Updating the Blog for an “Other Genres” Category and Writing

I’ll have to update my website, but for now, I focused on updating this blog because this is my main hangout.

I have changed the “pen name” tab on this blog to “other genres”.  I decided to do this so I could have a place to put the books in the Enchanted Galaxy Series.  This way I can neatly tuck in my other genre books in one place.  From time to time, I’ll get a question about Return of the Aliens because people can’t easily find it.

returnofthealiensnewcover

It’s not a popular book.  I’d say it’s one of my least popular (which makes sense since I focus so much on writing romance).  But at least now, I have an easy way to help people find it.  I’m going to start adding it to the list of books at the end of my books, and I added it in the chronological order of books on this blog.

As for the nonfiction writer-type books, I should probably put those up at some point.  I just hate to mix fiction with nonfiction on this blog and my website.  LOL  That’s probably a weird quirk.  I’m going to wait and see if I still want to do it in a few weeks.

What I want to try my hand at (hopefully next year, but we’ll see) is horror.  I’ve read horror, and so much of it has the sad ending.  I want one with a happy ending.  Also, so many people die.  Maybe that’s supposed to be the point, but I like the idea of more people living than dying.  I’d like to do a more psychological horror.  The closest I’ve done to it is the Return of the Aliens book.  But in this one, I want romance to be a central theme.  I’ll probably scribble something down and see how it goes.  If it fizzles out, I don’t need to finish it.

His Wicked Lady ebook cover

In the meantime, I’m done updating this blog and am almost halfway done with the last book in the Enchanted Galaxy Series.  I jumped ahead and wrote two pages in His Wicked Lady.  Malcolm’s father is anxious to see him married off, and I have an idea of what will lead him to seek out a marriage matchmaking service (which is pretty much what Helena, Melissa, and Chloe agreed to set up at the end of the last Regency series).  So this series will pick up where the last series left off with the same group of lovable (and sometimes mischievous characters).

As much as I’d like to work on the other two romances I’ve picked, I don’t have that much time in the day.  Maybe tomorrow.

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Planning Out What To Write Next

I’m probably about 1/4 into the last book in the Enchanted Galaxy Series, and already, I’m thinking over what to work on.  Here’s what I finally narrowed it down to.  Since I do best with three works-in-progress at a time, I decided on these:

1. Wagon Trail Bride (Pioneer Series: Book 1)

wagontrailbrideebook2

I’m going to pick back up writing this one.  I remember exactly where I left off, and sadly, I’m still stumped on where to go from that place.  Hopefully, I’ll think of something as I go along.  I know where I want to be, but there has to be something to bridge the gap.  Often I think of a story as hills and valleys.  You have your intense moments where emotions are running high then that’s the lull where the characters are granted a chance to catch their breath (so to speak) before they are forced to through another emotionally intense scene.

So I need to figure out what the lull after a particularly intense scene should be.  If I have to jump ahead, I will.  I don’t often do that except when I know exactly where the book is heading.  I did it in His Convenient Wife and Boaz’s Wager.  It looks like this will be another one of those books.

I already have characters set for book 2, and they play a role in Wagon Trail Bride.  For those of you who like a more serious story (such as Eye of the Beholder or Bid for a Bride), this will be for you.  It has some serious moments in it, but above all else, it is romance so there is a happy ending.

2.  His Wicked Lady (Marriage by Arrangement: Book 1)

His Wicked Lady ebook cover

I think those who appreciated the humor in Ruined by the Earl will get a kick out of this one.  Ruined by the Earl featured Logan and Melissa, and if you’ll recall, Melissa had an uptight brother named Malcolm.  What Malcolm needs is a lady who isn’t afraid to laugh in the face of scandal.  Only then will he be happy.  Oh, I could pair him up with a nice, demure lady, but there would be absolutely no plot.  Part of writing is pairing up the right type of people.  And in comedy (at least as I write it), it’s best when the most unlikely couple are forced to get married.

This series will have the doctor who delivered Chloe’s baby in The Earl’s Stolen Wife.  (I can’t remember his name at the moment.)  I’m going to kill off his brother so he gets the title and has to get an heir.  I don’t know which book he’ll be the hero in, though. Since that’s the case, I’ll try to wiggle him in somewhere into this book.

3. The Convenient Mail Order Bride

the convenient mail order bride ebook cover

This was the hard one to pick.  I have so many to write, but since I do best with three at a time, I forced the list to three main books. This was the one that made the final cut.  This is probably going to be a standalone book.  From time to time, I like to do standalones because it’s nice to take a break from the series.

Series are great, too, because they allow you to weave a theme or two in more than one book, and it is fun to work with the same group of characters.  One of the reasons I enjoy the Regencies so much is that I’m working in the same world where a past character can make an appearance.  After working with a character, it’s like seeing an old friend, and I try to bring them in whenever possible.  I can’t always fit them in, but when I can, I definitely do.

Anyway, I expect this to be a standalone.  If it turns into a series, great.  If not, that’s fine, too.  I don’t think every book has to lead to a series, so I don’t force it to be one if it’s not meant to be.

Now, from time to time, I’ll take one book (or series) and use characters from another series for fun.  A case in point is bringing Eva Conneally and Rachel Larson from the Nebraska Series (specifically, Isaac’s Decision) into Boaz’s Wager (which is in the Montana Collection).  I keep thinking it’d be fun to do a quiz on all the books where characters overlapped into other books and see who’d get all the questions right.  One of these days, I’m going to do a giveaway and those who get all the questions right will win my next release.

***

For the time being, I’ll be working on these three books once I finish up with Royal Heiress.

As a side note, Stephannie Beman did all of these covers for me.  She definitely has a gift for this kind of thing. :)

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The Enchanted Galaxy Series is One Book Closer to Being Done and Published

I’m done with The Royal Pursuit!

Book 3 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series

Book 3 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series

Now I only have one more book to go in the Enchanted Galaxy Series.  Then I can get back to romances.  The good news is, Royal Heiress is shorter than the other three books in the Enchanted Galaxy Series.

Starting today on Royal Heiress

royal heiress ebook cover

Book 4 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series

I wasn’t originally going to do this, but I couldn’t figure out a different way to end The Royal Pursuit, and there’s a cliffhanger (of sorts).  It’s more of a prophecy, really, and there’s no reason why I can’t publish Royal Heiress with the other books in the series.  So that is why I added this to the list.  But this completes the entire series.  I have no intention (at least not anytime soon) to write another fantasy.

Publishing Plan for books 2-4 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series

royal hearts ebook coverthe royal pursuit ebook coverroyal heiress ebook cover 

I’m going to publish them at the same time.  My estimated publishing time frame in November 20.  If it can be sooner, that will work, too.  I’m only using one editor for this series because it’s fantasy.  I don’t feel like delving so heavily into everything since these have been published in the past under the pen name Amanda Winters.

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One of Those Days

I’m finally back up with the internet in my new house.  It was hit and miss for a while since I had to find a place with wifi access to do anything.  Now that I am settled in, things should start coming back into place.

I’m behind in emails, though, so if I haven’t emailed you yet, please bear with me.  I’m not ignoring anyone.  I’m still feeling overwhelmed.

About the Enchanted Galaxy Series

Book 3 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series

Book 3 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series

I have been working on book 3 in the Enchanted Galaxy Series.  I am almost finished with it.  One more book, and I’ll finish up the series.  Anyway, as I am going through this third book, there’s no doubt the series is too heavily drenched in fantasy to be considered a romance.  I will say it’s a romantic fantasy, but it’s not a fantasy romance.

I tried to figure out a way to make the books more romance, but I finally came to the conclusion that a story is often written the way it’s supposed to be the first time because there is a certain mindset that goes into the creation of every book.  The characters are built for that storyline.  To change the storyline requires characters also change, and in changing characters, the story falls apart.

In other ramblings…

It’s been one of those days where few things seem to be going right.  And probably the most difficult thing is taking kids to a store during the summer and realizing you can’t adequately study up on fax machines while they’re bored.  When four kids are close in age (9, 10, 11, and 12) and one is deaf so he has no idea how loud he’s being, I guess it’s a recipe for disaster.

This is why I shop at Amazon as much as I do.  People don’t like it when kids are in the store, and as much as do my best to keep them quiet and lined up in an orderly fashion, I just had to realize (today) that it’s not going to happen.  Amazon not only allows you to shop for just about everything, but it also allows for 2 days.  I’m a Prime member for this reason.

I don’t know how women handled it before online shopping.  Did they drop their kids off at the grandparents before they went to the mercantile?  It’s hard to focus when kids are talking and buzzing around you.  My kids will literally walk in circles around my cart as I’m going down the aisle, and yes, it can be enough to make me dizzy as I’m trying to remember why I even came to the store to begin with.

But I guess mercantile were small, so kids weren’t circling their mothers like mine do with me.  But then I think, there’d be the buggy ride to town (if they were more in the country), and knowing my kids, they’d try hanging off the side of the buggy for the fun of it because the ride is “boring”.  Remember, they didn’t have radios or dvd players in cars, and they didn’t have iPads or Kindles to play games on.  And more than that, how on earth did a parent keep a child quiet in church?  Church was a big thing back in the late 1800s.  It’s where people socialized and caught up with friends.  So during the sermon, how did they keep the children sitting nicely in the hard pews?  (Back then, they didn’t have cushions.)  And then I wonder for kids living in town, how did they stop the kid from running after a ball or some other item into the street where horses and wagons were going back and forth?

I tend to idealize the past, as if everything was perfect.  But then I think, “If I spoke to a mother of four children–all a year apart in age–would she tell me it would be so easy to raise children in an age where we have internet, devices to play on, TV, comfortable beds to sleep on each night.  That mother would think it must be easy to be a mom.”

And this is why the saying, “The grass is always greener,” fits so well in so many situations; kids, of course, just being one of them.

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The Love/Hate Challenge

Rami Ungar has challenged me to do the Love/Hate Challenge. What I have to do is write ten things I love, ten things I hate, and then challenge ten other bloggers to do the same. (I don’t know ten off the top of my head, so I’ll do those I can.)

So here goes…

10 Things I Love

1.  Writing.  Everything else revolves around this one, so it has to be first.

2.  Blogging.  It’s an off-shoot of writing, but it’s fun because I’ve been able to meet some really neat people this way.

3.  Facebook.  Again, it’s the people I have gotten to know over there that makes this so enjoyable.

4.  Hiking.  And the Chaco shoes Lauralynn Elliott recommended are awesome.  I haven’t had feet pain ever since I took her advice and got a pair.

5.  Scary shows/movies/books.  But…I like psychological scary, not the slasher kind.  (I grew up on the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside, so I attribute this to my upbringing.)

6.  Driving on a deserted road.  Especially when the air is warm and the windows are rolled down and the music is loud.

7.  Chocolate.  I love all kinds.  I don’t discriminate.

8.  Puzzles.  I’m not a fan of 1000 pieces, but I enjoy the 500 ones a lot.

9.  Clean house.  When there’s no clutter, I think and write a lot better.

10.  Cherry Limeade.  I had this last summer, and it is probably the best tasting drink I’ve ever had.

10 Things I Hate

1.  Cooking.  I do it, but I hate it.  If I could eat out for every meal, I would.  I’d rather clean the bathroom than cook.  That is how much I hate it.  LOL

2.  Bugs.  Get one near me, and I’m running for the spray to kill it.

3.  Debt.  This really should be #1, but cooking was the first thing that came to mind.

4.  High heels and dresses.  I’m a pants and hiking shoes kind of girl.  Comfort rules any day of the week.

5.  Crowded areas.  I can function in a crowded area, but I don’t like the feeling of being pressed in from all sides.

6.  Sticky messes.  Because I’m the one who has to clean them up.  All you moms know exactly what I’m talking about.

7.  Sleep.  Yes, in theory I should enjoy this, but when I’m asleep, I can’t write.  That bums me out.

8.  Tomato soup and juice.  I love tomatoes and ketchup, but for some reason the soup and juice version never sat well with me.

9.  Road construction.  I’m guessing there isn’t anyone who likes this one.

10.  Senseless debates.  There are some things people don’t agree on, so what’s the point in arguing?  I  don’t like it when people try to change my mind, so I don’t go around trying to change theirs.  Treat others the way you’d want to be treated is the motto I like to live by.

Now, to pass this on to some people.  (I know some of you are super busy so you don’t have to do this.)

Janet Syas Nitsick

Stephannie Beman

Lauralynn Elliott

Paula Freda

Meline Nilles

Link it back to me in the comments below, so I can read what you guys put down. :D

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Flash Fiction Story

I love horror and thrillers, especially the psychological kind.  Beyond Return of the Aliens and a YA story I wrote way back in 1995 or so, I hadn’t really written anything in the horror or thriller genres.  I enjoy both thrillers and horror, but I prefer more of the psychological type.  I’m not much into the whole slasher ones.

Anyway, last November I went to a writer’s conference, and there was this workshop on writing flash fiction.  Afterwards, I decided to try my hand at both horror and flash fiction. This piece is the result of my experiment.

late one night ebook cover

I thought I’d go ahead and publish it on Smashwords.  Otherwise, it was sitting on my computer doing nothing.  I don’t know if I’ll write any more of these stories, but it was fun to do something different.

Here’s the description of this flash fiction story: A lone traveler arrives at an old house in the middle of the night. Even creepier than the house is the man who lives there. But not everything is as it seems.

If you’re interested, you can read it at Smashwords.

I am going to try a flash fiction piece for romance to see if I can do it.

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