Category Archives: Blog

Svatura Series – Boxed Set

Do you believe it’ll have been 5 years since I first released Blue Violet (Svatura #1) in August? And it’ll be 2 years from the series release with The Wild Rose Press in October. Crazy, crazy, crazy how time speeds up.

In celebration of these upcoming milestones, 2 things are happening this month…

JUNE 9th – PRICE DROP!

All four individual books of the series received a permanent price drop from $4.99 to $2.99 each! If you’re only a few books in, now’s the time to finish this award-winning series!

      

Or…

JUNE 15th – BOXED SET RELEASE!

All four books are now being offered as a complete boxed set for $5.99 (50% off the new prices of the individual books). Now available! Get started on this award-winning series. Great summer reads!

And a big thank you to The Wild Rose Press for all your help and love to offer these fantastic deals!

Kadie Scott Release Day – The Wrong Kind of Compatible

My alter ego, Kadie Scott, has a book birthday today! For you romantic comedy lovers out there, check out…

THE WRONG KIND OF COMPATIBLE

Data analyst Cassie Howard may be brilliant (and, okay, a little awkward), but she’s worked hard to get where she is. She definitely doesn’t need some sexy new analyst coming in and taking credit for her work. Or the inappropriate thoughts that keep popping out of her mouth she’d rather he not hear.

For undercover FBI agent Drew Kerrigan, computers have always made more sense than people, but he’d better develop some slick social skills in a hurry if he’s going to win over the too-tantalizing-for-his-sanity Cassie. Hacking their systems was easy. Now he’s just got to hack the one person in the company most likely to see through his ruse…

amazon barnes_and_noble ibooks kobo

2017 RWA PRISM Award Finalist!!!

I am thrilled to announce that Her Demigod Complex (Legendary Consultants #1) is a finalist in the Novella category for the 2017 Prism Award!

The Prism is contest is held annually by the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal (FF&P) chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) – one of the awesome online chapters to which I belong. The contest is for any authors (not just chapter members) who wish to enter published novels or novellas in various categories. Multiple judges then read and score every submission.

This year, I was thrilled to learn that I’m a finalist! Winners will be announced at the RWA National Conference in July during FF&P’s Prism Awards Ceremony in Orlando, Florida, which I will be attending.

Huge congrats to all the finalists in the various categories (I’ll link to as soon as the full announcement is up)! And hooray!

2017 Prism Awards Finalistsl

Her Demigod Complex (Legendary Consultants #1)

Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Chapter of RWA

2017 RONE Award Finalist!!!

2017 RONE Award Finalists

Her Demigod Complex (Legendary Consultants #1)

I am thrilled to announce that Her Demigod Complex (Legendary Consultants #1) is a finalist in the Novella category for the 2017 RONE Awards!

The RONE is an annual contest held by InD’Tale Magazine.

Throughout the year the InD’tale stable of reviewers read and review submitted books. All books that receive a 5-Star review are automatically finalists in their category. All books that receive a 4-Star or 4.5-Star review are nominees which go through a round of reader voting. This year I had 5 books nominated!

Her Demigod Complex received a 5-star review and so automatically finaled this year. Thank you to all the readers who voted for my other nominated books!

All finalists are read by a panel of industry judges (editors, agents, librarians, etc.). Their scores will determine the RONE Award Winners. Winners will be announced during InD’Scribe Con in October!

Huge congrats to all the finalists in the various categories! Thanks again to the readers who voted. A huge thank you to InD’Tale. And hooray!

I Lost 20 Lbs!!!

That’s right! And I learned that it’s all about choices and exercise. I know no one wants to hear that, but…

Seems like each decade my “resting weight” goes up about 10 lbs. I was happy with where I was in my 20s and most of my 30s. But over the last 2 years of my 30s, everything went downhill. Part of the downhill is that I moved home to Texas–where all food is fantastic but extremely fattening. Another, bigger part is I started working from home, sitting for long periods of time. Within 3 months of moving home, I put on 20 lbs. (a very big deal on a 5’2″ frame).

Over the last two years, I tried several diets which had worked in the past. Zero results. And I mean zero. So darn frustrating. I figured this was just my metabolism slowing since I was nearing 40. I had honestly come to the conclusion that this was the weight I’d be in my 40s (because I like food), but starting in March decided to try one last ditch effort. I made two major changes…

First, I went on Weight Watchers. I had tried the system before in my 30s, and it didn’t work for me. However, they claimed to have changed their formula, so I figured worth another shot. I’ve never been able to maintain a diet for more than about 4 weeks. Imagine my surprise when, 3 months later, I’m still happily going. I don’t feel starved or deprived. This is a lifestyle change more than a diet. Apparently even 40-year-olds who think they already know better can learn thing or two.

Second, I bought a treadmill desk. Every day I spend my writing time walking at a very slow pace. I do get motion sick easily, but this doesn’t bother me. I walk a total of 2 hours a day–usually between 4 and 5 miles. I’ve added some hand weights to the mix on Fridays. But that’s it. Walking. Lots of it. 6-7 days a week of it. (I will admit my feet have protested the pounding. So now I’m trying more supportive shoes, icing, and yoga to give them a periodic break. You try to get healthy, sheesh!)

Today, 3 months later, I hit my goal weight loss of 20 pounds!!! That’s 3″ from my waist, 3.5″ from my hips, 2.5″ from each thigh, 2″ from each arm, and 4″ from my bust.

I honestly thought I’d never see this weight again, and yet here I am. It’s working so well, and has been so relatively easy, I’ve decided to give it another month or two and see if I can lose another 5-7 lbs. A feat which would get me down to a weight I haven’t seen in 10 years (since before my babies were born). After that, I have every intention of going into maintenance mode–continuing the walking and sticking to weight watchers to keep my weight where where I feel healthy.

So hooray! I know this had little to do with writing, but I just had to share!

   

On the left is me in March after I’d already lost 5 lbs. On the right is me now. You can see the difference in my face. 

Using Sensory Description in Paranormal Romance

Originally posted on Paranormal Romantics 5/20/2017

***

A frequent tip you’ll hear in writing workshops, seminars, and blogs is to include the senses in your descriptions. One workshop I attended mentioned trying to include all 5 senses on every page. I took this to be a bit of an exaggeration, as that would be a LOT of description on every page. But it gives you a goal to shoot for so you remember to include sensory description as much as possible.

My personal rule of thumb is to attempt to get all 5 senses to show up in every five pages. This is actually much harder than it sounds, so let’s dig into a little bit.

 

5 Commonly Learned Senses

Sight

Sight tends to be the easiest of the senses to remember because you can describe what the character is seeing in terms of surroundings, other people, gestures, or even what’s inside their head. However, since this one is the easiest to include, don’t forget to include little details that we all notice without realizing it… colors, shapes, changes in the surroundings, locations of objects or people in relation to the POV. For that deep POV touch, have characters note things that they would notice. No two people would walk into a room and notice the same things. Think about what in the room/the scene/another character might catch your characters eye.

Sound

Sound can be relatively easy because you can describe voices if you include a lot of dialogue like I prefer. But I find I forget to includes sounds of everyday life that we all tend to tune out, but are there nonetheless. Things like cars passing, low murmurs of voices at parties, background music, etc. You don’t need a lot, just a touch here and there. Again, try to incorporate things your character might notice.

Touch

Touch could be the bread and butter for a romance writer. Touch can be a very sensual experience. Wonderfully descriptive words come from touch – rough, smooth, silky, hard, soft, lush, scratchy. Think about textures of furniture, of food, of clothing, of skin, of pets, even the air. You get the idea.

Smell

You would think that smell would be easy to include, but unless there’s food involved, I find I really have to think about smells. (I guess I love food.) Smells surround us, but unless they’re strong we don’t think about it much. Next time you get out of the car or enter a new building, think about what it smells like. Does it smell like a hospital? Like Christmas? Like a trash bin? Like piney woods? Like flowers? What do people around you smell like? Like what they just ate? Their cologne? Their shampoo? The pool water they just swam in?

Taste

This is perhaps the hardest sense to include regularly because most of us only think of taste in terms of food. And, at least for my characters, I don’t have them eating in every chapter. However, taste can come into play in ways that are more subtle. Have you ever tasted the metallic flavor of blood, or the lips of the person you just kissed, or a scent in the air is so strong you can taste it?

Other Senses

Did you know there are more than 5 senses these days? I heard a trivia question recently saying that there are more than 5 senses–which, as a writer who tries to include these details in my descriptions, I found fascinating.

In researching this a little, I discovered that scientists are still divided on the additional senses. Some link them to specific sensory organs in our bodies (eyes, ears, olfactory, tongue, skin – but also inner ear, etc.). Some consider that there are subcategories to the main 5.

Regardless of classification, here are some additional senses that most of the websites I reviewed agreed on:

  • Temperature – Hold/Cold
  • Balance
  • Pain
  • Sense of where your limbs and body parts are
  • Thirst
  • Hunger
  • Time

Just think of all the new ways you could incorporate these additional sensory details!

 

Paranormal Senses

Now let’s take it yet a step further, into a genre specific bonus!

In paranormal romance, we are dealing with creatures that don’t have just their human senses. They could potentially have heightened sense. Take werewolves and wolf shifters for example. Several articles pointed out that animals have heightened versions of these senses. Dogs smell 100x better than humans. So it stands to reason my wolf shifters would as well.

Think about having fun with the possibilities this presents. For example:

A dragon might be cold intolerant, because they like heat better. They might also have a great sense of balance which could be needed for flying. How much fun would a dragon with inner-ear issues be to write, because suddenly they are grounded (and more interesting).

OR

A vampire might be a great CSI because they can taste elements in blood. What if they could be a DNA tester? Or  blood-alcohol tester?

OR

A psychic can’t stand to be touched because it triggers visions. That’ll make intimate relationships difficult. Build in conflict right there.

I think you get where I’m going now. (In fact, I might go write that dragon with balance issues right now.)

I hope you have a ton of fun trying to fit in some new sensory detail, and maybe even make a character more interesting because of it! Let me know what you come up with!

You Might Be a Romance Writer If…

Depositphotos_22233231_l-2015I’ve been writing all my life. I think just about every writer/author will tell you that. We write long before we are published. The publication part just lets the rest of the world know that we are writers.

I’ve been a romance writer for most of that time. Actually I’ve been a romance reader ALL of that time, and the writing followed naturally. So…after 7+ years of doing this gig for publication, I’ve started to notice a few signs about being a writer, and especially a romance writer.

Do any of these sound like you?

You might be a writer (especially a romance writer) if:

  1. Every time you start writing a non-romance story, it doesn’t get good (in your head) until a romance suddenly appears.
  2. You change the endings of movies and books in your head (or add characters, new plot lines, a better romance…whatever).
  3. Proper grammar has been drilled into your head, and you’ve yelled at the TV “It’s ‘I’ dude. The crew and I. ” When a newscaster just said, “The crew and me went on location.”
  4. Other writers, and definitely editors, still find mistakes with your grammar, so you are far from perfect in that department. Just perfect when it comes to “I” vs. “me”. Lol.
  5. At a reunion, an old schoolmate asks if your mom (previous high-school English teacher) is proud of your writing, and you answer that absolutely she is, but it’s a little awkward to know your mother reads all the sex scenes you wrote. Followed by dead silence and stares.
  6. Your husband walks into the living room to find you straddling the couch with your hands “tied” behind your back to see if you could physically reach your foot in that situation while riding a horse (in a “stealthy” manor). (Yes, it is possible, though cramps ensue.)
  7. You post on Facebook declaring for whoever is watching (big brother-style) that all your searches involving knives and knife throwing (plus martial arts, ninja skills, breaking and entering, climbing tall walls, special positions, and whatever else) have to do with research for a fictional book.
  8. You check out Wikipedia for the plot of a series of books, because you can already tell it’s going in a direction you wouldn’t have written, and hope you’re wrong. But you don’t want to read ALL those books if you’re right.
  9. You stop reading a book or don’t like a movie because they royally f’ed up the romance bit.
  10. You commonly wake in the middle of the night exclaiming “That’s it!” But if you don’t write it down, your brilliant idea is gone come morning.
  11. You’ve missed actually hearing/participating in a meeting at work, or a conversation with your spouse, because you realized the fix for your latest WIP and you were working through the details in your head.
  12. You start hearing sexual innuendo in everything people say, and it makes you snicker every time.
  13. You stop at a red light and desperately search for a scrap of paper and a pen so you can write down your latest brain wave before it disappears.
  14. Every October 31st you warn your spouse, children, family, and friends that you’ll be unavailable for the  next month while you write a book. And on your fifth consecutive year of this, your husband declares that if you get to write a book for NaNoWriMo, he gets to grow a mustache for Movember.
  15. You get to a point where every month is NaNoWriMo.
  16. You tell people that the voices in your head are why you feel compelled write, and they nod and smile like that’s normal, then exit the conversation as soon as they can without appearing rude. (They don’t want to upset the voices.)

Fellow (romance) writers, what other signs have you noticed? Readers, what about you?

WINNER: Character Name Contest!

In April, my fabulous newsletter readers signed up for a contest to name a lead character in my upcoming Legendary Consultants novella, TO THINE OWN ELF BE TRUE.

Contestants were given the following description and asked to provide a name. Bonus points for reasons for the name.

A paranormal doctor (a healer). She is tall. She has medium brown hair with golden highlights (about shoulder length). Stunning blue eyes with an exotic slant keep her from ending up “girl next door” pretty.

She is a city girl who has ended up in a backwoods town in the north to help a bunch of elves. She is super smart, sassy, and sarcastic, but not snotty. She’s actually a people person. 

From the roughly 75 entries, I selected my favorites and put them up for a vote from all my readers. Without further ado, the winner of the Name a Character Contest, with 42% of the vote, is….

Christine B. with the name of:

Sapphire Sirona

Sapphire for her eyes and Sirona for the Gallo-Roman and Celto-Germanic goddess of healing.

Congrats to Christine, and a huge thank you to all who entered the contest. I’ll definitely hold another one of these soon! 🙂

 

 

2017 RONE Awards Nominee

I am thrilled to announce that 5 of my books have been nominated for the 2017 InD’tale RONE Awards!

The way these awards work, throughout the year the InD’tale stable of reviewers read and review submitted books. All books that receive a 5-Star review are automatically finalists in their category. All books that receive a 4-Star or 4.5-Star review are nominees which go through a round of reader voting.

After reader voting, all finalists are then read by a panel of industry judges (editors, agents, librarians, etc.). Their scores will determine the RONE winners. Winners will be announced during InD’Scribe Con in October!

MY NOMINATE BOOKS:

  • Her Demigod Complex – 5-Star Review (Novella, Finalist)
  • The Worse for Were – 4.5-Star Review (Novella, Nominee)
  • Home for the Holidays – 4-Star Review (Anthology, Nominee) *Pub’d Nov’16-Jan’17 Only
  • Tieryn’s Fury – 4.5-Star Review (Paranormal Short, Nominee)
  • Seneca’s Faith – 4.5-Star Review (Paranormal Short, Nominee)

VOTING

Reader voting will be for 1-week at a time for each category. If you’ve read and loved my books, I’d appreciate your votes! Please check out the voting dates.

Novella Voting – April 17-23

Anthology Voting – April 24-30

Paranormal Short Voting – May 8-14

Thank you for your votes!

VOTE: Choose a Character Name!

Due to my website being down for 2 weeks, I am extending this contest through May 15th!

In April, my fabulous newsletter readers signed up for a contest to name a lead character in my upcoming Legendary Consultants novella, TO THINE OWN ELF BE TRUE.

Contestants were given the following description and asked to provide a name. Bonus points for reasons for the name.

 

From the roughly 75 entries, I selected my favorites. And I am now asking for your help! Please check out the finalists and vote on your favorite.

I will announce the winner on May 15th, 2017 by 8pm CST.

VOTE HERE

NEW CHARACTER DESCRIPTION

A paranormal doctor (a healer). She is tall. She has medium brown hair with golden highlights (about shoulder length). Stunning blue eyes with an exotic slant keep her from ending up “girl next door” pretty.

She is a city girl who has ended up in a backwoods town in the north to help a bunch of elves. She is super smart, sassy, and sarcastic, but not snotty. She’s actually a people person. 

NAME FINALISTS

Samara “Sam” Winters (Submitted by Kelesea F.)

She was named after her father’s best friend from college.

Rian Nakoha (Submitted by Cheryll McM.)

The first name bc it’s striking and unusual like her beauty. The second bc I’m part Cherokee, and it means mother/nurturing which is what healers do in our culture.

Raine Storms (Submitted by Norma S.)

Her mother was a librarian with a warped sense of humor and her dad was an engineer who thought puns were the only way to make someone laugh. She had also been born during a horrific thunder and lightening storm and was older by 6 minutes than her brother Thor. Thank the gods that they hadn’t been triplets because the unlucky 3rd sibling would have been called either Lightening or Gayle depending upon their gender.

Yep I’m the librarian and my husband is an engineer. We didn’t have kids of our own (2 fosters that we adopted) and the thought did cross my mind when we were trying to have our own kids.

Sadie Powers (Submitted by Cassandra H.)

People-oriented and fun-loving. Makes things more fun for others by their enjoyment, good at getting others to have fun. Outgoing, social, group oriented. Does not like to be alone, feels at ease around others. Talkative, open, Values relationships and family. Interested in serving others. Likely to be the center of attention in social situations. Living for the moment loves new experiences. Well-developed common sense and practical ability. Feels the emotions of others. Likes teamwork. Guided by moods

Sapphire Sirona (Submitted by Christine B.)

Sapphire for her eyes and Sirona for the Gallo-Roman and Celto-Germanic goddess of healing.

Brigid Mender (Submitted by Michelle V.)

Brigid is the Irish Goddess associated with healing.

Kaytlyn Althea (Submitted by Angelina B.)

Althea is Greek and it means one who brings healing. Her paternal grandfather came over from Greece as a preteen. Kaytlyn is English and means smart and beautiful. Named after her maternal great-grandmother.

VOTE HERE

Oh! And if you’d like to get in on fabulous contests like this, make sure to join my newsletter!