I survived.

So, I had the brilliant idea to do  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) once again last month.

And, I won!

I’d dance like Meryl, but I’m so damn tired. My brain melted into a pile of goo the second I’d typed out The End. December will hopefully be a quieter month, even though I have two novels to edit.  Editing is slightly easier than writing, but I still I loathe it.

My NaNoWriMo novel, One Last Heist, turned out brilliantly. It had all the twists and turns I’d hoped for, and some I never expected. It’s now in the hands of my capable betas, and I won’t worry about it for a little while.

My relationships with friends and family appear to have survived the madness. I did have to bribe my dog with many treats to forgive me for being chained to my desk. =) NaNo can be a trying adventure with words.

This year the words flowed far better than they have any other year. I’ve participated in the November madness several times. Each one feels a bit different. One Last Heist definitely had my muse’s full attention, and I didn’t necessarily struggle with my daily goals with the exception of one day early in the month.

I can’t wait to share Mack & Toshiro’s story with everyone next year.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through NaNo is I can’ only manage it once a year. I’m never going to be an 8k word a day author.  I barely manage 800 to 1000 words on an average day. It’s more about keeping myself steadily making progress.

But once a year in November, I indulge in a bit of insanity, and some of my best work has come from it. (After the Scrum, The Caretaker, and now One Last Heist.)

And now, I can take a nap…several naps.

Did you take part in the NaNo madness? How did you do?

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Review: The Unexpected Santa

This is a slow burn story that tantalizes even as it soothes the soul.  Written from both Gray and Scottie’s points of view, the reader really gets a good idea of what is going on in the irascible Scottie’s head.  A delightful short, it is well-written, realistic, and I adore the way the author presents the twins’ autism and how simple it is to work around and with it.  There is steam in the palpable chemistry between the two MCs, but this short doesn’t take their relationship too far.  Super hot kisses will leave you aching for more, but it is clear that these two men belong together. 

 As I mentioned to the author, I am salivating for the actual coming together of these two men.  She assured me that the rest of their story is coming, and I simply must recommend this book to be read right now, as well as The Sin Bin series as a whole!  I rate The Unexpected Santa at 4 sweet yet very hot stars.” 4 Stars from Cat C. at Divine Magazine

 

Oh, A Squirrel.

Or, the biggest distractions to my writing–and how I attempt to combat them.

Note I said attempt. I’m not always successful. Okay. Fine. I admit that I’m rarely if ever successful, but maybe you can learn from my mistakes.

My biggest distractions are…

1. My Dog – I mean. Could you deny this face?

How do I combat it? I don’t. Look at her face?

2. The internet.

You could combat it by turning off the computer. Do I? No lol. The best way I’ve found to avoid internet distractions is to get away from my computer and write by hand for a while.

3. Hot men on the internet.

I suppose technically this is part of #2, but I thought it deserved its own point.

4. Video Games.

I LOVE video games. LOVE. I’ve owned just about every type of gaming console from an Atari to an Xbox. The easiest way I combat the distraction is to use them as a reward–if I reach my writing goal for the day, I can play the game.

5. My husband.

This is actually not a distraction but an interruption. My beloved husband LOVES to stand in the doorway to my office to chat with me. He talks…and talks…and talks.  I love him, but sometimes:

What are your distractions and how do you combat them?

How to Celebrate the Holidays…

…when you hate them.

Or, in other words, how Scottie celebrates Christmas.

Scottie Monk loathes the holidays. It’s the worst time of the year in his opinion. Here are a few suggestions he has for how to make it through December holiday parties and celebrations:

  1. Don’t.
  2. Seriously. Just fucking don’t.
  3. Have a drink.
  4. Repeat Step 3.
  5. Start over at 1.

As to why, here’s a list of what he hates about them:

  1. Everything.
  2. See above.

Do you love celebrating the holidays? Or, like Scottie, do you prefer to hide until all the fun is over?

 

A Prayer for the Lost.

Or, as I like to call it, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) fever strikes again.

I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo for several years. The insane task of writing a 50k novel in 30 days calls to me like a siren. I’ve won it all but one of the times I’ve taken part. You definitely run the risk of completely losing your mind when you try it.

I’ll also admit that not every author works well under the pressure of it.  I certainly couldn’t do it every month–once a year is more than enough. All my other novels have taken anywhere from two to six months to write.

So, in honour of the impending doom, here’s a prayer for the battered muses of all who suffer through November madness.

Dear Goddess of NaNoWriMo,

May you keep our pens moving, our coffee cups full, and our ideas flowing.

Keep our foreheads safe from hard surfaces.

Allow our commas to wind up in the correct places.

May they’re, their, and there cease to torment us.

May our loved ones not give up on us.

Help our word counts to grow.

And when the clock strikes midnight on November 30th–let our novels have hit at least 50,000 words.

Ever yours,

Your thankful and fearful novelist. 

Are you taking part in NaNo this year? Have you plotted out your ideas or are you pantsing it? I’m going for a mix of pantsing and plotting. I wish you all luck.

 

*I may have played a little too much Assassin’s Creed: Origins this weekend and gotten a bit caught up in the prayers to Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. lol

It’s Alive! The Botanist is out now.

The next release in The Sin Bin is available now.

https://books2read.com/botanist

Wyatt “Earp” Hardy is a US Navy SEAL. His life begins and ends with those two words. He readily risks himself for the men under his command. Trouble is—he can’t live for them during a time when military policy weighs heavily on who he is.

Researching for his master’s thesis, botanist Aled Demers’s life is about to unravel. One torturous nightmare run-in with drug runners leaves him permanently scarred. He knows he’s lucky to be alive after being rescued by a group of SEALs, but suffering from PTSD takes its toll.

The SEAL and the botanist come from different worlds, but one rescue links them together. Can Aled recover enough strength to risk his heart? Will Wyatt’s leaving the navy force him to reassess more than just his career choices?

The Botanist is a short story introducing two key members to The Sin Bin series.

Also, Book 4 is available for pre-order:  https://www.hottreepublishing.com/the-royal-marine

 

Why I love the Start of the Botanist.

“There’s a boat.”

“Pretty sure it’s a yacht.”

“Nope. It’s a boat.”

“Why’s there a yacht-like boat in the combat zone?”

“Better question: Can we make it go boom?”

“Within the parameters of our war games with the Brits?”

“Does it matter?”

“Oi, Earp. Get your twats to shut the bloody hell up, will you? They’re clogging up our airwaves. Are they comedians or soldiers?” The dry humour in Hamish Ross’s voice echoed loudly in Wyatt’s ear where he’d been working valiantly to ignore the chatter from his team. “You listening?”

“We’re Navy SEALs, Hamster, not soldiers. We leave that grunt shit to you.” Wyatt couldn’t help needling his old friend and SAS counterpart. They’d worked together multiple times over the years, sharing secrets, wounds, and beers. “Hey, Ross, any clue why there’s a vessel in our designated dive area?”

“None.” Hamish spoke in muffled tones to someone, and a long silence stretched before he returned to Wyatt. “Shouldn’t be there, Earp. We’re picking up four warm bodies on the thermal camera. They’re not ours—or yours. Boat’s registered to a local rental company, the owner claims only one person should be on it. A botany student from Cardiff.”

“A botany student from Cardiff?” Wyatt glanced over at Trace, who looked almost as confused as he felt. “Why the fuck would a— You know what, never mind—what are we doing?”

 

The start of The Botanist is pure silliness. It’s a brief moment of indulging my absurd sense of humor before delving into darker and more serious subjects.  Of all The Sin Bin stories thus far, the one might be my favourite beginning.

Maybe.

For now lol.