Archive for April, 2011

Penny Shoots, She Scores!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Welcome to the Cindy Lee Cup Finals, everyone! I’m Dawn Cherie, your hostess.

Today, we have some very exciting news to announce. Cindy’s alter ego, known on Muse Interrupted as “Penny,” has sold her first erotic romance single title, A LITTLE WILD, to Samhain Publishing! Cindy and Penny are both excited and happy and proud. Cindy more than Penny, even though it’s technically Penny’s sale. However, Penny has sold everything she’s written. Cindy, in a word, hasn’t. So, Cindy, alas, is well-versed is coming in second. Let’s see how she’s faring, shall we?

Dawn Cherie: Cindy, it’s nice to see your bright, smiling face. How do you stay so upbeat when Penny just sold her first single title whereas yours is gathering cyber-dust on your hard drive?

Cindy: Um, thank you, Dawn. I think. First, I am totally thrilled for Penny. She wrote her single title before I wrote mine, that is if you’re referring to the romantic comedy/mystery I’m currently marketing. She submitted it before I began marketing mine. So it makes sense that Penny’s book would SELL first, don’t you think?

Dawn Cherie: Semantics, Cindy! Tell us how you really feel.

Cindy: I know deep inside my heart that I play a part in Penny’s success. So, honestly, I am thrilled for her. However, if you want to get picky (or nosey), technically, my first single title is releasing in December of this year, from Five Star/Cengage/Gale. My 2007 Golden Heart finalist manuscript, WHERE SHE BELONGS. It’s on the shorter side for a single title—65,000 words. However, it still qualifies.

Dawn Cherie: How long is Penny’s A LITTLE WILD?

Cindy: Why don’t you ask her?

Dawn Cherie: :::shaking head::: I tried, but she’s not taking interviews at the moment. I fear her success might have bloated her ego.

Cindy: Makes sense. Okay, I happen to know that Penny’s erotic romance, A LITTLE WILD, is 85,000 words.

Dawn Cherie: So, technically, TWENTY THOUSAND words longer than yours!

Cindy: Technically. However, the single title I’m currently marketing is more like 95,000 words.

Dawn Cherie: Ten thousand words longer than Penny’s! Except…(consulting notes)…Oh, ahem, it says here that YOUR single title, which you are currently, um, “marketing,” is actually only 94,000 words. Cindy, I caught you in a fib!

Cindy: I was approximating! Look, Dawn, if you want to get crabby about it, let’s add ’em up. I have published and/or sold two short romantic comedies and a long contemporary romance. Together, they add up to 165,000 words. Penny has sold three erotic romance novellas and now a single title. Together, they add up to 160,000 words. So, you see, I’ve sold 5000 more words than Penny has. So there!

Dawn Cherie: Wow, Cindy, you really dug through your files and added up the words of all your sold works? (You didn’t slip in the unsold works, did you?)

Cindy: Yes, I really added them up. (And, no, I didn’t count the unsold works. That would be too scary). You’re the one trying to make this into a competition! Making me all…all Capricorny!

Dawn Cherie: You need to take a chill pill.

Cindy: I do!! Dawn, I must be off.

Dawn Cherie: I believe you are already (off her rocker, that is!)

Cindy: That’s it! Dawn, you’re taking the Cindy Lee Cup Finals far too seriously. I have writing to do.

Dawn Cherie: But, but—you haven’t provided a blurb of Penny’s A LITTLE WILD yet.

Cindy: NEXT TIME!!!

Cindy stomps off.

Dawn leaves in a snit, adjusting her starchy blouse collar.

Cindy peeks back in and whispers, “Congratulations, Penny.”

Penny creeps out of the cobwebbed corner of Cindy’s brain. “Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Cindy bows (humble, as always).

Hippy Happy Hoppy

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Crazy Week continues!

If you celebrate Easter, have a great weekend.

I expect more crazy next week. May had better relax after this hurry-scurry April.

Are you hurry-scurrying around?

Changing Brains

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

My brain is rebelling. Although I can’t really blame it on the writing. It’s rebelling against being stuck in Doing Taxes Land (for my American readers, the Canadian deadline for filing is April 30th). Yesterday, I finally conceded defeat on this year’s taxes for My Liege and myself and trundled all down to the accountant. Usually, I find doing the taxes pretty straightforward. However, this year there were some elements that made it just difficult enough that my brain hurts even talking about it. I had a year-end to take to the accountant, anyway, so this way he gets double the fun!

Now that I have that excuse out of the way, I’m still in the midst of swapping Penny’s brain for Cindy’s. I find it always takes me a couple of writing days to make the switch. I had a great day Friday brainstorming Cindy’s (well, my) romantic comedy short story series. I plan to write 5 stories in the series, and one is already complete. Four female secondary characters are introduced in the first story. So, Friday, I sat down with my netbook and brainstormed bare bones ideas for the four secondaries while reading the first story. I’m pretty sure I now know all the stories’ heroes, except for one. I’m sure he’ll come to me. Better yet, I know which H/h gets Story #2. And I think I know when it starts.

Today I’ll start brainstorming Claire and Ridge’s story. Yes, that’s really the hero’s name. How embarrasing, the poor guy. But that was the name I saddled him with in Story #1, because he appeared as a male stripper at a bachelorette party in Story #1 and Ridge seemed like a good, solid (no pun intended) stripper name. However, now that I’m turning the first story into a series, I’ve realized Ridge is not only my hero’s stripper name—it’s his real name. For reasons I won’t go into, because I haven’t yet decided which of two reasons it is. Just know it’s his mother’s fault.

Keeping the Ridge name and not just making it a stripper name seems like a great way to torture my poor hero. And this is a cindypk story—I do love to torture my romantic comedy heroes!

Other elements of the story and characters have come to light. But I need to hunker down for more serious brainstorming, this time devoted to Claire and Ridge instead of the series as a whole. Penny’s still waiting for legalities of sorta news announced last week, so of course I keep sliding into Penny brain.

By the end of this week, I should be firmly entrenched as Cindy again and will have begun drafting Claire and Ridge’s short story. Like usual, I probably won’t know exactly what’s going to happen when I start the writing. I find it’s more fun (and more natural to my creative process) to find out just enough about the characters and the opening situation to get me started. And then I head off. Into the mist. Or the fog. Or the granite-hard mountain with only my trusty, rusty spoon to dig my way out.

Wish me luck!

Sitting on Good News

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Howdy-hoo, blog buddies!

I am sitting on some very good news for my alter ego, Penny. I’ve been sitting on this news for 5 days now. I can’t announce what it is right now, but I’m very excited for Penny and myself. As soon as I can give a public shout-out, I will.

In the meantime, I learned BORROWING ALEX is still enjoying a Debut Special price reduction (as in sale!) over at AudioLark. There wasn’t a new release this week, so if you’re quick like the proverbial Easter bunny, you can still nab the BORROWING ALEX audio book on sale.

I can never decide how to write audio book. I want it to be one word – audiobook. But, technically, I suppose it’s two. Like website. I think Web site looks dumb, but isn’t that the proper use? I always use website.

Back to audiobooks… I’ve discovered a website for the narrator of the HEAD OVER HEELS audiobook, Karen White. Hippy-hoppy on over and give her a look. I’ve added her site to my Various Haunts listing in my sidebar (which should be spelled sidebar, and, by gum, I think WordPress spells it that way. Clever WordPress).

Have a great weekend!

Weird Cat Tricks

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Who has a weird cat? Hands up!

Is there a cat that isn’t weird?

You know how it is. You have this cat. It lives forever. Without you meaning for or wanting it to happen, this cat has somehow trained you to bow to all its commands. You swear—and I mean on a stack of National Geographics or whatever else is handy—that when this cat finally kicks off and you get another one, YOU will train IT. It will not train you!

Slowly, very slowy, the years pass. At about the 4-year point, you realize that, without you meaning for or wanting it to happen, YOU have once more been trained by your cat!

Agh!

I swore I would never teach my cat, Keisha, to drink out of the bathroom tap. Then one day I caught her in the bathtub trying to catch drips (after my bath) with her paw. Aw, that was so cute. So I turned on the tap just a little bit. And, awwww, how cute, she began drinking from the tub faucet.

It was only once. It was not meant to happen again.

Silly human. Of course it happened again.

From there, it was only a matter of time before I was turning on the tap in the bathroom sink so she could have a drink of fresh water. Yes, every morning I refresh her bowl of water on the portable dishwasher (she eats on top of the dishwasher or the beagle would eat all her food). But the BOWL of water isn’t good enough. No, she needs it out of the bathroom tap!

I quickly learned to set the stove timer for a minute or I’d forget the tap was running (because, being a writer, I could not stand to watch while she drank. No, I had to go do a minute of writing. That’s much more efficient. Kind of like deciding to do a bit of writing while you’re cooking dinner. Then, 20 minutes in, you smell dinner burning on the stove, because you forgot all about it. When you’re a writer, leaving a bathroom tap running for a cat is a lot like that.)

Well, I swore this drinking from the sink tap or playing with the dripping tub water after a shower would not progress any farther (further?) (grammar glitch—I haven’t a clue which one it is). Then, one day, I’m noticing that she’s jumped onto the edge of the tub, but doesn’t want to go IN the tub to play catch-the-water-drips. She wants me to turn the water ON. Don’t ask me how I know this. It was a Dr. Doolittle moment.

So I turned on the water. And she stared at it in fascination. And I thought, “What the hey, she’s been rolling in the dirt outside. Maybe she wants a bath.” (Really, I was thinking, I should get this cat wet—that would teach it a lesson). So I filled my palm with water and splashed it on her scruff. She loved it! I splashed more on her scruff. She hopped off and gave herself a bath, aided with my water.

This was 2 years ago. Now, about 4 times a week, she hops onto the side of the tub, and I scoop handfuls of water onto her scruff, under her tummy, onto her back, and sometimes even on her tail and the backs of her haunches. Then she goes off and gives herself a cat bath.

Truly, at this point I thought my cat was a genius.

Still wasn’t impressed with the tap-drinking, though, but I had it under control.

Well. A couple of weeks ago, I was thirsty and in bed reading. Instead of taking a water bottle and sitting it on the nightstand (which is my custom, as I have a nasty habit of knocking over glasses), I didn’t want to open a new bottle of water and I had none saved for refills, so I filled a glass child’s mug with nice and cold filtered water from the fridge and sat it on my nightstand.

Well! Miss Keisha decided it was for her. She drank merrily from it all night. Now, she doesn’t give two hoots for the bathroom sink, but if there’s not a glass child’s mug on my nightstand every single darn night, I hear about it. As in howls and yowls.

And still the water bowl on the dishwasher goes untouched.

I should count myself lucky that she’s not a food cat. Our last cat was obsessed with bacon, ham, tuna, and milk. This cat just wants cat food and water. But not HER water. Oh, no!!

Don’t get me started on how she needs myself or my dh to watch her jump onto the dishwasher so she can eat. She trained him in this area. I got trained by default. She sits on the floor by the dog’s food bowls and meows and meows. Finally, someone comes to watch this fantastic gymnastics routine of Keisha pretending like she can’t possibly jump over the dog food bowls and onto the dishwasher, she takes like 5 practice moves and looks, and then, miracle! She’s up!

My husband says he had to praise her as a kitten to get her to learn how to jump up there at all. And now she wants praise all the time. But heaven forbid she ever touches her own water.

How has your cat trained you?

Debut Tuesday…Until Next Tuesday

Friday, April 8th, 2011

BORROWING ALEX will continue to be available at Debut Tuesday pricing until sometime Monday night or Tuesday. So if you know of someone who’d like to take advantage of 1/3 off retail pricing, send them over to the BORROWING ALEX page at AudioLark. Free sample available!

Borrowing Alex Now Available in Audiobook!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

It’s Debut Tuesday tomorrow over at AudioLark, and guess who’s debuting? Moi! Yes, BORROWING ALEX is now available in audiobook for your listening pleasure! If you have a device that can play MP3s, you can listen to my quirky story. Over and over again.

Debut Tuesday means special low pricing that’s in effect all week! You heard me, alllllllllll weeeeeeeeek!

In fact, I could say that it’s Debut Monday Night, because the audiobook is already on sale. Yoop!!

Play a sample audio clip here.

Here’s the audio cover and story blurb:

What’s a girl to do when her fiancé won’t set a date for the wedding? Pretend to have an affair with the best man, of course.

Nikki St. James knows kidnapping Alex Hart and whisking him off to secluded Lake Eden is probably a little extreme, but her fiancé barely seems to notice her existence any more, and she needs Alex to help her get his attention. Besides, she’s probably doing the college professor a favor—he’s so uptight a little R & R at a lakeside cabin is just what he needs. Not that she cares what he needs, or has noticed how handsome he is….

Alex needs a break from his quest to achieve tenure at warp speed—but being kidnapped is not his idea of a good time; especially not by his college buddy’s crazy fiancée! He’s not one to judge, but if what he’s heard is true—that she’s perfectly happy with an “open relationship”—why bother to get married at all?

Alex quickly realizes he’s been misled about Nikki. Worse yet, he’s beginning to fall for her. Can he make her see the truth about her impending marriage without ruining his chances for a happy ending?