Touch of Frost Revealed

Here she is, the face of Lauren Mclean in Touch of Frost.  I couldn’t have dreamed up a better image to represent the book if I’d had a year to do it.  Another testament to the talented designers at J. Taylor Publishing.

Here’s the blurb for this little lovely, due out on February 1, 2012 in eBook formats.


Even the simplest of touches between Will Frost and Lauren McLean are forbidden.

To share love will surely mean death.

Since her granddad’s passing, Lauren has existed a few steps out of sync with the world. Desperate to feel the love only he offered her as a child, Lauren returns to the haven they once shared — a snow-covered cabin at the foothills of the Rockies.

It’s not the memory of her granddad that warms her ice-cold, frost-bitten body after being caught in a blizzard, though. It’s the man in whose bed she wakes.

Along with bringing life to her soul, Will stirs deep-rooted memories in Lauren and brings out the love she seeks.

What Will knows about himself — the secrets of his kind — he keeps hidden, forcing Lauren to search for answers, to question and ultimately put her life, and his own existence, in danger.

In love though, there is always a way.

Can Will get around the rules? Or will Lauren give up her life simply to have one last touch from Will Frost?


Visit my website for some downloadable goodies for Touch of Frost, like a nifty desktop wallpaper for your PC.

My bookmarks are here!

Each time my publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, sends me a little tidbit about my book, the surreal feeling I’m swimming in flies away and everything seems more real.  My book is going to be published.  Yes, PUBLISHED!  For real.  ::snicker::  I know, right!!!!

Thanks to the blasted postal strike, I don’t yet have these little lovelies in hand, but I wanted to share the designs with you, anyway.  Aren’t they great!  Can’t wait to see them for real and to share them with everyone.

If I’m this excited about the bookmarks, what the hell am I going to be like when I finally get to hold The Glass Man in my hands?

I guess I’ll find out in October!

The reality behind the glamor

The reality of publishing my book settled in today, when I received a proof of my book cover.

Holy schmolies! This is really happening!

I’d never given much thought to the hard work that goes into publishing a book. Networking. Designing a website and hooking up accounts to every social networking site available. Becoming a great researcher as well as a sales person. Investigating every little niche that might be interested in buying my book. Tax wheeling and dealing with the IRS. The thought that goes behind the design of a book cover.

Lucky for me, my publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, has laid out a step-by-step road map for me to follow. They’re there with excellent answers to all of my questions, and treat me as a person instead of a number. I know there is much to do and learn before October 15th, but I also know someone is there to keep me on the right path toward success.

One foot in front of the other.  Dig deep.  Leave no part of the unknown publishing world unexplored.  That’s my motto, and I’ll stick to it until I’m holding The Glass Man in my hot little hands.

First step:  edit the manuscript as thoroughly as I’m able, and find the courage to let it go into the hands of my editor.

The waiting game

I’ve never been very good at waiting.  If I’m going out somewhere, I usually get ready hours early and end up frustrated with the time I have to put in.  When I decide to buy something, I go out right then to get it.  Waiting through my pregnancy for my daughter to be born just about killed me.

Even in my writing, my impatience comes through in the break-neck pace of my stories.

Now, with six short stories out for query at various Magazines and anthologies, along with my novel, The Glass Man, sitting in two publisher’s queues, the wait has been agony. 

Each day that passes without a response seems to strip away a little of my confidence, as if I need those little validations to fuel the inspiration that keeps me writing.  Even the negative responses give me a boost. 

Silly, right?  I feel like I’m watching the proverbial pot, waiting for it to boil. 

My solution is simple:  distraction and avoidance.  Close the email instead of checking it every five minutes.  Immerse myself in another story.  Take my daughter swimming every day she’s not in school.  Mock up some fun covers for my stories.

Huh.  Suddenly the week slips by without my notice.  What?  It’s Friday again?  How did that happen?


The agony of the query

So, you spend months, maybe years creating characters and new worlds for the novel of your dreams. 

You agonize over sentence structure and the opening “hook”. 

You paint the scenery of every scene to perfection. 

You give your protagonist relationships, a goal, throw some obstacles at them, and concoct an antagonist to stand in the way of their happiness.

Everything is going according to plan, right?  Everyone loves your writing, so you’re a shoe-in with the publisher, right? 


No matter how great the novel is, your hopes of publication still hinge on the evil query letter and your ability to write a good one.

Whether your story is ten thousand words, or a hundred thousand, you still only have two-three hundred words to sell yourself and the book to an agent or publisher.   And not only that—the letter has to stand out from the rest, convey the unique “voice” of your characters, and sum up the story—characters, hook, conflict and resolution—in two short paragraphs.


And damn.

I like a challenge, but when it comes to writing a query, I’d rather stab out my eyes with a fork.  Summing up the story isn’t a problem.  It’s the voice that kills me.  How can I bring the flavor of the book in without blowing the word count all to hell? 

How can I convey the humor and witty banter that brings the characters to life?

The depth of relationships?

The hot sex scene the ladies will eat up like a creamy slice of tiramisu?

The subplots that weave back together to bring a satisfying ending to the reader?

I wish I knew.

To agent, or not to agent—that is the question

So, I’ve been waiting months to hear back from a publisher I queried for my first novel, The Glass Man.  On average, their wait time is two-hundred and forty days, and they don’t allow simultaneous submissions.  That’s a long time to wait if the response is a rejection, but I waited anyway like a good little author.

By chance, I happened across a thread on my favourite writing site last night that listed a website called Predators and Editors.

It lists every Publisher and most agents, along with known issues and detailed information about their shortcomings. Apparently the publisher I’d been querying has a habit of publishing books without rights from the author to do so, often didn’t pay royalties due, and their contract is subpar compared to others in the industry.

I take everything I read with a grain of salt, but as a newbie to the publishing world, this startled and frightened me.

What do I know about publishing contracts?

How do I know if I’m getting screwed?

I guess that’s where an agent comes in, but then I think about the percentage they’ll take off the small amount I’ll earn. Is an agent worth the money they take off the top of my hard earned dollars?

I intend to find out.  In the meantime, I’ve pulled my submission from my original publisher and sent it to another with a better reputation and contract. Their suggested return time is 6-8 weeks. That length of time I can deal with happily, and I feel more confident going in with at least a little education about their reputation in the industry.

As for whether or not I’ll pursue an agent–I’ll let you know.