I’m a Loser, Baby. A NaNoWriMo Loser.

It’s November again. National Novel Writing Month. I can’t count how many times I’ve attempted to write 50,000 words in one month and not once have I achieved this lofty goal.

This month, I decided not to even try to reach 50,000 words. I set my own goal. Eleven days into it, I’m giving up. I’m done.

Why?

Last night, I went out and was listening to karaoke and enjoying some time out. Sitting at a bar, even in a restaurant, has always been my brainstorming time. I write notes on napkins and log things in memos on my phone. Last night was no different. I was getting all kinds of future writing ideas. What was I not doing? Writing. I wasn’t logging those word counts. As I realized this, I knew that NaNoWriMo was simply not working for me.

You see, when writing starts to become a “job” for me, I start to lose interest. I know that to write books, you have to sit and write, but I want it to be because I enjoy it. Putting those words down is a stress reliever for me. When it becomes something that causes stress, it’s time for me to take a step back and reevaluate. I did that. In doing so, I realized that even when it’s not NaNoWriMo, I’m pushing myself too hard. There are many things I want to write, blogs included, and I’m not doing it. It’s time for me to slow down and enjoy the process.

I so admire the people that can win NaNoWriMo.  And I enjoy doing word sprints and the camaraderie that results from those. I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad thing. Writer’s supporting each other to reach their goals and words being written in droves can never be a bad thing. It’s simply not MY thing.

I’m a loser, baby. And I’m okay with it.

Peace!

I’m out!

 

Must Read Monday 10/30

I finished this book last week and I couldn’t wait to blog about it. It really is a must read. You laugh, you cry, you cheer on the main characters, and you identify with them. I highly recommend this book by Lori Leger.

Running Out of Rain

by: Lori Leger

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Synopsis:

Eventually, all storms break for a little sunshine.

Dr. Cynthia Ellender is devastated when her husband of thirty-three years dies suddenly. A revelation at his funeral leaves her bitter, angry, and determined to leave Oklahoma for good. Maybe a move back to her hometown in south Louisiana is just the right prescription for the good doctor.

John Michael Ferguson has weathered some serious storms in his fifty-three years. At sixteen he lost a sister, and at thirty-nine, a wife. Now, he’s forced to watch his mom lose her battle with Alzheimer’s. A chance meeting with “Cyn” has the semi-retired businessman wanting to bury his past and look to the future. Armed with questionable advice from his wise-cracking, seventy-seven year old father, he vacates the “widower’s bench” to re-enter the dating world with his old classmate.

RUNNING OUT OF RAIN is a mature love story that proves just because there’s a little silver in the hair doesn’t mean the pump isn’t primed for passion.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/faeuTL2

 

Cover Reveal!

SeDream (2)veral years ago, I started writing my first paranormal romance book. I’m in love with all things New Orleans, and the town and ghosts go hand in hand. I started writing, or playing around with an idea that I called That Voodoo That You Do. I even entered it into the same contest that Crossroads (later to become Tangled up in You) won first place in. I won again in the paranormal category so I decided to keep it going.

I signed with Limitless Publishing to publish Tangled up in You. Then Running on Empty. Then Catch and Release. You see a trend? Voodoo got pushed to the back room of the voodoo shop.

I never forgot about it though, and sometimes when I would hit a wall with writing, or simply need a break from the serious story lines, I’d pick it back up and write a few lines, or an idea or two.

A few months ago, I decided to try my hand at self-publishing. And I knew just the project I wanted to put out there. My paranormal. I dusted it off, did some research, and decided to release the books as a series of novellas that will eventually be combined into a single book.

Dream a Little Dream of Me is the first installment that will release next month. I hired the awesome Ashley Byland from Redbird Designs to create this simply stunning cover. What do you guys think? Gorgeous, huh? Makes me want to don a little black dress and dance the Charleston.

The Jolie St. Amant? That’s still me, just a little spicier. 🙂

It’s been an exciting and scary journey so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product. I’m even more thrilled to see what the readers have to say about it. It’s such a different tone, story, and theme than the Boonie books. Speaking of the Boonies, I have some news on those characters, but you’ll have to wait until next time. 🙂

For now, here’s to new projects!

Peace,

I’m out!

For the latest news on the Jolie St. Amant books, be sure to follow me on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/JolieStAmant/

A House Divided, by Deborah Leblanc

ahdA House Divided

by: Deborah Leblanc

Book Synopsis:

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family- a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

My Review:

5 STARS!!!

I saw Deborah LeBlanc at a writer’s conference, and knew I wanted to read one of her books.  How could a ghost hunter not have a great paranormal novel? I picked up A House Divided, and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

First, I love books set in south Louisiana written by local authors. LeBlanc does a great job of capturing the local color and character of Cajun country. Her characters feel like people I would meet while standing in line for groceries.

Second, the storyline moved at a perfect pace. I was able to read this book in two days, its flow was so smooth. I kept turning pages wanting to see what was coming next. The story was also unique. Haunted house stories can become clichéd and predictable, and this book was neither.

The story is about a house that is literally split in half. A local contractor purchases the huge house and moves it to another town. In the process, he divides the house into two sections. Each has an apartment on the top floor and a business on the bottom. Lara and Tawana, take one section and open a beauty salon. Matt Daigle opens a new location for his successful café. Soon after opening, the euphoria of new beginnings is replaced with fear. Waking up one morning, the inhabitants of the house find flocks of dead birds littering their yards. And that’s only the beginning…..

What happens later is a journey through a family’s history that will leave one of the characters reeling.

I give this book five stars for a flawless Southern ghost story.

Buy Link:

Link: http://a.co/bOXqOdD

Running on Empty-Lafayette Excerpt

Running on Empty officially releases Tuesday! In this excerpt, Grace and Gabe take a trip away from Bon Chance, and visit Lafayette, La for Festival Acadiens. This festival celebrates local Cajun music, and is actually one of my favorite festivals. It was fun to write this scene, and I loved being able to share this event with my readers.

The sounds of the fiddle and accordion rang out from the multiple stages set up in the Lafayette park, and the spicy scents of Cajun cooking filled the air. Festival Acadiens was underway. Locals had set up colorful tents and canopies around the perimeter of the park, most sporting the red pepper Ragin’ Cajun mascot. They were an oasis to rest and cool off after spending hours of dancing and drinking in the hot October sun. Kids tossed footballs back and forth. Couples lay on blankets spread out on the grass.

Gabe snagged a music schedule and they found a place away from the crowd to look it over. Grace pointed out bands she wanted to see, and they put together a schedule for the day.

“Geno Delafosse plays in half an hour. You want to go ahead and go to that stage? I know he draws a crowd,” Gabe said.

“Sure,” she agreed.

As they approached the stage, Grace saw that Gabe had been right, there was already a small crowd beginning to gather. Some had already begun to dance to the music playing from the loudspeakers as the band set up.

“Want something to drink while we wait?” Gabe asked after they found a good spot off to the side of the stage.

“I would love something. How about a lemonade from one of those spots we passed earlier?”

“Sounds great. Wait here, and I’ll be right back.”

While she waited, she took in the sights and sounds.She didn’t go to Lafayette often, but always loved it when she visited. The people were friendly. They’d start talking to you in line at the grocery store, and before long, they knew where you were from, where you were going, and who your family was. Several people had already nodded to her in greeting as she stood there waiting for Gabe to return.

She tapped her feet to the lively beat, unable to resist. “Wanna dance, cher?” The guy standing in front of her appeared to be in his sixties, face leathery from sun. He wore a gimme hat from a local oilfield company. He was about a foot shorter than she was and absolutely precious. Grace nodded and took his hand.

A Mardi Gras Themed Take-Over!

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Join author A.L. Vincent and six other authors for a Mardi Gras themed take-over on Sunday February 19th from noon until seven (CST). It’s a multi-genre event too, so there’s something in it for everyone one. Come on down and laissez les bon temp rouler (let the good times roll)!

Author Lineup:

12:00-1:00 A.L. Vincent
1:00-2:00 KM McFarland
2:00-3:00 Tanya Sands
3:00-4:00 Debbie DeLouise
4:00-5:00 Amy Holmes McClung.
5:00-6:00
6:00-7:00 Natalina Bell

https://www.facebook.com/events/1280766961983668/

Can’t wait to see you all there!

 

Carnival Confessions: A Mardi Gras Novella

Carnival Confessions: A Mardi Gras Novella

By: Cherie Claire

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Book Synopsis:

Attorney Cameron Reed is not too pleased to be paired off in a court case with Stephanie Bertrand, a New Orleans socialite whose privileged background is vastly different from Cameron’s bayou upbringing. But when Cameron overhears Stephanie’s boyfriend asking another woman out, he feels it his duty to tell her of her fiancé’s betrayal.

Wearing a mask and sneaking into a Mardi Gras ball, Cameron plans to inform Stephanie of her boyfriend’s tryst but never gets a chance. Instead, a tipsy Stephanie delivers a confession. Not only is she not dating the man in question, she is secretly enamored with Cameron. And because Cameron does not return the feelings, she plans to take a job in an Atlanta law firm.

Like the wild Mardi Gras festivities, Cameron’s world turns upside down at the news. But how can he make amends to the woman he nicknamed “Deb” for debutante, and convince her to remain in New Orleans — and hopefully in his arms.

My Review

When Cameron overhears Stephanie’s boyfriend ask another woman out, he feels he needs to let her know. He sneaks into a masked Mardi Gras ball that he knows Stephanie will be attending to tell her. What he doesn’t count on is Stephanie confessing to him that she has a thing for a co-worker. She’s attracted to Cameron! And she’s leaving New Orleans to take a job with another law firm. Cameron now has to figure out how to let her know that he also has feelings for her. Can he convince her to stay?

Carnival Confessions is a sweet and short Mardi Gras love story. Cheri Claire does a great job at capturing the essence of Carnival season. It’s very PG with no love scenes, and that’s okay with me. It’s a quick read of 7,500 words, its something you can pick up and finish in one day. I definitely recommend it to those who like books set in the south.

Buy Link:

http://a.co/33zBrpp

Against All Odds

Music always plays a big role in my novels. It inspires scenes, lines, and even entire story lines sometimes. One day while I was driving, “Against All Odds” came on the radio and I got the chills. This was Grace and Gabe’s song. I knew I had to incorporate this song into my book. This excerpt is that scene. I’ve also included the YouTube link to the song for your listening pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy!

from Running on Empty

Back at the Redbird Inn, later that afternoon, Gabe slid the piano cover open and ran his fingers along the smooth, worn, black-and-white keys. He had learned how to play music here with Grams looking on and listening. He played a few notes to get a feel for the instrument again. As he played, his mind drifted back to high school when he and Grace would sit here practicing whatever song they were working on at the time.

Automatically, his fingers started playing the old Phil Collins song “Against All Odds.”

He sang softly as his fingers traveled over the keyboard. He had convinced her to sing the song as a duet for the prom, hoping she would see how badly he was crushing on her. But she never had. She had left for New Orleans soon after that to attend the University of New Orleans on a music scholarship. He and Bennett moved to Austin, where there were more opportunities for musicians trying to make it big.

He sang quietly, still playing the old song, hoping Grace would take a look at him now.

“You’re still hung up on Grace, aren’t you?” Glinda asked from the doorway.

Gabe stopped singing, but not playing, his fingers still as restless as his mind.

“I am.”

She smiled and came to sit beside him on the stool. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I saw her on the beach this morning while I was fishing.”

“And?”

Gabe thought of the dark circles under Grace’s eyes. “I don’t know, Grandma. Something seems different.”

“Like what?”

“It’s a look in her eyes. I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Grace is a tough girl. She’ll make it through whatever it is. She does have that soft side though.”

He laughed. “Grace? Soft?”

“She is, Gabe. Look at her with Ryder, or Joey, or that crazy dog of hers. She doesn’t love easily, but she loves with all her heart when she does.”

He nodded and, suddenly feeling uncomfortable, was quiet.

“Gabriel?” Glinda asked, patting him on the knee. “Since you’re here, how about you help me out with some repairs around the place? A little hammering and nailing might be what you need to keep that mind of yours occupied. We can give Noah a little break.”

He smiled and mentally shook off the past. “Of course, Grams. Just let me know what you need.” He slid the piano cover shut and followed Glinda into the kitchen.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/32Ea9P3

 

Great Reads for 99 Cents!

Looking for some great new reads? I’ve ran across a few lately that are really good (I’ve several of them), and they’re only ninety-nine pennies! There’s even two box sets with multiple full-length novels. There’s twelve novels here for less than five bucks. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Well, I’ve got that covered too, as this list has different genres as well. Buy links are included, so get clicking and dive in!

  1. Sex, Blood, Rock ‘N’ Roll &Vampyr by KM McFarland

    West Skmmcide’s frontman, Quinn Forrester, and the band’s lead guitarist, Jeff West, were like brothers, so when Quinn mysteriously disappeared in 1989, Jeff suspected foul play. With no evidence to back up his suspicions, Jeff was not able to convince the authorities. What Jeff does not know is that Quinn became a vampire that night and hid away in secret in the dark shadows of New Orleans.

    Years later when Quinn and his daughter, Nadia, formed a nightclub act, Quinn stepped back into the local spotlight. Vampires do not age as mortals do, so to explain that Quinn reinvented himself as his son.

    Twenty-five years after Quinn’s sudden unexplained departure from the band, the opening of an art gallery brings Jeff to New Orleans. A beautiful artist, Quinn’s lookalike son, a vampire tour and a series of events lead Jeff to Quinn. Will Jeff finally uncover the shocking truth about what happened to Quinn?

    Amazon Buy Link:  http://a.co/eFfnO3K

2.  Love at First Sit, by Ysa Arcangel

lovyaRoxanne Mabini, a twenty-five-year-old single mother of twins, joined a speed-dating event just for fun and to get “speed-dating” checked off her bucket list. She wasn’t looking for anything.

…Until the devastatingly handsome bartender, Aloysius “Wish” Gregorio, stepped up to fill in for the lack of male participants, mesmerizing Roxanne. Literally, he was every girl’s wish.

Finally, she’s met a man who shares her interests. But will a girl whose heart has been shred to pieces learn to trust and love again?

When Roxanne’s first love and the father of her children, Chris, drops back into her life, old flames reignite. Chris has been waiting for the right time ever since he was forced to leave her, and now he aims to win her back.

Will the chemistry and powerful connection between Roxanne and Wish be strong enough to fight the old flame that is once again burning bright?

Roxanne must make a big decision: provide a complete family to her children, or share her life with her heart’s desire. Will she find love, lose it, or know when to walk away?

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/18Q4Obh

3. The Wilde Sisters (Books 1-3)

wsSWEET ON YOU – BOOK #1

An extravagant cake design brings small town baker Trent Kipson to fame…

After gaining social media exposure of his culinary art, Trent’s cake design goes viral. Soon he’s contacted by the Cooking Network to host a new show in California. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for the owner of a modest shop in Portland, Maine, and the financial freedom the network offers could be the answer to all of his monetary problems.

Fitness instructor Rayne Wilde wants the life every small-town girl dreams of…

Rayne wishes for a future full of romance and the pitter-patter of little feet. She wants it all, including a white picket fence and a dog named Spot—which is exactly why she refuses to sleep with Trent, the sexy man who attends her Zumba classes. After a series of dead-end relationships, this time she really is in love. Trent is special, and the fear of letting him slip through her fingers keeps her advances at bay.

Life is waiting—all it takes is a leap of faith…

As their friendship grows and skeletons creep out of their closets, their relationship is put to the test. Stakes get higher, and the spark between them burns hotter than ever before.

Can they handle the heat when life-changing secrets are exposed, or will the fear of being burned send them on two different paths?

THEN CAME YOU – BOOK #2

Thyme Wilde doesn’t make long-term decisions—until she falls in love with one…

Easily bored and quickly distracted, Thyme enjoys her freedom, so being a temp at her sister’s company is the perfect job. But when she takes a position as a nanny, she instantly falls in love with the five-year-old princess named Maddie—and just two months later, Maddie’s parents are killed in a plane crash, leaving Thyme in an unfamiliar role of responsibility.

Multi-millionaire architect Grayson Montgomery lives in the lap of luxury—but at a cost…

Being the sole heir of his family’s fashion empire and his father’s architectural firm, Grayson has never lacked for anything. But in return, he must stay subservient to the matriarch of his family—his grandmother—and date the heiress of their largest business partner. The only freedom Grayson has is his architectural designs, which are his true passion.

One day changes Grayson’s future forever…

A lawyer summons Grayson to Maine for the reading of the will of a woman he once knew. He doesn’t expect to be named the father of a five-year-old orphan. Then he meets his newly-discovered daughter—and her incredibly sexy nanny.

While acting as Maddie’s loyal nanny, Thyme develops feelings for her new employer that are more than professional. And after several passionate nights with Grayson, it’s clear the feeling is mutual.

When it’s made evident Grayson sees her as a convenient placeholder, Thyme must push aside her desires and put Maddie above herself—even if it means sacrificing her heart to do it.

WILDE FOR YOU – BOOK #3

Event planner Sage Wilde has lots of lists and no time for a relationship…

Precise to a fault, Sage plans everything—meetings, meals, and sex. But when she learns her youngest sister can’t carry a child, she steps up and commits to the role of a surrogate mother. It’s not out of sentiment, because Sage doesn’t do love or touchy-feely, but out of practicality. She doesn’t plan on marrying or having children, so why not rent out her unused space, right?

Luke Riley is a sexy firefighter who’s looking for love in all the wrong places…

Luke’s morning gets a little brighter when he’s called to a clinic and spots a blonde beauty wearing killer red boots. Though she doesn’t seem interested, he manages to introduce himself. It’s unusual for a woman to push away his advances, but Luke is attracted to her confident nature and strong personality. It’s not long before he wears her down, and she finally agrees to a date.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/1VBTA3s

4. Pink Hearts: A Romance Collection

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This one is a pre-order, available January 31st.

Hot, steamy, sexy romance…just in time for Valentines Day!

We have 7 Full length Contemporary Romance novels by International and best selling authors. Some are sweet, some are sexy, but they all have one thing in common…love is definitely in the air! So curl up with your book boyfriend and enjoy…

Tangled Up In You by A.L. Vincent
Guarded Heart by C.A. Harms
Love Always, Kate by D. Nichole King
Secondhand Sinners by Genevieve Lynne
Sweet On You by Marianne Rice
Somewhere In Between by Samatha Harris
The Girl With Hearts by Savannah Blevins

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/2rrpZV3

That’s it, my friends! Twelve books for less than five bucks! Don’t forget to help an author out too, leave a review. Reviews help with Amazon sales, and good ones keep us going when the muse is unkind. 🙂

Happy reading!

I’m out!

 

 

Confessions of an Old Lady by Christina Morgan

Book Review

Confessions of an Old Lady

By: Christina Morgan

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Book Synopsis:

Olivia is eager to earn her undercover stripes with the deadliest biker gang in the country…

 Agent Olivia Rockford is doing well for herself. Twenty-something arrests and more than a dozen convictions in her first year alone has her ranked among the top DEA agents. Olivia is chosen to go undercover to bring down the notorious Lords of Chaos, a motorcycle gang in her home state of Kentucky. Her mark is the good-looking bad boy VP, Sonny Jackson.

Olivia transforms into the badass Trish Sanders and snags Sonny’s attention. Now she has to keep it…

Dubbed Sonny’s “old lady,” he begins to confide in Olivia about the gang’s illegal activities, as well as their feud with rival gang, the Monsters of Mayhem. When the feud escalates, and the Monsters assassinate someone close to Sonny, Olivia uses her agent training to convince Sonny to set up a meeting to resolve their disputes.

Despite her growing feelings for Sonny, Olivia doesn’t have a choice but to pass along the details of the meeting to her supervisor…

When the DEA raids the meetings between the two gang powerhouses, Sonny quickly puts two and two together and realizes who his old lady really is. He puts a gun to Olivia’s head and demands the truth. Olivia realizes she has to tell him the truth…her real name, her assignment, and most importantly, her feelings for him despite everything.

Will Sonny be able to forgive Olivia for her crime of betrayal, or will she simply become a cautionary tale in…

Confessions of an Old Lady?

My Review

This is my second Christine Morgan story. And just like the first one, I found that once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I’d sit down to take a break and read one chapter, next thing I knew I had read four. It’s the kind of book I like to read. The character’s are extremely real, they have their flaws just like everyone else.

Olivia rushes head-long into this undercover situation because she’s not happy with her own life. She sees it as an escape and soon finds that it may be a little more than she bargained for. I like seeing her grow and change as she becomes this new person she’s created for herself.

I like that Sonny isn’t too rough around the edges. He’s got his soft side and I like that. I think there’s a good balance with him.

The flow is great, like I said, you pick it up and before you know it, you’ve read a few chapters. This author has a very smooth writing style, that I enjoy. I will definitely be reading more of Morgan’s work.

***5 Stars***

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com

Link: http://a.co/9CvSHfK