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Mar 2, 2015

Rolling into March

February was better than March. I took time off from some real life stuff and focused on a few things - among them, trying to get more consistency to my daily productivity.

Things got better... but at the same time, they didn't really make it to the point I was hoping for.

End totals:



Words Written: 30,104
Drafts Finished: 3 (all short stories)
Projects revised: 4 (the 3 short stories and one novel that needs another go-through)
Books Read: 6 (only one of which got a 4 star rating.)

I hope that March will be better. I'm going to attempt to change up my writing schedule and see if that helps. I do have a trip impending this month and that will make things work a little differently, but... fingers crossed I'll get my focus back and the words will fall from my fingertips.

Goals for March include:

Finishing 4 drafts
Revising 3 projects
Getting back to a normal schedule here

Feb 18, 2015

Top 5 Reasons I’ll Stop Reading a Book


We’ve all started a book and wound up ditching it at some later point. Here are my top 5 reasons for ditching a book.

 

1. Lack of editing

I’m okay with a few typos here and there. We all make mistakes. But I read a lot of kindle samples and immediately mark a book down on the “nope” list if it’s got too many problems with sentence structure or redundancy or telling or… it goes on.  Basically, if you aren’t going the traditional publishing route, I think you need at least 3 sets of other eyes raking over what you’ve done. And you need to make sure they’re helpful. People who gush over your book and have no critique, aren’t doing you any favors in the editing process.

2. I don’t even like you anymore

I’m a sucker for compelling characters. Give me a terrible book with a character I’m invested in and I can get over a lot of issues. Give me a book with an amazing plot but characters that I don’t care about or that I slowly start to dislike… and I’m not going to finish said book. (This is why I’ll likely never read books 6 and 7 of A Song of Ice and Fire – if they are ever published – I just don’t care about what happens to anyone anymore.)

3. I’ve read this before…

There’s something to be said for tropes and how nice it is to have set parameters for a narrative. I’m not talking about books that are similar… I’m talking about books that are pretty blatant copies. I don’t want to read a knock-off of a story I’ve already read, you’re not going to do it better by copying.

4. You’re cheating your reader

What is with this new “trend” (apparently big in the Self-publishing Romance area) of making a trilogy from a single book? I’ll admit that I don’t always look at the page count when I snag stuff for my kindle. I read the blurb and the sample and make my decision there. But if I get to the end of the book and its actually the 1/3rd mark, it doesn’t compel me to buy the next one, it pisses me off and puts you in the category of untrustworthy authors.

5. You’re playing into stereotypes or are just plain gross

I don’t need to read a book that strives to enforce societal ideals that are antiquated and harmful. I don’t need to read a book where non-consensual sex is glorified. I don’t need to read a book where close-minded phobic protagonists are glorified for their stunted viewpoints. If I wanted to do that, I’d pick up a piece of “classic” literature with those themes, because clearly, I’d be living in the past.


What about you? What makes you stop reading?

Feb 16, 2015

Heather M Gardener's One Good Catch


On Friday (March 13, 2015) Heather Gardener’s new contemporary romantic suspense title will release from InkSpell Publishing.

Read the blurb, check out the lovely cover from Najla Qamber Designs, and mark it down on your to-read list:


Ignoring a recent trauma that is affecting her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but putting herself in these dangerous situations isn’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines in all her best dreams.

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, who doesn’t approve, but it’s her indifference that’s driving Rhys crazy.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing them to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.

 

 


 

Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Feb 13, 2015

Valentine’s Day Cards!


Hi guys, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’ve got two options to send out if you’re a fan of my books!

From the Flynn Universe:



From Windthrow:





Have a wonderful day tomorrow! I hope you get to spend it with the one you love!

Feb 11, 2015

Why Do We Live In A World Of Either/Or


We live in an amazingly diverse world. Ours is a planet where creatures can live with no sunlight at the bottom of the sea, or survive in habitats with little to no water. We’ve been to space and climbed Everest, and taken submersibles into the depths…. And yet there are so many things we approach as either/ or with no in between.

I am surrounded, daily, by people who believe there are only two political trains of thought and if you are conservative, you have to be conservative in all things, if you are liberal, you have to be liberal in all things. They believe that gender is binary and anything otherwise is an oddity that can’t be explained (though one specific individual would tell you it’s the devil’s doing.) From a young age, I was taught about good and evil with little preparation for the fact that good people can and will do evil things, and the other way around.

There is an odd belief that there has to be one right way and we have to choose what that is.

It’s a belief that sets us up for failure.

Why is it that we can do such amazing things, but we cannot wrap our heads around the idea that there are so many more than just two options?

I have no answer to this… only more questions.