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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…

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I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to do much of anything except revisions on the book I’m writing with my sister, Whistling Woman, about our great aunt Bessie’s life growing up in Hot Springs, NC, at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s finished.  Yay!  But now comes the hard part; editing and revising.  I usually don’t like that part but with this one, I’m really looking forward to doing the final edits because Christy and I are planning on meeting in Hot Springs when we get to that point.  Another yay!

At the same time, I’m still polishing my older woman/younger man contemporary romance novella, Strict Policies.  And when all that editing gets to be too much, I’m working on the next book in my Eternal Shadows series, Sun Shadows.  Really hope I get this one finished quicker than I did the second one!

Other than that, I’ve been canning quite a bit–my pantry is overflowing!–and putting the garden to bed for the winter–just in time, we had our first frost last night.  Des and I are still walking every day and we’re really enjoying it…for the most part.  Had an encounter with the wicked witch of the neighborhood yesterday but more on that later.  That little event deserves an entire blog post all its own!

I got a great review for Storm Shadows the other day from Amelia Richard at Cata Romance.  4.5 stars!  Yippee!  Here’s Amelia’s teaser:  STORM SHADOWS makes the supernatural seem genuinely real with clever writing and an innovative premise.

Finally, I have an interview up on Susan Whitfield’s blog today.  Lots of fun to do–and believe me I didn’t think I’d ever say that about an interview!  Hope you’ll drop by and check it out!

Back to the edits…

After a break last week–our victim interview subject had the flu–the Dames’ Dozen is back with B.J. Foster, author of Bayou Shadows and the upcoming Carolina Shadows.

Shadows, shadows, as in Snow Shadows or even Storm Shadows?  Not to mention my current WIP, tentatively titled Sun Shadows.  Yep, I’m sensing a kindred spirit here!  Ms. Foster writes romantic suspense while my Eternal Shadows series is paranormal romance, but still…

Anyway readers, step out of the shadows and hop on over to the Dames of Dialogue blog for Ms. Foster’s inspiring interview.  And don’t forget to leave a comment!

May has been incredibly busy for me, both in my real world and in my writing life.  A couple of weekends ago my mom and sister came over for the Blue Ridge Book and Author Showcase–which was okay, except in the workshops we attended, the authors were more intent on promoting their books than they were on teaching us anything.  But it’s the first year of this event and I’m hoping it will get better in the future.  I’m also hoping I’ll get signed up in time next year to get a table!

The best part of that weekend was on Friday when we went to Hot Springs to do a little research on the book Christy and I are writing about our great aunt’s life.  Hot Springs is an interesting little town and I wish we’d had more time to look around but the weather wasn’t the best–cloudy and rainy and just all-around yucky.  We couldn’t find the visitor’s information center, which used to be housed in an old red caboose near the library so we went in the library to get directions.  The librarian, Deb Linton, told us the caboose had been moved back to the railway station and they were in the process of building a new welcome center, slated to be opened in mid-summer. 

Too bad, but Ms. Linton was kind enough to share some of the local history books and records with us.  She also gave us some information on Dorland-Bell where our aunt went to school way back in the 1890’s.  Aunt Bessie was one of the first graduates and a copy of her diploma, dated 1899, is included in the book The Season of Dorland-Bell, by Jacqueline Burgin Painter, who just happens to be my cousin.  There’s also a picture of the first town officers which includes my great-grandfather, complete with handlebar moustache and shiny silver star, as the town constable.  I’m looking forward to going back and looking for some of the houses Grandpapa built–he was also a builder and a blacksmith–and trying to find the grave of my great grandmother, who I was named for.

Then last weekend, Christy and I met in Johnson City and made the harrowing trek over the rainy mountains once again to attend the May We Write conference put on by the High Country Writers group we both belong to.  That was great and we had a lovely time–well, if you don’t count the drive up to Blowing Rock in the rain.  I swear, I love living in the mountains, but I think I’d love it even more if I lived back in Aunt Bessie and Grandpapa’s time.  You know, back when they traveled by horse and buggy!

So, along with spring cleaning, that’s what I’ve been up to.  As far as my writing world, the anthology, PMS: Poison + Murder = Satisfaction which includes my short story, The Secret Life of Alice Smitty, was released in print and is scheduled to be released in e-book next week.  I have got to get the cover up on my sidebar!  I received the contract for Storm Shadows–woo-hoo!  I’m almost through with Winds of Fate–yippee!–and I’ve started writing the next book in my Eternal Shadows series, tentatively titled Sun Shadows.  It tells the story of Luke, the brother who’s determined not to fall for Jon’s tricks and get snared by the heroine Jon sends up to Eternity Mountain.  I haven’t gotten very far yet, but so far it’s going pretty good.*

*Crossing my fingers that I didn’t just jinx myself!  I haven’t really gotten into the heroine’s part of the story yet, but I’m hoping she won’t give me as much trouble as Betty Sue did in Storm Shadows!

So, that’s whats been happening in my world in the busy, busy month of May.  Oh, and did I mention the Red Sox are in second place in the AL East, just half a game behind the Blue Jays?  Yay!  Of course, the Yankees are only a game and a half out, and we all know the Yankees.   Added to the fact that you can never count them out of the race, this year they have something to prove–mainly that they can spend over a billion dollars on a new stadium then charge outrageous ticket prices and their fans won’t bat an eyelash as they shell over their hard-earned cash.  Hey, how’s that working out for ya’, Mssrs. Steinbrenner?

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams

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