Projects

Happy Book Birthday/Anniversary to Me!

This is shaping up to be an incredible month full of thanksgiving for me, and we’re only three days in! Why? Here’s a list:

  • Today is my book birthday for Sugar, Sugar and Spice #2. Older woman, younger man, burlesque, angst and sexy times galore!
  • Sugar is my 20th published work under my name. Yep, TWENTY books and novellas. If I add in the books I write under my alter ago, the total is TWENTY FIVE.
  • This month also marks my 15th year as a published author. My first book, No Commitment Required, was released fifteen years ago this month.

SUGARncr_cover

It has been an incredible, emotional ride, truly a roller coaster career of ups and downs. I have screamed in delight and frustration and rage. I have laughed, I have cried, I have celebrated and I have mourned. Good advice, horrible advice. Helpful friends and wolves in sheep’s clothing. Great and not-so-great in the entire gamut of the publishing process.

 

 

Are there things I would have done differently, if I could turn back time? Absolutely! Hindsight is a beautiful thing, after all. Yet the people I have encountered along the way have shaped me into the writer I am today and I am grateful to each and every one of you.

Most of all, I am thankful to my readers. Those who just discovered me and those who have been with me since book one. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and your notes go a long way to helping me keep my butt in my chair and my fingers to my keyboard. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. Thank you for enjoying the characters I create and the story they tell. It is my most fervent hope that I’m still here fifteen years and another twenty-five books from now, entertaining you with my story gems.

Schedule update: Prescription for Love

Hi everyone!

For those of you who bought 12 Alphas 12 Months and help us get on the USA Today bestsellers list, thank you! I know many of you are wondering when my novella for Mr. May, PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVE,  will be available as a stand alone release, so here’s my thought:

I want to expand the story because I do think there’s more that can be told about Alex and Jasmine and their journey to love. NAUGHTY (Sugar & Spice #3) is due to my publisher on December 1. I start the rewrite of PFL the very next day. My goal is to have it available at all e-retailers in time for Valentine’s Day.

In the meantime, check out the cover if you haven’t seen it! Isn’t Alex “AJ” Galindo hot?

Prescription_cover

Making Plans and Apologies

So excited to be headed to New York for the Romance Writers of America national conference. Normally I don’t go every year, but NYC’s conference will always be a must-attend for me.

This is my first time sitting on an RWA panel– 50 Shades of Love: Writing the Multicultural Romance (RESEARCH) which will be at 2pm on Friday. There are two other multicultural panels this year as well, both are on Thursday.

  • Diversity in Romance: Why it Matters (WRITER’S LIFE) will be at 9:45
  • Multicultural Romance: When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, and How to Make it Right (CAREER) at 3:15

This year, my focus is on career building and my production schedule. I have only one indie project this year (Prescription for Love, in the 12 Alphas 12 Months anthology that released earlier this month.) It is a sequel of sorts to Three Wishes and my goal is to expand it so that I can release it and Nick and Maya’s wedding story, Four Hearts, together.

It was my intention to release these this year, but sometimes life happens, which it did late last year/earlier this year. I had a delay in finishing the contracted book for the Sugar and Spice, which pushed everything back by four months. Which meant my indie projects have to give. Not the contracted stuff, not the day job stuff, but the things you’ve been asking me for. For that, I’m sorry.

So where do things stand? I have one more contracted book for the Sugar and Spice series, NAUGHTY. I really enjoy writing about these friends and their issues with various forms of addiction and recovery, and I hope I can write more of them. We’ll see when I work on the proposal after turning in book 3. Once I turn that book and the proposal in, I plan to work on expanding PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVE . I also plan on working on SHADOW HUNT and the true sequel to Three Wishes which is FOUR HEARTS. Someone asked about Sons of Anubis. I would love to continue those stories too. I’ve planned another three in that series, but now I’m wondering is I could/should do some crossover with the Shadowchaser series.

Anyway, that’s where I am, and why I’m heading to New York to learn, to recharge, and put the pedal to the floor. Thanks to all of you for your patience and support!

Bye 2013, Hello 2014!

2013 was a great year, especially since I didn’t have anything published in 2012 and wondered if I’d already seen my last word in print. Glad I kicked Doubt’s ass!

writing, from Microsoft clipart

writing, from Microsoft clipart

My alter ego and I saw three novellas and one novel published electronically in 2013. For some that might be a pittance, but for me, that was full of awesome! (especially after the drought of 2012, which really started in late 2010.) I wrote more words this year than I had in 2011 and 2012 COMBINED, and I plan to break that record in 2014.

This summer my alter ego and I both got contracts thanks to my fabo agent, which for now is the highpoint of my career–two contracts for two names/series from two different houses. I laughed, I cried, I freaked the hell out.

In 2014, I’ll see the print version of the 2013 novel, three electronic novellas, and one print novel published. That will be a personal best for me. But if I can swing it, I hope it will also see my first self-published efforts, two novellas that launch series with characters my readers are already familiar with.  If any of you are planning to attend Romance Slam Jam, I’ll be breaking the news and sharing the covers there.

The idea of seeing six new publishing credits is inspiring and motivating and stress-inducing all at once! But I am looking forward to the challenge and reaping the results of my endeavors.

All of that to say this: 2013 was a great year for me, and 2014 looks to be the same. THANK YOU for being a part of my journey!

363

Insane in the Membrane, aka the Midyear Check-in

Young Woman Thinking --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Young Woman Thinking — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

With June gone in a haze blaze, it seemed like a good idea to take stock of where I am and reassess where I plan to go.

This time last year, I hadn’t had anything published in a year. I didn’t publish anything at all in 2012 and was determined to sell something new before the year was out. Before summer 2012 ended, I had a contract for three novellas with Harlequin’s Nocturne Cravings, and the other me sold a historical romance to Samhain.

In the first six months of this year, I’ve seen two of my novellas published: Seducing the Jackal and Hunting the Jackal from the Sons of Anubis series. My alter ego, Mallery Malone, saw Devil’s Angel, an Irish medieval romance, released in April. (It’s awesome. You should go buy it and tell your friends to get it too!) November will see the third jackal novella, Claiming the Jackal, released.

I’m thrilled to pieces with that. I know that I can’t do that whole resting on my laurels thing. For one, that leads to laziness. For two and most important, that leads to a year like 012. I don’t want to have a year like 2012, with nothing out. So here’s what’s in the pipe to complete/get to proposal status this year.

  1. Proposals for the next three Sons of Anubis stories. While I would love to do a full-length novel with all the action and angst I can throw in, I love writing these novellas. So I have ideas for Aya, the high priestess; Alonso, Hector’s brother; a human female, and possibly a lost Daughter of Isis.
  2. Proposals for spicy contemporary romance project. I’d like to tell you more about it, but I’m playing this one close. It’s two book ideas right now, with a possibility of two more. But they are contemporary romance, the heroine in each are good women who made bad decisions, and there’s a Tuesday Night Survivor’s Club theme. I want this proposal done by the end of July, if not right before RWA2013.
  3. SHADOW HUNT. I’ve been promising this for a long time, and I know people are tired of hearing me say it’s in the pipe. Well, it really is. I posted a 200-word excerpt of it this past Tuesday over on my Facebook Author page. I am going to self-publish it, and my goal is to have it ready for sale and promoting by the time the Coastal Magic conference rolls around in February.
  4. SHADOW FLIGHT. This is a short story that I originally released in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance II under the name The Majestic. I want to expand it a bit and offer it as a limited time freebie prior to the release of Shadow Hunt, because it sets up the story in SH nicely. I’d like to have this one ready to go by Thanksgiving, if not earlier.
  5. THROUGH THE WEDDING. This will be a novella-length sequel to Through The Fire, and will focus on Brandt and Willow as they fall deeper in love and plan their wedding. It will reintroduce you to their friends and family and will kickoff what I hope to be two self-published novella series: THE HUGHES of HAMILTON, and the SERENA BAY series.There are lots of people whom I left hanging in TTF, and they deserve their stories. I hope to have Through the Wedding ready to go by Slam Jam 2014.
  6. AA/IR HISTORICALS? YES PLEASE. So in talking about Slam Jam yesterday, I also talked about this lovely article in the NYT about a black nurse and a German POW who fell in love in Arizona of all places, and I kinda inspired an idea which I tweeted about with an editor, who told me to write it and send it to her. So now I have to. And it revived a series idea I had the last time RWA was in Atlanta, a series I couldn’t get anyone to take interest in because “Beverly Jenkins has the AA historical market on lockdown.” Which Ms. Jenkins herself will tell you is ridiculous, and who buys one book and says, “that’s it, I’m not going to look for anything else in this genre until this author puts another book out”? Yeah. So if someone is actively looking for AA/MC historical romances, and I have ideas for some, you darn tootin’ I’m gonna try to get mine to see the light of day.
  7. Hey, MALLERY WANTS TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK TOO. I came up with Mallery back in 2006 or so, when I wanted to try my hand at writing spicier stuff, and was curious about epublishing. That novella, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, is still making money, I can’t retire from the day job, but it’s paid a hotel stay here or there. And I left a sequel languishing on my hard drive. And a sequel novella to the Irish medieval wants to see the light of day as well.

So yeah. Twelve projects, half of which are to be self-published, the other half I’m going to try to sell. The proposals have to go out first and he other projects will depend on me selling those and discovering what the completion deadlins are. While they’re being shopped, I’ll be working on my self-publishing stuff. While still writing for the day job.

And you guys thought I was passing time playing Candy Crush Saga. Hah!

The End is Only the Beginning

Image courtesy of Microsoft clipart site

Image courtesy of Microsoft clipart site

There is no greater high than reaching “The End” while making a deadline. I finished the third Sons of Anubis story, CLAIMING THE JACKAL and sent it on to my Harlequin Cravings editor. She’s out on vacation next week, so I won’t know if she likes it until the first of July or so.

I’m always anxious about the reception of my work. Who isn’t? But CLAIMING is last manuscript on the contract, which means it’s time to come up with new stuff for new contracts. That’s always a stress-inducing and simultaneously freeing time.

Hey, I’m a Gemini. I’m always of two minds about everything!

So I’m daydreaming conceptualizing new stories for the Sons of Anubis series, based on some threads I wove into the previous stories. High Priestess Aya is going to get a story, and a human woman stumbles onto something she shouldn’t have seen. Hopefully my editor will like those ideas. I’m also working on a contemporary erotic romance project that I’m really excited about (who isn’t?) especially since I didn’t think I had any contemporary romance ideas.

And, for those of you so patiently waiting, Kira is talking to me! This fourth story is shaping up to be a transition piece in more ways than one, and I’ve got to get past the oh-my-god-what-if-no-one-likes-it mentality and just write the damn thing!

So I’m at an end, but it’s not really an end. It’s the beginning of the next adventure!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

looking forward

 

So here we are, at the end of another year. I can definitely say that 2012 was much better than 2011, even if I didn’t have a single book out this year.  Why? Because no books in 2012 meant I didn’t write or sell anything in 2011, and that was definitely hard. I was burned out by trying to write fully involved 400-page novels with world-building, romance, action, danger and hooks every six months while trying to maintain a crazy production schedule of writing and designing at my day job. I hit a wall, and I hit it hard.

Going in for surgery at the end of January and having six weeks of down time gave me plenty of time to rest and recuperate and think. (Ah, the blessed rest after the pain went away. Wonderful!) I thought about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go. I thought about writing, and if I could do it again. If I wanted to do it again. If i could get something together for my poor agent to sell. If I could write something else and sell that. If I dared to get back into the maelstrom of deadlines and rejections and word counts and not hyperventilate.

Of course I hyperventilated. The memory of 2011 left its claw marks on my psyche. My series was dead in the water. Contemporaries, especially hot ones, were all the rage, but all I had in me were paranormal stories. Fighting for every word I wrote or typed exhausted me, and I was on bedrest! So I did what any good writer would do.

I read.

Reading. The one constant over my life has been immersing myself in other worlds through the written word. Reading got me through my awkward teens years, my family issues, long stretches between boyfriends, boredom, bus rides, lunches. Reading always got me through. It’s sad that I had forgotten that, sadder still that as I writer on both jobs, I lost time to do more than read cooking directions. But as I recuperated, I read, and as I read, I remembered.

I love words. Reading them, writing them, feeling them. The more I read, the more words sank into my brain, and so did the creativity to weave them. My love of reading did what it had done decades ago–nurtured my love of writing.

My agent sent me a blurb about Nocturne looking for sexy paranormal shorts. An idea immediately popped into my mind. I mean immediately. Just a phrase at first: The Sons of Anubis. Then another: The Daughters of Isis. And then conflict.

I wrote the first story. My agent sold it within a week of me sending it to her, with an offer for two more. I also polished a medieval romance that was a book of my heart type thing. Samhain bought that one. The medieval will be out next spring under my alter ego’s name, and the first two Sons of Anubis stories will be out summer and fall.l

I have my words back. And I have other authors and their words to thank for it.

I’m optimistic about 2013, fanatically so. I know I have at least one more Sons of Anubis story. These paranormal erotic romances have inspired me to write a full length IR erotic romance, which I’m working on now. And I have the beginnings of a new contemporary romance series that I’m fleshing out. I’m also polishing a Shadowchasers short story to put out myself hopefully before the end of winter. If it goes well, a longer story will follow.

Words. I have them back. And I’m looking forward to where they’ll take me in 2013 and beyond.

Goodbye, 2012. Hello, 2013!