Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trust your story, taking risks, and trials & Tribulations of writing a series

Yep, It's me again....the thinker, the babbler. Are you ready for my latest? :)

So yesterday, I shared the news that THE MELODY IN MY HEAD, Love and Music in Texas Book 2 was done! Well, the first draft anyway. There's still much work to be done to whip this baby into shape!

Which brings me to my first point. Trusting your story AND risk taking.

I've never written a romance series before. I've mentioned this in prior guest blog posts, but the idea of a series used to not appeal to me. I know, I know...quit looking at me like that, and please put down that rotten tomato. I've cleaned up enough messes today! :)

Anyway, the Love and Music in Texas series, at least the first part of it, is going to revolve around Harmony's Echo, Texas, and the band Baby Stetson. Of course we know Book 1 started off with Avery, and Jameson, her ex, and the lead guitarist for the band managed to warm his way into my heart and get his own story. I created some good conflict for Jameson, starting in the first book, and so he's got a lot to deal with in his story. He made a mistake that changed things for him and Avery. Book two introduces readers to Melody Roland, a woman on the run who ends up stranded in Harmony's Echo, and Jameson is there to help. He connects with her over music, and also because she's there when things happen in his life. He comes face to face with part of his past.  Of course, Avery and Lucas have their appearances, and I've introduced a sub plot that involves the two of them so there are a few scenes that are in either Avery or Luke's point of view.

There is a big incident that happens to Lucas, which forces Melody to realize that she can't run from her own past. My editor read through the draft and isn't sure about a few things.  I try to change up things in my stories and didn't want everything to be the same, so one of the biggest plot points doesn't happen to Melody and Jameson, but it forces the pair to figure out what they want and need. Maybe it's a risk to write it that way, but I don't feel that the subplot takes away from Jameson or Melody.  I've learned that everyone is going to have various opinions, I found that out reading all the different reviews on Baby Stetson. Something that worked for one was definitely NOT the case for another. You can't please everyone, but does that include the person that edits your story and wants to help make it the best it can be?  I know there are some things that need work on the story, I don't deny that- it's a rough draft and I am a panster. But I felt like what I did with Lucas helps his character.

That brings me to the ups and downs of writing a series. I've been huge on authors that have integrated older characters that had their own HEA in a previous story. Readers get to catch up with them. that works for some, and doesn't for others. One of my favorite examples is Marie Force's Gansett Island series.  It's like the best sense of community I've ever read with a series! Now, I'll admit, as the books goes on, it does get a little overwhelming with all the catching up and new characters, but I still enjoy reading about them after their happily ever after. Why? It gives more depth. It's like a version of real life, because you get to find out what happens after they fall in love, get married and live their lives. I love Harmony's Echo so much, I want that kind of sense of community. Lucas and Avery are the couple that won't leave my mind.  Also, another thing my editor brought up was that in a series, it's hard to make things stand alone. I get that. There are things talked about in book 2 that happened in book 1, but how do you avoid that?  It's just not easy to make it a stand alone in that sense, because it's a small town and the characters are so connected.

So that's my rambling. What are your thoughts, as a series writer? A series reader?

And if anyone has read Baby Stetson, and if you're willing, would you want to read through The Melody in My Head as a very early beta to tell me what you think of how I worked the ending? I'm already coming up with an alternative one to see which works better.

I want to hear from you! Thanks again, for reading my crazy writer ramblings. Hopefully they made sense.....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday: May 26

Welcome to Sneak Peek Sunday! This is a fun little weekly hop where authors post six paragraphs from a work in progress or a completed book. There's usually a little something for everyone, so I hope you'll check all the great stops out. You never know what you may find.

I apologize for the mishap on my blog...I posted the link to my author blog on my website, but we're  still working out the kinks in my admin panel and there were some things that came out messed up, and  so I had to take out the content, but couldn't delete the post itself.  More practice for me, more work for my husband to fix the problem hehe.

Anyway, my sneak peek today is from Baby Stetson, my March release. As you may know, Baby Stetson is book one of the Love and Music in Texas series, and as I am coming up on the finish line to book two, The Melody in  My Head, I wanted to share a few scenes in Baby Stetson of Jameson, the hero for book two. Jameson is the lead guitarist for the band, and Avery's ex. They struggle to find their way back to friends, as the pair have grown up together, and had been dating for years until one mistake changed everything.

When I wrote Jameson, he wasn't supposed to be one of the good guys, but this man grew on me and I knew then i had to keep him around as one of the good ones. I love it when characters do that, and Jameson definitely stole my heart. So, without further ado, here is today's sneak peek

     Jameson had been so great about everything.  Avery missed spending time with the man she’d grown up with.  Still fearful about losing their friendship, Avery hadn’t done her best to help things go back to normal.  Yet here he was, still by her side, being a good friend.  Avery hugged him. Jameson stiffened at first, then hugged her back. 

“What’s that all about?” Jameson asked when she let him go. 

     “Just me being all emotional again.  That was for being such a great friend ... especially after everything.  I’m just in awe at how times and things change.  I hate that we didn’t work out, but I’m so thankful for our friendship.”  Avery wiped a tear away. 

“I  hate  it  too.  I  haven’t  forgiven  myself.  It seems like you’re happy with Lucas.  I see you two eyeing each other all the time.” 

“Oh Jameson.  I-”  Avery’s heart sank.  She hadn’t even thought of him seeing them, and she knew Jameson took their breakup hard. 

He waved a hand in dismissal.  “No, it’s okay, Avery.  I know you have to move on.  I understand you don’t feel the same.  You were my friend first, my best friend, and I don’t want that to go away.  I know that things have changed, and we can’t get back fully to what we used to be, but I do want you to be happy.  That’s important to me.” 

And there you have it! Today's Sneak Peek. I'll be posting a few more scenes from Baby Stetson with him in it, and then soon, I'll switch over and show you more of him with The Melody in My Head. I hope you enjoyed today's snippet!

Baby Stetson for Kindle

Baby Stetson for Nook

Baby Stetson for Kobo

Add Baby Stetson to your Goodreads list!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday: May 12

Welcome back to Sneak Peek Sunday! This a fun little weekly event where authors participate in posting six paragraphs from a work in progress, or a completed work, published or unpublished. There's always a variety, so be sure to check out what authors have to offer!

I thought, since it's Mother's Day, that I would share a scene from Baby Stetson between Avery and her adoptive mother. They are very close, and Avery has a lot of changes in her life, but her mom is being supportive and wonderful.  Here's the snippet!

“I see you’re getting a head start,” Mom said, sitting on the bed beside the open bag. 

“I couldn’t sleep.  Each dream I had was worse then the one prior,” Avery admitted, folding up the last of the skirts she’d chosen and placed them on top of the pile. 

Mom reached for Avery’s hand and pulled her to stand right in front of her.  “Avery.  You’re going to be just fine, whatever happens.  I want you to remember that Dad and I love you, and we have been so blessed and lucky to have you come into our lives.  You already know I was devastated after Paula ran off.  Having you around was wonderful.  When I first saw you, bundled up in that beat up Stetson hat, I believed it to be a sign.  I knew then we had to do whatever it took to keep you safe.  When your parents couldn’t be found, I told your father, no questions asked, that we
 were going to fight for you.  I haven’t regretted a day of it since.” 

“Mom, you’re going to make me cry again,” Avery sniffed, but she couldn’t keep the smile from spreading across her face.  “I love you too.  I’ve always wanted to know where I came from.  I’ve loved being here with you and Dad in Harmony’s Echo.  I’ve thought about what you said about following my dreams, and as hard as it will be to leave you, I realize that music is something I want to pursue.  I want to thank you for the encouragement and neverending support you always give me.”  Avery hugged her mother tight. 

“I’ve always been a little fearful- okay, well that’s under exaggerated.  I’ve been very fearful of the day you may find your birth parents, but I know now that you would never forget us.  That’s the reason you stayed around even when you had the chance to spread your wings and fly.  No matter the distance between us, you are still my beautiful, talented wonderful daughter.”  Tears cascaded down her mother’s cheeks, which started Avery with her own waterworks. 

“Thank you so much.”  Avery cried into Mom’s shoulder.  “Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do.  I would not be the woman I am today without you.  You’re the best.” 

And there you have it! Today's scene!

Baby Stetson for Kindle

Baby Stetson for Nook

Baby Stetson for Kobo

Add Baby Stetson to your Goodreads list!

Check out some other authors snippets!  And thanks for coming by! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday May 5

Welcome back to Sneak Peek Sunday! This is the chance that you get to read various snippets of authors work. There's usually a bit of something for everyone, and there's a variety.  We post six paragraphs of a work in progress or a published book.  It's fun and a neat way to find new authors and books.

I've been posting snippets from my latest release, Baby Stetson, and today is no exception.

This snippet is Lucas and Avery getting to know each other, and Lucas startles himself by finding a deeper connection to Avery, more than just a physical attraction, and that's where the demons within begin their battle.

Hell yeah. Where to start? The more time
Lucas spent with her, the more he wanted to know.
He didn’t understand how she could have the same
reserved attitude he had. While they both had been
left by the people that were supposed to love, take
care, and keep them safe, Avery found a home. Lucas
sensed she wanted more, and yet, didn’t jump to find
out more.

She hid herself in a shell. Lucas wished she’d
come out of it.

Why did he suddenly have the drive and
inclination to uncover all of her feelings? Lucas had
never wanted to know so much about someone before,
not like this.

She’s a lot like me.

If Lucas had to be honest with himself, that
scared him. He’d never connected on such a level with
a woman before. Only physically. While he found
Avery attractive, suddenly there was much more to his
interest in her.

Stop thinking about her. You’re not here to
connect with her.

There you have it! Today's snippet!

Right now, part of the Book Lover's Buffet, I've reduced Baby Stetson down to $.99.

Baby Stetson for Kindle

Baby Stetson for Nook

Baby Stetson for Kobo

Add Baby Stetson to your Goodreads list!

Check out some of the other participants in the Sneak Peek Sunday!  You never know what you'll find!