Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cover Reveal: Finder's Keepers

Whee!! Just got my new cover for my book FINDER'S KEEPERS, a short, sweet, contemporary paranormal coming April 5th from Liquid Silver Books -





Plagued by dreams about a cinnamon-haired beauty, Dean White is certain his spacy grandmother has something to do with it. As a P.I., Dean specializes in exposing frauds, especially those who claim supernatural powers. When his grandmother gives him Maggie Daniels’ card claiming she can find lost things, he knows he has to prove to his grandmother that this woman is nothing more than a charlatan. What he doesn’t expect is Maggie is the woman in his dreams—and she’s a real witch.
Maggie Daniels runs an occult shop in a small town. She has all the outer trappings of being a witch, but she keeps the reality off the radar. After all, advertising that little fact doesn’t exactly make friends. When the man she’s been seeing in her visions shows up on her doorstep, she isn’t quite sure what the fates have in store for her.
Dean, head of White Knight Investigations, has something he needs found. In talking with him, Maggie realizes Dean is so immersed in reality he’s forgotten he has abilities of his own. That fact hasn’t escaped the notice of another witch—one who’s got intentions of her own. It’s up to Maggie to stop the other one’s dark plans and convince Dean that there’s more to life than just five senses.

* * *
And don't forget to look for WHO'S YOUR ALPHA? coming March 31st from Liquid Silver Books - available now for preorder!

Sunny isn’t the shy little shifter she was when she left town. Now back for her high school reunion, her classmates are in for a surprise. There’s a new alpha in town and the claws are out to see who will be top dog! Who’s Your Alpha is the new contemporary romance from author Vicky Burkholder about letting go of the past and finding your future.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Writing Process blog tour

I was invited by Natalie Damschroder to do a Writing Process blog tour. It's an international hop to showcase different authors and what they do. Natalie blogged about her process last week. I'm doing the tour this week with two of my friends - Misty Simon and Victoria Smith. Next week will be the ones I list below.

Here are my answers to the tour questions:
1. What am I working on? Right now, I'm working on the sequel to The Emerald Key. It will be called The Ruby Key and is the second book in the series. Though each book can be read alone, reading them all gives you the complete overall arc.

I'm also working on the next story in my futuristic series coming this summer from Ellora's Cave Blush. Don't let the EC label scare you off. I write for their Blush line which is the non-erotic side of the house.

2. How does my work differ from others of the genre? I have been told that I am an amazing world builder. I build my worlds first, then I add characters instead of the other way around. That way, there is a solid background for them to work in. Whether it's today's world (with paranormal elements) or a distant universe, there is depth that many futuristic and paranormal romances lack.

3. Why do I write what I do? Because I love the endless possibilities that are available in fantasy, science fiction and paranormal writing. I've always been fascinated by these types of tales and there's no limit to what can be imagined.

4. How does your writing process work? For me, it starts with a "what if" question. I ask the questions - for instance, for my Crystal Keys series - what if Atlantis and Lemuria really existed and their people had magic? What if they didn't like what they were seeing in the world and "shifted" their lands to other planes of existence? What if there were doorways to those lands - who would control the passages?

And so on. I ask the questions, then I do the "research" and find the answers. Since I worked on a paper for a while, I often "interview" my characters and ask them what happened. Yeah, I know, it sounds silly, but the answers I come up with get me started on the story and get it moving.

Unfortunately, because of the day job, I don't get to write as much as I'd like, but I jot and make notes when I can and, eventually, it all works out.

Be sure to check out these authors next week:
Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora's Cave, Midnight Books and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it into her characters. You can find her at her website: http://www.charityparkerson.com or her blog: http://charity-thesinners.blogspot.com

D.R. Grady  loves gadgets, books, plants, shoes and writing stories that resonate with others. You can generally find her in her “office”, a chair in the living room, hopefully writing, but sometimes playing Angry Birds or reading. You can find her at: http://drgrady.wordpress.com

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ups and Downs

Last weekend, I spent the weekend with two friends at a little cabin where we concentrated on writing. We worked, we brainstormed, we talked, we ate, we laughed, and we wrote - a lot. It was an amazing weekend. I got my next book in the Crystal Keys series mapped out as well as the overall story arc for the series so I know what's happening in all four books. I got a lot accomplished last weekend.

Then the week hit. And the flu hit. Fever, aches, headache, coughing, sinus... all the nasty stuff that goes with feeling yucky. And the writing stopped. I was barely keeping up with my editing work. My output tanked. All the impetus I had from the previous week and the weekend died.

But, as happens, I am slowly on the mend. Still achy. Still coughing and fighting massive sinus headaches. Still tired. But I'm getting there. And I've been looking at the stuff I did last weekend. And I still like what I did so that must be good. Maybe this bug was Mother Nature's way of telling me I needed a break. I've been pushing pretty hard. Whatever the reason, I'm ready to get back down to it this week. Though I have a couple of work deadlines I need to meet, I'm also going to tackle the Ruby Key (the next book in the series). A little at a time. And sometimes, that's all we can do - just keep plugging away a little at a time and, eventually, it will all come together.

In the meantime - take a look at my new cover art! My next book, WHO'S YOUR ALPHA, comes out on March 31st from Liquid Silver Books. The new cover art is for my futuristic story coming out from Ellora's Cave Blush this summer.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Looking for Spring

Okay, I'll admit it. I've had enough of winter. Oh, I don't mind the crisp, cold days. Nor do I mind the first snowfall. In fact, I get as excited as the kids when I see those first flakes in the late fall. But after having almost two feet of snow dumped on us, along with ice and sleet, in the last week, I've had enough. Especially since the **** snowblower doesn't work. And these last two snowfalls were the heavy, wet stuff that is no fun to shovel. And I know the kids are almost as tired of snow days as the adults are. I know some schools are contemplating having classes on Saturdays just so they can get the required days in by the state-mandated deadline.

Don't get me wrong - it is pretty to look out my window and see all that white. But I think the robins shivering around my birdfeeder are contemplating heading back south. And I've got friends who are still without power from a week ago.

And yes, my Minnesota-resident sister is teasing me about this being normal for her. It may be normal for Minnesota, but it's not for southern Pennsylvania. And I really feel for the people in the southern states who aren't used to this stuff at all!

So I am looking forward to spring. To flowers blooming and warmer days and being able to go outside without boots and a shovel.

I'm also looking forward to my newest books coming out! WHO'S YOUR ALPHA? is a short shapeshifter (sweet) romance that will be available March 31st from Liquid Silver Books. And FINDERS KEEPERS - a short paranormal (sweet) romance that will be available also from Liquid Silver on April 5th!

So here's to spring!

Vicky

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Cover Art!

Wheee! My hat is off to Valerie from the art department at Liquid Silver Books. She captured what I wanted for my new story exactly right! Love what she did with this.

The story, Who's Your Alpha? was previously published in an anthology from another publisher but will now be out there on its own. It's coming March 31st from Liquid Silver. I'm just starting edits now. I can't wait 'cause I love this story.

It's a sweet paranormal shapeshifter romance about a woman who goes back to her home town for her tenth year reunion and discovers some things about herself, and her friends, that she never knew before.



While growing up, Sunny Clark never felt like she fit in with the others in her school. She was always a little overweight, always a little too independent, and a shape shifter. She was also in love with her neighbor, David Maxwell. But he was one of the in crowd, and she wasn't. When she returns for a reunion, many things have changed, but not her feelings for David. Unfortunately, the alpha female doesn't want Sunny around and sets out to make sure she knows it. But Sunny is no longer the shy little puppy she once was and the pecking order is about to change.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lessons learned

I am currently teaching an online class to my local RWA group about editing your own novel. I can do this because, not only am I an author, but I'm an editor as well.

The interesting thing about the class is that I'm learning as well as teaching. Every time I do something like this, I come away realizing how little I know. Okay, not exactly. I definitely know more than most do, but there are so many rules of grammar and so many things to look for that you always miss something. So doing a review like this reminds me of different things that I may have forgotten.

I just wish I could edit my own work as well as I do others!

But I think Mike Nappa of Nappa Literary Agency has the best tips of all. According to him, you should write a book four times. The first time is the rough draft. The second time, the close-in edit, you go through and revise. The third time, the distance edit, you print it out and go over it again, then input the changes into the computer. And the fourth time, the oral edit, you print it out again, read it out loud and make changes, input them and then you're done. Check out his article on the Writer's Digest blog: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/how-to-edit-your-book-in-4-steps

Good luck with your own editing!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Guest blogger: Haley Whitehall



Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the nineteenth century US. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her Prince Charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.

1. What made you decide to become a writer?  I've always wanted to be a writer. I know I'm odd. I never wanted to be a doctor or a ballerina. Ever since the age of four, I said I was going to grow up and write books. It is wonderful to make that dream come true.

2. How long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen? I self-published some straight historical fiction stories, but wanted to find a publisher for my romance. I simultaneously submitted the first historical romance I wrote, Midnight Caller, and it was accepted at two places. So I guess I got lucky!

3. What advice would you give an aspiring author? Settle in for a long ride. Your journey isn't over after you publish your first book. That is only the beginning. You have to keep writing and keep publishing. Success often comes slowly and through lots of hard work. Be patient and build your backlist.

4. What genre do you write in and why? I love history. I actually went to college and got a degree in history education. After reading all those diaries and history textbooks I started getting ideas for stories. Sometimes history can be dry and boring…writing historical fiction I can spice it up and still hopefully teach the reader about the mid-1800s.

5.  How long have you been writing professionally? I've been writing professionally for two years.

6. Do you do an outline or just start writing? I outline obsessively. Sometimes I’ll start writing with my outline right beside me and a new idea will hit. Then I have to halt and re-outline before I can continue.

7. What do you do for fun when you are not writing? Hike, read, or go shopping.

8. Please list a website or blog site: My website is easy to remember: haleywhitehall.com My blog is also on my website.

9. What is your new book about? Midnight Heat is an African American historical romance. Here is the blurb: Living in St. Louis, Missouri is a nightmare for Allison. It is 1868, but for her slavery never ended. After enduring years of abuse, she reaches her breaking point. She sees a fiery death as her only escape. She did not expect to live through the night, but George came to her rescue and changed her plans. Now she has a chance to fulfill her dream of falling in love and having a normal relationship with a handsome black man. But will he accept her with her baggage and the dark secrets from her past?

At eighteen, George is ready to make his own way in the world. He leaves his brother’s farm and gets a job as a roustabout. Working on the Mississippi River gives him the freedom he craves. Going ashore one night he sees a shack along the waterfront on fire. He never expected to find a beautiful colored woman trapped inside. Protective instincts kicking in, he instantly wants to be her man and take care of her.

Will he be able to gain her trust and love or will the memories of Allison’s painful past burn their relationship to cinders before it has begun?


10. Can you share an interesting behind the scenes tidbit about your latest story?
This story came to me fully formed which is really rare. I had just finished editing Midnight Caller the first book in the Moonlight Romance series. With Frederick married and happy I instantly knew his little brother George was going to leave home and rescue a woman from a burning house.