CountDown -- 5 days!!

Ack!! Five days. Five days to release day!
OR, five days until you can actually read my book!!

So excited. I've spent this week working on promotion, finding spots to advertise,...and yes, I'm watching my Amazon sales ranking, which isn't bad for a book that hasn't even come out yet. And it's fluctuating, so...either other people are selling books or I am. <3  I can't tell. hahaha.

Don't forget to get your copy of Letters From Home, kay? It's a romantic story of life in the military, of love where we least expect it. Or, as one reviewer already said,

This story was well written and unfolded perfectly for the amount of pages it contained. It's a sexy, romantic, feel-good Christmas story. I loved it!
                                 ~Cheryl Sanders, Goodreads Review

Click the cover for a quick, painless, virtual trip to Amazon. :D
And have a great week, friends.
With Love,

Sunday Summations

Why is it that we're always learning? changing? discovering?

I think, in ten years, I've only figured out that nothing stays the same.

This makes branding myself a bit of an issue. If you're on my blog, you can see I made changes again. I've had a pretty 'cutest blog on the block' design up for a while. I knew it didn't really suit my writing, but I was okay with that for now. Even if I write on the darker side, I'm still a girl. I like pink and flowers and snazzy designs.

But the rule of promotion says to "Brand" myself. Make sure people can recognize me no matter where I show up online. This isn't a writer's rule, either, btw. We all recognize certain ideas, logos, themes when it comes to businessess whether they are online or off line.

This past week, I started messing around with my facebook page and my blog and my twitter. It's different. Not permanent, perhaps. Eventually I'd like to have my own domain involved and an actual Bethanne Design created that really IS me. But that will cost money!! So, I'll make do until then...

I think part of my problem is that I get bored. I like the change. Probably part of the reason I've enjoyed sharing a life with my husband who has moved us several times in 15 years. I get on my blog a couple times a year and I start messing with it. changing font, changing design, changing my bio.

So, there it is, the new design. It's fun, different, darker, and winner of the Most Likely to Change award at the graduation banquet. ;)

Let's Summate! [I don't think that's a word, but I don't care]
{ I'm editing. } <--that's the nutshell, btw. ha! doesn't it kind of look like a walnut?

I've written a lot of novellas over the last couple of years. I remember when I hit that phase. I'd written a half dozen full length novels, and I think I was tired. No luck came from any of those submissions, so I decided to shake things up. I'd heard that writing short helps focus your writing. That when every word counts, I would need to make every word count!! So I started writing shorter stories, 30K.

Two years later, I'm ready to go back. I've learned alot in writing them. I HAVE improved my abilities [I think], but now I'm sitting here with comments like... "if you made this longer, you could develop the characters more and really give the reader a better feel for them. Invest the reader!" and "I'm sorry. I don't review novella length. It might be a great story, but I just don't read them. Too many times I find I'm wanting more."

For me, that's okay. I do have a novella length coming out in November. But it's a Christmas story, so I think it will do well. People are more likely to pick up a themed shorter story. I am, anyway!! Something to get me in the spirit. :D This also means that I've had to rethink a few stories I'm working on now--like I said, editing. I think it's time to open the gates--so to speak. Time to bring the shorter novels up a step. Really get into the characters' heads, find the kinks. Find what I was missing before.

And then I'll see. :)
I was going to write something new this fall.
I don't know how that is going to happen, but if all else fails, I think in December I will take a break from all this editing and write something new over the holidays...even if it is another Holiday Novella. ha!

Have a great week,
With Love

An Angel's Sword

Just to shake things up a little on the blog: I'm skipping Sunday Summation for a discussion on Angels [which, despite how the image portrays, I don't believe have a gender...][another reason for fiction!! :D]. myspace graphic commentsPhoto courtesy of Zwani Graphics
Angel comments & graphics

Besides Truth, what is an Angel's sword composed of? [yes, i'm ending my sentence with a preposition]

That's my contemplation for the day. I'm finishing my October Novella, my story of Aarden the angel and Rachel the granddaughter of Mother Nature. It wouldn't be a true angel story without at least one battle, and this story has one, as well as a few other instances of conflict.

When I asked my husband, he thoughtfully made the suggestion that an Angel's sword was made of light. 
"Like, a light saber?" I asked, and we both laughed. 
Yup. That right. It's a great idea, but as I told angel, in angel form--cuz he's got a human form, too--wears light. Sort of. Not like he's naked, but just that he's an angel so he doesn't exactly have clothes as we do on earth. 

Then I was thinking, maybe silver! Silver is harder than gold, anyway. And it's a natural, God-made, element from the earth. Not like steel, which is forged. What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think silver is strong enough? Maybe it doesn't matter if it is strong enough, eh? It's all make-believe anyway...

Besides, we all know the truth cuts like a sword, so maybe I should play with that idea a little more. I mean, if my demons are developing anti-angel arms [like armory arms], why shouldn't the truth actually be a substance you can cut with? hmmmm?

Trip to the PX postponed

So, i showered, got ready to go to the PX and then looked at the teary, whiny, leg-clinging baby at my feet and decided she needed a nap or I might as well shoot myself.

I'm actually sitting here editing one of my manuscripts, a novella length romantic suspense, while she sleeps. And it really hit me how I've never taken advantage of my time. What do I mean? Well, many writers will tell you, write the story then put it aside for a while. Take a break... weeks, months, you decide.

I don't usually do that. I like to push through to the end in one fell swoop.

But as I go through this manuscript again for the oh...tenth time or more, I really am seeing it with new eyes! It hit me at one point that my MC coming out with a statement about losing his sight is way too out-of-the-blue. I never saw that before, but that's probably because I was in his head enough to hear his thoughts about it... I know that sounds crazy. And really, I do NOT let my characters write their own stories, but I do listen to them.

Anyway, it's a fresh start and I'm glad for it. :D What about you? You take the time to shove your story in the corner before taking it through revisions?

BTW, best decision ever to not hit the PX first thing. It'll be nice to get out just before lunch and then splurge--in the minor[ist] of fashions--on lunch for me and the baby. It would be really nice to meet up with my hubby, too...but that's way hit or miss. :D

Have a great weekend, the last before CHRISTMAS!
With love,

Who do you Ask?

I've got a nice following on my blog now.
And so I have to ask of all my writing friends, "Who do you find to beta read for you?"

I've struggled with this in the past. I have an AWESOME critique group and I'll get a good beta read from at least one of those gals--maybe even more. But deep down, I'm also interested in getting a random perspective.

This time, I asked a girlfriend who dropped off my radar except for the occasional blog visit. I'm considering sending an inquiry out over the RWA PRO yahooloops...but I need nerves of freaking steel to do that. What if I've pissed someone off? I hope I haven't, but not everyone likes me. *gasp* I know! Can you believe it?! :D I have the same issue posting on the writing boards. Besides the fact that mostly, I lurk--which, btw is an entirely different topic altogether--I really don't want to step on toes.

Hence, the need for nerves of steel!!
Asking for a beta reader is a BIG DEAL, because it's time consuming. And most forums won't even let you ask for one unless you have a certain amount of posts or involvement.

In case you're curious. The manuscript is a novella length [28K] romantic suspense, with some[a few] heated moments between a married couple, called Dark Summer. :D

Have a great week everyone.
With Love,

Completing a manuscript

My WW2 is finished at just over 33k.
I've started revisions. And that's actually fun for me. Bwahahaha.
You can hate me if you want!

I have 112 pages...
and I've done 15 so far today.
There are some simple word changes and other less simple expansions.

These are my notes so far for these revisions.
1) things to remember
a. Margaret is a US citizen. [she was a UKer]
b. Mark has blue eyes. [i'm always finding different descriptions as I go along.]
c. Margaret is taller than shorter but not tall. LOL I crack myself up.
2) Conflict
a. They were married on the spur of the moment.
1. mark is freaked out
2. Margaret is uncertain but certain :D
b. Margaret gets involved in activities that put her in cahoots with the bad guy, a German spy.

When I'm finished here, I'll send it to my Critique Partner.
And then we'll really see.

If you're interested in writing in general...doesn't have to be romance...and have what you think is an exceptional first paragraph, visit Nathan's blog and submit it! Nathan Bransford, a literary agent with Curtis Brown LTD, is offering a wealth of advice and experience [i just made that up right now, but it must be true!] to the winner.