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Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Newest Writing Venture

Coming Soon! A new way to enjoy free reads from some excellent authors in all genres of romance, including me! Once a week a new author will post a free short story (1K-5K words) for your reading pleasure. All you have to do is visit the blog listed on the picture above. We would LOVE it if you also choose to follow the blog and post comments from time to time, however there is no obligation to do so. Everyone can access the blog and read the free short stories. So, mark your calendars and be sure to join us!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm Writing Vampires...

It's kind of a new thing for me, writing vampire characters into a story. My current work in progress is actually set in a world where vamps are just another race of people, living alongside humans and having to deal with prejudices and fears. They're actually the ruling class and the entire world runs on a different clock where daylight hours are when everything shuts down. I've written in first person again, this time from the POV of Zaria Stonewell, a human trying to survive in the vamp run society. Here's a little taste:

            I eyed my landlord warily, noting the coffee stains on his white tank top. His dark jeans were so full of holes it was a wonder he hadn’t been arrested for indecent exposure. A stranger would think he was homeless rather than the owner of several businesses.
            “Yeah, Joe. You know I work day shift.”
            He grunted and licked his teeth with a sound that grated on my nerves.
            “I know, I know. Sucks to be you.”
            I waited almost a full minute in silence as he seemed to be searching for something else to say. Finally the suspense was too much for me. “Did you need something?”
            He seemed to think it over before raising one bony shoulder in a lazy shrug. “Just checking up on one of my favorite humans.”
            I fought the urge to shiver in disgust and slam the door in his face.
            “I’m cool, Joe. Just gotta finish getting ready for work.”
            He straightened and for a second I thought he meant to take a step into my apartment. I was blocking the doorway but with his vampire strength he could easily force his way in. I tensed, fighting down my inherent fear. Joe’s nostrils flared and he tilted his head. The overhead light danced across his elongated pupils, causing the inhuman sheen to spark for a second. I never forgot for a single moment that he was a predator.
            He smiled as if reading my thoughts and took a step back. “No problem, chica. Catch you later.”
            He turned and was gone in a rustle of cloth, the smell of old cigarettes drifting lazily after him. I released a breath I hadn’t meant to hold and closed the door. I rubbed my hands up and down my arms in a vain attempt to dispel goose bumps and returned to my toast.
            “Fucking vampires.”

I'm at 43,089 words with a goal of 50K. Hopefully it will be done by this weekend for a final read through and submission. I'll keep ya'll posted.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm in the CTR Forums Today! Where Are You?

Today I'll be posting in the Coffee Time Romance and More forums as a part of the Ellora's Cave authors day for their Bring in the New Year with Coffee Time Romance, Books and More celebration. I plan to give away one copy of my newest release, Educating Macey, an erotic short story now available through Ellora's Cave.
Join in the fun here:
Good Luck!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Door has Shut, Where's the Window?

This week has been interesting in many ways for me. More specifically, Tuesday of this week was bittersweet. My newest e-book, Educating Macey, was released from Ellora's Cave and my youngest daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The rest of the week is kind of a blur now, but I know I spent a little bit of time at work, a whole lot of time at the Texas Children's Hospital in downtown Houston, and not enough time with my other three daughters. I spent basically no time writing or reading for pleasure. I did read quite a bit, but it was the same thing over and over as I tried to understand what is and isn't happening in my child's pancreas.

My mother has diabetes as well as a co-worker and other people I know. I didn't panic when our pediatrician said we needed to head to the ER because my daughter's sugar level was way too high. I though, "Okay. Diabetes, I can handle. I know some basics and it's something we can deal with."
Hah! I was seriously fooling myself and didn't even know it. It wasn't until Thursday afternoon that I realized just how naive I was being. Type 1, also called Juvenile, diabetes is nothing like my mother's diabetes. It's a completely different ailment and I didn't even know it. Once I started reading and panic began to build, I realized we were in for the long haul. This is something we will monitor for the rest of her life. She's currently seven years old.

I think I've always done well about seeing the glass as half full in every obstacle that comes our way. On Tuesday one of the first things I said to my husband was, "All right, the whole family is now going on a diet." I was ready. I was willing to change the menus, throw out the junk and be stricter on the eating habits of all four children. That's not going to be enough. There has to be a schedule for meals and insulin injections. I had to learn to stick a needle in my child's body...multiple times a day! Thank god she's such a brave little thing because she's handling this better than I am. As I was ready to completely lose it on Thursday evening, I happened to talk to an acquaintance who's child has Lupus. That conversation reminded me that I'm not the only mother going through this. I'm not the first, nor will I be the last. I am one of many and it IS doable. A door has shut on one chapter of our lives, but the family is now ready to crash through a window and let the fresh air back in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Educating Macey now Available!

My newest release is an Ellora's Cave quickie titled Educating Macey. Here's a taste:
Sex has taken a backseat on my priorities list for a while now—being a single mother never allowed me the chance to dwell on it. But then my daughter grew up and Max moved in next door. Just seeing his sexy-as-hell body and hearing the way he growls my full name, Macey Lane, gets me all hot and bothered. I am not a woman of experience, but Max is more than willing to teach me. His lesson plans may be too delicious to pass on, but is hot sex worth the risk of becoming another of his conquests?
Want more?

-Missy Jane
*Make reading a guilty pleasure...*

Monday, January 3, 2011

SK Reading Challenge 2011

This year I've decided to enter my first ever reading challenge with one of my favorite authors of all time as the focus. It's the Book Chic City blog's Stephen King Reading Challenge, as you may have noticed from the button on my sidebar. Why am I doing this? Up until maybe five years ago, SK was the author I read the most. He was the one I lined up at midnight for, and not a single new release of his escaped my notice. I've seriously slacked off. I don't even own Under the Dome or  Full Dar, No Stars  yet. In fact, the past three books I've purchased have sat unread, collecting dust on my TBR shelf for literally years. What the hell happened?

Romance and erotica, that's what, and I fully blame my minion for introducing me to those genres. Actually, I can't really yell at her since reading them turned me to writing in those genres also ;-)
However, I've decided that my long lost love of SK's work must be rekindled this year. I've already lined up the books required to meet the challenge (minimum of six). They are as follows, in no particular order:
  1. Everything Eventual. I think I've actually read this one but can't remember, so have decided to read it again.
  2. Storm of the Century. I've seen the movie (who hasn't?) but have yet to read the book. I can't wait!
  3. Lisey's Story. I remember buying this one and anticipating cracking open the cover. Don't ask me what happened, I have no clue.
  4. Cell. I actually started this one and put it down when life happened. I think we then moved or something crazy and I never picked it up again. There may be a dusty bookmark still embedded within.
  5. Blaze. This is a "Bachman Book". That's all I can remember off the top of my head.
  6. Duma Key. Here's one I don't remember much about, not even the purchase. It may be the first I read though.
  7. Just After Sunset. By the time this one was released I felt snowed under. I knew I was getting way behind on my SK but had too much else going on to fix it.
  8. On Writing and Secret Windows. Ive put these two together because they are about the craft of writing and fall into that weird zone for me that borders non-fiction. I thoroughly enjoy living within my imagination as often as possible and therefore stay away from non-fiction for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a biography or philosophical treatise now and then (no, really). However, I go through genre phases and that one hasn't come back around lately.
So there it is, my list for the Stephen King writing challenge of 2011. As I said before the challenge is to read six and technically I've listed eight. I own all but one of them and may even decide to reread It...again. We'll see. Once I get rolling through SK I might tackle the whole shelf. I'll try to remember to post my progress here.
If you'd like to join me click on the button and follow the rules.
Good Luck!

SK Reading Challenge 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 5 Books I Wish I'd Read in 2010

Throughout this past year I came across a lot of new authors and new series by authors already known to me. I was trying to cut down on the ridiculous number of works in progress I can't seem to contain and by September had decided enough was enough. I vowed to not read any new to me authors for the rest of the year, or start any new series. I only purchased books in any ongoing series I was already reading, and that still kept me busy for the past few months.
Regardless of that vow, I still noticed many new releases that intrigued me. I wanted to grab them and find a quiet place to hide, but couldn't ignore the promise to myself. So, rather than creating a top five list of favorites for 2010, I decided to list my top 5 regrets. These will also be the books I start out with for reading in 2011.

  1. The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet SRL in Austin on his tour for this new release. He gave a short talk, read from the book and then signed copies while talking to his readers. I sat ever attentive in the front row, riveted by his eloquent speech and clear voice. I LOVE his work. I first happened upon SRL's writing when I picked up his The Song of Albion trilogy, starting with The Paradise War. His writing is so well researched and worded I felt as if I was there in the midst of the Celtic struggles with the onset of Christianity. From there I turned to other single titles and series of his and have never been disappointed. I began reading The Skin Map in September when I bought my copy, but life and writing happened (as well as NaNoWriMo) and I put it down. I plan to make it my first finished reading venture of 2011. It's a mix of sci-fi and historical fiction, two of my favorite genres. With SRL's excellent storytelling voice and talent for thorough research, I have very high hopes for this new series.
  2. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. I've been a SK fan for as far back as I can remember. Even as a young reader, I would huddle under the covers with one of his lengthy tomes and read until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. One of my bookshelves is almost completely dedicated to his work and I've entered my first ever reading challenge for his books in 2011. I haven't purchased this one yet and honestly don't know much about it, but SK books have never failed to intrigue me. I won't say I've loved every single one, but each has given me something to think about at the end. Love him or hate him, no one can argue that he isn't an intriguing storyteller. This will most likely be my first purchase of 2011.
  3. A Preferred Blur by Henry Rollins. While this was actually released in 2009, I received it late in the year. HR released 1,000 autographed copies of the limited edition black cover, and I've got # 661. My introduction to HR came in 1995 with the release of the song "Liar" by the Henry Rollins band. I'd already heard of Black Flag and enjoyed their music but had no clue who the screaming front man was until this song. I started noticing him in movies and discovered his site and production company 2.13.61. From there I listened to his spoken word and read his views on everything from music to politics. I've seen him live as a singer and speaker and own four of his books. He is one of the most outspoken, inappropriate and politically incorrect people I've ever seen...and I'm madly in love with him. Yeah, my hubby knows.
  4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. To be honest I should probably put the entire trilogy here, but this is the latest release. My oldest daughter fell in love with The Hunger Games at the beginning of the school year and has talked of little else since. For Christmas I bought her the trilogy and now she insists I MUST read them. The premise definitely interests me so I'll most likely have them read by February.
  5. Ravishing in Red and Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter. I put both of these books together because they're book one and two of The Rarest Blooms series. I had the honor of eating lunch with MH during the Romantic Times convention of 2008. She is extremely intelligent and interesting and knows her work well. Her writing always sweeps me off my feet and I was shocked to realize I hadn't known about this series until book three! I've already read the third book, Sinful in Satin, because I simply couldn't wait to buy the other two. However, I plan to rectify that very, very soon.
That's my top five picks to start out the New Reading Year. What are yours?