Friday, June 28, 2013


I have to say, I'm really, really, really excited about this. In less than one month, SNUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON: And Other Bombay Bedtime Stories will be available as an ebook everywhere!

Right now, it's available for pre-order at Amazon - which is pretty cool:

Here's the blurb from the site: A collection of short stories from National Bestselling author Leslie Langtry...

What do the Minotaur, Rasputin, the first man hung for murder in America, and the Countess of Blood all have in common? No, they aren’t related. They all appeared on the Bombay Family’s Hit List! In this collection of Bombay Bedtime Stories, you’ll find out what Bombays did before Gin Bombay came along. From pet Dodo birds of the very first Bombay to Ancient Greece and 20th Century Russia, get the stories Bombay children have been told for thousands of years. Stories that have been shrouded in blood-sworn secrecy…until now!

There are six stories in the book - which is about the length of a novella - like PARADISE BY THE RIFLE SIGHTS. And I already have several more ideas for another edition. 

And just for you, my piratey friends, here's an excerpt that won't appear elsewhere...

Versailles Bombay – Rasputin
December 1916, Petrograd, Russia
       “Oh, bugger,” I hissed through my clenched teeth as Rasputin staggered into the courtyard of Moika Palace.  The aristos were out now, drunkenly charging behind Rasputin.  Apparently, they decided to finish him off here, on the streets, with witnesses.  How did those idiots screw this up now? Honestly, I should never have asked men to do this. Men were not that smart. Assassination was a woman’s game.
Morons.  I was working with amateurs.  This whole thing could’ve been wrapped up yesterday, but noooooo.  This is what happens when you leave a job up to a room full of drunk, arrogant men.  Make that men in general. I was not terribly fond of men as a rule. There had never been a man in my life who had not let me down – and there were no women who had.
       I wasn’t really a man hater – just not a man preferer. They were silly, puffed up things that needed their egos stroked constantly. Women were far more superior intellectually.  There was the women’s suffrage movement going mad in England.  I was anxious to get home and apply myself.  But first, I had to deal with Rasputin who was, very inconveniently, still alive.
Bloody hell!  Women were so much more cooperative.  If you killed them, they remained thoughtfully dead.

AND - there will be a little more Bombay in your Christmas stocking this year!  The Killer Fiction writers have banded together to do a collection of holiday stories featuring our favorite characters. This should be out around the end of November. We each have a day from the 12 Days of Christmas and mine is FOUR KILLING BIRDS and features four of your favorite Bombays.  I can't give you the deets yet, but I promise to reveal more on this blog soon.
Well, I've got to get back to work. Have a great July 4th holiday! I'll fire off a couple of bottle rockets for the pirates!

The Assassin - Leslie Langtry
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Workshop Wednesday - My Descent Into Writing Madness

On Tuesday I started my first ever online writing workshop, Book In A Month with Candace Havens. While I've attended workshops at conferences, this is really the first time I've taken an immersive class and I'm beyond excited. Oh, and a little scared shitless.

 The first two weeks of class are Fast Draft. 20 pages a day is the standard goal. *insert psycho music here* Then, we move into Revision Hell for the last two weeks.

Yep, all sounds so fun right?

Since I'm writing this post before class starts - one of the suggestions for the workshop is to write all your blog posts prior to starting - it means I can't tell you how it's going so far. I can say that there are some authors taking the class with me that can’t help but have me thinking, “They write books all the time, how the hell am I going to keep up with that?”

From the introductions so far, it shows that no matter how many books you’ve had published there will always be a time to refocus and work on getting back to just getting your butt in that chair and writing till it hurts. While some might find this idea daunting, it humanizes the authors and the writing process for me. Suddenly, I don’t feel like I’m taking the class because I’m a loser that can’t get her ass in the chair. Having recognizable authors there helps me connect that learning is an on-going activity and not just for writing losers.

I've actually wanted to take this workshop for ages and I'm hoping this class will make me disciplined about moving forward faster. I'm also secretly wishing that this push forces me to write more naturally instead of thinking about how I "should" write. My writing needs to find it's voice and I need to learn discipline. Two birds, one stone.

Many of my illustrious co-pirates have not only taken workshops, but taught them as well. So, I thought what better group to come to for some advice and insight on workshops than right here on The Revenge.

Has anyone taken Candace’s Fast Draft/Revision Hell class before? What workshops have you taken and loved or hated? What advice do you give for getting the most out of an online workshop? If you have a workshop coming up, please share it with us! Oh, and if you want to join me you are only 1 day behind! Click that link at the top to check it out and ignore my evil cackling laugh as I try to coherence you to step into the madness.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Venturing Out of My Comfort Zone

I've been popping through some books lately. I read the Scotland series by the Mallory author; and I also read the Three Sisters Trilogy by Nora Roberts (even though I don't have a single keeper book of Nora's on my shelves and I usually will turn up my nose and read the Wall Street Journal than a book by her on an average day); and I even read a sci-fi novel, Grimspace, mostly because it was by that author that all the rude sci-fi male authors were being dillholes about. Okay, not all the sci-fi male authors--the white conservative Republican half--I was reassured to see a more liberal, fair-minded group of male authors who were very supportive of women sci-fi writers and what they bring to the genre. And weren't threatened that the women authors might write about love...and cooties. And God knows what else--a committed relationship, I suppose.

So I do have to admit, I enjoyed all the Sisters books. I just liked the concept all the way around. On a story level, I'd give them all a 5 star; and on my nitpicky writerly-readerly side, I give them a 4, because yes, yes, the great LaNora's writing voice just irks me a tad. It's not "deep" enough for me--and I'm all about the deeper.

Hmm. I just had a giggle. I knew this boy once--Mike--and he used to say that if a girl wanted him to go "faster" or "harder", he was more than happy to oblige her, but if she wanted "deeper", he would have to start talking philosophy. Bless his heart. Anyway, it's a little like that. Nora is great at the faster and the harder--great pacing, lots of action, urgency and danger. Oddly, though, for me, I still feel on the surface of the story, like I'm being told something rather than shown something. *shrugs* Not everything works for everyone, as the saying goes around here.

As for Grimspace, I too would give it a 5 stars for the story, but as for myself, I'd probably give it a 4. 4 is that designation I give books when I think, "Really good, but I'd never re-read this book." That's really what makes a book a 5 for me. Would I take this book to my deserted island? Clearly that's all personal opinion--but aren't all book reviews? Yes, we can say, "Yes, the setting, dialogue, characters--all great--but did I ever buy this as more than a story? Not really." I realize that's expecting a lot of the books I read, but there is something about a Julie Anne Long book, the characters are so real, you know you could go back in time and meet them. Same with Lisa Kleypas and Eloisa James. But eh, not every story is like that. Couldn't expect them to be. How would you know happiness from sadness if you didn't experience both now and again?

Grimspace was a bit like Hans Solo meets The Fugitive--the main character, Sirantha Jax, is trying to escape from "the authorities" and meanwhile she's being helped by, well, another Hans Solo...a Princess Lei (don't let Dina hear you call her that), and Spock. Oh, wait, that's two different sci-fi worlds, isn't it? Oh, well. You experts sort it out. It had its romance, its humor, its moments of near-death experience, but in the end, I'm not sure I'd read it again. But that is just a matter of personality. I have a fascination for history, history's stories, the people in history--so historical novels are much easier for me to slip into, like a warm bubble bath. Sci-fi--like the invigorating cold shower it is--definitely is a nice change of pace but it's not something I would willingly embrace everyday for the rest of my natural life with no warm baths in return. (Whereas I think sci-fi people tend to think of their stories as the warm bath...know what I mean?)

Anyway, I found both the Three Sisters trilogy and Grimspace to be excellent "going outside the comfort zone" type of books. They seem the cream of the crop of their "type"--and I usually find that a good book is a good book when this is the case. So I'm still giving myself a gold star for seeing the greatness in each story, even if I had to decide if I would keep the book or not, they'd be passed along to someone else who would probably value them more. (I have to keep the space for my Harry Potter books, you know.)

What are you doing (or reading) outside of your comfort zone lately? All progress is great progress.
Monday, June 24, 2013

Mojo Is A Fickle Thing

I've said for years that I don't have a muse. I've joked about it, but really, I don't have one. I do, however, have writing mojo, which seems to be closely tied to my moods. Not a good thing.

So, what's the difference between a muse and mojo? Well, the muse seems to be the personification of some little voice that lives in a writer's head (or sits on her shoulder) and tells her the story she's trying to write. My stories come from me and my characters, hence, no muse.

Now mojo is a whole other thing. It's a feeling. A current that runs through your veins, bounces off your synapses, and flips on the light as it goes. It keeps the wheels greased, and the motor running at maximum efficiency.

Without my mojo, everything grinds to a halt. I push through, because I don't have any other choice, but what shows up on the page is missing that... thing. That spark the mojo sprinkles over the words that makes them shine.

My work has lots of angst, but above all, it's funny. It's not easy to get funny on the page when I'm feeling discouraged, disappointed, or simply doubting what I'm doing. In other words, when the mojo isn't flowing. In days gone by, I'd just crumple up. Not write for a month because it wasn't working. Wait around for the mojo to come back.

These days, that's not an option. I have a contract and a deadline and I will NOT miss that deadline. Failure is not an option. Which means missing mojo is also not an option. The good news is, I've figured out a few tricks to get the mojo cranking again.

1) Positive Reinforcement – This can come in many forms, but it helps if you have an agent who doesn't mind talking you off the ledge on a regular basis. Short of an agent, I turn to my writer friends. If you don't have fellow writers who are on call 24/7 to blow sunshine up your ass in an emergency, go get some. I hear you can find them on the internet. (They've got everything on the internet.)

2) Reading My Own Work – I realize this sounds incredibly egotistical, but stay with me. When the mojo fades, so does my voice. What better place to get my voice back than my own work? It's a fine line, I'll admit. There's always something I want to fix or change, which isn't good considering the book is actually on sale to the public, but in the long run, this really does help.

3) Reading Other Good Books – This is a bit of a given, but you have to find the right book. Someone with a voice close enough to yours to get your brain bouncing, but different enough that it gets you thinking outside the box. I often forget I can throw in a plot twist any time I want. Break a character's leg, give another a heart attack or a paper cut. The right book will open the brain and expand the mojo, always a good thing.

4) Tough Love – The bottom line is, with or without that mojo, I'm writing this book. So I can whine and cajole, or I can put my ass in the chair and put words on the page. Nothing brings the mojo back better than absolute grit. Mostly because the mojo is always there, it just gets buried under crap now and then. Pushing through shakes off the crap so the mojo can breathe.

In the end, it's a matter of believing. In yourself, not some wacky woo woo stuff about muses and mojo and girls in the basement. (NOT that I'm knocking the girls in the basement, but if I don't believe in me, they won't either.)

What has kick started your mojo lately? Chocolate? Wine? A good movie? And am I the only one dying to see RIPD? I just saw the commercials this weekend. It's Men In Black in the afterlife, but whoever thought of putting Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds together deserves a giant cookie.
Friday, June 21, 2013

My Panel!

Egad, I have six weeks to put together and perfect a panel presentation for the Romance Novel Convention, being held in Las Vegas. Yup. The one on what I learned about writing from nearly dying. You remember, that one!

So…the plan…an outline and a panel. Yup. That’s the plan…

And what part do you, the crew of the most fabulous blog in the entire cyber seas have to do with all of this?

I’m begging you for some information. Because I can only blather so much and need something to handout… Can ya answer some questions for me?

1)      What websites do you find the most helpful when you’re looking for help with formatting, or submitting or writing or any of that malarkey?

2)      Do you have favorite books on the craft? Including the ones to help with when you’re just stuck…

3)      Organizations? Conventions? Methods? Classes?

4)      Words of wisdom, from favorite writers, editors?

Yeah, I know…but let’s face it, I’m a rocket in my pants type of writer and don’t plot, don’t take many classes… I'd just like ta have somethin' ta hand out that can be useful, along with information on the heart, and PTSD and dealing with fear...

So! I need ya, crew! I promise to praise the blog and all of ye scurvy crew. Hell, already planned ta speak of how my new found bravery after nearly dying took me ta reach out and crawl aboard the ship…and the rest be history!

And…share with me what makes a panel interesting for you? So I don’t put anyone to sleep…

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The lure of writing getaways

So my hubs, for anyone who doesn't know, is crazy about lacrosse. He coaches the club team at school. He plays on a traveling league. He plays on a local pick-up league. He coaches at (multiple, out-of-state) camps in the summer. He plays in tournaments year round.

Seriously. It's insane.*

He has two tournaments coming up. Each are three-day trips to picturesque spots (Lake Placid!). I've been to a few of these tournaments. There's maybe 20 teams, of 15-25 grown men** per team. They all get sponsors for their uniforms and helmets, and the lacrosse companies set up promotional tents all over the parking lot. There's a big bracket set up and 3 days are spent whittling the 20 teams down to a couple winners. Then everything gets broken down and a couple month later, it all starts over in a different city, with half the players shuffled between teams and new uniforms and helmets for all.

Notice what a big fan I am.

But I'm going to both of these tournaments, and I have a plan. I'm going to make it a writing-retreat-type getaway. Three days of quiet hotel rooms with lake-front views and room service. Nature everywhere to kick start my creativity.

On the one hand, I'm ridiculously excited about this. I've been craving long blocks of dedicated writing time. This is exactly what I need. The end is in sight. With enough focus, I might just get there.

On the other hand, I am my own worst enemy. I am brilliant at staring at my computer screen for two hours without actually writing anything. I can research and research and research . . .

In other words, I could very easily come away from these trips with nothing, even if I had the best of intentions, even if I ignored all the distractions and kept my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard the entire time.

Anybody done this? Gone away for a few days with a primary goal of writing for massive blocks of time? How'd you do? Anyone have some strategies for using the time to my advantage? For staying focused and productive?

*though lets be honest, it's not that much more insane than spending hundreds of hours writing down what the voices in my head say, and swearing it'll pay off one day.
* uh, right.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

If It's Not Scottish, It's Crap!

Having a bit of a Mike Meyers moment. Always did love that skit.

Once upon a time, back when Hellion was a young lass, Hellion read stories set in Scotland like they were Regencies. Instead of Regencies. Instead of most anything. If the hero didn't have a kilt, he was no hero. This can possibly be blamed on Julie Garwood and her string of lovely Scottish books. Who could ever forget The Secret?

Then I stopped reading Scottish set romances. I'm not sure why this was, but again, I could probably make an educated guess it was about the time I took that history research class and did this semester-long paper on William Wallace and the fight for Scottish Independence. This should have made me more of a reader of Scottish romances, but instead, I was suddenly annoyed by all the romances that had a man in a kilt, but seemed as historically significant as grated parmesan cheese in a bottle. Just not the same as the kind grated right off the block, if you know what I mean. Sawdust filler. So I quit reading them...and began avoiding them like vampire novels. In fact, this might have been around the time I started reading vampire novels. I had sunken into the Abyss.

Then I found a series by Monica McCarty, about a high concept series that was like Special Ops forces set in Robert the Bruce's time period. (My own sweet, dear William!) I fell into that series like a sinner falls back into vice, wholeheartedly and wondering where it had been during the last several cold empty years. Gradually, I began tentatively poking at other Scottish novels. Very tentatively. The back blurb really had to get me. I wasn't a fan of the man in the kilt on the cover. I don't care how pretty he looked. What was the story?

I was having a gander at the library selection last week and was struck by a book called THE WARRIOR by Margaret Mallory. Okay, the cover was really nice. And the hero's name was Duncan. (Yes, I was a fan of the Highlander series. Who wasn't a fan of the Highlander series? Adrian Paul is a god.) Anyway, Duncan captured my attention...and he was in love with the chieftain's daughter, Moira, who is wild and reckless and madly in love with him. I read the first page--and before I finished the first paragraph, I put the book in my pile and made my way to the check out line.

In the vein of Monica McCarty's novels, where the heroines feel true to the period--even the chieftain's reckless, wild daughter--this story had plenty of authentic feeling detail. It's not easy being a girl in this time period. The women are forged of steel, and the men better be strong enough to hold them or they're not going to last. These are men who are looking for redemption; and women who love them just the same. My kind of Scottish novel. Dark, gritty, angsty Scottish novels.

So I read THE WARRIOR in about a day...and now I've started the next in the series, THE CHIEFTAIN, and I'm just as delighted by the detail and weave of storytelling in this one. And though I started this series out of order, I've gone back and retrieved the other two in the series because I cannot bear to not read Alex (the Viking)'s story, his book aptly titled THE SINNER.

There you have it. My recommendations of the week...and my newfound delight again in Scottish novels. What are you reading--and have you rediscovered a new interest in an old love?
Monday, June 17, 2013

Christmas in June

Today felt like the perfect day for a parody. Bring out your Christmas music because that's what the tune is. Now, all together:

I picked a fight with my CP,
My Muse went and snitched on me.
I stayed up all night and watched TV,
My Muse went and snitched on me.
I read some fan fic of Harry’s world,
I turned my hero into a girl,
I thought I’d give a threesome a whirl—
My Muse went and snitched on me.

I’m getting nothing at all written,
My agent and editor are enraged.
I’m getting nothing at all written,
I’m stuck here on this very same page.

I wrote a mean review at Amazon,
My Muse went and snitched on me.
In chapter three, I shot a fawn,
My Muse went and snitched on me.
I wrote villains who killed kittens,
I gave my heroine a life-time sentence,
My hero shows absolutely no repentance—
My Muse went and snitched on me.

Oh, I’m getting nothing at all written,
My agent and editor are enraged.
I’m getting nothing at all written,
I’m stuck here on this very same page.

I won’t be getting that six-figure stub,
My Muse went and snitched on me.
I won’t be in the RITA supper club,
My Muse went and snitched on me.
I’m sitting down, I’m writing fast,
This bright idea won’t be my last,
I will be the top star in my writing class,
So my Muse can no longer snitch on me.

Oh, yes, I’ll get it all down and written,
My agent and editor are pleased,
Oh, I’m getting it all down and written,
Why look, isn’t writing a breeze!

What has your Muse been snitching on you about?
Friday, June 14, 2013

Winners of Jill Shalvis Giveaway!

TWO winners!!

Drumroll please....

Congrats to commenter 14 and 8- Julie and Janga!!

Please email Jill Shalvis: jshalvis @ gmail dot com  (please take out the DOT and add a . )

Thank you for coming by and commenting!


I Have An Idea

I think it’s time for a new genre. Now that New Adult has hit the big time, hence acknowledging the existence of a group of people known as out-of-their-teens, and there is Boomer Lit, acknowledging people born from 1946 -1964 still have a life… I want to propose a new group.

Now, I am an advocate of Boomer Lit. Well, I’m advocate of Boomer fiction. I’m not sure about the ‘lit’ part of the new genre. Sounds a bit too highfalutin for me. So…since we have New Adult, and Young Adult…how about Old Adult.

Young Adult celebrates the changes from childhood to teenage angst. The era of puberty.

New Adult celebrates the social acceptance of teenagers and twenty somethings being adult enough to have sex, which puberty made fun. (Hopefully.) And romance, of course.

Old Adult would be a celebration of the second round of puberty, known as menopause. (And men have it, you know they do. They just don’t have it to the extent women have it. Men get to call theirs a Mid-Life Crisis and buy fast cars. While women are pouring pitchers of ice water down the front of their shirts.) (Life isn’t fair.)

So OA could deal with the challenges presented by this special time of growth and appreciation. A real hero who is courting in an OA novel, would need to be strong, with a sense of humor, a truck load of patience and a heart the size of Alaska. (Texas isn’t big enough.) (Ha!)

The heroine would have more emotional upheaval than an entire high school, body issues that would look at the average teenage girl’s insecurity and laugh until hysterical, and with a need for real romance and massive orgasms.

Honestly, a field ripe for writers!

Am I right?

Okay, I admit the name sucks donkey balls. But I’m floundering a bit on what to call this genre. Used Adult? Experienced Adult? Adult Adult? Active Adult? (That sorta sounds like a Depends commercial.)

Put on your Friday drinking hats and do some thinking…what would you call it?
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Giveaway with Jill Shalvis!

Dear Readers,

I tend to write big, rugged, tough heroes. Not necessarily the boardroom type … more likely the kind to strap on a tool belt or a gun belt. I find these alpha heroes lend themselves far better to a small town than the big city. That’s where Lucky Harbor comes in. A small quirky town on the Washington State coast, you can trust just about anyone there with your life. Unfortunately, not a single one of them can keep a secret.

So when Ali Winters’ life falls apart, everyone knows it. The only person she can turn to for help is a stranger.

Detective Luke Hanover has returned to his hometown for some peace and quiet. Instead he finds his hands full with a bombshell brunette in a heap of trouble. Oddly enough, as he helps Ali put the pieces of her world back together, his own life suddenly seems fall into place as well…

Don’t be nice to me right now. I’ll lose it.”
With surprising gentleness, he pushed the hair from her face, then clicked open her seatbelt.
It was all the invitation she was going to get, and all the invitation she needed. Turning to him, she burrowed in as steady, strong arms closed around her. He stroked a hand down her back, and she pressed her face into the crook of his neck, soaking in the warm comfort he offered.
It was the safest and most secure she’d felt in far too long, and she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to let go.
Afraid he was going t pull away before she was done soaking him in, she squirmed a little closer.
Please, not yet.”
A rough sound escaped him, and he tightened his grip.
It’s okay. I’ve got you.”

IT HAD TO BE YOU is the first in a new trilogy where three women, each running their own business and sharing an eccentric old Victorian building, find themselves on the bring of something big in a little town called Lucky Harbor. Be sure to Catch ALWAYS ON MY MIND this September, and then ONCE IN A LIFETIME in early 2014.

Interested in hearing more? You can find that, along with a full booklist and my daily blog at Come by and say hi (and sign up for my newsletter, I’m getting ready to do a big giveaway very soon!)

Also, leave a comment here today and I’ll draw a few names to win their choice of my backlist. Before I go, would love to know what you all are reading…?


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Once Upon A Tower Is One Good Read

I don't do reviews very often, mostly because I'm not very good at them. But I don't mind making an except for one of my favorite writers, Eloisa James. Her latest release is called ONCE UPON A TOWER. Here's the blurb from her website.

A duke fell in love
Gowan Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.

With a lady
Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyone, not even the notoriously elusive Duke of Kinross. When her father accepts his offer… she panics.

And when their marriage night isn’t all it could be, she pretends.

In a tower.
But Edie’s inability to hide her feelings makes pretending impossible, and when their marriage implodes, she retreats to a tower—locking Gowan out.

Now Gowan faces his greatest challenge.  Neither commands nor reason work with his spirited young bride. How can he convince her to give him the keys to the tower…

When she already has the keys to his heart?

As usual, I'm amazed by what Ms. James is able to create on the page. Her prose is always gorgeous, but taken to another level in this one. Her expertise as a Shakespearean professor is on display with a lyricism that sweeps you right into the story. Gowan and Edie are clearly defined, real characters for whom you'll cheer and cry. Theirs is a love at first sight story, placing two relative innocents and near strangers into a marriage that neither is prepared to handle. As they get to know each other, in snatches of time alone (the hero is a workaholic of sorts and almost always with one servant or another), it's lovely to watch them fall more and more in love.

But there are practicalities to marriage that these two do not navigate well. The hero has some hard lessons to learn, and he goes through hell to come out the other side. Still, I couldn't help but pull for him. The more we learn about his childhood, the more I wanted to hug him and beat his parents on his behalf. The ending is daring and a wee bit far-fetched, but this is a fairy tale after all.

Anyone looking for beautiful prose, fully-formed characters, and a love story with substance and triumph, this is the one for you. Highly, highly recommend.

What's the best book you've read lately? Are you buying into this "Historicals are dying" hoopla, or ignoring it like I am?
Monday, June 10, 2013

Allie Burton Brings The Lost Daughter's Of Atlantis Aboard

Bosun here and today we welcome YA author Allie Burton to The Revenge to talk about Book 1 in her Lost Daughters of Atlantis series, ATLANTIS RIPTIDE. Here's the blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Pearl Poseidon ran away from the circus tired of her adoptive parents’ abuse of her special skills. As a runaway, she craves anonymity but when she saves a small boy from drowning she draws attention to herself and her special abilities. Boardwalk employee and aspiring investigative reporter, Chase Thomas, helps her with the rescue and witnesses her amazing dive.

Now, he has questions. And so do the police.

Unbeknownst to Pearl, a battle rages under the Pacific between Loyal and Non-Loyal Atlantean forces and each side wants to use her powers for their cause. Will the commotion in the ocean expose her secrets to the world? Will Chase’s reporter-determination ruin their chance for a real relationship? Will staying near the ocean she loves catapult into a battle royale?

That'll make you want to do a little snorkeling, won't it? Allie, take it away.

Hi! I’m so glad to join you today at Romance Writers Revenge. Thank you, Terri, for the invitation. I want to let you in on a secret…
How I Reversed the Aging Process

Miracle, right?

I wish. I’m not talking about my actual age, but my writing age.

I began writing romances just after I finished college. With a more-than-full time job, writing was more of a hobby than an actual pursuit of goals. Something fun to do in my free time. Those first manuscripts were awful. More telling of the stories in my head. No showing at all. I had a lot to learn.

Then, a move to Europe, another move back to the States, kids, yet another move and the writing sort of fell off my radar. The dream was still there, but not the energy. When my youngest started kindergarten, a bit of time opened up. I decided to get real and take a shot at my dream.

After joining RWA, I attended meetings and workshops and conferences. I finaled and even won a couple of contests, but my romantic suspense manuscripts weren’t dark, sexy or gritty enough. Maybe because the kids were always leaning over my shoulder trying to read what I was writing.

I’d cover the computer screen and tell them to look away. One day one of the kids said, “When are you going to write something we can read?”

An epiphany struck.  I knew kids. I had two examples of what kids were doing and saying.  I had my own target market.

So, I sat down and wrote a middle grade book. It was like discovering chocolate and fireworks. No uncomfortable love scenes to write. No blood or murder. No detailed CSI-like research.

Then, I wrote a Young Adult book and found my true love. I’m not a dark, angsty person. More fun-loving and a bit snarky. I still loved adventure, but I could add touches of the mythical and magical to my stories. I’d found my personality and my voice.

And the Lost Daughters of Atlantis series was born. There’s romance and adventure and discovering of one’s self. Kind of like how I discovered myself through my writing and wrote younger in the process.

If you’re a writer, how did you decide on what genre to write? And if you’re a reader, how do you choose what to read? Leave a comment today to be in the running for a digital copy of ATLANTIS RIPTIDE.

Allie's Bio:
Allie didn’t realize having so many jobs would become great research material for the stories she writes. She has been everything from a fitting room attendant to a bike police officer to a professional mascot escort. She has lived on three continents and in four states and has studied art, fashion design, marine biology, and advertising.

When her kids asked, “when are you going to write a story we can read?” she switched from adult novels to Young Adult and Middle Grade and hasn’t looked back.

Allie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Romance Writers of America including the Young Adult, Dallas Area Romance Writers and Heart of the Rockies chapters. She is also a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Currently, she lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

JuJuSuCh--Oh, Yeah, We're Keeping Accountable Aren't We?

You caught me. I almost forgot. Please understand my pirate boyfriend showed up, and being we're a lot like two ships passing in the night, he's a little distracting, and it was only as I was laying in bed, thinking about said pirate that I went: Shit. JuJuSuCh.

How could I have forgotten?

Ah, well, the first week is always a bit shaky, right? It's okay.

So I'll admit mine first to make you all feel better. I got about 500 words. Yes, not even 600--not even four pages; however, there were 500 more words than I had last week and I'll take them.

How are you pirates doing with your pages and word counts? Any Muses missing or are all your words flying onto the page faster than you can type them?

Me, I keep opening my WIP, staring at the blinking cursor, and then going, "Well, hell, what next?" The Muse and I are at an impasse; and I have the attention span of a gnat. It's like meditation. Just takes time. AND PRACTICE.

Need to work on the second just a little more diligently.

Hope to hear your reports are much, much better than mine.

Fess up. How goes it?
Friday, June 7, 2013

Two Down, 28 To Go!

And the second book is out!

Yup, Red Sean’s Revenge is available! At the same time, the kindle version of A Caribbean Spell is on sale for 99 cents and the print is up on Amazon!

Gods, I’ve been busy. Set up some giveaway on Goodreads, and one on FreeBookFridays… And I’m still pushing to get the print version of The Pirate Circus out before the end of the month…

And contracting with my cover artist to work on the cover for book number three, The French Gambit. Doing first round edits on The French Gambit and pre-first round edits on book four, which I’ve decided to call Magic’s Hostage.

And somewhere in here, I want to start working on my Aliens Just Want Cats story…

You know, life was simpler when I had an agent and let her do all the work. Having editors give me assignments. A cover questionnaire…yet…this doing it myself is fun. I like having the final say on things. I like knowing whatever is out there is on me. I don’t like trying to figure out how to promote, what to spend money on, what to not spend money on.

Sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I’m right. I have a feeling I’ll know in a few years.

Meanwhile…Red Sean! Dastardly man, evil to the core. No redeeming features. He lives for vengeance, born to it. He thrives on the blood of his victims painting the deck red. Oh, yeah. This guy is bad. And man, does he bring darkness to the world of Jake and Miranda.

But you know what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It also helps you see what is right in front of you…

This was the second full length book I wrote and I broke so many rules in it. Because I didn’t know there were rules. Life was easier when I didn’t know the rules. Writing rules are a PITA. I’m not talking about the grammarly things, or spelling things right or using the right sort of dialogue tags.

I’m talking about the other rules. Internal conflict. Outside conflict. Don’t kill the dog. Don’t go too far with what you do to your heroes. The black moment…the first act, the second, the third, the HEA… I reveled in breaking rules…ah, the days of running free and unfettered by the rules, some written, some simply understood…

Of all the rules, what would you love to break?