MUST LOVE BREECHES Released Today!

ItsAlive

and….

kermit-flail

about sum it up for me right now!

It’s available on all major outlets, including outside the US. More will be opening soon as a foreign distributor populates some German and Spanish outlets.

Elsewhere this week

Thank you all, and sorry this has become like the All Must Love Breeches All The Time Channel! I do hope to get back to blogging about other books and on writing craft.

Spread the word

If you’re active on twitter, here’s a tweet to share:

Tweet: Happy release day! MUST LOVE BREECHES, a #timetravel romance available now on Amazon #books #newrelease #PNR http://ctt.ec/dA435+

Tweet: Happy release day! MUST LOVE BREECHES, a #timetravel romance available now on Amazon #books #newrelease #PNR http://ctt.ec/dA435+
Facebook

You can share the book page on Facebook to let your friends know

And here’s the buy links

If you’re so inclined ;) Pre-order price is $3.99 and it will change to its normal price of $4.99 at the end of my blog tour

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Thank you all for your support all along the way. I know I haven’t been as active as I used to be on here. I found it hard to keep it up after a while :(

MUST LOVE BREECHES Due Out Sep 3, Avail Now for Pre-Order

AngelaQuarles_MustLoveBreeches_800pxIf you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you probably already saw this, but I thought I should announce it here for those who only follow my blog. Plus I’ve added some actionable items if you’d like to help spread the word :)

I’ve set a release date for September 3rd!

It’s now successfully gone through a copy edit and a proofread, and as of last night, it has been formatted for both ebook and print. Now I’m only waiting on the print version of the cover.

It’s been available for pre-order online on most outlets all summer, but just last week, Amazon opened up the pre-order option for indie authors, so it’s now up there too!

It will be available in both ebook and print form, though only the ebook form is available for pre-order. The pre-order price for the ebook is $3.99 and it will change to its normal sale price of $4.99 the week after launch (Sep 8)

It’s almost been three years since I started blogging. In fact, I started when I was working on this book with a view to publication. Some of you have been with me that long, bless you!

Ways to support

If you’re wondering if there are ways to help me spread the word about my release, I’ve laid out some actionable items below. And I’ll preface it all with a BIG FAT THANK YOU! I’m just putting it out there in case any of you want to help, but weren’t sure how to. I’m certainly not expecting or asking you to do this :)

Goodreads

Goodreads is a social networking site just for book lovers! If you’re on there, you can help with discoverability (which is so hard for new authors like me).

  • Add it to your Goodreads shelf
  • Vote for it in any of these Goodreads lists you feel comfortable doing
  • I really haven’t experimented much with this, but I’ve added this quote and another, but I don’t know if liking it does much or not. Anyway, just putting it out there :)

Pinterest

If you’re on Pinterest, I’ve created a board with pins for Must Love Breeches. Feel free to repin!

Twitter

If you’re active on twitter, here’s a tweet to share:

Tweet: She's finally met the man of her dreams--only 1 problem: he lives in another century. MUST LOVE BREECHES pre-order http://ctt.ec/59WZ2+

Tweet: She’s finally met the man of her dreams–only 1 problem: he lives in another century. MUST LOVE BREECHES pre-order http://ctt.ec/59WZ2+

 

Facebook

You can share the book page on Facebook to let your friends know

Join My Street Team

STREETTEAM

If you’d like to join my street team and help spread the word, I have a sign up page. Those who join will be placed in a secret group on Facebook, where I’ll post whatever promo I’ve got going on that I’d like help broadcasting. I’ll also post freebies and maybe some deleted scenes. Not sure yet how it will all play out…

Guest Post

I’m also available to do a guest post on your blog. Contact me if you’re interested.

Pre-Order

And if you’re so inclined ;) Pre-order price is $3.99 and it will change to its normal price of $4.99 on September 8

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Thank you all for your support all along the way. I know I haven’t been as active as I used to be on here. I found it hard to keep it up after a while :(

I’ve gone Primal! Documenting my new Paleo/Primal Lifestyle

ImageI’m keeping this blog purely as my writer’s blog, but I thought I’d do a post to share what’s going on with me writing-wise and health-wise and give you a link to where I’ll be microblogging about my Primal lifestyle in case you’re interested.

I thought October I’d be using to brainstorm and plot a new novel for NaNoWriMo, but my agent nixed that. She doesn’t want me scattering my focus. Since I sent STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY out to my trusty Beta readers in the beginning of the month, it means I have nothing writing-wise to work on until that feedback comes in (next week for the last of it) and I can start revising it again. Luckily, this corresponded with my commitment to change my unhealthy eating habits. Since I’d reached a certain age, I’d started carrying an extra twenty pounds, but in this last year I added another ten, and my eating habits were getting horrible (sometimes having mini chocolate donuts, diet soda and popcorn for lunch).

After seeing pictures of myself at Dragoncon I finally had enough (it also didn’t help that none of my summer clothes fit me anymore), so I did a Master Cleanse diet. I’ve done them three times before in the past, and they always helped me kick my unhealthy eating and also drop 8-12 pounds. Also I normally only did it for 10 days. This time I did it for 18 days. I lost 12 pounds and about 5 inches off my waist! But normally you gain about half of it back, but I immediately switched to eating Primal/Paleo and I haven’t gained any of it back. I’ve now ended my third week eating Primal/Paleo.

Not having writing obligations has meant that I’ve been able to put my obsessive personality on learning the intricacies of eating and living this way, and use the time to learn and develop habits and shortcuts so that hopefully when I pick up writing again, it’ll integrate smoothly back into my life.

What is Primal?

primalIt’s a version of the Paleo Diet/Lifestyle, coined by Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. Paleo is eating clean foods that don’t have any chemicals, preservatives or even additives like corn or soy. It also cuts out all grains. Primal is a little laxer, in that if you’ve done a 30-day strict elimination Paleo diet and then slowly add back some things like cheese or milk and it doesn’t bother you, then you can eat it (in moderation, i.e. it belongs in the tippy top of the eating pyramid). But it still needs to be clean, so my cheese is made from raw milk, as I have no problem with it. However, when I tried to add beer back into my diet (I love beer!) boy did it mess with my innards! So I’m going to have to learn to like red wine. Or try some gluten-free beer…

Anyway, if you’re interested in any of this, I started a tumblr blog, Primal FTW, so you can follow me there as I won’t be posting about it anymore on this blog.

What’s up with y’all? Have you started any new good habits?

Ack! I have a plot hole! Techniques to Solve in an Early Stage

download (5)So, last time I truly posted, I was taking a blogging hiatus to work on the sequel to MUST LOVE BREECHES. I’ve since then finished the first draft and have been working on high-level revisions since. I love plot and am a nerd about finding different ways to tackle looking at it. I definitely needed to find a different way to handle this one, because it had problems, and I knew it.

The biggest problem? I knew the ending before I ever started writing it, so my plot points just before the big Crisis were pushed to make this crisis happen. Result? It lacked believability and motivation. So much so, readers would’ve likely thrown the book at the wall.

Also, some of my major plot points were tied with the specific time period and I wanted to make sure the history was sound.

The first thing I did was make a spreadsheet with my scenes and it helped me a little–I saw gaps and plugged in new rows for scenes that needed to be there. When I thought I had it figured out, I transferred it to a Word Document that I created, where I just gave summaries of what happens in each chapter, a Chapter Outline. This I sent to one Welsh historian and a couple of Beta readers. Because of the possible plot problems, I didn’t want to wait until I had a readable full-length draft. I got great feedback and took that and revised the Outline again and sent it to a couple of other historians who helped me shore up the historical plot points.

But the Crisis? Yep, everyone came back and said it didn’t work–wasn’t believable. But it was the one thing in my whole plot I couldn’t throw out–it was the image I had in my head when I first started noodling this WIP around for possibilities and I also knew it was a strong image. So, it had to stay.

Back to the drawing board. I really worried each time I sat down to try to solve this that I wouldn’t figure it out. I felt like I was so close but couldn’t quite get there.

I could also tell that the Outline, while it helped as an instrument to gain feedback from others in an early stage, wasn’t helpful to me to try to make sense of it; I couldn’t play with it. Then I remembered my plotting board and fondness for stickies that I’ve used on other WIPS, so pulled it out and went to town.

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It helped me a little, some of the smaller plot issues I was able to see and fix by adding new stickies and moving others around. But the Black Moment leading up to the Crisis was still a problem. So I went to my trusty Beta partner Jami Gold and sent her my bulleted list of events leading up to the Crisis and she came back with a wonderful idea for the motivation, but also helped me look at the Black Moment I had and came up with some other suggestions for how to have it play out. This got my mental juices unblocked and at the plotting board I began making stickies, rearranging scenes, and then also saw how I could tie her idea in with the Antagonist and pull it all together. I also then saw that having a change of location helped raise the tension and stakes. I was then able to see how the heroine’s personality could be tweaked to make it even more impactful. Excited, I typed up version 3 of my Chapter Outline and sent it to Jami and some new victims for feedback.

But I can feel it–I can feel the story works now. My gut wasn’t wrong when I finished that first draft, and I’m so glad I listened to it and found a way to get valuable input in such an early stage. I really dreaded revising this WIP with my gut feeling that way, worried that I’d go to all this trouble revising and polishing and then have my gut proved right when Beta feedback came back and pointed out the plot problems. Now I feel much more confident going into actual revisions; the framework for the story is much more solid. Now I can work on all the other fun stuff I like to do during revisions and get this revised and polished. Now, hopefully, my Beta readers will be able to help see smaller issues instead of pointing out big macro issues that should’ve been firmed up before I ever got to that stage.

I also liked working with an outline and fiddling with it, not touching my prose at all. It was much easier to see, without running the risk of overreading the WIP too early.

So, to distill this for others that might be in the same boat (I’m a “plantser” –someone who does some pre-plotting but pantses the rest of the first draft):

  • Take your first draft and make a chapter outline. Mine came out to ten pages.
  • Just like in the Beta stage, get a variety of folks to look at it. I had historians who knew nothing about the writing craft, as well as others who did. Evaluate their comments just like you would on a full manuscript. See a pattern? You have a problem.
  • Fiddle and revise. Go back to any tools you’ve used in the past to help you look at your manuscript differently (for me it was the plotting board)
  • Get someone who is deeply familiar with plotting and structure, and that you trust to be honest with you, to take a look at it

How have you handled plot problems in the past? Have you also pulled in outside eyes at this early stage? Has it helped you? What techniques have you used to look at your plot in a high-level way?

DISCLAIMER: I don’t watch Dr. Who, so I have no idea if the image I used is a fair assessment of that episode, but I thought it seemed appropriate to the post to illustrate a problem common to many writers when working out their plot. Plus, appropriately enough, it deals with time travel ;)

That Publicity Stuff…A New Review and an Interview

The obligatory linkage to the latest with BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS:

First up a review was posted today on Delighted Reader, with an A Rating. Here’s a snippet:

This was a fun quick read involving a quirky romance that was set up by a djinn.  Short stories and novellas can make me leery of wanting to give them a try because not everyone who writes one understands just how to achieve a good balance of plot, pacing and character development to fit into the page count they have.  Fortunately, this author did a great job so I ended up with an enjoyable reading experience that had me reading with a smile on my face and an ‘ah’ of satisfaction coming from my lips by the end….So, I can heartily recommend this one to those who enjoy a quirky magical contemporary Happy For Now with promise of the future romance with not a lot of time to read. – Sophia Rose, Delighted Reader

And then I visited Tara Kingston’s blog with an interview about a guilty pleasure and a little about what I’m working on right now…

Sick of me yet? Three more interviews…

Okay, so I got a little over eager and scheduled a ton of stops on various blogs to promote my newly-released erotic geek romantic comedy BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS. I hope I haven’t made everyone sick of me! I promise that next week, I’ve ratcheted it down to only three guest spots instead of five :) So here’s where I’ve been this week since my last BEER update:

BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS Now Avail for Pre-Order + 1st Review

BEER cover small

Came home tonight to some super awesome news that hit back to back! First I got my first review. Turns out I hit the jackpot, she’s not only a geek, but a Browncoat! Angie J at Twinsie Talk Book Reviews said:

Ok so this book is sooo fun. It is a quick 46 page ecopy book but it is filled with sarcasm, wit, sexiness and a lot of humor…The sexual tension in the story is great. I was laughing in the beginning and then saying “Hawt” towards the middle. When they finally *cough cough* well you know, it was gooood reading

Here’s the full review

Now available for pre-order

And then my publisher said they had it up on their site now available for pre-order! Yippee! Wasn’t expecting that til about Saturday! So, if you’d like to pre-order, go to Secret Cravings Publishing. If you’re on a Kindle, choose mobi as your file type… It’ll take about a week or so for it to populate to Amazon…

Pimping for guest posts

If you have a book blog, or you highlight authors on your blog, I’m available for guest posts, interviews or an author spotlight. Here’s my current schedule

Other news

Yesterday, MUST LOVE BREECHES was the overall winner (across all categories) in the Windy City’s Four Seasons contest!

Writing Update – NaNoWriMo and More

NaNoWriMo

Wow, Day 28 already?! If you’re also doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) like me you’ve only got today through Friday to reach 50,000 words. I’m on track so far with just over 45K written as of last night for my new novel (my fourth full-length novel) NOT ANOTHER DARCY, which is a meta fiction romance where literary characters come to life. I’m having a lot of fun with it, but I’m going to keep this post short, because, you know, need to get in the wordage this morning before I head to work.

I’ll post next week about the experience and some things I learned, plus a new spreadsheet I created for plotting, but right now I wanted to touch base with everyone and see how you’re doing with NaNoWriMo? Are you on track? Have you already hit the magic number? If you’re struggling, don’t look at the final number you need to get, try to instead focus on how many words you can write in an hour and try to clear blocks of time with no distractions and hit that goal. And keep going for another block of time. I can’t recommend the Twitter hashtag #1k1hr enough–it’s saved my bacon a number of times! By focusing on smaller goals, you reduce the amount of stress/freakout you’re experiencing with the number of words needed to finish. Good luck!

Writing Updates

Some of you have been asking about MUST LOVE BREECHES and what’s happening with it now that I have an agent. Unfortunately, our plans to submit Nov 1 were derailed due to Hurricane Sandy, so we’re going to submit in early 2013.

My first release, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, is still on track to be released on December 19th with Secret Cravings! Right now you can add it to your Goodreads shelf until it becomes available for pre-order on the Publisher’s site. Sadly, it probably won’t make it to Amazon’s database until after Christmas. Does anyone have any tips for me on pimping it? Still learning the ropes. Thought I’d make a postcard of the cover with a QR Code on back for buying…

How about you?

This is an open thread to pimp your upcoming release, or to share how you’re doing on NaNoWriMo!

ALSO, TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO BACK UP YOUR PROJECT! I’ve heard horror stories, just saying…

Throwing Confetti! Cover Reveal for Beer and Groping in Las Vegas!

I can’t quite believe it! This is my first ever cover! And it’s HERE! And I absolutely adore it! The awesome Dawné Dominique is the cover artist.

The other good news is that the publication date got moved up from January to December! So here’s the skinny:

BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS
A contemporary geek romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Release Date: December 19, 2012!!
Length: Novelette

Blurb:
Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she accidentally makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

What do y’all think?

I got an agent!! No joke.

I can finally announce the news officially that I’ve been hinting about in posts.

I GOT AN AGENT!

The news became official while I was out of town for Georgia’s Moonlight & Magnolia Conference so I could only announce my good news on my social networks. For some reason it won’t feel really official until I can post it on my blog (apologies to those who’ve already heard the news).

My agent! Maura Kye-Casella with Don Congdon Assoc.

I actually ended up with three offers of representation, but ended up going with the fabulous Maura Kye-Casella with Don Congdon, Associates. For those fellow sci-fi nerds out there, their founder discovered Ray Bradbury, how cool is that? In romance land, she represents Sophie Jordan and Colleen Gleason! It still feels a little surreal and that I’m talking about this happening to someone else.

I thought I’d share a little about how it all happened for those of you still seeking representation, so you can see that it can happen to you. Like I said last week, I have patience and hard work to thank for this moment. All three agents commented about how “clean and polished” my manuscript was, and that they could send it out on submission right now. Squeee! So if you read last week’s post, that’s what I was hinting at, that all that polishing paid off!

Two of the agents who offered were the two I pitched to at RWA, so there’s several lessons to be had there. One, to tie into last week’s post (again), thank God I didn’t give in to my impatience and send them those partials right when I got back from RWA. This is NOT, however, an endorsement of pitching an incomplete manuscript! That is soooo different from the phase mine was in. Anyway, onward with my list. Two, pitches do work! Both said during our phone calls that they remembered the pitch and were intrigued from the start. Three, do your homework on whom to pitch to. It wasn’t random, I don’t think, that this all fell out for me this way. When I got that list from RWA, I researched every single agent on that two page list and narrowed down my choices to the ones I thought were my best chance. Actually, this segues into: Four, get ballsy. I thought Maura was out of my league when I pitched to her and couldn’t believe I had the nerve to do so.

Anyway, this all started happening one week after I began querying. One of the agents I pitched to made me giddy by asking to have my partial converted to a full. I felt like if nothing else happened, I’d at least made that milestone–that an agent had seen the goods and STILL wanted to keep reading. The next night, I got my first offer (from a different agent), which left me stunned! I alerted the other agents who were considering me, to let them know and gave them a time frame to respond. Monday, the second agent (the one I pitched to and who had converted the partial to a full) offered and now I was reeling. Thursday, Maura emailed to say she’d finished, said some very nice things about MUST LOVE BREECHES, and wanted to set up a call for Monday (this past Monday). Now I’m on pins and needles, not knowing if she’d offer. Obviously, she did, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! This doesn’t automatically mean it’ll find a home with a publisher, but I’m one step closer and feel like I have the best advocate for me! For those non-writer friends reading this, most traditional publishers will not look at unagented manuscripts so this is my only way to get into their hands and on your bookshelves.

So this is not only me sharing my awesome news, but also my way of encouraging you. Yes, it CAN happen. I thought this day would never come. I’d read and heard all the doom and gloom about how hard it is to land an agent. But don’t give up. Every time I got a rejection, I picked myself back up again and kept going, knowing that others would not, so I envisioned it as an opportunity to move into thinner ranks. Many fine writers give up after only 5 rejections. Don’t be one of those. I wouldn’t be in this position if I’d done that. Instead of giving up in the Spring when I faced rejection, I realized my manuscript wasn’t quite ready and did another Beta round and then did all the hard work of polishing that puppy up!

Are you querying? Do you have any specific questions about my path? Do you have good news to share too?