and Kendall from Love Who You Love. I have 11 paragraphs(2+9 for the day). Raina is Kendall’s niece(about 7 years old or so). Kendall was watching her for her brother while he’s working.

“I was just going to get a pizza to go,” Erik said. “I know you’re here to talk business.”

“You can join us,” Kendall said from the next table. “We don’t have business to discuss.”

That had Susan snorting then slapping a hand over her girlfriend’s mouth. “That’s enough out of you,” she said. “You’ve been teasing poor Gabe plenty as it is.”

He wasn’t sure how he felt being referred to as ‘poor Gabe’ even if Susan meant well. He’d heard that term so many times over the last few years. ‘Poor Gabe’ lost his arm. ‘Poor Gabe’ can’t work beside his father now. ‘Poor Gabe’, who’s ever going to love a broken man? Okay, so no one had ever actually said the last one. But sometimes it felt like that’s what the rest of their words meant.

Then, Susan squealed and pulled her hand back. “Why did you lick my hand?” she asked.

“You seemed to enjoy my tongue on you last night.”

Susan’s face went bright red at that, and Gabriel couldn’t help but chuckle. Susan leaned over to whisper something to Kendall, which just had her grinning. Raina rolled her eyes and looked over at Gabriel. “They’re like this all the time. Can’t you make them stop? I don’t even get it.”

And thankfully it would be a long time before she did, was all he could think. Erik still stood stiffly beside the table, like he hadn’t decided what to do yet.

“Come join us, Erik,” Kendall said again. “I promise we don’t bite.”

“Maybe I’d like that, though,” he said and winked, but he still didn’t move.

Color flushed Susan’s face again, but Kendall grinned at him, obviously finding a kindred spirit.

Lots of room for tension to build here, and this is also partly setting up Erik’s own story(which will be either right after this one or with at least one between them. I’m not sure yet).

As for how this week’s going:

  • Write 19,350 words between 5 projects – So far this week I’ve written 9288 words between 4 projects. I’ll be starting the 5th later today.
    • Protecting the Heart – 4697 words
    • Shed Some Light – 2000 words
    • Break on Me – 1147 words
    • In the Moonlight – 1444 words
  • Finish Outlining Cam & Gio’s story – finished this yesterday.
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 5900 words – I’m at 5878 words. So close already!
  • Snow White Twist – get to 3400 words – I’m at 3009 words for this one.
  • Read: Description – 100%; decide on July’s research/craft book – I’m at 95%. Should have it finished tomorrow.
  • Read: A Most Scandalous Proposal, The Admiral’s Bride, Identity:Unknown, Good Girls Don’t(Victoria Dahl), The Marquess Who Loved Me(Sara Ramsey), Hard to Hold On To(Laura Kaye), A Fashionable Indulgence(K.J. Charles), & Star Nomad(Lindsay Buroker) – I finished A Most Scandalous Proposal on Sunday and re-read the sequel(I’d read them in the wrong order). Yesterday I finished both The Admiral’s Bride & Identity: Unknown. And I started Good Girls Don’t. The main character’s older brothers in this one are really irritating me(and they’ll be the main characters in the next 2 books). She’s 27, and they’re acting like they have a say in who she dates. I probably won’t finish these books before the end of the month, so may end up moving at least a couple to next month.

Teaser Tuesday: Around the Ashes

I haven’t shared a teaser for at least a few weeks now. But, I worked on compiling notes from my second beta reader on Chapter 7 of Stained by Ashes this morning, so I decided to share a bit from that chapter.

Adam slowed the horse to a lope as they neared the north pasture. Then, to a trot until they were passing the pasture. Even if it meant Patrick became upset with him.

He pushed the horse forward, trying to leave his reservations behind. When he saw what remained of the house, he forgot everything else. What was done to them wasn’t right. Or the fact everyone seemed content to sweep it away and forget it.

He dismounted from the saddle , leaving the horse behind to graze while he moved forward, being careful where he stepped . He didn’t want to erase any sign of who had been here before. That would keep him from learning anything.  The horse behind him snorted, uneasy being here. The smell of smoke and death still clung to the air.

Adam edged around the ashes of the burned buildings, but stopped next to the spot of ground still stained by blood. A heavy weight laid on his shoulders at the memory of the woman who had died there.

Adam shook his head, blowing out a breath. This wasn’t finding the answers he needed. He straightened and turned back toward the house. He hadn’t looked too closely when he and James first discovered the bodies. Even when he’d returned with the sheriff, he’d been more concerned with the bodies than the house. Patrick had kept him busy with the ranch for the past days. He hadn’t been able to make it back out, but it hadn’t rained. Any sign that had been here shouldn’t have faded from the earth.

He knelt next to the logs that remained and ran a finger through the ash. He didn’t know what it should tell him. How long ago the fire had been set maybe? It couldn’t have been more than a day before they’d found the bodies. The fire had gone out, but the smoke remained heavy in the air.

I’m still hoping to get this out this summer, but it may be closer to fall. Either way, it will be out before the end of the year.

ListifyLife Challenge: Favorite Places to Shop

I haven’t done one of these for a few weeks. Almost thought I’d skip this one, too. Me, shop? Not something I enjoy much. Then, I remembered the few places I do love to go into. I’m sure you all could figure out just what stores these are.

wp-1467057768924.pngSee? Is anyone really surprised? Books, books, and books.

Barnes and Noble is great for browsing. The girl and I usually go there if the boy’s been invited to a birthday party or something that we have to go to Erie for. And if we finish looking for books, we usually stop in the Starbucks upstairs and get a drink and share a big cookie.

Books a Million is in our mall. And I always like checking out their bargain section. I’ve found a couple good books there. Though the general selection is a lot smaller than Barnes & Noble.

And Werner Books may just be my favorite. It’s a used bookstore. The nice thing is when I can find the older books in a series that I’ve fallen behind on. Also, I’ll usually take a box of books in when we go up there. The books there are usually have the regular price. But, if you have an account, you can apply your balance to another half off of that. So, basically you get them for a quarter of the regular price. It’s the main reason I can’t seem to get under 20 books in my physical TBR pile.

Sunday Summary: Breaking Through

Yeah, yeah, I know. RoW80 is on break. I’m not, though. I’ve said it before, I do better when I can stick to a routine. So, I will keep up with my regular posting schedule.

Friday night, my husband took our son up to the racetrack to see the Monster trucks show. The girl and I stayed home, watched The Boxcar Children on Netflix and ate popcorn. I read the books when I was younger, and she got the first 4 of the series for Christmas. So, she was telling me everything that was different from the books as we watched. Yesterday, MIL picked the kids up, and husband and I went on a motorcycle ride. This one was a memorial for a firefighter who died about 9 years ago. It also raised money for the National Fallen Firefighter Fund. Last year it was pouring down rain for the ride. This year the weather was a lot better for it.

I think today we’re just sticking around the house.

  • Write 18000 words(raised my word count per project, but there’s 1 less project) – 25094 words. Definitely exceeded this goal. And I finished the first draft of Ready When You Are. It’s short and needs some work, but for now, it’s done.
    • Protecting the Heart – 6412 words – “And since I saw you coming out of his room this morning, wearing his shirt, I imagine the rest of what I said holds true as well.”
    • Ready When You Are – 6628 words – Kelan pulled back and grinned at Oliver. “Right now sounds perfect.”
    • Shed Some Light – 3607 words – “So, you don’t remember telling me there would be no conflict of interest on this case you’re working?”She did remember saying that. She just didn’t understand what had changed. “There isn’t, sir.”
    • Break on Me – 2477 words – “Come join us, Erik,” Kendall said again. “I promise we don’t bite.””Maybe I’d like that, though,” he said and winked, but he still didn’t move.

      Color flushed Susan’s face again, but Kendall grinned at him, obviously finding a kindred spirit.

    • In the Moonlight – 2151 words –

      “Then, take it back. I’m not predictable.” She found another spot that had me gasping with laughter.

  • Finish back stories for Cam & Gio – got these done as well as the plot summary and planning out the character arcs. I have a scene list, and will start the actual outline this week. I should be able to start writing by Wednesday
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 4500 words – Up to 5006 words – “You can’t be saying what it sounds like,” I burst out, slapping my hands on the table in front of me. I could feel the vibration through my hands, but I ignored it.
  • Snow White Twist – get to 2500 words – 2547 words! She would, once and for all, be rid of the burden the king had left her. And no one would take away what was now hers.
  • Read: Description – get to 85% – up to 87%
  • Read: Finish How We Began, Ruled by Steel(S.M. Reine), Beautiful Demons(Sarra Cannon), When a Scot Ties the Knot(Tessa Dare), Divide(Jessa Russo), A Most Scandalous Proposal(Ashlyn Macnamara), The Admiral’s Bride(Suzanne Brockman) & Identity: Unknown(Suzanne Brockman) – I ended up setting aside the Beautiful Demons set after I finished the first book. Just didn’t care enough to continue. Opened When a Scot Ties the Knot & realized it’s actually book 3 in the series. So, I went back and read the first 2 books(Romancing the Duke & Say Yes to the Marquess). I loved all 3 of them. I started Divide, but didn’t get pulled in so set it aside and started A Most Scandalous Proposal. I’ve actually already read the sequel to this(A Most Devilish Rogue) a couple years ago(I think. It’s been a while). I’m almost halfway through this one. I should finish it today, then moving the rest of the books on my list to next week’s goals.

A lot of blue. Got a bit behind on the reading, but that happens. Goals for next week(yeah, I know what break means. I just choose to ignore it):

  • Write 19,350 words between 5 projects
  • Finish Outlining Cam & Gio’s story
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 5900 words
  • Snow White Twist – get to 3400 words
  • Read: Description – 100%; decide on July’s research/craft book
  • Read: A Most Scandalous Proposal, The Admiral’s Bride, Identity:Unknown, Good Girls Don’t(Victoria Dahl), The Marquess Who Loved Me(Sara Ramsey), Hard to Hold On To(Laura Kaye), A Fashionable Indulgence(K.J. Charles), & Star Nomad(Lindsay Buroker)

I’ll have my monthly wrap-up and new goals up probably Thursday. And goals for the next round on Sunday.

 

WeWriWa: Not Going There

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I have another ten lines from Dance with the Devil. After this one, I may have to skip ahead a bit, since some of this references what happened in Come Back Down. Which I need to get busy on revising. If you need to refresh where I left Devil last week, he’s realizing something’s up.

That was only part of how he’d gotten his name. The whole surveillance thing helped, but he looked like his namesake, too. A sharp nose, hard, intelligent eyes that had always seen more than you wanted them to, reddish-gold hair feathered down past his ears. He stepped to the side to let me go up the steps first.

I was sure I could feel the man’s gaze on my ass.

I ignored it as best I could, even though a fire ignited in my chest. No, no, no. I wasn’t going there. We weren’t going there.

Not again.

So, just where did they go before? And why is Devil so opposed to going there again? May end up sharing some of that eventually. 😉

And I’m still posting Into the Sun up at Wattpad. Chapter 9 is up now!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – “drink”

Welcome back to another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Today’s prompt is “drink”. The story I’ve been plotting out is perfect for this one, since most of it will take place in a pub. 🙂

“Can I get you something to drink?”

Cam didn’t like the look of the man leaning against the bar, but he wasn’t visibly intoxicated, so there wasn’t a reason for him to refuse him service. He wished there was. He’d just have to serve him as quick as possible and hopefully he’d go find a table and not be back up.

“Actually I’m here looking for someone.”

“Well, there are a lot of people out there,” Cam said, nodding toward the nearly full dining area. “Most of them already have company, though. I don’t know if they’ll be pleased to have you join them.”

He heard a snort behind him and instantly recognized it as Gio’s. Thankfully his boss didn’t have a problem with his sense of humor. He actually seemed to enjoy it at times. The man in front of him didn’t seem to, though. The corners of his mouth twitched down.

“I meant someone in particular. I need some information on him. Heard he was working here.”

He felt tension crackle out from behind him, and Gio stepped forward. “If you need information on one of my employees, I’d at least like to know who’s asking.”

“I don’t see why that matters. I just need to know if he’s here.”

“Then, I need to know who’s asking. You have ID?”

The man grumbled, but he drew out his wallet and showed his identification to Gio. Cam didn’t catch the name on it, but Gio’s tension didn’t ease, either. “You can buy a drink or you can go, Mr. Boyce,” he said as the man put the wallet back in his pocket.

“His brother’s trying to find him,” the man explained, and it twisted Cam’s stomach. No, this couldn’t be happening. “They’ve been estranged, but it’s important he find him now.”

“Then, maybe he should come himself. I don’t have to give you any information about my employees, though.”

The man looked over at Cam, and he knew. Elliot was looking for him. He apparently hadn’t run far enough. And Elliot hadn’t gotten he hint the last time he’d packed up and left. “Can I take my break now, Gio.”

“Sure thing,” Gio said, not taking his eyes off the man. “I’ll watch the bar for you.”

Cam hurried out from behind the bar and into the back room. He could just go. He didn’t want to leave Gio hanging, and things had been going so well for him here. But, he could let Elliot drag him to the place he’d been before. He didn’t have to go, he reminded himself. He’d been away from his family without contact for more than a dozen years. For good reason.

He wasn’t going to run, he decided. And he didn’t have to let his brother drag him anywhere, to another state or back to that state of mind. And if Elliot did come here, he’d tell him exactly that.

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