Planning

I’ve got a new project brewing. An online one not a book. This project should garner the interest of some very different readers for me while still satisfying most of my readers. Best of all, it doesn’t cost the readers anything, introduces them to authors they may not know, and can get me (and the other authors) new readers! We’re in the planning stage and still looking for the authors we’d like to offer this opportunity to. There are five of us currently and we’re looking to start with six to eight. Finding the right authors to fill up the roster is tough because most of us are beyond busy as it is. However, I’m looking forward to this as an opportunity to do something fresh and new, experiment and let the creative juices just go crazy. And I’m hoping it rejuvenates my writing muse.

I’ve been working so much and stressing on things at home that it’s hard to get myself in the mood to write. It’s hard to finish manuscripts. It’s hard to do anything except lay on the couch, stare at the TV and let my brain be mush. I know I need a break from work because I feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends, but right now, I don’t have the new people trained enough for me to be able to be gone a couple of days. I am taking my birthday off on Halloween though. It does give me the time to teach them to do a couple of critical daily tasks though.


Anyway, the new project is a gay steampunk serial titled Lords of Aether. I have four characters, two couples, and they are a bit outrageous. We’re just starting work on our overall plot and will be working together to ensure we have an action packed, emotional and suitably steampunky story and mystery for readers. You’ll be able to find the story installments on our website Lords of Aether as soon as we introduce ourselves and launch the story. That will happen before the end of the year. The authors who have already signed up for this project are all multi-published in GLBT and have their own fans so it will be interesting to see how this project and its audience grows. If it does well, maybe we can launch a het companion story with different authors.

Now, I need a Marcus before I head off to the office.

He’s so yummeh I don’t mind the girl in the photo at all! LOL Have a great Monday!

Ghosthunters

Last week I had a nice whine over a simple tummy ache. Funny how the small stuff can just feel devastating sometimes. This week I’ve moved from whining to mental eye rolling. You see, I have galleys to read. For you non-authors, galleys are what authors get prior to a book going to print. You have to proof the galleys to ensure there are no mistakes. If there was a mistake in the ebook that didn’t get fixed, this is your time to fix it.

So I had a nice cover flat of Tales of the Darkworld Volume Two and a big fat file of galleys. Volume Two is two novellas, each one just over 40K. So that’s more than 80K of words to check. Yowch! I saw them in my email and knew I needed to get cracking. Did that happen? Oh, no. Instead, I listened to ghost stories as told by Rott who has been encountering a ghost in our new house.

Now, most people would label me a non-believer. Rott pretty much does. But he’s seen the ghost several times now and that has prompted him to tell me. The first time he saw the ghost he was in the laundry room and he turned to go through the door into the kitchen when he saw an apparition rush toward him, then through him and disappear. He said there was a rushing sound like a waterfall, a loud whoosh of sound that dissipated when the ghost did. He also said it was male and very angry. Scared spitless, Rott ran out of the house, got in his SUV and tore out of there. He came back an hour later and all was quiet.

Rott decided to have a conversation with the ghost to let him know we weren’t anything to be afraid of or angry with. He said he told the ghost, we can all live here peacefully…we’ll leave you alone and you leave us alone. The ghost didn’t come back after that. Until this week. Not sure what would have set a ghost off this week but Rott says he’s seen him two or three times. And when he turns out the living room light and tries to kick back on the couch and watch TV, he can feel the presence of someone else in the room and he has to turn the light back on.

Well, this time the ghost is unnerving Rott. Really unnerving him. Like to the point that Rott wants to get rid of the house. The ghost is freaking him out.

I just sat silently through Rott’s story. I’m never sure what to believe when people tell me ghost stories. I’ve never seen a ghost or sensed the presence of one. I have gotten bad vibrations from places before and later found out something awful happened there. But I’ve never seen a ghost. I don’t know that I believe in them. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure I disbelieve in them either. I do believe that Rott believes in them and I believe that he believes he saw one. For that alone, I treat his words fairly seriously.

How does one combat a ghost? Especially when your spouse pretty much wants to pack up and leave it behind and when you yourself do not feel the presence of anything bad. Do we have a seance? Go ghosthunting? Call ghostbusters or myth hunters or whatever those TV dudes are called?

It’s a pretty weird dilemma to have that’s for sure. Anyone have any advice? I’ll be sure to pass it along to Rott if you do. Meanwhile, I need a Marcus.

Look at all that skin. *sigh* If our ghost looked like that, I’d never want him to leave! LOL Hope you all have a happy and haunting free Monday!

Tap, Tap, Tap

Shhhh! That tapping you hear is my keyboard. I’m on a deadline. Breathe Me In has to be turned in to my editor tonight. I’m in a rush to finish. No time for anything else. However, I do want to tell you that on Saturday night I won an award. The 2011 Ariana Award from EPIC for the best erotic contemporary romance…COVER. Yes, cover. Neither of my finalists in the book part of the EPIC Awards won. The other cover finalist I had didn’t win. Just this one.

What a winner, eh? I was inspired, I swear. Tess’s book is seriously hot and I actually read it before I did the cover. The inspiration seems to have worked.

Anyway, back to the tapping keyboard of my computer and the manuscript I need to finish. Before I go, here’s my Monday Marcus!

Even his arms are pretty, I swear. LOL You can see how old that photo is by looking at the software behind him. Windows 95? Yikes! Everyone have a great Monday!

What Was I Thinking?

Umm, yeah. I registered for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. Do you know how much money that was? And how much the rooms are? And the parking? And all the stuff I have to buy (like a suitcase) because I don’t travel? And all the promo stuff I have to get?

Good thing this convention is deductable for me. Still, please don’t tell Rott how much I spent…

Actually, he has a fair idea. He already ix-nayed on the parking for 5 days at $35 a day.  “Oh, no. You can pay ME half that and I’ll drop you off Tuesday and pick you up on Sunday!”

Yeah, right. I’ll buy gas which means he better drive me in the Infiniti and NOT the little Honda. If I gotta be chauffeured, I want to be seen arriving in the luxury SUV. Never mind that it’s 8 years old. It’s still an Infiniti.

And idiot that I am…I have to be ME. I can’t just get a black suitcase. I have to get a giraffe print one. I can’t just get a black sleeve for my netbook (I’m not taking the full giraffe print laptop case I already have because I’m not taking all the accessories.) I have to get the giraffe print one. I can’t just carry my giraffe wallet by its leash. I have to get a new Dooney letter carrier bag that I can sling across my shoulders. Giraffe print, of course.

I didn’t get new pajamas. They didn’t have giraffe print ones. *grumble, grumble*

Damn it. People are gonna remember me. Even if it’s to laugh at my giraffe crap.

And did I tell you that I get to sign books? The print ones and cover flats for the ebooks? I DO! Two days in a row! OMG! I will totally feel like a real author then. But I think I need to figure out how to sign my pen name…

This is like a new world for me. I’m excited and scared to freaking death. And the money…*moans* What was I thinking? Do you know what I could do with the money? I could buy a new washing machine and a new battery for the Infiniti, both of which died last week. But no. I had to indulge myself. My ego. Well, my author ego really. Not that I have much of one to indulge but by the time this convention is through I’ll either have a little bit bigger one or what I do have will be reduced to rubble.

Have I mentioned I’m a complete wallflower who is terrified of meeting new people? Hilly remembers how I am. I would never have faced Dave Diego without her. But here I am willingly facing the firing squad of hundreds of people on my own.

Someone told me I would be okay once they slapped that name tag on me that says, “LEX VALENTINE, AUTHOR.” And maybe that is the crutch I need to lean on to make it through. I need to remember that even though I am pretty much low on the totem pole of authorship and pretty much unknown, there are SOME people out there who will recognize my name. I just have to keep remembering that I had the balls to walk up to New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan at the Orange County RWA meeting and she made my year by looking at my name tag and saying, “I know who you are.”

Maybe that’s what I was thinking when I whipped out my credit card and paid for this convention.

Now, how about a Marcus that I don’t need my credit card to pay for?

Oh yum. God, he makes my Mondays easier. Despite what I spent this weekend. *winces*

Have a great Monday everyone!

Lush

Lately, I’ve not been able to produce too many words on my WIPs (work in progress.) Just too tired. Life at home and at work has just been frenetic. And I’m on my annual sabbatical from the horse racing sim too! I typically don’t race in December and January.  So you’d think I have a little more time than usual, but oh no.

It is true that I’ve been watching some TV. Hard to resist concerts in high def and Rott is loving the Palladia channel.  The Foo Fighters concert at Wembley was amazing in high def. I was totally enchanted and spending time watching the new TV with Rott has been good for our relationship. Still, I’m falling behind and I need to get a move on.

While the amount of writing I’ve been doing is quite small, what I have done is very lush. The words, the descriptives are just rife with visuals and sensation. I had eight sentences of this over on the Lex Valentine blog yesterday for Six Sentence Sunday.  Here’s an expanded version so you can see what I mean about lush.

Dark lashes flicked up and the beauty of Wilson North blazed through Garrick’s very soul when their eyes met this time. The lure of such angelic masculinity proved too much for him and he found himself pushing off from the marble crypt. He glided toward the bench where Will sat, his sole thought to lose himself in the salvation those dark eyes promised.

A visible shiver went through Will as Garrick stopped before him. Holding out his hand, Garrick silently prayed to the gods that Will would just take it and question things later. At the moment, all Garrick wanted was to touch Will, hold him and love him. Problems and logistics and the real world and all its damned obligations could come into play and be solved – or not – later. For just this moment in time, Garrick wanted to hold Will and breathe him in and know that they belonged to one another.

With dark eyes blazing, Will slipped his hand into Garrick’s and they both hissed in a breath as a metaphysical crackle of electricity arced between them. Then with a slow, fluid motion like that of wings unfurling, Will came to his feet. Garrick noted the slight wince the vampire gave as his weight settled onto both legs. He sensed rather than saw the pain that lanced through Will’s body despite the natural grace of his movements.  And he wished with every bit of his theurgic strength that he could heal his mate’s injuries despite the sure knowledge that Will had received the best healing possible after his accident. Helplessness never sat well within Garrick and with this man it spurred his natural possessiveness.

This is an excerpt of Breath Me In which is the next Tales book, an unexpected story that demanded it be told. Hence the 6.5 number. LOLI’m hoping to get back into the swing of things this coming weekend and use the weeknights to get some website graphics and book covers mocked up. Cross your fingers that I stay on task.

Before I head off into the dawn for work, here’s a lovely Marcus for this Monday.

He should totally be a book cover model. I’d buy every book with him on the front.

Hope you all have a great Monday!