Sunday, May 25, 2014

Creativity...


I am always amazed at how the creative process works. It's different for each person and often works different at times within the same person.

One thing always seems to happen to me when I start a new book. I can be making notes or outlining the new story, and suddenly a title, idea, plot points or characters will come to me for other books. At first I ignored those thoughts, because I considered them distractions to keep me from concentrating on my current project. Now, I realize every single one of these little interruptions are gifts. When we receive a gift, it's up to us to decide when we choose to open it. The mistake I made in the past was to stop what I was doing to open the package -- bad move considering I have the attention span of a gnat.

What I've learned to do now is accept the gift, maybe make a quick note to two on the thought or idea and file it away on my computer to be unwrapped in the future. I knew there would be six books in the Stafford Brothers series, but I didn't have any titles of future releases. The first three books feature three of the four single brothers, and they are romances. What I didn't know was how I might handle Vic and Jesse's stories since they are already married.

As you've probably noticed, the titles of my books come from old school R&B songs.
A few days ago, I heard a song on the radio, one I've heard hundreds of times, and Vic's story started downloading into my head. Here it is, the 1973 hit by Johnny Taylor. 

Poor Vic...



Monday, May 19, 2014

Traveling...


I'm doing a two-part interview, feature and GIVEAWAY on author Karen Docter's blog today and tomorrow. Stop by and check me out.

http://www.karendocter.com/author-peek-interview-with-chicki-brown.html

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Learning...

You're never too old to learn something new, especially when you're a writer. Recently I learned about an opportunity to take a thirty-day class called Romance In A Month led by romance author Rachelle Ayala. The goal of the class is to write a romance in thirty days.

That's right -- 30 days! It's not expected that participants will have a finished manuscript in that time, but this class works like NaNoWriMo. The goal is to get your entire book plotted out and get as many thoughts onto paper as possible. I decided to take this class because I write so slowly. Even though I have the ideas in my head, getting them out in an understandable manner is a painstaking process for me. To be able to write the first draft in a short amount of time would be a dream come true.

So far I'm loving the class, and I'm using it to work on the third book in my Stafford Brothers series, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough.


Prior to the class start date, Rachelle posted exercises to help participants think about their characters and story line. Don't Stop is a combination of two romance tropes: Taming the Bad Boy and Forbidden Love. These exercises were so helpful in pinning down just who Greg Stafford is. 

                                                     

I know his brothers well, but he's only made cameo appearances in the first two books in the series. It also helped me pin down who his love interest would be.

 

(Yes, soap opera fans, this is Charles Divins and Brook Kerr from Passions. Gorgeous couple!)

Most authors work in a vacuum, but sometimes it's a blessing to get help. So, until June 15th, I'll be working on Greg and Rhani's story. And during that time I'll also have the release of Book Two in the series, Till You Come Back to Me.


Monday, May 12, 2014

New Release Showcase - BEJEWELED by Chelle Ramsey

I have to tell you about the new release from my friend and writer's group member, Chelle Ramsey. But first, let me share a little about who Chelle is.


An avid reader since her primary years, Chelle saw books as an escape mechanism. Excited by the worlds, and characters that could be created with a touch of the imagination, she began writing her own stories at the age of 12. The more enamored with storytelling she became, the more she wanted to create stories about the suffering, and hardships she saw others enduring, with one twist…her characters would rise above their adversities and limitations, but not always with traditional endings.

This busy wife, and mother of three, exchanged her Girl Scout Leader pins for her creative writing pen, as she began to focus on publishing her novels. In her spare time, when she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading mystery novels, watching the NBA, remodeling their home with her husband, and spending time with him and their children. Having received her MBA in Human Resource Management, she says she cannot wait for the day when writing becomes her full-time career. “If I can show my readers they are not alone, in dealing with their challenges, and that they can rise above their limitations, I have achieved my goal,” Ramsey says.


Here's an excerpt from Bejeweled...


Olivia & Ray Excerpt – Letting Him Go

“That’s what’s so special about you. Somehow you always see the best in everyone and you find a way to pull it out. Everyone doesn’t have that gift, Ivy.” Raymond lowered his lips to kiss hers.
She smiled as she danced in his arms enjoying the feel of his soft cool lips against her warm ones. As Olivia continued to sway in his arms she slightly parted her lips, allowing his tongue to enter her mouth. The warm rush flowing through her veins, and the slightly heady sense she experienced at the feel of his hands rubbing her back up and down was intoxicating.
Raymond’s mouth pulled away from hers and kissed the lower angle of her jawline. He squeezed her waist between his hands and then pulled away from her.
“What the hell am I gonna do with you, Ivy?” Raymond asked in frustration, walking away rubbing his hands over his low cut hair.
“Maybe I should go now.” Olivia walked to the living room table and picked up her keys and purse.
“Look, come on. I’m sorry. We’ve had a great evening. I don’t want it to end like this.”
“Well what am I supposed to do Ray? I told you where I stood before we decided to move forward in this relationship and you said you understood. You said you supported me. If you can’t do this, I completely understand and respect your decision. But I’m not going to play games. You know where I stand.”
“You’re right, I do know where you stand. But for how long?” Raymond was standing with his back against the wall, arms crossed over his chest, looking absolutely miserable. Olivia wished she could make things better for him, but this was where they both had to make their decisions.
“You know how long.”
“No, I don’t, Ivy. The only thing you said was that you made the decision to be celibate. You never said for how long.”
“And you didn’t question it, Ray. You simply told me, and I quote, ‘The only thing I was sure of after the divorce, was that I wanted to re-connect with you. You’re the one thing I am certain about, and if that means I have to be celibate, too, then I support you. I just want you in my life, Ivy.’ Was that not what you told me, word for word?” Olivia asked with her keys in her hands and her purse clenched tightly underneath her arm.
“Yes it was.”
“So you’re backing out now?” Olivia could feel her heart sinking and her dreams walking out the door. But she knew he hadn’t made her any promises and she could understand if he chose not to stay around in that capacity in her life. She respected whatever decision he made.
“How long, Ivy?” he repeated.
“Until I’m married. And I know where you stand on that. You made yourself pretty clear.”

You can find Michelle at any of these online locations:

FB: Author Chelle Ramsey
Twitter: @ChellesBooks
Pinterest: authorcmramsey

Purchase the Book Online at:
Amazon.com
BarnesandNoble.com

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cover Reveal!

I have a cover for Book 3 in my Stafford Brothers series, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough



Isn't it awesome? I think it gives a good hint into Greg Stafford's issues. More to come...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Release Showcase - Dalia Florea

Today I have another fabulous new release to share with you. I met Dalia Florea online last year, and we have since become fast friends. She is not only beautiful physically, but she has a beautiful spirit.

Dalia grew up in Queens, New York and now makes her home in Northern Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.  She is an avid reader who enjoys writing fiction stories with a mixture of mystery and romance.  When not writing, she enjoys attending smooth jazz concerts, visiting wineries and solving Sudoku puzzles.



Here's a little bit about her new romantic suspense, Mirrored:

The last thing Nicole expected to encounter in her first assignment as a newspaper reporter was, Andre Moore.  Andre Moore, tall, handsome, irresistible homicide detective who is everything that her heart desires yet she struggles to resist.

Their investigation of a murder case draws them closer together.  Nicole becomes captivated by his good looks and charm, but suspects that he knows more about the case than he’s willing to share.  Will her love and passion for him survive the mystery that lies behind him?

Excerpt:
 From the back he stood very tall, 6’4” I guessed, and although he was wearing black slacks and a burgundy polo shirt, I could still see that his body was in great shape; athletic and toned.  I couldn’t help from zeroing in on his firm butt. 
He walked back around to the other side of his desk and turned to face me and I suddenly became breathless.  He was the most beautiful man that I’d ever laid eyes on.  I know that men were not meant to be beautiful, but he was more than handsome.  Thick, dark shiny hair, deep olive complexion, hazel eyes…and those lips, I could almost taste them. His eyes met mine and I felt my heart race. 
He motioned for me to come in and have a seat.  I stood paralyzed for a few seconds.  I remember reading about this kind of attraction in romance novels, but never believed the hype.  I pulled myself together, hoping that he hadn’t notice my flushed face.  I sat down in one of the chairs in front of his desk.
He hung up the telephone, stood up from his chair and reached over to shake my hand. “As you might have already guessed, I’m Detective Andre Moore, but please, call me Andre.”  I blushed as I lifted my hand to touch his.  For a moment words got stuck in my mouth.  I cleared my throat. 
“I’m Nicole Watson, nice to meet you.”  I reluctantly released his hand.
 “Can I get you something to drink, Ms. Watson? Water? Soda?”
My nerves seemed to be taking over. I’ve got to put this schoolgirl silliness to the side and do the job I’m here to do, I thought.
“No, thank you. I’m ready to begin discussing the case. Oh, and by the way, please call me Nicole.”  Darn, why did that slip out? I wondered.
Detective Moore had the case file already on his desk.  I took my notebook and a pen from my briefcase so that I could write down notes as well as review the questions that I needed to ask about the case.  I looked up to find him watching me get prepared.  I couldn’t quite read his expression as he gave nothing away; his eyes returned to the file on his desk.  There was something about the way he looked at me that stirred my soul.  He proceeded to describe the case from its beginning with what was reported by the uniformed officers who’d arrived at the murder scene first.  The body of 16-year-old Vanessa Rojas was found lying in a pool of blood in one of the bedrooms of the apartment.  Her body was covered with stab wounds and bruises.  Andre took a couple of pictures from the folder and handed them to me.
“Here, take a look at these. This is what that monster did to this poor girl.” 
I hesitantly took the pictures, uneasy and unsure of what I would see or if I even wanted to look at something so gruesome. 

Available in paperback or kindle:


You can find out more about Dalia here:

Twitter: @DaliaFlorea or https://twitter.com/DaliaFlorea