Currently

Currently #4

Here's what I'm up to:

Loving

My writing friends. I've just returned from an annual writing retreat (#countryroadsretreat) and it was glorious. I've had a really rough/busy last few months (Thanksgiving out of town, husband's emergency appendectomy/healing process, sick toddler, Christmas, in-laws visiting for a week, stomach flu that had me puking so violently I threw out my back #awesome...) and I haven't written since the end of November. But after this past weekend with some of my best writing friends? I'm finally, finally getting back on track.

#countryroadsretreat

Reading

My own manuscript! I've got 46,000 words in this sexy (sexyyyy) romantic suspense from back in November so I'm re-reading and submerging myself in the story and with my characters. And I have to say, I love love this book! I think I'll be announcing both the book and series titles soon, so sign up for my newsletter or join my Facebook reader group if you want to be among the first to know.

Watching

Five episodes in a row of Impractical Jokers the night my buddy Alison Miller arrived for the retreat. Damn that shit is so uncomfortably funny. Also, the Critic's Choice Awards over the weekend, for which Amy Schumer's speeches made the show hilarious. #drunkcelebsforthewin

Listening To

Adele. Always. And Jasmine Thompson because her voice is like spun glass, just gorgeous. Both are lovely to write to!

Thinking About

Better time management. I've gotten really into Pure Barre and I take my classes at 5 and 6am during the weekdays, which is when I used to write. Now that I'm writing again... I have to figure out how to fit it in without giving up the workouts that I'm pretty sure are saving my life. (I had gestational diabetes so now I'm super paranoid about diabetes and getting an hour workout in 5-6 days a week makes me feel SO much better about it all.) But it's really hard to balance. Writing, writing business stuffs, working out, family time, being a stay-at-home mom, housework and daily things. I don't know how the hell people do it!

Anticipating

Finishing this manuscript--I have to take a long, hard look at my schedule for it because I have a bunch of signings coming up, starting in April, and I'd love to have this book available at some of them. And also, hubs booked us a getaway to Mexico in a couple of months for our anniversary and I can't waitttttt. (And it's also awesome because if you read the wishing section of my last currently post, I literally wished for a way to take a trip somewhere with him.)

Wishing

We'd won the Billion Dollar Powerball. Don't pretend like you weren't wishing for the same thing.

Making Me Happy

Being home with the peanut. Getting away for the retreat was amazing, but I have such a hard time being away from her! (Now, ask me again later when she's throwing a tantrum and I might say something different :P )

What's going on with you?

Β 

Currently... #2 (and #teasertuesday)

currently.jpg

It's been a hot minute since I last did one of these things. My bad. But thanks to Katy's recent post, reminding me, I'm back. I know you've missed me desperately. Right?

Right?

Bueller... Bueller... Bueller...

😘

Here's what I'm up to:

Loving

Fall! I think it's my favorite season. (Though, honestly, I love them all.) There's something so refreshing to the snap of the chill in the air. Wrapping myself in my robe every morning to combat the coolness when I get up early to write. Not having to deal with the boobsweat days of summer... 

ALSO. My new website! Look around, you likey? The fabulous Nancy from Colbert Creative designed it and, not gonna lie, I'm obsessed. 

Reading

Katy Upperman's swoony YA manuscript, Kissing Max Holden--which is up, for free, on the Swoon Reads website! Go. Read. Thank me with chocolate. (You can also read the first chapter on her website.) If you love her story--which I know you will--vote for it! The site is hosted by a MacMillan imprint and the stories submitted might get picked up for publication. And, trust me, Katy's manuscripts? Are definitely deserving of publication. You'll see.

AND Elodie Nowodazjik's new release, Always Second Best. A wonderful YA dance/love story. Second chance romance, fucked up family ties, forbidden love and deep, deep secrets. Plus, a plot that twists and turns and breaks your heart and then puts it (almost completely) back together.

Watching

The old seasons of Heroes, in preparation for the new season (which has already started but whatever. DVR for the win.) I forgot how much I loved this show. And HIRO! :)  Also, I'm totally into Pretty Little Liars (season 5 so far, no spoilers!) and S1 of Madam Secretary. I adore TΓ©a Leoni. I watch the seasons super slowly, though, because when I have free time it's spent with my romantic suspense WIP. Which I'm in the middle of a love-hate relationship with. (Mostly love.)

Listening To

Halsey. Omg where has she been my entire life? I've been listening to her album, Badlands, on iTunes, on repeat while I write, and I don't see an end to loving her music anytime soon. 

Thinking About

Being an age that, when I was growing up, I used to consider old as fuck. Thirty-four feels like a weird, in-between age. Some days I feel like I've reached grown up status, others like I'm still somewhere in my teens. But I pay bills. I have responsibilities. I have a daughter. (The best thing to ever happen to me, btw.) (Having her makes it impossible for me to regret anything I've ever done because if I'd changed one thing about myself before she was created, maybe she wouldn't have been created.) (#deepthoughtswithriley)  Anyway, with the exception of chronic back pain, most days I'm still young. 

Anticipating

I'm taking an Immersion Master Class with Margie Lawson in November and I am literally counting down the days. (35.) If you've never heard of Margie Lawson, and you're a writer, I suggest getting to know her site and her teachings. I've worked through several of her lecture packets, and every drop of knowledge has been invaluable in strengthening my work. (This stuff is legit. I've taking other classes along the way--always looking to grow my skills--and I'm usually bored with how beginner they are. These? Not beginner.)

Wishing

Life hadn't thrown my the curveballs it has the past few months. I've had a bit of a rough go recently and I'm ready to get back on track. Luckily, I think it's happening. The whole back on track thing. Starting today. And it makes me immensely happy.

Making Me Happy

Other than the thing I just mentioned? My new planner arrived from InkWELL Press! And it's so pretty. And while I don't want to skip over the next few months, I also can't wait until 2016 because I'm ready to break this puppy in! If you're searching for a new planner, get an IWP! They're sold out now, but I there should be new 2016s available to order this month. And if you use this link, http://r.sloyalty.com/r/utuR7BPOTHwS, you'll get $10 off and I'll get referral points. :) 

The wood chevron color is so me. And I couldn't resist the ampersand notebook, either. Because, duh. (Paper quality: Top notch.)

The wood chevron color is so me. And I couldn't resist the ampersand notebook, either. Because, duh. (Paper quality: Top notch.)

What are you up to these days??

Oh. And here's the #teasertuesday part of my post!

This is a rough excerpt I shared with my Facebook reader group last week...

**********

Vaughn's expression didn't change, but he he stepped closer when Lulu shivered, unable to keep her fear from resurfacing. He didn't reach out to her. He didn't pull her toward him. She longed for it, for his reassurance, his touch. She hated herself for the longing. 

"If you won't go to the cops, you're staying with me." His voice was gruff, demanding. 

"Uh, yeah. I really don't think that's a good idea." 

"I really don't care."

God, he was annoying. She let her tone edge into a sharper terrain. "Good thing the decision isn't up to you then." 

"But it is."

"Don't be such a caveman."

"Don't make me throw you over my shoulder." He looked like he'd do it, too, his expression was serious enough to make her breath catch in her throat and drop back into her lungs. 

And the way his long hair fell over his shoulders and the scruff at his sternly set jaw… A part of Lulu was tempted to take him up on the offer. Vaughn swinging her over his shoulder held a certain appealβ€”one that zoomed straight down between her legs. But she was too irritated to give into it. "You don't even like me, Vaughn. Why the hell do you care what's going on with me?"

"I protect what's mine." A second after the words left his mouth, Vaughn looked as surprised to have spoken them as Lulu felt hearing them.

"I'm not yours," she said, her cheeks turning into miniature incinerators.

"You're in Markham's Cove," he said with a shrug that was too careless to actually be careless. "Everything in this town belongs to me."

"Yeah, and who died to make you king of the Cove?" She regretted the question the moment she asked it, thinking immediately of his parents. A darkness flickered through his honeyed eyes and she knew he'd followed the same thought process.