Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I Write...Worldbuilding and my Vadim World

One of the differences in writing a paranormal book in comparison to a contemporary one is the degree of world building that is done. Of course, this is completely subjective, but it was a fun departure for me to create a new culture in the Vadim with RISE OF HOPE. I wrote an article about world building and give some insights into the process I used to create my new world. I hope you'll check it out!

World Building. It's not just for those genres.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Book's on Audible & Why it's Weird!!

My latest release, RISE OF HOPE was just released on Audible. I knew they'd selected it for audio of course, but when that happens, the author really is given no idea when it might come out. Considering some of the specific words in my book, I thought they may reach out to me for pronunciations. I was told they might. I'd be waiting, wondering, thinking there'd been some mistake, that they'd changed their minds. Nope LOL. It's just suddenly out there. And it's totally weird. I listened to a sample yesterday. And I could only listen to about two minutes before I had to shut it off. Why? Well:
  • I can't tell you how strange it is listening to another voice read my words back to me. I mean, up to this point, the only time I've heard my book is in my own head!
  • The narrator is a woman and for the short part I listened to, did a really good job. BUT she reads it at a different pace than I do. And has a different accent to me. Double weird!
  • It made me realize, there are people out there who have read my books. This may be a "duh" and I know this intellectually, but this is real, hard, solid evidence. This women obviously spent a LOT of time with my book and my words.
  • It gave me goosebumps, in a "this is so cool and neat but weird and I'm sorta freaked out" way. Hey, I'm a writer. No better way to describe it LOL.
Perhaps it just me, but it's a rather surreal experience. I'm not sure how many people out there really buy and listen to audio books (I hope it's a lot), but it really is something freakin' COOL!

If you'd like to listen to a sample, it's up here at Amazon. I'm out of the country at the moment and for some reason, can't see it directly on Audible, but people have let me know it's there. Or here :). If you do listen or do buy it as an audio book, I'd love to hear what you think!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Embarrassing Moments. Oh…and it’s Release Day!

Ah, embarrassing moments. I’ve had my share of them, let me tell you. There was the time I got stuck in a restroom in India. Yeah, India. I could not for the life of me get the cubicle door open, there was no way to climb under or over it and every other woman who came in couldn’t speak a word of English LOL. There was the time I headed to an interview, running really late, only to realize I still had my slippers on O.o. Then there was the time I was in Toronto preparing for a big presentation, ironing my ONLY clean business blouse when I burned a huge iron pattern onto it. And that’s nothing compared to the time I— Wait, you probably don’t need to know that one J.

Did I disclose all this to make myself look like an idiot? Well, I hope not! Hopefully, it provides some examples of someone being human. Granted, ‘being human’ probably doesn’t happen to others as often as it happens to me, but it’s what makes us unique, individual, gives us our personality, our quirks, like building blocks to who we are today. As a writer, it’s critical to create characters readers can relate to and people relate to others they can really identify with. Someone who is gorgeous and perfect and rich and successful and never makes a fool of themselves isn’t necessarily a sympathetic character, isn’t necessarily one a reader will like. Characters need flaws, weaknesses, traits that set them apart. Sometimes they need to make mistakes, react the wrong way, do something foolish or unpredictable. It not only makes a character more relatable so a reader will want to root for their happily ever after, sometimes it provides a great opportunity for plot interest.

I’ve used embarrassing moments or characters behaving badly in some way in my books before. Not necessarily to create a funny or shocking scene in of itself, but to build a realistic character. In my latest release, RISE OF HOPE, my hero is a real gem. At first J. He’s moody, surly and downright rude. Of course, it’s part of who he is, a product of his upbringing, how he handles truths he might not be ready for, but underneath it all he has a core of integrity that’s unshakeable. In other words, he’s redeemable, but I had fun playing with how much of a jerk he could really be. Below is an excerpt from RISE OF HOPE and Seth being, well… Seth:

  “First… Tell me…who am I to you?” she demanded.
  His gaze flew back to hers, held, heated.
  Who are you? What are you? What am I? What does all this mean?
  Yeah, he might not have given her the answers she was looking for or done it well, but at least he could have tried to field those questions. But did she ask those? No. She was sharp, really sharp. It figured. She asked the one thing he couldn’t answer, didn’t want to think about and wasn’t ready to face himself.
  “You’re a job,” he bit out. “I’m helping you escape. I’ll deliver you somewhere safe and make no mistake, I’ll protect you with my life, but you’re a job.”
  Nothing more. He thought it, but couldn’t get the words out. For sure she’d know he was lying. And who the hell was he trying to convince anyway?

So, come on. I showed you mine, now you show me yours J. Share one of your own embarrassing moments, you know, to make sure I don’t look like an idiot here on my own. To celebrate the release of RISE OF HOPE TODAY one lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win...a $25 gift card to an online ebook store of choice. I'll keep it open through Wednesday 11:59 pm Eastern. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rise of Hope. A taste...

There'd be no dispute from anyone who has read any of my books that I like my heroes alpha. Also, a bit moody on occasion and a teensy bit tortured. The hero of my upcoming book, RISE OF HOPE is no exception. Actually, Seth is probably all of these and more rolled into one. Of course, he has some very good reasons and you all know the heroine (Devon) will eventually kiss it better and make everything bearable for him, right? In that vein, I thought I'd share one of Devon's first impressions of Seth. Yeah, they don't first meet in the best of circumstances.

The imposter glanced at the knife, unconcerned. She knew he carried no weapons, her bodyguards had searched him thoroughly, but he didn’t need one. He was weapon enough. She wouldn’t stand a chance against him.
Of course, does she really want to? ;)
Rise of Hope releases from Carina Press on August 27. You can find all the details on my website.

Monday, August 20, 2012

1 Week & Counting...

So...this is where it gets exciting. It's one week out from my new release on August 27 and there's equal amounts of excitement and anxiety. It's always exciting to see a new book move out into the public arena. I write for readers after all, so this is the culmination of that work, the achievement of that ultimate goal, but for me, it's a beginning as well. Kind of like a birth. Plus, I get to hear what people really think of the book :).

There are also a few firsts to celebrate. This is the first paranormal romance I've written. I've always loved the genre as a reader and it seemed natural to move into it as a writer. I figured I would get there eventually. Also, it's the first series I've written. RISE OF HOPE is book 1 of my Fabric of Fate series. It was interesting to experience the differences of developing not just a single book story arc, but a series arc as well. RISE OF HOPE is the first of a 5-book series. The story overall revolves around a secret, ancient race of humans on the brink of extinction and their fight to survive and I play with the role that fate plays in all of this. I also had some fun coming up with a series tag line:

TheVadïm...will fate alone determine their future or can they carve out their own destiny?


A secret ancient race of humans with fantastical abilities, the Vadïm are on the brink of extinction. Many of their women are imprisoned by an organization known as The Assembly, their history all but lost...
Devon Monroe has been a prisoner her entire life. She's determined to make sense of the strange markings on her body, to learn why no one may touch her, to find where she belongs. That means escaping into the unknown, where she has no choice but to trust her self-appointed protector.
Soldier-for-hire Seth Eastman has a job to do: deliver Devon to safety. When Seth discovers the markings on Devon's body, he's stunned at what they mean. And at how she awakens his long-suppressed needs. As they struggle to escape detection and search for the truth of the Vadïm, can he ever hope to claim her for his own?

Stay tuned this week as I share excerpts from the book throughout the week!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just Published - Robin Covington (& giveaway)

Today I have fabulous debut author, Robin Covington on Just Published. I've known Robin for a quite some time from online communities and I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person. She's such a sweetheart and I couldn't be happier to see her a published author and doing so well. Robin's published with Entangled and I'm interested to see how it all came about.

The basics of Robin's first novel is as follows:

Title: A Night of Southern Comfort
Genre: Contemporary Category
Words: 54K
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Published Date: June 15, 2012


One night of passion... 

Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr. Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he'd buried years ago.

He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor's daughter...and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional, Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can't keep the same promise.

But when the stalker's attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela's life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.

So, let's get started with the specifics! How would you describe what you write? 
I write hot, sexy, books where the hero and heroine can't keep their hands off each other. They also think they can fool around and not fall in love and I love to prove them wrong.

LOL. Sounds like a great 'core story' concept. What’s your writing process in a nutshell?
I think up the first line - it pops into my head- and then I canoodle on it until I figure out what it's about and who it's about. Once I have that in my head I figure out the ending and I write a one-page, bulletized plot outline that looks like the rantings of a crazy person.  The I open up the Word document and start with page one and write in a straight linear fashion. I cannot jump around - Although I really wish I could!

And I wish I could write sequentially like that!What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written? Number of years ‘seriously writing’, etc?
I started wriiting seriously towards publication three years ago.  ANoSC is my second completed manuscript (the first one was terrible dreck).  I had wonderful success with contests, many requests but was rejected many times for many reasons - "not a good fit" or "too sexy".  But, still, I firmly believe that contests are a fantastic way to get excellent feedback, improve your craft and to become acclimated to the submission process.  The comments will toughen you up for the rejections.  ANoSc was rejected twice before it sold to Entangled Publishing. 

I totally agree about contests. How did you pick your publisher?
I write category romance and there are only so many cowboys in that rodeo.  My choices of publisher were limted and once I was rejected there was only so much I could do with that book.  When I learned about Entangled starting a category romance line and that Lori Wilde and Alethea Spirison-Hopson were part of it, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.  I submitted it to them and crossed my fingers and toes.

What’s your ‘call’ story?
I'm a night owl so it was 11:30 pm and I checked my email and saw that I had one from Lori Wilde. It had only been one week since my submission and I figured that it was a rejection with that fast turnaround. I opened it up and had to read it about 900 times before I understood that she wanted to buy my book.  The Main Man was asleep and I woke him up to tell him and he went downstairs and popped a cork on a champagne bottle and we celebrated with a midnight toast.  He went back to bed and I didn't sleep a wink. ;)

Aw, how romantic! Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
Nope.  No agent and I still don't have one.  I'm a contract attorney in real-life and I have an intellectual property attorney at my disposal, so I don't really see the need at this point.  If I ever branch out into single-title, I'll get one.

What’s it like working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear?
My revisions were not so bad.  Now, I trashed an entire chapter - yep, hit the delete key and let it go- because it just didn't work, I knew it didn;t work and my editor (the wonderful Ann Kopchik) was honest with me. Revisions were hard but you have to leave your pride at the door and do whatever you have to do to make your book the best it can be. 

And your ego, right? So, how did you feel the first time you saw your cover? How much input did you have?
I cried.  I didn't see my cover until the day before release because Entangled keeps them close-hold but I loved it on sight. I filled out the cover art form and gave descriptions etc but I actually found the photo and attached it as a "this one speaks to me" suggestion. I was psyched that my cover artist, Heather Howland, used it.  I LOVE my cover.   

Aw, that's so great. What was release day like?
I took the day off and ended up sleeping a lot because I was sick as a dog.  Every couple hours, I would check Amazon and B&N and then go back to bed. It went live around 6:30 pm and then I was on the computer answering emails, FB messages etc. from friends.  It was an amazing day even with the TheraFlu haze. 

Sorry to hear you were sick. At least it was memorable! How did you market your book?
Blogging. Lots of blogging - thanks Kaily!  My publisher has ads on FB and Goodreads and I have them on different romance review sites. I didn't have a huge fan base but I have been amazed by the word-of-mouth promotion for my book. The lady/friend who does my waxing (TMI?) has my cover up in her spa and lots of her clients have bought the book.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned during the publishing process?
That so many people really do want you to succeed. We hear so much about evil agents, terrible publishers etc but I have also met so many people who genuinely want you to succeed.  I try to surround myself with positive people like that and ignore the jerks.

That's a great approach. What do you think were the factors that got you published?
Timing. Timing. Timing.  My book literally landed on the right desk at the right time.  Entangled was looking for new authors and I pushed send on that email so fast, I looked like one of the slo-mo characters in the Matrix. I was ready and didn't hesitate.  Cherry Adair talks about working hard so that you are ready when the opportunity comes to you. I worked hard to improve my craft and I submitted my book knowing that it might be rejected but also that I had no chance of getting it published if it stayed on my computer.

Yeah, there is a luck factor BUT a book still has to be good. What’s your 5 year plan look like?
I think I would still like to write category romance because I just love the genre.  But, I think by then I will want to try my hand at single-title and see how that goes. 

Good for you and yeah! What’s up next for you?
I just sold a Christmas novella, "Secret Santa baby" to the Flirt line at Entangled.  I have two projects - a paranormal and a super-sexy category - in acquisitions for the Covet and Brazen line at Entanged.  And, right now, I'm writing the book proposal for the three sequels to ANoSC.  Each of the "The Boys" in that book get their own HEA.

Congrats!! I love series and connected books :). What’s the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
Keep writing. Use contests strategically to ge your books out of the slush pile and on an editor or agents desk.  Finish the book, polish it and send it out.

Great advice of course. Now for some fun! If you were stranded on a desert island but could only take 1 thing from each of the following categories, what would it be & why:

Person: My husband.  I'd be guaranteed a fun time because he is so hilarious. (and he;s a former Naval Officer and went through survival training - we would be okay)
Animal: A chicken.  The incredible, edible egg!
Food: Ghiradelli caramel chocolate squares.  Why not?  You gotta have something sinful to eat.
Book: "Life After Joe" by Harper Fox.
Music: The Bruce Springsteen collection - not including anything post "Tunnel of Love" He became too preachy after that record . . . Just sing, dude. Don't preach at me.
Personal Item: A razor.

I hear ya on the razor! Robin, thanks so much for being here on Just Published today. It was so great to learn more about your journey and experience your path to publication with you. I'd wish you much continued and awesome success, but I know you're already well on your way. Big hugs!!

If you'd like to learn more about Robin and her books, please check her out:
Twitter:  @RobinCovington

AND Robin will be giving away a copy of her ebook to one random commenter through Thursday 5 p.m. EDT. Why don't we make it easy by asking: What makes a book a GREAT book for you?

Friday, July 6, 2012

I Got Cover...

Book 1 in my new Fabric of Fate series now has a cover! I love the swirly atmospheric effects over it and of course, I love the hot pink :). HOW did they know LOL? I think the hero is channeling a young Ryan Reynolds perhaps :). This will be my first paranormal romance and it's the first book of a 5-book series. I've always loved paranormal, but was a little hesitant about jumping into this genre at first because of the world building. In my mind, it has to be rich and strong for it to work effectively and I wasn't sure I was really ready when I started writing. But of course the ideas and the characters just wouldn't leave me alone and at the end of the day, I had no choice in the matter. When I think about paranormal stories, vampires and shifters immediately come to mind. It was important for me to ensure my paranormal series had a unique paranormal element in it, so you'll find no blood suckers or weres in these books! It's something a little (but not too) different.
As I've been thinking about promotion, I came up with the following for the series tag line:

A secret ancient race of humans with fantastical abilities, the Vadïm are on the brink of extinction. Will fate alone determine their future or can they carve out their own destiny?

I think it encapsulates the entire series arc at a high level! Although the cover's not there yet, the book is up for pre-order on site such as Amazon, B&N and other book sites that sell ebooks. How exciting is that?  Now, I only have to wait another 52 days for its release. How should I pass the time do you think?

The Vadïm are coming!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

You never call, you don't write...

I know, I know. I've been absent of late from the blog. I've been doing fly-bys on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date, but it just isn't the same. Life and reality have gotten in the way of my author-writing life. How DARE it, right?

I've been hard at work on the second book in my new Fabric of Fate series (book 1 releases at the end of August). I know I say this about all my heroes, but I am SO in love with the guys in this series. Sigh. Swoon. Drool. I hope you're going to love them just as much. I've also been thinking about promo and all that other stuff that takes away from actually writing time.

I also managed to get away for a week with the kids to Disney. And *gasp* I even managed to get in some reading. Can you believe it? I read the latest Jill Shalvis (Lucky in Love) and Tangle of Need from Nalini Singh. These are two of my all time favorite authors and I love to switch it up when it comes to genres.

What have YOU been reading and enjoying lately??

Monday, May 28, 2012

What Women Want - A Special Guest & A Giveaway!!

I have a special guest on my blog today, Keri Ford. Keri writes sexy, country, contemporary romances and is celebrating her latest release, Rough Ride. Take it away, Keri!.

Thank you Kaily so much for inviting me here today for a stop on my Roughneck Blog Tour!

I’m dishing on things women want. And not the movie. But in general. What do we want?

Me? With a husband, toddler and a dog—I want a maid! Have someone in to wash my clothes, clean my house, bathe my dog. Now that’s the stuff. Practical stuff. Either that or I’m just lazy.

We’ll stick with practical.

Gretchen Jones, heroine of Rough Ride isn’t so much into material needs like I am. She just wants someone to fill that empty space in the bed next to her. Lightly snore during the middle of the night to have something else to listen to besides the whine of the air conditioner and hum of the refrigerator. Feel a heartbeat against her back. His breath on her shoulder. Someone to beat the loneliness.

Not just any man will do. She wants Lane Iverson. And to get him, she’s going to have to work for it. In her own way, on her own terms. Terms Lane isn’t sure he can resist!

Leave me a comment! Let me know what YOU want! Today’s winner gets an ecopy of And She Liked It by Voirey Linger. Thanks so much Voirey for donating your book to my tour! Learn more about Voirey at her website, twitter and Facebook!

You do for family, no matter what. Lane Iverson knows that better than anyone. Harboring a secret about his mother’s death, Lane is counting the days until he finishes helping his brothers with some work and can head back to his hiding hole hours away. As long as he doesn’t have to face his three brothers every day, the guilt is easier to carry.

There is only one thing that can risk his plan. All of five foot tall with these deep eyes and a voice that shudders through him. The completely addicting, Gretchen Jones. She’s been watching him the entire time he’s been in town. With courage from her friends behind her, she confronts what she wants. To her surprise, that’s the easy part. Keeping her heart protected when she knows he’ll be leaving? Not so easy, but her only choice.

Read Chapter One
Barnes & Nobel
AllRomance Ebooks

Well, now know what I want! I want to read that book :). Check out Keri's website for more information about her books and The Roughnecks Blog Tour with all the giveaway, sneak peeks and blog stops:

You can also connect with Keri:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Got Blurb

Yay!! I have the blurb for Rise of Hope, book 1 in my Fabric of Fate paranormal romance series. Whew! That's a mouthful. I can't tell you how excited I am for this book. It's the first in a 5-book series about a secret race of humans. They can do really special things and are fighting against an enemy they barely understand. Oh, and there's kissing and stuff. Maybe even more than kissing ;). I can't give too much away, but I can share the blurb. It might be tweaked a little from here, but this is pretty much it:
A secret ancient race of humans with fantastical abilities, the Vadïm are on the brink of extinction. Many of their women are imprisoned by an organization known as The Assembly, their history all but lost . . .

Devon Monroe has been a prisoner her entire life. She’s determined to make sense of the strange markings on her body, to learn why no one may touch her, to find where she belongs. That means escaping into the unknown, where she has no choice but to trust her self-appointed protector.

Soldier for hire Seth Eastman has a job to do: deliver Devon to safety. When Seth discovers the markings on Devon’s body, he’s stunned at what it means. And at how she awakens his long-suppressed needs. As they struggle to escape detection and search for the truth of the Vadïm, can he ever hope to claim her for his own?

Below is just one of the many pictures I used as inspiration for Seth. I'll share some of the others over the next couple months. Some of the hotter ones ;).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wanna Score Some Great Stuff?

Most of those in the writing community know about the Brenda Novak Auction for the Cure of Diabetes 2012! It's been going now for several years and it's purpose is to raise money towards diabetes research. It's such a wonderful cause and the items available are just fabulous. Seriously. Fabulous! There are items for readers and writers alike and everyone in between. The auction runs through the end of May with some items up for bid throughout the entire period, others come up for a specific day, so it pays to keep a close eye on it.

I have my own personal connection to diabetes. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my last pregnancy (twins!) where prior I had no issues. Although I'm now fully recovered, I was able to experience for that peroid of time, in a small way, what it's like to be diabetic. And it aint fun, let me tell you. For a needle phobic? Having to test blood 4 times a day? Torture LOL. Just like a lot of people, there is diabetes in my family as well. It probably affects most people at some stage either directly or indirectly, right?

I'm fortunate now that I'm in a position to contribute myself to this wonderful auction. I have 3 items out there for bid:

I was one of a group of Carina Press authors who donated 2 Kindles to the auction. They're also loaded with a BUNCH of ebooks!
Amazon Kindle 3G
Amazon Kindle Fire/with Cover

I also donated my time for a first chapter/30 page critique!

AND I donated an awesome and amazing Steampunk 8GB USB drive! It also doubles as a pendant.

What are you waiting for? GO! Because it's such a wonderful cause, I'd appreciate it if you'd spread the word :).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just Published - Taryn Elliot

Okay, I know. I haven't done one of these for awhile, but it's time to get the ball rolling on them again. I just LOVE to hear about newly published authors, their journey so far and how they've felt about their experiences along the way. I think it's incredibly uplifting for aspiring authors and just plain inspirational for any writer. This week I have the fabulous Taryn Elliot. Taryn just published her first book and I'm so excited for her!! Let's look at the specifics of the first book:

Title: Uncross Your Heart
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Words: 78,000
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Date Published:  March 23, 2012


Sometimes starting over means facing your greatest fears…

Miranda Lyons is adept at pretending to be someone else, someone without a past. She’s able to forget for chunks of time that she comes from a very wealthy, notorious family. She’s given up most of the party-girl vices from her old life, including sex. But that’s before Nathan Cross barges into her life.

To all appearances, Nathan Cross is a simple man—devoted to family and friends, committed to his work. But nothing is simple about Nate’s feelings for Miranda. Fascination quickly blooms to outright lust, and not just for her body. He wants all of her, even the parts she hides from the world. But Miranda’s secrets threaten to drive away the one man capable of both helping her come to terms with her past, and supporting a future with a love that’s all about truth.

You can read an excerpt here!

So, let's get started with the specifics! How would you describe what you write? 
I write contemporary stories showing that the sexy and dramatic can go hand in hand. That love and loss are two sides of the same coin, and that no matter bad things get laughter and strength will always get you through.

Sounds like a great 'core story' concept. What’s your writing process in a nutshell?
Me and a notebook--usually a separate notebook for each story--settle into my bed with my 138 pillows. (only a slight exaggeration) And I free write ideas that come to me. Usually in a list kind of thing that only I can figure out. I scribble in there...a lot. I don't really plot too much, but I usually try to do my Goal, Motivation, Conflict at the very least. Then it's onto the internet. Pinterest is my new playground for finding settings. I'm very visual. Even if the final version doesn't exactly go with a particular picture, it gets my brain humming. Then I set things up in Scrivener--it's a writing program--and as I'm doing that I go through music. Every book has its own playlist. Then it's off I go. I write with friends at coffee shops, by myself into the middle of the wee hours of the morning, and first thing as I wake up. (and then I cry to my CP. LOL Good thing she loves me.) We usually trade work every Friday during our weekly chats. It helps to hold me accountable. Then I try to put the story away for a bit before I revise.

What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written? Number of years ‘seriously writing’, etc?
I waited a looong damn time to submit. I started writing with publishing as a goal around 2007. That's when I found Cari Quinn, my CP. My first submission was with Kelli Collins - head editor over at Ellora's Cave. It was a Twitter Contest back in September 2010. Unfortunately I wasn't chosen on that story, but she gave me a lot of awesome feedback. A lot of fear got in the way with a HEAVY dose of real-life that dereailed me for a little while. I got lucky with my 2nd submission about 10mos later. I have about 8-10 semi-finished stories in my 'junk-drawer' before I finally got this one right.

Don't we all ;)? How did you pick your publisher?
I decided to go with Ellora's Cave. It helps that my CP has been subbing to them for awhile, so she gave me some pointers. I did my research and based my submission on the house that I read the most at the time. I enjoy a lot of the stories that come out of EC. And I've met a lot of amazing authors through them as well which also swayed me their way. (Kaily, yes I'm talking about you!)

Aw, now I'm blushing LOL. What’s your ‘call’ story?
I was at work when I got the email. STILL have the email. I was hopping around like a lunatic. LOL Luckily my supervisor loved me and let me go squeal in a separate room and make my phone calls. LOL

I still have my first acceptance email as well. never gets old looking at it :). Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
No, I don't think I need an agent quite yet. I have great resources in the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and my local chapter.

What’s it like working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear? 
I got really lucky with my editors. (Yes, that's 2 now.) I'm actually harder on myself for revisions than my editor was. I'll tell you one thing...Misplaced modifiers are the bane of my existance!! I'm better now thanks to Jilly. I'm just getting started with my second editor with another publishing house. He's a real trip. I think we're going to have a lot of fun.

Oh, your editor is Jilly? I LOVE her. How did you feel the first time you saw your cover? How much input did you have?
I had to fill out an 'art sheet' and give the specs on my people and the story. From my experience if you let the cover artist have a few vague parameters and trust them to make it amazing, you'll get your wish. I asked for my couple to be back to front and see some of San Francisco in the cover and voila! I got a great cover. OH and yes...another happy squeal when I got my cover. AGAIN at work. I had everyone at my desk. *blush*

But that's pretty cool. What was release day like?
Insanity!! I didn't think it would be as crazy as it was. There was no sleep, massive emailing and FB and Twitter. Everyone's been so freaking awesome. It was the best and most exhausting day.

LOL. I'm so glad it was memorable! How did you market your book?
I've been pretty lucky with people willing to help out. (case in point, you've been so supportive). And my CP, Cari Quinn has given me a lot of pointers. I've sent it out to a few reviewers and will be doing a few interviews. I haven't bought any ad space as of yet. I'm weighing the pros and cons of that at the moment. 

Aw, thanks :). What’s the most surprising thing you learned during the publishing process?
It takes time. It takes soooo long to get from contract to release date when you're starting out. At least it feels like forever. I've been told to be patient. Not my strong suit. LOL I've learned that I have to let the book go and focus on the next one until edits roll through or you can make yourself insane.

And epubbing is SO much faster than traditional for the most part! What do you think were the factors that got you published?
That I was ready. A lot of personal stuff happened at the end of 2009 into 2010. I learned that life is way too short not to go after what you want. Doubts and fears aren't going to get in the way of dreams if you have a really great bunch of people in your corner. That and Cari is a bulldog. She keeps me fighting through the doubt.

I agree a support network is a key factor. What’s your 5 year plan look like?
5 years ago I had a sure and solid game plan, but the publishing waters are a little murky these days. The big 6 are looking less of a sure thing and smaller houses are climbing the best seller lists because they are willing to take risks on new authors that are hungry to get their work out there. Right now, I just want to keep getting contracts and strengthen my readership as well as my craft. I think I'm going to try my hand at Romantic Suspense and possibly some paranormal. 

Good for you and yeah...publishing is certainly changing. So, what’s next for you? 
I've started working with Entangled Publishing. As a New Year's present I got another SQUEE worthy email from them for ASHES AND WINE which will be coming out in April from their Ever After line with a second book in the works thanks to a great supporting character that needs her story told too. I'm also working on book two for Ellora's Cave. Nate's brother, Matt, will have his story out later this year.

Congrats!! I've heard some good things about them so far. What’s the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
WRITE. Write the story that moves you. Chasing trends will make you crazy, but if you write stories about characters you love and a story you can't wait to work on then I bet you'll find magic. And find people that believe in you. I definitely wouldn't have gotten this far without my family and friends. Lastly, you need to read. All too often when you get into the writing zone you think you don't have the time to read. You need to read. Not just to know what's going on in the publishing world, but it keeps you sharp. Sometimes it's just to see and absorb the storytelling side of things...plotting, character arc, etc...but also to see what NOT to do.

It's amazing how often this advice is similar. Now for some fun! If you were stranded on a desert island but could only take 1 thing from each of the following categories, what would it be & why:

Person: Cari Quinn, my CP. We'd never be bored. We'd tell each other stories all day long.

Animal: Stu, my dog. He's totally a mama's boy lately. He's technically my brother's dog but he sits next to me as I write all night long.

Food: Mac and Cheese, but since there's no stoves on a desert island...I'll go with Pineapple. ;)

Book: Born in Fire by Nora Roberts - I've read this book umpteen times. Maggie and Rogan are my happy place. Nora is why I'm a writer.

Music: Matt Nathanson's catalogue - He's my fave musician. He's a poet and absolutely enamored with music. All that passion comes through. And he's the sweetest guy ever. (I've met him.)

Personal Item: My Dad's wedding ring. I've been wearing it since he passed away.

Aw, that's so sweet. Taryn, I've really enjoyed learning more about you considering we've 'chatted' off and on online for awhile now! Thanks so much for being on Just Published and I'm so glad I've been able to cheer you on!! Good luck with the upcoming release!!

If anyone would like to learn more about Taryn or her books, particularly to find out what's coming up, you can find her here:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My RT Loot!

I'll be attending RT (Romantic Times Booklovers Convention) in Chicago this coming week and I can't wait. While I'm there, I'll be signing at the 2 book fair and giving stuff away. I'll have pens and trading cards. The boring, run of the mill stuff ALTHOUGH the pens are a nice, bright pink LOL! As always, if you'd like trading cards, all you have to do is send me an email request and I'll mail them out to you!

I'll also have what I think are pretty cool buttons. If you won't be in attendance and you'd like one, shoot me an email and I'll send you one :).

AND this guy. He's cute, right? He's a tiny puppy about 3 inches high with a  "Kaily" shirt and he's actually a magnet for holding papers on a magnetic board!! I thought this was SO cool. I've never seen a notice board holder like this before. I'll be giving him away at the book signings, so make sure if you're there, you stop by and say "Hi"!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Go ahead...ask me anything!

I haven't done one of these in a really, really long time. It's "Ask a Writer" time! With all my recent news and changes, I thought I'd put it out there for the week. If you have any questions about writing, being published, the publishing industry, my writing, process, path to publication or books specifically, here's your chance. I'll answer anything (within reason :)). GO!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I have a new look...

It's been a long time coming, but finally my new site is live! Check it out here. Yay! I'm so excited because I also updated my FB fan page and Twitter, along with this blog so that the look and feel all ties together. Stop by. Like me! Follow me!

Now I might be able to get some work done.

What do you think?

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm getting a new website...

OMG, it's gorgeous. I can't wait to unveil it. It's being updated/installed TODAY so if you happen to swing by my site for the next day or two, you'll get a blank screen or a maintenance screen. But don't worry :). It's gonna be SO worth it.

Oh and the picture is a hint. Yeah, it's PINK!

All the information on my current books will be included along with some additional information about myself (some random things) and FAQs. Anything else you like to see on author's websites?

I should probably do something to celebrate, right? Any unveiling celebratory ideas??

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Revisions ARE like brain surgery

I'm deep in edits for book 1 of my paranormal romance series. I mean, DEEP in edits. Some of the changes meant I had to disconnect some of my scenes, change the transitions. When I write, the rhythm of the book is extremely important to me and when I mess with that...I have to ensure I build it back up again so the flow is seamless. It's as if I need to make sure those fine emotional threads aren't thinned out too much throughout, that they hold firm and don't let the external plot overshadow them too much. I know. It's weird. I'm weird, because I love this process. I love to finesse with a book, I love to review words and phrases to see what could be made better and I love getting to spend time with my characters again. And although it's not "hard", revisions really are like fine, delicate, intricate brain surgery LOL.

Oh, and by the way? The book just got bumped to an August release. Yay!! And I hope to actually have a title soon...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wanna know what an author does when...

...she has sick kids home from school? Whimper. A lot! That didn't help much so I had to find something else, something that allowed me to be somewhat productive. I'm revealing it all here. Well, it's what I do anyway :).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coming Soon!

Well, Septemberish... The first book in my new series will be out around that time frame and I thought I'd start sharing a little bit about the series and the book. Although not too much 'cause I'm evil like that :).  I don't have a series name yet and the first book's title will also be changing, but I'm currently in edits and I can't wait for it to be out. The first book kicks off a paranormal romance series with an overall story arc about regaining hope, re-establishing trust and loyalty, reclaiming glory and seeking redemption, the themes in each of the books. They're fast paced, action packed and hot. If I do say so myself LOL. The relationship and emotional journey of the characters are still my first and foremost as each book deals with a couple struggling to come to terms with who and what they are and how they fit, especially with each other. Oh, and there are no vamps, weres, dragons, ghosts or angels in sight. This is something a little bit different, but grounded firmly in the contemporary world, which I love so much.

Look forward to sharing more of Seth and Devon with you soon!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Overused Words

Every writer probably has a group of words they tend to overuse in their writing. And that group could be large or small. Me? I seem to use God and f$%k a lot in each of my first drafts. Yeah, interesting combination, right? And then I have what I call "local" overused words, or words that are overused only for a particular book. I blame my characters for it. Totally. When I write, the characters become very real, actually they are real to me. As such, they have specific mannerisms, ways of thinking, moving and talking. I tend to write the book so a phrase or words that are very character specific end up being used a lot. My current manuscript? Nix. I seem to be using that a lot. "he nixed that idea" or "nix that". LOL. It fits with the tough, aggressive, in-your-face feel of my hero, but it's something to watch out for.

I'm always surprised to read a published book and pick up on them because I spend a great deal of time during the editing process to ensure readers wouldn't be aware of this issue. I recently read a book where the heroine's eye color was mentioned so often, it pulled me completely out of the story. The hero was always gazing into her "violet hued eyes". It kinda ruined the mood for me in several scenes.

As a reader, have you ever noticed a book that had overused words or perhaps a phrase? What were they? If you're a writer, what words do you have to watch yourself with :)?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And the winner is...

Wow! I had such great posts for Valentines Day memories. I hope everyone had a fabulous day and enjoyed doing whatever you wanted to do. I loved reading all the comments, especially considering I don't celebrate it. That is, my hubby doesn't celebrate it. But that's fine. Really. He doesn't need a special day. He does just great for the entire year...but don't tell him I said that :).

And now, the winner of my giveaway (chosen by random number generator) was LISA wolphcall(at)bellsouth(dot)net. Lisa, I'll be contacting you shortly to coordinate your gift card and to figure out which of my books you'd like!!