Saturday, April 29, 2006

Deadline Dementia...

It's not even a countdown anymore because that's totally failed.  I've had a rough time with this book.  There are some very good reasons for that, but that doesn't matter a whit to my schedule.  Suffice to say, I'm 100 pages from done *before* the paper edit.  Not pretty.  I'm now facing taking time out of my next book's schedule to finish this one.  I pray the next book will flow faster...that there is less family stuff and writing related stuff that takes my creative muse and hammers her until she's comatose.  It's very hard to write when your imagination is in hiding, believe me - no matter how much you love a book.  And even harder when your character makes a choice you *finally* realize was not *hers*, but *yours* and you need to go back and fix that choice, fix the book and be true to the characters before you can go forward.
That part of me that makes my books better because she craves writing the best book with each new manuscript and is terrified of writing cr&*p sometimes slows me down.  But it's worth it if the book comes out a solid story with characters that truly live and breathe for the reader.
So, tell me...what authors really make characters live and breathe for you?
I've got a list as long as my arm, but lately I've been reading a lot of Christine Feehan.  (More on that in a later blog...)  And laugh at me if you like, but I re-read my royal trilogy last night when I couldn't sleep and remembered that Lucy Monroe's characters do that for me too and she's not such a hack after all.
Here's hoping Beth and Ethan agree... :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dancing on the ceiling...

And still trying to meet that oh so challenging deadline. :)
But I had to share!!!  The Prince's Virging Wife is #1 on this week's Border's Group (includes Waldenbooks, Borders & Brentano's nationwide) Top 10 Series Romance Bestsellers.  And drum roll, please...but...And Able is #6 on the single title list! I'm so jazzed about this because the #1 slot is always a total honor and I've never had one of my single titles hit this list before!  Isn't that so cool?
Ethan and Beth's book is coming along, but this man can really be dense at times.  He's pretty much brilliant about everything but Beth.  It just cracks me up.  And Beth is discovering she's far from the shy dreamer she's always allowed herself to be. :)
Also, a quickie book pimp, but if you like chick lit, Shanna Swendson's newest is out.  Once Upon Stilettos is the second in her series with protagonist Katie Chandler.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Countdown to Deadline - Day 16

Okay...I'm at this place where I really love the story.  It's a scary place for me because I'm almost afraid to move on and mess something up.  If writing had a tad less angst attached to it, it might be a more normal profession.  But every author I talk to has their moments of fear, sometimes those moments last the entire process of writing the book.  It's not even the readers I'm so worried about letting down, but my characters.  I so want their story to come out right.

But first it has to come out, which means writing today despite this nerve wracking moment of paralysis. :)  So...that's what I'm off to do.  Hope you are all having a great day.

No sunshine here, but I imagine at least some of you are getting blue bask a little just for me, 'kay?


P.S.  TEMPT ME made it onto Bookscan's 100 Top Selling Romances list and I'm totally thrilled.  It's the first time a mass market single title of mine has done that.  My HPs and Bravas pretty much always do, but this is a different market and I'm celebrating big time and want to say THANK YOU to every single reader who has bought the book or is planning to do so. :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Countdown to Deadline - Day 17

Um...taxes are so not supposed to happen in the middle of my deadline dementia.  Did someone forget to mention that to the Federal Government?  Maybe, I did.  I should write my Congressman, or something.  The letter could go something like this:
Dear Political Personage:
Doing my taxes is a real strain on my brain and I'm under deadline to finish this one book.  It's got all my mind's synapses fully engaged and this whole having to balance a spreadsheet and fill out the appropriate blanks on tax forms is really a pain.  I don't suppose you'd let me file when I'm off deadline...sometime in the year 2025 maybe?
Most Sincerely,
Frazzled Author
Hmm...I'm not thinking it's gonna fly.  So, I'd best finish up.  All I can say is, "Thank goodness for Taxcut!"
And no, I don't really want to hear you filed on Jan 10th and pay all of your estimated taxes quarterly and they just covered your tax bill *g* - well, okay, if you seriously are one of *those* people, feel free to share...but for the rest of us, here's a fun looking book to take our minds off everybody's deadline on April 15th:
Captain Sinister's Lady
Morgan Roberts, AKA Captain Sinister, dreams of leaving the sea and running away to farm, but when the Zephyr comes across a damaged ship wallowing in the Florida Straits, it’s just too good an opportunity for any self-respecting privateer to pass up.
Amanda Stephenson is a widow traveling from Yorkshire to Charleston in the 1820’s to set up her soap-making business. It’s a grand adventure, just as she’s always dreamed—until her ship is boarded by the crew of the Zephyr. Amanda’s plans for her future do not include large, hairy, uncouth pirates.
Morgan Roberts has his work cut out for him, but he’s prepared to try his most piratical tricks if it will convince the luscious widow to become Captain Sinister’s Lady.
On sale now from Amber Quill Press in paper and ebook! Read an excerpt at Darlene’s website.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Countdown to Deadline - Day 18

I'm so into this book, which is a very good place to be...I mean if you're writing or reading, you really want to be into the story, don't you?  Not to mention that I may actually make deadline if I can write faster and writing faster always comes with this feeling of being into it.  Happy sigh...but the deeper the emotions get, the more into the story I get.  I love over the top emotion and wallow in intense conflict...between the pages of a book, or in a manuscript anyway. :)

Yesterday, I spent editing mostly ... and building a webpage for a friend of mine.  It was fun.  I can't seem to give up control of my own webpage.  It's really content rich and it would cost me the earth to have a professional design company redesign and keep it up.  It's a good thing I like that sort of thing, huh?  But I get so many emails off the site from readers and booksellers who appreciate the content, I can't even think about cutting it back.  I'm such a sucker sometimes. LOL

I'm off to write.  Hope you're all having a great day!

Lucy :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Countdown to Deadline - Day 19

My TBR pile is an overstuffed six foot tall bookcase, but I *really* struggle when I'm on deadline and have a book I desperately want to read sitting beside my bed.  Well, I'm in that situation about two books right now.  The first is a manuscript by a friend of mine, Kate Davies.  She let me read the first three chapters and they were FABULOUS, so now I can't wait to read the rest.  The second is MASTER OF WOLVES by Angela Knight.  I'm a big fan of Angela's and have read all her books.  So, waiting to read this one is nothing short of torture.  And there it sits, taunting me...  Sigh...
What do you think?  Doesn't it sound good?
(Berkeley Sensation, April 4, 2006)
When Jim London's best friend is murdered, Jim vows to catch the killer.  Leaving it for the local police to solve is out of the question, because he suspects they are involved.  Jim is more than capable of taking action if they are -- he's a werewolf. Realizing the only way to investigate the department is from the inside, he decides to go undercover -- as a police K-9.  His "handler" is lovely Faith Weston, the only person on the Clarkston Police Department who isn't up to her neck in murder.  But Faith has no idea her "dog" Rambo is a werewolf, or that the department she serves is rotten with corruption.   But it doesn't take her long to figure it out.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Countdown to Deadline - Day 20

I love Mondays.  They feel so fresh and full of promise every week.  Today, I am going to finish a love scene and hopefully move on to the next scene in this Brava.  I'm really looking forward to it as my time with my characters is something to savor.  I fall in love with them with every book.  It's a strange phenomenon, but with each book I think each set of characters is more deeply embedded in my heart than the last.

Beth and Ethan are interesting people and I'm having an amazing time peeling back their layers as I get to know them better and they reveal themselves to one another.  I just realized last week that Beth is still trying to accept her parents unique way of loving her and Ethan, for all his courage in facing Extreme Sports challenges, is definitely on the hesitant side when it comes to dealing with true emotion.

Up to this point, he's been pushing Beth past her comfort limits...but I think soon the roles are going to reverse. ;-)

Also...wanted to tell you that Stacy is hosting a really cool contest on her blog.  You can win a copy of WILLING or MISTRESS IN TRAINING (your choice) and the contest itself is just plain fun.  So, go have a look:

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Deadline Countdown - Day 22

It's Saturday, but certainly not a day off. :)  I'll write later tonight, but I'll start by cleaning my office because I can't stand working in clutter.  Lots of my friends say they aren't happy unless there's barely a path to their computer chair amidst their books, papers and research, but I'm not like that.  I need space, dust free surfaces and the beauty of my inspirational pieces accessible to my eye.

Speaking of inspiration, everyone's is different.  But I need art and music.  I have a collection of statuary and paintings that evoke feelings and thoughts conducive to my stories.  I also have a collection of music that I listen to more for pace than for content.  I used to burn candles, but I developed a scent allergy.  Probably from over exposure because I write really long hours usually. :)  That's all right.  I love my job and my characters all become true friends long before I finish a book.
What inspires you to be creative?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Countdown Deadline - Day 23

Yay!  I did get some writing done yesterday.  It was late at night because there were some final family issues I had to help my mom with, but the resolution was positive.  Which made us all happy. :)  I'm just super pleased with the direction this book is going, but I'm a little concerned about how my editor is going to respond.  I'm writing on the edge of her comfort zone right now and I'm hoping I can make it work.  Funnily enough, I'm not worried about my readers.  I know *they* are going to get it.

Dh just got home for lunch.  Yum. His company brings me so much, I'm off.  I'll let you know how the writing goes today, but we've got a birthday party tonight and my daughter is filling in this afternoon for my assistant (who has been really sick) which means I'll be answering a lot more questions than usual to get stuff done.  If life were easy, it would be boring, right?

And just in case you missed it...TEMPT ME is out now!


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Deadline Countdown - Day 24

I thought it would be fun to go through the process of a deadline countdown with you all, to share the challenges that like to trip me up while I'm trying so hard to sprint to a finish and some of the process along the way. :)  What do you think?
So, it's Day 24 and I've got approximately 210 manuscript pages to write, edit and polish before finishing my current Brava.  Since I have to start a new book for Harlequin Presents the Monday after I turn this one in, there is no room for slippage.
But what about a mom who needs some extra physical care and a sick sister who needs me to do the carpool driving this week and a hubby with gout (yes, seriously...he's sexy, gorgeous, alpha and has...gout LOL) which is acting up, teenagers on deadlines for term papers (guess who gets to edit them?) and a house that really, really needs cleaning since our return from vacation and lots and lots and lots of email?
Yep, all that and more and I *still* love the writing, adore my family, am addicted to my email and plan to make that lovely deadline.
I'd like to power through some pages today, but I've got a chat this evening and things are really up in the air with my mom at the moment.  So, I'll let you know tomorrow how that goes. :)  Right now, I'm working on cleaning out all my email folders so no one thinks I've dropped off the face of the earth.
By the way, have you all viewed my latest flash movie?  There's a link to it on my homepage for my website.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Home Again, Etc.

We are finally home again and I've got one final story to share.  Hasn't got a thing to do with water either.  But you all knew this last weekend was the daylight savings time change right?  Well, *I* didn't and I showed up to the Celebrate Romance events an hour late and didn't know it!  No one said a thing, but I got some strange looks.  *I* wondered why *everyone* was done eating already.  I didn't realize my faux pas until someone mentioned the time a few hours later and I realized I was 30 minutes late for lunch with some readers!!!  They were too sweet though and it was all good.
It's nice to be home. LOL
And here's a lovely looking book, don't you think?
It has been years since exiled alien king Jared Bennett thought of anything other than his people's fight for freedom. Now his rebel force has the one weapon that can turn the tide against their enemy: the key to the secrets of time. Victory has never been closer-but one woman has the power to change everything.
Kelsey Wells can't deny that there is something unearthly about her fierce attraction to Jared Bennett. His revelations about alien wars and time travel can't possibly be fact-yet with every seductive touch, every searing kiss, Kelsey circles closer to the truth: that although Jared is exactly what he says, he hasn't told her everything. And when the future crashes into the present, Kelsey must decide if his deception will cost them the love that should have been their destiny.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

San Diego Trip Update

Oh, Sea World was HEAVENLY!!!  We had such a good time there and at the San Diego Zoo the next day.  We laughed so hard at the seal and sea lion show - not because of the animal's antics - but because everything that could go wrong for the show did.  Forgotten lines, missed timing and a sea lion who *did not* want to cooperate.  The kids and adults agreed it was our favorite show of the day. LOL
Oh, I promised you a final water sister's ceiling sprung a leak the last night at our hotel in Anaheim.  A slow drip on her son's bed that they assured her was under control, but the water had to dissipate from the room above.  But THEN when we went to San Diego, our hotel ended up moving my sister and her family because they were doing plumbing repairs on the room above them.  Tell me that isn't totally hysterical?  However, we survived my nephew's 103 degree temp illness, my sister's twisted ankle and my damaged foot (don't ask me what happened, all I know is that it *hurts* but an ace bandage works wonders <g>) and I am now in Long Beach for the Celebrate Romance conference.
Hubby is doing an awesome job with the driving and we have lots of stories to tell our family and friends when we get back home. :)