by Christine | Writing
Growing pains. I haz them.
Cover design by Scott Carpenter
In the past three weeks, I’ve finished the back matter on the three Caine novels; I’ve set up my Reader’s Group on Facebook, with some (a LOT) of help from Alexis M. Roark; I’ve rebooted my newsletter and gotten it sent out (again, with a LOT of help from Lexi); and I’m finalizing the last-minute touches on the Freebie novella, Wolf’s Heart, which will be going ONLY to my Newsletter Subscribers (woot, woot!) and will never be for sale in its current form. (Which means, I MAY re-write the whole thing and turn it into a full-length novel. We’ll see.)
I’ve also joined an Author Group Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl, where the grand prize is a $175 gift card, and each individual author also has prizes to give away. The catch? You need to join each author’s Reader Group on Facebook – where you’ll get news before anyone else, be asked to review books in advance of sale, and other goodies. This has been fun, and I’ve had a LOT of people join my reader group, which is so gratifying. I feel like I’m gearing up for next year, if that makes sense! (For more information on the Cinco de Mayo Virtual Pub Crawl, which starts at 12:01AM, May 5th, and lasts 48 hours, go here. If you want to join my Book Love Reader’s Group on Facebook, go here.)
Travels of Christine
Cover for NWTS 2019
So far this year, I have been to the Northwest Tarot Symposium in Portland, Oregon, where I met so many wonderful people…I truly found my tribe. Or rather, my other tribe, as Romance Writers are my tribe as well. I am most definitely going back next year.
I learned from some wonderful people, and fell in love with way too many tarot and oracle decks. I have a new obsession, apparently…more on that in another blog post (but if we’re FB friends, you’re seeing my journey). I made friends so fast, and miss them. Ah well, there’s always Facebook…
Next, I’m off to Denver in July, for the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference. 2,000 women and men who write romance, getting together to teach, and learn, and laugh, and network. I have so many friends scattered across the country / world, and this conference is one place where I get to see/meet/hug many of them. I haven’t been since San Diego in 2016, so I am seriously looking forward to Denver!
Publishing Schedule, 2018
As I mentioned in my last blog post, City Lights Press is re-issuing my Caine Brothers novels with new covers (wowza!) and more content (yay!). I’m super excited for the re-
Cover Design by Scott Carpenter
launch – as soon as I get a schedule, I’ll be sure to let you all know, too.
Next up is an Urban Fantasy novel, which will be in an entirely FREE box set – 24 novels in all, FREE. My novel is A BRAND NEW SERIES titled The Blood Legacy Series, and the novel is The Curse of Elliott Jones. It should be available in July 2018.
In August, I’ll be putting out my smexy holiday story that was available last year in a box set…Snowed In at Christmas.
Then I’ll be writing furiously on the next full-length novel to come out in December, also in a box set…this will be the start of a ANOTHER BRAND NEW PARANORMAL SERIES. Once I have more info (that I can share, lol), I’ll let you know.
Well my lovelies, that’s about it for now. I’m aiming to get my wine reviews back up and running next week, which is always fun (and frankly, its been TOO LONG since I’ve done it). My life is full, and happy, and I’m headed out to spend the weekend with my big brother because it’s been too long.
Sending you lots of love!
Pssst…check out my Amazon Author Page, and make sure you click the “Follow” button so you’ll get news of ALL my releases!
by Christine | Reviews
I spent the past weekend resting my thumb and reading three books that I had picked up from Romance Writers of America’s National Conference.
So I had the unique privilege of visiting New York City and Santa Barbara; a magical land called Raea; and Blessings, Kansas.
I hadn’t read any of these authors before. I have met Joan, and she’s a publishing sister of mine, so it was with interest that I sat down to spend a bit of time reading two short novellas by Joan Bird.
Both stories are set in a small publishing company. The editors are men; the writers, women whose work changes their lives. Sam’s Gift has the delicious Lizzie shoving her manuscript under the door of an editor. Jake is transformed by this novel and must have it, so he goes to great lengths to find Lizzie and meet up with her. But with Lizzie comes Jake’s realization; that his wife, Sam, whom he lost on 9/11 when the South Tower went down, has left him the gift of his future; and that he’d darned well better take advantage of it, instead of continuing to live like a ghost. Joan’s way with witty and intelligent dialog will have you giggling in delight.
Amy’s Wish, set in Santa Barbara, is another heart-tugging, witty and intelligent novella. Eric, the editor, is in Santa Barbara only to get Amy to sign a contract for her novel. Amy is certain he doesn’t mean it. It takes them both to bare their souls, and their secrets, before he can convince her that he means everything he says, especially when he says “I love you.”
Both stories give you that warm, happy-ever-afterglow that a good romance imparts, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.
This story had me by the first sentence.
“I craft influential cake.”
Right??? Yeah. This is a magical puzzle of three people (well, let’s go with that) that are entwined together.
Maire has no memory of her past beyond the five years she’s been in the town of Carmine. She is a baker who bakes influence into her cakes and tarts and pies. Whether it be love, or luck, or strength, or courage, she crafts her edibles with these emotions and abilities. Those who consume them receive those gifts, which is why her bakeshop is well known in her small town.
But when marauders come through Carmine, she is captured and sold…to Allemas, a strong man who then sets her to make treats for others. He whirls them from place to place, holding her captive when she is not actively baking.
When she is down in the cellar, waiting for Allemas to set her to another task, she is visited by a spirit named Fyel. The more she spends time with him, the more her memory returns…and the angrier Allemas becomes.
I have never read a novel like this before. I loved it. It was like falling into a dream, and I wished I could taste the cakes, the tarts, the petit fours. And the reveal toward the end was breathtaking. I will definitely be reading more of Charlie N. Holberg’s works.
I fell in love, reading this book. I had never read any of the Blessings novels, but I didn’t feel lost at all. I loved Bernadine and her Mal, I loved the feisty 10 year old Zoey, and I absolutely adored her mama Roni Garland and her man Reggie.
Life in a small town can be very interesting, especially when you’re the one who owns it the way Bernadine Brown owns Blessings, Kansas. Add in a furious mayor’s wife in the nearby small town of Franklin, and you’ve got some mayhem tossed in.
This book immersed me in warmth and love as I read and got to know lots of people in the town, from the impossible Devon who will eventually learn not to be an ass (and Zoey will learn not to beat him up), to Bernadine and her love for most everyone.
I will, most definitely, be going back to Blessings, Kansas at the first opportunity.
It was a wonderful way to spend a weekend, refilling my writer’s well, and getting to share these books and these writers with you is another joy.
by Christine | Writer Wednesday, Writing
Today I have the FABULOUS Nikki Prince on my blog. She and I became Facebook friends, then met at the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America – and it’s been a love-fest ever since. Sit back, and get to know the woman behind the books.
CA: What made you decide to write a novel?
NP: Sheer craziness in wanting to finish NaNoWriMo. It was a challenge to myself. Swagger came about as a challenge to me to see if I could write a New Adult novel in first person.
CA: OMG I totally know what you mean. Wow! To have that as your first push – good for you! So what genre do you write in, and why?
NP: I write interracial erotic romances in contemporary and paranormal currently, and plan to expand into other genres. Why? I love the heroine to look like me and to be in a relationship that represents my relationships. I’m a black woman married to a white man and I love to see different cultures together. Beyond that I like to see the world as not just skin tones. That everyone has something in common.
CA: I SO agree! I love the mixture of skin tones, especially in love scenes. So tell me, is your latest book part of a series or standalone book? If a series, what is the name of this series, and how many books/short stories do you have planned?
NP: This at the moment is just a standalone, although a thought of another book has been in the back of my mind.
CA: Keep thinking, girl! So, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
NP: Wow, that’s hard to answer. I love to travel. Anywhere I lay my head could be home honestly. I miss traveling. Maybe one day soon.
CA: I’m SO with you. Love traveling, especially with my hubby. Okay, name me 3 simple joys in your life. (Though I think I’ve got this one pegged!)
NP: My kids, writing and reading.
CA: Yep! Knew it! That’s mainly what you put on your FB feed, lol. Okay, next question. If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go to eat?
NP: I would love to have dinner with Edgar Allan Poe and Martin Luther King…wherever greatness like that would want to eat, that’s where we would go.
CA: Wow! Great answers. I wonder where they’d like to eat in today’s world, lol?! So,if you could give just one piece of advice to a writer starting out, what would it be?
NP: To keep trying and don’t listen to negative talk. Follow your dreams, this is your life, this is your book…dream it and write it.
CA: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a Day Job?
NP: I work in a police station on a Community College in Parking Services.
CA: Really? Do you ever put stuff you learn from work into your books? Never mind, we’ll talk later, lol! Name one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
NP: I am really, really shy until I get to know you.
CA: Seriously? OKay, maybe that first time you were a bit hesitant to hug me when I came running up to you…Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
NP: I’d like to say thank you so much for having me here Christine. It’s an honor and a pleasure.
CA: Oh Nikki, it’s entirely my pleasure!
Swagger, by Nikki PrinceS
Nine years, two lives, one love.
We all have dreams. Mine were filled with college and the boy I loved, Cruz Montoya. But all that went up with smoke when he got sent to Juvenile Hall, my sister killed herself, and Dad up and left. My mother, and I use that terminology loosely, became a monster transferring her pains and disappointment, and I became trapped.
Honorably discharged, I’m back in Arlington Heights, the small town that only remembers the black sheep persona of my youth. I could list a dozen reasons for my return, but the only one that matters is Roxanne Waters. I should probably leave her be. I’m not much of a catch, with PTSD and the childhood memories rattling around in my brain. Yet, I can’t walk away. There’s a darkness that surrounds the death of her sister, a secret that’s slowly killing her. I’m going to find out everything. This is the moment of truth: to see if we can make it, or if I’m nine years too late.
Nikki Prince is a mother of two, who’s always had a dream to be a published author in the romance genre. Her passion lies in raising her children as readers, gaming, cooking, reading and her writing. Her mother can now breathe easy about the child who used to get in trouble because she was hiding books everywhere and reading when it wasn’t appropriate.
Nikki’s a multi-published author with several epublishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres, but wants to let everyone know to not box her in, because there is always room for growth.
Nikki’s also a member of Romance Writers of America National chapter (http://www.rwa.org) and OCC/RWA local chapter (http://www.occrwa.org) and is a member of the board as Co-Programs Director. She is also a member of the online chapter Passionate Ink RWA, The Beaumonde RWA, and the Rainbow Romance Writers (RRW).
Questions for Nikki? Leave them below!
by Christine | Writer Wednesday, Writing
Yvonne Jocks, Author (Isn’t this logo FABULOUS??)
I met Yvonne Jocks at my very first Romance Writers of America conference in 2002 in Denver, Colorado. Yvonne was not only signing books, but she was teaching a workshop on how to incorporate the use of magic in your writing. When I saw in the syllabus for the week that one of the books she used as a reference was one of my brother Scott’s, I of COURSE had to introduce myself. Big hugs and instant friendship – I count myself very lucky to have Von in my life (though it has been TOO LONG since I’ve hugged her!) She is also a part of the online band of intrepid writers that I belong to, along with Jenn Reese and Anne Nesbet, middle grade authors that I profiled last week.
Whether you pick up books by Yvonne Jocks or Evelyn Vaughn, the experience is always spellbinding. Harlequin has published many of her books (two series I adore, The Grailkeepers and The Bladekeepers, are written under Evelyn Vaughn for Harlequin), and she has a new series out now called Overtime, written under the Yvonne Jocks name. The Overtime series is the one I’m focusing on today.
Here’s the first in the Overtime series. SEARCHING
Overtime, Book 1 – Searching
When an 1870’s trail boss with no sense of humor rescues a pretty time traveler with no memory, there’ll be trouble on the cattle drive.
A girl doesn’t wind up naked in a Kansas creek bed without asking herself the tough questions. If the first one is “Who am I”, she’s in for a rough time … or maybe the wrong time completely!
Despite the reluctant help of an 1870s trail-boss, “Lillabit” finds only contradictions. Though she’s guileless, her language shocks Texas cowboys. Though independent, she can’t rein a horse. She’s smart, but not about “current” events. And her dreams feature elevators, electricity, plumbing–and impossibility.
Something awful has happened. So as Lillabit acclimates to the slow, steady world of an Old West cattle drive, is she really finding herself? Or is she, just maybe, losing worlds more than her memory?
And book 2…TURNING
Turning, Book 2 in the Overtime series
I FIGURED IT OUT. I’M NOT FROM AROUND HERE.
Amnesia was easier.
Stranded in 1870s Dodge City, Lillabit remembers: She’s Elizabeth Rhinehart, a modern woman thrown back in time against her will.
Also? Someone may be out to kill her.
Her only hope of returning home lies with a trio of scientists in Colorado. To get there, Elizabeth needs passage with someone she can trust… perhaps someone like the no-nonsense trail boss who first rescued her from the desert. But even if Jacob Garrison lets her rejoin his cattle drive to Wyoming–once he learns her secrets, will he let her go home? Will she WANT to?
TURNING is the 2nd book and continuation of the somewhat romantic, sometimes comic, cattle-drive time-travel OVERTIME series. It ties up several major elements of the story–but we have 2 books to go!
Don’t those sound fantastic? If you want to know more about Yvonne Jocks, drop by her website.
And if you want more information about the Grailkeepers, click on the Grailkeepers button over to the left – there’s a wealth of history and research and other fun stuff there.
Speaking of books, what are you reading right now?