“Unlikely Venture” Giveaway! Enter To Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card!

I feel like I’ve promoted the launch of “Unlikely Venture” for a while and even though November is still a few months away, there’s sooooo much to do!  Luckily, I’m working with a fabulous team of talented people who’ve been guiding me through the process and I’m so thankful for all their advice and guidance!

This is a super-exciting time and I’m enjoying every minute!

So let’s celebrate with a Rafflecopter giveaway!

A couple of clicks and you can win a $25 Amazon gift card!  It’s so simple to enter!  Follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, sign up for my mailing list, friend me on Booktropolous Social…lots of ways to win!

And how could I forget the synopsis…

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Unlikely Venture

Here’s the thing about keeping secrets…they can only protect you for so long before threatening to destroy everything you hold dear.

Meet Jessica Latham:  a bright, sassy, workaholic with a penchant for plunging necklines and Christian Louboutin stilettos.  She has her dream job at the top management consulting firm in Manhattan, but it is coupled with the daily nightmare of an overbearing and demeaning boss who consistently undermines her abilities and challenges her at every turn.

And that’s the least of her problems.

Devastating news threatens her livelihood and sends her fiancé running for the hills without so much as a backward glance.  Newly single and fearful about her future, she focuses on work to escape the looming uncertainty…until a moment of weakness changes everything.  During a night tinged with one too many glasses of chardonnay, she meets Paul Emerson, a mysterious stranger who becomes an eager and willing participant in Jessica’s efforts to finally regain some control of her life.

It was supposed to be an isolated incident, something she subconsciously needed to restore her confidence and clear her head.  But what Jessica soon realizes is that taking control doesn’t always mean she is actually the one in control and things don’t always turn out as planned.

After being awarded a coveted opportunity at work, Jessica thought she was headed for a much-deserved promotion and some degree of stability.  But she didn’t anticipate meeting James Callahan, MIT-graduate-turned-start-up-CEO and she certainly didn’t expect for Paul to walk back into her life.  The internal struggle intensifies when threats to her future resurface.  Her worlds collide when everything Jessica thought was important is pitted against everything she wants for the future and she needs to quickly get her head and her heart in sync before somebody gets hurt.

Steamy Teaser Alert For Unlikely Venture!

I love these teasers SO much!  They breathe life into my characters, even though I’ve been involved with them for quite some time!

I’m super excited, can you tell???

November can’t come fast enough!!!!

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Would You Please Sign My Kindle??

Okay, I spend a lot of time covering ideas that others have but here’s one I’ve mulled over…

People love autographed copies of books, especially books they actually enjoyed reading.  But how does that work if your library is in electronic form and all of your books are downloaded to a Kindle or Nook?

No hard copy to treasure and pass on to your kids?  Or to eBay if the author is(gets) really famous?? =)

There are many varieties of autograph apps out there but I haven’t seen something specifically compatible for the e-readers. Wouldn’t it be great to bring your device to a book signing? Or have an author gift you an electronically signed copy of their bestselling book, Unlikely Venture? (Wink, wink).

Sign with your finger and BAM! You’ve got digital swag!!!

Help Me Celebrate The Upcoming Launch Of Unlikely Venture!

Yay!  I’m officially kicking off launch preparations for Unlikely Venture this Fall!

Help me celebrate by entering the celebratory giveaway!  For a Facebook like, A Twitter follow or a Booktropolous Social friend request, you get a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

Click Here For A Chance To Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Unlikely Venture, Fall 2014

Unlikely Venture, Fall 2014

Unlikely Venture Synopsis

Here’s the thing about keeping secrets…they can only protect you for so long before threatening to destroy everything you hold dear.

Meet Jessica Latham:  a bright, sassy, workaholic with a penchant for plunging necklines and Christian Louboutin stilettos.  She has her dream job at the top management consulting firm in Manhattan, but it is coupled with the daily nightmare of an overbearing and demeaning boss who consistently undermines her abilities and challenges her at every turn.

And that’s the least of her problems.

Devastating news threatens her livelihood and sends her fiancé running for the hills without so much as a backward glance.  Newly single and fearful about her future, she focuses on work to escape the looming uncertainty…until a moment of weakness changes everything.  During a night tinged with one too many glasses of chardonnay, she meets Paul Emerson, a mysterious stranger who becomes an eager and willing participant in Jessica’s efforts to finally regain some control of her life.

It was supposed to be an isolated incident, something she subconsciously needed to restore her confidence and clear her head.  But what Jessica soon realizes is that taking control doesn’t always mean she is actually the one in control and things don’t always turn out as planned.

After being awarded a coveted opportunity at work, Jessica thought she was headed for a much-deserved promotion and some degree of stability.  But she didn’t anticipate meeting James Callahan, MIT-graduate-turned-start-up-CEO and she certainly didn’t expect for Paul to walk back into her life.  The internal struggle intensifies when threats to her future resurface.  Her worlds collide when everything Jessica thought was important is pitted against everything she wants for the future and she needs to quickly get her head and her heart in sync before somebody gets hurt.

If You Want Perfection…Well, Good Luck With That!

Do you have any idea what happens when you change the ending of a novel?

You end up looking like THAT.

Figuring out the alternate ending was STRESSFUL!!!  But at least it got glowing reviews from my beta readers.

So I plopped it over the original ending.  But I wasn’t even CLOSE to done.  I had to open up the rest of the manuscript (previously perfected and edited, by the way to the tune of $850) and retool, revise and restructure.  I liken the process to a doctor sewing up a patient after a successful surgery, then realizing a scalpel was left behind.  Mother eff.  You have to get it out before it does any long-term damage.  And hopefully you can stitch up the patient even better than before.

The good news?  Well I don’t have any to share quite yet.  It’s heading back out to beta.  Hopefully, the changes were for the better.  I know it’s cliché but you only have one chance to make a first impression.  If your first book is a snoozefest, readers won’t give you another shot, no matter how awesome book 2 is.  So here’s to making every word count.

I thought Unlikely Venture was perfect.  Until I finished Nothing Ventured.  Then I understood what I missed the first time around.

I am on a quest to perfect these novels. But as anxious as I am to get them out there, I refuse to rush the process.  As a voracious reader, I know what it takes to capture an audience and I will continue to work tirelessly to meet that goal.  And with any luck, a September release is still in sight.

Vic-tor-ee!!!

So now I look like THIS!

southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com

southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com

The Lady Devil With A Passion For Jamba Juice

As I write this post, I am actively fighting the urge to devour the remaining Russell Stover chocolate marshmallow eggs in the pantry.

Just saying.  I really need to get rid of this leftover Easter candy.  Sugar comas = lost productivity!  I get way too fidgety to write compelling dialogue when I’m all amped up on sugar.  Caffeine is another story.  I can drown in coffee and it only makes my stuff more compelling.  LOL!

Today, I finished the first draft of Nothing Ventured.  I love it.  If you’ve been on my Facebook page or seen my recent tweets, you already know this.  We’ve established that it’s narcissistic but, whatever.

The plot twists didn’t come easy…I drew a lot of inspiration from Fuel’s greatest hits, but it worked.  =)

I’m hoping my beta readers enjoy it just as much as I did, three times over.  Of course, there are certain scenes I might have read more than three times, but we’ll just leave it at that…

I love the characters that really evolve the most throughout a novel.  The more they change, the more invested I become.  That’s one of the reasons why I’m totally crushing on my latest hero, Chris Camden, who bears a striking resemblance to this young gentleman below.

liam-hemsworth-in-cannes

And here is my heroine, Mia Bradshaw.  They look so good together, don’t they?  =)

Ashley Greene

So now I pretty much have two-thirds of The Venture Series written.  And it feels awesome.  I’ve still got editing to do (hopefully not as much as I did for Unlikely Venture!), but I’m excited!

I can’t wait to share them with you!  Bear with me as I prepare to navigate this whole publishing universe!

Please Don’t Ask Me About The Shower Scene…

My house is crazy-noisy.  Like, ALL THE TIME.

My husband and Lulu constantly break out into song…about anything that comes to their minds and at any given time.  Sometimes, they take turns with piano accompaniment.  Angry Bird telepods are forever sailing through the air.  Super Mario 3D World…UGH…the music alone makes my ears bleed after a while.

So just imagine how challenged I am to craft erotic scenes with this non-stop activity.  Three little kids, climbing on top of me, whining, crying, yelling, tattling…SIGH.  Getting through those scenes is always a major accomplishment, trust me on that.

Quick segue..I don’t know if you have ever heard of Fiverr, but it is the most awesome site EVER!!!  You need something, get it there…for $5!  I just got a kick-ass logo from Sami.  She turned my extremely non-committal requirements into the fabulous logo you see splashed across the top of my site.  Love?!?!

Anyway, I showed the last image to my dad this morning and it prompted some chatter about my book.  It was very basic at first, like the type of romance, the premise of the story and the point of view of the characters, blah, blah, blah.  But then he asked the dreaded question I knew I’d have to answer at some point but didn’t care to really answer EVER.

The hand rises to cover one half of his mouth, just in case the kids are in range.  “Does your book have…um…sex scenes in it?”

Eeek.

“Yes, Daddy, it does.” <CRINGE>

A nod.  Then, “Are they…graphic?”

Ack.

“Yes, Daddy.  They are explicit.”  <ARGH!>  (Please don’t ask me where my inspiration came from though, because THAT would make me uncomfortable.)

He took it in stride, though.  (No Daddy, I don’t really write porn.  Just a few little spicy takes, that’s all.  Almost perfectly innocent.  Except for that shower scene…)

My dad is difficult to read (no pun intended).  He almost never lets you know what he’s thinking.  Great freaking poker face if I ever saw one.  He doesn’t need sunglasses at all.  But even though he’s all calm on the surface, in his head, he’s totally freaked out that his little girl is writing about raucous bedroom romps that our friends and family might read at some point.  I know he’s also thinking about how my mom is going to take that when she finds out.  That’s  conversation for another day, though, preferably after I’ve had several Manhattans.

Sorry guys, little girl’s all grown up now.  =)

The $25 Thumbnail…Pretty Cheap For Soft-Core

I’m OBSESSED with creating images for Unlikely Venture.  Gotta love the digital age!  One of my fabulous author friends (who is on the best-seller list for New Adult Contemporary on Amazon UK!!) sent me something she put together for one of her books and I decided I needed to create one for mine.  So the search began.  Here’s what I found out.  Images are ridiculously PRICEY!!!  I bought what is basically a THUMBNAIL for $25!  

So many sites have cheesy images that I wouldn’t doctor and post if someone paid ME.  Then there are others that are borderline porn…need to steer clear of THAT as it’s not exactly my genre.

I think I struck a happy balance with this one, although Hubby doesn’t understand why I’m so impressed with my efforts.  “You put some text on a PICTURE for crying out loud!”

Yeah, but I did it MYSELF…and it’s for MY BOOK.  =)

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Oscar! Oscar! Best Actress Does Not Equal Best Dressed…By A Longshot

#TGIF.  Seriously.

My first-pass synopsis for Unlikely Venture is begging to be trimmed but I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind.  It is a lot of work for me to “trim.”  I am, by nature, long-winded.  I’ll never forget my editor’s feedback about the very first iteration of my manuscript.  She said, “I bet that you write the way you speak, am I right?”

Um, yeah.  I do.  If something can be summarized in five words, you’d better believe I’ll need forty-five to get to the same place.

But, have no fear prospective publishers!  I’ve successfully modified my style.  So now my writing is in direct opposition with my conversational (and blogging) style.  I can’t turn myself completely inside out.

Anyway, I digress.

Let’s return to my original point.  See?  I told you I can get wordy.

Sunday.  The Oscars.  The dresses.

I surfed a bit tonight to unwind after a long week and came across this infographic, courtesy of Cosmopolitan UK.

To be completely honest, there have been very few gowns that have really tooted my horn over the years.  I mean, there have been horrors for sure – Cher, Jodie, what the frock????  Oh, wait, it was the frocking ’80s

I think my fave was from 2004 – Charlize and her stunning Gucci.  I am always curious to find out the styles embraced by those being celebrated.  It’s a darn good thing that some of these ladies are so talented since they’d never make it as fashion icons.

But just to be perfectly clear, if someone invited me to join them on the red carpet in one of the many atrocities panned over the years, I’d do it.  Just saying.

http://www.mediarundigital.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/hi-res-oscar-dresses1.jpg

http://www.mediarundigital.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/hi-res-oscar-dresses1.jpg

Maybe “Nice” Isn’t Such A Great Compliment After All??

So, where did I leave off with Unlikely Venture…?  Oh YES.  Seeking beta readers.  Edits are complete, I need to do my own final run through, and then it goes to beta so I can see if there are any major holes to fill.  God I hope not…what are the odds that they will love it as much as I do???

Image

I’ve been trying to watch last week’s episode of Nashville for a week now, but abc.com just started doing this annoying thing where it asks me to verify my cable provider before providing me with viewing access.  Aha!  Thought you got me ABC?  Think again!  I’ll just wait until Thursday to watch!!!!  Would be helpful if I had the account information but that’s hubby’s department and he was off the grid.  Sigh.

Nashville is one of my favorite shows.  And one of the scenes in last week’s episode struck a chord with me.  No pun intended, folks.  I know there’s a lot of honky-tonk songwriting and singing, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to be funny right there.  It just kind of happened.  LOL.

Anyway, in a nutshell, (bear with me, non-fans) Scarlett needs Liam to help her produce an album.  Liam is frustrated because Scarlett is singing songs that don’t accurately portray who and what she is.  Since Liam’s an artist, he likes to dig deep…and do drugs…and drink.  But he’s also brilliant and introspective.

She tries to defend her music and he presses her to see if there’s more to her than meets the eye.  And golly gee, there IS.  Which is great because she’s kind of annoying…they definitely need to spice her up a little bit.  She needs a dark shadow.

So one of the key things Liam says is (and I’m paraphrasing here) inside every nice person is some damaged alter ego looking to claw its way out.  Hmm.

I don’t think another soul has ever used the word “nice” to describe me.  But you know what, I’m okay with that.  I’m not running from demons, I don’t have any deep dark secrets, I’m not a tortured soul.  It’s all out there in the open.  You can take me or leave me.  I’m colorful.  =)

So long story short, please don’t be disappointed when none of my heroines turn out to be that sweet-as-pie, boring, baggage-less little Miss Perfect.  I can only write what I know.  =)

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