Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell, 2014! Here's What You Taught Me

Personally, I don't make resolutions. Thus, at the end of each year, I don't reflect on what I failed to accomplish. I look back at the memories I'm carrying forward and the lessons I've learned along the way. 

I started 2014 in a rocky place, but I struggled through, made significant changes, and feel more at ease in my world than I have in a long time. So, what have I learned?

1. I am resilient. I can bounce back from the negatives.
2. I am introspective. Point out my faults, and I'll consider your opinions. I might even surprise you (and myself!) by admitting I was wrong and correcting my bad behavior. 
3. I am tenacious. Well, really, I always knew that. But in 2014, I learned to seek out what I need, rather than wait for the universe and the powers-that-be to hand it over.
4. I am worthy of more. This was a tough lesson for me to learn, but after a lifetime of settling for complacency, I finally realized my true value in all aspects of life. "Good enough" is no longer good enough.
5. I am free. All the negative aspects I've been connected to throughout my life have been severed. I can now move forward in a positive way.

Welcome, 2015! I'm ready for ya. Let's rock!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

What Happened to Conflict?

I've been catching up on my reading lately and I can't tell you how many romance books I've picked up, read halfway through, then tossed aside because they had no hint of conflict. What do I mean by conflict? I'm talking about that deep-rooted issue that tears the characters apart or makes it unlikely they could ever become a couple. By the time I reach the 50% mark on my Kindle, I should be seeing some reason why these two people can't be together. 

Oh, sure. They all had some kind of pain in their past that kept them from achieving their hearts' desires. But between the hero and heroine, it's just been a lot of dating: dinner, movies, picnics. There's usually a big misunderstanding, a breakup, and then bam! Someone or some trivial event brings them back together, they talk it out, and they live happily ever after--but not before one more stupid cliche tragedy like a minor kidnapping, a shooting, or some other life-or-death situation that only serves to prove to the characters how deeply they love each other.

Bleccch. Give me a hero and heroine who need to give up something they value, who risk their reputations or their greatest treasures, who put it all on the line for love. Otherwise, I'm out (generally around the 50% mark).

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Sneak Peek: Waiting in the Wings

With my submission to Harlequin Heartwarming on the editor's desk, I'm back to work on WAITING IN THE WINGS, Book III of the Afterlife Series. 

I know. It's been a while since Book II came out and I'm overdue on delivering this book to you all. Forgive me. These books are the most emotional stories I write and they're physically draining. I need periodic breaks to replenish myself while working with these characters. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a snippet to keep you in the loop on where we're going. So, here goes:

"I wound up in a contraband camp. Ever hear about them?”


“Yeah, well, the history books don’t talk much about ‘em. But they existed. I mean, think about it. All these slaves suddenly free—where were they supposed to go? And how were they gonna get anywhere without money or any means of transport besides walking? Millions of freed slaves wound up in these camps, most of which were just old slave quarters anyway. So they traded one hell for another. Not much food, unsanitary conditions. Most of us died from starvation—or if we were lucky—diseases like cholera or smallpox. Faster, you know? That’s what got me in the end. Cholera.”

“I’m sorry.” And she was. Even knowing how he’d betrayed her and her child in that lifetime, she didn’t want to think of him dying miserable and alone. Her thirst for vengeance had dried up when she’d forgiven Sean. Part of her growth cycle during her tenure in the Afterlife, she supposed.

All she wanted now was peace. Peace and harmony. And a hot fudge sundae. Not necessarily in that order. Since ice cream was unavailable in this realm, she’d have to hone in on the peace and harmony angle and hope hot fudge sundaes were a perk in the place she ended up next.

WAITING IN THE WINGS will be available in early spring 2015.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

I Did It!

Congrats to all the NaNoWriMo participants who finished their stories in the month of November. If you followed me this last month, you know I came up with NaBloWriMo--where I blogged every day for the month of November. Guess what? Yup. I did it. Thirty blog posts in thirty days. Woot! Woot!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: