Guest Post

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Book launch day

Today is launch day for my eBook, DEADLY STAR. Available on Amazon,, iTunes, Google, Sony and other platforms. The POD is scheduled for later in the year.
      For me, writing this story, writing any story for that matter, is all about editing and change—once you get through the concept and research stage, of course. Sometimes, I see a "need" to change a character's name, a story thread, a sentence structure, or, as is true for Deadly Star, the whole genre. 
Deadly Star didn't start off as a romance. Over the years' long course of writing and editing the manuscript, one of my critique partners thought the story might be marketed as an action/adventure ... another said it was a woman-in-peril ... a third said it's a political thriller. Someone even floated the idea that it was sci fi (it isn't).
Hoping for some critiques beyond my writer's group, I recklessly entered excerpts of the manuscript into two romance contests. The judges in each though the concept and the story were good, except it needed a happily ever after ending. (One judge wrote on her evaluation sheet that she felt like throwing the pages against the wall when she got to the end! That forced me to take another long look at what I had written. Yep, there was a good love story there. Yep, it could, indeed, work as a romance novel if I made a change, or three, or four within the manuscript and, of course, changed the ending.
I reworked it and submitted it to Crimson Romance. They offered me a contract about three weeks after I first submitted my e-query and synopsis, and I knew I'd stumbled (been pushed) into the correct genre.
Today's romance fans, I think, like to see their heroines as more life-like and a little flawed, someone they can relate to and also, perhaps, admire from afar. On the other hand, they still seem to expect their heroes to be nigh-unto perfect.
Deadly Star is not about a perfectly imperfect woman or a perfectly perfect man. It's about a vaguely dysfunctional couple who, when sharing an imminent danger, find common ground in their love for each other. 
Mirabel Campbell, the protagonist, is a little flawed—she's no longer a svelte twenty-something, no longer gaga in love with a husband, hasn't been in a real relationship for a long time, and is a bit of a nerd. But she's also sassy, clever, loyal, and determined. 
Robert O'Sullivan, known to everyone as Sully, is an exciting hero, a ruggedly handsome CIA agent assigned to protect Mirabel. On the flip side, he's a bit of a bad boy, a controller, and a liar.
The connection between these two disparate people  share in the beginning of Deadly Star is Mirabel's accidental sighting of a secret government satellite and the fact that they were once married ... to each other.
In Deadly Star, Mirabel and Sully rediscover their love in the midst of a story about awesome 21st Century technology and international political gangsterism—where a sociopath's money can build a bioweapon, buy a friend's loyalty, and hire an assassin.
I was amazed when Mother Nature recently gave the book a promo. The reality of the asteroid flyby and the meteor strike in Russia that no one saw coming seem to make a Deadly Star even more possible.
I hope readers find the story as enjoyable and intriguing to read as I did to write.
Now, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same. 

PS:  Maybe it picked up a cue from me changing my mind, but now I have to figure out why this blog has decided to change its own background. Sorry about that

Monday, February 11, 2013

Link to DEADLY STAR new release page

Nubbin and the Samurai
cj sez:  I forgot to add the URL below to my post yesterday ... it's the Upcoming Release information page at the Crimson Romance website.

Check it out.

It's got some telling information about me.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.


The picture is of a feral cat I call "Nubbin." She likes to sit with the samurai protecting her back, especially after we trapped her and had her spayed.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

DEADLY STAR excerpt.2

cj sez:  I'm in the middle of a deep learning curve on how to market DEADLY STAR. The publisher, Crimson Romance, is doing a lot already, but I need to hold up my end. So far, it's taken me two days to create a bookmark, and I'm waiting to hear from the printer if I got the format right this time. Sigh. After the panel discussion at Carolyn Haines' Daddy's Girls conference, there'll be a book signing, and since eBooks are notoriously difficult to sign (ha!), I think the bookmark will work nicely.

When I'm sure the bookmark is done correctly, I'll create a two-sided business card (whoopie). Next comes the press release, and maybe an ad in some publication because press releases don't always get published in time, or even published at all if the writer is new to the scene. I have a presence on Facebook and Goodreads, and I'm sending out notes to writing groups, family, friends, etc., etc. I'm sure there's more I'll be finding out.

Exciting stuff—I love learning new things, even if it is soooo time-consuming. It also takes me way out of my comfort zone, but I'll try to keep on keeping on. You try to do the same.

Now, here's another excerpt from the book (Protagonist Mirabel Campbell is talking with Sheriff Evan Thompson who says...)

      “If a company is racing to develop a new product before someone else does, they can get pretty cutthroat. Even hire industrial spies. You might be on to something.”
      She shook her head. “The genome project was set up as a multinational venture just for that reason. To make the research findings available to everyone. The idea was to level the playing field, and then there’d be no reason for profit-incentive spies.”
      “Wouldn’t keep someone from trying to get a step ahead, would it? There’s money in being the first to reach the markets and where there’s money, there’s incentive.”
      Scientists are too focused on their work, she thought. Too anal. But in her heart she knew there were some who might do anything to get ahead. Not for the money but for the prestige of being first. “I’d already sent my written report to the convention center. That was the reason for this quick weekend trip. Give my presentation, stop by an astronomers’ conference, then get in some R&R.”
      “Okay, why are you so sure that Dan didn’t have his fingers into something?”
      “If he’d been doing drug flights or smuggling or doing whatever pays beaucoup bucks, why would he still owe a ton of money to people?”
      “You just made my case. Drug flights pay big bucks. Maybe he needed cash to pay off the plane. That’d be a pretty good excuse for slipping over to the dark side. Or maybe his old pickup and loan were part of a cover story so no one would think he was into that stuff.”
      “You can’t believe that. Dan is as straight as they come.”
      His heavy shoulders lifted slightly then sagged again. “All right, then. Back to you. You domestic CIA by any chance?”
      “Are you serious? My idea of a grand adventure is trading my microscope for a telescope every once in a while so I can poke around the night skies with Ray. Until all this happened, my biggest excitement was a few days ago when I thought I spotted a new comet. I saw a bright spot and then I didn’t. Probably a blip in my contacts, but I was going to compare notes with other armchair astronomers in Vegas. So much for that idea.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DEADLY STAR is available for pre-order

Now, I've something more to celebrate!  DEADLY STAR is available on for pre-order in Kindle format.

I've been spending hours trying to put together a DEADLY STAR business card and rack card.  I'm fairly experienced at creating these things but doing it on-line in someone else's template has frustrated me. I'd get one of the sides done, then it would disappear if I tried to go back and adjust a font style or color. I can't tell you how many times I re-created the same image. I gave up last night about midnight. I'll go back at it tomorrow or the next day when I've had a chance to cool down.

On another front, Carolyn Haines invited me to participate in a "new authors panel" at her Daddy's Girls Weekend writers and readers conference in April. I'l be part of a Q and A with three other new Mobile authors. I'm looking forward to that...join us if you're able. You can check out the particulars at

Carolyn's latest book is THE DARKLING, written under her pseudonym of R.B. Chesterton. It's coming out in April.

I'm back at work on an as-yet unnamed thriller/romance. (I've changed the presumptive title three times already, so now it's XXX.) It's a completed manuscript, and I'm in one of many edit cycles. When I get this edit done, the next steps will be to have it beta read and another edit before I submit it anywhere. If I can get it done in a timely fashion, I'm thinking I'll try Crimson Romance again. They only have two options...yes or no...and neither one would hurt my feelings. (hah!)

I have another work-in-progress (five chapters in), and I'm excited about this one. It's a story about a newly minted private investigator who's set up shop in Mobile, Alabama. She's not only a new PI, she's a yankee new to the Gulf Coast. Lots of opportunity for conflict there's an off-screen murder.

Okay, back to the stories.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.