Christmas in August

So I am finally almost done with my newest story for Dreamspinner Press’s Christmas/Holiday Advent stories.

This one is called Christmas Cole and is a pseudo-sequel to last year’s BIG seller, Christmas Wish. As I may or may not have mentioned, this one started darker than I intended, but when the clouds finally break and the romance sets it, it makes it all the more joyous! I cried writing it (good tears) and a friend felt the same way.

I have worked my ass off on it and thank God for my wondrous critic and betas, clmiles and essayel. I couldn’t do it without them. They not only see that misspelled word I haven’t caught one hundred times (thanks clmiles!) ~ but suggest actual changes to the story. With this one it was moving a scene to later in the story to keep the momentum going. I was far too close to see it, and trusted essayel enough just to MAKE the change!

This story has been a lot of work! I have loved it, but it has meant quite a few nights up LATE and also not house cleaning to my husband’s chagrin. And it is back to the RL job tomorrow. *meh*

I am awaiting final thoughts and last edits on changes I made and then hopefully it will go off today or tonight. If, NO! When I sell this one, it will be my twelfth sale in a year and a half! Why did I wait so long to trust myself and start writing?!

I’ve already begun work on several projects and am quite excited by them.

I love my life!

All right! That’s it for the moment!

Edits For “Trust Me” Are Done

So for those of you who aren’t in the know, when you sell a story, the usual process is the publisher then assigns it to an editor.

The editor fixes it so that all the formats, chapter heads, quotes, ellipses, dashes and more fit into the in-house format. They might also be specific about spellings of words like “come” versus “cum.” 😉

THe editor also has the daunting task of editing the thing, through years of knowledge, to fine tune your tale. If you get good one, and I have had some good ones, their work and pointers will fine tune you as a writer as well. I’ve learned a lot.

A whole lot!

See, the next step is they send the edits back to you, and you go over them, one by one. You accept or deny each one. It is pretty smart to accept them, these editors usually know their stuff. But they are human and make mistakes themselves. Also there are cases where you thought you were saying something, but when someone else reads it — since they don’t have your knowledge of what is going on or who your characters are — what you’ve written might read differently than you intended. Sometimes it is almost comical. Then between you and your editor, you can make sure you are saying what you meant to say.

Examples: The way I structured a sentence made it sound like the branch of a tree was ruby red. She thought I had made a mistake and I meant for two hummingbirds to be ruby red. Actually I meant that the hummingbird feeder was ruby red! LOL! Now the sentence reads they way I intended it to be.

I once wrote a story in which a character who is very well off is drinking an expensive whisky. The editor changed the word from “whisky” to “whiskey” throughout. What she didn’t know is that I had done my research! Whisky/whiskey drinkers are very very particular about this… Scottish whisky is spelled without the “e.” American whiskey, especially Kentucky whiskey, is spelled with the “e.” Since my character was drinking a Lagavulin — a brand from a distillery near the coast of of Islay, and which has a legitimate claim to being one of the oldest in Scotland — then it is spelled without the “e.” The spelling went back to the way I had it originally.

An important relationship can exist between writer and editor that produces a better story, and that is good for the reader, the writer and the publisher.

In the case of Trust Me, which was bought by Amber Allure, I am an amazing editor. Not only is she good, but she knows a lot about horses, and owns four! But did she find a few possibly awful mistakes! LOL! But with her direction, things went well, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished between us,

I finished nearly a hundred pages of edits today and it wore me out! It is harder editing such a long story. But it is done, and ready to go out tonight!

And soon “Trust Me,” my most romantic story to date, will be ready for you!


Desert Crossing

So I got the edits for Desert Crossing from Dreamspinner Press the other day and really had no complaints. They did a good job cleaning it up a bit and I think I did a good job in what I sent them. They didn’t have to do nearly as much as they’ve had to do with earlier submissions.

So I went through them, did my part and sent them back today.

Now it is just a matter of seeing when it will be available. I’m proud of this story and it has a very personal element to it as well.

I will keep you updated!

Now let’s see how much I can get done today of the first of three cowboys stories I need to write!

News About My Story “Desert Crossing”

Got some good news today!

First I should mention that I got an email from Dreamspinner Press the other day wanting to know my schedule over the next six to eight weeks because they would be sending me edits and a galley for my story Desert Crossing.

I was a little distressed because January is my annual required massive overtime at work. Theoretically, I could be working six days a week, 12 hours a day for the entire month of January. No way I can do edits and such then. I let them know.

To my surprise they are jumping my novella up a bit instead of delaying it! WOW! That’s pretty cool, eh? I really figured they would have to delay it a month or more, but instead they are rushing it so I have time to do my part!

What good news! This must mean something. They believe in me? In my writing? My stories?

This is a good year for me. I find I believe in myself more every single day!

And here is MORE very cool news!

There are two publishers looking for me to give them a submission for cowboy stories. I don’t know much about cowboys. I have researched them, but when it comes to gay cowboys, there really isn’t much information out there. Because of the Victorian times, it’s all speculation. And I know sh*t about contemporary cowboys except that cowboy boots help a man’s legs and ass as much as high heels help a woman’s.

SO! My friend who owns a small calving operation is taking me back to his place tonight (after drinking at a C&W bar *shudder*) and tomorrow is going to give me the tour of his place, let me see and touch real cows and tell me everything he knows about cattle and cattle breeding! Plus his own knowledge of the cowboys he and his lover like so much.

Now how cool is that? Think of the information I will glean that way! It really helps when you can get some kind of first hand experience with what you are writing about in order to give better feel and texture to a story. This is going to be cool and they are just as excited as I am!

Can life get much better than this?


PS: Dreamspinner Press is having a big sale on all their books through this weekend! So if they have a story of mine you’ve been thinking of buying, now it the time! It is like 15 to 20% off! (my math sucks) Check it out for any of their amazing books!

Another Story Completed

So I have finally finally finished my “final” draft of my vampire-apocalypse story!

Whoa, this one was work!

It wrote itself in many ways, I didn’t know where it was going as it went, but it was also a bitch getting there. The first draft I liked. I liked a lot.

But I didn’t love it. And if I didn’t love it, how could I expect anyone else to? How could I expect a publisher to buy it?

The story was close, but not there. And I had to get it there. It had to be about more than just the story. There are lots of good ideas. But to get the story to work, I had to get the reader to believe and care about the characters. So I worked and worked on it, set it aside, worked on it again, set it aside and worked on it again. And I think I finally did it!

So I have now sent it off to my beloved betas and await their response. As fast as they get back to me, I can do final touches and mail it off.

The biggest problem now it that I think it is something like four thousand words more than they are looking for. Actually, in their ad, they forget to include a word count. But if you look to their other anthologies, you see they want stories between 2000 – 8000 words.

Two thousand words? They want “character-driven stories written about sexual desire, sexual interaction, and sexual themes with a focus on the inner life… “ and 
raw, sensual, beautiful language and stories that dare to step outside of genre conventions.”

How can anyone do that in two thousand words??? I can’t do it in eight thousand words!

This anthology is called “This is the Way the World Ends,” and they want “…stories exploring the connections between destruction and sex, death and love, survival and rebirth, all set in the post-apocalyptic landscapes of your hottest dreams.”

So my story, Blood Plague is my interpretation of that desire. I think it has it all. It is certainly character-driven, and it is most definitely about desire, destruction and sex, death and love, and survival and rebirth! And HOW!

I really want to sell this story! I want to sell it to them. I want to get another publisher in my “resume.”

But you know what? I love this story. I will sell it one way or another! And then I can share it with you!


More Cover Art!

I have my second cover! And yes, I am pretty excited about it too!

As well?


They sent me three covers for this story as well, and they and I liked this one best.

I love it.

Again, it is not exactly correct, but what cover is?

It is SO damned close and it sets the stage and hopefully makes you want to see what it is about. The two men are dressed completely different and appropriately and that is just right!

I am very happy. Are other authors as lucky as me? I hope so.

But I have heard horror stories, I can tell you.

Now I wonder what they will do with Desert Crossing? I am hoping to get a chance to start doing some of my own covers… Trying to get permission to at least have a shot at that in the future.

Got some edits back on Valentine’s Ball (and I still hate the name of that story…) and waiting for more.

Got some more insight on my vampire story and don’t have a CLUE what to call it! While transcribing it from the handwriting at work to my computer, I decided I wanted it a little bet scarier. Watched 30 Days of Night to chill me up (no pun intended) and it worked. I am going to love this one and I hope you will too.

More later!

This Week In My Life

So I have finished second edits on both All Snug and Christmas Wish and I am very very happy with them.

LOTS of work, but I learnlearnlearn, and that is important.

Yesterday I finished my first draft of a story I am tentatively calling Valentine’s Ball (hate that title with its too porn implications). It is a sweet story, very romantic, and I hope it is well received. Sent it to my betas and hope to hear back soon so I can submit it.

Today I am working on my vampire apocalypse love story. Yup! All three in one story! These are nasty scary vampires, not rockstar-long-haired-googly-loving-eyed-sissy-boi-vampires. Nasty nasty nasty…

How can that bring romance? Stayed tuned to find out!

Work work work!

And a date with my husband today/tonight as well!


PS: Anyone going to ConTraception this year? I know that better be there!!