Archive for May, 2013
I am so pleased to welcome Cynthia Woolf for today’s edition of Workspace Wednesday. In my view, Cynthia epitomizes the talented, hard-working indie author, and she is always producing new material. She’s an active blogger who has done a ton to try to help other indie authors achieve some profile. I’m happy to have the chance to try to do the same for her. Please welcome Cynthia Woolf.
CYNTHIA WOOLF: Thanks for having me on Workspace Wednesday. I think it’s a fun idea but I was hesitant to show pictures of my workspace. I’m a bit of a pack rat and so my desk and wall is cluttered. My husband has the other half of the office and his workspace is worse than mine.
We turned the smallest of our three bedrooms into an office. Me on one side of it and him on the other. It usually works out pretty well. Sometimes we’ll knock each others’ chairs when we both try to get up at the same time but that doesn’t happen too often.
The frames on the wall are of awards and my rankings for my last three books. They reached up to #1 in Books-Western on Amazon and I wanted to commemorate it. I’m actually a #1 bestselling author. In Western’s anyway. Someday I hope to be number one over all. Which is exactly what we all hope for.
I don’t have a view from my workspace, I face the wall, but if I did look out the window it would just be at the neighbor’s house so we keep the curtains closed all the time. What I’d like to do, eventually, is move my office into the breakfast nook. The view from there is great. It’s of Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park. For me, having grown up in the mountains, being able to see one as unique as Long’s Peak, everyday from my desk would be heaven.
If you look hard at the picture of the wall you’ll see the cover for my WIP, Fiery Bride. I think the cover is beautiful. Of course, I love all my covers. Currently, my husband is printing them all out and we are going to frame them and then hang them around the top of the walls just below the ceiling. When that gets full (notice I say when and not if) then we’ll start on the second row.
I’ve got my latest release, Heiress Bride, in a frame but not on the wall yet, otherwise I’d have it prominently in the picture. You can see part of it on my monitor, which I just bought. My vision is bad and even with new glasses I wasn’t able to see the stuff on the monitor clearly. So we went and got me a new monitor. A 27” monitor. It’s huge and I can see everything. It would probably be too big for most people but for me, it’s perfect.
Thanks again for having me. Hope everyone has a wonderful day. Oh, I almost forgot. I’m giving away two prizes today. One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Heiress Bride, my latest release and another commenter will receive a $5 Starbucks card. Be sure and leave a comment and put your email address in the comment to be entered into the drawing for the prizes.
Heiress Ella Davenport survived a carriage accident that killed her father. Her life saved in exchange for savage scars marring her beautiful face. Her friends, socialites, showed their true colors, casting Ella aside like damaged goods and leaving her a social pariah. Even her wealth can’t buy her the kind of marriage she wants. Desperate to find a husband who can accept her despite her scars and, without knowing about her money, she seeks to become a mail order bride. Matchmaker & Co. is her one chance to start over and leave the pain and betrayal far behind her.
Nathan Ravenclaw was run out of town by the father of the girl he was courting once he discovered Nathan’s Arapaho heritage. It didn’t matter that Nathan was a successful rancher, businessman, and a positive member of society. The white community suddenly saw only a half-breed. Even his money couldn’t buy him a wife. That was ten years ago. He moved and rebuilt everything that cold rancher once took from him. He has it all…except a wife. Matchmaker & Company promises to send him a woman willing to start a new life with him. But Nathan’s battered heart lacks the ability to trust. He longs for children, not romance. His new bride, scarred and cast aside like himself, promises to be perfect for him. Until he meets his mail order bride. Fierce desire and an even more dangerous hope roar back to life within him. Two things he swore never to indulge in again.
And love? For these two battered souls, that’s the biggest risk of all
Thank you, Cynthia! And OMG, i can’t imagine working in such close quarters with my DH. Our workstations aren’t even on the same floor! LOL. But I love that monitor. I find I need really good lighting these days. I have a giant sun-strength light on my desk, but maybe a better idea would be a giant monitor…
Before I turn it over to comments to win Cynthia’s fabulous prizes, here is some contact info for her:
Okay, let’s get to it! Comment for a chance to win Cynthia’s latest book or the coveted $5 Starbucks card.
Today I’m pleased to introduce you to L.j. Charles. I met L.j. online early in the indie author movement, when there weren’t so many of us. And no, that doesn’t make us dinosaurs. That makes us early adopters. (Sounds so much nicer, huh?)
Okay, L.j., take it away!
L.j. Charles: Thank you, Norah, for inviting me to Workspace Wednesday. It’s such fun to share my office with you, but I have to preface this by saying that I rarely work there. I’m a Have Laptop—Will Travel writer, so I’ll start by being right up front with it. I do a lot of my writing, and most of my revisions at the local Perkins restaurant as is shown here. I’m quite fond of the never-ending supply of Diet Coke they provide.
I do curl up on the sofa in my office to write on weekends, usually to avoid being interrupted by my Dear Husband.
He truly understands what a distraction he can be, and purchased this reminder for the door of my study.
The actual office space is quite small, and is usually inhabited by a cat or two. The black feline is Oliver Biscuit, and the wide-awake little one is Harley. The Biscuit kitty likes to sleep on my arm when I’m writing—which is one of the reasons I hide at Perkins.
There are a few things in my office that mean a great deal to me. One of them is a certificate stating that I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone. I’m not comfortable with heights, and yet I stretched out on my back and leaned over the edge of the castle roof to reach the stone. To be perfectly honest, there was a strapping young man holding me down. I can only hope the experience is a positive reflection in my writing.
Another is my Color Outside the Lines painting. It was a Christmas gift from my husband, and I use it as a focus point whenever I’m stuck on a plot point.
It’s been a pleasure to share my workspace with you, and I’m very excited that this blog post has serendipitously coincided with another event that I’m very excited about. I’ve collaborated with six other authors in a boxed set of mysteries titled Mirth, Murder & Mystery, and it’s going on sale today for .99! We’re having a Facebook party to introduce our readers to our heroes, so please stop by if you have a chance.
Thanks to everyone who dropped in to visit, and for those of you who leave a comment, I’m offering a print copy of A TOUCH OF ICE, and A TOUCH OF TNT to two commenters. Each winner will also receive one of my collage bookmarks.
Everly Gray’s fingers are a magnet for trouble. When she touches photographer Mitchell Hunt and sees the image of a dead body, she dives into the murder fingertips first. Life takes a turn for the dangerous when she discovers the body is related to a small-time crime family that accidentally stepped on the toes of notorious criminal, Delano West. Caught in a web of intrigue where nothing is as it seems, El discovers an aptitude for breaking and entering, the pain of an up close and personal meeting with a bullet, and the terror of facing a cold blooded killer. What she doesn’t learn–to keep her fingers to herself.
Having ESP in her fingertips gives new meaning to “get the picture,” and for Everly Gray it’s a one-way ticket to trouble. With fear nipping at her heels, out of control curiosity, and a reluctant request from the chief of police for help with a case, she stumbles across, not one, but two dead bodies. What she knows puts her in the path of a killer. What she doesn’t know—she’ll be the one pulling the trigger.
Curious minds want to know. Has anyone kissed the Blarney Stone. Has it helped your writing? Do you have pets who insist on helping you write? Both of my cats are very attached to adding interesting comments to my WIP.
Thank you, L.j. Loved the tour! And how exciting about your multi-author box set! Trish Milburn, MJ Fredrick and I just had a Facebook party on Monday, May 20, to launch our romantic suspense box set, In Harm’s Way. What a great way for readers to try new authors. Discoverability, right?
Now, let’s open it up for comments and a chance to win books! L.j. has given us some questions above to start you off.
Trish Milburn, MJ Fredrick and I are pleased to announce that we’ve collaborated to bring you three romantic suspense novels in one multi-author box set. The idea behind the collaboration was to try to achieve some cross-pollination. If you’re familiar with my books, perhaps it will be an introduction to Trish and MJ, and vice versa. Each of us is an award-winning author. Each of us has finalled multiple times in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest. And each of us has other romantic suspense/adventure stories for you to discover, if you like what you read in this collection.
Here’s a description of the three stories:
Midnight Sun by MJ Fredrick:
This wasn’t the adventure she’d signed up for…
A sexy boss, a rough crossing, and pirates—all Brylie Winston wanted was a job to help her earn money to buy her own restaurant. She hopes to earn it by working as a chef on a cruise to Antarctica. But she’s slept with her boss, which throws her off-balance even more than the rough seas and warnings of pirates in the area. And he’s determined to have a repeat performance.Bad boy former snowboarder Marcus Devlin is running from his reputation, sent to learn the family business after decking a senator’s son and making the papers. So maybe he indulged in a last-minute fling before boarding his family’s cruise ship to Antarctica. Perhaps Fate is showing him that wasn’t so bad—the gorgeous redhead who snuck out of his bed is on the cruise. She’ll be a lovely distraction during his exile.But when modern-day pirates take over the ship, his instinct is to protect her and the other passengers. But what does a spoiled rich boy know about saving people’s lives?
Guarding Suzannah by Norah Wilson:
Criminal defense attorney Suzannah Phelps is the bane of the Fredericton police department (they call her She-Rex for her habit of shredding cops in the witness box). She is currently being stalked, but is reluctant to report it to the police, whom she half suspects of being the perpetrators. But when Detective John (Quigg) Quigley learns of it, he’s determined to protect her, at considerable risk to his career. They’ve struck sparks off each other in the courtroom, and he’s burning to do the same in the bedroom. When the danger escalates, he has the perfect excuse to pose as her boyfriend, but the closer they get, the more the lines between pretense and reality blur.
Firefly Run by Trish Milburn
Shelly Myers has finally rebuilt her life two years after her new husband, a Dallas police detective, was gunned down on the church steps minutes after they’d said, “I do.” She returned to her beloved Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to help her parents run their cabin rental and river rafting business — and to heal. Now, the murderer she helped send to death row has been released because of bungled evidence, and Troy’s partner, Detective Reed Tanner, has arrived on her doorstep to protect her from Eddie Victor, who has sworn to kill them both. Reed is determined to protect Shelly like he didn’t protect Troy. But Reed isn’t prepared for the attraction he feels toward Shelly or the fact that she obviously feels the same way toward him.
For a limited time, you can buy IN HARM’S WAY for just $2.99 at these vendors:
It gives me no end of pleasure to bring you Kris Kennedy today as my Workspace Wednesday guest. Kris is a fellow Rock*It Reads author. I’m looking forward to meeting her in person one of these days, but even electronically, Kris’s personality shines through. She’s smart, insightful, energetic – just the kind of person you want to be around. And she’s extremely talented too! You may have read recently that her book DECEPTION just won Romantic Times’ K.I.S.S. Award for Best Historical Hero earlier this month. Without further ado, here’s Kris…
KRIS KENNEDY When I think about my workspace, I feel ambivalent. I feel happy, for me. I have lots of workspaces, and can move around as the mood strikes me. I also feel sad, for my husband. Because I can move around as the mood strikes me.
I’m what you call a ‘spreader.’ I spread out. These pictures will not capture my utter spreadability. I’m like butter.
I’m also a researcher. A mad researcher. Writing medievals and Elizabethans requires a lot of research, and not all can happen online. I need big, heavy, beautiful books, and they too must spread. All over the house.
Then I must write notes, and mark up the big heavy books, so I can capture the information and be able to find it again. All this paper must move too.
We tried to set me up in an office in our extra bedroom. Bought a nice, big desk, set it front of a window, cleared out all the exercise equipment (at which point I bought a treadmill. My poor husband.) As an office, it totally works. See? I’m all set up.
Except, I rarely use the desk. I think it’s the chair. What I do use, without a doubt, is the treadmill desk.
Note my high-tech approach to ‘desk’–I laid the cardboard packing materials that came with the treadmill across its arms. It works fabulously! I can’t write fiction on it, but I can do all my online stuff, and burn 500-1000 calories, depending on how long I’m on Twitt— I mean, how long I’m on the treadmill.
Oh, that black splotch on the wall at the head of the treadmill? It’s a dress I WILL fit into again—it’s motivation. Or shame. Which is highly motivating.
Here you can get a peek-a-boo view of the approximately 6,549 research books (only a few are showing here), maps, folders, and scribbled sheets of paper I metabolize. Usually about 298 books are open and in use at any one point (if you look close, you’ll see copious post-it notes.) I write a lot of thoughts down by hand—I’m far too spatial to have everything be online or on the computer. I have old maps on England and Ireland on the walls, my husband got my covers framed, and index cards are taped to another wall, plotting out various plot timelines for stories. (Which I never use. Silly plotting.) I also have my son’s microscope there, as he sometimes brings in fun and exciting items to examine more closely.
Downstairs, we see the real nerve center—the dining room table. My husband loves this.
I have to admit, this picture reflects a false reality—there’s usually a lot more books and papers piled up. Over the last weekend, I cleaned up and moved a lot of stuff off the table, since we’re having about 30 people come to a potluck next weekend, and my husband was getting pale at the sight of mountains of research books and paper. “And so…are we gonna get this…when? Were you thinking, what was that? Today?”
Yes, sweetie, today. :)
I love writing in the dining room, really. Way more than upstairs. And it only takes about 5 minutes every night to shift all the books and papers to the far end of the table so we can eat dinner, so why the heck not use it?? :)
But the sunlight is great (when we get sun), the kitchen is right behind me (probably a bad thing), I can let the dog in and out whenever needed, and when school & work are over and everyone’s home, I’m still part of us. Although seriously, I should probably rethink this approach, because it’s not the most work-conducive. But it is family-conducive, and I guess that’s more important right now.
Note the accoutrements I get rained down upon me if I stay connected in this way—Playmobil and Legos characters appear in random places at random times, scattered across my keyboard and research papers.
I see I haven’t taken any shots of the living room couch & table in front of it, which is my other workspace. (Refrain: My poor husband.) I sit there and write while they play splash-ball hockey around me, or toss balls over my head.
So if you read any of my books, know that as I try to transport you to another world in the story, I’m probably also transporting you around my house. My family seeps in. My dog, the Lego characters, my son’s laughter as he plays out back with friends, my husband calling to my son to come have a catch, the scent of dinner cooking and the touch of my husband’s hand on my back as he walks by. All because I’m sitting in the dining room aka: nerve center, not in my ‘office.’ :)
I’ve got TWO books to give away to two commentors! Either THE IRISH WARRIOR or DECEPTION (your choice)! THE IRISH WARRIOR won RWA’s Golden Heart Award just before it was published, and DECEPTION just won Romantic Times’ K.I.S.S. Award for Best Historical Hero just last week!
So, fire away! Do you think I’m nuts with this set-up? What does your husband/co-workers think of your work environment? Are they properly horrified, or are you the one they wish they could emulate? Is your workspace important to you, or could you write in a box?
Thank you, Kris. Silly offices, indeed. And great questions. I’m looking forward to reading the comments. Of which I’m sure there will be lots. Here are the two books up for grabs.
As his men are slaughtered around him, legendary Irish warrior Finian O’Melaghlin is held captive by the despised English Lord Rardove. Struggling to break free, Finian finds aid from an unlikely source: the beautiful Senna de Valery, who is also trying to escape Rardove’s bloodthirsty grasp. Risking both their lives, Senna releases Finian from his shackles so they can both flee, but their plight has just begun…Seeking safe refuge, Finian and Senna have only each other to depend on for survival. Neither can deny their immediate attraction, but indulging their desires will put them both in grave danger. Finian vows to protect the woman who saved his life, but he soon learns she is a pawn in a much larger battle. For Senna has an unbreakable link to a priceless treasure many centuries old. It is the stuff from which dreams are made and for which men will kill – and not even Finian may be strong enough to save her.
Award-winning author Kris Kennedy brings the treacherous world of thirteenth-century England to life in this scorching romantic adventure!
A dashing con man
Breaking and entering to reclaim her corrupt late father’s ledger comes surprisingly easily to Sophia Darnly. But is it mere coincidence that her misdeed unexpectedly reunites her with Kier, the outlaw lover who abandoned her years ago?
A lady skilled in trickery
Time has not erased Sophia from Kier’s heart, nor tamed her fiery spirit. She boldly insinuates herself into his plans. But Kier is on a mission of revenge, and can’t allow even the woman he once loved to stop him.
A game that could get them both killed
The danger mounts as they lure the leader of a powerful consortium who needs the fabled Darnly ledger—and all its damning details about the wealthiest merchants of England— to execute his nefarious plan. Their rekindled passion burns hot, but when they discover they too are the targets of a deadly deception, the fate of their love, and of England itself, lies in the balance.
Next week (May 13-18), my writing partner Heather Doherty and I will doing a AToMR blog tour in support of our newest Young Adult title, “Comes the Night“. It’s the first book in our Casters series, and has racked up some nice reviews already. I hope you’ll find us on one of the blog tour stops and leave us a comment. There will be author interviews, guest blogs, reviews, and most importantly, giveaways! Woot! Click on the image below to see the schedule.
I’m totally tickled to bring you Zoe Dawson for this installment of Workspace Wednesday. Zoe is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved on to contemporary romance fiction.
She is the author of the very cool Going to the Dogs Series (Leashed, Groomed for Murder). She also has a six-book police procedural series (The Misfit Squad Series) featuring a group of troubled homicide detectives who have landed in the “last chance” squad. Watch for it from Entangled Publishing in 2013.
Zoe is a woman after my own heart. Not only does she write romantic suspense and romantic mystery, she’ll soon be publishing paranormal and urban fantasy novels. I love all those genres, and as a writer, I totally get the urge (need?) to be spinning stories in multiple genres.
Okay, Zoe, take it away!
ZOE DAWSON: Thank you, Norah, for having me on your blog and sharing my workspace with you. When I first started writing seriously, I lived in Virginia and my workspace was literally in a walk in closet. Great cosmic writing power/itty bitty writing space. The bedroom had two walk in closets so I could fit both my clothes and my writing passion into one room. It was a tight confined space that only accommodated my desk and chair. But it was perfect. I could close my bedroom door, then the door to my small space and cut out all the noise from the household. I loved that space.
When I moved to North Carolina, I lived in a two bedroom apartment with my daughter and I wrote in my bedroom again. But this time I had to put the clothes in the only walk in closet. Not as conducive to writing, but then I was developing ideas and had no contracts at the time.
I then moved to a three bedroom single family home where I had a dedicated office to work out of and it was huge, but with the change in the economy, I moved into a townhouse where I now currently write. As you can see, the view is simply wonderful at all times of the year.
Even though we live right off a busy road, you wouldn’t know it by looking out the window. Looks like we live out in the country.
I share the room with my daughter and when I need some quiet time, I take my laptop into my bedroom and produce away.
I have written seven books in this space and expect to produce a lot more as I have now diversified into self-publishing.
Thank you for that tour, Zoe. I’m so impressed by how clean your desktop is! And don’t you love having dual monitors? And is that a dog on top of your CPU? :)
Okay folks, it’s your turn. Leave us a comment for a chance to win one of two electronic copies of Leashed.
And they call it puppy love!
When Jack falls head-over-paws for cute and cuddly Jill next door — that creamy coat, those soft brown eyes, and, yowza, those long legs, he simply cannot help himself. Bing, bang, boom, a few weeks later, Jack has some ‘splaining to do when that cute female is with puppies. Jack’s going to be a father, trouble is his lady love’s owner and his owner need a little shove into love. Being a large and in-charge Great Dane, that’s no problem for Jack. With a little cooperation and a little matchmaking, some nudging, whining and puppy dog eyes, hopefully, everyone will live happily ever after together.
Can a dog have a bad hair day?
Brooke Palmer owns Pawlish, an exclusive doggie spa and grooming business in upper Manhattan, but when a client’s champion poodle gets a bad poodle cut and has to undergo therapy to recover, the client sues. The lawyer they send is drop dead gorgeous, but Brooke won’t be wooed by a corporate shark in a sharp suit.
Corporate lawyer Drew Hudson has better things to do then take on this ridiculous lawsuit, but since he works for the client’s husband, he has no choice. After meeting the beautiful, sweet-tempered owner, he can’t keep his mind on the silly case. But when the client turns up dog gone dead, Brooke may be a conflict of interest when she’s charged with the murder. All Drew wants to do is prove that this sexy entrepreneur is not dangerous, except to his heart.
Can she take a chance on him?