The Next Big Thing blog meme

The lovely and talented Nan Reinhardt tagged me for this blog meme. Everyone knows that The Next Big Thing is just on the horizon, so we writers are putting our work in progress out there for the world to peer at, and possibly champion. So sit back and enjoy reading about my next pet project that doesn’t yet have a home.

What is the working title of your next book?
The Perfect Partner OR Weightless

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I spent my teenage years in a ballet company, fell in love (more than once) and finally married one of the straight male dancers. Yes, they do exist! And we’re still married, lol!

What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary Young Adult

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Wow – I don’t know the young actors of today. A young lady who can dance ballet, AND act. A 20ish Patrick Swazye, and a young Judd Nelson.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A 16 y/o new (and youngest) member of the Seaside Ballet Company learns to juggle the very adult world of ballet while walking on the wild side when she’s not wearing pointe shoes.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m hoping an agency will pick it up. But we shall see!

 How long does it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
First drafts, when they come easy, are usually done in a couple of months. When it’s like pulling teeth, it can take longer.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Next question, lol!

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I loved the ballet world when I was in it, and there weren’t any novels about that world. I decided to write a novel that showed the sexual awakening of a young girl in a world that’s all about the physical – without there being any actual sex involved. While ballet is exhausting, it’s also a very sexy sport.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has two heroes – one a man in his early 20s, and one a teenager; she’s attracted to both of them for very different reasons. One is bad for her, and the other one is almost too good to be true.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any of my ballet photos scanned into my computer yet, or I’d provide proof of my former life. As it is, for now, you’ll just have to take my word for it. So, there you have it! Let me know what you think about this project – thumbs up or thumbs down? Don’t worry, I can handle it!

Here comes the tagging part of the meme. Since I hopped in rather late, I’ve only got two folks to tag. Please check out these ladies, both now and next Wednesday when they’ll post THEIR “The Next Big Thing”!

UPDATE: The marvelous BETH BARANY has agreed to participate! Find her here:


and the sweet Sharon Goldstein!

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

Betwixt and Between, or Crankypants

Betwixt and Between, or Crankypants

Or maybe I should call this post Sixes and Sevens? I’m be-bothered and out of sorts and ill-at-ease and put your catch-phrase here.

A water color from Kansas Water Color dot com.
Thanks to for the image.

(I’m somewhere there – right there, in the middle of the painting. Or maybe in the upper right side…or down left, toward the bottom…)

There’s no one reason for it, really, and a million tiny reasons for it. A bummer for me is that wine – red wine, as far as I can tell – now severely disrupts my sleep, to the point that I’m not waking at 5am to write because I’ve tossed and turned from 1am to 3am. Which means I need to cut back on my red wine intake, which in turn makes me get pouty-face – and trust me, I am not attractive in pouty-face. But…I don’t know about the wine part of the blog, which makes me even MORE pouty-face.

Then I’ve got something physical going on in my female parts – to where I feel ugly-pregnant. Annoying and irritating, especially when the doc says “well, you’re so close to menopause, you should just wait it out…” Grr. I like my doc, but grr. I go see a female gynocologist this Friday, so will know more then. But at least I had a CT scan a couple weeks ago, and all my other organs are peachy keen and in good health. (Now there was a “fun” way to lose an entire day. Sheesh.)

A photo of a CT scanner.

In case you've never had one - this is what the CT machine looks like.

Add in two boys who don’t yet have jobs, three partials I want to complete and polish up, another partial I need to finish so I can send it off to a couple agents, being stalled in my exercising, wanting to shed at LEAST 20 pounds, and having the typical crazy day at the day job I like and … well, it makes me feel betwixt and between.


On the positive side? I sent out two partials as requested to an agent on Saturday, for books that are complete, and I found I really enjoyed working with those two books. Hadn’t read them in a couple years at this point.

A week ago, we got brand new windows on the house – and it’s cooler, quieter, and more secure – I LOVE my new windows! Plus it ups the value of the house, always a good thing.

Another positive thing, my oldest son now has his driver’s license, and my younger son is now learning. (21 & 18)  Ever since they stopped teaching driver’s ed in the high schools here in California, the average teenage driver age has gone up. And up. A good thing, over all, but still – it’s nice that my kids are finally spreading their wings a bit.

BLOOD DREAMS, my short story set in the Caine Brothers world, releases on June 1st and I’ve got help with a book release promo on that day, so that’ll be fun. I’ve seen my cover for DEMON HUNT and can’t WAIT to show it to everyone – it’s fantastic! AND, I got a cover blurb for that book by NY Times Bestselling Author MAGGIE SHAYNE! So, yeah…lotsa good happening. Plus I’m working on Book 3 of the series.

Another, huge positive – Tom and I are closer than ever. That whole “you complete me” thing? It’s real. It’s more real now than it was 35 years ago, and it just keeps getting better. That, my friends, is scary-good.

Another positive is the garden. Tom’s worked so hard – and so have the boys. We have five original veggie planting beds, and Tom’s added nine more. We’ve decided using the back yard for growing stuff is more interesting than having grass (because our grass is mostly weeds). 

We’re growing: cucumber, watermelon, potatoes, zucchini, crook-neck squash, beets, bell peppers, tons of onions, garlic, spinach, cilantro, 5 different kinds of basil, sunflowers,  sage (both green and white), italian flat-leaf parsley and curly parsley, thyme, red lettuce from seed, dark green lettuce from seed (not yet seedlings), corn from seed, peas from seed; 3 different kinds of strawberries, black berries and boysenberries; on the bank, we’ve got 11 artichoke plants (6 of which are bearing artichokes this year; the other 5 are too young), two lime trees, two meyer lemon trees, two different orange trees,  an apple tree, and pots of tomatoes? Glad you asked! We’ve got 8 pots of tomatoes, plus 4 heirloom tomatoes in the ground. Oh, and two pomegranate trees that aren’t big enough to have fruit on them yet (they’re barely 2 feet tall). Of the seeds not yet planted, bush snow peas, and celery, and I still have some sunflower seeds to plant…

Wow. Big grin. Mentally feeling much better – what a lovely garden (in it’s raggedy way)! I must post pictures. The really fun part of the new beds? Tom carted out this huge, terrific metal doorway that was a prop in a store I used to work for. I got to keep it…and now it’s solid in our garden, with jasmine growing up the sides and a hanging pot of petunias and alyssum in the center…when the jasmine grows up and over, it’ll be pure heaven!

Physically? I still feel blech. But at least, when I get home I’ll be able to sit in the garden with hubby, drink some bland and boring sparkling water,  and enjoy all the growing things around me. Maybe I’ll even take pictures.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’re having a wonderful un-crankypants day!

RT Update #3 – Editors, Agents, and the Faery Masquerade

My head is still awhirl from all the goings-on! This morning I did NOT go to the gym, so if Deidre Knight was there, she won today.

Panels yesterday – I listened to four authors talk about how to keep the plot tight and your reader reading, and then the two heavy-hitters with lunch in between – the editor and agent panels. After the editor panel (which pretty much said what they always say – write the best book you can and it will find a home), I went up and gave my bookmark to Deb Werksman, telling her I have a new book out. I LOVE the books she publishes, and would be thrilled to be published there and I told her so. She immediately whipped out her business card, so there’s that. I also talked to Heather Osborn and Lori Perkins. Lori is with Ravenous Romance and Heather of course is with Samhain. I was interested to hear that Samhain is taking all heat levels now…yet another market opening up. All the editors said the same thing – you don’t have to have an agent to submit, but if you don’t you’d better follow the submissions guidelines to the letter. And if you do your submission will stand out. Interesting, no?

After lunch, I went to the agent panel and gave a lot of bookmarks out there. I received strong interest from four of the agents, especially when I told them I had a book coming out, another one in the queue, it’s a series, and I don’t have an agent. So that was sweet. I talked to Kevan Lyon who remembered my name from the Savvy Authors pitch session last week – Jill Marsal (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency) asked for my first 50 pages off a 3 line pitch, and I wanted the agency to put a face to the name. So mission accomplished.

Floating on air, then I went to Boys Don’t Cry: the Male POV. Very interesting and I got some really good reference material from there – I’ll do another post just on that topic as it was fascinating.

All day I kept running into friends – I saw Christine London frequently, and Eden Bradley; Lisa Kessler; Syrie James; oh and others, lol!

At 4pm the RT Book Reviews Awards Ceremony was held – and no less exciting, even though the winners knew six weeks ago. So that was fun. I skimmed the Samhain Steampunk Tea, as it was very crowded and I had to get ready for the Faery Masquerade that night. Syrie James came up to my room and we lazed around and talked for a couple hours until it was time to get ready. She looked amazing in peacock feather wings and a gorgeous, sparkly gown. I had on an authentic Venetian ballgown (thank you, AJS Costumes in Burbank!)  and felt only slightly foolish.

After dinner (which was wonderful), there was a costume contest and like a fool I participated. What was I thinking? Dizzy even without wearing heels and a huge, heavy gown – going up stairs and doing a curtsey was dangerous. I was scared to death. Out of 55 of us, there were 15 finalists – and to my surprise I was the last finalist called. (Thanks, Faery Court!) So I had to do the traipsing up the stairs again, helped luckily by the Mr. Romance guys who swore they wouldn’t let  me fall. And I didn’t, so that was good.

Of course, a hunky guy with a puppy who had wings won first place, I think. Five won prizes, the rest of us were just thankful to get off the stage. Or maybe that was me?

At any rate, it was a long and exhausting day, which is why I didn’t get up at 5:45am to hit the gym. Maybe tomorrow? Oh…the Vampire Ball is tonight. Their theme is Zombie Strippers from Plan 9…um, yeah. I’m not wearing a costume tonight…no one wants to see my zombie stripper, trust me!

And now I’m running late. Keep writing and reading, everyone! The digital revolution may be taking place as I type, but content is still king!