Boxed Set News and Cover Reveal!

On July 17, Highland Healer is coming out in a boxed set with three other Scottish romances from the Wild Rose Press! You’ll get four great books at one great price!

A HIGHLANDER’S DESTINY

Strength, Love and Courage

This digital boxed edition contains 4 complete novels.

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Highland Healer

Willa Blair

He needs her for his clan. He wants her for himself. Can he have both?

Toran Lathan never expected to become Laird, and never expected to meet a woman like Aileanna Shaw. Her healing ability is just what his people need, but Toran cannot resist her beauty. Yet will loving him destroy her ability to heal?

Aileanna Shaw has a healing touch–and a special talent she must keep secret. Stolen from her home by a marauding army, she’s kidnapped again by the Highland Laird she heals. Is she a prize of war, or the prize of his heart?

While Toran battles the invading lowland army, he also battles his desire for Aileanna. And Aileanna must decide if she can trust her secrets to this fierce warrior who needs her talent, but wants her love.

Beyond a Highland Whisper

Maeve Greyson

The last time Latharn MacKay walked among his kinsman was in Scotland of 1410. Sensuous and charismatic, all the women wanted him, but none could capture his heart. Latharn’s charm became his curse when a dark sorceress didn’t take rejection well. She snared his soul into a crystal globe until the one woman destined to be his love whispered his release. Now all Latharn has to do is find her and guide her to him without speaking a word.

One of the youngest archeologists in St. Louis of 2010, Nessa credits one thing for this achievement: the recurring dream of a heart-stopping Highlander since the summer she turned eighteen years old. Little does she know, he’s not some fantasy cooked up by her subconscious. He’s a trapped soul determined for Nessa to end his six centuries in hell. Can love prevail over the dark magic of a woman scorned?

Into The Scottish Mist

Beth Anne Miller

Abby Sanders returns to her beloved Scotland after a long absence, seeking peace after a terrible tragedy. A chance detour reunites her with Ian Mackenzie, the love she left behind four years ago. Their attempt to rekindle their romance along the shore of Loch Ness is cut short when Abby vanishes.

After a desperate search for the woman he’s spent four years trying to forget, Ian is forced to believe the unbelievable: he must travel through the mists of time to find Abby. But finding her is just the beginning. Trapped four hundred years in the past, Abby and Ian must find a way to end a bitter clan feud or sacrifice their return to the present and their future together.

Immortal Justice

Faith V. Smith

Over a millennium ago, Highlander Darach MacRath was murdered. Resurrected by the Archangel Michael to fight demons as an Immortal Executioner, Darach now opposes all evil in the mortal world. His life is solitary—but when he rescues a young woman who not only sees demons but battles them herself, he is captivated by her courage and beauty.

Abigail Dupree is not looking for love. But when a tall, dark demon fighter with a sexy brogue intervenes in her hunt, she’s fascinated. She should run away—but then his gentle yet sizzling touch ensnares her heart.

When a demon from Darach’s past sets his sights on Abby, Darach will do anything to protect her—but for Abby, losing him would be worse than death. Together they must fight the demons of past and present, and the possibility that evil could destroy them both, before they find the gift of love.

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 1362
Word Count: 361988

On sale from The Wild Rose Press.  Get your copy today!

And while you’re at it, check out the Scottish romance boxed set that came out last week:  A Highlander’s Legacy - Fiercely Loyal, Passionate and Powerful.

HIGHLAND SEER Wins RONE Awards Honorable Mention

What a lovely surprise! At the InD’Tale Magazine RONE Awards on Friday, 11 July, HIGHLAND SEER was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Historical Medieval category!

I’m thrilled for HIGHLAND SEER to get this recognition! If you haven’t read it yet, it’s available in ebook, print and audiobook formats from your favorite retailer!

Highland Seer Audiobook Release Day!

Today is the release day for Highland Seer (Highland Talents Book 2) on audiobook!  Yes, you have another Scottish romance, filled with those sexy rolling r’s that glide across your skin and make your ears happy!

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Donal MacNabb is loyal to his adopted Lathan clan, yet he resents being a pawn in their treaty negotiations with the struggling MacKyries. The MacKyrie clan needs his skills as an arms master, but its Laird is bartering for more than Donal is prepared to give.

Ellie MacKyrie knows the Lathan treaty will help protect her clan from the neighbor determined to seize her holdings any way he can—including forcing her into marriage. But she has another reason to want the Lathan alliance. She has Seen the stubborn Donal MacNabb reaching for her in her dreams.

While Donal fights to save a clan in trouble, his desire for the MacKyrie Seer wars with his obligation to his Laird. Before she is forced into a marriage that will destroy her clan, Ellie must find the heart behind Donal’s gruff exterior and convince him he is the man of her dreams.

Get your copy of this 2014 Readers Crown and RONE Award finalist and from Amazon, Tantor Media or audible.com today!

Narrated by Derek Perkins

Cover Reveal! Kissing the Highlander

I can now share with you the cover for Kissing the Highlander, the anthology I’m doing with best-selling authors Terry Spear, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair and Victoria Roberts.

Kissing the Highlander will be out on Valentine’s Day 2015.  In the meantime, you can enjoy the cover!  We’ll post some hints now and again about the novellas it contains.  We’ll also have a Facebook group where you can keep up with developments.  Check back here for details!

Kissing the Highlander final

 

Isn’t it fabulous!  Designed by Vonda Sinclair, a wizard with cover art as well as a great author and fabulous person.

Worldwide Release Day for The Healer’s Gift!

Prepare to party!  Today is the Worldwide Release Day for

The Healer’s Gift (a Highland Talents Novella)!

It is, or soon will be, available at all your favorite retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KOBO, AllRomanceEBooks, and others. To celebrate, I’m doing a little party from 6-8pm CDT on Facebook, and you’re welcome to drop in, say hi and maybe even win something!  In fact, if you leave a comment here, when you join the party, you’ll get an extra chance at winning a prize.

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The Moon in June

969799_574156059282858_1066414219_nCan you believe it’s June already?  I certainly can’t.  But since we’re here, let’s talk about it for a moment.

Besides school letting out for the summer (if it hasn’t already) and trips to the pool or the beach, June is the traditional month for weddings.  It’s also the last place where the word troth is in common usage – as in plighting your troth in wedding vows.  An archaic form of the word truth and the root of the word betrothed, now it’s in the working title of my next book, Highland Troth.  

Jamie Lathan is a favorite secondary character from my earlier books.  My readers love him and wanted him to get his own book.  So did I.  Highland Troth is Jamie’s story!  And yes, there’s a wedding.  So it’s all good.

 Jamie Lathan and fosterling Caitrin Fletcher were close as children, but after tragedy struck Jamie’s family, she was sent home. He never expected to see her again.  He certainly never imagined he’d be called upon to escort her to be betrothed to another man.

Caitrin can always tell when someone lies, but she’s learned to hide her talent. Jamie hides a long-buried fury behind his affable demeanor.

When their attraction reignites, Caitrin must choose between her father’s plans for her marriage-of-alliance with a man her talent tells her is not what he seems, and Jamie, the lad she’s loved for years.  He must find an honorable way to ensure Caitrin’s future, even if it means sacrificing his own.

I shared an excerpt in my last newsletter.  What?  You didn’t get my newsletter?  Here’s the Link to Join so you’ll get the next one.  Or click on that pretty blue envelope up near the top righthand corner of any page on my website.  There’s no telling what I’ll share next month, but you can’t be the first to know if you don’t subscribe.

Highland Troth is going to my editor later this week.  I’m hoping to have it in your hands before the end of the year.

In the meantime, I’ll take pity on those of you who missed the excerpt and share it.  Here’s it is!  

“Dinna think to wander away.”

Jamie was suddenly beside her the moment Caitrin took two steps downhill. Without slowing, she told him, “I’ll no’ go far, but I wish to refresh myself in the stream we crossed.”

“Then I’ll go with ye.”

She stiffened, acutely aware of every sensation in her body as the numbness from hours in the saddle wore off. “Jamie Lathan, hear me well. I’m no fainting lass to be guarded night and day. I can find a clump of bushes and be back before ye ken I’ve gone. Besides, from here ye can be at the stream in moments, should I scream.”

Jamie appeared to be counting under his breath. Caitrin hid her delight at having aggravated him. She figured she owed him six years worth.

Finally, he pasted a patient smile on his face. “I ken ye’re a canny lass, I do. But I also ken what would happen were I to lose ye or see ye harmed on the way to yer betrothed. So I will go with ye…”

“Jamie,” Caitrin interrupted, but he gave her no chance to finish.

“I’ll keep a proper distance, but I will be closer at hand than the top of this hill. Now go.”

Caitrin frowned but turned and made her way down toward the stream. Jamie’s expression had been pleasant enough, but she knew his iron will, and he had the right of it. Too much was at stake, now her father had involved the Lathans. Were anything to happen to her, not only would her father fail to make the match he hoped would improve his clan’s circumstances, but Lathan honor would be impugned. Clan war was not out of the question.

As she walked, she collected deadfall twigs and small branches in her skirt. Jamie gathered larger branches in his left arm, leaving his right hand free. He did that, she knew, not just to pick up more wood, but, if need be, to wield the short sword on his belt.

On the mossy slope, her foot suddenly slid out from under her. She gasped and fought for balance as her gathered twigs went flying. The slope of the hill defeated her. But instead of landing flat on her back as she expected, Jamie’s hands scooped under her arms and lifted. Distantly, she heard the clatter of dropped branches as he pulled her back against his hard chest.

“Caitrin!”

The concern in his soft cry thrilled her. His heat against her back nearly scorched her through both their clothes. Her heart beat fast – from the near fall or from the touch of Jamie’s strong hands? The reason didn’t matter. This was a close as she’d been in years to the lad she’d never been able to forget. Her knees wanted to give way beneath her, but he held her securely as he shifted his hands to her waist. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

“Have a care, lass. Ye willna wish to limp to the MacGregor.”

She sighed, closed her eyes and leaned her head back against Jamie’s shoulder, promising herself she’d only steal this moment with him. Even with his arms around her, his fingers splayed on her ribcage, he was intent on delivering her to another man. The affection that had existed between them as youths was not enough to make him risk both their clans by claiming her for himself.

Then he lifted one arm across her breasts to grip her shoulder, pulling her tighter against his chest. “Are ye well, Caitrin lass? Did ye twist yer ankle?”

She dared not answer. His breath warmed her cheek so she knew he’d canted his head to the left to peer at her face, likely seeking tears of pain, thinking her injured. She held herself still, soaking in the sensation of being in Jamie’s arms, if only for this moment. Finally, Caitrin shook her head and opened her eyes to the waning daylight and the end of her dreams. “Nay, Jamie. I’m well.”

RomCon 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalists!

8048ea2d28f90da4fa4ded1f585d5778-1.image.383x550 36841b084a7ba0f35d0f751223ddf148.image.383x550Two of my books, Highland Healer and Highland Seer are 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown finalists in the Medieval category!  If you don’t have them already, here are two ways to get them: 

1. Place a Bid in Brenda Novak’s auction for Diabetes Research for a signed set of my books, including Highland Healer, 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown Historical Finalist and Highland Seer, 2014 RomCon Readers’ Crown and InD’Tale Magazine RONEAward finalist (Historical Medieval), plus a signed copy of my latest release, The Healer’s Gift (a Highland Talents novella).  If you place the winning bid, you’ll not only get a great prize, but you’ll have the satisfaction of helping a worthy cause.  

2. Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a signed set of my books. And other prizes.  And goodies.  For instance, my May newsletter, coming out late this month, will include a never before seen excerpt from Highland Troth (Highland Talents Book 3) — exclusive for my newsletter subscribers!

Don’t wait another minute.  Place your bid and sign up now for your chances to win.  

HIGHLAND SEER is a RONE AWARD Finalist!

200x2014_RONE_Final_historical_medievalHighland Seer is a RONE Award finalist! I’m thrilled and grateful that so many of you voted for my book.

The finalists are now being read and judged by industry professionals.  

Winners will be announced on July 11th at the InD’Tale RONE Awards presentation at the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas.  

Thanks to each of you who voted.  Whether Highland Seer wins the RONE or not, your support has already made it a winner!

R is for Research

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

R is for Research. If you write in almost any genre, but especially if you write historical, research is a fact of your writing life.  

earth_and_magnify_glassI used to dread it, but I’ve come to enjoy following virtual rabbit trails around the internet as one interesting fact or tidbit leads to another.  You never know where your next story idea will come from.  Sometimes it comes from something obscure you find while looking for something else. 

So enjoy the time you spend on research.  You never know where it will lead.

 

 

 

Check out the others participating in this month’s A to Z Challenge!

Not Exactly Easter Eggs, But…

We interrupt the A to Z Blog Tour to bring you Happy Easter wishes!  And just look what the Easter Bunny brought to my house this weekend!

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I think there’s a Goodreads Giveaway in our future!

Q is for Quotidian

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

20090226-calendarQ is for Quotidian.  There’s a word that doesn’t get used much these days.  It means recurring daily, which is what you should be doing as an author.  Writing, recurring daily.  

It’s a goal, one I admit I don’t achieve, either.  But it’s always in the back of my mind.  On days that I don’t write, I feel like I’ve wasted time that could have been used to accomplish something — word count, revisions, editing, any part of the process that leads to a finished, publish-ready book.  Yeah, I’ve got it bad.  I’ll bet you do, too.  

So remember this word:  quotidian.  It’s a good goal.

 

Check out the other authors doing the A to Z Challenge this month!

P is for Piracy

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

P is for Piracy.  There are few topics guaranteed to rile up a group of authors as much as this one.  Piracy is the illegal, unauthorized reproduction of an author’s work, usually for sale by the pirate, with none of the proceeds going to the author or legitimate publisher.  Piracy is so rampant, most publishers and authors cannot or will not do anything about it.

Let’s be clear.  It’s stealing.

Whether it’s a book, or an episode of a television show (an episode of Game of Thrones just broke the series’s own piracy record), movie or music, if it wasn’t bought from a legitimate source, it was stolen.  And no, I’m not talking about loaning a paperback copy of your favorite book to a friend.  I’m talking about large-scale, deliberate attempts to make money from someone else’s hard work, sweat, and probably even tears by putting a digital copy of their work up on an unauthorized website and selling it.  Or even giving it away.  Without the author’s or publisher’s permission, their copyright is violated and — again — it’s theft.

pirate_flag_skull_bones_patchWhy aren’t these pirates ashamed?  Turns out most are international, are in it for a quick buck or ruble or whatever, don’t recognize copyright laws and don’t give a rat’s a–…well, you get my drift. These are not nice people.

There are things that an author or publisher can do – send cease and desist form letters, notify the site host, warn their readers to avoid pirate sites and so forth.  But they’re only temporary solutions.  Take down one site and another pops up right behind it.

Some authors take the philosophical stance that people who get books from pirates wouldn’t have paid for them anyway.  And once read, the book might intrigue them enough to buy more of the author’s work through legitimate channels.  That might be true for some fraction of books acquired at a pirate site.  It might also be true that more of the author’s books will be pirated and those readers will just keep looking for the pirated copies that are cheap or free.

My bottom line is this: if you see my books on a pirate site — and you will — don’t download them.  It’s stealing.

 

Check out the other authors doing the A to Z Challenge this month!

 

N is for Newsletter

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

newsletterN is for Newsletter.  Yes, I have one.  I’d love for you to join my newsletter mailing list.  You’ll get first crack at contests, exclusive content, and cool developments I haven’t shared anywhere else.  I only publish once a month, so your inbox won’t be inundated – at least not by me.  But you will be in the know, which is a great place to be.  If you haven’t already clicked one of the links above, click here!

Why do authors write newsletters?  For a variety of reasons, but here are a few:

A newsletter lets us share exclusive content with readers who really want to know about us and our books.

A newsletter lets us reward readers who really want to know about us and our books with exclusive contests, book excerpts, previews, and news before anyone else gets access to them.

A newsletter mailing list tells us who our most devoted fans are – the people who love our books and who help us get the word out when we have a new release or an exciting development to share.

If that sounds like fun to you, join my newsletter mailing list!

To see who else is Blogging from A to Z this month, click here.

M is for Making It Up

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

M is for Making It Up.  We writers do a lot of that.  Some more, some less, depending on the genre we write in, and how historically or factually accurate we want a story to be.  Mystery, crime fiction, police procedural and courtroom drama writers spend hours on research because some readers love to catch an author in a mistake.   It’s part of the fun of reading those books.  I imagine the same is true for Regency historicals that are filled with period details of costume, customs and furnishings.  

Scottish historical writers have more freedom to incorporate fantasy elements, and to forego real locations in favor of places and events they create.  Irish historical romances go even further, as most of them incorporate some form of the Fae of Irish myth and legend.question-mark-112390_640

No matter what you write, you depend on your imagination.  But as Tom Clancy famously said, unlike real life, fiction has to make sense.  Your story has to have some logic to it, even if it’s only its own internal logic.  Worldbuilding is a science as well as an art.  What’s the geography?  Who are the people?  What are their customs?  Religion?  Politics?  You may not incorporate all of those elements in your story, but you’ll think about them as you make up the details of your world, if you want the story to make sense to you and your readers.

To find other authors participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge, click here!

K is for Kilts (I Couldn’t Resist)

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

K is for Kilts.  I know, I said I wouldn’t, but I could not resist.  It’s time for some kilt pictures.  Enjoy!

J is for Judging

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

J is for judging.  Whether you participate in a critique partnership or critique group, write reviews, or judge contests, you’re called upon to judge the work of other authors.  Yes, it’s tough enough deciding if your own writing is good, bad or indifferent.  But we writers depend on honest feedback from our peers to help us sort through plot problems, identify word repetition and grammar mistakes, and on the plus side, to gain attention from agents, editors and readers.  

The old adage “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” doesn’t serve us well when we’re called upon to help another author improve their writing.  Nor is it fair to anyone in a contest to give only positive feedback. Judging implies recognizing both positive and negative aspects of a work. But there’s no need to be mean, either.  Honesty can be couched in kind words, helpful suggestions, and critical feedback that leaves room for the other person to grow as an author while protecting their ego.  images

Judging another’s work is fun when they’ve done a great job, you enjoy their story, and you can easily give them positive reinforcement.  Most of us don’t enjoy the flip side of that coin, when we could not finish the book, when there are so many errors that it looks like we bled all over the page with our red pen, or when we have to score a contest entry so low that we know the entry has no chance of advancing.  But if we’re determined to help our fellow authors ensure that manuscripts are truly ready to be published, then we have no choice.  

 

H is for Hero

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge.  The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays.  Last year, my theme was Scotland.  This year, my theme is The Writing Life.  Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year.  For instance:

H is for Hero - Who is the hero of your story?  In Romance, the convention is to have a hero and a heroine (or a hero/hero or heroine/heroine, or hero/hero/heroine … you get the idea), both of whom get relatively equal time in the story.  Romance is written from the hero’s and heroine’s point of view.  The reader sees what they see, hears what they hear, knows what they know.  Often, those are the only two viewpoints in a story, but sometimes the antagonist (the bad guy) or an important secondary character gets a few scenes, too.

securedownloadRomance readers love an alpha hero – large and in charge describes this type of man.  But beta heroes have their followers, too, who prefer the more sensitive, cooperative male.  Heroines, thankfully, have gone from simpering, empty-headed missies the hero must save to kick-ass women who can not only take care of themselves, they often save the hero, or work side-by-side with the hero to resolve the conflicts in the book.  While the definition of hero, especially the alpha variety, hasn’t changed much in Romance novels, the definition of heroine certainly has.

G is for Genre

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge.  The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays.  Last year, my theme was Scotland.  This year, my theme is The Writing Life.  Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year.  For instance:

G is for Genre – What is a genre?  The dictionary definition goes something like this: a category of literature or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. In other words, it’s the type of book you’re writing, whether it’s a mystery, a western, science fiction, or some sub-genre of romance (e.g., science fiction romance, historical romance, contemporary romance, etc.).

Traditionally, publishers liked nice clean divisions between genres.  Well-defined genres make books easier to shelve and to market.  But there are some authors (me included) whose books cross genres.  Mine are Scottish historical paranormal romance.  Say that six times, fast!

Red BooksCrossing genres makes marketing more of a challenge, though digital booksellers can get around that with well-chosen keywords, but it also provides opportunities to reach more readers.  My readers might like historical romance, or Scottish historical romance, or paranormal romance, psi-focused science fiction or even fantasy, but they find elements of their favorite style in my books.  So my readers come from all of those preference groups, not just one.

The secret is out.  As writers find their readership expanding, crossing genres is becoming more common.

F is for Finish the Damn Book!

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge.  The first post, on April 1, was A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays.  Last year, my theme was Scotland.  This year, my theme is The Writing Life.  Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year.  For instance:

F is for  - Finish the Damn Book!  If you’re like the majority of would-be authors, you’ve started and abandoned many manuscripts.  Starting a book is like starting a love affair.  It’s all mystery and excitement at the beginning.  The possibilities seem endless, and at the beginning, they are.  But like any love affair, the fireworks fade.

Therein lies the rub.  You get confused, lose your focus, your characters don’t cooperate and your plot (if you even have one) seems trite, or it’s going nowhere. So what should you do? Get over it.  Break ranks with the wanna-be’s and finish your first draft.

You’ll have accomplished what 90 percent of writers fail to do.  And if you succeed in editing, polishing, submitting and getting published, you’ll join the elite ten percent of the ten percent who finished their draft. Congratulations!

Easy-reading-is-damn-hardA quote attributed to Nathaniel Hawthorne says “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  It’s true.  You can’t escape doing the work.  But type “the end” on the last page of that finished first draft, second draft, or polished manuscript and you’ll find out that it’s also amazingly rewarding.  Go ahead.  Do it.  I dare you!

E is for Ergonomics

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge.  The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays.  Last year, my theme was Scotland.  This year, my theme is The Writing Life.  Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year.  For instance:

478px-Alphanumeric_keyboardE is for Ergonomics – Face it.  We spend hours in the same chair, staring at the same screen, typing on the same keyboard.  Sitting in the same position.

Can you spell repetitive stress injury?

Unfortunately, I can.  I’m battling carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar (elbow – funnybone) nerve damage from my dedication to BICHOK (Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard) and a tendency to lean on my left elbow.

Do yourself a favor and get away from the desk every once in a while.  Stand up.  Move around.  Forget the big, wooden executive desk and get one that you can adjust up and down.  Ditto for the chair.  You’re an author.  These are your tools, just the same as pen and paper.  You’re going to spend hours a day for (probably) the rest of your life with them, so get the best you can afford and remember to take a break — often.