What’s Up For 2021?

It’s 2021 – Hallelujah!

New year, new goals, new books – and I’ve got a lot of them planned! I keep a running file of a good two dozen book ideas at any given time, plus I buy up amazing book covers whenever I see an outstanding one that sparks a story. The net result is a bunch of seeds that will hopefully grow great stories that I can share with you.

2021 is going to kick off in a couple of weeks with the cover reveal for my next novel–oooooh I am so excited to share this amazing cover! Just wait ’til you see it–you’re going to be completely blown away. That will be followed by a box set announcement (complete with a bonus novella) at the end of the month. February will bring a new Free Reads short story, and then in April, you’ll get my next novel, THE SACRIFICE – a fantasy romance about a malevolent god, a girl with wings (and a tremendous gift) and a stubborn Prince who works with her to bring the god down and free their people.

Summer will start out sizzling hot with two novellas. We’ll hike the Alaskan wilderness and run with wolves in FORCE OF NATURE, a spin-off novella set in the universe of The Elemental Destinies. That will be followed by BLAZE, the next installment in my Seasons of Love novella series, and we’ll be falling in love in the South Pacific for that one. We’ll end the summer with the release of this year’s second novel, DREAM CROSSED, a story about lovers from different centuries who meet up with a little magical help.

We’ll move into Fall with another Free Reads short story, then I’ll end my Seasons of Love novella series with BLUSTER, a story of a young witch trying to master her powers, and then we’ll move into the holiday season with the release of my third novel in 2020, SNOWBOUND. This is a contemporary romance about two people thrown together into a survival situation at Christmastime.

And then I’ll fall down and not get up for a while.

So there’s the plan. We’ll see if I can actually keep to it. Here’s to an ambitious year!

2020 In Review

2020 was one hell of a year–and not necessarily in a good way. I am blessed to have a day job that shifted easily to a work from home environment, so financially, the pandemic impacted me by giving me two extra hours a day (I commute 82 miles round trip in moderately heavy traffic) and saving me a chunk of money that would have been spent on gas, tolls, and mediocre cafeteria lunch.

On the downside, I lost my college roommate–who was previously perfectly healthy–to COVID, and his wife and kids are without him, as well. I have friends and family members unemployed and struggling. I’m watching small businesses in my little town falter and go under.

During this tumultuous year, I managed to write and publish two fantasy romance novels, three romance novellas, one holiday romance novella collection, and two short stories. I also wrote and queried two Young Adult novels, and finished the first draft of another YA novel as my NaNoWriMo project. All-in-all, I’m pretty proud of what I managed to accomplish while the world went to hell all around us.

Your writing mileage may vary – and your accomplishments this year may have been limited to getting out of bed and remembering to brush your teeth. I had plenty of days like that in 2020. And that’s okay. Really. This year was unbelievable. Unreal. Unfathomable. If you’re here in the USA with me, it was capped off by a president and governmental leaders who are unconscionable. With all that devouring your energy, it’s enough just to tread water right now until the rescue boat arrives or land comes into view.

Here’s hoping we all get a better 2021.

He Was Dying . . .

Woman sleeping on a medical bed

He felt the life draining from him, sucked away like dust in a windstorm, feeding into the mouth of the creature, leaving him shriveled and contorted. His features were now a twisted mask of terror and agony with no resemblance to the man he used to be. His final breath left him in a rush, captured only by the gaping maw of the evil that held him.


#MuseMon

Topic: “Fear”

Read “Atrophy” for FREE

Resource Thursday: Creating And Writing Believable Conflict

Chess board with figures

You’ve got to have conflict in your story. The protagonist has to have something – or someone – s/he’s fighting against and fighting for. Your supporting characters need to have their own agendas and it’s vital that they don’t always agree with the protagonist. You need that conflict to move things along.

Easier said than done sometimes. If you’re looking for some insight into how to make believable conflict and tension, here’s some reading material to give you food for thought: Continue reading

I Seriously Need More Hours In A Day

Passing time

One of the more frustrating things about being me right now is not having enough time to write all the books I want to be writing.

I’m having to prioritize, but if I had unlimited time to devote to this writing thing (because I had a sugar daddy to pay my bills so I didn’t have to work, a full-time nanny for the kids, and a shirtless pool boy named Javier), here’s what I’d be doing. Continue reading

Resource Thursday: Facebook Opens Its “Instant Articles” To Individuals

fb

Freelancers, take note!

On April 12th, Facebook will be opening its “Instant Articles” to all publishers – including freelance individuals.

No  longer limiting itself to media organizations means wider, more diverse content. Their guidelines for publisher qualifications are fairly broad, as well.

All Instant Articles do need to reference a web link, so if you participate you can’t publish exclusively on Facebook. It’s a simple enough thing to set up a target website for article distribution, then reference the site in your article.

In return, Facebook will give you around 70% of the revenue from ads sold within the post, with Facebook doing all the selling.

You can find more information on guidelines and technical requirements here and here, and documentation requirements for publishers here.

 

Resource Thursday: A TED Talk Every Writer Should Watch

c

I could spend all day watching TED talks. There’s a wealth of great information out there and poignant insight from people with all sorts of amazing life experience. I was pointed toward this particular talk on in an online writing community, and it illustrates beautifully the importance of multiple points of view, of diverse characters that each tell their version of the story.

Continue reading

Yesterday Was “Thesaurus Day” And I’m Really Livid, Irate, Fuming And Cross That I Missed It

Shot of book spine

Where would I be without my thesaurus? It comes in so handy, doesn’t it? I don’t know how many times I’ve been editing and caught myself getting repetitive with certain descriptors. I start sifting through synonyms and find exactly the right one….

And then I end up cutting half of them when I do my final edits because, damn. I am bat-shit crazy with the adjectives. I frequently need an intervention. Continue reading

Resource Thursday: Let’s Talk Grammar

 

I pride myself on my nearly impeccable grammar.

Did you know I was once the Southwest Regional Grammar Rodeo Champion? (Please, no autographs) That’s not to say I don’t make the occasional typo or write something that’s probably right but just looks wrong.

Sometimes, after a night of keyboard tapping, the eyes get bleary and the brain gets fuzzy and the dumb sets in. Here’s a great set of references for when this happens to you:

The proper use of it’s and its

This one’s a catch-all that covers a lot of stuff

Proper use of quotation marks

The Penal Code of Punctuation

The Use of Tense in Writing

Hope you get some use out of those!