Typing With Wet Claws: I Did Not Eat My Brother Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. I am sorry to say that I have to open this week’s post with some sad news. Last Friday afternoon, my fish brother, Tuna Roll, was all done being a fish.  I had nothing to do with it. Uncle came home before Anty, and did not see Tuna Roll at first. I followed Uncle into his office, because he is my favorite, and I love him the most. He looked at the bowl, and then looked at me. “Tell me you didn’t,” he said. I told him I did not. I do not jump or climb, because I am a floor girl. Then Uncle saw what really happened. Tuna roll was a good and pretty fish. He was very blue. He was a good swimmer, and he loved his plant. We will miss him. Anty and Uncle say that I may get another fish brother in a couple of weeks. I will not eat him, either.

Aside from that, this was a decent week for Anty’s writing. As usual, she was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, kicking off a month of spooky romance talk with a look at the books that arguably started it all, the classic gothic romances. That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURgoinggothic

Because last week’s episode of Outlander was an odd-numbered episode, Anty got to recap it for Heroes and Heartbreakers. This was a very special episode for Anty, because it was all about Christmas, which is Anty’s favorite holiday, and it had two love stories in it. That post is here, and it looks like this:

Outlanders3e5recap.jpg

Now is the part of the post where I bring you up to date on Anty’s Goodreads reading challenge. Right now, she is one book behind, having read sixty-nine out of ninety books, but the weekend is here, so I fully expect her to get back on track by the next time she checks in on this front. If you would like to follow Anty’s challenge, it is here, and, right now, it looks like this:

GR131017

almost on track…

Anty finished reading one book this week, Southwark, by Jessica Cale. This book is relevant to Anty’s interests, because it is set in one of her favorite periods, the English Restoration, and it is very gritty. Anty loves when historical romance is very gritty. Her review is here, and it looks like this:

GRtyburncale

Anty looks forward to reading more books by Miss Jessica, and is always on the lookout for new books set in the Restoration. If you know of any good ones, please put them in the comments, and I will pass them along.

I can also pass along that, this week, Anty wrote her first scene for Drama King, and sent it in to Anty Melva. Now Anty waits to hear back from Anty Melva. Anty’s scene is really the second scene, since Anty Melva wrote the actual first scene that is in the book, but this is the first scene where the hero and heroine actually talk. I am pleased to note that the hero does consider his poor cat, waiting at home for dinner, when choosing his course of action. That alone means that this book is off to a very good start.

Drama King is not the only book Anty is writing, however, and, this week, at her critique meeting with Miss N, Anty heard those words that make her remember saying bad words in Panera is not polite. Those words are, “when do you think you’ll get back to writing (new chapters on Her Last First Kiss)?” and they come from Miss N. Anty did not actually say the bad words, but she knows that, when Miss N asks that question, it is because Anty has probably done about all the planning (or re-planning) she needs to do for this section of the book.

Overhauling half of an entire book is not something a writer goes into lightly, but, sometimes, it has to be done. This sometimes includes things like writing out calendars by hand for all the time in which the story could take place, and using those calendars to figure out how long things would take, from travel times, to how long it takes to make a new  human, and when the existing humans would be aware that the new human was underway. Because Her Last First Kiss is historical, that means Anty also has to figure out things like what foods are available when, how much moonlight there would be on a particular night, how long a party can last, and what things a human might accidentally leave behind when they have to leave a place in a big hurry.

Thankfully, Anty has most of that in place, so now it is a matter of making sure she really does have all of her metaphorical ducks in a row, and then getting back to business. Once she has everything straight, she can tell the story, without having to stop and check. That is one of the occupational hazards of being a puzzler, like Anty. Some writers are plotters, who decide how the whole story is going to go, and then follow that plan. Others are pantsers, who create as they go, with no plan. Anty is somewhere in the middle. She love to plan, but sometimes, her story people have other ideas, and she will see scenes that are not always in order. That is okay, because Anty loves to organize, so this means she gets to write everything down on index cards and make sure she has no holes in the storyline. Then she can go right through to the end. She likes that part of the process, too.

This is where Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day would have gone, but, because Tuna Roll was all done being a fish, we will make it Tuna Roll’s Parting Thought:

0825TunaRoll

RIP, Tuna Roll; you will be missed

 

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Warm and (Chicken) Tender Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. We have one week of October under our belts. Except for me. I do not wear belts. I do not wear anything. I do have a full length fur coat, but it is built in, which means is it part of me, so I am not wearing it.  This week was not as full as last one, but it was still a good one, and one I have to review in full before I am allowed to talk about anything else.

First, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, wrapping her Back to Romance School series of posts, asking what we have learned about romance. I, personally, have learned quite a bit. Mainly that there need to be more cats in these books, but Anty is working on that. Her post is here, and it looks like this:

BURwhathavewelearned

Since it is the first week of the month, that means it is time to look not only at Anty’s reading progress, but at how many of those books were historical romance. Right now, her Goodreads challenge looks like this:

GRreadingchallenge061017

Her goal is to read ninety books before the end of the year, and, so far, she has read sixty-eight, which puts her on track for the second week in a row. Good job, Anty. Keep up the good work. I will sit very very close to you, to provide inspiration. Also body heat. I am very, very fuzzy.

hr-challenge-2016-badge

The next question is, how many of those books were  historical romance? Once again, Anty is on track. Her goal was for at least half of the books she reads this year to be historical romance. So far, out of sixty-eight, thirty-four are historical romance. If we count the historical fiction with romantic elements, that puts her over half, but the jury (comprised entirely of Anty) is still out on that one, so we will say half, to be on the safe side. That is still pretty good. The rest are divided among YA, historical fiction with romantic elements, and some contemporary romance/women’s fiction.

Here are the books Anty reviewed this week, both YA:

GRwindfallsmith

Windfall, by Jennifer E. Smith

GRgenuinefraudlockhart

Genuine Fraud, by E. Lockhart

On the writing front, there is some good news. Earlier this week, Anty Melva sent Anty an email at her writer address, not her personal address. Anty was not sure why Anty Melva was sending her email there, but then she opened it and found out that one of the publishers Anty Melva queried about Chasing Prince Charming liked the query and now would like to read the whole book. That made Anty and Anty Melva very happy, and they hope this publisher will like what they see. In the meantime, their next book, Drama King, will have a cat in it. They should probably mention that in future queries. Editors generally like cats.

Anty now has three writer friends who are looking at Her Last First Kiss, to help her make it the best book she can write, right now. The people looking at it are Miss N, Miss Vicki, and Miss T, who is starting from the beginning. Miss T sent Anty an email with her comments on the second chapter, asking if she was being too critical. Uh oh. That made Anty a little nervous, but she would rather know what needs fixing than not give the book her very best. She opened the file, and guess what? It was not that bad. Miss T also writes historical romance, and they have some of the same tastes, so Anty is very happy to have these sorts of comments. They help her want to make the book even better.

This week was also Anty’s first time making chicken tenders in the oven. I did not get to eat any, because I am a kitty, and chicken tenders are people food, but I do get chicken flavored cat food sometimes, and the kitchen smelled really, really good. I came in to check on how she was doing, because the room was warm and smelled like eggs and birdies, and those are most excellent smells when one is a kitty. This is what the chicken looked like when Anty took it out of the oven:

Tenders

I did not attack that middle tender. Anty cut it in half, to make sure it was cooked all the way through. It was. Anty was not sure at first that she wanted to try making chicken like this, because she had never done it before, but humans tend to get cranky when they have not been fed on time, so she read through the instructions and went on ahead. She had been leery of touching raw chicken, but, as it turns out, she did not have to do that. There are things called tongs that come in handy for things like this. Pick up the chicken with the tongs, put it into some flour, then some eggs, then some breadcrumbs and then the oven. I do not like it when the timer beeps (it is too loud) but the kitchen smelled so good that I did not mind all that much.

It is like that with writing sometimes. A new idea may seem scary at first, and the writer may even be a little squicked out, but, if done right, the new thing could also become a new favorite. Also, chicken is delicious.

Now it is time for Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

0825TunaRoll

No matter how smooth things look on the surface, there is always something fishy going on. -Tuna Roll

Thank you, Tuna Roll. That is very true.

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

Typing With Wet Claws: Almost October Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. We had a very hot week here in New York’s Capitol Region, which is not what anybody wanted at this time of year. Everybody was grouchy and grumpy, except for Tuna Roll. He is a tropical fish, so he probably liked it fine. We don’t talk about things like that, so I do not know for sure, but one can assume. Even so, Anty got more done this week than she thinks she did. Since there is a bunch of it, I had better get right down to business.

First, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, talking about historical romance, contemporary romance, and everything in between. That post is here and it looks like this:

BUReverythinginbetween

Anty had a big week at Heroes and Heartbreakers, so you may want to get comfy. First, this was an odd-numbered week for Outlander, so that made it Anty’s turn to recap the episode, and what an episode. Anty loves angst, and this episode was packed full of it. That recap is here, and it looks like this:

HandHOutlander3x3recap

Right after that, because Monday is right after Sunday, Anty recapped the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory, where big things happened for not one, but two of the show’s couples. That post is here, and it looks like this:

HandHTBBT11x1recap

Because it is the end of the month, that means it is time for Heroes and Heartbreakers bloggers, including, but not limited to Anty, get to share their favorite reads of the month that has gone before. For Anty, this meant venturing into one of her favorite settings, and one of her new favorite authors. For everybody else, well, you will have to read the post. That post is here, and it looks like this:

HandHbestofseptember

This is the part of the post where I tell you how Anty is doing on her Goodreads challenge. It was close this week, but Anty is now back on track, having read sixty-six books out of her goal of ninety. That is more than two thirds of the way to finished. I knew she could do it.  Go, Anty, go.

GRreadingchallenge290917

Here are the books Anty finished reading this week:

GRCanhamFarHorizon

The Far Horizon, by Marsha Canham

GRColeBeNotAfraid

Be Not Afraid, by Alyssa Cole

In case you cannot tell by the covers, or, in one case, lack of cover (The Far Horizon really does have a cover, but it did not show on Goodreads. It was a picture of a ship, with an overlay image of a couple. It is the first book cover on Miss Marsha’s site, which is here.) all three of the books Anty read this week were historical romance. I am especially proud of Anty for that. It has also, along with a few other developments, made her very thinky about historical romance (that is a good thing, I think) this week, and she will probably be blogging about that herself next week. She may or may not have already started down that road. I cannot tell you the whole thing (partly because Anty is still working on it) but I can give you a hint.

While Anty was looking through one of her special bookshelves, she found a couple of things from a long time ago. Like previous cat era, but it did not have anything to do with kitties. One thing was a bookmark, which one might expect to find in books, and the other was a sticky note from one of Anty’s own books. That was this note:

OitSnote

I am not sure if a cleaned up version of this note actually made it into Orphans in the Storm, but it was enough to get Anty thinking about a few things. Any is very fond of sticky notes, and, sometimes, they get stuck places she would not expect for them to be. If she spent any time looking for this note while she was actually writing the book, she was looking in the wrong place, because she only found it a couple of days ago. A little late if she wanted that bit to be in the book (if it did not get in there) but right on time for her brain to work it into another blog post.

Right now, Anty is working on three other books, at three different stages of progress, so finding a note that takes her back to a previous book was not what she had expected. Writers are like that. Show them the oddest things, and off they go, into some story world that non-writers cannot get to, even if their bowls are empty. Ahem.

Anty gets thinky like this every once in a while. It is probably part of the process of telling stories, this pausing to take a look at how things work, where she’s going and where she’s been. I do not know exactly what form that thinkiness will take, but, when it does, I will ost a link to it here. Unless it is here, in which case, it would be here already.

ComingSoonBanner

This coming March, Anty will be presenting her workshop, Play in Your Own Sandbox, Keep All The Toys, online, with Charter Oak Romance Writers. Further details TBA, but mark your calendars; March is coming, so save the date.

Now it is time for Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

0825TunaRoll

I have never found a problem that could not be solved by a good, long swim   . -Tuna Roll

Thank you, Tuna Roll. I am not sure that will work for everybody, but it is still good to know this sort of thing.

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Save the Dates Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. I tried to convince Anty to wait to take my picture until Uncle was awake, so I would be perkier, but she said something about a schedule and took my picture anyway. It is hard being a mews sometimes. I have been hard at work this week, so we had better get down to business.

Before I can talk about anything else (which is usually Anty’s writing anyway,) I have to tell you where on the interwebs, besides here, that you can find Anty’s writing this week.  As usual, she was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday. Her theme for September is Back to Romance School, because it is always a good idea to brush up on the basics. (As long as that brush is not on me, I am fine with that. I am a sensitive girl, and brushing makes me licky.) What two elements does every single romance novel ever published have to have? Anty’s post covers it all. That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURbacktoschool

Now that the new TV season has begun, Anty will have many more chances to write about kissy stuff on TV shows, and it all kicks off with her recap of the season three premiere of Outlander, “The Battle Joined,” at Heroes and Heartbreakers. That post is here, and it looks like this:

HandHOutlanders3e1

but what about Frank?

Next, we move on to the reading portion of the post. Anty is now one book behind in her Goodreads goal, but I am willing to cut her some slack, because it has been a very full week, and she is almost done with the latest Marsha Canham book. Anty can read Ms. Marsha’s books pretty fast, because Ms. Marsha is one of Anty’s favorite writers. The weekend is here, Anty’s Kindle is full, and I expect good things ahead. Anty is not a total slacker, as she wrote a review of the one book she did finish reading this week. That book was this one:

 

 

 

This week was a good one for Anty, because she got to add a few things to her schedule, and Anty loves putting new things on her schedule. That is why she made a new banner, so that I can add a Coming Soon section.

Here are some things Anty will be doing very soon:

Anty will also be recapping the odd-numbered episodes of Outlander all season long, while Elizabeth Poteet will recap the even-numbered episodes. On even weeks, Anty can make popcorn and watch, as a fan. That should be pretty fun, too, and, because she will not have to take notes while watching, she can have her hands free to pet me. I prefer head scritches, thank you, but chest is okay too, if she is very gentle.

Because this has been a very busy week, Anty  has pushed the date of getting A Heart Most Errant to beta readers back to September 21st, so maybe I should put that on the calendar, too. Maybe after my nap. Being a good mews takes a lot of energy. Anty would have preferred to have the book in readers’ hands already, but then she has to remind herself that A) there is no deadline on this one, and B) she would rather take the time and do it right than rush and then wish she had fixed things. I would tell her not to worry, that her beta readers will find things she can fix, but that generally does not come across as a big help.

Now that it is fall, Anty is in her groove, so keep an eye on the coming soon section to see what else she may be up to in the near future. Frankly, I am surprised that her love of planning has not carried over to the site before this, but, then again, she did not consult me on this matter. I could have told her that keeping that section up to date means that she gets to have another sort of calendar. That is my tip for this week: writers, listen to your cats more. Especially when they ask for food or head scritches.

Okay, that looks like everything on my list, so now it is time for Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

0825TunaRoll

If you find yourself swimming in circles, that will always take you home. -Tuna Roll

Thank you, Tuna Roll. That is very reassuring. That is also about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

 

Really Fall Now Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. It very much feels like September now, with cooler air, the very young humans (some live on our street) back in school, pumpkin spice things coming home from the grocery store (along with pen and paper things, because Anty loves back to school supplies.) Uncle even closes some of the windows, sometimes. In case you do not know him, this is big. The biggest sign, though, is that my shedding has now entered the “how much hair do you have, kitty?” territory. Anty thinks all of my shed fur migrates to my neck from other parts of my body, and possibly also from other cats. I can neither confirm nor deny that theory.

As per our agreement, before I can talk about anything else (even though that is usually Ant’s writing, anyway) I have to talk about where you can read Anty’s writing on the interwebs, other than here. The past Saturday, like every Saturday, she was at Buried Under Romance, with the last entry in this year’s romance appreciation month theme, the power of the HEA (that means happily ever after, in case you do not read a lot of romance novels; that means that the humans in love will be okay at the end of the book.) That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURpowerofhea

Anty also had a post on Heroes and Heartbreakers this week. Many historical romances are set in the nineteenth century, which include two distinct historical periods, Regency and Victorian. If you are not clear on how to tell which is which when reading a romance novel, Anty has a post that may be of some help. That post is here, and it looks like this:

HandHRegencyVsVictorian

Now it is time to talk about how Anty did with reading this week. She is still on track, for the fifth week in a row, with sixty-one out of her goal of ninety books for this year. That puts her at sixty-eight percent of her goal. Go, Anty. Keep going. You got this. The books Anty read and reviewed this week are:

and

 

This is also the time of year when things tend to get moving for Anty, writingwise. That is a very good thing. Anty will be making her  very first author visit at Buried Under Romance on the eighteenth of September, to talk about Orphans in the Storm. The teaser for that one looks like this:

OrphansInTheStormTeaser

 

This Sunday is the debut of the new season of Outlander, and Anty will be recapping the odd-numberd episodes all season long. I will make sure to post links to her recaps here.

The middle of the month will see another deadline for Anty. That is when she has to have her edits done on A Heart Most Errant, so that she can send it to her beta readers. There will probably be a teaser or two by that time, if I know Anty, and I know her pretty well.

Anty is also working on a historical post for a site she has never blogged for before, but has read for a while. That site is called Dirty Sexy History, and Anty will be writing about a special law that England passed a long, long time ago, to say who could marry who, and when and where. Apparently, this was a big enough problem that something had to be done about it.  I am not sure I understand everything involved in this law, but I think it is a good thing that I am fixed, and do not have to concern myself with such things. Apart from helping Anty with writing her post, that is. I will post on here when it goes live.

This week, Anty has to do some research on house parties in Georgian England, because, believe it or not, “some social event” is not specific enough to put in an actual novel. Readers actually want to go with the characters when important things happen, and so Anty has to come up with a whole house full of people for one of her story people to try to avoid for a bunch of days. Spoiler alert: they will not succeed in avoiding these people. Maybe Anty’s character should try hiding under one of the beds. That is what I do. Anty’s character would fit, because those old timey beds were huge. Seriously. Works for me every time. Beds with long bedspreads are the best for hiding. Just a suggestion.

On Sunday, Anty and Anty Melva will talk about how they want to start Drama King, share character backgrounds and go over some possible first few scene ideas. I am excited about this one, because there is a kitty in it. Anty should write more books with kitties in them. She has a lot of experience, with yours truly, so she should have a lot of material for cat characters. I will take my share of the profits in treats.

Speaking of treats, it is always a treat to have Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

0825TunaRoll

As long as you wake up on the right side of the bowl, the day is off to a good start -Tuna Roll

Thank you, Tuna Roll. That is definitely food for thought. That is also about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

Typing With Wet Claws: Hello, September Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Today is September first, not yet autumn by the calendar, but it is autumn for Anty, so that is what counts. Anty is very happy today, because she gets to start not one but two notebooks, and she and Anty Melva had their first session on writing a brand new book, but more about that later.

As always, before I can talk about anything else, which is usually Anty’s writing anyway, I have to talk about where you can find her writing on the interwebs, besides here. She is at Buried Under Romance every Saturday, and would love to see you there. Last week, she talked about the power of romance novel heroines. One of the reasons Anty started reading romance in the first place is because romance is the genre where the woman always wins. That post is here, and it looks like this:

han

Because the old month is now over, the people at Heroes and Heartbreakers get a chance to say what their favorite reads of August were. Anty had to think really hard about this one, because she read a lot of good books this month, and had to limit herself to books that are already published. I do not know how hard or easy it was for any of the other bloggers, but Anty does have a few more books to add to her own TBR list now. That post is here, and it looks like  this:

HandHbestofAug

Now, because it is the start of a brand new month, it is time to see how Anty is doing on two challenges. First, we will look at how she did at Goodreads. So far, Anty is on track for the fourth week in a row. She has read fifty-nine books out of her goal of ninety. Go, Anty. Read those books. Keep going. You got this. This week, she left a review for North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen. She liked that book very much, and has started trying to draw compass roses in her notebooks. There may be a learning curve to that. Her review is here, and it looks like this:

GRnorthofbeautifulChen

Now we look at how Anty is doing on her goal of reading mostly historical romances. The one book she finished this week (to be fair, she had a big week) was YA, and it had a romance in it, but it was not historical, but we need to look at the overall picture.

hr-challenge-2016-badge

So far, Anty has read 59 books, according to Goodreads, and 29 of those have been historical romance. Figuring in for the romantic historical fiction (Beatriz Williams, I am looking at you) that is about a 50/50 on that score, but then we have to also figure in the historical romance novel Anty beta read, that will not be out until next week, and that gives historical romance a slight edge. Go, Anty. You are meeting those goals.

Because Anty insists, here are pictures of the inside and outside of her new morning pages book. The pages in this book are mostly the same, but she is going to use different colors of ink to differentiate the pages, so she will not get un-comfy with pages being all the same. She has a thing about that.

 

Okay, I think those are all of that kind of update. Now it is time for book talk, and by that, I mean Anty’s books. This week, Anty Melva sent Chasing Prince Charming off to Carina Press, to see if maybe they would like to publish it. The answer to that one might take a few months, so it is a good thing that Anty and Anty Melva are now officially working on Drama King. They had their first Skype session this morning, and Anty has several notebook pages filled with scribbles about things she needs to get done in time for next week’s meeting, so that they can get started with the actual writing of this book. Anty is pretty sure that the writing will go faster this time, because now she and Anty Melva know how they write books together. She also knows that they need to do a better job of keeping track of the parts of the book while they are writing it, so nobody (especially not Anty) has to go digging around in the hard drive for that scene where that person did the thing and the other person found out about it.

Because Anty had to go to the people vet earlier this week (she is okay) she has moved her goal for finishing her once-over of A Heart Most Errant to two weeks from today, September fourteenth. That is a nice round number, a fortnight. That is an English word for two weeks. Anty likes English words. That is probably because she writes in English, but a lot of her stories also take place in England, so there is that, too. There is also laundry to do (Anty will do the laundry, not me; my tongue would get tired really fast) I had better wrap things up, so that means it is time for Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

0825TunaRoll

If you have to live with your natural predator, but they don’t climb, you’re still ahead of the game. –Tuna Roll

 

Thank you, Tuna Roll…I think. That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: My Brother Has Fins Edition

Hi, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Anty has a lot on her mind this week, so we had better get down to business. She is going hardcore on the whole talk about her writing thing before I get to talk this week. It’s best to go with her on this one.

First off, Anty is at Buried Under Romance every Saturday, so stop by and see her there. This week, she will be talking about the power of romance heroines. Last week, she talked about the power of romance heroes. That post is here, and it looks like this:

0825BURfabio

 

Anty has some exciting things in the works over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. Look for her post on how to tell whether that nineteenth century romance novel you are reading is Regency or Victorian, coming soon. I would put the link here, but it is not up yet. Anty will also be recapping half of the episodes of Outlander this season, alternating with Elizabeth Poteet. Anty considers herself in most excellent company.

On the reading front, Anty is doing pretty well. She has had to add a flap onto her reading tracker in her not-a-bullet-journal, because she already filled all the slots for her August reading tracker, but it is still August, and she still keeps reading books. That is one of Anty’s super powers that comes back in the fall. Stress allows her to read really, really fast.

0825grchallenge

Goodreads says Anty is on track with her reading challenge, but she may actually be ahead. One of the books she read this week, Heir to the Sea, by Danelle Harmon, Anty cannot put that on her Goodreads challenge, even though she likes it very, very much (it is actually one of her favorites of Miss Danelle’s, and Anty really, really likes all of Miss Danelle’s books.) because it will not be published for another week or so. Anty read this book as a beta (not betta) reader. She will put up her review once the book is published. In short, she loved it.

Anty also loves me, which is why she lets me talk on her blog every week. Also because I am cute, and pictures of cute kitties always get attention. I am much cuter than my ne brother, Tuna Roll. For those who want to know how I am adapting to not being the only pet anymore, thank you for your interest. I am mostly unphased by this new addition. This may be because Tuna Roll lives in a bowl on Uncle’s desk, and I cannot see him from my vantage point on the floor. I basically have no opinion, as his presence does not affect me all that much. Let me rephrase that. Tuna Roll makes Uncle happy, and since Uncle is my favorite, and I love him the most most most, then I love Tuna Roll by association. We have a deal. I do not try to eat him, and he does not try to eat me. So far, so good.

Back to Anty’s writing for a minute. This week, Anty and Anty Melva are going to have a different topic when they have their Skype session. This time, they are not going to talk about Chasing Prince Charming (spoiler alert; they caught him, or their heroine did) but they will be talking about their second book together, Drama King. There is a cat in this book, and even he gets a happily ever after, so this may be my favorite book of either of theirs, by that alone. It is nice to see my kind represented in romance fiction.

Anty also worked on an important scent in the second draft of Her Last First Kiss. This part of the book is perhaps the biggest deviation from the first draft, but Anty thinks it is a good change, because things get messier. This is the part of the book where the two humans know that they are in love with each other, but they are also convinced that they can never, ever be together, no way, no how. That is what Anty calls angst. Anty loves angst. Characters can never be completely happy until the very end. Anty says not to worry; this is  a romance novel, so that happy ending is guaranteed.

If you hear a clock ticking around here, that is because Anty has not one, but two beta (not betta) readers lined up for A Heart Most Errant, once she is done giving it a once over. The avoid-y part of Anty mumbled something about “a couple of weeks,” but then it got steamrolled by the part of Anty that makes her own planner from scratch. That part said “great, two weeks it is.” The avoid-y part is now hiding under a blanket fort, clutching a stuffed animal and rocking back and forth while making whimpery sounds. The planner-from-scratch part is ignoring the avoid-y part and breaking down the manuscript into chunks, then going over each chunk once, and only once. The planner-from-scratch part would like to get this ball rolling. I like rolling balls. They are fun to watch. Sometimes, I bat them with my paws. Sometimes.

Since today’s schedule is all upside down, we are still on a break from video blogs. Instead, I will introduce a new feature. I call that new feature Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day.  Take it away, Tuna Roll.

0825TunaRoll

Eat more chicken. Or beef. Or pork. Or anything that is not fish. Especially not me. Tuna Roll

 

 

 

Thank you, Tuna Roll. That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

 

 

 

Betta Reading

Normally, I would save the first fish picture for Skye to share on her blog, but A) we are not sure she even knows we have added to the family, because she has shown absolutely zero interest in her new finny brother, and B) I needed a prompt for today’s post. So, all that said, allow me to introduce Tuna Roll, aka Petit Monsieur:

 

01fishborder

Hi, I’m Tuna Roll. Nice to meet you.

 

I will state for the record that I lobbied for Julius as the name for our newest family member, but since said family member is also Real Life Romance Hero’s birthday gift this year, Real Life Romance Hero has the honor of naming him. Tuna Roll it is, though Housemate and I refer to him as Petit Monsieur when RLRH isn’t around.

Nearly a solid week of dropping flakes into Tuna Roll’s bowl twice a day has brought a few things to light. First, I’m not sure if they fed him pellets at PetSmart, but it took our li’l guy a couple of tries before he figured out those flaky things the humans drop into his water are edible. I don’t blame him. Big adjustment from living in a tiny cup, next to a bunch of other fish, also in tiny cups, to getting a nice sized bowl, all to himself, with gravel and a plant and everything.

During the process of transitioning Tuna Roll from the cup in which we brought him home (proud grammar nerd here,) we had to float his cup in the prepared bowl, set up days in advance of his arrival. Even while inside his cup, Tuna Roll had his eyes on one thing: the plant. I’m not sure if he ever had a plant before, but with all his swimming around, he always came back to the plant, and, the first thing he did, when settled into the bowl proper, was head straight for that plant. Then he zoomed around the bowl a couple of times. While there’s no way for sure to know what he’s thinking (unless there are any ichthyologists reading this, who want to help me out here) my educated guess is that it was something like “Whee, look at all this room! I live in a palace! Get a load of this, cup dwellers! I am living the good life now.”

I could be wrong, but I saw what I saw. It’s kind of like that with reading, and with writing, but that may be another post, so we will start with reading. My first nibble of the romance genre was The Kadin, by Bertrice Small, and it took a while before I ventured out to other authors, but once I did, whee, look, there’s a whole historical romance genre out there, with gravel and plants and everything. Okay, maybe plants and gravel aren’t as big a deal in romance reading as they are in fish décor, but that first rush of discovery was heady, and, decades after the fact, I am still running on fumes of wandering through a used bookstore in downtown Montpelier, Vermont, slipping my fingers along the spines of rows and rows and rows of historical romance novels.

These books were set in pretty much any period I could imagine, from the ancient world to the early twentieth century, and I’m still kind of drunk on the variety. At the time, one author writing in multiple periods was the norm, and that imprinted on me. I don’t think that’s going to ever leave. Though I’m concentrating on the eighteenth century right now, I’ve written colonial New York, English Civil War/Restoration, sixteenth century Cornwall, and the turn of the twentieth century, and those are only the currently available backlist. In the next couple of weeks, A Heart Most Errant will go off for a beta read, and I’m nervous. It’s been a long time since anybody besides me got to spend any time with John and Aline, #1linewed entries excepted, and that makes it uncharted territory. Will the story still hold? Will the characters make any connections with the reader? Will she gently suggest I consider another line of work? Probably not on that last one, but I’m anxious about this sort of thing. Also about a lot of things, but especially this.

Yesterday, I sent my co-writer, Melva Michaelian, my final notes on the last batch of pages for Chasing Prince Charming.  One more pass for formatting, and then we are done-done with this book, out of the cup and into the bowl. Queries are going out, to be followed by partials, and, hopefully, the full manuscript. I’m less nervous about this, possibly because I have an awesome writing partner willing to hunt down prospects and make contact, but still nervous. After this book is in its final form (until some lucky editor asks for a few tweaks, that is) we get to start the journey all over again, and start work on Drama King. 

It’s been a while since my last fiction release, and there have been significant changes to both author and industry in the years between. Maybe that’s how Tuna Roll felt when we first floated his cup in the bowl he now calls home. This is different, but interesting. He gets gravel and a plant and fish flakes twice a day, and he comes to the front of the bowl whenever he sees a person approach. He wants this. So do I.