visit the RAFFLE EXTRAVAGANZA!
Four books to be exact–that’s now many I’ll be releasing in the next month! They don’t call me Queen for nothing. (actually ‘they’ don’t call me queen, and if they did, I’m not sure why they would–but you get what I mean–right?). They are Malice, Mischief & Mayhem, a romantic suspense boxed set featuring seven authors including me, The Romantics, book 3 of the Scotland Yard exchange program romantic comedy mystery series, Small Town Glamour Girl and Christmas on Main Street, a boxed set of Christmas stories with eleven authors including me.
You saw the cover for the soon to be released The Romantics, and now I’m sharing the DRAFT cover for Small Town Glamour Girl. This upcoming release is a contemporary romance. This is a new and different kind of story for me in the tradition of well, small town, homey, sweet romances. No castles in sight. London is mentioned, but the story doesn’t go there. It takes place during the Christmas season, one of my favorite times of year (after halloween because of all the candy). What does the cover say to you?
Myren, my chauffeur, likes the cover and is wondering how I got Audrey Hepburn to pose for it. (Luckily he’s good with cars). It took me three hours to explain the wonders of digital design and then I gave him the phone number of my cover designer. He’s been on the phone with her for a while now. I lost track. (Myren is techno challenged. But sshh! He’s very sensitive under the gruff, mysterious exterior.)
Let me know what you think of the cover. Did you recognize Audrey? Hope so–Myren can’t be the only one.
We’re calling this color “FIRE”. See how it glows?
Thank you to all those who chimed in on the cover choice! The winner of the surprise is one of my long-time fans and a wonderful woman, Marty. A free copy of the ebook will be yours as soon as THE ROMANTICS is released, Marty!
Speaking of the release–the update on the progress can be summed up in one word:
It’s like going to war with my manuscript and it’s too soon to say who’s winning for sure–but there’s a lot of blood and guts spewing about (too graphic?) and so the results will be fabulous. (We authors have a very unique measure of success. It’s all blood and guts related, mostly ours.) And keep in mind, this is a light-hearted adventurous story. Imagine if I wrote something with angst?
Oh, yes – I can imagine that. The book is called PLAYING THE GAME and it won an award–(I told you we measure success by the amount of blood and guts is involved- the more angst, the more…well you get the picture). It’s a very edgy book and I bring it up here because I’ve started the next book in the PLAYING Series which promises more edge than a schick–or bic–or even a gilette. What the heck–more edge than a guillotine! (might as well get on with the
melodrama angst now).
So if you are observant, you might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute, I thought she was trying to finish THE ROMANTICS and here she is talking about starting another book–what’s up with that?” I’m glad yo asked. Of course, I don’t have an answer. It’s the way I work. I can’t finish a book unless I have another one started. I think it’s a rare syndrome affecting some writers called fear-of-having-no-story-to-write-phobia. That’s what Myren tells me. He’s my chauffeur, but he
stayed at a Holiday Inn took an adult-ed abnormal psychology class once.
But as we all know, I’m perfectly
normal quirky. I’m a novelist. (is that an oxymoron?)
In the meantime, look for THE ROMANTICS in the near-to-mid-future… Here’s an excerpt (to prove I’m not lying about the existence of this work-in-progress):
A tidbit from somewhere in Chapter One…
“Afraid I have other plans for our erstwhile bachelor Joe,” said his boss, Peter John Douglas–aka the Governor of Massachusetts.
“He doesn’t even get a midnight kiss?” Grace sounded disappointed on his behalf.
“No kiss, but he does get a flight to London. And a mission with the royal protective service,” his boss said.
Joe didn’t know if it was the prospect of flying or the prospect of a last-second mission that caused his heart to triple beat, but he stayed cool–on the outside–and returned the steady gaze of the governor.
“Don’t tell me the royals ran out of men to watch out for their assets,” he quipped. He thought he’d carried off his cool, but Peter raised a brow.
“This is a special assignment calling for an outsider to protect a damsel in distress—right up your alley.”
Joe said nothing and refrained from taking a deep breath. He even smiled without clenching his teeth. Joe hated flying. These days he figured if God wanted him to fly, his pockets would be filled with fairy dust and his name would be Peter Pan.
In fact, he’d never planned to fly again–might’ve even vowed not to–once he’d returned from the hell in Africa that had been his last special services assignment. On the other hand, how hellish could this assignment be minding a princess?
“Sounds like quite a career-making opportunity sir,” he said to his boss. He winked at Grace because she looked dismayed.
His boss ignored his sarcasm as Joe knew he would.
“He can’t stay until midnight?” Madeline implored.
Peter looked at his watch and said, “In twenty-five minutes at precisely ten past midnight, our Joe will be on an army reserve aircraft transport taking off for RAF Northolt Airbase, England.”
“Doesn’t leave much time for packing,” Pixie said.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be perfectly dressed in his Tux and on time for a royal New Years Day reception,” Peter said to the women. He said to Joe, “When you land, you’ll be picked up by a limo and taken to the reception at Buckingham Palace.”
Progress has been hampered or halted.. or impeded maybe… progress has been stalled out. Don’t worry. This happens to us authors all the time. We run into dilemmas of all kinds. Take the dilemma of picking a cover. It’s a doozy or big one… well maybe not big–but important or… Well, I could use some help (and not just with word choices).
Do you have a favorite cover of the two here? I’ll admit the differences aren’t big, but
they have a big impact. I’m partial to the coppery-orange version. Myren likes the royal purple (but he’s a snob). The guy o the left is Joe and the lady is Lady Veronica–Ronnie to her new BFF Joe. Drop me a line if you have a preference. There could be a surprise in it for you!
Aside from buy cialis the cover dilemma – which I’m sure I’ll work out (without the help of my chauffeur Myren–after all, there’s no cars or jaunty caps involved)– progress has picked up with the story and I’ve got Joe and Ronnie in a fix. Now I need to get them out of the fix (this may be where I call on Myren–there’s not only a car involved, but a helicopter too). I can’t spill any more details than that or the story could be ruined. Plus, I have no more details. I’m afraid I put myself in a fix too.
This is the GREAT AUTHOR *FIX* (although it should really be called the *UN-FIX* or *FIXLESS* or …. oh who cares–I’m stuck is all.) It happens all the time at least once a book. I’m happily typing along chasing my characters into a corner of impossible escape and there I find myself with them in the corner with no escape. Geesh. Now it’s up to me to figure the way out. So of course, I do what all GREAT AUTHORS do, I abandon my characters for a while and sleep on it. Eventually I get us all out of the FIX (or I get us all FIXED-UP or FIXED-OUT or ….something. We end up escaping.)
I’ll keep you posted on my escape–I won’t tell you what we’re escaping from or how we escape–but I’ll tell you…something or other about how it’s going. When I figure it out.
If you love surprises, besides the ones coming up in my work-in-progress, vote on my cover by sending an email to stephaniequeen at rocketmail dot com and sign up for my newsletter too. I send the newsletter out periodically and you can be one of the lucky ones to win a surprise. (I don’t know what it is yet, that’s why I keep referring to it as a surprise. We’ll all be surprised!)
So there I was, yawning in my turret when my typing fingers ran out of running room. Even a standing stretch had no effect. This called for drastic measures–no, not the gym, I can’t’ recall the last time I was that drastic, or perhaps it’s my memory failing. Wasting no (more than usual) time, I banged the gong and instructed Myren my Chauffeur to bring around the car–we traded in the limo for a new-fangled smart car–all electric–only good for short escapes and only good for drives that don’t pass by the orbit of any malls, outlet stores or back allies where there’s an oldsmobile trunk open and a man selling hot toasters. The luggage capacity of this so-called smart car is only the size of a 1/2 karat diamond. So I suppose we could stop at a jewelers…. but I digress.
And that’s exactly why I gonged for Myren. I needed a digression (otherwise known as a diversion). A change of scenery. What the heck–I needed people around me. I worried my ear drums would turn rusty with all the turret-induced silence surrounding me all day.
So I hopped into the oversized electric shaver on wheels and we buzzed to a non-shopping related hive of activity buzzing with people talking into the space of the real world and making an impressive amount of noise. The rush of excitement slapped me in the face and Myren said, “You look pink. You want a cold drink?”
No, we weren’t at a bar. But maybe next time. We were at the local hangout, a coffee shop called Beantowne. Not it’s not in Boston. Maybe next time. I cleared a path as I strode through the shop aimed toward the comfy yet regal sofa in the corner. It was occupied, so we had to share and I pasted on my gracious smile–the one without the bared teeth–no need to scare away the natives since they were the ones creating the buzz of excitement–the very origin of the stimulating atmosphere.
To add to my stimulation, I ordered a super espresso mocha caramel extra shot latte grande–or something big and peppy to drink.
Then I ripped out my MacBook and let my fingers run. Back in business. The buzzing of the coffee shop faded to white noise and the people faded from sight.
The writer could be anywhere and surrounded by anyone, but she’d still be alone in the writing turret.
In an unprecedented–and brave move–Stephanie Queen is previewing the first few pages of her next novel–still a work in progress–Right here. Right now!
by Stephanie Queen
Joe wore his earpiece out of habit, not stubbornness. Maybe. The place looked the same to him as it always did during an event. He swept his gaze again over the glistening glamour of the room filled to the brim with golden people. The only difference tonight was that he was supposed to be one of those golden people–playing guest instead of security.
As he stood alone check-pointing http://acmestudio.org/?cat=/order-cialis-online.php the perimeter, his earpiece chirped to life with the unmistakable voice of his boss. Hell.
“Guests don’t wear ear pieces, Allario. At least not at my New Years Eve party. Take it out and meet me at the library.” The governor signed off. Double hell.
He moved without hesitation. As he reached the library door, three women surrounded him out of nowhere
“It’s almost mid-night and you’re still alone, Joe. It’s a shame for a tall strong handsome hunk of a man like you to waste a romantic night like this —with no gorgeous gal. We need to fix that right away.” Grace flashed her dimple and he felt the contagious effect lift a corner of his mouth in return.
She was his favorite of the three, but he would never admit that to anyone—ever—especially not to her husband who was the director of the Scotland Yard Exchange Program in Boston.
“How could I be in better company than with you three lovely ladies?” He meant it. He meant his warm smile too. They were all striking. And married to a trio of lucky bastards. He shook his head. They were bastards for having better luck than he did when it came to matching up with the perfect woman, even if he did consider those bastards among his best friends.
“Your flattery doesn’t fool me. You’d give your right pectoral for the right woman,” Pixie said. “I see a possibility staring at you from across the room right now.” She gave him a mischievous smile—the only kind she had.
Before he could turn to appreciate the possible woman across the room, his boss, Governor Peter John Douglas—known as PJD to friends and enemies alike–showed up as promised. He stepped behind his wife, Madeline and enveloped her in a possessive embrace. She leaned into him and Joe felt a spark of jealousy zip through him for what they had. Shit.
“Afraid I have other plans for our erstwhile bachelor Joe.”
“He doesn’t even get a midnight kiss?” Grace the die-hard romantic sweetheart sounded disappointed on his behalf.
“No kiss, but he does get a flight to London. And a mission with the royal protective service.”
He didn’t know if it was the flying or the being out of the country that caused his heart to triple beat, but he stayed cool and returned the steady gaze of the governor.
“Don’t tell me the royals ran out of men to watch out for their assets.” He thought he carried off his reply with his usual understated sarcasm, but PJD raised a brow.
“This is a special assignment calling for an outsider to protect a damsel in distress—right up your alley.”
Joe said nothing and refrained from taking a deep breath. He even smiled without clenching his teeth. Joe hated flying. He figured if God wanted him to fly, his pockets would be filled with fairy dust and his name would be Peter Pan.
COMING SOON TO E-READERS NEAR YOU …