Saturday, December 25, 2010


Gwenna got a Nook for Christmas! (and several B&N giftcards to go with it!) It was a lovely Christmas day with some other wonderful prezzies as well.

Tomorrow, back to work on VN2. :)

Oh, and hot damn, the cover art FINALLY made it onto Barnes and Noble! Santa was good to me!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yeah, Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed today! It now awaits the President's signature to be the law of the land. (Now if we could just get McCain to shut the hell up, it would be perfect.) As a huge supporter of gays in the military, I couldn't be more thrilled.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good news for those of us who ePublish

NY Times- Lusty Tales and Hot Sales: Romance E-Books Thrive
This article came across a couple of lists I'm on, including Lyrical's, and it's worth noting here. Because yeah, I'm one of those who doesn't like to brag that I read romance novels every now and then. (And I certainly don't brag to the general public I write military romances featuring gay men.) eBook readers are getting more and more popular by the day and the eBook world is obviously growing by leaps and bounds. Romance and writers like myself have found a home that traditional publishers just weren't (and still aren't to some extent) ready to take on.

BTW- Gwenna is getting a Nook (The Barnes and Noble version of the Kindle) for Christmas. How thrilled am I?

Update on VN2- I cracked the 85K mark last night. Nate and Ian finally got their act together, in more ways than one. LOL. It only took me all damn day to write it. Geesh. You'd think I never wrote this stuff before. The good news is I can see daylight at the end of the tunnel and should be able to wrap this up with another 10k words. Maybe I'll actually have this finished by the end of the year. Maybe. Only two months past my personal deadline. Oy.

VN2 word count: 85,109K

Friday, December 10, 2010


Because Gwenna hasn't much of anything else to say these days but the word count on VN2, I thought I'd post some of my Christmas cookie recipes over the next couple of weeks. I'm all about the "easy" when it comes to baking because frankly, my time is short. So some of what you see will be super easy and not entirely from scratch.

Today's recipe- Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars is one of those I get requests for all the time. When I bring in a cookie platter to work, these are pretty much the first to go.

Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
2 cups (12 ounce package) white morsels or chips
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon seedless raspberry jam (I've also used blueberry and strawberry)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and sugar 9 inch square baking pan. (I found glass works best)

Melt butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH power for 1 minute; stir. Add 1 CUP morsels; let stand. Do not stir.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl until foamy. add sugar; beat until light lemon color, about 5 minutes. Stir in morsel-butter mixture. add flour, salt and almond extract; mix at low speed until combined. Spread two-thirds of batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Remove from oven to wire rack.

Heat jam in small, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH power for 30 seconds: stir. Spread jam over warm crust. Stir remaining morsel into remaining batter. Drop spoonfuls of patter over jam. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I realize no one reads my journals but for the rare soul who might pass by this- consider this as a special and unique Christmas present for the person who has everything.

This amazing organization builds homes for our men and women in the military who have suffered a life altering injury- usually an amputee. They build homes especially for these warriors who fought for your and I, at no cost to the soldier (or Marine, sailor, airman...). They do this with donations alone.

Please consider joining me and donate something or donate in the someone else's name or memory.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Remember our military today- our men and women who serve selflessly so that we may enjoy this day at home with our families. Across this great country of ours- there are empty spaces at family tables because someone's father, son or brother, or someone's mother, daughter or sister is overseas in Afghanistan or Iraq. When you give thanks today, remember to give thanks for them as well.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

writing update

I've had several good writing days in a row which has netted me a word count of 78,284 on VN2. I was aiming for around 85k but this is going to be at least 92K to 95K. But I have some stuff I know I can toss in the interest of word count if I have to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's day

It's a holiday for many (sadly not me!)- but remember what the day is really for.

Thank a veteran today. If you have a friend who had a son/daughter, husband/wife serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, thank them for the sacrifice they made as well. There is nothing harder than worrying about someone you love being in harm's way- I know as I did it for a year myself for my son.

So today, think about it and say thank you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

VN2 back on track.

I got VN2 moving again- yeah for me. Broke the 67K mark.

This upcoming weekend I'm house/cat sitting across town. My only stipulation- I have access to the wireless. This means I get an entire weekend to write in complete peace. And occassionally entertain the cat. And they are going to pay me for this no less. Well golly.

Friday, November 5, 2010

talking to the crickets

I got my sales in for this past month and well, it sort of knocked the legs out from under me. I had a super month before that, but October was, well, pathetic for lack of a better word.

It hasn't been for lack of trying- I've certainly put myself out there on the blog circuit, purchased some advertising, had a few friends who have massive readerships on their blogs/journals talk it up. And the reviews have been very good- what few there have been.

I guess that's sort of the hook. The first month or so and I pulled in maybe five or six good to excellent reviews- then nothing. I can speculate on why, but that's all it is on my part- speculation. Sadly, if you aren't being reviewed, readers are less likely to find you. I

try not to worry too much about this, but yesterday it sort of clotheslined me. And it got me caught up in a lot of self doubt and tied up in knots. I'm sure if I'm not making money, my publisher isn't going to be jumping up and down in anticipation for anything else I offer. I'm nothing if not realisitc. With VN2 in the home stretch and two more novels from my Lost and Found series in the wings, I can't help but get depressed over this. Try as I might, I can't help it.

I'm going to continue to work on getting Lost and Found out there. I'll buy some ad space at Romance Junkies. And I've started to email GLBT bookstores all over the country to see if anyone would be willing to take bookmarks/book cover cards to stuff in customer bags or put in view on their counters. Other than that, I'm not sure what else to do.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Writing updates

I've made some decent progress this weekend, but on the wrong novel, LOL. VN2 got sort of shouldered aside rather aggressively by Mark and his story of when he was in Vietnam- with Ryan.

So that's what I worked on this weekend because Mark started out nattering at me all week, then when I tried to ignore him, he started to get down right pushy. In the end, he won and Firebase October is now started and rolling. I will not let it derail VN2, that will remain my main focus. And yeah, I didn't make my end of October deadline but I'm still going to push hard on it. Maybe by Thanksgiving. We'll see.

So this is where we stand now:

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- Word count 64,110K.

Gwenna Project: Firebase October (Mark and Ryan)- Word count 4,436K.

If I were to set VN2 aside and focus just on Firebase October, I have no doubt I'd have it done in about two months or so, much as I had Lost and Found done. This one, for whatever reason, could write itself. But I'm going to finish VN2 first. Period.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Lost and Found is now on the Barnes and Noble catalog- minus the cover art. I'm trying not to worry too much about this but I know how my luck runs and the cover art will likely never make it. Any way, as with Amazon and other places, the usual warnings come with it for language, explicit sex, m/m but this listing had an extra one- exhibitionism.


I admit, that caught me off guard than I laughed when I thought about it and yeah, Josh is all that. Now I just grin when I think about it. What the hell, right?

I stalled a bit on VN2 but that's more my doing than anything else. Firebase October on the other hand, my prequel to Lost and Found has been screaming at me all week to work on it. Mark is very insistant. So yesterday I sat down and wrote out the entire beginning. I've come to the conclusion that this particular story would write itself if I simply sat down and went at it. It's set entirely in Vietnam and that's what I know. But I've promised myself that I will finish VN2 first and I will.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why so complicated?

Okay, sort of a rant here to no one. This past weekend I spent the better part of an hour in a particular website looking for something and finally gave up, unable to find it. The website was a mess, with no rhyme or reason as to where you would need to go. It also has a complicated forum system of some sort that left me frustrated and bewildered.

So here is my question- Why do websites and/or blogs have to be so damn complicated and unfriendly? Seriously. Doesn't anyone subscribe to the old addages of "Less is More" and "Beautiful is Simple"?

So you are a rocket scientest of HTML. Your point being?

I don't see the point of having a webpage with a ton of content, if no one knows how to find the content they are looking for. The home page is a hodge podge of pictures, affliations, cute quotes, and any other piece of flotsam and for whatever reason, the webpage owner thinks this is attractive. I think it's a headache. The other part that goes hand in hand with this- it's delibrately designed to make you go through large portions of the site in a scavenger hunt to find a specific link to what should be right on the damned navigation bar to begin with. If you are so worried people aren't going to explore your website unless you delibrately hide content, it's time for a redesign in my opinion.

And okay, since I'm bitching here, let me add that a splash page with some fancy "Flash" presentation that takes forever to load is going to have me back spacing out and going somewhere else. Sure it can be spectacular. And a butt pain on slower servers.

This seems to be a problem with blogs as well, especially the clutter factor. Now I admit, I've got some links on the side of my blog, but my entire page isn't pictures, quotes, affliations and anything else I can cram on there because blank space seems to be offensive. I've gone into blogs and had a hard time finding the post for all the clutter on there.

It can be the most stunning piece of design out there, but if your audience can't navigate it- what's the point I ask? I applaud anyone who can keep it simple and clean and easy to navigate. If nothing else, have someone who is not that internet 'saavy' take a look. If they can't get around, it stands to reason a large part of your audience can't either.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A little of this, a little of that.

I updated and reworked my website just a bit. It's not fantastic but it's not quite as bad either. It'll do until I can get back to it, probably in January sadly. My graphic artist gave me a signed version of the banner, I updated my greeting and I finally moved Lost and Found off my Gwenna Projects page onto a new page called Current Releases.

I also added a new project to the Gwenna Projects page- something that came out me from nowhere. It'll be a prequel to Lost and Found, about Mark, back when he had Ryan and they were in Vietnam. This will be a much different Mark than the angry and bitter one that Josh somehow falls in love with. This will be set completely in Vietnam and I'll love writing about what I know best- Boonie rats. LOL. For now I'm calling it Firebase October but that's subject to change if I find something I like better.

I've also updated the status of other Gwenna Projects for those interested. (or not.)

Some articles and links I've meant to post before this.

North Carolina Wild Horses Face Uncertain Future.
The plight of the wild horses in the Outer Banks distresses me. I mention them breifly in Lost and Found and I had seen them myself more than once. I think it will very sad if they are no longer allowed to roam the northern Outer Banks as they've done for years.

Boeing Tearing Down Historic Plant 2
Boeing has made the decsion to tear down the place where the B17 Flying Fortress Bombers were once built. Where hundreds of women during a time of war came to work and become known as Rosie the Riviter. It seems a shame to see this go in the name of high tech. Melody Blue would have been built here and such famous names as The Memphis Belle were.

The Art of the American Soldier.
There an amazing art display that just opened a few days ago featuring art by Army Combat Artists. I knew about the Marines but did not realize until I came across this that the Army also supports these artists. Unlike the Marines though, they do not have a museum to display their work and a lot has been lost over the years. Right now it's being shown in Philladelphia and the pieces from the Vietnam era are nothing short of stunning. My particular favorite is called Landing Zone by John Wehrte. If you are lucky enough to live in the greater Philly area, take the chance to check out this exhibit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Not my best fall

I normally love Fall, I mean- seriously. For as much as I hate winter (and I can bitch about winter here because this is upstate NY we're talking about...) I still love the change of the season from the heat of summer to the crispness of fall. There's just one tinsy set back for me. Ragweed.

It's flattened me this season which is a large part of the reason I've not updated here in a few weeks. So my apologies. (Okay, I realize no one reads this but it makes me feel better to apologize anyway.) Add to that the fact that my second job started last week and well.

Thankfully, I've actually felt more human these last few days. Sleep goes a long ways toward that.

Despite my woes with ragweed and my spare time now reduced to almost nothing, I've been pounding very steadily away at VN2. I'm up over 48K word count and intend to be well past 50K (hoping for 52K) this weekend. I'm pretty pleased so far with it, have filled in some plot points and holes and I'm keeping it moving. My self imposed deadline of end of October is still very achievable if I keep this pace up.

In other news, my beloved editor who held my hand through the entire process of getting Lost and Found published has left my publisher, Lyrical. Devastated doesn't even begin to express how I feel about this. I have since been assigned a new editor but I already miss Cyn. *sniff*

I made an investment and purchased some advertising space in Romance Times. This has a huge readership and well maybe I can get some sales out of it. Despite everything else I've done and some really excellent reviews, I don't feel it's really selling all that well. I'm sure completely overhauling my damned webpage would help, but I need to find time to do that and well, there is only twenty four hours in a day, sadly enough.

Next post, I've got some interesting news articles I've been meaning to share.

Oh, and congrats to my sweet friend, Elle Parker. Her second novel- Like Pizza and Beer is coming out in two weeks on October 4th. I can't to get my copy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Favorite blog

Handmade by Mother (So you better damn well wear it!) is probably one of my favorite non-writing blogs. If you haven't checked this out, you're missing a treat. I get such a kick out of this woman's uncensored snark about things we knitted and crocheted back in the fifties and sixties. She even includes the patterns so you don't have to feel you missed the boat on creating bad taste.

(It's also a bit horrifying to think people actually made this stuff!)

So go get your fill of snarky goodness and check out this blog. It's good for a grin, trust me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A step back for 9/11

It's been 9 years today that everything changed for my country. What happened that day, is still with me as vividly as the day it happened- with a clarity that never lets me forget.

I can't explain why this impacted me the way it did in those moments when I stood in our cafeteria where I worked and watched as the second plane struck the second tower of the World Trade Center. The collective gasp as we saw it happen, the horror and shock in the eyes of my co-workers. It couldn't be real, could it? Who would do this?

I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of the fighter jets that screamed over us on their way to Washington DC. They were the Boys From Syracuse, our fighter wing stationed at Hancock field. I was afraid, me- who grew up outside a SAC airforce base all her life. Radios were turned on at every desk, in the confusion we were told that Washington DC was under attack, that the Pentagon had been hit.

I saw the first tower come down and cried. I never saw the second one follow.

We had 14 employees that worked in the World Trade Center.

We were sent home, schools were dismissed and my son came home at the same time I did. There was such a profound silence I couldn't understand until days later when we were told that every commercial and private air plane had been grounded, flights arriving from overseas turned away, most going to Canada. There were always planes flying over my house. Not now. It was unprecendented.

I stared, numb, at our TV at the images of the chaos and destruction in Manhatten. They showed the Pentagon on fire. The news was confusing but word came there had been a fourth airliner heading for Washington DC but it went down somewhere in PA.

I didn't sleep that night. I remember thinking that the world as I knew it was forever changed.

I was numb and dazed for days. Couldn't focus at work, I'd suddenly find myself blinking and staring at my computer screen, realizing I had zoned out. It was months before I finally started to come around. I didn't lose anyone in those towers I knew. Nor in the Pentagon, yet somehow this hit me harder than anything else.

A lot of people don't know this fact, someday I may write about it- that the last soldier to leave Vietnam when we walked away and left the South Vietnamese to their own fate, died 9 years ago today. In the Pentagon. He survived a war to die on his own soil at the hands of terrorists. He was a Marine.

9/11 cemented my son's destiny. At 18, he joined the Army National Guard and trained to be a combat medic. I watched him go to war in Iraq four years ago, and cried almost every night. I was one of the lucky ones, my son came home from his tour a year later. So many of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives have not.

I've learned that it's easy to hate, to paint everyone, innocent and guilty, with the same brush. But the truth is- Islam didn't fly those planes into the towers. Islam didn slam one into the Pentegon. Terrorist did at the behest of a madman who is such a coward he hides.

I understand the pain is still raw, it is for me and I lost no one. But burning another country's bible- the Quran- is not the answer. It makes us no better than those terrorists who flew those planes. My son went to war to protect all our freedoms- including those of muslim americans who grieve with us.

I think it's time Sarah Palin stepped back and shut up. I think it's time the extremists in our government who claim to represent all of us, to knock it off and shut up too. Those who scream about freedom of religion and the right to bear arms- except for muslim americans. Just as those terrorists do not represent Isalm, Sarah Palin and other fanatics do not represent me and my country.

I think it's time the hate mongering stops and we rise above all of this. I think it's time we start picking up the pieces and instead of pointing fingers and acting like a bunch of narrow minded bigots with the mob mentality of sheep, that we become proud again without being bullies. Proud of our sons and daughters who want to fight for our country, volunteer to fight for our country, regardless of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

The damage done by these terrorists is still with us today. Burning a Quran justs proves them right and lets them win. Aren't we all better than this?


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How could I not know about this?

Okay, I know all about NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) but this one- the 3 Day Novel Contest- that I hadn't heard of. Not that I would have attempted it, but it might have been fun to try. Sadly, with everything going on in the month of November, I must again pass on NaNoWriMo. I'll be overwhelmed as it.

Anway, seems I lost a follower from my legions of followers here. (Yeah, down from 5 to 4.) And I'm pretty convinced no one reads this blog to begin with anyway. But to the one who left, I hope it wasn't something I said... or didn't say!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

just updates

I've been out of town, visiting a friend over the long holiday weekend. The one nice thing about that is, I usually can and do get a lot of writing done. I wouldn't say I got a lot of writing done this time, but I got a lot accomplished. I know it doesn't make sense, but trust me, I did.

I'm still working steadily on VN2, still aiming for that end of October do or die deadline with an iron fisted determination. I'm well over 40K on the word count now and that puts me at least half way there. I used this past weekend to read through the entire manuscript as it stands now, fixed a few continuity problems and a couple of minor POV issues. (My poor editor, Cyn, is about ready to throttle authors who have POV issues...) I've also tweaked up the event outline and will continue to as I work through this, tossing out elements tthat no longer work and adding in those that make the overall story stronger.

If I hang in tight and keep to my schedule, I should be able to turn it over to my trusted writing partner at the end of October for her to tear apart and show me where I need to fix it. Then it's off to my editor at Lyrical, no later than end of November, preferrably sooner.

January I'll no longer have the second job. That means I can unshelf Then and Now (Mark and Josh 2) and get moving on Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis). And get back to researching for Imperial City, my Vietnam War story set during Tet 1968 in the beautiful city of Hue.

Lost and Found seems to be doing okay. I just made the investment for some advertising and hope that pays off. I haven't stumbled over any new reviews- good, bad or indifferent.

So that's the state of Gwenna at this point. Just riviting, wasn't it?

Monday, August 30, 2010

writing updates

So Now and Then (Mark and Josh 2) has been temporarily shelved. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I said this is where I would focus my energy for the three weeks I'm not working the second job- but it just wasn't working out. But VN2 is so that's where I am.

I got a significant amount of work done on it this past weekend. I'll keep at it, I'm up over the 37k mark at this point. Tweeked up the outline last night. Goal is still to have as much as I can get done by September 13th, the entire thing finished up and hopefully (fingers crossed) to my editor by the end of October. (When she'll likely laugh her ass off and tell me to get real.)

So that's where I stand right now. And another nice long weekend coming where I intend to have my way with Nate and Ian. They'd better be up for it! (Ouch, bad choice of words...)

Friday, August 20, 2010

I've got three weeks to do something

I'm on hiatus from the second job now until September 13th. Whew. Sooooo, I've made a pack with myself and we'll see if it gets me anywhere.

Starting today, I'm going to throw some serious energy and effort into Then and Now- which is the sequel to Lost and Found. My goal is to have most of the rough draft down by the time I have to go back.

I'm once again putting VN2 on the back burner for a few reasons.

So there you have it, Gwenna's challenge for the next three weeks. Just don't hold your breath. I have every intention of making a serious run at this. But sometimes Karma throws a wrench into my plans.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All Romance eBooks

Quite by accident, I found out Lost and Found is listed on All Romance eBooks. What makes this cool is that I've got very high ratings there so far- 5 out of 5 in the two catagories they have. Even better- it's listed as an ARe Best Seller! Now how cool is that?

Another review- sort of. Val of Obsidian Bookshelf covered her previous review on Jessewave Reviews. I didn't discover this until Monday. It's not a new review per say, but another look. She gave it a 4 our of 5 in the original review so I'm happy. :)

I'll update word counts and such on all three novels I've got going right now, over the weekend. I'm pretty convinced that as of right now, my focus will go to Now and Then, the sequel to Lost and Found. It'll be a novella length so I think I can pound out the majority of the first draft during this three week break I've got coming from my second job. Anyway, that's my plan and hopefully I can stick to it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ramblings and musings

I've got no less than three novels going on right now. VN2 (Nate and Ian), Melody Blue (Holly and Dennis) and Then and Now (Mark and Josh sequel). On top of this, I bought new web design software back at the beginning of June and haven't touched it since. I need to completely re-do my author website as it's such a mess now.

The upshot is, I'm feeling pretty scattered and unfocused and so, nothing is getting done. Yeah, I have two jobs, but still.

The second job is done after this week, just two more classes (Monday and Wednesday) and I get a breather for three weeks. I'd best capitalize on it. My thought is to focus on one project- be it VN2 or Then and Now and just push hard on THAT one.

I want VN2 done but I worry about how it will be received. It's different and definitely more of an erotica story. And again, I have a character that's not "easy", much as Mark is in Lost and Found. No, Ian's not an alcholic but he's got a mountain of issues to surmount. I like writing complicated, restless and edgy characters. Ian is all that and a bag of chips.

Then and Now will clear up some of the questions and issues I delibrately left open in Lost and Found. One of those will be why Josh stays with him. Mark isn't drinking anymore, but he's still got a lot to work through. He's not an 'easy' character, I never meant for him to be. But maybe people will come to like him more in this book.

Not sure which one will win out for my undivided attention for the next few weeks, but I gotta focus on one or the other or nothing will be accomplished.

Oy. It's a good thing almost no one reads this blog.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review on Amazon

I picked up a stunning review on Amazon- 5 stars out of 5. The reader really enjoyed it a great deal. And for once, someone really, really liked Mark a lot.

(Note: for some reason there is a lot of white space between the listing and where the reviews and notes and such start. So just scroll down. You'll get there. )

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Proposition 8 overturned

Something near and dear to my heart- Proposition 8 in California was overturned by a federal judge. So for now, the bigots have lost- but they aren't going to give up. For now at least, we can savor the victory.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Finally! I'm on Amazon

Finally, Lost and Found is now listed on Amazon! Woot! I'm not hard to please here- LOL.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Excellent review from Whipped Cream

I was worried with these guys, especially with what has been pointed out in previous reviews about the language and Mark's being celebit for as long as he was, but I did awesome here and I'm really thrilled.

4.5 cherries review by Whipped Cream

Now it's up for book of the week and voting is tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday. I don't hold out a chance in hell of winning here- just being up there is thrill enough, believe me!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

OMG! A B17- here in Syracuse!

The Liberty Belle- a fully restored B17 Bomber from WWII is here in town and I'm going to go see her this weekend! How amazing is that? My WWII novel is based around a B17 I've named Melody Blue and I can't wait for a chance to go see this one and get pictures.

Not only that, but the reporter's father was a navigator on one. I took a chance and wrote to him, asking if it's possible he could put me in contact with some local vets who have experience with the B17, especially in England.

The Liberty Belle in Syracuse, NY- isn't she beautiful?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

So, I am actually writing too

Yeah, I am writing, LOL. No really. Not on what I thought I would be- no, it couldn't possibly be that simple.

Instead I got a start on Melody Blue, my WWII novel with Holly and Dennis. These two guys sort of started to natter at me back on Monday, and when I tried to ignore them, well- they got down right obnoxious. Oy. So I made notes on two scenes while at my regular job (shush, I won't tell if you won't...) and then started to actually write this week. I'll keep playing with it while I keep on with the research as I'm nowhere near done with that end. I've still got so many questions I need to answer if I want to keep this authentic. It doesn't matter if it's about two gay men, I still want it accurate.

One unexpected but cool thing came out of this- I now have a clear picture in my head of the nose art- that being Melody Blue herself. That I'm really happy about.

I have a long weekend next weekend and the weather is supposed to break- so I'm hoping to get my collective act back together on VN2- I'm still aiming to have that ready to submit to my editor at Lyrical Press by this fall. I think I've also worked out most of my plot snags with Then and Now (Mark and Josh) and that makes me a lot happier. Both of those will- hopefully- be my focus this upcoming weekend.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ah yes, more reviews

I'm still doing pretty okay with the reviews. A common thread has come out about the language used by Mark and Josh. I can accept that. I'll probably tone it down some for the sequel but I like my guys to talk like guys. LOL.

Kassa wrote on her LJ and for Good Reads and gave me 4 out of 5 stars.
Kassa Reviews LJ- The same review is here at Good Reads

Good Reads- there are 5 reviews there thus far, including Kassa's, and they average at this point- 4.25 stars out of 5. I did get one odd one about the "bad dialog."

Lost and Found is currently on "live review" over at EH on books for today- where he also gave it 4 out of 5 at Good Reads. Again, it was the harsh language that took the review down a notch, yet he still highly recommends it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Guest blog interview

I'm out there again, this time at Rachel Brimbal's blogspot. Come on over and see what it's all about.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I've posted two more new links to my webpage for anyone interested in supporting out troops.

Considering checking both of these out and see what you can do. There are so many military personnel who are serving right now that have no one to write them or send them packages. Show them we care.

Marines in Afghanistan rescue kitties

A friend of mine posted this on her Live Journal and I wanted to share it here. This is a very sweet article about some Marines in Afghanistan and some ginger tiger kitties they rescued.

Kitties rescued by Marine soldiers in Afghanistan

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guest blogging tomorrow

I'm going to be on the road, driving from South Carolina to upstate New York so I thought I'd note this here tonight.

I'm guest blogging tomorrow (Saturday 1oth) at Lisabet Sarai's blog- about what lengths I'm willing to go to research for a novel and how much is too much. Please do come on over and see me. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A new review

I found a new review- 4.5 out of 5 at Jessewave Reviews- by guest reviewer Val. I'm very happy, I just feel badly that she really didn't care for Mark (that would be my fault) and that she didn't feel it qualified as a romance.

But hey, 4.5 is a helluva alot better than I ever thought I would get- considering I was terrified of being a huge disappointment here. And I am very thankful.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Good news

I won a month of free advertising for Lost and Found on Seriously Reviewed! How cool is that? It's already up and will be up for the entire month of July. Hey, I'll take all the exposure I can get, and for free? You betcha!

Also, my lovely sexy hot cover is up on You Gotta Read Covers for voting for best cover of the month. So please, make me proud and go on over and vote for Renee's cover! You gotta admit, it's a fantastic cover! It's entry #4.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reviewed by Seriously Reviewed

Understanding that the Army and Marines would call each other derogatory names right off without even knowing each other- well I knew there would be people who wouldn't understand the military culture, LOL.

Overall, a solid enough review. The presentation scored 9 out of ten, that includes the editing and the cover. But yeah, the cover alone deserves a 10! The story itself only scored a 7.5 despite the fact that the reviewer was in tears and wanted to see more. She had a real problem with the name calling, with Mark being celibate for close to 40 years (yeah, I admit I knew that would be a problem for people) and that she felt Mark was destructive to the house. (I have no idea where she got that from!) So I scored low there. 16.5 overall out of 20. Not out of the ballpark, but she highly recommends reading it more than once and that she did really enjoy the story.

Seriously Reviewed

Friday, June 25, 2010

A new review and another interview

I got my second review in on Lost and Found. This one was from another author who I asked to review the book. She'd earlier done an interview with me as well.

I got 3 1/2 stars out of 4- not too bad! She gets poor Josh's name wrong in a few places- LOL. She calls him Josh "Tyler" and later, refers to him as John.

Lost and Found as reviewed by Toni V Sweeny.

I also had an interview posted today at Gotta Read Reviews Blogspot. It's formatting oddly for some reason.

So, so far so good for Mark and Josh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm on Amanda Young's blog

Special thanks to Amanda for posting Lost and Found on her blogspot. Amanda is a fellow Lyrical author and I got to meet her this past weekend at ConTxt.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Interviewed at the Fox Hole

I was interviewed for the Fox Hole by Jesse Fox today. She was really gracious enough to work me into her already very booked schedule and I'm just thrilled. :) Come on over and check it out!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I got my first review (that I know of at this point) For Lost and Found from Rainbow Reviews. I'm more than a little thrilled here, I gotta say!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

When you score a great editor

I know I've mentioned my editor- Cyn- before. She was such a huge help in not only getting Lost and Found pulled together, but in helping me through the entire process. She's incredibly awesome and is already encouraging me with VN2, when she doesn't have to do much of anything as we are "between" books right now.

She just posted on Lyrical's blogspot about being an editor and I think it's a really excellent article- and timely. I'd been worried about submitting VN2 because I knew she wasn't into the sci-fi. VN2 is a futuristic look at Vietnam- and although I focus entirely on the characters and relationships, bigotry and the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same- it's still sci-fi. But this post about why editors pick one manuscript over another is, for me, anyway, reassuring. If VN2 gets rejected- it won't be because of my choice of genre.

Cyn's also an author, and a damn fine one too. And she just scored a really super review on her latest book, In The Cards from Happily Ever After Reviews. So congrats to my editor! Woot! You go girl!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New look

I'm trying on a new look here. This is more in line with the colors of my Live Journal and what will be my webpage when I finally revamp it. I'm trying to decide if I want to put my webpage banner here too. I love it, but it's very racey. :)

At least I'm finally getting more comfortable with this system. More or less.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lost and Found releases in just a few short weeks and I'm becoming a certified basket case. I'm just incredibly nervous about it all- will anyone but my five closest friends buy it? And the reviews- that has me so uptight I can't begin to tell you. I just want the first few out of the way so I can deal with it all and move forward.

I've netted yet another blog interview for July. This one is at Beyond Romance, Lisabet's blogspot. Considering my last two didn't seem to do all that well, I can hope that some of the upcoming ones maybe snag one comment.

I've sent out three ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) to three reviewers that are not on Lyrical's list, including Jessewave Reviews.

Overall, it's been a pretty incredible ride and continues to be. Publishing an eBook is so different than a traditional house. I scored a wonderful editor right out of the gate and that's gone a long way in making all of this managable, especially when I felt overwhelmed. Having Elle to ask questions of has been a huge help as well. And lord knows I'd have never survived this without my sweet friend, Mel, handholding me for much of this. It has been an adventure. There have been a few minor disappoints here and there, nothing is ever going to be exactly the way you wanted or hoped. For instance, my longer blurb that my editor and I worked so hard on to have right, got bumped completely for the much smaller "highlight" one instead on my bookpage. But would I recommend this press and publishing in the ePublishing world to begin with? Oh yes, very much so.

Oh, I'm currently overhauling my webpage. I know, it's a mess and I apologize. I hit a wall with the software I use. But I found another software I like much better and I'm working with that. I'm still learning things about it but I like what I can do with it so far. Hopefully, over the next month I'll have it all fixed and looking more professional. One can only hope.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm guest blogging again today at LPI

I'm blogging again today, this time at Lyrical Press, Inc's blogspot. I discussed using the right language when writing about the military and I got a couple of sharp photos in there too of Hueys coming in.

I've also managed to snag two more interviews- one for June 24th and another for July 13th. I need to start writing all of these down on a calendar!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Guest blogging today

Well, the official promotion starts on Lost and Found now. :) I'm a guest blogger on Toni Sweeny's blogspot today. I decided to write about how and why I became fascinated with the Vietnam War and then how that translated into my novel.

I'm also the guest blogger on Lyrical's blog on June 1st. I'll be discussing writing about the military and getting the language right for the times. Should be a lot of fun! With that, I really start hitting the blogging circuit it seems with several interviews and some reviews leading up to the release on June 21st.

Please, do check out my interview over at Toni's and leave a comment! (Because Gwenna is very nervous about all of this!)

Thanks Toni for the opportunity to be a guest at your place. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wow- it's real now!

I haven't been posting much, I've been so overwhelmed with first line edits and then the final galleys. And my second job started up this past week so, oy, it's been a zoo in my life.

But the good news is, it's all done. The best news is- I got MY copy of the book today and okay- I gotta brag a little- I think it looks fabulous. I can't believe it's finally done. And it's out in exactly one month. I'll just bask in the glow of accomplishment here for a day or two. :)

Now on to VN2 and the sequel to this one and my other two Gwenna projects. Rah.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The selling of Gwenna

Last night I spent more than two hours designing and laying out bookmarks in Paint Shop Pro. They have been ordered. I've also ordered postcards, magnets and a couple of posters. If anyone wants some great Gwenna swag, let me know because in a few weeks, I'm gonna have it spread around. I'm certainly going to have it up for grabs at the wine and cheese party at Con-Txt. I gotta say that the sexy cover art by Renee looks spectacular. I'll be really curious to see how the posters come out.

And speaking of the wine and cheese party-- since I get paid tomorrow (a concept that fascinates me no end...) I'm going to start purchasing wine and some other goodies (like chocolate) and get that set aside for now. This way I'm not killing myself getting things the week of the convention- or the night before I drive down to the convention. Go me.

I swung another interview- this one at Jesse Fox's blog. Jesse had already filled her interview schedule for the year but has generously agreed to do a special edition for Lost and Found when it releases. I'm thrilled and appreciative.

My editor pointed me a huge WWII convention that's driving distance for me to attentend. Not only can I get a look at B17s but I'll finally be able to find some veterans to interview and maybe use as a military advisor. It's the first weekend of June and for now, it appears my husband and I will be going. Note, it's worth checking out that link if only to see the 'nose art' on the aircraft behind the veterans. I'm a HUGE fan of WWII aircraft nose art.

I continue to slog through line edits on Lost and Found. It is my goal to have at least 90-95% of them done by the end of this weekend. (Ideally, I'd like to have them ALL done.)

On a totally unrelated note- but I find I can't resist well- noting it- it snowed today in Lake Placid. Today. I only live 3 1/2 hours southwest of Lake Placid. On the good side- my lilacs are blooming.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Juggling game

My line edits came back a few days ago on Lost and Found. They are a little intense so I've once again made the decision to back burner VN2 and my various other Gwenna Projects. Actually I've decided to keep it back burnered, regrettably, until L&F is through the entire editing process.

I despair at ever finishing VN2. It's like a stepchild, always pushed aside for the others who appear more important. I continue to worry that once I do get it done, I won't be able to sell it anyway.

All of this blows my self imposed deadlines out of the water. But since I work a full time job, and will be returning to my part time job in a few weeks, I find myself with a whole bunch of writing projects and too little time to work on them. I'll do what needs to be done on L&F and so that it is at its best for release and move forward from there.

But, that doesn't mean I can't research. I still need a lot of background on my WWII story- Melody Blue. And if I'm going to do Imperial City right, I still have a lot of work to do research wise on the Battle of Hue and on the city of Hue ot begin with. Not to mention the Marines. So I may not be making any word count, I will be making headway.

Authenticity is everything to me. Not being there is not an excuse for not getting it right.

In regards to Imperial City- I haven't even started to put the characters together. let alone an outline and framework. But I have decided that one will be a Combat Artist. These men (and later some women) are unique to the Marine Corp and their work is stunning and often stark in its realism. The works from and of Vietnam are incredible.

Other updates:

The coverart for Lost and Found is being featured on my editor's blog.

My wine and cheese party at Con-TxT for L&F's release is going forward. I'll have an autographed copy of Elle Parker's book- Like Coffee and Doughnuts to give away as a door prize.

Promotion and marketing has come to a bit of stand still. But I'm still looking and booking where I can. I need to get my postcards and bookmarks ordered as well. I may do that today.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little things

I haven't got a lot of progress to report on my various Gwenna projects. But I have just turned in the the paperwork for Lost and Found that includes the excerpts, dedication and various other little details that has had me by the throat for the last couple of weeks. I had no idea how hard some of that would be to wrap my head around. In the end, I hope I picked good excerpts (with the help of my editor) that will make people want to read about a Vietnam veteran and a former Marine. These aren't young men I'm writing about, but rather guys with some background and history. Time will tell, I guess.

I'm still looking around and working at booking more interviews and promotion as well. That never seems to end. Everytime I see someone who has had an interview, I trace it back to the blog to see if my book would be a decent fit or not. I'm currently waiting on two to write me back.

My husband brought me back a stack of magazines that are all about WWII. I'll pour through these for background on Melody Blue. I already found one article on the B17 in England in the pile so score for me!

Other than that, I have little to add. I will be digging back into VN2 this week with the idea that I want to get as much of the first draft done by May 17th as I can. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Writting M/M and the military

I like writing romances based in the military, romances between men. Especially during times of war, such as Vietnam and WWII. When you look at it, some of the closest and strongest relationships are those formed between these men in the simple act of trying to survive day to day. Survive the enemy, incompetence, exhaustion, loneliness and often just themselves. In Vietnam, so many young men were drafted right out of high school- seventeen, eighteen, nineteen years old. We tore them away from everything they knew, gave them a gun and sent them thousands of miles away. More often than not, to die. It's well documented just how vicious and determined the Viet Cong and the NVA were.

Under these circumstances, I can't help but want to write about it. About something that back in Vietnam and WWII was considered a mental disease- certainly not a sexual preference. It could never be considered love- not between two men. Really. Right?

I'll interview anyone who's been in the military with experience especially in Vietnam and WWII. It's as important to me to get the language, military culture and feel for the area as it is to building believable characters that I want you to fall in love with. Everyone knows what jarheads are, but those same jarheads referred to the Army infantry soldiers as dogfaces during Vietnam. (So did the Navy.) There was no love lost between them, they were and still are extremely competitive. And well the Navy and Marines- my friend who works as a contractor for the Marines say that they refer to themselves as the "Men's Department" when put together with the Navy.

It's not just the language, although in Vietnam, the GI slang is rather colorful. :) Understanding what it's like to be on a firebase as opposed to a regular military base, what it's like to fly in a "slick"- a Huey helicopter, the feel of the jungle, the color and heat and insects. Did you know the soil in Vietnam is red?

I've interviewed several former vets who served in Vietnam, and a few from WWII. And although I'll tell them that I'm gathering background for a novel, which is the truth, it is unwise for me to say that it's for a romance between two men. It's just not wise or prudent- however regrettable it is. And that's the rub I guess. But I'll keep trying to find men who served and want to tell their stories. They are amazing stories to hear.

And because I want to make my stories that much more "real" for you, whether I pin you down in the middle of a firefight or have you riding in the back of that slick as the wind washes over you. It's a helluva rush, don't you think? :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


With Lost and Found coming out here in a little over two months- I started to order some promotional items. These came in yesterday.
Are they not so cool? Big huge THANK YOU to my editor, Cyn, who pointed me to these. Not only are they camo (how perfect is that?) but I could get my url put on them. :)

I'll be ordering from too, probably next month. Postcards with the cover art for sure, but I need to look into how everyone makes bookmarks out of the postcards as well. I'll also look into other things, like matchbooks possibly.

Once Lost and Found is released, I'm going to put the first chapter up at D Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters blogspot. It's for romance writers only and they don't seem to have a problem with M/M. Which, btw, is a subject for possibly my next blog entry- researching and interviewing the military for M/M romances.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

wine and cheese party

I guess I'm going full steam ahead and doing a wine and cheese party for the release of Lost and Found. Why not, right? I'll be at Con.Txt the weekend leading into the release and since I'm driving down, I can bring everything I need.

The lovely Elle Parker, has graciously agreed to let me give away one of her Like Coffee and Doughnuts (signed) books as a door prize. This is a magnificant book to be giving away. She's going to send me stuff for goodies bags to mix in with my stuff.

I just ordered camoflauge pencils with my website url on them too- these are just way too cute and I love it. I owe thanks to my editor, Cyn, for that one.

I've got some other things in the works for this as well, so hopefully this will come together okay.

Anyway, I returned the next round of edits to my editor, who's been caught up on the flooding in Rhode Island. I think we are still on track for the June publication date.

I've also finished my second job until May 17th. With that in mind I'll get back to all the various Gwenna Projects with an emphasis on VN2. I've had to push back my self imposed finish date until end of April.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spreading the love around

This was posted on the Marketing for Romance Writers discussion group last night. With permission, I'm posting it here for anyone who is looking for some free promo opportunities.

I'm planning to attend several GLBT related events this summer, including several Pride festivals and CON.TXT. I'd like to offer goodie bags at these events, but I need things to stuff in them other than my own promo. This is where you guys come in. If anyone wants to send me promo goodies, you're more than welcome to. I'm going to make up around 300 bags. However, you can send me much or as little as you'd like and I'll make sure it goes to good use. As long as it'll fit inside a 9x6 inch goody bag, I'll take it. :D You can mail to me at:Amanda Young PO Box 713 New Castle, VA 24127 Feel free to pass this call around to any groups or people you think might be interested. Thanks,Amanda

As it happens, I'm going to Con.Txt too this June so it works out really nice. I've already arranged to meet up with Amanda at some point during the convention and give her some of my promo items.

I'm also still debating the pros and cons of having a room party as a sort of coming out for Lost and Found. It would be great timing as the release is that Monday we get back from Con.Txt. Since I'm driving down with a friend, bringing stuff like munchies and drinks for a room party wouldn't be that hard to do.

At the very least I do plan on having post cards with my stunning cover art as well as book marks. And thanks to my editor, Cyn, who pointed me in the right direction- I will also have these great camoflauge pencils to hand out with my URL on them. I'll decide on the rest later.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm a guest blogger today

My editor asked if I'd write about the different promotion opportunities/interviews I've started to line up. :) Why not?

Promotion is a Never Ending Process

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Editors unmasked

My editor (who btw, I feel so lucky to have) was the blogger on Lyrical's blog today. I know I've brought this up before, but she's both an editor and an author. I never pretended to understand the process in which a manuscript gets accepted or why it might be turned down. This was an interesting look at some of the reasons why.

She's also offering a free copy of her book as a prize to a lucky commentor. :) What's not to like there?

And while I'm here, I'll promote her blog Light Hearted Writer/Dark Hearted Editor as well. She just did an author interview there. She's a lot of fun to read, trust me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bragging rights

Okay, I have to brag- I just found out that my son, who is a medic in the Army National Guard, got promoted to sergeant. Now how proud am I?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Venturing out

It's time I start dipping my toe in the promotion pool as it were. I've been really cautious and okay, I admit it- afraid to do this. But Lost and Found is coming out in a few short months so I need to get moving here.

So, to that end, I've signed up for a blog interview and book review at Toni V Sweeny's blog. The interview is May 28th and the review on June 25th. I've also contacted a lovely lady who is putting together an entire month focused on GLBT authors and their books. Rayna very much wants me to join in for that so I'll have another interview there, some very much needed book promo and possibly a live chat session as well. It really works out perfect since Lost and Found is coming out in June.

It's a start. Now that I've nosed out there a bit, I'll keep working on it. I'm also going to a slash convention in June (Don't look at me that way- it's where I got my start in M/M!) and I'll be handing out postcards printed with the cover art and book info. This is a good sized and fun convention and who knows, maybe I'll arrange a room party. I'm thinking about it anyway.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sort of an update...

After getting home from my second job, I sat down and finished up the last tidbits and markups on Lost and Found and (gasp) shot it back to my editor. So there you have it, round one done. Go me.

I've decided to take this weekend off from my regular writing- including VN2. I really need to clear my head so that I can get it wrapped around Nate and Ian again. Next weekend is a three day weekend and unless my edits are back (and they could be), I'll sit down again with my two bonded men who don't know what to do with each other. LOL. Besides, I'll have the house mostly to myself as it appears my husband will be going north to visit his family.

I've also been collecting names, both first and last names, that I want to use for my Melody Blue characters. I have Dennis and Holly of course, but there is a lot of other characters around these two and I've been researching for more period appropriate names.

Also next weekend, I'll pick back up on Then and Now as well. (My sequel to Lost and Found.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

signs of spring

While driving to my second job, I noticed several strands of Canada geese in the skies. Spring can't be far. I hope!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still here

I'm not being very good with this promise to myself that I would try to blog every other day. But honest, I had a good excuse here as I was pounding out my first round of edits on Lost and Found all weekend. The good news is, I finished them tonight. My friend is taking a quick look at a scene I overwrote and then I'm sending it back to my editor tomorrow. (Hopefully she won't kill herself when she sees them!)

With that out of the way, at least for a week or two, I can come back to VN2.

My friend, who I mentioned above, also sent me this blog entry which I absolutely loved and have to share. Men in combat boots- who knit. I mean, how cool is this? (And yes, Gwenna knits. Not like my friend who is this amazing knitter, trust me.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Pacific

I just ordered HBO in anticipation of what promises to be a stunning mini series- The Pacific. Done by the same people who created and produced Band of Brothers, this promises to be just as incredible. I'm really excited about it.

Tomorrow I settle into the hard core edits for Lost and Found to make my March 12th deadline. I've got a three day weekend to kick some serious butt here. Told my husband he's on his own for the entire weekend- I'm surfacing only to watch the SU vs Louisville game on Saturday. (SU ranked #1 trumps everything!)

I'm probably kidding myself but I think I see hints of spring. It's there somewhere under the three feet of snow in my yard, I just know it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How cool is this?

Coming Soon from Lyrical Press

It gets more real all the time. :) Now I just need to get those edits done in time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

edits and new books

Quick side note- a followup to my post about snow here- We got hammered Thursday night into Friday morning. Woke up to almost two feet of heavy wet snow. :P


I LOVE collecting books about the Vietnam War. (Somehow that sounds very creepy...) My newest one came today and it's beautiful. Thank you,, because I got this very expensive hardcover for a third of the cover price.

It's a stunning book. It's also a very detailed timeline of Vietnam and the Vietnam War, filled with amazing pictures. (I'm a Huey junkie, I admit it- this has some excellent pictures of them.)

Okay, moving on now.

My first round of edits came in from my sweet editor Cyn. I've got my work cut out for me as I've got only until March 12th to get those back to her and well, they are rather daunting. I've got a plan of attack though so that I can juggle those and two jobs. (oh, and a new webpage design job.) Unfortunately, something's gotta give so VN2, I'm sorry, back you go for a couple of weeks. If worse comes to worse, I'll pull a day of vacation. I'm gonna get them done.

Oh, apparently I'm a massive abuser of the word "and". Shamefully abusive. (hangs head.)

The blub came in too so I signed off on that.

I'm also looking at wedging an evening class in there as well. Because apparently I'm not busy enough it would appear.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow bunny I am not

Sorry this isn't much to do with writing but well, with all the snow going on here, I figured it was worth a word or two. LOL. If you've seen my biography at my website or at Lyrical Press, you know I'm an upstate New Yorker. (And no, that's NOT West Chester County!) Technically, I'm really a central New Yorker, right smack in between Buffalo and Albany on the New York State Thruway. Yeah, I know, everyone's yawning here so I'll move this along.

Anyway, it's been snowing. A lot. We're a hardy bunch here- six inches this time of year is considered a dusting. Eighteen in 24 hours, well it's annoying to most. To me it's a royal butt pain. I'm not a snow bunny, I don't think it's pretty, I don't like to ski or skate or even walk in it, let alone drive in it. If I had my way, we'd have a green Christmas and 70s starting on January 1st.

*sigh* Now if I could stay home and write on my various projects here, then rah! Let it snow! But I juggle two jobs, both a sizable commute for me and by the end of February, I've had more than enough of snow. :P

So Gwenna here is waving her white flag in surrender- (okay, I've been since December 1st!) and concede to Mother Nature she's won. Now can we please move onto spring here? Pretty please? With daisies on top?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good website

I'm between my two day jobs here and killing time at the local Barnes and Noble. Gotta love free WiFi!

Anyway, a good friend of mine sent me this link which I thought I'd post here as it's a good one for ways to use blogging as a marketing tool for selling your books.


I'll be adding it to my Gwenna Links page this weekend.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gwenna Project updates

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- word count 32,024. I spent the better part of the last two weeks cleaning up a real mess of a scene I had made. But I finished it and added over a 1000 words in the word count, but more importantly, I'm much happier with it. Still not the best action scene I've ever written but it won't hold me back now. That's all I care about, being able to move this forward. It's my goal to complete chapter 7 this week, despite working two nights on top of my regular job. I'm still aiming for mid April to complete the last draft.

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- This one is still in edits and still on track for a June release with Lyrical Press. :)

Gwenna Project: Then and Now (Mark and Josh)- Word count 1,534. I wasn't able to work on this one this weekend but I did get one of the books I ordered about Key West and a detailed map of Old Town, Key West which I really needed. I knew the Outer Banks as I'd been there over a dozen times over the years. But I've never been to Key West so all the research I can get my hands on here is important. Right now I don't have a date in mind to finish the first draft as my efforts are really for VN2.

No other Gwenna projects to up date on at this point. I'll probably pick up a few new books off of but not until the end of the month.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

cover art on my author's page

My cover art is now on my author's page at Lyrical. :) Made my whole evening. LOL.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gwenna Project updates

For some reason, Mark and Josh are being quite pushy with me again. Gotta go with what's screaming at you I guess. I'm not complaining.

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- As far as I know, it's still on track for release in June. It's still in edits and of course I got my beautiful cover art so I'm very happy there. I'm going to a convention the weekend before it's release and I'm gonna have postcards and bookmarks with the cover art to hand out. One of my room mates/fellow author wants to have a book party.

Gwenna Project: Then and Now (Mark and Josh 2)- Word count 1,534. I've got a solid start with five pages. I also ordered a couple of books about Key West and the Florida Keys since that's where this story will be staged. And a detailed map of Key West. So I hope to have those shortly since I got them off of

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- Word count: 29,360. I've been rewriting the hot mess I made out of a large action scene that involved several characters in a crowded area. I'm pretty satisfied with the first 2/3rds, but now I'm in the thick of it and it's going to take me some sorting out. I know I can do this, I've always been proud of being able to pull together a large action scene. Because of that I haven't been able to move it forward. I'm still aiming for mid April for a completed first draft.

My other two Gwenna Projects are still in the research and hold stage. I've got at least one new book about Vietnam on order for Imperial City. I've got my eye on a couple for WWII Army Airforce in England. I did pick up one in a bargin bin (I love bargin bins at bookstores!) that is photos and specs for every plane used in WWII. Aircraft of World War II. Considering this is an a $90 book I picked up for $14.98, you could say I'm more than pleased with myself.

And what few people actually read this blog may note that I'm trying to write in here more often. Trying to. I often feel I don't have a lot to say but I'm going to do my best to post every couple of days if at all possible on advise from my very sweet editor.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Notes about Vietnam

Interesting article in Vietnam magazine about dog tags. They are sold all over Vietnam today to tourists with the claim they are the real thing. My friend and military advisor shrugged them off as being fakes as most people believed them to be. But this article says not necessarily and it was an interesting read. They are still being dug up and found all over the country to this day. The fact was, they were easily lost and my friend once told me a cute story where he had several that were not his own. When you were assigned to work details, they read your dog tags and marked you down according to that. He said he would simply show them a dog tag not his own then when the work detail came up, he was somewhere else, lazing around. (He was a combat engineer btw, in Vietnam from 1967-1968.) It's little fun details like this that I love to use and the fact that they are authentic is everything to me. works to get as many authentic dog tags recovered and then matched to the GI who lost them. Or is often the case, a surviving family member.

In other research, I just ordered this book- The Timeline of the Vietnam War. I love btw. :)

Books that are NOT about Vietnam but I still want for reference and resource:

Ultimate Gay Sex- this is a pretty pricy book but I found it on Half. com much cheaper. For now I'm just going to wish list it.
Gay Sex- A Manual for Men who Love Men- I may pick this one up this week off of I'm thinking about it for now. I write this stuff, I like knowing what I'm writing about.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cover Art!

I got the cover art for Mark and Josh yesterday! So of course I must share! Renee at Lyrical Press did a fabulous job and got most of the elements I wanted in including the Vietnam Wall, Josh wearing his dog tags and even a Huey helicopter. So what's not to like?

You can appreciate it a helluva a lot better on my website, I promise! Seriously, I'm very happy with it. It's starting to feel more real now!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gwenna project updates

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- This still in edits where it should be. We are still looking at a June 21st release date at this point. I'm looking forward to seeing the edits come back and how the cover art is going to look of course. :)

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian)- Current word count- 29160. I was able to break my block and get a complicated confrontation/fight scene completed. Am I happy with it? No. But I got the bones of it down. There are a lot of characters involved and I'm usually a lot better at weaving them all into the scene so no one gets forgotten. I did a lousy job of that this go around so I printed off the scene and I will work on notes edits on paper while I try to move forward with the next chapter- which is Chapter 7 btw.

So no other Gwenna projects at this point. I get a break in my teaching, have the week off from it next week so maybe I can get something done on both VN2 and Then and Now (Mark and Josh's sequel.) I'm also going to look into more research on both WWII/ The Army Air Force and period England in the mid 1940s. And I need to get more info on the Battle of Hue- so I'm looking into a some books. Damn but I wish my military advisor who served in Vietnam was still alive. I miss his details. He was Army, not Marines, but he had a lot of information on Hue. What I wouldn't give to find a Marine who is also a Vietnam veteran. Who would talk to me.

Well, time for the Super Bowl or close to it. And yes, I watch it for the commercials. LOL

Saturday, February 6, 2010

500 words a day

Ideally, if we write, we should try to write everyday. I admit, much as I would love to do that, I'm not able to. What I do try (and I admit, I'm not always successful), is to make the best use of time I can when I do have time to write. Anyway, some interesting new links to check out in that endevour to write every day.

500 Words a Day

Too much of a challenge? Why not try the 250 Words a Day.

Not enough of a challenge? Well there's always 1000 Words a Day.

So why wait for November and NaNoWriMo, right?

Friday, February 5, 2010

A few links and a few random thoughts on Facebook

I found a couple of interesting links over the last few days, so I thought I'd share.

Daily Writing Tips There is a lot of interesting and usable stuff on there. A lot of their ads are for self publishing, so that distresses me a bit. There is a great page on pen names- what they are, why an author should or shouldn't use one. A friend of mine and I have been going back and forth on it as I'm one of those people who feels you should have a pen name- and not just because I write gay erotica. But I digress a little here. Anyway, this looks like a nice site and so I'm going to add it to Gwenna's links on the web page.

The Write Game Blog- the friend mentioned above nudged me to this blog. Very well done. I'd friend this one but not sure how they would feel about a writer of gay smut being listed on their blog. But I will put a link on Gwenna's links page anyway.

Romance Writers United has had a complete overhaul and it looks very nice. Be sure to check it out if you haven't been there. They have free advertising, btw, in return for posting their icon on your website.

My editor at Lyrical- CD Yates, is also an author. Her newest release In the Cards came out a few days ago. Be sure to check it out!

Now on to Facebook and the other evil stepsister- Twitter. I teach a medical reimbursement class in the evenings and the topic of ethics came up. With that came that wonderful world of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter and there are others of course. I have ten students in this class and when I asked, all of them said they had a Facebook page. Not surprising I guess in this day and age.

I don't. Not a personal one, and so far, not one for Gwenna either. In all honesty, I see Facebook as something that should be treated like a live grenade and I'm holding off on dealing with it and the evil stepsister- Twitter, until I absolutely have to. I have all I can do to keep up this and my Blog, adding a couple of "social networks" in my life makes me cringe. That's one issue. Here are some of the others.

Fact, one employee in my regular day job went into Facebook on her own time, mind you, when Facebook was having some huge security breech problems. Consequently, within 15 minutes to half an hour our entire network of around 200 computers, including our at home workers were nailed with a very nasty virus that took us down completely. We deal with people's medical records. Our poor IT team was in a complete panic for several hours. (I think one is still heavily drinking in an effort to get past the nightmares...)

Fact, I know of at least two employees that I worked with who have been FIRED for remarks they made on Facebook. Immediately. Also, our local news ran a report about the fact that hackers find Facebook to be this wonderful gate into your computer, your identity and a whole host of problems you do NOT want to visit your doorstep- because these people "Friend" you and you think you know who they are- when they infact are the ugly that is identity theft.

I realize that Facebook has come a long ways and has become for many, a religion. It's like those expensive 3G cellphones that everyone (but me) must have and use and they can't imagine their life BEFORE Facebook and iPhone. I get that, I do. I just wish I didn't have to play in the sandbox as well. Don't get me wrong- I'm a gadget girl myself- I personally have not only a desktop computer, but a fantastic laptop with kick ass graphics and now have a Netbook as well. I love the internet and I'm a firm believer that eBooks are the wave of the future and I was saying that TEN YEARS ago. I even design websites (Anyone here need a nice and cheap website? I'm your girl!) But Facebook and Twitter? I'll keep looking at them like a live grenade- handle with extreme care.

Having said that, my lovely editor sent this link along about how authors should be promotiing themselves and of course, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are all part of that system. It's a great link and wonderful information and the credit goes to her as I post it here. I'll post various

Gwenna project updates later this weekend. I hope!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Not a lot of updates here...

I can admit that I've not been very good with writing these last couple of weeks. I'm caught up in the mid winter blahs and it has me by the throat for the time being. I'm hoping to work my way through them by next weekend as that's my three day weekend and I'd love to be able to do some serious writing on either VN2 or my sequel to Lost and Found (Mark and Josh)- Then and Now. I still have a self-imposed deadline of mid April for the first draft to be done on VN2 and I'm going to do my best to make that.

So, since I don't have a lot to report on my various Gwenna Projects- (Okay, okay- nothing to report), I'll steer you over to my editor's blog. Cynthia is my editor at Lyrical and is also an author (CD Yates) as well. She recently offered a synopsis workshop here on her blog that is well worth the look. You could offer up your synopsis to be looked at and I did offer mine but she chose another. (So we didn't get to see Gwenna all chopped up- LOL!) Anyway, it's a fabulous little workshop for those of us who just cringe with abject terror at the thought of writing one of these hideous things and I highly recommend it to any writer, be it whatever genre and whatever market you are pursuing. I'll be adding her blog and this workshop to my Gwenna links page as well.

And a special congrats to my wonderful sweet friend, Elle Parker- her book Like Coffee and Doughnuts is coming out in print this week I believe! This after a successful run as an eBook. How awesome is this? I'm so getting a copy, don'tcha know?

So not much in the world of Gwenna right now, but not to fear. I'll get it back on track.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm on the author's page!

I'm now officially listed with Lyrical Press on their Author's Page! And Lost and Found is shown as an upcoming release! How excited am I? Well, I'll bask in the glow for now and then I'll get over myself. Tomorrow maybe. LOL.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First updates of the New Year

Well, here we are with a new year and some goals I have set for myself with my various Gwenna Projects. :)

Gwenna Project: Lost and Found (Mark and Josh) is still in edits with my editor at Lyrical. I'll, of course update the progress there when I next hear something. Meanwhile, I'm busy with VN2.

Gwenna Project: VN2 (Nate and Ian): Word count to date- 28,640K. I got several pages done on this project this weekend so I'm pleased. I finished up my event timeline last week and that's been a huge help in letting me see at a glance where I am. I've set a self imposed date of mid April to complete the first draft. I then hope to have it polished up and ready to submit by the time Lost and Found is released in late June. I work so much better with a deadline, even if it's MY deadline.

I haven't moved on any of my other Gwenna Projects I've got going right now. I want to continue my focus on VN2 until I have to go back to teaching in the evenings again on January 25th. One small project I will work on is for an anthology I like to try for. It's 1200 words so if and when I get my mind wrapped around it, I'll pound it out in a day. I'll keep you all posted when that comes together.