Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Project of Mystical Proportions

As noted in my previous post, I have devised a plan for broadening my horizons. I'm still in the midst of writing MARRY POPPINS, the third book in my modern-day fairy tale series--IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. And I'm jotting story notes for CHRISTMAS IMPOSSIBLE, WANDERLUST, and LOVING A LEGEND. All of these tales fall with the romance genre and they are slated for release within the next seven months. Yes, I'm pushing my limits. As I've said before, I'm not a speedy writer. However I am presently, fiercely focused and inspired.

Part of what's driving me is knowing that I'm working toward breaking into a new genre--Fantasy Mystery. THE EXTRAORDINARY QUEST OF ZOE ALBRIGHT (which I plan to Indie publish) is already a work-in-progress. Meanwhile my goal is to also sell a fantasy mystery project to a NYC traditional publisher. I spent the last three days heavily revising a proposal I started a while back for a fantasy mystery that takes place in the 1920s. I'm working new muscles big time. It's a challenge and it's a joy. I *think* I finally nailed it. I'll be submitting that proposal to my agent in the next couple of days. I hope she'll be as excited about the story as I am. Wish me luck.

Step one in broadening my horizons.

Is there something new you've been wanting to try? Something that will push your limits? Broaden your horizons? Something that seems almost impossible?



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Looking Ahead!

I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse, but I am constantly bombarded with story ideas. Unfortunately, I'm not the world's fastest writer so it's impossible for me to keep up with my crazy muse. I'm easily distracted by shiny new ideas. Sometimes I give into them. Not a bad thing. Viva variety! But it does put a kink into the schedule of whatever "series" I'm trying to focus on.

I've spent the last few weeks thinking hard about my career. Where I am. Where I'd like to go. One thing I know for sure. I'm going to focus more on what inspires me creatively. What truly sparks my passion. And I'm going to worry less about "breaking out and ahead" financially. I'm going to reconnect with the crazy kind of passion that makes my storytelling unique. I'm going to have FUN.

My new goal is to complete my two Indie romance series (Peacemakers: Old West AND Impossible Dream) by mid 2016. Peacemakers: Old West will consist of four books total. Impossible Dream will consist of five. Then I'll be turning my full attention and creativity to a story that has been in the works for some time. A story of my heart that received a lot of interest from the big NYC pubs, but was ultimately passed over because A) They didn't know how to market it or B) (in one very close but no cigar instance) was a little to close in concept to something that pub had already bought.

This particular story revolves around "The Extraordinary Quest of Zoe Albright". It's a fantasy mystery with romantic elements. Sort of like 'The Discovery of Witches"... but not really. All I know is I adore what I've written so far and honestly think Zoe is me at my very best.

In keeping with that Indie project, I'm working on polishing another fantasy mystery proposal for my agent to pitch to the traditional NYC publishers. I'd be ever so thrilled to remain a hybrid author albeit in a new genre. A slight shift from straight ahead romance and perhaps a risky move on my part but it feels right. So.... I'm going for it.

Based on all of the above here's what you can expect from me in the near and not so near future! (*not including a special project I'm simmering on with an extremely talented artist!)

  • MARRY POPPINS (Impossible Dream--book 3) Sept/Oct 2015
  • ON THE NAUGHTY LIST (holiday anthology w/Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, and Sugar Jamison) Oct 2015
  • WANDERLUST (romance anthology w/Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love and Elle J Rossi) Nov 2015
  • CHRISTMAS IMPOSSIBLE (Impossible Dream--book 4) Oct/Nov 2015
  • LOVING A LEGEND (Peacemakers:Old West--book 4) Feb 2016
  • NO PLACE LIKE NOWHERE (Impossible Dream--book 5) July 2016
  • ZOE ALBRIGHT: THE ASSASSIN'S PRODIGY (An ESCA Novel) Oct 2016          

Unless something totally unexpected puts a glitch in my oh-so-focused plan. ;)

Speaking of MARRY POPPINS, I'll leave you with this beautiful ad designed by my awesoemlly talented sister--Elle J Rossi of EJR Digital Art

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Revitalization and Risk

Bear with me through the set-up. I swear this is not solely a promo shout. It's a promo shout leading up to a peek into how my mind works and ending with a question for you!

If you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter or even here (for the last couple of days), you know that I'm celebrating the reissues of my historical western series: Peacemakers: Old West. LASSO THE MOON, the first adventure in the series is on sale now for .99. Digital version only and only until July 24. If you haven't taken advantage, do so soon!  

Book 2 and 3--ROMANCING THE WEST and FALL OF ROME are also available in digital for bargain prices. If you prefer a good ole book in your hands, they're available in print as well.   


Gifting these tales with new covers (thank you EJR Digital Art), tweaked editing, and a sale with a two-week ad campaign allowed me an opportunity to garner new readers. Revitalizing these stories also revitalized my love of the Garrett family and assorted associates as well as the wild, wild, west. I had forgotten how much research and intrigue I'd weaved into these books--along with a lot of heart and humor. I very much enjoyed reconnecting with that part of myself and my writing. This revitalization of the series left me inspired!

Avid fans of the Peacemakers have been asking for Boston Garrett's story for a very long time and, after being waylaid for several professional reasons, I'm finally in a position (and frame-of-mind) to deliver the goods. Although I have multiple projects on my plate right now I am indeed simmering on Boston's adventure--working title: LOVING A LEGEND. Slated for release in early 2016.

You may have noticed that in this post's title I used the word RISK. And here's where that aspect comes in. The first three Peacemaker tales are straight-up historical western romances. I am inspired to approach LOVING A LEGEND in a slightly different way. The inspiration came from various directions. 

  • A 2014 trip to Arizona which included a visit to Jerome. This artsy, unique town is situated on the side of a mountain and has a stunning history. I knew at some point I would write a story that took place in Jerome and it would entail a ghostly or paranormal aspect.

  • A while back I ran a post on Facebook about two television series. FIREFLY and THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCOE COUNTY, JR.  I was thrilled to learn I'm not the only rabid fan of these shows. Both of these series were cult hits and both combined wild west and sci-fi/fantasy aspects. They were also sexy, romantic, and peppered with wit and humor. Everything I love.  

  • This past year I fell in love with the cable series (book) OUTLANDER and rediscovered my love of a classic tale by Jude Deveraux--A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. Two words: Time Travel 

All this "inspiration" swirled and settled around LOVING A LEGEND as well as a spin-off series--Peacemakers: New Breed.  There's a key scene in FALL OF ROME where Rome tells his younger brother Boston, "Get your own damned life." When that story ends, in my head I knew Boston would head off in search of that life. I also knew he would have a hard time finding it. As a past government agent, current Peacemaker, and a popular dime novel hero, he's pretty much seen and done it all. What and who could shake this man's world?     

One morning not so long ago, I had an epiphany. It involved dropping a twenty-first century woman into Boston's nineteenth-century world. I can see it and even better I can feel it. Here's where RISK comes into play. The preceding linked books are straight up historicals. Will fans of the standing series be intrigued or turned off by a paranormal twist to Boston's tale? And will they follow the Peacemakers into a new world--a spin-off series inspired by my imagination and the cult series mentioned above? 

Would you?  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dream More

A book caught my eye. Actually, the copy on the back of the book caught my eye.

If I have a wish for you, it is that you:
Dream more
Learn more
Care more
Be more


It's a small book meant to inspire and motivate and it's written by Dolly Parton. I've always loved Dolly. She's bigger than life with her big hair, bold makeup, and glitzy wardrobe. She's charismatic, down-to-earth, and incredibly talented. A singer and songwriter. An actress and founder of Dollywood and the Dollywood Foundation for the Imaginary Library. She's also, I learned after speed reading the preface of this book, a gifted writer with some valuable insight and advice. I only just started DREAM MORE--Celebrate the Dreamer in You and I am already charmed and inspired. Happening on this little gem at this particular time in my life was a blessing.

"Dreams took me from a shack at the foothills of great Smokey Mountains to Nashville and then to Hollywood. And then around the world, like Cinderella and the Fairy godmother all combined, in glitter, high heels and hair."  

I've always been a dreamer myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that dreaming big (and working hard) got me to where I am today. I have to remind myself of all the wonderful things I've accomplished and all the accolades I've enjoyed. This is one of those times. I've fallen short of a few of my expectations and instead of learning from the experience and dreaming beyond, I've been spinning my wheels in a mud-pit of self-doubt.

"I thank God for my failures. Maybe not at the time, but after some reflection. I never feel like a failure just because I tried something and failed. to me, the secret is all in how you approach things.
Attitude, it's all in the attitude. Just because you fail, don't mean you have to lose. But if you want to win, then here's the simple truth. You have to change your attitude."

This passage and many more resonate deeply with me. As does Dolly's genuine "voice". I look forward to reading more of this book and I'm pretty sure I'll be sharing more of my thoughts based on Dolly's insight. 

What about you? Are you dreaming big?