Typing With Wet Paws: I Thought This Was Spring Edition

Tails up ,Storm Troopers. I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. We are in spring, right? The calendar says April. Maybe I don’t h ave a lot to compare this to, as the oldest I can possibly be is three, but snow in April? Is that a thing? Aunt Anna was in fleece yesterday, and we snuggled under a blanket while she read and wrote longhand, and Uncle Rheuben made some delicious smelling people food (that I can sniff but not eat, because people food is for people and I a a kitty.) I want to sit in ithe open window and chitter at birds. I hope that willl happen soon.

Now is still pretty cool, though. This week, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva had their first interview on Zoomer Times, which was pretty exciting. I do not make an appearance in this one, but maybe next time as there will be a part two next month. What will they ask abou next time? Your guess is as good as mine, but the chance of it being fun is pretty high.

Aunt Anna also got a bunch of issues of the Zoomer Times magazine, and they are all copies of the issue in which Chasing Prince Charming gets a really good review. They are both super happy about that. Look for pictures on the MelvaandAnna website soon. Plus some other fun stuff.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Writing-wise, the clock is ticking on the final revisions for this draft of Drama King, and then off it goes to The Wild Rose Press, because they get first dibs. This book does have a cat in it, of which I highly approve. More feline-friendly romance novels, please. It’s what the world needs.

Speaking of ticking clocks, same goes for Aunt Anna checking the edits on A Heart Most Errant. Once that goes to its editor, the next steps include things like formatting and cover art. You know, real book stuff. This will be an ebook for now, since it is short, about the third of a regular novel, but Aunt Anna plans two companion stories, and then putting them in a box set. At least that’s the plan.

Me in my box (it’s big)
picture by Aunt Anna

Speaking of boxes, I have The Best news. I get to keep the footlocker box! As in forever, or until I destroy it. Either way, I’m happy. I can play in it, sit in it, sleep in it, chase phantom prey in it, scratch it, try to bust through the back and see if I can find Narnia, etc. All of that good stuff. As long as we are talking about cardboard, I am also getting a different cardboard thing, my scratchy thing, which is the crinkly part of cardboard especially made for me to claw to pieces. One guess what I did with the last one. Yeah. Pretty proud of that.

Moving on to Aunt Anna’s Goodreads Challenge, she is kicking b*tt and taking names this week, with 49 44 books read out of her goal of 90. That puts her at 49% of the way through, and a whopping 17 books ahead of schedule That’s seven. Teen. Go, Aunt Anna, go. Aunt Anna credits audiobooks, the library, Kindle Unlimited, and her new handy dandy TBR notebook which she will show on a future Anna Log vlog. It’s still a work in progress, but I have sat on it, and it’s very comfortable, so I expect it will help her as well.

picture by Uncle Rheuben

Speaking of help, this is me helping Aunt Anna and Uncle Rheuben put away laundry. I am 100% fine with Aunt Anna putting stuff un me. Probably only her, though. Nobody else has tried yet, but she is my favorite so I can assume. Also, it was very considerate of the humans to give me the chance to make sure everything smells right and has black, white, and orange hair on it. That’s one of the perks of being a three color kitty: you can shed on everything and be sure at least one of your colors will show.

That’s a pretty good piece of wisdom to end this entry, so I will head back to my box and let Aunt Anna have the computer for a while. How are you spending your weekend?



Being on Somone Else’s YouTube is Unreal

Yesterday. Melva and I had our Zoomer Times interview, which is now live on their YouTube channel. I would like to state that I am indeed more than a giant head in extreme closeup, and blame my visual impairment for not noticing how giant-head-y I was, but let’s ignore that and focus on the content.

Not going to lie, I was nervous, but, at the same time, this is legit an item from my childhood bucket list, “be interviewed on TV” because YouTube counts, and it’s on a channel other than my own. Which will hopefully be giant-head-free. It’s a learning curve to be sure, and one I’m glad Melva and I took.

Host Anita Finley was an utter delight, and I could not have asked for a more enthusiastic or friendlier person. They say you always remember your first time, and I absolutely will. When we first tried this whole interview thing in March, I got to be the silent partner, because my Kindle Fire wasn’t playing nicely with Zoom in general, and my contributions were relegated to broad facial expressions and gestures. Guess that mime class I very reluctantly took in high school paid off after all, because they were willing to give us a do-over once we solved the equipment problem.

The whole experinence, once we got rolling, was as much fun as I’d hoped. What writer doesn’t want to jabber about their book baby to a captife audience? Especially a willing captive. Even after what seems like “all this time,” I still get a thrill when I see Meg and Dominic on the cover of Chasing Prince Charming. I am sure that will repeat on every subsequent book with each new couple, but this was the first one.

Not only my first contemporary, my first book with Melva, but the first book that sold after a very long time of…not. Melva and I thought that Drama King would come along a lot faster, but then life hit both of us hard, and now that we have our combined wind back (or close enough) we are putting those hopes on Queen of Hearts, Dominic’s sister, Heather’s story, instead. Nobody can gaurantee that life won’t throw any more curveballs, but with each book, together or independently, we learn a little more, adapt, grow, evolve. This time, for instance, every chapter gets a number, which will make sure we have fewere “where does this bit go?” moments. Hellbent for leather, as Aunt S would have said, through the discovery draft, and then we can make everything pretty later.

I’m not sure when physical book tours will be a thing again, or if being everywhere at once, from the comfort of our own homes is the new norm, and how things are going to be from now onward. Melva is an excellent motel roommate, and traveling companion, and we do get a lot of our ideas while she drove and I wrote stuff down. I’m still the one with notebook and pen at the ready, always. That feels right.

This is all a fancy way of saying “we did a thing” and talked about stuff, so have a look if you’re so inclined, leave a like or comment if you like, and have a magnificent day.

End of Book Daze

2020 has been a ride, for sure and for certain, and perhaps the wildest thing of all is that, right now, I am furiously scrawling ink and pounding keys on my very last scene for the hero’s POV on Drama King. Yikes. This feels surreal, and about dang time. Wow. It’s not going to be the final scene of the book, as that honor goes to my amazing writing partner, Melva Michaelian, who I know is going to knock it out of the park and give me all of the feels.

The end of a book is a weird place to be. For the reader of a romance novel, there may be some sniffles, maybe a heart clutch, some laughs, depending on the sort of book, and/or situation, and, at the end of it all, is the tried and true, happily ever after. We know this couple is going to be together for the rest of their lives and they are very much okay with that. For the writer, there is all of that too, but a whole lot more.

Self-doubt is part of it for sure. Did we forget something? Are there dangling plot threads? How can we make this scene unique to these two lovers, to bring their individual arcs and their arc as a couple when this is literally the defining thing that makes a romance that makes a romance a romance. Okay, one of two. (1) the love story is the central focus, and 2) there is an emotionally satisfying and uplifting ending.)

Originally, I’d had the outline for the blog post I wanted to write here, spotlighting one of my planners for the coming year. That will still happen, but I have to get out of the fog first. Then I have some thoughts on the Bridgerton series on Netflix. I haven’t seen the series yet, and I didn’t originally plan to, but I don’t feel I can join the conversation without watching at least the first episode, to experience it for myself. I have not read the Bridgerton books proper, but I have read the four prequels about the previous generation, which was…okay. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, but those don’t have anything to do with the series, which I definitely want to watch while alone, and take pen and paper notes, because this could be a Thing. A good Thing. I hope. See self doubt above.

The end of one book always means, at least for me, the start of a new book. This time, it’s a return to Her Last First Kiss, which was put on pause, due to things like bedbugs, homelessness, shingles, anxiety, depression, and helping to clear out my bestie’s childhood home when her mom moved to a super nice apartment. We also ended up moving into a super nice apartment, which is my favorite place I have ever lived, so that’s pretty swell.

Melva and I had decided we wanted to wrap Drama King before the end of the year, because we both need a win, individually, and as a team, and it looks like that is actually going to happen. Huzzah. There are emails and DMs flying back and forth, and a good deal of my initial composition takes place from the safety of a blanket burrito, with spiral notebook and felt tip pen (and feline assistant providing soundtrack and extra warmth.) I have growled at family members to get out of my air space (yes, exact words) so that I can get the darned thing finished.

Today, that’s exactly what happened. Housemate conveyed Real Life Romance Hero to his place of employment, and promised to stay away until it was time to convey him back home again. There may or may not be prepared food coming with them. If not, RLRH will be cooking. I will not be cooking, because I know myself, and I will be, by that time, a wrong out washcloth, sad that I wrote my last scene for this book, and triumphant that I wrote my last scene for this book, I won’t say that I will miss Jack and Kelly, because Melva and I will be spending a lot of time with them as we edit and get them through the end of draft two.

It’s also time to look ahead to laying the framework for the next Love By the Book story, Queen of Hearts, with my first shot at writing the heroine of our couple. Heather is the sister of Dominic, the hero of Chasing Prince Charming, and I look forward to helping to guide her to her own happily ever after.

Love By The Book, #1

Once this scene is off to Melva, it’s time to turn my attention (after a nap!) to setting my writing goals for 2021. I’m treading a line between ambitious and realistic, and will probably end up somewhere in the middle, with a few stumbles along the way. It’s times like this when I remember my high school gym teacher, Ms. Napier. We weren’t close. I was probably a bane of her existence, as I loathed physical education as much as she loved it, and she loved it as much as I love writing romance. Even so, it’s her voice that comes into my head at this stage of the game, as it were. I can see the finish line. I can’t quit if I can see the finish line.

Where’s your finish line for 2020?

Typing With Wet Paws: Where Were We? Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Greatest Hits picture because Amazon and Aunt Anna are having disagreements of the password variety, but yay for new content.We are back in Albany after a side quest in CT, and Aunt Anna said it was high time to get back to blogging. This seldf isolation thing is hard on extroverts, so I have been putting in exstra mews time to get Aunt Anna up and running…er, writing.

Aunt Anna’s big task this weekend is to comb through her Google Docs and put all of her scenes for Drama King into one Scrivener file, along with Aunt Melva’s scenes. Some of those scenes might be stored on a flash drive that is in the storage unit, which is on lockdown (except by appointment) so if Aunt Anna can’t find a couple of specific scenes in the files she can access, she will need to reconstruct the scenes. If you hear her sobbing softly, it is probably that. She has not yet come to the point of obessively looking at her writer email to see if there are any nibbles on A Heart Mosty Errant, but we are realistic over here. That time is coming.

She is also verging on “what the fluff, let’s see what happens” about giving My Outcast Heart a once-over and getting it out there with a new cover and a couple of tweaks. The main things that give her pause is that it was written in first person, and maybe that’s a turnoff for enough romance readers to consider translating to third. Because it is exhausting to see her overthink (and I need both of us well rested because she got me a red dot and I LOVE chasing it) I will ask you guys here. Would you read a historical romance told in first person, or is it third person or nothing?

Aunt Anna is kicking tail and taking names on the Goodreads challenge front, with 45 books read out of her goal of 90. This puts her at halfway there, so I think she is probably going to make it, seeing as this is only April. She is 23 books ahead of schedule, which I can’t even….but good for her. Keep going, Aunt Anna. Blow that goal out of the water.

Aunt Anna is kind of salty about this, so if you’re looking for a new contemporary…

For readers looking for My Outcast Heart or Orphans in the Storm, those are currently between publishers, so keep eyes peeled for news on new editions soon. In the meantime, besides Chasing Prince Charming (click the link above) her historical romance novellas, Queen of the Ocean, and Never Too Late, are both available on Amazon for less than the price of a cup of coffee. QotO has wreckers and pirates, and NTL has a seasoned heroine and second chance at eh one who got away. Both are standalones, so you don’t need to read one to read the other. I’m not saying don’t read them both, but if you have strong opinions on tropes or settings, pick the one you like.

Buried Under Romance is indeed on the way back now that we are done with the CT side quest and Aunt Anna has some ideas historical romance authors, message her. She wants to talk.

In other news, we are moving toward a new normal, with apartment hunts and Aint Anna working on Patreon stuff. She and Aunt Melva are back to their weekly chats about their contemporaries, and will be giving their website a major overhaul :salute.: If you got that reference, you get an extra awesome point.

I have been helping Aunt Anna with ther planning and asrt journal, though she says making off with her pen is not actually helping. She got a new pen that is part thing that pokes her tablet screen and part RED DOT!!!!! I LOVE Red Dot! No shade on Mousie, but Red Dot? Dude is going down. As soon as I can catch him. He’s a slippery one, though, BUT i WILL KEEP TRYING.


Book Launch Hangover

Book launch hangovers are most assuredly a thing, and I know, because I have one. This past Saturday,. Melva Michaelian and I had our very first event as co-authors, at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Arranged by dear friends, M.P. Barker and Carol Munro, this was top notch all the way.

look at these babies!

Seeing not one copy of a book with my and Melva’s names on it, but a whole pile, for which people I have not met before (nd some who have) hand over actual cash money and ask for authorial signatures, when I am one of the authors in question, well, that’s a Moment. There were sctual journalists present, and more pictures will be forthcoming. I didn’t get to take a lot of photos myself, sa I was doing other things, but no camera can capture all the love in that room.

Me, book, and friend, Mary, trying to hide behind book.

To say we had the best-best time would be an understatement. Room was packed, which was a delightful surprise. There were romance readers there for sure, and those new to the genre, making for an interesting mix. There were a few questions about the genre itself, about writing partnerships in particular, and, more specifically, Melva’s and mine. We’ll put a truncated version of our partnership’s origin story on melvaandanna.com soon. It’s a fun story, if s little convoluted.

Another great question came from friend and reader, Mary W, who asked Melva and I what our favorite tropes were in the romance genre. For Melva, it’s friends to lovers (which we are doing in our planned third book, Queen of Hearts) and for me, stasr-crossed lovers who make it work. Second chance at love (with sme lover) might be another aspect of it, and we have plans to address that, too.

Speaking of plans, the question about future books came up, and as of right now, Melva snd I plan to have the first draft of Drama King done by the end of November. Not NaNo in the strictest sense, but we are determined to write the End by the end of the month, so NaNoIsh? We will see. After that, there is talk of a couple of shorter pieces before we get back to Queen of Hearts, and we both need to keep space for our solo works.

I’d like to say it’s all cake from here, which is not entirely an excuse to show this gorgeous dessert (yes, the picture was edible) but we get back to the whole real business of writing thing, because the awesome days full of cake and the signing pen running out of ink, and posters of book covers and “I loved your book” and all the other great stuff? That doesn’t come without butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, or pen in hand. Day by day, word by word, flying into the mist or meticulously plotting (your mileage may vary) backspaces and deletes and all that other aggravating stuff.

Those moments aren’t alwys the most fun, but they are needed, because they build the foundation of everything else. After the event, the readers go home and dive into the books, while the authors go home, and, well, in our cases, sleep (for a month would be nice, but not at all practical) and eat and maybe read something or zone out in front of the TV for a while, then, in time, we get up and do it all over again.

too “explosive” a signoff pic?

This Year, I’m Going as a Writer

So, this is happening:

Two days after tomorrow, two days after my birthday, five days before Halloween, I will be hitting the road to western MA, home of many friends,. and many memories, to join Melva Michaelian for a book launch for our first co-written contemporary romance, Chasing Prince Charming. Eep.

Melva and I have certainly talked writing before, and we have certainly talked writing, together, in front of people, before. We’ve even presented a workshop on how to keep writing through the tough patches of life. When we’re talking about writing this particular story, we literally wrote the book. :rimshot: I know for a fact that people I love, and who love us, readers interested n our book, or have already read it, and/or are interested in writing. I get to go to a library. I get to see the glorious fall foliage between NY and MA and back again.

There is still one more article about our writing partnership planned to hit the interwebs prior to our presentation. I’m not counting on any afterwards (unless something goes phenomenally wrong or phenomenally right) but I will be sure to give a full recounting here, and on melvaandanna.com, which I definitely need to update, but that is for another day.

Since we are only a couple of days before The Event, that means my attention needs to go into getting ready for that. I kind of know what I’m wearing (in the black dress family) and will probably need to check local retailers for red shoes, because the ones I had always planned to wear to any Chasing Prince Charming related appearances, are too deep in the storage unit to retrieve easily. We will see how this goes.

Earlier in the week, Melva and I went over how we’d like to address the we-talk-to-a-bunch-of-people portion of the day. It’s probably going to go fine. There will probably be funny stories, definitely a picture of me and Melva together (we do not have one, despite being friends and critique partners for double digit years) and possibly pictures of foliage, because, well, fall.

The process of being a Real Writer ™ isn’t in being in the newspaper (paper or digital kind) or having bookmarks or fancy signs or even glossy paperbacks. I am happy to have all of that, but the real work of writing is done with pen and paper and fingers on keyboard. It looks rather like this:

my typical writing view now

Not a bad setup, I have to admit. The day, and days, after the two hour library even, I will be removing cat from keyboard (repeatedly) and attempting to read my own handwriting (also repeatedly) and lather, rinse, repeating, until I hit The End again. Repeatedly.

I really need a new signoff picture…

Typing With Wet Paws: Mid-October Edition

Hi! How is everybody? I’m Storm, and I’m good. I am learning my job as Aunt Anna’s new mews. So far, a lot of that has been sitting behind her and complaining that I don’t have a good enough view. Aunt Anna says I am her Velcro kitty, because I always want to be near her. She says she is probably going to have to make a space for me to sit next to her computer when we are settled in our new home. Right now, I have a folded towel and/or t-shirt. Sometimes I sit there.

The big development here is that the apartment the humans thought would be a good match, really was not, so they are on the search once more. Aunt Anna says that they are only looking at cat-positive places, which is good because I am a very positive cat. Actually, I will probably get two seats, on two desks, because Aunt Anna likes to have her computer desk and her handwriting desk be two different desks. While we are in the motel, she has her computer set up on the only desk, and then she writes longhand on the bed, with me. Her pens make great toys.

Okay, on to the usual information. There is the usual Buried Under Romance update, and a bonus one as well.

Purr-sonally, I think the answer is pretty obvious, but you can read Aunt Anna’s take on the issue on her latest Saturday Discussion post.

Since I did mention a bonus, here is what that is. This week, Buried Under Romance has had excerpts from more than ten (that’s as high as I can count right now, but I am learning) Regency Christmas novellas in the Winter Wishes anthology. The authors have some interesting things to say, and they will be giving away books to two lucky commenters, so get your comments in on the first link above, to get your chance.

this book falls under “high time”

On the reading front, Aunt Anna is not very happy about being six books behind in her Goodreads challenge, but she is determined to get current and maybe even exceed her goal. There are still more than two months left in the year, and she has me to supervise her reading, so I think odds are good. Her current reads include Blue Heaven, Black Night, by Heather Graham, originally published under her Shannon Drake name. It is a big, medieval historical romance, that Aunt Anna started reading many many years ago, but wandered off. She figures it is now high time to move that to the “read” list.

On the writing front, it has been pretty real-life-y this week, but Aunt Anna did send a chapter to Aunt Melva, and they were both interviewed by a journalist in advance of their author event on the 26th. So far, Aunt Anna is feeling pretty good about that, but still thinking she may need to go buy red shoes (if you have read Chasing Prince Charming, you will probably know why) because the ones she wanted to wear are still packed. I am glad I only have to deal with paws.

I think that’s probably the important stuff for this week. Aunt Anna says she will have a good sized planner post to make up for the last couple of months, especially since the holidays and new year are around the corner. I, of course, will be on hand (or paw) to assist as I deem necessary. She has some idea of creating a writing planner. That should be interesting, or at the very least, a good cat bed.


Writing With a Velcro Cat (and book launch information)

Cats and writers are a natural combination. In the year and change since Skye went to Rainbow Bridge, I have sorely missed having feline supervision while I write. Now that Storm has joined the family, that need is most assuredly filled, though I am taking some time to learn her particular management style. For one thing, please refer to the photo below:

she has a top to her head, I promise

Yes, Storm does have a top to her head. I took this picture last night, after she herded me to bed, which is a thing she does now. Herds me to bed, and then sits on me. Sits. On. Me. I have to be on my back, she has to be in full cat loaf position, feets tucked under, and we blink at each other for a while, until she moves between me and Real Life Romance Hero, signaling that it is truly sleepy times now. If I do not comply in a timely manner, then there will be chirps and walks across my person until I do, at which point Storm settles on my other side, with loud rumble purrs.

That’s bedtime sorted. Writing time, well, we are still working on that. One of the reasons our family made a good match with Storm is that she has some separation anxiety, and I work at home. Even before we have an actual home, this means that Storm is going to have a hooman with her most of the time. Ideally, I will be within her sight. This means that bathroom doors need to be open at least a crack. For writing, we have a few issues.

Right now, we’re trying a mini-bed on the desk, next to my monitor, toys at the ready when she really really really needs some attention. There may be treats available, possibly for both of us (not the same treats; human treats and kitty treats do not intersect. Except for organic peanut butter.) So far, this seems to be working, as Storm can see my face and my screen, she’s comfy, and I can give her pets and we can both take care of important business. Photos to follow if this works out.

Also to follow are…books. Melva and I are on track to a rough draft of Drama King before the holiday season takes over, and I am planning on getting Her Last First Kiss to the end of the second draft as soon as possible, because this whole having a book out thing is kind of cool, and the only way I can get there is to write more books. I have three historicals to shop around, and Melva and I are working on more contemporaries. Anything beyond that? Sure, when the right ideas presents themselves. Always romance, though, or at least a strong romantic element.

Melva and I are now two weeks out from our first in-person book launch, for Chasing Prince Charming. If you are in the Western MA area, or can get there, you can meet Melva and me, live and in person. Storm will be staying home with Real Life Romance Hero, but Sebastian might tag along, if he doesn’t have more pressing matters on his agenda. The press release is as follows:

We’re celebrating the publication of Chasing Prince Charming
by Melva Michaelian and Anna Bowling, a romance novel on the sophisticated side of sexy!

We’re excited about another success in Anna’s and Melva’s writing careers and the release of this first of three books in the Love by the Book series, published by Wild Rose Press.

Please join us for a reading, book signing, and discussion about their collaborative writing, which was a long-distance effort (Melva is a local writer, and Anna, originally from Enfield, CT, now lives in New York). A small quantity of books will be available for purchase at the event, but we recommend you purchase a copy in advance on Amazon.

Wearing red shoes, sneakers, boots, or other footwear is suggested (but not required).

This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.

Learn more about Anna’s and Melva’s collaborative efforts at www.melvaandanna.com

Sound like fun? I’ll be there. Also, I am technically originally from Hampton, Virginia, then NYC, then Westchester, then CT, then VT, then CA, CT again and back to NY. Yeah, I got around. Roots are down now, or will be as soon as we are moved into the next location of Stately Bowling Manor.

Update: there is a new peril to writing with a Velcro cat. That is when said Velcro cat claims the keyboard as hers by rubbing against it, and inadvertently cranking the speaker volume way up high. I think I can get used to that.

Working on a new sign off picture…

Typing With Stuffed Paws: the (Ex)terminator is Coming Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals! It is I, Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, freshly vacuumed and coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. The big news, of course, is that Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick welcomed their first co-written book baby, Chasing Prince Charming, into the world, in both print and electronic release. If you read the book and didn’t hate it, maybe leave a review or something. Writers like that. Also, obligatory cover photo, because release week.

Okay, so there’s that. Special update for this week at Buried Under Romance, but first we will drop the link for last week’s post, on buried treasure romance novels. That’s historical romance novels that are considered buried treasure, not that are about treasures that are buried.

So, the big news over there is that there will not be a regular Saturday Discussion post this week. That does not mean that there will be no Writer Chick. It means that you get Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick, talking about their book, all in one place. With an excerpt, and, for two lucky commenters, prizes. Want a shot at getting your very own free paperback of Chasing Prince Charming? Maybe you’d like to win a fancy notebook and some nifty pens? Stop by Buried Under Romance on Saturday, August 17th, and follow directions.

Speaking of directions, I will now direct you to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge. Surprise, surprise, she actually read a book this week, so she is now four books ahead of schedule, with sixty-three books read out of her goal of ninety-five, which puts her at sixty-six percent of the way to her goal.

Blah blah writing blah blah, get to the exterminator part. Okay. So. the exterminator is coming. IDK when, but they were here today, gave the official bug sighting signal, and will let Writer Chick know, ASAP, when Bugnarok will occur. This means she will have a few things to do in preparation for that. Part of that is putting us stuffed friends, after a thorough vacuuming, in hazmat suits. IDK what that means, but it sounds cool. Then she has to make sure her books and art supplies are safe, and find somebody locally to plantsit Tudor, Lancaster, and Queen Boudicca. There’s also personal care items/medicines/foods to secure, and then, basically, this:

There will probably be a lot of cleaning after that, but after that, things should settle. It’s times like this Writer Chick is glad that she can tap out of all this for a while and read, or write, a good romance novel. More updates, on all fronts, as they come

Peace out,

Happy Book Birthday, Chasing Prince Charming!

Today’s the day!

For everybody who has been Chasing Prince Charming, today is the day to catch him. Meg and Dominic have been let loose on the world, and, for the first time, people neither Melva nor I know (and some whom we do) get the chance to read the story of a fallen chick-lit author, determined to revive her career, the history professor turned romance publisher who beckons her out of her comfort zone in more ways than one, and their path through the writing process to their very own happily ever after.

Watch this space and melvaandanna.com (one word, all lowercase) for news on our upcoming author visit to Buried Under Romance. Melva and I will be having our regularly scheduled Skype chat, to celebrate, and work on our assignments for the next phase of Drama King. The best way I can think of to celebrate this achievement, of my first release in mumblecough years, is more writing. There were times, a lot of them, when anxiety and depression, and domestic tornadoes had me looking at what ws behind me, writingwise, to the point where I actually cried when Facebook thought I would like to remember when I had sold my last book.

There have been three anthologies since then, the invitation to the first two of them landing in my inbox the day after we moved out of our old apartment, and now a new chapter has begun. I don’t think I would have written contemporary romance on my own (jury is till out on the time travel, which is still on the back burner, until I figure out what the fluff is at the heart of that one, which may be more than one, thanks to my natural tendency to stuff ten pound cats into two pound bags) but as soon as Melva and I sat in that hallway outside the ballroom for a conference breakfast, and tossed around ideas until we landed on a simultaneous “we should write that,” it’s been a very natural thing to add to my usual bag of tricks, or, more accurately, binder of tricks.

my Love by the Book binder

My other great passion besides romance fiction is the whole world of planners and notebooks, but as I have said here before, all of my previous attempts have been the way I thought a writer’s notebook should be set up: always a three ring binder, always letter size, always with the same amount of sections that the package of dividers I bought had. Which never, ever worked. So, earlier this week, with the knowledge that the first book would be out to-freaking-day, and it says “book one in the Love By the Book series” right there on the cover, that people can actually buy, that is in peoples’ Kindles right the heck now (a huge thank you to those who have confirmed it’s on their devices) then I better make sure I do my part in getting book two to The End. Which meant a binder, which meant my kind of binder. (A5, I am making my own dividers, and applying tabs as needed.)

WIP binders

The binder with the white background is for my contemporaries with Melva, and the solid blush pink is for my historical solo romances. They both feel like home. I have three historical pieces, one novella and two novels, that are in need of (new) homes, and I need a place where I can comfortably settle in and get Her Last First Kiss to The End of draft two.

Her Last First Kiss binder

These notebooks feel like home, and these novels feel like home. This morning, I researched UK to US work visas, because the hero of Drama King has one, and part of Sunday pinning eighteenth century aesthetic images, for use in my Her Last First Kiss binder, to bring Bern and Ruby’s world into visual form. It works. Show up, put pen to paper, tell the story. As hard and as easy as that.

So, that’s my rambling for the day. Chasing Prince Charming is out. Meg and Dominic are ready to meet their readers. It’s a love story, of second chances and new beginnings, and digging down deep to find that, when we have to, we really, really can Do the Thing.

Happy reading!