Coffee & Naughty Thoughts

Author Linda Bolton - Writer, Blogger

Category: Books

Books for sale, reviewed or new release

Changes Can be a Good Thing

This new year has brought all kinds of changes. We have a new president (no, I don’t do political posts – just stating a fact), this will be my first full year married to my new husband, and this is the first year since I’ve been writing that I don’t have a publisher.

For those of you who are familiar with the publishing industry, I know you’re asking if I’m going to self-publish or find a new publisher. I don’t know yet. I do know I’m making some changes to my first two books. I’ve learned a lot about writing since I started and I know there are some things I’d do different, especially in Take 2. I’m working on those now.

My third book, Final Chance is finally finished. I think I’ve made all the edits I can at this point. I’d like to share a little of it with you here.

Chapter 1
“You have got to write about someone more relevant!” Cassandra Tate repeated for the second time that week, her bun pulled so tight her face barely moved when she spoke.

“I am,” Mac defended herself.

“Pocahontas isn’t relevant. No one cares.” Cassandra flipped through her reports. “Your sales are down, way down. The only thing keeping you afloat is the Marilyn Monroe biography.”

“Einstein still sells!” Mac argued.

“Ten copies this month. That’s not called sales. Mac, please, if you’re sticking with biographies find someone interesting,” pleaded Cassandra as she waved Mac out of her office, dismissing her.

Cassandra Kapshaw had been a commissioning editor at Barnes and Clifton for twenty years. She’d run across few talented writers. Mac was one of those talents but her topics weren’t attracting readers or buyers anymore. Cassandra tried to be fair but, truth of the matter, it was all about the money. If Mac couldn’t bring in the sales, Cassandra would have to cut her loose.

Someone interesting, Mac repeated in her head as she grabbed her bag and headed out of the office. Who’s interesting? Mac tossed ideas around in her head as she drove up the Dallas North Tollway toward her apartment in Uptown. She came up blank. How could she have writer’s block if she wasn’t writing anything?

Blain ‘Mac’ McClain had been writing for ten years, every since she’d graduated from college. Her dissertation was impressive and began her writing career. A career that looked like it was heading for a plunge.

On her drive home she tossed her conversation with Cassandra around in her head over and over, getting no light bulb moments. She needed a distraction. Good thing she had a party to go to tonight. At first she wasn’t looking forward to going but after a day like today – the possibility of no career, no rent, and no food – a crowd of strangers and free drinks was what she needed.

“Emily, what time do I need to be ready?” Mac answered her phone seconds after it rang.

Mac met Emily in freshman biology. They were doing an experiment and needed to spit in a test tube. Mac’s mouth went dry and Emily volunteered to spit for her. They’d been friends every since.

“Gee, Mac, no hello? A bit anxious? I thought you didn’t want to go?” She laughed.

“I need a night out. It’s been a rough day.”

“I see! Ok, be ready at seven. I’ll pick you up. You sure you want to go to my office party?” Emily double checked. She didn’t think it was going to be that kind of distraction. Her work functions were usually pretty sedate.

“Oh yes, I’m sure,” Mac hung up and spent the rest of her drive to her uptown Dallas apartment mentally going through her closet.

Once home, Mac settled on wearing an emerald green sweater and black slacks. Emily picked her up and, seeing her reflection in the glass doors, she thought she looked dull compared to Emily in her zebra stripped wrap dress as they walked into the office building. Glass and marble shined throughout the foyer. Their four inch heels echoed as they stepped. Mac glanced at their reflection in elevator doors as they waited for them to open. Damn, they looked good. The outfit Mac wore hugged her curves and made her red locks glow. Emily’s animal print couldn’t be missed. It fit her personality to a T – bold, daring, audacious.

Emily had always been the shining star in their relationship. Mac had been shy and withdrawn in high school. Emily knew everyone, got invited to every party and was an average student, Mac stayed home, studied and made straight A’s. They were yin and yang. Their personalities complemented each other. Emily enticed Mac to be more open and daring, Mac encouraged Emily to have a good job and work hard.

“Wow, this is a really nice place,” Mac whispered to her as the elevator doors opened onto the fiftieth floor, Cameron Financial.

Mac clutched Em’s arm, her eyes wide as they walked into the fanciest office she’d ever been in. She giggled at Mac’s wonder. She led her through the crowd to a group on the far side of the room.

“Mac, Blaine McClain, this is my boss, Mitch Cameron. Mitch, this is Blaine McClain, my best friend,” Emily introduced.

“Nice to meet you, was that Mac?” Mitch replied, reaching out to shake Mac’s hand.

“Nice to meet you.” Mac’s breath caught as their hands touched and they looked into each others eyes. The silence was palpable.

His warm smile reached his dark chocolate eyes and melted her. The suit he wore was tapered to accentuate his very firm, six foot frame. His hair color matched his eyes and the front slightly covered a scar that ran down the side of his face, and begged for her fingers to touch it, running the length of it, from temple to just under his cheekbone. A question lingered at the edge of her tongue dying to ask where the scar came from, but she refrained.

“Uh, Mac, didn’t you want a drink?” Em asked, trying to break the third-wheel silence.

Mitch grinned from woman to woman, “I have to mingle. You two have fun. It was very good to have met you, Mac.”

Mac felt her cheeks flush. She watched Mitch walk away without saying anything. What was wrong with her? Had it been that long since a man breathed in her direction.

“Ugh,” she grunted as Emily took her arm and led her to the bar.

“I know. He has that effect on all the women in the office,” she chuckled.

Em showed Mac around her office, stopping at the doorway to Mitch’s office.

“This is it. End of the tour,” she waved her arm with a flourish as if getting ready to add “Ta-da”.

Mac was impressed with the elegance of her friend’s workplace. Everything about the it said class and style, from the plush carpeting to the solid oak doors to each office. Looking into Mitch’s office, she noticed the rich walnut desk and the brass accents. Something caught her eye that pulled her into the forbidden den.

“Mac, where are you going?” Emily whispered as loud as she dared, looking around wide-eyed to make sure no one saw them entering.

Mac stopped in front of what looked like a black and white photo on the wall. It appeared to be over four feet tall and over three feet wide, a huge representation of what had to be Mitch’s father. As Mac moved closer she realized it was a pencil sketch, an amazing sketch, so detailed. Her hand instinctively reached to touch it but stopped inches away, frozen in mid-air.

“Mac, we need to get out of here. Do you want to get me fired?” Emily begged, shifting from side to side, scanning the area continuously, fearing Mitch would catch them. This was his domain and no one entered unless invited.

“Em, this is amazing! Is this Mitch’s dad? Who drew this?” She asked to no one in particular as she leaned in to see the signature. E. Hawk. She made a mental note and took a deep breath.

“I’m sorry. I just had to see who drew this. We can go,” Mac replied, finally back in the moment.

As Emily grabbed Mac’s arm and turned to leave, Mitch stood at his doorway. A questioning look on his face.

Mac saw his wide eyes and narrowed brows and worried she had put her friend’s job in jeopardy.

“Mitch, I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I saw the sketch and had to get closer. Please don’t blame Emily. She asked me not to come in here,” she reasoned, hoping she sounded convincing.

Mitch thought about what she said a few seconds. Curious about her motives he asked, “Are you interested in art?”

“I write biographies about artists, famous people. I’m always looking for a new subject. Do you know if E. Hawk is alive?” Her mind raced with ideas for a new book.

“Ethan, yes, he’s alive. He’s gotta be in his late fifties. Lives in Sunset. My father and Ethan were great friends back in the day.” Mitch stated more matter-of-factly than he intended.

“Ethan Hawk, the actor?” Mac scanned her memory for things Ethan Hawk. She couldn’t remember a fact about him being a sketch artist.

“Oh no, different Ethan. My father mentioned he was a colorful character. I don’t know that he’d be book-worthy. Aren’t artist more interesting dead?” Mitch responded. His crooked grin made her believe he was entertained by her query.

“They’re usually famous after they’re dead, yes. My publisher is wanting me to find someone ‘interesting’ to write about,” Mac gestured with air quotes. “Maybe having a famous name will help. Did you say he lives in Sunset?”

“Last I heard, yes. Now, can you two leave my office?” Mitch demanded more than he requested.

“Ok, let’s go!” Emily snatched Mac’s arm and pulled her over the threshold. Mac glanced back and saw Mitch looking at the sketch on his wall as she was drug down the hall toward the bar.

“Ok, no more getting me in trouble tonight. Let’s drink.”

She handed Mac a glass of wine and both women headed toward the windows in the alcove to look at the view and hide from Mitch. Mac hoped she hadn’t got Emily fired. Em had been a contract manager for the last five years and really loved her job. Tonight was supposed to be a distraction, the last thing Mac thought she’d find at an office party was a writing lead. She was antsy to get home and see what she could dig up on E. Hawk.

Mitch stared at the sketch. He remembered when his father had it done. Ethan Hawk. He was a character, lived life to the fullest and them some, his dad would say. That was a lifetime ago. Mitch never thought he’d take over the business. After high school, he went as far away as he could. Ten years ago, after receiving his degree and a successful bout on Wall Street, he got the call from his dad’s lawyer. The old man finally met his maker. He should have taken this picture down but it reminded him how far he had come, despite his upbringing.

He looked toward the bar and saw the women walk out of view. What did Emily say her name was? Mac. Startling red hair, blue eyes, curves. He felt his body react as he thought of her, his pulse quickened and his palms were sticky. No woman had ever made his palms sweat, except for Melissa Tate in seventh grade. She had made all the boys sweat.

He shook his head to focus on the party. He didn’t need a distraction tonight. This party was for the employees and he was just the chaperon. His physical desires needed to be put on hold. Damn, but she was attractive.

 

Hope you enjoyed Chapter 1. If you’re interested in Take 2 or Incantation in a signed paperback, I have them for sale under the Books tab for $10, US only. Get the first editions before they’re gone.

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Planning A New Year

I know, I know, it’s resolution time. But really, how many times have you followed through with them? I call them goals in the hope that I’ll stick to them.

A week, two weeks tick by, and life takes over and the goal goes out the window.  I get caught up in the stress and old habits and within days the new year’s plan is forgotten.

So, what’s the plan this year? To be more focused on the important things. 2016 was full of surprises…good surprises but surprises none the less.

 

First, I got married. We had the funnest wedding, Halloween themed with costumes all around. We’re so appreciative of those that shared our day with us. It couldn’t have been any better.

Second, I finished my 3rd book. I’m working on the plot for the 4th and for some none romance books as well.

Third, I found a writing partner. She’s been super motivating and excited. She’s working on her first two books.

So, what does all this mean for 2017?

Well, I’ll be self-publishing this year or working with a new publisher. We’ll  see what happens. In the meanwhile, you can get signed copies of Take 2 and Incantation for $10 each (US only), until their gone. If you’re interested, email me at lindambolton@gmail.com. Payment made through PayPal.

I’ll be attending RT Con this year!! Whoop! I’m really excited! My writing partner and I are going for the first time. It looks like an amazing event chalk full of great workshops and fun. We’re really looking forward to it.

Of course, there’s the never ending diet. Ok, ok, changing my food choices. I really need to get this extra weight off. Everyone I’m close to is losing weight through one means or another. I’m not going to be the odd man out. So…a grocery shopping for veggies I will go!

I’m, also, determined to learn how to set up a newsletter. So, if you want to support your friendly neighborhood author, please sign up on this website. I promise to be quippy and short, with minimal evasiveness to your email pool.

Help me ring in the new year and keep my goals. Share yours in the comment section (found at the top of the post) and we can help each other out.

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday Book Sales

black friday

If you love prizes and fun games, come join us Friday, Nov 27, – Monday, Nov 30, on Facebook. Don’t stand in long lines and get cranky! Play fun games, meet some authors and win super awesome prizes! All in the comfort of your home on your computer!

Facebook Black Friday Event

prizes

I’m excited to share the Grand Prize list with everyone today! Total value of these gifts rings in at more than $800.00 This list includes all our generous gift givers. I hope you will give them a huge thank you here and by connecting with them in the future! Click “see more” to see the whole list. All the gifts were so fantastic we had to enter them into random.org to sort them into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
1st Place Winner:
$75.00 Amazon Gift Card
Given by #MKSP and #EBBT– The small, but mighty publisher and eBookBargainsToday where you will always find the best deals on eBooks.
Connect with us:
https://www.facebook.com/MasterKodaSelectPublishing
http://ebookbargainstoday.com/

doTERRA essencial oils – Value $60.00
Wrap yourself in relaxation and luxury with this doTerra Citrus Bliss Bundle: Includes soothing hand lotion, and invigorating bath bar. A bonus gift of peppermint and wild orange lip balm round out this moment of bliss in your busy holiday season. $60.00 value.
Given by Joyce Kaiser

Professional Editing Job – Value $250.00
Win this editing job for a manuscript up to 12,000 words. Including grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Vikki will also make notes on story flow & answer questions throughout the process of this edit.
Given by Vikki Zerbe Becker of #EnchantedEditing

Winter Wreath – Value $45.00
A darling holiday wreath to welcome your guests at the door.
Given by Terri Terri Renshaw Dryden of Terri’s Crafty Creations

2nd Place Winner:
$35.00 Amazon Gift Card
Given by #MKSP and #EBBT
http://ebookbargainstoday.com/
https://twitter.com/eBookBargns2day

Sage Hill Farms Organic Herbs, Teas, and condiments – Value $80.00
A collection of goodies from Sage Hill Farms packaged and designed for your personal enjoyment or as gift to pass on.
Contents consist of Sage Hill seasonings, teas, and condiments.
Given by Bea Kunz of Sage Hill Farms
https://www.facebook.com/sagehill.farm/

Tupperware bowls for your holiday baking needs. Value $58.00
These sturdy bowls range in size from 42 cups to 3 cups.
Given by Jenny Jenny Brown Welker
https://www.facebook.com/thyme4tupper/

Healthy Skin Care by Ava Anderson – Value $45.00
Get in the holiday spirit this year with a rejuvenating Candy Cane scent body scrub and candle gift set by Ava Anderson.
Given by Becky Becky Florence Copley

3rd place winner:
$20.00 Amazon Gift Card
Given by #MKSP and #EBBT

Tweets by Siefken Publications – Value $5.00
Five Tweets for five days.
Given by Wendy Siefken
https://www.facebook.com/SiefkenPublications/

Greens on the Go and It Works! Body Wraps – Value $160.00
Treat yourself to a healthy new you with these superb products for good health and weight loss.
Given by Stephanie Grillett

eBook bundle – Titles by various authors – Value $50.00
Given by MKSP and Friends
Connect with us:
https://www.facebook.com/MasterKodaSelectPublishing

We’re going to have a great time! Drop by during the weekend and join us!

**Oh, my ebooks will be on sale for $0.99 each that weekend! Deals all around! ‘Tis the season!

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The last 500 words

***UPDATE BELOW***

I have been writing my book since March.  Some days flowed like a river other days my muse was on vacation.  Then I finished but didn’t have enough words to call it a novel.  That was frustrating.  But my muse came back from vacation  – Vegas!  – and off we went.  500 to go.

I’ve been dawdling at finishing. I don’t why.  Too many things going on and I really want to focus.

Have you ever tried to write while you were out of town.  Its the strangest feeling.  I usually sit on my big, fluffy sofa, early in the morning when everything is quiet (except for the cats) and write until I have to get ready for work.  I took my laptop with me out of town a couple of months ago and thought I’d write a bit.  I stayed at a quiet bed and breakfast (www.Sparhawk.com) in Abilene, Texas.  No television, beautiful garden, peaceful.  I couldn’t write! I tried, really I did. It just felt uncomfortable.  Like I was cheating on my sofa.

I did take my laptop with me last month to Phoenix and was able to get out 500 or so words before I  had to stop.  I thought I could write anywhere but I guess not.  I can do research anywhere but that’s not the same thing.

So now I sit, writing my blog instead of the book. I need to finish but life just isn’t quiet enough right now. My head is full of ideas, future books, plans, but my muse must be on vacation again. It goes out of town more than I do! Is it visiting you? Could you send it home….I have a book to finish.

**UPDATE**
I wrote this blog in December of 2010. I am happy to say I have found a publisher. It wasn’t easy, but mostly because I was afraid. Afraid all my work was just jibberish. That someone would read it and say, “What is this crap!”. Instead, my first attempt was met with a canned response. They were to busy to go into detail but they just weren’t interested at this time. Whew! Dodged that bullet. Then I tried a second publisher. This one I knew would be more personable. It terrified me. But it paid off. I was private messaged on FaceBook that I’m in! They want my book! I’m am so excited! I have been told by friends who have been recently published this is where the work begins! I am so happy to have this opportunity and I look forward to the hard work! This has all been such a blessing and enjoyable rollercoaster ride!

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The New Year

Can you believe we are starting 2011 in just a couple days?  Is it me or did this year fly by in a blink of an eye?

I look back on the past twelve months and think about accomplishments, failures and unfinished business.  All in all the year has been pretty positive.  I still have a couple things to finish and the failures were stepping stones.  So what to plan next year?

Hmmm, number one on the list is finish my first book.  Editing and a few changes is all it needs. Number two is to start the second book. Number three is to try to get it published.  Then, of course, there a fifty more things on the list that I’ll be working on in between called life. What do you have planned for next year?

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Giving the Reader What They Want

I write what I want to read. I have heard other authors say that. I love to read historical romance. LOVE IT!  Do I want to write it? No!  Way too much research! I like to write contemporary romance. Once I get published will anyone else want to read my books?  I hope so.

I met up with some friends tonight who are avid readers.  Mostly romance. I listened to the comments they made about other authors they read.  The heroine was too young and not relatable, too many zombies, story didn’t move along quick enough, too much sex, not enough sex…

It gave me even more book ideas. I definitely have the writing bug! My muse is busy throwing ideas at me quicker than I can write them down. Surely others will want to read my work and share it with the world. If not I will still have to write. And I will continue to listen to what others want to read and try to accommodate while still enjoying they story my way.

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