Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author

Samhain Publishing

Writing Update: 17 August 2012

Another week and more writing…

– WRITING (10 August): I’m going to keep these up just because it’s fun to go back and see my progress. I’m sure I’ll change my mind if I ever hit a period where I’m not writing. But that time isn’t now. 4000 words on SERENITY sequel and Chapter 4 is finished. I love that I finished Chp4 but I was more aiming at Chp3. Maybe tomorrow. I probably just needed to get Chp4 out of my system. It’s the way I write. I’ve learned to live with it.

– REALIZATION (15 August): Yes, I know. There’s a severe lack of updates for this update. That’s because I haven’t been writing. After a conversation with Flash (Stephanie Burke), I figured out my issue. I have a mental “disturbance” (block isn’t the right word and neither is “disturbance” but that’s as close as I can get) so far as the SERENITY sequel is concerned. The book is there and waiting to be written. I know exactly what’s going to happen and when and to whom. This book should have been finished months ago. But that’s where the disturbance comes in. I have an issue and I need to push past that issue to finish this story. The issue won’t be resolved (one way or the other) until I get the book finished and submitted. I’m also a little worried if the fans of SERENITY will like it, but that’s not why I’m finding it hard to write.

– WRITING (16 August): 8355 words on a story that isn’t the SERENITY sequel. A new plot came to me while I was lazing in bed. I had to get it written down before I forgot anything AND before it would let me go. So that’s done. I’ve got the basic gist of the story. It’s just a matter of filling in the spaces and it’ll be finished… later. This is just further proof that my issue with the SERENITY sequel is a mental block not a story block. Gonna push through it. No worries.

Writing Update 02 Dec

I haven’t written one of these in a while. 🙂

I am writing! And just to prove it, I have two, yes TWO new novellas going out to Changeling Press today. I have to read through them both one more time and possibly tweak some things and then off to my editor they go. One is a 17k novella about lovers who accidentally switch bodies (yes, you read that right) and the other is a 6k short for Razor’s Edge Press (Changeling Press’s erotica line) about a wife entertaining her husband’s poker buddies. Hopefully both will be well-received when they release.

What’s next for me? Why the sequel to SERENITY of course. Yes, yes, yes, I know. I’ve been talking about writing this book all year. I’ll have you know that I’ve already written 18k. The end will be somewhere between 60-90k. I have no clue how long the book will get until I finish it. I plan to put a HUGE dent in it through the whole month of December.

I’m really excited to be working on this book. I’ve been looking forward to it forever. So why didn’t I finish it before now if I want to work on it so badly? I had other books I wanted to get out of the way first. I’m actually bumping it up in my book queue because so many people want to see the sequel and they keep asking about it.

Another plus of working on this book now is that I get to read SERENITY again. I can see you’re probably wondering why that’s a bonus for me. I wrote the book. I can read it any time. That’s true and not true. While I can read it at any time, I refrain from reading my books after they are published. Why? Because I would just read them over and over and over (etc) instead of working on new books.

So I stare longingly at my babies while writing new babies. But, in the case of a sequel, I allow myself to read the previous book(s) so I can get back into the mood of the story/world. That means I get to read SERENITY again. Woot! Yes, I’m weird but you read my books so you knew that already.

ARe Rebates – Serenity & Adrienne

All Romance eBooks has Adrienne and Serenity, which are normally $5.50 each, on sale for $3.85 after the rebate.

According to ARe’s FAQ:
“Rebates are delivered to your on-line account in the form of eBook Bucks after purchase.”

I’m not sure when this started or when it’ll end, so don’t miss out!

Adrienne:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-adrienne-3363-168.html

Serenity:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-serenity-7896-143.html

LKF #31 – Serenity: Her Name

Little Known Fact #31 – Serenity: Her Name

Why did I name her Serenity?

I came up with the plot and characters for SERENITY a few years before I was published (like back when I was in college). At that time, I had decided I wanted a character named Serenity that would either live up to her name or be trying to live it down. I didn’t know which heroine would get the name or in which book she would appear, I just knew I wanted one of my heroines to have the name.

When it came time to match the name to a heroine, SERENITY in its rough draft incarnation just jumped out at me. It made perfect sense for a heroine who is constantly in danger to be serene through it all.

My only regret about naming this heroine Serenity and subsequently the book the same thing (since I name the books after the heroines), is that SERENITY the movie by Joss Whedon came out before I got the book published and most people thought I had named the heroine Serenity for that reason.

LKF #30 – Serenity: Delusions

Little Known Fact #30 – SERENITY: Delusions

I cannot say why the below scene is my favorite. Well I could but it would give away the toy surprise for those who haven’t read SERENITY yet. This scene is a pivotal one in the book and shows a lot about Melchior if you know about the toy surprise.

As it is the first scene I think of whenever SERENITY comes to mind, that automatically makes it my favorite.

********* EXCERPT **********

Melchior moved away from his desk, turning his back on Serenity. He sat in his chair but didn’t look at her. “I will not speculate on the future with you, Serenity. Ruling my kingdom and ensuring your safety have kept me from considering another wife.”
“What is there to consider? I’m sure Keran will say yes the moment you ask her. Traditionally, the king would wait for his first wife to bear him an heir before wedding another, but this is an untraditional marriage. There is no need to stand on ceremony in this—”
“Stop, Serenity! Even if I planned to marry another tomorrow, Keran would not be whom I chose.”
That surprised her. “She is your current favorite and she occupies your bed almost every night. The whole of the palace thinks it’s only a matter of time before you make her your wife and then queen shortly thereafter.”
Her gaze searched his for some hint that the rumors were true. She only saw his annoyance.
“The people of the palace also think you go against my orders and take Hell Hound Chigaru and Hell Hound Haige to your bed. The change in the color scheme of your wardrobe—” he gestured to her orange dress, “—concurs with their suppositions. Shall I believe them in this as you do in the other?”
“It would be the truth if you allowed me to take a lover.”
“My answer remains no.”
“Why?” Serenity yelled.
Melchior yelled back, “Do not question me in this, Serenity. I have told you already you will not be allowed a lover. Do not mention it again. Ever.”
“Then I wish to return to your bed, Melchior.” Her statement was bold and it shocked her that she had said it aloud. She hadn’t meant to say the words, but there they were.
Melchior seemed as shocked as Serenity. He stared at her.
Serenity took his silence as incentive to continue. She moved closer to him and clasped her hands in front of her in a pleading manner. She whispered, “I love you, Melchior. I want to be with you. I’ve always only wanted you.”
“That is a lie. Your requests for a lover are proof of your lie.”
“I thought to make you jealous. I thought if you knew another bhresya male wanted me then you would return me to your bed…that I would become attractive to you, as well.”
Melchior said nothing.
“I know I may never arouse you as Keran does, but I also know with time I could learn to satisfy you. Please, Melchior. I want only to be with you again.”
He closed his eyes and Serenity thought he might actually be considering her words. Instead of roundabout tactics, she should have confessed herself from the start. Had he known of her emotions for him she could have enjoyed his touch all the sooner.
“I will not take you to my bed, Serenity.”
“Melchior, I—”
“I cannot return the feelings you think you have for me.” He opened his eyes and looked at her.
“I don’t think I have feelings for you, Melchior. I know I do.”
“You cannot—”
“Yes, I can!” she yelled over his words, hurt by his insult and finally showing it.
Melchior replied in a calm manner, “You cannot love me, Serenity. Your ability to lie, even to yourself, hurts you with each passing moment you give this falsehood credence. You haven’t known me long enough to love me.”
“I feel as though I have known you forever. I knew it from the moment I looked into your eyes.”
“Love is not so quick.”
“It was for me!”
He gestured to her. “This is my point. You do not love me but an image of me you made up based on information your Hell Hounds imparted to you over the years. You prepared yourself to love me as a way to cope with the new life that would be soon forced upon you.”
While his words made sense, Serenity refused to believe them. She hadn’t imagined the spark of recognition, the meeting of two souls that happened when she met his gaze for the first time. His touch felt familiar to her and she knew his feel even before he introduced himself to her. She knew Melchior to be hers with every fiber of her being. There was no way he hadn’t felt the same. She thought she saw it during their wedding ceremony and didn’t understand why he denied it.
She said, “Destiny placed us together because she knew of the love we would have for one another.”
“Your obsession with Destiny is the reason you cannot grasp reality, Serenity. This emotion you claim to have is not based on any truth. You do not know me.”
“Love cannot be rationalized or measured in time.”
“Love also cannot endure when it is false. Time is on my side. When enough of it passes, you will come to realize your feelings were nothing but a delusion.”
“The only person in this room who is deluded is you, Melchior.” She spun around and stormed out of the room.

LKF #29 – Serenity: Sequels

Little Known Fact #29 – SERENITY: Sequels

Anyone who has emailed me asking about this recently knows that I have promised to write the direct sequel (we’ll call it GS2) to SERENITY this year. In fact, I should start working on it in the next month or two. Depends on how fast I finish the current novel on which I’m working. I’ve already gotten GS2 plotted and 18,500 words written. I’m aiming for a book length of 75,000 – 90,000, though the book will be as long as the book wants to be.

Yes, GS2 is about Chigaru. I never had any intention of leaving him dangling. Though I never realized he would have such a huge following. I’m glad everyone likes him so much. I hope that persists when GS2 comes out.

Besides GS2, SERENITY has two other books that are directly related to it. The second sequel crosses over large chunks of SERENITY and GS2 timeline-wise. The third sequel is about Serenity and Melchior’s daughter with cameos of their other children, as well most of the characters from the previous Gezane Universe books.

LKF #28 – Serenity: All Smiles

Little Known Facts #28 – SERENITY: All Smiles

As mentioned in LKF #7 and LKF #13, I like to put pieces of myself into my heroines and books. Serenity smiles constantly. For the most part, I do as well. It’s the first thing people notice about me. Everyone kept mentioning it so often that I wanted a character who did the same.

I have three reasons for smiling as much as I do:

#1 – Muscle memory – Back in my junior year of high school, I was in the color guard (the girls in the marching band who twirl the flags). All through practice, the marching band coach and the color guard coach would yell at us to keep smiling no matter what. We had to smile during the performances so we had to smile during practice as well. One of the color guard girls complained that it hurt to smile so much. To which the marching band coach replied back, “It’s supposed to hurt!”

After that year of color guard, smiling became second nature to me as well as muscle memory. My face got used to smiling so it’s what I do now when I’m not really thinking. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m smiling until someone mentions it.

#2 – Garfield the cat. I love reading Garfield. He has a motto that I took to heart long ago — “Smile. It makes people wonder what you did.”

#3 – If I’m in a situation where I have to wait for long periods of time (for whatever reason) and I don’t have access to a computer, more often than not, I’m entertaining myself in my own head with little stories or remembering music or movies or TV shows. It’s a way to pass the time and keeps me occupied. Most of the time I’m remembering a funny comedy show or movie that I’ve seen, like Patton Oswald or National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

LKF #27 – Serenity: Soundtrack

Little Known Fact #27 – SERENITY: Soundtrack

Actually this post is a misnomer. SERENITY didn’t have a soundtrack while I was writing. It had a movie. I was writing it around the time 300 came out in the theaters and then on DVD. I went to see 300 three times and then played the DVD a hundred times more.

I have to say that those barely clad Spartans were great inspiration for my barely clad bhresya. Matter of fact, I didn’t decide to make the bhresya barely clad until after I saw 300 in theaters for the first time. I figured the bhresya are all the muscled type, why not show it off?

LKF #26 – Adrienne: Best of Them

Little Known Fact #26 – ADRIENNE: Best of Them

Below is my favorite scene out of ADRIENNE. I was pissed off right along with Adrienne while writing this scene (can you tell?). I love this scene, and it’s always the first scene to come to mind when thinking about ADRIENNE, because it shows that Adrienne is equal to Malik in temperament and power. And that she won’t let him do whatever he wants and rule over her.

This was definitely my “you go girl!” scene. 😛

***** EXCERPT ******

Adrienne smiled coldly. “I know what a harem is, Keeper. But thank you for attempting to explain.” She moved her gaze from the Keeper to Malik. “I didn’t know my husband,” she said, her voice dripping ice, “had one. When did you plan on telling me?”
She didn’t wait for his answer. “For days you came to my room and bombarded me with all types of information about your past and this kingdom. Never once did you mention a harem.” She laced her fingers together in front of her and leaned forward in her seat. “Come to think of it, I was cooped up in my room for four days with nothing but my personal guards and my maids for company. For all the babbling they did, I never once heard anything about a harem. Gardens, foods, the bazaar—yes. A harem—no.”
The five people she mentioned were stationed at the bottom of the throne dais, and each one looked uncomfortable. “Why is that?” she asked no one in particular.
When Mushira would have spoken, Adrienne held up her hand for silence. The woman’s mouth closed with a snap. Adrienne didn’t want to hear any excuse Mushira would give her. In the end this all went back to Malik. Either he told her entourage not to mention the harem, or they felt the need to hide it from her and aid Malik’s suit.
The Keeper chose to interject more news. “The ladies also wanted me to relay their…uh…displeasure at being made to stay in their chambers during the wedding and reception.”
Malik gave the Keeper an icy glare the man blatantly ignored.
“Their chambers, Keeper? Where are the harem girls kept? I assume in the palace?” Adrienne asked calmly.
“The room directly below the royal chambers, Majesty, Queen Adrienne. There is an access staircase in King Malik’s chambers—er, your chambers—so the women can come and go without having to trek all over the palace.”
“Ah.” Adrienne nodded and sat back. “The door to the staircase wouldn’t happen to be hidden behind a tapestry of dancing women, would it, Keeper?”
“That would be the very one, Queen Adrienne,” the Keeper said.
Adrienne turned her attention to Malik. She didn’t just turn her head—she turned her entire body. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed Feyr slink out from between them with his tail curved around his body.
Her words were quiet, controlled, and dripped with every bit of the anger she felt at the situation. “Get rid of it.” If this were a cartoon, there would be a bonfire behind her and her eyes would be glowing red.
The crowd gasped.
“What would you have me do with the women, my lady wife?” Malik asked.
“Short of killing them, I don’t care. But either they go—and by go I mean out of the palace—or you’re never touching me again. Is that clear?” She struggled to remain calm. She didn’t want to show the people of the court how angry this situation made her. But she couldn’t stop herself.
“I can’t believe you never had the decency or the guts to mention you had a harem. No, I have to find out from the goddamned harem keeper!” Adrienne pointed at the man. The Keeper shrank back with a worried look. “And, to add insult to injury, the people I thought were becoming my friends didn’t bother to mention it, either. I can only assume they decided to wait on you. Since it hadn’t come up before the wedding, you would think one of them would’ve thought a harem was something important to mention to me, your wife!”
Khursid, Qamar, Indivar, Flavian and Bayard all went to one knee with their heads bowed. Nimat and Hani started crying, while Mushira looked close to tears. Adrienne ignored it all and asked, “Is there anything else you’ve failed to mention that might make me angry? Might as well do it now. You can’t piss me off more than I already am.”
Adrienne didn’t know what angered her more—that no one had bothered to mention the harem, or that it was directly below the chamber she shared with Malik. Had the harem girls heard her screams of pleasure at Malik’s hands and been jealous? It would explain the Keeper’s presence.
Malik wanted to see how his subjects responded to Adrienne’s outburst but didn’t dare look away from her. Her anger scorched along his skin. It would be an easy thing to shield himself from her emotions, but he deserved the pain, since he had deceived her.
He said softly, “I shall have the harem disbanded and the women relocated by nightfall.”
One woman in the crowd of onlookers fainted. Never before had anyone seen Malik concede…on anything. There was no other movement.
“There is nothing else, my lady. You are right. I should have mentioned the harem earlier or disbanded it before I thought of bringing you here. I am sorry I caused you pain.” Malik didn’t bow his head or lower his eyes from Adrienne’s gaze. Pride wouldn’t let him, but his eyes showed his apology was genuine.
Adrienne whipped around in her seat and faced front again. She couldn’t look at Malik so she stared at the far wall. Tears stung her eyes but she fought them. And, damn it, she would win. These people had just seen their new queen lose her temper. They wouldn’t see her cry.

LKF #25 – Adrienne: Malik’s Temper

Little Known Fact #25 – ADRIENNE: Malik’s Temper

While writing ADRIENNE, I ran across a phenomenon that I would later bump into again and again — temperamental hero syndrome. I usually don’t develop this issue with my heroines, but my heroes sometimes like to cop an attitude sometimes.

I had originally planned for Malik to come off as a badass ruler type who no one wants to mess with and everyone respects and loves, despite him being scary as hell. Uh yeah… that so didn’t happen.

Instead, Malik came across as a giant spoiled brat. No matter how I tried to re-write his scenes, the impression wouldn’t go away. Hence the temperamental hero syndrome. He wanted to be written one way while I wanted to write him another.

He won. 😛

LKF #24 – Adrienne: Sequels?

Little Known Fact #24 – ADRIENNE: Sequels?

Yes there are sequels to ADRIENNE. Yes, plural. There are two sequels to be specific. One is a direct sequel, timeline-wise, that gives info about Malik’s absence from the palace and also enlightens the reader about more of Bron Universe.

The second sequel is about Malik and Adrienne’s last born child and her reaction to her betrothal. Both sequels are planned and plotted (for the most part). They just need to be written and then submitted. How long that will take, I have no clue. It all depends on what life throws at me.

I also have one spin-off/sequel planned about a few characters in ADRIENNE. Which characters and what the spin-off is about is my little secret. But, you’ll know it when it comes out. Again, when that will be is entirely up to Fate to decide.

And just to clear up one thing, her brothers will NEVER get a book of their own. There were tertiary characters to help the story along.

LKF #23 – Adrienne: Feyr

Little Known Fact #23 – ADRIENNE: Feyr

ADRIENNE features a big black, panther-like kitty named Feyr. He is my ultimate big black kitty. He is also my wish for a cat of my own. When I was writing ADRIENNE, I didn’t have any pets. I had never had any pets.

I had always, always wanted a cat, especially a black one. Since I couldn’t have one, I gave one to my heroine. But I wasn’t going to give her some little house cat. I gave her the biggest, baddest black cat around.

Shortly before ADRIENNE was submitted for publication, my dream of owning a black cat came true. Misha is my black kitty with an attitude problem who firmly loves my husband and disdains me. *sigh*

It’s okay. Her sister (litter-mate) Sputnik is my little grey baby. She may not be the color I wanted, but I love her all the same.

LKF #22 – Adrienne: College

Little Known Fact #22 – ADRIENNE: College

The college campus at the start of ADRIENNE is patterned after my alma mater: Elon University. It seemed only fitting since I was matriculating there whilst writing the first draft, so the setting was fresh in my mind.

Elon is known for it’s huge oak trees, which is what “elon” means in Hebrew, so of course those made an appearance in the book. The campus has wrought iron benches at strategic points for lounging, though I think they are bolted down (unlike in the book).

LKF #21 – Adrienne: Education

So I totally overestimated my ability to come up with thirty-one little known facts about ERIS (Eternal Truths, Book 1). I think I’ve pretty much exhausted every little fact about the book that doesn’t contain spoilers. So I’m switching gears and putting up LKFs for the rest of the month about my other two novels.

Little Known Fact #21 – ADRIENNE: Education

ADRIENNE was my debut novel. When I wrote the first draft, Adrienne was a high school student about to graduate (thus she was eighteen) instead of a college student about to graduate.

Somewhere in the middle of writing the first draft, I decided that Malik showing up to kidnap her from a high school probably wouldn’t go over that well, eighteen or not. So I switched it to college, thus making her older in the process.

Associated Content Review: Adrienne

Adrienne just got a new review from Associated Content. 😀

“Comedy, romance, danger, conflict between hero and heroine runs throughout the book. This is fantasy fiction at it’s best. This was very well written. I loved it!”
~ Writegrrl, Read Full Review

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