May 8, 2017 ~ Hi there, readers! This is quick update shared from my Works in Progress page about what I’m working on. At the beginning of April I was working on an update to this page. I was in a hurry then, too, because we were in between severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches. I thought I posted the update before I shut things down but I guess I wasn’t successful.
Anyway, things have progressed at a steady clip since then so I’m giving it another go with the update.
Personally, I’m doing fine. I’m still battling frequent tension headaches and migraines, with some sinus pressure thrown in just to keep things interesting. My thyroid medications have been adjusted so I’m doing well in that regard, too. Hypothyroid brain fog is not a symptom that should be disregarded. I tried to tough it out for years but I’m making my well being a priority now.
Feeling better means I feel like working again. My writing routine is back to “normal” and I look forward to continuing this journey as an author.
In Divine, Texas…Jessica’s Divine Warriors is progressing. It looks like this book spans several seasons, which it should, since Jessica’s issues are not the kind of thing a heroine could overcome in the span of weeks or a month.
Jessica Bright was introduced in Divine Charity (Book 18 in the series) and she’s popped up in a few of the subsequent books, obviously reluctant to take many personal risks in relationships. And who could blame her? Her daughter Bella is a toddler/preschooler in the scope of this story, and full of spunk and giggles. The redheaded heroes, Tank and Troy, are helping Jessica stretch out of her comfort zone and reminding her that she’s more than just a mom, she’s also a woman with needs.
Here’s a brief taste from the story…
Tank turned to find Jessica standing in the doorway to the living room, watching them, wringing her hands together. Where Jessica and her nerves were concerned, to hesitate was to lose the moment.
“What were you talking about?” she asked.
Before Troy could say something about the weather, Tank blurted, “Keeping you warm when it’s cold.”
Her half smile disappeared and she wrapped her arms around herself. The way she turned to the doorframe and hunched her shoulders was the last straw for him. “Come here, Jessica.”
The Tangere Tales Trilogy…I know that title sounds odd coming from me, because up until now I’ve kept my work firmly in the contemporary world. I started this project last year. A trilogy of erotic ménage retellings of classic fairy tales with my own personal twist. I’m approaching these differently than I do my other works. I’ll complete all three tales and release them close together, since there is some synchronicity to the story lines.
All went well in the writing of the first story, Beasts In Winter (You guessed it! A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, my own personal favorite fairy tale).
Have a look at the scene where the heroine, Angel Hunter, finds a unique friend and meets two ferocious beasts…
The feline shimmied against her as if trying to keep her warm and then turned her shapely head and gazed off into the distance. Her purring grew loud enough to be audible over the gusting wind. A soft ringing sound drew Angel’s attention and she noticed a bauble made of glass or crystal hung from the cat’s collar. Within the clear material was suspended a blue flower, like a violet. The cat looked into her eyes, as it began a pumping motion with its paws, “making biscuits,” as her grandmother would’ve said. The cat’s eyes were the same brilliant blue as the flower within the bauble.
The cat looked to the horizon again and Angel understood why when she spotted the castle across a clearing, its roof peaks, chimneys, and architectural features piled with snow. Was she directing her there?
Wait, what? Directing me? I must be hallucinating.
Sunlight poured down on the palatial fortress and the ice crystals covering the structure glittered, dazzling her for a moment. “Whoa. Sorry, pretty girl, but I need to go back. This…this is crazy.”
“Put down the animal.” Chills rippled down her spine at the gritty, almost inhuman quality of the voice.
Don’t show fear. It’s not a bear or a monster. If they can speak they can be reasoned with. Just don’t…show…fear.
“Are you deaf or do you have a death wish? Put down the animal.”
Angel turned and nearly lost her footing. Her knees wobbled, as well as her grip on the cat, who just kept purring and making biscuits. What stood before her was something out of her wildest, darkest dreams—no, not dreams. Nightmares.
“Holy…” Did one cuss in front of a monster? “Shit. What-what are you?”
Two massive beasts loomed before her. Steam puffed from their mouths and their nostrils as they breathed the wintry air. Clothed in leather in an antiquated fashion, as if they were warriors of old, both also wore shaggy hooded cloaks that appeared to be made from the hides of bears.
She blinked and looked up at them towering over her from several feet away and then looked at the blue-eyed cat, who seemed pleased to keep rubbing on her and purring, as though two hairy, threatening beasts weren’t standing ready to tear her limb from limb. Feeling as though she was standing at the widening void between reality and a really fucked up fantasy, she realized she must be dreaming or losing it—and a hysterical giggle erupted from her throat. “Did I trip and hit my head in the cave? Jeez, and we tease Elaina about being the clumsy one. Am I hallucinating? This can’t be real.”
Her moment of levity was cut short by the bulkier and scarier of the two, who growled again. “Put. Down. The. Animal.”
Totally real. Really real. Really really real. I’m gonna die.
Such a wave of terror coursed through her at the ferocious voice, she froze and slammed her eyes shut. The cat hissed and growled at the beast, and over the pounding of her heart in her ears and the chattering of her teeth Angel thought she heard an amused snort.
“Fine,” the angry beast snarled, its voice as rough as a gravel truck driving on a bad road. “You’re not an animal. Woman, put down the feline and don’t move.”
Pulse roaring in her ears, Angel’s throat went dry as she darted her gaze around, looking at the snowy ground, anywhere but at the monsters. Looking for the cave. If she could reach it, it was her best chance for evasion. Her only chance. But the cave was nowhere in sight. Not hidden from view by the snowfall. There was no cave opening anywhere in sight, just a bare slope.
Normally the strategist among her friends, only one idea came to her mind as she looked at the snow caking her boots and the castle beyond the clearing. The snow wasn’t terribly deep and no way was she letting herself or the cat get eaten without at least trying to escape.
“Woman, do as I say. Put down the cat and do not think to run.” Another growl, angrier and more ferocious than the first, vibrated from his massive chest as she tucked the cat to her side and backed up a step. His eyes glowed silver as he advanced. The cat mewed plaintively to her, which she took for fear, and she exercised the only option her mind would consider.
In the midst of writing the second story, Midnight of the Fae (a retelling of Cinderella) I hit a wall creatively, personally, and online. I set the project aside, promising myself that I’d go back and figure out where I went wrong in telling that story.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been working on the trilogy, writing the second draft of Beasts In Winter, and then moving on to Midnight of the Fae. I’m happy to say that with a little help from my muse, inspiring music, and my awesome PA Lily Castle I found the problem. It’s fixed now. I can move forward and complete that story and move right into The Huntsmen and the Rose (retelling Snow White) as soon as I finish.
I know fantasy is not every reader’s cup of tea but I’m counting on a simple belief that I hope readers share with me. If I love an author’s style, I will read everything they write. I hope my readers will make this jump with me from contemporary. I’ll still be writing Divine Creek Ranch stories, don’t worry. I’m just stretching my creative wings. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was to finally pinpoint the problem in that story. Nothing throws an author quite like not being able to figure out where they went wrong in a story.
If I can go back to Divine for a minute, (and yeah, I know this is no longer a short update, but when have I ever been able to say hello in less than 80,000 words? 😀 )
Readers have told me over the years how much they enjoy the appearances of past main characters in my Divine Creek Ranch stories, whether it’s a major role or just a simple cameo. If you’re one of those readers, you’re going to love Jessica’s Divine Warriors. Because of certain story elements, past characters are popping up all over the place. Grace is pregnant up to her eyeballs, Lydia is cooking up all kinds of mischief, Bunny is in trouble again, or still, and Hank’s fan girls find the map to Divine and finally come to town. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates about the series, and join my reader’s group, Divine Divas, for insider information about what I’m up to. There is also a Divine Creek Ranch Book Discussion group, where the stories are discussed regularly. I share excerpts from my works in progress from both groups as well as inspiration pictures, eye candy, music, and whatever else pertains to my writing the series.
Email me to be added to the Divine Divas, and you can click the link below to be added to the Book Discussion Group. You’ll also find links on my Contact Heather page. Just click on the menu button.
I know many of you want one question answered. “When are these books coming out?” This year is my plan. I appreciate your patience, and count on the fact that when I have release dates I will publicize them here and online. I love making readers happy but I’ve come to terms with the fact I can’t rush the creative process. I’d rather take the time and make it worth your wait than apologize for hastily written stories. Just know that I’m at the keyboard on a daily basis now.
That’s it for now.
Seize the day, baby! ~H
Do you like book discussion groups? Consider joining the Divine Creek Ranch Collection Discussion Group on Facebook to discuss the series. It’s a moderated, closed group so posts are private, and you won’t get fussed at for sharing spoilers, either. Just follow the link and click to join.
Jessica, the sweet optometrist and brand new mother readers met in Divine Charity, will be the next story told in the Divine Creek Ranch Collection, after How Cassie Got Her Grind Back.
Luka and Matthias Martinez
A book for Luka and Matthias is also on the horizon. I allowed them time to grow up but they’ve only gotten wilder, sowing their oats and getting into trouble. Readers saw this firsthand in Divine Charity. No, Teresa is still not speaking to them, although she feels guilty about that because Michael and Eleazar keep asking about them. We’ll see what happens with them and more importantly, how the two of them can ever manage to attract a decent woman into their lives.
True and Noble Strong
Readers have been asking if True and Noble Strong will get a book. The answer is YES! When I know where they fit in the book lineup I’ll update the website with that information. And yes, True stole my heart, too. Noble? Well…he’s gonna have to change his attitude if he wants any nookie. 😉