Category Archives: 2012

Book Sales & Winner Announcement

“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.” —Unknown

Wow.

It’s been a crazy ride. After several long years of hard work, frustration, sweat—and a heckuva lots of tears—I finally sold my paranormal series in a 3-book deal! SQUEE!! Of course, I’ve been holding out on the news for a while until it was official. On December 21st, it was finally a done deal and DEATH WARRIOR, Book 1 of the War of Angels series, will be available 2013!

Frankly, I’m THRILLED about working with my new publishers and honored that my work was chosen. It’s really difficult when you set out to build a world that you can only hope readers will believe in and embrace. I’m one of those writers who write outside-the-box, no matter how much I try, I’ve got that quirkiness that makes editors pause. So, for me to finally find an editor that totally ‘gets me’ and my universe—it’s like a dream come true!

This is just the beginning of my adventure and although I’m not new to writing paranormal romances, this will be my first official launch as a paranormal author to my readers. I truly hope that you will support and follow me on this new direction. I love love love this world and I hope you will as well! I’m thankful to all of YOU who have supported me over the years and have purchased my books. Without your love an loyalty I wouldn’t have made it this far.

And the winner that was chosen at random through Random.org for the holiday gift box is:

STEPHANIE GRANT

Congratulations! Your box will be shipped in the mail soon!!

Please visit me again for more breaking news in the weeks to come. I’m wishing YOU and your family a beautiful and magical holiday!

The Next Best Thing

**You still have until December 21st to be eligible for the giveaway in the SEOULFUL KISS contest. Scroll to the post before this one and just leave a comment. You’ll automatically be added to the drawing!**


My buddy KAREN ERICKSON tagged me to participate in The Next Big Thing blog hop so I’m going to answer a few questions about the book I’m currently working on. Shall we begin?

What is the working title of your book?

SEOUL SECRET PROJECT (I don’t want to jinx myself by giving away the title since I love it so much)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve always had a desire to write darker, edgier stories and have jotted notes here and there for the past few years. There really wasn’t a particular source that I got this story idea from unless you count my characters speaking (and nagging) at me for years to write it. However, I will say it was this past year of watching really good Korean dramas that helped me flesh out the storyline so I won’t take total credit!

What genre does your book fall under?

Sensual contemporary romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Since this is an international setting, the actors/actresses I’d want would be fairly unknown to Americans—all except for yummy Daniel Henney. I think it’s better to show you, rather than tell you. These are some choices I’ve envisioned for my hero. However, for the heroine I don’t have a clear image of who I’d like just yet.

 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An all consuming and volatile relationship of a couple tormented by their social class differences—yet strengthened by a passionate, unbreakable love.

Will your book be self-published or published by an agency?

This series will be going through my agent and I’ll be excited about whichever publisher gets their hands on it first.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ve been scribbling notes for a couple of years now but I just started writing it officially in October, in between projects. The first draft should be done by March 2013. At least that’s what I have marked on my calendar, anyway.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m really not sure.

I’ve never thought about it being compared to another story in my genre because it’s something I’m writing for myself—and I feel like my voice is my own—so there isn’t an adequate answer to the question.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

ME.

I wanted to write a dark romance to entertain myself and to prove that I can strip all my insecurities to create something I think will be emotionally gripping and beautiful. Something that will make me laugh, ache, cry and feel relieved when the characters can finally be together.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s going to be more of a melodrama with a twisted modern-day fairytale take. Seoul, Korea is gorgeous and although it’s so interesting, there’s something about that city that has the right mood for the storytelling. On the outside it’s so trendy and luxurious, but I want to delve beneath the polished facade and pull out the darker side of the city—focus on the damaged hero/heroines with deep emotional scars who only desire to love and be loved.

I’m supposed to tag five other authors to blog next week (12/26/12) so here we go!

Eden Bradley — One of my best friend’s and an amazing erotic author who writes lush characters in the world of BDSM and beyond. She’s one of my first critique partners and I’m so excited that her career has taken off. She’s also been a great inspiration to me!

Olivia Mayfield — Most people know her as her as young adult author Rhonda Helms, but she’s pulling off her Clark Kent glasses to become a contemporary author. She also wears many hats including one as an editor for Carina Press…but what I love most about her is her fun and sassy side that keeps me entertained. Her official website launches next week in time for the blog hop but you can visit her alter ego.

Pamela Labud — She’s a chaptermate and friend who is a versatile author that’s also prolific. “What genre hasn’t she written?” That’s what we often joke about but she is as talented as she is as supportive and kind. Her stuff sizzles.

Vivienne Westlake — Another one of my closest friends who is a new voice in historical romance. She writes sexy, hot reads about Captains, Marquesses, and Wicked Earls. What’s not to love?

Chudney Thomas — I know I’m breaking the rules for adding a soon-to-be-pubbed writer but she’s one of my weekend writing buddies, and dear friend, who writes contemporary and paranormal romances. Although she doesn’t have a release out yet, she’s inching closer and closer to publishing. Her blog posts are entertaining as well as insightful and I’m keeping an eye on her because one of these days I will hear the news we both want to hear!

Seoulful Kiss contest

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READ THE EXCERPT
 

My release date was temporarily delayed due to family health related setbacks but now things have settled and I’m ready to go. I’m SO excited to announce that the holiday read will be available next week!

In the meantime, I’ve decided to hold a very awesome contest for this book release! SEOULFUL KISS is important to me on many levels. It marks the first book set in Seoul, Korea and the international setting is one I’ve always wanted to write about. I hope I’ll be able to pull you into Rissa and Min’s sweet love story so you can experience the exotic city firsthand. I can honestly say it was a lot of fun writing the characters and taking them on a whirlwind adventure through the streets of Seoul to Namsan Tower, onto Namdaemun outdoor market, and all the way to Hongdae arts district. There is so much of Seoul that is breathtaking, but this particular story will only show a few of my favorite spots to complete the romantic winter theme.

Here’s a secret…there’s a character I’ve mentioned in the book that will actually have their own love story. I’m currently working on the single title romance for my sexy series. Unlike this sweet tale, there’s a darker and edgier contemporary world I’ve weaved especially for her. It’s nothing like I’ve ever written before so I hope my readers will enjoy the new direction I’m going. Hopefully I’ll be able to drop some more hints about this series in the coming months…

Now for the contest…

I’m giving away a fabulous holiday gift box which will include some very stylish prizes (my personal favorites) for our US residence. If an international winner is chosen, you’ll be eligible for an eBook copy of SEOULFUL KISS and a $25 gift card from either Amazon, B&N, or another venue that you may like better.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in the gift box…

  • Juicy Couture mousepad and mouse
  • Fancy letter opener
  • Chocolates
  • Cute Asian knick knacks
  • $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N
  • …and some other cool stuff I hope you’ll enjoy

All you need to do is tell me what what your “first kiss” was like…was it everything you thought it would be or was it something you’d rather bury deep in the dark recesses of never-neverland?

A winner will be chosen at random and announced on DECEMBER 21st…I know, it’s rumored to be the end of the world, but wouldn’t you want to know that you’ve won a super cool prize? Good Luck!

I look forward to reading your comments!

Keep Smiling

Rockin’ Out to: CATCH MY BREATH by Kelly Clarkson

* * * *

It’s been quite a year…2012 marked big changes in my life and there was much reflection going on. I can say the turbulent times felt like it was never-ending but I persevered and kept marching ahead with a smile on my face, even if there was an ache in my heart and an emptiness in my soul. Sounds like one of my stories, huh?

Well, it wasn’t necessarily a bad year but it was a year of many tests when it came to what I wanted to accomplish. Sure, I was faced with immeasurable doubt and my confidence was waning but I always looked to the future. Where did I see myself in five years? Certainly in a better position in my career. For once, I am starting to understand myself as a writer. My style has morphed into a maturity that I needed and it can only shape into something wonderful…something beautiful. Honestly, if not for my friends and readers, it would have been a considerably harder road to travel. Now I’m in a good place and the pieces are starting to fall together. The world is brighter and I’m excited about reaching my goals.

Well, I’ve learned a lot about myself including the fact that I couldn’t be easily shaken. My thick skin has become my fortress and strength but I didn’t allow it to be my crutch. I’m glad I took those trips to L.A. which allowed me to catch my breath a bit…so the song is really appropriate for this stage in my journey. I needed to step back and have a bit of fun. This re-energized me and gave me a chance to view things in a new perspective. I’m still learning to focus more on myself instead of drowning in work and obligations. It’s been so easy for me to say yes to everything but I’m starting to see my limitations and putting my foot down. I’ve turned away workload so I would write more. I’ve also embraced my weaknesses and fears. Perhaps that is what has helped me improve in my storytelling.

I can’t believe I’ve been writing romance for nine years…so close to a decade. Time passed in a blink of an eye and I don’t regret any of it. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life. If I keep smiling inside and out, I think it won’t be long before I have so many more reasons to smile about.

As Christmas approaches I want to do something special for my readers. I also hope that you’ll continue to support me in whatever direction I choose to go. Thanks for understanding my need to write in multiple genres. Thanks for cheering me on and loving my stories. Your love is my strength and that’s another wonderful reason for me to keep smiling.

THANK YOU!

Volatile Romance

I’ve noticed dark and volatile romances are popping up everywhere since the whole 50 Shades phenomenon. The truth is, they’ve always been around. Now authors who have been writing these sexy, intensely charged books are finally getting the recognition they deserve. I’m sure most readers will automatically assume these books all contain kink or are set in the world of BDSM, but it’s not necessarily so. You can pick up books with passionate, yet damaged characters and a sexy storyline in just about any genre. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or historical…those themes are there and are found in a lot of good romances.

I admit, I LOVE writing emotionally damaged and passionate characters. I don’t write hardcore erotica but the stories are pretty darn steamy. Of course, I also am a romantic at heart so I put it out there. For the most part, the stories I pen have humor added in but also contain some dark undertones. Whether the darkness is in the hero or heroines past, it’s there, and it affects the relationship of the characters. Frankly, you’re always going to get a happy ending from me. That’s just how I roll….LOL!

Want to know a secret? For the longest time I’ve longed to write a story that delved into the deepest, darkest recesses of a broken emotional relationship but I wasn’t sure I could execute it well. The truth—I was scared to push past my usual comfort zone to bare my soul in a story that’s so vulnerable. Now that I’m at a point in my life and career where I want to challenge myself, I feel like I should finally write that project that’s been buried in my heart. It’s going to be darker than I’ve ever written and hopefully I will be able to overcome my fear of failure to do it justice. My hope is for it to affect my readers on an emotional level. That’s probably an author’s dream come true. Frankly, I love a book that will make me happy, sad, angry, and haunted by the love story…I hope that this new series I’m working on will touch on all those emotional points. Let me tell you, it’s exciting, thrilling to tackle—and I hope the books will show my growth and maturity as a writer.

While I’ve been working on this story, I’ve been putting together my playlist for the book. I will say that TRY by P!nk is the absolute perfect song for me to listen to. It’s so emotional and deep. I suppose we all interpret songs differently regardless of the music video, but this particular song gets me into the characters dark frame of mind. I’m afraid that I’m very much a method writer (you like my play on the word method actor?)—I could totally get lost in my character’s world and completely immerse myself. However, this time it feels different for me. I bet it’s going to be difficult to separate myself from the story once I reach the end…but I’ve mentally prepared myself. I also have lots of Kleenexes, chocolates, and wine handy. Now all I need to do is bury myself in the writing cave again. Good thing it’s NaNoWriMo month so I’m already forced to finish 50,000 words.

Okay folks, I’m sure I will be even more motivated if you cheer me on! Until next time…