Friday, June 29, 2012

Can You Go Home Again?

By the time this posts, I'll be on the road, driving toward a remote corner of Northwest Alabama, to the small town where I was born and grew up. Where my parents were born. Where my grandparents were born. Where, yes, my great-grandparents were born. (My great-greats came from a couple of counties over.) The roots go deep.

I haven't been back in several years but my mom, 86, wants to revisit the place, check in on her 84-year-old baby brother, that kind of thing. Put flowers on my dad's grave.

So off we go.

Did I mention this is a small town? My graduating class of 74 was largest in school history--the class before mine had 45, the one behind had 39.

And tonight, I'll be speaking about urban fantasy and undead pirates at the tiny city library. I spent many, many hours there reading books I had no business looking at when I was younger and, later, scouring the shelves trying to find something I hadn't already read.

I don't know who'll come. Maybe classmates I haven't seen in 30 years, with whom I'll have to play the embarrassing "no, I don't recognize you, sorry" game. Maybe folks who knew my parents (which will involve playing the same game).

I'm thinking I won't read the first paragraph of Royal Street, where the words "fruit-flavored condoms" appears.

Can you go home again? I'll let you know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who wants one of these?

Yes, it's a typewriter/keyboard for your laptop or tablet. Can you stand it? :-)

ONLY $799.00 at uncommongoods.com. Go for it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

When the going gets tough ...


When it comes to motivating people there are all sorts of styles one can employ. My father, a former Army drill sergeant and Air force flight line supervisor, had no trouble at all motivating three children to keep their rooms spotless. His cry of “Police your area!” sent all three of us scrambling like hungry Rottweilers after the last pork chop in the garbage can. Anything he found out of place during his inspections was thrown immediately into the trash. Clothes, books, toys – he didn’t care. If you didn’t respect it enough to keep it in its place, you didn’t deserve it. Tough? You bet. Motivating. Absolutely. 

 
However, as a writer, I have discovered there are times I simply cannot be motivated to write. I have all sorts of excuses. I’m a writer. I can create excuses out of thin air. I’m too tired. I need to do the dishes. I need to do more research. My muse has gone to Jamaica and taken my motivation and my brain to carry her luggage.

  














I'm not certain what motivates me to write, what gets me back on the horse after I have slid off the side like my Great Aunt Icie's jello mold at a Fourth of July picnic. But I have come to know what doesn't work. Berating me doesn't work. Yelling at me doesn't work. Telling me to give it up because I will never be able to write fast enough to be a success in this business doesn't work. Denigrating me and making me feel small, and dumb, and unworthy doesn't work. 



I don't need a cheerleader. And I certainly don't need a "yes" man (or woman) telling me everything I write is perfect and not a letter needs to be changed. Most days I'm not sure what I need, but I do know what I don't need. Which isn't very helpful, is it? SIGH ! I didn't think so! 

What motivates you to write when you have been brought as low as Billy Bob's blue jeans on a Saturday night? What motivates you to write when you think the whole world sees you as wasting your time on a dream you will never achieve? What motivates you to write when you think you are completely unworthy of even the smallest bit of success? 

Or if you like, tell us what DOESN'T work when it comes to motivating you. Do those perky cheerleader types work for you or do you just want to smack 'em and say "Crawl back under your pom poms and leave me to wallow in my writerly misery?"


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adventure Ho! Off to Bangladesh We Go!


So we are about to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, through 12 time zones, halfway across the world to Bangladesh. This is a bittersweet trip. We were originally supposed to visit in winter, with my parents. My dad was as excited as a kid going to a circus. He'd appointed himself tourguide for my kids' first trip to the first country I had ever known. Instead, my cowboy husband and I are leading the trip.

Part of me keeps thinking of all the people and things that won't be there: my dad, my maternal grandmother (the one who told me my first djinn stories), my favorite teacher, the house I grew up in. But another part of me is determined to do my best as substitute tour guide. So here are some things I'm hoping will get done:

1. Visit with my dad's extended family, many of whom will be meeting the kids for the first time.

2. Tasting my way through all my dad's favorite foods. He loved grocery shopping and I hope to visit one or two of the markets while I'm there.

3. Visiting my old school and haunts with the kids in tow. Show them the trees I grew up with.

4. Visit my mom's village where we spent many wonderful summer holidays.

5. Go on some crazy, bone-jolting, fun rickshaw rides.

And on a personal note, I hope to be taking many pictures, collecting stories, and learning to see Bangadesh through my kids' point of view.

I'm going to help my kids know the country like their grandfather used to, I'm going to make Bengali memories for my family. I'm going to embrace this trip as a joyous adventure and know that my dad is along for the ride in spirit.

I don't know when I'll be able to post again...so may your summer too be fun, safe & full of happy adventures!


Bangladesh Biman, the official airlines of Bangladesh

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

POST REDUX: Why Writing a Synopsis is a Good Thing by JoAnn Weatherly

Originally posted 5/17/2007.

Call it what you will -- synopsis, suckopsis, stinkopsis, synauseous --it's one of the alligators of this business.

For a long time I tried to pretend I wouldn't ever need one. Stop laughing. I was young and stupid and, most of all, terrified. This scaly beast is hard to get your arms around, with all that jaw-snapping and tail-whipping.

But in the last week, I've taken a deep breath and stepped into the pit and cautiously approached the reptile.

And you know what? I've discovered some amazing things. The reason my hero is so damn stubborn. Why my heroine never learned to say no. And miracle of miracles, I stumbled upon a Big Black Moment that is bigger and blacker than anything I had ever thought of. All thanks to wrestling this alligator called a synopsis.

We're not best friends yet, me and this 'gator, but I will say this: I have a lot more respect for his power. And I think we'll be able to get along.

Writing a synopsis: Tell us how you really feel!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Learning the Tropes

I cut my teeth on category books—I learned about romance from the huge, dusty box filled with Harlequin books my grandmother kept on her porch. I’d sit on the couch out there and read for hours. I’d begin on a Saturday morning, and by the time I finished, the sun was setting. And over the years my love affair with category books hasn’t waned.

strangers in the desertLast week I read a Harlequin Presents book Strangers in the Desert by Lynn Raye Harris. Now, I have been a major fan of Ms. Harris for a couple of years. I love her writing! It’s emotional, sensual and always satisfying. After closing a book by her, I always feel like I’ve been on a journey, a wonderful exotic journey of romance, strife and love conquering all. Strangers in the Desert didn’t let me down. But what really made the book for me was the trope. For the most part all category books surround a particular trope—y’know, best friends to lovers, millionaire falls for secretary, fake fianc√©, intimate strangers. Well Lynn Raye Harris took two of the oldest tropes in romance history—amnesia and the secret baby—and did her own twist on them. And did it with imaginative flair that simply wow-ed me! She took a seemingly far-fetched idea and made it so believable that I never doubted the validity of the characters, story or plot! There was a secret baby, of course…but instead of the father not knowing about the infant, the mother didn’t! Why? Because she suffered from amnesia! I know, I know what you’re thinking! How in the hell…? But Ms. Harris, hats off! You did that! She handled it masterfully, and I absolutely loved how she took old tropes and twisted them within an inch of their long, tried-and-true lives to make the book brand new, fresh and so romantic I sighed—actually sighed—at the end.
 Secret baby
Well, the book got me thinking about other tropes I shamelessly enjoy. Call it guilty pleasure, and chuckle if you must, but I adore tropes. And there are certain ones that are drop-dead deal breakers for me. First, there’s the best friends to lovers. Reading how two people who have loved each other for years, have an intimacy forged in childhood by shared secrets and traumas, suddenly see each other in a new light is a wonder to me. I enjoy following their conflicted emotions as they discover that the one who knows them best is also the one who fulfills every desire they’ve dreamed about and hoped for. Sigh. See? I did it again! Then there’s the—you got it!—secret baby. Call me a sucker, but I am a fool for that trope. Especially when the father is a cynical, hard-hearted, confirmed bachelor who finds his heart melted by a baby’s guileless smile and innocent tug on his finger…tearing up here.

Also, ahem, I do love a good amnesia trope. I guess that’s why I enjoyed Strangers in the Desert so much. I am a product of the Catherine Chandler’s Young and the Restless amnesia age, so it’s a written in stone favorite. Discovering the trauma that caused the loss of memory in the first place, and then reading how the heroine/hero’s history unfolds for both them and me, is exciting and has such tear-jerker potential. But that moment when she/he remembers…gasp worthy! A black moment, triumph and resolution all rolled into one huge moment! Yeah…love it…

And what about the reunited lovers? Or the ugly duckling? Or the big-girl-who-loses-a-whole-bunch-of-weight-but-still-feels-like-a-big-girl-with-big-girl-insecurities-in-a-skinny-chick’s-body trope? Oh, that isn’t one? It should be!

What’s your favorite trope? Have you read any good books lately that has one? Do tell!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Are you on Goodreads?

How do voracious readers find new books? According to more and more sources, it looks like Goodreads is the new tool.  But can I be honest with you (here goes, this is about to be like the moment when my mother admitted to me she couldn't figure out how to set the clock on the microwave)?  I still can't figure out the site.  It seems sort of like Facebook, but for books and authors.  I can follow people, but they are the same people I am following on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (don't even get me started on trying to figure that out), etc.  Is this just another social media site to suck up productive time, or is it a useful tool?

How are your using Goodreads? What have you found the pluses to be? The minuses?  I want this post to catalyze the discussion about the utility of the site.  I can't wait to be educated.  Now, I need to go find the manual to figure out how to set the clock on the new microwave at the office.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writing despite a fragmented mind


Alone, upstairs, every day starts fresh, like this--

Goal: Revise twenty pages of current WIP.
Motivation: This is it! I know this is the one! This new story is going to open the door to publishing for me!

Conflict: So much chaos to control. (Thanks, Get Smart!

Reality attacks the minute I exit the bubble, like this--
Descend stairs with an empty coffee cup and sheets to be washed. Eeek! Toilet paper strewn at the bottom of the stairs explains my husband’s last overheard remark before heading to the office: “Where’d you get that?” 
I knew he wasn’t speaking to me. Now I know he was speaking to the puppy. 
And no, the man with two hands and a strong back did not pick up the soggy wads of tp. Puppy now lies flat on his side, sweetly sleeping with a faint smile on his black doggy lips. 
Drop the sheets in front of the laundry door. Set the coffee cup by the pot. Empty packet of sweetener into cup. Turn the warmer back on. Grab trash bag. Pick up rubbish. Throw bag down to lower stair landing for later retrieval. Neaten what remains of the tp roll. Stash it in the cabinet above the back of the toilet in guest bath. 
No, DH, you didn’t find the roll there because we’d run out. It was there because so much tp has been victimized lately. It’s the tp-protection plan. 
Return to counter to pour second cup of coffee. Honestly can’t remember whether I already sprinkled in the sweetener or not. Examine swill in bottom of cup. Residue indicates: probably. Pour cup. Taste. Fine. 
To washer. Drop in whites. Looks like a two-load day. Add detergent and fabric softener. 
There’s recycling on the counter waiting to go downstairs. And a drool-spotted floor to  be mopped before guests arrive for the weekend. 
Draw the line. 
Until next human, animal, or machine interruption, write. 
Arrrgh! Left reading glasses upstairs. Fetch. (Oooohhh--probably have already burned off one serving of coffee creamer!) 
Now. Really. Writing. 
That’s how it goes for me. What about you? Do you have any tricks or tips that help you settle down to work? 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Talking with Xe Sands, Voice Artist


Please welcome the ever gracious Xe Sands! I am always happy to see her and I don’t know about anyone else, but I have more questions. I always do. I am a curious sort and I haven’t put her off yet.

I’d also like to say that this month is June Is Audiobook Month (#JIAM on Twitter). So what better way than to speak with a Voice Artist?  

How many books do you narrate year?
The practical answer is that it varies, but has been averaging about 25 per year. Wow! That, to me is a lot. Felt like a lot to me when I was recording them, too :)

The real answer is: never as many as I'd like! I can understand that as well! 

I know you use a voice coach, do you have more than one? I am curious, because of the varied accents you have to produce. I am fortunate to work with two very talented people in different capacities. One is my go-to person for delivery and direction. Her input is invaluable in terms of knowing if I'm "hitting it" in terms of delivering the author's intent in a way that is engaging to the listener. See, I never would’ve thought that there are two very types of voice coaches. I find that very interesting. 
The other is my dialect and diction coach, who is hilarious and very effective (well, aseffective as I allow her to be). It can be a bit tricky to maintain clear enunciation without losing the conversational feel many listeners prefer. That's what I'm currently obsessing over. This is another fascinating aspect—I like to listen but I have never really broken down “how” it is done. I think that dialect coaching is a very particular skill – teaching someone how to form words very differently, being able to pick up new accents, break them down, and transmit the pieces to a determined actor. And my mentor on delivery is also an avid listener, so she really does understand where I'm hitting it and where I'm not, from a listener's perspective. I feel so fortunate to have found these two folks, let me tell youI bet they are. People with skill sets like that are priceless.  

How long does it take you to get an accent down?
Usually a day or so, but sometimes longer, depending on how difficult it is for me towrap my tongue around it, so to speak - LOL. But this requires full immersion. Some may have heard one of the little accent creation clips I've posted as I've gone through this process. For those who haven't, I usually start in the morning with my dialect coach, then proceed to speak with that accent for at least the remainder of that day, sometimes more, depending on how fluid I get over the course of the day and how close I am to recording. And yeah, I really do keep the accent going the entire day, come hell or high water (or familyargument). This alternately amuses and irritates my beleaguered family. I love those clips…It’s fascinating to hear the change and it sounds so authentic. (Do you have a link or two to share? Am I beastly to ask or what? I think they are great)
You're not beastly at all :) Here are links to those that I've done. Of them, I'd say Southern is the weakest, but you can choose what you like.

French: http://soundcloud.com/xe_sands/evolution-of-an-accent-french


Irish: http://soundcloud.com/xe_sands/becoming-finn-evolution-of-an  **You know this is my favorite!**

And do you visit your voice coach weekly or as needed?
My directional/delivery mentor assists on an as-needed basis, as does the dialect coach - all depends upon the needs of the project and my level of comfort with the material going in. Ah, now that is good. To have resources available as needed.

What is the difference for you in narration between fiction and non-fiction? Is it harder or easier? Do you have a preference?Ooo, good question! This one's an easy one for me - although the answer is split :) Fiction is hands-down my favorite, both in terms of personal taste and professional projects. Now if you include memoirs with nonfiction, that line does get a bit blurred...first-person narration is my favorite to narrate and with memoirs being first-person...yeah, that line gets a bit fuzzy. Very cool—and I didn’t know that you preferred first person. That is interesting to me-because we all have preference. I like reading first person myself but it is blasted hard to write. 
Really?! I'd always heard that first person was the easiest to write – LOL! I would guess that we've all got our preferences and places where our strengths lie. Some have told me that I excel in delivering dialog - so if that is true…as first–person narration is essentially one extended dialog with the listener/reader, it might explain my preference for it :) You are so right! But I do have a story I am working on that is first person...so I'll let you know how I feel about it as I write.

However,nonfiction is generally easier to narrate (with the exception of the pronunciation research often required) in that nonfiction generally does not require character voice development. I will say though that when narrating nonfiction, it is easier to fall into a less engaged delivery depending on the content, so I am mindful of that. Speaking of pronunciation, that can be sticky. I confess, I am one of those that mis-pronounce words all the time. I like listening and hearing the correct way of saying something. 
Oh I mispronounce them too (but not in the finished audiobook, of course – we have proofers listening for that)! It amazes me how many words many of us have wandered around mispronouncing our whole lives. There is always at least one surprise in each book I do – always an education! I agree with that!

When you read for pleasure, what is your preferred genre?
Literary andgeneral fiction. Didn't even blink at that question -ha! If it's messy, painful, poignant and beautifully written - in other words, if it reaches in and squeezes your heart, then it's the book for me! Recently finished The Fault in Our Stars and I was fairly devastated. Which for me, defines the perfectread :) Ahh! I have some books for you then. I have a great appreciation for those books, but I adore a happy ever after. I am finding I am gravitating toward more of the emotionally rich book that don’t always end that way.
Sigh. Yes, I have to admit that I like it "messy," as one friend and I have deemed such emotionally wrenching stories.  

You have some very interesting past times—one of them is cake decorating (I am going to ask for a picture or two of that!). Tell us about it—how did it start? And are you still having fun.
Oh - haha! Because what starts on Facebook certainly doesn't stay there ;) No it doesn’t especially if its yummy…just sayin’

Well, it's not so much that I engage in cake decorating as a pastime...it's more that my daughter has come to expect "the bestest cake EVAH" every year. So a couple of weeks before her birthday each year, the planning begins. This insanity all started with THE CASTLE CAKE, which while largely inedible (only the "lawns" were actual cake). You see, my daugher had started at a private school for kindergarten that year, and being on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum compared to the other families, I got this crazy notion that my daughter's party had to be AMAZING, and that would require a cake that would make those other moms insane with surprise and, I sheepishly admit, envy (terribly petty - I know - I've since grown as a person - I have!). So we threw an amazing party. And I made an insane cake. And then, of course, we had to do this EVERY year. The hilarious part is that I was in part responding to thepressure of keeping up with those I couldn't possibly keep up with...and they felt pressured to now keep up with ME and my daughter's insane parties! We all realized this years later...such is the price of pride and being a parentalidiot. But there are some awesome memories there I bet! And you know, you started doing these very cool cakes…!

So am I still having fun with it? Well yes and no. Yes, because it's art (from my perspective) and it gives me a chance to do something artistic outside the booth...and to do something my daughter will (hopefully) really like -something that makes her feel special. "No," because the pressure to come up with an original idea and surprise her with it can be stressful. But I just eventually let go, and the idea comes on its own. Hopefully (oh pleaselord, let those inspirations keep happening...). I bet they will. You have amazing skill. There was that Hunger Games Cake. Looked awesome. It’s something you do for her. That is a gift in itself. I like how the artist in you sneaks out when you least expect it.
You know, that's a great way to put it. I don't really have a choice in where/when "she" comes out to play (the inner artist, that is), but she does frequently surface in such projects. Most recently, I created an e-reader holder for a dear friend and she had a field day with that project :) Funny how our muse shows up and has a good time--especially when we are doing something completely different.  That is neat and I may ask more about that e-reader holder sometime. (Can you tell I'm one of those reader/ writers, finds the small things and latches on to them.)

Finally, If given a choice Strawberries or Blackberries?
Blackberries...if freshly picked and super sweet :) Love to pick them with my daughter, despite the blood price they exact. As we say, "You have to pay to play." True for most aspects of life ,I find (and no, I don't mean it THAT way!). My daughter prefers Blackberries—I like them too. But I must confess—Raspberries are my absolute favorite. And there is always a blood price…(you know that is another thing that is going into my story you inspire the most interesting things)
Yay! I'm glad that I managed to spark something. Such moments make me a bit giddy :) Good! It's interesting how a phrase or words can truly catapault one into creating a story.  

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you come again soon! I always enjoy these chats. 

You're so very welcome – and the pleasure and honor is mine! Thanks for having me, Mary. Always a delight!

And one lucky person will win the Audio Book "Catch of the Day" by Kristan Higgins, narrated by Xe Sandes. **Unfortunately--it is open only to those within the Continental U.S.** After taking all the names, putting them on paper--scrambling them and letting my D2 reach in and grab a slip --the winner turns out to be Katherine Bone.  Congratulations! ;)

You can find Xe here: www.xesands.com

You can find Awesome audio books here: http://www.tantor.com/home-consumer.asp

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Carla Swafford on Her New Book, Her Writing and How She Balances it All.


I met Carla when I first joined the chapter Southern Magic—she was and is still one of the most gracious people I know.  She knows a lot about writing and the business—still manages to hold down a full time job, have her family, and write.

When her new Circle of Danger I had to celebrate and bring her here to talk about her book, how she balances it all...and keeps writing. (I am taking notes)
Tell us/Give a blurb about the new book: 
Circle of Danger is book two in The Circle series, but can be read as a standalone. The hero and heroine of this story are Ryker and Marie. They have a common bond as survivors of a mad man, and in their healing process, they try to understand their place in the dangerous organization called The Circle. But when Marie is injected with a designer drug that has killed four other women, Ryker does everything he can to make sure she’s comfortable (wink) and then goes in search for an antidote. He’s captured by a new evil and must become the monster he always feared to save the woman he always loved. I actually can’t wait to read this book…you write some action packed stories and all of these characters stand out to me.
 What was your favorite aspect about this book? A character? A situation?
Of course, it’s Ryker. He’s a very much on the edge sort of guy. For most of Marie’s life, he’s been there looking over her, protecting her, and now she wants to be her own person and work as an  operative for The Circle. He wants to be supportive and let her find her place in the organization, but one situation after another goes wrong, and he’s freaking out. Of course, as an Alpha male, he’s bossy and possessive, and although Marie is a little thing (only five-one), and unlike everyone else in The Circle, she’s not afraid of him. She has loved him all her life and understands Ryker better than he does himself. By the end of the story he realizes how much he needs her. I believe everyone will see how they’ve made sacrifices for each other. Now, that’s true love. I agree, and that is what makes your books shine—there is a depth to the emotion that really is woven through these stories.  
  What was the hardest scene to write?
Oh, that has to be the tent scene toward the end. At that point, memories are bombarding them. Ryker confesses to what lengths he willingly went to in effort to protect her when she was younger, and she has to tell him it didn’t help. By then, he realizes he’s been trying to protect her from himself more than anyone else. She shows him that she wants him, scars and all. I don’t worry that I ruined the end of the story for you; everyone knows it will have a happy one. How they get there is what makes it so exciting. Of course, the ride is the best part! J I love these type of stories.
I have to mention, though it’s not a scene, it’s more to do with a literary device that was hard to deal with. Ryker has one blind eye due to scarring on one side of his face and body, and he wears a patch most of the time. Not until this book did I realize how often I refer to a person’s eyes, as in plural. So many times I had to go back and correct scenes because I would say something about Ryker’s eyes. Yes, he still had two eyes (the blind one was white), but the patch covered one. So his eyes couldn’t narrow in anger or widen in surprise. One was hidden, so how do we know? You get the idea. So no more one-eyed heroes for me. LOL! I had to laugh—it’s the small things that come back to bite us. I will keep that in mind. 
How has your writing habits changed since you’ve been published?
Truthfully, not much of a change. I’ve always written pretty much every day, in the mornings before work, as soon as I return from work until 10:30 or midnight. And then all weekend as long as I didn’t have family obligations. The only change is that I take vacation to write, all in effort to meet deadlines.  I am taking notes--Because this is hardest thing for me to juggle—specific writing time.
   How do you juggle day job, writing and business aspect of writing?
It’s been hard. Whenever I’m working on a promotion or writing a blog (), it takes time away from writing on the next book. I would rather write than do almost anything else. But in this day and age of the internet and instant communication to the world, it’s necessary. Otherwise, how would people know I have a book for sale? As the editors didn’t come knocking on my door asking if I had a book for sale, readers won’t know unless they hear about it from me. So I try to tweet and blog (including Facebook) every other day or so. Just for a few minutes and not let it dominate my writing time. That’s a good idea, trying to balance the social media aspect is tough. I like that you take every other day. I need to keep that in mind *scribbling in notebook*
  Do you have a Critique partner or Betas? Do brainstorm alone or with others?
The main reason I don’t have critique partners is that I don’t have time to critique their manuscripts, and that would be unfair to them. So I rely mainly on my two beta readers, Candi Moody and Terry Nguyen. So far I don’t need to brainstorm for ideas or even on how to get my characters out of bad spots. I guess I’ve been fortunate in having lots of ideas. Probably one day I will need help, and lucky for me, I have lots of friends (like you) who are willing to help. I adore brainstorming. J  Anytime my friend.
   Besides the three planned are there more books in The Circle series?
You betcha! I have at least three more, but it’s up to Avon to want them. And the only way they will do that is that everyone went out and bought my books (the third one is Circle of Deception coming out 11/27/12; that’s Rex and Abby’s story).   Oh, I so hope you get to write them. You’ve developed a very intricate world and I’d so hate to see it go away. There are some characters I want to see more of.
   Is there another project you are working on following The Circle series? Can you give us a hint?When I finish the third one, Circle of Deception, I’m seriously thinking of doing a novella about two characters from The Circle in the hope it will draw interest from more readers if they can see what my books are like. Novellas can be priced much lower than regular length novels. I like that idea and they are very popular. I enjoy reading them myself.  
For a totally different series, I have a couple ways to go. One is a small town series with emphasis on the romance and only a little suspense. The first two books are finished and just need revising. Or maybe a paranormal romance. The first book is written but needs some deep editing, and I already have the first chapter of the second book. Sorry, for now I rather wait to see if Avon or another publisher is interested in them before I give more details.  You know I really want to see you dip your toes back into the paranormal. J I just like that you have all these ideas.
Which do you prefer? Coffee, Tea? Or other? 
I prefer tea. Sweet iced tea. The sweeter, the better. Though during the winter I love hot orange-clove tea. Great for sore throats.  Have you tried Agave as a sweetner? That is awesome. I Like tea as well, Iced tea I had to get used to when I came down here. Let’s face it, no one makes sweet tea like the south! J 
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you come by again, because I am going to pester you incessantly about your other books.  

You can find Carla at:
www.carlaswafford.com
carlaswafford.blogspot.com
romancemagicians.blogspot.com
Twitter: @carlaswafford
Also on Facebook and Pinterest