But, that's only part of the reason I'm so late getting out--at least I've made it before the month of May is over. I hope you appreciate the fact that I spend at least a week or more WORRYING about getting my newsletter written. That's got to count for something.
The hard part is finding the time to write it. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks—but aren’t they all? I finished TANGLED, the novella for St. Martin’s Press, and I was absolutely thrilled when the editor told me she loved the stories and the characters. This is a good thing, because it sets the stage for the rest of the series—as yet unnamed—that I’ll be writing for them.
Currently, I’m down to the last 20,000 words of INTIMATE, which is the first novel, and then I have to dive into the second one, as they're planning a "back to back" release. I’m still not sure what the title for that one will be, though I know the characters, and the toughest job will be making my hero likable enough. He was a real jerk when he was young, and I’m hoping he’s finally enough of an adult that I’ll be able to find something good about him. If not, the series is in deep sh*t!
For those who’ve been asking, my editor assures me that DARK REFUGE should be available in print by the weekend if all goes well, and definitely by next week. I’ll send out a blast as soon as I know for sure.
Other news—I’ve been reading. A lot. I do that when I’m particularly stressed, and trust me, I HAVE BEEN STRESSED!!! (Okay, enough bitching...)
I just finished the most amazing two-book series ever by a long-time friend of mine, Pam Ripling, who writes as Anne Carter. Look for UNMASKING PAULIE BINGHAM, and FOR THE LOVE OF KATRINA BINGHAM. The premise is simple but unconventional—a young make-up artist falls for a gay British pop star, and surprisingly (to Paulie, more than anyone else) he falls in love with her. The story of their romance covering many years is absolutely wonderful. Two flawed people who have something so special that—while it occasionally falters—withstands everything that comes between them. I absolutely loved these books and it took me over a week to give them a spot on my keeper shelf because I read each of them three times, and still wanted to go back to the beginning and read them again! I finally put them away so I could get some work done.
UNMASKING PAULIE BINGHAM is only $2.99 for Kindle, and $1.99 for FOR THE LOVE OF KATRINA BINGHAM.
At Barnes and Noble, same price for Paulie's story and for Kate's.
I don’t usually pimp books quite this seriously, but these are remarkably well done, and they haven’t found their audience. I know a lot of you are willing to read things outside the lines (or you wouldn’t read my books!) and I would love to see these stories find readers who will appreciate them. They’re also available in print at Amazon.com, though I think that’s the only place for now. These are self-published, and really good. And if you do read them, please let me know what you think, leave a review, or whatever. I’m thinking of this like my own Kickstarter campaign.The books are THAT good!
Of course, I had to totally change direction when it was time to read something else, so I pulled out JR Ward’s POSSESSION. The FALLEN ANGELS series is so dark and SO convoluted that they’re like a drug. I know when I start one that nothing else will get done, and I love the way she ties this series in, by location and a couple of crossover characters, to her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. If you haven’t read any of the others in this series, though, I’d really recommend that you start at the beginning. I think each story could stand alone, but they’re so much better with all the background of the first four books.
I’m a huge fan of JR Ward’s, and loved THE KING. One of these days, when life settles down, my goal is to go back and read the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series in one marathon read. She has an amazing voice as an author.
I also finished reading Savanna Fox’s DARE TO BE DIRTY, and BOUND TO BE DIRTY. They were excellent, the latest two of her DIRTY GIRLS BOOK CLUB. Again, the kind of romances that leave you smiling.
Jayne Ann Krentz’s latest historical by Amanda Quick was really fun—no paranormal elements in OTHERWISE ENGAGED, but it’s a wonderful historical mystery with great characters. She writes people I’d love to get to know in the real world, but since I haven’t been able to find them hanging out here in Healdsburg , I have to satisfy myself with her totally entertaining books. Works for me! Again, highly recommended. Jayne's also got a new Rainshadow novel coming out at the end of August. Watch for THE HOT ZONE.
If any of you—like me—are Dakota Cassidy fans, TALK THIS WAY, a wonderful novella in the same community as her PLUM ORCHARD series, is free right now at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
I've got a couple of personal appearances coming up this summer. Any of you who live near San Antonio, Texas, I’ll be signing books at the Romance Writers of America Literacy Autographing on July 23. Here’s the info:
The RWA2014 Literacy Autographingwill be held on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel in the 3rd floor ballroom.
- This event is open to the public and is free of charge
- Since this is a fundraiser event for Pro-Literacy, attendees will not be allowed to bring books from home into the event. Plan to purchase books on-site.
And if you’re within driving distance of Charlotte, NC, I’ll be signing at the Authors After Dark conference. The signing is free, but there are also a few openings for attendees—this is not an expensive conference to attend (or believe me, I wouldn’t be going because NC is NOT easy to get to from here!) but it’s one of the best times you can have if you’re a romance fan--or a romance author. Just take lots of tote bags to carry home all the free books and swag...not easy on a plane!
Authors After Dark 2014 will have 100 featured authors and 25 Author ambassadors for the YA, NA and crossover genres.
- Authors will sign on Saturday from 2-4 at the
601 S. College Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
And that’s about it! As far as this month's contest, I’m giving away a two-book set of DREAM BOUND and DREAM UNCHAINED, and three copies of DARK MOON. I’m having a terrible time with deliveries of my international mailings, so for now, anyway, I’ll give out ebooks to those winners—copies of either DARK SPIRIT or DARK REFUGE, or if there’s another of my indie pubbed titles, one of those.
I’m sorry to have to do this, but too many books are not getting where I’m sending them, and they take way too much time and effort. I can’t afford doing things that cut into so much of my writing time. When you enter the contest, I think you can just note after your address what book you’d like to win. And my US winners are also free to ask for an ebook for a prize. I have most of the available formats for anything that I’ve published on my own.
I really need to get to work. Sorry to ramble on so much—I’m actually working on my story while writing this, though I wasn’t planning to. BUT, a thought just popped into my rather strange mind that will help me with a part of the chapter I’ve been having trouble with, so I need to finish gabbing and get this sent.
I hope you’ve had a good month of May and you’re ready for summer, though all of you Down Under are gearing up for winter. Let’s hope the coming months aren’t as drastic as the weather we’ve been having. Amazing how you don’t really think of weather until it totally messes with your life, isn’t it?
Take care, all. I’m sorry to have rambled on for so long. This contest will end on Friday, so get your entries in right away. (That way I can still call it my May newsletter and contest, right? )
Be safe, and take time to read a good book. Once in a while, you really need to remember to do something for yourself.