More Updates

The Viscount’s Runaway Bride is off to my editing team

(This is Book 1 in the Marriage by Bargain Series.)

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I finally finished up with my initial edits yesterday and emailed the editors and beta readers on my team.  I’m not sure when the new release date will be yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.  Right now we’re looking at either very late October to the first part of November.

Groom For Hire has been pushed back to February 12 for a release date

(This is Book 3 in the Pioneer Series.)

Groom for Hire

Long story short, when I started this book in July, my husband was like, “When are we going on a vacation?” I had been writing all summer long, so I thought he had a good point.  So I took most of August off to spend time with the family.

Then when school started back up, I got back to this story and realized if I wanted to get this out by December 18, I would have to make it a shorter story than I originally intended.  (And I’m pretty sure you guys would prefer the story to be longer than a novella.)

After much debate and talking to my publisher (because this one is going to be with Parchment & Plume), the date’s been pushed back to February 12.

The Bargain Mail Order Bride is still on track for January 7

(This is Book 4 in the Chance at Love Series.)

The_Bargain_Mail_Order_Bride_new version

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Another reason I pushed the date back on Groom For Hire is because I want to make sure I can get this book out on time.  There is no pre-order already set up for Groom For Hire, so no one has pre-ordered it.  The Bargain Mail Order Bride, however, is up on pre-order, and I want to make sure I get it out to the people who already pre-ordered it on time.

I’ll start The Rake’s Vow this week

(This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Bargain Series.)

20160709_The_Rakes_Vow

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In addition to getting back to Groom For Hire and The Bargain Mail Order Bride, I am going to start on this book.  This book follows The Viscount’s Runaway Bride.

I’ll be uploading this book directly to Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, so the pre-order is only available at iBooks right now.

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On a final note, I know some of you have sent me an email.  At the moment, I have about 100 emails waiting for me to answer.  Please be patient with me.  I will get to them as soon as I can.  I’m not ignoring anyone.  I took time off from emails for the last two weeks to finish up The Viscount’s Runaway Bride and then edit it.  I’ll be tackling my inbox this weekend.

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Updates On What I’m Working On

The Viscount’s Runaway Bride (Marriage by Bargain: Book 1)

20160607_The_Viscounts_Runaway_Bride

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I’m almost done with this one.  I did have a hold up for the past two weeks because I wasn’t sure how to wrap it up.   I had to do some revising of several scenes and insert two additional chapters about 3/4 of the way into it.

Without spoiling the book, part of the goal for this series is to turn two very unlikable ladies you met in The Earl’s Wallflower Bride into heroines worth rooting for.  If you remember Miss Celia Barlow and Miss Loretta Bachman (the two who gave Iris a difficult time), then you know this isn’t going to be an easy task.  I have to introduce them in this book as spoiled, selfish, and condescending because that was how they were in The Earl’s Wallflower Bride.  Part of my goal is to change them, and in order to do that, I had to bring them into this one enough so the stage can be set for their books.

Loretta will be the heroine in Book 2, and Celia will be the heroine in Book 3.

For those who have been asking for Candace (Lady Hedwrett from Her Counterfeit Husband) to get her happy ending, I’m happy to say that she’ll be the heroine in Book 4.

I would like to have this book out at the end of October, but it might not be out until the first part of November.  Being that this is a pre-order, I have to have the finished version uploaded to the retailers about two weeks in advance.  So we’ll see how things play out.

Groom For Hire (Pioneer Series: Book 3)

Groom for Hire

This is currently not on pre-order, but my goal is December 18 for a release date.  To do that, it needs to be with my publisher no later than December 1.  I think I’m around the halfway point right now in this story.  I might be more like 40% of the way in.  At any rate, I was surprised to learn the heroine had an immediate attraction to our hero Joe Otto, who was nursing a broken heart after Amanda married Richard (if you’ll recall from Wagon Trail Bride).

I decided to be a stinker and let the heroine in this story look a lot like Amanda.  I know, I know.  It was mean to do.  But it felt right for the story, so I went with it.  And yes, this makes Joe want to stay as far from her as possible because all she does is remind him of what he couldn’t have.  So the initial conflict was set up, but that could only be sustained for so long before it gets boring.

Fortunately, this week the heroine decided to take things up a notch and challenge Joe on his assumption that just because she’s a woman she can’t handle doing tasks that typically go to men (such as helping keep the lookout during the night or participating in hunting for food).  Some of the retorts she throws at him makes me chuckle.  (She might look like Amanda, but she’s nothing like her.)  At the moment, she’s annoying Joe to no end.  Good stuff!  I love to see sparks fly.

The Bargain Mail Order Bride (Chance at Love Series: Book 4)

The_Bargain_Mail_Order_Bride_new version

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I haven’t done much in this book for the past two weeks.  I’ve been focused on getting The Viscount’s Runaway Bride worked out and forcing Joe to deal with the heroine in Groom For Hire (since he would have ignored her for the entire book if I let him).  That left me know time to work in this book.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in this book.  The truth is, I’ve been excited about this book ever since I finished The Convenient Mail Order Bride, which was released in February.  I’ve had to write the other books in the series before I could get to this one, and with that in mind, I worked on setting things up so we can transition Carl Richie from bad guy to hero.

I also had to get rid of his wife, Lydia.  Lydia was not redeemable at all.  There was too much bitterness in her.  She had been forced to marry him, and she never got the kind of life she thought she deserved.  As a result, she blamed him for everything, and over the years, it removed anything good that had once been inside of her.  I am a firm believer that tough times will either make people better or bitter, and in her case, it ultimately destroyed her.

She had managed to cause significant emotional damage to Carl, which I am excited about exploring during the course of this book.  I could only give a glimpse of how severely damaged he is in the other books.  He really feels like he has no one in his life that cares about him, and the only thing that keeps him going is the dream of getting that gold so he can get away from the town and all the bad things associated with it.  His thinking is that if he can only have money, he’ll be happy.  (This is a false belief, of course.  Money itself does not create happiness, and he’ll learn this by the end of the book.)  But it will take having someone who is willing to give him a fair chance in order to be open enough to learn this very important lesson.  This someone, of course, will be the heroine of this book.

Most interesting to me is how sexually damaged he is.  We don’t often think of men as being damaged in this way.  We typically think of women who are.  But as I writing the wedding night in this book, I realized just how broken he really is, and the process that he’ll need to go through in order to heal is particularly intriguing to me because it’s one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced as a writer.

Sex isn’t just sex.  At least not in my books.  I have a purpose for every single sex scene I add to the story.  There are so many layers to it.  So much is going on emotionally between the characters during the scene where they make love.  Sometimes the character learns something new about him/herself.  Sometimes the character learns something about the husband/wife.  But there is always something the character learns during the act that the character can’t learn any other way.  In this book, I actually cried when Carl forced himself to consummate the marriage.  Carl got absolutely no enjoyment from the process because Lydia had robbed that for him by the way she treated him in, and out, of the bedroom.  I would never have known just how bad off he was had it not been for that scene.

I learn things during the sex scenes I write that I didn’t know about the character before.  There’s always the “aha!” moment, and I believe it makes the story richer and deeper, and the character is more real because of it.  I understand not everyone views sex scenes the same way I do, but I don’t see a sex scene as a means to erotically entice the reader.  I see it as a way to convey something new about the character’s emotional development within him/herself or with the hero/heroine that I can’t show any other way.

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Okay. I’ve rambled on long enough.  As you can probably tell, I’m super excited about these books.  Every time I sit down to write, I feel like a kid on Christmas day just waiting to unwrap the present to find out what’s inside the box because I never know what the characters will do until I’m writing.

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Situations Where Authors Can’t Win

Today I thought I’d make a post describing certain situations where authors are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  No matter how they answer the question, they can’t win.  So what ends up happening?  They keep quiet.

Today, I’m going to address this on this blog, so hopefully, you can understand why we just can’t answer you.  We aren’t trying to be mean by not replying.  We just know that no one will be happy with how we answer it, so the safest recourse we have is to not answer.

Don’t you take the time to hire an editor/proofreader?

The answer is: yes.  Of course, we do.  We care very much about producing a high quality book.  Self-publishing isn’t what it used to be.  Sure, there are still a few badly edited books out there, but most of them will be very professional.  If they aren’t, those authors won’t be around long.  This is a business that requires authors to put out the very best they can if they want to be around for a long time.

The problem is that no one can catch 100% of the errors.  I do think it’s especially important that the author isn’t the only one editing and proofing their own book.  Authors are blind to their work because they will read what is supposed to be there instead of what actually is there.  That’s why we hire an editing team.  This team comprises of editors, proofreaders, and beta readers.  I have all of these.  Do they catch everything?  No.  Do they come close.  Definitely.

I am very happy with the group of people I have working on my books.  I plan to keep them on my team for as long as they’re willing to be on it.  I never take it for granted that they take time out of their busy days to help me, especially since my schedule is demanding.  I am constantly bombarding them with books to go over before I publish them.

From time to time, authors will ask others for good people to work on their books, and we exchange names and email addresses.  Just like people exchange information on books they enjoy, authors do pass on information if they like a certain member of their editing team.  So we rely heavily on word of mouth.  The people we’re most likely to pass on are those who’ve been good to us in the past.

Why do you write such sucky books?

Authors don’t write books they think will suck.  We write books we think will be enjoyable to those who read them.  The majority of authors I talk to are passionate about their work, and they give 110% into the story.  To them, the story doesn’t suck.

Now, it would be fair to say that the particular story the author wrote was not to a certain reader’s enjoyment.  Taste is highly subjective.  For example, some people love alpha heroes.  They want strong men who aren’t afraid to go in and get what they want.  I write beta heroes.  They are strong on the inside, but they are gentle on the outside.  This can come off as a sign of weakness.  People who like alphas will find my heroes wimpy.

Everyone comes to a book with their own preferences.  No author can please everyone.  It’s impossible.  So why do we write sucky books?  The answer is, “We wrote a book you think sucked.” It doesn’t mean the book is sucky to someone else.

I encourage you to take a look at a popular traditionally published book.  It could be anything.  Fifty Shades of Grey, Twilight, Harry Potter…  Just make sure it’s a book that the majority of people know exists.  Check out the 1-star reviews.  I guarantee you that every major book has a group of people who thought it sucked.  No author is immune to this, no matter how popular they are.

Why are you so greedy that you charge a price for your book?  

I only bring this up because this question seems to get asked with authors more than any other.  Forgive me for being redundant since I’ve already addressed this on this blog.  I’ll try to make it brief.

When an author writes a book, they either put it in with a publisher or publish it on their own.  I do both.  The publisher sets the price.  Publishers have costs they need to cover, and since they must stay in business, they need to make a profit.  To do that, they need money.

Now, when a book is self-published, the author bears the weight of paying for the editing team, paying for covers (unless they can make their own), and they pay taxes.  Authors will pay taxes if under publishers who don’t take the taxes out for them, too.  We need to make money to cover these expenses.  Some authors are also trying to provide for themselves or their families with the money they earn.

Authors aren’t trying to be selfish by putting a price on the book.  Like you, they need to survive, and you can’t survive without the necessities like food, water, shelter, and clothes.  It’s not that money is the most important thing to us.  We write because we have a story burning inside of us to write.  But to think we can live off of praise alone just isn’t true.  People work because they want money in order to survive.  Writing just happens to be the form of work we’ve chosen.

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I’ll just conclude this post by saying writing is hard work.  The process of making a book isn’t easy.  So much goes into it.  From the conception of an idea to the time it’s published, there are a lot of steps most people never see.  It might take a day to read a book, but that book wasn’t written and polished in one day.

Authors have their critics, and that’s fine.  I feel that people should be free to express their opinions about the books they read.  I just wanted to explain why we can’t answer certain questions you ask.  It’s not that we don’t care.  We do.  We’d like to answer every question we receive.  We just know there are some questions that aren’t safe to answer because no matter what we say, we can’t win.  So instead of answering, we write the next book.

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