Final Edits and New Projects

The last two weeks were really exciting for me, writing-wise. My editor, Carly, got the second half of the edits back to me when I was just finishing up the first, and suddenly I was on a deadline! I spent all my days off staring at a screen and sitting on the couch working on the edits. There were some rewrites she wanted again, and of course the usual line edits.

This is my first time with an editor, so it’s been an interesting experience to have someone else reading through my work and telling me what little things I needed to change. It was the first time I’d ever used the Track Changes function on Word too. Since I’d never had anyone else working in my files, I’d never had a reason to use it. It’s actually a pretty great function! I could see what she took out and her comments, both of which were really helpful. It did make things a little hard to look at when I wrote my own changes but once all the changes are accepted/committed, it’ll look much better.

She got the last of the changes to me yesterday, so I forsee myself sitting on the couch and working on them all day tomorrow. I want to get them back to her before the weekend is out but I haven’t looked at them yet to see what needs to be done.

I have to say that my story has improved a lot since Carly came on board. This is my first romance novel, so there were some definite things that needed work, but I feel that I’ll be able to take everything she’s given me and make the ones I have in reserve better right off the ground. Of course, the second is going to be one that I already finished that is in need of a major rewrite. Maybe a project for Camp NaNoWriMo in July?

Speaking of Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m glad the first session is coming up in April because I’ve got a new project to work on!

My book manager Patti – the hardest working woman I know – introduced me a little while back to some other historical romance authors and we’ve gotten along well. Thanks to their encouragement, I’m working on a new project the likes of which I’ve never tackled before!

Up until now I have been writing exclusively historical Western romances, so this is going to be a little different – it’s still historical romance but this time it’s pirate-themed! It’s going to be pretty exciting, especially since I don’t know a whole lot about pirates. That’s what research is for, right?

What does this have to do with Camp NaNoWriMo? You can set your own word count goal, and this story is going to be closer to novella length. Plus, I’ll have friends to cheer me on and word sprints to help me get where I’m going. Of course, I’ll share some snippets with you until I can announce more about the project. I can’t wait for you to read it!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do some editing and research pirates!

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Book Review: Pulled (A Flawed Short Story)

imagePulled is a short story from the Flawed universe, which I have become completely immersed and attached to. After falling in love with the characters from the main series, I knew I had to read this as soon as I read the description.

I was really able to identify with Juniper, who couldn’t control her power and was frustrated because no one believed her. All of Campbell’s characters are so wonderfully written that it’s like I know them, and the story is so rich that it’s hard to believe it’s just a short story.

Having read all three of the full-length novels, I jumped up and down in my seat when one of the villains showed up, hoping he wouldn’t do anything to Juniper. He wasn’t someone you had to know about, though, so it still worked as a standalone short.

I wish it wasn’t so short! The end came way too soon for me and I really wish it was a full novel of its own because I really want to find out what happens to Juniper and the other “specials” and see how their abilities manifest themselves.

If I hadn’t already read so much from this universe, I would be really itching for more of the Flawed series. As it is, I am pacing the floor waiting for Book 4 to come out so I can find out what kind of havoc the new villain is going to wreak.

This story counts as a book toward my Goodreads 2016 challenge, which feels a little like cheating, but it’s the only book I was able to read with all my editing craziness. I’m working on another book right now that’s a bit longer so I’ll hopefully have more for you next week!

Check out Pulled at Amazon here!

Unfinished WIPs, Part Two

Since I finally finished my edits (hooray!), I am finally about to start working on my coworker’s baby gift. Hopefully I’ll be able to show it off to you next week but for this week it’ll be another WIP post.

Lacy Shells 1

This one was supposed to be a baby gift for my friend as well, but I was halfway through it when the baby decided she was going to come early! I spent my time visiting her and the baby, figuring I had plenty of time to finish it later. Her daughter is almost two now. Oops.

Lacy Shells 2

I went with this pretty sage green because it was one of the colors my friend went with during her baby decorating phase (she’s not a fan of pastels), and I was actually a little surprised the store had this color. I do intend to finish it one day, I’m just not sure when.

Triple Wave

This second one I started when we still lived in San Antonio. I picked it because it was a simple ripple that looked a lot more complicated with all the color changes. Unfortunately it was all the color changes that made me give up on it. It’s hard to zone out and watch a movie while crocheting when I have to weave in ends and switch colors every row.Yarn and Cat

 

I chose these colors because they looked so pretty sitting next to each other at the store, and I would love to go back to it one of these days. I have all the yarn already, but I don’t know where the pattern is and I can’t remember what size hook I used. Maybe it’ll end up being a project for when I get rich and retire. I didn’t win the Powerball drawing last week, though, so it’ll be a while before that happens.

I’m all out of WIPs in my closet now, so I’ll have to get on the crocheting ball again! The Spring Bouquet crochet exchange is coming up next month, though, so you’ll get to see my attempt at squares with pretty flowers on them. I’m brainstorming right now but I hope to come up with something good!

Give Me a *#%$ing Break

Open Book BH 2

This week on the blog hop, we’re talking about swearing!

I work in the medical field, so I rarely swear in public. Having so much contact with patients has really influenced my speech patterns, and I find myself talking quietly and calmly most of the time even in my daily life. I only swear in the privacy of my own home or in the car, and it’s usually when I’m really angry or worked up about something.

My husband and my mother-in-law, however, are quite loud and boisterous. When we go out to eat you can hear them in the next room while the server has to ask me to repeat my order more than once. In addition to being loud, my husband also has the mouth of a sailor. Have you ever seen the movie A Christmas Story? The way Ralphie describes his dad’s swearing is pretty much how I see my daughter describing my husband when she gets to be a tween.

There is some occasional swearing in the music I listen to, and since I try not to swear much it sends a little thrill through me as if I’m listening to something illicit. When I’m singing along I don’t skip over anything and I feel like I’m getting away with something. Since most of my music is pretty clean, I don’t feel strange listening to it at work when I’m away from patients and my playlists are safe for listening with kids. Some of the stuff my coworkers listen to, as I discovered on our ride to the holiday party, would sound more like R2-D2 had a verse with everything that had to be beeped out.

I feel like in books, swearing should only be done in extreme situations or if it suits the character. For example, a serial killer or train robber might curse more than a countess or sheriff, but even the sheriff might call someone a son of a bitch when he gets thrown off his guard! One of my favorite series is Harry Potter, and when Molly Weasley says her one big swear at the end of book 7 it gives it a power that it might not have had if we just heard it every few pages, both because it comes from sweet Mrs. Weasley and because we’d never heard its like in the book before.

Swearing has its place, I think, but for me personally I keep it a little more clean. I promise not to judge you if you do curse a lot, though. Mostly.

Want to share your opinion? Join the Blog Hop!

Blue HonorBefore you do, however, you should check out K. Williams’ book Blue Honor, which tracks four families who must make great sacrifices during the American Civil War. As a writer of historical fiction, this book is high on my to-read list and it should be on yours as well! Check it out here on Amazon!

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use ‪#‎OpenBook‬ when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Book Review: Protector (Flawed Series #3)

Protector

When Jade was kidnapped by a man with supernatural night vision, he kept referring to her as Kelsey. Worried what he might do if he found her, Jade combs the papers for any mention of where she might be, much to the displeasure of Logan, who only wants to keep her safe. But the kidnapper and his accomplice, who had been foiled in Outsider by Jade’s friends, are hot on Kelsey’s trail and it’s only a matter of time before they catch up with her and imprison her for good.

I was incredibly lucky to get an Advance Reading Copy of this book from Becca J. Campbell after reviewing her two previous books. I’ve blown through the entire series in record time because they are seriously so good.

This book focused less on the characters that had already been introduced and more on the villains and their prey, Kelsey. We don’t see the Schuyler family at all and are mostly focused on Jade and Logan, but the majority of the book deals with Kelsey’s problems at her job and the breakthroughs she makes with her art therapy students.

I felt like this book moved a little more slowly than the others, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Apart from the villains, whose segments seemed to pass quickly, there is so much focused on Kelsey that it almost seems like the book is in a different series. If it wasn’t for Ethan and Nicodemus to tie it in, it could be a different book altogether. That’s not to say it’s bad; I loved reading about Kelsey’s students and her attempts to pull off a fundraiser, but it didn’t have the same feel.

Just as in the other books, the action sped up once Ethan got his hands on Kelsey. Coincidentally, that’s also when Jade and Logan were pulled back into the story in a big way. The climax was seriously exciting and Jade’s newly discovered use of her flaw took it to a whole other level.

My only gripe, and it’s a tiny one, is that there was a subplot with Logan’s long-lost father that felt a little tacked-on. I would have loved to explore it a little more but with everything else going on I’m not sure where it would have gone. I was also a little uncertain about a bit with Violet, Logan’s ex, while he was on the way to help Jade but the epilogue picked up where it left off and promises a fourth book in the series. I am seriously excited about this!

I have one more book in my to-read pile, then I’m going to buy Pulled and Constricted, two short stories from the Flawed universe. I can’t get enough of these characters and their special flaws.

Protector goes on sale in January and I highly recommend you pick it up along with Empath and Outsider in the series.

Unfinished WIPs, Part One

I’m still hard at work on edits of Detective’s Brother, so I haven’t gotten much crocheting done lately. Hopefully I’ll have time this weekend to start my coworker’s baby gift! She said her shower would be sometime in January but she didn’t specify. Pressure!

Anyhow, here are a couple of unfinished things I have laying around in my closet.

Pastel Baby Squares

These are a bunch of pastel granny squares that I intended to turn into a blanket at one time. The problem was that once I got finished making them all I was super disinterested in finishing the blanket. This is where the yarn I’m making the second baby sweater out of came from, in case you couldn’t tell.

Handwritten Pattern

Here’s the oh-so-professional pattern I scribbled down on an old work schedule. It was supposed to be a basic checkerboard pattern with a colorful edge and I do have plans to go back and finish it…someday.

Random Blue Squares

These squares were for some project I had in mind that I can no longer remember. I think I was going to make a bunch of them and make a blanket but I’m not sure. There were a couple more but the cats got into them and, well, no one wants a blanket made of chewed-up squares that smell like cat spit. I probably won’t go back to this project but I may use the squares in a random scrapghan project.

That’s it for this week on the crochet front. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting for you next week!

Aim for the Head

Open Book BH 2This week on the Blog Hop we’re talking about zombies.

Strange topic, huh? But for a creature that was only slightly referenced for years, zombies have become a hot topic in pop culture. Zombie books, zombie movies, even a sort of serious debate on whether zombies would be fast or slow.

As much as I’d like to say that I’m above the whole zombie craze, I really love The Walking Dead. My husband is a huge fan of comics and horror movies, so he had already read a lot of the comics before the show was even announced. We both agreed that for a long comic like it, the best way to adapt it was to do a TV series. I was kind of curious to see how they handled the gore but just as in the comics, the show is really more about the people than the zombies. I haven’t seen the most recent season, though, so no spoilers please!

My husband also loves video games, and one of his favorite games is Dead Island. He also loves the zombie DLC for the Call of Duty games, even though he’s not a huge fan of first person shooter games. I think it’s a case of his liking to play with his friends more than the actual shooting, and he only ever seems to play the zombie version.

I’ve only read one zombie book that I can think of, Stephen King’s Cell. I read it when it first came out and don’t remember much about it other than the fact that people were turned into zombies (or zombie-like people) by a pulse that went through their cell phones. I can’t even really remember whether or not it was good, which probably says something about it. I have seen a lot of zombie movies, though. And as far as that debate? I can see both sides of it but I’m firmly in camp “Classic Shambling Zombie.”

Willow BranchBefore you check out the rest of the posts, check out Lela Markham’s book, The Willow Branch: Book 1 of The Daermad Cycle

A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.

Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King.

 

What’s your opinion on zombies? Share it with everyone on the blog hop!
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The Chex Mix of Romance Fiction