Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Alex & Fiona Forever

As is common knowledge amongst my readers, I'm working on book 3 of the Liz Baker series. Liz is getting busy down in Savannah for right now. However, I'm also working on another project: a re-release of all three Alex & Fiona books in one hardcover edition.

Yep, all three Alex & Fiona stories in one easy-to-carry hardcover book. With the Turkish translations moving right along for these three books I thought it would be something nice to do for the English readers that have enjoyed these two characters for many years now.

We're working on formatting right now, and then I'll see if my lovely cover designer has anything up her sleeve that will do justice to the three covers we already have (I love those covers!). I'm looking forward to holding these three stories in one hardcover copy. It'll be a big one, but should be cheaper to purchase like this than in the three separate books.

This new edition *should* be available in the next month, or so. I will, of course, let everyone know when the time comes.

Now I should go get some family stuff done and then start my writing for the day. I hope you have a lovely Wednesday.  :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Event: Book 'Em North Carolina

Yesterday I was invited to attend the Book 'Em North Carolina event on February 25, 2012. Today I agreed to attend!

This will be my first event outside the local area and most definitely outside the state. It will take over 14 hours of driving (to & from) and 2 nights in a hotel, but it sounds like a lot of fun. There are said to be about 75 authors and over 1,000+ members of the public in attendance. Attendance is FREE, so I hope to meet many new people.

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Where: Robeson Community College Lumberton, North Carolina
Time: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

For more details, visit and click on the "Attendees" button. To see a list of participating authors use the "authors" button.

I'll be signing and selling Liz Baker books.  A percentage of all books sold will go toward the Lumberton community to help with increased literacy and decreased crime rates.  If you come see me while I'm there I'll have a variety of goodies to share with you. I'm even considering making Tim take pictures for me so I can email everyone their own copies when I get home. I'll post more details about the goodies when we're closer to the event date.

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Writing a Liz Baker story.

My character, Liz Baker, is currently my favorite character to work with. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't say that out loud. Will it make my other characters jealous? Should I treat all my characters equally? Nah! Liz is my favorite!

That being said, she sure as hell can be a difficult character to work with. She's stubborn, demanding, hates to be set on the sidelines when I just don't have the time to deal with her, and she gloats terribly when I come crawling back apologizing for not finding time to work with her. Yeah, she's difficult, but ultimately that's what makes her fun.

I have a routine when it comes to writing a Liz story. I require quiet, no distractions, and loud music. Sounds contradictory doesn't it? Quiet and loud music. LOL! Well, basically I need other people to be quiet and my music to be loud. It's so difficult to stay in a scene when people are roaming around or trying to talk to me. This is why I work when the children are asleep, not here, or playing outside.

I keep saying that one of these days I'll have an office, with a door that locks. And then once my music is on I won't hear anyone. Then I remember that by the time I have that office my kids will be moved out into the world themselves and there won't be anyone to distract me. LOL. Oh well, you deal with what you have and move on.

Anyway, back to Liz. She's my favorite and I plan to work with her for many more books to come. I'm currently working on book three in her series, and already have plans for two more. I see several adventures in her future.

I hope those of you who enjoy Liz and her world aren't suffering too much with the lack of a new story. I'm *planning* on book 3 being ready or very close to ready for release by the end of the year. Now if I could find the right title for it... Any suggestions?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Camping w/ casualties

Happy Monday! Time to start a brand new week. We spent most of last week in a camper up in Pigeon Forge, TN. The days went by fast, but everyone came home exhausted and suntanned (or burned). So I'd have to say it was a successful mini-vacation. There are a few pictures of the trip in the photo gallery.

We went up Wednesday morning and got there around lunch time. Tim had enough time to set the camper up and I fed the children their lunch before the rain started. It didn't end until well after dark. Day 1, no good. Grumpy kids couped up in a 29 foot camper isn't a pleasant way to spend your time. Trust me on that one.

As for the casualty, well, the storm brought high winds, hail, booming thunder that shook everything, and lots of lightning. There were eight campers in the campground that lost their awnings that night, and we just so happened to be one of them. Tim was extremely upset, but I assured him that everything is repairable. Once he found out we weren't the only ones his mood improved. LOL. Men!

After that first night everything went better. The sun came out; we did a lot of swimming; the kids enjoyed trips to the arcade, coming home with lots of little goodies; and we even tried two restaurants we'd never eaten at. Oh, and of course there was shopping to be done--most of it window shopping, but shopping nonetheless.

All in all, it was a fun trip. We're hoping to take another one toward the end of August, but that's just a consideration right now. We'll see how July goes first. LOL!

I hope you all had a nice weekend and a belated Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Reading a book series in order

I love reading books that are in a series. I like being able to get a more detailed knowledge about the characters and their world with each additional book. And of course I like writing series books.

My question is: Do you expect a book in the middle of the series to explain, in detail, things that happened in all th book that came before it? Or are you good with passing mentions of previous events as it pertains to the book you're currently reading?

The reason I ask is that I noticed some bad reviews on the book I'm currently reading only because it didn't explain past events in the series and "expected" the reader to already know their details.

Personally, I find this ridiculous. I'm on book 3 in this series and I know all about the previous events this is a doozy...I READ THE TWO BEFORE IT! OMG! Yes, you're suppose to read books in order when they're in a series. I thought everyone knew this little tidbit of information. So why in the world would someone give a book a bad review because it didn't tell you what you should already know before you started reading the book? Sheesh!

Now, if anyone out there thinks this way, and want to try their hand at reading my series books, just don't do it out of order. I don't write that way. I will mention past things/people/events as it pertains to the current story and will NOT explain it in full detail. Liz will say something like, "Marcus, my ex vampire lover who I just so happen to have stacked and burned his body in a mountain cabin." She will NOT go into greater detail talking about how Marcus murdered so & so, or how he said this and that, or how the cabin smelled/looked before she burned it down. Why? Because none of that pertains to the current story. If you want to know all that then you should have read book 1 before reading book 3.

To me, it just makes sense.

I don't get the bad reviews about this nonsense. Seriously, have some people gotten this lazy in their reading habits? *Shakes head in amazement*

Thursday, June 9, 2011

WIP & My Happiness

WIP is what writers call their most recent work in progress. If you're on Twitter or Facebook you've probably seen someone comment on their WIP from time to time. Well, that is if you're following any writers to begin with.

The other day I was complaining about not being able to get any work done on my current WIP: Liz Baker, book 3. However, yesterday I managed to crank out a good bit of work in it. YAY! I was definitely feeling like a happy camper when I was finished. How did I manage any work? Well, I had to do a bad mommy thing and sit the two younger girls in front of the television to watch a dvd movie. I got an whole 1 hour and 18 minutes of writing time. I won't say it was uninterrupted time though, as I had to stop halfway through to break up a screaming argument between the two of them. That's always fun.

Anyway, yesterday was a good writing day, leaving me feeling happy and relieved. There's something about the kind of release only writing allows me. I don't know if it's the same for all writers, but for me writing is something my mind craves, and without it I ended up feeling frustrated and disheveled. Even these blog entries aren't enough to satisfy the requirement. It's my outlet.

Before I started writing on a regular basis I had other things to occupy my desire for productivity. I bet you didn't know that I owned two different homemade bath supply companies before jumping into writing as a career. During those days when I became frustrated I'd go to my workshop and experiment with new soap fragrances and designs. create new bath salt combinations, order supplies I was running low on, or take pictures of new products for the website. It kept me pretty busy, especially during the holiday seasons.

But even all that didn't keep me satisfied. Only writing does that, and when I can't get the time to write I get you all witnessed the other day. Eek!

Anyway, Liz is well into her next adventure and I'm feeling light and shiny today. I'm off to do my weekly grocery shopping trip, visit with my mother and grandmother, go by the library, and stop by the post office. If I get it all done fast enough I *might* get the chance to scrap out another thousand words, or so. Fingers Crossed!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week Two: Insanity Sets In

Summer Break: Week Two

This week isn't starting off the way I had hoped. Saturday went okay, but it all started down hill on Sunday morning. Yep, that's when the insanity started to grow. I knew things weren't going to go as easily this week as they did last week.

Sunday we had a family reunion to go to for Tim's mother's side of the family. We stopped down at FIL's house to see if he was ready; he was as far from it as he could be. FIL was having trouble breathing and I ended up calling 911 to take him to the hospital. That set it up with Tim going to the hospital with FIL and me taking the kids up the mountain to the reunion.

The day was beautiful for an outside family gathering, if only there had been family there. Yep, there were only 10 of us by the time I left, two hours after the scheduled time. Some were sick, the majority had a funeral to attend, and others just didn't show up. The kids were disappointed that their favorite cousins (and the only ones their ages) didn't arrive either.

At least we came back down off the mountain with full tummies and plates of food for later that evening. No cooking for Mommy--other than the more than two dozen homemade dinner rolls I made the night before and half were brought home due to no one being there to eat them.

There was a hospital visit with FIL (he has pneumonia, again) and then finally home for the evening.

That brings us to Monday. I won't even go into how screwed up that day was. Ugh! And it doesn't look like today will be any better.

I miss Liz. I miss my quiet days. I hate having to shush the kids all day so Tim can sleep. Now I remember why I'm always so relieved when school starts back. My fingers miss flying across the keyboard (which is probably why this entry is too damn long).

Whatever, I suppose. I'm now off to get dressed so I can run numerous errands, listen to whining children, and take more stuff to FIL in the hospital. Oh, and while we're there I get the enjoyment of making the children share the elevator button pushing responsibilities.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mental Writing for the masses.

The other day I complained to Tim that I hadn't gotten any book work done this week other than mentally. He laughed and asked, "What the heck is 'mental' book work?" Duh! Geez, some people...

Those of you who are writers know exactly what mental writing is, but for those of you who don't, it's what we writers do when we don't have the time to sit down and actually type/write our stories or articles. Most writers write in their heads from the time they wake up 'til the moment their brains close down for the night. And some of us (myself included) continue "writing" in our sleep. Dreams come in handy when writing fiction.

When the kids are screaming about some sibling unfairness I'm wondering how Liz will tolerate me putting her in a swimsuit. When Tim is texting me from work because he's bored, I'm contemplating the color of Liz's hotel room comforter. As I'm fighting with my pillow and trying my damnedest to fall asleep, I'm being hit with the most perfect solution to tie the next Liz Baker book together with a planned short story I'll be offering for free here in the future.

Do you get it now? It's mental writing!

It helps to know that even when I can't seem to find the quiet time to put fingers to keyboard in my current book file I always have the time to work ideas out in my head, and my notebook and ink pen is never far away.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The end to a busy week.

On one hand I can't believe how fast this week went by, but on the other it was such a busy week that I'm surprised it's not a new week already. However, I feel that I provided the children with an enjoyable first week of summer vacation and put the next three months into a good groove.

Speaking of the children, yesterday the teen and I got some great news. Back a few weeks ago we went to a school assembly that discussed the kids going into high school and allowed them to sign up for classes. My teen took the plunge and signed up for four AP/Honors classes. I didn't expect her to get them all, but really hoped she'd get into the English class. Yesterday her AP English teacher called to let me know she had! Yay!!

Teen and I were so pleased we cheered and did a little happy dance around her bedroom. Woohoo! I have to go this afternoon to pick up her summer reading list and take her to the library to get a jump on them.

Not only is she getting a class she wanted, but it's a class I had at her age and enjoyed immensely (duh! writer here). Also, if we have any hopes of her getting the HOPE scholarship for college she has to have at least 2 AP classes during her 4 years of high school. She's halfway there now. And now we wait to se if she gets any of the other three she requested. *Fingers Crossed*

And to top the week off, the kids will spend tonight with my mother. Tim and I are going out for dinner and then home to watch movies. Should be a pleasant evening and the perfect ending to this insane week.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Here I come, Turkey!

It has happened! I'm going to be an internationally published author next month! Yay! Though, considering my books are also available on Amazon UK and Amazon Germany, I may already be considered internationally published. LOL!

Anyway, this will be the first time my books are sold in a language other than English.

Yesterday I signed the contract with ARVO, a Turkish publishing house, for the translation rights to all five of my current novels. That's all three Alex & Fiona books and both current Liz Baker books. As the contract states, A Midnight Infatuation (Alex & Fiona, book 1) is due to be released in Turkey in July. All the books will be translated and have brand new covers to suit the Turkish readers. Even though I won't be able to read a single word of it, I'm excited to see the books in their Turkish forms.

This foreign rights stuff is all new to me, so I was a bit anxious at first. However, after speaking with other authors who have worked with or currently are working with ARVO I decided to just jump in and go for it. To quote Nike, sometimes we have to Just Do It! So I did. Fingers crossed for success and happiness to come.

If all works out, they may want future books when the time comes. We'll have to wait and see how it goes.