Increasing Writing Speed…Five Minutes At A Time

Moonday Mania

a blog for the writer in all of us

It’s the end of July and I’m nearing the end of my Camp NaNoWrimo challenge. This time around I set my goal at 20,000 words for the month. And as of this writing I need less than 3k. For the first time ever, I will hit a Nano goal. WOOT! I may have to buy a tee-shirt!

Boosting production

Over the last two years I’ve spent more time editing my works than writing them. At least I think so. It seems like the writing takes a certain amount of time and the editing takes two to three times as long. So how can I increase my productivity? I have so many amazing plots swimming around my head. Just the other day I came up with a concept for a fantastic contemporary series. But I have three series already in progress. Wait, I actually have four because I have one I’ve never published. When am I supposed to write a new one?

The solution? Write faster.

I’ve already looked at this before with RACHEL AARON’S 5K TO 10K, and that really did help me at the time. With Rachel Aaron’s system you look at when you are most productive and where you are most productive and start there. And I did that. I love writing in the morning, after I’ve woken up, had my coffee, taken the dog for a walk, and had my shower. So, nine am. But…what’s happened since I figured that out is that my schedule changed. Time that I am most productive is now the time I have to be at my job. That’s a bummer. So my writing speed has dropped. I’m struggling to hit 1,500k per hour. And I’m struggling to find a consistent time to write.

Enter 5,000 WORDS PER HOUR: WRITE FASTER, WRITE SMARTER, by Chris Fox.

That’s right. You heard me. 5,000 words per hour.

Now right off the bat I know I’m not going to hit that. And I don’t want to sound self-depreciating when I say it. Chris says in order to hit the 5k mark you have to use dictation. And I’m not ready for that. Yet. Give me some time. No, what I want to do is hit 3k. Consistently. If I hit 3k per hour on a daily basis that would mean I could put out a novel in a month and still have time for that pesky editing in the other 23 hours of the day.

I could still have time to cook my healthy meals, exercise, take care of my kids, parents, dog, cat, and my husband. WOW! Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!

Chris starts you off with sprinting. Now I regularly set my timer for 45 minutes and write, but he suggests five minute sprints and to time yourself. He even has a free ap (only for the ipad or iphone) that will help you do this and keep track of your sprints. Chris has you write for five minutes than multiply by 12 to get your Words Per Hour. So I decided this weekend to commit to five minutes every morning. After the first cup of coffee. Or maybe the second.

What’s the benefit of five minute sprints?

  • Well, for one thing, they are very doable. At first I griped about doing even five minutes first thing in the morning. I’m not awake. I don’t have time. I need my coffee. (Okay, that last one is just pathetic. You can drink coffee while sprinting, although it does slow your time).
  • I was surprised to find that my speed was pretty consistent the first three times I did it. Right around (or below) 1500 WPH. I seriously thought I’d at least hit 2k, even though I’ve been writing at 1.5 k for my longer sprints, I always do 45 minutes. So 2k should be my speed. But it’s not.
  • You can really do a nice comparison with consistently using five minutes. I hadn’t thought about it before, but by cutting down the time I’m measuring and only focusing on writing for five minutes, I can really focus on the speed. And why I’m not writing faster.
  • Chris says that by using the sprints you can increase your overall time. And I can see that. When I do the sprints I’m really aware that I’m still going back and fixing my spelling, or plot, or whatever. You can’t do that and write fast.

So it’s off to my Monday morning sprint!

I’m committed to trying five minute sprints for a month and seeing how they work. If nothing else I’ll get an extra 138 words in per morning. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll increase that speed and hit that 2k mark by the end of the month. I only need an extra 29 words, or so. And if I quit fiddling, I know I can do that. And look at the difference that would make.

138 wpm x 31 days= 4,278 words per month

166wpm X 31 days =5,146  words per month

That’s an extra 868 words per month, in five minutes per day. Imagine what that would do if I applied this to all my writing?

How fast do you write in five minutes? Want to find out more?

Time yourself and see how fast you write. It’s eye opening what five minutes can do.

You can listen to a fantastic podcast with Chris on the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast HERE. And you can find his book on Amazon HERE. It’s super short, packed full of good information, and only $2.99

Stay tuned to see what happens next! I’ll be letting you know how its going and if Chris’s other steps help me gain extra words.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Early Bird Gets the Worm, But Not Before My Coffee!

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing

Updates:

I’m working hard on my new Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance for Camp NaNoWriMo as well as working on finishing up polishing RED, the first book in the series (formerly titled LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF). I’m also working on cover sheets to send to my cover artist for the first four books in the series and I’m looking forward to reissuing the first three books in this romance novella series in the fall. Followed fast by the next three novellas.

I’m also working on getting my first three fantasy romances in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT into a boxed set. I have the cover and it’s fantastic! (Cover reveal to come soon) But the formatting is driving me crazy, I may have to farm that out, but my budget says “Noooo!”

Now onto the blog:

I used to think I was a morning person, and then I read about all the authors who rise and shine at five in the morning and start creating their books. Crazy! These people actually get up an hour early to cram in writing BEFORE they do things like: go to the day job. Can I say CRAZY again?

So, am I a morning person?

Me at five am

Not a pretty sight at 5am

I rise and shine somewhere between 5am and 6am, without an alarm. Unless I’m super tired, then I’ve been known to sleep in until 7. Most people would define that as a morning person. But I’ll give you a hint. I have serious bed-head when I roll out of bed and I desperately need my coffee. In other words, no one wants me writing sexy shifter romance when all I can think about is coffee. You can picture the dialogue.

“Oh baby, I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“That’s nice. Is that coffee I smell?”

“Forget the coffee, let’s make mad passionate love.”

“Um, sure. After the coffee. And breakfast. I’m too hungry to think about anything but bacon. And coffee. Is the coffee ready yet?”

I can do emails, and once I wake up I can edit, but actual creative work, where I think about plot and motivation and backstory? It just doesn’t happen that early.

If it’s not 5am then what is my most productive time?

I think my most productive time is after I’ve been up, had my coffee, taken the dog for a walk, showered and dressed. And that puts me at 9am. Right when I’m supposed to be at the day job. When I do get to work at 9, I’m great. Words flow, things get done. I’m a powerhouse until noon and my lunch break. But that doesn’t really work with my day job who expects me to be at work from 9 until noon. Sometimes even 1pm, or 2.

I get home after work wanting lunch and a break. I have time then, it’s just not my natural work time. It’s the afternoons when my body wants to catch up for that five am wake up call. And sometimes…I fall asleep in front of the tv when I should be writing. Then the kids come home and I’m distracted by life, errands, and cooking dinner. So when am I supposed to squeeze those quality words in?

Find your time.

It doesn’t matter about all the excuses. I want to write, so I need to find some other productive time. I’m lucky in that I’m working part time now. The idea behind that was supposed to be that the other hours in the week I would be writing. But it’s only working out that Fridays are a writing day, because I usually don’t work then and I push everything else to other days of the week. TGIF!

What am I going to do about it?

I honestly don’t know. I have a few ideas though.

First of all I’m going to be working less hours for the rest of the summer, so I think I can devote Wednesdays as well as Fridays to writing.

Second of all, I’m leaving the house to do it. Summer is when my kids are home a lot, so if the house is full, I’m outa here!

And third, I’m going to try writing at least a hundred words in the afternoons that I am able. Thursdays and Mondays tend to be packed, but there is a possibility that Tuesdays will work out. And if I get into that habit, maybe I can also squeeze in another hundred on the tougher days.

When are your most productive hours? Have you ever tried to chart them? What did you find out?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Nanowrimo, Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance

Wattpad and The Dark Huntsman

Moonday Mania

a blog for romance readers and writers

I’m diving into Wattpad.

I’ve been talking about it for months now, but I finally posted the first chapter of my fantasy romance, THE DARK HUNTSMAN, last week and I’ll be getting chapter two up this week. It’s been pretty fun and exciting to try something new, just one of many new things that I’ve been diving into this spring and summer and of which I’ll try to keep posting my progress.

Wattpad is easy!

It’s super easy to join Wattpad, and posting was a breeze. The only issue I had was getting the chapter to be public and published—for some reason it said ‘draft’ for a long time. In fact, even though I think I got it published, it still says ‘draft’. But it’s up and on Wattpad and you can check it out HERE.

I was a little worried about the heat level.

I wondered about my spicy scenes between Logan and Trina, but Wattpad lets you state what age group your post is appropriate for. I still was a little worried, but as a friend pointed out “look what we were reading at that age.” Okay, that is so true. When I was 13 or 14 I dove into the wild world of romance, and no one censored what I read. What I write is about two consenting adults, and they end up in a loving relationship, so what am I worried about?

Still worried, but pushing ahead.

I am still a little concerned, but I decided to utilize Wattpad’s rating level and see what happens. Frankly, I don’t think it will be much of an issue, but I’m a worry wart.

What’s next? Why, chapter two, of course!

I’ll be publishing chapter two this week and on through the entire rest of the book. That should take me almost through the end of the year, and then I’ll decide if I want to do more. It’s likely I’ll take a break. Or I might consider putting up another book. I’ll let you know.

Where is the rest of the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT?

Now that the ebook of BROKEN MIRROR is out and published and available for sale I’m working on the print version. I have the paperback copy in my hand, but it needs proofreading. So I’m trying to wrangle time to sit down and go through the book and look for errors, but once that’s done the print book will be ready for publication!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under Fantasy Romance, Moonday mania

Camp NaNoWrimo 2015, in July!

Moonday Mania

a blog for writing

It’s Nano time again!

Camp-Participant-2015-Twitter-ProfileHello all you writers and readers out there. It’s NaNoWrimo time again, and this time we’re heading to camp! I tried to do this in April at the last Camp Nano, but I had a vacation at the end, so I missed my goal. The good news is I did write 8k+ on my latest Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, SCARLETT, so I’m thrilled with that.

The bad news is I only hit 8k+ on my latest Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, so I’m a little bummed.

I will be finishing SCARLETT in July for the second round of camp. I’ve worked a tiny bit on it in the last month or so, but mostly I’ve been busy getting my fantasy romance series in line for my release of BROKEN MIRROR. I’ve also been working on the edits for RED, the first Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance.

So what makes Nano work for you?

Okay, I had to think about this. The time I was most successful at Nano I wrote GOLDI, then titled GOLDI AND THE BEAR. It wasn’t the 50k that Nano usually goals, but I hit close to 30k, and that’s my biggest writing month ever! So what worked then? And how can I put those lessons into use this time?

I left the house.

I’ve found that working at home works for me, but only if everyone is out of the house. When I wrote Goldi I was most successful at the coffee shop, because no one bothered me there. A key component of that is that I went to the coffee shop solo. I didn’t go to a Nano write in. I didn’t arrange to meet friends. I also work well at the library, but it’s a little further away.

I had an outline

I had a very solid outline for GOLDI. That meant that I knew what I was going to write that day, and even if I skipped a scene that was causing me issues, I knew where my next step was.

I stayed on track

I have a big issue. I let everyone and everything else in my life derail me from writing. That month I stayed focused and wrote. Saying no is one of the hardest things for me, especially to my family. But I need to get this story finished. Not just because I have two more to write in this series, but also because I want to move on to the next TALES OF THE BLACK COURT, and HAUNTED HOLIDAYS.

Yes, I have too many projects that I want to do. But they are all doable, if I focus, focus, focus.

Can I do it? Yes I can!

Staying positive is a key piece of being successful at NaNoWrimo. I have a very doable goal this time. I want to write 20k to add to the 8k I already have written for SCARLETT. 30 days, 20k. And I usually only am able to write about five days a week. That works out to 22 writing days for me. (I only write on the weekdays because the family obligations take up the weekends). That’s about 909 words per day.

When I’m on a roll, 1k per hour is an easy thing to do. So that’s only one hour per day. Can I find an hour per weekday to write? Yes I can!

Okay, let’s face it. I don’t usually make Nano. What can I do differently?

Well, I don’t ever make it to 50k. So I believe by setting my Camp Nano goal to 20k, that’s a doable number for me. Sure it’s still a challenge. I have a day job, kids, a husband. And Molly the Labrador needs to be walked every day. I also need to keep up with my exercise routine and to cook healthy food. Oh, and shop for the healthy food. But I’ve set myself up for as much success as possible and I think I can do it this time! I’ve definitely written 20k in a month before.

RED was written in three weeks. GOLDI in four. I wrote SNOW  in about a month too. All of those are 30k books, so I know I can do it. I just have to…stay focused!

What are your goals for July?

Are you doing anything special for the month of July? Are you setting goals? Nanoing? Let me know if you have a particular goal for July, or just for the summer.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, Writer's Journey

Broken Mirror, Book Three Tales of the Black Court, RELEASED!

Fantastic Friday

a blog for paranormal fantasy romance lovers

If you’ve been waiting to find out what happened to Cassie, it’s time! BROKEN MIRROR released today in ebook form on Kobo, ibooks, Barnes and Noble, and of course, Amazon.

I’ll be putting it up on All Romance Ebooks over the weekend, and I’m busy proofing the print version, so never fear, print is near!

Broken Mirror cover art by Viola Estrella

Broken Mirror is released!

Squee!

I’m so excited to have this book finally out. It’s taken longer than I thought, but I persevered and it’s here. And one of the best things for me about this fantasy romance is the ending. I don’t want to give spoilers, but I love the ending of this book. When I wrote THE DARK HUNTSMAN I thought there would only be three books in this series. But I’ve figured out that I’m going to write two more! That’s good news for you and good news for me.

Meet Cassie, my last MacElvy cousin

I love all the MacElvy’s but for those of you who love spunky heroines, Cassie is stellar! You can get a really good idea of her character in her backstory novella THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR, A Fantasy Tale of the Black Court. Or you can just read BROKEN MIRROR and find out how terrific she is. I love what happens to Cassie in this book because unlike my other two books, Cassie is already a strong person. She’s had to be. She’s a mirror, a psychic, and dealing with having the Goddess hijack her body and use her to give out premonitions is a scary thing. It comes with migraines and a loss off control and somehow the messages are not always received like they should be by certain family members.

Cassie’s gift has kept her and her immediate family alive—so far—but that’s put to the test when she meets her match at the end of PRINCE BY BLOOD AND BONE. If you haven’t read that one, I won’t spoil it for you, but FYI, it’s a cliffhanger and you’ll want to jump right into BROKEN MIRROR afterwards. I didn’t mean for it to be such a cliffhanger, but sometimes when you write fantasy, things happen. The romance is all good and of course Bryanna and Kian find their HEA, so it’s satisfying, but I know fans wanted Cassie’s story. So here it is!

Bosco, bad boy hero

I admit it. I love the bad boys and Bosco is one of them. He’s had a rough background and his sister is a prisoner of the White Queen, so he has some excuse. But it doesn’t change the fact that he is determined to rescue his sister, Siobhan (pronouched Sh-Vaan), and if Cassie is in his way, that’s too bad. He has to think of Siobhan first.

Or does he?

Cassie may be the means to an end for Bosco, but spending time with her he’s intrigued by her spirit and how she copes with how her fate has been twisted by the Black Queen of the Fae. As the puzzle of Cassie is revealed, and Bosco and Cassie’s fates are entwined together, he finds himself struggling more and more with his dilemma. Rescue his sister? Or save Cassie. And of course, falling in love is going to ruin all of his plans.

Broken Mirror, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court

Book three Tales of the Black Court

A false princess, the court trickster, and a magic spell, woven together with a frog prince twist.

Cassie MacElvy believes she’s a fae princess, but her life of pretty gowns and constant parties is an illusion. Trapped in a twisted spell, Cassie uses her psychic Gift to help the Black Queen hunt down the rebel Prince Kian and his human wife, never knowing she’s hunting her own sister. But when a handsome blackeyed fae kisses her, the fairy tale begins to crumble, and she tumbles down into a confused rabbit hole of memories and magic. 

Bosco is the court’s fool and a womanizer, but secretly he’s a spy, looking for a missing human psychic. All he has to do is find her and hand her over to his mysterious employer, and he’ll finally have enough power to complete a quest he started nearly a hundred years ago. When he runs into a beautiful fae princess who shouldn’t exist, he knows something is very wrong in the Queen’s court. But lovely Cassie might be the only person who can help him achieve his quest, and Bosco decides he will root out all of Cassie’s secrets, even if it means losing her trust.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in book three of her fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court

Amazon http://amzn.com/B00VQWZC0Y

AllRomance Ebooks

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broken-mirror-jessica-aspen/1122053350?ean=2940152205114

Ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1001430294

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/broken-mirror-1

Add to Goodreads Shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25695636-broken-mirror-a-fantasy-romance-of-the-black-court

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under Broken Mirror, fairy tales, Fantastic Fridays, Tales of the Black Court

CD Hersh and Son of the Moonless Night

Fantastic Fridays

a blog for the paranormal romance lover

SON OF A MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825It’s here! Son of the Moonless Night, a paranormal romance suspense by writing team, CD Hersh, has been released! Join me today in welcoming CD Hersh and find out more about their Turning Stone Chronicles and how they write as a team.

AUTHOR’S PERSONAL SPECIFICS:

  • Tell us a little about yourself and your book. We are a husband and wife writing team who have been married for 45 years. We met in high school, got married in college, started writing plays and dramas for our church about 18 years ago, and paranormal romance about 8 years ago. We like to travel, go to movies, and just hang out together.

The Son of the Moonless Night is the third book in The Turning Stone Chronicles series. Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

This book continues Owen Jordan Riley’s story, whom you met in book two, Blood Brothers, a year after the loss of his best friend whom he thinks was killed by Rhys Temple. This book also continues with Alexi’s and Rhys’ story to become the long awaited bringers of peace to the Turning Stone Society.

  • Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer? We would have to say that we have family who are cheerleaders. They are always asking when the next book of the series is coming out and what is it going to be about.
  • What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing? Disneyland!
  • Give two random thoughts, quotes, or surprising tidbits about yourself, something that might surprise your readers. Hummmmmmmmmmmmm. A quote Donald likes is “Don’t take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway.” Oh, Catherine cut a record when she was a teenager. She also made a recording recently at “The Grand Old Opry” at Ryman Auditorium.
  • Tell us the story behind your pen name? Our pen name came about after a lot of research to be sure it would stand out. Ultimately, we decided to just use our initials. The “C” stands for Catherine, and the “D” stands for Donald. Hersh is a shortened version of our real name that Donald always got called when he was younger when someone wanted to get a rise from him. He hated it, but enjoys it now. Catherine just said, “You never told me that before!” LOL

WRITING BACKGROUND & THOUGHTS:

  • Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work. We are plantsers. We plot heavily but allow room for the muse and characters to lead us. Together we lay out each character’s story arc. One of the things Donald always looks for is having two plot lines, one major the other minor, but woven together. We usually have the chapters and scenes plotted by character. Catherine will often apply the hero’s journey to the story as well. Once the plotting is accomplished, Catherine sits down and fleshes out the story. Then Donald critiques each line after Catherine has it on paper. Then together we do line-by-line edits adding any missing elements before showing it to anyone.
  • Come on, dish…is there anything unusual about your writing habits? We work together and apart. Then together when doing the final version. Also, what’s said in the writing office stays in the writing office, because we can get kind of heated.
  • Do you get writer’s block and if so how do you get past it? Not really. If she’s not ready to write, Catherine gets writers avoidance and will do things like clean the toilets.

GENERAL WRITING INFORMATION:

  • Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you? As C.D. Hersh we never got a rejection on the series. It was snapped up the first time out to an editor. Catherine went through all the rejections working as a solo journalist and author. You deal with rejection by just going forward. Whether or not someone likes a book is subjective. Once you realize that, and you know that you have a good grasp of the basics, it’s just a matter of trying until you succeed.
  • Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises? Not really, unless there is a contract deadline. Then Catherine gets antsy to get it done even if there are six months left. As for juggling the other stuff, Donald’s retirement has made things easier. For life’s surprises, well, that’s what a laptop is for. We finished book two, Blood Brothers, as we supported Catherine’s best friend dealing with her mother’s hospitalization and death.

 

BOOK SPECIFICS

Title – Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, book three

Genre – Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense Romance

ASIN: B00XK3E172

Length – 316 pages

Publisher – Soul Mate Publishing

Buy Link – http://amzn.com/B00XK3E172

Heat Level – Sensual

Release Date: May 27th, 2015

 

  • What’s unique about this particular book? The shifters are unique because they are not werewolves and they can shifter into multiple human forms.
  • Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book? Yes, this is book three of what is currently planned as a six book series.
  • What are you releasing next, and when? The title for book four is The Mercenary and the Shifters, due to be released late this year.

BOOK BLURB

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

BIO

c d herschPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first three books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon.

Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

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Filed under Fantastic Fridays, guest post, romantic suspense

Monday Craziness! And I’m Finally Finished With the Book!

Whimsical Wednesdays

a check in blog for you curious cats

I’ve been AWOL. Between my incredible vacation to Jamaica and finishing up edits on the third book in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT fantasy romance series, BROKEN MIRROR, I gave up on trying to keep up with the blog. But I finally finished the book! WOOT!

Yes, that’s right. I was reading romance on the beach and spending one on one time with my sweetie. It took 14 hours to travel there, and another 14 hours to travel back, door-to-door, and it was worth every minute. Love the ocean. Love the atmosphere. And I love my sweetie!

Okay, back to reality.

We came back to rain, rain, rain. Grass that is out of control. And a sick kid, who promptly infected my husband. I’ve been holding it off until my edits are done. That’s a skill that women all over the world have, the ability to hold off the illness while the world falls apart. It doesn’t mean you don’t get sick, it just means you can be the last one to get it, after you’ve worn yourself out taking care of everyone else’s needs.

Crazy Week! And another Crazy Week! And then a third Crazy Week!

Why is it when you go on vacation, everything blows up so that when you get home you have to work three times as hard as normal? I thought work was going to be taken care of while I was gone, but it wasn’t, so I arrived home after traveling on Saturday (14 hours people) to work a nearly ten hour day on Monday. And the work still wasn’t done.

Plus, I had set aside this time to finish BROKEN MIRROR. It’s tough to write romance with a coughing sick child on the couch and work falling apart. But I kept at it. Okay, I sat too much with the child sipping tea and watching re-runs of Murder She Wrote and Midsommer Murders, because that’s how we roll.

And it lasted into the next week, and the next!

By golly, work still wasn’t taken care of by the following week. Parts didn’t arrive. Customers did. It was crazy! The child got better and the husband got sick. And I still had to edit. Add in driving for hours to help D2 pack up her dorm room and a flat tire in the rain during rush hour traffic. And another five hour trip the next day to pick up our pastured hog. (Well worth it as I cook my super delicious bacon and ham steaks.)

And I was still editing!

But now the hog is in the freezer. The eldest child is ensconced in the basement with all her gear. The husband is still sick, but back at work. And the book is put to bed.

So now it’s time for me to get sick, and boy can I feel it creeping in. I have that sore tickle in my throat, and I woke up with my lungs feeling yucky. And I know this is just the begining because I’ve watched them drop one-by-one. So, I hope to be blogging away next week, but I may be on my sick-bed watching Columbo and drinking Earl Grey. Don’t wait up!

Broken Mirror cover art by Viola EstrellaBROKEN MIRROR has been sent off to the copy editor. It will come out on time on June 18th, but you can order it now using Amazon’s pre-order function.

I’m super excited to test out pre-order, but I don’t know if I’ll ever try it again. Worrying about hitting the deadline has made me crazy. And truthfully, I would have wanted one more week on the book.

But then again, all authors want just one more week, don’t they?

It’s just that crunch time hit right after my vacation when my day job was super busy and everyone in the house was getting sick. I also have so many family obligations and social activities this month, that I’m really looking forward to summer and not having things to do. Crazy, but true.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under About the Author, Broken Mirror, Tales of the Black Court, Whimsical Wednesdays

Son of the Moonless Night Cover Reveal From Fab Writing Team CD Hersh

Fantastic Fridays

a blog for new reads

I’m super excited to share with you the new cover for Son of the Moonless Night from the amazing writing duo, CD Hersh. CD stands for Catherine and Donald and they write a terrific series of paranormal suspense romance books,The Turning Stone Chronicles. Check out the new cover and then check out the excerpt below. 

SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825

Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

 

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

 

Excerpt:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

 

Amazon buy links:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI

paper back: http://amzn.com/1619353504

 

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

 

The Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

eBook coming soon

 

Bio:

c d herschPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

 

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first two books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. The third book in the series Son of the Moonless Night is to be released mid-May by Soul Mate Publishing.

 

Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/blog-2/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

 

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Filed under Fantastic Fridays, Suspense

Spring Into Writing

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing

It’s spring and romance is in the air. Well, maybe not when it’s snowing, which it does in April in Colorado. Wet, heavy, spring snow. We love it and hate it. It’s cold and icy and weighs a ton. But it also provides moisture to sustain us through a dry year. March is Colorado’s snowiest month and April our wettest. And just like I have to deal with slogging through the heavy snow to find the spring flowers, when I write I have to slog through the heavy writing to get to the finished manuscript.

Romance should be easy.

It should just flow from my fingers, and sometimes it does. Sometimes it’s like shoveling spring snow and I sit at my desk looking outside thinking, that’s what I should be doing. But I don’t. Instead of doing the heavy lifting of writing romance, I scoot over to Facebook and see what my friends are up to. Or I write a blog. Blogs are easier for me than plotting fantasy and suspense twists.

Why is that? Why is it that, even though I love writing romance. Even though I love twisting the fairy tales and bogging down my heroines in complex plots, why is it I find every excuse in the book not to write?

Good question. And when you find the answer, let me know. I do answer my comments. (As long as their not spam about shoes, or where I can find the latest political information and male enhancement devices.) I really have no idea. I do know that I love what I do.

How do I know that I love what I do?

Because even though it can be torture to sit at that black computer screen. Even though I have to sometimes put aside the joys of social media and treat myself like a teenager who only wants to play games and surf the internet. Even though sometimes I struggle with putting those hot sexy scenes down on the page…

I don’t want to do anything else.

So, I’ll sign off now. And if you don’t see many blog posts from me. Or you think I’m not on social media enough, don’t tempt me! I’m sitting down and writing what you and I both want. The next book. And the next. And maybe, just maybe, the one after that.

Author Bio:

jessica aspen, authorJessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your FREE book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

 

 

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Camp NaNoWrimo Check In -or -How to Write Two Books At Once

 

Moonday Mania

a blog for the goal challenged in all of us

Ar you Nanoing this April with Camp Nano? I am. I’m participating in Camp NaNoWrimo by writing my fourth sexy shifter romance. And not only does this one have bear shifters and a twisted fairy tale, but I’m doing something cool with it. I’m actually splitting the fairy tale romance into two books. How do you do that? Let me explain.

Two books, but one fairy tale means that there will be two romances, each participating in the same fairy tale retelling.

This fairy tale has two sisters, so I could have written a longer romance with one main couple and a sub-plot with the other sister, but that’s not what I’m doing. Instead I’m writing two novellas each with it’s own heroine, hero, and romance plot, but since they share the fairy tale, they run concurrently!

What fairy tale is it?

I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I’ll give you some hints. It has two sisters and a bear shifter. I’ve changed it to have two bear shifters. Not only so could we have two hunky men, but when I wrote the Goldilocks story it had three bears, but only one got a happy ending. Sad. We couldn’t leave them single for too long, could we? No way! Now each of the guys will be settled down with their own happily ever after.

So, how do you write two books at once?

Well, you really don’t. What I’ve done is loosely plot the two books, but as I write the first one I’m changing and adding to the plot structure of the second one. They’ll fit together nicely this way. The plan is to write the rough draft of romance one, and then let it sit while I write the rough draft of romance two. This way I can change the second one to fit the first one, and vice-versa. Neat huh?

Putting it all together.

When both rough drafts are finished I’ll go back to book one and polish it’s draft and then I’ll do book two. This way I should be able to catch errors between the plots. My goal is to send them to the editor at the same time so that she’ll be able to do the same thing-go back and forth between the books as necessary.

Where did I get my inspiration for writing two books that have intertwining plots?Twin of Fire

Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux

While I’m sure other people have done this, my inspiration is Jude Deveraux’s books, TWIN OF FIRE,  and TWIN OF ICE. I read them years ago and they are some of my favorites.

I loved the way the twins switched places and ended up in each other’s plots trying to fool each other’s heroes and I’ve always remembered how clever she was to have thought of the idea. When I decided to twist a fairy tale with two sisters, I definitely wanted to try it.

And no, mine aren’t twins, so no switching. I thought about it, but if you want to read that plot twist you’ll have to read the original mistress of romance, Jude Deveraux.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your FREE book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

 

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Filed under fairy tales, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, romance, writing organization