Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!

Don't you sometimes feel like you're in the middle of Alice's wonderland, fighting to find your way to sanity?

I think sometimes we dig our own hole. You know, that deep, dark crevice that grows each time we take on a new project when we haven't finished the half gillion we already have on our plates. Ugh. So - here's to time management. I just have to remember to follow the prescribed regiment. Maybe I'd have better luck following the Cheshire cat.

Okay, I think I'm venting a tad, so - slap, slap. No more whining or venting. I've made my bed and I shall sleep in it and wake from it, eventually. I can't wait until school ends and I have more time to add more things to my plate.

Oh, I do have some great news though. A Noble Sacrifice is now in print! Whoop! And Kaitlin's Silver Lining and Once Jilted have gotten some awesome reviews. Gotta love that. Make the craziness all worthwhile. Check out the reviews by going to my website: www.ciaragold.com

Friday, April 25, 2008

So it's not the normal romance...



For the past eight months, I've been trying to get my historical, Spanish Eyes in front of agents or the big publishers. This is one very sensual, and adventurous story. Not only is my hero, Anton, one HOT man, but he's sexy as hell. And...he could be a stunt double for Antonio Banderas in his younger years. heehee So why shouldn't the agents or big publishers want it?

Well...I was thinking last night about mailing more queries to agents since I haven't heard anything for about four months now. But then it hit me. Why aren't they liking this story? Lots of adventure, lots of sexual tension (you know I love to write that!) and there's a mean, dangerous bad guy in this story... It has all the elements. It's one of my best written, if I have to say so myself. But then I realized last night that this story takes place on two continents. The first half of the book is in New York and sailing on a ship. The second half of the book takes place in Spain. Shoot, I'm adding a LOT of scenery.

Yet, I can't think of one historical from Harlequin, or from Kensington, or from Avon (or the others) like this. Usually the story takes place in one town, city, state...country. So is this the reason agents aren't biting? Because there is no 'fit' for this story?

Once again, I've written out of the formula. However, it's what publishers are asking for. It's new and fresh. But apparently, they don't like this kind of fresh? I don't know. Just confuses me sometimes.

Anyway, here is the blurb to the story. Tell me if you think it's marketable...

In a world when women must fight for every right, suffragette Rebecca Wakefield is determined to become a Pinkerton Detective. Her plan? Capturing the notorious thief, Anton Carerra; a man known as much for his womanizing as he is for his brilliant criminal mind.

Lady’s man, Anton Carrera is smitten with Rebecca from the very beginning. He wants nothing more than to seduce the stiff Miss Wakefield, until he learns she is investigating him for a crime he didn’t commit. She is innocent and na├»ve; convinced he is the villain her superiors have painted him. But her over-zealous determination places both of them in danger and he is forced to play the honorable rogue.

Sweeping her away to Padre Island off the coast of Spain seemed like a clever idea at the time. But how can he protect them both from his own uncle’s murderous games when Anton’s heart falls victim to a woman as full of independence as she is desire…

~Phyllis~

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Junkie?

I have decided to try to take a little break from writing. I need to take a break. I want to take a break. I can’t.

Let’s recap what I’ve got going this year:

My alter ego had a release in January. I wrote two books, Beyond Death and Heaven’s Torment, and submitted them—as my alter-ego. Beyond Death was picked up and I have already gotten two rounds of edits on it and sent them back. This book is a fall release. October actually, well as far as I know it is. Since I only submitted Heaven’s Torment this week I’m sure I won’t hear anything on it for a while. Keeping my fingers crossed, nerves jangled, etc.

As myself, I have a book due to release in July—the first Elementals book, Tides of Maryna’s Love. I’m still waiting on edits for that one, but I have no doubt they’ll be here soon. I hope so since its almost May!.

Then I have Callye’s Justice coming in print in August.

After that is Dragon’s Angel, coming in October.

Plus, I have to write the final book in the Gateway Guardians series. Oh! Can’t forget my other two girls, Ember and Tara.

It’s only April and already I have gotten so much accomplished. I’m proud of myself. Is that wrong? Is it vain to be proud of myself? I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m extremely OCD. One of the many things I’m obsessive about is my writing. I’ve got this huge fear, this terrible fear, this all consuming fear: I’m scared to be away from the computer. I’m afraid I’ll miss an important email, or instant message. I’m equally terrified that if I’m not writing, blogging, or promoting I’ll be forgotten. My dream will come crashing down around me and I’ll never be able to pick it up again. How’s that for an admission?

Hi, my name is Doni and I’m a computer addict. Not necessarily an internet junkie, but I’m dang close. There are those what if’s hanging over my head. What if I loose momentum and I can’t get it back? What if I take that break and all my ideas disappear. What if my muse decides to head south and never comes back?

I’m going to try and break this cycle now. Today. I’m going to get off the computer and go do my cleaning, maybe even start some bread. How about a cake? Maybe some cookies…Huh.

Must…leave…computer…must…leave…computer…

D…

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Both Westerns get great first reviews!

Hey all, check out Loves Western Romances. Phyllis and I are their featured authors for May! Whoop!

And to top that, I just recieved two wonderful reviews. Kaitlin's Silver Lining received 4.5 books from Long and Short Reviews. Jasmine wrote: "I could not stop reading this story. Kaitlin’s independent streak and Bryce’s protective streak clash so well and powerfully that the story was entertaining and exciting to read. Reading Kaitlin’s story made me truly thankful that there were women in history who were willing to fight for women despite the odds stacked against them. Another reason that I really enjoyed this novel is due to the fact that it had everything in it. Some stories are very philosophical and its aim is to show the good or the bad in that particular ideal. Other stories have just the romance or the mystery or a combination of the both. However, this novel had all three. The principles of the suffragist movements, the mystery of the threatening letters to Kaitlin and the romance brewing between the two main characters all worked together to create a very well-rounded story." Read the full review here.

Once Jilted got 4.5 hearts from the Romance Studio. Brenda Talley wrote: "The escapades of this strong-minded woman were so intricately written it was impossible to not love Shauna and hope for love and happiness to find her. Her counterpart was an Irishman, Kane McKenna, whose mannerisms made him a stand-out, perfect compliment for Shauna. He obviously was well mannered and hated to be rude and ugly but he was challenged in true Gold style with more than most men could possibly handle.

This book was an emotional one for me. I have to admit that I laughed out loud, but I also shed several tears. And the ending—not what I was expecting. I recommend that you read this book. It is well worth your time and you will certainly be glad you took the time. Expect the unexpected, and see for yourself what a Ciara Gold book is like. You will not be disappointed." Check out the rest of the review here.

I want to thank both reviewers for taking the time to write such indepth reviews. Whether the author agrees with a review or not, reviewers are a welcome addition to the publishing process. Without their opinions, authors would have a more difficult time spreading the word about their work. So - kudos to all reviewers.

Stop in and say hello!

Hey everyone! Well the boys now have their own blog. I hope you'll stop in and say hello to Justice, Chase, Mickey and Bobby. This blog will give you a little deeper insight to who they are and how they work. So please stop by http://gatewayguardiansunit.blogspot.com/ and say hello!

Have a great one!
Donica

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Have you seen DEA on Spike TV?


When this series first premiered, I was so excited. It’s no secret that my favorite series is my Gateway Guardians books. My team, my boys, are so uppermost in my heart.

If you haven’t seen this program then you should it’s a lot like cops. A crew follows a DEA unit out of Detroit around on some of their busts and things. I went into watching this series with mixed emotions.

I was excited because I could finally see first hand what a take down looked like—better than doing something and asking the local group to give me a ride along---RIIIIGGGGHHHT we know that would happen, NOT. And I do have a couple of contacts at the DEA who have been absolutely wonderful about taking time from their busy lives to answer questions, but it’s not quite the same, you know?

I also was worried. I know, it’s not my place to worry. The DOJ would screen this stuff closely before it was allowed released for public view. Still, they show faces, they give names—but several agents are masked from view—That job is so dangerous anyway it’s almost like they are daring the idiot drug dealers to come at them.

From the very first episode I was hooked. The group was EXACTLY how I envisioned my guys to be. The “brotherhood”, the sense of humor, the mesh of personalities that worked to portray exactly what I always thought it would be like.

When I write a character I have specific image in mind. I can see their picture clearly but sometimes it helps to have a picture of a person who is “close” so I hunt actors websites and movie stills trying to find as close to my ideal as possible. Most authors I know will tell you that this is something they do. With Mickey I was having a terrible time. They wouldn’t be the right height, the right build, there would just always be something “wrong”

Then this agent walked into the frame and my heart stopped. There he was. The living, breathing counterpart to exactly how I saw Mickey. I almost fell out my chair. He had the exact build. His hair is the same length and color. Those same eyes.

I joked with my mom that I should write him and ask him to send me a beefcake picture. For research purposes mind you. LOL I am tempted to name him here but I’ll restrain myself. Not that I actually believe anyone from the organization reads this blog, but on the slim chance they do I’d hate for them to go back and razz him about being my “ideal hunk hero”.

And if they are reading, I personally am proud of each and every one of you. I bet there are some days when you feel like your just trying to empty the ocean with a bucket, but I know you do make a difference.

Well I have to get back to Hawaii. I left Mickey and Terese on the side of volcano with the drug runners closing the distance.

Oh! By the way, if you haven’t watched this series and you can get Spike TV then check in on Saturday. They will show all the DEA episodes. Check it out and while you’re at it, see if you can guess which one is my Mickey!

Huggles,
Donica

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My horoscope for the day

As the dawn of another quiet and peaceful day appears, dear Pisces, you will be in the best disposition to observe and appreciate the lightness of things. Life can seem so beautiful some days. You will benefit from this state of mind, as you'll be able to meditate. But be careful not to start reminiscing about sad memories.

Hmmm, so that's the trick. Meditate. Yeah, well, I can't say that today was an easy day but I guess it was easier than most. Last night my son invited me to do stretches with him. He bought some month long exercize program so last night was stretch night. It did feel good. I'll have to do it more often. I've been trying to wrap my mind around an exercize routine, but alas, I'm not committed yet.

There's been a lot of discussion lately on my author's loop about back problems from sitting in front of the computer too long. With that in mind, I've been really trying to work on my posture and other habits that would be good for my back. I saw a really neat gadget on the TV that helps stretch your back muscles in a healthy way. Truly, I think I just need to exercize daily. Why is it so hard?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Late as Usual

It's 10:30 at night and I'm just now posting on this blog. Whaaa. Why? Because I'm multi-tasking. I think you have to multi-task in this business or lose your sanity. Or maybe multi-tasking leads to insanity. As I'm rambling, you probably already think I'm there. LOL.

February through the end of April are usually so busy for me I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. As you all know, I teach art, so my students and I are involved in a huge contest in February. From that one contest, I have 13 students going to state! March is Art Youth Month so it's riddled with all sorts of activities including a show at the local mall and an art show for art teachers at the local gallery. Shows and contest require that we mat a lot of work. I matted 70+ pieces for contest and 5 for the art show. April is state so my students and I are preparing for our trip out of town this weekend. April is also deadline month for scholarships and other contests. And the first weekend in May is our big district show for which I have to mat about 40 more pieces of art. The week after that, AP portfolios are due and with 12 taking the test this year, I have help them select 5 pieces each to be submitted. Hmmm, there's another 60 to mat. Have I started matting yet? Well, of course not. It will all be done last minute as usual. Ugh.

This is one of the reasons why my writing comes to a screeching halt in March. I'm so overwhelmed by my other job, that my muse has a hard time focusing. I piddle at writing but that's about it. Once AP porfolios are mailed, I can relax and start writing in earnest. I can't wait!

Friday, April 04, 2008

New Covers!!




I'm so excited! It's like Christmas all over again. But better. I have TWO new covers to show off. My first one is for my newly contracted story, The Man Hunt, which will be published by The Wild Rose Press.



Unwilling to let another man control her life, Dr. Jordan Reed hires someone to portray her new love interest to satisfy her nagging stepmother. Part of the bargain is that he also convince her ex-boyfriend that she has happily moved on. Unfortunately, it’s hard to prove when Brock Hamill blames Jordan for his sister’s suicide and embarks on a mission to destroy her psychiatric credibility. Acting the part of a patient, his mission is deterred by the doctor’s hot body and giving heart, and when he discovers her life 's in jeopardy, he’s willing to reveal his true identity to save her. Will Jordan forgive his deceit when she learns the truth?


My next cover is for my historical, Pretend I'm Yours, which was released almost one year ago. My publisher wanted a catchier cover...something sexier, which hopefully will let readers know how sexy my story really is... What do you think? Does this cover work? YUMMY!!!




Lies brought Mercedes Maxwell a breath away from her heart’s true desire. Could they keep her from happiness?

A Woman on a Mission

Englishwoman Mercedes Maxwell is forced by her identical twin’s medical circumstances to America. Mercedes will not rest until her brother-in-law accepts his financial responsibility—even if it means impersonating her own sister.

A Man With a Secret

William Braxton’s selfish wife could end his life with one word regarding his actions against Mother England. But William and Mercedes discover each may have been mistaken about the other. William is discovering this woman is nothing like his bride, and instead everything he’d hoped for.



~~Phyllis~~

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Man oh Man What a Week


I’ve gotten this bug. It won’t leave me alone but it’s really not that bad I guess. See I got bit by the spring cleaning bug. For this past week I’ve been going through the house throwing things away, dusting, sweeping, mopping, you know, the usual activities. We’ve been remodeling so its been a true chore. Drywall scraps and dust. Tools that are out of place and scattered across my hall. Stuff that has been collecting dust and just sitting around. Clothes that were out groan.

I didn’t continue the rampage yesterday as my son and his wife brought their little one over for me to babysit. The apple of my eye. The angel I adore who has me completely wrapped. The little darling waiting until Mommy and Daddy were outside in their car then proceeded to split my head wide open with that eye bleeding wail that only an infant can produce.

My dog, who has never seen a baby, or even a small child before, became extremely upset. He growled every time she cried. So this is how the game went: Lyxie-cry, Teddy growl, Lyxie stop crying. Lyxie cry, Teddy growl, Lyxie stop crying. This game continued for about 10-15 minutes when Lyxie didn’t want to play any more. Teddy growled and growled still she wouldn’t stop.

This angel of my life HATES to sleep. She will scream and scream to avoid sleeping. Finally I did what I did with my own children. I lay her in the swing then I left the room. I turned on the stereo softly and I waited for a time. She finally stopped and when I went back into the room she was smiling, cooing, gurgling, and generally being a real doll. This lasted for all of five minutes. When the screaming began again.

I grabbed her bottle a.k.a. the shut up juice (my son’s nickname for it). It failed miserably. So I held her, rocked her, cuddled her. Finally, finally, I got her to sleep. Just a few minutes after the phone rang—no more sleep for baby. I took the call then I calmed her down again. She went back to sleep, deep enough that I could put her back into the swing and I went about my business. Teddy went to barking and Lyxie began screaming again. This time it was mommy and daddy coming to get her. So from 9:15 until 1:00 I had the little screaming punkin’ puss.

And yes, I can’t WAIT to do it again! There’s just something magical about having a baby in the house. The kids were supposed to move in with us, but they are happy where they are, and my parents are happy to have her…er I mean them…LOL

Now for the rest of the week and weekend it’s back to thorough strip down and cleaning the house. The carpet steamer is all primed to go, the vacuum is standing by for the next room.

Guess I better go and get to it!
Huggles!
Donica


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Congrats to Becka and I

Just got through attending the Champagne Books Awards ceremony. Wow, what a party. Good company, good music, lots to drink and GREAT news! Becka won best selling author of the year and I won author of the year. On top of that, we were both inducted into the 500 club as we're the first two Champagne authors to have a single title sell over 500 copies. That's amazing.



Becka was honored with author of the year last year, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about the criteria the publisher uses. Of course they looked at sells and the ability to promote, but they also looked at things like getting along with the editorial staff and willingness to help the other authors in the group. To me that's a given. Someone once said that Romance was one of the few industries in which employees go out of their way to help the competition succeed. And isn't that true for the most part. Because when one author succeeds, others usually reap the benefits. How? Perhaps that author places a link from her site to her fellow authors or maybe she will give an author quote for the other author's new release. There are tons of ways we help others succeed. As Covey would say of the 7 Habits for successful folks, it's a win-win situation.



When you think about it, blogging is one way we all help each other. We connect, we post our trials and successes and we lend advice. A newbie would flounder without all of the wonderful tips given on websites, through loop chats and on blogs. To all the wonderful authors that nurture others, kudos. You guys rock.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

OOPS!

Was supposed to blog yesterday and I got so busy I just kind of forgot. Am I horrible or what? Okay I'm horrible, but with good reason. DH is finally gone back to work--thank you GOD--and he's out of my hair. Now I can try and catch up on everything that was shoved aside--writing, emails, blogs, cleaning, laundry, posts, newsletters, remodel and renovation tools. I was going to slowly go into getting everything done then the kids call.

It put me into panic mode. They want to bring the baby over for me to babysit--tomorrow. I of course said yes. I can't refuse that little angel face anything. Then I went OMG! I've got to mega clean. Renovation dust and tools to be picked up. Dog hair to vacuum, plus I have to locate and hide all the dog toys--the little scraggly rat went into fits because he was ignored during my hubby's illness. So he pouted and went into I'll do what ever it takes for attention mode. I'm still finding peices of Mr. Cheeky--his at-one-time-stuffed-squeaky monkey.

And there's the regular chores that were ignored, the dusting, mopping, sweeping--er reverse that, sweeping then mopping, vacumming, all to be done. Toilets, laundry...I need a maid!!!!!!!
Or the special talent of twitching my nose and the house being cleaned all on its own...Nice dream-huh?

Okay now that I've posted I need to get back into the housecleaning frenzy. Have a great week!
Huggles,
Donica