The Writing Year That Wasn’t

I wasn’t a writer in 2015, but I remained a reader.

I revisited many of those genres that I haven’t read in a while including horror, true crime, and the cozy mystery.

For the cozies, I prefer the couples solving crimes together (don’t forget I’m a lover of romance)  But the romantic cozy mystery didn’t hold the magic that it once did for me and I only read a few.

They were fun and well-written, but I kept thinking there was something missing. Like – is she going to kiss this guy? Is she ever going to do anything more than kiss this guy?

Calm yourself down, chick! That’s all that happens in a cozy! (Words from one of best friends who didn’t share my desire for something spicier)

And she wasn’t alone. As I trolled the forums on Goodreads, I found that many cozy readers want the unique setting and a host of quirky minor characters without excessive violence, profanity and graphic sex.

So I have a genre question what combines the elements of a cozy with a steamy romance?

A Romantic Suspense?

  • Romantic Suspense: Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. (From Romance Writers of America https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=579)

This makes me think of the In Death series by J.D. Robb which I love! But it doesn’t have the lightness of the Death on Demand series by Carolyn Hart. Can I have the passion of Eve Dallas and Roark paired with the sweetness of Ann and Max Darling?

I’m a reader and I want to see it done.

But does such a thing exist?

Wait a minute, peeps. I was a writer in 2014.

And in 2016, I’m introducing (insert drum roll)… Portia Andrade – amateur sleuth of color, fierce lover of one man who battles lifelong demons of her own while she solves a mystery or two.

Check back in a few days and I’ll give you Portia’s short story and let you know when her first novella will be ready!

***And cheers to the year of the writer!***

Happy_New_Year_2016_(23803545640)

Happy New Year 2016 by micadew

Podcast – The Drea and Milana Show

abstract grunge music backgroundJust a quick note to say that I had a great time last night on The Drea and Milana Show! If you’ve never listened to this show, these ladies are hilarious and informative.

I usually get so nervous that I don’t what I’m talking about, but they made me feel so comfortable and welcome that it was easy. If you’d like to listen to my interview, please click the link below:

Chatting with Vallory Vance: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreaandmilana/2014/09/27/chatting-with-vallory-vance

My Personal Challenge – Fated (The Rewrite)

authoressGetting back to writing is harder than I ever imagined. After several weeks of plotting and creating an initial outline, I tried to re-write the first chapter last Saturday. Well, I’m still working on it.

But I’m determined to get it done. I think one my biggest problems right now is trying to write the story I want to write and silencing that inner critic because she has major issues.

While it is important to think about plot holes, character consistency and grammar rules, my critic also likes to throw in random thoughts like – “Who’s actually gonna read this?” “Is anybody gonna like this?” “Doesn’t this suck?”

My answers lately have been – “No one”, “No one”, and “Yes”. So I have rewritten the first chapter each day for the last seven days. And I remain in the place where I started.

Ughh!!!!

My remedy for the time being is: Do it anyway. Maybe, this piece won’t ever be published but I will finish by the end of the year and to help me along – stay tuned for unedited chapters each week.

Here’s the synopsis for Fated (working title)

Marc Rossi is a small town detective working on the biggest case in the not only the town’s history but his career. A prominent business man is found with a single gunshot wound to his head in his office. To complicate matters – the business man is not only a member of the latest wave of post-Katrina transplants to settle into the town but a member of the growing number of immigrants into the South Louisiana region. Language barriers and general prejudice hamper the investigation as well as Marc’s growing attraction to Laurence Tomas, the victim’s former girlfriend.

Can he find a killer and love at the same time?

Hope you’ll join me on Monday for that first chapter!

Sidelined…But Still Going

This weekend, I was going to make my first author appearance at Beautiful Trouble Publishing’s Eat and Greet. I was so excited. Since I’m currently unemployed, I had to make cuts to my advertising budget but was able to wrangle books to sell along with bookmarks for giveaways. I had my rental car and was on my way to Target to pick up miniature body sprays to attach to the bookmarks.

And I got hit by a large truck…

Apparently after the accident I stepped out of my car and fainted in the parking lot of Wendy’s. When the EMTs arrived and asked me how I was doing. I responded – I’m writing a book about tights. Different kinds of tights.

Later that evening, I begged my husband to drive me to Austin since the ER docs said that I had a concussion and shouldn’t drive. He refused and yes I will hold this against him for the rest of his life. He seems okay with this.

Anyway, I missed my first publicized event. I’m sore and I’m afraid to drive. However, there is a the gleam from a silver lining sparkling through my clouds.

anawcoverA short story that I penned two years ago has found at least two new fans. I checked my Amazon stats today and found this for A Night at the Wesley:

4.0 out of 5 stars Short and hot June 22, 2014
By dncc26
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn’t know where this story was taking me, but I liked it. Old crushes are the best. It’s short but good. Could be turned into a longer story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Night with who? June 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First I would like to have a longer story. I liked this book. It needed to be longer. Romance is romance and this story reminds you that old flames can come back into your life. This one I’m going to say worked out. Again I WOULD LIKE TO SEE LONGER ENDINGS.
Sometimes I think I’m the only one who likes short stories, but I’m so appreciative of those who want a novel to give me a shot. Wow! And Wow! What a way to make a terrible weekend bearable.

To Publish or Not to Publish

BookCoverImageAmazonLast March, I released Deja Vu, the continuation of Darcey St. Claire and Vincent Guidry’s story. I started immediately outlining two additional stories about Darcey’s best friends, Lenore Jennings and Catalina Houston. By November 2013, both stories were in the first draft stage and I was ready to really start polishing A Loving Affair.

Then…

Nothing.

I love Darcey and Vincent. But I thought that was just me and three of my relatives so the stories remained on my hard drive.  Not because I don’t enjoy them but because publishing them takes time and money. And I was okay with the rest of the Rose Gold Collection residing there.

Then I was having lunch with my friends in late April and one of them asked when the rest of the books were being released. This evolved into a discussion of why I’d waited so long since they knew I finished in November.

My response – You never said you liked it.

Friend 1 – I just thought you knew.

Friend 2 – Why would think we didn’t like it?

Obviously my besties aren’t writers, but they are a great source of encouragement when they know I need it. So I polished both books and I’m moving forward to the beta reading stage. I’m also taking it as a good sign that a reader asked me about the books about a month later. Here’s hoping for a publication date in July!

Happy Reading! (And if your favorite indie author has a book you enjoy let them know)

Coming Soon And Upcoming Events

Coming-SoonWith the year almost halfway done, I finally have a release coming out! I’m nervous and excited as I always am. Still no cover, but soon. Scent of a Woman hits the virtual shelves on May 20, 2014!

Now on to the events…

Attribution: Arvindn This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Attribution: Arvindn This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

On June 21, 2014, I’ll be a part of Beautiful Trouble Publishing’s Greet and Eat III in Austin, Texas. I’ve never been to an author / reader event and I think I jumped up and down and cried a little when I was invited…as an author. Wow!

Attribution: By David_Vasquez (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Attribution: By David_Vasquez (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

And in July, I’ll be attending the Romance Novel Convention 2014 in Las Vegas! Not only will I be surrounded by amazing authors (I plan on having some fangirl moments), but my best friend is coming with me.

We haven’t seen each in two years so I’m thinking there are going to be a few late nights and once or twice one of us will say, “I can’t believe you did that.”

Now I’m off to find swag for both events, I have no idea what to get or how to prepare. So if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to post them below.

Happy Reading!

Typed The End…Part 2

Cocktail partyAllergies have slowed the work down this week and I didn’t accomplish as much on my second week, but I did accomplish some things. Here’s the wrap up:

The first thing, that I’ve done is to create a writing schedule that will take me to the end of the year. Along with that came a promise to myself that I was going to complete it. Here’s schedule and where I am:

  1. Anthology Submission to Hot Ink Press for an upcoming project called Naughty Bedtime Stories – Received an email that it was received and is under review.
  2. Holiday Short Story – The second draft is going very slowly. I’m trying a new technique and while I think it will produce a better work, it’s taking a lot longer.
  3. Second Shifter Novella – The first draft stalled on Wednesday and I haven’t gotten back to it. Must work on this this weekend.

I also know that I have to get back out there and start connecting with readers and other writers, so I have a few blog hops coming up and some writers lined up to visit the blog very soon.

Happy Reading!