Tag Archive: New Year


(New chapter printed on a tyepwriter -Depositphotos)

 

My weekend has been busy,though I haven’t gotten all the things done that I intended.  One thing that happened, though, is that we are officially empty-nesters as of today, and I’m torn about that.  I know that’s how life works, but my mom-brain isn’t ready.

To avoid being sad all over (again), I’m going to change the subject.  Writing. I’ve gotten a bit done this week, even though the day-job was busier than I had expected. I’ve also been reading through manuscripts I intend to do something with this year, including the first shapeshifter. I have some work planned for that one, but there are still a lot of things I love about it, including the yummy tiger shifter hero Harley. He has known Tessa most of her life, but he’s ignored the crush she had on him. But now there are a few rogue shifters targeting her, and Harley knows he’s the best man to keep her safe, even if she doesn’t believe him. So I’ve got a little snippet of their story to share with you today.

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He debated for half a second: cold beer or ringing phone. It would take far less time to reach the telephone than it would to get to the refrigerator in the kitchen, and he’d be able to hear the phone the entire time. Sighing, he headed for the nearest phone just inside the library.

Harley smiled when he saw the name on the caller i.d. It was about time he got lucky. His evening was suddenly looking up. He snagged the phone from the cradle. “Hello, little Tessa.”

There was silence for a moment, and then he heard her inhale shakily. “I need to speak to India please.” Even her voice trembled.

Surely she wasn’t that upset by having him answer the phone. He must have startled her. “She’s not here.” He wasn’t sure he managed to keep the smugness from his tone.

Another shaky breath reached his ear. Then a sniffle.

On alert now, he frowned. “Tessa? What’s wrong, honey?”

“Someone broke into the house,” she whispered.

His heart pounded faster. He stuck his free hand into his pocket and grabbed the car keys. “Call the police, Tessa.” He strode out of the office toward the entry hall.

“I did. They’re here, but they won’t let me go inside. They said I won’t be able to stay here tonight.”

And he could hear in her tone that right now, she didn’t want to stay there. He stopped near the front door. “I’ll be right there. Are you okay? You didn’t walk in on whoever it was?”

“I’m fine.”

He resisted the need to snort his disbelief at that claim. He could hear in her voice that she was far from fine. “I’ll be there in just a couple of minutes, honey.” He pushed the off button on the phone and dropped it to the table beside the door on his way out.

It took him seven minutes and a lot of miles an hour over the speed limit to reach Tessa’s place, and he saw the flashing red lights on the police cars before he even got in view of the house. When he jerked his car to a stop at the end of her very crowded driveway, he saw her, standing outside the front door, arms wrapped over her middle. Shaking.

His protective instinct rose up with a growl as he shoved the door open and climbed out of the car. The cops had left her standing there alone. Unprotected.

Her front door had been smashed in, shattered. There was no need to use that much force, he thought as he strode nearer. Whoever did it had done so maliciously, simply to destroy it.

Tessa had been watching the proceedings inside her house, but she glanced over her shoulder then, her wide eyes dark with fear.

He held up his hands, though he knew she was aware he meant her no harm. “Hey,” he said softly.

Her lower lip quivered, just a little, and then she sank her teeth into it, to keep it still.

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Hope you enjoyed that little taste of Harley and Tessa.  I also hope you all have a wonderful week, full of only happiness and good!

 

( Photo by jakeprzespo on Foter.com / CC BY )

 

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( Photo on Foter.com )

It’s been a busy week. I expected the day-job to be busy, and it was. I didn’t expect to be so busy outside of there this week, though it turned out that way. I got quite a bit of writing done this week, in spite of the day-job craziness.  I also got some things done (or at least moved further alone) with my aunt’s estate, too, and I feel better about where things stand there right now.  Work should be a little quieter for me after Tuesday (at least for a few days), so I’m hoping to get more writing time in. And I know a few more estate things will move progressing as well. All this forward movement is making me happy about January this year.

One of the other things I want to work on this month is some of the household tasks I didn’t get to last year (other things took priority), like clearing out my work area here in the office and getting rid of some unnecessary things in the basement. Both of these were on my to-do list for my vacation week last year, but you know how I spent my vacation last summer–doing those same sort of tasks at my aunt’s house instead. This year, I’m going to get them done here.

I really do need to clean up my office. Since mid-summer, I’ve been accumulating things not just of my own, but for my aunt’s estate–bills we’ve paid, bills we will need to pay, etc.  It goes without saying that my work area here is a cluttered mess right now, and it’s really beginning to bug me. So I am plotting a couple of long weekends so I can get this project started and wrapped up.

Speaking of writing, I also started digging into my second and third Medusa manuscripts this past week, to try to figure out how much work is ahead of me getting them ready for the world. I’m a little nervous about the whole thing, but excited, too, because I’m overdue to make this happen. Real life does sometimes throw a wrench into your plans.

Since I have dug back into my Medusas, I think today’s little snippet is going to be from the second story.  I hope you enjoy!

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That left Philomena alone in the kitchen with him, and the tension ratcheted up a few more degrees.

“You don’t think he’ll come back here, do you? Tonight, I mean?” She remained seated, not wanting to bump into him while she cleared away the remains of their meal, keeping her gaze on the table. Flitting from her plate to the leftover peas and sloppy joes. The open bag of rolls. Jason’s empty plate.

“I don’t know. He seems to believe this is your primary residence, so that means your mother and Jason need to be out for now. But I winged him earlier, so he’ll have to patch it up before he comes back.” He inhaled deeply. “We’ll be fine until my buddy gets here.”

She arched one eyebrow. “‘We’?”

His lips curved again with that cocky smile that made goosebumps lift on her arms. “Yeah. I think I can protect you.”

“Who’ll protect me from you?” It was out before she could stop it, and she colored again.

“If you need protection from me, I’m sure you’ll do fine. You wear that knife of yours all the time, right?”

“Not to bed.” Dammit, what is wrong with my mouth? She felt more heat crawl up her throat to her face.

“Well, that’s reassuring,” he drawled, his eyes darkening even more. “Why don’t you let me help you clean up?”

“Why don’t you go sit with Jason while I clean up?” she countered, pushing away from the table and to her feet. Standing made her feel a little better, though he still towered over her by a good six inches. “I’m sure he’ll be happy to catch you up on his show.” She carried her plate to the sink and scraped the remains of her meal into the disposal, turning it on and drowning out any response he might have made.

When she turned around again, she saw the back of him as he went into the living room, where Jason greeted him enthusiastically. The back looked as good as the front, she admitted, faded jeans clinging to a tight ass, strong thighs and calves.

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( Photo by x1klima on Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

How are you all doing with your goals for the new year? Forward progress? Still planning? It would be nice to hear someone else’s good news, or just commiserate if things aren’t going as fast as we’d like.

 

 

Hot Chocolate

How has the first week of your new year gone? As well as you’d hoped? Better? Not as well as you wanted?

I haven’t gotten as much writing-related work done this week as I would have liked, but I have been writing, in spite of the absolute craziness at my day-job–way more insanity than I anticipated, and the next week is probably going to be even busier.  I’ve also been working on getting a new-to-me computer set up in the home office, which is taking some time, since I have to move things onto it from my laptop and the old desktop computer, and some of those things take way too long–finding disks, trying to figure out how to install an older program that might need tweaking on a newer system…   Some of those are frustrating.

I also had to figure out if it made sense to me to participate in the very fun booksigning I’ve done the past couple of years, since I haven’t yet got Hunting Medusa ready for reissue, and settled on dates, etc. for the second and third books in the trilogy. I was disappointed to have to say no, but it doesn’t make sense to me to do it when I don’t have something new, so I’ll be bummed to miss this year, but then should be good for next year, because I am aiming to have at least the first two books in the trilogy out before the end of this year.

I know the weather has been in full-on winter mode in a lot of areas this week, but it has been extra-cold here.  I have had quite a lot of tea this week, and some very yummy hot chocolate to stay warm.  How about you? Lots of warm beverages while you’re reading?

I think I promised a little snippet of story for this week, didn’t I?  So how about a little taste of Hunting Medusa for those of you who haven’t read it yet (and those who haven’t read it in a while!)…

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Andrea rested her head on her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet.

She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

She pushed the off button on the phone and shut her eyes, ignoring the slight sting in them. She was not envious of Thalia’s good fortune. She was just in an impossible situation here.

His warm breath brushed the top of her head a second before his lips. “That was good.”

She wanted to tell him to go screw himself. She wanted a weapon to swing at him. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and carry her down onto the nearest flat surface.

Her eyes popped open. Damned hormones.

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Have a great week!

My shiny new cover art! isn’t it pretty?

I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve, and I’m still debating whether I’ll be awake at midnight to greet the new year.  I’m not going to be unhappy to kiss 2017 goodbye (or kick it in the pants on the way out, maybe!), since it was a rough year.  I have made up my mind that 2018 is going to rock…or else!

My plate is pretty full for the new year. Some of the things I didn’t get to do in the past year are on my new goal list–like figuring out how to get Hunting Medusa back out into the world, followed by the second and third books in the trilogy.  My writing goals for the year are a little daunting, to be honest, because I’ve never dipped my toes into the self-publishing pool before, and I think I will probably be doing that this year–it’s hard to persuade a publisher to take on a book that was already released by another publisher (not impossible, but not easy).

Guess it’s a good thing I have my shiny new planner ready to go tomorrow, all full of lists and steps and plenty of room for me to add notes and more steps once I figure out everything else I need to do along the way.  Are you a planner? Or do you wing it? I don’t make resolutions (though I should put ‘get healthier’ on my goals list for the year, it can’t hurt, right?), but always goals for the year.

How are you celebrating the new year? At home, quietly? Out with friends? Some other way? We’ve got a quiet night ahead, and now that I think about it, I’m actually going to see in the new year at midnight, maybe with a glass of something bubbly.  I can use the time between now and then to keep working on my planner, and maybe to sneak in a bit more reading before the year officially ends–I’m less than 100 pages to the end of the book out in the living room right now, and I can easily finish that in a few hours, too.

I hope you are all kicking off the new year with your own kind of fun, and that the new year kicks butt for you, too! I’ll see you in the new year, and I think we’ll sneak in a little story snippet next time, just to start things off on the right foot in 2018.

 

That is what the roof of my car looked like a week or so ago when I went out to go to work one morning.  We had a bit of rain the night before, and then it cleared up overnight and got really cold, so I got treated to a pretty frozen picture on my car.  Even better, yesterday, we got our first snow, and I’m not talking flurries.  I’m talking between four and five inches of snow, starting in the morning, and going on all day.  It was gorgeous.  Of course, it’s already been melting, since it was sunny today, so by the time the really frigid temps get here later in the week, the snow will be gone.  Unless the “snow showers” in our forecast for Thursday turn out to be something more.

And (I can’t believe I’m saying this) I actually hope they’re just snow showers, because it looks like I have a long drive into another state for a family funeral at the end of the week.  So I will be okay with no more snow for the next week or so.  After that, maybe we can have a blizzard.

On a more positive note, we have a very pretty tree in our living room right now, with purple lights on it.  And I am working on my writing goals for 2018.  I did get a lot of writing done this year, but with all of the other things that have occurred in the past twelve months, I haven’t managed to get any of these things to the next step.  That needs to change for in the next twelve months.  I’m ready for the new year to kick off with all kinds of great possibilities, and I’m going to get my goals fine-tuned in the next week or two so when we get to this point next year, I have more than new words to show for my efforts.  Like re-releasing Hunting Medusa, and getting the other two books in the trilogy ready for readers, too.  I’ll have my work cut out for me in 2018, and I’m ready.

Goal Target Aiming Success Vision Concept

 

Are any of you working on your goals for 2018 yet?  How’s your list coming?  Almost there, or does it still need some fine-tuning like mine?

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful week!

 

Kicking Off 2017

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( Photo credit: Claudio Gennari …”Cogli l’attimo ferma il tempo” via Foter.com / CC BY )

So, I finished working out my writing goals last week for the new year, and a big chunk of the year is going to be spent on writing/rewriting/revising tiger shifter manuscripts, hence the big, annoyed cat above.  First up will be finishing one last rewrite of the first shifter story.  And I have a fresh copy right now, waiting for my red pen starting on New Year’s Day.  One of my other goals for the year is to write every single day, even if it is only a paragraph or two.   And while I finish my New Year’s Eve champagne, I have a little snippet to share below to share with you.

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He didn’t even protest when she remained mostly quiet for the drive back to the house in the dusky summer evening. They walked into the house in silence. She shot him a curious glance when he continued at her side up the stairs. “Thank you for feeding me, Harley,” she said when they reached the first landing.
“No problem.” He touched her elbow, and she resumed walking along the hallway to the guest room she always used.

She swallowed as she turned to face him.
He gave in to the urge to brush a strand of hair away from her temple, and watched her eyes widen, surprise darkening them.
Harley bent nearer. Her hand shot up, so his mouth ran into it. He lifted one eyebrow.
“What are you doing?” Her voice quavered just a little.
He smiled against her palm, enjoying the warmth of her skin. “Kissing you good-night. It’s customary at the end of a date.”
Her eyes widened still more. “We’re not dating.”
He kissed her palm. “I believe we just returned from a dinner date. Dancing and drinks.” He inhaled her scent, and his desire kicked up a few more notches.
Her throat worked as she swallowed, color tinting her cheeks. “I think this is a bad idea.”
He stifled another smile at the way her voice shook and instead flicked his tongue out to taste her skin.
Her breath caught.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea.” He nibbled his way across her palm to her thumb. “You taste good. I can’t wait to taste your mouth.”
Her breathing resumed, much faster now. “Harley.”
He caught her hand and eased it to the wall beside her head as he closed the distance between them so only an inch separated their lips. “Yes, Tessa?”

Emotion swirled in her wide green eyes. He scented her burgeoning arousal in the air, and his body tightened in response.
He waited several heartbeats, watching her gaze slide to his mouth, and noted the way her tongue slid out just a little at the corner of her lips. Then he ducked in to kiss her.
She tasted better than he’d imagined. Warm and sweet. Her lips parted easily under his, but he deliberately kept the kiss light. She was already spooked, wary. If he dove in head-first, she’d run faster.
Not that he doubted he could catch her. Easily.
When he finally lifted his head, her eyes were shut, and her lips parted and wet. Tempting him to bend back and take them again. Just briefly. Then he released her. It took a few seconds before her lashes fluttered up, and her hand slowly dropped to her side.

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So how are you starting the new year?

 

 

How many of you make New Year’s resolutions?  Or goals of some sort, even if you don’t call them resolutions?  Hands up!

 

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( Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Foter.com / CC BY )

I learned a long time ago that making resolutions doesn’t really work for me, so I quit that a long time ago.  Instead, I focus my efforts on goals, broken down monthly, and sometimes weekly,  and mostly writing-related.

I’ve taken part in a goal-setting workshop the last couple of years with Delilah Devlin and her sister Elle James (which is wonderful, if you’re a writer looking to set better, more achievable goals for yourself).  I’ve whittled down my writing ‘wish-list’ each year to something I can actually do, as well as building in time to allow for unexpected things cropping up.  But this year, even though my writing output was really good, I had some serious distractions in my personal life pop up that put a huge damper on my  achievements.  Some of those things, I have mentioned here in previous blog posts, so I won’t go into them again.

So right now, I’m reworking my goals list for the new year while allowing for these big, personal things to still impact my plans (and I already know they will, unfortunately), but still actually achieving my goals.

 

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( Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Foter.com / CC BY )

Part of my planning is to figure out everything that I want to accomplish, then break down the list by month, and sometimes even by the week within that month depending on what is going on.  I started with a pretty good list, but I’ve pared it down a bit, knowing that things that impacted my plans for 2016 will still be ongoing (and possibly bigger goal-killers than they already have been), and I’m fine-tuning now so that by the end of the week, I will be ready to kick 2017’s ass!

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( Photo credit: C. VanHook (vanhookc) via Foter.com / CC BY )

How do you work out your plans for the new year?  Just a vague list of things you want to achieve, or a day-by-day breakdown of everything you’ll have to do to make it happen?  If you share by Friday, December 30, 2016, I’ll put your name in a drawing for an ebook of Hunting Medusa.

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?