Monday, December 31, 2012

Release Party- Day 7!

 
Good morning! I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year! If you drink today and tonight, PLEASE don't drive! Be responsible so that we can all share the new year together. 
 
Every year I share a list of my accomplishments and troubles so I (and you) can see the sum of my year. Since Simple Treasures is a New Year's story, I decided to extend my Release Party to include my 2012 summary and 2013 goals.
 
So, in 2012...
 
I saw my first 3 books go up for sale.
 
I signed 2 more book contracts.
 
I celebrated a year at my part-time tutoring job with a great review and a raise.
 
I had a mini fire that could have killed me while I slept.
 
I moved again.
 
I received two more rejections on two other writing projects.
 
I went back to my hometown for the first time in 3 years.
 
I met my cousin's 2nd little girl. 
 
I began teaching a new online class, and taught 6 classes altogether.
 
I signed up to teach 9 online classes in 2013.
 
I submitted another project that I can't share information about yet.
 
I signed a contract for a full-time job as a writing tutor at a charter school.
 
I lost about 12lbs.
 
I put those 12lbs back on. (And I think I did it all over Christmas!!!!)
 
All in all, I really can't complain. I'm fairly healthy, happy, doing what I love and I have wonderful family and friends in my life. I can't wait to see what AWESOME surprises 2013 brings! 
 
 
 
 AND.....for 2013.....I plan to....
 
Go back to my home state again and visit more friends.
 
Submit at least 3 Honor Guard novellas and maybe 2 short stories to Decadent.
 
Continue submitting my full-length books to publishers.
 
Complete the revisions on at least 2 of my full-length stories.
 
Complete the next draft on one of my last NaNoWriMo books.
 
HOLD MY FIRST PRINT BOOK IN MY HANDS!!!
 
Lose 20lbs.
 
Keep off most of the 20lbs.
 
Study more about being a writer.
 
Have a party and maybe a book signing when my Honor Guard Anthology is released!
 
Get to at least one writers/readers conference.
 
Live a little more since I'll have a steady income. But not too much. I have writing to do!
 
 
Thank you to EVERYONE who visited during my Simple Treasures Release Party! And thank you for all your comments. Be sure to comment today too and be in the running for the final prize!
Tomorrow starts a New Year and I'll be participating in a New Year's Blog Hop! Hope you'll consider joining us for that, too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Release Party- Day 6!

 
Welcome back to the "What's Next?" Day of my Release Party! Simple Treasures is my 3rd Honor Guard novella for Decadent Publishing. It was my 3rd release in 2012. So what's next for me?
 
Well, I'm very excited because there's a bit of talk about possibly bringing all 3 of my novellas to PRINT! It would be one anthology with just my own books. I'm excited because I'd LOVE to hold my own book in my hands. It would be another dream come true! Of course I'll keep you updated on that.
 
 
I'm also working on 2 other projects that I'm not at liberty to discuss yet. (If I tell you, I'd have to kill you. I know, looking at me in this picture really makes me look dangerous, huh?) Hopefully I'll be able to share more information with you soon! I will tell you that the projects are related to my UK novellas, so naturally I've been having fun.
Once I get back to work in January, I'll be working on my next Honor Guard story. I'm happy to tell you I have 3 or 4 more that I plan to submit to Decadent within 2013. BUT, I'm having trouble deciding which one to work on in January! Wanna help? Which one should I focus on first: 1 set in Thailand, 1 in Mexico, another in either England or Scotland, OR 1 set in Ireland? Which country would you like to read about first?
 
THEN....I'll be focusing on revising one of my full-length romantic suspense novels. I'll also be searching for a home for a full length story that is already complete. (As much as I love Decadent Publishing, my full-length stories are too long for them to publish.)
 
So, what do you think? Are you excited to hear about my secret projects? Leave a comment and be in the running for the next prize! And remember to share your thoughts about which country I should visit with my International Protective Network next!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Release Party- Day 5!


Good morning! Today is Fun Facts Day! As I sit back and enjoy more of the Christmas holiday, I'll be sharing facts about the characters of Simple Treasures, the story and me.
 
Joanna Grainger
*The last name comes from Hermione from Harry Potter and Colby from the TV show Numb3rs.

* Joanna served in the US Army. She took advantage of the GI Bill and has been studying since.

*After being injured while in th Army, Joanna has learned to appreciate everything she has, sees and experiences. This, of course, drives Colin crazy (which made the story even more fun to write!).
 
*She became friends with Heather Winchester, the heroine from Her Highland Champion, when she first arrived in Edinburgh.
 
 Colin Munro
* Colin grew up in the small community of Thurso, Scotland.
 
* He had a lot of pressure from his family to be a success and showing any sign of weakness was unacceptable to his father.
 
* After he was discharged from the Royal Navy, he accepted various jobs that made him responsble for the safety of other people- from a security guard at a shopping complex, to a police officer job in Thurso.
 
* Colin very much has a one-track mind. He often sees more than he lets on, but he always has one main objective.

 
Alexa Bourne
* I attended Hogmanay in Edinburgh in 2011/2012 to celebrate the beginning of the year I turned 40.
* My favorite trip of all is the train ride between Glasgow and Glenfinnan. No matter the weather- heavy rains or beautiful sunshine- I can find something to love about the scenery.
 
* I hadn't planned to write 3 UK novellas at first. They just.....happened. And my 2013 novellas? I had planned 3 other countries for settings, but a couple of British characters are sitting right inside my brain and forcing me to rethink my 2013 plans.

* I still eat Peanut M & Ms while I write. I get them to celebrate when the writing is going well, and I get them to fuel my muse when I'm having trouble.  

So, any questions for Joanna, Colin or me? Or any thoughts about what we've shared? Feel free to leave comments and you can be in the running for PRIZE!

Winner #2!

 
Thank you to...
 
 Jane Myers Perrine
 
 for commenting. Since you were the only one to leave a comment these last 2 days, you are the 2nd winner! Thank you for your support! I'll be contacting you soon about your prize!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Release Party- Day 4!

 
Good Morning! Welcome to Day 4 of my Release Party for Simple Treasures! Now, this particular story takes place in Edinburgh during Hogmanay, or New Year's. I thought today I'd show you some pictures of the year I spent in Edinburgh for Hogmanay.
 
First, Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year. The Hogmanay Festival is HUGE in Edinburgh, with THOUSANDS of visitors every single year. Indeed, tickets sell out early. I think we worked on preparing our plans the spring before we actually wanted to be there.
 
This is Edinburgh Castle. When my friends and I walked out of our hotel, this was what we saw. From the hotel dining room, this is the scene. How beautiful, huh?
 
These next two pictures were taken on the night og the Torchlight Procession, December 30th. Thousands of people gather on the Royal Mile, with bought torches. At the start of the line, there are bagpipers and people light the torches. Each group turns behind them and lights the torches of the people behind them. In this first picture, here I am lighting my torch.

 
Once all the torches are lit, the group begins the walk from the Royal Mile, through the streets of Edinburgh and up to Calton Hill. I can tell you the pictures don't do this justice. It was such an amazing feeling to be a part of something so fabulous.
 
In Simple Treasures, Joanna really wants to participate in this event. Actually, she has looked forward to joining in many of the Hogmanay festivities in Edinburgh, but she's a good and decent person and she chooses to put her life on the line by coming forward to tell the police about the crime she witnesses.
 

Once as many people as possible get to Calton Hill, there is some more music and then fireworks begin. In the distance, there is also a burning boat, which is symbolic of the early Torchlight Processions, the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival usually associated with the Shetlands of Scotland. 
 
 
The next day, December 31st, My friends and I spent the day wandering around Edinburgh. I went up on this Ferris wheel while some other friends climbed the Scott Monument, which is behind the Ferris wheel. It was windy up there, but so much fun! Then my friends and I had mulled wine, wandered around the stalls with knickknacks and listened to music.
 




 



After dinner, it was time to get ready to ring in the New Year. Because it was so cold, I had on about 2 or 3 layers. I was very surprised it was not so packed with people. Yes, there were literally THOUSANDS of people, but we could stand, sit, or dance as much as we wanted without bumping into anyone.
 
For more information on the Edinburgh Hogmanay Festival and some of my other pictures, feel free to visit the Celtic Hearts Blog. I wrote a guest post about Hogmanay in Edinburgh a few weeks ago.
 
Have you ever participated in a major New Year's Event? Or are you more low-key, spending the time with close friends and family? Share your thoughts, leave a comment and be in the running for the NEXT prize!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Release Party- Day 3!

 
Welcome back for Day 3 of my Release Party for Simple Treasures! Today is the Story Behind the Story Day. Come on. You know every book has to have one, right?
 
Once I had the contract for my second book, Fractured Paradise, I began thinking about the possibility of writing a New Year's Honor Guard novella with a specific hero in mind. When I was trading emails with my fantabulous senior editor about something else in May, I asked her what the odds were that if I submitted another novella soon that it would be available in December 2012. If it couldn't be done, I planned to wait and write it next year. But my senior editor said that if I submitted it by June and the acquisitions editors accepted it, then it would be out this year. I had 3 weeks.
 
Immediately I began plotting and planning. I thought for sure the book would come together and be perfect for my intended hero. After all, I knew him well since he appeared in both Her Highland Champion and Fractured Paradise. But it wasn't working. I typed up a rough draft and sent it to my awesome critique partner and she basically told me it was crap. She was right, of course. So, I rewrote bits, tried some other ideas and a couple days later I sent her the opening again. And she told me....it was crap.
By this time, I was panicked. June 1st was right around the corner and all I had was a heroine I sort of liked. I'd stopped getting online, did nothing but work and then come home to write. At this point, I took one day to take a long, hard look at my story ideas. I gave myself one day to figure out a decent enough plot with a fantastic hero who could bring out the best in my heroine. If I could not have all those pieces in play by the next day, I told myself I would skip the story and write it for New Year's 2013/2014.
But I really liked the suspense plot idea.
And I started liking more about my heroine.
And the setting, Edinburgh during Hogmanay, was perfect.
AND I really, really, really wanted an Honor Guard UK trilogy.
 
So I plotted and planned, wrote down details of the hero I knew was right and by the end of that day I had my story outlined. Every free moment I had during my substitute teaching job, I wrote. In between sub jobs and my tutoring job, I wrote. When I got home from work, I ate a frozen meal, turned on some music, and wrote. On the weekends, I wrote from sun up to long after sun down. I took 15-30 minute breaks in between each hour. Some nights I fell asleep on the couch. Some nights I didn't sleep at all, but on June 4th, I hit send on my submission.
 
8 weeks and 2 days later I received the contract in my email. I knew the book still needed a lot of revising, but the crux of a good story was there, one I could definitely be proud of. My FANTABULOUS content editor helped me whip it into shape and now I get to share it with all of you! I hope you like it!
 
 
Simple Treasures Dedication~


For (MY CRITIQUE PARTNER). Thank you for your pom-poms, a swift kick in the arse, and the wisdom to know which one I needed on which day!

 
Remember to leave a comment to be in the running for the NEXT PRIZE! Be sure to leave your email address too.

1st Prize Winner!

After using Random.org, the FIRST prize winner is.....

Jax Garren!

Thanks to those of you who visited the first 2 days of the Release Party, and especially thanks to those who commented!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Release Party- Day 2!

 
Hello, hello! Thank you to everyone who joined me yesterday for the beginning of my Release Week! Today I'm still celebrating Christmas with the family so I decided to share another snippet of the book with you. I LOVE this opening and I talk about it every chance I get. I teach an online class a few times a year about writing Killer Openings. I'm hoping this one fits into that category and that my former students would be proud of me!
 
Without further ado, here is the Killer Opening of Simple Treasures.


Chapter One
Colin Munro didn’t know which knife to worry about more, the one pointed at his throat or the one at his crotch.

"You’ve got ten seconds to tell me who the hell you are, or I start slicing," the woman threatened.

He glanced into her stormy dark eyes. Joanna Grainger. The lass he’d been sent to keep safe.

Aye, but who would protect him?

"Take care where you move those blades." Of course, he wasn’t terribly worried. If he needed to, he could easily disarm her. She stood about five foot six without the high heels she’d been wearing when she’d first entered her flat.

"I’m the one giving orders here." The steel at his neck pushed a bit closer to his Adam’s apple.

"I don’t think so." Colin smacked her arms, snatched the blades from her fingers with one hand, and pushed her back to the wall. The picture frame close to her head shook, but he hadn’t shoved with nearly as much force as he could have. He pinned both her wrists to the wall above her head. "I’m Colin Munro, and I’m here to protect you."

"I don’t remember asking anyone for help." She brought her knee up for a perfect shot to his groin, but he shifted in time to get his family jewels out of the way.

"You didn’t, but Heather Winchester did." He imagined she could be quite bonnie when she wasn’t scowling or threatening him.

The name of her university mate drew those big brown eyes wide for a moment. "Heather?" She dropped her leg, leaving her navy skirt sitting crooked on slim hips.

"Aye. Heather called Russell MacLeod of the International Protective Network this morning, explained you’d witnessed a crime, and she was worried about you. She thought you might need protection. They gave the job to me."
 
She narrowed her gaze on him. "Why should I believe you?"

"Because if I were here to kill you, you’d already be dead." Taking a step back, he tossed the blades to the coffee table. The sound of the metal scattering across the wood charged into the silence of the room. Her back, he noticed, stayed against the wall.


If you've read my first book, Her Highland Champion, you'll recognize Heather's name. She was the heroine in that first book. Although my characters drift through each others' stories, you do NOT need to read all of the books to "get it".









Remember to leave a comment today (or in yesterday's comments...or both!) to be in the running for the FIRST PRIZE, which will be awarded after midnight tonight!

Enjoy the rest of your Boxing Day and be sure to stop by tomorrow to learn more about Simple Treasures, the book that almost wasn't!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY RELEASE DAY TO ME!!!!!

Merry Christmas to one and all! I hope Santa has been good to you this year. He's been ESPECIALLY good to me. Why? Among my other treats, he coaxed Decadent Publishing into releasing my latest novella, Simple Treasures, today!

If you've received a gift card or certificate to a book store, consider looking up this FANTABULOUS story! It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland during the New Year's celebration. It's a Decadent Honor Guard book featuring a member of my very own International Protective Network.

Are you intrigued yet? If not, here's the blurb:

Take-charge bodyguard Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job.
Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a U.S. soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year's Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.
As danger hunts them during one of the busiest time of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she's a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?

Okay, admit it. You're curious now, right? If you're not, here's an excerpt to tip you right over the edge and send you off to the bookstore (DOT) com of your choice!

Joanna bolted upright. Darkness wrapped her in its hideous embrace. And silence reigned. Her heart raced. She flattened her hands on the mattress beneath her.

Mattress. Bed. Colin's hotel room.
Rustling sounds came from the floor. The bedside lamp flickered on. Colin propped himself up, one knee bent and an arm dangling over it. He squinted against the brightness. “Are you all right?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” She brushed her fingers under her eyes.
“Don’t be daft, lass.”
“I had a bad dream.” She smoothed her hair back off her face. Moisture beaded at her temples.

“Here we call it a nightmare.” He smiled, and at once she relaxed her shoulders.

“Americans do, too.” After another deep breath, she said, “I’ll be all right.” Once her heart rate slowed to normal. With her forearm, she wiped perspiration from her forehead.
He stood, padded into the bathroom, and ran the faucet. When he returned, he sat beside her, tucked his finger under her chin, and pressed the cloth to her cheek. The cool moisture soothed her burning skin.
She reached up and covered his hand with hers. “I can do that.”

“I know.” He brushed her fingers away. “But you’ll not.”

After a few seconds, he moved the wet towel across her forehead and to her other cheek.

When he reached her neck, she sighed and closed her eyes for a few valuable seconds.

“Thank you.”

His gentle caress reminded her how much she’d missed simple comfort…from anyone.

“You’re welcome.” The cloth soon disappeared. “Now, will you tell me what you dreamed about?”
“Mark Rawlings. I dreamed I was back in the train car and he was bleeding out on the floor. The guy with him faded into the background, but I could see the man’s hands and lips moving. I couldn’t hear anything, though. Then somebody jabbed me with something, and my blood drained out of my body, but there was nothing I could do. The guy standing stayed in front of me. There was another voice, but the words were garbled.”
“Did you see anyone else?”

“No, but at the end I wasn’t paying attention. I was losing consciousness.” She tilted her head to one side and into her palm. “Colin, what am I going to do if we don’t find the professor’s attacker soon?”

We’ll take it one day at a time.” Strong, confident, able to leap tall buildings and all…even in the middle of the night.


So there you go. As I said, today is the first day of the week long release party for this fantabulous book that almost never was! I'll be sharing something with you each day and there will be several prizes up for grabs for any commenters and followers!

Wednesday: An unofficial excerpt. Shhh. Don't tell!
PRIZE 1
Thursday: The Story Behind the Story That Almost Never Was
Friday: Hogmanay
PRIZE 2
Saturday: Fun Facts about the book, my characters and me!
Sunday: What's Next with Alexa?
PRIZE 3
Monday: 2012 Alexa Bourne Accomplishments & 2013 Goals
PRIZE 4

Prize winners will be chosen after midnight on the 2nd day (Except Prize 4, which will be chosen New Year's Day) and announced in a separate post. Please leave your email address if you want to be included in the contests.

And if you're so inclined, you can buy the book today at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Decadent Publishing, or most other places ebooks are sold!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU WHO CELEBRATE!!!

I'm sending this out today because....well, it's a perfect opportunity. Tomorrow we'll all be busy, today several of us are busy, but I want to let you know I appreciate your continued support and company here on the blog. I hope you all get to celebrate with people you love. I hope you get some special, happy surprises. Eat, drink and be merry. Take care and enjoy yourselves!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday!!

Good morning! Are you ready for six more sentences of Simple Treasures, my Honor Guard novella releasing TUESDAY????? I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!

To read more snippets of other people's books, visit the official list here.

Okay, for this week's snippet, something dangerous has just happened. I'm not telling you what because....wait for it.......wait....for....it....you need to read the book! Colin and Joanna are back in his hotel room and Joanna begins by saying:

"We could’ve died tonight."

He crouched before her and took her hands in his. "But we didn’t, and you survived."

"Because you were there."

"I don’t plan on going anywhere yet." He brought her knuckles to his lips and kissed them.

<<<SIGH>>> I love him! But more importantly, what do YOU think? Hey, if you're so inclined when you have some time this week, I'll be having a holiday release party here beginning Christmas Day and lasting through New Year's to celebrate my Hogmanay book! I hope you'll join me for part of it!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Plans Have Changed

So, now that I have a full-time job starting in 2 weeks, I'm thinking I better get busy with some writing. I've got a freelance editing job to do today, and then I figure I better finish revising and prepping my next short story so I can submit it before I start work. That way I can focus on my job for a while. But how awesome will it be to NOT have to spend every free moment sending out resumes and cover letters and hoping there will be sub jobs for me?!?!?!

Okay, I'll catch you later. I'm off to one of my other jobs!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The BEST Christmas Present!!!

I got a full-time job!!!!! I left my teaching job 2 1/2 years ago for various reasons that I won't go into here. I've been substitute teaching, writing, freelance editing,tutoring and teaching online classes as I've searched for another full-time job. I've had LOTS of ups and downs over that time, but maybe things are turning around.

This past Wednesday I walked in for an interview for a teaching assistant job at a local school, to work with Kindergarten kids. I'm SOOOOOO not the right kind of person to work in a full classroom of kindergarteners, but I figured it was a foot in the door and might eventually lead to something more positive. Imagine my delight when they talked to me about ANOTHER open position they had, a writing tutor.

Naturally I was THRILLED, talked about all my qualifications, including my passion for writing, and today I received a contract in the email for a full-time English Tutor position with the school. I'll start when the school year resumes on January 7th. For now, I get to relax and enjoy the holidays while looking forward to teaching what I love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's Up?????

Hi there! I'm hard at work enjoying the Christmas season!

I've been Christmas shopping, wrapping and planning my monumental visit to the post office.

I've been working at the part time jobs and hunting for a full time one too.

I'm preparing for the release of Simple Treasures next Tuesday! I'll be having a release party here from Christmas Day through New Year's Day. I hope you'll make plans to join me at some point! I promise there will be a couple of prizes!

I hope you're all doing well, taking care of each other and enjoying the holiday season.

See you soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday Time!!!

Hello, hello! Here we are for another Six Sentence Sunday! To read more snippets from other authors, visit the main list of participants here.

As for my snippet, I'm bringing you another bit of my next Honor Guard novella, Simple Treasures. It releases on Christmas Day and is a Hogmanay, or New Year's, romantic suspense set in Edinburgh, Scotland. (I'll be having a release party, so be sure to check back for more details!!!) In this snippet, the heroine, Joanna, has just survived an attack. I won't go into much more detail because I don't want to spoil it for you since you're ALL going to buy it when it comes out, right? She's just slid into the car's passenger seat and Colin, the bodyguard hero, is circling the hood.

Despite the weather being warmer than the last few days, a chill still ran rampant over her spine. In the space of twelve hours, she’d become a Hogmanay tourist with a big-ass bull’s-eye on her back.

Colin’s large body slid behind the steering wheel. He, of course, didn’t look worried at all.

She’d spent four years in the military, had been injured downrange. One man would not bring her down.

Well?????? Are you intrigued yet? Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

MISTLETOE MADNESS BLOG HOP!

Welcome to the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop. Thank you to all our sponsors for this hop! I'm so excited to be a part of it.

Are you going mad with the holidays? I am! I can't believe Christmas is less than two weeks away. I've barely managed to get my Christmas cards out and I've gotten gifts for only one person. ACK! This is definitely my favorite time of the year, but there is so much still to do!!!

I used to be the type of person who started decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. My tree went up, the Christmas music filled the house and I made cookies with my niece and nephew. I'd drive around the neighborhood to see the lights and decorations people put up in their yards. I'd enjoy searching out gifts for all my relatives and close friends. By this time, in the past, I would've had most of my shopping done and I'd be wrapping the gifts and arranging them under my tree while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol or The Holiday.

But this year, I have yet to even put up a single decoration! After Thanksgiving, I kept putting off the holiday activities because I had too much to do. I figured I had plenty of time to get the work done and once I finished my other work- edits, cleaning, job hunting, day jobs- I'd have plenty of time to do my shopping. But this past Tuesday, my publisher told me my next book, Simple Treasures, would be available on Christmas Day. When I pulled out my calendar and realized it was only TWO WEEKS away, I panicked! I've got soooooo much still to do and, if I want to enjoy any of the season, I better get busy as soon as possible. So, while you are visiting here and the other sites for the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop I will be jumping in, feet first, to my holiday plans.

Now, it is a holiday, gift-giving time of the year, so I am planning to give you a present! Tell me. Are you all ready for the holiday? Do you enjoy it? Or are you like me, scrambling now to get your home decorated and all your gifts wrapped? Leave a comment and you will be in the running for a Christmas treat from me! I'll take comments for the length of the Blog Hop and I'll post the winner on December 22nd, once the hop is over.

Once you’ve finished commenting and visiting with me, don’t forget the other participants in this blog hop CLICK HERE!!! AND be sure to put your name in the running here for the GRAND PRIZE, a Kindle Fire filled with books from the sponsors!

WINNER OF THE CHRISTMAS TREAT FROM ME IS ANNOUNCED!!!! CHECK THE COMMENTS SECTION!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!!!


Week 25: THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP

There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.
This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.
I was tagged by Julie Kenner. You can learn more about her book Carpe Demon (and all sorts of other titles!) on her website www.juliekenner.com
This blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project:

1: What is the working title of your book?
Silent Surrender

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
My senior editor at Decadent Publishing suggested I write a story for one of my secondary characters from my first book, Her Highland Champion. I loved the character, Meggie MacDougall, so I was thrilled with the chance to tell her story too!

3: What genre does your book fall under?
It is a short story contemporary romance.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ah, I never reveal my actor inspiration. I leave that up to the reader!

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
To Quinn O'Connell, working as a football coach means everything to him until a chance encounter with Highland lass Meggie MacDougall teaches him how life is worth so much more.

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither. It will be submitted to my publisher this month and hopefully available for readers in the spring of 2013!

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Because it's a short story, it only took about two weeks. (Of course, there are LOTS of revisions to do in the following weeks, though!)

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hhhhhmmmm, not sure about that. I think it's along the same lines as the TV show Monarch of the Glen, which was actually the first inspiration for all my modern day Highland stories.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
As I said, my senior editor had a lot to do with this story coming to life. As for the Irish hero, he showed up on his own and demanded a spot in the story. I tried to make him Scottish, but he refused.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The story is set in the Highlands of Scotland, but it's a modern story. Also, the hero is a fiesty Irishman who won't take no for an answer!

Jane Sevier (http://janesevier.com/) will be joining the hop for week 26 on December 19th. I hope you’ll visit her blog next week and learn more about her FANTABULOUS books. Maybe Jane will become your new favorite author! Thanks for visiting with me!


 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Release Date Announced!!!

Simple Treasures, my NEXT Honor Guard book with Decadent Publishing, will be released on DECEMBER 25TH! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!!!

 

Take-charge bodyguard Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job. 
 
Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a U.S. soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year's Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.
 
As danger hunts them during one of the busiest time of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she's a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- Next Novella!!

Good morning! For today's Six Sentence Sunday, I decided to share a bit from the soon-to-be-released Simple Treasures, my New Year's Honor Guard story coming out this month from Decadent Publishing.

In this scene, the hero, Colin, has just told the heroine, Joanna, something she didn't like, something that makes her question his ability to keep her safe. I'm not going into more detail than that right now because I really want you to read the story when it comes out! LOL! BUT, for now, here is Colin's response:

His first day on the job was not supposed to fall apart. He’d be sacked before he even earned a pound note. His nerves clenched. His feet itched to run across the room so he could grab her and set himself between her and the door. But he stayed rooted to the floor where he stood. “Joanna, you’re not to go.”
 
What do you think? Thanks for visiting! In the next few weeks I'll be sharing more of Colin and Joanna's story with you, to hopefully tempt you to give me a GREAT Christmas present and buy the book when it comes out!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Wishes Blog Hop!!!


Hello, hello! Are you ready for the holidays? Finished with your Christmas shopping? Sent out all your cards? I’m about halfway through my holiday work. Luckily this is my favorite time of the year so I don’t mind taking my time.
Thank you for participating in the Christmas Wishes Blog Hop! I’m so happy you decided to stop by my blog. In honor of the Christmas season, I’ve decided to share with you what each of my characters’ Christmas wish is and why.
Of course, they would all share the wishes of peace, love and health for those they love. That’s what makes them wonderful characters. But, like the rest of us, they also have wishes for specific items that reflect their own personalities.
Her Highland Champion
Malcolm Fraser would love his registration paid for the Lochaber Marathon in April 2013. He’s been running since he was a wee lad and thinks he could do pretty well if he could get sponsored for a spot.
Heather Winchester has been spending the last few years reading and studying for her Ph.D. in Archaeology, so she’d LOVE a gift card to a bookstore. Reading fiction never sounded to perfect!
 
Fractured Paradise
Rachel Grant is a self-proclaimed computer nerd, so she’d love the new 12" Ultrabook.
Aidan Camden keeps it simple. He’d love a new, sturdy backpack and other hiking/camping necessities. With him being a tour guide, he goes through them often.

Simple Treasures
Colin Munro has been told by his lass that he works too hard, so he would love a pair of tickets to a Celtic Football Club game.
Joanna Grainger has been in Edinburgh as a college exchange student and she’d love a sturdier and larger desk for her to do her studying. Right now she’s using one that barely fits her computer and one text book!

As for me, I would love a gift card to an office supply store. I think it would be GREAT to have a card so I could buy more notebooks for writing, pens, pencils, binders for organizing,…uh….where was I? Oh yeah, so, what about you? What’s your Christmas wish?
Just for visiting, one commenter will win a holiday surprise from me! Winner will be chosen, announced and contacted on Friday, Decemer 14th. Be sure to leave your email address. And did you notice the GRAND PRIZES of the Christmas Wishes Blog Hop? A Kindle Paperwhite, A Nook Glow, and a $90 choice giftcard for either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. AND Both Tablets will come with a book bundle!!  How awesome is that? Check out all the details and the other participants in the Christmas Wishes Blog Hop here. Now, get busy sharing your own Christmas wishes!
 
WINNER!!!!!
FOR MY PART OF THE BLOG HOP, THE WINNER IS ANNOUNCED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS POST.

My Happy Place

Come see pics and hear about my Happy Place, Glenfinnan Scotland, an how it inspired me to write Her Highland Champion! Just click.....HERE!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shhhhhh.....

Don't tell, but I should be able to FINALLY share some writing news with you sometime this week. Keep your fingers crossed it's soon. I'm soooooooooo not a patient person!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday-Silent Surrender!!!

Welcome back for another Six Sentence Sunday snippet from my current Work-In-Progress, Silent Surrender. If you're interested in reading other authors' snippets, visit www.sixsunday.com for links!

This short story is coming along so well, I'm hoping to submit it to my publisher in about another week. Wish me luck!

Now, if you've been here over the last few weeks, you've met Meggie and Quinn. They had a one-night-stand a while back in Dublin while Meggie was on vacation. Now back home in Scotland, she's mortified to find her favorite Irishman has come for her. She's trying to get rid of him, and has decided to go home and relax. But when she gets home, she finds her brothers (Jamie is one), their friend Duncan, and....you guessed it: Quinn.

“You don’t belong here,” she whispered harshly.
“Do you two know each other?” Jamie asked.

“No,” she snapped at the exact moment Quinn answered, “Yes.”
Her brothers traded glances while Duncan picked at the label on his beer. Except for the commentators discussing the football match, no other sound circled the room.

Why couldn’t the floor open up and swallow her whole?
I'm so excited for this story, and I LOVE this part! What do you think?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Letter To Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

I know you're really busy at this time of the year, but I wanted to make sure you got my message. I've been a REALLY, REALLY good girl this year. Wait. Are you laughing? Stop. Okay, I've TRIED to be a really good girl. I've been working really hard and I've remained as positive as possible with all that's going on (or not going on, as the case may be). I'm not trying to be greedy, but here's a list of things I'd like this Christmas:

1. A full-time job- My 3 part time jobs are okay, but I'd love for a steady income again and one job community to belong to.

2. A new place to live- My current location is WONDERFUL, but I'd like a place where I'm less of an...inconvenience.

3. I'd really like to find a home for my wandering full-length romantic suspense book. I believe in the characters and the story enough that I won't give up! (And of course it goes without saying, I'd LOVE to sign more contracts in 2013 with Decadent too!)

4. Time this holiday season to read AWESOME Christmas stories.

5. Positive news from my publisher that I can share with my friends, family and lovely readers.

6. Time with my wonderful family. We don't see each other enough.

7. The ability to pass the dessert table WITHOUT touching anything!

Okay, I'll stop now. Thank you for all your great work. Tell the Mrs. and Rudolph I say hello!

Love,
Lexi

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

It is one year ago today that I received my first publishing contract. So far, my match with Decadent Publishing has been a GREAT one! I'm blessed to be working fabulous people and to have support from such fantastic staff and other authors. A lot has changed for me in that year and already 2013 is looking like an even better year. I can't believe how fast these 12 months have gone by!

Since signing that first contract, I've signed 3 more contracts with them, been asked to write for other series in Decadent, pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible, learned A LOT about promotion, suggested a cross-promotion project. For 2013, I already have one project accepted and I'm already planning 5 more!

As a thank you for your support throughout this year (and for some of you, for many years!), I've chosen one person from my "Follower" list to receive a gift. And, using random.org, our winner is.....

VIRGINIA WRIGHT!!!

Virginia, you can choose any one of my three Decadent published books to read for free! Email me at Alexa AT alexabourne DOT com and we'll work out the specifics!

To all of you, thank you for your support and I hope you'll choose to stick with me to see what the next 365 days hold!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's My Favorite....?


Find out my favorite scene from Fractured Paradise! Visit Babette James and hear more about my latest release.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Interview!

Good morning! Today I'm over with Lindsay Avalon, where she's interviewed me AND given her review of Her Highland Champion on there! Go check it out! Just click here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Come visit!

 
Today I'm hanging out with my friend Vivien Jackson at her blog. She's asked some questions about my latest release, Fractured Paradise, and even offered her review! Come on by!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday-

Good morning! Welcome to another set of Six Sentence Sunday! To read snippets from other authors, visit the official website, www.sixsunday.com.

This morning I'm bringing you another snippet from Silent Surrender, my short story with my heroine, Meggie, from Her Highland Champion, and Quinn, the Irishman. Here you go!

Aye, she'd had a grand time with him, but she'd left him behind in Dublin. She'd tucked that woman away and returned to her life. It had been a good decision.

Hadn't it?

Now she couldn't be sure because those feelings he released in her all shot up and out of her mind and body. And THAT bothered her more than anything.

So? What do you think? Remember this is the really, really, really rough draft. This snippet isn't as good as the others over the last few weeks, but it still works. Poor Meggie! She has no idea how to handle or what to make of Quinn!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Whirlwind!!!

Hello, hello! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a GREAT day! I did! I ate too much, had lots of wine and good times with family (except for our college football team losing)! We all had an early night Thursday and then we hung out and did nothing yesterday. Did you brave the Black Friday Shopping world? {{SHUDDER}} If you did, I hope you survived with few injuries and many bargains. I worked a bit last night, prepping a Six Sentence Sunday post for you, among other things, and today we'll be watching LOTS of football!

I just want to let you know that I'll be a BUNCH of different places next week! I think I've got a guest spot each day. Of course I'll announce the locations each day so you can come see what I'm writing about or read my answers to some cool interview questions. So rest up today and be ready to tour with me!

As for now, I'm finishing my cup of tea, finishing a writing assignment for my online class and then I'll be heading back to my brother's house to hang out and relax. Have a great Saturday!

CELEBRATION CONTEST!!!!
 
On Friday, November 30th, I will choose one person from my "Followers" list. November 30th is the anniversary of me receiving my first contract from Decadent Publishing so the winner will be able to choose a copy of any one of my books! Hope you'll consider joining and thank you so much to those who have already joined!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Blog Hop

 
Welcome to the Black Friday Decadent Publishing Blog Hop! Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to visit my Decadent colleagues when you're done here for some more amazing books and prizes! 
 
Black Friday is such an odd day in my mind. The day after we celebrate being thankful for the people and things in our lives, many of us push, shove and swear at each other to get into a store. I personally don't shop on this Friday because I value my life too much! I don't want to get knocked down as I reach for an item. No, I consider myself one of the smart ones. I sleep in, watch tv, maybe read and eat leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.
 
My characters are just as smart as me. Rachel Grant, the heroine in Fractured Paradise, wouldn't dream of getting up before the crack of dawn to go Christmas shopping. Actually, since she's a computer expert, she pretty much does all her shopping online.
 
The hero in Fractured Paradise, Aidan Camden, wouldn't be caught dead in a line during Black Friday. Actually, he's an Englishman. I don't even know if he'd know what Black Friday was. (Brits? Do you "celebrate" this day? Anybody?) Aidan's a lot more hands-on than Rachel. He'd rather go to a store and hold the gift item in his hands before forking over the cash for it.
 

Technical analyst Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.
Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?
What about you? Do you brave the insanity on Black Friday? Or are you like Rachel, Aidan and me?
 
One commenter here will win a FREE copy of Fractured Paradise!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!


If you are celebrating this holiday, have a wonderful day! I'm thankful for you, my ability to write stories people like to read, my health, my family and my friends. Don't eat too much!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Presenting.....

Author Jane Myers Perrine joins us on the Get Lost in a Story blog today! She shares information about her Butternut Creek series and tells us a little about herself. Plus, she's giving away a book! Come join us!