Edits Are Fun, Yeah Right!

Hello everyone! So I just wrapped up edits on my upcoming release, Rawhide Angel. Right now the copy editor has it and copy editor willing I’ll be done with that book after a great read through. While I wait my wonderful critique partner, Rebecca Zanetti mentioned a romantic suspense book that I had started awhile back. I actually wrote around 16k on the book before seeing something shiny and forgetting about it :). Now I’m reading through it and well, I like it. I mean I like all of it except my bad guy.

Sometimes I see these series in my head and honestly believe that I can pull off a trilogy. I had this in mind when I began this book. In fact, I know each character what their beginning is, their arc, and their end. All except my bad guy that is. Holy crap its hard to make a bad guy really bad. I mean, yeah I can say he’s just insane but come on, that’s just not gonna fly with an editor. Plus, I have three bad guys but only one is the ultimate villan. Oh I’m so out there on this one!!

One day I’m going to write a book on all the comments I make to myself while writing as well as all the comments that Rebecca says. Some of them make me want to scream, others actually help. While I was stressing out Sunday on how to manage my bad guys and their stories Rebecca simply said, “Tell one story at a time. Focus on one bad guy in each book.” Oh soooo simple. I’m very blessed to say that I am PLOTTING the first book out with limited book two focus. Of course I have to add a little here and there to work with in book two but I’m so happy now that my mind is not spinning out of control.

While I have your attention however, I’d like to say I wish you all a happy holiday season. Recently while I was working I was told that one of my students wasn’t allowed to participate in anything to do with Santa Claus. At first I thought it was because her religion didn’t believe in the celebration of Christmas. Over the years most religions have conceded that scholars are right and Christ wasn’t born in the fall and that early catholics picked the time to celebrate his birth to offset the pagan holidays. So I just assumed that was what it was with my student. However, I was wrong. Her family simply doesn’t believe in the commercialism of Christs birthday. They don’t believe in Santa or what he stands for. So, just out of curiosity I wonder what you all think? Me, I see what they mean but I also believe that Santa is a great tool. I told my children that Santa helps deliver presents and spread God’s message.

 

Thanks all,

Sayde Grace

Villains and Heroes with author Rebecca Zanetti

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              My Hero could’ve been the Villain

A big thanks to Sayde Grace and the Sizzlers for having me over today!

I’ve been thinking about villains lately because I have more than a couple in the Dark Protector Series.  So what makes a good villain?  At first blush, it seems like he should be the opposite of the hero.  But then I thought on it some more.  I think at their core, the hero and the villain are similar.  They’re usually strong, smart, capable, ambitious, arrogant, and often incredibly focused.

It’s what they do with these traits that determine whether they’re the hero or the villain.  Because really, it’s the choices we make in life that matter.  You take a person and make their life flow easily, no concerns, no temptations…that’s not a hero.  That’s boring.  At least when it comes to a paranormal romance.  Heck, any romance.

Take Malcolm Reynolds, for example.  If you haven’t seen Firefly, you’re missing out.  It’s a television show that lasted one season…and then they made a movie about it called Serenity.  See that too.

But here’s the deal.  Malcolm is the hero…and he’s a rebel.  A true rebel who should’ve been the good guy.  He knows he should’ve been the good guy. Instead, he smuggles, steals, and fights against the bureaucracy that has taken over the world.  And it costs him.  Yet, he doesn’t stop. 

He’s the hero in his little part of the universe.  Kind of.  There’s one scene where he gets in a sword fight (his first) and the bad guy is going to kill him.  Somehow, he gets the upper hand.  So Mal pins the bad guy but can’t kill him.  Mal says, “Mercy is the mark of a great man.”  Then he stabs (lightly) the bad guy.  Then Mal says, “Guess I’m just a good man.”  Then he pokes the bad guy a few more times.  “Well, I’m all right.”

One of the very appealing characteristics about a hero/villain is the absolute comfort in their own skins.  Right or wrong, good or bad, both the hero and the villain have no intention of changing.  In CLAIMED, the hero is the oldest Kayrs brother and the king of the entire vampire world.  He’s stubborn, fierce, and some might say…a bit over-the-top Alpha.

He does his best to rule the world and hold on to the mantle of diplomacy.  But the second his mate his threatened, he throws diplomacy to the wind and lets the animal within take over—without a hint of hesitation.  To quote Dage, “So be it.”

Thank you to the Sizzlers for having me over today!  I’d love to send a signed copy of FATED (Book 1in the Dark Protectors) to a commenter today.  So…can you think of a hero with villainous traits?

Thank you so much for stopping by Rebecca! I love these books and as her glorious critique partner I can say hahaha I’ve read Dages story and its great!

Getting Back to Writing

Hello all! The last week or so I haven’t written a thing. My hub is all to blame!! He’s been on vacation and had a million things to do during the day. At night I find my laptop has been stolen so he can watch youtube. I swear him and the kids are addicted to watching youtube! But today things are back to normal and I’m trying to get back into writing.

My main problem is that I’m stuck between two books. One WIP I started two months or so ago and the other about a month ago. The first book I mentioned is a paranormal about true shifters. The plot is complex and the shifters are living amongst us in hiding. I’ve had a bit of trouble trying to get all the whys and why nots fleshed out. Also I checked my sales numbers for my paranormal books and then checked my cowboy books sales numbers and WOW! Major difference. Seems people are way more interested in my cowboys than my paranormals so I’ve gotten a little discouraged about my paranormals. My critique partner, the wonderful, but about to be harmed for teasing me with RWA information, Rebecca Zanetti believes that I should stick with this one and submit it at the Silken Sands Writers Conference in March.  I’m just not sure if I’m up to finishing another paranormal that I’ll have to shop around with the other millions of paranormals being shopped around.

The second WIP is a cowboy/motorcycle book. This one I am excited about because it’s kinda wanting to lean into a suspense. My first ever manuscript was a god awful written suspense. I still love the plot and characters but my writing really was awful. This new one is about a woman who lived on Camp Street in New Orleans as a homeless orphan. She sang in bars to earn money for food. At the age of 18 her and her boyfriend were attacked. She killed a man and fled the city. In fact, she ended up in a small town in North Montana. For ten years she’s tried to be a better person, tried to make a life for herself. But when one motorcycle riding cowboy shows up in town her life is sent right back to the days of Camp Street.  For Camp Taylor (yes, she named herself for the street she grew up on so she’d never forget how hard life was) her past comes barreling down on her when Reno Henderson brings his motorcycle gang buddies to town. One of his buddies was involved in the fight where she killed a man. Now she and Reno have to figure out if their sizzling lovelust is worth the pain and destruction sure to come.

I’ve only gotten about three thousand words written on this one but as you see I’ve got it plotted. BUT in my original plot it was not a suspense at all. It was just a love story with hot scenes. Now it seems it’s gonna have some suspense in it too.

 

So my question to you all is how do you decide between manuscripts. What makes you choose one over the other?

 

thanks all

Sayde

 

Release, Release, Release, and some Hotness from Joe Manganiello

Hello all!! WOW, today three of my author friends are having releases! For more information on these titles please click on the picture.

My critique partner and wonderfully talented writer, Rebecca Zanetti has her debut release by Kensington, FATED, out today.

Scientist and single mother Cara paulsen is used to fighting for what she wants and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter, Janie. But ‘whatever it takes’ has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger. Vampire leader Talen says that he’s there to protect Cara and Janie. But his idea of a wedding night is more like a sexual taming – dominant and scorching hot. With shapeshifting allies, they must fight against an evil race of vampires that has discovered a way to venture into sunlight, in order to safeguard Janie…and the rest of humanity.

 

Next on the release road is our very own southern sizzler, Jillian Chantal!! Her new story Surfer Bride hit the digital world with a bang.

Quincy Holt, a world champion surfer, was in love with a police officer, Fennimore Smith. He dumped her over a rumor that she cheated on him. Two years later, she’s moved on and is engaged to Percy Hicks, a British man that she believes could make her happy.

Quincy thinks her fiancé is an antiques dealer but he’s actually a firearms smuggler. A smuggler being investigated by her former lover, now an ATF agent. When Percy’s private plane full of weapons is confiscated while Quincy is aboard and she’s arrested for arms dealing, Fennimore Smith flies to Bali to rescue her and get her to testify against Percy. She turns him down as she has plans of her own. She sets off to London on a quest to trap her fiancé and bring him down. Will she survive her mission? Will her former lover have to rescue her again?

And last but not least we have fellow Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA member, Cynthia Eden soaring to the Best Sellers List with her newest release Deadly Lies.

She wants to hide the past…

FBI Special Agent Samantha Kennedy is haunted by memories of the serial killer who abducted her. To keep the darkness at bay, she pretends to be a different, more confident woman. This Samantha doesn’t fear every unknown face. So she throws caution to the wind and shares a night of unbridled passion with a handsome stranger.

He needs to uncover the truth

One night isn’t enough for successful entrepreneur Max Ridgeway. He wants more of the sexy, smart, mysterious woman who slipped away before dawn. When they meet again, their attraction is undeniable—until his stepbrother goes missing, and Max realizes that Samantha isn’t who she seems. But they must trust each other to trap a ring of blood-thirsty kidnappers before the nightmares that terrorize Sam become irrevocably real.

What a wonderful Tuesday! I mean, it just doesn’t get any better than having so many good books by talented writers come out on one day. Oh wait, I’m wrong. It does get better, my newest release Untamable releases tomorrow by Siren Publishing!!

Waking up tattooed, mated and a werewolf would shock most people but for Siddalee Brighton it’s just another day.

Siddalee has always held a burning hunger for her best friend, werewolf Jasper Gandillion. But she never realized what belonging to the animal within him would mean until he marks her in a show of passion and dominance, awakening the werewolf inside her. Siddalee was the first of many illegal breeding experiments that the Luna Werewolf Nation Alpha, Dane Velham, created and the only one strong enough to stop the monster from torturing other women and creating more experiments.

Will being the daughter of the monster who slaughtered Jasper’s pack destroy the love and lust between Siddalee and Jasper, or will they emerge as the new Alphas of the Luna Werewolf Nation?

So while I was writing this story I had different images of my hero Jasper floating around in my head. One actor stood out above anyone, Joe Manganiello!

 Need I say more? Why yes I do, here he is in a suit!

Release Date Anticipation

Hi all. As most of you know I have a new release coming up on the 23rd. I admit I wasn’t very excited when I received word that Siren wanted to publish it and that’s not because I wasn’t happy, I was. I’m a realist, and I know that with each book that I sell comes hard work in getting it edited to my editors standard and then promoting it. I always get a little freaked out when the cover comes because you just never know if the art department is going to have the same vision as you do. This time was no different and things did vary. Some parts of the cover were not what I’d envisioned but now that I’ve had the cover for a few weeks I do like the variation. I mean we can’t all think alike can we?

So after the edits were done, the cover arrived, and I received my final release date I realized that I’m finally excited. I know it seems so strange to most people thatI never get excited about a book contract or really a cover but that’s just how I am. When everything is said and done is when my excitement hits me. Now I’m really looking forward to having UNTAMABLE out in the publishing world.  I was recently asked what my favorite part of the publishing process was and well, you guessed it, the release date. That date means that everything I’ve worked so hard for is completed. Now, it’s time to share my work with the world and have faith that readers will enjoy the world I built.

When you’re working to accomplish your goal, what point to do begin to get excited about the end result? Are you like me and just can’t get excited until it’s absolutely complete or do you go through stages where you get excited?

And don’t forget that not only am I having a release date coming soon, but our sizzler SFCatty, Jillian Chantall and ym wonderful critique partner Rebecca Zanetti also have release dates on the 22nd! You can find out more about both Jillian and I at http://www.sirenbookstrand.com/ and for Rebecca please visit her website for all the places you can pick up FATED. http://rebeccazanetti.com Oh and you know what, our most beloved commentor Danica Avet has her latest release and upcoming release also at Siren so stop by and check us all out!

Erotic Romance vs. Erotic. What’s the Difference?

Recently at my local Romance Writers of America’s meeting I explained the difference between erotica and erotic romance. Several members informed me that they’d never known there was a difference. That brings me to today’s post. Months back I expressed an interest in writing an inspirational novel about a woman losing her first love to drugs and him coming back clean as a preacher. At the time I got a lot of negative feedback because I was told there was no way I could write something so tame.  The thing most people don’t understand is that erotic romance and inspirational novels have one huge thing in common, emotions.

Both inspirational and erotic romance stories are based off of the emotions and feelings that drive the characters forward in the book. Inspirational writers must stop at a kiss, while erotic romance writers can let their characters do just about anything. While inspirational and erotic romance have that one base in common that’s how erotica differs. Erotica does not have to have any emotional involvement from the characters. In erotica the story is pushed forward by the physical and mental desire for sexual experience. I’m not saying that in order to write erotica that you can’t have a story line with a great plot but it’s not about the emotions in erotica. In this genre your characters are open to explore themselves, their sexuality, and others without having to have an emotional journey along with the sexual journey. Most times at the end of an erotic romance you get a happily ever after. At the end of an erotica you don’t. The heroine or hero does not need to be in a relationship, only the promise that the main character has found him or herself sexually and grown from the experience is required in erotica.

Before you classify your books please make sure you read the “rules” for each genre. If you are querying an erotic romance as an erotica you are hurting your chances of getting a yes from an agent or editor who is interested in erotic romance. That goes the other way too.

This week I’m on vacation and don’t have cell or internet service so I’ve posted this early and won’t be able to respond to comments until the weekend. If you ever have questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Asking is just one way we learn and in the competitive writing business we need all the knowledge we can get.

Also, my erotic romance UNTAMABLE has been scheduled for an early release. This story wasn’t supposed to be out until mid April but I’m very pleased to say that on February 23, 2011 you’ll be able to purchase UNTAMABLE at http://www.sirenpublishing.com/saydegrace/

Here’s my new cover as well as a bit of a teaser, in this one I hope you can feel the emotion behind these characters:

Jasper nodded. “All right, tell me she’s going to wake up any second and be perfectly fine.”

Doc grimaced. “I can’t tell you that, but be prepared for her to be back in heat when she does. She needs to complete the cycle.”

Damn it, that was not what Jasper wanted to hear, although her still being in heat would definitely be a good thing. He couldn’t wait to mount her.

Sidda wanted to roll her eyes. All he thought about was “mounting” her. For fuck’s sake, she’d almost been killed by Brockton’s dumb ass, and all Jasper wanted to do was mount her. “Is that all you think of?” Her croaking voice flowed through the room.

An instant later, a rush of footsteps had Jasper on one side of her bed and Doc on the other. She shook her head, biting back a groan of pain. Dammit, her head still hurt.

She opened her mouth to complain but stopped short when another figure appeared at the foot of the bed. Tears began to pour from her eyes. She slowly sat up, holding her hands out to Zeke, sobbing as he eased his way to her. “Oh my god.” She grasped Zeke’s hands, tugging him to her. Sidda’s breath caught in her chest. She’d been so sure she’d never see him again, yet here he was alive with her.

“What happened? I saw what Brockton…” She shook her aching head, holding onto him for dear life. He’d saved her from Brockton. “I thought…I…”

“Yeah, he beat me up pretty bad, but Stephan got there.” Zeke smiled. “He’s a good guy after all.”

Sidda forced a smile for her brother. Her hand trembled, burning from the mark on her palm. It looked like a small scratch, but the hum of energy from the spot told her it was more.

She cleared the thoughts of Stephan from her mind. “I can’t believe you’re all right.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna be fine. Your mate said if I didn’t get better, he’d be forced to beat me back to health.” Zeke laughed.

Sidda smiled at Jasper, releasing her brother’s hands to pull Jasper’s head toward her. She kissed his cheek, and he winked.

“Gross.” Zeke’s lips curled. “I should not know what you are feeling, or him. It’s disturbing. Come on, Doc, I want to take these rags off my forehead.”

Zeke and Doc slipped from the room. Sidda grinned at Jasper and pulled the covers back so he could slide into bed with her.

He tugged his pants and shoes off, followed by his shirt. “I should be mad at you for running off, not trusting me to handle the situation, and going into heat while I wasn’t there. I really should be pissed, but all I want to do is hold you. To make sure you’re safe and all right.” Jasper wrapped his arms around Sidda, dragging her close to him.

Sidda sighed with contentment. She’d been so scared when Brockton had come after her, but here in her mate’s arms, she was safe again. “Just hold me. Later we can fight. Right now I just want to hold you.” She yawned against his warm chest.

“Whatever you want, babe.” His hands stroked her back, sending her into a blissful sleep.

 Thank you everyone! Remember that Jillian’s new book SURFER BRIDE is also being released early on February 22, my wonderful critque partner Rebecca Zanetti’s debut novel FATED is also being released that same day. Then the next day, February 23 is the release of UNTAMABLE.

Now go forth and be productive!

Sayde

Reopening for The New Year

Ok, so I’m not reopening because I actually want to. Nope, I’m sick and I have a billion things I need to do here at my house. I’m reopening because I got my edits for my urban fantasy that I sold to Siren Publishing. It never fails to amaze me the things that editors catch or want to change. I’m a little scared this time because there are some things that my editor wants to change about “me” and I’m not totally on board yet. I just read through the suggestions and edits which means I’m still digesting.

This brings me to a point that I believe every writer, either beginner or best seller, should remember. No matter how many times you are published it never guarantees a sale with NO EDITS. Well, maybe if your Nora Roberts but I imagine even she gets edits from her editor. But honestly it never gets easier to see a manuscript that you’ve sold and you think the editor loves, come back to you with edits that make your ms look like a Christmas tree. And it also brings up another point, all publishing houses are different.

At one of my publishers(ok so I only have two but still I can say this now 🙂 ) I’m sent my ms back to fix any grammar errors. Once those are done I am sent plot problems. Once those are finished I’m sent a copy of it in publication form. That copy is one that I go through and make sure everything is exactly like I want it. Then once I send that back I’m done and we just wait for a publication date.

My new publisher sent me all of the above in one document! WOW, seriously different and today I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I had to laugh though as one of the comments that I read so far was that I should use more contractions 🙂 I think Jillian will get a huge kick out of that one! Besides that there are a lot of little stuff. Stuff that I am going, how the hell did these people read this and actually like it? And I got a comment that has me scratching my head and once the CP is not dizzy sick, Rebecca will be getting a headache from trying to figure it out too.

There you have it, I’m back open today and I’m a little freaked out. But hey, I’m lucky to be published and luckier to have another book on its way to publication so I’ll stop fussing.

And to follow a little of Danica Avet’s blog today I’d like to tell you all that I too am so very grateful of another year in the company of such outstanding writers and even better friends. Thank you to all my southern sizzle ladies, my terrific critique partner, Rebecca Zanetti, who is going to be busy busy this year with her own best-selling books as well as critiquing more of my junk, to all the ladies at Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA who inspire me to try writing in every genre out there in hopes that I can as good as they are, and to Danica Avet for being such a wonderful person who helped me at Nationals when things back home took a bad turn while I was gone  and also to my readers who have blessed me with sell after sell and I’m indebted to you all for your kindness. There are so many other people to thank for being there for me but I’ve rambled on and need to stop. Thank you all, and may your upcoming year be better and blessed 🙂

 And HAPPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to JILLIAN CHANTAL!!!

Thanks so much

Sayde Grace

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