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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Baby Bird

In June, while I was working hard to get my manuscript ready to send to my editor, there was this scratchy squeaking noise outside my office window. It was relentless, too. It sounded like an injured animal, but multiple checks outside revealed nothing.

It was evening before I spotted the culprit. A mockingbird chick.

This "baby" was as big as its parents and fatter than both of them. In fact, they looked thin, probably from all the running they were doing to feed their chick. All three of them were standing together on the grass in front of my office window, but a parent would fly off, catch food, and come back to give it to the baby who was screeching nonstop.

The picture with this blog post is one I purchased because I couldn't get close enough to take a decent shot. And when I tried to catch one through my office window, the screen made it impossible to see the mockingbird family.

I found where their nest probably was located, too. In one of the crepe myrtle trees in my front yard. It was a surprising choice because it's a small tree and the nest would be low to the ground, but my subdivision was massively expanded in the past year or so, and maybe Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird couldn't find a better location to build.

Anyway, that screechy squeak went from being annoying to making me run to the window to look for the baby. I'm so sad that they've moved on and baby has not only fledged, but learned to feed itself. Maybe they'll be back next year. I'll be watching.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Time is Running Out!

Time is running out if you want to grab Wicked Intention at 20% off! Special Fan Pricing ends on the 20th.

This is book 2 in the Paladin League series, but it stands alone. The reviews so far have been awesome!

"Wow! I loved this book. This was a solid five star read for me. ...it was pure page turning entertainment." -Amazon Reviewer

"HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ALL!" -Amazon Reviewer

"Can I give more than five stars because this book is definitely worth more than five" -Goodreads Reviewer

It's been so exciting to see the great response to Finn and Zo. These two characters are special to me and we've spent so much time together that it's hard to believe their story is written and out in the world.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Today It's OneNote

I've mentioned how I keep trying different things to organize myself while I write. I like to be organized and I don't want things in fifteen different places, especially my notes, but this continues to be a work in progress.

Right now, as I write The Paladin League, I'm using OneNote by Microsoft.

The Paladin League has a lot of shared locations in the three book arc that started with Wicked Intention. Being able to save the pictures of locations and people that will reoccur throughout the series is a definite win.

The other thing I'm liking about OneNote is when I cut and paste information from a website, it automatically puts a link to that location. I've had to go back to a site or two a few times because I didn't have everything I needed.

Of course, this hasn't completely stopped my multiple notes issue. I still have my series notebook because I like thinking by writing on paper. There's something about that action that stimulates ideas. I also have a sketchpad full of notes because I needed the extra visual space to work out the last dozen chapters of Wicked Intention. I also followed almost none of those plans, but that's another story. :-)

And then there's the notes I made on my iPad because I like writing with the Apple Pencil. Plus this story was started in 2011 and I made a lot of notes over the intervening years. I couldn't find most of them, but I know they exist. I also was using Scrivener and my Mac to write during this time, too, so lots of notes in there, too.

I'm working on the next book in the series now, Wicked Salvation, and hopefully all of these notes will remain either in the series notebook or OneNote.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Assumptions

One of the assumptions about writing I've dealt with a lot over the years is that just because I can write books, it means I can write anything. This isn't exactly true.

An example of this is business letters. For a while, I'd be given one of these to write from time to time. When I objected and said I was terrible at business writing, I got the "but you're a writer." Yes, but not of businessy stuff. It's completely different writing than novels.

Those of you who've read my blog for a long time know that I majored in advertising copywriting when I was in college. When I was in school, I was writing copy all the time. Pretty much every day, actually. With this repeated exercise of this type of writing, I became pretty good at it.

Then I graduated and went to work at Northwest Airlines instead of the advertising industry and I stopped writing ad copy.

Fast forward to now. I'm trying to write cover copy for a book. I am struggling because cover copy is advertising writing, not novel writing. Completely different set of writing muscles.

I wish it was easy to switch around with no lag, but unfortunately, that's not the case. So I will write and rewrite this copy and I will inflict it on my friends for feedback and rewrite some more. And pretty much just hope I can end up with something that works.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Wicked Intention is Live!!!

Wicked Intention is now available!!! Finally!

The release date was Sunday, September 6th, which isn't a blogging day. I wasn't sure how many people actually read blogs on Sunday, so I thought I'd wait until today.

This book...wow, what can I say? I started it more than ten years ago and here we are at last.

I'm nervous. The story structure is different and a lot of people don't like different. I'm excited. This story and the characters have been with me for years, and at long last, I can share them. I'm relieved. I finally finished the couple that wouldn't leave my head for over a decade.

Here's the cover copy:

Zofia Parker knows smuggling priceless relics out of a war-torn country is a hazardous job. So it’s not a surprise to find herself on the run with the Disk of the Gods, an ancient artifact on everyone’s wish list. Losing her passport and phone complicates her escape, but she has an ace in the air, winging his way to her rescue. She might just make it out of this mess alive—if she can stay one step ahead of the government brute squads and ruthless criminals chasing her. And if she can find a way to rendezvous with the ex-Special Forces soldier hellbent on saving her.

Finn Rowland doesn’t have time for bogus government charges and a stint in a Puerto Jardinese jail. Not when his woman is on the run. Not when she’s in danger. But escaping is the easy part. Finding Zo and getting her out of the country before one of the factions trailing her closes in for the kill will require him to return to the world of covert ops. He’s walking a tightrope without a net and one misstep will cost him his life. And the life of his woman.

I hope you'll read Wicked Intention and I hope you love Finn and Zo has much as I do!