Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bent Boot Road excerpt

Here it is, and excerpt from Bent Boot Road;
So now they were heading down a narrow township road, trees overhanging the vehicle. The road itself was narrow, graveled asphalt with crumbling edges. It was primitive and he couldn’t imagine trying to drive on it in icy or snowy conditions. Yet again he was glad that he had a rental. His Audi shouldn’t be exposed to such a surface. Back’s face was buried in the county road map and she had resisted his efforts at conversation for the last mile. He decided to try again, the local radio station kept fading in and out due to interference from the hills looming over them and he was bored. Whenever he was bored he made questionable decisions, or so his mother had warned him.
“How are your hands, Back?”
She folded the county map and glanced at him before pulling out one of Dr. Cooper’s maps to look at next.
“They are okay, sore but I’m managing.”
He nodded, he was making progress now. Her nose was back to reading or surveying or viewing the map, whatever you might call it. He had no idea, since interstates and urban areas were his specialty. All this overgrown deserted rural environment was confusing. Back had told him that the Mullins lived on Bent Boot Road and he’d laughed, sure that she was joking. She hadn’t been, and that’s why she had been sulking and silent next to him.
“Give me some background on the Mullins couple, so I am prepared.”
She sighed and looked up at the passing trees. They hadn’t even passed a mailbox, let alone seen another car or house for quite a while. It was creepy.
“He is a retired engineer, so he’s pretty particular about things, and she puts up with it.”
“That’s it, the one sentence definition of them?”
“Pretty much.”
“Sounds like a successful marriage to me.”
She grunted and folded a map. Carter was still bored. Time to make a questionable move.
“So tell me Back, are you seeing anyone?”
She unfurled the map and pulled it up higher so that he couldn’t see her face anymore. Silent, and he was sure she was glowering.
“So, anyone serious, or just casual dates? No one? What’s your type?”
The map rattled violently and she pushed it down on her lap with a grunt, wrinkling it irreversibly. Carter had to repress a grin, he was getting a reaction now.
“Are you going to continue this line of questioning?”
“Criminy Harris, there are far more interesting things to talk about, like the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impact on the future of geopolitical power.”
“Too heavy. Let’s keep it light.”
“I thought we weren’t going to talk about that sort of thing.”
“I’m not asking you about sex, I’m asking you about dating. They aren’t the same thing.”
She shot a foul look his way and leaned her head back on the rest, sighing loudly. “We have one more mile on this road and then we turn. I’ll talk until we need to turn onto Bent Boot Road.” This last sentence was pronounced in a growl. So she was still irritated by his scoffing.
“So, are you seeing anyone?”
“Not that it matters at all, but no, I am not.”
“Why not?”
“I guess I haven’t met that special someone.” This reply was in a saccharine tone.
“Do you want to know if I am seeing anyone?”
“Why not?”
“Because it is completely irrelevant.”
“Not to me. I like going on dates.” And he liked sex, but he had a sense that she would open the door and leap from the moving car if he mentioned that. Carter had been too busy for either activity the past few months, but prolonged exposure to Lydia Back was stimulating all sorts of impulses.
She groaned and began to roll the map up, making far too much noise in his opinion.
“Fine, tell me all about your fabulous girlfriend and your fabulous life back in Fabulous Columbus. Where they don’t have streets with silly names.”
“At least you admit it is a silly name.”
“It’s not a silly name, you thought it was a silly name. I think it is a fine name, one that the people of Bent Boot are proud of.” She sounded a bit self-righteous.
“The people of Bent Boot?”
“Yes, the People of Bent Boot,” she snarled back.

And if you like that, here is a link to purchase the whole thing and find out exactly why they were in that car on that road in the first place;

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ack! ACK!

All along I had thought that my release date for Bent Boot Road would be some time in March as per my contract.  So I’m working on all this new author/promotion/publishing stuff over the last few months; setting up a website, a blog, editing, writing a new scene and a blurb and a tagline, making arrangements with other newly met authors to be on their blogs to promote, etc.  All the usual overwhelming stuff.  This week as I am working on final edits I start to think I should maybe contact my publisher and see if they have a firm release date so I can include that in whatever I am sending out now.  But I’m busy with writing and bad weather and living my life (which seems to mostly consist of doing laundry and feeding people and animals) and I forgot.
I receive an email this afternoon to look over the final manuscript, write a dedication and bio and to get it back quickly because it WILL BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 25!!!!  Triple Ack!!
So look here on Monday to see if I can put in a  real live link to an actual book to actually buy.  Or at least an excerpt.

Swaggerin' Swag

So what sort of swag would you like?  I have been looking at be-logoed pens, notepad, bookmarks, cards, pencils, basically all manner of office supplies.  I will need something because I am going to be out meeting the public this summer and I’ll have to have something to remind people of who I am a few minutes after they walk away from me.
I saw an advertisement for custom temporary tattoos today.  Now that would tend to stick on someone’s mind (actually skin)!  Ha ha, terrible pun, but an interesting idea if I wrote stories that featured tattooed characters.  But I don’t, so it seems a little out of character.  Ha, bad pun again.  But that is a unique idea.  And that’s what I want; something small, unique, and not too expensive. Hmm...
But back to the original question, what sort of swag would you like?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Official!

I just signed a contract with Musa Publishing for my second book, tentatively titled Return and equally tentatively scheduled for release something in the fall of 2013.
This is very exciting!  I got the offer last Friday and was in sort of a fog the whole holiday weekend but yesterday it sank in, especially after I read through the contract and signed it on Tuesday.  Legalese will make you pay attention.  And it’s a good contract and I am happy with it and they seem happy with my book so all is very well.
Somehow this submission was more stressful than my first, probably because last fall I had zero idea what to do or expect.  This time I was a little more aware of how the process worked and how likely it was that I would be rejected.  And that’s been one of the strange things about my path to this place.  I haven’t gone into any of these things with much trepidation.  I started to write on a whim, went to a writing conference because I wanted to have some time around other adults, decided to pitch to editors on pure impulse, and then it all seemed to take off for me.  So I am going to continue approaching this whole authorship gig with as much lightness of spirit as I can muster.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Some News!

I haven’t posted over the weekend because I was busy attending a writing group meeting and coping with a new addition to our family; a terrier mix we adopted from the shelter.  We are going through some adjustments but hopefully it will work out well for all of us.  But on the writing front, I will have some good news to report as soon as I sign some paperwork.  Once I do and everything is official, I will post it here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For Something Completely Different

I run hot and cold writing to music.  Sometimes I crave silence and other times something melodic in the background really helps get the words on the page.  Lately I have started to randomly pick up CDs at the library and try them out.  Here are two that I have been enjoying lately:

Soundtrack to Hanna by the Chemical Brothers-LOVE this, it is blurry and electronic and has moody vocals.  There are weird little bells and electric organ too. It is a perfect way to lose myself inside my story.

Soundtrack to Girl With a Dragon Tattoo by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross-Loved NIN in my college years, so tried out this three disc set and I love it too; all the tracks are also moody and feel very open in that my own imagination can ride through without becoming diverted by the music.

In unrelated writing news, for Valentine’s Day our family adopted a small terrier mix dog named Nellie.  She is doing very well but I am exhausted from all the new doggy stuff I had to do today.  Plus I made treats (pink rice crispy treats and fresh strawberries) for my son’s class tomorrow and I am helping out with their Valentine party.  But writing will be done somehow!

Guest Author Elizabeth Morgan and her new book Creak

Please welcome my first guest blogger Elizabeth Morgan and her new book Creak, An Erotic Thriller

By Elizabeth Morgan

“What happens in Silver Creek, stays in Silver Creek.”
 After spending the summer as a recluse due to a bad break-up, Nicole Saunders agrees to go to The Heat Wave Festival with her best friends, Kacey and Tyler.

Along with three other friends they plan to take a shortcut through the small town of Silver Creek; the last thing any of them expected was to become lost and end up pulling in to a motel for the night.

The Creek Motel is isolated and the last place Nicole wants to be, especially after meeting the glacial owner, but her discomfort is soon forgot as she finally gives in to her feelings and asks Kacey and Tyler to spend the night with her.

A decision she quickly regrets when she discovers that their friend has mysteriously disappeared from her locked room in the middle of the night. Worried, Nicole presumes the worst, but quickly discovers that Jayne's disappearance is more disturbing than any of them could have guessed.


~ * ~


Chapter Two

Friday, September 12th, 2014
9:38 p.m.

We had lost the sun about two hours ago, the helpful lights of the other cars and the freeway about an hour after that.
We had all agreed to cut through the small town of Silver Creek in order to knock an hour off our journey—a decision I was beginning to regret.
My face had been practically glued to the window for the last half an hour as I tried to figure out where the night sky ended and the ground began. It was pitch black out there. Not the kind of night painted in a mixture of dark hues with the added color jumping out once in a while. This was total and complete darkness, the type that seemed to move with us. The half moon and clear blanket of stars above had become our only indication that we hadn't just driven into a tunnel with no end.
The headlights of Kacey's green camper van continued to guide us along the narrow road and further toward Silver Creek, which I still wasn't sure if we had arrived in or not.
In the dim orange glow of the overhead light, I turned to look at Kacey. The blood had drained from his knuckles due to the grip he had on the steering wheel, and his plump lips were set in a firm line. He was pissed. I would even say livid. Which meant only one thing, we had gotten lost.
"Kay?" I said softly. "You might as well pull over."
His eyes narrowed to slits. His focus stuck to the ongoing road. "No."
"It’s pitch black. There are no lights anywhere. No sign of life. Pull over, and let's all spend the night in the van. We can set off early tomorrow, when we can actually see, and figure out where the hell we are exactly."
He may have been a mechanic, but puncturing a tire or crashing into a tree was the last thing any of us needed.
"There's a Motel."
I looked at the surrounding darkness with wide eyes. "I don't see one."
He turned the GPS we had attached to the dashboard toward me, and pointed at a small blue square. "It should be here somewhere."
I stared at the small screen and then back out the front window. Who the hell would put a motel out here? Then again, I suppose if it’s a small trade town, and people did cut through like we’re doing….
 "There's the fucker." Kacey declared and put his foot on the gas.
The van jolted as we went over a bump in the road, and a groan came from the back. "What the hell, Kay?" I turned to see Tyler rubbing the back of his head, and looking at us through hooded lids. "Are we there yet?"
I shook my head. "We're lost."
"We're not lost." Kacey stated sharply. "I came down the right route. It's just fucking taking forever because I have to go at a tortoise pace because some stupid asshole didn't think about putting up lights on this shitty back road."
Tyler yawned. "So, we're lost?"
Kacey growled. "We'll stop here and set off in the morning."
I looked back out at the road and watched the speck of light that had suddenly emerged from nowhere, growing bigger and bigger, and finally forming in to a readable size and shape.
The tall sign to the "Creek Motel" flickered in the on-going darkness. The faulty light to the isolated establishment appeared to be the only indication that actual people lived in the area. After an hour of nothing but darkness, the sight caused a pop of relief to tickle my stomach.
Kacey slowed and turned the van in to the small parking lot.
Apart from the two cars sitting along the front of the L-shaped building, the only other sign that the motel operated came from the dull light seeping through the curtains of a few rooms. The van filled with soft groans as Tyler woke up the others and Kacey maneuvered into a free space.
"Are you kidding me?" Disgust leaked in to Jayne's sleep-filled voice.
Kacey scrubbed his hands down his face. "What did you expect, the Hilton?"
"I expected to be in a packed parking lot with tons of people, and lights and loud music." She yawned. "Where are we?"
He cut the engine, and slid out of his seatbelt. "We're stopping here for the night."
"Where is here?"
"We're in Silver Creek."
"Yeah, which is just another name for we're in the middle of fucking nowhere."
Kacey twisted in his seat. "Look, it's too dark. So we're stopping here. We'll set off in the morning and be at the festival in no time. Deal with it."
Dry laughter scraped her throat. "You're so grumpy. Jesus. It's not my fault we had to set off at half past five. We should have set off tomorrow morning."
Kacey popped his jaw, and slid a look at me. "I'll go get us signed in, shall I?"
"I'll come with you." I pushed the door open, and climbed out of the van.
I pulled my jacket tightly around me as we made our way across the rough gravel ground toward the entrance. In the silence, I could hear each small gust of wind whipping around the solitary building.
I followed Kacey through the open doorway in to the dingy, snug reception, which had bare brick walls with old photographs lining them and a heavily worn and scratched wooden floor. Kacey hit the small brass bell sitting on the reception desk and we both stood looking at the closed office door.

~ * ~
Elizabeth lives in a small country village in Cheshire, England, with two cats. You will always find her on the computer, blasting music and writing away. She started life wanting to be an actress because she loved performing. She enjoyed nothing more than being able to make people laugh, to distract them from reality for a few hours. She studied Musical Theatre in college, but during her second year, her mind started to overflow with ideas for scripts and she began writing plays. Slowly over the following three years, she was writing more and more, channeling her imagination into more detailed manuscripts...

Here she is, years later, hiding away like a hermit, writing like crazy and loving every minute of it.

Where to find Elizabeth Online:

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's Here!

My book cover!
Look for it in March from Secret Cravings Publishing.  And thanks to Dawne Dominique for her excellent art and design.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Research, or another way to get lost on the Internet

So while I am busy waiting to hear back from editors about my second submission (anyone? Anyone?  Hello?) I have decided to finish my NaNo book from November 2013.  It’s a good contemporary story set in my fictional Northwest Ohio town featuring a local girl and the movie star that she has to drive around while he is on location.  Part of my work this week has been planning and writing a few final scenes that I didn’t get to in November and editing what I did write.  Coming back to it after a couple of months away has been fun, I’ve gotten more detail in about the characters and that means doing more research than I had time for when my goal was to get about 2,000 words a day on the page.
So here is some of the research I have done this week:  Ohio Art Pottery, atmospheric theatres, modern sculpture, the Met, MoMA, luxury apartments and condos in Chicago, and looping. I have also made a lot of requests for books from the library.  Thanks to all of this, I know how my female character has decorated her apartment and I had the brilliant idea for a very romantic penultimate scene.  I am still not sure how much my female character likes to cook because I have a thing for cooking in every story I write, mostly because I like to cook and it just bleeds through.  But Mel (that’s her name) is a bit more contrary about things, so she might not like to push herself in the kitchen. Maybe more meat and potatoes than quinoa and kim chi.  We’ll see.  I’ll just have to do some more research!

And here is an interior shot (I don't have the copyright to this, if you do, let me know!) of the Holland Theatre in Bellefontaine Ohio.  I used to go to the movies here at least once a week when I lived there.  It was a fantastic place and once the owners turned on the mechanicals for me and I was able to see the windmill turn.  Oh yes, there is a windmill inside the theatre. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Swim as Fast as You Can

Today was a good writing day!  I really cracked in to the final scenes I need to complete to finish my NaNo book and if all goes well I will have the majority of it done by the end of the week and can start to polish it up next week.  Just a few thousand words to go and considering I got in over 1500 today, it is doable. 
That’s good because my brain is not directed towards something new right now.  I am assuming it is because I know my book will be out next month and I don’t know what to expect so my subconscious is keeping everything a clean slate for the time being.  Other than finishing this NaNo book.  Which I really like.  Have I said that before?
One thing I really need to decide on is an excerpt.  It is very hard for me to settle on this because I know the story so well that every scene makes sense but of course that isn’t true for anyone else.  Hopefully my editor can make a few suggestions on something that will stand out for a reader.  There is so much involved in producing a book and I feel like I am only staying a half a step ahead of everything as it comes due.
In non-writing news; had a delicious lunch with my son at our favorite Indian restaurant.  He loves the Naan and I love the mixed pickle and paneer palak.  And we bought two mollies to add to our community tank.  The fish are frantically looking for a way out of their new aquarium and I hope they will calm down by tomorrow or I’m going to start feeling guilty for buying them and taking them away from all of their friends.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Editing Two

Oh, so it is Superbowl Sunday and I am not watching the game which means I can do a little writing.  I finished the initial edits on my book this weekend and overall it was a good experience.  Before I started them I’d already printed out a hard copy and made a bunch of corrections. My editor didn’t ask for many changes and so it was more a matter of going through and changing what I’d already noticed was wrong.  I did have to write one scene from scratch because there was no transition between two other scenes, but in the end that was a good thing (I think) because it allowed me a chance to have my male protagonist come to a realization about how he is feeling.  So good there.
I noticed some style issues in my writing, such as I tend to use my adjectives in pairs at the end of the sentence after a comma.  For example:
She held the mug of coffee and took a sip, steaming and bitter.
Fix that!  It’s awful!
She held the mug of coffee and took a bitter sip.
Better.  Coffee is usually served hot, so no need for ‘steaming’ unless having to drink cold coffee plays into it. And it's a little more interesting, is the coffee bitter or is she?  Hmm. I cleaned up a lot of that sort of thing.
Then, for a break, I started a re-read of the book I wrote for NaNo this year.  I like it and need to add some scenes and then I think it will be ready to polish and submit, perhaps in May.  Good there.
And I’m trying not to worry about the book I sent out last Saturday and wonder when/if I’ll hear anything back.  Things just seem to take so long I the publishing world.  I’m not used to it.  In my other professions, we had to get things done right away, mostly because I worked with the public and they do NOT like to be kept waiting.  So that’s part of the learning curve.
Some things I’d like to blog about this week; having a pen name and getting ideas.  Do those sound interesting?

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Just a quick post because I have been busy all day with trying to squeeze time in to finish my editing on the book.  I don't have much more 'write' in me tonight. I did a lot of fixes, deleted commas, added some descriptors, and just wrote a needed transition scene.  I'll go back and re-read that tomorrow when I'm rested.
So far the process has been fine.  My only frustration comes from the fact that I have no time without interruptions or obligations.  And I feel trapped in the house because the weather is foul.  Now if I was trapped her by myself it would be fine because I could devote myself to writing but I happen to live with other human being who require my attention. I am definitely not treated like an artist in my house.