Guest Blogging for Locked in Stone (#lockedinstone, #giveaways)

Locked-in-Stone-cover

Hey there, everyone. As part of the wonderfulness that is Entangled, I’ve gotten several spectacular opportunities around the blogosphere to meet people, and I’m hoping you’ll check out the posts I do there. My schedule, as of now, is as follows:

  1. 2/25 – Facebook Event. I’m doing a release party with my fellow Covet and 2/23/15 release author, Nichole Severn. We’ll be sharing deleted scenes and giving away gift cards, along with sharing what makes our books special.
  2. 2/26 – Bitten by Books – I’m doing a chat/release party with Bitten by Books, starting at 3p Pacific Time (6p Eastern time – thanks again to BBB, for moving the start time to after work for me).
  3. 2/26 – Fresh Fiction – Blog post about why you read and sharing why and what I read.
  4. 2/27 – Writerspace – Blog post on looking for unusual tropes involving the heroine.
  5. 2/27 – RhiRheading – Blog post discussing who I’d pick to do voices for my gargoyles, rather than the oh-so-traditional actors to play them.
  6. 3/2 – Book Lovin’ Mamas – Blog post regarding a variety of topics.
  7. 3/6 – Bitten by Romance – Blog post talking about the development of my gargoyles and the lore associated with them.

So, that’s my upcoming schedule. I hope to see lots of you out there!

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I Sold Locked In Stone!

Yup, I’ve been teasing this for a while, that I had something in the works with Locked in Stone, the first book in my Hearts of Stone series. And as of yesterday (hey, gimme a break, I have a family to tend and a former house to clean at the moment), I could finally announce the sale!

Here’s the banner for the publisher I sold to!

covetbannerYup, you got that right, peeps! I totally sold my gargoyle book to the might that is Entangled! Now, I’m sure y’all want the story behind this, so…let’s turn the clock back and take a look at what brought me to this wondrous news. This is a very drawn-out story, so get some coffee or tea, and sit back for the ride.

Last year in August, you may remember I blogged about having nerves about pitching directly to an editor. Well, that editor was Ms. Kerri-Leigh Grady, the now-editor of the Edge and a couple other lines at Entangled (at that point it was Flirt & Flaunt). I showed up, ready to bribe her into having pity on me and not laughing at my presentation by presenting her with chocolate (everyone knows editors like chocolate, right?).

Yeah, well, except apparently Ms. Awesome Grady has allergies. Sigh. So no chocolate bribery for me. However, it did give me a story to break the ice and a momentary giggle. So I pitched (at that time, Locked wasn’t completed…I was pitching since I was published and they took proposals). She wanted the full, but then said to send what I had. I sent it that Tuesday and the waiting began.

A month later I got a request from Candace Super-Wonderful-Awesome Editor/Author Havens for the full. So I raced to finish it and submitted the full to her October 5. And the waiting began anew.

November passed, no word.

December passed, no word though there were a few encouraging emails back and forth with both Candace and Meredith.

January 2, just after midnight, Candace emailed asking if I’d consider chopping it by about 10k and punching up the romance so it would fit the Covet line rather than Select. Umm, let’s see…have the publisher of my dreams say yes to me and agree to make the cuts, or say “nope” and watch my Entangled dreams die for the moment. I said yes. She said she’d take it to the acquisitions board. And the waiting began once more.

Finally, January 27, I got the word. Acquisitions said yes. I got the contract. Uber-awesome stupendous agent Marisa offered to look at the contract (see my post when I got her as an agent for how long we’ve been friends) and give me pointers. Uh…my dream agent offering to advise on my contract? Heck yeah! So she had some thoughts. Then…in a moment of blinding, blazing glory…she offered representation and to negotiate the contract for me.

SCORE! Agent and Contract offers in 24 hours.

And then the negotiations began. And waiting once more commenced.

And then the most glorious email ever appeared in my inbox yesterday morning (May 6). My contract. To sign. With Entangled!!!

And I did.

I announced on Facebook last night, got the emails welcoming me to Entangled when I got up this morning…and here we are.

That’s how I became a new member of the incredible Entangled team.

Thank you for listening. Now I’m off to work. Have a great day everyone!

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Insert Descriptive Title Here

Yeah, I hate coming up with titles.  There’s yet another reason I’ve chosen to keep the word “Blood” in my trilogy’s titles.  Saves me work and gives me a theme.

Blood Dreams Update
Well, thanks to a great many things, over the past  nine days I’ve written a little under 22,000 words on the MS.  That’s pretty good progress, although part of the work has constituted converting scenes I’d written previously when goofing around trying to come up with a plot.  However, neither of the major ones I ended up using could just be dumped in.  Tweaking, a lot of it in one of the two cases, was required.  But still, I’m now about 20% of the way through my first draft.  ::groan::  That still leaves almost 80% to go, which is frightening.  However, I’ve come up with some usable plot points and it’s sort of hard to leave my impulse to go back and fix the earlier chapters to fit with my current ideas.  But I’m determined to pound out a rough (oh so very rough) first draft by (please please please) mid August so I can tweak, fix and otherwise polish in time to enter Dreams in the Golden Heart (yeah, optimist am I that I might do okay in that contest).  I’d also like to be able to start querying on it by Octoberish.  Maybe.  I’ll hold on to the “I’m an optimist” here when I think about that goal.

I’ve also started seriously considering Dreams as Urban Fantasy with strong romance, as opposed to Paranormal Romance.  I was dealing with a character I thought wouldn’t be there, but when he popped in, suddenly one of my old wishes for his character crashed back into my head and apparently I’m going to stick with my original intent for his character.  Yes, I’m being deliberately obscure.  I’d like people to actually buy the books once their in print because they want to know how the story comes out!

Getting Published Update
Well, as mentioned before I turned down the offers I’d had.  Both took it well, and one of them actually was nice enough to say she hoped I thought of them in the future either for Blood Rage or anything else.  So that door, if all else fails, will be open to return to.

I submitted to another publisher, one that came to me highly recommended by a friend.  Until/unless I get an offer from them, it shall remain nameless.  So once again the waiting process starts.

Still waiting to hear back on the agent that requested a full on Blood Rage.  Losing hope as time goes on with no response though.  The ones that’ve heard back in a positive light (offers/revise & resubmit requests) seem to have gotten through it much faster.  But at least she asked for the full, and did it in a much more timely fashion than with some of the others who initially queried her around the same time as I did.  Most of them seem to still be waiting for a response on their partial, whereas for the past 24 days (or so) I’ve been waiting regarding my full.  Ugh.

Last but Not Least
My beloved and frequently beleaguered husband let me go to RomCon last weekend, as I’ve probably mentioned (that he let me go, not that I went.  I KNOW I’ve talked about RC).  He doesn’t get enough credit, he really doesn’t, for all that he does.  He took the shrimplet grocery shopping and sent me the picture below.  I LOVE MY BOY!  He’s growing up so fast.

Inaugural Post

Wow – my very first blog post ever! Scary, but kind of exciting in a way. I can’t help but feel a little pretentious also. Who knows though, I might gain some followers which is part of the point since I’m trying to start building my platform.

Who am I?
Tory Michaels is my intended pen-name when I get published. I have a little boy who just turned four, a husband and a beautiful Siberian Husky named Mika. We live in Denver for now, but given hubby’s wandering tendencies, who knows how long that will last. All I know is we need to be settled (semi)permanently before my little man starts real school in 2011.

I work in an old, well-established law firm that focuses on corporate securities. After three months, I’m still trying to get the hang of things. I came from a background of five+ years working in personal injury and community association law.

I’m mostly done with my Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to get distracted from school with writing a novel and now I have to summon the motivation (quickly) to write my capstone paper so I don’t waste all the money we put into getting the degree. Hubby’s gonna kill me if I don’t do anything with the degree, much less fail to finish it. Sounds like it should be simple enough to finish – right?

Wrong! Instead of being able to focus just on that, I find myself far more interested in my family, writing and just about anything else that pops up (blast you, Facebook!). Amusingly, I pulled a plot point from my degree for the (I hope) series I’m working on: The Bureau of Non-Human Affairs.

My Writing
I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. Once, when clearing out an old filing cabinet of my mother’s, I came across a bunch of papers stapled together, that grey stuff they use in elementary school to help you practice writing (half page of blank area to draw in and a couple of lines to print/write on), and found my very first story about a turnip that wanted to become human. Stupid, but now I sort of wish I hadn’t tossed it out of embarrassment.

I finished my very first novel (Obsession) when I was 15 (I’m 33 now), and I vaguely remember even sending a query letter on it back then. Got a rejection letter too! Didn’t keep either – I eventually tossed Obsession out of embarrassment. That book got me into some trouble with my fellow students – not that I didn’t deserve it, mind you.

Anyway, I wrote non-stop, never completing anything, but I did a lot of writing in the form of forum-type role-playing posts on various chat servers (Prodigy, etc.) up through the time I got together with my husband back in 2003. Around then, the creative urge seemed to wither. Until last year, I thought it might just be I used writing to combat loneliness and depression (a therapist-type kinda pointed me in that direction), and that I neither had talent nor real inclination to be a published author. Yet, I remember wanting to be just that throughout my teen years, though I never got serious about it.

That brings me to last year when an old cast of characters plopped themselves down in my head and refused to leave me alone (I’ll do a separate post on that later). I toyed with a few ideas, made a few false starts and then dashed out Draft One of the book tentatively called Choices. Draft two got retitled Love and Lies somewhere along the line. I felt pretty good about it, started sending queries. Got a couple of requests from literary agents to see the full, and got rejected.

A brief email conversation with the second one got me thinking and, just as a third agent asked for a full, I decided to do a full rewrite. I tossed almost the entire original plotline (keeping the main characters) and rewrote in six weeks. I’ve submitted the new version, now called Blood Rage to the agent who requested the full (she agreed to wait) and four publishers.

I have received two offers to publish Blood Rage and am waiting to hear back from the third before making a final decision.

I think that’s enough for this first blog post.   More, anon!