May 31, 2010


I've kind of been lazy the past week or so. Well, in the writing sense. I finished that first draft of All or Nothing last week and just haven't done anything sinse. Husband and I moved from Utah to Nevada over the weekend and I don't have the motivation to sit down to write yet. I should though, considering we'll be starting our new jobs next in exactly one week. I may not have time as I'd like to write by then. If you haven't noticed, I redesigned the site today. See? No motivation to write, but blogging, I can do. I tried to make the site more fun rather than black, white and boring. so I hope all of you two readers out there enjoy it (me being one of the readers)!

May 26, 2010

Update and Long Overdue Book Review

I forgot I needed to write a review of Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript for all you writer's out there. First off, it's a great source for every type of writer and style. The guide covers novels, short stories, magazine articles, the works and gave me the information I needed. This book isn't going to tell you how to write a book, but gives you great advice if you're looking to sell your work. The main reason I purchased it was to get a final summary of how to format my manuscripts, query letters and synopsis. There is so much information out there on the web that I was getting confused and this book helped me clear a lot of it up. So if you're wanting to sell your writing, definitely make this book a part of your research. Not only is there great advice, there's quotes from literary agents, telling you what they're looking for.
Now, onto the update. The first draft of All or Nothing is done! Yay! At about 359 pages, I made my goal of getting it finished before out big move this weekend and am very satisfied with the way it turned out. There is a lot of work still needing to be done with it, more additions, things like that, but now that I know exactly what I want and the way I want it, it'll be a piece of cake.
Another tidbit of information: I sent in my application to Romance Writer's of America and hope to hear back from them within the next couple of weeks.

May 24, 2010

Coming Along

14 pages today on All or Nothing. I thoroughly enjoy writing this MS for some reason and am excited to get the first draft done within the next week or so. Some big changes are taking place this week. Husband and I are moving to Las Vegas this weekend and I'm sending in my application to Romance Writer's of America tomorrow. I'll be getting my first desk in our new place so I won't be writing at the kitchen table anymore. Yay! And within the next month, I'll hear back from one of the bachelors programs I applied to. Things that I've been planning for months are now suddenly upon us and I can't put into words how excited I am.

The Dark Highlander by Karen Moning

From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth-century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable alpha male an irresistible lure.Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back into time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man....

May 22, 2010


When reading through a few writing articles, I came upon this list of questions that authors should be able to answer for their main characters, namely in the Romance genre. I found it very conclusive and thought I would share the list. When developing characters it's important to be able to answer every question you can about your imaginary friends.

• What is this character’s name?
• What is her age and birth date?
• What does she look like?
• What is her astrological sign? Does it matter to her?
• What are her parents like?
• Does she have brothers and sisters?
• How important are her family relationships?
• Where does she live? (Urban? Small town? Rural?)
• Why did she choose to live there?
• Does she live in an apartment? House? What type or style? Did she choose the residence, and why?
• Does she live by herself? With others?
• What are her important material possessions?
• What are her hobbies?
• What is her education?
• What is her job? How does she feel about her work?
• Is this a long-term career or just a job?
• What does she want to be doing in 20 years?
• If she has unexpected free time, what does she do?
• How does she feel about the opposite sex?
• What is her relationship status? Single? Divorced?
• Does she have children?
• Who is her best friend? Why?
• Who is her worst enemy? Why?
• How would a former date describe her?
• What one event has made her who she is today?
• How does that turning point in the character’s life relate to the other main character in the story?
• What trait does she have that she wants to keep secret from the world?
• What does she like most about her life?
• What does she dislike most about her life?
• What would this character die to defend?
• What are her most likable and unlikable traits?
• As the story begins, what is her main problem?
• What does she do that makes this problem worse?
• Who is this person’s love interest?
• What qualities in the other main character are most attractive to this person?
• What is her ideal happy ending?
• What reaction do you want readers to have to her?
• Why should the reader care about her?

May 21, 2010

Work, Work, Work

All or Nothing is coming along well, almost 300 pages now. I've been trying to focus my extra time on getting this MS done, but now that I've already written all the exciting parts, it's kind of boring to write in between. On a good note, I made some headway on my first try at a paranormal romance, Demon of Life. It's still in the planning stages, but today I made some big steps in getting closer to what I want. I'll be doing a lot of research for this book, not only religious, but historical. I'm looking forward to it.

May 20, 2010

The Highlander's Touch by Karen Moning

A Warrior Of Immortal Powers

He was a mighty Scottish warrior who lived in a world bound by ancient laws and timeless magic. But no immortal powers could prepare the laird of Castle Brodie for the lovely accursed lass who stood before him. A terrible trick of fate had sent her 700 years back in time and into his private chamber to tempt him with her beauty—and seduce him with a desire he could never fulfill. For this woman he burned to possess was also
the woman he had foresworn to destroy.

A Woman Caught In The Mists Of Time

When Lisa felt the earth move under her feet, the fiercely independent 21st-century woman never dreamed she was falling...into another century. But the powerful, naked warrior who stood glaring down at her was only too real...and too dangerously arousing. Irresistibly handsome he might be, but Lisa had no intention of remaining in this savage land torn by treachery and war. How could she know that her seductive captor had other plans for her...plans that would save her from a tragic fate? Or that this man who had long ago forsaken love would defy time itself to claim her for his own....

Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Moning

A laird trapped between centuries...

Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he’d ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side....

A woman changed forever in his arms...

Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern — to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she’d ever seen? Or that once he’d kissed her, he wouldn’t let her go?

Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them ... and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves....

May 18, 2010

On With The Show

I've submitted a query to the last agent on my list for All That I'm Living For. There won't be any more after this one. I'm moving on with my next projects and am leaving this novel behind. Today, I ran into a "real life writer" as I like to call him. I hadn't seen him in a couple months and updated him on all things Natascha. I told him I'd just finished my second novel and was about half way through the third. I informed him that this fall I'll be going back to school with a change of major: English Literature. I had the application filled out, just needed to submit it with payment to the school of my choice. Well, after talking to my writer friend, who suggested that I go for a MFA once I have a bachelors, I came home and submitted my application. I'm not sure what I was waiting for. I think I may have been nervous, but with the program I have in mind I've made the right choice. I'm getting more excited as the time moves closer. I think I'm finally ready to plunge headfirst into the industry.

May 16, 2010

Done, Done, Done.

Revisions and edits are finished for All Because of You. I've sent them off to my critic and will start querying within the next month or so. I had a good time writing this book, much easier than the first, but now that I know the first may never see daylight, I had to make sure this book could stand on it's own. My characters grew a lot in this installment, made them more real to me and gave me that extra push for detail. I wrote the entire thing in about 6 months, which is as much time as All That I'm Living For, but I definitely didn't need to rewrite it as many times. I'm pretty excited to see what people will say about this book and look forward to getting it out into the world.

To Tame A Highland Warrior by Karen Moning

Only her love could gentle his savage soul--

He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, "Come for Jillian," he raced to her side--into a competition to win her hand in marriage.

Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father's manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him--even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both....

May 14, 2010


I worked in jewelry for 5 years, so I have a pretty good clue as to what there is out there, how they work and even how to set them, which not a lot of people can say. But today, for some odd reason, I couldn't for the life of me find a watch that I wanted to use in my research for the third Banvard novel, All or Nothing. A watch plays a very important part in the storyline and I finally had to give in to go do some refresher courses on watches. It's been almost two years since I got out of the business. I didn't think I would lose my knowledge that quickly though. so today I spent about a half hour getting reacquainted with Movado watches. They're very beautiful and one of my favorite brands. I like the simplicity in style, yet the durability of the materials Sweden uses. Yes, they're Swedish watches. I tried to get a picture of the watch I'll be using in my novel, but the Movado website apparently doesn't like that, so no picture, but I will tell you it's going to be the two-toned, chronograph 800 Series.

May 11, 2010

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Moning

Beautiful and intelligent, Adrienne de Simone is the quintessential '90s woman. She's also the perfect pawn for a fairy with a vengeful scheme. Determined to humble an arrogant 16th-century Scottish rogue, the fairy sweeps Adrienne into a century not her own, and into the arms of Hawk, a sinfully attractive conqueror of female hearts. As Adrienne resists her ardent challenger, Hawk's sweet, timeless seduction plays havoc with her resolve.

May 9, 2010

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

May 4, 2010

Second Round

The second round of revision on All Because of You is underway. So far, I have one chapter down and fourteen to go. It doesn't seem like much until you see that each chapter is at least 30 pages long. My goal for the book was more length this time, so I kept to my 30 page/chapter goal throughout the entire book and am now having to take parts out or add more. To be honest, I'm not very good at descriptions. I can imagine a room or a character in complete detail, but forget to actually write it out. I definitely feel better about this book. The story is more action packed, the characters are more real to me. All That I'm Living For is full of flaws. It was my first novel and I'm not too absorbed in getting it published. I will try, but have come to accept that it may never happen. I have more chance with books 2 and 3 with the experiences that I've learned since All That I'm Living For.
All or Nothing (book 3) is still coming along well. Up to almost 240 pages now and counting with about 30 pages a week of writing. I'm constantly working on it in my head, but sometimes struggle to sit down and get my ideas onto paper. The thoughts end up building throughout the week until I find the motivation to get them out on the weekends.

May 3, 2010

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.

The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars

Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.

The Cousin: Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

The Complications: Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux

Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.

The Catastrophe: Moonman

Morelli hires Walter “Mooner” Dunphy, stoner and “inventor” turned crime fighter, to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.

The Cupcake: Stephanie Plum

Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.

The Crisis: A favor for Ranger

Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.

The Conclusion: Only the fearless should read Fourteen.

Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result.

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

In her rollicking 13th Stephanie Plum adventure (after Twelve Sharp), bestseller Evanovich is in top, quirky form. Plucky, bumbling New Jersey bounty hunter Plum is reunited with her two-timing lawyer ex-husband, Dickie Orr, while doing a favor for the mysterious, sexy Ranger. But when Dickie disappears from his house leaving behind only bloodstains and bullet holes, Plum becomes the prime suspect in his alleged murder. Determined to clear her name, Plum and her on-again off-again Trenton cop boyfriend, the irresistible Joe Morelli, uncover Dickie's ties to a shady group of men involved in everything from money laundering to drug running. And when Dickie's jilted business partners decide Stephanie holds the key to the $40 million they believe Dickie stole from them, she's in for a wild ride. With the author's usual cast of eccentric side characters—everything from a taxidermist with a penchant for bombs to a grave-robbing tax man—Evanovich proves once again that Stephanie Plum and her entourage are here to stay.

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

While chasing down the usual cast of miscreants and weirdos Stephanie discovers that a crazed woman is stalking her.

The woman dresses in black, carries a 9mm Glock, and has a bad attitude and a mysterious connection to dark and dangerous Carlos Manoso …street name, Ranger.

The action turns deadly serious, and Stephanie goes from hunting skips to hunting a murderer.

Ranger needs Stephanie for more reasons than he can say. And now, the two are working together to find a killer, rescue a missing child, and stop a lunatic from raising the body count. When Stephanie Plum and Ranger get too close for comfort, vice cop Joe Morelli (her on-again, off-again boyfriend) steps in.