Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ode To My Golden Heart Sisters

In less than a week, I fly to San Antonio to attend my first RWA National conference.

I can't even explain how excited I am.

It's funny, because going as a Golden Heart finalist is the fulfillment of a dream. But, the biggest surprise--the nicest one--to come out of the past few months is how much I've come to adore my GH sister class. I've met some of the coolest, smartest, most talented ladies and being among them is the best gift of this experience. They are truly inspiring and I'm so happy to know them.

As I've watched, some of them have gotten agents and signed deals. Some of them have gone out on submission. Some of them have decided to self-publish or started along their journey. Some are submitting to agents and editors. I'm so incredibly proud of all of them and have come to root for their successes as if I've known them for years instead of only a few short months.

So, as we creep up on our Nationals experience, I want to take this moment to shout out to my Golden Heart girls. You guys are awesome. I can't wait to spend next week with you, cheering you all on. I couldn't have asked for a nicer bunch of ladies to share this experience with.

Go DREAMWEAVERS!

XOXO

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cover Reveal!! Award Winning Author Amy Patrick's Channel 20Something!

I have a  special treat for you today!  I'm part of my dear friend Amy Patrick's cover reveal! 

So without further adieu!  Here's the cover for Amy's up and coming release, Channel 20Something!



I think it's so beautiful and I can't wait to read it!
Here's some more information about the book and its talented author!

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:

Channel 20Something by Amy Patrick
(20Something, #1)
Publication date: August 12th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life”. She has her first reporting job and her first apartment, but she’s yet to experience first love. Yes, she’s in a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart, and according to her friends and family, he’s perfect for her. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.

And while Heidi’s doing what she wants to do, she’s not where she wants to be. She longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she left the security of home for new places and new people, things didn’t go so well. Disastrously, in fact, and she came running back to a local college and a “safe” boyfriend.

Well-traveled Californian Aric Serrano plans to stay in small-market-Southern-Hell just long enough to grab a cup of coffee and put together a kick-ass “escape tape”. He’ll serve his one-year contract, then he’s taking off for a higher rung on the TV sports ladder—alone—the way he likes it. But when he walks into the newsroom and meets Heidi, he may have finally found something and someone worth committing to.

Heidi would be so much more comfortable if she could avoid her new co-worker—he’s just her type—the type she’s so careful to avoid. But that becomes impossible when she and Aric are forced to work together on the weekend news. Now there’s no denying the attraction between them, and she’ll have to decide between settling for the “good enough” life she already has or taking the risk of going for what she dreams of, an exciting career and a real love.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22430248-channel-20something



AUTHOR BIO
Amy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014). She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She's been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.

Author links: 

Monday, June 16, 2014

USA Today HEA blog AND The Writing Process Blog Tour!

First of all, I'm on the USA Today's HEA blog today!!  Go over and say hi!!  

http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/06/15/recommended-reads-shewanda-pugh-ac-arthur/10551991/

I’m also a stop on The Writing Process Blog Tour! I was tagged by one of my lovely Golden Heart® sisters, Jessica Ruddick.  Jessica writes YA, NA, and romantic fiction. You can find her here.

So here I go!

What am I working on?
Right now, I’m working on a YA speculative story. I’m not ready to give much more than that about it yet, but I’m really enjoying writing it. I’m also planning out the story set right after my historical AFTER THE SCANDAL. I’ll write that next, I believe.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
ALTERED, my Golden Heart finalist, is different because it’s a YA from 3rd person POV. Also, it’s science fiction instead of straight paranormal or fantasy.  It’s set in our world instead of an alternate one, even though it stretches the boundaries of reality a little bit.
My historical are edgier than most of the fare out there. I’ve never written a ballroom scene. Most of my action takes place in sketchy places and the stories are full of suspense.

Why do I write what I do?
I write suspense because I love action and drama. I’m enjoying writing for younger folks because I think so much happens and changes in those years. As to historicals, I love the kinds of conflicts in the 19th century, the time period I write. That time was lush with social conflict and social conflict is a lot of fun to delve into.

How does your writing process work?
I usually spend about a month or so getting my thoughts around a story.  Plot, GMC/character stuff, etc. I plan out a storyboard. Then it usually takes me 2-3 months to write a rough draft. After that, a month or more to revise. Longer sometimes, depending on the story. If real life interferes, well, these times become very fluid.  As to times during the day when I write? Well, I have two little boys. I'm not really sure where I find time to write. :)

Thanks for stopping by!  I’m going to tag two of my 2014 Golden Heart® sisters, Carrie Padgett and Lenora Bell!


Carrie Padgett lives with her husband, a dog, and a cat in the flattest middle part of California. The up side is she's only a couple of hours from both beaches and mountains. She writes sweet contemporary stories set in Yosemite's front yard. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist in the Inspirational Romance category.  Her blog can be found here: http://livevicarrieous.com/




Lenora Bell is Golden Heart® Finalist in the Historical Romance category.  Her blog can be found here: http://lenorabell.blogspot.com/

Make sure to visit them both next Monday, June 23!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SIX WEEKS!

I fly to San Antonio for RWA Nationals in six weeks!


This is pretty much me right now.

Our 2014 Golden Heart yahoo loop has been full of dresses and pin talk and name talk and a few awesome call stories. We've decided to call ourselves the Dreamweavers and we're finalizing out pin design now. The more I learn about these amazing women, the more excited I am to meet them.

I have a dress I can wear for the ceremony but I've debated borrowing a different one from a friend. I'll make my final decision closer to the date. I like to have wardrobe options, you see. Don't we all?

But, most important, I'm finishing a new story and I'll be preparing to pitch it at Nationals along with my GH finaling manuscript.

These past couple of months have been a whirlwind of excitement. Being a finalist in this contest has been an amazing ride.  There have been a lot of cool things going on and to keep myself grounded, I've been writing something new. I'm really excited about it and when I have more information, I'll post it here.  Or rather, on my books tab above.

In the meantime, the summer is beginning. I have two little boys and I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead full of sunshine and fun with them.

What are your plans for the summer, readers? Are you going to Nationals?  If so, leave me a note so we can meet up!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What To Do When You're NOT at RT

The RT Booklover's Convention is being held this week in New Orleans.

My Twitter feed and Facebook have been flooded with pictures of all my lovely writing friends partying it up, talking shop, and enjoying one of the spots on my "to travel to before I die" list.

I would love to say that I'm entirely too busy writing and doing writerly things to be stalking my Twitter and refreshing my Facebook. But it would be a lie. Seems I CAN find too many minutes to jealously read all those cool tweets/posts.

So, instead of getting caught up in my own envy, I thought I'd post a list of things to do while your friends are all at RT (or insert any other writing convention you aren't attending here).

1) Write.  This one is so obvious it almost doesn't have to be here.  But, well, it does.  You can write, get ahead in the word count of all those folks who are away, having more fun than you, er, who are too busy to write right now.  Practical and straightforward.

2) Blog.  Sort of a subset of writing.  But you could insert any promotional item here. Working on your website works too.  Marketing is part of writing, after all.  At least it is if you're a published writer or plan to be someday.

3) Read. Think of it as research. Think of it as a guilty pleasure.  Either way, reading is good for your writing. And, as everyone's busy doing their thing at RT, no one's looking.  Feel free to indulge.

How about you?  If you're at RT, feel free to gush about how much fun you're having.  I won't judge you (much). If you're not, what are you doing to keep busy?

Friday, April 25, 2014

At The Beginning... Again

Altered is out there on the catwalk, strutting its stuff. It's time for me to start a new project!!

At the start of something new, I always have mixed emotions.  I'm equal parts this...



And this ....

It's a really exciting time.  I get to plot out something new, play with new scenarios. I can pluck the depths of characters and play what-if. Most important to me right now, I can write new words instead of revising previously written words!  *happy sigh*  Oh, I know revising is vital. But revisions require a different kind of creativity.  A soul-sucking, exhausting, trying... er, I mean, wonderfully productive and necessary part of the creative process.

I'm deep in the research phase and my storyboard is deliciously empty.  *rubs hands together*  Here's hoping the next days see me typing like a madwoman and not doing a lot of this...


Sorry for the image-laden post. I was feeling visual today. So tell me... how do you feel at the beginning of a project?  What are you working on right now?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pretty New Headshot!

Part of being a Golden Heart Finalist is having a head shot taken.  Some girls are lucky enough to already have a picture that makes them look author-y and they didn't have to stress this item on their to-do list.

I wasn't so lucky.

The day after I finaled (yes, the day after.  Not that day.  I was busy swimming in the pixie dust that day, folks, I'm not gonna lie) I started stressing about what the heck I was going to do for a head shot.  I thought about just taking a selfie or having the hubs do it.  I considered and even talked to a lovely friend about taking some photos.  But, I turned to my sister-in-law who directed me to the lovely Mindy Ingersoll.

If you look over there....  >>>>>
you will see my beautiful new author-y headshot.

Please.  Did you look?  No?  Well, take this moment now.  It's there >>>>

You saw it?  Good.  Because I love it.

Mindy did a great job.  Made me feel super relaxed.  I love all the pics she took but the one on the right
>>>>>>>
Over there, in case you didn't look yet.
>>>>>>>
Is my favorite.

Thanks again, Mindy!  And if you're in the Philly, Delaware, South Jersey area and you need a photog, check her out.

Ever had to have your professional picture taken?  How'd it go?