Water Is My Friend

on August 27, 2014

During the brief moments when I’ve blogged lately, I’ve talked about my schedule being all out of whack. I’m writing when I should be sleeping and sleeping while the rest of the world is doing, well, just about everything the world does. I’ve been trying to switch this back around, but with no luck.

And now I know why. My late nights became serendipitous around 2 am last night. (This morning? You know what I mean.)

I finished my word count for the day and was plotting out what would come next (which is very exciting and secret revealing and you’re going to love it, I hope) when I noticed the animals gathered near the laundry room door. Normally, this means they’re watching a bug and debating which of them will get to kill it. But this time seemed different. This is the conversation I imagine was taking place.

 

Bumbles (cat): Why are you guys watching the door?

Caelen (extremely skittish cat): There’s a noise in there. I think something evil is going to get us.

Callie (cat): It’s not evil, but it ain’t good either. There’s wet stuff on the floor.

Macie (dog): What are you doing? Huh? Huh? Should we tell mom? I bet mom would want to play, too. Or I could chase you guys around. Wanna play chase?

Cats collectively: Chill out, fur ball.

 

This is when I joined them and heard the sound for myself. Upon further inspection, I found water pooling under my washer and dryer. Blasted water heater! I turned off the main valve for the water heater and the noise stopped, as did the leak. Lucky break for me, as this was not exactly business hours.

This is where you might think I’d cry foul and whine about the annoying water curse that seems to hover over my house. But that’s not going to happen.

I put in a service call with my warranty company, the plumbing company called at 7:55, arrived within an hour, and the whole thing was changed out and done before noon. And almost all of it was covered by the home warranty.

Not bad to go from flood waters to new unit at an extremely low cost (relatively speaking) in less than twelve hours. Not bad at all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pass out.

Celebrating the debut of JAMIE WESLEY!

on August 14, 2014

I am so excited to welcome, debut author, friend, and fellow Firebird (Golden Heart class of 2012!) Jamie Wesley to my little slice of the internet. Jamie recently launched her first book, TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD, a contemporary romance about two talk-radio hosts with very different personalities who are forced to work together. As some of you may know, I was a DJ (not talk radio, but close) for 8 years so I’m all about this story. I’ve already started it and love the sparks that bounce off this couple from page one.

Before I forget, Jamie is running a contest (for a Kindle!), which you can enter through the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the blog. But I’m also giving away a digital copy of TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD to one lucky commenter, so make sure you get yourself entered into both contests.

Ready to hear more? Then let’s go to the source. Take it away, Jamie!

Hi Terri,

author photoFirst of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

But if my guest post is going to be a success, I have to admit to having a deep, dark secret.

I want readers to lose themselves in the story. I want you to fall in love with my hero and root for my heroine and the couples’ happily-ever-after.

Yep, it’s true.

In order for that to happen, I have to do my part to get the details and the emotions and characterizations right to prevent you from going, “Ummm, no, lady. What are you doing/thinking/writing?”

Okay, I guess the real deep, dark secret is that I’m not always confident I can pull all of this off.

I set TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD in the world of talk radio. While I am a radio listener, I can’t claim to be an expert on the business side of radio. Noelle, the heroine, is a psychologist. I have degrees in communication studies and sport management. I think I took “Intro to Psych” my freshman year in college a lot of moons ago. So I researched the radio business and the field of psychology and then crossed my fingers.

But there was one aspect of this book I was completely confident in – the sports stuff. I love sports. Football, basketball, tennis, baseball, the list goes on. I am at my sports nerdiest during the Olympics. I watch the events, which NBC streams online, during the day at work and then go home and watch them again during the primetime broadcast. I love it!

Because of my love of sports, it made perfect sense to make my hero, Tate, a sports talk show host.  And let me tell you that was the best decision I could have made. When I write sports scenes, I’m not worried about whether or not I’m getting it wrong. I’m in my comfort zone and the writing just flows, and it’s fun and funny. IMHO.

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD takes place during the summer, so baseball was the sport I found myself writing about the most in this book. Tate gets to show off his chops with Noelle, who is – how should I put it? – sports neutral. I LOVED writing this scene. I hope you enjoy it.

Excerpt

TMSG coverTate relaxed his features and forced his lips upward. “I’m fine. The Rangers need to win this game.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why do they need to win?”

“Because they’ve lost the first two games in the series and don’t want to be swept.”

“Oh, okay.” They watched the game in silence for a few minutes.

He twisted toward her. “Didn’t you say that sports are mind-numbingly boring?”

Noelle took a sip of her drink before answering. “I said some people feel that way, not me. I don’t have a strong opinion either way except when they take over your life, but I feel that way about most things that cause discord in relationships. Truth be told, I’ve never paid much attention to sports. I try not to hate things I don’t know about.”

“Hmm.” He turned back to the TV and took another pull of beer.

“He needs to get some heat on that ball.”

Tate looked at her out of the corner of his eye. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?”

“Yes, I do.” Her shoulders stiffened, but she didn’t take her eyes off the action on the screen.

“Really?” He stared at her profile until she turned to him, stubborn denial plain on her face. He raised his eyebrows. And waited.

Noelle slumped. “Okay, maybe not.”

“I knew it.” He grinned. “Want to know how I knew?”

“No. I thought I was doing a good job faking it using the miniscule sports lingo I have in my arsenal.” She sighed. “But yes, tell me. What gave me away?”

He leaned in closer, catching another trace of her scent, and pointed to the pitcher on the mound. “You said he needs to get some heat on the ball.”

She stared at the TV, her face screwed up in confusion. “He’s throwing the ball so slowly.”

“Yeah, because he’s a knuckleball pitcher.”

Noelle spun toward him, putting their faces, their lips inches apart. The air between them sparked with an electric charge. After a taut second, she pulled back and looked down at her glass. “A what?”

Tate took another swallow of beer, hoping the comfort of the familiar would calm his suddenly jangling senses, and turned back to the TV. “Watch. See how the ball kind of goes crazy at the end?” He quieted as the batter swung and missed.

“Yeah.”

“That’s intentional. Unlike most pitchers who grip the ball with the pads of their fingers, he only uses the tips and then throws it, giving the ball the unpredictable trajectory. He’s not sure where the ball is going and neither is the batter, so he doesn’t have to throw it as hard as other guys.”

“Oh. That makes sense.” She sighed. “Guess that’ll teach me to talk about stuff I know nothing about.”

“You don’t like being wrong, do you?”

Noelle’s brow furrowed. “What gave you that idea?”

“That frown on your face. It’s the same one I see when I contradict you in a staff meeting or during the show.”

“Probably because what you’re saying makes no sense.”

“You just proved my point,” he said, fighting back laughter.

____________________

To celebrate the release of TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD, which is priced at $0.99 through Sunday, I’m giving away a Kindle! All you have to do to enter is tell me what you’re an expert on in the comments and fill out the Rafflecopter!

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD

by Jamie Wesley

Two radio show hosts. One show. Who will come out on top?

In a moment of restlessness, Tate Grayson sold his multimillion-dollar company and spun his love of sports into a radio talk show. Life, and love, is too short to take seriously—a fact he enjoys rubbing in uptight radio host Noelle Butler’s face.

After the death of her parents, a tragedy she blamed on herself, Noelle vowed to live a controlled, focused life. Now a psychologist, she channels her need for connection into her radio show. But when the arrogant sportscaster next door tells listeners men shouldn’t get married, she’s all too happy to yank the silver spoon out of his overprivileged mouth.

Their heated on-air arguments are a hit, but when the station director forces them to do a joint show for two weeks, Tate and Noelle object. They can’t stand each other, despite the attraction sizzling beneath every interaction. But if they can’t pull the struggling radio station back from the brink, they’ll lose their jobs. Or worse, their hearts.

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD is $0.99 until Sunday, August 17.

Buy links: Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Kobo  iBooks  Google Play

About the author

Jamie Wesley has been reading romance novels since she was about 12 when her mother left a romance novel, which a friend had given her, on the nightstand. Jamie read it instead, and the rest is history.

She started her first manuscript, a contemporary romance, after she graduated from Northwestern University in 2002 and couldn’t find a job. Life got in the way as it often does, i.e. she found a job, and she didn’t finish the story. However, she never forgot about it and finally got serious about completing it in 2009. She’s been writing ever since.

Jamie holds a master’s degree in sport management (yes, that’s a real thing 🙂 ) from the University of Texas at Austin, so it probably comes as no surprise that she loves sports and spends an inordinate amount of time rooting for her hometown Dallas’s pro sports teams and her alma maters.

She also adores Walt Disney World, shopping, and pop culture. Want to know if your favorite TV show is going to be canceled or what the newest Disney attraction is? Ask Jamie. She’ll probably know the answer. Connect with her at:

Website: Jamiewesley.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Jamie_Wesley

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorJamieWesley

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Is that AM or PM?

on August 11, 2014

I’ve been pretty quiet over here lately, and I’d like to say I have a good excuse. Only I’m not sure I do. My lack of blogging is due to a combination of boring things that I could write about here, but I’d sound like I was whining and no one wants to read that.

But eight months into this full-time writing thing and I’ve found myself in an unexpected state. Though I should have seen it coming, I suppose. As a kid, I was always a night owl. Left to my own devices (meaning during the summers of my high school years) I would stay up all night, and then sleep all day.

Guess what I’m doing now? I don’t know how it happened, but I think it had something to do with not paying attention to the clock. Then I’d get on a roll with the words pouring onto the page and you can’t stop when that happens. The next thing I knew, I was doing the majority of my writing between 10pm and 4am, then sleeping as late as 2 in the afternoon.

I imagine this makes me sound like a total slacker, but I’m awake as long as I ever was, it’s just during different hours. I’m writing this blog between 12:30 and 12:45 in the morning. I was tired a little while ago, and considered going to bed. Then I got a second wind (happens a lot) and here I am, writing a blog.

At first, I scolded myself and was determined to fix this. To return to “normal” hours, but then I remembered one of the most important lessons I learned from Bull Durham. (One of the greatest movies ever.)

Respect the streak.

The fact is, I’m turning out words, and this book is coming to life. So, do I worry about what time I go to bed, or do I go with the flow and get this puppy done?

That’s right, I’m going with the flow.

So here’s my question for you. If you didn’t have a day job or anyone you had to report to, what kind of schedule would you keep? Are you a night owl or an early riser. And if you’re one of those perky up-at-the-crack-of-dawn-never-hit-a-snooze-button-in-your-life kind of people, don’t be offended when I throw virtual rotten tomatoes at you. 

Writer’s Process Blog Hop

on July 21, 2014

Welcome to another installment of the Writing Process Blog Hop! In case you don’t know, authors have been answering these same four questions about their writing process, and tagging other to play along. I was tagged by the wickedly talented Celeste Easton.

1. What am I working on right now?
These days I’m working on the first book in my new series that will start releasing in 2015. Ardent Springs is a small town north of Nashville, and I’m having fun meeting the locals and getting to know the geography.

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?
Oddly enough, I don’t read a lot of small town contemporaries right now, mainly because I don’t want to “borrow” something without realizing I’m doing it. But I think mine are different in three ways. One, they’re edgier in that my characters tend to curse. Some of them curse a lot. My books are also quite sarcastic. Lots of off the cuff one-liners in dialogue, and often including some double entendre. My books are also sexy and there is sex on the page.

I write stories about modern, consenting adults and to me, sexual chemistry and compatibility play key roles in determining if a couple is going to live happily ever after. Every sex scene reveals something, alters something, and almost always complicates things even more than they already are.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I write the stories that come to me. Characters show up in my head, tell me a bit about their current situation, and then huff around until I fix their problem. So far, contemporary characters who live in out-of-the-way places are the ones who’ve made themselves known. As for romance, I’ve been reading the genre for nearly thirty years now, I adore a happy ending, and I enjoy the chance to tell a love story the way it should happen.

I love it when the hero says the right thing at the right moment. And when real emotions come through, be it during a fight or a love scene or just friends sitting around a table eating their favorite desserts. It’s community, friendship, and falling in love. Who wouldn’t want to spend their day surrounding by those three things?

4. How does my writing process work?
I wish I had a better answer for this, but my process is, well, not recommended would be the best way to describe it. I generally have six months to write a book. Typically, during the first three months, I’m doing edits on the previous book, and promoting the release of the one before that. In other words, massively distracted. Then I get to the three months to go mark and start to panic. By this point, I probably have a few chapters written, but the momentum isn’t flowing yet.

Then I do some math, realize how many words I’d have to write a week to get it done, whine for a couple of weeks to my (very patient) writing buddies (who have learned to ignore this part), and start turning out steady word counts. By, say, three weeks before the deadline, I’m writing the ending while surviving on water and Famous Amos cookies, holding my breath, sleeping very little, and in dire need of cleaning my house and coloring my hair.

As to the plotting, I’m more a plantser. I use a storyboard (which is stuck up on my living room wall near my desk) and always have inspiration images all around it. I plot 3-5 scenes, write those, then plot some more. I usually have the black moment and final scene in my head at all times, but I can’t write out of order so those just have to wait. They get a Post-it and we keep going.

Everything comes through the characters, and over the years I’ve learned to trust that they know what they’re doing. When I let go and let them write the story (taking dictation at this point) is when the story really comes together. It’s an organic process, full of surprises. While writing the 4th Anchor Island book (due out in November), I had an idea for the black moment, but then it came and what tumbled onto the page was not what I’d expected. Turned out, I’d foreshadowed exactly what happened for several chapters, without realizing I was doing it.

This is why I say the character write the books and I’m along for the ride. Just over a year into being a published author and I am happy to report I’m still having a blast. I’m often stressed and confused, frustrated and overwhelmed, but having a blast none the less.

NEXT WEEK:
The Blog Hop Continues….

Next Monday, check out Rue’s Corner, Jennifer Taylor, and Lindsay Gillis for a behind-the-scenes look at their writing processes!

 

A Bad Day

on July 11, 2014

Did you ever just have one of those days? I’m having one of those days. One of these days. 

 

And here’s the thing about it. I’m not sad. I have nothing to be sad about. Life is awesome. Life is like this.

But I still want to curl into a ball, hide under the covers, and call this day a wash.

This isn’t like me. This is more like me.

So I’m writing this blog for me, to remind myself of this.

I needed that. And hey, you’re awesome too.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better. 

Maybe It’s Just Me

on June 5, 2014

Grammarly did a little info compiling based on celebrity tweets on Twitter, and came up with some interesting statistics. (You can see the infographic here.) They concluded things like female celebrities make fewer overall writing errors than do male celebrities, younger celebrities make more grammar mistakes than their older counterparts, and to no one’s surprise I’m sure, writers make the least amount of spelling and grammar mistakes online.

This got me thinking. How hard do we (that’s anyone, celebrity or not) try to be correct while composing a tweet?

First of all, there is the limited character issue. I’ve been known to type bks for books so I could fit my entire message. Should that count against me? I’d think not, since I did it on purpose. So maybe tweets aren’t the right place to focus. Let’s say online anywhere.

Do you work hard to make sure an email you send to a friend is correct in both grammar and spelling? How about Facebook updates and comments? As a writer, anything I type for public consumption, be it a blog or Facebook update, is written with every effort at correct spelling and grammar. Yes, I’ve been known to go with a synonym of a word if I’m not sure in the moment how to spell it and don’t have time to look it up. (Please tell me I’m not on the only one.)

This is not to say everything I put out there is correct. I end up with typos in Facebook updates all the time. It’s annoying and a product of needing to be doing eight other things while typing the update. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

I remember when I first started exchanging emails with one of my little brothers. He’d been using computers on a regular basis since high school where I didn’t have this luxury until college. All of his emails were in lower case with no punctuation. Drove. Me. Nuts. But it was as if this was acceptable because this was typing some email and why should the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation be applied? What does it matter?

For me, it matters. How about for you? Is this all a sign that our language skills are going to hell in a hand basket? Or am I being annoyingly uptight? (Totally fair answer and I will not be offended.)

Mental Reset and June Contest Fun

on June 2, 2014

Where did May go? Seriously.

The first thing I have to do is thank the readers who have made the last two months so amazing. Home To Stay came out of the blocks in April riding the top of the Amazon charts all month, then continued to hold her own through the month of May. My books are selling all over the world and I’m pinching myself every day. So thank you thank you thank you. Readers. Are. Awesome.

For the first time since this past December, I am not working on a crazy deadline. The clock is not ticking in my ear. Life does not feel like a race against time.

And it’s weird.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to do with myself. So much went ignored during the deadlines (including this blog) that there are countless things that need doing. Maybe too many. Do I fix up the flower bed out front, or the patio in the back? Should I vacuum the stairs, or the cobwebs? Do I schedule the electrician to finally put that outlet outside, or the duct cleaners in hopes the top floor of my house stops being an oven?

And then there’s the new series. Just because I’m not looking down the barrel of a looming deadline doesn’t mean I don’t have a book to write. In fact, I have an entire town to create. And populate. And bring to life.

Then there’s this website, which needs no less than three books added. (I’m determined to do that soon!) Have I mentioned how much I would love to have an assistant?

I realize this all sounds like whining, and some might say these would be lovely problems to have. So let me make it clear—I am not complaining.

Just a little off kilter.

What I need is a reset button. In lieu of that, I need a plan. And if I could find a little focus, I’m sure I could come up with one.

This leads to my question. How do you stop the world long enough to get your bearings? Short of that, how do you focus? Do you have a long term plan, or do you go through life by the seat of your pants, making it up as you go along?

I used to do that, but not anymore. Could be my age or that I burned too many brain cells in my younger years. Either way, I need a lifeline.

 

TRR June Event GraphicAlso, I’m happy to announce that during the month of June I’m taking part in the Sizzling Summer Reads Party over on The Romance Reviews site. There are over 250 authors and publishers participating, with more than 200 prizes up for grabs. Make sure you visit every day to check out the contests and get yourself in the running for not only the daily prizes, but the grand prize of a $100 gift card.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Randy

on May 1, 2014

Osburn_HometoStay_front_cvr_FINALIf my blog title confuses you, I can explain. Today, May 1, 2014, the third installment in my Anchor Island Series, HOME TO STAY, is officially released to the world. As for the blog title, this book is the story of Will (Willow) Parsons and Randy Navarro.

Get it? Lame, I know.

But I’m so excited for this book to finally be fully and complete released. In all formats, including print, audio, and Kindle. Here’s the blurb:

Willow Parsons’s two new best friends are getting married, putting her squarely on the sidelines of romance—which suits her just fine. After escaping the ultimate Mr. Wrong, she is more than happy to spend her days slinging drinks in Dempsey’s Bar & Grill, and her nights alone. But her Anchor Island refuge has just one catch: muscle-bound charmer Randy Navarro.

Everyone in town knows that Randy, owner of the local fitness club, is a giant teddy bear.

Everyone, it seems, except for Willow. He’s convinced that her avoidance is more than just playing hard to get, and is determined to uncover the secrets that keep her on edge. But when old fears are dragged into the light, can Randy get Willow to stay and fight for their love…or will she take flight, leaving both him and Anchor Island behind?

Home to Stay is a charming, romantic tale about following your heart to find where you belong.

And here’s the trailer:

I’ve been living with these characters for nearly four years now, and they feel like family to me. Which is why I do a little happy dance every time someone says something nice about them. As a long time reader, it makes my heart happy to know I’m able to give others a story they can get lost in.

As for what comes next, YES there is one more book in this series. MORE TO GIVE will be out later this year and features Sam Edwards, whom you meet in HOME TO STAY, and a newcomer to the island with whom Sam has quite a complicated history. And because I love adding pets to my stories, you’ll get to meet Cecil, the talking parrot. He has a big vocabulary, and an even bigger attitude.

But wait, there’s more! Tracy Brogan, Kim Law, Kristan Higgins, and myself are running a really fun contest for Mother’s Day. Starting tomorrow (May 2) through the 9th, you can enter to win a $50 gift card as well as a stack of books from the four of us. And the best part? Your momma will win the exact same prize!

It’s called the One For Your Momma! Contest and you can find all the details on our Facebook pages. How to enter as well as all the rules will be available starting tomorrow (May 2). (It’s easy, promise.)

I have a newsletter going out today in which I’m giving away FOUR prizes to four lucky newsletter subscribers. Didn’t get it? Haven’t subscribed? It’s easy to do. Just hop over to my home page, fill in your name and email address there on the right, and you’re in.

Thank you to everyone who has made the last twelve months so much fun. MEANT TO BE was released a year ago this month, and I could never have imagined all the awesome that has come my way since.

Love, hugs, and virtual cupcakes for everyone!

Get Your Newsletter Here!

on April 28, 2014

I like to keep readers informed on new books or when my older books go on sale, and a newsletter seems the best way to do that. So if you want to stay in the know, simply comment on this post and make sure the box next to SIGN ME UP FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER is checked. (Which it should be by default.) Click POST COMMENT and you’re in!

I promise never to share your information with anyone. My list is my list and will never be sold or shared. And if you even want to stop receiving the newsletter, simply click unsubscribe the next time you get one. Thanks for being an awesome reader, whether you subscribe or not. 🙂

No Insult To Italy

on April 14, 2014

You know how you’ll hear a particular phrase or expression your whole life, but never see it in writing? Yeah. Well. I tried to be cute and incorporated one of these sorts of things into a bit of dialogue in HOME TO STAY. And I missed it by a nautical mile.

The term I used is criminitly, which I now know how to spell. It isn’t really a word, but a Midwestern expression of shock or surprise. Basically, it’s like something Yosemite Sam would have said. A bit of gibberish.

Here’s the thing. I grew up in a predominantly Italian town. (Though I am not even a smidge Italian.) I thought that the people around me were saying crime in Italy, but dropping the a in Italy when they said it. Because that’s how I heard it, that’s how I spelled it.

Wrong wrong wrong. Which, again, I know now. And I should have known before. But I can get stuck on something and I’m very stubborn. (Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you. Especially if they’re related to me.) So in the end, I made a mistake, and that mistake is pulling readers out of my story.

Which is like the number one thing I writer does NOT want to do. So this is my major mea culpa. I shouldn’t have used the expression, and definitely should have done my homework when I did. This in no way should reflect on the editing my book received. Trust me, there were several copyedit and proofing passes and though I can’t say for sure, I’m positive that they either a) tried to correct it and I insisted it stay or b) they assumed it was some expression they’d never heard and that I knew what I was talking about.

Ha! I wish I did.

For those who have yet to read the book, I’ll warn you now. This is going to pull you out of the story. It will make you shake your head and maybe even say “What the…”

I apologize now. And I meant no disrespect to Italy. I’m sure there is no more crime there than anywhere else.