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First WIPmarathon report for 2015! January has continued to be a busy month as I navigated the reams of red tape involved with becoming a fully fledged member of Swedish society. I did, however, get quite a lot of time to write and it has been a rather productive month. Here are the stats…
My plan for January was to finish the M/M WIP, research the SNI and write a synopsis, and plan for a major rewrite of an older work. I’m glad to report I accomplished one of these
Last report WC for M/M WIP: 35, 899
Current report WC for WIP: 31, 765 – it needed some reworking and despite losing words, it’s much tighter and better. I plan to finish it just as soon as my Muse co-operates.
As for that beloved older work, I managed to rewrite the entire third act and edit the whole manuscript this month, expanding from a measly 73k words to a more respectable 85k. It is done and has been shipped off to my agent. Woot!
As for that SNI – this idea got usurped by the YA fantasy idea I’ve had kicking around in my head for a while. In a whirlwind of inspiration, I went oldschool with pen and paper and re-plotted the entire thing. And I am super excited about this story!
Last report WC for YA fantasy: ZERO!
Current report WC for YA fantasy: 2, 779 – not a lot but I only started writing on Tuesday
Writing Issues This Month:
Nothing really. I managed to get a lot done and stayed motivated despite working on multiple projects, which usually causes me to lose focus. I’m getting better at jumping between works according to the whims of my capricious Muse.
Four things I learned this month:
1. Work on what excites you when it excites you. If that means stopping mid-sentence on one book to write a scene for another because the characters won’t shut up in your head, so be it. Writing is writing and any writing on any project is fantastic.
2. Seize the moment. I managed to write about 500 words on a lunch break between classes and those words weren’t half bad.
3. Don’t be afraid to let the brilliant books you’re reading inspire you. I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately – very different from the kind I’m writing – but it has kept me excited about my own project and that’s pretty cool.
4. Get up early. As much as I hate to admit this, changing my schedule so that I’m up around 6.30 every morning has actually been fantastic for my writing.
What distracted me this month while writing:
Job interviews, starting work, residual red tape, the allure of the snow-soaked world outside. It’s actually been a pretty good month.
Goal for next month:
Write words. I have no idea what February will be like since I’ll be working part time and attempting to fit 20 hours of Swedish language classes into my week as well as 8 hours of climbing. I’m going to write whenever I can on whichever project strikes my fancy at the time.
Last 200 words: The last 200 won’t mean much without the broader context so I’ll give you the first 200 of the YA fantasy I’ve been working on. This project excites me because it’s set in a mythical South Africa and draws from African mythology and South African culture. It’s a return to my roots in a way, which is why I think I’m loving it all the more. Here we go… (note, this is totally un-edited, unpolished word vomit)
A single feather fell from the bruised sky, speckled with blood.
Taryk plucked the white pinion from the air before it reached the tiles. Dots of red marked the vane: one for an apology, two for a kiss, and three for a promise. Tonight, Zenza had stained the feather with three dark splotches. Taryk’s heart pounded like a prayer drum behind his ribs; it had been almost a week since they’d seen each other.
Lightning sliced through the clouds gathering above the city and Taryk smiled as he slipped the feather into the pocket of his kurta. A blast of wind tore across Sukhmandyr, bringing with it the smell of evening meals: saffron and cinnamon, chili and tamarind. He whistled for his aardwolf, busy chasing ants along the edge of the balcony.
“She’s going to be heartbroken when you leave?” Akila sashayed across the mosaic in slippered feet and draped herself across the balustrade, long hair whipping in the wind, her gaze on the aardwolf.
“If I leave.” Taryk rubbed his pet’s long ears and scruffled the striped mane on her neck. “And Shani will go with me.” They couldn’t force him to leave everything behind. He would already be losing his home and family, and Zenza.
That’s it for January, how did you do?
Today I am super thrilled to participate in the cover reveal for my agency sister’s absolutely stunning cover for her new YA book, A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON coming soon from Curiosity Quills.
Here’s the blurb for the book:
Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets.
When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live as a servant in her own home, and he realizes how sinister some secrets can be. She asks for his help, and he can’t refuse. Even if he doesn’t believe in ‘real’ magic, he can’t abandon her.
Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful eye and unforgiving eye of her stepmother. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seems no one can help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with her friendship.
But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the spell before midnight on New Year’s Eve, then both Ellie and her father will be bound forever.
A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON release May 21!
And for the cover… Continue reading
Today the romantic suspense novel REVENGE by Paula Rose is in the spotlight… Continue reading
December has been a crazy busy month. For the first two weeks, my husband was in Sweden starting his new job leaving me alone to pack, take care of our fur-child, and wrap up the end of the school term complete with Christmas concerts, reports cards and more. The rest of the month was spent packing, moving, unpacking and recovering. Not a lot of time for writing was had but I’m super happy to say that our new place in Sweden is stunning! Our garden backs onto forest and we live a stone’s throw from a culture reserve preserving Bronze Age and Viking artifacts, which is unbelievably cool. Also, we got snow for Christmas so despite the chaos of the month, December has ended well. Here goes…
Things I’m happy I did in 2014:
1. Completing edits on I Heart Robot!
2. Finally finishing Scardust and getting the ms to a point where my agent could take in on submission – still can’t quite believe I finally finished that story!
3. Attending my first big writing conventions and getting to meet some awesome authors IRL.
4. Joining a writer’s group and going to meetings with other authors – I learned so much and had so much fun!
4. Embracing who I am and starting to live more authentically – this has had a huge impact on my writing.
In 2015, I want to…
1. Celebrate the release of I Heart Robot despite feeling fairly isolated in a new country.
2. Join a Swedish writer’s group and start making new friends in the writerly world here.
3. Attend more cons if I can.
4. Write stories that scare me.
5. Continue to live authentically.
And now for the WIP stats…
Last report WC for WIP: 29, 369
Current report WC for WIP: 35, 899 – I guess it’s better than nothing, right?
In a blitz attack of inspiration last night, I also managed to write a thousand word synopsis for a YA/NA story I’ve very excited about and also terrified by so let’s see what happens with that in the new year.
Writing Issues This Month:
Um, the move. A lack of time. General inability to focus on anything besides starting a new life in Sweden.
Four things I learned this month, only some about writing:
1. You won’t learn something new about writing every month and that’s okay.
2. Be grateful when inspiration strikes and run with it.
3. I discovered the joy that is Yollibox frozen yoghurt. This has made the move to Sweden worthwhile. It also has the potential to make me fat. I shall proceed to sample all the deliciousness in moderation… yeah right
4. There’s little better for brainstorming a story than strolling through the frosty countryside with pooch in tow – more like running ahead with glee – with the sunshine reflected off snow and my breath icing up my scarf.
What distracted me this month while writing:
Packing. Moving. Unpacking. Exhaustion.
But we made it and aside from a few lingering empty boxes needing to go into storage we’re pretty much settled!
Goal for next month: Finish the WIP – My goal WC is 50k so that seems an achievable goal. Research for SNI and expand synopsis into workable outline – perhaps start writing. Plan for major rewrite of beloved older work that needs an overhaul before going to my agent.
Last 200 words: Nothing really new here so how about the blurb for that SNI? Let me know if you think this story has potential or if I’m wasting my time. Bear in mind this blurb was thrown together last night so it’s nowhere near perfect.
Home from Iraq with scars on his skin and ghosts in his head, Griffin Reed finds settling back into ‘normal life’ more difficult than taking out insurgents. The twenty-year-old veteran finally feels like he’s starting to get a grip when he lands a janitorial job at the prestigious Stonyvale Academy. In the downstairs bathroom, Griffin discovers a litany to angst and sadness Sharpied onto the stalls. One set of handwriting stands out: a scrawl of poetry and lyrics Griffin recognizes. Feeling a weird connection to the vandal, Griffin starts responding with messages of his own.
Eighteen-year-old Chelsea Ortiz hates the uniform she’s expected to wear at snooty-nosed Stonyvale. Outside of school, Charlie wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt, which is one of the reasons Charlie spends lunch hour in the bathroom inking the stalls. Just when Charlie wonders how to disappear completely a mysterious reply appears on the bathroom door.
As Griffin and Charlie take comfort in graffitied lines, their lives start to crumble around them until Griffin confesses to being on the verge of ending it all. Unable to handle the thought of losing the only human being who seems to understand, Charlie plans to confront the anonymous message-writer.
Will the friendship forged on bathroom walls be enough to save them from their demons or will coming face to face with who they are destroy any chance of happiness?
And that’s it for December. How did you do? What are your plans for 2015?
Fire the confetti canons! REVENGE by Paula Rose releases today!!
Revenge by Paula Rose
As a job coach, it’s up to Olivia Foster to ensure her clients work in a safe environment, understand their positions, and serve their employer’s mission. The death of her brother drives her career choice, and she loves her job. It remains her only focus until one of her autistic clients goes missing. Then Olivia’s employer ends her position and adds her to the suspect list, but she makes plans to bring the missing young man home.
Meanwhile, Detective Lt. Phillip Landon is deep into second-guessing his career choice, but his well-honed instincts see major flaws inside this missing person’s case. Surprising contacts, mysterious happenings, and threats can turn deadly. Can he keep Olivia safe, protect his heart, remove the job coach from someone’s target list, and adopt a faith he never knew all while adjusting to the new lives of his old family?
Add it to Goodreads
Paula Rose provides inspiration through Christian romantic suspense stories where “average” families come into extraordinary situations, brushed with life-size strokes of reality and a touch of humor. Born in Philadelphia, she lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband and rescue kitty but often plays amateur photographer in both states.
Today I’m delighted to welcome fellow Month9Books author Beck Nichols to Off the Page to chat about her writing process and her new book, Lifer!
Take it away Beck… Continue reading
Last month I missed the check-in by a day. This month I’m late by almost a week with the WIPmarathon update. I’m blaming boxes and packing and general chaos in my life. Here are the stats… Continue reading
FRENCH KISSED by Chanel Cleeton
December 1, 2014
International School Book 3
New Adult Contemporary Romance
On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all. If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her. ??
There’s a social hierarchy at the International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride. ??
The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed???
Don’t miss the final book in the International School series. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 17 and up.
FRENCH KISSED (International School Book #3)
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1vlkljJ
I SEE LONDON (International School Book #1)
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ibPGgh
LONDON FALLING (International School Book #2):
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/VxbiOd
I noticed her perfume before I saw her. It smelled of flowers, and money, and seduction in a scent I’d never smelled on anyone else. Likely never would. It figured she’d have a signature perfume or something like that. And then I saw her, and like always, it took a moment to adjust to her beauty.
She was almost too beautiful. Maybe that sounded stupid, but there wasn’t another way to describe it. It was like that moment when you first turned on a light, and it was so bright that it was nearly blinding—and not in a good way.
Fleur wore her beauty like a weapon, slicing through mere mortals with a careless arc, leaving destruction in its wake.
She could do with some imperfections—her nose a bit bigger, her lips less full, her hair less shiny. Something, anything to make her look like a real person.
Anything to make wanting her ache less, to ease the thrust of it that left me completely skewered.
I would have understood my attraction to her if I’d been one of those guys who got off on being with a hot girl. I mean, sure, I could appreciate a Maxim spread as much as the next guy, but looks had never been my primary motivating factor. Was it nice to have something pretty to look at? Absolutely. Did that get boring after a couple minutes? Yeah, it did.
If all of my past girlfriends had one common denominator, it was that they were all smart—a little nerdy, like me. I fit with the kind of girls who liked sci-fi movies and video games. Chill girls who didn’t spend an hour doing their hair and makeup or own more pairs of shoes than there were days in the month. And yet, as Fleur slid into the seat across from mine, apple in hand, my pulse picked up and everything else stood at attention.
About the Author:
Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in Asia.
Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her fighter pilot husband.
She is the author of I SEE LONDON and LONDON FALLING, published by Harlequin HQN, the upcoming FRENCH KISSED, and FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL, the first book in a new three-book series to be released by Penguin/Berkley in 2015.
PRE-ORDER FRACTURED GLASS NOW!!!
Fractured Glass is a YA Sci-Fi Novel Anthology unlike any other. It was written by 5 different authors who came together to give you 1 amazing story.
What if other worlds existed alongside your own? What if you could travel through them and truly escape reality?
Sloan and Harley Glass were born moments apart; but, despite their differences, the sixteen-year-old twins couldn’t be closer. They’ve held their tongues each and every time their mother has uprooted them—often moving across the country with little notice. They’ve learned to accept change. But what is Mom running from?
They discover they’re travelers—half-descendants of those who can traverse an entire universe of parallel worlds known as fractals. When the past catches up, Harley is kidnapped and taken to one of those distant worlds. Now, Sloan must garner her courage and find a way to rescue her sister. Traversing the worlds isn’t the hard part; it’s surviving the elements and the creatures lying in wait to destroy everything in their path.
Will the Glass sisters be able to save the fractal worlds from the kidnapper, or will everything fracture and crumble around them?
~ Amazon ~
Find the authors Facebook pages here…
Get to know the characters…
Calix is dark and sexy. He’s a product of cross-fractal species breeding, and no one knows his true age. There’s one thing everyone knows: Diego is insanely jealous of Calix spending time with Sloan. Everyone wonders what it is the man is truly after, but he’s not talking, and he has possession of Sloan in the fractal universe.