Monday, December 31, 2012

It's the end of a chapter...

As 2012 comes to an end and we start 2013 I'm sure we're all reflecting and thinking about the things we've done and probably the things we didn't do too.  I'm sure we're thinking about the great things that happened and maybe wishing we could change a few things.

I have to say I'm pretty happy with 2012.  I'm sure there are things I could have done better, but the things I did do were things I never thought I would.  I published my first book!  And I didn't stop there.  I published a second one too!

I can't thank my editor and my publisher, Rebel Ink Press enough for the opportunity I was given.  It truly was a dream come true.  I'm going into 2013 with a positive outlook for my writing career.  I've been asked to be part of Rebel Ink Press's Rebel Elite team and I'm in the company of some great authors.  I know I will continue to grow as a writer and I intend to soak up as much knowledge as I can.  I want to share my stories with everyone and I only hope that will be my next dream come true.

For all my readers and friends, thank you for all your love and support.  Without you all I would't be where I am.  I have a great support system and could't ask for better.

So, thanks again!  And have a great New Year!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snow Day!

Well, for those of you that don't know, I live in Indiana.  We are currently under a blizzard warning.  Never had that happen in my thirty years.  I've endured quite a few snow days though.

I woke up this morning after all this talk of five to twelve inches of snow and forty mile per hour winds to find an inch or so on the ground.  I drag myself awake (I'm not a morning person) and head in to work.  I host at a breakfast place part time.  I make it there no problem.  I grew up where they never plow so a little snow is no big deal.

After working for half and hour I look outside and can barley see.  It's just white.  I get a text from my mom shortly after that telling me not to leave the house...she worries about me.  Too late for that though.  The snow keeps coming down and the wind is pretty crazy.  Then the boyfriend calls and says I should head home and stay there...he worries too...shhh. :)  The owner calls and checks in so some of us go home.  It's not the kind of day for people to be out and about eating breakfast.  I made it home safe and sound.  Now, I'm having a snow day and I have to say even though I say I miss these.  I'm not so sure anymore.  I'm getting a bit restless.

The good news is I've made some progress on my failed NaNoWrMo story.  I did some much needed research on Maya culture and on Belize and Guatemala.  I've been editing a bit so I can get back on track with actually writing the story.  I feel pretty good about it.

Now you say...Maya, Belize, and Guatemala?  What could this story possibly be about?  Well, I don't have a blurb because they are the bane of my writing existence and I haven't written it yet.  I can tell you it's a little Lara Croft (if she were a spoiled rich girl trying to find her missing father) and a little Indiana Jones (if he were a bad boy with tattoos and a soft spot for a certain spoiled rich girl).  I'm having a lot of fun writing this story and I feel it's a little more suspense/mystery than it is romance, but you never know what could happen. ;)

Stay tuned for more info on Cross My Heart...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Groups/Artists That Inspire Me When I Write



Music is a big factor in my writing.  I have to do something to drown out the sounds of the boyfriend's video games.  I like a lot of different music and it definitely shows in my writing playlists.  Here are some of the groups or artists I listen to the most.

10. Mumford & Sons                                

9. Mos Def

8. Radiohead

7. Muse

6. The Lumineers

5. Lady Antebellum

4. Jay-Z

3. Taylor Swift

2. The Black Keys

1. Aerosmith

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NaNoWrMo: The Aftermath

So, NaNoWrMo is over.  How did I do?  Well, let's just say I learned a lot.  I didn't win NaNo, meaning I didn't write 50,000 words in the month of November.  I fell short with about 41,000 words.

The month started off great and I was really excited.  I spent the first week or two ahead.  It was supposed to be so easy.  Keep writing at the pace I started off at, take a few days for the holiday, and finish early.  Well, it wasn't so simple.

While NaNo was great because it was forcing me to be productive and write every day.  An average of 1,667 words a day are needed to complete NaNo on time.  Like I said I started off with a bang and stayed ahead of that for a while.  Then things started to slow down.  There were days I just stared at the screen and days I barely choked out a couple hundred words.  I fell behind and I realized forcing myself to write when I wasn't in the mood or I lacked inspiration was not productive.  It was counter productive.  I ended up being stuck for longer than normal.

I also don't write linearly.  My stories are hardly ever developed when I start writing.  My characters generally have control over what they do.  I jump around writing scenes I see and then go back and link it all together.  That's how it usually happens anyway.  Every now and then a story flows from beginning to end.  Well, this one didn't.  And I stressed over skipping and coming back to finish up because of the deadline.

Let's talk about grammar and spelling mistakes.  The idea behind NaNo is to write and just write.  You don't edit, you don't worry about plot lines and character development, you just write.  Well, that doesn't work for me.  I can't stand knowing my fingers were flying too fast over the keyboard and I mispelled a word.  I HAVE to go back an fix it.  It's really a problem.  It definitely hindered my NaNo progress.

So, I have to say NaNo wasn't a success but it also wasn't a complete bust.  I got to work with some characters that have been running around in my head for a few years.  And despite no winning I made some great progress.  So keep and eye out for Chloe and Drake and their adventure.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Everyday Things That Bother Me

We all have things that bother us.  Whether it's things that people say or do.  Mannerisms, habits, or just little things we happen to see.  Here are a few of mine...

10. When people talk with food in their mouths.  My mom was big on table manners when I was growing up apparently they stuck.

 9. Crums on my kitchen floor.  It drives me crazy when stuff gets stuck to my feet.

 8. When you say hi or good morning to someone and they don't respond

 7. When people don't use their turn signals

 6. Blue Ink...as in ink pens.  I hate it!

 5. When people don't say please or thank you

 4. Morning...I am not a morning person.  Not at all.

 3. Movie previews that give away the whole movie

 2. Writer's Block

 1. When people confuse "sell" and "sale".  They are two very different things.

There you have it. A glimpse into my crazy mind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I'm Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about the things I'm thankful for.

10. I'm thankful there is an abundance of cheesy teenage dramas for me to watch.

 9. I'm thankful for the opportunity everyday to pursue my dreams.

 8. I'm thankful that I get to do something I love everyday and call it work.

 7. I'm thankful for music.  Music is a huge inspiration for me.  I don't know what I'd do without it.

 6. I'm thankful I have a place to live.  In this world there are so many that can't say the same.

 5. I'm thankful for all of my readers.  Your support means so much to me.

 4. I'm thankful to my editor and Rebel Ink Press for publishing my work and being patient with my creative process.

 3. I'm thankful for the girls in my salon.  They make every day with them interesting.

 2. I'm thankful for the great support system I have around me.  I'd be nothing without you all.

 1. I'm thankful for my amazing friends, family, and boyfriend.

I'm thankful for everything and every person I have in my life.  I am very blessed.  These are just a few highlights of what I'm thankful for.  Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NaNoWrMo Progress...

Well, I've been busy working on NaNoWrMo as I said I would be.  I started off great and I was ahead on word count for quite a while.  I've been having writing dates with an author friend of mine, and it's actually forced me to be more productive.

This weekend proved to be rough though.  I was busy and worn out from work throughout the week.  I have to admit I hit a snag and didn't write at all for two days.  No big deal since I was ahead.  It will be easy to catch up I told myself.

Monday rolled around and I needed to write about 4,000 words to be caught up and 6,000 to be ahead like I had been before.  I sat down and tried my hardest.  I really did.  But...it didn't happen.  I'm still behind.  I have managed to write a bit today, and I'm going to keep going.

Writing this way has been difficult for me.  I don't usually plot a lot.  I follow an outline.  My characters tend to take over so it's easier to outline and go with the flow.  I also don't usually write linearly.  I skip around quite a bit and then go back and play connect the dots.  Well, the point of NaNo being to start and keep writing as much as you can for a whole month has put me out of whack.  I can't go back and edit.  When things get slow and I want to skip ahead I tell myself not to.  I'm having fun though.

So off I go.  Back to work on my NaNo story.  Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Now Available in Paperback...From the Rubble

For everyone who's been waiting, it's here!  The paperback edition of From the Rubble is now available on Amazon.

A big thanks to my publisher Rebel Ink Press!

For more information on From the Rubble click here.

Thanks again to everyone that made this possible.  I greatly appreciate all your love and support!

Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNoWrMo

I'm sure some of you are thinking "what the hell is NaNoWrMo?"

Well, for those of you who don't know, NaNoWrMo is a writing challenge that takes place in the month of November.  NaNoWrMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  You register and track your progress and when you're done if you met the goal you submit your novel and get some goodies.

I've had a bit of writer's block lately and I've had so many stories floating around in my head that I wasn't sure what to work on.  I debated doing NaNo just to focus my attention on one story and to challenge myself to write A LOT in one month.  I made the decision to sign up but I was having trouble deciding what to work on.  I have three stories that I think about a lot, some are plotted, some I've worked on a little bit, but I just couldn't commit to work on one.  Then I realized it's the 29th.  That means I only have a few days to decide and plot.  Scary!

I finally decided and I feel much better.  Stay tuned for more on my progress with NaNoWrMo!

To find out more or sign up for yourself visit NaNoWrMo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Vampire Movies

Continuing with my celebration of October and all things spooky today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about vampire movies.  Vampires are probably my second favorite in the horror genre.  I love them in books and movies.

Now, there are all different kinds of vampires these days.  The legends and myths have morphed and changed.  I do still enjoy some things about the new vampires, but I love the old stories the most.

I would like to point out that these are in no particular order.  Narrowing them down was hard enough.

10. Shadow of the Vampire
9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
8. Interview with the Vampire
7. Blade
6. Queen of the Damned
5. 30 Days of Night
4. Dracula (1992)
3. From Dusk Till Dawn
2. The Lost Boys
1. Stake Land

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oh the Horror...

Today my friend and fellow author, Kate Roth, is stopping by to share her feelings on horror, Halloween, and October.


I’m one of the weirdos. That certain kind of person who loves to be frightened. I like horror movies, scary shows and creepy books. Around Halloween I always get the urge to watch as many horror films as I can, DVR the ghost hunting adventure shows and break out my Stephen King’s.

Not everyone can get on board with horror and I suppose I can understand why. There are a lot of things in life to actually be afraid of so why bring it upon you by getting wrapped up in stories of murder and hauntings?

Well, because it’s fun. Tension building, heart pounding, looking around to make sure you aren’t being watched—it’s all part of the fun of horror. As with all entertainment, it’s escapism. Sometimes you want to escape to Hogwarts or Middle Earth. Other times it’s the countryside where the man of your dreams waits for you. But every now and then you want to find escape in the darkened hallways of that old hotel, that mansion on a hill, the abandoned asylum. Where things go bump in the night and you challenge yourself to survive whoever—or whatever is chasing you.

I’ve often wanted to write horror but I don’t think I have it in me. I’ve tried and it never comes out right. I’ll leave it to those authors who have the horror bone and can truly tell a chilling tale. I’ll stick to the sappy stuff.
Here’s a list of a few of my spooky faves from all media.

     ·         A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – I adore Freddy! He’s wisecracking and terrifying all at once. And—spoiler—I always love a story with a kick-ass chick who can defeat the bad guy.
  •          Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Stephen King’s son gives daddy a run for his money with this novel about a troubled rock star that inadvertently purchases a ghost. It scared me in broad daylight and left me wanting to take a cross county road trip with some AC/DC playing on full blast.
  •          An American Horror Story – Season one of this creepy FX show completely changed the way I think of horror. Who knew you could be so scared by what can be shown on cable? So excited for season two in which a new cast, setting and storyline will be played out.
  •          Celebrity Ghost Stories – Okay so call this one lame if you will but I love this show. “Celebrities” (aka D-listers and people you barely recognize from 80’s and 90’s sitcoms) share their personal accounts of hauntings while no-name actors reenact the scenario. Let’s just say it fills the void left in me by the loss of one of my childhood favorites, Unsolved Mysteries.
Thanks again to Kate Roth for stopping by today.  To find out more about Kate and her writing visit her website.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

From the Rubble: The First Chapter of the Last Chapter


Just in case your curious...




Chapter One
April

Layla clutched the grayed wood in her hands so tightly her knuckles went white.  All she could do was stare at the worn wood and the initials carved in it as moments ticked slowly by.  She wasn’t sure how much time had passed before she willed her body to stand.  Seconds?  Minutes?  Still stunned and unsure, she walked mechanically to the counter and grabbed her phone.  Pursing her lips, she thought hard about her next step. Whatever she did could change things forever. For better or worse she wasn’t sure.  Excitement and curiosity ran through her and Layla tossed the phone back on the counter and rushed to her front door.  Praying she wasn’t too late she took the steps of her loft two at a time, landing on the sidewalk breathless and barefoot.  Craning her neck, she looked left then right but there was no Taylor in sight.  What was she going to say anyway?  It was probably for the best.  Tucking her blonde hair behind her ear, she headed back inside reminding herself his gift could mean nothing.  It could simply be a peace offering.  A show of his acceptance of their situation.  Layla knew it could merely be Taylor’s way of saying that he was trying to make the best of what had happened between them.

Layla wasn’t getting her hopes up.  She knew the romantic part of their relationship was over, but she couldn’t help the quickening pace of her heart when she thought about what she wanted that piece of old wood to mean.  What it could mean.  If she hadn’t screwed up and made decisions that weren’t hers to make.  The future that could’ve been played out in Layla’s mind and it was a whole relationship, a whole history that never existed because she’d hidden something from Taylor.  Something big.  Something she could never take back.  What could have been was a future she’d never know.
Layla walked down the hall, her footsteps light, and peeked into Lexi’s room before she headed to her own.  Her daughter slept peacefully, her brown curls splayed out on her pillow.  With a sad smile, Layla slipped the wooden relic between some sheets piled on the top shelf of her closet.  Out of sight, out of mind.

****

Taylor sat in his car tapping the steering wheel nervously.  The second he'd left the white box in Layla’s hands and headed down the steps of her loft apartment, he’d wanted to sprint back and take it from her.  It was a stupid gesture and he wasn’t even sure what he meant by it.  After screaming at Layla in her shop, he’d gone home and paced his small apartment.  It had felt good to get his anger out.  It seemed to clear his head a bit and with his thoughts less jumbled, he needed a way to show Layla he was sorry and that he wanted to move forward.  Forward to where he wasn’t sure, but forward none the less.  So he’d dug through his still unpacked boxes and found the only thing he knew could say what he needed to.  Sighing, he rested his head on the steering wheel.  In retrospect, maybe giving her the wooden piece had said too much.
The past few weeks had been a roller coaster for him.  His father’s death, finding out he had a daughter, and seeing the girl he’d been sure was “the one” for the first time in years.  Taylor had the feeling he wasn’t any closer to getting off the ride.  He only knew now that his anger had started to clear, it left him with a mess of other emotions to work through.  He had to learn how to be a father and fast.  Then there was the ever present sizzle he still felt whenever Layla was near.  Taylor wasn’t sure he'd ever get past what she'd done but he had the inkling his love for her was bigger than her lie. 

From the Rubble is available in ebook format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ARe.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Release Day: From the Rubble

Well, it's finally here.  The release of the follow up to Tears in the Rubble, From the Rubble.  I'm up way too early searching for purchase links for you and stressing about going to work today.  Why?  I'm not really sure.  It's just what I do.





Join Taylor and Layla for the final chapter of their journey in the long awaited follow up to Tears in the Rubble.

In the wake of a terrible betrayal, Taylor and Layla bury their feelings for the other, good and bad, just to get by day to day.  Forced together because of their daughter, Taylor struggles to forgive Layla so he falls into the role of fatherhood, naturally striving to be the best father he can be.

Layla’s guilt overwhelms her as she fights herself over her feelings for Taylor.  After all, she doesn’t believe she deserves another chance.  She’s already had too many. 

Making a family out of a broken relationship won’t be easy, but with both Taylor and Layla pushing forward, will they ever find a new normal?  Will they ever confront their feelings for one another?



From the Rubble is now available in ebook format at AmazonARe and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From the Rubble Playlist...

If you read Tears in the Rubble (and you should have if you're reading From the Rubble) you may have seen my playlist.  I love music.  It influences many parts of my life, so here are the songs that influenced or remind me of Taylor and Layla's journey in From the Rubble.

                                                     
1. Youth Group-Forever Young
2. The Flys-Got You (Where I Want You)
3. Jem-Amazed
4. Aerosmith-Cryin'
5. Lady Antebellum-Just A Kiss
6. Taylor Swift-Today Was a Fairytale
7. The Lumineers-Ho Hey
8. Breaking Benjamin-Breath
9. Anna Ternheim-My Heart Still Beats For You

Hope you all enjoy my little playlist!  Don't forget release day is tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Paranormal/Supernatural Movies

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about the paranormal and supernatural.  Ghost, exorcisms, demons, maybe even the Devil himself.

These are in no particular order...

10. The Exorcist
9. The Sixth Sense
8. A Haunting in Connecticut
7. The Evil Dead
6. Drag Me to Hell
5. The Ring
4. The Omen (1976)
3. Silent Hill
2. Grave Encounters
1. Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Slasher Flicks

If you know me you know how much I love Halloween and how much I love horror movies.  So I thought what better way to spend my October blogging time than talking about those things.  Now, you're probably thinking a whole month?  Oh yes!  I can go on and on and I plan too.

You may also think it's weird for someone who's written Romance to love horror but..... I do.

Now, horror is such a broad genre I thought I'd break it down a bit.  We're starting our first Top Ten Tuesday with Slasher Flicks which are my all time favorite.

10. My Bloody Valentine (2009)











9. Harper's Island
(This was not a movie but a slasher flick disguised as a mini series.)











8. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon











7. Wes Craven's New Nightmare











6.  Psycho (1960)











 5. Scream












4. Friday the 13th (1980)











3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)












2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)











1. Halloween (1978)











Bonus:  Rob Zombie's Halloween  I love this movie almost as much as the original.  Also The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) and the remake from 2003 are pretty high on my list.

I can go on and on.  It was hard for me to narrow this down and I was surprised by how many I'd forgotten about..

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reviews, reviews, reviews...why are they important?

Tuesdays are usually reserved for a Top Ten list of some sort, but I haven't done one in a while, and I actually tried to make this topic into a top ten list.  I just couldn't do it.

With my next book coming out soon I've been thinking a lot about marketing.  I know a lot of authors don't pay attention to reviews, good or bad.  They don't want to see what people have to say.  They trust their editors and they'd rather keep doing what they do and loving it.  This is a hard business to be in and you definitely have to have thick skin.  I know that not everyone will like what I write, and I'm okay with that because for every person that doesn't there is a person that does.  That brings me to why you should leave a review if you enjoy indie authors or authors from smaller publishers...

1. Because I want you to...pretty simple, right?

2. Leaving a review on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles (or any other site for that matter) helps other readers find our books.

3. For every negative review there could be a positive review.  People are less likely to say the good things but people almost always share their negative thoughts.  Help change that...

4. I like to know what people think.  Other authors do too.

5. Good reviews can bump rankings higher on vendor's sites.

6. We can use reviews to improve.

7. It gives you a chance to express the journey you went through while reading.  You get to be the writer for once.

I almost made it to ten, but not quite.  Hey, I tried!  Leaving a review really does help us and we appreciate it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

So What if I Think the Capital of SC is Charleston...


I recently took a trip to Myrtle Beach and had a blast.  It was my first time there.  It was actually my first time in South Carolina.  Some friends got married on the beach giving us all an excuse to have some fun and take a trip.

We headed out late on Wednesday night in our rented Town & Country and I have to say that I momentarily wanted to own a minivan.  It had all kinds of awesome features including two DVD players and built in navigation.  So off we go on our twelve hour drive.  We made it safely and the drive went smoothly.  I was so excited to sink my toes in the sand and feel the ocean breeze on my face.

There's just something about the beach and the ocean that I can't describe.  Something about it that makes me feel at ease.  I don't worry when I'm there.  It may be the fact that I'm usually on vacation when I'm at the beach but I think its more than that.  There's something serene and soothing about the salty air, the waves crashing, and the sand between your toes.  Plus there's always the sunshine.  Needless to say I soaked up as many rays as I could, enjoyed some delicious drink, and spent time with some great friends.  And last but not least celebrated the marriage of two great people.

For the record the capital of South Carolina is Columbia.  What can I say I was never good at that stuff.  Plus its been a while...

Congrats again to Mr. and Mrs. Limeberry!  Wishing you all the best!


Friday, September 14, 2012

The One and Only...Nina Jordan


Hey everyone!  My friend and fellow Rebel, Kate Roth, is dropping by with one of the characters from her debut novel, The Low Notes.  Nina Jordan is going to answer a few questions for us.  Thanks Kate and Nina! 


1.      So Nina, I understand you’re in high school.  What’s that like?  What grade are you in?
I’m a senior, finally free. High school has been okay but I’m definitely ready to spread my wings a little bit.

2.      Is there anything you are looking forward to this year?  Dances?  Football games?
The senior choir concert is the only major thing I’m looking forward to. It’ll be the first time I perform at school. I guess prom is on the list but I’m still not sure about it.

3.      Do you have any cute teachers?  When I was younger all my teachers were older ladies.
Um, yeah I guess. There’s one guy…I mean teacher. He’s sort of good looking.

4.      I understand you have a passion for music.  Tell me about that.  Who are some of your favorites?
Music is my life! I love to sing and play piano. I can play a little guitar too but I’m rusty. I love everything from old standard singers like Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone to Adele and Maroon 5. I can even get down with some 1980’s rock if I’m feeling fun.

5.      Is your family supportive of your love of music?
Sure, I think. My dad travels for work so he can’t always make it to performances but he’s always been willing to pay for lessons. He bought me the most beautiful piano for my twelfth birthday.

6.      Are you dating anyone?
No. Um, well…it’s complicated. I mean, no. No I’m not.

7.      What are your college plans?  Are you sticking around Wexley Falls?
The Big Apple is calling my name. I’m outta here…leaving it all behind.

8.      What’s the one thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
I have a pretty awesome dress collection that I’d be sad to lose. Most are fancy and impractical but I can’t resist a great dress.

9.      What do you think of all of these reality shows?  I know most girls your age are obsessed.
Not really my thing. I haven’t had a lot of time to watch TV lately. I guess I’m a little distracted…with school and all.

10.  Okay, last one.  We’ll make it a fun one.  What’s your go to snack?  The one thing that makes you feel better or just always sounds good.
It’s not so much a snack but I love breakfast foods. Pancakes are my favorite. So yummy!

Thanks again for stopping by!

To find out more about Kate Roth or to find out where to buy The Low Notes go to Kate's website.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Cover is Revealed...

Today was a very happy day for me.  I'm excited to finally be able to share the cover for From the Rubble with you!  A big thanks goes out to Rebel Ink Press and their graphic artist Carl Franklin.  My two gorgeous covers wouldn't have come to life without them.


From the Rubble is a follow up to Tears in the Rubble and will be released from Rebel Ink Press on Oct 17th 2012.  For more information visit the coming soon tab above.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hitting Send...

I finally decided it was time...

I let you all know the other day that I had finished writing From the Rubble.  Well, finishing it definitely doesn't make it a finished product or even a submittable product.  My writing process is all over the place.  When I'm done it's kind of like playing connect the dots, so I always have to go back through and make sure it all adds up.  Not to mention grammar, spelling, typos, any number of things...

After going through From the Rubble twice on my own I decided to hit send this morning.  It has officially been submitted to my publisher.  Now comes the fun part.  The waiting.  Waiting to see what they think, waiting to see how well I really edited myself, and waiting to see how soon it will be released.

I take pride in learning from my editor, and trying to improve.  There are so many things that I don't know, things I could improve on, or just plain get lazy about, so I owe a lot to the person who is willing to take the time to teach me those things.  A huge thanks goes out to my amazing editor.  You're the best!

So, today I'm off to a kiddie Tae Kwon Do cookout where I will be obsessively checking my email on my phone.  Yes, I know I won't get it back that fast, but I will still do it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Big News...

Today is an exciting day!  I just finished writing the last scene for From the Rubble, the follow up to Tears in the Rubble.  I can't believe it's done.  In a few minutes, I'm going to start going through and editing a bit before I send it off to my publisher.  I couldn't be more excited!

So now I will edit and submit, and wait impatiently (shhh) for my cover and release date.  I'm so excited to share this second novel with you.

Thanks again for all the support and encouragement!  It really means the world to me.  I hope everyone enjoys the second one as much as the first.

And don't forget to tell people to hurry up and read Tears in the Rubble :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!  Stay cool, hydrated, and please don't set anything on fire.

Also, I have some exciting news.  I was featured in Rebel Ink's Newsletter this month.  If you have a minute check it out.

Rebel Ink Press July Newsletter

Have a great safe day celebrating!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tears in the Rubble: Did you know?


Here are some interesting things you probably don’t know about Tears in the Rubble…

The bar Ophelia’s is named after one of Shakespeare’s characters.

The scene for Taylor and Layla’s “first date” was a pizza place originally called Crust Lover’s (because at the time I couldn't come up with anything else).

For about 3 years Tears in the Rubble was lovingly referred to as “The Barn Story”.

The story was originally a love triangle between Taylor, Layla, and Ben, but they just wouldn’t have it.

Taylor’s last name at one point was Daniels then I realized his last name was Scott and his middle name was Daniel.

I started writing this as a young adult piece.

There were two different beginning to Tears in the Rubble

It had a prologue at one point, but I decided to use the prologue in chapter one as a flashback instead.

There you have it a few fun facts about my little world.  Don't forget the rest of Taylor and Layla's story is coming soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome Lila Munro...


I'd like to welcome the talented Lila Munro today.  She's here talking about planning and setting goals.  Something I'm sure we all could use some insight on.  I'm so excited she's stopped by to chat.  



Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail

Good morning everyone! And thank you, Britni, for having me over today. It’s a pleasure to be here. Although I’m not accustomed to hanging around the PG13 world, I do occasionally, and although a bit rusty at it, I’m going to give it a whirl. ;) Actually, it’s kind of nice to be able to write about something other than my genre choice (which is quite naughty) for a few minutes. While I love my genre choice, there’s so much more to writing than what I choose to write. In fact, I used to make it my life’s business to talk about all aspects of writing on my blog, but fell away from blogging so much on my own platform earlier this year as I went out into the world and guest posted more and more. Later this year I plan to make a return to writing on my own blog more and doing as I did before, offering a bit of advice each week to new and aspiring writers. I hope it’s good advice. I don’t consider myself an expert or anyone else for that matter because the market is so fluid and particularly in the e-book world there is never any concrete, tangible proof that any one single thing is the key to the magic kingdom, so to speak. One thing I do know, however, is if you fail to plan, you in essence plan to fail.

You absolutely, positively must have a plan. Without one, you’re the equivalent of a rudderless ship in choppy waters and your compass is broken. A recipe for disaster if ever there was one.

For some, the plan is as simple as they want to write a book and see it published. It’s a bucket list item and this would fulfill their goal. Write one book. See it published. Mission accomplished. Being as I’ve worked both sides of the fence in this industry, I’ve seen many people come and go on just this plan alone. They publish one work, they are happy, all is well in their world. This plan is quite simple. This percentage of writers isn’t concerned with sales, not concerned with marketing. They want one thing and one thing only, to see their name on Amazon. And that’s okay. Every writer has a different goal and therefore their plans will vary, be simpler or more complicated accordingly, but the need to plan still applies. And it’s when the goal becomes more complicated the plan should as well. Where we fail at times is in the actual forming of the plan and subsequent execution.

I’ve been at this a while now and as my definition of what my goal was became refined, so did my plan. I didn’t realize the importance of the plan at first, but once I did, my life as a writer became much easier. The first year, I knew one thing. I wanted published. Past that I had no idea what I wanted from this life. That first year was fairly simple…at least until I hit the six month mark and became discontent and realized my lack of planning was leading to failure. I was naïve in thinking all I wanted was to become published. I wanted more. I wanted fans and readers and more money and name recognition and a different publisher (no Rebel Ink Press wasn’t my first press). I wanted a lot more than I thought I did or had recognized at first. How did I get there? It’s at this point that most people’s sense of survival kicks in and the whole publishing industry becomes a dog eat dog world and things tend to get dirty. This is the point where the will to survive separates the bucket listers from the endurance club. Your goals sort of define where you fit in and who will talk to you and who’s willing to help you.
Year two my goals shifted from I merely wanted published to I wanted it all. While I still had no real sense of how to get there, I knew one thing, name recognition was imperative. Blogging and all the free advertising I could find. That was the plan. It wasn’t defined, it was rough, it wasn’t in writing. Just blog my butt (see  I can write it clean) off and get my cover art anywhere I could find a free or inexpensive slot to house it. Well, this sort of worked. It was at some point during the end of year two I discovered I had again failed to plan, or at least plan properly.

Year three…I planned to succeed. I realized I had to have a defined planned with specific ways of making the plan work. In other words, I had to get down to business and set down goals to paper with the steps I would have to take to get to the end of the rainbow. I needed a clear cut map, a GPS, and a boy scout tagging along for good measure. I had to plan! This fly by the seat of my pants gig wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be, which was another issue in and of itself. I wasn’t totally sure where I wanted to be. You see the cutthroat world of publishing is exhausting at times to say the least and I had discovered there were certain people, places, and things I just simply wanted no part of. So, I sat down and started my resolution to success. It wasn’t the new year officially, but it was my new year. By the way, new writers, this flailing about wondering where you’re going is not unusual. Don’t feel like if you take three years to get it together and define yourself and your goals you’ve failed. You’ve not. You’re just simply taking a while to figure out what you want and how to get there. This is common.

My new plan is on paper and even has a title: 2012 Goals and How to Get There. Yes, I got that anal. I do not under any circumstances want to fail. I want to succeed! The goal: Increase Readership, Increase Name Recognition, Decide What’s Next (as in…am I Big Six shopping?). It’s clear cut, it’s concise. It defines what I want to accomplish. Step one: Commit to blogging at least once a week on my own blog. Step two: Research the pros and cons of what’s next. Step three: Guest blog at a reputable site at least four times a month. Step four: Develop and maintain positive meaningful relationships with positive meaningful people. (This means network—know it and use it!) The list goes on with specific advertising strategies and an advertising budget—where and when, where I want to see a review of my work by year’s end, contests I will enter, etc. It’s on paper and outlined. It’s my business plan.

You see, we’re all running a business. Our writing is our business and we are the vehicle from which it either succeeds or fails. No good business flies by the seat of their pants. They have a clear cut plan. It defines the goal of the company and outlines how to get there.

Are you a bucket lister or a member of the endurance club? If you’re in this for the long haul you must define yourself and your direction, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Thanks again, Britni, for having me by and letting me chatter away today.
~~Lila Munro

Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012. And has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13. Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_MunroPinterest at https://pinterest.com/lilamunro/Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4200524.Lila_Munro  You can also contact her via email at lilasromance@gmail.com

Thanks again for stopping by Lila!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Couples


This is a fun one!  I love to read.  And I love movies.  And we all know I LOVE cheesy teenage dramas.  So here are my top ten fictional couples.


1. Romeo and Juliet
        This should need no explanation

2. Allie and Noah
        The Notebook

3. Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper
  The Wonder Years

4. Joey and Pacey
  Dawson’s Creek

5. Buttercup and Wesley
  The Princess Bride

6. Ezra and Aria
        Pretty Little Liars

7. Chuck and Blair
        Gossip Girl

8. Baby and Johnny
        Dirty Dancing

9. Lois Lane and Clark Kent
        Superman

10. Kevin and Nina
        The Low Notes

Many of these are books as well as movies or tv shows.  But hey a good couple is a good couple.  This really shows everyone what a dork I am.







Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rebel Ink Press: New Release Blog Hop


Just wanted to say hi and thanks for stopping by!  Take a peek at my recent release. And stay tuned for part two...coming soon!


Blurb:

Layla Swanson grew up in the lazy, small town of Hollow Oaks and can’t wait to get out.  She has big dreams and big plans in the big city.  Layla has worked hard and her senior year is nearly at its end.  She can’t wait to go away to college.  And she’s one step closer to getting what she wants. Layla isn’t letting anyone get in her way. 
Taylor Scott may not be your typical country boy, but he doesn’t mind Hollow Oaks.  His dreams may not be marked on paper and set in stone, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. 
A chance meeting between the two childhood friends may have Layla second guessing her longtime plan. Their rekindled friendship is leading them down a path neither one could have foreseen.  But with Layla leaving for college, many challenges face them, especially when she so stubbornly sticks to her solo plan.
Is Taylor’s love enough to convince Layla to let him in?  Or when everything falls apart, will Layla run away?    


Here's a sneak peek...

Excerpt:

…Taylor glared at his brother until movement on the porch caught his attention. He looked just in time to see Layla bounding down the wooden steps. Taylor swallowed thickly and from the corner of his eye he saw Jackson’s head jerk to the left. Both boys watched as her green cotton sundress moved around her legs, her pale blond hair streaming behind her, her pink lips split into a grin. 
"Oh… shit," Taylor said under his breath. Layla Swanson is hot was Taylor’s first thought. His second thought was when had that happened? They'd been best friends for most of their lives. Taylor wasn’t sure how he had missed the transformation from bossy tomboy to whatever it was Layla had become. He'd seen her yesterday and yet he could swear she looked different. Beside him his brother was nodding in agreement. Taylor shot him another glare which only earned him another snort from Jackson. 
"Layla Swanson’s all grown up," Jackson whispered, drawing out the words just as she pulled the passenger side door open, ducking the swat at the back of his head. 
"Morning boys," she called cheerfully, ignoring their fighting. When Taylor didn’t respond because he was too busy staring, she pushed on his shoulder playfully. "What, do I look bad?" 
She glanced down at her dress and ran a hand over her hair before biting down on her full, glossy bottom lip and looking back up at him. He continued to stare helplessly as her lip slowly popped out from between her white teeth. Shaking himself, Taylor cleared his throat trying to think of a response, something to smooth over the awkward moment. Maybe she hadn’t noticed he was staring. He hoped so anyway. 
"No," he trailed off. Really smooth, Taylor cursed himself silently. 
He climbed out of the truck and let her slide into the middle seat before he got back in. Over her shoulder, Jackson caught Taylor’s eye and raised an eyebrow questioningly. Taylor shrugged lightly and closed the door. 
They rode in silence for a while. A very uncomfortable silence if anyone were to ask Taylor. Normally, they would have teased each other and talked while Jackson ignored them, but today they just sat. Layla stared straight ahead and Taylor looked out the side window watching the fields blur by. It was awkward and easy to feel the tension in the truck. It felt to Taylor that it was almost a living, breathing thing. 
"Are you sure I look okay?" Layla’s voice broke through the silence. Taylor could hear the nervousness there and he wanted to say something to make her feel better. Still at a loss for words, he turned his head and met her hazel eyes. Taylor opened his mouth to speak but before anything came out, Jackson spoke up. 
"You look great, Layla." The compliment was smooth and simple delivered in a lazy way, and it made Taylor mad. 
She turned away from Taylor and to his horror, he watched his brother reach up and tug on 
her hair playfully before he let his arm rest on the back of the seat behind her... 


You can buy Tears in the Rubble at: Amazon, ARe, Barnes & Noble, and BookStrand.



Thanks again for stopping by!  To keep updated stop back by or find me on Facebook.

Don't forget to head back to Rebel Reasoning to check out more from Rebel's great authors.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Thirteen: Places I Want to Travel


I'm taking a stab at Thursday Thirteen.  So here it is!  13 places I want to travel.  Some are here, some are not.



1. Boston, Massachusets
2. Greece
3. Tahiti
4. Hawaii
5. Jamaica
6. Belize
7. Miami, Florida
8. Ireland
9. Spain
10. Cabo San Lucas
11. Costa Rica
12. Bahamas


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Learned Publishing a Novel




This whole thing has been an adventure, a learning experience full of new and surprising things.  Some things were expected and some things weren’t.


1. I handle criticism better than I thought I did.  The editing process was daunting and a bit overwhelming.  I was worried that I would be offended or just completely stubborn when it came to the suggestions made.  I went into it with and open mind and thought about each change as a reader and it went pretty smoothly.

2. Designing covers isn’t for me.  I love my cover for Tears in the Rubble, but designing it just wasn’t my cup of tea.  While I have a creative eye blending the elements was a job left for Rebel’s wonderful cover artist.  Maybe it has something to do with my indecisiveness.

3. People will always assume that you based the story off of an experience, or a character off of a person.  I’ve been asked a lot of funny questions but most people assume the male and female characters from Tears in the Rubble are based on my boyfriend and me.  I can tell you that is in no way true.

4. Marketing is hard.  Especially marketing a book.  I have to market myself for my full time job too.  This is very different though.  Knowing what works and where to put your blurb and cover is time consuming and sometimes tedious.

5. People are under the assumption that if you are having a book published you are going to be famous and make tons of money.  Not the case.  I won’t instantly be the next Stephen King or Nicholas Sparks.  I didn’t get an advance to write my book and I probably won’t ever.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it though.

6. Independent publishers are frowned upon by bookstores.  Self-publishers as well.  They may not say that but it sure seems to be the truth to me.  They will sell your eBook left and right but not you’re paperback.

7. It’s a really good feeling to have people love something you’ve created.  I know there will always be fans and there will always be haters.  Not everything is for everyone.  I’m sure there are those out there that read or will read my stories and not enjoy them, but that doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is the people that do like it.  The ones that love it and the ones that share the fact that they love it.

8. There are places that my obsessive compulsive habits come in handy.  And that would be in writing.  Making sure things add up and that my timeline flows.  I always notice things like that when I read a book and when it came to writing my own story I double and triple checked those things.

9. I love this.  Writing that is.  I will do it as long as I can.  No matter how much money I make or don’t make.  I just want to share the world in my head with everyone around me.

10. I have an incredibly strong and wonderful support system.  There was a time that probably wasn’t true.  I’ve done some weeding and become much pickier about who I let into my life.  And the people that are left are amazing.  They are there for me when I need them and have never judged me.  Without them this would have been a whole lot harder.

So there you have it.  Ten things I learned publishing a novel.  Some of them are personal, some professional, and some are just my little observations.

If you're curious about Tears in the Rubble head on over to the tab at the top and check it out.  Part two is coming soon!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Coming Soon: From the Rubble

Alright everyone!  Here it is!  An official announcement about From the Rubble (the sequel to Tears in the Rubble).  I know I've hinted at it but it really is happening.

When I first finished Tears in the Rubble I wasn't thinking about  a sequel.  Maybe that's because I've never been one for tying a pretty bow on everything.  Maybe it was because I knew in my head the next steps for my characters.  But really there's so much more to tell, and I want to share it with you all.

I don't have a date yet.  When I do I'll share.  In the mean time, if you haven't read Tears in the Rubble you should get started.  Head here to see all the place you can get it http://britnihillwriter.blogspot.com/p/tears-in-rubble.html.


From the Rubble blurb:


In the wake of a terrible betrayal, Taylor and Layla bury their feelings for the other, good and bad, just to get by day to day.  Forced together because of their daughter, Taylor struggles to forgive Layla so he falls into the role of fatherhood, naturally striving to be the best father he can be.

Layla’s guilt overwhelms her as she fights herself over her feelings for Taylor.  After all, she doesn’t believe she deserves another chance.  She’s already had too many.

Making a family out of a broken relationship won’t be easy, but with both Taylor and Layla pushing forward, will they ever find a new normal?  Will they ever confront their feelings for one another?


Stay tuned for more news and spread the word!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day all!  I know I've been slacking.  Life got crazy for a few weeks.  I will be back this week with an official announcement for what's coming next and some other news.  Hope you've enjoyed your weekend!

If you haven't already like me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BritniHillAuthor or follow me on Twitter @thatbritnihill.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My interview with the one and only Blake Allee...


I’m really excited for the interview I have for you today.  I have someone here today to talk about music.  I love music and it influences me in a lot of ways.  His name is Blake Allee and I do know him personally, but I can say his music is awesome and mean it.  He is a friend of my boyfriend’s, and I actually used to be his boss when we were about 19.  It’s crazy how far we’ve all come since then.

Blake is incredibly passionate about what he does.  He’s interesting and you can tell he doesn’t care what people think.  I respect that.  I also respect the fact that he does what he does because he loves it.  He does it independently (is everyone sensing a theme lately) and he definitely doesn’t do it for the money (you’ll see why I say that).

I have a special place in my heart for independent artists.  They put themselves out there purely to express themselves.  Whether they be musicians, writers, photographers, painters, or street dancers I think they all deserve to stand in the spotlight at some point.  Why should they be left out?

Without further ado here’s the one and only Blake Allee…

Tell us about yourself…
Hi, my name is Blake Allee, that is my real name and artist name. I
am a musician/artist and super cool dude from Indianapolis. I wear PF
Flyers and like silent horror movies. All I really do is music.

 What genre would you put yourself in?
If I had to pick one it would be Hip Hop since I rap. I just call it music.

 Have you had or do you have a mentor?
Not really, I was self taught how to play, produce, mix, master, and
do artwork on my own. Growing up some of my friends rapped, but more
for fun. I always took it more serious. It takes longer this way,
but you create your own style, not a style based off of ideas from
someone else.

Describe your style…
HHmmm, I am going to go with, Futuristic spoken word in another
dimension. It is not real and it is not fake.

Do you write all your own stuff?
On my last project "My Best Friends Are Machines" I recorded, wrote,
produced, sampled, mixed, mastered and did the artwork for the whole
project. I like to do as much as I can by myself. That way it feels
more like art than manufactured sound.

Do you have a process when it comes to your music? Any quirks
(lucky charms, must haves)?
I like to mix regular Mountain Dew, Code Red, Voltage, and White Out
and drink that when I produce. I like to think it gives me super
powers, it doesn't tho. I also like to produce alone in headphones
when possible.

What other artists influence you?
Anybody with a new vision! Kraftwerk, Bob Dylan, Nas, Ian Curtis, and
Ted Hughes off the top of my head.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?
Pretty much, when I was super little I wanted to be MC Hammer and
Vanilla Ice. I don't care what people say I still like those guys.

I know you've done lots of live performances, and some recently
have been in bigger venues, what's that like?
I love performing in larger venues. If I am the headliner it is
really cool but a lot of pressure to bring a crowd, which is tough in
Indianapolis. Opening up for larger national acts the crowd is much
bigger tho. The crowd is not there to see you, so basically, you have
to impress the hell out of them ha. I have had really great reactions
thus far.

Last but not least...

What do you think about being an indie musician? Is it difficult?
I give my music away free and do not make a ton of money on live
shows. I love that approach, just being like a nomad/renegade. The
major draw back is having to have a real job. Most indie musicians
are not making enough to live on the music. It is as difficult as you
want it to be. Music is really all I think about, ask anyone who
knows me. It can be difficult and frustrating at times, but without
music or art, life would seem somewhat pointless.

Where can people buy your music?
You can buy it on iTunes, Amazon, in Indianapolis record stores.
Do not do that tho, download it free at:
www.blakeallee.com
www.facebook.com/blakeallee
www.youtube.com/blakeallee
www.twitter.com/blakeallee

Thanks to Blake for stopping by!  I had a blast finding out more about him and I hope you all head over to any of his sites and check him out.

And…I think I found my new favorite quote… “It can be difficult and frustrating at times, but without music or art, life would seem somewhat pointless.” –Blake Allee

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Release Day Celebration: The Low Notes by Kate Roth

Today is the day!  My best friend's first novel is out.  That means everyone can buy it!

My friend Kate Roth is and awesome writer and I've seen the The Low Notes through many stages.  I'm most excited for it's final stage.



When a chance meeting between high school teacher Kevin Reed and singer Nina Jordan ignites an instant spark, they must decide if it's more important to follow your heart or follow the rules.


After caring for his dying father, Kevin Reed, returns to his hometown of Wexley Falls, bereaved, unemployed and exhausted at the thought of starting a new life. After a failed blind date, Kevin meets young singer Nina Jordan who takes his breath away with the sound of her voice. The connection is instantaneous and mutual on their first date, but both are crestfallen when they discover days later, to their horror, Nina is Kevin's student at the local high school.


Deciphering between notions of love and lust, fate and coincidence, Kevin and Nina find themselves unable to turn their backs on what they can't deny is a once in a lifetime feeling. Told from both perspectives, The Low Notes explores a love that feels right even though it seems wrong.

Kate Roth's first novel is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ARe, and BookStrand.

Congrats Kate!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fellow Rebel Kate Roth: A Little About The Low Notes


I'm so excited to welcome my best friend and fellow author today.  Her debut release, The Low Notes, is coming up on Thursday.  I hope you all read it. 

First of all thank you so much Britni for having me! 

I couldn’t be happier to share with everyone my labor of love, The Low Notes. It seemed for so long that this story might never be read by anyone but my close friends, but now it’s almost my release day and everyone will get to meet two very important people to me. Kevin and Nina are two characters that will always hold a special place in my heart not only because they are my first to be published but because they have been with me for a very long time. They have been taking over my days and nights for the past few years as I wrote and edited The Low Notes. But long before that they were seedlings of inspiration going back as far as high school.

I’m so thrilled to be sharing Kevin and Nina’s story with the world. Here’s a little about the book.

When a chance meeting between high school teacher Kevin Reed and singer Nina Jordan ignites an instant spark, they must decide if it's more important to follow your heart or follow the rules.

After caring for his dying father, Kevin Reed, returns to his hometown of Wexley Falls, bereaved, unemployed and exhausted at the thought of starting a new life. After a failed blind date, Kevin meets young singer Nina Jordan who takes his breath away with the sound of her voice. The connection is instantaneous and mutual on their first date, but both are crestfallen when they discover days later, to their horror, Nina is Kevin's student at the local high school.

Deciphering between notions of love and lust, fate and coincidence, Kevin and Nina find themselves unable to turn their backs on what they can't deny is a once in a lifetime feeling. Told from both perspectives, The Low Notes explores a love that feels right even though it seems wrong.

Follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/authorkateroth ) and Twitter (@KateRothWrites ) and find out more about me on my blog www.katerothwrites.blogspot.com


Kate Roth's first novel with be available May 17, 2012.  Stop by her blog or here for purchase links.
Thanks again for stopping  by Kate!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fellow Rebel: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy...



                Ever read the popular comic strip Beetle Bailey about the antics of a soldier stationed at Camp Swampy? Mort Walker didn’t just dream up a mythical Army post – he based it on his time stationed at the “real” Camp Swampy, a World War II training camp in the wilds of southern Missouri called Camp Crowder.  These days, not much remains of the original Camp Crowder or the short-lived Fort Crowder years but there’s still a National Guard base on site, still called Camp Crowder.  A few of the original barracks buildings are still there too. Since I happen to live in Neosho, where Camp Crowder is located, I’ve long been intrigued with the history.  As one older resident, now deceased, once told me, life changed forever in this small sleepy town when the Army arrived. “It was night and day,” Mr. Harold Welcher told me, “night and day.”
                
                My next Rebel Ink Press release, In The Shadow of War, is set during World War II. I think the blurb explains what the story is about so here it is:


Blurb:

Her great-granddaughter wants to know if Bette remembers World War II for a school project and her questions revive old memories….

Small town school teacher Bette Sullivan's life was interrupted when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 but her world changed forever when she met Private Benny Levy, a soldier from the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York stationed at Camp Crowder, the local Army base.

Their attraction is immediate and mutual but as their relationship grows their love and lives are shadowed by World War II. As the future looms uncertain the couple comes together with almost desperate need and a powerful love they hope can weather anything, including the war.

It’s my first full length historical romance but so far, a lot of important (well, to me, anyway) people tell me they think I’ve hit on something, a genre which works for me.  Since I earned a dual BA degree in History and English, it may be so.  I hope it is – because my second full length historical romance, Guy’s Angel debuts on June 3 from Rebel Ink Press.

Here’s a little excerpt from In The Shadow of War:
               
          This soldier sported a neat snub nose and a strong chin.  When he turned as if he sensed her gaze, Bette noted his slender gold-rimmed eyeglasses.  Behind the specs, his beautiful grey eyes were framed with black lashes.  His slender lips curved in a half-smile and a blush heated her cheeks as she glanced away.  If she read his expression right, he liked her admiration.  When she fumbled the next response, Aunt Virgie glared at her so she tried to pay more attention, but after Mass she tried to get outside to see if the soldier lingered.  She saw him as soon as they exited the church, but he stood in the center of a group of other Army men, smoking.
                
          Bette watched him while her aunt chattered.  The more she saw, the more she liked.  He stood with a Lucky clinging to his lip, his stance more cocky than military.   He laughed at something one of the other soldiers said and started to move away from the group headed in her general direction.  Bette took two steps forward, jerked one of the dime store hoop earrings from her ear, and dropped it.
            
          “Whoops,” she said, raising her voice as she touched her fingers to her ear lobe. “I just lost an earring.”
                 
          The earbob dropped into a thick clump of clover but before she could attempt to retrieve it, a shadow fell across the green patch and the soldier she’d admired scooped up the earring with one hand.  He stretched out his hand, his square fingers wrapped around the little gold hoop.
               
          “Is this yours?” he asked, his voice coming out with an accent she’d never heard outside the pictures.  To Bette’s ears, it sounded like he’d said. Is dis yers?, with the last word stretched out into multiple syllables.
                
          “It is, thanks,” she said and held out her hand.  He dropped the hoop into her palm as his fingers tickled over her skin.  The slight touch made her shiver. “I guess you’re stationed at Camp Crowder?”
                
          “Yeah,” he said in a voice similar to Jimmy Cagney’s. “I’ve been here a coupla weeks now.  It’s a long way from home.”
               
          “Where are you from?” she asked, unable to stop staring at his gorgeous eyes.
                
          “Brooklyn,” he said without hesitation. “Flatbush, Brooklyn.  I’m Private Levy, Benjamin Levy although my ma calls me Benny.”
                
          Bette couldn’t stop smiling at him.  “Well, Benny Levy, I’m Bette Sullivan and I’m a farm girl from just outside Neosho.”
                
          “I’m pleased to meet you,” Ben Levy said. “Hey you wanta go have coffee with me downtown or something? I’ll buy you breakfast if you like.  I’m starving.” 
                  
          She admired his dark looks, enhanced by the starched summer khakis he wore and nodded. “I’d love to.  Let me go tell my aunt so she won’t expect me home.”
                   
           Bette turned around to find Aunt Virgie watching, mouth drooped open and eyes broad with surprise.  Her cadre of lady friends wore the same stunned expression.
               
          “Aunt Virgie,” Bette said, in her best polite tone. “I’m going downtown with Private Levy, but I’ll be home for dinner, okay?”
                 
          “Child, you don’t even know him!” Her aunt’s shocked outrage wasn’t faked. “You weren’t raised like this.”
               
          “We’re at war,” Bette replied, voice mild. “I’m going to breakfast, not a bar room.”
               
          “Good morning, ladies,” Ben Levy said, appearing at Bette’s side. “I’m Private Benjamin Levy from Brooklyn, New York.  My home parish is Our Lady of Refuge.  I’ve been an altar boy and until I joined the Army, I worked as an auto mechanic.  If you need a reference, Father Connolly can give you one if you write him a letter or you can call my ma.  We ain’t got a phone but the neighbor downstairs will fetch her if you want the number.”
                
          Although his voice remained even and polite, nice as anyone at any social gathering, his cheek amused Bette.  With just a few words, he charmed and disarmed her aunt.
                
          “Well, I don’t think I need to,” Aunt Virgie said with a sigh.  “Honey, go ahead and have breakfast.  Private Levy, would you like to join us for Sunday dinner?”
                
          He grinned wide and Bette’s heart heated up a few more degrees.  Lord but his good looks and sweet words warmed her.

Thanks for stopping by Lee Ann!  Head on over to Lee Ann's blog to find out more about her and her other releases.  Don't forget to look for In the Shadow War available May 17th.