Presence

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stockvault-forgotten107386Running behind before the sun has even cleared the horizon is not good. I’d even call it a case of royal crap if I wasn’t trying to retain a spot of genteelness for the day.

*sighs, breathes deeply, rushes on…*

I’m just going to lay the truth out there:  I’ve got nothing for you today.

No inner turnings of a crazy yet (somehow) very published writer’s mind to share.

No great spates of wisdom wrapped in utter corniness to impart.

No breaking news on the word count wars.

No tussles with specters of imminent failure to report.  (Where the heck is Frank, by the way?)

I’ve got nothing but my presence.

I am here.

Again.

The daily blog rumbles, stumbles, grumbles on just like it has for every single day since the end of January. (Hello OCD. My name is Chloe.)

All kidding aside, I do hope my presence does count for something in the grand, screwed-up, marvelous scheme of things, because that’s all I have got for you today.

So, trusting that is the case, may I say…  “Good morning! Despite my irreverent fussing, it truly is a blessing to see each and every one of you today. Have a phenomenal Friday!”

Until tomorrow (when true usefulness will hopefully return)…

Chloe

Don’t Look in the Trunk

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stockvault-passport143222Yesterday, I reported on how my Book Three “convoy” had been derailed by an antsy caboose.

(SIDE NOTE:  If that sentence made no sense to you or perhaps frightened you a bit, please see Wednesday’s post before abandoning this blog altogether or notifying any authorities. Thank you.)

Anyhow, my Book Three mad-cap adventures continued yesterday.

Yep, things got even more interesting than the climax wanting to join in on the foreplay.

After getting all my trucks, U-Hauls and sports cars back in a row and heading once again toward that western horizon called The End, the whole honking, romance she-bang (i.e. Book Three) was suddenly flagged down and pulled over by…

Agatha Christie.

You know, the queen of all things mystery? Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, A Pocket Full of Rye, etc, etc.?

Yeah, her.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Agatha Christie. I’ve got a whole bookshelf of her stuff in my office. Brilliant storyteller. Nobody could ever match her work in the genre.

But…

The grand woman really has no place on the Romantic Smut Highway.

Does she?

I didn’t think so until yesterday when my main characters in their spiffy Jaguars offered the dead lady a ride.

Dame Christie accepted and has now joined my traveling entourage.

What she’s going to bring to Book Three, I haven’t the faintest idea. But I staunchly refuse to look in the trunk she’s lugging around. The last thing this crazy Romantic Smut caravan needs is another dead body… or a Miss Marple. (Lovely lady, I’m sure, but simply don’t have the budget for the dear.)

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Convoy!

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stockvault-left-turn--55140842So there we were.

The Book Three convoy and I, cruising down the interstate at a nice 70mph clip.

Fast food joints and trucks stops were zinging by our windows in fantastic blurs of grease and octane.

Bumps were minimal, construction zones nothing but old hat and the weather was real fine. 

The cross-country journey from start of novel to finish was over a 1/3 complete and all the vehicles, from the backstory big rigs to the supporting cast U-Hauls to the main character Jags, were looking forward to an on-time arrival at the publishing house on October 15 when out of nowhere…

WHAM!

Convoy Upheaval!

The nice, tidy, dramatic-as-all-get-out ending suddenly shoved its shocking self right into the middle of my best laid plans and outlines.

Yep, the caboose was now tucked up in between all the passenger cars… (I know. This is train imagery, now. But you deal with some Sudden-Onset Convoy Upheaval and see if you can keep all the metaphors straight. I’m lucky I haven’t drifted off into limericks at this point.)

So, now I’m having to pull the whole line over to the side of the road while I scour the maps and fiddle with the dang GPS.

How I’m going to get this bunch of knuckleheads to the west coast by mid-October is way beyond me.

So, if you’re looking for me in the immediate future best check those southern Missouri Whataburger’s first.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Temptation on the Rocks

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No DivingOh, it was calling to me.

Like a Siren perched on sharp, unforgiving rocks, it sang to me.

Blindly, I followed.

Forsaking the outline, the carefully scripted word count, the characters’ bleak whines for attention, I dove into the treacherously calm-looking waters and swam.

For a time, for a blink of an eye, it was glorious!

Cool, cool waters enveloped me, wrapping my overheating mind in its numbing chill…

*stuffed duck hits blogger squarely on the nose and squeaks*

*dog with the freakish aim and an affinity for squawking plush toys stares accusingly at the fool at the keyboard and sighs*

*the blogger caves like a Florida sinkhole*

Fine.

So be it.

In words not nearly as colorful or as dramatic as my Siren on the rocks thing, here’s what happened.

Yesterday while working on my daily 700 word quota, I sort of, maybe, kind of for a tee-tiny while got caught up in…

Research.

Needless research.

As in: a simple fact check on Google accidentally/unintentionally/not-my-fault bled into an hour of research I will most likely never, ever use.

Oh, it really was glorious though!

Following leads, tracking down footnotes, expanding on trivial tidbits like a big, goofy nerd, I could have easily spent the whole day in my researching frenzy.

But I didn’t.

I pulled myself out after a lone hour.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a substantial victory in my OCD-tendency world.

And while it probably didn’t require the Siren on the rocks thing, this little win needed to be noted.

So with that duly noted, the dog, the squeaking stuffed duck and I leave you to your day.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Where Are the Toe-Tags?

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stockvault-bison107538With broom and dustpan firmly in hand, it’s time to clean up from the mess that was this weekend.

Now, normal folk (yes, I do believe there are a few out there) would take the above sentence to mean that smashed beer bottles, empty pizza boxes and the occasional broken chair were on the sweeping agenda. Not to mention dealing with that mysterious stain on the carpet you REALLY don’t want to know the details of…

Yes, well, not quite what I’m talking about.

(Everybody who didn’t see that coming please raise your hand. *lol*)

Anyhow, this particular mess of mine is more authorly-related.

Again, a surprise, I know.

I’ll try to make this as short and as painless as possible.

The blog I wrote yesterday was crap. It took half an eon to write and came out choppy and rather pointless. I was not happy with the picture I found to accompany the post either, which put a nice rotten cherry on top of the whole experience. (Again, I apologize for the whole debacle that was yesterday.)

Secondly, the writing I have gotten done on Book Three of “The Lion and the Steed” series this weekend (which is quite a lot, surprisingly)is all lying in an ungainly heap on the floor.

Stray sentences and half-finished scenes are all tangled up together with no identifying marks to tell me where the heck in the story they were written to go.

Now, standing above the tangle of naked men, wry one-liners and Yorkshire pudding (don’t ask), I’m kicking myself for not at least putting toe-tags on the darn things.

Finally, I’ve got enough leftover jitters from Friday’s release of Pound to turn my stomach. Confidence is great and all but it does buffalo dung for the internal tract. Just saying.

So, there you have it.

My weekend mess I’ll be busy cleaning up today.

*sighs*

I wonder if the neighbors have a power washer I can borrow? I really don’t like the look of that stain.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

No Helmets Allowed

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stockvault-cycling-helmet107133Stymied…

Waylaid by a total lack of disinterest by my creative side…

Clogged like a cat with hairball issues…

The failure of my imagination to put in a decent showing on today’s blog can be explained away with any and all of the above.

Of course that doesn’t help you one bit, now does it?

You’re still stuck here.

I’m still stuck here.

Shall we all raise a pitiful sigh as one?

Yeah, not feeling that either.

Would it be terribly wrong of me to concede? To surrender outright to Blog Clog and throw in the proverbial white flag?

Well, let’s be pitiably cowardly and try it, shall we?

We’ll all meet back here tomorrow morning and commiserate on our joint failings?…

Or we could, of course, just scrape today’s stain of a blog from our memories altogether and start fresh on the morrow? A little purposeful amnesia might be delightful in this case.

Yep, I say we aim for a brain injury and call it a day.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

Confidence Isn’t Always Pretty

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Confidence is hard.

Confidence is hard.

In an act of brilliant restraint, I am not going to complain about my stomach’s foul reaction to this confidence-crap.

Neither am I going to note in excessive detail my right shoulder’s rigor mortis like state most of yesterday as all the stress/anxiety/panic/panic/PANIC not addressed my stomach settled like a bloody boulder in my arm.

Nope, not going to mention that.

I will, however, proudly state that while my body rebelled most stupidly at Pound’s release yesterday, I held tight to my newly found confidence all day.

I did not obsess.

I did not curl up into a fetal ball more than three times.

I did not declare my writing career legally dead… at least, not out loud.

I did not obsess.

I did not tear/rip/yank a single strand of hair out of my head when Pound failed to show up on Amazon all freaking day. (Still not there, by the way. At least where I can find it.)

I did not starve myself. (A plate of peanut butter crackers and a bowl of chocolate ice cream is plenty to see a confident soul through the day, thank you very much.)

Did I mention, I did not obsess?

Overall, I survived with most of my dignity intact.

Please insert applause and a deep-muscle massage right here.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

SPECIAL EDITION: Pound

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SPECIAL EDITION!!

The Release of Pound (Book 2 of “The Lion & the Steed” series)

So, here we are… Another release day with Chloe Stowe!

Before I begin popping the champagne chilling next to the left-over pizza in the fridge, I would like to thank you for stopping by and giving this Special Edition Blog a look-see. It is very much appreciated.

Now, let’s get down to business.

First up, the cover…

Sea and sky

My 16th novel is here!

 

Ok, let me just say, I’m loving this cover! I’ve published 16 novels with Ravenous Romance over the last five years, and this cover is definitely in my top five.

Up to bat next is the back-cover blurb, the tease, the hook, the “Come hither and read” flirtation…

True love is a marathon begun with a breathless sprint. After a wild, heart-pounding start to their relationship, Dr. Samuel Lyon and Brevyn Steed settle into their new lives together expecting the sweet calm of sameness and security to settle down around them. Fate, however, has different plans. When a silent film thought lost to a fire 90 years ago is stolen from a private collection, Brevyn and Sam are hired to recover it. The thief’s trail quickly forces the couple to abandon their New York City environs for the sunbaked coast of Sicily. It is there that they learn their long journey to happiness has just begun.

I wrote that.

Not bad, huh?

*smirks goofily*

*dog smacks furry paw upside my head*

*smirk disappears*

Alright, before I get into more trouble with my four-legged taskmaster, here is a list of where you will be able to find Pound today. I will keep updating this list throughout the day as the book makes its debut at each of these fine sites…

As of 11am, it is available through my publishing house, Ravenous Romance:

http://www.ravenousromance.com/modern-love/pound-the-lion-and-the-steed-book-ii.php

All Romance (available right now!):  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-poundthelionandthesteedbookii-1604113-149.html

Amazon (available later today):  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AChloe+Stowe&sort=relevancerank&ie=UTF8&qid=1408719733

Barnes & Noble (its release here might slip until tomorrow; I’ll keep you updated): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/chloe-stowe?store=allproducts&keyword=chloe+stowe

 

There, I’m done. Special Edition Blog is now closing.

Thank you again for stopping by. I really hope you enjoy Pound.

Have a terrific Friday!

Until tomorrow…

Chloe

In Hardy Celebration of “Now”

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stockvault-blue-cocktail116315“Perhaps the stars will come out for us.”  (page 75, Pound by Chloe Stowe… available today)

May we all turn our attention to my psychiatrist for just a wee bit…

Last week he told me to stop feeling guilty over the past, to stop obsessively worrying about the future and to concentrate on enjoying the now.

This, my dear friends, is some advice an author can sink their teeth into. *grins*

Now.

It’s a truly marvelous thing for a three-letter word that is more percussion than grace.

Now.

It’s a terribly fleeting, never ending moment that is always gone before you blink and always waiting for you to open your eyes.

Now.

Today.

This very second.

And this very second.

And this very second, too.

“Now” is so often put on the back burner for a “back then” or a worrisome “when.”

But not today, not now.

My 16th novel, Pound, will be released this very day.

Maybe it will do well? (I certainly hope it does fantastically well, but that is hardly a shock to anyone, I imagine.)

Maybe it will flounder around for a while and flop? (Nope, not going to happen. No way. Not a bloody chance… or so croons my fledgling confidence so new to a Chloe Stowe release day party.)

But whatever Book Two of “The Lion and the Steed” series ends up doing tomorrow, next week, next month, in the coming years, I will not think about that today.

Not now.

Now, I am going to drink in the sweetness of a release, letting the flavor of rare accomplishment linger and tickle my tongue.

Now, I am simply going to smile.

Later, in fact later today, I will be posting a Special Edition blog brimming over with blurbs, excerpts, a cover and who knows what else. I hope you will give it at least a quick look-see or pass it on to your friends, but if you don’t, no worries…

Because right now, you are here. A fact which fills my now with gratitude and startling pride.

Enjoy your now, everyone!

Until later today…

Chloe

A Pig in the Hand

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“There was a hiccup in the wind, a tiny hitch in the sea that Sam imagined ancient mariners could have read like the backs of their hands. It was just the doctor’s luck that there was nary an old sailor in sight.”  (page 69, Pound by Chloe Stowe)

Confidence is a greased piglet squealing for its mama…

Impossible to keep a hold on and hell on your nerves.

I could end this post right there and be quite satisfied that I had expressed my current state of being to a tee.

But I won’t, because I’m a whiny sort with a honking huge vocabulary.

Apologies, I’m sure will be in order.

As my regular readers know, my 16th novel Pound will be released tomorrow. And I have vowed to you and myself that I would for once meet this release day with utter confidence.

Beyond the daily excerpts I’ve been plopping at the top of my blogs for the last week, I have restrained myself completely from all other supposedly “gaudy” self-promotion (i.e. refrigerator magnets with Pound’s admittedly awesome cover emblazoned across them; mass-mailings to kith and kin and all Facebook directories with either the word “book” or “romance” in their description; and back-cover blurbs scrawled on public bathroom walls.)

But today with the release so very close, my confidence is slipping through my fingers like the aforementioned buttered baby hog.

You have no idea how I yearn to attach Pound’s blurb and cover right here….

Right freaking here!

*pauses dramatically*

But I won’t, because I’m a stubborn ass who refuses to let go of the stinking pig.

Only in my life would this be a source of personal pride.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe