Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Wrap-Up

Only one more day until December! Only 24 days left until Christmas Eve!

Christmas always been my favorite holiday. Not just my favorite holiday, actually, but my favorite time of the year. So I'm in good spirits, despite the fact that I couldn't attend the annual Christmas Tree Cutting Adventure with my BFFs this year. Here's what I did do...


1) Write Every Day Challenge. I wrote every single day during the month of November.

It wasn't always easy, especially on the weekends, but I was determined to meet the challenge head on. And I did. In fact, I exceeded my goal. I started my challenge a little early, which added four extra days to my total count. To date, I've written 34 days straight. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sit down at the computer and write over the Thanksgiving weekend, as I was out of town. On those days, I wrote in my writer's notebook instead.

2) Pep Talk. Not even halfway through my Write Every Day Challenge, I got discouraged.

 Not about the task itself, but by a tough round of revisions. My CP, Natalie Murphy, pulled me back from the dark side with a much-needed pep talk.

Of course, Natalie said exactly what I needed to hear.

By the end of our conversation I was pumped and ready to tackle my revisions.

3) Night Owl No More
. I'm a night owl. I don't like getting up early. Never have, never will. I like to stay up late to write, when the house is dark and quiet. Unfortunately, I can't do it anymore. Why? Well, this month I stayed up late writing too many days in a row, and the lack of sleep took it's toll on me. 

I looked like The Walking Dead. So did my revised chapter. If I didn't know better, I'd swear I was drunk writing that week.

All the new words I added to my chapter were just plain awful. And I was...

I was not happy. So I decided I will be a night owl no more. Apparently my brain doesn't function well on five hours of sleep. Go figure. ;)

4) Critiques Galore. I critiqued several of my CP's chapters. Her story is such a joy to work on. I can't wait until it's out in the world for everyone to read.


1) Puppy Drama. My puppy, Milla, was spayed this month. The surgery and recovery went well. Milla didn't have to wear the Cone of Shame, because she didn't lick her incision -- not even once!

Yep, she's a good girl. She's also very hyper. It wasn't easy to keep her calm while she recovered. All Milla wanted to do was run and romp around with her squeaky toy. Oy!

I'm still working on training her to walk on a leash. It's not easy. Milla is one stubborn Doxie.

2) Fall Back in Time. The Historical Romance Network hosted a social media event on November 1st called Fall Back in Time with Historical Romance. Readers were asked to post selfies while reading a historical romance novel. Such a fun idea, huh. I had a great time taking photos and posting them on Facebook and Twitter. Here are a couple of my favorites...

Milla knows every girl needs romance.
Shhh! Sawyer is reading a historical romance.

Forget hammers and heater parts! I want to read romance!
3) Books. I finished a few books this month, though not as many as I'd hoped to read. I'm 18 books short of reaching my yearly goal. There's no way I can read that many books by the end of December, soooo... Maybe next year.

4) Thanksgiving.
Today my hubby, the Doxies, and I are on our way home from Oregon, where we spent Thanksgiving with my big sister and her family. We had a wonderful time together. I can't wait to see them all again.

How was your month? Did you do anything fun or noteworthy? Do share!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

It's been nineteen days since my Write Every Day Challenge began, and mission accomplished! I'm done.

I wish I could report that I've finished my revisions. But no. I have, however, worked on my WIP for 24 days in a row.

And I've learned something: the published authors who say you should write every day are not fools.

Writing every day has made a huge difference in my progress and my focus. I feel more connected to my characters and my story, and more determined to finish my revisions. It's a great feeling.

So I will do my damndest to keep writing every day for the rest of the year. And perhaps in 2015, too.
Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Releases

By Joanna Bourne
November 4, 2014

Ten years ago, he was a boy, given the name 'Thomas Paxton' and sent by Revolutionary France to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service.  Now his sense of honor brings him back to London, alone and unarmed, to confess. But instead of facing the gallows, he's given one last impossible assignment to prove his loyalty.
Lovely, lying, former French spy Camille Leyland is dragged from her safe rural obscurity by threats and blackmail. Dusting off her spy skills, she sets out to track down a ruthless French fanatic and rescue the innocent victim he's holding—only to find an old colleague already on the case. Pax.
Old friendship turns to new love and Pax and Camille's dark secrets loom up from the past. Pax is left with the choice — go rogue from the Service or lose Camille forever. 

I've yet to read a Joanna Bourne romance. I need to read this one! 

Victorian Adventures, Book One
By Lillian Marek
November 4, 2014

Lady Elinor is searching for treasure
The intrepid Lady Elinor Tremaine is caught up in the Victorian fervor for exploring distant lands. Her travels throw her back in the company of an old friend-this time, far from the security of polite society.

And uncovering the secrets of her own heart
Harry de Vaux, Viscount Tunbury, has loved Lady Elinor for as long as he can remember- but his family's sordid background put her completely out of his reach. Prowling through Etruscan ruins in Italy with Elinor is exquisite torture. She is so close, and so forbidden...

I'm intrigued by any romance that has the H/H prowling through ruins in Italy.

By Brighton Walsh
November 4, 2014

Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouth-watering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby-hands, he’s shocked at her response…

Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.

But now, every time she turns around Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want…

I like a good New Adult novel.


Special Agent Pendergast Series #14
By Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
November 11, 2014

A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast’s most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California’s desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family’s sinister past.

But Pendergast learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history: he is soon stalked by a subtle killer bent on vengeance over an ancient transgression. In short order, Pendergast is caught in a wickedly clever plot, which will leave him stricken in mind and body…and may well end with his death.

I already have this book on hold at the library. I love this series!

What's on your must-read list this month? Do share!

Book blurbs from authors' website.