Projects & Resolutions for 2013 Game Plan

Have you ever made resolutions, only to feel guilty about them later because they totally got abandoned? Been there & done that. But I started planning early (hey, before Dec. 31st is early)and did some research to come up with a game plan that will help me achieve my 2013 goals.

Thanks to two different blog posts: From the first, I learned that it's wise to choose bite-sized or manageable goals. From the second, I learned that goals must be revisited, re-evaluated and re-affirmed (or redefined) on a regular basis throughout the year. Also, whenever I feel myself flagging I'm going to read Marc & Angel's wisdom about resolutions & life because I just love their positive and thoughtful take on life.

My Dad died soon after the year changed to 2012 and that made me realize that life can quit anytime and without any advance warning. However, he lived a good life, one he embraced with a generous & adventurous spirit. So to honor my Dad and to apply what I have learned from him, I'm going to live life the fullest, the best I can.

 Being a mom, writer, person with aging parent figures in my life, & a community volunteer, I find my days are unpredictable. So instead of setting myself a daily word count, I'm committing to keep daily log. Whether I write 2K a day or 0, I'm going to write it down. Along with a short description of the day. I'm going to do this for all of January and see where I end up at the end of the month. Then I'll reevaluate and refocus for the next month.

 Another bookish goal I have for 2013 is to start the year by reading poetry. I started out exploring creative expression by writing poems as a child and, well, this is a sort of getting in touch with my roots. Plus, poems use language in a special way, with rhythm and economy and I miss reading and writing in the form. The book I have chosen for my January reading is:
The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink

And, I'm going to do yoga at least 4 times a week and strive for a healthy balance. Great stretches & stress release :)

 Now, a project that is definitely coming in 2013, that I'm so-gosh-darn excited about is my next djinn story -- The Djinn in the Mirror. Since I was tagged by one my author pals, Laura Bickle in her Next Big Thing Hop, I'll answer a few questions about my new story:

 What is the working title of your book?
 The Djinn in the Mirror

 What genre does your book fall under?
 Paranormal Romance

 Which actors would you choose to play your hero/heroine?

 Dahlia, the heroine, is from a long line of earth witches, but has been raised by her domineering step-father.She is young & a virgin, but with a quiet inner strength and untapped powers. Think of Drew Barrymore in Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Ashmael (Ash) is a 1200-year-old djinn who has spent 800 years trapped in a mirror. His experience has left him bitter and distrustful of women. My inspiration for Ash is Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan...who happens to be HAWT!!!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? A paranormal Cindrella story with a young witch heroine & a wicked sexy djinn playing fairy godmother (though he's neither a fairy nor very motherly....)

Is it a standalone or part of a series? The Djinn in the Mirror can be read as a standalone, but this is the third story set in my djinn world. I take the opportunity to explore more about the djinns in every story.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Um, a strange dream made me start wondering what if Cinderella had ended up with genie instead of a fairy godmother...what would be different? Obviously, she'd ditch Prince Charming for the wickedly sexy djinn  : D

So what do you think? What goals are you going for? Do you have a game plan?

What Inspires Author Nadia Lee as a Person and a Writer?

If you like retellings of fairy tales as much as I do, you should check author Nadia Lee out ....

Trying to be upbeat and give my best to everything isn't easy when I'm overwhelmed and frazzled. There are times I want to do "just enough" because I don't want to bother anymore. But whenever I feel that way, these days I think of my baby son to inspire me as a writer and person.

I not only want to set good examples, but I want him to be proud of me for doing my best at all times. He is only 17 months old, but he's already trying to be a good, helpful baby the best he can. For example, after each meal, he throws away dirty napkins, brings his dirty plates and drops them off in the sink and wipes his tray and floor with a wet wipe, instead of running off to play with his toys. (He's been doing this for several months actually.) 

Given this, there's no way I can let the momentary distractions and so on get in the way of doing my very best in all I do.

So what does Nadia do? She writes some awesome fairytale-inspired fantasies....

Nadia's Latest Release:

Ever After Bundle: Books 1 & 2

Save 33% compared to purchasing each separately!

A Happily Ever After of Her Own
Melinda Lightfoot, a preschool teacher with an unusual ability to flit in and out of fairy tales, never thought she would get into trouble...

...until the Fairy Tale Police arrest her while she is in Beauty and the Beast. They offer her a deal: Find Beauty, who left the story when Melinda trespassed into it, or be charged with the ultimate crime -- Fairy Tale Killer. If that's not bad enough the Beast tags along in search of his true love, and Melinda starts falling for the fairy tale prince. She must choose between doing the right thing and having her own happily ever after.

One Kiss

He is a legend...

Robert is a royal prince cursed into his current predicament: remain a frog until he can get someone to kiss him...willingly. After years of searching, he finally finds a suitable royal princess.

She is but a humble maid...

Practical maid to the royal princess, Molly promises to help Robert in return for gold enough to fund her retirement. She doesn't want to waste her youth waiting on someone as capricious and shallow as the princess, instead of living her life.

But love knows no boundaries...

Unexpected problems unravel Robert's plan. The princess thinks frogs are disgusting, and his evil cousin shows up to steal both the princess and the throne that rightfully belongs to Robert. To compound matters, all he can think about is the quick-witted Molly.

But to undo the curse and inherit the throne, Robert must have a kiss from a royal princess and marry her.

What's a cursed prince to do?

Want to know more about Nadia?

Bilingual former management consultant Nadia Lee has lived in four different countries and enjoyed adventures and excellent food around the globe. In the last eight years, she has kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

She shares an apartment overlooking a river and palm trees in Japan with her husband, baby boy, winter white hamsters and an ever-widening pile of books. When she's not writing, she can be found digging through old Asian historical texts or planning another trip.

Sign up for Nadia's Newsletter to be the first to know when she has a new book out!

You can also follow Nadia on Twitter or like her on Facebook 

A Jersey Girl Donates for Sandy Relief with Stories

Hi y'all! I'm on the Southern Magic chapter's informative and fun Romance Magicians blog today sharing a sneak peek of my next story, The Djinn in the Mirror. Discussions like this blog marathon lead to ideas colliding and connecting, branching out and spinning off into new ideas. Creativity engenders and inspires more creativity. So come visit!

But, I also have a treat for you here today. Author Amanda Brice, a Jersey girl, is donating 100% of her royalties from the sale or Kindle Prime borrows of her new release, Short & Sweet: Four Fun & Flirty Tales, to the Red Cross to assist with Sandy recovery efforts. Woot! 

Here's Amanda....

Like other Jersey Girls, I have fond childhood memories of trips down the shore. (Yes, we really do call it that.) We savored fast-melting ice cream cones while strolling past the arcade games on the boardwalk, before scarfing down slices of hot pizza with bubbly, gooey cheese. (For the record, it’s not true pizza unless it’s hand-tossed by a guy in a white t-shirt with a gold chain, probably named Mario, Frankie, or Tony. Sorry Chicago, but I firmly believe this to be true.)

The devastation in my home state has made the news. Everyone has seen the before-and-after photos of the places where the hard-partying Jersey Shore crowd used to hang out…now gone. But while the destruction of the real Jersey Shore (not the reality show) is sad, what truly gets me is how many families have been left homeless by that beeyotch Sandy, more than a month after the storm as we head into the holiday season and winter.

Hurricane Sandy left many East Coasters homeless and devastated. At least 55 people were reported killed in eight states along the eastern seaboard. Some were hit by trees, others died in flooding, from electrical shocks or in car crashes.

Millions lost power, some for weeks. Many families could not access safe drinking water for ten days after the storm. Thousands will never return to their homes, scouring debris to salvage their cherished possessions.

I live in the DC area now, where we only lost power for 18 hours. To be honest, I expected it to last longer, but with a baby and a toddler, I was very happy to regain electricity so soon with temperatures as cold as they were. But my parents in Northern New Jersey (who weren’t even close to the brunt of the storm) lost electricity for a full week. They bundled up every night in many layers, under many blankets, as they navigated the freezing cold.

Some other families in my hometown of Sparta, NJ were out for 10-14 days. Every morning I woke to new Facebook status updates about the challenges of living in the 18th century.

But they’re the lucky ones. At least they have roofs over their heads.

One of the Garden State’s most famous sons, Jon Bon Jovi, said, “This storm lasted a day, but the effects of it are going to last a lifetime.”

YES. So true, although I wish it weren’t so.

Bon Jovi and many of his fellow musicians are teaming up for an amazing relief concert tonight. Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, and Bruce Springsteen are among the headliners of tonight’s 121212 concert. Bruce and The E St. Band will open the show at 7:30 pm promptly. Check out the website for a list of networks and websites that will be airing the concert, as well as ways you can help the relief effort.

I’m also trying to help in my own little way. Until New Year’s, I’ve decided to donate 100% of the royalties from sales or Prime borrows of my new release, Short & Sweet: Four Fun & Flirty Tales, to the Red Cross to assist with recovery efforts.

This very short collection (approximately 15,000 words total, or 54 pages) includes the following fun and flirty tales:

"She's Got Legs" -- Congressional aide Daria Wyatt is mortified when she wears the wrong shoes to her 15-year high school reunion in this sassy Cinderella story.

"Love @ First Site" -- Lobbyist Julie Antonelli has sworn off online dating after a string of disasters. Well, there is this one guy...

"Dancing Cheek to Cheek" -- Can a young woman find romance while teaching ballroom dancing to seniors?

"Birthday Gifts" -- College student Claire Chen misses her boyfriend while spending the semester in Paris. Will her birthday be just as sad?

NY Times bestselling author Angie Fox calls the collection “Sweet, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny!” And Christie Craig says “Amanda Brice delivers.”

I do hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of this e-book collection. Together we can help rebuild.

Amanda Brice leads a double life. By day she's an intellectual property attorney for a large federal government agency. At night she juggles raising two kids under the age of three with writing . A popular speaker on the writers' conference circuit with her workshops on basic copyright and trademark law, she is a two-time Golden Heart finalist and the president of Washington Romance Writers. Her teen mystery novel, Pointe of No Return, is now available in all formats, and was the November 16-30 pick of the Washington Loves Romance online book club. Learn more at

Crushes: The Secret Inspiration for Romance?

I met Suleikha Snyder on twitter and instantly bonded over books, Bollywood and Bengali well as random exchanges. She's got a bubbly personality that just makes you take notice & smile. She's also directed me to some excellent multicultural reads, so when her second multicultural romance, SPICE AND SECRETS, featuring passionate characters from exotic Bollywood released...well, I had to introduce you to Suleikha :) Enjoy!

Here's Suleikha!

What inspires me? What kick-starts the ol’ writerly engine in the dead of winter? This is going to sound completely cheesy, but there is nothing like a good crush — or a bad crush — to fuel my creative process. To fuel *me*, in general. I know, how Taylor Swift of me, right? But here’s the thing: Falling in love involves a ton of passionate emotion, and when there’s nowhere for it to go, I channel it all into my stories.

The saying goes, “write what you know,” and I might not know the “happily ever after” part (yet!), but I tap into the emotions along the way when I experience them. The first blush of infatuation, the throes of a mad passion, the devastation of heartbreak…if you look back at what I’ve written over the past two years, it’s like a Da Vinci Code-esque map of my highs and lows, all spurred on by someone that caught my eye. That someone might be Jeremy Renner or Ryan Gosling or a person in my “real life,” but whoever it is, they wind up being my unwitting research assistant in matters of the heart.
Jeremy Renner

I love — and hate — all those big emotions, and I couldn’t do what I do without them.

My November release from Samhain, SPICE AND SECRETS, is all about overcoming the fear of taking chances, of putting yourself out there to be hurt. Do I know how that feels? You bet. Not in the same context, not with the same kinds of people — former ingĂ©nue Priya and brash talk show hostess Sunita are drawn to archetypes that I don’t rub elbows with on a daily basis — but I’ve let that doubt run through my veins, and I’ve worn that emotional armor.

I know, I know. Mystery writers don’t kill people, erotic romance writers don’t have kinky threesomes but, I gotta admit, for me, there’s just something to falling in love while I’m writing love…

I’m giving away one electronic copy of SPICE AND SECRETS in the format of your choice to a lucky commenter, so please share your thoughts! Am I a little crazy, or is this just my spin on LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE…putting my emotions into my writing, instead of my cooking?
Here's more about Suleikha: 

Editor, writer, American desi and lifelong geek, Suleikha Snyder published her first romantic short in Ravenous Romance's 2011 TOUCHDOWNS anthology. 2012 brought a bevy of releases, including Suleikha's first novella from Samhain Publishing, SPICE AND SMOKE, a Wild Rose Press short story called HEART MURMURS, and a short in Cleis Press' June SUITE ENCOUNTERS anthology. Suleikha lives in New York City, finding inspiration in Bollywood films, daytime and primetime soaps, and Hell's Kitchen wine bars.


A Not-So-Sweet First Meet for #SixSunday

Happy first Sunday in December! I'm almost done with my next book, and I'm in the Can't-Wait-To-Share!!! mode *grin* so my six sentences today are from my WIP, The Djinn in the Mirror.

The Djinn in the Mirror is a Cinderella story with earth mage heroine needing to escape from her wicked step father and a sexy djinn playing the role of her fairy godmother (except he's not a fairy and not at all motherly...). If he keeps her safe until after after her eighteenth birthday, Dahlia promises to free him from the mirror in which he's trapped.

However, the djinn isn't happy about serving yet another human, a species he tends not to trust. This scene is Dahlia's and Ash's first encounter.

BTW, my inspiration for the djinn, Ashmael, is Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan :)

Let me know what you think of Dahlia & Ash's first meet....

With a roar of anger, he leapt from the bed and stalked to the edge of the mirror.

Her gaze latched onto his…thing. It stood at half-mast, thick and heavy, showy like a prized Iris in full bloom. She forced her eyes up. 
“So, the mouse knows how to crack the whip.”
“The “mouse” is your mistress, and you will address me as such,” Dahlia said with a coolness she didn’t feel, even as her heart thundered in her ears and warm tingles erupted somewhere much lower.

Be sure to visit the Other Sixers' Posts and follow the #sixsunday hashtag on Twitter! Thanks for reading and hopefully commenting, too!

The #DjinnsDilemma Birthday Bash Winners

Thanks every one for jumping in and helping me celebrate The Djinn's Dilemma's Birthday Bash. I loved all the notes & messages! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the month-long giveaway. Well, November is Happy December!

And we have winners!!!

Jeannie Baker-Platt won the Peacock Box full of goodies
Van Pham won the Sherrilyn Kenyon Package
Mary Preston won Howl For It
Marlene Breakfield won the Greek Cookbook & Spices
Sue Sattler won the Heart pendant & earrings
Kimmi Lange won the Indian Art Print
I will be contacting all the winners next week (since I'm traveling right now) to work out the details and getting the goodies out.
Thanks for the month all! The goodnews is 2013 is around the corner. The new year means new stories & new celebrations!
Keep reading y'all!