Monday, January 13, 2020

Year of the Geek


Happy New Year! A little bit belated, but it was a busy start to the year. If that's a sign what 2020 is bringing me, I do hope it's a very productive kind of busy!

This year, I'm skipping the writing goals. I'm going to be kind to myself. I had a rough 2019. My productivity was near nil. Lots going on outside of my writing life distracted me, and my muse had dug in her heels with what I wanted to write. After a lot of inner reflection, I realized it was because of my frustrations with certain tropes and subgenres in romance that were holding me back. Yet I wanted to stick it out and push forward, but I couldn't. My muse was offended and refused to work.

So I'm stepping back from writing strictly romance. In fact, I'm going to not write to market anymore. I'm going to write the silly stories that I enjoy. Once I finally accepted this, much of my anxiety lifted and my muse started gleefully playing around with story ideas again.

I've started researching and creating ideas for a LitRPG novel. What's LitRPG? It's fiction based on a game becoming reality for the protagonist. The most popular example is Jumanji. People get sucked into a game world and must complete the objectives to be free. The game mechanics must be very clear and real life must mesh with fantasy life. My mojo is flowing again. And I'm having fun. I missed having fun when it comes to writing.

I'm also playing around with cozy mystery ideas. Something geeky. Yes, 2020 is going to be the year to celebrate the geek in me. I even got a tattoo on New Year's Eve to commemorate it!

( I do realize it's upside down!)

What will this year be for you?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Happy Holidays! #Freebies


The happiest of holidays to all of you!

Wishing you love, laughter, and joy!

And books. Lots and lots of books.

I'll help with that. It's my Christmas First In Series Gifts!
For the next 5 days, these four books are FREE!





As a bonus gift, Of Blood and Sorrow is 99c!


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

NaNoWriMo win and a writer's wonderings


I did it! I did it! I completed the NaNoWriMo challenge on November 28th. With my busy, busy month, I'm happy to prove to myself that I can do it. Congratulations to all those writers who made it too.

My progress looks like it was flipping me off, but I kept ahead of the curve.


As you can see, it was a month with varied writing days. Do I wish I could be more consistent? Yes. Yet I did write every single day. (Except after I made the 50k mark! I had another project that demanded my immediate attention.) The story isn't terrific. Though rewrites might help it. What I took away from this exercise is that I can write 50k a month. No matter how busy I am with other things, I can take a little time for myself and get the words down. I think I just didn't believe in myself this year. I wanted to remind myself that I can do it.

I've been neglecting a lot of online stuff. My blog and blog visits especially. I miss reading what my blogging friends are up to. That guilt is nibbling away from me. Next year calls for better time management.

I'm also having big issues where my pen name's genre is headed. I have RH (reverse harem) author friends that are right on the trends. I didn't like this year's ones (bully romance and alien abduction romance), though, and the big one they're calling for next year already (prison romance) is just... no. I've been told that my romance is too feminist, but I'm okay with that. More than okay. I won't write that other stuff. Yet it isn't what sells. I'm learning to be okay with that as well.

It makes me wonder if I need to just write in a different genre. I thoroughly enjoy romance. I love the intricacies of relationships and how unique every single one is. I get excited to see where my characters take me on their journey together. Fantasy and paranormal are still my go-to worlds. I like that something extraordinary in a story. Lately, I've been reading a lot of cozy mysteries. They're light, funny, and fun. Some of them have that bit of paranormal and a dash of romance. Maybe... just maybe that's where I might head in the new year.

2019 has been a rough year in my life all around. Even though the next few weeks are booked up and busy, I'm trying to take it easier this month. Friday night Dungeons & Dragons still maintains my sanity. I'm lucky to have such wonderful friends to meet once a week and play with.

Enjoy your friends and family this December. Be kind, laugh a lot, and enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

All It Takes New Cover Reveal and Sale Blitz!

I'm busy working hard on my NaNoWriMo novel this month (I'm keeping up with the daily word count!), but I wanted to share with you this awesome new cover for Clare Dugmore's book, All It Takes. I love her stories! So much heart.


Blurb: Megan Green has her whole life figured out. She’s six months away from graduating uni, then she plans on backpacking around Europe for a year, before following her dream of becoming an interior designer. What she doesn’t account for is meeting local MMA fighter Kian Murphy. With his athletic body and Irish charm, Kian has no trouble scoring with the ladies, and one night is all he’s after.

But All It Takes is one night to change the rest of their lives.

After a chance meeting and passionate encounter, Megan finds herself pregnant with Kian’s child. But with a womanizing reputation, and a temper that often leads him into trouble, Kian his hardly boyfriend material, let alone father material. Now Megan and Kian must work out if they have All It Takes to turn their one-night-stand into a relationship that will connect them for a life-time.

All It Takes is a dual-POV, new-adult, contemporary-romance about responsibility, love and discovering who you are in life.

My review: Megan Green never expected to get pregnant before she was finished university. Nor did she expect the father to be MMA champ, Kian Murphy. After a one-night-stand, Megan has to break the news to Kian who has a womanizing reputation and try to manage having a baby while completing her education and finding a job. Because of his temper, Kian's career is going downhill. He must find out what he wants outside of the cage, and that something might be Megan and their baby.

A fantastic NA contemporary romance that nabbed me with its heart-wrenching plot and awesome cast of characters. I love it when an author can take a very real every day drama and make it so compelling that I can't put the e-reader down. This realism helped me to relate and sympathize with Megan. She's smart and sweet, but also an incredibly strong young woman. The thought of having a baby and raising it on your own is terrifying, and her whole range of emotions were caught wonderfully in the story. Kian is a good man under that tough guy exterior and struggles with his own demons. Megan is just what he needs in his life. The romance is sweet, but there is a little spice in there!


Monday, October 28, 2019

Not Guilty by C. Lee McKenzie - Review & Giveaway


I’m delighted today to welcome author C. Lee McKenzie to my site to talk about her latest release, NOT GUILTY, as part of her MC Book Tour Blog adventure.

After you find out more about this tantalizing new story, be sure to enter Lee’s giveaway featured below.

* Not Guilty
* by C. Lee McKenzie
* Publication Date: October 25, 2019
* Genre: Young Adult

          A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.
          The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.
          Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been in his life.
          Angry? Hell, yes.
          He’s bent on finding who did the crime. He’s bent on making them pay because he’s Not Guilty.
          But can he prove it?

My review: An incredible YA contemporary story that takes the reader on a twisting roller coaster of a ride. Though this isn't the usual genre I read, it's books like this one that keep me coming back to them. It deals with several issues young people face every day and problems that seem overwhelming. Many times it seemed Devon would drown under the pressure or let his anger get the best of him, but I loved reading about his growth through these difficult times. I especially liked the friendships he formed with his roomies in the juvenile detention center. Real teens who had made mistakes, but had learned from them and were trying to better themselves. What made this tale even more compelling was that it showed not only what happened with Devon after he was found guilty and sent away, but how his family suffered too. The sentence didn't only affect him, but sent ripples out all around him. Well worth the read for readers of any age.

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published five young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets. Not Guilty is her most recent one.

          Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.

          When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and at her Website

NOT GUILTY can be found Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.


The author’s other young adult books include: Sliding on the Edge, Princess of Las PulgasDouble NegativeSudden Secrets


GIVEAWAY

With Halloween celebrated this week, Lee’s giving away five digital copies of NOT GUILTY and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. This tour-wide giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today during Lee’s visit. Do you enjoy stories where the underdog becomes the champion? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Untethered Realms 99c Sale & Giveaway!


Hop on over to Untethered Realms and check out all the awesome 99c books!

My two urban fantasy novels are included.

Of Blood and Sorrow will be 99c through October 23rd - 27th.

Of Gods and Sorrow is on sale through October 27th - 31st.

AND
We're giving away fabulous treats!
You could win an Amazon giftcard, an UR t-shirt, and three copies of Elements of Untethered Realms.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Writing Life Update


Here I meant to get back into the groove of things, and I stumbled. It's been one of those years I've fallen down a lot on so many levels, but I'm starting to get back on my feet. Little steps, right?

Writing has been slow this year. I managed to get out my Samhain story in good time, but I haven't finished any of the novels I've worked on. That has to stop. A serious writer needs to complete projects. I must stay the course and follow through. To help with that, I'm going to do NaNoWriMo next month. I may lose about nine or ten days due to family stuff, but all those other days can add up big time. I'll be working on a new project for my pen name. A fae story involving a cursed carousel and who knows what else! I'm going to let it surprise me. If you'd like to be my buddy on NaNoWriMo, I'm CRains.

I'm doing great with my reading goals. Mind you, I'm way behind on reading everything I want to read since my TBR list is huge, but I'm nearing 100 books on my Goodreads challenge. I've hit 85!

I just returned from a trip to Canada to visit my family. There are a ton of seasonal events happening this month, and every weekend is busy for me. Life hasn't slowed down all year.

But I have my game nights on Fridays! This has saved my sanity tremendously this year. I finished running The Rise of Tiamat earlier this year. And just this past Friday, we started Curse of Strahd. I'm playing a bard, and I'm obsessed with this new adventure. Good friends creating a story together... There's nothing else like it.

Here's to a productive last quarter of 2019 for all of us!