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Monday, sales

Crazy Monday

Crazy Monday. Crazy week. Heck, it’s been a crazy month! Then again, April always seems to be.

This is my writing month (as opposed to an editing month) and also the month where Camp NaNoWriMo is happening. I love the camp far more than the huge event in November. Part of that is because of timing. Right before the holidays is not a good time for me. The other part is I get to choose my own word count rather than be locked in to write 50,000 words. This month I chose 25,000 as my goal, partly because I’ve been locked into editing jobs that authors needed to push back a month for one reason or another.

My word count for this month is currently at 9,148, which is pathetic for those times when my words are pumping. That’s a day for me at times. Three if I’m hitting my 3K a day goal. But I’m still pleased about where I am.

Afterall, I went a year with barely a word typed on a story. I’m happy with five hundred words on my writing days. I’ve gotten that each day I’ve written.

Some news for those in the U.S., Love on a Battlefield is currently 99¢ at Amazon. That sale ends Wednesday this week.

For anyone who lives where Kindle Unlimited works, I currently have 4 books you can borrow over there. Farm Fresh & Picked Fresh haven’t been on KU together for a couple of years. Silver Scars hasn’t been on KU since 2015. And I decided to put Love on a Battlefield on as well.

KUApril2018

Back to editing. There are some amazing stories coming out in the next month or two. Maybe I’ll start telling you about them here. 🙂

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Kindle Unlimited Offerings

I’ve moved some books over to KU. So if you’ve been curious about a book but unwilling to take the plunge and buy it, now you can borrow it and see if it’s up your alley.

Here’s what I’m offering on Kindle Unlimited for now.


Farm FreshFarm Fresh is gorgeous, and the emotional impact will leave you gasping and aching for more.
~Just Love – Romance Novel Reviews

This is truly an outstanding story. I carried my Kindle everywhere with me…. All day. I refused to do anything until I finished.
~Diverse Reader

Sexy, sensual and satisfying.
~Alpha Book Club


Picked FreshJust like the first story, I could picture myself right there in the rainbow bus on the road with Jude and Hudson.
~Sinfully MM Book Reviews

Picked Fresh is a tremendously gratifying story that shows extensive character growth and development, giving us a much deeper look into not just Hudson and Jude, but Leo and Charlie as well.
~Making it Happen

We need more books like this. Ones that show body and sex positive people in a way that will make you rethink any preconceived notions you might have.
~Diverse Reader

All our favorite characters have some MAJOR “soul” development here.
~OpenSkyeBookReviews


Silver ScarsThis is not your usual romantic story. It goes way beyond that. I had the impression I was there, in the book, living in alongside Gil and Keith. They felt so real, their story felt real and I’m sure that, for someone out there, this is not a story at all. 
~Mikky’s World of Books

This book is about one of the greatest losses that we may encounter. The loss of ourselves, of our identity, but it is also a book about hope and second chances. It is a book full of hope and optimism. Read it because it’s worth it.
~Three Books Over the Rainbow

The writing is brilliant, as is the plot, and the characters just jump off the page and straight into your heart!
~Bike Book Reviews


LoveonaBattlefield…feelings of hope and of loss and so much uncertainty, but they do eventually find their way.
~Jules – My Fiction Nook

Andrew conquered my heart. I feel like I know him well, the same way as I know a friend.
~Stella – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

A very charming feel-good love story about finding your true self and getting a second chance at love.
~Tanja – Goodreads Reviewer

Blog Tour, Giveaways

2018 Autism Blog Hop

Autism Fact:
Five times as many males as females are diagnosed with autism.

RJ Scott is hosting the Autism Blog Hop again this year. Check out the master post here and follow along to read about your favorite authors’ hopes, dreams, and wishes for the world. There are prizes at each stop.

My hope: Accepting a person at face value.

More than anything, that is what I wish for our world. Not ascribing a list of “must-meets” or “expectations” to a person within seconds of meeting them, but holding off on those snap judgments so we can open our hearts to get to know each other better. To really let them form from the ground up rather than be compared.

I think our world would be better for it. I think we’d all be less defensive. And when we’re less defensive, we are given an in to really get to know each other.

Opening a new book and getting to know a character is something readers do all the time. Do we go in with expectations? Maybe, but more often than not, we allow writers to take us on a journey. We might know the country or state we’re in, but we really don’t know how we’re getting to the endpoint.

Imagine if we were that open to everyone we met. We fall for fictional characters because we let them inside, we open ourselves up to them, we let them tell us their stories.

My wish for the world is that we’d be more willing to do that with each other.

Many of the characters have shut the world off because of hurt or judgments. Below are a few of my books where pushing those walls aside led to love.

LoveonaBattlefieldStrokeofLuckSparkBent ArrowCheekyMomoSilver ScarsFarm Fresh

Comment below for a chance to win one of the e-books above. Tell me what makes you open your heart to a character. I’ll draw the winner next week at the end of April, so check back.

Writing Process, Writing Resources

Putting Writing at the Top of my List

The hardest part about being a writer for me is sticking to my own goals and deadlines because something else is always deemed more important.

I started writing for fun. Then it was a hobby. After a time, writing royalties were my secondary income. And eventually, they became my primary income.

Not the primary income of my family, thank goodness! Haha. We would’ve starved a long time ago if that were the case. And that’s why I started to edit. Editing became my secondary income, but that’s morphed into my primary income in the last year.

And so the value of my writing time and goals and deadlines plummeted once again. The moment that happens, my writing productivity divebombs. Add in being a Work At Home Mom in there, and soon errands and running the kid around take precedence.

My writing is near the bottom of my list, but it can’t be. I’ve been trying to find ways for the last six months to change that so my productivity can be boosted. I need to release books. But I have to write them first! Haha.

So, how do other writers keep their own words, stories, projects at the forefront? I’m genuinely curious. So far, this is what I’ve tried for myself.

 

  • Don’t touch social media or email until I have a solid chunk of words down. I’ve used Freedom and there are other programs out there that help people stay away from social media, but my real issue is that I mess around on my phone before I even get up. I need to program Freedom on my phone to make it work. I’ve been reluctant to do that, but I think it’s time.

  • Writing sprints. Back in my hobby writing days, this was much more commonplace than it is today. I used to write in a fairly large community that was linked via Twitter back when it was a baby. I’d go online, tweet that I needed to get 2,500 words written tonight, and I’d have someone answering within minutes that we should sprint. An hour later, we’d report our word counts via chat, usually, but occasionally via Twitter. And before I knew it, my goal was met.
  • For a time, there was an app called 5,000 WPH, but that’s since been removed from the app store, but it was a way to sprint with yourself.
  • 37941061684_f20979c07f_qI’ve recently read about using the Pomodoro Method for writing. I’m familiar with this as a parent to a child with ADHD. My kiddo used this to get her homework done back in the day, and it’s named this because of the timer used, which was shaped like a tomato, or a pomodoro in Italian. Essentially you work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break—use the bathroom, refill coffee, get the mail. Make a check mark, do another pomodoro, and then after you have 4 check marks, you can take a longer break. If your work is done before 4, then that’s fine too.
  • Be accountable. I have a friend who asks me what I’m working on and I report to her when I’ve had great days or really horrid ones. Some days I feel like I need a troupe of people to report to. Haha.
  • Tweeting out my word counts was something I used to do regularly during the first download of Scrivener. After an update that removed that feature, but I’m thrilled it’s back with the latest version. It’s that accountability thing that works for me.
  • Speaking of that, tracking my word count on a program like Pacemaker or even on an excel spreadsheet can be helpful. I found this Tool for Writers on a search and started using it. Once I got to the editing process of Love on a Battlefield, I sort stopped. I’ve tried tracking on my bullet journal, but for some reason, that’s not nearly as satisfying. I like seeing the results in a chart. I like the color changes on Tools for Writers, but the graph on Pacemaker and the functionality wins out.
  • Camp Nano. This was what really got me pumping out words. I wrote Spark during Camp Nano. I was going to take the month in between camp 1 and camp 2 to edit it, but I ended up writing Fusion instead, and during camp 2, I wrote Flare and finished up at something like 90,000 words 16 days into it. Camp Nano taught me to write, draft, don’t stop, and to just get the words down so I can fix them later. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo numerous times, but November is hell for me. It’s the absolute worst time of year.
  • My own Nano. I think this is really the best thing for me. I don’t think the social aspect of Nano is what helps me as much as it is all the tracking and accountability and having a deadline to work toward. I can create that myself.

Do you have any great tools that work for you? Social groups that you benefit from? Any tricks? I’d love to hear them! Please comment below with links or whatnot. I need to get this year in gear!

My Novels

Silver Scars – A story of hope

For the first time since I released Silver Scars back 2015, it’s back on Kindle Unlimited.

Read Now

 

If you’ve not read this book yet, prepare to dive into a story of pain, fear, hurt, and comfort. It’s a story of hope, compassion, healing, and unexpected love that you’re invited to watch unfold from the first time Gil travels since a bomb destroyed his life until he finds his HEA with Keith.

I won’t lie and tell you it’s an easy read. It was one of the hardest things I’ve written. So much of the story comes from my own experiences with PTSD, anxiety, and learning to live with chronic pain and life-long conditions I will never heal from.

SS Early ReviewsSilver Scars came at a dark time in my life. I wasn’t sure I was going to write again, my career in education was no longer something I even wanted to think about let alone do, my boss was clearly trying to force me out, and my daughter was struggling academically, socially, and dealing with significant anxiety. Doubt crept into everything I did, every word I put on the page.

Anxiety hit a new low for me. It went from something I’d learned to manage to waking me in the middle of the night. I started having flashbacks again, ruminated about minutiae, and all the coping technics that had worked in the past were now useless.

So I wrote. I wrote down my thoughts and fears so they didn’t eat me alive. If that sounds a bit familiar, that was part of what also inspired me to write Love on a Battlefield, where Andrew works through his PTSD by journaling. That’s on KU now as well.

At first I wrote Silver Scars in past tense, but every time my fingers would fly and the story flowed, I switched over to present tense. I fought that like crazy, always bringing it back to past tense. But no matter what I did, Gil insisted his story be told in present tense. I didn’t get why at first, but then it suddenly came to me.

Gil was unable to even fathom a future.

He was terrified of looking ahead. The past was filled with if onlies and what ifs. Gil was stuck living moment to moment, too afraid of looking anywhere but where his feet were planted at that exact second. Until he meets Keith, the man who truly makes Gil want to live for something again. And because of Keith’s own disablities, his knowledge is first hand and inspiring.

So as you’re reading, the first-person, present-tense narrative can feel close. Intimate. I’ve been told by readers that this book stuck with them for days, so read this when you can handle being dragged through Gil’s journey through his recovery. Where he ends up is a beautiful place.

Black massage stones stacked, isolated.

Gil sees hope for the first time since an explosion left him shattered. His name is Keith.

Silver Scars

A bomb destroyed lawyer Gil Lemieux’s seemingly perfect life, and PTSD has ruled every decision since the explosion that left him scarred inside and outside.
Moving home with his mom was meant to be temporary, just like proofreading for a medical editorial firm. But two years after taking on the wrong court case, he’s still living in fear.

Keith Kramer might be based 1,500 miles from Gil, but their shared work brings them together—a chance meeting that’s life-changing. Gil is drawn to Keith’s good looks and intelligence, but it’s his innate understanding that Gil is more than his scars that’s truly attractive. He’s everything Gil used to be and more. It blows Gil’s mind that his attraction might be returned.

Only doubt could widen the distance between them. Keith’s hopefulness, borne out of surviving some tough challenges of his own, isn’t enough to bridge the distance alone. Gil will need to believe he has as much to offer as Keith if they’re to build a life together.

Contemporary, gay romance. A story of hope, compassion, healing, and unexpected love.

And for a lighter book that addresses PTSD, check out Love on a Battlefield.

LoveOnaBattlefiled-PrintCover-Promo

 

My Novellas

Excerpt from Momo, My Everything

“Let me see if I got this. You do a lot of shit and have a lot of cash you need to follow to make sure it gets to the right department so it gets to the people who really need it in the end so you can make the world a better place and sleep like a baby at night, huh?”

I chuckled at how easily Nate boiled it down. “In a nutshell, yes.”

“So you’re a do-gooder.” He licked away a droplet of beer from his top lip.

I nodded and bit the inside of my cheek to stop myself from telling him how gorgeous he was. “Now I have a question for you about your geisha name. When I took Spanish, I chose the name Toro because my mama always said I was bullheaded and stubborn as hell. If the shoe fits . . .” I gave him a resigned shrug. “So what does Momo mean? Or did you randomly pick a name out of a hat?”

“It means peach.”

“Peach? You named your alter ego after a fruit?”

“Nate laughed. “I sure did. If the shoe fits and all that.”

MomoSquareWilliam Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.

Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.

If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it.

 

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My World This Monday

It’s snowing. A true winter storm with wicked winds, lots of accumulation, and canceled events left and right. I knew this was coming, so when I got a call that my new glasses were in, I didn’t bother to hop in the shower and just drove to get them. Then my kiddo and I got breakfast before I dropped my tax paperwork off at my accountant’s.

Then as the snowfall gathered, I lost myself in Excel creating a tracking sheet for sales the rest of the afternoon. So today and the weekend were largely admin stuff. It has to be done, but OMG, I hate it! Haha.

Back to editing this week for clients. I also got back beta feedback for Spark. I’m going to be making a few adjustments before I send it off to a new beta who has never read North Star before. So now that I know how lovers of the trilogy reacted to my changes, I can see how a new reader will feel about it. I’ll have to get to that in my free time.

😂 I don’t know what free time is.

My father-in-law goes in for open heart surgery tomorrow, so my brain will be a little preoccupied. I’ll have to see if editing jobs or my own edits will be better served once I get to the hospital.

Over the weekend, I did manage to listen to Fusion and Flare. That was a lot of hours but I needed to see what was essential to keep in Spark as I adjust all the little things.

Nothing too exciting otherwise. Just a lot of adulting.

 

Cover Reveal, Monday, My Novels

My World this Monday

The release of Love on a Battlefield went off without a hitch. Okay, there were a few. I had to reschedule half of my prescheduled tweets and Facebook chopped off all the details about my book on the post people shared and only showed the photos. I remedied those issues pretty quick.

I’m pleased with the release. For a novella, I never allow my expectations get too high because shorter books never sell as well as novels. But I love writing novellas. That length is fun for me, which was the entire reason I worked on that story: writing had turned into drudgery, not fun. So the favorable response is icing. 🙂

There are two days left to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway that Xpresso Book Tours arranged for the Love on a Battlefield book blitz, so check that out.

Last Monday I wrote about my editing/restructuring process of Spark. I accomplished my goal. Scenes are now moved around for a better flow, words trimmed, and the climax and resolution have been completely reworked.

I’m having a few betas who love the original reading it right now, and after I get their feedback, I’ll send it to a new beta who’s never met Hugo and Kevin before. But I’m at a really good place with the revision, which is exciting.

This week I’m back to editing for clients. March is my editing month. I have six jobs. A copy edit of a previously published book, a mentoring edit for a new author, and four novels that will go through a two-step edit of content/structural and then copy editing. That means eight reads on those. So in essence, I have ten editing jobs this month.

I’m tired just thinking about that. Haha. Which is why I decided to get two of those done before March 1st.

My brain is in editing mode because of the last few weeks with Spark, so I have that going for me. It’s the shifting gears from purely creative over to picky editor that’s hard to do on a dime.

On my 2018 planning board, March/April has the title Extra Ordinary behind it. That’s where my focus is right now. It’s currently at 14,000 words. I’m dramatically expanding the short story Risking It, originally published in Dreamspinner Press’s Daily Dose. So a 5,000-word short is now a minuscule portion of what will end up as a 60,000-word novel.

And I have a cover! ❤ James from GoOnWrite.com designed it.

Meet Luca, the guy that flirts openly with Gus at their high school basketball tournament. Gus is closeted and has no clue how to flirt let alone navigate the intricacies of hooking up while not outing himself. He also thinks he’s the most boring person in the world.

Luca fascinates Gus from the moment their eyes meet. He’s comfortable in his sexuality, bold with his flirting. Luca may come off as fearless, but he’s been keeping a lot to himself in hopes of pleasing his father, a man who gave up his rock-star career to be a father. It’s a coming of age story that starts near the end of high school and follows these men to college where they have the freedom to be themselves for the first time.

The extra ordinary guy has to find a way to get the extraordinary guy to notice him. Or maybe he needs to realize he’s pretty extraordinary himself.

So, cover reveal time. Maybe this will light a fire under my butt so I keep working on this story. Just looking at Luca helps.

Extra Ordinary - Mod- for blog.jpeg

 

 

 

My Novellas, My Novels

PTSD-lite, PTSD-gritty

For those of you who’ve read Love on a Battlefield and crave a grittier look at PTSD than what I portrayed in that book, I’d like to recommend Silver Scars to you. Gil’s life is destroyed after an explosion left him shattered. When he meets Keith, a man living with struggles of his own, Gil feels hope again.

Gil’s PTSD is not a result of war like Andrew’s was, but it’s just as powerful. Maybe more so.

I actually poured a lot of my own PTSD and anxiety into Gil’s experience and I pretty much wrote Silver Scars as therapy to get me through a deeply troubling time in my own life. So yeah, I guess I wrote my experiences into Love on a Battlefield too since Andrew uses writing as his therapy. I just realized that.

Silver Scars is a slowly woven tale of healing and trying to make a relationship work between two broken men.

Love on a Battlefield is a story about first times, second chances, and the transformative power of the written word.

Silver Scars

AMAZON ITUNES BARNES & NOBLE GOOGLE PLAY KOBO PAYHIP STORE SMASHWORDS OTHER BOOKSTORES

Love on a Battlefield

POSY’S PAYHIP AMAZON IBOOKS KOBO BARNES & NOBLE GOOGLE PLAY OTHER RETAILERS

Book Release, My Novellas

New Release: Love on a Battlefield

Not every compass points north.

LoveOnABattleField-Final-2

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

A story about first times, second chances, and the transformative power of the written word.

 BookBub Goodreads

Format: E-book & Paperback
126 Pages | 1-2 Hours to read | 25,500 Words

Posy’s PayHip Amazon iBooks Kobo Barnes & Noble Google Play Other Retailers

gay romance, second chances, first time, sweet, disability romance, meant to be, military, artist, world traveler, coming of age, long-distance, pen pals

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A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Playlist to get you in the mood or enhance your reading.

1. Owl City – “I Found Love”
2. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
3. The All-American Rejects – “Dirty Little Secret”
4. Panic! At The Disco – “Girls/Girls/Boys”
5. twenty øne piløts – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
6. Fall Out Boy – “Sunshine Riptide” (ft. Burna Boy)
7. The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
8. Panic! At The Disco: “This Is Gospel”
9. Green Day – “Still Breathing”
10. Calum Scott – “You Are The Reason”
11. Imagine Dragons – “I Bet My Life”
12. Fall Out Boy – “Hold Me Tight or Don’t”
13. Panic! At The Disco – “Ready To Go”
14. Green Day – “Ordinary World”
15. Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

LoveOnaBattlefiled-PrintCover-Promo
Paperback