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Back From Dead

I bet you thought I’d disappeared for life. Like everyone else I’ve been dealing with Covid restrictions and being even more reclusive, but I’m fully vaccinated, spring has sprung (despite having two snowstorms in the past 2 weeks and flurries on some of the other days. Vermont is gorgeous but it doesn’t do spring.)
I’ve also been battling really obnoxious writer’s block, something I seldom have had to deal with. I’ve spent so damned much time thinking about why I’m not writing that I know a lot of the reasons – for one, the money matters, and I’ve spent most of my career making choices based on creativity, not money. The one time I thought I could take the money and run was a total disaster, and the many times I’ve chosen a less lucrative offer over a more generous one I haven’t regretted it.
And the last book, THE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY WORST MAN IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND WALES did so well, got such nice reviews and made so much money that I’m a little paralyzed in trying to equal it (when I know perfectly well this is a different book and I shouldn’t be comparing). And I’m being greedy on a creative level – I want each book to be utterly brilliant and ravishing, but the only way you write a brilliant and ravishing book is to write the damned thing.
So I was whining to Crusie yesterday, trying to decide between which two books to work on, my old-skool romantic suspense or my new historical, and I finally decided to get over myself and get to work. So that’s what I’m doing. (Of course, you notice I’m writing this post instead of actually working on the book, but that’s incidental.)
So, starting today, I’m diving back into the terribly-titled Beggar’s Ken, and I’m going to write until it’s done and then slap and knead and pummel it into shape. I was thinking of tossing out chapters, but that will just make me feel frustrated, so I’m moving forward, and as Crusie would say, nothing but good times ahead.
And then I’ll finish the Old-skool romantic suspense, which I love and isn’t what people are wanting from me, and then maybe my Indiana Jones-is adventure, or I’ll write something entirely different. Writing makes me happy.
So today I’m going to make myself happy and write.

It’s Out!

The Absolutely, Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales

Today is the official launch day of The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales. It sneaked out a couple of days earlier, but it’s finally in all the stores, with a print edition to follow really quickly, and with luck an audio version down the line.

I was never supposed to write the book. I had four or five good starts on new books, including my favorite, a modern Mary Stewart-ish romantic suspense, a female revenge book, an Indiana Jones/1930s book, a 1920s gothic, and several other starts along the way. But you know, the girls in the basement (as opposed to Stephen King’s boys in the basement) want what they want, and the idea of this very very bad boy came into my head and wouldn’t leave.

When ideas take over like that (Black Ice was one of them – I was 70 pages into another book and just started writing Black Ice one morning and couldn’t stop) when that happens you have no choice but to listen.

It wasn’t like the book was easy. I went off in the wrong direction the first time I thought they ought to have sex, and just dug myself in deeper and deeper. I hate this new habit of mine where I have to toss out tons of chapters, but better wasted chapters than a wasted book, and I love how this came out, though I was ridiculously uncertain in the very beginning. But all my early readers love it, and I’ve let go my worries and just love the damned thing so much.

I’m expecting great things from this, though I’m not sure why. Just my spidey-senses, which are usually right. If you buy it I’d really appreciate an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads, because I’m making an effort on this one, and I really want people to read it.

It’s at all the usual suspects: Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Absolutely-Positively-Worst-England-Scotland-ebook/dp/B08FYXSG9F/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=anne+stuart&qid=1597765753&sr=8-4

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-absolutely-positively-worst-man-in-england-scotland-and-wales-anne-stuart/1137491470;jsessionid=37996624F6E211070942F4DA69D6BB25.prodny_store02-atgap11?ean=2940162958178

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-absolutely-positively-worst-man-in-england-scotland-and-wales

Applebooks: I can’t figure out a link via the computer. If you get your books from them then you probably know how to do it.

It’s saucy, it’s funny, it’s sexy and romantic and it’s written by the absurdly humble Anne Stuart. What more can you ask for in a book?

Ch-ch-changes

OMG, I saw the first sign of changing leaves! It shouldn’t be a shock – I live in Northern Vermont where the leaf color in Autumn is amazing, and we usually see the first signs of change during the first week of August. But it was a long, hard winter, and I suspect we have another long, hard one ahead of us with the *#!^%$ virus.

I want another full month of summer, maybe even two, where I can float in my pool and listen to audiobooks (I just re-read Ilona Andrews’s WHITE HOT, which is delicious). In fact, I’ve been doing a lot of rereading. I know what I want to read, and I’m quite often disappointed in the new stuff I’m trying. Still, I do keep discovering new writers that really appeal to me. There’s just something about revisiting an old favorite.

Plans for the ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE WORST MAN IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND WALES are coming along swimmingly. I’m guessing it’ll be out in about a month, and there’s other good stuff coming. The cover is wonderful – I should start flashing that around – and I love the book.

Funny thing about books – they have minds of their own. I realize why I had such trouble with the final third of Worst Man – I was trying to force it into the mold I was used to, with a dangerous, murderous hero and the world about to explode. But that simply wasn’t this story. Obviously, given the title, my hero is a very bad man. But he’s also eminently redeemable.

More details to come. I’m getting very excited about this.

GETTING CLOSER

I’m finishing up the revisions on THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY WORST MAN IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND WALES and I’m feeling delicious. I don’t know why I have to go through so much tsuris (I think that’s the right word – meaning a whole lot of shit) but after throwing out the last third of the book and rewriting it I finally got it to a state that’s actually quite delightful. Now I just have to get the perfect cover and it’s off to the races.

Except …

There are so damned many things one is supposed to do before a book launch, months ahead of it, and I can barely keep it together enough to write blog posts. The book should be ready to go in a week or so. Why should I hold on to it?

Arrgh. Publishers may have gotten it wrong in the olden days, but at least I didn’t have this gnawing sense that I’m not doing enough.

More about the book later. In the meantime we’re wading through Covid in the state with the fewest cases (mind you, Vermont is a very small state) and doing our best just to be cheerful. I’m trying to lose my Covid-19 (like the Freshman 15 that everyone gains the first year in college) and I’m doing Noom. So far I keep eating too much everyday, so I have yet to demonstrate much success. Just got to hunker down harder – my clothes are too tight.

But the weather is beautiful (as is our entire state) so I can sit on my deck and look out over the lovely little New England town I live in (pop. 800-ish). I need to find a place by the lake where I can go and work.

Sigh. (That’s my BFF’s dock, but I have to scramble down a hillside to get there and I’m not so good at scrambling nowadays.) There’s also Cousin David’s house, possibly Sabra’s, but most of the family houses have all been sold to fat cat Californians so I’ve lost most of my nice, peaceful spots to write. That’s okay, I have my wonderful cabin …

I’ll take better pictures and clean it up so you can enjoy it. Funny thing is, books want to be written different places. Some want me in my office, some in the living room, some in the bedroom. The current one is loving the cabin (I’m getting a lot done) but I always prefer being by water. My idea of a perfect house would be a home on a secluded lake.

Next lifetime. For now I live in a beautiful place in a house of wood and windows, where I can write books that take me away to magic places. What more could a girl ask?

Heat Wave

Well, I tried to be really good and do another post but WordPress was being wonky. It’s working now and it’s too hot to do anything else, so here goes.

Just read the new Susan Elizabeth Phillips and it was WONDERFUL! (Yes, I’m shouting). Just fabulous. SEP can’t write a bad book, and she’s always fun, but this one was superlative, and the audio version rocks! I highly recommend it.

Been reading older Sandra Brown novels too, and they’re fun but a bit hard-boiled. The love story isn’t front and center, the mystery is, (I’d call them suspense rather than romantic suspense) but she’s another one who can’t write a bad book.

It’s been too hot here (hotter in northern Vermont that in NJ) to do much but sit in front of a fan and read, though I do have two quilt tops basted and ready to go. It’s just too hot to start, but maybe if I do it first thing in the morning that’ll work. Thing is, Richie and I always sit on the deck with our coffee in the morning and talk, and I don’t want to give that up. Still, I can get started earlier. (update – I started quilting until the free motion foot loosened and fell off and broke the needle).

I need to find a book to swoon over. I just bought hardcover editions of two of my favorite books (My Lord Monleigh and Bride of MacHugh) from ABE book so I’ll probably dive into them when they arrive.

The good news is that THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY WORST MAN IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND WALES is ready for my editor. My number one reader loved it, and I’m feeling happy happy happy with it. Now for all the extra work – the cover, the editing, the advertising, etc. (I don’t send the book to Jenny at this point because our finished products are so different – she micromanages and I paint with magic markers. If I gave it to her now she’d try to turn it into a Crusie, and while a real Crusie is incomparable, a Krissie-Crusie would end up like Frankenstein.)

In the meantime, I recommend you all seek out a favorite book to reread. More suggestions, please. I’m reading (I blush to admit it) TANGLED LIES because it’s one of my all-time favorites, and looking forward to the new Sarah MacLean Bareknuckle Bastards (all of this via Audible, because that’s how I roll).

And now, I can throw myself into the new/old book that I started a few years ago and got shot down on. That’s the lovely thing about indie-publishing. You can write your heart’s desire and no one’s gonna bitch about hooks and the market. Ah, Freedom (even if it comes at the price of all that annoying business stuff).

Happy Fourth of July out there. Stay in your backyards, wear masks, and think of your fellow woman/man. Cheers!