I wrote very few pages this month. Good news? It was a short month. I’ll have a chance to redeem myself in March.
February was complicated with my dad in the hospital for another stint. He’s home now, thank goodness. House repairs. Illness. Appointments. Life. Lots of excuses. None of them good enough.
What did I actually get done?
Edits on two other authors’ works
Revisions and more pages on a project for Entangled
Selections for Stranded stories made, announcement, contracts sent
Yes, February was that pathetic. With no release! Which means, if I want to get back to the plan, March will be horrifically busy.
This is the list:
Two novellas and a short story (Yeah, just shoot me.)
Edits for Stranded stories
2d round edits for two authors’ manuscripts
1st round edits on a partial story for another author
Box set collated and published
Yes, that’s quite enough. Too much. Something will fall off the calendar. I hope not multiple somethings.
The issue is focus and energy.Maybe I’m dragging ass because it’s nearing the end of winter, and the lack of sunshine is finally taking a toll. Maybe the problem is that I’m letting family insert themselves with no pushback from me. I have to set boundaries, and then I have to be the first one to respect those boundaries. They don’t nag; I simply start thinking about what I might be missing, and I close out the screen, telling myself I’ll work later, but later never comes. So, it’s really all my fault. And I tend to work best in my “manic” phases, when I start to panic over the lack of productivity and what that means to sales. Having to support myself is a huge motivator. Not so different for you, right?
So, any ideas how I can keep my BICHOK–Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard?
UPDATE: The winners are…Ann and Michelle Levan!
I’ll make an announcement soon about a new SEAL story. Can’t share the news until I have a hard date and cover to share, but it should be very, very soon! In the meantime, I have lots of military heroes for you to enjoy, including several stories centered around a Navy SEAL or two or three… 🙂
Enjoy the excerpt I’ve included. I really, really enjoyed writing a story that featured a female amputee. And you would not believe the number of online articles I read and YouTube videos I watched to make sure I got the details right! I was determined to do Kylie justice.
Here are all my currently available titles in Uncharted series.
Peruse these lovelies…
Click on the covers to learn more!
I’ll choose two winners! Tell me whether you’re ready for more SEAL stories for a chance to win your choice of an Uncharted SEAL story!
Hard SEAL to Love
Former SEAL, “Big Mac” McLane, is sure he earned all kinds of bad karma somewhere when his first mission with Charter Group is guarding the “Love Boat” and its activity director. Okay, so the cruise line is sponsoring a special cruise for wounded soldiers and their families — a great cause — but Big Mac doesn’t do well around families and children, and Kylie Hammond is cute, but he feels like he has two left feet whenever she’s around. But he’s going to do his job, keep it strictly business, fade into the background whenever she’s around, but it seems Kylie has other ideas…
Kylie knows the big SEAL isn’t exactly gung-ho for his new assignment, but she can’t be more pleased. The big man’s the yummiest thing she’s ever seen, and coaxing blushes and glares from him becomes her favorite sport. But then things begin to go wrong aboard ship, people disappear, and then someone’s killed. The thing her charity most feared — a terrorist attack at sea — appears to be underway. Now, she has to trust Big Mac and his team to keep her wounded soldiers safe.
Mac stepped through the entrance of the Hampton Inn. The lobby was a study in orderly chaos. Suitcases were lined up and stacked against one wall. Men and women, some in wheelchairs or walking with crutches and walkers, and missing limbs—some multiples—filled the space.
Mac tamped down a feeling of guilt for being able-bodied and whole as he walked through the throng, nodding now and then as he passed the veterans. He headed to the concierge and asked where he could find Kylie Hammond. After being informed which conference room Soldiers’ Sanctuary had commandeered to hand out welcome packets to arrivals, he headed down a hallway, relieved he didn’t have to push through a sea of bodies. He was ready to start this op. Sooner the better. Five days would fly by, and then he’d have the down time he needed to get his head on straight before the next assignment.
Stepping inside the room, he noted two long conference tables filled with plastic buckets of folders. Three elderly men manned the table.
One of them who sported a gray buzz cut and a surprisingly muscular build glanced his way. He lifted his chin in greeting.
Mac decided he was as good a place to start as any and strode toward him.
The old man held out his hand. “Joe Olinksy,” he said, in deep, loud voice. Then he leaned against the table edge and whispered, “You with Charter?”
Mac eyed him then glanced at his two buddies who were moving closer. His presence as part of the security team was supposed to be on a “need-to-know” basis.
Grinning, Joe waved a hand. “We’re part of your support. Eyes and ears only. We’re a little too long in the tooth to be the muscle, but we’re here to help. We’ll be staying in the stateroom next to yours.”
Skeptical that this band of elderly brothers could be of any service at all, Mac drew a deep breath and gave Joe’s two companions another look.
“This is Morty,” Joe said, pointing toward a thin man with a round, pot belly. “And that’s Sly.”
Sly smiled, and his teeth were blindingly white and little too large in his mouth.
“Ex-marines, 3rd Division during Viet Nam,” Joe said. “You a SEAL like Wiley?”
“Semper Fi,” Morty said, grinning.
Mac grunted, revising his original assessment. These guys had seen real action. “I’m looking for Kylie Hammond.”
“She’s out in the atrium,” Joe pointed toward the windows behind him, “getting a cup of coffee. She’s been manning the tables since dawn. And don’t worry about us. We can handle ourselves. After all our help on the last cruise, Poppy made sure to add us to the team. We’ll have your six.”
The three elderly men hadn’t been mentioned in any of the briefings he’d attended back at HQ. Wiley for damn sure hadn’t said a thing, but then again, Wiley had looked a little smug when he’d heard Mac was being assigned to protect his wife’s best friend. He cleared his throat. “Mac McLane by the way,” he said, giving a nod to all three men.
“We’ll see you aboard the Oceanus,” Joe said.
Mac left them and thought about calling Wiley to find out why the hell he hadn’t mentioned his geriatric buddies. Just to bitch because he was already dreading the coming minutes. He didn’t have a lot of experience with Ms. Hammond’s brand of womanhood. He’d served with women in the field, and slept with the women who swarmed bars outside Navy bases, hoping for a hookup with a SEAL.
Women outside those two categories tended to make him nervous. In his experience, women had served only two purposes, as support and/or stress-relief for a SEAL. Not that he looked down on them. He liked the women he’d known. But he hadn’t had to think much about what kind of impression he made or how to talk to them. He could be gruff and blunt. What the hell would he talk about for the days and nights he and the princess would be glued to each other’s sides?
Entering the atrium, he glanced around for someone who fit the picture he’d made up in his mind. She’d be pretty, no doubt. He couldn’t imagine anyone who was friends with Poppy Shackleford and attending her social functions looking any different.
Most of the small round, brightly tiled tables were filled with men and a few women. Probably wives of the wounded soldiers, who’d be accompanying their husbands on the cruise.
One woman sat alone, her head bent over her cell phone which lay flat on the tabletop, a tall Styrofoam cup beside it. Her hair was a mass of dark brown curls. Her body, what he could see of it hunched over the table, was slender. Her bare arms and the tops of her shoulders, revealed by an olive tank, showed well-developed muscles. She wore no jewelry, save for a watch on an olive-colored web strap. Faux military-issue? And now he wondered whether she was one of those who was so enamored of military men she wore cammo pajamas. He’d met a few like that. As he moved nearer, she must have sensed someone watched her.
The woman’s gaze lifted from her phone and locked with his.
As he took in her features, he slowed his steps. Wide-set green eyes whose gaze never wavered, tan skin, rose-colored lips, cheeks that were prominent and high. She was lovely, but didn’t wear a hint of makeup. She didn’t need it. Unbidden, interest flared inside him, heating his blood.
“Are you Mac?” she asked, her voice even and little husky.
His tongue felt thick as he gave a crisp nod and replied. “You Kylie?”
Her smile was a little tight, but she pushed up from the table to greet him, her arm reaching forward.
When he looked down at her hand, with its long fingers and short bare nails, his gaze dropped to her legs. Another shock stole his breath. She wore shorts which ended at mid-thigh, revealing one long, nicely turned limb paired with a shapely thigh that disappeared into the black cup of a prosthetic limb.
If you didn’t watch it live on Sunday night at the Oscars, or you’re not one of the nearly 12 million people who’ve watched the video, you’re welcome! It was the best moment of the night and left this writer sighing.
I have an upcoming book, Rescuing Hi’ilani, tha is part of Susan Stoker’s Special Forces world. Now, I’m not sure when it happened, but I went from a dip-my-toes-in-the-water kind of author to “aw heck, hold my eyeglasses” kind of author…
So, rather than writing s book, I have my mind on writing a series. (Yes, I’m am masochistic – all dancers are.)
When I got my first idea and started writing the book, I brought in a few of Susan’s characters because it’s her world and really – it’s a fabulous place to hang out. But her Delta Forces groups are ‘teams’ – not just one soldier by himself.
So Delta Force Team Member Jackson “Ajax” Guard needed a few partners in … um… hotness?
But first let’s start with Jackson… I admit I really had to look for the right ‘visual.’ I wanted clean cut, but with that yummy factor… and I’ve always been a fan of (the original) Roswell. The actor who played Max did take a turn as a HOT werewolf…so, ta-da! Jackson Guard…
Hmm… a team just isn’t a team without a commander. A man with history. A man with experience. He’s seen things. Survived those things. And knowledge can be sexy.
I know!! James Remar… I’ve always been a huge fan… gravely voice, a good presence. Yes, ma’am. He’s Commander Chastain! He can command me anytime—but I digress.
After that I picked a bunch of (ahem) hot guys and started looking for names. Birth names, team nicknames, check.
But I didn’t want to introduce the whole team in one book. Everyone but the commander and Jackson were on leave, so two of them were going to be called back into the fold.
I love creating characters and building a complex story, but I also enjoy making up the setting. I used to joke with one of my critique partners that I could write four pages describing a leaf falling to the ground. But, for me, there’s something magical about crafting the background for each scene.
As I write medieval romantic suspense, except for a trip to Scotland, Ireland, or England, or through the use of photographs, I’m left to create the setting for the story through my mind. Or, am I?
I love walking through the woods, and as an amateur photographer, enjoy taking photos of nature. Though the timeframe of my stories is hundreds of years ago, the scent of flowers, whisper of the wind through the trees, and brilliant sunsets would have existed back then.
So, as I move through the forest or walk into a clearing that exposes a scenic view, I take in the beauty of nature, the scents, and the sounds.
When I sit down to write, with the story running through my mind and thoughts for setting inspired from nature, I craft the next scene.
Contest: ***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Setting ‒ Inspiration From Nature,’ on Delilah’s blog between 24 February 2019 – 2nd March 2019. The winner will receive one of Diana’s mugs and a tote.
Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
Forbidden Series: Forbidden Legacy/Forbidden Knight/Forbidden Vow/Forbidden Alliance‒Aug. 6th 2019/Forbidden Realm TBA
About the Author
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and the first two book of The Forbidden Series, she’s now working on book #4, Forbidden Realm, of the five-book series, which will be released August, 6th, 2019.
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
This is just a quick post. I spent the day with my dd and her family rather than doing any work! Scold me now! Especially, when I have the cover for my next book but I’m far from finishing the story.
Hopefully, now that dad is back home, life will settle and I’ll have fewer distractions, because I really do want you to enjoy Sky and Jamie’s wedding story!
Here’s the cover…
And if you haven’t read the two stories they’ve already been featured in, now’s the time! This couple has spanned three series—Uncharted SEALS, Brotherhood Protectors, and Montana Bounty Hunters. They deserve a wedding!
My dd drove me to the big city for some bloodwork today, so I’m late posting. No nothing is wrong-wrong. Just the usual. Without a thyroid, they have to adjust my Synthroid from time to time. More than you wanted to know, I’ll bet. At least I’m not talking about the colonoscopy I’m getting next week—oops! So, I’m just sharing that quote today. A kind of cup half full sentiment. When I say it out loud I say it grumpily, with a bit of growl. 🙂