Friday, December 31, 2010

Come on in, 2011!

Here's to a great start to the new year!
Thanks for reading, and bottoms up!
Laura

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in Review

2010 was great to me, so I thought I'd take a moment to celebrate all the good that came my way.
1) Got my first contract for a novel, Forever Freed, from The Wild Rose Press
2) Got my first contract for a novella, Hearts in Darkness, from The Wild Rose Press
3) Got my first ever book covers


4) Launched my pen name, Laura Kaye
5) Attended my first ever RWA National Conference (and got to meet so many online friends in person!)
6) Got a request for a full in my first ever RWA agent pitch appointment
7) Completed 1 full novel, 3 novellas, and extensive edits on another novel
8) Got involved with the Maryland  Romance Writers, a great group of ladies I've really come to respect and value (I'd add election as MRW Vice President, but since I ran unopposed...lol)
9) Semi-finaled in one contest and finaled in another
10) Didn't final in the Golden Heart, but got a kick-ass score for Forever Freed that left me squeeing for days (42.10 out of 45, baby!)

2010 was the year I really came to think of myself as an author and a writer, and writing has become so central to my self-conception, it's hard to imagine life without it. So, huzzahs for 2010! If 2011 is half as good, it'll be damn great.

What are you celebrating as the old year ends?

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Returning from a few days off line to wish all my online friends the merriest of Christmases. I hope Santa brought you everything your heart desired and all your soul needed.
As ever, thanks for reading,
Laura

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why I've Been Incognito

Besides being buried under final exam and paper grading, here's the other reason why you could hear the crickets chirp around my blog the past few weeks. Yesterday, Santa came a little early to our house--the girls received completely redecorated and relocated bedrooms after several weeks of decor purchases and forty-eight hours of crazy remodeling a la Trading Spaces. And it was all worth it--because they were beyond thrilled. Here were the end results:

4-year-old Julia's room:



6-year-old Cara's room:

These rooms will never be this clean and organized again!!!! LOL

So, phew! Now that's behind me, and grading will be within the next two days, so hopefully I can start paying some attention to the writing life, again.

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Happy Birthday, Sasha

Celebrating another character birthday today: the main character from my WIP women's fiction, Alexandra "Sasha" Brant.  The book follows Sasha's efforts to rejuvenate her flagging marriage, and her birthday serves to rekindle the flame and add to the tension between her and her husband, Jason.  And so, today I'm thinking of Sasha. And hoping she'll share some of her birthday mojo to allow me to put the finishing touches on this manuscript once and for all.

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New York Times: Romance Books Dominate E-Books



A great story for those of us engaged in the publication of romance books and particularly in e-book form: see story here.

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meet an Author Monday


Hi'ya all and happy Monday.  Well, happy Monday evening, anyway, as I didn't get around to this earlier. I have been very unhappily buried under real-life work for the past ten days or so, thus by the time I get to play with fun stuff, my brain is fuzzy with the day's events and my eyes are drooping to beat the band. The good news is all that paper grading will be behind me by noon tomorrow and I'll be grading-free for nine whole days until finals madness starts. I got edits on both Wild Rose Press manuscripts in the past few days, so completing them is my immediate writing goal for the week, followed by at least 3,000 words on the WIP. Wish me luck! What are you juggling these days?

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to drop in on some new-to-you authors and say hi'ya,
Laura


Friday, December 3, 2010

Review of Evangeline Anderson, Broken Boundaries

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My reaction to the book depends on what part of it I'm considering. There were things about it I adored, and things about it that were very far fetched and demanded a pretty significant suspension of disbelief.

What I loved:
The sexual tension between the two heroes was crazy hot and tantalizingly delicious. The two heroes were physically appealing, likable, complex, and experienced effective character development. The one hero's slow evolving recognition of his own sexuality was such a good tease and upped the sexual tension wonderfully. The author made you absolutely pant for the heroes to finally DO IT! On this alone, I enthusiastically recommend the book. [One caveat: There is a rape scene between the two heroes I absolutely could have done without.]

But. Here's what was a little harder for me:
The worldbuilding, which in many ways I liked and found effective, also required a pretty significant suspension of disbelief, and sometimes in ways that really stretched the bounds of what I could buy. Here's my problem: the future military that Anderson describes remains solidly homophobic, to the extent that there are characters who constantly gay-bash other characters in the story and Don't Ask/Don't Tell still exists. Within this world, she constructs a military that 1) builds a ship that requires two naked men to lay touching together to operate, and a ship that can only be fully effectively operated if the two men are physically connected (i.e., having sex), and 2) given the ship's parameters, the military specifically recruits gay men to be their elite-among-the-elite pilot/gunner force. If you think on it at all, it just isn't logical that this would be true. And I don't think this is just a matter of run-of-the-mill-fantasy-book-asking-for-you-to-suspend-your-disbelief, as so many fantasies and scifis do. It's just illogical to think that a homophobic military would ever be okay with creating such a ship or such an elite force.

HOWEVER, that said, when I looked beyond that issue and let the book take me for a ride (!), it was a good, fun, hot read that I really enjoyed, with characters that have stuck with me. (I've actually already re-read it--well, certain scenes, at least ;-] ) Overall recommend.

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Free Cookbook Download from The Wild Rose Press

 
The Wild Rose Press, my soon-to-be-publisher, wants you to celebrate the holiday season with a FREE cookbook filled with Sweets & Treats recipes submitted by TWRP authors. Download here.

Enjoy! And eat something sweet for me!

Thanks for reading,
Laura

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NaNope and Beyond

Hi all--I have emerged from my flu-and-turkey-induced stupor to find a new month has dawned. And, with it, yet another chance for winning NaNoWriMo. I wrote 18,000 words between November 1 and 17 before succumbing to an awful head cold that quickly evolved into ye olde influenza. Who knows if I would've made it or not, as I was behind pace anyway.  Still, I now have 18,000 more words than before, and that puts me at a grand total of 64,000 on the WIP (yes, I was a bad girl not following directions and trying to use NaNo for motivation to make progress on the never-ending WIP).

Now, as I enter the heaviest workload part of the season with final paper and exam grading, I'm setting out some new goals to bring a 2010-end to this manuscript.  I'm making a New Years Resolution early:

The current WIP will be fully drafted by the end of 2010.

I'm shooting for approximately 85,000 words and estimate I have about seven chapters left.  So I need seven good writing days of about 3,000 words each. Completely doable! Totally. Yesiree.

Congratulations to all you NaNo divas. A lot of y'all really cranked out the wordage and won big. It was inspiring to see!

Thanks for reading,
Laura