Time for an Excerpt – For Witch or For Poorer

Hello, my friends. In two short weeks FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER, book 5 in my paranormal wedding planner series will release.

I’m excited about this book, because it centers around Giz, our tech wizard on the team who has some secrets of his own that he’s been keeping. I’m excited to share his story and happy-ever-after with you.

So to prepare for the upcoming release, I’m sharing an excerpt with you today. Are you ready?

FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER October 14th! Preorder: 

 AMAZON  | iBOOKS  |  B&N |   KOBO

EXCERPT

Giz watched his teammates in amusement.  If anyone saw them now, they would question how the five of them worked for the Tribunal, keeping peace between the various supernatural factions as well as hiding their existence from humans.

They were an interesting bunch. Devin was an elf and their team leader. He had recruited Connor and Jack for the team. They were twin werewolves who had run the Elf Forest as children with wild abandon along with Devin. Devin had also recruited Charlie, a sea nymph and former SEAL for the team. Charlie then dragged Giz on the team after they served together in the Navy. Of course, Charlie was the kick-butt-and-take-names guy, and Giz the backroom tech guy on the SEAL team and, come to think of it, on this team, as well.

Today, Devin had brought the team together for a very important project. One they were failing quite spectacularly at.

“Connor, you’re putting it on backward!” Devin growled.

“No, I’m not. It has to slide up and down in the front.”

“Exactly. Try and slide it.”

Connor pulled on the wood slats and they wouldn’t budge. “Shit.”

“Where did the instructions go?” Jack asked.

“I can’t find them,” Devin said.

Charlie leaned his tall frame down into the large cardboard box, throwing Styrofoam out of the way. “Oh, for Fates sake. There has to be a set of instructions in here somewhere.”

Giz shook his head. How many supernatural did it take to put together a baby crib? Devin and his wife Alex were expecting their first child in a few short weeks. A baby the team and their mates were all anxious to meet. The fact he or she would be the first elf-faerie-human baby, just added more tension for the already nervous father. Not something Giz would be telling Devin anytime soon.

Charlie stood up with a booklet clutched in his hand. “Found it!”

Devin held up his hands as if giving a speech. “Guys, we can’t screw this up. When we bought the crib, Alex asked me if we needed to pay the extra money for assembly.”

“The correct answer should have been yes,” Charlie responded, his lips quirking up into a grin.

“Yeah,” Jack said. “And what’s this ‘we can’t screw this up’ business. It’s not our fault you insisted you could put this together.”

“Do you honestly think Alex is going to let me live this down? And by extension, do you think-” Devin looked at Charlie, “your wife, Sheila.” He turned to Jack, “or your wife, Julia,” and then Devin glared at Connor, “or your mate, Olivia, is going to cut you any slack?”

For once, Giz was relieved he didn’t have a mate. He chuckled and regretted it instantly when four sets of eyes narrowed on him.

“What are you laughing at?” Devin asked.

“Yeah,” Connor and Jack said at the same time.

Charlie waved the instructions at him. “Why don’t you use your magic and put this together, oh wise and powerful warlock?”

Giz’s humor seeped away at the words. He would not be using his magic to put together the crib. Time to deflect. “Do you think Alex would let you live down me using my magic? That’s cheating. Give me the instructions and I’ll tell you doofuses how to put it together the right way.”

They groaned, and he held out his hand until Charlie passed him the booklet. “Quit whining. We have to put the changing table together after this. I would like to finish before midnight.”

They grudgingly got to work after Giz scanned the instructions and had them sort the pieces into piles. Giz was good at schematics and code and all things tech-oriented. The crib started to take shape under his direction. There would be no magical intervention. And he wouldn’t be sharing why.

He barely used his magic now. He relied on it only when absolutely necessary for their job, and more so to detect magic and put a stop to it. He was closer to the four men in this room than anyone else, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell them the truth. Even though they all had their own set of innate powers, magic could be more of a problem than an easy solution.

He could attest to that.

Connor’s phone rang and he checked the screen. “It’s Sully.”

Giz reached for the legs Connor had been holding so Charlie could continue attaching the frame to them.

“What’s up?” Connor said. He listened for a moment and frowned.

Giz hoped nothing had happened with the pack. There had been enough upheaval recently, they didn’t need more drama.

“Yeah, Jack and I will come see you this afternoon,” Connor glanced at Giz. “He’s with me right now. Hold on, I’ll ask. Are you free this afternoon?”

Giz nodded.

“We’ll see you at three.”

“What did Sullivan want?” Jack asked.

“The new head of pack security is putting in some updated security measures. He would like Giz to review them with him.”

“Is there a new threat he’s worried about?” Devin asked.

Connor put his phone back in his pocket. “Nothing specific he said over the phone, but if there is, Jack and I can get it out of him this afternoon.”

Giz didn’t like the nervous ripples running down his spine. His grandmother used to call it his witch sense. He didn’t ignore it since it usually meant something important was going to happen – good or bad – he didn’t know, but what he did know was it couldn’t be ignored.

 

So what do you think? Is Giz going to end up in trouble???

When a Drink Isn’t JUST a Drink

Last week my brother came to town, and we went out to dinner. When the waiter came to take our order, my brother said that I wanted a shot of tequila and then another shot should come every ten minutes after that. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, my brother is a bit of a comedian).

When the waiter came back to the table, he passed out the drinks and then set a shot glass with a lime in front of me, smiled, and told me he would be back in 9 minutes.

My brother and I gaped at him for a moment until the waiter said, “Just kidding. That’s water.”

And then we laughed, and laughed again. And even though my brother had gotten “one-upped”, he proclaimed the waiter was awesome!

So I got to enjoy a drink without really enjoying a drink!

I think that can also be said about the power of fiction. It allows us to experience other times, locations, people, and even worlds that we wouldn’t normally get to experience. And good fiction means that we enjoy these stories even when we aren’t really living in them 🙂

So we get the buzz without the hangover – I’ll always take another round of that!

Humor Me This

smiley-1876329_640When I write, I find that I can’t tell a story that doesn’t contain humor. It’s central to my being and therefore central to the characters and scenes I create. I think it’s because even in the hardest and toughest of times, humor plays a part. A smile or a simple laugh can get us through a tough day.

For my characters, humor is a tool. For some, it’s their friend and they embrace it and share it. For others, they use it as a weapon to keep people from getting too close.

And there is something poignant about humor in romance/suspense. It serves as a wonderful foil when things aren’t going well. To have the ability to release tension through laughter moves the story forward.

So sometimes a laugh, isn’t just a laugh. It serves a greater purpose. When you read do you like to laugh even when you want to cry? That to me is an amazing story. Smiling with tears in my eyes. As a writer, my goal is to bring you to both. Hopefully, I’ll continue to do so 🙂

Picture This

wedding-dress-905044_640

In three short weeks IN SICKNESS AND IN ELF (aka ISAIE) will be released. And leading up to that celebration, I will be sharing more tidbits with you. Tidbits with pictures – what I call teasers. There is something so wonderful about offering a line or two of the story and linking it to a picture. Pictures convey mood and help give dimension to the words. Did the picture above help bring you a little further into the story? I hope so!

If you would like to see some more hints about the ISAIE universe, you can also visit my boards on Pinterest! Haven’t been there before? Well I have boards for all my books. Come check them out HERE.

What has been so great about this new series is that it centers around weddings and wedding planners but with a twist! These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill weddings. Nope. They are weddings for paranormal. And every time I think about the fact that my stories are about paranormal wedding planners it makes me giggle. So much to play with in this fun-filled world of mine. And even though the story has humor, it also has mystery and romance! A wonderful trifecta of storytelling, if you will.

So come along with me and share in the fun!

 

The Funny in Writing

Today I have written an article for Savvy Author on the power of humor in writing. Funny should not be relegated to the back corner. It can be as powerful as the drama around it…so check out my post by clicking HERE

Do I Want the Editor Behind Door Number One?

And let me tell you, this is NOT an easy decision to make! I got my sample edits back2014-03-09 22.06.19 from the five editors for review. Each email I received was like a new gift waiting to be unwrapped. You may think that this is a bit masochistic of me, since editors tell you what does not ‘work’ in your manuscript, however I am taking a different view of things this year.

So what did I find in these sample pages?

Well, first of all let me tell you that each editor provided me with DIFFERENT insights, which was very enlightening. Yes, there were some repeats on grammar and punctuation suggestions, but otherwise, each editor had a unique take on suggestions.

What else did I find? Redline changes and comment bubbles peppered my pages. Some of the suggestions were quite EXTENSIVE. (ughhhh) Now, before you wonder if I curled up in the fetal position and started mumbling to myself, the answer is no. (Okay, maybe a little hyperventilating took place, but there was no mumbling, honest).

It may be time again to remind my followers and those of you who have just joined this merry-go-round (and myself) that I have a new mantra this year. BE FEARLESS

So I won’t get discouraged at the suggestions, rather I look at it as opportunity for improvement. Ultimately I want my manuscript to be better. If not, then I shouldn’t waste the time or money it takes to find an editor in the first place!

So how in the world did I make my decision? Cause that’s what you’re waiting to hear, right?

I read the sample edits once. Then I read them a few days later so that emotion was taken out of the equation. During this time, one of the editors informed me that her calendar had filled up and she would not be able to work with me until the fall, so the pool was reduced to four.

Then I had a published author friend review the edits as well. I wanted someone who has been through the editing process before take a look at the samples. Why wouldn’t I leverage someone who has knowledge that I lack? Ultimately the decision was mine to make, but it was nice to hear her take on the comments.

So I narrowed the four down to two. The interesting thing about the two I chose as ‘finalists’ was that their edits were much more extensive than the other editors. AND their suggestions made me think AND made me improve my pages.

Then I read the two again and decided to go with Door #2. Henceforth, I will call her Miss Editor or M.E. for short.  What were the make it or break it things for me?

M.E. got my humor. I write funny and if that had been lacking there would have been no further discussions needed.

M.E.’s suggestions were good and numerous (and did I say good?). She was great at ‘little things’ like word suggestions, but she was also great at big-picture thinks and questioning things that didn’t make sense.

M.E. will read my story more than once. She will actually provide edits for me and then I am going to re-work the pages and she will then provide another edit! I found this a huge positive since I am new to this process.

M.E. answered my EXHAUSTIVE list of questions with patience and professionalism. Remember last week, I mentioned that this is a professional relationship. One of the last questions I asked M.E. before offering her the job, was if she would be okay when I didn’t agree with her suggestions. Afterall, the book is mine and so there will be times when I will not use all of her changes or comments. She was okay with that. She is a writer too, so I think that helps that she sees both perspectives as well.

And I think the important takeaway in this process is that an editor that is GREAT for me, might now be great for you. It comes down to your gut sometimes. Don’t ignore your gut, it is right most of the time.

So now, my baby is in the hands of my editor. And the anticipation is building. Who would have thought this self-pub journey would be so emotionally demanding?

BE FEARLESS! BE PATIENT! LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! (I’m building up quite a list, aren’t I?)

GH day 93 – aka ‘Happy Father’s Day…Again!’

Today is Father’s Day. What, really you say? Wow, I was not expecting such sarcasm from you this early in the morning. The reason why I begin this way, is that if you remember, last sunday (GH day 86) I went to see my father and wished him a Happy Father’s Day, with card in hand and all! I won’t rehash that wonderful screw up, so go check out that blog if you haven’t already.

Today is a day that I will spend some time talking about my father and his influence in my writing. Now, a while back (GH day 76) I talked about how much of a wonderful story-teller my dad is and how that has influenced me greatly. But there is another important aspect that my father gave me that plays a HUGE role in my stories. What is it, you ask?

Humor. My dad is a funny man. I have laughed every day of my life with him, even when I want to yell at him sometimes (he’s stubborn too). He sees the funny in people and relays that through stories and jokes. He will even act out an event so that we can see the funny since actions provide humor as well.

Now, for me, I am a combination of my parents where humor is concerned. As I told you in my Mother’s Day blog, my mom is sarcasm and wit and I inherited that from her. And with a dose of my dad’s humor in my gene pool, that is sometimes a deadly combination. But is it me and it is reflected in my writing.

So today, when I present my father with a second card in a week and spend the day with him picking on me, I take all of this wonderful material and use the mechanics in my writing. My father is a trooper when it comes to my writing, he actually reads it! After I have removed ‘certain’ scenes, that is. He’s not big into paranormal, but the manuscripts he likes are the ones that have humor in it. Not a big shock, right? Humor translates across all genres.

Thanks dad for being funny (now don’t let that go to your head). Happy Father’s Day again!

GH day 17 – aka ‘Time to Face the Beast Day’

For those of you who have been following my project plan so far through the fun and not so fun tasks preparing me for published authorhood, I thank you. Today, you are coming along with me on a scary ride. It is time to face the beast and beginning editing Mind Sweeper, my Golden Heart® finalist manuscript.

What is the beast? file6321291039759

It takes on many forms and I will expound on a few examples for you:

1) Self Doubt – yep, you got it. Writers are full of self-doubt. We have this ridiculous compulsion to write and write often, but we worry that our work is not good enough. But, you say, this manuscript is a finalist! The twisted truth is that it makes my self-doubt creep into Defcon 1 status. The stakes are higher for me and as I begin to read the words I wonder if they need to be tweaked even more. Second-guessing becomes a large player in this game.

2) Familiarity – now you wouldn’t think that familiarity would be a beast, but you would be wrong. I write funny. Or at least I think I do, or I hope I do, or… okay self-doubt we’re done talking to you now take a hike! Okay, back to my point. My work is humorous. Now think about the first time your heard a funny joke and laughed. Now think about the second time you heard it, not so funny…and the third time? You get my drift. I have read my book a number of times. So many, that the ‘funny’ loses it ‘fun’. So I have to not freak out and delete out those lines. Instead I have to remember that I laughed when I wrote it.

3) Mind Tricks – this is especially hard when looking for typos. When you read your manuscript your brain adds the missing words into the sentence or spells the word correctly even though it is clearly not right. Quite vs Quiet. My vs me. The list continues. And what is it with the word ‘to’ that makes me leave it out of sentences altogether?  I realize it is only two letters, but come on!

So these are some (definitely not all) of the beasts I face when editing. I will keep you apprised as I spend some time working on my manuscript. Since I write paranormal, hopefully I can keep the beast as part of my writing and not part of my psyche.