Running with the #WIPpet #WIPpetWednesday

It’s been 4 weeks since I posted. oooops! my bad! I haven’t done any writing this past month, which saddens me. I need to get back on the boat and I’m hoping posting a WIPpet will help. The blog I was running for reviews has shut down officially, so I should have more time to be writing. It’s only been a week, but I’m still recovering and doing some of the final touches on the blog. Hope to have it completed by the end of next month and wash my hands of it.

I’ve spent a very small amount of time this week looking into marketing for my stories. I’ve gotten slack on it this past year, and I’m definitely seeing it in sales. I need new ideas and new ways to go about doing some marketing that won’t take up too much of my already thin time. Most of what I’ve looked at is how to stream-line everything, not specific tactics, which has actually been rather helpful (for my sanity at least).

Back to WIPpet. This is a continuation of the story I was posting on, Mourn (Kansas Beatitude #2). The funeral is officially over, the service anyway, but they’re still at the church. For some reason, I think make-out scenes in a church are HAWT! hahaha

Today I have 25 sentences. 24 for the day and one for good luck because I so freakin’ need it. This is rough, rough first draft, so yes, typos are included.

Ashley sat her down and shut the door, keeping the lights off. She then disappeared and reappeared with Moira’s plate full of food. “You looked insanely overwhelmed out there.”

“Thanks, I was.”

Moira licked her lips as Ashley sat next to her. Moira’s heart raced as their knees touched. With the services out of the way, Moira could only focus on one thing: Ashley. She’d been there for her throughout the whole week. And if Moira was being honest with herself, there had never been anyone except Ashley.

“I have a few minutes.” Ashley interrupted her thoughts. “Do you need anything else?”

Her voice caught in her throat. Moira bit her lip. She’d been handed a golden opportunity. Ashley was leaning in closer, her eyes focused on her, waiting for an answer to her question. Moira left all other thoughts behind and leaned in, taking the moment as it came.

Their lips touched. Ashley made a surprised noise in the back of her throat, but Moira wasn’t going to let go unless Ashley specifically told her to. She threaded her fingers into the back of Ashley’s hair and tightened her grip, making sure Ashley wasn’t going anywhere. It took Ashley a few more seconds to relax, but when she did, Moira put everything she had into the kiss. She scraped her nails against the nape of Ashley’s neck and slid a hand up her thigh, stopping just as it started to curve into her hip.

Ashley gripped Moira’s arm that was reached out behind her neck and dug her fingers into the fabric. Ashley was moaning, and Moira pressed her tongue against Ashley’s lips. Fluttering her eyes open, she stared in the deep blue before closing them again and focusing only on feeling. It was exactly like they were back in high school again, making out in the locker rooms and the bathrooms and in the back of the school behind the bleachers on the field.

Join WIPpet if you want! All are welcome to join. Make a blog post with a snippet from your WIP (Work In Progress). The only hard fast rule is that your WIPpet somehow relate to the date. Then head on over here and link it up. Go to all the other WIPs and check them out, commenting, because we’re all comment whores!

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Decisions, Decisions, will they come back to haunt us? #WIPpetWednesday #WIPpet #AmWriting

I’m excited to say that I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time writing this week. I feel like I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. On Monday I wrote close to 5,000 words, so I guess that helps makes up for my ROW80 goals that I’ve missed. I need to write about 1500 words every day to maintain my ROW80 goals.

I’m very close to being halfway done with this short story, word count wise. There are three more scenes to write, although I could probably cut one if I really wanted to. I’ll decide when I get there. I figured out what the first story in the Kansas Beatitudes “Poor in Spirit” is going to be about, which makes me super happy, and I’m finding a way to connect each story to each other with characters that cross over as side characters. In other words, Ashley shows up in the first story, and Martha will show up in the third story (it’ll actually be about Martha). I do need to plan out/get an idea for the third story though.

On a side note: I was looking at different publishers to possibly submit these short stories to. I could self-publish, which is still on the table, but I prefer a publisher if only for the fact that I want to be a bit lazier with these stories until I really get back on my feet. I have a list of publishers to send to; I’m just not sure which one I’ll send to first. Anyway, back on track, I was looking at one of these publisher’s open calls, and they’re seeking holiday stories. I have one that’s not quite finished but is well over the halfway point. I could easily finish it up and submit it. My only hesitation is that it’s M/M and not F/F. I don’t want to piss off my F/F readers, so I’m thinking if I did do that I’d submit under a different pen name (one I’ve thought about for a long time), but then again, I don’t want it to be a one-off story pen name either. ugh, so many decisions that are really minor and I just need to make them.

I could consider converting the story to be F/F, but that’d take quite a bit of time (not that I don’t have time, the submission isn’t due until Sept 15th), but I’m not sure how much of the story will be lost if I change the sex of the main two characters. It’s something for me to ruminate on for sure.

Back on track of what today is all about. My WIPpet! This is an excerpt from Mourn, Kansas Beatitude #2. Because I’m writing this post on Tuesday instead of in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, I was able to get super creative with the math for the day.

2016 / 7 [month] = 288 + (7 [day] – 2 [day]) = 293 and you get 293 words today from Mourn.

She sniffled but didn’t dare repeat herself. It might have been twenty years since Moira had left, but it had taken her twenty years to admit out loud that Moira leaving had hurt her so much that she was still dealing with it. Swallowing, Ashley shuffled in the chair, not quite sure what to say.

“I’m so sorry,” Moira whispered, reaching out and gripping Ashley’s fingers tightly. She curved their hands together and didn’t seem to be letting go any time soon. “I didn’t know what to tell you.”

“The truth would have been a good place to start.” Ashley’s voice rang through her kitchen, and she bit her tongue. She was usually so much better at hiding her emotions than this.

Moira licked her lips and straightened her back, but she didn’t let go of Ashley’s hand. “I told you the truth back then, and I’ll tell you again now. I loved you, Ashley, more than I thought was possible.”

“You loved me, but you left.” She was whispering but it was more like screaming. The last thing she wanted was for her son to hear what was going on and tell his father, only to have his father take them all back to court for custody again. “You abandoned me our last year of school. We could have both gotten out of here, but you had to shove me in the garbage along with everything else you left behind.”

“Ash—”

“Don’t. Just don’t. You have no idea what that did to me because you didn’t care to look. It’s been twenty years, so just leave it alone.”

“Ash, I looked. Trust me. I saw everything that was happening to you, more than you saw. I was trying to protect you.”

If you want to want to join in WIPpet Wednesdays, all are welcome to participate. Simply make a blog post with a snippet from your Work In Progress. The only hard fast rule is that it has to relate somehow to the date. It’s your choice how it relates. Once you have your post done, then head on over to our wonderful hostess & link it up with the rest of the WIPpets. Visit everyone you can! We’re all comment whores. =P

Progress is Progress #ROW80 #AmWriting #Mourn #KansasBeatitude

I feel like I can add the tag #amwriting this week because I did actually do some writing, even if it wasn’t a lot. I managed 1700 words on Thursday before I headed off to work, and while I’d had intentions to write on Friday and Saturday, it just didn’t happen.

I spent Sunday afternoon cleaning. Isn’t that a fantastic way to round out the weekend? hahaha, but it does need to happen. This story is constantly on my mind, which is a good thing. I think it means I’ll actually finish it, and seeing as how I’ve had several short stories that I’ve started and not completed lately, I’m aiming for finishing it.

I think I also had an idea for the first short story, Poor in Spirit, in the Kansas Beatitude series. It’s based off something happening in my world right now, and that’s probably why I couldn’t think of writing it before I had admitted it to myself.

Again, I have high aspirations and goals for this round of ROW80, but my true goal is just to finish at least one short story. I need to start writing novels this year soon enough anyway. I have to write De-Termination (Quarter Life #2), which I had to ask my publisher to extend the date on it, and I have to write the next book for Grace. If I could fit in a sweet romance in there too, I’d love it, but that’s not my focus.

There’s also a great debate as to whether or not be an ML come November. There is not a lot of ML support where I live, and I absolutely loved doing it in Texas. I’m just very concerned about time and baby and family and life and adjustments that will be happening right about then at work and all that jazz. I only have 6 more days to decide, so I best get deciding soon.

I’ll stop rambling now =P

Here are my goals:

SHORT STORY TITLES: Poor in Spirit, Mourn, Meek, Hunger & Thirst, Merciful, Pure in Heart, Peacemakers, Persecuted.

DATES TO FINISH BY: July 14, July 24, Aug 3, Aug 13, Aug 23, Sep 2, Sept 12, Sept 22 (if I counted correctly)

TOTAL WORD COUNT:

Goal                —           Actual
120,000         —           4271

 

Broken Taboos: being bisexual and writing lesbian fiction

I wrote this post on my Facebook wall a while ago and realized quickly it was 1. too long for a post on Facebook and 2. really needed to be expanded on. So here you are…my rant on why I write broken taboos and then a calmer discussion toward the bottom.


 

 

What? I write things that are taboo? Things people don’t talk about? What? No…. =P

Lesbians!
Religion and lesbians?
Tentacles and sex?
Twincest?
Again! Religion and lesbians? Because we all know you can’t be a Christian and a lesbian…ummm…what?

Sex used to be a taboo subject too. Erotica, things with eroticism. Now it’s just another book. It’s hard to find books without sex in them.

So YES!

There are religious elements in every book in the James Matthews series. There’s also no sex. There’s also other taboo subjects. Mental illness. Foster care.

There are definitely overpowering religious elements in every book in the Spirit of Grace series. I mean, come one, one is a Chaplain and then you have Peter. OMG I love Peter.

Yes there is tentacles and erotica in Loneliness Ebbs Deep. It was a fun exploration of how to write hentai in a consensual and sensual way. Not to mention an exploration of how masturbation is a GOOD thing.

Yes in Quarter Life: Energy Feed there is twincest. It just kinda happened and it worked. They’re not human, so who knows what rules or social parameters they have. Also they don’t actually touch each other. There are rules, and they follow those rules.

Yes in Quarter Life the rest of the series there are witches, vampires, bigfoot, and a whole slew of other creatures that used to be taboo. There’s bisexualism in a realistic manner that isn’t all about let’s have sex with whoever because we’re bisexual and can use it as an excuse.

In Memoir in the Making there is the taboo of an age difference, quite a big one, there is the taboo of student/teacher relations NOT just being about sex but actually being about love.

So…I guess what this rant is for, which I’ve been shunting down for awhile, is to say to you…if you don’t like reading taboo things and exploring them further, then I am not the author for you. If you do like exploring taboos in the safe environment of reading a book, then HELLOOOoooo! Welcome to my world!

***

There is a reason why I write taboos, things that are NOT talked about. It’s nothing I can particularly say I went in expecting to write when I started the whole publishing thing, but I do have to say I love it. It’s a challenge to me. Not only does it make me think of how can I pull something like this off without being disrespectful, with making it more acceptable in society, but to actually have a point and a reason behind it.

The first taboo I deal with is writing lesbian fiction. It’s not even just the fact that people don’t really talk about lesbians, it’s the fact that lesbian fiction is the taboo in the LGBT fiction world. Gay fiction is readily accepted. People read it all the time. Straight people even. Same with bisexual and menage/poly. It’s just readily accepted.

But I find that lesbian fiction isn’t really read much beyond the lesbian or bisexual female realm. It’s a much smaller audience, and surprisingly, not a lot of people are willing to take a risk and try it. It’s as if something about two women being together and being realistic isn’t attractive to them.

Not only to I write lesbian fiction, but I write lesbian fiction as a bisexual/omnisexual woman. There we go, another taboo right off the bat. I don’t know if you know this, but lesbian fiction is not readily accepted by lesbians unless you, the author, are a lesbian yourself. I do have an advantage and disadvantage here.

1. I’m a woman (don’t even get me started on men who write lesbian fiction and are put down because of it)
2. I’m bisexual/omnisexual (meaning I get what’s it’s like to love a woman even though I married a man)

Being a woman gives me an instant in. Some readers see that I’m a woman who writes lesbian fiction and automatically assume I’m a lesbian. Which is fine, it really doesn’t matter to me. A reader is a reader. But it’s people who flat out refuse to pick up my books because I write something they don’t think I have any understanding on. It’s interesting to me because I mostly write urban fantasy…like I understand what it’s like to be a pyrokinetic or telepathic or a witch or a vampire. I don’t. Those things don’t exist in the real world. So why is it acceptable for me to write those but to lesbians?

It’s not something I claim to understand, but it is a definite belief. It’s something I want to explore, something I want to understand. But I’m not sure I ever will. And the interesting thing is…I do with with bisexual books. There aren’t a lot out there, but the ones that are tend to be ploy/menage. It’s not something I see as a common form of bisexualism. It doesn’t mean I won’t read the books, but it does mean I don’t consider those books bisexual. It’s different. I find that people rarely want to write bisexual or other colors under the rainbow (lesbian and gay aside) unless they actually fall into that category themselves. It’s as if people are afraid to test and try out and expand their creativity.

And I don’t blame them. If you’re constantly being labeled as “not this so I won’t read” then why even try to write it? This is where being bisexual/omnisexual comes in handy. I have been in relationships with women. Hell, I almost married one. So I do have experience, and the label of bisexuality comes along with the assumption of experience. So there are some readers, who with that label, will pick up my books.

But the point of this whole long post is that I break the taboos. I’m not someone who follows a binary (ha! Bisexual and binary!? Not likely). I’m someone who likes to explore what we consider societal norms and try to figure out why the hell they’re there and if they really work.

So this post begins a new post series that will go on for I don’t know how long. I’ll talk about some of the taboos I write, and I’ll talk about how I break them, or rather, why I wanted to write them.

The Seventh Commandment — WIPpet Wednesday in style

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this novel series, it’s that people really like Peter. Peter is a bit troubled, but he has a great sense of innocence about him! He’s seen a lot in his short life, but he’s a character.

The chapter I’ve been working on has Peter in it. And I can’t tell you how many readers have told me they love Peter. So Peter’s gotta keep on showing up!

Here’s 8 paragraphs from chapter 14 of Fallen from Grace! That’s my easy WIPpet math for today.

“‘A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” … The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have give you living water.”’ This is my favorite part,” Peter added.

“Uh huh,” Grace reverted back to her earlier statements.

“He’s talking about the water of life, the wellspring of life that comes with faith and believing. It’s such an amazing gift to have.”

Grace muttered, “I’m sure.”

Peter bounced in his seat as he continued. Grace ignored him as much as possible and pushed her foot down on the gas peddle to get to the school faster.

“God gives us the living water, and that’s how we keep going when it gets rough. We always know God is there for us, healing us, saving us, comforting us. It’s just perfect isn’t it? A water that never dies and will never dry up and make us thirsty.”

Grace sighed. “It’s great for those who believe in it, Peter.”

She bit her tongue when the tension in the car clustered together and made it hard to breathe. She hadn’t meant to be so short with him, but her patience had been worn thin over the past month. Licking her lips and slipping him a glance, Grace went to apologize.

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Pssssst!! For my WIPpeteers, since my ROW80ers already got the announcement.

Across Worlds: Collision is released!

*cough* It goes on tour today too!

Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
iTunes
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo

 

 

 

Onto a ROW80 update!

1. Fallen from Grace: write 1 chapter a week (moving week excluded) — I wrote chapter 13 this week, and I’m working on chapter 14. I hope to have this novel finished being written by the end of the day on Friday. My lovely betas are on chapter 11! So I have to finish it otherwise they’ll be waiting impatiently!
2. Promo: Answer three interview questions a day until done
3. Promo: Write out a guest post a week until done
4. Lovely, Dark, and Deep short story needs to be written/plotted 2k a day due Aug 31st — still haven’t started working on this one at all. Once Grace is done, then I’ll do it!

5. Paranormal Romance short story 2k/day due Aug 9th — I’ve unfortunately given up on this. It’s August 6th and the piece still only has 2,000 words in it. It will not be finished in time for submission.

 

 

Jumping in, two feet forward

I feel as though I’m completely jumping into part of the market world. I’ve signed and paid for my first ad to be placed (no, I’m not saying where or how much–maybe if it works or does work, there will be another post on that). I’ve been doing a lot of giveaways with eBooks and even a few with printed copies.

What I’ve found is this. I have no clue if my sales have increased. I should know at the start of next month. This month I got a whopping $6 on royalties. Which isn’t bad, considering it could have been $0 and the book has been out for nine months with little to no promotion! I have to say, it’s done far better than I thought it would.

But I have bigger expectations for Dying Embers. I want it to sell more, and I want it to help sell more of Forever Burn. The question that remains is just how to do that. From everything that I’ve read, discoverability of the book and of me is supposed to be far more important than sales. I supposed that’s because if people can find you, they will buy you–so the two are actually related.

In order to achieve this discoverability thing that I keep reading about, I jumped head first into a lot of giveaways. I upped the ante to try and get facebook likes as well as twitter followers. I’m ignoring sales and trying solely to be “around.” I think it might have actually worked.

Starting the second week in November, I’ve participated in about 3 or 4 giveaways as well as some other promos for other authors. It’s suggested on twitter that 5 out of ever 6 tweets for promotion should be about other people, not me. I’ve upped that, and my own promotions on twitter. I’m also still on there writing random things as I usually do.

There is a giveaway going on right now, Morgan Jane’s 2500 Likes Giveaway that I think has given me the most Facebook likes. I went from a mere 167 to well over 500 in the span of about 3 weeks. I’m still in shock over it. I’m also participating in Diane Rinella’s giveaway. For this I just did the post on the 6th as an author spotlight for her. Likewise, today I spent an hour on This Redhead LOVES Books page on Facebook doing a giveaway of Dying Embers and talking up my books. I’m also participating in a Strong Women in Fiction Giveaway that came up and I couldn’t resist it. I’ve done a guest post and provided a print copy of Forever Burn for it. Likewise, I’m also doing my own giveaway right now, for the pleasure of having achieved 500 likes on my Facebook author page.

It seems that I have jumped in with both feet into the marketing world. I was very hesitant to market at first and to take any risks. I didn’t know at all what I was doing or what I should be doing. Back in March–when Forever Burn was released–I don’t think I even really knew what a guest post was! I certainly didn’t know how to use raffelcopter. The learning curve for marketing has been steep and sharp, as well as having lots of rapids on the way. But something my mother always taught me when rafting down the river was to keep two feet forward–that way you only break your legs when you crash into something and not your head.

So, upon taking her advice, which she certainly did not intend for the writing world, I have jumped two feet forward into the waters of marketing, and I’m letting the current and rapids take me where they go. The theory remains the same. If I push my discoverability rather than sales, then the sales will come as a result of being found. The likelihood that my sales go up because more people actually know about the book seems rather logical (I think Spock would even like that answer).

So, ttfn folks, I hope you see me before I see you!

A day for the future…

Today is one of those days that I will forever remember. December 1, 2013 marks so many milestones in my life that to put one above the other is completely impossible. There are two very important ones that I want to talk about.

Family is something extremely important to me. Most people don’t know, and they don’t ever assume, that someone doesn’t really have family. Sure, I have family, meaning I have aunts and uncles and cousins and at least one grandparent who is still alive, but they all live over a thousand miles from me. I am literally all on my own in the great state of Texas.

My mother and I moved to what I call my hometown in 2001, and it was about two years later that we met one family in particular. Ever since then, they are my family. We have holiday meals when them, and when I come home, that’s who I stay with. They are the family that I was never able to have. I never lived close enough in order to have them.

On Wednesday, I flew halfway across the country—which is no easy feat—to meet up with my family. I was able to spend Thanksgiving with them, but that’s not why I was there. Today is why I was there. Today I became an official part of the family. My very good friend had twins on July 18, and she asked me to be their godmother. I couldn’t have been more honored and blessed.

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I’m charged with raising them in Christ and teaching them about Christianity and Scripture, about the church and about God’s love. I’m going to take that even further. I’m going to teach them about interreligious dialogue, about conversing with the other and about finding one’s self in someone that can’t possibly be related to. I’m going to teach them how to be independent and strong, how to strive for their dreams and to work hard and play harder. I’m going to teach them to love above all else and to love those who are in need.

Today my twin godsons were baptized in the name of God, Son, and Holy Spirit—and I couldn’t be happier to finally be a part of the family.

The second amazing thing about today is that my second novel, Dying Embers, is being released. I had never planned on writing this book until I was completely done with Forever Burn. I couldn’t let the characters go and there were still aspects of their story that needed to be told.

I felt so compelled by these characters and their stories that I just had to continue writing them. I finished the novel itself in thirteen days and the majority of the editing over the next six weeks. It was something that I was amazed even with myself—I don’t think I’ll ever write a book that quickly again.

This novel represents something that I worked hard to achieve, something that I dreamed and worked toward, and something that I want my godsons to see as representative of something they can do.

So please take the time to check out Dying Embers and order yourself a copy. I appreciate any and all reviews so long as they aren’t bashing. So if you love it, write an amazing review. If you don’t like it, tell me why. Only good reviews never help an author improve and never help them to keep their head on straight in the line of possible fame. =P

 Dying Embers Blog Page (includes blurb and buy links)

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Excitement and more!

As most of you know, I spent two weeks traveling around the US from the East Coast to almost the West Coast. What you don’t know is that on my way back from Montana to Texas, I had an amazing visit with fellow WIPpeter and friend, Sarah Hart. She met up with me at the airport, and we had a great thirty minute conversation during my layover. Sarah is beautifully spirited and a wonderful person!

Sarah & me

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time talking with my publisher. She IM’d me to say that she’s really enjoying my novel For by Grace and that she wants to publish the series! Yay! It’s been a few weeks since I had sent it to her, and I’m always nervous that she won’t like it. But she wants it! *does the happy dance*

Secondly, she told me that she had nominated my novel Forever Burn for the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She put it into two categories, debut novel and paranormal romance. I doubt I’ll win anything, but I’m completely appreciative of the nomination and the confidence that she has in me.

We were also talking about the publishing company itself. In April, I will hopefully be traveling to Tampa, FL for the very first Rainbow Con. While I’m not going as a writer but as a general admission, I still think the experience will be great. I should have goodies from my stuff and goodies from my publisher as well (apparently she’s a tid bit shy about going to cons).

So far, 2013 and 2014 are looking to be big and great years for me! I’m hoping for the release of three novels next year: Ashes Fall, For by Grace, and my co-written piece, Across Worlds: Collision.

I have also copy-edited seven books since May, which I didn’t think was a lot until I really sat down to look at it. Since May, I’ve done those seven novels, edited one of my own, written one of my own and started that editing process, and edited my co-written piece. I am BUSY!

I’ll keep you notified of any further updates. Also! I’ll be posting my book reviews of my last summer reads as soon as I find the time.

Keep it strong, people

#WIPpet Wednesday: July 24, 2011 #wip #amwriting

So…It’s Wednesday! That means it’s WIP Wednesday! WooHoo! If you haven’t heard, I finished my last WIP, so guess what? I started another one. Because I’m absolutely insane and can’t take a break. This new one I’m very excited for. There are vampires (not the sparkly kind), witches (not the good and not the bad kind…the gray kind), and werewolves (who don’t just change when the moon is full), and so many other creatures I can’t begin to explain it all. I’m so excited to get into this piece. It’s the start of a serial. That’s right. A serial, and since my MC lives for like ever, I guess it can just go on for like ever. *head desk*

So here’s what’s happen. This is a WIPpet. You can join in if you want. Just make a blog post with your current WIP (work in progress) and have the post correlate to the date. Today you’re getting 24 sentences from my novel. It’s only from the second chapter, not from the seventh, because I haven’t written the seventh yet! Feel free to get creative with your numbers. Once you make the post, you link it up here!! Thanks to My Random Muse for hosting this awesome event!!

Here you go!! My WIPpet

Emma woke in a strange room with no one else around. She looked from side to side, her head feeling the pillow each time she moved as she frantically tried to figure out where she was. The drapes were a soft yellow and the walls a pale blue. She sighed and turned toward the door as soon as she heard someone coming down the hall.

She pushed up in the bed and leaned back, groaning when pain shot through her leg and into her hip. Everything seemed to be in a fog, like she was swimming through molasses just to be able to stay afloat. Her head rocked from side to side on her shoulders, and she had to squint as soon as the door opened.

The woman who stepped through was beautiful. Emma was struck into place, the molasses finally stopping its perpetual movement as the woman came forward. Long dark locks that cascaded down her shoulders, just touching the tops of her breasts, eyes that were so dark, Emma could barely make out her irises. Emma took a shuddering breath and planted a hand on her cheek, double checking that her jaw wasn’t hanging loose.

With each step that the woman took closer to where Emma lay, she could make out more and more of her. The woman wore a slimming green dress with heels that Emma herself could never walk in without falling. Her legs were toned and never ended, her hips swayed to an unknown beat, and her smile—Emma stopped.

“Hello,” the woman said.

“Hi,” Emma replied, tentatively.

She had no idea who the woman was other than she was probably the reason Emma was there. Throughout all of her research, she hadn’t been able to find a picture of the woman who owned the small house, but Emma knew she’d meet her eventually.

“I’m Molly. Do you remember anything?”

Emma shook her head and watched as Molly sat on the side of the bed. Her heart pounded in her chest as she worried over what was going to happen next. If she had said too much, then her world would be ending. Molly couldn’t know why she was there.

 

Ashes Fall and the end of the James Matthew’s Trilogy

Today is a day to be remembered! But isn’t every day? =P I spent about six hours writing today and completed the novel “Ashes Fall” in almost record time. If you only count the days that I wrote during NaNo, it probably is. However, I started writing this novel in February.  It was slow going; I think I was honestly just burned out on it. I struggled through the month, with little to no progress and March hit. I had a deadline for an open call submission to another publisher and needed to write that novel.

Stopping all my work on “Ashes Fall,” I started to write Grace’s story. That one I finished in the month of March. That one took seventeen days to write. I love the way when I get into writing a novel that my fingers just start to type and I can’t make them stop. It’s an amazing feeling. Grace’s story, I wrote the majority of it in six days during my spring break. That was about 60,000 words if I remember.

After editing and submitting that one, I had to edit “Dying Embers” also part of the James Matthew’s trilogy. My publisher wanted it done, so I did it instead of writing “Ashes Fall.” July and Camp NaNoWriMo finally rolled around and in I went to write. Nineteen days into it, and I finished. There was a total of ten writing days during Camp NaNo.

I feel so blessed to have finished this novel and series. It certainly wasn’t without tears, particularly in this last one. During “Forever Burn” I sobbed as soon as I made a decision for the ending, and then I sobbed as soon as I wrote it. I was probably depressed for a week after each, but I pushed through and finished it.

“Ashes Fall” is far darker than “Forever Burn” and certainly darker than “Dying Embers.” I can’t begin to write about what goes on in this novel, but James has to hang on for a wild, wild ride. My WIPpet’s take care of explaining some of that, but it gets worse. Knowing what’s going on in her psyche as well as what’s going on in Lily’s throughout the entirety of the novel is crazy.

I can’t wait to begin to edit this novel. It’s already out with my beta-readers, and I’m impatiently waiting for it to return chapter by chapter. I’m so ready for this whole things to be in your hands to you can read it…but wait, isn’t there a prequel that has to come out first??

 

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Indie Author Land Interview

Forever BurnToday my interview with Indie Author Land goes live!! I’m sharing it here so you can read it. I had a ton of fun answering their questions and getting to know them better.

The interview is about my first novel Forever Burn.

Here’s a section from the interview…

OK. Tell us a little more about James.
James has lived in the same little town her entire life and has always wanted to be a firefighter. She wanted to run into burning buildings and save lives. It’s not turning out to be that; instead, she is sent to far more medical calls than to fire reports. However, two years before she did go to a house fire and rescued a little girl, Lily, from the flames. Now she can’t stop the nightmares and flashbacks of Lily standing in the house being swallowed by the fiery inferno.

Interview with Adrian J Smith, author of Forever Burn | Indie Author Land.

WIPpet Wednesday: June 5th, 2013

Good morning! Guess what! Tomorrow is my birthday, so you’re getting something extra special today. I’m currently editing the prequel to my novel that’s out…this one is called DYING EMBERS. It’s so exciting. I should have it done by the end of this week (in theory). Today you will get two scenes, the first is amusing, the second is one of my favorite lines EVER!!!

11 paragraphs for the six plus the five of the month plus the date!! Favorite scene (well, one of). Rob is Addy’s little brother *snorts* they’re in their early twenties and he has just helped her move into her new apartment and new town.

***

Addison’s eyes remained glued to the retreating figure.  Rob pushed her until she started to move toward the truck.  She hit the electronic lock and opened the door.  She shook her head; dating the apartment manager was not an option.  She felt good, knowing that she was back on track after her most recent break-up.  She felt emotionally stable enough to think about a relationship, which added to her ease.

Sticking the key in the engine and turning her wrist, Addison started the engine.  The machine roared to life as her eyes tracked the progress of her brother as he walked around the front of the vehicle and tried to open the door.

The grin on her lips presented a priceless moment.

He pulled the handle and stepped back.  Taking a deep breath, he shook his head.

Calling through the closed window to her, he said, “Come on, Addy, this stopped being funny when you were sixteen and green.”

“Oh, it so did not.”

She reached over and flicked the lock.  The sound resounded throughout the vehicle.  Out of the corner of her eye, she caught him reach forward to open the door.  She hit the button again.

Pulling the handle, Rob found the door locked once more.  Jerking his hand a few times, he glared.  “Seriously.  Do you want food or not?”

Giving in, Addison unlocked the door and waited for him to climb in.

“Where to, Buzz?” She smirked.

“Infinity and beyond!” he smartly replied before waving her to take a right out of the parking lot.

***

AND to my favorite freakin’ line EVER!!!! Context? James is trying to hit on Addy and is ridiculously awkward about it. *giggles* Addy gave James this beautiful description of her eyes (which are yellow, btw, but according to Addy, yellow with green and brown hues in the center). James had to one up her–and yes, James is a woman!

***

“I like your eyes—they’re like Christmas trees, all green and shit.”

***

Obviously my favorite line is the Christmas line! bahahahaha! Still in love with it. Anyway, you got a special something today!!

If you want to participate, My Random Muse is hosting, and check out the link to add yours. If you just want to participate by reading, then READ AWAY!!!

Goals for June

Each month I have a writers group meeting in Arlington, TX where we discuss what our monthly goals are. I think I might be a little overambitious this month, but I need to get it done. This group hasn’t met since March, so it was great to finally get together again, with someone new AND with great food.

My goals:

1. Edit DYING EMBERS
2. Write ASHES FALL
3. Write ACROSS WORLDS: COLLISION
4. Finish FLASH OF DEATH

I mean wow! I’m insane right? DYING EMBERS is already edited by me and the editor. I just have to go through her comments and make one plot point. Shouldn’t be too difficult, right? ASHES FALL is another story. I started this in January and got three chapters and the prologue done before switching my attention to another novel. ASHES FALL is the third and final in the James Matthews Series and I really need to get it written. I want it to come out before I go to Rainbow Con next April. I want both of them out, actually.

ACROSS WORLDS: COLLISION is the novel that I’m co-writing with Sirena. Yes, we finally decided on a name for it! We’re about 15k-20k words away from it being finished and ready for editing–which is another chore that I’m not looking forward to. We’re so close, and we plan on writing on it today. Maybe we’ll finish. We have had 10k word days before.

FLASH OF DEATH is the ghost story that I have been working on and was featured in my last WIPpet Wednesday. I can’t tell you how much I love CL and her spunikness. It’s about halfway done; I just have to add in the twist, and the fight, and maybe the sex!

Feel free to keep me on task and ask about it all. I’m sure I’ll need help in the motivation department to keep going!

Dying Embers: Take Two

I can’t tell you how nervous I still get when emailing my publisher (or the fact that half the time I’m still in wonder about having a publisher!). I’m not kidding. My first book, FOREVER BURN, has been out since March 1, coming up on three months now, and it seems to be doing fairly well (at least, the publisher says so). Before that book was released, in January (really, really early January), I emailed my publisher DYING EMBERS, which is the prequel to FOREVER BURN and Addison’s story.

She loved it, but said she wanted to wait until I had FOREVER BURN in my hands. However, she sent it back with the edits.

So now…five months after I got it back from her and three months after FOREVER BURN’s release, it was high time that I emailed her about it. I really needed to figure out if she was still planning on going through with publishing it, or if I needed to find someplace else. STILL THERE ARE NERVES! I had to call my bff, Katherine (who makes a wonderful side one-off character in DYING EMBERS, it’s hilarious really), and tell her to yell at me to send the email. Talk about ridiculousness.

Here’s how my email went.

Hey,I just wanted to double-check and make sure that you were still interested in this book. I was going to start editing it soon (crazy semester). I wanted to add in one more plot line in the beginning of it, to give some more edge and action through the first part of the story. I can easily do that as it’s not a main plot point, but it will add to the world Addy is coming from and to the issue of her transition to no longer being part of her old life.

I was also going to start writing the third and final one in June (Ashes Fall).

Thanks,

So…I waited at my computer, impatiently wanting that little number to appear at the tab so I knew I had a new email. The thing about my publisher, is she gets back to me like none other. She’s always getting back to me within a couple hours (unless I send it in the vast wonders of the night, then of course I have to wait a few more than usual).

One hour.

I’m not kidding: just under ONE HOUR!

That’s all I had to wait for the reply. The reply that basically gave me exactly what I’m going to be doing for the next two months and most of the summer. The reply that I really needed to get to boost my energy level.

Yes!

I was just thinking about Dying Embers this morning, while putting some paperwork together. I’m ready for the new project. When you’re done editing. :) Sounds like you’re taking on a lot!

Best regards,

That’s it. “Yes!”

Best feeling in the world–at least until I went and participated and helped a good friend propose to his girlfriend with a whole song and dance. Elation surpassed by elation.

However, I am going to make a ploy. Check out FOREVER BURN and buy it if you want. If you do, and you read it, a review would be AWESOME. Right now, the launch date for DYING EMBERS is March 1, 2014. My guess is that will be bumped to September or October. So stay tuned for updates.

Paving the way…

I am paving the way toward professionalism in this little world called writing. Yesterday, I was awarded (it’s a bidding thing) the job of copy-editing someone’s novel. And they’re actually going to pay me for it! I’ve been copy-editing and beta reading for people for the last few years, all for free. This is a grand new revelation to think someone would actually pay me to do the same work that I was doing for free. Hmmm…it sounds a lot like ministry.

So, now that I have this free-lance copy-editing thingamajig on my record, it has been said to me that more copy-editing jobs will come. Maybe that’s true, maybe that’s not. I don’t really know, but it would be awesome if it did. I mean two to five of these jobs a month and I’d be making the income that I want to make–not so sure how that would work with school, though.

Secondly, I’m paving the way back into author-hood. Last night, I emailed in FOR BY GRACE to a new publishing company with query letter all neatly typed and gone over a half-million times. Hitting that send button was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I didn’t really sleep last night because of it (note to self: send in these query emails early enough to have a few shots of hard liquor before attempting sleep).

This new publisher is fantastic, and I can’t tell you how excited I would be if they chose to publish FOR BY GRACE. However, I still must wait. Their site states they will get back to me by July 1. Well, that’s a damn long time to wait for an answer, and we all know that I am NOT the most patient person in this world–or even this tiny apartment complex. So, I’m set to wait until at least July 1, where I can finally give up the hope of them liking FOR BY GRACE.

There was a huge debate last night before I sent in my query letter as to what name the letter should bear: legal name, nick name, or author name. After much discussion, I chose: legal first name “nick name” legal last name.

If you have any other suggestions on how to do this, please tell me. I’d love to be informed for the next time (and yes, we all know that I am a glutton for punishment).

ttfn!!

Struggling Artist #indie

It’s hard to struggle. I think that, and then at the same time I think that struggling just adds that much more to the story. I have officially been unemployed since December of 2011. That’s sixteen months and heading right into the seventeenth. Yes, I currently work at a church twice a month doing children’s church but that doesn’t even pay me enough to feed my cats on a monthly basis, let alone me.

Struggling sucks. Flat out–it sucks. I have sent in dozens of applications to entry level, low level, crappy, good, educated jobs–just about anything one can think of, I’ve applied for it (except McDonald’s and Walmart, the two I will NEVER apply for).

I’m a writer. I’m even a published writer. It’s like people think that once published, everything takes off. Well, it doesn’t. To live off my royalties the amount of books I would have to sell is a number so large that my brain can’t compute it. My goal is to sell 60 ebooks a month. Which would be totally awesome if it did happen (and it did, for at least the first month). But the problem is that it still takes anywhere from four to six months for me to see that money. There is a gigantic lag.

This is the not so pretty side of publishing. The money isn’t instantaneous, there is a seriously long wait to get it. And getting it right now would be awesome! This is also why so many authors and writers have day jobs. People think it would be awesome to write all day and to only worry about the damned loud characters in my head that shout at me second after second to get their story written, but I’m not so sure about that. It gets pretty boring to sit by myself in my apartment all day, writing. I’ve done it–for the past sixteen months. It ain’t so pretty at all.

The day job gives me time to think, time to work through problems and people to talk to. Now, it doesn’t have to be the day job of my dreams or one that takes over my life. Something that is sufficient enough to give me something else to think about–that’s what I want. Something to ease the tedium of writing (never thought I would say that).

Now, go write and read peoples!! Support those indie authors!

Forever Burn Collage

Forever Burn Collage

I finally put the collage together that I’ve been meaning to do. These are a few photos from people who bought “Forever Burn” and were kind enough to send me the photos of them holding it. I love the community, love, and care that this shows, and seeing all these smiling faces just makes me grin in response.

If you buy it, post a picture with you and the book (either print or ebook) on my facebook page. I’ll make a new collage with all the additions.

Abundance of ideas…

I have an abundance of ideas. This is not abnormal for me. I’m currently in the middle of three novels, two being edited and one that I just started writing. I am also working on, in my head of course, the sequel to Forever Burn, called either Ashes Fall or Blaze, Fire, Blaze and the sequel to For by Grace, called Fallen from Grace.

But I’m here to talk about the newest novel, which I am writing with Sirena Robinson (she’ll yet at me later for starting that sentence with a conjunction). This novel is not like anything either one of us has written before. First off, it’s taken on a sci-fi element. It’s happening on a space ship and a space station. OH MY! (please say that in your head like George Takei). Secondly, this novel is a complete erotica. Although, the first chapter does not have sex in it yet.

This novel is my “on the side” novel, the one that I will only work on one day a week because I do not want it to detract from my other writing. That seems to be working rather well thus far. I think it helps to have someone else who is writing something else and keeping me on track with it. I would love to share more with you about this piece; however, I’ll leave it to you to guess. I don’t want to spoil it or have anyone steal my ideas. We will probably self-pub this novel under a combined pseud. I’ll keep you updated!

Getting back into it

I have not worked on FOR BY GRACE since last Monday. Oh. My. God! It’s insane! I had one whirlwind of a week between class assignments and extra events. My friend had an art show in Friday night, then two of my friends got married on Saturday (to each other, not two different weddings), then Sunday was filled with church, job applications, and going to Ennis, TX to look at the blue bonnets.

But…today is Monday. This means editing (which I should be doing right now instead of writing this blog post) and writing group tonight at the Gingerman. I’m so excited for this writing group.

I’ve also started to explore the world of online dating…now, I’ve done this before and it’s just as tedious now as it was then. I’m sure I’ll be able to tell many stories of the dates or conversations I have with these individuals. I mean, things can get pretty freaky. =P Maybe I’ll put it into a book sometime.

So back to editing. But I’ll leave you with a picture from yesterday looking at blue bonnets. Btw, my friend I went with, Amy Bush, is a photographer. Check her out here. Or on Facebook, here.

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For by Grace TIDBITS!

“It is. I’m holed up in the security office if you ever want to stop by.”

“My section is on the other side of the mall. You know, that part by Santa. Why do parents have to go all insane? Why can’t everyone just stay calm and have a good time anymore? It’s all about being first in line and being the best—it’s ridiculous.”

“Hey, Grace?”

“Yeah?” Grace stuffed a few more morsels of fruit into her mouth, chewing.

“I’m in my uniform.”

The smile that broke out on her face was huge. Grace settled the phone on her shoulder. “Are you, now?”

“I am. So, stop complaining about society and park those cars.”

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