Archive for the ‘writing life’ Category

Who, what, where?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

This… is so true in in my line of work and in life.

fortune

 

I’ve always been a curious. As a child my family will tell you that I was constantly questioning how things worked and why things happened they way they did. A conversation with me was never a short one as there was always and extra “but why?” to follow what probably should have been the end of a conversation. This practice has continued into my adult life (I’m sure to the joy of dear DH) and served me well as a writer and as the parent of young adults. I am always questioning and digging a little deeper to find out why people think and act the way they do as I come up with new characters and plots.

Tell me are you the curious sort? Do you enjoy digging a little deeper into a good mystery? What are some of your favorite whodunits?

Wishing you a great week ahead.

 

All the best,

KMJ

Time won’t give me time…

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Ain’t that the truth? Thanks for the wisdom Culture Club.

In my ever quest at somehow getting my uncontainable life contained and in some semblance of control, I spent the better part of the weekend reading a fantastic book called Write Every Day by Cathy Yardley. Now you think writing everyday would be easy since I’m a writer and it’s my job… and all.

But hold it there, Sparky, it’s not as easy as one would assume when you’ve got the husband, kids, Facebook, The blog,  laundry, Twitter, dishes, The dog, The grocery store, The bank, Twitter, Cleaning well, everything, dinner, pick-ups, errands, family runs, did I say twitter?, oh and the dog needs to run out again all pulling for your attension just because you’re the one there and the one designed to be in charge of all the domestic stuff. Somehow it’s way too easy for the job of writing, that really is your J-O-B to get pushed to the bottom of the list when it should be at the very top. Especially if you want to make a living… and all.

write everyday

In Write Every Day, Cathy suggests tracking your time for a week to see where what you’re really spending your time on in order to see where you can find more time to write. The challenge is on! It’s time to take a brutal look at how much time I really spend going in circles and clicking on links that have nothing to do with my WIP under the guise of research.

Tell me do you know how you’re really spending your time? Would you want to track your time for a week to see what your biggest time sucks are? As you think it over join me in a little Culture Club. I can’t seem to get this song out of my head now.

 

 

All the best,

KMJ

Feeding the Beast aka Distraction Jackson

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Happy Monday!  Time to get the grind on, as if the grind ever stops when you’re in the creative arts. But honestly, I’m starting to feel the pressure as the words have not been flowing at a rate that I feel they should be, so grinding right now is what I need to do. Take what I can get and worry about it later. Just get something on the page. Everyday. Don’t overthink. Besides, all that can come later along with the internal editor.  She loves that job any way, so why should I deprive her of it?

The problem is it would seem that at this point I’d rather do just about anything but grind it out as I need to and get the words on the page. And to feed the beast of procrastination my good friend, Laura Curtis, was kind enough to gift me with some amazing needlepoint patterns and one of them just so happened to be a perfect match for my very own Jack. Isn’t it amazing? I’m finding it so hard to think of anything else right now but running to the store and getting thread to start on this project. Tell me what are ways that you procrastinate or ways that you don’t? Hmm… yeah, maybe I should start there. LOL

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All the best,

KMJ

Bounce…coming soon in PRINT!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Happy Monday and Happy New Week Folks!

Can you believe it’s the end of March already? Even though I know I’ve been incredibly busy, still I feel like I’ve spent the first part of the year in a state of hibernated slumber and I’m just now opening my sleepy eyes to 1/4 of the year gone.

And since I’m now waking up to Spring I might as well wake up with a smile. Please join me in celebrating the cover reveal of the  PRINT version of BOUNCE coming soon to an e-tailer near you (that would be Amazon, but doesn’t e-tailer sound cool?).

Thanks so much to Mae from Coverfresh Designs once again for the amazing design work. And a huge thank you to the fabulous Lauren Dane for my fabulous cover quote. Talk about a dream come true!

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Bounce with me people!

 

All the best,

KMJ

Coffee, My Love

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

So I’ve been up for hours comparing online reviews of coffee makers. Mind you that’s after spending a good portion of my afternoon going from store to store looking for just the right machine in person and coming up short in the decision department. Silly I know, but I’m a writer and I spend the better part of my day at home with my laptop and my cup of coffee as my literal right hand companion and brain stimulator. Looking back now it’s hard to believe I ever used to be a light tea sipper. Those seem like such carefree innocent days now.

coffe

 

Happily, I finally went for a little talked about Hamilton Beach that got not much press, but amazing reviews on each site I went to. We’ll see how I like it when it comes in.

Tell me are you a coffee or a tea drinker or do you take on the day on au natural?

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

image fm Pinterest

Threads Of Desire-the secret scenes

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Happy New Week folks!

I’m ready to dive into my current WIP. It’s a fun one about a reluctant bride and a surprise be groom. But I  woke up thinking about Gabby, my heroine from Threads of Desire and what’s she’s up to. I do that at times as if my characters are real people out there in the world. Gabby was such a fun character to write since she had such a big voice in my head that sometimes could not be contained. But in writing there is this thing called editing and it’s up to the editor to contain that voice and like many writers I keep a file of my deleted scenes so I thought I’d share a bit of Gabby with you today from a (secret) deleted early scene from Threads of Desire to give you a little glimpse into her world. I hope you enjoy it.

Threads of Desire cover Final

 Crap. It’s your own stupid fault for getting into this mess, Gabrielle Russell thought as she once again tried to scoot out of Donovan’s too tight grasp. It was hot, both inside and out, with this sudden burst of a summer heat wave and Gabby was starting to feel like she was suffocating from all the plastic covering the woman’s suits in the sample closet that they were currently pressed into the back corner of. Her lip curled. It was downright sordid the way they were tucked back there making out like every couple from every made-for-TV movie where the wife gets her revenge in the end.

It wasn’t that Donovan was such a bad a guy, or that he was married. Oh, God no, definitely not married. Without the proper sanctioning of his mama, the girl’s meatball recipe passing muster, and probably the purchase of a home lot right next to his parents’ out on Long Island, there was no way Dono was walking down the aisle. He was too much of a mama’s boy for that.

 Suddenly the vision of Dono’s mother bursting through the hanging plastic, shears in hand, gave Gabby a shudder. True to form, Donovan took it as a sign that he was hitting the right spot, his tongue lapping quickly at her ear. Sadly, he was not. “Oh I love it when you shake that way, baby,” he murmured.

Gabby’s eyes rolled heavenward, where she spied cracks in the ceiling and a water stain near the steam pipe in the shape of a canned ham. She let out a sigh and worked on giving a number to Dono, tagging him mistake #97in a long line of many. Her lip twisted again as she started working on a way out of this closet and out of this mess.

Dono had been eyeing her on and off (okay, mostly off) for the three years she had been working at his father’s company, Zenia Fashions. (Side bar: if you have to put the word fashions on the tail end of your company name chances are it isn’t all that much of a fashion company.)

“You sure you don’t have some Italian in you?” he’d ask in an attempt at flirting, taking in Gabby’s toasted caramel skin, his eyes squinting at her naturally curly hair and the freckles that sometimes peeked through her foundation.

          “No, Donovan, I told you before, I’m a Black girl. You know, African-American. Sorry to disappoint you but, nothing any more exotic than that.” Gabby was sure if someone traced far enough back in her family tree they’d probably find all sorts of ethnic backgrounds dangling off limbs, but who had the time—and besides, she was not about to jump through genealogy hoops to placate ol’ Dono.

But with her recent diet Dono had upped his interest, going from the gloss over to the “I’d definitely tap that” in the space of a few weeks.

Gabby had gone from a size 18 down to a curvy 16 that she could jackhammer into a stretchy 14—which on her tall frame was something she could work with like she was mother effing Naomi Campbell. Well, that was if the foundation garments were right and the attitude was in check.

Either way, she’d been feeling swanky having picked up said sausage skirt off the rack in the so-called “regular” department (as if the week before she’s somehow been an irregular species) and said yes to his lunch offer—after all, he’d promised it would be a business lunch.

And they had talked business. Dono knew that when she’d been hired by his father, Giovanni, he’d pulled her in with a promise of a new line and an updated look, but Giovanni had continued to blame money troubles, price point, sourcing, or just anything and everything, and as of now the whole thing was put on hold. Gabby was ambitious and wanted more than anything to bring Zenia into the here and now, thus pushing her own name out of low level obscurity. She’d had enough of the slinky fabrics and out there prints. It was time to move on. But it seemed no matter what she tried she couldn’t get away from the back room and the unglamorous life of fashion on the D list.

Rule #87: At steak lunch, go easy on the steak and even easier on the bread. You’ve been on beets for weeks and your brain is muddled. You’re liable to go for anything—such as looking goofy and nodding with a stupid steak and bread grin on your face when your boss’s son runs his hand from your bare thigh on up to your Spanx. You will only feel like a fool when you end up in a closet with sequins on your behind.

For a half a second Dono shifted and the lapping tongue went from inside her ear to just behind it to that sensitive little section that made her nerves tingle all the way down to… oh freaking hell. Her mind did a jump and instantly she was no longer in the sample closet of Zenia Fashions at 1407 Broadway—no, she was over ten years back in the past in an oversized walk-in at the posh Dean of Admissions house at Bonnersville State. Gabby frowned, trying hard to push the memory aside, silently cursing the fact that it came back so easily.

Mistake #1 in the long line. Head of the line. Well, maybe he wasn’t mistake number one, no, she wouldn’t give him that (that honor would have to go to her ill-advised crush on a particular ’90s icon with a penchant for high tops both above and below), but Nick was the one who always came to mind when the numbering started. The one that had hurt the most, but still the one that had taught her the best.

Nick had made her that weekend. Changed her. Took her from the naive girl who thought there was actually a man out there for her, one who she could trust in this world, and turned her into the always jovial though jaded woman she was today. There was no trust. No real love. At least not for Gabby. It was the same ol’ same. Use what you got to get what you need. Get in, get out. Keep it moving.

Gabby sighed as Dono’s hand shimmied up toward her breasts. She moved back involuntarily, hitting plastic covered polyester, and her lips curved into a wry smile as she thought of her own stupidity. How in the hell had she done it again? Coats at her back and a hard man at her front. The first time, she’d welcomed it. She’d been young, naive, and living in the land of hope. But all that had come of it was her ending up pulling lint off her ass and squelching down humiliation as Nick left her with a sorry shrug and nothing more than a “how do you do” in the stark light of day, blaming it on the alcohol, the circumstances, whatever. Yeah, she knew better.

She bit at the inside of her cheek. It would probably be the same with Dono. To guys like him she wasn’t an outside type of girl. Not one to show off to friends or bring home to Mama. But yet, here she was. Stuck between a pipe and a hard place.

You can get your copy of Threads of Desire by just clicking here or on any of the links on the right. Thanks.

All the best,

KMJ

A Writing Process Blog Tour

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The fabulous and super talented Michelle Monkou tagged me in this writing process blog tour and as I do with all tag type things I froze but then realized we were not playing freeze tag so there you have it. I’m it… So RUN! No don’t run, sit a bit and read on about my process and how this writing thing works for me….Enjoy.

Creative hearts 1

 

What am I working on?

Right now the world is my oyster since Threads of Desire is now out and Bounce is too (psst the print version is soon to come).

But the thing about the world being your oyster and all means the possibilities are endless and oh boy pretty shiny thing over there. But no, I must focus and work on one project at a time (Well maybe two). This year I’ve got a fun romantic comedy brewing and I’m working on a sequel for BOUNCE so there is all sorts of sexy fun suburbia intrigue coming that way.

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How does my work differ from others of its genre?  I think the difference in my work, like what others have said before me, is voice. People say all the stories have been told and I don’t know, for the most part that may be true. But I do know the stories have not been told my way. It’s always fun for me to find a new author with an exciting and new voice and I hope that now some folks are getting that feeling in my works too.

Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been a dreamer, making up stories in my head. I’ve also always been a fan of romance and contemporary women’s fiction so writing in this genre was a natural fit.

How does your writing process work?

Can I just say it’s a mystery?

As for work? I don’t know how well it works. I’m always looking for ways to streamline it and write now I’m taking a fantastic Scrivener class given my Gwen Hernandez to help me get my many writing thoughts into a more organized contained place.

I’d like to get to the point that I wake, up sit at the keyboard and the words flow like spring rain and not my usual open laptop, sit and stare. Blink. Go to kitchen come back. Sit, stare some more, reach for the faraway word. Write a sentence. Stare at screen. Walk to kitchen again. Go back to computer. Turn away. Flip TV on then Off.  Check emails. Oh wait, Twitter! Look at clock an hour later panic then write a few hundred words. The character’s voices now too loud to be ignored a moment longer so I must write and quiet them down until the next day’s noise.

 

Yeah I’m thinking this process can be improved on dramatically. There are many stories to write and a smooth process will help it a bunch.

And now with me being it an all I have the fun job of tagging other writers so that they can share their processes with you. So I’m now tagging…

Synithia Williams: Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her publishing dreams. Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love was published in August 2012 by Crimson Romance. When she isn’t writing, this local government gal, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. www.SynithiaWilliams.com

Jeanine McAdam : : Jeanine McAdam is a writer of twenty-five romantic short stories, a few spicy anthologies and three cowboy books. Telling stories about imperfect people finding perfect love is her thing.  She’s currently writing about bull riders and the spunky urban women who love them in her Skirts and Spurs Trilogy.  www.JeanineMcAdam.com

Falguni Kothari: Born and bred in Mumbai, Falguni Kothari currently lives in New York with her family and an utterly spoiled dog. She’s the author of BOOTIE AND THE BEAST (April 2014 via Harlequin Mills and Boon,) IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK! and SCRABBULOUS IMPRESSIONS, a short story.   www.FalguniKothari.com

All the best,

KMJ

Writerly Thoughts and Talks…

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

This past weekend I had the pleasure and the honor to engage in a call-in book club chat with the women of STCC (Sisters Thoughts From Coast To Coast). I was thrilled when I found out months ago that they had chosen my 1st book in my creative hearts series: THROUGH THE LENS as their pick for the month of February.

Creative hearts  2

Kudos to these women! What a cool and innovative way to have a book club and to connect with readers that share your interest across the country. We had a call in time and access number for the chat and yes there were indeed Sisters talking coast to coast, ranging from New York to California. The moderator asked questions of the group related back to the book as did I and they asked some probing questions of me about my ideas and motivations for the story and characters and what I had coming up next. But my biggest thrill was finding out what moved them in the story which was at times eye-opening as you never know what will hit with a person. It just may not be the part that hit with you as a writer.

book club

I wanted to say thank you so much once again ladies of STCC for having me. It was such a pleasure and I hope to meet many of your at Romance Slam Jam or the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans this year! I’m on my way! You can find out more about STCC here.

And my dear bloggy friends if you’d like to hear more about what I have going on now, today I’m thrilled to be interviewed over at The Write Way Café. I’m taking about my career path, my current book and what I have coming up next. Please stop on by!

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Now tell me are you in a book club? Where do you get your reading recs?

 

All the best,

KMJ

 

With this Thread… Threads of Desire release day!

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Wow. So this has happened. In the past year and a half I’ve gone from zero stories published to as of today, with the release of THREADS OF DESIRE, the final book in my Crimson Romance Creative Hearts series, being a four time multi-published author. That is quick version of my overnight success.

The long version of that overnight success is nowhere near as astonishing or amazing and it sure as heck ain’t quick. The reality is this path to publication has taken me well over ten years (more like twelve, but come on, if I really count and then look in the mirror I may start to see the wrinkles and I’m not going there), three agents (yeah I’m still in that process) and enough rejections (from the who’s in the who) to wallpaper my house both inside and out to get where I am today. And where is where I am today?

Honestly, it is with me just where I am. Being a multi-published author grinding it out each and every day and still feeling just as wide-eyed and vulnerable as she did on the very first day. Both excited and nervous, stomach full of butterflies about presenting something to the world. But as with all new things I set forth,  I’ll take a breath, steel my nerves and see where this one goes. And then come tomorrow, as with all the days before I will open my laptop and stare at the blank page.

Once again the possibilities for an overnight success wide open…

Thanks for joining me on the ride.

 

 Threads of Desire cover Final

THREADS OF DESIRE is available now!

 

Sexy, fashionista Gabrielle Russell has been challenging Nick Ross most of his life and now is no exception. A top financial analyst, Nick has been dating his boss’s daughter and he’s on the fast track to turning his five-year marathon into a three-year sprint. But life throws him a curve when he finds his perfect girlfriend curled up in a very un-zen like position with her yoga instructor. Faced with this awkward downward dog, Nick heads to the only place he can think of—his brother Steve’s place—only to be stuck face to hips, thighs, lips, just about everything with his roommate, Gabby. She’s the habit Nick just can’t shake. The one that got away and she won’t let him forget it.

Gabrielle Russell is frustrated. She’s been banging it out for years as a curvy girl trying to make her creative mark the exclusive world of New York fashion and she’s hit a brick wall both personally and professionally. Now stuck in a dead end job designing jersey pantsuits for wannabe mafia wives while dodging the advances of her boss’s son, she doesn’t know how to get out of the hole she’s dug for herself. At least she has a bit of peace in the small apartment she shares with her childhood friend and roommate, Steve.

Or she did until Nick Ross walked in. Mr. Perfection and her own devastation, the one that broke her heart and almost broke her spirit, and now here he’s back and looking for a place to camp out while he gets his life back on track. Well, she’s got news for him: She’s not the same girl she was all those years ago when just a look would send her heart stuttering. Okay, maybe she is, but now maybe it’s time the tables were turned on the unflappable Nick Ross.

THREADS OF DESIRE can be found at these e-tailers:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dKW7Sy

Barnes & Noble : http://bit.ly/Nkr0sc

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1aHfqS4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1njw0I5

 

 

All the best,

KMJ

Plan to Dream

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Happy Friday! Well we made it through another week and for me what a week it was. I made it through the 1st week with my DD away on her semester abroad in France.

Yes, I still hardly slept and yes, I worried like crazy and yes, I cried more than once, but I’m happy to report that my lovely daughter arrived and is settled with her host family and is happy and doing well. I got to Skype with her and meet her host family over Skype too and was thrilled that they are already treating her like a member of the family. Having 3 grown sons the mom said, “thank you for sending me a daughter”. This made me tear up again but also soothed my heart. Please continue to join me in wishing her well, love and safety and to send good thoughts to our new extended family in France!

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With the DD settled I got to thinking about my own dreams and goals for the next few months. I have so much going on with THREADS OF DESIRE coming out on Monday. MONDAY!! (cue mild freakout) You can pre-order it here. But after that my writing options are wide open. Luckily the book ideas are overflowing, but sadly for me time is not. That said, I brought a fantastic new Filofax A5 Domino to reign in both my time and my writing. So far I’m thrilled with it (and I blame my twitter/writing bud Dren for the new obsession with flair). Now to get to writing…

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Tell me are you one to plan your dreams?

 

And a big thanks to all who commented and entered Alyssa Cole’s giveaway. Alyssa pulled a winner and it’s Reese Ryan! Thanks so much Reese. Alyssa will contact you with your prize.

 

All the best,

Kwana

image fm Becoming tru Me and Beyond

P.S. See you back here on Monday to talk THREADS!

Threads of Desire cover Final