Friday, December 12

Writing Update

I seemed to have missed last week's update--oops! Everything has been going very well on this story, but we've been very busy around here!

I finally finished Chapter 19 and sent Chapters 19, 20, 21, and 22 to Jen for critique. The poor girl had 6 chapters to go through, but she seemed to like them! I just received the last of them back yesterday and only minor revisions were required. I finished those up last night, which brings my revised word count to 64, 705 words (or 222 pages)! I am beyond thrilled. This story just feels right.

Yesterday was a bit tough for me, though. After staring at my next few chapters for a few days, I realized I needed to change the plot a bit. With the help of my mum, my husband, and my wonderful CP (Jen),  I reworked the plot and went though the next few chapters. I ended up cutting some scenes but I think the story will be better overall. Now I just need to finish this book!

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, November 26

Write, write, write!

I've had another very busy week, but I'm thriving on all of my progress!

This weekend was packed with family events, so I didn't get much writing done. I'm not upset about it, though. Weekends are going to be my weak spots until the holiday season is over. Since I'm spending time with family, I can't really complain *winks* I might need to do this to get through it all though...


Just kidding. Or maybe not. I am a pregnant woman after all...

On the writing front, I received critiques back on Chapters 15 and 16. Luckily, my CP loved both chapters, so I'm very happy. There were barely any changes needed =)



Between Monday and Tuesday I also edited Chapters 20, 21, and 22. I'm still finishing up edits on Chapter 19 (I had to add a bunch of dialogue), but I should be done sometime today. That means my CP will have another four chapters in her inbox before American Thanksgiving! It has been a long time since I stayed ahead of her in terms of edits, so I'm thrilled.

Finally, after far too long, this story is moving along at a nice pace. I hope I can keep it up through the holidays. Things tend to get crazy around here, but I will persevere! I just hope I don't get stuck in a crazy loop of baking, events, and sleep.



Monday, November 24

Gender Reveal


Hmm, what will it be? Blue or pink?


 Powell wants to know what the inside of the cupcake will be! Blue or pink!


Surprise! We are having a little baby girl =) She's due April 6th, 2015

Thursday, November 20

Busy Week!

I have been busy-busy over the past week, so I'm just going to dive on in and tell you what I've been doing.

After receiving revisions back from my CP on Chapter 14, I went straight to work and finished those quickly (I didn't need to change much, thankfully). Once those revisions were done, I finished writing the second half of Chapter 15 and sent that to my CP.


To top it off, I also edited Chapter 16, 17, and 18.



My poor CP now has 35+ pages to critique for me, but I'm happy with my progress.

On a personal note, I also decorated the house and worked on baby stuff. We found out the gender on Wednesday, so we've been fielding a lot of questions from family and friends. Don't worry, I'll announce it here soon enough ;)  And then, as if that wasn't enough already, we also have birthday dinners, plays, and holiday functions to attend! The crazy season has most definitely begun for us.

What about you? Did you have a productive week? What did you do?

Thursday, November 13

Writing Update

This week has been another productive one for me, so I'm thrilled. Actually, I figured out the other day that over a third of my novel has been edited, revised, and line edited now! Woohoo!
I finished chapters 13 and 14, then sent them to Jen. She was able to critique the first one and I did the revisions (which weren't much). I think she's planning on reading the next chapter today, so I'll be able to tackle those changes this evening.


I'm also halfway through editing chapter 15. I decided to revamp the first scene and now I love it. I just need to flesh out a new scene, but I don't think it'll take me that long.


What have you guys been up to? Are any of you participating in NaNo?

Friday, November 7

Progress!

After weeks and weeks of banging my head against the wall, I finally finished the Chapter from Hell.


Not only that, but I sent it off to my CP, Jena Lang, along with the next chapter. And guess what? She liked both of them! I only needed to add a few minor things to Chapter 12, but now both of those are DONE!


Since then, I've been working on editing and cutting down Chapter 13. It's going well, I think, but a bit too slowly for my tastes. Although my nausea isn't as bad as it used to be, I've had a few rough days this week. I am pushing through, however! I want need to finish this book! Hopefully I will finish this chapter today, then I can send Jen both 13 and 14 for the weekend =) While she's critiquing those, I can work on fleshing out the second half of Chapter 15!

I do this a lot, especially if I like a sentence I just wrote...
This story has taken me forever to write, but hopefully that will mean good things in the future. Until then, this little turtle is taking off!


Thursday, October 16

Thursday, October 9

Weekly Writing Update

This week has not been great in terms of productivity, but I am trying my hardest! I had a few very rough days...


I'm sorry, I know it's gross, but this scene in Madagascar 3 (video here) cracks me up every time. And sadly, it is how I've felt recently.

Unfortunately, my constant illness leaves me feeling a bit like this:


Nevertheless, I must prevail! In one week I edited two more chapters. Not a lot of progress, but it is better than nothing. I have not, however, conquered the dreaded Chapter 11. I will though. In fact, I'm working on it today. But I can't force it, and I can't be too hard on myself...



And on top of my pregnancy, we have entered the busiest time of year for my family. Birthdays every week, along with events and holidays galore.


Okay, wrong holiday, but you get the gist. Either way, I'm trying to cut myself some slack. I am hoping to edit Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 this week so I can send Chapters 11-15 to my CP, Jen. We will see how I do!

Wednesday, October 1

Writing Update

It has been a shockingly long time since I've done one of these, so I'm just going to jump right on in.

Despite my best intentions, I wasn't very productive this summer. I'm afraid a did a lot of this:


And this...

And some of this...

I also did a lot of throwing up, but I didn't think a GIF of that would go over well ;)

Needless to say, I'm pretty upset with myself. My only saving grace is the fact that it's not my fault. Baby has decided Mommy needs to slow down big time. I am almost always exhausted, and this first trimester has done a number on my body. It is hard to write, edit, or focus on anything when your body demands sleep, with the occasional visit to the porcelain throne. It took me a long time to accept that I shouldn't blame myself.

I feel a bit like the baby is doing this to me already, demanding my attention:



In any case, I did get some work done. The first 105 pages of my story have been through my Alpha, my CP, and now two beta readers, which means it is completely done. All of them adore it, which makes me so happy. I have been told on numerous occasions that this story is going to be The One!



As for the editing front, I am currently stuck on Chapter 11. I have moved on and worked on 7 other chapters so I'm doing something, but I'm afraid I'll need to return to the dreaded chapter eventually (probably sometime this week). I think if I don't, my CP might harm me in some fashion.


I'm not going to post any guesses on when I'll be done this sucker. I wanted to be done a very long time ago. I should have been done a very long time ago, but writing is a fickle mistress. And with so much going on in my life, I can't begin to fathom when I'll finish. I will say that I am so close it hurts.



I'm hoping to do a weekly update as I work again. We'll see if that happens, but my intentions are good!

How are your stories coming along?

Wednesday, September 24

A Much Needed Update!

Hello everyone!

I know it has been forever since I've posted on here, and for that, I apologize. I have been sorely tempted the past few months, but I was carrying a big secret and every time I started to post something, my secret came spilling out. So I held off and waited.

But finally, after nearly three months holding silent, I can finally talk about my surprise! My husband and I are expecting our first child!
Powell announcing his new responsibility as guard dog!!!
We are absolutely thrilled by the news. Based on my early symptoms, we suspected about a week in, but we didn't want to say anything until I hit the 12 week mark. I have been to the doctor for all of my regular checkups, and I've already had three ultrasounds (one to date the baby, and two for genetic screenings). The baby is due April 6, 2015, and everything looks wonderful =)

Now that I can actually talk about what's been going on in my life (all-day nausea, for one), I'm going to start posting more. Obviously, this has taken up a huge chunk of my time this summer. As close as I am to finishing A Highlander's Ransom, it is difficult to write and edit when you're exhausted, nauseous, and throwing up 24/7. I am on two different types of anti-nausea meds right now, so I'm hoping that helps. I'm also entering my second trimester, which means my nausea should pass soon. Hopefully I will get back to writing full time in the next week or two! I need to finish this book!

XOXO

Friday, July 4

Tuesday, June 17

Golden Claddagh Contest FINALIST!

**Permission to Forward Granted and Appreciated**
Celtic Hearts RWA2014 Golden Claddagh Contest
is proud to announce our list of finalists:



HISTORICAL

Natalie Murphy with A Highlander’s Ransom
Brenda B. Taylor with A Highland Pearl
Susanna Craig with The Companion’s secret
Margaret Madigan with Nevada Bounty

YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT

R.L.Syme with The Acolyte
Michelle Edwards with Seducing Death
Ashley Kathy-Bisky with Between the Shadows


CONTEMPORARY

A.W. McQueen with The Devil's Lair
Alina K. Field with Breaking Down The Rules
Cecilia Dominic with The Perfect Man
Susan Burns with A Perfect Match

PARANORMAL

Alicia Anthony with Inheritance of Truth
Janet Walden-West with Damned if She Do
Janet Walden-West with Damned if She Don't
TJ Shaw with Divergent Bloodline


Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 23rd

You can follow the announcement on Twitter via the president’s twitter account:@beck_a_tron

Final Winners will be notified via e-mail – August 1st.

Congratulations to the Finalist and best wishes in the Final Round!

Rebecca Lynn, President
Alisa Walker, Vice President – Programs
2014 Golden Claddagh Co-Coordinators 

Ahhhh! I am so excited! My scores are amazing. I received 100%, 100%, and 96%! Since they drop the lowest score, I literally received 100%! How crazy is that? Now I just have to get my butt in the chair and finish the darn thing! *scurries off to work*

Thursday, June 5

Where Did May Go?

Wha...? How on earth is it already June?

Seriously. One minute I'm scrambling to get my May Releases post up for your viewing pleasure, and the next thing I know, it's June and I'm left wide-eyed and bewildered.

Well, since it is June and it's been over a month since I posted anything, and over two months since I posted anything personal, I decided it was time to pop on here and give you guys an update.

Writing

As far as my story goes, I'm still working my way through this draft. I should be done already, but I've been extremely busy with life and other writing endeavors. For one thing, my CP and I are critiquing each other's work again. I love it. Her comments are spot on, and I'm always excited to tackle revisions after receiving her critique. That being said, it has been difficult to write/flesh out this draft while revising and doing line edits on my earlier chapters! It has taken some adjustment, but I like a good challenge.



Right now, I just have to finish a rewrite on chapter 5 (it was fine as it was before, but she thought of a way to make it even better). Once that is done, my first 8 chapters will be ready for an agent! Overall, my revisions have gone well so far. I always fly through them. I wish I could write with that sort of speed, but alas, I'm a turtle.



In somewhat related news, I have recently accepted a position as a read/intern for Margaret Bail of Inklings Literary Agency. So far I've been assigned to read some of her requested manuscripts. I've quite enjoyed the task. Of course, I can't say much more for confidentiality reasons, but suffice it to say, I read your work. Muah hahahahaha!



Personal

With regards to my personal life, I don't really have much to say. We've been extremely busy with holidays, birthdays, graduations, illness etc... There were a few weeks where we didn't get to stop and take a breath once. This summer doesn't look to be any less busy, either.

In less than a week I leave for my trip to Calgary, AB. I haven't been home in two years, so this is going to be an emotional vacation for me (that might be putting it mildly). My mum (and possibly my dad), as well as my very pregnant cousin are going to be at the airport waiting for me, so I sense a big cry-fest coming on.


We have lots planned for while I'm there, so that'll be fun. I'm also hoping to write and revise during the day while everyone is at work.

Then once I arrive back home, I have a week to prepare for our first beach trip of the summer! I'm so excited.

My sandy toes at the Outer Banks last summer.
Bring on the sun, sand, and waves! I've already officially earned my first sunburn of the season (unintentionally, I assure you). Nevertheless, I'm hoping this means I won't burn as much in North Carolina this summer, especially since we're going mid-July! Luckily, our second beach trip isn't until the end of August. Phew.

Well, that covers the basics of what I've been up to! Hopefully I will have some good book news in a few weeks. I would like to be done and querying soon! Gah!

So what have you guys been up to? Any exciting news? Any trips planned this summer?

Thursday, May 1

May Releases

Wow, it has been a long time since I've done one of these (since February, if you can believe it!). Oops, that's my fault. I've been so busy writing and searching for jobs that I let my blog slip a little. I promise I'll be better in the future ;)

Anyway, so here are the books coming out this month that I'm excited to get my hands on:


Breakable by Tammara WebberMay 6th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


All Lined Up by Cora CarmackMay 13th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


Perilous Waters by Diana PazMay 15th
Young Adult Paranormal


Biggest Flirts by Jennifer EcholsMay 20th
Contemporary Young Adult


Whisper to Me by Christina LeeMay 20th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


Take Me On by Katie McGarryMay 27th
Contemporary Young Adult Romance


Tease by Sophie JordanMay 27th
Contemporary New Adult Romance


City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare—May 28th
Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Thursday, April 24

Golden Claddagh Contest is OPEN

2014 Contest
CONTEST IS OPEN!
Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh!
We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors with unpublished  manuscripts.
* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary
* Young Adult/New Adult
Our contest due date is May 10th. Finalists will be notified by June 15th and winners notified by August 1st–Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 2014.
Eligibility
The competition is open to RWA members ONLY.
Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.
The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.
Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note:
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category. *Entry fee per entry: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category. Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.
All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:
If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address: treasurer@celtichearts.org
Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.
Categories:
Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).
Contemporary: Includes, single title, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.
Young Adult/New Adult:  Romance novels in which young adult or new adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*

Entries
Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:
1.     An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.
2.     The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced in a standard font and size 12-point.
  • The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.
  • We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
3. Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.
NOTE: Your entry must not exceed thirty (30) pages total.

SUBMIT ENTRIES TO:
Contemporary Category - contempcat@celtichearts.org
FFP Category - ffpcat@celtichearts.org
Historical Category - historicalcat@celtichearts.org
Young Adult/New Adult Category - yacat@celtichearts.org

Final Round Judges
FF&P
Angela James – Carina Press
Kerry Buckley – Carina Press
TBA
Historical
Laurie McLean – Forward Literary, Inc
Beth Miller – Writers House
Leis Pederson – Berkley Publishing
Contemporary
Julie Mianecki – Penguin Books
Alissa Davis – Carina Press
Elizabeth Bistrow – Penguin Books
Young Adult/New Adult
Nicole Fischer – Avon Press
TBA

Awards
The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin.
The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
For questions please contact the contest chair, Alisa Walker at: contests@celtichearts.org

Sunday, April 20

The Real Origins of Easter


Easter: The word is derived from a Saxon goddess of Dawn and Spring known as Oestre or Eastre (Ostara in Germany). She was a fertility goddess and her sacred animal was the hare.

Also Known As: Alban Eiler, Eostre, Lady Day, Easter, and Festival of Trees.

Symbols: Rabbits, chicks, eggs, and equilateral cross.

Traditional Incenses: Violet, jasmine, rose, sage, and strawberry.

Sacred Foods: Fish, sweets, sweet breads, hot cross buns, and eggs.

History: First introduced to the Celtic world by the Saxons around 600 A.D., Easter was celebrated during the Vernal Equinox on March 21. Since then it has been overshadowed by the more popular Christian holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Customs: Collecting and decorating eggs, bird watching, egg hunts, and burying eggs in fields.

Easter Eggs: Eggs were a symbol of fertility in most ancient cultures, and the Celts were no different. During the spring festival to celebrate Ostara, they painted eggs to give as gifts. The chocolate eggs we now associate with Easter were introduced at a much later date.

The Legend of the Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

“Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly, Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters. In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow). 

However, the hare later angered the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (the Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once a year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. Thus, the tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun" (Easter: History and Traditions).

Sources:
--Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala
--Easter: History and Traditions:  
http://www.goddessgift.com/Pandora's_Box/Easter-history.htm

--The Pagan Origins of the Easter Bunny:  http://altreligion.net/?page_id=1789

Tuesday, March 25

Going Dark

Okay guys, I have decided to go dark for the next two weeks. The past few days were stressful for numerous reasons (of which I won't go into on here). Suffice it to say, it left me feeling something like this:



And this:


The easiest solution would be to follow Bender's advice and destroy all humans.


But really....

So I've decided to crack down and get to work instead. I'm blocking out the outside world as best I can until this book is done. Henceforth, this shall be known as Operation Go Dark.


Until I return, my friends...


*I will still be available if anyone needs anything, but I won't be posting on here. My activities on Facebook and Twitter will also be limited. You may or may not find me on Skype--I haven't decided yet.*

Wednesday, March 19

Perilous Waters by Diana Paz: Cover Reveal



Timespell: Perilous Waters by Diana Paz
(Timespell #2)
Publication date: May 15th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Time-Travel, Young Adult

Synopsis:
After nearly losing their lives defeating the creatures of Mythos in Revolutionary France, Julia and Kaitlyn finally understand what Angie has known all along… being a Daughter of Fate isn’t so fun when one mistake can mean their deaths. Haunted by visions and horror-filled memories, the girls have spent the summer honing their newly discovered magical abilities, determined to grow in power and prepare for the uncertain time when the Fates summon them to their next mission.

But their protector Ethan, still embittered by Julia’s betrayal, refuses to engage in the girls’ magical research or power-enhancing spell practice. That is, until his brother’s loyalty to Julia causes him to unwittingly uncover ancient magic greater and more binding than any force the girls have encountered so far. Before the girls or Ethan grasp the full extent of what his brother has done, the girls are jettisoned through time into the madness of the Caribbean during the golden age of piracy.

Only by working together can the girls harness the full power of their magic and secure the world timeline, but with the lives of those close to Angie and Julia at risk, and Kaitlyn designing a dark agenda of her own, all three girls harbor secrets that threaten to drive their fledgling trinity apart. Small treacheries, mounting fear, and the use of dark magic have not gone unnoticed by those trapped within the Nether… those who would stop at nothing to unleash their destruction upon the world once more.

Add the book on Goodreads

----

AUTHOR BIO

Diana Paz writes books about magic, adventure, and romance. She was born in Costa Rica, grew up on Miami Beach, moved to Los Angeles in high school, and went to college in San Diego. Basically, she’s a beach bum. Diana graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She loves old movies, epic fantasy, all kinds of music, and heading to the beach with a good book. Preferably sipping a highly sweetened iced coffee. Find her at her blog: dianapazwrites.blogspot.com or on Twitter @dianapazwrites

Author links:

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