Monday, May 28, 2012

Checkin' In


I'm working on: Simple Treasures

I'm feeling: Cautiously optimistic, and tired, and like I need to be fitted for a straight jacket. This pace is fine for a stint like I'm doing (3-4 weeks), but I would NOT want to be like this every month. I've learned that I really need to budget my writing time.

I'm specifically working on: reorganizing the document and writing the connecting pieces plus the ending. Today is Memorial Day, so I'm not at the day jobs. I have the entire day to write. I sent Treasures to my CP last week and she tore it apart (which it DESPERATELY needed). I pondered whether or not to push to finish or to postpone it until next summer. But there are parts I love about the book, and I love the premise too, so I gave myself 1 day to replot and to recast with a different hero. Since doing that, it has been going well. I'm hoping to finish the current draft today so that I can revise & get busy with the next draft soon after. I won't make a June 1st deadline, but I think I can make it during the 1st week of June!

I'd like: Positive vibes throughout today. Many people are celebrating the holiday and the beginning of our summer. I'm working. I could use all the help I can get!

(Just a note to give you an idea of my workload this weekend- I did edits for novella #2, Fractured Paradise, on Friday after work and Saturday, put together a blog post/interview Saturday, & wrote 4200 words on the 1st short story. Sunday, I wrote and/or revised 8140 words on Simple Treasures.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Checkin' In


I'm working on: Short Story #1 and Simple Treasures, Honor Guard novella #3.

I'm feeling: FRUSTRATED!!! The real world is butting into my writing time. I'm making progress, but not as much or as fast as I'd hoped. Plus, being the helpful person I am, I volunteered to do a project that has taken a couple of hours of my writing time too. I'm happy I did the project, but I'm so angry with myself for signing up to do it when I wanted to be focused on writing this week.

I'm specifically working on: During the day I'm drafting the short story. (Think Sweet Home Alabama set it in contemporary Scotland.) At home, I'm doing the 3rd draft of the novella. (This one will have 5 drafts.)

I'd like: Good vibes coming my way! I'd also like a solid night's sleep. And for June to hurry up and get here so I can be just about done with this insane pace!

I'm using Snow White & the Huntsman as my incentive to get the novella sent by June 1 (the movie's release day) and the short story sent by June 4th.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Next Class

*****June 2012 Class*****
Contests - The Basics
Class takes place: June 1st-30th, 2012
Cost: $5 BDRWA members/ $25 non-members (month-long class)

Contests - The Basics
Instructor: Alexa Bourne
Class Info:
Students will explore reasons to enter contests, how to find the right contest for their work, how to follow the “rules,” how to deal with the results/feedback of contests, and finally choose contests.

Instructor Bio:
Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends and all school holidays. When not traveling around the world or crafting thrilling romantic suspense stories, she spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She has a Bachelor's in English Literature and a Master's in Education. She has finaled in or won 21 RWA contests with 7 manuscripts. To learn more about her, visit

To register or for more information, contact the Black Diamonds RWA.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Learn About The Inspiration for Malcolm's B&B

Today I'm over at the Celtic Hearts blog talking about the Glenfinnan House Hotel, which was the inspiration for Malcolm Fraser's B & B in Her Highland Champion. It's a great place with some gorgeous scenery. Come join me!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1st Official Review!

Taking a break to share my first official review for Her Highland Champion from a review site! It's from Night Owl Reviews and I received 4 out of 5 stars! Here's my favorite part of the review:

"This is a delightfully charming novel, full of adventure and romance. The characters are deeply developed, and easily readable and understandable. The story flows exceedingly well, and could very easily be a much longer novel. This was a truly enchanting story." 

To read the entire review, go here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Checkin' In


I'm working on: 3rd novella, now called Simple Treasures.
I'm feeling: TIRED and frustrated!
I'm specifically working on: weaving in new writing with bits and pieces of what I wrote before.
I'd like: to sleep for 7, 8 straight hours. I've been averaging 4-5 a night this week. I'd also like another couple of hours stuffed into each day. Who's going to work on that for me?

I'm supposed to be finishing it up so I can send it to my FANTABULOUS Critique Partner sometime today. Am I? 
Nope. I'm pleased I've been making steady progress (until last night where I only wrote a couple hundred words), but I just can't work any faster. I did send chapter 1 to my CP earlier in the week, but that was it. I learn so much as I create the rest of the story, and I need to revise again before I send it to her.

As of right now....I'm about 7500 words short of a full novella. I've got the plans, I know what's happening, I've got the inspiration to do it. I'm hoping I can knock off a HUGE chunk of it today since I have an entire day for uninterrupted writing. Tomorrow I need to do edits for Fracured Paradise and then I can spend Monday and Tuesday working on finishing up Treasures. Then it's on to the next project!

And did I tell you I got a revision letter from Harlequin earlier this week for a story aimed at the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line? I'm thrilled with that, but I can't even think about those revisions for another couple of weeks!

No rest for the wicked!

10pm: I've written 7100 words today! I never thought I could write that much in one day! I'm taking a much needed break to watch TV for a bit, and then I'm going to push on to write the ending to Treasures!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Love My Job!

Ian MacKenzie is a bodyguard with International Protective Network. He's obnoxious, thinks he really does need to save the world, and he's 100% hero material! THIS is why I'm loving my time writing Ian's story.

With the first flash of vulnerability, she asked, “How long do I have you for?”
Until you're one hundred percent safe.”
She looked away from him then and wrung her fingers in her lap. With a quiet voice, she said, “Promise?”
The tremor in her voice struck a chord in his heart. “Aye, lass.” This was why he did this job.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Malcolm's First Interview!

Today Malcolm Fraser, the hero of Her Highland Champion, is being interviewed! Visit Starla Kaye's blog to learn more about this sexy Scot!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Follow Me to Get Lost

Today is my first interview on Get Lost in a Story! I had the honor of interviewing award-winning author Jan Hudson. Read all about her and her latest work here!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Champion At B & N

YAY! While taking my 1/2 hour to play on the internet, I found Her Highland Champion listed and now available for the Nook! If you have a nook and haven't already done so, go forth and purchase this FABULOUS story here!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

And I'm Off!

Today starts my mad dash to revise my 3rd novella & write & revise my 1st short story. My deadline for these is June. That's just under 3 weeks. I'm going dark on most of my online activities so I can take full advantage of my time. I'll be scheduling posts though of various other things going on and occasionally I'll let you know how I'm doing.

So, for today......

I'm working on: 3rd Honor Guard novella (I'm calling it Highland Honor for now)
I'm feeling: psyched!!!!
I'm specifically working on: ironing out at least the first 2 chapters today.
I'd like: you to send good thoughts my way!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pictures For Ya!

Christie Craig was the guest speaker at my last Austin RWA meeting. I've seen her speak before, have followed her career from the days before she sold, but nevertheless she was still such an inspirational speaker! I, as you know, have been struggling with the idea of still teaching (eventually in my own classroom again) when my writing has been taking off. Writing is my passion. THAT is what I want to pursue and I sort of felt like Christie gave me permission to do that. (Providing, of course, I still have food on the table and a roof over my head.) Thank you, Christie!

This picture is of Christie and her rejections she accumulated before she sold. And now? She's an award-winning author. Wow! Way to go!

Next up are note cards one of my best friends made for me! When I was sending out prizes during my release party and the blog tour, I was using note cards she had made and given me over the last few years. I thought to myself that if my publisher took the 2nd book (and later, hopefully the 3rd), maybe I'd ask her to make me some UK-themed cards I could use for promotion of the trilogy. Well, I guess once I got the contract for Fractured Paradise, she decided to go ahead and make me a sample! Aren't they beautiful?

 These are the 2 designs for the front.

This is the back of the cards. The inside is blank except for a sticker.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Wanted It

I wanted to be a published author. I am. I now understand what deadlines are. And panic. And excitement. And all that rolled into one.

And you know what? I want it. I want it all.

I'll share deets with you when I can. Don't expect to see me much until June. I'll share updates when I come up for air...or water...or a stiff drink!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

You Know You're A Suspense Writer....

You know you're a suspense writer when you see an abandoned cooler on the highway and you think, "I wonder if there's a head in there."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Decadent's Book Club

My publisher, Decadent Publishing, has started a book club on Facebook as a way to connect with readers. They will be sponsoring discussions a few times a week on specific books they choose. The editors nominated Her Highland Champion as their first read! I'm tickled! For details, visit

I also got an email today from my Content Editor for Fractured Paradise. Oh, boy! She sounds great but tough! Still, if she helps me shape the book up into the best it can be I'm okay with that! I have a July 6th deadline. Better get busy revising novella #3 so I can submit it soon and leave plenty of time for Paradise revisions!

I'm also on Goodreads. I'm trying to learn how to work it and see why everyone loves it. I went on for the 1st time in months yesterday and I actually found a rating for Champion from a woman who won it in one of the contests.

Speaking of contests....Don't forget my International Protective Network logo contest! Details can be found on the Miscellaneous page of my website.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Weekend Of Inspiration

I blogged on The Daily Dose of Decadence Blog about all I did this weekend to rekindle the love for (with?) my muse and my current characters. I really need to get some serious writing done, and I think I'm ready to go forth and write! Check out what inspired me here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Liverpool & Love

I've spent the day watching my 2 favorite soccer teams, Liverpool & Chelsea, play against each other, and writing.

Yay! Congratulations to Chelsea. I still love you, Liverpool!

And my work-in-progress, which doesn't have a title yet, is coming along! It's been fabulous to get back to actual writing and to take a break from promotion. I've worked so well on the latest couple I can't wait until I can promote their Hogmanay story!

Moving On

Okay, I've talked to a few people and I've decided to keep advertising the logo contest. If I get someone or a few someones to enter, awesome. If I don't, I've got the world's BEST artist on my side. Some way, somehow my fictional company will get its logo!

I had a nice evening with a couple other ladies who will soon be epublished. We call ourselves the Digital Darlings and we talked shop. It's wonderful to get the confirmation that, no, we're not alone in feeling certain ways about our journeys to the cyber shelves. I proposed we make a habit of meeting once a month. Hopefully we'll get some more people to join us, although the 3 of us had a GREAT discussion.

I still haven't learned the balance of promo with writing yet. MUST get busy with that! I've got to work tomorow and then I can write until Monday when I have to go back to work. Well, I did want to see the Avengers on Sunday. I'll want to go to yoga, too. And there's a replay of my 2 favorite soccer teams playing against each other for a big reward. Hhhmmmm, writing????

Friday, May 4, 2012


Okay, am I overreacting here? I'm a little surprised and sad because it's the 4th day of the month and I've only had 1 person ask about the contest. I thought it was a GREAT idea. So what's wrong with it? Should I scrap the plan, have my friend make the logo and just move on? Or should I give it time since it is only the 4th of the month? Thoughts?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Contest Of A Different Kind

Welcome to May! This is a special month because we have a SPECIAL CONTEST happening here ALL MONTH LONG.

WHAT? Since my publisher has accepted my 2nd novella, I decided I would have this contest. Each of my novellas has at least one character who works for the International Protective Network, or the IPN as we call it. As I promote Her Highland Champion and book #2 Fractured Paradise, I was thinking how cool it would be to have a company badge or logo that I can also use for promotion. (At the moment, I have another 2 novellas that need revisions before I submit them to my publisher, and I have ideas for at least 4 or 5 more.) So, the challenge to you is to create a logo/badge for my fictional company.

WHO? The contest is open to ANYONE regardless of age. I say this because I have former students who are now teenagers (and so can't be readers of my books yet---not until they're 18!) who are fantastic artists.

WHEN? The contest is open for the month of May. It will officially end at midnight, US central time, on May 31st.

JUDGE? I will not be judging. Nope. I want it to be a fair competition and so I've asked my good friend artist Christy Stallop to be the judge. I will send Christy your entries anonymously after the contest is closed. While she's judging, I will (if I can) post the entries on the blog for you to see and comment on if you wish. The official unveiling of the winning design will happen on or before June 10th. (As it gets closer I'll let you know for sure.)

WINNINGS? The winner will receive a gift basket tailored to that individual. PLUS, his or her name will be with the design on my website. AND everywhere I go, everywhere I can, I will promote the talent of the winning individual!

HOW DO I ENTER? I'm glad you asked! If you are interested, please either leave me a comment here WITH your email address or email me privately at Alexa @ alexabourne . com (without the spaces).

The International Protective Network is a world-wide organization of bodyguards. When other legal agencies can’t guarantee a person’s safety, the IPN can get the job done. The headquarters are located in Edinburgh, Scotland. The business was started by a Scottish couple, Russell and Mary MacLeod, whose youngest daughter testified against a criminal even after she was threatened. The police couldn’t protect her and the criminal’s friends eventually found and killed her. Russell, Mary and their remaining children opened the IPN soon after. 

The IPN protects everyone from foreign dignitaries, to politicians, to Hollywood celebrities and even ordinary folks who can’t get help anywhere else. They operate officially within the law, as true bodyguards, but they also have a more clandestine branch for more difficult and dangerous jobs. The men and women hired by the IPN come from all walks of life. Malcolm, the hero in my 1st Honor Guard story, Champion, was an abused child who happened to be living in Edinburgh when his best friend joined IPN. The friend later recruited the hero. Rachel, the heroine in my 2nd Honor Guard story, Paradise, is an American computer genius. She was recruited to work as a senior technical analyst and she works out of the Edinburgh office. The hero in what I hope will be my 3rd Honor Guard story, which doesn't have a name yet, is Malcolm's best friend Ian. He's smart and handsome and perfect in front of a camera so he usually works with public figures who need protection. At the moment, the company is still fairly new and so they only have an office in Edinburgh and one in New York. 

QUESTIONS? Please feel free to email me with any questions you have throughout the month. I'm sure there are some things I'm forgetting to add here.