Monday, October 24, 2016

The News is Official:

Yep, you read that right, three Viking werewolf books from me are coming soon! Two of them are releasing next year. I'm crazy excited for this series and can hardly wait to share it with you. To read more about the series, click here

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Joining the 17 Scribes

One of the first things the industry advises debut authors to do is join a group of authors. Having co-moderated the Writer's Road chat and brought writers together for years, I couldn't agree with this more. After all, it takes a tribe to make a book successful just as it takes a village to raise a child, so to speak. As soon as I knew I was going to sign a pub deal, I started looking for a great group. Authors are very welcoming and supportive by nature so I thought it would be easy. Unfortunately, I was really wrong. While there are a LOT of groups out there for young adult and middle grade authors, groups for those who write for adults are very, very hard to find.

When I had pretty much given up hope, one found me. And not just any group, but a fantastic group. From contemporary, to fantasy, to historical, and thrillers, this group has it all. This fabulous group includes authors published by small houses and the Big 5. I love their diversity, their enthusiasm, and support of one another. Thank you so much to my brother and sister scribes for bringing me into the fold! And if you're looking for a great book by a fresh, new author in 2017, I highly recommend checking out the 17 Scribes.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Latest Manuscript: Finished!

It never grows old, that feeling of overwhelming relief and accomplishment that comes with finishing a manuscript. This week I wrote the last words on novel number ten and the rush is still just as powerful. I will be celebrating this weekend because regardless of what happens with it, I have grown so much as a writer just with the writing of it. Woo hoo!

How about you writers out there? Do you feel the rush each time? And at what point in the process from creation, to writing, to editing, to polishing, does it hit you?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Duty Before Desire Has a New Home

After a long journey, my civil war novel has finally found a home~again! After signing with Samhain publishing, who unfortunately closed their doors shortly there-after, I had my doubts that this historical novel about a nurse in the civil war and the soldier she saves would find another home. But it happened! Lyrical press, a division of Kensington (a publisher whose books I have loved for a very long time), signed this novel and... 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shocking But Very Welcome News

I always figured the winners of contests are usually notified before the losers. So, as I watched the tweets for the Chicago North RWA chapter's Fire & Ice contest, I cheered along the others and prepared to offer congratulations to the winners. You can't imagine my complete and utter shock when I read this tweet:

I'm so honored, and so grateful to the judges of the Chicago North chapter. The other contestants were so talented, which is part of why this came as such a huge shock. That, combined with the history of never winning contests, left me floored! This great news comes after a rather difficult year in which the publisher I signed my debut with closed (meaning it wouldn't be published),  I lost two family members, the beloved head of the agency who represents me passed away, and I had a health scare on top of it. So this news is so much more than welcome. I just... don't even have the words.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Always a Bridesmaid, Until...

I've never really been one for entering contests where my writing is concerned. I don't win so it isn't fun for me. But, when a fabulous editor I really respect told me they like their clients to enter contests and put themselves out there, it inspired me. I decided to get over my hangups, get back on the metaphorical horse, and give it a try. Besides, there was that career changing time I entered a contest at a conference and met my fabulous agent through it.

So I decided to saddle up this year and really get out there and ride. I started with the Chicago North's chapter of Romance Writer's of America's Fire & Ice contest. And was totally blown away when...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Must Read Dystopian & Paranormal

In need of a great read? Here are two adult novels that I highly recommend for you fans of dystopian and paranormal. They both captivated me for their own reasons.

The first is MUD: The Third War Chronicles by E.J. Wenstrom. It is a dystopian of a very different, very delectable, flavor.

Trapped by his Maker’s command to protect a mysterious box, Adem is forced to kill anyone who tries to steal it. When a young boy chances upon Adem’s temple, he resists temptation, intriguing the golem. As the boy and his sister convince Adem to leave the refuge of his temple, the group lands in a web of trouble.

Now Adem will do whatever necessary to keep his new young charges safe, even if it means risking all to get rid of the box. Their saving grace comes in the form of an angel who offers to set Adem free of the box’s magic by granting his greatest desire—making him human.

But first, Adem must bring back the angel’s long-dead human love from the Underworld. In doing so, he will risk breaking the barrier between the realms, a cataclysm that could launch the Third Realm War. To set things right, he may be forced to give up the only thing he’s ever truly wanted…a chance at a soul of his own.

The second is a magical realism that fans of Beautiful Creatures will love, though with much more of an adult feel to it.

In the cornerstone of the rural south, Brooklyn, Mississippi, no one dares make eye contact with the strange Caibre family. Until the rewards are worth the cost. The townsfolk come, cash in hand, always at night, to pay for services only a Gifted can provide.

No matter the Gifts prevalent in her family, at twenty-one, Tallulah is expected to follow the path laid out for her: marriage, babies, and helping her mama teach the family home school program. She’s resigned to live the quiet life and stay out of trouble…until she meets Logan.

An outsider and all around rebel, Logan doesn’t care about her family’s reputation. Yet after a tragic loss wreaks havoc on the crumbling relationship between the Caibres and the townsfolk, Tallulah must decide if love and freedom are worth risking everything.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Freeing of the Muse

Lately my muse has been an elusive, sullen creature that simply would not speak to me no matter how hard I pushed, goaded, or bribed it. All the ideas I had for novels didn't appeal to me. My characters refused to talk to me. Writers, you think it's bad when the voices in your head won't shut up? Wait for the deafening silence that falls when they finally do. I refused to think of it as writer's block. I had never had writer's block. I don't get it. So I thought. I told myself I needed to research more, outline better, force the creative muscle to work. My muse laughed at my attempts while drinking Rum Runners on a Caribbean beach far, far out of my reach.

Then came a shiny new idea. But it wasn't what I was supposed to be writing. It made me stop and evaluate the turn of my career, and where that turn had taken me so far. More importantly, it made me look at where I wanted my career to go. And I realized I had taken a wrong turn. Don't get me wrong, the detour was exciting, fun, and I learned and grew as a writer. It was a good side trip. But the shiny new idea sang to me, enticed me, then all but screamed at me until I stepped back on the right path. My muse came back, handed me a Rum Runner of my own, and rolled up his sleeves as if to say, "I'm back, baby."

Have you ever taken a side trip with your writing? How did it turn out?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Sad Way of Publishing

I was all set to deliver fantastic news about my traditional debut releasing this year from Samhain Publishing, when the devastating news about the press closing its doors was announced. A little over a month ago I signed with them and just over a week ago my editor and I were chatting about the title and the cover design, and getting excited about the fall release. Literally one moment we were excited and moving forward, the next, the doors that had opened were slamming closed.

I'm sad for not only my book and all the people who were looking forward to it, but for all of Samhain's authors (many of which are my friends), their editors, and other staff. Samhain has been a staple in the romance and horror genres for over ten years now and it is tragic to see them go. But, sales had declined to the point where they could no longer justify the overhead. Such is the way of publishing.

The rights for my novel will eventually be returned to me and since my agent and I did not query widely, there is a chance we will seek out other publishers for the novel we had placed with Samhain. In the meantime, I'm staying positive because I have three other manuscripts out on publisher submission. And, in the end, I believe things happen for a reason and perhaps that novel wasn't meant to be my traditional debut. That doesn't mean it will never see the light of day, it just means its day has not yet come.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Special Tour Guest: Roland Yeomans

Sssssh!  Heather is so busy with other things that she is gone from her blog right now. 

{Roland Yeomans, here, author and blogger extraordinaire. Heather's words, not mine.}

Time for me to hawk my wares, ah, I meant “help out an over-worked friend!”

Yes, it is time for me to shamelessly drone on about my “DON’T YOU HATE BOOK TOURS?” Book Tour!

“What is the title of my new book?” you ask.  

Ah, I’m waiting, but you’re not asking. I’m waiting!  All right.  Be that way.
I can’t really blame you.  Aren’t we awash in a tidal wave of book tours?

You look at your blog list and over 37 of them you see emblazoned: “Book Tour for HOT FLESH & COLD STEEL by C. Mai Kahunas.”

Wow.  I like that title and pen name.  I might write that book myself, using that nom de plume, but with the subtitle: 50 SHADES OF TACKY.

Hey don’t blame me.  I’m a victim of Irritable Vowel Syndrome.

Where was I?  Oh, yes: my subject – ME.

We want our books to be read.  Why else go to the trouble of writing them, right?

We have to draw attention to ourselves.  I could date Miley Cyrus, but I have standards.  Sure, they’re low, but they’re still standards!

Luckily, I have Heather doing my covers and interiors.  Isn’t her latest something else?

But looking good is not enough, or I would have more dates.
We need to reach out in a new way, or do the old way in a new fashion – hence, this honest, “I know you hate to read book tour posts” book post!

Bearing with a new author pitching his new book is a lot like childbirth: long, painful, and you’re too tired to care at the end!
You’re begging to know the title of my new book, aren’t you?  You aren’t?  Oh, well, I’ll save the begging for me tonight on my date.

But you’re not getting away that easy.  I’ll give you the title anyway!

Come aboard the Xanadu, the 1st Air/Steamship for my hero’s honeymoon cruise to Paris, the Unholy Lands, and Parts Unknown (No, not where politicians tell the truth!  Man, you guys suck the joy right out of my spiel!)
It has Mark Twain, SEX!, 11 year old Nikola Tesla, SEX!, a vampiric Benjamin Franklin, an insane Abraham Lincoln, SEX!, a vengeful Captain Nemo, and many more illustrious guests like General Sherman, Ada Byron Lovelace and Margaret Fuller.

And did I mention it had SEX!

Coming this March.  Cost of Passage only $9.99!
Don’t miss out.  Everyone is talking about it.  O.K.  Just me for right now.  But you never know.

{Much to Heather's dismay, my books are not yet available on Barnes and Noble, but she's working on me}

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Instagram Leap

I have finally made the leap to Instagram. Photos inspire me so I figured, it would be a great place to feature photos that inspire both my writing, and my life in general. It seemed like a natural transition to move from Pinterest (where there is a lot of controversy over using photos you may not have rights to). I've love Pinterest, don't get me wrong, and I'll still likely post there, but I like the idea of a site that is pictures taken or designed by only me. So, Instagram, here I come! If you're on there, come find me, I'd love to connect with you there.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New Goals

I hesitate to say resolutions because those seem to carry a negative connotation for most. But goals, I love those. They are my friend, especially as a writer. I promised myself I would check in with last year's goals to see how I did, and to help me set new ones. Here we go:

2015: #1 Work out harder, more often. Planned weekly regiment with activity on the weekend as well!
Results: I did good, working out four days a week at minimum, usually five. Dropped a bit of weight, feel a lot better.
2016 Resolution: Kick it up a notch to get even more healthy.

2015: #2 Write three more this year. Get them to my agents, sell them, hopefully this year as well.
Results: I did good. I wrote two more novels and got them in my agents hands. The last part, I cannot say yet. :)
2016 Resolution: Write three more this year. Get them to my agents, sell them, hopefully this year as well. It's a good goal, I figure why mess with it?

2015: #3 Get my manuscripts that are written highly polished along with the help of my agents, and sell them to great houses!
Results: Got the two I wrote in 2015 highly polished and off to my agents.

2015: #4 Keep up connecting with my friends. Meet and interact with more amazing new people.
Results: Excellent! I met so many great new people in 2015 and am beyond excited to know them.
2016 Resolution: Expand my horizons to connect with people in different places and groups.

2016 Resolution: Connect with more industry people, get to know the industry better by attending more retreats/conferences and meeting people in person.

What about you? Do you set goals/resolutions? What is your biggest goal you'd like to accomplish this year?