Monday, January 17, 2011

Elaina Lee ~ Cover artist and author extraordinaire!!

Hey, guys!! I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine and her extraordinary talents!! And one lucky person that posts a comment will win a copy of her book, Written in Blood!!

Welcome, Elaina!!!

First of all, I have to tell you I absolutely love your book cover art! I was already a fan of your book, Written in Blood, but you are a very talented graphic artist. And since you designed my header for the cupcake business…I know from experience that you are also a REALLY patient person and easy to work with.
Well thank you, Chelle! But I have to admit I didn't design the cover for Written in Blood, though it is gorgeous and I couldn't be happier!

Tell us a bit about yourself first… I'm a mother of a toddler and a teenager and the wife of a soldier. We live in the deep south, brought here by fate, so we haven't argued! Just found our place here and have been counting our awesome blessings ever since!

WOW! I want to thank you and your husband for your sacrifice in serving our country. The family needs to be remembered because you have to survive without him while he's stationed away from home!
So….which came first ~ art or writing? Writing! The art was just by accident. I didn't want a bad cover (isn't that awful?) so I decided, if I wanted to make sure I didn't get one, I'd better learn how to make them. I had no idea I'd do well at it.

What was your first step in getting started? In which area? Writing or the art? Well, for writing I just wrote. My first step in getting published was joining a crit group, then entering contests (to get over my fear of submissions), then gathering the guts to sub! For art, it was finding a good program.)

What genre do you enjoy reading the most? What genre do you enjoy writing? I found I really enjoy reading action novels that have just enough romance to make you go 'awww'. And I love writing all genre's, but romantic suspense, while the most grueling, is definitely the funnest to write.

Where do you find your inspiration? I find a lot of inspiration on learning channels. The plots really get going when they talk about mysterious happenings in history or recent times. I wonder 'hmmm, how would that work in a book?'.

Do you have a favorite writing tip to share? Don't second guess yourself. Just keep writing and don't worry about how the words are appearing on paper, just that they're there. That's what editing's for, but first you have to have a story to edit!

How did you find out you’d sold your first book? An email. She said "Wow, what an awesome story! I'm going to send this to Jill with a request to send you a contract." I was screaming I was so excited. I'd worked so hard on Written in Blood and I couldn't believe the rest of the world was going to be able to read them too!

Who was the first person you told and how did you celebrate? I called my mom first, but she didn't answer! So my crit partner, Cate Chase, ended up being the first person I told.

Where can we find your book? You can find it on Amazon, Bookstrand, All Romance and of course my publishers site, Noble Romance.

Where can we find you hanging out? Oh gosh, Facebook and my blog.

What is your favorite show on television? I have to pick just one? Well I guess the one I'm currently watching then, Leverage. That is a fun show!

More importantly… Boxers or briefs? *Very Big Grin* Boxers *wink*

Website info - Elaina Lee and Blog

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The first week...

of the rest of my life is complete. I was moaning that I didn't hit my goals when I came across my horoscope this morning. It is also accompanied by a daily slam. I guess it's meant to be more "in your face". But mine had me laughing out loud.

Your pathetic juggling act has caused a few minor setbacks. You can't do it all, even if you're under the ridiculous impression you're some sort of invincible multi-tasking superhero or something. Get back to basics and focus on one thing at a time.

I'm still smiling. So this first week of the new year has come and gone and I've accomplished zilch. Nada. Absolutely nothing. That I can remember anyways. My cowboy has to work today because Monday's forecast is calling for snow and his foreman is worried the guys won't be able to drive to work. My guy would because he thinks his four-wheel drive one ton diesel can go anywhere. *sigh* And who am I to argue since last year we were able to get out and around when most were stranded at home. But today I plan to finish texturing the wall and window upstairs and the staircase hall so we can paint tomorrow. Then the walls will officially be done. I'm hoping my hands will cooperate and hold the stupid tool. They're pretty swollen and tender today but life goes on and I've got things to do. Having RA is a bump in the road and I'll go miles around it before I let it push me to the side of the road. I'll just have to use my Dragon software if I can't write Monday.

Speaking of's the kick off day for the The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Writing Festival. They will be offering moderated writing sprints, tips, and resources. Even if you're not struggling with your manuscript they'll offer some great advice and a bragging room where you can share your journey. I love that this inspiring group of writers have opened their doors to the writing community to offer fellowship and motivation.

Okay guys, I'm off to work on my shopping cart for the cupcake website before I get down and dirty with the manual labor. Next Friday I'll be giving away a dozen cake truffles at my buddy Diane Estrella's blog. She's generously hosting an entire week of give-aways. Go by and show her some love if you have time.

Hope you're having a blessed and productive weekend!!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year! Now get to work!

Resolutions. Do you make them? Do you stick to them? Do you have any goals that you'd like to reach this year?

In past years I've gotten frustrated with myself when I fail early with the resolutions. So I began setting goals. I'm not even sure that has worked. I know I'm progressing, but I remain in the unpublished category. I could self-publish although I don't think I'm up to the standard of books I enjoy reading.

My goals this year? Try harder. And really push myself to be better.

Where am I at? My family is healthy and happy. My health has improved which is a HUGE plus compared to where I was last year. Doc still insists I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and hopefully the Remicade infusions will start within the next couple of weeks and help with the inflammation and pain. I have two requests for books with two lines at Harlequin and working with one of the editors on developing my four book series. I also have two novellas I'm working on for two different e-pubs. The cupcake business has slowed down after the holiday madness, and I almost hate to admit that I'm glad. That's hard work to do by myself with a regular oven. We have a commercial grade double oven that can handle the load...but getting my brother over here to hook it up is another story. And the restaurant is still an option we are putting together.

Where do I want to be? Published. And I love the idea of having the restaurant up and running successfully. Can I do it? Sure I can. I know I can. But MAKING it happen is another story. It'll take motivation and persistence. And that's where I fall short. I read a wonderful motivational post today by Kristen Lamb, Warrior Writer blog. I always know I can get a kick start when reading her blog. She definitely gave me the much needed inspiration I was looking for to kick 2011 off on a positive note. I think one of the aspects was her perspective on remaining positive. But I also realized my failure is the lack of focus. I've allowed myself to become overwhelmed with what's on my plate instead of celebrating the positive. I've become lazy and play on the social media playground. And I've become a Master Procrastinator. Imagine that.
My goal? Celebrate the positive and focus on my projects, even if it's stepping back and taking one at a time. I need to sit down and organize my priorities and become better at time management. My goal is to just do it!
What are your goals for 2011?