Thursday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

My mum drew these one year. Aren't they great?
Bonus points if you can name the Pixar characters and the movie!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween! We got a costume for Powell (yep, we're those people), so hopefully I will have pictures to post for you next week! =)

Tuesday, October 29

My Weekend: Football @ Virginia Tech!

This weekend was pretty busy for me, but it was lots of fun!

As some of you likely heard through Facebook and Twitter, I went to the Virginia Tech vs. Duke game on Saturday. It was my first college football game ever! I'd mentioned to my in-laws that I wanted to go to one at some point, so when the opportunity presented itself, they bought tickets for us! My mother-in-law couldn't go, so it was me, my husband, my father-in-law, and my uncle-in-law. Our seats were wonderful (right by the home locker room, near the south end zone on the west side). We were row eight! It was great.

Look how close we were!
Our seats!

Since game day can be quite hectic in Blacksburg, we left Roanoke around 10:30am and made our way to the interstate. We arrived around 11:15 and found a parking spot right by the drill field. We walked around campus (it's gorgeous there) and looked at the bookstore. We then walked downtown and found a great little hole in the wall bar, The Rivermill, for our lunch. We were all had big, juicy burgers with delicious fries (they had a wonderful seasoning on them). After that we headed back to the Jeep, grabbed our special stadium seats, then made our way to Lane Stadium for the big game!



This wasn't my first time to Tech, nor was it my first time in Lane Stadium, but I had to hear all about how awesome it was--again. Apparently it's one of the hardest stadiums to play in due to the noise of the crowd. I smiled and nodded, but didn't really take the boys seriously. Well, I must revise my earlier belief. When you get 65, 000 fans all jumping to Enter Sandman... Holy s*it buckets. It was crazy! I've never seen a better entrance from any sports team. And then, to top it off, the crowd was loud during the game. Due to the structure of the stadium, the sound was directed at the field. I've been in stadiums before, but I've never heard anything like it. It was AWESOME.

Unfortunately, the game itself wasn't the greatest. We lost 13-10. Since Duke isn't the best school, it was a bit sad. At the very least it should have been tied, but our kicker makes me angry, LOL. I also strongly dislike the quarterback. You know it's bad when this Canadian starts yelling at the screen (or, in this case, the field) when our QB makes a dumb decision (which seems to happen far too often).

Anyway, it was still a wonderful experience. After the game, we headed back home then went out for some dinner. We didn't get back in until after 10pm, but it was so much fun!! =)

It wasn't the warmest day (the wind was brutal),
but we stayed pretty warm with our long sleeves and gloves.

*I was too distracted to take pictures during the game, but luckily I did get a few in before it started to fill up!*

On Sunday we ran some errands and relaxed. We also brought Powell to play Frisbee, and we invited my in-laws over for some yummy stew that Christopher made.

All in all, a great weekend =)

Friday, October 25

Links of the Week

Book News & Writing:

--The Importance of Reading Out Loud During Revision. I already do this, especially when I'm struggling with a particular sentence. What about you?

Politics & Social Commentary:

--Powerful Ads Use Real Google Searches to Show the Scope of Sexism Worldwide. This is insane! It's amazing how powerful a few words can be.

--Reasons the Rest of Canada Should Be Super Jealous of Alberta. And this is just politically speaking! You all know AB is my home province, so I can't help posting a few things about it ;) As you can probably tell from the link, we just had elections back home.

Random:

--5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 am. I have never been a morning person, so I guess I'm out, LOL. I do, however, exercise and plan out my day (I do this one the night before).

--New Line of Underwear Filters Out Farts. Yep, you read that correctly. This is... I don't even know what this is. Crazy, I guess? *shrugs*

--British Rowing Team Strips Down to Fight Homophobia. What an awesome campaign, and one sure to get a lot of attention. I'm not sure my husband would support me buying a calendar, however....

--21 Awesome Dog Breeds You've Never Heard Of. Adorable puppies are my weakness. Okay, most animals are my weakness.

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!
xoxo

Wednesday, October 23

I'm on Pinterest

Yep, I took the plunge a few weeks ago and started using my Pinterest account. If you have one, add me!

Tuesday, October 22

My (Crazy) Writing Schedule

Now that I've finished my first draft, I've spent some time going over my schedule for the next few months. After spending an hour or two on it, I believe I've come up with six stages (and tentative deadlines!) for my novel. I have no idea if this plan is realistic or not, so I'm not going to be too heartbroken if it doesn't work out. I just need something to keep me going.

Below is a shortened version of my plan. I have a more detailed version in a Word Doc, but I didn't want to go into all of the nitty-gritty details on here.


Stage One: Completed October 16, 2013

Writing at Starbucks.
--Write The End on my first draft.

Stage Two: Now to November 16th (current stage)

--Flesh out entire manuscript.
--Make basic edits.

Stage Three: November 17th to December 1st

--Edit the entire manuscript!
--Send to my Alpha for an overall critique. Make necessary changes as they appear in my inbox.
--Send my query letter to a few people for critique.

Stage Four: December 1st to 14th

--Send story to my wonderful CP, Jen, for critique. Make necessary changes as they roll in.
--While I wait for edits I will tweak my query letter based on critiques.
--I will also begin writing my synopsis. I will attempt to finish it, but it will likely need to be changed after I receive my critiques.

Stage Five: December 16th to 31st

--Send story to my Alpha and Jen again for one last look. Make changes.
--Send story to beta readers! Make changes.
--While I wait, finish up synopsis and prepare to query.

Stage Six: Beginning of January (hopefully!)

--Query agents!
--While I go crazy over the state of my inbox, I will plot the other books in the series.
--Start a new story!

As you can see, this plan is quite ambitious (and quite possibly insane). Obviously I don't expect my beta readers to read the entire story in two weeks (although that would be fantastic), but this is just a general schedule for me to work off of. I'm not even sure I can finish fleshing out the story by November 16th, but I'm going to try my hardest to meet that deadline. If I don't make it, oh well! It won't be the end of the world, and at least I'll be that much closer to being done. That's the beauty of being an unpublished writer--I have the freedom to set my own deadlines.

What do you guys think? Am I crazy? Or will my insanity pay off in the long run? *winks* I'm not sure I even believe I can meet this crazy schedule, but I can still try, right? No harm in trying!

Monday, October 21

My Weekend!

Hello all,

Sorry I haven't been very talkative recently. I'm still fighting off my cold, and I've been busy writing my story.

Last weekend we ended up hanging around the house a lot. We watched movies, went out for food a few times (which sucked cause I couldn't taste, but it was better than trying to come up with something to make), and we lazed around.

Biscuits, fried ham, turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy,
and mustard carrots. Yummy!
This weekend was much the same, but a bit more productive. On Friday I had my husband's cousin over for a few hours (she had the day off). We watched THE PATRIOT while she did calculus. Aside from the math work (which I thankfully took no part in), it was fun =)

I also got my sense of taste and smell back finally, so I made our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't go big or extravagant (there's only two of us, after all), but I did enough to count.

On Saturday we slept in, then we drove up to Granny & Pawpaw's for the afternoon. We hung out for a few hours, then had dinner with everyone for Granny's birthday. It was lots of fun =) Afterwards we drove home.

Butter tarts! They are a Canadian
dessert, very similar to pecan pie,
but without the pecans ;)
Sunday we spent a lazy day reading, playing games, and watching TV. I did do some laundry and I made butter tarts.

What did you guys do this weekend? I hope you had fun!

Friday, October 18

Links of the Week

Book News & Writing:

--Dracula Official Trailer. Omg! I can't wait to see this. I've been told this doesn't work outside the USA, so here's the YouTube version:



--How To Critique Other Writers. I thought this post was interesting. Always something to keep in mind!

--Ten Things I Need To Tell You...About Dreams Coming True. I really liked this. Hopefully one day ;)

--Queen Voices Concern That Children May Desert Books For Technology. I do adore the Queen.

--Study: Read Romance, Be Sensitive. This doesn't really surprise me much at all.

--Neil Gaiman On Libraries. I really liked this article. He makes a lot of valid points.

--New Breed of Librarian Emerges. This is so cool! I always had interesting librarians in school and in our community, but this would have helped a bit.

History:

--Archaeologists Further Knowledge of Palace of Sherwood Forest. Ahhhhh! You know I love my medieval history!

Politics:

--Twenty-Six Must-Know Things From the Throne Speech. I don't normally post political things on here, but this is for my Canadian readers. I like how it breaks down the Governor-General's speech so we don't have to listen to it--I tried and I almost fell asleep after the first minute or so, LOL. I know, I know, that makes me a bad Canadian!

Random:

--Halloween House (video below). My husband showed this to me just yesterday. I always like the houses with bright lights (I'm a bit like a crow that way: "Oooo, shiny!"). Anyway, this is a song I frequently sing to / about Powell: "Girl look at my puppy, girl look at my puppy, girl look at my puppy. He works out.... He's sexy and he knows it." Yep, I know my age is starting to show.


Have a great weekend, everyone! =)

Thursday, October 17

First Draft: Completed!

Yep, that's right, I finished my first draft last night! Yay! *dances around* 

I knew I was getting close, but I didn't realize how close until yesterday morning. I ended up writing 4000 words just so I could type The End! My first draft is complete at just under 70, 000 words. Obviously I have a lot to expand and revise (since I'm aiming for around 100K) but I needed to finish this first draft. It has been so long since Warrior Branded that I needed to get it down. I needed to let these thoughts and ideas out before I forgot them.

I ended up using a different tactic this time 'round, which seems to have worked well for me. I did what I'm calling a detailed plot outline for the rest of the book. Some scenes have full dialogue, character movement, and detailed descriptions of the setting, while others don't have as much. It helped me get everything down on "paper" without worrying over word choice and other nit-picky things. I kept stalling in the earlier chapters because I'd spend so much time on one scene that my brain didn't know what happened next. I love writing a clean first draft, but it wasn't working for me with this novel. I wanted to get it out there so I could breathe a bit easier.

The next stage is rewriting, fleshing out, and revising my story. I don't know how long it's going to take or what a realistic deadline is going to be. I'm going to sit down tonight and look at the numbers and the work ahead of me to try and figure something out. Personally, I would love to be done by the beginning of December and querying in January, but we'll see. I don't want to place unrealistic deadlines on myself. One good thing is that everyone else will be doing NaNo while I write/revise, so I'll have lots of people to talk to!

For today, however, I'm going to play around with WriteWay (my reward for typing THE END), and prepare for the battle ahead of me! Meanwhile, my puppy is sleeping away. He enjoys our days spent writing--it means more sleep for him! ;)


Wednesday, October 16

Weight Loss & Exercise Update

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since I've done one of these, so I thought today was as good a day as any =)

As some of you know, I've been very stressed recently. An extended family member died (my uncle-in-law's brother), and while we weren't close with him personally, we know his immediate family very well (we see them two or three times a week). My husband and I have tried to be there for the people we know and love, but there's not much we can do to help ease their pain. It's very hard to see them sad and know there's nothing we can do to help.

On top of that, the very next day Granny had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. She's doing okay now, but she did spend a few days there having tests done. We're keeping a close eye on her.

Due to the stress and lack of sleep, I developed a bad cold. I'm still suffering through it, so I haven't been as active as normal. Sadly, that's reflected in my weight loss. I haven't weighed myself today, but as of Sunday I was at 32 pounds lost (I'm supposed to be at 33 lol). Not too bad, but I'm behind schedule and have been for about a week. I hate playing catch-up. I'm trying to give myself a break considering I'm still seeing results and my life has been full of stress, but you know how I am. Go, go, go, all the time.

Now that my cold is abating somewhat (I still can't taste or smell), I'm hoping to start elliptical again. Right after I post this I'm going to the spare room to start stretching! Since my diet hasn't changed throughout these past weeks, it's the lack of workout that has slowed my progress. I've actually missed working out, so that's fine with me. It's nice to see that my hard work actually has results.

So what have you been up to? How much weight have you lost before? I'm aiming for a huge number over ten months. I'm down three and a half months now; just six and a half to go! I figure slow and steady is the best way to do this.

*Update: I'm now down 32.5 pounds! Woot woot!*

Monday, October 14

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yep, today is Canadian Thanksgiving. My husband likes to tell people he gets two thanksgivings now. Unfortunately, due to my cold I won't be making dinner tonight. I'm hoping I feel well enough--and can taste!--tomorrow.

Friday, October 11

Links of the Week

Sorry I'm posting this so late! I've been fighting off a cold for several days and yesterday I lost. I woke up with a sore throat, a stuffed nose, and puffy eyes. It's just gone downhill from there.

Book News & Writing:

--26 Hilariously Bad Book Covers. Ahhhh these made me crack up. No wonder the romance, fantasy, and sci-fi genres have a bad reputation when these are thrown into the mix.

--The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer. A new trailer! Yayayayayay! I know this could also fall under entertainment, but it is based on a book, so I put it here. Plus, my blog, my rules. Deal.

--17 Awesome Literary Halloween Costumes. I thought these were cute. I've always said I want to be a hobbit one year, especially when I have a baby or a toddler. My husband and I are custom made to create an adorable hobbit: both of us are on the short side with brown, curly hair. On top of that, I'm plump. Ergo, hobbit children.

--Goodreads New Policy Change. I'm not going to get into all of this on here, but I thought this article was interesting.

--Food Stamps, Welfare, Seven Kids, Oh My! I liked reading her article about how surviving on your art is possible, if you put enough time and effort into it.

--Dinosaur Erotica. Yep, you read that correctly. Read this article and then comment on my post to let me know what you think. Personally, my mouth dropped open in horror. How does that even WORK? If you go on Amazon there are some pretty entertaining reviews. I guess as a gag gift this would be superb. Maybe we'll get one for my brother-in-law for his birthday, LOL. Anyway, what gets me is that these women are making a solid living off of this stuff. Not just extra cash. They're makin' big bucks. GRRRRR! Must. Finish. Story.

--17 Misused and Made-Up Words. Honestly, I don't come across a lot of these very often. Perhaps it's because I went to university for English literature and more than half of my friends are writers *shrugs* Anyway, 7 and 8 do drive me crazy, though. As well, 5 and 6 are technically fine, if used correctly.

--7 Reasons to Write an Entire First Draft Before Going Back to the Beginning. I really like her points, and they make a lot of sense. I need to buckle down and get to it!

Random:

--25 Hot Guys & Kittens. Meh, I think someone put a lot of time and effort into this. Plus, I am a romance writer.

--Undeniable Proof that The Walking Dead and Toy Story Have the Same Plot. I thought this was interesting, and very true. Will anyone else watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday?

--5 Body Language Poses That Can Sabotage Success. I thought this was pretty cool. I guess women do these more than men?

--Pitbull Puppy is Determined to Use a Treadmill. I love this video. He's so determined! Sometimes I feel that way about the publishing industry. I will try every angle to make this work, LOL.

--The 40 Cutest Things That Happened in 2012.   Awwwww.

--Creative Dad Takes Crazy Photos of Daughters. This is pretty cool. You can tell the girls have a lot of fun with their dad =)

Apparently I didn't have any history links lined up for you guys. Sorry! Sometimes I have a lot to post, and sometimes I don't have any!

I hope you guys have a nice weekend. I suspect I'm going to be chugging tea, sucking on cough drops, and investing in Kleenex stock.

xoxo

Thursday, October 10

Happy Birthday, Daddy!


Look how young we were!


Aww, look at that handsome smile!



It looks like he could be in a magazine! =)


 Our Father-Daughter dance. Both of us laughing and crying!


At my university graduation. =)

I love you, Dad! I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I'm sorry I can't be there to celebrate with you! 
xoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, October 8

I Have a Bone to Pick...

Well, it may not be with you, the person currently reading this post, or it might. Who knows!

Either way, I have a bone to pick with some fellow authors/writers. Time after time after time I read Facebook statuses, Twitter updates, or blog posts that discuss how so-and-so doesn't read. Or they hate everything in their chosen genre.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Um, excuse me? What do you mean you don't read? What the fudge are you doing as a writer then? Writers need to read. It's not a decision, it's not a choice. If you're a writer, you read. End of story (hah, bad puns early in the morning). I know we're all different, but writers need to read, and they need to read constantly.

A lot of people claim they don't read when they're writing because they will develop the voice of the person they're currently reading. But the problem with that is, we're supposed to write constantly. When do you read if you don't read while you're writing? Now, I can understand if you don't read your genre while you're writing, because you don't want to accidentally borrow ideas etc... but you still need to read something. On top of that, how do you develop a voice if you don't read someone else's?

I'd like to think my voice is unique, but I realize that my voice is a mishmash of everything I love, including fellow authors. We learn and grow based on our experiences. I guarantee you my voice at eleven was not the same as my voice now. Why? Because I grew up: I experienced new things, I matured (in some ways lol), and I read. I read a lot. My voice will grow and change every day and every year of my life.

Writers require constant inspiration, and what better way to acquire this than reading? We want people to love our books, but how can we make them worth reading if we ourselves don't read? How do you learn character arc, plot lines, and whatever else you need to know if you don't read? How do you know what sells and what doesn't, if you don't read? Sure, you could read the blurbs of books, but that doesn't discuss the essence of the book, or what makes it amazing. Harry Potter was a unique idea, but how many publishers turned her down? Someone had to actually read the book to love it.

Which means, my friends, that you need to read if you want any success in this industry. Take it or leave it. This is just my two cents.

Monday, October 7

Bad Weekend, Bad Monday...



I had big plans for today, but so far it isn't off to a great start. Hopefully I can switch it around, but we'll see...

Thursday, October 3

Writing Update

Okay, since my last update, I've written 7005 words. Not great, but not bad either. My goal is to write 1500 words a day until November 1st, or 2000 on days where my hubby has a meeting (which means I get to go to Starbucks, Cups, or Panera to write lol). I'm still on target (actually a bit ahead right now--yay!) so I'm pleased with that.

To achieve my goals, I've started several different projects to keep me going.

1. First and foremost, I've started an Excel spreadsheet to track my progress each month. I did it for nearly all of September (I started on the fourth), and it really helped to see what my strengths and weaknesses are. One thing I noticed was that Friday, Saturday, and Monday were the days I either didn't write at all, or I only got a hundred or so words out before I gave up. I think it's pretty obvious why. Friday and Saturday are when the hubby and I go out on dates or run errands. I get back on track by Sunday, then Monday I need to adjust to my weekly schedule again, which often means writing gets set aside. Now that I know where my weaknesses are, I'm going to try and overcome them this weekend.

My strengths were no surprise to me, but it's still nice to see the progress. I write the most in the middle of the week (Tuesday to Thursday) between 2 and 4 pm. I used to be a night writer, and I think I still would be if I could keep my own schedule. Alas, I'm no longer in university. I have a husband with an 8-5 job, and I can't stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning lol.

It's also nice to know how many words I can write in an hour if I really sit down to work. Before, I used to think, oh man, I have to write over 1000 words today. That's going to take forever. Now I know that I'm averaging about 750 words an hour. I never would have guessed that if I really set my mind to it, I could accomplish so much. Granted, they are rough words, but I'm giddy to see so much progress. I want to write THE END on this story so badly. I can go back and edit rough words. I can't edit a scene that hasn't been written yet.

2. I look at writing as a job now. Even though I don't make any money at this (yet), I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that this is a job for me. I looked at university as my job for over four years, and I certainly didn't make money doing that (HAH, yeah right). I used to fly through papers, getting A's and even A+'s on a routine basis. So why can't I fly through my stories? I certainly didn't write a clean essay the first time 'round. In fact, those papers used to go through numerous edits over several days (sometimes several weeks, depending on the depth and scope of the paper). I can't let myself get away with not writing for days at a time. This is my job now, and if I sign with an agent and get a book deal, it really will be my job. You know what they say: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Well, I'm in my PJs with my hair in a messy braid. I'm certainly dressed to be an author, but now I need to act like one.

3. I mark off my successful days on my calendar. I received a lovely little calendar with pictures of my home province from my parents for Christmas, which I keep on the wall in my makeup/hair area of the bathroom. In other words, I see it every day. In fact, sitting on the bed right now, I can see the calendar reflected in the mirror.

After taking advice from a CaRWA sister of mine, I now cross out the days where I meet my goal with a blue highlighter. Since I'm OCD, it plays with my mind to see a blank square surrounded by blue X's. Essentially, I'm trying to work off of my own neurotic behavior to make everything symmetrical. It's working so far.

3. I'm reading THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS by James Scott Bell. I try and read a few points each day to keep my mind active. It's like reading a blog post on writing every day--very helpful.

4. I write for an hour every day with my CP, Jena Lang. This has been VERY helpful. Seriously. Having someone relying on me to write every day has kept my butt in the chair more than once. I'll often think, neh, I don't feel like writing today. Maybe I'll go read or watch a movie. Then I glance at the time and realize Jen and I are supposed to write in five minutes. Well, I can't very well cancel on her. That's like cancelling a lunch date on short notice--you just don't do that. She's relying on me just as much as I'm relying on her.

5. I'm using my notebook to plot the next few scenes ahead of time. This has been invaluable to me. I don't really know if my pacing is okay in the story right now (I'm trying not to worry about that until the story is done and I can read it from start to finish), but it certainly helps to plot the next few chapters before I actually get to them. It also means I'm flying through notebooks. All writers like those pretty notebooks from B&N, but I never used them. They sat on my shelf, collecting dust. Now, however, I'm on my last one! My birthday and Christmas can't come soon enough, LOL!

So there you have it. These techniques are working really well for me. I think they'd be good on their own, but together they're wonderful. Do you have any techniques to keep yourself on track?


Tuesday, October 1

October Releases


Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles-- October 1st
Young Adult Romance

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain–people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

*My Take: SFDSGDFS!!!!! I am so excited to read this book! I have waited years for Elkeles to publish another YA series. =)*


Endless Knight by Kresley Cole-- October 1st
Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopian Young Adult

In this second book thrilling book of The Arcana Chronicles from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole, Evie struggles to accept her place in the prophecy that will either save the world—or destroy it.
Evie has fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. As one of twenty-two teens given powers following the apocalypse, she now knows a war is brewing, and it’s kill or be killed.
When Evie meets Death, the gorgeous and dangerous Endless Knight, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she’s drawn to Death as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history, one that Evie can’t remember—but Death can’t forget…
*My Take: I loved, loved, loved her first book in this series. I can't wait to read this one!*


Bang by Lisa McMann-- October 8th
Paranormal Young Adult.
Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.
Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…
*My Take: I read the first book and quite enjoyed it. McMann always writes small books, but the characters are interesting, and I'm certainly intrigued. I just hope we get more information this time around.*


Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt-- October 15th
Georgian Era Romance

WHEN A MASKED MAN . . .

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe—and won’t back down…


MEETS HIS MATCH . . .

Artemis Greaves toils as a lady’s companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads she recognizes a kindred spirit—and is intrigued. She’s even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day…


DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION

Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother—or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn’t without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire—or the temptation of his embrace?



*My Take: I love Elizabeth Hoyt's books, so it should come as no surprise that I'm excited to read this new installment. Also, I adore the cover (emerald green is my favorite color).*


Trust in Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout w/a J. Lynn-- October 22nd
New Adult

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.
Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.
Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

*My Take: I absolutely adored WAIT FOR YOU, so I can't wait to read Cam's side of the story!*


Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren-- October 29th
Contemporary Erotic Romance
In the third book in the Beautiful Bastard series, an agreement between a venture capitalist and a bookish woman quickly becomes a very NSFW version of My Fair Lady.
When Hanna “Ziggy” Bergstrom moves to New York City for graduate school, Will Sumner thinks his responsibilities to his best friend’s nerdy little sister will be limited to the occasional dinner and check-in. Little does he know that Ziggy is ready to break out of her bookworm academic shell and move more into bombshell territory. Of course she figures the gorgeous womanizing venture capitalist Will is the best person to help mentor her in this new field of study: dating.
Will takes on the challenge with more than a healthy dose of skepticism and humor, but soon finds that Ziggy just needed a tiny push, not a world of change, to reveal a woman every man seems to notice. Soon “Ziggy” is gone and the unfiltered, innocently seductive Hanna Bergstrom is hijacking his dreams, his moods, and even his orderly no-strings-attached dating life—beginning the night his mentoring activities move between the sheets.
*My Take: I don't enjoy the novellas in this series, but I do like their full length books, so this one is a must-read for me!*


When the Marquess Met His Match by Laura Lee Guhrke-- October 29th
Regency Romance

What happens when a carefree, disreputable, stone-broke bachelor is forced to find a wife in a hurry? He hires a matchmaker, of course. What happens when the matchmaker doesn’t want to help him? Well, that’s when the fun begins…

Nicholas Stirling, Marquess of Trubridge, loves his life just as it is: dissolute, scandalous, and deuced good fun. His father, the Duke of Landsdowne is not amused, and when he cuts off Nicholas’ trust fund, the fun-loving marquess is forced to find an alternate source of income—in other words, he has to marry an heiress.

Every new-money American heiress knows Lady Belinda Featherstone is the key to social acceptance. Once a new-money nobody herself, Belinda discovered first-hand how heartbreaking the game of love and matrimony could be after a reprobate British earl married her for her money. Now a respectable widow, Belinda has become England’s most successful matchmaker, guiding young American heiresses through the hazards of the London season and helping them to find husbands worthy of them. To her mind, the Marquess of Trubridge is nothing but a fortune-hunting scoundrel and she has no intention of allowing him to charm his way into any American girl’s heart, including her own.

*My Take: I've liked Guhrke's books in the past, so I'm curious to see what this one is like.*


Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols-- October 29th
Contemporary Romance

A public relations expert tries to prevent the breakup of a raucous country band and corral their wild—and very sexy—lead singer in book 2 of the Stargazer Series.

WHO’S ZOOMING WHO?

Sarah Seville knows how to handle a rock star. As Stargazer PR agency’s expert in crisis management, it’s her job to keep the talent in line. But she’s never encountered a star quite like Quentin Cox. The sexy, enigmatic leader of the raucous country band The Cheatin’ Hearts is full of secrets—the kind that could destroy the band before they finish their breakout album. Sarah’s mission: get up close and personal with the country heartthrob and find out everything she can before the band goes bottoms up.

Trouble is, Quentin is just as wily as he is irresistible. Convinced that the key to keeping the band together is helping him win his bandmate and former lover back, Sarah decides to play his latest fling and make his ex jealous. But long lingering nights in Quentin’s arms leave Sarah breathless—and wondering whether she’s fooling anyone but herself. She’s falling hard and fast for Quentin, and in serious danger of bringing the band—and the man—to its knees. . . .

*My Take: I'm cautious about this book, mainly because Echols' has disappointed me with her past few books. We shall see, however.*



The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn-- October 29th
Regency Romance

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.
Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't care that his leg is less than perfect, it's his personality she can't abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless...
*My Take: Julia Quinn. Enough said.*

So there you have it, folks! Are any of these on your NTR list? What about other books you're looking forward to this month?

Disclaimer: All book blurbs were borrowed from each individual author's website.

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