Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 777 Challenge

I'm sure many of you have heard of this thing going around the blogosphere referred to as the 777 Challenge. So I was stoked when my good friend and critique partner, Leandra Wallace, tagged me for the challenge. I've been trying to decide what WIP I want to share with you all, and I finally decided on a contemporary romance I wrote about a year ago. It's been "sitting" for a while, but still desperately needs to be revised. And when the time comes, I may need some beta readers...


She glanced at her neighbors across the aisle; a young couple cuddled up together, the girl’s head resting on the boy’s shoulder. A twinge of jealousy washed over her. She and Jack used to be like that. Young and in love and barely able to keep their hands off each other, but somewhere along the way things changed. He changed. She changed. They grew apart.

An ache started in Tara’s chest and moved up her throat. She tried to swallow the lump that formed, but she couldn’t get rid of it, almost as if she had a giant chicken bone lodged there, making it nearly impossible to swallow and even more impossible to breathe. Tears stung her eyes as a thousand memories flooded forth. Memories of good times, laughter, and a distinct fire between her and Jack. A fire that over time diminished and then gradually extinguished.

Turning away from the couple, she focused on the wispy clouds and quickly wiped her tears. She wouldn’t cry over him. She refused to give him the satisfaction.

Focus on the anger. Focus on the anger. 

Unfortunately, even those words couldn’t ease the pain in her chest and ache in her heart.

So, here's how the Challenge works. Choose a manuscript or WIP, find the 7th page, scroll down to the 7th line, and share the next 7 lines or so. Piece of cake. And now, I get to choose who I want to tag for this fun challenge....

        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Drum Roll Please>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My amazing blogger buddies: Elizabeth SeckmanSheri Larsen, Chrys FeyCrystal Collier

And any of YOU who want to join the fun, feel free. Just post your excerpt in the comments below or on your own blog!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014

This Writer Mom...

In an attempt to shake things up a bit and mesh three things I love—writing, being a mother, and design, I decided to create these posts titled "This Writer Mom." Based on color and style, I will match pictures of "mothers" to their ideal writing (and perhaps lounging or dining location). It's a fun way to incorporate design elements into my blog while still maintaining a focus on writing. Hope you enjoy!

This Writer Mom...

Sleeps here...
Picture info

Writes here...

Cooks here...

Monday, November 10, 2014

SCBWI Conference-A Time to Connect

I'm finally getting around to posting about the SCBWI Carolinas conference I attended in September. Now, obviously, I can't give you details about what I learned in the classes offered because we've been asked not to do that, but I can tell you that I came away invigorated. Renewed. And ready to write.

The best thing about the conference was having a break from my kids meeting other people who are as obsessed with writing as I am. It is always amazing when you immediately connect with another person. I enjoyed meeting other writer moms who are trying to balance writing and mothering. We could definitely relate to each other!

Here I am pictured with some of the amazing women I met:

So fun!!

We had three agents and several editors attend this years conference. Unfortunately, I didn't sign up for a critique session, which I have now learned is a MUST! But I did take the opportunity to introduce myself to one of the agents. I was so scared. So nervous. I had to talk myself into it, but I'm so glad I swallowed my fear and just DID IT! I don't know how many of you know the lovely Christa Heschke, but she is truly the nicest person and so easy to talk to. I knew I wanted to meet her because of a blog post she wrote only days before the conference. Her words helped ease my anxiety of approaching a real, live agent. If you're nervous about talking to an agent at a conference, then you MUST read this post.

I also had the opportunity to meet authors in the Charlotte area. And I got to chat with the amazingly talented Carrie Ryan (NYT Bestselling author of the YA novel, Forest of Hands and Teeth, who I hope to interview in the coming months. *keeping fingers crossed*)

When I got home from the conference, my house was still intact, and my children had been fed and cared for (pretty much). Just kidding. My husband did a wonderful job taking care of the kids while I was gone. But they sure did give me BIG hugs when I got home. I think they might have missed me (just a little).

Oh, and this is my week on Unicorn Bell, so please stop by and say 'hi.' If you are in the process of querying right now, you may benefit from the info. Thanks!

How about you? Been to any writing conferences lately?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG November—Good enough?

The first Wednesday of every month is reserved for the Insecure Writers Support Group (also known as the IWSG). If you are interested in joining this awesome group where we post our insecurities and triumphs, as well as offer encouragement to fellow writers, you can sign up HERE. Created by the amazing Alex Cavanaugh, the IWSG is a wonderful group to be a part of.

I realized something recently (and for most of you, this will come as no shock, you've probably known it all along). I realized how subjective this whole publishing process truly is. A novel one person might not care for, another person might love.

Photo info

I recently entered my shiny new YA novel into a contest held by other writers. The goal was to be chosen from the slush pile and go on to be presented on the blogs of said writers so that agents could read and request material. I didn't make it out of the slush pile. Sure, it was a bummer at first, but then I decided to query the very first agent on my list. And guess what? He requested the full that same day. In a matter of minutes I went from complete and total letdown to doing the happy dance. Go figure.

I know nothing could come of this request. Like so many writers who have gone before me, the query trail is paved with rejection. And of course, AFTER I sent my completed manuscript to said agent, I noticed the mistakes. Commas flying here, there, and everywhere. An added "the" where there should be none. Of course.

And while I haven't received my first rejection for my YA novel YET (it's a little too early in the game), I am steeling myself. They will come. I know it as sure as I know the names of my children (which I have to admit I DO forget every now and then, well, not so much as forget as I sometimes get flustered when they are misbehaving, and I call them the wrong name until I get to the right one. Anyhoo...)

Those rejections will pour in like floodwaters. But you know what? That's okay. All it takes is one. One yes. One person who is willing to take a chance on me. So, if I'm insecure about anything this month, it's that. Am I good enough? And will someone recognize my potential.

What about you? What are your insecurities for this month?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Release Day Launch—Nobody Knows by Kyra Lennon

Today is the release day for Nobody Knows by Kyra Lennon. I'm happy to be able to showcase her latest New Adult book.


Title: Nobody Knows (Razes Hell Book 1)
Author: Kyra Lennon
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Najila Qamber Design
Photographer: Lindee Robinson Photography
It's not easy being friends with rising rock stars - especially when you're the glue that holds them together.
Razes Hell has taken off in the charts, and Ellie can't believe her childhood friends, Drew and Jason Brooks, are on TV and drawing crowds after years spent playing in dodgy bars. From obscurity to overnight success, Ellie soon realises life in the public eye isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as dark secrets become headline news and old conflicts are re-ignited. When a fake feud meant to boost the band’s popularity threatens to rip the boys apart for real, Ellie finds herself torn – a position which only gets more uncomfortable when her loyalty to Jason collides with her blossoming relationship with Drew.
Nobody knows how deep their issues run; nobody but Ellie. With friendship, a music career and a new love on the line, can Ellie keep their tangled pasts from ruining their futures?

Pre-order links: AMAZON | AMAZON UK


Author Bio:
Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.
Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.

Release Day Party on Kyra's Author FB Page
Release Party - Friday November 7th - Hosts TBA
::: Facebook Event :::
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