December 30, 2009

Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K Hamilton

This one wasn't as good as Blue Moon, but definitely original. I was expecting the Red Woman's Husband to be a god with all that power he possessed. It would have given me something more to look forward to in this series, but I was disappointed when he just turned out to be another vampire. However, Anita Blake is becoming more of an executioner now then she has ever been, which is what I like to see. She still hasn't figured out her love life though. Will it be Richard or Jean-Claude? Another vampire vs. werewolf tale.

December 27, 2009

2010 Game Plan

Now that The First Romantic Suspense is complete and ready for review it's time to start thinking about 2010 goals. I generally have the same New Years Resolutions every year. My main one is reading 50 NEW books a year. I made my goal for 2009 and have created my list for 2010 already. See my Goodreads page for the books I plan to read.
When it comes to my writing I have a lot of plans. January is a time for me to work on some short stories. The First Short Story had been put on the back burner when the "Great file loss of 2009" took place and I think January is a perfect time to pick back up on it. I'm giving myself until January 31st to get that one done and then it will be time to continue work on The Second Romantic Suspense.
It's been a crazy year, but I'm happy to say a good one.

December 25, 2009

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I've seen True Blood and followed it up with starting the series. I was quite surprised. The plot, the characters, even down to the dialogue are identical to the books. The writing was a little choppy in the beginning, but I soon had to realize it's from Sookie Stackhouse's view (first person) and she really does talk like a Southern hill-billy. However, True Blood was not done in the first person so you get to see more of Vampire Bill's side of things and other background stories that aren't covered in this first book, but it's great all the same. I will continue to read the series and keep you guys updated.

December 18, 2009

Name Change

No, not mine. After doing a little more research I've decided to give my characters in The First Romantic Suspense more believable names. My hero is from England, therefore, he needed an English last name. The new name seems to fit the bill and it's not so generic anymore either. My villain's name also had a change, more radical. At the time I was writing the first draft I thought of the most popular Mexican name I could just to get things moving. Gonzales was the name, but after I've spent some time with my villain, getting to know him, his name is now more menacing and evil. It's perfect for the type of past he's had and what he does for a living.
As for the completion of The First Romantic Suspense, it will be done this weekend. I was drastically set back with the loss of those files, but it's for the best in my opinion. I was able to go back through my hard copies and make a better story out of it. The MS which was finished this summer at 331 pages is now over 400 pages because I was typing out those chapters again while adding bits and pieces. It has been a little stressful. I've altered my original ending and now I'm having to think of new ways to kill my villain. It's a very slow process, but I'm confident this weekend will be kind and let me work.

December 11, 2009

Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

To get back into the swing of book reviews, here's Carolyn Jewel's Scandal.
Carolyn Jewel has taught me a lot when it comes to writing. For that purpose I decided to read at least one of her books.
Scandal was my first Carolyn Jewel experience and I have to say I was quite surprised at what I found. I expected another trashy novel that you just buy at the grocery store, but Scandal was very well done. I'm glad I looked into this author. I will be reading more of her, but most likely her paranormal side. Historical Romance isn't generally my genre.
Sophie annoyed me a little, not realizing, or admitting is more like it, that she had been in love with Banalt for some time. I think most of the time she was just denying she wanted anything to do with him and that put me off a little. However, Banalt was my favorite character. He fully applied himself to make Sophie realize he loved her and was a changed man, even when Sophie was being more than difficult.
This was a great book, one that I read in less than two days and will probably read again.

December 4, 2009

So It Begins...

Well, I've done everything imaginable to restore the files that have been corrupted. Unfortunately, somebody doesn't think I should have them. I am retyping all 6 chapters that I've lost and rewriting (hopefully from memory) the additions I had in those files. To those of you who volunteered to read the manuscript: I'm sorry. You'll have to wait until January to get your hands on it.
I also lost my biography, but that's easy to rewrite, my playlist I used to write The First Romantic Suspense and the revisions on The First Short Story.
It'll take a while, but I'll get everything fixed. One word of advise I can give to anyone who is a writer, a photographer, pretty much anything to do with the arts: BACKUP.

December 2, 2009

You Won't Believe What Happened...

So today I went to go make a new word count of the revised MS for The First Romantic Suspense. Everything was going great until I got to Chapter 13. I went to open the document and it wouldn't open. I went on to Chapter 14, same thing. All the way to Chapter 18. These six chapters were the ones I was working on yesterday and today I was working on Chapter 19, which works just fine.
Well, low and behold, my files have been corrupted and I cannot open them.
I've tried my laptop, Kevin's, and my in-laws computer...nothing.
Six chapters....gone....
And being the anal person that I am, as soon as I was done with my additions to the chapters, I deleted them 5 minutes before I found my file corruption. I don't like excess things on my laptop or thumb drive. So they went bye bye.
A couple positive notes. I have the hard copies with corrections (down side to that is I don't have the additions I slid in, about 20 pages total). Second is the files that were corrupted were opened on my work computer today. So I'm hoping tomorrow I will be able to open them there.
Pray for me...

November 28, 2009


Revisions are done for The First Romantic Suspense. Volunteers are being requested to read the manuscript and give criticism.

November 18, 2009


Revisions are taking much longer than I thought they would. In the past two weeks I've written an additional 1700+ words for The First Romantic Suspense. I'm glad that I'm doing it, but I honestly need to spend more time on it. I'm only about a third of the way done and I can't decide if it's because I'm adding more to it or because I'm just so slow. Either way I've given myself until Nov 30 to complete the revisions and have it done. Anyway, when these revisions are done I will need someone to read through the MS and The First Short Story. Someone who hasn't already and is a seasoned reader or writer. Any takers? Contact me if you're interested. Thanks!

November 15, 2009

The First Short Story

While researching the current fiction market, I've come across a bit of advise from a well known editor, Noah Lukeman. His piece on "How To Write A Great Query Letter" can be downloaded from for free and gives some great advise. One of the topics he covers is credentials. There are more than 5 recommendations when it comes to building your credentials for writing, but I'm focusing on just two of them for now.
The first I've already discussed in a previous post. Get a degree in writing. I'm not sure when I will have a chance to continue my education in writing, but it's on the list of things to accomplish in my life.
The second is take a shot at short stories. When I read this, I honestly thought it wasn't for me. The two novels I've worked on are no where near under 4,000 words and I have been too busy to concentrate on any other projects except the novels. I didn't think I could write anything that short. I know, most people are opposite on the subject, but for me, it's easier to write a novel for some reason.
However, I'm doing it anyway. It sounds dumb and maybe repetitive (because of The First Romantic Novel), but I had a dream last night of an interesting storyline. So I'm working on it. It'll be about 4,000 words since most of the markets are looking for that amount and after more research I'm going to submit it.
Wish me luck :)

November 6, 2009


Have you ever heard of this? I hadn't until today when I read Carolyn Jewel's Writer's Blog. I didn't know anyone actually did this when it came to writing. Try it out. You may enjoy it.

November 3, 2009

Moving Along

Just a quick update. Still working on revisions for The First Romantic Suspense. Seems to take forever. I didn't know I was so unhappy with the last version of my MS (manuscript). Today I've already written an additional 350 words. Cool, huh? That's considered a good day, I think. Some agents I've queried have come back with responses such as, "We only consider novels with 90,000 words minimum." I don't have plans at this time to write another 40,000 words for this MS, but we'll see where my new revisions take it.

I have only queried 10 agents so far for The First Romantic Suspense. It seems I'm starting from scratch again, but hey, it's got to be done. New query letter (with research included...see post below if you're confused), I will need to adjust my synopsis after my revisions are done and then start with another 10 agents.

As for The Second Romantic Suspense, I am adding adding additional "scenes", as I like to call them, to my layout. I keep a chapter-by-chapter summary of my novels as I'm writing to keep things in order. I can move one section to another, add a quick scene,'s more organized for me, even when I'm not actually writing. My layout is a place to write a quick description of what I want to add to this chapter or that chapter, so when I actually "sit down and do it", I already have it worked out. It feels small right now, but the first 5 chapters are halfway written. I say halfway because I've added many more scenes to my layout since my "Breakthroughs" post below. I just haven't actually written them.

October 26, 2009


I'm done rewriting the query letter for The First Romantic Suspense. I was less motivated to do it before, but now that it's finished I feel much better. I'm waiting until November 31st to hear back from two agents I currently have active on my submission report to respond and then I am going to send out the new letter to another ten agents. We'll see how it goes. A few workshops I've gone through recommend finding a book for each agent I submit to that is similar to my own. It's a lot of work, but I think it will actually help in the long run. So to add to my goals I am going to start my research to find another story similar.
Now that I've finished my goal for this week I'm spending some extra time on revising The First Romantic Suspense. Yeah, I know, I thought it was done too, but remember when I said most people who've read it (actually all people) didn't like the ending? Well that's going to change. I'm even adding an additional character who will also be in the sequel. Plus there are always little things I miss. This week my used-to-be-completed manuscript is going in a three-ringed binder and I'm going to be carrying it around until I'm done with it. Seems a shame since I spent $25.00 making it all pretty and bound. But that's just what I've got to do.

October 20, 2009


While on vacation I have come up with some great breakthroughs in my writing. First, I'm letting myself rewrite the ending to The First Romantic Suspense. It will connect more to the second book and end more happily-ish. Second, is just that. The new ending of book one gave me more ideas for The Second Romantic Suspense. I'm still trying to make the chapters play nicely together, but these new ideas are a great addition since I have been in somewhat of a writer's block.

October 13, 2009


I haven't posted in a while and thought I would share some updates as well as post this great quote of Ms. Evanovich's from her "Questions About Writing" on her site.

Q. What if I send my book to a lot of agents and none of them wants to represent me?

JANET: If being a writer is important to you, keep at it, keep improving, and don't give up. I wrote three books that were never published. I sent the first one out to everybody. I went through every agent and publisher in New York, twice. The only positive letter that I got back was from an agent, but it was written in purple crayon on a bar napkin, so I didn't follow up on it. Then, presto, ten years later I was a published author.

First, I haven't entered into the RWA Golden Heart contest. I didn't realize in order to enter you had to be a member of RWA. I am more than willing to become a member of this prestiges group, but lack the money to do so. Some day it will happen.

Second, I haven't been writing AT ALL. It's bad, I know. Good news? I'm still planning out my second novel in my head. I've even fixed a few chapters up there, but haven't written them yet. As for my first novel, I don't know what to do with it. For the people who've read it, the end is a bummer. It doesn't really end as a happy story, and they think I need to rewrite. Some days I agree, but am not sure how it will work out with the sequel.

Third, I am rethinking my titles. Any thoughts (if you've read the book)? If you haven't any titles that you think would be suited for a romantic/suspensful novel? And if you want to read it, just ask.

And last, I have decided to go back to school, but in a different program. I feel good about a my writing and would like to get the credentials to help me out. Currently, I'm trying to get program information about UVU's English department and we'll see where it takes me. Wish me luck :)

September 26, 2009

Trouble in the Field

I'm having a hard time staying motivated on a lot of things lately. I've sent my Novel #1 query letter out to 10 agents. So far, 6 have replied with no interest. Rejection is always hard, but it's just mostly annoying. I've read that I should send out 10 at a time and if they all come back with rejections, rewrite and send out to another 10. My problem is I spent almost 3 months perfecting my query letter for this novel and can't see myself spending MORE time on it in a rewrite. But I guess I don't have a choice. I will wait for the other 4 agents to respond by Oct 31st. If by then I haven't heard anything, then it's time to start over.
I've also considered something else that could happen. There are some authors out there who are published, but some of their manuscripts never made it that far. I'm not sure if my first novel could be one of them. I almost want to just keep moving forward with the second novel and leave the first behind.

September 9, 2009

Musical Motivation

Do it now
You know who you are
You feel it in your heart
And you're burning and wishing

At first, wait, won't get it on a plate
You're gonna work for it harder and harder
And I know 'cause I've been there before
Knocking on the doors with rejection (rejection)
And you'll see 'cause if it's meant to be
Nothing can compare to deserving your dream

It's amazing, it's amazing all that you can do
It's amazing, it makes my heart sing
Now it's up to you

Patience, now, frustration's in the air
And people who don't care
Well it's gonna get you down
And you'll fall (fall)
Yes you will hit a wall
But get back on your feet
And you'll be stronger and smarter

And I know 'cause I've been there before
Knockin' down the doors, won't take "No" for an answer
And you'll see 'cause if it's meant to be
Nothing can compare to deserving your dream

- Jem - It's Amazing

September 2, 2009

4 More

I've sent my query letter out to another 4 agents this week, hoping one of them will request more information.

I've also been spending a lot of time on The Second Romantic Suspense. It seems small, but I have about 5 chapters done. I'm just touching them up before I move on. I'm still not entirely sure where this storyline is going, but have a lot of ideas of what to put in it. I know how the book ends, it's just getting there that counts. The First Romantic Suspense took me about 6 months to write and about 6 more months to edit and make perfect. If I can even get that close with The Second Romantic Suspense I'll be lucky. I have a feeling it's not going to work that way though.

As you can also see the covers for my two novels are different again. Remember they are just for fun. I made them because I was bored and am not very creative when it comes to Photoshop.

August 25, 2009

RWA Golden Heart Contest

Romance Writer's of America has their Golden Heart writing contest every year. This is possibly the largest contest in romance writing in America and I plan to enter. Entry starts September 21st this year. Luckily, I have everything ready for it. The manuscript is formatted from the last contest and the synopsis is done. All I need is my entry form and fee. I'll keep you updated.

August 24, 2009

And Away We Go.

It's off. My 1 page synopsis and query letter are off to a prospective agent. I'm sending it snail mail, which will give me about 2 months to hear from the Gival Press contest I entered into. Takes a long time, but I wanted to make sure to do everything right. If this one doesn't work out I have an entire list of agents that I've researched to fit my book. :)

August 20, 2009

Guess What? It's Finished.

Yes, the synopsis for Novel #1 is finally done. Hopefully I can keep it that way. I have an annoying habit of rewriting and rewriting and rewriting even when it's fine. I have purchased the book above to help me submit my manuscript and shop it around to agents. Ugh, the drama. Wish me luck :)

August 18, 2009

Oh For The Love...

Is this finished yet? Technically, yes, but I feel like I will never be done with the synopsis. No wonder Carolyn Jewel calls it "dreaded". I thought this would be the easy part. I wrote a 351 page novel in one year without worry, but this sucker is a beast of it's own. I do, however, have more than one sentence done now. I have approximately 9 paragraphs. The only problem is making them play together nicely. I've probably rewritten each paragraph about 5 times already and I'm close! I'll keep you updated :)

August 9, 2009


I've finally had the time and energy to start working on the synopsis for The First Romantic Suspense. I would have just sent in my query letter and then started working on a synopsis if an agent was interested, but most of the agents require a synopsis to be sent along with. So far I have one sentence done. Lol.
There are many different opinions on what a synopsis should be. Some say it's more about feelings and tone, but others say it's a step-by-step telling of your book. I'm writing both. It depends on how long the synopsis should be and that depends on the agent. If they want 1 page I'm going to give them the feelings and tone, but if they want 10-30 pages I'll do the step by step.
Off to work...

July 30, 2009

Who Has Time?

Seriously...who has time to do the things they want? Work, studying, working out, eat, sleep. It seems I never have time to work on my current project and it drives me nuts. I haven't even been working on the synopsis for The First Romantic Suspense.
I want to be a serious writer, but where in my day can I fit it in?
The best advice I've heard is from both Janet Evanovich and Stephenie Meyer. "If you want to be a serious writer, be prepared to put in the hours." I can't even imagine how long it took me to write All That I'm Living For. Hours at the computer over the period of a year, but I don't have that kind of time anymore. Where did it all go?

July 19, 2009


Webinars are great resources if you want to learn more about getting your writing noticed. Click here for some of Writer's Market's new sessions. I plan to register for the Query Letter Makeover and I'll let you know how it goes.

July 15, 2009

Guide to Query Letters

Want to get your writing noticed? Get The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters. I learned so much more about pitching my novel to agents from just a few paragraphs in this easy-to-read helper. It also gives you step-by-step instruction of the publishing process and amazing tips on how to write your synopsis (if you need one). I have a copy you can borrow or you can buy it here.

July 13, 2009

Welcome to the Writer's Blog

So I made this as a place to keep you updated on my writing. Where I'm at in the writing process, contests I enter, tips for aspiring writers and resources. I've placed some up already. Check 'em out.
I moved the link to The First Romantic Suspense here and put up my cover of The Second Romantic Suspense.
Currently, I'm working on my synopsis for The First Romantic Suspense. I think I will wait to submit my manuscript to agents until I hear about the 2009 Gival Press Novel Contest I entered into. I should hear about the results this fall.