Archive for January, 2013

Playing Catch Up! What’s Happening In My Writing World

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Well, guys, if there is one thing I can say about January…it has been a busy month. So busy with medical appointments, the release of two books and just…stuff. I know you all get months like that, too. 🙂 So forgive me my very lazy and unimaginative postings of late. I’m hoping February will mean a bit more “oomph!”

I thought I’d post this little collage above to give you an idea of a book I’m researching right now. The working title is called One London Night, and it is set in the later half of 1940, mostly in London during the Battle of Britain and Blitz. I’m enjoying the research enormously and feel soon I’ll start writing it.

I have other projects in the works as well, so never fear…my imagination is still up and running. I think if February is calmer than January I’ll be able to move along quicker.

Everyone have a great day and talk to you later. 🙂

 

 

Blackout and Redemption Ridge are out!

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Are you looking for two reads filled with suspense and featuring military/former military characters? You may enjoy my two latest releases. First is Blackout, which is available on Amazon and Smashwords (in a variety of formats). I hope it will be up on Barnes and Noble soon, but that usually takes a while to show up. Here’s the blurb to give you an intro into the story, and you can pop over to my books page to read a full excerpt!

*

The house at the end of the street has always been haunted. When a solar flare challenges the world to remain civilized, one man and one woman will face an evil lying in wait for all who dare enter…

Cassie Kovac has spent the last ten years rebuilding her life after witnessing her abusive husband commit suicide and surviving a tsunami. She’s vacationing in the high mountain town of Bowmount, Colorado when a solar flare takes out the grid. Fear tears apart the little community, and the only thing standing between her and certain disaster is a man with a cloudy past.

Ex-marine Neal “Griff” Griffin’s life is shadowed in darkness. He won’t talk about his mysterious past. His childhood was marred by the unspeakable, his life spent erasing things too horrible to dare remember. Until he sees Cassie, and primal male instincts to protect come to life. When the world goes to hell, he realizes he’d do anything to protect her.

When Cassie and Griff face the haunted house, they don’t expect the building to come alive with a personality all its own. Fighting against the unknown threatens to rip apart the fabric of their minds, and make their survival and new love one step closer to impossible.

Second up is Redemption Ridge, a novella that just came out this week in the Ellora’s Cave Blush line (not erotic romance). Check it out at Amazon and Ellora’s Cave. You can read an excerpt, too.

*

When Cecelia’s ex crashes into her life, intent on killing her, she has no choice but to save herself. There are no heroes left in her world. Battle-scarred soldier Jake sees her at the mercy of a brutal foe, and has to be the hero she needs. With everything at stake, there’s no time for pretense or lies. Unvarnished truth leaves them gasping for breath, and finding one last hope to make everything all right.

**

Hope you enjoy these sneak peeks into my latest two stories!

 

Shindig Video Get Together February 1

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

 

Hey guys! Keep forgetting to tell you about my Shindig Video Chat coming up February 1. I hope you’ll be able to attend. Stop by here for all the info! Would love to see you there.

http://www.shindig.com/event/denise-agnew

 

 

Why You Haven’t Written That Book

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Perfection.

At first you might wonder what this topic has to do with writing novels, but it does. So hang with me while I explain. Over the last ten years or more I’ve come to realize that a lot of people are running around in the pursuit of something that doesn’t exist both in the writing world and life in general. While they’re biting their nails, getting a stomach ache ,and generally making themselves utterly miserable, they’re still thinking there is perfection out there waiting for them and if that perfection doesn’t happen that they suck.

They believe that if they only had a little more of this, or a little more of that, life would be so good for them. Certain authors believe they have to talk like, walk like and be like another author to succeed. If I only had this contract with this publisher, or this agent, etc. If I only wrote as fast as XYZ authors and wrote exactly the type of books they write, I’d make more sales and therefore I’d be XYZ on Amazon’s list or the NY Times best selling list. But what if you do all that and those things don’t happen? Does that mean you didn’t give it your best shot? Does it mean you did and there’s something inherently wrong with you because what you wanted didn’t happen? Probably not. Repeat after me. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. What if you do all that and you do hit a high mark on those lists. Does it honestly make you happy because of your personal goals, or is it because you think that’s the only true barometer of success and that everyone should have it as a goal?

See, a lot of people (yeah I’ve believed this at one point, too) think that the pursuit of excellence or a strong work ethic means you must believe in perfection. How many people are running around in this world believing horrible things about themselves because they aren’t living up to our culture (my culture is the U.S.) norms?

Reality television has a lot of  people convinced that the only worthy life is one filled with physical youth and beauty, money, materialistic goals, and a “do it all” mentality. Plus, if you’re not in an outrage over some injustice or burning the candles at both ends and “stressed out” there must be something wrong with you, right? Another resounding no.

How does perfection-driven mentality relate to writing? It means that you never let a manuscript go. You never get it out there. If you’re writing for yourself and have no intentions of anyone seeing it, that’s fine. If that makes you happy that’s what you should do. That’s your choice. There’s also nothing wrong with an author not writing four hundred books in one year. Often I hear authors lamenting how many books other authors have written. So what? The pace that you write is the pace you write. As long as the books get written and someday we get to read them. There’s such a thing as balance.

So go out and write, and realize that the only goal you should have are those you’ve defined for yourself. Not what a writer’s organization told you should do or what your mother won’t find offensive. It’s what you want to write. What MATTERS to you? Do soul-searching until you find out. Then just do it. Jump out of that plane and refuse to allow anything or anyone to hold you down.

Excerpt: Redemption Ridge

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Hey everyone! Sorry for the long absence. I spent New Year’s Day and the day after fighting a kidney stone. Ouchhhhh! Anyway, I’m back in the saddle. Here’s a snippet excerpt from Redemption Ridge, which is coming to Ellora’s Cave non-erotic romance Blush line on January 17! This story wasn’t a long time in the making or planning. I only started writing it last summer. But sometimes a story is like that. I was playing around with a creative writing app on my iPad and it suggested a story that starts with a woman tied up in a trunk. Bammoooo! I went from there and Redemption Ridge was born. Although this story is only a novella, I feel like it packs a punch with suspense and romance. It’s definitely not erotic romance, but if you’re looking for a story that is still romance and features a hot military hero, this could be the story for you.

* *

She realized with a jolt that he stood close to her now. She took a step away, a fine trembling radiating from her center.

“Don’t be afraid. You’re safe now,” he said.

She shook her head, feeling out of sorts and confused by everything. What should she feel, and could she trust this man? Slowly, as if she might be a scared animal ready to bolt, he put his hands on her shoulders. He squeezed gently. When she looked up at him, he towered over her. In the low light she could see his eyes were liquid brown, at once penetrating but soft with understanding. Tall, dark and handsome didn’t describe him. No, that description was too damn bland. He was over six feet of lethal male testosterone with smoldering eyes and a lean but powerful build. He wore a blue rain jacket of some kind, jeans and white athletic shoes. His voice held a smoky essence that made a low, sweet arousal burn in her stomach. He didn’t smile much but he was always polite, and the way he looked at her—well, she might have imagined the hunger she saw in his eyes all those times he stopped by the Tastee Freez. One of the women she worked with had asked him out but he’d turned her down, or so the woman had said. The woman had promptly suggested Jake was gay but Cecelia didn’t believe it.

Trust your gut. Janey had always said that too.

“You killed a man,” she said, knowing how stupid and obvious it sounded but unable to utter another coherent statement.

He nodded and took a big breath. He released it gradually between his parted lips. “Yeah.”

“How can you be so calm?”

“I’m not. But it’s not the first time for me.”

A tingle darted up her spine. “What?”

He released her shoulders and held out his hand. “Jake McNamara. We’ve never been officially introduced.”

She shook his hand and his big palm fit snugly around hers. His grip squeezed firmly but gently. He released her promptly.

“You’re in the military right?”

“U.S. Army.”

It came clear to her, and she wondered why her brain was so damn sluggish. “You killed people in the desert.”

One of those small nods again. She dared look into his intense eyes and saw the truth. He’d killed, but he’d done it to survive. Not for the joy of it. How she knew that, she couldn’t say.

“Sure you’re not hurt?” he asked.

“I’ll be fine.” She glanced over at Peter, so still and lifeless. Her stomach lurched. The dark stain on Peter’s chest told her in no uncertain terms where the bullet had hit him. Rain soaked his body, just as it did hers. Shocks of lightning darted overhead, so close she should have flinched. Yet she was numb, cold to the bone emotionally and physically.

“We need to get help,” she said.