Sunday, June 25, 2006

Staying Busy

I can't seem to stay focused on one project, and it's becoming a little discouraging. This weekend I've been working on The Seventh Sense, and I've been making changes on a printed version. Here's one page with my edits.

This is one of the more heavily edited pages of the manuscript. I know it will make the book better, but it's a bit slow-going at the moment. At this rate, it will easily be more than 40,000 words, so I'll have to make sure that's OK. I'll probably switch back to the Halloween story soon to save my sanity.

Speaking of the Halloween story, I've figured out some important elements of my fictional paranormal world, so I'm ready to get back to it. Should be fun.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006


On Friday, the coworkers in my department surprised me with a celebratory lunch in honor of my first book. They pulled off a good surprise--I had no clue. I was told that it was our quarterly lunch. Then we get to the restaurant, and surprise!

They gave me a card and a basket full of notepads, pens, pencils, and Diet Coke. All the tools that a writer needs. :) After dinner, they brought out a cake for me. The party was a lot of fun! I have terrific coworkers.

Last week, I heard the results of the query contest. I placed third out of five, and I'm pleased with that. No request for a partial, but I wasn't expecting one--primarily because Kensington isn't known for publishing futuristics. Participating in the contest was a positive experience. I only wish I'd had time last week to write and submit a synopsis to the contest they are doing now, but I didn't make the deadline. Maybe next time.

I'm working on a Halloween-themed story. It's interesting to play with paranormal a little bit. We'll see how it turns out.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006


If we had to say what writing is, we would define it essentially as an act of courage.
--Cynthia Ozick

This has been an amazing and nervewracking week. As you may know, Office Relations is my first book. It's been exciting to know that it would finally be for sale, but since I've never gone through a book release before, I wasn't sure what to expect. It turns out that I've written maybe 1,000 words all week, which is not a typical number for me.

As for what I've been doing instead: worrying and promoting. I'm much too good at worrying, not as good at promoting. Not self-promoting, anyway. I wonder how common this is for writers. In any case, it will be interesting to see if I go through this process with each release. I hope I can stick with promoting and leave the worrying undone.

The good news is that today I woke up with a desire to write. My courage has returned. :) So I'll be back at it, once I figure out which story to work on.

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I want to let you know about two upcoming chats. The first is tonight at Romance Divas. You will need to sign up as a member of the forum (it's free and doesn't take long to register), and Java is required. It starts at 9:00 PM Eastern, and many of Cobblestone's authors will be there.

The second chat is next Tuesday in the Cobblestone Press chatroom. You need Java for this chat as well. It begins at 9:00 PM Eastern. I'll have prizes people can win.

I hope you can make it to one of the chats!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Office Relations Available Now!

It's out!

Office Relations
ISBN: 1-60088-008-8

Click here or on the cover to purchase it.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Interviewing Peter

Today I'm interviewing Peter Merrill, the hero of Office Relations, which is available for purchase tomorrow at Cobblestone Press. Peter works at Stanwood Enter--

Peter: {Holds up a hand} Stop.

Lia: What? Why?

Peter: Readers don't need all that boring introduction stuff.

Lia: But--

Peter: They know I'm the hero of Office Relations. That's enough for now.

Lia: All right. Let's get started. First, are you nervous about the book's release tomorrow?

Peter: No. As far as I'm concerned, the story's the story. {Pauses} You're the one who's nervous.

Lia: You're right. Okay, let's move on to the story. Do you want to explain how it got started or should I?

Peter: Go ahead.

Lia: I work in an office with dozens of conference rooms, and I thought it made a good setting for a story. So I visualized a man and a woman who had to work together in a conference room on a project, and from there, Peter was born.

Peter: That's right. I showed up first.

Lia: Yes. Your voice came through quite clearly, even before I knew what you looked like. You were pretty frustrated being in a room with Sabrina and not being able to--

Peter: Can you blame me? Sabrina's beautiful, and her beauty is only one of the things I like about her.

Lia: Peter, that's sweet.

Peter: {Rolls eyes} I have my moments.

Lia: Let's talk about Sabrina.

Peter: No problem for me. What do you want to know?

Lia: As I mentioned, I heard your voice almost immediately, but the story actually starts in her point of view. Tell readers how she developed as a character.

Peter: Okay. Lia asked me to talk about the woman I was so interested in, so I told her about Sabrina. Pretty simple.

Lia: You're not the one who had to write it.

Peter: Hey. Living it wasn't any easier.

Lia: Point taken. I'm sorry. Please continue.

Peter: That's it. I talked, and you listened. Something you don't always do.

Lia: {Considers how to change the subject} Back to Sabrina--

Peter: Nice try.

Lia: {Gives up} All right. Readers, Peter is referring to a recent shopping trip--

Peter: I'll tell this one. First of all, Lia's doing a contest to celebrate the release of Office Relations, so she came up with this idea to give away office supplies--

Lia: I call it an office survival kit.

Peter: Whatever. Anyway, while she was out shopping, I mentioned a must-have item. She ignored me.

Lia: I didn't ignore you.

Peter: You didn't buy what I suggested.

Lia: You suggested condoms. I decided against including condoms in the kit.

Peter: You said it's an office survival kit, right? I wouldn't have survived that conference room without a condom. It came in handy.

Lia: Yes, it did. But I'm not including them in the office survival kits.

Peter: {Sighs} The kits don't include condoms, but they are pretty cool. Sign up for Lia's newsletter and you'll be entered for the contest as well as any other contests she does. Just put your e-mail address in the box in the left column of this blog. She'll draw two winners for this contest on July 1.

Lia: {Mutters} You're better at promo than I am.

Peter: Yeah, because I'm used to it. It's a big part of my job.

Lia: Well, thanks.

Peter: No problem. We done here? I want to take Sabrina out to dinner to celebrate the release of our story.

Lia: Aren't you forgetting someone?

Peter: Three's a crowd. Besides, two of your coworkers are taking you out to lunch tomorrow.

Lia: Right. But--

Peter: See you. {Leaves}

So, that was Peter Merrill. I hope you enjoy the interview. His and Sabrina's story, Office Relations, comes out tomorrow.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Office Relations Excerpt

As promised, here's an excerpt from Office Relations, which will be available Friday at Cobblestone Press. In this scene, Peter has just told Sabrina that he's as interested in her as she is in him.
He hadn't meant to hurt her--hell, he hadn't known he could. He'd obviously given her the wrong impression, but he was more than happy to enlighten her. Her reaction should be interesting--once she got her voice back. Any second now.

"You do?"

"Yes." He strode toward her. "But you had a few other questions. I sit across the room while we work so I don't smell your perfume."

"I thought you liked my perfume."

"I do. But smelling it for too long makes me want to toss you on the table and see if I can find all the places you wear it by licking your entire body."

"Oh." Her mouth stayed open in surprise.

"I hurry out of here at the end of the day to hide my hard-on from you," Peter finished. "Any other questions?"

She smiled. "Only one. Do you have any condoms?"

* * * * *

Today was one surprise after another. She had barely asked the question before he was moving across the room, pulling her into his arms, and devouring her mouth.

"You're shaking," he said against her lips.

"I can't help it." It was all she managed before he groaned and sucked her lower lip between his. Kissing him was hot and wet, like he was making love to her with his tongue. She wrapped herself around him, smiling when he groaned and thrust his hips against hers. Only an hour ago she thought Peter didn't want her. Now she moaned in delight when she felt the evidence of his desire, his hard c--- against her. But she wanted more.
Want to read another excerpt? Visit my website. :)

Tomorrow, Peter has agreed to stop by for a visit. Watch for an interview with him.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Three Days and Counting

Office Relations comes out in three days!

Office Relations
ISBN 1-60088-008-8

What does a man do when a work project puts him in a conference room with Sabrina Moore, the sexy woman of his dreams? If the man is Peter Merrill, he's got three choices: (1) Fantasize about her; (2) Notice how sweet she is; or (3) Find out what she's wearing under her suit jacket…

Sabrina hasn't stopped thinking about Peter since they started working on the project together. When they realize their desire is mutual, suit jackets aren't the only thing to come off. But Sabrina's keeping a secret that may interfere with their relationship.

Tomorrow I'll post an excerpt.


Monday, June 05, 2006

What the Hell Is Up with That?

I mentioned in a previous blog entry that I am going back through The Seventh Sense to cut out junk words. The biggest offender?


I use "that" 450 times, which wouldn't be so bad in a 300-400 page manuscript. Since it's a little over 100 pages, the number of incidents seems a bit excessive. I've brought it down to 175, but I'd still like to cut that this number in half. Looks like I'll be doing that for the next few days . . .

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Five Questions

I'm finally completing a fun meme where I answer five questions from someone else, then ask five questions of the first five people who post in the comments. So, here are my answers to Jenna Petersen's questions.

What kind of books do you write?
The two books I've contracted are short stories--contemporary romance. This subgenre is the most comfortable one for me, and I enjoy writing shorts. I have a full-length futuristic romance as well, with two more books planned in that world. And finally, I have two historical romances in the works. This subgenre is the most challenging for me to write, so once these are finished, I'm making no promises about more historicals.

Can you tell us more about Cobblestone Press (recently I've been hearing quite a bit about them)?
Happy to. In fact, I'll share the whole story, beginning with how I learned about them. I've been reading e-books for about a year, and I initially read books by both Deanna Lee and Sable Grey last fall. One day I saw a notice on Deanna's blog about Cobblestone Press.

I checked out the website and had two main thoughts: (1) that it looked very professional, and (2) that it might be a good choice for me because it was a publisher dedicated to romance, not just erotic romance. Since I rate my stories on the hot side--leaning toward erotic but not quite there--this made Cobblestone an interesting possibility.

At the time, I had one short story and the futuristic; the former was too short for consideration and the latter is targeted for print publishers. So I bookmarked the site and made a note to come back to it.

Cobblestone began accepting submissions in March. By that time, they had lowered their minimum word count so my short story qualified. I sent it for submission on a Friday and got a contract the following Monday.

It's been a great company for me as a first-time author. Each book went through three rounds of editing, and the editors pointed out things and made suggestions that made the story stronger.

Cobblestone also sends out its releases to dozens of review sites. I've heard from other authors that not all e-publishers do that. I believe the fact that Deanna and Sable are authors themselves helps them know how to make things easier for their authors. And they encourage us to submit to other e-publishers to get our names out there; they even sent a PDF with things to look for as we review contracts from other companies. As a publishing newbie, I found the comments very helpful.

Oh, and I can't talk about Cobblestone without mentioning the covers! They offer consistently good covers. I couldn't be happier with mine.

Cobblestone opened last Friday, and my first book isn't out yet (that's this Friday, only five days away!), so I can't speak to royalties, but I've been pleased with the company in every other area, and I'm convinced they will continue to grow and do well.

If you couldn't be a writer, what profession would you want to pursue?
A professional paid romance reviewer. Or a scrapbooking instructor.

What profession would you avoid at all costs?
Anything related to math.

What's your favorite ice cream?
Bubble gum. I know, everyone looks at me strangely when I say it, but it's true. Throwback to when my mom would take me to get a shake after surviving a trip to the dentist.

That was fun! If you want me to visit your blog and customize five questions to you, just post in the comments.

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