Annnnnnd….I’m Back!

Well, okay, I’m sort of back. I can’t believe the last time I posted here was back in the early part of November. Yeesh. I knew it had been a while, but a month and a half?

So, yeah. I’m sorry about that. I know my legions of content-starved Tory followers are probably mad, and I’ll try to make it up for you as best I can. Let’s see, what have I got?

Oh, well, I have a tentative release date now for Locked in Stone! Mind, it’s tentative, and I hopefully will get a more firm answer once my editor takes a look at the third (and without a doubt the most incredibly painful) round of edits thus far. Seriously – this round hurt more than when I had to rewrite the book (the first time voluntarily, before I signed the contract OR the second time, which was the first round of edits on the book). But I got it in to her last night, so whew.

Prospective release date: February 23, 2015 (last Monday in February).

I do not have a cover yet to share. My hope is that I’ll have that SOMEtime in early-to-mid January, given editor’s explanation that they like to keep the cover from everyone (including the author) until about 6 weeks before release. So, I still have no clue what it’s going to look like and that’s definitely terrifying. This is my first Entangled Cover and my first gargoyle book cover…and I REALLY wanna know what they’ve got in mind.

But, enough of book nerves/grumbling.

On Family

We had Christmas. Of course we had Christmas – we’re (supposedly) Christians and we also buy into a lot of the consumerism of the season. I got a new laptop, on which this post is being written and I’m madly in love with it. Hubby got a TV he’d been champing at the bit to get for a long time. And then there were the toys. Lots and lots of toys.

If you follow me on Facebook you may or may not have seen my Christmas Eve tirade against Wal-Mart and Amazon, who BOTH managed to screw up the main presents for the kids. My boy was getting a lightsaber from Star Wars Rebels (picture below) and I’d bought what was billed as a set of dolls from Frozen, the Frozen sisters, Anna and Elsa (picture not below).

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Wal-Mart sent me an email on the 23rd saying the package had been delayed and might not be delivered in time. Um, not cool. I was wrapping packages on the 23rd (rather than my intended night of the 24th after the kids were at daycare for a few hours) and discovered that while I had ordered AND paid for a set of Anna/Elsa dolls…I only got Elsa. Totally even less cool than the light saber mess with Wal-Mart. Thank GOD I was wrapping a day earlier than I’d planned. I can only imagine the panic that would have ensured if I’d discovered the screw up after the stores started closing. Luckily, hubby works not far from Toys-R-Us and our main present situation was fixable. I had very few charitable words for either company. I hadn’t checked the Amazon boxes I’d gotten because I had never EVER had a problem with it before – I won’t make that mistake again.

Blondie and Pixie enjoyed everything they got, but of course the winning toy ended up not being one we got, but rather one my boss got them – a shopping cart with fake groceries. Below is a picture I was TRYING to take of Pixie…that Blondie decided to photo-bomb.

2014-12-26 16.15.36She’s such a freakin’ ham.

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And then there’s the other one, who’s nickname this morning will not be shared other than it includes the words “demon” and “hell”. Speaking of the Pixie…she burst out multiple times last night with the F-bomb. OMG, I nearly fell over laughing so hard because she just kept saying it. Apparently I need to rein in my temper/language a little bit more. Ooops.

The Bastard Company (a/k/a Dish Network)

Y’all know I bought a newly built home in April. We called Dish because we wanted to add a TV in our bedroom. Not only did the customer service rep who entered the order enter it wrong, the tech who showed up didn’t bother finishing the job and left THREE HOLES in our bedroom wall, along with cords hanging out of the cable box outside. He didn’t bother using his own tools (like a ladder), but rather used ours. He said he couldn’t finish it (after multiple smoke breaks AND just vanishing for 2 hours mid-job) and left without bothering to set up a return time OR even give us his # to follow-up with him.

Lets just say DISH got a nasty call from us. Supposedly, my situation (because of the holes in the wall) got me upgraded and forwarded to corporate. I spoke with someone in the “office of the president” – yeah, right, like I actually believe that – who said I would be contacted by a claims manager within two days. TWO FREAKING DAYS!!! Are you kidding me? They damaged my home. And lest ye doubt me, here is photographic evidence of the crap they did to my home.:

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Yes – the wall holes aren’t enormous, but I don’t give a rat’s backside. There was absolutely NO reason to cut THREE holes in my wall. I don’t CARE that he said he could cover them with a plate. They shouldn’t NEED to be covered.

So, yeah, I’m pissed and letting the world know how unhappy I am. The CSR I talked with today, as part of his resolving the situation – oooo, he deleted the $10 installation fee (ummm, yay?), and gave us three months of free Blockbuster (which he admits they’re getting rid of in 2015 – yay again, maybe?).

Should this situation have a good resolution, I will of course share that as gleefully as I am pissily sharing my ire.

Conclusion

So that’s me, that’s my life in a nutshell ATM. How about you? How was your Christmas? Got any New Year’s plans?

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (10/3/14)

Happy Friday everyone. I know, it’s been a few weeks and I’m sorry. I just really haven’t had much to talk about. I still don’t have much, but I’ll ramble on for a bit anyway.

Pupocalypse

When last we posted, Rue was just about to join the house. She’s now a member of the family. This is a picture from this morning:

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Here’s from the first day we had her:

2014-09-12 20.23.04Hard to tell, but she’s grown a LOT since we first got her. She’s actually got some heft to her and lord knows her legs are longer.

Children

Going camping this weekend with the boy. First camp out of the year for the Boy Scouts. On a good note, we finally broke down and bought a tent so we could stop borrowing the pack’s. It’s taller and bigger than the borrowed one, which will be nice. It’s pretty easy to put up too, thank goodness. Not sure how the rain sheet goes on on top, but I’ll get someone to help me figure it out.

Pixie loves having her picture taken and will, like her brother did before her, grab my phone and say, “Take a picture, Mommy.” Here’s one from this morning:

2014-10-03 04.53.19She’s cute and her hair is awesome. You get it even a little damp (aka walk out in the Florida humidity) and it goes aalllllll curly and stuff. Really, really springy sproingy spiral curls. Don’t have a good picture unfortunately.

She is also becoming a bit of a smart aleck. I was trying to eat and get to scouts with Shrimp on Monday. She hadn’t eaten any of her sandwich, just her chips, and I told her she hadn’t even touched her sandwich. So…she reached out and tapped the sandwich.

Sigh. I wonder where she gets that from. God, I get how grandkids are a parents’ revenge now. I’m so sorry, Mommy.

Blondie is still blondie. Silly and adorable. She transformed from Cousin It (aka bangs down to her nose) back into herself last weekend courtesy of a trim.

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And for the first time, we finally bought them clothes from the girls aisle, rather than the toddler/baby rack.

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Don’t look much alike, do they? Sigh.

Writing

Still waiting to hear whether or not my rewrite on Locked is a go or no go. Argh. Still can’t get much purchase on Carved’s rewrite, but I’ve definitely revised the characters themselves. Sarah actually gained a personality and a life of her own rather than being the timid little mouse.

Conclusion

That’s pretty much it. Hope you have a great weekend. I’ll let you know how the camp-out went!

Happy New Year!

Hip Hip Hooray! And a question for my readers

Okay, this post was totally supposed to go up first thing this morning, buuuut yeah, I never finished it. So here it is. Happy New Year everyone!

Checking in on 2013 Resolutions:

  1. Write Books 4-6 (or finish the series, if I do it in less than 6 books) of the Dream-Walker War. – Yeah, I ended up abandoning this series altogether.
  2. Become a healthier person (losing a significant amount of weight – no number, just good weight loss) – I actually did do this. I’m somewhere between 20 & 30 pounds lighter than last year at this time.
  3. Become a healthier person (do more exercise regularly) – I did this for a while, and I still walk more now than I did a year ago.
  4. Write at least one or two novellas NOT in the Dream-Walker War series – Did this, except I wrote two novels, not novellas. Only one was fit to put out there, and it’s gone nowhere.

2014 Resolutions

  1. Stay off of antidepressants.
  2. Not give up writing as I’m tempted every day these days to do.
  3. Become a healthier person (losing a significant amount of weight).
  4. Become a healthier person (exercise regularly throughout the entire year).
  5. Write Book 2 in the Hearts of Stone series, even if I don’t think it’s going anywhere.
  6. Write the intro novel/novella for futuristic alien invasion series where the treaty is forged.
  7. Write the first actual book in the invasion series (100 years after intro novel/novella).

So – there they are. Not spectacular, nor really any mention of publishing contracts. I’m not sure I believe in that possibility any more (can you tell, I’m very depressed at the moment?). But at least I keep writing.

How about you? Do you have any resolutions?

Author Interview: Nina Croft

It is my very great pleasure today to introduce and welcome author extraordinaire Nina Croft. As I’ve done like 3 reviews for her stuff in the past month, I think it’s clear I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of hers. I wanna grow up and have sales like hers some day!

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The Interview

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I actually first started writing when I was in my twenties and working as a volunteer in Africa. We were living in a remote village, with no electricity, no TV and very few books (this was way before ebooks) so I started writing as a way to entertain myself. When we left Africa I stopped for a while as life took over but started again after we moved to Spain and I found myself living on a remote mountain (again with no electricity). I got seriously hooked on writing six or seven years and had my first novella published in 2010 –that was a Harlequin Nocturne Bite, called The Prophecy.

2)                 How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

Not many balls. I live on an almond farm in southern Spain with my husband and a whole load of animals. So the only balls I have to juggle are making sure poor hubby doesn’t get ignored totally in favor of the imaginary people (and other things) in my head and making sure the animals are all fed, walked, ridden and—in the case of Piggles my three-legged Vietnamese potbellied pig—getting regular tummy tickles.

3)                 What can you tell us about your upcoming release Death Defying?

Death Defying is book 3 in my Blood Hunter series. I write across a number of romance genres, but I also love mixing them up and my Blood Hunter series is a combination of sci-fi and paranormal (sort of vampires in space with a few other things thrown in). I started writing the series after watching one of my favorite TV shows for the third time—Firefly—and I was overcome with the need to write a space opera. But I also love vampires, so when the pilot turned out to be a 1500 year old vampire I didn’t fight it too hard. That was Ricardo Sanchez, the hero of book 1, Break Out.

The series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space ship, The Blood Hunter (Or El Cazador de la Sangre – Rico is Spanish). And book 3, Death Defying, is the captain’s story. Tannis is part human, part snake and some would say all bitch and it takes a powerful man to tempt her—maybe the most powerful in the universe.

4)                 You write contemporary romance, sci-fi, thrillers and paranormal romance (whew, I’m tired just listing them). What is it about these genres that you like so much?

I love the fact that absolutely anything can happen. When you’re writing speculative fiction then the only limit is your imagination, you can go anywhere, any time and populate your stories with anything. So long as you make it believable.

5)                 Do you have a favorite? Do you think you’ll end up focusing on one over the other?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Up to now, I’ve tended to be a little self-indulgent and just written what I’ve felt like at the time.

Probably my favorite books to write have been the Blood Hunter series, just because they were so much fun. I have six books contracted for the series and one more to write. After that, I plan to take a step back, do a little long-term career planning, and maybe try and concentrate on one genre for a while.

On the other hand, I have a hankering to try historical…

6)                 How many publishers do you have? I’ve primarily read your Entangled books, but are there others? Did any of them give you “the call” (as opposed to an acceptance email, which has been my experience)? What was that call like, if you did?

I have two paranormal novellas published with Harlequin—they were my first accepted stories, two with The Wild Rose Press (now out of contract), a fantasy series with Breathless Press, and I have a series of paranormal novellas I have self-published.

And, very exciting, next year, my Blood Hunter series is being brought out in mass market paperback as a joint venture between Entangled and St Martin’s Press.

But sadly, I’ve never received the call – it’s all been done by email.

7)                 What books do you have planned? What’s in your future?

 After book 3 of my Blood Hunter series in December, I have book 4, Temporal Shift, releasing in January 2014, then a paranormal romance, Bittersweet Darkness (book 3 in the Order series) in February and a contemporary romance, Out of Control (book 2 in my Babysitting a Billionaire series) in March. And a few more things planned for later in the year.

8) Got any advice for those still struggling through the trenches?

Write what you love. It’s the only thing that will sustain you when the going gets tough—will it will.

9) Sweet or sour?

Sour

10) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate.

Author/Contact Info

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all sorts of romance often mixing in elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Book Information

Death Defying – Blurb

Part snake, part human, and—some would say all bitch—Captain Tannis of the star ship El Cazador has one goal in life—to earn enough credits to pay for the Meridian treatment to achieve the immortality she craves. And one last job will get her there. The assignment: protecting the most powerful man in the Universe.

Being leader of the known universe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks big time. And after five hundred years, Callum Meridian, founding member of the Collective, is bored out of his mind. But as things are changing, he’s changing—into what, though, he isn’t sure. Callum is determined to discover the truth, and he’s employed the crew of El Cazador to help him do it.

Not everyone agrees with his plan, though. His own people will stop at nothing to prevent the truth coming out, the Church is taking advantage of the confusion and attempting a coup, and even the crew of El Cazador seem close to tossing him out the airlock without a space suit. But defying death has never been more dangerous, sexier, or more fun.

 

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (11/29/13)

Black Friday’s Here! Can I get an OH YEAH!

Oh, wait, I don’t do Black Friday. After one nightmarish experience at the inhumanity to be found at Walmart, I swore off. Yeesh.

So, how was your Thanksgiving (for those in the US)?

On Family

Well, we had a great Thanksgiving for the most part. It was mostly relaxed, the first time it’s just been the five of us since the Shrimpettes were born. We totally enjoyed that part.

Here are some pictures of mine! Mostly food though. Click on the pictures to be linked to where we got the recipes for each. The only thing I prepared was the pie (hey, I bake, not cook – don’t judge).

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Here are the kids eating dinner (Daddy and I were drinking wine)

Shrimp and Twin B chillin’ on the couch afterward.

On Home

Wednesday, our DR Horton agent emailed us, saying the permits had FINALLY been gotten on the house, so they would be starting construction soon. Understand, we signed the contracts at the end of May. We had to fix our credit before they would even start the building process, so it’s been a long time.

Here’s the lot back in June (and until this week):

2013-06-09 07.52.13And here’s the lot as of yesterday:

2013-11-28 12.46.38They have finally begun the process. I’ve never been so excited to see dirt in my entire life. Hehehe. Yes, there will be regular updates and pictures so you can share the excitement of the new house with us!

On Writing

You may note I have put up a new word counter. That’s right – I’ve started the second draft of Carved in Stone. Not much yet, and some things keep shifting around in my head, but I think I’ve got a decent handle on this story (unlike all my false starts with Locked) and the characters. I’ve come to the sad conclusion that my heroes aren’t alphas. Cal, the hero of Locked definitely isn’t an alpha. At all. Protective, yes. A beta, yes. Alpha no. Tom, the hero of Carved may have some alpha tendencies, but he’s still very much a beta. He’s not interested in being large and in charge.

And then there’s Lucas, the presumed hero of Sealed. As the head of the Sentinel Corp, he’d better be all alpha, big and bad. Matthew, the novella hero, the jury’s still out on. He’s introduced in Carved, but doesn’t have much chance to develop. I’ve got plans for him though.

Other than that, there’s nothing really to report. I’m still sitting out in la la land, and that’s frustrating, to say the least, buuuut at least I haven’t gotten a no yet. At least not from the publisher I submitted to. Plenty of agents have passed, or just not responded (thus passing). But it’s in part the query. I just haven’t gotten around to rewriting it yet. I’ve been more interested in writing the stories for a change. I’m amazed that I’ve actually written two entire (well, one entire and one slap-dash piece of junk that needs to be rewritten from the bottom up) books in one year. Those of you who’ve followed me for a while know that is a HUGE accomplishment for me. And, maybe given I have other books/series ideas floating around, maybe next year I’ll get 3 written. My goal, ultimately, is 4 a year. I’ll never been a speed demon, pumping them out at the rate of 1 every two weeks like someone I can think of specifically, but I side with the idea that that’s because I invest real quality in my works (you might be able to tell I’m not a fan of the one I’m thinking of).

In Conclusion

So – what are you doing today? What’d you do yesterday for Thanksgiving? Are you braving Black Friday crowds, relaxing in a food coma, or writing? Me? I’m home with all three kids while Daddy’s working. Hopefully I’ll get some writing done and play some Final Fantasy XIV (my current obsession).

Here’s one final picture to make you smile. I have no idea how they ended up in bed together – normally Sam’s on the floor and Jackie’s sprawled out on her bed. But last night, apparently they wanted to sleep together.

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Author Interview: Jessica Lemmon

I’m happy to welcome author Jessica Lemmon to the blog today. It’s been a long time since I had an author here, but I really liked Jessica’s book, so knew I just had to invite her to drop by! So let’s get too it, shall we?

JL

1) How long have you been writing?

I’ve always loved to write, but started writing with a focus on publishing in January of 2010.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

The ultimate question! How? I do work part time outside of the home, but most of my time is dedicated to writing. I’m fortunate in that my brain pretty much only works from 8-5, so when the evening hours come, I’m free to relax. Unless there’s a deadline and I’m pushing to finish!

3) What can you tell us about your upcoming release IF YOU DARE? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

My latest is a fun, sexy short story about two coworkers who butt heads constantly. I love enemies-to-lovers romances, and Marcus and Lily’s story definitely fits the bill! I threw in a hero who dares the heroine to stay the night in an allegedly haunted house, and gave Marcus an inexplicable, distracting crush on Lily, and the story practically wrote itself.

4) You write both contemporary romance and some paranormal with your novella. What is it about these genres that you like so much?  Do you have one you prefer over the other?

Great question! I adore contemporary romance, and smart-aleck characters. I want my readers to have a highly emotional experience, whether they laugh or cry (and sometimes they tell me they do both!)

I love scary movies, so those two genres are easily blended. In IF YOU DARE, there’s enough spooky stuff to give you chills, but enough sexy to warm you up again.

5) Do you think you’ll end up focusing on one over the others?

Contemporary, most definitely, but as I said above, I don’t mind mixing in a little from another genre. 🙂

6) What was it like getting “the call”?

Amazing! I swear it was like I couldn’t get anyone to look twice at my manuscript a few months prior to getting that phone call last July. Then my agent had three publishers  interested. It was surreal! And I’m so blessed and grateful to have not only books with Grand Central, but this novella with Entangled Publishing. I’m humbled to work with so many great people.

7) Got any more books planned? What’s in your future?

Absolutely! The Love in the Balance series continues with Book 3: THE MILLIONAIRE AFFAIR in April 2014, about a millionaire ad exec who works down a list of extracurricular bedroom activities with a vintage store owner who has had a crush on him for a decade and a half.

I’m also working on a series I’m nicknaming The Bad Boy series. (You can see my Pinterest boards here: www.pinterest.com/lemmony for a peek at all of my hero inspiration.)

8) Got any advice for those still struggling through the trenches?

Yes. Don’t give up! Often, the first book you write isn’t the one that will get you published. It’s because you’re new and haven’t found your style or voice yet. Keep writing. I wrote 6 books from 2010-2013. It was book #5 that made me think I was finally onto something. Those other books were not wasted; they helped me learn how to write!

If you want to be  published, don’t give up on that dream. Knuckle down, and get feedback from as many professionals as you can. Join the RWA (or other writing chapter if you don’t write romance) and get a critique partner. It’s okay to get rejected. We all do. Don’t let it stop you. Let it HELP you get better.

9) Sweet or sour?

Salty! I’m a huge fan of potato chips.

10) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate.

Fan/Contact Information

Website    *    jessica [at] jessicalemmon [dot] com    *    Twitter    *    Facebook    *    Goodreads

Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish and went out and got herself a job. …And then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another …and another.

Soon it became apparent she’d only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since “eating potato chips” isn’t a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she’d started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn’t stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds,thankyouverymuch), and she couldn’t be happier.

She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Book Information

IfYouDare-1600px_COVER

SHE’LL MAKE HIM A BET…
Lily McIntire is sick of losing every office wager to her overly cocky—and yeah, devilishly handsome—coworker, Marcus Black. After a few too many tequila shots, and a taunt from Marcus that she’s a wuss, Lily lays down a bet he can’t refuse: One night in the abandoned and spooky Willow Mansion alone for his recent office win, a trip to Hawaii.

HE CAN’T REFUSE…
There’s only one thing Marcus wants more than his upcoming vacation to Hawaii: to take his sexy coworker on a real date. Every time he’s tried to get close to Lily, she’s shut him down cold. Too bad the sexual tension has hit the boiling point. Now, he’ll have to scare her out of the mansion if he has a prayer of taking her out any time soon.

UNTIL ALL BETS ARE OFF…
In between trying to scare Lily out of her pants and get his hands into them, Marcus realizes there’s more to the mansion than either of them counted on. Suddenly, it’s not just he and Lily that are going “bump in the night”.  If they manage to survive the night and escape the mansion unscathed, can they survive each other in the light of day? Or will what happens at Willow Mansion stay at Willow Mansion?

So, thanks for coming by, everyone. Make sure to leave lots of comments to make Jessica feel warm and welcome!

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (11/22/13)

Holy moly, next week’s Thanksgiving! How is this possible? The year’s just zipping by and I blame the Shrimpettes for that! They just keep me hopping and I don’t have time to sit back and sip the coffee. Oh, wait, yes I do. That’s why I get up at 4:30 in the morning – to drink coffee in peace.

On Work

Yeah, I so got in trouble this week at work. Totally at fault for it, but I got a virus on my computer from listening to Pandora (who knew?). Dragon Lady was … peeved. I’ve never had the Dragon Lady peeved at me before and I not only got a stern talking to, but when she sent the obligatory email around reminding people about the no-social-media policy, I got called out publicly for what I’d done. Yeesh.

So, naturally I wanted to stay out of Dragon Lady’s way yesterday, even to the point of asking my boss “How long should I stay out of sight/hopefully out of mind?” I’m sure Dragon Lady’s still cranky about the situation, but she was joking around a bit with me on the rare occasions she did catch sight of me. My computer’s with the IT guys, so I had to retreat to our firm’s back-up computer (for dumb-asses who have their computers in the shop for one reason or another). And apparently, Dragon Lady found it hilarious that I decided to stay in there during lunch – hey it has a door, I was able to keep the light off, don’t judge – and it got labeled the “Computer Punishment Room”. To the point where Dragon Lady actually put up a sign!

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Of course everyone was laughing their butts off about it. I personally referred to the room as a “time out” room. Hey, I don’t mind being in time out – no one bothers me in time out. Well, at home anyway. At work … I felt a bit on display as several people came by and were giggling over the whole note thing. It probably doesn’t help the whole virus issue thing considering that I’m the “technical liaison” for the IT staff (basically, I’m the first line of defense if someone has computer issues).

Is everyone done laughing at me now? Okay, I’m not done laughing because I found the note really funny and while Dragon Lady might still be annoyed (I cost her money – never a good thing), but she was wise-cracking with me, so I don’t feel like I need to hide under my desk when she walks by.

On Writing

I’m just about done with my few days of letting Carved marinate. I made it through several steps of the Snowflake Method, and got really excited about the story again. OMG – Reny actually has legitimate emotional issues and solid GMC! Tom too! Holy crap. I don’t know if I’ve ever had things so clearly fall in place like that before. I’ve also gotten much clearer about the plotline than I was during the first-draft/fast-draft chaos. So YAY!

On the Shrimp

I did the Cub Scout camp out with the Shrimp last weekend. Okay, I’ll be honest. We were there only for Saturday, didn’t stay overnight either night, but I was recovering from the Cold From Hell. And the boy had tons of fun running around with the other little cub scouts and I had fun too. Primarily sitting in the Sorento, reading on my phone or working on Carved. It was heaven because I had 8+ hours of this quiet and calm. No little girls running in and out, pulling on me, demanding to sit on my lap, nada. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I leap at the chance to take him camping.

Hubby and I are perfect for each other in so many ways, as the camp out proves. He despises camping so much that he would rather stay home, with the holy twin terrors (who keep pulling down the gate meant to keep them from going up the stairs), deal with their meltdowns because he says no, deal with them not wanting to nap, changing poopy diapers, and watching too many baby cartoons … than go and have an entire day (or in normal cases, two full nights and a full day) of pure peace, quiet, and tranquility.

And here are some pictures of the Shrimp at the camp out. He rode a horse and roasted his own hot dog over the fire!

2013-11-16 12.08.33 2013-11-16 17.19.55Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

Tory’s Friday Ramblings (10/4/13)

Happy Friday everyone!

On Life

I turned 37 this week. Oh yay. No, really. I don’t care that much about birthdays (at least mine). I feel better this year than I did in years past, and overall, I don’t feel like I’m getting old. Older, maybe, but not old (unlike hubby who’s bemoaning the fact that he’ll be 40 in April). Work was awesome. A couple of co-workers got me a tiara:

2013-10-02 09.28.57I have it at my desk now to make me smile and remember that people really do seem to like me. Yay! There was also an awesome cake:

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Yes, it tasted as delicious as it looks (and yes, I’m an Elizabeth in non-author life). Pure, yummy chocolate.  My boss gave me a bottle of perfumed lotion from Spadaro (sorry, no picture of that) and a bottle of wine (her significant other belongs to a wine-of-the-month club and I frequently benefit from it).

I came home and hubby finally wished me happy birthday (he’d deliberately held out, knowing it would bug the heck out of me). He bought a steak for us (kids got hotdogs), a beautiful Publix cake (red velvet) and a bottle of wine. He knows me so well and I love the man. And yes, people know to get me wine. I drink once, maybe twice, a week. Not an alchy, promise. I had a lovely birthday altogether, and definitely lower stress than the past few have been.

On Writing

I finished Locked in Stone!!!

Yes, that had to be in green and big print. That book from hell is finally done. I’ve got a quick few edits to make (almost done with those too) and then it’s off to the person who requested the full thing (I was up front that I was submitting a proposal at the time, so don’t gripe at me for submitting an unfinished WIP).

Now I’ve moved on to querying and God, I haven’t missed doing that. My stomach is a mess (from more than just too much cake) and I’m being even more nutsoid than normal about checking my email. Refresh, refresh, did they get it, are they using it as a dartboard, argh! But that’s the name of the publishing game, hurry up and wait.

I just have to figure out what I’m going to work on next. Will it be a continuation of the Dream-Walker War, the second book in the Hearts of Stone series, or something new? I don’t know and I’ll have to figure it out fast. I don’t want to go through another 6-month+ dry spell with my writing.

So, I guess that’s it for this week.

Hope you had a great beginning of October and please, chime in and tell me your writing successes/triumphs!

Tory’s Friday Ramblings 9/6/2013

Top of the Friday mornin’ to you! Let’s see if I’ve got anything to get out.

Baseball

RaysWe’re down to the final month of the season. After battling their way to the top after a wretched start, the Rays went through a streak where they lost 8 out of 10 games. So, yeah, they’re not doing so well at the moment, but I still haven’t given up on them! But, that being said, if the Rays don’t go to the playoffs, I still will be okay with the season’s workings as long as the Skankees don’t go either. Heh.

On Writing

Still stuck where I was, though I’ve gotten a whole scene written. ::eye roll:: But it was a new scene! And I think I’m going to take a piece-meal approach and write out the scenes on the scene list, then worry about perfect connections and all that later.  Oy. Why, oh why, do Rose and Cal hate me so? Worse yet, why is my British sociopath starting to talk to me again. He’s done! Mostly.  I’ve just had a lot on my mind lately, I guess, what with the Beacon, and my job situation, and all that stuff that has to do with life going forward. Still, excuses excuses, I know. Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard.

Still waiting on the response from the publisher. The fact that I haven’t heard is almost making me think they might actually be considering it. I know others who pitched and submitted around the same time I did, and they’ve already gotten their rejections back, and in their case they’d submitted a full whereas I submitted a proposal. So, who knows? Only time will tell.

On Parenting

All of last week, I told the Shrimpettes they couldn’t get sick until the weekend. Well, apparently Shrimpette A listened to me and she turned up at 9p Friday night with a 103 fever.  She also overlooked the implied “get better before the work week comes around” and had me off on Tuesday while she finished recovering. Oy. That was not my idea of a fun 3-day (or 4-day as it worked out) weekend. And right now, my system’s trying to decide whether or not the bug she handed over to me is going to win and send me down and out for a couple of days.

I took the Shrimp to the birthday party of a friend of his – the first birthday party I’ve taken him to in quite some time, and it was held at a place call O2BKids. Awesome play-place. Got some great pictures of him, two of which I shall of course share ’cause that’s what I do. And yes, he is playing Mrs. Pac-Man. I was so happy to see him play an old-fashioned game. Sorry it’s a bit blurred but he was very into what he was doing.

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That’s pretty much it for the week, I guess. Not much to report in my world. Lord, I’ve got a boring life. I shall leave you with a relaxed picture…sleeping Shrimpettes!

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Tory’s Friday Ramblings 8/30/13

And here we are at the end of yet another month in 2013. This year truly is zipping by. Then again, I think I feel that way every year. Yet, unlike my husband, I don’t feel like I’m getting any older. Yes, I know technically I am, but overall, I’m doing pretty well. I’m certainly healthier than I was even a year ago.

The Beacon Contest

The Beacon Contest entry period is winding down and entries are definitely coming in faster now. Tomorrow should be …. interesting, as far as that goes. Yikes. At least then I’ll have a chance to sort through everything, assign entries to judges, etc. and it’ll be out of my hands for a few weeks.

On Writing

Wow. Not much on that front. But, on a good note, I did do the snowflake method, or at least a good portion of it, with Locked in Stone. I certainly cleared up my GMC for both the hero and heroine. I have plenty of internal conflict to go along with the external stuff, whereas before I sat down and did it, I only had external conflict. Now Rose actually has a reason to not want to be attracted to Cal (she blames him for her mother’s death), and Cal has a reason to not want to lust after Rose (he blames himself for her mother’s death and now that he’s found Rose, he thinks lusting after her will only distract him from his duty to protect her). Heh.

Now if I could just motivate myself to actually write the book. I have an entire list of scenes for it, but for some reason I still am locking up when I try to write them. Hopefully once I get past the initial, really different section (their first meeting is being completely retooled), I’ll be able to patch in most of the rest of the scenes that I had, and finally move on through to the end of the book.

I’m still champing at the bit to hear back from the publisher. I hate waiting. Especially when I’m so torn on what I believe they’ll say. Heh. Ah well, such is the life, I guess.

In a frustrating moment, I’ve started having more ideas for the Dream-Walker War series. Chris and Jordan are starting to poke at me and I have to remind them they’ve had their books already. Knowing the sociopath, no matter what I do, he’ll find a way to work his way in. Hrmph. Dumb sociopath.

On Weight Loss

After falling rather spectacularly from the weight-loss wagon, I’m now back on and have gotten rid of 3 of the 4 pounds I gained back, so I’m pleased with that. I really don’t like going for walks in the morning yet. It’s muggy, even if it’s definitely a bit cooler than it was even two weeks ago.

Wrap-Up

Well, really not much left to say. I don’t exactly have an exciting life these days. Or any days, really. The Shrimpettes are actually starting to put words together into sentences (when you can make out their words, at least). Little things like “No night night” or “go away Mika” (the dog). Unfortunately, around Jackie I really have to watch my language. I can think of two instances recently where I’ve, erm, gone “Damn it” and she pops out with “Damn it!” with a big-ol’ grin as only can Jackie do.

Sam’s being her normal PITA self. I don’t think I’d know what to do with her if she just abruptly became a little angel. She’s stolen Jackie’s original title of Miss Piss and Vinegar and made it her own. Along with Little Miss I Don’t Believe In Sleep.

Okay, later everyone. More reviews to come!