First Cup of Coffee – August 23, 2018

About the Book

Not all desires are shiny and sweet—and the dark ones might change you forever…

It’s not the kind of obsession a tough Army guy can admit to—a jones for Ava, the pretty-princess pop star. Not just her body, the perfect product that sells all those magazines. Her music.

The critics call her human lip gloss, all style and no substance. To Joe Ivanchan, Ava is the exact blend of reality and fantasy that he can tolerate, the closest he’s willing to get to giving his heart after the injury and breakdown that got him out of the service.

But Ava is real. She’s a flesh and blood woman with a publicity machine and an album deadline, along with a whole team of handlers paid to shellac a pristine sheen over a damaged, desperate soul. A woman with fears, with secrets, with desires.

When Joe finds himself in an interview to join her security team as her driver, his instinct is to get away. But the woman behind Ava’s carefully focus-grouped image is even harder to walk away from. The angry needs tormenting her speak to something within Joe. Something empathetic, protective—and primal…

Besides, even a falling star can light up the darkest night.

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Strategy Games and Martial Arts in SFF Worldbuilding

When I was in Denver for the RWA National Conference, my friend and writing buddy, Darynda Jones, and I took a lunch break at Ship Tavern in the Brown Palace Hotel. While there, I spotted this guy and snapped a pic. It seemed like a good omen, because I finished THE ORCHID THRONE during our mini-writing retreat there, and now (finally!) am going back to THE ARROWS OF THE HEART. This image is highly relevant to the story, for those of you who’ve studied the cover. 

Once I finish this blog post, I’m diving back into THE ARROWS OF THE HEART. It gave my own heart a little stab to see I haven’t opened the document since March 20, 2018. That’s over four months ago. A third of a year! Where has it gone??? I have no idea. 

Anyway, our topic this week at the SFF Seven is: If you had to invent a sport or game for your novels (or ever have), what would it be? Come on over to find out mine. 

Fish or Cut Bait?

I’m in Denver for the #RWA18 National Conference. I think this sculpture of the dancing ladies is particularly appropriate.

This week’s topic at the SFF Seven is Why do you abandon a project? What would make you (or let you) finish it? Come on over to read more! Also, a new podcast episode below: First Cup of Coffee – July 15, 2018.

The Writer Unpublished Manuscript Contest

Do You Want to Be THE WRITER?

The Writer Unpublished Manuscript ContestThis is pretty exciting! My local chapter, the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA), is changing up our unpublished manuscript contest this year! Instead of having agents and editors as final judges, we’re switching things up to offer mentoring and promo support via judges who are established authors.  Writers of all stages may enter! Only the manuscript needs to be unpublished.

And I’m the judge and mentor for the Paranormal/Speculative Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Fantasy Romance category! Yes, it’s a broad category. What can I say? What this means is that the chapter will judge all entries and forward their top three to me. I’ll pick my favorite and mentor that writer and their manuscript. This means whatever that person needs – help with recs and prep for traditional publishing or help with self-publishing. Plus I’d help that person win overall against the wimpy writers chosen by the other judges. 😉 The overall winner gets to choose from the mentors and the whole chapter will support their efforts!

Other categories and judge mentors are:

Contemporary Romance – Long, Judge: Tamra Baumann
Contemporary Romance – Short, Judge: Katie Lane
Romantic Suspense, Judge: Robin Perini
Young Adult, Judge: Darynda Jones

Find out more information and enter here!

 

 

 

 

How a Vicious Review Opened My Eyes

This is one of my favorite photos from the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas last week. Darynda Jones and I were on a panel and I think we were laughing here about people dissing fantasy heroines as unrealistic while loving Conan.

Hard to say, but it makes me smile every time.

I’m over at Word Whores today (name soon to change!) talking about reviews, especially vicious ones