Category Archives: Carpe Noctem

Oh, Look… I’m Back!

Yeah, yeah, yeah… for someone who writes books and things I don’t seem to do much writing. At least here, that is. There’s a good reason for it.

Being a human incubator takes a lot out of you.

Of course, holding down a full-time job with a three-year old, a writing habit in more than one genre, AND taking on two huge editing projects at one time will take a lot out of a person without the tiny succubus now present in my life. She’ll be here in November and we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Maybe.

So all of that aside, I have still been pretty busy. Crymsyn and I ended up doing a total rewrite on Frozen Hearts & Blazing Souls after contract, and it’s back in the hands of the editor for round two.

Purple Sword Publications has taken Marked and we’re finishing up cover art and minor details on that as well. I love that book, and I’d forgotten just how much until I reread it and did a little updating prior to submitting it. Now I just have to decide what I’m going to do with Loki’s Game now that I have the rights back.

I’m working on a really schmoopy Christmas romance and a few short projects. They’re all sort of jockeying for last place in my brain right now (I haven’t written anything substantial since finishing the rewrite on FHBS), so that’s an adventure. I’ve got a few interesting horror things cooking up there too.

As for the editing, which seems to be the big question on everyone’s tongue these days… It’s going well. The selection process took a bit longer than we anticipated simply because we had so many stories to read, and so many of them were so good. Margie and I have completed our selections, and Carpe Noctem has now turned into a two-book ordeal. It’s sister book, Tenebris Amore sprang from the four-hour discussion in which we discovered we had way too many stories we loved to let them all go. For the most part we agreed on everything. There were one or two we each championed to the other, and in the end it has all worked out for the best.

Contracts and rejection emails should be just about complete, and as soon as I have the digital files in hand, I’ll begin round one of edits.

Let me tell you guys… there are some absolutely outstanding stories, which is how we ended up with two volumes. For the most part even the rejections were very good…they just didn’t fit the call. It’s very hard to accept a horror story for a romance anthology. And we did get quite a bit of horror, which tells me the idea of Paranormal Romance many not be quite so cut and dry as we originally thought. Nonetheless, I’m considering one or two for my horror anthology project simply because they were just so freaking good.

So, two anthologies? How does that work???

I’m glad you asked. Carpe Noctem will be the first book, and will feature paranormal stories with a strong romantic thread and a happy ending. These will be the more traditional romantic stories that, despite the paranormal critters, are meant to give readers warm fuzzies.

The second book, Tenebris Amore, is much darker. The stories are still love stories, but not in traditional ways. The endings aren’t always happy, but each of the works we selected showcases a soul-deep love, and the ability of the human heart to accept the painful, and sometimes even the impossible.

I love these books, and I can’t wait to see them in production. Those of you who were accepted… you’ll be hearing from me very soon. To those who weren’t selected, thank you for your fantastic submissions. I look forward to seeing future work from each of you.

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Let the Reading Begin!

So this happened Monday:

Carpe Noctem Reading Copy

That’s a pretty pair of rat smashers, isn’t it? Two great, big volumes of story goodness, all for me! There are 47 stories, to be exact.  Over 540 pages, too. This is definitely the beginning of a new adventure. Good timing, too. It’s been snowing outside with a forecast for more (in South Carolina, no less!) and I need something to do.

My tools are ready too…see?

Carpe Noctem ToolsI may have gotten a little excited and started reading. For the most part, I’m liking what I’m seeing. I’ve read six stories thus far and two are high on the list. They rest are very well-written. I absolutely love one of them, though from a paranormal romance perspective, I’m not entirely certain they qualify as  “romance”.

The first story is my favorite so far, but it falls into that questionable category. It’s a good way to start too, since it immediately hits on the biggest fear I’ve had for this anthology – is it romance?

While for this anthology a story doesn’t necessarily have to have to have a traditional happy ending, it does have to be romantic in nature. This particular story…it’s beautiful, heartfelt, loving…and has what could be considered a bittersweet ending (in other words, everything a romantic story should be), except it bypasses the very idea of romance. There’s very little about the relationship between the two characters. It makes me sad to think I would have to reject this story, as I love it so much. However, it isn’t romance. It doesn’t fit the call.

This is the hard part… falling in love with something and then not being able to keep it. Or on the contrary, loving a story up until the point when the ending ruins it. That’s happened on one so far too. I won’t get into details, but suffice it to say the idea of such a cruel ending broke my heart.

So let’s do this… before we get much farther into this process I want to provide any information seekers with the list of things which will immediately get you banned from my selection process:

– Rape/abuse for pleasure
– Incest
– Infidelity between main characters
– Anything that leaves me wondering where the story might have wander off to

That’s pretty much my rejection criteria right there. I don’t yet know about my co-editor’s choices (she may tell me to sit down and shut up), so we’ll see how it goes.

I’ll be back when I’ve read a little more.

Carpe Noctem

Selection Copy Header Page – I’m a bit excited, y’all!


On the iTunes: “Adagio for Strings” – Blackburner
Mood: Partially frozen, but mostly chipper

Walking Down a Dark Road, or, On Becoming a #ParanormalRomance Editor

Carpe Noctem Cover

Carpe Noctem: Truly. Madly. Deeply – Coming soon from Charon Coin Press

Isn’t this just the prettiest cover ever? I swear, Natasha Alterici does such perfect, emotional work. To me, that image speaks of a soul-deep longing, and a desire which can never truly be fulfilled. It’s tragic and beautiful, and it makes me want to cry.

It helps that my name is on the cover. That makes me smile.

So Carpe Noctem submissions closed two weeks ago, which means any day now I should be receiving the reading package. From what I understand, I have roughly fifty stories to read (FIFTY STORIES??? WOW!!!). I’m expecting close to 800 pages when that package arrives, which means it’s going to take quite a bit of time and some serious coffee intake. I should probably buy stock in Starbucks.

I’ve also noticed something else: since agreeing to take part in this project, my reading style has changed. I’m reading everything with a critical eye these days, including the newest Stephen King novel, which I’d been devouring up until I said okay.

I’m reading slower now, more carefully. It’s odd, too. I’m the girl who ripped through all four Twilight novels in about three days. Granted, the reading level on those isn’t particularly high, but it was a lot of pages and it took a lot of focus and concentration to stay interested in large parts of the story…but I did it. Where I used to read a novel a week, it now takes me all day to read a 9,000 word short story because I’m unconsciously picking it apart as I go.

I’m looking forward to the process, though. Being a lover of the written word, I’m excited to be able to read these stories first on paper instead of on a screen. I like the old-fashioned feel of the process. It makes me happy.

So one question I keep getting from those who have submitted and those who just seem interested in the project: What are you looking for?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’ve read a lot of fiction. And I do mean a looooot. I’m looking for something I’ve never seen before. Something new and different, and while the story has to have that impossible love story feel to fit the call, I want to see new ways of handling old tropes. I’m not looking for boy-meets-girl-boy-eats-girl… I’m looking for true love in odd packages. I’m looking for perseverance despite the odds. I’m looking for a satisfying, if not entirely happy, ending. But most of all, I’m looking for a good story. I’ll know that when I read it.

It’s almost time to start reading. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

On the iTunes: “Foreigner’s God” – Hozier
Mood: Optimistic. And Caffeinated.

One…More…Book…

Morning, y’all.

It’s been a minute. For that, I apologize. But there’s been some big stuff happening in the last few months. Remember how back in October I mentioned that Sugar & Spice handed me the rights back to four books? We’re taking care of that.

The lovely Traci Markou at Purple Sword Publications has contracted two of the four so far. She took Blood Doll and She-Wolf, and is in the process of pushing them out for me as we speak. I’m so excited! Purple Sword is so good to me. Take a look:

blooddoll_original

It’s available today, as a matter of fact! The buy links are still going live, but so far we have three:

All Romance eBooks | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

I’ll let y’all know when Amazon turns it loose. I’m so excited to have this book back in production. It’s one of my first, but it’s also one of my favorites.

Homegrown Hearts

Look! Looklooklook!!! It’s here!!! It’s finally here!!! I’m completely over the moon about this book. I think I’ve had more fun writing this book than I have any other book ever. It’s light-hearted and fun, and if every book was this easy to write, I’d have a million of them by now.

And you can even buy it!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

And then there’s one more pretty for you to look at…

She-Wolf

That’s probably one of my favorite covers to date. It’s absolutely perfect for the book. It makes me so unbelievably happy. The book is still in edits (that’s totally my fault), but I’ll be able to put it in your hands soon enough.

So that’s my big news. I’ll be back shortly with more fun stuff.

Oh, and while I’m thinking about it… all of you lovelies have five more days to get your submissions in for Carpe Noctem – Truly. Madly. Deeply.