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January 2014

2014: A New Year & New Goals

JennaP recently did a post on Think Like A Writer. In the spirit of a blog series, I’m going to continue that discussion and publicly share my goals for 2014. I invite you to publicly share your goals for the year in comments *gives the ole stink eye* so we can hold each others feet to the fire. Plus, I think posting my goals will make an honest woman out of me… Thor&CaptAm_laugh

Or not.

A lot changed for me and my writing last year. I’ll always consider 2013 a year of challenges and self discovery. It was a lot of work and hankie wringing, but I’m over it and moving forward. I’m going to list my writer goals here, in no particular order, and include the action plan for how I’ll reach that goal. I’ll revisit this at the end of the year to see if I was realistic in my view or outta my gourd.

2014 Goals

1. Promote the Heckyll Jeckyll & Hyde out of co-authored release. Join NYE Kiss party, Blog tour, host chat on GR, guest appearances, etc. etc.

2. Finish latest co-authored WIP & submit it to editor. We’re at around 20k now and our tales usually top out at around 60/65k. Beginning in the spring, I’ll write 5k a week on it.

3. Finish contemporary WIP. I’ve got about 55k now that I’ve chopped parts out, leaving about 25k to tell the story properly. Beginning Feb. 1st, I will committ all writer energies to this and write my patootie off all month. My very own FebuNoWriMo!!!

4. Query/Submit contemporary. This action is pretty self explanatory.

5. Attend Moonlight & Magnolias. Same.

6. Teach workshop at two writer meetings. Same.

7. Begin new contemporary romance and get near the half way point.

8. Get back into my smallest of jeans. I will do this by continuing with my twice a week kickboxing and add once a week weight training. Along with that I’ve gotten back on the #wkendrulez of no wine during the week. I’m adding no junk during the week either. Sweets, fried foods, starchy fillers of empty calories… I can have a treat or two on the weekends, other than that I’m going to be a Good Girl.

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Okay, maybe not. But I will be a Bad Girl who eats better.

I think that’s enough for now. I’d rather surprise myself with extra accomplishments than disappoint myself w/ lack luster performance. 😀

What about you? What are your goals for 2014? What do you look forward to the most?

 

Write on bbs,

McGovy

6 Comments

Before You Send that Query…

I’m in the thick of querying my latest manuscript, so I thought I’d do a quick post on all the knowledge I’ve gained through my 200+ queries and rejections!  It’s a little something I like to call:

Jenna P’s Top Five Truths of Querying

1. Don’t query too soon

It’s SO tempting to hit that send button the minute you type THE END, but don’t.  Let it sit for a couple of weeks.  Wait for the feedback.  Use that time to create a list of folks you want to query when the time is right.  You can spend days on AgentQuery.com just filtering through the database of agents.  Determine how many you’ll send out in a batch and what those batches will be.  Gather it all into a spreadsheet and start googling, but don’t hit send.  Not yet.

I’m impatient.  I know it, so there’s no point in lying about it.  I can’t tell you the number of opportunities I probably blew by querying too soon, so trust someone who’s been there.  Give it time.

2.  Choose your strategy

Every writer has an opinion on what works best.  Some like the “spaghetti on the wall” approach, querying everyone under the sun in hopes something will stick.  Some are more selective with who they query, targeting only those they feel would fit them best.

I started out with the spaghetti method, but have since moved to the selective method.  It’s really just a matter of experience.  The longer you follow someone on Twitter, the more you understand their interests and if you’d fit well together.  The more writers you meet, the more you hear about this agent or that agent and if they’re the kind of person you want a lasting relationship with.

The list can also narrow as you discover who you are as a writer.  Do you write literary or commercial?  Women’s Fiction or Romance?  Paranormal or Magical Realism?  It seems like a no brainer, but all these terms can be confusing to a new writer.

Querying, if you’re doing it correctly, can take up a lot of your writing time.  And being rejected over and over again can mess with the mojo of even the thickest skinned writers.  Why not save it for those agents and editors you have the best chance with?

3.  One size doesn’t fit all

There is not a query template out there that will satisfy every agent and editor’s preferences on query format, so don’t waste your time or money trying to find one.  Some like an introductory paragraph, others want the hook immediately after the salutation.  Some say three sentences, others say seven.  Some want you to compare yourself to other authors, some think that’s pretentious.

Personally, I like a quick couple sentences before I jump into the meat.  It’s kinda like kissing a guy without introducing yourself to do it the other way.  But remember….it’s not about you.  It’s about what the agents and editors like to see.  If you can’t find anything about their preference, then do it the way you feel most comfortable.

Of course, there are a few items you should ALWAYS include in a query, and they are:  Title, genre, and word count.  I have never submitted a query that didn’t include these.

4.  DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

In today’s internet and social media world, there is no excuse for not doing your homework.  Twitter, Facebook, blogs, websites, Writer’s Digest, Publisher’s Marketplace, AgentQuery, QueryTracker – agent and editor likes and dislikes are all over them!  Follow them, google them, read every blog they’ve posted and guest posted on.  It won’t guarantee a request, but it will get you one step closer.  And for the love of God, people…

5.  FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES!!

Repeat after me:  No matter how amazing my mother said my manuscript is, I am probably NOT the exception to the rule.  Guidelines apply to EVERYONE.  You might just be the next Stephen King, but no one is going to have a chance to discover it if you send three chapters instead of the requested five pages, or call daily at 10am to check on the status of your query.  Do your research, follow the guidelines, and pay your dues.

There you have it.  They may not help you write that perfect hook, but I hope they give you a better chance in having that perfect hook read by the agent of your dreams!

Happy Querying!

Jenna P.

10 Comments

Is Your Heroine a Dirty-Girl?

I’ll never forget the first time I heard the expression. My daughter, a high school junior, came home in a huff because one of her (male??) friends was dating a girl she didn’t like.

I asked, “What’s wrong with her?”

She tossed a hand on her hip. “Mom, she’s a dirty-girl.”

In my naive state I thought—gross. Why in the world would Brian want to date a girl who didn’t bathe?

It didn’t take long to catch on. Dirty-Girl was the updated version of the ugly nicknames we used in high school: tramp, slut, or the big W∙H-you-know-what word. You have to admit; dirty-girl sounds much nicer.

So I find myself asking as a writer—how dirty can my heroine be before she steps over the line into trashy? I guess it depends on the genre and what readers will accept as reasonable. Remember with fiction— it’s very subjective. Everyone may not agree with what I consider tolerable.

As a reader, here’s what I’ve discovered:

All heroines in the Inspirational novels I’ve read have been virgins. And stay that way until they say I do. No surprise there. That genre seems pretty strict. No dirty-girls allowed.

Regency heroines stray a little from virginal innocence, but not too far. I’ve noticed a lot more heroines are widows. A couple of the leading ladies have had a lover before meeting her hero. I’m okay with that, but that’s about all the dirty-girl I can handle in this genre. Again, subjective, but I expect my Regency heroine to be naive in the art of love-making. I want the roguish hero to teach her everything when it comes to passion and blistering sex.

For example, I read a Regency a few years back where the hero meets his heroine in a brothel. That’s right. She was a prostitute. Sorry, I couldn’t get over her dirty-girl past. Her lame excuse for turning to a life of harlotry was her family died and left her penniless and the only thing she knew to do was sell her body. What? You mean in her well-to-do upbringing she didn’t learn one skill she could put to use to earn an income? She claimed she didn’t have the experience to be a governess, maid, cook, etc. Excuse me—she went in a virgin. She surely didn’t have experience when it came to sex either.

So as a Regency reader, that didn’t work for me. Call me old-fashioned, but I expect certain dirty-girl limitations when it comes to historical.

Contemporary is a different story all together. It’s okay for the Heroine to have a few hunk-notches on her bedpost. Just as long as she isn’t so dirty she needs to make weekly trips to the drug store for prescriptions. I expect my contemporary heroine to be good at everything. Sex is no exception.

I don’t read a lot of Paranormal, but a friend of mine told me super-sexed is the expectation.

Romantic Suspense heroines have been known to throw back a sheet or two.

Erotica speaks for itself.

As a WRITER, how do I know if I’ve a made my heroine too dirty? Again, it depends on the genre. Of course, my heroine’s back-story matters too. What is she like? What has she been through? What are her beliefs and values? More times than not, the character dictates her own level of dirty.

I’m asking other writers of the world. What things do you consider when writing your heroine’s sexual experience? Does what you accept as a READER, play a role in deciding your heroine’s  dirty-girl rating?

I’d love to hear about it.

Remember to Dream Big!

Lori

16 Comments

Good Info on Goodreads

Goodreads—you need to be there. Alright, I know what you’re saying, “But, I do the social media thing! I have a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, I even started blogging…that isn’t enough?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. I set up my Goodreads account a year or so ago, but that’s as far as I got. My profile was a ghost town with tumble weeds blowing across the screen, covering the 3 books I said I’d read with a thick layer of dust. But, recently I decided to get involved. There was a new sheriff in town and things were about change…yeah, I totally took the ghost town reference too far there, didn’t I? Anyway, I set out to conquer Goodreads, and this is what I learned…

Why you need to be there:
Goodreads is a site of 25 million readers. They doubled in size for the second year in a row. Every second 4 books are found by users. There are 29 million book reviews on their site. You write books, they read books. Don’t you want to hang out where the readers are hanging out? All the cool kids are doing it. *grins*

The Set-up:
It may be easy to sign in using your Facebook profile and allow Goodreads to link to your profile there, but I don’t recommend it. I did this for convenience, but soon after I discovered that everything I did on Goodreads was posting to my Facebook feed, pummeling all of my friends with my thoughts on every book I’d ever read. Undo, undo, undo…avoid this mistake by keeping things separate at least until you learn how to use the new site. It will save you many apologies on Facebook and a lot of embarrassment—trust me.

Other than this, the set-up is pretty simple. You mark books that you’ve read or want to read, write reviews or just give a number of stars to books you like, and find friends. Add a picture and say something about yourself and you’re done. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy as my little monkey would say.

There are several ways to get the word out about your book(s) once you’re on the site. Getting good reviews will encourage people to add your book to their to-read shelf and so will being included on a list of books. They offer advertising, which I have not tried, but I’m having the most luck by offering a giveaway.

Giveaways:
I’m in the middle of my first giveaway. My giveaway ends in 2 days. (Check it out here!) I ran the giveaway for 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks 735 people entered to win a copy of my book and 406 people added my book to their to-read list. Compare this to the 114 people that added my book to their to-read list over the previous 2 months–just for reference. To set up this giveaway I read Goodreads’ instructions here and then I ignored half of what they said and followed Novel Publicity’s instructions here. As a debut author, I don’t have a huge advertising budget, but for the cost of postage on one book I added 406 potential readers and put my book in front of 735 more readers. I call that a win! I highly recommend offering a giveaway if you have a new release.

Connect:
There are some other great ways to connect with readers on Goodreads and draw more people to read your books as well. You can join a group and post a message, vote on lists of books or create a list, join a reading challenge, like someone’s review of a book or get involved in a chat. The goal here is to get to know people just like with any other social media outlet. So, have fun with it!

Are you on Goodreads? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

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PS. My debut novel, Must Love Dukes, releases in 2 weeks on Feb 4th! Are you excited? I’m excited!

— E. Michels time of shameless self-promotion for the day

8 Comments

2014: Bring It On!

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I’ll be the first to admit it: 2013 was the year in which I bit off more than I could chew in just about every facet of my life, and my writing suffered for it. But coming through it has showed me what I CAN do—and it turns out, that’s a lot. Instead of exhausted, holiday-drained, and feeling like it’s just another day (and a cold one at that), the New Year has me energized. For the first time in, well, ever, I’m genuinely digging the whole renewal thing. In honor if that feeling, I’d like to dedicate this little post to some of the things I’m excited about for 2014, writing-related and not.

  • Longer days: the solstice is behind us, and the days are lengthening again. The sun will come out longer and brighter, bit by bit, and I’ll be ready to bask in it, iced tea in hand, even if I have to do it in a parka!
  • Reading (or continuing to read) the new releases of my fellow writers!
  • Seeing the first crocus blooming outside my door.
  • New pens and fresh journals.
  • Conferences, retreats, and the masochist in me is even looking forward to entering some contests!
  • Seed catalogs: there’s something so cheering about envisioning fresh herbs and gorgeous vegetables….and since it’s all still in the imagining stage, there’s no weeding!
  • My new work schedule. I could hate the early hours, but I choose to look at it in terms of getting all the required stuff out of the way and still having some time to do the things that are important to me.
  • Speaking of things that are important to me, I’d like to give a shout-out to my new WIP (woot woot!). It started with a chat with a few of my girlz at the Christmas party, and it’s taken over. It’s early stages yet, but I think it could be really good. It’s a novella, which will require me to learn a new skill…. Getting to the damn point! That might be a bit of a challenge, but I haven’t been this inspired in a long time!
  • A call for submission that jump-started my new project. I don’t want to say too much and jinx myself, but I’m hopeful.
  • While I can’t say for certain that this is “my” year, I do know that every day I have a chance to seize, I sure am going to try! So what projects or prospects have you enthused in this coming year? I’d love to hear about them!

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What You Have To Do / What You Love To Do

Truth time: I hate about 50% of the work of being a writer.

I hate writing query letters. I hate writing blurbs. I hate writing synopses.

I…strongly dislike re-writes. I slightly less strongly dislike line edits.

I hate, hate, hate promotion.

headdesk.gifBut here’s the bigger truth: I love writing.

And if I don’t do the rest of it, I can’t do the part I love.

It seems simple, but getting that figured out in my head was a major turning point for me. For what feels like forever, I dragged my heels on all the “other stuff” a writer needs to do besides writing. I hemmed and hawed and procrastinated, and I agonized over every word of every synopsis and every blurb. Then, one day, I woke up and shook it off, and reminded myself that the writing is what I care about. And all the other stuff is just…other stuff. I do it to support my writing. I have to do it. I don’t have to love it.

I just have to do it.

When you think about it, only hating about 50% of what you do is probably pretty good, compared to most occupations. I hated way more than 50% of my life back when I was a teacher, and probably even more than that when I used to work in advertising. No one loves cleaning toilets, and an awful lot of the time, parenting boils down to a lot of difficult, difficult, messy work. Yet we suffer through it for the paycheck, or for our family, or for the chance at advancement. On a day to day basis, we get it done, probably because a principal or a boss or the threat of two-year-old meltdown is breathing down our neck.

In writing, unless you’re on a deadline, there’s no one breathing down your neck. It’s just you and that screen and that to-do list that makes you want to cry.

So just remember, days when the urge to weep and give up on that stupid, stupid, dear-God-why-must-I-write-you synopsis gets too strong.

You do this because you love to write. If you don’t do this, you can’t write. Not commercially. Not for a living. Not for other people to actually read.

Do what you have to do. Because it’s the only way you’ll be able to do what you love to.

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Man Candy Monday: Sebastian Stan

Let’s get the week started off right with some inspiration, shall we? Handsome hero fodder for a Monday.

First, I’ve got to give due credit to Jeanette on this for a) willfully and shamelessly enabling my appreciation of today’s man candy and taking it from a healthy level to about DEFCON 5 and b) because she’s probably going to use him too one day but I lack the patience and self control she has. 😀 Just  act surprised if you see him on here again in late March.

Today, Sebastian Stan is our Bad Girl Monday Manspiration.

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Now some of you may be asking, “WHO is Sebastian Stan?” Well lemme tell you. Sebastian Stan is he of the dreamy and still somehow soulful bedroom eyes.

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Sebastian Stan is he of the heroic jaw line and great hair.

'Iron Man 3' Los Angeles premiere

He’s Sebastian Stan of the silver screen era chin dimple and he can channel Paul Newman like a boss. That, my friends, is a one-two punch.

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Sebastian Stan has THE prettiest cry eyes in the industry.

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You know, Sebastian Stan. Bucky from Captain America!

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The Mad Hatter/Jefferson from Once Upon A Time.

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The man oozes complex and conflicted hero. RIGHT??? A beautiful face with an ugly past. Angst and trouble hidden beneath all that swoon.

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I have a theory that my favorite “type” has this unique combination of strong, masculine jaw, brow, and cheek line, but with soft and sensuous lips and eyes. I mean…COME ON!

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Oh and then there’s this. Winter is coming in April and I ain’t talking about Game of Thrones.

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You hear that screaming? It’s just me and JG. Don’t call the cops.

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AHHHHHHHHH!!!

6 Comments

Writer Reality Check: An Alternate Universe

EMichels did a post a few weeks ago about the reality of being a writer on the traditional publishing path. I’m going to piggy back onto that with the tale of a writer with genre split personality on the path toward multi-pronged publication and God only knows what else.

In 2009, I joined RWA to get serious about writing and get published via pretty much the only way available. *serious face here* Then I got pregnant with Lil Man and there was a great big pause button pushed on the whole thing.

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It took another year for me to get serious again and another half a year to finish a book. *return to serious face*

I tell you this to say that while my life changed a lot from 2009 to now, publication changed even more. Four years is a relatively small passage of time, but now it’s two totally different worlds for both of us. My status: I work full time and I’m mommy to a toddler. Publication’s status: wide open with traditional, boutique, small print, digital of every size, and self pubs all finding success. Don’t forget the hybrid opportunities either.

My goal when I set out was to share my stories with readers. That goal hasn’t changed. But since getting back in the game, I don’t have a traditional only goal. I’m open to what works best for reaching the readers of what I write. I will go where they are and here’s the fun part: I write in two similar yet totally different genres. The readerships are found in different places. One is almost exclusively digital; the other is available in every form.  

Right now, I’m published digitally, so I can only speak to the logistics of digital press. I can tell you how I feel about it in two words and, of course, a gif:

It Rocks!

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I co-write a book a year. We’ve released two books with the same press, had the same editor and cover artist for both, and have had a wonderful experience with all of it. It’s a niche readership, but they seem to dig what we write, so Yay!!! Since digitals don’t pay big advances and rarely contract multi-book projects, the pressure of multiple books due for multiple edits at various times, is gone – unless you choose to submit multiple books. With a digital press, you write a book and send it in. If they say yay, you do edits and release the book. After that, you can repeat the process as you wish. One book a year or five. Pick your poison. The level of pressure is up to you.

The other genre I write is successful both traditionally and digitally. I aspire to do either or both. I like traditional publishing because of the experience and broader market for distribution and exposure. However, my mainstream contemporaries are steamy and, at times, gritty, so I think they’d do well in digital too.

Bottom line: As a writer, you have to look at what you write and look at your life. (It’s taking everything I have right now not to type “look at your life, look at your choices” – Oops, did it anyway.) If you work full time and have young children, you can still pull off a traditional three book deal or write as a hybrid author, but be prepared for the writer crazy eyes.

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If you don’t want crazy eyes, maybe stick with digital or small print and choose a slower pace.

If I get my wish, I’ll have the overlap, the deadlines, more pressures along with working full time…and yes, probably the eyes. I plan NOT to over do it, but you know how plans sometimes go. Regardless, life is short and this writing thing is a thing I love. No matter what path you choose, there will always be challenges, bends in the road you weren’t expecting. For when that happens, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. I often apply it to being a writer and I hope it inspires you to dig in and never give up.

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.” 

-Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own

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Think Like a Writer Series: New Year’s Resolutions

Don’t you just love that feeling you get at the end of a book when everything is wrapped up in a nice neat bow?  Our protagonists have fought the valiant fight.  They’ve figured out the right way to fix the problem.  They’ve finally heard our screams from somewhere in outer book space saying:  “Hey, dumb ass!  This is what you need to do!”

Wouldn’t it be great if we had someone screaming at us how to fix our problems?

Whether we want to recognize it our not, there was someone on the other end of a book with scissors and ribbon, carefully constructing a series of knots and bends and arcs that all came together in the perfect bow.

So why can’t we do this in our own lives?

This year I’m kicking off a new series on the blog entitled:  Think Like a Writer.  It’s an experiment, really, in applying what we do everyday as writers to our own everyday lives as people, to see if it really does wrap things up in a nice neat bow.  (Or at least help us make things more tidy.)  I hope some of my bad girlz will join in throughout the year with their own little experiments.

Experiment One:  New Year’s Resolutions.

You either love them or hate them.  I believe that in theory they serve the greater good, but for me they’ve never been very useful.  In fact, this year I made the same resolutions I made the past two years because apparently I’m on the five year plan.  Lose some weight.  Increase my social media presence.  Have more patience with my kids.  Write more.  Scrapbook more.  Faithful date nights with the hubby.  And of course, every pre-published writer’s personal favorite, find an agent or editor that believes in me and my writing.

So, how am I going to make this year different?  How will I finally earn a check next to a few of these resolutions and make room for new ones next year?  To answer these questions, I’m going back to the basics to find out where I’m going wrong.

Resolution (noun):  The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.

To a writer, this makes perfect sense.  The resolution is what we work to achieve throughout the length of our books.  It’s why we torture our characters, throwing harder and harder conflicts at them that aid in whittling down to that exact, perfect solution that they couldn’t quite see before the book began.  Okay – I got this.

Problem 1:  By definition, my resolutions aren’t resolutions at all.  They’re goals.

Goal (noun):  Something that you are trying to do or achieve

I want to write another book.  I want more twitter followers.  I want my kids to have scrapbooks created by their patient mother, and I want to fit into that pair of skinny jeans my husband bought me when we go to the movies or dinner.  These are all great goals to shoot for, but that’s what they are – goals.  Nowhere does it state how I’m going to achieve any of it, or what I’ll need to sacrifice to get it.

Well, no wonder I’ve been failing!  I’m an obsessive planner without a plan!

So, if I were one of my characters, what would I need to do before I could find my resolution?  Identify and defeat my antagonist!

Antagonist (noun):  One that contends with or opposes another

In my case, my antagonist isn’t so much a who as a what.  The stingy bastard standing in my way is the clock.

With more time, I could start a workout plan, spend hours coming up with funny tweets to draw folks my way.  I could plan a weekend scrapbooking session with some friends and not feel guilty because I’m not spending every spare minute writing.  I could afford more patience with my kids because really…what’s the hurry?

So, I just need to figure out a way to stop the clock and voila!  I get all my heart’s desires!

Problem 2:  No matter how strong or brilliant I am, I will never be able to stop time from marching on.

Seconds pass, minutes pass, hours pass.  It’s one of the few absolutes we have in life.  We can’t stop it.  It’s hopeless.  It’s like my own little, personal black moment!

Black Moment (noun):  The moment when all hope is lost, and there is no visible light at the end of the tunnel (hence, BLACK moment).

So, what do I do now?  What would my heroine do to rise from her black moment? After some fit throwing and head pounding, she’d finally realize she’d been going down the wrong path to begin with – and she’d find another way out.

If I can’t stop or slow down the clock, I need to find a way to get what I need in spite of it.  I need to create minutes, which is also equally impossible.  I need to free minutes.  I need to better manage my minutes.  I need to unclutter my minutes.

Resolution (noun):  The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.

And I’ve come full circle, haven’t I?  Imagine that.

I, Jenna P, do solemnly swear to resolve to actively work toward freeing, better managing, and uncluttering my minutes in 2014.   

That, I might just be able to do.  It will take hard work and some disappointment, but it might just be the best way to meet all those goals.  Only time will tell, ironically.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Happy New Year!

Jenna P.

3 Comments

I Need A Hero (with Bad Boy For A Day: Sam B. Morgan)

Everyone has their favorite heroes. I was recently asked about my favorite hero within the romance genre. It wasn’t easy to choose one, but after some thought, I cheated and settled on two. First:

Vishous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  V for short.vishous_by_morgaine1-d5eslvl

Image credit: http://morgaine1.deviantart.com/

My reason for this is four-fold. Allow me to explain and maybe it will get you thinking about your favorite romantic hero.

  • Vishous is tall, dark, dangerous, powerful, built like a brick house and hot as hell. He’s inked up, has jet black hair, a goatee, and ice blue eyes that can look like diamonds. He’s a Red Sox fan and a vampire.
  • Vishous is damaged goods. He’s a closed off demi-god with enough emotional baggage to fill double digit steamer trunks. A horrible childhood that included assault, physical mutilation and forced infliction of violence upon others – he could’ve been anything but heroic. Add to that the gift of foresight and feeling other people’s emotional turmoil and he’s uber dark hero material, that Vishous. He’s designed to be the perfect anti-hero, yet he’s not. Not really. He’s a valuable member of the BDB team and at times is the one who keeps them together. He’s loyal to his brothers, even while giving them hell. He serves his King, though he’d be the first to call him out on his bullshit. Sure he can be withdrawn at best, downright cold bastard at worst, but he is a true alpha hero. When the end of the world goes down, you want Vishous there to save your ass.
  • Vishous is off the charts intelligent. His best bud and soul mate brother Butch would say he’s “wicked smaahht.” The BDB’s resident techno wiz, linguist, and historian, V is a genius level brainiac with the body of a perfectly sculpted assassin.
  • Vishous is anything but vanilla in bed. While his style is predominantly Dom, his level and need to dominate has changed throughout the series. He’s even filled the role of submissive and done pretty much everything in between. If you can say he’s flexible in the D/s relationship, then he totally breaks the Kinsey scale. He’s not straight, he’s not gay, maybe he’s bi. I don’t know. All I know is Vishous wants what he wants, when he wants it, how he wants it. End of. He’s not the Brother to let something like social mores or the opinions of others guide his lifestyle either. More to the point, he doesn’t give a damn what you or anyone else thinks. Now that he’s mated to Jane, he’s completely Jane-sexual, but even Jane isn’t a traditional female. Ghost lovin’ anyone? Here’s an example of V hotness. If you’ve read the series, you know THE SINK scene:

Jane pulled back and got to her feet. “Fantasies don’t interest me. If you don’t want us to be together for real, then let’s not go there at all.”

He pulled part of the duvet over his hips, covering an erection that was straining against his flannels. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

She shot him a glare that was part sexual frustration, part Gertrude Stein. “I’m tougher than I look. And to be honest, the whole male-driven, I’m-looking-out-for-your-best-interests bullshit gives me the scratch.”

She turned away with her chin up, but then realized there was nowhere really to go. Way to make an exit.

Confronted with an utter lack of alternatives, she went into the bathroom. As she paced between the shower and the sink, she felt like a horse in a stall–

With no warning at all she was tackled from behind, pushed face-first into the wall and held in place by a rock-hard body twice the size of her own. Her gasp was first one of shock, then one of sex as she felt V grind into her ass.

“I tried to tell you no,” he growled as his hand buried itself in her hair and locked on, pulling her head back. As she cried out she ran wet between her legs. “Tried to be nice.”

“Oh…God–”

“Praying’s not going to help. Too late for that, Jane.” There was regret in his voice–as well as erotic inevitability. “I gave you a chance to have it on your terms. Now we’ll do this on mine.”

She wanted this. She wanted him. “Please–”

“Shh.” He cranked her head to the side with a twist of his wrist, exposing her throat. “When I want you to beg, I’ll tell you.” His tongue was warm and wet as it rode up her neck. “Now ask me what I’m going to do to you.”

All of this makes V a stand out hero. Maybe he’s my favorite because I’ve never read about anyone who is anything like him. 

My other favorite hero is one of mine: Zack from my book, SLOW BURN. Release date: Today!

Zack is the antithesis of Vishous, even if he does have some damage in his past. Zack is my athletic beach boy. My fun loving, laid back, floppy haired hero with the bright smile. Even with the emotional wreckage of his past, he’s pretty positive about life in general. That’s a good thing because when Zack meets the most belligerent patient of his PT career, Detective Douglas Brody, it will take every ounce of his cool not to throttle the man. Or kiss him. He wants to do both.

 What about you? Who are some of your favorite heroes from romance? Who do you love to love?

SBM_Slow Burn_coversm

Detective Douglas Brody has only ever known the life of a cop. Raised strict but fair by his police chief father, he joined the academy right out of school, climbed the ranks hard and fast, and now works homicide for the City of Charleston. The job is his entire life. For years it’s kept him happy enough to minimize the side of him that craves what he believes is wrong. An accident on the job puts him on medical leave and everything in Brody’s world changes. He has to prove himself once more to be best cop in the department, all while dealing with Zack – his persistent, sexy, and out of the closet physical therapist.

Zack is tan skin, big grins, floppy hair and tackles his job with the same full-blown enthusiasm he does everything else. When the “patient from hell” is thrown his way by another PT who can’t handle him, Zack is committed to achieving the impossible. His new patient is a head strong and hot as hell homicide detective, who oozes as much resentment as he does sex appeal. Any involvement with a patient, especially a man who is so deep in the closet he can’t see light, is something Zack swore he’d never do. But Brody slowly proves too much to resist…

You can find me at: @SamBMorgan on Twitter &  http://sambmorgan.com/

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