Tag Archives: Blood and Bone Legacy

We Are NOT Talking About The State Of the World today

I do not want to talk about the shit show of a debate we all experienced this week. Or the fact that Trump and Melania now how COVID. Anyone could have seen that one coming. Instead, I’m choosing a snippet instead. That seems like a better option.

Remember, Residual Magic comes out on October 21, 2020 and is up for Pre-Sale now.

Plus, I don’t have shit to say. So, here you go.

“I’m sorry, what did you just say?” I mumbled, as Tag’s question tumbled around in my head. My brain hitched, unable to follow. The kitchen island was a hard edge at my back as I clutched the sweating glass of soda tight in my hand. Huh, the refrigerator door was open. Did I leave that open? That’s such a waste of energy. Why was I worrying about the electric bill and the energy? God, Brittany, pull it together. Focus!

“I asked if you would like to go to dinner with me,” the werewolf asked . . . again. “On a date,” he clarified as if I hadn’t understood the first time. In all honesty, I hadn’t. I was staring at him with my mouth gaping open wide enough to catch flies but I couldn’t seem to snap myself out of a stupefied shock. His lips turned up in a teasing smirk that made my gut tighten and my brow crinkle in confusion.

“A date?” I asked, my voice uneven and hesitant as I considered. As many times as I’d dreamed of being asked that question by a werewolf—and I had, many many MANY times—the werewolf in my daydreams had never been Tag.

Stewart Taggar was long and lean, towering over my five foot six inches. I wasn’t a giant but I wasn’t tiny either. His red hair was more carrot than auburn but it seemed to shimmer when set against his bronzed skin. He was muscled but not bulky like a lot of the werewolves in the pack. He gazed down at me now in a way that was new or maybe it wasn’t and I just hadn’t noticed. He’d always treated me—I’d thought—like a little sister. Honestly, most of the pack did. Yes, I was only twenty-two and decades or centuries younger than most of the wolves and vampires but that didn’t mean I was a child. Tag wasn’t looking at me like I was a kid, that’s for sure. And I wasn’t sure how I felt about that development.

“Aren’t you a little old for her?” a gruff, clipped voice called from the kitchen doorway. Without my knowledge or permission, my body reacted to that voice in ways that made heat creep into my cheeks. Everett Cooper was three or four inches taller than me at most; lean and muscular. He seemed to be gaining bulk every day and it looked good on him. His sandy blond hair was styled away from his face, exposing the deep navy-blue of his eyes. His gaze fell on me like a weight, not crushing or overwhelming but comforting and all too familiar.

“That’s for her to decide, pup,” Tag responded, with an edge of condescension in his last word that surprised me.

Tag and Ev were friends, or at least had been, I’d thought. I wasn’t sure what was going on between them lately, but something was definitely up. Standing between them, I was ridiculously uncomfortable. Tension boiled in the kitchen until it was a physical heat against my skin as the two werewolves faced off. Sweat beaded on my upper lip. I was waiting for one of them to pee on me and mark their territory or something dumb like that. To be honest, I only wanted one of them to pee on me. Oh God, that didn’t sound right.

“She’s not going anywhere with you, old man,” Ev growled, squaring his shoulders. I perked up at that statement. I may be desperately inlove with Everett Cooper in a shameful and embarrassing sort of way, I wasn’t fool enough to lie to myself anymore about that fact. I was head-over-heels in-love with the idiot. That didn’t mean he could order me around like a piece of property. Because he couldn’t. I did not belong to him.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” I huffed out, throwing my shoulders back in irritation and raising my chin in defiance. I was a strong independent woman, darn it, and even if Ev was the man of my dreams, I wasn’t going to let him talk about me like a piece of meat.

Yes, Ev had kissed me a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it had been a-maz-ing. And yes, I’d said I would wait for him to figure his stupid, insecure, man-baby crap out. But it had been more weeks than I’d like to admit since our kiss and I was tired of waiting for this grown man to figure out what he was going to do with me. If anything. Maybe a little fire under his rear end would move his addled brain along. Or maybe he’d decide I wasn’t worth the effort and let me go. Either way, it was good to know . . . wasn’t it? That’s what I told myself, anyway.

Both men turned, meeting my heavy—okay, angry—stare. I was too young and too cute for heavy. I just didn’t have the menace behind any stare to classify as heavy. Feisty anger though, I could do.

“First,” I started, meeting Ev’s deep, dark, and penetrating gaze. Ugh, he was so cute. Shake it off, Britt. Pull yourself together. “You’re not the boss of me,” I hissed. Tag snorted in laughter and I turned on him, “Second, don’t provoke him.” Tag had the good sense to drop the grin on his face and appear suitably apologetic. “Third,” I said with a bright and cheerful smile that was actually true, and my smiles hadn’t been true for a very long time. “Tag, I would love to go to dinner with you.”

“What?” Ev erupted, wide-eyed surprise clear on his face as he took an aggressive step in my direction.

Residual Magic Blood and Bone Legacy Book Cover

Catching Up – Where Have You Been??

So, I’ve been gone for a while. The world has descended into a dumpster fire of epic proportions. In addition to COVID overwhelming everyone, we were also a bit swamped with everything closing down but still having to work full-time. I still had a book to finish and Scarlett was now spending all her time cooped up in the house with me. People were dying in droves from a disease that most of Washington wanted to ignore or play down.

Then George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered and when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. People were marching-are still marching-and the information divide between right wing and left wing was an all out assault. and white people everywhere were either just discovering that black people were mad, or making gestures that wouldn’t really fuel change but made themselves feel better…cause, white people. I didn’t feel like anyone needed another middle aged white women telling the internet how horrible white people are in general. We all know that already. No one really wants to talk about the deep systematic changes that would need to take place to even make a dent in the institutional racism we have in place in this country. I’m sorry to say that breaking it down and rebuilding it all is probably what its going to take. But, our politicians are basically shitty people who are afraid to do anything of real value and California is basically an inferno. Sooooo, there’s that. I know i’m forgetting something because 2020 has basically sucked big donkey balls.

So, in light of all of that. I took a little blog hiatus.

But I feel like it might be time to get back in the habit of entertaining and spreading my joyful and sparkling personality around the faceless, cesspool of the internet.

So, let’s catch up.

First, I finished Residual Magic! Yay!

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear loud enough applause for that miracle of miracles. I. FINISHED. RESIDUAL MAGIC.

It will be released on 10/21/2020. I’ll have links later when it goes up for pre-sale. Look at my sparkly new cover.

Isn’t it pretty!

Anyway. During our time at home, we’ve also tackled a project or two that NEEDED to be done. The basement bathroom for instance.

This is what our crappy bathroom in the basement looked like after we ripped out the moldy vanity. Trust me…it wasn’t a good look

Before

After

This is what it looks like now. Ross and I did it ourselves…for the most part. We did call in a plumber for some work that we weren’t comfortable doing ourselves but all the rest was us.

Yesterday, we also added to our house.

Meet Oliver and Percy.

Percy is very outgoing…Oliver, not so much.

I think that about catches everyone up.

Good luck in 2020! We’re going to need it.

ACHIEVEMENTS!!!

Things I’ve done since my last blog post:

  • Drove a car – Scarlett was incredibly excited about going somewhere…anywhere. When we pulled out of the driveway, she screamed, “Mommy, this is so much fun!”
  • Hiked 4.5 miles over two days – this is a mixed bag since I hate the outdoors. However, my energetic daughter had to get out of the house and burn off all the energy she’d been building for the past month and a half.
  • Peed in the woods – don’t ask.
  • Gained another 2 lbs. – This is a total of 9 lbs. So now i’m back to writing EVERYTHING down that I eat. And, God help me, I’m going to have to do something in addition to yoga. Like – GULP – Zumba
  • Thrown a Frisbee. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever done that.
  • Written 5,000 words and got myself on the downward slope to finishing Residual Magic’s first draft. Anything after that is easy peasy and will move much faster.
  • Been nominated for the Rone 2020 Award. Public voting goes through the 10th. Vote!

Residual Magic Snippet

I’m working! I promise but it’s taking me much longer than expected. To keep everyone motivated, here’s a snippet. It’s unedited so keep your comments to yourself. Unless you want to tell me how awesome it is. Then, by all means, comment away!

Taking a regret-filled step back, I glared at Wynne around Ev’s solid form. “Fine!” I snapped at her, genuinely angry that she’d disturbed my very magical moment with Ev. “I’ll put the amulet back in the drawer.”

                “You will do no such thing!” she pronounced vehemently. “This is the most excitement I’ve had in quite some time.”

                “After your body snatching request, I’m not taking the chance that you might sneak in and try to take over,” I said, honestly.

                “I wouldn’t!” she sounded almost appalled but I knew her better than that.

                “You would,” Ev snarled. Apparently, Ev knew her better than that too.

                “Ah, wolf,” Wynne cooed, “we were getting along so well.”

                “Were we?” he asked.

                As the conversation ping ponged back and forth, more noise echoed up from downstairs. It sounded like an army down there. Ev probably heard everything that was going on but I couldn’t and a wash of guilt made me nervous. I’d asked these people to leave their home and come talk to me and now I was making them wait. If I didn’t hurry this argument along, Ev and Wynne would be at it forever and then we’d miss our chance.

                “They’re waiting downstairs and it sounds like an army. We don’t have time for this,” I said, anxiety making my words clipped. Ev nodded his agreement, took my hand in his and guided me toward the door.

                “I cannot help you if I don’t know,” Wynne added absently and as I glanced over at her in the mirror, she was peering down at her nails as if she hadn’t a care in the world. Which, of course, she did. She must want to hear all of it very badly to play such and obvious ploy. Wynne was much more manipulative than this, I’d seen it first-hand.

                I glanced at Ev and met his disapproving glare and tight shoulders. I didn’t have to say anything or plead, all I did was shrug. Afterall, she was right. She might hear something that we’d miss in the retelling. It was better-nope, scratch that-more prudent to have her there. Nothing was better with Wynne in the mix. With a sigh of resignation, he nodded once and picked up the amulet. “Behave,” he growled at Wynne before shoving it into his pocket.  He held out his hand to me and waited until I clasped my hand in his and a bit of my stomach fluttered at the newness of the touch and the surety in it. Together we strode down the stairs .

Pre-Holiday Snippet

Since it’s almost time for all the holiday hoopla, I thought I’d give you a little snippet of what I’m working on right now, Residual Magic. I wish I could say that it was because I was being nice but you know better than that. Its because I’m tired from all the baking, shopping, wrapping, and cleaning. I’ve got nothing else to share. So, with no further ado, here’s your snippet:

This is an unedited excerpt. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

What two cents? I have no money,” Wynne replied, confused and a part of me smiled to myself. Having been stuck in a vast wasteland of desert and mirrors the succubus-witch had dubbed the in-between for more than a millennium, sometimes Wynne’s understanding of colloquialisms wasn’t up to scratch. “Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that you are young and stupid. How many times have you cried over that boy? Too many to count by my opinion.” She huffed at me as if I was wasting her time. All she had was time. Plus, I was pretty sure she secretly loved it. I’d come to understand that Wynne liked to be needed. Who didn’t though? That was the point, wasn’t it? I wanted to be wanted and needed and it didn’t seem like Ev wanted or needed me that badly. A thought suddenly occurred to me. Maybe Tag did.

Well, you’ll be glad to know that I have a date tonight,” I said, my chin high. When she stared at me, the words clearly not registering in her mind I added, “I’m going to be spending time with someone tonight . . . a man.”

“The boy finally became a man,” she grumbled and this time I wasn’t so sure she’d intended for me to hear her.

Ev?” I asked, confused but continued on, “No, Tag. I’m going to dinner with Tag.”

“The soul stealer?” she asked and I could hear the surprise and disgust in her voice. I could almost see her bright blue eyes the size of saucers in astonishment.

“Wynne,” I sighed. “Red heads don’t steal souls. They just don’t. But you know who does?” I asked and she was quiet for a moment, waiting. “Succubi. Succubi steal souls and that’s you.” When she didn’t respond – because I had her on that one – I said, “Tag is a nice guy. He’s steady. And he wants me.”

“Ahh,” she responded in a way that made my blood boil, as if she saw everything and I clearly saw nothing.

“Ahh? What does ahhh mean?” I hissed, angry now. It felt good to be angry and show it. Turns out, I’d been angry for a while.

Nothing,” she clipped, pleased with herself. “Just . . . ahh. Have fun on your . . . date,” she said with a snide lilt. And in the blink of an eye, she was gone, retreating back into her amulet to let me stew. I hated when she did that. She put just enough doubt in my head to make me second guess everything. Wynne was just mean.

I will!” I snapped at her, knowing full well she wasn’t listening. I plopped down on my bed and sighed. I would have a good time with Tag. I always had a good time with Tag. We were friends and I wouldn’t let Wynne’s nagging doubts cast a shadow on our date. This wouldn’t be weird at all.

Nanowrimo

This month is Nanowrimo. For those of you who have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are a lot of people that have never heard of this.

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. There is a website that engages the writing community to write 50,000 words in a single month: nanowrimo.org. This is supposed to be a way to give a writer a swift kick in the ass and get you back into gear. Ultimately, getting words on the page.

A lot of people think they have to be pretty words. Incorrect! They just have to be words that make sense. You can always go back and make them pretty. Fixing and editing, at least for me, is way easier than staring at a blank page.

Almost every year, I sit down and log in. I set my project – which for me has been four different books between 2011-2019. You can see by the number of projects as compared to the number of years how successful I’ve been.

The first, I finished but it wasn’t very good. So, there it sits in my dropbox, waiting for me to revisit and rework.

The second, was never finished. Again, still waiting on me to finish.

The third was Hereditary Magic. I FINISHED IT. And, like 10 of you read it, so there’s that.

The fourth is Residual Magic…here’s hoping. I’ll be honest though, I’m already behind in writing this one and nanowrimo was my plan to get back on track. For the first few days, usually, I’m good. Then life and work gets in the way. This year was no exception. Listen, I’m fucking busy.

Here are my stats from nanowrimos of years past:

201150,116/50,000 – Yay! This is me winning nanowrimo

2012 – Sike, I didn’t participate

201318,864/50,000 – EPIC FAIL!

2014 – Bahahaha!

2015 – Scarlett was like 6 months old. Nothing got done other than working, feeding, and sleeping. NOTHING. AT. ALL.

2016 – okay, this is it. This is the year I’m back to writing 3 books a year. 4,230/50,000 Okay, not so much.

201711,229/50,000 – I’m starting to see a pattern. However, this one was actually Hereditary Magic. I did eventually finish it and publish it, just not in this time frame.

2018 – Bahahahaaha again. Actually, I think I forgot.

2019 – Here we go. I’m off to a bangin’ start… 1,604/50,000 in SEVEN DAYS.

I should be putting words down on the page right now. Instead, I’m writing this blog because in seminar after seminar, they keep telling us that consistency and content are important to readers. Can I count these words toward nanowrimo? That would be cheating…I guess.

Memberships and Contest Scores

I finally got my preliminary scores back for Hereditary Magic from the Rita contest.

Below please find the scores for your entry, Hereditary Magic Blood and Bone Legacy, in the preliminary round in the 2019 RITA® Contest.

Paranormal Romance 1
2

3

4

5
Score4.89. 8. 6.58.   
Does the entry contain a central love story?YesYesNoNoYes
Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic?NoNoNoNoYes
Does the entry fall within the category description?YesNoYesYesYes
Did Not Finish (DNF) Reason (craft or grammar). The field will be blank if the judge did not select DNF.    

Final Score: 7.5      

Final Scores are calculated by dropping the high and low scores and averaging the three remaining scores.

If there are 3 negative responses to any one question, the entry is disqualified.

You may refer to the following information in order to determine the ranking of your score.

For the Paranormal Romance category:

            Top quarter; final scores equal to or greater than 8.3

            Second quarter; final scores from 8.26 to 7.83

            Lower half; final scores equal to or less than 7.8

Let’s talk about these and my own experiences with the Rita entries for a moment. As you can see from the underlined contingency above, Hereditary Magic was disqualified for having 3 “No” responses in a single category. The category question was Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic? The quick answer to that is of course not. It’s a series and if you solve the central romance in the first book, the series is basically over. There has to be some conflict and growth. Otherwise, THERE’S NO POINT.

There was one judge, #2, who actually got the book. And he/she is right. This book doesn’t fall within in the strict category of paranormal romance. None of my books do. That’s part of the problem.

I don’t write romance.

I write genre fiction that doesn’t subscribe to the regimented format of romance. I don’t have a happy ending at the end of each book. I don’t have the romance as the focal point in each book. My romantic entanglements are not always resolved at the end of each book. That’s part and parcel of writing series.

As a judge this year in the Rita contest, I find it disheartening to learn Hereditary Magic was disqualified while more than half of the entries I was given to judge were subpar, not just in their character development but in grammar and writing style.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that I’m no Margaret Atwood. I am very cognizant of how minuscule i am in the publishing world and even more so about how niche my genre is within that publishing world. However, I can construct a damned sentence properly…most of the time.

So, this is what it has all come down to…

I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America now for 10 years and each year I renew my membership with reticence. What is RWA and the affiliated chapter memberships providing me? Honestly, not a whole lot at this point.

This year I paid my $99 membership fee in August to maintain the other chapter memberships through December. It will be my last year. Each year, I feel more and more marginalized in an organization where I clearly don’t fit in.

I have plenty of romance writer friends that get a ton of benefit from their memberships, and that works for them. I’m not one of them. And that’s okay. I just can’t seem to justify sinking money back into an organization that isn’t beneficial to me and my writing career. Not anymore.

This isn’t a condemnation of RWA or their contests. They do a lot of good for quite a few people. I’m just not one of them. I think that saying goodbye may be the best option for me. I have made many great friends in this organization and relish those friendships and support I have found in their company. But I must say goodbye to the organization that brought us together.

Farewell, RWA. It’s been nice knowing you.

Advanced Reader Copies up for grabs!

I’m testing out a new Advanced Reader Copy platform. In honor of that, i’m posting Hereditary Magic for 10 lucky readers. The only requirement is that you post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and/or Bookbub by August 1st.

There are 10 available copies and you can access your copy here:

Cover Reveal

If you get my newsletter, then you saw this a month ago. Plus, yesterday, you got a free snippet. That’s one of the benefits of being on my newsletter mailing list. So there!

I’m currently working on the first round edits prior to release. We’ll go through two more rounds of this before book birthday. Honestly, I could keep going back and forth forever, changing, fixing, altering, but at some point you have to let it go.

Without further ado. Hereditary Magic will be released on 10/17/2018!

HereditaryMagic_850 (1)

Also, I still can’t figure out how to do any of this scheduling posts/newsletters right. I’m on my own newsletter so I know it went out. Did I get it yesterday? No. But people opened it (or so the report says), so it must have gone out. *sigh* I’m smarter than this. I promise.