Chasing Prince Charming Update and Plunder Progress

Today is hot and gross and sticky. I did not sleep. Real Life Romance Hero slept some, and he, Housemate, and I are collectively choreographing an intricate errand ballet that involves the big washers at the laundromat (again, sigh) flea bombs numbers four and five, the grocery store, possible library run, and other fun doings that come from a household with three adults and one car. It will all work out, most everything will be air conditioned, and since I write my first drafts in longhand, I can write anywhere. When I hit a wall, I have a Kindle Fire and am trying out Kindle Unlimited, because of reasons, so bring it on.

Chasing Prince Charming update

Chasing Prince Charming update first, as we are now only one month and two days away from unleashing Meg and Dominic upon the world. Thanks to everyone who has preordered so far, and,. for those who have been asking whether there will be a print edition available, it looks like the answer is yes. Melva and I are super-duper-pooper-scooper excited over this, and we will be sure to share when the print edition is available for preorder. I am watching Amazon like a hawk. If the physical copy looks half as good as Ginny Frost‘s The Bar Scene, I will be absolutely thrilled. Also probably carrying a physical copy with me so I can show it to random strangers…er, readers. I meant readers.

Plunder Progress

This story, and this year’s Camp NaNo, continue to surprise me. According to my progress on the site, I am either near or just over the seventy=five percent mark of my goal, and it’s really more like grabbing some popcorn and watching the movie in my head instead of “writing” the story, which is not at all a complaint. I show up, the characters do, too, and, so far, it is working out. I would not call this “pantsing” (who wants to wear pants in July in New York?) but more along the lines of “flying into the mist,” in the spirit of the late, great Jo Beverley.

Never mind that, so far, I have important secondary characters named “Confidante,” and “Nun,” who have not yet shown their faces or told me a single thing about themselves, other than what role they play in Cornelis and Lydia’s story. Right now, I don’t need to know anything more than that. I am very much aware that using a pirate haven as a large part of my book’s setting, means that I have an extremely good opportunity to have a diverse supporting cast. Those pirates picked up people everywhere, and dropped them off everywhere, as well. Some of those people got together and created more people, when the original two people would never have met otherwise, because they would have lived out their lives on separate continents, and, boy howdy, if that’s not catnip for a romance writer, I do not know what more I can tell you on that topic.

The way I figure it, these people who inhabit my fictional world, from nuns to pirates (so far, I have both) will tell me who they are, when and how they are ready, and I do not need to worry about that kind of thing. (Part of me wants to protest that these imaginary friends do not know how anxiety works, but I think, probably, that some of them do.) All I need to do is keep showing up, keep following Cornelis and Lydia around, keep making notes on the left hand (my left) page and then remembering to follow through on those notes, because they are probably going to affect the direction the next phase of the story takes.

So far, I do not have a Spotify playlist, or a private Pinterest board, for Plunder, and I am surprised that I do not miss either one. Maybe those, too, will present themselves in tine, but, at the moment, they are not needed. My people have faces of their own when they come to me, for the most part, even if they, like Nun and Confidante, hide them for a while, until they trust me enough to let me see. I am, okay with that. Is this the way every new book is going to work? Probably not. Maybe not even every book in this trilogy, and I am okay with that, too. Bit by bit, as I focus on book one, bits and pieces I did not have of book two, arrange themselves in place, and even the foundations of book three are taking shape.

Don’t ask me if this means I have anything yo say about writing linked books from the outset, or over-arcing plot…things. As we said, flying into the mist here, and happy to go that way until I get Lydia and Cornelis to their form of HEA for this book. They’ll clear another milestone at the end of their daughter, Tamsen’s, book, but that’s a way off yet. For now, it’s me and lined notebook paper, and dark blue ink, and whatever those two crazy kids give me for the given day. They know where we’re headed, and that’s good enough for me.

People I Know Are Reading My Books (and it’s weird)

“My mother says she’s going to buy your book when it comes out.” Housemate told me this, last night, during our weekly grocery run. My cart stopped in mid-aisle. Housemate’s mom (we shall call her Hmom) does not, as a rule, read, and she has never, to my knowledge, read romance. Best as I know, when Hmom does read, it’s old Hollywood biographies, and Chasing Prince Charming is…not.

“Your mom knows this is a romance novel, right?” I asked Housemate, trying to sound casual. Housemate assures me Hmom does. She wants to see what I write. Um, she does know there is adult content in this book, right? She does. This led into a discussion of how I am usually the first one to say that I find it funny when people get squidgy about women of a certain age reading mature content, because, well, they are mature. Since Housemate is older than me, she is literally living proof that Hmom knows what sex is, and was having it before I was born. She was married for multiple decades, and so there is very little chance that Melva and I are going to shock her.

Neither, for that matter, is there a lot of sex in this book. Neither is sex the entire point. That would be erotica. I write love stories. Contemporary or historical, alone or in collaboration, I write love stories. Romance. Sometimes there is sex on the page, sometimes there is not. It all depends on the story, and on the line and/or publisher where the particular book appears. I know, very well, that Hmom knows what love is, so I should be fine, but, still, this is the first time I have ever been squidged about knowing somebody I know in real life is going to read one of my books.

This has not come up with Hmom before, because history is not her thing, and has not come up with others, because I have not had a lot of romance readers among my IRL people. For those about to comment, “hey, I know you, and I read your books,” A) thank you, and B) I mean people whose reading of my books would squidge me. Housemate? Total non-squidge. Real Life Romance Hero does not read my fiction, and, anyway, I prefer to leave his reading of my anything on the high note of the time he came out of the bathroom, with a copy of a newsletter that I then wrote for, asking if I had read this amazing article (I think it was about Star Trek: The Next Generation) and if I knew who wrote it. I told him I did. It was me. We will leave his reactions at that, because let’s face it, hard to top that one.

Pastor squidge is not even a thing. My pastor knows what I write, and, while I don’t think he’s going to read any of my books, his wife or mom might. His daughter, well, check back in seventeen years. His mom’s only admonishment was that she wishes I would write a Victorian romance, because that’s her favorite era. Miss Lana, if I ever write a Victorian, that book will be for you. I do have one Edwardian, Never Too Late, which is as close as I have come so far, but who knows what the future holds?

Right now, I am watching the email for both the release letter from The Wild Rose Press, and word on my submission of A Heart Most Errant to another house. We will see how that goes, but it feels good having stuff in the works, and it reminds me that I really do want to add a submission/release tracker to either my traveler’s notebook or my writing planner. I had originally planned for this post to be about refining my visual aesthetic, which ties into author branding, aka what kind or write I am, both on my own and with others.

That’s going to be a different post, because a) Hmom reading my book (Housemate assures me that yes, Hmom plans to actually read the book, not just buy it and have it, and b) I want to take my planners down to the bones and build them back from the ground up, closer to the way I want and actually use them. insert profound comment about how starting the second half of the year being a good time for a new start here. Speaking of which, it is now time for the actual fiction writing part of the day, so I that’s it for this post. At least one reader is waiting.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Bookish Updates Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Before I get into the stuff Writer Chick wants me to talk about, I have even bigger news. This week, I had a fan meetup. That’s right. Writer Chick had a surprise friend visit, and that friend wanted to see me. I was not in the room where they were, so Blonde Chick asked Writer Chick to go get me, and Writer Chick did, and that turned into my first ever photo op.

Anna’s note: “Blonde Chick” is Sue Ann Porter.
She writes stuff.

Writer Chick insists that the speech bubble was my addition to the photo, but please. That face says it all. That is proper excitement there, people. Blonde Chick and Writer Chick talked about life and books and writing and how they want to do a video blog about something called Poldark. I wasn’t paying attention until the part where Blonde Chick said she wanted me to be in the video and apparently, I may be getting a hat out of the deal. Sweet.

They’re all Buried Under Romance…

Okay, on to the compulsories. Writer Chick was doing a lot of Buried Under Romance stuff this week, talking to the other chicks who do stuff there, about how they are going to do things in the 2.0 version. She also wrote her weekly blog entry, which is here, about big stories that come from small presses. Keep a sticky note on that small presses thing, because it will come up later in this post.

Goodreads Challenge

No graphic this week for Writer Chick’s Goodreads Challenge, because we’re burning daylight and I don’t feel like making one, but Writer Chick has most assuredly come from behind and burst out ahead. Like five books ahead, but that is not entirely accurate, because she has yet to record a couple of recent reads. On record, Writer Chick is now forty-nine percent of her way to her goal of reading ninety-five books, with a total of forty-seven recorded books so far. The actual number is higher, so she is hovering right on the halfway point, and needs only read a book and a half a week to make her goal on schedule.

Won’t be long now, …..

Chasing Prince Charming

Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have signed off on the finalest final that ever there finaled galley of Chasing Prince Charming. Editor Chick said okay, and it is now out of their hands, and soon to be into yours. All Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have to do now is to wait for the release letter. Also get cracking on swag and promo and getting that website up and running. Also writing the next book, because readers are going to want more, and also they are too far into this thing to back out now. It says right on the cover page or something that this is Book One in the Love by the Book series, so the Chicks better get a move on if they don’t want to look lame. Lamer? Lame. Moving on.

Submissions

Yeah, you read that right, and if you guessed that this is where that sticky note from above goes, you are right. One of the Buried Under Romance Chicks told Writer Chick that a certain indie author had started her own press, and Writer Chick had to check that out. So, Writer Chick did, and, while chatting with her friend, actually got into A Heart Most Errant, did the edits, wrote a cover letter, and sent it off. Keep an eye on this space for more news. If this place is not a match, then Writer Chick is sending it out again. If this works, she may have to conscript that friend into chatting with her while she writes other query letters. When something works, I say stick with it.

For me, what always works is a decent nap, preferably on fresh laundry, Writer Chick’s keyboard, or that newspaper Dude was thinking of reading. Clearly, I am going to have to get my beauty sleep to keep up with all the stuff going on around here. I do take my Cat Regent duties seriously.

Peace out,

The Eagle is Landing

This morning, the email came. The email. There are, actually, several the emails that happen in a writer’s life in publishing today, but this one very much gets a the status, because this is the last pass for any changes for Chasing Prince Charming. Once Melva and I give our okays at the author portal, we will have pulled the trigger, and put our first “baby” together on the metaphorical school bus, the better to tend to our current infant, Drama King, as well as our individual efforts, in genres as diverse as memoir, historical romance, and cozy romantic suspense. (The middle one is mine. I do have some YA ideas, but I am juggling enough chainsaws at present, but don’t quote me.)

There is also the website I’m wrangling for my co-written books, which is a different level of figuring thigs out from keeping a site that is mostly a blog. There are two author bios to put up there, two backlists, and I’m going to have to work on that whole regained rights issue, for two historical romances that are going to need a certain amount of work, because A) I wrote them a long, long time ago (even though it feels like only yesterday) and B) both I and the market have changed.

What those changes would be…ehhh, I don’t know. That would require looking at the manuscripts first, and that is not a task for me for today. Today is for booting Her Last First Kiss, and getting Bern and Ruby one step closer to The End of draft number two. Then it’s time to bundle them off on the bus, as well. While I like to think that I have learned a thing or two about the raising of historical heroes and heroines since the day I chair-danced and scared the cat (Olivia, our cat at the time, took it in stride, actually) when a publisher actually wanted to buy My Outcast Heart, I also hope that readers who eventually pick up Her Last First Kiss and all the historical romance novels I write and put out there after (of which I plan many) will find the same spark that they found in those earlier works.

The dry spell, as soon as we get the official release date for Chasing Prince Charming, will be officially over. I could say that it officially ended the day Melva and I got the first “the” email from The Wild Rose Press, or the day we had a second publisher also make an offer on the same work, and we had to make a decision. I could say it ended when Z Publishing sent me an email, the day after we moved out of our former apartment, a the email I answered from a motel bed, Skye, our cat at the time, beneath it, asking if I would be interested in submitting to two of their anthologies. I was still coming down from a massive anxiety attack, I’d exerted myself physically so much the day before, that my legs wouldn’t move, and bed was my only option. I can easily call that a low point, and then there was a the email. I said yes. This year, they asked again, and, this time, from a comfortable apartment (with Sebastian, Cat Regent) I said yes again.

That yes put me into new waters, s my binder for working on Plunder‘s outline, expanding “The Fox and the Lily” to not only a full historical romance novel, but my first intentional trilogy, rescuing the second book, which I had thought would be the first and only, from the metaphorical sandbar where it had been stranded for years I refuse to count. Plunder is first, with Cornelis and Lydia, then Abandon, with Alec and Tamsen, annnnd I have no idea what I am going to call the third one, but I want it to have a one word title that fits in with pirates and/or privateers, and either hero or heroine (I don’t know which one yet) will be the grandchild of Cornelis and Lydia, the child of Alec and Tamsen.

I’m not worried. All of that stuff will come. If I have learned one thing over the last few years, it is that creativity is a bottomless resource. There will always be more. There will be more stories, there will be more sales, there will (or can be) more genres. There will be more characters. There will be more stories. There will be more. I want to make a sign of that, perhaps hire someone to cross stitch. There will be more.

Summer Thoughts

Monday’s post on Tuesday again, and I am okay with that. Yesterday was spent writing on Drama King, then my weekly Skype session with Melva Michaelian. My weekly breakfast with N is on Thursday this week, so the morning was found time to knuckle down and write…until I got a message from Sue Ann Porter, telling me she was five minutes away, and did I want to hang out? Umm, yes. We hadn’t had a chance to be face to face since January, so, around my kitchen table, and seasonally appropriate beverages, we got current.

We talked writing, and books. I cracked open Goodreads to recommend Panic by Lauren Oliver, and my heart swelled when Sue Ann told me how much she loved My Outcast Heart, and would love to see it as a Hallmark-ish movie. That would be fun. Right now, I’m focusing on getting it a new home in book form, which still needs to take a number.

We were joined, after a short while, by Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, Cat Regent and discussed having Sebastian join us for a proposed vlog about our shared appreciation of Poldark. I need to get current, because life last summer was kind of hectic, but, this year, it looks smoother. We discussed how much we like the verisimilitude of the historical atmosphere of the story world, and how we both like our historical romances to have a strong historical influence along with the romance, what makes a good romance novel, and what it takes to get a reader to want to come along for the ride, in any genre of fiction.

There was also a surprise visit by a local candidate, friendly and charismatic, encouraging voters to get to the polls. All too soon, Sue Ann and I both had to go back to life as planed, but I told her this was exactly the kind of summer I want to have. Filled with writing, and reading, and hanging out with good friends, coming away from the visit, not stressed over work time that was missed, but energized to get back to it, refreshed and refueled. I could get used to that kind of thing.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: They Gave Me A Flea Bath Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. We are at the halfway mark of 2019 (well, almost) and there is stuff to share, but first, I want to address an extreme indignity that befell my person this week, and by that I mean the flea bath. The entire reason I was summoned to the office of the cat regent was because the humans are in a no-pet building, so I am not sure where the infestation originated, but much of this week has been spent battling six-legged, bloodthirsty hooligans.

This has necessitated urgent measures, such as the removal of bedding items, and the dousing of soft, porous surfaces with proper remedies. For those of you who are not aware, handsome orange stuffed boys count as porous surfaces. My dignity is bruised. Bruised, I tell you, but I am minty fresh and bug-free. Other Chick was away all last week, on family matters, so it was Writer Chick and Dude, battling the bugs. I think it is safe to say they are winning.

Other than that, it’s been a productive week. In addition to her weekly post at Buried Under Romance, Writer Chick has also ascended to the core four humans rebooting the site into its 2.0 incarnation. More on that later, from Writer Chick herself. This week, she draws some parallels between old school historical romance, its new school descendant, and one of her favorite songs, because that’s how she rolls.

The final-final-final-final-really-not-kidding-now-this-is-it changes to Chasing Prince Charming have been handed in to Editor Chick. That means that Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have only to give the Really Official Okay to the galley with those changes, and then they will get the release date. They are hard at work on getting Drama King to The End, so they can send that in, and, hopefully, start the whole process over again. They are actually pretty excited about that. Now it’s time to beef up that website sand work on some swag. Also maybe take a nap.

Three weeks to CampNaNo…

Only three weeks remaining now until July’s Camp NaNoWriMo starts, and Writer Chick gets to deep-dive into Plunder. I suspect that, once there is a release date set for Chasing Prince Charming, Writer Chick will do some serious making up for lost time with the historicals, while working on Drama King.

she’s getting there….

She’s certainly been doing that with her reading, as of late, as we can see by visiting her Goodreads challenge page. As we are almost exactly at the half year mark, Writer Chick is almost exactly halfway to her goal of ninety-five books, with forty-four read out of that ninety-five, and the row of recently read titles that comes up on her challenge page contains four historical romance novels, with all three of her currently reading slots taken up by the same. Okay, two and a half, if we’re going to be making allowances for the time travel, but she’s doing well. Skye (the kitty, not the book) would approve. (But maybe the book, if Writer Chick is up for a reread.) Instead of being behind, Writer Chick is now four books ahead of schedule, and I was with her when she requested library materials online last night, so that number is going nowhere but up; trust me on that one.

Flea fighting, romance writing, and stationery wrangling (Big Pink needs some reconstructive surgery, and the white personal ring planner needs a complete overhaul) may not be signs of summer in every household, but around here, we call that “Friday.” What the weekend may bring, who can tell?

Peace out,

June Planner Post

Monday’s post on Tuesday once again, so that says a lot about how the weekend went. The start of a new month means setting up new planner sections, and, this month, I am trying something different. The last month, even last week, have put a few more things on my plate, so I am going down to one weekly planner instead of two. I wasn’t feeling the setup in my white Webster’s Pages ring bound personal planner, though I still love the binder, so I will probably be repurposing said binder as a different sort of notebook.

Okay, June, let’s do this.

I am surprised that I have not named my Heidi Swapp ring bound planner, but maybe that will come as we get to know each other better over the summer. While I had originally planned for this to be only my writing planner, juggling two ring bound planners was getting to be too much, so I am streamlining. We will see how long that lasts, but, for now, everything is going in here.

The current setup…I think

During several of the slumberless parties my brain has thrown over the past month or so (aka insomnia) I have watched a lot of planner videos on You Tube, and discovered that I strongly prefer a vertical weekly layout over horizontal. Guess what every planner I own has for weekly layouts. Horizontal. Do-not-want-al. Good thing, then, that this particular planner can kind of fake it, with the horizontal boxes broken into two parts, blank and grid.

The grid part is clicking immediately. The blank part, eh, not so much, but it’s a good place to put stickers and possibly work on some sketching/visual art stuff. Maybe. I am looking at some printable horizontal layouts for next year, because I can’t bring myself to entirely throw out a whole half year’s worth of pages, but I allow that I may crack.

Right now, my days are pretty full, and I like it that way. Melva and I are going over the last-last-last-last galley copy, with the knowledge that this is it, no changing anything once we go to print, it is there forever, and pause here for us both to run around our respective homes, screaming, arms flailing, before we sit our butts down in our chairs and look over it One Last Time. We have been discussing series names (eep) and What Comes Next, such as the choosing and obtaining of swag, getting our joint site up and running, planning publicity and get Drama King to The End, so we can turn that in and start on Queen of Hearts.

There are also two historical romances whose rights are once again my own, plus a post-apocalyptic medieval novella, who all need homes, and as soon as Her Last First Kiss gets to the end of draft two, that’s another story that needs to go find its way in the world. There is a pirate trilogy hot on its heels, with other ideas, old and new, waiting in the wings.

In the midst of all of that, and the domestic tornadoes of everyday life, I am excited to be a part of rebooting Buried Under Romance to its 2.0 version. This makes it even more important to get my ah, stuff together, and I am hoping that I will fumble my way towards efficiency. I expect a lot of trial and error. My traveler’s notebooks are back in use, the purpose constantly evolving, so check back in July to see what’s up with those.

That’s going to be about it for this post, because my fingers are itching (literally; we are buying a flea bomb later today, even though we live in a no-pet building. Pest control will be here tomorrow; they are used to the writer lady who meets them at the door so she can get back to the keyboard ASAP.) to get back to my imaginary friends, and that galley has a deadline.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Doorway Into Summer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. I had thought about taking the day off, because sunbeam, but A) Writer Chick said something about reliable blogging, and how schedules are….actually, I don’t remember the rest, because I tuned her out. Also B) Other Chick had a family emergency and the whole household has been domestic tornado-y. Actually, I’m not sure how that ties into why I am blogging today, but whatever. I’m here, you’re here, let’s do this.

Okay. Thing one here is usually Buried Under Romance stuff, and there is a lot of that going on at the moment. Long story short, big changes are afoot. Writer Chick says they are good ones, more details later, blah blah, that kind of thing. She said something about change being proof that a thing is living and growing and there will be more to say on that soon, as soon as she gets to talk to some other humans . One thing that hasn’t changed is that she’s still blabbering about romance novel reading once a week. Last week, she talked about To Be Read lists. Hit the link here or in the caption above if you’d like to see what she’s got on hers, or share what’s on yours.

Next, we have Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge update. I am impressed. Thanks to audiobooks (and insomnia, keeping it real here) Writer Chick has now brought her challenge stats into acceptable range. Only one book behind schedule now, she has read thirty-eight out of ninety-five books, which puts her at forty percent of the way to her goal. Not too shabby at the half-year mark. She still needs to update her “I Wrote It” section, but she’s been busy, okay?

Coming soon, oh so soon…

Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have cleared one of the last hurdles in the prep for Chasing Prince Charming‘s debut, continue work on Drama King, and kind of sort of accidentally planned out three holiday stories, that would fit pretty well into a single collection, but one never knows with those two. I mean, seriously, they got a whole book out of waiting for breakfast.

to camp or not to camp?

With June about to pounce, that means July is on the horizon, which means that Camp NaNo is also looming (unless Writer Chick is looking at the wrong calendar, which, let’s be honest, happens a lot.) Writer Chick already has a binder set up for what she has in mind, which is turning “The Fox and the Lily” into Plunder. This will involve Dutch pirates, emotional trauma, and possibly the English Civil War. Which is to say, exactly the way Writer Chick likes this kind of thing.

That’s about what I’ve been authorized to share for the week, so check back next time to see what stuff Writer Chick and company have been up to, including but not limited to some intense summer reading planning.

Peace out,

Typing With Wet Nails: Sebastian Transcribes Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with a special edition of Typing With Stuffed Paws. Turns out that the week of little to no energy was the opening act for the week of gross virus, which Writer Chick has been combatting by sleeping one heck of a lot, drinking lots of fluids, and, occasionally, writing longhand. Since this includes blog related stuff, I will take it upon myself as Cat Regent to make an executive decision, and transcribe the most recent pages for her. I am sure she won’t mind.

So, I have the rights back to my first and fourth historical romances. Now what? (reminder to self: change email signature) With the Awe-Struck chapter (pun intended) closed, I now have My Outcast Heart, and Orphans in the Storm back in my hands. I am not entirely sure what I want to do with them. My options, as I see them, are three:

One, I can trunk them both and never look at them again. Two, I can pitch them to one of my two (technically three) current publishers. Three, I can go indie, and publish them myself. All sides have plusses and minuses, so let’s take a look.

Option One: Trunk them. I do not like this option, because I do like these stories. My Outcast Heart, is, technically, a cranky teenager, struggling with identity issues. Orphans in the Storm isn’t quite there yet, but I could see it heading in that direction. Are there things I would like to change about both stories? Unquestioningly, yes. I also hope that I am a better writer than I was when I first wrote those stories, with more of an idea regarding what I am doing, what my historical romance brand should be (as in what do I intend for it to be) and less of a care about what other people will think about what I am doing.

Option Two: Offer to one of my current publishers; Uncial Press, The Wild Rose Press, or Z Publishing. I want to talk to other writers, including but not limited to, my RWA chapter sisters and brothers, who have been in the same situation, of having their grown story kids come back home after a long time away. I am not sure about the etiquette in this sort of situation. Right now, this is probably the option that makes the most sense, but then there is still the third option.

Option Three: going the indie route. Once again, I want to talk to other writers who have done the same thing, to learn about their experiences, get some pro tips, and very likely discover options I did not know existed. The organizing, um, exhibiting leadership qualities part of myself likes this option very much. I can design covers and formatting that ties all of my unrelated stories together under one cohesive brand. Once in place, I can happily keep the stuff coming. I very much like the idea of having a place where I can put historical romances that take a couple of risks along the way. The CFO of AnnaCorp (term for my brain I have only now formed, may regret that later) looks at me over the rims of her spectacles and says a flat “no.” That stuff is expensive. Getting to call all of the shots also means getting to pay all of the bills.

Thankfully, I don’t need to decide right the heck now. Right now, there is a lot of good stuff happening. Melva and I are on book baby watch, as we come ever closer to knowing the release date for Chasing Prince Charming. We are coming up on a big scene for Drama King (which may or  may not have resulted in me building our hero’s apartment in the Sims 4. I should also be finding out the release date for the new Z Publishing anthology, that unleashes Cornelis and Lydia on the world, and slipping back into Bern and Ruby’s world, in Her Last First Kiss, is a truly lovely way to spend my time. In the end, I figure I will approach the issue of what to do with my boomerang story kids the same way I approach a discovery. Run down the metaphorical dock, splash around and then see what direction I appear to be naturally swimming in, and head in that direction.

That’s where Writer Chick left off, so I assume that’s where she meant for the entry to end. Time for me to join her for some beauty sleep, so we’ll both be ready for tomorrow’s regular blog. As regular as a blog written by a handsome orange stuffed boy can be, that is. Whatever.

Peace Out,


On the Horizon

Happy May, my liebchens. It’s Monday’s post on Wednesday, which is also conveniently time for a new planning post, which is how I set up the picture, but then I checked my email, and…drumroll please…”The Fox and the Lily” is happening, specifically in the literary anthology of Z Publishing’s 2019 literary fiction anthology. I submitted “The Fox and the Lily” as historical fiction (spoiler: it’s a romance) with the knowledge that there might not be a historical fiction anthology, per se, and my story might end up somewhere else. Which it did.. This is the first meeting of Dutch pirate, Cornelis Van Zandt, and English lady, Lydia Stoke, and the fateful encounter that changes both of their lives forever.

Cornelis and Lydia first showed up when I started on their daughter, Tamsen’s, story, and promptly embarked upon a campaign to steal every darned scene in which at least one of them appeared. A wise writer would take this as a sign that Cornelis and Lydia’s book needs to come first, but 1) I am me, 2) I was determined to make Abandon, Tamsen’s story (also Alec, who goes from Cornelis’ protege to a man on a mission. A mission to kill Cornelis, because of really good reasons. All of this is based upon me knowing exactly when and how Alec and Tamsen fall in love. For a historical romance, that is kind of important.

Every time, though, every darned time, the one thing that shifted me from staring at the screen, making a sound that can best be approximated as “uhhhhhh,” was dipping back into Cornelis and Lydia, who are clearly playing a long game on the way to their HEA. It’s a lot of things that I super crazy love: the seventeenth century, pirates, gutsy heroine, charming hero (Cornelis is a charm bomb) and the teeny problem of Lydia being actually married to somebody else at the time when they meet. It’s not insta-love, but they do have a something that sparks, and they both want to do the right thing, but Lydia[s husband has true villain potential, and yeah, I think I am going to have to write the whole book now, which is fine by me. I kind of like Plunder, if I want to stick with one-word titles.

When I set up my current blog notebook (because there is a new line of Exceed notebooks, which I very much want to try, but can’t justify until I fill the OG version I already have, sooo….) I jotted down that, if I’m going to write two pirate books, I may as well write three pirate books, and I am super curious to see how Tamsen and Alec’s kids turn out, not to mention this will allow me to have Grandpa Cornelis and Grandma Lydia. Generational series are my very, very favorite kind, and having a trilogy follow grandparent, parent, and then child, is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. Maybe that time is now.

Okay, not now-now, but soon. Melva and I are awaiting news of the release date for Chasing Prince Charming, while we are writing our way through the first draft of Drama King, and I am working my way toward the second draft for Her Last First Kiss. Add to that the fact that I now have three, count them, three, historical romances that are complete (A Heart Most Errant still needs some editing, so two and three quarters, really) and in need of homes. This is not a place where I expected to be, but I can roll with it.

This is where being a planner could work strongly in my favor. Schedules, goals, etc, I love all of that stuff, almost as much as I love writing, and both things require me to use pens and paper, so one already gives me the tools to do the other. Right now, I am rambling, and I know I am rambling, because A) I did not sleep last night (having an air mattress pop while one is sleeping on it is exactly as fun and disorienting as it sounds) and B) I am giddy from the news that Cornelis and Lydia are about to go out into the world.

My notes had some additional rambling about my summer reading plans, but then I opened my email, so that will be another post. Stay tuned, but, for now, there is a pirate ship on the horizon, and I had best be there to meet it. Maybe June’s Camp NaNoWriMo might be fun.