Thursday, January 29, 2015

Guest Author, A.J. Nuest

Please welcome my guest, A.J. Nuest, celebrating a new release:
Thursday, January 29th marks the release of
Book III in The Golden Key Legacy...

AJ Nuest
The homecoming celebration held in honor of Princess Faedrah is fraught with perilous frustration. Her nightmares have returned thricefold and, to her horror, a horrendous blight has spread like a plague throughout the kingdom. Compounding her worries, Rhys’ arrival in her world has been welcomed with the exact horror-filled reaction she expected. Her beloved has been cast into the dungeons, and no amount of arguing with the king and queen will prove he’s her fated love.

Magical powers were supposed to be a gift, or so Rhys McEleod had always believed. Too bad the second he landed in Faedrah’s world the legacy he inherited slammed into his body like a weight. He’s got zero control and his constant visions of Faedrah fighting an evil entity aren’t helping. At least her parents made the right decision and stuck him away someplace safe. Until he can figure out his next move, prove himself an ally and uncover the clues to stopping Faedrah’s nightmares, he’s got no choice but to wait…and learn exactly what he’s become.

It's a $0.99 SALE!!!

The entire The Golden Key Legacy
is sale priced!!!
A Furious Muse, Book I...
Since the day of her birth, Princess Faedrah Austiere has been defined by her place within the kingdom. As the single heir to the half-blood gypsy king and his prophesied white queen, she is fiercely protected, shuttered inside an ivory castle and well-trained in the art of war. Yet neither her obligations as future queen nor the black infestation threatening her kingdom fail to hinder the mysterious pull of the antique armoire hidden in her parents’ bedchamber. And stealing the golden key for a leap through time is the only way to confront the dark lord haunting her dreams.
One face. The image of one defiant, relentless woman has been stuck in Rhys McEleod’s head ever since he was old enough paint her luscious curves on the canvas. But the day she walks into his life off the street—sexier than hell and itching for a fight—he’s not convinced she’s the same women he’s envisioned since childhood. That is, not until he spots the golden key around her neck—an object he’d never fully shown in any of his paintings.

Now if he could just persuade his lovely muse he’s not the enemy. Unless the elusive Faedrah Austiere learns to trust him, he’ll never have her in his bed—the one place he’s convinced she belongs.
~ * ~
The Sacrifice, Book II...
The second Faedrah Austiere walked into his life off the canvas, everything in Rhys McEleod’s world stopped making sense. Not only does her story sound like a Grimm’s fairy tale, evidently he’s been cast as the villain. If that isn’t enough, the mirror inside that old, beat up armoire at her uncle’s condo is supposedly a doorway to another world. Ever since the pathway opened, something inside him has seemed…off. If what his muse says is true, they are headed for an epic showdown, but he isn’t about to let her go. Nothing is more important than Faedrah’s protection, even if her parents refuse to accept him.

Though certain their fates are bound by more than the golden key Princess Faedrah wears around her neck, it is paramount Rhys’ true identity be kept secret. Should news of his bloodline ever reach her kingdom, their entire quest to save her people could be lost. Their only hope to prove his loyalty is to steal the map to the dark lord’s Crystal Crypt. Yet her a plan endangers her beloved more than the accusations he faces in her kingdom and, to escape evil’s grasp, she and Rhys must take a leap of faith beyond her wildest imagination. 

Pre-Order the Final Installment in this epic time travel fantasy romance!
Releases February 26th!
Rhys had one job to do. One measly errand that shouldn’t have been a problem, given the nature of his powers. But when an old enemy reappears, detailing the result of his actions, Rhys is forced to make a choice between a future with Faedrah or dying before his time. Frustrated and out of options, he agrees to her suggestion they to leap forward in time to the future…even though a good chance exists his powers will be nothing but a memory in his world. Flying blind on a wing and a prayer, they prepare to fight for everything they love against a wizard of insurmountable power.

Faedrah does her best to gather their closest allies. The sides are squared in a war to control the future of both worlds. With the stakes so high, only one advantage has been cast in their favor. The sigil of utmost protection inherent in Rhys’ signature. If not enough to thwart the evil awaiting at the Austiere gates, she could find herself imprisoned in the future, while her kingdom and all those she has sworn to protect are lost to the mists of time.
~Join the Party on Facebook~
On Thursday January 29th, we'll be celebrating the release of
A Wizard Rises on Facebook!
Prizes, Contest, Author Giveaways!
Don't miss out! Click HERE to join in the fun!!!
AJ Nuest WEBSITE ~ FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ GOODREADS ~ AMAZON ~ PINTEREST Rowena's Key, Candra's Freedom, Caedmon's Curse, Braedric's Bane Click here to purchase: She's Got Dibs, Jezebel's Wish

Monday, January 26, 2015


This week is chock full of preparation. By week’s end, I should be a regular Boy Scout (well, except for the boobs part)!

Right now, we’re preparing for Snowmaggedapocalypse. I stocked up on groceries (along with everyone else yesterday)—and survived grocery shopping on a Sunday, right before lunch, with two teens. I filled my car with gas—the gas station attendant’s brain was obviously freezing as he was trying to make jokes that weren’t particularly funny. My husband checked the gas on the snow blower, and we’re currently in the bargaining phase about who is going to snow blow the driveway when. So basically, we’re ready.

I’m also preparing my manuscript to send to my agent. I gave myself a deadline of February 1. Last night, I met with my critique partners and they gave me suggestions for several of the chapters. I’ll implement those (or some of them) this week, do one last polishing and send it off.

And then, I’ll be all ready for JeRoWriMo (Jersey Romance Writing Month), my writing chapter’s version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Those of us participating are trying to write 30K words during the month of February. It breaks down to about 1,700 a day, which may or may not be doable. I participated two years ago, and it was great. The discipline really helped and I loved it. This year, I’m a little nervous about being able to get it all done, but I have a new manuscript I’m working on and 30K words would be a big help!

That’s it for me, and quite frankly, I think that’s enough. Because, really, I’m not a Boy Scout!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Following the Rules

My manuscript that’s contracted to my new agent is almost ready for me to submit to her. I’ve spent the past few weeks going through and making my last-minute edits and changes to what I’ve written. The changes are mostly areas where I think the story needed a little boost, or clarification. I’m waiting on another round of suggested edits from my critique group and then I plan to submit it to her on February 1.

In the meantime, I’m going through her list guidelines for polishing the manuscript. This is all before she goes through it and edits it. It’s exactly what I’m looking for—an agent who is involved in the editing process, but oh, boy. I’m discovering all the grammar and punctuation rules I’ve either totally forgotten about or never learned in the first place.

Most of my knowledge of grammar and punctuation has come down to “what sounds right.” I’m a big reader, and I know how to use things correctly, but not always why or the name of the rule. It can make things a little challenging when the guidelines say something about comma usage and I realize it’s a rule I’ve completely forgotten about (although I’m reassured by how many times I actually did follow the rule, albeit by accident).

But the goal here, in addition to getting the manuscript published by a large publisher, is to make it the best work possible. And after all of this, I’m confident it will be!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Throwing It All Away

I’m on a purging binge. Wow, that sounds like I’m going overboard with an eating disorder. Let me rephrase. I’ve decided that my house has too much stuff in it and needs to be emptied. Quickly. Okay, that sounds much better.

When I was growing up, I used to save almost everything. Then I got married and found that my husband actually does save everything and suddenly, I was the one who was throwing things out. It’s great he’s sentimental about so many things, and while we may disagree on some of the things he feels the need to get sentimental about, we’ve come to an understanding.

I don’t throw away his stuff. Ever. Not without express permission. And even then, it’s probably better if I just let it be.

But unless we want to move (actually, I kind of do) or build an addition (I definitely don’t), we need to get rid of some stuff. Because we are busting at the seams and I do not want to be featured on Hoarders.

So I’ve started going through things and emptying us out.

And I have to say, despite all the times I make fun of my husband for saving things, I’m just as guilty, if not more so, than he.

My closet was one of the first things I tackled. Do you know that I still had clothes in there from before we were married? Not that I wore any of them, but I still had them. Now, keeping a pair of jeans from high school because I can still fit into them might be considered a matter of pride (a huge fashion faux pas, but a matter of pride nonetheless). But keeping suits I wore to work in the 90s is just ridiculous.

I had piles and piles and piles of stuff from the kids that were shoved in my closet too. Artwork, school papers, projects. I’m not getting rid of those, but there’s no need to keep them in my closet. After organizing them and storing them in bins, and pulling out the extra clothes, and organizing my shoes (nope, not touching those), you’d be amazed at how big my walk-in closet really is. I’m almost tempted to fill it with more stuff.

The next thing I’m going to tackle is my guest room. Actually, that’s a misnomer, since we never have any guests stay there. Let’s call it a storage room, because everything we don’t know what to do with goes there. The dresser is filled with serving pieces, the closet is filled with…I don’t know what. The bed has things on it that I can’t fit anywhere else. Add the floor, which has presents for whatever holiday is coming up and the room is a disaster. So that’s what I’m going to tackle next.

And maybe I’ll find that this house is actually big enough for the four of us. Or even better, I’ll get to go back to making fun of my husband for being the saver in the family.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I've Got News

I’m very excited to announce that I just signed with a literary agent for my current work-in-progress. The book is a contemporary romance (of course) but is not part of my Jewish romance series.

I’ve wanted to look into agents for a long time. From the very beginning, I’ve pitched myself to them, without any luck. Many of them just said flat-out no; others made suggestions that I took and valued. And then I found Whiskey Creek Press and Rebel Ink Press, neither of whom required an agent and both of whom I’ve loved being part of.

I’m still with Rebel Ink Press and I can’t wait to continue to submit my stories to them. I love the editors there and I’ve made friends with many of their writers. I’m currently working on Book 3 (as yet, untitled) of my Women of Valor series and my vision for that series is at least 3 more full-length books, and possibly a novella or two.

But I also wanted to try my hand at getting an agent. Call it the challenge, call it career advancement. I don’t know exactly what to call it, but in publishing, it is completely possible to follow a variety of different routes, may of which are at the same time. It’s why some authors self-publish at the same time as traditionally publish, as an example.

So, as I’ve seen agents who interest me, or pitching events to agents, I’ve participated. One such event is #pitmad, on Twitter. Held four times a year, it’s where writers boil down their stories to approximately 125 characters, add a tag for the type of story and the hashtag #pitmad to their tweet and press send. Editors and agents who are participating that day “favorite” any pitches that sound interesting to them.

The first time I participated, an editor showed some interest, but since I was looking for an agent, I didn’t respond. You don’t have to respond, so I didn’t do anything wrong. This time around, an agent responded. Once they favorite your tweet, you follow their submission guidelines and your query goes to the top of their pile. There’s no guarantee they’ll like what you submit, but you have a better shot, similar to pitching at a conference.

Since the #pitmad event in December, my agent and I have emailed and spoken on the phone. Today, I forwarded the signed contract to her, so it’s official. I can’t wait to see what happens in this next stage.