Uncategorized

The first chapter of Love In B Minor :)

PreorderLIBM

For this #TeaserTuesday, I thought I’d share the first chapter of LOVE IN B MINOR. Crossing my fingers you enjoy it!

LOVE IN B MINOR comes out on March 15 and is currently available for pre-order at a special price of $0.99 (Amazon around the world. * iTunes * Kobo * B&N)


CHAPTER 1 – JEN

 

Kneeing a guy in the balls might not be the best idea.

And not because the guy in question is one of those up and coming actors everyone says will be the next Leonardo DiCaprio, but because I don’t want my friend Alisha to get in trouble. This club is new in Paris, but is already considered to be the “it” club. It’s full of important people, and Alisha begged her cousin every single day for the past three weeks to find a way to get us in. He’s DJ-ing and his music is the only part of this evening that doesn’t suck.

“I think Scorsese is going to ask me to play the main role in his next movie. He needs a hero who speaks French. Hello? I’m French.” His voice is way too close to my ear and I scoot away. But he doesn’t get it. “I’ve got to ask for my friend over there.” He points to someone who could be a doppelganger of Justin Bieber. “Do you have another friend or a sister maybe? He’s feeling lonely.”

My heart tightens and my eyes lock on the bottles lined up behind the bar. But concentrating on their bright colors or on the way the bartender manages to pour four drinks at once doesn’t stop the pain from nesting itself deep in my chest.

I had a sister.

“Did I say something wrong?” It seems Bjorn the Actor can be perceptive after all.

I inhale and exhale slowly.

If I lose it, it’s going to be the second time this week. I couldn’t hold back the tears after my ballet company’s director—Igor—yelled at me telling me I should have stayed in New York. Those words resonated in my heart and as soon as I got to my apartment, I plopped myself on my couch, held one of the last drawings my sister did for me and let the tears fall.

Future DiCaprio leans in and his cologne’s too strong, making me want to gag.  “You need to cheer up, angel. Can I get you another drink?”

I shake my head, still staring straight ahead, hoping he finally gets the message.

“Come on, beautiful. I’ve heard some amazing things about American girls.” Even his voice is sleazy.

I push his hand away from my shoulder. I really don’t want to know what he’s heard about American girls. Or about Asian girls. Or about black girls. Which I’m sure is going to come next, since he’s already asked me where my parents were from. He probably wouldn’t care that my great-grandparents on my mother’s side came from Japan, and that my grandfather on my father’s side was born in Guinea and played soccer in Ireland, where he met my grandmother.  Their relationship was scandalous at the time. Both my parents were born in the US, and when I told him that, he snickered.

Asshole.

His French accent isn’t even redeeming his assholery.

I stand up so fast the barstool almost falls, but I catch it and put on my leather jacket over my silky red halter top, leaving my barely sipped mojito on the counter. One of the perks of being nineteen in Paris. No need for fake ID. Even though tipping isn’t as common here, I leave two euros next to my drink and the bartender nods my way with a smile that doesn’t only say thank you, but also that she knows how annoying this guy is.

“I need some fresh air.”  My fake smile must resemble a grimace because he raises an eyebrow, looking confused, but I don’t give him any time to reply. Instead, I shuffle through the bodies crowding the center of the VIP room.

Alisha is sitting in one of the corner booths. Laughing and leaning into Steve, who she met tonight. He’s from Ohio and is apparently the new member of a rock band which is looking to make a comeback after some internal issues. Whatever that means. He’s built like a footballer and is entirely bald—not Alisha’s usual style, but she seems like she’s having the time of her life.

“I’m going to get some fresh air,” I whisper in her ear and she jumps up, shrieking so loudly heads turn our way. Even Bjorn the Actor. Crap.

“I didn’t see you coming!”

“You did indeed look quite busy there.” I smile at Steve, who grins back, showing one dimple. If his band makes it to the top, Alisha’s going to have to deal with a bunch of groupies. She’s usually a boyfriend type. Her last relationship lasted eighteen months and it’s the first time she’s been out since it ended. “I’ll be back, I swear. I only need to escape Douchey McDouchey.”

She frowns and glances at the bar, where Bjorn sits. He’s looking for someone and I sure don’t want to be found. “You can sit with us.” She taps the seat next to her, but she and Steve seem way too cozy for me to impose.

“No. I’ll be fine. The girl sitting behind us has been shooting me death glares ever since he bought me a drink. I’m pretty sure she’s about to make her move, and I’m pretty sure he’s not going to refuse.”

“You’re going to be cold.” She eyes my opened jacket, which is more a fashion statement than anything else. I checked my big winter coat at the entrance.

“I’ll only be five minutes.” I step away. “I’ll be right back, I promise.”

She purses her lips, as if she’s thinking really hard about what she should do. “I promise,” I repeat and step away from them, hurrying to the exit door. I get my hand stamped and slide past the bouncer.

I breathe in the air of Paris. It’s not something specific about the city but ever since I arrived, I feel like I’ve been transported into this new world, this old world: the cafés on the street, the people rushing around like in New York but then still taking the time to live and argue and love. And the buildings fascinate me. Mom used to tell me stories about the architecture in Paris like she would tell me a goodnight story—full of whispers and enthralled in the legends. She loves the big avenues like this one, where the buildings have balconies wrapped around the third and sixth floor. All coming from the time Napoleon decided to redesign the city. And I could spend hours looking at them. I stroll down and turn into a side street. There the buildings appear older, a bit more cramped together. They look like they’ve seen it all. And they probably have. My eyes search for a possible inscription on the building in front of me. I’ve been taking pictures of every one I see. Like by my apartment, there’s one mentioning a soldier who died during World War II and another that references a writer who lived in that house during the 18th century. I glance up at the small balcony, wondering what the history of this particular building is, who lives there, who lived there before.  Anything to let go of the annoyance and sadness rippling through me.

            “Bah alors t’es toute seule?”

I turn my head to the right. One guy approaches, but his smile is not friendly or flirty. His smirk has me shivering from fear instead of the cold, and my entire body tenses. I’ve ventured a bit far from the club and there’s no one around.

I open my mouth, ready to scream, but there’s a flash in the dark. The moon reflects on the blade of a knife and I freeze. I can’t move. All I can think is that my parents shouldn’t have to lose another daughter.

That I need to call them, talk to them, tell them how much I love them.

That I don’t want to die.


 

LOVEINBMINOR

LOVE IN B MINOR comes out on March 15 and is currently available for pre-order at a special price of $0.99 (Amazon around the world. * iTunes * Kobo * B&N)

Uncategorized

How I wrote 12000 “non-crappy” words in one day…

Yes. This. Happened.

Two weeks ago, I wrote 12000 “non-crappy” words in one day. This had never happened before. Anyone who writes knows how mentally exhausting it can be to pour words on the page, to type sentences and immersing yourself in someone else’s head for a long time.

I am somewhat of a fast writer. I can do sprints. I sometimes use the Pom0doro method (you know, working for 25 minutes, then take a break, then work again for 25 minutes…more info here).

The most I had written before in one day was I think about 7000 words.

But 12000 words? And 12000 non-crappy words? That had never happened before.

So, how did I do it?

  • I was on a deadline. Being on a deadline definitely helps stay focused when all you want to do is get up and stop writing. Because you’ve been at it for so long. Because your wrists hurt. Because you feel like everything you write is shit.
  • Those words had been simmering for a while. It took me about 5 months to write and revise LOVE IN B MINOR. I know for some it seems fast. For others, it is long. Everyone has their own rhythm, their own strengths and struggles. This novel is set in Paris, and when the attacks happened in Paris, I had issues getting back to writing about this city I love and not being there. Then, I realized 20000 of the words I had written didn’t work. So, I had to scrap 20 000 words. This gave me a long break I had not planned and during this time, I thought about how I could make my story stronger.
  • My husband helped. A lot. He took care of everything else. He gave me the space I needed, he cooked dinner, he picked up lunch, he cleaned, he went grocery shopping,  he put himself on my schedule so when I took short breaks, we could do things together. He understood I needed this time. Which was really really helpful. I had no other worries on that day than to get the words on paper.
  • I woke up at 4.30 a.m. And wrote all day. (did take a short nap because honestly, writing for that long did take a toll on me). I took short breaks here and there. I made breakfast. We walked the dog. I stood up and walked around.
  • I knew what I was about to write, but I also let my fingers run on the keyboard. Since those words had been simmering for a few months, my very non-detailed outline (really I only did a few sentences per chapter) still helped me in the direction I wanted to go. And I already knew which direction was a dead-end since I had already taken that road. That helped a lot in trusting myself more when I had to slightly amend the loose outline I had created. Especially as I usually don’t use an outline so it was kind of new for me.
  • I had polished the earlier chapters as much as possible. So, when I first warmed up by re-reading the events happening before what I was about to write, I could immerse myself in the story without hearing the little voice in my head nagging me to “correct this, change that…” That was helpful.
  • When I didn’t want to write anymore. When I was tired and cranky. Tracey sent me gifs of puppy. And it worked.

🙂 So here it is. The explanations behind my 12000 words in one day. It wasn’t magic. It wasn’t easy. And it certainly wasn’t something I had actually planned on doing but it worked…


LOVE IN B MINOR comes out on March 15 and is currently available for pre-order at a special price of $0.99 (Amazon around the world. * iTunes * Kobo * B&N)

LOVEINBMINOR

No promises. No fake tomorrows. That was the plan.

New city. New life. At least, that’s what nineteen-year-old Jen believes. On the surface, she’s living her dream: dancing in a prestigious dance company in Paris. But her sister’s death and the mistakes she’s tried to bury haunt her. She’s become a pro at hiding who she truly is, and she definitely doesn’t want a guy to derail her, but a one night-stand she can do. Nothing more. She definitely doesn’t plan to see the sexy stranger who made her laugh for the first time in years ever again.

Girls don’t walk away from Lucas Wills. Bad boy turned rock star, he’s got his share of groupies. Always upfront, he doesn’t promise fake tomorrows because love can destroy everything. Been there, done that. His ex not only lied to him, she stomped on his heart, used him to become famous, and almost ruined him. So, waking up alone after a night beyond his wildest imagination with a girl he just met shouldn’t upset him, shouldn’t inspire one of the saddest songs he’s ever written, shouldn’t make him want to chase after her.

When Jen, the one-night stand who got away, auditions to be a dancer in Lucas’ next music video, they can’t stop their growing attraction. But Jen’s secrets and his ex could shatter the careers they tried so hard to build and their hearts…they will have to decide what’s more important and if love is worth the fight.

Amazon around the world. * iTunes * Kobo * B&N

 

Uncategorized

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday

  • I received an email from someone saying they loved my books. I am always so grateful knowing people take a chance on my stories and this email made me smile oh so much!
  • Teaching German again.
  • Coming home super tired and cuddling with Plato The Dog and Peter The Cat and then watching Jane The Virgin with the hubby.
  • This tweet 🙂

  • Participating in #AuthorLifeMonth (brainchild of Dahlia Adler) on Instagram and sharing this quote from LOVE IN B MINOR (available for pre-order now for only $0.99) There are so many authors participating in this Instagram challenge, so much talent, it’s incredible! I’m looking forward to catching up on other people’s pictures this weekend.

So tell me, what made you smile this week?

Currently

Currently…

In an effort to blog a bit more regularly, I’ve decided to join Katy Upperman‘s “Currently” posts 🙂 Don’t hesitate to join us. (Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Loving

My Happiness Journal. Writing something every night (or when I do end up being too tired, in the morning with the note ‘Oups’ )

Happiness Project

Reading

I have read Mandie’s  writing in the past and it was oh so good I cannot wait to read this book! And you can do it for FREE on Swoonreads (here)! You can help her get published too by reading and commenting.:)

Watching

So many things…

JANE THE VIRGIN 🙂

THE X FILES reboot

Listening To

NPR & 99.5 …my iPod and I may or may not sing out loud in my house to those tunes…

Thinking About

How this picture makes me smile…#AuthorLifeMonth is an Instagram challenge for authors and the brainchild of the wonderful Dahlia Adler (check all the details here)

12622303_942124079158924_8580902326848217568_o

Anticipating

Publishing A Summer Like No Other in French next month. So nervous and excited about that one 🙂

Spending time with The Chemical Engineer this weekend…

Wishing

To finish this revision ahead of time…(this might be a constant for the next few weeks)

Making Me Happy

My family. My friends. Writing. Teaching.

Trying to live in the moment.

What’s currently making YOU happy?

Blogging

#Selfpub corner: Seven truths (at least my truths :))

#Selfpub corner button

 1. I wouldn’t be able to publish my fourth book in less than 3 weeks without the support of my husband (both emotional and financial). Me going the self-publishing road was a common decision, something we’ve talked about and agreed on.

2. It’s definitely not a sprint, but a marathon. My sales are definitely better than last year, but I’m still struggling, I’m still not making a living out of my writing. But I’m trying to make sure it happens very soon.

3. I am so grateful for all the support and the sharing of knowledge. Honestly, you have no idea how Riley Edgewood is amazingly kind and wonderful. I’ve found out so much about the industry thanks to her and her ever-inquisitive mind ❤ And I’m grateful for the encouraging words of my friends. And for my husband telling me at least once a week. “I believe in you.”

4. I’m still learning. Trying to get more involved in publishing, trying to give back more. I’m also taking writing classes.

5. This is my job. I wake up at 5.15 every day (yes I do go to bed super early). I work around seven hours a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. And I do work on certain weekends.

6. At least 30% of my working time is not spent on writing. It’s spent learning about the craft, learning how to write better, learning about the industry, trying to make sure I find ways to connect with my readers.

7. I love my job. And again I know how lucky I am.

Ready Set Write

Ready. Set. Write! #RSWrite – 10th update!

RSW9

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkKaty Upperman and myself. (For the detailed information about RSW, including  the wonderful buttons created by the lovely Jaime, click here)

Disclaimer: I’m in Europe this week, so I might be slow making my way through the blogs. Sorry about that, but I’ll try to do a bit of cheering each day!

IMPORTANT REMINDER –> The last week of Ready. Set. Write! (8-24 – 8-31) we’ll be holding a fun virtual event called Manuscripts and Manicures. We’ll each be painting our nails in a way that reflects our current WiP, then posting a photo of our manicure creations.

And don’t forget, if you’re on Twitter, we check and cheer each other on using #RSWrite

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

  • Finish drafting this manuscript. –> ALMOST. I wrote about 5000 words last week which isn’t too bad, since we left for Europe on Tuesday.
  • Finalize its blurb for the cover reveal. –> NOPE.
  • Send the feedback on a wonderful manuscript I’m beta reading. So. Good. So so so good! –> YES (and this book is simply AMAZING) I finished reading it on the plane from DC to Frankfurt and I couldn’t put it down. Loved. It.

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

  • Blurb
  • Finish drafting. I’m going to write at least 1000 words each day.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

And he kisses me. Tender and passionate. Desperate and hopeful.
I forget myself into his lips. Into the way he tastes, the way my entire body reacts to his, the way his arms tighten around my waist.
“What do you think you’re doing?” My father’s voice booms.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

I’m currently in Europe and want to enjoy every second of it, but I also need to make sure I finish drafting this manuscript…

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

That a scene unlocked itself.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your  update below!

It’s time for our third giveaway! This lovely package has been assembled by Katy

GIVEAWAY Winner

The winner of Alison’s wonderful giveaway package is Crystal Schubert 🙂 Congrats Crystal!

And it’s giveaway time again!

This time the lovely package has been prepared by the wonderful Katy!

Giveaway
“If You Obey All the Rules You Miss All the Fun” journal, floral mini sticky note pad, lined floral note pad, Jelly Bellies, starry pencil pouch, Honey Pear hand cream, Lavender Lemonade candle, peppermint mints, various washi tapes, Eos Strawberry Sorbet lip balm, writerly quote pencils, Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea, and Twizzlers.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

(giveaway is open internationally – to RSW participants only)

Ready Set Write

Ready. Set. Write! #RSWrite – 9th update!

RSW9

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin FunkKaty Upperman and myself. (For the detailed information about RSW, including  the wonderful buttons created by the lovely Jaime, click here)

And don’t forget, if you’re on Twitter, we check and cheer each other on using #RSWrite

1.  How I did on last week’s goals.

I shifted priority to writing, writing, writing this week. Always Second Best comes out on October 6th and I need the e-ARCs ready by September…so I am writing, writing, writing.

  • Set up the bilingual version of One Dream Only –> NOPE.
  • Set up the paperback German version of One Dream Only –> NOPE.
  • Set up the paperback bilingual version of One Dream Only –> NOPE.
  • Write, write, write. Every single day for at least 4 hours. –> YES, I did write 16030 words this week.  So that’s a definite YAY!
  • Run at least twice and yoga twice –> I did run twice and walked a lot…but no yoga.
  • Write a selfpub post on Wednesday –> NOPE

And I did get to enjoy one amazing evening with Katy and her fun daughter: great restaurant and wonderful book event where I got to meet Dahlia who was my mentor in #PitchWars three years ago 🙂 and Miranda Kenneally (I’m such a huge huge fan of her books) and Lindsay Smith (her books sound super intriguing) and Jessica Spotswood (I can’t wait to start Born Wicked!)

11846719_10103913905578698_2343459557144568455_n

2.  My goal(s) for this week.

We’re leaving for Europe for vacations on Tuesday, but due to my deadline I will need to squeeze in some writing time. So I have one goal and one goal only (actually I have three)

  • Finish drafting this manuscript.
  • Finalize its blurb for the cover reveal.
  • Send the feedback on a wonderful manuscript I’m beta reading. So. Good. So so so good!

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

“I don’t care if you’re first or last in the showcase. I don’t care if you go on to become a professional ballerina. I don’t care about all that.” I run my finger on her cheek, dying to kiss her. “I care about the way you always try to put other people first, I care about the way you always find something to smile about, I care about the way you make me feel.”
“And how is that?”
“Like I’m the King of the World.”
She cracks a smile. It’s small but it’s there, and I do feel like the King of the World. “I can’t believe you’re referencing Titanic, you said that movie was way too long and that they could have both fit on that wooden panel at the end.”

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week (ex. finding time to write).

Catching up.

5.  Something I love about my WiP.

The romance. All the romance.

Are you participating in RSW? 
Don’t forget to link to your  update below!

It’s time for our third giveaway! This lovely package has been assembled by  Erin

GIVEAWAY Winner

The winner of Erin’s wonderful giveaway package is Tonja Drecker 🙂 Congrats Tonja!

And it’s giveaway time again!

This time the lovely package has been prepared by the wonderful Alison!

Alison's RSW Package
Be Inspired Journal with Inspirational Quotes and Writing prompts Jane Austen Air Freshener Sticky Notes and Page Markers I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie! Bookmark Poly Spiral Index Cards WRITE Journal/Composition Book Werther’s Originals Caramel Hard Candies Paddy Wax Ginger Peach Soy Wax Candle Trident Island Berry Lime Gum Spiral Memo Pad in a rainbow of colors Sinful Colors Decadent Nail Polish Post cards with Inspirational Quotes Mini Ink Joy Pens

Giveaway open internationally, to RSW participants only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am SO very much looking forward to reading all about your progress!

(oh and stay tuned for tomorrow’s post….it seems the Chemical Engineer may be back on those pages…)