Typing With Stuffed Paws: This Time, It’s Hooves Edition

Hi, everybody! My name is Bo Bison. You may have seen me in the corner of some of Anna’s deskscapes. That’s because I live on her desk. This week, I’m filling in for my good buddy, Sebastian. Sebastian is on a top-secret mission in the master bedroom, making sure Real Life Romance Hero gets some much-needed rest, so I’m filling in for today. Let’s get to it.

First, a little bit of housekeeping. There have been a few change around Stately Bowling Manor. The census shows a marked decrease in the flea population, but things are not flea-free quite yet. In unrelated news, Housemate has taken on a different work schedule, which means, that because Anna’s office is in the great room, which is also where Housemate does her stuff, there may be a change in the blogging schedule. Anna is looking at maybe Sunday/Tuesday/Friday, instead of Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but we will see the difference when theory becomes practice,

Speaking of which, let’s get right to that. Take a look at this badge of honor:

Plunder = Camp NaNo Win!

Even with a week off for real life related reasons, Anna still made it through fifty pages of Plunder, and shows no signs of slowing down. You know that feeling when you have to keep reading so you can find out what happened? That is where Anna is at this phase of the discovery draft, only with writing instead of reading. There will be regular updates here.

Moving along, Anna was at Buried Under Romance, as usual, this past Saturday night. Why does Anna think romance books may be some of the real-est “real books” of all? Click the caption below to find out, and leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Next, we come to Anna’s Goodreads Challenge. Currently, she is at sixty-six percent of her way to the goal of reading ninety-five books this year, with sixty-three books read. She will admit to a bit of a book hangover for When We Believed in Mermaids, by Barbara O’Neal, the newest addition to her favorites shelf. This book has a lifelong sist-mance, childhood traumas, adult healings, and a cuddly flamenco singer who makes one very level-headed ER doctor believe in love.

For those who have been asking if Chasing Prince Charming will be available in paperback, the answer is yes! It’s also eligible for Prime, so place those preorders, no matter your favored format. It’s now less than two weeks until release day, August twelfth. Both Anna and Melva are very excited to have Meg and Dominic meet all of you.

Before I sign off, I have one more achievement upon which to report. That is, that One Book July, the planner challenge to use only one planner in the month of July is now over. Anna considers it a worthwhile experiment, and plans to tell you all about it, and her plans for the turnover of summer planners to autumnal ones on her next blog. There will be glitter, color theory, and the making of inserts from scratch.

Welp, that looks like everything that wax on my list. Until we meet again, I wish you the happiest of days, the best of friends, and a TBR pile that never runs out. That’s how this buffalo roams.

B Minus Fourteen

B, in this case is for book, because the book in question is, of course, Chasing Prince Charming. My math may be off, because I am me, but it’s two weeks out, and stuff is getting real. The hardcopies Melva ordered have arrived (at her place; I have not seen them yet, but I am sure they are gorgeous, and I may squeal and/or cry, when I do.) We are getting ready for our first author visit, at Buried Under Romance, which will go live on release day, and, at some point, it is going to hit home that it’s really happening and the dry spell is over.

As I may have mentioned before, I have anxiety and depression, and both have been tickled by domestic tornadoes this past week, which meant that something had to give, and that something, in this case, happened to be my Camp NaNo work, and I am now kind of squidgy about visiting the site to update my count, when I do have one (after I post this blog, I am off to play with the pirates) but I am going to do that. That’s part of the trick, if there is one, to writing through anxiety and depression.

What works for me is to show up, do the work that I can do, when I can do it. When I look into the well and find it empty, then it is time to focus on filling, once more. This is where planning is a huge help. When I say planning, I don’t mean the bare bones of an agenda or schedule, but hunkering down with pen and paper, optional variety of art supplies, and putting what’s in my head on the page. For me, that helps figure out where the emptiness is, and that’s the first, and often biggest, step in figuring out how to fill it. Though I do this solo, I do think it has something to do with being an extrovert (though introverts and ambiverts can certainly do the same thing, and probably do) because I don’t see this process so much as “journaling” but more “talking on paper.”

Do that for a while, and things tend to fade into focus. That’s what happened today. This is a blog entry because my agenda does say blog entry, and, after I get my Plunder pages done, I get to mess with art supplies, and listen to an audiobook. Lisa Schmidt-Rigby at Buried Under Romance showed me how to turn any book into an audiobook, thanks to text to speech technology, so that has me excited. I’m okay with the robot voice. My brain translates into narrative and character voices anyway, so it’s not even a problem.

Fourteen days doesn’t seem like a lot, sometimes, and then, other times, it feels like forever. It will be the same amount of time, no matter what I do, so that’s one thing off my plate. The passage of time is not my responsibility. I like that. It’s a relief. If I pound keys and write my way through the ink of a dozen pens, between now and August 12th, or if I spend the time contemplating my own toenails, August 12th is the date Meg and Dominic get released on the world. The story Melva and I conceived at that NECRWA conference, that seems both yesterday and foreverago, will go forth into cyberspace and TBR shelves, and people will read that story, some of whom will never speak a word about it, but I still like to think it will be a pleasant experience.

Besides that, I am staring down the finish line for Plunder at Camp NaNo, and have notes to setup a binder for this trilogy, with sections for Abandon and Treasure, and see how these fictional kiddos grow. I am querying my other historicals that are on deck. Melva and I are following Jack and Kelly into the final acts of Drama King, and prepping the soil, sowing the seeds of what will, one day, be Queen of Hearts. All in all, I have to call that good.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Hot and Humid Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. If I look somewhat disgruntled in this week’s picture, it’s because the heat index for tomorrow is going to be above one hundred. That means very, very hot, which is not at all what anybody here wants. Except the fleas. They probably like it, but joke’s on them, because the humans voted, and that piece of furniture where they have been hiding out has been unanimously voted as toast. This will mean A) buh-bye to a large number of the tiny vampires, and B) a new couch in our future. Hopefully one that complements my handsome orange stuffedness.

Chasing Prince Charming

It is now less than one month until the release of Writer Chick’s first book with Other Writer Chick, Chasing Prince Charming. They are both very excited about this, and, this morning, Writer Chick talked to a different human, about her and Other Chick doing their first promotional online appearance as an author team, which means that Writer Chick probably wants to get on the ball with that whole website thing. Watch this space for details as they come.

Buried Under Romance 2.0

The human Writer Chick talked to today is from this blog. We shall refer to her as BUR Chick. Writer Chick is excited about the upcoming changes, because A) having a hand in shaping an online romance community is something she’s always wanted to do, and B) she gets to set up a new notebook and calendar that is only for Buried Under Romance doings. She will probably share pictures of that in a future post, but, for now, suffice it to say that good things are coming. For one thing, Buried Under Romance has a birthday. Mark your calendars, because there is going to be a birthday party, and the readers get the presents. September 13th, save the date.

Also, Writer Chick wrote a thing over there. What book has been on Writer Chick’s TBR list for the longest? Is she going to get to it anytime soon? Follow the link below to find out the answers, and the question a reader left, that gave Writer Chick the idea for another Saturday Discussion post yet to come.

Goodreads Challenge

Writer Chick is kicking tush on this one, with sixty books read out of her goal of ninety-five. This puts her at sixty-three percent of the way to a win, and a whopping nine books ahead of schedule. This is a personal best, as far as I can tell (which is not far in this heat; I am sacked out in front of the fan) and is that a historical romance from her “really should get around to reading that” list I spy as the most recent entry? I do believe it is.

Plunder

Writer Chick says yesterday was a good writing day for Plunder, her project for this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Her goal for this camp is fifty pages, and she is already on forty-four, which is pretty good progress. She says Cornelis and Lydia are chatty, which is a good thing. Writer Chick is writing their story in longhand first, in a notebook that has only this story in it. So far, this is going pretty well. Writer Chick is writing on one side of the paper only, using the other side for notes on things she has to look up or work out, later. Right now, she is plunging ahead and telling the story until it is told.

Other Stuff

Writer Chick’s downstairs neighbor has a great fondness for 1970s soul music, and sharing said music with the world at large. Writer Chick is not complaining; the guy has good taste, and knocks it off at a reasonable hour. As neighbors go, that’s pretty decent, as opposed to Writer Chick’s last downstairs neighbors who were, no lie, a step dance troupe. Anyway, Writer Chick will not have a soul soundtrack tomorrow, because she will be avoiding the heat by taking her show on the road, and stick to air conditioned spaces, where she can read, write, and art journal, with bottomless cold beverages. That may be one of her smarter moves. Right after making me Cat Regent, of course.

Peace out,

Checking In On A Bunch of Things

My life is weird. That is not a complaint, but a statement of fact. Comes with the territory when writing, working from home, or any number of other things. Today, my work area is dark, because clouds are heavy outside. I am hoping we get a thunderstorm. If we don’t, I will probably fake one with ambient sound videos on You Tube, because that makes sense for me. I am waiting for pest control people to come and check the bait box in the kitchen. Please note that this is not for the flea issue; this is for totally different pests. We have come up clean on the rodent side of things so far, but, if there is a hit on the bait box that would explain where the fleas are coming from. Might be worth a mention, when pest control gets here.

Anyway, this is not a post about vermin. For anyone who is disappointed in that, my heartfelt apologies. What this post is, is checking in on a few of the ongoing things around here, mostly as related to writing and publishing, but we will start with planning.

One Book July

For the most part, I would say that, halfway through the month, this is mostly successful. Alert readers will spot that there are two books in the deskscape for today, both Big and Li’l Pink, but those are my everyday carry, and they seem to be working out pretty darned well. I have my pen pouch down to the bare minimum of what I need, which will probably be a post of its own, and certainly the art stuff would not be needed by someone who isn’t into that kind of thing, but I very much like the discipline of keeping to a color scheme/aesthetic, and keeping my daily use stuff all in one place.

This does not preclude the fact that my new love for the B6 size continues to grow, and I am stealthily assembling items in that size, for their own purpose, probably more art-related than writing. I trust that things will sort themselves out as I browse the back to school bonanza that is cropping up everywhere, and that, too, will fall into place.

Camp NaNoWriMo

So far, so good on this one, as I am currently thirty-eight pages into my goal of fifty, but A) I wanted to be done=done with all fifty by now, and B) there are days when I can’t get to that particular project, which irks me, but C) I keep moving forward, which is the most important part. I also would prefer to be more active on the message board in my cabin, but , as I told N at our breakfast this week, if I’m awake, I’m writing or killing bugs.

Buried Under Romance 2.0

I am super excited about this one, and, at the same time, tempted to retreat to my blanket fort, because what have I gotten myself into, here? Good things. Always good things. It’s been a summer of rest while we turn things over and map out how we are going to go from here on out, but there are dedicated people involved, and the future looks bright. I can say, with confidence, that there will be an author visit, in August, that readers will not want to miss. Cough cough me cough cough.

Chasing Prince Charming

Less than a month now, to the release in both print and e-book. Less than a month until readers can properly meet Meg and Dominic, and get their first taste of the Love by the Book world, while Melva and I plunge ahead with Kelly and Jack’s story. Kelly, you’ll meet in Chasing Prince Charming. Jack will make his entrance later.

This is not my first novel, not my first published novel, but it is my first contemporary romance, my first published co-written work, and, while I can’t say it’s my first in a planned series, because it isn’t (oh so many times we reminded ourselves “this book first,” but then there was Heather, and then there was Kelly, and linked books are good business, and well, such is life) it’s the first book in an unplanned series (can we call it that?) and that is exciting, too.

Historicals In Limbo

In April, with the closing of Awe-Struck E-books, the rights to my first two full length historical romance novels, My Outcast Heart, and Orphans in the Storm, reverted to me. That’s not news. They are mine again, and I have been sitting on them, thinking about what, if anything I would like to do with them. Are they still going to hold up after all this time? Did they ever, looking at the sales figures? Then again, I know a thing or two more about publicity than I did when I started on this historical romance journey, and I have a platform, so, as a dear family friend once told me, “the worst they can say is no, and then you’re exactly where you were before you asked.” In short, these books are going back out there, to make the rounds, in search of new homes. I am querying again. Dalby and Tabetha, and Simon and Jonnet are not ready for retirement quite yet, so I will keep you updated on that.

Other Stuff

In preparation for the launch of Chasing Prince Charming, Melva and I are making headway on our website, and batting around a few other ideas. Since I am looking at graphics for that site, I am getting the feeling that halfway through the year may be a good time to freshen the graphics here on the blog as well, so please pardon any dust while we get that settled.

For now, that’s the time I have for blogging, so I am going to toss this up there, and get down to business on some Chasing Prince Charming information, the better to help readers find us. How’s your midweek going?

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.

One Week Into One Book July

This is the closest I am going to get, this Monday, to having all of my ducks in a row. This weekend just past was a weekend of three (count them, three) flea bombs, over the course of two days. Judging from the peaceful night’s sleep we all had, presumably free of microscopic vampire bugs, that should mean a peaceful Monday morning, but au contraire, it meant a Monday morning of shaking out bedding, moving things back where they go, rescuing things-that-touch-food from their cabinet bunkers, and hauling trash and recyclables to the refuse room down the hall. (For new readers, we live in an apartment building, and this is a magic place where gallant maintenance workers whisk away our rubbish on a daily basis, not that we have a room full of trash in a private residence. Nobody wants that.)

Okay. Focus, Anna. While work continues on Camp NaNo and Plunder, with notes on researching Catholicism in the Caribbean, in the late seventeenth century (yes, that is important for the romance, Karen. (Metaphorical vernacular “Karen,” not any specific person named Karen, even if she does want to see the manager.) because a certain part of the story will be a whole lot easier for me, if not my characters, if I can plop a fictional convent where I want to plop a fictional convent. So far, the answer should be yes, especially in non-British-held islands, and my hero is Dutch, sooooooo……

:deep breath: What was that I said about focus? Right. Okay. One Book July, as it applies to planning, has no official rules, but the commonly accepted guidelines are to use one planner/bullet journal for everything during the month of July. Some participants add other challenges, like using only one pen. That one, I would normally have a hard time doing, but that pen in the picture below? I get two of them for about seventy cents, and they are comparable to Pilot G2s, so yeah, this is the pen I am using as everyday carry for this month.

Webster’s Pages, pocket size, blush cover

Please note, (pun unintended) that I have fallen in love with that flower-crowned vixen (saving that line for a future hero’s lexicon) and, when I fill the insert she graces, I am taking the cover off and putting it on the next one. I know a good thing when I see it. That particular insert comes from a national chain craft store, in packs of three, for about two dollars (less, if there is a sale) and I am already stockpiling them, because, although I was hesitant about A) passport size, which is even smaller than pocket, and B) white pages, when I strongly prefer ivory, these guys are absolute perfection for my daily pages. Bullet point tasks on the right hand side of the spread (please insert my mother’s voice here, clarifying that it is my right, not the viewer’s right. Thanks, Mom.) and then the left/facing side is for notes.

I didn’t mean to set up my daily insert like that. It happened, on its own, as did finding the perfect balance for Li’l Pink (yes, I name my planners, and yes, they have genders) is three passport size inserts, and then I don’t know how to count the pocket sized inserts, because we have some buddy bands in there, and printables and covers I ripped off and covers I made, and it works, okay, does it really need a label, Karen? Ooh, labels.

My name is Anna, and I am a notebook addict.

Even though it is One Book July, it is also the time when I finally caved in to my curiosity about the B6 size of insert/notebook, above. Same company that makes the fox insert (ooh, do they make a B6 version of the fox? Now I have to go in search of; if I don’t return, I love you all.) makes B6 inserts, same paper -plus lined, plus graph (which I did not get, but will, this weekend) – and they were on sale for a mere dollar apiece, so of course I had to indulge, and, well, I love them.

I do not, however, own a B6 traveler’s notebook, so now I will need to start looking in that direction, but, in the meantime, these inserts are looking happy enough in my spare regular size Webster’s Pages, that I was wondering how I was going to use, so that will work out fine until I can settle the cover issue. I didn’t even have to think about what I’m going to use these inserts for, because they presented themselves. I now do have a notebook-notebook, to keep track of all things stationery (if anyone is taking bets on when that would finally happen, whoever had July 5th, 2019, gets the prize.) There will be another insert for household information, one for sketches/doodles/etc, and one for random brain dumps. I know exactly what pens I want to use with it, and it’s rather satisfying to have a whole endeavor land in my lap like that, a single bloop, and there it is.

Writing is like that, sometimes, and when it is, it is wonderful. More often, it’s like that pocket notebook that is my everyday carry/my one book for July. Trial and error. Will this work? No? Well how about that? Oh no, that’s worse. Rip that out, hide the evidence, try this weird thing because why the heck not? Well, look at that. That actually works. Okay, then. Onward we go.

No deep wisdom on writing today, Karen (or is there?) but I do learn a lot, about myself, about visual arts, about creativity in general, and other things, from my notebook adventures, which is why I do see them as part of the writing process.

Oh wait, there is one practical tip. If you see an oddly placed sticker in my July planner pages, there is probably the evidence of a dead bug under it. This gal does not tear out pages from a sewn binding. I’m not a monster. (usually)

We Have a Release Date!

No, that is not my computer exploding in today’s image. It is celebratory fireworks, because Melva Michaelian and I finally have a release date for our very first contemporary romance together, Chasing Prince Charming. August twelfth is the day, which is a Monday, so if you are looking for something to start that particular week right, may I suggest a fun new book? Specifically ours, but you do you.

August 12th. Save the date.

Write that down, get a sticky note, put it on your calendar, type it into electronic device of choice, or keep following this blog, because I will be 100% sure to keep reminding everybody/ not shutting up about this, because it really does mean that the long (long!) dry spell of no new releases really is over.

found it here

I was tempted to put “actual footage of me reading The Email” in the caption, but (I hope) we all know I’m not a green frog Muppet. I’m not. See, new author picture is here:

Actual me, aka not a frog.

Melva is also not a frog, but we are still waiting on okay for her author photo, so take my word for it. We are both wildly excited, and working hard on our new author(s) website, your (soon to be) one stop shop for all things Melva and Anna. There will be bookshelves; hers, mine, and ours, bits of tid on workshops we present, and more.

For now, we are in the exciting world of pre-release author things, because the focus now goes to promo. There is the pricing of swag. The whimpering when reading those results, the perils of letting the pen aficionado suss out options, the calm voice of reason that this all does not have to get done in one day. It does have to get done, though. Like writing the book, this is eat the elephant one bite at a time territory. Focus on the thing in front of you, do it until it’s done, and then do the next thing.

In between all of that, there is writing the next books. Plural. Melva and I are on track with what we hope will be book two of the Love By The Book series, Drama King, with Queen of Hearts after that. Melva has her own projects, which are hers to tell, and I have less than two weeks before July is upon us, bringing Camp NaNo, aka my experiment in outlining Plunder in a mere thirty days. Thirty-one. Whatever. There’s A Heart Most Errant making the rounds, and Her Last First Kiss to get to the end of draft two, so that it can do the same. Lazy days of summer? I don’t think so.

I am okay with that. I am more than okay with that. I will take that over the writing slumps any time. This is the time when shiny new ideas pop up, because they always come when a writer’s plate is fullest, and the time when I am glad to have learned the trick of writing down the bones of the idea in a special notebook, and filing it away for some future day when I may need it.

That day is not today. Today is for getting cracking on the pre release stuff, checking information, looking at promo, the occasional virtual high five and staring at our pretty, pretty cover, courtesy of the immensely talented Rae Monet. Today marks a fork in the road, where things get more definite. There is a release date. ARCs (advance reading copies) will be coming into play. There are words like mobi and PDF and things to do regarding SEO (search engine optimization. I think.) and a million other things that need to be done before the book can actually get into the hands of readers, and y’know what? I am totally up for that. I like this kind of stuff. This kind of stuff is irrefutable proof that I am a working writer. Note to younger me (and younger Melva, for that matter) : we did it. We’re here. It’s happening. We would love for you to join us.

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.