A little reflection – ROW80

I’m late for my Wednesday check in, but at least I made it – I missed the last few. There are reasons for that; the internet for one, and an increased work load. There’s also the fact I failed at NaNo, or perhaps I should say, I failed to achieve the required word count. I knew going in there was a chance I couldn’t dedicate the required time – I was juggling too many things. Because of that I also failed to connect with people as I did last year, which is a big reason I felt no motivation to reach the finish line. I was impulsive (nothing new in that respect) and decided to register at the last minute. It had something to do with a certain fireman talking incessantly in my head and reminding me that I’d promised him his day to shine almost two years ago. So, despite everything I’m really glad I set some of my time aside. Tyler is an absolute joy and once I start something I always try to finish. He’ll get more of my attention and in that respect I’m a winner!

When I began ROW80 I set myself baby steps and for the most part have managed to achieve them. That said, as there are only a few weeks left, this will probably be my last check-in. I will still be making the rounds and cheering people on – fulfilling my sponsor duties. It has been the best part for me.

I’m struggling a little at the moment. I’m feeling pretty low and finding the motivation to do anything is quite a challenge. I’m used to these moods and I’m doing all the right things to snap me out of the funk. The lovely Taylor Grace introduced me to the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the escapism has helped. I love the series, so thanks, Taylor! I’ve neglected Tyler a little, and haven’t been writing much of anything, but that’s something I’m familiar with too, so when the compulsion strikes I’ll delve into the fire – literally. I left him fighting a warehouse fire. Thankfully he has it under control 🙂

So, right now I need my internet friends. I’m going to visit some blogs, check in with people and hopefully get to read one of Callum’s poems 🙂

Thanks for listening.

Mel

Focusing my energies – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

I usually start with my WIPpet, but it relates to my ROW80 update, so I’ll begin by saying my goals have taken a back seat this week, or should I say, all but my writing goals. I dedicated the time to working on my NaNo novel and things are progressing at a steady pace. I’m still behind, but that’s okay.

So, on to WIPpet. The maths is easy this week – 19 paragraphs for the date. I wrote the scene this morning, so it’s still a little rough around the edges, but I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

As he walked the path to Lilly-May’s door, Tyler was consumed with memories. A week had passed since he’d lost his mind and kissed her, but it could have been moments ago. The feel of her soft mouth on his, the surprised little sound in her throat, her small, capable hands on his arms. She hadn’t been appalled by his behaviour, she had been intrigued by it.

His feet paused before the first step, finding a stubborn will of their own to prevent him from moving forward. He knew why – Lilly-May was a beautiful, sensual creature, driven by curiosity, and when it burned away, he would be a pile of ash.

The same fierce determination he used to confront a fire spread through his system. He could do this. Then she opened the door and he could barely breathe, let alone move.

She’d left her hair down, so it caressed the edge of her slender shoulders. The golden hue of her skin was untouched, making him want to groan. She wore a deep blue strapless dress, which clung to her generous curves and stopped just below the knee. And, sweet Jesus, he was in so much trouble.

“Thank you,” she breathed, her green eyes sparkling. “Though, if you keep looking at me like that, we may not make it to dinner.”

Tyler grinned, he couldn’t help it. He wasn’t even embarrassed she’d seen his reaction to her, he was tired of hiding it. Tired of hiding himself. “How about we skip to dessert?” He was shocked as soon as the words left his mouth.

Lilly-May, on the other hand, laughed in delight. “You’ve been keeping secrets from me,” she said, closing the door and turning the key.

“Secrets?”

Her shoulders lifted in a careless shrug, pulling his eyes away from her face. He wanted to sink his teeth into that soft flesh. So much trouble.

“I always knew you were charming, but I’ve never seen the affects of that first hand.”

“That’s because, where you’re concerned, I’m usually trying not to trip over my own tongue.” What the hell is wrong with me?

Her eyes widened in shock, a moment before she smiled. “Who are you, and what have you done with Tyler?”

He groaned at the reminder. She only saw him as the quietly serious and loyal member of their group. A family she’d claimed as her own. There was no going back from this, because he wouldn’t pretend anymore. “Promise me something, Lilly,” he said, needing them to be clear on this one thing. “Promise me, whatever happens, this won’t come between us.”

She searched his face for a moment, all traces of humour gone. “I promise. Whatever happens, you’ll always be my friend.”

It should have discouraged him, yet he was oddly soothed by the term. His heart might be in tatters by the end of this, but he wouldn’t lost her completely. Enough with the drama, Ty.

“In that case,” he said, moving up a step so they were nice and close. “Good evening, Lilly.”

Before she could reply he bent his head, and did what he’d wanted to do since the moment she stepped out of the house. Pushing aside her hair, he placed his lips against her shoulder and kissed the smooth skin.

Her sharp intake of breath had arousal beating in his blood, so he stole the sound with his mouth. She came alive, her arms locking around his neck as she tried to get closer.

It was a wild thing, the fire building between them. Every thought in his head snapped out, until there was only Lilly-May.

Thanks, as always, to K.L. Schwengel for providing us with an outlet to share our works in progress. I’m on my way to visit the rest of the gang!

I hope you’re having a good week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Not much of a progress report – ROW80

You may have noticed my absence on Wednesday, so I apologise I didn’t have time to participate in either WIPpet Wednesday or ROW80. I’ve been preparing for the release of The Fifth Watcher, and juggling a busy workload, so this week has been chaotic to say the least!

I almost didn’t post today, because I don’t have a great deal to report. I’m on track with my writing, and back to editing. I made progress on my blogging goals, and even managed to post on the Lance Legion blog. Which is all pretty boring, right? I could have tried to make this post more entertaining, but my energy levels are low, and so is my sense of humour it seems!

So, this is me, touching base. I hope you all had a good week, and I hope to learn of your progress when I visit my group.

Until next time.

Mel

Crazy Craft Sunday – ROW80 Update

2014-11-09 21.34.08It’s short and sweet from me this week, and when I say sweet I mean sweet. I spent the weekend with my adorable nephew who is a little shining star…he is Z-man 🙂

Though I haven’t done a great deal of writing, I have honoured the arts and spent most of the day creating, painting and generally having fun – food for the soul.

My blogging, writing and editing goals haven’t suffered much. I have 12,260 words in my NaNo bank too, so that’s not half bad!

Before I go, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Kay, Renee, Amy, Shan Jeniah, Gloria, Ruth and Beth for allowing me to do a guest post/cover reveal for The Fifth Watcher. I really appreciate your support. I’m in the process of writing those posts and I’ll be in touch soon.

I look forward to catching up on your progress.

Until next time.

Mel

Last minute changes – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

As it’s the first Wednesday of NaNoWriMo I was all set to share with you a snippet from my new project – a continuation of the scene I shared with you last week.  But Tyler will have to wait a while, because my mind is on other things. The short version is that The Fifth Watcher is all set for its release on the 21st of November and, while that should be the end of that, I haven’t been able to get a scene out of my head all day. So I wrote it, and am now considering adding it in (because we all like to make changes at the last minute!).

I’d like to share it with you for WIPpet Wednesday, and am hoping feedback will help me to determine what I should do. You’ve been so helpful in the past when it comes to this project, and I’m grateful for that.

For the math, I added the day and the month together to give me 16 paragraphs. It’s a little on the long side, but I hope there’s enough action to make it worth your while!

I shifted the instant I received confirmation from Havers, the sound of Audrey’s torment travelling with me – a scream which reverberated inside my head long after she’d blacked out.

As I arrived in the small laboratory, I became aware of two things. Audrey’s sister slumped unconscious against the wall, and three armed men piling through the doorway.

I had mere seconds to react. The renegade heading up the crew had already fired his weapon; his henchmen turning towards the prisoner. Diving in their direction, I hit the floor with a resounding thwack, taking all the weight on my right shoulder.

The jolt made my teeth rattle, but I didn’t think about that, or the aroma of burning cloth from the shot which had grazed my arm. I rolled towards Audrey’s sister, disengaging my own weapon as I fired at the nearest scumbag.

Nate loomed behind the group, his arm around the shooter’s throat. “Are you out of your God-damn mind?” he yelled at me.

I took it for a rhetorical question and kicked out to bring the fight to my level. My shot had found its target, rendering the other man unconscious, so it was two against two.

My opponent was surprisingly strong for his size. He was small and wiry, with protruding joints he used to his full advantage. He jammed his elbow into my shoulder, the pleasure in his eyes letting me know how much he relished the fight.

I barely felt the pain because I was pissed. I’d behaved impulsively and deserved the reminder. That didn’t mean I was in the mood to wrestle with an untrained thug. The sound of battle rose up from the hallway, as my men cleared the building. I used it to focus, pinning my scrawny foe to the floor so I could think for a second.

Nate stepped forward, as if on cue, and jabbed him in the neck with a syringe. “Don’t ever pull that shit on me again.” His voice echoed with barely contained rage. “How am I supposed to watch your back, if you take me out of the equation?”

“It won’t happen again.”

“You’ve got that right,” Nate snapped out, clearly working on his anger. “Because if…” He felt the threat the moment I did, and started to turn.

Cursing myself for the complete lack of preparation, I grabbed his weapon from its holster and fired at the doorway; mine was on the damn floor where I’d dropped it.

Nate glanced at my handy work. “Nice shot,” he said, as we rose to assess the damage.

The renegade officer, a bear of a man at least 6ft 3″, had hit the deck hard. Stepping over him I couldn’t help but feel a wave of pity; he might prefer death to Taylor’s brand of interrogation.

“Why don’t you do the honours?” He motioned towards the hall. “Since you’re hell bent on sticking your neck out.”

I ignored the jibe, bobbing my head through the opening to get a better look. “All clear.”

I know it needs a little work, but I’m hoping the bones are there. I will be doing a cover reveal next Friday (the 14th), so if anyone would like to help out by featuring the cover or allowing me to do a guest post, please let me know. That would be great 🙂

Thanks so much to K. L. Schwengel for hosting and providing us with an opportunity to share with and support one another.

ROW80LogocopyI’ve been concentrating on my writing goals this week, for NaNo, and have about 8,900 words so far. I haven’t connected with as many people this time, but I’m hoping to rectify that. I know we write mostly in isolation, but one of the things I loved about NaNo last year was the sense of community.

My editing goals are on track. I wish I could say the same about my blogging goals, but I haven’t made much progress in that department.

Overall things are good. I’m a little tired, but I’ve been interpreting a lot in the past few days so that takes up most of my brain power!

I hope you’re having a good week, and I look forward to catching up with you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Thrills and Chills – ROW80 and NaNoWriMo

Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood… Yes, I know I’m quoting the lyrics from Thriller, but I’m trying to set the scene. My daughters’ persuaded me to go to a Scare Fest last Thursday, close to midnight no less *cue music*  “It’s close to midnight…” Sorry, can’t get the song out of my head!. As I stepped into the woods, gripping tightly to my partner in crime, I expected Michael himself to cross our path – it was like the set of a horror movie! There were a group of us, which added to the fun. We even had the stereotypical tough guy; with his false bravado and constant jokes to compensate for the fact he was way out of his element. He actually made the night…when the first zombie jumped into our path, he screamed louder than I did! It was a lot of fun. The scene wasn’t complete without a cabin in the woods and despite signs warning us against the horrors waiting inside, we entered the fun house. Yes, you guessed it, there were more zombies…this time axe-wielding fire-men.

So, anyway, that leads me onto my own fireman – Tyler Davies. NaNoWriMo is going well. I’m enjoying spending time with Tyler and the gang, and I’ve even found time to continue editing. I don’t have a great deal to update in terms of ROW80. You win some and you lose some. My writing and editing are on target, so this week I plan to concentrate on the blogging elements I’ve failed to complete so far.

How about you? How was your week, and what did you do for Halloween?

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Turning up the heat – WIPpet Wedensday/ROW80

Welcome to another instalment of WIPpet Wednesday, organised by the wonderful K. L. Schwengel. A chance to share our progress and support one another.

This week I’m moving on to my new WIP and, as it’s Halloween week, I thought I’d give you something fitting. The math is easy – 10 paragraphs for the month…maybe I should have said the math is lazy 😉

Enjoy Tyler, and don’t be too hard on him – he has a good heart!

Tyler eased his foot off the accelerator, just a little. He felt the car protest. It was built for speed.

His grin was slow and easy. Life was good. At eighteen he didn’t have a care in the world; no responsibilities, nothing to worry about except which university to choose.

Convincing his father to buy him the sports car had been child’s play. All it took was reference to his brother’s absence and his genuine envy that Sebastian was out in the big wide world. Tyler couldn’t imagine leaving Winchester long term, but the thought of losing another son had kept his father sweet.

He felt invincible; young, smart and sophisticated in the flame red Porsche. The road stretched ahead, enticing him to open her up – to give the beautiful beast free rein. He couldn’t have known what was around the corner.

Tyler sensed the commotion before he saw it. Some impending doom, or perhaps an echo of the disaster ahead. Fire was the first thing he noticed. It demanded attention as it mushroomed outward, threatening everything in its path. Heat was the second. Even from the opposite side of the carriageway, separated by the central reservation, it was enough to incite fear.

For a moment his brain froze, stuttering in its attempt to process the scene. The twisted, burning metal of a dozen vehicles too horrific to contemplate. As he edged closer he hit a wall of sound. It was like a physical blow, and it snapped him out of his stupor in time to prevent another collision. Slamming on the breaks he stopped a hairs breadth from the car in front. He knew what had caused the tail back; the carnage across from them was hypnotizing.

Flipping his indicator, he checked his mirror and pulled over. His wasn’t the only car to hug the hard shoulder. The small group gathered at the front of a dark blue range rover were all talking frantically into a series of devices.

He stepped onto the road, his eyes drawn to the wreckage opposite. Without the insulation of his car he could hear the piercing screams of those trapped. The sound shot straight through his heart, sending another ripple of fear through him. He wanted to stay and fight for these people, as much as he wanted to get back in the porsche and leave the nightmare behind.

A siren cut through the chaos, and all but Tyler turned towards the sound. His gaze followed the sea of cars, all the way back to the ball of heat he could feel like a brand against his cheek. He made a quick calculation and estimated there were twenty cars surrounding the crash site. It felt natural to follow the small group as they headed towards the central reservation. They were the only line of defence until the firefighters arrived.

He climbed into the danger zone, thinking only of the desperate cries of those trapped. His heart was pumping adrenalin around his body so fast that, at first, he didn’t react when the explosions started.

That just leaves my ROW80 check in.

I don’t have anything of interest to report. I’m editing, writing and blogging as much as I can, so I’m beating back those goals 🙂

I hope you’re all having a productive week. I look forward to checking in with you.

Mel

Chained to my desk…ROW80 update

Happy Sunday everyone 🙂

I’ve spent the last couple of days beta reading. Plus, I’ve almost finished the books I agreed to review in time for the upcoming tours on Writing Room 101 – so the spotlight section is on target! Before you get all excited about my progress though, I must point out I still haven’t written a post for my character blog Lance Legion. In fact, he’s sulking! This was a weekly target and I haven’t managed to achieve it, so yeah…I’d be sulking too!

My writing goals have taken an interesting turn. I managed to hit my weekly target, but most of it was…I hope you’re sitting down…spent planning. Hard to believe, right? I do have a specific reason though, aside from trying to find a little balance – I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again. Last time I stuck to my usual pantser ways, but this time I’m going into the adventure with a few new tools under my belt. I actually have a plan, as infinitesimal as it may be, it’s there!

Which leads me to my final set of goals – editing. I’ve been chained to my desk for the past few days (hence the title), because I got the notes back from my first round of betas on The Fifth Watcher. For that reason my focus will be on making revisions over the next few weeks. The feedback is positive, but more than one person didn’t bond with Audrey until the third or fourth chapter and this is not good. I need to change that, and so I’ll be banging my head against my desk until the answer comes to me!

So that’s me. I hope you’ve all had a good week, and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Mel

Pipped to the post (in a fashion) – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

I’m really late with my WIPpet today. I have eight minutes to post this, or it doesn’t count because it will be Thursday! So, I’m rushing through it.

This will be the last snippet from Fractured, as it is now ready to go to betas. I thought I’d leave you with a scene involving Maddison and Tobias. Next week I will be using my new WIPpet, and I’ll tell you more about that later (I’m against the clock!).

Here is the math: 22-10=12 – the following section is taken from page 12. It follows on from the snippet last week. Maddison is in her room when she senses Tobias’ presence in the doorway. She isn’t particularly happy – he’s in her physical space, and he’s already taking up too much room in her head!

“I don’t remember giving you permission to enter my quarters,” she said, taking a step towards him, despite her better judgement.

“What else is there to do? You’ve been avoiding me.” The deep, throaty sound of his voice rumbled with frustration.

“You flatter yourself.” She hated the fact he was right.

“Just say the word, Maddy,” he said in challenge, eyes darkening. “I’ll relieve you of the unpleasant memory.”

She moved closer to him, her own anger burning bright. “Don’t you dare.”

His mind tricks wouldn’t work on her, she told herself, despite the niggle of doubt. She had seen his power in action, the way he took control of the reins and made people bend to his will. Then she saw a new light enter his eyes and she had bigger things to worry about.

“You enjoyed it,” he said, the slight surprise in his tone taking her off guard.

Her shoulders rose in what she hoped was a careless shrug. “I live with my mistakes, as you live with yours.” She had to take control, had to put them back on an equal footing.

Thinking only of the assignment, she welcomed the magic gathering inside her and pushed outwards. Her long mane, tied as always into a single plait down her back, whipped out to snake around his neck. She wasn’t gentle as she pulled him down towards her and clamped her mouth over his.

For the briefest of moments she felt the lick of desire as it battered against her magic. It was strong, stronger than it should have been. He tasted earthy, like the forest he loved so much, with a spice beneath that was all his own.

Before she lost herself to pleasure, or worse, the fantasy, she pulled back. As she did, her hair slid away from him and to her side. “Now we’re even,” she said, straightening her shoulders.

It pleased her when he did nothing but stare down at her with a mixture of shock and arousal. It allowed her to turn and walk towards the door. “I’ll take the assignment,” she said over her shoulder. “But right now I have to get ready for a date.” He didn’t have to know the date in question was a rambunctious meal with her room-mates.

“Maddy,” he began taking a step forward.

“Yes?” She stood in the doorway and gazed back at him.

His dark eyes frosted a little, setting her nerves on edge. “Nothing.” After a brief pause he shook off the emotion. “Usual place?”

She nodded, relief flooding through her. “I’ll see you tomorrow at noon.”

She didn’t wait for a response, she walked briskly down the hall and into the bathroom she shared with three others.

Pressing her back against the old, familiar wood, she waited until she heard him move down the hall and let out the breath she’d been holding.

So, moving swiftly on – here is an update on ROW80:

Blogging Goals

1. Develop Author Spotlight Section on Writing Room 101I’ve made some improvements. I’ve added to the Author Gallery, which is great, and I have a new guest post and additional interviews.

2. Weekly post on Lance Legion – No progress on this yet.

3. Update layout for Nat Hobson – No progress on this  yet.

Writing Goals

1. Title New Project – Haven’t found a title I’m happy with yet.

2. Write 8,000 words per week – I exceeded by around 2,000 this week.

Editing Goals

1. Edit 1 chapter per week – I exceeded this and actually completed Fractured, so I’ll have to add a new goal!

ROW80 Sponsor duties – I have visited my group each check in and though a little later today…I’m hopping over to cheer on my team next!

Thanks for visiting

Mel

All about that bass – ROW80 check in

I don’t have a great deal to report in terms of progress. For those of you who read my mid-week check in, I took a break to help my daughter celebrate becoming a teenager! Yesterday, I took her to the coast (Blackpool Pleasure Beach). She decided at the last minute she wanted to take three friends. As that made four teenagers, I became a glorified taxi driver and I couldn’t even take anyone with me. Despite being ‘cool’ for about five minutes on her birthday (probably due to presents and the hours I spent decorating her bedroom), I’m apparently not cool enough to accompany four girls around the park. So I was relegated! I had to wait in a café, for 6 hours, no less – until they’d been on every ride at least twice! It started off well. I had my phone, my Kindle app, and the novel I’ve been looking forward to (False Awakening by Callum McLaughlin). So, with a latte, a sugary treat, and my trusty app, I began to read. The mechanical sounds of a nearby rollercoaster, music blaring from another ride, screams, chatter and the coffee machine – it all faded away as I slipped into another world. Forty minutes later, my battery died. If I hadn’t looked enough of a loser, I might have wept! Instead I took out my trusty notebook and began to write.

It was along day, made all the longer because of the return trip. I had to listen to four excited girls sing All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor. Let’s just say it was an interesting rendition, and now it’s stuck in my head!

I did manage to get a lot of writing done, which is great. I’ve also spent most of the day editing, so I hit two goals 🙂

I hope you had a productive week, and an enjoyable weekend.

Until next time

Mel