Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer holi-daze

The last couple of weeks I've been on holidays at our family summer cottage. It is a serene and magical place, where creative batteries can be recharged, and one can feed the soul on the beauty that surrounds you. And I needed this. This summer has been somewhat stressful with family concerns, visiting relatives, unbearable heat and humidity, some health issues that reared their ugly heads, the first thing that seemed to go was my ability to produce words. Oh, I sat and forced some, but the joy I usually feel when "in the zone" was not there, and so my writing dribbled down to almost nothing.  I worked instead on editing and proofreading other people's stuff, for which I'm paid...sure...but which doesn't feed my creative soul quite the same way.

Anyway, a few days at the cottage in the company of a dear friend, also a writer, and I was filled with energy and optimism. I was excited to tackle a project that had brought me to my knees. I had ideas just pouring into my head and made notes galore for future projects. It was thrilling. So, the lesson I have learned here, is to listen to what my creative side is telling me. If it says it's stifled, and weary and needing nourishment, then I'll take some time away from the drudgeries of everyday life, and fill the tank...either at the cottage, or in my own quaint little backyard...perhaps at the library, or the park...but somewhere where there is beauty and peace and time to reflect.

Just to remind you, that while you wait for "the next Paige Bennett story", I have work available now.
At Cambridge Press US,, my Hottest Heat collections Vol. 1 and 2, are featured on the front page of the site. Vol. 3 is underway, so you still have a chance to read the first two collections before the third one arrives sometime this fall.

And for someone wanting a longer read, Hot for the Handyman can be found at Phaze Books.  I am currently working on two companion shorts for Handyman, and hope to see them and the novella released in print later in the year, so watch for that.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Now available

Hot for the Handyman is now available at Phaze Books

Having briefly dated a younger man (twelve years my junior), this story of an older woman and her younger lover hits close to home. My story didn't have the happy ending, but Yvetta's (my heroine) does.

After the book was finished, though, I found that I was quite interested in what happened with a couple of the secondary characters...Yvetta's daughter Tanisha, and her best friend, Cherise.  Since then, ideas have been bubbling around in my brain (and keeping me awake at night!) for short stories that tell they're own love stories.

In Hot for the Handyman, Tanisha didn't approve of her mother's relationship with the much younger Ray. I think she needs to gain a little understanding about how you can't always control the heart. The heart chooses who the heart chooses. So expect her story to have some angst for the young woman.   And Cherise, the non-apologetic cougar, will likely find herself falling for the least likely candidate in her opinion---a man her own age or older.  Look for these stories in the near future.

I also had it suggested to me, that perhaps there are more "Hot for..." stories to be had, creating a series. I agreed, so have mapped out the next story already, and have an inkling of an idea for a third. There may be more, but I don't want to overwhelm myself. So, it looks like my project list is getting longer, and I won't run out of stories to tell well into 2015!

I think I'd better get started on them.
Till next time,

Friday, July 19, 2013

And the heatwave continues...

Okay, the heat is no longer news.  It's just damned hot, here, there and everywhere. 'Nuff said.

I really need to conquer this blogging business. I have been so erratic at posting.  I know I'm not the most disciplined nor organized of writers, and I need to fix this. Note to some research on successful blogging.

July was a busy month in my family. My mother, as I think I've mentioned, is elderly and in a home now, her mind drifting with Altzheimers. Her only remaining sibling live all the way across the country in Calgary, Alberta...yes, where they had all the recent flooding. My aunt and cousins travelled east at the beginning of July so they could visit with my Mom. We feel, with both ladies in their eighties now, that it's likely this will be Aunt M.'s last trip this way. It's just too hard on her.

It was wonderful to see the joy on Mom's face when we all gathered at the home for a visit to celebrate her birthday and bring the two sisters together. I'm pretty sure she recognized her sister, which was wonderful. It warmed my heart to watch the two of them together. 

I hadn't seen my cousin for almost thirty years, so it was great to catch up with him. Of course, we talked about the flood they'd left behind. They live in a neighbourhood that had been evacuated, although luckily, their house was spared the flooding. It was terrible to see stories of the damage done by the risen river, and there's a lot of work to be done to bring things back to normal. 

But wouldn't you know, while they were here, Toronto got hit one day by the heaviest rainstorm since Hurricane Hazel in 1954, and there was flooding near the apartment building where they were staying with another aunt! Thankfully, the rest of their stay brought sunny dry weather.

July is flying by...dont' know where the days go...but I will endeavor to blog again next week, and maybe have some news on the writing front. Let's see if I can scare up a little it of discipline in the meantime.
Till then,

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hot damn, but it's hot!

Man but is it hot out there! I live near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and temps have been ugly high this past month. It's also been uber after day of rain and thunderstorms. So the hot days feel somewhat like I recall Florida feeling like. Air that stands up and slaps you in the face. Heat and I do not get along well at the best of times. I'm a plus sized gal and I'm in menopause, so this heat and humidity takes a toll. Thank God for AC, or I'd never survive.

I suddenly realized that over a month had gone by and I hadn't blogged. I feel so negligent! But I've been working on editing jobs (for which I get paid, so important to keep on top of), and I've been writing. And there are ongoing family responsibilities that take up many of my days.

As I posted last time, my interracial novella Hot for the Handyman got accepted at Phaze. I now have the cover art.
Isn't he pretty??? Sigh...bestill my heart.  

I expect it to be released sometime later in July. I'll keep you posted when it's available.

I had it suggested to me that this book could be the first in a series of  "Hot For" books. After giving it some thought, I agreed, so have drafted a loose outline for Book 2 which will be Hot for the Doctor.  He's a doctor doing humanitarian work in a third world country hit by a savage hurricane. She's a reporter covering the storm. The two meet, and sparks fly...

But before I get to that one, I've begun book one of my Family Jewels trilogy.  The Jewel triplets have graduated college and are embarking on their chosen careers. Ruby has become a police officer. Opal has gone into teaching. And Citrine...well, she's having a little trouble settling down. Each are driven by the need to overcome their family scandal which took place when they were in grade school.
Each sister will get their own book. I've started Ruby's story, as yet untitled.

And I can't forget that I have a third Hottest Heat mini-collection coming out in September from Cambridge Press US. I just need to get the three stories written. Sigh...I need to clone me...LOL
Till next time,

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sun and warm breezes

I saw my first crocuses in bloom yesterday, so spring has officially arrived in my part of Canada (not far from Toronto, Ontario)  They were a deep purple (my favorite), and the sight of them really lifted my spirits.

I'm not a winter person...AT ALL. Winter tends to depress me. Due to some ongoing mobility issues, I tend to be housebound in winter, so by February, cabin fever is setting in. The days are so short, that exposure to any sunshine is limited. The frigid winter wind finds every crack and crevice, and the winds whip around my building like angry demons. The only consolation is the odd day of pristine beauty when it has snowed and the sun shines on the blanket of white making it glitter like so many diamonds.

So how nice it was yesterday to hop in the car, the sun beaming and filling the vehicle with heat. I was able to shrug off my jacket and actually feel the sun's touch on my skin. Heavenly. The spring breezes smell sweet. The tree on my patio (not sure what species...possibly Aspen?) is in bloom with delicate while flowers. There are buds on my lilac bushes, and my purple iris has bloomed. I feel somewhat renewed in energy and spirit. Now if I could just translate that to my writing.

I have so many writing projects planned for this year, and maybe that's the problem. I've spread myself too thin...have too many irons in the proverbial fire. I need focus, and a few good time management tips.  Over the next couple of months I need to get writing three shorts fo my next Hottest Heat collection, finish a first draft of a novella for an anthology project I'm partly in charge of, get going on my next interracial novella, plus keep up with my busy 'for pay' editing jobs. Oh well, I guess it's better to be busy than bored.
Till next time,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another acceptance

I'm so pleased. I was just offered a contract with Phaze Books for my erotic romance, Hot for the Handyman.

With this story, I did something a little different. I made my main character in her mid-fifties, and her love (lust) interest, in his early thirties. She's not a cougar in the generally accepted sense. She's never had the desire to date younger men before, although her best friend is a card carrying cougar. The hero, on the other hand, regularly dated older women, preferring their maturity and stability to younger women. When my heroine meets the delicious handyman, though, it's lust at first sight...for both of them.

Here's the blurb:

Fifty-three year old widow Yvetta Phelps is lonely. She had a great marriage with her late husband, and put her own life on hold after his death three years prior, but now she realizes that she misses the intimacy of a relationship with a man and needs to move forward. She has Byron, a fellow widower, whom she met at church. The two friends keep each other company and go out for dinners or to the theater. But Byron doesn't move her romantically. There's no spark there.

Enter, Ray Cameron, the young attractive handyman she's hired to build a deck on the back of her house. From the first moment they meet, the sexual tension is thick between them. Ray prefers the company of mature women and thinks Yvetta is the most beautiful woman he's ever met. Yvetta is likewise smitten, but fights the attraction due to her fears around their age difference and what people will think, most especially her twenty-six year old daughter, Tanisha.

Inevitably, they succumb to their attraction and spend a transformative night together, but it only fuels Yvetta's self doubt, and she almost loses Ray as a result. It takes forgiveness, and an understanding heart (and steaming hot sex) to bring the two of them back together. And in the end, Yvetta comes to realize that life is too short not to grab hold of the happiness that comes one's way.

Now that this book is done and accepted, I will move on to my stories for The Hottest Heat Vol.3, which is slated for a fall release from Cambridge Press US. In the meantime, Vols. 1 and 2 are available if you want a quick hot summer read.

 It's true what they rest for the wicked! ;o)
Until next time,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Something new finally

I'm so excited!  I just sent off a new novella to Phaze Books for their consideration.

I've been working on this story since Christmas, and had planned to have it done long before now, but as with all best laid plans, life happened now and again, and it took till now to get it done.  But finish it, I did. And now Hot For The Handyman, is in the hands of the submissions editor and I await her response.

This part of the process drives me nuts. I am not the most patient of people, so waiting for responses can drive me round the bend. I learned long ago to just mentally, forget about the last story, and move on to the next job.

My next project is three new shorts for Cambridge Press. I'm committed to releasing a third Hottest Heat collection in the fall, so must get busy. I at least have the bare bones ideas for all three stories, so it's just a matter of sitting down and beginning.

But, back to Hot for the Handyman. This interracial story is a bit different from previous work. This time, I have a May/September relationship, involving a 53 year old African American woman, and her 32 year old handyman, hired to build a deck on her house. He prefers dating older women. She's very concious about what people might think of their age difference. On top of this, her daughter is almost the same age as the handyman and disapproves greatly of her mother's choice.  I had a lot of fun working through these issues with these characters.  I hope Phaze chooses to publish it, and then I hope you all enjoy reading it. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Til next time,