Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Report Card!

funny pictures of cats with captions

I'm a little late tonight. Mainly because I was actually writing!

So my goals for this past week were:

1) 8k on Angel Moon 2

And I wrote 5346 words. I know. Not 8k but better than I expected with interruptions to my plans. I was shooting for a total of 6k but I distracted myself with browsing online job ads tonight.

I really need to find a full-time day job. Either I suck as a writer or the asshole book pirates have taken a bigger bite out of my royalties than I thought. Going back to work full time appears to be inevitable. If I can find a job. Not many out there. I'm trying to get as much writing done as possible so if I go back, I'll have a few things in the pipeline since my writing time will be seriously curtailed.

Book pirates might not care that what they do is illegal but if they really want to read my books, they have to stop stealing my royalties so I can afford to write. At some point, I might as well quit and concentrate on a day job or two so I can keep paying my bills.

Okay, forget the bummer stuff and back to the report card...

I ended up in Little Rock running errands for Granny one day and in Conway with errands of my own on another. I managed to write a little both days but not as much as I needed. And Friday was almost a complete washout because I tried to give myself a heart attack doing yard work at warp speed. A massive storm moved across the state on Friday and I tried to get everything done before it hit! Dumb! The pain killers make me too drowsy to write! *cackle*

Saturday ended up a day of rest. My little sister came up to Momma's for the weekend. I spent the day there relaxing, laughing and eating too much.

My best writing day was Tuesday. I met Brandi Evans at Starbucks for a morning write-in! I wrote nearly 2k plus figured out the plot to Angel Moon 3! Which I needed to do because I needed to know it so because I need to foreshadow some stuff in Angel Moon 3! LOL

Still 5300 words is pretty good. Plus I did a quick sketch of the plot of one of the next Tennessee Cop stories. I had TnC #4 & #5 lined out already. Now I have #6. After I finish AM2, I'll be working on TnC #4.

This week's goals:

1) Finish Angel Moon 2! (I need about 4-5k words to finish. The end is in sight!)
2) Start book #4 of TN Cops.
3) Work one day for the part-time evil day job.

We'll see how this week goes. I already have to take Granny to the eye doc and the ear doc tomorrow afternoon. I plan to go to the coffee shop early and write until time for her first appointment. I'm meeting Brandi again on Tuesday so my target is to finish AM2 then and do self-edits on Wednesday.

First week of May will be mostly evil day job stuff. I work more hours during the first week of the month than I do the rest of the time. Whatever progress I make this week will need to last me for a while!

Hope ya'll had brilliant progress last week and have a fabulous week this week!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Momma's discovered texting...

This morning's conversation.

Me (with picture attached): I have berries! Only 4 but I have berries! (I planted strawberries this year in one of those upside down planters.)
Momma: Great! Will you share?
Me: Share four berries? LOL Maybe...
Momma: Be nice. Bad a.m. Dog pushed off bed and spilled a big cup of coffee.
Me: Did you bury him in the back yard yet? (Her usual threat when her dog does something bad.)
Momma: Digging.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Man's Inhumanity...

Literary agent Colleen Lindsay posted an article on her blog about an elderly gay couple who were separated by a hospital in Sonoma County. In spite of having all the legal paperwork completed so they could have visitation, medical directives, etc. for each other, the county kept them apart, placing them in separate nursing homes and confiscating and selling all their joint property. One of the men died without his partner by his side. The other lost being part of the last few months of his lover's life.

Horrifying the extent of man's inhumanity to man...

Read the full excerpt of the article on Colleen's blog at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Report Card

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I've been a bad girl... My goals for this past week were:

1) OOC to crit. (Kind of...)
2) OOC synopsis and blurb.
3) Write 8k words on AM2
4) Oh, and mow the back yard. Need something easy so I can actually accomplish something.

Well. The week started off pretty damn good. Kind of. *cackle* I finished OOC, wrote the synopsis, blurb and query letter. My CP was out of pocket and since this was a revision of an already critiqued story, I got impatient. Yes, I know patience is a virtue but no one ever accused me of being virtuous!

I submitted the story without having it critiqued again. I usually don't do that. I'm a really insecure writer. I need the reassurance of another set of eyes on the story before I submit. My CP is one of the best. She sees things I don't even think of but her life has become extremely busy. I hate to bug her when I know she's knocking up against deadlines of her own. Hopefully after RWA National, her life will resume some modicum of normality and I won't need to skip what I consider a vital part of the process.

Of course, this isn't my first manuscript. It's somewhere up in the high twenties or low thirties as far as completed--I have twenty stories sold. I know what to look for and the questions to ask myself but sometimes I get lazy. Without my CP, I just need to be more careful and not get impatient in my self-edits.

So about the one that's not crossed off... Write 8k on AM2. The word count was a bit ambitious but I thought I could do it. I didn't, however, take into account reality. *cackle* I finished up OOC on Tuesday. Wednesday, I read what I'd already written on Angel Moon book 2. I hadn't even opened the file since the end of February. I have 14k words done so I took most of Wednesday to read plus I tweaked a little as I went along.

Thursday, I had to take my Granny to the eye doc. She's having trouble seeing things, like cars. Oy vey. My mother went with me. I had to drop off a couple of tax returns then Momma wanted to check out plant sales at Lowe's and Walmart. Of course, Granny's eye appointment took longer than expected. As far as writing, the day was a write off! LOL I didn't get home until after 5PM. And I had all kinds of plants too!

So Friday morning, I had to plant stuff. I ended up with tomato plants, eggplant, green and yellow peppers, strawberries, blueberries and a Meyer lemon tree. The lemon tree was on clearance at Lowe's for $1.68. Momma and I found the last two decent looking plants. If it dies, oh, well. If it doesn't? I go through a lot of lemons in my cooking. Especially on grilled asparagus! If I get a few lemons, I've made back my money. And it's a mini plant in a planter. If it thrives, I can bring it in over the winter.

I did get a few petunias. I'm not doing much in the way of decorative this year. If I can't eat it, I'm pretty much avoiding it. Walmart had some overgrown plants in half-gallon pots for $2.50. Out of three pots, I filled my two window boxes out front and two hanging baskets.

By the time, I finished with the planting, combined with being on my feet too much on Thursday, I was in pain. Friday afternoon didn't see any writing. I couldn't sit in front of the computer for more than a few minutes.

Saturday was the monthly meeting of the Diamond State Romance Authors. We had a lot of people show up! Best turnout ever for our small group! We had a couple of guests and some new members! Most of us went to lunch after the meeting. Full day of writerly camaraderie but no actual writing. LOL

And today...I made a few revisions I thought about over the last few days but I didn't actually net a word gain. As busy as the week was, it wasn't with writing. Hopefully I can do better this week. Tomorrow, I plan to kick it into gear. Hopefully my hip will let me sit at my desk! *cackle* Tuesday, I'm meeting Brandi Evans for a morning write-in at Starbucks.

Goals for this week:

1) 8k on AM2

That's it. Just write. I need to get this book finished no later than early May. Must write! All kicks in the posterior/whip cracking is appreciated!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Report Card

Well, I'm a little early posting today. SyFy Channel is being a big distraction. They are running a bunch of disaster b-movies and I'm a sucker for a cheesy disaster movie! *cackle*

So my goals for the week were:

1) Finish revisions on OOC and send to CP.
2) Sub CI to Samhain. (If CP finishes.)
3) Blog at the Rainbow Studio on Wednesday.
4) Snoopy dance on Friday when ICING ON THE CAKE releases at Ellora's Cave!

And looky! They're all crossed off! *insert Snoopy dance* Plus I worked three days at the evil day job. And mowed the front yard! I have to do the back yard today.

I'll probably do a little more tweaking on OOC but it's essentially finished. I still have to write the synopsis and blurb. Once I've put OOC to bed, next up is finishing the sequel to Angel Moon. I'm almost halfway through the story. I just need to get back to it! 30k is just an estimate. It might go longer. It's hard to judge when I plot out a story just how long it'll actually be.

Since I'm off from the evil day job this week, I hope to make good progress. I plan to flog the whip on myself to finish Angel Moon 2--which needs a real title at some point.

A little future planning--I want to start the next story in my Tennessee Cops series soon. First I have to finish AM2 and revise a three chapter proposal just in case Harlequin Intrigue likes my proposal and actually wants to see them.

So this week's goals:

1) OOC to crit.
2) OOC synopsis and blurb.
3) Write 8k words on AM2
4) Oh, and mow the back yard. Need something easy so I can actually accomplish something.

Hope you have a fabulous week!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Release!

By Shayla Kersten
Available now at Ellora's Cave
http://www.jasminej 8289-icing- on-the-cake. aspx
Copyright © SHAYLA KERSTEN, 2010


Jeff Morgan’s life is all about career. Relationships aren’t on his radar. His friendships are limited to a very few and his sex life consists of wham-bam-thank-you-man sexual encounters. He doesn’t do long term. He doesn’t even do breakfast.

Then the fate of a cake brings Ollie Cranford into his life. Shaved head, tats and piercings, the baker is far from Jeff’s type but Ollie is as luscious as the icing he whips up in his bakery.

Now if only Jeff can relax long enough to enjoy the icing on the beefcake.


Jeff Morgan stared at Clarissa as if she’d grown two heads.

“You have got to be kidding. You know how I feel about weddings.” She might as well have asked him to be the groom.

“It’s not as if you have to plan the entire wedding. Just order the cake.” Clarissa grinned. “You’re my maid of honor. It’s your duty to help me.”

“You have to stop calling me that.” Not that he really minded. In spite of his negative feelings about marriage, he’d been honored when Clarissa asked him to stand up with her. He didn’t have many close friends. Well, any who he allowed to get close. Clarissa managed to push through barriers most people didn’t know were there.

But wedding plans? He’d barely managed to pull off the bridal shower at the office. “Why don’t you ask Randa? She helped me with the shower that almost wasn’t.”

She wrinkled her nose in distaste. “Because Randa would pick out some hideous pink-flowered cake with silver bells and cherubs all over it. I still have nightmares of the fourteen shades of pink at the shower. You know my taste.” Clarissa reached over his desk then grabbed his hand. “Please. You’re my only hope.”

“You don’t do damsel in distress that well.” He shook her grip free. “You could postpone.”

“No way. Larry finally asked and I’m not giving him a chance to second-guess himself.”

Jeff returned her grin.

Larry wasn’t the hold up on the marriage. Clarissa had turned him down a half-dozen times. When she finally said “yes”, she’d slammed together a wedding in less than two weeks. Well, almost slammed together.

A last-minute snafu with a client’s computer system had Clarissa flying to Denver this afternoon. The client specifically demanded Clarissa’s presence. Considering the size of the retainer, what he wanted, he got. Employee personal lives didn’t matter.

Now she wanted Jeff to pick out a cake. By himself. Him, the Scrooge of wedding festivities.

“Come on, Jeff. You’re the only one I trust to take care of this.”

“Fine. But I don’t want to hear one cross word about the cake you get.”

“Thank you!” Clarissa blew him a kiss. “And make sure you go to Cranford Designs on Tremont. They’re the best in town.”

“And probably the hardest to get an order in at the last minute.”

Clarissa lifted one side of her lip in a mock snarl. “Turn on the charm. I’m sure you can get results.”

“Yeah. Whatever.” Jeff flapped his hand at her. “Get out of here or you’ll miss your flight.” He tapped a few keys to save his file then shut down his computer. “I’ll head over there now. The sooner I get there, the sooner I’ll get this over with.” As if he had time for this. He’d been running at warp speed for the last two months, thanks to his schedule. Exhaustion had already pushed him to the edge, but the work just wouldn’t stop.

“You are such a ray of sunshine.” Sarcasm roiled through her words. “Stop being a bitch.” Her tone warmed back to normal. “You’re my best friend and the only one who can do it right.”

“Insults followed by flattery. You sure know how to charm a guy. And I didn’t say I wouldn’t find you a cake. I’m just not happy about it.”

* * * * *

Jeff couldn’t help staring. The tiny table in the corner of the back office of Cranford Designs barely separated him from the beefcake of a baker. The building didn’t look like the fancy bakery he expected. The way Clarissa gushed over the place, he expected better than an old brick building with etched metal signage.

Bulging muscles, shaved head, tattoos, open rings in his ears—gauged ears. The name of the piercing style popped into his mind. A hint of rings showed through his shirt near his nipples. Other piercings too? So normally not Jeff’s type, but damn, the man should come with a drool alert.

Something about Ollie Cranford in baker’s whites splattered with a rainbow of colored icing… The shirt was just a little tight around the chest and arms, showing off really nice biceps and pecs.

Jeff suppressed a shudder of desire, but he couldn’t stop the growing tightness in his slacks. Maybe exhaustion from the last two months of eighteen-hour workdays was catching up with him. Weakening his control.

And the man’s voice—deep with a little rasp of a growl—was enough to drive need pulsing through Jeff’s veins.

“The wedding is when?”

“Saturday.” Jeff’s cock interpreted the simple question as “Wanna fuck?”. Desire curled through his body. It had been awhile since lust hit him with such ferocity.

“This Saturday?” An arched eyebrow accompanied the question.

“Yes. My friends decided last week to get married before they went on vacation next week.”

“My waiting list is usually a little longer than three days.” A slight frown creased Ollie’s brow.

“I’m sure it is, but I promised I’d see what I could do.” What Jeff really wanted to know was the wait time on Ollie’s social calendar. He forced his gaze back to the man’s face. He didn’t even know if the baker was gay and already his imagination had him pushed over the small table separating them. Or Jeff on his knees. His libido couldn’t make up its mind.

“I’m surprised the bride didn’t send her maid of honor for this chore.” His left eyebrow arched just slightly. A hint of a curl dimpled beside his lips.

A flush of embarrassment crept up Jeff’s neck and face. “She did.”

Ollie’s face split with a wide grin as he chuckled. “Sorry. You’re the first.”

“Male maid of honor?” His half smile widened to match Ollie’s grin.

“Nope. The first one who would admit it.”

Ollie’s knee brushed Jeff’s under the table. A rush of a different kind of warmth shot up to his groin.

Jeff jumped as the door burst open.

A young man stuck his head into the small office. “Hey, boss, you need me to stay and frost that last cake?”

“No, you can go. We can finish it up tomorrow.”

“I’ll lock up the front then.” He flashed a grin and a half wink before he disappeared through the door.

“Thank you, Ricky.” Ollie’s gaze stayed fixed on Jeff, almost as if he was waiting for a reaction.

The warmth of Ollie’s knee pressed against Jeff’s again. This time, the contact was a few seconds longer than just an accidental brushing.

“Okay.” Ollie twirled a bound notebook around on the table so it was right side up to Jeff.
“Here’s a catalog of a few of the simpler designs. We won’t have time to do anything really complicated but we might be able to work something out.”

Jeff drew a slow, deep breath. “I hope we can.” He hoped the double meaning wasn’t lost on the luscious baker. Moving his leg slightly, he met Ollie’s. He bit back a grin as Ollie increased pressure.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Report Card

What I should have done... My goals from last week's post.

1) Mail TDDYP proposal to HQ Intrigue.
2) Sub CI to Samhain. (If CP finishes.)
3) Finish revisions on OOC, send to CP and figure out where to sub. (Progress just not finished and I'll probably sub to Carina Press.)
4) Work the evil day job 16-24 hours.
5) Snoopy dance some more about the Bean Pot Award. *cackle*

Well, this week was a lazy one. Kind of. The evil day job snared me on Monday and Friday. Monday was the third annual Bowling & Burritos outing at the EDJ. The admin staff split up into teams and each team comes up with a team name with appropriate costumes. I was one of the Alley Cats. I really wasn't happy about wearing the ears and tail but at least I wasn't with the pimps and hookers. The other team name was the Pickups. Let's just say the looks we got were interesting. Especially at the Mexican restaurant. I think bowling alleys are better about weird costumes. *cackle* After several beers while bowling and lots of Mexican food, I wasn't worth a dime by the time I got home after 8PM. So no writing on Monday!

Tuesday was another wash out. Kind of. Momma had her last appointment with the cataract surgeon. So long, doctor cutie! LOL Momma's eye healed beautifully. We stopped by her regular eye doc to order new glasses after we ate breakfast at IHOP. By the time we did a little grocery shopping, I didn't get home until late afternoon. However, I was a good girl. I finished up the TDDYP proposal and packaged it up for the mail.

I headed to Little Rock Wednesday and my fav coffee shop. On the way, I dropped the TDDYP proposal in the mail. The temptation to stick my hand in the mailbox to retrieve it was damped by the memory of a stuck hand. We won't go there again. LOL

I worked through revisions on OCC again and kind of finished it. However, I felt like I was lacking something. The story is a menage a quatre (m/m/m/f). On the way home, I figured out there wasn't enough emotion in it. I worked on it once I got home but didn't finish.

The rest of the week went to heck in an Easter basket! LOL Wednesday night, Lil Sis came up to Momma's. I ended up over there on Thursday. Spent the day playing Wii, sitting on the back porch, gabbing and chilling. It was a wonderful lazy day. Some guilt over lack of progress on OOC but I don't get to spend downtime with Momma and Lil Sis much. We're usually out and about.

Friday was the EDJ once again. Saturday, we had Easter dinner early because my youngest brother and his girls couldn't be there on Sunday. Then Sunday, I spent some more time with Momma and Lil Sis and got lazy. Well, not really lazy. My hip was bothering me and I can't type lying down. *shrugs*

So while I didn't make much progress, I did get some done.

Mission accomplished:

1) Mailed off the Harlequin Intrigue proposal.
2) Worked on revisions for OCC
3) Worked evil day job 16 hours.

This week's goals are slim. I'll be at the EDJ most of the week.

1) Finish revisions on OOC and send to CP.
2) Sub CI to Samhain. (If CP finishes.)
3) Blog at the Rainbow Studio on Wednesday.
4) Snoopy dance on Friday when ICING ON THE CAKE releases at Ellora's Cave!

I hope you had a wonderful Easter, or Sunday, if you don't celebrate! Have a fabulous week and may you meet all your goals!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lazy Day & Laid Back Music...

Today was one of those lazy days I'll regret by the weekend when I look at my progress for the week. I didn't do a damn thing but hang out at Momma's with her and Lil Sis. We had pizza for lunch, played Wii bowling and sat on the back porch watching the ripples in the lake. Several times a big fish jumped near the dock. We were too lazy to go find a fishing pole so he lived to jump another day.

A lazy day deserves some laid back music. One of my favorites is Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson. Enjoy!