Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best Laid Plans PART THREE

RIGHT. So we got over the fevers, but my middle child and I have been coughing up a lung or two each ever since. I've spent most of the last week lazing around, reading, because I just don't feel good.

That means Christmas was disorganized and low-key. The turkey breast was done in the Crock Pot (and overcooked, because you can't trust slow cooker instructions, obviously) and I totally forgot to make mashed potatoes. And I got a big box from Amazon and in my illness haze couldn't figure out what was in it, so hoped it was something someone had ordered for me. But I couldn't figure out why we hadn't received the Nerf gun for middle child. Yeah. So it never got wrapped and I pulled it out after he'd opened everything else. Oh hey! The oldest also got a Nerf gun from middle child, but everyone's been recovering and not ready for massive Nerf wars (especially the sort where we invite friends over and exchange germs).
   

All the coughing is finally tapering off, but yesterday my oldest started his fever and is coughing a bit. And he has an aversion to taking pills, so I can't even get ibuprofen in him. Or acetaminophen. Or Dayquil/NyQuil (I'm going to have to go get the liquid instead of the soft tabs).

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my husband has a new fun trick, which is passing kidney stones. (Apparently the closest men come to the pain of childbirth. WHEE!). Just two so far. Hopefully no more, with changing his diet a little. Because we don't know which type of stone it was, we don't even know if he's supposed to keep eating whole grains: All our bread is whole wheat and he eats an enormous bowl of oatmeal every day, so that's kind of a big deal for him (and for me, who does the shopping and cooking). But one place says don't eat lots of fiber and another says do. So who knows? Not me.

This morning, I suddenly realized that I need to light fires under myself and my whole RWA chapter so I can do the newsletter in a couple of days. We have a new banner, so I want to change up the newsletter a bit, too.

And I've done exactly nothing as far as writing, editing, marketing, or anything over the last ten days. WITH A BOOK COMING UP IN NINE DAYS.

I started a post about my favorite books of 2016 and need to finish that.

Nor have I exercised.

So, because all my best laid plans are going awry, why don't I go ahead and make some for the next month?

Today's goals: 
Walk in the sunshine.
Get blood test (because my veins are so small, they didn't get enough last time I tried)
Go to grocery store.
Work on Best-Of blog post.

This week's goals:
Work on new design for RWA newsletter.
Shop for oldest's birthday.
Work on book that's allllllmost done.

January goals:
Finish that book.
Find a job.
Edit next French book, Book 6, Francoise (or Future Vicomtesse? Or the Vicomte Dilemma?) (and WOW, that first chapter is rough. I must not have spent any more time on it since I wrote it a while back).

And I humbly ask that your goal be to pre-order Henri et Marcel. It's great. Honest.

Henri de Cantière has been surly since he returned from visiting his family at Versailles, but he doesn’t want to burden Marcel Fourbier, his longtime lover, with his problems. He can’t sleep and hurts all over at exactly the time when everything else seems to be falling apart.

Marcel can barely keep up with his usual duties of running their household and creating beautiful furniture in the de Cantière factory when more burdens fall on his shoulders. His estranged Huguenot family condemns him to hell but wants his help, a stranger attacks him in a dark street, an arsonist tries to destroy the factory, and Henri’s beloved sister-in-law, who has been like a sister to Marcel, is weakening after being in labor for several days.

Most of all, Marcel wants to find a cure for Henri, the man who holds his heart.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

More best laid plans

My middle child is mostly recovered....I think. His fever was 103.1 yesterday (YIKES!), then about 99.5 at 6:30 this morning, but he couldn't even get the thermometer up to normal this afternoon. He keeps coughing like he's trying to clear his lungs and I'm hoping that will clear up without it being bronchitis. He had an email from his science teacher with the study guide for tomorrow's final, but no instruction on exactly what he can bring. His whole book? Or just that page? But YES, he'd better be fine tomorrow!

My older son stayed up until after 2 am working on a book report that "shouldn't take very long" so went to school on very little sleep and is taking a nap instead of studying. I'm mostly worried he'll get sick before tomorrow. He says his exams Friday are "watch a movie" in French class, and "I don't know, but we've taken the test already" in English. So he can be sick starting at noon tomorrow when the first half of the exams are done.

And I took my daughter Christmas shopping this afternoon, which was a madhouse. Rookie move, I know, to go to Game Stop and Target (and the post office with a priority box, but the machine was working and only one person ahead of me in line), but I slept all morning and am still trying to kick the less-awful-than-middle-child flu. It's settled in my chest and I keep doing that deep, chest cough just like middle child's.

Santa and I need to confer on stocking presents, but otherwise I am DONE. The boys have done NO SHOPPING, though, so we're probably going to be out there Saturday morning. May the Spaghetti Monster have mercy on our souls.

But you know the best Christmas present? Pre-order Henri et Marcel:

Heck, go buy the first three in the series, too. They're more historical fiction with romantic elements than straight-up romance. (I mean, the strict definition of romance is that it focuses on the romantic leads and has a positive ending, so they're romance novels in that way). They're also about PG-13. They get racy and all, but it's not a major part of the books.

So anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Best laid plans...

I have gifts to get in the mail today. I mean, I have gifts to get *and* wrap *and* get in the mail today.

But I'm down with a mild flu. My middle child (who's 14 and a high school freshman) has a bigger fever than I do (102.7F, that's 39.3 for those of you outside the US). So far today, he's eaten one piece of toast and some water. I need to at least go out a buy him Gatorade.

My youngest (who's 8) is done with school and spent the whole morning playing Animal Jam. She's getting a subscription for Christmas, but there's a way you can play for free in a limited way.

So anyway, I'll be online shopping and shipping things directly to my sister, I guess.

But for now, I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A small selection of some of my fave books of 2016

I haven't been keeping up my Goodreads account this year, so it shows that I have ONLY read 97 books.

Mostly, I review books on there if I really liked them, though I also use it to take note of books I hope to read. Which means I don't have my DNF and C or lower books on there. It looks like I only read things that I give 4 or 5 stars to. I don't, though wouldn't life be grand if I could always pick up books I'm going to love? But it's a public forum and now I'm an author and not airing all my critiques. I did give a few 3 star reviews (which I don't consider that awful...at least not when I give them), but those are mostly of book group books.

ANYWAY,
I had only a couple re-reads in my 5 star list (but didn't go back and re-star all my favorite re-reads, so this is not an exhaustive list).

So my highly biased personal rec list:

First, those authors I either don't know or only know slightly or online:

A Matter of Class
Balogh, Mary
Signs of Attraction
Brown, Laura
A Bollywood Affair (Bollywood)
Dev, Sonali
*Cotillion 
Heyer, Georgette
We Are the Ants
Hutchinson, Shaun David
Listen to the Moon (Lively St. Lemeston, #3)
Lerner, Rose
*Eleanor & Park Rowell, Rainbow
Break My Fall (Falling, #2)
Scott, Jessica
Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling, #14)
Singh, Nalini

(*re-reads)

I'd like to say I'm completely objective, but seriously? If Amazon thinks reviewers are kinder when they get the book free and they delete reviews if they decide that the reviewer knows the author in person even if the only link is that you follow the author on Facebook... well, I'm just warning you.
So those who are in my RWA chapter, or, in the case of Shay, someone I've known since my little sister had her mom as a teacher in second grade and we were friends in high school:

Romancing the Null (The Outlier Prophecies #1)
Gower, Tina
Win Some, Lose Some
Savage, Shay
Earning a Ring (More Than a Game, #4)
Mathews, Kristina
Swept Away (Swift River Romance #1)
Mathews, Kristina
Virtually Impossible (Once and Forever, #2)
Stewart, Lauren

I'll start with this second set:
Tina Gower is amazing and funny in her books and in person. The Outlier Prophecy series is a lot of fun. I think this first one is perma-free, so give it a try!

I've only read a few of Shay Savage's books and adored Win Some, Lose Some. The hero has Asperger's along with a bunch of other diagnoses. He's good and kind and sometimes he just can't cope.

Kristina Mathews writes sporty heroes. The More Than a Game series is about her first love: baseball. The Swift River books are about a whitewater rafting business. The second Swift River book *just* came out and I haven't read it yet.

And Lauren Stewart does angst and dark and very very sexy extremely well. I liked the first book in the Once and Forever series even better, but that was last year.

As for all the others:

Really, We Are the Ants is the most surprising of the list. We read it for one of my book groups and I laughed, I cried, I wondered if the author really meant that the kid was being abducted by aliens. It's YA with a gay teen protagonist who is being tested by aliens as to if he will press a button to prevent the world from ending.

Rose Lerner's Lively St. Lemeston series is amazing all around, with characters you don't often see in romance, especially Regency ones. Listen to the Moon is a marriage of convenience but between an unemployed valet and maid who marry so they can become the butler and housekeeper to the village vicar. It's very sexy and very open about the class distinctions of 19th century society, even among the household servants.

Signs of Attraction is Laura Brown's first published novel and has Deaf and Hard of Hearing main characters (and most of the supporting cast, too). It's an excellent romance and also educational about Deaf Culture.

Mary Balogh's A Matter of Class surprised me. It was a short novel and about a marriage of convenience between a disgraced daughter of aristocrats and the son of rich social climbers. And there's a twist to it. And it's awesome. I started out thinking I was settling into a typical Balogh (which I always like, but only about four stars worth of love because I'm strict) and it totally enchanted me.

Let's see: the Sonali Dev books are all good, if a bit melodramatic and, well, Bollywood-ish.

Georgette Heyer died when I was a kid, but her novels live on. Cotillion is probably my favorite of them, mostly because the hero is not her usual big, gorgeous, perfect man.

And this is my favorite Rainbow Rowell book. Romeo and Juliet meets eighties references.

Jessica Scott does amazing military romance, which she'd better do well, seeing as she's career US Army and knows these characters.

Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series is my go-to for re-reading and one of the few series I'll buy brand new in hardcover (with signature in this case, since I waited and bought it at the RWA conference).

So there I go. And I just noticed that my latest re-read of Lauren Willig's Mischief of the Mistletoe doesn't show. So there's another.

And, of course, my books. They're the best.


Thank goodness for online shopping!

I've gotten three packages in the last two days, so most of my Christmas shopping is done!

I'm not really sure what my husband is getting, and my sister has told me nothing at all about her kids...

In other news, I got a mystery box, which I guess is a present for me, but I don't know if what's inside is wrapped, so I don't want to open it until Xmas.

On the other hand, I'm the mom and am also in charge of making sure my kids get presents for each other and for their dad (and for me, because if I don't remind them, I don't get much of anything...), so I'm only part way there. Luckily, they have cash and I can drop the two teens off in a high-store-density area and let them go. My daughter, I have to help because she's only eight and only has a little money.

We made cookies last weekend and my friend hosted a cookie exchange last night (I was volunteering, wrapping presents at Barnes and Noble to raise money for the Friends of the Library, so I missed the party, but dropped off my cookies and picked up a variety today), so we're set for sugar for a while.

Tomorrow, I have a blood test, then I have to go to the grocery. Then I'll come home, sit down for a little while, then go pick my daughter up from her last day of school, a minimum day. My boys have another week of the semester, including exams, and get out on the 23rd. TWENTY-THIRD. Good thing we're not going anywhere, but they're going to have to get presents this weekend as a break from studying.

So anyway, we are going to have Christmas even though I just got the cars fixed...

Up soon: my favorite books of 2016!

Also up soon! My favorite book of 2017: Henri et Marcel!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Like that meme going around:

Me at the beginning of 2016:















Me at the end of 2016:




















Ah, if only I were as divine as Carole Kane.

I am a witch.

I am your wife.

And you'd better not discount me.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Writing with distractions

This weekend, I did no writing at all. 

I had a three-day long migraine with other health things, so I managed to read books without it hurting too much, but I took naps and stayed in bed or on the couch most of the time. We went to my friend's son's boy scout pasta dinner on Saturday night, me doped up on ibuprofen (so my head didn't hurt, but I was sort of zoned out). It was nice, but it's always loud and I don't know many people. My youngest was cranky and coming down with a cold, so at the second meltdown, we had to leave.

Today, I am trying to catch up and finish a scene I was in the middle of (with the beginnings of the headache) when I left to set up the Scholastic book fair at my daughter's school on Friday. Then she wanted to run the make up day with running club. Then we went by the library. Then we came home and I had to go lie down.

And now my husband is working from home and has some guy here to get help with his website. A guy with a loud voice.

So anyway, I'm taking a break. 

I mean, it was a sex scene and the mood is ruined....

It's kind of hard anyway, each December when Nanowrimo is over and I still need to finish whatever book I'm working on (because I never finish in November, even when I win - which is most years.) (*Pats self on back*), and all of a sudden, my brain has to be on Christmas presents and mailing things and decorations and OH OOPS I have not yet signed up to bring anything to my daughter's Holiday Feast at school and so on....

⛄⛇⛄⛇⛄⛇⛄⛇⛄⛇⛄⛇⛄⛇

So anyway, now that November is over and this headache has cleared out, I'm ready to move on with work and with family and with writing.

On to December!

(One month and one day to Henri et Marcel!)

Monday, November 28, 2016

PG or maybe PG-13?

I like to say that the reason my books only have a little sex is because my mom reads them. She probably skips what little sex there is, anyway. Or so I'd like to think. I mean, she's my mom, right?

The first three books in Châteaux and Shadows each have one sex scene. In the Honorable Officer, it starts out OK, then goes all bad for the poor heroine. The sex after that is much better for her, because the hero's not a cruel person, but it's hinted at and mostly happens behind closed doors.


The Chevalier doesn't go into too much detail, either. He's recovering from an injury, she's nursing him back to health. His fever breaks. She helps him take a sponge bath. And... yeah.

Henri et Marcel, the upcoming novella, (HERE ARE ALL THE LINKS) has some kissing, some thinking about sex, some cuddling, some arousal, then no sex scenes at all. It's not just because it's a book about two gay men, but also because it's about a couple that's been together for ten years already and one is in constant pain from back problems, then the other gets beat up. But even then, I didn't include the sex scene near the end when the problems are all resolved (I mean, Henri's still in pain, but it's better and relief is in sight), and I just had them sitting around languorously the next morning when the nephew showed up.


Sorry.

I mean, sorry to everyone who wants blistering hot sex. Sorry for the reviewers who have said about my books that the romance was OK, though when it got to the sex, there wasn't enough.

Also sorry to those who want their books completely "clean". I mean, besides that I have some anger directed at that word, since many people seem to think all sex (and kissing and anything more than hand-holding) is "dirty". Because a normal part of the majority of romantic relationships is dirty. Besides all that, I have no problem at all with romance novels with no sex, as long as there is attraction and love. But don't tell me I'm dirty, OK?

Maybe I'm not the right person to write M/M romance.

Especially the sex.

I kind of struggle with this thing of straight women writing and reading male/male erotic romance. I haven't even read many M/M novels. I have nothing against the tories and do read them and even find some of them hot, but I mostly read them for the emotional satisfaction. I know for dang sure that I'm not the expert on how gay men get jiggy with it, so I don't actually know how to write it. Do not even try to call me a homophobe, OK? Because I'm not. I'm just not all that excited by watching men have sex with each other.

Heck, I struggle with staring at the hot, waxed chests on the covers of romance novels because I realize these guys are almost young enough to be my children. Dude, I'm old. And I like hair on a guy's chest and think massive muscles are intimidating.

I don't even read for the sex scenes in romance most of the time. I don't necessarily skim it all and I really enjoy it, but sometimes, it feels like the author got to a point in the story and decided it was time for Tab A and Slot B. There's one author in particular whom I do enjoy, but whose long-running series has plot and attraction for about 100 pages, then there are 300 pages of sex scenes, interspersed with some halfhearted continuation and conclusion of the plot. I'd rather go back and read the earliest books in the series, which spend a lot more time getting on with it than getting it on.

I'm not even an expert on hetero sex. I can imagine a lot of things and have read a lot of things. I won't discuss my own sex life, though.

I've been mulling over the reviews I've had on review blogs, some of which say the books are not romance-y enough. And yet the books are centered on the love stories and have positive endings, which is your basic definition of a romance novel. I guess someday, I'll do an experiment and publish them all as historical fiction with romantic elements and see if I get a different response?

On the other hand, the Contemporary New Adult stuff I'm writing now is much, much sexier. There's even a gay couple and yes, I've written a couple gay sex scenes now, though the books are still in early stages and need to be edited, so I'm probably going to back off on the detail. And yet, they're focused on a group of friends, those each of these first two books has a central character(s).

My mom's going to have to cover her eyes. 

Or not, as long as she doesn't tell me what she thought about it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgeeking

This year, I'm packing up my contributions (pie, ham, salad, rolls) and going to Thanksgiving dinner with friends. It's about a mile away and we have had Thanksgiving with them for a few years running. We often have Christmas dinner with them, too. It's what comes from living 2000 miles from family and not being rich enough to fly "home" all the time. We haven't had Christmas with my parents in a really really long time. Maybe next year...

This year, though, my boys (two teens and husband) and my friend's boys (a teen, a 20-something, and a husband) and some other boys are going to spend the day playing Dungeons and Dragons.

My friend's calling it Thanksgeeking.

So now I'm thinking about all the geeky things that I am thankful for.

Maybe you do and maybe you don't think of romance novels as geekery, but some of us readers are pretty intense about our favorite authors and favorite books. Just recently, I got into a big discussion of some small aspect of Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series with some other people (all authors) on Twitter. It was divine.

And authors are pretty intense about the hard work that goes into crafting a plot and characters and being entertaining. And developing the character's goals and motivations. And making sure there's enough believable conflict to keep the reader reading. And getting attached emotionally. Feeling all the feels. Yes, including sex. *gasp*

I went to see Fantastic Beasts with my three kids yesterday, because I am a huge Harry Potter geek and have been reading the books to and watching the movies with my kids since before they were completely ready to sit still and listen. My introduction to them was when my husband brought home a box set of the first four in paperback and gave them to me for Christmas. He pretty much lucked out with those, because I didn't know I was going to read them all in about two days (while nursing the baby) and then read them again. Then surface and think that maybe I should get a wand. I mean, we lived in London at the time, so obviously Diagon Alley wasn't all that far away.

So Fantastic Beasts was good. Not as good as the HP books, but better than most of the HP movies. Newt was really cute and socially awkward and a genius. Talk about geeks!

My middle son went to see Dr. Strange the other day with a friend and I still want to take my oldest. We're not really comic book and superhero geeks, but have an appreciation for them.

I'm hesitating about taking my eight year old because it might be more than I want her to watch. Already Fantastic Beasts was a bit more intense than I think she should be watching, but of all my kids, she's actually the least sensitive about scary stuff in movies.

I'm much more excited about the next Star Wars movie. I've been a Star Wars geek since I was seven, after all. I definitely cheered for #7, too. (I hated #1 so much I never saw more than snippets of #2 and #3 while my kids watched them on DVD).

My oldest son is working his way through the entire oeuvre of Orson Scott Card. He hit Asimov for a while a few months ago. He gets the love of SciFi from my husband, because I've never been into it very much. Star Wars and Hitchhiker's Guide are enough for me.

If we ever can't think of Christmas presents for my husband, we fall back on Lord of the Rings or Star Trek.

My kids are into computer games, especially Minecraft and, right now, Terraria. This is two teen boys and an eight year-old girl. My poor daughter never had a chance, really. I assume she'll go through a girlie phase at some point, but other than wanting to wear dresses for a brief time in Kindergarten, she's always preferred her Creeper shirt. Oh, and horses, because somehow, that passed from me to her. I was crazy about horses at her age.

In other words, we cover most of the main targets for geeking, with the exception of any current TV geekery.

And I'm thankful for it all.

I'm thankful for readers, too...

Pre-order Henri et Marcel now! Beat the holiday rush! Just $3.99 for almost 40,000 words! One tenth of a cent per word!

ALL THE LINKS ARE HERE

Also, if you're an historical fiction geek, or a France geek, or a historical romance geek and would like a preview copy, let me know! I have my ebook files and would love to send them out, especially if you would like to leave reviews.

While you're waiting for that one, please read the other three!

Henri de Cantière has been surly since he returned from visiting his family at Versailles, but he doesn’t want to burden Marcel Fourbier, his longtime lover, with his problems. He can’t sleep and hurts all over at exactly the time when everything else seems to be falling apart.

Marcel can barely keep up with his usual duties of running their household and creating beautiful furniture in the de Cantière factory when more burdens fall on his shoulders. His estranged Huguenot family condemns him to hell but wants his help, a stranger attacks him in a dark street, an arsonist tries to destroy the factory, and Henri’s beloved sister-in-law, who has been like a sister to Marcel, is weakening after being in labor for several days.

Most of all, Marcel wants to find a cure for Henri, the man who holds his heart.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Henri et Marcel pre-orders start NOW

It always creeps up on me...


Henri et Marcel: Châteaux and Shadows, #4



Amazon PAPERBACK
Wild Rose Press PAPERBACK

EBOOKS:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Wild Rose Press
Google Play Books
Apple iBooks

Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia
Amazon France
Amazon Germany

Henri de Cantière has been surly since he returned from visiting his family at Versailles, but he doesn’t want to burden Marcel Fourbier, his longtime lover, with his problems. He can’t sleep and hurts all over at exactly the time when everything else seems to be falling apart. 

Marcel can barely keep up with his usual duties of running their household and creating beautiful furniture in the de Cantière factory when more burdens fall on his shoulders. His estranged Huguenot family condemns him to hell but wants his help, a stranger attacks him in a dark street, an arsonist tries to destroy the factory, and Henri’s beloved sister-in-law, who has been like a sister to Marcel, is weakening after being in labor for several days. 

Most of all, Marcel wants to find a cure for Henri, the man who holds his heart.



Friday, November 4, 2016

Procrastination

I started Nanowrimo this month with the intention of writing a YA non-romance with an unreliable narrator who controls the weather. I've written almost nothing of that and am instead steaming full-speed ahead on the New Adult with romantic elements that I started over the summer and which got sidelined by edits.

Two days ago, I got a nasty surprise when the sister of one of my characters OD'd right in front of him and he had to do CPR. So now they're dealing with the fallout of that, including the police searching his car, his dad needing a ride from alcohol rehab to see the sister, and Mike struggling with his own Xanax use.

Sort of a dark book. What do you expect when it's inspired by "Paint it Black" and "19th Nervous Breakdown"?
Oh, and another character has a pressure injury from his running prosthesis and is about to slip into a depression (but this wasn't a surprise because I thought of it quite a while ago).

And today I finished up the newsletter for my RWA chapter an uploaded it all over the place.

And otherwise, I've been goofing off so far today. Time is fleeting and I haven't written anything yet.

Time for a sprint! After I use the bathroom and fill the hummingbird feeder and have some lunch and...

So I need to finish this book, edit book 1, edit this one, plan the next one.... and find a publisher. Or decide to self-publish. It'll be a few months before this sees the light of day, anyway.

In the meantime, read my French books, set in the 17th century. It wasn't really a simpler time, you know...

The Chevalier, 200+ pages of a guy making peace with his family, partly because he met the right woman.


Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween, tummy bugs, and NANO

My daughter, who is eight and a half years old, has had a tummy bug since last Wednesday. She missed school Thursday and Friday, felt slightly better on Saturday so I let her do a Girl Scout cake decorating party, then she threw up again in the wee hours of Sunday and then barely ate all day. She still feels bad so is at home from school again, which means no Trick or Treating.

And if my kid is willing to forgo Trick or Treating and a year's worth of candy, she is certainly not faking it just to get out of school.

Probably.

I'm sure you wanted detail.

It's supposed to rain starting at about seven, anyway. So the good news is that we'll have leftover candy and she can have some of that (the middle child will want some, too. I bought a bag of mixed candy and didn't even notice it included Almond Joy, which is evil. I hope we get enough T-or-T-ers so I can foist those off. One of my friends said she likes them, so she might be getting a present in the next few days.

Today is about digging through my brain for more information about my anti-hero for NaNoWriMo. I'm starting over on a book I started a few years ago, the year my family went off the rails, my son refused to go to school, and I started homeschooling him. I still get hit with images of the kid in that story, weird things he does, etc. I don't know what the main plot is.

Heck, I'm still deciding if it's going to be first person or third. I might want to make up my mind on that. I'm thinking of being weird and making it first person from his POV and third person from anyone else's. That might be too confusing, though.

I'm not a fan of First Person, except he's an unreliable narrator, so his twisted thoughts would make more sense from his own view point, justifying his crap in his own head, knowing the reasons he's lashing out against the world, etc. I don't even like Catcher in the Rye because of the kid in it, but that's sort of where I'm headed with this, only with paranormal skills.

Also, today I'm going to get the RWA chapter newsletter out to my proofreader, no matter what is or is not in it. We can at least have the majority proofread, right? Maybe tonight or tomorrow, since some of the things I'm missing are a big deal.

But for now, I'm going for a walk. Part of the walk is to the Kwikee Mart to get sprite for my ailing daughter. Big excitement.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Also, imagine yourself in Versailles....
The Chevalier. Just $4.99 for a 200+ page novel. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Henri et Marcel - get it on your calendars

My next book, Henri et Marcel, number four in Châteaux and Shadows, a novella, but which squeaked past the 40K words necessary to release it in paperback with Wild Rose (and let the people say WOOT),

will release on

January 6, 2017 !

Henri de Cantière has been surly since he returned from visiting his family at Versailles, but he doesn’t want to burden Marcel Fourbier, his longtime lover, with his problems. He can’t sleep and hurts all over at exactly the time when everything else seems to be falling apart. 

Marcel can barely keep up with his usual duties of running their household and creating beautiful furniture in the de Cantière factory when more burdens fall on his shoulders. His estranged Huguenot family condemns him to hell but wants his help, a stranger attacks him in a dark street, an arsonist tries to destroy the factory, and Henri’s beloved sister-in-law, who has been like a sister to Marcel, is weakening after being in labor for several days. 

Most of all, Marcel wants to find a cure for Henri, the man who holds his heart.


I have the ISBNs but no links yet!

And it's all very exciting! Though it's over two months away. Aww....


Friday, October 21, 2016

Perma-Tired

When I was driving up the highway at 6:30 pm yesterday, on my way to pick up my daughter from her friend's house, I was thinking that all I wanted to do was go to bed. I ended up falling asleep at about 9, while my daughter was still up. I had to wake up to get her to bed. I have no idea if my high school boys finished their homework.

Did someone put decaf coffee beans in place of regular ones? Is it low thyroid? Weird blood sugar? The constant tug of my back pain? Anemia? I need to find a doctor (thanks, insurance, for making that harder) and get looked at.

Until then, the lying around reading is probably not the best thing for my back. Not having energy to go for walks is making it so my energy is even lower.

So right now, I'm doing what they call "Filling the Well." I'm reading what I want to read, trying to do things I want to do, Thinking happy thoughts as much as I can, and generally not worrying about stuff....as much as I can.

I'm also currently getting really anxious about a phone call I have to make that I should have made a few days ago. DEEP BREATH.

But hey, at least I'm not the poor souls at major internet companies whose servers are being attacked and they're scrambling all over the place trying to get things to work. I'm also not the nasty ****** who created the attacks.

In an hour (my daughter gets out of school early today for teacher conferences), it will be the weekend

I have to corral at least one of my big, strong sons and ask him to help me move boxes of books from the library to storage for the Friends of the Library.

We have a local RWA chapter meeting tomorrow. "Finish that novel (or write your next one)" with Elisabeth Barrett should be good. (NOTE: it costs $30 to attend the meeting.) I need to get fired up before November so I can hit the ground running with NaNoWriMo, so this should be good for me.

Otherwise, I'll be doing as little as possible. I have books to read for my book groups, too. Uh oh....I don't even have one; the library still hasn't coughed up a copy for me (ebook or paperback) and the ebook is $10. Uh, no. I guess I'm skipping that one. I just freed up a few hours! Yay me!

And did you see the reviews that posted on Wednesday?

This was a good one at Up Til Dawn.

Don't forget to buy the book, OK? And leave your own review, especially at Amazon.


Friday, October 14, 2016

All about the running

I have about half an hour before I have to leave again.

Today's been about running. Not actual, you know, jogging or anything, because my knees and hips and lungs can't handle that, but about the driving here and there. Luckily, after the morning dropping kids at school part, I went and had coffee with a friend whom I don't get to see very often anymore. So that part was run-free.

Then grocery store, then picking boys up (they had exams and got out at noon), then lunch, then handling various paperwork and stuff...

And because I only have half an hour, I'm just not going to get any writing work done until after I get my daughter from school. Might as well blog!

Next week, I have stuff every morning from Monday through Saturday and my daughter gets out at noon Wed-Fri for teacher conferences. It's going to be juggling. Not evil-clown type of juggling, but expert mom juggling.

All that to say I'm not sure what I need to do and don't know what time I'll have to do it.

I haven't done any promo for the Christmas novella and it's at least time for that to come out. Maybe next year. Maybe when I get my new adult books ready to come out, I'll get the Xmas one out or use it as a freebie. Hmmm... This one isn't new adult, but it's set at the same college. (Also set at that college is a paranormal romance I wrote years and years ago. I'm afraid to look at it, to be honest.)

So ARG.

I get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and fail to plan ahead. 

Speaking of which, I need to get some reviewers on board for the French historical novella I have coming out in January. I don't have the exact date yet, so have to plan vaguely, which doesn't work for scheduling promo.

Until then.... sneaking in the first glimpse of my novella cover...


When their orderly world falls apart, love is the base on which they rebuild.
Henri de Cantière has been surly since he returned from visiting his family at Versailles, but doesn’t want to burden Marcel Fourbier, his longtime lover, with his problems. He can’t sleep and hurts all over at exactly the time when everything else seems to be falling apart.

Marcel can barely keep up with his usual duties of running their household and creating beautiful furniture in the de Cantière factory, then more burdens fall on his shoulders. His estranged Huguenot family condemns him to hell but wants his help, a man attacks him in a dark street, an arsonist tries to destroy the factory, and Henri’s beloved sister-in-law, the lady who has been like a sister to Marcel, has been in labor for several days and is weakening.

Most of all, Marcel wants to cure Henri, the man who holds his heart.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thiiiis close. And cat pics.

I'm so close to downloading the cover I made for my Christmas ghost story novella. I'm trying to figure out if I should get the multi-use license for the images or single-use. I could use the pictures for marketing things. On the other hand, I could make nine more marketing things using the cover itself. Or two or three where I pay for the pictures again separately, which is more likely.

I think I just made up my mind. Now I have to find a credit card to pay for the kindle cover.

No, wait. Single use means I can download it within 24 hours and can make 2000 "prints" of it. Does that mean 2000 ebook sales? 2000 views of it on my website? Hmmm.

Coming soon to an e-bookstore near you: Christmas Spirit, a story of tenure-track faculty romance, a goofy yellow dog, and an agoraphobic ghost.

In my next book, I'll have a weirdo ginger cat who snores and twitches.


And sometimes sleeps with his eyes open.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Synopsis, back cover copy, logline

I'm attempting to write a synopsis to turn in with my next French book. I really hate writing synopses. So far, I have a five page version that wanders and a four page version that....also wanders but maybe with more form.

I've also written a blurb / back cover copy. Well, I've written three of those so far. None are very good.

I have not yet written a logline. Because I really hate trying to write those. How to I write something super duper and catchy that sums up the feel and theme and attraction of the book....in about 20 words?

But I'm about *this close* to turning the book in as it is anyway and fixing it all in edits. I mean, the book is ready to turn in, though I want to beef up a few things. And the sooner I turn it in, the sooner it gets on the publishing schedule. So really, it's best to get it in. So why am I hesitating?

Oh yeah, the logline.

And the blurb.

And the synopsis.

And since I've complained about editing and all the rest before in The Zipless Draft, I'm mostly posting to let you all know that it's still true.

Oh, and I should get to work making a Pinterest board for Melisande. And fixing up one for Henri's novella.

So I leave you with Melisande's mom:

The Fortune Teller, Georges de la Tour, c.1630's.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday! It's Friday! Gotta take a nap on Friday!

Tomorrow, I'm heading down to the Bay Area for a day-long class romance writing class (Sponsored by Sacramento, San Francisco, and Bay Area RWA chapters) with an editor from Harlequin. She's talking about the publishing environment, tropes, voice, and a few other things. So, this should be good and it's like a mini-conference.

I even won the chance to pitch to her and will pitch my contemporary romance. Wish me luck! I've been working on a logline and a blurb and stuff for it, trying to think of what I'll say. I should print that stuff out. I still need to write a synopsis, too. And go through and layer some more pieces in it and clean it up.

Right now, all my kids are sitting on the couch, watching Jurassic Park (the first one) though one of the kids (the first one) is also playing something on a laptop. The other two (kids, not movies) are eating popcorn. So the weekend has started.

I attempted to take a nap before I even had to go pick my youngest up from school, but ended up reading for a bit and not falling asleep. I think I could sleep now, though. *yawn* Maybe I will. After all, tomorrow's going to be tiring.

Happy weekend everyone!


Oh, and if you want something to read, I've got some fantastic historicals out:
Indispensable Wife
Honorable Officer
Chevalier


Friday, September 23, 2016

Puns and Names and other low forms of humor

I enjoy puns. Not too many of them at a time, because it gets tedious, but those little, sly puns that are accidents or semi-intentional or little sideways throw-away jokes.

I also like giving my characters names that mean something. Sometimes with these French books, I give them names that mean something when pronounced in English, or sound like something else.

Most of the time, though, I go through lists of French names until I find something I like. Last names are from 17th century censuses or from place names. I need something a two- or three-day ride from Paris. How about... Bures!

In the Châteaux and Shadows series so far, all the stories have had one of the de Cantière siblings as a protagonist. That one, I chose on purpose: de Cantière leads to the same root as canticle or chant or chanson. After all, the first scene that popped into my head of Indispensable was of the comtesse Aurore singing in a village square. (And Aurore is, of course, the aurora, the light before dawn, the northern lights. She's very light.) Dominique is more for this guy I had a mild crush on in high school, Dominic. And another male friend named Dominique. Dominion. Dominant. (But not, you know, Doms and Subs. It's not that kind of book.)

Her brother Henri (who gets a novella with the love of his life, Marcel, due out early 2017....review copy PDF available now that the galleys are signed off on. So hit me up. Anyway. Ahem.) I chose "Henri" because it's a nice French name, cribbed from kings. I originally called the older brother Hervé, but having two names that start in He was confusing. I had to pick one of them to change, at which point I noticed that Henri, when pronounced in French, sounds quite a bit like "ornery" when said in certain American dialects. "awn-ree." Henri is pretty ornery. (And Hervé is now Cédric....my favorite Hufflepuff. RIP.)

Emmanuel in The Chevalier is named for this guy I once knew and for one of my husband's nephews. I always liked the nickname Manu. Man. Manufacture. He's with Catherine the Great. And she's catty.

And now I'm on Melisande. (I should have named her Mariane for the girl in Le Tartuffe, since that's the Moliere play I'm winking at this time. I can still rename her...) I've named her sperm-donor father d'Yquelon. Yquelon is a city in the north of France. I bet there was even a noble with that as his name. But doesn't it sounds like "dick"? Not really? Sorry, it sounds like my French husband getting mad and calling someone a "deeck."

But I still don't know why I keep naming bad guys Bertrand and Bernard and Albert. They're bears? I can't bear them? I know a French Bertrand and he's a pretty nice guy. So this is some subconscious thing.

So what do you think of names? How do you choose them?

Read my fabulous name choices here:
Indispensable Wife
Honorable Officer
Chevalier

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lots of little things

Re-reading my galleys ONE LAST TIME for my novella (3.5 in Chateaux and Shadows). The sooner I get it back to my editor, the sooner she can schedule it. Then the promo starts all over again. Whee!

Still in the middle of a big edit/rewrite of the book after that.

I'm also spending too much time messing around on the Internet. Editing and rewriting are not my favorite things. I mean, I love layering in the new things that pop in my mind, I even like cutting parts and adding new parts to make the story work better. It's just that I love writing new stuff *more*. I keep saying I'm someday going to write the Editless Draft, which will be perfect from the first moment.

My sons are both doing well in high school, though the older one is stressed and neither boy apparently realized that one of the most important parts of writing is editing and rewriting. (As I sit here editing and rewriting).

My daughter doesn't talk about what she's doing in school very much. She has days where she gets all her jobs done and days where....uh, no. I went to Target after dropping her off this morning because she declared she needed more clothes (Because all laundry duties belong to Mom, so even when the clothes are clean and just not sorted, she has nothing to wear. She's 8 and could probably root through the basket....) There were a lot of cute graphic t-shirts, but I have recently become more nervous about what to choose for her, since she won't wear just anything.

I'm still looking for a part time job, but haven't applied anywhere else for a few weeks. I might end up doing seasonal work at Target or B&N or something. Retail. And around minimum wage. But it's work and it pays actual money...

So anyway. Back to reading for me (also just baked banana bread and have yeast bread dough rising. It must be carb day).

Go forth! And buy my books! 17th century France!
The Indispensable Wife
The Honorable Officer
The Chevalier


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Accountability....am I keeping up?

So in among the excitement of a blurb and excerpt tour on several blogs, I'm busy busy.

Am I reaching my goals?

I'm still editing Melisande and need to get that to my editor so she can read it and get it in the queue for a contract.

I've done exactly nothing with Christmas Spirit, my previously-published Christmas ghost novella. I have edits from an editor and have barely glanced at them. I still need a cover and to set up a time to work with a fabulous author friend to learn how to format it for self-publishing.

I haven't been submitting my new adult novel, Chill, and just sent it to a small press today. I still need to get it out to more small presses. If the big presses aren't going to do New Adult anymore, I'll still find a way to get this out.

So I have the rest of this month and all of October to do all that stuff.

Then NaNoWriMo and I'm thinking of doing something *not* romance for it. Crazy talk. I don't even know where to start. I mean, I don't plot my books out anyway, but I usually know the main focus and a few characters, maybe even some scenes. On the other hand, the sequel to Chill keeps knocking at my head, so I need to get at least the scenes I have in my head for that typed up.

And that's my writing life.

What are you up to these days?

Monday, September 12, 2016

There must be some mistake!

Surely I've posted something new recently! Though I guess with doing promo for The Chevalier and also for a 99 cent sale on Indispensable Wife (which is now over, sorry) (and I should mention the middle child, Honorable Officer), I have not generated new blog content (as they say in this business) since September 1st! Since I need to work on edits of Melisande (Book 4) before sending it to my editor, who will give me more edits, I'll need to be brief.

In other feelings that there's a mistake: Dyslexic Formerly Home-schooled Boy is attempting to settle in at high school. It's only been a month and I'm cautiously optimistic/verging on panic. Most of his classes are going really well. He didn't turn in something for science, but should get that added onto his score. Math is great. Life Management is fine, whatever that is. He had several zeroes for things for English class, which typically would mean he didn't turn them in, right? But they are keeping everything in a notebook and the THINGS WERE IN IT. They weren't labelled. And they were really short and had bad scores, but they existed. But even with that corrected, he's got a D and I'm flipping out.

He needs more help than he's getting in English and the special ed department, while lovely, offers only vague assistance. We had his IEP meeting and because I don't know what to ask for, I think she was glad she didn't have to offer anything else but vagueness. If the grade isn't better soon, we've got big trouble, because they're on the block system and the first 9 weeks *is* the first semester and we're almost 4 weeks in.

Deep breath. Back to editing my illiterate heroine.

Also this week and next: A promo tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a gift card!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saintly

As I'm re-reading and editing my next Chateaux and Shadows book (#4, working title: Melisande because I'm bad at titles, that's why), I'm remembering how when I was first writing it a couple of years ago, I kept going over to Google to find Catholic saints. And once I found the Saint of XYZ, I had to double check he/she was already a saint in 1680-something.

Melisande is learning Catholicism from her extremely pious birth father (a comte who was wild as a young man, fathered her by sleeping with a palm-reading witch, and is now angry and bitter and not a nice guy....but he's religious, so he's sure he's awesome) and part of this book is her acceptance of religion. The hero is Lucas, who is extremely pious, but starting to think that the comte's angry, judgmental version of religion, which he uses to gain influence at court and to feel superior, has some serious flaws.

As I'm not Catholic and have attended masses maybe three times ever (and a couple of weddings), it's not a natural fit for me. But hey, I am intrigued by France, especially Old School (Sorry: Ancien Régime) France, which means learning more about the religions of the time.

Which brings me to my novella, "Henri et Marcel", which is currently being line-edited and should soon get a release date.

Henri is the third son of a baron and was destined for the church. He might even have been a priest if he hadn't hated the monastery where he was dropped off as a teenager. He begged his father to bring him home and his dad, a softy, did. He was always rather caustic and used to fight with his little sister (Aurore from the Indispensable Wife), but has only become more ornery over time.

(Get it? The French pronunciation of Henri sounds a lot like certain accents' pronunciation of ornery? Get it? Yeah, whatever, Philippa.)

I always pictured Henri as having a sort of awful, sarcastic, sneering shell reminiscent of Severus Snape. He's taller than the book Snape and not greasy, but he wears dark colors and is often downright cruel. Well, he was cruel as a defense mechanism. He pushed people away, because it would not be good for everyone to know he's gay. Back then, not only was it a sin, it was illegal. The church/government would excommunicate you (with no chance of atoning for your sins), condemn you to hell, and execute you.

Unless, of course, you were royalty, I guess. Louis XIV's brother was notorious for his parties and for his lover. He nonetheless fathered children with two wives and I won't now go off on a sidetrack about bisexuality or how Louis was thought to have fathered at least one of those kids. Whoops, too late. Sidetrack.

Side note: I CANNOT WAIT for the Versailles miniseries to be available on DVD here. 

So anyway, I deliberately used "religions" way up there (then I bolded it, so maybe you would notice). Because not everyone was Catholic. I mean, they still aren't all Catholic in France. The French government is officially neutral, but funny how there are laws about keeping businesses closed on Sundays and how they get random religious holidays off of school.

Late 16th/early 17th century: Henri IV (the other reason I called my character Henri) became king after years and years of bloody, brutal religious wars, massacres, and war crimes from both the Protestant (Huguenot) and Catholic sides. Henri IV went back and forth from Huguenot to Catholic more than once, as his parents were split on the issue. He ended up becoming Catholic in order to consolidate his power when he was the last heir standing. "Paris vaut bien une messe" which means "Paris is well worth a Mass." He signed the Edict of Nantes to give some freedoms to Protestants, then was assassinated by a Catholic fanatic.

Marcel first appeared in Book 2, Honorable Officer, as Jean-Louis' right hand man. He's living under a false name (Fourbier, which comes from fourberies, which means deceits or slyness and which is from the title of a play by Molière, Les Fourberies de Scapin). He ran away and joined the army when his brother-in-law threatened to out him. He's a tailor by birth and by trade, with a love of beautiful, sensual things (and not dark, formless, utilitarian clothes made from cheap, scratchy fabrics).

He's one of those people who brightens a room by entering it. He's the guy who gets things done. He's fairly caustic, too, but in a subversive way. And yes, in Honorable, I sort of tossed him and Henri together and didn't give their relationship much depth before they announced they were together. I made it fairly easy for them because other than the tacit approval of Henri's family (who are trying to not think about it too much), they've got a long, long row to hoe in their society. Henri has a long row to hoe, too, to become more mellow and it's Marcel who is helping make him softer and less angry.

I picture Marcel as short and dark and vibrant. Once Lin-Manuel Miranda was suddenly on everyone's radar a few months ago, I thought yes, Marcel is a bit like him. He's just so alive, so charismatic, so compelling. A genius, but Marcel designs furniture and decorates. I'm sorry I'm describing him that way because yeesh, what a gay stereotype. I'm sorry. I didn't start out with him that way. He started as the guy who held together Jean-Louis' "household" in the army camp and kept Jean-Louis looking properly officerly and noble.

Anyway, no matter how much the Catholics and Protestants were willing to shed blood about You're Doing Christianity All Wrong, they agreed that homosexual was about the worst thing you could be. The Huguenots were Calvinists (and the reasons why they were called Huguenots seem to have been lost in the mists of time) and had more in common with the witch-hunters of the English colonies at the time. And this is just around the same time as the Salem Witch Trials, which did not happen ina  vacuum.

One of the components of Calvinism is that you are predestined to either Heaven or Hell and you can't escape it by asking forgiveness. You then spend your life either living right, which means you are probably going to Heaven, or sinning, which proves you're probably going to Hell.

And.... I'm not really sure why this works. If you mess up even once, are you going to Hell? Because everyone messes up.

The idea is that there is no redemption. I guess if you pray hard enough and do good deeds, then maybe you can outweigh your sins and show you were predestined for Heaven all along? Though, uh, isn't getting into Heaven the point of Catholic confession and all those novenas? Personally, I would think that as soon as you had committed a few sins, you might as well give in and be sinful, since you're going to Hell anyway. So this is what Marcel is struggling against. He's managed to put it out of his mind mostly for a long time, but seeing his birth family again and experiencing their condemnation is messing with his peace.

I was raised in a fairly liberal, welcoming protestant church in a mainstream denomination. We prayed to God directly instead of talking to priests and saints. We had potlucks, not praise hands or speaking in tongues. And we weren't predestined. So my religious education was never Catholic OR Calvinist.

It is all very odd for me to be writing these books with all the discussion of religion, as my own religious leanings these days are.... let's just say I'm more spiritual than religious. Let's also say that I'm curious and fascinated with religion.

I am SO NOT a candidate for writing an Inspirational Novel.

And yet here I have a novella that's partly about religious doctrine and a novel which is mostly about it.

But I'm pretty sure I'm a heretic according to any and all religions, except the UUs and the Quakers.

And.... TL/DR: Catholics vs everybody else.

AND... Go pre-order The Chevalier. It'll be out in SIX DAYS.

AND...The first in the series, Indispensable Wife is only 99 cents until Friday!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Indispensable Wife ebook ON SALE

$0.99 

NINETY-NINE CENTS

At most US ebook retailers.

The Wild Rose Press 
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Kobo
All Romance Ebooks



AND:
Amazon Australia (where it's $1.30)
Amazon UK (for 99 pence)

And even though it's all in English, it is available in France and Germany for .99 Euro.

Amazon France

Amazon Germany  





Aurore was delighted when a marriage was arranged with the boy she loved, her older brother’s friend Dominique, Comte de Bures. But in a few years the first rush of joy has worn off, and their promising life seems ruined by loss, betrayal, and misunderstanding. 

One terrifying morning mercenaries overrun their château and usurpers take Aurore hostage. Miles away at Versailles, where he is required to dance attendance on Louis XIV, Dominique is nearly killed by a crossbow bolt. 

Escaping, Aurore travels with a troupe of itinerant musicians, hiding in the open while discovering hidden resources within herself. 

Dom sets out to find his wife. He needs his old life back. He needs revenge. But his lands, his title, and his honor mean nothing unless he can win back the love of his indispensable wife.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Feeling Lazy....Accountability

Maybe I'm avoiding the actual work I have to do, but today's to-do list includes baking cookies (for DD's school, so not entirely at a whim) and feeding the hummingbirds (they are very thirsty this time of year and have drone battles around the feeder, then drain it within a few days).

ACCOUNTABILITY (because I gave a list of goals ten days or so ago):

But 4 realz, I have to finish reading my critique partner's Sci-Fi-Erotic-Romance. And my other critique partner's psychic thriller with romantic elements.

And then I need to do some more thinking and editing on Chateaux and Shadows Book 4, write a synopsis and blurb for it, and submit it. It's still August, right? I wanted to do that by September.

And I keep churning through the ideas I still have for a half-finished New Adult, the one based on the Rolling Stones' Hot Rocks.

But most of all, I'm savoring having a quiet day at home after taking my phone to the store to see if they could figure out why it wasn't booting, only to end up having to have it wiped completely. And then sitting in the car starting to reinstall stuff while listening to the radio for 10 minutes, then discovering just that wore out my battery. And the nice young guy who was giving me a jump start must have had a bad connection on his battery because it didn't work. So I had to get my husband to go pick up my daughter from school and then come rescue me, at which point the jump worked immediately. And then oldest to karate, then dinner, then me to book group.

So anyway, I've made my cookie dough, but the recipe said to chill it before making the dough balls to bake. So now I'm off to do that and to read some Sci-Fi Smut. Whee!

OH AND
Just now got an email with the cover for my novella, Henri et Marcel, which will come out......I don't know when . In the next few months, I bet. Big excitement!

So go pre-order The Chevalier. It's awesome.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Maybe I wrote myself into a corner?

Idly casting around for a part time job. 

I guess while I was raising kids and writing evenings and weekends, I should have taken some college/training classes. 

But I was busy. 

With writing.

So now, my job skills are rusty. I did work retail for a few years when the boys were in preschool, before I had my last baby. I also did some proofreading/editing/formatting at home before I started homeschooling. But right now, I'm kind of at a crossroads, wondering what to do next.

(See what I did there, with the title?)

SO ANYWAY,  do me a favor and pre-order Chevalier!

If you are a personal friend of mine or a review blogger, hit me up for an ebook copy. I'm allowed to give away a certain number free and I have about 4 of those left. Though if a couple of the blog sites I sent it to never review it, do I get to give away those again? 

Emmanuel, Chevalier de Cantière, youngest son of a baron, is happiest raising horses far from his complicated family. When news comes his mother is deathly ill, he races to her side only to find she has apparently recovered and moved on, leaving behind her companion, Catherine. 

Catherine de Fouet blends into the background, saving up so she’ll never have to wait on waspish, scheming old ladies like the baronesse again. She has no interest in a resentful gentleman, estranged from his mother, no matter how broad his shoulders or intriguing the wounded soul behind his handsome face. She just needs someone to escort her back to Versailles. 

But Catherine is suspected of poisoning the baronesse. She rebuffs a pushy courtier who tries to use blackmail to make her his mistress, and her reputation hangs by a thread. 

The chevalier wants more than anything to protect this woman whose prickly exterior hides sweetness and passion. They need his family to help him through court intrigues—almost as much as they need each other. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Back to School!

The kids all started school this week, my eight-year-old daughter on Wednesday and my two teen boys on Thursday. And with that, my homeschool journey is complete. I mean, I am assuming it is. My daughter has asked several times if I could homeschool her. My son could still wipe out and need to come home again.

BUT.

They're all in school. I don't know quite what to do with my time. I need a part-time job for quicker money influx as I devote the rest of my time to writing. But yesterday, I went for a walk, took a shower, and drove the Freshman's bike to a bike shop to get a new shifter thingy (and a lock, and some inner tubes and a patch kit) and by the time I got home, it was time to pick them up.

Today, I met with my critique partners and then came home and did a ton of setting up of promo, then a ton of editing.

OH!
New book goes on sale in just under three weeks!
The Affair of the Poisons just got personal. 
The Chevalier, also known as the Cranky Cavalier or the Hacked-Off Horseman.

Look how subtly I shoved my promo in there!

Right. And I trawled through some job sites looking for something part time. They're either minimum wage or something my long-ago work experiences and my momming experiences don't cover. Which I know has always been an issue for parents who take time off to raise kids, just saying I'm in that boat now, rowing and bailing.

And writing books. Wheeeee!