30 daysI thought I’d share with you one of the stories I’ve written for the 30 Days, 30 Stories Writing Challenge. It’s from a novella I am working on that is set in the same fictional Vermont town as Snowbound. Yes, Mia & Jake are in the novella. No, they are not the main characters. This one will focus on another couple, Asha & Nick. If you want to follow the rest of the stories, head over to my Facebook author page. At the end of the month, I’ll add a section here on the blog where you’ll be able to read all of the stories.

Story #8: Dance


Asha extended her left leg and then tested her pointe shoe. It was pliable enough now that she’d warmed it a bit. She rose up en pointe, keeping her upper body perfectly balanced and still, then raised her arms, imagining they were feathery wings as she moved across the floor.
Careful, she reminded herself. It’s been months since you’ve done this.
Yes, her muscles were a little stiff, but she could still do a perfect jeté and relevé. And to feel her body moving again without the pinching soreness or the ache of healing fractures, oh…what freedom. She tested her battements, moving from adagio to allegro and then drifting to the floor in the most graceful of bows.

“That was beautiful.”

She raised her head enough to see Mia Wilkinson standing in the door. She applauded as Asha stood and curtsied for her. “Just wanted to test the old gams, see if they could still do it.”

“You’ve still got it,” she said. “And you’re still so tiny.”

“No, I’m not.” Asha walked over to her, a little self-conscious at being caught out dancing. It was so silly. Dancing was her life. It had always been. She reached for her wrap sweater. “At least it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Asha shrugged on her sweater and then pressed the stop button on the stereo. She tied the stays on her sweater. The dance studio was chilly even with the old steam radiators hissing at full blast. She’d have to talk to Horace about it. The little girls she’d taught this morning were covered in goosebumps by the end of their ballet lesson.

“I still remember when you and I used to take lessons together with Madame Vivienne.” Mia grinned. “You were always so much better at it. Even then.”

“I practiced,” Asha reminded her old friend, “while you mooned over Owen Cudahy.”

“Well, yeah, you were in pursuit of dance, I was in pursuit of love.” Mia linked arms with Asha. “And now I’m in pursuit of lunch. Aunty Mo’s?”

Asha’s stomach growled in reply. She didn’t remember when she’d last eaten. Had she even had breakfast? “Aunty Mo’s—just like old times.”

 

webgoodreadsThe Christmas spirit must be getting to me–it is Third Advent, lights are twinkling in every window and Christmas isn’t too far off…I have this sudden urge to give away three signed paperbacks of Maybe Baby and I’m doing it through Goodreads.

Interested?

All you have to do is click here and enter the giveaway.

No trivia questions to answer, no scavenger hunt, just use the link and enter to win. Winners will be picked on 3 January. And why that date? Because it’s my birthday and, as far as I am concerned, it’s an international holiday. This giveaway is open to *everyone*! So no matter where you are in the world, you can enter and if you win you’ll receive your signed copy directly from me. 🙂

The giveaway starts today and ends on 3 January–so head over to Goodreads and give it a shot. You never know–you just might be one of the lucky winners!

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I am so excited to be able to be a part of the second annual Color of Love Blog Hop. As I writer of interracial/multicultural women’s fiction, it thrills me that so many people are beginning to discover the stories we tell and understand that love comes in many different colors–and not just what’s considered “mainstream”.

I first began writing IR/MC stories when I was in high school. Back then I wrote them for myself–in the late 1980s you were hard pressed to find many IR titles on the shelves of B.Dalton, Borders and Waldenbooks. The titles you found were bodice rippers about buxom blondes being kidnapped by Native American warriors or sheikhs and falling in love. But what about stories featuring nonwhite heroines falling in love with men from different racial or cultural backgrounds? Well, I never found any, so I started writing them myself and sharing them with my classmates.

webgoodreadsFlash forward to March 2014: I published my second IR/MC novel, Maybe Baby, which started off as a NaNoWriMo project. Maybe Baby‘s black heroine, Laney, is an expat American living in Stockholm, Sweden with her affluent Swedish boyfriend, Niklas. They’ve been together for a little over five years and she feels like something is missing from their relationship–she wants to start a family with him. But when Niklas announces that he had a vasectomy before he even met Laney, she realises she’ll never be able to have a family with him–at least, not the traditional way. So–at the advice of a friend, she goes to Copenhagen to check out an alternative fertility clinic where she’ll be able to meet potential sperm donors face-to-face. What Laney isn’t expecting is to make an instant connection with a handsome Danish furniture maker called Mads. And when that connection leads to them embarking on an affair, she’s forced to question everything about her life with Niklas…and if it’s the life she really wants to lead.

Purchase Links

 Bookbaby

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook

And now for the giveaway! 

Five great prizes are yours for the taking–

1st prize $50 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
2nd prize $25 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
3rd prize $15 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
4th prize $10 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks
5th prize $5 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.06.01

 Check out all the titles up for grabs and the list of all participating blogs here.

And now to the giveaway…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and thanks for joining us! 🙂

?????????????????????

I am so excited to be able to be a part of the second annual Color of Love Blog Hop. As I writer of interracial/multicultural women’s fiction, it thrills me that so many people are beginning to discover the stories we tell and understand that love comes in many different colors–and not just what’s considered “mainstream”.

I first began writing IR/MC stories when I was in high school. Back then I wrote them for myself–in the late 1980s you were hard pressed to find many IR titles on the shelves of B.Dalton, Borders and Waldenbooks. The titles you found were bodice rippers about buxom blondes being kidnapped by Native American warriors or sheikhs and falling in love. But what about stories featuring nonwhite heroines falling in love with men from different racial or cultural backgrounds? Well, I never found any, so I started writing them myself and sharing them with my classmates.

webgoodreadsFlash forward to March 2014: I published my second IR/MC novel, Maybe Baby, which started off as a NaNoWriMo project. Maybe Baby‘s black heroine, Laney, is an expat American living in Stockholm, Sweden with her affluent Swedish boyfriend, Niklas. They’ve been together for a little over five years and she feels like something is missing from their relationship–she wants to start a family with him. But when Niklas announces that he had a vasectomy before he even met Laney, she realises she’ll never be able to have a family with him–at least, not the traditional way. So–at the advice of a friend, she goes to Copenhagen to check out an alternative fertility clinic where she’ll be able to meet potential sperm donors face-to-face. What Laney isn’t expecting is to make an instant connection with a handsome Danish furniture maker called Mads. And when that connection leads to them embarking on an affair, she’s forced to question everything about her life with Niklas…and if it’s the life she really wants to lead.

Purchase Links

 Bookbaby

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook

And now for the giveaway! 

Five great prizes are yours for the taking–

1st prize $50 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
2nd prize $25 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
3rd prize $15 Amazon GC + 7 ebooks
4th prize $10 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks
5th prize $5 Amazon GC + 6 ebooks

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.06.01

 Check out all the titles up for grabs and the list of all participating blogs here.

And now to the giveaway…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and thanks for joining us! 🙂

 

 

 

I did it! 😀 I finished NaNoWriMo 2014 at 2AM this morning. The novel is by no means complete–I still have two chapters to finish–but I reached 50K and the first draft of Maybe Forever is nearly done. I should finish these last chapters by Sunday evening. 🙂

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I’m aiming for a 2015 release for both Maybe Tomorrow and Maybe Forever, so now the editing process begins. 🙂

 

Every year, I (and loads of other writers) go a bit bonkers in the pursuit of completing a 50K+ word novel in a month. Yes, I mean NaNoWriMo.

 

 

My 2011 NaNo novel became my first novel, Snowbound, which I published last autumn. I had a blast writing it and a lot of people enjoyed reading it, even though some people thought Mia didn’t deserve an HEA. Well, I am already working on a little story about Mia & Jake so that might be a Christmas present to their fans. 🙂

My 2012 NaNo novel became my second novel, Maybe Baby, which I published in March, ended up for a while in the Kindle Top 100 list for its genre and won an award. It also caused many women to fall in love with Mads, the Danish sperm donor/furniture maker. I don’t blame them. I have a bit of a crush on my own creation too. 😉

Last year was not a good NaNo year for me. I managed to write a 25K manuscript, come to the realization that I hated what I was writing and couldn’t muster the energy or resolve to finish.

But this year is different…I feel ready to write my heart away, and we’ll be returning to Copenhagen for more of Laney & Mads’s story. So this weekend, I’ll be prepping an outline so I won’t find myself sitting in front of my MacBook Air and wondering what the heck I am doing. I’ll also interview my characters and update  my dreamcast–which I always do when I write–so that I can envision each chapter like scenes in a movie. Here’s the dreamcast that helped me write Maybe Baby.

Dreamcast Maybe Baby Collage

 

I’ve already decided that my new novel will feature the same cast of characters as Maybe Baby, with a few extras, so most of my dreamcast work is done. I just need to find 3-4 new characters and also imagine some of the locations. Maybe I need to take another trip to Copenhagen too. 😉

I don’t want to reveal too much of the story…but I’ll tell you it takes place a couple of years after Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight and, unlike my WIP Maybe Tomorrow, the focus will be on Laney and Mads.

Come November, I’ll keep you updated here with progress reports. I’ll even post excerpts so you can see what’s going on–but keep in mind it will be a very rough draft and probably full of typos. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.03.00Have you ever wanted to ask an author about how or why they write? Or talk about their novels with them? Well now you can do just that with Goodread’s Ask the Author function. Initially, it was only available to some of their top authors, but now they’ve made it available to all Goodreads authors.

I’ve decided to check it out, so from now until the end of August, you can ask me any questions you like about writing, my novels or my characters. Want to get the inside story on Jake and Mia? Ask away! More interested in Laney, Niklas, and Mads? Yup, you can ask about them too! Or are you hooked on the teasers from my WIP, Maybe Tomorrow, and want to know more about Eddy and Henrik? Yes, you can ask about them too.

Head over to my Goodreads author profile, post your questions there and I will answer them as best I can!

And then there is other news for you: According to Kindle Direct Publishing, the updated and complete file for Maybe Tonight is now available for purchase. For those of you who have the old version of the file, you can either wait until KDP confirms that the changes were critical (which I’ve already informed them they were–it’s the last 12 chapters of the novella!) or you can call their customer care executives who will make sure you get the updated file now and help you do a manual sync. Here are the numbers to call:

  • US & Canada: 1-866-216-1072
  • International: 1-206-266-2992

For people who have the older version of the file, make sure you give them the ASIN when you call. They will probably ask you when you purchased Maybe Tonight, which you should be able to find when you go into the “Manage Your Kindle” section on Amazon.

For Kobo users: as far as I know, the file should update automatically, but I will check with them as well.