How on earth do those two things go together, you ask? Well, they don’t really, but my weekend involved both! On Saturday, I went up to Franklin, TN, to a Meet & Greet with my Music City Romance Writers chapter. It was held at the main library in Franklin, which is a gorgeous town. We signed books and talked to readers for three hours. It was a lot of fun! We also gave away prizes, and one of the ladies who won a prize from me was the amazing Melinda Doolittle of American Idol fame.
In Season 6, the first season Mr. Harris and I ever watched it (after years of being overseas), we were awed by the talent of two particular women. LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle. Week after week we tuned in and watched these ladies wow us with their voices. Simon never had a bad word to say about Melinda’s performances, if that tells you anything.
So, yeah, I had a fangirl moment when I realized that the lady who’d won my bag and books was Melinda. She came in third that year, and she’s had an amazing career since. She is also sweet, polite, and very unassuming. I may have shocked her just a little bit with my fangirling, but I was truly excited. She graciously posed for pictures with me, and here’s my favorite! Isn’t she lovely?
The other thing I have to tell you about today is my adventures with Smashwords. Yes, I finally figured out how to format MADDIE’S MARINE properly, and I uploaded it to Smashwords. It’s totally FREE, as always — and you can now download it on your preferred ereader! Simply click here to choose! It will eventually make its way out to all the e-tailer outlets for direct download, but right now you can get any format you wish from Smashwords. It’s a very short story, but I still love it and I hope you will enjoy it. Here’s the fab cover that my lovely web designer made. Doesn’t it just make you want to go somewhere tropical with your own handsome hero?
Y’all, I had such a great time at the RT Booklover’s Convention! It’s always so much fun, and it always goes way too fast. Seems like I just get there and it’s time to go home. In spite of my best intentions, I don’t take enough photos, I don’t get enough sleep, and I don’t talk to everyone I want to talk to.
Tuesday, after all my flights were on time, I get to KC where the lovely Janette Kenny picks me up. We went to lunch and shopping at DSW, then off to the hotel where we got an upgrade. So far, so good! That night, we joined the Aussies for dinner at a nearby restaurant and I came home with a package of dark chocolate Tim Tams. Mmmmm.
On Wednesday, the official fun began. For the next several days, I went to the most awesome workshops, attended fabulous parties, talked late into the night with old friends and made new friends too. The vibe at RT was so positive. I told Mr. Harris that I felt as if I’d attended a revival. Everyone was happy, positive, and thrilled with the changes in publishing. I’m so very excited for my indie debut coming up. HOT PURSUIT is almost ready to go. I’m finishing up the edits, and I hope to have it ready for you sometime in the beginning of June. If you want to be kept up to date about it, please kept checking back or sign up for my newsletter here.
And now it’s time for some pictures!
My display at RT.
With Janette Kenny, Kira Sinclair, and Andrea Laurence at the Ellora’s Cave disco party. No, I am not bigger than they are — I’m just closer to the camera!
The amazing menu at Lidia’s, where we had dinner Friday night.
At dinner. Janette Kenny, me, Andrea Laurence, Kimberly Lang, Amber Doremus, and Kira Sinclair.
And here I am at the giant book fair. I can’t wait for next year in New Orleans! Every year is bigger and better, and I look forward to seeing what they manage to pull off in the Crescent City. Hope to see you there!
Yep, it’s that time, y’all! I’m off to the RT Convention in Kansas City this week. Hope to see some of my lovely readers there, as well as catch up with my author friends. If you’re going to be there, look me up. I’ll be at the Harlequin Series Soiree on Wednesday at 2:30, so stop by and say hi. I’ll also be at the Giant Book Fair on Saturday, and the Fantastic Fan Day events that evening. Naturally, I’ll be at the various parties and balls, so catch me there too.
Looking forward to a fun time, as always!
I’ve discovered I’m impatient. Well, maybe I always knew it, but my brain is whirling with so many thoughts these days and so many plans and I am IMPATIENT as hell for them to come to life. First, I am about sick with impatience waiting to get HOT PURSUIT out to you. It’s still in editing, and I know that will make it an awesome book in the end, but I want to share it with you! I’ve been waiting for so long. I’ve had a cover for months — and yes, I’ve held back showing you. Unless you’re on my Street Team, Lynn’s Lovelies, and then you saw it a while back. (Hint: Join my Street Team for exclusive peeks, excerpts, and goodies! We have a secret Facebook group, and I will be happy to invite you in if you’re on Facebook — just send me a message over there and I’ll make it happen.)
I have more books to write in that world, and I have three more Harlequins due quite soon. Next year, I’ll have a sheikh duo coming out. No titles yet, though I have titled them myself and I hope I get to keep them! Because, for once, I think I did a good title job! I’ll also be participating in another continuity series (like last year’s Santina Crown and this year’s Sicilian Corretti Dynasty), and my book will be the final book in December 2014. No idea yet what my book will be about, but I’ve heard hints about a Don Draper-like character. Yum!
You see why I’m impatient? I have so much going on! And, aside from my military books, I have another series I want to write. This one involves four brothers, a small town, and some dark secrets. When will I ever get the time to write them all?
All right, enough whining — here’s what you need to know: HOT PURSUIT is tentatively scheduled for May. There will be a cover reveal soon! There will also be a prequel novella and at least two other books in the series. I hope to have the novella to you by summer’s end, and then the next book perhaps by Christmas. I hate stretching them out so far, but I have to fit them in with the Harlequin work.
While I’m not revealing the cover yet, here’s the blurb. I hope it interests you! Matt is seriously hot, and I think he’ll take your breath away. Which is why I’m getting so antsy about this! If you want to know more, like when the book finally hits stores, sign up for my newsletter (scroll to the bottom of this page and type your email in the box) and be among the first to know when the book goes live. I’ll also announce it on Facebook, Twitter, and this site.
The last man she ever wanted to see…
Evie Baker’s luck just ran out. Thanks to an ex-partner with organized crime ties, she’s lost her restaurant, her money, and nearly all her self-respect. Forced to return to her hometown and work as a shampoo girl in her mother’s salon, she doesn’t think her luck can get any worse.
But then someone starts shooting at her, her sullen baby sister is suddenly missing, and the high school heartthrob who stole her heart—and her virginity—is the only man big enough and bad enough to help.
Might be the only one who can save her…
Captain Matt “Richie Rich” Girard can’t afford to get involved. He’s already on the verge of a court-martial after a Top Secret op gone wrong, and he’s been ordered to stay out of trouble while he’s home for his sister’s wedding.
But when Evie’s ex-partner turns up dead, staying out of trouble is the last thing on Matt’s mind. He failed Evie once before; he can’t fail her again. If he’s going to protect her from a killer, and find her sister before time runs out, he’ll have to risk his entire future—and both their lives—to do it.
Things are about to get HOT in the bayou!
Y’all, I don’t usually talk the writing stuff much anymore, but I can’t help myself this time. I had company in town this past week, and while I took some time off to do things with her — some shopping, some lunching — I also sat myself down at my desk and did the work. I may be my own boss, but I still have a job to do and jobs don’t get done when you lollygag.
So what do you think happens when writers tell me they just can’t get the work done? That they have to watch their favorite shows, and do all their Facebooking and Twittering, and yes they have a deadline screaming toward them at light speed, but they’re probably going to miss it because, well, it’s football season! Or Downton Abbey is on. Or it’s spring and they have to plant the bulbs.
If you guessed that I probably turn apoplectic, you’d be right. It’s infuriating when someone asks me how I manage to write so much while wringing their hands and hoping I’ll give them the secret formula that will suddenly make words pour onto the page.
And I do give them the secret, but they don’t listen. The secret is this: DO THE WORK! If you want to make a career of this, if you want to be a published author and have people read your stories, then you have to turn off the television — or whatever distracts you — and do the work FIRST. Do it! Stop talking about it, stop wringing your hands, and stop making excuses.
Your shows can be DVRed. You can watch them once you meet that deadline. I don’t know what to tell you about sports, since that’s not my hang up, but I’m pretty sure you can’t watch every darn game Thursday through Monday. You can’t do everything. Make a choice. And if you choose the football, don’t whine about the writing. You chose it!
Seriously, the only way you get ahead in this job is to make it a priority. Writing does not come last. Writing does not come after you finish everything else. Writing must be a priority. Yes, your family is the most important thing. I don’t disagree with that at all. There’s a saying you might have seen before: “Happy wife, happy life.” It’s cute, right? But I think it should also be expanded a bit. “Happy family, happy marriage, happy life.” It doesn’t rhyme, but it’s closer to the truth, I think.
So this is my rant for the day. If you’re a writer, if you want to make this a career, you need to make sure you’re willing to do what it takes. You can’t write when you feel like it. You can’t build a career or gain readers if you take such an approach. If you want this — really want this — you have to work for it. It’s still a job, and it still requires you to put in the time.
So put down the remote, stash the coupons for the mall, and get your work done first. Your work ethic is vital in this business. If you don’t have one, if you’re easily distracted, then you aren’t going to succeed.
But if you get that work done, you’ll be surprised at how everything begins to flow. Make writing a priority, and you might just be amazed at how much you get done. Good luck and get to work! That’s what I’ll be doing…
Morning, y’all! In just a short while (11:30 Central), I will be on the Beyond the Book Spotlight radio show with Sasha, Evie, and Sara! You can call in to ask questions, or just listen along. Hope you can make it!