Wednesday

I'm Back Sort Of

Thanks to all who commented in the previous post wishing me a good vacation. We had an amazing one, especially in NYC. So much so, that we cancelled our plans to head in Philadelphia so we could extend our time there.


We stayed with my aunt and uncle in the area of PA where I'm originally from. Straight off the turnpike I knew I was home.














And the evening view at my aunt and uncle's was as stunning as always.
















I am from a tiny town right next to Valley Forge. I can't even tell you how many times I've been to and through the park. But, we still stop every time we go up there. And my kids still love walking around and looking at all the monuments as much as ever.













Washington's HQ






But then someone forgot to tell Mother Nature it was spring and we woke the next morning to this view.

 Luckily, that mess was gone by the end of the day (mostly). The next morning we were off to The Big Apple.

The views from the docks behind our hotel were gorgeous.


The Empire State Building is still tall.



 The 9/11 memorial was more emotional than I'd thought it would be this long after.

And Lady Liberty is still standing.

Sadly, the Easter Island Head did not ask us for gum.


Like I said, tons of fun all around. Since we skipped Philly, I think we may head back this summer sometime, when there will be no chance of snow (then again, the way this year has gone...).

Today, the lovely and gracious Carol Kilgore is hosting me on her blog, Under The Tiki Hut. I'd love for you to swing by and say hello.









Monday

Spring Break

First, a huge thanks to all who helped make my release day such a success!

Now...

It's vacation time. Yeehaw. It's much needed right now, for sure. I don't do more than 10 minutes-ish a day online while I'm on family vacations--just quick sweeps of email and FB notification type stuff--so I will be on hiatus until the middle of April.

I wanted to head south--I am so darn ready for this dreary, snowy, wet winter to be over. But alas, due to overcrowding issues at my choices, I was outvoted and we are headed north instead. Going to stay with family in PA and take the kids into Philly and NYC since they've never been. Brrr. But it'll be fun. I haven't been into either city in a long, long, long time.

Have a great few weeks everyone, and thanks again for all the support!

xoxo

Thursday

Release Day

It's here! It's the day! LAST CALL is finally being released into the wild! Exclamation marks all around!!


Newly-single attorney Gwen Cooper’s list of things that make her happy is pretty simple:
 1. her teenage sons
 2. her stilettos
 3. finally taking control of her own life

While texting the first on the list to warn them she’s missed her flight home, she plows into a hot-shot movie star, has a lukewarm latte dumped down her blouse, and snaps a heel off item number two. When the actor shows up at the hotel bearing an apology of replacement Louboutins, she should be wondering how he got her room number. Instead, she’s simmering over his well-tailored suit and conjuring more sinful ways for him to make things up to her. And why not? The notorious bachelor is the perfect guy to kick off her post-divorce fantasies of no strings attached. Ever again.

Blake Donovan claimed Hollywood’s top spot by playing the self-centered bad boy his manager and publicist created. Lonely as it is, he’s long since accepted the image he portrays to the world. Until the gorgeous lawyer pegs the man behind the fa├žade in minutes flat. After the hottest one night stand in history, he tracks her down in hopes of a repeat performance. And the encore has him craving far more than being tied up in her strings.

Blake will have to step into the role of a lifetime—himself—in order to convince Gwen that taking a chance on him won’t mean giving up on number three.

 Excerpt:

Heat licked at my ear, or it could have been his tongue. Things were starting to go a little numb from all the closeness so I couldn't tell.

"I'm forty." Great, my weight, my age. Apparently none of my feminine secrets were safe around him. The later it got, the more my nerves kicked in. I so wanted to be that girl. The one who could throw out all reason and go for it. But this was Blake Donovan, or Donovan. Or whatever.

"I'm forty-one." The vibration of his words touched my lips. "But not helpless. Yet."

My back hit the door and I automatically reached to his arms, rumpling the pressed suit in my fists. I'd used that word, helpless. Was he offering permission?

He pressed hard into me, running the tip of his finger over my collarbone, down, stopping just before sliding into my cleavage. "And this old dog is dying for some new tricks."

Oh God, he was offering. It was my chance to live out my fantasy. In so many ways.

"That's the thing about men and women of a certain age." I shoved his jacket to his elbows, flicking my tongue across his chin, nipping it, kissing. No longer giving a damn about the what-ifs. Or consequences. It was all about the right freaking now. "I'm in my prime and you're on your downward spiral."

"Oh, you're wrong." He dropped his arms to let the jacket fall to the floor then slid his warm hands inside my robe, gliding until they clasped behind my back. He swung us around so he was against the door then pulled me into his hard frame. "So very, very wrong."


Available now on Amazon.

Friday

Final Countdown

Yeah, I know. You're welcome for the ear worm.

Two more weeks. Until my latest novel meets the world. It's hard to believe this will be my third book baby. In honor of the impending birth, I'm leaving a quick teaser for you all.

LAST CALL is a late coming of age for two forty-somethings who set out to explore sexual fantasies with one another and in the process finally discover themselves before falling in love.

***

The hand behind his back swung out, showing off a bottle of champagne. Good champagne. Now, that was my thing. I took the bag [from his other hand], still eyeing the shiny golden bottle in his fist.

"I'd have figured you for a beer guy." The flutters rolled lower, danced faster, catching my brain up to speed.

"Whisky."

"Interesting." I set the bag onto the high walnut credenza behind me, careful to keep my other hand hidden from his view. It seemed I had a bargaining chip. "And how attached are you to that bottle of bubbly?"

"Oh, I do have something you want, huh?"

What an understatement. In fact, that expensive champagne would probably make an excellent accompaniment to another thing of his I wouldn't mind getting hold of. Or a taste of. But it had been a million years since I'd flirted and tried to seduce a man.

God, what was I saying. It had been never. Never in the history of the most boring life ever had I really even wanted to try. I had always been a darn quick study, though. Fingers crossed that held true in the presence of sheer hotness.

"You must really like Cristal." He moved in close, sliding his free hand up the door to rest next to my head. "I've never seen someone get quite so flushed over thoughts of a sip or two."

His hot breath tickled my cheek and my resolve strengthened. Or maybe that was the tightening of my nipples.

"Maybe we could make a deal," I said.

"A plea bargain from the lawyer. I like it." A low laugh rumbled from deep in his chest. "What's the offer?"

I cleared all expression from my face and stepped away from the door, holding the bottle of Walker front and center.

He swallowed visibly and the pulse in his neck thumped against skin recently shaved. But he shrugged. "Blue label, huh? That's a nice one. Is that the best you've got, though?"

Oh, he was good, but I'd bet he didn't play poker against lawyers with whom actual sharks would be afraid to swim.

"If you don't want it, I'm happy to drink it." I dropped a hand to the door handle. "Alone."

He stared straight into my eyes, calm as could be, and the seconds ticked by. Maybe he was better than I'd thought. After a bland line drew across his mouth and he'd glanced to the pretty bottle one more time, he looked back into my eyes. A slow upturn of his lips revealed the same right dimple that had shot heat through me earlier. "Check out the bag."

Not quite willing to admit defeat, even though his expression screamed I was toast, I twirled the bottle. "Smooth, and sweet."

His breath hitched and his gaze swept to the bottle and back up, lingering breast level for an extra beat before it stalled on my mouth. "I can imagine."

*** 

If there is anyone who would be interested in helping me pass the word on my new baby along, through blogging or social media, I'd be ever so grateful. Beyond grateful, really. You can contact me through email: authortlwatts at gmail for more information. This is an erotic romance, and I fully understand not everyone is up for that, so no worries if you want to pass for that reason.

And a huge, quickie, thanks to those who have already offered. <3 


Tuesday

The Rules

I think the biggest obstacle writers face is trying to follow The Rules. Panic over following those bastards can lead to something worse: not being able to write at all for fear you're doing it "wrong." Thing is, they don't really exist, The Rules. They aren't really real. And there are far too many of them floating around, with a ridiculous amount of conflicting views for each.

Also, I happen to agree with many of those Fake Rules.

BUT, butbutbutbut...

The most important thing you can do as a writer is to write the story, without thinking about anything other than the story, and writing it.

Then edit it. Then edit again, and again, ad nauseam.

Don't worry about whether it falls between 67,432 words and 72,333 words exactly. Just make sure how ever many damn words you have count. Every one of them (which is going to give the story the number of words it needs). *

Read each sentence as a separate entity and don't worry if you used "to be." Instead, ask yourself if that is the strongest verb you can use (sometimes it is).

Make sure you really need that adverb to get the point across (chances are you don't, but sometimes they work--voice comes to mind). **

In the end, those Fake Rules exist because they help with the craft of writing, but they won't help you write the story.

What do you think is the hardest rule to follow?

***

*The first time I stumbled across the word-count rule for genres-- after writing the horrid 150,000+ first draft of my first contemporary romance novel that I so thought was ready to be pubbed on the spot--I freaked out and went through my MS and deleted every extra "that" and contracted every possible phrase I could. This is not what's meant by cutting words. <cough>

**I happen to be a prolific adverb-voice user. This seems to happen with snarky female characters. And I haz those in spades.