Tuesday, September 30, 2008

T-Minus 31 days


To NaNo or not to NaNo. That is the question.
National Novel Writing Month (hereafter referred to as NaNoWriMo) begins on November 1. By that point I should have all my "pre-writing" done and have a good idea of what I want to write about.
My problem is this: technically you're supposed to spent the month writing on a new book. So far I don't have a real clear handle on a new story, and even when I think I might be getting closer, an older book seeps into the thought process. The older book, hereafter called MAIL ORDER SPERM (or MOS for short) has been a project way too long in the making. But it won't let me forget it. I only have about 15 pages written on it, so it's not like I'd be taking a 50K book and adding an additional 50k. I'd still be basically writing a whole book.
MOS is about Maddie Prescott, a family law attorney whose husband died a year ago. They were always so busy building their careers that they never had children. Now she wants a baby and is prepared to send away for mail order sperm to achieve her goal.
Her late husband's business partner and best friend Jack Worth, made a deathbed promise to look after the widow. He figured it would mean checking in on her from time to time to make sure she wasn't scammed by some pyramid-scheme huckster or victimized by someone taking advantage of her loneliness.
When Jack learns that Maddie is arranging for a shipment of frozen sperm, he's appalled. How on earth can a woman deliberately bring a child into the world without a father in the picture? That's what his mother had done and Jack had bloodies the noses of more than one kid who called him a bastard child.
Maddie, on the other hand, had been used as a pawn in her parents' divorce, and she figured a loving one-parent family was superior to a broken two-parent one. She had no man in her life now and she certainly didn't need one in order to get pregnant, thanks to sperm-cicles and a little help from a friend who is a nurse.
In a moment of madness (or was it?), Jack volunteers to be the sperm donor. The arrangment will involve a dirty movie and a plastic specimen cup, but at least Maddie won't be buying sperm from a possible serial killer.
However when her job at the law firm may be jeopardized by her single parenthood, Jack steps in with a proposition to help. They'll enter into a marriage of convenience to provide Maddie the safety net she needs to keep her job. Instead of a turkey baster conception, Jack will make a direct deposit. Then when the time is right, they'll split, Maddie will have her baby and Jack will be a free agent once again.
Of course we all know that romance novel heroes and heroines fall in love, and Jack and Maddie are no exception.
So my dilemna is this: should I adhere strickly to the rules and try to write a story that's at be
st quite hazy? Or should I pick up the MOS story on page 16 and just add 50K words to it?
Here's a video I made for the story. Tell me the pros and cons of one story over the other.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pardon my excitement

Life Begins In Arizona is still climbing the best seller lists at The Wild Rose Press...

...currently holding the number three spot on the top ten list for all book categories, and the number two spot on the top ten list in the contemporary category!

I'm thrilled!! Just thrilled!!! :) Did I say I'm thrilled?

Lee...(who, btw, is THRILLED!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Midnight tonight deadline, making life easy...

There's still time! You can enter the contest until midnight tonight for a chance to win a free digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona. To make life easier for you, I've even posted all the information you'll need to enter the contest below. How easy is that? :)

Btw, I'm thrilled that Life Begins In Arizona is currently number six on the best seller list for all book categories, and number four in the contemporary best seller category!


LIFE BEGINS IN ARIZONA CONTEST:

Would you like to win a free digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona?Simply read the excerpt from the novel posted below, or on my website at www. leemorrison. org, and then correctly answer the question that follows the excerpt in an e-mail sent to me at lee@leemorrison.org by the contest deadline at midnight Monday September 22, 2008.

One lucky winner, chosen through a random drawing, will receive a digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona.The winner will be announced on my blog at http://lindaleemorrison. blogspot. com/ on Tuesday September 23, 2008.

Good Luck!


Contest Excerpt:

Claire’s head hurt. Bad. Her vision blurred and she closed her eyes. After a moment, she tested her sight again. She didn’t recognize the ceiling. A fluorescent light was turned off. Thank God for small miracles. It was dusk. Or was it dawn?

The gray light filtered in through a window. It was hard to discern. A long curtain hung on a track from the ceiling to her left. A dividing curtain. Was this a hospital room? She struggled to sit up, but everything started spinning.

“Claire, it’s okay. You’re going to be okay. Just lie down and rest for now.”

That voice…that deep masculine voice…it was quite sexy.Where had she heard it before?A large hand covered hers. It was warm and big. Gentle. Someone caressed her forehead, and pushed her hair back. She felt safe.Her body relaxed. Sleep beckoned.

****

Jake settled back into his chair. He’d been worried about her, but he knew she was going to be okay. He was more concerned about the man who’d assaulted her and what his plans were. So concerned, in fact, that since he didn’t know the situation, he’d gone out on a limb. Way out on a limb. He leaned his head forward and held it in his hands.

He’d claimed to be her husband in order to stay with her and protect her. He justified his uncharacteristic irrational decision by telling himself that he was in the business of saving lives, not throwing them to the wolves.His position as Director of the Emergency Room gave him an advantage, as well. People knew him and accepted his word. They were shocked when he’d told them, of course, but after the initial gasping, they’d accepted it.

He was taking an awfully huge risk in doing what he was doing, but somehow he felt he didn’t have any other choice.He didn’t trust the bastard who’d assaulted her. Plain and simple. He’d seen that crazed look plenty of times in the emergency room. And he’d been correct in his assumption that the asshole would make bail.

After a discreet inquiry through a friend at the police station, he’d found out he had walked. He shook his head in the quiet hospital room and looked at Claire. How could he leave her unprotected? He hated the loopholes in the legal system. The brick wall he’d hit with her identity was bothering him but he gave his trusted friend at the police station, a detective for thirty years, the honest story and Max was looking into it. Though Max had grumbled about the deception, he’d reluctantly agreed that Jake was probably protecting Claire better than they could—off the record, of course.

Jake had confidence that he’d hear information as soon as his friend uncovered it. If she had any family, they would have to be notified. He prayed he’d done the right thing.


Contest question:

Why is Jake praying he's done the right thing?
Hint: Read the blurb from the book posted below, or on my website to compliment excerpt.


...Life Begins in Arizona available digitally now at The Wild Rose Press, and next March in print at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon and other book sellers.


Life Begins In Arizona blurb:

Claire Stevens, an Emergency Department physician who escaped a violent marriage, is living proof that abuse can happen to anyone. New to Wickenburg, Arizona, she is settling into her home when her ex-husband is released from jail…and finds her. Waking up in the hospital, bruised and battered, she discovers she is married to her neighbor—who happens to be her new boss.

At least that’s the story people believe.Jake Cooper is the first man who has stirred Claire’s pulse in five years. She finds his charm hard to resist, but in hindsight realizes she has emotional scars that are getting in her way. If her fear of relationships doesn’t strangle her, her ex-husband, who is out on bail, just might.

Life Begins In Arizona still climbing the best seller lists...

Life Begins In Arizona currently holds a spot on two of the best seller lists at The Wild Rose Press. It is number 6 on the top ten best seller list for all books categories, and number 4 on the contemporary book list!

I'm so glad everyone likes Claire's story!

If you'd like a chance to win a free copy of Life Begins In Arizona, there's still time. You have until midnight tonight to enter the contest posted here on my blog.

The winner will be announced tomorrow. Good luck!

Lee

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thirty years ago...

... I gave birth to #1 son. I know, I know. How can I possibly be old enough to have a thirty-year-old child.


Well, you probably read about me on the front of the National Enquirer: Nine Year Old Gives Birth! ;-)


Here's what I'm reading right now. It's a romantic comedy by Jane Graves. She has a tremendous voice for comedy. Her 2007 book HOT WHEELS AND HIGH HEELS had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend both of these.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

97 Days til Christmas



Can you believe it?

Autumn shows signs of approaching. Our daytime temps here in Alabama are only in the low 80's and the nights are downright cool. I'm sure summer will rear it's head again before it gives up the fight and autumn takes full control.

I like autumn -- the crisp air, beautiful leaves, clear starry nights, football, Halloween. And then before we know it, winter will arrive and we'll be wishing for the heat of summer again. We don't have extremely cold winters in the Tennessee Valley, but usually once during the season, Mother Nature will slam us for a week or so with bitter temps. We're way overdue for a big snow; the last one I can remember was about twelve or thirteen years ago.

Of course, a big snow would cripple this town. Heck, a small snow cripples it. All the forecasters have to do is predict snow and the grocery shelves become devoid of milk and bread. There's a joke that if you spill a tray of ice cubes on your kitchen floor, the school superintendant will cancel school.

The problem is this: we don't have road equipment to deal with snow and ice. About the best they can do is put down salt and/or sand. It makes no sense to spend tax dollars on equipment that gets little use. Kind of a Catch-22, huh?


<----- This is an Alabama snow (and my granddaughter). Pretty anemic, isn't it? The snow, not my granddaughter.


One good thing about the end of summer is that life begins to slow down for me. The DH and I have an empty nest and we've taken full advantage of it. We have a trailer at a campground about 90 miles from here and go there almost every weekend from April through October. It's relaxing and a nice change of pace. But I seem to get less writing done because about 3 days of my week are spent either there or in transit. Then I spend the other 4 catching up and getting ready to go again. I take the laptop with me, but tend to get little done because the pool is more attractive than sitting inside at the computer.


I need to get cracking, though, if I'm going to meet my goal of selling a dozen stories this year. I've sold 8 so far. I have 3 stories in the pipeline, but one's been there for almost two years. I'm afraid to ask about it for fear they'll reject it. As long as I don't get a rejection letter, I figure a story has hope of being contracted.


So I need to dig into my idea file and submit a couple more before year's end. I have a couple good ideas: a woman who donates her eggs to pay for college, a couple who learn their unborn child has a rare genetic disease that will cause the child to die shortly after birth if it doesn't die in utero first, a woman who learns after her husband has a stroke that he's been philandering and abusing drugs and alcohol. I need to come up with some stories that are more romantic, though, because I much prefer a happy ending.

And look what my writing buddies at the Writing Playground gave me to celebrate my 25th sale. The charm is engraved with "25 Trues Sales" and was a very nice surprise. The little charm in the middle is a teeter-totter to represent the Playground. One of the Playfriends found them in a shop in San Francisco.
So what's the weather like where you live? If you're a writer, what are you working on? If you're a reader, what good books have you read lately? I just started Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves today. It looks to be a fun read.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

LIFE BEGINS IN ARIZONA CONTEST

As promised, I'm running a contest to give one lucky winner a digital copy of my latest release Life Begins In Arizona, a contemporary novel published through The Wild Rose Press.

LIFE BEGINS IN ARIZONA CONTEST:

Would you like to win a free digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona?

Simply read the excerpt from the novel posted on my website, and then correctly answer the question that follows the excerpt in an e-mail sent to me at lee@leemorrison.org by the contest deadline at midnight Monday September 22, 2008.

One lucky winner, chosen through a random drawing, will receive a digital copy of Life Begins In Arizona. The winner will be announced on my blog Tuesday, September 23, 2008.

Good Luck!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mischievous Anne Makes an Appearance

Here, pass me a bit o' that grog, me Hoodlum hearties!

When I came back from the RWA National Convention in San Francisco at the beginning of August, my mind was filled to capacity will all the new things I had learned from the three days packed with workshops. I also brought back a summer cold -- that's what happens when you're milling around with thousands of people. It took me about a week to decompress from all that energy and excitement.

(I must be an introvert/extrovert hybrid. I like interacting with people, but I do get a little nervous and do need to re-charge my batteries afterwards.)

Anyway, one of the lessons learned from the hours of flattening my spreading buttocks, either sweltering or freezing in the various workshops, was the importance of networking. There were several classes on promoting yourself as a writer. I attended a couple and my roommate went to a few different ones. I did craft workshops, too, but I wanted to conquer my fear of, get this, what if I actually get published! Yes, crazy as it seems since I'm not even done with my manuscript (but I do have a first draft done that needs lots of TLC), I'm fearing the future of me alone in the bookstore doing a booksigning and no one wanting to buy my book. Wahhhhh! So, I wanted to get a handle on what to do later so I can get back to focusing on writing now. Did that make sense?

It turns out that blogging is a powerful maketing/promotional tool, but when done alone may be too much for a person to maintain, especially when she's supposed to be writing her novel. The group blog, hence grog, emerged and can now be found all over that newfangled thing called the internet. For those who remember (I'm dating myself), it's like that old shampoo commercial, if you tell two friends and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on.

Kathi accused me of tippling too much grog and thought I had misspelled the word when we were discussing this. In this instance, I was stone-cold sober (which is not always the case, but I digress). I do love me ration o' rum!

Marilyn, diva of technology, jumped on creating our Romancing the Hood Grog and here we are!

I'm thrilled and delighted to be a part of this. My history with the Hoods is similar to all the other stories already posted. I lurked for the longest time on eHarlequin's Writing Round Robin and entered my very first contest for Rocki's hurricane story. I was POSITIVE I'd win. *sniff* Much to my chagrin, I didn't...and didn't...and didn't...dang! Where they not getting my entries? Where the editors blind to my stunning writing abilities? I went to the community bulletin board and lurked around reading everyone's posts and began to feel a really special bond with several of the members: Linda, Marilyn, Blueberri, Darc, Kathi, Dreamy, and more. I slowly braved posting comments. At this point, I felt sort of secure in realizing that these people weren't mass murders, sociopaths, or otherwise psychos ready to track me down to my home through the internet. Hey, I've been drilling the dangers of the internet to the kids so give me a break!

New Writing Round Robins came and went but the steady group of core contributors stayed with it and kept the dialog going on the bullient board. Kathi finally had enough and moved us off to a private group, where we've been happily babbling amoungst ourselves. Over the years, we've had a couple of people drop out, but really we've become a second family for each other. We tell our fears, failure, and obstacles and get encouragemets and advice. We share our triumphs and pop cyber-champagne for each other. In many instances, our little writing family know more about each other than our real families and long time friends. Everyone of the Hood probably know more about me than my brothers and dad. Sure, I talk with my family, but it's different.

The Hood's common bond is writing. But as we grumble and moan about all the internal and external conflicts that we have as a writer, we also talk about other aspects of our lives. We did this email after email throughout the day, day after day, for years. How can't we know each other better than family members whom we see once a week (if you're lucky or not depending of how you feel about them) or once a month or even once a year.

I'm so happy I found my Hood family! I hope that everyone can find or create a support group as wonderful as this one.

Hugs,

Your Mischievous Anne

Life Begins In Arizona is released!!!

Life Begins In Arizona is released TODAY!! My book is finally available and you can find it at The Wild Rose Press.

This also means that next March (2009) Life Begins In Arizona will also be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders etc.!

Claire and Jake begged me for a long time to get their story out. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Stop by my blog later this weekend for a chance to win a free copy...

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Can you tell? :)

Dancing on air,
Lee

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I feel like a...


...slug. A garden variety slug.
I know I should be writing, but I can't get excited about it. I can't even make myself read.
All I've done for 2 days is flop on the couch and watch cable TV. I've seen two fascinating shows about Alcatraz, which were even more interesting since I was just there a month ago. I caught up on some re-runs of Law and Order: SVU, but the US Open tennis tournament is messing up the current SVU showings.
The one bright spot in life is that I'm going to visit my granddaughter on Saturday. I haven't seen her since Father's Day, and at two years old, they change so quickly. I understand she's talking much more, so she and Grammy are going to have a great time chatting. And I hit the Labor Day sales and bought her five new winter outfits. They're just everyday clothes she can wear to daycare. I sure do love shopping in the girl's department after having raised two boys.
Got plans for the weekend? Any ideas for ending my slugfest?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

hurricanes

Marilyn, of course you have our prayers and crossed fingers for your mom... and for you.

This is a crazy season this year. I love the map you inserted. How does that work?

I didn't do any writing today. I was in a strange mood that called for doing laundry and running errands even though I had cleared the day to write. I can see where a clean house could be a sign of major procrastination from writing!

I am having a yard sale this weekend with a few neighbors. I really have bit off more than I can fit on A PLATE( how's that for a weird metaphore?)

Anyway; what do you all think of selling stuff at yard sales versus just donating it?

Also, If you went to a yard sale and they had a sailboat, a large doughboy swimming pool, and a full size ski boat and trailer, would you drive on by, or would you stop to see what other strange things they had?

kathi h ... bringing the strange to life.!

Stay Safe - East Coast Version


This time it's more personal because Hurricane Hanna is heading toward my mother, sister and brother-in-law. Two days ago, the projected path had it heading right at my mom. Today's map has it hitting further north. She's right there where the coast of Georgia and the coast of Florida meet.

I hate for anyone to get hit, but please, Hanna, leave my mama alone. She's poised and ready to evacuate should she have to, but she's 81 years old with deteriorated disks in her back and is more comfortable at home.

Hugs to those affected by Gustav. He was a bad boy but not nearly as bad as he could have been. And of course his cousins Ike and Josephine are frolicking in the Atlantic and could become threats too.

Give us a break, Mother Nature!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

memories are made of this....

memories are made of this....
da da dum dum...
there's a song that starts that way. Maybe it was Perry Como. Now I am really showing my age, although I will insert here that I was a child then and I still like his voice.

I put all of my user names and passwords...... yes I have many so if someone cracks one they won't have them all, and I change them frequently....into a password protected document on my flash drive written in word pad so I can find them when I need them.

For those who are new, I went through a bad spell for a couple years. I had a lot of close family and friend deaths and my own health wasn't good. Medication further fogged my mind and limited the time I could write COHERENTLY!

Things are better and that is why I am attempting to renew blogs and websites so I can be in touch with my cyber pals.

Today was the coldest high that Denver has ever had for this date. the previous record was in 1932. officially today it was 64. but out here in the hills where I live it never got above 50. After a relentlessly hot dry summer, it was a shock to the system to see my breath when I stepped out the door.

I am going to here state my goal for this month;
By the end of September... let's give it a date... September 30... I will have two manuscripts that have been requested on someone's desk other than my own. in order to do that, since one of those deskes is in Canada, I must actually mail them around September 20. I have 18 days.

So 18 days and counting. wrote 1000 words today. will do more tomorrow. now I have this to embarrass myself if I slack off.

A little shameless self-promotion...

After major delays and events beyond my control, a little birdy told me--okay it was the "boss lady" (as we affectionately call her) at The Wild Rose Press--that I'll have a release date for Life Begins In Arizona within ten days!



Stay tuned.