As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss...


After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue...

14 July, 2011

Copy Edit Time!

Well, it's here, it's finally here -- copy edits for STRIPPED!

I must confess that I was a little daunted by the receipt of these.  I stared at the mail a long while, fidgeting, wondering how badly it was going to hurt when I opened it.  How much work was yet remaining.  In part, because it's always a little scaring working with a new editor, be that the aquiring editor or the copy editor.

In part, because like many authors, I have doubts about myself.

But I took a deep breath, opened it up, and was pleasantly surprised!  It's not bad at all, in fact, the few quick glances that I've taken make it look pretty easy. 

So Stripped is wrapping up.  I'm so anxious to see the cover, I think I'll end up crying when I get it just because of the build up.  (Happy tears mind you.)

Meanwhile, book 2 in the Black Opals series is on the home stretch.  Barring any more late night trips to the emergency room for my joyful little demons :), it will be complete this weekend.


09 July, 2011

12 Signs of Imminent Deadline Approach

1.  Your Desk Is No Longer Something You Recognize

You lift your head from the keyboard and realize the space around you looks like something a hurricane left behind.  Day old snack packages, crumpled scraps of paper that held little notations you took the time to write but simultaneously forgot, three coffee cups because you've gotten up at least that many times distracted, and poured another.

2.  You've Run Out of Suitable Clothes... for anything

The hamper is overflowing to the point you're now out of clean underwear.  You'd go to the store to buy some, but that requires doing laundry first. Children are playing in yesterdays playclothes -- that's okay, they're going to get muddy again today anyway, right?  You don your spouse's boxers for the day, swearing you'll take a break and right that situation later.

3.  The Kitchen Sink Is Non-Existant

You'd swear it was there two days ago, along with the stopper to the drain.  Now, the countertop is one big pile of rinsed dishes (you stopped long enough to consider bugs), but damned if that stopper is anywhere within reach.  And unburying it would take a good thirty minutes or so.  Guess it's paper for tonight.

4.  You Discover Demons Living In Your Phone

You aren't exactly sure who's answering, but when it rings, the voice that answers sounds a bit too much like Regan MacNeil from the Exorcist.  Even your loved ones aren't spared the horror.  In fact, they receive a double-dose.  Because, afterall, they know you're 40K words short of where you need to be in 2 days.

5.  The Cats Are Eyeing You Like You Might Be Edible

Because their food bowl is empty... for the second time in two days.  Oh, and they've also decided the bathroom floor makes a great place to relieve themselves (You use the room, why shouldn't they?) because the litter box -- what's that?  They know.  Evidently you've forgotten.

6.  Your Freezer is Empty and Your Fridge is Full

You've gone through all the frozen food, nutrition's out the window, and what's in the fridge, although it was healthy at one time, is now not suitable for buzzards. More stuff to do when the editor is satisfied.

7.  Your Children Have Become Remarkably Self-Sufficient

Any other time, it's mandatory you pour their drinks or fill their plates.  They can't lift the milk, can't pour the juice, and certainly can't cut up apples.  Right now, cookies are a free-for-all, chips you'll never notice missing, and it's open-season for the soda pop.  They can pick out their favorite orange shorts with their favorite neon green top too!  And rubber boots in the middle of summer are the height of fashion these days.  Not to mention they're needed for all that mud.

8.  You're Exhibiting Symptoms of Early On-set Alzheimer's and Schitzophrenia

You know you got up to get something, but damned if you can remember halfway across the room.  People passing your open window would overhear conversations you're having aloud, as you step through your character's arguement.  (Oh, wait, that's not new.)  And it takes several times of people repeating themselves to generate a choherant response from you.

9.  You Could Qualify for NASCAR

You've run out of coffee.  A trip to the store is mandatory.  It takes less than half the time it usually does to get there and back.  When you pull into your driveway you say a quick prayer that you didn't encounter oncoming traffic as you realize you've spent the entire time staring in your rear-view, watching for cops.

10.  You're Proof of the Zombie Apocolypse

If anyone doubts they exist, all the need to do is take one look at the dark circles under your eyes, the hair that's standing on end, and if they breathe too close to you, they'll kick over dead from the smell.

11.  Evasion Is Your Forte

You never cared about blogs or celebrity lives before, but now that the pressure simply won't go away, you know what the Royal family ate for breakfast and who's having the latest Hollywood affair.  The manuscript is waiting like an evil being if you close your browser.  Anything is better than the sense of impending failure.

12.  You've Mastered the White Lie

When the demon answers your phone and it's your editor or agent asking how things are coming along, suddenly the Good Fairy appears and you're all innocent sweetness.  "Fine, fine," you coo.  "Everything's perfect.  Just wrapping up the final touches."  Meanwhile, you've got fifty blank pages left to go, the plot is at a standstill, and you're certain your characters have developed severe personality disorders.  You'll make it work somehow.  You don't have a choice.

06 July, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (5)

Take me for a ride...

Here's to another Wicked Wednesday!