Category Archives: Rachel Grant

How do you top a North Korean Firing Squad?

IE-frontCover-Final-r2-72dpiThere is an ailment that afflicts some authors, popularly known as “Second Book Syndrome” in which an author struggles to write the next book after publication of their first novel (sometimes it strikes after a novel is viewed as a critical and/or financial success). I didn’t face this syndrome in the typical manner—it hit me as I began writing my 4th novel. At the time, none of my books were published, so there was no measure of success to trigger it, just my own neuroses.

For me, the syndrome surfaced because I’d just completed Body of Evidence and whenever I sat down to write, the vicious little voice in my head would say, “How do you top a book that starts with a North Korean firing squad?” And I couldn’t let go of the idea that I had to top it. In my head, the 3rd Evidence Series novel had to be more dynamic than the last.

But still, in spite of these doubts, I wrote. I finished the first draft, and I liked it. There were parts I even loved. But I knew it needed work, so I set it aside and started another book, which I planned to make the 4th book in the series. But still, that fear lingered even as I finished the first draft of the next book.

Then I had an idea for a novella that would tie the first 2 Evidence books to the 2 unpublished manuscripts, creating a stronger link across the series. That novella (which ended up being a short novel) is the 3rd book in the Evidence Series, Withholding Evidence.

Writing Withholding is what finally cured me of Second Book Syndrome, because I approached the work differently. Instead of trying to top a firing squad, I aimed for a funny and sexy opening to set the tone for that particular book. While some books require firing squads, others require a cocky half-naked SEAL confronting a curious historian, or a heroine on a quest for justice finding an injured former Army Ranger deep in the Alaskan wilderness.

With this clarity, I finally returned to that book I’d drafted while struggling with the Syndrome. I went to Alaska to research the setting, and started from scratch with the story, so the doubts that hampered me wouldn’t find their way into the new draft. In an instant, the vision of Isabel hiking through woods and finding Alec came to me, and I knew I had my opening. Does it top the firing squad? I have no idea, but that no longer matters to me. What matters is I was eager to find out what happens next, which is all we can ask from any first scene.

Evidence-book-lineup-noSpaces-web

Incriminating Evidence released today, and after reading about my struggle with the Syndrome, you can probably imagine my joy when one of the first reviews opened with: “I absolutely loved this book. It is the fourth book in this series, and in my opinion, it is the best.”

You can read on for an excerpt of Incriminating, or visit an online vendor to download a longer sample.

Amazon | iBooks | KoboBarnes & Noble

This evening (Tues, March 24th) from 7 – 10 p.m. EDT, my critique partner, Darcy Burke, and I are having a party to celebrate the release of Incriminating Evidence and Darcy’s fabulous book, Yours to Hold, on Facebook. Stop by to chat with our great lineup of guest authors and enter giveaways to win lots of fun prizes (including several items that play a role in Incriminating Evidence)!

20917_962717530413299_6231685872359687382_n

LynxFace-final-sm

 Incriminating Evidence Excerpt:

There was only one solution. Well, two. Either give him her blanket, or share it with him. The smart thing would be to share it. They’d both be warm. They’d both get the rest they needed to face the hike to her truck tomorrow.

But sharing a blanket, getting up close and personal with Alec Ravissant, definitely didn’t feel like the right thing. The right thing would be to give him the blanket and get the hell out of the cabin, head back to her truck alone. When she arrived home, she could call Raptor and tell them where they could find their boss.

“If you’re trying to decide if you should give me your blanket,” Alec said softly, “forget it. I won’t take it from you. I can handle a little chill.”

Crap. He was awake, meaning the right thing wasn’t an option. If she tried to leave, he’d follow, and he was in no condition to traipse six miles through the woods. “No, I was debating sharing it with you.”

His mouth curved in a slow smile. “You wanna get close to my body, Jenna?”

Isabel rolled her eyes at his tone even as she stiffened at the fake name. He was going to be so pissed when he found out who she really was. “No, but I don’t want you to die after I worked so hard to save your ungrateful life.” She grabbed the Mylar tent. “It’s not a regular emergency blanket, it’s the tent kind—a long tube. We’ll have to shimmy into it.” Read the rest of this entry

Winners!

Many thanks to the awesome Nancy Allen for joining us for a fun Friday! Please come back anytime, and guys don’t forget to check out A Killing at the Creek!

9780062325969The winner of a ten dollar Starbucks gift card and choice of Nook or Kindle copy of A Killing at the Creek is: Patti Straight. Congrats to Patti! Please use the contact form to let us know your preference for Kindle or Nook and your preferred email for receipt of prizes. 

Also, thanks to everyone who stopped by last Tuesday to celebrate the release of Gwen Hernandez’s new book, Blind Ambition!

GwenHernandez_BlindAmbition_200pxThe winner of an electronic copy of Blind Ambition is kimk. Congratulations! Please use the Contact Us link above to send us your preference for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, or Kobo and include your preferred email.

Next up our very own Rachel Grant previews her new release: Incriminating Evidence and talks Second Book Syndrome. Don’t miss it!IE-frontCover-Final-r2-72dpi

Gathering Incriminating Evidence in the Land of the Midnight Sun

MidnightSun-frontcover-final-r1-72This month I have two books out, Midnight Sun (a re-release after being published in the Twelve Shades of Midnight anthology, which is no longer available) released on March 1st, and Incriminating Evidence (Evidence Series #4), which will release on March 24th. By sheer coincidence, both books are set in Alaska. It may sound strange to say it’s a coincidence, but it is. I’ve had versions of Incriminating Evidence in my head and on on my computer since 2010 – and it was always set in Alaska. It was the perfect setting for Alec and Isabel’s story. The inspiration behind Midnight Sun was completely different.

A little over a year ago, the fabulous Robin Perini approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in a paranormal romance anthology with her and ten other authors. Because the story would be paranormal, it couldn’t be connected to my existing books, and I began considering what my contribution to the anthology would be. My first inspiration was a story set in Hawaii, about an archaeologist who comes face-to-face with Night Marchers. The story excited me and I was ready to move forward with it, as we as a group were discussing via email potential titles and themes for the anthology. We settled on the name Twelve Shades of Midnight relatively quickly, and all agreed that something important in each of our stories had to happen at midnight. My Night Marchers story was perfect. I lived in Hawaii for three years — I know the setting well, and my husband worked as an archaeologist there, so the research would be a snap, and the story would be fun to write.

View of Denali National Park

Then one morning, I woke up with the kernel of the plot for Midnight Sun in my mind. Maybe I was inspired by the word “midnight” — I really don’t know — but in the space of five minutes I went from planning to write a novella set in Hawaii to one set in Alaska. Once the idea grabbed me, I couldn’t let it go. I’d only ever visited and conducted archaeological survey in Sitka, Alaska, but fortunately, my husband had worked in Barrow, and he knew other archaeologists who’d worked for a length of time in the Arctic Circle who were willing to answer even the most ridiculous questions (yes, I do need to know what the airport terminal in Kotzebue looks like, and if the vegetation is primarily muskeg…). And so Midnight Sun the story of Sienna and Rhys and an ancient Iñupiat mask, was born. The Hawaii story will be the second in the series, featuring Sienna’s sister, Larkspur (look for it in late 2015).

IMG_0492

As I mentioned above, I’ve had the story for Incriminating Evidence in the works since 2010. It was supposed to be the 3rd book in the Evidence Series (and I finished a draft of it in 2012, long before I wrote Withholding Evidence), but one problem I had with the execution of the story was the setting. It was clear to me that I needed to visit central Alaska if I wanted to get it right, so last summer, before tackling a major rewrite, my family and I visited Alaska and explored the area where the story is set.

One of the things I wanted to see while I was there was the forest at night–I knew in the summer it wouldn’t really get dark, but I wanted to see the phenomenon first hand. This photo was taken at midnight in mid-July in Fairbanks – without a flash.

Fairbanks forest at midnight

We were in Alaska for eight days and drove from Anchorage to Fairbanks in a loop, exploring Denali National Park on the drive north (we saw lots of animals including bears, caribou, moose, and a wolf!), and went east for the drive south, where we passed through the setting for Incriminating Evidence.

Denali National Park

En route, we saw salmon spawning, went whitewater rafting–necessary because a glacial silt-laden river plays an important role in the story–panned for gold, and hiked on a glacier.

Matanuska Glacier

I came home from the trip buzzing with ideas. There is no way to see something as magnificent as Alaska in just a week, but we tried.

The final story of Incriminating Evidence is very different from that first idea I plotted in 2010, but it is so much richer, so much better, for having visited the setting which plays a central role in the story. Also, even though there wasn’t supposed to be a connection between my paranormal romance and my 4th Evidence Series book, because they were both set in Alaska (even though hundreds of miles apart) I couldn’t resist slipping one thing in. I can’t wait to hear from readers who catch the connection…

IE-frontCover-Final-r2-72dpi

 

Midnight Sun

A woman on the edge…

Museum collections specialist Sienna Aubrey is desperate. A prehistoric Iñupiat mask in her client’s collection is haunted, and it wants her to return it to Alaska…now. Tormented to her breaking point, she steals it. But when she arrives in the remote Alaskan village, the tribal representative refuses to take the troublesome mask off her hands. Even worse, the manipulative artifact pulls the infuriating man into her dream, during which she indulges in her most secret fantasies with him.

A man in search of the truth…

Assistant US Attorney Rhys Vaughan came to the Arctic Circle to prove someone tried to murder his cousin. When Sienna shows up at his cousin’s office with the local tribe’s most sacred artifact, she becomes his prime suspect. Then the mask delivers him into Sienna’s hot, fantasy-laden dream, and his desire to investigate her takes an entirely different turn.

An artifact seeking justice…

But the mask has an agenda, and it’s not to play matchmaker. If Sienna doesn’t do what the artifact wants, she may pay the ultimate price, and only Rhys can save her.

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Incriminating Evidence

From enemies to allies…

When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign.

With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours.

Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.

Amazon | iBooks | KoboBarnes & Noble

Inside the Actors Studio with VANISHED Author Elizabeth Heiter

Festive and colorful fireworks display

HAPPY (almost) NEW YEAR! As 2014 draws to a close, I’m thrilled to once again be ending the year with a new release by one of my favorite authors and people, Elizabeth Heiter. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth’s work since I got to read an early draft of HUNTED years ago, and let me tell you, I’ve been waiting for today–the release day for VANISHED, the sequel to HUNTED, for a very, very long time!

As I often like to do for second visits to Kiss and Thrill, I’ve put Elizabeth in the Inside the Actors Studio hot seat. Read on to find out what her favorite curse word is and what noise she hates, but before she takes the questionnaire, check out the blurb for VANISHED:

Sometimes, the past can haunt you…

Eighteen years ago, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine’s best friend, Cassie Byers, disappeared, the third in a series of unsolved abductions. Only a macabre nursery rhyme was left at the scene, a nursery rhyme that claimed Evelyn was also an intended victim. Now, after all these years of silence, another girl has gone missing in South Carolina, and the Nursery Rhyme Killer is taking credit. But is Cassie’s abductor really back, or is there a copycat at work?

Sometimes, the past is best forgotten…

Evelyn has waited eighteen years for a chance to investigate, but when she returns to Rose Bay, she finds a dark side to the seemingly idyllic town. As the place erupts in violence and the kidnapper strikes again, Evelyn knows this is her last chance. If she doesn’t figure out what happened to Cassie eighteen years ago, it may be Evelyn’s turn to vanish without a trace.

Vanished_Front Cover

ElizabethHeiterWebAnd now, for the questionnaire…

What is your favorite word? Rollkragenpullover – German for turtleneck pullover.  I just like how it sounds when you say it.

What is your least favorite word? Can’t – I don’t believe in “can’t.”

What turns you on? Kindness.  I’m a total sucker for a nice guy.  Also, the trifecta: nice eyes, a good smile, and strong biceps.

What turns you off? Bullying.  Meanness.  Arrogance.  The wrong kind of trifecta.

What sound or noise do you love? The sound of ocean waves crashing into the shoreline.  That sound is just good for the soul!

What sound or noise do you hate? Traffic, and bees buzzing too close (I’m allergic, so that sound makes me do a not-so-flattering dance!)

What is your favorite curse word? Well, I’ve been told that all curse words sound “wrong” coming out of my mouth, but I have a tendency to use variations on swear words, like “frack” or “shite.”

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? FBI Special Agent.  I spend a lot of time researching the job and my fascination must show, because they keep telling me I’d be good at it and I should apply!

What profession would you not like to do? Cleaner at a by-the-hour hotel.  Hospital waste management.  Or really anything that involves cleaning something that you’ll still see under black lights years later anyway.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? I’m happy you only used all that serial killer research for writing fiction! Otherwise, you’d be headed in the other direction!

Website | FacebookTwitter

You can read Elizabeth’s first K&T interview here.

All of us here at Kiss and Thrill want to thank all the amazing authors who have been guests in 2014 and thank our readers for another great year! Best wishes to all authors and readers for a fabulous 2015!

popping champagne cork

Word Wars! Twelve Shades of Midnight Authors Share Their Most (& Least) Favorite Things

12Shades_final_1400px

Twelve Shades of Midnight, an anthology of 12 all new paranormal novellas is out today! My novella, Midnight Sun, is included and I’m thrilled to be part of this amazing lineup of authors for my first foray into the paranormal.

I’ve had a blast working with the other authors in the making of this anthology! From brainstorming titles to coming up with Easter eggs hidden in the stories, the messages between the members of the group have been hilarious. How lucky am I to be in this amazing anthology?

Twelve Shades of Midnight

The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 bestselling and award winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.

Liliana Hart – THE WITCH NEXT DOOR
Darynda Jones – A LOVELY DROP
Shea Berkley – DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD
Dakota Cassidy – WITCHED AT BIRTH
Claire Cavanaugh – MIDNIGHT RENEGADE
Rachel Grant – MIDNIGHT SUN
Trish McCallan – SPIRIT WOODS
Angi Morgan – BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT & RUN HALLIE
Robin Perini – NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR
Robyn Peterman – SWITCHING HOUR
Ann Voss Peterson – THE SCHOOL
Jenn Stark – GETTING WILDE

Watch the Twelve Shades trailer: Facebook | YouTube

We’re celebrating the launch tomorrow with a Facebook party with lots of games and prizes. This is your opportunity to find out what I mean when I say how funny these authors are! Click on the image to RSVP.

10513371_917841751577682_1424448680432900740_n

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Because I love exploring the similarities and differences in the answers, I subjected the Twelve Shades of Midnight authors to the Inside the Actors Studio quiz.

What is your favorite word?

Dakota: Serendipitous Robyn: Yes
Angi: Conundrum Rachel: Necropolis
Shea: I’m a writer. It’s nearly impossible to whittle it down to one…but I do love my name being said by someone who loves me. Jenn: Kabillion. Except that’s not a word I don’t think.
Robin: Cacophony, just because it sounds cool. Claire: Happy
Ann: Fabulous Liliana: Dude

What is your least favorite word?

Dakota: Can’t Robyn: No
Angi: Procrastinate Rachel: Racial and homophobic slurs
Shea: Snot. It’s just one of those words that sounds gross and refers to something gross. Jenn: Disappointed
Robin: Moist…just ’cause, well, yuck. Claire: Anything prejudicial
Ann: Ensconce Liliana: Moist

What turns you on?

Dakota: Serenity Robyn: Humor and a nice ass
Angi: Being shown love Rachel: Captain America
Shea: Kisses on my neck…soft, slow kisses. (sigh) Jenn: The eyes have it: If a glance is intentional, intense and interested (from the right guy), I’m in.
Robin: Slow dancing and swaying to the music Claire: Eagerness and humor. Cleaning my house doesn’t hurt either!
Ann: Coffee Liliana: Brains, baby. Followed closely by the ability to make me laugh like crazy.

What turns you off?

Dakota: Whiners Robyn: Negativity and lack of humility
Angi: Talk Talk Talk and More Talk Rachel: Rudeness
Shea: Hypocrisy and arrogance. They often go hand in hand except the person demonstrating these qualities rarely knows they’re doing them. Jenn: Abuse of any sort–mental, verbal, physical–no matter the scale. If you don’t choose your adversaries nobly, you suck.
Robin: Unkindness  Claire: Stress
Ann: Running out of coffee Liliana: Bad hygiene

What sound or noise do you love?

Dakota: Laughter Robyn: My kids laughter
Angi: Ocean waves and puppies playing Rachel: My children’s laughter
Shea: A drumline. It’s all about the beat, baby! Jenn: The gentle crash of ocean waves
Robin: A baby’s laugh Claire: My granddaughter’s magical laughter
Ann: Wind chimes Liliana: Rain and thunderstorms

What sound or noise do you hate?

Dakota: Sloppy eaters Robyn: My alarm clock
Angi: Leaf blowers Rachel: My husband’s alarm clock
Shea: My cat hacking up a hairball. Why is it always in the middle of the night? And does he clean up his mess? Nooo. He tries to bury it in the carpet, and I’m the one who’s got to clean up the nastiness he leaves behind. Jenn: My cat demanding breakfast at 4:15 a.m. Every. Morning.
Robin: Telephone ring Claire: A dentist’s drill
Ann: My alarm clock Liliana: Teeth scraping against a fork

What is your favorite curse word?

Dakota: Dicknuckle Robyn: Fuck
Angi: Damn Rachel: Fuck
Shea: Arse, but only when British people say it. It makes me giggle. Jenn: Fuck. Such a multitasker.
Robin: I don’t have one. Claire: Damn, and any variation thereof
Ann: Fuck. Really, so versatile! Liliana: Douchecanoe

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Dakota: Supermodeling Robyn: Chef
Angi: Photography Rachel: Travel writer who gets paid to go everywhere on vacation (Rick Steves, I want your job)
Shea: A falconer. Hunting with a bird would be fun. Jenn: Artifact Hunter
Robin: CIA Analyst, because I think it would be fascinating, and it would bring me that much closer to the books I write. Claire: FBI agent in my dreams. Travel writer as a possible reality.
Ann: Horse trainer Liliana: Professional shoe shopper and cheese fry eater

What profession would you not like to do?

Dakota: Porta Potty maintenance Robyn: Computer programmer
Angi: Anything with math Rachel: Wearing a hot dog costume and passing out flyers.
Shea: Sewage worker. Does anyone actually want to be a sewage worker? Jenn: Social worker. My heart would break or I’d want to seriously beat up people every day.
Robin: Sewer Maintenance. Self explanatory 🙂 Claire: Anything involving strange smells. I have a weak stomach.
Ann: School teacher, way too tough Liliana: Anything dealing with poop

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Dakota: “Your castle with a turret, high on a hill, with all your family members and pets inside is to the right.. :).” Robyn: “It was a close one, but I was owed some favors. I was in the middle of a Scrabble tournament before you arrived, would you like to join me?”
Angi: “Welcome home.” Rachel: “I’ve decided to make an exception for you.”
Shea: “It’s about time you got here. You did good. There’s an all you can eat chocolate section next to the sushi bar and steaks grilling on the barbeque. And the mashed potatoes are so creamy…and fully loaded.” (yeah, the way to my heart is to feed me comfort food) Jenn: “Good job.”
Robin: “There really is a reason for everything, and if you’ll come with me, I’ll explain it all.” Claire: “You really gave your guardian angel a work out, but I’m glad to see you made it, Claire.”
Ann: “Everyone you love is here or on their way… eventually.” Liliana: “Your family and friends are waiting for you. And there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.”

 <><><>

And the winners from last week’s post are:

Kieran Kramer won Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann’s Night Sky

and Kim K. won Heather Ashby’s Never Forget.

Congratulations, ladies! Please use our contact page to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who commented!  ~ Sharon

Dirty Drafting: 11 Quick Tips from Jill Sorenson

We have a special treat for the authors and aspiring authors among our followers today, a guest post by Jill Sorenson, who writes gritty, action packed, sexy romantic suspense. I love Jill’s books, so I’m thrilled to gain some insight into her process. She has some terrific tips here that I intend to try.

100_3023

Dirty Drafting: 11 Quick Tips

Hello Kiss & Thrill! Thanks so much for having me back.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just around the corner. I’ve never participated in this event because writing an entire novel in one month sounds like a nightmare to me. Drafting is my favorite part of the writing process. Why would I want to stress out and rush the most enjoyable step?

Writing fast is practically a requirement for romance authors, but the key for me is writing steady and delivering a quality manuscript. If you hammer out an incoherent mess in a month and it takes you six months to edit, you’re not getting to the finish line any faster than someone who works at a less frenetic pace.

rdirty-647x1024I wrote my latest novel in three months, most of it while my kids were home on summer break. That’s pretty fast for me. Some authors write a lot faster. I follow people on twitter who do “1k in 1hr” sprints, 5k days, even 10k days. I don’t know how they do it, so I’ll just tell you how I do what I do. If drafting is painful for you and you can’t wait to tinker/revise, try NaNo. If you prefer editing as you go and writing a clean first draft, read on.

There is no one true way, just different ways that work better for different people. I’ve heard fast authors say that anyone can learn to be fast, and I don’t believe that. I believe that everyone can improve their speed, but we all have physical and mental limitations. If you’re a genius, your brain might be supersonic. Or you might be a slow genius. I’m not any type of genius. I’m more of an Emma Stone in Easy A than a Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. I want to be a commercial success, not a critics’ darling. I don’t have the natural ability to write 5k every day or the luxury to write slow.

So here are my tips for steady drafting.

1. Edit as you go (if you prefer) but always keep moving. Your first paragraph or chapter might make no sense by the time you get to the end. Characters change and develop over the course of a novel. Do what feels right in order to move forward, but don’t get bogged down by small details. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It will never be perfect.

2. Outline before you start. This is an important one for me. I research and do a detailed outline several weeks in advance. I’m constantly plotting, reworking and looking things up as I go, too. Stay flexible, but have a plan. An outline is a solid foundation that you can build on. You can also throw it out if you have to. Having plan makes it easier to move full steam ahead and avoid painting yourself into a corner.

3. Write every day, or almost every day. Taking long breaks will steal your momentum. Steady, daily progress is good.

4. Know where you’re going. Even if you’re not a big plotter, you can jot down notes every day before you start. Just a few minutes of concentration can make the difference between flying over the keys and staring at a blank page.

5. Don’t stop for the day at the end of a scene or chapter. Some authors stop mid-sentence. It trains your brain to keep thinking about the next sentence/scene/chapter, rather than closing the mental doors when you close the screen.

6. Take notes after you’re “done” for the day. This is my favorite tip for increasing speed and productivity. I love writing freehand notes. I remember things I forgot to do, continually reassess plot points, and jot down ideas for the next scene.

7. Get enough sleep. This is a challenge for me. Sleep well and your brain will function better, faster.

8. Beware of children. They require a lot of attention and feeding. If a childless person tells me that anyone can write 5k per day if they just try hard, I will twist her nose off and feed it to my child.

9. Exercise! I run almost every day, and I believe this has helped my output tremendously. It also helps keep me sane. If you spend too much time indoors, living with the imaginary people inside your head, you might end up with cabin fever, wielding a rubber mallet. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

10. Don’t force it. Sometimes you have to sit your ass in the chair and get it done. Sometimes you have to do the opposite. When you’re pulling your hair out, rewriting the same sentence fifty times, just leave it alone. Go do some laundry, get a snack. Switch to a notebook. Changing scenery can jog you in a new direction.

11. Keep a cuts file. I do this for every book, and it helps me when a scene isn’t working. I’ll save a copy of the problem section in my cuts file. Then I can delete and rearrange dialogue or paragraphs without worrying about losing any important bits. It’s a quick, efficient way to get unstuck and move forward.

So there you have it. 11 quick-n-dirty tips for those who prefer clean first drafts! As always, do what works for you, be passionate about your writing, and try to have fun. Remember that a writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. Find your own pace.

Are you a writer? Do you plan to attempt NaNoWriMo? Do you have any tips you’d like to share or thoughts on Jill’s tips? Share them. We haven’t had a craft conversation at K&T in a long time, and I LOVE talking craft.

<><><>

Jill SorensonJill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels, including the Aftershock series by HQN. She lives in the San Diego area with her family. She’s a soccer mom who loves nature, coffee, reading, twitter and reality TV. Jogging keeps her sane. Riding Dirty is her first erotic suspense novel.

You can find her at www.jillsorenson.com.

Hometown Heroes Fun Facts

Author Rachel Grant

HH_front_coverHometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After (A Pets for Vets Charity Bundle) can now be purchased at AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo!

If you are on the fence about purchasing the bundle, I’ve compiled some statistics to aid your decision making.

Cost $1.99
Authors 17
Books 16
Pages in Word 4,118
Words 1,129,245
Characters (no spaces) 5,050,663
Characters (with spaces) 6,139,211
Paragraphs 43,297
Chapters 353
Happy Endings 16
If this were offered in print, estimated number of pages: 3,226
Number of Tweets it would take to tweet the entire set: 43,852
Reader cost per book: $0.124
Reader cost per chapter: $0.006
Reader cost per word: 0.0000018
% of net royalties going to Pets for Vets: 100

PetsforVetsLogo

What do you get if you buy HOMETOWN HEROES?

A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX by USA Today author Melissa Schroeder–When Anna falls for her best friend Max, it might…

View original post 565 more words

The Hometown Heroes Authors Take the Inside the Actors Studio Quiz

PetsforVetsLogoToday is the release day for Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After! This bundle includes SIXTEEN complete novels–some never before published–by SEVENTEEN fabulous authors (one book was co-written), with all the proceeds going tPets for Vets, an organization that matches shelter animals with military veterans.

16 books for only $1.99 with all net proceeds going to Pets for Vets!

JamiDavenport_HoetownHeroes_Bundle800

They’re all hometown heroes, guys from small towns who’ve made a name for themselves, big or small, who’ve withstood the odds and risen to the challenge, who are heroes in their own right.

A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX by Melissa Schroeder
CHANGE THE GAME by Lucy Monroe 
WILD RIDE by Nancy Warren
HEARTBREAK ON A STICK by Sabrina York
MADRONA SUNSET by Jami Davenport
BRACE FOR IMPACT by Allie K. Adams
HONORABLE SACRIFICE by Destiny Blaine
SHE’S WORTH IT ALL by Cathryn Cade
DECEIVING DANTE by Kate Davies
ROCK, RATTLE AND ROLL by Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott
GRAVE DANGER by Rachel Grant
TURNING THIRTY-TWELVE by Sandy James
HIS ONLY DESIRE by Adrianne Lee  
EVEN HEROES CRY by Hildie McQueen 
THE VIXEN & THE VET by Katy Regnery
TROUBLE WITH A COWBOY by Sandy Sullivan

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

Once again, to learn more about the Hometown Heroes authors, I donned my James Lipton beard and put them in the Inside the Actors Studio hot seat.

What is your favorite word?

Lucy: Hugs! Allie: Any Allie’ism (words I blend together to create a new word). Currently, everything is fantabulous-o! This is as close as I get speaking Spamish (that means an attempt at Spanish but failing miserably—much like Spam is for meat)
Sabrina: Kerfuffle. It just sounds…tasty! Rachel: Schadenfreude
Jami: Win Adrianne: WINNER!!!
Destiny: Extraordinary Kate: Pleasure
Cathryn: Yes

What is your least favorite word?

Lucy: Slurs Allie: Can’t
Sabrina: The “C” word for lady parts Rachel: Fart
Jami: Lose Adrianne: Sexism
Destiny: Never Kate: Greasy
Cathryn: Can’t

What turns you on?

Lucy: Lovingkindness.  I’ve been known to get very amorous when my husband cleans the kitchen. Allie: Chillaxin on the couch with the hubs. I also have a thing for sexy shoulders.
Sabrina: Bacon. Yesssss. Simply bacon. Rachel: Captain America
Jami: A hot athlete Adrianne: Besides sexy men? True Friendship
Destiny: An intelligent man who knows how to work his swagger without coming across as arrogant Kate: Dinner on the table and no housework to finish
Cathryn: My husband’s shaving cologne

What turns you off?

Lucy: Meanness Allie: Being an arrogant asshat. If he’s a jack wagon, even his shoulders can’t save him.
Sabrina: Bullies. Can’t stand them Rachel: Smoking
Jami: People texting and driving Adrianne: Meanness
Destiny: A belligerent drunk who thinks he’s cute Kate: Dirty laundry (or housework in general)
Cathryn: Feeling fat

What sound or noise do you love?

Lucy: Babies giggling Allie: That swooshing sound my Mac makes when I send a manuscript off to the editor.
Sabrina: The oboe. Haunting. I also love the cello. Rachel: My children’s laughter
Jami: Wind in the trees Adrianne: My cats purring
Destiny: Ocean tides Kate: Laughter
Cathryn: Zach Brown’s voice singing

What sound or noise do you hate?

Lucy: Fists hitting flesh. I hate abuse and have opened my house to more than one woman or teen at risk. Allie: The sound of a low, ominous growl behind you when you’re out hunting right after you’ve spotted fresh cougar tracks (yes, that really happened)
Sabrina: The nasal whine of a mosquito hovering around me, plotting to suck my blood. I wish no harm to any creature on earth…except mosquitoes. They can all die a heinous miserable death. Rachel: Traffic
Jami: Traffic Adrianne: Tinnitus
Destiny: The sound of a circular saw in use Kate: Any heavy equipment that squeals/whines
Cathryn: Whining… doesn’t matter who

What is your favorite curse word?

Lucy: Bollocks Allie: Fartnarker. That’s totally a word and fits any situation. It’s not even an Allie’ism.
Sabrina: Blurg (I channel Tina Fey in 30 Rock sometimes). I am also partial to “frick.” Rachel: Fuck
Jami: Shit Adrianne: The F word
Destiny: I take the 5th Kate: Douchecanoe
Cathryn: Hmmm, can’t say it here

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Lucy: Psychologist Allie: I want to write full time. Currently I have a Stinkin’ Day Job. If I could write full time, I’d be fartnarkin’ fantabulous-o!
Sabrina: Glassblower. Sigh…I dabbled with glass at one time and loved it. So beautiful. Rachel: CIA Case Officer or superhero
Jami: Interior designer or bartender Adrianne: A singer, but the world would cringe.
Destiny: Stripping. Just kidding. Psychologist Kate: Actor (I was in the drama program in college and always regret not sticking with it)
Cathryn: Chris Hemsworth’s movie set hair stylist

What profession would you not like to do?

Lucy: Sewer management Allie: Pretty much anything on Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs” show
Sabrina: Housecleaner. Exhibit A: My house Rachel: Wearing a hot dog costume and passing out flyers.
Jami: Cook Adrianne: Toll Booth money taker
Destiny: Retail salesperson Kate: Septic Tank cleaner
Cathryn: Middle school teacher (been there)

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Lucy: Well done. 🙂 Allie: Take a left at the first cloud. You’re mom and dad are there waiting for you.
Sabrina: O Myself, Sabrina. I loved your books! Rachel: I’ve decided to make an exception for you.
Jami: Welcome, my child! Adrianne: Kim’s been waiting for you.
Destiny: For a minute there, I wasn’t sure you’d make it but it sure is good to see you. Now let’s dust off those wings and find your halo. Kate: Welcome!
Cathryn: Whew! You made it!

GIVEAWAY

Because all proceeds go to charity, this week’s giveaway is a little different. The first TEN eligible commenters win a digital copy of HOMETOWN HEROES, gifted from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks. I will notify you in the comments if you are a winner and prizes will be awarded upon receipt of winner’s email address and choice of vendor (winners will be asked to provide that information via email, using the CONTACT US page).

<><><>

The winner of a digital copy of Never Forget by Heather Ashby is…

Ellen Lindseth

Ellen, to claim your prize, please use the CONTACT US page within ten days.

%d bloggers like this: