Our daughter-in-law sent me a plumeria twig about eight years ago, and it has grown beautifully in the house each winter, and on the porch in the sun during the summer. These are the flowers that you commonly find in leis, and they smell like Hawaii. I've even got a baby plumeria that I started from a branch off the big one. Counting the height of the pot, the tree is now five feet tall with three branches of flowers that will be just like this one. It doesn't bloom all at once--in fact, there will be flowers for at least a month. And yes, it's a pain in the ASS to get it in and outside, a job I tackle when my husband isn't home. I think he believes it moves itself, but the man has a bad back and I don't want him offering to help...
Puttering in the yard or with my houseplants is my therapy. I get more "writing" done outside than when I'm sitting in my office, because I can spend time with plants and let my imagination wander through my story, which is sort of where all this is leading, right?
At the same time, my agent's company, the one handling the Spirit Wild series and my reverted books from other publishers, has me scheduled for the final three Wolf Tales stories to come out around the same time. Wolf Tales 10 – August, Wolf Tales 11 – October, and Wolf Tales 12 – January 2018. They're the only titles I've gotten back from Kensington, but sales on them weren't as good as the others. I don't think It was because the stories aren't good, because they're some of the best of the series, but after nine novels and nine novellas, readers were getting tired of spending a fortune on trade sized paperbacks. Plus, they came out during the time Borders was going under, and all of us who write romances suffered during that time. Regardless, we'll be releasing them at a lower price, and I'll be sure to let you know exactly when they're ready to come out.
Anyway, as I said, I'd been working on Dark Captive, but then had to finish getting Wolf Tales 12 ready for my editor. When you get books back from a publisher, you don't get the edits. Any changes that were made belong to the publisher, which means going through and catching any mistakes, fixing what makes the story work a bit better, that sort of thing. In the case of my Wolf Tales series, I had very little editing on any of the stories, so it was mainly a case of reading through and making sure I didn't have any typos. Which I did. Hopefully I caught them all, but if not, the book is now with my beta readers and they're good! Plus, my editor will get the final look at the thing, and he's beyond good and into vicious...which is good. Most of the time.
But, if you're in the area and want me sign any of your books ahead of time, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can work out a time ahead of the signing to get together. The thing is, they don't usually allow you to bring books into the signing because it gets too confusing when checking out, but if we can make it work, I'm more than willing. There are a lot of things I've already committed to (it actually IS a working conference!) but get in touch if you're going to be in the area.
And, if you're looking for me by sight, I don't look the same. The brown is gone and I'm completely gray. Started growing it out last fall, and it took a while because I used a rinse to keep it from looking two-tone. Then when I let the rinse wear off a couple of months ago, grim reality hit. I'm definitely gray--started turning in my forties and have colored it for over 25 years with my inner 35 year old egging me on. However, my hair started breaking off and falling out, ergo gray beats bald.
One can always dream...
I also segued into Emma Holly's Billionaires series of menage romances. She is so good at making those work--I think the very first menage story I ever read was Emma's, aptly titled "Menage" from 1998. And yes, it's still on my keeper shelf!
Another "new to me" author is May Sage. May has a series called SOME GIRLS DO IT, and I swear I'd buy them just for the titles alone: SCROOGE McFUCK, BRING ON THE PSYCHOBITCH, THEM BACK DIMPLES, and the one that got me hooked on the series? SHY GIRLS WRITE IT BETTER. A caveat with May's books--her writing is fantastic, her storytelling absolutely flawless, but she needs my beta readers--someone to find the booboos. There are typos, but even as neurotically picky as I am, I still have to recommend her stories. I'd suggest you try SHY GIRLS WRITE IT BETTER, the first in the series, to get a feel for her voice. But if you're a neurotic nitpicker like I am, you have been warned. (and there aren't THAT many...like I said, neurotic.)
Long time favorite authors I've been reading include JR Ward's THE CHOSEN, and Nalini Singh's SILVER SILENCE. I'll be honest and say that I put off reading Ward's newest, not only because of the time commitment in reading her huge novels, but also because I'd read so many horrible reviews. It sat here in my office from April 4, the day it showed up from Amazon.com, until I read it a couple of weeks ago. Note to self--ignore bad reviews. I know better. I loved the book. I'm hooked on Ward's voice. I swear I hear heavy metal music playing in the background when I read something of hers, and this story was, in my mind, one of her best. So yes, I definitely recommend THE CHOSEN.
Nalini Singh is, in my opinion, one of the very best authors of paranormal romance writing today--or any day. Her stories are so wonderfully complex, her characters beautifully drawn, and I will be forever grateful to my many readers who said I absolutely had to read Nalini's Psy/Changeling series and then, when she released her first Guild Hunter book, that I'd better read those, too. I got hooked on both series, not to mention her Rock Kiss contemporary romances series, and most likely anything else this author chooses to write. An author's voice is everything, and Nalini's is pure gold. I will freely admit that the highlight of my RWA conference in San Diego last year was lunch with Nalini. She is every bit as charming and entertaining in real life as her books are in her amazing fantasy world. Both book covers are linked to their pages on the authors' sites.
For those of you who are international readers, I will send an ebook copy of any of my titles that you choose if you are a winner. You can see all of my books listed on Amazon.com on my Amazon author page. I'm sure that other retailers have a similar listing, but I don't have the links to them, so if you find a book on the Amazon page, just look it up on the company you prefer to buy from, and we'll go from there.
And on that note--one more thing. Since I'm busy packing and getting stuff ready for the trip, I'm going to keep this contest fairly short. You have until Friday to get your entry in, using the form that says CONTEST ENTRY FORM. Do NOT use the comments section to enter. It will be deleted, hopefully before someone finds your personal information that you should NEVER post online. (That was in my MOM voice!)
I hope I'll hear from those of you who will be in Florida for the conference. Would love to connect if possible. I'll have a name tag on--may or may not be wearing a hat. Now that my hair's not falling out, I don't feel the need to cover it up all the time--and I'm old, kids! Hot flashes tend to make your hair melt to your head...
Here's wishing you a wonderful month until the next newsletter, and please remember to take time to read a good book. There are so many of them out there, just waiting for new homes...and then there are libraries!
All the best,