Busily Typing Away

I’ve been busy rewriting the follow up to Darcey St. Claire’s short story and haven’t had much time for the blog. Heavy sigh.

So I thought I’d pop in today and give you a little sneak peek of what I’ve done so far:

“Darcey, Darcey!” Cat’s shrill yell echoed through the nearly empty lobby almost as loudly as the clop of clunky heels.

She laughed softly at Cat’s mad dash across the floor to the employee elevators. As the mentor for Cat’s year-long internship in the hotel’s hospitality program, she had come to love the young woman’s exuberance, even if she had to constantly counsel her about the heavy shoes.

“I can’t believe you’re going out with Vin…” blurted Cat.

And her big mouth! “Catalina!”

Sleeping with a client was a Hayden rule that even she couldn’t get away with breaking. It was covered under the ethical clause of her contract right next to insider trading and was grounds for immediate termination.

She grabbed the bag with one hand and her friend’s arm in the other and jerked them both into the elevator.

The doors had barely closed on the descent to the lower level offices and Cat was yelling again. “The Vincent Guidry! Darcey, my whole family went to LSU and he’s like a god there. Not to mention winning the Superbowl. Twiiii-ce. And he’s….”

“That’s enough!” Before the elevator doors could open fully, she was dragging Cat and her bag down the corridor past sales’ assistants to her office. She pushed the door closed with a soft click and shushed the pink-cheeked Cat who seemed poised to begin another squealing rant.

“I haven’t decided if I’m going yet.”

Cat pointed to the bag. “But you’re packed.”

“I can still change my mind.” Three days ago, her hair was a shimmering reddish brown bringing out the caramel tones of her skin and today it was a shiny blue-black highlighting her copper eyes.

Change was the trademark of her personality.

Incomprehension rippled across her friend’s face as if Cat was hearing an alien language.

“He’s just a guy.”

A really hot guy. With some amazing abilities…and stamina…and…Ohhh.

Damn it, she had to stop thinking about him. There was a sixth consecutive highest bonus award she wanted and in the lull, when her teammates were vacationing or “working from home”, was how she was going to get it.

“Have a seat, Cat. I’m going to teach you how to create a killer party designed for a knobby-kneed retiring judge.” She flung her shawl onto her chair and flipped on her computer, pushing away thoughts of Vincent’s fingers slipping under the hem of her dress while a sultry singer’s voice unknowingly began a chorus that had serenaded her into the heavens.

Cheers (1)Hope you enjoyed! I’ve got to rewrite three chapters today to keep me on track. And if you haven’t read Darcey and Vincent’s short, check them out on All Romance for free through January 31, 2013.

 

Amber Grayson…Whining B!tch

There is something so exciting to me about being a writer and connecting with readers. I think we live in an extraordinary age in which readers can connect with a writer through email, Facebook, Twitter or a number of other different means. It amazes me.

Thank you all you for taking the time out of your lives to contact me about  about any of my works.

Amber Meets Her Cowboy3However, due to the number of emails and reviews regarding Amber Grayson of In the Moment, I thought I’d let one my favorite characters have another moment on the blog.

Vallory Vance: Amber, thank you so much for joining us here today. (She is impeccable in a gray pinstriped suit. Her long dark brown hair cascades over her shoulders in a wave of curls despite the blustery weather outside.) I’m sure you have had the opportunity to read the reviews of the In the Moment and the emails.

Amber Grayson: I have.

VV: And there is a…I don’t want to say consensus…but there are some who see you as a…a bitch. What do you say to that?

AG: I say read the novella. As much as I love Kevin, as recorded by you (she takes out her Kindle and swipes through to the following passage, reciting without emotion)

After half an hour, Kevin pulled the truck into the driveway of the estate. A blonde in a light blue suit and a very tall Black woman in a black suit smiled and waved. Kevin looked at the petite blonde and glanced at Ronald. “He’s fucking her.”

Neither he nor Ronald thought I could be running the show at this point. And in every professional encounter I have, I have to push past that sort of thinking. If that makes me a bitch, then so be it.

VV: (I have to take a cleansing breath because she’s looking at me like I said it.) And there are those who are taken aback by your wavering between your ex-fiance and Kevin. Do you have anything to say to that?

AG: I cry sometimes, Ms. Vance. I’m not a robot. And whether or not it is politically correct  there are times Kevin is the only one to soothe my pain.

VV: Yeah, I know. He’s just that kind of guy.

AG: Yes, he is. Is there anything else?

VV: Ah, a co-worker of mine recently professed her love for Kevin. How do you feel about that?

AG: My fiance can be very engaging. The key word in that sentence is ‘my’, if you are wondering.

VV: Ohhh, damn!  And on that note – Happy Writing

 

 

 

January 2013 Status Update

This year on the blog, I thought I’d start a monthly update about my goals for the year. I hope this gives me some motivation to complete them since I’m writing them out into the universe.magic pen (series C)

Organization: My entire house needs to be organized. This is in the thinking stages. Hopefully next month there’ll be something concrete to post.

Exercise: I’m exercising! I’m going to RomCon 2013 in June and want to sit by the pool in a bathing suit. Since gravity has taken a toll on me in the last decade. I’ve got some work to do. You can see the full post over at Luscious Literaries!

Writing: My goal is to complete four long works. I don’t want to call them novels because they may not end of that long. Here is where I am:

Deja Vu – The follow up to Cheers is at 53000 words and in the second draft stage, I hope to have the first chapters into my critique group this weekend.

WIP/Amber and Kevin – Currently at 44000 words, no title, more work to do. It just isn’t right. I hope to spend February working on this.

A Loving Affair – The second story in the Rose Gold Collection. This is an outline of 13000 words and a few scenes written in a notebook. Got to get that moved over to computer.

Dulce Means Sweet – The third story in the Rose Gold Collection. This is also in a notebook. No outline but character analyses completed and a few scenes.

Let’s hope I’m further along next month!

 

Reviews and Ratings: From the Glorious to the Inglorious

fotolia_31456254_s_banner.jpgBefore getting my e-reader, I didn’t notice book reviews. I would wander the aisles of a bookstore and choose a cover that interested me, read a few pages and make a decision. Or I would pick up a recommendation from a friend or find the latest from a favorite author. Sometimes, I got something I liked and sometimes I didn’t. No reviews needed.

Then electronic reading came into my life and wow! Reviews all over the place. I started reading them. Some were glowing recommendations and some were brutal bashings. I had to make a decision on whether or not people I didn’t know were qualified to recommend a book to me. Most of the time – not in the least.

But I keep reading the reviews. And in the defense of the reader reviewers, some of them have a pretty good rating record and give relevant feedback on plot, character development and editing issues. Some of them just seem to want to slam someone with a two-star or one-star for no other reason than he or she can. The same goes for the five and four star reviews of books that truly don’t deserve it!

So what’s a reader to do? For me I’ve learned to read reviews with a critical eye and base my decisions on trying out a new author on a consensus of reviews.

Will I read or won’t I read based on nothing else? It just depends on my mood.

Now as a new writer myself, the question was whether or not to read reviews of my own work.

I did it. I couldn’t help it.

Some were good and some were bad. And some were the best! I’ve gotten critical reviews (I’m talking some two stars) that gave real feedback and I’ve actually started to work specifically on those comments.  Some of my critical reviews stated that they wish a short story was longer, for those – unfortunately, making it longer would have been an injustice to the story as I envisioned it. Those things I won’t change.

Then there were those that left me feeling really bad. According to those reviews, there was nothing salvageable in the work and I should probably never go near pen and paper again. (Okay that’s not a direct quote, but I get the feeling that was the intent.)

So in order to shore up my broken writing spirit, I looked at those reviews again with my critical reading eye and for those low ratings without content. I saw that there was no content. Simply a bashing because he or she could give me one.

For the readers out there, I hope you’ll take a consensus of ratings and reviews before deciding not to take a chance on a new writer. You may be surprised as I have been. And for the writers out there, think of the one and two star reviews as the licks we must take on our rise to the top of the bestseller list.

Happy Reading and Writing,

~Val

New Year’s Blog Hop – Winners!!!

I want to thank everyone who visited the Vallory V blog over the past six days. I hope you’ll drop by again!

Happy New Year - champagne and party decorationNow on to the winners from my little stop on the hop – Susana, Kimberly and Ellen! Check your email for instructions on how to claim your $5.00 electronic gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I was very happy that I won a gift card from the Pippa Jay Blog! Yay! I love winning stuff and I get to be introduced to new authors in the process.

My Kindle is brimming!

~Happy Reading, Y’all!

New Year’s Blog Hop – 2013!

Happy New Year and welcome to the New Year’s Blog Hop!

Happy New Year - champagne and party decoration

This holiday has changed through each of the stages of my life. When I was a kid, New Year’s Eve was a boring grown-up party where the cousins and I were gathered around a card table playing Battleship and Monopoly. If we made it to midnight, we went outside and held sparklers while the dads shot off fireworks in the backyard.

As a teenager, it was the worst ever. I wasn’t allowed to go to parties so I was still sitting in the backroom with the cousins playing Atari games.

Oh but then came college!

There is nothing like New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. The party would start on someone’s Uptown patio with dinner and a few adult beverages. Then we’d walk to the streetcar and ride into the French Quarter. Live music, people from all over the world, kisses on balconies and a few more adult beverages.  Then we’d head down to Jax Brewery to watch the baby drop and enjoy the fireworks from the twin barges on the Mississippi River. After that? Back to the French Quarter. Our goal each year was to ride back Uptown on the streetcar and not have to get a cab. That meant we’d have to party until 5:30 AM. My little group seldom missed our goal.

Now New Year’s Eve is creating a kid friendly interactive event with the Wii and trophies and cupcakes! How things have changed.

Cheers (1)Perhaps it was nostalgia that led me to my latest heroine; she is truly a woman after my younger, single heart.

As a successful Sales and Catering Manager for the posh Hayden Court Hotel located in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, Darcey St. Claire is absolutely thrilled to be working on New Year’s Eve.  The commission and bonus she’ll receive from the two day Guidry Construction event will not only fund her spring trip to New York City, but buy a cute pair of shoes for the plane ride!

Her enthusiasm quickly turns to barely disguised irritation when Vincent Guidry arrives hours early for his scheduled check-in, demanding access to his suite.  After he slashes the budget for the event, not even the crystal blue eyes of the former quarterback can quell the anger surging in her chest.

That is until he walks into the Chat Noir where she is trying to regroup after her irksome day.

In the private enclave known as the Cristal Room, Vincent willingly lights up Darcey’s New Year’s Eve and may have lost his heart in the process to the young woman who isn’t looking for anything serious.

Get your copy at Amazon, All Romance and Smashwords

Since you’ve guessed by now where I think is the best place to spend New Year’s Eve, tell me where you’d love to ring in the New Year! Three random commenters will receive a $5.00 electronic gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so remember to leave your email address.

And continue hopping for a greater chance to be one of the winners of one of these grand prizes (the third prize is not an international prize):

Floral Background in Black and Gold Colors