2013 Reading List

My Reading List So Far

cry over fictional deaths

In keeping with my 2013 goal to continue reading regularly, I’m keeping a running list of the books I’ve read this year.  I will add to it as the year progresses.  The links will take you to the books on Goodreads.

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

If I Fall by Kate Noble

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

Midnight’s Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

The Pursuit of Pleasure by Elizabeth Essex

Heat of the Storm by Elle Kennedy

Our Tempestuous Day by Carolly Erickson

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100 x 100

The interest of this goal, as listed on my goals page, is to keep me continuously writing every day.  It’s probably set fairly low but that’s because getting my butt in the chair and writing is half the battle.  Thus the reason for 100 x 100.

For the vast majority of my writing sessions, I plan to write much more than 100 words.  The challenge lies in writing fiction at least 100 words every day for 100 days (that’s almost 3 1/2 months).

This goal starts on January 1, 2012 and continues through April 9, 2012 (Day 100 of 2012).  On that date, I plan to modify the challenge (200 x 200 or 500 x 500 if I’m feeling really frisky).

My record:

Craft Books Reading List 2012

Currently Reading:

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

On Writing by Stephen King


Writer’s Market (Reference)

250 Things You Should Know About Writing by Chuck Wendig

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Writing Fiction for All You’re Worth by James Scott Bell

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman


Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon

Got High Concept?  by Lori Wilde

The W Plot by Karen Docter

Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet by Stacia Kane

The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman

2012 Fiction Reading List

Currently Reading:

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (re-re-re-re-read, haha)


Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare (an interview with the author here)

An Affair with Mr. Kennedy by Jillian Stone (see an interview with the author here)

The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway

Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien

A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

One Week as Lovers by Victoria Dahl

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Persuade Me by Juliet Archer

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Pleasures of a Tempted Lady by Jennifer Haymore

The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe by Sabrina Darby

Freedom: The Rake and the Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc

Simply Sexual and Simply Sinful by Kate Pearce

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Three Weddings and a Funeral Anthology by Tessa Dare, Leigh LaValle, Courtney Milan and Carey Baldwin

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

Secret Fire by Johanna Lindsey

Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention

In keeping with my 2011 goals, I was lucky enough to attend the convention when it took place near my hometown last week.  As part of that, I entered the Advanced Aspiring Authors workshops the two days before the general conference opened.  After that, there was a bevy of workshops to choose from–often more than one at the same time–packed full of useful information.  I took tons of notes. 

I’m also afraid to admit that I got overwelmed.

What a roller-coaster of ups and downs!  SO much to learn.  So much to absorb.  I felt surges of hope and dips into self-doubt. 

I’ve decided that after a short breather, I’ll come back and assimilate the things I learned and review the (plentiful!) notes I took at the workshops.  I just wish I could have spread that information throughout the year–say have one of those workshops a week, for example.  That would have been nice refreshment.  As it turned out, I felt like I was trying to get a sip out of a high-pressure fire hydrant.

So, for now, my Top 10 list of Hi-Lights from Romantic Times 

10. Getting “up close and personal” advice from romance authors like Bobbi Smith, Mary Wine, Mia Marlowe,  and Amanda MacIntyre, and fantasy author Karen Miller  during the pre-conference workshops.

9. Watching the Avon Historical Authors answer questions live on the Internet.  And the cupcakes and wine were nice, too!

8. Having lunch with an agent and editor and being able to “talk shop” with them.

7. Having an editor give me her card and ask me to email her personally regarding my opinions on eb00k pricing and marketing.

6. Having an agent give me her card based on a pitch for a book I haven’t even started yet!

5. Learning that the difference between “good” writing and “great” writing is all about CONFLICT and EMOTION. 

4. Meeting amazing and sweet people who write cool Historical Science Fiction (Steampunk) like Nathalie Gray and Suzanne Lazear.

3. Enjoying the parties!  So many nice people gathered in so small of an area.   Also, sitting in the bar and actually RECOGNIZING people from their author pic on their blogs.

2. Meeting fellow aspiring authors-in-crime like Miss Anita.

1. Finally: meeting my WONDERFUL crit partner, Kate McKinley, and discovering that she is just as wonderufl in person.  She’s going to do amazing things.  Keep an eye out for her!

Measuring Up

On the very first day of this year, 2 months ago almost to the day, I drafted a list of writing goals for the year.  When I did so, I promised myself that I would revisit them often and not forget about them.  There were ten goals altogether, the first nine of which had due dates attached to them (what can I say, I’m a teacher, I work better with due dates in mind!).  The due dates have made all the difference!

Two months into the year and I have accomplished two of the ten goals.  In January, I was pleased to become a member of RWA- Pro by querying Broken Oaths to an agent, which I did.  As expected, I got rejected, but it was the rejection I needed to provide in order to show the organization that I am seriously pursuing publication.

In January, also, I began writing a short story which, for goal number two, was to enter into the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest.  It was an amazing opportunity that comes along rarely for aspiring writers.  I figured I’d take a shot at it.  To my great pleasure, I am honored that “The Love Letter” has been selected as one of the top ten stories.  To think that people read and liked my work well enough to vote for it is very validating for me.  To think that my story will be read by an editor, and considered for inclusion in an anthology amongst many other great writers, is thrilling indeed.

While I’d love to pause, sit back and savor the moment (and I will for a little while), I realize that I only have a one in ten chance of winning the grand prize.  The odds of winning this round are less than they were at the beginning (10/88 is still better than 1/10) but I will cross my fingers and remain hopeful.  Even if I don’t win, though, I’ll still be thrilled that I made it this far and that my work was appreciated by many of those who read it.

Now, on to the next goal.  I’m in the process of polishing the first section of Violette and write up a short synopsis of the plot for entry into the Orange Rose contest held by my home chapter of RWA.   Those due dates sneak up quickly!

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