*bites nails, holds breath then presses send*
Yep, that’s me with excitement and trepidation about to reveal my cover for
AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME: Book one in my new Sugar Lake Series, releasing October 30th, 2018!
I hope you all love it. This is something entirely new for me. Kinda like my new glasses and my new braids, but lots more permanent and subject to just a smidge more public scrutiny given how rarely I get out of the house.
But that’s a story for another day. When I come to AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME this city girl is hitting the road and leaving The Big Apple behind (seriously, my heroine hits the road) and heading to the fictional, southern Town of Sugar Lake, Georgia for this deliciously sweet romance.
True to its name, the small southern town of Sugar Lake is a sweet place to visit—and you might even want to live there . . .
With her big city career and relationship in sudden free fall, Olivia Gale isn’t sure where she belongs. So when her help is needed at Goode N’ Sweet, the family bakery in Sugar Lake, she jumps at the chance to indulge her pie-making hobby while getting her life back on track. Olivia’s not looking for any distractions. Even if the boy who once left her without a word is now a grown man with intriguing secrets—and the same tempting hold on her heart . . .
A firefighter and single dad, Clayton Morris is trying hard to fix his past mistakes. He thought he was doing the right thing by leaving Olivia—and now he’s sure he has nothing to offer the accomplished woman she’s become. But ignoring the sparks between them is impossible. And as unexpected surprises and hard choices endanger their fragile reunion, they’ll have to decide which direction to take if they want to find the road back to love . . .
All the best,
Hope you’ve all been doing well. I’m so sorry to have been MIA, but things in KMJ land have been as hectic as ever. I’m happy to say I’ve just written the end on book 1 in my new Sugar Lake series so yay to that! I can’t wait to introduce you all to these new characters and this tasty new town.
That said I hope you all are great and have you picked up The Betting Vow yet? NPR calls it: “a satisfying romance that shows a wedding is just the beginning of happy ever after.”
When it comes to love you always play to Win!
The Betting Vow
All the best,
To know me is to love my quirks. One of the odd or not so odd things about me is that I’m a terrible procrastinator and I thrive (as I drown) under deadlines and live by checking things off my to-do lists. Without them I’m pretty sure I’d get next to nothing done. I know for sure I’d not get the books written that I have or keep any sort of track of the what’s to do in my family life.
Those that are long time followers of me over here on ye old blog know that the way I keep track of things using my tried and true Filofax planner system.
If it’s not written down it may as well have been said to the wind. I’ve also come to love Travelers Notebooks for their versatility.
I feel so fortunate to have found a group of friends who are just as quirky excited as I am when it comes to all things planning and organization.
So what is the #ListifyLife Challenge?
I’m so glad you asked. It’s a weekly challenge which starts on March 20th and runs through June 19th where you write down your lists in response to the topic prompt of that week. You post a photo of your list on any social media network of your choice (Blog, Facebook, Instagram and hashtag it #ListifyLife so that we can all stay connected. Easy as pie (well easier if you ask me and low cal). Please join in if you like. I’ve got my Moleskine ready and waiting along with my new Frixion markers.
I can’t wait to list it up! Please let me know if you’ll be joining in in the comments.
All the best,
Over the next 6 months I’ve got writing deadlines breathing down my neck
and looking at me like…
And I’m looking back at my original concepts like…
And the pressure of it all has me in a state of panic like…
So a little over a week ago in my panic stricken state I reached out to my peeps on twitter looking for bookish ways to help streamline my plotting process and get my racing, jumbled thoughts in some sort of order.
You see I only play a cool multi-planner having, washi tape decorating, cucumber on social media.
The chaos in my mind in a big old mess.
So I sent out this tweet:
And here are the books that were recommended to me in response. Thanks so much my twitter friends!
I know some of them will be of help to me (hello 1 click) and I wanted to share them here with you.
Please feel free to add any of your faves in the comments. Thanks and happy writing!
Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias
GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon –
This one I already have in my library and is a fave http://amzn.to/1UxJvd9
Trough of Hell: How to Wrap Up the Middle of Your Story with Maximum Impact
by H.R. D’Costa http://amzn.to/1UxJLca
Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley-
This is another one that I already have in my library and like. http://amzn.to/1UxJRAC
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
by Martha Alderson
2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love
by Rachel Aaron –
another book I have and am a fan of. http://amzn.to/1UxLwWN
Outlining Your Novel Map Your Way To Success by K.M. Weiland –
this is one I just ordered and am getting into. Lots of good points here. http://amzn.to/1PYgq41
Story Trumps Structure: How To Write Unforgettable Fiction By Breaking The Rules
by Steven James http://amzn.to/1K2Fan4
Meanwhile wish me luck with my deadlines because I need to be like this and just do it…
All the best,
Gifs from Reality TV Gifs
I’ve been holding on to this news for a little while and I’m so happy to now be able to share it far and wide (social media pun totally intended). I’ve been signed on to write a novella called FRIENDING THE FASHIONISTA for Samhain Publishing under the fabulous executive editor Latoya Smith who I adore and have been wanting to work with for so long. FRIENDING will be the first in my Flirty Fashionista series, marrying my love of fashion and romance.
I can’t thank Latoya enough for taking me on and my fantastic agent Rachel Brooks from the L. Perkins Agency for making it all happen. Thank you ladies for helping to make my publishing dreams come true.
Now let me get to writing… after a dance just a little but more.
All the best,
gif fm reaction gifs.com
Happy New Week!
So I’ve done all the blizzard prep I’m doing and what I have, I have and what I don’t, well, I don’t. Right about now it’s pretty much sit and wait time. I hope wherever you are the weather is kind and if not you’re warm and dry.
During this storm, as long as I have power (and if I don’t I have notebooks) I plan on working on my current WIP which truth be told has been my longest WIP ever. It’s a story that came to mind many years ago and when I got it I was so excited that I plotted it out and was ready to dive right in. Well, once I started I felt that it was a little (see a lot) more challenging and complicated than I anticipated and maybe I bit off more than I could chew. So I put it aside and wrote another book. Then that other book written I pulled the complicated WIP out again…. stalled again, put it aside and wrote yet another book. This process went on and on, the tough book haunting me while I went on to write and publish 3 more books!
What was stopping me with this book that I could write other full books while stalling on this one that I KNEW I wanted to write? Was it fear? Was it believing that I couldn’t do it?
Well the time is here that I MUST finish this book or lose my mind in the process. Giving up is not an option (well, it is an option but not one I’m happy with). Who knows if it will ever get published, but I know there needs to be a THE END or there won’t be any peace of mind for me. Wishing me luck peeps. Time for me to start believing and get to doing.
All the best,
Happy New Week folks!
I’m ready to dive into my current WIP. It’s a fun one about a reluctant bride and a surprise be groom. But I woke up thinking about Gabby, my heroine from Threads of Desire and what’s she’s up to. I do that at times as if my characters are real people out there in the world. Gabby was such a fun character to write since she had such a big voice in my head that sometimes could not be contained. But in writing there is this thing called editing and it’s up to the editor to contain that voice and like many writers I keep a file of my deleted scenes so I thought I’d share a bit of Gabby with you today from a (secret) deleted early scene from Threads of Desire to give you a little glimpse into her world. I hope you enjoy it.
Crap. It’s your own stupid fault for getting into this mess, Gabrielle Russell thought as she once again tried to scoot out of Donovan’s too tight grasp. It was hot, both inside and out, with this sudden burst of a summer heat wave and Gabby was starting to feel like she was suffocating from all the plastic covering the woman’s suits in the sample closet that they were currently pressed into the back corner of. Her lip curled. It was downright sordid the way they were tucked back there making out like every couple from every made-for-TV movie where the wife gets her revenge in the end.
It wasn’t that Donovan was such a bad a guy, or that he was married. Oh, God no, definitely not married. Without the proper sanctioning of his mama, the girl’s meatball recipe passing muster, and probably the purchase of a home lot right next to his parents’ out on Long Island, there was no way Dono was walking down the aisle. He was too much of a mama’s boy for that.
Suddenly the vision of Dono’s mother bursting through the hanging plastic, shears in hand, gave Gabby a shudder. True to form, Donovan took it as a sign that he was hitting the right spot, his tongue lapping quickly at her ear. Sadly, he was not. “Oh I love it when you shake that way, baby,” he murmured.
Gabby’s eyes rolled heavenward, where she spied cracks in the ceiling and a water stain near the steam pipe in the shape of a canned ham. She let out a sigh and worked on giving a number to Dono, tagging him mistake #97in a long line of many. Her lip twisted again as she started working on a way out of this closet and out of this mess.
Dono had been eyeing her on and off (okay, mostly off) for the three years she had been working at his father’s company, Zenia Fashions. (Side bar: if you have to put the word fashions on the tail end of your company name chances are it isn’t all that much of a fashion company.)
“You sure you don’t have some Italian in you?” he’d ask in an attempt at flirting, taking in Gabby’s toasted caramel skin, his eyes squinting at her naturally curly hair and the freckles that sometimes peeked through her foundation.
“No, Donovan, I told you before, I’m a Black girl. You know, African-American. Sorry to disappoint you but, nothing any more exotic than that.” Gabby was sure if someone traced far enough back in her family tree they’d probably find all sorts of ethnic backgrounds dangling off limbs, but who had the time—and besides, she was not about to jump through genealogy hoops to placate ol’ Dono.
But with her recent diet Dono had upped his interest, going from the gloss over to the “I’d definitely tap that” in the space of a few weeks.
Gabby had gone from a size 18 down to a curvy 16 that she could jackhammer into a stretchy 14—which on her tall frame was something she could work with like she was mother effing Naomi Campbell. Well, that was if the foundation garments were right and the attitude was in check.
Either way, she’d been feeling swanky having picked up said sausage skirt off the rack in the so-called “regular” department (as if the week before she’s somehow been an irregular species) and said yes to his lunch offer—after all, he’d promised it would be a business lunch.
And they had talked business. Dono knew that when she’d been hired by his father, Giovanni, he’d pulled her in with a promise of a new line and an updated look, but Giovanni had continued to blame money troubles, price point, sourcing, or just anything and everything, and as of now the whole thing was put on hold. Gabby was ambitious and wanted more than anything to bring Zenia into the here and now, thus pushing her own name out of low level obscurity. She’d had enough of the slinky fabrics and out there prints. It was time to move on. But it seemed no matter what she tried she couldn’t get away from the back room and the unglamorous life of fashion on the D list.
Rule #87: At steak lunch, go easy on the steak and even easier on the bread. You’ve been on beets for weeks and your brain is muddled. You’re liable to go for anything—such as looking goofy and nodding with a stupid steak and bread grin on your face when your boss’s son runs his hand from your bare thigh on up to your Spanx. You will only feel like a fool when you end up in a closet with sequins on your behind.
For a half a second Dono shifted and the lapping tongue went from inside her ear to just behind it to that sensitive little section that made her nerves tingle all the way down to… oh freaking hell. Her mind did a jump and instantly she was no longer in the sample closet of Zenia Fashions at 1407 Broadway—no, she was over ten years back in the past in an oversized walk-in at the posh Dean of Admissions house at Bonnersville State. Gabby frowned, trying hard to push the memory aside, silently cursing the fact that it came back so easily.
Mistake #1 in the long line. Head of the line. Well, maybe he wasn’t mistake number one, no, she wouldn’t give him that (that honor would have to go to her ill-advised crush on a particular ’90s icon with a penchant for high tops both above and below), but Nick was the one who always came to mind when the numbering started. The one that had hurt the most, but still the one that had taught her the best.
Nick had made her that weekend. Changed her. Took her from the naive girl who thought there was actually a man out there for her, one who she could trust in this world, and turned her into the always jovial though jaded woman she was today. There was no trust. No real love. At least not for Gabby. It was the same ol’ same. Use what you got to get what you need. Get in, get out. Keep it moving.
Gabby sighed as Dono’s hand shimmied up toward her breasts. She moved back involuntarily, hitting plastic covered polyester, and her lips curved into a wry smile as she thought of her own stupidity. How in the hell had she done it again? Coats at her back and a hard man at her front. The first time, she’d welcomed it. She’d been young, naive, and living in the land of hope. But all that had come of it was her ending up pulling lint off her ass and squelching down humiliation as Nick left her with a sorry shrug and nothing more than a “how do you do” in the stark light of day, blaming it on the alcohol, the circumstances, whatever. Yeah, she knew better.
She bit at the inside of her cheek. It would probably be the same with Dono. To guys like him she wasn’t an outside type of girl. Not one to show off to friends or bring home to Mama. But yet, here she was. Stuck between a pipe and a hard place.
You can get your copy of Threads of Desire by just clicking here or on any of the links on the right. Thanks.
All the best,
The fabulous and super talented Michelle Monkou tagged me in this writing process blog tour and as I do with all tag type things I froze but then realized we were not playing freeze tag so there you have it. I’m it… So RUN! No don’t run, sit a bit and read on about my process and how this writing thing works for me….Enjoy.
What am I working on?
But the thing about the world being your oyster and all means the possibilities are endless and oh boy pretty shiny thing over there. But no, I must focus and work on one project at a time (Well maybe two). This year I’ve got a fun romantic comedy brewing and I’m working on a sequel for BOUNCE so there is all sorts of sexy fun suburbia intrigue coming that way.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? I think the difference in my work, like what others have said before me, is voice. People say all the stories have been told and I don’t know, for the most part that may be true. But I do know the stories have not been told my way. It’s always fun for me to find a new author with an exciting and new voice and I hope that now some folks are getting that feeling in my works too.
Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been a dreamer, making up stories in my head. I’ve also always been a fan of romance and contemporary women’s fiction so writing in this genre was a natural fit.
How does your writing process work?
Can I just say it’s a mystery?
As for work? I don’t know how well it works. I’m always looking for ways to streamline it and write now I’m taking a fantastic Scrivener class given my Gwen Hernandez to help me get my many writing thoughts into a more organized contained place.
I’d like to get to the point that I wake, up sit at the keyboard and the words flow like spring rain and not my usual open laptop, sit and stare. Blink. Go to kitchen come back. Sit, stare some more, reach for the faraway word. Write a sentence. Stare at screen. Walk to kitchen again. Go back to computer. Turn away. Flip TV on then Off. Check emails. Oh wait, Twitter! Look at clock an hour later panic then write a few hundred words. The character’s voices now too loud to be ignored a moment longer so I must write and quiet them down until the next day’s noise.
Yeah I’m thinking this process can be improved on dramatically. There are many stories to write and a smooth process will help it a bunch.
And now with me being it an all I have the fun job of tagging other writers so that they can share their processes with you. So I’m now tagging…
Synithia Williams: Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her publishing dreams. Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love was published in August 2012 by Crimson Romance. When she isn’t writing, this local government gal, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. www.SynithiaWilliams.com
Jeanine McAdam : : Jeanine McAdam is a writer of twenty-five romantic short stories, a few spicy anthologies and three cowboy books. Telling stories about imperfect people finding perfect love is her thing. She’s currently writing about bull riders and the spunky urban women who love them in her Skirts and Spurs Trilogy. www.JeanineMcAdam.com
Falguni Kothari: Born and bred in Mumbai, Falguni Kothari currently lives in New York with her family and an utterly spoiled dog. She’s the author of BOOTIE AND THE BEAST (April 2014 via Harlequin Mills and Boon,) IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK! and SCRABBULOUS IMPRESSIONS, a short story. www.FalguniKothari.com
All the best,
Howdy folks! Just popping in from WIP land and saying hi. H! 🙂
Today, well tonight, depending on when you’re reading this I thought I’d put up a little Whistle Wetter just to give you a taste from a scene from BOUNCE my indie contemporary romance which I’m happy to say will soon be available in POD so check back for details on that real soon. Meanwhile here is a scene from BOUNCE…
He reaches for me.
“Hey, I know you’re up. Don’t be mad, okay? I know I should have been home earlier or called,” he says in a sheepish voice.
“I’m not mad. I just would have liked to have had you here tonight.”
“Really?” His question is clear but still he goes on as if I really need him to dig any deeper. Pick at the scab. “Because it seems lately you don’t want me around. So what’s so different about tonight?” He moves back onto his own pillows and I’m suddenly chilled. Can’t tell if it’s his tone or the distance. But I know he’s right. Even when I want him around, I don’t really. I’ve become my own deserted island.
I sit up in the bed and turn to him. “Well, you know I missed most of Zach’s game. It was because I was in with Mr. Dunlap. Today he practically guaranteed that I’d be made partner at this year’s annual meeting. I wanted you here so I could share it with you.”
Sean sits upright in the bed and turns on the light. His smile is genuine and for the first time in a long time there is a softness and an easiness between us that is unplanned and unforced. He reaches out and hugs me and for a second I sink into him. His strength and his warmth – I’ve missed what this feels like. “Babe, that’s great. I know how much you wanted it.”
When I pull back and don’t respond Sean looks at me with questioning eyes. “This is what you wanted, right?”
I’m looking around trying to find something to focus on except Sean’s confusion. The blanket’s tone on tone pattern takes on a new fascination. “Bree?” Sean asks, pulling me back to his question. “This is what you wanted?”
“Yeah, I guess, well, I don’t know,” I mumble, suddenly embarrassed at how weak I sound.
Sean lets out a long breath and sits up straighter. “You don’t know? Bree, I don’t understand you. It seems that nothing is satisfying to you lately. Not even the promotion you said you wanted for so long. The one you worked so hard for.” He rakes his hands through his short tight curls. “I thought things were fine. I thought things were going good again.” His voice grows louder as he goes on and a breathless anxiety comes over me. Threatening my edgy nerves. Hell, I thought I was all right too. At least it’s what I always tell myself. Speaking is half of believing right? But judging by the constant knots in my stomach, things are just not all right.
But everything should be. It all really should be. I’m about to have it all.
I give Sean a weak smile and pull him towards me. I kiss him deeply. And I can feel the immediate surprise course though his body. But the surprise doesn’t stop him and it doesn’t take much to get him going. He instantly falls into action, running his large hands up and down my back. Kissing my neck then trailing his tongue down toward my breasts.
Have you BOUNCED yet?
All the best,
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The temperature is still set to Brrr here in the Northeast. Though I know we’re still firmly in Winter I’m starting to have long Summer daydreams where all the scenes in my head feature warm breezes, open toed shoes and guys who don’t care all that much for shirts. Time to get to writing.
And speaking of writing today I’m beyond the moon to announce the sale of Scribbling Women and the Real Life Heroes Who Love Them. I am so thrilled and honored to be one of the writers asked to be in this anthology where for the first time I’m not writing fiction, but giving a glimpse into my own real life romance (one word: Spooning) and I’m doing it for a wonderful cause. Here is a bit about Scribbling Women:
In Scribbling Women and the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them, twenty-eight popular romance fiction writers reveal their real-life stories of how they met, wed and love—and are loved and supported by—their spouses and life partners. At times whimsical and laugh-out-loud funny, at others poignant and bittersweet, all unfailingly inspiring, each essay celebrates that most powerful and sacred of human bonds: love.
Happily Ever After isn’t only the stuff of romance novels and fairy tales. It is every woman’s birthright.
All net sales of the anthology support Win (www.winnyc.org)
I hope you enjoy!
All the best,