The “myth” of writer’s block…

I never used to believe in “writer’s block.” Part of me still doesn’t want to think it exists, that its something we writers have to power through. There have been times in the past where a story has been difficult for me, where I didn’t know what happened next. I rarely had a deadline or readers waiting, it was just me and the characters trying to figure out what adventure they’d find next. I could take as much time as I wanted to figure it out, and invariably I did.

I’ve always written. My mother still has “books” I made from preschool about dinosaurs and horses and other fun stuff. Being able to make up stories, bring to life interesting characters and situations, was something I loved, something I wanted to do for a living. Several months ago, I was finally able to get that dream, quitting my day job to focus solely on my craft. I thought it would be smooth sailing from here on out, doing something I loved so much.

The last month has shown me otherwise.
Continue reading The “myth” of writer’s block…

Saturday Snippet!!

Hello my beautiful peeps!! I’m in the final phases of Romantic Times Reader’s Convention and it’s been a zoo, but a FUN zoo!! Today was my first signing and it was incredible to meet readers and others who knew my stories! This was a whole new experience for me, as was getting my picture taken (notoriously camera shy!!), but I had a lovely time. That said, I’m very much looking forward to writing again, this business is not conducive to word counts!!

I’ve been debating what to post for this week’s snippet. I love this part but worried it was a spoiler, or that I was giving away too much by posting the whole bit. Then I thought: well heck, that’s PERFECT for a snippet right?! 😉

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Continue reading Saturday Snippet!!

New Snippet Saturday!

Well, whadya know, I’m actually posting a snippet on time again! 😉 Any Facebookers (and Tweeters who followed my link earlier this week) have probably already seen this bit, but if you missed it here’s a bit of the angst/drama of “Castaway 3”:

*~*~*

Behind me, I heard my name called again and cringed away, desperate for escape. Then I was pulled away from the doorway by Lucas as he stepped in front of me. “You son of a bitch.”

At the same time he said that, I heard the solid smack of flesh and bone meeting, and around Lucas’ lean frame saw Jeremiah stagger back. My hands flew to my mouth in shock as Lucas advanced on his brother. “Anya wasn’t enough for you,” the gunrunner snarled, delivering another blow to the side of Jeremiah’s head. “You had to ruin another…”

Jeremiah surged up to his feet, and Lucas flipped backwards, landing hard on his back against the tile entryway. The large man stood facing me, but all his attention was on his brother. “You’ve taken everything from me,” Jeremiah said in a low, tight voice, aiming a kick at his brother.

“I’ve taken everything?” Lucas absorbed the blow and grabbed his brother’s lower leg, twisting and pulling sideways. “You ruined my life, you ruin everything you touch! You’re no better than Rufus.” The blows he delivered to Jeremiah’s face before being shoved away accentuated Lucas’ words.

Both men scrabbled at one another as I stood in the hallway, watching in horror. I couldn’t move, rooted to the spot, as the two men grappled. Jeremiah managed to put his brother into a choke hold from behind, but Lucas, still on his knees, brought his larger brother over and sideways. The small entryway table rattled as Jeremiah hit it, sending the decorative glass plates falling sideways to shatter on the tile.

Gasping, I backpedaled into the hallway as the two men surged out of the room. They were locked together, slamming against the far wall and falling sideways to the floor. From beside me I heard a woman cry out in surprise, but I was too riveted by the scene to look. The brothers were muttering, low enough that I could only make out brief curses.

I thought Jeremiah would be able to take his brother down easily, but Lucas held his own and put up a hell of a fight. All the rage and pain from their shared pasts seemed focused in this one struggle. The two men grappled at one another as they rolled around on the ground, throwing punches and the occasional knee. They fought like little boys, not grown men; training was thrown out the window, all that was left was the anger.

“You turned Anya against me, now you take Lucy…”

“Anya never betrayed you, you stupid son of a bitch.”

There was a pause in the struggling that Lucas took advantage off. He delivered several blows to Jeremiah before a fist sent the gunrunner tumbling sideways. Jeremiah rolled to his knees. “You’re lying.”

Lucas wiped the blood from his torn lip. “Sure, I approached her to spy for me, but she turned me down flat. So I got my information from elsewhere, toyed with your plans, and what did you do?” He lashed out, kicking his brother in the ribs. “Threw her out, did everything you could to discredit and wreck her life. I picked up the pieces because what happened was also my fault, but I’ll be goddamned if I let you do it again!” He spat blood on the floor between them. “Father would be so proud of you.”

Real world blues 2.0

The house hunt for a true Casa de Fawkes continues. Those of you who follow on Twitter and Facebook probably already heard that the second house we were looking at (and one in which we both were rather invested in, against our better judgment) was snatched away in what became a bidding war. :( Right now we’re determined to find a place of our own and stop paying rent, but it seems everything we find with the right qualifications (outside of town, large lot/acreage, decent house) is getting snatched up by someone else before we can get there or has other problems. We’re looking at something new again (this one’s a bit different than the others), and all I can say is hopefully the third time’s the charm. *crosses toes/finger/eyes*

It also doesn’t help that “Castaway 3” is giving me conniptions. I did something for this part that I don’t usually do: outlined the crap out of it so that I wouldn’t get stuck. And yet, guess where I am now? You guessed it – despite knowing the exact progression of every scene, I canNOT make myself write this. It’s frustrating; the spirit is willing, but it’s as though I have a mental block preventing me from doing this part. Normally I’m a total pantser, the kind of writer who figures things out as I go. I think my deviation from that is part of my problem, but it’s too late now. Writing every story is a different experience, and while part 3 is just one more part of the same book, my brain and fingers refuse to cooperate. Couple this with the feeling that I’m letting people down (especially after THAT cliffhanger), and I’ve been a little down lately. :(

Next week is the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City, MO. I’ve spent the last week or so getting ready, but I’d really hoped to have C3 done by the time I left. That doesn’t look like it’ll be the case, so I’ll be working during the convention as well. That doesn’t mean I’m not excited to go however!! I’m curious, are any of you going to be attending? This will be the first RT con I’ve attended (second romance con technically, but the first time I’m actually participating as an author) and I’m excited and NERVOUS!!! It may not always seem like this, but I’m a total introvert – crowds make me a wee bit frazzled, and as I’m going to be in the signing and meetup areas interacting with readers, I’m a silly combination of EEK and SQUEE and OMGFREAKINGOUT! 😀

I’ll definitely post all about it as the time comes. Should be a lot of fun, I had a blast last year at RWA in Anaheim and look forward to meeting anybody! Look for a wild-eyed redhead who looks ready to bolt, and come say hi! 😉

Snippet Saturday

Alright, for all of you folks lamenting no AHW updates last week, and for the people wondering how on earth can this relationship be salvaged….this one’s for you. 😀

*~*~*

“Where is she?”

I fell back a step as Jeremiah’s voice boomed from the entrance to the suite. Amyrah threw me a panicked look then said something to the guards beside her, who raced toward the sound of scuffling. I stood, frozen, as the sounds grew closer.

“Dammit, I know you’re in here. Lucy!”

My chest constricted at his voice, but I stood rooted to the spot. From across the hallway, I saw the familiar figure of Jeremiah appear, then suddenly several other figures appeared around him. A “Look out!” died on my lips as he quietly and efficiently took them down, and I knew the moment he spotted me because he sprinted the length of the corridor.

More figures appeared from openings on either side of the hall, and Amyrah tugged me back into her large bedroom. Before the door could close however, it was jammed open by a large arm, then Jeremiah pulled himself into the room. He dragged the two men attached to him into the open area and managed to fling one away by sheer brute force but was taken down as more guards streamed through the doorway.

No. I didn’t want this. Why was he even here? “Please, please don’t hurt him,” I moaned, moving forward, but Amyrah grabbed my wrist and held me back. Two men held each arm in an iron grip, and as Jeremiah lifted his head to look at me, I saw my own pain and anguish reflected in his eyes. Then another bodyguard moved forward, a small black object in his hand, and I realized what was about to happen.

“Don’t hurt him!” Wrenching my arm out of Amyrah’s hold, I launched myself at the guard holding the taser. Grabbing his arm, I spun him around and away from Jeremiah.

Then, like someone flipped a switch, every muscle in my body went rigid. My fingers dug into the other man’s arm as my body bowed back. A silent scream formed across my lips but nothing would come out but a guttural exhale as my spasming diaphragm pushed the last of the air from my lungs. Aftershocks continued throughout my body, my muscles no longer under any voluntary control. It felt like an eternity but lasted barely a second; the horrible jolt flipped off and I collapsed bonelessly to the floor.

From somewhere nearby I heard a roaring noise. At first I thought it was just an aftereffect of the taser until I heard a man’s pained cry, but I couldn’t do anything but stare at the wall in front of me. Then hands pulled at me, lifting me off the ground and back around so that I was staring up into Jeremiah’s face.

This. Is. AWESOME!!!

So the lovely Kate Laurens, my beta reader for all things Fawkesish, has repeatedly expressed her love for a certain arms-dealer-slash-hero. Well, look at what I received in the mail today, which underscores it all:

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😀 😀 😀 😀 It makes me smile SO BIG!!! And yes, I’ll be wearing it to Romantic Times in Kansas City, hopefully I’ll see some Team Jeremiah shirts around too! 😉

Snippet Sunday!

It’s time for another Snippet Sunday post! …wait, it’s supposed to be done on Saturday? Huh, knew I forgot something! :)

“Castaway 3” is slowly coming along, but unfortunately there’s little to post yet. I figured I could do another brief pre-book story about the Hamilton boys but, while its not AHW related, I do have some new material. 😉 Wanna see it?

Facebookers and Twitterites might recognize part of this from a screencap I uploaded, but in case you missed it here’s a scene from my as yet untitled (or rather, poorly-titled-so-far *g* ) New Adult romance.

*~*~*

Setting: coastal Mississippi, early summer. Lacey St. James hasn’t had a very happy life the last four years, but when she meets Everett Ward, things start looking up. Of course, the road back to a normal life isn’t going to be easy…

“So what’s the plan for the rest of the day?” he asked between bites.

“I need to go pick up my little brother from school in an hour, so I should probably head home to pick up my mom’s car.”

“Why don’t you have a car? Wouldn’t it be easier?”

“Well,” I hedged, then looked out at his ratty mode of transportation. He’d probably understand better than most. “Right now my vehicle isn’t working all that well.”

Vehicle? Way to be cryptic.”

I just grinned. “She’s my pride and joy, but right now she’s up on blocks.”

“Is there anything I can help with?”

“Dunno, you ever rebuild a transmission?”

“No, but Trent’s brother Matt can.”

I mulled that information over. Riding a bike was getting old; I could only go so far, and being stuck in such a small area was beginning to chafe. “Yeah, see how much he’ll charge,” I said finally, sliding out of the booth. “It’s an old C4 tranny, shouldn’t be too hard.”

“I’ll ask. So, tomorrow then?”

“Four o’clock tomorrow sound okay?”

“Cool beans. I’ll pick you up.”

“No, I’d rather…”

Everett held up a hand. “You can at least meet me out where I dropped you off before, can’t you?”

He had a point. “Alright, then I’ll see you tomorrow.” A warm feeling spread through my body and I fought against a silly grin as we walked back to his car.

That pleasure lasted after he dropped me off at my bike and the whole ride home, right up until I realized my mom’s car wasn’t at the house. Leaning my bike against the side of the stairway, I hurried up the steps and checked the house, but she wasn’t there either. It was ten minutes to three when I got home, still more than early enough to pick up my little brother.

But I had no car.

I tried to call her cell but it was turned off. The thought of calling my grandmother didn’t sit well; I’d automatically be made to blame. I thought perhaps my mother was just out running errands and had forgotten the time. Annoyed at my own helplessness, I passed the time by picking up beer bottles strewn across the living room as I waited for her to get home.

At five minutes after three, I called the daycare office. The lady who answered was kind enough to go check to see if my little brother was still there.

“No, his teacher said his mother picked him up,” she said when she finally got on the phone. I thanked her profusely and paced the length of the trailer, continually checking the clock until I finally heard the car pull into the driveway.

“I thought I was supposed to pick him up,” I said as she unbuckled Davey from his car seat.

“You weren’t here,” she said, a belligerent note in her voice. “I tried calling you and kept getting some error message.”

I hadn’t given her my new number yet. Shit. “I’m sorry mama, I changed it two days ago.”

She gave me a dirty look. “Goddamn, irresponsible… I didn’t raise you to be this fucking lazy, Lacey May.”

God I hated it when she was drunk. She never would have talked like that to me before Ben died; I’d never once heard her cuss in fact until we moved back down here. Resentment burned in my gut. “I was here ten minutes beforehand,” I persisted as I followed her into the house. “Where did you go?”

“Had to get cigarettes.”

“Mama.” I gave an exasperated sigh. “You know you shouldn’t drive when you’ve been drinking.”

“You made me do it,” she muttered darkly, setting my brother on the ground. “If you had been here when you were supposed to…”

“Mama, you said you went to get cigarettes. You were driving drunk even though I…”

Crack!

My head whipped around and I stumbled sideways. I turned to look at my mother, shocked to my core. No matter how bad things had been, my mother had never laid her hand on me before.

I stood there stunned, holding my cheek, as my mother stared back at me. To her credit, she looked as astonished as I was, but I didn’t care. Part of me wanted desperately to hit her back, make her feel the pain that was tearing me apart.

“Sissy?”

Davey was watching us, his blue eyes round as saucer plates. Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized he’d witnessed the whole thing, but I had no idea what to say. Raged enveloped me, but I couldn’t make myself move.

My mother looked between us, her eyes still wide, then she turned to my brother. “What do you want for dinner, honey?” she said in a shaky voice, ignoring me completely.

That was the final straw.

I knew where my mother kept her stash of liquor. She wasn’t very creative with hiding it, and I’d raided it before. Sure enough, she had several bottles in various sizes of tequila and vodka in the small cabinet under the kitchen sink.

“What the hell are you doing?”

Grabbing the smaller bottle of vodka, I ignored her and checked the contents. The clear liquid was to the top and didn’t appear to be open.

“Lacey May!”

I rounded on her. “Fuck you,” I whispered, and was pleased by the shock I saw in her eyes. I’d never said those words to her before, never cursed at my mama. She’d been the one person I thought I could rely on in this house.

No more.

Without another word, I turned and stomped out of the trailer, slamming the door behind me. I picked up my bike and, stuffing the thin bottle in the back of my shorts, I took off down the street.

I had no idea where I was going, but when I got to the beaches, I threw down my bike on edge of the sand, and walked out to the water. Plopping my butt next to the pier, I unscrewed the top to the bottle and tipped it back, letting the burning liquid make its way down my throat.

***

😀

“Anything He Wants: Castaway #2” is LIVE!

Can I just say that self-publishing is awesome? :) It’s awesome to be able to get a story out a week earlier than planned, kind of a nice bonus for folks who’ve been keeping track and hoping for an early release. 😉

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Tensions escalate in the second part of the new “Anything He Wants: Castaway” series!

Reunited with Jeremiah, Lucy is forced to come to grips with the decisions she’s made in his absence. The billionaire is as insufferable as ever, but just as determined to protect Lucy. From the Caribbean seas of Jamaica to the man-made islands of Dubai, they must travel halfway across the world to find out who is trying to bring down the Hamilton family.

But it may be the woman who comes between them that tears the two brothers apart forever. And can Lucy bear to live with the consequences of her actions?

*~*

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks

ALSO, I’m super excited to say that right after part two appears up for sale *cue eye roll*, Apple iTunes also finally released the FIRST part of “Anything He Wants: Castaway”!!! 😀 So for all you iBooks users out there, the new series is fully available!! 😀 😀 😀