At Freaking Long Last: Progress

Finally, at freaking long, long, long last progress.  My newest novel is nearing completion. 🙂

This one is a bit of a departure for me. It is a contemporary romance, not erotica. In all honesty, I kind of fell into the erotica writing game by accident. For years now, I have wanted to write a romance and I have written dozens of them. Frankly, they weren’t that good. No surprise there, one’s first works are fraught with learning and missing a lot of essentials. Still, I wrote and submitted, got rejected, tweaked and resubmitted. I wrote some more and kept on submitting. I would like to think that my writing improved with each attempt. During the early years of writing, I received a lot of feedback from the publishers I submitted to. Generally, the comment was that my story-lines sucked and my sex scenes rocked. But I kept writing for a while. Then, I took a nine year hiatus.

The stories kept coming to me, and I made copious notes, but not once in those years did I sit down and try to actually complete a story of any length. Recently, I was wandering around the Internet and stumbled on a call for submission by Etopia Press. I thought, “I can do that.” And I scratched out an erotic novella, edited dozens of times and sent it off. Much to my delight, they accepted the story and published it. That was quite a while ago, but  …

It brings us to today. I have kept up with the writing. I write virtually every day. Stories keep popping into my head. Some based on things I have seen or over-heard, others are completely random images of scenes.

My most recent work has been, by far, the hardest thing I have ever written. I laughed, I cried, I cursed, I swore. I wrote, deleted, edited, wrote some more and kept on slamming away at it.  The final result is Rekindled Fire, a contemporary romance. It is about 66,000 words. And so far, my beta readers (those who have started sending me feedback) like it. My fabulous cover girl, Jenn Howard worked like a dog to bring my cover vision to life. (She is fabulously patient with my quirks and change requests!)

I’m sure there is still some tweaking to do, and much more editing as well. But I am optimistic that it will be released by November 15th. It will be available in ebook and print formats. (Amazon first, then other formats as these things take time.)

My fabulous new cover. Created by Cover Goddess Jenn Howard.

My fabulous new cover.
Created by Cover Goddess
Jenn Howard.

Beth Watson has made more than one mistake in her life, but she doesn’t know how she is ever going to get beyond the fact that her actions may have caused her husband’s death. He died mistakenly thinking she was having an affair with his best friend, Peter. Nothing she can do can ever bring him back, or stifle the guilt she feels over her actions.

Trapped in a loveless marriage, Peter Holden has had just about enough of his wayward wife’s selfishness. But when she runs off to Hawaii with their neighbor and leaves Peter holding the bag, trying to juggle critical business meetings and their children, he has no option but to call the one woman he swore he would stay away from. Beth.

Nothing good can come of stepping in to help Peter out of his dilemma, but Beth finds herself helpless to deny his request. Reluctantly, she gives in to his pleas and steps in to help, but she refuses to give in to the attraction still sparking between them. Why didn’t she realize how difficult it would be to resist the man who ever set her heart on fire and makes her burn for things she shouldn’t want? Things she doesn’t deserve?

Excerpt: (Keep in mind, that this is not the final version. We’re going into edits now.)

A soft knock sounded on the door. “Are you talking to yourself? Or have you got someone in there with you?” Peter’s voice was light with laughter.
She opened the door to find him leaning sexily with one shoulder against the doorjamb. When she looked up at him, a slow smile spread across his face.
“Hi,” she whispered, her smile matching his. “Morning.” Her heart pounded in her chest. He was so sexy standing there in his pajama bottoms, his hair messed up, and looking half asleep. It was nearly her undoing. She swallowed hard. She wanted to touch him, to taste every inch of his skin.
“Morning Beth.” He touched her cheek lightly with one finger and leaned towards her.
Oh, he’s going to kiss me.
No. Yes. Please. She waited, her breath held in anticipation. Or was it fear? She eased back, just a fraction, putting more distance between them.
Peter swayed forward, just a bit before his hand slowly lowered to his side and they stood there staring, smiling at each other. “Morning,” she said again. “Guess I already said that.” She blushed. “Coffee should be ready,” she told him, trying to break the tension that seemed to crackle between them. “I started it before I showered. You need to shower. I’ll cook while you shower and shave.” She battled the urge to stroke the stubble on his cheek. “Scrambled eggs and toast okay with you? Or would you rather have -?”
His finger on her lips stopped her flow of words. “Did you know that you babble when you’re nervous?” When she blushed again he added, “I think it’s cute.” His finger traced the line of her lower lip. “Scrambled eggs and toast will be fine. Please.”
She wiggled her way between him and the door frame, careful not to touch him. “You have fifteen minutes,” she said and hurried down the hall. In the kitchen she collapsed against the counter and closed her eyes. The drawer handle dug into her back but she didn’t notice. Damn. Being here was such a bad idea. How could she continue to resist him when he was that close? Why did he have to keep touching her? Was he oblivious to his effect on her? Or did he know how his touch affected her and was he teasing?
“What’s the matter Beth?” His voice held laughter.
Her eyes popped open and she stared at him. She hadn’t known he followed her to the kitchen. He took three long strides and stood in front of her, well inside her personal space. She couldn’t retreat with the counter pressed against her back.
“You seem jumpy this morning.”

Drop me an email if you are interested in an advance reader copy of Rekindled Fire. Perhaps you would like to read this store early (for free), in exchange for writing an honest review?