Dawn Montgomery

Archive for January, 2014|Monthly archive page

Thunder and Roses

In Publishing News on January 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm


  • Author:Dawn Montgomery & Ditter Kellen
  • Length:Long Novel
  • ISBN:978-1-62300-680-8
  • Genre:Mystery & Suspense, Fantasy & Paranormal, Shapeshifters
  • Cover Artist:Fiona Jayde

Tonya knows it’s time for a decade long conspiracy to come to a head, but no one can know her true identity. Her feral nature and instinctive mistrust have kept her alive for the past five years of deep cover. When her only choice is to run or face death, she runs. What she doesn’t count on is Dakota Thunder, a Council bounty hunter who never misses a target. Tonya is running out of time, and the only man she can trust is the last man who should ever believe her.

Dakota Thunder is no stranger to betrayal. From a childhood born of nightmares to the death of his sister, he knows exactly what his kind are capable of. No one escapes his justice. What should have been a routine bounty pick up drops Dakota in the middle of a deadly blood feud involving shifter trafficking, extortion, and murder revolving around one wise-cracking beautiful woman of leopard royalty. She gets under his skin, digging her claws into his heart and reminding him of things buried long ago. He’d planned for everything except Tonya and the evidence that could bring down one of the most powerful organizations in the shifter world.

Nothing could have prepared them for their explosive attraction or the depths at which a madman would fall in order to destroy everything they love. With nowhere to turn, and the net growing tighter, they’ll have to trust in one another to survive.

Loose ID All Romance Ebooks Amazon Barnes and Noble

The Promotional Drain

In #amwriting, Goals, Write Talk on January 27, 2014 at 1:08 am

Keep WritingWelcome to the final Sunday update in the first month of January 2014!

So much to tell you guys. Let’s start with the not-so-good news (I won’t say bad, because it’s NOT bad news…just a little schedule adjustment required).

Angel’s Masquerade was submitted on the 20th for a special submission call. I’d mentioned to both editors involved that my story had moved into novel territory and suggested it might be better for them to pass on my ability to get it in on time. They were awesomely encouraging and really wanted to see it so I nixed a plot thread or two and brought it in under word count and in time for submission.

Two days later I received a revise and resubmit request. 🙂 Turns out they loved the story but it didn’t quite fit the special call so they asked me to go ahead and extend it to the novel I’d originally planned. I spent a good twenty-four hours in a depressed funk. Until my awesome husband reminded me that I’d wanted to extend into a novel back in December. So I should be happy that my instincts were right. He also fed me chocolate. Both of which helped bring me out of self-loathing.

You know, it’s hard to share the bumps in the road with you guys. I only want to give you good news, but I realize that’s not an accurate portrayal of my writing journey, you know? I get asked a lot of question on here and Facebook about the writing journey, and I don’t want to sugarcoat it. At the same time, being negative about it won’t change anything but my motivation.

So positive spin on revise and resubmit:

  1. It’s not the first time I’ve received one. So I know what to expect.
  2. It’s an honor that they wanted to see more of my characters.
  3. I get to write it the way I’d originally intended.
  4. I don’t have to make allowances for the limits of a special theme (although the theme was what inspired the book in the first place).

Negative spin:

  1. I have to rearrange my writing schedule to allow for the additional time in the expansion.
  2. No matter how encouraging they are about wanting to see the book, you can’t help but feel a little disappointed that it wasn’t accepted immediately and snatched up. That’s normal and perfectly acceptable. It’s not a rejection, however. 🙂 Just a delay. And in this world of hybrid publishing, I have other options that weren’t previously available. That, also, means more work. See point #1. LOL.

Action taken: 

  1. Sent the novella to my trusted CPs (critique partners) to make notes for expansion (I’ve received one back. The outside eye has been amazing).
  2. Created a scrivener file for Angel’s Masquerade so I can break up the word document into easy-to-manipulate chunks. Each scene will have it’s own folder. I can add what I need wherever I need to. If you’ve never used scrivener before, I highly recommend it for ease in expanding your stories, writing novels, world building notes, etc.

Great things that happened this week:

sunshineawardMenage Nominee

  • Turned in Angel’s Masquerade.
  • Completed two rounds of edits on Thunder and Roses (post line edits and post proof edits)
  • Had a huge giveaway from the 17th-24th of January
  • Received the Sunshine Blogger Award from the awesome Audrey King (will be doing the Sunshine Blogger update at the end of the month).
  • Hit 1000 Likes on my Facebook Author Page
  • Celebrated my birthday on January 24th.
  • Creating a bingo card for the Naughty Book Club. I adore them.
  • Halloween Heat II, an anthology I was in with Selena Illyria and Rachel Firasek, was nominated for Fan Choice of Best Menage Anthology 2013.
  • Started a promotion countdown on the 20th for the Thunder and Roses upcoming release. New images every day with quotes from the book. Note: the 1 Day to release image is subject to change without notice.

TR Digital 8DaysTR Digital 7DaysTR Digital 6DaysTR Digital 5DaysTR Digital 4DaysTR Digital 3DaysTR Digital 2DaysTR Digital 1DayTR Digital Announcement

#ROW80 update


Goals for January: 

Finish the following:

  • Angel’s Masquerade (35k novella) – Finished and submitted 20 Jan 2014. Bad news aside, I’m so proud of the work I put into it. Another 20k and it’ll be exactly what I’d originally envisioned.
  • Sex and Magic proposal (1st 3 chapters, plus synopsis of other books in the series) – Working on the synopses for the proposal. First three chapters are in edits. 
  • Silver Tongued Devils (25k novella) – Chapters 1-3 in progress. My initial drafts are more like extended outlines, so I’m filling in all the goodies. 
  • Shift the NightDark Talisman (25k novella) – Nope. off my radar until further notice. 
  • Dragons Never LieWTF Dragon (20k novella) – 5k into it.
  • A Pirate’s Bride (4k short story) – Finished January 4th
  • Final edits for Thunder and Roses (releases 28 January 2014) – Finished. Received post proof edits. Finished those. Did that this week. 

So, half the list completed. Not bad considering the insane amount of stuff I’ve done this month.

Coming this week:

  • Submit Sex and Magic proposal by January 31st
  • Finish the first three chapters of Silver Tongued Devils
  • Complete the promotional items for Silver Tongued Devils
  • Begin Antonio’s book
  • Celebrate the release of Thunder and Roses on Tuesday.
  • Get through chapter two on Dragons Never Lie
  • Catch up on my ROW80 Sponsor duties.

Lessons learned this week: 

  • Promo drains me to the very limit. Even having the promo images ahead of time, I was constantly bombarded with the urge to check and see if it had been shared, make sure I’d commented my thanks, and continued from there. I found this to be the case during Madeline’s blog tour and the big giveaway contests this past week. I’m just wore to the bone and slowly recovering from those four or fives days of burnout from the week before.
  • The days of me being able to wrangle a story length down to meet insane deadlines may be behind me. My head just doesn’t work that way any more. I get really irritated when I know there’s more story there (and memories of way too many “I wanted to see more of the world/characters/story” reviews stick with me). It’ll save me heartache in the long run if I just write what I want to read and go from there. No more compromising on word length to fit a special submission call. I’ll continue to let the calls inspire me. If the book gets done in time, and under word count maximums, I’ll submit it. Otherwise, I’ll submit it the regular way.

I’m part of a great motivational writing group known as A Round of Words in 80 Days. Click here to find out how other did this week and here if you want to become a part of it!

That’s it for me. What about you?

Angel’s Masquerade is Finally Done

In #amwriting on January 21, 2014 at 1:28 am

In the Bag

Angel’s Masquerade is off to my editor. I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed writing it. The novella, however, was the one that pushed me into a five day burnout rut. It wasn’t anything about the book itself. I, as usual, tried to pack more action than was humanly possible in such a short word count. 🙂 I had to cut a major component of my initial manuscript because it would end up being a 60k novel by the time it was said and done. Instead, I worked out a second (and possibly third book) to work on later in the year. Final word count came to 35,728.

Unedited Blurb:

Five years ago Tarina Santos’s life was turned upside down when one by one her mission operatives were targeted and murdered. Marked as Killed in Action during the final explosions, the former mission operator was shuttled from one cover assignment to another while they waited for the traitor to step forward.

She could never forget, however, the two powerful men who filled her nights with fantasies and the one chance she had at being theirs. A strange gift and an invitation gives her a chance to finally experience what both men can offer, but the price may be too high.

Raven and Drake shared everything, including their women. One voice, however, led them from the dark. Their own personal angel, Tarina. Now she’s in trouble and trapped with them on a paradise cruise while a terrorist roams free.

Every touch ties them closer together while the danger grows darker with every move. Betrayal and murder will pave the way to a devastating end unless they can figure out who’s behind it all and trust in one another.

What’s left on my list for January?

Goals for January: 

finish the following:

  • Angel’s Masquerade (35k novella) – Finished and submitted 20 Jan 2014
  • Sex and Magic proposal (1st 3 chapters, plus synopsis of other books in the series) – First three chapters done. Want this finished and off my plate by Thursday evening.
  • Silver Tongued Devils (25k novella) – Won’t even look at this until Monday.
  • Shift the NightDark Talisman (25k novella) – ? 
  • Dragons Never LieWTF Dragon (20k novella) – 5k into it.
  • A Pirate’s Bride (4k short story) – Finished January 4th
  • Final edits for Thunder and Roses (releases 28 January 2014) – Received those today. Due Wednesday. 

Two Contests

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2014 at 5:46 am

This contest is the largest I’ve ever been a part of! TALL, DARK & ALPHA Presents: Over 100 ebooks, 40 paperbacks, an amazing amount of gift cards and swag! 33 Individual Winners and 12 Prize Packages! Enter for a chance to win. It ends January 24th (my birthday!) so don’t wait!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We have a fantastic giveaway to start the new year! Easy as can be, a second Rafflecopter Giveaway. If you participate in social media, you get more chances to win. 🙂 Super easy. Check it out! It ends in February.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Both Contests ROCK! So don’t miss your chance to enter!

Adventures Await

In #amwriting on January 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Deadline DungeonDeep in deadline. I’m moving from one deadline to the next and I think I’ve about run out of steam. I haven’t disappeared. I promise. I’ll catch up with the Round of Words in 80 Days folks this weekend. You guys are rockin’ the new year!

In two weeks’ time I’ve:

  • Finished one short story
  • Completed intense edits on a 97k novel
  • Written over 20k of new content (Angel’s Masquerade, some for Thunder and Roses, A Pirate’s Bride, and finishing up the chapters for the proposal)
  • Created a monthly word count check off sheet for my writing groups (see below for my efforts)
  • Did edits on two story for my critique partners
  • Completed a proposal for my editors (First three chapters of the first book plus a synopsis of it and the following two books)
  • Plotted out my contemporary novel, Heartbreak Ridge
  • Almost finished Angel’s Masquerade (another extension for it, so thankful the editor is excited for this as I am!)

I have the following left to finish before this week ends:

  • Finish Angel’s Masquerade and submit it
  • Edit and polish up the proposal to send out by Sunday
  • Finish the making word count sheets for the rest of the year (I can push that off until the end of the month if I have to)
  • Promote the HUGE giveaway event starting tomorrow and lasting until the 24th of January (my birthday)

I wish I could just take some time off after AM goes in, but I’ve got to hit the ground running with Silver Tongued Devils, get some content up for promo, and work on the promo tour with my fellow Tall, Dark & Alpha authors.

January 250 Word Calendar 2014

Edits and Other Reasons My Brain Melted Down

In #amwriting on January 9, 2014 at 11:22 am


Expect this post to be random. Because that’s where I am today. 🙂

Keep Writing

Edits. 334 pages. 97, 341 words. Four days. Managed two complete chapter overhauls. Plus 2.3k in additional wordage (not counting the words deleted, changed, added to, etc.). And a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve been reminded that Christmas is over by my dear husband, SuperChef, but if you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time you’ll know the last three months have blended together.

Thunder and Roses began it’s journey (Hey, wait! Don’t run away! I’ll keep it short, I promise!). 

*ahem* Thunder and Roses started December 26, 2012. By the time it’s released, this hefty novel will have been a year and a month in the making. 🙂

Four days isn’t much time to do edits. Definitely not much time to do edits THAT extensive. Unless you don’t sleep. And only eat when your husband pokes you with a stick and passes you a plate with the threat of force-feeding you if you don’t eat…theoretically, of course.

So why four days?

I had other books due. My writing partner has a convention she’s hosting in January. She was sick. I was exhausted. Neither one of us wanted to tackle the big book. Until we couldn’t put it off any more.

I also managed to turn in the book to our editor with four minutes to spare on a visit from a dear friends who’d kept me sane during my last remote tour. Unfortunately she saw me in deadline mode. Talk about scary! The fact that she still hugged me means she must really love me. My hair and clothes were comfortable, but that doesn’t mean they were a good option for company.

By the time my friend left and the house settled down, I’d been awake for over twenty-six hours. I slept for seven and spent the rest of the day fielding editing questions and rewriting two scenes (as well as changing the time line for the first two chapters). Then slept again. Woke this morning and did the final edits. Now it moves on to the next level of editing. The fine-tune polishing of line editing. I have ten days until it’s due back in my hands. In the meantime, I have books to finish.

BUT…my brain won’t function. 🙂

TR Digital AnnouncementSo I made things. Like this:

It was fun to make Facebook covers. And build promotional material for my upcoming books. I even built a cover for a self-publish book coming out under a different name.

I tweaked my excel spreadsheet for 2014. Fiddled with color palettes. Ensured the formulas were good to go for all four quarters.

I also became a ROW80 sponsor for the first quarter of 2014!

Since my head is already in an editing/linear-minded mode, I think I’m going to work on the synopses for my proposal due soon. First three chapters of book 2 in the Deep Cravings universe, plus synopses for the next two books in the series. Maybe I’ll pitch the next Hunger books as well so I can get an official series name. Holy cow.

Did I mention my first novel, Primal Hunger, will be released in Print March 25, 2014? How’s that for crazy?

I was also told that since I’m working on series this year, I might want to consider revamping my two websites to have series blurbs for people to read up on. So the question I have for you guys is this:

How do you search for books on a favorite author’s site? Do you look by series name? By genre? By print or ebook? I’d like to keep it as simple as possible. Let me know in comments!

That’s it for me. I’m a day late for this post, but I’m better now. Tomorrow I’ll be back to writing. You guys rock and don’t stop writing!

#ROW80 update


Goals for this week:

  • Finish and submit Angel’s Masquerade – Now that T&R’s edits are done, this is the priority. 
  • Finish edits for Thunder and Roses (due by the 7th) – Finished this one last night. Five minutes before a very dear friend stopped by. She saw me in my deadline hell clothes and hair. I’m sure it will haunt her for years-to-come. Continuing…finished the third round of edits by Thursday morning. First round finished Tuesday night. Wednesday was scene overhauls. Been an editing frenzy, my friends!  
  • Get through the first three chapters of Sex and Magic book 2 with the goal of finishing and submitting the proposal by January 15th. – I’m on chapter one. Since edits were just finished, this is a higher focus for the rest of the week.
  • Plot Heartbreak Ridge (this is part of my 500 words a day challenge. I can’t start writing it until it’s plotted, so this part is key to completing the 500!) – A quarter plotted. Edits took up the majority of this week. 
  • And if I have time, finish A Pirate’s Bride. – Finished this on Sunday. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it though…

I’m part of a great motivational writing group known as A Round of Words in 80 Days. Click here to find out how other did this week and here if you want to become a part of it!

Elements of a Solid Blog Tour by Madeline Pryce

In Write Talk on January 6, 2014 at 12:00 am


(Note, clicking on the links will send you to the direct blog post. The contest is now over, but this informational post will remain to help you.)

Winners: Rafflecopter selected Michelle Henry as the overall winner!

GuestPostIntro by Dawn: One of the coolest things about being a writer who loves to help others is when your friends start flying high and you can watch them soar!

Madeline Pryce is one of those people. Her career has been a colorful one. She, like me, took some time to settle on a genre and writing style. Now that she’s in her element, though, the sky’s the limit. 

When she became an Ellora’s Cave author, they requested a penname change (this happens, though not often anymore). I was honored to be in on her decision-making process. A penname is your brand, after all. When we talked about her up-and-coming blog tour, I invited her to talk about the business side of our writing lives. Specifically the marketing arena.

Marketing is something I’m terrible at. Organizing a blog tour is especially difficult for me as I never want to seem annoying or put unnecessary pressure on anyone else. Madeline is the one who taught me that reaching out is actually a mutual exchange. The guest author will bring their readers and the blog host will expose their readers to the guest author. 

This post not only launches her Dark Cravings Blog Hop, but also explains how she did it. This is a great opportunity to follow her throughout the week and see the effects for yourself. I’ll add the links to each blog post as they come available so you can catch up. She also provides us with an awesome drink recipe to coincide with her blog tour theme “At the bar with…” and link to a fabulous contest! Without any further ado: 




First off, I want to give a HUGE thank you to my host, Dawn Montgomery. Dawn is my mentor, my inspiration and the person who gives me a swift kick to the arse when I start slacking. She never hesitates to offer help, answer questions or encourage you when you’re feeling down. So, thank you for being you.

The feeling is more than mutual, my friend. Welcome to the blog! 

There comes a time in every writer’s life, after the contracts have been signed, the edits turned and the cover art revealed, that you think about promotion. Social media, ads and blog tours. The big question is, do you hire these things out or do it yourself?

I’m a do-it-yourself kind of gal.

Avoid a promo dump fest into the blogsphere. One of my favorite things is “inside information” or learning about the characters in a novel. I like knowing who the author “sees” when they write their characters, what the characters like/dislike and other insight into their personalities.

At The Bar

To avoid dumping, I devised a blog theme. “At the bar with” delves into the major players in DARK CRAVINGS. I’ve got pictures, likes, dislikes and quotes. Now, I only have so many characters so I made some room for special excerpts, interviews and two other misc. posts that help dig into who I am and who my characters are.

Make it interactive. I searched the far corners of the internet for perfect character based cocktails and have included recipes for off the wall drinks. For example—The Wolf’s Bite, The Lion’s Tail, Black Devil Martini…

Hopefully, some readers will try them out and think of the book!

Give back. At every stop, I’ll be giving away an eBook to one random commenter. I saved the money I would have spent on getting a tour coordinator and am offering one grand prize using Rafflecopter. $25 bucks isn’t a ton of money, but it will get you quite a few books!

Coordinate! I set up a calendar in excel with possible dates and started the great blog search for potential places to host me. Now, here I cheated. I relied on friends, acquaintances and book blogger that have reviewed my work in the past. I’ve been simply overwhelmed by the generosity I’ve been shown. Once I got confirmation, I entered the blog stop data into my spreadsheet to keep track of everything.

For those of you who are flying blind or new to fathomless sea of erotic romance promotion, try for blogs you’ve never even heard of. Go outside of your comfort zone and reach new readers.

Pimp the shit outta your blog tour.

Now, in keeping with my “At the Bar” theme… I’ve found a drink as beautiful and colorful as my host, Dawn Montgomery. I appreciate you girl!! This drink involves some prep, but what good things don’t?

Bringing drinks and everything. You are so awesome! 




  • 1 1/2 oz. Square One Cucumber Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. yuzu juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. seltzer
  • Cucumber slices
  • Pickled cucumber slices and huckleberries (recipe below)
  • Edible flowers

Add the first four ingredients to a mixing glass with ice; shake a few times. Add the seltzer; swirl; pour into a Collins glass. Garnish with cucumber slices, pickled cucumber slices and huckleberries, and edible flowers.

Bonus Recipe for Pickled Cucumbers/Huckleberries

  • 6 cups unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cups mirin
  • 2 cups cooking sake
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 lbs frozen wild huckleberries
  • 4 English cucumbers

Thinly slice the cucumbers with a mandolin slightly thicker than paper-thin and place in a 2 quart container. Heat the vinegar, mirin, and sake in a pot.

Once it reaches a boil, add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, pour into a metal bowl, add the huckleberries to the bowl, and allow it to cool for 1 hour in the fridge.

After one hour, strain out the huckleberries, using a mesh strainer or chinois, place them in a 2 quart container, and then add just enough liquid back to them keep them submerged. Now pour the rest of the liquid over half of the fresh cucumbers, stir gently, and let them rest in the fridge for at least three hours, stirring every hour or so.

The pickled cucumbers should be stained a nice purple color after the three hours; if not, just let them sit a few hours longer.

Now, onto the promo part of the blog post…


darkravings_msrFor a chance to win an electronic copy of DARK CRAVINGS leave a comment (be sure to include your email). I’ll randomly pick a replier within three days for each blog stop. Don’t forget to enter the grand prize (Rafflecopter link at bottom). One lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

As a half-breed vampire, Ella Grey’s life sucks. She does her best to pass the time killing demons and secretly admiring her Shadow Hunter partner, Micah. He’s hot, dangerous and knows it. He’d be just Ella’s type if he weren’t likely to kill her the moment she put a toe out of line.

A chance encounter with a succubus changes everything. From the second the succubus’s spell washes over them, Ella and Micah are helpless to keep their hands off one another. The sex, when it’s not leaving them on the verge of death, is earth shattering and for the first time in ages Ella is connected with someone on a level she’d feared lost forever. But a dangerous prophecy has been set into motion, and if Ella’s not careful it’ll pull her straight from Micah’s arms and into the deepest bowels of the underworld.

A Romantica® Paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published under the title Blood Lust Rising. It has been revised and expanded for EC.


Madeline Pryce wrote her first novel when she was ten, penned with neon-pink ink in a loose-leaf binder. Captivated by romantic literature, yet intrigued by the paranormal, she continues to develop her own voice, writing the kinds of stories that inspired her as a teen.



January Writing Projects and Coming Soon

In #amwriting, Goals on January 5, 2014 at 12:11 am

2014 is upon us! It kind of snuck up on you, didn’t it? For me it was a sloooow trudge through the bog of eternal stench. Okay, 2013 wasn’t that bad, but it had it’s lows. Now I’m here with you and ready to begin a new adventure!

Today marks a very special day for me. It’s my seven year anniversary as a published author. 🙂 Happy Anniversary to me!

dk_dm_thunderandroses_coverlgJanuary is actually full of celebratory awesomeness. My birthday is this month (24 January). The 16th marks two years as a full-time writer. 😀 January 8th is also my final retirement from the Air Force.

My temporary retirement ends and the medical evaluation this summer stated that while my health has improved since my injuries in the military, it will never get any better so there will be no way to return to active duty. Ever. LOL. Bittersweet for sure, but it means I can finally close that chapter in my life.

And finally…January 28th marks the release of Thunder and Roses, a book I started writing with Ditter Kellen in December 2012, has finally come full circle.

This year is a critical one. It’s my final one as a full-time writer if I don’t bring in a more substantial income (I gave myself a three-year plan when I started). I have a good feeling about the books coming out, but I’m cautious and holding back optimism. It’s a wait-and-see kind of thing. 🙂

The only way to keep myself calm is bury myself in work. While more releases might increase my sales of other books, a poor quality release might destroy any chances I have at gaining new readers. So I’m dedicated to writing and producing the best quality I’m capable of.

January is super busy, though. It’s the start of a new year, a new quarter, and the beginning of A Round of Words in 80 Days 2014!

#ROW80 update


Goals for January: 

finish the following:

  • Angel’s Masquerade (35k novella)
  • Sex and Magic proposal (1st 3 chapters, plus synopsis of other books in the series)
  • Silver Tongued Devils (25k novella)
  • Shift the NightDark Talisman (25k novella)
  • Dragons Never LieWTF Dragon (20k novella)
  • A Pirate’s Bride (4k short story) Finished January 4th
  • Final edits for Thunder and Roses (releases 28 January 2014)

begin the following: 

  • Heartbreak Ridge
  • Antonio’s book (cowritten with Ditter Kellen)

Goals for this week:

  • Finish and submit Angel’s Masquerade
  • Finish edits for Thunder and Roses (due by the 7th)
  • Get through the first three chapters of Sex and Magic book 2 with the goal of finishing and submitting the proposal by January 15th.
  • Plot Heartbreak Ridge (this is part of my 500 words a day challenge. I can’t start writing it until it’s plotted, so this part is key to completing the 500!)
  • And if I have time, finish A Pirate’s Bride(Update: I finished this right before the post went live!)

I’m part of a great motivational writing group known as A Round of Words in 80 Days. Click here to find out how other did this week and here if you want to become a part of it!

500 Words

In #amwriting, Challenges on January 2, 2014 at 3:18 am

PWCicon2Yesterday I was trudging around the net and looking for a writing challenge to get me motivated. Deadlines are upon me, you see, and I just want to get started the right way.

I’ve already signed up for A Round of Words in 80 Days again (man do I love this writing challenge!). I adore it, truly, but I’m nothing if not in love with blogging events. 😀

Kat, a very awesome friend from the Insanowrimo Facebook group (the San Antonio NaNoWriMo peeps) posted several writing opportunities this month.

NaNoWriMo’s group has a JaNoWriMo going on. I already said I was in there. She also posted a link to something called 500 Words.

From the site:

The rules

  • Write 500 words per day, every day during the month of January.
  • You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
  • Don’t edit. Just write.
  • If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.
  • Encourage, don’t criticize (unless explicitly invited to do so).
  • Blogging counts, but email does not.
  • All of this is completely free.

How it works

  1. Leave a comment on this post.
  2. Add your blog to the linkup below (if you’re a blogger).
  3. Write every day, and record your progress (I recommend using Lift for this).
  4. Join the Facebook group for accountability and encouragement. You can also tweet your progress with the hash tag #my500words.
  5. Sign up for email updates (below) to get free writing tips and prompts via email.
  6. At the end of January, we’ll evaluate to see what worked and what didn’t. I may even highlight a few success stories.

So I’m in. But it’s like this. I’m in for an independent project under a genre (or subgenre) I’m not comfortable writing. This is in addition to my regular deadline stuff.

So my 500 words a day challenge is: Heartbreak Ridge

It’s my first contemporary romance since 2007. Since contemporary is a struggle for me, this challenge is perfect for it. If I manage 500 words a day, by the end of the month I’ll have 15,000 words. Two months and I’ll have a decent length novella. At three months I’ll have a short novel. So by the end of April, I’ll have a print-length novel to polish up and submit just in time for Loose Id’s “Homecoming” special call for submission.

There you have it. It also happens to be on my New Year’s projected projects. This works out so well. So tonight I’ll be plotting Heartbreak Ridge while finishing up a novella that’s due to my editor.

Tomorrow’s agenda (or later today, actually, since it’s the 2nd of January) is edits on Thunder and Roses. The kids start school again in four days so my schedule will rearrange itself Saturday and Sunday this week. Because of this, I need to have T&R’s edits complete by Friday night, if possible.

I may also have an announcement come Monday. Keep your eyes peeled. 😀

Keep Writing!


2013 in Review

In Write Talk on January 1, 2014 at 4:04 am

This is a lengthy post. Feel free to skip over it if you’re so inclined. I like to keep track of how things went by month.


Number of words written this year (doesn’t count rewrites, only the final tally): 259,066, that’s roughly 4,984 words a week. Not great, but not too shabby either.

Three Releases as Dawn Montgomery:
  • Haunting Melody St. Claire (May 31, 2013)
  • Hidden Confections (December 6, 2013)
  • Deep Cravings (December 18, 2013)
Completed stories:
  • Rewrites for Haunting Melody St. Claire (accepted and released)
  • Thunder and Roses (rejected, resubbed, accepted)
  • Private Cowboy (submitted)
  • Deep Cravings (accepted and released)
  • Shift the Night (editing)
  • Angel’s Masquerade (editing)
  • Hidden Confections (accepted and released)
  • Rewrites for Last Rites (shelved until January)
  • The Collector (rejected, shelved)

Current guaranteed release schedule for 2014: 

  • Thunder and Roses with Ditter Kellen on January 28, 2014
  • Silver Tongued Devils as part of the Tall, Dark & Alpha boxset on March 8, 2014

Series continuation for 2014: 

  • Dragons Never Lie (WTF Dragon book 3)
  • WTF Dragon book 4
  • WTF Dragon book 5
  • Feral Hunger (Hunger universe)
  • Ravenous (Hunger universe)
  • Sex and Magic series books 2-4
  • Raven’s Wing (Dark Talisman)
  • Antonio’s book (Thunder and Roses universe)

Other books planned (through 2014 and beyond): 

  • Finish A Captain’s Woman (cowritten with Eve Vaughn)
  • Sabian
  • Finish Voodoo Carnival
  • Enraptured
  • Entrapped
  • Entangled
  • Heartbreak Ridge (my first contemporary since 2007)
  • Carter’s Legacy
  • Submit Last Rites
  • Lengthen and submit The Collector
  • Unbreakable Me

Breakdown of 2013 by Month


  • January 5th marked six years as a professional writer.
  • January 16th marked my one year anniversary as a full-time writer
  • Overall, this month was the most challenging in my career. I had a lot of hard knocks to overcome and it took me about six months to come to terms with it.
  • Began writing Thunder and Roses


  • Haunting Melody St. Claire was accepted by Ellora’s Cave.
  • Rough patch continued into this month. I started seriously doubting myself.
  • Kept working on Thunder and Roses.
  • Started Sabian.
  • February 27th was my one year Air Force retirement anniversary. So much had changed in that one year!


  • Kept writing Thunder and Roses. Finished it, but Ditter and I found serious plot holes. On the project table in April.


  • Camp NaNoWriMo happened. It replaced Script Frenzy and was a lot of fun. I actually won. It would start a winning streak for me throughout the year.
  • I created a WriMo writing group on Facebook
  • Set up a writing chat room for sprinters
  • Started Raven’s Daughter (it went through several name incarnations) and Created an in depth plotting outline for Silver Tongued Devils (Set this project aside until December as other works took priority)


  • I had so much fun with Camp that I started up a challenge with A Round of Words in 80 Days. It was good to get back in the swing of things.
  • May 31st Haunting Melody St. Claire released from Ellora’s Cave. It became a recommended read on the USA Today Happy Ever After blog.


  • Haunting Melody St. Claire hit made it up to #5790 in overall Kindle sales rank. Too awesome!
  • I talked about Keeping Your Head in the Game 
  • Started Voodoo Carnival
  • Had a wonderful time writing with Cynnara Tregarth. Seeing her back in the writing game was one of the biggest highlights of my year. She and I started writing around the same time.
  • June was the first release of a paperbook book under a different penname. It’s an experiment that proved strangely successful so I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings with it.


  • Participated in the second CampNaNoWriMo event of the year with Raven’s Daughter (series name). I didn’t win (lesson learned that 50k is a ridiculous goal for mid-summer with the kids home and boooooored), but I had a lot of fun writing!
  • The first Free for Writers post went out. (There were more throughout the year, just check out the tag “Free for Writers“)
  • Wrote and submitted Private Cowboy
  • Wrote and submitted The Collector
  • Published a post called the Guide to Getting it Done
  • I started using a task program called Todoist. It’s saved me a whole mess of headaches and kept me organized. (If you’d like to check out my reviews on software I use, check out the category “Software“)
  • I got Back on Track and chatted about Stephen King’s use of imagery.
  • Talked about Courage and how there is no magic involved. Courage is actually being afraid to fail and doing it anyway.
  • Started the Five Things posts. (There were more throughout the year, just check out the tag “Five Things“)
  • The gigantor novel, Thunder and Roses, hit 94k and I was seriously burned out. It was in the bag and ready to submit.
  • I hit a crossroads with co-writing. Ditter Kellen and I had projects pop up that were solo so we decided to work on a different sort of schedule. The first half of the year would be cowritten projects for me while the second half would focus on our other writing needs. For me, January through the end of June will be cowriting projects, boxsets, group promotion events, and calls for submission while July through December would focus on series I needed to work on, solo projects, and my other pennames.
  • Melissa Blue visited my blog. I loved having her and her fans were super sweet!
  • I had my first Hot Wash, lessons learned and overall summary, of Camp NaNoWriMo. It was definitely a learning experience and I was pretty blunt about where I went wrong in my overzealous attempts to be super writer.
  • Started Hidden Confections (Holiday Calls for Submission)


  • I got a little peeved by some supposed writing experts talking down to newer writers about how they were doing everything wrong (cue eye roll here). So, of course, I wrote a post about called Own the Way You Write
  • Did final edits on Thunder and Roses and submitted it.
  • Attended the Savvy Authors summer symposium (so awesome!)
  • Received a sweet rejection for The Collector
  • Submitted Hidden Confections
  • Submitted Dark Cravings (had a title change from Chocolate Kiss)
  • This month was the first ray of light in RL (real life) for SuperChef (my husband) and me. We finally found a way out of the muck that made 2013 one of the toughest in my life.
  • We got a new furkid (Puck, the black lab and adorable rescue)


  • Started writing Dragons Never Lie (WTF Dragons 3)
  • Attended four writing workshops this month. They were awesome!
  • Hidden Confections was accepted for publication
  • My Facebook author page hit 500 likes within 24 hours!
  • Developed Better Than Sex Red Velvet Cupcake recipe for Hidden Confections
  • Thunder and Roses was rejected by the first publisher so we resubmitted it elsewhere. It was picked up in a flash by Loose Id on the 30th.
  • Deep Cravings was accepted.


  • Became a Round of Words in 80 Days sponsor
  • Revisited a previously shelved cowritten project entitled The Captain’s Woman. It had been derailed when I had an unexpected deployment in my military days so Eve Vaughn and I were ready to check it out again.
  • Pulled FoxFire because a publisher showed interest in the series.
  • Had some online stalking going on (repeated blocking didn’t work as he, if it was a he, kept creating new accounts and harassing me) so I pulled away from social media for a month or so to let it die down. I recently came back to using Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis.
  • Got coverart and a release date for Thunder and Roses (January 28, 2014)
  • Began writing Angel’s Masquerade for a Loose Id call for submission


  • NaNoWriMo
  • Edits. Edits. And more Edits.
  • The kids decided to try and write with me during NaNoWriMo. I set up their accounts on the Young Writers Program page, and got them started. One made it all the way through, the other one fizzled out about halfway through, but he doesn’t bother me when I’m writing anymore. I think he might have learned it’s a bit harder than he thought it would be.
  • I won NaNoWriMo but it was tough. Very tough. I ended up having to switch to a completely different book (A Familiar Kiss, once again, failed to get completed. I’ve tried this baby five times now. Maybe I should shelve it permanently).
  • I was invited to participate in a March release Boxset entitled: Tall, Dark & Alpha. Silver Tongued Devils is the project I chose for it. I began writing it this month.


  • Wrote like crazy on Angel’s Masquerade, Silver Tongued Devils, A Devil’s Bargain, and was asked to submit a partial for a continuation of the Deep Cravings universe.
  • Started a newsletter.
  • Hidden Confections released.
  • Deep Cravings released (and made USA Today’s Recommended Read list for the Happy Ever After Blog! My second one this year!).

So that’s it. Wow. Quite a lot. 😀 

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