June 22, 2013

Excerpts

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Have you heard about the My Sexy Saturday blog hop? I just did, and it sounded like so much fun I decided to jump right in.

The rules:

Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!

For my first stab at My Sexy Saturday, I thought I’d treat you to an excerpt from “Home for the Holidays,” a Christmas novella set in small-town Langley, Indiana, in my former neck of the woods.

When singing sensation Cheryl Stanton finds herself back in Langley — against her will — for some much-needed R&R, she runs into old friend Derrick Mullins. Derrick was the one guy she wanted to date in high school — and the only one who was immune to her charms … or so she thought.

In this scene, Derrick, now a paramedic, has come to the scene of the accident that resulted when Cher’s mother swerved to avoid a cow standing in the road. (I mentioned this was small-town Indiana, right?) His mind on business, he doesn’t recognize Cher right away — a fact that peeves her to no end, even though she is in disguise.

Here’s the excerpt:

His eyebrows shot skyward. “After ten years? I don’t think so. A lot’s changed since then.”

“Well, excuse me for not peaking in high school.”

A spark lit Derrick’s smoldering gray eyes. “Sweetheart, you can trust me when I say I’ve improved with age.”

That look set fire to her very soul, offsetting the chill in the crisp November air. To distract herself from the flash of desire, she lowered her lids and tapped her inner smart-aleck. “You think so, huh? You’re not wine or cheese.”

That was a line of crap and she knew it. Even in the watery gray early-morning light, he looked just as good now as he had in high school — better, even, if she took into account the broader shoulders and more masculine presence.

He knew it, too, judging by his sly grin. Damn the man. Why couldn’t he have developed a paunch … or, better yet, started balding?

A low, sexy laugh rumbled from deep in his throat. “Wine and cheese aren’t the only things that get better with age, Cher.”

Coming to ebookstores near you in November 2013.

Don’t forget to check out the other participants’ posts.

June 7, 2013

Musings

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When the universe starts talking, you listen.

Actually, I’m not sure if it’s just that the universe is talking or if I’m just more inclined to listen now that I’ve made the decision to take the self-publishing plunge.

Or maybe it’s really true that Sedona’s hippy-dippy, woo-woo psychic energy vortex has finally wormed its way into the fabric of my daily life.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been stumbling on more and more fuel to affirm my course. It started with that fortune-cookie message, but went on to infiltrate the bag of Dove Dark Chocolate/Caramel/Sea Salt candies I keep in my desk drawer at work.

Tuesday night, I found this one:

And Wednesday night, it was this message:

I snapped a picture of that one with a photo of me and my Mom in San Francisco (2003) because I think she’d approve of what I’m about to do. I just wish she were alive to see it.

Hopefully, she knows.

Prep work for my indie debut continues. I’m revising away on my MS and I’ll be signing with a graphic designer soon to redesign my website and unify my look across all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blog, Google+).

It’s going to be a busy summer!

May 30, 2013

about

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much for astrology.

Living near Sedona’s well-known psychic vortexes is finally starting to take its toll, though. When I saw the message below in my fortune cookie at Panda Express one recent afternoon, it was the final impetus I needed to take a big step.

That’s right. I’m going to take the plunge into the world of indie publishing.

Now, if you ask the Boyfriend, he’ll tell you “I’ve been telling her for years she should self-publish.”

Yes, yes he has.

But until recently, I wasn’t ready. Now I am. I have stories to tell, and I want to share them with the world. With the indie route gaining more and more devotees every day, I decided to invest the money I’d have spent going to RWA Nationals this summer in getting my first novel ready for release instead.

There’s so much to learn, and I’ve been soaking up all the information I can. I signed up for an indie publishing class, and joined Indie Romance Ink, a yahoo group for self-published romance authors.

I’d planned to make a big announcement about this new direction … but then I accidentally outed myself with a few comments on Twitter, so my big bang became more of a breathy whisper.

Anyway, I’m now trying my best to set up the infrastructure I’ll need to spread the word far and wide.

Want to stay up-to-date?

Email: [email protected]

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArleneHittle

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/114235758959721381169/about/p/pub

You can also sign up for my newsletter mailing list, either here in this post or in the blog’s sidebar. I promise not to send dozens of missives a month. In fact, I probably won’t send you anything until August, when I hope to have a redesigned website to show off. After that, I’ll send newsletters no more than once a month.

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Join me on this new adventure. It’s going to be a wild ride.

April 24, 2013

about

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Earlier this month, my awesome CP Jennifer Faye tagged me for a Sunshine Award. The fact that I’m just now getting around to sharing it is all on me, not Jenn.

The Sunshine Award is a lovely sunny flower that bloggers give to other “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”

As with most awards, ‘The Sunshine Award’ comes with a few simple rules:

(1)     Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post.

(2)     Do the Q&A below.

(3)     Pass on the award to 10 – 12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.

Rule 1.

Thanks for thinking of me, Jenn. How did you know I needed to write a new post to keep my writing blog from dying a slow, agonizing death?

Rule 2. Q&A

Favourite Colour: Starting out with a toughie, I see. It’s so hard to pick just one, as my favorite changes with my mood. Sometimes, I love deep, forest green. When I’m feeling dramatic, I love the red/black combo. But I guess if I have to choose just one, it’s purple. My college colors were purple and white.

Favourite Animal: Yikes. Another hard one. If I say “dog,” my cats will get huffy; if I pick “cat,” my dog Cocoa will pout. How about I go with “panther” instead? Panthers are so sleek and graceful.

Favourite Number: Not 13, that’s for sure. I have an aversion to that one, which makes me very nervous for what this year holds. I’ll say 9, because the multiplication table for 9s was easy to learn once my dad showed me the trick.

Favourite Non-alcoholic Drink: I’d like to be able to say H2O — but I can’t. Give me an ice-cold Diet Dr Pepper any day. (I know it’s not good for me, but it’s one of my few vices.)

Facebook or Twitter: They both have their purpose, and I love — and hate — both of them equally. I love that they give me a chance to share my thoughts, make new friends and keep up with everyone’s news … but I hate how they siphon time away from writing. I have precious little free time as it is, and sometimes I look up from the computer to find I’ve frittered it all away farting around on the internet.

Your Passion: Umm, can I steal Jenn’s answer to this question? She wrote:

I have two. Reading and writing. And please don’t ask me which passion came first. It’d be like answering the age old question of which came first the chicken or the egg. I love them both.

This is only part of my stash …

I know exactly what she means, and I’m not sure I could answer this one any better. I love to read, although now that I spend most of my free time writing, I don’t do as much of it as I’d like (witness the stacks of books on every available surface).

Giving or Getting Presents: That depends. It’s fun to find just the right gift for someone I love … but I’m not sure anything beats receiving a hand-picked gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, just a little something that says, “I was thinking of you.”

Favourite Day: Any day I don’t have to go to my day job (which is really a night job, since I work from about 3 to 11 p.m.). Currently, that’s the weekend — a real Saturday/Sunday. But in the past, I’ve had Wednesday/Thursday/Friday off, and Sunday/Monday.

Excuse the blurry iPhone pic.

Favourite Flower: Daffodils. I’ve loved bright yellow daffodils since seeing them grow wild on the hillsides of England as a student at Harlaxton College in 1992. We also had a patch of them in our front yard when I was growing up. Tulips, which also grew in my yard, are a close second.

Rule 3.  Spreading the love.

Not sure I can think of 10 to 12 folks to pass this along to who haven’t already been tagged, but here are six I’d like to nominate:

Amy Raby, one of my Starcatchers sisters who I’m sure is busy. Her debut novel, “Assassin’s Gambit,”  was released earlier this month.

Jamie Raintree, fellow NaNoWriMo veteran and good friend. Check out her web serial, “A Song for Butterflies.”

Karen McCoy, The Writer Librarian. Karen is in my RWA chapter, NARWA, and her enthusiasm is contagious. She also edits the chapter newsletter.

Susie Haught, another fellow NARWAn who writes women’s fiction. Her blog is fantastic, and funny.

Gwen Hernandez, another of my Starcatchers sisters and resident Scrivener expert. (She wrote the reference book  “Scrivener for Dummies.”) She also recently wrote a blog post titled “My Big, Scary Goal” that set the wheels in my brain turning.

Ashlyn Macnamara, another fellow Starcatcher (Golden Heart class of 2011). She writes Regency historical romance described as “A dash of wit, a hint of wicked.” Her debut, “A Most Scandalous Proposal,” is available now; “A Most Devilish Rogue” comes out in August.