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Category Archives: Work In Progress

Scene Song Saturday–Nice Flirt

I’m always looking for new tunes that get my heart pounding and push me deeper into my characters’ emotional end. I fell in love with this song from first play.

“She Said” by Plan B. I find it so flirty and with “Soul Search” set in 1930, it gives me a full visual of a smoke-filled speakeasy and the pull between Grant and Leigh growing too strong to resist any longer.

The video itself is a ton of fun, too. I’ll be shimmying my hips and humming this song all month long.

What’s your favorite new tune this week?

:}Amber Scott

Motivational Mondays is now Manic…

…Month! Today, National Novel Writing Month, the 50,000 word sprint, commences and I am in it to win! That means the next 30 days will be a craze of busy chaos. i shall neglect laundry, ditch the dishes and scrape together 1667 words a day.

I have my soundtrack nailed down for Drowning Lust, the 2nd in the Lust series. Liv Starr began the series with her quest to cure her succubus lust. Now, her best friend finds herself on her own and tempted beyond belief to return to their incubus maker.

Will she? I don’t know. Paula Morrison is a volatile and often self-destructive temptress who has never been in love.

Temper Trap, Muse, Massive Attack and more are playing on my iPod but I’m looking for more. If you know of any dark and sexy songs, please let me know what they are. Milla, my muse, feeds off of great lyrics and a killer beat. So, I need to feed her well all month long.

I haven’t completed the 50,000 word sprint in two years. This year, I will. And each day, I’ll report on my progress along with Paula’s. I’m letting Milla run free and have locked Charles, bound and gagged, in my mental closet. All those niggling not supposed to’s are gone. I

I’ll return to regularly programmed posts in December. November, though, belongs to Nano. Stay tuned for the wild ride. It will either be really, crazy fun or just plain crazy. Either way, you only live once, so why not go for it?!

Alright then, let the race begin!

:}Amber Scott

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Hot Flash by Clare Austin

I am so happy to welcome back Clare Austin and to share her answers to my nosy questions! Let’s dive in….

AS:  Welcome back, Clare! Can you believe it’s been a year since your novel, Butterfly, debuted? How has your writing life changed in the last year?

CA:  It’s great to be back. The year has been wild. I have had two books release since ButterflyAngel’s Share in March and then in July, Hot Flash. The hardest thing of all is keeping the new material coming while trying to promote the three books that are out. I’ve got the third book in the Fadό Trilogy, Selkie’s Song, more than half done, but it is going much more slowly than I ever imagined.  I also have a romantic comedy, Rosy Again, about a third finished. It has been a fun project with a quirky heroine.

I need to remind myself often that I’ve accomplished much and to give myself         breaks from time to time. That is a challenge for me. I’m most comfortable going Mach 10 with knickers on fire!

AS: Well, you are juggling nicely. Hot Flash is a story about second chances that proves it’s never too late for love. What was your biggest ‘hot flash’ while writing this steamy novel?

CA:  Hot Flash was my third novel, written the first year of my fiction career. I submitted it around while I was writing Butterfly but was told my heroine was “too old.”  Like, what? She had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel? Hogwash!  Then Butterfly sold and Angel’s Share. My publisher asked if I had any other work to submit and I sold Hot Flash to them as well. I felt a strong need to write a story about an older woman who, due to circumstances, had to re-build her life, take charge of her destiny and get strong, physically and emotionally. She decides to learn to ride a horse and, just like life, she discovers it’s not a sport for wimps. The fact that she falls in love is a bonus.

AS: I’m with you. Hogwash! Now, please, fill in some blanks for us:

CA:  Happiness is loving yourself enough to love someone else unconditionally.

To ride horses is to fall… sometimes!

If you can’t be perfect, then be persistent.

All sunshine, and no rain, makes Clare know she’s not in Ireland.

AS:  If casting for the big screen were up to you, who would play Kate and Brandon?

CA:  That is a great question and one I’ve avoided in the case of my books. But, now that I’m forced to answer, I’ll give it a try. Brandon…well, how about Patrick Dempsey? He would need a dialect coach to pull off the Irish, but I’m pretty sure he would look grand in riding breeches. For Kate, maybe Sandra Bullock…she’d be spot on with the comedic parts and still believable in the serious parts. And she looks like she could be Italian-American.

AS:  Love your choices! Growing up, you were a big Nancy Drew fan. Who do you love to read now?

CA:  I’m a very eclectic reader. I love Maeve Binchy and have read almost every novel of hers. I often take a chance on a new author and find a gem. That was certainly true in the case of Erin Hart (Lake of Sorrows, Haunted Ground) and this summer discovering Pauline McLynn (The Woman on the Bus). I also read quite a bit of narrative non-fiction, history and science. I believe strongly that all writers will benefit by reading outside the genre in which they write.

AS:  Maeve Binchy has such a nice, lyrical voice. So, what is your favorite scene in Hot Flash and why?

CA:  One of my favorites is where Brandon explains to Kate how he can love the memory of his wife and love Kate as well. When I wrote the scene of Bran saying “goodbye” to his wife at her grave and removing the wedding ring, I cried. It was as though someone else was telling me the story and it tore at my heart.

I also love the scene where Brandon meets Kate’s family. Two of her brothers are cops, one is a priest and her mother can’t utter the word “divorce” without crossing herself. They are a force to be reckoned with and Bran pulls it off without breaking a sweat. It always makes me laugh.

AS:  Thank you Clare for coming by my blog again. I wish you huge success. Please let readers know where they can find more you!

CA:  All my books are available in trade paperback and digital versions. If anyone would like an autographed copy of any of my novels they can go to my website buy link  www.clareaustin.com/books.html and use PayPal or contact me at  Authorclare@gmail.com.

I have started a blog at www.clareaustin.wordpress.com where I post little bits of my journey and upcoming projects.

My books are published by The Wild Rose Press, so are easy to find on the many internet sites for book distribution in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, and as far away as Australia and India.

AS:  How cool is that?! So, reader, what say you? How old is too old for a hot romance?

***

Hot Flash…

Kate Aiello has spent her entire life trying to please others—her three brothers, her Italian mamma and her husband of twenty-five years. It isn’t insult enough she is turning fifty, and left at the side of life’s road by her philandering husband. Now she has to contend with her body’s betrayal…hot flashes!

The plain truth hits her with each thermostatic aberration—she has never been first in anyone’s life, including her own.

Brandon Sullivan has been on a downward spiral since the death of his beloved wife. Now he is a man desperate to save himself from impending financial ruin, loss of his farm and his life’s dream. He needs to get into the winner’s circle by spring or he’ll be just another poor, landless Irishmen downing his pints and bragging about the good ol’ days.

Sparks fly when Italian attitude meets Irish temper. Add two big crazy families, a barn full of horses and one woman’s menopausal hot flashes and the probability for combustion increases exponentially.

What will Kate and Brandon  risk for a second chance at love?

***

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Motivational Mondays: Needs, Haves, Wants

“I need to fold the laundry and put it away.”  “I have to get my word count up!”  “I have to remember to take dinner out of the freezer to thaw.”  “I need to get that submission off.”

When I say these things to myself, what I really mean is: “If I don’t fold the laundry and put it away, we’ll be living out of a basket for the next week and I’ll go bananas.” “If I don’t get my word count up, I’ll feel awful and scared that I won’t have another creation to get to the world in a nice timely fashion that will help my career’s momentum.”  “If I forget to take something out of the freezer, I’ll get an eye roll from hard working husband over having frozen pizza again.”  “If I don’t get that submission off, I won’t make a sale and I won’t keep this career going.”

Errrch! Yesterday, as I lay cuddling with my daughter and the guilt creeped in, I noticed these whoppers for lies I’ve been telling myself. Total BS, folks! On a stick!

The truth is, I don’t have to or need to do any of this. In fact, if I don’t do them and all those ugly consequences occur, so what? Have to and need to are lies.

Whoa there, Amber! You might be thinking: I definitely have to go to work because I need to pay my bills or I shall be living on the streets.

My answer is, well, maybe. OR, perhaps it is that you want to go to work, because you want to pay your bills because you don’t want to live on the streets. But you don’t have to. You could give it all up and take a tent to the woods and join a commune with free wi-fi, if you wanted to.

So, I told myself this very thing. It isn’t that I have to do any of it. Laundry, dinner, writing, submitting. It is that I want to. I want an organized life because it makes for easier everything. And I want word counts and submissions because they make me feel accomplished and fulfilled.

And as I changed the way I talked to myself–that slightly scitzophrenic penchant all writers have–the emotions surrounding the task evolved. The guilt whispered away. In its place came the promise of the joy I would feel once my tasks are complete.

I challenge you to try it today. How many have to’s are on your list? How does it feel if you change that one little word in your self speak?

Remember, we are magicians of words. The right incantation can make all the difference! (Just ask the naked Wiccans–a guess–next door.)

:}Amber Scott

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Motivational Monday: Distance

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.” -Da Vinci

My ‘work’ is my writing. It is the story I’m immersed in at the moment. It is the step I’ve climbed up to on my career ladder. I long for success.

A key element of the Law of Attraction is detachment. Once you decide what it is you want to attract, the sooner you can be neither desperate nor excited for the thing, the quicker it gets here. In fact, the longing acts as an energetic repellent for it.

But, how do I not long for something I clearly want? How do I get distance? To a great extent it is by giving the longing over to trust and then making a daily practice of pursuing the goal or thing you decide you want. And, it is allowing yourself to enjoy the now, this moment, the process. Have faith your heart’s desire is on its way and then enjoy the moments you spend preparing for its arrival.

While your level of immersion in your goal and work is a reflection of your commitment to it, don’t forget to come up for air and walk away for a spell. This will help create emotional distance. Letting yourself not worry doesn’t mean your goal doesn’t matter. It simply means you are confident in the outcome.

What are you immersed in? What is the thing you long for?

:}Amber Scott

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Motivational Mondays: Are you bored?

Starting right now, at this very moment, you are already losing interest in this. Yep, your brain has the physical capacity to care about something, to focus on it, for only ten fleeting minutes. Sometimes, even less than ten minutes. In fact, zero minutes, if the first few seconds of stimulus meant to capture your attention, failed.

So…Did I fail? Let me try again. Snap Out Of It!!

How does our ten minute attention span relate to getting motivated today? Motivation’s stamina. Have you ever read a book in what felt like a single sitting or watched a movie with your eyes glued to the TV? If the ten minute rule holds true, how did you stay so focused? You were introduced to a new stimulus, new meaning, then given ten following minutes to support the stimulus or meaning.

Today, let’s experiment:

1. What is your goal? Write 1500 words.

2. Is this a fun goal? Depends on what I’m writing, I suppose. How about that scene where they wake up and…

3. Are you allowing the fun goal ten minutes of uninterrupted attention? I rarely get uninterrupted minutes in my day but since I don’t want to not write, I’ll do my best to minimize the odds of interruption.

4. Next, pursue your goal and note when your motivation wanes. How long has that propelling burst lasted? Did a new trigger occur or did your mind wander off and want to check email?

5. How do you feel about your brain’s loss of interest? Are you chastising yourself for only getting through a few lines then once again, staring at the blank page? Stop!! It isn’t your fault!! Your brain gets bored. Instead, make it fun again. For a new ten minutes. Then again, and again until the ten minutes add up to a day of sublime, motivated satisfaction.

Time flies when you are having fun and a bored brain is not having fun. Whether that means the plot I’m trudging through, the revisions I’m staring blankly at or dinner that won’t make itself, if I’m bored, I have zero minutes of stamina. So, today, I’m going to find the fun.

Wanna come?

:}Amber Scott

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Dear Amber: Charles Speaks Out

Please know how much I appreciate your recent accomplishments. A 4 cup Coffee Time Romance review, a 5 book Long and Short Reviews rating for Play Fling, now in PRINT. Spectacular!

Two manuscripts with editors and agents, one with a stunning new prologue. Excellent!

I know it goes without saying how heavy a hand I had in these milestones. And so, I  implore you, get your muse under control!

Milla is running rampant and I simply cannot tolerate any more of what equates to schoolyard bullying from her. She is trying to talk you into adventuring forth into yet another new genre? Please, be sensible. We have enough genre branches to fill a tree. We have erotica, paranormal romance, romantic comedy. Have you no recollection whatsoever of the well know agent advising authors to stick to one genre?

I trust you will do the right thing.

Sincerely Yours,

Charles, the internal editor you cannot write without.

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