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.

An Experiment – The Category Change

Last night, I was checking my ranking for Scent of a Woman on Amazon (yes, I’m slightly obsessive). And this is what I found:

soawamazonranking

It’s a good start for the book and it is showing up in two top 100 categories. My thing though – it’s not erotica.

What I learned was that “Interracial” gets put into the Erotica category on Amazon by default. So what if someone picks up the book expecting an erotic work and they don’t get one? Perhaps they enjoy it anyway or maybe they’ll return it. But honestly, I don’t think this practice is giving the IR genre the best opportunity to thrive.

anawcoverSo I tried an experiment, I have a short story on Amazon that has been there for almost two years. It has received some good reviews but has never seen many sales.

A few times, I offered it for free and a few more readers picked it up but nothing like what has happened today! On my last 3 day free sale, I had 112 books downloaded for the entire sale.

Less than twenty-four hours since a A Night at the Wesley has begun its free promotion and 85 books have been downloaded. I put a new cover on it – one that clearly shows an African-American woman and a Caucasian male and I re-categorized it as Contemporary Romance with the tags: interracial romance and sensual short stories.

The results:

anawamazonranking

I’ll let you know how the short story fairs after it’s no longer free. I have two self-pubbed works coming out in July so if I can see more exposure using general romance instead of interracial romance, then I’m going with general romance with tags.

Happy Reading!

Wanted to add in a daily total for each day.

On Saturday when I checked, my numbers for A Night at the Wesley were:

My best ranking ever!!!

Congrats to the Winners…More to Come!

Cocktail partyThe winners of the Evernight Book Boyfriend Blog Hop and the Hot n Sprung Blog Hop have been notified. I hope you all enjoy!

There is one more event going on until midnight tonight. I’m giving away a $5.00 electronic Amazon Card and a pdf of In the Moment at Romance Novels in Color.

And for Mother’s Day, both Cheers and Deja Vu are free this weekend at All Romance so why not get both!

Cheers (1)Cheers: 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.
Please be aware, this is a short story and contains language some readers may find offensive.

DEJAVUFinalDeja VuOne week has passed since Darcey St. Claire, a sales manager for a posh French Quarter hotel, broke the cardinal rule of sales – you don’t sleep with your client. Against her better judgement, she agrees to an even more egregious breach of her hotel contract.

A real date with the handsome former quarterback to take place over the course of a weekend. For both she and Vincent, it wasn’t supposed to be anymore than that.

But things changed…

Beginning a campaign to become the governor of Louisiana, Vincent Guidry’s plans are halted when his feelings for Darcey become more than sexual and the young woman cuts all ties with him. Her appearance in his office, seven weeks after their break-up, begins a backward journey to right the wrongs of their separate pasts.

Is a shared forever possible?

 

The Color of Love Blog Hop Winner!

A big thank you to all who participated in The Color of Love Blog Hop! For the regular visitors to this blog, you all know the importance of stories of interracial romance to me. I hope this genre grows and grows and grows!

This hop is a wonderful beginning!

And my winner is ~ Dee Little!

I’ve sent her an email and she’ll get a copy of either The Beginning of Forever or One Stormy Night.

OSNTheBeginningofForever

The Color of Love Blog Hop – 2013

First of all a big thank you to Empi Baryeh for organizing this event! What a wonderful way for current readers of IR/MC romances to find new writers and romance readers to perhaps discover a new sub-genre.

For me I discovered IR/MC romance about three years ago. And I have to tell you it has changed my life.

You see, from my early teens to college I read romances like they were the newspapers. In college, I put them to the side. The relationships didn’t fit the life I led.

As one of only 100 African Americans in my freshman class at Tulane University in New Orleans, the majority of the men I dated were not African American. The man I eventually married is Caucasian. So why read about the alabaster blonde getting the pretty blonde when sometimes he preferred the girl with dark skin?

Then I came upon this short story by Tressie Lockwood, A Friend and A Lover. My first thought was ~ you can write a love story like this? An African American heroine and a Caucasian hero. Really?

Yes, really.

My fascination with the genre has boiled over to actually writing my own romantic tales of Love that cross racial boundaries as described by the 2010 Census Bureau (If you didn’t know some people who were once White are now Asian, but let’s keep this on track).

For your electronic viewing pleasure, I am giving away either one electronic copy of The Beginning of Forever or One Stormy Night to three winners (see the blurbs below).

The Beginning of Forever (a near novel published by Amira Press)

TheBeginningofForeverAmber Grayson, a conservative executive, found true love with fiancé, Kevin Miller. He infused her life with a sense of adventure and challenged her thoughts about appropriate bedroom behavior. After such a steamy affair, Amber was expecting nothing less during their engagement.

Even with the rushed timetable for the wedding combined with the stress of merging their households and finances, Amber is excited to begin a family with the man of her dreams. However, the beginning of forever is more difficult than either of them thought.

Locked in a battle of wills, Amber and Kevin find their commitment to each other and their future tested. Is this the beginning of their lives together or the end?

OSNOne Stormy Night (a sexy short story published by Evernight Publishing)

Alexis Joplin, popular host of the travel show, Overnight Stays, is embarking on her final scouting expedition with her partner and best friend, Shane Fowler. Over the course of the last two years, the duo has grown closer not only at work, but outside of the job. While their friends and co-workers may whisper that something more than friendship is the source of their mutual admiration, they deny it even as their personal feelings are reaching a critical apex. 

Shrouded in the dark beauty of a hundred year old inn, while lightning flashes and thunder rumbles, neither Alexis nor Shane can hold on to the pretense any longer. They give in to one night of passion with the promise that in the morning, they’ll awake as friends. 

But is it a promise they both can keep?

All you have to do is answer the following question in the comments:

What draws you as a reader to the IR/MC genre?

And don’t forget to enter for your chance to win one of the amazing prizes on the hop as a whole by clicking here!

CoL_prize.package

Prize Package:

1st prize: $50 Amazon gift card + 7 ebooks
2nd prize: $30 Amazon gift card+ 7 ebooks
3rd prize: $20 Amazon gift card + 7 ebooks
4th prize: $10 Amazon gift card + 8 ebooks

One Stormy Night Cover Reveal

Before we get to the cover for One Stormy Night, let’s talk about this short story. I began writing this a while ago and tucked it away.

After reading a few books from the Evernight Publishing line called Romance on the Go, I thought about Alexis and Shane. This would be a perfect place for these two. Their story is not a novel length work, but it is sweet and sexy and deserved more than space on my hard drive. A big thank you to Evernight Publishing for thinking so, as well!

***And here it is***

OSNAlexis Joplin enjoys the perfect working relationship with her co-host on the popular travel show, Overnight Stays. Not only does her charismatic partner act as her mentor in the television industry, but he brings her coffee for early morning meetings.

Shane Fowler has endured raised eyebrows and nagging questions from his closest associates about exactly why he and Alexis are always together. His usual response of just friends has become a joke around the studio. Even for him, it’s beginning to feel like a lie.

On their final trip before Shane begins a new position, he and Alexis find themselves in the midst of a late summer storm. But is it only lightning sparking through the night sky or is something just as heated brewing between them?

Taken by Lust Virtual Tour!

TakenByLustBannerStopping by on her Virtual Blog Tour for the release of the much awaited Taken by Lust, best-selling author LeTeisha Newton has agreed to give readers an excerpt of the books, the run down on exactly how she came up with her characters, talk about a possible series, and a Giveaway to a lucky commentator! Don’t miss out on the fun, you’ll regret it.

Let’s get this show on the roll.

~~~Excerpt~~~

TakenBy Lust CoverSelene wasn’t particularly a fan of girl’s night out. Granted she loved to party, loved to get on the dance floor and shake her troubles away, take a few shots of liquor, and call it a night. What she didn’t like was the persistent need for her so-called friends to set her up with some man to take home for the night. She was no virgin, so it wasn’t a prudish nature that made her patently against the idea. It was the simple fact that she wasn’t going to treat her body like it was some kind of meat market. Every time they did this to her she imagined herself naked on a butcher’s counter with a sign around her neck that said “fresh meat.” She hadn’t felt that way since her freshman year in college when she, admittedly, had been a little looser with her morals. Now, three years after graduating from law school and at the ripe age of thirty-two she wasn’t in the mood for Mr. Right Now. She wanted Mr. Forever, and her friends could take a long walk off a short pier if they thought she was going to change her mind on that.

Club Posh, an exclusive club that she and her friends had just recently gotten membership into, was full of exquisitely dressed people of the upper echelon. Posh was a place to rub elbows with doctors, lawyers, judges, celebrities, and old money. Selene and her friends represented the first three of those categories: Maddy the neurosurgeon, Sasha the judge who was pushing for an early appellate seat, and Selene the corporate lawyer. They were a mix for sure. This was a place they could let their hair down, so to speak, and Selene was happy for the opportunity. She’d both figuratively and truly let her hair down. Her hazel gaze scanned the crowd, her plump lips pursing as she looked for her friends from her seat at the bar.

She sighed, taking another shot. It was nice to feel kind of muddled. It made it easier for her to look at her friends, Maddy and Sasha, without thinking too hard about who she wanted to slap first when they walked up with three men. Maddy, the shortest of their trio, swept back her mass of chocolate dreadlocks over one shoulder, watching Selene with laughing brown eyes. Selene had always found Maddy beautiful in a girl-next-door sort of way. She was just over five feet tall and slender, maybe one hundred pounds soaking wet, her red mini dress hugging her shape nicely. She was on the arm of a tall, olive-skinned man whose hair was cut into a stylish mop of curls that brushed his ears. He wore a pair of charcoal chinos with a lavender shirt. Any man who could wear that color with pride made her smile. She may just like him enough not to scream.

Sasha was taller than even Selene’s five-foot-ten height by at least two inches. Her black hair was cut pixie short, showing off her heart-shaped face, dark eyes, and full lips to perfection. Sasha was the fashionista of them all. She wore high-waist white shorts with a striped gold and black shirt tucked in. Curvy in a way that made Selene envious, the outfit showed off her long legs and rounded hips nicely. On Sasha’s arm was a man just about her height in a black on black suit. His smile was charming; thick and long eyelashes framed green eyes while his blond hair fell neatly to his shoulders. Selene had to admit that their choices were nice indeed. Too bad she wasn’t in the mood.

The third man had an air about him. Selene couldn’t put her finger on it, but she could sense it. He watched her with an unblinking stare, so still she wasn’t sure that he was breathing. She didn’t know how her mind felt about being watched like that but her stomach went flip-flop. She was happy to be sitting. He was taller than her. Taller than anyone in the group. She figured him to be at least six foot four. He was broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hips, and his black suit flowed over him like water. He wore a black shirt but broke it up with a pure white vest and tie. She’d always loved a man who wore vests. It looked classier to her for some reason. His jaw was strong, covered with a light five o’clock shadow. His lips were narrow, but sensual. She didn’t know why she thought that, but there it was. His midnight hair was thick and fell just above his shoulders before curling slightly.

Most startling about him, over everything else, were his eyes. They weren’t real, they couldn’t be. But Lord they were mouthwatering. They were the color of vapor, not quite light enough to be silver, but not dark enough to be gray. She felt trapped in those eyes, like she was falling in quicksand and couldn’t break free. He stepped closer to her and she couldn’t move. She waited with bated breath. She wanted him to touch her, wanted to feel his gaze on her. She was eager, to the point of wanting to squirm, but she didn’t. She sat there, waiting for him. Waiting for the touch of his hands.

“Selene, this is Connor,” Maddy said, breaking Selene and the mystery man’s stare. Selene shook herself, feeling anger mount as swiftly as desire had seconds before. Selene didn’t even spare the man on Maddy’s arm a glance.

“This is William,” Sasha said, but again Selene didn’t react. She had found her anger again, just that fast. She was more comfortable with anger than she was with being embarrassed about the fact that she’d been staring at some stranger like he was all that existed in her world.

“I am—”

“I am out of here,” Selene said, not wanting to admit that the deep timbre of mystery man’s voice could be panty-dropping material if she let it. She didn’t want to know his name, she didn’t want to know him. She just wanted out of there.

“Selene!” Maddy gasped, but Selene pushed out of her seat and started to walk away from them. She had nowhere to go but forward, right next to snake eyes, but she wasn’t going to be deterred. She was going to get to the floor, dance a little, and then go home. She’d strangle her friends later.

“Pietr,” snake eyes finished, as if she hadn’t interrupted his earlier words and grasped her wrist as she passed by. She turned to jerk away and he was there, pulling her in close.

She could smell him. He smelled of the wild, of forest and brooks. She inhaled deeply, pulling his scent deep into her belly, feeling off balance, lost. What the hell is wrong with me? she thought. She couldn’t look away. His body was hard, solid, and she gripped his lapels to balance herself. Her breasts were crushed against his chest, her hips just under his groin. She could feel the imprint of his cock in her stomach. In her head she knew that something was wrong, something was very wrong, but she couldn’t stop herself. She felt the pulse of electricity where his hand gripped her wrist. She could feel every zing with each pound of her heart. She could barely catch her breath. She had to get away, had to get to freedom. This wasn’t right. She’d never reacted to a man like this. Still holding her to his chest, he wrapped his other arm around her, anchoring her. He spread his large hand across her back, so hot it was like a furnace. He leaned down as if in slow motion.

“Mine,” he whispered in her ear, and the slide of his exhalation over her shoulder sent chills down her skin.

“Well, it’s a good thing we brought him along,” she heard Maddy saying from what seemed like a mile away.

“Finally hit one on the head,” Sasha tossed back.

“You have no idea,” Pietr said, but he was looking at her. “Shall I order a drink for you, mikro?”

“No,” she was finally able to whisper. She swallowed and tried to speak again. Her body was throbbing.

“I want to dance,” she whispered, trying to think of anything to get away, to get free. “Let me dance for you.”

“You haven’t seen anything until you see her dance.” She didn’t even know which one of her friends said that, she was just happy they had. Pietr smiled down at her and slowly let her go.

“I will be right here. Dance for me.” As she turned away his hand glanced over the globes of her ass and she trembled.

He let her go and she could breathe. Her mind was working again, and with its function came fear. What the hell was happening to her? She’d never had a connection with a man like that in her life. She wasn’t one for bouts of fancy. She either got to know them over time, and then felt something for them, or she didn’t. Selene was not prone to moments of passion where she nearly lost her mind with wanting a man. Her friends stepped up to her side, laughing and giggling. She bet they’d shared a high-five before they came after her, but she didn’t care. She needed to get away.

“We did good this time, Sas. She couldn’t even think when that man came over,” Maddy said.

“Maybe she will get laid tonight. Lord knows she needs it. She works too hard,” Sasha said.

Her friends appeared at her side just as a deep reggae song pumped over the speakers. They dipped and rolled at her sides and Selene fought to calm down. She needed to think. If she didn’t play this right she wouldn’t get away. She sighed roughly, trying to push the tension out of her body and move her hips to the beat. She swayed and shimmied, raising her hands to the sky, for all intents and purposes looking as if she was dancing for Pietr at the bar. She didn’t dare look at him. She didn’t want to be lost again. Instead she looked around the club for the exit, her escape. She kept dancing, turning to get a better view of the exit. She moved, twirling around her friends, rubbing her hips at the right time, tossing her odd-colored hair over one shoulder, and licking her lips. She did everything she could until she saw her opening. She backed up as a waiter passed her on the floor carrying champagne for the dancers. She kept backing up, dancing through guests, her friends following her in the weaving pattern. They’d done this enough that it wasn’t odd. When she broke away from them they were laughing too hard to care and she slipped out the back door.

The cool air kissed her skin and she took a deep breath, clearing her head. Maybe it had been the alcohol, or the fact that she hadn’t been sexually active in nearly a year. Maybe Pietr had just been like no man she’d ever met before. Either way, though, she couldn’t give in. She was a sensible woman with an important career. She didn’t have time for one night stands or temporary flings. She knew she was being a bit childish to want love, real love, but she didn’t care. If she didn’t have love, she didn’t want anything else. She shook her head, happy the cool air was clearing her mind so quickly. She pulled her small card purse from the bust of her dress and waved her hand to hail a cab.

If she felt a pang of disappointment to be riding away from Pietr instead of falling into his arms again she didn’t admit it out loud.

~~~Q&A Time~~~

So LeTeisha, tell us how you came up with these characters.

Well, to be honest, it started with my four best-friends from throughout my life, Adelis Arroyo, Lauren Smith, Drea Simmons, and Beth Gonzales. I wanted to write a book with them in, a tight group of girls who support one another. But I think they would have drawn the line at me giving them some hot love scenes, no matter how much I begged. So that idea morphed into them being there to support my main character much like they’ve done in my life. I created a woman, Selene, who was not looking for Mr. Right because she didn’t believe he existed. I created Pietr who was Mr. Right and Exactly What You Need, and made it so that he would not be afraid of her biting tongue. Finally I threw in friends that would stop her from running from the best thing in her life, and Taken by Lust was born.

Since there are some other pretty important women in the novel from Maddy to Beth, are you planning on any other books?

You know, I’m working on it. I’ll even let you in on a secret. *whispers* Maddy will probably be next. It’s hinted at in the second chapter, and through to the end, but you’ll have to read the book to figure out who, and what, her man ends up being. I don’t know if I’ll go through all six women who show up in the book. Like I said, my best friends may not want me writing scenes about their girly parts, but at least the two fictitious characters, Maddy and Sasha, will. (Because I even made the four women based on my friends look like them in real life, so they know it’s them, besides the names!)

I guess we won’t being seeing their fleshy bits then. What about this giveaway, which I know everyone is dying to read about?

Here’s the deal, I love giving copies of my books to readers. It’s all because of them that I am where I am, that I’ve seen the heights I’ve reached. What I want to do is offer a free copy of Taken by Lust to the first person who can post a picture of what animal my hero can turn into. (Hint: viewing the first Teaser Trailer on my YouTube page is a MAJOR giveaway. www.youtube.com/LeTeishaNewton) That’s it, that easy. Answer correctly and I will send you a free eBook copy of the novel.

Thank you LeTeisha for stopping in today!

No thank you. It’s been a blast, and I hope to do it again sometime. Happy reading, and remember: Life is a story. How will yours read?

You can find LeTeisha on Twitter @LeTeishaNewton , her blog http://leteisha.worpress.com , or on her Facebook page where she loves to do giveaways at https://www.facebook.com/pages/LeTeisha-Newton/319803981363025?ref=hl