Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I’m Abigail Benton, and this is what my life has come to: babysitting after school hoodlums during the day and serving up artery-clogging breakfast food at night.
Are my parents getting their money’s worth for my college education? Doubtful.
Still, I’m determined to make the best of doing community service in inner-city Clavania. I’ve struck up a friendship with an intriguing homeless man named Eli, who smells like melted caramel and spends most of his time sweeping the community center parking lot.
He's the first homeless person I had ever met who smelled so good.
Come to think of it, Eli was the first homeless person I had ever met period.
When tension between rival gangs heats up and I get caught in the middle, Eli is the one who comes to my rescue. I want to help him get off the streets; he just wants me to stay out of trouble and leave him alone.
Why am I so drawn to him? Why do I want to be involved in fixing his life when I so desperately need to straighten out my own.
People here know me as Eli. I spend most of my days keeping the parking lot clean and watching people. Then one day Abigail Benton shows up and treats everything like a big joke. The hood is no place for little Miss Sunshine. I don't want her giving me vocational advice or making sure I've eaten supper. If she doesn't watch out, she's going to get herself killed.
“You just don’t get it, do you?” Eli’s eyes had been roving all over the room. His question surprised me because I wasn’t even sure he had been listening to what I was saying.
“I don’t get what?”
“That this isn’t Kansas, Abigail. And you don’t have any ruby slippers to protect you. Those men will cut you. They’ll do things to you I don’t even want to think about. If you have to go to the center, fine. If you have to work at the shelter, do it. But don’t stop anywhere on the way and don’t linger in your duties, or you could end up in a bad way. A very bad way.” Eli had yet to make eye contact with me. He finished off the first sandwich, took the napkin from the table and wrapped it around the second one.
“I’m scared enough without your lecture. I do get it, okay?”
A smile quirked his lips. Raising his face, he studied my ceiling for a few seconds. Then his eyes finally settled on me. Hunger swirled in their dark depths, and not for food, for me.
My breath caught in my throat. The intense stare from his eyes struck me like lightning, and I felt tingling throughout my whole body. In a swift movement, he stood and the chair turned over. I stood as well. Stalking over to me, he stopped just shy of touching me. His breath warmed my cheek, the heat of his body radiated outward.
Was he going to kiss me? He moved so that his mouth was near my ear. The hair of his beard brushed my cheek. What was he waiting for? What was he going to do? What should I do? Little stars danced before my eyes, and I realized I was holding my breath. I willed myself to suck in some air, and when I did, my breasts touched his chest. There were barriers of clothing, but in that moment it didn’t matter. I knew the second he felt me, because his breath hissed.
“Good. I want you to be scared. I want you to get it. But I don’t think you do. The men at the shelter talk about you. They wonder what you taste like.” His low voice reverberated through me. He paused and let that bit of information sink in. My heart skipped a few beats. “You should stop making yourself so available,” he whispered before stepping away, picking up the paper wrapped food, shoving it in his pocket, and letting himself out of my apartment.
Coffee Time Review gave Holding Out for a Hero 4 coffee cups, its outstanding rating. Hollie writes, “Holding Out for a Hero is a heartwarming story showing that not only are there good people in this world but that the kids everyone has given up on can also be good if given a chance.”
Find the review here:
Holding Out for a Hero is published by Resplendence.
It is available digitally at Amazon.com, Fictionwise.com, eBookwise, All Romance EBooks, and other digital retailers.
Want to learn more about Jennifer? Visit her website at
or her blog at
CONTEST: anyone leaving a comment here and sending Rebecca Savage a message via the contact form on her webpage will be entered to win free pdp of Rebecca Savage book of your choice:)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Pets In Our Lives, Pets In Our Books
Rebecca, thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog!
Friends and I were talking recently, teasing one friend because in all her books either the hero or heroine has a dog. I like that, and books I write include pets. Showing a character that is sympathetic to cats or dogs adds a dimension to the person. A gruff man who befriends a scruffy dog lets the reader know that the tough guy is not as heartless as he wants others to believe. He has instantly become more sympathetic to readers. In the movie “Hang ‘Em High,” Clint Eastwood is introduced to the audience driving cattle across a river. He gets off his horse and wades back into the river (wearing chaps) to save a young calf. Fast on his heels is a posse ready to hang him. Because of his compassion, we know this man has to be a good guy.
A heroine with a pet comes across as kinder and more nurturing. This is, of course, if the pets are well cared for. I hate, hate, hate books where a pet dies. Remember THE YEARLING? OLD YELLER? No thanks! Don’t want to read it. Our family’s pets are all rescued animals that have become family members. I know their life span is shorter than ours but don’t want to be reminded when I’m reading for pleasure.
Pets don’t have to be cats or dogs. At a critique meeting once, I told my cp’s (critique partners) about my neighbor who raises beautiful rare hens. Yes, they are beautiful! Called blue-reds, they are rusty red with soft bluish wing and tail feathers. My citygirl cp thinks I should move into the city, too, and said, “You have to get out of the country now!” The first “real” mystery I read was by Erle Stanley Gardner and featured a parrot. I was about nine and don’t remember the title of the book.
In my upcoming June 4th release, which is a time travel romance with suspense elements titled OUT OF THE BLUE, there are two pets. Deirdre Dougherty, the time traveling Irish clairvoyant healer heroine, has a cat named Cathbad. Brendan Hunter, the police detective hero, has a huge mutt named Prince. All my books have pets included—and I promise that none of them dies in the book!
Thanks so much to Rebecca Savage for letting me post on her blog! Please visit mine, A Writer’s Life, at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com or my website at www.carolineclemmons.com. I’m on Facebook under Caroline Clemmons (one of several) and Twitter as #lovesthewest. I’d love to hear from you.
Please visit my blog for frequent contests. All you have to do is comment.
Good morning, Rebecca. Thank you for having me over as a guest. My latest Time Guardian story is about to be released--June 25th. I'm extremely wired with this event. The reason I wrote this novel is one of those choices authors make... Hence, my focus on craft here today. So why did I write that story?
SWORDSONG was the Time-Guardian novel I wrote after reading the earlier works of Karen M. Moning before my Time Guardians series was contracted for publication. I kept thinking I seriously needed to simplify my world and write a story in my series more like hers set in the "real" present, i.e. something more familiar for readers who just might not care for being thrown into a whole new world. This is one of those crazy decisions we writers make never knowing if it will pan out for us. :) But SWORDSONG set off a whole new layer of worldbuilding in my over-sized fantasy world I've created--one that coexists with ours. I wanted to make the story world more tangible for the reader. Okay, that's if you can call a novel tangible in any sense other than it's a physical object, i.e. a book! But everyone was writing these new worlds interwoven within the fabric of the one we occupy. I just had to try the marketability angle. So, I whipped up some ambiance...
We are soldiers of Truth.
We are students of the past.
We are guardians of Time.
We live, and, from living, we must die.
Death is not risk.
Death is adventure.
Death is part of the Cycle.
Woe be to he who fears the Call.
~Time Guardian Creed (www.timeguardians.com)
My creed worked to define reality for my lads regardless of the setting. It's reality. A reflection of their goals--life in general. These men time travel. They can't risk screwing up history. So, their creed is kind of blunt and harsh. But it hits home as they ponder a what if... Just as I had asked those same thoughts about paradox. Time travel and prehistory was my cup of steamy tea that I read for so long. I studied archaeology too long not to send my characters back to times and places we can never visit. Why? I can answer that. ;) Oddly enough, a psych test I took during a continuing education class when I was about 19 noted I lived in the past. I guess this aspect of my writing is just a reflection of who I am--my curiosity and fears. Then again, I keep writing romances that reviewers label thrillers, suspense, etc. I just don't know what goes on inside my head! *sigh* Although, I'm always explaining to my critique partners that if a story has a chase aspect, it should ring true. And time guardians safeguard history. They've got to beat the clock as the pages move forward. Ticking clocks and chases... Aye, there's the Time-Guardian rub.
But get ready to laugh.
My first and never-to-see-the-light-of-day manuscript was a time travel set in someone's mind because she was comatose. Crazy setup! Yes. But that's not the funny part! I hit delete and sent that unfinished 1000-page monster on its way to the happy hunting ground. Back to meet its moment of creation in the great loop of existence... :) Okay, maybe that's nonexistence because nobody knows about that story but me. Does a story that never is read by an audience continue to ring with glory and romance like a circulated book? Oh, here I go again with those annoying pontifications.
Alas, time travel hits home with me. So, I wrote SWORDSONG because it rang true to my interests and formal education as well as I gambled on the trend in setting a coexisting fantasy realm smack dab in the "now" with us. Should I chant here that we write what we write because those subjects are familiar to us even though they are deeply buried within our subconscious? It's true. We write what we know--even if the knowing is something we just experienced in person, reading, or by viewing a documentary. Humans innovate all the time. There is very little inventing going on... Take some archaeology classes if you don't believe me. Remember, this article is about understanding ourselves. If we search inward long and hard enough, we'll find that everything we write about is a part of us. And, it can't hurt to make the world more approachable and digestible for the reader.
Thanks for having me here today, Rebecca. If you have a magic wand, please wave it at me. I so want to time travel! ~Skhye
Join my fan group to be in my monthly drawing for a Time Guardian Fan Kit and more! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skhyemoncrief/
Read 1st chapter of SWORDSONG http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/2008/04/10/skhye-moncriefs-swordsong.aspx
Read another (shorter) excerpt from SWORDSONG http://www.thewildrosepress.com/swordsong-p-4082.html
Purchase SWORDSONG in print at amazon http://www.amazon.com/Swordsong-Skhye-Moncrief/dp/1601547390/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276532118&sr=1-5
What are reviewers saying about the Time Guardians series...
"Arthur is a masterpiece..." HE OF THE FIERY SWORD's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio
"FORBIDDEN ETERNITY... spine-tingling suspense. The story is dynamite; it explodes off the page and leaves you breathless for more." ~Tulip, LASR
“THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller." ~Snapdragon, LASR
"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR
Stories available at www.amazon.com, www.bn.com, www.borders.com, and www.thewildrosepress.com
"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi
Leave message here and on Rebecca Savage's webpage contact form and be entered to win free pdf of Rebecca's book, whichever you choose;)
Saturday, June 12, 2010
1. How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
My website is http://www.jaletac.com, Facebook under Jaleta Clegg, Twitter under ursulasquid, and my blog The Far Edge of Normal on Blogspot.
2. Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?
I write mainly science fiction - space opera, where the characters and stories are the main focus. My first novel, Nexus Point came out late last year. It's a tale of desperate survival on a primitive planet. Only sort of - the main character literally crashes into the middle of a undercover investigation into drug smuggling on a planet that for cultural reasons can't know about advanced technology. Complicated? Yes. Add in a dash of romance just to keep everyone on their toes. It was a lot of fun to write. I absolutely love the characters.
I've got several short stories in print, mostly comic horror. I'm working on a vampire story that just makes me laugh. What happens to the poor vampires when people become too medicated and also have high cholesterol? I love twisting things on their heads and poking fun at tradition. The first section of the vampire story is on my website as a teaser.
3. What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
I love quirky shows like White Collar or Psych. I also love bad, campy sci-fi and disaster movies. Nothing beats a bowl of popcorn and an atrociously bad movie. My kids and I make fun of them mercilessly. Mystery Science Theater 3000 doesn't hold a candle to our voiceovers.
I also love piecing quilts, playing with colors and textures and shapes, fitting them to the person I'm making the quilt for. I hate the quilting part, though.
I love my day job, too. Where else can you walk into work in a full Star Trek Admiral's uniform and no one bats an eye? I get to make costumes for the actors, run Star Trek LARPing sessions, teach kids about space and astronomy and physics, and impersonate my boss at his desk and on the phone. We're getting a digital planetarium system this summer. I can't wait to start playing with it! http:///www.spacecamputah.org
4. What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
Music sets my mood. It really depends on what I'm writing, although once I get involved, I don't even notice the music anymore. I was writing a big fight scene, very intense and gory. I finished the scene and realized my background music was the overture from "Somewhere in Time." Didn't fit at all, but I didn't even realize it was so wrong.
Nexus Point was written mostly to Air Supply's Greatest Hits. My iTunes library is a source of wonder to teens. It has a little bit of everything from very strange folk songs and Dr. Dimento to New Age spirituals to Heavy Metal to Classic Rock. I've even got opera in my playlists.
5. "All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
I laugh. So many author photos include their cats you'd think it was a requirement, especially if you write speculative fiction. We own a cat, the second one recently died. Considering she was 16, it was about time. The one we have left is just as old, toothless, and a source of endless amusement. I'm not much of a pet person, though. I can kill any houseplant in a matter of weeks. How do you think pets fare? The cat belongs to my husband and kids, not me. He stole a spot in my author picture by climbing into my lap while we were shooting. As soon as the camera left, so did he. Silly animal.
6. What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
Main advice: Just do it. Write, and write, then write more. Keep at it. Eventually you'll think, "This is good enough to be published." At that point, find some good editors who aren't necessarily your friends to read through it and rip it apart for you. If you can't handle that, you aren't ready for publication.
Broad Universe is a great resource for those newly published and established. If you're a woman author, especially in science fiction, it's hard to be taken seriously. BU helps promote works by women writers. It's also a great source for support and friendship.
For those still looking for direction and help, Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com) is great, although it can be overwhelmingly large. Critters (http://www.critters.org) is also a great resource if you're looking for feedback and aren't quite ready for the brutal editing phase.
7. What writers inspired you to become an author?
Andre Norton always wove such incredible tales of worlds that never existed and made space travel so exciting. I love her classic SF.
I've been fortunate to meet lots of authors by working several local conventions. Each of them inspires me. Watching Brandon Sanderson go from newbie to NYT bestseller has been very inspirational. He's not the only local author that's made it to the big time, either. Dan Wells (I am not a Serial Killer), James Dashner (Mazerunner), Julie Bellon (my neighbor who writes LDS Romance), Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary) - It's fun to meet them and find out how they made it. Each did it their way and all of them are successful. Not to mention funny.
8. Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
CONduit in Salt Lake City UT the end of May. Fun local con. I do the hospitality suite. This is my first year attending as a published author not just a local fan. I'm excited for our Guest of Honor - Barbara Hambly, another one on my list of author favorites.
Priestess of the Eggstone: The Fall of the Altairan Empire Book 2 will be out early next year.
CONTEST: post here a comment to Jeta & one on my webpage and I'll enter you for a free fdp! PS : Put in a phony cell phone number on the contact form...still can't figure out how to get that question off that form:)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
BIO: Linda Rettstatt
Linda Rettstatt began her writing career while clerking at The Brownsville Telegraph, her small Pennsylvania hometown newspaper. Though hired to take classified ads, Linda eagerly agreed to assume the task of writing reviews for community theater productions, for which her sole compensation was a by line. (It was a job no one in the newsroom wanted.)
Her passion for writing led Linda into the world of women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Writing about heroines who had to draw upon their inner strength to overcome loss or adversity seemed only natural given her years of work as a psychotherapist.
Linda’s first novel, And the Truth Will Set You Free, was published in July, 2007 by Wings ePress and was the publisher’s best seller for the first month follow its release. And the Truth Will Set You Free finaled for a 2008 Eppie Award.
Three other novels—Pieces, The Year I Lost My Mind, and Finding Hope—followed in the next eighteen months with Wings ePress. Finding Hope has finaled for a 2010 EPIC e-book Award. Her fifth novel, The Restoration of Abby Walker, was released by Wings ePress in September, 2009. Next Time, I’m Gonna Dance was released on January 2, 2010 by Champagne Books. Shooting Into the Sun was published on May 1 in e-book, and Love, Sam is contracted by Champagne Books for November, 2010 publication. In addition, Renting to Own will be published in August by Class Act Books. Linda’s short stories have received recognition from Pennwriters, Inc., Writer’s Digest, and Long and Short Romance Reviews.
Of her writing, Linda says, “I write for women—stories of love, strength, humor, and hope.” Readers have compared her work to that of Elizabeth Berg, Nicholas Sparks, and Sherryl Woods.
Linda is the owner and moderator of The Women’s Fiction Writers Exchange, an online critique group of women writers from across the United States and Canada. She has served as contest judge for the River City Romance Writers and EPIC’s New Voices and EPIC Award competitions. Linda grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and currently resides in Southaven, Mississippi. Excerpts and reviews can be read at www.lindarettstatt.com and her blog can be viewed at www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com.
Rebecca, thanks so much for having me here today as part of my Sailing into Summer Virtual Blog Book Tour.
I’m often asked how I began writing. My background is in music and social work. Music satisfied my creative urges for a long time. But one day when I’d had my calendar in my clinical practice cleared by cancellations, the office manager suggested I, “go back to your office and write that book you keep talking about.” (I think she just wanted to get me out of her office.) But I took her advice. I started writing And the Truth Will Set You Free. That was early in 2004, and I’ve not stopped writing since.
I read a variety of genres, but have a particular love for women’s fiction—books that feature strong but vulnerable heroines who have to draw more deeply into their inner resources to overcome some obstacle. I was recently asked what I’ve learned from each of my novels or my characters. Never having considered how my stories have affected me, personally, I gave the question some thought and came up with the following:
And the Truth Will Set You Free: I learned that, even when our dreams are offered to us in the form of a second chance, it still requires courage and risk to take hold.
Pieces: I learned that there is inside each of us the need to know where we come from.
The Year I Lost My Mind: I learned that love—true love—can be tested and tried and will hold when stretched to new limits.
Finding Hope: I learned that, even when we question our choices and reinvent ourselves, we may be led right back to where we started—but with a renewed peace.
The Restoration of Abby Walker: I learned that sometimes what seems to be the worst possible event can launch us into a new and fulfilling life.
Next Time I’m Gonna Dance: I learned that we sometimes face a darkness that we have to approach alone, but that the love of family and the bonds of friendship light the path ahead.
Shooting into the Sun: I learned that the boundaries we construct may keep us safe, and they may also isolate us unless we are willing to take risks and color outside those lines.
Which brings me to my newest novel, Shooting into the Sun. I’d like to share a blurb and brief excerpt:
Nature photographer Rylee Morgan has created an orderly, settled life for herself. When she finds an advertisement that might lead to her estranged father, she takes a photo assignment to the west coast to investigate. With her younger sister, Lexie, in tow following the breakup with her fiancé, Rylee is focused on two things: finding the man who may be her father and doing her job. Lexie lives life by her own set of rules, or lack of rules, and Rylee’s plans are further unsettled when Lexie invites a hitchhiker to join them on their journey.
When people know they’re about to do the wrong thing, they don’t look you in the eye. Parents were no different.
~ * ~
“Never shoot into the sun.” Her father repositioned himself to pose for the photograph.
“Why not?” Rylee Morgan lowered the camera and squinted at him.
“Because it’s a rule. If you follow the rules, you’ll avoid trouble, and you’ll create beautiful pictures.” He stood in the back yard, the white aluminum siding of their house
providing a backdrop.
She wanted to believe him. Rylee snapped the photograph, capturing his image.
He motioned to the camera bag he’d set on the ground beside her. “You remember how to switch the lenses?”
“How about one more picture of us?” He pulled the camera from her hand and drew her close to his side. At twelve years of age, she was nearly his height. Extending his arm, the camera lens reflecting their images, he pressed the shutter release.
He handed her the camera, then hugged her against him. “I love you, angel. Don’t ever forget that.”
She choked on her words. “You don’t have to leave, Daddy.”
“Yes, honey, I do. I’ll talk to you soon, though.”
“Take me with you.” She knotted her fingers in his sleeve.
A muscle twitched along his jaw. “I can’t.” He held her for another moment, and then pried her hands free. Bolting to the car without a backward glance, he pulled from the
“Daddy!” Rylee chased after him. At the curb, she raised the camera and clicked the shutter frantically until she heard the whirr of rewinding film. Tears blurred her last
glimpse. His car turned and disappeared from her view. She hugged the Nikon against her chest and cried.
~ * ~
Never shoot into the sun—the voice played in her head. The rules she had learned early in her career never failed to produce flawless photographs. The rules she had developed for life had not served her as well. In the sixteen years since her father’s departure, Rylee had kept herself
busy, focused on her career, and safe inside her well-constructed boundaries.
Rylee resituated the tripod and checked the sun’s position. She stepped behind the camera, looked once again through the lens and waited, watching the slight movement
of the leaves. Water bubbled over rocks. Slowing the shutter speed, she could create a smooth cascade effect. Blue sky and white clouds reflected on the stream’s surface. This
stretch of the rapids where the Youghiogheny River ran through Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania was her favorite spot for shooting.
Her thumb rested on the shutter release, prepared for just the right moment. The breeze subsided and the shadows shifted. Then, just as she pressed the button, some jerk
decided to walk on water.
Rylee lifted her head and stared. A hiker made his way across the exposed rocks and into the middle of the narrow river—directly into the center of her view. She walked to the
water’s edge and, with hands on hips, shouted, “Excuse me! You’re ruining my shot.”
He raised his arms and stretched, his face turned toward the sun. His shirt pulled up to expose a narrow waist and flat stomach.
Rylee dragged her eyes away from his body, cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted again, “Hey! You’re in the way.”
The hiker turned and shielded his eyes with his hand. “What?”
2010, Champagne Books
Visit my website for buy links to Shooting into the Sun and to read excerpts of my other books.
I believe our writing is largely influenced by the authors we read. I have an unlikely assembly of favorite authors who, I can only hope, influence my work: Elizabeth Berg, Kris Radish, Lisa Scottoline, Janet Evanovich, Sherryl Woods, Elin Hilderbrand, Nicholas Sparks, Diane Mott Davidson, Nevada Barr, Randy Susan Meyers… Well, as you can see, these authors write differing genres from women’s fiction to romance to mystery. What they have in common is the ability to create captivating characters and tell stories that are realistic, touching, funny, intense, and that make me think. They challenge me to work harder at the craft.
As for what’s coming in the next few months? Renting to Own will be available in August from Class Act Books. It’s the story of a very young, but mature single mother trying to stabilize her life for herself and her four-year-old daughter. And in November, Champagne Books will release Love, Sam, a story that shows us how love transcends death and self-acceptance is the key to happiness.
I could no more stop writing than I could stop breathing. The greatest rewards come for me when a woman has read one of my books and tells me she felt I was telling her story or that she gained some insight or strength from the character.
Thanks for having me here today to share a bit about myself and my writing. Readers are invited to visit my website at www.lindarettstatt.com and my blog at www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com or to connect me with on Facebook or Twitter @linda_writer
“Life’s an adventure—wear comfortable shoes.”
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I’m lost in Jane Austen’s world of “Sense and Sensibility” with Edward and Elinor, Marianne and Brandon. I love the poetry of the language, the comedy of manners, the intricacy of characters.
To think Jane Austen was the sole editor of her work boggles my mind.
Many critique partners and editors would testify they have edited my work. Some more than others.
Editing is not my forte although I am working hard at improving this. I am also starting to find joy in making books shine and in bringing them to life in the reworks.
Perhaps it’s my ADHD that kept me from enjoying editing. I was always eager to move onto the next project, to stop the new set of voices in my head from tormenting me.
But it’s so very important.
Editors and publishing houses will not wish to work with authors who submit inferior work. Critique partners may grow tired of sloppy writing. And if it reaches readers and reviewers? An author could be ruined.
Still, few authors have reached the stature of Jane Austen. Few novels have remained so popular so long, not that you need me to tell you.
I thank God for my critique partners and editors. Each has taught me something new about the craft. Each has helped polish my stories, has supported me through so many things in the writing world and even things that have nothing to do with writing.
This week I look forward to seeing my one of my critique partners in person at Lori Foster’s Readers’ and Writer’s events in Cincinnati. She has plans to bring her work on CD to me. And of course, I hope to have a lot of fun with her.
I’ve kept my critique partners and editors busy. To date, I have ten unique works published or that are soon to be released this year. That boils down to a lot of editing.
Here’s a snippet from “Charity’s Auction”, my most recently released story, this week in fact.
Although head nurse Char Reynolds is desperately head over heels for bad boy Dr. Dexter Graham, he's moved on. Still she gets caught up in bidding for him at the hospital's auction for the new children's wing and wins. His smug expression drives her to also bid on and win the very hunky Dr. Ben Price, Dexter's nemesis and to plan a very naughty, very sexy night with both men.
Excerpt From: Charity's Auction
Charity “Char” Reynolds stared at Dr. Dexter Graham, her eyes narrowed, her heart doing the cha-cha while mathematical calculations flew around in her head. He was gorgeous with his dark, five o’clock shadow, the sexy glint in his eyes, and his broad, powerful shoulders. If it weren’t for that smirk on his lips, he’d be perfect. But he was far from it. He only looked perfect.
The good doctor was a bad boy through and through. It was a tossup whether he mended or broke more hearts. His record on the operating room table was stellar. Off, however, was horrendous. He’d broken so many hearts with that killer smile and huge dimples he should be thrown into solitary confinement for the rest of his miserable life.
Amy Koch, the hospital’s chief administrator, adjusted the microphone with her only hand. Then she tapped the instrument and blew into it. “Can you hear me?”
When the sound from the mic blasted through Char’s head, she clapped her hands over her ears in self-preservation. “Have mercy, woman.”
Once her brain stopped spinning and she was able to see again, she looked over a sea of other people holding their ears. Tentatively, she removed one hand, keeping it close just in case the mic went crazy again.
So far so good. Slowly, she lowered her other hand but kept it at the ready as she warily kept her eye on Amy.
Although, she felt sorry for Amy since the car wreck that had amputated the administrator’s left arm that she couldn’t find anything to like about her caused her to war with feelings of guilt and distrust. Even before the accident, Amy had only been out for number one, stepping on anybody in her way, claiming it was for the greater good. Now people overlooked her mean tempered whining—until they came into her sights. Char had been dead centre in Amy’s far too often. As head surgical nurse, she and Amy butted heads daily.
“Welcome to our first annual charity auction.” Amy beamed at the audience and batted her fake lashes. When she moved, the spotlight made her rhinestones shoot laser beams around the room.
Amy clapped her hand against the mic and shot a grin as fake as her lashes at the audience. “I hope your cheque books are fat and happy and your fingers are itching to write outrageous amounts for the new children’s wing. Let’s get this thing off the ground tonight!”
Cheering anew deafened Char, and her lips stretched so tightly over her teeth they ached.
Her best friend, Beth, another surgical nurse, elbowed her. She rubbed her hands together, and there was a hungry gleam in her eyes. “My cheque book’s ready, willing and able. I moved money from savings to bid on Dr. Hottie.”
It was all Char could do to hold her smile in place and not growl at the sweet strawberry blonde. Since she’d never breathed a word about her brief fling with Dr. Hottie, she couldn’t accuse her friend of trying to steal her ex-boyfriend, yet her claws extended and her skin crawled. When her throat stopped constricting, she said as airily as possible, “Oh, really? Great minds think alike. Me, too.”
Their third musketeer, Jody, a surgical intern jumped up and down and waved her psychedelic-coloured cheque book in their faces. “Me three! Let’s do a ménage à trois with him and have our wicked way.”
Beth scrunched her nose at the perky child. With a duh hanging in her voice, she said, “Ew. I don’t want to see your naked tits. Besides a ménage à trois is three and there would be four of us.”
The three of them would be much too good for the louse. What she wanted to do to him involved whips, chains and video. He’d be so sorry he’d ever broken her heart…
“Aw shucks.” Jody scrunched her nose and pouted. “You two make three times as much as me. I’ll be lucky if I can buy Dr. Rob. I might as well go home since you two party poopers won’t share. It’s way too smoky in here anyway.” She covered her mouth with her hand and coughed as if to add emphasis.
Char’s gaze landed on Dr. Hunky, aka Ben Price, plastic surgeon to the rich and ritzy Boca Babes. “What about Dr. Hunky? He’s mighty cute.”
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