Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hard work pays off.

Tis the season - to be busy! With so many projects on the go its hard to keep things organized and on track. However, when you've got the motivation it can be a rewarding experience. Recently I began writing a western novel that I had hoped to get published via a New York publisher. I've revised that idea - not because its hard, or an out of touch idea but simply because at this stage in my career I don't feel confident enough to win an agent over to my talents.

Having said that, I don't think my writing is poor quality - I wouldn't get published if it didn't hold up to industry standards. No, I simply have come to the conclusion that the smaller publishing houses are a good experience and will help me create my name before I launch into a larger market so to speak.

If you get the chance, I highly recommmend you read the book The Career Novelist by Donald Maass. It's an excellent read and it will help you figure out where you want to go. Having a plan for your career is invaluable and necessary. You wouldn't start a business without a game plan, and your writing career is the same.

As an author you're making a product to sell to the consumer. It's a business plain and simple. Does it keep a person busy? For sure. Edits, rewrites, research, all take up time that you, the owner/author, must manage. I don't believe that it should consume every waking minute but a good five hours a day shouldn't be unheard of.

Am I guilty of spending more than that on the computer? Yes, I'm afraid so. What do I have to show for it. Three contracts ( The last came in yesterday for a full length western), my novella has been released, and the production on Master's Mistress - my Viking romance - has begun. That however is a tale for another day. I'm learning how to manage my time, how to juggle being a full time mother, wife, employee for another company, business owner - I do my own craft thing - and writer with a bit more finesse.

Its not always easy but it is rewarding. When I hear back from a fan that my work has touched them, that they've enjoyed what I've written I'm grateful that I've been able to do that. I'm touched that as an author, my work is an inspiration to others. Busy - yes, insane - probably...regretting it? Not for a moment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yeah! IT's now available.

My christmas Novella "Christmas for The Cowboy" has come out - just in time for those still shopping for X-mas presents.

Warning: May contain material that is steamy - read at your own risk! Feel free to leave a comment:

An Excerpt from the Novella:

“And now for those ladies who haven’t got a date. We have a treat. All the way from Hornbow ranch, we have a real live cowboy.” Tanya waved a hand at the curtain as it pulled back to reveal the shadowed figure of a man.

Holly swallowed, her gaze soaking in the sight before her. A dark felt Stetson sat at a rakish angle over his features. His broad shoulders flowed down into a chiseled torso; a matting of darker hair followed a familiar line down his body to disappear into the low riding Levis he wore. The long, tight jeans were threadbare in places, conforming to leave little to the imagination. Her mouth went dry as she noticed the way he was ‘dressed’. The faded lines of the denim flowed down along the ridge they hid, to the edge of the frayed spot near his upper thigh. With each step he took, she could see the muscles flex and ripple beneath the material. A large championship buckle sat in the middle of his lower abdomen, the edges of his flanks visible as he pulled the pants down with his thumbs in the belt loops.

A pair of shiny spurs embraced the worn black boots on his feet. Each step sent a faint but distinctly metallic jingle through the air. The tall man stopped at the end of the runway. He lifted the toe of one boot and rocked it back and forth in a slow, beckonin’ motion.

“Starting bids?” Tanya paused, a smirk on her face as she cast an appraising stare at the man standing beside her. “How about two hundred? Anyone with two hundred, that’s a real championship buckle, ladies. He was the bronc riding champion of 2007, as well as came in the top three in bull riding. Gals, this is a man who knows how to stay in the saddle.”

“Two hundred!” a voice rose from the back of the room.

“I have two hundred.” Tanya called, “Two twenty?”

“Three hundred,” another voice chimed in.

Holly smirked into her glass as she watched the other women in the room wave their cards about. With each bid that rose higher and higher, she risked looking at the man standing silently. His expression hadn’t altered, his stare scorched through her dress to kindle the desire that was never far away.

“One thousand dollars,” someone called. He didn’t move a muscle, just stood there silently, his hat pulled low. The faded denim of his jeans hugged the strong, hard length of his legs as he altered his stance to tempt her just a bit more.

Holly shifted, uncrossed and crossed her legs. She noted the way his pale eyes followed the movement and adjusted her dress a bit to reveal more leg. With each movement he swallowed, his body tensed and he shifted slightly in an attempt to hide his reaction.

“Twenty-five hundred dollars.” Holly waved her sign when he stuck his hands deep into his pockets. The swelling along her dress line started an ache deep within her, and she wondered idly if anyone would notice a damp spot on her dress. Her breasts tightened her nipples hardening to poke at the slinky fabric of her gown. Unashamed of her arousal she stared at him; her gaze followed his tongue as it licked at his lips.

A shocked hush fell over the room as everyone turned to stare at her. Slowly, murmurs began to swarm around the room. Speculation flew as the other women assessed her. She merely sipped at her drink, her gaze steady as she stared at the cowboy on display.

“Any other bids?” Tanya asked weakly. The silence fell over the room as she searched for any other bidders. Finally, after a few moments of stunned stillness she brought the gavel down. “Twenty five hundred dollars it is. Sold to the lady in gold.”

Holly smirked to herself and stood. She collected her wrap, clutch, and auction card. A young man with a clipboard appeared beside her, a smile on his face.

“Could you fill this out?” he asked softly.

Holly took it, filled everything out, and reached into her reticule. “Cash okay?”

“Cash, ma’am?” he croaked as she pulled a wad of bills from her purse.

He watched bug-eyed, as she counted out twenty-five hundred dollar bills and laid them atop the clipboard. His eyes followed her movements as she pulled out another five and tucked it into his pocket. “Would you be so kind as to ensure that I get a receipt, please?”

“Yes, Ms. Walker, I’ll leave one for you at the front desk. Are you checking out tonight?”

“No, I’ve booked my room for a few days,” Holly explained, and sauntered off. She paused at the edge of the stage and winked at her ‘date’ before putting an extra swing in her step and leaving the ballroom.

The elevator ping’ed its annoying sound as the doors swung open and she stepped inside, aware of the silent man standing inches from her bare back. Careful not to catch her stiletto heels on the edge of the track, she turned to catch her date’s lust filled gaze. His shadow loomed in behind her and she reached for the panel. Her long-nailed finger pressed her floor number and she peeked upwards, her body abuzz with sensations, desires, and she wondered if this time would be any better than the others.