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1.  My sister and I finished the manuscript for Whistling Woman, the book we’ve been working on for two years about our great aunt’s life growing up in the small town of Hot Springs, NC.  We took a few days, rented a cabin in Hot Springs, and worked on the first edit.  Now we’re in the process of editing it again–this time by email–and are hoping we’ll have it polished by the end of the year.  After that, beta readers!

2.  Although I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo–or whatever it’s called–I’ve been working on the third book in my Eternal Shadows series, Sun Shadows.  Last Monday, I set a goal of writing a thousand words a day and so far, so good.  A little over 9,000 words and counting!

3.  Edits, edits, and more edits on Whistling Woman.

4.  Working on getting the blog for the Writers’ Guild of Western North Carolina up and running.  Had a minor problem with WordPress–for some reason it wouldn’t let me add widgets to the blog–but that was solved by going to the forum and posting a question which was answered fairly quickly.

5.  The contract with Red Rose Publishing for my novella, Unwilling Angel, expires on the 18th of this month and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with the book when I have the rights back.  Numerous people have advised putting it on Kindle and thanks to one of the members of the Writers’ Guild, who is currently working to get his books on Kindle, I have a pretty good idea of what that entails.  It won’t be easy but I think I’ll probably try. 

Of course, first I have to get the rights back.  As per the contract, I sent two certified letters to Red Rose Publishing 60 days before the expiration date telling them I did not want to renew the contract, but haven’t heard a word back yet.  Which isn’t really a surprise given the problems other authors are having with this publisher.  I’m doing my best to keep an open mind until the 18th then I’m going to send an email to the owner and inform her that per the contract, the rights have reverted back to me and she needs to quit selling my book.  We’ll see what happens…

6.  After a blast of cold weather to start the month, we’ve had a string of perfect fall days here in the mountains.  I’ve been working to get my gardens put to bed while it lasts.   I wanted to plant bulbs but haven’t been able to find the time and I know I’ll be kicking myself next spring.  Oh well…

7.  Still more edits!

8.  Updating my website and this blog with the 2011 EPIC eBook Awards finalist button.  Yep, that’s right, Storm Shadows made it to the finals.  Yippee!  EPICon is in Williamsburg, VA next year and since my sister, Christy Tillery French, also has a book in the finals we’re seriously considering making the drive up there and attending.  I don’t have much hope that Storm will win, it’s in one of the categories that has the most finalists, but who knows what will happen.

9.  Edits, edits, and more edits with a little research thrown in on the side!

10.  More great news on Storm–The Long and the Short of It gave it a fabulous review last week which means it’s up for Book of the Week.  Woo-hoo!  If you’re so inclined, you can vote by clicking here.  That page also gives you access to Xeranthemum’s excellent review, if you’d like to read it.   Here’s a little taste of what the she had to say:

Storm Shadows is a well written and beautiful romance filled with charm, humor, vivid and lively descriptions and a well earned happily ever after sure to make a reader sigh in satisfaction. Despite the conflict, Ms. Hunter wrote a story that is uplifting and optimistic and just plain fun to read.

So, there you have it, the top ten reasons I haven’t posted anything here for almost a month.  As you can see, Whistling Woman is taking up the majority of my time with the Eternal Shadows series running a close second.  Next week it’s going to be all about Storm since I have an interview and a chat scheduled with LASR.  Which reminds me, I need to come up with a contest for the chat.  Better get busy…

Even though fall doesn’t officially start until Wednesday, here in western North Carolina, we’ve been getting a teasing glimpse of autumn with cooler temps at night and apple-scented breezes wafting our way from all the apple orchards in the area.  On Saturday, I spent the day canning apple jelly and of course, I used local apples.  So sweet and juicy.  Did you know that home-made apple jelly has a lovely pink tint to it instead of the fake goldish color of store-bought apple jelly?  So much prettier!

Got a couple of promotions to pass on…first, over at the Dames of Dialogue blog, author Loretta Wheeler is guest blogging and she’s talking about blow-up dolls.  Huh?  Yep, blow-up dolls and how she uses them to enhance her writing.  Funny post!  I guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face after you read it!

Next, my hero in Storm Shadows, Marcus Tassel, is guest blogging on Stacy Juba’s 25 Years Ago Today blog.  Marc talks about the second time he saw his heroine in his visions.  We’d both like to thank Stacy for hosting us on her wonderful blog!

And that’s it from me today.  Off to label my beautiful apple jelly and maybe sit outside on the porch swing for a while and enjoy this gorgeous weather.  Hope everyone has a fabulous fall!

I don’t know why, but I haven’t been in the mood to blog about anything lately.  It’s not that there isn’t anything going on in my life.  There’ve been quite a few times during the last week that I saw or read something that made me think, “oh, gee, that would make a good blog topic,” but well, I moved on to something else and before long, the “blog oomph” faded away.  I guess you could say my “blogging muse” has gone on vacation.  Not that I blame her, the weather has been beautiful here in western NC and I imagine it’s even better out on the Outer Banks or up in Virginia Beach or even down in Myrtle Beach.

While my blog muse has been lolling on some tropical beach somewhere, though, my paranormal romance muse has stepped up to the plate.  I’ve been working on Storm Shadows, the second book in my Eternal Shadows series and making quite a bit of progress.  I’m now at 23,000 words, about a third of the way through, I figure.  Next up, the middle–arrgh!  I don’t know about other writers out there, but the first oh, say, twenty thousand or so words of a book are always the easiest for me.  After that, I tend to get bogged down for a while, but when I get over the “hump” it gets easier again.  So, over the next few weeks, I know I’m going to be struggling which I hope will give me more incentive to sit down and write a blog entry about the things that strike me as “blog-worthy.

Okay, here’s the Reader’s Digest condensed version of my blog entries for the week:

1.  Moonshot Manny hit his 499th home run.  Yay, Manny!

2.  The Red Sox are limping along in second place in the AL East.  I’m blaming the fact that they’re on the road!  They can’t seem to buy a win when they’re not at Fenway, but they won last night against the Orioles, so maybe it’s only something to worry about when they go west of the Mississippi.

3.  The Tampa Bay Rays are in first place.  Huh?  Seriously, who would’ve ever guessed that would happen?  Not me, but it has me thinking that maybe dropping the “Devil” from their name wasn’t such a bad thing, after all.

4.  A new release and three re-releases of Cassie Edwards books–found these on the top shelf of my grocery store’s book section last week and well, I guess you know what I did.  Yep, hid every one of them.  Bad enough that she’s still being published, even worse that all of them had the word “Savage” in the title.  You know how I feel about that, don’t ya’?      

5.  With the release date of Snow Shadows getting closer–about three months now!–I’ve been debating over whether or not to upgrade my membership at Author’s Den.  I’ve had a membership with them for a little over a year now, but it’s the free “Lite Membership.”  Not a lot you can do with it, but my sister has their “Gold Membership” and she says she gets quite a few hits and sales from it, so I’m thinking maybe the time has come to upgrade.  Problem is, there are several options and I just can’t figure out which one I want to go with.  Bronze?  Silver?  Gold?  And now they have something called a Platinum which costs a whopping $800 a year.  $800?  Wow!  Um, I should probably wait until my book comes out and see how it goes, don’t you think?

6.  And speaking of my book coming out, I’ve received several advance reviews for Snow Shadows this past week.  So far, so good!  A couple of my favorite lines from the reviews:  

“This story is absolutely captivating!” – ParaNormal Romance

“…a fascinating story wrapped around Cherokee history and legend.” – Midwest Book Review

“There are some very dramatic moments on the mountain and I enjoyed every one of them.” – Coffee Time Romance

Not too shabby, huh?  And arrgh!  I hope I didn’t just jinx myself!  Keep your fingers crossed for me that the rest of the reviews are just as good! 

7.  Finally, I want to leave you with this link (thanks to Emily Veinglory at the EREC blog!):  Romance Epublisher Name Generator.  It does just what it says, generates a name for you if you want to be a Romance Epublisher.  A lot of fun and I thank Ms. Veinglory for the laugh! 

My name for Sweet Romance?  Misty Butterflies.  And the one for Erotic Romance is even better and very fitting, in my opinion – Scarlet (definitely Southern) Mountains (where I was born, where I live, where my Eternal Shadows series takes place, my favorite setting to write about, and my favorite place to be!)

Go ahead try it!  I’m off to put in my real name and see what I get! 

  

 

Do you ever look at the stats on your blog and wonder what the heck people were thinking when they googled some word or phrase that eventually leads them to you?  I am constantly amazed by the ones I find on my stats and I check them several times a day, if for no other reason than they sometimes make me laugh–and you know what they say about laughter.

While some of the phrases make sense, some of them are just um…flat-out weird.  And no, I’m not going to include them in this post–wouldn’t want to inadvertently embarrass the originator of those thought-provoking phrases–but, really, what were they thinking?

The thing is…with all the search engines–I think that’s what they’re called, but I could very well be wrong in my computer idiocy–on the Internet, I imagine there are a lot of phrases out there that will never cross my blog stats.  For instance, I have a friend who writes erotic romance.  She has at least three blogs, maybe more, and all of them deal with sex in one way or another.  And I just wonder what kind of phrases she gets?

I think the next time I need an infusion of good humor, I’m going to ask her.  I know I get a good laugh out of some of mine, and can’t help but think hers would have me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off–literally!

Wow!  Would you look at that!  I think this is the first time I’ve ever written a blog entry that came in under 300 words–which is what I hear bloggers are supposed to shoot for, but I always go over.

Good for me…and I’m shutting up now before I cross that line! 

Maria Schneider, one of the WD bloggers, recently wrote an interesting post on her blog, The Writer’s Perspective, which listed twenty, count ’em, twenty, tips for being a good blogger.  Here’s the link if you’re interested:

http://www.writersdigest.com/writersperspective/20+Tips+For+Good+Blogging.aspx

<note to self, learn how to do that link thingie!> 

Going by what she wrote, I’m sorry to say, I’m not a very good blogger.  I don’t think I do even half of the things she lists, and being a computer moron, I don’t understand some of them!  But she didn’t put the post out there to make me feel bad about my sloppy blogging habits.  She put it out there to help me become a better blogger.  That works for me.  I think I’ll print off what she wrote, hang it on my bulletin board, and see if I can’t follow some of her suggestions.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll end up a better blogger–but I’m not holding my breath.  There are too many times I don’t have anything at all I want to blog about, and too many times I just don’t have the time, and too many times I…well, you get the idea.

The thing is…there are also times when I’d love nothing more than to have one of those cool blogs, you know, where people hang out and post comment after comment.  And then I think about some of the blogs I read on a regular basis, and some of the comments they get and well, no thanks.  Invariably there’s at least one person on there who makes me want to throw my computer against the wall and go looking for the idiot who had the nerve to post such a stupid, inane comment and beat some sense in them.  S0…nope, not for me, definitely don’t need that kind of aggravation and rage in my life.

And, as I look down at the word count now, I see I’ve failed at yet another of Ms. Schneider’s tips, keeping my entry down to around three hundred words.

<sigh>

Oh well, looks like I’m doomed before I start.

One last thing before I go, I dare you to take a look at her blog entry, and see if you’re a good blogger.  It’s really kind of fun, especially if you don’t take it too seriously, but if you’re a serious blogger, you probably already do most of what she says and…yikes!  I’m almost at four hundred words.

I think I’ll shut up now!

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams