Monday, June 30, 2014

The Maverick's Red Hot Reunion: Celebrate & Join the Fun!! by Christine Glover

Debut Author Christine Glover--That's me! Wow!!
The big day is here! I have finally attained the goal and dream of officially joining the ranks of the published author world. It's exciting. It's scary. It's fun. And it's busy!! I'm talking about my debut on my own blog today and you can learn more about the way this has changed my life by checking it out here.

I had no idea what to expect when I signed my contract a little over a year ago. All I wanted to do was to deliver a good product to my editors. I worked hard. While I waited for this big day to arrive, I wrote a prequel which was accepted and I revised The Maverick's Red Hot Reunion through multiple passes. I also have a sequel to the story in first draft mode and I hope the team at Entangled Publishing wants it as much as some of my reviewers want it. Hannah and Caleb are very special to me. But today is about Zach Tanner and Kennedy Gibson. I love these characters, warts and all. They truly have trust issues and they have to dig deep to rediscover each other and find the happily ever after they deserve. But in the end, it's their love of family and friends that really endears them to me. And I hope that this capacity to think about others first is something that resonates with the readers--even when Kennedy and Zach are struggling to move past their wounds and the painful loss that separated them five years ago.
My very first book cover. Squee!

I'll be all over the place for the next two weeks. You'll find me on my first ever virtual book blog tour and as a special guest at several other blogs. If you join in the tour you will have a chance to win a Kindle Paper White!! But my first official stop is here at Romance Magicians because it's a place I've called home for years because I'm a member of Southern Magic. This special group has supported me from the first day I walked into their doors in 2008. I *heart* them all and owe them a big debt of gratitude.

You'll find some of the Southern Magic members playing over at my Facebook Event Party today. Just check it out here. Join in the fun!! Win prizes and get to know everyone who is participating from 12PM-8PM today.

The Maverick's Red Hot Reunion

Can he satisfy his craving without losing his heart?

Corporate Maverick Zach Tanner returns to North Carolina to rebuild his dying friend's resort. He's got the money, the power, and the will to transform Sweetbriar Springs into a premier spa for the glamorous, but he doesn't count on the woman he once loved…and lost…to handle the construction contract. Zach thought he'd buried his desire for Kennedy five years ago. He was wrong, and now he’s determined to satisfy his craving...

Construction company owner Kennedy Gibson is eager to restore Sweetbriar Springs, but when she realizes Zach is her new boss she's terrified he'll learn the truth about their breakup so long ago. She vowed never to hurt him again, but she can't deny the passion he reignites in her. She wants to believe she has a chance for a different future with him, but will her secret threaten to destroy their red-hot reunion?

Let's start this party off right with a giveaway. I'll gift a lucky commenter with a Starbucks Gift Card. 

Buy Links:

Amazon Barnes and Noble kobo Amazon.ca

Christine's Biography:

Born in the Netherlands, Christine moved to Canada where she spent her formative years. Then she married her Texan Alpha Physicist, moved to the United States and she has lived both south and north of the Mason Dixon line. Now Christine resides in Alabama with her husband, two insane cats and her wonderful daughter. She enjoys finding the silly in the serious, making wine out of sour grapes, and giving people giggle fits along with heartfelt hugs. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world, cooking gourmet food, and desperately seeking a corkscrew.

I love meeting new people. Contact me at the following places:


Blog: www.christinegloverauthor.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Glover/158387587541698
website: www.christinegloversite.com

Join my newsletter here http://eepurl.com/L8Yh5



Friday, June 27, 2014

Games People Play

One thing about writers, we love to play games with our manuscripts and books. All the time on Facebook, I see people challenging each other to tell the top five things about their hero or go to page something and repeat.

Well, you guess it, we're playing one of those games. Yes. I'm cheating on my post today. Time caught up with me. This week has been extremely active between the evil day job and releasing a book. So let's play the current popular word game.

Go to your WIP, current book you're writing or reading (so the readers can play too). Stop on page 7, go to the 7th paragraph and write the next 7 sentences. Looking forward to reading yours.

 Okay, now for mine. I really and truly didn't plan it to stop here. It's karma, baby. Just plain karma.

 CIRCLE OF DISHONOR

 She felt like a sex-starved groupie drooling over the most exotic and probably dangerous man she'd ever seen. It didn't help that the last two weeks, halfway through the class, he always pulled off his shirt. Sweat looked good on his well-defined chest and abs, and the loose black pants he wore rode low, showing off his seriously cut body. He probably needed to be in shape to survive his world, if any of the rumors were true. A place she never thought a whole lot about before.

 At that moment, the object of her obsession picked up a towel and wiped sweat from his face. When his eyes opened above the white cloth, their gazes met.



Look for me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Google+
Time Magazine, ". . . involves deadly assassins, drug lords and doing it."
RT Book Reviews - 4-1/2 stars,"[A] dark, gritty story that will grab you by the throat and not let go."
                                         

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SWIMMIN' ACROSS THE ALLIGATOR POND IN A DEAD CHICKEN BIKINI




Being a SOUTHERN WOMAN (Yes, we are a specific species worthy of capitalization. Can I get an AMEN!) of a CERTAIN AGE (Capitalized because I've earned every damned year of it!) I was instilled from the time I was old enough to understand with what can be a crippling notion.

You Must Be Wonder Woman !
(But you must never brag about it!)

For those of you who were not raised Southern, let me explain.

1. A Southern woman must take pride in her appearance, but she mustn't be prideful. Even if she is wearing the prettiest dress and shoes anyone has ever seen and they are both in a Size 6 and that mean heifer, Alma Sue, who thinks she's hot stuff couldn't get one leg into a Size 6 with a gallon of Crisco and a shoe horn.

2. A Southern woman must always strive to be the best at everything, but she must never think she is the best at anything. There is always someone better at it (be it cleaning her house or making her husband holler "Oh, baby!") I consider this one to be the reason Southern women consume more wine per capita than all the Skid Row winos in San Francisco.

3. A Southern woman must be accomplished. She must be smart, well-spoken, kind, generous, well-read, beautiful, a wonderful hostess and a great cook. But the minute she is complimented for any of these she must immediately say "Oh, but your peach cobbler is so much better than mine. You must give me your recipe." even if the other gal's peach cobbler could be used to take out a zombie's head at 100 yards.

4. A Southern woman must DO everything, but she must share the credit with everyone. She must say things like "Oh, it really was a group effort. I had such a great group of ladies helping me." When she knows damned well Lily Sue sat there and did her nails the whole time, Lucy Alice whined about her bad back and her cheatin' husband and Lula Mae stayed on her cell phone all day with Lucy Alice's husband!

There is a thin line between arrogance and confidence. For many men, the line is almost non-existent. For women it can be a brick wall. Writing a book doesn't take confidence. It takes commitment, desire and an almost pathological need to get those words on paper. Publishing a book, or sending it out to an editor or agent - THAT takes confidence. Or a really twisted sense of masochism. The line between those two is pretty thin too. And when you have been raised to believe thinking your book is one of the best romance novels ever written is a mortal sin and just plain not nice your ability to send that book out into the world can become a hole out of which it is nearly impossible to climb.

It took me a long time to learn the art and emotional necessity of what I call The Butless Compliment Response. (Or BCR as it became known in the opera troupe with which I toured Europe.) A young Austrian baritone helped me understand that to respond to a compliment with any sort of caveat was an insult to the judgment of the person giving the compliment. Even if you don't speak the caveat out loud.

"If someone compliments your performance don't insult him by telling him you had a good night or your cast mates were wonderful or you got lucky with the high F. He knows whether he liked your singing or not. And he knows few women in the world can sing that aria. Tell him thank you and know his experience of your singing was wonderful. So you were wonderful. And it is okay to be wonderful. Wonderful is what you worked for and you achieved it. No buts!"

I never really thought about the confidence it took for me to walk out on that stage in front of all those people and sing my heart out. I did it because I loved it. I had worked hard to get there. I wanted the audience to love the music as much as I did. I was good at it. Eventually I was great at it. (You have no idea how difficult it is, still, for me to type those words.) And every time I received a compliment and gave a "But" response it took some of the joy out of the experience for me. And I did it to myself because we all know "Pride cometh before a fall."

I don't think that is how that particular Bible verse was meant to be applied. Yes, if you get too big for your britches and have no substance to back it up somewhere down the line God, Karma or whatever higher power you believe in is going to smite you. And nobody likes a good smiting like the people who said "She's not that hot." behind your back. However, I don't believe we are given gifts and the ability to refine those gifts and are not expected to take pride in what we and those gifts have created. Hey, even God was proud once he created the earth. "He saw that is was good." (He might be rethinking some of that now - like spandex, Honey Boo Boo and twerking, but he still has a right to be proud.)

We've all had those moments... days... weeks... when we've looked at our WIP and said "What the hell made me think I could do this?" or "Why am I wasting my time doing this when no one is ever going to buy it."  or "This is never going to be good enough to have Vin Diesel play the male lead in the movie version not even if I kidnap him and film it in my basement at gun point."

It's okay to have those moments, but don't you believe 'em! The more times you tell yourself not to be arrogant or prideful about your work, the more you will start to believe it isn't worth some pride, some confidence and maybe even a little arrogance. (Just a little now. I don't want you all going Kim Kardashian on me. No Kim, the white dress doesn't make your butt look big. Your big butt makes your butt look big!) Be confident. Dream big. Believe big. Go after your dreams because you've by-damned earned them.

Wait! Naima! Don't do that. Aww hell. Naima just hit Vin Diesel with a flying tackle and a copy of her book. Sorry, Vin. Damn. That's gonna' leave a mark.  But, hey, the girl has got confidence. And a restraining order against her, but I'm sure it'll be lifted before they make the movie.

"Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough."   Stephen King

He's right. (Stephen King is always right. Why? Because he's Stephen King.) I would, however like to suggest the person who has to believe in you first - is you. Confidence is  a learned behavior. It has to be practiced and nurtured. It has to be lived. I am giving you permission to blow a raspberry at your Mom and tell her :

"I look good in this dress because I deprived myself of Haagen Daas for six months and sweated like a virgin at a prison rodeo every day of that six months at the gym. I am smokin' dammit!"

"I just wrote a mind blowing sex scene in my new novel and it makes Fifty Shades look like a church picnic. Now I'm going to make my husband holler "Oh, baby!" Twice!"

"Yes, Nora Roberts writes great books, but you know what, so do I!"

and finally

"I have a wonderful critique group. I've attended some incredible writing workshops. I've entered some terrific contests and received some great feedback. I appreciate all of the help I've received. But I WROTE A BOOK! AND IT'S GOOD! AND SOMEBODY IS GOING TO WANT TO BUY IT!"
SO
PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!

I'm giving you permission to be confident. I am giving you permission to be just as prideful as you damned well want to be for everything you've written, everything you will write, and every step you take along this journey. Don't worry about getting too big-headed. We'll smack you down if you need it. Just remember what one of my high school boyfriends used to say :

"It ain't braggin' if you done it."

(Shut up! He was REALLY good looking and drove a convertible.)

Writing is like swimming across an alligator pond. You might make it. You might not. You might get eaten alive. You might just lose a limb. Those sharp toothed bastards are going to surround you and nibble away at your confidence all the way across. If you let those rules about being humble and sweet and never taking credit for anything wonderful you've done you might as well be swimming across that pond wearing a dead chicken bikini. You're a writer. Put on those stilettos and march across that pond on top of those gators heads. They won't know what hit them. And when they tell you what a great writer you are and how much they enjoyed reading you book say "Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it." And don't even THINK of adding a "but" to it. Or I'll fit your ass for a dead chicken bikini. The alligator farm is always open.


What do you do to build your confidence in your writing? What methods do you use to remind yourself you are good at this and have a right to be proud of what you've done?

Monday, June 23, 2014

World Cup Fever

World Cup fever is burning in Casa de Leonard.  I've had a rough few months on the day job front (trials and arbitrations = no time for fun).  Being able to catch a few games has inspired and rejuvenated me (and it has nothing to do with the hotties on the field, I swear).

This got me to thinking about how some of my favorite romantic stories have sports themes running through them.  I'm not sure if it is my competitive spirit that makes the blending of sports and romance appeal to me, but when I started listing my favorite movies (Bull Durham, The Cutting Edge, Jerry Maguire, Tin Cup, and (of course) Bend it Like Beckham), I found a theme.

How about you?  Have a sports-themed romance you would like to recommend?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Words of Inspiration

Hartwig HKD/Flickr
As a writer, I am always admiring the words of others. Books. Poems. Song lyrics. Articles. But I am a sucker for a good quote.

The right quote can give you exactly what you need in a particular moment. You can find inspiration, a laugh, or just confirmation that you're not the only one who has ever felt the way you feel right now.

One of my favorite quotes is from an Emily Dickinson poem. I heard in a talk by a fellow Crohn's patient, and it was what I needed to hear that day:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers——
That perches in the soul——
And sings the tune without the words——
And never stops – at all——

Another favorite is from one of my father's favorite poems, "The Last Word of a Bluebird (as Told to a Child)" by Robert Frost. It gave my brothers and I much comfort after my father passed, and we read the poem at his memorial service.

But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for skunk tracks
In the snow with an axe -
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing.

And, since I'm on a roll of inspirational quotes, one of the best is the Litany Against Fear from Dune by Frank Herbert.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ready, Set, Promo...Wait, I need to tie my shoes


 
You know that saying “Can’t see the trees for the forest”?

You had to read that again, didn’t you? I meant to turn it on it’s head. I feel like I’m on my head lately, and not because of too much yoga either. I’m launching my first full length novel in two weeks and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. The forest is too big and I’m having trouble navigating the maze of trees know as marketing and promotion.

Even with the help of the brilliant and talented Kelley Jefferson at Smut Book Junkie, I still find myself staring at my notebook and trying to figure out the next step. Am I forgetting something?

It’s like being at one of those races where the start and finish lines are very close to each other. From the start, you see the big FINISH and think, it’s only a few steps. The reality is that it’s several miles and thousands of steps until you can cross that line.

They say to “keep your eye on the prize”, but in my case, I need to look at where my next baby step is going to land. If I don’t, I might end up crying by the side of the road with a twisted ankle wondering why I started in the first place.

John Bingham says about marathon running, “The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” I need to remember that because there is no finish line when it comes to this writing career. A book launch is a starting line disguised as a finish line. You think it’s finally over, but really it’s just a new race. Once my baby launches, I’ll be like an overprotective parent tracking it to see how it’s doing. I’ll have to trust that all the preparation before the gun sounds will be enough.
 

Well, I have to go tighten my laces and get some more training in or I’ll never be ready for launch.

How do you keep your eyes on the prize without losing your footing? Advice and good juju are welcome and appreciated.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Is My Baby Ugly?


 

Have you ever watched the original auditions for American Idol and thought, “Who told this kid they could sing?” Someone told the kid he was a great singer, patted him on the back, and encouraged him to audition. His family and friends betrayed him with the ultimate lie to protect his feelings. When he appeared on camera before millions singing his heart out, the judges cringed and the audience covered their ears. Now the poor kid is not only embarrassed but is broken hearted because his family lied. So what was worse? The fact that he made a fool of himself on national television or that he no longer trust his family and friends?

The experience of writing a story is similar. Our family and friends love it, but then the first real review comes in and we question how no one caught the mistakes. Or was everyone being nice to the point of harm? This is the real world and not always nice. We send the manuscript to friends for review, but no one makes the hard mark-ups that the writer really needs to hear. Thus rejection letter after rejection letter rolls in and the author is broken hearted.

Yes, this story is my baby, and I love it! Don’t you dare tell me my baby is ugly! That’s how we feel. Yet, if someone would be brave enough to tell us the hard truths, then we would be able to make the story the best it could be. It’s up to the author to take the comments in stride. Make me better instead of bitter.

Every time I send my manuscript to a contest, I get the hard truths pointed out. When I send it to friends, they are all kind. Honestly, I don’t want kind because when my book makes it to publication, the consumer will rate my story and that is where it will hurt the most.

So here it is. What was the hardest comment I’ve received thus far? My hero sounds like a sexual predator. Ouch. However, that comment has been the most valuable to helping me improve my manuscript.

How does your baby look? Do you want the tough questions pointed out before you publish?