Blog Archive - November 2012

Kicking Things Off Holiday Style!

Seasonal Greetings, guys and dolls! Well, December is but a few hours away, and here on the blog, we're kicking off the holiday season with a blog hop hosted by the lovely R.J. Scott!

The blog hop runs this weekend from December 1st through December 2nd, with plenty of folks taking part in the fun, and up for grabs is a copy of my shiny new Christmas novella Mending Noel which will be out from Dreamspinner Press on Saturday! Woot!

My Day at The Romance Reviews Year-End Splash!

yes2012Hello all! If you haven't yet had a chance to win a free copy of The Auspicious Troubles of Chance, pop on over to The Romance Reviews Year-End Splash Party Thursday, November 29th and answer one easy-peasy question for a chance to win. Click here to go to the Q&A page. * Please note you have to sign in to play.

The Road So Far and Giving Thanks

leyendecker_1928_thanksgivingsmallHello all! 2012 is nearly gone, and what a year it's been! As most folks do, I put a lot of pressure on myself. My motto is, if you're going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. In my case, I'm always pushing myself to do better than what I can, and quite frankly, it can be exhausting, and harsh. It's the reason I take so damned long to write, but I'm working on that. Of course this way of thinking is a part of me. I can't change it, and quite frankly I don't think I want to.

The last couple of months have been pretty tough writing-wise. I've had trouble focusing, and getting the words out. Julius's book should have been finished ages ago. I remind myself I had pretty rough dental surgery in September--when I had wanted to finish his book-- which pretty much put me out of commission for the month, but even so, I spent a lot of time being hard on myself. Being surrounded by so many authors who write much quicker, with new releases coming out every week, it made things even tougher. As an author, everything we write comes from inside our heads and hearts, and when your head is fighting you every step of the way, it can kill your mojo. So what do you do? You find a way to get through it. With Thanksgiving this week, I took a moment to have a little think about this year, and what I've accomplished.

Keep Calm Carry OnIt's hard for me to believe how this time last year, I was anxiously waiting to hear back from both Torquere Press and Dreamspinner Press after submitting my very first two stories, The Amethyst Cat Caper and The Auspicious Troubles of Chance. I was a newer than new Newbie. My knowledge on publishing was very limited, despite a good deal of research. There's only so much you can learn without having experienced it yourself. Then I think about the three or so years previously, the ones that lead me here. I had started writing again because I remembered how much I loved it, and missed it. I also needed an escape. Certain aspects of my life were going from bad to worse. I was miserable at my job. There were closures and redundancies, changes in my personal life which had me confused and scared. After spending eleven years in a city, and country I loved, I knew it was time to come back home, for my own good. I had made up my mind about what I wanted to do with my life by then, finally.

compass smallSome of us are born knowing what we want. We see our path and we follow it. It's not always smooth sailing, and there are obstacles, but we know we're heading in the right direction. Then there's the rest of us. The ones who stand before various paths not knowing which one to take or where it will lead, and where the hell were we when they were passing out the maps and compasses? A lot of times it doesn't matter where those paths lead, because we don't know where the hell it is we want to go. So we wander for a while, and after a certain amount of time, we either turn back and start again, or veer off in a totally different direction. I would be of the latter variety.

I was published in February of this year. I forget that a lot. 9 months ago. That's it. In that time I've had every story I submitted published. 1 long novella, 3 novellas,  and 4 short stories, with 1 full length novel near completion, and 3 other stories in various stages of development. I've got a slowly growing, and wonderful readership, have made some amazing friends, have been to GRL as an author and met folks who have not only read my stories, but enjoyed them. I've had many wonderful reviews from folks who took the time to give me feedback about my work-- whether reviewers or readers, of what they liked, what I could do better, all of which I am grateful for. My very first review for my first story was four stars. I started off on a high note. I'm being helped by some pretty amazing folks who at times see more in me than I see in myself, and help pick me up when I'm feeling down. The biggest thing is I'm getting to do what I love, which is what I've been striving to do for many years. I have wonderfully supportive family, and friends, who've helped me get to where I am. All in all, this Thanksgiving, I have a huge amount to be thankful for. 2012 has been an incredible year, a life-changing year, and I'm looking forward to 2013.

It's taken me a good while to figure out what I want to accomplish, at least partly, and even if at times I feel like I'm taking three steps back after taking one forward, I'll keep at it, and try not to forget all the little things I have to be thankful of. And for those of you reading this, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to be here. I know you probably have loads going on in your own life, your own worries, fears, and frustrations. Thank you for all the folks you support by simply being there. Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm no less thankful for you.

Have a Happy Thursday!

Charity Sip Blog Hop Results!

Hello all! I want to thank everyone who took the time to stop by, as well as those of you who joined in and left a comment.
For those interested in this great event, the Charity Sips are available as a complete package, or as 29 individual stories all ranging from extra naughty to lovingly sweet and everything in between, with all the royalties going to NOH8 and Torquere Press matching the donations. So check out the Torquere Press website or Rainbow eBooks.
And onto the blog hop winner! Using the winner is:
Congratulations V.L! I'll be emailing you soon to confirm delivery of your prizes!
Again, thank you all so much for taking the time to participate in the hop! Have a wonderful week, and I hope you visit again real soon! To go back to the Torquere Press Blog click here.

Leather and Love: How Romance Helps Stamp Out Hate.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Torquere Press' Charity Sip Blog Hop! As you may know, every year Torquere Press and its participating authors pick a charity benefiting the LGBTQ community and puts out a submission call for short stories based on a theme. Those authors who take part donate 100% of the royalties earned on these stories, with Torquere matching the donation. This year, the charity chosen was NOH8, and the theme was leather. I knew I wanted to take part in this. Not only would it offer me the chance to write a story folks might enjoy, but the proceeds would be going to a wonderful charity. My first challenge was writing a story that fit with the leather theme. When you think romance, certain things tend to come to mind, but being an author of historical romance, the first thing that came to my mind was boxing, and given the eras I write in, the next logical step was a story set during the roaring twenties when boxing was exceptionally popular, thanks to such boxing giants as Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. The sport had evolved from illegal, bare-knuckle brawling in dusty saloons into huge sporting events attended by thousands of men and women.
As I sat down to write In His Corner, I knew it would be as much about the fight for love, as the fight to win the match. I got an image of two men, a young college educated fellow who came from a humble background, and his hero, Jessie 'the Demon' Dalton, the world heavyweight boxing champion he fell in love with. In His Corner isn't about how Eli and Jessie meet and get together, it's about second chances, and finding courage. Eli has been around Jessie since he was eight years old, his boyhood crush developing into something deeper as he grows up, but just when Eli finds the courage to tell Jessie how he feels, everything comes crumbling down around them. Jessie has lost his title, his reputation, and before he knows it, he's lost Eli--something he hasn't recovered from even five years later when Eli walks back into Jessie's life, determined to find out why Jessie pushed him out. Only Jessie isn't the same, confident, imposing man he used to be, and when Eli sees how much Jessie needs him, he steps up to the challenge. Not only is he intent on showing Jessie that he's all grown up and here to stay, but that what they felt for each other is worth fighting for.
Love is a powerful thing, and for me, reading romance is more than just the guilty indulgence many believe it to be. It's not just about hot guys getting it on (not that there's anything wrong with that), it's about the courage these men show, the stand they take as they follow their hearts against all manner of adversity. Romance tells stories of what people are capable of when they lose their hearts to someone, of how fiercely they're willing to fight for that love. Love transcends gender, and more importantly, stamps out hate, reaching out and touching that part of us that yearn for something deeper and greater. Love has the power to make amazing changes, as long as there are folks willing to listen.
♥ Giveaway  For a chance to win a $10 Torquere Press Gift Certificate and this handmade, vintage-style boxing notebook, just leave a comment below. ♥ Rules ♥ *** Please make sure to leave an email address for the delivery of your prize should you win. ** Blog hop ends at midnight (Est) November 11th. * Winner will be announced on the blog Monday, November 12th. ♥♥♥ In His Corner is available from Torquere Press and Rainbow eBooks. Don't forget to check out all the other amazing Charity Sips! *** To rejoin the hop, just click on the Charity Sip icon at the top of this post. ***

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